position:king


  • Icon: The Embodiment Of Democracy And The Free Market
    https://hackernoon.com/icon-the-embodiment-of-democracy-and-the-free-market-55d01e15c6f5?source

    Icon: The Democracy Of CryptocurrencyDemocracy: A Short AnalysisThe conception of democracy began millennia ago, with its origins in Ancient Greece and Ancient India, particularly, Athens. Citizens voted directly on legislation and executive bills, however, the democracy of Athens was far more primitive than our contemporary paradigm of global democracy. Within Athens, approximately 30% of the population could vote, siphoning equality and equity from the political paradigm of democracy as we know and understand it today. Women could not vote, foreigners could not vote, nor could slaves vote; you had to be a male citizen within Athens to obtain the unique privilege to vote on legislation. Democracy existed within the Kingdom of Ganarajya, where king’s were elected by the people and for (...)

    #ethereum #bitcoin #cryptocurrency #blockchain #south-korea


  • Round 4 : #itil Fights Back
    https://hackernoon.com/round-4-itil-fights-back-4562bf1ed32d?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    When I look around, I see the sadness on people’s faces. Blockchain, machine learning and #devops enthusiasts everywhere, yearning for the next big thing, the next thing that fires up the IT industry with razzmatazz and zing. The next thing that helps us deliver faster, with better control, and enduring quality. Saving us from software crimes of slow releases, delivered badly, and issue laden post release. We may not have much longer to wait, as the next big thing may be about to arrive. Its name is ITIL, ITIL IV.Eight long years have gone by. Eight years where we missed the quarterly CAB. Eight years where we were told that service is king, change is queen, but in the streets of #agile and DevOps, ITIL was a passenger that added cost, slowed us down, and impeded the process. Where we (...)

    #software-development #it-operations


  • Event Review: Youth Movements and Political Participation in Saudi Arabia - Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy

    http://jmepp.hkspublications.org/2018/11/09/saudi-arabia-mbs-youth-movements-political-participation

    As home to one of the world’s youngest populations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has in recent years seen a remarkable surge in youth movements that are especially visible online. At an October 26th discussion at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Dr. Kristin Smith Diwan, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, argued that this uptick in online political engagement does not necessarily translate to increased political participation.

    To demonstrate the significance of recent political and social shifts within the Kingdom, Diwan provided an overview of Saudi Arabia as it has functioned since its founding in 1932. She emphasized the Kingdom’s dynastic monarchal system, wherein power is largely decentralized and shared among the royal family. Local and global forces are converging to reveal cracks in a few key areas: the Kingdom’s diffuse power structure has hindered decision-making, unstable oil supplies have fostered economic anxiety, and demographic changes have forced a reevaluation of conservative religious movements within the Kingdom. Additionally, as the royal family grows older, King Salman has made a number of moves toward empowering a new generation of leaders by elevating his son, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), to the position of Crown Prince. It is this generational shift in the Kingdom’s leadership that Diwan underlined  as she set out to demonstrate that the Kingdom’s shifting power structure, along with its emerging youth movements, are creating a new political environment.

    While the average Saudi king comes into power around age sixty-four, seventy percent of the Kingdom’s population is less than thirty years old. This stark generational divide, coupled with ready access to new technologies and social media platforms, has led to a surge in virtual social movements among Saudi Arabia’s youth. Online communities and artistic collectives have become especially important in Saudi Arabia because they are less bound by the strict standards of behavior that regulate physical public spaces.. Outlets like Twitter and YouTube are essential platforms for youth movements, and Diwan pointed to satirical comedy as a noteworthy medium for political criticism. MBS and his new government have made concerted efforts to capture the energy of these youth movements, enlisting popular comedians and artists to participate in his transition team and engage in cultural diplomacy around the world.



  • The contribution of cats in times of war.
    https://paulineconolly.com/2018/the-brave-cats-of-war

    I must thank my friend Rosie Wood for mentioning the possible role of cats in warfare. I can’t remember how the subject came up now, but my research produced some interesting results.

    It transpires that they were employed as far back as the reign of Cambyses II, king of Persia. I suggest skipping the next few paragraphs if you are a cat lover.

    Sad to say, the cats were made savage by ill-treatment then hurled over the walls of a city by invaders. The story goes that it was enough to make the terrified inhabitants throw open the gates.

    In the 16th century cats were sent into battle with miniature ‘canons’ strapped to their backs. The canons were filled with unpleasant vapours, released by an early form of detonator.

    During the siege of Paris in 1870 …….oh dear this is truly awful, cats became an alternative to jugged hare and helped save the city from famine.
    OK, time for something more positive (I think), from WWI. The following was reported in 1919;

    The story of British cats did their bit towards saving the world whilst serving in the trenches has been ‘released’ for general circulation, and is told in ‘Jon O’London’s Weekly’. The cats, which were gathered from the highways and by-ways of London, were used to detect gas in the trenches. They were obtained through an advertisement which appeared in the London papers asking for ‘common cats-any number’, to be delivered to Charles Harris’ bird store……But even Mr Harris did not know what the cats were wanted for.

    It’s to be hoped they didn’t die from the gas, like canaries in coalmines. They were delivered up and down the British lines. As a sideline to their active military service the furry troops kept down the rat population and provided companionship to the men. I love this photo of a British soldier with a kitten, taken in 1918. Such a tender moment in terrible times.

    Cat with British soldier in 1918

    Sometimes cats ‘changed side’ in the middle of battle. The Gympie Times raised morale in 1918 by publishing this piece;

    A story of a cat is told in British letters from the front. The lookout men saw a cat emerge from the German trenches in front of them, make her way calmly to their trenches, pass through, and proceed to the rear, where she carefully inspected the officers’ billets. Then she retraced her steps to the German lines and the Englishmen supposed they had seen the last of her. To their amazement she re-appeared with a kitten in her mouth, passed by them to the zone of comparative safety in the rear, dropped her kitten in the dugout, went back to the German trenches and got kitten number two. Finally she had three kittens safe in the English lines. Speculation as to the reason for her removal of the kittens was in vain. She never told why she deserted the Germans.

    Here is a story reported in The Newcastle Herald & Miners’ Advocate about a cat who lived with the ANZACS at Gallipoli;

    ‘Again, when we were in the trenches in the front line a cat came up from the support trench and wandered in and out amongst us, and the most extraordinary thing was that during the day she only wandered about below the parapet- it would have been fatal for her to have appeared above it, just as it was with us….Well, directly it got dark and we were able to look over and fire, she would make no bones about running along the very top.’


  • The Abandoned Mine Problem: Who Should Bear the Burden?

    Thousands of abandoned and orphaned mines dot the American West. They pose a danger to both public and environmental health, and responsible parties are difficult to find, differentiate, or hold accountable. Why do inactive mines continue to pose safety hazards and pollute our waterways? The laws in place simply don’t have teeth. The Gold King Mine wastewater spill in southwestern Colorado in 2015 was a good reminder of the scope of the problem of abandoned and orphaned mines and how our current regulatory framework falls short.

    There are three laws that generally govern mining law in the United States: the 1872 Mining Law, the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). These laws lack concrete measures to prevent mine spills from occurring as well as reliable methods to ensure that all mines receive the necessary attention in the case of a spill (or better yet, to prevent one). In addition, these laws can create liabilities and disincentives on parties who might otherwise be willing to come in and remediate the mine on their own. However, some states are turning towards a non-traditional form of legislation: Good Samaritan laws, in which citizens, companies, and organizations would be not liable in the case they decide to take on the task of cleaning up acid mine drainage.

    The abandoned mine problem in the United States is striking. Specifically, hard rock mines (including metals like gold, silver, iron, copper, and zinc) are predominant in the West as a result of the discovery of gold and silver during the era of western expansion. Up until the 1970s, the federal government engaged in little oversight on mining across much of the West. During the mining era, there were few expectations about environmental safeguards, and as a result, historic mining operations often went largely unregulated. Before the 1970s, it was common for mining companies to abandon mine sites after mineral extraction was completed or no longer profitable. The land was often left exposed, with waste materials in piles or dumped into mine cavities and pits. At the time, mining companies had no requirement to restore mine lands to their original condition. Today, it is almost impossible to hold these mine owners financially responsible because records of original ownership have been lost and accountable individuals have long passed away. There are over 500,000 abandoned hardrock mine sites across the nation, and the cost for cleaning up these inactive mines is estimated to be between $33 and 72 billion dollars. Today, these abandoned mines are capable of polluting adjacent streams, lakes, and groundwater with high volumes of toxic waste. In doing so, contamination from spills has the potential to—and often does—harm marine ecosystems, poison local drinking water, and pose serious health risks to local communities.

