Saturday, June 28, 2014

Evidence that the GOP Hasn't Changed in Nearly 80 years

by Nomad


This cartoon comes from a New York City newspaper. The cartoonist is showing how "out of tune" and tone deaf the Republican party was.
The date?

April 26, 1936.










Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tourism, Islam, and Bikinis: Culture Clashes on Turkish Beaches

by Nomad

Turkey's culture clash between Islam and the West may have found a new battlefield: the nation's sunny beaches. And women could be caught in the middle.


Money Maker

To say that tourism is a big money maker in Turkey is an understatement. With more than 31.5 million foreign tourists, the nation ranks as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world. 

This year, according to Turkey's largest travel agency association, it will see tourists spending a staggering US$35 billion. That's nearly a 10% increase in both the numbers of visitors and the amount of revenue. Most of those tourists will come from Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, Georgia, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. 
In some of the touristic resorts, summer in Turkey means fun and frolic, a lot of youthful (and not so youthful) wildness. Most of this frivolity involves rivers of alcohol. That situation has left some resorts with a bad reputation with tourists because of the general "anything goes" atmosphere. 
But then, drunkenness, occasional fights or public indecency have always been written off as just part of the drawbacks to mass tourism.

Interestingly, according to the association, this year there will also be a significant increase in the number of Iranian tourists. Given the diversity of cultures, you'd think it would be a challenge to accommodate every taste. Well, it often is.
Surprisingly it hasn't as a major problem as you'd think, mainly because of Turkey's high level of hospitality and tolerance.. and patience.

For Iranian tourist, the main attraction is, in a word, shopping. Iranians can buy hard to find brand names in shopping areas in Istanbul and other major cities that would be impossible to buy in Tehran. That's very good news for the Turkish economy.

As far as Turkish businessmen, Iranian visitors, generally speaking, have an excellent reputation. And they do not tax the patience of the natives like many overzealous Europeans do.
Iranian tourists are well-liked, not just because they are big spenders but because they are polite and rarely make trouble. They generally travel as families, not as gaggles of friends, and a loud, drunk Iranian would be highly unusual sight.
Be that as it may, Turkey has to constantly walk a fine line to please everybody.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Long Struggle for Wage Equality for Women and Republican Road Blocks

by Nomad

Wage equality for women has been a long and difficult road, dating the Roosevelt era and before. Down through the years, step by step, progress against pay discrimination has plodded along, despite the numerous obstacles.

However, that struggle came to an abrupt halt last April when Republican Senators decided to shut down legislation to curb pay discrimination based on gender.
But the question is: will they pay a price in November?


In April of this year, Senate Republicans voted unanimously to block debate on proposed legislation aimed at closing the pay inequality between men and women. The GOP shut down a motion to proceed on the Paycheck Fairness Act with 53 votes for, and 44 against. That count fell short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster. 
As a result, the legislation was pronounced DOA and it marked the third time this particular proposal has failed. 

For Republicans, it was risky - some would say suicidal- thing  to do with the midterms coming up. However, in a marvelous bit of spin, Kentucky Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the legislation was.. 
"just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help. ... We've already seen what five and a half years of Washington Democratic control has meant. More poverty and lower wages for women."
McConnell is facing Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes in the mid-terms. A new Republican poll has found that Grimes is leading McConnell by three points. The gap is even larger among women voters in his state. And that's no wonder: on a variety of women's issues, McConnell's voting record is hard to defend.

Exactly how tightening prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages, adds up to poverty and lower wages for women, is part of the magical thinking of the conservative GOP. Fortunately well-financed (think corporate funding) organizations are quick to plug up any logical leaks in the sinking ship.

For example, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an influential conservative think tank, claimed in an op-ed piece for The New York Times that:
"discrimination plays little role in pay disparities between men and women, and it threatens to impose onerous requirements on employers to correct gaps over which they have little control."
That's not too surprisingly an allegation for AEI.  That organization has long promoted the "advancement of free enterprise capitalism." Its board of trustees is literally a who's who of leading business and financial executives. Hardly what one would call a disinterested party
But for the Republicans, it is a link to the kind of power player that can finance re-election campaigns.

On the other side of the political aisle, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters, "For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans don't appear to be interested in closing the wage gap for working women."

