Friday, July 04, 2014
The reckless black man who was at the heart of the global financial crisis
One of the great failures of affirmative action. I am putting this up now because the whole story has just been removed from its search results by Google
Other publishers have been affected, including the BBC, whose economics correspondent Robert Peston disclosed that a blog he had written about former Merrill Lynch boss Stan O'Neal had been censored.
Written in 2007, it was about how O’Neal was forced out as head of Merrill Lynch after the banking giant suffered colossal losses on reckless investments.
Last night Peston complained Google had cast his 2007 blog into ‘oblivion’, and wrote: ‘Is the data in it “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”? Hmmm.
'Most people would argue that it is highly relevant for the track record, good or bad, of a business leader to remain on the public record - especially someone widely seen as having played an important role in the worst financial crisis in living memory (Merrill went to the brink of collapse the following year, and was rescued by Bank of America).’
A BBC spokesman said: 'We're surprised that this is the outcome of the ECJ ruling and concerned at the implications of the removal from search of this type of material.'
There are already signs of a backlash against the new policy. As word spread on Twitter, users were urging each other to retweet the name of Mr O’Neal – who left the bank with $250million (£145million) – to start him ‘trending’ on the social media site.
Multicultural jealousy in Britain
A jealous Royal Mail worker stabbed his wife 32 times and then called her father round to show him the corpse, the Old Bailey has heard.
Richard Otunga, 37, is accused of repeatedly knifing Shamin Gabriel, 33, after confronting her about text messages she was receiving from other men.
The court heard Miss Gabriel's father Gabby went to the couple's flat in Northolt, west London, last December and found his daughter lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor,.
Otunga, who had a history of domestic violence, claimed he 'lost consciousness' during an argument with his wife.
The court heard he later told officers: 'I killed her. She was getting text messages from men at work, we both work for Royal Mail. 'We argued and she went to the kitchen and picked up a knife and said she would kill herself, so I took it and killed her.'
Prosecutor Timothy Cray told jurors that the attack was 'brutal, unnecessary and beyond any excuse that the law may provide'.
He said: 'The allegation against Richard Otunga is that he murdered his wife, a lady called Shamin Gabriel. They married in 2003 and had a daughter in 2005.
'Shortly before 5am on Sunday, 29 December 2013 the defendant made a telephone call to his father-in-law Gabby Gabriel.
'He said that he had argued and fought with Shamin but there were no serious injuries.
'Mr Gabriel, getting a call like that, perhaps like any father would, caught a taxi to Northolt, arriving at 6.40am.
'He found the defendant in the hallway and noted two things - that all the internal doors were closed and that a mobile phone had been smashed into pieces in the hallway.'
He added: 'The defendant told Mr Gabriel that Shamin had been talking to another man and was always being praised for her beauty by other men.
'He said that he had lost consciousness and control, that he was very sorry about what he had done and what had happened to Shamin.
'Otunga opened the kitchen door and Mr Gabriel saw that his daughter was lying on the floor. She had been stabbed many times and the kitchen was covered in blood.'
Mr Gabriel asked Otunga: 'Is this what you called me for, to show me the body of my daughter?' but Otunga made no reply, repeating that he was 'very sorry', the court heard.
The jury heard Otunga later told police officers his wife came at him with a knife and he was trying to defend himself. The postmortem revealed she had been stabbed 32 times.
Mr Cray described Otunga as a controlling and possessive husband who regularly checked his wife's phone. 'There had been previous incidents of domestic violence by the defendant,' he said. 'They show a pattern of controlling and jealous behaviour on his part.
'They also suggest that the fatal attack was not some sudden or unusual event but rather a culmination of violent behaviour on the part of the defendant towards his wife, including previous threats to kill her - he had thought about it before.'
Ms Gabriel had repeatedly complained to her family about his jealous behaviour, the court heard. In one allegedly incident in July 2013 Otunga held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her, Mr Cray said.
A few months later he threatened to run the man who was texting his wife over with his car and murder Ms Gabriel as well, it is claimed.
Otunga, of Northolt, west London admits manslaughter but denies murder. The trial continues.
Au Revoir to the Open Internet
Authoritarian regimes want more control over the Web. Now France has joined the movement.
When the Obama administration announced that the U.S. would end its stewardship of the open Internet, critics warned that Russia and China would take advantage of the American surrender. We didn't anticipate that supposed friends of the multistakeholder system of self-governance would also be eager to grab control.
Last week France joined authoritarian regimes in seeking to replace the self-regulating Internet with a new system of one-country, one-vote control. More than 3,000 Internet specialists had gathered in London for the largest-ever meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. China's minister of cyberspace affairs expounded on how different countries have "different modes and methods in Internet management" and welcomed America's giving up control, which "ushers in a new era of joint global Internet governance."
But France made the most headlines when it opposed an Icann plan to add .wine and .vin as new top-level Internet domains. France objected that the new suffixes would give makers of sparkling wine a way of passing plonk off as champagne.
Such disputes are common. Amazon lost a bid for a .Amazon domain because countries in the Amazon rain forest objected that there could be confusion. But when the French didn't get their way, they joined the authoritarian regimes in demanding an end to Internet self-regulation.
"Icann's procedures highlight its inability to take into account the legitimate concerns of states," read the French delegation's statement. It demanded Internet governance move to majority voting by governments. This means France could protect champagne—and other countries could censor websites around the world they don't like. So much for the multistakeholder system overseen by the U.S. that has left engineers and network operators free to build an open Internet without political pressure.
The French statement added: "Today Icann is not the appropriate forum to discuss Internet governance." That's awkward because President Obama delegated to Icann the creation of some new system of Internet oversight to replace U.S. control.
Opposition to the Obama abandonment is already building in Washington. This month the House passed a budget bill for the Commerce Department denying funds for any transfer of oversight away from the U.S. over Icann or the "root zone file" of global Internet addresses. Several Republican congressmen requested a Government Accountability Office report on what happens if the U.S. gives up its role as "an important backstop against foreign governments that would subvert the Internet."
The French power grab over the wine domains is a timely reminder that governments of all kinds would like to take control of the Internet if the U.S. lets them. The Obama administration should retract its plan to give up the open Internet before it causes any more damage.
Australia: Happy Ramadan signs at 239 Woolworths stores creates a stir with some customers threatening to boycott stores
WOOLWORTHS is wishing some customers a "Happy Ramadan” — but not everybody is celebrating. The supermarket giant has Ramadan promotions in 239 stores in areas with big Muslim populations.
At Sunshine’s Marketplace Woolworths, posters and a display of nuts and dried fruit greet customers.
The month-long Islamic religious festival involves fasting in daylight hours.
But some customers have complained the promotion is offensive and un-Australian. On the supermarket’s Facebook page, one person accused the chain of "pandering to a minority”. Another said: "I find this kind of advertising OFFENSIVE, as an Australian & as a female!!!”.
And another said the signs were offensive to her beliefs and she would boycott stores where they were displayed.
Woolworths spokesman Russell Mahoney said the promotion was running in 239 stores around Australia. "We celebrate as many international festivities as possible to support the diverse population of Australia,” he said. That included Diwali, Lunar New Year and Passover.
Islamic Council of Victoria secretary Ghaith Krayem welcomed Woolworths’ promotion and said people who opposed such initiatives did so out of ignorance and unsubstantiated fears. "Ramadan is a time of reflection and renewal and maybe it is also a time for all of us to be inclusive rather than push each other away.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.