Month: October 2020

No room for local partisan politics

first_imgI appreciated the Nov. 15 letter, “Parties must work together in Nisky,” by Louis Moskowitz. He hit it right on the head when he stated parties must work together.Communities the size of Niskayuna, Rotterdam, Glenville, the village of Scotia and the county of Schenectady should not have to deal with petty partisan politics. We all know what needs to be done in these locales, and our representatives should be striving together to make this happen. There are good people who have run for office and want to run for office, only to be jaundiced due to the partisan line. Let the people decide what is important for them. Those who have been elected should actually do the peoples’ bidding.Richard Moran Sr.ScotiaThe writer is a retired police officer, village of Scotia trustee, village and town justice.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Despite Olympic glow, half of Korea remains in darkness

first_imgThe two countries, Rumsfeld would often point out, have the same people and the same natural resources.Yet one is glowing with the light of freedom, innovation and enterprise, while the other is enveloped in the total darkness of human misery.Keep that darkness in mind while watching the North’s Olympic charm offensive over these two weeks.Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un, is not the “North Korean Ivanka.”She is the vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, a senior leader of the most brutal repressive totalitarian regime on the face of the Earth.As one defector told The Washington Post last year, “It’s like a religion. From birth, you learn about the Kim family, learn that they are gods, that you must be absolutely obedient to the Kim family.”Any perceived disloyalty to the Kim family can result in a visit in the middle of the night from the Bowibu — the North Korean secret police — that could send not just the offender, but three generations of his or her relatives, to a forced labor camp for life. “It was the only time in history that people have starved en masse in an urbanized, literate society during peacetime,” he notes.North Korea’s people starve while the regime pours its resources into its messianic quest to deploy nuclear missiles capable of reaching and destroying American cities.Even among the elites there is no safety.Last year, North Korea’s vice premier for education was executed for not keeping his posture upright at a public event.Defense Minister Hyong Yong Chol was pounded to death with artillery fire for the crime of falling asleep at a parade.And if you wonder why those North Korean cheerleaders stay in such perfect sync, maybe it’s because they saw 11 North Korean musicians lashed to the barrels of anti-aircraft guns which were fired one by one before a crowd of 10,000 spectators.“The musicians just disappeared each time the guns were fired into them,” one witness declared, “Their bodies were blown to bits, totally destroyed, blood and bits flying everywhere. And then, after that, military tanks moved in and they ran over the bits on the ground where the remains lay.” This is the brutality that Kim Yo Jong represents. North Korea’s system of “re-education” camps, which was recently mapped by satellite by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, is the most extensive in the world.Under three generations of Kims, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been imprisoned and killed in these camps. Inmates undergo the most brutal forms of torture imaginable, including being hung on hooks over open fires, while pregnant women are tied to trees while their babies are cut out of their bellies.Yet the camps are simply prisons within a larger prison.The entire country is one giant gulag.Thanks to widespread malnutrition, North Koreans are between 1.2 and 3.1 inches shorter than South Koreans.And thanks to economic mismanagement, 97 percent of the roads are unpaved.According to my American Enterprise Institute colleague, Nicholas Eberstadt, up to a million North Koreans died of starvation in the famine that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON — Watching the media fawning over the North Korean delegation at the Pyeongchang Olympics, I recalled a picture that my old boss, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, kept under the glass of a table in his office — a satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night.At the bottom, awash in light, is the free and democratic South. Meanwhile, the North is in complete darkness, save for a tiny pinprick of light in Pyongyang.  Yet despite this cruel reality, the media could not help fawning over the North Korean delegation.Reuters declared Kim Yo Jong the “winner of diplomatic gold at Olympics.” CNN gushed how, “With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea’s presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public.NBC even tweeted a photo of the North Korean cheerleaders with the heading “This is so satisfying to watch.”Seriously? NBC failed to mention that in 2005, 21 cheerleaders were sent to a prison camp for speaking about what they saw in South Korea.Instead of normalizing the regime, this should be an opportunity to educate the massive Olympic audience about the realities of life in North Korea under the murderous Kim crime family that is pursuing the ability to threaten American cities with nuclear destruction.Marc A. Thiessen is a columnist for The Washington Post who served as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

CR drives diversification

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People

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Morrison plans £64m designer Italian job

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More investment in Liverpool Marina

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Keynesian economics

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VOA timetable will cause delays

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Emboldened by ‘heroes’ and hate music, white extremists on the rise

first_imgFrom Christchurch to Pittsburg, Halle to El Paso, militants have been emboldened by a narrative of hatred spread on the internet with an ease that observers find worrying.”This digital ecosystem is fueling a cumulative momentum, which serves to lower ‘thresholds’ to violence for those engaged in this space, both in the United States and elsewhere,” Graham Macklin, assistant professor at the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo, said in a recent article. One attack “encourages and inspires another, creating a growing ‘canon’ of ‘saints’ and ‘martyrs’ for others to emulate,” he wrote — noting that Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in 2011, had become “an aspirational figure” for many.Internet a ‘facilitator’ They may lack centralized organization or even a common goal, but white supremacists encouraged by the exploits of extremist “heroes” canonized on social media pose an ever-growing security threat, analysts say.After nine people in Germany were killed by a gunman with “a very deeply racist attitude,” the country’s interior minister on Friday warned that the far right still posed a “very high” security threat.The shootings on Wednesday at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau were the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West attributed to self-appointed defenders of a “white race” perceived to be under threat from migration, globalization and Islam. According to the Soufan Center, a global security think-tank, white supremacism has entered a phase of globalization driven by niche websites popular among neo-Nazis, such as Gab and 8chan, and even the so-called “white power” music scene.”White supremacy extremists rely on a diverse set of techniques to radicalize potential recruits,” it said in a recent report, with attackers “lionized” on such platforms “as heroes, martyrs, ‘saints,’ ‘commanders’ and other honorifics.”  White extremists do not share a single, common goal — some seek self-rule, others the expulsion of minorities — but all believe their “race” to be under threat.”Many adherents to transnational white supremacy extremism hold millenarian and apocalyptic beliefs about an imminent race war, with some ardent believers in the end of time and influenced by elements of Christian identity,” Soufan said. Some believe their governments are conspiring with minority populations to bring about their demise — the so-called Great Replacement theory, based on the title of a 2011 book by French writer Renaud Camus.Anais Voy-Gillis, an extreme right specialist at the French Institute of Geopolitics, said: “The current context, with notably the migrant crisis of 2015, has surely contributed to the radicalization of many people who are now ready to cross over to action.”Not only fringe sites are used to spread messages of fear, hate, and racial superiority.The gunman who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last March, killing 51 Muslim worshippers, live-streamed his attack live on Facebook.A few months later, an anti-Semitic attack in the east German city of Halle, which claimed two lives, was posted on the streaming platform Twitch.”There are many radical groups in the world and the internet is a facilitator for them to get together nationally and even internationally,” Voy-Gillis told AFP.’Exporter’ of white supremacism In Europe, a well-organized coordination of far-right efforts seems unlikely, for now.Last June, a French parliamentary committee conducted an analysis of far-right groups in the country, including attempts to make contact with like-minded organizations elsewhere in Europe, notably in Germany, Greece, Belgium, Italy, Britain, Spain and Austria.At the time, the boss of France’s DGSI domestic intelligence service Nicolas Lerner told investigators the chances were “extremely limited” that these movements would have the ability to work together at a European level.But within a country’s borders, the threat is real.German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Friday that right-wing extremism was the “biggest security threat” facing his country, as he announced a more visible police presence and bolstered surveillance at mosques, train stations, airports and borders.In the United States, an FBI report last November showed that 65 percent of “lone wolf” perpetrators of terror attacks where white.Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of 52 such attacks committed in the United States between 1972 and 2015 were motivated by ideologies “advocating for the superiority of the white race,” it found.It was the same percentage as attackers motivated by radical Islamist doctrine.”For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology,” Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in November.”We are now being seen as the exporters of white supremacist ideology; that’s a reality with which we are going to have to deal,” he said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts for breaking rules

first_imgThe policies were triggered by Russia-backed accounts used in an effort to sway the outcome of the US presidential race in 2016.Facebook is also planning a response to Bloomberg’s online campaign methods, according to US media. Bloomberg has shattered the record for campaign advertising, spending a staggering $364.3 million and counting, ad tracker Advertising Analytics reported.On Friday, the candidate mocked Donald Trump with a giant billboard on the Las Vegas Strip as the president visited the city for a rally.”Donald Trump lost the popular vote,” read one slogan, while another said “Donald Trump’s wall fell over.” Twitter said Friday it suspended 70 accounts for spam-like posts supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg, whose campaign has hired hundreds of people to promote him on social media.”We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a spokesperson for the platform said.Some of the accounts are now banned while others can be re-authorized once the users behind them verify they are in control, Twitter said.  The Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday that the billionaire former New York mayor has hired around 500 people in California at $2,500 a month to regularly post messages supporting him on social media and to send text messages to their friends.The technique blurs the lines between political advertisement and promotion by ordinary activists on social media networks, which are grappling with how to handle political content and prevent abuse.Twitter prohibits sending identical tweets from multiple accounts, as is often the case with spam, and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification.”It also bans creating “fake” engagement with “duplicative” content.center_img Topics :last_img read more