Think China is a police state? Look at Britain!!!!

Beijing seems to have been turned into one giant Potemkin village. Everybody smiling, everybody happy. The universally joyful welcome has already drawn gasps of admiration and astonishment from visiting British sports journalists. The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, who speaks Mandarin, took the trouble to roam further afield, to a village near Guangzhou, where farmers three years ago had protested about the seizure of their land by local Communist Party officials. He was speedily surrounded by what he described as “a phalanx of young men with cropped hair, who followed me wherever I went”.

Wingfield-Hayes reported that “Whenever I tried to talk to the locals, they moved in close, a look of menace in their eyes. The locals stared back, defiant but silent. They knew what talking to a foreign journalist would bring.” Indeed, they did: China still has a network of labour camps and “psychiatric wards” to teach political dissidents how to love Big Brother.

So we should bear all this in mind when we watch the collective rictus of fixed grins at the Olympic Games opening ceremony today. In four years’ time, however, it will be our turn to come under the scrutiny of the international media, when they arrive en masse in London to report on the Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad.

I wonder how free a country they will be visiting, and what they will make of it. The good news is that they will be reporting from a democracy, in which incompetent or merely unpopular governing parties are kicked out of office via the ballot box.

They will not find any psychiatric wards in which the “patients” are given electric shocks for the invented condition of “political monomania”. However, if things continue to develop as they have done over the past few years, they will also find a country whose people have become increasingly pestered and persecuted by a distended and inflexible empire of officials.

In one week alone, there have been several reports of such behaviour, which would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. Exhibit one: on 18 July it was reported that Mrs Jayne Jones was told that she had to stop accompanying her 14-year-old son, Alex, in his journey to school in a council-financed cab, until she had been “cleared” by the Criminal Records Bureau.

Alex, who is severely epileptic, has frequent convulsions, and her mother insisted that, nice as the cab-drivers are, they did not have her ability to give the boy the necessary medication if he had fits while in transit.

Merthyr Tydfil council defended their actions as follows: “For the protection of the council and all vulnerable persons in its care it is essential all those endowed with an authority, implicit or explicit, should meet the security requirements within the transport contract provisions.” Ah, the language of compassion: perhaps it sounded better in the original Welsh.

Exhibit two: on 23 July it was reported that Julie Maynard, her husband and their 12-year-old son, Joshua, found their car surrounded by 10 police officers at the Channel Tunnel entry in Folkestone. For reasons which have never been explained, they were accused of “trafficking” their son – who has cerebral palsy and is autistic.

Ms Maynard and family were then taken to a detention room and warned that they could be held for nine hours under “section 7 of the Terrorism Act”. They were released after “only” two hours, still with no satisfactory explanation. Subsequently, Kent Police have apologised and have paid a “substantial sum” to Joshua’s school – which at least shows contrition not usually associated with bureaucracies.

Exhibit three: on 24 July it was reported that a painter and decorator called Gordon Williams was given an on-the-spot fine of £30 by Ceredigion council officials, after they observed him smoking a cigarette in his blue Suzuki van. You see, the officials had determined that this van was his “place of work” and therefore Mr Williams was breaking the new law banning all smoking in the workplace. Mr Williams protested that “I decorate houses, not vans”, but nonetheless paid up, having been told that the fine would be doubled if he didn’t comply swiftly.

This made me realise that, as a responsible citizen of New Britain, I should report our cleaning lady to the authorities for smoking in our home: it is, after all, her place of work. Or perhaps I should turn myself in as well, as a delinquent employer in breach of health and safety regulations.

Exhibit four: on 25 July it was reported that Haringey council officials had fined a boutique owner called Sangita Ibrahim for putting out her rubbish in black bin bags, rather than the grey sacks required by the council. The officials fined Ms Ibrahim £300 – made up of four fines of £75, one for each offending bag of the offending colour. Nicole Rosbrook, who works at the boutique, told the London Evening Standard: “The two guys who came in were incredibly rude to us – and to the customers. We were shocked, especially when they turned on the customers.”

