Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 2017

Politics and power: Any significant shift?

“In the last 20 years, there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.” What new power looks like?

This is Anna Hazare, and she may well be the most cutting-edge digital activist in the world today.

And you wouldn’t know it by looking at Hazare, a 77-year-old Indian anticorruption and social justice activist.

In 2011, he was running a big campaign to address everyday corruption in India, a topic that Indian elites love to ignore. So as part of this campaign, he was using all of the traditional tactics that a good Gandhian organizer would use. So he was on a hunger strike, and Hazare realized through his hunger that actually maybe this time, in the 21st century, a hunger strike wouldn’t be enough.

0:53 He started playing around with mobile activism. So the first thing he did is he said to people, “Okay, why don’t you send me a text message if you support my campaign against corruption?” So he does this, he gives people a short code, and about 80,000 people do it. Okay, that’s pretty respectable.

But then he decides, “Let me tweak my tactics a little bit.” He says, “Why don’t you leave me a missed call?” Now, for those of you who have lived in the global South, you’ll know that missed calls are a really critical part of global mobile culture. I see people nodding. People leave missed calls all the time: If you’re running late for a meeting and you just want to let them know that you’re on the way, you leave them a missed call.

If you’re dating someone and you just want to say “I miss you” you leave them a missed call. So a note for a dating tip here, in some cultures, if you want to please your lover, you call them and hang up. (Laughter) So why do people leave missed calls? Well, the reason of course is that they’re trying to avoid charges associated with making calls and sending texts.

When Hazare asked people to leave him a missed call, let’s have a little guess how many people actually did this? Thirty-five million. So this is one of the largest coordinated actions in human history.

It’s remarkable. And this reflects the extraordinary strength of the emerging Indian middle class and the power that their mobile phones bring. But he used that, Hazare ended up with this massive CSV file of mobile phone numbers, and he used that to deploy real people power on the ground to get hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets in Delhi to make a national point of everyday corruption in India. It’s a really striking story.

This is me when I was 12 years old. I hope you see the resemblance. And I was also an activist, and I have been an activist all my life. I had this really funny childhood where I traipsed around the world meeting world leaders and Noble prize winners, talking about Third World debt, as it was then called, and demilitarization. I was a very, very serious child. (Laughter)

And back then, in the early ’90s, I had a very cutting-edge tech tool of my own: the fax. And the fax was the tool of my activism. And at that time, it was the best way to get a message to a lot of people all at once. I’ll give you one example of a fax campaign that I ran. It was the eve of the Gulf War and I organized a global campaign to flood the hotel, the Intercontinental in Geneva, where James Baker and Tariq Aziz were meeting on the eve of the war, and I thought if I could flood them with faxes, we’ll stop the war.

Unsurprisingly, that campaign was wholly unsuccessful. There are lots of reasons for that, but there’s no doubt that one sputtering fax machine in Geneva was a little bit of a bandwidth constraint in terms of the ability to get a message to lots of people. And so, I went on to discover some better tools. I cofounded Avaaz, which uses the Internet to mobilize people and now has almost 40 million members, and I now run Purpose, which is a home for these kinds of technology-powered movements. So what’s the moral of this story? Is the moral of this story, you know what, the fax is kind of eclipsed by the mobile phone? This is another story of tech-determinism?

Well, I would argue that there’s actually more to it than that. I’d argue that in the last 20 years, something more fundamental has changed than just new tech. I would argue that there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.

You ask any activist how to understand the world, and they’ll say, “Look at where the power is, who has it, how it’s shifting.” And I think we all sense that something big is happening.

Henry Timms and I — Henry’s a fellow movement builder — got talking one day and we started to think, how can we make sense of this new world? How can we describe it and give it a framework that makes it more useful? Because we realized that many of the lessons that we were discovering in movements actually applied all over the world in many sectors of our society. So I want to introduce you to this framework: Old power, meet new power.

And I want to talk to you about what new power is today. New power is the deployment of mass participation and peer coordination — these are the two key elements — to create change and shift outcomes. And we see new power all around us.

This is Beppe Grillo he was a populist Italian blogger (and still is?) who, with a minimal political apparatus and only some online tools, won more than 25 percent of the vote in recent Italian elections. This is Airbnb, which in just a few years has radically disrupted the hotel industry without owning a single square foot of real estate.

