Archive for January, 2011

Reasons why what happened in Tunisia and Egypt wouldn’t happen in America

Revolutions happen in collectivist cultures

Newscast Media HOUSTON, TX–The uprising we saw in Tunisia and what we currently see in Egypt are happening because third world and developing countries tend to have collectivist cultures. In Africa there is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In other words, in a collectivist culture, people are encouraged to work in groups. It is one for all, all for one. It is a lot easier to mobilize and organize revolutionary events in collectivist cultures than it is in an individualistic culture.

America is an individualistic nation. An individualistic culture places more emphasis on personal achievement at the expense of group goals, resulting in a strong sense of competition, that’s the reason people have no problem abandoning their families and children just to pursue careers. It’s also the same reason why people in an individualistic culture have no problem dumping their parents in nursing homes at a certain age because the parents are then looked upon as inconveniences. You never see Asians, Latin American natives, African natives or even American Indians doing that to their parents. It’s because they come from collectivist cultures.

Since the American society is individualistic, the self-important “It’s all about me” attitude would cripple any effort to hold mass demonstrations that we see happening in third world countries. People in the US are more concerned about how they benefit personally, than how a group benefits collectively. As long as a person in an individualistic culture has a job, why should he or she care if a neighbor doesn’t have a job? Your boss can fire you anytime, yet you need to give your boss two weeks’ notice before switching careers. It is possible to live in a neighborhood without having contact with neighbors for two or three years in an individualistic culture. That would never happen in a collectivist society.

In an individualistic culture when a person is invited for a job interview, the boss or supervisor on the other side of the desk is looking at the interviewee wondering, “I wonder how much work I can get out of this individual for the least amount of money?” The interviewee on the other hand is looking at the prospective employer wondering, “I wonder how money I can get out of this employer for the least amount of work?” It’s never about how a culture or community can mutually benefit from each other’s fruits of labor.

However, in Tunisia and Egypt, people closed their businesses and offices. They realized the youth who graduated couldn’t get jobs and were setting themselves ablaze to make statements. Nobody, not even the governments were listening to them. They collectively decided to join the youth and started a revolution. Even after the government cut off their Internet service and other means of communication, these freedom fighters continued collectively as a single impenetrable unit. That’s where their strength resided.

In America, if the government threatened to shut off the Internet and phone services, it would be enough to disperse crowds. We live in a society where people are addicted to Blackberrys, iPhones, Social networks and television, so depriving the average American from the above-mentioned services would be too much to bear. The society we live in is very superficial and pretentious. There is a general lack of depth and substance in conversations. Relationships are shallow and seem contrived. More often than not when people approach you, they are trying to sell you something. To them you are more of a business transaction than a human being. Anything that challenges or stimulates the intellect is frowned upon. I would venture to say that in some communities you are even reviled or despised for being educated because intelligence is perceived as being “uncool.”

In colleges very few professors teach because teaching is their personal calling in his life. Most are there because they checked out of the corporate world and saw teaching as something to fall back on. These teachers, professors and instructors aren’t even passionate about their craft or students. They wouldn’t hesitate to flunk a student who held a different worldview or political opinion than they did. They forget that college is a place for debate and exchange of ideas. They don’t think about how their actions could affect an entire community or generation, because they think individualistically. In a collectivist society the success of the student is directly proportional to how a teacher rates his or her success. Your successes become theirs, even when you out-do them.

Revolutions like the ones happening in North Africa occur when people are in one accord. In the West when a girl is dating a man and tells her parents about it, the first thing the parents ask is: “What does he do?” In third world countries especially Africa, when a girl tells her parents she has a boyfriend the parents ask: “Whose son is he?” The difference between the two responses is that one culture places more value on how much money a person makes or whom that person works for, whereas another culture places more emphasis on the person’s upbringing.

One might ask, what’s wrong with people putting value on what a person does for a living? Isn’t it honorable to work for a living? There is nothing wrong with that as long as one can separate oneself from one’s job, but in an individualistic society it is almost impossible to do so. That’s the reason why it is not unusual for people in America to fall into deep depressions or to commit suicide once they lose their jobs. In other cases, they simply become jaded and self-destruct.

