Posts tagged Iceland
Despite potential legal retribution from American authorities, the Icelandic MP and WikiLeaks member who released the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video showing US war crimes in Iraq has announced plans to visit the land of the free.
Birgitta Jonsdottir is an Icelandic Member of Parliament who nearly three years ago released a classified video of a US Apache helicopter killing civilians in Iraq. Known as ‘Collateral Murder,’ Jonsdottir made the footage public in a bid to express her support for Bradley Manning, the video’s alleged source, who now stands trial for treason. The video was also instrumental in unleashing the witchhunt on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Jonsdottir is planning to arrive in the US on April 5, despite a strong warning from Reykjavík of possible legal repurcussions. The politician says her trip, which coincides with the third anniversary of the video’s release, is her way of saying she refuses to live in fear.
“I don’t want to live in the shadows. I don’t think I’ve done anything illegal or that I’m an enemy of the US state, but if they think I’ve committed a crime, I want to know,” she told The Guardian.
Jónsdóttir also plans to exhibit photographs drawn from the ‘Collateral Murder’ on her itinerary in New York and Los Angeles. In June, the MP hopes to take the exhibition across the US ahead of Manning’s trial.
“It’s deeply troubling to me that he is the only one suffering the consequences – none of the people responsible for the war crimes in the video have been held accountable,” Jonsdottir says.
Following the release of the video, Washington has tried repeatedly to gain access to Jónsdóttir’s private information. In 2011, Twitter was forced to release her user data after a subpoena from Washington demanded personal data from her feed dating back to 2009.
Jonsdottir became the subject of US attention in 2010 when she helped Assange prepare the footage of the Apache attack allegedly leaked by Manning, who was deployed in Iraq at that time. She was responsible for organizing the volunteers, researched details of the footage of a US airstrike in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, and selected stills for distribution to the media. Eight men were killed in the attack, including two Reuters correspondents.
After the video’s release, Manning was arrested as the suspected source of the video and a large cache of diplomatic cables that he’d allegedly leaked to Assange. Manning now faces 22 counts of breaching national security, charges punishable with up to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Earlier in February, it was revealed that Iceland refused to cooperate with an FBI investigation into WikiLeaks back in August 2011, with the Icelandic interior minister having “made it clear that people interviewed or interrogated in Iceland should be interrogated by Icelandic police.”
Now this is one of those events where you jump up and say “F YEAH!”
When the Minister of the Interior of Iceland found out that FBI had arrived in a private jet at the airport to investigate Wikileaks. He got right on it and kicked them OUT of the Country of Iceland! He said they were not welcomed in Iceland and made them leave!
(This happened in 2011 but the information about it is just being released today)
A group of FBI agents arrived in Iceland in August 2011, requesting collaboration with Icelandic police authorities to investigate Wikileaks, as revealed by Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós last night.
“The FBI came here in a private jet and landed at Reykjavík Airport. According to my information—which is very solid and I have had it confirmed—Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson was notified of their arrival and reacted angrily because it is unbelievably presumptuous to come here this way,” Kristinn stated.“According to my information, he demanded that these agents pack their bags, embark the plane and leave the country,” Kristinn added. “I know that this was later discussed within the government, which formally objected to U.S. authorities.”
Ögmundur confirmed Kristinn’s statement to RÚV, saying a group of foreign agents came to the country in August 2011, requesting assistance to investigate a certain affair. Their request was rejected as it is unnatural for foreign police forces to carry out investigations in Iceland, the minister reasoned.
I would love to live in Iceland if it wasn’t always so cold! What a great country. I have written about them previously and how they convicted the bankers for the collapse.
Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson tells Al Jazeera’s Stephen Cole that Europe should let banks that are ran “irresponsibly” go bankrupt. Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Grimsson also held his country as a model of economic recovery after its near-collapse four years ago. “We didn’t follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies. And the end result four years later is that Iceland is enjoying progress and recovery.”
The Associated Press Posted: Jan 3, 2013 9:49 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 3, 2013 8:36 PM ET
Name isn’t on Iceland’s list of 1,853 female names that fit grammar and pronunciation rules
Call her the girl with no name.
A 15-year-old is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother. The problem? Blaer, which means light breeze in Icelandic, is not on a list approved by the government.
“I want to keep it so bad because it’s so beautiful,” Blaer told Carol Off from CBC Radio’s As it Happens.
Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. In a country comfortable with a firm state role, most people don’t question the Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Parents can take from the list or apply to a special committee that has the power to say yea or nay.
In Blaer’s case, her mother said she learned the name wasn’t on the register only after the priest who baptized the child later informed her he had mistakenly allowed it.
“I had no idea that the name wasn’t on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from,” said Bjork Eidsdottir, adding she knew a Blaer whose name was accepted in 1973. This time, the panel turned it down on the grounds that the word Blaer takes a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s revered Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.
Blaer said she loves her name, because it comes from the famous Icelandic writer’s book. The book is about a young boy who is an accomplished pianist, she said, but forgets everything when he meets the beautiful Blaer.
Given names are even more significant in tiny Iceland than in many other countries: Everyone is listed in the phone book by their first names. Surnames are based on a parent’s given name. Even the president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is addressed simply as Olafur.
Blaer is identified as “Stulka” — or “girl” — on all her official documents, which has led to years of frustration as she has had to explain the whole story at the bank, renewing her passport and dealing with the country’s bureaucracy.
First legal challenge
Her mother is hoping that will change with her suit, the first time someone has challenged a names committee decision in court.
“It’s pretty scary,” said Blaer, referring to being a teenager challenging the government.
Though the law has become more relaxed in recent years — with the name Elvis permitted, inspired by the charismatic rock and roll icon whose name fits Icelandic guidelines — choices like Cara, Carolina, Cesil, and Christa have been rejected outright because the letter “c” is not part of Iceland’s 32-letter alphabet.
“They can allow Elvis, but not Blaer,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
“The law is pretty straightforward so in many cases it’s clearly going to be a yes or a no,” said Agusta Thorbergsdottir, the head of the committee, a panel of three people appointed by the government to a four-year term.
Other cases are more subjective.
“What one person finds beautiful, another person may find ugly,” she acknowledged. She pointed to “Satania” as one unacceptable case because it was deemed too close to “Satan.”
The board also has veto power over people who want to change their names later in life, rejecting, for instance, middle names like Zeppelin and X.
When the artist Birgir Orn Thoroddsen applied to have his name legally changed to Curver, which he had used in one form or another since age 15, he said he knew full well the committee would reject his application.
“I was inspired by Prince who changed his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince and Puff Daddy who changed his to P. Diddy and then Diddy with seemingly little thought or criticism,” he said. “I applied to the committee, but of course I got the `No’ that I expected.”
On his thirtieth birthday, he bought a full-page advertisement that read, “From February 1, 2006, I hereby change my name to Curver Thoroddsen. I ask the nation, my friends and colleagues to respect my decision.”
“I can understand a clause to protect children from being named something like ‘Dog poo,’ but it is strange that an adult cannot change his name to what he truly wants,” he said.
Blaer said she understands wanting to protect children from having names that may subject them to bullying, but she never hears anything negative about her name.
“Everybody thinks it’s so normal,” she said.
Thoroddsen is keeping his protest to the media. But Eidsdottir says she is prepared to take her case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court if a court doesn’t overturn the commission decision on Jan. 25.
“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Eidsdottir said. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”
Blaer said her lawyer is optimistic about the case — and he has told her he’s not frequently optimistic.
“I am optimistic,” she said. “But I don’t want to be.”
With files from CBC News
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
Rotten Egg Smell/Sulfur around many towns of California – Massive Fish Die off Salton Sea with Egg smell – All About Hydrogen Sulfide
Today there is a strong Rotten Egg/sulfur smell around many towns of California.
It is being reported on the local news there.
Dozens of people in the northern San Fernando Valley have reported a rotten egg-like odor this morning, a smell that’s also been reported as far away as Simi Valley and the Inland Empire.
Brian Humphrey, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, said the calls started early this morning and have mostly been from the Foothill and north Valley areas of the city
I put these places on a map. It ranges 50+ miles between Simi Valley and Inland Empire – Here is the map:
I looked up what can cause a Rotten Egg Smell. Hydrogen Sulfide creates a rotten egg smell.
Hydrogen sulfide (British English: hydrogen sulphide) is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It often results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and some well waters
Remember that L.A. had a couple of 3+ mag quakes last week.
The two earthquakes that struck Beverly Hills and shook a good portion of Los Angeles this week occurred at the intersection of two dangerous faults.
Although both faults are capable of producing a 7.0 temblor, experts said the quakes are probably not foreshocks to a larger quake.
The earthquakes that hit this week — a 3.2 on Monday, centered near Doheny Drive and Wilshire Boulevard — and a 3.4 after midnight Friday, centered near Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive — were shallow.
DeCODE Genetics (DCG) has published a study that states Icelandic fathers who are in the 40’s pass down more genetic mutations than their 20 year old counter-parts. According the DCG, 97% of genetic mutations are derived from older fathers.
Because males produce sperm throughout their lives, and the genetic make-up of that sperm is created from mutations based on previously produced sperm. This study supposes that increase in autism could be connected to these genetic mutations.
This has led to an increase in genetic defects, suggests lead researcher Dr. Kari Stefansson. She asserts: “Society has been very focused on the age of the mother. But apart from [Down's Syndrome] it seems that disorders such as schizophrenia and autism are influenced by the age of the father and not the mother.”
Studies into DNA with regard to reproduction and children harken back to proponents of eugenics that discouraged the procreation of those deemed “unfit” by the upper Elite of society.
The President’s Council on Bioethics, who supports the screening of newborn blood in America, has stated that: “Advocates of a broadened notion of ‘benefit’ often extol the utility of newborn screening for helping parents make future reproductive decisions…But this notion of ‘benefit to the family’ is not unproblematic…Suppose that expanded screening of an infant reveals not a fatal and incurable disease but instead a host of genetic variants, each of which merely confers elevated risk for some condition or other. Who is to say at what point an uncovered defect becomes serious enough to warrant preventing the birth of other children who might carry it? At what point have we crossed the line from legitimate family planning to capricious and morally dubious eugenics?”
The US government, in conjunction with hospital participation, has been warehousing newborn DNA with the intention to conduct full genome scans on every American citizen.
By Jeff Nielson
For approximately three years; our governments, the banking cabal, and the Corporate Media have assured us that they knew the appropriate approach for fixing the economies that they had previously crippled with their own mismanagement. We were told that the key was to stomp on the Little People with “austerity” in order to continue making full interest payments to the Bond Parasites – at any/all costs.
Following three years of this continuous, uninterrupted failure; Greece has already defaulted on 75% of its debts, and its economy is totally destroyed. The UK, Spain, and Italy are all plummeting downward in suicide-spirals, where the more austerity these sadistic governments inflict upon their own people the worse their debt/deficit problems get. Ireland and Portugal are nearly in the same position.
Now in what may be the greatest economic “mea culpa” in history, we have the media admitting that this government/banking/propaganda-machine Troika has been wrong all along. They have been forced to acknowledge that Iceland’s approach to economic triage was the correct approach right from the beginning.
The situation in Iceland is something those of us outside of the volcanic island nation hear about far too little, and when one examines the story of how Iceland triumphed over massive debts, it makes a lot of sense why this is the case.
Earlier this year, the Icelandic Financial Services Association published a report showing that since the end of 2008, Icelandic banks have forgiven the equivalent of 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in loans.
This has directly lifted the crushing burden of debt form the shoulders of over one quarter of the Icelandic population, something which many people around the world – but especially in the United States, Greece, Spain, Italy and other nations struggling with massive debts – would likely appreciate greatly.
In 2008, Icelandic banks defaulted on a whopping $85 billion in loans, yet the nation has taken steps to recover and they are already proving to be effective.
“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” Lars Christensen, the chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, explained.
“Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that,” he added.
Then why wouldn’t other nations follow a similar model instead of pouring even more money into the black hole of debt, hoping that it will somehow fix itself?
That is a question which cannot be answered with any degree of certainty, but Iceland has proven that endless bailouts are not the only way we can turn countries around from the brink of collapse.
The Icelandic economy will outgrow the eurozone in 2012 and is set to outgrow the entire developed world on average, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
This growth is reflected in the fact that many polls are showing that the people of Iceland have no interest in joining the European Union, which continues to be wracked by a debt crisis the likes of which have never been seen.
The solution Iceland implemented involved an agreement between the banks and the government, which entailed forgiving debt exceeding 110 percent of home values.
This is commonly known as “under water” mortgages (or more technically “negative equity”), which have become far too common place, especially in the United States.
Indeed, a CNBC article from November of last year stated that one out of two U.S. mortgages is effectively underwater.
In addition to the debt forgiveness, the Icelandic Supreme Court ruled in June 2010 that loans indexed to foreign currencies were legal, which means that Icelandic households were no longer expected to cover krona (the Swedish currency) losses.
The most important factor of their approach, however, is that every step of the way they have put their own people before the markets. This is essentially the polar opposite of what we have seen so many other nations do in response to debt crises.
The Icelandic government basically left international creditors to deal with their failed loans on their own, removing all responsibility from their own people.
Now Iceland is proceeding to actually prosecute some of their formerly most powerful bankers and the Icelandic special prosecutor has stated that it very well may indict some 90 people.
Meanwhile, over 200 people, including the former chief executives of Iceland’s three biggest banks, face criminal charges for their activities.
Maybe some other nations should take a page out of Iceland’s book and think about their people before the banks that caused the crisis in the first place.
Published on May 15, 2012 by THEDUMBPLANET
The people of Iceland forced their corrupt government to resign.
A public assembly was created to rewrite the constitution.
The banks were nationalized, it was decided not to pay the debt that PRIVATE banks created.
All of this in a peaceful way…
What would happen if the rest of the world took this as an example?
This is how it needs to be carried out. A tireless and active force remaining loyal to cause and carry out the actions in a peaceful manor! For us, we need only to return to our Constitution as the law of the land.
The time is NOW to take back our personal liberties and freedoms!
Ron Paul 2012: Restore America Now
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