This is Kickstarter, which we know has raised over a billion dollars from more than five million people. Now, we’re familiar with all of these models. But what’s striking is the commonalities, the structural features of these new models and how they differ from old power.

Let’s look a little bit at this. Old power is held like a currency.

New power works like a current. Old power is held by a few. New power isn’t held by a few, it’s made by many. Old power is all about download, and new power uploads. And you see a whole set of characteristics that you can trace, whether it’s in media or politics or education.

we’ve talked a little bit about what new power is. Let’s, for a second, talk about what new power isn’t. New power is not your Facebook page. I assure you that having a social media strategy can enable you to do just as much download as you used to do when you had the radio.

Just ask Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, I assure you that his Facebook page has not embraced the power of participation. New power is not inherently positive. In fact, this isn’t an normative argument that we’re making, there are many good things about new power, but it can produce bad outcomes.

More participation, more peer coordination, sometimes distorts outcomes and there are some things, like things, for example, in the medical profession that we want new power to get nowhere near. And thirdly, new power is not the inevitable victor. In fact, unsurprisingly, as many of these new power models get to scale, what you see is this massive pushback from the forces of old power.

Just look at this really interesting epic struggle going on right now between Edward Snowden and the NSA. You’ll note that only one of the two people on this slide is currently in exile. And so, it’s not at all clear that new power will be the inevitable victor.

7:43 That said, keep one thing in mind: We’re at the beginning of a very steep curve. So you think about some of these new power models, right? These were just like someone’s garage idea a few years ago, and now they’re disrupting entire industries. And so, what’s interesting about new power, is the way it feeds on itself.

Once you have an experience of new power, you tend to expect and want more of it. So let’s say you’ve used a peer-to-peer lending platform like Lending Tree or Prosper, then you’ve figured out that you don’t need the bank, and who wants the bank, right? And so, that experience tends to embolden you it tends to make you want more participation across more aspects of your life.

And what this gives rise to is a set of values. We talked about the models that new power has engendered — the Airbnbs, the Kickstarters. What about the values? And this is an early sketch at what new power values look like.

New power values prize transparency above all else. It’s almost a religious belief in transparency, a belief that if you shine a light on something, it will be better. And remember that in the 20th century, this was not at all true. People thought that gentlemen should sit behind closed doors and make comfortable agreements. New power values of informal, networked governance.

New power folks would never have invented the U.N. today, for better or worse. New power values participation, and new power is all about do-it-yourself. In fact, what’s interesting about new power is that it eschews some of the professionalization and specialization that was all the rage in the 20th century.

9:17 So what’s interesting about these new power values and these new power models is what they mean for organizations. So we’ve spent a bit of time thinking, how can we plot organizations on a two-by-two where, essentially, we look at new power values and new power models and see where different people sit? We started with a U.S. analysis, and let me show you some interesting findings.

So the first is Apple. In this framework, we actually described Apple as an old power company. That’s because the ideology, the governing ideology of Apple is the ideology of the perfectionist product designer in Cupertino. It’s absolutely about that beautiful, perfect thing descending upon us in perfection. And it does not value, as a company, transparency. In fact, it’s very secretive.

Now, Apple is one of the most succesful companies in the world. So this shows that you can still pursue a successful old power strategy. But one can argue that there’s real vulnerabilites in that model. I think another interesting comparison is that of the Obama campaign versus the Obama presidency. (Applause)

I like President Obama, but he ran with new power at his back, right? And he said to people, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. And he used crowdfunding to power a campaign. But when he got into office, he governed like more or less all the other presidents did. And this is a really interesting trend, is when new power gets powerful, what happens?

So this is a framework you should look at and think about where your own organization sits on it. And think about where it should be in five or 10 years. So what do you do if you’re old power? Well, if you’re there thinking, in old power, this won’t happen to us. Then just look at the Wikipedia entry for Encyclopædia Britannica. Let me tell you, it’s a very sad read.

11:14 But if you are old power, the most important thing you can do is to occupy yourself before others occupy you, before you are occupied. Imagine that a group of your biggest skeptics are camped in the heart of your organization asking the toughest questions and they can see everything inside of your organization.

