Friday Nite Lite: # JeSuisCharliePosted: January 9, 2015 Filed under: just because, Political and Editorial Cartoons | Tags: cabu, Charb, Charlie Hebdo, France, Paris, Stephane Charbonnier, terrorism, tignous, wolinski 10 Comments
The cartoon post this evening is going to be somber, as you can probably tell it will focus on the terrorist events in France this week.
Before we get to the cartoon tributes, let’s touch on a few things:
First a few quick updates on the news:
French police end twin standoffs, killing Charlie Hebdo terror suspects and an associate – The Washington Post
Paris Massacre Suspects Killed in Dramatic Hostage Raids – NBC News.com
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula member claims group behind Paris terror attack | Fox News
Image for #JeSuisAhmed Reminds Us That A French Muslim Died To Protect Free Speech– HuffPo
The Twitter phenomenon:
Look here for the geomap of the twitter hashtag #JeSuisCharlie at the website | CartoDB it shows a time lapse map of the use of this hashtag over a period of time.
The cartoons that got 12 people killed can be seen here:
These Are The Charlie Hebdo Cartoons That Terrorists Thought Were Worth Killing Over
4 Cartoonists Killed In Attack On Charlie Hebdo Newspaper
As for the tributes…
‘Banksy’ Instagram Account Shares Simple But Beautiful Tribute To Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists
UPDATE: Jan. 8 — The image shared on the fake Banksy account in fact belongs to French illustrator Lucille Clerc, who told The Huffington Post via email: “Yes, I can confirm the drawing is mine. Whoever [reposted] this just took my image and added a filter. I didn’t answer as I don’t want it to turn into a polemic, and distract people from the real issues.”
The original “Banksy” Instagram post has since been updated to credit Clerc’s Twitter handle.
You can see more of Clerc’s work here.
Artists Around The World Show They Won’t Be Silenced By Terrorism After Charlie Hebdo Attack
Gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo — a satirical newspaper headquartered in Paris — leaving 12 dead Wednesday, including cartoonists Jean “Cabu” Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac (also known as Tignous), as well as the publication’s editor/publisher Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier.
In the immediate aftermath, illustrators and artists around the world were moved to express grief and frustration, showing solidarity with their slain colleagues in political cartoons aimed at defending freedom of speech, while also condemning religious extremism. Many of the visualizations capture the absurdity of the terrorist attack in a universal language — cartoons.
There are a lot of cartoons at that link with translations too.
Newspapers React To Charlie Hebdo Attack With Show Of Solidarity On Front Pages
In London, The Independent had a bold message for the terrorists:
Story continues after image
That is just one of many, so go and see the others.
Now the cartoons.
There are just so many of these, that I can’t even post all of them. So I will give you the ones I think are the best…hope that you will agree. At the end I’ll post the links to other sites where you can see other cartoons as well…so with that, here we go…
Lalo Alcaraz: Behind His Charlie Hebdo Cartoon That Went Viral – NBC News.com
Charlie Hebdo tribute by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund
AAEC – Political Cartoon by MStreeter, Savannah Morning News – 01/08/2015
Charlie Hebdo – Political Cartoon by Elena Steier, Sickworldjournal.com – 01/08/2015
French Fries – Political Cartoon by Elena Steier, Sickworldjournal.com – 01/09/2015
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon – Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant – 01/08/2015
Je Suis Charlie Hebdo – Political Cartoon by Steve Artley, Artleytoons – 01/08/2015
Satire Solidarity – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 01/08/2015
Charlie Hebdo – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 01/09/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune – 01/08/2015
Freedom To Express – Political Cartoon by Tim Campbell, Current Publishing – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Bado, Le Droit – 01/09/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez, El Nuevo Herald – 01/08/2015
Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Terrorists attack Paris newspaper – Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Tom Stiglich, MEDIA NEWS GROUP – 01/08/2015
