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Archive for the ‘Greece’ Category

Another move similar to Zapatero’s withdrawal from Spain:

The Taliban agreed Tuesday to release 19 South Korean church volunteers held captive in Afghanistan since mid-July, the South Korean government announced, signaling an end to a wrenching hostage crisis that had gripped the country for almost six weeks.

“Together with the families of the hostages and with all South Korean people, we welcome the agreement to release 19 South Koreans,” said Cheon Ho-seon, a spokesman for President Roh Moo-hyun. Mr. Roh, who steps down in February, has been under intense domestic pressure to win the safe return of the hostages, most of them women in their 20s and 30s.

In Afghanistan, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said all 19 hostages would be released over the next several days. “We will release them in groups,” he said Tuesday.

Mr. Cheon said that in return for their release, South Korea had agreed to keep to its earlier plan to withdraw its 200 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and to stop all evangelical activities by Christian groups from South Korea in Afghanistan.

Just look at the Taliban’s faces of the photo in the link above: a smile on those faces is a blow to all people who sustain and support democracy, freedom and Human Rights for Afghanistan.

Related to the Taliban read this (there is a video also inside) h/t ExtremeCentre.org:

Never mind that they don’t even allow street signs with the little symbolic walk or don’t walk figures with heads on them, here’s a video/photo show of the pretty boys of the Taliban. Black eye-liner and hand-holding and pretty long hair are evident in the photos, although homosexual behavior is strictly banned. The Taliban actually turn young boys into sex slaves. Here’s an excerpt from an article on that from Jamie Glazov from FrontPageMagazine.com:

But there is a curious rule that the Western media has typically ignored. Rule No. 19 instructs that Taliban fighters must not take young boys without facial hair into their private quarters.

[…] Rule No. 19 obviously indicates that the sexual abuse of young boys is a prevalent and institutionalized phenomenon among the Taliban and that, for one reason or another, its widespread practice has become a problem.

The fact that Taliban militants’ spare time involves sodomizing young boys should by no means be any kind of surprise or eyebrow raiser. That a mass pathology such as this occurs in a culture which demonizes the female and her sexuality — and puts her out of mind and sight — is only to be expected. To be sure, it is a simple given that the religious male fanatic who flies into a violent rage even at the thought of an exposed woman’s ankle will also be, in some other dysfunctional and dark secret compartment of his fractured life, the person who leads some poor helpless young boy into his private chambers.It is no surprise that John Racy, a psychiatrist with much experience in Arab societies, has noted that homosexuality is “extremely common” in many parts of the Arab world. [1] Indeed, even though homosexuality is officially despised in this culture and strictly prohibited and punishable by imprisonment, incarceration and/or death, having sex with boys or effeminate men is actually a social norm. Males serve as available substitutes for unavailable women. The key is this: the male who does the penetrating is not considered to be homosexual or emasculated any more than if he were to have sex with his wife, while the male who is penetrated is emasculated. The boy, however, is not considered to be emasculated since he is not yet considered to be a man. A man who has sex with boys is simply doing what many men (especially unmarried ones) do. [2] And this reality is connected to the fact that, as scholar Bruce Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic-Arab societies is not about mutuality between partners, but about the adult male’s achievement of pleasure through violent domination. [3]

😯 Hypocrisy… hmm, a word these men have not known about…, eh???

Related news: Talibans release a video of a 16-year-old boy beheading one of the kidnapped Pakistani soldiers. h/t NMJ. When they are not useful for having sex with them, let’s teach them how to behead, isn’t it? 😡

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Officially, frankly, I don’t know where we stand now, about the supposed “peace process” with ETA. Apparently, the Government just broke it off, but there are reports that confirm that the conversations never ended, only were just called officially off:

According to sources reached by Hispanidad, the Government would agree to offer a referendum of autodetermination in two years, in the next political term after 2008 elections. Before, that should be preceded by a process of negotiation (another one or just the same?). To go where? (important question: before beginning a walk you must know your destination…). To the Ibarreche planning (uff, the same one which was rejected by Spanish Parliament two years ago…). On the other hand, the pro-ETA supporters are clinging to their project of autodetermination which would include 4 provinces, as it was pointed by Otegi last February. That is, an extended autonomy (more autonomy? You’re kidding… Just make a comparison of the competences that NOW has the Basque Country with any other Autonomous Region and then tell me about…), but including Navarra.

But as Navarra has not agreed with it, ETA terrorists are worried. But the Government has continued with the negotiations, although they have not obtained the desired result. So ETA has decided to stop and give a great punch: the terrorist attack against the house-police station of the Civil Guard. Fortunately without any victims, even when its directors underlines that “they wanted to kill us“. A thesis also named by Vice-President De la Vega. Anyway, what really puzzles about this statement, is that the car was situated at a very great distance from the building.

Something absolutely amazing but true here, is that the Minister of Justice considers that the Spanish citizens don’t have any kind of right to know about the contents of negotiations. As the Spanish MSM are as good and accurate as in every other part of the world, there is not a lot of real information except to say how well the Government is doing everything. There are always exceptions, though, as we have seen.

Another car-bomb exploded in Les Coves de Vinromá (Autonomous Community of Valencia). :

ETA terrorists who exploded the van bomb -with 150 kgs of explosive- in Les Coves de Vinromá could have caused the lack of electricity to Castellón and Valencia, because the high-tension tower that gives electricity to these two provinces from the nuclear power plant in Vandellós is situated just 30 meters away from the place where the two ETA terrorists exploded the charges which they pretended to use in Valencia. More or less, three million people could have been affected by the lack of electricity. Yesterday, the experts from the Civil Guard finished to collect all the proofs, elements which could be used to discover what was the kind of explosive which they were transporting in a new operative phase, which aims at a new long-term and bloody offensive.
Experts in anti-terrorism fight, while pointing out that ETA has a full capacity to kill -it has now a hundred “activists” in its “ranks”-, also advise to be cautious because these “activists” do not receive a lot of training courses. They consider that if they would have been trained, they would have exploded the Mercedes Vito in the high tension tower.

So the question is: if they were so tracked down, how could they possibly cross all Spain without no one stopping them?