Somehow these people have failed to realize that you are not your job or job title. You are not the company you work for. You are not the car the you drive, and you are not the neighborhood you live in or Country Club you belong to. Strip the average person in an individualistic culture of a job title, car, house, membership clubs, and cell phone, you’ll have someone walking on the road to ruin. Ask the average person to spend a week without watching television, they’ll look at you with a confused look on their face, like Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at a Congressional hearing, when asked: “Where did the money go?”

The only group of people that can come close to having a revolution are Mexicans. We saw it on May 1, 2006 when they collectively had the largest immigration protest march in the nation.

It is rare nowadays to meet authentic individuals with raw passion because all the status we think we have, is merely status quo.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 31, 2011 at 8:34 pm

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Massive Youth-led Protests Nationwide on Feb 1. To Occur In Cairo Egypt. Govt shuts down train service.

Egyptian youth plan massive protest Tuesday Feb 1.

Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt — To consolidate the demands made in the past six days of protests, Egyptian youth plan to carry out a massive protest on Tuesday Feb 1. and are calling it, “People want to prosecute the president” protest.

In a statement released to the Egyptian press, the mobilizers said: “The demonstration, which will be conducted from multiple parts of Egypt, will celebrate the first day of our uprising. The slogan of the day will be ‘people want to prosecute the president.”

In downtown Cairo, Egypt’s Minister of Defense, Mohamed Tantawi, was reportedly seen joining the protesters in Tahrir Square. Tantawi in also Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Egyptian neighbors up north, especially Israel, are worried about the outcome of the protests and are urging countries and media practitioners not to criticize Mubarak.

Hoping that peaceful ties with Egypt continue, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We are following with vigilance the events in Egypt and in our region. At this time we must show responsibility and restraint.”

In the Orient, Beijing is getting nervous and the Chinese government is filtering and censoring news events pertaining to unrest in Egypt. Pictures depicting demonstrators in Egypt are being omitted by Chinese newspapers and broadcasts, preferring to show Mubarak meeting with government officials. China actively censors content seen as a potential challenge to the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party out of fear that the Chinese citizens may arise and imitate what other demonstrators are doing.

Early on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported that six of its journalists were arrested and detained, however, a tweet on Monday from Alec Ross, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Senior Advisor for Innovation, indicated that pressure from the US Secretary of State prompted the Egyptians to release the journalists. Read tweet below:

Tweet confirming release of Al Jazeera journalists

Egyptian media is also reporting that on Monday, January 31, The Railway Authority announced that it would stop all service throughout the country without explaining the reasons and the deadline for the return of its services. An official source who spoke to the Egyptian media on condition of anonymity said source said that the government is trying to sabotage the flow of people to Cairo to take part in tomorrow’s one-million people protest, which is intended to renew demands President Hosni Mubarak to step down.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 4:30 pm

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Friday of Departure – Egyptian youth refuse to back up back down back away or back off

President Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian youth-led groups

Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt –Despite his refusal to step down, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, is fully aware that he no longer is welcome in his own homeland, that’s the reason he shipped his family overseas for the sake of their own safety. The youth-led groups are now organizing what they are referring to as “Friday of Departure” and are calling for all Egyptians to march to Mubarak’s palace in Heliopolis, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday, and have also given the army an ultimatum to make a clear stance as to with whom they stand.


The statement to the military read: “We the people and the youth of Egypt demand that our brothers in the national armed forces clearly define their stance by either lining up with the real legitimacy provided by millions of Egyptians on strike on the streets, or standing in the camp of the regime that has killed our people, terrorized them and stolen from them.”

The army had until Thursday morning (Feb 3) to respond. Failure to respond would be interpreted by the youth as the army taking sides with Mubarak, and the entire youth-led groups would then descend upon the presidential palace, the People’s Assembly and the television building on Friday.

Meanwhile, the hackers named “Anonymous” who disrupted several US Web sites after WikiLeak’s Julian Assange’s arrest, have issued a warning to the Egyptian government after they cut off the Internet. Anonymous took down several government Web sites as a result of the Egyptian government not heeding their warning.

The message read: “Anonymous challenges all those who are involved in censorship. Anonymous wants you to offer free access to uncensored media in your entire country. When you ignore this message, not only will we attack your government websites, Anonymous will also make sure the international media sees the horrid reality you impose upon your people.”

Anonymous has called this “Operation Egypt” and can be found here on their own Facebook page.

