El gran sueño africano   

Con la llegada del verano, volvemos a asistir a los repetidos y a veces trágicos asaltos contra las murallas alambradas de Melilla, llevados a cabo –con sofisticadas técnicas y artimañas de asedio medieval– por disciplinadas columnas de jóvenes subsaharianos. En otras zonas (Canarias, la isla italiana de Lampedusa, las costas de Sicilia, de Grecia, de Chipre, de Malta y la isla francesa de Mayotte, cerca de Madagascar), los “invasores” llegan casi siempre a las playas de noche –cuando no zozobran–,, en silenciosas embarcaciones...

etiquetas: africa, materias primas, emigracion, ignacio ramonet, monde diplomatique

» noticia original (www.monde-diplomatique.es)


          Guillermo Rendueles: "Ha habido una invasión de la psiquiatría en el imaginario de la gente"   

La psiquiatría y la psicología hacen falsas promesas que luego no pueden cumplir. Hay un texto que se llama "Escuchando al Prozac", en el que uno de los inventores se plantea cuándo sería correcto parar un duelo cuando se muere un hijo, si vas a atenuar los sentimientos de pena y si es moral. Si se te muere un hijo, aunque te tomes veinte Prozac cada día, te mueres de pena. Hay una falsa promesa de salud y bienestar que la gente oye y cree en un proceso de individuación, porque ha quebrado el "nosotros"...

etiquetas: rendueles, psiquiatría, escritor, psicología, fármacos

» noticia original (www.eldiario.es)


          Russia and Islam   
Russia has often been in the news over the past years, mostly as the demonized “Empire of Mordor” responsible for all the bad things on the planet, especially Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, the Russian intervention in Syria and, of course, the “imminent” Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland or even all of Western Europe....
          Myomo touts reduced upper extremity impairment in MyoPro trial   

Myomo yesterday released results from an investigator-led study of its MyoPro myoelectric orthotic, touting reduced upper extremity impairment with the use of the device. Cambridge, Mass.-based Myomo develops and produces myoelectric orthotics for patients with neuromuscular disorders, including its flagship MyoPro line. The orthosis devices are non-invasive, powered braces used to support weak or deformed […]

The post Myomo touts reduced upper extremity impairment in MyoPro trial appeared first on MassDevice.


          Oliver Stone, “Pokemon Go, It is a new level of invasion”   

Oliver Stone, “Pokemon Go, It is a new level of invasion” $GOOGL, $NTDOY Film director Oliver Stone thinks the future is bleak in a world full of Pokémon Go players. “[It] is a new level of invasion,” he said of the insanely popular game while on a panel at Comic-Con Thursday, according to BuzzFeed. “It’s […]

The post Oliver Stone, “Pokemon Go, It is a new level of invasion” appeared first on Live Trading News.


           Non-invasive foetal sexing : medical test or a new tool for sex selection?    
Osipenko, Leeza and Szczepura, Ala. (2011) Non-invasive foetal sexing : medical test or a new tool for sex selection? Diversity in Health and Care, Vol.8 (No.1). pp. 37-44. ISSN 1759-1422
          Noninvasive Cancer Diagnostics and Technologies Market   

Noninvasive Cancer Diagnostics and Technologies Market - Global Share, Industry Overview, Analysis, Growth, Trends Opportunities and Forecast 2012 - 2020

Portland, OR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/28/2014 -- Non-invasive diagnostic is a process of identifying the disease conditions with minimal incision in body during diagnosis. The global market for diagnostic/in-vitro diagnostics valued at $49.2 billion in 2012, which shows potential for market growth, especially in chronic diseases. Non-invasive cancer diagnostics is gaining importance over conventional diagnosis due to increase in incidences of chronic cancer such as breast cancer, and lung cancer. According to American Cancer Society, there were more than 1,660,290 new cases diagnosed in 2013.

Get detailed report at:
http://www.reportsandintelligence.com/noninvasive-cancer-diagnostics-market

Commercialization of non-invasive cancer diagnosis is possible due to completion of Human Genome Project (HGP) that gives enormous diagnostic information based on genomic and proteomic. Increase in stringent regulatory guidelines and cost associated with diagnostics is hindering the growth of non-invasive cancer diagnostic market. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance regulations for monitoring non-invasive diagnostics are issued by FDA, Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Social Security Administration (SSA).

The global non-invasive market has a huge potential in developing countries; however, cost of diagnosis is creating hurdles to tap this market. Hence, to overcome this problem, the diagnostic market has to be analyzed by the developing countries such as China, Japan, and India. This report provides key market drivers that are driving the market with impact analysis. The report gives intelligence about key regulatory guidelines issued by respective governments.

Key companies included in report are Precision Therapeutics, A&G Pharmaceutical, Affymetrix Inc., AVIVA Biosciences Corporation, BIOVIEW Inc., Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Cancer Genetics Inc., Digene Corporation, Gen-Probe Incorporated

KEY BENEFITS:

-Key developmental strategies adopted by top market players engaged in this business so that companies involved in development non-invasive cancer diagnostic device can get competitive intelligence of their competitors

-Market estimation for therapeutics techniques and geographic segment is derived from current market scenario and expected market trends

-Market attractiveness analysis has been included for various product segments, therapeutics, techniques and geographic regions with detailed analysis of factors responsible for rapid growth of the market segments

-In depth analysis of key market drivers, restraints and opportunities of non-invasive cancer diagnostic market with impact analysis

-Value chain analysis, Porter's five force model, top investment pockets (GE9 Cell Matrix) are analyzed and presented in detail in the report so that the decision makers can receive clear picture of cancer diagnosis market

KEY MARKET SEGMENTS

GLOBAL MARKET, BY THERAPEUTICS

- Solid tumors
- Blood cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Others

GLOBAL MARKET, BY TECHNIQUES

- Clinical Chemistry
- Immunochemistry/Immunoassay
- Molecular Diagnostics
- Other Clinical Instruments

GLOBAL MARKET, BY GEOGRAPHY

- North America
- Europe
- Asia-Pacific
- RoW

KEY AUDIENCES

- Medical devices manufacturing companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Government and Private Research Institutes
- Academic Institutes

Similar Report:
Global Medical Laser Systems Market (Product Types, Application and Geography)
http://www.reportsandintelligence.com/medical-laser-systems-market

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/noninvasive-cancer-diagnostics-and-technologies-market-541401.htm

Media Relations Contact

Sona Padman
International Accounts Manager
Reports And Intelligence
Telephone: 617-674-4143
Email: Click to Email Sona Padman
Web: http://www.reportsandintelligence.com/


           A review of evidence on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) : tests for fetal RHD genotype    
Freeman, Karoline, Osipenko, Leeza, Clay, Diane, Hyde, Julia and Szczepura, Ala (2007) A review of evidence on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) : tests for fetal RHD genotype. [Coventry]: University of Warwick. (Initial report).
          PM shaken by gruesome attack   

The gruesome murders of 13-year-old Videsh Subar and his 56-year-old sitter Rose Mohammed have impacted on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, so much so that it has left him very disturbed and shaken.

Speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Rowley said he hoped the T&T Police Service can bring the perpetrators of the killings before the courts expeditiously.

The throats of Subar and Mohammed were slit by their killers at Mohammed’s Ajim Baksh Street, Malabar home on Wednesday during a home invasion.

Yesterday, Rowley said there were some new developments taking place in the country, some of which were not uplifting and disturbing.

“I am very, very shaken and disturbed with what happened in the East with that child and its guardian who were so brutally murdered, and it makes us wonder what kind of people we have become,” said Rowley, his voice dropping as he spoke.

Saying it is now standard practice that when violent and heinous crimes are committed there is a public demand that the Government do something about crime, Rowley said “that demand is understandable because people want to feel safe, people want to feel secure and people want to know that their families and their communities are protected from these things.”

The PM said the interventions by individuals who make a decision to carry out such activities “shock us all the time.” He said whatever the Government has in place, be it prison, police or court “we are always surprised by these kinds” of murders.

In extending condolences to the family of the victims, Rowley said just looking at the grief on television as a citizen, he was quite “shaken by this kind of thing and I trust that the law enforcement authorities would find the perpetrators of such heinous and disturbing action.”

Asked about the TTPS’ ineffectiveness in its battle against the criminal elements and he could do to fill the gap, Rowley replied, “That is one area where you do not have an alternative. There is no alternative but to keep working and improving the ability of law enforcement in the country. And law enforcement in our country under the Constitution is largely the Police Service.”

In the area of national security, Rowley disclosed that Cabinet took a decision not to pay $200 million to maintain for one year four of the country’s helicopters.

“This is a cost that has been negotiated downward I was told. US$34 million I was told. We just can’t afford that! If we can’t afford it then the helicopters would stay on the ground… much as we would like to have them in the air. If we have $200 million dollars, the question that arises is that the best way to spend $200 million in the fight against crime?”

He said selling the helicopters was one option the Government may look at.


          Bridging the Mind-Body Gap in Health Care   
(Photo: Shutterstock)

After the birth of her youngest son nearly 20 years ago, Elay Nantz of Colorado developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her right hand, sank into post-partum depression, and attempted suicide. After a three-month stay at a Colorado psychiatric hospital, she endured a carousel of specialists who only wanted to know “What do you want?” or “What do you need?” and then wrote countless prescriptions. If she stood her ground and said the pills weren’t working, they would refer her to another doctor. Two of her four psychiatrists even fell asleep during her counseling sessions. Eventually, she stopped seeking treatment.

Nantz has struggled with depression for most of her life and has bounced in and out of doctors’ offices. She felt that the mental health system just saw her as a wallet to rifle through. “None of them gave a crap about me,” she says.

After she had surgery on her hand in 2009 and began physical therapy, her health improved. But after Nantz got divorced in 2010, she lost her private insurance and went on Medicaid—which her physical therapist did not accept. Her hand grew weak and shook so much that she could not hold a fork. It would tumble to the ground and stay there until one of her three children picked it up. A bad day would lead to deeper depression. She felt worthless.

The combination of depression and carpal tunnel meant she could not work and provide for her children. Her thoughts turned to suicide again: “I felt like the only exit I could see was me dying—my head was a mess—like I was in a cave and I couldn’t get out,” she told The American Prospect. “I was getting ready to kill myself.”

Nantz believed that the health-care system simply viewed her as a depressed woman with shaky hands rather than a 45-year-old mother of three who wanted to work and care for her family. But after running out of other options, she decided to try counseling one more time. In 2015, she met Dr. Yaira Oquendo-Figueroa, a staff psychologist at a Salud Family Health Center in Denver.  

Oquendo-Figueroa took an “integrated care” approach to Nantz’s problems that focused on breaking through the institutional barriers that separate mental and physical health care.  In integrated care settings, behavioral health specialists work together with primary-care doctors to treat individual patients. An ongoing relationship between physicians and a patient is the basis of primary care, and it provides a pathway for coordinating mental health treatment.

Oquendo-Figueroa listened carefully to Nantz’s problems and helped her develop the mental “tools” to steer her thoughts in a positive direction. She also connected her with an acupuncturist to treat her carpal tunnel. “She changed my life and the perception of everything,” Nantz says of Oquendo-Figueroa. “I think she’s a magician.”

Mental and physical care have long occupied distinct silos in the American health-care system. However, if Congress has its way, the treatment gulf between these two areas could become even wider, particularly for poor and low-income people who rely Medicaid, the largest health insurer in the United States.

Medical professionals like Oquendo-Figueroa have redoubled their efforts to offer a program of treatment that addresses psychological issues and physical ailments in tandem—which can go a long way to helping patients like Nantz. “You can’t separate the head from the body,” the doctor says.

Primary-care physicians see the majority of patients with mental health problems in the United States, but they are not trained to provide specialized treatment for mental illnesses. According to Benjamin Miller, a University of Colorado’s School of Medicine psychologist who specializes in linking mental and physical care, fewer than 4 percent of primary-care physicians accurately screen for depression. There has been little change in the percentage of adults who use mental health services, or who report an unmet need for mental health services. Two-thirds of doctors say that they can’t get their patients access to outpatient mental treatment because of a shortage of workers, lack of coverage, or inadequate coverage.

Meanwhile, suicide rates in America have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past 15 years and, of the 20 percent of Americans who suffer from mental illness, only about one-fifth get treatment. “The U.S. health-care system [has] two cultures of care that isolate the mind from the body, and mental health has fallen victim to that,” says Miller.

In the 1970s, Salud Family Health Center opened in northeast Colorado to serve patients who were historically underserved or completely uninsured, like the state’s migrant farm workers. In 2013, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized Salud as a “patient-centered medical home,” a health-care delivery model that promotes strategies like integrated care. This model upends the traditional health-care system by providing mental health care in primary-care settings, where it is most accessible.

For many people, primary-care clinics and doctors’ offices are a safe haven. “People want an [ongoing] relationship with someone, they want to feel connected [and] to know you’re they’re for them,” Miller says. He believes that nurturing these relationships provides patients with an avenue to discuss and manage mental health issues before they become serious.

The Colorado health center includes a mobile legal team that advocates for patients, especially undocumented immigrants or Medicaid recipients who live paycheck to paycheck. The center also sends behavioral health professionals around the clinic to meet patients in other departments. “Let’s say that a patient is coming for a dental cleaning, and the hygienist concludes that the patient may be anxious or depressed,” says Oquendo-Figueroa. “I go there and do a consult right there in the dental area.”

While that practice may seem invasive to people who have health-care plans that cover behavioral therapy, a dental clinic might be the only time that some Medicaid or Medicare recipients can talk to a mental health professional.

Washington State’s Mental Health Integration Project features telepsychiatry to help treat low-income patients on Medicaid and Medicare. Encouraging patients to stay in touch with care managers and consulting psychiatrists over the phone allows those health centers to reach more people, and not just during regular visits.