Bruce Plante Cartoon: Massacre in Paris – Political Cartoon by Bruce Plante, Tulsa World – 01/08/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 01/08/2015
Badges – Political Cartoon by Ed Hall, Artizans Syndicate – 01/09/2015
Silent No More by Political Cartoonist Rick McKee
Ink Bottle – Political Cartoon by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News – 01/09/2015
Regeneration by Political Cartoonist Petar Pismestrovic
je suis charlie by Political Cartoonist Bill Schorr
Khartoonist by Political Cartoonist Randall Enos
The Prophet’s face by Political Cartoonist John Cole
Je Suis Charlie by Political Cartoonist Dry Bones
Laughing at religion by Political Cartoonist Steve Greenberg
Voltaire by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson, Victor Valley Daily Press – 01/09/2015
Charlie Hebdo – Political Cartoon by Mike Keefe, InToon.com – 01/09/2015
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette – 01/09/2015
ink tears and blood by Political Cartoonist Hajo de Reijger
je suis charlie – Political Cartoon by Charles Beyl, Lancaster Sunday News – 01/08/2015
Muhammad Speaks by Political Cartoonist Monte Wolverton
Mr. Fish: World Dumbmination – Mr. Fish – Truthdig
Charlie Hebdo by Political Cartoonist Deng Coy Miel
Radical Islam by Political Cartoonist Steve Sack
AAEC – Political Cartoon by Ed Gamble, King Features Syndicate – 01/08/2015
Pencil Palisade Charlie Hebdo by Political Cartoonist Riber Hansson
Cartoonists and Terrorists by Political Cartoonist Marian Kamensky
The Mighty Pen by Political Cartoonist Nik Kowsar
war on cartoons by Political Cartoonist Schot
For more cartoons:
This is an open thread.
Afternoon Open Thread: Did Mitt Romney Lie About His 1968 Car Crash?Posted: August 14, 2012 Filed under: Mitt Romney, U.S. Politics | Tags: Bernos-Beaulac, Bishop Jean Vilnet, Citroen DS, France, head-on collision, Mormon mission 28 Comments
Joseph Cannon has a fascinating piece up on the car crash that Mitt Romney was involved in when he was a Mormon missionary in France in the 1960s. (Thanks to RalphB for sending me over to Cannonfire this morning.) Here’s Cannon’s brief summary of the events in question:
In 1968, Romney was a Mormon missionary in France, zooming his Citroen through the small town of Bernos-Beaulac, when he slammed headlong into a car driven by a Bishop named Jean Vilnet.
Romney was in a coma for days afterwards, or so he says. (The point has been disputed.) One of his passengers died — and therein lies a scandal.
For many years, Mitt claimed that the accident killed a drunken priest named Albert Marie, who had caused the collision by swerving at high speed into Romney’s lane. That story was not true. The “priest” did not die, was not drunk, was not traveling at high speed, and was not at fault.
For what it’s worth, the “priest” was then, and is now, a bishop; his name is not Albert Marie. Although Mitt Romney spoke French well, he apparently didn’t understand how nomenclature works in France: The final part of a male first name may be a traditionally female name, attached with a hyphen — and in religious families, that name is usually Marie. As it happens, the full name of the man Romney hit is Jean-Félix-Albert-Marie Vilnet.
A woman died in the crash, Leola Anderson. She was the wife of Duane Anderson, Romney’s superior in the Paris mission. Romney had been tasked with driving his boss and the other passengers to another mission where Duane Anderson was needed to solve a crisis.
Please read the whole post at Cannonfire if you can. Cannon provides a number of links, which I followed. This one provides the most evidence for Romney lying about the accident. The author argues, based on photographic evidence, that the accident could not have occurred as Romney described it.
Details from Mr. Romney and his supporters are not consistent with photographic evidence and follow up interviews. A view of the impact site tells us the rest of the story:
— The cover story has the driver of the other car presented as a “drunk priest” identified by the various missionary sources with the name “Albert Marie, age 46” in 1968 and in 2007 said to be dead.
Contrary to the cover up tale he is Bishop Jean Vilnet. Full name: Bishop Jean-Félix-Albert-Marie Vilnet. Born in 1922. By American count that did make him 46.
[The photo above] was taken as he recovered from his injuries in the hospital at Bazas, up the road from Beaulac. He was driving the Mercedes Benz 180 in this accident. He is not dead, not yet anyway. He was not blamed by anyone in a responsible position for the accident. That blame was invented (as “woven from whole cloth” in legal parlance) by the missionary team.
