fredag, december 31, 2010

New Year in New Zealand

As always New Zealand starts the celebrations before us in Europe and elsewhere.
A private video:

onsdag, december 29, 2010

Lobbying and Climate Change (GW)

(Picture taken from: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_oW8s2oAvAVI/TMZ5KtvGGTI/AAAAAAAAAQs/MAav2DZJIC4/s400/Global_Warming_Map.jpg)

I read an article in a Swedish newspaper (Svenska Dagbladet) written by Magnus Westerstrand, doctoral student within geochemistry and blogging at the site www.uppsalainitiativet.org concerning the enormous sums of money being spent by the oil- and gas industry on lobbying and political donations, in order to diminish the alarm rapports concerning the Global Warming and the human impact on this phenomena.

Since 2004 The Centre for Public Integrity has documented and estimated the amount of money spent on lobbying and political donations - between 2004 and 2010 - to around 365,3 million US$.

(Picture taken from: http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/climate_change/assets/img/climate-top10-fullsize.jpg)

This in order to influence the politicians and decisions makers not to listen to carefully to those scientists saying that there is a major problem with Global Warming and that we humans are the main source of this negative development.

Exxon and Koch Industries are two multinational companies spending a lot of money on think tanks trying to diminish the problems with the climate issue.

The reason for this is - as always - money.

The International Energy Agency estimated recently that the efforts to decelerate the Global Warming with about two degrees, would in 2030 reduce the demand for oil from 105 million to 89 million gallons per day. With a prize of about 70 US$ per barrel the revenues would be reduced by many hundred million US$ each day.

(Picture taken from: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VyTCyizqrHs/SRsiU87nhTI/AAAAAAAABos/1H001PvHASw/s400/ieaenergyforecast2030.JPG)

The lobbying organizations tries to discredit scientists, their results or claim that the methods are not yet fully developed wherefore one can't predict anything for certain.

The tobacco industry worked in the same way when results from scientific work started to display the enormous disadvantages with smoking. They did not succeed however.

Of course one can always state that scientists on 'the other side', that is to say those who claim that the Global Warming exists and mainly is caused by humans, are no angels or independent persons either and of course they have a lof of financial support from different organizations, with an interest in proving that the GW is caused by humans.

However one have to ask oneself who is to be trusted and the fact is that the only arguments those negative to the results of scientific work displaying the impact of humans on the ecosystem can present is economical.

That is to say, they fear that the rich world no longer would be able to overconsume as has been the case not least since the end of World War II. I can't see no other reason to their arguments.

When it comes to the environmental questions, the most important issue is not to prove whether or not the GW is caused by humans but the important and crucial questions is very basic:

The way we live today in the economically developed world, is this the best and optimal way to live in order to promote a good environment and a good health for humans and all other living things? Those answering this question with yes, do have a very narrow minded approach to this question as the obvious answer is no! We do not live in a way that promote a good environment or a good health, neither for humans nor for other living creatures.

We have to start there and the only obstacles are the multinational companies, banks, financial institutions, corrupt politicians, corrupt lawyers, corrupt decision makers on different levels and so forth.

As soon as we are able to controle these different representatives for various interest groups, we should be able to go forth in a much more decisive way.

The engagement from the public in different countries is of course needed and in this case it's important that people lift their eyes above the immediate egoistic needs and looks ahead in to the future, realizing that we will be able to live very good lives without consuming the amount of products we are consuming today.

In the developing countries the arguments are different of course. Their one can't understand wy The West - or the economically more developed countries - should deny them the same standard. In this case politicians, scientists and the public have to cooperate and as politicians sometimes say: It's a pedagogic question, not so easy to solve but very important to find a solution to.

tisdag, december 28, 2010

Sudanese policemen violates a woman


Most of you have probably seen this video from Sudan with a Sudanese woman who are being
whipped in public by two policemen, who on the same time laugh and obviously find it amusing and entertaining!

In this reportage she is said to be accused of wearing trouser under her burqa or niqab and this is - according to the Sharia laws in Sudan - regarded as being offensive.

All over the world - and during the course of time - women have gradually become more liberated and able to decide how to live their lives, with or without a man and on the same condition as men.
This even in - what I would call - 'backward countries' or regions where men decide according to old and obsolet laws and regulations, not being modified since the middle ages.

In many parliaments all over the world the representation of women is augmenting even though this development of course is more rapid in some than in other countries.

Historically men have always been in charge of legislation and interpretation not only of the secular laws but also the religious ones.
This means that women have had little if any possibility to control and verify that the interpretations made by men are as objective as possible reflecting more overbridging views and taking in consideration half of the population, that is to say the women.

It's obvious that men always have been particularly thorough making sure that they are being prioritized before women, both in secular legislation as well as religious.
This we can see in a historical perspective in Europe as well as in other places all over the world.

When it comes to religious laws - whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other belief system - many believers claim that their Holy Scriptures never have been interpretated or adapted to modern circumstances but this is of course totally impossible, historically wrong and not true.
I won't go into the reasons for this right now as it's a question that has been discussed widely and a change is coming about where intellectuals in different belief systems gradually adapt the fact that religious belief systems always have gone through gradual changes.

In the above case (the video) one uses the Quran and the Sharia' laws to claim that it's acceptable to whip a woman for no matter what she has done or is said to have done.
Those responsible for the interpretation of the Sharia' laws, in this as in other cases are of course men.
In this case the foremost representative of this legislation is the president, Omar al-Bashir.


Are men being whipped publically? Yes this probably happens but not for how they are dressed and it's much more arbitrary when it comes to the treatment of women.

In most religious systems, men have always been treated better than women from the above reasons I've mentioned.

In this case the whipping is not as much a result of uncultivated muslim men (or Christian or Jewish if that is the case) who have misunderstood the Quran, but rather of uncultivated muslim men who let their frustration over women and their awakening freedom and independence, result in this inappropriate behaviour.
On the same time these men 'discharge' their deepest sexual preferences and frustrations in a country ruled by laws that makes sex a taboo. In this way they are able to live out their sexual dreams and it's obvious that this amuses and excites them.

We can see this in any country in the world, where the patriarchal systems are strong or have been strong and where men oppose the growing female independance.
Even in countries where one might think that men and women are more 'enlightened' we find the same tendencies, though not always revealed in public in the same way.

Often we deal with men who are intellectually and educationally inferior to women, men who only seem to know one way to react towards womens lib' and this is by violence.
When one can find a legislative reason for using violence against women who are superior or autonomous, one do so, even if the reasons for doing so are questionable, to say the least.

In different discussion foras one can often find men in Europe, USA or other more 'modern' societies who declare that "women should be held firm and learn to obey the man".
This is also a reaction coming from men who are inferior to women - or other men - and the only way to 'give back' on women is - again - to use force and violence in language or in action.
Towards other men, being superior, one don't want to use force in the same way as one might get in to trouble but using it towards women is obviously - among this category of men - totally acceptable.

This is of course not only an anti-intellectual behavious but also a very cowardly one.

Men responsible for violence against women in order to push them back, should of course be dealt wiht harshly as there are no other reasons but inferiority complex, unreasonable fear, a sense of lack of power, using inappropriate means to punish women, resulting in this totally unacceptable behaviour.

måndag, december 27, 2010

Козият Рог / Koziat Rog and other Bulgarian films

I chatted with a Bulgarian translator on Facebook and we came to talk about film, as he works as a translator of films for SDI Media.

As I'm no expert on Bulgarian film, I asked him to recommend some and he - among others - mentioned this one, 'Koziat Rog' (1972), directed by Metodi Andonov:


Another important Bulgarian film from the 60's is Otklonenie (1967), directed by Gisha Ostrovski and Todor Stoyanov:


...and 'The Clown and the Kids' (1967), an American Bulgarian film by Mende Brown:


Of course there are others, maybe more important films than these but maybe I will get some feedback from some of you reading this.

Some reflections on why you should leave Facebook

lördag, december 11, 2010

Cancún and China

One have reached an accord in Cancún even though Bolivia opposed the conclusions as being to mild, seen in relation to the economically most developed countries in Europe and the USA.

China works more actively concerning the question about climate change and their own role in the Global Warming, not least according to one of their representatives in this interview.
He outlines the Chinese policy according to the following:

torsdag, december 09, 2010

Swedish Mafia


I've started reading this book now, it's a book about organized crime in Sweden and not least the different motorcycle organzations or other criminal gangs who nowadays more over overtly display their belonging to a criminal organzation or group.

We've had criminal gangs in Sweden before but they were more 'discrete' concerning being seen in public and this is one of the changes since the late 1990's and beginning of 2000's, now the members are proud of being part of these gangs and they show it to as many as possible.

The authors - Lasse Wierup and Matti Larsson - try to pin point the factors leading up to this and they do so by not least interviewing the gang members themselves.

As I've just started reading this book, I can't give you my opinion about it but I will get back to that later on.

Earlier I've read the Swedish author Tomas Lappalainens books about the Mafia as a whole and another one about the Camorra in particular.

Questions about Queen-Master Mind

I found this through Facebook and being a fan of Queen, I must say this man knows a lot about them. Not all questions were excessively hard to answer but the difficult thing is to find the right answer right there in the very moment within seconds.

måndag, november 15, 2010

Mona Sahlin resigns

(Photo taken from: http://www.radikalen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Mona-Sahlin.jpg)

The leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party - Mona Sahlin - announced that she is going to resign during the extra party congress, beginning 2011.

Whe she entered the Swedish Parliament in 1982, she was the youngest ever with her 25 years.

Since then she has upheld many different posts within the government, with a break in the middle of the 1990's when one found that she had used her working charge card to buy private items to the amount of 50 000 SEK (7 300 US$ or 5 350€).

On the whole I didn't find this infraction so serious that it had to lead her to resign from the post as Deputy Prime Minister, not least seen in relation to the overall corruptive world of politics, not least when it comes to using public fundings.
She always repayed the money, after having used them, and therefore she saw this more as a 'loan' than as taking money from the tax payers.

After this incident she took a 'time out' and started to work as a private entrepreneur/self employed.

Generally speaking I have never been impressed by Mona Sahlin, especially her rhetorics or lack of rhetorics.
She is said to have been groundbreaking when it comes to expressing oneself in a clear and simple way.
I would say that she expressed herself in a simple way - yes - but simplifications are not necessarily something positive per se and doesn't always contribute to make things clearer.

When she became Minister for Employment in 1990, I remember an interview with her concerning the employment situation in Sweden and other relevant questions that she had to confront as a minister. She could hardly give one correct answer to those questions.
Some might say that she was very young but she was in fact 33 years old and almost a 'veteran' seen in relation to her long political career, starting within the Social Democratic Youth Organizaton.

Who will become her successor.
Obviously the two most popular candidates - Margot Wallström and Thomas Bodström - have no interest whatsoever to become leaders of the Social Democratic Party.

There are many names circulating but personally I can't find many interesting names besides these two and maybe two or three more candidates.

As the Social Democratic Party for the first time since 1889 elected a woman to the post, one could try electing Ibrahim Baylan, the party secretary born in Turkey and having worked within the Social Democratic Movement since the late 1990's.

Of course one shouldn't elect people by sex or origin but I think that Baylan is a better alternative than many of his colleagues.
His 'problem' - if one should call it that - is perhaps that he is rather young, 38 years old.
Internationally this is seldom a problem though.

