Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Google’s YouTube – Incitement via Hatred Videos?

e-glob, Washington (DC) - That's sort of an interesting debate here in the US. Even the American Civil Liberties Union has gone to court to preserve hate speech, on the grounds that even that is protected by the constitution.

The legal theory is that: You can hate whoever you want. As long as you don't commit a crime against them (murder or other violence) in the name of the hate, or at civil law, don't discriminate against them on the basis of a protected class (race, religion, ethnicity, gender, etc). - That's the theory anyway but it doesn't always work out, and we argue in court about it.

In the meantime, it's also interesting as a free speech issue, because of its historical context. I may not want my kids to see it or be indoctrinated into it, but I do want them to be able to do a book report on the issue that opposes it. So how can they critically evaluate such things if they can't be exposed to them. It's a fascinating legal discussion with many sides to the so called coin of Janus.

More information (click) on the pertinent German situation...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Ritz Carlton" Opened Flamboyantly in Moscow

The German general manger Oliver Eller (40) (»»FOCUS TV video) was responsible during the three years of construction (350 million $ investment). Owners are two young billionaires from Kazakhstan and Turkey. It’s the highest building in Moscow. From most of the suites the Kremlin can be viewed as well as from the roof top under a glass cupola which is extremely suited for parties of Russia’s and the world’s (richest) elite. ...more at International Stuff in context with Russia’s Reawakening [credits to e-glob, Washington (DC), et al.]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

House of World Cultures (*50) Reopened in Berlin

New York Meets Berlin ~ Trans-Atlantic Symbol

The House of World Cultures, a gift from the US government to Berlin, is turning 50.

Newly renovated, it is celebrating its re-opening and the anniversary with a major exhibition dedicated to New York - even though trans-Atlantic relations are not what they were in 1957… more at

Inside the Pregnant Oyster:
Photo Gallery

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chinese Tourists Discover Europe – in 14 days

Excerpts - Their goal is to absorb as much as possible, as quickly as possible, about these peculiar Europeans. There is one thing, above all, that the members of Operation "Flying Dragon" want to take home from their journey - the ability to enjoy life. They've already mastered the art of making money, but spending it is a different talent altogether...

Photographic documentation is almost as important on this expedition as collecting brand-name consumer products, the group's show-and-tell exhibits for the folks back home. When their flight lands early in the morning at Frankfurt Airport, the Chinese quickly converge on the one souvenir shop open at this early hour. They are interested in anything people at home see as quality German craftsmanship, especially knives and scissors from Solingen... more at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Widespread Mortgage Problems

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet Watching Financial Markets

In response to a squeeze on liquidity resulting from deteriorating conditions in credit markets, the ECB injected a record 95 billion € into the eurozone money markets on August 9, followed by another 61 bln €, the next day. »»

Wall Street is beside itself because of concerns over whether subprime mortgage-related losses are causing banks and other lenders to tighten up credit and whether the market for mortgage-backed securities has dried up. The uncertainty comes in part from the fact that no one really knows yet just how widespread mortgage problems are, and therefore how long it will take for credit market conditions to ease. »»

Monday, August 6, 2007

Arctic Resources - Russian Flag Stunt and Canadian Claims

e-glob, Washington (DC) - "A unilateral annexation of the area by Russia is impossible," said Viktor Posyolov of the Russian Institute of Ocean Geology, which has led the Arctic exploration. "We will strictly abide by the UN convention."

Canada - ... There was no dissembling in Mr Harper's speech. "The ongoing discovery of the north's resource riches, coupled with the potential impact of climate change has made the region a growing area of interest and concern," he said.

As the statement implies, two areas of international competition lie behind the Canadian leader's actions. The first is that the Arctic region is rich in natural resources. It is thought to hold up to a quarter of the world's undiscovered reserves of oil and gas, which as the established fields in the Middle East and elsewhere run dry will become increasingly valuable and sought after. There are also known to be significant deposits of diamonds, silver, copper, zinc and potentially uranium, not to mention fish stocks. ▪ Complete articles via International Stuff (see credits)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Multicultural Blogs - update

Referring to the introduction, here’s a further update.


Asia's Future ▪ Gordon Brown ▪ Gulf States ▪ Publishing

Condo ▪ Assignment ▪ Enlightening ▪ Carl Stark (WCPS)

Ballston Common Mall ▪ Frank Zappa ▪ Seersucker (Cotton Fabric)

Peace Talks (C. Rice) ▪ US Bridges ▪ Netrebko & Co ▪ Dixie Chicks

Middle East ▪ Cybercrime ▪ Heatwaves ▪ Flag Stunt ▪ Canadian Claims

Middle East Peace Can’t Bank On Rice

Excerpt - As a well-respected academic and diplomat Rice is in a precarious position. She is President George W Bush's top gun in the Middle East, she calls the shots and she supplies all the back-up. What she says normally goes and it's fair to say that she's the one person who can make the two leaders listen to sense. They wouldn't even be thinking of meeting unless Rice had paid a visit - to remind Olmert that Bush wanted to see some progress and to give Abbas a cheque for $10 million with the promise of more to come, the money to be used to reform the security services… Full article at sundayherald by Trevor Royle, Diplomatic Editor