— The cover story asserts further that this “drunk priest” was speeding at “120 kph” and swerved out of lane to hit the blameless Mr. Romney. This is the story that was told to the children of Mrs. Anderson all the way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At this link, there is a photo of a Citroen DS just like the one Romney was driving. This one was actually in a high-speed, head-on collision.
The author of the post writes:
Romney was driving at normal highway speed. He has said repeatedly that he did not hit his brakes. If the Mercedes 180 had been going normal highway speed (much less the alleged “120 kph” claim), then Romney’s Citroën DS would have been annihilated — all six of the people in the Citroën would have been killed.
Given that we are analyzing a collision, the fact that Bishop Vilnet had slowed down entering the southbound Left Turn lane — from N524 into Rue de la Poste — that slowing down is what saved their lives. The accident described in Romney’s false-witness tale and now echoed in Wikipedia is physically impossible.
This article from Le Monde repeats the Romney version of the accident, but contains quotes from a couple who were in the car with Romney during the accident as saying they have been asked not to comment about the events that took place back in 1968.
More than 40 years later, André and Paulette Salarnier, French Mormons who often cooked “coq au vin” and mushroom-stuffed crepes for the young Romney, say they received several emails from the candidate’s entourage asking them to no longer speak to reporters about the 1968 accident.
They just remember “an open and charming young man speaking French almost without an accent.” André Salarnier also makes sure to prevent any backlash regarding his famous “coq au vin,” a dish that could be forbidden to water-drinking Mormons and shatter Romney’s image as a pious Mormon: “The wine being cooked, it no longer contains alcohol.” A way to stop anyone from thinking that “Young Mitt” may have been corrupted by the French and their famous Bordeaux vintages.
Many thanks to Joseph Cannon for digging up another great story about Mitt Romney. I’m not sure if there is any way to actually prove that Mitt lied about the accident, but it would certainly be in character with what we know about his incessant lying during the presidential campaign. So what do you think?
Again, this is an open thread.
Thursday Reads: Allergies, French Attitude Adjustments, Neo-Nazi Homicide Update, and MorePosted: May 26, 2011 Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, Great Britain, morning reads, U.S. Politics, Violence against women, Women's Rights | Tags: allergies, Barack Obama, child abuse, Dominiqe Strauss-Kahn, France, gender differences, George Tron, global warming, Jeff Hall, juveniale crime, michelle obama, Neo-Nazis, Nicolas Sarkozy, pollen, Queen Elizabeth, rape, sexual harrassment, Shakespeare, tornadoes, weather 36 Comments
I’ve been saying for awhile now that my spring allergies this year are the worst I can remember. Apparently I haven’t been imagining things. From USA Today:
“Everyone always has a reason to think the current year is the worst year ever for allergies,” said Dr. David Rosenstreich, director of the allergy and immunology division at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
But this year those complaints really do have some merit, he added.
“It’s been a very unusual allergy season. I don’t know if it’s because of the very wet winter or that it’s been cold longer, but the pollen counts are much higher. This week, it’s been running about 6,000 grains a day, instead of the usual 1,500,” Rosenstreich said of his local area.
I knew it was really bad this year! The Chicago Tribune got the same story from different allergy experts.
“Allergy season came a bit sooner and faster, and that’s what took everyone by surprise,” said Dr. Sonali Majmudar, an allergist and immunologist based in Hoffman Estates, who said many of her patients report that they’ve never struggled with allergies before this season.
The choppy, indecisive early spring weather for which Chicago is known, with temperatures jumping between balmy and freezing every few days, might also be to blame, Majmudar said. When it warms up and cools down, pollination starts and stops and immune systems don’t know how to react, she said.
Also contributing: one of the rainiest Aprils on record. While that might be great for yard plants, it’s a big problem for people with allergies, said Dr. Joseph Leija.
That’s exactly how the weather has been here in the Boston area: cold one day, warm the next, then back to cold–and constant rain.
Leija, an allergist at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, also called this the most severe allergy season he has seen in years.
Tree allergy season, which usually begins to wane by early May, is still going strong this year, said Leija, who provides pollen counts for the Midwest to the National Allergy Bureau.