(Photo taken from: http://gfx.aftonbladet-cdn.se/multimedia/archive/00141/NYHETER-08s16-BAYLA_141471w.jpg

onsdag, november 10, 2010

Grosse erreur de montage dans le journal de TF1


I published this on Facebook some time ago (taken from Youtube where some of you might have seen it) and for those of you not famililar with French, the TV-journalist talks about the manifestations against the retirement age-reform in France.
She annonces that what we are going to see is the protests marches through the streets of Paris.

When these pictures are shown, another journalist comment on the pictures, talking about the health care employees and teachers being in the first row, followed by the families who are not as accustomed to protest marches.
Looking at the 'families' one can understand that this is a correct statement!

Enjoy!

The Dentist

(Picture taken from: http://tillsaly.blogg.se/images/2010/1573625485_69074323.jpg)


The 27th of October I broke a part of a tooth and called the dentists in town.

The first told me that he couldn't receive me until after New Year, in January or February, the second that she had a waiting-list so long that it would last 20 months(!) before I could come to her but I could of course sign on to the waiting-list if I wanted.

The third was a dentist my wife adviced against visiting as she had a bad experience of him.

Now it lasted only one dentist on my list, a dentist that my mother-in-law adviced against.
Well, I had to visit someone. I had no pain in my mouth but I didn't feel like waiting until it got worse.

I called him and to my surprise I got an appointment the day after!! Warning, warning!!

I came there and first of all the clinic stank cigarette smoke, though it came from a adjoining room and this in spite of the fact that French law forbid smoking in the workplaces, not least when working with health care!

In the waiting room I met a woman in the 50's and soon we were joined by a young woman who just came out from the dentists room.

The other woman entered the room and after a couple of minutes we heard her first moan but the moaning got worse and suddenly she screamed with pain while we heard the dentist try to shut her down:
"Shh Madame, shh...!"

The young woman looked at me in a desperate way and it looked as if she wanted to leave.

Then it was my turn and after some explanations concerning my name, not to easy to pronounce or write for the French, the dentist started the 'work' in my mouth.

Normally though, one examine the tooth, take an x-ray/exograph and then try to mend it.
He, on the contrary, started to examine my tooth, puting something into it and then took the exograph!

After this he established that the coralroots in my tooth wasn't totally cured and that he had to continue his work at another occasion.

After this visit I got a pain in my tooth, something that hadn't bothered me before.
Luckily - through my mother-in-law - I came to another dentist and he couldn't decide what kind of 'stuff' his colleague had put in my tooth but he examined it and put something else in the tooth, making the pain go away.
I will continue the work later on in November.

Now it feels better and I surely have more confidence in this dentist than in the other!

söndag, oktober 31, 2010

Man in the attic


We tried to find a scary movie for Halloween through the site Headweb.com a VOD enterprise where Aurore once worked.

Among those we could stream for free - as she has a bonus she hasn't used - we finally decided for this one - Man in the attic - a 'Jack the Ripper'-story with another Jack as actor: Jack Palance.
Not at all a bad film even if it worked with some psychological clichées, like the man who from different reasons is morally upset by dancing- and singing women, displaying their legs and underwears to the audience.
Normally the stories about 'Jack the Ripper' leaves the viewer in the dark (not only in the cinema auditorium) but concerning who the man actually could have been, the doctor of Queen Victoria or other high society men etc etc.
In this film it seems as a clear case where we get to see 'the Ripper' and see how the love for a woman changes or rather changes him into another person.
It becomes a mix between the original story about 'the Ripper', 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Finally he disappears under water in the Thames but is he really dead or not?
Director: Hugo Fregonese.

lördag, oktober 30, 2010

Vita frun ('Lady in White'), Arne Mattsson

In this film - 'Vita Frun' - by Arne Mattsson we find a group of people gathered to hear the last will of the patriarch in a family.
The declaration of his will leads to what seems to be a suicide but later on is proved being a murder but not committed 'physically'.
More murders and mystical appearances by the 'White Lady' evokes the interest of the detective John Hillman and his incompetent assistant Freddy (not Kreuger).
This is not at all a bad film but the end is somewhat abrupt and there I felt that Mattssons energy had disappeared.

Good actors (Anita Björk, Jan Malmsjö, Sif Ruud, Tor Isedal and Hjördis Petterson among others) and a performance by Olle Björklund, one of Swedens first and most well known TV personalities during the period when TV only had one channel and everyone appearing there became well known 'stars'.

The myth about the 'White Lady' ('Vita Frun') is in Sweden as in many other countries connected with predictions about death or fires.
In Stockholm the most well known 'White Lady' is Märta Helena Reenstierna, the so called 'Årsta frun' (read more about her through the link).

fredag, oktober 29, 2010

iPad or not iPad

This summer one of the guests to the chambres d'hôtes/B & B of my mother-in-law, had an iPad and of course I wanted to take a look at this tool in order to see if I found it attractive and useful.
Before seeing or being able to try an iPad in reality, I always said that reading books on a computer or computer-like-tool, is nothing for me.
After having seen this iPad, I have to revise my opinion.
After having experienced reading long texts or books at an ordinary computer, I said that 'real books' can not be replaced.
I still don't think that 'real books' will be replaced - and certainly not in my literary world - but I'm now aiming at buying an iPad, when the economy allows.
This not in order to replace and throw away my books but when travelling I can always bring one or two pocket books but with an iPad I can chose from a 'library' and read more extensive literary works.
Of course there are a lot of other things I can use the iPad for but this most of you already know.

The guest displayed for me how the iPad worked and he let me use it on my own in order to discover its possibilities (maybe he was paid by Apple?).
For the time being there are not many books in the 'book store' but this application will of course evolve.
Being used to an iPhone - as we are, Aurore and I - using an iPad doesn't pose any major problems, being developed according to the same techique.
Below you can see some of the contestants to iPad but about them I have nothing to say as I have no experience what so ever from these tools.