Anne Shields, the associate director of the University of Washington’s Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions program sees e-medicine as one possible solution to a shrinking, aging workforce of psychiatrists, especially in rural areas of the country where there were never many specialists to begin with. From 1995 to 2014, while the total number of physicians in the United States grew by 45 percent, the number of psychiatrists only increased by 12 percent. In 2010, 59 percent of psychiatrists in the United States were 54 years old or older. “Primary-care settings are very diverse, small practices,” Shields says. “Rural health centers have no more than three people working and they’re not going to be able to hire a behavioral health-care manager.”

While health-care staffing often determines the number and types of services a hospital provides, integrated care relies on coordination between doctors to identify the specific treatments that will work for an individual patient. Using this approach, a small rural health center can strive to provide the same high-quality integrated care that an urban hospital system does.

Yet despite the health benefits that integrated care provides, the American health-care system continues to rely on traditional strategies. Treating mental and physical conditions separately has not only prevented vulnerable populations from accessing treatment, but it has also driven up those costs. Miller has calculated that, on average, physical conditions cost twice as much per person per month to treat when there is a mental illness present as well.

Moreover, mental health crises often play out in emergency rooms, which are the least efficient and most expensive care locations. Integrated care has reduced the patients’ reliance on emergency room treatment by focusing on preventative services, and targeting mild or moderate symptoms before they become severe.

The Cherokee Health System in Tennessee found that integrated care patients used emergency services 68 percent less than the regional average; specialty care 42 percent less; and hospital care 37 percent less. These savings amounted to a 22 percent discrepancy between CHS’s total cost and the regional average.

Most health-care networks prioritize people with serious mental illnesses over patients with mild or moderate symptoms, which prevents people from getting the help they need earlier. “The bulk of mental health services are in the public system, but people can’t get those services until they have had many crises,” says Debbie Plotnick, a vice president of Mental Health America, one the nation’s leading mental health advocacy groups.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress could tear wide open the existing gap between having insurance that covers mental health treatment and having access to that treatment with their plans to undo the Affordable Care Act. The ACA repeal proposals fail the two-step process Miller of the University of Colorado uses to evaluate potential reforms: “Does this continue to further fragment our experience with health?” he says. “And does this limit my patient’s ability to get access to mental health treatment where they want it?”

Moreover, transforming Medicaid into a block grant program means that mental health programs would take a significant hit as state officials search for savings to offset the federal cuts. Miller believes that integrated care programs would be the first to go, forcing medical professionals to make difficult decisions about whether they can marshal the resources to help people like Nantz. Repealing the ACA would simply take programs designed to bridge the gap between mental and physical illnesses backward—states, Miller says, “can’t take a chance on this right now.” 


          Jornal Instituto RV Press - 2ª publicação   
Nesta 2ª edição do Jornal RV Press, de Julho de 2011, confiram as seguintes matérias:

  • Dores na coluna e hérnia de disco: conheça o RCV, um tratamento eficaz e não invasivo
  • Conheça mais sobre a baropodometria
  • Elimine a dor lombar com Pilates
  • Natural Detox: uma nova forma de desintoxicar seu organismo

Confira abaixo as matérias, clicando nas imagens para ampliação.



Para maiores informações sobre os tratamentos, entre em contato através do telefone (11) 2091-1267.

Novo local de atendimento desde Agosto de 2011 - Rua Manuel de Atouguia, nº 16, Tatuapé, em frente a entrada do Pronto Socorro do Hospital São Luiz, Unidade Anália Franco.


          Culture - Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary Edition) (2017)   

[center]
https://img117.imagetwist.com/th/16230/32sl77x5ymzn.jpg
[/center]
[center]
Artist: Culture
Title: Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary Edition)
Year Of Release: 1977/2017
Label: VP Music Group, Inc
Genre: Reggae, Roots/Lovers Rock
Quality: MP3 CBR, 320 kbps
Total Time: 1:25:52
Total Size: 196 MB
[/center]
One of the masterpieces of the roots era, no album better defines its time and place than Two Sevens Clash, which encompasses both the religious fervor of its day and the rich sounds of contemporary Jamaica. Avowed Rastafarians, Culture had formed in 1976, and cut two singles before beginning work on their debut album with producers the Mighty Two (aka Joe Gibbs and Errol Thompson). Their second single, "Two Sevens Clash," would title the album and provide its focal point. The song swept across the island like a wildfire, its power fed by the apocalyptic fever that held the island in its clutches throughout late 1976 and into 1977. (Rastafarians believed the apocalypse would begin when the two sevens clashed, with July 7, 1977, when the four sevens clashed, the most fearsome date of concern.) However, the song itself was fearless, celebrating the impending apocalypse, while simultaneously reminding listeners of a series of prophesies by Marcus Garvey and twinning them to the island's current state. For those of true faith, the end of the world did not spell doom, but release from the misery of life into the eternal and heavenly arms of Jah. Thus, Clash is filled with a sense of joy mixed with deep spirituality, and a belief that historical injustice was soon to be righted. The music, provided by the Revolutionaries, perfectly complements the lyrics' ultimate optimism, and is quite distinct from most dread albums of the period.
Although definitely rootsy, Culture had a lighter sound than most of their contemporaries. Not for them the radical anger of Black Uhuru, the fire of Burning Spear (although Hill's singsong delivery was obviously influenced by Winston Rodney), nor even the hymnal devotion of the Abyssinians. In fact, Clash is one of the most eclectic albums of the day, a wondrous blend of styles and sounds. Often the vocal trio works in a totally different style from the band, as on "Calling Rasta Far I," where the close harmonies, dread-based but African-tinged, entwine around a straight reggae backing. Several of the songs are rocksteady-esque with a rootsy rhythm, most notably the infectious "See Them Come"; others are performed in a rockers style, with "I'm Alone in the Wilderness" an exquisite blend of guitar and vocal harmonies. One of the best tracks, "Get Ready to Ride the Lion to Zion," is a superb hybrid of roots, rocksteady, and burbling electro wizardry; its roaring lion (created who knows how) is a brilliant piece of musical theater. "Natty Dread Take Over" twines together roots rhythms, close harmonies, and big-band swing, while even funk and hints of calypso put in appearances elsewhere on the album. Inevitably, the roots genre was defined by its minor-key melodies, filled with a sense of melancholy, and emphasized by most groups' lyrics. But for a brief moment, roots possibilities were endless. Sadly, no other group followed Culture's lead, and even the trio itself did not take advantage of it, especially after parting ways with Gibbs. When Culture re-emerged in the mid-'80s, they swiftly moved into a reggae lite/world music mode a world apart from where they started. Thus, Clash remains forever in a class all its own. [Shanachie issued a 30th anniversary edition of the album in 2007 that adds expanded liner notes and five extra tracks made up of dubs and 12" mixes.]
Tracklist:
01. Culture - Calling Rasta for I
02. Culture - I'm Alone in the Wilderness
03. Culture - Pirate Days
04. Culture - Two Sevens Clash
05. Culture - I'm Not Ashamed
06. Culture - Get Ready to Ride the Lion to Zion
07. Culture - Black Starliner Must Come
08. Culture - Jah Pretty Face
09. Culture - See Them a Come
10. Culture - Natty Dread Taking Over
11. Culture - Two Sevens Clash Prophecy Revealed (feat. Mr. Bojangles)
12. The Mighty Two - Fulfillment
13. Culture - I'm Not Ashamed Under Tight Wraps (feat. I Roy)
14. The Mighty Two - I Am Not Ashamed (Version)
15. Culture - See Them a Come Mask Mi Mask (feat. Prince Weedy)
16. Culture - Informer
17. The Mighty Two - Informer (Version)
18. Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - State of Emergncy
19. Shorty the President - Natty Pass His GCE
20. Culture - Natty Dread Taking Over Invasion (feat. I-Roy)
21. Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - Natty Gone Clear
--


          Why Rock Died   
It’s no longer the sound of the street. The initial burst came with the Beatles and the British Invasion, a new sound everybody went wild for. Then came the late sixties free-form FM era, everything from the Doors’ “The End” to Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Sure, some of these […]
          I Preferred the Book: The Pulse-Pounding Novelization of Invasion USA   

Welcome to Freaky Friday, that day of the week when we review classic literature that has inspired great works of cinema, from Gone with the Wind and Great Expectations to The Godfather. Books are the biggest things in movies. Almost every blockbuster movie franchise had its start on the printed page, whether it’s The Hunger […]
          Cuando Hungría fue una república soviética tras la Primera Guerra Mundial   
Días atrás publicamos un artículo en el que veíamos cómo, poco antes de estallar la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Checoslovaquia se desintegró entre movimientos centrífugos internos (que dieron lugar a la República Eslovaca) y el desguace a que la sometieron Alemania y Polonia el mismo año en que Hungría recuperaba una región llamada Rutenia Transcarpática. Lo […]
          Push-in robbery on Avenue B was actually a drug deal gone bad: NYPD   

There were multiple media reports earlier this week about a push-in robbery on Avenue B at 13th Street. A man reportedly pushed his way inside an apartment, stabbed the female resident multiple times, and fled with $500.

However, according to the Police Blotter in this week's issue of The Villager, that's not actually what happened.

Police say that the resident, named as Cassidy Helmken, "had made an arrangement for a drug deal — she was apparently buying — but it turned violent."

“It was a drug transaction that went bad,” Captain Vincent Greany, commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct, told The Villager.

A search warrant subsequently turned up a quantity of alleged cocaine and drug paraphernalia at her apartment.

According to police, it was not a home invasion: Helmken apparently willingly opened the door for the suspect.

Police charged Helmken, who reportedly has three prior arrests, with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

The investigation is ongoing.

H/T Steven

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Avenue B resident stabbed during push-in robbery
          Indie Author Spotlight: Robert Eggleton   


Hello lovelies welcome to a feature I am going to have on La Jersey Chika Reads Indie Books that is called Indie Author Spotlight. Each month I will post an Indie Author Spotlight to help spread word about the works of the fantastic indie authors that are out there!


Today tenth installment and feature is Robert Eggleton author of Rarity from the Hollow



 Robert Eggleton




Author's Bio

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. Locally, he is best known for his nonfiction about children’s programs and issues, much of which was published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from1982 through 1997. Today, he is a retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome maltreatment and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines. Author proceeds support the prevention of child maltreatment.



 Robert Eggleton Social Media Sites






Robert Eggleton Book


Rarity from the Hollow

By Robert Eggleton

Genre: Adult Literary Science Fiction

Publication Date: November 3, 2016

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Purchase Link

Amazon



Author Interview


Q. Describe your book in ten words or less.

A. An unlikely savior of the universe -- tragedy, comedy, and satire.


Q. What draws you to this genre.

A. I enjoy reading and writing literary fiction and within most genres. I'm not a big fan of pure escapist novels. I tend to look for the author's hidden metaphors -- meaning behind the superficial and that seems to detract from my enjoyment. So, when I write, my goal is to produce something that will be reflected upon after the last paragraph has been read. I also enjoy reading speculative fiction -- the what if? There are several what ifs in Rarity from the Hollow, but the one that was most fun to write was its political parody. What if some compelling force united extreme capitalism and socialism by a common cause --- saving the universe? While much of the focus of my story was on the prevention of child maltreatment, there are other analogies -- i.e. global warming. Rarity from the Hollow was the first, perhaps the only, science fiction adventure to specifically predict the rise of Donald Trump to political power -- parody with no political advocacy one side or any other. Readers find out how Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, convinced Mr. Rump (Bernie Sanders) to help talk Mr. Prump (Donald Trump) into saving the universe. The allegory includes pressing issues that are being debated today, including illegal immigration and the refuge crisis, an issue that several European commentators have compared to cockroach infestation; extreme capitalism / consumerism vs. domestic spending for social supports; sexual harassment…. Mr. Prump in my story was a projection of Donald Trump based on the TV show, The Apprentice. The counterpart, Mr. Rump, was based on my understanding of positions held by Bernie Sanders as I wrote the story. Part of the negotiations in the story occur in the only high rise on planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance, now more easily identifiable as Trump Tower. The allegory was not addressed by ARC reviewers of the novel because so few people worldwide considered Donald Trump to be a serious political contender until the primary elections in the U.S. The political allegory in the novel is obvious now that Donald Trump has become a household name. In summary, I am drawn to literary speculative fiction because it is so much fun to write.


Q. Where do you get information or ideas for your book?

A. Much of Rarity from the Hollow is more real than not, and based upon over forty years of my experiences working as a children's advocate. I use Google for research, for example, on updated research on prevalence rates or correlates of child abuse. One interesting element of the story pertains to the ET assistance that helped cure Lacy Dawn's parents -- she begins the story as an eleven year old protagonist, a victim of maltreatment. Her father is a war damaged Vet suffering from PTSD, night terrors, and anger outbursts. Several book reviewers have complimented by imagination when writing the medical intervention element of the story. In reality, humans are living in a very exciting time when computerized diagnosis and intervention of mental health concerns is an emerging science. The fantastical means employed by the alien in my story to treat the parents were based on today’s medical reality. I’ve already mentioned that in the beginning of Rarity from the Hollow, Dwayne, the abusive father was a war damaged Vet experiencing anger outbursts and night terrors. The mother was a downtrodden victim of domestic violence who had lost hope of ever getting her G.E.D. or driver's license, or of protecting her daughter. Diagnosis and treatment of these concerns affecting the parents, as representative of many similarly situated, was based on emerging technologies presented at the 2015 World Medical Innovation Forum: https://worldmedicalinnovation.org/ . Yes, in real life, like in my story, patients have been hooked up to computer technology for medial diagnosis and treatment. Additional exciting research was presented at that Forum and may one day may revolutionize psychiatric treatment. Most relevant to my story were: (1) smart brain prosthetics, wireless devises being tested for potential to relieve depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder…neural engineering to manipulate brain signals; (2) sophisticated imaging systems that are minimally invasive to brain circuitry for diagnosis (3) and, healing the brain with neuromodulation and electroceuticals to treat depression and schizophrenia. http://hitconsultant.net/2015/04/30/tech-revolutionize-neurological-psychiatric-care/


Q. How do you select the names of your characters?

A. Typically, I pick names that fit a culture for stories. While I love fantasy, I've found long and unusual first names for characters annoying, thereby sometimes leading to head hopping as I've read the stories. I try to avoid this practice. For example, I recently read a short story involving sisters with unusual but very similar first names. I kept getting the characters mixed up, complicated by their similar voices. The subculture for Rarity from the Hollow is Appalachian, a place where the use of first and middle names is common when addressing the individual, such as Billy Bob, or Robert Thomas. Lacy Dawn was addressed by her first and middle name in the story as a show of love and respect, while the other characters were addressed by their first names only as a sign that their parents did not hold their existences in high regard. As a back story, when pregnant, Lacy Dawn's mother realized that she would not be able to give her daughter beautiful things in life, so she decided to give her a very beautiful name at birth.  


