Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christians alarm: forbidden to celebrate Christmas in Java

ASIA/INDONESIA - Christians alarm: forbidden to celebrate Christmas in Java
Bogor (Agenzia Fides) - Thanks to an unfortunate alliance between the civil authorities and Islamic extremist groups, the Catholic faithful of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Parung, south of Jakarta (in the Diocese of Bogor), cannot celebrate Christmas Mass.
A garrison of Islamic extremists appeared a few days near the church. A banner reads ominously: "We, the Muslim people of Parung, support and will put into practice the decree of Regent No 453.2/556, which orders to stop the religious activities of the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist".
Local sources of Fides confirm that the Regency of Bogor (administrative unit) has issued an order "prohibiting Christians public religious activities " and, in fact, does not allow the Christians to celebrate Christmas, citing "security reasons".
"It is a story that repeats itself and that also took place last year when we celebrated Christmas in a parking lot," says a Catholic from Parung to Fides. The faithful are scared of violence and fear those who approach the church.
Christmas celebrations and any public expression of religion will not be allowed, even to the "Indonesian Christian Church" (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, GKI) in Bogor. The GKI, Protestant denomination with a strong presence on the island of Java, continues its struggle for the rule of law: though having received regular approval to build a church in Bogor, the realization of the work is hindered by the Islamic militants and also by the Mayor of Bogor, Diani Budiarto, who issued an order revoking the permit (see Fides 23/07/2011).
The unfavorable climate towards Christians also extends to the churches already built. Fr. Emanuel Harja, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Indonesia, explains to Fides: "There is unrest in the area of West Java for the presence of Islamic militants Defenders Front (FPI).
During 2011 there have been several incidents of violence. For many in the Christian communities the right to worship and practice their faith is severely limited or denied. Extremist groups are small but strong, and would only like an Islamic nation and to impose the Sharia law. But this goes against the Constitution, against the Pancasila (the five basic principles of the country) and against pluralism that is a fundamental character of Indonesia.
The authorities have the obligation to stop them, but sometimes this does not happen". The PMS National Director concludes: "We express our solidarity to the Christians in Bogor. A road that can be taken to try to overcome the problem is dialogue and interaction between Christian and Muslim leaders, to desist extremists from their intentions " . (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2011)
By: Ignatius Ismartono
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


VERY TRUE and VERY WISE WORDS .... Keep this in your mind ....

 Someone has written these beautiful words. Must read and try to understand the deep meaning of it.
They are like the ten commandments to follow in life all the time.

1] Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout.

2] So a Car's WINDSHIELD is so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4] All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

5] Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6] Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a bend, not the end!
7] When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn't solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8] A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"

9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.
" Our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone,
but those of another praying for
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Friday, October 14, 2011


Jesus: Hello. Did you call me?
Man: Called you? No. Who is this?
Jesus: This is Jesus. I heard your prayers. So I thought I will chat.
Man: I do pray. Just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I am in the midst of something.
Jesus: What are you busy at? Ants are busy too.
Man: Don't know. But I can't find free time. Life has become hectic. It's rush hour all the time.
Jesus: Sure. Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you results. Activity consumes time. Productivity frees it.
Man: I understand. But I still can't figure out. By the way, I was not expecting YOU to buzz me on instant messaging chat.
Jesus: Well I wanted to resolve your fight for time, by giving you some clarity. In this net era, I wanted to reach you through the medium you are comfortable with.
Man: Tell me, why has life become complicated now?
Jesus: Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.
Man: why are we then constantly unhappy?
Jesus: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That's why you are not happy.
Man: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?
Jesus: Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.
Man: But then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty.
Jesus: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
Man: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?
Jesus: Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don't suffer. With that experience their life become better not bitter.
Man: You mean to say such experience is useful?
Jesus: Yes. In every term, Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.
Man: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can't we be free from problems?
Jesus: Problems are Purposeful Roadblocks Offering Beneficial Lessons (to) Enhance Mental Strength. Inner strength comes from struggle and endurance, not when you are free from problems.
Man: Frankly in the midst of so many problems, we don't know where we are heading.
Jesus: If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Looking outside, you dream. Looking inside, you awaken. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides insight.
Man: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do?
Jesus: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than knowing you rode ahead. You work with the compass. Let others work with the clock.
Man: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?
Jesus: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.
Man: What surprises you about people?
Jesus: When they suffer they ask, "why me? When they prosper, they never ask "Why me" Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.
Man: Sometimes I ask, who I am, why am I here. I can't get the answer.
Jesus: Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.
Man: How can I get the best out of life?
Jesus: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.
Man: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.
Jesus: There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is NO.
Man: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happy to start the day with a new sense of inspiration.
Jesus: Well. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Don't believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.
Man: Thank you so much.
Jesus: You are always welcome. Have a good day my friend.
" Always remember, God's Word is the Word for YOU...
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

PRESS RELEASE FOR GENERAL RELEASE: World Citizen Garry Davis and the “99%” movement

October 8, 2011

World Citizen Garry Davis and the "99%" movement

"The best way to forecast the future is to invent it."

Steve Jobs

The late Steve Jobs lived, worked, designed and produced in the Here & Now. He did not march in crowds. To the contrary, he was alone when he invented the miraculous tools you and I use daily which amazingly unite us as one wherever and whoever we are throughout our one world. And by his inventions, he "created" the future in which we now live.

In short, he thought of himself as the "center" of the world which he – and hosts of sage humans in the past - accepted as one and without artificial divisions.

Realize that you also are not actually "in" the United States for it does not exist in reality. It is a political fiction created 224 years ago to cope with a largely pre-industrial agricultural world for 3 millions humans when the horse was the fastest means of transportation.

You and I here and now are members of a race living on the planet we call Earth. (Fellow members are circling it every hour-and-a-half at 17,000 mph.)

No human, therefore, in the 21st century, is "in" a nation-state. First technology, then electronics, then nuclear, and finally space have rendered nations obsolete. Their dysfunction was startlingly revealed as of 1914 when so-called world wars (between nations) erupted planet-wide.

Now, humanity itself faces nuclear annihilation through sheer ignorance of who we are as a species. In short, we cling anxiously to the very national deathtraps which can only promise omnicide.

Yet you, who have gathered in New York's Wall Street and indeed around the world are ironically demanding "justice" and "democracy" which, in politics terms, are called sovereign human rights sanctioned by the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from the same nations which endorsed it unanimously December 10, 1948.

Therefore, you already "outrank" the politicians from which you are demanding justice. Buckminster Fuller wrote that ""You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

A world government of, by and for the citizens of the world was declared over 58 years ago mandated by over 750,000 citizens throughout the world and based on articles 21(3) and 28, UDHR. (See:

Finally, the geo-dialectic codes of human society – identified historically as "the one and the many," or morally, "do unto others as you would they do unto you" has now reached the global level where the "One and the many" – i.e. the individual citizen allied dynamically with humanity - are united in time and space representing a historic "shift" in consciousness and in human society itself.

The result is finally world peace, world freedom and world abundance as Buckminster Fuller, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, etc predicted in their earthly lives.