Maybe you know more than me?


iPad/Apple

HP Slate (Steve Ballmer)

Fusion Garage Joojoo exists in the USA and is built on the
Linux-based opensource-system Ubuntu.

Lenovo Ideapad U1 is a small computer with a removable screen.

Dell Mini 5 (Streak).

Notion Ink Adam. Tablet with Android developed in India.

Asus Eee Pad.

ExoPC Slate.

Sony Viiv X70 with a seven inch screen, 3g and built on Windows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Blackberry Playbook.

(All photos taken by Scanpix)

torsdag, oktober 28, 2010

Books I've recently read:

Fred Deux is a local artist, living in La Châtre.
His art reminds somewhat about H.R. Giger but has its own specific style.
I will hopefully write about his art for a journal in Stockholm later on.
This not least as Fred Deux deserves being better known, outside France.


This book gives us an insight into one of the worst mass murderers of all time, Mao Zedong.
We are presented a person, not only hungry for power but also loving to see people suffer,
leaving his own family and others behind, using every single person for his own purposes.
Mao was also a perverted person, loving to see his troups torture, rape and humiliate
both women, men, children and elderly people, just because he saw them as
an obstacle for his ambition to become The Great Leader but also Leader of the World!
To this one can add that he was an incredibly coward person, avoiding all confrontation,
hiding himself behind collaborators and his life guard,
being a highly uncharismatic and deeply evil person.

If the Chinese government has the ambition being regarded seriously
It would be of outmost importance to take a stand against this dictator,
his rule and clear up the history by pointing at the terror of Mao:s regime,
declaring this epoch the greatest failure in the history of China.
Unfortunately it seems as if the next Chinese leader is less liberal,
more conservative and nationalistic but the future will tell.

This also goes for the left wing parties in Europe.
If they would like to be taken serioulsy by others than their own voters,
they should publically race their voice and criticize the Mao-era.
They should also question the current leaders as many of them
have been raised and politically trained during this terrible period in Chinese history.



In times when the 'Green Peril' has displaced the 'Read Peril' when it comes to terror,
I recommend people to read this book (unfortunately only written in Swedish as far as I know).
It takes a broad and deep look into the history of Islam and the Arab origin of this world religion.
We get to follow the islamic influence in the history of Europe and we realize that
without Islam or muslims, Europe actually could have been
even more uncivilized than it today de facto is.
The contributions on every level - literature, music, science - are extensive and important.
Can Islam and muslims be said to share most ideas emerging from the Quran
or is the Holy Scripture interpreted differently depending on who you are,
where you live, your upbringing and historical circumstances?
I would say the latter even if both the fundamentalistic islamists
and the opponents to islam - for different reasons - tries to depict the muslim Umma as united.


This is an interesting book about the history of the Celtic women.
It displays the strong and independent women at the time when
an almost 'matriarchal' society could have been said existing.
We also get to see how men in reality and throught 'myth-making'
tried to diminish the female influence and power
displaying the women as dangerous and the source of evil.
Not much has changed!



This last book is interesting for all of you who think that meritocracy actually exists.
The author on the contrary displays how you reach a level of incompetence,
often the highest level of your career, more or less because of your incompetence
or the fact that you were competent at lower levels in the hierarchy
but not up to the highest post you've reached, as one confound certain competence with others.
This latter is explained with the facta that one can't allow
a competent person running a company or an organization.
I believe we've often noticed this phenomena.

onsdag, oktober 27, 2010

Metropia


Metropia is a Swedish film made by Tarik Saleh and a film very spoken about, wherefore we decided to see it.

Purely aesthetically it's an interesting film, influenced by Metropolis (Fritz Lang), Blade Runner (Ridley Scott), Subway (Luc Besson) and many more.
I'm however not impressed by the screenplay.
It starts of well and the plot could have developed into a veritable dystopic saga à la 1984 (George Orwell) or Kallocain (Karin Boye) but it more becomes a rather 'sweet' and (to) polished story about the Surveillance Society.

This was also Saleh's debut as a feature film director, earlier having done documentaries and I think it's a very promising debut but next time I would like to see a more surprising and original (hi)story.

lördag, oktober 23, 2010

Bröllopsfotografen


This film - 'Bröllopsfotografen' ('The Wedding Photographer') - is made by Ulf Malmroos who also directed one of my mother-in-laws favourite films, 'Den bästa sommaren' ('A Summer Tale').

The film contains a number of clichées concerning differences between the 'upper class' and the 'working class' (if these social markers could be said being relevant today), people living in a big city (metropolis) and on the countryside etc. but on a whole it's a rather charming story.
Robin (Björn Starrin), a young man from the countryside, wants to become a succesful photographer and he's convinced that this could be done by taking care of everything around a wedding. The work as a wedding photographer becomes his dream.
When arrriving to Stockholm he finds himself working in an environment with people who can't accept him. They look upon him as a kind of 'redneck individual'.
He on the other hand, finds the wealthy, 'upper class'-people being very superficial, hiding their problems under a surface of happiness and success.
In the small northern town where he had lived and worked, he had met an actor called Jonny Björk (Kjell Bergqvist), who he had hired to perform at a wedding between Robins brother and girlfriend. When coming to Stockholm Jonny - reluctantly - becomes his mentor, for good and for worse.
Of course he falls in love with the sister to the bride - Astrid (Tuva Novotny) - both being the daughters of the succesful business leader Claes (Johannes Brost).
Astrid also works as a photographher and Robin tries to enroll her in his businessplans.
Robin adapts himself to the situation but this adaptation is not well received when coming back to his small town on the countryside, where they find him having become somewhat 'high-hat'.