Egyptians say they are not satisfied with Mubarak’s firing of his entire cabinet, they want him to leave the country himself. One young woman held a sign that read, “It is better to die for something than to live for nothing.” Egyptians understand their reality very well and know that you cannot begin to truly live, until you have found something worth dying for. The underlying motivation for these demonstrations is freedom. Freedom of not just for political and individual expression, but also financial freedom that they can pass down to younger generations to enjoy.

There was a report on Sunday Jan. 30, delivered by Malta News asserting that Mubarak’s generals had asked him to step down. What is suspicious is that the link to that article was broken and within a few hours the Web site itself was down and the page scrubbed permanently. Perhaps they got a call from people who know people, saying that the article would embolden the Egyptian youth and other Arabian and African generals to be confrontational with their leaders. We’ll never know.

If there is any truthfulness to the article, I suspect that Mubarak at this point in the game doesn’t trust any of his generals anymore. The catch is, the Egyptian army is so interconnected with civilians since Egypt has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. It is for this
reason that the military is more embraced by the Egyptians than the police since in one way or another the Egyptians have served side-by-side or have relatives in the army, which has created solidarity among the demonstrators. The police is viewed as Mubarak’s personal security force, therefore it is viewed less favorably amongst Egyptians.

Hopefully, for the sake of ending his closing years in dignity, Mubarak finds a way of dodging the wrath of his people, because I suspect they will not be merciful to him if they are able to locate him. Mubarak has put himself in a very tough spot because Egyptians have rejected him and refuse to make any compromise. In
essence, he has already lost this battle.

Just like the American revolutionary war hero John Adams noted in 1818: “The revolution is won not on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the people.”

4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 2:28 pm

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Super Friday Egyptians step up “Day of Wrath” in an attempt to oust Mubarak

Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt — Protestors in Egypt have escalated the “Day of Wrath” that was largely organized over the Web. Shopkeepers have been warned to keep their shops closed due to the uncertainty of what might occur during the demonstrations. Their goal is to oust the Egyptian president after 30 years in power.

Rioters go head-to-head with riot police

The Egyptian government, under Hosni Mubarak has also stepped up its military presence and members of the Muslim Brotherhood have reportedly been detained. Mubarak’s son Gamal Mubarak is also is reported to have fled to London, England with his family.

After returning from the Austrian city of Vienna, where he lives, Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear watchdog and Nobel peace laureate, has announced that he will join the demonstrators on Friday. He has also offered to lead a transition of government, should power change hands.

This BBC shows police being overpowered by demonstrators

Concerned about their human rights, poverty and oppression, Egyptians used Facebook as a tool to unite themselves and already have over 91,000 who have pledged on their Facebook page to attend the demonstrations. The page has since been taken down but you may view images and video on another site.

Barack Obama, urged both the government and protesters to show restraint as they expressed their “pent-up frustrations”.

“It is very important that people have mechanisms in order to express legitimate grievances,” he said as he answered questions from an online audience on the YouTube website. Obama also urged Mubarak to make changes to the political system to appease the angry protesters.

“I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform — political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical for the long-term well-being of Egypt.”



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 28, 2011 at 6:58 am

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Texas legislators pass Voter ID bill SB14 in the Senate

Inside the State Capitol of Texas

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Rick Perry and David Dewhurst are not wasting time in keeping Texas legislators on their feet so early in the session. Late Wednesday, after 2 days of intense testimony and debate, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 14, legislation that would require a voter to present proof of identification when voting.

The bill passed 20-12 with all 19 Republicans and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst voted to approve SB14, which will allow voters to use a Texas driver’s license or ID card, military ID, passport or Texas concealed handgun license as a valid form of photo identification at any polling place. The bill may be viewed here.

Texas Republicans seemed to be especially happy with Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) who stood firm in the face of angry Democrats and fought bitterly against the integrity of our election process.

The Voter ID bill now moves on to the Texas House of Representatives, where the Republican super-majority is expected to approve the measure with little delay.



8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm

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Investors sue Countrywide for widespread fraud

Countrywide home loans

Newscast Media NEW YORK –Countrywide, which is Bank of America Corp’s mortgage unit has been sued by investors claiming they were victimized in a “massive fraud” when they bought mortgage-backed securities. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in a New York state court by 12 plaintiffs including the TIAA-CREF fund family, New York Life Insurance Co and Dexia Holdings Inc.

