Feb 21, 2010
Pride parades for the LGBT community (also known as gay pride parades, pride events and pride festivals) are events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually and many take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in the modern LGBT rights movement.. The Stonewall Inn, often shortened to Stonewall is an American bar in New York and the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which are widely considered the start of the modern gay liberation movement. Originally constructed between 1843 and 1846 as stables, the property was turned into a restaurant in 1930. It remained a restaurant until it was gutted by fire in the mid 1960s. The Stonewall Inn, at the time, was owned by the Mafia. On March 18, 1967, the Stonewall opened in the space. It was, during its time, the largest gay establishment in the U.S. and did a very good business, although, as with most gay clubs at the time, police raids were common. The raid did not go as planned. Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested. The police tried to restrain some of the crowd, and knocked a few people down. Someone in the crowd declared that the bar had been raided because "they didn't pay off the cops", to which someone else yelled "Let's pay them off!"
Coins sailed through the air towards the police as the crowd shouted "Pigs!" and "Faggot cops!" Beer cans were thrown and the police lashed out, dispersing some of the crowd, who found a construction site nearby with stacks of bricks...The police, was outnumbered by between 500 and 600 people. The Tactical Police of the New York City Police Department arrived to free the police trapped inside the Stonewall. One officer's eye was cut, and a few others were bruised from being struck by flying debris. A witness across the street said, "All I could see about who was fighting was that it was transvestites and they were fighting furiously". Thirteen people had been arrested. Some in the crowd were hospitalized, and four police officers were injured. Almost everything in the Stonewall Inn was broken... A few months after the riots that started 28 June 1969, The Stonewall Inn closed in late 1969. Each year during the Pride March crowds gather outside the Stonewall Inn to enjoy its rich history. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. On November 2, 1969, the first gay pride parade was held in New York City. In the 1980s there was a cultural shift in the gay movement. Activists of a less radical nature began taking over the march committees in different cities, and they dropped "Gay Liberation" and "Gay Freedom" from the names, replacing them with "Gay Pride". The very first Eastern European Pride, was assumed to be a promotion of the human right to freedom of assembly in Croatia and other Eastern European states, where such rights of the LGBT population are not respected, and a support for organizing the very first Prides in that communities. Out of all ex-Yugoslav states, only Slovenia and Croatia have a tradition of organizing Pride events, whereas the attempt to organize such an event in Belgrade, Serbia in 2001, ended in a bloody showdown between the police and the counter-protesters, with the participants heavily beaten up. South Africa is home to the only gay pride march on the African continent, the Joburg Pride held in Johannesburg. On June 29, 2008, four Indian cities (Delhi, Bangalore, Pondicherry, and Kolkata) saw coordinated pride events. On 30 June 2005, the fourth annual Pride march of Jerusalem took place. It had originally been prohibited by a municipal ban which was cancelled by the court. On 26 June 1994, on the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay Philippines) and Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Manila organized the First LGBT Pride March in Asia. On 22 July 2005, the first Latvian gay pride march took place in Riga, surrounded by protesters... There is opposition to pride events both within LGBT and mainstream populations. Critics charge the parades with an undue emphasis on sex and fetish-related interests which they see as counter-productive to LGBT interests. The argument is sometimes taken further, arguing that they expose the "gay community" to ridicule. LGBT activists counter that traditional media have played a role in emphasizing the most outlandish and therefore non-representative aspects of the community.
So, it is all about human rights, right? If they want to dance with bare butts in the streets or have sex in public with the same gender, so what, it's their God given right, ok? There is a group of individuals who are victims of persecution by our society. They are kleptomaniacs. A kleptomaniac is a person who has an irresistible desire to steal. Sociological studies have proven that 1 of every 10 people is a kleptomaniac. But because they are a small minority, they continue to suffer from the misguided efforts of society to punish them.Despite the fact that they are born with this desire, society punishes them for practicing their desire. Laws are stacked against them, “Christian” leaders constantly condemn kleptomaniacs by twisting the Bible to say what they want it to say. Thus, this innocent minority is made to suffer simply because society sees them as a threat to established morals. Indeed, they are one of the most persecuted groups in our society, persecuted simply because they are different. Instead of acceptance and tolerance, they suffer discrimination and condemnation. God has made kleptomaniacs the way they are. It is behavior they cannot, and should not, deny. It is time for kleptomaniacs to come out of the closet and demand their special rights !
