Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2: Sunday odds and ends.

Yesterday, I forget to mention  the Faith Page of the Irving Press - always  inspiring and uplifting page. I was always look forward to the sermonette on this page as a key to understanding the world. And the contributing cleric does it again. This time, the message of the day, the solution to the world's problems is we must not take the Lord's name in vain. Well....

There are exceptions of course - though the writer does not mention them.The U.S. government is free to say it is God's will for the U.S. to rule the world. That's what it calls American Exceptionalism. And  we all send people to kill for God and country. Canada has some pilots doing it now. But that's  not taking God's name in vain because it's what God wants us to do. No. The preacher is taking dead aim at the real troublemakers in this world - the ones who say God Damn or  isti Christ Tabarnaque - though you can get away with the latter because God doesn't speak French. I mean, look at The Bible. It's all in English.

Incidentally, using God's name in vain, we are told, is one of the Ten Commandments. So is thou shalt not kill. So how come the sermonette is never about how we should not kill in Syria, or carry out provocative military exercises in Eastern Europe, or supply killing equipment and training in killing to Ukraine?

And how about loving thy neighbour? We live in a country which is cutting services to those of us who need help while we let the rich hide their wealth in offshore savings accounts.

Those sermonettes on the Faith Page have nothing to do with faith of any sort.
While we're on a religious theme, I was reading a couple of newspapers yesterday - one was Jewish and the other was Muslim. Both were good reads, and both gave evidence of closely related values. And both were of values more Christian than any I have seen in the Irving press - including the Faith page.

Here's Haaretz   weekend

Analysis || Israel's meekness in the face of Jewish extremism carries a heavy price 
The terrorists who murdered Palestinian infant Ali Saad Daobasa have exacerbated the situation in the territories to its most dangerous since the last Gaza war, says Amos Harel. 
Roger Waters sets the record straight: I hate apartheid, not Israel 
Gideon Levy spent 24 hours with the former Pink Floyd singer, who has become one of the leading lights in the BDS movement. A conversation on political views, tragic family history – and when the rock star-turned-activist will be happy to play in Israel again.
Analysis ||Israel's condemnation of Pride attack is hollow
Behind the pinkwashing, it turns out that homophobia in its worst forms exists within the coalition, writes Aeyal Gross
Why we don't know how to pick our leaders
Our craving for ideology means that we are partial to ideological leaders. But we need leaders who will make smart decisions that are aligned with the public interest.
Sayed Kashua celebrates 40 and bids farewell to news
A milestone birthday is as good an opportunity as any for a midlife crisis about the Middle East crises.
Canada's 'Jewish ghetto' isn't as bad as it sounds
Hadas still struggles with the heavy Quebec accent, but her kids know four languages – Yiddish included. 
Gain a family
Learn Hebrew today and gain more than a language 
East of U.S., Jews aren't drifting from Israel 
As Russian and Ukrainian Jews have told me, 'When Israel bombs Gaza and kills Palestinians, our neighbors here fear and respect us.'
Bertol Brecht has something to say to modern Israel
Itay Tiran as Mack the Knife is superb in this sociopolitical protest play.
Comic proportions: When Moses meets Superman
From Samson's battles to the wars of King David, a fusion of comics and 
Bible stories is the crux of this exhibition at the Israeli Cartoon Museum in Holon.
When Palestine was a sugar cane empire
Uri Malhi's sugar cane fields are a reminder of the days when sugar cane was a major crop in these parts. And in another tasty project, a designer creates fabulous new lollipops.

And here's Al Jazeera.

30 JULY 2015


Israel authorises force-feeding of prisoners
Reunion Island plane debris investigated for MH370 link
India executes plotter of deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings
Germany warns of attacks on Istanbul's public transport
Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied W Bank
Afghan government says Mullah Omar dead
Bahrain arrests several suspects over deadly bombing
Saudi policeman killed in attack in Eastern Province
Is Saudi Arabia warming up to the Muslim Brotherhood?
White House rejects petition to pardon Snowden
Sweden far-right plans gay parade in mainly Muslim area
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam sentenced to death
'Girl aged 10' used in bombing in Nigeria's Damaturu

Clashes erupt at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa on Jewish holiday
Q&A: 'It is possible to break the Israeli occupation'
US set to launch air strikes on ISIL from Turkey base
New app shakes up Indonesia's motorbike taxi market
'Strong evidence' of Israeli war crimes in Gaza
In a brutal assault in Rafah during 2014 Gaza war, Israeli forces purposely targeted scores of civilians, report finds.
California's drought and the battle for Medicine Lake
Plans are afoot to build power plants and frack near one of California's biggest reserves of fresh water.
Iceland women tackle rape and 'pornification'
As Iceland celebrates 100 years of women's suffrage, some women launch social media campaigns to demand more progress.
Magazine: A leap of faith
Meet the 97-year-old goddess of Haitian dance.
UK kids heading from care to jail
An alarming number of young UK offenders with criminal records were previously in the care of local authorities.
A Sino-Russian alliance to rival Europe
Faced with Western sanctions and falling oil prices, Russia bolsters ties with trade-partner to the east.
No Mr Cameron, jihadists didn't start on 9/11
Cameron's narrow historical lens and dismissal of foreign policy while explaining terrorism is inherently flawed.
A refugee's hope: Young girl takes on Merkel
In the presence of a cold Angela Merkel, Reem Sahwil puts a human face on the refugee crisis.
Romania's white knight: The EU
The narrative that the European Union disrespects democracy is a fallacy.

A close look at the most influential Kurdish groups in the Middle East spread over Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

An interactive map details the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip during the 50-day assault during July and August 2014.
The story behind Nigeria's domestic movie industry, the second biggest producer of films in the world.
Slaving Away
We expose the dirty secrets behind Australia's fresh food industry and the widespread exploitation of foreign workers.
In Somalia, a leafless tree is marked by death
Puntland locals find themselves disturbed by haunting execution site but too frightened to ever cut it down.
Badwater: A race to breaking point in no man's land
Run widely considered the most difficult footrace in the world has taken on mythical status.

Then I received a note on Canadian mining companies and slavery, rape and torture.
As well, the current issue of Monitor -   has some very disturbing articles on how Canadian mining companies commonly destroy environments for any future survival, and commonly pay miners $30 a month. Any complaints are smothered by company police or, if necessary,  by the local army.
In El Salvador, a Canadian/Australian mining venture called Pac Rim Cayman announced plans to develop a gold mine. Now, El Salvador is a tiny and poor country with some of the worst environmental  problems in the world. Yet another mine would be the final touch. So the government refused permission. And so the mining company sued for 'lost profits' - at 

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