And ask them, would they like what they see and should our model change? What about if you’re new power? Is new power kind of just riding the wave to glory? I would argue no. I would argue that there are some very real challenges to new power in this nascent phase. Let’s stick with the Occupy Wall Street example for a moment. Occupy was this incredible example of new power, the purest example of new power.

And yet, it failed to consolidate. So the energy that it created was great for the meme phase, but they were so committed to participation, that they never got anything done. And in fact that model means that the challenge for new power is: how do you use institutional power without being institutionalized?

One the other end of the spectra is Uber. Uber is an amazing, highly scalable new power model. That network is getting denser and denser by the day. But what’s really interesting about Uber is it hasn’t really adopted new power values. This is a real quote from the Uber CEO recently: He says, “Once we get rid of the dude in the car” — he means drivers — “Uber will be cheaper.”

New power models live and die by the strength of their networks. By whether the drivers and the consumers who use the service actually believe in it. Because they’re not an exercise of top-down perfectionism, they are about the network. And so, the challenge, and this is why it’s in no way surprising, is that Uber’s drivers are now unionizing. It’s extraordinary.

Uber’s drivers are turning on Uber. And the challenge for Uber — this isn’t an easy situation for them — is that they are locked into a broader superstrcuture that is really old power. They’ve raised more than a billion dollars in the capital markets. Those markets expect a financial return, and they way you get a financial return is by squeezing and squeezing your users and your drivers for more and more value and giving that value to your investors.

 the big question about the future of new power, in my view, is: Will that old power just emerge? So will new power elites just become old power and squeeze? Or will that new power base bite back? Will the next big Uber be co-owned by Uber drivers? And I think this going to be a very interesting structural question.

13:56 Finally, think about new power being more than just an entity that scales things that make us have slightly better consumer experiences. My call to action for new power is to not be an island. We have major structural problems in the world today that could benefit enormously from the kinds of mass participation and peer coordination that these new power players know so well how to generate.

And we badly need them to turn their energies and their power to big, what economists might call public goods problems, that are often beyond markets where investors can easily be found.

I think if we can do that, we might be able to fundamentally change not only human beings’ sense of their own agency and power — because I think that’s the most wonderful thing about new power, is that people feel more powerful — but we might also be able to change the way we relate to each other and the way we relate to authority and institutions. And to me, that’s absolutely worth trying for.

Patsy Z  shared this link

“In the last 20 years, there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.” What new power looks like:|By Jeremy Heimans

Every Single Article Ever Written About Being Gay in Beirut In One Convenient Article

ohmyhappiness Posted on November 5, 2013

It’s a dark night in Beirut, the San Francisco of the Middle East. This darkness is powerful.

It represents Beirut’s past, its present, and its bleak future. But tonight, it also represents the state of gay people in this Near Eastern city by the sea.

Hassan, whose name I have changed to protect his privacy, even though there are thousands of Ahmeds in Lebanon, is sipping on a gin and tonic, and in doing so, powerfully defies his religion. For him, having grown up in a Muslim household, religion has turned its back on him, because Hassan is gay.

A gay Muslim. In Beirut. Shocking.

Hassan tells me how hard it is to come out in Beirut.

This story is very specific to the Arab world, because everywhere else on this planet, it’s so easy to come out (Not accurate).

We are sitting in Bardo, a gay bar in Hamra. Madonna and Fairuz sing a song together, embodying the endless contrasts that the New York City of the Middle East represents.

Hassan is a graphic designer by day and a belly dancer by night, as are all Arab gay men. When he first told his parents he was gay, they were upset. His mother even cried. In this conservative country, it is the last thing a parent wants to hear.

Beirut’s tumultuous history has meant that gay people have been ostracized for years.

I will now make a comment about how war often affects gay people more, but I won’t offer any actual evidence for it. I want you to feel how much suffering these people have gone through, and I’ll use the war to make you feel bad for them. So, yeah. War is very tough on homosexuals.

Hamed Sinno, the openly gay frontman of the Lebanese band Mashrou3 Leila, is gay. His gay voice represents the entire Arab world. Through his gay songs, he captures the angst of the youth, singing about things no one gay has ever sung about in a gay way.

One of the band’s most famous songs is called “Shim el Yasmeen”, a gay song about gay love. Hamed Sinno is gay. Beirut is the Provincetown of the Middle East.

