tisdag, juni 22, 2010

Oil companies bribe the justice - again?

This text below is taken from BBC and once again we see how the great multinational companies, using their lobbyists, convince more or less corrupt law makers/judges to follow their wishes.
It's a shame:

"A US federal court judge has blocked President Barack Obama's six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The moratorium was put in place in the wake of the massive oil spill triggered by an explosion at a rig in April.
The judge said the lengthy ban was 'invalid' and could not be justified, as the negative impact on local businesses was simply too great.
The White House said it would be appealing against the decision.
'An invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in the depths over 500ft simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country,' judge Martin Feldman said."

måndag, juni 21, 2010

Lundin Oil

Lundin Petroleum or Lundin Oil is a Swedish oil firm, founded by Adolf Lundin, for many years having worked in different parts of the world, not least African countries like Congo and Sudan.
Adolf Lundin
This is a company often having been accused of using every method they find necessary in order to find and extract oil, including cooperating with dictators and totalitarian regimes.
I guess that this fact doesn't differentiate this company from others but as our foreign minister, Carl Bildt, earlier was a member of the board in Lundin Oil, it does complicate things to a certain degree, at least for him and the government.

Carl Bildt
On the ethical level this is of course unacceptable, if we want to maintain some dignity in the world and not degrading ourselves as human beings, something we over and over again have a tendency to do.
Swedish prosecutors now initiate a preliminary investigation in order to straighten out if former Lundin Petroleum, is guilty of crime against international law in Sudan.

Magnus Elving
In a press release, district prosecutor, Magnus Elving (photo) at The International Prosecution Authority says that the reason for this decision is a rapport put together by a number of NGO:s in which they claim that crimes against international law has been committed and that there are reasons to believe that there are Swedish affiliations.
Unfortunately - as always in these cases - an investigation of this sort, will take years to conclude.

Between 1997 and 2003 10 000 people is said to have been killed and nearly 200 000 forced to flee the southern parts of Sudan.
Sudanese soldiers in cooperation with militia attacked and displaced civilians in order to facilitate for Lundin Petroleum in joint business with Petronas and OMV, to extract oil.
This according to the rapport that these 50 OMG:s in the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (Ecos) stand behind and being published in the beginning of June.

The foreign minister - Carl Bildt - do not want to comment on this but what can be said is that it's about time that this oil company is being investigated as the rumours about their way of making business, for years, has been alarming seen from a human rights perspective.
I hope that this will lead to that the responsible individuals within the company are put to trial as I'm convinced they to a lesser or higher degree are guilty of what has been put forward.

We know that multinational companies are willing to trample on corpse in order to achieve profit and I have earlier written about the multinational pharmaceutical companies and their abominable methods and as everyone understand: A multinational oil company is hardly behaving better, on the contrary.

(Photo logotype Lundin Oil copied from: http://www.lundin-petroleum.com/eng/)
(Photo Adolf Lundin copied from: http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/200610/02/20061002083106_Realtid519/Lundin_Adolf_S_200.jpg)
(Photo Carl Bildt copied from: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_uOrrNDoZb6M/TE2tVJBVovI/AAAAAAAAARM/OZ0x21JZY5E/s320/bildt_261198w.jpg)
(Photo Magnus Elving copied from: http://www.nt.se/inc/imagehandler.ashx?id=143181&height=312&quality=75)

lördag, juni 19, 2010

Bernadotte 1810-2010

This year there is another bicentennial concerning mostly Sweden but to some extent also France, namely the 200 years of the Bernadotte dynasty on the throne.

I'm not going to write an extensive historic review because this is of course not my domaine but for those not knowing much about Sweden and the royal family this can be said:

The French revolution in 1789 put an end to the class society, earlier being the most common societal structure both in France and Sweden.
This meant that people from 'lower classes' were given career opportunities and this made it possible for a person like Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, the son of a small town lawyer, to rise in the ranks within the military.

He became one of the foremost marshals of France and a close ally to Napoléon and on the same time somewhat of a rival.

He is said to have had bigger ambitions than this and among his friends and allies there were those who in him saw the new emperor after Napoléon Bonaparte.

