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Capitalism & The Overpopulated Planet Myth

The world’s population is about to reach 7 billion. According to demographers, the world’s population didn’t reach 1 billion until 1804, and it took 123 years to hit the 2 billion mark in 1927. Then the pace accelerated — 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, 6 billion in 1998.

Looking ahead, the U.N. projects that the world population will reach 8 billion by 2025, 10 billion by 2083. But the numbers could be much higher or lower, depending on such factors as access to birth control, infant mortality rates and average life expectancy — which has risen from 48 years in 1950 to 69 years today.

The executive director of the U.N. Population Fund, former Nigerian health minister Babatunde Osotimehin, describes the 7 billion milestone as a call to action — especially in the realm of enabling adolescent girls to stay in school and empowering women to control the number of children they have.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the issues of population, women’s rights and family planning back to centre stage,” he said in an interview. “There are 215 million women worldwide who need family planning and don’t get it. If we can change that, and these women can take charge of their lives, we’ll have a better world.”

source: David Crary, News Sun.

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BUT WILL WE HAVE A BETTER WORLD? 

First we need to answer this question: Can all the world’s current problems be blamed on the lack of family planning and contraception in third world countries?  Some believe that the greed of capitalism is what is destroying our planet, not ‘overpopulation’.   First world countries are using up the world’s resources at an alarming rate.  And we’re blaming poor, third world countries.

David Maybury-Lewis writes about ecological destruction and the exploitation of native Peoples in Millennium,  published 1992.  He believes that we may be making the planet uninhabitable gradually without even being quite sure that we are doing so. The globe is warming up and is increasingly polluted. Even our vast oceans are choking on human garbage. The rainforests are burning and the ozone layer is being depleted at rates that constantly exceed scientists’ estimates.  His question is: “Why are we foolishly destroying the very environment that nurtures us”?

Maybury-Lewis suggests that the answer to his last question lies in our belief that human beings are the masters of this world.  This idea was central to Christianity as in the words of the Bible in which God’s creation of humankind is described thus:

In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

And God said, “See I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food”.

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But what kind of progress is it that rolls over people and crushes their way of life? Why are tribal Peoples constantly victims of a progress that is defined and imposed on them by outsiders? Is it not possible to imagine a kind of progress that would include fellow human beings, even those whose ways of life seem strange to us, and let them join us in it?

More questions  that haven’t yet been answered: David Maybury-Lewis – MILLENNIUM

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As we enter the next millennium, we are discovering that the ideas and attitudes that have seemed to serve us so well for 500 years are not working. Millennium tries to show that our ideas about the world are not the only ideas, to capture the wisdom of tribal people before it’s too late. – David Maybury-Lewis


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In this way the Bible assured human beings that, although they were sinners, they were nevertheless created in God’s image to have dominion over this earth. We have taken these words at their most literal sense. All of this of course was reinforced by the  Protestant Ethic, a term which Max Weber, the German sociologist and economist, used to describe the influence of Calvinism on Christians; to work hard, engage in trade, and accumulate wealth for investment.  This uncoordinated mass action in turn influenced the development of capitalism.

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Their reason for killing and destroying an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits.It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the greatest ever seen in the world, is the cause of their villainies. And also, those lands are so rich and felicitous, the native Peoples so meek and patient, so easy to subject, and that our Spaniards have no more consideration for them than beasts. And I say this from my own knowledge of the acts I have witnessed. But I should not say ‘than beasts’ for, thanks be to God, they have treated beasts with some respect: I should say instead like excrement on the public squares. Bartolome de Las Casas’s Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indians (1542)

Taken From MILLENNIUM.  It seems that nothing has changed; Greedy capitalists continue to plunder the planet in their quest for gold, oil, rare earth, iron ore………………………………….

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Tribal Pharmacology and the Burning of the Tropical Rain Forest

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Burning Rainforest from MILLENNIUM

The tropical rainforest is home to approximately 70% of the million or so species of higher plants that are believed to inhabit the earth. They are becoming extinct faster than we can name them.We are just beginning to appreciate how much more tribal Peoples know about plants and their properties than we do. The conflagration of the tropical rainforest threatens not only countless species of plants but also the cultures and individuals who know their properties and use them in their daily lives. Like Australian Aborigines, tribal Peoples have lived on their land for thousands of years. The burning of rainforests makes the burning of the library of ancient Alexandria look insignificant by comparison. It’s as if the greatest medical library in the world is burning faster than we can read its contents, which we have only just begun to catalogue.

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Maybury-Lewis writes of a nomad’s knowledge which the growth of capitalism has all but destroyed:

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Nomad’s Knowledge – MILLENNIUM

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Since the British arrived in East Africa, the Gabra have been told how to manage their environment by colonial administrators, missionaries, scientists, nongovernmental organisations, present governments. Yet their own adaptive practices have only recently begun to be understood by outsiders.