Investors claim that Countrywide misrepresented the securities’ safety in offering documents and elsewhere, and compromised their investments by ignoring its underwriting guidelines. The complain said that as a result of Countrywide’s fraud, most of the securities now carry “junk” credit ratings rather than the “triple-A” ratings they once had, resulting in “significant losses.”

Plaintiffs want compensatory and punitive damages in the case Dexia Holdings Inc et al v. Countrywide Financial Corp et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 650185/2011.

Shirley Norton, a Bank of America spokeswoman said in a statement that the lender would review the lawsuit, “but on first glance these sound like large, sophisticated investors who now want to blame someone for the fact that the declining economy caused their investment to lose value.”

Other defendants include several former Countrywide officials, including longtime Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo who agreed in October 2010 to a $67.5 million settlement of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud lawsuit accusing him of misleading investors. Before being bought by Bank of America, Countrywide had been the largest U.S. mortgage lender.



1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

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Over one million vehicles recalled by Toyota for defects

Toyota recalls

Newscast Media — Over 1.7 million vehicles across the world are being recalled by Toyota for various defects that may result in fuel leakage. “This is the Japanese maker’s biggest recall in six years for a single defect,” said Shiori Hashimoto a spokeswoman for Toyota.

Japan had the largest number of affected vehicles with nearly 1.3 million that had defects. It is yet to be seen how this recall will affect investors both domestically and internationally.

The company is also recalling over 300,000 Lexus vehicles marketed overseas including over 240,000 sold in the U.S. due to trouble with a fuel-pressure sensor connected to an engine fuel delivery pipe.

In two other filings on Wednesday, Toyota said it would recall about 75,000 Crown models and about 6,200 Townace vans in Japan to fix the same fault found in Lexus cars sold in the US and elsewhere. Toyota’s Hashimoto declined to say how much the latest recalls would cost the company.

In December, Toyota agreed to pay $32.4m in fines to the US government to settle the investigation into its handling of two recalls.



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 9:34 pm

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The Obama birth certificate issue rears its ugly head yet again

Obama presidency

Newscast Media PHOENIX, Arizona — As we get closer to the presidential primaries, Barack Obama is still plagued with the birth certificate issue that refuses to go away. Just as Mormonism plagued Mitt Romney in the 2008 election until he dealt with it, Obama will have to confront questions about his birth place and his eligibility to run for president in 2012 because the issue has resurfaced.

It all started when a journalist by the name of Wayne Madsen published an article on June 9, 2008, in which he stated that a research team went to Mombasa, Kenya, and located a Certificate registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. at a Kenya Maternity Hospital, to his father, a Kenyan citizen and his mother, a U.S.

On October 23, 2008, Obama’s fellow Democrat and former deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania Phil Berg, went on the Michael Savage radio show and declared that the document Obama had presented as a birth certificate was a forgery, and claimed he (Berg) had a recording of Obama’s grandmother acknowledging that Obama was born in Kenya.

“This has been a real sham he’s pulled off for the last 20 months. I’ll release it [the tape] in a day or two, affidavits from her talking to a certain person. I heard the tape. She was speaking here in the United States,” Berg told the Savage Nation.

Berg claims that Obama’s grandmother admitted she was in the delivery room in Kenya when he was born.

In order for one to be president in America, the U.S. constitution stipulates that a candidate must be over 35, must have been in the country for 14 years, and must be a natural-born citizen. Berg filed a lawsuit against Obama in August 2008, asking the court to declare Obama ineligible for the presidency, by virtue of Obama’s failure to prove his citizenship. See copy of lawsuit.

Obama responded by launching a Web page titled “Fight The Smears,” to debunk the claims that were made against him. Despite all the roadblocks he faced during his campaign, Obama was able to win the 2008 election, and hoped the nightmare had ended. However, it hadn’t. Disenfranchised Americans who opposed Obama formed a movement which the media dubbed the “Birther Movement.” They held rallies and filed lawsuits, but Obama seemed immune to all the impediments he encountered.

Just as the issue of the birth certificate had seemingly been forgotten, newly-elected Hawaiian governor Neil Abercrombie, told the New York Times, in regard to furnishing the “Birthers” with the certificate, that he was “going to take care of that” to prove Obama was born in Hawaii. He also told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the birth certificate actually existed in the archives.

What Abercrombie didn’t realize, was that he had opened a Pandora’s box. Pressure mounted for him to deliver as he had promised. In an interview published on January 18, 2011, Abercrombie said that he couldn’t find the birth certificate, but it existed.