The director uses three actors that also participated in 'A Summer Tale', namely Anastasios Soulis, Rebecca Scheja and Kjell Bergqvist.

As I participated as an extra in this film, I tried to find myself at the wedding outside the church but unfortunately I couldn't see myself, though I had spotted my face (and body) in a trailer.
This did not mean that I judged the film differently though! :-D

onsdag, september 08, 2010

Honour killing

This is an article by Robert Fisk, published in the Independent the 7th of September and I've referred to it earlier on Facebook and other platforms.
It's an extremely important article about the terrible crimes mostly men commit against women in highly patriarchal sociteties. One can always argue that all societies are patriarchal and this is from a sociological and historical perspective in most cases correct.
However, there are societies where the patriarchy is more developed than in others and here we often talk about less democratic societies with a highly influential religious-dogmatic base in the societal structure.
When committing these acts men often refer to religious or secular legislation but as we will see and as one know if one have studied both religious and secular legislative documents, this is just a pretext for their own sexual frustration and inferiority complex in relation to independent women.
Before you go to the link below, I quote some parts of this article:

"It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly"

"Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, 13, who in Somalia in 2008, in front of a thousand people, was dragged to a hole in the ground – all the while screaming, "I'm not going – don't kill me" – then buried up to her neck and stoned by 50 men for adultery? After 10 minutes, she was dug up, found to be still alive and put back in the hole for further stoning. Her crime? She had been raped by three men and, fatally, her family decided to report the facts to the Al-Shabab militia that runs Kismayo. Or the Al-Shabab Islamic "judge" in the same country who announced the 2009 stoning to death of a woman – the second of its kind the same year – for having an affair? Her boyfriend received a mere 100 lashes."

"Or the young woman found in a drainage ditch near Daharki in Pakistan, "honour" killed by her family as she gave birth to her second child, her nose, ears and lips chopped off before being axed to death, her first infant lying dead among her clothes, her newborn's torso still in her womb, its head already emerging from her body? She was badly decomposed; the local police were asked to bury her. Women carried the three to a grave, but a Muslim cleric refused to say prayers for her because it was "irreligious" to participate in the namaz-e-janaza prayers for "a cursed woman and her illegitimate children"

Now read the article:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/the-crimewave-that-shames-the-world-2072201.html

fredag, augusti 27, 2010

Street Art

I saw these photos of art on Facebook on a page called Street Art and I think they are quite amazing!
The participants discussed whether or not one could call art made by artists payed by the town or community street art or not or if this term should be reserved only for those amateurs that 'illegally' display their works.
This is of course an interesting question in itself but I content myself by displaying these photos:




lördag, augusti 21, 2010

La Clique


A friend of mine, living in Australia asked me if I've seen La Clique when they visited Paris but unfortunatealy not!
I have though seen the number with the man trying to get out of the tennis rackets he got into!
Enjoy!

:D

torsdag, augusti 19, 2010

La Châtre de A à Z

At the same time as I'm reading about the life lead by Franz Kafka during his last year, as depicted in his diaries, continuing to read about Scandinavian literature, I also try to combine these readings by taking a look in the above book written by Solange Dalot, among other things a member of L'Academie du Berry.
As I very much would like to work with promoting the cultural life in La Châtre, Berry and Le Centre - as one call the central parts of France - I've penetrated some books about different aspects of the history of this town.

Earlier I've - among other books - read 'Les racines de George Sand' (below) telling the story about the family roots of George Sand.
It was an interesting book giving me insight into some parts of the French history and the importance some of Sands relatives played in the shaping of France.



(Picture taken from: http://livre.fnac.com/a2409943/Solange-Dalot-La-Chatre-de-A-a-Z)
(Picture taken from: http://www.amisdegeorgesand.info/jouve1.html)

tisdag, augusti 17, 2010

Franz Kafka Dagböcker/Diaries 1914-1923

Svenska (English below):

Det var längesedan jag skrev något om den litteratur jag läser, det har mer handlat om annat.
Just nu är jag dock i färd med att penetrera Franz Kafkas 'Dagböcker 1914-1923', som i Sverige utgivits på Bakhålls förlag.

Detta utgör den tredje delen i denna utgivning av Kafkas dagböcker och jag har tyvärr inte läst de första två.
Många menar dock att denna den sista delen, skildrande de sista åren av hans liv, är den viktigaste och kanske mest intressanta.
Om detta kan jag inget säga men det är en blandning av väsentligt och oväsentligt, som i alla dagböcker.
Det viktiga är att den dels ger en inblick i personen Kafkas innersta tankar - i den mån en person skriver för sig själv, utgivandes sig själv på ett ärligt sätt eller skriver med tanke på eftervärlden - dels ger en inblick i livet i Prag och övriga städer vid den aktuella tidpunkten.
Där blandas i det yttre samhällsstrukturerna gammalt och nytt, i de inre tankestrukturerna tradition och nytänkande.
Detta gör boken till ett intressant vittnesmål om det liv Kafka, hans vänner och ovänner förde, samhällsutvecklingen och de historiska händelserna i sig, allt självfallet filtrerat via Kakfas subjektiva titthål.

English:

It's long since I wrote anything about the literature I read, I have mostly dealt with other subjects.

Rignt now I'm in the act of reading Franz Kafka's 'Diaries 1914-1923', in Sweden published by the publishing house Bakhåll.
This book constitutes the third part in this publication of Kafka's Diaries and unfortunately I haven't read the two first ones.
Many people say that this third part, depicting the last years of his life, is the most important and maybe also the most interesting of the three.
I have nothing to say about this but it's a mixture of essential and inessential, as in all diaries.
The most important thing is that it partly gives us an insight into the inner thoughts of the person Kafka - insofar as a person writes for him-/herself, exposing him-/herself in an honest way or actually writes for the after world - partly gives us an insight into the life of Prag and other towns at the actual moment.
In this we find a mixture of new and old in the exterior societal structures and tradition and new thinking in the inner pattern of thoughts.
This makes the book an interesting testimony about the life Kafka, his friends and enemies lead, the development of society and historical events per se, everything filtered through the subjective viewport of Kafka himself of course.