Wednesday, October 05, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs: You've got to find what you love,' Jobs say

Steve Jobs, Commencement address di Stanford University Juni 2005 RIP Steve Jobs, your inspiring legacy will stay with us….    


You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005. I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. 

Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college. And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example: Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. My second story is about love and loss. I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 emp

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Foreign Occupation Leads to More Terror

by , September 13, 2011
Ten years ago shocking and horrific acts of terrorism were carried out on U.S. soil, taking over 3,000 innocent American lives. Without a doubt, this action demanded retaliation and retribution. However, much has been done in the name of protecting the American people from terrorism that has reduced our prosperity and liberty and even made us less safe. This is ironic and sad, considering that the oft-repeated line concerning the reasoning behind the attacks is that they hate us for who we are — a free, prosperous people — and that we must not under any circumstances allow the terrorists to win.
Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the Sept. 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life. Nor is it our religion, or our wealth. Rather, it is primarily occupation. If you were to imagine for a moment how you would feel if another country forcibly occupied the United States and had military bases and armed soldiers present in our hometowns, you might begin to understand why foreign occupation upsets people so much. Robert Pape has extensively researched this issue and goes in depth in his book Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It. In fact, of 2,200 incidents of suicide attacks he has studied worldwide since 1980, 95 percent were in response to foreign occupation.
Pape notes that before our invasion of Iraq, only about 10 percent of suicide terrorism was aimed at Americans or American interests. Since, then however, not only is suicide terrorism greatly on the rise, but 91 percent of it is now directed at us.
Yes, the attacks of 9/11 deserved a response. But the manner in which we responded has allowed radicals in the Muslim world to advance a very threatening narrative about us and our motivation in occupying their lands. Osama bin Laden referred to us as "crusaders" with a religious agenda to convert Muslims, Westernize their culture, and take control of their resources. If we had targeted our response to only the thugs and criminals who attacked us, and refrained from invading countries that had nothing to do with it, this characterization would seem less plausible to the desperate and displaced. Blaming Islam alone is grossly misleading.
Instead, we chose a course of action that led to the further loss of 8,000 American lives, left 40,000 wounded, and has hundreds of thousands seeking help at the Veterans Administration. We are three to four trillion dollars poorer. Our military is spread dangerously thin around the globe, at the expense of protection here at home. Not only that, but we have allowed our freedoms to be greatly threatened and undermined from within. The PATRIOT Act, warrantless searches and wiretapping, abuse of habeas corpus, and useless and humiliating searches at airports are just a few examples of how we've allowed the terrorists to "win" by making our country less free.
Suicide terrorism did not exist in Iraq before we got there. Now it does. There are no known instances of Iranians committing suicide terrorism. If we invade and occupy Iran, expect that to change, too.
Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable to ask the right questions and face the truth. When a slick politician comes along and gives a much more soothing, self-congratulating version of events, it is very tempting to simply believe what we would like to hear. But listening to lies does not make us safer, even though it might make us feel better about ourselves.
The truth is that ending these misguided wars and occupations will make us safer, more prosperous, and more free.
(AIPI mailing list)

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/11 and the Decline of Brand America

By Reza Pankhurst

September 10, 2011 "
Information Clearing House" -- Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. But the optimism and triumphalism within the United States after the collapse of Communism, the end of the Cold war, and the establishment of the 'New World Order' are now in scarce supply.

Ten years after the start of the War of Terror, Francis Fukuyama has been forced to revise his proclamation of the "End of History". Whilst George W Bush's "Mission Accomplished" and "Iraq is Free" look, in hindsight, so premature that the obstetric term 'miscarriage' would be more appropriate.

"Brand America", in a political sense, has become toxic all over the World. Once upon a time, people in the Muslim world looked at America and Western Europe as their role models. They aspired for their own countries to be Muslim Capitalist democracies, with varying degrees of Islam thrown in to satisfy the religiosity of the masses.

But a combination of long standing support for Israel, Desert Storm/Iraq '91, and the 10 year-long War of Terror – Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan – has diminished the standing of the United States and its allies across the whole world.

This is particularly true in the Middle East, where recent polling showing that across six Arab countries, an average of only 15% of the people gave America a favorable rating. The fact that the lowest ratings were in Egypt (5%), and the highest in Saudi Arabia (30%), should be a further cause for reflection. About 12% considered that America contributed to peace in the Middle East, and only 8% agreed with the policies pursued by Obama—tiny minorities amongst the overwhelmingly negative perceptions, which also extended to views regarding both the American conduct in the killing of the alleged sponsor of 9/11, Osama Bin Laden.

Bush had claimed that the 9/11 attackers hated America because of their "freedoms". But it has not been lost on Muslim populations the world over that these American "freedoms" are for America alone (and even that is under scrutiny due to legislation such as the Patriot Act) – since successive administrations have, for the purpose of securing material and strategic interests, been on the side of the dictators in the Middle East, who have been responsible for suppressing any political dissent and expression for decades. The Obama administration has continued rather than broken from these policies, as evidenced by their actions throughout the Arab Spring.

But it is not just "Brand America" which has suffered since 9/11. The whole systemic range of "Brand Capitalism" is also doing badly. Just as violent, inhumane and repressive policies employed used to secure a 'Pax Americana', 'human rights' and 'freedom' damaged "Brand America" and Western-promoted liberal democracy, the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent economic downturn, and currency crises of the last few years have shattered worldwide confidence in the so-called free market philosophy, which has once again been exposed as a useful stick to employ by the elite when seeking markets to exploit (such as the various diktats issued to less developed economies by the IMF in the 80's and 90's) but quickly discarded when their own interests are at stake.

BBC polling in 2009 showed only 11% across 27 countries believed that Capitalism was doing well, with almost a quarter believing it to be fatally flawed. It is surprising these numbers are not even more negative given that people across Europe and America were (and continue to be) direct witnesses to how little the majority reaped of the profit in times of growth with the justification that the market decides, while, in contradiction to those same free market principles which would have seen the banks allowed to fail, that same majority have been forced to pay the price of private sector failure in the time of decline through the imposed funding of bailouts.

While American and British aggression post-9/11 exposed the hollowness of claims by these governments to human rights and moral values, the reaction to the financial crisis exposed the emptiness of the adoption of the mantra of the free market as governments clamored to make their citizens pay for the sins of the financiers. Growing social unrest in the West due to the huge disparity in wealth between the rich and poor is likely to further undermine the lure of the Western economic model which has seen bankers and their colleagues maintain their privileges while the general population mostly suffers in silence.

Ten years on, the vulnerability that America felt as a result of 9/11 is compounded today by the economic crisis that it faces. And yet the proposed 2012 budget allocates a lop-sided 19.7% for "Defense". To put the amount in context, the United States spent more on its military in 2010 than the next 19 in the top 20 of largest spenders combined (with 20th on the list being Greece), highlighting the staggering extent of the American war machine. It is not inaccurate to state that they are now paying for their imperial overstretch, something that is surely unsustainable in the future and which is driving the pace of the drawdown in Afghanistan—a retreat necessitated by financial and domestic considerations rather than meeting any apparent strategic or military objectives. "Mission accomplished", yet again. But this time remotely operated predator drones will remain and continue to murder the natives whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan— a much cheaper option financially, politically and morally than keeping American boots on the ground and meet their opposition face to face.

At the same time, the financial crisis, made in America, has been exported elsewhere. By printing more money to offset the huge expenditure to bail out banks, the United States has affected the wealth of people who had saved in dollars or US Treasury bonds. The modern financial system has allowed speculation and trade in food that has seen global food prices rise, which costs lives in other parts of the world. When America sneezes, everyone catches a cold.

Ten years after 9/11, the unipolar age of the American hyper-power is over; US-style Capitalism and its professed free-market ideology which has been exposed as a myth is now being challenged by state-Capitalism; the West, in particular the United States, has been greatly diminished in the eyes of the world.

Dr. Reza Pankhurst is Editor of online political journal New Civilisation and is a contributing writer on Foreign Policy Journal. He has a Masters in the History of International Relations and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Government department. He was a political prisoner of the previous Mubarak regime in Egypt, spending 4 years in jail between 2002 and 2006. He
lives in the UK where he is currently completing work on his forthcoming book.

(AIPI mailing list)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Journalism as a Weapon of War in Libya

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

July 02, 2011 "
Information Clearing House" -- The truth has been turned on its head in Libya. NATO and the Libyan government are saying contradictory things. NATO says that the Libyan regime will fall in a matter of days, while the Libyan government says that the fighting in Misrata will end in about two weeks.

During the night the sound of NATO jets flying over Tripoli can be heard in the Mediterranean coastal city. Tripoli has not been bombed for a few days, but the sound of the flyovers have been numerous. The Atlantic Alliance deliberately picks the night as a means to disturb the sleep of residence in an attempt to spread fear. Small children in Libya have lost a lot of sleep during this war. This is part of the psychological war being waged. It is meant to break the spirit of Libya. This is all additional to the severing wound imposed on Libya through trickery and sedition.

In the same context, the media war against Libya has continued too. The Rixos Hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, where the majority of the international press is located, is a nest of lies and warped narratives where foreign reporters are twisting realities, spinning events, and misreporting to justify the NATO war against Libya. Every report and news wire being sent out of Libya by international reporters has to carefully be cross-checked and analyzed. Foreign journalists have put words in the mouth of Libyans and are willfully blind. They have ignored the civilian deaths in Libya, the clear war crimes being perpetrated against the Libyan people, and the damage to civilian infrastructure, from hotels to docks and hospitals.

One group of Libyan youth explained in a private conversation that when speaking to reporters they would interview in twos. One would ask a question followed immediately by another one. In the process the answer to the first question would be used as the answer for the second question. In the Libyan hospitals the foreign reports try not to take pictures of the wounded and dying. They just go into the hospitals to paint the image of impartiality, but virtually report about nothing and ignore almost everything newsworthy. They refuse to tell the other side of the story. Shamelessly in front of seriously injured civilians, the type of questions many foreign reporters ask doctors, nurses, and hospital staff is if they have been treating military and security personnel in the hospitals.

CNN has even released a report from Misrata by Sara Sidner showing the sodomization of a woman with a broomstick which was conducted by Libyan soldiers (which it refers to as Qaddafi troops as a means of demonization). In reality the video was a domestic affair and from prior to the conflict. It originally took place in Tripoli and the man even has an accent from Tripoli. This is the type of fabrications that the mainstream media is pushing forward to push for war and military intervention.

There are now investigations underway to show that depleted uranium has been used against Libyans. The use of depleted uranium is an absolute war crime. It is not only an attack on the present, but it also leaves a radioactive trace that attacks the unborn children of tomorrow. Future generations will be hurt by these weapons too. These generations of the future are innocent. The use of depleted uranium is the equivalent of the U.S. planting nuclear weapons in Germany or Japan during the Second World War and leaving timers for them to detonate in 2011. This is an important and newsworthy issue in Libya and all the foreign journalists have heard about it, but how many have actually covered it?

The Ionis, a ship from Benghazi that docked in Tripoli on June 26, 2011, was carrying over 100 people who wanted to leave Benghazi to be unified with their families in Tripoli. Foreign reports were there en masse from all over the world. CNN, RT, and Reuters were amongst them. Amongst the foreign reports there were many who had no clue about the situation in Libya and were working on the basis of misinformation carried forward from their respective stations and countries. In informal discussion when these reporters were challenged about the basis of their assessments they failed to answer and sounded ridiculous. One reporter from Western Europe said that the defections at the governmental level in Tripoli where snowballing, but when challenged by a colleague she could only cite the so-called defection of a Libyan athlete.

The arrival of the passenger ship was significant, because it is a symptom that the political partition of Libya is underway. When families and individuals are being shuttled to different sides of Libya, it is an indicator that some sort of dividing line will be drawn either temporarily or permanently.

The Roman Catholic Church in Libya has also been disrupted and hurt. The position of Father Giovanni Martinelli, the Bishop of Tripoli, is in contradiction to that of the U.S. and NATO. Contact has been lost with the Roman Catholic churches and communities in Benghazi and its environs. Bishop Martinelli has also lost dear friends in the war who have nothing to do whatsoever with any combat or hostility. What have foreign journalists and news agencies said about this?

Journalists have a responsibility to tell the truth and report all newsworthy issues. Some do, but their stories either get edited or never get published or aired. Others say nothing and instead concoct stories. It is now the responsibility of the public to look at the reports coming out of Libya from all sides with a grain of salt. Diversity of news is just one starter.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya Canadian-based sociologist and scholar. Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), specializing in geopolitical and strategic issues.

Copyright © Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2011

14 Propaganda Techniques Fox "News" Uses to Brainwash Americans

By: Dr. Cynthia Boaz

July 02, 2011 "
" ---  There is nothing more sacred to the maintenance of democracy than a free press. Access to comprehensive, accurate and quality information is essential to the manifestation of Socratic citizenship - the society characterized by a civically engaged, well-informed and socially invested populace. Thus, to the degree that access to quality information is willfully or unintentionally obstructed, democracy itself is degraded.
It is ironic that in the era of 24-hour cable news networks and "reality" programming, the news-to-fluff ratio and overall veracity of information has declined precipitously. Take the fact Americans now spend on average about 50 hours a week using various forms of media, while at the same time cultural literacy levels hover just above the gutter. Not only does mainstream media now tolerate gross misrepresentations of fact and history by public figures (highlighted most recently by Sarah Palin's ludicrous depiction of Paul Revere's ride), but many media actually legitimize these displays. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what it means that the world's largest, most profitable and most popular news channel passes off as fact every whim, impulse and outrageously incompetent analysis of its so-called reporters. How did we get here? Take the enormous amount of misinformation that is taken for truth by Fox audiences: the belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that he was in on 9/11, the belief that climate change isn't real and/or man-made, the belief that Barack Obama is Muslim and wasn't born in the United States, the insistence that all Arabs are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists, the inexplicable perceptions that immigrants are both too lazy to work and are about to steal your job. All of these claims are demonstrably false, yet Fox News viewers will maintain their veracity with incredible zeal. Why? Is it simply that we have lost our respect for knowledge?
My curiosity about this question compelled me to sit down and document the most oft-used methods by which willful ignorance has been turned into dogma by Fox News and other propagandists disguised as media. The techniques I identify here also help to explain the simultaneously powerful identification the Fox media audience has with the network, as well as their ardent, reflexive defenses of it.
The good news is that the more conscious you are of these techniques, the less likely they are to work on you. The bad news is that those reading this article are probably the least in need in of it.