And the next question is: in both attacks, the car-bomb was placed very far from the supposedly correct target. Ergo, why are they not targeting people? Is there any profound reason for that? Are they just frightening every citizen to get what they want? And what is the Government’s position in all of this?

I feel like if someone is permanently laughing at us… 😡

The Mercedes Vito had been stoled from a married couple, who were kidnapped with their 4-year-old boy by 5 ETA terrorists. They were released after the explosion after being held for 72 hours. Magnificent, eh???

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Jim Carrey speaks in support of Aung Sang Suu Kyi:

Whatever you think of his acting, I really believe that raising awareness about what is going on in Burma, is a real good movement.

[Yeah, I know, the set is a little New Age or flower power but as the message is good, I really do not care about the set 😈 ].

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Idiot news of the century (I really believe it and consider that every day news give us a lot of possibilities):

French author Corinne Maier has written a book called No Kid: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children

“The child has become so vested with importance, such a huge burden requiring so many changes to one’s way of life that having one has become inhumane, so my advice to people is don’t have any,” says Maier.

I really believe there is little comment needed. After reading this, I just doubt that the human beings can be considered as “rational” anymore.

You also introduce changes to yourself along your life. Just commit suicide and save us of your stupidity. My goodness!

When I was a little girl, I asked why the people died. Of course, no one answered me in a very logical and understandable way, so I begun to think about it. I reached a conclusion: the cause of death was that your brains had got totally tired of hearing and reading stupid things.

Conclusion: I am going to stop reading the news, just in case… 😈

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Russian police is worried – and it is reasonable to be worried-:

There is no suggestion that any of the organizations are directly involved in violent crime, but they do promote ideas that feed violence, Kozhevnikova says.

Some of the groups espouse anti-Semitism; many are overtly racist and xenophobic. There are also hundreds of so-called skinhead gangs. Police investigations have found skinheads to be behind the frequent attacks on people with dark skin on the streets of Russian cities.

They may be at the extreme end of the spectrum, but the mainstream shares some of their views. A recent survey carried out by the Levada Center, which monitors public opinion, found that 55 percent of Russians agreed with the statement “Russia should be for Russians,” while 20 percent of young people did not consider the activities of skinhead or neo-Nazi groups to be dangerous.

Kozhevnikova cites a number of reasons for the growing nationalist mood among Russians. “The peak of this xenophobic mood on a domestic level was fixed by sociologists in 2005; [this] domestic xenophobia was first blamed on poor social conditions and then on conflicts,” she says.

There’s no doubt that the war in Chechnya played a role – the second Chechen war. It was taken as being a war of Russians against Chechens, Orthodox against Muslims. Of course, that played a very big role,” Kozhevnikova adds.

Part of the problem, Kozhevnikova says, is that many nationalist organizations are starting to promote themselves as civil movements, whose aim is to improve social conditions.

Aleksandr Belov, the spokesman for the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, says the group’s goals are “to put a stop to the number of illegal immigrants moving to Russia and to repatriate people with Russian roots living outside the country.”

“We’re a democratic movement made up of people who have their own opinions and who want to live freely in their own country. They want laws to be obeyed. You could call ussocial democrats,” Belov says.

It is worth underlining that Putin has been a supporter of Iranian regime, with which has agreed about nuclear plants as we already know. Then the Orthodox Church’s Patriarch, Alexei II, said (link in Spanish) that Orthodox Christians and Muslims should unite to prevent the existence of a one-polar world, to the Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel when the latter visited Moscow.

And Putin has also stated: “Russia has always been the most faithful, reliable and consistent defender of the interests of the Islamic world,” he told Chechen lawmakers, to applause. “Russia has always been the best and most reliable partner and ally.”

This is a proof of what I have been saying: if the Governments are silly and do not act within the law to stop a sector’s radicalization, the rest of the society will also create (and follow and obey) their own radicals. We are going to a polarization of the societies which is very dangerous, because that only implies that the law of the strongest is going to be imposed on the weak. If Governments do not respect the law, and the citizens do not compel and oblige them to be compelled by it (that is what democracy is about), the results will be a return to darker times.

I remember when I began blogging nearly two years back, as a result of Paris Nov 2005’s riots. Pastorius was then very worried about the consequences that a lack of action against Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism could have in and for Europe. I was also but for different reasons: Pastorius thought back then that European future was Islamic or Fascist; mine was just that this kind of news did not have any publicity, they were just buried. I have been seeing a progression here in two directions. The first is that most people now know about the danger and understand the nature of it. The second is that, while politicians do not act against it, the public is divided: while some don’t really how to act, others are beginning to get nervous and to demand courses of action which are a little surprising, desperate and possibly, at his moment, totally unnecessary.

But, just let time elapses with the present situation. We can be in the dawn of a new (and not very pleasant) era. Hope I’m not right, though.

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More about Greek fires:

Arson has been widely blamed. Six people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. Arson suspects are rarely convicted. Where cases are proven, the motives are typically profit, revenge against neighbors, or the clearing of pastures by shepherds.

As much as 469,000 acres were laid waste between Friday and Tuesday alone — 10 times the annual average for the past 50 years, according to the European Commission’s European Forest Fire Information System, or EFFIS. A total of679,000 acres — an area almost the size of Rhode Island — has gone up in smoke since the start of the year.

“There are still some fires burning, but definitely the speed of increase of the fire front in the areas burnt is much, much smaller than in the first three days, which was very, very fast mainly due to the strong winds,” EFFIS researcher Paulo Barbosa said.

“The conditions are better and I think in the next few days the situation will be under control,” he told The Associated Press.

Some say it was the worst catastrophe since a Turkish army ravaged the Peloponnese in 1825, during the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Apart from the blow to the Peloponnese’s fragile ecosystems, Greenpeace Greece director Nikos Haralambidis warned that mountain populations could end up as internally displaced “environmental refugees.”

“There will be several thousand people faced with the choice of staying in a burnt land or moving to the cities,” he said. “Their main source of income was olive oil production … and new olive saplings need at least 15 years to produce a decent crop.”