Gabra grazing practices allow nitrogen to be returned to the ground and thereby enhance the growth of grass. Land that has been overgrazed for a short period of time produces richer grass after being grazed. Hoof pressure apparently activates this process through the crushing of grass and gravel. The nomads are aware of this and also of the fact that their resources include several kinds of water of varying quality and with different mineral contents. They look for water that is the appropriate source for their animals at the appropriate time, and this is not always the apparently ‘clean’ water.

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Kayapo mother & child at the maize festival in the Brazilian rainforest – MILLENNIUM

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In the Brazilian rainforest, A Kayapo woman prepares for the maze festival by painting her face with a pigment containing crushed ants. Encoded in this ritual is part of the Kayapo canon of ecological wisdom: out in the woman’s jungle garden, foraging ants protect her plantings of manioc and maize; attracted by manioc nectar, ants cut down the wild vines that choke the crop. Thus, they not only weed the garden, they fertilise it; the rotting vines enrich the soil.

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STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF MIND – Prescient words from 1972

 If you put God outside and set him vis-à-vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral and ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks or co-specifics against the environment or other social units, other races, and the brutes and vegetables.

If this is your estimate of your relation to nature, and you have an advanced technology, your likelihood of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or, simply, of over-population and over-grazing.  The raw materials of the world are finite.

-Gregory Bateson,  MILLENNIUM.

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In Sex And Destiny published in 1984, Germaine Greer uses the example of the creation of the state of Brazil to show how greed has destroyed forests and annihilated native Peoples.  We know that in many other parts of the world this is still happening, and on an even larger scale.

To create the state, thousands of red dye trees were torn out and dragged by native Indians to the shore. They were promised shiny new steel axes in return for their hard labour. Once the Indians had enough axes they were content, but the white man could never get enough red dye trees to enrich a handful of greedy merchants. 

Greer goes on to say that the capitalists wasted people hundreds of years before there was a surplus, buying and selling them cheap all the while telling themselves these unfortunates were “non-people, who could be buried in the foundation of our empire”.

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RUBBER BOOTS, from the Myth of Overpopulation – by Germaine Greer

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Latex being collected from a rubber tree (Wikipedia)

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Rubber boots, invented by the Amazon Indians, who moulded the latex right on their own feet, had been introduced to the United States early in the nineteenth century. But it was not until the advent of the motor car that the demand for tyres, inner tubes and other rubber by-products was responsible directly for the orgy of lawless greed and inhumanity that makes other terrible episodes in history seem pale by comparison. James Bryce, British ambassador to the United States and a social commentator of some note, declared that “the method employed in the collection of rubber surpasses in horror anything reported in the civilised world during the last century”. According to the Casement Report on atrocities at the time, the Putamayo rubber output of 4,000 tons between 1900 and 1911, was directly responsible for the deaths of 40,000 Indians. The total population of the area shrunk during this same period from 50,000 to 7000. It was estimated that every tonne of rubber from the Amazon valley – gathered primarily by and for British and American firms – had been produced at the cost of two human lives.

 

Greer asks another question: What has the above to do with population explosion?

The people who suffered that we might have tyres to our cars have been exterminated; we will not have done anything to right the wrong done to them if we allow the present inhabitants of their homelands to breed ad libitum obviously. The point is simply that when we see the hopelessness of the slums and barrios, we see the latest stages of an epidemic disease that has become endemic in its later stages. It was the scourge of colonialism that cheapened human life that made human dignity a nonsense that showed the people in the hot lands that their destiny was not theirs to command. As long as the situation continues, as long as they have no resource base of their own, as long as they are mocked by the demands of foreign economies, they will have no reason to wish to be fewer. They may wish to escape the pangs of childbirth, they may wish to escape the anguish of seeing children die, but they will not wish to be fewer. There is all the difference in the world between family limitation undertaken for positive reasons and family limitation accepted out of despair. If the second option becomes the rule, the world will not be worth living in, however few people are in it.

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“Extreme poverty and large families tend to reinforce each other,” says Lester Brown, the environmental analyst who heads the Earth Policy Institute in Washington. “The challenge is to intervene in that cycle and accelerate the shift to smaller families.” –Source: David Crary, News Sun.

Note that Lester Brown doesn’t  mention Wall Street, fraudulent bankers or greedy capitalists!

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Let’s face it, Strauss-Kahn is a sleaze.  He lies, forces himself on women, and acts “like a rutting chimpanzee”.  Yet he gets away with it time and again.  He even gets nominated as France’s next President when all around him know of his salacious proclivities.