    What Laws Are in Place?

    The Mining Law of 1872, or the General Mining Law, governs the transfer of rights to mine gold, silver, copper, uranium and other hardrock minerals from federal lands. Under the law, citizens may enter and explore the public domain, and if they find valuable mineral deposits, they may obtain title to the land through the Department of the Interior. The law has jurisdictional coverage over 270 million acres of publicly owned land, which is almost one-fourth of all land in the United States. In essence, mining companies are able to search for minerals without any authorization from any government agency. The law contains little to no environmental protections for using use of the land and it does not include any royalty or bonding provisions (to help fund cleanup in case of an accident). As a result, many have criticized the law for giving away public land to private companies practically for free, leaving the public to bear the burden for cleaning up the spills. Since there is no requirement to pay royalties or report extraction volume, the government does not keep track of the volume of hardrock minerals being extracted from federal public lands each year. Consequently, this aspect of mines is largely unchecked and has disparate effects.

    But the issue of abandoned mines has not entirely been overlooked. In September 2017, Senator Tom Udall (Arizona) introduced legislation to reform the General Mining Law and address many of the above-mention criticisms. If passed, the legislation would help fund clean-up activities through fees and royalties. In March 2018, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the issue of abandoned mines.

    The Clean Water Act (CWA) is aimed at restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. The Act splits the responsibility to state agencies and some responsibility to the EPA to carry out the regulatory purposes. The Act requires would-be polluters to obtain a permit for any kind of discharge of a pollutant from a point source (such as mine waste) into the navigable waters of the United States. While the structure of the Act enforces a basic foundation for protecting water resources, one consequence of the permitting system is that parties who own or attempt to clean up mines will likely become subject to its extensive permitting requirements and face liability. This being said, when parties do attempt to clean up mines, their actions could still constitute a violation of the CWA. Under the Act, a party seeking to engage in cleanup activity would need a permit regardless of whether their actions aggravate or improve the water quality.

    CERCLA allows for the cleanup of sites that are already contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. It is also referred to as the “Superfund,” due to the large fund that it created for cleanup of contaminated sites. CERCLA is intended to spread the cost of cleanup among responsible parties, and allows the government to undertake cleanup of contaminated property or compel private parties to undertake the cleanup themselves. Like the CWA, CERCLA creates potential liability for parties that might attempt to clean up abandoned mines, which usually takes form of lawsuits. Under 107(a)(4)(B), private parties can recover from a potential responsible party (PRP) for the cleanup costs they “directly incur.” Under this broad liability scheme, people who own property containing hazardous substances can be held liable for enormous cleanup costs even though they were not involved in any hazardous waste disposal activities. Even with some liability defense for certain types of innocent landowners and bonafide prospective purchaser, CERCLA has in effect discouraged the purchase and reuse of properties that may be contaminated. As a result, the overwhelming costs of cleanups (and potential liability) have been the primary restraining factors for people otherwise interested in reusing and restoring contaminated properties.

    Good Samaritan Legislation

    There has been no shortage of offered fixes to the problem of abandoned and orphaned mines, but one solution that has seemed to be getting more traction recently is the idea of Good Samaritan legislation. While potential liability under the CWA and CERCLA has discouraged parties from cleaning up abandoned mines or reusing and restoring contaminated properties, Good Samaritan legislation may provide new hope for parties who want to attempt to clean up mines but do not have the resources to take on the liability that might accompany cleanup efforts. These parties may include citizens, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and mining companies.

    Pennsylvania implemented the Environmental Good Samaritan Act in 1999 and has completed fifty projects since. Those protected by this legislation include individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. The Act protects them if they meet several requirements, including they that did not cause/create the abandoned mineral extraction land or water pollution, and that they provide equipment and/or materials for the project. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administers and reviews project proposals to determine project eligibility. While the Act has been used for mine reclamation in the past, DEP has also applied it to other environmental remediation projects, achieving success so far. In 2017, the Act has been applied to two oil and gas well projects, which are estimated to have saved DEP $60,000 to $85,000, in addition to administrative cost savings related to contract development and management. Three more projects are currently under review.

    Recently, members of Congress have made efforts to enact something similar at the federal level. In 2016, three members of the Colorado delegation to Congress proposed the Good Samaritan Cleanup of Orphan Mines Act of 2016 with the help of environmental groups Trout Unlimited and Earthworks. The bill, ultimately, was not successful.

    The practical reality of Good Samaritan legislation is that most parties who are interested in cleaning up the spills will not have the funds to effectuate a successful cleanup. While Good Samaritan laws appear to be a reasonable way to encourage cleanups, they are not enough to solve the multifaceted abandoned mine issue that has a variety of stakeholders- including the mining companies who are often let off the hook. This is why most environmental advocates tend to reject Good Samaritan proposals, as they distract from the bigger picture that the mining companies are causing the spills and are not taking responsibility to clean them up. While the EPA has issued guidance on Good Samaritan laws, few parties are willing to proceed with cleanup projects because the EPA has failed to engage in regulatory rulemaking and enforce law on the subject.

    This being said, Good Samaritan legislation alone will not solve the abandoned and orphaned mine issue. Conservation groups have proposed increased liability for mining companies. At the state level, conservation groups like San Juan Citizens Alliance and Conservation Colorado have supported the

    Thus, what seems to be the closest thing to an answer to the abandoned and orphaned mine problem is some sort of combination of many proposed solutions: Good Samaritan laws, imposition of royalties, creation of a hardrock reclamation fund, etc. At this point, the main question is where resources should be allocated and at what cost, especially amidst federal laws and agencies that often disagree on how and to what extent…” to protect the environment.


    http://duwaterlawreview.com/the-abandoned-mine-problem-who-should-bear-the-burden
    #mines #abandon #fermeture #extractivisme #pollution #mines_abandonnées #environnement #santé

    ping @albertocampiphoto @daphne


  • The Real Reasons Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wanted Khashoggi ‘Dead or Alive’
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-real-reasons-saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-wanted-khasho

    Christopher Dickey 10.21.18
    His death is key to understanding the political forces that helped turn the Middle East from a region of hope seven years ago to one of brutal repression and slaughter today.

    The mind plays strange tricks sometimes, especially after a tragedy. When I sat down to write this story about the Saudi regime’s homicidal obsession with the Muslim Brotherhood, the first person I thought I’d call was Jamal Khashoggi. For more than 20 years I phoned him or met with him, even smoked the occasional water pipe with him, as I looked for a better understanding of his country, its people, its leaders, and the Middle East. We often disagreed, but he almost always gave me fresh insights into the major figures of the region, starting with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, and the political trends, especially the explosion of hope that was called the Arab Spring in 2011. He would be just the man to talk to about the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood, because he knew both sides of that bitter relationship so well.

    And then, of course, I realized that Jamal is dead, murdered precisely because he knew too much.

    Although the stories keep changing, there is now no doubt that 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the power in front of his decrepit father’s throne, had put out word to his minions that he wanted Khashoggi silenced, and the hit-team allegedly understood that as “wanted dead or alive.” But the [petro]buck stops with MBS, as bin Salman’s called. He’s responsible for a gruesome murder just as Henry II was responsible for the murder of Thomas Becket when he said, “Who will rid me of that meddlesome priest?” In this case, a meddlesome journalist.

    We now know that a few minor players will pay. Some of them might even be executed by Saudi headsmen (one already was reported killed in a car crash). But experience also tells us the spotlight of world attention will shift. Arms sales will go ahead. And the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi risks becoming just one more entry in the annals of intensifying, murderous repression of journalists who are branded the “enemy of the people” by Donald Trump and various two-bit tyrants around the world.

    There is more to Khashoggi’s murder than the question of press freedom, however. His death holds the key to understanding the political forces that have helped turn the Middle East from a region of hope seven years ago to one of brutal repression and ongoing slaughter today. Which brings us back to the question of the Saudis’ fear and hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood, the regional rivalries of those who support it and those who oppose it, and the game of thrones in the House of Saud itself. Khashoggi was not central to any of those conflicts, but his career implicated him, fatally, in all of them.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not a benign political organization, but neither is it Terror Incorporated. It was created in the 1920s and developed in the 1930s and ‘40s as an Islamic alternative to the secular fascist and communist ideologies that dominated revolutionary anti-colonial movements at the time. From those other political organizations the Brotherhood learned the values of a tight structure, party discipline, and secrecy, with a public face devoted to conventional political activity—when possible—and a clandestine branch that resorted to violence if that appeared useful.

