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Archive for September 2nd, 2007

As I have posted before, Chinese influence in the world is spreading, something that, with its present state about Human Rights, is far from good. From Yahoo:

For years, China’s booming economy touched daily life in the West most visibly through the “made-in-China” label on everything from clothes to computers. But now, economic growth is giving rise to something more that can’t be measured just by widgets and gadgets — a shift in China’s balance of power with the rest of the world.

China’s reach now extends from the Australian desert through the Sahara to the Amazonian jungle — and it’s those regions supplying goods for China, not just the other way around. China has stepped up its political and diplomatic presence, most notably in Africa, where it is funneling billions of dollars in aid. And it is increasingly shaping the lifestyle of people around the world, as the United States did before it, right down to the Mandarin-language courses being taught in schools from Argentina to Virginia.

China, like the United States, is also learning that global power cuts both ways. The backlash over tainted toothpaste and toxic pet food has been severe, as has the criticism over China’s support for regimes such Sudan’s.

To understand why China’s influence is increasingly pushing past its borders, just do the math.

When 1.3 billion people want something, the world feels it. And when those people in ever increasing numbers are joining a swelling middle class eager for a richer lifestyle, the world feels it even more.

If China’s growth continues, its consumer market will be the world’s second largest by 2015. The Chinese already eat 32 percent of the world’s rice, build with 47 percent of its cement and smoke one out of every three cigarettes.

Continue reading…

Related news.

China farmer Activist Arrested for Advocating “No Olympics, But Human Rights”.

China passes law censoring Disaster and Accidents Coverage.

Related posts:

Ban Ki-Moon: The main cause of Darfur problems is….

China launches Nigerian satellite.

Sudan, the UN ambassador, the rebels: why it is necessary a general denounce of the silence of the MSM on the Darfur crisis?

Chinese PM launches Africa tour

China’s oil policy

Chinese new arsenal

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More about Nebraska’s University affair:

Officials of the Omaha, Nebraska archdiocese are expressing a growing impatience with the Jesuit-run Creighton University, the Associated Press reports.
Although university officials this week cancelled plans for a campus lecture by Anne Lamott, a novelist who is an advocate of legal abortion and euthanasia, archdiocesan leaders remained unhappy with the direction of the university, the news service revealed in an August 31 report.
[…]In announcing a mutual agreement to cancel the lecture, Creighton had said that Lamott’s views on suicide and euthanasia had only recently come to the attention of school officials. But the novelist’s agent told Associated Press a quite different story, saying that the school had deliberately asked Lamott to avoid those issues during her lecture.

The lecture was cancelled thanks to blogpower! Je. 😆

There is another important initiative for the pro-life movement: a Mexican church has presented the Declaration of Human Rights of the Unborn:

The declaration, which contains ten principles that state that the unborn have the right to be recognized as individuals of the human race, will be delivered to the Mexican Congress in support of an amendment to the constitution.

Congresswoman Beatriz Garcia Reyes, who was present at the signing, said the initiative could bear “much fruit,” and she rejected the idea that such proposals to defend life should only occur when politically expedient. The unborn and their rights should always be defended, she added. She also called for legislative reform in order to define the unborn as an individual and a person under the law.

I like the idea, even if our establishment doesn’t.

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Even if looks like the Nahr El Bared’s crisis in Lebanon has ended, it is far from it. Last post from Blacksmiths of Lebanon shows us the hard reality:

They left booby-trapped TVs and radios on, so that when soldiers went to turn them off, they would explode… They also played recordings of crying babies, which lured soldiers into buildings and rooms which would then be detonated.

😯 😯 Yeah, I know than in love and in war nothing is forbidden (or something like that), but this… this is treacherous…

And:

Naharnet has just reported that

Prosecutor General Saeed Mirza on Thursday ordered police to launch an investigation into a video game about the storming of Premier Fouad Saniora’s government compound and the killing of all the ministers.

Sympathetic and peaceful the video game, eh???

Just read the entire post.

Last news are that the “Militant held camp has fallen to Lebanese Army“:

Hours after the army killed 32 militants and captured at least 15 others as they tried to break out of the Nahr el-Bared camp, only occasional gunfire could be heard inside.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the last stronghold of Fatah Islam militants fell later in the day to the army, which captured five wounded militants in their hideout.

Celebratory gunfire erupted in nearby villages as soon as the news spread. Dozens of residents took to the streets of Mohammara, waving Lebanese flags and honking their horns as troop convoys poured into the area with soldiers flashing victory signs.

The army, which said it lost five soldiers in the recent violence, was not ready to formally declare an end to fighting in the camp, large parts of which have been destroyed by army bombardments in the months long siege. The military said three soldiers were killed in Sunday’s fighting and two on Saturday, raising to 158 the total number of troops killed in the conflict.

A military statement early Sunday said troops were attacking the remaining militant strongholds inside Nahr el-Bared and “chasing the fugitives outside the camp” who had staged “a desperate attempt to flee.” It called on Lebanese citizens to inform the nearest army patrol of any suspected militants in their area, but gave no specifics on casualties except saying “a large number” had been killed or captured.

We will see what happens next here.

You can read more in Tears for Lebanon.

