All entries for November 2007
November 27, 2007
November 24, 2007
Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial#Notable_Holocaust_deniers
Hi and welcome to all of you. Are you feeling like everyone is talking about something you don’t believe ever existed? Are you told you are in denial? Then we are delighted to welcome you on board! This month our Victims of Denial Club has made it our common goal to help those who deny Holocaust and face legal prosecution for it. We ask:
- Should our choice be punishable? We were presented with evidence from both sides of the argument, but we found on the balance of probabilities that Holocaust may not have happened the way it’s been described. When we watch TV adverts, we are also presented with evidence of how wonderful Cilit Bang is, but we may still choose not to believe in its miraculous power.
- Should our beliefs be denied validity if enough people agree it offends them?
- If the law on Holocaust denial prohibits such views in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland, does it mean the rest of the world is free to deny Holocaust?
- Finally, we ask whether denying the Flying Spaghetti Monster should be deemed criminal, and
- Whether such issues should be regulated by law at all.
Today’s meeting will be adjourned until the phrase ‘Holocaust denier’ loses its negative implications and status of a criminal conviction. Thank you all.
November 18, 2007
- American Gangster
The story begins with the death of a great man, whose life inspired a certain ‘nobody’ to become ‘somebody’. We enter the story at the time of the rise of Frank Lucas – an aspiring gangster (Denzel Washington), and the fall of Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) – a divorced police officer desperately clinging onto his dignity in the time of overwhelming corruption in the society. The two are both great at what they do, and it’s only a matter of time before they two meet and the audience learns a valuable lesson about guns, drugs and how to run a successful business.
For a film that has ‘gangster’ in its title, this one, though 18 rated in the UK, has little bloodshed, sex, drugs or even foul language. In fact, it portrays the daily life of a gangster mastermind as the running of a gentleman’s club: routine, peaceful and almost quiet. It oversees Lucas’s every step in his gradual fall from top to bottom of his game while Roberts’ persistent efforts lead him to the truth behind the drugs, the gangs and the cops.
General reaction: when is this story going to culminate already???
General feeling: it’s missing something
Sum up in one sentence: A great story that could have been told with much more passion, cohesion and intensity, and in slightly less time.
November 17, 2007
It’s been 40 years since the Abortion Act 1967 has been adopted and a legal defence became available for doctors that perform abortions under certain circumstance. Since then, abortions have become safer and more accessible, but with an average of 200,000 abortions carried out every year in England alone, it has become clear that abortion is treated by many as a means of contraception. This video looks at some other issues of the current debate around abortion.
November 15, 2007
The BBC loves being called impartial. It may choose its words carefully, research the stories meticulously, it probably even tries hard as hell to get all accounts of a news piece. But lately its choice of pictures has not been so neutral and have been more than informative.
November 14, 2007
A small, almost family event took place yesterday to see off the last Eurostar train from Waterloo. The service will now run to and from St. Pancras station, which has undergone an £800m upgrade to welcome Europe and ‘186mph’ speedrail into central London.
Waterloo station is among the busiest in the capital, catering mostly for long and short-distance passengers to the South and South-West of London, covering destinations such as Alton, Guilford, Woking and Porthmouth. Talks of incorporating the Eurostar tracks to help relieve congestion on stations such as Charing Cross and Waterloo itself have produced no results so far.
Amidst celebrations here in London, first passengers to France are likely to face a less warm welcome due to transport strikes in France as the union confronts Sarkozy.
To avoid the “Oh my god it’s already Christmas season and I haven’t got any presents for anyone yet! Oh, they are gonna be ma-a-a-a-d…” effect, Christmas now begins in October. Restaurants, bars, clubs and even pubs have started advertising their ‘exclusive’ and ‘ultimate’ Christmas plans even before I started shopping for a Halloween pumpkin. So really, there is no excuse for not having a good Christmas present now. Except… if you get philosophical.
If you start by pondering aloud, in an as-a-matter-of-fact manner, “why, oh, why do I have to buy?”, any reasonable person would just give up trying and make a mental note not to get you anything worth more than 2 quid for next Christmas.
If, however, they manage to miss the sarcasm in a haze of holiday hype and courteously listen in on your deep and meaningful monologue, then you can bring in the religion card. Caught in the spirit of ho-ho-ho, even Muslims and Sikhs go on spending sprees and set up emergency Christmas funds. But if you take a step back from that ever-so-charming spirit and go back to the roots of the holiday… most of us aren’t even Christian! We just like the sales, and the ribbons, and tearing up layers of wrapping only to discover your boyfriend doesn’t know you all that well after all.
Another philosophical thought worth a PhD thesis is whether all the consumerism is in accord with the Green idea that is so en vogue these days. Perhaps as a gesture of desperation to save the planet and to make poverty history you could buy each one of your friends a copy of the Big Issue: a quality read for them, a big sincere ‘thank you’ for you and a hot meal for the homeless.
And if all that fails, then perhaps you should consider getting some new friends. After all, it’s all about the new beginnings.
November 13, 2007
Demonstrations were held outside Chinese embassies in 12 cities around the world to mark the 12th year of detention of Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel peace laureate – Aung San Suu Kyi.
Students, immigrants and refugees from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) joined the demonstration backed by scores of campaigners representing a range of NGOs, including Amnesty International, as well as students and other members of the society sympathetic to the cause.
The demonstration in London was held on Great Portland Street. The Chinese diplomatic mission in London did not issue an official comment in relation to the protest.
Following budget squeezes, job slashes and letters inviting world class journalists to ‘voluntary resign’, the National Union for Journalists has finally decided to act and react. A series of demonstrations were held nation-wide and in several locations around Mainland Europe to raise awareness of the crisis in the media industry. Serious speeches were delivered and friendly jokes were exchanged at the final rally, where the NUJ’s current president Michele Stanistreet, along with a number of colleagues cut a square cake in celebration of NUJ’s 100th birthday.
November 10, 2007
The relationship between Brown and Cameron seems awfully hostile, even for a couple with diagonally opposite views. Or perhaps that is the problem: they are not that much different at core? Surely, Brown being a Scot with a common man’s upbringing and Cameron with his privileged background and private education are very different? Yes, but if the opposites attract, then the only reason these two are in such a deadlock of hatred and disdain is because they are in fact very much alike.
They share similar ideas ; ideas that they like and in fact agree on; nevermind whether the ideas are actually good or employable, but the two of them both like them. So they hate each other because the idea that they like rests comfortably on the enemy’s lap.