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Kalima On December - 2 - 2010

Good morning everyone!

I hope that when and if you have the time, MB will be the place for you to catch up with friends before you leave for work or start your new day. A place to relax and take a break from serious topics and discussions during your day.

You are free to talk about anything here. Introduce your favourite news stories, videos, photos, funny stories or recipes. Think of it as your space, whether you wake up with the birds or chose to have a lay in, MB is open 24/7, from 5 am EST-2 am PST.

Please feel free to drop in anytime, you are always welcome here.

Categories: Speakers' Corner

Written by Kalima

Long time resident of Tokyo --- "Where is this woman I once knew so well? Memories fading or hurtling by like a howling wind at a speed I can't fathom or define. A star hangs like a teardrop from her eye, quivering but never falling. I search the empty corridors of my soul in hopes of catching just another glimpse of who she once presumed herself to be. Where is this woman who trod with such certainty, where is she now? I mourn her passing as another dawn breaks in my restless heart."

1,212 Responses so far.

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  1. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone, another Mumbly Monday has arrived.

    With the evenings getting dark in the late afternoons, now as early as 4:30 pm, it becomes that much more difficult to cram everything into a day. By the time the rooms darken enough to turn on the lights, I’m almost ready to drink my hot cocoa and call it a night. Are we humans more closely related to bears than we thought?
    Hibernating until all of the holiday festivities are over and done with, is becoming more and more appealing as each year end approaches. It could just be me I suppose.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Judging by how secretive Iran likes to be about most things domestic, I find this story highly suspicious considering their lack of cooperation in complete disclosure of their nuclear programme so far. This is more than likely just for show, and resembles the N. Koreans when they demanded the world’s full attention.

    Iran says it has made its own atomic raw material

    Iran said for the first time that it had domestically produced a batch of uranium yellowcake – the raw material for atomic weapons – as it sought to bolster its position before Monday’s international talks on its nuclear programme.


    Asking for confrontation, or within their rights to do so?

    Although the current situation demands caution, I still have to take my hat off to S. Korea for not backing down, or putting their plans on hold in fear of another retaliation from the North.

    South Korea starts live-fire naval exercises in defiance of warnings from North

    South Korea has started a nationwide live-fire naval exercise, despite Pyongyang’s warnings against conducting provocative drills in disputed waters off the west coast of the divided peninsula.


    Oops, not the best judge of character. Did he think that all Russian spies had mustaches and pop out knives concealed in their sensible lace-up shoes?

    Mike Hancock, his Russian assistant and questions on Trident

    Lib Dem MP who hired alleged spy as his research assistant has tabled questions on nuclear deterrent since election


    Related story.

    What Mike Hancock asked in the House of Commons about nuclear defence

    Questions to ministers about nuclear weapons from Lib Dem MP who hired alleged spy as research assistant


    This appears to be pure appeasement while the real planners, much higher up on the food chain, will of course go scott free. Lies and deception at government and military levels prevail.

    “Pakistan police officers to be arrested over death of Benazir Bhutto”

    The men controversially ordered the crime scene to be hosed down less than two hours after the killing


    I have read several reports in the last few days almost placing these talks as a dead loss before they had even started in full. Why do some many countries want to continue to destroy our planet?

    Cancún climate change summit: exorcising the ghosts of Copenhagen

    UN offers assurances that rich countries will not attempt to force agreements with developing nations at the talks


    Charlie Brooker’s funny take take on the Wiki-business.

    “By 2022, there’ll be a naked photo of everyone on the planet lurking somewhere in the intervers

    What’s on your handset? Intimate texts? Raunchy emails?”


    Is there anything, anything at all, that doesn’t outrage the R Wingers, and when there is something that outrages the rest of the country, like opposing health care for every American, the tax beaks for the rich, the discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military, the loud “NO” to anything which might improve the lives of it’s citizens, they cheer like a crowd of hooligans beating up every passersby after a soccer match. Yet in their ranks, hide the “secretly” gay.

    Hide/Seek: “Too shocking for America”

    These images, from America’s first major exhibition of gay art, have outraged the country’s right – leading to one of them being banned. Brian Logan meets the show’s defiant curator


    24 hours in Pictures


    • Khirad says:

      I remember them saying they could enrich before the last negotiations were slated. Who knows if they’re telling the truth, but bluster is very typical before heading in to negotiations. This would be another bargaining chip (to get them to stop enriching real/or/unreal material).

      From today.

  2. bitohistory says:

    From a Guardian article yesterday at the very end this was stated:

    The current phase in the crisis started when Merkel and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy met in mid-October and delivered an ultimatum to the other 25 EU leaders: the treaty would be reopened and a permanent rescue system created which would entail “haircuts” or losses for creditors and investors if eurozone countries need to be bailed out.

    Although this is to take place only from 2013, the markets took fright at the scale of potential bond losses, pushed Ireland’s borrowing costs ruinously high, and forced last week’s bailout of the Irish.

