Tag Archives: Gaza

29th April 2010 | Interesting Random Blogs

America’s Debt to Income Ratio as Compared with Other Countries

Seven of the top ten debtor nations are included in the world’s top ten economies. Not surprising. This is largely a result of widespread availability of affordable credit, and relatively large middle classes in these countries, and consequently a large ratio of home/property owners. Most popular rhetoric on the topic would claim that wealthy countries have grown accustomed to being wealthy and they are enthralled by consumerism – it could be argued that this high level of debt could be a result of a culture that is used to and willing to buy now, and pay later…even if it means with interest.

Roubini: “In A Few Days Time, There Might Not Be A Eurozone For us To Discuss”

Companies relying on fair use generate $4.7 trillion in revenue to the US economy every year. The report claims that fair use — an exception to the copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted materials — is crucial to innovation. It adds that employment in fair use industries grew from 16.9 million in 2002 to 17.5 million in 2007 and one out of eight US workers is employed by a company benefiting from protections provided by fair use.

Guide to Repair and Maintenance of Buildings

More than 10% of the buildings worldwide are approaching their end life. Structural elements in buildings are made of materials like concrete, steel and wood, which get weaker with time. Fatigue and other external elements might cause those structural elements to crack. So, it is important to protect these buildings by maintenance and repair.


On May 18th, Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch Ikaros, a fuel-free spacecraft that relies completely on solar power. The spacecraft’s 46-foot-wide sails are thinner than a human hair and lined with thin-film solar panels. After a rocket brings the craft to space, mission controllers on the ground will steer Ikaros by adjusting the sails’ angles, ensuring optimal radiation is hitting the solar cells. If the mission proves successful, the $16M spacecraft will be the first solar sail-powered craft to enter deep space.

Israel, a New Decade

I turn on the television just before dinner. Prime-time. An Israeli series: “The Pilots’ Wives” (“Meet the Women behind Our Heroes”, said the promo), interrupted occasionally by a commercial depicting a soldier missing his mother’s soup (“disclaimer: the actor is not a soldier”). After the series, a short public service broadcast showing a group of young men, each in turn boasting his military service, until they notice one of them – a violent zoom-in – keeps quiet; the message is clear. Then the news, with at least one public relations item pushed by the military: “teen-age girls eager to become fighters”, “a remote-control watch-and-shoot system on the Gaza fence”, “a unique glimpse into a top-secret air-force base” or the like. Not to mention the real news, be it about the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Iran, or even the billions of terrorists disguised as miserable African refugees allegedly waiting on the Egyptian border to inundate Israel: all these issues, and many more, are predominantly managed and framed by the military.

The Costs of Complexity

Despite cheerleading and doctored statistics from within the Beltway, the US economy is in deep and deepening trouble; foreclosures continue to climb, commercial real estate and second mortgages are shaping up to be the next big shocks, and the rolling collapse of state and local government finances shows no sign of slowing down. The Goldman Sachs flacks who moved into power with the Obama administration promised to fix things; they have pretty clearly failed; and as the neoconservatives learned not long ago, intolerance for failure is very nearly the only thing on which the squabbling factions of the American political class can agree.

Reason Magazine: Peak Everything?

When you really need something, it’s natural to worry about running out of it. Peak oil has been a global preoccupation since the 1970s, and the warnings get louder with each passing year. Environmentalists emphasize the importance of placing limits on consumption of fossil fuels, but haven’t been successful in encouraging people to consume less energy—even with the force of law at their backs.

But maybe they’re going about it all wrong, looking for solutions in the wrong places. Economists Lucas Bretschger and Sjak Smulders argue that the decisive question isn’t to focus directly on preserving the resources we already have. Instead, they ask: “Is it realistic to predict that knowledge accumulation is so powerful as to outweigh the physical limits of physical capital services and the limited substitution possibilities for natural resources?” In other words, can increasing scientific knowledge and technological innovation overcome any limitations to economic growth posed by the depletion of non-renewable resources?

RC Aircraft (Remote Controlled UAV) – LAVI/ J10 Fighter Plane (Youtube)

This is a Full 3D flight. This exact aircraft is the Israeli LAVI, which was later copied by the Chinese and called the JC-10. It has thrust vectoring. The R/C LAVI you see here is manufactured by JD Enterprises and the pilot modified the intake and added a red star to make it look like a J-10.



Pakistan is in the throes of an energy crisis, with Pakistanis now enduring about 12 hours of power cuts a day, a grueling schedule that is melting ice, stopping fans and enraging an already exhausted populace just as the blast furnace of summer gets started.
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Israeli Apartheid is not Fiction!

Open letter to the organizers and attendees of Sci-Fi-London International Festival 2009

Israeli Apartheid is not Fiction!


Cancel the special tribute to Israel in the London Sci-Fi Festival!

