Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lesbian & Gay Israeli Soldiers Report Abuse

This is something for America to think about with the recent relaxation of laws facing gay/lesbian soldiers:

A survey conducted by Israeli Gay Youth has indicated that over 40% of gay and lesbian soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) experience homophobic harassment.

20% of survey respondents also claimed to have been physically or sexually assaulted. 45% claimed that homophobic remarks were frequent within their units. This rose to 59% for soldiers serving in combat units.

The survey involved 364 individuals who were either current members of the IDF or discharged within the last year.

“The IDF is known as one of the more enlightened militaries in the world which allows male and female soldiers who are not heterosexual to serve in its ranks. At the same time, the military needs to review the claims by these soldiers in order to better understand the climate in which they serve and how it affects their service,” stated a representative for Israeli Gay Youth.

Lesbilicious

… Do we, as Americans, think we can do better than this?

The military is a very macho environment that often leads people who are stressed out to, well, making fun of one another.  Much of the joking is in good nature though, admittedly, the humor is not usually workplace appropriate nor is it sensitive to anything that would be considered PC.

Currently the military is already plagued by a long litany of sexual harassment/assault charges. I remember seemingly getting anti-sexual harassment  training very frequently and even having cases of it occur within the unit where I worked.

Honestly… I think this could quickly become an issue in the US and begin plaguing the US forces.

N. Korea Orders SK Out of Kumgang

Oh-so predictable and ridiculous:

North Korea said on Monday that it “believes that the South Korean authorities totally abandoned the protection of property and interests of enterprises” in the Mt. Kumgang resort and will “legally dispose of all the South Korean properties including real estate, equipment and vehicles” there, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

It added that all South Korean facilities in the resort are sealed off and assets are prohibited from being taken out of the country as of Monday. It also ordered all South Korean staff to leave the country within 72 hours.

Earlier the North seized the properties after the South suspended lucrative package tours to Mt. Kumgang in the wake of the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist there in 2008.

The Unification Ministry in a statement said, “While placing top priority on the safety of our nationals residing there, we will take determined steps, including legal and diplomatic measures. The government cannot accept this and demands that things are returned to their original state.”

Chosun Ilbo

There is this naive faith that exists that we can one day ‘kill ’em with kindness!’ or that the Sunshine Policy will miraculously end decades of Communist rule… But ‘Communist’ might even be a generous word to attach to the North Korean regime.

‘Communism’ at least pretends to have an ideology that someone can follow — it has an intellectual history, and even though in execution it was proven to be faulted to the level that it ought be cursed and written off for eternity…. Well, the north Koreans have brought it to newer lows than it has ever seen before.

In the north, the Korean people are stripped of the most basic rights and reduced to living standards that they do not merit. The Korean people have a rich heritage and culture and those in the north were at one point were large contributors to philosophy, science, art and international trade.

It is painful to see the northern part of Korea reduced to a hermit dictatorship with such a monopoly on information and exercises such mind control over the people that it would make even Josef Stalin blush and question the morality of bending a people to the will of the regime on such a level.

Perhaps the only two regimes I know of that superseded the levels of evil found in north Korea are that of Pol Pot in Cambodia and the Taliban in Afghanistan…

Yet, we thought we could do business with them?

The only business that should be done is trying to get Chinese cooperation for the suffocation & destruction of the north Korean state.

Have They British Had Enough?

I always think it is intereesting reading the discussion you get on the internet — many people, many of them English, are pretty inflamed by the rioting that was occurring in London and indeed we heard a lot of talk about how there needs to be a rough, harsh response, and then I saw an official poll:

The poll published by the Sun newspaper on Wednesday showed 90 percent of Britons calling for the use of water cannons, 77 percent supporting the deployment of the army and 33 percent saying police should be permitted to fire live ammunition at rioters.

More than half of those surveyed – 57 percent – said Cameron had been managing the situation badly. On Tuesday, he flooded London’s streets with police officers, sending pockets of the city into virtual lockdown, with shops closing and helicopters buzzing overhead.

