Political stuff from all over... "a world view"

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Spend an evening and watch this free freature length eye-opening film

- Film - FREE on youtube 
The film you're about to see addresses one of the most urgent problems facing America. An increasingly destructive trade relationship with a rapidly rising China. As you watch this film, it is important to always distinguish clearly between the good and hardworking people of China, and their repressive Communist government now victimizing both American and Chinese citizens alike.

Death by China (2013)

From Russia Today...

November 14, 2008, 18:44

America’s forgotten freedoms

A survey by the First Amendment Center in the US has reached the shocking conclusion that most American citizens don’t know the five basic freedoms enshrined in the constitution.

The study found that no more than 3% of Americans remember “petition” among the First Amendment’s five basic freedoms.

However, freedom of speech was remembered by the majority of respondents - 56%.

The others freedoms enshrined in the constitution appeared to have made little impressino: freedom of religion was named by 15%; the same percentage remembered press freedom as a constitutional right while just 14% knew they had a right to assembly.

The number of respondents who remembered freedom of speech was the lowest in the history of the survey, conducted each year for the past eleven years.

What makes this year’s results more shocking is that 4 out of 10 people questioned could not name any freedom at all.

Whatever freedoms the constitution of the country may guarantee, it does not matter much since these rights are neither remembered nor needed as such.

The findings indicate that modern Americans do not think along the same lines as the Founders of the U.S.

Nowadays, it would seem, many Americans do not consider their basic rights and freedoms inalienable and are ready to delegate them to state or federal officials.

More than two centuries ago it did not take long for the Founders of the United States of America to realize the necessity of preserving individual freedoms in a system of indivisual states with a strong federal governmental centre.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

In 1791, just four years after the declaration in 1787 of the American Constitution, the states adopted the First Amendment together with the Bill of Rights to guarantee that the strong federal government would not trample on basic individual rights and freedoms.


Moreover, there are rights totally forgotten by the American society, meaning most Americans are not familiar with the freedoms guaranteed by the American Constitution.

Freedom of speech and religion are among the first but liberties introduced to the American Constitution by the Bill of Rights. Traditionally, most of the questioned Americans recalled them. But regarding freedom of the press, freedom to assemble and to petition - these seem to be lost in oblivion.

The annual State of the First Amendment survey, held by the First Amendment Center (www.firstamendmentcenter.org), questions adult Americans on their attitude towards the rights spelled out in the First Amendment. This year it found the following:

39% would extend to subscription cable and satellite television the government’s current authority to regulate content on over-the-air broadcast television.

54% would continue IRS regulations that bar religious leaders from openly endorsing political candidates from the pulpit without endangering the tax-exempt status of their organizations.

66% say the government should be able to require television broadcasters to offer an equal allotment of time to conservative and liberal broadcasters; 62% would apply that same requirement to newspapers, which never have had content regulated by the government.

38% would permit government to require broadcasters to report a specified amount of “positive news” in return for licenses to operate.

31% would not permit musicians to sing songs with lyrics that others might find offensive.

68% favor government restrictions on campaign contributions by private companies, and 55% favor such limits on amounts individuals can contribute to someone else’s campaign.



Thus, a large number of Americans concede that in specific cases the federal government can be involved or even control individual freedoms.

The most shocking conclusion of the survey was that most of Americans could not name the five basic freedoms enshrined in the constitution.


Related links:

Americans demonstrate ‘historic’ dedication




October 30, 2008, 21:37

US vote fails democracy test - Russia’s election chief

Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) doesn't judge and doesn't condemn. Yet, according to its representatives, the upcoming presidential election in the US presents several causes for concern. It suggests the electoral system in the US is lacking inclusiveness, fairness and transparency. It is also archaic. Yet despite these failings, it is accepted as democratic all over the world.

The CEC, along with a panel of experts, are convinced that elections in Russia are not only cheaper, but have proven themselves to be more democratic.

The chairman of the CEC, Vladimir Churov, says country’s do elections in different ways.

"I agree with the idea that every sovereign state has its own sovereign democracy, and it is pointless to impose your own rules on another country," says Churov said.

Proportional representation?

Churov says that the electoral system of the US is, fundamentally, archaic. Instituted after the signing of the US Constitution in 1787, the process has remained virtually unchanged in the following centuries. According to Churov, the main issue is that democracy in the US is not direct.

Each state is allocated as many electors as it has Representatives and Senators in the United States Congress. The electors usually vote in line with their state’s popular opinion; nevertheless, according to Churov, the system allows them to vote for whomever they choose, going against public opinion if they disagree with it.