Open letter to the organizers and attendees of Sci-Fi-London International Festival 2009

Ramallah, 29 April 2009

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is writing to the organizers of the Sci-Fi-London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantasy Film to urge you to cancel the special “Focus on: Israel” in your festival in London from 29 April – 4 May. We also urge the attendees of this festival, if its organizers insist on the special tribute to Israel, to protest the inclusion of this session and to boycott the focus on Israel. Honoring Israel in any field right after its massacre in Gaza shows either apathetic disregard for the lives and rights of the Palestinian people or, worse, complicity in Israel’s grave violations of international law and human rights principles.

We understand that the focus on Israel is organized in cooperation with the British Council of Arts in Israel as part of the British Israeli Arts Training Scheme, BI-ARTS, which is funded by Israel’s Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latter, it is worth noting, is currently headed by the ultra-right racist Israeli politician, Avigdor Lieberman, who in response to the struggle of Palestinian citizens of Israel for equality and full citizenship rights has continuously advocated their ethnic cleansing, notoriously stating that “minorities are the biggest problem in the world.” By organizing this session celebrating Israel’s contributions to the field, you will be effectively welcoming into your highly esteemed international forum a state that maintains the world’s longest regime of occupation and colonization as well as the only surviving apartheid.

On the festival’s website it states that the focus on Israel aims to examine the sci-fi “what if’s” being explored in other countries. Yet, we wonder if you are aware of Israel’s over 60-year old colonial history of brutally subjugating the Palestinian people. Israel’s recent war on Gaza is the latest chapter in this history of colonial oppression. In this brutal military campaign, Israel killed over 1,440 Palestinians, of whom 431 were children, and injured another 5380 [1]. Israel subjected the besieged population of Gaza to three weeks of unrelenting state terror. Israeli warplanes targeted and bombed densely populated civilian areas, using illegal munitions, such as white phosphorous, and reduced whole neighbourhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble, not to mention its wilful mass destruction of agricultural land. In addition to this, Israel also partially destroyed Gaza’s leading university and scores of schools, including several run by the UN and used as civilian shelters during the war of aggression. The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory has described the Israeli attack on Gaza as “a war crime of the gravest magnitude under international law.”

Israel’s war on Gaza was not an anomaly but an integral part of the systematic policies of ethnic cleansing and colonial oppression that Israel has carried out against the Palestinian people. The state of Israel was established in 1948 by forcibly expelling the overwhelming majority of Palestine’s indigenous Arab population. For 60 years now, Israel has continued to deny the millions of displaced Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned rights to return to their homes of origin. For the last 41 years, Israel has maintained a repressive military occupation over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, violating Palestinians’ most fundamental human rights with impunity. Israel extra-judicially kills Palestinian activists and leaders; subjects Palestinians to daily military violence; routinely demolishes Palestinian homes and illegally confiscates Palestinian land. Israeli continues to expand illegal Jewish colonies on occupied Palestinian land, linking them to an apartheid system of Jewish-only roads, and the Wall that was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Israel’s policies of repression systematically target all aspects of Palestinian life and are designed to crush the Palestinian will, creativity and human spirit. Since the early 1970’s Israel has targeted and routinely closed Palestinian universities and cultural centres in the West Bank and Gaza, and imposed a repressive system of censorship, banning scores of books – effectively imposing a stranglehold designed to prevent Palestinian cultural expression. From 1979 to 1992, Birzeit University was closed 60% of the time by Israeli military orders [2].

The injustice and the violent suppression of the Palestinian struggle for freedom have lasted too long. To bring an end to this oppression, Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience throughout the world to take a stand and support our struggle for freedom by adopting boycott, divestments and sanctions, BDS, against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes our inalienable rights [3]. This BDS call has received resounding international support, and has been endorsed by a number of prominent international cultural figures and Israeli artists, including Aharon Shabtai, John Berger, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Roger Waters, John Williams and others. Other high profile artists have also heeded our call by cancelling gigs in Israel; these included Bono, Bjork, Snoop Dogg and Jean Luc Goddard.

In calling on artists to support the cultural boycott of Israel, John Berger urged artists to adopt the boycott as a mechanism of protest and a means to end the silence surrounding the impunity with which Israel violates international law and denies Palestinian their basic human rights [4]. In endorsing the boycott, the prominent Israeli poet, Aharon Shabtai, said:

“A State which maintains an occupation and commits daily crimes against civilians does not deserve to be invited to whichever cultural week. We cannot accept to be part of that. Israel is not a democratic State but an apartheid State. We cannot support that State at all” [5].

To claim the cultural field is “neutral” in the face of systematic and persistent injustice is to effectively side with the oppressor. International solidarity and support for the boycott of South African played a pivotal role in helping bring down the apartheid regime. Similarly, we sincerely hope you will take a moral stand and cancel your tribute to Israel, until it meets its obligations under international law and recognizes the Palestinian people’s right to live in freedom and equality in their homeland.

Yours truly,

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
www.PACBI.org
pacbi@pacbi.org

[1] http://www.ochaopt.org/gazacrisis/index.php?section=3
[2] http://www.mediamonitors.net/parry1.html
[3] http://www.pacbi.org/campaign_statement.htm
[4] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=415
[5] http://www.countercurrents.org/cattori260208.htm