Arizona is now introducing a bill (HB 2544) that would require Obama and any other candidate vying for the presidency, to produce a birth certificate in order to run in 2012. Should this bill pass, Obama will have no choice, but produce his actual birth certificate for his name to appear on the Arizona ballot. If other red states follow suit, the problem will compound itself, because if Obama cannot produce the birth certificate, his critics could possibly conclude that he was never eligible to begin with, therefore any bill that was passed or executive order signed by Obama during his presidency becomes null and void.

However, I suspect that U.S. constitutional scholars are hoping come 2012, Obama will produce his birth certificate to prevent a constitutional crisis from happening, and also to prove to the critics once and for all that he is a natural born citizen of the U.S.



8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:11 am

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Michael Jackson concert promoter being sued for fraud

The Gloved One

Newscast Media SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island — A Michael Jackson concert promoter is being sued by the The City of Summerside, P.E.I., for fraud, saying it paid $1.3 million for a Michael Jackson tribute concert that did not exist.

Summerside city filed papers Monday in a San Jose, Calif., courthouse against Katrina Berg Sussmeier and her promotion company, Starlink Productions. The city claims Sussmeier promised it could host the first concert of an official Jackson tribute, featuring stars such as Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Usher.

“In reality,” reads the statement of claim, “the Michael Jackson Tribute Show was, from start to finish, an elaborate fraud.”

Courthouse papers say the city wired two separate payments of $650,000 to the promoter: the first in July 2009, the month after Jackson died, and the other in March 2010. The second payment was sent to the promoter despite red flags already being raised for the city. In addition for compensation for unspecified damages, the city is suing to get back $1.3 million in taxpayers money.



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

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Super Tuesday is Day of Wrath and Revolution Day in Egypt


Newscast Media CAIRO Egypt — The uprising in Tunisia that ousted former president Ben Ali, will soon be felt in Egypt of Tuesday. Protesters have referred to it as the “Revolution Day,” and has largely been organized over the Web. Shopkeepers have been warned to keep their shops closed due to the uncertainty of what might occur during the demonstrations. The Egyptian government, under Hosni Mubarak seems to be prepared and plans to concentrate its forces in Cairo, the capital city.

Concerned about their human rights, poverty and oppression, Egyptians used Facebook as a tool to unite themselves and already have over 91,000 who have pledged on their Facebook page to attend the demonstrations.

In an interview published by the state-owned paper al Ahram, Egypt’s interior minister Habib el-Adli said, “I tell the public that this Facebook call comes from the youth. Youth street action has no impact and security is capable of deterring any acts outside the law.”

Although there will be a strong and heavily armed police presence, demonstrators plan to use their cell phones and cameras to capture any police brutality and broadcast it over the Web.

Meanwhile, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, fearful of the ever-growing voices of opposition has called for a national televised debate with the opposition, on things that matter to the people Yemen. The Yemen Observer published the president’s plea, who said Yemen is not like Tunisia.

“Come up for a TV debate on my program and your programs. Yemen is a country of freedom and democracy, but we warn of chaos and demagogy. Yemen is not like Tunisia, where people were not allowed to enter mosques without IDs,” said Saleh.

The question now is whether these demonstrations will spread to the Sub-Saharan nations known as Black Africa, or whether they’ll only be confined to Arab nations in the north. Something that even the most intelligent dictators fail to realize (which is actually and oxymoron to call a dictator intelligent), is that freedom is one of the basic human needs, and once suppressed, even the most docile individual can be forced to act out of the norm. That’s the reason why when dictatorial regimes are toppled, those same dictator flee into exile, to experience the very freedoms they had foolishly denied those who were being oppressed.



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 11:36 am

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International Criminal Court intervenes in police states

International Criminal Court

Newscast Media The HAGUE, Netherlands — Intervention by the International Criminal Courts (ICC) on behalf of victims that are suffering injustices under oppressive regimes is something that makes the perpetrators, enablers and spin-doctors within police states nervous. The role of the ICC is simply to bring to justice those who commit crimes against humanity.

In the third world, especially in Africa, the ICC has taken a very active role in ensuring that leaders who abuse their power, together with their henchmen do not escape unpunished. What’s remarkable is that even those who give orders that lead to crimes being committed are also held as accountable as the people who commit them. So often people in police states make the excuse, “I was just following orders,” however, that kind of reasoning doesn’t exempt them from prosecution by the ICC.

