Archive | May 2014

EU Power Grab from NWO Far-Right Motley Crew*

EU Power Grab from NWO Far-Right Motley Crew*

By Finbarr Bermingham

FN leader Marine Le Pen addresses supporters during a May Day rally in Paris

From the granddaughter of a notorious dictator, to a 72-year old Polish xenophobe – these European Parliament elections have thrown up a veritable motley crew of MEPs from across the spectrum.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage delivers a speech in London May 26, 2014

UK

Nigel Farage – Ukip

Nigel Farage managed to revamp his party’s ‘swivel-eyed loon’ image to beat the traditional ‘big three’ of UK politics at a canter. But other than the fact that he enjoys a fag and a pint, what do we actually know about Farage?

Despite the man-of-the-people persona, Farage background is more associated with the conventional political class. The son of a City stockbroker, he was educated at Dulwich College – a public school that charges more than £12,000 for a term’s board and which previously schooled author PG Wodehouse and explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Farage followed his father into the City, trading commodities.

He may have been elected for his strong anti-EU stance, but his wife, Kirsten Mehr is German, and his two children are bilingual. His surname is of Huguenot lineage and his great-grandfather was born to German parents.

Under Farage’s leadership, Ukip won the UK popular vote with a 27.49% share. The party added 11 new MEPs as a result, taking the Ukip total up to 24.

“Before, Europe was about treaties, laws and our sovereign right to govern ourselves. Now, it’s about everyday lives.”

Germany

Udo Voigt – National Democratic Party of Germany

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union may have kept their grip on power, but the election of Germany’s first far-right MEP sent shockwaves through Europe. The National Democratic Party achieved 1% of the vote, electing Udo Voigt to the European Parliament.

Voigt is the son of a Nazi solider. He has had a number of run-ins with the law because of his racist views.

In 2009, he was convicted of handing out racist pamphlets during the 2006 World Cup. The leaflets, which referred to the inclusion of Patrick Owomoyela, a German of Nigerian descent, read: “White, not just a jersey colour! For a real national team!”

In 2004, he called Adolf Hitler “a great man”. He has claimed that Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial is “an undesirable stain in the Reich capital” and that its stones would make excellent foundations for the new Reich Chancellery.

“Rösler’s a Viet Cong,” in reference to the Vietnamese-born leader of Germany’s Liberal Party, Philipp Rösler.

Italy

Alessandra Mussolini – People of Freedom

For some, being the granddaughter of Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini would be publicity enough, but Alessandra Mussolini (also the niece of actress Sophia Loren) has been determined to make a name for herself from an early age.

The former Playboy model and actress has previously been an MEP for the Social Alternative party, but since its collapse has jumped ship to Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

She once said: “Until recently the word fascist was considered shameful. Fortunately, that period has passed. In fact, there is now a reassessment of how much grandpa Benito did for Italy.”

In 2006 when transgender MP Vladimir Luxuria accused her of being a fascist, she quipped: “Meglio fascista che frocio” (“Better fascist than faggot”).

“What a delightful Roman salute! I was deeply moved. I will write him a thank you note,” in response to footballer Paolo di Canio delivering a fascist salute after a derby match in Rome.

Poland

Janusz Korwin-Mikke – Congress of the New Right

The election of political veteran Korwin-Mikke’s in Europhilic Poland emphasised the widespread disillusionment that exists with EU politics. Poland has the highest level of EU support of any other member state, yet Korwin-Mikke’s party scooped 7.2% if the vote.

He’s gone on record in his belief that Hitler knew nothing of the Holocaust and says that universal suffrage should be abolished, with women losing their right to vote, and that Poland should be governed by a monarchy.

“The European Commission building should be turned into a brothel. I’ve been there so I know it would be great as one.”

Denmark

Morten Messerschmidt – Danish People’s Party (DFP)

Denmark’s far-right party won almost 27% of the vote and doubled their MEP count to four. Leader Morten Morten Messerschmidt has been courted by the UK Conservative Party in recent months in a bid to solidify a stronger pan-European coalition. In reality, though, DFP is politically much more aligned with Ukip.

Barely two years after the Muhammad cartoons crisis rocked Denmark, DFP spokesperson Kim Eskildsen lashed out at an Islamic political candidate’s decision to wear a hijab in parliament.

He said: “We find it wrong that she’ll use the parliament as a tool for Islamism. We don’t consider this woman a Nazi. But the way the headscarf is used is comparable to other totalitarian symbols.”

“I think we need three sets of rules of immigration. One for Europeans, one for people from the rest of the Western World, and then a third set of rules for the third world, who in general do not really offer anything.”

France

Marine Le Pen – National Front

Marine Le Pen’s party secured one in four French votes last week, making President Francois Hollande the least popular leader in the country’s history.

Le Pen has capitalised on the unpopularity of the sitting Socialists and the growing wave of anti-EU sentiment, despite her own chequered history with the law.

Part of the challenge has been silencing the most extreme voices in her party, including that of her father and party founder Jean Marie, who recently suggested “Monsieur Ebola” would be the solution to the country’s immigration situation.

She once equated Muslims praying in the street to the Nazi occupation of Germany. Greek media recently reported that Le Pen was flirting with neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn with a view to founding a new far-right group in the European Parliament.

“French citizenship should be either inherited or merited.”

Source*

Related Topics:

The United States of Europe!

The Land of Truth

EU Countries Should Pay Back all the Countries they have Plundered Before Demanding from Turkey for Cyprus*

IMF and EU Taking Ireland for Everything it’s Got*

Nazism Back in Europe

European Arrest Warrant Above Sovereignty*

As Expected EU to Approve GM Corn

The EU Hypocrisy Over Herbal Medicines

Baron Murdoch Buying Up British Media

More Redundancies and More Meddling on the Horizon

Truth, Karma and Reform

U.K: The Affect of Globalization on Poverty

U.K.s Chancellor Gives Power to take from Personal Bank Accounts*

What Men Live By!

The Inconsistencies of Norway’s 7/11

Capitalist Democracy

France: The Male Bastion is Upheld

How Top Central Banks Can Bankroll European Banks

Global Economy: Defining the 1% Who Own the World

U.K: To Become a Genderless, Parentless Society

‘Third Gender’ Official in Germany from November

Is There an Esoteric Agenda or Just an Agenda of the Elite!?