[…] The fires are dominating political debate before the elections. Criticism that the government failed to respond quickly enough — and its suggestions the fires resulted from an organized attack — could hurt Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

Hmmm…

By the way, the Pope has condemned both the Greek and the Italian arsonists. In Italy four people have been killed last week when a wildfire consumed a hotel where they were staying, near Messina. Two shepherds have been detained as the culprits.

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From Venezuela:

Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo warned Venezuelans this week that the constitutional reforms proposed by President Hugo Chavez are leading the country towards a dictatorship similar to the Castro regime in Cuba or the Pinochet regime in Chile.

The archbishop recalled that democracy is based on the balance of powers and that many of the reforms proposed by Chavez are inspired by Communism. What is even more dangerous, he said, is that the proposals would make Chavez another Pinochet or Castro, “who are not the models of democratic virtues.”

If you want to laugh and understand Spanish, you should read this. An excerpt:

My admired Chávez: Bolívar was of an Spanish Imperialistic origin. He had no aboriginal blood. He does not merit to give his name to an emancipated native people. He only created a new criollo regime (NOTE -thanks Kate-: criollo is the Spanish word for the people whose parents were born on the Iberian Peninsula but who were born in South America, while mestizo were the descendants from both Indians and Spanish in South America 😳 ). The country shouldn’t also be called Venezuela, which comes from Little Venice, as Américo Vespuccio named it following Spanish orders.
Venezuela was a prosperous conventional democracy, but it had a lot of corruption. Now there is more corruption, true, but there is also another thing which compensates it: an Anti-system Revolution.
Fortunately, you are the most important thing, you, who, full of revolutionary spirit, gave a coup d’état in 1992. It went wrong, but afterwards you were victorious in the elections. Just the same as another exemplary nationalist and socialist: Adolf Hitler.

Paolo writes: Ahmadinejad is centered in achieving a force, specially in Ortega’s Nicaragua, to counter-measure all the US force, in the case of an air attack against nuclear laboratories and Iranian missiles’ positions. Considering that Sarkozy has menaced Iran with action, this is necessary to prevent any change in the Iranian surroundings (which are mainly, and besides South America, Moscow and Pekin).

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In Africa, there is still the belief that, if a grown-up man who has been infected by AIDS, maintains sexual relationships with a girl under 15, he is going to be cured. If he is not cured, the treatment is repeated. This is how most girls are becoming infected with AIDS. Psycologists also say that these girls normally adopt promiscuous sexual behaviour or end working as prostitutes.

In spite of the brutality of the practice and of the negative consequences, it’s complicated to measure the importance of this practice, as “men do not want to be identified (the cowards…) and the victims fear the shame, they prefer to be silent on the matter. Anyway, African newspapers often report about this practice“. “The consequences of them are normally the stigma and the discrimination“, according to Félix Fuentenebro, director of Medicus Mundi, underlining that the poverty is the culprit of a lot of insane habits.

Poverty also means the survival of several negative cultural practices, as the one that obliges to inherite the dead brother’s wife. 😯 In a lot of places, when a man dies, the older brother inherites his wife. If the dead was infected by AIDS or died as a result, it’s probable that his wife is also infected with the virus, and so, her new husband and his other wife or wifes, could also be infected“.

We get the picture…

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BETHLEHEM Mayor Victor Batarseh yesterday attacked Israel and angered members of Australia’s Jewish community within hours of arriving in Sydney – just as Australian immigration officials in the Middle East warned would occur if he was granted a visa.

Dr Batarseh told The Australian Israel’s construction of a security wall was about grabbing Palestinian land, not stopping suicide bombers. “If you want peace, you build bridges of love and understanding between people, you don’t build walls of hatred,” he said.

Just see the photo in the link above. And then read this, from Chiesa OnLine:

The mayor of Bethlehem is still a Christian, as always. Eight out of the fifteen seats on the city council are still reserved for Christians. But in the latest municipal elections, which took place in May of 2005, a coalition with crucial support from the Muslims of Hamas emerged victorious.

The leader of the Hamas contingent in the municipal council of Bethlehem, Hassam El-Masalmeh, exalts the suicide attacks against the Jews, and asserts that these will continue until all of Palestine, including the territory of Israel, is under Palestinian control.

But mayor Victor Batarseh, a practicing Catholic, condemns the terrorist attacks and wants Hamas to stop carrying them out. He says that he is ready for a territorial compromise with Israel in order to bring about a true Palestinian state. But even before the latest municipal elections, he chose Hamas as his main ally, together with another extremist group called Islamic Jihad.

A magnificent and very coherent Catholic. Uaghhhh!

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Tiberge writes about a marvellous French Christ from the XVIth century which has been mutilated (most possibly, deliberately) to portrait the image making an obscene gesture. 😯

But there is another affair (no pun intended) which has really reached the French headlines:

A French gossip magazine has been ordered to pay €15,000 damages to the lover of France’s Socialist Party leader François Hollande.

A court ruled that the images Closer published of M. Hollande frolicking on a Moroccan beach with journalist Valérie Trierweiler were a breach of her privacy. Mme Trierweiler hit the headlines in June when Hollande’s long-term partner Ségolène Royal booted him out of their family home for his affair with the reporter.

The photos of the alleged “intimacy violated” are here. I really do not see any intimacy as they were in the beach and both of them are public figures… if you don’t want to be pictured, stay inside. And if not, you are risking that they take your pictures…

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From Angel:

Stand-up Sean Meo has been prevented from performing in Du-bai after upsetting Mus-lims.
Protest forces comic from Du-bai gig

Police had been alerted to jokes he cracked about the Kor-an and the Ar-ab language in an attempt to stop him entering the country for a show tomorrow night.

Fearing the local press would whip up a frenzy of protest against Meo, his agent and the organisers of the gig decided it would be safer if he didn’t perform.

Meo’s agent said: ‘It was a mutual decision between us. There was a small but still unacceptable risk to his safety.’

She comments:

We, here in the West..well ya see..We don’t get our panties into a bunch so quickly and um…….we actually believe in laughter.

Especially our ability to laugh at ourselves at times.
Needless to say, this takes self esteem and inner strength. (hint hint)

😆

About laughter in Islam, you can also read this post by Debbie.

