Saturday, November 26, 2005

Corporate Donations: Creationism Si, Darwinism No!

The American Museum of Natural History in New York, has curated an exciting exhibit, honoring the life of Charles Darwin. It cost $3,000,000 to organize and setup. The money has come totally from private individuals and non profits. Corporations gave 0, due to fear of attack from fundamentalist Yahoos.

At the same time in Cincinatti, Oh, the Creationist Museum, received $7,000,000 dollars in corporate donations.

The fundamentalists are louder, than their actual numbers. The majority of people want religion inside the church, not in the science classroom, or at the scientific exhibition.

See: James Randi

Friday, November 25, 2005

Time for Authentic Iraq Debate.

Christopher Hitchens has a brilliant analysis of the Iraqi invasion debate. Both liberals and conservatives, are running away from the issue, not only facing USA, but the world.

The debate is shrill. Democrats are harping about what led up to the war, rather than what are they going to do about the threat of Islamic. Should Iraq split, or have a federalists central government? Secular Kurdish and Iraqi face violence from Baathists and Bin Ladenists, as well violence within different Shiite sects. Can we stop it? Republicans resort to equating war hero Rep. Murtha put in the same sentence as Michael Moore. There never was a threat of a mushroom cloud from Iraq. Our soldiers are adult and intelligent, they are not demoralized by debating the war.

The debate has never been honest. I strongly recommend you read Hitchens's 11/22/05 Slate article Nowhere To Go

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cambodia: The Euthanasia Tourist Paradise.

The Cambodian government is debating, about what to do about websites, telling people who want to commit euthanasia, to go to Kampot, about 180 km, from the capital. See: Euthanasia Tourism

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Iran: Four Youths Hanged in Public for Crime of Being Gay.

This is from Human Rights Watch November 21, 2005.
Iran: Two More Executions for Homosexual Conduct
21 Nov 2005 23:55:14 GMTSource: Human Rights Watch(New York, November 22, 2005) – Iran's execution of two men last week for homosexual conduct highlights a pattern of persecution of gay men that stands in stark violation of the rights to life and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported that the Iranian government publicly hung two men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old) and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern town of Gorgan.
The government reportedly executed the two men for the crime of "lavat." Iran's shari'a-based penal code defines lavat as penetrative and non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women, which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are also punished with death.
"The execution of two men for consensual sexual activity is an outrage," said Jessica Stern, researcher with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The Iranian government's persecution of gay men flouts international human rights standards."
In addition to the two executions last week, there have been other cases of persecution and execution of gay men in Iran in recent years.
• In September 2003, police arrested a group of men at a private gathering in one of their homes in Shiraz and held them in detention for several days. According to Amir, one of the men arrested, police tortured the men to obtain confessions. The judiciary charged five of the defendants with "participation in a corrupt gathering" and fined them.
• In June 2004, undercover police agents in Shiraz arranged meetings with men through Internet chatrooms and then arrested them. Police held Amir, a 21-year-old, in detention for a week, during which time they repeatedly tortured him. The judicial authorities in Shiraz sentenced him to 175 lashes, 100 of which were administered immediately. Following his arrest, security officials subjected Amir to regular surveillance and periodic arrests. From July 2005 until he fled the country later in the year, police threatened Amir with imminent execution.
• On March 15, 2005, the daily newspaper Etemaad reported that the Tehran Criminal Court sentenced two men to death following the discovery of a video showing them engaged in homosexual acts. According to the paper, one of the men confessed that he had shot the video as a precaution in case his partner withdrew the financial support he had been providing in return for sex. In response to the man's confession, his partner was summoned to the authorities and both men were sentenced to death. As the death penalty was pronounced against both men, it appears to have been based on their sexual activity. "These abuses have created an atmosphere of terror for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people throughout Iran," said Stern. "But arrest, torture and execution are not limited to gays and lesbians. Any group of people deemed 'immoral' becomes subject to state-sanctioned persecution and even murder."
In Iran, executions and lashings are regular means of punishment for a broad range of crimes, not merely same-sex acts. Judges often accept coerced confessions, and security officials routinely deny defendants access to counsel. Late last year, the Iranian judiciary, which has been at the center of many reported human rights violations, formed the Special Protection Division, a new institution that empowers volunteers to police moral crimes in neighborhoods, mosques, offices and any place where people gather. The Special Protection Division is an intrusive mechanism of surveillance that promotes prosecution of citizens for behavior in their private domain.
Human Rights Watch called upon the Iranian government to decriminalize homosexuality and reminded Iran of its obligations under Toonen v. Australia (1994), the Human Rights Committee's authoritative interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party. Toonen v. Australia extends recognition of the right to privacy and the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation throughout human rights law.
Furthermore, Human Rights Watch urged Iran to reform its judiciary in accordance with principles for fair trials enshrined in both the Iranian constitution and international human rights law. Finally, Human Rights Watch called upon Iran to cease implementation of capital punishment in all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty, irreversibility, and potential for discriminatory applications.

