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What Is In A Name?

Isolated, tiny and desolate, The Liancourt Rocks are the center of an international dispute that dates back to the 15th century. Koreans claim sovereignty over what they call "Dokdo", while the Japanese maintain that the islets are theirs, calling them "Takeshima". South Korea currently administers this collection of 90 islands and reefs in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), centered about halfway between South Korea and Japan - with only 2 permanent residents and 40 government workers stationed there (police, lighthouse keepers, Fishery Ministry personnel). Although the dispute is centuries old, it has heated up recently due to several incidents: increased efforts in Japan to call attention to the dispute itself, a flip-flop last year by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names where they briefly labeled the rocks as having "Undesignated Sovereignty" (undone by executive order within days), and the public observations in Japan of "Takeshima Day" on February 22nd. South Korean citizens have staged numerous protests against Japan over the past few years, some with extreme demonstrations, including a woman and her son who cut off a finger each, and one man who attempted to set himself on fire.Dokdo or Takeshima?

Permalink06/23/09, 09:54:11 pm, by timandcir Email , 884 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Chatham House Study

Executive Summary
Working from the province by province breakdowns of the 2009 and 2005 results, released by the Iranian Ministry of Interior on the Farsi pages of their website shortly after the election, and from the 2006 census as published by the official Statistical Centre of Iran, the following observations about the official data and the debates surrounding it can be made.

· In two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, a turnout of more than 100% was recorded.
· If Ahmadinejad's victory was primarily caused by the increase in voter turnout, one would expect the data to show that the provinces where there was the greatest 'swing' in support towards Ahmadinejad would also be the provinces with the greatest increase in voter turnout. This is not the case.
· In a third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took not only all former conservative voters, all former centrist voters, and all new voters, but also up to 44% of former reformist voters, despite a decade of conflict between these two
groups.
· In 2005, as in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends.

Permalink06/22/09, 07:43:45 pm, by timandcir Email , 1072 views, User Posts 7 feedbacks

There's a sucker born every minute..

I think this lady could have a bright future as a televangelist.

The unmarried mother's story about giving birth to a child diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb hit a major nerve on the Internet.

Every night for the last two months, thousands of abortion opponents across the nation logged on to a blog run by the suburban Chicago woman who identified herself only as "B" or "April's Mom."

People said they prayed that God would save her pregnancy. They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support.

As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog -- which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs.

By Sunday night, when "April's Mom" claimed to have given birth to her "miracle baby" -- blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later -- her Web site had nearly a million hits.

There was only one problem with the unfolding tragedy: None of it was true.

( more )

How long before some deranged fetus fetishist take a shot at her ?

Permalink06/13/09, 10:16:32 am, by speedy Email , 631 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

People's stories, and mine again

I work with a 23 year old from smalltown N. Carolina. Eagle scout, high school valedictorian, not afraid of hard work or using his brain (summer jobs in construction, studious interest in fine art). A former professor set him up with an art job in NY, but the gallery neglected to mention that they'd be paying him $3 less than the going-rate & would only use him a handful of days per month. So now he's a studio assistant to a celebrated, clever, $ucessful art star. The work is steady, but well-under Starbucks wages. Tons of uncompensated overtime, and he's supposed to be grateful that unpaid interns haven't replaced him yet. I can see him wondering whether to leave NY, less than a year-in.

I work with a 22 year old native New Yorker, a dominican beauty & 'professora' of brazillian fight-dancing, with 12 years of capoeira under her belt. She worked at the gallery for 5 years, with no raises or promotions. They cut her pay last year. She applied to be a stewardess, and was berated by the gallery-owner for pursuing the "second-worst job in the world". After being accepted by the airline and giving notice at the gallery, flight attendant training was postponed. And postponed. And then the airline announced a hiring freeze.

I know a 20 year old from New Jersey. Her dad was laid-off from a newspaper & has been drinking hard. His unemployment benefits are at an end. She left home and rented a loft-bed hutch above the bathroom enclosure in a crowded shared loft in Brooklyn, for $250/month. She volunteers at a feminist bookstore, and is training to be a bartender (but really she's too tiny & lightweight to manage a rowdy latenight crowd alone), and she scrounges occassional bursts of cash by assisting a professional dominatrix as sidekick. She found a real room in a real apartment, but one unexpected health-expense later, she's in a panic about money.

Part of me thinks that these kids' hardship is the only thing that will make them get tougher and shrewder about work and money and life. On the other hand, what's so great about crushing the humble aspirations of go-getters, whose efforts weren't particularly wrongheaded in the first place?

Read more! »

Permalink06/12/09, 12:46:06 pm, by icy Email , 1165 views, User Posts 5 feedbacks

Word Press

Pierri got me to thinking, so I checked into it. The latest version of Word Press was released on 6/10. I set up a site, just to see what it looks like. I don't have to migrate this site there. I could, for example, leave this site/blog "as is" and disable posting (I think). Or I could uninstall the Word Press site. Or (I think) I can move the posts from here to Word Press and set up a redirect. Or...who knows?

Word Press would be more "intuitive" for you guys.

Check it out and let me know what you think. If you like it let me know and I'll put some work into customizing it. It's just the basic "skin", right now.

Permalink06/12/09, 08:47:43 am, by Timbuk3 Email , 509 views, User Posts 1 feedback

Hey guys

How are you doing? Hope everything is all right with everyone.

I'm not following international news for quite some time, as Im struggling with some problems in my end right now, but I wanted to check you guys and see if there were something about North Korea here that wasnt appearing on my country´s media.

It is fun to see that even after all this time - more than one year and a half since the last time I was around -, a new US president, a grave international economic crisis, a pandemic, etc, I can still more or less guess everyone´s stance on some issues.

And it is great to see that Bush wasnt the glue that kept everyone around - not that I ever doubted it.

I was curious to see what you guys would be talking about. I guessed wrong, tho. I imagined some heated debate over North Korea and the increasing number of attacks in Afganistan (maybe some ironic reference about "moving averages" lol), and maybe something from Alvy about Real Madrid and the almost 150 million Euros for Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle of this (neoliberal) economic crisis, the swing to the right of most EU countries, or something like that.

I also imagined that Tim would have scrapped this blog software and migrated to Wordpress :)

Yet, what I read in some three or four pages worth of posts and comments was more "local" and "pragmatic" and less "international" and "ideological", like in the old titty board. And this blog is still a b2e :)

Not that there´s anything wrong with any that, of course (well, maybe except the b2e ;)). It only shows how everyone changed and I stood still somehow.

Anyway, Im just passing by to say hi, and check on everyone.

Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention a curiosity... Unlike in the US, today is Valentine´s over here in Brazil. Just mentioning in case anyone want to add some international flavor to their respective romances... :)

Cya!

Permalink06/12/09, 02:28:43 am, by pierri Email , 703 views, User Posts 14 feedbacks

Tobacco - another industry falls to Oh!bama

"The Senate granted one of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's long-held legislative wishes this afternoon, passing a bill that gives the government control over the production and marketing of tobacco products." link

Next up - doctors/hospitals

Then - Oil

Then - ?

Is this freaking unreal...geez, I am almost wanting Bush back.

Permalink06/11/09, 03:39:46 pm, by whatta Email , 549 views, User Posts 4 feedbacks

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