In the clumsy offices of Helem (tolerance), Samir looks up from behind his desk, surrounded by rainbow flags.

The flags, powerful symbols of gayness in the West, have now been adapted by this NGO, the first gay one of its kind in the Middle East. It’s a sign that Helem is a safe space. You almost feel like it is a safe space in the United States.

What does Helem do exactly? I did not care to find out. The mere fact that they exist was enough of a statement because, after all, it’s so hard to be gay in Beirut, the Mykonos of the Arab world.

Samir tells me about Article 534, a clause in the Penal Code (Samir doesn’t even laugh when saying “Penal”) of Lebanon that dates back to the days when Lebanon was under Ottoman control. One can imagine that every year, thousands of gays are arrested under that law. I can’t confirm or deny that number, so let’s just go with it. Samir explains that it is very hard to be gay in Beirut.

After our meeting, he takes me to a sauna on the outskirts of Beirut. On our way, we drive by buildings still riddled with bullets, a daily reminder of the war and how hard it is on homosexuals.

Samir tells me about how a few months ago, the police raided a cinema where gay men used to go to have sex.

This is horrifying in two ways.

First, how dare the police infringe on the basic human rights of a human being.

Second, how filthy Arab sexuality is, where men have sex with other men in movie theaters.

Once we get to the sauna, Samir tells me about how condoms are not used inside.

This excites me and scares me at the same time. What a delightful mix of emotions this country brings. Inside, men have sex with men in a scene out of a gay A Thousand and One Nights.

A gorgeous Lawrence of Arabia comes up to me, wearing only a towel. I have been in exactly the same situation in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, but this one is different because of the untamed sexuality of Arab men.

Later that night, I’m walking downtown, where it is not uncommon to see military men walking around with their guns. There is no reason for me to share this fact, other than to remind you that Beirut is a terrifying place to live in. (Mind you it is 2013)

Outside Beirut, it’s a different story for gay people, but I will not write about it, because that would require actual investigative journalism, and who has time for that? I don’t. I have a plane to catch, and I still need to tell you about all the Hezbollah flags I saw on the way to the airport.

On the way to the airport, I saw lots of Hezbollah flags. Pictures of martyrs look down on you, and your wildest Arab fantasies can come to life, until your realize the horrifying fact that they would cut off your penis, or so I imagine (maybe the Druze do: they did it to a Syrian who married a Druze girls).

I get on the plane with a full understanding of what it is like to be gay in Beirut, after having spent 48 hours in this, the London of the Middle East.

There are no lesbians in Beirut. (At least officially. No one would dare publish any such investigation?)

Note: In January 2017, a judge threw out all cases related on charges to being gay

So-Called “Religious Wars” were planned decades ago?

Russia intervention in Syria is a Massive Game Changer

This index has risen at a mind-numbing rate over the years. To give you an idea of how far this index has increased since we started it almost 11 years ago, consider this:

From Feb 2005 to Jan 2006 the Index moved from 300-501.

The current reading is 5750.

When Israel attacked Lebanon, we stated that the situation was hot, and that was back in 2006. This index has been dead on regarding predicting violence, religious intolerance and the general surge of violent behaviour the world has experienced over the years.

If we could have invested money in this index all our subscribers would be millionaires by now; the same applies to the adult index below.

What is it telling us now?

We are in the maximum overdrive zone.

Nations have very little tolerance for those that try to stamp on their heads, especially governments they no longer respect.

This is a reminder for the U.S, which Russia and China no longer respect it or fear it.

In fact, we are one of the few voices that went on record to state that Russia would overtly go out of its way to challenge and attack the U.S, especially after the Ukraine incident.  We also went on to say that China would follow in Russia’s footsteps and then these two would team up to openly challenge the US.

No matter what anyone states, the U.S does not have the firepower to take on both Russia and China.

Russia, Syrian and the holy religious war

Russia gave the U.S one hour notice before it started bombing in Syria (Not believable), China has countered that they will attack the U.S if they violate what they claim are their waters in the South China Sea.  These guys are not backing down anymore. They have had it with US hegemony and failed policies that have made the world a far uglier place than it was and should be. (The Dollar and sanctions on States that displease US policies)

Russians in general, when dealing with outsiders are slow to anger. Their silence can sometimes be mistaken for being passive or nonchalant, but when you cross a certain point, the game changes.