    Diplomats, analysts, and officials generally agree that Merkel is right to focus on “moral hazard”, insisting that the markets and not only governments and taxpayers have to share the losses if a eurozone country implodes. But her timing could not have been worse, they add.

    So the bond holders hand out money willy-nilly, cause the crash, and are ensured that not only their profits will be paid by the taxpayers , but their reckless lending will not be contained or curtailed. Not by raising taxes on the profiteers but by demanding “austerity”on the social safety net from those that can least afford it.

    Years ago, I heard that selling goods was not profitable unless one controlled the debt. Taken a step further, the banks and bond holders are assured their profits and can control governments by controlling their debts. The product can be the least of the profit, the debt is not just profitable, guaranteed, but it controls the government.

    But to mention any type of regulation on the banks, and all hell breaks loose. All of the so called financial crises has been due largely due to lack of regulation or enforcement of regulations.

    When a country has to spend much/more of their GDP on debt service than investing in their country and it’s people, it is a downward spiral.

    • Kalima says:

      As I said before and a few weeks back, why us when others are making a profit doing nothing. I talked to my cousin in Bonn a few weeks back, he’s very annoyed, as are many of our country’s tax paying, hard working citizens. Merkel needs to get even tougher to rein in these lazy, cheap, good for nothing louts who expect something for nothing at our expense.

      • bitohistory says:

        She brought it up and then got scolded. If the German Constitutional Court enforces that everyone has too share equally, including the investment banks/bond companies, it will have some real repercussions. They lent money with minimal collateral at teaser rates until a country got deep in hock, then they pulled the trigger, knowing that the taxpayers will have to pick up the tab.
        What difference is this than a terrorist, a blackmailer or a loan shark?
        Ireland’s banks first lent money at 1-1 1/2 % once they got in trouble, they now want 5-6% to pay them back. Sounds like thuggery to me. What difference is there between them from a street thug and their tactics? They wear suits and ties and won’t have to go to prison?

        • Kalima says:

          Sounds so very familiar doesn’t it bito, the banks and investment companies must all have studied at the school of “How to get rich without even trying” their diplomas were titled “Bums Rush 101.”

  3. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone!

    Won’t waste your time today trying to write anything that makes much sense, I feel and look a fright after my night out on the town. I’m in full recovery mode.

    Have a great Sunday, and stay safe.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Nick Clegg with his sleeves rolled up and his perfect hair all skewiff, I’d pay money to see that.

    “How Nick Clegg and Vince Cable clashed over tuition fees”

    Vince Cable is locked in a furious row with Nick Clegg over the party’s chaotic stance on tuition fees.


    I hope that they will be able to contain this fire soon. If this was the first fire of it’s kind in Israel then they wouldn’t be prepared for it I suppose, still wild fires are always a possibility anywhere.

    Firefighters battle major Israel forest fire

    Equipment and planes have been brought in from other countries in a bid to prevent a major fire from spreading.


    Time lapse shows the speed of Israeli fire

    Remarkable time lapse photography shows devastating speed of Israeli wildfires.


    Echos my recent sentiments entirely. What are we, Europe’s “cash cow?”

    Grandson of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer wants Germany to end eurozone bailouts

    The eurozone is depending on Germany to pay for the bailouts of Greece and Ireland. But German taxpayers and businessmen are starting to wonder where it will end – and whether they can afford it.


    Covert war against Iran’s nuclear aims takes chilling turn

    Sophisticated cyber-worms, motorcycling assassins: but who is behind the increasingly sinister campaign against the Iranian energy programme?


    Something I’ve been saying all along here, even two days ago with the question of why the blame game when they will have to admit how easy it would be to infiltrate Iran and it’s security. Of course their problem starts from the inside, and also blaming the Green Movement on the West is just as ludicrous. An ostrich with it’s head buried in the sand.

    “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s real danger lies among his own people”

    Iran’s leader has been quick to dismiss the WikiLeaks revelations, but his problems extend further than US animosity


    Opinions from around thw world. An audio podcast.

    Guardian Focus podcast: WikiLeaks and the US embassy cables

    After the biggest leak of secret US embassy documents in history, our expert panel discusses the future of US diplomacy and the impact on implicated regimes around the globe


    John Lennon: the last day in the life

    “On Wednesday it will be 30 years since John Lennon’s murder, an event seared upon the memory of a generation. Now, in a new documentary, fans, police officers and doctors recall the day their lives were intertwined with history”


    A bit of fun with David Mitchell.

    “If only weathermen were honest and said forecasts were just a bit of fun”

    The Met Office would get it right more often if it stuck to the facts rather than suppositions


    Just loves me some spuds. Spuds, glorious spuds!!

    Nigel Slater’s classic baked potato recipe

    What could be more satisfying on a cold day than a piping-hot potato?