Take for example on September 28, 2010, the French authorities arrested Mr. Callixte Mbarushimana, suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Kivus, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Documents from the International Criminal Court indicate that they (the ICC) had reasonable grounds to believe that Callixte Mbarushimana a 47 year old Rwandan citizen, has been since July 2007, the Executive Secretary of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda – Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR-FCA, hereafter FDLR) and is criminally responsible, under article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute, for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).

The ICC also acknowledged that Mbarushimana’s partners in crime, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui were currently in their custody.

In a statement, the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo thanked France for a smooth and efficient operation, and said, “This is a good day for the victims. This is a good day for justice. But there is still a lot to do to break the cycle of impunity in the DRC. Callixte Mbarushimana is in custody. But another commander sought by the ICC for massive crimes, Bosco Ntaganda, is still at large in Goma and his forces roam the Kivus killing and raping. He must be next.”

In Kenya, after the civil war that broke out in which over 1,100 people were killed and over 650,000 displaced from their homes in the two-month violence aftermath of the disputed 2007 presidential election, the ICC launched an investigation and over 400 inhabitants sent in applications to the local ICC office saying they were willing to testify through intermediaries, regarding the crimes that were committed against them. After gathering all the pertinent information regarding the crimes committed, several Kenyan politicians and those who planned and financed the post-election violence are now being brought to trial by the ICC in the Hague.

As February 18, inches closer, neighboring Uganda has fears of its own. The police paraded around their convoy of vehicles, as a subliminal message to voters that they will be squashed should any violence erupt on Election Day. The ICC is also closely watching this small nation because it is violence prone, based on the animosity between the current administration of incumbent Yoweri Museveni and the Kingdom of Buganda.

The Baganda believe they are targets after their national monuments the Kasubi tombs were incinerated and three people shot to death in connection with the riots that happened thereafter. On September 11, 2009 the BBC reported that police used live bullets to disperse crowds after the King (Kabaka) of Buganda was denied travel to Kayunga township in his very own kingdom. The Baganda people are some of the most fearless people in the world, who aren’t afraid to stare down a barrel of a gun as shown in the BBC video.

Indeed an international agency like the ICC will have its foot soldiers on the ground on election day February 18, in Uganda, because the resentment toward the current administration by Ugandans who feel oppressed as noted in the WikiLeaks documents, has a high likelihood of generating what happened in Kenya or what is currently happening in Ivory Coast.

The great Roman orator and statesman Cicero, in his book “On The Good Life” on page 158, said, “When you want to help one group of persons, be careful not to offend another. Avoid the mistake, so frequently made, of acting to the detriment of any individual whom it is morally wrong to injure. To do such a thing by accident is careless; to do it deliberately is foolhardy.”



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

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VIDEO: Highlights of Rick Perry inauguration and party mixer

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in attendance at the inaugural gala where several influential Texas politicians including Susan Combs the comptroller, Gregg Abott the Attorney General, David Dewhurst the Lt. Governor made guest appearances. Most attended with their families as they danced the night away. Newscast Media was on hand to capture the moment.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

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PHOTOS: Inaugural night party mixer at the Palmer Center

Team Newscast Media caught up with several Texans at the Palmer Center

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas –The inaugural party mixer was held at the Palmer Center with live entertainment from Clay Walker, Bonnie Bishop, Pat Green and Eli Young band. Hundreds of Texans filled the venue as they celebrated with dance and song. ENTER GALLERY>>

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PHOTOS: Gov. Perry dancing the night away at the inauguration ball

Gov. Rick Perry dancing with daughter Sydney

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in attendance at the inaugural gala where several influential Texas politicians including Susan Combs the comptroller, Gregg Abott the Attorney General, David Dewhurst the Lt. Governor made guest appearances. Most attended with their families as they danced the night away. Newscast Media was on hand to capture the moment.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 2:26 pm

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PHOTOS: Inauguration day for Gov. Perry as he starts his third term in office

Rick and Anita Perry on inauguration day

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas –Texas Governor Rick perry was sworn in together with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst with Pastor Ed Young Sr. of Second Baptist Church in Houston delivering the invocation. At the end of the day, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vasquez, Bishop of Austin imparted the inaugural blessing upon all those in attendance. Texas A&M University Singing Cadets together with Texas A&M Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band closed the ceremony with their rendition of “Texas Our Texas.”

