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DeSwiss's Journal
DeSwiss's Journal
April 14, 2014

Myanmar Activists Spread Anti-Hate-Speech Campaign

NTDTV·Published on Apr 14, 2014

Myanmar activists launch a flower campaign aiming to stop hate-speeches believed to have played a role in triggering sectarian violence in Myanmar.

Full Story:

Youth activists joined water festivities in Yangon on Monday, distributing flowers and urging fellow citizens to restrain from using hate speech.

The Panzagar activists, also known as the Flower Speech Movement, hope to stop the use of abusive and insulting language recently spreading in online forums and public discussions.

Blogger and development worker Nay Phone Latt, who spent nearly four years in jail for writing about the 2007 protests that sparked a bloody crackdown, started the Flower Speech Movement. He said he fears that hate speech is dangerous for society.

Myanmar has been grappling with hate speech since religious tensions erupted in June 2012, killing at least 240 people and displacing more than 140,000, mostly Muslims. Vitriolic and inflammatory comments about Muslims, who make up a small fraction of the population, have become common on blogs, web forums and Facebook pages, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported.

Buddhist nationalists and some monks, driven by fear that Muslims will take over Myanmar, have urged people to boycott Muslim-owned businesses and successfully lobbied the government to draft controversial laws, including one that would force Buddhist women wanting to marry non-Buddhist men to get permission from their parents and local government officials. No such restrictions are planned for Buddhist men, the report said.

Nay Phone Latt told local media that a Buddhist monk, U Wirathu, has been giving speeches inciting hatred against Rohingyas, Muslims who live in western Rakhine state and not recognised as one of Myanmar's official ethnic groups. They have been described by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Such hatred, he says, has led to violent attacks against Rohingyas, the latest being in Hlegu township outside Yangon earlier this month, when a mob threw stones at Muslim residents and destroyed their property.

"I think there's a relation between violence and hate speeches which are spreading in our community and on the internet. If we can reduce this hatred, I believe that we can expect love in our society, and not hate among each other," Nay Phone Latt said.

Despite limited internet access in Myanmar, young people and the Burmese diaspora worldwide are using social media to share information and opinion on the country's issues.

The campaign is trying to reach all extremist groups using hate speech that touch on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

"I hope people will adopt the attitude when they see flower speech, which means they will talk by not using insulting words to others, or talk without using hate speech," Latt said.

The Panzagar movement launched on April 4, handing out banners and pamphlets. Their signature banner shows a cartoon of a man and a woman holding a bullhorn that spews out flowers.

The anti-hate speech campaigners took the opportunity to reach as many people during the Thingyan Water Festival, celebrating the Buddhist New Year, when streets are crowded with revelers. They plan on visiting other towns in the future.

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- Good on ya Myanmar. Give PEACE a chance......

April 14, 2014

People Power: Dead Swedes provide home heating for alive Swedes

RT ·Published on Apr 14, 2014

A crematorium in Stockholm is helping people in the city keep warm - by burning dead residents. Environmentalists hail it as a progressive way of generating energy. And as RT's Paul Scott reports, the idea is catching on.

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- I'm sure Americans would have a much higher BTU output. USA! USA! USA! YAY for the Power of the People!!!
April 13, 2014

TYT: SEC Insider Shows The Only Thing That Works Is The Revolving Door

The Young Turks ·Published on Apr 13, 2014

"A lawyer from America's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a broadside against his bosses during a leaving speech, accusing them of being too soft on wayward Wall Street chiefs in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis.

James Kidney, who retired from the SEC this month after 24 years with the organisation, said in his leaving speech that his bosses had been too 'tentative and fearful' when tackling the behaviour of banking giants.

As around 70 SEC lawyers and alumni looked on, Mr Kidney bemoaned the SEC's focus on being polite."* Steve Oh, Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show), Malcolm Fleschner (Executive Producer, The Point) and Jackie Koppell break it down.