When the U.S and Europe came into Russia’s backyard and started telling them what to do, that point was reached. The bear once activated does not back down, and it will hunt till its killed or it kills its foe.

Russia is going to challenge the U.S and every twist and turn of the road.

Next, they will challenge NATO in a more open manner and show the world that NATO is nothing but a teddy bear. NATO’s strength lies in the illusion it creates that it will help any nation that is challenged.

We would like to see just how many nations will come to help Turkey or Lithuania, or Poland or any other member of NATO if Russia challenges them. (You cannot seriously challenge a superpower when too far away by land)

More importantly, Putin is going to make the House of Saud (Saudi Kingdom) pay very dearly for their betrayal. They made a strategic error when they double crossed Russia by agreeing to take the oil markets down (even hurting themselves for decades); now they will pay the price for decades to come

We will not be surprised if they start to equip the Houthis and the Yemeni army with serious weapons to give the House of Saud a dose of their own medicine.

Without any help, the Houthis and the Yemeni Army are already a painful thorn. Things will only get worse. In fact, Putin might send bombers to Saudi Arabia if they provoke Russia enough.

The Houthis and the Yemeni Army continue to push into Saudi Kingdom (regions that Yemen ceded to the Kingdom 3 decades ago, under pressure). Full Story

Putin also decided to sell the advanced version of the S-300 to Iran, only after Saudi Arabia attacked Yemen.

Iran will be happy to take on the House of Saud, and Russia is providing them with the necessary means to do so.

One thing many forget is that despite all the stuff that is being said about  Assad, he is the only Muslim leader that has gone out of his way to protect a group of Orthodox Christians in this country, who would have been slaughtered without his intervention.

The Russian Orthodox Church asked Putin if he would step in to save the Christians of the world that are being murdered by the so-called moderate rebels the U.S seems to arm all over the Middle-East. To which Putin answered, it will be so.

For example,  the rebel group al-Nusra Front, one of the players in the region Russia is now pounding, previously overran the Christian village of Maaloula, 40 miles north of Damascus, executing three Christians and kidnapping a dozen nuns before being driven out by the Syrian army.

During the battle for that village, one Christian addressed the BBC camera operator with these chilling words: “Tell the Europeans and the Americans that we sent you St Paul 2,000 years ago to take you from the darkness, and you sent us terrorists to kill us. Full Story  

 Russia’s entering into Syria is a holy war; it is the latest crusade of our time. The Russian Orthodox Church declared this, when its senior cleric, Vsevolod Chaplin, said:

Whatever they are trying to justify terrorism with, it cannot be justified. Thus, any fight against terrorism is moral; we can even call it a holy fight. It is a holy fight to defend the brethren, to protect the holy sites and the churches in Syria.

The active position of our country has always been connected with the protection of the weak and oppressed, like the Middle East Christians who are now experiencing a real genocide. Russia’s role has always been in protecting peace and justice for all Mideast peoples.

Putin is the St. Constantine of our time, for, like that priestly king of old, he has unsheathed the holy sword of the Church to strike down the enemies of God for the cause of humanity. Russia is following the Christian precept of loving God, honouring the state, and defending the brethren. The Russians are abiding by the teachings of St. Peter,

The Middle East needs tough, ruthless leaders for it is composed of tribes that hate each other, and if left to their own devices they will devour each other.

The Middle-East was far safer and stable with Saddam, Khadaffi, Hafez Assad etc.

Now that they are gone those countries are in tatters.

This is a religious war, and the war has just escalated.

Note, that as observers, we do not take sides, we just report what the trend is dictating. Our opinion matters not and over the years we have found it easier to distance ourselves from the situation. Emotions only exacerbate the situation.

The house of Saud is in Putin’s line of fire, so expect things to truly heat up in the months to come. (The problem is: Who will succeed the Kingdom except the Wahhabi extremists?)

There is no such thing as moderate rebels, these rebels, slaughter, rape and kill Christians and Shia Muslims. There is  Sunni; there is Shia, and then there is the Wahabbi Doctrine or Sect that most Saudi’s seem to adhere to; a view that is more radical and more violent.

The Houtis, by the way, are also a branch of Shia as is Assad’s tribe.