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 2:17 pm

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PHOTOS: Texans Celebrate With Rick Perry At The State Capitol

Gov. Rick Perry and wife Anita Perry on the south steps of the Texas Capitol

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry was sworn in for his third term as governor at the south steps of the state Capitol in Austin, Texas. In addition Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was sworn in on the same day. Newscast Media was on hand to capture the moment.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 1:57 pm

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Kenyan Police Escalate Brutality Using Live Bullets Against Their Citizens

Photo courtesy Daily Nation - Policeman pumps bullets in the head of one of the suspects in morning traffic along Langata road in Nairobi

Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya –The Daily Nation which is Kenya’s largest newspaper published shocking images Thursday of what appear to be undercover police shooting three compliant suspects at point-blank range in the middle of the day on a busy Nairobi highway.

The photos printed by the Daily Nation were taken on a cell phone by a passing motorist. The photos show two men lying face down and an undercover police officer pointing a gun near their bodies. A later photo shows two men with multiple bullet wounds to the head, who appear to be dead. A third killing also apparently took place.

The paper also reported that after the killings, the police turned their guns on journalists at the scene and threatened to shoot them. A 2009 UN report found extra-judicial killings by Kenyan police are systematic and widespread. Kenyan officials blamed incidents of extra-judicial killings on rogue police officers. The apparent killing has been condemned by human rights campaign group Amnesty, which said such cases were all too common in the country.

“Eyewitness reports of this incident depict a disturbing image of police officers who are accustomed to acting with complete impunity. These appear to be blatant and deliberate killings that amount to extra judicial executions,” said Justus Nyang’aya.

In 2009 a UN investigation concluded that in Kenya, executions by the police were systematic and widespread.

After the country’s disputed election three years ago, more than 1,200 people were killed, several hundred of them shot by the police. The head of the force at the time, Major General Hussein Ali, is one of six men accused by the International Criminal Court of bearing the most responsibility for the post-election violence.

Of course there are a few Africans who argue that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should not be involved in African affairs and should let African natives resolve injustices committed against them using their own judicial system. That kind of reasoning is faulty because in Africa nepotism is widespread by those in power, and bribery of local officials is rampant.

How can citizens get justice by trying tyrannical leaders locally if a regimes decides to buy off officials and judges?

How can true justice prevail if witnesses are paid “hush money” or given huge chunks of land, not to testify?

How can the local police be trusted to enforce necessary laws to rectify misconduct, if they themselves are viewed as rogue cops and would not hesitate to commit police brutality as shown in the photo and story above?

Could it be that those advocating the non-involvement of the ICC are bought off or double-agents themselves?

Carl Bernstein a Pulitzer Prize winner wrote about how intelligence agencies use media practitioners to accomplish their goals in the local media and foreign press. In his 25,000 word story published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, Bernstein talks about how local and foreign journalists can be used by intelligence agencies. In this particular incident, let us focus on the foreign press. It is obvious after Kenyan police pumped live bullets in citizens who were demonstrating as they protested the results of last Kenyan elections, they were sending a message that they were unaccountable and above the law. Had the ICC not stepped in, these rogue cops and politicians would continue to terrorize their very own citizens, like what happened just recently on January 19, 2011 in the streets of Nairobi.

How, you may ask, do journalists play a role in trying to protect rogue leaders and officials from being held accountable by powers stronger and more effective than those within the country itself? Bernstein explains how it works in an interview with an intelligence agent.

“After a foreigner is recruited, a case officer often has to stay in the background,” explained a CIA official. “So you use a journalist to carry messages to and from both parties.”

“For instance, a reporter in Vienna would say to our man, ‘I met an interesting second secretary at the Czech Embassy.’ We’d say, ‘Can you get to know him? And after you get to know him, can you assess him? And then, can you put him in touch with us—would you mind us using your apartment?”

“One of the things we always had going for us in terms of enticing reporters, was that we could make them look better with their home offices. A foreign correspondent with ties to the Company stood a much better chance than his competitors of getting the good stories,” said the intelligence agent.

The ICC serves as a “deterrent” to bring an end to repugnant behavior displayed by ruthless politicians or government officials, who breach their duty to serve those who put them in office. When people in power know that they will be held accountable for their actions, they regulate their conduct. Without a body like the ICC, nobody in a police state is safe.