Well at least I know I’m not completely crazy (just partly). According this article in USA Today, allergies are “on the rise” and ragweed is mostly responsible. Want to know if your city is one of the worst for ragweed? Here’s a list of the top 30 cities.
2 Las Vegas
3 Kansas City
4 Riverside-San Bernardino
10 Washington, D.C. (tied)
10 Minneapolis/St. Paul (tied)
12 New York
16 St. Louis (tied)
16 Detroit (tied)
22 Los Angeles (tied)
22 San Antonio (tied)
26 San Diego
29 San Francisco
Weird. I always thought the southwest was good for allergy sufferers. And I can’t believe Indianapolis isn’t even on the list!
Researchers say the increase in allergies is related to climate change.
Apocalyptic images of global climate change include drought, rising sea levels, suffocating coral reefs and emaciated, drowning polar bears. But a new study points to some of the more immediate and mundane side effects of global warming: runny noses, itchy eyes and persistent coughs.
Researchers say allergies are on the rise, and it’s the result of warmer temperatures and happier allergens, like ragweed and mold.
It figures, doesn’t it? Another recent study found that men are more susceptible to allergies than women, which is the opposite of what many people have always assumed.
It appears that French women are becoming more cognizant of their rights to not be sexually harrassed. Now one of Sarkozy’s ministers has been accused of sexually harrassing and/or attacking two former employees.
French prosecutors have opened an inquiry into sexual harassment accusations leveled against a junior minister by two women, one of whom said the arrest of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sex crime charges encouraged her to speak up.
The two women filed the complaints this week against George Tron, a minister in charge of the civil service in the center-right government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to their lawyer, Gilbert Collard.
Prosecutor Marie-Suzanne Le Queau told Reuters in response to a telephone query that a preliminary inquiry had been opened as a result of the accusations. “The inquiry will cover (suspected) counts of sexual assault and rape,” Le Queau said. All types of penetration can be classified as rape in France.
One of the women
said she was driven to break her silence after former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with attempted rape on the basis of the accusations of a New York hotel maid in a case that stunned France and the world.
“When I see that a little chambermaid is capable of taking on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I tell myself I do not have the right to stay silent,”
I don’t care for the “little chambermaid” reference, but I applaud the general spirit of what this woman had to say.
The Washington Post reports that the French are “questioning attitudes” about the sexual behavior of powerful men
The criminal charges prompted the media to revisit little-reported incidents in which Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexual aggressiveness that appeared to cross the line into harassment. Women have come forward with their own stories of unwanted approaches that they felt powerless to do anything about….
Feminists say that, to succeed in France, women in politics, business and the media have to put up with “heavy flirting” bordering on harassment.
One political TV talk show panel titled “The Return of the Feminists” asked: “Are we all chambermaids?’”
Prominent journalist Helene Jouan said last week that as a young reporter she had to put up with politicians “knocking on my hotel-room door” and sending unwanted text messages. She said the behavior made her uncomfortable, but it was something that was not really talked about.
There is a similar article at Bloomberg.
The arrest in New York of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of attempted rape is forcing men to watch what they say and emboldening women to challenge the modern-day version of France’s “droit de cuissage,” a feudal practice giving masters the right to have sex with female servants. It’s prompting introspection in the media over whether its laissez-faire attitude toward private lives of those in power helps them act with impunity.
“Since power is often thought of as an aphrodisiac, there was a sort of acceptance of men’s excesses toward women,” said Rachel Mulot, a member of a feminist group called “La Barbe,” or The Beard, which on May 22 joined protests in Paris against the “dominant male.” The Strauss-Kahn case may serve as a trigger to help victims of sexual assaults to break the “taboo of rape” in France, she said.
I wanted to give you an update on the case of the 10-year-old boy who shot and killed his Neo-Nazi skinhead dad. I told you I thought it was highly likely that the father was abusing his kids. It turns out I was right. The guy was beating his wife too.
A 10-year-old boy charged with murdering his white supremacist father told investigators that he shot the man after growing tired of him hitting him and his stepmother, court documents showed on Wednesday.