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bitohistory says:

      If Mr. Hacker/Leaker had the full plans for an intercontinental ballistic missile, would he “leak” them in the name of “transparency?”

      • Kalima says:

        He has no sense of what diplomacy really means, he obviously has no integrity or moral standards, and cares little about the security of either the U.S. or any of the countries which have been so carelessly mentioned in his latest leaks, so back to your question, I have a feeling he would, just because he could.

        What is lower than pond scum?

    • boomer1949 says:

      I am so happy you had such a wonderful time…good for you! Pictures at 11? 😆

      • Kalima says:

        It was more a duty being the boss’s wife, but it was great connecting with our long time staff again, most of them in their late 40’s and early 50’s now. Hard to believe, and in some cases quite a shock.

        Pictures were taken, but if my hubby’s birthday party of a few years ago is anything to go by (I haven’t seen one picture or video to this day) I doubt if I’ll see them anytime soon.

    • Khirad says:

      I’ve been catching up on the cables about Iran. As much as I have sour feelings over Assange, it’s some interesting stuff -- that actually renews my faith in the State Department -- they are right on the ball -- if clumsy in their analysis. And, curiously, nothing about a US coordinated, foreign backed “soft war”. 😆

      The GPO is not Poland’s Solidarity, and Tehran 2010 isn’t Tehran 1978. In other words, it is quite unlikely that the current Iranian system of government will significantly change in the short-term, and if there were any significant change, it is more likely to be towards a more authoritarian regime than to be towards a more democratic one. However, having posited why the GPO is unlikely to effect fundamental short-term changes in Iran’s ruling system, it is equally true to say that it is unlikely to go away. What makes the preceding important for the USG is the fact that Iran’s current domestic strife is a political ‘black hole’ that swallows all other issues, both domestic and foreign, such that until a new homeostasis is reached in Iran’s political ruling class, progress on issues of bilateral importance will be even more difficult than usual.


      A reminder, that Student Day in Iran is Tuesday, as well. More on that later, perhaps.

      Drink lots of water, or other replenishing liquids. I feel for you. I’ve been there and I’m not pretty the morning after, either.

      • Kalima says:

        In other words, let the powers that be in Iran eat their own, and negotiations will be with the ones left standing, that could be a long wait.

        Oh Khirad how sweet, but I didn’t have a hangover, I had a social-event-over. :) Hard to explain, let’s just say that I’m not used to going out anymore, and the sitting, moving my head from left to right to talk to people, took it’s toll. Turning in early tonight.

        I hope that your grandmother is improving, and will keep her in my prayers.

        Good night from a very dark and chilly Tokyo.

  4. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone.

    Not much time to chat today, rushing around making sure everyone is fed before I launch into my “getting ready” for our evening out thingy. I’m hoping to stay alert for the first hour at least, and am pleading with the spirits abounding around me, to please not let me get drowsy enough to end up with my head next to the soup plate, or heaven forbid, actually in the soup plate. Being dog tired is not the ideal way to start a social event I know, but as long as I show my face, smile when I’m spoken to, frown when everyone else is frowning, and let off a few raucous laughs out loud when someone is presumably telling a joke, no one should be much the wiser.

    Hoping you all have a wonderful start to your weekend. Catch up with you later. Take care.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    How nice that the “haves” can address the situation in the U.K. as a “wobble” when the “have nots” or soon to lose much of what they had, would call it a bloody “tidal wave.”

    The only thing that seems to be showing any improvement are of course the profit margins of the banks.

    “Institute of Directors warns Government not to ‘wobble’ on austerity measures”

    A leading business group has warned that the financial recovery is at risk from a “wobble” within the Coalition on implementing the Spending Review.


    This is tragic. As if this country hasn’t seen enough deaths and hardships this year.

    “A dozen killed in Haiti cholera witch-hunt”

    At least a dozen people have been lynched, stoned to death or murdered with machetes in Haiti in a misguided witch-hunt for evil voodoo practitioners accused of spreading cholera.


    I would wager both, but will let you decide for yourselves. A bit of table turning on Assange.

    “Is Julian Assange a coward or a hypocrite?”


    Posted without comment.

    “Julian Assange faces renewed arrest attempt over sex offence allegations”

    Swedish prosecutors issue fresh request to British police to extradite the WikiLeaks founder over sex offence allegations


    I’m not shedding a tear, and neither will my family. Welcome back to the D.M. why not?

    “Angela Merkel warned that Germany could abandon the euro”

    German chancellor said to have made comments during an EU summit dinner in Brussels at the end of October


    Appalling, my heart breaks to witness this abuse.

    Child labourers on Malawi’s tobacco farms

    As the tobacco industry continues to shift its production to developing countries, more vulnerable children are being exposed to hazardous working conditions. It is estimated that over 78,000 children work on tobacco estates across Malawi, some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1p an hour and without protective clothing. Plan International, the children’s aid organisation, have prepared a report on this issue and visited some of the children, their families and the campaigners and politicians involved


    Weekend readers’ pictures: Touch

    Your best photographs on this week’s theme, from a buttercup to a tiny baby


    24 Hours in Pictures


  5. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone, hope you slept well?