You, Social Engineering and The Tavistock Institute

World Bank is Creating Poverty‏

Enough of IMF, Portugal Opts Out of Bailout*

Criminal Global Governors: The Right to ‘be forgotten’ a Problem for Google*

“THAT Would be Reverse Racism”

Fast-track Canonization of Popes John Paul II, XXIII and Francis Sponsored by the Financial Wing of the NWO*

Australia: To Sterilize, Electroshock, and Restrain Children Without Parental Consent*

The Maastricht Proclamation: Replacing Papal Authority and Corporatism, with a new Common Law Covenant*

TPP: Controlling the Worlds Food Supply*

NDAA Now Used By the FB!?‏

NDAA Now Used By the FB!?‏

From Alexandra Bruce

Early in the morning in October, several men broke into Gracie Escamilla’s Texas home. Hurtling themselves over their fence and entering without knocking, she suspected that a gang of violent criminals were raiding her home.

But actually, they were Federal law enforcement officials. Why agents would do this sort of raid on a non-violent grandmother who had no criminal record?
Bryan Preston reports on this, and joins Bill Whittle, so that they can get to the bottom of this.

Related Topics:

How to Handle a Police Encounter*

Why I am Leaving the U.S.*

Citizens Reclaim their Town from Corrupt Cops

Six Police Officers Indicted by Grand Jury*

Agenda 21: Oklahoma Nullifies Law that Prevents Exercising Constitutional Rights Midst Acquisition of Private Property*

Bertrand Russell on the Manipulation of Society*

One Student Sharing what He Learns in School about NWO*

Seven Children Removed from Parents for Being Homeschooled*

The Disappearing Act of the Homeless

Take Back Your Power’

Articles of Impeachment Filed against Obama*

Student Ignores the Illegality of Feeding the Hungry and Saves 200,000 Meals*

Ex CIA Operative, Victim of Child Trafficking, and Political Prisoner in U.S.*

Missouri Bans Cellphone Tracking without a Warrant*

Making Living off the Grid Illegal is about Controlling You and Paying Them

Invisible Chains

Cowboys and Indians Unite Over what Will Destroy Them Both*

Tyranny of Taxation and Regulation without Representation*

NWO Justice Gives Teacher 31 Days for Raping a 14-Year Old Who Committed Suicide*

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

By Jessica Goldstein

When I was an undergrad, Maya Angelou came to my school to give the keynote address for Women’s Week. I remember everyone waiting for her, futzing around on our phones and talking about what we were doing that weekend and then, cutting clean through the clamor, Angelou walked onstage and started to sing: “Oh when the saints, go marching in…”

Everyone stopped and listened. You couldn’t not listen. That voice.

It’s maybe one of the most well-traveled voices in American history. After a nearly five-year period of silence during her childhood—in the aftermath of the murder of the man who raped her, Angelou feared she had a voice that could kill—Angelou spent a lifetime speaking out. Her voice bounced around empty hotel rooms where she escaped to write in solitude; she’d lie across the bed, art dismantled from the walls to eliminate even the slightest distraction, and refuse to let maids change the sheets on the grounds that she never slept there. Her voice carried through San Francisco, from the streetcars to the Purple Onion nightclub. She gave commencement addresses, recited poetry at a presidential inauguration. You could hear her voice on Oprah. You could hear her voice singing on Sesame Street.

Her voice has an almost mythical quality. In her death, it seems to be even louder than it was in her lifetime. Dwan Reece, curator of music and performing arts for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, talked to me by phone today about the enduring power and reach of Angelou’s voice.

For people who don’t remember what American literature was like before Angelou came on the scene, can you put her contributions in context? What was missing from that space that her voice brought?
I think she really brought something to the nature of autobiography, and really putting the stories of African Americans, and African American women front and center, and really announcing who she was and what her experiences were, the kind of the social and cultural descriptions: what her life was like, the environment she grew up in.

Was that a risky move at the time? Were the stories she was telling taboo in any way?
The risk may have been in finding the amount of readers. I think, because in the landscape, it hadn’t been done before and reached the wide acceptance that it did before, she was the right time, the right person, to make this breakthrough for autobiography.

How did people respond to I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings initially? Was it well-received right away, or did it take time to gain national acceptance?
I think the initial reception [to the book] was very positive. I think, arguably, most people really felt that particular piece was her best work. There’s also this phrase thrown out, this idea of autobiographical fiction, and some people like to describe her work in that way, in a somewhat derivative sense… that she brought some of the stylistic techniques of fiction in telling her own story. I know, reading the book for the first time, there was a certain beauty in the prose, not just the historic retelling but a narrative that presented a three-dimensional experience of a young girl and a young adult, and an older woman. So representing black women’s lives as they really are, I wouldn’t say it was taboo, but it was perfectly honest. [There was] an honesty in what she was willing to tell that may not have been accepted at the time.

What do you think the reaction would be like if that book were published tomorrow? Modern readers seem to be pretty unforgiving of non-fiction writers who are found to have fictionalized parts of their work.
On one level, I don’t think it would be scandalous because people are more honest and forthright in their writing, because people are willing to take chances. But that question of what is fiction, what is truth, we do run into that in works of literature. There’s always a literature scandal, so to speak. But I think we’re more allowed to take liberties in the retelling of our stories. People are more accepting.

For a writer who is so a part of the highly respected literary world, Angelou was so game to participate in mainstream culture—the kinds of things other “highbrow” writers might consider beneath them: appearing on popular television shows, partnering with Hallmark. Why do you think she was so drawn to that?
It’s interesting that you say that. I never thought of her as highbrow or beyond reach of the average reader, and I’m trying to think why. I think a lot of that has to do with her voice. The accessibility of a one-person narrative, I can’t say that enough… The directness of her language, the beauty of her prose, the reflection of human emotions and responses, and all of that framed within the arc of American history. Her books were not just the narrative of one person, but the narrative of American social and cultural history as it evolved over time. So I think those kinds of things are more accessible to the general reader. They can see themselves in her story, either as a witness or as a participant.

I ask in part because there are certainly high-profile writers who appear to want nothing to do with mainstream pop culture. I’m thinking of the whole Jonathan Franzen/Oprah tiff, when she tried to pick The Corrections as a book club selection and he didn’t want anything to do with it. Even though he ended up relenting and being on the show, that was revealing to me. I remember thinking, “Well, if it’s good enough for Maya Angelou, why is it beneath you?”
I wouldn’t think she felt that [Oprah’s audience] was beneath her. I think she was about communicating with humanity. You look at the many quotes, today, how everyone is responding to her passing. It’s walking a fine line, and she definitely did that. She was able to pursue her art in the way that she chose, and also talk to people. To me, if you write and have high mindedness and goals, and you’re not read by anyone, I wouldn’t say your work is less valuable, but are people really engaging with what you have to say? And I think people were engaged from the day she was first published to the day she died, and they were moved by her. And in that sense, she kind of set an example, for many writers today, particularly African American women writers…While it’s hard to walk that middle line, it can be done. And I think most authors want to be read, and want people to engage with what they have to say, whether positive or negative, because that’s how you know it hit a chord. She hit a chord with America—with the world over—and if she’s a child of the African diaspora, she’s a child of everything. She truly was a Renaissance woman.

What about her partnership with Hallmark? That’s kind of the ultimate high art/low art mash-up.
To me it’s a writer making a deal and getting her work out there. I’m not denigrating Hallmark, but she elevated it. She brought a certain gravitas. To put a Maya Angelou quote in a card, to express something to someone, it gave something more to it, as far as I’m concerned.

Getting your work out there, that’s part of the challenge… This is the way that we engage. Not all of us read books; not all of us listen to poetry. Not all of us read newspapers. But if you get enough places out there, someone’s going to connect with it.

She even joined Twitter! I’ve seen so many people retweeting her old messages all day today.
The reaction, this outpouring of respect that she’s getting from all walks of life, is kind of an anthropological experiment—to see how people respond when someone passes away, it’s just [so] telling.

I think there’s a big sense of loss, not only in the person but what she represented. And [people are] hoping she can carry on. A lot of people circulate her quotes, they talk about humanity, how their heart is breaking over her loss. She really reached a generation, or two.

When it comes to just pure name recognition—the ubiquity of who Angelou was, her work, and what she stood for—how many other writers have ever reached that level?
I’m going to venture to guess that very few, and it touches upon what I mentioned earlier, about her ability to reach people. I also think that there’s a resonance for women that can’t be overstated, of women speaking up. The voice, to me, that was what caught my imagination. And it wasn’t just her literal voice, it was a figurative and spiritual voice as well. The sense of agency that she brought to her work, and everything that she did. Illuminating injustices, sharing of herself, celebrating culture, and asserting her right to be a woman, and to be a strong woman in a masculine world is, I think, very influential.

Angelou delivered a poem at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, making her only the second poet to do so, after Robert Frost recited a poem for Kennedy. What did that honor mean for her, as a cultural icon?
It cemented her—it didn’t even just cement her as part of the American story, it cemented everyone she has represented and spoken for, in her life and in her writing. She finally arrived, and we, too, are part of the story. It’s probably the same sentiment people felt when Barack Obama was inaugurated for the first time, to see her participating in something like this. Given the history of this country, the racism and oppression, and she being a child of some of its worst, lowest points. For her to be writing this poem to the President of the United States, representing the people of the United States, it felt wonderful, and life-affirming in some ways. And everything she did represented this sense of possibility, because she was always trying something new.

How will she be represented in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, when in opens? (The museum is slated to open by 2015).
Her story touches upon several places in the History Gallery, particularly in the ‘60s and beyond, and in the Cultural Gallery, our Cultural Expressions Gallery, our Musicians Gallery, our Taking the Stage Gallery. The breadth of her work covers so much. She’s one of these unique figures in African American culture and history. There’s no question that she will be represented. She represents a certain layer of wisdom that people have called upon over time and will call upon in the future.

Did you ever get the chance to meet her?
No, I did not… I will say that I was so affected by her when I read her books, over a series of time in my late twenties, that after I did, I named my first child after her. I know the seed was planted with me. You look at the reaction overall, people are affected. I hope that we continue to be moved by her work.

Your daughter’s name is Maya?
My daughter’s name is Maya. I wanted her to have something to grow into and live up to.

Source*

Related Topics:

Stepping Back to Afrika!

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing: 12 Years a Slave, Racism & Black Cowardice

The Black Stereotype: Socially Engineered in the FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Real Black Leaders*

“THAT Would be Reverse Racism”

The Paths of Return

Court Order: The Re-Education of Lauryn Hill for Speaking the Truth!

The Truth Behind the Emancipation Proclamation!*

Malcolm X: The Truth Seeker*

White Supremacist Finds Out He Is Part Black*

 

Rothschild’s Rio Tinto Signs $20bn African Iron Ore Deal*

Rothschild’s Rio Tinto Signs $20bn African Iron Ore Deal*

Criminality pays when one plays the big boys game as Marc Rich, the guy Clinton when president pardoned after being on the FBI’s Top10 for tax evasion…

Glencore is Rich’s company. He’s American, the company is Swiss, and it’s listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Rich is the kind of guy who gets 10-year old children to climb down hand dug shafts without protection or gear to get copper, and cobalt in Tilwezembe Mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. From that exploit Rich carted out truck load of minerals that made U.S$186 billion in revenue in 2011 for Glencore. 2011 is when Glencore went public.

Now Glencore is one of the world’s largest commodities giant corporations that avoids taxation – a Rothschild trait. Rich didn’t get away so easily when President Morales of Bolivia nationalized Colquiri tin mines.

Michael Ross, author of The Oil Curse and a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“And in a number of countries where Glencore operates, doing business means putting money into the pockets of repressive governments and corrupt rulers. In some of those places … it’s hard to draw a line between what’s legally corrupt and what’s not.”

Rich’s involvement in the metals market cost Bolivia millions in the 1980’s, and with the illegal sale of 400 metric tons of tin to a company in Thailand cost Bolivia U.S$4mn.

This is Glencore, eyeing the rich iron ore fields of Guinea.

To add to the NWO’s pot of gold Rothschild’s Rio Tinto, China’s Chalco and the World Bank .

By Frik Els

A deal between the Guinea government and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) regarding the Simandou iron ore development was inked on Monday.

The deal with Anglo-Australian giant and its partner – China’s Chalco together with the World Bank – sets out conditions for the associated infrastructure for the ambitious $20 billion project.

A sticking point in the negotiations was the route and funding of a railway to get the Simandou area ore to port.

Monday’s agreement calls for a new 700km railway across the country to Conakry, Guinea’s capital in the north, at a conservatively estimated cost of $7 billion, Reuters reports:

It would also need a deep-water port at Morebaya costing a further $4-billion, and support infrastructures estimated to cost a minimum of $2.5-billion, documents seen by Reuters showed on Monday. The port and railway would eventually be expanded to handle up to 100-million tonnes of minerals a year.

Because of the economic benefit to the impoverished West African nation Guinea this route was chosen in stead of a much shorter and cheaper railway to the deep Buchanan port in neighbouring Liberia to the south. The developers will operate the infrastructure for thirty years whereafter ownership reverts to Guinea.

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said in a speech recently that “the infrastructure that brings Guinea’s natural resource wealth to global markets can do so much more for the country,” pointing out that once Simandou is fully operational, it will contribute an estimated $7.6bn to the Guinean economy each year, dwarfing the amount of aid payments the country receives.

Guinea is home to some of the richest and easily exploitable iron ore fields outside of Australia’s Pilbara region and top producer Vale’s Brazilian home base.

Initially scheduled for next year, even with the new deal in place initial exports is doubtful for this decade. Monday’s deal committed the partners to producing a feasibility study within little over a year, another more than two-half-years for financing and production within a decade.

Simandou would by itself be the world’s fifth-largest producer

Rio acquired the rights for the vast mountain deposit hosting some of the world’s highest-grade ore more than 15 years ago.

Rio Tinto is developing the southern part of Simandou and has already spent more than $3 billion building open pits, but the scale and scope of the development had been placed in doubt by the fall in the price of iron ore and a looming supply glut.

At full production Simandou would export up to 95 million tonnes per year – that’s a third of Rio’s total capacity at the moment – and would catapult Rio past Vale as world number one.

Simandou would by itself be the world’s fifth-largest producer behind Australia’s Fortescue Metals and BHP Billiton.

The northern part of the Simandou concession was held by BSG Resources and Brazilian giant Vale (NYSE:VALE), but the Guinea government withdrew the mining permit in April, accusing BSGR of obtaining its rights through corruption in 2008.

Rio Tinto has filed its own lawsuit against both Vale and BSGR for what it qualifies as a “steal” of its previously-owned concessions.

Fellow Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton has decided to pull out of the country and is in the process of selling its stake in a nearby iron ore project called Nimba.

Source*

The Rio Tinto Group

A British-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation with headquarters in London, United Kingdom, and a management office in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1873 as a mine complex on the Rio Tinto river, in Huelva, Spain, from the Spanish government by foreign financiers, including the Rothschilds.

The company exploits aluminium, iron ore, copper, uranium, coal, and diamonds natural resources as well as the refining of bauxite and iron ore. Following the Rothschild schematic, the company has operations on six continents.

In 1984, Rothschild financed Rio Tinto’s bid to take control of the Thatcher government’s oil “privatisation flagship”.  By 1905, Rothschilds’ London and Paris houses held over 30% of Rio Tinto shares.

 

In 2008, Norway’s $375 billion Government Pension Fund-Global divested on ethical grounds (environmental practices).

Rio Tinto is now the 4th largest mining company in the world.

Source:

“Rothschild’s deep connections to Rio Tinto”  truedemocracy.net/hj35/04.html

Related Topics:

Occupy World: Peru Aiming to Dismantle Rothschild’s Media Monopoly*

Rothschilds’ Glencore South Sudan Oil Grab

Recolonizing Africa: Consolidating African Oil Assets*

Protesters Are Killing Big Oil and Mining*

Rothschild Becomes Sole Owner of Semiconductor Patent as Four Co-owners Went Down with Malaysia Airlines MH370*

Rothschild, Morgan and Stanley in Bitter Takeover Battle for Giant US Copper Mine*

Princess Diana’s Mother Is A Rothschild

Tony Blair Visits Caesarea, an Israeli Rothschild Estate*

Rothschild’s Israel Declares War on Syria*

Elite Zionist with Rothschild Connection is Dead*

Iceland Refused To Bailout Rothschild’s Corrupt Banking Cabal ~ Continues To Grow Using ‘Startups’ vs ‘Outmoded Banks’.

NWO Banksters Buying out the Smaller Banks*

German Police Officers Take Off Helmets & Marched With German Citizens Against Rothschild European Central Bank!

Signs of Federal Reserve Instability Coming to the Surface*

BRICS ~ Brazil, Russia, India, China, & South Africa: Block Rothschild’s US and EU Computer Generated Ponzi Bailout Scheme Money Issuances.

Google Sued for Harvesting Data on Children*

Google Sued for Harvesting Data on Children*

by Rozali Telbis

Children have become lucrative targets for data mining companies, according to a study by Politico magazine. Just weeks after Google settled a lawsuit for selling student data for advertising, the publication revealed an entire industry devoted to marketing data gathered from Internet applications offered to students and their teachers. Many modern software companies offer free tools to everyone like email, games and search engines that come with strings attached. Google is perhaps the best known because it offers students an entire suite of applications from calendars to chat services and data storage. In return the company has made money by selling personal information gleaned from users for targeted advertising. Total advertising revenues made up 91% of Google’s $55.5 billion in 2013 profits, a significant percentage of which is likely to be derived from the 30 million students who number among the 425 million users worldwide. On April 30, Google announced that it would stop scanning students’ emails and disable advertisements in the Apps for Education hosting suite. But now it turns out that Google isn’t the only company to target students  – the Politico article names others like

  • eScholar
  • Interactive Health Technologies
  • Khan Academy
  • Knewton
  • LearnBoost
  • LearnSprout
  • Moodle
  • Panorama Education

For example, Khan Academy, which is based in California, provides free Web-based tutorial services for various courses, ranging from math to the arts and humanities, in exchange for users’ data – academic progress, Internet browsing habits, among other personal information that students put online.

Interactive Health Technologies in Texas aggregates students daily activity efforts, behavioral and nutritional records, among other fitness-related activities based on heart monitor systems worn during physical education classes. (The cost of the product depends on the school budget).

InBloom, a New York non-profit venture, was launched with $100 million in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The company collected information from every public school student in the state such as test scores, student attendance, health records, race and ethnicity data as well as economic and disability status, which it analyzed and distributed to specified authorized third parties. Participating schools were to be charged a modest fee of $2 to $5 per student per year starting in 2015. These free services have been embraced by many schools with little thought to the potential invasions of privacy caused by turning over the data to outsiders until recently when parents and students started to fight back.

On May 16, 2013 a lawsuit was filed against Google claiming that the company scanned and collected students’ data through Google’s Apps for Education, an online hosting suite that provides a number of services, such as Web-based email, calendars and chat applications, to some 30 million students worldwide.

The nine plaintiffs – two of whom are students – alleged that Google’s Gmail service violated federal and state wiretap and privacy laws, such as the U.S. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which mandates the privacy of children’s educational records and blocks the unwarranted disclosure of students’ information. The goals of the plaintiffs were twofold: they sought financial compensation for Gmail users, and to force the company to be more transparent regarding its privacy policies. “Unbeknownst to millions of people, on a daily basis and for years, Google has systematically and intentionally crossed the ‘creepy line’ to read private email messages containing information ‘you don’t want anyone to know,’ and to acquire, collect, or ‘mine’ valuable information from that mail,” wrote the plaintiffs.

“Google has one intended purpose for this systematic practice of reading private messages and collecting the data therein: to know and profit from what ‘you’re thinking about.’” “Student privacy is under attack,” Khaliah Barnes, a lawyer with the D.C.-based advocacy group, Electronic Privacy Information Center told Education Week.

“This should draw the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Trade Commission, and state legislatures.”

Yet some of this should not have come as a surprise. Despite Google’s informal corporate motto “Don’t be evil” it has consistently come under fire over the years for a number of issues including Google’s participation in censoring its search services to appease Chinese government; privacy concerns that enables Google to combine personal identity information through various Google products, including Gmail, Google+, and YouTube; and the more recent allegations of cooperating with the U.S. National Security Agency in amassing troves of user data – which the company vehemently denied. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, defended the company’s data collection as far back as December 2009.

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” Schmidt told CNBC in an interview.

“If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines – including Google – do retain this information for some time and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.”

In January 2012, when Google updated its privacy policy to make much of this information explicitly available to users, John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project, commented in a news release:

“Google has eliminated its last pretense that it protects consumer privacy – the walls are torn down. Instead of a privacy policy Google has finally admitted they have a profiling policy – and every Internet user is a target to be spied on.”

Then on April 14 Google made updates to its Gmail Terms of Service outlining how much personal data is mined for targeted advertising.

“Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”

Finally, on April 30, Google caved and canceled advertising associated with the Apps for Education suite. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/15/technology/google-revises-terms-of-its-scans-of-gmail.html Not everybody believes that Google’s changes are sufficient.

“Will Google also turn off its scanning and behavioral advertising functions for its other services such as YouTube, Google+, etc. in a school setting?” wrote Bradley Shear, a social media lawyer and professor on his blog ‘Shear on Social Media Law.’

“Will Google change its terms of service and privacy policies that govern all of its education offerings? Will Google revise all of its school contracts to reflect this announcement?”

The Obama administration has recently started to pay more attention to the issue of data mining by corporations, perhaps to deflect attention from itself following Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA spying on average citizens last June.

A new White House report on “big data” raised concerns over targeted advertising as a result of data collection from students among other online communities. The report warned of the dangers of discrimination such as limiting credit, housing, education, employment opportunities that may result in decreased opportunities for students when they become adults. Meanwhile, the backlash against mining of student data is continuing to grow. Following major protests and lawsuits from parents in Colorado, Illinois and Louisiana, together with potential funding cuts from New York state, InBloom abruptly announced it would shut down on April 21 after just 15 months in operation. “It is a shame that the progress of this important innovation has been stalled because of generalized public concerns about data misuse,” wrote Iwan Streichenberger, InBloom’s CEO, in an online statement.

“We stepped up to the occasion and supported our partners with passion, but we have realized that this concept is still new, and building public acceptance for the solution will require more time and resources than anyone could have anticipated.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Google Fined for Spying on Wi-Fi Users*

Google, CIA and NSA!*

The U.S. Created ‘Cuban Twitter’ To Stir Unrest*

A Child’s Personal Sovereignty… Stolen!*

The Truth about the Internet vs. Russian Sovereignty*

Cities Making the Internet a Public Utility*

U.S. Handover of Internet Control Shows Who is Really in Charge*

UN Aiming for Kill Switch for the Internet*

Can You Be Detained Over Facebook!

Facebook: The Social Network Spy Tool

Big Brother Poised to Spy on Online 24/7…*

Any Father would be Angry, but the Price was the Forced Adoption of his Son*

Any Father would be Angry, but the Price was the Forced Adoption of his Son*

Yet another child is added to the horrific list of disappearing children under the government’s social police, the social mis-services, and the British secret family courts.

  • Is there a shortage of children up for adoption?
  • Even still, when did the adoption procedures become that expedient, and hence who are the parents?
  • Can ‘poverty stricken’ Britain afford to add another child to its care budget for orphans?
  • If not having a name for the first 5 months of life is harmful, what is it when some of those who are now running the country were victims of paedophilia within private, and boarding schools for the elite, and have become the paedophiles that will never be judged?

A day will come when these people who call themselves our betters, will have to face their own demons – everything has a price…

By Darren Boyle

Mrs Justice Parker, pictured, ruled that the child should be placed up for adoption because he was at high risk of suffering ‘significant emotional harm’

A five-month-old boy who has not yet been given a first name by his parents must be put up for adoption, a judge has ruled.

Mrs Justice Parker said it was ‘emotionally harmful’ that the boy had not been named as she made the ruling at a Family Court hearing in Watford, Hertfordshire.

The judge described the case as ‘terribly sad’ but said there was a high risk of the child suffering significant emotional harm and a possibility of him being caught up in violence.

She highlighted that his father had assaulted one social worker, by punching him several times in the face, and threatened to kill another after accusing workers of being ‘invasive’.

She said the father could be ‘dangerous’ and accepted that the child’s mother was in a vulnerable position as she had been diagnosed with a learning difficulty.

In her ruling, the judge said the father had been behind the decision not to name the baby but did not address the reason as to why.

She said: ‘His father has refused to give him a name. I think ideally the mother independently would not have taken that view.

‘Every child needs a name. I truly think that it is emotionally harmful not to give a child a name.’

The court heard the couple also have a two-year-old son, who was taken into care last year over similar concerns, and the mother has a third child who is currently being looked after by a relative.

Mrs Justice Parker said the man and his partner believed they did not need any help from the local authority and had become ‘increasingly frustrated and intolerant’ towards social workers.

Commenting on the case, she said: ‘I think I’m a fairly hardy plant. But I have to say I found his simmering anger quite difficult to cope with.

‘I think he can be dangerous.’

Mrs Justice Parker ruled that while the family at the centre of the case should remain anonymous, she said Hertfordshire County Council, who took the action, could be named (pictured Hertfordshire County Hall)

She continued: ‘I am in no doubt there is a high risk of significant harm to baby. Due to a combination of the vulnerability of the mother and the father’s attitudes and behaviour.’

Mrs Justice Parker accepted that neither parent had set out to deliberately physically harm their sons.

‘This is a terribly sad case because father and mother, each of them, have many excellent qualities,’ she said.

‘It is absolutely plain to me that both of them love each of their sons, their boys, from the bottom of their hearts.’

She said as there was no family member available to care for the child, then it was ‘quite clear’ that adoption was the only answer.

Mrs Justice Parker ruled that the family could not be identified but Hertfordshire County Council who took the case could be.

The child’s father and his partner have indicated that they will appeal the adoption ruling.

Source*

Related Topics:

Head of Children’s Homes Accused of 49 Counts of Paedophilia*

Upstairs Downstairs: The Madhatter Psychiatrist

U.K. Fingerprinted over a Million Pupils in Schools without Parental Consent*

Opting Out of your Personal National Health Data Becoming a Tool of the NWO Social Services Database*

Social sciences and the destruction of individuality

British Private Schools Facing Child Sex Abuse Claims*

Pedophiles in Power

British Governance: When You Fear the People…*

Adviser to Queen and Founder of Paedophile Support Group*

Guardsman Incarcerated for Thought Crime*

A 1970’s Victim of Paedophile Network Speaks Out!

****Up Nature: Sex change for Nine-year-olds*

UK’s Secret Courts

British Family Courts Why the Secrecy?

British Royals Cash in on Hard-up Families*

UN’s Heterophobic Agenda*

All Candidates Should Experience this for a Month: Swedish Politician Becomes a Beggar for 5 Hours*

NWO Justice Gives Teacher 31 Days for Raping a 14-Year Old Who Committed Suicide*

House Tethers Trojan Horse of Climate Science*

House Tethers Trojan Horse of Climate Science*

By Ryan Koronowski

Sea level rise impacting naval bases. Climate change altering natural disaster response. Drought influenced by climate change in the Middle East and Africa leading to conflicts over food and water — as in, for instance, Syria.

The military understands the realities of climate change and the negative impacts of heavy dependence on fossil fuels.

The U.S. House does not.

With a mostly party-line vote on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) that seeks to prevent the Department of Defense from using funding to address the national security impacts of climate change.

“You can’t change facts by ignoring them,” said Mike Breen, Executive Director of the Truman National Security Project, and leader of the clean energy campaign, Operation Free.

“This is like trying to lose 20 pounds by smashing your bathroom scale.”

The full text of McKinley’s amendment reads:

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order

In other words, the House just tried to write climate denial into the Defense Department’s budget.

“The McKinley amendment would require the Defense Department to assume that the cost of carbon pollution is zero,” Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) said in a letter to their colleagues before the vote.

“That’s science denial at its worst and it fails our moral obligation to our children and grandchildren.”

The amendment forces the Defense Department to ignore the findings and recommendations of the National Climate Assessment and the IPCC’s latest climate assessment, specifically with regard to the national security impacts of climate change. It would also do the same for the Social Cost of Carbon, which provides a framework for rulemakers to take into account the societal, security, and economic costs associated with emitting more carbon dioxide.

If the Pentagon cannot use its funding to implement the recommendations from the NCA and the IPCC reports, the specific impacts on DoD would be vague — and troublesome — because the reports are crystal clear.

Earlier this month with the release of the National Climate Assessment, 300 leading climate scientists and experts told Americans in no uncertain terms that time is running out to confront the dangerous impacts of climate change.

This week, 16 military experts agreed, telling Americans in a report that climate change is already threatening national security and the economy. The CNA Corporation Military Advisory Board authored the report, titled “National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change.”

The experts that authored the report have well over 500 years of combined military experience (580, according to a Climate Progress tally). This isn’t idle talk. The steps the Department of Defense has been taking to cut its reliance on carbon-heavy fuels, however, are not just to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Vice Admiral Lee Gunn (Ret.), and president of CNA Corporation’s Institute for Public Research, said

“the American military, the single largest user of oil in the U.S., has recently begun transitioning to renewable and more efficient energy to improve its operational effectiveness and flexibility, with the added benefit of beginning to reduce its fossil fuel dependence and mitigate climate change.”

“Civilian and uniformed leaders of our military know it is increasingly risky to depend on a single fuel source; these leaders are diversifying the military’s sources of power to make our bases more resilient and our forces more effective,” said Vice Admiral Gunn.

The Defense Department is beginning to take action. It recently started work on its largest solar project to date, and has been making progress on its “Net Zero” energy initiative. The goal? For bases to produce as much energy as they consume, and for forward combat operations to not have to rely on oil-heavy supply lines.

The McKinley amendment was added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which later passed, 325-98. Only three Republicans (Garrett, Gibson, LoBiondo) voted against the amendment, and four Democrats (Barrow, Cuellar, McIntyre, Rahall) voted for it.

The Senate held first mark-up of their version of the bill on Wednesday. The NDAA sets out the budget for the Department of Defense, and details the expenditures it can make, though this is different than the budget that actually awards the appropriations. That will happen later this year.

The NDAA is one of the few pieces of legislation that actually work close to normal — the House passes its version, and the Senate passes its version. It remains to be seen if the Senate will take up and pass a similar amendment, but even if it does not, the final decision will come during conference. The two chambers go to conference to iron out the differences before final passage and the president’s signature.

Source*

Related Topics:

Student Made to Fail because he Didn’t Promote the NWO Climate Change Myth*

Freaky Weather, Climate Change, Pole Shift, or Signs of a New Era!?

Geoengineering the Weather!

Did HAARP Cause Devastating Floods in Serbia and Bosnia*

Canadians to Upgrade Mecca*

Canadians to Upgrade Mecca*

By Rick Westhead

The Hajj pilgrimage draws millions of Muslims each year, sometimes overwhelming host Saudi Arabia. Toronto architectural firm, Moriyama and Teshima and engineering company MMM Group are helping make the holy journey better — a $227-billion, 30-year project.

THE PILGRIMS were jammed shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowd of thousands, heaving as one toward the Jamarat, the three concrete walls that symbolize Satan.

Many carried handfuls of pebbles to pelt the 26-metre walls, re-enacting the prophet Abraham’s rejection of the devil. Some pilgrims nearing the end of the week-long hajj pilgrimage walked the narrow road outside Mecca carting sleeping bags, tents and suitcases, packed for the trip home.

At the foot of the Jamarat bridge, where the wave of those arriving to perform the rite collided with those preparing to leave, several pilgrims tripped over luggage and were trampled by the crush of those behind them. The crowd was seized with panic.

Ninety minutes later, at least 345 people lay dead or dying. In places, the dead lay seven deep; more than 1,000 others were injured.

The tragedy on Jan. 12, 2006, came eight days after 76 pilgrims were killed when their hostel collapsed and two years after 250 died during a similar stampede.

For the Saudi royal family, which has controlled Mecca since 1924, this was holy failure. Guardianship of Islam’s sacred cities — Medina and Mecca — and the safeguarding of the hajj is a covenant made with Muslims around the world and with Allah.

Saudi Arabia is a spiritual home to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims and each year as many as 3 million people arrive to perform the hajj, the pilgrimage anointed by the prophet Muhammad.

“Islam is built upon five (pillars),” Muhammad told his followers, according to Abdullah ibn Umar, one of the prophet’s companions. “To worship Allah and to disbelieve in what is worshipped besides him, to establish prayer, to give charity, to perform hajj pilgrimage to the House, and to fast the month of Ramadan.”

In the 14 centuries since Muhammad died in 632, the hajj has become one of the world’s largest annual pilgrimages. But until the 1950s, when commercial air travel brought Mecca within reach of Muslims everywhere, fewer than 100,000 pilgrims arrived each year to perform the hajj’s six rites, which include praying and sleeping in the desert and walking seven times around the Kaaba, the sacred black-curtained granite shrine Muslims around the world face during daily prayers.

Today, the demand for pilgrim visas increases every year — the Jakarta Post newspaper reports that Indonesia’s hajj waiting list is 12 years. By 2030, five million pilgrims are expected as the world’s Muslim population increases to 2.2 billion, according to the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project.

Mecca, Medina and the Mashaer, the desert near Mina where pilgrims sleep and pray, can be overwhelmed. It is as if every resident of Montreal picks up for a month every year and moves to Ottawa.

For Saudi King Abdullah, whose title first and foremost is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, his legacy will be closely tied to the improvement and expansion of the pilgrimage sites. Catastrophes such as the stampede of 2006 cannot be tolerated.

Following that tragedy, the king’s advisers recommended seeking radical changes to everything from public bus, road and rail systems to the design of new neighbourhoods.

“One day we will stand before Allah and have to answer about whether we did everything we could to improve the holy cities,” said Farooq Mofti, an architect who consults for the Saudi government. “This is the most important thing.”

King Abdullah will turn 90 this year and is in failing health. He instructed his staff to spare no expense and scour the world for answers.

They found some in Toronto.

When the first fax inviting bids for contracts in a 30-year, $227-billion master plan to remake the hajj arrived in November 2008, Hugh O’Donnell of the Toronto engineering company MMM Group ignored it. He ignored the emails that followed. He didn’t recognize the sender.

But on Nov. 25, 2008, a package arrived at O’Donnell’s office in Ottawa from Hossny Al Rahman, a Saudi Arabian government employee and friend whom O’Donnell had met in 1996 at a conference in Ottawa.

Rahman’s cover letter laid out the stakes.

The Saudi government “would like to invite extremely experienced international consulting firms to prepare the comprehensive plan for Mecca, Medina and Al Mashaer,” Rahman wrote. The Saudis wanted a road map to direct “current massive development.”

Rahman believed that O’Donnell, a former assistant deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, could use his experience with geographic information systems, or GIS, in the Saudi project. The mapping software —first developed in Canada — overlays detailed digital maps with additional information, such as ground water deposits or the location of schools. GIS was already providing a better look at Canada’s Far North, analyzing mineral, oil and gas deposits.

Rahman had coveted the Canadian technology because Saudi Arabia was trying to improve mapping of its oil deposits. Now he saw the benefits of being able to drop a virtual 30-storey apartment complex into a neighbourhood and immediately see the impact on transportation or water consumption.

MMM Group’s bread and butter had been domestic municipal projects, such as designing the Golden Ears Bridge in Vancouver and a new terminal at Pearson International Airport. The chance to win such a prestigious contract was potentially transformative. But MMM Group had only two days to decide to submit a proposal.

O’Donnell, the company’s president of international operations, took the project to his boss.

“I wasn’t keen at all,” said MMM Group chairman Bruce Bodden. “When you pursue these things that are cold (call) proposals, often the successful company has already been selected. Saudi Arabia was not a focus of our efforts. We were not well connected. We were a wild card.”

Bodden agreed to bid only if they partnered with Moriyama and Teshima, the Toronto architecture firm that had designed the Saudi national museum (in 1996) and restored (in 2004) the Wadi Hanifa, the river bed that runs through Riyadh.“We brought that river back from the dead,” said Jason Moriyama, the managing partner. “It was being filled with raw sewage and industrial waste. We added bacteria and algae, turning it into potable water at the end. It was cheaper than water purification and it looks beautiful.”

To understand Islam, the MMM staff was sent to watch the IMAX film Journey to Mecca and the company hired adviser Nouman Ashraf, an Islamic studies scholar at the University of Toronto.

In early January 2009, the Canadians learned they had won a $15-million contract to be split 70-30 between MMM Group and Moriyama.

MMM was charged with designing a framework that would take into account how much space, water and electricity the expanding city’s occupants and visitors would need, down to the last drinking fountain. Moriyama’s staff would draft detailed drawings.

“I tell the young bucks that they will never work on a project like this again,” says O’Donnell. “It’s once in a lifetime.”

HOW DO YOU develop a vision for a place you aren’t allowed to visit and for rites you can’t perform?

The question has dogged the non-Muslim Canadians who are now in the fifth year of what was supposed to be a two-year contract.

“When you’re looking for other examples to learn from, there really aren’t any that compare,” said Stephen Willis, who manages the Holy Cities project for MMM Group. “There are the Olympics and the World Cup (of soccer). When Barack Obama was elected there were 1 million people in the (Washington) Mall. But those are all one-offs. The hajj is a massive, every-year thing.”

The millions who arrive each year overwhelm Saudi Arabia’s electrical grid and water and sewage systems. Choked roads become dangerous bottlenecks. Once, it took health workers more than three hours to move a pregnant woman in distress 150 metres to a medical station.

The Saudi government manages the crowds by issuing permits — last year, for instance, only 2 million were allowed into the holy cities because of construction in Mecca. Non-Muslims are banned both in Mecca and Medina. At a special airport terminal used only a few weeks a year exclusively for the hajj, 22,500 health workers screen 100,000 daily arrivals for tuberculosis, meningitis and flu symptoms. Nurses give vaccine drops to people arriving from countries deemed high health risks.

To grasp this scale and appreciate the importance of the project, some of the 50 employees from both firms who worked on it sat with sheiks and princes, getting a glimpse of a culture usually closed to Westerners.

A half-dozen Muslim employees were dispatched to Mecca and Medina, where they recorded residents’ tales of long-ago afternoons spent swimming in the wadis outside Mecca. Those stories would inspire the Canadians to plan a nature preserve.

Moriyama architect Jason Phillipe spent hours walking through Al Balad, Jeddah’s historic quarter, where architecture and street plans are similar to old Mecca.

Al Balad is a maze of dogleg alleys and ancient lanes. Shops on the weathered stone courtyards sell sequined abayas, the flowing black robes worn by women, as street vendors hawk oranges, dates and ice cream. The smell of strong coffee and incense hangs heavy in the early evening when crowds flock to the streets as temperatures drop. During summer, it can reach 52 degrees in the shade.

“Hajj is the best time for us,” said Ismail Salami, a hotel concierge who moonlights selling CDs and DVDs to tourists.

“Everyone is happy when they come here. Sunni, Shia, whoever. And they want to spend money.”

Phillipe’s exploration of Al Balad helped him understand how streets in Saudi cities could be improved. Hajj pilgrims should be led through streets that run north to south so buildings can shade the noonday sun. Streets can’t be too wide, or the shade is lost, and the buildings lining them can’t be too tall, as the wind wouldn’t circulate at street level.

In 1932, when the Saudi kingdom was founded, the capital Riyadh was a walled city of 30,000. There were no paved roads and cars were rare. (Canada at the time had 1 million registered cars.) A trip to the coast from Riyadh took three days by camel.

The discovery of oil in 1938 brought riches, but not immediate change. When oil platforms began appearing in the Saudi desert after the Second World War, only 15 per cent of Saudis lived in cities, compared with 80 per cent today.

“When flights from Cairo were coming to Jeddah in the ’50s, arriving at night, hours after their scheduled arrival time, I remember them having to take out rows of cars and line them up with their lights on along the edge of the runway,” said Saudi architect Tarik Ali Reza. “It was a city where many homes still did not have running water or electricity.”

Today, the skylines of most Saudi cities are marked by cranes. The kingdom is spending $500 billion to build six new cities that will, by 2020, house five million residents and produce one million jobs. Drawings of the King Abdullah Economic City, to be built an hour’s drive from Mecca, look like something out of the science-fiction movie Minority Report.In Jeddah, particularly along the road to Mecca, piles of iron, steel and stone await workers. Lanes are blocked around construction projects, snarling traffic in a city that has four rush hours every day — two at the beginning and end of the workday, and two more during shopping mall time, from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.“Our malls are like our second homes,” said Jamila, 21, a clerk at a grocery store in the Red Sea Mall. That she could speak to a foreigner was in itself a sign of change in the kingdom. Until three years ago, only men were permitted to work in shops.

Amid such transformation, the Canadians were told anything goes when they signed their contract. Developers, too, are rarely told that something is off limits.

The house of the prophet’s wife Khadijah in Mecca has been razed, replaced with public bathrooms. Dar al Arqam, where Muhammad spoke to his followers for 14 years, has been levelled and replaced with a Hilton. A citadel, built in 1781, was bulldozed in 2002 and replaced with a glass-and-concrete hotel where suites during the hajj can cost $7,000 a night.

The Gulf Institute in Washington estimates 95 per cent of Mecca’s 1,000-year-old buildings have been destroyed during the past 20 years.

“What is being done in Mecca is like tearing down the Colosseum in Rome to build a hotel,” said Sadig Malki, a political science professor at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. “I cannot go to Mecca and show my children the grave of the prophet’s wife or Dar Al Arqam. They’ve been paved over for commercial development. What’s happening is as clear as looking at the sun in the sky.”

Critics of the construction boom are ignored by the government. It embraces Wahhabism, an arch-conservative interpretation of Islam that sees historical sites as encouraging shirq, the sin of idolatry.

“That was hard to get our heads around,” Willis said. “You wouldn’t go to Rome and say you were going to bring down part of St. Peter’s. But in (the Wahhabi interpretation of) Islam, we were told they are not attached to the buildings. There’s a worry that those attachments lead to idol worship. They’ve added and taken away from the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina many times over the years.”

The Canadians used Google Earth to take virtual tours of Mecca, especially helpful after data promised by the Saudis was hard to decipher.

“They gave us a hard drive that had 90,000 files on it, 85,000 in Arabic,” said Martin Cherry, an engineer with MMM Group who was based in Jeddah for five years. “How are you supposed to search through 85,000 files?”

Rahman dismisses the criticism.

“You hire someone local who speaks Arabic,” he said.

“I gave so much advice to them that they did not take. I told them to rent homes in Jeddah and have their families come here, have a team here. But they would not do that. They only came over by themselves and stayed in suites at the Sofitel Hotel. I told them to hire local staff. You cannot do something in this country without a local partner. And they did not do that either.”

The Canadians were reluctant to move their families to a kingdom where censors go through magazines, pressing black tape over photos of women’s exposed arms and legs. A few had run-ins with themutawa, the religious police, who, in one instance, believed a Canadian was taking photos of women.

In Jeddah, I snapped a photo of a Starbucks, which had separate seating areas for single men and families and a logo featuring only a crown on the waves since the chain’s mermaid logo is banned because it is “morally inappropriate.”

A member of the mutawa grabbed my arm. Five minutes later, the officer, who had a long beard and wore a white, ankle-length robe, was joined by a security officer who examined my passport and then deleted photos from my camera.

It was a similar story days later at the hajj airport terminal, a network of 200 massive Bedouin-inspired canopies held up by steel cables and columns. After I photographed the canopies, a red Saudi air force jeep roared up. A colonel questioned me for 30 minutes before deleting the pictures.

“We decide what is appropriate here, not you,” he said.

For many westerners, the kingdom is impenetrable.

For Willis and his colleagues, the first hint that they might have taken on more than they could handle came in mid-2009, when an innocuous announcement from Abdullah’s palace exposed the Canadians to Saudi palace intrigue.

King Abdullah was ill and named his son Naif as second-in-line to the throne. Prince Metib, Naif’s older brother who was overseeing the Canadians’ project, felt slighted and moved abroad; his son Prince Mansour became minister of urban and rural affairs.

But Mansour is younger than Prince Khalid, the governor of Mecca, who wrestled the Holy Cities project away from Riyadh and insisted the Canadians report to the two regional governments.

These governments changed the Canadians’ visas, forcing them to leave the country after every 30 days.

They lost their office space in Jeddah and met in the lobby of the Sofitel Hotel in their pyjamas, rigging an intranet connection by stringing cable through the hotel’s air ducts.

Rahman, a supporter of the Canadians, was replaced.

“It was a mess,” said Bodden, who retired last June.

“After the two governors in Mecca and Medina took over, we had to spend a year trying to justify our first year’s work. And after the first 14 months when we were paid every month, we went more than a year without being paid a single time.”

By early 2011, MMM Group and Moriyama presented 41 reports on the future of the holy cities. A few stood apart: the Haram, or holy mosque in Mecca, public housing, transportation and the environment.

The Haram

Upon arriving in Mecca at the Grand Mosque, pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba seven times. Trouble is, the pilgrims who have completed their seven circles are trying to leave as others are arriving.

“When you get caught up in that crowd, you feel like you’ve been hit by a car,” Philippe said. “One of our guys (who is Muslim) was there and he’s a big basketball player, 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, and he was knocked to the ground like he was nothing. And that was by a group of small, little women from Indonesia.”

The architects suggested an underground ramp that rises from the basement of the Holy Mosque and emerges close to the Kaaba. From there, pilgrims would begin walking, moving farther away with every circle, exiting at the Sai, where the Prophet Abraham’s wife Hagar rushed between two mountains searching for water for her son.

The ramp would increase capacity from 52,000 pilgrims per hour to 60,000.

Source*

Related Topics:

Bulldozing Islamic Heritage

Restoring Nature: The Craft of the Town Planner

Drilling for Water Greens the Saudi Deserts

The Islam You Don’t Know!*

Between the Builder and the Architect: Frederick II, and the Castel Del Monte

Reclaiming Identity through Islam

Saudi Prince Joins the Opposition

Takfirism a Saudi and CIA Creation*

Unholy Trinity United States-Israel- Saudi Arabia Sowing Discord amongst Muslims*

Saudi: Prince Charles Seals What Cameron Could Not*

Is the MERS Virus that Dangerous?