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  #11  
Old 05-10-2018
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2018 Holiday Season Cruises on the Mississippi with American Cruise Lines



GUILFORD, CT – March 20, 2018 – American Cruise Lines is pleased to announce its spectacular 2018 Holiday Cruises on the Mississippi River.
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Old 05-18-2018
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my friends, let me fill you all in on a little something. I was researching the war in yemen, and i came to find out that Hamas is active there. They use red and green graffiti to signify tier zone of control. Iran is their surrogate.
now in palastine gaza i see the same graffiti signifying Hamas presence. Hamas can be also heard on the prayer speakers telling the Palestinians to riot.
Hamas will keep trying to sow hatred and discontent and get more innocent children killed

Last edited by EVERS; 05-18-2018 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 05-18-2018
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inRead invented by Teads


Hamas facilitates the work of its graffiti artists - even purchasing spray paint for them
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, fully facilitates the work of its graffiti artists - from purchasing spray paint, to inviting artists to work on choice locations.

Elaborate, colourful calligraphy brightens the drab streets and alleys of the Gaza Strip's densely populated towns and refugee camps. Most is political in nature, inscribing slogans of defiance against the Israeli occupation, or commemorating fallen martyrs. Some is apolitical, congratulating newly weds on their marriage, or pilgrims who have completed the Muslim obligation of Hajj.

Graffiti in Gaza is by no means the sole domain of Hamas. All political factions control crews of artists to prop up their influence and credibility. Part propaganda, part free-standing works of art, Gaza's graffiti is deeply ingrained in the local society's historical and political fabric.

"During the first Intifada we had no internet or newspapers that were free of control from the Israeli occupation," explains Ayman Muslih, a 36-year-old Gaza graffiti artist from the Fatah party who started painting when he was 14 years old.

"Graffiti was a means for the leadership of the Intifada to communicate with the people, announcing strike days, the conducting of a military operation, or the falling of a martyr."



in depth








The graffiti Muslih and others put up on Gaza's walls was strictly controlled by each political party and their respective communications wings. Select individuals were delegated to hide their identities by covering their faces with scarves and to brave the Israeli military-patrolled streets to put up specific slogans.

"Writing on the walls was dangerous," recalls Muslih. "I had good friends who were killed by Israeli soldiers who caught them."

Spray paint colours became associated with each political group, with green preferred by Hamas, black by Fatah, and red for leftist groups.

The competition for popular support and leadership of the first Intifada was visually expressed in the amount of real estate each political party's graffiti was able to capture.

First Intifada graffiti never developed too much artistically however because by nature it needed to be produced in as short a period of time as possible, to avoid detection.

Public gallery




The graffiti of the second Intifada developed more artistically than that of the first
After the Palestinian Authority (PA) established itself in Gaza in 1994, more traditional means of communication with the local population took root, including national newspapers, radio and television stations and mobile phones.

While the more relaxed political atmosphere during the peace process was indeed more conducive to the retreat of political graffiti, the phenomenon never fully disappeared, perhaps because its function could not be so easily replaced by the traditional means and boundaries of political commentary.

The PA's arrival also created the conditions for graffiti to evolve qualitatively. The Israeli army's re-deployment outside most of the main Palestinian towns and refugee camps gave artists the time and space to better prepare and deliver their work.

Thanks to a $5mn Japanese donation to the PA to white wash miles of Gaza's graffiti strewn roadways, a graffiti artist's perfect canvas and public gallery emerged.

With the eruption of the second Intifada in 2000, Gaza's graffiti culture re-emerged in full force.

Arsenal of tools

The factional competition between Fatah and Hamas and the steady flow of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation, created limitless material for graffiti artists who experimented with large murals commemorating the dead, or much smaller, but reproducible stencils.

Hamas particularly sought to take the discipline of graffiti art to new levels, seeing it as a part of the organisation's arsenal of tools to propagate its world view, including promoting a resistance agenda against Israel (as opposed to the negotiations approach of the PA), and propagating the Islamisation of Palestinian society.

Hamas began offering courses for graffiti artists that trained them in the six main Arabic calligraphic scripts, known as al Aqlam aSitta: Kufi, Diwan, Thulth, Naksh, Ruq'a and Farsi.

