• Facebook
  • Twitter
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.

Click here to leave a comment
  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.

  13. bitohistory says:

    US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

    I have real mixed feelings on this new Wikileak. I don’t know how any country is supposed to have negations with complete transparency. How can one share an honest, though sensitive, opinion? Is this helpful or hurtful? Already, people in government are afraid to write anything down. With these actions will it become less transprent.

    How about not a Wikileak on government, but some on the financial institutions? They seem to be doing the greatest harm lately.

    • bitohistory says:

      Kalima, Reading through some of the cables pisses me off even more.

      US embassy cables: browse the database

      Use our interactive guide to discover what has been revealed in the leak of 250,000 US diplomatic cables. Mouse over the map below to find stories and original documents by country, subject or people

      • Kalima says:

        bito, now you know why I omitted this story from my morning comment, right?

        I went to sleep already extremely PO.

        • bitohistory says:

          I do understand, Kalima. I am still searching for a purpose. It may be exactly what you say. I don’t like the US imperialism either, but this only seems to cripple both good and bad diplomacy. Who does it help to show the inter-workings between countries on Iran? Harm the US, UK, France, or help Iran? Will many diplomats be very cautious when speaking to a diplomat from the US and will that help or cause harm?

      • Kalima says:

        I won’t even both to lower myself by going there, I don’t read any of Murdoch’s rags, The Enquirer or have interest in any tabloids, have never bought one in my life. I have enough of a problem living in a region where if someone farts in the wrong direction, it might mean war. Mr. Assange can go and take a flying leap, he’s trash as far as I’m concerned.

        Sorry for the vent bito, when this all dies down, Assange will be forgotten. When he steps out of line enough for people to realize what harm his 15 minutes of fame have done, I for one would like to see his arse in jail.

    • Kalima says:

      I read it last night bito, it made me hopping mad, is everything up for grabs now?

      The Wiki guy is a real slut, has he or the world gone mad ?

      WTF, is there nothing left of any kind of respect for anything?

      There is protocol involved, and I personally believe this intrusion of privacy needs to be dealt with through the proper channels, the guy has gone too far. There are laws against this protecting private citizens I believe, and an Embassy represents a country, so this amounts to spying on another country’s government in my book, I hope that he’s arrested.

      This is PRIVATE communication, and should not be public knowledge, was this conniving pos brought up in a sewer?

      Rather than acting in anyone’s best interest, apart from the leaks about Iraq, Assange has put lives in danger with his leaks about Afghanistan, where soldiers and civilians are still being killed, and now this leak about diplomatic communications between a sitting President and a U.S. Embassy, makes me believe that he is on a one man crusade to cripple the U.S. because he has a personal beef with the country. What happened Assange, couldn’t get your Green Card?

      Back later.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        I’m still up in the air about this one. As a counterpoint to your view, Kalima, here is what Simon Jenkins has to say, from The Guardian:

        • Kalima says:

          Thanks wts. I don’t agree with or dispute what Jenkins writes, but don’t consider Assange to fall into the category of journalist, but rather in the role of an enabler and pimp.

          If private emails written by your President are going to be a free for all, where does that leave any claims in the future for private citizens?

          These particular leaks gain nothing at all for the ordinary person who reads them, and only damages diplomatic relations between the U.S. and other countries. Why is this beneficial to anyone?
          Just where do we draw the line?

          The reason it is now being covered is because Assange is a pompous arsehole, and as with the leaks on Afghanistan which is still losing soldiers in battles even today, he’s too arrogant to bother to think about the repercussions.

          Some things are just off limits, the private emails of a sitting President to an Embassy abroad, is one of them.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            hey, just got back from shopping myself! Hope you enjoyed your snooze.

          • Kalima says:

            I hope that you are right wts, still, what was the rush, and if it proves to hold nothing of any value in there?
            It could have been edited, the same way that the names of the Afghans who helped the U.S. didn’t deserve to have their names made public or their lives put in danger, some people’s private thoughts in this latest batch, should have remained private. I don’t share your view on why he does it though because he doesn’t differentiate between what is important and what is just left in to embarrass people for the sake of embarrassing them. Who the hell is he anyway, does he see himself as the new “Deep Throat” charging in to inform people of things that most will forget as soon as another story breaks?
            The way he got his hands on this material in the first place, hardly reeks of any personal integrity on his part.