Q. List your top 5 favorite authors or books.

A. Gosh, this is an impossible to answer question. I'm a mood reader, so my favorite books at one time may be entirely different than at another time. Right now: Vonnegut’s anger in Breakfast of Champions helped me stay strong as a children’s advocate and as a writer, and how to experiment with my writing style. Watership Down by R. Adams was such a sweet adventure that some of this element just is a necessary ingredient of even the scariest or saddest story. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is probably on a lot of lists of favorite books. If I feel nostalgic, like now, Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins pushed me into the wilder side of writing regardless of censorship with views on religion and other topics. Last, The Color Purple by Alice Walker remains a role model for using colloquialism to reach mainstream readers. 


Q. What book/s are you reading at present?

A. I'm going to have to pass on this question. I'm reading a second novel by an unknown author and am so disappointed that I don't want to name it. I respected her debut novel and expected this one to be even better. It isn't. When this one was posted on a blog for 99¢ I grabbed a Kindle version. Don't misunderstand. I don't subscribe to the Goodreads rating system based on whether I "liked" a novel or not. If I'm considering writing a review of a novel I would never let my personal taste control such an important task -- my likes are irrelevant to whether a book is great or awful -- so are my comfort zones -- irrelevant. So far, this book has holes in the plot, is so mainstream that it could have been written by a computer program, and was poorly edited. There seems to be no message, but I'm hopeful that the author some how pulls it all together in the last third of the novel. I don't need to like a novel to give it a good rating, but I do have to respect it. Did the story fulfill its mission? It this novel does improve you may see my review on Amazon or Goodreads and you will get my answer to your question if you notice. If the novel does not improve, I may just skip writing a review. The impact of reviews can be so powerful that I wouldn't want to influence the behavior of an author who, based on the debut, has potential but released on perhaps prematurely. If this author was well known, making lots of money, I would have no problem blasting this piece of crap that I'm reading.


Q. What's next for you? What are you working on now?

A. I've been stuck in self-promotion mode for so long that I've neglected the next Lacy Dawn Adventure -- Ivy. I've submitted a couple of short stories to magazines recently but no bites. It seems to me that many magazines either stick very close to the Young Adult genre or are so extreme that my writing seems to have a hard time fitting into content. I don't want to change what I write just to achieve publication, so I'm trying to explore other alternatives. I'm working on a satirical essay, and a couple of poems. One of my poems won first place in an international competition last year, so I have a little name recognition because of that. Ivy, full of metaphors and allegory, is the story of an alien invasion of Earth based in an almost forgotten town. I live in West Virginia, the U.S. state with the highest rate of heroin overdose deaths in the nation. My familiarity with what is happening to my neighbors because of addiction prompted me to ask: how far will a child go to save a parent from addiction? I hope to achieve a similar finding when answering this serious question as I did with Rarity from the Hollow: “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” http://awesomeindies.net/ai-approved-review-of-rarity-from-the-holly-by-robert-eggleton/ I'll let you know when it is released.


Q.  What advice do you have for writers?

A. I don’t feel competent to give advice to other writers, but I will share a little common sense based on my observations of this marketplace. Don’t expect to be discovered overnight like you were Elvis singing on the front stoop of an apartment located in a low-income neighborhood. Before you publish, make sure that your work as been professionally edited, or as close to it as your finances will allow – not by a friend or anybody with whom you have a personal relationship. If published, to the extent possible, prevent generic one line reviews from being posted on Amazon – they always look like they were written by your friends and detract from other reviews that appear more legitimate. Commit to the long haul by keeping in mind that the majority of those entering the world of books stay there briefly and then drop out never to be heard from again. And, last, never buy a book review and don’t invest more than you can afford in anything. I’ve heard of aspiring authors placing themselves and their families at financial risk by becoming over-committed to a book that they had written. Hard work pays off, but working smart has better outcomes.   


Thank You So Much Robert Eggleton For Your Time & Interview.



R. Thank you for the opportunity to tell your readers a little about myself and my debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow.




          Gobierno cubano amplía a 20 años la posesión de tierras en usufructo   
Gobierno cubano amplía a 20 años la posesión de tierras en usufructo
Éstas significan un 31 % de la superficie agrícola del país
Viernes, junio 30, 2017 | Agencias

LA HABANA, Cuba.- El Consejo de Ministros de Cuba aprobó extender de 10
a 20 años el periodo de posesión de las tierras entregadas en usufructo
a personas naturales, que hasta septiembre pasado sumaban más de 1,9
millones de hectáreas, un 31 % de la superficie agrícola del país,
informan hoy medios oficiales cubanos.

La vigencia del usufructo será prorrogable y, como nuevo requisito, los
beneficiarios deberán trabajar y administrar de forma directa las
"tierras ociosas" entregadas por el Estado cubano, según determinó el
Consejo de Ministros en una reunión celebrada el jueves y encabezada por
Raúl Castro.

El encuentro ministerial tuvo por objeto analizar "el desempeño de la
economía cubana" en el primer semestre del año, según publican este
viernes los diarios Granma y Juventud Rebelde.
El vicepresidente Marino Murillo, exministro de Economía y actual jefe
de la Comisión Permanente para la Implementación y Desarrollo, destacó
que en la actualidad la solicitud de tierras, una medida que se puso en
práctica en 2008, es limitada.

Esto se debe, explicó, a que los terrenos aún disponibles son menos
productivos por causas como la infestación de marabú (una planta no
endémica e invasiva), la lejanía de los asentamientos poblacionales y
servicios básicos o las dificultades para acceder a las fuentes de agua.

También se ratificó "que las tierras otorgadas en usufructo son
propiedad intransferible del Estado y deben mantenerse en explotación,
evitando un mal uso del suelo y la pérdida de su productividad".

Otras novedades son que el usufructo de las tierras se cancelará si se
detecta el empleo de financiación ilícita para su explotación y que se
empezará a aplicar gradualmente el pago de impuestos previsto en la Ley
por "uso, posesión y ociosidad de la tierra".

El Consejo de Ministros aprobó además nuevas medidas que serán
divulgadas próximamente por la prensa oficial para "mejorar la
organización y el control" del trabajo por cuenta propia, ejercido en la
isla por más de medio millón de personas.

La nota de Granma menciona que se han detectado "desviaciones" en ese
sector como "la utilización de materias primas, materiales y equipos de
procedencia ilícita", incumplimientos tributarios e "imprecisiones e
insuficiencias en el control", entre otros.

El trabajo autónomo, aseguró Murillo, "confirma su validez como fuente
de empleo, al tiempo que incrementa la oferta de bienes y servicios, con
niveles aceptables de calidad".

El Gobierno cubano estudió asimismo una actualización de la política de
funcionamiento de las cooperativas en sectores no agropecuarios, otra de
las formas de gestión no estatal impulsadas en los últimos años como
parte de las reformas económicas que abandera Raúl Castro para
actualizar el modelo socialista de la isla.

La prioridad será "consolidar las 429 cooperativas ya constituidas", una
vez que ratificado que este modelo de gestión constituye "una
alternativa para liberar al Estado de la administración de actividades
económicas, productivas y de servicios que no se consideren principales".

Sin embargo, se ha comprobado que en las cooperativas privadas se dan
también "desviaciones de la idea original para las cuales fueron
creadas, así como falta de rigor y exigencia en el seguimiento, control
y fiscalización y tendencia al incremento de los precios".

Esas cooperativas se concentran en los sectores de comercio, gastronomía
y servicios técnicos y personales, construcción, transporte e industria.

El informe económico sobre el primer semestre del año aprobado por el
Consejo de Ministros de Cuba será presentado en la Asamblea Nacional del
Poder Popular (Parlamento unicameral) el próximo 14 de julio, en la
primera de las dos sesiones anuales que celebra ese organismo.

Cuba entró en recesión el año pasado al decrecer un 0,9 % su economía,
lastrada por la crisis en Venezuela, país que envía petróleo subsidiado
a la isla a la vez que compra servicios profesionales, fundamentalmente
médicos y docentes.

También afectaron al país caribeño la caída de los precios de las
materias primas en los mercados internacionales y la insuficiencia de
las inversiones extranjeras, que no alcanzan el porcentaje requerido por
el país caribeño para impulsar su economía nacional.

(EFE)

Source: Gobierno cubano amplía a 20 años la posesión de tierras en
usufructo CubanetCubanet -
https://www.cubanet.org/noticias/gobierno-cubano-amplia-20-anos-la-posesion-de-tierras-en-usufructo/
          Hispania Visigoda (II)   
                                         Clica en la imagen para ampliar

Según iba pasando el tiempo la cultura de los hispanos del Sur, los sometidos al gobierno de los musulmanes, se iba haciendo menos viva. Por un lado la conversión al Islam de varios cientos de miles de hispanos apartó a estos conversos de seguir siendo agentes creadores de cultura porque se asimilaron a otra nueva. Por otro lado los hispanos que aún mantenían la cultura visigoda poco a poco vieron reducido su margen de maniobra.
Aunque no fueron perseguidos (al menos no formalmente) sufrieron la expropiación de iglesias y monasterios, con sus tesoros culturales, reliquias y recuerdos de otra época. Fueron gravados con impuestos especiales, restringiendo el mecenazgo que pudiera haber entre ellos. Su cultura tuvo que competir con la nueva cultura musulmana (de raíz más bien Siria que árabe), que gozaba de una mejor situación y además contaba con el apoyo del poder político, del que los cristianos estaban excluidos. En consecuencia, cuando se quiebra el primer elemento de cohesión (la Iglesia), los godos que vivían en tierras islámicas solo tuvieron dos opciones, convertirse y desaparecer entre el resto de la población islámica, o emigrar al Norte cristiano.

Una situación llena de tensiones se agravó a partir de la llegada de los Omeyas a la Península. Los Omeyas, como hijos de los califas, eran también defensores de la fe islámica. Los dos primeros Omeyas no tuvieron especial interés en reprimir a los cristianos mientras éstos no se unieran a sus enemigos, pero Abd-al-Rahman II poco a poco les fue apretando las tuercas a los cristianos.
La situación estalló en el verano de 850, en Córdoba, cuando dos cristianos fueron ejecutados por blasfemia. Muchos otros cristianos protestaron por ello, y hartos ya de someterse, se dedicaron a blasfemar contra el Islam en público. Abd-al-Rahman II estaba lo bastante asentado en el trono como para no temer una revuelta, y reprimió duramente a los cristianos. Además, buscó el apoyo de la Iglesia del Sur. Pero mientras que el metropolitano de Sevilla condenó la búsqueda del martirio voluntario, el obispo de Córdoba apoyó a los mártires sin dudar.
La revuelta y los martirios voluntarios siguieron, Abd-al-Rahman murió en 852, sucediéndole su hijo Muhammad, que heredó el problema incluso agravado, puesto que tras el concilio de Córdoba el problema se había extendido a Sevilla, Mérida, Toledo, y otras ciudades. Parecía que lo que empezó siendo un conflicto religioso podía degenerar en un alzamiento general de los cristianos mozárabes.
El nuevo califa decidió cortar por lo sano. Destruyó varios monasterios (entre ellos el de Tábanos, cerca de Córdoba, que era tenido por el foco de la insurrección), confiscó iglesias, ejecutó a varios cientos de cristianos (entre ellos al obispo de Córdoba) y en definitiva, organizó la primera persecución efectiva de cristianos en Al-Andalus. Ahora a los cristianos solo les quedaba emigrar o morir.

La revuelta de los mártires llegó a su fin en torno al 860. Como resultado Sevilla y Córdoba, las capitales culturales de Hispania (y lo habían sido desde el siglo IV), y en menor medida Toledo, Mérida, y otras ciudades importantes, ya no eran centros de creación cultural de los cristianos, y ni tan siquiera podían transmitir a los reinos del Norte el legado cultural hispanogodo porque ya no quedaba nadie que lo recordase. Así, en la primera mitad del siglo IX, siglo y medio después de la conquista musulmana, llegaba a su fin la historia social y cultural del pueblo de los visigodos.

La llegada de los árabes rompió con todo el desarrollo histórico anterior, no fueron solo una super estructura de poder, como había ocurrido con los visigodos, sino que pusieron en marcha procesos que dieron como resultado una realidad no continuadora de la Hispania visigótica.
Con los conquistadores llegó, entre otras cosas, una lengua de naturaleza bien distinta a las románicas: el árabe, con sus diferentes manifestaciones escritas y orales, que se impuso como lengua oficial y de cultura.
Esta lengua actuó como superestrato del romance andalusí y como adstrato de los otros romances peninsulares. Fueron muchos los que dominaban ambas formas lingüísticas, Al-Andalus fue una sociedad bilingüe al menos hasta el siglo XI o XII.
Al romperse la sociedad hispanogoda, los hablantes románicos se distribuyeron y evolucionaron en situaciones completamente nuevas. Se continuaba con el latín de Emérita, Hispalis, Curduba o Tarraco, pero era una lengua coloquial, carente de normalización y fragmentada.
Lo que se perpetuó fue el habla de los enclaves de resistencia cristiana de la zona Astur y Pirinaica donde junto a los habitantes de la zona, se refugiaron los miembros de la maltrecha aristocracia hispanogoda y cristianos que no deseaban permanecer en Al-Andalus. Fue en esos lugares (Oviedo, León, Burgos, Barcelona…) donde nacieron los nuevos modos lingüísticos que se repartirán por la Península durante la Conquista Cristiana.