However Bernadotte had powerful enemies, namely Klemens von Metternich and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand! They opposed the idea of having a parvenu as emperor of France.

Napoléon appointed him Prince of Ponte Corvo in 1806 but this didn't please neither him nor the people of Ponte Corvo, so it seems.

The Swedish military Carl Otto Mörner knew about this formidable marshal Bernadotte and decided to - as we would say today perhaps - headhunt him in order to become the king of Sweden.

In Sweden king Gustav IV Adolf had been suspended in 1809 and his uncle Karl XIII was appointed king. He was however 61 years old and had no children. This made the questions about the throne aire somewhat 'delicate'.
In the autumn 1809 Karl XIII had a stroke and became more or less unable to govern the country.
The Swedish Parliament chose for crown prince the Danish prince Kristian August and he arrived early in 1810, taking the name Karl August and was adopted by Karl XIII.

He adapted very quickly and became very popular but unfortunately he also had a stroke during a military manouevre and died!
Fredrik Kristian of Augustenborg - brother-in-law to the Danish king Fredrik VI - now became the foremost candidate to become the succesor on the Swedish throne.

It's however at this point that the Swedish lieutenant Carl Otto Mörner started making plans, in order to get a French marshal on the throne.

Mörner was in Paris as a courier for the Swedish government and his prime mission was to obtain approval from Napoléon to the coronation of Fredrik Kristian of Augustenborg.
Napoléon did however mention another person, namely count Bonde, an heir to earlier kings in Sweden. Maybe he would be suitable as king of Sweden, the emperor suggested.

Mörner didn't settle for this. Instead he started inquiring among a number of French marshals in order to find out if they would like to become the king of Sweden.
General Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte displayed great enthusiasm but when Mörner came back to Sweden Karl XIII was displeased with his mission and he wasn't allowed to participate in the Swedish Parliament. He was even put in house arrest.

Meantime Bernadotte got the approval by Napoléon but at the same time one had decided making Fredrik Kristian of Augustenborg the king of Sweden.

A French vice consul by the name of Fournier came to Sweden and began, what we would call, a PR campaign, promoting Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte and the 21st of August 1810, Bernadotte was chosen to be crown prince, on one condition:
He had to convert and accept the Evangelical-Lutheran confession, the official religion of Sweden then as now.

So he did and the rest is history as one say.

This year Sweden is celebrating this event but also the wedding of the Crown Princess Victoria, marrying Daniel Westling.
This wedding took place today the 19th of June, the same date as the marriage between her father and mother king Carl Gustaf (Carl XVI Gustaf) and queen Silvia (Sommerlath) in 1976.

For the 'French connection' it's perhaps important to note that Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was born in Pau in France.

Trivia: Crown Princess Victoria is born the 14th of July, the National Day of France!
Trivia: Jean Baptiste Bernadotte is said to have had a tatoo on his body where one could read:
"Mort aux rois", that is to say: "Death to the kings".

(Painting Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte copied from: http://www.consulat-suede.fr/news_img/Bernadotte.jpg)

(Photo king Carl XVI Gustaf copied from: http://www.angeloplessas.com/blog/uploaded_images/king_carl_xvi_gustaf_1146407355-773986.jpg)

fredag, juni 18, 2010

José Saramago dead

This is an author I discovered when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.
I had heard his name before but never read him.

Together with a friend I had begun a project aiming at reading all the œuvres by all the Nobel laureates(!), the works by Saramago became one of my main literary readings that year.
I found him interesting as he's dealing with questions about human behaviour, about courage and lack of it, about personal choices implying going your own way or lack of personal choices - also a way of choosing - about those who are able to see through the surface of what seems to be going on in society and seeing beyond and below the superficial.
All this embedded in a poetic, symbolic language and symbolic actions pointing towards a more truthful or honest interpretation of the world and human behaviour.

The books I've read:

Journey to Portugal (Viagem a Portugal)
Baltasar and Blimunda (Memorial do Convento)
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis)
The Stone Raft (A Jangada de Pedra)
The History of the Siege of Lisbon (História do Cerco de Lisboa)
The Gospel according to Jesus Christ (O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo)
Blindness (Ensaio sobre a Cegueira)
All the Names (Todos os Nomes)
The Tale of the Unknown Island (O Conto da Ilha Desconhecida)
The Cave (A Caverna)
Seeing (Ensaio sobre a Lucidez)

Maybe I've read one or two more but these are the ones I remember right now.