The greatest absurdity a media practitioner can exhibit is defending the indefensible. Foreign journalists working in countries where crimes against humanity are committed should be very cautious in taking sides with those who commit such crimes, because they (journalists) end up losing credibility due to either their inability to discern truth, or their blatant denial of injustices that are self evident.

In a letter written to Bishop Mandell Crighton in 1887, the British historian Lord Acton noted: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

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Cosa Nostra mafia mobsters rounded up in biggest New York FBI sting

Arrests of suspected mobsters

Newscast Media NEW YORK, New York — The FBI conducted the biggest sting in New York history that
targeted New York’s five mafia crime families. Mobsters were arrested in New York City, New Jersey and New England during raids in the early hours of the morning on charges including murder, extortion and drug dealing. The raid was facilitated by “rats” within the mob after long investigations and infiltration of the mob.

Cosa Nostra, which in Italian translates to ‘this thing is ours’, is a network of Italian-American families that have been based in and around New York for around a century. The network once infiltrated and controlled swathes of the US economy.

The Cosa Nostra are still believed to have the upper hand in much organized crime in the area, particularly drug dealing, but ethnic-Russian, Mexican and Asian gangs have encroached on their territory in the past two decades and their aura of invincibility has long crumbled. Over 120 people were arrested in connection with organized crime.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - January 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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Pastor Terry Jones to appeal UK ban from entering Great Britain

Pastor Terry Jones

Newscast Media LONDON, England –Pastor Terry Jones stirred up controversy when he advocated the Qu’ran burning on September 11, to commemorate the September attacks, and has now pledged to appeal against his ban on visiting the UK after being invited to speak at an anti-Islamic demonstration.

Jones says he is “disappointed” by the ban and would look to have the decision overturned – particularly given the family he has living in the UK.

Mr Jones said: “We would ask it be reconsidered and the ban lifted. I have done a countless number of interviews and in those I have stated and assured the media and British Government we have no intention of doing anything against British law. We feel this is against our human rights to travel and freedom of speech. We are not against Muslims, we are not against Islam. We welcome Muslims and have only spoken out against the radical element of Islam.”

He added he was particularly looking forward to visiting the UK as his daughter and grandchildren live in England.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms which is why we have excluded Pastor Terry Jones from the UK. Numerous comments made by Pastor Jones are evidence of his unacceptable behavior. Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right, and we are not willing to allow entry to those whose presence is not conducive to the public good.”

Pastor Jones had accepted the invitation to speak to a group called England Is Ours next month. The group says if Jones is unable to make it, they hope members of his church would be able to visit and speak to the group.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:00 pm

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Human rights need to be improved China finally admits

President Hu Jintao

Newscast Media WASHINGTON D.C. — On the first full day of his visit to the US in a press conference with Barack Obama, Hu Jintao talked about the need to improve the lives of its people. Obama said he had been “very candid” with Hu about the human rights situation in China and admitted that the issue had sometimes been a “source of tension” between the two countries.

“I believe part of justice and part of human rights is people being able to make a living and having enough to eat and having shelter and having electricity,” he said.

“We welcome China’s rights. We just want to make sure that rise occurs in a way that reinforces international norms, international rules, and enhances security and peace as opposed to it being a source of conflict either in the region or around the world.”

The US recently called upon China to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and other dissidents imprisoned for their views.

As Hu and Obama met, dozens of Tibetans staged a protest outside the White House against China’s imprisonment of state opponents and a host of other grievances.

Despite their differences on human rights, Obama reaffirmed the US’s desire to cooperate with China in other areas, with the two countries striking $45bn business deals yesterday.

Hu said China would work on improving the lives of its people.

“China is always committed to the protection and promotion of human rights. China has also made enormous progress recognized widely in the world,” Hu said.

“China still faces many challenges in economic and social development, and a lot still needs to be done in China in terms of human rights. We will continue our efforts to improve the lives of the Chinese people and to promote democracy and the rule of law.”

The fanfare which Hu has been treated to, including a full state dinner last night, has angered some critics who feel China’s poor track record on human rights merits a cooler reception.

Representative Frank Wolf said: “The Chinese government has done little in [the] past 13 years, almost nothing quite frankly in the past 13 years, to deserve the honor of a White House state dinner.”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 4:16 pm

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