            Two of our friends are career diplomats, they and the people I had met through them over the years took their work very seriously. One went on to be appointed France’s Ambassador to Thailand, and the other will receive this position within the next few years. Even years ago there was a shortage of young people who wanted to join the Diplomatic Corps and make a career out of it, making light of some by revealing private conversations is hardly a good recruitment tool for younger people who have an interest, it seems to soil the job in some way, by expecting these people to be perfect human beings.

            Now instead of more transparency, there could be less.

            • Kalima says:

              So after all is said and done, we wait to see what happens, then we can judge it again when the stink has left the room or wait for the other shoe to drop.

              Sorry about the delay in answering, a 10 minute rest, turned into an hour long snooze fest.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              that is definitely the reaction that Assange is risking -- that there will be less transparency, but that the same shenanigans will go on and on. As for editing, I am assuming that Wikileaks is a pretty small outfit and the task of editing 250,000 documents would be daunting for even a large organization. In a perfect world, I absolutely agree that it should have happened that way.
              So, in truth, I am of two minds about this, and I don’t think one side of my brain is going to be successful in persuading the other side that it is right. To me it’s a paradoxical situation.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            No doubt, a lot of these emails are of no importance, and only serve to embarrass and expose. I see your point, believe me. But what I am not convinced of is that Assange is doing this solely for the reasons you seem to be suggesting he is. What I expect to see, and may be wrong, is that some among the released documents will expose fraud, deception, misallocation of money, collusion, backstabbings, etc., and I’m not so sure the public DOESN’T have a right to know just how sordid the underbelly of international diplomacy is.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            yes, that is true. On the other hand, government officials act on behalf of their citizens, or rather, that is their role. So in cases where THEIR behavior unnecessarily puts lives at risk, the citizens would have a right to know that. And in the case of the unbelievable sum of dollars spent overseas on hubristic adventures, money that could be spent improving lives at home, repairing bridges, etc. or simply improving the QOL of life for all members of society, it is important to expose just how out of whack our national priorities are, I feel.

            • Kalima says:

              Yes wts, they are elected to speak for the people, but how does the knowledge that Obama wasn’t impressed with Gordon Brown or the political scene in Russia, help build bridges and feed the hungry, this is my point about these unnecessary and purely for the sensationalizing of these latest leaks.

            • bitohistory says:

              The leaks do not differentiate between actions that may save lives and those that may harm. They are all treated the same. Mr. Jenkins says the US acts like the policeman of the world, and it does. Might be handy right now to millions of those living within missile shot of N. Korea, ya think? I hate the fact that the US has taken this role, but it has been that way for decades. It does need an orderly dismantling, not a sudden crippling.

        • kesmarn says:

          That’s a very interesting article, wts.

          The author, Simon Jenkins, raises the same issue b’ito did:

          In future the only secrets will be spoken ones. Whether that is a good thing should be a topic for public debate.

      • bitohistory says:

        Kalima, I’m trying to figure out what purpose these leaks are supposed to do exactly? Is there anything new or just embarrassments and jeopardizing to our allies? Where are his leaks on N. Korea, China, Iran?
        The fact that the US and most (all) countries use their diplomatic corps to do low-level spying is as old as government itself.
        Again what purpose does this serve? High level paparazzi, Murdoch’s tabloids, is that what this is? I could understand if it was exposing corruption and other high crimes, but this is just senseless and with no regard to human lives. The result I see, everyone will be more secretive.

        • Kalima says:

          The only purpose I can see in this is that Assange just gave himself a “boner.”

          The guy is a degenerate self-serving prick with a bee in his bonnet. I find it appalling, tacky and quite honestly, criminal.

          I can’t understand why sensitive communication like this was not delivered in a sealed “diplomatic pouch” as is so often used.

          Assange received “stolen” goods, which makes him a lowlife “fence.” By taking the low road he loses his credibility and reasons for the leaks after the last initial leaks about Iraq were posted. This is indeed a very cowardly and dangerous road into the realms of tabloid type exposés.

          As I said before, he’s out to embarrass America. If the President of the U.S. is fair game, everyone is. Let’s publish everyone’s emails, let’s start with the pasty faced creep Assange. I imagine he’s to be found under his bridge with the rest of the trolls.