I can recommend reading Saramago and one of his most interesting books is The Blindness where - in short - those who see are blind and those who are blind see clearly.
It's much more complicated and poetically expressed in his book of course but why not read it for yourself.

onsdag, juni 16, 2010

Kärnkraftssäkerheten utreds

Som ett tillägg till det jag skrev i mitt förra blogginlägg publicerar jag denna artikel ur Dagens Nyheters nätupplaga 16 juni 2010:

Kärnkraftens fysiska säkerhet utreds igen

Samtidigt som 29 personer fortfarande sitter anhållna för olaga intrång mot kärnkraftsverket i Forsmark, har Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (SSM) fått i uppdrag att leda en utredning kring det fysiska skyddet på Sveriges kärnkraftverk.

Sedan flera myndigheter och delar av samhället krävt att den fysiska säkerheten ska utredas ytterligare så ska nu Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten, Rikspolisstyrelsen, Svenska kraftnät samt Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap gemensamt utreda detta.

Tillsammans ska de fyra myndigheterna utreda kärnkraftsbolagens respektive samhällets skyldigheter i fråga om det fysiska skyddet.

Uppdraget att göra studien kommer från miljödepartementet.

Stig Isaksson, inspektör på Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten och särskilt ansvarig i fråga om inspektionen av de olika skydd som ett kärnkraftverk kräver, välkomnar en sådan utredning.

Han påpekar att både kommuner i närheten såväl som kärnkraftsindustrin haft frågetecken kring nuvarande lagstiftning.

– Det har bland annat handlat om hur man kan förvänta sig att polisen ska kunna agera, det behöver utredas och förtydligas, säger Stig Isaksson till DN.se.

En av de lokala säkerhetsnämnderna som tidigt ifrågasatt den fysiska säkerheten vid bland annat Forsmark är Anna-Lena Söderblom (M), ordförande i den lokala säkerhetsnämnden i Östhammars kommun. Till Uppsala nya tidning säger hon att hon är glad över att studien nu genomförs men beklagar att det dröjt.

– De högsta beslutande organen i vårt land har inte tidigare insett betydelsen av att ta frågan på allvar.

Ännu på onsdagen satt 29 personer anhållna i Uppsala efter måndagens protestaktion mot kärnkraftverket i Forsmark.

Misstankarna gäller grovt olaga intrång och brott mot skyddslagen. Sammanlagt misstänks dock fler än 50 personer, knutna till Greenpeace, för brott, berättar Uppsalapolisens presstalesman Christer Nordström för DN.se.

– Tingsrätten är bokad för torsdag och fredag, så ambitionen är att förhandlingar ska inledas då, men varje individ måste bedömas för sig, säger Christer Nordström.

Anders Forsström


tisdag, juni 15, 2010

Stoppa kärnkraften!

Detta är ett meddelande både till dem som anser att kärnkraften är ett energisystem som borde förpassas till historiens mest undangömda vrår samt dem som anser att det är ett 'säkert' och tillförlitligt energisystem.

Diskussioner i både Sverige och Finland ger vid handen att en utbyggnad av kärnkraften - antingen i antal reaktorer eller i kapacitet per reaktor - är mer trolig än en nedmontering av denna det absolut giftigaste energislag människan någonsin uppfunnit.
Till detta kommer att den uranbrytning som genom decennier skett i olika delar av världen förstört och förgiftat enorma landområden inklusive vattentäkter, vilket i sin tur lett till att de människor, djur och den växtlighet som tidigare där funnits, inte längre existerar.

Ett mer aktivt arbete sker kring alternativa energislag men självfallet kan denna utvecklingstendens påskyndas om våra politiker inte låter sig styras av den mäktiga och penningstinna kärnkraftsindustrin.
Om man redan under sent 1960- och 70-tal initierat de projekt kring förnyelsebar energi som man redan då - och tidigare - förde diskussioner kring, hade vi idag kunnat styra över energiutvinning på dessa alternativa engergislag, varvid energin utvunnen ur kärnkraften, hade kunna minimeras och kanske helt utfasas.
Tyvärr lät sig och låter sig politiker i Sverige likväl som i många andra länder duperas av de insmickrande och löftesrika ord kärnkraftsindustrins representanter presenterar och detta i kombination med ett kortsiktigt synsätt som endast tar i beaktande industrins behov av energi för fortsatt expansion har gjort att forskningen kring andra energikällor legat i träda.