American prosecutors have dropped all charges against Strauss-Kahn because, they say, his victim lied to the Grand Jury. She also lied about being raped as a refugee, desperate to flee her war-torn country. Well, so did Strauss-Kahn lie, desperate to save face and to save his status in French politics. 

As the old saying goes, “There is the Law, and then there’s Justice”.  There will be no justice in this case; Money and Power win again.  Strauss-Kahn may not now get to be president of France, but rest assured, his political buddies will rally round and find him some other top position on the world stage.
See Post: The Strauss-Kahn Principle & the wealth & power behind him.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Meanwhile, the hotel maid,  Nafissatou Diallo, has lost her ‘cushy’ job in a plush Manhattan hotel, and will find it difficult to gain similar employment in another top hotel. 
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The victim, Nafissatou Diallo

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US prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss all criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief accused of sexual assaulting Ms Diallo.

“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,’’ the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a filing today. ‘‘If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.’’

What he really means is: the team of powerful lawyers Mr Strauss-Kahn’s wealthy wife has procured for him, will tear our case to pieces!  Let alone the victim!

After today’s meeting with prosecutors, Ms Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said that ‘‘Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim, but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case’’.

But, prosecutors argue: ‘Although the physical scientific and other evidence establishes that the defendant engaged in a hurried sexual encounter with the complainant,  it does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, non-consenual encounter.’

DNA testing “established that several stains located on the upper portion of the complainant’s hotel uniform dress contained semen that yielded the defendant’s DNA”, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in the motion. Evidence was “consistent with a non-consensual encounter”.

However,  the DA’s office stated that  the physical evidence, while showing a sexual encounter, did not conclusively prove the maid’s assertion that she was assaulted and forced to perform oral sex.

Ms Diallo showed no injuries strongly indicating attempted rape, and slight damage to her undergarments could have occurred from normal wear and tear, the DA’s motion read.

However, other factors, such as the hurried nature of the sex act that resulted in Strauss-Kahn’s semen landing on the maid’s clothing, pointed to a forced encounter. “The encounter between the complainant and the defendant was brief, suggesting that the sexual act was not likely a product of a consensual encounter”.

Another important piece of evidence was the discovery of Strauss-Kahn’s DNA “on both the interior and exterior waistband” of the tights worn by the maid, “as well as on the waistband of the panties”.

The motion said: “These findings suggest that the defendant touched the complainant’s undergarments, but they do not controvert or confirm the complainant’s account that the defendant placed his hand inside her underwear and groped her genitals directly.” A speck of blood found on the bed was from Strauss-Kahn who was suffering a skin condition on his hands and was not thought to be evidence of a struggle, the motion said.

Although prosecutors and police found Ms Diallo’s story entirely credible, she quickly undermined her case by lying to investigators and to the grand jury that indicted Strauss-Kahn, the motion said.

But Mr Strauss-Kahn lied to police and initially stated he was not even in the hotel room at the time of the incident. It was only when DNA evidence showed the semen was from him, did Strauss-Kahn say that the sex was consensual.

Another issue was the prosecuters claim that the victim constantly changed her story about what she did immediately after the alleged attack, ranging from hiding fearfully in a corridor to returning to the room to clean after Strauss-Kahn left. Most seriously, Miss Diallo admitted that she had entirely made up a story during her asylum application to the United States about being gang raped in Guinea.

During one session with prosecutors, Ms Diallo repeated the story with so much emotion that “she cried, spoke hesitatingly, and… even laid her head face down on a table in front of her”. Later, she said “she had entirely fabricated the Guinea attack”.

This lie, prosecutors said, made her fatally vulnerable to cross-examination in court, because Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys would be able to argue to the jury that she had a history of successfully making up sex attacks. “Most significant is her ability to recount that fiction as a fact with complete conviction,” the motion said.

“That she has previously persuaded seasoned prosecutors and investigators that she was the victim of another serious and violent – but false – sexual assault, with the same demeanour that she would likely exhibit at trial, is fatal.”

But, I have to ask, what of Strauss-Kahn’s repeated lying to the Grand Jury, that sex with the maid was consensual, even though evidence proves otherwise?

Ms Diallo’s civil case is still pending against Strauss-Kahn in New York state court in the Bronx. In the suit, which alleges ‘‘violent and deplorable acts’’ occurred in the suite in the hotel, Ms Diallo is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Sources: AAP & Bloomberg

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See Posts:  Strauss-Kahn & his forgotten victims
&   Strauss Kahn & Sarkozy

The DSK Principle:  If you rape, sexually assault, force yourself sexually on a woman, whatever you call it, hire the most expensive lawyers in New York and pay newspaper journos to dig up and print unverified dirt on the accuser via the ‘Murdoch’ method.

Oh, and then ask all your wealthy Jewish friends to “help me out here”.

Once again money and power over-rides the abuse of a woman who does not have the connections or wealth to defend herself.  Talk about a ‘David and Goliath’ situation.