          • escribacat says:

            Well said, Kalima. I agree. This guy is no idealist. Publishing all these private and negative comments made by American diplomats about foreign leaders does no good to anyone and only damages all diplomatic efforts. Is he trying to start a war?

            • Kalima says:

              I believe he has a beef, a private beef with America, this started as a public service about the facts about Iraq, I was all for it. It then moved on to Afghanistan where soldiers and civilians are still dying, with no regard for the people named in the leaks. It has escalated to trying to embarrass America in the eyes of the rest of the world. Mr. Assange’s “hissy fit” seems to resemble a nasty high school revenge plot. It is despicable.

  14. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone!

    Well the news around the airways and tv stations here is not very encouraging. Our newspapers and news programs are full of “what if” about the next possible move by a disturbed leader with nukes. Apart from this and just as disturbing is the fact that Kim has close to 200 missiles trained on this island we live on, many of those directly on Tokyo.

    I am usually a glass half full kind of girl, but knowing how irrational this crackpot has proved to be already this week and in the past, tiny alarm bells are going off in my head, the hair on the back of my neck is standing to attention. Thinking about what it would ultimately mean to face the prospect of another war in this region, whether the glass is half full or half empty has little bearing on the fear it produces in all of us.

    So where the heck is China’s voice in all of this, I must be going deaf because I can’t hear it yet.

    If anyone is interested in N. Korean build up of ballistic missiles and their foray into nuclear capabilities, I found this link to be better than many in it’s explanations.


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    With the fate of the region hanging on a thread in the hands of a madman with nukes, keeping peace in the Korean peninsular is vital but not assured. The resignation of the S. Korean Defense minister after protest from S. Korean military members and the general population for not taking a harder line on retaliation for the indiscriminate bombardment and shelling a S. Korean island, seems to sum up the feelings of the majority of S. Koreans after the attack this week by the North.

    “South Korea: despach from the frontline of World War Three”

    This week’s bombardment from their volatile northern neighbours has left South Koreans tired of turning the other cheek, reports Andrew Gilligan in Incheon


    There has been speculation for years about a possible uprising, are attitudes really changing there? The true face of N. Korea.

    “North Korea’s undercover journalists reveal misery of life in dictatorship”

    With its ruthless dictator, network of forced labour camps and iron grip of its ruling party, North Korea is the last country one might expect to see a middle-aged woman berating a policeman for demanding a bribe.


    I read about her pardon from the death sentence, but the storm that followed seems as always so very out of proportion when you consider the more urgent and important issues facing the citizens of Pakistan. This fervor in Muslim countries for putting to death women on hearsay and trumped up charges, is beginning to freak me out.

    “The Christian woman facing death over a work squabble”

    The death sentence on Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan, for blasphemy has set off a storm of debate about her fate.


    Things that we still can be thankful for when we live in a democracy are highlighted by this story out of Egypt today.

    “Egypt’s discredited elections blighted by shadow of police violence”

    As Egypt goes to the polls today, allegations are multiplying of political torture and killings by a security service beyond the control of the courts


    Continued from yesterday. The fight to clean up the streets of Rio.

    “Rio de Janeiro drug gangs face ultimatum”

    Commander of military police orders traffickers to surrender or face consequences after week of violence


    Isn’t this situation everyone’s problem, why should just a few countries be expected to carry the burden. It is after all known as the European Union. Why attack Merkel when she asks for people to carry their share of the responsibility?

    Personally I’m rather sick of people taking free rides, and bailing when the going gets tough.

    “Angela Merkel lobbies for bondholders to share pain of EU bailouts”

    German chancellor’s plan is attacked by critics for unnerving investors and undermining eurozone’s stability


    Sad story on so many levels I thought. Another victim of misinformation?

    “Barack Obama: US man arrested for threatening to shoot the President”

    An elderly US veteran who kept loaded guns at his bedside has been arrested for threatening to kill President Barack Obama in a murder-suicide, officials said Friday.


    On a much lighter note, fun with David Mitchell

    “Nick Clegg getting a good kicking? Could anything be more joyous?”

    The deputy PM deserves all the opprobrium being heaped on him for betraying students


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • kesmarn says:

      We’re keeping a close eye on the news here, Kalima, and I’m holding you in my thoughts and prayers, as this N. Korea/S. Korea situation unfolds.

