...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors


30.6.03 is possible to extract ovarian tissue from aborted foetuses for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.

Scientists announced yesterday that they have been able to remove immature ovaries from four-month-old foetuses. The theory is that they can then be stimulated in the test tube to go through the later stages of development before the creation of fully mature eggs.

Steve Connor Independent UK July 1 2003

...a post-card-sized piece of plastic film that attaches to the front of a car -- bumper, license plate or hood will do -- to collect splattering insects.

At the end of a journey, an identical piece of film is slipped on top of the original to protect its dribbling contents, and the whole thing is peeled off and sent for analysis by an advanced computer picture scanner, which can quickly detect which bugs have been caught.

"We think we have come up with a system that can help to save bugs as well as birds," Richard Bradbury, a biologist at the society, said Monday.

"People have noticed that they are no longer getting large numbers of insects hitting their windshields."
CNN Int'l June 30, 2003

loon entrance
BioDiversity Research Institute

The camera has a windshield wiper and squirt cleaner to keep the lens clean and is powered by two 12-volt batteries, which get their power from solar panels installed on the island.
A microwave transmitter sends a signal from the camera to a receiver on land. The camera is wired to a computer in a basement of a lakefront home, and that computer uploads the signal to the Internet.
When Wing Goodale, a biologist at the institute, sits at his computer, he feels as if he is sitting right there with the birds, even at night when an infrared light and lens allow for night observation.


{I just finished one of those online traffic school classes, which was ok in that the instructor was good, funny well-spoken, and good in a moral sense. a good man, doing a good job. but there was a couple of narrative segments that were commercials for the anti-alcohol lobby that brought me to this small podium with a bone to pick. there's an invisible argument being made there that needs to be exposed for what it is.
I find it interesting that alcohol has been a human medicine/intoxicant for most of our history, while the automibile has been an essential form of transportation for less than a hundred years, and yet because they can combine in such deadly fashion( to reiterate: the leading cause of death for people under 30 is traffic fatalities) the common wisdom is that without alcohol there would be no problem. though the statistics seem to indicate more than half of all traffic deaths are non-alcohol related. and that 'related' business means essentially that bloodwork shows at least one participant, passive or active, victim or perpetrator, had a measurable blood alcohol content. which does not mean alcohol caused the wreck. those are hysteria-driven figures and as such they are lies. but that means I'm attacking women who have lost their innocent children to dissolute and irresponsible drunks. no, it does not. what I'm trying to hit here is that the car itself is 'sacred', and must never be pointed at as deadly. alcohol is a diversion. the real evil is the car itself. the damage that can be directly attributed to cars is nearly incalculable. from the death rates of children, to the poisoning of vital air and water, the invisible death corridors that highways are for local wildlife, the blood poisoning of the poor who live too close to the road, to the wars waged in service to the great god of oil.
it's as though the campaign against drunk driving, for all its moral purity, is implying the rest of the traffic mortalities are collateral damage. we must stop drunk driving. ok then what? just carry on? because we can accept 30,000 deaths in the name of quick and easy transportation? random deaths too, that's important. this is a completely non-biological weeding out of haphazardly chosen individuals. unless you want to factor in pre-cognition, access to prophecy, or the pastel puffy 'guardian angels' so many overweight cat lovers seem to have recently found at their sides. or I suppose you could make the case of a patriarchal intelligence selecting His choices for souls of the moment. but then of course you'd have to let go of Laci Petersen and all the other tragic celebrity/victims. reasonable people would say it's none of those, just a by-product of this headlong rush into technological assistance, like factory injuries of the 19th century. my personal view is, well it's none of your business what my personal view is. this is a public diatribe, and I'm speaking as a public person, a citizen. the choice is there every day, every moment, we can abdicate responsibility, or we can assume it. we take care of each other or we don't. but nothing stays the same, and it gets worse or it gets better. it's been years since things seemed like they were getting better. sacrificing randomly selected children so that we can get to the store more quickly may be one reason why.}

Choate ran afoul of a new Sacramento city ordinance that prohibits people in parades from carrying dangerous items or wearing a gas mask or other "filters" over the face. The ordinance first came into play this week during mass protests of an agriculture conference at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Of the nearly 60 people arrested, records show 16 were cited under the ordinance for carrying or wearing bandanas, gas masks, a drum, rocks and a plastic flagpole.

Sacramento Bee
cited in UNDERNEWS(Progressive Review) June 27

The closure of the television station TVS marks the end of independent TV journalism in Russia....
"The pressure is applied with the help of money, via large concerns who are in a position to take over mass media,such as TV companies, but at the same time independent of the state. Companies such as the gas concern Gazprom, the federal energy company, or the oil company Lukoil, couldn't do it without good contacts with the authorities. And not infrequently, in all honesty, they receive instructions from above. So Gazprom took over the television station NTV, and not long afterwards Lukoil took over TV6."

The result is the gradual decay of the media landscape in Russia. The heavy-handed way in which the independent media has been treated in recent years sends a clear signal: self-censorship is back. That can be seen, for example, in the cautious manner in which the war in Chechnya has been reported. For Latsis, the worst thing is that the Russian public are no longer making a fuss about it.

"The vast majority are no longer interested because there's no hope any more. If things continue like that, the prognosis is bleak. The first war in Chechnya was ended thanks to the work of journalists. The Russians saw the war in Chechnya and were shocked. They asked for peace from Yeltsin, who was forced to listen to their demands. But now it's as if there's a curtain around Chechnya. The Russians aren't seeing what's going on."

Geert Groot Koerkamp Radio Netherlands 27 June 2003


Depleted Uranium

The misnamed 'Depleted' Uranium is left after enriched uranium is separated from natural uranium in order to produce fuel for nuclear reactors. During this process, the fissionable isotope Uranium 235 is separated from uranium. The remaining uranium, which is 99.8% uranium 238 is misleadingly called 'depleted uranium'. While the term 'depleted' implies it isn't particularly dangerous, in fact, this waste product of the nuclear industry is 'conveniently' disposed of by producing deadly weapons.

Depleted uranium is chemically toxic. It is an extremely dense, hard metal, and can cause chemical poisoning to the body in the same way as can lead or any other heavy metal. However, depleted uranium is also radiologically hazardous, as it spontaneously burns on impact, creating tiny aerosolised glass particles which are small enough to be inhaled. These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances. Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and the presence of depleted uranium ceramic aerosols can pose a long term threat to human health and the environment.