Furthermore, each elector represents a different number of people, making the system proportionally unrepresentative.

This system, according to Churov, is reminiscent of the Ukraine elections in 2004, where several groups of votes were ignored because the votes did not follow the government line. For example, overseas votes were not counted.

Inclusiveness has always been seen as the defining principle of US democracy. However not everybody who is allowed to vote de jure is permitted to do so de facto.

Anatoly Utkin – the director of the International research centre at the Russian State Institute of the USA and Canada - recalls turning up to a polling station in 2004 with his colleague, a professor at Boston University, who was eager to demonstrate US democracy at work. However, his name did not make it to the voters list, along with an estimated 25 per cent of the electorate.

And, while names seemed to disappear from the lists easily, putting them back was a more difficult matter. The issue wasn’t resolved until the following day, by which point the polls had closed.

Accessible information?

Disproportional media coverage is also a problematic issue in US elections, as Churov explains. In October alone, Obama received a total of 9.5 hours more airtime than McCain.

And Aleksandr Ivanchenko, head of Russia’s centre for electoral education attached to the CEC, says equivalent events receive unequal coverage, depending on whether the protagonists are Republicans or Democrats.    

However, according to Churov, this is normal and acceptable. The key issue, he says, is that there is factually no difference between information and campaigning in the US, which could be classified as withholding information from the electorate - even government channels present a political bias.

Furthermore, the technical side of the electoral process remains a mystery to outside observers.

“We know about the electronic vote in the US only from pictures. We don’t know what kind of software they use, how they maintain the security of the vote, how they do a one-time vote of one voter and so fourth and so on,” Churov points out.

World wide coverage?

However, the CEC's primary stance is not to intervene or judge a sovereign country's electoral process. At the same time, they are concerned that the process, which has such substantial international coverage, has so few outside observers.

“For example, the OSCE’s mission ODIHR [Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] – the initial agreement was 100 observers, now the number has been cut down to 60. In reality, only 48 people went – that is less than the number of states. Considering the fact that every state has its own voting system – different equipment, ballots, lists, each state requires close attention,” Churov notes.

Russia has already sent two observers to the US elections and is not intending to send more.
"I have a huge respect for my colleagues from the US Federal Election Commission, because their job is not easy. And we can tell that they are trying to correct all the mistakes in the election system," Churov says.

In comparison, the Russian system, according to Churov, was created whilst taking into account all the shortcomings of the US model, as well as various European ones. The CEC chairman notes that it has been improving throughout, becoming more effective and more transparent.


Al Qaeda view

courtesy lauramansfield.com

Al Qaeda has finally made an official statement of policy regarding the 2008 US elections, and it is a ringing "anti-endorsement" for the Republican Party.  The "anti-endorsement", posted on the jihadist forums a week before the Election Day 2008, was included towards the end of the message.  The message, from Al Qaeda leader (and Bagram prison escapee) Abu Yahya al Libi, was a Khutba or sermon delivered in honor of the Eid al Fitre holiday.  Unlike 2004, when Bin Laden referenced both candidates by name, but refrained from actually endorsing either, Al Libi specifically calls for the wrath of Allah to be brought down upon the Republicans.  The message is more of a "vote against" message calling for the party of Bush to be humiliated, rather than a "vote for" message promoting Obama and the Democrats:

Oh Allah, Lord of mankind, humiliate Bush and his party!

Oh, Allah, degrade and defy him!

Oh Allah, Lord of mankind, defy him!

Oh Allah, make him live a day like the day Pharoah, Haman, and Qarun
experienced, making him an example...

Comments about the election have been few and far between on the jihadist forums and in message from Al Qaeda leadership this year. This is a sharp contrast to the 2004 election, when discussion about candidates Bush and Kerry began months in advance of Election Day, and culminated in an official As Sahab release of a video tape from Osama bin Laden.

In a video released just 4 days before Election Day 2004, Bin Laden said:

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al-Qa'ida.
Your security is in your own hands"

At this point, it is not known whether or not Bin Laden will comment on the 2008 US
Presidential Election.  With just days to go before the election, we'll know soon whether or not Bin Laden will make a
statement. In the meantime, it appears obvious from Al Libi's statement that Al Qaeda is not
supporting the Republicans.


For more translations and news on terrorism, visit http://www.lauramansfield.com
or visit our forum at http://www.lauramansfield.com/forum/

Strategic Translations is a service provided by Laura Mansfield through http://www.lauramansfield.com


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