          US Communists Defend Iran, Oppose ‘Islamophobia’   
New Zeal The pro-Iran/Cuba/North Korea/China/Venezuela Workers World Party, through its fronts, the International Action Center and United National Anti-war Coalition, is planning anti-War rallies across America in October. From Workers World: The United National Anti-war Coalition has called for protest actions across the country on the anniversary of the imperialist U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. At […]
          Hitler su Stalin: “Era migliore di me? I tedeschi che mi hanno seguito non sono mostri?”   

Hitler su Stalin

Nella conclusione della seconda puntata di M incontriamo l'Hitler della caduta. Che riflette sul senso e sulle ragioni della sua disfatta umana e militare. "Volevano che lasciassi Berlino" - racconta nel faccia a faccia con Michele Santoro - "Che scappassi e che facessi evacuare i civili, le donne, i bambini. Ma in una guerra per salvare l’umanità che senso ha sacrificare i migliori, sacrificare i soldati e far sopravvivere i più deboli? Ho proibito ai tedeschi di arrendersi: se anche tutti i tedeschi fossero morti battendosi per realizzare un grande sogno nessuno avrebbe avuto il diritto di versare una solo lacrima". Poi, rivolgendosi al pubblico, Hitler su Stalin chiede se davvero può essere considerato lui il più grande mostro della storia.

Hitler su Stalin: chi è il più crudele dittatore della storia?

"Stalin ha massacrato trenta milioni di persone. E come Gengis Kahn avrebbe invaso l’Europa contaminando il nostro sangue" - si difende Hitler, interpretato da Andrea Tidona per M - "Stalin era migliore di me? E quelli che mi hanno seguito erano migliori di me". Poi l'affondo sul popolo tedesco: "Quando proposi di togliere di mezzo i pazzi e gli storpi il popolo insorse. E io dovetti rinunciare a realizzare quel piano. Perché, invece, nessuno difese gli ebrei?".

L'articolo Hitler su Stalin: “Era migliore di me? I tedeschi che mi hanno seguito non sono mostri?” proviene da Servizio Pubblico.


          Walter Turner Follows Up With 3rd Max Cantu Thriller   

To fans who cannot get enough of the exploits of Max Cantu, rejoice! Walt Turner has published “The Laguna File: A Max Cantu Novel” (iUniverse, 2008). This explosive thriller invites readers to get a taste of the Golden State's beach culture. -   - In “The Laguna File,” private investigator Max Cantu takes on his third major case. He is asked to investigate a home invasion of a once famous, but now reclusive movie star who has tucked herself away in a secluded mansion on the seaside cliff...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=210104


          France drops Windows 10 privacy case after Microsoft changes telemetry settings   
There have been lots of complaints about invasion of privacy since the release of Windows 10. Microsoft’s telemetry lead to several lawsuits, including one from France’s National Data Protection Commission which said Windows 10 was collecting “excessive personal data” about users. But now the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has decided to […]
          Comment on The Real Security Threats on Iran’s Periphery by James Canning   
The US vastly increased instability in the Middle East with its idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003. Many of those who so foolishly called for that invasion also promote increased hostility toward Iran.
          Mom killed in home invasion after celebrating rags-to-riches success   
A Florida mom was gunned down just hours after celebrating her financial success on Facebook. Makeva Jenkins, 33, was shot in the head Thursday morning while at her Lantana home, according to news station WPEC. A masked gunman entered the house through a garage about 1:30 a.m. and forced Jenkins, her husband Euri, a family friend...
          Giant Rat Invasion?!   
The Doctors discuss a viral photo posted by a pest exterminator who recently caught a 16 and 19-inch rat on the job. Is this telling of a new giant rat invasion?
          BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu   
BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu

Published by Family Writers Press

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Frowns At Kanu’s Activities

Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday descended and distanced itself from Kanu and his IPOB organisation.


Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, made the stand of the body known while addressing members of the Anambra State House of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu and Nnia Nwodo
Nwodo, who was particularly not happy with the statement credited to Kanu that governorship election should not hold in Anambra in November, said Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.

“I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up”, Nwodo said.

“News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as president general of Ohanaeze.

“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalisation and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.

“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?

“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust”, Nwodo said while addressing the legislators.

Continuing, he said, “Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.

“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.

“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.

“The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigerian police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.

“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohanaeze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State”.

Nwodo, who said the organisation would visit other houses of Assembly in Igbo speaking states, said, “We are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”

Igbos Must Not Be Divided

Earlier, Chief Willie Obiano, Anambra State governor, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting the interest Igbos.

Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu, Speaker of Anambra Assembly, and a former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, in their speeches said Igbos should avoid being divided in whatever cause they pursue in the prevailing circumstance, adding that the time to listen to Igbos has come.

It would be recalled that on Wednesday Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State, was unanimously chosen by seven pro-Biafra groups as leader of all groups agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra.

Announcing the decision of the groups under the banner of Biafra Peoples National Council (BPNC) at Nnamdi Kanu’s country-home at Afara Ibeku in Umuahia North Council, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, said Kanu’s sincerity, focus and doggedness in the struggle towards realisation of Biafra made the pro-Biafra groups to ask him to lead them.

The groups, according to him, are MASSOB, Eastern People’s Congress (EPC), Biafran Revolutionary Organisation (BRO), Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra (JRCB); World Union of Biafran Scientists (WUBS), Biafran Liberation Crusaders (BLC), Salvation People of Biafra (SPB) and IPOB.

SOURCE


          Sciatic Neuritis And Pain Management - Is Discectomy Spine Surgery Right For My Sciatica?   
sciatic neuritis and pain management: A discectomy is an invasive surgical procedure that removes herniated disc material that is protruding into the spinal canal and pressing upon nerve tissue. This pressure can cause numbness, weakness, tingling, or mild to severe pain in the back and... Sciatic Neuritis And Pain Management
          Made-For-TV: Young Justice: Invasion (2012-2013) Blu-ray   

WARNING! IMMENSE AMOUNT OF SPOILERS WITHIN! WARNING! By the time Season One of Young Justice was done and over, at the time, as I mentioned in the review of that season, I had only seen the opening two-parter, the ending … Continue reading

The post Made-For-TV: Young Justice: Invasion (2012-2013) Blu-ray appeared first on You Won Cannes.


          Chechen women in a trance / Transa femeilor cecene   
Photo: Chechen woman dancing with rebel fighter I filmed the following female sufi ceremony in Chechnya, on the eve of the first Russian invasion. The women are performing a zikr (dhikr), a Sufi mystical ceremony. By chanting certain formulas and controlling their respiration, the women can achieve collective trance,  fana’ (nirvana in Buddhism). These women are part of the […]
          Masked Men Tie Up Arcadia Couple, Ransack Multi-Million Dollar Home   
As many as four masked men got past the gates and security call box of a multi-million dollar Arcadia home and tied up the homeowners before ransacking the place.
          DEFIANCE 2008   

DEFIANCE -Review -Gabriel Murray (Olympia Films) The Bielski family were farmers from Belarus. Following the German '' Operation Barbarossa " the invasion of the Soviet Union that began on June 22,1941, the town Nowogrodek where the Bielski family lived became a Jewish Ghetto. The four Bielski brothers, Tuvia , Alexander Zisel "Zus", Aseal, and Aron , managed to flee to the nearby forest after their parents and other family members were killed in the ghetto in December 1941. Together with 13 neighbours from the ghetto, they formed the their partisan combat group. Some 4,000 Jewish inhabitants were ordered by the Nazis to dig 40 deep pits. In temperatures that had plunged below zero, they were forced to take off their clothes and stand, facing the graves. Then they were shot, their bodies whether killed outright or injured falling into the graves where they were buried.

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          Invasive Cardiovascular Technician - CarePoint Health - Jersey City, NJ   
Licensed Radiology Technologists with experience in a Cardiac Cath Lab or certified RCIS. The Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist provides fundamental...
From CarePoint Health - Fri, 24 Mar 2017 01:38:04 GMT - View all Jersey City, NJ jobs
          «Hoy es difícil ver una boca con muchas caries»   
Hace unos días participó en el Congreso nacional e internacional de Implantología, celebrado en León, como presidente de la Asociación Europea de Ostointegración, ¿cómo fue esta experiencia? Ir a León es siempre un placer. Yo soy asturiano y me siento como en casa. La Sociedad Española de Implantes (SEI) es una de las sociedades decanas de la Odontología española y me han tratado muy bien, tanto el presidente del Congreso, José Luis Martín Villa, como el doctor Marino del Canto, como el presidente de la SEI, el doctor Bowen. Me he sentido muy acogido y he estado muy cómodo. Esta cita reunió a cerca de 800 profesionales que debatieron sobre las nuevas técnicas, materiales y avances en materia de implantología dental, ¿es importante que se celebren eventos como este que ponen experiencias en común y sirven para dar a conocer el trabajo que se lleva a cabo? Claro. Hay que tener en cuenta que la ciencia se genera a nivel internacional, se genera en inglés, se comunica en publicaciones internacionales y en congresos internacionales de gran tamaño, pero no se difunde al dentista, y si no se difunde al dentista general, no llega al paciente. Esa labor de difusión la hacen los congresos nacionales, que integran a lo largo de toda España en diferentes ciudades, en diferentes años, una labor que hace que el dentista aprenda técnicas nuevas, que acceda a ellas. Su ponencia llevaba por título «Mínima invasión en la implantología actual», ¿se ha avanzado mucho en este campo en los últimos años? Es un campo en el que llevamos trabajando unos 15 años y que al principio era más difícil de transmitir porque estaba como un poco fuera de moda. Pero la medicina avanza mucho y todo el mundo, tanto profesionales como pacientes, entiende que hacer una intervención sin incisiones, sin cortar y sin coser con puntos, o con menos incisiones, es mucho mejor, tiene una mejor estética y un mejor postoperatorio. ¿Hacia dónde deberían ir dirigidos los siguientes pasos, y qué sigue siendo necesario mejorar? Hay dos grandes líneas de desarrollo. Una es la tecnológica y la otra la biológica. En la tecnológica existe un desarrollo exponencial que ya vemos en nuestro día a día. Ahora es una herramienta de estudio, consumo, diagnóstico de pacientes, intervención y fabricación de prótesis. En el campo biológico está todo el tema de las células madre, la regeneración. Una de nuestras tareas pendientes es conseguir reconstruir otros tejidos, porque hoy lo hacemos, pero con dificultad, mucho esfuerzo y con varias intervenciones quirúrgicas. Retos Una de las tareas pendientes es conseguir reconstruir otros tejidos y reducir el esfuerzo para hacerlo Los tratamientos, las intervenciones, avanzan pero, ¿ha mejorado también la salud bucodental de la gente? Mucho. Tanto el dentista, que hace una gran labor de educación; como las escuelas, que hacen un trabajo importante de sensibilización; como la publicidad, que es masiva, han cambiado el perfil higiénico preventivo de la población española. Es fácil que ahora no veas pacientes con muchas caries, cuando antes veías muchas caries y bocas en muy mal estado. En un área de actividad en continua evolución ¿resulta imprescindible no dejar de formarse nunca? Por supuesto, la formación es importantísima. En este mundo tan cambiante cada seis meses tienes ideas nuevas sobre cómo realizar intervenciones, y no se trata de un cambio radical pero sí de una mejoría continuada. ¿Cree que los ciudadanos se fijan más en el precio que en la calidad a la hora de acudir al dentista? Yo creo que no. Creo que los ciudadanos sensatos buscan la calidad porque saben que es lo que dura más tiempo. Aquí no hablamos de comprar un abrigo, hablamos de salud y en un tratamiento, en este caso de implantes con complicaciones, no se puede jugar una vez a lo barato y luego si sale mal a lo caro. En el mes de octubre tendrá lugar un gran congreso en Madrid organizado por la Asociación Europea de Ostointegración que preside, ¿cuáles serán sus principales novedades? Es un congreso de 5.000 congresistas, 8.000 personas, más de 100 conferenciantes, más de 1.000 comunicaciones científicas … Va a revisar los últimos 25 años de ostointegración, de implantología dental. Es un congreso autocrítico. Tenemos una parte, un 30 por ciento, dedicado a los aspectos reconstructivos y estéticos, a cómo hacer prótesis e implantes más bonitos, más naturales. Ademas, habrá varias sesiones sobre el tratamiento de la periimplantitis y tenemos por primera vez una sesión en rechazamiento de casos con implantes. Tenemos ya pacientes que llevan 25 y 30 años con ellos y que empiezan a perder dientes, algún implantes... El escenario es distinto, algunos van a mantenerse, otros no, y hay que decidir cómo rehaces el caso de nuevo, lo que puede ser muy interesante.
          (USA-CA-San Diego) Clinical Nurse - RN, Home Health Clinical Services, HH METRO   
Summary The Clinical Nurse – RN will provide skilled assessments, treatments and teaching to patients in their homes. The Clinical Nurse – RN coordinates care with team members and/or the Case Manager, and communicates with Physician(s) and Clinical Supervisor(s) regarding patient care. The Clinical Nurse – RN utilizes excellent problem solving skills as they apply to clinical judgment. The primary goals are the utilization of best practice concepts in delivering care, toward improving outcomes and the satisfaction of every patient every time. The Clinical Nurse – RN will practice the core concepts of the Sharp Experience using the Pillars of Excellence, 12 Behavior Standards and the 5 Must Haves. Sharp Home Care is San Diego’s largest home care agency, licensed and certified since 1983. The agency is part of the Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus, home to an array of comprehensive medical services and recipient of the 2007 prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for quality an organizational performance excellence. Sharp Home care provides cutting edge clinical services including transplant care, wound experts, diabetes nurse educator, infusion specialists and non-invasive pain management modalities. With a focus on maximizing recovery, independence and long-term wellness, Sharp Home Care provides diabetes care instruction, specialty nursing, rehabilitation and senior behavioral health services to individuals through San Diego County. Essential Physical Requirements may include * Sitting * Walking * Standing * Twisting (trunk) * Twisting (neck) * Bending (waist) * Flexing/extending (neck) * Gripping/grasping * Fine manipulation/pinching * Reaching below shoulder level * Reaching above shoulder level * Kneeling * Squatting * Bed mobilization (scooting / rolling) * Lateral transfers (bed to gurney) * Bed to chair/wheelchair/commode transfer * Lift up to 50 pounds * Push/Pull over 100 pounds * Carry up to 25 pounds Additional physical requirements of position may be discussed during interview. Sharp HealthCare is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, gender identity, transgender status, sexual orientation, protected veteran status or any other protected class. Keywords: Clinical Nurse-RN, Registered Nurse, RN, Home Care, Home Health, Hospice, RN Transition in Practice, Job, Jobs, Float Location This position is based in Kearny Mesa, San Diego County and will be part of an intra-departmental float pool encompassing six geographic clinical team locations across San Diego County. Hours 8 hour shift, Full-time, 8:00am - 5:00pm, working weekends as needed Required Skills and Qualifications * Graduate of an accredited Nursing School/Program (RN) * Current unencumbered California Registered Nurse license * Current BLS certification for Healthcare Providers * Greater than one year of Clinical RN experience Preferred Skills and Qualifications * One year of recent Home Health or Hospice experience * Bilingual (English/Spanish) **Job:** **RN Jobs* **Organization:** **72907 - Home Health Clinical Services* **Title:** *Clinical Nurse - RN, Home Health Clinical Services, HH METRO* **Location:** *San Diego-Home Health Metro* **Requisition ID:** *81099*
          (USA-MO-St. Louis) Chronic Disease Nurse Educator - Home Health   
## Description **Role Purpose:** Under general supervision, provides professional nursing assessment, education and coaching to patients within the home setting in accordance with professional nursing standards, following discharge from an acute facility to coordinate care and resources between patient and physician and prevent unnecessary rehospitalization. Works in urban or rural areas according to distribution of staff and patients. Position requires Home visit and short term telephonic follow up. **Responsibilities:** * Performs basic patient assessments, education and coaching in the home following hospitalization related to post-discharge needs, including:1. Medication reconciliation; 2. Review of discharge instructions;3. Education on exacerbation of signs/symptoms to report to physician; 4. Identification of safety hazards in the home; 5. Connection to primary care appointment * In accordance with post-discharge instructions from the physician or hospital, educates and coaches patients to promote patient’s understanding of instructions and patient’s ability to follow the physicians plan for care at home, using appropriate resources and methods of instruction. * Performs no hands on care other than assessment of routine vital signs (TPR, BP) * Performs basic documentation of visits and phone calls and reports as required to maintain liaison. * Communicates with physicians to ensure arrangement of post-discharge physician office visits and to promote patient's direct follow-up with physicians for any identified problems. * Reports complaints and problems to supervisor as well as physician and follows all regulatory requirements for identifying and reporting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect in the home. * Completes required documentation timely and accurately. * Demonstrates skill, accuracy and ability to think critically, acting within the applicable state Nurse Practice Act and performing only those services that can be performed by a nurse without orders of a physician; i.e., educating, coaching, and non-invasive assessment. * Completes required annual competency requirements satisfactorily. * Provides caring and compassionate service to patients, families and other customers. * Promotes patient's ability to manage care safely at home and prevent unnecessary readmissions to an in-patient setting. Performs all other duties as assigned. ## Qualifications **Minimum Qualifications:** * Associate Degree. * Current RN license and valid driver’s license in assigned state. * 1 to 3 years of experience. * Requires effective oral and written communication skills to communicate with customers. Requires good decision making and problem solving skills. *Req ID:* 17007642 *Primary Location:* Missouri-St. Louis-SSM Health at Home - Westview, 12312 Olive Boulevard *Schedule:* PRN *Shift:* Day Job *Schedule Hours Per Pay Period:* 7:30am-4:30pm *Call Rotation:* no *Normal work hours:* 30 *Job:* Nursing *Organization:* SSM Health at Home *Weekend Rotation:* yes *Posting:* Jun 29, 2017, 9:18:55 AM-Ongoing
          (USA-MO-St. Louis) Chronic Disease Nurse Educator - Home Health   
## Description **Role Purpose:** Under general supervision, provides professional nursing assessment, education and coaching to patients within the home setting in accordance with professional nursing standards, following discharge from an acute facility to coordinate care and resources between patient and physician and prevent unnecessary rehospitalization. Works in urban or rural areas according to distribution of staff and patients. Position requires Home visit and short term telephonic follow up. **Responsibilities:** * Performs basic patient assessments, education and coaching in the home following hospitalization related to post-discharge needs, including:1. Medication reconciliation; 2. Review of discharge instructions;3. Education on exacerbation of signs/symptoms to report to physician; 4. Identification of safety hazards in the home; 5. Connection to primary care appointment * In accordance with post-discharge instructions from the physician or hospital, educates and coaches patients to promote patient’s understanding of instructions and patient’s ability to follow the physicians plan for care at home, using appropriate resources and methods of instruction. * Performs no hands on care other than assessment of routine vital signs (TPR, BP) * Performs basic documentation of visits and phone calls and reports as required to maintain liaison. * Communicates with physicians to ensure arrangement of post-discharge physician office visits and to promote patient's direct follow-up with physicians for any identified problems. * Reports complaints and problems to supervisor as well as physician and follows all regulatory requirements for identifying and reporting signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect in the home. * Completes required documentation timely and accurately. * Demonstrates skill, accuracy and ability to think critically, acting within the applicable state Nurse Practice Act and performing only those services that can be performed by a nurse without orders of a physician; i.e., educating, coaching, and non-invasive assessment. * Completes required annual competency requirements satisfactorily. * Provides caring and compassionate service to patients, families and other customers. * Promotes patient's ability to manage care safely at home and prevent unnecessary readmissions to an in-patient setting. Performs all other duties as assigned. ## Qualifications **Minimum Qualifications:** * Associate Degree. * Current RN license and valid driver’s license in assigned state. * 1 to 3 years of experience. * Requires effective oral and written communication skills to communicate with customers. Requires good decision making and problem solving skills. *Organization:* SSM Health at Home *Primary Location:* Missouri-St. Louis-SSM Health at Home - Westview, 12312 Olive Boulevard *Job:* Nursing *Shift:* Day Job *Req ID:* 17007642
          Spatial Statistics for Segmenting Histological Structures in H&E Stained Tissue Images   
Segmenting a broad class of histological structures in transmitted light and/or fluorescence-based images is a prerequisite for determining the pathological basis of cancer, elucidating spatial interactions between histological structures in tumor microenvironments (e.g., tumor infiltrating lymphocytes), facilitating precision medicine studies with deep molecular profiling, and providing an exploratory tool for pathologists. This paper focuses on segmenting histological structures in hematoxylin- and eosin-stained images of breast tissues, e.g., invasive carcinoma, carcinoma in situ, atypical and normal ducts, adipose tissue, and lymphocytes. We propose two graph-theoretic segmentation methods based on local spatial color and nuclei neighborhood statistics. For benchmarking, we curated a data set of 232 high-power field breast tissue images together with expertly annotated ground truth. To accurately model the preference for histological structures (ducts, vessels, tumor nets, adipose, etc.) over the remaining connective tissue and non-tissue areas in ground truth annotations, we propose a new region-based score for evaluating segmentation algorithms. We demonstrate the improvement of our proposed methods over the state-of-the-art algorithms in both region- and boundary-based performance measures.
          Back-Projection Cortical Potential Imaging: Theory and Results   
Electroencephalography (EEG) is the single brain monitoring technique that is non-invasive, portable, passive, exhibits high-temporal resolution, and gives a directmeasurement of the scalp electrical potential. Amajor disadvantage of the EEG is its low-spatial resolution, which is the result of the low-conductive skull that “smears” the currents coming from within the brain. Recording brain activity with both high temporal and spatial resolution is crucial for the localization of confined brain activations and the study of brainmechanismfunctionality, whichis then followed by diagnosis of brain-related diseases. In this paper, a new cortical potential imaging (CPI) method is presented. The new method gives an estimation of the electrical activity on the cortex surface and thus removes the “smearing effect” caused by the skull. The scalp potentials are back-projected CPI (BP-CPI) onto the cortex surface by building a well-posed problem to the Laplace equation that is solved by means of the finite elements method on a realistic head model. A unique solution to the CPI problem is obtained by introducing a cortical normal current estimation technique. The technique is based on the same mechanism used in the well-known surface Laplacian calculation, followed by a scalp-cortex back-projection routine. The BP-CPI passed four stages of validation, including validation on spherical and realistic head models, probabilistic analysis (Monte Carlo simulation), and noise sensitivity tests. In addition, the BP-CPI was compared with the minimum norm estimate CPI approach and found superior for multi-source cortical potential distributions with very good estimation results (CC >0.97) on a realistic head model in the regions of interest, for two representative cases. The BP-CPI can be easily incorporated in different monitoring tools and help researchers by maintaining an accurate estimati- n for the cortical potential of ongoing or event-related potentials in order to have better neurological inferences from the EEG.
          IIVII – Invasion   
Pushing the Boundaries into Darkness Despite the opinion of the standard music listener, metal has always been an experimental genre. Its roots are embedded in a time when heavy guitar and guttural roars were both unheard of and considered repulsive, tilting along the boundaries of what could be considered music. Since those years long past, […]
          Non Invasive Treatments That Improve Walking Speed in Parkinson's Patients   
Both physical therapy and transcranial stimulation improves walking ability in patients with Parkinson's disease.
          1° luglio 2017. Continuiamo l'operazione 'Assalto al Cielo' col Card. Burke   
Rimaniamo fedeli a questa esperienza forte di preghiera che ci vede uniti già da oltre un anno. E intensifichiamola, soprattutto in relazione alle recenti vicende che vedono il nostro Cardinale, impegnato a riaffermare con parresìa l'insegnamento costante della Chiesa.
Chi è interessato può consultare i precedenti a partire da qui.

Domani, sabato 1° luglio, come il primo giorno di ogni mese, Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Raymond Leo Burke celebrerà la Santa Messa a Lindsberg, alle 9.00am ora locale nella Chiesa de Santi Peter and Paul e, dopo, pregherà il Santo Rosario per 'prendere d'assalto il Cielo' con la Preghiera. 


Ricordiamo a tutti voi, compagni Guerrieri del Rosario che ci uniremo dai quattro angoli della terra per elevare insieme la nostra voce al Cielo. Gli oltre 92.000 Guerrieri del rosario reciteranno il Santo Rosario e prenderanno d'assalto il Cielo con la Preghiera, in unione alla Santa Messa celebrata dal Cardinale Burke.
Quando direte il vostro Rosario, ricordate di pregare per le intenzioni di tutti i Guerrieri del Rosario, così come loro pregano anche per le vostre.
« Il potere del Rosario è superiore ad ogni descrizione! » affermava l'Arcivescovo Fulton Sheen. Usate dunque questa preghiera potente per prendere d'assalto il Cielo e rivolgere a Dio e alla Benedetta Vergine Maria le seguenti intenzioni:
  • In riparazione dei peccati e delle offese nei confronti del Cuore Immacolato di Maria;
  • Per il Papa, per vescovi, preti e religiosi in tutto il mondo. Che possano crescere nell'amore di Dio e della Sua Santa Chiesa. E che possano avere la forza, la saggezza ed il coraggio per insegnare sempre la Verità, difendere la Fede e condurre le anime alla salvezza eterna;
  • Perché la cultura della vita sconfigga la cultura della morte;
  • Perché tutti coloro che tutelano l'ordine e la giustizia possano essere protetti da San Michele Arcangelo nel compimento dei loro doveri quotidiani;
  • Perché ognuno di noi cresca nella devozione alla Vergine Benedetta e si radichi sempre più nel Sacro Cuore di Gesù;
  • Perché possa essere dissipata ogni confusione dai cuori e dalle menti di tutti gli uomini e possa risplendere in essi la Luce della Verità;
  • Per le nostre famiglie e per l'istituto familiare così sotto attacco nel nostro mondo;
  • Per la conversione di tutti alla vera fede e perché i peccatori cambino vita;
  • Perché si estenda sempre più la schiera delle anime fedeli;
  • Per la nostra amata Nazione e per ogni nazione della terra. Noi italiani preghiamo anche perché l'Italia non venga travolta dal nemico esterno (invasione musulmana + poteri forti) e da quello interno; perché ritrovi la sua unità nel vero Cattolicesimo;
  • Per tutte le intenzioni personali che vengono affidate alla Operation Storm Heaven 'Operazione Assalto al cielo'

          I was white until I came to Canada: Paradkar   

They were innovators, scientists and mathematicians.

They held a monopoly over knowledge, land ownership, intellectual professions, social institutions and political authority.

They dominated society by setting the rules for the default standards of language, of behaviour, of customs and traditions.

Sound familiar?

They are my ancestors, from where I come as a middle-class, upper-caste Indian, the creators of a system so resilient it survived centuries after centuries of invasions and colonization by the Greeks, the Mughals, the Europeans, the British.

Born in post-colonial India, I grew up with strong female role models — Hindu goddesses, warrior queens, feisty politicians, professional aunts and a mother determined not to allow my sister and me to be treated differently from our brother.

Like many women seeking to shape a modern India that was equitable, I grew up challenging traditions about our place in society, questioning norms about viewing marriage as an achievement or the deep value placed on chastity.

When I supported our domestic worker against her drunken husband, when I lectured women from nearby villages about HIV/AIDS or exhorted them to have fewer children, I based my efforts on the premise that all people needed was a little leg up to get on a level-playing field.

You could say I was a well-meaning white feminist.

Invisible to me were the barriers and mental prisons formed by the matrices of caste, skin colour, and centuries of dependency piled on top of the misogyny the women experienced.

Sometimes you notice the rug only when it is pulled from under your feet.

I moved to beautiful Canada.

Moving here had the effect of literally flying to the top of the Earth and looking at the world from a new vantage point. It gave me perspective.

Canada felt like my calm partner, and India a tempestuous ex. Life there was vibrant, full-throated, no holds barred. You shouted, you cried, you laughed out loud. Here, for a new immigrant with a job, life appeared tranquil, pleasant and for the most part predictable.

Read more: Wonder Woman must save the world, but first she has to fight it: Paradkar

I had never not belonged where I lived, and here, too, I felt included in inclusive Canada. I didn’t see the difference between the mostly white Canadians around me and myself — I thought I was essentially like them, with darker skin and a few religious rituals.

The first strike against that notion, or at least one that registered, came at a car dealership where the salesman shut me down saying he did not negotiate with Indians when I asked if that was the best price he could offer. I didn’t recognize it then but it was when my racialization began.

Over the years, came other instances of individual racism. The shoe salesman who told my visiting father every single shoe he wanted was not in stock, the woman who invited me over but whose husband didn’t show up in his own house because he didn’t like immigrants, the people who didn’t take me seriously because I sound different.

I believe everybody, no matter of what background, has experienced being put down for something in that background, some with more far-reaching repercussions than others. My exposure to colourism/shadeism in India and the systemic racism I saw here quickly made it obvious that what I faced was nothing compared to what even darker-skinned people experienced or what Black people faced. This society is centred around whiteness — proximity to whiteness brings privilege, and anti-Black racism is not a historical shame. It is a vile and vicious present-day malaise.

Then came the discovery that blindsided me. The unpeeling of layers hidden underneath Canada’s calm revealed the anguish of the Indigenous peoples of this land. I knew an ancient civilization existed here, but I had thought Canada was a benign rearranging of the cultures; adventurers came, treaties were signed and hello, 150 years.

I had thought of Indigenous people as a scattered group of what are called “tribals” in India or the orang asli in Malaysia — people of a bygone era, living on their own remote lands, untouched by modernity.

What I have learned is they have more in common with us, the millions from colonized lands who have known and felt the tragedies that the colonizers wrought on our people, reading stories and hearing them from the mouths of our parents and grandparents.

This revelation of contemporary colonialism feels like the pages from my history books have come alive, challenging me to participate now, giving me a chance to take sides this time, connecting me to the people who were once mistaken for my forefathers. This brought about a seismic shift in my understanding of where I, now a “non-white,” was situated in the social and racial landscape; if I was once white, by attitude, I was once native, too, in fact.

The pain of Indigenous and Black people doesn’t exist for my learning or betterment; only mine does. I cannot burden others to educate me. So I try to listen with an open heart and do my job, to make uncomfortable those liberal-minded Canadians whom I know to otherwise nurture a deep sense of fairness and civic duty, but whose privilege shields them from facing this morally unsustainable treatment of people.

Read more: You don't have to hate police to agree with BLM: Paradkar

When I celebrate Canada 150 it will be not for what has been accomplished but for the promise of its potential to lead the world to equity.

Here I am then, once again, poking holes in deeply rooted ideas, questioning traditions about people’s place in society, this time in Canada.

I have found my feet.

I am home.

Shree Paradkar tackles issues of race and gender. You can follow her @shreeparadkar


          Arkansas man gets 17 years in home invasion robbery of his grandparents    
A 21-year-old Arkansas man was sentenced to 17 years in prison Wednesday for his involvement in the home invasion and robbery of his grandparents.
          The Difference Between Being Wrong and a Liar   

Jack Shafer over at Politico has the typical defense of CNN's Fake News operation. Can't a guy just make a mistake.

Should Journalists Have the Right to Be Wrong? CNN screwed up. So have we all.

Etc... etc

As the Supreme Court noted in the landmark libel case Times v. Sullivan, the First Amendment is of little use unless we provide “breathing space” for controversial reports that end up containing unintentional mistakes—like the CNN story—as long as they’re made without malice. As I’ve written before, journalistic errors aren’t a modern thing caused by the 24-hour news cycle or stimulated by Twitter’s itchy trigger-fingers. Show me a famous set of historical stories—the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Normandy invasion, the Cold War, the civil rights struggle, the 9/11 attacks or the day-to-day coverage of past presidents, and I’ll show you grievous errors in the reporting. From Tucson to Abbottabad to Mumbai, breaking news routinely tosses off condemnable errors of fact, usually made by conscientious reporters doing their best under intense pressure.

Malice is the key word.

Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. But there's a big difference between mistakes and motivated lying. The difference is good faith. It's ethics and integrity.

Does anyone on either side honestly believe that the media has any ethics and integrity when it comes to Trump? Or, for that matter, Republicans in general. Good faith works both ways. If you extend nothing to the other side, there's no reason for the other side to extends any to you.

Why should Republicans believe that CNN made an error rather than told a deliberate lie? It comes down to trust. And there isn't any reason for any.

Nor does Shafer provide any reason for trust by compulsively quoting ex-Gawker's John Cook.

Cook, who runs digital investigations at Gizmodo Media Group, provides an editor’s eye view of the challenges reporters face when tolerance for errors falls to zero.

Earlier this week, Cook wrote my kicker for me when he tweeted, “One good way to reduce the rate of production of good journalism is to engineer an environment where mistakes are viewed as catastrophic.”

Like running Hulk Hogan's sex tape. Just one of those errors that impede the production of hit pieces.

Journalism can’t exist unless we give reporters the occasional right to get it wrong.

Journalism can't exist when those outside their circle no longer trust in their integrity.


          Prank invasion – Kissing Prank [TÜRKÇE]   
Prank invasion – Kissing Prank [TÜRKÇE]
          HAUNTCAST 16 – Invasion of the Booty Snatchers   
Hauntcast 16 - "Invasion of the Booty Snatchers" Cover your backsides for this installment featuring an interview with the Baron & Baroness Reuswaat of Darkwing Manor & Morguetorium Museum, News From Beyond, the Top Ten Words from the Haunters Dictionary, Fright Flicks and Horror Reviews, Disney's Haunted Mansion in the Charmed Pot, Mad Props for [...]

          JapanHD.XXX – SITERIP Videos   

361 videos | 387 GB All Screenshots on Depfile:screens_JapanHD.XXX.rar Videos on 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The post JapanHD.XXX – SITERIP Videos


          Antarctica is starting to go ice free — with some interesting consequences.   
What happens to Antarctica's flora and fauna when they mingle with invasive species?
          Researchers test self-destructing moth pest in cabbage patch   
Researchers in a New York cabbage patch are planning the first release on American soil of insects genetically engineered to die before they can reproduce.  It\'s a pesticide-free attempt to control invasive diamondback moths, a voracious consumer of cabbage, broccoli and other...
          Comentário sobre Janaína Paschoal fala do voto de Gilmar Mendes e outras questões atuais por Gustavo   
Invasão russa; complô do PT, Janot e Joesley pra derrubar o Temer e FHC petista. Qual será a próxima?
          How to Find Someone's Name From a Cell Phone Number Using a Reverse Cell Phone Directory!   
Reverse Cell Phone Search was alien to us till a few years ago. But today it is the best solution for any of the following problems. Tried the White Pages but it didn't help? That's understandable. Especially since there's never been a listing for mobile connections. If you've tried to obtain such data, you would have found it more difficult than you'd think. This is chiefly because these numbers are considered private and listing them in the public domain causes an invasion of privacy.
          CIA Analyst Reveals Zionists’ Role in Planning U.S. Invasion of Iraq   
News Item...
          HANDS OFF! CITIZENS FIGHT TSA INVASIONS   
News Item...
          Orang-Utangover!   

The bar has reached a Friday evening peak. Everybody is loud and excitable, Prosecco is flowing and there is love and laughter everywhere. The Headache Fairy will be busy tomorrow, but for now...

"...So, then I said, right, I said 'And anyway, darlin, that's not a banana you're peeling!'" Mass guffaws. HAHAHAHA HA HA HA ha...ha...haaa...and fade to black. And silence.

Crazy-Banner

A chimpanzee is lying beneath a tree. Well, perhaps "beneath" dignifies the picture somewhat. "Underneath" might be better. And the tree is horizontal. On the floor surrounding the chimp are a number of festive baubles, and on a nearby sofa is a crumpled heap of clothes and blankets. Looping on his television screen is a video of a chimp invasion of a wine store. After a BLT he will realise how much fun last night's Christmas party was, but right now he is sulking about a lost battle with a tree.

"Oi, Snazzy", he says to the sofa. The crumpled heap moves a little to show the head of another chimpanzee, this one topped off with an angel. "How did we get here?"

"I think we started off with a couple of aperitifs, Crazy, Laurent-Perrier Non-Vintage, £27 a pop. Christmas has come early at that price..."

LP

"No, here!" I was a tree climbing aristocracy not so long ago, now I'm pinned to the floor by a Norwegian Spruce wondering how I'm going to get to work. I should be sitting in the sunshine picking fleas off my girlfriend, not working in a wine shop in Clapham!"

"Well for a start, I warned you against putting your Christmas tree up after a night on the Brasso. You should have savoured some Bourgogne Blanc Girardin with me - elegant, pleasantly aromatic, and appealingly fruity. The wine's not bad either, boom boom!"

Bourgogne

"And as for your job, well, think about it. People want a shop with character, and they want the best of everything. The confused man with ten quid who'd never been in the place before - you gave him Coteaux du Pont du Gard - fruit, structure, intensity and complexity. And a rather saucy joke. Think how some small part of his life may have been changed by a wine of such quality. He might have had a Road to Damascus moment with a country wine from Avignon."

Pont-du-Gard

"...and the lady wanting a change from boring, boring Pinot Grigio? Domaine de Coudoulet Viognier - a lovely flowery nose and tropical fruit on the palate, balanced with a dash of citrus. She didn't think wine shopping could be such fun, and now she's looking at the more generic offerings with something approaching pity. You see, we send out little ripples of love and affirmation with every bottle, and though you can't see them, they cross your path with every step you take from the shop to Clapham Junction station. Every cosy looking, lamp lit window may have a Coudoulet Viognier behind it. If only you knew!"

Snazzy-Banner

"Cor blimey, Snazzy, you don't half talk some cobblers. And there's nothing elegant or pleasantly aromatic about you while you're piled up on my settee! Now get yourself out and get us a banana, lettuce and tomato, while I sort some coffee out."

As the front door closes, Crazy Chimp's mind drifts to Snazzy's comments. To the tables he may have enriched in some way, to the laughter he's brought to unsuspecting shoppers, to the enrichment of his own mind and so many others with knowledge of the seemingly obscure or opaque. Clapham has become a beautiful place, and Christmas is his, for him to give to the world!

Well, that's if he can get from under this tree now Snazzy's gone out...


          The Long Arms of The Law   

Hilarious Chimp is listening to records. At the moment it is the turn of Pithecanthropus Erectus by Charles Mingus, a long-standing family favourite. The music is terrifically exciting, with five men seeming to make the noise of eleven, and Hilarious is playing it at an appreciable volume while whirling around the room on a unicycle and whooping and a-hollering with the band! Unfortunately, his neighbours are rather less appreciative. They've seen the video Hilarious made recently with all of his other Oddbins cohorts, and they didn't find quite the same joy in its assorted muckslinging or the Mingus-maybe melodies that have sent the chimp back to his record collection. And now this racket! Tired of his primate pranks, they have summoned the long arm of the law...

Hilarious-Banner

In the conference room of a swish hotel, Sassy Chimp is delivering a seminar entitled 'Writing On The Wall: When To Flog Your Business, and Where You Won't Be Found'. It consists, in large part, of the murky tales surrounding his sale of 'Monkey Vegas', a huge empire founded on teaching circus skills and party tricks to primates. By what he described as an 'uncanny coincidence', Sassy sold the business at an eye-watering profit exactly one month before animal acts were banned from circuses. "I didn't so much avoid the country after that, it was more a case of simply being somewhere else...". He has come back to help his friends and family with the cheerful invasion of Oddbins, whence he has graced his event with ample supplies of Terra Noble Reserva Terroir Syrah, a deep and deliciously savoury red from the Maule Valley in Chile, together with a Chardonnay from the same winery, a warmly approachable white that partners delightfully with the hors d'oeuvres he's provided. While he's pointing to a Venn diagram on a Bo-Nobo board, he is discreetly called out of the room and taken into a police station.

Terra-Noble-Syrah

Terra-Noble-Chardonnay

"...and he says you're the only person he knows who can pay for his bail. Well, you and..." consulting a notebook, "...Billy Expletive Smart. Funny bloke considering he doesn't even crack a smile!"

"Funny?"

"Yeah. He's cracked everybody up round here, playing table tennis with the boys. 10p, 50p, whatever, absolutely thrashed all of them. Funny thing was, he was riding a unicycle throughout. Even when we brought him in he pedalled out to the panda. Then he made the handcuffs disappear and we found them in the glove box."

"How much is his bail exactly?"