(Photo Franz Kafka copied from: http://www.focusdep.com/images/Franz_Kafka_1173256340030717.jpg)

torsdag, augusti 12, 2010

Revival of Islamic Research

For all of you who judges Islam after the most extreme followers, it might be interesting to read about and discover other voices in the Islamic world e.g. Shaykh-ul-Islam Pr. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (the link in the name).

"Shaykh-ul-Islam Pr. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International (MQI), an organization with branches and centres in more than 90 countries around the globe, working for the promotion of peace and harmony between communities and the revival of spiritual endeavour based on the true teachings of Islam", as it says on his homepage.

This is a Pakistani born man who tries to emphasize the peaceful and more 'sensible' sides of Islam, displaying that it's fully compatible with a life in the world of today, not necessarily needing a theocratic society.

As in all religions, political ideologies and so forth there are representatives who, for different reasons, can't accept the existence of other faiths or beliefe systems and this leads to a form of extreme fundamentalism.

Some people I've met in my earlier work within the Church of Sweden, often used to say that being a fundamentalist is only standing on the foundation of the belief system, that is to say the Torah (Tanakh), the Bible, the Qur'an or any political document like Das Kapital.
This is of course lingustically correct but most fundamentalists not only base their view on their own interpretation of the 'holy scripture' - or the interpretation accepted within a certain social context - they fight others who interpret the same text in another way and even more so people who does not accept their belief system at all.
Some would say that the 'holy texts' mentioned above are never subject to interpretation as they are given to us, humans, in its entirety by Jahve/God/Allah, faultless, for us to follow to the letter.
Of course this is not true as the will of a supreme being never can be deducted from these texts and history shows that different believers tend to interpret the texts differently.
Using arguments implying that "I have understood the text correctly but not them..." is of course not at all a valid argument.
These scriptures are documents expressing the belief in a supreme being and documents expressing how this supreme being is supposed to have acted with humans, will act and what is the outermost will of this supreme being. It's not "the Word of God" - ipsissima verba, as one say.
How can I know that?
Of course I can't know that this is the case but neither can anyone other human know that it's the opposite.
We can believe in one way or another but the very truth about the mysteries of life, can't be revealed in this life, at least as long as no supreme being reveal it to us, physically here and now.
I do however accept that people believe in these scriptures in this very direct form but likewise I want them to respect my view and others.

Take a look at what mister Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has to say on these issues through the link above.





(Photo Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri copied from: http://img.youtube.com/vi/yWhB3Xo7JK0/0.jpg)
(Photo Quran copied from: http://vodafon.webobo.biz/journal/5/4/7/4/journal_547455.jpg)

Is Europe building Big Brother?


This text I haven't written myself but I think it's interesting, not least in connection to the discussions around what EU can and should do. The article is taken from 'The Christian Science Monitor'. I've copied it in its entirety:

"A lawsuit in Ireland challenges the European Union's aim to collect and store personal data, even as the United Arab Emirates threatens to block BlackBerry until the company makes it easier to monitor information and the Obama administration seeks to circumvent judicial oversight to collect US data online.

What the European Union is giving to Internet users and online privacy activists with one hand, it's taking away with the other.
The EU has tighter restrictions than the United States does on the collection, use, and sale of data by online companies, but also requires Internet service providers to store personal data in case the government ever wants to investigate an individual user. The European Parliament is currently considering passing a law called "Smile29" that would require the Google search engine – which processes billions of searches a month on the Continent – to retain data on users as well.
The EU effort is just the latest of government's around the globe seeking to glean more about their citizens from their online behavior. The United Arab Emirates has threatened to shut BlackBerry service unless the company provides information to help government security services circumvent its encryption. The US, too, is seeking to make snooping online easier. In late July, the Obama administration proposed new laws to allow the government to look at browser histories and obtain the e-mail addresses of citizens without judicial oversight.
To critics, the EU laws and the behavior of other governments amount to a surveillance land-grab. In the case of Europe, that's prompted a groundswell of opposition across Europe. Now a group in Ireland is challenging the new regime – seeking permission from the Irish courts to sue the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to strike down new Irish laws designed to bring the country into line with broader European standards.
If Digital Rights Ireland, which argues that the laws violate the European Convention on Human Rights, wins, it would set the stage for successful challenges to the rules across Europe.
"The main thing we want to see is our data retention laws repealed," says T.J. McIntyre, a law lecturer at University College Dublin and head of Digital Rights Ireland. Mr. McIntyre says the laws criminalize ordinary citizens.
Online privacy has become a key civil liberty battleground. Face­book and Google are amassing colos­sal amounts of data about users' thoughts, desires, and impulses, which busi­nesses covet and pay handsomely for.
Across Europe, a backlash against the storage of private data is growing. Civil society groups like the European Federation of Journalists have criticized the practice, and in Germany almost 35,000 people, including Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, sued their own government over the issue.
"There is a real problem in Europe today. It is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, which says that everyone has the right to a private life. That fundamental right has to extend into digital life," says Christian Engström, a member of the European Parliament for Sweden's controversial Pirate Party, elected on a platform of digital rights.
In Ireland at present, telephone data must be retained for three years, but there are currently no provisions requiring Internet service providers to retain data, something both the EU and the Irish government want to change.
McIntyre says the government already has the upper hand. "In 2002 the Irish government secretly introduced data retention. They did it by ministerial order, and to this day the department of justice has not confirmed it." McIntyre expects the case to be decided by the ECJ."