...For five centuries, Venezuela has been run by a minority of very white people, pure-blood descendants of the Spanish conquistadors. To most of the 80 percent of Venezuelans who are brown, Hugo Chavez is their Nelson Mandela, the man who will smash the economic and social apartheid that has kept the dark-skinned millions stacked in cardboard houses in the hills above Caracas while the whites live in high-rise splendor in the city center. Chavez, as one white Caracas reporter told me with a sneer, gives them bricks and milk, and so they vote for him.

...And if you watched the 60 Minutes interview with Chavez, you saw a snippet of a lengthy conversation � a few selective seconds, actually � which, out of context, did made Chavez look loony.

In the old Soviet Union, dissidents were packed off to insane asylums to silence and discredit them. In our democracy we have a more subtle � and more effective � means of silencing and discrediting dissidents. Television, radio, and print press obligingly sequester enemies of the state in the media's madhouse. In this way, Bush critic Rep. Cynthia McKinney became "loony" (see "The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney"); Chavez a mad "autocrat."

It's the electronic loony bin. You no longer hear what they have to say because you've been told by images, by repetition, and you've already dismissed their words ... if by some chance their words break through the television Berlin Wall.

Greg Palast AlterNet June 25, 2003

In my mind's eye, I try to visualize an encounter between this distinguished crowd and some of their eminent predecessors, like Hienrich Heine, Abraham Geiger, Gustav Weil, Franz Rosenthal, and the great Ignaz Goldziher. What would these pro-Islamic Jews have to say to their descendants, whose scholarship demeans and denigrates the societies they study? Would Geiger and Goldziher embrace Lewis and Kedourie, or would they be repelled by the latter's new brand of Zionist Orientalism?

M. Shahid Alam Counterpunch June 28, 2003


To track domestic terrorist threats against the military, the Pentagon is creating a new database that will contain "raw, non-validated" reports of "anomalous activities" within the United States.

According to a Department of Defense memorandum, the system, known as Talon, will provide a mechanism to collect and rapidly share reports "by concerned citizens and military members regarding suspicious incidents."

Talon was described in a May 2 memorandum to top Pentagon brass from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. In the memo, Wolfowitz directed the heads of military departments and agencies to begin producing Talon reports immediately.

A similar reporting system proposed by Attorney General John Ashcroft was shelved last year following opposition from privacy groups and others.

Wired Jun. 25, 2003
link News Insider 28 JUN 2003

An old woman in one of the houses shouted "Dogs! Dogs!" at the troops.

Jordan Times June 27-28, 2003


There is no longer any serious doubt that Bush administration officials deceived us into war. The key question now is why so many influential people are in denial, unwilling to admit the obvious.

**** **** ****
After all, suppose that a politician � or a journalist � admits to himself that Mr. Bush bamboozled the nation into war. Well, launching a war on false pretenses is, to say the least, a breach of trust. So if you admit to yourself that such a thing happened, you have a moral obligation to demand accountability � and to do so in the face not only of a powerful, ruthless political machine but in the face of a country not yet ready to believe that its leaders have exploited 9/11 for political gain. It's a scary prospect.

Paul Krugman
NYTimes June 24, 2003
{the second-level denial is that it's all about the oil, that it's all pea-brained Texans and American Big Bizness. which it is, in the sense that a dog with its teeth in your leg is what's up in that moment. and in the sense that the dog is motivated by the reward of raw meat and praise. it does seem likely, though, that there is another layer here that's still forbidden, taboo.}

The tiger was taken to the brink of extinction by British marksmen atop elephants during the heyday of the Raj. Poachers eager to sell tiger skins to collectors and organs as aphrodisiacs in the Far East further cut the numbers.

There used to be more than 20,000 tigers in India. Now, despite heroic efforts by conservationists to protect the last 3,000 of the great cats still roaming in remote areas, the Indian tiger is facing extinction from an unlikely threat: the West's passion for cosmetics made from talcum powder.
**** **** ****
Britain's leading cosmetic manufacturer, Unilever, is one of a number of international firms that have been sourcing talc from illegal mining operations in sanctuaries critical to the survival of the tiger. The operations are centred 250km southwest of Delhi in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The area is home to the Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and the neighbouring Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Both the sanctuary and the reserve provide an ideal habitat for reviving the tiger population and are supposed to be protected by environmental laws. However, across vast tracts of the wildlife sanctuary, the mining industry has taken root. Using dynamite to blast the area for soapstone, mine owners are ripping up the habitat with blatant disregard for the surrounding environment. Slurries of waste the size of tower blocks litter the landscape and large areas of forest have been depleted as trees make way for the mining operations.
The impact on the tigers should not be underestimated: the loss of habitat and prey means the ecosystem that can sustain a tiger population is destroyed. The territory of a male tiger can range anything up to 100 sq km: it needs cover, food and water.

Valmik Thapar, the renowned tiger expert who presented an award-winning BBC series, has described this region as a "small island of hope" for the endangered species, particularly with so much of India's natural tiger habitat lost for ever.

Thapar has been personally involved in the fight against the illegal mining in Rajasthan: "In the past the biggest threat to the tiger has been poachers and bone traders, but now it is the mining which rips apart the habitat of the tiger and violates the forests."

Antony Barnett
Guardian Weekly July 26

Environmental group Greenpeace called Tuesday on the US-led coalition governing Iraq to clean up villages surrounding a nuclear site outside Baghdad that have been contaminated by �frightening levels� of radioactive material.

Carrying Arabic and English banners that read �Al Tuwaitha � nuclear disaster. Act now!� Greenpeace activists returned a large uranium �yellowcake� mixing canister to US troops stationed inside the nuclear plant, 20 kilometres east of the capital.

The canister � the size of a small car � contained significant quantities of radioactive yellowcake and had been left open and unattended for more than 20 days on a busy section of open ground near the Tuwaitha plant, Greenpeace said.

�No one cares about us. We are dying slowly. Our whole neighbourhood is contaminated. Although Greenpeace came, it is too late,� said Tareq Al Obeidi, a 41-year-old Tuwaitha city council member.

Agence France Presse(AFP)
Jordan Times June 25, 2003

Meanwhile in London, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Britain had never claimed that Saddam Hussein's regime posed an �immediate and imminent threat� to the world with its weapons of mass destruction.

�Neither the prime minister nor I nor anyone acting on our behalf have ever used the words `immediate' or `imminent' in relation to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein,� he told a parliamentary committee probing allegations that the government exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam's regime.

�What we talked about (in a September 2002 dossier on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction) was a `current and serious' threat � which is very different,� he said.