    In the novel Sugar Street, Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz sketched a vivid portrait of a Brotherhood activist spouting the group’s political credo in Egypt during World War II. “Islam is a creed, a way of worship, a nation and a nationality, a religion, a state, a form of spirituality, a Holy Book, and a sword,” says the Brotherhood preacher. “Let us prepare for a prolonged struggle. Our mission is not to Egypt alone but to all Muslims worldwide. It will not be successful until Egypt and all other Islamic nations have accepted these Quranic principles in common. We shall not put our weapons away until the Quran has become a constitution for all Believers.”

    For several decades after World War II, the Brotherhood’s movement was eclipsed by Arab nationalism, which became the dominant political current in the region, and secular dictators moved to crush the organization. But the movement found support among the increasingly embattled monarchies of the Gulf, including and especially Saudi Arabia, where the rule of the king is based on his custodianship of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest sites in Islam. At the height of the Cold War, monarchies saw the Brotherhood as a helpful antidote to the threat of communist-led or Soviet-allied movements and ideologies.

    By the 1980s, several of the region’s rulers were using the Brotherhood as a tool to weaken or destroy secular opposition. Egypt’s Anwar Sadat courted them, then moved against them, and paid with his life in 1981, murdered by members of a group originally tied to the Brotherhood. Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, then spent three decades in power manipulating the Brotherhood as an opposition force, outlawing the party as such, but allowing its known members to run for office in the toothless legislature, where they formed a significant bloc and did a lot of talking.

    Jordan’s King Hussein played a similar game, but went further, giving clandestine support to members of the Brotherhood waging a covert war against Syrian tyrant Hafez al-Assad—a rebellion largely destroyed in 1982 when Assad’s brother killed tens of thousands of people in the Brotherhood stronghold of Hama.

    Even Israel got in on the action, initially giving Hamas, the Brotherhood branch among the Palestinians, tacit support as opposition to the left-leaning Palestine Liberation Organization (although PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat once identified with the Brotherhood himself).

    The Saudi royals, too, thought the Brotherhood could be bought off and manipulated for their own ends. “Over the years the relationship between the Saudis and the Brotherhood ebbed and flowed,” says Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on extremism at George Washington University and one of the foremost scholars in the U.S. studying the Brotherhood’s history and activities.

    Over the decades factions of the Brotherhood, like communists and fascists before them, “adapted to individual environments,” says Vidino. In different countries it took on different characteristics. Thus Hamas, or its military wing, is easily labeled as terrorist by most definitions, while Ennahda in Tunisia, which used to be called terrorist by the ousted Ben Ali regime, has behaved as a responsible political party in a complex democratic environment. To the extent that Jamal Khashoggi identified with the Brotherhood, that was the current he espoused. But democracy, precisely, is what Mohammed bin Salman fears.

    Vidino traces the Saudis’ intense hostility toward the Brotherhood to the uprisings that swept through much of the Arab world in 2011. “The Saudis together with the Emiratis saw it as a threat to their own power,” says Vidino.

    Other regimes in the region thought they could use the Brotherhood to extend their influence. First among these was the powerful government in Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has such longstanding ties to the Islamist movement that some scholars refer to his elected government as “Brotherhood 2.0.” Also hoping to ride the Brotherhood wave was tiny, ultra-rich Qatar, whose leaders had used their vast natural gas wealth and their popular satellite television channel, Al Jazeera, to project themselves on the world stage and, they hoped, buy some protection from their aggressive Saudi neighbors. As one senior Qatari official told me back in 2013, “The future of Qatar is soft power.” After 2011, Jazeera’s Arabic channel frequently appeared to propagandize in the Brotherhood’s favor as much as, say, Fox News does in Trump’s.

    Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world, and the birthplace of the Brotherhood, became a test case. Although Jamal Khashoggi often identified the organization with the idealistic hopes of the peaceful popular uprising that brought down the Mubarak dynasty, in fact the Egyptian Brotherhood had not taken part. Its leaders had a modus vivendi they understood with Mubarak, and it was unclear what the idealists in Tahrir Square, or the military tolerating them, might do.

    After the dictator fell and elections were called, however, the Brotherhood made its move, using its party organization and discipline, as well as its perennial slogan, “Islam is the solution,” to put its man Mohamed Morsi in the presidential palace and its people in complete control of the government. Or so it thought.

    In Syria, meanwhile, the Brotherhood believed it could and should lead the popular uprising against the Assad dynasty. That had been its role 30 years earlier, and it had paid mightily.

    For more than a year, it looked like the Brotherhood’s various branches might sweep to power across the unsettled Arab world, and the Obama administration, for want of serious alternatives, was inclined to go with the flow.

    But then the Saudis struck back.

    In the summer of 2013, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the commander of the Egyptian armed forces, led a military coup with substantial popular support against the conspicuously inept Brotherhood government, which had proved quickly that Islam was not really the “solution” for much of anything.

    Al-Sissi had once been the Egyptian military attaché in Riyadh, where he had many connections, and the Saudis quickly poured money into Egypt to shore up his new regime. At the same time, he declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and launched a campaign of ruthless repression. Within weeks of the coup, the Egyptian military attacked two camps of Brotherhood protesters and slaughtered hundreds.

    In Syria, the efforts to organize a credible political opposition to President Bashar al-Assad proved virtually impossible as the Qataris and Turks backed the Brotherhood while the Saudis continued their vehement opposition. But that does not mean that Riyadh supported moderate secular forces. Far from it. The Saudis still wanted to play a major role bringing down the Syrian regime allied to another arch enemy, the government of Iran. So the Saudis put their weight behind ultra-conservative Salafis, thinking they might be easier to control than the Muslim Brothers.

    Riyadh is “okay with quietist Salafism,” says Vidino. But the Salafis’ religious extremism quickly shaded over into the thinking of groups like the al Qaeda spinoff called the Nusra Front. Amid all the infighting, little progress was made against Assad, and there to exploit the chaos was the so-called Islamic State (which Assad partially supported in its early days).

    Then, in January 2015, at the height of all this regional turmoil, the aged and infirm Salman bin Abdelaziz ascended to the throne of Saudi Arabia. His son, Mohammed bin Salman, began taking into his own hands virtually all the reins of power, making bold decisions about reforming the Saudi economy, taking small measures to give the impression he might liberalize society—and moving to intimidate or otherwise neutralize anyone who might challenge his power.

    Saudi Arabia is a country named after one family, the al Saud, and while there is nothing remotely democratic about the government, within the family itself with its thousands of princes there traditionally has been an effort to find consensus. Every king up to now has been a son of the nation’s founder, Abdelaziz ibn Saud, and thus a brother or half brother of the other kings.

    When Salman took over, he finally named successors from the next generation. His nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, then 57 and well known for his role fighting terrorism, became crown prince. His son, Mohammed bin Salman, became deputy crown prince. But bin Nayef’s position between the king and his favorite son clearly was untenable. As one Saudi close to the royals put it: “Between the onion and the skin there is only the stink.”

    Bin Nayef was pushed out in 2017. The New York Times reported that during an end-of-Ramadan gathering at the palace he “was told he was going to meet the king and was led into another room, where royal court officials took away his phones and pressured him to give up his posts as crown prince and interior minister. … At first, he refused. But as the night wore on, the prince, a diabetic who suffers from the effects of a 2009 assassination attempt by a suicide bomber, grew tired.” Royal court officials meanwhile called around to other princes saying bin Nayef had a drug problem and was unfit to be king.

    Similar pressure was brought to bear on many of the richest and most powerful princes in the kingdom, locked up in the Ritz Carlton hotel in 2017, ostensibly as part of an extra-legal fight against corruption. They were forced to give allegiance to MBS at the same time they were giving up a lot of their money.

    That pattern of coerced allegiance is what the Saudis now admit they wanted from Jamal Khashoggi. He was no prince, but he had been closely associated in the past with the sons of the late King Faisal, particularly Turki al-Faisal, who was for many years the head of the Saudi intelligence apparatus and subsequently served as ambassador to the United Kingdom, then the United States.

    Although Turki always denied he had ambitions to be king, his name often was mentioned in the past as a contender. Thus far he seems to have weathered the rule of MBS, but given the record of the crown prince anyone close to the Al Faisal branch of the family, like Khashoggi, would be in a potentially perilous position.

    Barbara Bodine is a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, which has suffered mightily since MBS launched a brutal proxy war there against Iran. Both MBS and Trump have declared the regime in Tehran enemy number one in the region. But MBS botched the Yemen operation from the start. It was dubbed “Decisive Storm” when it began in 2015, and was supposed to last only a few weeks, but the war continues to this day. Starvation and disease have spread through Yemen, creating one of the world’s greatest humanitarian disasters. And for the moment, in one of those developments that makes the Middle East so rich in ironies, in Yemen the Saudis are allied with a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    “What drives MBS is a ruthless effort toward total control domestically and regionally; he is Putin of the Desert,” says Bodine. “He has basically broken the back of the princelings, the religious establishment and the business elite, brought all ministries and agencies of power under his sole control (’I alone can fix it’), and jailed, killed or put under house arrest activists and any and all potential as well as real opposition (including his mother).”