Att kärnkraften är ett "rent engergislag" bygger på uppfattningen att de organ som kontrollerar nivån radioaktivitet kring de olika anläggningarna har pålitliga system att kontrollera detta samt har personal som själva är pålitliga och oavhängiga eventuella influenser från industrin samt att all vetenskaplig forskning kring kärnkraften representerar någon form av 'sanning'. De 'sanningar' vetenskapen presenterar är endast giltiga inom sina egna vetenskapliga paradigm, ej utanför dessa, varför absoluta sanningar inte kan framställas och när det gäller något så livsfarligt som radioaktiva ämnen, kan vi inte endast nöja oss med vetenskapliga 'sanningar'!
En sådan naivitet kan vi alltså inte låta styra de beslut som måste fattas kring kärnkraftens vara eller icke vara.

Vi vet också vilka enorma katastrofer kärnenergi, både i civila och militära sammanhang orsakat.
Vi har en tendens att glömma detta när det rent ytligt inte tycks ske allvarliga incidenter.

Avfallsfrågan är ytterligare en delaspekt av enorm omfattning.
Diskussioner kring hur avfall skall hanteras, var de skall förvaras och på vilket sätt har förts i decennier.
Självfallet säger man från industrins och forskarnas sida att man har löst detta problem men hur kan man "veta" att man löst detta, innan det kan sättas på prov?
Om man utgår från att beräkningarna av skilda radioaktiva isotopers halveringstider kan omfatta flera tusentals år, vem skall slutligen göra bokslut kring huruvida dagens forskare hade rätt?
Våra efterkommande generationer självfallet och jag tror inte att jag skulle vilja leva i en framtid fylld av osäkra förvaringsplatser för utbränt uran, det är tillräckligt traumatiskt att leva i en tid där världen är full av detta det mest dödliga gift 'vi' lyckats uppfinna.

Min förhoppning är att människor i gemen försöker se utöver den trånga horisont som utgörs av här och nu och tankar som skulle kunna sammanfattas i följande rader:
"Jag mår bra och jag ser inte att det tycks finnas risker med kärnkraften, det har ju experterna sagt och dessutom vill jag inte avstå från den lyx jag lever i och den energi jag konsumerar eftersom jag vill kunna fortsätta leva under lika fördelaktiga omständigheter!"
Studera istället denna fråga ur ett långsiktigt och mer mångfacetterat perspektiv och jag tror att vi förstår att ett förnuftigt, intellektuellt förhållningssätt är att sätta stopp för fortsatt utbyggnad av kärnkraften.

Detta i kombination med det faktum att vi i de ekonomiskt mest utvecklade länderna - som Sverige och resten av västvärlden inklusive ett antal andra stater på vår jord - inte behöver använda de kvantiteter energi vi idag konsumerar, i syfte att leva väl. Detta gäller industrin såväl som hushållen.
En truism men alltid lika aktuellt att påminna om.

(Photo Tchernobyl copied from: http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/Documents/tchernobyl.jpg)
(Photo child affected by the accident in Tchernobyl copied from: http://histobully.canalblog.com/images/Tchernobyl.jpg)
(Photo Three Mile Island copied from: http://nonuclear.se/files/PresidentsCommissionThreeMileIsland197910cover.jpg)

