Interesting to see VW's direction with the new new Beetle. The last one has been around a while and hs survived on quirky charm and a lot of female buyers. It vied with the new Mini for least amount of usable interior space, so it's really no wonder it's been more of an image car than a practical one.
People are saying the new, less curvy style is aimed more at men, which may well be true, but it sure seems to me that VW has gone for a retro fusion look between the Beetle and the Karmann Ghia.
Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda spoke at the UN on Friday in a panel on HIV/AIDS. Excellent points that will hopefully make a dent in the global debate - particularly in Africa.
First, we must move aggressively to decriminalize homosexuality.
The criminalization of homosexuality remains the most significant barrier that needs to be dismantled to reduce the spread of AIDS. We need to make our laws and agreements more binding. We need to ask if our laws or beliefs help or prevent the spread of HIV and hinder or support families caring for loved ones. Over 80 countries still criminalize homosexuality and see it as a crime against God and nature. Denying people their humanity puts us all at risk because AIDS spreads fast in the darkness of ignorance.
Second, we must ask everyone to take on the responsibility to respect human rights.
Our lawmakers must create a safe space for conversations where we can share one another’s truths. Every person in this assembly should think about how their personal or institutional beliefs deny or support human rights.
Third, we leaders in the faith community must teach one another to listen and to live with differences.
We must work hard to not to impose our religious values on the whole society. It begins as simply as couple counseling before marriage and, on a larger scale, to respect human rights and avoid scapegoating a vulnerable minority.
In conclusion, let us take the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu to heart: “The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.”
Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew Cover it with choc'late and a miracle or two The Gandhi Man, oh the Gandhi Man can The Gandhi Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good
Yet "Great Soul" also obligingly gives readers more than enough information to discern that he was a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist—one who was often downright cruel to those around him. Gandhi was therefore the archetypal 20th-century progressive intellectual, professing his love for mankind as a concept while actually despising people as individuals.
Sounds about right, although far from the sanitized, revered icon he has become, which understandably brings down the wrath of those who would protect the myth.
He was also crazy and impractical (non-violence only really works on those with a sense of fair play, for example):
Starting a letter to Adolf Hitler with the words "My friend," Gandhi egotistically asked: "Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success?"
As Dr. Phil might say, "How's that working out for ya?"
He advised the Jews of Palestine to "rely on the goodwill of the Arabs" and wait for a Jewish state "till Arab opinion is ripe for it."
Yeah, we're still waiting to see which comes first - that or hell freezing over.
Even more delusional thinking:
Gandhi claimed that there was "an exact parallel" between the British Empire and the Third Reich, yet while the British imprisoned him in luxury in the Aga Khan's palace for 21 months until the Japanese tide had receded in 1944, Hitler stated that he would simply have had Gandhi and his supporters shot. (Gandhi and Mussolini got on well when they met in December 1931, with the Great Soul praising the Duce's "service to the poor, his opposition to super-urbanization, his efforts to bring about a coordination between Capital and Labour, his passionate love for his people.")
Ah, Mussolini, how we miss you - the trains running on time, the megalomania...
There's much more weirdness in Gandhi's life, but we all know the real story of his sexual passion from Seinfeld (Episode 4.18: The Old Man):
Mrs. O: That's when I began my affair with Mohandas.
Mrs. O: Mohandas.
Mrs. O: Oh, the *passion*. The *forbidden pleasure*--
Elaine: You had an affair with Gandhi?
Mrs. O: He used to dip his bald head in oil and rub it all over my body. Here, look... [shows Elaine a picture of the two together]
"The Department was previously monitoring the local investigation and now that their review is complete, we will conduct an independent review of the facts to determine if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil-rights laws," said Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokeswoman for Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, in a prepared statement Thursday.
The investigation is separate from the civil investigation of the Seattle Police Department announced earlier Thursday. That federal investigation will look at the "patterns and practices" of the department with respect to use-of-force and discriminatory policing.
This is a very welcome development, as the relationship between the police department and the local prosecutors is, as usual, just a bit too cozy to trust in a fair outcome.
[Birk's] attorney, Ted Buck, said the Justice Department is wasting its time and resources looking to prosecute an officer who followed his training and shot because he feared for his life.
Now, let's remember that former Officer Birk got out of his car with his gun drawn, approached Williams from behind and fired five bullets at him all in roughly ten seconds, hitting him with four. The autopsy showed that Williams was not facing Birk when he was shot. Birk's lawyer is only doing his job, but the dashcam video from Birk's own car makes this spin just outrageous.
Sure, Williams was a belligerent, pain in the ass itinerant drunk (video below). There are plenty of police videos showing that, when drunk, he could be quite verbally abusive to the general public and to police officers who had to arrest him. That doesn't mean the police are entitled to shoot him indiscriminately.
Federal prosecutors [...] would have to show that Birk, acting under the authority granted him as a police officer, willfully and intentionally deprived Williams of a protected civil right.
Legal experts have said that language provides a difficult burden for prosecutors and it's rare that the government obtains a conviction. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Miyake, a senior criminal prosecutor, sat through the county inquest into Williams' death.
Retired Saint Louis University professor Steven Puro, who has conducted research on the role of federal civil-rights prosecutions in local police accountability, has said those cases have proved hard to bring and even harder to win because it is difficult to prove an officer willfully intended to violate someone's rights.
Despite the general difficulty in prosecuting these cases, this has to be one of the more winnable.
BBC Radio DJ Scott Mills went to Uganda to film a segment for the show The World's Worst Place to be Gay? and ended up running for his life with his crew after an interview with the infamous Ugandan MP David Bahati, author of the Anti-Gay legislation currently under consideration in Uganda. Mills is gay, and during the interview with Bahati, he told him he was gay, at which point Bahati ordered the cameras to stop and called afterwards to find out where they were staying and registration numbers of the cars they were using. The person they reached gave them erroneous information and the group were able to get out safely.
In the interview above, Mills makes the point, echoed by many of us, "...like a lot of Africa, their laws are pretty outdated."
It's a point that's not often made for fear of showing ex-colonial disdain, but it is pretty much true.