      So far, the only word I’ve heard of from China is their objection to the U.S. moving ships into the area. Not helpful.

      And, of course, it would be helpful if Mr. Kyl had not made his misguided remarks about the START treaty, too. Being more in alignment with Russia as an ally would give the U.S. a bit more leverage here. Sigh. Kyl, N. Korea and Iran…axis of — fill in the blank.

  15. Kalima says:

    BREAKING NEWs. A few minutes ago.

    ” North Korea deploys surface-to-air missiles to its
    west coast as U.S.-led naval
    drills are scheduled, Yonhap reports.”

    • bitohistory says:

      The more I read about this, it does seem to me that this all has to do with the “Little General” and the attempt to give him some street cred. That seems the logical reason to me, but I’m not sure if logic works with this cults actions. I had a glimmer of hope that the ‘young ‘un’ , having spent many years in the west, would begin to open the North. That glimmer is fading quickly.

      • Kalima says:

        It’s an ego thing to be sure, and of course the standing demands of one on one talks with the U.S. which have been rightly refused because it’s a regional problem first.

        Any thoughts you had about the son doing things differently are in vain. It will never happen in this dictator’s family, especially in Asia where it is the duty of children to honour their father’s wishes. The schooling abroad was limited, I don’t believe that any of Kim’s clan is the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  16. Kalima says:

    Here is the latest propaganda from North Korea, front page in my newspaper this morning. Sorry no link up yet. This is the headline.

    “North says civilians were “human shields”

    It says nothing about the fact that the island is inhabited, and that people actually live there or that it was the North who started shelling the island unprovoked. Kim and his minions live in the “Twilight Zone.”

    The related story is that the Philippine President Aquino is considering evacuating 50,000 Filipinos living on the S. Korean peninsula to Japan if the situation worsens.

    “U.S. and S. Korean military drills begin.”


  17. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone!

    Welcome to your weekend. Anyone still recovering from the Thanksgiving feast can hopefully take it easy and recuperate from festivities over the next two days

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Comparing the years to the Soviet occupation is hardly forward thinking. If set goals are met in the remaining time before the scheduled withdrawal, the time spent in Afghanistan is secondary to what was achieved. Comparing yourself to a failure is not the way to move forward.

    “Nato mission in Afghanistan as long as Soviet occupation”

    The Nato-led mission in Afghanistan has now lasted as long as the Soviet army’s doomed occupation during the 1980s.


    Related story.

    “Paratroopers defeat Taliban in decisive day of battles”

    Paratroopers have defeated the Taliban in a decisive day of battles in fighting similar to scenes from the Second World War.


    Precisely Mr. Olmert, but the people wasting the time is your present government and not the U.S. who have been asking to halt the settlements for quite some time now unfortunately falling on deaf and stubborn ears, and stalling any real progress.

    “Ehud Olmert says Israel and US are wasting time over settlements”

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took a rare public jab at his successor on Thursday, saying that Israel should agree to the U.S. demand to halt settlement construction in the West Bank in order to restart Middle East peace talks.


    This story says it all, almost. The sad truth of what has been done to these people, and the shame that is absent in the hearts of far too many.

    “Memories and maps keep alive Palestinian hopes of return”

    Refugees remain the most intractable issue of the Middle East conflict, as two new books show


    Continuation of yesterday’s inside report from the Afghan Taliban.

    “Talking to the Taliban about life after occupation”

    Special report: In the last of his series from Afghanistan, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad asks Taliban leaders past and present what kind of regime they would run – and whether there is a chance of negotiated peace


    China is the pot calling the kettle black after completing it own military “war games” with N. Korea recently.

    “China appears to criticize U.S.-South Korean military exercise”


    Clean up time in Brazil?

    “Rio de Janeiro gun battle sees toddler and photographer among casualties”

    Violence that has left at least 49 dead within a week is focused on headquarters of city’s oldest drug faction


    And where would we be if I didn’t mention the continuing antics of one of the most ignorant and plainly dumb women anywhere to have set her eyes on a presidential bid in the 2012 U.S. GE. So as Sarah digs herself deeper into the foot-in-mouth hole she has dug for herself, “Here is Sarah, the gun toting, bear hunting, mooseburger maker, Facebook and Twitter wannabe queen, and half term governor of Alaska.!”