    In 2017, MBS and his backers in the Emirates accused Qatar of supporting “terrorism,” issuing a set of demands that included shutting down Al Jazeera. The Saudis closed off the border and looked for other ways, including military options, to put pressure on the poor little rich country that plays so many angles it has managed to be supportive of the Brotherhood and cozy with Iran while hosting an enormous U.S. military base.

    “It was Qatar’s independent streak—not just who they supported but that they had a foreign policy divorced from the dictates of Riyadh,” says Bodine. “The basic problem is that both the Brotherhood and Iran offer competing Islam-based governing structures that challenge the Saudi model.”

    “Jamal’s basic sin,” says Bodine,“was he was a credible insider, not a fire-breathing radical. He wrote and spoke in English for an American audience via credible mainstream media and was well regarded and highly visible within the Washington chattering classes. He was accessible, moderate and operated within the West. He challenged not the core structure of the Kingdom but the legitimacy of the current rulers, especially MBS.”

    “I do think the game plan was to make him disappear and I suspect the end game was always to make him dead,” said Bodine in a long and thoughtful email. “If he was simply jailed within Saudi there would have been a drumbeat of pressure for his release. Dead—there is certainly a short term cost, whether more than anticipated or longer than anticipated we don’t know yet, but the world will move on. Jamal will become a footnote, a talking point perhaps, but not a crusade. The dismembered body? No funeral. Taking out Jamal also sends a powerful signal to any dissident that there is no place safe.”

    #Arabie_Saoudite #Turquie #politique #terrorisme #putsch


  • As Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king asserts authority, checks son’s power : sources | Reuters

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-king-insight/as-khashoggi-crisis-grows-saudi-king-asserts-authority-checks-sons-power-so

    DUBAI (Reuters) - So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

    Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.

    World leaders were demanding an explanation and concern was growing in parts of the royal court that the king’s son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to whom he has delegated vast powers, was struggling to contain the fallout, the sources said.

    During Prince Khaled’s visit, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance. The king subsequently ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to open an inquiry based on its findings.

    “The selection of Khaled, a senior royal with high status, is telling as he is the king’s personal adviser, his right hand man and has had very strong ties and a friendship with (Turkish President) Erdogan,” said a Saudi source with links to government circles.

    Since the meeting between Prince Khaled and Erdogan, King Salman has been “asserting himself” in managing the affair, according to a different source, a Saudi businessman who lives abroad but is close to royal circles.


  • Trip report - CppCon 2018—Jean Guegant
    http://isocpp.org/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Posts&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fisocpp.org%2Fblog%2F2

    A new one!

    Trip report - CppCon 2018 by Jean Guegant

    From the article:

    New year, new conference! This time, my employer, King, helped me to organize a first pilgrimage to CppCon for me and another colleague. You cannot fathom how enthusiastic I was to finally making it there! Although I might be a bit late on the “trip-report-race”, I think that it is still worth to relate my overall experience of the event and then move onto a list of recommended talks you should watch-out on Youtube...

    #News,Articles&_Books,_Events,


  • Jadaliyya - Seventy Years of the New York Times Describing Saudi Royals as Reformers
    http://jadaliyya.com/Details/34727

    By : Abdullah Al-Arian

    In honor of Thomas Friedman’s latest love letter to the ruling dynasty in Saudi Arabia, here is seventy years worth of the New York Times describing the royal family as reformers.
    1953:
    The article describes King Saud as “more progressive and international-minded than his autocratic father.”

    etc.


  • Critics fear Amazon’s minimum wage hike will distract from its other issues
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/06/critics-fear-amazons-minimum-wage-hike-will-distract-from-its-other-iss

    The world’s most powerful retailer will pay more, but its impact on the economy may mean more struggles for low-wage workers In 1967, just a year before his assassination, Dr Martin Luther King launched the Poor People’s Campaign to “to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty”. Five decades on little has changed for low-wage workers. Minimum wage increases in the US have failed to even keep pace with inflation. A full-time minimum wage worker in 1968 would have (...)

    #Amazon #travail


  • Here’s what I found out when I spent the day with Israel’s most controversial journalist, Gideon Levy
    Robert Fisk | The Independent | 27 septembre 2018
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gideon-levy-robert-fisk-haaretz-israel-palestine-gaza-a8557691.html

    Gideon Levy is a bit of a philosopher king although, sitting in his postage stamp garden in a suburb of Tel Aviv, straw hat shading mischievous dark eyes, there’s a touch of a Graham Greene character about Haaretz’s most provocative and infamous writer. Brave, subversive, sorrowful – in a harsh, uncompromising way – he’s the kind of journalist you either worship or loathe. Philosopher kings of the Plato kind are necessary for our moral health, perhaps, but not good for our blood pressure. So Levy’s life has been threatened by his fellow Israelis for telling the truth; and that’s the best journalism award one can get.

    He loves journalism but is appalled by its decline. His English is flawless but it sometimes breaks up in fury. Here’s an angry Levy on the effect of newspaper stories: “In the year of ’86, I wrote about a Palestinian Bedouin woman who lost her baby after giving birth at a checkpoint. She tried at three different [Israeli] checkpoints, she couldn’t make it and she gave birth in the car. They [the Israelis] didn’t let her bring the baby to the hospital. She carried him by foot two kilometres to the Augusta Victoria [Hospital in east Jerusalem]. The baby died. When I published this story – I don’t want to say that Israel ‘held its breath’, but it was a huge scandal, the cabinet was dealing with it, two officers were brought to court…”

    Then Levy found ten more women who had lost babies at Israeli checkpoints. “And nobody could care less any more. Today, I can publish it and people will yawn if they read it at all. [It’s] totally normalised, totally justified. We have a justification now for everything. The dehumanisation of the Palestinians has reached a stage in which we really don’t care. I can tell you, really, without exaggeration, if an Israeli dog was killed by Palestinians, it will get more attention in the Israeli media than if 20 Palestinian youngsters would be shot dead by snipers on the fence – without doing anything – in Gaza. The life of Palestinians has become the cheapest thing. It’s a whole system of demonisation, of de-humanisation, a whole system of justification that ‘we’ are always right and we can never be wrong.” (...)


  • Il y a ciquante ans, en 1968 Peter Brook publie L’Espace vide
    http://www.newspeterbrook.com/books

    I CAN take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged. Yet when we talk about theatre this is not quite what we mean. Red curtains, spotlights, blank verse, laughter, darkness, these are all confusedly superimposed in a messy image covered by one all-purpose word. We talk of the cinema killing the theatre, and in that phrase we refer to the theatre as it was when the cinema was born, a theatre of box office, foyer, tip-up seats, footlights, scene changes, intervals, music, as though the theatre was by very definition these and little more.

    I will try to split the word four ways and distinguish four different meanings—and so will talk about a Deadly Theatre , a Holy Theatre , a Rough Theatre and an Immediate Theatre . Sometimes these four theatres really exist, standing side by side, in the West End of London, or in New York off Times Square. Sometimes they are hundreds of miles apart, the Holy in Warsaw and the Rough in Prague, and sometimes they are metaphoric: two of them mixing together within one evening, within one act. Sometimes within one single moment, the four of them, Holy, Rough, Immediate and Deadly intertwine.

    Peter Brook: ’To give way to despair is the ultimate cop-out’ | Stage | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/oct/02/peter-brook-tip-of-the-tongue-the-prisoner-battlefield-olivier-gielgud

    Sixty-five years ago, Kenneth Tynan identified the qualities of a young Peter Brook as “repose, curiosity and mental accuracy – plus, of course, the unlearnable lively flair”. Now 92, Brook may walk more slowly than he did but those gifts are still abundantly there. He is as busy as ever, with a new book full of aphoristic wisdom, Tip of the Tongue, and a new stage project, The Prisoner, due to open in Paris next year.

    When we meet in London, he has just caught up with a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre, which he calls “one of the greatest musicals I’ve ever seen – a perfect combination of palpable emotion and dazzling spectacle”. To those who think of Brook as some kind of theatrical monk, dedicated to empty spaces and a refined austerity, his rapture over Follies may come as a shock. But Brook’s early career embraced everything from Shakespeare and boulevard comedy to opera and musicals. He directed Irma La Douce in the West End and Harold Arlen’s House of Flowers on Broadway.