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Yesterday, I wrote about illegal immigration in Spain and the misunderstanding between Spanish PM Zapatero and French PM Fillon about the massive regularization. Well, it looks like that Fillon has phoned Zapatero to calm him down and to tell him that he understands truly well why he had to do it.

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As I wrote some months ago:

Opium production in Afghanistan has soared to record levels, with an increase on last year of more than a third, the United Nations has said.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime report says the amount of opium produced there has doubled in the last two years. It says Helmand province is now the biggest single drug-producing area in the world, surpassing whole countries such as Colombia. Afghanistan now accounts for more than 93% of the world’s opiates.

Despite billions of dollars of aid and tens of thousands of international troops, the report says 193,000 hectares of opium poppies are being grown in Afghanistan.

[…] The report says growing opium poppies is now closely linked to the insurgency and the instability in the south. And what is to be done? The report recommends more determined efforts to bring that security. It urges the government to get tough on corruption, which it says is driving the drugs trade and it lists poor governance, a weak judiciary and failing eradication programmes for these new frightening record levels.

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World Organization for Human Rights has sued Yahoo! over its policy in China: Look at Yahoo!’s hypocrisy:

Yahoo is being sued by the World Organization for Human Rights for sharing information about its users with the Chinese government. The information has led to the arrests of writers and dissidents. One journalist cited in the case was tracked down and jailed for 10 years for subversion after Yahoo passed on his e-mail and IP address to officials.

In its 40-page response to the lawsuit, filed with a federal court in San Francisco, Yahoo acknowledged releasing information to the Chinese government. But it argued that there was little connection between the information the firm gave and the ensuing arrests and imprisonment of its users.

[…] But Morton Sklar of the World Organization for Human Rights said the company had failed to meet its ethical responsibilities. “Even if it was lawful in China, that does not take away from Yahoo’s obligation to follow not just Chinese law, but US law and international legal standards as well, when they do business abroad,” he said.

Barely, Yahoo! claims this is a merely political case. 😡

At the same time, Angela Merkel reminds China the West would like to see progress on freedom of the press and Human Rights’ matters (where it has not progressed really):

“The world will be looking at China to a greater extent than it has in past years,” Merkel said. “And people will also be looking at how China presents itself in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Chinese critics of Beijing welcomed Merkel’s remarks.

“Unlike her predecessor Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel does not run and hide from this topic,” former university professor and dissident Liu Xiaobo told Deutsche Welle. “She tells it like it is. The pressure she’s put on the Chinese government has already had significant effect.”

Well done, Merkel!

It’s logical, by the way, Merkel’s position. Looks like that the Chinese Government has hacked Merckel’s chancellery and three other Berlin ministries h/t Barcepundit.

Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, discovered the hacking operation in May, the magazine reported in its new edition, published Monday.

The Chinese government has vehemently denied the report, with the Chinese Embassy in Berlin describing the accusation of state-controlled hacking as “irresponsible speculation without a shred of evidence.”

But Prime Minister Wen Jiabao assured Merkel that measures would be taken to “rule out hacking attacks.” During a news conference in Beijing on Monday, Merkel didn’t comment on the specific allegation but said it was important that “common rules of the game” were observed in a globalised economy.

Well, there has been reports before about industrial spying on Canada, also vehemently denied by China. And on Australia, where they have targeted exiled dissidents.

So worried about foreign lands and yet China is searching for 8 kgs of “missing” uranium. Take a little more care about things which are really dangerous and stop targeting dissidents and foreign governments… 😡

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In Italy, a mother pregnant of two daughters, went to a clinic to see the state of both fetuses. In the clinic, she was informed that one of them has Down Syndrome so she asks for the abortion of that fetus. In the operation, the fetuses change places and the healthy one is finished. After that, she asked again for the abortion of the unhealthy one, which was done by injecting a solution of digoxine. This method which causes a cardiac stop, is used only in grown-up fetuses, while in this case, they were in the 30th week of pregnancy. The scandal in Italy is great. For a link in English, click here.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has already condemned the abortion of the twins:

L’Osservatore Romano reported: “Two girls have died, assassinated as a consequence of selective abortion. A radical decision has brought about another abortion, that of the little sister that still had life.” No one “has the right to eliminate another life. No person has the right to take the position of God. Not for any motive.”

But that’s not all. In Spain, as I wrote days before, there is a “problem“: doctors working in public health system are not practising abortions as they think it’s a matter of conscience and have objected. Some leftist MSM -specially world-known as very objective El País– began saying that people had a lot of problems to get themselves an abortion, with statements like: “They told me abortion was a crime“, “Leny and Fátima had succeeded in achieving their right (¿? Really didn’t know that was a right) to have an abortion in private clinics paid with public money” or “I had to go to have it to another Autonomous Community“.

There are three causes for legal abortion in Spain: rape, grave illnesses of the fetus or grave danger for the physical or psychological health of the mother. More than 98% of all the abortion held in Spain use this last cause.

So the Spanish Ombudsman, Enrique Múgica, has begun an investigation about the “great difficulties to have a free-willing interruption of pregnancy practised in the public health system“. He also asks to “adopt the pertinent measures to let the users have the guarantee the attention in the Community of residence and in the main hospitals of the National Health System“. So how are they going to do that? Are they going to hire pro-abortion doctors? Or are they going to make pro-life ones make abortions against their conscience and will? I really have a bad feeling about this…

Meanwhile, the Spanish Schools’ Council has passed a resolution by which the State can educate the children on affective-sexual matters without any consentment from parents ( 😯 ). But at the same time, “it rejected to include Cervantes in the minimum required to pass Literature, the Catholic Kings in History and the inversion of €1000 millions in the infants’ education from o-3 years-old (which was in the PSOE’s electoral program) and to liberalise the prices of the books (as stated in the Law passed in the terms requested in this respect from the Culture’s Ministry)”.

Regarding immigration, Zapatero denies it (hmm…) but French Prime Minister maintains that he is totally repented from the immigrants’ regularization.