(AFP) Jordan Times June 25, 2003
{the public may well have interpreted what we said as Saddam's regime being an 'immediate and imminent threat', but that is the public's fault, not ours.}

Yitzhar residents have announced the establishment of a new outpost nearby the settlement, in reaction to the dismantling of Mitzpeh Yitzhar last week. The new outpost, called Ariel Hill, "in honor of the prime minister, who has established many outposts," plays home to six young men. Yitzhar residents intend to set up three more outposts within the next few days.

PEACE NOW! 25/6/2003
link path thru Jordan Times June 25, 2003


California Highway Patrol officers arrest Marissa Lopez, 19, of Rio Linda on Sunday at 15th and K streets in Sacramento during a demonstration tied to the U.S.-sponsored Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology, which starts today at the downtown Convention Center. Authorities say Lopez spit on two officers.

Sacramento Bee June 23, 2003

link from kwsnet/flotsam:jetsam


...We know almost nothing of Smohalla's childhood and early career. Some claim that his given name was Wak-wei (Arising from the Dust of the Earth Mother), though some called him Waip-shwa (Rock Carrier). Physically distinctive�he had a hunchback, unnaturally short legs, and a head disproportionately large for his body�he experienced an adolescent vision quest that confirmed his peculiar nature: in it he was granted the powers to become a shaman. After his vision, he changed his name to Smohalla ("Dreamer"), a reference to the means by which spirits communicated with him.

Smohalla's reputation grew quickly. Like all successful Plateau shamans, Smohalla could accurately predict the arrival of the annual salmon runs, foretell where root diggers would find fertile grounds, and direct hunters to game herds; but he also had a reputation for being able to predict earthquakes and eclipses. Skeptical whites claimed that Smohalla got this information from an almanac, but the shaman claimed that spirits told him of these things because he was faithful to the traditional religion of his people...

Encyclopedia of North American Indians


"I cringe for my profession. I fear for America."

Dan Gillmor June 22, 2003
in response to Jimmy Breslin's piece of June 21, 2003 on the 'apprehension' and 'trial' of an 'American citizen' in Columbus, Ohio. in which Mr. Breslin writes:
This government's kidnapping of Faris/Rauf violated the laws handed down by Madison, Jefferson, Marshall. A small religious zealot, John Ashcroft, takes their great laws and bravery and using our new Patriot Act, turns it into Fascism.

He could do this openly because news reporters go about the government like gardeners, bent over, smiling and nodding when one of the owners shows up. You only have to look at a White House news conference to see how they aggressively pursue your right to know.

The newspeople stand when the president comes into the room. They really do. They don't sit until he tells them to. You tell them a lie and they say, "Sir."
Mr. Gillmor also links to a blog published by a former student of his who is interning at the New York Daily News.

Yesterday was the hottest day in Rome in the past 200 years
ikastikos 2003-06-14


Like many of my friends, I am also a student. Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I read an article that has stuck in my mind ever since. Its message was simple: "Nowhere in today's world can we live happy lives while at the same time, in another part of it, reactionary, militant despots plot and plan against humanity and civility from their dens".

'Koorosh Afshar' (pseudonym for a student in Tehran) at
link from TomTomorrow
{leaving aside the impending empirical US/Israeli phagocytosis of Iran, with its inevitable slurry of propaganda and slag, just that one simple message sticks out, "Nowhere in today's world..."

ok, so you aren't supposed to get all groovy just because your belly full when they hungry right? that's the idea?
there's something wrong with that, let's find it.

try it from this perspective:
as long as anyone is suffering we can't be happy. how's that?
the idea that as long as someone else is (fill in the blank) hungry oppressed ill trod-upon you name it, then I'm supposed to not be happy.
in other words, let's remove happiness from the world until everyone feels better.
how can you laugh when someone in New Delhi is right now dying?
it's supposed to make you care, make you act, make you act out of guilt, make you feel hypocritical and selfish, but you know what it really does? it doesn't push people toward compassion. that kind of nonsense pushes people toward heartlessness, because they can recognize the wrongness of it, the inhuman limitation of it, though they may not understand why it's wrong. and they'll reject it, and they'll go on to reject anything having to do with compassion. I think that's called backfiring.

what I see there is the partial assumption of godhood, the wearing of a mask of divinity, the all-seeing mask, the all-knowing mask, and the all-powerful, but none of the heart, none of the grave responsibility and the deep sadness of the truly divine, contemplating something as flawed and incomplete as humanity.}


In Heaven Every Car But One Is Yellow

We cannot immunize the continents and the oceans against our contempt for small places and small streams. Small destructions add up, and finally they are understood as parts of large destructions. Excessive nutrient runoff from farms and animal factories in the Mississippi watershed has caused, in the Gulf of Mexico, a hypoxic dead zone of 5,000 to 6,000 square miles. In 40-odd years, strip mining in the Appalachian coal fields, culminating in mountain removal, has gone far toward the destruction of a whole region, with untold damage to the region�s people, to watersheds, and to the waters downstream.

There is not a more exemplary history of our contempt for small places than that of Eastern Kentucky coal mining, which has enriched many absentee corporate shareholders and left the region impoverished and defaced. Coal industry representatives are now defending mountain removal -- and its attendant damage to forests, streams, wells, dwellings, roads and community life -- by saying that in "10, 15, 20 years" the land will be restored, and that such mining has "created" the level land needed for further industrial development.

But when you remove a mountain you also remove the topsoil and the forest, and you do immeasurable violence to the ecosystem and the watershed. These things are not to be restored in 10 or 20 years, or in 10 or 20 hundred years. As for the manufacture of level places for industrial development, the supply has already far exceeded any foreseeable demand. And the devastation continues.

Wendell Berry
Working For Change 06.19.03

Prairie Writers' Circle


forklift drivers, hardware clerks, with guns

link from truthout

"Ettounsi" ("The Tunisian"), Yahyaoui, the founder of a popular and flourishing Webzine, was arrested last June and is now serving a two-year prison term. His "crime" appears to be in part his sense of humor: his lively magazine invited readers to vote on whether Tunisia was a "republic, a kingdom, a zoo or a prison." The results of this interesting poll are unclear, however, because not long after it appeared, Yahyaoui was seized by members of Tunisia's security services at his place of work (a cyber caf� on the outskirts of Tunis). He was escorted back to his house, which was then searched without a warrant, and taken into custody. For five days nobody was told of his whereabouts. But visitors to his Web site found that its pages were no more.

Siobhan Dowd DFN
link path thru Reporters sans frontieres

Rising global temperatures over the next century could trigger a catastrophe to rival the worst mass extinction in the history of the planet, leading British scientists warned today.
Researchers at Bristol University say their studies show that six degrees of global warming was enough to wipe out up to 95% of the species which were alive on earth at the end of the Permian period, 250 million years ago.
Up to six degrees of warming is now predicted for the next 100 years by United Nations scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change....

Guardian UK Juneteenth


"I can sum up my politics in a very short sentence," he says. "To paraphrase Tom Paine, I'm a citizen of the world, and my religion is to do good."

Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
founder of the Rosenberg Fund for Children

link path thru AlterNet June 18, 2003

in the same issue Greg Palast does yeoman work defending Rep.(former) Cynthia McKinney and exposing her bludgeoning in/by the media.
{abject prostrations to Mr. Palast for the first draft of this post}

Actually, these days they�re calling me an atheist, an Israel hater and an anti-Semite. Not because I�m saying anything bad about God, Israel or Judaism, but merely because I�m asking that we be allowed to discuss these ideas, together.

We all know that there are some sticking points to being Jewish in America today�particularly with what�s going on in Israel. Luckily, Judaism has a wealth of built-in mechanisms for confronting the lure of fundamentalism, nationalism and tribalism. But in my effort to show Jews some of what is so very progressive and relevant about their dwindling religion, I have instead provoked their most paranoid, regressive wrath.

What I�m learning is that today�s Jewish institutions have more to fear from Judaism than they have to gain. That�s why they�re going out of their way to keep Judaism from actually happening.

Douglas Rushkoff
New York Press Volume 16, Issue 25
link from randomwalks

{that there might be an historical connection between the recent cultural devastation in Iraq and Jewish Babylonian captivity seems almost too obvious, the presence of so many Semitic chauvinists at the wheel of current US 'policy'... I still have this holdover from school, that showing a crazy person evidence of their craziness somehow means they have to stop...}



Bernays's efforts to inform the public about the dangers of smoking earn him praise from Action on Smoking & Health. He writes, "had I known in 1928 what I know today I would have refused Hill's offer." referring to his client, American Tobacco Company.

Edward L. Bernays
The Museum of Public Relations
{follow-up to a mention of Bernays at a site called theDoctorwithin}

"We thought we would be safe there. There were no military positions, only shepherds and their flocks. Before the night prayer, a missile landed next to us; shortly afterwards another one fell right into the women's section.

"It was horrible. We could not make out whose limbs were scattered on the ground."

All his family members died except for him and his half-brother, as the two had stepped outside the tent to perform their ablutions before praying. He said 200 of their 700 sheep also died.

Kamal Taha Sydney Morning Herald June 16 2003
Iraqi shepherd seeks compensation for dead sheep
{headline in the New Zealand Herald 16.06.2003 over identical uncredited and severely cropped/altered-by-omissions story}

Logically, the press ought to be playing Keating's resignation as a story about the church compromising the independence of its panel in order to protect its priests. Instead, the press is mostly playing Keating's presumed sacking as a story about Keating's brutish verbal insensitivity. The gaffe in question was a comparison Keating made (in the June 12 Los Angeles Times) between the Catholic Church and the Mafia:

"I have seen an underside that I never knew existed. I have not had my faith questioned, but I certainly have concluded that a number of serious officials in my faith have very clay feet. That is disappointing and educational, but it's a fact," Keating said.

"To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress, I think, is very unhealthy," he said. "Eventually it will all come out."

Does the Catholic Church resemble the Mafia? Before delving into this question, we must stipulate that the Mafia kills people, whereas the Catholic Church does not. (It used to, as Joan of Arc and many lesser-known heretics could attest. But let's stick to the present.) More broadly, the Mafia is dedicated to evil, whereas the Catholic Church is dedicated to holiness, which translates (roughly) in the secular world to good. These two stark differences are the reason why so many Catholics have taken offense, or at least feigned offense, at Keating's remark.
Timothy Noah
Slate Magazine June 16, 2003
{stipulate away Mr. Noah. stick to the present. right on top of a story in which the 'cover-up' of ordained pederasts is mentioned as fact, because it isn't even a question anymore. but you're convinced the Catholic Church doesn't kill. mostly because they say they don't and no one has proved they do. though we might give a passing thought to how difficult it was, how many lives were damaged, in the struggle to get this craven filth exposed. and the 'dedication' part that's perfect. let's all be real clear on that. the Mafia is dedicated to the survival of itself as an organization, and of its members inasmuch as they contribute to the survival of the organization. that may be evil to everybody else but to the Mafia it's life. biological life by the way. and the Catholic Church is fantastically more wealthy than the Mafia ever was or will be.}

trouble in the Maldives


{so many women would be horrified to see this now}

Have you ever observed any inconvenience to the health of those very young children from being employed so many hours?--I can only state ... that they enjoy very excellent health ...

Do you not conceive, that a regulation preventing children of six, seven or eight years of age from working more than eight hours a day, would ultimately increase their strength and promote their growth?--If I had been in the habit of indulging myself in abstract matters, I might be able to answer the question; but my answer goes only to practical experience of what is the effect; the comparative state of health they would enjoy in another situation, is an abstract question which I am not competent to answer.

You have never found that the children of six, seven or eight years of age, from being worked ten hours and a half, have sallow countenances, or inclination to the rickets, or any of those effects which arise from children at an early period of life being overworked?--I do not reside on the spot myself, but I pay occasional visits, and have always been very much satisfied with the state of health of the children I have employed ...

Do you conceive that working in the factories is favourable to the morals of young people?--So far favourable to it, if I may venture to say so, that it keeps them out of mischief; and while they are industriously employed, they are less likely to contract evil habits than if they are idling their time away.

Evidence of James Pattison
� - J.T. Ward, "The Factory System", vol. II, The Factory System and Society (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1970), pp. 68-69.
"Report of Minutes of Evidence respecting the state of health and morals of children employed in manufactories: chiefly as to cotton factories", Parliamentary Papers 1816, III, pp. 76-79
{men like that now run this country}

Bremer didn't even wait to get the lights back on in Baghdad, for the dinar to stabilize or for the spare parts to arrive for Iraq's hobbled factories before he declared on May 26 that Iraq was "open for business." Duty-free imported TVs and packaged food flooded across the border, pushing many stressed Iraqi businesses, unable to compete, into bankruptcy. This is how Iraq joined the global "free market": in the dark.

