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Monthly Archives: November, 2006

Chris McGreal: South Africa ends long denial over Aids crisis

South Africa will use World Aids Day tomorrow to launch a plan that turns away from years of denial and obfuscation over the disease by President Thabo Mbeki and his health minister, which critics say have cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The new strategy follows a shift in power that sidelined the health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who was accused of promoting pseudo-scientific policies while Aids claims nearly 1,000 lives a day in South Africa.

She was removed from responsibility for HIV policy while ill in hospital, weeks after embarrassing the government at the international Aids conference in Toronto by promoting a diet of garlic and beetroot as a serious alternative to drugs in treating HIV. Leading Aids scientists called Dr Tshabalala-Msimang’s views “immoral” and demanded she be sacked. A senior UN official said her claims belonged to the “lunatic fringe”.

[Article continues at link. Thank goodness the United States relies on more reliable and scientific policies for diminishing the spread of HIV, such as prayer and abstenance.]

Scott Baldauf: In Congo, superstitions breed homeless children

Three months ago, Kisungu Gloire considered himself fortunate. A 13-year-old refugee, he had a house to sleep in, food to eat, and a stepmother who took care of him as one of her own.
Then one day, Kisungu’s fragile world fell apart.

His stepmother delivered a baby that was stillborn. She blamed Kisungu, calling him a witch. She had a dream that Kisungu was trying to kill her, and then tried to burn him with a flaming plastic bag. She took him to a priest to perform an exorcism, but when that appeared to have failed, she finally stopped feeding him and told him to get out.

“When I would ask for food, she refused,” he says. “Another time I asked for food, she took a kitchen knife and cut me in the eye. When I talked with my brother, he said, ‘Just drop it.’ So then I moved out onto the streets.”

[Article continues at link. Fortunately, things are totally different here in the USA. There are no teenagers kicked out of their parent’s house because their parent’s superstition can’t accept them being gay. And all of the babies born because their mother’s superstition can’t accept abortion are adopted immediately by loving, capable families. Thank goodness that in the United States, superstition doesn’t breed homeless children.]

Pope Visits Turkey, Tells Muslims to Renounce Violence

(IsraelNN.com) Pope Benedict XVI Nazi Rat urged Muslim religious leaders during his visit to Turkey on Tuesday to “utterly refuse” to support or participate in violence.

“Terrorism” in St. Augustine’s City of God

From a late April 1986 interview with Noam Chomsky:

Q: Why is “terrorism” such a useful ideological construct?

Chomsky: First, their conception of terrorism is highly selective.
There’s a wonderful story in St. Augustine’s _City of God_, where
Alexander the Great captures a pirate and says, “How dare you molest
the seas!” And the pirate turns to him and says, “How dare you molest
the world! I have a small ship, so I’m a pirate, a thief. But you have
a big navy so you’re an emperor.” If an emperor disturbs the world,
that’s not terrorism, but if a thief disturbs the seas, that is

-found in _Language and Politics_, p.520

And so it goes…

American Anthropologists Stand Up Against Torture and the Occupation of Iraq


The second resolution condemns not only the use of torture by the Bush administration, but it denounces the use of anthropological knowledge in torture and extreme interrogations. The AAA’s statement stands in stark contrast with the American Psychological Association’s ambivalent policies which provides psychologists working in military and intelligence settings with some cover should they wish to assist in extreme interrogations or torture. One of the concerns underlying this resolution comes from reports by Seymour Hersh that CIA interrogators consulted anthropological works such as Raphael Patai’s book, The Arab Mind, to better design culture-specific means of torture and interrogation. This resolution passed unanimously with little debate.

Also see, But We’re at War…

The Association of Social Anthropologists has kicked off their new Ethics blog with a sharp critique of PRISP, the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program, backed by anthropologist and unreformed cold warrior Felix Moos. PRISP offers funding to students in the social sciences, on the condition that they do summer internships and other activities with the CIA and other intelligence agencies, essentially serving as a recruitment tool for US intelligence services. I have posted about PRISP here before, voicing concern about the loss of autonomy this cozying up to the state may engender in the long run, and these concerns are shared by John Gledhill at the ASA:


INSIDE HIGHER ED – At Barnard College, Nadia Abu El-Haj, an anthropologist who is coming up for tenure, is under attack by some alumnae and pro-Israel groups for a book, published by the University of Chicago Press, that was critical of Israeli archaeology and its use in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At Wayne State University, similar groups are pushing the university not to hire Wadie Said for a faculty position in the law school. In that case, critics of Said are attacking him and his late father, the literary theorist Edward Said, saying that both Saids’ activism on behalf of the Palestinian cause has amounted to support for violent groups.

These debates follow the cancellation last month of a lecture by Tony Judt, a professor at New York University, at the Polish consulate in New York City, amid charges that the Anti-Defamation League had encouraged Polish officials to call off the talk. And in June, Yale University turned down Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who is a leading figure in Middle Eastern studies, for a position after a lengthy period in which critics of Cole argued that he was not a suitable choice for the position, in part because of his criticism of Israel. And Princeton University has faced criticism over a possible hire as well.

This weekend, the Middle East Studies Association, of which Cole is the president, voted to expand the work of its academic freedom committee which has focused on helping scholars in the Middle East to engage in efforts on behalf of colleagues in the United States.

“The subtext of these controversies is whether it is going to be allowed for Palestinians to hold positions in academe in the United States. Is it going to be allowed for people who are not Zionists to hold positions? Is there a Zionist litmus test in the United States?” said Cole in an interview Monday. He characterized the pro-Israel groups’ activities as “the privatization of McCarthyism” and said that they represented the most serious threat today to academic freedom in the United States….