A Look Back
Turning back the clock 78 years, we see this June 1936 editorial cartoon in a New York newspaper. The cartoon shows an exhausted bedraggle cleaning women holding a note that reads:
Any wage they can get away with.
"It's Constitutional!" was the title. What could the cartoon be referring to? 
Because it seemed so timely, it sparked my curiosity. 

Just a two days before the publication of that cartoon, the conservative Supreme Court had handed down one of its most startling and most unpopular decisions.

In the case of Morehead vs. New York, the court struck down a New York minimum‐wage laws for women and children. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Calls for Tony Blair's Resignation as ME Envoy: The Unraveling of a War-Mongerer?

by Nomad

Calls for Tony Blair's resignation as Middle East envoy have come from former ambassadors and politicians.
They have cited his prominent role in the Iraq invasion and his failure to accept responsibility for the mess.
Have events in Iraq finally caught up with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair? Don't bet on it.


For his role as head cheerleader of the Iraq invasion, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has lately come under fire. In an open letter, former British ambassadors and politicians have called on Blair to step down from his position as Middle East envoy  on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU. 

The scathing letter was addressed to foreign ministers in the US, Russia and the EU as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Blair took up the envoy post immediately after resigning as PM on 27 June 2007. Our source reports:
The letter, with signatories including his former ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone – comes weeks after he published an essay in which he claimed that the 2003 invasion was not to blame for the current crisis.
The letter also points out how little Blair has achieved in his position.
With the existential threat to the Iraq democracy project posed by the Islamic militant group ISIS, the authors of the letter have accused Blair of trying to "absolve himself" of his responsibility for the present crisis in the war-torn nation.
“We believe that Mr Blair, as a vociferous advocate of the invasion, must accept a degree of responsibility for its consequences.”
(This might also explain why Dick Cheney has been working so hard recently at passing the buck on the Iraqi "liberation debacle" on to Obama.)

In the past, critics of his actions, including Bishop Desmond TutuHarold Pinter and Arundhati Roy have all called for Blair to face a trial at the International Criminal Court. Unsurprisingly, nothing has come of it.

Even if Blair has the integrity to step down- which is doubtful- one needn't worry that he will be facing the misery of standing in the unemployment line. Apart from his gig as an envoy, Blair has other things to keep him busy. His life has been stuffed with lucrative opportunities since dropping out of politics.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Russian Lawmaker Puts Foot Down on High Heels, Ballet Shoes and Loafers

by Nomad

Just when you thought the American Congress couldn't get any more silly or intrusive into the lives of women, the Russians step in with the draft laws against footwear.


A Paris-based international news agency, AFP, is reporting this story.
Russian women may soon undergo a dramatic makeover if a Kremlin-friendly legislator has his way and pushes through a ban on a fashion item they perhaps cherish the most: high heels.
Oleg Mikheyev, a legislator with pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party, says vertiginous heels as well as trainers, ballet flats and men’s loafers are bad for people’s health and it’s time to do something about it.
The article goes on:
Mikheyev has sent a proposal to the Customs Union which also includes ex-Soviet Belarus and Kazakhstan, suggesting that the Moscow-led group introduce official standards stipulating the height of heels. “Footwear should have heels that are two to four centimetres high, five centimetres high at the most,” said the proposal. “The harmful effects of wearing extremely high heels and flat shoes have now been recognised by experts of the entire world,” said the five-page proposal. “It’s necessary to change this trend.” Mikheyev said he was simply looking to raise awareness rather than ban heels outright.
In fact, Mikheyev is no stranger to [insert adjective of choice] legislation.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cheney's Editorial: A Total Detachment from Responsibility and Reality

by Nomad

Minds were boggled this week as ex-vice president Dick Cheney managed to flip history on its head in order to escape his record in advocating the invasion of Iraq. 


In yet another example of Republican delusional thinking, former vice-president Dick Cheney penned an op-ed for the (Rupert Murdoch-owned) The Wall Street Journal this week, blasting President Obama on  foreign policy. 
Specifically he accused the president of "'fantasy' policies that weaken the US armed forces, embolden terror networks like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and reduce Washington's ability to influence global events."

It was a startling piece of writing, given the source. For a full appreciation of the text, an experienced mental health expert is perhaps required. Psychological projection is evident throughout and frankly, it's a little frightening to see how detached from reality the man has become.
(If Liz Cheney truly loved her father, she would keep as far  from access to the media as she could. Even Nancy Reagan had the common decency to do that for her husband.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hypocrites on Parade: Pat Robertson Slams George Bush for Lying about Iraq

by Nomad

Recent remarks by the evangelist Pat Robertson about George Bush and the pretext for the Iraqi invasion were interesting.
Yet, before you shake Robertson's hand, it's important to hear the whole story.


America's Bill of Goods


Televangelist Pat Robertson on Monday blasted former President George W. Bush for selling Americans a “bill of goods” before the Iraq invasion, which led to the violence that is currently sweeping across the country.
Robertson, a former ardent Bush supporter, is the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition. Broadcasts of his 700 club reportedly  reach a daily audience of one million viewers, both on cable and through syndication.  

His sudden lucidity with regards to the Iraq war and Bush deceptions is a bit of a breathtaking shock. It is a rare occasion that Robertson has a sensible position on any subject. Given his history of supporting controversial right-wing projects, His reluctance to question the conservative position was supposed to be bed-rock solid. For example, his fundraising for the Nicaraguan Contras during the Reagan era.   

In addition to that, he served as the past president of the Council for National Policy, which is described as an "umbrella organization and networking group for social conservative activists in the United States. One progressive media critic called CNP a "highly secretive... theocratic organization -- what they want is basically religious rule." 

Those are some fairly hefty- and disturbing- credentials.

However, on Monday, Pat Robertson condemned George W. Bush's Iraq invasion in no uncertain terms. He said:
“Right now, what we did — and it was a great mistake to go in there..We were sold a bill of goods, we should never have gone into that country!”
In addition, he questioned the credibility of Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein was close to building an atomic bomb. (That claim, incidentally was also promoted by John McCain in the lead up to the invasion.) Robertson called the allegation "a lot of nonsense."

He told his audience that Hussein, as bad as he was, at the very least, held the sectarianism in check and that the situation is now "unfixable."

Since it was his show, there was no way to ask any follow-up questions. 
  • Would, for instance, he support a war crimes trial for members of the Bush administration? 
  • Does he believe presidents must be held accountable for lying to the public, especially when it leads to catastrophic results?  
  • According to the Bible, what is the proper punishment for knowingly leading a nation into a disastrous war?
  • Given the fact that an entire nation has been destroyed, and a superpower has practically been brought to midget status by this war, could you forgive Bush administration officials, like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for their participation in the deception?
  • What would he say to John McCain who promoted the Bush administration's false narrative? 
Although as far as I am concerned there is nothing better than hearing two (or three) pompous old men arguing about things, I doubt very much either men would dare. Clearly Senator McCain would like to forget his role as head cheerleader at Quagmire High School. 
But then, Pat Robertson also has his share of forgetting to do.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Arming ISIS: The Danger of Listening to Warhawks

by Nomad

Two years ago, as the Syrian Civil War dragged on, Republican war hawks had the answers about what President ought to do in Syria. Sending weapons to the freedom fighting rebels was the only answer. 
Today we can see the folly of McCain's foreign policy solutions.

Back in February 2012, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham were indulging in their favorite hobby, telling President Obama what he ought to be doing in the seemingly insolvable Syrian Civil War.
Their answer was to send American weapons to the anti-Assad rebels.

McCain's Folly
“I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement,” McCain told reporters at a news conference during a visit to the Afghan capital, Kabul, “The Iranians and the Russians are providing Bashar Assad with weapons. People that are being massacred deserve to have the ability to defend themselves.”
“So I am not only not opposed, but I am in favor of weapons being obtained by the opposition.”
In other words, the best policy was to return to the proxy wars of the Cold War.

(Nobody on the Republican side bothered to inform the senators that arming rebels in any country is a violation of international law. The International Court of Justice has in the past ruled that such shipments violated the UN charter. The last time this matter came up was curiously enough in the Reagan era with the covert arming of the Nicaraguan contras.)

According to a Wall Street Journal article (behind a firewall), legal advisers to President Obama repeatedly warned that aiding the Syrian rebels probably "violated international law and risked a direct conflict with the Assad regime."

Furthermore, it could easily lead into a larger conflict involving Turkey, Iran, Russia, Israel and other regional neighbors. The President had every reason to proceed with extreme caution. It's the kind of thing a president- as Commander in Chief- is paid to consider.

It was clear that the Obama Administration was never fully committed to the idea of sending weapons. In any event, it made no sense to openly discuss that option. What is the benefit of publicizing such a policy? 

The then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also a little less hawkish about the idea. However according to one source, (her own recently-published memoirs) suggests that early in the country's civil war, she thought the proposal was one option.
Importantly, she adds, that view was overruled by the president.
"The risks of both action and inaction were high, [but] the president [Obama]'s inclination was to stay the present course and not take the significant further step of arming rebels," she added.
"No one likes to lose a debate, including me. But this was the president's call and I respected his deliberations and decision," she wrote, according to CBS News.
As we shall see,  Hilary's version of events was not exactly the final chapter in the whole story. Ultimately, everybody in Washington and in Europe agreed that the Syrian President Assad had to go but nobody could decide how it should be done.
For the war hawk Republicans, the most expedient way seemed to be shipping weapons into the country covertly. It had worked in other cases. After all, it worked for Reagan and the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan...hadn't it?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Radio Talk Show Host Ingraham Says Cantor Lost Because He had No Sense of Humor

by Nomad

Right wing talk show commentator, Ms. Laura Ingraham, has been blamed for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning defeat in the Virginia GOP primary. She resented the charge and explained that there was a much more logical reason for his defeat. 


Conservative radio hotshot Laura Ingraham thinks she knows precisely why Eric Cantor lost his primary last week. It had nothing to do with the overall weakness of his party which has been running counter to American voter opinion on issues like immigration, same-sex marriage and marijuana law reform.

Nor the fact that he constantly undermined the Speaker of the House Boehner's attempts to work out any kind of deal with the president on a host of issues.

One conservative site offers this insight into the minds of some in the Republican party: 
Republican insiders — fed up with the scorched-earth tactics of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor — privately fear the fiery Virginia right-winger could destroy the party’s majority in the House of Representatives with his constant undermining of Speaker John Boehner’s attempts to reach a debt deal with President Barack Obama.
 The article adds:
“Whether Eric Cantor likes it or not, John Boehner is the leader of our party in the House of Representatives,” one frustrated GOP consultant said Tuesday. “If Cantor continues his infantile actions, there won’t be a Republican majority in the House after 2012.”
And it wasn't even that. Despite appearing to press the right buttons, Cantor simply did not abide by the wishes of his ultra-conservative voters in his state. Could that have been the reason?


Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Iraqi Invasion, The French Warning and Fox News

by Nomad

As the Republic of Iraq faces its first existential crisis since the evacuation of American troops, it is important to take a look back to the time before the invasion, to the days before the crossing of the Iraqi Rubicon.
The events of this week shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has a memory. After all, the French warned us that this would probably happen.  


With Iraq is such a mess, and Republican conservatives attempting to blame the Obama administration, it is a good time to review things. Let's go back to the months before the invasion of Iraq. The US worked hard to get the UN on board to approve of military action, to sanction the use of force. US troops had already been deployed and were waiting in the Saudi Arabian desert for the "thumbs up" sign. 

But that is when France and, to a lesser extent, Germany, threw a monkey wrench into what had seemed to be a solid coalition of the West. Colin Powell had pulled out all stops to convince the members, with diagrams of mobile chemical weapons factories and even holding up a fake bottle of anthrax.
This form of persuasion, (scare tactics, some said at the time), did not have the desired effects. 

The French ambassador to the UN at the time, Dominique de Villepin, gave his famous speech, in which he told the UN that while nobody was ruling out the use of military action, the inspections and the use of crippling sanctions on Saddam's government should be allowed to continue. Hans Blix, the UN chief inspector, had so far found no chemical weapons and should be allowed to continue the systematic search.

In a calm and cool delivery, he proposed regular meetings of the security council to review the progress. Here is an excerpt of that speech.


In that 14 February 2003 speech, he warns what that any direct military intervention would naturally also involve a difficult peace. It could, he pointed, out also lead to greater instability and provide a suitable environment for the spread of terrorist groups in that region.

Naturally the Bush administration was shaken by this formidable challenge to the Anglo-American war plan for Iraq. Without UN approval, the invasion of Iraq- even with a coalition, could be considered an aggressive and illegal action.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

In Honor of Eric Cantor's Loss..

by Nomad


I made this meme in special honor of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's unexpected loss in the Virginia primary to Tea Party challenger, Dave Brat. (If you look closely you can actually see the head.) 



Birtherism Reborn: Candidate Ted Cruz and the Wrath of Karma

by Nomad

Cruz TedRepublicans have once again incurred the wrath of the Karma goddess. After years of ranting suspicions about Obama's eligibility to be president, the Republicans could be in a pickle in 2016.
Karma has now focused her attention on GOP/Tea Party darling, Ted Cruz.


For most of President Obama's first term in office, the subject of his birth and eligibility for office were constantly being bandied about by ultra-conservatives. The "Birther" bunch was lead primarily led by one Orly Taitz- a colorful character to say the least. No amount of proof seemed to satisfy her and her scouts. Something, they said, was just not right (white?) about Obama. 
Eventually even the most die-hard conservative lost interest. To the so-called right wing-nuts, the question was enough to bring up any attack against the president. Truth did not need to prevail, the innuendo was sufficient. 

Now the subject of citizenship seems poised to re-appear, but this time it will become the bane- (so to speak) of Republicans.

The Importance of Being American
Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz formally renounced his Canadian citizenship which he had maintained throughout his life. As of May 14, Cruz was no longer a Canadian citizen. 

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada  on December 22, 1970, Cruz had kept his dual citizenship until its existence was revealed by the Dallas Morning News.

This move and the revelation that necessitated it was an important step in the career of Ted Cruz.
Why?

A recent survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that Ted Cruz was a Republican front-runner for the 2016 election, beating out Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and even Jeb Bush. 
Hard to believe, I know. 

The poll also found that Cruz is considered the de facto leader of his party, with a large majority of respondents saying they trust him more than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner.
With Eric Cantor expectedly tossed out on his tunkus, who knows who is next to receive the bum's rush out of the doors of Congress.

Therefore the question of Cruz's eligibility to run for president suddenly becomes essential.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shutting It Down: The Costs of Silencing Occupy Dissent

by Nomad

Protester arrested at Occupy Wall Street Shutting down dissent is costly. After a court ruling this week on police handling of Occupy Wall Street protesters, we learned how much such tactics by law enforcement cost the American taxpayer. Of course, the American taxpayer has had to foot the bill,  not once, but twice.


This week, lawyers for the organization Lawyers for the Rest Of Us. issued a statement announcing the largest settlement to date regarding the Occupy Wall Street protesters and the City of New York. In addition to the public relations nightmare, the city has agreed to pay a staggering out $583,024 to 14 who were falsely arrested. 
On January 1st, 2012, in a federal lawsuit, Peat v. City of New York, 12-cv-8230, filed in the Southern District of New York on November 13, 2012. The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights to free speech and assembly were violated by their arrests.
This settlement is notable as it is  the largest single settlement to date for an Occupy Wall Street-related civil rights lawsuit in New York. The details of the case are worth reviewing since it may not be the last of its kind.
The fourteen plaintiffs were arrested at 2nd Avenue and 13th Street in Manhattan during a peaceful march of Occupy Wall Street supporters. At that location, police officers accompanying the march stopped the march from continuing forward and enclosed the marchers within police lines composed of scooter patrol officers and officers on foot. High-ranking NYPD officers, including then-Chief of Patrol James Hall, Deputy Chief Theresa Shortell, Deputy Inspector Daniel O’Donnell, and Captain William Taylor were present at the scene and directly participated in making the arrests.
The plaintiffs were charged with blocking pedestrian traffic under Penal Law 240.20 (disorderly conduct). The District Attorney’s office later declined to prosecute the criminal cases against the plaintiffs.
The point was to get them off the street and, others might say, to intimidate them into silence.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Comrade Abraham: Was President Lincoln a Closet Marxist?

by Nomad

Abe Lincoln Labor

When we think of Lincoln, most of us do not consider the sixteenth president as a Marxist revolutionary. Yet, a little research uncovers some very interesting- slightly confounding- connections between Abe Lincoln and the father of the Communist movement. As fascinating as that might be, there is an even bigger shock in store when it comes to the origins of the Republican Party.


This quote in the meme above reportedly came early in his political career (December 1847). For some of us who grew up thinking of "Honest Abe" as a folksy backwoods lawyer, it's a bit jarring to hear him talking about labor issues. It's not the image many of us have of the man who freed the slaves and held the nation together. (It's hard enough to think of him as a Republican.)

But there was more to that quote. Lincoln also wrote in that same passage:
These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people.
It's impossible to imagine that any president would dare to say such a thing today. And especially not a Republican one. Any conservative politician who expressed such thoughts today could expect to be skewered alive and roasted slowly (with relish) live on Fox News.

The Battle of the Quotations
As we are all well aware, politicians tend to talk more than necessary and in doing so, say a lot of nonsense, especially early on in their careers. However, in Lincoln's case there is more to it than that. We do know that from early in his career, Lincoln's ideas had not changed but actually expanded. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Snapshot from the Frontline: Where Boston's Homeless Find Health Care

by Nomad

Providing health care to homeless citizens is a job that gets far too little attention compared with, say, celebrity news. One film takes a closer look at the people who have dedicated themselves to that task.

Director  Jeff Schwartz hadn't anticipated that his short film would turn into a full-length documentary.. or a life-changing experience.
"With a small crew and unprecedented access to homeless men and women on the streets.. I was introduced to people I would have normally passed by. "
The result was a film that hat NPR has called "extremely powerful" and "fascinating."
"Give me a Shot of Anything: House Calls to the Homeless" deals with lives of homeless and the doctors and care-givers who provide them with health care. 
Schwartz gave his assessment:
"These are people that care. They see the humanity of the homeless and make sure they are granted basic rights like food, shelter and quality health care."
On a larger scale this film documents one city's response to America's health care needs, the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mistaken Identity and Monkey Suit Mayhem

by Nomad

Taking a break from the political scene, for a moment. I saw this article about a case of mistaken identity at a zoo in Tenerife




Zoo Fail: Man 'in Gorilla Suit' Shot in Training Drill

A Spanish zoo worker who dressed up in a gorilla costume as part of a drill was rushed to hospital after one of the vets mistook him for a real ape and shot him with a tranquilizer rifle.

The case of mistaken identity took place at the Loro Parque zoo in the
Canary island of Tenerife on Wednesday.

As part of a drill to find out how to deal with the potential escape of one of the park’s apes, one of the workers dressed up in a gorilla costume to make the whole scenario all the more believable.
Unfortunately for him, one of the vets must have not been informed about what was happening.
When he saw a furry 'beast' outside its cage, he quickly grabbed his rifle and shot it, or him, with a narcotic dose meant for a 200-kilo mammal.
The man not only fell to the ground like a ton of bricks, he also suffered an allergic reaction which made his condition all the more serious, La OpiniĆ³n de Tenerife reported.
When emergency services arrived at the scene, they found him lying unconscious in his underpants.

On Friday, a Loro Parque spokesperson denied the man was in a gorilla suit and said the tranquilizer rifle had simply misfired. His condition is now stable and local authorities are investigating how the unfortunate event happened, given that there was a risk assessment team present at the zoo when the drill took place.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Paving Paradise: Austerity, Pristine Beaches and the Greek Fire Sale

by Nomad

Critics to proposed Greek legislation opening up beach development worry that in an effort to abide by harsh austerity measure, the Mediterranean nation will be selling off its greatest treasure, its untouched coasts. 


Teacher and chemist Irini Chassiotou, writing for a European environmental news portal, GreenFudge, describes how the Greek economic crisis has been used an pretext to undermine environmental protections and to open up areas to commercial exploitation.. 

The target? The country’s unspoiled beaches and 13,676 kilometres (8,498 mi) of coastline. On the surface, legislation proposed by the government was aimed at reducing bureaucracy and increasing investments. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bounty in Common: The Early Christians Fathers vs. The One Percent

by Nomad

Here's what the Early Fathers of the Christian Church had to say about the rich. Despite what many on the Far Right might say, these ideas about wealth redistribution, sharing God's blessings and holding all things for the common good came a long long time before Marx.

It always amazes me how few Christians are aware of Church teaching. They claim to believe every word but- as I saw recently from a religious politician- quote Ghandi mistaking for the Bible.

It's a pity that Christians do not actually study their faith seriously. If they reviewed for themselves what the early Church fathers said about the greedy rich- instead of taking it second-hand from wealthy evangelists, they would have cleansed the world of the 1% quite some time ago.

Of course, the sad fact is that the capitalist system untempered by at least some kind of socialism, and pure Christianity, as taught in by the Early Fathers, are two ideologies that are incompatible. Judge for yourself.


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