Scottish rainbow flags during Commonwealth Games


This video from the USA says about itself:

Lawmaker Proposes LGBT Rainbow Flag Ban in Louisiana

19 July 2013

Andy Naquin, a Republican City-Parish Councilman in Lafayette, Louisiana has proposed a bill that would ban the LGBT rainbow flag.

By Peter Lazenby:

Scotland shows true colours-with solidarity rainbow flag

Wednesday 23rd July 2014

Gesture highlights Commonwealth persecution of LGBT people

THE rainbow flag is be flown on buildings across Scotland in solidarity with persecuted LGBT people in Commonwealth countries.

Trade union offices in Glasgow will fly the flag for the duration of the Commonwealth games, which start today.

The Scottish government will also fly the rainbow flag outside St Andrew’s House for the first time in its history, alongside those of the Commonwealth and Scotland.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: “By flying the rainbow flag, the international symbol of LGBT equality, we aim to recognise the human rights of LGBT people and celebrate the distance that Scotland has come in promoting equality.”

He said the campaign offers a message of hope to LGBT people and a rejection of the anti-homosexuality laws that still exist in 80 per cent of Commonwealth nations.

Forty-two out of 53 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality and LGBT people are at risk of death, imprisonment, harassment and degrading treatment.

“This is simply unacceptable and it is right that we should use our Commonwealth Games to raise awareness and promote a more positive vision of the future for a persecuted minority,” added Mr Smith.

Several councils have also pledged to fly the rainbow flag throughout the campaign.

The public is also being encouraged to support the campaign by sharing images using the hashtag #gamespride on social media site Twitter.

Commonwealth Games cabinet secretary Shona Robison said: “It’s important we reinforce our strong support for and commitment to progressing equality and human rights issues.”

French government hysteria against Algerian football fans


This video is called Algeria VS South Korea [soccer] WORLD CUP 2014 [in Brazil] ALL GOALS.

By Antoine Lerougetel in France:

Anti-Muslim hysteria surrounds World Cup in France

3 July 2014

The political crisis provoked in France by the impressive performance of the Algerian team in the World Cup testifies to the explosive social tensions gripping French society, and the impact of decades of incitement of anti-Muslim racism by the ruling elite.

In France’s suburbs, where youth of immigrant origins face constant clashes with police, Algerian victories led to festivities, the burning of cars, and police arrests. Some 30 people were arrested on June 22 in celebrations after the Algerian team won their match against South Korea, and 74 on June 26 after the draw with Russia meant that Algeria, for the first time in the history of the World Cup, moved on to the last 16 of the competition.

The arrests were seized upon by the ruling Socialist Party (PS) and various right-wing parties to mount a crackdown on expressions of pro-Algerian sentiment during the Cup.

In an interview in 20 Minutes commenting on incidents after Algeria’s matches, sociologist Laurent Mucchielli noted: “Seventy-four arrests is not nothing, but on a national scale they are just isolated incidents. Outbursts of violence around sporting events are legion…not just with matches where the Algerian team is playing.”

“The political and media treatment of these incidents is out of proportion,” he added. “The Ministry of the Interior wants to show that it has matters in hand.”

In towns throughout France, including Paris with its PS-dominated council, the councils mounted giant screens for public viewings of the France-Nigeria match, which started at 6pm. However, they refused to show the Algeria-Germany match four hours later—despite the enormous interest in the Algerian team in France, the former colonial power in Algeria, which is home to 2.5 to 4 million people of Algerian origin.

Neo-fascist National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen demanded on i-T é l é “an end now to dual nationality,” which many Algerians living in France have. She also called for the halting of immigration, the end to the automatic right to French nationality of people born in France, and the expulsion to their country of origin of people who have been sentenced for crimes.

Christian Estrosi, the conservative UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) mayor of Nice, decreed the banning of the “ostentatious display of foreign flags” in the town centre for the duration of the World Cup in order to “maintain public order and peace.” He also banned the display of foreign flags at weddings in Nice.

Estrosi’s action has historical as well as political significance. The display of an Algerian flag in 1945 during a parade in Sétif, Algeria celebrating the end of the Second World War led to the massacre of some 20,000 Algerians by the French army. This crime was the prelude to even greater killings and mass use of torture in France’s failed attempt to crush Algerian fighters in Algeria’s successful 1954-1962 war for independence.

As poverty and unemployment mount in France’s immigrant suburbs, and French imperialism launches ever more wars in Muslim countries, from Mali to Syria, the ruling elite is ever more acutely sensitive of the threat posed by anti-imperialist sentiment among the masses.