Zapatero spoke yesterday about the statements of French PM, François Fillon, about the content of the summit between both of them last July in Madrid, to contradict his ally and ask for an immediate rectification which has not happened and most probably, won’t in the future. Fillon has stated that Zapatero admitted then that the regularization of more than 600.000 immigrants in 2005 was an error of which he repented “bitterly” and that he won’t make more in the future (repentance and modification of behaviour: we’re on the right track! Eehh, no, not quite). The President contradicted yesterday French PM, insisting on all the good things that his policy of open borders have brought and said that France was going to “make things clear because it was all probably a bad interpretation”. Sources near Fillon assured EL MUNDO that «there hasn’t been nor there is going to be any rectification in any way». The more similar to tinging his words, was some statements made by the entourage of the French PM, according to which Fillon understands that Zapatero supported the policy of “papers for all” because “he had no options… because of circumstances” (there is always another option, even if it’s very difficult or harder to follow. And in this case, there is). It is not clear if Zapatero has or hasn’t a communication problem or of interpreters when he has to speak about his analysis and compromises over immigration, as Zaplana (PP, center-right) laughed about yesterday, but it is clear that the President puts at risk again the diplomatic relations between France and Spain, because of the massive regularization which affected all Europe because of its awful “calling” effect.

Look here, I do not know who is responsible for this misunterstanding. But if he is not a total idiot -and I don’t think he is, he is just convinced he is going to save Spain from fascism (¡!), yeah I know…-, he knows he was stupid enough to let a lot of immigrants without any kind of control (not even medical, and there are illnesses which did not existed in Spain, which have appeared afterwards). Border control is not a characteristic of being a fascist, it’s just a consequence of common sense. Does Spain need immigrants? I really don’t know, but it’s possible. But what is certain is that we need some kind of immigrants, not every immigrant in the world. Ergo, select them according to the needs here and their qualifications -if we need truck drivers and the people who come are cookers, they are going to be jobless… with all the dangers that implies-. So, please, stop blaming others for your own bad policies’ results, move your ass and begin working on something more profitable than in denying what it’s clear as clean water: it was a HUGE ERROR.

[A friend of mine told me: With all my heart aching, I have to acknowledge that I trust more Fillon than Zapatero… Ejem].

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Christianity’s greatest menace:

Christians around the world suffer daily because of their faith, and it seems the persecution is intensifying.

CBN News looks at the top two offenders– North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Countries that persecute Christians usually fall into two camps: those with communist governments and those where Islam as the dominant religion.

That is: where there is no freedom, no respect for Human Rights…

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Looks like that Chávez has bought both the military and the Majors from… Evo’s paradise:

One of the accomplices of Hugo Chávez, the head of one ghost Ministry of all that Venezuela has nowadays, has stated to Venezuelan press that Hugo Chávez’s regime has given $6 millions to pay Bolivian military. Meanwhile, the sheepy Bolivian President, Evo Morales, has been photograpphed while giving money checks to Bolivian majors who are Venezuelan friends. The shameless says: “Chávez gave me the money to give it away“.

They do not refer to woodcutters. I wonder if this has something to do with it h/t Kate. 😈

But Chávez wants also to infiltrate himself in other weak South-American democracies, like Ecuador or Paraguay. In the latter, the so-called “Yearly operative Planning of the Foreign Relations Ministry of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” (wow, what a name 😯 ), reveals that he wants to give “Bolivarian indoctrination” to Armed Forces, energetic firms, students and peasants; even it speaks of the recruitment of young doctors from rural areas.

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USA and Europe: Another terrorist attack inevitable. h/t Extreme Centre: Newsweek interviews Redd, Head of the US National counterterrorism center. An excerpt:

Tell us about the threat that emerged earlier this year.
We’ve got this intelligence threat; we’re pretty certain we know what’s going on. We don’t have all the tactical details about it, [but] in some ways it’s not unlike the U.K. aviation threat last year. So we know there is a threat out there. The question is what do we do about it? And the response was, we stood up an interagency task force under NCTC leadership. So you have all the players you would expect: FBI, CIA, DHS, DIA, DoD, the operators—the military side comes into that—participating in an integrated plan, but integrated in a much more granular and tactical way than we’ve ever done before. This is my 40th year in government service, 36 in uniform and almost four as a civilian. This is revolutionary stuff, and it is affecting the way we do business.

Earlier this summer, there was talk that people were picking up chatter that reminded them of the summer before 9/11. The Germans basically said this is like pre-9/11. They said, “We are very worried.” What do you make of this?
We have very strong indicators that Al Qaeda is planning to attack the West and is likely to [try to] attack, and we are pretty sure about that. We know some of the precursors from—

Attack Europe?
Well, they would like to come West, and they would like to come as far West as they can
. What we don’t know is…if it’s going to be Mark Hosenball, and he’s coming in on Flight 727 out of Karachi, he’s stopping in Frankfurt, and he’s coming on through with his European Union passport, and he’s coming into New York, and he’s going to do something. I mean, we don’t have that kind of tactical detail. What we do have, though, is a couple of threads that indicate, you know, some very tactical stuff, and that’s what—you know, that’s what you’re seeing bits and pieces of, and I really can’t go much more into it.

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Yesterday I wrote about Abdulah Gül’s being named new Turkish President. Today I read dissapointing news from French PM Sarkozy:

If this essential inquiry on the future of our Union is undertaken by the 27 member nations, France will not oppose the negotiations between the EU and Turkey that are to take place in the months and years to come,” said the French president addressing the 15th Conference of Ambassadors.
These new discussions must, he stressed, “be compatible with the two visions of future relations between Europe and Turkey, i.e., membership in the EU, or as close an association as possible.”

French blogger Tiberge writes commenting this:

It isn’t clear what Nicolas Sarkozy means by a “close association”, but it is clear that he accepts Turkey as much more than a trading partner or a tourist attraction. A close association implies an alliance, with attendant loyalties and military implications.

With Islamist Gül in the Presidency? Uuuuuuuuuuuyyyyyyyyy, Sarko….

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More about Greek fires: from NYT:

“Up the hill, workers were preparing the grave for Athanasia Karta-Paraskevopoulou, a 35-year-old teacher, and the four children she shielded as the flames closed in on them: Angeliki, 15; Maria, 12; Anastassia, about 10; and Constantinos, 5. They had been on vacation from Athens”.