Paul Bremer is, according to Bush, a "can-do" type of person. Indeed he is. In less than a month he has readied large swaths of state activity for corporate takeover, primed the Iraqi market for foreign importers to make a killing by eliminating much of the local competition and made sure there won't be any unpleasant Iraqi government interference--in fact, he's made sure there will be no Iraqi government at all while key economic decisions are made. Bremer is Iraq's one-man IMF.

Naomi Klein
The Nation June 23 2003

"You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader," he said. "You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance."

General Eric Shinseki, the Army Chief of Staff, as he retires
Katrina vanden Heuvel
The Nation

The gathering evidence also suggests that the mass-consumption economy that has flourished since World War II may at last be running out of gas. Too many indebted consumers are tapped out or will be in hard times. Who's going to buy all this stuff? Is this weakened condition related to the gross and growing wage inequalities of the past two decades?

The "market signal" of small-d depression might be saying: Don't invest more in the old stuff since we've already got too many shopping centers. Start investing in "problems" the country has long neglected--see these really as economic opportunities. Invest in the energy technologies and industrial transformations required for the posthydrocarbons age of ecologically sustainable prosperity. Invest in healthcare and transportation and production systems to deliver safe, healthy food. Invest in the smaller, more nimble firms ready to do things differently. Invest in people--the human development that begins with children at a very early age. These and other investment opportunities are where the future jobs and higher returns are most likely to be found.

William Greider
The Nation June 30, 2003

for all its Wilsonian rhetoric about global freedom, the Bush administration's overall human rights record is no better than that of its European allies. The White House may say it invaded Iraq to rescue a suffering people, but, in countries that lack oil and a strategic location, rescuing suffering people still falls into the reviled Clintonian category of "foreign policy as social work." Afghanistan, one might think, would have alerted the Bushies to the national security consequences of allowing poor, remote countries to descend into anarchy. Evidently not. Charles Taylor--surprise!--has harbored members of Al Qaeda, who use his diamond-smuggling operation to launder money.

Second, if the Bush administration isn't prepared to save countries like Liberia, perhaps its supporters could at least stop lecturing Europe about our morally superior foreign policy. Explaining his government's intervention in C�te d'Ivoire, France's much-loathed Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said recently, "France accepts its responsibilities." Can the Bush administration look at Liberia, America's brutalized, abandoned West African stepchild, and say the same?

Peter Beinart
New Republic Online June 16, 2003

Many well-known figures from the world of entertainment and sport have agreed to help Reporters Without Borders by taking part in another Star Photos event, this year sponsored by French actress Sophie Marceau.
The press freedom organisation has given each of them a disposable camera and asked them to capture glimpses of their daily lives and things that move them - such as visiting the Cannes Film Festival, their pets, behind the scenes of a film set, their friends, and so on.
The filled-up cameras will be auctioned at a charity gala in Paris on 16 June and the money raised will help Reporters Without Borders continue its work defending press freedom around the world and convincing the public of the need take a stand in favour of freedom of expression.

Reporters sans fronti�res 05.29.2003

... the situation is made even worse when governments in the developed world, when preparing for war, themselves violate environmental regulations - as in exploiting protected wilderness areas for oil - persuading their citizens that such operations are to increase national safety and must therefore take priority over any concern for the environment. Our reckless burning of fossil fuel contributes to global climate change even in times of peace - imagine the monstrous increase in CO2 emissions that would be generated by modern warfare around the globe.

It is desperately important that the general public should have access to the facts. Unfortunately, a common response is to shy away from such knowledge. People prefer not to know, not to think about such things but rather, like some gigantic flock of ostriches, bury their heads in the sand. As more and more of that sand becomes contaminated as a result of war and the preparations for war...

Jane Goodall
Resurgence May/June 2003
link thru Alternet

{I'm a contrarian at heart. so it may be just that, or it may be worth pondering. but the idea that whatever cabal is behind Bush and Blair's soulless puppetry will just cave in to the truth as it wells up from below seems a little naive to me. naive and dangerous. I've tried here a few times to get the idea clearly stated, that we were most all of us raised to think that merely showing someone the illogic of their actions was enough to win. though of course experience in the real world contradicts that. bosses, spouses, other drivers, the real relationships take shape around the dynamic of power, always.
who can do what to or for whom.
we're talking about impeaching a man who rode a coup into the presidency. the odds of, again, whatever power was really operating in that just rolling over are not good. rather it seems likely they'll stage a more convincing excuse to clamp down as hard as necessary to maintain their stolen positions.
I don't see that as hopeless, not at all, but it doesn't look easy. or peaceful.}

{unread spam deletion most regretted:

"Re: your problems can be solved portugal "


{reading this, and thinking about 'french' and 'spanish' and 'portugese' and there's this hold, an aqueduct network, past the breakdown it still works, because the ideogram doesn't change that much. even tho the pronunciation disappears into localized riffs and intonations.
we have the romantic links because it wasn't that long til it picked back up but it could've gone on past that, it's not huge but there's a repository there that isn't as vulnerable to the rust of isolation.}


{it's easier in a way to think or not think about 'terrorism' than it is to think or not think about 'global warming'.
which could explain why that second topic has dropped off the radar entirely.

I saw a decal in the back window of a van today, it said in an official-looking script with an official-looking serial number and font, "Official California Terrorist Hunting Permit".

near-future breaking news: the suicide bomber with the baby in her arms.}

"Checking the oil in the Omni," he finishes, "is another kind of environmentalism."

That phrase has stuck with me for years, and come in handy in many a situation. Because what's environmentalism all about, really? Protecting the commons. It's misunderstood by some as being about the hugging of trees and the cuddling of fuzzy baby owls, but what it's about is making sure that in the future, you won't have to be rich to breathe fresh air and drink clean water and eat nontoxic food and look at a pretty landscape now and then. Those things are our common heritage... and the people who want to take them away, destroy them, and then sell inferior substitutes back to us for a profit, must be fought.

And, of course, it's not the only kind of commons.

Why is it wrong to shoplift? I'll pick a favorite example: You know those stupid little plastic packets of condiments and envelopes of salt and sugar that you get at cheap restaurants? Those sure do suck, don't they? You know why we have to put up with those? Because the salt and pepper shakers kept getting stolen. Oftentimes--probably more often than not--by people who could easily have afforded to buy salt and pepper shakers, who thought the the item was so cheap that no one could possibly miss it. This is just the tiniest, most trivial way our shared world has gotten uglier, more annoying, and less congenial--especially in places frequented by those who aren't rich--because our trust in each other has been eroded away by petty theft. Not stealing is another kind of environmentalism.