Additional notes

Many might ask why we cover political and health issues when our primary focus in the stock markets and the financial arena.  The short and straightforward answer is that all these fields are connected; we don’t have free market forces anymore.

Everything is manipulated; from the food, you eat to data you are provided.

If you are aware of this, you can plan accordingly. Identifying the problem is over 80% of the solution, and this is why most people don’t know what to do because they don’t understand the problem. (The context of the game)

Now you know why we are the only financial website that covers such a wide array of topics that on the surface appear to be unrelated but are in fact, deeply interwoven.

Mass psychology is a very powerful tool, and if employed correctly can help you spot the abnormal levels of manipulation, the masses are subjected to. We firmly suggest that you read or view Plato’s allegory of the cave.

Any more scare-tactics arguments to support failed Capitalism?

Capitalism has always generated massive inequalities, but there were three majors political arguments to counterbalance that fact.

First, trickle-down economics, the idea that if the rich get richer, the poorest layer of society will do better. That’s no longer the case.

Second: capitalism brings stability. Again, no longer the case.

Third: it would accelerate the path of technological innovation. No longer the case. Except when the military contribute its big budget for specific innovation.

So, what’s left for the supporters of capitalism now that all practical arguments are gone?

They have no choice but to revert to purely moral arguments, that is the ideology of debt:
1. (“people who don’t pay their debt are bad”), And entire nations too, in the form of sovereign debt
2. the idea that if you’re not working harder than you would like in a job that you don’t particularly enjoy, then you are a bad person.”

The history of the economy in the USA was based on taking risk and if you go bankrupt, no blame, blemish or financial harassment would accrue to you or your family. You go back and start another business.

This is No longer the case, since financial multinationals is acquiring every business generating any surplus. Especially, overseas and developing States.

And the jury selected a memorial for 9/11:

Winner is an American Moslem…

Ten years after 9/11, a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel re-imagines its aftermath

A quick review on Goodreads of Amy Waldman‘s book: The Submission

A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner’s name—and discover he is an American Muslim.

Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country’s.

The memorial’s designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell.

As the news of his selection leaks to the press, Claire finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself—as unknowable as he is gifted.

In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.

In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman’s cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure their perspectives. A striking portrait of a fractured city striving to make itself whole, The Submission is a piercing and resonant novel by an important new talent.

Did Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa? The Secret History

Amy Goodman & Juan González published on Democracy Now this Dec. 11, 2013:

As the world focuses on Tuesday’s historic handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, we look back at the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s memorial.

In the words of Mandela, the Cubans‘ destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor … [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa.’

Historian Piero Gleijeses argues that it was Cuba’s victory in Angola in 1988 that forced Pretoria to set Namibia free and helped break the back of apartheid South Africa.

We speak to Gleijeses about his new book, “Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991,” and play archival footage of Mandela meeting Fidel Castro in Cuba.

The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: We turn now to the historic moment Tuesday when President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raúl Castro as both men participated in the memorial service for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

The White House said the handshake was unscripted. It marked the first time a U.S. president has shaken hands with a Cuban leader since 2000.

In Washington, Republicans expressed outrage over the exchange. During a hearing in the House, Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida sparred with Secretary of State John Kerry, who said it did not represent any change in U.S. policy toward Cuba.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: Mr. Secretary, sometimes a handshake is just a handshake. But when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raúl Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant. Raúl Castro uses that hand to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates. In fact, right now, as we speak, Cuban opposition leaders are being detained, and they’re being beaten while trying to commemorate today, which is International Human Rights Day. They will feel disheartened when they see these photos. Could you please tell the Cuban people living under that repressive regime that a handshake nonwithstanding, the U.S. policy toward the cruel and sadistic Cuban dictatorship has not weakened? Thank you.

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Ladies and gentlemen, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela. And the president is at an international funeral with leaders from all over the world. He didn’t choose who’s there. They’re there to honor Mandela. And we appreciate that people from all over the world and from all different beliefs and walks of life who appreciated Nelson Mandela and/or were friends of his came to honor him. And I think, as the president said—I urge you to go read his speech, or if you didn’t see it or haven’t read it, because the president said in his speech today honoring Nelson Mandela, he said, “We urge leaders to honor Mandela’s struggle for freedom by upholding the basic human rights of their people”—

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN: And would you say Raúl Castro is upholding their basic human rights?