1. Panic Mongering. This goes one step beyond simple fear mongering. With panic mongering, there is never a break from the fear. The idea is to terrify and terrorize the audience during every waking moment. From Muslims to swine flu to recession to homosexuals to immigrants to the rapture itself, the belief over at Fox seems to be that if your fight-or-flight reflexes aren't activated, you aren't alive. This of course raises the question: why terrorize your own audience? Because it is the fastest way to bypasses the rational brain. In other words, when people are afraid, they don't think rationally. And when they can't think rationally, they'll believe anything.

2. Character Assassination/Ad Hominem. Fox does not like to waste time debating the idea. Instead, they prefer a quicker route to dispensing with their opponents: go after the person's credibility, motives, intelligence, character, or, if necessary, sanity. No category of character assassination is off the table and no offense is beneath them. Fox and like-minded media figures also use ad hominem attacks not just against individuals, but entire categories of people in an effort to discredit the ideas of every person who is seen to fall into that category, e.g. "liberals," "hippies," "progressives" etc. This form of argument - if it can be called that - leaves no room for genuine debate over ideas, so by definition, it is undemocratic. Not to mention just plain crass.

3. Projection/Flipping. This one is frustrating for the viewer who is trying to actually follow the argument. It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you're using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. We see this frequently in the immigration discussion, where anti-racists are accused of racism, or in the climate change debate, where those who argue for human causes of the phenomenon are accused of not having science or facts on their side. It's often called upon when the media host finds themselves on the ropes in the debate.

4. Rewriting History. This is another way of saying that propagandists make the facts fit their worldview. The Downing Street Memos on the Iraq war were a classic example of this on a massive scale, but it happens daily and over smaller issues as well. A recent case in point is Palin's mangling of the Paul Revere ride, which Fox reporters have bent over backward to validate. Why lie about the historical facts, even when they can be demonstrated to be false? Well, because dogmatic minds actually find it easier to reject reality than to update their viewpoints. They will literally rewrite history if it serves their interests. And they'll often speak with such authority that the casual viewer will be tempted to question what they knew as fact.

5. Scapegoating/Othering. This works best when people feel insecure or scared. It's technically a form of both fear mongering and diversion, but it is so pervasive that it deserves its own category. The simple idea is that if you can find a group to blame for social or economic problems, you can then go on to a) justify violence/dehumanization of them, and b) subvert responsibility for any harm that may befall them as a result.

6. Conflating Violence With Power and Opposition to Violence With Weakness. This is more of what I'd call a "meta-frame" (a deeply held belief) than a media technique, but it is manifested in the ways news is reported constantly. For example, terms like "show of strength" are often used to describe acts of repression, such as those by the Iranian regime against the protesters in the summer of 2009. There are several concerning consequences of this form of conflation. First, it has the potential to make people feel falsely emboldened by shows of force - it can turn wars into sporting events. Secondly, especially in the context of American politics, displays of violence - whether manifested in war or debates about the Second Amendment - are seen as noble and (in an especially surreal irony) moral. Violence become synonymous with power, patriotism and piety.

7. Bullying. This is a favorite technique of several Fox commentators. That it continues to be employed demonstrates that it seems to have some efficacy. Bullying and yelling works best on people who come to the conversation with a lack of confidence, either in themselves or their grasp of the subject being discussed. The bully exploits this lack of confidence by berating the guest into submission or compliance. Often, less self-possessed people will feel shame and anxiety when being berated and the quickest way to end the immediate discomfort is to cede authority to the bully. The bully is then able to interpret that as a "win."

8. Confusion. As with the preceding technique, this one works best on an audience that is less confident and self-possessed. The idea is to deliberately confuse the argument, but insist that the logic is airtight and imply that anyone who disagrees is either too dumb or too fanatical to follow along. Less independent minds will interpret the confusion technique as a form of sophisticated thinking, thereby giving the user's claims veracity in the viewer's mind.

9. Populism. This is especially popular in election years. The speakers identifies themselves as one of "the people" and the target of their ire as an enemy of the people. The opponent is always "elitist" or a "bureaucrat" or a "government insider" or some other category that is not the people. The idea is to make the opponent harder to relate to and harder to empathize with. It often goes hand in hand with scapegoating. A common logical fallacy with populism bias when used by the right is that accused "elitists" are almost always liberals - a category of political actors who, by definition, advocate for non-elite groups.

10. Invoking the Christian God. This is similar to othering and populism. With morality politics, the idea is to declare yourself and your allies as patriots, Christians and "real Americans" (those are inseparable categories in this line of thinking) and anyone who challenges them as not. Basically, God loves Fox and Republicans and America. And hates taxes and anyone who doesn't love those other three things. Because the speaker has been benedicted by God to speak on behalf of all Americans, any challenge is perceived as immoral. It's a cheap and easy technique used by all totalitarian entities from states to cults.

11. Saturation. There are three components to effective saturation: being repetitive, being ubiquitous and being consistent. The message must be repeated cover and over, it must be everywhere and it must be shared across commentators: e.g. "Saddam has WMD." Veracity and hard data have no relationship to the efficacy of saturation. There is a psychological effect of being exposed to the same message over and over, regardless of whether it's true or if it even makes sense, e.g., "Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States." If something is said enough times, by enough people, many will come to accept it as truth. Another example is Fox's own slogan of "Fair and Balanced."

12. Disparaging Education. There is an emerging and disturbing lack of reverence for education and intellectualism in many mainstream media discourses. In fact, in some circles (e.g. Fox), higher education is often disparaged as elitist. Having a university credential is perceived by these folks as not a sign of credibility, but of a lack of it. In fact, among some commentators, evidence of intellectual prowess is treated snidely and as anti-American. The disdain for education and other evidence of being trained in critical thinking are direct threats to a hive-mind mentality, which is why they are so viscerally demeaned.

13. Guilt by Association. This is a favorite of Glenn Beck and Andrew Breitbart, both of whom have used it to decimate the careers and lives of many good people. Here's how it works: if your cousin's college roommate's uncle's ex-wife attended a dinner party back in 1984 with Gorbachev's niece's ex-boyfriend's sister, then you, by extension are a communist set on destroying America. Period.

14. Diversion. This is where, when on the ropes, the media commentator suddenly takes the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability. This is the point in the discussion where most Fox anchors start comparing the opponent to Saul Alinsky or invoking ACORN or Media Matters, in a desperate attempt to win through guilt by association. Or they'll talk about wanting to focus on "moving forward," as though by analyzing the current state of things or God forbid, how we got to this state of things, you have no regard for the future. Any attempt to bring the discussion back to the issue at hand will likely be called deflection, an ironic use of the technique of projection/flipping.

