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Circumcision is grievous bodily harm, German judges rule

Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Daily Telegraph as source)

Matthew Day
June 28, 2012 - 10:44AM


The court in Cologne declared that the procedure violated a child's "fundamental right to bodily integrity". Religious groups claimed that the ruling trampled on freedom of belief and could lead to "circumcision tourism".

The court said the right of the child outweighed that of parents in what legal experts said could be a landmark case.

The ruling said: "The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child, would not be unacceptably compromised if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised."

"The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision. This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/circumcision-is-grievous-bodily-harm-german-judges-rule-20120628-213u0.html#ixzz1z36qw0ud

Here's some German press coverage:

Nach Kölner Urteil verzichten viele Ärzte auf Eingriff
Nach dem Kölner Urteil über religiöse Beschneidungen bieten viele Arztpraxen und Kliniken die Eingriffe nicht mehr an: Sie wollen sich nicht strafbar machen. Leidtragende sind die betroffenen Kinder, fürchten einige.

Das Wohl des Kindes

Unfortunately the coverage is mainly influenced by deference to the religious fundamentalists who claim a right from ancient scripture or tradition to permanently mutilate the genitals of infants who have no choice. Most of the articles lead with the reaction of these religious so-called authorities before even reporting on the actual story of the court's ruling.

The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision. This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.

Not to mention to have his body whole as nature gave it to him!

Nonsense on all counts.

The Greek system is a proportional voting system, except that the first party gets 50 extra seats, even if it is only ahead by a single vote. (Stable Germany has a straight-up proportional voting system.) It is a complete falsehood to say that the Greek system "is designed to promote minor political parties." There is a threshold of 3 percent for representation in the parliament.

Thanks to the bonus, a 1.5 percent advantage for ND, the party of odious debt, translated into a majority with PASOK, the party of collaboration. The majority who voted against these parties and the Troika memo are not in the government.

From the perspective of the US, where we elect one front man of a vast empire and national security state, large parts of which are secret, I can see why the concept of even that much democracy is a foreign one. Try harder.

Note that the power of lies (which you are pushing, whether intentionally or not) is such that correcting them takes two paragraphs for each of your false sentences!

In your second paragraph, you push the Wall Street version of what happened with the debt. You leave out the buying of the Greek politicians by German corporations who got fat contracts, and the lying by the Greek politicians about the extent of the debt (in which they cooked the books together with Goldman Sachs and JPM Chase).

Propaganda for the banksters, contempt for the people. That's your formula. Shame on you.

Yeah! He should demonstratively shred the commie First Amendment!

To really gain some votes he should adopt the full Christianist program. Surely a triangulating stroke of genius and a political winner! Hooray!

How about a nice little war? Who can we knock over cleanly by the convention? Syria's dubious, isn't there a Grenada out there to safely blow up?

The History this Weekend is in Egypt and Greece...

Some perspective here. I'm for every subject to be covered, and most of what's being discussed here is important. But the GD focus currently a touch on the parochial side.

Our brothers and sisters in Greece and Egypt are the ones on the world-historical line this weekend.

Doesn't look so good in either country.

The Egyptian junta just dissolved the parliament and is trying to crown Mubarak's last prime minister as the new president - without a constitution or a parliament, and with the junta serving in the role of a legislature.

The people are out in the square. What's going to happen, no one can say, but the odds for good outcomes look lousy.

In Greece, the conservatives are still ahead, and it's sickening to think that their narrow margin may come from those who in the last election voted for the Nazis. The party of the left has a shot at coming in first in the election and overturning the IMF-EU-ECB memorandum for austerity. The signal to Spain, Italy, et al. could trigger a European upheaval against the austerity program.

Coming up at the end of the month: Mexico. In September: Venezuela.

This is where the history is happening.

Akaka-Kohl for President.

Thanks KoKo.

Max Holland, what a laugh.

While his introduction as "independent scholar" is already a hoot, you got to love the quote:

"While it is true that JFK assassination is the most declassified event in U.S. history..."

It's the superlatives that do it. Buffoon.

True enough... As for zombies...

In modern mass societies stressed with the traffic of compulsive consumers and worker drones, a lot of people seem to be highly entertained by the idea that they could open fire and shoot to kill everyone around them without exception, women, men and children, and that this would be not only justified but a moral imperative.

There's the complementary thrill of identifying with the zombies - embracing the fear that we're already shambling horrors without identity.

I don't see that these movies have progressed philosophically since Romero's end scene in the shopping mall, which already said it all.

The Facebook cult is feeling wounded because the market didn't validate the IPO price.

First of all, any communications platform can be put to use for different purposes, and Facebook lends itself well to, e.g., networking and mass organizing (coupled with mass surveillance, and until the day the company pulls the plug on movements that it doesn't like).

Otherwise, most people on Facebook enjoy it compulsively, but they know it's a total waste of time. Facebook is a McDonaldization the former Internet. Many of its users feel guilty enough that they perceive others' non-participation as an implicit critique. Which is silly. There are so many other ways people who aren't on Facebook waste their time. (Like writing posts to anonymous others on Internet BBs.)

Please read this good short article about the real Luddites ...

Ideologically they were closer to Bernie Sanders than John Zerzan.

The Luddites were working class people who rose up against inhuman conditions of labor. They broke machines to effect labor stoppages at a time when strikes were not just illegal, but a cause for military massacres on domestic soil. It shows the continuing power of capitalist ideology today that everyone knows the name but most don't know the story. The Luddites were brave and innovative pioneers of the modern workers movement. If we had not been collectively misled about our history, today's 99 percent would be identifying more closely with them than with most of the aristocratic, slave-holding "founding fathers." Instead people who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for dignity and human rights are defamed as mindless barbarians attacking "progress" and "technology." It's no different than when the teachers and firefighters and union workers of Wisconsin are called thugs for defending their livelihoods against attack.

What the Luddites Really Fought Against
The label now has many meanings, but when the group protested 200 years ago, technology wasn't really the enemy

* By Richard Conniff
* Smithsonian magazine, March 2011

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/What-the-Luddites-Really-Fought-Against.html#ixzz1xmP1Ppc1


Despite their modern reputation, the original Luddites were neither opposed to technology nor inept at using it. Many were highly skilled machine operators in the textile industry. Nor was the technology they attacked particularly new. Moreover, the idea of smashing machines as a form of industrial protest did not begin or end with them. In truth, the secret of their enduring reputation depends less on what they did than on the name under which they did it. You could say they were good at branding.

The Luddite disturbances started in circumstances at least superficially similar to our own. British working families at the start of the 19th century were enduring economic upheaval and widespread unemployment. A seemingly endless war against Napoleon’s France had brought “the hard pinch of poverty,” wrote Yorkshire historian Frank Peel, to homes “where it had hitherto been a stranger.” Food was scarce and rapidly becoming more costly. Then, on March 11, 1811, in Nottingham, a textile manufacturing center, British troops broke up a crowd of protesters demanding more work and better wages. That night, angry workers smashed textile machinery in a nearby village. Similar attacks occurred nightly at first, then sporadically, and then in waves, eventually spreading across a 70-mile swath of northern England from Loughborough in the south to Wakefield in the north. Fearing a national movement, the government soon positioned thousands of soldiers to defend factories. Parliament passed a measure to make machine-breaking a capital offense.

But the Luddites were neither as organized nor as dangerous as authorities believed. They set some factories on fire, but mainly they confined themselves to breaking machines. In truth, they inflicted less violence than they encountered. In one of the bloodiest incidents, in April 1812, some 2,000 protesters mobbed a mill near Manchester. The owner ordered his men to fire into the crowd, killing at least 3 and wounding 18. Soldiers killed at least 5 more the next day. Earlier that month, a crowd of about 150 protesters had exchanged gunfire with the defenders of a mill in Yorkshire, and two Luddites died. Soon, Luddites there retaliated by killing a mill owner, who in the thick of the protests had supposedly boasted that he would ride up to his britches in Luddite blood. Three Luddites were hanged for the murder; other courts, often under political pressure, sent many more to the gallows or to exile in Australia before the last such disturbance, in 1816.


As the Industrial Revolution began, workers naturally worried about being displaced by increasingly efficient machines. But the Luddites themselves “were totally fine with machines,” says Kevin Binfield, editor of the 2004 collection Writings of the Luddites. They confined their attacks to manufacturers who used machines in what they called “a fraudulent and deceitful manner” to get around standard labor practices. “They just wanted machines that made high-quality goods,” says Binfield, “and they wanted these machines to be run by workers who had gone through an apprenticeship and got paid decent wages. Those were their only concerns.”
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