söndag, juni 13, 2010

This Gun for Hire

This film takes place in San Francisco, where the blackmailer Albert Baker (Frank Ferguson) and his girlfriend are killed by a remorseless hit man called Raven (Alan Ladd).
Raven, in turn, is double-crossed by his anonymous employer, Willard Gates (Laird Cregar), who pays him with marked bills. During the exchange, an acquaintance of Gates greets him, revealing his identity to Raven. Gates later reports to Los Angeles Police Detective Michael Crane (Robert Preston) that the money was stolen from the company where he works, Nitro Chemical. Raven learns he has been set up and decides to get revenge.
Gates, who also owns a Los Angeles nightclub, hires Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake), a singer, unaware that she is Crane's girlfriend.
Gates and Ellen board a train for Los Angeles but on that train we also find Raven.
By chance, the only empty seat Raven can find is beside Ellen. The next morning, Gates find them sleeping side by side. He wires ahead. Raven spots the waiting police and forces Ellen at gunpoint to help him escape. He is about to kill her in an abandoned building when they are interrupted by some workmen, allowing Ellen to flee. She tries to contact her boyfriend, but he is traveling back to Los Angeles.
Later on Raven and Ellen become acquainted and they trade information. On the same time she appeal to Raven not to kill Gates but in the end when Raven makes it to Gates company he forces himself in and coerce Raven to take him to Brewster (Tully Marshall), the mastermind behind a plan to sell a formula to poison gas to the Japanese, they all die.

The film is a somewhat 'classic' (this hackneyed word) 'film noir' and as such a very intriguing and suspensful piece of work, displaying most ingredients being an essential part of a film of this kind.
Good actors and good acting with - as often - some clichés incorporated in the plot but this is almost something one take for granted and maybe something we see more clearly today than at the time when 'This Gun for Hire' was made.
Director: Frank Tuttle.

torsdag, juni 10, 2010

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton is the name of the film and the main character (George Clooney) who works as a sort of "wheeler-dealer" at a law firm, where he earlier worked as an attorney.
He arranges so that the traces of 'bad behaviour' from clients they work with, disappears.

In this case the film opens with Clayton leaving a poker game wanting to take his car home. Later on - though he's not in it - it explodes. Obviously someone wants to kill him.
He is also in debt to a loan shark to cover his brother's depts, a brother having severe problems with alcohol in the same way as Clayton having problems with his gambling, leaving him almost broke.

Flashback four days earlier when the company is struck by a 'scandal' when one of their foremost lawyers, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), during negotiations concerning a pesticide case, strips himself naked and bursts out in anger, also having a manic-depressive problem, now being in his manic phase.
However, the grounds for his anger is justified.
Edens is put to defend a company's use of pesticides, a usage having caused serious problems for many people around the industrial plant.
He is now fed up with this and during his manic phase his aggressions towards the company, himself and the law firm, stir up strong emotions, not least since he has a good relation with a woman willing to testify against the company in question.
Clayton is ordained to deal with his colleague Arthur, a person he very much likes and admires.
Before Edens have the time to put forward the documents he has gathered, pointing at the negligence from the companies side, causing this catastrophy, he is found dead.
We as spectators know that he is killed but Clayton and the others doesn't know that - yet.
The day Clayton's car blows up, he starts to wonder who is behind the attempt to kill him and if this person also killed Edens.
As he is regarded being dead, he sees a opportunity to act.

This film was well produced, the acting is good and even though it's some violence in the film, it's more the chill from the person behind all this - Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) - that makes the spectator upset, I guess.
The film asks questions about the moral - or rather lack of moral - within multinational companies crossing corpse to reach their goals; about the individual responsibility in every major organisation and how to deal with etc.
These questions are by no means new but always relevant, not only the last few years during the economical so called crisis and its origins.

North Korea and its crazy leader(s)

"With his bouffant hair, platform shoes and strange penchant for zip-up, khaki catsuits, it would be easy to dismiss North Korea’s dictator as a faintly ludicrous pantomime villain.".

This sentence is taken from an article (in an English speaking newspaper or internet paper but unfortunately I don't remember what paper) about the mad dictator Kim Jong-il and his strange and dangerous country, strange and dangerous because of him and previously because of his equally crazy father, Kim Il-sung.

We all know about the recent events when Kim's armed forces torpedoed a South Korean naval vessel, killing 46 men in the crew and then threatened to start a war if South Korea would object or use sanctions against the northern part of this peninsula.
According to information in newspapers, North Korea has the fourth biggest army in the world!
We are not talking about a minor force in the world - unfortunately.
As with China under Mao Zedong, the creation of this army has been possible through taking food out of the mouth of already poor people, leaving them to die in order to reach the goal of becoming a major military force in the world.

