For the Global Thinker

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Learning to Live Outside the World`s Biggest Prison

A night scene of China's gleaming Dandong city (right) and North Korea's Sinuiju city (left). When the sun sets, North Korea plunges into darkness due to an eletricity shortage.


"North Korea was in the grip of a famine which eventually killed 1 to 3 million people. People abandoned the state system and survived by any means possible.
"When my mother was still alive, she went up into the mountains and found a piece of land where we could grow food without being seen," Rhee said. "My mother and sister did the farming and I would walk three hours to the market and help sell what we had: corn, beans, grain, rabbits and chicken."
When Rhee was 15, her mother died, after a small cut on her foot became infected. "Really, she was killed by the lack of hospital services," she said.
Rhee and her sister, Sang-mi, then 18, were left to fend for themselves, with no family left and no social support. In 2007, the two sisters and two of Sang-mi's friends decided to escape themselves, wading across the Yalu river that divides the north-eastern corner of North Korea from Manchuria.
They did not have much of a plan. They went first to relatives of one of Sang-mi's friends, but they had no room and directed them to a Chinese man in Yanji city who they said would put them up.
The hospitality came at a price. The man's wooden house was divided into two. The man lived with his family on one side, and on the other North Korean girls sat at computers in front of webcams, performing for sex chatlines.
Read more here...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Mexican President, Same Cartel War?

"As the Mexican election approaches, the idea of accommodating the cartels may continue to be presented as a logical alternative to the present policies, and it might be used to gain political capital, but anyone who carefully examines the situation on the ground will see that the concept is totally untenable. In fact, the conditions on the ground leave the Mexican president with very little choice. This means that in the same way President Obama was forced by ground realities to follow many of the Bush administration policies he criticized as a candidate, the next Mexican president will have little choice but to follow the policies of the Calderon administration in continuing the fight against the cartels.

Read more here...


Another World, Another Planet: Alaska's North

Seeking a pristine land untouched by humanity, Sebastião Salgado photographed the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska.

See more of his work here...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jon Stewart Slams Fox-Praises PBS

 Jon Stewart to Fox News Host Chris Wallace: 'You're Insane' (Video)

During a debate on "media bias" on "Fox News Sunday," Stewart adds that Fox News viewers are the most "consistently misinformed."

Watch video... 


Also the Washington Post adds..."Stewart is right about Fox News"...
Following Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, Sammon suggested the network focus on the fact that the president hadn’t used the word “terrorism,” even though he had discussed the issue. Sammon urged Fox News employees to present climate change data as controversial. The network’s coverage of the issue is incredibly slanted: 81 percent of Fox News guests oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases....


Finally, you have to see this EXCELLENT interview with PBS' Bill Moyers on the current and future state of journalism...



Monday, June 20, 2011

Mexico: Impunity and Profit

The best documentary I've ever seen on the situation in Northern Mexico.  Absolutely top notch...


Also a photo gallery of the war...

Missing Iraq Cash as High as 18 Billion

Who said war was not profitable?

Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn - three times more than the reported $6.6bn.

Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Nujaifi said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.

"There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation.
"Iraq's development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations - their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure.

"I think it will be discussed soon. There should be an answer to where has Iraqi money gone."

The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.

Read more here...



Top Secret Prison used by US/UK Special Forces Found in Iraqi Desert

 Read more here...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tatoo Art

I came across this cool Tatoo art website...here are some of my favorites...(Click on photos to enlarge)

Here is the website to check out more... http://inkbutter.com/category/art

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exile Nation

The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, yet a full 25% of the world’s prisoners. At 2.5 million, the US has more prisoners than even China does with five times the population of the United States. 8 million Americans (1 in every 31) languish under some form of state monitoring known as correctional supervision.

With more prisoners than China, this documentary explores why the United States has incarcerated more of its citizens than any other country.  Definitely worth checking out...

Watch full documentary here...


Global War on Drugs a "Massive" Failure, Report says

The international war on drugs is a massive failure and nations should begin experimenting with progressive drug policies, including legalization, an international commission says.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy, a 19-member panel chaired by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, said the failure of the war on drugs has brought “devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

The study recommends...

Read more here...


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

UN Considers Internet Access a Human Right

Finally, the United Nations has granted the Internet a proper status in human society...

Internet access is a human right, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.
"Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states," said the report from Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the United Nations, who wrote the document "on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression."
La Rue said in his report that access to the Internet is particularly important during times of political unrest, as demonstrated by the recent "Arab Spring" uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, among other countries.
From the report:
The Special Rapporteur believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for...

Read more here:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Wars

A moving 20 minute documentary that puts a human face on war...


A friend of mine was talking to a group of students and he said, "America is at War."  An then an officer cut him off and said, "No...The United States Army is at War...The Unites States of America is at the mall." 

The Best of NOW: The Wars

For the past eight years, NOW has been delving deep into the issues and questions surrounding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Revisit moving moments with soldiers and families who put a human face on these challenging missions.

Watch full documentary here:


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Joy of Stats

Here's a great documentary from my friend Erik, called the Joy of Stats with Hans Rosling, (you may remember him from Ted Talks)  He says there's nothing boring about stats and goes on to prove it...for instance, if you ask men if they are better drivers than women, they will habitually respond "yes," however, stats prove women are in fact better drivers as they have less accidents.  Many more cool revelations in this documentary, check it out...