Requiescat in Pace. She was brave enough and she died to protect these children, while they were waiting for rescue. Unluckily, it ended in a very sad way.

And it is more worrying as:

The danger had by no means passed. In the village of Grillos, just over a ridge from here on the western peninsula, a couple who own a restaurant watched in tears as flames advanced from three directions while fire trucks spewed water in the flames’ path.

“All we need is one of those,” said one owner, Iannis Drakopoulos, 72, as a Russian plane carrying an industrial-sized water bucket passed. “If he dropped it here, it would all have been fine.”

In Artemida and here in Makistos, the flames were already out, and Monday was instead a day for tallying the damage and preparing to bury the dead.

[…] The descriptions from people who saw it were the same: flames moving at an unimaginable rate and no one apart from the police to help.

[…] The fire reportedly came over a ridge first to Makistos, a village of 60 homes. Antonios Kokkaliaris, 80, a farmer, said he had been reading his newspaper, underlining parts he liked, when he heard the bell in St. John’s church ring. “I went out and I saw the flames before me and people running,” he said. He could not leave, he said, because his wife, Koula, 82, is severely disabled. “I told her, ‘Stay put, we’re going to fight this out.’ I grabbed onto the hose and I started dousing left, right and center.”

The town emptied, with only him, a herdsman and Mr. Dimopoulos with his wine staying behind. Mr. Kokkaliaris managed to douse his home, and two next door, well enough that the fires howled past, leaving his house intact.

But when it was over, he did not feel relief.

“I was disappointed, honestly,” he said, “because not only was there no one to help me, there was no one in sight. ‘Am I just standing here alone? What happened to all my townspeople? What is the purpose of life if I am all alone?’ ”

I can only say: 😯 A brave old man.

But we continue:

The region normally produces 10,000 tons of oil, but nearly all the olive trees are now destroyed, along with countless livelihoods. Charred donkeys and chickens litter ruined farms.

This village is literally wiped out,” Ms. Bammi said. “It’s not just those who have been killed. Those who are left have no fields to work in, no olive trees. They have nothing to look forward to.”

It is already a tragedy. And if finally it’s proved they did that with mobile phones, well, the punishment for these bastards must be … great.

More from the Astute Bloggers:

DAY 4 of deadly fires: Fires rage in Greece as SEVEN PEOPLE CHARGED WITH ARSON.
They remain nameless. Why? Those depraved savages set a country on fire, the public deserves to know no matter who it is. I have searched all news sources. Any Atlas readers have a clue?

Well, can it be because they can be charged with terrorism? I really don’t know. Seems strange to me too.

(+) If you want to read a magnificent post about the political consequences of the Greek fires, just go over to Cassandra’s blog.

The other usual suspects in the EU are exploiting the crisis to call for more integrated emergency cooperation, in other words: continued deepening of federal structures. Strangely, among the first countries to send fire-fighters and airplanes were Israel and Switzerland; both countries aren’t EU members.

The press from hell continues: “‘The village of Artimeta in the Peloponnese has become known as the ‘crematorium’, says the BBC’s Malcolm Brabant who is in the village near the town of Olympia.” I have serious doubts about this piece of atheist cynicism! Considering the fact that Greece is 96% Orthodox, a Christian denomination prescribing interment, I ‘d be surpised if most Greeks even know what a crematorium is, as the first is still to be build; it’s highly unlikely that local Greeks would describe a much loved village in such terms!

😯

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Chaim writes that “More than 5000 Kassam rockets have been fired at Israeli targets from the Gaza Strip which Israel abandoned to the PLO two years ago, the Sharon government brutally throwing thousands of Jews out of their homes“. Very critical of Olmert as ever:

Israel’s government, as any other government, has an obligation to defend its people. As long as Ehud Allmerde and his cohorts are running at the top they are going to do little more than a few symbolic gestures to make it look like they are defending Israelis. Rather, they seem obsessed with appeasement. Obsessed with a policy that invariably has failed miserably time and again. They seem intent on giving everything up to the terrorists, little realizing that the more they give, the less they get and the more is demanded!

Olmert spoke on Tuesday 28th with Mahmoud Abbas to “agree on measures against terrorism“. As I linked yesterday, this policy is not going to bring them any good.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders are building themselves shelters to protect them in case of attack. Everyday’s tale…

Also, on related news, the Israeli government’s tourism ministry has reached an agreement to cooperate with the Vatican’s new charter-flight service for pilgrimages to the Holy Land, the Ynetnews agency has reported.

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And now for the thinking post of the day. Pastorius has written it -the scene of Patton is priceless-:

[…] you have to ask yourselves, do you want a world which is ruled by men, or by women?
Hmm???
Obviously, rationality is not arbitrated by force.

Read it all. It’s worth it. (Chauvinist males: this post is not very recommended for you 😈 ).

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There has been 600 people killed or dissapeared in North Korea as a result of the floods. There are also thousands of hurt people.

Iraq’s PM Maliki vs. H. Clinton:

Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin are democrats but they don’t respect democracy. They speak about Iraq as if it were their property”, Malike said in a press conference. He added that both senators “have never lived controversies like the ones we are knowing in Iraq. When they speak, they don’t know what reconciliation means”.

Maliki reacted like that to some statements made by Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton -favourite of his party to the 2008’s presidential career in USA- who asked the Iraqi MPs to choose another person to leader a national unity government, after the extinction of the Iraqi coalition government.

He also critisized Bernard Kouchner, French FM, who visited Iraq some days ago, and whose visit was considered a success at first.

Bernard Kouchner had also advised him to resign. But he has said France is ready to make an apology about this:

Last week Mr Kouchner said the Iraqi government was “not functioning” and was quoted saying he had told the US that there was strong support in Iraq for Mr Maliki to resign and he “has got to be replaced“. 😯

In an interview with RTL radio on Monday, Mr Kouchner said: “I think that he [Mr Maliki] misunderstood, or that I was not clear enough that I was referring to comments I heard from Iraqis I talked to.” [Do you really think he was misunderstood???].