Washington Post

Pretty amazing to think that 33% of the population supports the use of live ammunition — and this may not be an exaggerated statistic as the source does not appear to be linked with the internetz.

Indeed, I always have a feeling of outrage when the Police are overwhelmed and incapable of a comprehensive response to a real threat. Especially when the threat comes ne’er do wells who, as many argue, shouldn’t even be in England or should not be collecting any of the government benefits that Europeans enjoy liberally throwing about.

I think we are entering an era where this pitter pattering around with violent offenders is becoming less tolerant.

The fact is that more of us are not economically well off, and more of us are dealing with riff raff in our daily lives. It’s no longer amusing. In fact, it is downright upsetting…

There were already reports of British groups of vigilantes:

Hundreds of Sikhs, some dressed in traditional outfits, gathered outside the their gurdwara, or temple, in

Southall, west London, yesterday after earlier rumours circulated it was next on the looters’ hitlist.The group organised motorcycle patrols and monitored the train station for potential troublemakers, according to an AFP reporter.

Around 200 locals in Enfield, the north London borough at the heart of previous attacks, strode through the area to “protect their streets”, an AFP correspondent explained.

Amateur video footage released today showed a group of around 100 men running down an Enfield street chanting “England, England, England”.

The group earlier became involved in an altercation with a youth carrying a hockey stick, but the situation was resolved after a majority of the mob called for calm.

A similar number of football fans congregated in the south-east suburb of Eltham, also rumoured to be a likely hot spot.

“This is a white working class area and we are here to protect our community,” one man told the Guardian newspaper.

“We are here to help the police. My mum is terrified after what she saw on the television in the last three days and we decided that it’s not going to happen here,” he added.

Meanwhile, mainly Turkish shopkeepers in the north London districts of Hackney and Kentish Town sat outside their shops into the early hours, many with makeshift weapons by their side.

Hindustan Times

If we pretend for a second that the white gentleman referred to his neighborhood as a “good, working class Hindu neighborhood” or a “good, working class Jamaican neighborhood” perhaps we can forgive him his transgression of daring to be proud of the fact that he is white & British…

But what we see here is clear: there is a growing trend of people not really wanting to be tolerant of the looters and wanting a real response from the Police. In the future, there will be inclinations to pick leadership that is more willing to crackdown on the looters/rioters.

This goes to show that there is just a general re-aligning in a lot of people’s attitudes… We’re sick of the word tolerance and the concept of people hiding behind ‘phoney human rights [complaints]’ as Cameron himself said…

Day by day we see the starry eyed attitudes of the Baby boomers fade away into the stark reality of our world.

Man is not a Utopian creature; all that separates us from our barbarian ancestors is our fashion sense and the fact that we bother recording in gory and grim detail the shortcomings that we confront. For as far as we have come as people it is still a dog-eat-dog world, and one where man is capable of great debauchery when they feel that no one is looking…

And thus shall there be a different kind of response in the future to crimes of this nature.

Good Old Days Of Borrowing — Over.

Ha, you really cannot blame China for it — we can only blame our politicians:

China bluntly criticized the US on Saturday one day after the superpower’s credit rating was downgraded, saying the “good old days” of borrowing were over.

Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S. long-term credit rating from top-tier AAA by a notch to AA-plus on Friday over concerns about the nation’s budget deficits and climbing debt burden.

China — the United States’ biggest creditor — said Washington only had itself to blame for its plight and called for a new stable global reserve currency.

“The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

CNBC

I am in the group of people who are surprised that this sort of thing had not happened a long time ago.

The fact is is that I remember even being a young teenager impressed with the US debt and also asking the pesky question why?  Why are we so far in debt, and why does the government keep spending?

It was only a matter of time and I think it is fair to give the blame to the entirety of the US politicians who set such a legacy of borrowing and spending more than we had which worked us into the ridiculous position that we are in.