In debating some of these tactics with colleagues and friends, I have also noticed that the Fox viewership seems to be marked by a sort of collective personality disorder whereby the viewer feels almost as though they've been let into a secret society. Something about their affiliation with the network makes them feel privileged and this affinity is likely what drives the viewers to defend the network so vehemently. They seem to identify with it at a core level, because it tells them they are special and privy to something the rest of us don't have. It's akin to the loyalty one feels by being let into a private club or a gang. That effect is also likely to make the propaganda more powerful, because it goes mostly unquestioned.

In considering these tactics and their possible effects on American public discourse, it is important to note that historically, those who've genuinely accessed truth have never berated those who did not. You don't get honored by history when you beat up your opponent: look at Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln. These men did not find the need to engage in othering, ad homeinum attacks, guilt by association or bullying. This is because when a person has accessed a truth, they are not threatened by the opposing views of others. This reality reveals the righteous indignation of people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity as a symptom of untruth. These individuals are hostile and angry precisely because they don't feel confident in their own veracity. And in general, the more someone is losing their temper in a debate and the more intolerant they are of listening to others, the more you can be certain they do not know what they're talking about.

One final observation. Fox audiences, birthers and Tea Partiers often defend their arguments by pointing to the fact that a lot of people share the same perceptions. This is a reasonable point to the extent that Murdoch's News Corporation reaches a far larger audience than any other single media outlet. But, the fact that a lot of people believe something is not necessarily a sign that it's true; it's just a sign that it's been effectively marketed.
As honest, fair and truly intellectual debate degrades before the eyes of the global media audience, the quality of American democracy degrades along with it.

Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University, where her areas of expertise include quality of democracy, nonviolent struggle, civil resistance and political communication and media. She is also an affiliated scholar at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain. Additionally, she is an analyst and consultant on nonviolent action, with special emphasis on the Iran and Burma cases. She is vice president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and on the board of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. Dr. Boaz is also a contributing writer and adviser to and associate editor of Peace and Change Journal.
First posted at Truthout

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How do you categorize India,......? Poor Little Rich Country
How do you categorize India, a nation that is at once fantastically wealthy and desperately poor?

In May, the Indian government announced that it was giving $5 billion in aid to African countries in the interest of helping them meet their development goals. "We do not have all the answers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "but we have some experience in nation-building, which we are happy to share."

The British could be forgiven for being annoyed with Singh's largesse. Britain, after all, currently gives more than $450 million a year in aid to India, and has plans to continue doing so for at least the next few years. The British economy is bumping in and out of a recession, while India's gross domestic product is growing at more than 8 percent a year. This has put the British government in the rather bizarre position of having to sell bonds in order to donate money to Asia's second-fastest-growing economy, even as the latter is itself getting into the philanthropy business.

Once Upon a Time in Bombay
An FP Slide Show

The policy is unpopular with most of the British press, which argues that because India has a space program and some flamboyant billionaires, it does not need aid -- especially when Britain cannot really afford it. (When the Labour government was voted out at last year's general election, the departing Finance Minister Liam Byrne left a one-line note on his desk for his successor: "I'm afraid there is no money." It was a joke -- but it was also true.) Nevertheless, Britain still sees itself as a donor nation, with all the obligations and international prestige that entails. This comes in part from a sense of postcolonial guilt: Prime Minister David Cameron spoke recently of a "sense of duty to help others" and the "strong moral case" for giving aid.

The situation suggests just how dramatically the economic rise of Asia has undone centuries of experience, and the expectation that the West will retain the hegemony it has had for the past 400 years. It is increasingly difficult to classify whether a nation is rich or poor, and terms such as "the Global South" and "the Third World" have to be heavily qualified to take into account the fact that large sections of the population in countries like China, Brazil, and India now have a purchasing power matching that of people in "the West."

In 1951, the American diplomat Bill Bullitt described the condition of India in Life magazine: "An immense country containing 357 million people," he wrote, "with enormous natural resources and superb fighting men, India can neither feed herself nor defend herself against serious attacks. An inhabitant of India lives, on average, 27 years. His annual income is about $50. About 90 out of 100 Indians cannot read or write. They exist in squalor and fear of famine." Today, it would be hard to make such an absolute statement about India. Poverty certainly remains a chronic problem, but it exists alongside pockets of substantial wealth. An Indian's life expectancy at birth now stands at 67 years, and continues to rise. It is necessary perhaps to think in a different way, and to see that a country like India, like Schrödinger's cat, exists in at least two forms simultaneously: rich and poor.
The most important change of the last two decades, since the beginning of economic liberalization, has been the transformation of middle-class Indian aspiration. Although the stagnant days of the controlled economy and the "Permit Raj" -- when important decisions depended on a bureaucrat's authorization -- had their own stability, they also stifled opportunity and individual talent. Members of the professional middle class frequently preferred to seek their fortune in more meritocratic societies abroad.

The modern Indian middle class has a new chance to shape its own destiny in a way that was not previously possible. You can move to your own house using a home loan and live outside the joint family; you can buy a car that is not an Ambassador or a Fiat; you can travel abroad and see how people in other countries live; you can watch your politicians accept bribes or dance with prostitutes on television in local media sting operations while surfing your way to Desperate Housewives or Kaun Banega Crorepati, an Indian adaptation of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Businesspeople who have succeeded on their own merits overseas, such as PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, are presented as national heroes.

n the 20th century, the world's personal wealth was held in American, European, Arab, and occasionally East Asian hands. By 2008, four of the eight richest people alive were Indian, and 2011 is the first year in which more billionaires have come from the BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- than from Europe. In earlier times, India's rich were princely rulers or members of extended business families who had made a fortune in textiles or manufacturing. Industrialists would hoard capital, and there was a limited expectation of seeking to outbid your neighbors in gross ostentation. Since liberalization, many of the new flock of billionaires who have made fortunes in areas such as construction, real estate, steel, and technology are no longer the scions of well-connected families. An unbound social elite has grown with extraordinary speed.

At times this new wealth has provoked intense resentment. In Mumbai, the industrialist Mukesh Ambani recently built the world's most expensive private residence, a 27-story confection housing three floors of gardens, swimming pools, a "cool room" (which, in the ultimate Himalayan dream, blows flurries of fake snow), three helipads, a six-story parking garage, and several "entourage rooms" -- because who travels without an entourage? The steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who lives in London and is presently the richest person in Britain, is today the only Indian richer than Ambani. In 2006, Mittal Steel's hostile bid for Europe's largest steelmaker, Arcelor, was met with dismay on the continent. The head of the latter firm, Guy Dollé, said sorrowfully that the predatory company was "full of Indians" and his own Luxembourg-based operation had no need for "monnaie de singe" -- an expression meaning "money without value," but a phrase that has the unfortunate direct translation of "monkey change." Lakshmi Mittal won the battle, Dollé was ousted, and Arcelor Mittal is now the world's largest steel company.