See also:National Council of Resistance on Iran

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hillary Clinton Endorses the Wall Against Palestine.

Hillary and Bill Clinton visited Israel this past weekend to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Hillary took time out of the events honoring Rabin, to confer with Ariel Sharon, about security issues. She also made her way, to the 2/3 finished, 400 mile wall, between the West Bank and Israel. The wall is hated by the Palestinians, for cutting them off from jobs, schools, and farmland. This barrier has been internationally denounced, including by the UN.

The "lesser evil" Hillary Clinton proclaimed, "This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."

The Clintons then were off to Jordan. I wonder why they didn't visit Palestine??

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Paradise Now

"Paradise Now" is the latest movie, from Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad. It was filmed in the West Bank town of Nablus, where the director grew up. The production crew was Palestinian, Israeli and Western. The film follows the story of the main characters, Said and Khaled, two junk yard auto mechanics, who agree to be suicide bombers, having explosives attached to their bodies. The plot focuses on the last 27 hours, before zero hour, when the bombing inside Israel, will occur.

The movie is an objective view of the circumstances. It is a movie, so there is excitement, and subplots. Don't be turned off by the subject. It is a movie, not a college term paper.

See: Blogger Umkahlil's Review RENEGADE EYE

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hitchens On Darfur.

Read Christopher Hitchens powerful essay in Slate Magazine 11/07/05 about the Darfur crisis. The Sudan situation is the quiet crisis. Another case of the United States and other world powers, ignoring, or being on the wrong side in Africa. SEE: HITCHENS ON THE DARFUR TRADGEDY

I also recommend this blog, as a resource on Sudan: SUDAN WATCH RENEGADE EYE

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Indonesian School Girl Beheadings. Search For Killers Expanding.

I'm writing on this subject as therapy. I was reading a blog about the beheadings of three Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia. I follow news about clerical fascists. The blog had a link with a warning about graphic pictures. I have worked as a medical professional earlier in my life and been around death, I don't get scared in horror movies, I consider myself thick skinned. I opened the link without thinking. The pictures from the murder scene haunt me. That's why I'm writing this.

In Central Indonesia between the year 2000 and 2001, over 1,000 people died, in fighting between Christians and Muslims. Skirmishes still occur even after a settlement was negotiated.

A few weeks ago, three teenage Christian girls were beheaded by masked assailants in the Poso area of Indonesia after Ramadan. The Indonesian government is sending 200 police, and 600 soldiers, to find the murderers. Pope Benedict sent condolences to the three girls families. The main suspects are Islamist clerical fascists.

Readers of this blog, are 99.999% against clerical fascism. This entry is not written to convince anybody of anything. I'm haunted by these images, and wanted to say something. WARNING: EXTREME GRAPHIC CONTENT. The Worst of Humanity

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Katrina Cough" hacks New Orleans.

Several people returning, exposed to the residual dust and muck of Katrina, in Louisiana and Mississippi, have been presenting respiratory symptoms.

Health officials say the symptoms include sinus headaches, sore throat, cough etc. For healthy people the symptoms pose no serious threat, others are in danger.

The Enviromental Protection Agency announced it is safe to be there. They are the same ones who said the air was safe to breath, following the New York City September 11th incident. There has been accusations that the EPA, used faulty testing methods in New York, so Wall Street would open early.

See the story about Katrina Cough in the LA Times LA TIMES KATRINA STORY.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Robots To Replace Slaves As Camel Jockeys.

Camel jockeying is a popular sport in Qatar, and other parts of the United Arab Emerites. The jockeys have been four year old boys, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. They are kept malnourished to keep their weight for the races. Hungry boys are better for speed than well fed. Races occur in about 112-degree, with a speed of 25 mph.

Enter the The Ansar Burney Welfare Trust, which started a worldwide campaign, to stop the use of child slaves in camel races.

Enter another character,Alexandre Colot, project and services manager for K-Team, a swiss company, that builds robots. The children are now replaced by robots, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Not quite. See Wired. It didn't end happily for the children. They were sent to Sudan, and not heard from.

Bird Flu