Archive for July, 2014


George Monbiot’s SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield, 2014.

‘…If we surrender to the financial agenda and say, “This market-led neoliberalism thing is the way forward,” then we shift social values. Environmentalists are among the last lines of defence against the gradual societal shift towards extrinsic values. If we don’t stand up and say, “We do not share those values, our values are intrinsic values. We care about people. We care about the natural world. We are embedded in our communities and the people around us and we want to protect them, not just ourselves. We are not going to be selfish. This isn’t about money”, who else is going to do it?’


“And I know that you will agree with me that standing up for Australia also means standing up for the God, who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again.”

ERIC(K) ABETZ, Address to the Australian Christian Lobby Conference, Brisbane, May 2013.

the interpretOr

The Abbot Point dredging project, recently approved by Australian environment minister, Greg Hunt, will allow India’s Adani Enterprises to build Australia’s biggest coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and dredge to allow massive coal ships to access their proposed new shipping terminal at Abbot Point…to send their coal overseas.

@ the interpretOr, we’re looking at the Indian Government’s recent report on Adani’s existing Mundra port operations that found incontrovertible evidence of:

destruction of mangroves,

blocking of creeks and…

…non-compliance of other clearance conditions.

The reporting committee, headed by Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment, was set up by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of india), to inspect ship-breaking facility of M/s Adani Port and SEZ Limited near Mundra West Port in Gujarat’s Kutch district. The committee submitted its report on April 18, 2013 and it can be downloaded in…

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After a stint delivering newspapers by bike around Sydney’s Northern Beaches for my uncle Rupert, I hit a bit of a…look, a bit of a time of transition. I’d sprained my forehead during one arduous Sunday morning round…I err, I’d thoroughly enjoyed the cycling aspect, but was finding the pretending-to-be-nice bit rather a strain, particularly with householders in lefty ‘bohemian’ areas who had untidy lawns and/or tree hugger bumper stickers…

Look, quite frankly, at the end of the day, they were challenging times, yet…rather than become a burden upon the business classes of this great colony, I decided to take a leaf from the book, the book of one of my great heroes – Norman Tebbitt – and got back on that bike of mine…I got back on that bike of mine, fellow Australians…I…and I started moving forwards…moving forwards with grit, determination and my winning grin…


Quite frankly, I ahhh, I embraced work for the dole…I embraced work for the dole with guts ‘n gusto and ventured on that bike…ventured on that bike of mine to ACM*, then under the steely stewardship of Sir David Flounce (OAP), a great Australian and loyal monarchist. With my background in media, I was assigned the task of producing Sir David’s inaugural video diary series – funny that, as I was myself undertaking the first draft of my 1991-92 JobSeeker Diary…Synchronisity…

Sir David made my work for the dole experience a memorable one. He gave me one…he gave me one…he gave me one hell of an opportunity at the cutting edge of the white heat of…the blue flame of…Look, ahhh…


*Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) is a group of boorish, slimy sycophants that aims to preserve Australia’s current   constitutional monarchy, withElizabeth  II as Queen of Australia: “To preserve, to protect and to defend our heritage: the Australian      constitutional system, the role of the Crown in it and our Flag“…(sic)

SATURDAY 26 JULY 2014 Israel , World

Palestinian death toll exceeds 1,000, medics say

More than 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israel-Gaza conflict, according to Palestinian medical officials.

The news comes as foreign ministers from seven nations called for an extension of the 12-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister.

“All of us call on the parties to extend the military ceasefire that is currently underway,” Mr Fabius told reporters, following a meeting that included the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Qatar, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the United States.

Israel’s military pledged to hold fire for 12 hours from 8am (0500 GMT), but will continue searching for tunnels used by militants. The Islamist group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, said that all Palestinian factions would adhere by the short ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Gaza health officials said rescue workers have so far gathered 40 bodies from under rubble since the truce started. Eighteen members of a family died from tank shelling near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip shortly before the ceasefire begun, the Gaza Health Ministry stated.

Article Tags

On last night’s Daily Show, every time Jon Stewart uttered the word “Israel,” his team of correspondents started to yell at him. “Self-hating Jew!” one screamed in his face.

“Obviously there are many strong opinions on this issue,” Stewart said. “But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”

Watch below:


the interpretOr

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, May 2012 report on Putin’s mega wealth:

Back in 2011, surrounded by press, Vladimir Putin emerged from the murky waters of the Black Sea clutching the discovered remnants of ancient buried treasures. The discovery later turned out to be nothing more than a PR stunt. He hadn’t found the artefacts after all. But the stunt had achieved its purpose. Putin was once again seen as the bare-chested, judo-master, tiger-pacifying, untouchable leader of Russia.

But it was another apparent PR stunt – the spontaneous gifting of a £5,500 watch to a peasant boy – which led some to question whether Putin did not have buried treasure of his own. How could a politician with a declared annual salary of around $140,000 (£88,000) afford to live a life seemingly full of luxury watches, as well as yachts and palaces?

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism decided to investigate and…

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the interpretOr

Blogger Alexei Navalny defied Putin. Now he faces six years in prison. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Russian human rights icon Lyudmila Alexeyeva explains why the Kremlin is trying to muzzle the opposition leader — and why it could backfire.

Alexei Navalny made his name as a blogger and anti-corruption activist before becoming the most prominent figure in the protest movement against Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now Navalny is 37 years old, and he is already facing the end of his political career. If a court in the provincial Russian town of Kirov finds him guilty this Thursday, he cannot, by Russian law, run for public office….click here for full story @ SPIEGEL..

Here at the interpretOr, we reported last year that the Putin regime is also accumulating massive wealth – guess this is easier to do if it’s death or the neo-gulags for commentators…

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  • The Oil Industry Hits an Unexpected Roadblock

    A small city in Maine strikes a blow against Canadian tar sands extraction.MORE

  • How To Duplicate the Sweeping Victory of Same-Sex Marriage

    Other social movements can use a similar ‘civil resistance’ strategy. MORE

  • The Nanny University

    Is the academy trigger-warning happy? MORE

  • Revisiting Reparations

    It’s time for a Marshall Plan for black Americans. MORE

  • Orange Is the New Black, Season 2, Episode 5: A Song of Vice and Ire

    The relationships among races on OITNB are as complex as the politics on Game of Thrones. MORE

  • As Usual, Washington Follows the Buck

    When it comes to party politics, Big Money wins over big principles.MORE

  • Jan Palach: Prague’s Human Torch

    A new film takes a rare look behind the Iron Curtain. MORE

  • A $13 Minimum Wage Isn’t Enough

    Irma Díaz, 36, has been working at McDonald’s for 14 years. She’s…MORE

  • Workers Force Indie Bookstore To Live Up to Its Values

    A few blocks away from Columbia University, independent bookstore chain Book Culture’s two… MORE



A deleted social media post by a separatist militia leader has led to accusations that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are to blame for the Malaysia Airlines crash that has left at least 295 people dead.

Igor Girkin, who also goes by the nom de guerre Strelkov, is reported to have claimed that his forces shot down a plane in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine at 5.50pm (GMT+4), shortly before reports emerged the passenger jet was missing.

“We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured,” he is reported to have said.


Australia is pursuing draconian measures to deter people without visas from entering the country by boat.

In doing so, it is failing in its obligation under international accords to protect refugees fleeing persecution.

The New York Times, July 2014.


the interpretOr

a well founded fear…

“I was kept in detention for more than a month (in Sri Lanka). During this time, I was questioned and beaten up every day. They asked me about my activities with the LTTE in France. They brought pictures of my participating in antiwar protests in France and accused me of betraying the government. They asked me for the names of others who had organized the protests in France. I was locked in a dark room and my hands were tied in the position of a crucifix. I then was burned all over my arms in this position. I was beaten with hot metal rods on my back and thighs. I was sometimes poked with the end of a hot poker and they kicked my head with metal-toed boots. I was raped many times. Two men would come to my room and one would hold me down…

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the interpretOr

Former diplomat Bruce Haigh spent years in some of the world’s hotspots where he saw and did somtimes extraordinary things. In South Africa he befriended the legendary dissident Steve Biko. In Afghanistan he took pictures of Russian military installations. In Pakistan he flirted with Benazir Bhutto, or perhaps it was Benazir flirting with him…He is a regular contributor to the Canberra Times, Crikey and other Oz media…

…here is an excerpt of Bruce Haigh’s recent piece in the Canberra Times, (15/11/13):

“…State imposed secrecy, with respect to managing minorities, dissidents or groups judged to be antithetical to the interests of the ruling elite, leads to oppression through lack of accountability. Morrison does not want to be accountable for deaths in detention or drowning at sea. Lack of transparency is a threat to human rights and democracy, but Morrison is no democrat; he is the Reischsfuhrer of asylum seekers. He decides…

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Bestselling author and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn explores how mindfulness-based stress reduction can help you to go beyond the self, to identify and alleviate suffering in others. This clip is from the “Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion” conference on March 8, 2013. The Greater Good Science Center co-hosted this event.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center.



艺术界 LEAP : 27 INTRO…’In this issue’s cover feature we see artists in rural Beijing in the mid-1990s employing queerness as means to further marginalize themselves, and with others in the past couple years, to stand out among their peers and predecessors. Yet given the paucity of queer art and artists here at home, we also look beyond these borders: Douglas Crimp walks us through the queer heyday of 1970s New York, Travis Jeppesen peers into the queer gaze of experimental film elsewhere in Asia, and Cosmin Costinas and Chantal Wong elucidate issues of sexuality in Hong Kong and their roots in race and urbanization. Finally, we examine queer art on the Mainland, only to discover that sometimes, appearances deceive. Bisecting these four articles are a peppering of artworks from Jaanus Samma, Wu Tsang, Wang Taocheng, and Trevor Yeung…

Filling out the middle section of the magazine are two features on rising young artists Qiu Xiaofei and He Xiangyu. What we see in the practice of Qiu is both a reverence for and avoidance of the past that in the present find a rational reconciliation by way of the artist’s granting greater autonomy to the canvas. He Xiangyu, meanwhile, distances himself from his previously “big” art, returning to inner reality and bringing painting, sensation, and the body together on the same plane.

In the top section of the magazine, we recount the Art Basel Hong Kong Salon “The Gift of Tongues,” wherein LEAP deputy editor-in-chief Einar Engström set out together with curators Pauline J. Yao and Anthony Yung to delineate the intersections of art and language as seen, and heard, in the practices of Chow Chun Fai and Xu Tan…’



More footage emerges from the Sri Lankan civil war, but this time, journalist Callum Macrae says, it is “amongst the worst I have ever seen.”

The footage appears to show Sri Lankan soldiers sexually violating the dead bodies of female Tamil Tiger fighters. In two cases the dead have serious head wounds – possibly a sign that they were executed.


Ahead of the UN Human Rights Council vote, Channel 4 News also aired an interview with a Sri Lankan doctor, who stayed in Sri Lanka’s “No Fire Zone” at the end of the civil war to care for the injured.

He was imprisoned at the end of the war, and, he says, offered his freedom if he agreed to deny that human rights violations had been carried out by the Sri Lankan military.

Now free, he told Channel 4 News of the horror of trying to care for the wounded elderly and women, as food and medical supplies ran out and the government shelled hospitals.

cc. MENDACIOUS Morrison;
Julie Iron-Lung Bishop.

the interpretOr

A landmark report, released Feb 2014, sheds new light on some of the worst alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in May 2009. This report will contribute to an upcoming meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council where states will decide how to ensure accountability on this issue.

The report, Island of impunity? Investigation into international crimes in the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war, was produced by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s (PIAC’s) International Crimes Evidence Project (ICEP).

The report brings together some of the world’s leading experts on war crimes investigations and international law. It combines detailed, impartial, legal analysis and expert forensic and military analysis with new information and eye-witness accounts.

‘This is the most comprehensive, evidence-based report investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Sri Lankan…

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cc. MENDACIOUS Morrison

the interpretOr


Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, ‘No Fire Zone’ is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times -  told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded. This footage allows us to document the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug civilian bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals. Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary…

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