    “Sarah Palin fires back over ‘North Korean allies’ gaffe via Facebook”

    Sarah Palin responds to her critics over her ‘North Korean allies’ confusion with an acerbic Facebook entry


    “Rewriting the rules, Sarah Palin-style: how to run for the White House (or not)”

    US political pundits baffled as former Alaska governor gambles on nationwide book tour and reality TV show


    24 Hours in Pictures


  18. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Did everyone get enough to eat?

    Would like to take this opportunity to wish a speedy recovery to Khirad’s grandmother who has been taken ill, and wish Khirad and his family all the best. You and your grandmother are in our thoughts.

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    As Ed Miliband ruminates over past faults of his Labour Party, Cameron and his goons are destroying what is left of the “middle class” with bare faced impunity. Don’t feel too bad Ed, there’s enough blame to go around.

    Ed Miliband: “Labour failed the middle classes”

    Labour failed the “squeezed” middle classes throughout much of the past decade, Ed Miliband has admitted.


    What took him so long, was he in a coma?

    “Iraq prime minister appeals to warring factions to unite”

    Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, has appeal to the country’s warring political factions to unite after formally accepting a request to form the country’s next government.


    Ok, one question. Why??

    MI6 ‘blamed for Taliban impostor’

    MI6 brought in the fake Taliban commander touted as key to resolving the conflict in Afghanistan, it has been claimed.


    Alarming to read.

    “Five days inside a Taliban jail”

    Special report: Guardian reporter Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was with a group of Taliban last month when US and Afghan forces attacked. In the second of a three-part series, he tells how, after the assault, he ended up being imprisoned by the fighters he had come to interview


    Related story.

    “The Taliban troop with an east London cab driver in its ranks”

    Special report: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Afghanistan meets a growing community of part-time expat jihadists


    As I said here countless times before, Israel does NOT want peace. Not before, not now, not ever.

    “Israel razes ‘mosque’ in West Bank”

    Israeli troops demolished a mosque and over 10 other structures in two areas of the occupied West Bank on Thursday, according to Palestinian sources.


    Time to send Kim to the asylum. If his beef for further attacks on the South is the upcoming joint military drills with S. Korea an d the U.S. then of course an asylum is where he belongs. After all he recently completed his own joint military drills with China, but maybe he forgot. Must be the cognac talking.

    “North Korea warns region is on “brink of war”

    US and South Korean military drills are pushing the peninsula to the brink of war, says North Korea’s state news agency


    This is a very scary story, and shows that going for a simple HIV test is really not that simple at all for some people. It makes me shudder. It’s time for reeducation.

    “A quarter of British people with HIV do not know it”

    Experts worry about danger to partners but also that late diagnosis means there is less chance of successful treatment


    Could someone please put a gag on this woman, she’s so painfully embarrassing not only to America’s image abroad but to women everywhere.

    Oh, and Sarah, yes it is the parent’s fault if they don’t care enough about their children to keep them healthy. I see that yours are gaining a bit of weight too, time to fix your own house. Put your money where your mouth is, and practice what you preach.

    “Sarah Palin criticises Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush”

    Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, has criticised two First Ladies, blasting Michelle Obama for her campaign against childhood obesity and dismissing Barbara Bush as one of the “blue bloods” trying to fix the political system.


    24 Hours in Pictures


    • bitohistory says:

      This is the road to peace and a two-state solution?

      “Our efforts to construct a (Palestinian) state come up against the destruction of this state by Israel,” a statement said, pointing out that the building of the new road had been largely financed by international donors.

      Israel controls some 60 per cent of the Palestinian territory, especially areas around Jewish settlements.

      Figures from the Israeli NGO Bimkom show that around 95 per cent of applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration only granting around 12 permits a year.

      United Nations figures show that in 2009, Israel destroyed 180 Palestinian structures in Area C, including 56 residential buildings.

      And how does one get a building permit on a 100 year-old mosque?
      I do hope you link to the third part on that Taliban story. That was very insightful.
      While reading one of the stories, I clicked a link on the peerage in the UK. Dukes, Duchesses and seven lords a-leaping! Does the average Brit able to keep all these things straight?
      The other day I said Simple S’arah may be ignorant. The more she opens her mouth (or facebook posts and tweets), I think I may be wrong.
      She may not be capable of those learning/thinking thingys.