Other information state that a million troops are stationed along the border to South Korea and this man is surely one of those (few?) people in the world who wouldn't hesitate using his forces - and nuclear weapons - if feeling threatened, no matter if this threat is real or not, or if it's military or not.
Last year North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb and this of course in order to show the military strength of the countrie.
It's hardly likely that Kim would be interested in negotiating with other countries concerning a disarmement treaty.

Unfortunately other nuclear powers in the world, haven't made much of a progress either and this leads to difficulties when telling other countries - like North Korea or Iran - to shut their nuclear producing plants down. In the case of Iran, I think it would be possible but when it comes to 'Mad Kim', it's not at all negotiable.

One of the major problems is of course that Kim and his father Kim Il-sung, have created a almost fictional state very much resembling the '1984' society in Orwell's novel, or almost surpassing that fictional state!
People are under surveillance 24 hours per day and the smallest indication on any critic against the "great leader" or miscontent, could of course be punished with death, including torture and maybe different kinds of labour camps/concentration camps (se below).
The only television stations are the gonvernmental ones, telling the starving, tortured, suffering inhabitants what a great leader Kim Jong-il is and how wounderful this 'the creation' of his father, Kim Il-Sung, the nation builder, is.
Mobile phones are obviously only 'gadgets' for a small elite and the internet doesn't exist, more than for Kim - and perhaps his closest collaborators.
Free press is a word that doesn't even exist in the North Korean word list, all public phones are monitored and noone is allowed to leave the country - ever!
What most North Korean people know about the world around them is what their 'great', mad leader and his corrupt and cruel gang of collaborators (and military of course) let them know and this is not much.

Not many North Koreans know about the incident with South Korea.
Topics portraying Kim in a negative way, doesn't even exist in their imagination.
There are - according to several sources - 'Gulags' (labour camps) around the country and to end up in one of those is from what I've read and heard, very easy.
It suffice forgetting to wear a badge with the face of Kim, to be imprisoned for life.
How the prisoners are treated in these prisons is something we don't even want to think about but I imagine that using a parable with the nazis during the war might give an idea: Torture, sexual abuse, experiments, hard physical labour till death free you from it etc etc!
This is of course nothing I know personally - luckily enough - but I have no reason to doubt the information coming from people inside the country and human rights organisations, reporting from this country run by a deeply evil person, in much having taken his inspiration not only from his father but from Mao Zedong, one of the worst massmurders of all times.
Concerning the above I read the following in the same article:
"According to human rights organisations torture is common, they use specially trained dogs that they set on prisoners to maul them to death. Others are beaten and shot through the head.
There have been horrifying accounts of foetuses cut from the wombs of female prisoners.".

Kim himself live under the outermost luxuary circumstances, guarded by the equally crazy military personnel, being surrounded by women who are forced to please him and his band of madmen - and women.
The human rights organisations state that Kim has jailed hundred of thousands of his subjects and when doing so he uses a 'legal stystem' that punishes three generations of a family, only if one has spoken ill of him!!
He holds 200 000 political prisoners and thousands of people outside prison - but inside the 'national prison' constituted by the borders to other countries - are starving to death!

A woman by the name of Mi Hyang has written a book about how she became one of Kim's 'sex slaves' and how the humiliating process was staged.
Two of the dictator's officials had entered her classroom and seized her without any further notice, taking her to Kim's palace and seeing to that she got the 'training' she needed to please the leader as well as possible!

The population is starving, dying at an early age and it's said that the population is even becoming smaller on an average, caused by the malnutrition.

Kim is a good friend of another maniac, Robert Mugabe.
This friendship stems from the time when (according to the information I've got) Kim helped Mugabe slaughter 20 000 rival Ndebele tribesmen once.
They resemble each other very much, don't they?
Killing and torturing people that stand in their way, using men and women as their personal slaves for whatever reason they want and so forth.

Kim has also plundered the state assets and the sum is estimated to £4 billion, money he has placed in banks in another corrupt country, Luxembourg.

Kim's father - Kim Il-sung - became the leader of North Korea in 1948, ordered state-wide murders on people objecting him and turned North Korea into a private playground and leading it into the Korean War. He was - as I earlier wrote - very much inspired by Mao Zedong and his methods.
Kim Il-sung is however said to be born in Siberia, where his father fled with a rebel group during the Japanese colonial rule.
I know that when foreign visitors have visited North Korea, either Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il built 'Potyomkin villages', that is to say fake buildings, seemingly magnificent, making the visitors think that the country flourished.

One have to ask oneself why the world community haven't engaged itself - in an earlier phase, - in trying to overthrow these two megalomaniacs, not least during the epoch when North Korea had no nuclear weapons.
First of all the above mentioned Koran War, displays the different countries support for one side or another and even if the situation has changed today, one can surely find traces of these different symphaties, contained in the behaviour of different nations all over the world.

As always when we talk about world politics the different nations and not least the super power(s), never act in a consistent way, it's always the law of pragmatism that rules.
That means that even if most democratic countries agree on that North Korea is a dictatorship, that the North Koreans citizens are living under the most horrible circumstances, including the above examples, one do not act as one did against Iraq or Afghanistan.
Someone would perhaps argue that we have to take it easy when acting against North Korea as it's a nation with nuclear weapons and this is true today but it hasn't always been that way.

President George W. Bush called North Korea, Iraq and Iran for "The Axis of Evil" and he took action against Iraq and to some degree Iran but North Korea was more or less left in peace.
Of course there were talks about sanctions and Bush didn't hide what sentiments he had for Kim but no radical actions were undertaken and one can of course ask oneself what kind of actions can be undertaken today?

I really hope that the dictator Kim - one way or another - will be overthrown or killed in a near future, this not least for the sake of his suffering people! How this is going to be accomplished is though difficult to say.

(Photo Kim Jong-il copied from: http://gamerbox.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/kim-jong-il-1.jpg)
(Photo caricature Kim Jong-il copied from: http://toccoli.kaywa.com/files/images/2008/10/mob367_1224503198.jpg)

tisdag, juni 08, 2010

Jussi Björling and Amor ti vieta

söndag, juni 06, 2010

Marvin Isley dead

fredag, juni 04, 2010

Pierre Etaix

envoyé par iletaixunefois. - Films courts et animations.

Pierre Etaix is a french actor and director born in 1928 but not so well known outside France, I think.

As a result of copyright problems (if I've understood this correctly) his films has not been screened for a long time but during this years Film Festival in Cannes, they screened his film 'Le Grand Amour'.
Now the news reaches us that one officially will release all his films and this beginning the 7th of July this year (2010).
In total it's five feature films and three short films (one never earlier released) that are under restoration.
Responsible for this work is François Ede under the 'auspice' of Pierre Etaix.

This work is in itself unique - according to the responsible - as this is the first time one restore an entire work by a director at one and the same time.
This is due to a collaboration between Pierre Etaix, Studio 37 (owner of the negatives) and the foundations Technicolor pour le Patrimoine du Cinéma and Groupama Gan pour le Cinéma.
These films will also be available on DVD, at least in France and this in connection to this release.

onsdag, juni 02, 2010

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

This day in 1953 Queen Elizabeth II was coronated Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

I remember the story when she for the first time visited Sweden (in 1956 I think), if this was the occasion.
When embarking with the Royal ship in the harbour of Stockholm the military shot salute outside what they thought was the Royal Palace.
Unfortunately it happened to be a home for elderly people, Danvikshem.
The building is however very impressive, built in the old Vasa style (one could say) with brick and towers.

Well, the queen wasn't responsible for this incident.

The Royal Castle in Stockholm:


(Photo The Castle in Stockholm copied from: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1092/1288192011_89cbd7fc2d.jpg?v=0)


This day in 1964 PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded.
Between 1969 and 2004 Yasser Arafat was the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas.
What have they achieved?