In the hours after the shooting, the boy told investigators he thought Jeff Hall, 32, was cheating on his stepmother and that he might have to choose who to live with, according to a police declaration filed in Riverside County.
The blonde-haired boy from Southern California told investigators he went into his parents’ closet, pulled a revolver off a low shelf, went downstairs and aimed the gun at his father’s ear while he was asleep and shot him. He later hid the gun under his bed, according to court documents.
“It was right there on the shelf,” the boy told investigators, according to the police declaration filed Tuesday in support of an arrest warrant for his stepmother Krista McCary on nine felony charges of child endangerment and criminal storage of a gun.
Investigators also reported that the house was a pigsty and not a fit place to be raising five children, including a two-month old baby girl.
The tornado season is continuing in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and all over the midwest. Why are the tornadoes so bad this year? That’s the question this article in the Christian Science Monitor tries to answer.
Nearly 1,200 tornadoes have swarmed the United States this year, according to preliminary numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Four of these storms have been rated at the highest tornado strength, an EF-5. The death toll from these tornadoes has likely topped 500, a number not seen since 1953.
But why has this year seen so many and such devastating twisters? Scientists point to several large-scale climate factors, some of which have been at work behind the scenes since winter. And at least some of the mind-boggling tornado numbers, believe it or not, can be chalked up to humans — there are more of us around to see them.
The article offers a number of explanations–too much information to excerpt, so read the whole thing if you’re interested.
I’m going to finish with a couple of Obama-family-related stories First, there’s a sex scandal roiling the private elementary school that Malia Obama attended.
The father of a 5-year-old Sidwell Friends School student has filed a $10 million suit against the school for allegedly allowing its staff psychologist to carry on an affair with his wife.
In court filings, Arthur Newmyer claims he and his daughter suffered “severe emotional distress” when then-school psychologist James Huntington carried on a lengthy affair with his wife, Tara Newmyer. Huntington was treating Newmyer’s daughter at the time, and the suit alleges that the girl was routinely present when he and Tara Newmyer would meet to spend time together.
Arthur Newmyer is accusing Sidwell of being aware of the affair and doing “nothing to stop it.”
Finally, as everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows, the Obamas are touring Europe right now. Afrocity posted this photo on Facebook. I think she probably did it to make fun of Michelle Obama, but I really loved it. I just can’t help but like Michelle. I even like her outfits. Go ahead and yell at me for it. I don’t mind. So here’s the photo
I just love that picture! That woman is a good sport and doesn’t take herself too seriously. I like that. If she were President instead of her husband, I think we’d probably be a lot better off, as you can see below: President Obama talks over “God Save the Queen” and quotes Shakespeare inappropriately. What an embarrassment!
So…. what are you reading and blogging about this morning?
Elite Conspiracy Theories and the Arrest of Dominique Strauss-KahnPosted: May 25, 2011 Filed under: collective bargaining, Economic Develpment, financial institutions, Foreign Affairs, France, Libya, Media, Pakistan, poverty, racism, Regulation, The Bonus Class, The Great Recession, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, unemployment, Violence against women | Tags: conspiracy theories, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Federal Reserve, France, global elites, IMF, John F. Kennedy, Naomi Wolf, Nicholas Sarkozy, rape 29 Comments
When one of us common people questions the Bush failures before 9/11 or the Warren Commission’s insistence that JFK was killed by a lone gunman, we are laughed at by the corporate media and lectured by politicians. But when one of the Global Elite gets in trouble, conspiracy theories are suddenly in vogue. Now that a global banker and possible candidate for the French presidency is accused of a sexual attack on a lowly hotel maid, elite conspiracy theories are running rampant in the U.S. and international media. I’ll give you a few examples.
At the Pakistan Observer, Ali Ashraf Kahn argues that Strauss-Kahn had to brought down, first because he would very likely have beaten the “American poodle Sarakozi” in a race for the presidency of France, and second because he (Strauss-Kahn) had offended the international banksters and corporations by proposing more liberal policies at the IMF which would have been a threat to the dollar. According to Ali Ashraf Kahn, getting rid of Strauss-Kahn would–along with U.S. military actions in Libya and Pakistan–would help to “save American predominance in the world.”
This incident goes to prove the hidden agenda of an international vested interest group trying to build and secure an American Empire for their master, which has not spared even Strauss-Kahn, who has been fixed in a rape attempt with a 32 year old hotel maid in a country where teen aged unwed mothers are a normal accepted feature. The former French Foreign Minister Strauss-Kahn, once if he was elected as president of France would have worked to strengthen the Euro to bring down dollar, which was of serious concern for the Federal Reserve Board in the already ongoing currency war with China. John F. Kennedy, US president was murdered for his only sin of canceling Federal Reserve Act of 1913 in 1963, when for the first time dollar currency was issued with the seal of US government, soon after his assassination President Lyndon B. Johnson revived this Act to continue their financial exploitation.
The author of this article appears to have a problem understanding the distinction between rape and consensual sex that results in pregnancies, but I’ll let that go for the moment. Kahn explains that Strauss-Kahn was trying to make radical changes at the IMF–so much so that Strauss Kahn won high praise from Joseph Stiglitz, which was apparently the final “kiss of death.”
Strauss-Kahn was trying to move the bank in a more positive direction, a direction that didn’t require that countries leave their economies open to the ravages of foreign capital that moves in swiftly-pushing up prices and creating bubbles, and departs just as fast, leaving behind the scourge of high unemployment, plunging demand, hobbled industries, and deep recession. Strauss-Kahn had set out on a “kinder and gentler” path, one that would not force foreign leaders to privatize their state-owned industries or crush their labour unions. Naturally, his actions were not warmly received by the banker’s mafia and multi national corporations who look to the IMF to provide legitimacy to their ongoing plunder of the rest of the world. These are the people who think that the current policies are “just fine” because they produce the desired results they’re looking for, which is bigger profits for themselves and deeper poverty for everyone else.
I have to admit, I’m in sympathy with those goals. There’s a lot more, so read the whole thing if you want more detail.
The next conspiracy theory is from Uganda. The author, Dr. Kihura Nkuba, also argues that Strauss-Kahn’s attack on the U.S. dollar is what led to his downfall. Nkuba says that police in the racist U.S. would never take the word of a poor black woman against that of a powerful white man unless motivated by a political conspiracy.
A woman from West Africa, assaulted by a famous white male, a future president of France, to be listened to by the New York Police, is amazing. But is it? [….]
New York police has [sic] been rummaging through DSK’s diaries, hotel registries, phone records, yearbooks and have made sure that the “great seducer” always appears handcuffed and dressed in a “pervie” raincoat with three-days stubble before they parade him in front of the media. He gets this treatment even though he has no criminal record and nothing, but the sketchy accusations of a room service cleaner.
What is his real crime? Strauss-Kahn was mounting an attack against the dollar and had called for a new world reserve currency that would challenge the dominance of the dollar and protect against future financial instability. He suggested adding emerging market countries’ currencies, such as the Yuan, to a basket of currencies that the IMF will administer to add stability to the global system….Strauss-Kahn saw a greater role for the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, (SDRs) which is currently composed of the dollar, sterling, euro and yen, over time but said it will take a great deal of international cooperation to make that work.”
I love the way these male authors toss aside the charges against Strauss-Kahn–in Nkuba’s case, while complaining about racial prejudice. I guess he goes by the “bros before hos” rule: racism bad, sexism invisible.
Naomi Wolf also has a conspiracy theory about the Strauss-Kahn arrest that goes along with her defense of Julian Assange against sexual abuse charges in Sweden. She begins by comparing the NYC police response to the Strauss-Kahn case with the case of two of New York’s “finest,” Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, who are on trial for raping a woman in Manhattan.
According to Wolf,
Moreno and Mata have not been asked to strip naked for “evidence” photos, were not initially denied bail, and were not held in solitary confinement, and are not being strip-searched daily. Their entire case has followed the usual timetable of many months, as evidence was gathered, testimony compiled and arguments made.
