Brits apologize for exporting children to Canada and Australia

Gordon Brown is to offer a formal apology for the UK’s role in sending tens of thousands of children to a new life in Commonwealth countries during the 20th century, many without the consent of their families.

Government records show that at least 150,000 children aged between three and 14 were taken abroad, mainly to Australia and Canada, in a programme that began in 1920 and did not stop until 1967.

The children, almost invariably from deprived backgrounds and already in some form of social or charitable care, were cut off from their families or even informed, falsely, that they were orphans.

While their parents were told the child migrants had gone to a better life, in many cases they remained in institutions or were sent to farming families and treated as unpaid labour. A key subtext to the programme, particularly in relation to Australia, was an aim to supply Commonwealth nations with sufficient new white settlers.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister said…”We will undertake a period of dialogue with those affected, prior to a formal apology. We plan to make a more detailed announcement early in the new year.”

The announcement comes a day before Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is due to make a wider apology to the estimated 500,000 children, many from overseas, who were held in orphanages and other institutions around the country between 1930 and 1970.

The habits of governments who provide White Settlers are consistently racist, cruel and self-serving.

The fact that they decide to apologize 50 or 90 years later means something to a few folks. I guess. The equation becomes tenuous as the connection is stretched further. I figure they’ll get round to dealing with, say, the Highland Clearances about a century after I’m dead and gone.

I’d rather hear that these creeps are finally pressing their political peers for a change of policies – not just apologies well after the deeds.

Anyone recognize the ‘It-is-not-us’ syndrome?

In a video report shot in Lahore, Adam Ellick asks a few of Pakistan’s top musicians why they have spoken out against corruption, political wheeling-dealings, poverty and the manner in which the country has been done in by everyone from the politicians to the West to India – but never against the Taliban, who currently constitute the clearest and most present of dangers.

Here, verbatim, is what Ali Noor of Noori has to say:

‘We are not going to get up and say that we want to talk against the Taliban – simply because they are probably one of the smallest problems this country has. […] It’s the West. It’s the West that is against the Taliban, because they are very heavily affected by it. We’re not.’

And here is what Ali Azmat – the man who once sang about ‘zehni ghulami’ – has to say: ‘We know for a fact that all this turbulence in Pakistan … it’s not us. It’s the outside hands.’

What, really, can one say? The Taliban are one of the smallest problems this country has? When we’re having a bombing virtually every day, when parts of the south-west of the country were until very recently in serious danger of falling to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and its associated gang of goons?

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Under-17 World Cup goes to the Swiss

Haris Seferovic and Frederic Veseli after the Swiss victory over Germany in an earlier round
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

On Sunday night, Switzerland became the new FIFA Under-17 World Cup holder when they defeated hosts and defending champions Nigeria 1-0 at a packed Abuja National Stadium.

Haris Seferovic gave Switzerland the championship in the 63rd minute when his header from a corner beat Nigeria goalkeeper Dami Paul.

The Swiss had been impressive leading to this championship game, but had to dig deep, especially in defence, to contain the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, before they dealt the killer blow through Seferovic to the disappointment of the 60,000-strong crowd at the game.

Nigeria were overwhelming favourites to win their fourth Under-17 World Cup, particularly on the back of the senior team’s dramatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Matches featuring players this young always drive me a little nuts. This was better than most.

In particular, I think credit has to go to the coach of the Swiss under-17 side – Dany Ryser. Although the skills of either team were about what you’d expect for the age group, tactically the Swiss were surprisingly smooth and coordinated moving into the final third of the pitch.


Think similarities in Congressional statements are coincidence?

Republican, Joe Wilson, SC – too lazy to change a single word

In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities. Often, that was no accident.

Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.

E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans.

The lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress.

Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats

Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to “revise and extend my remarks.” It is unusual for so many revisions and extensions to match up word for word. It is even more unusual to find clear evidence that the statements originated with lobbyists.

The only reason it’s unusual to find such clear evidence is that not only have the corporate flunkies in Congress spent the last eight years unconcerned about oversight from the White House, they’ve become accustomed to the prying eyes of the Great American Free Press being tightly shut or averted from any challenging gaze.

News as entertainment now thoroughly controls the bulk of what passes for journalism in this land of political conformity.

RTFA. The odds of bumping into it elsewhere aren’t especially likely.

Intel offends Orthodox Jews – business before Yahweh

The orthodox alternative

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem have protested outside the offices of the US firm, Intel, against the plant operating on the Jewish day of rest.

The demonstrators chanted “Shabbes! Shabbes!”, the Yiddish word for Sabbath when Jews are forbidden to work.

Intel has been operating on Saturdays for years – and the company defends the policy.

“We have always worked according to the company’s needs. If the needs call for it, we work on the Sabbath as well,” Intel Israel spokesman Kobi Becker told Israel’s Ynet website.

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jews have become increasingly militant in recent months in their attempts to enforce a Saturday work ban.

Not that the Jewish state of Israel pretends to be much more than a theocratic state. It just comes down to which sect of religious nutballs have their finger on the trigger.

You think it’s EASY taking the blood pressure of a gorilla? It had never been done.. until now.

“How much will you pay me if I say yes?”

Zoo Atlanta is the first and only zoo in the world to do awake gorilla blood pressures.

Ozzie, one of Zoo Atlanta’s male gorillas, and his keeper Jodi Carrigan have been working together for seven years….

“Heart disease is very serious in the captive population” said director of veterinary services at Zoo Atlanta Dr. Hayley Murphy. “About forty two percent of the animals are affected, and those animals go on to die from the disease itself.”

The problem of heart disease in captive gorillas has haunted researchers for years.

“We don’t really know what causes cardiac disease” Dr. Murphy said. “Our theory is it’s blood pressure. But we can’t prove that until we get awake blood pressures.”…

While Jodi Carrigan was trying to train Ozzie Zoo Atlanta turned to a design team from Georgia Tech to invent a gorilla blood pressure sleeve….

It took Jodi Carrigan five months to convince Ozzie to do it….

Now Ozzie puts his arm in the specially designed sleeve and keeps it there, while veterinarian Michelle Moses feeds him pudding.

“So he knows” described Jodi Carrigan, “…okay…I’m holding still. This is what they want from me. And I’m getting rewarded for it.”

Related Link: Ozzie, Zoo Atlanta, and the Gorilla Tough Cuff

My name is Ram. WTF?

You have to understand. We are an extended family of Dodge truck owners. I would solve the need for energy for all the planet with 32-litre Cummins turbo-diesel engines if possible.

I’m pleased with the beginnings of the new Fiat-controlled Chrysler Corporation. Especially the truck division simply known – now – as RAM.

But, this is one of the dumbest fucking commercials I’ve ever seen!