She added that “We had repeatedly asked the council for a delivery of grey bags, but it never came, so we had to use ordinary black bags. The two men actually went through the bags, leaving them open and rubbish strewn all over the pavement.”

Haringey council commented that: “The notice was lawfully issued by our enforcement fly-tipping patrol who followed proper procedures.”

This is known as the “we’re only doing our job” defence-just one step up from “I was only obeying orders.”

A friend of mine got a similar response when she was queuing at a British airport a few weeks ago and was shocked to see a security officer at the hand-luggage scanning device rudely ordering an old lady in a wheelchair, who was wearing surgical boots, to “take yer shoes off”. Even if he did believe that the frail old woman might have been smuggling nitroglycerine or some other implement of terrorism in the base of her boots, this was still a repulsive way to talk to her.

When my friend remonstrated with the BAA security man, he responded, naturally, with “I’m only doing me job.” The sad thing is, he was; but perhaps the outburst by another passenger might cause him to do it more politely in future.

The trouble is that, increasingly, it is only the law-abiding who are frightened of the police and other security officials; awareness of this fear encourages the enforcers of petty regulations to behave even more truculently.

So when the Olympics come to London, I hope that the international press let the world know what sort of officialdom they have encountered. Probably, however, they will be hoodwinked Beijing-style, as the great bureaucratic armies of the state smile sweetly at foreign journalists, while continuing to scowl and snarl at the captive domestic population.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-if-you-think-china-is-a-police-state-just-look-at-us-in-britain-888223.html

The ‘Six Million’ Figure Began Over 100 Yrs Ago

Most people think that the figure “six million” emerged during World War II, when it was claimed that Germany killed that many Jews in the “Holocaust.”* But the magic six-million figure dates back to 1900. Here a distinguished educator and historical investigator from Australia shows how this number first appeared in its current mystical configura- tion, as he presents sequentially items gleaned from articles published in The New York Times between 1900 and 1920.

May 7, 1920: “Jewish war sufferers in Central and Eastern Europe,
where six million face horrifying conditions of famine, disease
and death.”

May 5, 1920: “[T]o save six million men and women in Eastern
Europe from extermination by hunger and disease.”

May 5, 1920: “Six million starving, fever-stricken sufferers in
war-torn Europe appeal to us.

May 3, 1920: “Your help is needed to save the lives of six million
people in Eastern and Central Europe.

May 2, 1920: ” . . . Six million human beings, without food, shelter,
clothing or medical treatment.”

May 1, 1920: “But the lives of six million human beings are waiting
for an answer.”

Nov. 12, 1919: ” . . . tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation
and disease about six million souls, or half the Jewish population of
the Earth . . . a million children and five million parents and elders.”
Sept. 29, 1919: ” . . . tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and
disease . . . about six million souls, or half the Jewish population
of the Earth.”

Aug. 10, 1917: “Germans Let Jews Die. Women and Children in
Warsaw Starving to Death . . . Jewish mothers, mothers of mercy,
feel happy to see their nursing babies die; at least they are through
with their suffering.”

Jan. 14, 1915: “In the world today there are about 13 million Jews,
of whom more than six million are in the heart of the war zone;
Jews, whose lives are at stake and who today are subjected to
every manner of suffering and sorrow . . . ”

But to go one step further back in time. In 1900, Rabbi Stephen Wise made the following
statement for Jewish welfare organizations in the United States: “There are six million living,
bleeding, suffering argu- ments in favor of Zionism.” [Editor’s italics]

And now you know the reason for the six-million figure.

August 11, 2008 American Free Press

* The figure was re-introduced in 1944 by Ilya Ehrenburg, Stalin’s rabid anti-German hate propagandist.

http://rense.com/general82/sixmil.htm

S.Ossetia says over 1,000 dead after Georgian attack

MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) – Over 1,000 civilians have been killed as the result of an attack by Georgia on the capital of its breakaway republic of South Ossetia, the North Ossetian nationalities minister said Friday.

“According to the South Ossetian information and press committee, the number of fatalities is estimated, according to preliminary information, at over 1,000,” Teimuraz Kasayev said.