Well I'm not going to answer that question as this is a highly complicated issue.
What we can notice - purely objectively - is that the Palestinians have not achieved their goal of a state of their own.
This is due not only to the conflict between Israel and Palestine but due to the fact that these two countries have been used as pawns in the international politics.
When we had two major superpowers in the world (USA and the Sovjet Union) they used these - and other - countries to create allies and support for their political power in the world, as we all know.
The conflict is also aggravated by the fact that we talk about two ethnic groups with not only a legitimate demand for a country of their own (Israel created in 1948) but also with a strong historic-religious bond to the land where they live.
Historically it's not that easy to determine what country should have precedence to this part of the world, even though both Palestinians and Israelis claim the right to the land or parts of it.
The historical conflict has unfortunately lasted for more than the 60 years we now are talking about and it seems not to have any obvious solutions and when people on both side become more and more fanatic and fundamentalistic, this conflict tend to aggravate.
This fundamentalism is to a certain degree understandable but not the right path to walk towards peace.
Luckily there are both Israelis and Palestinians who try to work together creating groups where they cooperate within different projects, political or cultural but the general impression is that those groups are becoming more and more marginalized, though I hope this is not the case.

Another problem I touched above is the surronding world and its different allegiances.
It's not only the superpower USA but the resurgent(?) superpower Russia and the future(?) superpower China and many other countries in the world displaying a more or less one-sided support, making this conflict even harder to resolve.
Both political leaders, different organisations, NGO:s (NGO Global Network) and others tend to make statements based on a a priori-understanding of this conflict.
This is not least visible in the recent debate after the incident with Ship to Gaza.
Even those not being on the boat or even in the countries around at the time of this incident, tend to "know" much more than is possible to know.
This is seen on Facebook but also in many other debate-foras.
The analysis are finished before they have begun.

Will there ever be peace in this area and will the Palestinians be able to create their own state in the future and if so what historical perspective do we talk about?

I'm very pessimistic about the situation - as are most people I think - and the region need other political leaders, both within Israel and Palestine but also in other countries, leaders who are equally open to the demands from both sides or at least try to work in that spirit.

One also need a change within these nations among citizens on both sides, not looking upon 'the others' as more or less parasites.
This is of course easier said than done as both sides have suffered a lot during the many decade long conflict.
Hopefully the above mentioned cultural cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis will continue and deapen, as I believe that the only way to create a greater understanding between these two groups of people, is through a greater knowledge about the way 'the other' live, think and express him-/herself on different levels.

This is equally important in this case as in the case with the European Union, who can't go on existing if not the humanities (philosophy, music, literature, film etc etc.) is given a greater role in society than economy.

Caroline Link 46

I've seen 'Nirgendwo in Afrika' and found it very interesting, with an interesting theme and good direction and acting. Link hasn't done much after this but I'm looking forward to what will come.

Jenseits der Stille (1996)

Simon Staho 38

Staho is a Danish director and a very promising and interesting one.
One of his most interesting films - of those I've seen - is 'Dag och Natt' ('Day and Night', 2004).
Happy Birthday!

Vildspor (1998)

Kärlekens krigare (Warriors of Love) (2009)

Warriors of Love trailer
envoyé par blankytwo. - Court métrage, documentaire et bande annonce.

tisdag, juni 01, 2010

Dr Who and the Daleks

This is the story about the excentric scientist Dr Who (Peter Cushing), an inventor who (yes I'm sorry using that word but...) has managed creating a time machine, disguised as a police telephone booth - the so called 'Tardis'.
He invites his grand daughters - Barbara (Jennie Linden) and Susan (Roberta Tovey) - and Barbara's boyfriend Ian (Roy Castle) to travel with him in time and space, ending up on the planet 'Skalo'.
There they meet a peaceful people called the 'Thals' who are threaten by the other inhabitants of this planet, the robotic mutants called the 'Daleks'.
The 'Daleks' are planning a nuclear attack against the 'Thals' and this is something Dr Who, his grand daughters and Ian can't allow them to do, wherefore they try to stop them, risking their lives.

It's very obvious that this film (built on a TV-series) uses H.G. Wells The Time Machine as the basis for the story, it more or less copies this classic work.
There are traces of other works by Wells but for those of you who have read The Time Machine, you will see that the 'Thals' resembles the 'Eloi' and the 'Daleks' the 'Morlocks'.
Well, it's a film that in all it's amateurish acting and staging makes you laugh.
If you are looking for a film that in a more realistic and thrilling way depicts a future on another planet, I recommend you to choose another film!

Aurore wanted to look at it as she is fond of Peter Cushing.