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The Hotel where the maid worked & the headlines

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I can only think about the shame and humiliation this young woman has had to deal with.  I hope she has a support network around her because she is dealing with some of the most powerful and wealthy men in the world, not only DSK as you will see below.

The sordid story of Murdoch ‘hacking’ journos may in the end help the hotel maid who has accused Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault.  We hope!

The New York Post defamatory story about the hotel maid, which rapidly spread globally,  has come unstuck.  And she needs all the help she can get, because it is going to be a rougher ride than it has been so far for her.  If the New York prosecutor goes ahead and drops the case against DSK because of the “unreliability” of the accuser, given what has since come to light, world-wide condemnation will surely ensue.  “A source close to the defence” supposedly “leaked” the information to the NY Post.   Sound familiar?  The further accusation by the Post that the maid was hired through “her Union” who also arranged “clients” for her is also a complete fabrication.  Legal sources say the maid’s attempt to sue the Post for defamation, wont go ahead because she cannot prove she had a reputation to be ruined in the first place!  But she has feelings, she has to find work in the future.  Surely she has lost just as much in her world as DSK has lost in his ?

Serious doubts also have been cast about a  “disreputable drug dealer” whom the maid was ‘phone tapped’ talking to; bragging about how much money she was going to get from DSK.

Erik Wemple writes:

The “defence source” coughed up two key details:

1) That the accuser did special favors for male guests at the Sofitel Hotel and received compensation in return;

2) That her union had placed her there because it knew she would “bring in big bucks.”

After floating that second allegation, the New York Post wrote nearly 30 paragraphs of copy blasting the accuser from various angles. Then it dropped in a denial of the union claim. “These allegations are absurd,” the paper quoted spokesman Josh Gold as saying. “She never registered at our hiring hall. We never sent her for a single interview. We absolutely did not place her at the hotel and we do not track tips.” 

To use the paper’s own language, this “stunning new info”casts doubts on whether the woman was a “hooker,” “working girl,” not to mention a “scam artist.”

The hotel manager, who reviewed the woman he subsequently hired, checked boxes on the evaluation form alongside “Speaks well, expresses ideas adequately”  & “Sincere desire to work” & “Likeable.” On the “overall impression,” the applicant scored a “very good.”

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It gets worse though, so read on:

Abigail R Esman is the source for the article below:

Abigail R. Esman
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DSK And The Billionaire Art Dealer Connection: Conspiracy Or Coincidence?

Jul. 11 2011 – 2:00 pm |

Two French men, both Jewish, both powerful, both wealthy, both part of the art elite, both with strong ties to the United States, one a friend of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the other a potential rival – and both in trouble with the law, in America and in France.  It’s enough to wag even the most apathetic of tongues, and it is, especially in Paris, where some claim both cases smack of anti-Semitism and political conspiracy, while others call it a cautionary tale about the arrogance of power.

This past week, while Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, celebrated the near-collapse of the case against him for alleged rape of a chambermaid at New York’s Sofitel hotel, Guy Wildenstein, scion of the Wildenstein art dynasty, was charged with possession of stolen property and fraud. For Wildenstein, the charges are the latest in a series of criminal investigations and lawsuits that have followed him over the past six years, in which numerous works of art have been seized from the family holdings, which some estimate to be worth $4-5 billion, and possibly even more. Both Strauss-Kahn and Wildenstein are Jewish.  Both have homes in the USA and Paris.  But where Strauss-Kahn was a strong contender to oppose Sarkozy in the 2012 French Presidential elections, Wildenstein is a close friend of Sarkozy and a founding member of his political party, the UMP.

But the connections don’t stop there.  DSK’s wife, the American-born journalist Anne Sinclair, is also the granddaughter of legendary Paris art dealer Paul Rosenberg, who – back in the day — worked closely with Wildenstein’s own grandfather, Georges.  (The Wildenstein art dynasty extends back five generations with the founding of  the Wildenstein Gallery in Paris  in the 1870s.) The two galleries – Rosenberg and Wildenstein – were among the world’s most powerful during the early-to-mid 20th-century, and together represented the works of Pablo Picasso.  Sinclair’s art collection, inherited from her mother, is to some extent shrouded in secrecy; and while the contents of the collection are not entirely known, ArtInfo.com estimates its worth at “tens of millions of euros.” (In truth, it may well be worth significantly more than that, given the number of Picasso works alone – possibly reaching into the billions, or near it.)

Now, here’s where the story gets tricky.  ArtInfo also reports that “Much of Paul Rosenberg’s collection was looted by the Nazis, and, though the family has obtained restitution for several works, it is thought that many more have not been returned to their rightful owners.”  Match this with the fact that, along with the lawsuits and criminal investigations plaguing Wildenstein, some Jewish families allege that the Wildensteins – though Jewish themselves – cooperated with Nazi officials from time to time.  And many of the lawsuits against Guy Wildenstein have been filed by the families and descendants of  French Jews,  who contend that works left in the care of the Wildenstein family for safekeeping during WWII still remain in the Wildenstein vaults.  In January of this year, French police raided the Wildenstein Institute in Paris, seizing various works by Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, and others, which Jewish families  and others claim were stolen (or at least, should have been returned to them, and were not).    Were any of these works once in the Rosenberg collection? Are they part of what should have been Sinclair’s inheritance?

Anne Sinclair’s name has not come up in any of the investigations or lawsuits surrounding the Wildenstein affair. But it is certain that she knows — and is likely friends with –  other wealthy, (Jewish) French  families who are involved, especially the Rouarts — descendants of collector Anne-Marie Rouart — who are leading the investigation. (Writer Jean-Marie Rouart, for instance, a well-known figure in literary and intellectual circles, is also a descendant of the painters Berthe Morisot and Henri Rouart, who exhibited at the Rosenberg gallery). According to the New York Times, Anne-Marie’s nephew and heir, Yves, says that some 40 art works were “removed from the walls during the settlement of her estate.” One of the executors of that estate was Guy Wildenstein.

Consequently, Wildenstein – or any of his allies – might perhaps believe that Sinclair, given both her social and political positions, pushed the matter, encouraging the inquiries into Wildenstein’s financial records (he is also under investigation for tax evasion), his father’s estate (for which he was sued by his late stepmother, Sylvia Roth Wildenstein), and the alleged theft of paintings left in his father’s and grandfather’s care. Obviously, this is all purely speculative, but given the politics here – one man an ally of Sarkozy, the other a potential threat to his political future  – it’s something I couldn’t help but wonder. Has this entire mess – both the DKS and Wildenstein cases — been the result of a political tit-for-tat?

Or is it all, as some maintain, yet another illustration of the insidious anti-Semitism that pervades French society, one which a friend described as motivated by “people on the far right who do not want to see a Jewish president, who think a Jewish cabal runs politics and cinema and the art world, and are prepared to do anything to bring them down”?

Or none of the above?

As the DSK and Wildenstein stories developed over the past few days – and with the latest charges against Strauss-Kahn brought by French journalist Tristane Banon —  I’ve been Googling a lot.  I’ve been, in fact, Googling obsessively.  I now sit among piles of paper with, in the words of Arlo Guthrie, “circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one” is.

The entire pile offers no real answers, but it does present a pretty fascinating picture.  As for the charges of anti-Semitism, one has to take that with a shake of proverbial salt, especially given the fact that Banon herself is Jewish – or at least, is the daughter of two Jews, one of Iranian origin (her mother) and the other Moroccan (her father).  Then again, her father, with whom she is estranged,  once worked for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.  On the other hand, her mother, Anne Mansouret, registered to run in the 2011 presidential elections against Sarkozy — in DSK’s own party, the Socialists, making them potential political rivals.  She withdrew her name – which she claimed only to have entered as a “symbolic gesture” — on July 1 – just days before her daughter filed her complaint against DSK for attempted rape.

Hmmm.

Summary: So far I’ve got Banon, whose half-sister – the daughter of her godmother –  is married to a (Tunisian-born) member of Sarkozy’s cabinet, and Sarkozy who is friends with Guy Wildenstein, whose family used to be connected to the family of DSK’s current wife, and who  is in court with the Rouarts and Sylvia Wildenstein’s estate, which also sued Sarkozy, who may or may not have had anything to do with the DSK situation in NY and may or may not have anything to do with Banon’s accusations against DSK even if she is half sisters with the wife of a Sarkozy cabinet member and who is also the  daughter of her godmother, who was at one time married to her father – and to DSK.

Seriously.  It’s hard to believe any of this is real.  This is stuff for HBO.   No one, not even Thomas Hardy, could invent anything this intricate.  Stay tuned for the movie, probably coming soon.

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Wow!  This Goliath is gigantic!  I don’t suppose this brave maid has any idea of what she is up against!

See my previous posts:  Strauss-Kahn & Sarkozy

Strauss-Kahn & the Forgotten Victims

Updated 20 March 2016

David Attenborough 

We now have a new pope in the Vatican, Pope Francis, who has a much more realistic view of the world in the 21st Century than did his predecessor. He is after all a scientist.  Pope Francis is advising world leaders to do something about climate change and rampant capitalism which is putting our planet at risk of destruction. But he is ignoring another potent danger to our planet; overpopulation! 