On the other hand, Wolf writes,
After a chambermaid reportedly told her supervisor at the elegant Sofitel hotel that she had been sexually assaulted, the suspect was immediately tracked down, escorted off a plane just before its departure, and arrested. High-ranking detectives, not lowly officers, were dispatched to the crime scene. The DNA evidence was sequenced within hours, not the normal eight or nine days. By the end of the day’s news cycle, New York City police spokespeople had made uncharacteristic and shockingly premature statements supporting the credibility of the victim’s narrative — before an investigation was complete.
The accused was handcuffed and escorted before television cameras — a New York tradition known as a “perp walk.” The suspect was photographed naked, which is also unusual, initially denied bail and held in solitary confinement. The Police Commissioner has boasted to the press that Strauss-Kahn is strip-searched now multiple times a day — also unheard-of.
I didn’t know that Strauss-Kahn was being subjected to daily strip-searches, but it seems to be true, according to the New York Post.
Prison brass and the NYPD have an airtight plan to safeguard the jet-setting French moneyman by having him isolated, chained, shackled — and repeatedly strip-searched — before and after court appearances, including a bail hearing newly scheduled for today.
“He will be strip-searched when he leaves Rikers Island. He will be strip-searched when he arrives in court. He’s strip-searched when he leaves court, and he’s strip-searched when he gets back to Rikers,” said Norman Seabrook, head of the correction officers union.
“When he arrives to the courthouse, he’s going to be put in an isolated cell away from other inmates,” said Seabrook. “This is for fear that another inmate would try to kill him to make a name for himself.”
Yet, as Wolf points out, hotel maids are routinely subject to sexual attacks during their work. Her conspiracy theory is that in the modern surveillance state,
men like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was investigating financial wrongdoing by the insurance giant AIG, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Strauss-Kahn — whose efforts to reform the IMF gained him powerful opponents — can be, and are, kept under constant surveillance. Indeed, Strauss-Kahn, who had been the odds-on favorite to defeat Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s French presidential election, probably interested more than one intelligence service.
This does not mean that Strauss-Kahn is innocent or that he is guilty. It means that policy outcomes can be advanced nowadays, in a surveillance society, by exploiting or manipulating sex-crime charges, whether real or inflated.
She has a pretty good point there. But the maid who reported Strauss-Kahn’s attack was a member of a union, as Dean Baker pointed out. Could that be why her employer made sure she was treated well by the police?
The reason that this is an important part of the story is that it is likely that Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim might not have felt confident enough to pursue the issue with either her supervisors or law enforcement agencies, if she had not been protected by a union contract. The vast majority of hotel workers in the United States, like most workers in the private sector, do not enjoy this protection.
Dean Baker was also disappointed in Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, because whether or not he is guilty, his resignation spells the end of reform at the IMF.
Reading all these arguments for a conspiracy against Dominque Strauss-Kahn has given me pause. It certainly makes sense that the U.S. government would want to end his tenure at the IMF and prevent him from becoming President of France. But how could they know he would attack a hotel maid? Does the conspiracy require her involvement? That’s the serious hangup I have in buying into these authors’ claims–much as I do always enjoy a good conspiracy theory.
Patrica J. Williams touches all the bases in an article about the case at NPR. On the conspiracy issue, she argues for a skeptical approach to conspiracy theories, while keeping an open mind.
Politics is a complicated, dirty business, as the impeachment hearings of President Clinton ought to have instructed us. (Who guessed back then that Newt Gingrich, while skewering Clinton’s morals, was cheating on his then-wife with his present wife?) For Americans, who by and large have never heard of DSK, the possibility of his arrest being a set-up is inconceivable. But in the immediate aftermath of his detention, a majority of French citizens believe he has been purposely brought down. Why? Dominique Strauss-Kahn was well on track not just to become France’s president but its first Jewish president. As head of the IMF, he led that institution in a distinctly progressive manner. He sharply critiqued corrupt American bankers and banking practices and, early on, predicted the collapse of the mortgage market. As a center-left Socialist party member, he was close to negotiating a European Union bailout for Greece. And his elimination from the election empowers the candidacy of Marine LePen, head of the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic National Front party, whose popularity, alarmingly enough, currently polls higher than that of Nicolas Sarkozy.
I’m certainly going to keep all this in mind as I follow the developments in the Strauss-Kahn case. I’d love to know what you all think about it too, so please chime in!