Letters From Limbo
link from Doc Searls
{or the trust went first. and not from petty theft. it's hard to track those things back to their source/cause. there was a time you could be sure your salt and pepper shakers would stay on the table, but then just outside the window there were ragged remnants of the First Nations people, and the weaving tracks of 'Negroes' as they stepped off the sidewalk in deference to their betters. the world of nostalgia is a re-construct. it was like that, it wasn't like that, it was like this, it wasn't. it's worse, it's so much better. but good almost always gets taken for granted, ask anyone who's come into serious wealth. of course I deserve it. it's the way it should be. nice. but it wasn't ever nice, not really. just here and there a little, sometimes. like now, only different.}


Phillip Jones Griffiths

link path thru ::: wood s lot :::

Firstly, there were only a small number of medics, compared to the size of the crowd. The police
started firing teargas, even when there was nothing really going on. They gave no warning in any
language, and fired randomly into the crowd. I was with the pink and silver bloc at the time.
I have heard others say that we were teargassed about 20 times in 2 hours. They started directing
the canisters straight at people, firstly at their legs, then their stomachs, and then at people's
heads. I saw several people directly hit in the stomach. As medics, we had only quite basic kit,
but I saw a woman with a serious burn on her leg from a canister, so I went to sort out her injury.
Four police came and baton charged me, and started beating me. She and a friend escaped in one
direction, I, in another, with the police giving chase. I was clearly marked as a medic. We saw
several medics, and two of the legal support lawyers being specifically targeted. A little later,
I came across a man lying unconscious on the street. It was unclear whether he was even breathing.
I tried to go to at least assess his condition, but the police wouldn't let me near him, or find
out his name.
They started to threaten me, and then gave chase. I ran into a wooded area, with them still after me.
I eventually found someone I knew, and a swiss doctor, about 60 years old. We went back to find the
unconscious man. He was still there, but the police would not let the doctor near him and even
stopped an ambulance from collecting him for sometime.

cpnk June 08, 2003, Independent media center(Italy)


This means that, as Ray notes, pseudonymity was theatrical, roletaking...and yes, there were some playful roles taken up. But the set of values that a very large subset of pseudonymous cases "performed" was that of the republican citizen who had divested the particulars of individual identity in order to appear in the public sphere as a featureless equal. And there were endless invocations of "disinterest" and "candor" (open-mindedness) as the basic values of public debate. So insofar as the eighteenth-century pseudonym involved a performance, it was quite often a performed submission to a public norm of civility and citizenship. "Hypocrisy upward."


Another chilling omission from the road map is the gigantic 'separation wall' now being built in the West Bank by Israel: 347 kilometres of concrete running north to south, of which 120 have already been erected. It is eight metres high and two metres thick; its cost is put at $1.6 million per kilometre. The wall does not simply divide Israel from a putative Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders: it actually takes in new tracts of Palestinian land, sometimes five or six kilometres at a stretch. It is surrounded by trenches, electric wire and moats; there are watchtowers at regular intervals. Almost a decade after the end of South African apartheid, this ghastly racist wall is going up with scarcely a peep from the majority of Israelis, or from their American allies who, whether they like it or not, are going to pay for most of it. The 40,000 Palestinian inhabitants of the town of Qalqilya live on one side of the wall, the land they farm and actually live off is on the other. It is estimated that when the wall is finished - presumably as the US, Israel and the Palestinians argue about procedure for months on end - almost 300,000 Palestinians will be separated from their land.

Edward Said London Review of Books June 2003

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Belgium must not attempt to prosecute any senior US military figures under the country's controversial "genocide" law. He warned that the United States will refuse to help finance the construction of a new NATO headquarters in Brussels if Belgium does not come forward with guarantees soon. Washington is also threatening to boycott high-level NATO meetings.

The threats come in the wake of the recent charge filed in Belgium against the US supreme commander in the Gulf region, General Tommy Franks.

Radio Nehterlands 13 June 2003


President George W. Bush staged a handshake between the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers at a summit meeting in Jordan. President Bush, Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas, and King Abdullah II of Jordan stood outdoors together in the hot sun wearing suits and ties but were kept free of unsightly perspiration by tubes installed by White House operatives that blasted cold air from an ultra-quiet air conditioner that was hidden nearby. Sharon and Abbas read statements about the "road map" to peace that were largely written by American officials. "I think when you analyze the statements, you'll find them to be historic," Bush told reporters later. "Amazing things were said."

Harper's Weekly Review June 10, 2003

One method involves looking at so-called microsatellites - short, repetitive segments of DNA that differ between populations.
These microsatellites have a high mutation, or error, rate as they are passed from generation to generation, making them a useful tool to study when two populations diverged.
Researchers from Stanford University, US, and the Russian Academy of Sciences compared 377 microsatellite markers in DNA collected from 52 regions around the world.
Analysis revealed a close genetic kinship between two hunter-gatherer populations in sub-Saharan Africa - the Mbuti pygmies of the Congo Basin and the Khosian bushmen of Botswana.
The researchers believe that they are "the oldest branch of modern humans studied here".
The data also reveals that the separation between the hunter-gatherer populations and farmers in Africa occurred between 70,000 and 140,000 years ago. Modern man's migration out of Africa would have occurred after this.

David Whitehouse BBC News/Science 9 June, 2003
link thru floatingwreckage
Activists from Pygmy communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo want the United Nations to set up a tribunal to try government and rebel fighters accused of slaughtering and eating Pygmies during fighting in the north-east of the country.
Independent UK May 23 May 2003


'The nature of bats intrigued me so much:
"How could an animal that is not a bird fly?"
Until the day I realized that when mice died they became bats.'

J�lio De Marco at I Used To Believe
link from Maude Newton

like an egg in a cage

post on cannibalism removed as not to offend the delicate and unwary
original link Through The Looking Glass


I believe this:
that 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' is 'The Ballad of Tom Dooley' turned inside out and fashioned into a shiv with a holy edge, that 'Street Fighting Man' is 'A Foggy Day in London Town' in a ragged silk shirt stinking of sweat.
and this:

fear is worship


For the first time since March 28, there were no deaths from the SARS virus anywhere in the world Wednesday.

World health authorities said the highly contagious virus was clearly in decline, with outbreaks at all the initial hot zones in eastern Asia and Toronto either contained or coming under control.

China, the hardest-hit nation, had its first day of no new cases or deaths since April. WHO officials said evidence over the last two weeks indicates the Chinese are succeeding in bringing their epidemic under control, but that the disease is by no means contained there.

Audra Ang AP June 4

In early March -- when the world was distracted by Iraq -- Sharon quietly announced that the security barrier currently carving out chunks of Palestinian farmland near the northern West Bank border will go east, severing the central West Bank region from its Jordan Valley hinterland. In April he mused that mammoth Jewish settlements like Ariel that lie 20 kilometres within the West Bank would eventually be "on our side of the fence".

If so, these walls would cage the emerging "Palestinian entity" into three disconnected cantons in the north, centre and south of the West Bank, covering about 42 percent of its territory but hosting most of its two million or so denizens. This is the "occupation" Sharon wants to end: Israel's occupation of the Palestinian "people", not the occupation of the land and resources that is their patrimony.

"The provisional Palestinian state is a new term for Sharon's old strategy for achieving a long-term interim agreement," says PA Labour Minister Ghassan Khatib. "We know that if we get trapped in this phase we won't be able to move to the final status phase -- there is no chance Sharon will allow this. We also know that the provisional state will be autonomy in effect but occupation in practice. Only it won't be called autonomy -- it will be called statehood and Israel would be let off the hook."

Of the many reservations Palestinians have about the roadmap, the provisional Palestinian state idea is perhaps the gravest. They are aware from bitter experience that Israel's provisional arrangements have a habit of becoming permanent borders. Their quiet hope is that Sharon and the present Israeli government will collapse before that "second" phase is reached. The fear is that in accepting the roadmap Sharon is actually offering them a trapdoor, and less a brake on his colonial ambitions for the West Bank than their realisation.

Graham Usher Al-Ahram 29 May - 4 June

Prosecutors charged Shannon Denney, 32, with outraging public decency and public morals,punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

Denney, whose own child attended the daycare center, apparently decided to help out one day in late November or early December by breast-feeding a 3-month-old girl, authorities said.

"The baby was crying and they were feeding it a bottle and that didn't stop it," prosecutor Ron Boyer said.

The mother found out months later when a rumor circulated around the town of 2,500, he said.

"It got back to the mother," Boyer said. "The mother confronted the woman and asked her about it and she admitted that it happened."

After the alleged incident, Denney bought the daycare center, but she has since closed it. She did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

The state Department of Human Services, which licenses daycare centers, has no policy on breast-feeding someone else's child.

"It's a commonsense sort of thing," department spokesman George Johnson said. "It's something that today you don't even think about."

Viruses can be transmitted through breast milk.

SFGate June 3
{zombie morality. with a teensy edge of medical substance, far outweighed by the inhuman cowardice that drives it. a case could be made that it's human motherhood that's been attacked here, not defended. this woman has lost her livelihood. there are bacteria in the dirt, viruses in the air and water, these same people will hold a baby in their arms and stand next to the back of a running car and simultaneously,scornfully and sneeringly demand a 'smoker' cease and desist. thus we have children raised terrified of cigarette smoke who will, as their big sisters do already around these parts, go literally 90 mph, driving one-handed talking on a cell phone. cute zombies, with morals, sort of, in a way. viruses can be spread through contact with doorknobs, through breathing communal air, through eating food handled by carriers, through swimming in water...but then that's it. poison the water until nothing can live in it for very long and you'll feel better. you won't be, but you'll FEEL safer.
what we lose in these spasms of fear and cowardice we don't regain in security.}

A senior civil servant leading a campaign to ban pornography from French television has denied sworn witness statements that he once took part in sado-masochistic soirees run by a convicted serial killer.
The claims first emerged earlier this month during a police investigation into allegations that Patrice Al�gre, a serial killer who is serving a life sentence for killing five women, was for years offered illegal protection by corrupt police and magistrates in the south-western city of Toulouse.

According to statements from several former prostitutes, Al�gre was not the lone psychopath he was made out to be at his trial last year. He is alleged to have acted for most of the 1990s as the leader of a sado-masochistic sex ring, supplying women and drugs for debauched, and at times violent, evenings frequented by senior policemen, judges, businessmen, sports personalities and politicians.

At least three of the former prostitutes named Mr Baudis - then the mayor - as a regular participant at the sessions, some of which were held at a disused chateau belonging to the town hall's social services department, the police said.

Jon Henley The Guardian UK May 21, 2003

Some of those murdered in Ju�rez were students or children, but most worked at local maquilas or maquiladoras, better known in English as assembly plants or sweatshops. Many of these women migrated from other parts of Mexico in desperate search of work, with no resources or connections in the region. About 70 percent of this factory workforce is female, and when one of them disappears�or for that matter, when hundreds do�there are always more to replace them.

Hundreds of thousands of women and girls work at the 500 maquilas located in Ju�rez. "Eighty percent of these border factories are U.S.�owned, and they generate about $16 billion per year," says MSN's Wallach. "Despite that impressive number, their workers earn an average of $4�6 a day, in a nation where 40 percent of the population live in extreme poverty."
More maquila workers live in Ju�rez than in any other city along the U.S.�Mexico border, where about two-thirds of Mexico�s maquilas are located. Most live in shanty-town type neighborhoods lacking real addresses, phones, electricity or roads. And certainly they lack resources to investigate the murders of their daughters or neighbors. Some of them don't earn enough for bus rides to the police station. The maquilas cement a system of poverty and vulnerability.

The maquilas� responses to a decade of murdered workers has been dismal. "Local advocates tell us their efforts to get the factories to provide more security for women workers have gone nowhere," says Wallach. Many of the victims have disappeared while waiting for or traveling on the buses that take them to and from work. Making matters worse, the factories sometimes change workers� shifts at the last minute, so the women find themselves unexpectedly traveling late at night or early in the morning, in the dark and alone. One girl who had always gone to and from work with the protection of her family was left to make the trip alone after an unexpected shift change. She was killed on the journey. A number of workers have been killed in these circumstances.

Dannah Baynton May�June 2003
Chuck Bowden's
Juarez: The Laboratory of Our Future

In Belgium, letters containing poisonous powder have been discovered in several places. An unknown number of people have been taken to hospital. Most of them complained about irritation in the eyes, nose and throat.

The powder, which is presently being tested, is almost certainly not anthrax. The letters were sent to the British and Saudi-Arabian embassies. The latter has been evacuated as a precaution. A letter was also received by the Ministry of Justice in Brussels and the Antwerp port authorities. Letters addressed to Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and the United States embassy were intercepted.