South Korea’s Economic Hardships…

This is worst than I thought:

An economy in which people grow poorer despite toiling around the clock offers its public little hope. With an increasing number of people barely able to make the minimum wage, the number of the people who earn less than the minimum cost of living accounted for 20.9 percent of the population in 2009, or 9.22 million people. This is twice the average ratio of other OECD member nations, which was calculated at 10.6 percent just two years ago.
“In order for Korea to improve its ratio, we must help these groups break out of the vicious cycle of poverty,” Kim Sae-won, an honorary professor at Seoul National University, said, “The newly impoverished class is directly linked to issues such as the rise of temporary jobs and soaring youth unemployment, which could lead to serious side effects for our society.”

“If we fail to solve this problem, there will be no future for our economy,” he added.

Chosun Ilbo

Pretty ridiculous numbers but I do think I know who these folks are… They live in the same neighborhood as this dirt poor college student.

One of the major issues no one ever talks about is education and the divide that exists therein between the haves and have nots, and what it will mean in the long term for more entrenched social immobility.

Fun times around the globe… Am I right?

At least they are not rioting like the Londoners. 🙂

Dominique Frot = Man?

In the 2007 film Inside a startling transexual nurse appears at the start… I thought, surely, the director used an edgy transsexual man-to-woman t ype to play the role of this nurse but it turned out she was a woman…

Either this woman is genius as a woman pretending to be a man who is a woman, or she is just a transsexual.

Answers?

Longterm Grief: A Mental Disorder

This is certainly an interesting development:

People suffering from long-term grief after the death of a loved one will soon have their condition officially labelled a mental disorder.

Many psychiatrists have argued grief should not be labelled as a mental condition because it is a natural phenomenon which everyone experiences.

However, the next edition of the industry’s so-called bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, will include a new diagnosis for people still struggling to cope a year or more after a loved one dies.

The condition will be officially known as adjustment disorder related to bereavement.

University of NSW psychology professor Richard Bryant, who is on the manual’s review committee, said 10 to 15 per cent of people have a persistent grief reaction which can last up to 40 years.

Those most likely to mourn for more than a year include people who lose a child or suffer a loss through suicide and unexpected death such as a road accident or homicide.

ninemsn

This is an interesting conclusion. I can see how people would say something like this — there are people who are prone to excessive grief and allow certain things to dominate their lives for far too long.

Hopefully, this will provide recourse for people whose life seems to have become dominated by grief.

Some may point out that we have no right to really say how long someone should grieve in a situation, but there does have to be a point where we all let go.

The world is a rotten place, sure, but there is no reason to mourn for so long.

Nokturnal Mortum – “Nechrist” (1999)

I have lately been rocking this classic 1999 album from a very sweet pagan-influenced Black Metal band, Nokturnal Mortum, which is one of their more seminal works loved worldwide.

The recording of guitars is often quite lo-fi, and the additions of other traditional instruments makes the whole thing really come alive and adds what seems like a whole different layer to… Well, everything.

It is a must have album for anyone into metal or interested in it.

link  (mediafire)

Top Turkish Brass Resigning…

Could this mean some political issues for Turkey pertaining to whether or not they can maintain themselves as a secular society?

The chief of the Turkish armed forces, Isik Kosaner, has resigned along with the army, navy and air force heads.

They were furious about the arrest of senior officers, accused of plotting, shortly before a round of military promotions.

A series of meetings between General Kosaner and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to resolve their differences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul moved quickly to appoint General Necdet Ozel as the new army chief.

Gen Ozel is widely expected to be swiftly elevated to chief of the general staff in place of Gen Kosaner. Tradition dictates that only the head of the army can take over the top job.

There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the governing AK party, with the two sides engaged in a war of words for the past two years over allegations that parts of the military had been plotting a coup.

BBC

I am not really sure what to make of this other than my initial gut reaction that the Turkish military traditionally was a bastion for the secular society that they have strove to protect, and the AK party has some history of being associated with social conservatives and active Muslims that might threaten at the secular nature of Turkey.

In looking for more information on the topic I was lead to an article by the Daily Star which offers a stark portrait… They are dominating the judicial wing and appointing judges without confirmation while jailing journalists; all of this with having a heritage alongisde that of Islamists.

I am inclined to view this development as disturbing.

We ought to keep an eye open to what is going on there.