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Posts Tagged ‘Ban Ki-moon’

Ancient Mexican Bert. Ernie may have been looted ...

Although there is much happening in life and the world I would like to vent thoughts about, I’m under deadline on a book at the mo and employing mental and finger skills there, so the blog suffers.

Squeezing the work in between one big job and another bigger one means I have only weeks to go from zero to done and I’m feeling the pinch. Add to that the fact that the weather is stunning and the beach beckons big time and composing blog posts jumps to the bottom of the to-do list.

There is, however, time this lovely morning for a bit of H&H (Harvest and Harangue), so let’s get to it, shall we?

Starting with this … the usual limp dick of the UN attempting to insert itself:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the body’s Security Council to take “decisive action” over the Libya crisis.

That’ll do it, heh? Sure … form a committee.

My fav line in the story, though, is from Gaddafi Junior, the colonel’s son, Saif:

Visitors to Tripoli would not hear gunfire but might hear fireworks, Mr Gaddafi said.

Hilarity!

A look at Saif’s former impersonation of reasonable is interesting as well. From just two years ago:

Having just donated £1.5m to the university to fund its Global Governance Unit, he was introduced in glowing terms by the university’s Professor David Held, who said:

“I’ve come to know Saif as someone who looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values for the core of his inspiration.”

Funny what £1.5 mil and a load of crap will get you …

One the “Hey, that’s kinda cool” front, a new theory on gravity has some pull this morning.

A controversial theory that challenges the existence of dark matter has been buoyed by studies of gas-rich galaxies.

Instead of invoking dark matter, the Modified Newtonian Dynamics theory says that the effects of gravity change in places where its pull is very low.

And if you think you’ve got issues getting your head around this stuff, check out the take of a scientist involved in the work:

“Sometimes I wish I didn’t work on this,” Professor McGaugh said. “If your own data don’t get in your face about this, it’s easy to say ‘so-and-so screwed up’.”

No kidding, Dude.

Having experienced the wonders of Mexico’s rich history, this story on looting of historic sites there is disturbing.

Mexico signed an international treaty in 1972 that prohibits the extraction and trade in archaeological artefacts, with punishment of up to 12 years in jail for such a crime.

But, almost four decades on, experts say the demand from abroad for pre-Hispanic pieces, especially the US, shows no signs of abating.

Not surprising since selling heritage has been a going concern all over the world, but still a regrettable loss … just ask the Greeks.

I was recently introduced to the wonders of incognito British graffiti artist, Banksy, so was drawn to this program on him “leaving his social commentary” in L.A.. Very cool stuff.

And speaking of things British, I can’t end this post without a mention of the Covent Garden restaurant now serving up breast milk ice cream.

The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from London mother Victoria Hiley, and served with a rusk and an optional shot of Calpol or Bonjela.

At £14 ($22.50) a serving, Baby Gaga must be udderly delicious …

And that’s it for today. Thanks for dropping by …

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Getting back to the tens of millions of dollars the UN has wasted in Sudan that I mentioned yesterday, but had neither the time nor the stomach for, I find it more than a tad disingenuous that the same day this story came out in the Washington Post, the “UN News Centre” had only this to say … a long, drawn out whine from Ban Ki-moon as he “strongly condemned” Janjaweed militia attacks killing 200 people in West Darfur.

Mr. Ban “stresses that all parties must adhere to international humanitarian law, which prohibits military attacks against civilians,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

First … Yeah, Ban. Like that’s gonna work! (Gee, whiz … slap forehead … Let’s just explain that genocide is “prohibited”! Wonder why Kofi didn’t think of that … )

And, second … Why the hell should the Janjaweed listen to the UN talk about obeying laws?

From the WaPo:

A U.N. task force is examining the United Nations’ handling of nearly $300 million in contracts for food, transportation and fuel for Sudan, including a $200 million contract with Eurest Support Services, a Cyprus-based subsidiary of the Compass Group, a British catering company. ESS also has been charged with rigging bids in Liberia, Congo, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to what a “task force” not under UN employ might find?

But back to the UN news that goes on to sing the praises of something called the Status of Forces Agreement … unfortunately, but probably prophetically abbreviated to SOFA … that was signed recently.

A couple of points to make on this.

First, on this:

SOFA covers the activities of the military, police and civilian personnel of the mission, known as UNAMID, which seeks to stem the violence in the war-ravaged Darfur region, where over 200,000 people have been killed and 2.2 million others forced to flee their homes since fighting began in 2003 among Government forces, rebel groups and allies militia groups known as the Janjaweed.

Yep. Those same damned numbers they’ve been trotting out for the past five years … 200,000 dead, 2.2 million displaced.

When and why did the UN stop counting? Counting the dead and displaced is one of the few things the UN can actually do, but not in Sudan. There were 200,000 dead and 2.2 million displaced way back during GW’s first term and way before George Clooney ever went to Darfur … and now he’s not only been back for ages, he’s working for the UN. (Talk about a powerful PR machine!)

The other thing in the UN News:

Mr. Guehenno, who recently visited Sudan, emphasized that UNAMID operation is “severely under-resourced for the tasks which it was mandated to perform” since it lacks the necessary troops, police and equipment, including military aircraft and ground transportation, to provide protection to Darfurians.

No mention there what 10s of millions of wasted dollars could have provided on this front, is there? No. There wouldn’t be.

Back to George Clooney for a moment …

Last September I wrote a post responding to a question he asked during his testimony before the UN where he said:

We were brought up to believe that the U.N. was formed to ensure that the Holocaust could never happen again. We believe in you so strongly. We need you so badly. We have come so far. We’re — we’re one yes away from ending this. And, if not the U.N., then who?

I looked around a bit at the time and came up with:

In 2005, UNICEF received over $53 million in contributions for Darfur, meeting approximately 43 percent of total requirements. As of April 2006, UNICEF has received about $1.85 million in contributions from government donors, while UNICEF’s National Committees have raised approximately $966,000.

This means UNICEF has a total of just over $2.81 million in donor resources against its Darfur target of $89 million in 2006 – so its programmes in the region are just 3.1 per cent funded moving into the second quarter of the year.

Pointing to this as, “the UN’s own justification for doing squat!” led me to compose another post I called “If not the UN, why?”

Today, as last year, as the year before, what I said then holds true now:

Lack of funds … lack of will …

Where does it make sense, however, that this body … the UN, I’m taking here … would CHOOSE to sit back once again and allow a genocide to happen and happen and happen?

Which brings me to the real why?

Why does the UN exist at all?

A very quick look at stories from the past couple of days could be taken to prove the utter uselessness of the organization without even having to mention Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica, or more stops along the genocide trail that’s been well traveled without hindrance from those folks in the big building with all the flags around it.

With a recent article in Newsweek addressing the UN’s creeping agenda on international adoption that does so much damage to so many and now seems to have the children of Haiti ready to serve up on a plate that doesn’t include adoption as an option, I do not feel any inclination to judge gently what the UN calls waste.

When 10s of millions of dollars disappear, that’s not just sloppy, it’s criminal.

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