*Read more here from Ted Thornhill / Daily Mail:

- And btw Jimmy? The system can't be ''fixed.'' You can't fixed something that's corrupted with something that is itself corrupted. It don't work that way. ''System replacement'' is the only real option here......
April 13, 2014

Legalize Medical Marijuana, Doctors Say in Survey

By R. Scott Rappold
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

April 2, 2014
-- A majority of doctors say that medical marijuana should be legalized nationally and that it can deliver real benefits to patients, a new survey by WebMD/Medscape finds. WebMD’s web site for health professionals surveyed 1,544 doctors as more than 10 states consider bills to legalize medical marijuana. It is already legal in 21 states and Washington, DC.

The survey found solid support for those legalization efforts, with most doctors saying medical marijuana should be legal in their states. They agreed that medical marijuana should be an option for patients. The survey included doctors from more than 12 specialties and 48 states.

Marijuana's Perceived Health Benefits
Solid data on marijuana’s health benefits are lacking. Research has been limited because the federal government has designated marijuana as a “Schedule I” substance, a designation used for the most dangerous drugs having “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.”

But as state after state legalizes marijuana, doctors have gained nearly 2 decades of anecdotal evidence about its effects. Dramatic stories about families moving to Colorado for a special strain of marijuana to treat their children’s seizure disorders have led to stronger calls for research.


Doctors' Responses
Here’s a look at the survey numbers for doctors asked about medical marijuana:

    • 69% say it can help with certain treatments and conditions.
    • 67% say it should be a medical option for patients.
    • 56% support making it legal nationwide.
    • 50% of doctors in states where it is not legal say it should be legal in their states.
    • 52% of doctors in states considering new laws say it should be legal in their states.


- I hope someone sends a copy of this to Michele Leonhart's cave......
April 11, 2014

Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context

vlogbrothers · Published on Mar 4, 2014

In which John discusses the crisis in Ukraine, and how the influence of Russia and Europe have shaped Ukrainian politics for centuries. REMINDER: Educational videos are allowed to be more than four minutes long.

Thanks to Rosianna for image-gathering: http://www.youtube.com/rosianna

The BBC's Ukraine hub: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26270866
CIA Factbook on Ukraine: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/up.html
The wikipedia article about the Crimean War is quite good, especially in contemporary context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_War

- There will be a pop quiz on this and other possible ''Putin Poisonings'' next week. And remember to show your work! {Stick drawings are acceptable}.
April 11, 2014

The First Civil War Reenactment.

[center]The First Civil War Reenactment.
BY Colin Nissan
- - - -
Friday, May 9, 1865

Men! I welcome you all to the town of Appomattox in the state of Virginia. We have gathered at this site for one sole purpose—to express our shared love of history and profound concern for its preservation. The final battle of the Civil War was waged here where we stand. On this hallowed ground, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces to the North, exactly one month ago, today.

Some of you may be asking yourselves, is it too soon? Should we give it more time before performing a theatrical reenactment of the events that occurred here? To that I say it’s never too soon to seek a meaningful perspective on history. And also, to be fair, it’s not like it was last weekend.

As I look out into the crowd, I see excitement in your eyes. I also see that many of you are still nursing some rather fresh-looking injuries from the actual Civil War. This, I contend, is merely further provocation to grab hold of history now before the wounds are healed and the memories, forgotten.

Yes, our “battlefield” is still smoldering and not yet fully cleared of casualties, but this will only add to the authenticity that necessitates a fruitful reenactment. During our two-day “battle,” as you stand amongst your fellow “soldiers,” the residual smell of gunpowder wafting through the air, the echo of distant cannons ringing in your ears, be prepared, at times, to feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to a bit earlier in the spring.

A bit of housekeeping: Remember that all hand-to-hand “combat” is to be scripted. I think you’ll find this to be a fun way to learn what was actually said during the heat of battle. Scripts will be provided in your reenactment kits. In those kits, you’ll also find all the gear you will require. What you won’t find are any of the creature comforts of today. Remember, this is April. And we will LIVE like it’s April!

Okay! Let’s all suit up and have some fun out there! And above all, be safe![/center]


- Oddly, after the passage of all those weeks some reenacters still found it hard to let go.......
April 10, 2014

Kiss me, deadly: If Vance McAllister had hired a hooker, hed be talking about Benghazi today

By TBogg
Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:58 EDT

December in Louisiana – sultry and damp as a Fox News blonde. I was working late, signing a stack of letters to district voters to go out in the morning mail. The usual song and dance. Looking for funding to repair potholes in front of their crackerbox homes, 90th birthday wishes to some drooling old-timer in a home for the nearly dead, promising to look into impeaching that ‘colored boy in the White House.’

We call it ‘constituent relations.’ I call it greasing the wheels for some 2014 campaign donations. Man can’t live on NRA blood money alone.

I picked up my glass and swirled the last of my workday blend of half-Johnny Walker Red, half-Red Bull. I call it ‘The Red Menace.’ After tossing it back I surveyed the office. Because it was the holidays and everyone was either itching to get in some last minute shopping or get an early start getting shit-faced drunk, I’d sent everyone home early. -- Well, almost everyone.

Melissa, my scheduler, was still at her desk. She had a tiny mirror in her hand and a small army of lipstick tubes spread out before her as she sampled colors. She’s a trained cosmetologist. You know: a pro. I tapped out a Lucky and fired it up, blowing a thin stream of smoke up into the ceiling fan that slowly stirred the swampy air. I watched Melissa try on a color, then make kissy-lips at her face in mirror like she was a 2016 presidential contender and the mirror was Sheldon Adelson’s ass. Someday that was going to be me kissing Adleson’s ass. I’ve got big plans.

Melissa’s not much of a scheduler, but I gave her a job because her old man is a pal of mine going way back. That’s what you do when you get into Congress, you spread the wealth. Sometimes you spread a few other things.


April 8, 2014

The Expert

- I think this is the same company that designed the F-35 for the Defense Department.

April 8, 2014

Germany opens NSA spy probe amid calls to deliver Snowden to testify

Published time: April 05, 2014 12:10

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AFP Photo)

Parliamentary hearings into the scandal involving NSA spying on Germany have started. Some members of the investigative committee have suggested bringing in the document leaker Edward Snowden himself to testify. Some expect this to anger Washington.

The Bundestag presented the evidence on Thursday, as German public anger over America’s blatant violations of German sovereignty vents steam. But some are already speculating what the result of the hearings will mean in practical terms, for German-US relations. And what political fallout will ensue by inviting Snowden to Berlin?

Fresh revelations regarding the NSA’s activities in Germany continue to pour in amid outcries from the German people. Der Spiegel magazine has published further Snowden leaks recently, among them the revelation that the Americans compiled a comprehensive dossier on Merkel, which included over 300 intelligence reports. Apparently, the NSA database contains information obtained during surveillance of over a hundred world leaders. What’s more, the magazine detailed how British secret services also played a part in all this, by hacking into German internet companies.

Clemense Binninger, who is tasked with leading the eight-person investigative committee, does not expect the US to help much in clearing up the surveillance allegations, and believes attempts to formulate a Washington-Berlin no-spy agreement have come to a complete halt, Deustsche Welle reports. Questions the German government sent to the US government have likewise not received a reply – and the head of the committee doesn’t see this changing anytime soon. But Binninger, who is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said “mass surveillance of citizens will not be tolerated.”


- Somehow I don't expect any selfies to show up of Barack and Angela hamming it up at someone's memorial service. But the NSA could provide such pics if needed. Upon request through the proper channels, of course......
April 7, 2014

Marijuana Legalization Will Kill Puppies! According To DEA Head

The Young Turks · Published on Apr 7, 2014

"Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a message for those considering legalizing marijuana: Please, think of Fido.

Testifying on the DEA budget during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Leonhart said she expected a number of things to happen after Washington and Colorado were allowed to go forward with the legalization of marijuana last year. What she didn't anticipate was the impact on man's best friend.

"There was just an article last week, and it was on pets. It was about the unanticipated or unexpected consequences of this, and how veterinarians now are seeing dogs come in, their pets come in, and being treated because they've been exposed to marijuana," Leonhart said."

Cenk Uygur, Michael Shure, Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola of The Young Turks discuss the DEA head's insane comments.

- Thanks Obama! She's just the person to pursue the policies you believe in! Just like when you said you'd make sure GMO foods got labeled if you were ever Preztlenut! You found another peach of a guy to insure that gets done as well! I tell ya, I don't know how many more of your campaign promises we can stand!

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