In the right-wing Le Figaro daily, Ivan Rioufol provocatively denounced Algerians for being insufficiently French: “Their parents rejected French Algeria, they want an Algerian France. Their flags brandished in the streets express a refusal to live together, if not a wish for anti-colonialism.”

For the French political establishment—which, from the far right to petty-bourgeois pseudo-left parties like the New Anti-capitalist Party, have all embraced French imperialist interventions in the Middle East and Africa—even a “wish for anti-colonialism” is an intolerable threat. It threatens to cut across the promotion of anti-Islamic sentiment that has become a cornerstone of the French ruling class’ policy to divide the working class and poison political life.

The 2003 law banning the Islamic headscarf and “ostentatious” religious signs in schools—coming after the sell-out of mass strikes against pension cuts, in which teachers played a major role—was supported by the UMP as well as the PS and the pseudo-left parties. This opened the floodgates for a series of discriminatory laws against Muslims, cynically pursued under the guise of defending “secularism” against Islam.

The ban on the veil in schools was followed in 2010 by the law prohibiting the burqa in public places, again with virtually unanimous support within the political establishment. On Tuesday, a man was jailed for 3 years for an incident last year in which he objected to police stopping his wife, who was wearing the burqa, as they returned with their baby from the market in Trappes, in the southwest Paris suburbs.

The targeting of the entire Roma ethnicity for mass deportations by the PS government, continuing the policies of the previous conservative administration of President Nicolas Sarkozy, has further helped bring ethnic tensions in France to a fever pitch.

It is in this debased atmosphere that the World Cup became the occasion for the fanning of anti-Muslim and pro-imperialist sentiment.

ALGERIA’S World Cup stars will donate their $9 million (£5.2m) tournament bonuses to people in the bombarded Gaza Strip: here.

Toucan predicted Netherlands-Chile football match correctly


This video is about Rotterdam toco toucan Chicito. In the group phase of the World Cup football in Brazil, it predicted two out of the three matches of the Dutch team correctly, and the third one wrongly.

Before the Dutch team played Mexico, Chicito predicted they would win, as the video shows.

Indeed, the Dutch team proceeded to the stage of the best eight teams; where they will play Costa Rica.

What will Chicito predict on that match?

Costa Rica among best football World Cup 8 countries, bird video


This is a video about a clay-coloured thrush, the national bird of Costa Rica, singing.

The Costa Rican football team has proceeded to the best eight teams of the World Cup in Brazil.

After regular time and extra time it was Costa Rica and Greece both one goal each.

However, then Costa Rica scored five out of five penalty kicks; while Costa Rican goalkeeper Navas stopped one of the five Greek penalties.

As congratulations, this Costa Rican wildlife video.

Costa Rica will now play the Netherlands.

Netherlands 2- Mexico 1, congratulations with bird videos


This video from the Netherlands is called Birds of Texel preview.

In today’s quarter finals match of the football World Cup in Brazil, Mexico scored the first goal. However, in the last part of the match, the Netherlands scored two goals, to win 2-1 and to continue to the semi-finals.

Congratulations, with two wildlife videos. Two from the Netherlands, one for Mexico.

This video is about birds in the Fochteloërveen nature reserve in the Netherlands.

In spite of Mexico losing, the TV showed a Mexican woman after the match applauding for the play.

This video is about birds in Mexico.

Brazil to football World Cup quarter finals, congratulations!


This video is called Brazil Wildlife National Geographic Episode 1.

The Brazilian football team has proceeded to the quarter finals of the World Cup, as they were better at taking penalty kicks than Chile, after one goal each in regular playing time. Congratulations, with this video about Brazilian wildlife.

Brazil loses 7-1 against Germany: here.

Mick Jagger a bad psychic on World Cup football


This video is called Brazil World Cup 2014 Psychic Animals: Get ready for beastly prediction.

The ‘psychic’ abilities of humans to predict the future most often turn out not to work. Similarly so with ‘psychic’ animals predicting results of football matches. With one exception: Paul the octopus, with 11 out of 13 predictions correct (it is mathematically predictable that among so many failures there would be one animal getting most match results right). Chicito the fortune-telling toucan so far in the 2014 World Cup got two results right, one wrong.

This music video is called The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction (live).

From Associated Press:

Brazil Mocks Mick Jagger‘s World Cup Flop Picks

RIO DE JANEIRO — Jun 24, 2014, 8:01 PM ET

By JOSHUA GOODMAN

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger can’t get no soccer satisfaction.

In what’s becoming something of a modern World Cup tradition, Brazilians are closely following every team the 70-year-old rock star supports with an eye at mocking him for apparently casting bad spells on his picks.

Italy was the latest victim of what local media have taken to calling Jagger’s “pe frio” — a term describing the bad luck that he brings teams that translates literally as “cold foot.”

At a concert in Rome on Saturday night, Jagger predicted to 70,000 fans that four-time World Cup champion Italy would pull off a clutch victory over Uruguay to advance to the knockout phase. The Italians lost 1-0 Tuesday and were headed home after the tournament’s first round.

At a show in Lisbon in May, the singer predicted that Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, the game’s top player heading into the World Cup, would win it all at the monthlong tournament in Brazil. Portugal is on the brink of elimination after failing to win in its first two group matches.

Earlier in the World Cup, Jagger suffered some good-hearted ridicule after taking to Twitter on June 19 to urge on his native England in a game, also with Uruguay. “Let’s go England! This is the one to win!!,” he wrote. England lost.

While Brazilians may laugh at Jagger, they love his music. The Stones’ 2006 concert on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro drew an estimated 1 million people, a lot more than the 20,000 or so that pack the beach now to watch World Cup games on a giant screen.

Jagger also loves Brazilians, having fathered one 15 years ago with former Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez.

Brazilians’ obsession with Jagger’s soccer insights, or lack thereof, began four years ago at the World Cup in South Africa. Searching for an explanation for their country’s stunning quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands, Brazil’s fans settled on Jagger, who showed up at the stadium accompanying his son dressed in a Brazilian jersey.

Earlier in that tournament, he had already earned a reputation for losing picks by showing up in the stands with Bill Clinton to cheer on the United States, which lost to Ghana in the second round, and then a day later watched as England was trounced by Germany 4-1.

Whether Jagger tempts fate and offers up another prediction this World Cup is anyone’s guess.

But if he does, Brazilians are begging it’s not for them. Within hours of Italy’s defeat Tuesday, social media was buzzing with pleas for the rocker to keep quiet, or better yet, lend his reverse rabbit’s foot to the country’s despised rival, Argentina.

———

Associated Press writer Ana Santos contributed to this report.

Chile will beat Dutch football team, toucan predicts


This Dutch video is about animals predicting results of soccer matches. During earlier championships; and for the present World Cup; including toucan Chicito.

The Chilean football team will beat the Netherlands at today’s match at the World Cup in Brazil, Dutch daily Metro (paper edition) of today says.

This is predicted by Chicito, the toco toucan of Rotterdam zoo.

The predictions by the bird of the two earlier matches: Netherlands vs. Spain and Netherlands vs. Australia, were correct.

Both times, Chicito predicted the Dutch team would win.

Chicito has the choice between two hands with a piece of fruit, his favourite food. Behind these hands are armbands with the national flags of the competing teams.

Before the two first matches, Chicito flew each time to the hand with the armband in the Dutch national colours.

However, this time he chose the hand with the Chilean colours.

Joe Louis, Hitler, boxing and racism


This video from the USA is called Muhammad Ali & Joe Louis Foolin Each Other on a TV Show (1966).

By John Wight in Britain:

A credit to the human race

Saturday 21st June 2014

JOHN WIGHT tells how Joe Louis became a symbol of the fight against racism

ON JUNE 19 1936 the Brown Bomber Joe Louis climbed through the ropes at the Yankee Stadium in New York to face German heavyweight contender Max Schmeling in front of a sell-out crowd to contest a non-title bout scheduled for 15 rounds.

Louis was just 22 when he faced Schmeling for the first time, undefeated in 24 fights. Schmeling had already won and lost the world title and at 30 was felt to be easy pickings for his much younger and more complete opponent, who was already on the way to establishing the legend he was destined to become.

The onward march of fascism in Europe was the backdrop to the fight. Adolf Hitler had been in power in Germany for three years, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was intent on reliving the glory days of the Roman empire and Spain was embroiled in a brutal civil war which foreshadowed the cataclysm that was to engulf Europe and the world just a few years later.

Meanwhile, the United States regarded itself as the home of freedom and democracy, even though for young black men like Joe Louis it was closer to hell, with lynchings still a regular occurrence in parts of the south and blacks treated as second-class citizens even in areas without formal segregation.

The fight itself proved that Schmeling’s claim to have identified a flaw in the Brown Bomber’s style was not mere hyperbole. Louis had a habit of lowering his left hand after jabbing with it, which Schmeling aimed to exploit with right hands.

The German dropped Louis to the canvas for the first time in his career with just such a right hand in the fourth round and by the time he finally knocked him out in the 12th he was ahead on all three of the judges’ scorecards.

It was a major upset. In black communities throughout the US Louis’ first defeat was met with huge consternation by people who saw in him their saviour and hope.

Meanwhile, after a personal message from Hitler congratulating him, Schemling told a German reporter: “At this moment I have to tell Germany, I have to report to the Führer in particular, that the thoughts of all my countrymen were with me in this fight.

“That the Führer and his faithful people were thinking of me. This thought gave me the strength to succeed in this fight. It gave me the courage and the endurance to win this victory for Germany’s colours.”

By the time of the second fight two years later, the world lay on the brink of war and the nazis’ terror campaign against communists, socialists, trade unionists, the disabled, gays, Gypsies and Jews was underway.

Schmeling and Louis were now political symbols for their respective countries whether they liked it or not and, as the fight on June 22 1938 approached, again held at New York’s Yankee Stadium, the tension far exceeded any that had been present in the lead-up to the first contest.

Despite his message praising Hitler following the first fight Schmeling was not a member of the nazi party and always denied nazi claims of racial superiority.

His wife and mother were prevented from travelling to the US with him to forestall the possibility of them defecting. His entourage included a nazi official to handle press and publicity.

It was this official who was responsible for issuing the infamous statement that a black man could not defeat Schmeling and that his purse would be used to help pay for more German tanks.

As for Louis, he attended a meeting with President Franklin D Roosevelt at the White House prior to the fight, where he was left in no doubt of the importance of the outcome to the country at large.

The irony was striking — a young black man whose people were being systematically denied their civil and human rights had become the champion of the country responsible.

Louis was a different fighter to two years earlier. Since losing to the German in 1936 he’d gone on to win the world heavyweight title and successfully defended it three times.

He was 25 and fully in his prime, which told from the opening bell when he went straight on the offensive, unleashing crunching combinations against Schemling’s body and head.

The German had no answer to the barrage and went down after just 90 seconds. When the action resumed, Louis picked up where he’d left off, again sending his opponent to the canvas.

This time Schemling’s corner, realising their man was being taken apart, intervened to call a halt to what by now was a public execution. The fight was over in the first round, causing the 70,000 people crammed into the stadium to go wild.

Perhaps the most famous line in the history of boxing was coined in the aftermath by the leading sportswriter of the day, Jimmy Cannon, who described Louis as “a credit to his race — the human race.”

The victory propelled Louis to fame and celebrity, though he was studious in not displaying any of the defiance or controversy that typified the career of his black predecessor Jack Johnson.

He knew his role and performed it to the letter, serving in the forces in World War II, in which his fame was exploited by the government in the war effort. He ended up broke as a greeter in a Las Vegas casino in his twilight years and died in 1981.

Schmeling donated money to pay for the funeral and also acted as a pallbearer, testimony to the respect and friendship both men went on to enjoy after sharing the ring together.

Schemling returned to Germany after the fight to find his status had plummeted. The nazis no longer treated him as a national hero or symbol of Aryan manhood — no great disappointment to the reluctant Schmeling.

Indeed, the German champion provided sanctuary to two Jewish boys later the same year during the Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews.

After the war, during which he was conscripted to serve as a paratrooper, Schmeling embarked on a career in business. He died in 2005 just shy of his 100th birthday.

Louis, as with Mohammed Ali in later years, was more than just a boxer to his people.

He was a symbol of pride, strength and dignity in the face of the oppression they suffered in the land of the free.

Martin Luther King later described what Louis meant to them when he wrote about the execution of a young black prisoner in a southern prison.

As the poison gas pellets were dropped in the death chamber and the gas swirled upwards, his last words were: “Save me, Joe Louis. Save me, Joe Louis. Save me, Joe Louis…”

Costa Rica 1-Italy 0, congratulations with frog video


This video is about gliding leaf frogs in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica played against Italy today at the football World Cup in Brazil.

In the World Cup’s “group of death“, were underdogs Costa Rica had to play three teams which had been world champions, Costa Rica won 1-0.

This means that Costa Rica can continue to the next round. Congratulations!

The Costa Rican frog video is to celebrate the decisive Costa Rican goal.