    Another battle with the “WikiWeaks” stories of yore are behind me, and if you look hard enough, the world is still spinning on it’s axis at the same pace as before. I’ll be glad when all the fuss dies down, and the journalists go back to what they do best, reporting the news.

    Here an unusual weather pattern for December again. Heavy rains since last night until the morning, strong gusts of wind mimicking a typhoon which really wasn’t a typhoon except for the sudden rise in temperatures this afternoon which could have been mistaken for Spring. Now it’s windy again, and cooling. Are you confused yet, because I certainly am. Repeat after me, “There is no global warming. There is no global warm……. There is no global…………”

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Colour me stupid, but this statement by Putin seems rather dismissive and frivolous to me. If they were “professionals” and did nothing to “harm” the U.S. meaning I presume that they were not successful in their spying capers, then why should they be given any respect?

    Shouldn’t he be feeling embarrassed that they were dumb enough to be caught?

    Vladimir Putin: “Russian spies did no damage to US”

    Vladimir Putin has argued that the 10 Russian spies deported from America this summer did no damage to the USA and should be respected as professionals.


    I of course wish them all the luck in the world, but wouldn’t hold my breath as millions are still waiting to see him being arrested and charged as a war criminal with not a sliver of a rumour of it so far.

    “Nigeria ‘to charge Dick Cheney’

    Nigeria is to charge Dick Cheney, the former US Vice-President, over a bribery scandal that involves a former subsidiary of energy firm Halliburton.


    I can assure the IAEA that they are not the only ones that are worried. N. Korea has the capability of launching nuclear weapons directly at several countries in the region, and just because of a few failed practice launches, it doesn’t mean that their next try will also fail. It is of course common knowledge that they lie, and can’t be trusted.

    IAEA worried about uranium enrichment site in North Korea

    The head of the UN nuclear watchdog voiced his concern as the US warned that North Korea may be hiding even more atomic sites


    Couldn’t the owners of this land show some common decency until these poor people are able to rehouse and get on their feet again. Must even human dignity be on the same weighing scale as profits for some?

    “Roast chicken and pot plants: amid Haiti’s chaos comes a touch of order”

    Cité Maxo – one of 1,300 known camps housing 1.5 million people – is clean and safe, but owner wants land back


    Not impossible of course, but is Iran really so easy to infiltrate without inside help?

    “Is Mossad targetting Iran’s nuclear scientists?”

    A Time magazine article suggests Israeli intelligence is behind recent attacks


    The Brits and their eternal winter snafus, you would think that it had never snowed before.

    Snow causes more travel disruption as Labour urges ministers to ‘get a grip’

    • Gatwick remains shut with key rail routes closed
    • Services ‘overwhelmed’ by heavy snow, says expert


    A good opportunity for the Dems to show the American public the true face of the GOP you would think, so why don’t they?

    “The party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich”

    Never have Republican values been so brazenly apparent than in holding the unemployed to ransom for the Bush tax cuts



    “The House votes today on taxes”


    “Pelosi’s final win”


    Ok, call me sappy, call me weird, but when I remember my life in England I remember things like fish and chips with mushy peas and a pickled onion wrapped in old newspaper drenched in malt vinegar. Steak and kidnety pies, pork pies, hard as rock Christmas cakes,, mince pies, Yorkshire pud, Roast chicken with stuffing, and of course, sausage rolls. Brit cuisine might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we make great pastries, biscuits, scones, crumpets and cakes. So I’m not going to apologize for today’s perfect sausage roll recipe, so there!

    How to make perfect sausage rolls

    Are sausage rolls the best party food ever, and what’s the best meat to make them with -- does anything rival the classic pork and herb?


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bitohistory says:

      I want a sausage roll!! 😆

      The MB has had many an article and discussion on Israel and Palestine. Just saw this development:

      Brazil recognizes Palestinian state

      Brazil says it has recognized the state of Palestine based on borders at the time of Israel’s 1967 conquest of the West Bank.

      The Foreign Ministry says the recognition is in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

      Silva sent a letter to Abbas on Dec. 1, saying Brazil recognizes Palestine and hopes that the recognition will help lead to states of Israel and Palestine “that will coexist peacefully and in security.”

      Could it lead to the two state solution? Will many others follow?

      • Kalima says:

        Wish I could bake one for you, and send it express. :)

        Well it could start a trend if people only would to listen to their conscience and not wait for someone else to get the ball rolling. Looks like President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva did just that. Hats off to him!

  6. Kalima says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    It’s been hard to find anything except another story by WikiLeaks as if there is nothing else of interest going on in the world except things that have passed, and are for the most just harmless, or harmful “gossip.” I’ll keep my blog short today as a sort of one woman protest and just link to things you might find as interesting as I did.