    • Mightywoof says:

      Good morning Kalima. I just wanted to send my good wishes along with yours to Khirad and his grandmother -- I hope he finds her well and recovering when he gets there!

      My ‘puter is misbehaving and has been for the last couple of weeks. I shouldn’t be surprised -- it’s nearly 7 years old and has already had a couple of new body parts but I think it may be about to give up the ghost 🙁

      I read yesterday about The Palin feuding with Barbara and Michelle -- I long ago ceased wondering about what goes on in that woman’s head and just hope that she truly digs her own grave before 2012. I know she will always have her blind supporters (I know a couple of them) but I sure hope the majority of Americans wake up to her shenanigans soon!! Presidential material my arse.

  19. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone.


    I want to wish you all a wonderful and memorable day with your loved ones and friends. Have a great day!

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    If true, quite a story, and how come they can travel in and out of the U.K?

    Did someone drop the ball again, if so that’s a hell of a big and dangerous ball to drop. Butterfingers!

    “UK-based Taliban spend months fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan”

    Taliban fighter reveals he lives for most of year in London and heads to Afghanistan for combat


    This is turning out to be one heck of a long protest. As long as it remains nonviolent, I’m all for it.

    “Student protests: school’s out across the UK as children take to the streets”

    • Tens of thousands of students protest around country
    • Only significant violence occurs in central London
    • Capital’s police ‘kettle’ children late into evening


    Knowing what we know about the Russian Secret Service, then and even now, they still murder people with impunity in other countries as well as their own. Trying to extradite an accused Russian for trial outside of Russia as recently witnessed with the man accused of murdering Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 involves too many loopholes both diplomatically and politically. The Russians are not known for their hospitality or cooperation. I’m sure that the list of these kind of events must be endless.

    “Russian secret service “murdered six Red Cross nurses”

    A Russian secret service unit was responsible for murdering six Western Red Cross nurses in Chechnya in cold blood fourteen years ago rather than Chechen rebels, it has been claimed.


    China has been asked for years to rein in N.Korea, so far they haven’t done a very good job, dealing out what amounts to a slap on the wrist every time it steps way over the boundries. Let’s see just how much their patience has really been tested this time before we give them a round of applause.

    “North Korean attack on South Korea pushes China’s patience”

    North Korea’s powerful neighbour keen to ensure country doesn’t collapse at same time as maintaining trade links with South


    What’s the point of laws and a trial if you change them to suit your needs. What is the meaning of justice, and why even bother to have a trial in the future, just throw them in jail and keep them there.

    “Israeli military court keeps West Bank protester in jail after end of sentence”

    Abdallah Abu Rahmah, who led protests against separation barrier, is held until prosecutors’ appeal to extend his sentence


    I’m glad to hear that he’s not losing sleep over Palin. The woman is viewed as a joke in more countries than you can imagine. She was daily fodder for British comedy radio during the GE, and continues to be so these days too.

    “Barack Obama reveals he doesn’t view Palin as a threat”

    President Barack Obama indicated he is not worried about a possible 2012 presidential contest against Sarah Palin, saying: “I don’t think about her.”


    Oh Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, didn’t anyone ever teach you to think before you open that truly ignorant mouth of your’s??

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the next President of the United States of America, and may God help all who sail with her.

    Sarah Palin: ‘We’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies’
    A slip of the tongue by Sarah Palin mixing up North and South Korea is a reminder of the credibility hurdles she faces


    You see, Becky, Hannity, Lush and Palin are all famous outside of the U.S. borders, unfortunately for them though, not for the reason they might think.

    “The Right Word: Thanksgiving conversation tips”

    Laura Ingraham gives some legal advice, Sean Hannity calls out liberal propaganda and Glenn Beck talks turkey


    24 Hours in Pictures


  20. Kalima says:

    I left once, then saw this and had to come back to post it before I forgot. Watching it has worn me out. 😯 The smaller cat at the end with just two paws on the treadmill reminds me of me.

    I must admit, I watched it without the sound, it was better.

    Good night all. Enjoy.

Leave your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Back to top
PlanetPOV Tweets
Ongoing Stories