North Ossetia is part of Russia.

Georgia launched a major offensive early Friday morning using tanks, combat aircraft, heavy artillery and infantry.

Earlier Colonel Igor Konashenkov, an aide to the commander of the Russian Ground Forces, said about 10 Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded in the conflict zone.

The Russian Transportation Ministry’s press service said Friday that Moscow would cut air links with Tbilisi.

Georgian military forces have begun retreating from the capital, Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian information and press committee said.

“Using grenade launchers [South] Ossetian local defense forces are destroying Georgian tanks. According to eyewitnesses they [the tanks] are on fire throughout the city,” the committee said in a statement.

The statement also said that most of the city had been devastated by the Georgian military attack, which left the hospital destroyed and the republic’s university on fire.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080808/115908220.html

Here is one buried in the news-Military probes mystery blast in Arctic

EDMONTON – The Canadian military is sending a long-range Aurora aircraft to investigate reports of a mysterious explosion along Canada’s Northwest Passage that may have killed several whales.

The drama apparently began in the early-morning hours of July 31, when an Inuit hunting party at an outpost camp at Borden Peninsula on northeastern Baffin Island was alerted to the sound of an explosion, followed by a cloud of black smoke.

An Inuit member of the Canadian Rangers, a military reservist unit stationed in the far North, reported the incident, and said a hunter at the camp saw several dead whales on shore when he went over to investigate.

In a preliminary investigation, DND’s Joint Task Force Northern headquarters determined there were no known vessels operating in the area, and it did not know of any activity that could have caused an explosion.

“At this point, we really have very little else to report,” says Summer Halliday, a spokeswoman for the Joint Task Force in Yellowknife.

“But we will be sending an Aurora aircraft to do a flyover. The plane is currently up north in the Mackenzie Valley on a routine exercise supporting the RCMP’s Operation Nunakput.”

Parks Canada will also be on the scene with a boat that’s being dispatched from Sirmilik National Park on Bylot Island.

Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare, the Aurora is able to detect and destroy the latest generation of stealth submarines.

But its long-range capabilities are what make it so useful to the military. It can fly for 17 hours and cover 9,266 kilometres without refuelling.

The Aurora is frequently used to search out illegal fishing, illegal immigration, drug trafficking and pollution along Canada’s three coastlines.

Unusual activity has been reported in the Borden Peninsula region before, according to a DND briefing report. Last summer, for example, several unusual and unidentified objects were seen in the water in the same area.

This past winter, a spectacular meteorite that swept across the sky lit up the radio waves with talk of UFOs.

Foreign submarines have also been sighted in Canadian Arctic waters over the past decade. No one will speculate on whether a submarine might be involved in this mystery blast.

“Until we hear from Parks Canada and the military, there’s nothing we can confirm or deny,” says Keith Pelley, a Fisheries and Oceans Canada official based in Nunavut.

“All we have is a report that an explosion occurred. It may be something or it could be nothing at all. Right now, we just don’t know.”

In the briefing report sent to other government departments, the Joint Task Force noted that it takes this, as well as other reports like it, seriously.

With climate change opening up the Northwest Passage to easier navigation, and with evidence of rich oil deposits below the Arctic Ocean, the international war of words over Canada’s coldest frontier has been heating up.

Five countries – Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark and the United States – have been compiling data to claim possible extensions to their Arctic continental shelves under international law. Russia has been the most aggressive in pressing its claim to the Pole: About a year ago, it sent a submarine to plant a Russian flag on the North Pole sea floor, and Lt.-Gen. Vladimir Shamanov has been talking about extending Russia’s naval presence in the Arctic.

The Borden Peninsula is located on the northwest coast of Baffin Island, immediately west of Bylot Island. Inuit hunters from Pond Inlet often travel to this area to hunt whales, seals, polar bears and other animals.

Foreign cruise ships, adventurers, cargo vessels and resupply vessels also use the waterway from late July to late September.

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=46bcc3e3-d4d1-4cb4-a024-902ef385a602