Feb 19, 2010
The war in Afghanistan makes no sense at all. Why would anybody want to invade and take over this remote and hard land of poor and ferocious men? There are no spoils to be taken, no oil, no important routes. But what is the possible benefit?
The only semi-rational argument is that of Drugs. Afghanistan produces a lot of the stuff (90 percent of the world's supply) ; in the days of Taliban rule, opium was practically eliminated, but since the US intervention, the production shot up many times. Afghani opium is flown from Bagram Air Base to Kosovo, the biggest US base in Europe and then smuggled to Europe . Thus creation of independent Kosovo with its criminal Albanian gangs begins to make sense – as a part of America’s war against Europe . Alternative route is allegedly carried by Chechens via Grozny where an almost independent warlord Kadyrov has his own customs clearance for entry into the Russian market. President Obama is just a supreme heroin pusher, but the same can be said about Queen Victoria , for in 19th century plucky Brits twice fought wars for harvest, production and delivery of opium. Perhaps this war is the latest in the series of the Opium Wars? It should come as no surprise that the biggest opium-growing regions are Helmand and Kandahar provinces, the Taliban strongholds where so much of the war is being fought. The opium crop employs from 1.6 million to 2.4 million Afghan citizens - as much as 8 percent of the country's 28.4 million people. After President George W. Bush spent 3 years trying to "eradicate" the crop, the opium acreage increased by 61 percent and the value of the crop increased by about one-third, the Washington Post reported in 2006. Opium pays Afghan farmers 12 times as much as food crops. They can't grow food in opium country as easily as they can grow opium. Growing opium may be the best thing that land can be used for. History seems to indicate that. Those two poor, devastated provinces could supply the entire world with nearly all of a drug that the world needs - legally. The entire world needs about 5,000 tons of opium a year for painkillers, according to those semi-reliable sources. Afghanistan is expected to produce 6,900 tons this year, and the wholesale price for opium today, according to Reuters, is $64 a kilo, or $64,000 a metric ton. At that price, United States could buy Afghanistan 's entire opium harvest this year for $442 million. It costs US $1 million to keep a single U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for a year. With 53,000 U.S. troops in country now, that's $53 billion a year. That's why they need to close the deal fast, that's why they're negotiaing with the enemy.
Ethnic Albanian criminal gangs continue to pose a serious security threat, dominating the transit and supply of heroin to Switzerland, warns a federal police expert. (source: ISN Security Watch)
According to the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Switzerland has historically been singled out as one of the countries most affected by ethnic Albanian heroin trafficking, due to the large expatriate population. There were an estimated 94,000 Albanian-speakers in Switzerland in 2000. In the late 1990s, Albanians were blamed for trafficking some 70 to 90 percent of Switzerland's heroin supply into the country. Ethnic Albanian criminal gangs built up a reputation as effective traffickers as they were violent and clannish with a language nobody else could understand and had an honor code similar to the Sicilian mafia. Southeastern Europe lies along the most conventional route - the so-called Balkan route - between the supplier of some 90 percent of the world's heroin, Afghanistan, and its most lucrative consumer market, western Europe. Kosovo's independence proclamation by the Albanian secessionist administration in Pristina in February 2008, follows a course that was drafted back in March 1999 when NATO started a war against Serbia. Kosovo is viewed as a region that is under the tight grip of organized crime and corruption which spans through he entire social and political sphere. The current leadership under Hashim Thaci is to emerge from the unholy alliance of traffickers in the region and the UCK. Pristina government has always been subject to the power of the Mafiosi who were the largest donors of the KLA rebels and want to keep the region in their own sphere of influence. German intelligence service in 2005, described the former Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramous Haradinaj as related «in drug trafficking, extortion and protection business». Reliable and highly informed sources at the Institute for European Policy, based in Germany, in a 2007 last report, commissioned for the German Armed Forces, indicated that the three leading Kosovo politicians, Ramush Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci and Xhavit Haliti are «Persons protected by the international community although they are deeply involved in all of these affairs». In a Pan-European level perhaps two-thirds of the heroin sold in the streets it is being distributed by Albanian criminal syndicates which are mostly established in Kosovo. Further another crucial element is the existence of a strong Albanian-American lobby in the U.S. East Coast which is interlinked with the still powerful American-Italian Mafia and quite a few mainstream politicians and bureaucrats. This lobby is also a small part of the wider nexus between Pakistan-Saudi Arabia-Turkey business lobbies n Washington that have managed to pursue high politics mainly in the Pentagon and the State Department through the use of retired American Generals and diplomats, attaining great influence even at the expense of the national interests of the USA. According to the U.S. law, "US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961", aid is prohibited to any country or organization that it is involved in drug trafficking. It is noteworthy to emphasize the involvement of the DEA at this point. Until March 1999 it followed a clear-cut policy of repression against the Kosovo related drug crime, but a month before the NATO bombing it pulled down from its own website references connected to Kosovo...
NATO bombing of Serbia, "the Kosovan War" allowed the place (rebel Serbian province) to become a centre of drug activity for the European market. So called "Kosovans" (muslim albanian population of Kosovo and Metohija) had a reputation for smuggling, but mafias there were eager to be involved in supplying the European market and could offer safe storage and a network of smugglers and wholesale dealers in the UK. They also used the refugee crisis to take advantage of this. If Afghanistan was a War to fight Terrorism - it begs the question - who is benefiting from the billions in drug revenues? In one War (Kosovo) a massive European safe haven for traffickers is created as the CIA court drug mafias linked with 'freedom fighters'. In Columbia - Right wing paramilitaries work hand in hand with drug cartels. In Afghanistan, the CIA again courted people involved in the drug trade masquerading as freedom fighters - the 'Northern Alliance' rise to power has seen the old poppy farming come back with a vengeance. It's almost as if the USA is creating the very conditions the drug trade needs to prosper. Some would point to the ease in which drug ravaged communities can be controlled by the state. The consequence of the USA involvement in its wars has been to create a free market for drugs. Was that the intent or just an accident?
Feb 9, 2010
Democracy in America is a Useful Fiction
Corporate forces carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place. Democracy in America is a useful fiction. There is no national institution left that can accurately be described as democratic. Citizens, rather than participate in power, are allowed to have virtual opinions to preordained questions, a kind of participatory fascism as meaningless as voting on “American Idol.” Barack Obama is a brand, he has no power. Hollywood, the news industry and television, all corporate controlled, have become instruments of inverted totalitarianism. They censor or ridicule those who critique or challenge corporate structures. Liberals, socialists, trade unionists, independent journalists and intellectuals, many of whom were once important voices in our society, have been silenced or targeted for elimination within corporate-controlled academia, the media and government. The uniformity of opinion is reinforced by the skillfully orchestrated mass emotions of nationalism and patriotism, which paints all dissidents as “soft” or “unpatriotic.” The “patriotic” citizen, plagued by fear of job losses and possible terrorist attacks, unfailingly supports widespread surveillance and the militarized state. The civic, patriotic and political language we use to describe ourselves remains unchanged. We pay fealty to the same national symbols and iconography. We find our collective identity in the same national myths. We continue to deify the Founding Fathers. But the America we celebrate is an illusion. It does not exist. Our government and judiciary have no real sovereignty. Our press provides diversion, not information. Our organs of security and power keep us as domesticated and as fearful as most Iraqis. Capitalism, as Karl Marx understood, when it emasculates government, becomes a revolutionary force. And this revolutionary force, best described as inverted totalitarianism, is plunging us into a state of neo-feudalism, perpetual war and severe repression...
Wall Street Will Be Back for More
Corporations, which control the levers of power in government and finance, promote and empower the psychologically maimed. Those who lack the capacity for empathy and who embrace the goals of the corporation—personal power and wealth—as the highest good succeed. Those who possess moral autonomy and individuality do not. They play their games of high finance as if the rest of us do not exist. And it is a game that will kill us. The corporation decides who has value and who does not, who advances and who is left behind. It rewards the most compliant, craven and manipulative, and discards the losers who can’t play the game, those who do not accumulate wealth or status fast enough, or who fail to fully subsume their individuality into the corporate collective. It dominates the internal and external lives of its employees, leaving them without time for family or solitude—without time for self-reflection—and drives them into a state of perpetual nervous exhaustion. This hazing process eliminates from the system most of those with backbone, fortitude and dignity. The employees who advance are skilled drones, often possessed of a peculiar kind of analytical intelligence and drive, but morally, emotionally and creatively crippled. Their intellect is narrow and inhibited. They rely on the corporation, as they once relied on their high-priced elite universities and their SAT scores, for validation. They demand that they not be treated as individuals but as members of the great collective of Goldman Sachs or AIG or Citibank. They talk together. They exchange information. They make deals. They compromise. They debate. But they do not think. They are deaf, dumb and blind to the common good. How you make money and how you climb the ladder of the corporate structure are irrelevant. Success becomes its own morality. Those who do well in this environment possess the traits often exhibited by psychopaths—superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance, a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation, and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. They, like competitors on a reality television program, lie, cheat and betray to climb over those around them and advance. These deeply stunted and maladjusted individuals, from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to Robert Rubin to Lawrence Summers to the heads of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, hold the fate of the nation in their hands. They have access to trillions of taxpayer dollars and are looting the U.S. Treasury to sustain reckless speculation. The financial and corporate system alone validates them. It defines them. It must be served. This is why we will endure another catastrophic financial collapse. This is why firms like Goldman Sachs are more dangerous to the nation than al-Qaida.