(Picture copied from: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5fd4M-16X8U/SXzdxpAGl9I/AAAAAAAAAJQ/lyan0P8p92g/s400/bigbrother2.jpg)

onsdag, augusti 11, 2010

The Catastrophe is here?


In one of the Swedish newspapers - Aftonbladet - one could find a headline, reading:
"The Catastrophe is already here", of course refering to the latest natural disasters around the world.
The journalists pointed out that it's seven degrees warmer in Moscow compared to 'normal' figures; they wrote about the fires all around this vast country, in some cases threatening some nuclear plants.
The article mentioned one of this nuclear plants, namely Mayak in the town Ozyorsk.
This area is already contaminated with nuclear waste since a major accident as far back as 1957 - the Kyshtym disaster! This disaster was classified as a 6 on a scale where Chernobyl was classified 7!
Now the radioactivity spreads with the smoke caused by the fire.

The same goes for Chernobyl - according to this article - where the Cesium 137 buried in the ground could be realeased.

In Finland the town of Joensuu recently noted a heat record, 37,2 degrees Celsius, triggering a giant thunderstorm cutting of the electricity for 80 000 finnish electricity subscribers.

On the American east coast the temperature has for long circled around 40 degrees Celsius and in Peru the temperature has descended towards minus 23 degrees Celsius (minus 28 a week ago or more).

Then the newspaper goes on pointing out the enormous problems in Asia: Pakistan, China and so forth.

This last remark makes them conclude that it's a bit ironic that the countries most stricken by these environmental problems are those economies who has'nt been willing to in some ways moderate their economic growth.
On the same time the newspaper establish that it's the polution from the Western countries that - seen in a historic perspective - now is causing the problems we see in Russia and the Asian countries.

Someone might say that this is only Domesday talk and nothing to care about and that we have to wait and see what will happen.

Unfortunately I can't find any proofs at all for a reasoning like that.
Even if each and every catastrophy is not a direct result of the way we live, we all understand - when penetrating this issue - that the way we live in the economically more developed countries does not favor a better environment and a better health for us or for any other living creature.

So what are those afraid of that constantly argues against a development towards a improved environment, meaning leaving the mineral fuels and the most dangerous energy source of them all - nuclear power - behind us? What do they fear that they will lose?
Money and comfort of course!

Some people might argue that there are money behind the environmental movements and the different UN rapports being presented and of course that is right but I would like to say that if some people should become rich by solving the environmental problems, instead of creating them as previous scientists, I wouldn't stand in their way!

(Photo Mayak nuclear plant copied from: http://web.educastur.princast.es/proyectos/grupotecne/archivos/investiga/119071011mayak.jpg)
(Photo Chernobyl copied from: http://www.stsci.edu/~inr/observ/dpics/chernobyl.jpg)

tisdag, augusti 10, 2010

About Swedish and Scandinavian literature in French

I continue to read the book below about Swedish and Scandinavian literature, written by Régis Boyer.
Rather interesting as there are names in the history of Scandinavian literature that I've forgotten, or maybe authors not so often mentioned today.
I've borrowed this book from my wife, Aurore, who read it before she moved to Sweden in 2004.
Now back in France it's my turn to penetrate it.

Radio active waste in London

A couple of months ago I read about the coming Olympic Games in London and the fact that there could be radioactive waste hidden beneath the site for the Olympic stadium.In this article one pointed out that the development of the Olympic site in east London after the Games have finished could be in jeopardy because of radioactive waste buried beneath the site.According to a Guardian investigation, any development of the site risks unearthing a hundred tonnes of radioactive waste dumped at the former landfill site decades ago.Documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) rules reveal that, contrary to government guidelines, waste from thorium and radium has been mixed with very low-level waste and buried in a so-called disposal cell under, or close, to the Olympic stadium.

After the Games, the demolition of the Olympic stadium in Stratford to make way for housing is a possibility because government and sporting authorities so far have been unable to agree on its future use. Despite a possible bidding war between AEG, which runs the O2, and Live Nation to possibly turn the stadium into a music venue, bookmaker William Hill recently made demolition of the Olympic stadium 5/1 third favourite behind its continued use for athletics or conversion into a home ground for West Ham United. "There seems to be no obvious usage for the stadium after the games," a William Hill spokesman said.

Some debaters mean that the radioactive waiste hidden in the ground is negligent and wouldn't endanger people's health at all. Others mean that this could cause a environmental catastrophy.

As often the truth might be hidden in between these two contrarious views but on the other hand, how many times haven't the so called experts said to the public that "everything is under controle" and "you don't have to worry" and how many times did this prove to be right? I leave that for you to judge for yourself.

The interesting thing is also: Did the British public know that there were radioactive waiste hidden in this area? Probably not.

Again we have to take into consideration the fact that governments and other people given responsibility for important issues in society, not always tell us the truth as there are other parameters they find more important to follow. The truth is - as we know - sometimes inconvenient!

The nuclear power is one of the worst sources of energy ever invented and the most dangerous one.

You might say that there has been no major nuclear accident since Chernobyl or Three Mile Island but what do we actually know about that, as citizens? Nothing.

Those accidents became real catastrophies and the consequences of these accidents we suffer up til this very day, not least people living around these areas.

If we have to depend on politicians and other decision makers or experts for the truth, then we know - as I wrote above - that there are other, in their views, more important aspects to take into consideration than telling the truth.

There are much more to be written about this but for the time being, I only hope that the people living in London and close to this area, will get truthful information about this site.

There are billions of pounds at stake for the British government, looking forward to what England and Great Britain will be able to gain on these games thanks to all the visitors and a renewed interest for London and Great Britain as a whole. Taking this into consideration 'peripheral questions' about people's health and the environment have to waite.

Talking about nuclear waste we also have to remember that the sixth and ninth of August, one commemorated the 65 years gone by since the atomic bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.