The Myth Of The Jewish Genome as Biblical as Dracula

The Myth Of The Jewish Genome as Biblical as Dracula <img class=”aligncenter wp-image-15967 size-full” src=”” alt=”The Myth Of The Jewish Genome as Biblical as Dracula ” width=”600″ height=”773″ srcset=” 600w,×300.jpg 233w,×129.jpg 100w” sizes=”(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px”/>

Top Israeli scientist says Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria, not Palestine

An Israeli geneticist challenges the “Zionist” hypothesis that all Jews belong to one race and are intimately related, thus giving them a common ancestor in the Holy Land and a Biblical claim to Palestine.

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.” 

But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds.

It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland. Full Story

This puts a huge dent in the Zionist claims that Jerusalem belongs to them.

It appears that the Palestinians might have more of a claim to the territory Israel is trying to grab and has already annexed.

Note, these are not our views, we are providing you with alternative viewpoints, but what makes this claim so interesting is that it is being put forward by an Israeli scientist.

Note 1: And if it were Not “put forward by an Israeli scientist”? It wouldn’t be published?

Note 2: The history that Ashkenazi Jews came from Khazaria is an old one. Khazaria was a kingdom in the Caucasus who decided to be circumcised according to a tribal custom that matched a Jewish/Christian sect rituals.

It was subjugated by Russia in around 1,000 AC and the people fled westward to eastern and central Europe.

Note 3: Even the Jews of Andalusia (South of Spain, or Sefarads) are Not necessarily from the Near-East.

TORTURE and ABUSE , PRISONERS, and ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION of Palestinians in Israel occupied territories



‘Israeli military justice authorities arbitrarily detained Palestinians who advocated non-violent protest against Israeli settlements and the route of the separation barrier.

In January,a military appeals court increased the prison sentence of Abdallah Abu Rahme, from the village of Bil’in, to 16 months in prison on charges of inciting violence and organizing illegal demonstrations, largely on the basis of coerced statements of children.’

  • According to the Israel Prison Service, there were about 4424 Palestinian prisoners and security detainees being held in Israeli prisons as of the end of April 2012. According to prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, there were 4653 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as of May 1, 2012.
  • Since 1967, Israel has imprisoned upwards of 700,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, or about 20% of the total population of the occupied territories.
  • Those who are charged are subjected to Israeli military courts that human rights organizations have criticized for failing to meet the minimum standards required for a fair trial.
  • According to Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: “Palestinians in the [occupied territories] subject to Israel’s military justice system continued to face a wide range of abuses of their right to a fair trial. They are routinely interrogated without a lawyer and, although they are civilians, are tried before military not ordinary courts.”
  • According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report:


  • Until 1999, the use of torture by Israeli military and security forces was both widespread and officially condoned under the euphemism of “moderate physical pressure.” Methods included beatings, forcing prisoners into painful physical positions for long periods of time, and sleep deprivation.
  • In 2000 it was revealed that between 1988 and 1992 Israel’s internal security force, the Shin Bet, had systematically tortured Palestinians during the first, mostly nonviolent, uprising against Israel’s occupation, using methods that went beyond what was allowable under government guidelines for “moderate physical pressure.”
  • These methods included violent shaking, tying prisoners into painful positions for long periods, subjecting them to extreme heat or cold, and severe beatings, including kicking. At least 10 Palestinians died and hundreds of others were maimed as a result.
  • In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the use of “moderate physical pressure” was illegal, however reports of torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners continued unabated.
  • Amnesty International’s 2011 Annual Report on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories states:

    Consistent allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including of children, were frequently reported. Among the most commonly cited methods were beatings, threats to the detainee or their family, sleep deprivation, and being subjected to painful stress positions for long periods. Confessions allegedly obtained under duress were accepted as evidence in Israeli military and civilian courts.

  • Other abusive practices employed by Israel against Palestinian prisoners include the use of solitary confinement, denial of family visits, and forcing prisoners to live in unsanitary living conditions.
  • The harsh conditions endured by Palestinians in Israeli prisons prompted a series of hunger strikes, including a mass hunger strike by more than 1500 prisoners in early 2012 leading to some concessions from Israel. The concessions reportedly included an end to the use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure and allowing family visits for prisoners from Gaza.