Delivery of high-quality calligraphy graffiti was part of the religious movements' more general reverence for the Arabic language, the sacred language of the Quran.

Tagging for the party




The different parties have different approaches to graffiti
Gaza's graffiti culture has just been documented in a new book by Swedish radio and photo-journalist Mia Grondhal, who has been visiting and reporting on the region for more than 30 years.

Although never previously the focus of her news reporting, Grondahl began paying closer attention to Gaza's graffiti during the second Intifada when she became increasingly impressed with its evolving quality.

"It was some of the best graffiti I've seen, especially the calligraphy," notes Grondahl.

"This is mainly the work of Hamas who are very careful about how they write the Arabic language. Fatah artists do not feel the same because they are a secular party, and to them it's not so important how you write, but what you write."

For Grondahl, Gaza's graffiti tells a story that goes beyond the typical catchphrases that tend to be repeated about the Strip and its people.

"Gaza's graffiti is so integrated into the society which makes it very interesting. You're not out there tagging just for yourself. You are tagging for the party you belong to, the block you belong to, for a friend who is getting married, or a friend who was killed. It's an expression of the whole range covering life to death."

All photographs by Mia Grondahl.

Toufic Haddad is a Palestinian-American journalist based in Jerusalem, and the author of Between the Lines: Israel the Palestinians and the US 'War on Terror' (Haymarket Books, 2007).

Mia Grondahl is a Swedish radio and photo-journalist based in Cairo. She is the author of Gaza Graffiti: Messages of Love and Politics (University of Cairo Press, 2009).


SOURCE: Al Jazeera
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Old 05-31-2018
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Aha so the eu is upset about tariffs. well their money aint worth anything anyhow.
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American companys trading overseas should only accept us dollars, and to exchange the currency we will charge 25%, so do you want our goods now?
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II. That the Trade with India is far from being carried on, upon the principle of monopoly.

From the first discovery of India, and the most ancient and authentic records in existence, we learn that the trade to the East, which produces whatever is most brilliant to the eye, most delicious to the taste, or agreeable to the smell, has been the [12]envy of nations. To share in them, Solomon built Tadmor in the desert, (the Hebrew name, in Greek, Palmyra); for this Alexander the Great destroyed Tyre, built Alexandria and invaded India; for this trade Venice, Genoa, and Constantinople contended above eight hundred years, when the discovery of a passage by the Cape of Good Hope, wrested that commerce from the ancient competitors, and the Dutch and Portuguese became the successors of those inland merchants, who partly by caravans and partly by navigation, had supplied Europe with the silks, the pearls, the perfumes, and the precious stones of Asia from the earliest ages.

At so great a distance every power that traded found it necessary to have an establishment. The Inhabitants have not laws sufficient to protect the merchant, such as are necessary to a flourishing state of commerce; hence arose settlements and conquests, of the moral justice of which, I have nothing to say in this place; but being established, in order to maintain them, it was necessary to have revenues, and to continue certain privileges to the first traders, in order that they might act as a body, and supply from the general stock what was for the general advantage.

The great body of the public are perhaps not aware that so far from ever intending to make a[13] monopoly of the trade to India, there were in fact two companies at one time, and that experience proved it was necessary to unite them into one, since which period, the public, as well as the servants of the company have always been permitted to participate on certain conditions.[D]

The above is a very brief, but true history of the trade to India; now we will consider its present state as a supposed monopoly. As to the trade to China in tea, and to certain other articles, and also to ships there is monopoly, but if the trade to China were open to all the irregularities of common trading vessels, we should be excluded from it entirely in six months. The utmost circumspection and delicacy being necessary in trading with that country, besides which, the commerce demands such a large extent of capital and produces so little profit, that it would not answer the purpose of individual merchants.

[14]It is however sufficient for this article to say, that the company carry out and bring home a great variety of articles, at a fixed, and indeed at a very low rate of freight, such as no individual would do, or ever attempted to do. That if any manufacturer or merchant can find out an article that will sell in India, the company so far from preventing his doing so, afford him facilities not otherwise attainable. No mistake can in fact be greater than to say, with the uninformed and misled public, that the East India Company is a monopoly, and injures trade by preventing our merchants and manufacturers from having a scope for their capital and industry. Thus then the clamour raised last year, in favour of what is called a free trade, is entirely founded in error, but even were it not so, we may fairly enquire.



III. Whether any great Change would not be attended with great Danger? If so we must not follow theory too readily, but pay great respect to practice and experience.

The trade to India, in its present state, produces a great influx of wealth to the country, though but a very moderate average profit to the Proprietors as a trading company. We must, therefore, risk[15] this, if we consider that the French had an East India Company in 1789, and that by way of being liberal and free, they did what an inconsiderate public want us to do. They abolished the company, and let every one do as he pleased, when the trade vanished like a dream. L'Orient, the seat of French East India trade, fell, and no one rose in its place, neither towns nor individuals, and the trade with India became extinct in France. I will admit that such would not be precisely the case here, still we ought to keep such an example in our minds to warn us against the dangers of innovation; besides it is sufficient that our present state is good, for that is a sufficient reason to prevent our risking it by too sudden a change. If we follow experience slowly, we may perhaps make things better, and perhaps not; but at all events the error will be small and may be repaired, we can come back to the point we left. Whereas if we throw open the trade, or extend it even to a limited number of out-ports, we may find it impossible to retrieve the error, supposing it should turn out to be one. Softly and sure is a maxim which could never be better applied than in the present instance; and if a thousand sheets were to be written upon the expediency of the measure, after what has happened in France, it is quite evident that to the same conclusion we must come.
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Trade Trends

MUTUAL DEFENSE ASSISTANCE
CONTROL ACT OF 1951

(the Battle Act)

* * *

FOURTH REPORT TO CONGRESS

Second Half of 1953

[Pg ii]


[Pg iii]

letter of transmittal

To the Congress of the United States:


I have the honor to submit herewith the fourth semiannual report on operations under the Mutual Defense Assistance Control Act of 1951 (Battle Act), the administration of which is a part of my responsibilities.

The period covered is July through December 1953.

A large part of this report is an examination of what the Soviet Union has been doing in its trade relations with the free world. In order to put the Russian activities of the last half of 1953 in a more understandable framework we have ranged back over the last 30 years to show how foreign trade fits into their economy and serves their purposes. To study Soviet trends and tactics is obviously important to the economic defense of the free world. To make a report to the Congress and the public on these matters should also be useful. There has been much public interest in the subject.

The selection of this theme, however, does not mean that Soviet trade activities are the only important consideration to be taken into account in the formulation of U. S. economic defense policy. They are not. Many other factors enter in, as told in Chapter V.

In preparing the report my staff has drawn heavily upon the expert knowledge of the Department of State and other agencies. But of course the responsibility for the report is ours.

In my last Battle Act report I said that the strategic trade control program had been hampered by lack of public knowledge. This is still true, but to a less extent, it seems to me. There is a better understanding of the Government’s policies, a greater realization that the soundness of East-West trade policy is to be judged not primarily on the amount of trade, but more on what kind of goods move back and forth, and on what terms they move.

Signature of Harold Stassen


Harold E. Stassen,
Director, Foreign Operations Administration.

May 17, 1954.
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May 17, 1954.


[Pg iv]


[Pg v]

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION: Page
Note on “Strategic” and “Nonstrategic” 1

CHAPTERS:
I. Stalin’s Lopsided Economy 3
Emphasis on Heavy Industry
How Forced Industrialization Affects Trade
How the Kremlin Controls Trade
West Has Never Barred Peaceful Exports
Stalin’s Last Gospel

II. The New Regime and the Consumer 11
Letting Off Pressure
The “New Economic Courses”
Malenkov’s Big Announcement
Khrushchev and the Livestock Lag
Mikoyan Advertises the Program
Has Stalin Been Overruled?

III. The Kremlin’s Recent Trading Activities 19
The New Trade Agreements
More Consumer Goods Ordered
A Shopping Spree for Ships
Most of All, They Want Hard Goods
Something Different in Soviet Exports
They Have Dug Up Manganese
The Emergence of Russian Oil
Gold Sales Expanded
Reaching Outside Europe

IV. What’s Behind It All 35
The Kremlin and Peace
A Mixture of Motives
Their Objectives Haven’t Changed
Their Practices Haven’t Changed
The Challenge

V. U. S. Policy on Strategic Trade Controls 43
The Background
Basic Policy Reaffirmed
The New Direction of Policy
Reviewing the Control Lists
East-West Trade: Road to Peace
Trade Within the Free World
The China Trade Falls Off
They Play by Their Own Rules
United States Policy on the China Trade

VI. The Battle Act and Economic Defense 55
Battle Act Functions
The Money and the Manpower
Meshing the Gears
Improving the Machinery
The Termination-of-Aid Provision
Miscellaneous Activities
Summary of the Report

APPENDICES
A. Trade Controls of Free World Countries 65
B. Statistical Tables 89
C. Text of Battle Act 99

CHARTS
1. Volume of Trade of OEEC Countries With European Soviet Bloc 6
2. Free World Trade With the Soviet Bloc 21
3. EDAC Structure
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CHAPTER V

U. S. Policy on Strategic Trade Controls

The economic and trading activities of the Soviet empire require close and continual study by free governments, but Soviet actions alone do not determine free-world policies.

Let us be perfectly clear on this point. The theme of the early chapters of this report has been the Soviet “trade offensive” and its background, just as the theme of the third semiannual Battle Act report was the enforcement of free-world strategic trade controls. The selection of the theme, however, should not be taken to mean that Soviet trading activities are the only factor that free-world nations must take into account when they consider what economic defense policies to maintain in the interest of their security.

In 1953 certain other considerations were demanding the careful attention of the agencies of the United States Government that are responsible for economic defense.

The Background

One of these considerations was the probability that the world faced a long period of tension short of general war, though with the ever-present risk of war. In such a period, no matter how long it might last, it would be essential for the free nations to remain strong and alert, to move together in whatever steps were necessary for military or economic defense, and at the same time to keep open the paths that might lead to a sounder basis for peace.

Another factor of historic significance was the massive upswing in the strength of the free world. Western Europe, especially, had moved into a far stronger position, both militarily and economically, than it had occupied a few years earlier. This gave the West greater bargaining power and it reduced the dangers of undue economic dependence on Soviet-bloc trading partners.

As Western Europe grew stronger the need for economic assistance from the United States declined. Although military aid continued in a big way, economic aid began to taper off.

Accompanying the increase in Western economic strength was a general shift in the free world from a “seller’s market,” in which[Pg 44] goods were scarce and sellers had a relatively easy time finding buyers, to a “buyer’s market,” in which buyers generally could pick and choose. Some of the free countries had produced themselves into surpluses of some commodities—or had built up surplus capacity and needed additional markets in order to keep their industries prosperous.

This change brought more and more pressure from people in free countries to carry on increased trade with the Soviet bloc. Some groups had been clamoring for this all along, and had helped spread the time-worn Communist propaganda that a friendly and peace-loving “big brother” in Moscow was ready and waiting with an unlimited paradise of peaceful trade and that the only obstacle to its attainment was the strategic trade controls of the West. But now large numbers of anti-Communist businessmen, even though many of them were aware that the Communist propaganda was false and that Soviet policies had always been the prime deterrent to a large and peaceful commerce, felt that some increase in East-West trade would be beneficial as a supplement to their much greater trade in the free world. They recognized the limitations of the Soviet bloc as a stable, long-term trading partner, yet saw no reason why an expansion should not be sought.

This attitude was stimulated by the Korean truce of July 27, 1953. It was also stimulated by the gestures that the Soviet Union began making in the direction of livelier East-West trade.

Governments in the free world tended increasingly to the view that some revisions in Western controls might be made without sacrifice of security interests.

Basic Policy Reaffirmed

The new administration in Washington, taking account of such considerations as those, and wishing to be sure that United States policy was the most effective that could be devised, began a thorough review of the economic defense policy of the United States in the spring of 1953.

This policy review was completed around the beginning of August. The third semiannual Battle Act report, which was published last September 28 and which covered the first half of 1953, stated that the conclusions of the review “will be reflected in the economic defense actions of this Government during the months to come.” In the present report, which covers the second half of 1953, it is possible to give more information about those conclusions.

As a result of the policy review the basic economic defense policy of the United States was reaffirmed. There were, however, some shifts of emphasis—with respect to trade with the Soviet bloc in Europe—designed to make the basic policy more effective. We shall[Pg 45] discuss those shifts presently, but first let’s summarize the basic policy as it has existed throughout the 6 months covered by this report.

This basic policy of the United States on East-West trade rested on the following principles:
1.Mutual security can best be advanced by continued increase in the political, economic and military strength and cohesion of the free nations relative to that of the Soviet bloc.
2.The free nations should not furnish a potential aggressor with goods which directly and materially aid its war industry and military buildup.
3.The free world may derive a net security advantage out of some East-West trade.
4.Security export controls should be applied on a selective basis, except in the case of military aggression, when a policy of complete embargo may be in order.
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In accordance with those principles the United States has long been exercising certain controls over its own trade. Here is a short description of those controls:

United States exports to Soviet bloc in Europe: Not prohibited entirely, but limited to clearly nonstrategic goods.

United States imports from Soviet bloc in Europe: Not prohibited, except for certain types of furs.

United States shipping to Soviet bloc in Europe: Not prohibited, if carrying properly licensed goods.

United States exports to Communist China and North Korea: Prohibited.

United States imports from Communist China and North Korea: Prohibited. (Some licenses were issued, though not recently, for goods needed in United States military stockpiles and in special hardship cases.)

United States shipping to Communist China and North Korea: Prohibited.

As for the trade of the rest of the free world with the Soviet bloc, the policy of the United States was set forth in the Battle Act (the text of which is at the end of this report) and in certain executive directives. The policy was not to prevent all East-West trade but to cooperate with other free-world countries in a system of selective and flexible controls. The aim was to prevent Soviet-bloc countries from obtaining items that would contribute significantly to their warmaking power, and to insure that the trade which did go on served the real economic and security interests of the West.

Ever since the Communist aggression in Korea in 1950, the Far East has presented a policy problem different from the problem of controlling shipments to the bloc in Europe. The official position of the[Pg 46] United States Government—both before and after the 1953 policy review—was that the current levels of controls by the United States and free world over shipments to Communist China and North Korea should be maintained. Later on in this chapter we shall report on what happened in the China trade during the last half of 1953.

The New Direction of Policy

So much for the basic policy. Now for the shifts in emphasis that took place in United States economic defense policy toward the Soviet bloc in Europe during the 6 months covered by this report.

It was determined that the system of the free-world controls that had been developed during the last 4 years substantially satisfied the objectives of retarding the buildup of Soviet warmaking power and strengthening the free world relative to the Soviet bloc. The effort to extend the control lists appeared to be reaching the point of diminishing returns. It was decided not to pursue an extension of the lists to many other items—though items would always be added occasionally because of changed conditions or new information.

On the other hand the Government recognized a need for simplifying the lists and removing or downgrading items, which, in the light of current information, were no longer deemed to be so important. The Government believed that much could be done in the months to come, if done carefully and with due regard for security, to adjust the controls to a “long-haul” basis. (Developments in the first half of 1954 will be reported in the next Battle Act report.)

In general, it was decided to concentrate on seeking more effective control of those items which, if shipped, would make a significant contribution to Soviet warmaking power.

The main thrust from the United States toward improvement of the control system, it was decided, would be in the field of implementation and enforcement of controls. Notable deficiencies existed in that field. To overcome them the free nations would need to keep improving their techniques, and would need closer international collaboration and pooling of information.

The new direction also took into account, even more than ever, the economic and political problems of free-world countries. Free-world unity was so vital, and the economic health of free nations so important to the defense of free institutions, that problems of our allies deserved to be given great weight in determining the actions of this Government in the East-West trade field. This was not a new concept, but this Government felt that such problems needed to be discussed among the free countries more than in the past.

[Pg 47]

In setting the new direction the Government recognized:
(1) that maintaining commercial ties between the free world and the Soviet bloc—compatible with the security requirements of the free world—may have positive advantages during the present period of tension;
(2) that there are, however, risks that trade may in some cases lead to undue reliance on the Soviet bloc as a trading partner;
(3) that it is important to encourage trade within the free world, including the entry of commodities into the United States, by reducing trade barriers, especially when the effect of such action would be to decrease the reliance of the free world on the Soviet bloc.
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