Also see, spying on their professors

The End of Academic Freedom and the Israel Lobby (Juan Cole)

Pennsylvania’s legislature was conned by the Neocon master of Disinformation and the Big Lie, David Horowitz, into wasting taxpayer money to investigate if professors mistreat their students because of the latter’s politics. The commission found that such instances are “rare” and that nothing further need be done. D’oh. There is not any way to know how students vote, and why would you bring that in to grading their paper on Moliere’s plays? Pennsylvania voters should consider whether Rep. Gibson C. Armstrong, R-Lancaster, deserves to sit in their legislature if he is going to waste their hard-earned money on these silly wild goose chases. Isn’t there a Pennsylvania (or better, Lancaster) bloggers’ network that can bring Armstrong’s record in this regard before the public?

Finally, see, Rightwing group offers students $100 to spy on professors

Brawl, Standoff in Mexican Congress

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Lawmakers wrestled, slapped each other and tumbled across the floor of Mexico’s Congress after opposition legislators threatened to block the inauguration of the incoming president, whom they accuse of stealing the election.

By late Tuesday, the brawl had turned into a tense standoff between congressmen of President-elect Felipe Calderon’s conservative party – who want him to take the oath of office in Congress – and opposition leftists who have vowed to block the swearing-in ceremony.

The battle showed how hard it could be for Calderon to unite a nation divided since he narrowly defeated opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the disputed July 2 election.

Congress has seen plenty of degrading behavior, but Tuesday’s brawl came as Mexico faces central questions on the effectiveness of its government, with escalating turf wars between drug gangs and bloody street battles in the southern city of Oaxaca, which was seized for five months by leftist protesters.

Right on cue: Federal government launches marketing campaign for psychiatric industry

Under the guise of combating the stigma of mental illness, the U.S. government will soon begin a massive campaign of psychiatric indoctrination, designed to increase the acceptance of psychiatric chemical imbalance theories and labeling, and to pave the way for national psychiatric screening, driving more Americans into seeking psychiatric drug treatment.

Also see, Arrested for Epilepsy and in particular, Psikhushka aka Involuntary [political] commitment.

Oh and for those whom don’t know or missed it: Bush wants to be your shrink “This month”, President Bush plans to unveil a broad new mental health plan called the ‘New Freedom Initiative.’ Never mind that it couldn’t have less to do with freedom; if you’re a thinking American, this initiative should scare the hell out of you.”

Oh, and the APA is proud you don’t Know : The American Psychiatric Association is bragging in its own membership newsletter that they pleased the Bush Administration by successfully discouraging the mainstream media from looking into the corruption exposed by the British Medical Journal in a recent series of articles.

Finally, see the Proposed Model State Emergency Health Powers Act

You know, the APA, the same APA, that endorses participation in military interrogations torture…

The Rape of Iraq and the coming blowout…

While in process of watching this melt-down In Iraq one should know why your kids are dying and many more will die. Over at Moon there is a post and discussion going on that untangles the puzzle. One commenter puts it thus:

Seems too much Fixation on what guy is fighting what guy… Anyone care what any of them are fighting for, or why the sudden HYSTERIA coming out of Washington???

Well, it turns out WE, THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA, ARE WINNING. Maliki told Wash to shove it up their ass – the Wall St. Predators could NOT Steal their infrastructure. They would not implement Prop. 38 or 39 of the so-called Constitution. Victory for the people of America & Iraq. I’ve been waiting for this. That’s why there’s this frantic talk of imposing a Dictator, even a damn Sunni, anyone who allows them to STEAL EVERYTHING. Anyone know what other economic provisions they’re revolting against. THIS IS SO FANTASTIC. Meanwhile Americans sit around like stooges & let their entire economy be stolen…Go Iraqiis…

CPA order #38 is a reconstruction levied tax on Iraqis to fund reconstruction, 5% I think.

CPA order #39 is the “privitization” order de-nationalizing state ownership.

According to Antonia Juhasz in her The Hand-Over that Wasn’t article The (New and Improved) Bremer Orders to wit the CPA Order #39 allows for the following: (1) privatization of Iraq’s 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses; (3) “national treatment” of foreign firms; (4) unrestricted, tax-free remittance of all profits and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses. Thus, it allows the U.S. corporations operating in Iraq to own every business, do all of the work, and send all of their money home. Nothing needs to be reinvested locally to service the Iraqi economy, no Iraqi need be hired, no public services need be guaranteed, and workers’ rights can easily be ignored. And corporations can take out their investments at any time.

Anyway, so there’s both the Constitution & the Bullshit Bremer shoved down their throats the instant before he fled, and this comes from the latter? I forget what they’re called, but the reason for the “interim govt.” was ‘cuz by Int’l Law Occupation Forces couldn’t implement them. Where’s the part about farmers not being allowed to save & use their ancient seeds – are they fighting over that too?

I’m finally reading Antonia Juhasz’s book on “Bu$h Agenda” in Iraq ( Uncle recently posted link to her that kicked me into gear to get it off my bookshelf) & the invasion is about terrorizing ME into allowing Pirates to ransack their economies.

I’m frustrated it’s so impossible to find out the substance of what they are fighting for. We’re hoodwinked into thinking it’s tribal/religious internicine feuds, yet the warfare may be 99% economic. Or put it this way, if they hadn’t thrown so many guys out of work via these policies, would they be fighting? Sunnis fighting to keep from being left w/no oil, and are the rest fighting xUS elite economic agenda? This really changes the picture.

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