“If the prime minister wants me to apologise for having interfered so directly in Iraqi affairs, I’ll do it willingly,” he said.

Mr Kouchner visited Baghdad last week to promote France’s role in efforts to solve the Iraq crisis and mend relations with Washington damaged by France’s opposition to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

So what do Iraqis think about the intervention? h/t Desde el Exilio.

America should finish what it started.

Spanish National Library’s President, old Rosa Regás, is now a fan of Chávez -well, err, not now, this is something which we have known in Spain for so long-:

Her article is compulsory. Her analysis is a panegyric to Chávez, with numbers very far from reality, which nowadays does not belong to the Venezuelan people as it never happened in the last 50 years, sunk in the most cruel misery, where a citizen dies each half an hour killed by gangs, with a record of being one of the most corrupt places in the world, no.170 these days, according to the Corruption Perception’s index. An expert regime in manouvring to sell lies, while at the same time it’s proclaiming himself the poors’ saviour.

[…] When Rosa Regás tells us “Why against Chávez?” with the conviction that she does it, with a bad tempered arrogance, it looks like, with Zapatero, the Spain of democracy and progress is menaced. I’m convinced that she does not wish this country to be reflected in Venezuela’s mirror.

I should say that depends on who was going to exert power… I really believe some of them, at least, think, that just as Franco was 40 years in power, they have a right (non-written one) to be another 40 years, whatever the means for that. I’m not saying even that all Socialists think that, not even that the majority of them think it, but some of them do -of course, they never say that publicly…-.

At the same moment, two world maps of 1482 have been stolen from the institution she is in charge. 😡 And she has presented her dimission because she “does not feel the new Minister of Culture, César Antonio Molina, trusts her“. 😈 These are good news, indeed…

In Egypt the dictatorship creeps each day to a more frightening stand h/t Desde El Exilio:

On Aug. 8, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights reported that it had confirmed more than 500 cases of police abuse since 1993, including 167 deaths — three of which took place this year — that the group “strongly suspects were the result of torture and mistreatment.” The organization previously found that while Egypt‘s population nearly doubled during the first 25 years of Hosni Mubarak‘s regime, the number of prisons grew more than fourfold and that the number of detainees held for more than one year without charge or indictment grew to more than 20,000.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have corroborated chilling accounts of torture in Egyptian prisons. The independent daily Eldestour recently published two important facts: that the annual budget for internal security was $1.5 billion in 2006, more than the entire national budget for health care, and that the security police forces comprise 1.4 million officers, nearly four times the size of the Egyptian army. “Egypt has become a police state par excellence,” the paper’s editor noted.

For the people who uses bloglines, there is a new beta version for you to try.

More about Iranian Government’s savages, go and see the photos that Stephania has posted.

Al Fatah uses now the Lion King to attack Hamas. And Disney still says nothing about this.

The new cause of anger in Aghanistan: a ball with the Saudi flag. You know, the one with the Islamic declaration of faith?

A demonstration has been held in south- east Afghanistan accusing US troops of insulting Islam after they distributed footballs bearing the name of Allah.

The balls showed the Saudi Arabian flag which features the Koranic declaration of faith.

The US military said the idea had been to give something for Afghan children to enjoy and they did not realise it would cause offence.

Last news from Venezuela: now Chávez wants to move the country’s time zone to “offer a more equitable distribution of sunlight“. The socialism of XXIth century also distributes the sunlight in a more equitable way… This sounds like the Galizian Nationalist Party asking to change the time zone of Galizia as if Spain was the USA and had huge need of several time zones… 😈

A very interesting post: On “racial” profiling:

Islamism, Islamist militancy, and Islamist militant terrorism are very adept at converting people to Islam and to Islamist terrorism. And so not only do we need to worry about the usual suspects, so to speak, but also those who have been converted. Our obliviousness to this is exploited by Islamist terrorists, as can be seen by a number of the people involved in the plot by Britons to attack American and British trans-Atlantic flights from London. One was even a white (that is, British) pregnant woman, someone who would not register on anyone’s counter-terrorism radar.

[…] My suggestion is that while focusing on the usual suspected ethnicities or people of suspected ethnic origins (Arab, especially Saudi, and South Asian, especially Pakistani), we need to watch for suspicious behavior by any and all people. Besides, Islamist terrorism is not the only threat: some people are simply deranged and up to no good. We should, thus, be able to stop not only Islamist terrorist attacks but also attempts by anyone, for any reason, to conduct lethal attacks of any sort. And, who knows, maybe by cracking down on people who show an inordinate interest in information and data regarding our infrastructure, we might be able to help counterintelligence efforts as well. Preventing Iran, Russia, China, or any of the host of our enemies from getting intelligence will help The Republic.

Well, in my case, I do not think this is a problem of ethnicity nor do I consider this an ethnic problem. It’s an IDEOLOGICAL one: it’s based on an ideology that wants to rule the world, using a religion. I’m not going to discuss now if this is the religion in itself or it’s being used, but clearly not all Muslims are terrorists or want to rule the world. The problem, as I have said before, is that if the extremers are supported -as it’s happening in most of the West-, the people who are not, do not feel supported at all, in the end, that’s going to cause a surge in support for extremism in both sides.

And when I say Westerners are supporting several madnesses/extremisms, it’s because it’s true:

Academia’s fixation on cultural sensitivity is changing the debate around female genital mutilation, with a growing number of professors and women’s rights activists becoming hesitant to condemn the practice.

Where feminists rallied against the operation from the pages of Ms. magazine in the 1970s, today’s critics are infinitely more cautious, with most suggesting that the Western world butt out until Muslim African communities are ready to reconsider what they are doing to their daughters.

The shift in attitudes about the practice– which in the worst of cases involves the carving out of a woman’s clitoris and inner labia and can cause lifelong urinary tract infections, sterility and even death — comes at a time when high-profile victims of the operation such as writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali and model Waris Dirie, both Somalis, have launched very public campaigns against the practice.

To know more about this practice, click here. It’s a shame someone cannot or doesn’t comdemn that practice.

