Wednesday, September 1

Punishing nurses and more

Nurse poaching crackdown launched Should nurses have their human rights denied them because of their skill? The UK government seems to think so.
Proposals aimed at stopping private agencies recruiting nurses, and doctors, from developing countries have been published by the government.

Nursing staff from Africa are coming to work in the UK because pay is so much higher here than at home.

The Department of Health is hoping to encourage private companies to sign up by offering them access to NHS international recruitment programmes.

It hopes this will stop the process where the staff recruited from private companies then end up working in the NHS - so-called "back door' recruitment from countries which cannot afford to lose nurses and doctors to the UK.

Launching the proposals, Health Minister John Hutton said: "The UK already leads the way in terms of ethical recruitment practices.

"We were the first country to produce guidance on international recruitment based on ethical principles, the first to develop a robust code of practice for employers and the only country to publish an approved list of agencies.

"We are determined not to destabilise the healthcare system of developing countries. The NHS is expanding, but we're not going to do that at the expense of other countries."
The US welcomes immigrants from all over the world who need a haven - the saying 'give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' is clearly a sincere one.

Immigrants play their part with their industry, their vitality, the richness of their experience and their appreciation of opportunity. Almost alone in Europe, the UK has most sincerely accepted the American model of immigration.

Now in the UK one group of immigrants is to be denied that right and their new country to be denied their contributions. Nurses, by virtue of their skill and intelligence, are no longer considered individual beings capable of making their own decisions but rather pawns in an international game of guilt, aid and bad government.

Rather than encourage the countries suffering 'brain drains' to make themselves minimally attractive to their own people - the government of the UK is taking a shortcut that will force them to remain where they are. The nurse's forced presence will do little good in a native and ongoing climate of mismanagement, corruption and often fear.

Thus the suffocating control that those governments impose at home that is the reason so many want to leave to begin with is being aided and abetted by Western governments such as the UK. Governments like the UK would do far better by encouraging basics such as the establishment of the rule of law, property rights and decent human rights. Encouraging African farming by cutting back on massive rich nation subsidies for farmers would help too.

Malnutrition looming in Oromiya region
Ethiopia's south-central Oromiya region is threatened with rising malnutrition levels, hunger, disease and water shortages as a result of inadequate and erratic rainfall, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said.

OCHA, in a report issued on Monday, warned that a crisis would be inevitable unless more seeds were made available to farmers, saying that its recent field mission to the region had predicted a poor harvest of the main food crops - maize and sorghum.

It said that little amounts of seeds had been provided to farmers too late, and that serious shartages of water would follow if the dry spell persisted.

In mid-August, the Ethiopian government disaster prevention commission warned that the number of people in need of food aid had risen to more than 7.6 million as a result of crop failure and lack of pasture following poor long rains earlier this year.
The Road to Harar: Amulets and Dreams Some lovely photos of Eastern Ethiopia.

Booker Rising in Flagged Off? spells out the meaning of modern displays of the Confederate flag to him and to Avery Tooley from Stereo is My Scenario. According to Avery
Basically, the cbf belongs in the same category as Saddam's flag and the Nazi flag, among others, as the representative of an opposing force that was crushed by the American Army. Period. I would be willing to bet big money that no cbf apologist would fix his lips to say "Iraqi citizens who were loyal to Saddam have the right to fly his flag if they want." What's the difference? Moreover, we're not talking about one of the other flags used in the confederacy, we're talking about the confederate battle flag. The one they flew as they were fighting to maintain slavery.
In addition, the Confederate flag made its modern appearance in the South as a reaction to the Civil Rights Movement. The conversation also involves La Shawn Barber.

All three of the above blogs are part of the Conservative Brotherhood where you can view their statement of "Old School Core Values". They are self-described as
a group of African American writers whose politics are on the right hand side of the political spectrum. Expanding the dialog beyond traditional boundaries, they seek to contribute to a greater understanding of African Americans and America itself through advocacy and commentary.
The National Review has this piece on "Blogging Brothers (and Sisters)".

Good news from Afghanistan, Part 3

Good news from Iraq, Part 9

Arthur Chrenkoff's "Good News" series is important because the usual culprits of the media focus on bad news. This is in part because of the design of news reporting but also because of press advocacy. This series, also featured in The Wall Street Journal - Opinion Journal's regular feature The Best of the Web Today by James Taranto goes a long way to correct the oft biased official record.

Both Sides Now The usual fine standard of analysis from the Belmont Club -
John Kerry's troubles have largely been forced on him by the Democratic Party platform. He has been given the unenviable task of presenting it as the War Party when in fact it is not, nor does it want to be. The Democrats could have chosen to become a real anti-war party, in which case it would have nominated Howard Dean or it could have elected to become a genuine war party and chosen Joseph Lieberman. Instead it chose to become the worst of all combinations, an anti-war party masquerading as the war party.
To Have Girls Is Glorious China realizes infanticide isn't such a good idea.
China's one-child policy has many odious dimensions, but the most gruesome aspect of this type of "family planning" is the murder of millions of infant girls.

Chinese officials have in the past boasted about preventing 300 million births since the one-child policy was implemented in the late 1970s...

But now even Chinese officials are starting to admit that the vast majority of these 300 million were girls. So bad have things become that the government has finally started to worry, and earlier this month announced a raft of new programs to reverse the trend. The National Population and Family Planning Commission launched a pilot project called "Care for Girls," which will experiment with incentives in some parts of the country.
File this gender balance story under obvious

Fuel Prices On the Rise Due to Oil Crisis
The Ministry of Trade and Industry Wednesday announced increases in the prices of various fuels effective that day.

According to the announcement, super-petrol would sell for 6.07 birr per liter, normal petrol for 5.12 birr
That means Ethiopian gasoline prices translate to roughly $2.90 a gallon

A Newspaper Vendor Says He Finds It Hard to Become Self-Sufficient
On working-day mornings, especially during rush hours, the pavements of Arat Kilo area are congested with a large number of people of all walks of life moving in different directions for obviously different purposes. A number of youngish newspaper vendors shuttle between the gate of Birhaene Selam Printing Press and Jolly Bar. The vendors carry copies of the latest issues of private newspapers and magazines and urge pedestrians to buy the various publications...
More OLF Suspects Rounded
According to police, the suspects have reportedly attacked a government building in Woliso town of South Western Zone of Oromiya region. The alleged culprits had reportedly thrown a hand grenade on May 17th 2004 at 08:00 pm in the town of Woliso.
Ethiopian Troops Commended
The Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Lt-Gen. Daniel Ishmael Opande, on Friday, August 20, commended the Ethiopian peacekeepers deployed in Liberia for their "sacrifices and gallantry, professionalism and dedication" in search for peace in the war-torn country.
EAL Makes Profit Despite Difficulties
The CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines, Ato Girma Wake, said last week that EAL was one of the few airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa to make a profit.

He said that despite high competition and challenges in global security and ever increasing cost of fuel, EAL had managed to earn a net profit of 231 million birr during the just-concluded budget years.
Iran fiscal aid for water supply in Ethiopia
Iran offered the Ethiopian city of Harar with a 200,000-dollar grant for urgent supply of drinking water, Iran's Embassy in Addis Ababa said on Sunday, Iran's State News Agency (IRNA) reported.

During a ceremony, the head of the state government of Harar expressed appreciation over Iran's efforts to solve the problem of city's drinking water and called for continuation of Iran`s help in this regard.

Meanwhile, Iran's Ambassador to Ethiopia Morteza Daman Pak-Jami, for his part, said the aid shows friendly and brotherly ties between the two Muslim nations. He hoped domestic and foreign aid would settle shortage of safe water of this region.

A 70km-pipeline will be constructed from the city of Dire Dawa in Ethiopia in cooperation with the African Development Bank and the World Bank within the next two-three years to supply drinking water for Harar.
We hadn't realized that Ethiopia was classified as a Muslim nation. Certainly, it has a large and vital Muslim population that has long coexisted with its neighbor religions but the "Muslim nation" statement is probably more an expression of Iranian foreign policy aims in the Horn of Africa.

The Shi'ite population of Ethiopia is likely to be very low. However, Iranian interest is longstanding, dating from the days of the Shah of Iran who gave Ethiopia F-86 and F-5A fighter aircraft. During the Iran-Iraq war Ethiopia returned the favor by selling some F-5E fighters to Iran and probably by providing spare parts denied to Iran by the US weapons embargo.

Like India, Israel and on occasion even Turkey, non-Arab powers such as Iran see in Ethiopia a potential ally or potential sphere of influence to counter Arab powers with whom they all have short or long term difficulties. Iran's interest in Ethiopia takes a long term and starkly geopolitical view of Iranian national interest. More on this in the future.

The Victory of the French People The 60th anniversary of the liberation of Paris from the Nazi war machine passes and the French barely mention their Allies in the war. Count us as not surprised.

Vietnam: Journeys of Mind, Body and Spirit A lovely online tour of Vietnam.

The Faked Apollo Landings A curious take on the Moon landings.

The Visual Record

Why Koch is on Bush’s bandwagon
ED KOCH identifies himself with pride as a lifelong Democrat. The former New York City councilman, congressman, and three-term mayor says his values have always been those of the broad Democratic center -- the values of FDR and Harry Truman, of Hubert Humphrey and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He disdains the Republican worldview as cold and unfeeling -- "I made it on my own, and you should, too." The Democratic philosophy, by contrast, he sums up as: "If you need a helping hand, we'll provide it." No surprise, then, that Koch disagrees with George W. Bush on just about every domestic issue, from taxes to marriage to prescription drugs.

But he's voting for him in November.

"I've never before supported a Republican for president," Koch told me last week. "But I'm doing so this time because of the one issue that trumps everything else: international terrorism. In my judgment, the Democratic Party just doesn't have the stomach to stand up to the terrorists. But Bush is a fighter."

Koch was surprised and impressed by Bush's resolve after Sept. 11. "He announced the Bush Doctrine -- he said we would go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. And he's kept his word." Koch doubts that the leadership of his own party could have mustered the grit to topple the Taliban or drive Saddam Hussein from power, let alone to press on in what is going to be a long and grinding conflict.

"Already, most of the world is caving. If you didn't have Bush standing there, you'd have everybody following Spain and the Philippines" in retreat, he says, trying to appease the terrorists instead of fighting them.
Andrew Sullivan is back from vacation. He is at his usual insightful and and occasionally infuriating best.

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