    I spoke with my father on Skype a few hours ago, he took his computer to the window so that I could see outside. The snow had been falling for the last 3 days, and must have been thigh high.

    We talked about the chaos happening once again, even after what was a very cold and wicked winter last year. We shook our heads. Later I found this related story to share with you.

    Why did Britain slide into snow chaos again?

    An inquiry into how the freezing weather crippled Britain’s transport network ordered by the Government


    Some snow pictures to get you in the mood for yours. :)

    Our fourth gallery of Telegraph readers’ photographs of the snow in Britain


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Anyone who followed this story from the beginning knew of Putin’ s knowledge and even involvement in this murder and the assassinations of prominent Russian civil rights journalists in the past, this is not news. I shall from now on refer to WikiLeaks as “WikiWeaks” for obvious reasons. I just mentioned this story about this particular murder less than a week ago here.

    WikiLeaks: Vladimir Putin ‘likely to have prior knowledge of Alexander Litvinenko murder plot

    Vladimir Putin probably had prior knowledge of the plot to murder the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London, one of America’s top diplomats alleged in a leaked embassy cable.


    We are aware of this information too, the criminal element is nothing new to Russia or the Kremlin.

    WikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as ‘mafia state’

    Kremlin relies on criminals and rewards them with political patronage, while top officials collect bribes ‘like a personal taxation system’


    Oh come on guys, Batman and Robin, that’s quite funny. There goes Putin’s macho, bare breasted, horse riding image.

    Wikileaks: Vladimir Putin warns USA to stay out of Russian internal affairs

    Vladimir Putin has told America to stay out of Russia’s internal affairs, angrily deriding a leaked US diplomatic cable that dubbed him ‘Batman’ and President Dmitry Medvedev ‘Robin’ as rude and unethical.


    With China now washing it’s hands of Kim and his antics, there is no doubt that the North, frustrated with the results of the last attack, will do so again. Now left without a country willing or able to intermediate, I suppose the future of the region is up in the air.

    North Korea ‘highly likely to attack South Korea again’

    North Korea is “highly likely” to attack South Korea again as its ailing leader Kim Jong-il seeks to bolster the standing of his regime ahead of a planned handover of power, South Korea’s intelligence chief has warned.


    A glimpse into the crowded daily lives of Tokyoites. I’m glad that my days of pushing and pulling are over.

    Going underground, Tokyo style

    A new book from photographer Michael Wolf exposes the reality of the commuter’s life on Tokyo’s underground trains



    “Don’t ask don’t tell nose counting”


    “DADT repeal now basically dead”


    “Ted Strickland’s wise words”


    A climate journey

    The Andes: Ecuador’s rainforestsIn the final part of his climate journey from the Andes to the Amazon John Vidal reports on the Ecuadorian rainforest tribes campaigning for their government to support eco-tourism over oil extraction


    The Andes: The farmers’ struggle


    24 Hours in Pictures


  7. Khirad says:

    Targeted Atom Scientists Had Close Ties to Victim of January Bombing


    Was following trying to follow up on the other Pakistani story, but saw this on a speech Arundhati Roy gave in October (she’s like the Indian Chomsky, btw):


  8. bitohistory says:

    Different take on the situation. Should we dismiss this as lack of information or nationalism?

    Russia: Online Reactions to Korean Skirmish


  9. bitohistory says:

    Merry Efing Christmas, Wall Street and Republicans in Congress.

  10. Kalima says:

    Good morning all!

    Spent a good part of my afternoon making Christmas card lists. Before this is through, I’ll have to make them over and over again. Pieces of memo paper are fair game in this house. To my furry gang nothing is sacred, and someone might not be getting a card this year again. Once I start to actually write the cards, the real fun begins with swipes at my pen, leaving words almost illegible, and me searching frantically for my last bottle of “Liquid Paper.” Envelopes neatly stacked to the side of the table turn into flying missiles, and a short break to stretch cramping fingers, find the rear ends parked right in the middle of the cards I want to finish on my return. You might have to be cat owner or owned by a cat to fully understand the last part, or maybe not.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Harsh words from Medvedev and not a thought that anyone would like to linger on too long. Sounds more like a threat to me. Déjà vu?

    “Dmitry Medvedev warns of Cold War-style arms race”

    Dmitry Medvedev has warned the world will be plunged into a new Cold War-style arms race within a decade unless Moscow and the West can strike a deal on a new missile defence system.


    No surprises here, why bother with elections at all?

    “Egypt’s rulers tighten grip amid claims of election fraud and intimidation”

    • Governing party wins 96% of the vote in early results
    • Official Egyptian opposition may be left with no seats


    China as always managed to keep a pretty tight lid on this scandal. A doctor who blew the whistle on the same needle being used over and over again was silenced by imprisonment. It’s about time to start a thorough inquiry, everything was pretty much swept under the carpet, but unfortunately for some, too late for justice.