“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principal ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children to have, the spacing of the children. You have to lift child-survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families. And most important, you have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices”.  -Al Gore.     Sourced from Grist.org

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Women of our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ generations gave birth to many children.  For instance, in my family history, my maternal Italian great-grandmother gave birth to seventeen children, and my paternal Lebanese grandmother, twelve children.  Many women died in childbirth and the ones that didn’t die that way, died from self-inflicted abortions, or sheer exhaustion.  Young girls in these large families were like little slaves helping to cook and clean, and look after the steady stream of siblings.  This prepared them well for their own marriages where the whole cycle would be repeated again and again. Child marriages are still the norm in Muslim countries and other developing nations.

So many children and babies died, that women felt the need to have large families.  The important point here, is that there was no safe and reliable contraception, so women could not space the births of their children.  Women’s role in historical and ancient societies was to produce many offspring and be sexually available to their husbands.  Pagan societies valued  fertility and the mother goddess.  In Christian societies you had the choice of becoming a nun or marrying and producing many children.  The Catholic Church still bans contraception and while modern wealthy Catholic societies ignore this ban, in many poor Catholic countries  women continue to have very large families.

The majority of women in patriarchal societies have very few choices available to them. In those societies where women  are uneducated and have no power over their own lives, or their children’s lives, the women rely on their husbands for everything from food and shelter, to protection. Most do not have the means to an education to enable them to better themselves and so  rise above the poverty they live in.

In societies where women are empowered and educated, and they have access to contraception, the whole family unit benefits, and in turn, the wider society.  The mother is healthier, and she has more energy to devote to her smaller family.  This can only benefit humanity and the planet we live on.

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Christians valued a large family as a gift from God. From Olwen Hufton’s “The Prospect Before Her’

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There are too many human beings on this planet using up the earth’s resources, and too little biodiversity, which scientists tell us is diminishing by the day.  Cutting down on pollution is a good start, but we must also curtail the growing global human population.  As in nurturing a healthy body and mind in a holistic approach, so we must look to caring for the planet we live on by conserving all resources and that means having fewer children while giving each child a chance to develop to his or her full potential.

Updated 29 July 2014

Philippines’ population reaches 100 million and sticks its tongue out at the Pope!   Condoms will be freely distributed…..

 

Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino III, still widely popular, is supporting artificial birth control even if it means risking excommunication from the dominant Roman Catholic church.  But beware, Mr Aquino, the opposition is out to get you so don’t follow in the footsteps of other disgraced male political leaders.  You are not smear proof and your country needs you.

The wide-ranging and acrimonious debate over government-funded access to contraceptives in the Philippines has entered the country’s Congress.   The issue is creating deeper rifts between the powerful and conservative Catholic establishment, which says contraceptives are as sinful as abortions,  and reformers, who want more openness about condoms and other birth control in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation to slow population growth and help prevent disease.

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Pope says NO

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The Reproductive Health Bill introduced  into the House of Representatives would require the government to provide information on family planning methods, make contraceptives available free of charge and introduce reproductive health and sexuality classes in schools.  Perfectly reasonable and sensible I would have thought.

Supporters believe the measures will slow the Philippines’ rapid population growth that surely contributes to the country’s crushing poverty.  Influential bishops [surprise!] have blocked family planning bills in the past by arguing that they would erode moral values, encourage promiscuity and early pregnancies.   But would they prevent child sex abuse by paedophile priests, I wonder?

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See   Female Sex Workers Recognised By The Pope

&   Catholic Condom Confusion

Mr Strauss-Kahn, the truth will out

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It is all very well for comments such as “Strauss-Kahn’s arrest could not have come at a worse time for the EU and IMF” to make the headlines; what about the victims in this sordid case?   See  Strauss-Kahn & Sarkozy

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife, Anne Sinclair,  and the maid at the plush hotel where the sexual assault took place, must be living in hell. Both have been abused; Ms Sinclair psychologically and the maid, psychologically and physically.  Ms Sinclair might say she does not believe the charges, but she is a woman, and deep down will be experiencing pain and humiliation.  But Ms Sinclair is also a woman from an elite background so will come out of this far better than the maid, whose new life is all but destroyed.

What possesses these high-powered male global leaders to partake of such risky behaviour?  One asks if Strauss-Kahn’s deviant sexual urges would impel him to rape and sodomise his wife and daughters, or if this is just something he  would inflict on a black immigrant worker who in his mind is not worth much?    See  Catholic Dichotomy of Women

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Robert Weiss, founder and director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, which specialises in sexual addiction, posits:

While a sense of strength and fearlessness and a near disregard of consequences can make for great, powerful leaders, the problems come when they do not acknowledge they are human. If their narcissism or egotism isn’t matched by a healthy dose of humility of what it means to be human … and they run on their intellect and don’t attend to their emotions on any level … then they are bound for trouble.

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The 32 year old victim’s life has now been turned upside down. She can’t go home nor can she return to her position at the US$3000.00 a night hotel. For her, this was a dream job.  Now, she has no idea what her future will be, what she will be able to do to support herself and her teenage daughter. “This has been nothing short of a cataclysmic event in her life, and she feels alone in the world”, says a spokesperson. The victim of this horrendous sexual assault, came to the U.S. seven years ago under “very difficult circumstances” from West Africa, and is raising her daughter by herself now that the girl’s father is dead. The family was granted asylum in the U.S., and she is a legal resident. She has worked at the hotel for three years, has a good reputation and is well liked.

On the other hand, her attacker, as one of the most privileged of all international diplomats, and who earns a tax-free salary of $420,930 plus a cost of living allowance of  $75,350, at least wont have to worry about where his next meal is coming from or about the feelings and welfare of his four daughters, his previous two wives will take care of that.

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I ask myself this: why would a wealthy and influential man like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who, one presumes, could attract many women with his wealth and power, take such a risk?  He could visit brothels or phone for a glamorous escort to satiate his sexual desires.  Statistics reveal that powerful men use escorts and prostitutes on a regular basis.    See  Shame on you Mr Burlesconi!

Perhaps this behaviour is too risky.  These women tend to talk to the Press (note Tiger Woods), and besides, they might be seen arriving or leaving his hotel suite.  Then again, perhaps there isn’t that same risky thrill of danger if the sex is consensual,  or if it has to be paid for like some boring financial transaction for goods.  One of his past victims likened his sexual behaviour towards her to that of a “rutting chimpanzee”.  And she was a colleague!

Mr Strauss-Kahn was kidding himself that visiting a brothel was beneath his plastic dignity; He already lives in the gutter!

The brothel in the city then, is like the stable or latrine in the house. Because just as the city keeps itself clean, by providing a separate place where filth and dung are gathered, so neither less nor more, acts the brothel; where the filth and ugliness of the flesh are gathered like the garbage and dung of the city.

–  Taken from the ‘The Prospect Before Her‘ by Olwen Hufton.

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As usual in such cases of power and gender imbalance, Strauss-Kahn’s wealthy and influential lawyers are espousing a defence that the victim was paid to honey trap Strauss-Kahn and that the sex was consensual.  His version of events is changing by the day. I would suggest that Strauss-Kahn has the haunted look of  a man whose sexual predator past has finally caught up with him.  I for one will be watching the progress of this case with interest, as I am sure will be many women around the world.

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UPDATE:

Strauss-Kahn claims diplomatic immunity

NEW YORK | Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:07pm EDT (By Joseph Ax)

(Reuters) – Lawyers for former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn asked a judge on Monday to dismiss a civil suit filed by a hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, asserting that the onetime French presidential hopeful had diplomatic immunity.

Strauss-Kahn was cleared of all criminal charges that he forced Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo to perform oral sex in a New York luxury suite on May 14, but he still faces the civil suit plus a separate allegation by a woman in France. The motion to dismiss, filed in New York state Supreme Court in the Bronx, where the woman lived, also claimed her “false charges” significantly impaired the International Monetary Fund’s “ability to serve its critical function … at a time of worldwide financial crisis and instability.”

But the central argument asserted the Frenchman was immune from such a suit under international law when it was filed in early August, and lawyers asked the judge to throw the case out in its entirety.  The suit filed by attorney William Taylor, who was also part of Strauss-Kahn’s criminal defence team, argued that his position as IMF managing director granted him diplomatic immunity that extended even after his resignation and until he was free to return to France.

DSK IS NOT A DIPLOMAT

Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, immediately rejected that argument.

“This baseless motion is another desperate attempt to avoid having to answer for the deplorable acts he committed against Ms. Diallo,” Thompson wrote in an email. “Strauss-Kahn’s claim of diplomatic immunity will clearly fail because: (1) he is not a diplomat; (2) according to his own story he was in New York on ‘personal’ business; (3) he, not the IMF, paid for his room at the Sofitel; and (4) he was obviously acting in his personal capacity when he violently attacked Ms. Diallo.”

While her account of the assault remained steadfast, Diallo told a series of lies about her past and about what happened immediately after the incident in the $3,000-a-night suite in New York’s Sofitel hotel, prosecutors said. Despite the dismissal of criminal charges, the civil suit remains viable because civil actions require a lesser burden of proof.  [There is also significant DNA evidence and a hospital report of injuries sustained by Ms Diallo during the assault].

In a separate motion, his lawyers also demanded that sections of the lawsuit alleging Strauss-Kahn assaulted other women be stricken, as well as claims that he and his defence team “smeared” Diallo’s character.”

In addition to the civil suit, he still faces a separate inquiry in France from a writer who says Strauss-Kahn forced himself on her during a 2003 interview.

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A Broken Man?