During this global financial shift, about one-quarter of India's population has so far gained almost nothing from the country's economic transformation. Those who live outside the cash economy, in hills and jungles and on land that is increasingly sought after for its natural resources, have not shared the benefits of national growth at all. The journalist Mark Tully, who has been reporting on India for nearly 50 years, once said that the crocodile tears shed over India's poor would flood the Ganges. Today, as inequality grows and some Indians become exceptionally rich, the arguments over the country's poverty -- its extent and depth and the best means of alleviating it -- are fiercer than ever. Surjit Bhalla, who runs an economic research and asset management firm in New Delhi, has argued that the numbers of India's least fortunate are massively exaggerated: In his analysis, a "conservative estimate" suggests the poverty level in India in 1999 was under 12 percent, and is surely even lower today. But a first-time visitor to India will notice at once that many people there are painfully poor, and that the suggestion that they number scarcely 1 in 10 of the population -- or lower -- is absurd.

Doubtful statistics are also used by those who dislike liberal economic policies and the effects of globalization. It is commonly claimed that 77 percent of Indians live on less than 20 rupees (about $0.50) a day. This figure has an interesting lineage, and first came to public notice in a report issued in 2007 by the left-wing economist Arjun Sengupta, which he claimed was based on data from India's National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), an official body. On closer inspection, it would appear Sengupta used average monthly per capita consumer expenditure for the year 2004-05, which came out at 559 rupees for rural India and 1,052 rupees for urban India. But what commentators who widely circulate this data do not point out is that consumer expenditure figures collected by the NSSO have consistently been low -- possibly because of under-reporting -- and are very difficult to square with the fact that other measures of consumption in India have grown steadily over the past few years.

Using more current data, the Indian government's Planning Commission announced a few weeks ago that in fact, 41.8 percent of the rural population and 25.7 percent of the urban population now live on 20 rupees a day or less -- suggesting either that India's poverty has been more than halved in just six years, or (more likely) that Sengupta's original figure was wrong, and should never have been publicized without extensive qualification. But obtaining accurate data on poverty and interpreting it reasonably is a difficult task; an additional problem is that India's state governments routinely overestimate their poverty levels in order to get more money from New Delhi.

In any case, even cautious figures suggest that a substantial portion of India's population remains desperately poor. The basic argument about whether economic liberalization has been good or bad for India is today largely conducted outside the country. In India itself, the debate ran itself into the ground in the late 1990s, when it became apparent that growth rates were higher even than the reformers had expected. All major political parties are now in broad agreement that it would be a mistake to return to centralized, socialist planning; after all, back in the 1970s per capita GDP in India was growing more slowly than at any point in the preceding 100 years. The crucial question now is, how to narrow the gulf between the rich and the poor? The Indian government has made some progress with social programs in recent years, but is moving interminably slowly, and corruption and weak governance at the centre remain a pressing problem. In the short term there is no harm in countries like Britain continuing with their aid projects, but India has the money to fund its own poverty alleviation programs. Whether it will choose to do so, is another question.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The West Is Terrified of Arabic Democracies - Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky is one of the major intellectuals of our time. The eighty-two-year-old American linguist, philosopher and activist is a severe critic of US foreign and economic policy. Ceyda Nurtsch talked to him about the Arabic spring in its global context

June 22, 2011 - - Mr. Chomsky, many people claim that the Arab world is incompatible with democracy. Would you say that the recent developments falsify this thesis?
Noam Chomsky: The thesis never had any basis whatsoever. The Arab-Islamic world has a long history of democracy. It's regularly crushed by western force. In 1953 Iran had a parliamentary system, the US and Britain overthrew it. There was a revolution in Iraq in 1958, we don't know where it would have gone, but it could have been democratic. The US basically organized a coup.
Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh (center) during a visit  in Philadelphia (USA) in 1951; photo: wikipedia
False friends: Iran' democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh during a visit in the US in 1951, two years before the CIA's coup d'état that ousted him

In internal discussions in 1958, which have since been declassified, President Eisenhower spoke about a campaign of hatred against us in the Arab world. Not from the governments, but from the people. The National Security Council's top planning body produced a memorandum – you can pick it up on the web now – in which they explained it. They said that the perception in the Arab world is that the United States blocks democracy and development and supports harsh dictators and we do it to get control over their oil. The memorandum said, this perception is more or less accurate and that's basically what we ought to be doing.

That means that western democracies prevented the emergence of democracies in the Arab world?
Chomsky: I won't run through the details, but yes, it continues that way to the present. There are constant democratic uprisings. They are crushed by the dictators we – mainly the US, Britain, and France – support. So sure, there is no democracy because you crush it all. You could have said the same about Latin America: a long series of dictators, brutal murderers. As long as the US controls the hemisphere, or Europe before it, there is no democracy, because it gets crushed.

So you were not surprised at all by the Arab Spring?
Chomsky: Well, I didn't really expect it. But there is a long background to it. Let's take Egypt for instance. You'll notice that the young people who organized the demonstrations on January 25th called themselves the April 6th movement. There is a reason for that. April 6th 2008 was supposed to be a major labour action in Egypt at the Mahalla textile complex, the big industrial centre: strikes, support demonstrations around the country and so on. It was all crushed by the dictatorship. Well, in the West we don't pay any attention: as long as dictatorships control people, what do we care!
Security forces clamp down on workers' strikes and protests in El-Mahalla El-Kubra (photo: AP)
"Efforts to create democracy": On 6 April 2008 Egyptian workers, primarily in the state-run textile industry, striked in response to low wages and rising food costs. Strikes were illegal in Egypt, and the protests were eventually crushed

But in Egypt they remember, and that's only one in a long series of militant strike actions. Some of them succeeded. There are some good studies of this. There is one American scholar, Joel Beinen – he is at Stanford – he has done a lot of work on the Egyptian labour movement. And he has recent articles and earlier ones, in which he discusses labour struggles going on for a long time: those are efforts to create democracy.

Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, claimed to cause a domino effect of freedom with his policy of the "New Middle East". Is there a relation between the uprisings in the Arab world to the policy of George W. Bush?
Chomsky: The main theme of modern post-war history is the domino effect: Cuba, Brazil, Vietnam… Henry Kissinger compared it to a virus that might spread contagion. When he and Nixon were planning the overthrow of the democratically elected Allende in Chile – we have all the internal materials now – Kissinger in particular said, the Chilean virus might affect countries as far as Europe. Actually, he and Brezhnev agreed on that, they were both afraid of democracy and Kissinger said, we have to wipe out this virus. And they did, they crushed it.
Today it's similar. Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don't want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain had been tossed out of the Middle East. That's why they are terrified of democracies in the region.

The well-known British Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk recently stated that Obama and his policy is irrelevant for the developments in the region…
Chomsky: I read the article, it's very good. Robert Fisk is a terrific journalist and he really knows the region well. I think what he means is that the activists in the April 6th movement don't care about the United States. They have totally given up on the US. They know the United States is their enemy. In fact in public opinion in Egypt about 90 per cent think that the US is the worst threat that they face. In that sense the USA is of course not irrelevant. It's just too powerful.