These corporations don’t make anything. They don’t produce anything. They gamble and bet and speculate. And when they lose vast sums they raid the U.S. Treasury so they can go back and do it again.
Globalization Goes Bankrupt
The leaders of the G-20 are meeting to try and salvage their power and money after everything that has gone wrong. This is what those meetings are about. The draconian security measures put in place are disproportionate to any actual security concern. They are a response not to a real threat, but to the fear gripping the established centers of power. The power elite grasps, even if we do not, the massive fraud and theft being undertaken to save a criminal class on Wall Street. They know the awful cost this plundering of state treasuries will impose on workers, who will become a permanent underclass. And they also know that once this is clear to the rest of us, rebellion will no longer be a foreign concept. Our global economy, like our political system, has been hijacked by a tiny oligarchy, composed mostly of wealthy white men who serve corporations. They have pledged or raised a staggering $18 trillion, looted largely from state treasuries, to prop up banks and other financial institutions that engaged in suicidal acts of speculation and ruined the world economy. They have formulated trade deals so corporations can speculate across borders with currency, food and natural resources. The wealthiest governments use institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization like pit bulls to establish economic supremacy. There is little that most governments seem able to do to fight back. But the game is up. The utopian dreams of globalization have been exposed as a sham. Force is all the elite have left. We are living through one of civilization’s great seismic reversals. The ideology of globalization, like all utopias that are sold as inevitable and irreversible, has become a farce. The power elite, perplexed and confused, cling to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the political and economic vacuum before us. We have reached the terminal stage. No one will save us now but ourselves. The best thing that happened to the Establishment is the election of a black president. It will contain people for a given period of time, but time is running out. The recovery is only a recovery for Wall Street. It can’t be sustained, and Obama will be blamed for it. He is doing everything Wall Street demands. But this will be a dead end. It is a prescription for disaster, not only for Obama but the Democratic Party.
Feb 2, 2010
Al-Qaeda is training new fighters that "look western" and could easily cross U.S. borders. Islamic terrorist with European features are based in Bosnia and Kosovo. "In Bosnia and Herzegovina today al-Qaeda is in a strategic planning phase. This means that, among such potentials - and it is likely that there are 100,000 such believers - you can find five people... to hang bombs on their belts and bring in explosives," says Dzevad Galijasevic, chairman of the New Democratic Party in Bosnia and an author of the recently published book The Era of Terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The international community does not attach a high level of importance to the presence of 'White al-Qaeda' because Bosnia is not the target of terrorist activities. It is clear that the al-Qaeda cells in Bosnia are waiting for EU accession; thus, this white, European physiognomy and anthropology - the so-called 'white al-Qaeda' - can in fact be the most fatal for Europe, while Bosnia-Herzegovina is an insignificant target for al-Qaeda. In August of 2007, US diplomat Raffi Gregorian said in an interview for a Sarajevo daily that al-Qaeda uses Bosnia as a transit point but labeled the local Bosnian Muslims not as "sleeper" cells but as "helper" cells. "There are sympathizers in the country who are ready to help al-Qaeda with hiding agents, providing financial support or providing false documents," said Gregorian, the principal deputy to Miroslav Lajcak who was the top international administrator of Bosnia. The al-Qaeda has enjoyed protection and support from the highest ranks of the Bosniak political and intelligence establishment but blames the existence of the Serb Republic as the real threat to Europe. 1,250 of al-Qaeda members have domiciled in Bosnia, got married with locals and enjoy political protection. In 2004, Abdurahman Khadr, the son of the killed Pakistani al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Said Khadr, says that the CIA helped him settle in Bosnia and asked him to spy on the the largest Mosques in Sarajevo, the King Fahd mosque, ran by a local Bosnian Muslim Imam Nezim Halilovic Muderis known for extremist preaching. At the Sarajevo Mosque, Abdurahman became friendly with a Bosnian Muslim recruiter for al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. Islamist activities such as these are pushing the Bosnian Muslims into a whirlpool of problems of other Islamic countries and are moving Bosnia closer to Palestine rather then their Christian neighbors, Serbs and Croats. It is turning Muslims' true historical brothers, Serbs and Croats, into eternal and irreconcilable enemies...