Wikileaks and GMO/GM food, More cables, more fun!Posted: December 28, 2010 Filed under: Economic Develpment, Farming, Food, Foreign Affairs, Wikileaks | Tags: Africa, cables, food, France, GM food, GMO, GMO food, monsanto, Spain, Wikileaks 24 Comments
Recently our own Grayslady posted an excellent article about Wikileaks, Monsanto and GMO Corn. She discussed a cable sent in late 2007 from our then Ambassador to France, Craig Stapleton, in which he discusses ways to force France and the EU to be more favorable towards the adoption of Monsanto’s GM BT enhanced, Roundup Ready corn. Other aspects of the information in that Wikileaks cable has been discussed in other places, for instance at Huffington Post by Jeffery Smith and at Truthout by Mike Ludwig.
What the cable suggested, in part, was publishing a ‘retaliation’ list of places, down to the actual fields, growing GMO foods in Europe in the hopes the fields and crops would be destroyed by activists, ’cause pain’ for officials and hopefully swing GMO acceptance in Europe around. The Ambassador went on to say that France was particularly culpable because scientists in France were attempting to change ‘knowledge’ by studying the effects of GMO products (even the ‘good’ GMO like BT enhanced products). These studies show that the effects of GMO food on those eating it may be more pronounced and drastic than the limited studies done by the FDA and USDA suggest (see for example the studies of Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini, Professor Andrés Carrasco, and others). And for more, see this interview of Jeffery Smith on Democracy Now.
This is very interesting, because a cable sent in 26 October 2007 is the subject of French President Sarkozky’s first visit to the USA, and his meetings with American business leaders, including pushers of GM foods. The cable suggests that the President’s support of more restrictive rules on GM products in France might be politically based and therefore, changeable.
But Wait, There’s more! The cable to France, although receiving a lot of attention because it suggests undercutting the rightful government of our supposed allies and creating civil unrest and ‘pain’, is not the only released cable to mention GMOs and Monsanto’s needs across the world. Over at Eats, Shoots and Leaves there’s a good rundown by Richard Brenneman of some of the cables.
For example, in a cable from 9 April 2009 concerning, in part, African development, one of the points of intelligence to be gathered is the African governments’ and peoples’ reactions to growing and using GM crops. Brenneman rightly asks, why would this be a concern of our State Department, unless our government is actively pushing and supporting Monsanto and the company’s GM stable of crops?
I’m going to drop a final h/t to Rady Ananda at the Food Freedom blog. She wrote about GMO and Wikileaks several weeks ago, and has been right on top of things. She brings forth the case of the food crisis of 2007-08 which wraps up some of the things we at Sky Dancing discuss into a tidy bundle.
In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
Some of the participants thought raising food prices in Europe might lead to greater acceptance of biotech imports.
It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that ‘The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,’ reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.
The unprecedented high in food prices in 2008 caused an additional 250 million people to go hungry, pushing the global number to over a billion. 2008 is also the first year ‘since such statistics have been kept, that the proportion of the world’s population without enough to eat ratcheted upward,’ said Kaufman.
Remember back in 2007/08 when food prices, especially bread prices, suddenly shot up? I remember being astounded when the price of a bag of hot dogs went from 99 cents to 1.29$ overnight. I figured maybe it was the result of the rise in oil costs going on about then, and perhaps it was, in part. But after reading the article by Kaufman I’m not so sure. There was no crisis in food production at this time. It was simply a manufactured bubble. About that time there were terrible food riots in Mexico amongst 29 other countries, because the price of tortillas had gone up so much people couldn’t afford to buy them. I note that the Mexican government has recently taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again, by buying corn futures to guarantee a flat price.
So, I wonder, how are the big fat cats and the government diddling in our food today? Surely food, at least food, should be relatively safe from bubbles, like electricity, water, and sewage service? Oh wait, those are being commoditized too. Ahd I would like to point out, the price of the bag of hot dogs has not come back down, although the bubble burst… makes ya wonder, doesn’t it?
Note: I’m going to be in and out all today, so consider this something of an open thread. I’m really keen to know what everyone thinks of the Kaufman article. When I read it I was stunned by the lengths to which the greedy people of Wall Street will go to make money.