Sassy-Banner

"Well, he's clearly a chimp of good character. In fact, we considered dropping all charges when we told him we don't usually have much to do with hominoids, and he said that's because you can get cream for them nowadays. If we can find a caring home for him we'll forget the whole thing - you seem to have done better than he has out of circus regulations, maybe you owe it to him to see he doesn't spend another Christmas in the park? Meanwhile, we'll set him up in Oddbins and the staff will take him under their loving wing! Now,  back in the car and you can pick up your records while we bring your neighbours in for crime against hilarity. A couple of days in the cooler listening to Kenny G should teach them what side their bread's buttered!"

In the back of the car, Hilarious and Sassy are making up. "So, Hilarious, 50p a game, you say? I'm sure I could fix you up with plenty more games, and at a pound a pop! How about we seal the deal with a bottle of this Tarlant Champagne..."

Tarlant


          Wikileaks: Emiratos pidió bombardear a Al Jazeera   
Emiratos Árabes Unidos (EAU) pidió a Estados Unidos bombardear las instalaciones de la televisora Al Jazeera en Qatar, en 2001 y 2003, según documentos clasificados del gobierno emiratí filtrados este jueves por el sitio Wikileaks. De acuerdo con el documento 03ABUDHABI4670-a del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de EAU, el príncipe heredero emiratí, Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan, pidió a altos mandos de la administración de George W. Bush bombardear las instalaciones del canal satelital más importante del mundo árabe durante la invasión a Afganistán y antes de la guerra de Irak.
          Loose Feathers #602   
Northern Harrier chicks / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • An Iranian city may have tied the record for the world's hottest recorded temperature as the Persian Gulf region remains stuck in an intense heat wave.
  • Meanwhile the climate action plan for the G20 summit has been weakened to mollify Donald Trump, though the Trump administration seems likely to reject or ignore the agreement anyway.
  • In the U.S., the economic effects of climate change are likely to be worse in the southeast than elsewhere in the country.
  • Even though greenhouse gas emissions have stabilized, carbon in the atmosphere is still rising, which raises the question of whether natural carbon sinks will continue to respond as we expect.
  • Budget cuts threaten progress in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. 
  • The public can now comment on the review of national marine monuments and sanctuaries. Leave comments here.
  • While marginal agricultural land offers the best opportunity for restoring butterfly populations (especially the Monarch), planting native plants is necessary in all landscape types, including suburban and urban ones.
  • After part of a coastal cliff collapsed in southwestern England in the 19th century, a remaining piece became an isolated haven for rare plants.
  • An intensive logging campaign is destroying the Białowieża forest in Poland, which has long been recognized as a key biodiversity hotspot.
  • The PennEast pipeline project, which would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania through western New Jersey, is stalled after its parent company did not submit required information for its application.
  • More Humpback Whales will be in New Jersey and New York waters this summer because of the rise in Atlantic Menhaden close to shore.

          8-foot Burmese python found in Orlando after hitching a ride in couple's boat   
An invasive 8-foot Burmese python took at least a four-hour drive after it hitched a ride from Plantation Island to Orlando.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an unnamed couple drove their boat on a trailer to Orlando for repairs, and found the sneaky snake after pulling back the deck to inspect the engine.

The owners then humanely killed the snake and reported it to the Exotic Species Hotline, says the FWC.…
          Liquid biopsies: A non-invasive look at treatment response   
A new study shows that so-called "liquid biopsies", blood tests that detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), may not only sound an early alert that a treatment's effect is diminishing, but may also help explain why -sometimes offering clues about what to do next.
          Atherectomy And Thromboctomy Devices Market | Trends, Opportunities and Forecast up to 2023   
Atherectomy And Thromboctomy Devices Market | Trends, Opportunities and Forecast up to 2023 Global Atherectomy and Thromboctomy Devices Market: Overview Atherectomy is a key treatment for peripheral arterial disease. The treatment involves the removal of arteriosclerosis from the large blood vessels. The treatment predominantly uses minimally invasive procedures and can also be used

          Single Port Surgical Platform Market - Positive Long-Term Growth Outlook 2024   
Single Port Surgical Platform Market - Positive Long-Term Growth Outlook 2024 Single port surgical platform (SPSP) is a minimal invasive laparoscopy technique in which, a single incision is made on the body through single trocar which have multiple ports or single skin incision site with multiple facial incisions that have an

          Helldriver   
Japan, 2010
Original title: Nihon bundan: Heru doraibâ
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Starring: Yumiko Hara, Eihi Shiina, Kazuki Namioka

When I first saw Yoshihiro Nishimura's breakout film Tokyo Gore Police, I was excited. I thought here's a director with some GREAT ideas, an eye for constructing jaw-dropping set pieces, and an anarchistic approach to film-making that totally suited my twisted sensibilities. What could this guy do with more budget, more experience, and a better script? I couldn't wait.

That was 2008. Since then he's helmed 3 more movies. The first was 2009's Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, and even then I lamented that it was just more of the same. But it was an ok flick, and I still held hope that his masterpiece might be just around the corner. His next was titled 'Mutant Girls Squad', which admittedly doesn't sound like a masterpiece, and wasn't.

And now we have his latest film, Helldriver. If you've seen any of the previous three, the verdict is once again - more of the same. Except now the novelty has worn off and is starting to resemble a rut.

This time around, the Northern part of Japan has been hit with a zombie infection by way of alien invasion, and has been walled off to protect the rest of the country. In a sly jab at political correctness and slimeball politicians, it's not long before there are calls to protect the 'human rights' of the zombies. It's a clever touch, but about as deep as the social commentary gets.




What follows is balls-out zombie-dispensing mayhem with the usual top notch splatter effects mixed with equally amateurish ones. There are moments of visual brilliance, some great set pieces, and enough blood and severed body parts to fill 382 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It's all extremely over-the-top, contrived to shock, and very, very silly.

Which can be fun! But the problem here is that the script mines a well-worn zombie scenario, while bringing little new to the table beyond the shock and gore that Nishimura (a special effects guy by trade) is so well known for. There's smatterings of humour throughout, and even a little 'ero' to go with the 'guro' (which I think is a first for Nishimura, and welcomed). But nowhere near enough for a 2hr long movie with a plot that could be written on a paper napkin.


  

For this viewer at least, two hours of inventive splatter is just not enough to retain my interest. There needs to also be a good story, or great acting, or lots of humour ... hell, an oversupply of nudity wouldn't hurt the cause either. And if all of the above were to be thrown in at once, THEN we'd be talking about a pony with more than one trick!

The other problem is that the film feels like a 45 minute movie, with bits tacked on at front and back to flesh out the runtime. This isn't helped by the decision to run the title sequence a full 45 minutes into the movie! I don't know if this was an intentional quirk playfully thrown in by Nishimura to break convention, or whether he is in fact implying that he had nothing to do with the first 45, and that this is where 'his' movie really starts. Because basically the first 45 minutes are crap. I recommend skipping them entirely.

 
  

And then half an hour from the end, the movie grinds to a natural conclusion, only to kick-start itself back into action for a redundant further half hour. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Nishimura only worked on the middle 45 mins, with the remainder being jobbed out to a junior director. Especially as IMDB has Nishimura listed as 'special effects supervisor' on no less than 33 films in the last three years - no doubt his time is limited!

And so was the budget it seems. Many scenes come across as unfinished and/or rushed, there are some awful visual effects, and what seem like glaring continuity problems. Even within the context of b-grade J-splatter, the limited budget is more visible than you'd expect.




On the plus side, Eihi Shiina (Audition, Tokyo Gore Police) has a major role here, and that's always good in my book - even if she spends a majority of the movie buried beneath less-than-flattering zombie makeup and/or blood. B-grade go-to girl Asami makes an appearance, as does Yukihide Benny. I don't know too much about lead actress Yumiko Hara, except to note that she has a fascinatingly large mouth! She has the physicality to pull off this kind of role, but not the presence that an actress of Eihi Shiina's calibre brings.



First-timers to the hyper-twisted world of Yoshihiro Nishimura may still have a blast with this, especially after a case of beer and with suitably low expectations! The middle 45 minutes are classic Nishimura - and there's a lot to love buried within its two-hour runtime. But I'm still waiting for that masterpiece that proves he's more than a special-effects wizard -  ready and able to take up the mantle of driving a new wave of Japanese extreme cinema.

Rating: 5/10




 


          Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City   
Japan, 2010
Original title: Zeburâman: Zebura Shiti no gyakushû

Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Shô Aikawa, Riisa Naka, Tsuyoshi Abe
IMDB: 7/10

Long-time fans of director Takashi Miike may regard the first Zebraman film as marking the end of the Miike golden period. Coming shortly after a rapid-fire sequence of surreal genre pieces (Gozu, Visitor Q, Happiness of the Katakuris) and hyper kinetic Yakuza epics (Ichi the Killer, Dead or Alive, Deadly Outlaw Rekka) ... it was a time when Miike was arguably the most exciting director on the world stage, at least for those of us inhabiting the more twisted fringes of the world cinema spectrum.

Consequently expectations were high, and Zebraman (Part 1) while able to ride on the Miike buzz, ultimately disappointed. It's not that it was a bad film, just that the films which preceded it were so good, and the paradigm shift to a less adult, and more commercial reality was somewhat at odds with his previous work, even considering the eclectic range of his output.

So its interesting that Miike has chosen 6 years later to revisit the franchise, based on the manga from Yamada Renji. This time around, perhaps due to adjusted expectations, the result seems more impressive. It's still firmly entrenched within a commercial framework, and targeted towards a younger demographic - but just maybe I've come to terms with that. The fact it reunites him with veteran Sho Aikawa (Zebraman, Gozu, Dead or Alive trilogy) and comes stocked with an array of leather-clad vixens is more than enough reason to check it out.




Zebraman 2 is an alien invasion movie set in a dystopian Tokyo future, with its central theme being the time honoured struggle between good and evil, in this case symbolically depicted as a fight between 'black and white'.

Taking the idea one step further, the film cleverly plays with the inherent visual dichotomy of the Zebra, its black and white stripes signifying the good and evil within us all and, more specifically, within Zebraman himself. This plot point is an opportunity to ramp up the sexiness, exploiting the decadence of the black side of the stripe.




Ostensibly a superhero movie, the film plays like a combination of Cutie Honey, Tokyo Gore Police, and Godzilla-sized monster mayhem. All of which unfolds with Miike's typical irreverence and disregard for linear plot exposition. The abundance of crazy ideas thrown into the mix makes for a somewhat confusing first half-hour ... but hang in there, it all makes sense in the end (however absurd).

Tokyo 2025 has been renamed 'Zebra City', complete with a striped force-field defining its boundaries, and a tacit acknowledgment of the need for both good and evil within. Those in power are permitted to commit crimes for 10 minutes each day with impunity, a thinly-disguised attempt to thin the population via survival of the fittest.




Mayor Aihara Kozou, complete with bowler hat and mascara a la Clockwork Orange, enforces his dictates with the aid of stormtroopers and a select personal guard called the Zebra Police, or as he calls them 'The miniskirts'. As the name suggests, they are decked out in leather miniskirts, heels and fishnets (all black, of course), a darker version of Japan's legendary Miniskirt Police.



Which brings us to the Zebra Queen, Aihara Yui played by fashion model Riisa Naka - formed from pure evil by her creator Mayor Aihara who tweaked her appearance by specifying "larger breasts" and a "tighter ass" if you please!

A psychotic sadist, being pure evil after all, Riisa hams it up as a nasty little bitch. Her day job is as a J-pop artist, cavorting lasciviously in black leather and lingerie, spreading her own sexy brand of debauched propaganda and mind control. Obviously she looks the part, and with an eye-popping selection of clothes and wigs makes for a super-sexy villain.




Although the film comes across at times like a family-style blockbuster ... Miike never seems quite able to reign in his twisted ideas long-enough to call the film truly family-friendly - at least not what would be considered as such outside of Japan.

So while we have a cute young girl as the damsel in distress, we also have sly scenes of perverse sexuality ... a nurse tweaks the nipples of a male doctor as he pours hot wax on a patient, our titular hero gives the blowjob of the century to dispose of a menacing alien, and the Zebra Queen has quite the propensity to end up with her legs spread at any given opportunity. And that's not to mention the director's little joke as one scene threatens to enter tentacle-porn territory, only to smoothly segue into innocent playfulness.




While Miike has always operated within the limited budgets that most Japanese movies strain under compared to their Hollywood counterparts, this in no way reigns in his ambition ... which often seems many times the budget he has available. How good the film looks is testament to his skill at stretching his Yen - although whatever budget he has seems never quite enough to fully realise the richness of his vision.

Maybe lacking the budget for reshoots, tweaks or fine-tuning, he turns budget shortfalls into an opportunity for B-grade schlock. The occasional cheapo effects are played for laughs, and not incongruously with the tone. Miike films it and moves on - and this is much of the charm of his movies. They're dense bursts of creativity, generally uninhibited by restriction - be it money, good taste or common filmic convention.



Film connoisseurs might well describe the film as silly and inane, not without justification, but fans of this absurdist Japanese style will know that's exactly the point. I'd personally have preferred a more adult tone though. The sex is throttled back to multiplex-friendly allusions when my preference would've been more exploitative ... but that's just my admittedly twisted personal viewpoint.

In recommendation, I enjoyed it a lot and laughed often. It won't be showing up in many best-of lists ... but where else will you see a godzilla-sized cutesy green alien stomping through Tokyo and blowing enemies away with well-directed blasts of flatulence! Yes its that kind of movie, and it deserves to be seen, at least once.

