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Given the state of play in the US, it is no coincidence that fascism is being discussed.  From my perspective, I agree that democracy is in danger in the US, as a result of planned, orchestrated and sustained attack.  I agree that as a result, the ground has been laid for fascism.  But I do not believe that the objective of these attacks is fascism, on the contrary.  And I do not believe the fascism proper is either imminent or inevitable.
HOWEVER, beware the law unintended consequences.

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Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 06:53 AM PDT

German Corporations Donate to Romney

by halef

The German magazine Der Spiegel had a short article today saying that German corporations are predominantly donating to the Romney campaign; four years ago, the main recipient was the Obama campaign.

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Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 09:44 AM PST

Palin Wins Swiss Bond Baddie Poll

by halef

One of our - slightly left-leaning - national dailies ran a poll on who should play the villain in the next 007 movie...

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Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 12:51 PM PDT

Solving China and Afghanistan

by halef

Throughout recorded history, empires from the Romans to today have encountered two perennial problems:  military defeat in Afghanistan, and a crippling trade deficit with China.  Victorian and (otherwise) victorious Britain suffered the ignominious loss of an army in Afghanistan; and Roman emperors vainly passed sumptuary laws to curb the silk imports from China that were draining the Roman economy of specie.

And yet, history offers solutions to both these problems…

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Sat Oct 03, 2009 at 11:08 PM PDT

Book Rec: Fritz Stern's "Gold and Iron"

by halef

Highly recommend a book I just finished:  Fritz Stern's "Gold and Iron - Bismarck, Bleichröder and the Building of the German Empire".

The book covers two main subjects:  The relationship between Germany and its Jewish citizens in the roughly hundred years between mid-1900 and the end of WW II; and relationship between Germany's perennial helmsman, the Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and his (Jewish) banker, Gerson von Bleichröder.

It helps enormously to have a grounding in 19th Century European and especially German history, it's not a light read.  But what particularly fascinated me was the backdrop for the book's two main subjects:  The German economic, media and political landscape in years 1860 to 1890.

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Thu May 21, 2009 at 01:53 PM PDT

Hitler’s Willing Accomplices

by halef

The current issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel takes the extradition of the Ukrainian concentration camp guard John (formerly Ivan) Demyanyuk from the US to face trial in Germany as an occasion to look at the support the Nazi holocaust policy received in their occupied territories (in English).

The article is at pains to not deflect from the fact that the Holocaust was a policy invented by Germany and Germans and implemented by Germany and Germans – but there can also be no doubt that, without active help from institutions and inhabitants of the occupied territories, the Holocaust’s breadth, scope and sheer efficiency would have been much diminished.

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Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM PDT

The Science of Vaccine Damage

by halef

This diary deals exclusively with the science of vaccine damage in PETS; there can of course be no science of vaccine damage in humans because it has been proven by Good Science without a Shadow of a Doubt that Vaccines are Perfectly Harmless to Humans.

The study was done by Purdue University (summary and in depth) in 2002 and 2003.  The title for my diary is taken from Catherine O'Driscoll's (of Canine Health Concern) review of the Purdue study which can be read e.g. here.

Thanks here also to my veterinarian, Dr. Niederee of Great Bend, KS, who raised with me the possibility of vaccine damage and discussed the subject with me openly and rationally.

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I have posted two diaries on this complex in the last two days and attracted a hysterical clutch of comments, so here goes again:

After Keith Olbermann declared Andrew Wakefield 10th February's "Worst Person in the World" on the basis of an 8th February article in Fox News' sister-outlet, the London Sunday Times by Brian Deer, KO got slammed by autism-concern parents for falling for another Murdoch character assassination (as did, I might add, a great deal of fellow Kossacks).  On 11th February, KO did the right thing and named Brian Deer bronze medallist worst person (HuffPo, with link).  The UK quality press has also weighed in, calling the aspersions on Wakefield what they are:  A witchhunt.

Today also saw the first rulings in the Vaccine Trials in the US; the court ruled that the plaintiffs had not shown that the MMR shot and Thimerosal had caused autism in the three test cases presented.

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Dr. Andrew Wakefield is the Canadian doctor who in 1998 published a paper, along with other researchers, analysing some perplexing conditions in 8 British children who had apparently come down with inflammatory bowel and other symptoms, and had apparently regressed into autism, shortly after receiving the combined measles-mumps-rubella shot.

The British National Health Service (NHS) panicked on seeing the report, and Wakefield, like other unruly doctors, was hounded out of Britain.  He now works in the US.

On 4th February 2009, Dr. Wakefield (with other US researchers) published a response to a misleadingly white-washing paper on the safety of vaccinations, written by Dr. Ari Brown (link).  That week-end, 8th February, Rupert Murdoch's London Sunday Times (sister to Fox News) published a piece by Brian Deer rehashing the same tired old charges against Dr Wakefield, including the charge that Dr Wakefield relied on parents' accounts their children's disease progress rather than GP records (Sunday Times Sinks to New Low with Yet More Junk Journalism).

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On 8th February 2009, Brian Deer published an article in the London Sunday Times (which, like Fox News, is owned by Rupert Murdoch) accusing Dr. Andrew Wakefield of falsifying data in his original study on a potential link between the MMR vaccine and sudden onset autism.

As the medical response shows (Sunday Times Sinks to New Low with Yet More Junk Journalism), Brian Deer's piece repeated debunked "facts" and makes new allegations that simple fact-checking would have revealed as false.

The same day as the ST article, Kossack ssentamu wrote a diary on the basis of the Brian Deer article; I tried to inject some objectivity into the discussion, but was threatened.  I am writing this to present the facts, and ask you to keep an open mind - don't worry, your brains won't fall out.

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Jeff Goldberg wrote an op-ed in today's NYT titled "Why Israel Can’t Make Peace With Hamas".

Inadvertently, Goldberg shows why peace has eluded Israel thanks to Israel's own stance.

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I got roped into a discussion on the international law aspects of the I-P conflict, and a professor at a US university put forward the following document written by two academics for the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell.  It was suggested to me that it is a neutral and scholarly analysis of the issues.

My criticism was two-fold:

-  The paper is a party brief, not a dispassionate legal analysis; and -  Some of the legal analysis is incomplete or faulty.

I had neither the time nor the resources to do a proper professional job of the review, but I'll share it here anyway.

As a request - let's stop throwing out terms like "genocide" and "war crimes".  International law crimes are individual crimes, not collective crimes (of Israel, of Hamas, of "the Jews", of "the Palestinians").  Establishing crimes and guilt will have to wait for actual investigation and trial.

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