(Photo of the Olympic Stadium in London copied from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2007/11/olympic_stadium.shtml)

(Photo from Hiroshima after the bomb copied from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/41620/87911/Aftermath-of-the-atomic-bomb-strike-on-Hiroshima-Japan-August)

Hiroshima/the atomic bomb: Part II

I first published part I about Hiroshima and the atomic bomb but it was deleted wherefore I publish part II instead:

tisdag, augusti 03, 2010

100 million women are reported missing in the world!?

According to a French newspaper I read, the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, stated that there are 100 million women missing in the world!?
The question following this was of course: Where are they? Disappeared, mutilated, drugged, dead from malnutrition and neglect before the age of one or as adolescents dead from HIV not being able to survive the brothels all over the world?
The same article quoted an Indian saying that states:
"Raising a girl, is like irrigating your neighbours garden", that is to say that it's a waste of time raising a girl in a family already struck by poverty.
I hardly think (or hope) that a saying like this reflects the average man or woman less the majority of people living in India but we know that in China and India, having girls is not at all the same status as having boys.

In order to prevent some kind of bias in this, I would like to state that in most families around the world, a boy is seen as something more positive than a girl due to the fact that - not least the fathers - envision more possibilities for the boy to grow up and become succesful and rich than for the girl to achieve the same thing.

In the article the french journalist Manon Loizeau is quoted saying:
"To much pain kills, to much violence on a daily bases encourage the the women to eliminate themselves".

This she wrote in a book called 'La moitié du ciel', written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn two journalists on New York Times.
In this book they write about the terrible circumstances under which millions and millions of women live, not least in the countries on the Asian continent but also elsewhere all over the globe.
They find it odd (to say the least) that when a journalist, writer or any other person is captured by terrorists or in other ways maltreated, petitions are signed and people engage themselves in different ways but when women disappear or when they are tortured or killed on a daily bases in their homes and neighbourhoods, this doesn't cause much of a reaction among politicians or even intellectuals.
I don't remember if it's Kristof or Wudunn that uses the word 'black hole' about the disappearances in order to exemplify the huge numbers of women lost to the world.
It's however not only the intellectual or social misery that causes these disapperances but also the religion and different kinds of 'holy' or regulatory prescriptions concerning the life of man - and (not least) woman.
In Islamabad and Rawalpindi, two twin cities in Pakistan, five thousand women has been judged to the pillory, stooned, thrown kerosene and acid at, abandoned by their families and sometimes burnt to death!
The two journalists write about battery against women in the West too, as violence against women just because they are women, always has existed.
This not least against women who are better educated, stronger and more independent than their male friends or neighbours.

I remember discussing violence against women on a wall on Facebook and there I confronted men who - as they put it - using their "kind of humour" could write things as:
"In my country we use women as toilet seats"; "A good slapping..." etc etc.
These men lived in the USA and different European countries, whereby we see that this phenomenon is universal.
Of course one can always look upon these individuals as a group of anti-intellectual, frustrated, uneducated cowards - which of course is true for a majority of these 'men' - but on the other hand these kind of ideas reveals something profoundly aggressive and potentially dangerous and should of course be dealt with in some way.

I remember an article I read about a woman in USA being gang-raped in the open with people passing by, staying, looking, some even taking photos and others even applauding!
Of course we could explain this by saying that Americans are mad and fascistic - concerning the latter it's true for a great number of Americans according to me - but this doesn't help up the situation as I don't think this is only an American dilemma.
It's a question of men - religious or not - finding their earlier hegemony threatened by women being - as I wrote above - superior to them. The only mean to controle these women - as they are not willing confronting them on an intellectual level - is by using ultra violence and this is of course reprehensible in every way.
Some might object and say that there are a lot of men dissapearing every year, killed in battle or taken hostage, uses as slaves or in a multitued of ways.
This is of course true and equally important to fight back but the question is if the quantities are the same and if the 'ideological' basis for these disappearances are the same?
Men killed in war are being prepared for this and they are aware of the dangers they will confront - more or less anyway. Often they volunteer to the job.
Women just being women, doing their job and living their lives but being judged by men for things that men claim that they have done wrong, breaking laws and regulations often created by men is much worse in my opinion.

When I mentioned above that there were few reactions on the fact that so many women disappear every year I can add that I quoted the article on Facebook and normally there are one or many people commenting the articles I add but this time, I don't remember seeing many comments! Strange?!

(Book-cover copied from: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514Xz8-bVdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Dracula dans la forteresse de Cluis-Dessous

In the fortress of Cluis-Dessous, an old beautiful ruin, the amateur theatre group - or association - called Le Manteau d'Arlequin, staged the classical story about the blood sucking Dracula, first and foremost known through the book by Bram Stoker.

Briefly about the group: They were founded in 1920 under the name of Société Musicale et Lyrique, changed the name to le Cercle Lyrique before taking the name they now use.
They have won several competitions for amateur theatre groups, held in Montluçon and Vichy.

The performance of the evening kept itself very much to the book by Stoker but it also had references to the film by Francis Ford Coppola, who in turn is very loyal to the original book.
The night and all its shadows and the castle ruins, of course created an ambience worthy the content.
No microphones were used wherefore the actors sometimes had to spek out more loudly than the situation demanded, taking in to consideration the content of the story.
On the other hand music interleaved the change of scenes and prerecorded sound was used in a very comic way. E.g. when someone dropped a cup the sound was amplified making it sound as if a whole store of porcelains were knocked about.
On the whole a well staged performance ending at one o'clock in the night.

I apologize for the bad quality of the photos, taken with an iPhone without zoom.


























































(Photo poster copied from: http://a34.idata.over-blog.com/314x500/2/79/27/64/FINAL-AFFICHE-DRACULA-4.jpg)