    “Former health official urges probe of China’s 1990s HIV epidemic”

    The blood selling scandal, which helped HIV gain a foothold in China, unfolded in the central province of Henan and is widely seen as a failure of government leadership


    World responds to WikiLeaks. Most of this information is hardly news.

    WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates

    • Mervyn King’s damning views on Cameron and Osborne
    • Lib Dems drop attack against Cameron after Ivan’s death
    • US and UK fears over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons
    • Pakistan army sponsoring militants as cash goes missing



    “Hello again; preliminary thoughts on World War III”


    “Obama and the pay freeze and the big meeting”


    “Movement on the tax front”


    There she blows, guns blazing in the sunset. Can you imagine Palin’s foreign policy, seriously, can you?

    I’m not in the habit of linking to Sarah stories, but recently her “crazy meter” has been on nonstop, and she is beginning to resemble Linda Blair in the famous bed scene from “The Exorcist” so it’s becoming harder to look away. Even though I keep my fingers up over my eyes, no matter how careful I am, a sliver of Palin seem to peek through.

    Hard to believe that this woman might be crazy enough to believe that she could win a 2012 presidential bid. SP in the WH is bad enough, SP with her finger on the “red button” would be, “God help us all!”

    Sarah Palin: “hunt WikiLeaks founder like al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders”

    The founder of WikiLeaks should be hunted down just like al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, according to Sarah Palin.


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bitohistory says:

      On the Iranian situation, maybe they should give Ollie North a call, he seemed able to work with them. 😉
      I beginning to put many people and entities in into a collective group of “Court Jester.” Mr. Wikileaker, Julian Assange, S’arah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Congressional Republicans…. (add your choice, here.) Their actions seem to be driven by making a bunch of noise with no purpose, solution, responsibilities or consequences form them. Make a bunch of noise and trouble and then yell you can’t hang the jester.

      Early results from the poll – described by domestic and international observers as “breathtaking” in its levels of fraud – suggest that the ruling National Democratic party (NDP) has captured 96% of the seats, while the 88 opposition members from the Muslim Brotherhood, could be erased to zero.
      “We knew it was going to be bad, but I don’t think anyone realised it was going to be this bad,”

      Almost makes Burma’s elections look fair. Sad.
      And without a START treaty (thanks to arsehole KYL) Medvedev/Putin may be right. Nothing like strengthening the anti-western sentiments in Russia, Kyl. Good job you just made all your Neo-Con and MIC friends giddy.

      • Kalima says:

        I find it amazing and very bad planning that just one Senator can keep Congress hostage on matters important to America, and more important to it’s security. It is a very stupid rule which should have been changed years ago along with the 60 votes system, why hasn’t it been attempted since the Dems were in the majority, and why are they sitting on their hands and not asking the Repubs to vote on the tax bill when many won’t even be returning in January?

        I just don’t get it.

        Assange is a hacker, hacking is a criminal offense. Palin is a wind -up doll with straw for brains. The rest are psychotic, and need to be locked up and medicated. The meltdown they have on a regular basis shows how far gone they really are. The people who listen and agree with them should have the adjoining padded cells.

        Oliver North, now that’s a name to forget.

        The Egyptian elections remind me of Saddam Hussein, “Tiny” Kim and the rest of the wannabe “Gods.”

        • boomer1949 says:

          oh kalima,

          My sentiments exactly. “Hostage” is the term of the day and it’s infuriating.

          I’ve posted a couple of things (OT & Main); pretty much sums up my opinion. Not only are McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor (God bless his bigoted token-Jew-soul), they are bigots in disguise and hiding behind their party to destroy President Obama because he ain’t one of them. Translation? Not WHITE?

          Assholes, all of them are assholes.

          Yet, they’re dumb enough to think nobody notices. Now that’s not only dumb, but completely clueless. Just wait until the Tea-Potty-People come to the realization they’ve been used and screwed and, oops, never even had a chance to enjoy it.

          Nothing is more infuriating to me than a lack of common sense. It’s not that hard; what’s wrong with these people? Why are they unable to discern reality and seduction?

          • Kalima says:

            Hi boomer, yes I’ve been reading your comments and know how you feel, I would be very PO too.

            Tea-Potty-People 😆 loves it!

            I wrote about Obama’s skin colour endlessly since 08′, people thought I was overreacting, but it’s as plain as the orange tan on Boehner’s face that this TP business, and the obstructionism is really all about his skin colour and the disrespect it elicits in a bunch of grumpy, racist, old and fearful white men.

  11. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone!

    It’s been hard slogging through any news actually going on now around the world hidden in the mountain of stories surfacing about the Wikileaks. Has the world come to a standstill, is everyone holding their breath, is the planet still spinning?

    Have been thinking long and hard about exactly who will benefit from the information contained in these documents, and the only conclusion to make any sense is, someone who wants America to fail, bring it to it’s knees with the diplomatic embarrassment it is now facing, and the painfully slow process of having to once again mend fences around the world. So again, who would benefit to see America fail?