While the United States is relentlessly bombing Afghanistan with the official aim of getting Osama bin Laden, one of bin Laden's top collaborators is running a terrorist training camp in an area of Kosovo that is under U.S. control. The shocking revelation has been confirmed by multiple sources: Macedonian intelligence agencies, as reported by several Macedonian media, including the leading daily Dnevnik; Russian press agencies, including Novosti and ItarTass; and the London Independent. If the Anglo-Americans are at "war" with bin Laden's terrorism, why are bin Laden operatives active in Kosovo in an area totally controlled by NATO? Furthermore, in the U.S. zone in Kosovo? Investigations on the bin Laden connection into the Balkans and Kosovo could, according to experts, lead to even more explosive truths. The Independent reported on Oct. 21. 2001 that Interpol has linked bin Laden to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) crime gangs, and that he "supplied one of his top military commanders for an elite KLA unit" in Kosovo. Beyond that, these extremists are out to re-ignite the ethnic "Clash of Civilizations" in the Balkans, to crush the escalating resistance of Macedonia and to continue the march of destruction, possibly triggering in the near future, an ethnic upheaval in Greece or Bulgaria. This opens up a dramatic contradiction. That contradiction throws light on the virtual reality the world has been propelled into after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are present in the Balkans and planning to increase their activity there. Al Qaeda has strongholds in Kosovo, northern Albania... and they are active in western Macedonia. All areas are heavily populated by ethnic Albanians, who are predominantly Muslim. The strategic aim of the Muslim extremists in the area is to create an Islamic state in the Balkans. The radical Muslim game plan in the former Yugoslavia, which was evident from the mid 1990s has now been realized by what is perhaps George Bush's most serious foreign policy error, the recognition of an illegal and radical Muslim state in East Central Europe - Kosovo. As has been the case in most of America's blunders regarding radical Islam, the United States embarked upon this disastrous path under the Clinton administration. The Islamist penetration into the Balkans especially Kosovo should be alarming to anyone concerned over the growing threat of Islamic jihad. Throughout the region radical Muslims, originally led by Alija Izetbegovic (bosnian muslim leader) began consolidating their power in the 1990s. During this period and leading into the Balkan civil wars tens of thousands of foreign mujahideen fighters entered coming from places as disparate as Northern Africa, Iran and Saudi Arabia. So out in the open was this operation that in the mid 1990s bin-Laden had an office in Sarajevo. The network included a major business enterprise in Cyprus; a "services" branch in Zagreb; an office of the Benevolencen International Foundation in Sarajevo, which supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia and Croatia." A study by the London Institute for International Strategic Studies revealed that, "the total number of Islamic terrorists who served in the "Bosnian Army" since the beginning of the civil war is about 40000. A number of the 911 hijackers had cycled through Bosnia including 911 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed along with Nawaw al Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar. The latter two being among the first selected by bin-Laden to execute the plot.
As Dr. Shaul Shay, a colonel in the Israeli Army and a recognized expert on Islamic radicalism, states, "In the beginning the main purpose was to help the local Muslims in the war against the Serbians. When the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended, terrorist infrastructures remained there and served as a basis for the Islamic terror activities in Kosovo. Today, the Balkans serve as a forefront on European soil for Islamic terror organizations, which exploit this area to promote their activities in Western Europe, and other focal points worldwide."
Now, why has the West recognized Kosovo (a renegade province of Serbia) diplomatically, when by all accounts it will serve as a launching pad for terrorist operations against Western Europe?