(You can choose or or both)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

BBC Bias?

This gets my goat.

An article explaining that an Indian tribe no longer practise head-hunting (which is presumably a good thing).

Later on, it then says "With the invasion of Christianity, many of the tribe’s traditional practices, (...) have nearly disappeared".

Note the use of the word 'invasion', and that they don't then make any link with the most dramatic traditional practice - which was the head-hunting (one assumes). However, they do take the time to observe that the "practice of wearing colourful beaded jewellery is also declining".

Shock, horror.

This myth of the noble savage being 'denatured' by horrible colonialist missionaries importing a foreign religion really gets up my nose.

A brief internet search throws up some alternative takes:

"You should see the people ... there is much sickness, they have no education. They are always afraid, even of each other, because of head-hunting raids. Their chiefs are cruel, demanding tribute from all the villagers. Above all, they live in constant dread of their priests. Many of the villagers are completely naked; they suffer from cold and hunger." [From Head-Hunters to Church Planters]

"Longri Ao (1906–1981), (...) was an indigenenous missionary from the North-Eastern state of India, Nagaland. (...) He is known to have risked his life to restore peace in Nagaland" [Wikipedia]

"As the tribespeople adopted Christianity, they began to develop more of a "Naga" identity, a radical departure from their distinctions based on warring tribal village" [Wikipedia]

"Headhunting has been eradicated since conversion to Christianity and the spread of modern education in the region" [Wikipedia]

Friday, September 26, 2014

Curly Sue

Elle s'appelle Alisan Porter, et a 33 ans maintenant.
You may remember this actress from a film called 'Curly Sue'. She's 33 now, her name is Alisan Porter.


"Êtes-vous confus par ce qui se passe au Moyen-Orient? 

Je vais vous expliquer.

Nous soutenons le gouvernement irakien dans la lutte contre l'État islamique. Nous n'aimons pas IS, mais il est soutenu par l'Arabie Saoudite, que nous aimons.

Nous n'aimons pas le président Assad en Syrie. Nous soutenons la lutte contre lui, mais pas IS, qui se bat aussi contre lui.

Nous n'aimons pas l'Iran, mais l'Iran soutient le gouvernement irakien contre IS.

Donc, certains de nos amis soutiennent nos ennemis et certains de nos ennemis sont nos amis, et certains de nos ennemis se battent contre nos autres ennemis que nous voulons voir perdre, mais nous ne voulons pas que nos ennemis qui se battent contre nos ennemis  gagnent. Si les gens que nous voulons vaincre sont vaincus, ils pourraient être remplacés par des gens que nous aimons encore moins.

Et tout cela a commencé quand nous avons envahi un pays pour chasser les terroristes qui n'étaient pas là avant que nous sommes allés à les chasser.

Vous comprenez mieux maintenant ?"

Audrey Bailey cited here.
"Are you confused by what is going on the Middle East? 

Let me explain. 

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against Islamic State. We don’t like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like. 

We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him. 

We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against IS. 

So some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies whom we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. 

And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren’t there until we went to drive them out. 

Do you understand now?"

Audrey Bailey citée ici.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ali Soufan

Fascinating article about an Arabic-speaking FBI agent, in the run up to 9/11. Indictment of bureaucratic infighting, and torture. Here - unfortunately with frustrating overlayed adverts. More background here, here, and here.

For the complete low-down on torture, read here.

You should read this too.

And this.

And this.

Have you noticed that the 'ritual-head-hacking-off' victims are wearing orange jumpsuits?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bombing IS ... Frappes contre IS

J'aimerais savoir la réponse à quelque questions:
  • Pourquoi ces frappes: quel est le but?
  • Si c'est à cause du risque d'attaques terroristes chez nous, comment des frappes aériennes vont aider: en les tuant tous?
  • Comment est-ce qu'ils choisissent les cibles?
  • Comment est-ce qu'ils vérifient les cibles?
  • A quoi est-ce que la région est censé ressembler à la fin de tout ça?
  • Qu'est-ce qu'ils vont faire par rapport aux conditions qui ont donné naissance à IS (guerre civile en Syrie, radicalisation, soutien financier de l'étranger, les 'guerres par procuration').
  • Si l'armée iraquienne soutenue et formée par les US n'a pas réussi, quelle raison y-a-t'il de croire que des rebels soutenus et formés par les US vont faire mieux?
  • Combien tout ça va coûter? Qui est-ce qui paie? Qui est-ce qui encaisse?
  • Est-ce qu'il y a quelqu'un qui se soucie vraiment des chrétiens et Yazidis?
Things I would like to know:
  • Why are 'coalition' forces striking: what is the specific aim?
  • If it is because of a 'terrorist risk', how is bombing them reducing the risk: by killing them all?
  • How are targets chosen?
  • How are targets verified?
  • What is the intended 'end state'? What do they think the region will look like at the end of this bombing?
  • What are they going to do about the conditions that gave birth to IS (Syria, radicalisation, external funding, proxy wars)
  • What reason is there to think that US-armed rebels will do better than the US-armed Iraqi army?
  • How much is this costing? Who is paying? Who is getting paid?
  • Does anyone really care about the Christians and Yazidis?


No comment, mais c'est beau.

L'équipe espagnole.
The spanish display team.

Un F18 (ou F16) décolle, ça fait plus de bruit que toute la Patrouille Suisse ensemble.
An F18 (I think) taking off, makes more noise than the whole swiss display team.

Le Breitling Super Constellation.
The tail of the Breitling Super Constellation.

Un des avions de l'équipe Breitling.
Breitling also have their own display team.

Le PC-7 Team se prépare au décollage.
The PC-7 Team getting ready to take off.

Pas encore bio.
Notre amazingly environmentally friendly.

Juste avant notre départ, le PC-7 team.
Just before we left, I caught this shot of the PC-7 team.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


La Patrouille Suisse juste avant le décollage.
The Patrouille Suisse just before proceeding to take off.

Pas mal comme moyen de transport.
A rather exhilarating form of transport.

Chaque parachutiste avait un drapeau d'un canton suisse.
Each parachutist had the flag of a Swiss canton.

Un Blériot - du style utilisé par l'armée de l'air suisse à son tout début. Aussi le premier avion à traverser la Manche.
This is a Bleriot - the same type of aircraft as first crossed the channel, and also the first type of aircraft used by the Swiss air force.

De l'ancien et du nouveau.
Old and new.

Quatre générations d'avions utilisés par les forces aériennes suisses.
Four generations of jet aircraft used by the Swiss air force.

Tout plein d'hélico, et un Pilatus.
A load of helicopters, not sure what the Pilatus is doing in there though.

Un hélicoptère qui va à fond, suivi par un F18, à la limit de décrocher.
Helicopter - presumably going flat out, followed by a an F18 (I think), presumably just about to stall.

Une belle alignée, pour une belle journée.
Beautiful line up on a beautiful day.