    Then my mind went first to the 23 year old soldier Bradley Manning, and how relatively easy it was for him to obtain this information in the Pentagon of all places. Did he have special security clearance, what was he doing there, and who helped him. I find it hard to believe that the soldier, and later Assange were or are working alone, it seems far too huge and complicated for such a small number of people involved to cause so much potential damage to one country, thereby starting a domino effect in others. I have a feeling that this is a criminal act, and that at some point Assange will have to face the music. In the first story and link, President Obama calls this “an attack on America.” I hope that in the coming rush of information, America also considers the damage this could do to many countries all over the world at this time of widespread unrest. It is not only America’s problem, it is the problem of many countries and their security.

    Again my mind returns to the question, who would benefit the most by this dangerous and callous invasion of privacy?

    For the record, the coverage I’ve seen here on tv with reactions from Japanese politicians and diplomats, is that everyone interviewed here today has condemned the leaks and are calling it a serious crime.

    A few stories and opinions around the globe.

    As much as some may disagree with me, I find this whole situation beneath contempt. I believe that when the dust settles, the classified, stolen information, and there is no doubt that this was stolen, laid bare for the whole world to read, will amount to just a few noteworthy stories, and the end of many careers destroyed in the process of kicking an important aspect of foreign affairs, the diplomatic channels, in it’s arse for the sake of a few gossip like stories. Years spent building up trust and endless negotiations between countries could be nullified like a spliced portion of film edited on the cutting room floor, and for what?
    What will the ordinary citizen do with this information, how will it improve their lives, make them healthier, find a job, pay bills, put food on the table and live happily ever after?

    WikiLeaks: “Criminal investigation underway into leak of classified diplomatic documents”

    President Obama is considering taking legal action against Wikileaks following the disclosure of more than a quarter of a million classified US diplomatic cables.


    Where does this leave the rest of Asia?

    “Wikileaks cables reveal China ‘ready to abandon North Korea’

    Leaked dispatches show Beijing is frustrated with military actions of ‘spoiled child’ and increasingly favours reunified Korea


    😆 Please read my comment about this story yesterday, it’s near the end of the comment. I must be a mind reader, I could start a new career in Vegas.

    “Attack on Iranian nuclear scientists prompts hit squad claims”

    Tehran accuses the west and Israel of arranging co-ordinated bombings targeting its atomic programme


    Same story, different country.

    Pakistan mother denied presidential pardon for ‘insulting Islam’

    Asia Bibi, a Christian, has been sentenced to death after falling foul of the country’s blasphemy law


    Yet they are in Europe trying to set up groups to win a popularity contest, they still don’t get it. A complete waste of time and money.

    “Israel accused over ‘cruel’ Gaza blockade”

    Report calls for end to embargo, saying easing agreed by Israel six months ago has done little to improve plight of Gaza civilians


    How very sad that families are so poor that they have to resort to selling their children. It’s nothing new I know, it happens on a regular basis in many countries. Still, I feel a lump in my throat and words fail me.

    “Indian girls “sold as brides for as little as £15”

    Girls in some of India’s poorest states are being sold as brides for as little as £15, in states where female infanticide has skewed the sex ratio.


    As an example of just how time wasting some of these leaks will prove to be, this story is a prime example. Every Brit worth their weight in “fish and chips” knows that Charles and his wife are not as respected as the Queen by the British public *Yawn*

    Wikileaks cable: Prince Charles ‘not respected like Queen’

    • Senior Commonwealth official casts doubt over heir apparent
    • Charles and Camilla seen as key players in UK-Saudi relations
    • Crumbling Saudi palace revamped for prince’s lavish party


    George also sees aliens, leprechauns, and “dead people.”

    “George Osborne sees the road to recovery despite report”

    New fiscal watchdog warns economic situation is delicately balanced, while Labour says government predictions are overly optimistic


    David shows his real stripes, opting instead to attend a Tory, “There is no global warming” convention in Scotland in galloshes and two feet of snow.

    “Cameron refuses to attend UN climate change talks”

    PM turns down Mexico’s invite to summit where backroom deals show how progress can be made despite low expectations


    I wish that I could just find a huge question mark to fill in the space here, this will have to do. ????????????

    George Bush to Mark Zuckerberg:” you know what it’s like to be a president”

    The former US leader and the Facebook boss compared notes in an hour-long talk and decided they had much in common


    I offer no real valid excuse for linking to this, other than to say that I left this animated Christmas scene up on on my screen for about 2 minutes, and enjoyed every minute of it without clicking on the proffered link to see presents that would make my head spin. Indulge me please, everyone wants to feel like kid again sometimes. Think of it as a stocking stuffer. 😉

    “Unique Christmas gift ideas”

    Welcome to our guide -- we’ve searched high and low to find you the most stylish and unusual Christmas gifts. Explore the room and click on the different icons to reveal more than 100 ideas, from quirky stocking fillers to luxury clothes. If you are confused, our gift guide explainer contains all you need to know


    24 Hours in Picures


  12. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone!