A reward is offered in Greece to capture the culprits of the fires which were provoked and which had already killed at least 60 people.

Fire in the countryside and smoke surrounding Athens.

Statue of Victory at Olympia surrounded by smoke.

Map of the fires.

More about the Greek fires by Paolo. Impressive the NASA’s satellite image of the fire he has posted. Last news are that there are two possibilities: the first being it was caused by organised criminality, the second being it was international terrorism to influence in Greek elections, in which the center-right’s margin has been slightly reduced these last weeks. So a prosecutor on Monday ordered an investigation into whether arson attacks could come under Greece’s anti-terrorism and organized crime laws. (CNN).

An update about the fires: From Infidels are Cool, I reach this post from a Greek blogger:

There were at least a couple of instances where the ones trapped called the TV and radio stations, got on the air, said their final goodbyes to their families, and then were burned alive. While the stations were doing their best to send aid, the fact that the emergency reponses are streched so thin made rescue efforts near impossible.

My grandmother’s village was completely burned down. It was one of the worse hit and there is nothing that remains. The local authorities say that it’s completely erased off the map.

[…] There is a video of two men setting one of the fires. That is now fishy since we now know that the fires were started remotely via cell phone bombs.

More here by Pastorius.

How affects Jewish self-criticism to the actual view of International affairs:

I have dealt with the problem of hyper-Jewish self-criticism repeatedly in the past, including issues concerning the Alvin Rosenfeld Controversy. Among other things, I emphasized the role of a kind of “prophetic” criticism that uses high rhetorical excess to “whip” the Jews/Israelis into the right path. When combined with a desire to “please” fellow, non-Jewish progressives by showing how “non-tribal” one is, this produces a lethal combination, documented by Rosenfeld, that makes some Jews willing to confess to anything (racism, apartheid, Nazism, the illegitimacy of the State). They do this not only to urge their fellow Jews to mend their ways, but also to pursue a kind of “therapeutic” dialogue where, if they are sufficiently magnanimous in accepting blame, then maybe their enemies, say, the Palestinians, might also respond by being a bit more self-critical.

Hmm, yes, I understand this very well. And I mean it. Well, the result is just the opposite: whatever the Israelis do in this direction, is not going to grant them anything but even more problems.

Read it all: another great post from Richard Landes.

Private clinics are profiting from abortions in Spain:

In response to the refusal by gynecologists of the public health care system of Andalusia to perform abortions, a considerable number of women are being sent to private clinics that have agreed to collaborate with the Council for Health Care.

I wrote some months ago about a platform whose objective is to send Aznar to the International Criminal Court because of “his support to the illegal Iraqi war”. Another platform, called “Aznar for ICC” is preparing a “hot autumn“, as United Left’s MP from Andalucia’s Autonomous Community Antonio Romero has said. He added:

Neither Aznar, nor Bush nor Tony Blair can go away without punishment after causing an illegal and immoral war, which has produced the death to 700.000 Iraqis, the majority of which were civil, more than 2 million of people in exile, the complete destruction of the country’s infraestructures, of its historical and cultural heritage and the absolute looting of its natural resources, specially, of oil”.

For you to consider the personality of this man: he was condemned some years ago, because in a strike, he beat, insulted and menaced an old man, owner of a little cafeteria, and one of the clients because he did not want to go on strike. He shouted at both: “fascist, son of a bitch, asshole”, after yelling at them “you’re going to shut whether you like it or not, or you’re going to shut por cojones“. You know, a peaceful, respectful and calm guy… But the best is what he said: “I only wanted to defend their rights -whether they liked it or not-, telling him how marvellous it was to close all the shops for Andalucia’s rights“.

Gül has been elected Turkish President. Oh, my!!! 😦 He was elected in the third round as was predicted some weeks ago. The Turkish military has spoken: Secularism is under attack:

“Nefarious plans to ruin Turkey’s secular and democratic nature emerge in different forms everyday,” Buyukanit said in his statement. “The military will, just as it has so far, keep its determination to guard social, democratic and secular Turkey.”

Russian man detained in Afghanistan carrying 500 kilos of explosives and, in a rapture of manliness, wearing a burqa. His two other companions were also wearing a women’s clothes. If they like so much being a woman, why they do not change their sex? Yes, I think that, for these chavinist male … individuals, that would be a good punishment. Imagine Bin Laden … 😈 There was a joke here some years ago: the worst fate for Bin Laden would be to catch him -US SEALs could be employed for that-, transport him to a clinic, change his sex and then set him loose in Saudi Arabia. Je. With an inside camera to see his reaction: “Hey, I’m Bin Laden”.

Gordon Brown will not allow a referendum about the EU Constitution, after he promised to do so. He faces 120 Labour MPs who have rebeled against him, although David considers that Brown will not allow it, “as he knows he can lose it“.

Read also this post by Angel: A planned Ar-abic-themed public school in Brooklyn has prompted polarized reactions. Critics warned Monday that students could be “indoctrinated” with radical Is-lamic beliefs and supporters called such statements “racist.

Some weeks ago I discovered a very good blog called Modestly Yours, entirely written by women (where I discovered a book I would like to read…, when I have finished reading all I have to read now, but the title is promising: “Girls gone Mild. Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find that it’s not Bad to be Good“). Well, just read about the “Sexy Crazy Cancer” movie:

The film itself actually looks quite interesting. As described on her website, the idea for the documentary came about in 2003 after the “31-year-old actress/photographer…was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Weeks later she began filming her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shares her inspirational story of survival with courage, strength, and lots of humor.”

As the author says, I don’t know how the sexy thing fits in there.

There is another very good blog post called: “The War on Vulgarity“. Thank God, someone is saying this loudly. Looks like it’s better to be vulgar and really there is no need. There are people who consider that to be manly (I must be tough), to speak out better the truth (that is, to be more sincere) or just because it sounds much more direct. For me, that is only foul language… 😈

Lastly, after the scandal surrounding Sarkozy about his lack of fitness, look at this cartoon. 😆

Looks like Sarkozy is menacing Iran: Either Iran suspends the uranium enrichment or will be bombed! Well, this is unexpected… Will be continued!

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