Radio Netherlands 04 June


20 Questions

but how, given that information, did you know that?

{I got a lot of 19's a couple stumps that were more the result of vague answers or vagueness on my end. my hair stood up at that gingko answer. hasn't really gone back down. here's the last one I did. I had to go through the 20 list a couple of times to get to the real thing.

thank you 20 questions guys. whatever you are

Play Again

You were thinking of love.
Do most people use this daily? You said Unknown, I say Yes.
Does it help accomplish tasks? You said Yes, I say No.
Can you make money by selling it? You said Yes, I say No.
Is it flexible? You said Yes, I say No.
Can you play with it? You said Yes, I say No.
Would you find it on a farm? You said Probably, I say No.
Do you use it when you write? You said Irrelevant, I say Yes.
Contradictions Detected


A number of children's rights organisations say Dutch immigration policy contravenes the 1995 United Nations Rights of the Child Treaty. The seven groups, which include UNICEF and Defense for Children International, say children as young as four are questioned about their journey to the Netherlands and the motives for coming here. The children of illegal immigrants also have insufficient access to healthcare, education and child welfare services.

The organisations are calling on the new Dutch cabinet to ensure that young refugees are treated first as children and only then as asylum seekers.

Radio Netherlands 02 June 2003
{first as___, then as___, is an elegant meme}

Realize the following, of course: Had Al Franken been a guest on The No-Spin Zone, O'Reilly would certainly have shouted him down and probably disconnected his mic almost as soon as he showed the cover of his book. But O'Reilly couldn't shut down C-SPAN. His frustration was palpable. Finally, he erupted and called Al Franken a lot of things including, "a very vicious person" (if I recall correctly).

By this time, Al Franken had also changed. No longer the kidding-on-the-square humorist, he was deadly serious and emotionally invested in the theme of his book. His lip was quivering and I was afraid he would actually burst into tears. When he said that "they're lying and we shouldn't take it [pause]...anymore", it was every bit as spellbinding as any Howard Beale moment in the movie "Network."

BuzzFlash June 2 link path from Cursor 2 June
{Al Franken is noble. Bill O'Reilly is crass.}


{last night I read a description in a travel book on Mexican history called 'Yesterday's Train' by Terry Pindell, of the dungeons beneath the fortress on the island of San Juan de Ulua, off Veracruz.

" He shows us three dungeons, traditionally called "Purgatory," "Heaven," and "Hell," that were reserved for political prisoners. But for a tiny slit in the back stone wall of each, there is no light. Stalactites hang from the ceilings. Prisoners who would otherwise have been killed but whose live bodies somebody thought might come in handy someday, lived here in their own excrement on a rough stone floor. They were fed on garbage thrown in daily, and guards came to remove the dead once a month. The horrors of the place were so legendary that one of Venustiano Carranza's first acts on assuming power during the revolution in 1915 was to declare that no prisoners would be held here again for one hundred years."
you have to be able to imagine the actual day to day of that, the idea of dead bodies with their fresh meat lying there...the accomodation, the acclimation, the rules of conduct the mad minds make, and then de-localize it. we have this in our past, our pasts, our ancestry, forms of it versions of it, that kind of suffering, intentional and otherwise, but it's most evil when it's intentional, like so many other forms of depravity.

so I'm carrying that around, meditating on it from this and that angle, and I read this thing about Barbra Streisand suing the 'environmentalists' who are photographing the coast of California. in 'Boing Boing'. so I commented on the situation as I perceived it. in 'Boing Boing'. you can see my comment there if you'd like to, and also the ensuing I believe three(3) other comments that followed my first(1st). it just occurred to me as I was shutting down the twenty or so tabs I had open in my dazzling Mozilla 1.4 browser, that that description of San Juan de Ulua couldn't have been more apt.}

In other words, the category of politics we live with may depend more on power relationships and the demeanor of our society than on whether we continue to hold elections. Just as Cambodia was never really democratic, despite what the State Department and the UN told us, in the future we may not be democratic, despite what the government and media increasingly dominated by corporations tell us.

Indeed, the differences between oligarchy and democracy and between ancient democracy and our own could be far subtler than we think. Modern democracy exists within a thin band of social and economic conditions, which include flexible hierarchies that allow people to move up and down the ladder. Instead of clear-cut separations between classes there are many gray shades, with most people bunched in the middle. Democracy is a fraud in many poor countries outside this narrow band: Africans want a better life and instead have been given the right to vote...

Robert B. Kaplan Atlantic Monthly 12.97
{also Robert B. Kaplan published a book called 'Balkan Ghosts' in 1994.
in 2002 he published 'Eastward To Tartary' which I read that year and from a link there, moved on to Thomas Goltz's 'Azerbaijan Diary'.
both eminently readable, comfortingly rational, and moral in a profoundly human sense. Kaplan is someone whose journalism I trust implicitly. Thomas Goltz is inherently lovable and his affection for Azerbaijan is so contagious I have it still, a year later, as though it were my own.}

a lengthy profile of Kaplan in Salon.
here's Rick McGinnis, the photographer, on Kaplan's 'Balkan Ghosts'

The British government has demanded the immediate release of the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The 1991 winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and eighteen members of her party were arrested on Saturday during riots between supporters of the opposition and those of the military junta. According to the authorities the arrest was made for her own safety. She is believed to have been transferred to a guesthouse in the capital Yangon (formerly Rangoon).

On Sunday morning, another seven of her staff were arrested and her offices closed. The authorities have also decided to close universities and colleges indefinitely.

Radio Netherlands June 2

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was taken into "protective custody" following violent clashes between her supporters and opponents in northern Burma, military officials in Rangoon said today.

Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was nearing the end of a month-long political swing through the northern countryside when she was detained late Friday after hundreds of her supporters fought with opponents, leaving four people dead and dozens injured, according to Tin Win, a spokesman for Burma's military government. Military officials said at a news conference that at least 17 of her backers were also picked up.

Human rights activists said the clash marked a serious escalation of the conflict between the government and Suu Kyi, further clouding the prospects for resuming discussions between the two sides over a compromise that could move Burma, also known as Myanmar, toward democracy and end more than a decade of international isolation.

Washington Post May 31

The sites, where nearly l.5m people, mostly Jews, were murdered by the Nazis, were a reminder of the need for mankind �to come together to fight such dark impulses�, he said.

Peter Millar with George Bush at Auschwitz and Burkenau in The Times June 1 2003
{to fight. to fight such dark impulses.

how about "NEVER AGAIN"?}

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