Street Art: Around the World in Eight Photos


Originally posted on News:

Whenever I get the chance to travel, I always photograph local street art. The topics, colors, and scenes help me absorb the feel and atmosphere that makes each destination truly unique. Join me for a tour of some amazing street art from around the world, right from the comfort of your armchair.

Welcome to Berlin, Germany, our first stop on the tour, where we find Christine Estima‘s photo of street art by ElBocho. I love the bold lines and striking expressions:

#ElBocho Berlin Baby Photo by Christine Estima

#ElBocho Berlin Baby (Photo by Christine Estima)

And now, over to Cardiff, Wales, for something slightly more muted. DIFF GRAFF did a great job capturing Rmer‘s portrait of Marlon Brando as the Godfather. It’s quite striking, wouldn’t you agree?

Marlon Brando by the artist Rmer Photo by DIFF GRAFF

Marlon Brando by the artist Rmer (Photo by DIFF GRAFF)

Heading to Dunedin, New Zealand, we stop off at Dunedin Wears the Pants. The site, run…

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Apartheid? Really where?



Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything



And it is getting worse!

Originally posted on So Far From Heaven:,36361/

The Onion

Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything

News • world leaders • News • ISSUE 50•25 • Jun 25, 2014

 Billions worldwide agreed that, by this point in human civilization, they would have expected a better process than entrusting all their political, commercial, and social decisions to vindictive, self-absorbed fuckers.

NEW YORK—Noting that it has had thousands of years to develop a more agreeable option, humankind expressed bewilderment this week that it has yet to devise a better alternative to governing itself than always letting power-hungry assholes run everything, sources worldwide reported.

Individuals in every country on earth voiced their frustration that, in spite of generations of mistreatment, neglect, and abuse they have suffered at the hands of those in positions of authority, they continue to allow control over the world’s governments, businesses, and virtually every other type of…

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Palestinians Celebrate Kidnapping of Teenagers | United with Israel


Palestinians Celebrate Kidnapping of Teenagers | United with Israel.










IDF Chief: “Instability in Every Region; We Must Remain Prepared”
by Israel Defense Forces

IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz spoke today at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference, where he addressed the challenges to Israel’s national security and the threats that the IDF could face in the near future.

“The Middle East has undergone extreme turmoil in the past several years,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Monday during a special address at the 14th annual Herzliya Conference in Israel. The military chief discussed the evolving security challenges facing the State of Israel in today’s world.

“As a military, we have to be prepared constantly,” Lt. Gen. Gantz continued. “This has been difficult lately because we don’t know exactly what the next day will bring.”

“Iran is continuing on its path toward a nuclear weapon, and it can not ignore the international isolation and the sanctions imposed on it,” Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed. “We must prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability — preferably through negotiations, but if necessary, through force.”

Threats from the North
“The situation in Syria is like a house of cards that is about to collapse, and we can see that democracy there is falling apart,” the military chief said of the continuing turmoil on Israel’s northern border. “The radical axis is growing stronger in the area, as is Jihad.”

Lt. Gen. Gantz explained that a range of outcomes in Syria could jeopardize Israel’s security. He stressed that Jihadi organizations and a strong Iranian-led axis pose particular concerns, warning that tens of thousands of Jihadis affiliated with terrorist organizations are dispersed in the north.

The Chief of Staff emphasized that the actions of these terrorists “are fueled by hatred toward western countries.” Hezbollah, he continued, is “gaining operational experience [in Syria] that Israel may be forced to confront on the battlefield.”

A New Reality in the South
Lt. Gen. Gantz also addressed recent changes in Egypt, where a new regime has taken power under the leadership of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “Sisi’s regime is moderate and realistic,” the Chief of Staff said. “Although it may not be good, it is better than the regime two years ago.”

In Gaza, he said, “a dramatic armament of mid-long range rockets is taking place,” adding that “what most characterizes the region is instability.” He reminded the audience that just last night, a rocket was fired from Gaza and fell 300-400 meters south of the Gaza security barrier.


New Threats
The military chief stressed that Israel faces an evolving terror threat alongside traditional challenges. “The threat of militaries has not disappeared,” he explained. “But other threats are surfacing. Israel is under an increased threat of rockets and missiles, many of which are mobile, concealed, accurate and located in houses and beneath houses.”

While conventional threats have not disappeared, other threats are developing. Lt. Gen. Gantz explained that these changes pose Israel with difficult challenges, but that the IDF has developed the ability to face a large range of threats. In the future, he said, Israel “must prepare to face them, just as it must prepare for traditional warfare.”

The Chief of Staff emphasized the importance of Israel’s advanced intelligence and accurate strike capability. He emphasized that through these advantages and others, Israel has maintained its strategic edge over neighboring terrorist organizations. “Hezbollah is deterred, and it knows what will happen if it threatens us from Lebanon,” Lt. Gen. Gantz asserted. “Hamas in Gaza also understands the price of war.”





Hamas Reveals: Abbas Told Us He is ‘Tricking the Americans’
by Ari Yashar

A former Hamas government spokesman revealed on Sunday that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said in private meetings he is lying in public statements to “trick the Americans.”

The spokesman, Ihab al-Ghussein, wrote on Facebook that “behind closed doors,” Abbas had said “when I go out and say that the government is my government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans.” Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated the Facebook post.

“Guys, let me (continue) saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you. What’s important is what we agree on among ourselves. …Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media,” Abbas told Hamas, according to Ihab al-Ghussein.

PMW exposed that Al-Ghussein then laughs at Abbas in the post, adding “I really do want real reconciliation, meaning partnership and achieving unity, but not reconciliation as Abbas means it.”

Al-Ghussein held his position as Hamas government spokesman until the new unity government between Hamas and Fatah was sworn in last Monday.

Abbas has insisted to the US that the new unity government would be controlled by him, and be based on what he called “the four Palestinian principles”: recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism.

Apparently his statements worked: the American administration said last Monday that it would “work with” the new unity government, claiming it did not include Hamas members.

Despite the claim, three Hamas-backed ministers were sworn in to the unity government from Gaza via video feed. Further, Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of the government, and said it would be subject to their approval before being established.

That approval power was proven when Hamas nearly scuppered the government the day of its swearing-in over a disagreement on the Ministry of Prisoners, which was resolved in a last second deal.

Hamas stated since the unity government was sworn in that it remains committed to its goals of terrorism and the annihilation of Israel, in contrast to Abbas’s “four Palestinian principles.”

Casting a shadow of doubt over how much the American administration is being “tricked” by Abbas are reports last Thursday from Buzzfeed, claiming that the US has been negotiating with Hamas for months, despite it’s official policy against the terrorist organization. US officials denied the reports.



Written by:
Charles Abelsohn Charles Abelsohn retired several years ago as the legal manager of one of the most well–known entities in Israel.

Read more: The Times of Israel

I grew up in South Africa and left for Israel in the 1970`s. So I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on South African apartheid. In view of the criticisms of Israel as an apartheid state, I felt it my duty that my understanding and knowledge of apartheid should be put to good cause by exposing the evil manifestations of apartheid in Israel.

I started in my neighbourhood. I went to the municipal park. In South Africa, only whites would have been allowed to enter. I could not believe my eyes. Arabs and Jews were mixing peacefully, Arab and Jewish children socialising and shouting at each other in their home languages. This cannot be, where is the separation? So I went to the shops and restaurants of the adjoining mall. What a major let down! Arabs and Jews shopping together as customers, Arabs and Jews employed together in the shops as assistants and cashiers, Arabs and Jews sitting in restaurants, an Arab dentist with his sign for all the world to see and the only missing ingredients were the “blankes alleen – whites only” signs. Clearly, in matters of commerce and common use of public and transport facilities, open to all, Israel is a failure in implementing apartheid: there is clearly no South African style apartheid to be found in public areas.

I had a brainwave. There are four places where there simply has to be South African apartheid – beaches, hospitals, universities and the army. I rushed to the beach and another failure. Jews, Arabs and tourists mixing, unaware that according to the world they should have been separated; even worse, I learnt that one million Arabs from the Palestinian Authority`s West Bank had visited Israel`s Mediterranean beaches during summer, mixing with Israelis as if it was the most natural thing to do. These failures to comply with the most elementary requirements of apartheid were making me sick and I rushed to hospital requiring medical attention. I was treated by Arab nurses before being ignominiously delivered to Arab doctors for further treatment. I heard that twenty percent of the medical staff are Arab and that the Israeli hospitals, medical staff, administrative staff and patients, are open to all, even the Syrian enemy or the Palestinian terrorist injured while setting off his bombs to kill and injure Israelis. In a children`s ward could be found in adjoining beds, Jewish, Israeli Arab, Palestinian Arab and Syrian children. Last year, 220,000 West Bank Palestinians, including 20,000 Palestinian children, took off time from shouting to the world about their ill-treatment and oppression at the hands of Israelis in order to visit Israeli hospitals for medical treatment. What a lousy advert for apartheid.

I was going crazy. Apartheid – where are you? I drove like a madman to an Israeli university to search for this elusive apartheid thing. Again, about twenty percent of the students at Israeli universities, no less than 30% at Haifa university, are Arabs. There are Arab professors and lecturers mixing with their Israeli colleagues. The Palestinian, Bargouti, leader of the world-wide anti-Israel boycott (BDS) movement, which bases itself on alleged Israeli apartheid, is a student at Tel Aviv University. Kafka, where are you when you are so desperately needed? This is becoming a mad, mad, mad world. When it comes to imposing apartheid, Israel does not appear to have a clue as to what is required.

I knew I could rely on the army to provide me with a first success that apartheid exists in Israel. After all, why would any but Jews want to serve in the Israeli army? I charged to army headquarters and suffered possibly my biggest defeat. In the Jewish/Israeli army serve, as commanders, officers and soldiers, Ethiopians, Beduin Arabs, Christian Arabs, Moslem Arabs, Druse and Circassians (Moslems originally from the Northern Caucuses). Worse, the world famous Golani Brigade is commandeered by a….. Druse Brigadier General! What sort of fictitious apartheid permits Arabs to serve and even command in the Jewish army? Israel, you failure you, don`t you know anything about implementing apartheid?

I decided to catch this Israeli apartheid thing slyly through the back door. South African apartheid was anchored by legislation. I went to a lawyer to obtain details of legislated apartheid in Israel. I came out with my tail between my legs. Not only is there no legislative apartheid but Israel`s Declaration of Independence and subsequent Basic Laws specifically provide for full democratic and human rights for all. Arabs serve as judges and in fact an Arab judge recently sentenced an ex-president of Israel to jail for being naughty with the ladies. Arabs vote as equals with Jews and sit as members of the Knesset (Parliament) as members of all parties. What an abject failure for Israel; even the judiciary up to and including the Supreme Court and the Knesset (Parliament) are devoid of “apartheid”.

The bottom line is that, when it comes to implementing apartheid, Israel is a failed state. Israel fails every test evidencing the existence of South African style apartheid.

But all was not yet lost. My lawyer pointed out that the Palestinian had learnt much about apartheid from their good South African friends. Could I snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by changing direction? Apparently, yes. The Palestinians have legislation forbidding the sale of property to Jews; the sentence for transgressions: death. Good. Apartheid at last. There are no Jews or Israelis living in Areas A & B under Palestinian Authority control. Better. More apartheid. The Palestinians have announced that no Jews or Israelis will be entitled to live in their state after it is founded. Eureka! Success at last! If you want to find South African apartheid in the Middle East, all you need to do is visit the Palestinian Authority`s areas, or for that matter, most Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Libya etc (where Jews and Israelis have no rights or are even allowed). By now it must be clear to all why the Palestinians, their supporters and the Arab world are always shouting “apartheid”. These folk are the real success stories when it comes to implementing apartheid.

Read more: Israel: A failed state | Charles Abelsohn | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel
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The Ugly American
by Ann
America doesn’t like imperfect heroes. We want them to be a comforting stereotype- god fearing, flag waving, all-American character from a Hollywood movie script – instead of real people with real differences who represent more the ideal that the Founding Fathers envisioned.

Since Obama’s Rose Garden announcement of Sgt. Bergdahl’s release, the tone from Washington has completely changed. It’s not the prisoner swap for the 5 Taliban leaders that’s really bothering the politicians and the talking heads; it’s the different looking and different political beliefs of Bergdahl’s father that’s the true reason for the outrage.

On the father, Robert Bergdahl: “He has learned to speak Pashto, the language of the Taliban, and looks like a Muslim.”
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly

“I mean, he says he was growing his beard because his son was in captivity. Well, your son’s out now. So if you really don’t — no longer look like a member of the Taliban, you don’t have to look like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?”
Fox morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade .

“…the sketchy “I’m-ashamed-to-be-American” Sgt. Bergdahl”
Sarah Palin

“The Bergdahl family is creepy. Terrorist sympathizers”
-comment on Sarah Palin’s facebook page



Power plants are currently allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere — there are no rules in effect that limit their emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global warming. New power plant carbon standards provide a historic opportunity to change that and set the first-ever limits on the single largest source of U.S. global warming emissions:



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