    While a new generation may be unaware of the diversity of Brook’s career, he has never forgotten his roots. We meet shortly after the death of his old friend, Peter Hall. “One of Peter’s supreme qualities,” he says, “was charm – and it was something I saw in two now forgotten figures of British theatre who shaped my life. One was Sir Barry Jackson, a fine old English gentleman who came from a Midlands dairy-owning business, founded Birmingham Rep and took over the theatre in Stratford, where he asked me to direct Love’s Labour’s Lost when I was only 21. In his way, he was a quiet revolutionary.

    “The other big influence was the West End producer Binkie Beaumont who had that mysterious thing called taste. If Binkie wanted me to change some detail of lighting, costume or design, he would ring up and say, ‘You do see, don’t you?’ in a way you couldn’t argue with. All these figures had a charm that, in the theatre, achieves far more than tantrums or bullying.”

    If it’s a quality Brook recognises, it’s because he clearly possesses it. But his current preoccupation is with the sometimes irreconcilable differences between the French and English languages. Given that he has made Paris his base since 1971, when he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research, it is a subject on which he has necessarily become an expert. Do the differences between the two tongues make the translation of Shakespeare into French virtually impossible?

    “Not impossible but certainly very difficult. Take a famous phrase from Macbeth, ‘Light thickens.’ You can turn that into French, as Ariane Mnouchkine did, as, ‘La lumière s’epaissit.’ But the well-trained Cartesian French mind is unable to cope with the illogicality of the thought. A British actor will savour every syllable of a Shakespearean line while a French actor will drive to the end of a sentence or a speech with a propulsive rhythm: the thing you never say to a French actor is, ‘Take your time.’ The one translator I’ve worked with who overcomes these obstacles is Jean-Claude Carrière. He has the ability to render the underlying idea rather than the precise words and whose language has the clarity of a freshwater spring.”

    Brook understands what divides cultures. As he says in his book, “if in English we speak words, the French speak thoughts”. Yet he also sees common factors, especially in the universal search in actors for ever greater self-disclosure. “If we were transported back to the Elizabethan theatre,” he says, “I think we’d be shocked by the crudity and coarseness of what we saw. Over the centuries, there has been a quest for finer acting but, when I started out, the theatre was still a place of artifice. It was the age of grand design by people like Oliver Messel and Cecil Beaton, of big wigs and heavy makeup. What we see now, partly because of the influence of the camera and smaller stages, is a stripping away of the layers of pretence until the personality of the actor becomes visible.”

    That may be true but isn’t something being lost – above all, the delight in impersonation? “You obviously have to reconcile inner depth with outer skill but I think back to some of the actors I have worked with. With Olivier, there was nothing he couldn’t do as an actor except to reach the deepest sources of humanity itself. Gielgud, in contrast, had little of Olivier’s gift of impersonation but the fine, pure, sensitive heart of the man himself was always there. Scofield, too, had that same gift for revealing his inward self.”

    I find myself questioning Brook’s argument. I can think of one particular Olivier performance where, confronted by the extremes of human suffering, he seemed to dive into his very soul to call up cries of monumental despair. The production was Titus Andronicus at Stratford in 1955. The director? None other than Brook himself.

    Given Brook’s belief in acting as a form of self-revelation, I’m intrigued to know how he feels about gender-fluid casting. “I’d answer that,” says Brook, “by pointing out how I worked consistently from 1971 to break down all the racial stereotypes in casting not by declarations of intent but by everyday practice. I think the same applies to issues of gender. You can change things not by preaching but by doing – or, as they used to say to me when I worked in Germany, ‘Just get on your horse.’

    “I’d only add that since men have exploited and abused women for centuries, we should applaud any movement that attempts to rectify the injustices of history. Did you see Glenda Jackson as King Lear? I’ve only seen a few moments of it on screen, but what struck me was that Glenda made no attempt to impersonate masculinity but simply brought her own unique qualities to the role in a way that transcended gender.”

    Possibly the most resonant statement in Brook’s new book concerns the impact of live performance. “Every form of theatre,” he writes, “has something in common with a visit to the doctor. On the way out, one should always feel better than on the way in.” But “better” how? Physically, spiritually, morally? “I think this derives from the artist’s sense of responsibility to the audience,” he says. “People have entrusted themselves to you for two hours or more and you have to give them a respect that derives from confidence in what you are doing. At the end of an evening, you may have encouraged what is crude, violent or destructive in them. Or you can help them. By that I mean that an audience can be touched, entranced or – best of all – moved to a silence that vibrates round the theatre.

    “You can, of course, encourage an audience to participate through joy, as happened in Follies. But I was struck by how when we toured Battlefield” – drawn from The Mahabharata and dealing with the apocalyptic impact of a great war – “around the world, on good nights there was that moment of tingling silence that suggested we had reached out to the audience.”

    But theatre does not exist in a vacuum. Brook has lived through more international crises than most of us. Has he ever been tempted to throw up his hands in horror at a world filled with nuclear threats, environmental disasters and political malfunction from Trump to Brexit? He answers by talking at length about the Hindu philosophy of Yugas in which world history goes through cycles from a golden age to one of darkness in which everything is chaos and turmoil. The point is that the wheel eventually turns and humanity renews itself.

    All very well in the long term but, in the meantime, how do we survive? “We swim against the tide,” says Brook, “and achieve whatever we can in our chosen field. Fate dictated that mine was that of theatre and, within that, I have a responsibility to be as positive and creative as I can. To give way to despair is the ultimate cop-out.” That seems the distilled philosophy of a director who miraculously still retains the curiosity that Tynan singled out a lifetime ago.

    #théâtre #théorie



  • We won’t save the Earth with a better kind of disposable coffee cup

    We must challenge the corporations that urge us to live in a throwaway society rather than seeking ‘greener’ ways of maintaining the status quo.
    Do you believe in miracles? If so, please form an orderly queue. Plenty of people imagine we can carry on as we are, as long as we substitute one material for another. Last month, a request to Starbucks and Costa to replace their plastic coffee cups with cups made from corn starch was retweeted 60,000 times, before it was deleted.

    Those who supported this call failed to ask themselves where the corn starch would come from, how much land would be needed to grow it, or how much food production it would displace. They overlooked the damage this cultivation would inflict: growing corn (maize) is notorious for causing soil erosion, and often requires heavy doses of pesticides and fertilisers.

    The problem is not just plastic: it is mass disposability. Or, to put it another way, the problem is pursuing, on the one planet known to harbour life, a four-planet lifestyle. Regardless of what we consume, the sheer volume of consumption is overwhelming the Earth’s living systems.
    Retailers likely to face backlash for failing to curb plastic use, survey finds

    Don’t get me wrong. Our greed for plastic is a major environmental blight, and the campaigns to limit its use are well motivated and sometimes effective. But we cannot address our environmental crisis by swapping one overused resource for another. When I challenged that call, some people asked me, “So what should we use instead?”

    The right question is, “How should we live?” But systemic thinking is an endangered species.

    Part of the problem is the source of the plastic campaigns: David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series. The first six episodes had strong, coherent narratives but the seventh, which sought to explain the threats facing the wonderful creatures the series revealed, darted from one issue to another. We were told we could “do something” about the destruction of ocean life. We were not told what. There was no explanation of why the problems are happening and what forces are responsible, or how they can be engaged.

    Advertisement

    Amid the general incoherence, one contributor stated: “It comes down, I think, to us each taking responsibility for the personal choices in our everyday lives. That’s all any of us can be expected to do.” This perfectly represents the mistaken belief that a better form of consumerism will save the planet. The problems we face are structural: a political system captured by commercial interests, and an economic system that seeks endless growth. Of course we should try to minimise our own impacts, but we cannot confront these forces merely by “taking responsibility” for what we consume. Unfortunately, these are issues that the BBC in general and David Attenborough in particular avoid. I admire Attenborough in many ways, but I am no fan of his environmentalism. For many years, it was almost undetectable. When he did at last speak out, he avoided challenging power – either speaking in vague terms or focusing on problems for which powerful interests are not responsible. This tendency may explain Blue Planet’s skirting of the obvious issues.

    The most obvious is the fishing industry, which turns the astonishing life forms the rest of the series depicted into seafood. Throughout the oceans, this industry, driven by our appetites and protected by governments, is causing cascading ecological collapse. Yet the only fishery the programme featured was among the 1% that are in recovery. It was charming to see how Norwegian herring boats seek to avoid killing orcas, but we were given no idea of how unusual it is.

    Even marine plastic is in large part a fishing issue. It turns out that 46% of the Great Pacific garbage patch – which has come to symbolise our throwaway society – is composed of discarded nets, and much of the rest consists of other kinds of fishing gear. Abandoned fishing materials tend to be far more dangerous to marine life than other forms of waste. As for the bags and bottles contributing to the disaster, the great majority arise in poorer nations without good disposal systems. But because this point was not made, we look to the wrong places for solutions.

    From this misdirection arise a thousand perversities. One prominent environmentalist posted a picture of the king prawns she had bought, celebrating the fact that she had persuaded the supermarket to put them in her own container rather than a plastic bag, and linking this to the protection of the seas. But buying prawns causes many times more damage to marine life than any plastic in which they are wrapped. Prawn fishing has the highest rates of bycatch of any fishery – scooping up vast numbers of turtles and other threatened species. Prawn farming is just as bad, eliminating tracts of mangrove forests, crucial nurseries for thousands of species.

    We are kept remarkably ignorant of such issues. As consumers, we are confused, bamboozled and almost powerless – and corporate power has gone to great lengths to persuade us to see ourselves this way. The BBC’s approach to environmental issues is highly partisan, siding with a system that has sought to transfer responsibility for structural forces to individual shoppers. Yet it is only as citizens taking political action that we can promote meaningful change.

    The answer to the question “How should we live?” is: “Simply.” But living simply is highly complicated. In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the government massacred the Simple Lifers. This is generally unnecessary: today they can safely be marginalised, insulted and dismissed. The ideology of consumption is so prevalent that it has become invisible: it is the plastic soup in which we swim.

    One-planet living means not only seeking to reduce our own consumption, but also mobilising against the system that promotes the great tide of junk. This means fighting corporate power, changing political outcomes and challenging the growth-based, world-consuming system we call capitalism.

    As last month’s Hothouse Earth paper, which warned of the danger of flipping the planet into a new, irreversible climatic state, concluded: “Incremental linear changes … are not enough to stabilise the Earth system. Widespread, rapid and fundamental transformations will likely be required to reduce the risk of crossing the threshold.”

    Disposable coffee cups made from new materials are not just a non-solution: they are a perpetuation of the problem. Defending the planet means changing the world.


    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/06/save-earth-disposable-coffee-cup-green
    #société_de_la_consommation #consommation #consumérisme #plastique #publicité #moins_consommer


  • Sexual Harassment Training Doesn’t Work. But Some Things Do. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/11/upshot/sexual-harassment-workplace-prevention-effective.html

    Many people are familiar with typical corporate training to prevent sexual harassment: clicking through a PowerPoint, checking a box that you read the employee handbook or attending a mandatory seminar at which someone lectures about harassment while attendees glance at their phones.

    At best, research has found, that type of training succeeds in teaching people basic information, like the definition of harassment and how to report violations. At worst, it can make them uncomfortable, prompting defensive jokes, or reinforce gender stereotypes, potentially making harassment worse. Either way, it usually fails to address the root problem: preventing sexual harassment from happening in the first place.

    Other research found that training that described people in a legal context, as harassers or victims, led those being trained to reject it as a waste of time because they didn’t think the labels applied to them, known as an “identity threat reaction,” said Shannon Rawski, a professor of business at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Training was least effective with people who equated masculinity with power. “In other words, the men who were probably more likely to be harassers were the ones who were least likely to benefit,” said Eden King, a psychologist at Rice University.

    Training is essential but not enough, researchers say. To actually prevent harassment, companies need to create a culture in which women are treated as equals and employees treat one another with respect.

    #travail #femmes #harcèlement


  • #Inde : la Cour suprême prend la décision historique de dépénaliser l’#homosexualité
    https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/lgbt/inde-la-cour-supreme-prend-la-decision-historique-de-depenaliser-l-homo

    Inde : la Cour suprême prend la décision historique de dépénaliser l’homosexualité

    La plus haute instance judiciaire du pays a jugé illégal un vieil article du Code pénal condamnant les relations sexuelles entre personnes de même sexe.

    #droits_humains

    • La Cour suprême indienne prend la décision historique de dépénaliser l’homosexualité

      La plus haute instance judiciaire d’Inde, 1,25 milliard d’habitants, a jugé illégal un article de loi datant du XIXe siècle condamnant les relations sexuelles entre personnes de même sexe. Une disposition « devenue une arme de harcèlement contre la communauté LGBT », a déclaré le président de la Cour, Dipak Misra.

    • Vu sur Facebook : Ezra Goh
      September 15 at 3:00 PM

      Okay Singapore. Let’s talk about “traditional Asian values”.

      This is from the Ming Dynasty.

      Here’s a rough translation of the text for those whose Mandarin isn’t that good:

      “Surrounded by a lingering fragrance, and so handsome as to make the ladies pelt him with fruit till his carriage is full, who is that gentleman of dignified mien? In order to explore the Charm of the Rose he has inveigled his partner into allowing him to try the Flower of the Hindgarden. The other is a little bashful and gently pushes him away, for this is quite a departure from the ordinary! Looking over his shoulder he calls out softly: “Hurry a bit! And please don’t say anything to the others!”

      Signed:
      The Candidate from the South”

      Bitch we were gayer than the Greeks. We invented homoerotica. We had a thriving culture of homosexuality, transgenderism, what would today be called gender non-conformity, and tons and tons of porn. You know when we stopped? Early 20th century. Aka when the white people came. And they brought Victorian values, Western bourgeois morality and Christian doctrines.

      Oh right we were talking about “Asian” values right? Not just Chinese? Yeah. Same spiel with Korean and Japanese culture. Oh yeah Indians are Asian too, let’s not forget about them. Dude Indians were the gayest of all. When did we all become nice and hetero? When the white people came, when the white people came, when the white people came.

      Of course no social change is purely due to a single factor. It’s history 101. But the point is that Western influence played a huge part.

      So let’s get one thing clear (yes American liberals, I’m looking at you). India removing their Article 377 is not them Westernising. It’s them decolonising. They’re returning to pre-colonial Indian tradition. Hindu law was never against same-sex intercourse. That was drafted by Lord Thomas Macaulay, which borrowed from British anti-buggery laws, which was based on the ecclesiastic laws enacted by King Henry VIII so he could executed monks and nuns and take their monastery lands, which he installed as part of his formation of the Anglican Church, which he formed because he wanted to defy the Catholic Church and divorce his wife. In other words, the whole reason we have 377A was so a British king had a moral pretext to himself commit an act that was considered immoral at the time. Score 1 for hypocrisy.

      Summary: You want traditional Asian values? Repeal 377A. #TraditionalAndGay #WeAreReady #TryAgain #Ready4Repeal #Repeal377A

      #Singapour

    • Malaysia cannot accept same-sex marriage, says Mahathir
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-lgbt/malaysia-cannot-accept-same-sex-marriage-says-mahathir-idUSKCN1M10VA
      https://s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180921&t=2&i=1306664877&w=1200&r=LYNXNPEE8K0KV

      “In Malaysia there are some things we cannot accept, even though it is seen as human rights in Western countries,” Mahathir, 93, told reporters. “We cannot accept LGBT, marriage between men and men, women and women.”

      His comments are likely to spark further debate in the country where activists have voiced concern over the hostility towards LGBT groups both from within society and from the administration.

      Two women were caned this month for “attempting lesbian sex” in Terengganu, a conservative state in the east. Mahathir denounced the punishment, saying it “did not reflect the justice or compassion of Islam”.

      Last month, a gay bar in Kuala Lumpur was raided by police and religious enforcement officials, while a transgender woman was beaten up by a group of assailants in Seremban, near the capital.

      The minister in charge of Islamic affairs also came under fire, from activists and other ruling party lawmakers, after he ordered the removal of portraits of two LGBT activists from an art exhibition.

      Malaysia describes oral and anal sex as against the order of nature. Civil law stipulates jail for up to 20 years, caning and fines for offenders, although enforcement of the law is rare.

      Je l’ai lu en malais cet aprem et je n’ai rien pigé ! Normal, c’est un peu de l’enfumage (et je suis vraiment mauvaise lectrice). Autant, le mariage ouvert aux personnes de même sexe, ça me gonfle, autant le droit de ne pas être humilié·e, battu·e, emprisonné·e parce qu’on est LGB ou T me semble vital. Et ça me gonflerait, d’entendre répondre à cet enfumage par Mahathir (merde, tu fais quoi contre ça ?) une défense du couple occidental. Ce serait accepter cette confusion sous prétexte de valeurs asiatiques.


