China’s Communist Party gets a taste for the blogging craze

Around 20 officials from a town in eastern China have set up their own blogs after being encouraged by a local Communist Party leader, state media said…..

However, the Chinese journalists noticed that visitors to the site are not allowed to post their comments immediately, a fact the town’s computer department explains is simply a technical issue.

While the Communist government considers the Internet a useful tool in the economic development of the country, it also clamps down on any political opposition that appears there. Several blogs are regularly shut down by the authorities.

Reporters Without Borders said recently that “in a country where you can spend ten years in prison for some messages posted on the net, writing a political blog under your own name is a high risk activity.”

source

those of us who blog under a fictitious name understand the need for anonymity. However, the stakes are much higher when it is your life and welfare that are at risk….nuke.

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City said to be terrorist breeding ground

 

TETOUAN, Morocco, Nov. 25 (UPI) — A Moroccan seaport 3,000 miles from Iraq has become one of the world’s most fertile recruiting grounds for jihadists, U.S. officials say.

In the past eight months a group of young men, all worshippers at the same mosque, have left their homes in Tetouan, a few miles from the Strait of Gibraltar, to become suicide bombers in Iraq, The Daily Telegraph of London reports.

U.S. intelligence traced at least nine of the men responsible for recent suicide missions in and around Baghdad to Tetouan and its surrounding area, the newspaper said.

Local reports suggest another 21 individuals have left the area to seek martyrdom, following in the footsteps of five other men from Tetouan who blew themselves up in the Madrid suburb of Leganes when cornered by police in April 2004. Police believed they played a part in the train bombings in the Spanish capital in March 2004.

The young men, all in their 20s, became disillusioned with the daily struggle to earn, their families say.

source

Well, that makes sense. Tired of struggling to pay your bills? Here’s a permanent solution: Blow yourself up.

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Weekend Voodoo

And a pretty good job of it, Zach Wylde and Slash doing Hendrix’s VC.

Enjoy ……………….(h/tn2l)

Country Roads….

Setting out, it’s 6.30a.m, and I’m looking forward to driving through Shropshire to Shrewsbury. As I set out it’s dark with a cloudless sky and the temperature is a little above zero. I travel down single roads that meander around the boarder hills and hug the contours at each twist and turn. Some parts of the road are a little too narrow for two lanes and there are few overtaking straights. You’ve just got to get into the frame of mind to nestle down behind the slower moving farm vehicles and enjoy the view. It’s up hill and down dale, at variable speed – this is where the gear stick becomes an art. Why would anyone want to drive an automatic? There are some things that will forever separate us from our American brothers and sisters.

At one point above me a raven glides cruciform against the mid-morning crystal blue sky. To the right I can see the Brown and Titterstone Clee Hills of the Wyvern range strung along the far view. Before them the lush green hedges enclose fields that gently undulate into the distance. The road signs point to the delightfully named ‘Diddlebury’, ‘Hope Under Dinwar’ and the improbable, ‘Worldsend’ among others.

Out here it becomes difficult to bring to mind just how crowded Britain really is. This is the provervial long and winding road, dotted only with small delightfully named villages and hamlets. In them Tudor fronted cottages with expertly thatched roofs sit in splendour alongside ancient Anglican churches sequestered from Rome during the Fifteenth Century Reformation (incidentally Henry VIII was a Welshman!). This is the heartland of British values – a peculiar people with roots gnarled deep into the sod*. The grand sweep of history isn’t centred here anymore. But lives rich with meaning are still being lived. The older order and it’s values meander alongside these rivers and roads in even less of a hurry to get anywhere in particular. The concerns of these people seem no longer articulated onthe national satge. No political party can win by courting these voters. They are marginal to the political process. They have little influence, and the spirit of the age is set against them.

countryjihad.jpgMeanwhile Guy Clark, Johnny Cash and Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, provide the soundtrack to the journey. These guys sing of lives lived without the angst of urban alienation. the know something about celebrating and finding joy in the daily round and common task. They and their songwriters know about family and friends, they know about what work really means and why nothing less than an authentic, self disciplined life is to be accepted.

The experiences of these people were the stuff of folk music. 300years ago this music was the staple diet of the English Shires and was taken over the Atlantic with the migrants to mature in the isolation of the Appalachian Mountains. Folk music’s English (and Irish) ingredients were combined with the New World’s distinctive experience. When it came down from the hills it was distilled it into the delights of pure country music. Here in the UK this people’s music withered on the vine. It ended up as a remnant in esoteric folk clubs and Holst’s classical music. Thankfully it was revived in the 1950s and 60’s, but has never regained the distinction of being central to our country’s experiences. It’s strange the ways common traditions can ossify in one setting but remain alive and vital in another. It seems to me British and American culture often preserves a common heritage in different ways.

So here we go…

“I’m looking at the world through a windshield
Watchin’ it fly by me on the right
There’s a cute little gal I’m going to see down in Shrewsbury…”

Mmm…that just doesn’t work like ‘Nashville’ does. Still it could be worse – she could be waiting in Diddlesbury. I’ve no doubt the ladies up there steal hearts and break them just like the world over.

*sod – earth.

P.S. [You just might be asking why this is posted on a first rate, conservative political blog. The answer is, not much. But hey, sometimes we conservatives should stop and enjoy what we spend so much energy seeking to conserve].

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