Tuesday 24th of May 2022

great moments of freedom .....

‘Usually watching CNN with one
eye as we blog from our undisclosed location doesn’t give us much new fodder,
except for the occasional "stuck landing gear" crisis. But
this week we were aghast at the coverage of Chinese President Hu Jintao at the
White House. 

At an outdoor ceremony, Bush told Hu: 

China has become successful
because the Chinese people are experiencing the freedom to buy and to sell, and
to produce – and China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese
people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship.

Seconds later, one of the people
assembled on the White House south lawn actually tried to speak freely right
there in America – about both the lack of free speech and religious freedom in

That free-speaking woman was
promptly hauled-off & arrested.’

Woman Arrested For Speaking Freely Right After Bush Call For
"Freedom...To Speak Freely"

Freedom and Liberty amuck

From Time Magazine

Stolen Away
As criminal gangs run amuck in Iraq, hundreds of girls have gone missing. Are they being sold for sex?
Posted Sunday, Apr. 23, 2006
The man on the phone with the 14-year-old Iraqi girl called himself Sa'ad. He was calling long distance from Dubai and telling her wonderful things about the place. He was also about to buy her. Safah, the teenager, was well aware of the impending transaction. In the weeks after she was kidnapped and imprisoned in a dark house in Baghdad's middle-class Karada district, Safah heard her captors haggling with Sa'ad over her price. It was finally settled at $10,000. Staring at a floor strewn with empty whiskey bottles, the orphan listened as Sa'ad described the life awaiting her: a beautiful home, expensive clothes, parties with pop stars. Why, she'd be joining two other very happy teenage Iraqi girls living with Sa'ad in his harem. Safah knew that she was running out of time. A fake passport with her photo and assumed name had already been forged for her. But even if she escaped, she had no family who would take her in. She was even likely to end up in prison. What was she to do?

Read more at Time Magazine

A kettle or a pot?

From Al Jazeera
China criticised over Africa lending

Tuesday 24 October 2006, 13:36 Makka Time, 10:36 GMT

China has rejected comments by Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank president, that China and its banks are ignoring human rights and environmental standards when lending to African countries.
[http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8C8ADA42-2D2E-4875-AF55-A1B575E63244.htm|Wolfowitz told Les Echos], the Paris-based sister newspaper of Financial Times, on Tuesday that large Chinese banks ignored the Equator Principles, a voluntary code of conduct under which projects financed by private banks meet social and environmental standards.
He said big Chinese banks "do not respect" the principles. The World Bank has held "very direct" talks with the Chinese about problems it has identified.
"I hope in time our viewpoints will converge," Wolfowitz said.
The Pot Calling The Kettle Black unless it's the kettle calling the pot black..

Another honeypot

From Les echoes

The tyranny of the king cotton
[ 06/11/06 ]

The Americans like to believe that it would be enough that the poor countries open their markets so that a greater prosperity follows. [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.lesechos.fr/&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dles%2Bechos%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG|Unfortunately], when it is about agriculture, they are only words. The United States votes by plebiscite the principles of free market only for the form and supports the special interest groups of Washington and the financeurs of campaigns which require the reverse exactly. In fact well the North-American subsidies contributed to kill, in any case for the moment, the negotiations of the cycle of development of Doha supposed to give to the poor countries new opportunities to increase their growth.
The subsidies harm to the farmers of the countries in the process of development because they cause an increase in the production and a fall of the world prices. The Bush administration, supposed being favorable to the open markets in the whole world, actually almost doubled the level of the American agricultural subsidies in the United States.
Cotton illustrates the problem well. Without subsidies, to produce some would not be interesting for the North-Americans, whereas with them, the United States is the largest cotton exporter of the world. Some 25.000 operating cotton American rich person share 3 to 4 billion dollars of subsidies and most of the money goes to a small fraction of the recipients. The increase in the offer makes fall the prices of cotton, harming the passage to some 10 million farmers only in sub-Saharan Africa. Seldom if few people caused as many damage to a so great number. Naturally, the subsidies of the European Union are much more consequent, but, contrary to the United States, Europe made an effort to reduce them, especially the export subsidies.
Gus: And the yankees are our friends... as long as they can patronise us and the rest of the world, that's fine... for them.