Some criticize the Arab intellectuals for being too silent, too passive. What should the role of the Arab intellectual be today?
Chomsky: Intellectuals have a special responsibility. We call them intellectuals because they are privileged and not because they are smarter than anyone else. But if you are privileged and you have some status and you can be articulate and so on we call you an intellectual. And it's the same in the Arab world as anywhere else.

Ceyda Nurtsch
© 2011
Editor: Lewis Gropp/

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why Jews Are Powerful & Muslims Less by Dr. Farrukh Saleem A Muslim’s View On Why Jews Are Powerful & Muslims Less

Unbelievable Facts: A Synopsis! (Islamic columnist on Jews)
By:  Dr Farrukh Saleem
The writer is the Pakistani Executive Director of the Center for Researchand Security Studies, a think tank established in 2007, and anIslamabad-based freelance  columnist.
Why  are Jews so powerful?
There  are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in  theAmericas , five million in Asia, two million in Europe  and 100,000 inAfrica . For every single Jew in the world  there are 100 Muslims.
Yet, Jews are more than a  hundred times more powerful than all theMuslims put  together.
Ever wondered why? Jesus of  Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential  scientist of all time and TIMEmagazine's 'Person of the  Century', was a Jew. Sigmund Freud -- id, ego, superego --  the father of  psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl  Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton  Friedman.
Here are a few other Jews whose  intellectual output has enriched thewhole  humanity: Benjamin  Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle. Jonas Salk  developed the first polio vaccine.Albert Sabin  developed the improved live polio vaccine.Gertrude  Elion gave us a leukemia fighting drug.Baruch Blumberg  developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B.Paul Ehrlich  discovered a treatment for syphilis (a sexuallytransmitted disease).Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.Bernard Katz won a Nobel  Prize in neuromuscular transmission.Andrew Schally won  a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of theendocrine  system; diabetes, hyperthyroidism) .Aaron Beck founded  Cognitive Therapy (psychotherapy to treat mentaldisorders, depression and  phobias).
Gregory  Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive  pill.
George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our  understanding of the human eye.Stanley Cohen won a  Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development). Willem  Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis  machine.Over the past 105 years, 14 million  Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel  Prizes have been won by 1.4 billionMuslims (other than  Peace Prizes).
Why are Jews so powerful?
Stanley  Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip.Leo  Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor;Peter  Schultz, optical fibre cable;Charles Adler, traffic  lights;Benno Strauss, Stainless steel;Isador  Kisee, sound movies;Emile Berliner, telephone microphone;Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.Famous  financiers in the business world who  belong to  Jewish faithincludeRalph Lauren (Polo),Levis Strauss  (Levi's Jeans),Howard Schultz (Starbucks) ,Sergey Brin  (Google),Michael Dell (Dell Computers),Larry Ellison  (Oracle),Donna Karan (DKNY),Irv Robbins (Baskin &  Robbins) andBill Rosenberg (Dunkin  Donuts).
Richard Levin, President of Yale  University, is a Jew. So are HenryKissinger (American  secretary of  state), Alan Greenspan (Fedchairman  under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman (USSenator),  Madeleine Albright (American secretary of state), Maxim Litvinov( USSRforeign Minister), David Marshal ( Singapore 's  first chiefminister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of  Australia ), BenjaminDisraeli (British statesman and  author), Yevgeny Primakov (RussianPM), Barry Goldwater (US Senator),  Jorge Sampaio (president ofPortugal ), John Deutsch (CIA  director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputyPM), Pierre Mendes  (French PM), Michael Howard (British homesecretary),  Bruno Kreisky (chancellor of Austria ) and Robert Rubin(American secretary of treasury).In the  media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), BarbaraWalters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer  (Washington Post),  Henry Grunwald(editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham  (publisher of The WashingtonPost), Joseph Lelyveld  (Executive editor, The New York Times), andMax Frankel  (New York Times).
Can you name the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world?
The  name is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a  colossal$4 billion most of which has gone as aid to  scientists anduniversities around the world.
Second to  George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who hasbuilt a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2  billion.At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by winning  seven goldmedals.Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time  Olympic gold medalist.Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker (Tennis)  are all Jewish.Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, CharlesBronson, Sandra  Bullock, Billy  Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman,Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben  Kingsley, KirkDouglas, Goldie Hawn, Cary Grant, William  Shatner, Jerry Lewis andPeter Falk are all  Jewish?As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Amongdirectors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone,Aaron Spelling  ( Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple),Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky and  Hutch), MilosForman (One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest),  Douglas Fairbanks (TheThief of Baghdad ) and Ivan Reitman  (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.
So, why are Jews so powerful?
Why are Muslims so  powerless?
There are an  estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of theplanet:  one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million inEurope and six million in the Americas .Every fifth human being  is a Muslim;for every single Hindu there are  two Muslims,for every Buddhist there are two Muslims andfor every Jew there are one hundred Muslims.
Ever wondered  why Muslims are so powerless?
Here is why:  There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation ofIslamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together  have around500 universities; one university for every  three million Muslims.The United States has 5,758  universities and India has 8,407.
In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an 'Academic Rankingof World  Universities' , and intriguingly, not one university fromMuslim-majority states was in the top-500.
As  per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian  worldstands at nearly 90 per cent and 15  Christian-majority states have aliteracy rate of 100 per  cent.
A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an  average literacyrate of around 40 per cent and there is  no Muslim-majority state witha literacy rate of 100 per  cent.
Some 98 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world attendeduniversity while no more than two per cent  of the 'literates' in theMuslim world did the  same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims.The US has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million.In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time  researchersis 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians  per one million Arabs.(in the Christian world there are up  to 1,000 technicians per onemillion).
Furthermore, the  Muslim world spends 0.2 per  cent of its GDP onresearch and development, while the Christian world spends  aroundfive per cent of its GDP.Conclusion: The Muslim  world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge!Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles permillion are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in asociety.
In Pakistan,  there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis whilethe same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK , the number  of booktitles per million stands at 2,000 while the same  in Egypt is 20.     
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse  knowledge.
Exports  of high technology products as a percentage of total  exportsare an important indicator of knowledge  application.
Pakistan 's export of high technology  products as a percentage oftotal exports stands at one  per cent.The same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent;  Kuwait , Morocco , andAlgeria are all at 0.3 per cent, while Singapore is at 58 per cent.   
Conclusion:  The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless?
.....Because we aren't producing knowledge,.....Because we aren't diffusing knowledge.,.....Because we  aren't applying knowledge.
And, the future  belongs to knowledge-based  societies.
Interestingly, the combined annual  GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under$2 trillion.
America , just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12  trillion;
China $8 trillion,
Japan $3.8 trillion and
Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).Oil  rich Saudi Arabia , UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively  producegoods and services (mostly oil) worth $500  billion;Spain alone produces goods and services worth  over $1 trillion,Catholic Poland $489 billion andBuddhist Thailand $545 billion...... ( Muslim GDP as a percentage of world  GDP is fast  declining ).
So, why are Muslims so powerless?
Answer:  Lack of education.      
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D
Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren't sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague — be clear and precise. "I'll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you've actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.
To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit.
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.
7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.
To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.
8. Don't tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don't put yourself in harm's way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., "Don't think about white bears!") has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like "If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down." By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.
It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don't need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It's never what you are, but what you do.
Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson

Thanks & Regards, G  Hidayat Tjokrodjojo (milis pendidikan)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Fw:Lyrics When The Children Cry "... one united world"

When The Children Cry
Artist(Band):White Lion

little child
dry your crying eyes
how can I explain
the fear you feel inside
cause you were born
into this evil world
where man is killing man
and no one knows just why
what have we become
just look what we have done
all that we destroyed
you must build again

when the children cry
let them know we tried
cause when the children sing
then the new world begins

little child
you must show the way
to a better day
for all the young
cause you were born
for all the world to see
that we all can live
with love and peace
no more presidents
and all the wars will end
one united world
under god

__._,_.__                                      from _
Courtesy: world_citizen mailing list

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Peace on Zionism’s Terms: Obama is the wrong target

By Alan Hart
May 31, 2011 "Information Clearing House" ----  When I was reflecting on Netanyahu's domination and control of the Congress of the United States of America, the first headline that came into my mind for this article was Goodbye to peace. I'll now explain why I think the headline above is more appropriate.
Because of its flirtation with the proposition that peace between an Israeli and Palestinian state must be based on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps, President Obama's speech on Middle East policy principles did one useful thing. And it was Ha-aretz's Gideon Levy, the conscience of Israeli journalism, who put his finger most firmly on it. We should be grateful to Obama, he wrote, because his speech "exposed the naked truth – that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want peace."
The Gentile me almost always agrees with Gideon but on this occasion, and leaving aside the fact that it was Netanyahu's rejection of what Obama said initially that exposed the naked truth, I think Gideon's version of it needs two clarifications.
One is that the truth was exposed like never before only to those who have not been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda – only a minority of Americans, for example.
The other boils down to this. What Netanyahu does want, and only because of his concern about Israel's growing isolation in the world, is peace on Zionism's terms, which means the Palestinians giving up their struggle for an acceptable minimum of justice and accepting crumbs from Zionism's table in the shape of three or four Bantustatans on about 40% of the West Bank, and which they could call a state if they wished. That's what Netanyahu meant but did not say when, at his arrogant, insufferably self-righteous and devious best, he assured both houses of the U.S. Congress that "We'll be generous about the size of the Palestinian state." Put another way, what Netanyahu doesn't want is peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims could accept – a complete end to Israel's 1967 occupation and a contiguous and viable Palestinian mini state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem an open city and the capital of two states.
The only question of interest about Netanyahu is this. Does he really believe the nonsense he speaks about the alleged threats to Israel's security or is he a smooth-talking but diabolical salesman, selling what he knows to be Zionist propaganda lies as truth?
Obama's speech also exposed (again) the weakness of his own position on policy matters for Israel/Palestine when he said: "Ultimately it is up to the Israelis and the Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them – not by the United States, not by anybody else."
As things are that means Israel remains free to continue its criminal ways:
- defying UN Security Council resolutions and international law;
- pushing ahead with more and more illegal settlements to consolidate its hold on those parts of occupied West Bank it intends to keep for ever;
- oppressing the occupied Palestinians in the hope that, out of complete despair, they will either give up their struggle for an acceptable minimum amount of justice and be prepared to accept crumbs from Zionism's table or, better still from Zionism's perspective, will abandon their homeland and seek a new life elsewhere in the Arab world and beyond; and
- resorting to state terrorism (attacks on neighbouring Arab countries and possibly Iran) whenever its leaders feel the need to impose their will on the region.
Because of Israel's dependence on the U.S. in a number of ways, not the least of them being the American veto of Security Council resolutions not to Israel's liking, Obama does have the leverage to impose a Middle East peace on terms that would provide the Palestinians with an acceptable amount of justice without any risk to Israel's security. And there's a very compelling case for saying he ought to do so if only to best protect America's own interests. I believe Obama knows this, so the question of real interest about him is this. Why won't he act?
The answer of almost all of his critics who call and campaign in various ways for justice for the Palestinians is that he's a willing tool of the Zionist lobby. I don't believe this to be the case. I think the reality of Obama's position was best summed up by Professor John J. Mearsheimer. To Al Jazeera recently he said this:
" The sad fact is that Obama has remarkably little manoeuvre room on the foreign policy front. The most important item on his agenda is settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and there he knows what has to be done: Push both sides toward a two-state solution, which is the best outcome for all the parties, including the United States. Indeed, he has been trying to do just that since he took office in January 2009. But the remarkably powerful Israel lobby makes it virtually impossible for him to put meaningful pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is committed to creating a Greater Israel in which the Palestinians are restricted to a handful of disconnected and impoverished enclaves. And Obama is certainly not going to buck the lobby – with the 2012 presidential election looming larger every day… The bottom line is that the US is in deep trouble in the Middle East and needs new policies for that region. But regrettably there is little prospect of that happening anytime soon. All of this is to say that there was no way that Obama could do anything but disappoint with Thursday's speech, because he is trapped in an iron cage."
This cage is, of course, the Zionist lobby's control through its many stooges in Congress of policy for Israel-Palestine. It's the cage in which post Eisenhower every American president has been trapped. As former ambassador Chas Freeman put it in a recent interview with Russia Today, Israeli leaders don't have to listen to the president because they know their lobby can block him in Congress.
And that's why, despite the fact that like Ilan Pappe I am sick and tired of Obama's rhetoric, I've come to the conclusion that no useful purpose is served by supporters of justice for the Palestinians attacking him. He's the wrong target. The right target is America's pork-barrel system of politics which puts what passes for democracy up for sale to the highest bidders. In this context I say, have always said, that I don't blame the Zionist lobby for playing the game the way it does. It is only playing by the rules. It's the rules that need to be changed if Obama in a second term, or any future American president, is going to be able to escape from the cage and use the leverage he has to oblige Israel to be serious about peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept.
Some members of Congress who applauded Netanyahu in a scene that reminded me of the enthusiasm for Hitler at Nazi rallies accused Obama of betraying Israel. There has indeed been a betrayal, but what has been betrayed is democracy in America. The many members of Congress who read from Zionism's script and dance to its tune in order to secure election campaign funds and organized Jewish votes in tight races are not merely stooges. Because they are putting the interests of a foreign power above those of their own country, it's time to call them what they really are – traitors.
In my view exposing them as such should be given the highest priority by all who campaign in various ways for justice for the Palestinians and peace for all.
Memo to all concerned in Congress and the White House.
Israel is not a "Jewish state". How could it be when about a quarter of its citizens are Arabs and mainly Muslim? Israel is a Zionist state. It will only be a Jewish state when it has completed its ethnic cleansing program.

Satrio Arismunandar
Executive Producer, News Division Trans TV, Lantai 3
Jl. Kapten P. Tendean Kav. 12 - 14 A, Jakarta 12790
Phone: 7917-7000, 7918-4544 ext. 3542,  Fax: 79184558, 79184627

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