    Things are looking quite precarious in the situation of the two Koreas. Knowing that there is nothing that can be done from this end, I can only hope that China moves to stop any nonsense from the North. Knowing that China’s support of N. Korea is basically one of self- interest, the fear of the country’s collapse would see an influx of N. Korean refugees for sure, a thing China hopes to avoid at all costs, so we expect them to step in should things turn sour. Still, this waiting is a bit nerve-wracking. In the meantime I’m trying to enjoy our cooler weather, and the sky turning darker from about 4 in the afternoons. Something about this seems reassuring somehow.


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    No cheery news I’m afraid. While most newspapers and internet sites are full of things that have already passed, I’d like to continue with things that are happening now, or could happen any time soon.

    “North and South Korea move close to war footing”

    North and South Korea have moved closer to a war footing around the Yellow Sea island targeted in last week’s artillery strike as tensions in the region continue to rise.


    “South Korea warns North Korea against further provocation”

    President Lee Myung-bak says he feels he failed to protect citizens, as China seeks urgent talks on crisis in peninsula


    I can think of another way that Israel could improve it’s image abroad, just stop stalling the peace talks. Stop stealing more land from the Palestinians, instead start giving it back as a start to giving them a state of their own. That would work out well for everyone, well almost everyone, and certainly improve their image.

    As long as they continue to treat the Palestinian people as second class citizens, all the PR in the world will do little to change most opinions at large.

    “Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe”

    ‘Allies and friends’ will promote government policy to press and public meetings as part of fresh PR drive


    Not quite sure what constituted a victory in this case, but they seem pretty pleased with themselves.

    “Brazil police claim victory in drugs “war”

    Armed police in Rio de Janeiro claimed on Sunday to have defeated drugs gangs of up to 600 men who waged a week-long campaign of violence that threatened the city’s image as a suitable venue for the Olympic Games.


    Although I don’t intend to link to every single story that will appear on these leaks from now until God knows when, I will just link to this because I have expressed strong personal opinions about this particular set of leaks. The rest you can find at just about every internet site around the world, so there seems little point in linking to them.

    “How 250,000 US embassy cables were leaked”

    From a fake Lady Gaga CD to a thumb drive that is a pocket-sized bombshell – the biggest intelligence leak in history


    “Embassy cables: Where does diplomacy end and spying begin?”

    Political staff in foreign missions understand where the line is drawn but have been known to stray over it, say experts


    Wait for the condemnation from you-know-who. The Brits did it! The U.S. did it! Oh hang on a sec, it must have been the Israeli infiltrator spies dressed up in the uniforms of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    Iran nuclear scientist ‘killed in bomb attack’


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bitohistory says:

      I read a statement from a person in the Israeli government the other day saying the the “International left is against Israel!” Well, I can’t speak for the “international left,”but no I am not against Israel, I am against the taking of other peoples land, depriving them of a livelihood and treating them as less than human. Every bloody “peace talks” has hinged on the settlements and the taking of others lands, yet you continue to do it, stalling yet another solution.
      On Brazil:
      After their ‘successful’ war on the drug gangs, will they expend as much energy and resources on the absolute poverty in those areas? Where people find their suppers and their income from picking recyclables in the landfills? The millions of street hungry urchins and the lack of water and sanitation? Big job before the Olympics, where to hide the poor.
      I do worry about you and others living so close to the Korean situation. I worry about the possibilities of what another illogical action from N. Korea could do to the world. I remember quite well the Cuban missile crises and the missile bases that ringed where I lived.
      So China wants cover by holding talks, now? They should be scolding their child, not expecting everyone else to reward it for bad behavior.

      • Kalima says:

        The Israeli government should all adopt the name Kanye, they also never see or admit that they have done any wrong.

        “Where to hide the poor” indeed bito, you think that as their economy grows through plentiful investments, they would start putting their house in order, or at least show some shame.

        China, always too little, too late.

    • kesmarn says:

      Good morning, Kalima. Prayers for your well-being and for all in the area regarding this N/S Korea situation!

      On the issue of the Wikileaks, leave it to the insufferable Ms Palin to try to make political hay of the situation. Here’s the latest tweet from the twunt:

      Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked,but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?

      Does Barack Obama personally control the entire world wide web?

      • Kalima says:

        Thanks kes, a bit late I know. It’s certainly alarming knowing what Mr. Dick Tator is capable of, but life goes on, and kitties demand to be fed oblivious to anything except the sound of plates being refilled.

        What she thinks comes out of her mouth. One of the more rampant cases of “verbal” diarrhea I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

      • bitohistory says:

        Another well thought out policy decision from Ms. Wannabe. Policy by twitter.

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