(Reuters) – Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest on sexual assault charges removes the toughest rival to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the 2012 presidential race, bumping up his chances of re-election to a second term.

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Strauss-Kahn greets Sarkozy

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By Liliana Franco, from Washington DC:
‘I admit I’m surprised since within the Fund’s board there are some members that pretend to be more Catholic than the pope by taking a fundamentalist position’, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during his first conversation with the press since the beginning of the IMF’s Spring Assembly. Why does this happen? he wondered. ‘For decades this organization said that capital control was like the devil. We don’t want this. We’re fighting against it’.
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The IMF currently admits the existence of some capital controls, even though it staunchly rejected them in the past.

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As acknowledged by the Argentine delegation, countries should take advantage of Strauss-Kahn’s time in office, since there are changes currently taking place within the organization that suggest that the IMF really is interested in working alongside member countries instead of just imposing its own recipes. Of course, Strauss-Khan’s changes are not happening because of personal beliefs. Long ago, he conducted a survey in countries at odds with the IMF in order to listen to their complaints and hear their suggestions. Many people in the organization believe that the recent changes within the IMF have taken place due to the confidential report redacted after the survey.

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“Power Corrupts – Total Power Corrupts Totally”  Do these aging politicians think they are bullet proof?

World News Item:

On 14 May 2011, NY police removed Strauss-Kahn from an Air France  flight to Paris at JFK Airport  moments before takeoff, and arrested him for allegedly sodomising a hotel maid in his room at the midtown Sofitel NY hotel shortly before leaving for the airport. He was held at a police precinct overnight and charged with “a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment”. The maid is reported to be a single mother from Ghana who has worked at the hotel for four years and is said to be well liked.Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said he will plead ‘not guilty’.

Kurt Taylor Gaubatz, an associate professor at Old Dominion University wrote that the IMF’s limited form of diplomatic immunity known as ‘acts immunity,’ probably doesn’t apply inasmuch as it ‘only covers actions taken in the course of his duties.’

NOT THE FIRST ALLEGATIONS:

In 2007, 22 yr old  Tristane Banon accused Strauss-Kahn of having attempted to rape her in 2002. Banon, a French journalist and writer, did not press charges.  (However, an older Ms Banon is now pressing attempted rape charges against DSK in 2011)

In 2008 Strauss-Kahn was involved in a scandal at the IMF over his affair with a subordinate, economist Piroska Nagy, who was married at the time.   Wikipedia.

World News 17 May 2011:

In February 2007, Tristane Banon was a guest on a television chat show and recounted how a senior politician had lured her to a virtually empty apartment in the guise of agreeing to give an interview and then assaulted her.

In the broadcast version of her comments the name of the politician, whom she branded a “rutting chimpanzee”, was bleeped out, but a year later Banon confirmed to the AgoraVox website that she was referring to Strauss-Kahn.

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, often referred to in the popular press as DSK, is  a French economist, lawyer and politician, and is a member of the Socialist Party of France.  He became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 2007, with the backing of his country’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy.  Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn  was born 25 April 1949 in the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine. He is the son of Gilbert Strauss-Kahn, a legal and tax advisor and Russian/Tunisian journalist Jacqueline Fellus. His family is of mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewish origin.

He is full professor of economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

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Official portrait of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Radio Islam:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a leading French Jew that sees the building of Israel in his political actions as proven in his own statement above, has both had positions of influence in France – taking part in the contest to be the new French President – but has since risen to the absolute highest of positions that are attainable; since 2007  this man is Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Getting such a devout Zionist in such a sensitive top position must surely have generated celebrations with champagne in crystal glasses among the Zionist circles in Israel and elsewhere. In 1987 Dominique Strauss-Kahn led a delegation of the Socialist Party to Jerusalem, the city he considers is the capital of the Jewish state. And in 1991 he was part of solidarity delegation to Israel, organized by the Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France (CRIF), in the middle of the First Gulf War on Iraq.

Among his later acts of support of the Jewish state we can note that Strauss-Kahn, among  others, was a speaker at the Annual Meeting of the American Jewish Committee (April 29-May 3, 2008). And when Israel celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008, Strauss-Kahn was one of the dignitaries invited to celebrate the Jewish state.

Political outcomes in France

Strauss-Kahn has a long history of engagement in French politics, he has for instance been Minister of Finance and Economy.

In 2007 Strauss-Kahn mounted an unsuccessful political campaign to secure the presidential socialist nomination ahead of the general election of this year. His challengers were former Prime Minister,  Laurent Fabius and Ségolène Royal. Strauss-Kahn finished second, behind Royal. Here it is interesting to note that Ségolène Royal was married to the Secretary General of the Socialist Party, François Hollande.

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See Sarkozy is a Gaul

Catholic Dichotomy of Women

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