  • Israel uses a procedure known as administrative detention to imprison Palestinians without charge or trial for months or even years. Administrative detention orders are normally issued for six-month periods, which can be extended indefinitely.
  • Administrative detention was first instituted by the British during the Mandate era in 1945, prior to the creation of Israel.
  • There are currently as of May 29, 2012, approximately 308 Palestinians being held in administrative detention.
  • Since 1967, some 100,000 administrative detention orders have been issued by Israel.
  • Although there are none currently being held in administrative detention, Israeli authorities have in the past used the procedure against Palestinian children as well as adults.
  • Israel’s frequent use of administrative detention has been condemned by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Israeli human rights groups like B’Tselem.
  • An end to the use of administrative detention was one of the main demands of a recent wave of hunger strikes by Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
  • In May 2012, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch implicitly admitted that Israel uses administrative detention for reasons other than stated urgent “security” concerns, urging authorities to “use it only if there’s a need.”

How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization

On the brink of burning Israeli passport

“Not in my name, Zionist people”

She is young. She is pretty. She is a university graduate and a computer engineer. She is also an Israeli Parliamentarian.

And the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport? Because behind that wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death of Ayelet Shaked.

MIRA BAR HILLEL published in The Independent this Friday 11 July 2014

Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport

I can no longer stand by while Israeli politicians like Ayelet Shaked condone the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children


Left: Palestinians carry the body of three-year-old Mohammed Mnassrah; Right: Ayelet Shaked, a member of the Jewish Home party in Israel’s Knesse

Ayelet Shaked represents the far-right Jewish Home party in the Knesset. This means she is well to the right of Benyamin Netanyahu, just in case you thought such a thing was not possible.

On Monday Ayelet quoted this on her Facebook page:

“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses.

They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

A week earlier, just before 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair was snatched and burned alive, Shaked wrote:

“This is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. The reality is that this is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started it.”

So even before the boy died horribly she declared him to be the enemy, and afterwards, without any apparent hint of guilt or remorse, she was calling for the deaths of innocent women and their unborn babies.

She made me think about my mother’s sister Klara and her three small children who were living in Krakow in 1939 when the Germans invaded.

The Nazi Germans decided that the Jews – all Jews – were the enemy and had to be eliminated, not least the women and the little snakes they were raising. “Why? Ask them – they started it”, as the Nazis would say if asked.

I never met Klara or her children who had perished by 1942. I did meet my uncle Romek, who survived by working in Oskar Schindler‘s factory, and his wife Yetti who survived because she spoke good German and was able to pretend she was a fine German woman who had kicked out her Polish Jewish husband, as she smiled prettily at every Nazi she came across.

My father’s brother Shmuel and his young family also perished before I was born, taken in Holland, to where they had escaped from Berlin, to the same camp Anne Frank died in.

I know what it is to have been helpless victims, living and dying under racist oppressors’ boots, and I know that today’s Israelis are no longer the victims but the perpetrators of the current crisis. Yes, Hamas are dreadful hate-filled killers and woe betide Israel had they had the wherewithal to carry out their intentions.

But the fact remains that it is Israel which has the tanks, bombers, artillery, nuclear warheads and missile defences of Goliath, while ordinary Gazans had nothing a week ago and even less today, as even hospitals and schools were bombed.

Shaked got what she wanted: the death toll in Gaza is nearing 100, one in four being children. Hundreds more have serious injuries in a place where hospitals have also been bombed and medical essentials are running out.

Video: Air strikes in Gaza

In Israel, in spite of Hamas’s best efforts, not one death has been recorded, nor any serious injuries, although a wedding party was disrupted and got on the television news.

And, as the bombs rain on Gaza, Israeli teens have taken to tweeting scantily-clad selfies alongside their political sentiments.  In two now deleted tweets, one wrote “Death to all of you Arabs you transfag”, while another proclaimed “Arabs may you be paralyzed & die with great suffering!”  Another teen simply tweeted “Death to these f****** Arabs”, and attached a photo of themselves pouting alongside it.

Seeing these angelic faces of evil spouting such genocidal rhetoric, I pick up my Israeli passport and a box of matches. “Not in my name, people. Not in my name!”




January 2017

Blog Stats

  • 1,519,098 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 764 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: