No more advertisements for bras, sexy undies, sex toys, or related items in China. That goes for "llegal 'sexual medication' advertisements and other harmful ads [which] pose a grave threat to society." The sex police say, "no more for you!"
BEIJING - China has banned television and radio ads for push-up bras, figure-enhancing underwear and sex toys in the communist government’s latest move to purge the nation’s airwaves of what it calls social pollution.
Regulators have already targeted ads using crude or suggestive language, behavior, and images, tightening their grip on television and radio a few weeks ahead of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress at which some new senior leaders will be appointed.
The latest move by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, also bans advertisements for sexual aids such as tonics that claim to boost performance in bed.
The notice indicated that regulators were concerned about both lascivious imagery and outrageous or insupportable claims about some products' benefits or effectiveness. [snip]
China has already also issued strict rules for TV talent shows, including the banning of "American Idol"-style mass audience voting by mobile phone text message or the Internet. [snip]
That sounds like Iran rather than China. Now, on to other/more serious news:
Kingdom Urges New Approach to Middle East, Arab News
Addressing the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said the Israeli occupation of Arab territories was the main reason for the spread of extremism and terrorism in the region.
“Current circumstances in the Middle East are extremely dangerous. The Israeli occupation of Arab land continues to transform the whole region into multiple crisis zones (more)
Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post - daughter of the late Katherine Graham - interviewed Mahmoud Abbas for the paper. The interview is here.
Elder of Ziyon is certainly correct that there’s nothing “moderate” in the positions he espouses.
Spin Dr. Rice, Time Blog, Middle East:
A state of denial about the real Middle East? A forced effort to salvage Bush's legacy? A stubborn determination to persist with flawed policies? What to make of Condi Rice's spin (such as here and here) in New York this week, as she rallied support for Bush's proposed international meeting on the Middle East and laid down her narrative of what the administration has accomplished in the region thus far. (more)
Figuring out where you stand in the confusing, semi-factual, frequently context-free torrent of charges and counter-charges [against the IDF/military] is hard for some to do. But absolutely essential if we’re going to stop terror. (more)
Islamic Thought Contagion, Infidel Bloggers Alliance
Memetically, Islam is a very successful memeplex (group of memes). Several embedded memes help make it so. For example:
If Muslims drift away from Mohammed's teachings, God will end the world. That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims, as Lynch points out, "to dissuade each other from losing faith." (more)
Islam: Increasingly Unpopular, The Truth Shall Set You Free
The public is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that Islam encourages violence. A full 45% now believe that Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions. (more)
A Dose of Reason On Iran, Mitchell Plitnick's Blog, TMP Cafe
Let’s start with this: Iran is a threat. Iran has long harbored ambitions of expanding its influence in the Middle East, and the destruction of Iraq removed the biggest barrier to their goals. Iran is the leader of the Shi’ite world, a part of Islam much smaller than the majority Sunni, but also a group whose people happen to be situated in several countries (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq) on top of large oil deposits. (more)
... they [ Iran] have legitimate interests in the region could go a long way toward calming the place down. But Iran has to accept that the U.S. has interests, too, and those need to be taken into account as well. If the U.S. steps away from the zero-sum politics of the last 28 years, then Iran has a responsibility to do so as well. (more)
This is most forcefully demonstrated by the fact that after Muhammad’s flight [from Mecca to Medina], Muhammad revelations take on a vastly more political tone (almost to the point of legal minutiae) and a much more intolerant tone (as, being the indisputed leader, he no longer had to tolerate or appease anyone). (more)
Ahmadinejad at Columbia, Jesse Larner, The Huffington Post
Iran is not a dictatorship. It's an oligarchy with certain aspects of democracy, including meaningful elections and a meaningful parliament with some real power. Sort of a hybrid system. It is true that, as the Iran-is-not-so-bad posters have it, women vote and have full political rights, and there are Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians in parliament. Ultimately, however, power rests with the Supreme Religious Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Guardian Council (which can overrule the parliament and which must approve all candidates for the presidency.) (more)
Iraq Thought-bites, Greg's Brain
Since most U.S. military services, formerly carried out by the U.S. military itself, are now privatized and handled by U.S. corporations using mostly non-Iraqi and non-U.S. citizens, much and possibly most Iraqi spending will go to them. Much of this spending will go to services that never get done or are done with much greater cost than was previously accomplished by U.S. military workers: (more)
It is my judgement that Iran, while blustering, IS FULLY confident of victory in any set of circumstances, and this guides their policy, Iran threatens counterstrike at Israel with 600-missile arsenal, Villagers With Torches
The Israelis attacked a nuclear research facility at Dir a-Zour! Nowhere else but here on this blog and at two links only will you find Dir A-Zour listed on Google. Wikipedia has nothing at all on Dir a-Zour. The other Google link refers to the area as a source of oil exports and a “research facility”. A search for Syrian oil resources, research, exports and so on produces absolutely no mention of Dir a-Zour! (more)