  • i24NEWS - USA/Israël : John Kerry raconte sa relation complexe avec Benyamin Netanyahou
    https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/183253-180902-guerre-a-gaza-en-2014-kerry-decrit-l-attitude-de-netanyahou-da

    M. Kerry s’est également souvenu d’une conversation avec M. Netanyahou à la suite d’un discours prononcé par Obama en Israël en 2013 : « J’ai rencontré Bibi à l’hôtel King David de Jérusalem », s’est-il souvenu.

    « Il m’a regardé dans les yeux et m’a dit : ’John, je suis prêt à donner une chance cette fois-ci, mais il y a deux choses que vous devez savoir : premièrement, tout le monde dans cette région ment tout le temps et vous les Américains vous avez du mal à le comprendre. Deuxièmement, tout ce que je peux faire sera toujours inférieur au minimum que pourrait accepter Abbas ».

    #israël #palestine


  • Ca y est, j’ai résumé tout ça dans ma chronique hebdomadaire :

    ELO#336 - Queen of Soul Forever
    Dror, Entre Les Oreilles, le 22 août 2018
    http://entrelesoreilles.blogspot.com/2018/08/elo336-queen-of-soul-forever.html

    Par rapport à tout ce que j’ai déjà raconté ici, pas grand chose de neuf si ce n’est une meilleure mise en page, quelques mp3 et quelques liens en plus...

    #Aretha_Franklin #Musique #Soul #mort_en_2018


  • D’un coté #Macron en plein selfie à l’Elysée avec son grand pote saoudien, le jeune prince « moderne et féministe » #Mohamed_Bin_Salman, à qui la France vend des armes et qu’elle soutient contre vents et marées dans la région. Brutal et orgueilleux, il est en quelque sorte le Jupiter de la péninsule arabique.

    De l’autre #Asra-al-Ghangam, militante pour les #droits_des_femmes et la libération des prisonniers politiques en Arabie Saoudite, arrêtée en 2015 avec son mari. Elle a été exécutée, décapitée au sabre, hier matin. Avant de mourir elle aurait déclaré à ses bourreaux : « Je n’ai tué personne ».

    https://www.facebook.com/nadjil.kallisto/posts/701682903498898
    #Arabie_saoudite #France #armes #armement #féminisme #femmes #décapitation #militantisme #résistance
    cc @reka

    • En tout cas d’après https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/en-arabie-saoudite-une-activiste-chiite-risque-la-peine-de-mort-10174, ce n’est pas Esra al-Ghamgam sur la photo mais Samar Badawi
      La vidéo qui circule date de 2015

      Elle serait encore en vie

      http://article19.ma/accueil/archives/97947

      https://twitter.com/ali_adubisi/status/1031146505611161600 13:50 - 19 août 2018

      علي الدبيسي
      @ali_adubisi

      في قضية #إسراء_الغمغام، الحكم لم يصدر بعد والذي حصل هو بدء المحاكمة بالجلسة ١ في ٦/٨/٢٠١٨ وطالبت النيابة العامة بإصدار حكم الإعدام.
      الجلسة ٢ ستعقد في ٢٨/١٠/٢٠١٨ وأقترح دعوة جماهيرية واسعة حول العالم لتظاهرات قبل الجلسة، تضامناً معها ودفاعا عن حقها في الحرية والحياة.
      حياتها أمانة.

      European Saudi Organization for Human Rights Director رئيس المنظمة الأوروبية السعودية لحقوق الإنسان ali.adubisi@esohr.org

    • C’est assez intéressant :

      cette info arrive sur FB formatée dans un style assez spectaculaire pour ne pas dire putassier (l’image de macron et du prince en vis à vis de la photo d’une femme supposée être Israa al-Ghamgham (que le post dit avoir été décapitée) et qui est en fait selon « middleeasteye.net » Samar Badawi, une autre militante saoudienne. Par ailleurs une vidéo circule prétendant être l’execution de cette militante et qui en fait s’avère être une autre décapitation qui date de 2015. Tout le monde a été profondément ému au point de signaler ce post FB sans penser à vérifier. C’est peut-être vrai, peut-être pas, mais une journée complète de recherche n’a rien donné de vraiment probant.

      Comme nous nous intéressons à la situation des droits humains en Arabie saoudite, nous avons aussi été très bouleversé, d’autant plus qu’il y a cette incertitude.

      Ce type de dissémination de l’info me fait peur et me fait penser que nous restons très fragiles face à ce qui nous arrive par différents canaux. D’où l’importance des débats et des partages, et des recherches communes sur seenthis pour tenter de déconstruire cet invraissemblable magma.

    • Saudi Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty for Female Activist

      Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution is seeking the death penalty against five Eastern Province activists, including female human rights activist #Israa_al-Ghomgham, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists, along with one other person not facing execution, are being tried in the country’s terrorism tribunal on charges solely related to their peaceful activism.

      The Public Prosecution, which reports directly to the king, accused the detained activists of several charges that do not resemble recognizable crimes, including “participating in protests in the Qatif region,” “incitement to protest,” “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” “attempting to inflame public opinion,” “filming protests and publishing on social media,” and “providing moral support to rioters.” It called for their execution based on the Islamic law principle of ta’zir, in which the judge has discretion over the definition of what constitutes a crime and over the sentence. Authorities have held all six activists in pretrial detention and without legal representation for over two years. Their next court date has been scheduled for October 28, 2018.

      “Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Every day, the Saudi monarchy’s unrestrained despotism makes it harder for its public relations teams to spin the fairy tale of ‘reform’ to allies and international business.”

      Al-Ghomgham is a Shia activist well known for participating in and documenting mass demonstrations in the Eastern Province that began in early 2011, calling for an end to the systematic discrimination that Saudi Shia citizens face in the majority-Sunni country. Authorities arrested al-Ghomgham and her husband in a night raid on their home on December 6, 2015 and have held them in Dammam’s al-Mabahith prison ever since.

      Saudi activists told Human Rights Watch that the Public Prosecution’s recent demand makes al-Ghomgham the first female activist to possibly face the death penalty for her human rights-related work, which sets a dangerous precedent for other women activists currently behind bars.

      Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), set up in 2008 to try terrorism cases, has since been increasingly used to prosecute peaceful dissidents. The court is notorious for its violations of fair trial standards and has previously sentenced other Shia activists to death on politically motivated charges. The court sentenced a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, and seven other men to death for their role in the 2011 Eastern Province demonstrations in 2014 and another 14 people in 2016 for participating in the protests. Saudi authorities executed al-Nimr and at least three other Shia men on January 2, 2016 when they carried out the largest mass execution since 1980, putting 47 men to death.

      International standards, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi Arabia, require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and under all circumstances. Capital punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

      A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

      “If the Crown Prince is truly serious about reform, he should immediately step in to ensure no activist is unjustly detained for his or her human rights work,” added Whitson.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/21/saudi-prosecution-seeks-death-penalty-female-activist

    • L’algorithme de Google a encore des progrès à faire pour savoir utiliser correctement le féminin …

      A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

      est traduit par

      Une récente répression contre les militantes des droits des femmes en Arabie saoudite a conduit à l’arrestation d’au moins 13 femmes sous prétexte de maintenir la sécurité nationale.

      En utilisant « militantes des droits des femmes » sont invibilisés les hommes « militants des droits des femmes ». A la phrase suivante, les femmes redeviennent des hommes …

      Alors que certains ont depuis été libérés, d’autres sont toujours détenus sans inculpation. Les autorités ont accusé plusieurs d’entre eux de crimes graves et les médias locaux ont mené une campagne sans précédent contre eux, les qualifiant de « traîtres ».


  • The Islamic fundamentalist Jeremy Corbyn should be ashamed of himself – if only he’d behaved more like Margaret Thatcher | The Independent
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-islam-jewish-antisemitism-israel-labour-party-margaret-

    Un peu d’humour (anglais) ne fait jamais de mal en politique.

    It gets worse and worse for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. There’s a rumour that photos have emerged of a courgette grown on his allotment which is a similar shape to a rocket propeller used by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    This comes on top of revelations that he has a beard, much like Palestinian terrorists, and his constituency is Islington, which starts with IS, or Islamic State. As a vegetarian he doesn’t eat pork, his friend John McDonnell’s initials are JM – that stands for Jihadist Muslim – and he travels on underground trains, that are under the ground, just like the basements in which Isis make their little films.

    The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and various others have also published a photo of him folding his thumb while holding up his fingers, in a way they describe as a salute to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. That settles it. If you don’t constantly check the shape of your thumb to make sure it’s not folded in a way similar to the way it’s folded by Muslim groups in Egypt, you might as well strap Semtex to your chest and get a bus to Syria.

    Thankfully there are some brave journalists who discovered the truth: that Corbyn laid a wreath in Tunisia at a memorial for civilians who were bombed, but also buried in that cemetery are the “Munich terrorists”. It turned out that the terrorists are not buried there at all, as they’re buried in Libya, but you can’t expect those journalists to get bogged down in insignificant details like that.

    We’ve all turned up for a funeral to be told we’re in the wrong country. “I’m afraid the service for your Uncle Derek is in Eltham Crematorium,” we’re told, “and you’ve come to Argentina.” It doesn’t make any difference to the overall story.

    Because there are Palestinian leaders who may have been terrorists in that cemetery. And when you attend a memorial service, you are clearly commemorating everyone in the cemetery, and the fact that you’ve probably never heard of most of them is no excuse.
    Corbyn takes on Margaret Thatcher over homelessness in Parliament in 1990

    If it’s possible to bring comfort to all those shocked by this outrage, it may be worth recalling that one of the first scandals about Corbyn after he became leader was that he wasn’t dressed smartly enough when he laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, which was an insult to our war dead. He’s just as scruffy in the pictures from Tunisia, so perhaps what he’s actually doing is insulting the terrorists, by laying a wreath near them while his coat is rumpled.

    I suppose it may just be possible that the wreath he laid at an event organised to mark the bombing of civilians in 1985 was actually put there to mark the bombing of civilians in 1985.

    But it’s much more likely that secretly, Jeremy Corbyn supports Palestinian terrorists who murder athletes. You may think that if you hold such an unusual point of view, it might have slipped out in conversation here and there. But the fact he’s never said or done anything to suggest he backs the brutal murder of civilians only shows how clever he is at hiding his true thoughts.

    This must be why he’s always been a keen supporter of causes beloved by Islamic jihadists, such as gay rights. For example, Jeremy Corbyn was a passionate opponent of Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 law that banned the mention of homosexuality in schools. He supported every gay rights campaign at a time when it was considered extremist to do so. And the way he managed to be an extremist Islamic fundamentalist and an extremist gay rights fanatic at the same time only shows how dangerous he is.

    One person who appears especially upset by all this is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and it’s always distressing when someone that sensitive gets dragged into an issue.

    Sadly he’s going to be even more aghast when he reads about another event in which wreaths were laid for terrorists. Because a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel, in which 91 people died, mostly civilians and 28 of them British. This was carried out by the Irgun, an Israeli terror gang, and one man, who by coincidence was also called Benjamin Netanyahu, declared the bombing was “a legitimate act with a military target”.
    The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
    He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
    ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
    He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
    Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament

    When Benjamin Netanyahu hears about this other Benjamin Netanyahu he’ll be furious.

    The Labour MPs who pine for Tony Blair are even more enraged, and you have to sympathise. Because when Blair supported murderers, such as Gaddafi and Asad, he did it while they were still alive, which is much more acceptable.

    So you can see why Conservative politicians and newspapers are so disgusted. If you subjected the Conservative Party to a similar level of scrutiny, you’d find nothing comparable. There might be the odd link to torturers, such as their ex-leader Margaret Thatcher describing General Pinochet, who herded opponents into a football stadium and had them shot, as a close and dear friend. Or supporting apartheid because “Nelson Mandela is a terrorist”. But she was only being polite.

    We can only guess what the next revelation will be. My guess is “Corbyn supported snakes against iguanas in Attenborough’s film. Footage has emerged of the Labour leader speaking alongside a snake, and praising his efforts to catch the iguana and poison and swallow him. One iguana said he was ‘shocked and horrified’ at the story, told in this 340-page special edition, and one anti-Corbyn Labour MP said, ‘I don’t know anything about this whatsoever, which is why I call on Mr Corbyn to do the decent thing and kill himself.’”

    #Jeremy_Corbin #Fake_news #Calomnies #Violence


  • The Islamic fundamentalist Jeremy Corbyn should be ashamed of himself – if only he’d behaved more like Margaret Thatcher | The Independent
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-islam-jewish-antisemitism-israel-labour-party-margaret-

    It gets worse and worse for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. There’s a rumour that photos have emerged of a courgette grown on his allotment which is a similar shape to a rocket propeller used by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    This comes on top of revelations that he has a beard, much like Palestinian terrorists, and his constituency is Islington, which starts with IS, or Islamic State. As a vegetarian he doesn’t eat pork, his friend John McDonnell’s initials are JM – that stands for Jihadist Muslim – and he travels on underground trains, that are under the ground, just like the basements in which Isis make their little films.

    The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and various others have also published a photo of him folding his thumb while holding up his fingers, in a way they describe as a salute to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. That settles it. If you don’t constantly check the shape of your thumb to make sure it’s not folded in a way similar to the way it’s folded by Muslim groups in Egypt, you might as well strap Semtex to your chest and get a bus to Syria.

    Thankfully there are some brave journalists who discovered the truth: that Corbyn laid a wreath in Tunisia at a memorial for civilians who were bombed, but also buried in that cemetery are the “Munich terrorists”. It turned out that the terrorists are not buried there at all, as they’re buried in Libya, but you can’t expect those journalists to get bogged down in insignificant details like that.

    We’ve all turned up for a funeral to be told we’re in the wrong country. “I’m afraid the service for your Uncle Derek is in Eltham Crematorium,” we’re told, “and you’ve come to Argentina.” It doesn’t make any difference to the overall story.

    Because there are Palestinian leaders who may have been terrorists in that cemetery. And when you attend a memorial service, you are clearly commemorating everyone in the cemetery, and the fact that you’ve probably never heard of most of them is no excuse.
    Corbyn takes on Margaret Thatcher over homelessness in Parliament in 1990

    If it’s possible to bring comfort to all those shocked by this outrage, it may be worth recalling that one of the first scandals about Corbyn after he became leader was that he wasn’t dressed smartly enough when he laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, which was an insult to our war dead. He’s just as scruffy in the pictures from Tunisia, so perhaps what he’s actually doing is insulting the terrorists, by laying a wreath near them while his coat is rumpled.
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    I suppose it may just be possible that the wreath he laid at an event organised to mark the bombing of civilians in 1985 was actually put there to mark the bombing of civilians in 1985.

    But it’s much more likely that secretly, Jeremy Corbyn supports Palestinian terrorists who murder athletes. You may think that if you hold such an unusual point of view, it might have slipped out in conversation here and there. But the fact he’s never said or done anything to suggest he backs the brutal murder of civilians only shows how clever he is at hiding his true thoughts.

    This must be why he’s always been a keen supporter of causes beloved by Islamic jihadists, such as gay rights. For example, Jeremy Corbyn was a passionate opponent of Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 law that banned the mention of homosexuality in schools. He supported every gay rights campaign at a time when it was considered extremist to do so. And the way he managed to be an extremist Islamic fundamentalist and an extremist gay rights fanatic at the same time only shows how dangerous he is.

    One person who appears especially upset by all this is Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and it’s always distressing when someone that sensitive gets dragged into an issue.

    Sadly he’s going to be even more aghast when he reads about another event in which wreaths were laid for terrorists. Because a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel, in which 91 people died, mostly civilians and 28 of them British. This was carried out by the Irgun, an Israeli terror gang, and one man, who by coincidence was also called Benjamin Netanyahu, declared the bombing was “a legitimate act with a military target”.
    The most ridiculous claims made about Jeremy Corbyn
    He called Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’
    ‘Jeremy Corbyn thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy’
    He is ‘haunted’ by the legacy of his ‘evil’ great-great-grandfather
    Jeremy Corbyn raised a motion about ‘pigeon bombs’ in Parliament

    When Benjamin Netanyahu hears about this other Benjamin Netanyahu he’ll be furious.

    The Labour MPs who pine for Tony Blair are even more enraged, and you have to sympathise. Because when Blair supported murderers, such as Gaddafi and Asad, he did it while they were still alive, which is much more acceptable.

    So you can see why Conservative politicians and newspapers are so disgusted. If you subjected the Conservative Party to a similar level of scrutiny, you’d find nothing comparable. There might be the odd link to torturers, such as their ex-leader Margaret Thatcher describing General Pinochet, who herded opponents into a football stadium and had them shot, as a close and dear friend. Or supporting apartheid because “Nelson Mandela is a terrorist”. But she was only being polite.

    We can only guess what the next revelation will be. My guess is “Corbyn supported snakes against iguanas in Attenborough’s film. Footage has emerged of the Labour leader speaking alongside a snake, and praising his efforts to catch the iguana and poison and swallow him. One iguana said he was ‘shocked and horrified’ at the story, told in this 340-page special edition, and one anti-Corbyn Labour MP said, ‘I don’t know anything about this whatsoever, which is why I call on Mr Corbyn to do the decent thing and kill himself.’”