Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
We’ve just been on a wonderful walk along the Limestone way, from Matlock to Castleton (we slept at the lovliest B&B ever – Niki & Steve’s Arborlow farm).
On the day before last, we stopped for lunch in Monk’s Dale, right to the north of the Tideswell – Wormhill road. The next morning my son realized he dropped his precious Atomic Floyd headphones there.
If you happen to be passing along that road – please have a look. We were sitting in the meadow, about 200m north of the road and 40m west of the path, next to a moss covered stone.
Agli – the The African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams is an incredible organisation working to promote grassroots peace, healing and reconciliation initiatives in one of the most pain-stricken parts of the world. I have been in touch with them regarding the use of mobile phones and other technologies to support citizen-driven early warning and response to violence around the upcoming elections in Burundi. I have met some of their inspiring activists in London, and others on-line. Today I received this report:
AGLI – Report from Kenya – March 14, 2010
I am not talking about the two million Americans currently in prison in the United States. I am talking about all three hundred million plus Americans. If someone cannot visit America, while the excuse is that the person may not be good for America, the real effect is that Americans are prisoners in their own country. The wall the US Government is building on America’s border with Mexico is part of this prison.
Dr. Alexia Nibona, doctor and director of the Friends Women’s Association’s Kamenge Clinic in Bujumbura, Burundi, was denied a visa by the US consular officer in Bujumbura. The consular officer wrote the following letter.
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Dear Mrs. Nibona,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the denial of your non-immigrant visa application. We appreciate the purpose of your planned travel to the U.S. on behalf of the Friends Women’s Association, however, this is not the only evidence considered in determining eligibility for a non-immigrant visa.
Your application was denied under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which states that applicants for nonimmigrant visas shall be presumed to be intending immigrants, unless they can establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer that they fulfill the various provisions of the nonimmigrant status which they seek. Such requirements for visitors include but are not limited to maintaining a permanent residence abroad. A refusal based on this section of law generally means that the visa applicant was unable to demonstrate strong enough family, social and economic ties to their country of residence that would compel them to depart the United States after a temporary visit. The burden of proof is on the applicant to prove that they overcome the immigrant presumption. Unfortunately, your application did not meet the qualification requirements for the particular type of visa for which you applied.
In many such cases, relatives and contacts in the United States or elsewhere wish to make guarantees that the persons applying for the visas will depart the U.S. and return to the residence abroad at the conclusion of their authorized stay. However, it is the applicant alone who must establish eligibility for a visa. Consular officers may not issue visas based solely on the assurances of third parties.
Please be assured that every possible consideration consistent with U.S. immigration law was given to the review of your visa application.
The Consular Section
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We had an extensive tour arranged for her between March 29 and May 2. This rejection was a tremendous disappointment to Alexia. As I wrote in my invitation letter, since 2001 AGLI has brought 21 African speakers on tours in the United States and all have returned as scheduled. Although Alexia presented documentation of employment for herself and her husband, title deeds to house, property, and car, marriage certificate, and bank statements, plus the intervention of a US Senator’s immigration officer, we still failed. Americans don’t realize that their country is becoming as isolated as it was when transport was by sailing ships. How can Americans know what is happening in other parts of the world, if the majority of the world is not allowed in because they are judged guilty until they can prove they are innocent in front of very partial judge?
In order not to disappoint those who worked so hard on arrangements for the tour, Alexandra Douglas, AGLI’s extended service volunteer at the Kamenge Clinic, will substitute for her. She will bring a short video presentation by Alexia so that she can have at least some presence in the US. Her tour will include Iowa, California, Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, and DC. Please look at AGLI webpage, www.aglifpt.org for details of her presentations.
David Zarembka, Coordinator
African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams
P. O. Box 189, Kipkarren River 50241 Kenya
Phone in Kenya: 254 (0)726 590 783 in US: 240/543-1172
Office in US:1001 Park Avenue, St Louis, MO 63104 USA 314/647-1287
Dawn L Rubbert, Program Manager
St. Louis, MO, USA
You would think that in Obamistan an educated African woman invited for a speaking tour would be treated just like, say, a Belgian banker.. right?
Ralph Lauren is threatening BoingBoing with legal action:
Get creative! Post your artistic response to:
Regarding the bloody days in Iran and innocent people killed.
We are writing for all Iranians who are seeking peace and freedom and are against war and savage.
We ask Google to change Google logo for one day.
Support this idea by sending this link to all you friends
Update, June 16
Important! read #iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners
I’ve removed the gadget from my sidebar.
Iranian protesters are using any means possible to co-ordinate actions, gather and share intelligence, and provide the world with a constant stream of documented real-time information. They are twittering live from the clashes in the student halls and the protests on the street, posting images and videos of events as they unfold.
The Iranian authorities are doing all they can to block communications. SMS is blocked, websites hacked or firewalled, TV and Radio are obviously useless.
The protesters need constant supply of proxy servers. These servers are used to bypass the government blocks on Internet sites and messaging services. Of course, once the addresses of these servers are made public, its only a matter of time until the government blocks them. So its a constant race. There’s a chicken & egg problem here, in order to get the proxy server addresses you need to have an open communication channel.
Many people are using twitter to share the addresses of proxies as they emerge. What we need is a mechanism which would allow mass sharing of these numbers. Here’s a simple scenario: someone sets up a service which collects proxy server announcements from twitter and posts them on a site, with an outgoing RSS feed. that feed can then be syndicated and embedded in any site around the world, thus replicating the information and making it hard for the goverment to block it.
Should be easy for someone with the right skills & infrastructure, no?
I just posted this idea on twitter, and within 2 minutes got a response:
@yishaym Would this search/feed be useful to you:
I’m dreaming, right? This isn’t a real Playmobil prodoct on Amazon, right? Please, tell me this is a joke or something.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).
This just in from Eric Lee:
This morning I received news that jailed Iranian teacher union activist Farzad Kamangar may be hanged within the next few hours.
According to the Education International, he has been taken from his cell in Tehran’s Evin prison in preparation for execution. The guards have told him he is about to be executed and they are making fun of him, calling him a martyr.
We need your help and we need it right now.
Send off your message to the Iranian president:
Pass on the this message to everyone you know who might support this campaign. We may only have a few hours left.
I know that I can count on your help. Thank you.
You can read more & send an e-message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at: