Wretchedness, Worldwide

by wjw on July 3, 2014

I thought I’d take note of some recent news items.

First, the Rector of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Ahmet Akgündüz, has praised Turkey’s ruling AK Party for only stealing 20% of the nation’s income, as opposed to the 80% taken by previous parties.

He said that, unlike the AK Party, previous governments did not have enough money to build double-lane highways noting that it should be admitted that the AK Party government’s performance since it came to power has been quite successful on the whole. “Bureaucrats from the AK Party have engaged in corruption. I wish they were able to prevent corruption completely but their efforts for our nation are worth applauding” he wrote.  

He then went on to say that the party needed to “clean its intestines.”

This, one should note, from a supporter of the AK Party.

Still, given the battering the AK and Prime Minister Erdoğan have been taking in the last year, maybe they should take their compliments where they can find them.

And their enemas, too.

Meanwhile, the EU recent ruling that people have a “right to be forgotten” has caused Google to start removing links giving negative coverage to famous or powerful people, most notably a BBC article about disgraced Merrill Lynch head Stan O’Neal, whose reckless acquisition of billions in subprime CDOs led to financial collapse and the acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America.

Now surely O’Neal would prefer all this be forgotten, but I’m not sure the victims of his policies would agree.

I suppose we now can look forward to criminals asking to evidence of their convictions to be removed, politicians requesting that foolish statements and bogus predictions to be made invisible, and maybe even authors causing unfavorable reviews to disappear.  (Now that I think about it, I’m beginning to like this law.)

Though Google’s removed the links from its European sites, they can still be read from here in North America, which is reminiscent of the time when the West and the Soviet bloc had completely different histories, some of them airbrushed.

Though the U.S. has recognized the “right to be forgotten” as a human right, so maybe it’s only a matter of time before our history, too, takes this Orwellian turn.

And, just for the fun of it, an article on how the corrupt, thieving head of a major library was responsible for forging a book by Galileo.  All the experts, of course, were fooled.

Shades of William Henry Ireland!

When librarians go bad, they go really bad.

TRX July 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

There used to be a web site called “The Memory Hole”, dedicated to making sure web pages like that didn’t vanish forever.

Gee, if the US has recognized a “right to be forgotten”, I wonder if that can be applied to the NSA, FBI, and other agencies?

Steinar Bang July 3, 2014 at 2:57 pm

There’s still the Wayback machine.

Jim Janney July 7, 2014 at 10:36 pm

The O’Neal story seems to be a Google publicity stunt that is now backfiring on them. The same law requires them to also consider the public interest before de-linking stories. See


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