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Futures’ markets are following the same evolution than they had before 9-11. Is this a sign of something? h/t Barcepundit. Pastorius has written a very clear post at IBA about the matter.

The blogosphere and options trading desks have been rife with speculation about these trades, which are unusually large bets that the market will make a huge move in the next month. Some entity, or entities, has taken a large position on extremely deep in the money S&P 500 options, both puts and calls, that won’t pay off unless the market undergoes an extremely large price move between now and the options’ expiration on Sept. 21.

Fast forward to the present day, and we have the same type of trading that took place in the days that preceded the 9/11 attacks – but on a larger scale. Nearly $1 billion of “put options” have been purchased, basically betting that Standard and Poor’s 500 index will fall significantly by the third Friday in September. A large number of these options have also been purchased calling for 50% decline by September 21, 2007. For example, a 5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be the current equivalent of about 670 points. A decline of 11% would equal about 1,470 points in today’s market. Obviously, larger drops, such as a 50% decline, would cause an unprecedented market collapse. Money would be made for the purchaser(s) of the put options – but the same purchaser(s) stand to lose over $1 BILLION in the investment if the market remains relatively static through September 21, 2007.

And let’s see: we have the real state lending problems…

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Lastly, you can read about the new film of Brian de Palma by Roger L. Simon:

Meanwhile, what used to take a lot of my time has a way of encroaching on my present reality. Apparently, someone I used to know…Brian DePalma… may have resurrected his career, seemingly scoring a hit at the Venice Film Festival with his new film “Redacted.” The subject is a particularly gruesome real-life rape case, concerning a 14-year old Iraqi girl raped by US servicemen who also murdered her family.

Now I don’t know the details of this case. (Some of the servicemen involved have been given long sentences and it sounds truly hideous.) Yet, according to Reuters, the film is halfway between documentary and fiction. This to me is a highly suspect form, especially when based on recent events (2006), which are more verifiable than most. You would think the truth would be enough.

But what interests me more is Brian’s selection of material and his intention, as he states it, to stop the war. “The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war,” he said.

That is why I am sick of generalizations. We cannot make one lonely incident as if it were what has been happening every day. And that is why I can’t stand people who are not balanced enough in their judgement, not seeing both what is good and what is bad, and then trying to make others think like them. You know, Brian de Palma, it’s very sad for me :mrgreen: but I only have seen two of your films (The untouchables of Elliot Ness, a very good film, very different from this one , and Mission: Impossible, -though better than the two sequels: in the second, they totally messed up the Sevilla’s Easter processions and the Valencia’s Fallas, which have nothing to do- [I had mistaken the second for the first 😳 😀 ]). And really, with this kind of marvellous introduction of good judgement and balanced statements, I’m also not going to see this. Cause as lawhawk writes, you cannot make us going to the cinema:

Director Brian DePalma has unveiled his latest movie, which is nothing less than a character assassination of all US troops based on a heinous criminal acts by a unit of US soldiers. Those soldiers have been tried and convicted for their crimes by the US military, but DePalma sees no problem with using the incident to further his anti-war, anti-military, and anti-US views. [and anti-common sense… that is the worst of all…].

That’s completely within his perogative. He can produce any movie he wants – he just can’t make you go see it.

I have no interest in seeing the movie. I only wonder why he didn’t bother to make a movie showing what al Qaeda was doing to Iraqis on a daily basis – the kidnappings, mass murders, and the beheadings. Are those not sufficient to churn stomachs, or was the international audience going to salivate more over an anti-war/anti-US movie than one that shows the true evil of al Qaeda and might actually justify a continued US presence in Iraq to eradicate the al Qaeda operating there?

Showing what al Qaeda was doing to Iraqis? And then some people call me “innocent”… Well, lawhawk, with all due respect, that is to be candid. Hollywood’s doing a good film blaming the real people who are to blame? No, of course not: they could be a terrorist target! Just imagine George Clooney or similar feeling himself really hunted by those militants, freedom fighters and men of peace. Huh! Of course not.

By the way, that thing about the international audience: the 16 Spanish films who have raised more money, have raised less than Spiderman in Spain. But the Spanish Government is going to make Spanish taxpayers pay € 85 millions to produce the usual garbage: pro-communism, against the Catholic Church and the right-wingers and about the Spanish Civil War (of course, all the right-wingers were warmongers, genocidal types and sadistic killers, while the commumists-socialists were peaceful, art-loving types, who could not kill a fly… 👿 ). But they are not considering the 10 million people who voted PP on 2004, some of then did not agree (and do not agree) with Iraqi war but certainly do not agree either with the MSM about the coverage there.

So, when the film-makers are going to consider that there are other people to see international films? Without considering that this is not something new of this year, but has been the normal situation for a lot of years. And of course, if you have to choose between Lord of the Rings saga and some crap with the subject considered above, the decision is simple. Specially with the prices the cinema halls have these days… 😈

[Oh, and the Spanish film which raised more money was a film of animation “Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños” –Pérez, the mouse of your dreams-. There is a legend told to children in Spain: each time a little boy loses one of his first teeth, he/she must put it under his pillow. And the little mouse Pérez will come and give him a coin. So, you see, nothing political, just a pleasure to see…].
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Now playing: Dolores O’Riordan – October
via FoxyTunes

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