Rating: 7/10
          Depleted Uranium for Dummies   
The widely distributed and cited part three of the depleted uranium series: At the beginning of George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of 1991 Operation Desert Storm vets suffering from Gulf War Illness were praying that United Nations weapons inspectors were right and that Bush and Cheney were lying about Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). After all, most of the ailing vets were casualties of those weapons even though the Pentagon maintains that Iraq never used them. How could that be?
          Bravade ou danger réel? Gérard Hervouet analyse les récentes menaces de la Corée du Nord   
Ces derniers jours, la tension est vive dans la péninsule coréenne. Kim Jong-Un, dirigeant de la Corée du Nord, s'en prend aux États-Unis. Notre collègue Gérard Hervouet, professeur au Département de sciences politiques et directeur du Programme Paix et sécurité internationales analyse régulièrement l'évolution de la situation. Voici quelques-unes des entrevues qu'il a accordées récemment. Entrevue de Gérard Hervouet à Radio-Canada (31 mars 2013) Écoutez l’entrevue de Gérard Hervouet à Radio-Canada (12 mars 2013) Visionnez l'entrevue de Gérard Hervouet sur TFO (20 mars 2013) Rappel : Les États-Unis et la Corée du Sud ont entamé le lundi 11 mars dernier leur exercice militaire conjoint annuel. Ces manœuvres  ne sont  pas du goût de la Corée du Nord, qui les a considérées comme une invasion de son territoire et envisage officiellement une frappe nucléaire préventive pour y mettre un terme. Kim Jong-Un menace de mettre fin au cessez-le-feu en vigueur depuis 1953 entre les deux Corées, afin de protester contre les dernières sanctions du conseil de sécurité de l’ONU envers la Corée du Nord.Au cours de ses entrevues, Gérard Hervouet évoque les raisons internes et externes qui poussent la Corée du Nord à vouloir par tous les moyens se repositionner sur le devant de la scène. Entre la quête de légitimité et de crédibilité du dirigeant Nord-Coréen auprès des élites de son pays, et la période de transition politique dans les pays voisins, la conjoncture incite Kim Jong-Un à s'efforcer d'afficher sa puissance sur la scène internationale. Nos experts dans les médias  
          Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath: How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe   
How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
Avi Shlaim, The Guardian, 7 Jan 2009

Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state's legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions

The only way to make sense of Israel's senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration's complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza's prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion's share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.

The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.

Israel's settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.

Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.

America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.

As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel's propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.

Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.

It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.

The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel's terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.

The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel's cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted - a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, "crying and shooting".

To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak - terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel's entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.

The brutality of Israel's soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel's objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel's forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel's spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.

A wide gap separates the reality of Israel's actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel's objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel's insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.

No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel's concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.

This brief review of Israel's record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders". A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism - the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel's real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.

Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World and of Lion of Jordan: King Hussein's Life in War and Peace.
          China's Charter 08   
China's Charter 08
New York Review of Books
Volume 56, Number 1 · January 15, 2009


Translated from the Chinese by Perry Link

The document below, signed by more than two thousand Chinese citizens, was conceived and written in conscious admiration of the founding of Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, where, in January 1977, more than two hundred Czech and Slovak intellectuals formed a
loose, informal, and open association of people...united by the will to strive individually and collectively for respect for human and civil rights in our country and throughout the world.
The Chinese document calls not for ameliorative reform of the current political system but for an end to some of its essential features, including one-party rule, and their replacement with a system based on human rights and democracy.

The prominent citizens who have signed the document are from both outside and inside the government, and include not only well-known dissidents and intellectuals, but also middle-level officials and rural leaders. They chose December 10, the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as the day on which to express their political ideas and to outline their vision of a constitutional, democratic China. They want Charter 08 to serve as a blueprint for fundamental political change in China in the years to come. The signers of the document will form an informal group, open-ended in size but united by a determination to promote democratization and protection of human rights in China and beyond.

Following the text is a postscript describing some of the regime's recent reactions to it.

—Perry Link
I. FOREWORD

A hundred years have passed since the writing of China's first constitution. 2008 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of the Democracy Wall in Beijing, and the tenth of China's signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy student protesters. The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values.

By departing from these values, the Chinese government's approach to "modernization" has proven disastrous. It has stripped people of their rights, destroyed their dignity, and corrupted normal human intercourse. So we ask: Where is China headed in the twenty-first century? Will it continue with "modernization" under authoritarian rule, or will it embrace universal human values, join the mainstream of civilized nations, and build a democratic system? There can be no avoiding these questions.

The shock of the Western impact upon China in the nineteenth century laid bare a decadent authoritarian system and marked the beginning of what is often called "the greatest changes in thousands of years" for China. A "self-strengthening movement" followed, but this aimed simply at appropriating the technology to build gunboats and other Western material objects. China's humiliating naval defeat at the hands of Japan in 1895 only confirmed the obsolescence of China's system of government. The first attempts at modern political change came with the ill-fated summer of reforms in 1898, but these were cruelly crushed by ultraconservatives at China's imperial court. With the revolution of 1911, which inaugurated Asia's first republic, the authoritarian imperial system that had lasted for centuries was finally supposed to have been laid to rest. But social conflict inside our country and external pressures were to prevent it; China fell into a patchwork of warlord fiefdoms and the new republic became a fleeting dream.

The failure of both "self- strengthening" and political renovation caused many of our forebears to reflect deeply on whether a "cultural illness" was afflicting our country. This mood gave rise, during the May Fourth Movement of the late 1910s, to the championing of "science and democracy." Yet that effort, too, foundered as warlord chaos persisted and the Japanese invasion [beginning in Manchuria in 1931] brought national crisis.

Victory over Japan in 1945 offered one more chance for China to move toward modern government, but the Communist defeat of the Nationalists in the civil war thrust the nation into the abyss of totalitarianism. The "new China" that emerged in 1949 proclaimed that "the people are sovereign" but in fact set up a system in which "the Party is all-powerful." The Communist Party of China seized control of all organs of the state and all political, economic, and social resources, and, using these, has produced a long trail of human rights disasters, including, among many others, the Anti-Rightist Campaign (1957), the Great Leap Forward (1958–1960), the Cultural Revolution (1966–1969), the June Fourth [Tiananmen Square] Massacre (1989), and the current repression of all unauthorized religions and the suppression of the weiquan rights movement [a movement that aims to defend citizens' rights promulgated in the Chinese Constitution and to fight for human rights recognized by international conventions that the Chinese government has signed]. During all this, the Chinese people have paid a gargantuan price. Tens of millions have lost their lives, and several generations have seen their freedom, their happiness, and their human dignity cruelly trampled.

During the last two decades of the twentieth century the government policy of "Reform and Opening" gave the Chinese people relief from the pervasive poverty and totalitarianism of the Mao Zedong era, and brought substantial increases in the wealth and living standards of many Chinese as well as a partial restoration of economic freedom and economic rights. Civil society began to grow, and popular calls for more rights and more political freedom have grown apace. As the ruling elite itself moved toward private ownership and the market economy, it began to shift from an outright rejection of "rights" to a partial acknowledgment of them.

In 1998 the Chinese government signed two important international human rights conventions; in 2004 it amended its constitution to include the phrase "respect and protect human rights"; and this year, 2008, it has promised to promote a "national human rights action plan." Unfortunately most of this political progress has extended no further than the paper on which it is written. The political reality, which is plain for anyone to see, is that China has many laws but no rule of law; it has a constitution but no constitutional government. The ruling elite continues to cling to its authoritarian power and fights off any move toward political change.

The stultifying results are endemic official corruption, an undermining of the rule of law, weak human rights, decay in public ethics, crony capitalism, growing inequality between the wealthy and the poor, pillage of the natural environment as well as of the human and historical environments, and the exacerbation of a long list of social conflicts, especially, in recent times, a sharpening animosity between officials and ordinary people.

As these conflicts and crises grow ever more intense, and as the ruling elite continues with impunity to crush and to strip away the rights of citizens to freedom, to property, and to the pursuit of happiness, we see the powerless in our society—the vulnerable groups, the people who have been suppressed and monitored, who have suffered cruelty and even torture, and who have had no adequate avenues for their protests, no courts to hear their pleas—becoming more militant and raising the possibility of a violent conflict of disastrous proportions. The decline of the current system has reached the point where change is no longer optional.

II. OUR FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

This is a historic moment for China, and our future hangs in the balance. In reviewing the political modernization process of the past hundred years or more, we reiterate and endorse basic universal values as follows:

Freedom. Freedom is at the core of universal human values. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom in where to live, and the freedoms to strike, to demonstrate, and to protest, among others, are the forms that freedom takes. Without freedom, China will always remain far from civilized ideals.

Human rights. Human rights are not bestowed by a state. Every person is born with inherent rights to dignity and freedom. The government exists for the protection of the human rights of its citizens. The exercise of state power must be authorized by the people. The succession of political disasters in China's recent history is a direct consequence of the ruling regime's disregard for human rights.

Equality. The integrity, dignity, and freedom of every person—regardless of social station, occupation, sex, economic condition, ethnicity, skin color, religion, or political belief—are the same as those of any other. Principles of equality before the law and equality of social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights must be upheld.

Republicanism. Republicanism, which holds that power should be balanced among different branches of government and competing interests should be served, resembles the traditional Chinese political ideal of "fairness in all under heaven." It allows different interest groups and social assemblies, and people with a variety of cultures and beliefs, to exercise democratic self-government and to deliberate in order to reach peaceful resolution of public questions on a basis of equal access to government and free and fair competition.

Democracy. The most fundamental principles of democracy are that the people are sovereign and the people select their government. Democracy has these characteristics: (1) Political power begins with the people and the legitimacy of a regime derives from the people. (2) Political power is exercised through choices that the people make. (3) The holders of major official posts in government at all levels are determined through periodic competitive elections. (4) While honoring the will of the majority, the fundamental dignity, freedom, and human rights of minorities are protected. In short, democracy is a modern means for achieving government truly "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Constitutional rule. Constitutional rule is rule through a legal system and legal regulations to implement principles that are spelled out in a constitution. It means protecting the freedom and the rights of citizens, limiting and defining the scope of legitimate government power, and providing the administrative apparatus necessary to serve these ends.

III. WHAT WE ADVOCATE

Authoritarianism is in general decline throughout the world; in China, too, the era of emperors and overlords is on the way out. The time is arriving everywhere for citizens to be masters of states. For China the path that leads out of our current predicament is to divest ourselves of the authoritarian notion of reliance on an "enlightened overlord" or an "honest official" and to turn instead toward a system of liberties, democracy, and the rule of law, and toward fostering the consciousness of modern citizens who see rights as fundamental and participation as a duty. Accordingly, and in a spirit of this duty as responsible and constructive citizens, we offer the following recommendations on national governance, citizens' rights, and social development:

1. A New Constitution. We should recast our present constitution, rescinding its provisions that contradict the principle that sovereignty resides with the people and turning it into a document that genuinely guarantees human rights, authorizes the exercise of public power, and serves as the legal underpinning of China's democratization. The constitution must be the highest law in the land, beyond violation by any individual, group, or political party.

2. Separation of Powers. We should construct a modern government in which the separation of legislative, judicial, and executive power is guaranteed. We need an Administrative Law that defines the scope of government responsibility and prevents abuse of administrative power. Government should be responsible to taxpayers. Division of power between provincial governments and the central government should adhere to the principle that central powers are only those specifically granted by the constitution and all other powers belong to the local governments.

3. Legislative Democracy. Members of legislative bodies at all levels should be chosen by direct election, and legislative democracy should observe just and impartial principles.

4. An Independent Judiciary. The rule of law must be above the interests of any particular political party and judges must be independent. We need to establish a constitutional supreme court and institute procedures for constitutional review. As soon as possible, we should abolish all of the Committees on Political and Legal Affairs that now allow Communist Party officials at every level to decide politically sensitive cases in advance and out of court. We should strictly forbid the use of public offices for private purposes.

5. Public Control of Public Servants. The military should be made answerable to the national government, not to a political party, and should be made more professional. Military personnel should swear allegiance to the constitution and remain nonpartisan. Political party organizations must be prohibited in the military. All public officials including police should serve as nonpartisans, and the current practice of favoring one political party in the hiring of public servants must end.

6. Guarantee of Human Rights. There must be strict guarantees of human rights and respect for human dignity. There should be a Human Rights Committee, responsible to the highest legislative body, that will prevent the government from abusing public power in violation of human rights. A democratic and constitutional China especially must guarantee the personal freedom of citizens. No one should suffer illegal arrest, detention, arraignment, interrogation, or punishment. The system of "Reeducation through Labor" must be abolished.

7. Election of Public Officials. There should be a comprehensive system of democratic elections based on "one person, one vote." The direct election of administrative heads at the levels of county, city, province, and nation should be systematically implemented. The rights to hold periodic free elections and to participate in them as a citizen are inalienable.

8. Rural–Urban Equality. The two-tier household registry system must be abolished. This system favors urban residents and harms rural residents. We should establish instead a system that gives every citizen the same constitutional rights and the same freedom to choose where to live.

9. Freedom to Form Groups. The right of citizens to form groups must be guaranteed. The current system for registering nongovernment groups, which requires a group to be "approved," should be replaced by a system in which a group simply registers itself. The formation of political parties should be governed by the constitution and the laws, which means that we must abolish the special privilege of one party to monopolize power and must guarantee principles of free and fair competition among political parties.

10. Freedom to Assemble. The constitution provides that peaceful assembly, demonstration, protest, and freedom of expression are fundamental rights of a citizen. The ruling party and the government must not be permitted to subject these to illegal interference or unconstitutional obstruction.

11. Freedom of Expression. We should make freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and academic freedom universal, thereby guaranteeing that citizens can be informed and can exercise their right of political supervision. These freedoms should be upheld by a Press Law that abolishes political restrictions on the press. The provision in the current Criminal Law that refers to "the crime of incitement to subvert state power" must be abolished. We should end the practice of viewing words as crimes.

12. Freedom of Religion. We must guarantee freedom of religion and belief, and institute a separation of religion and state. There must be no governmental interference in peaceful religious activities. We should abolish any laws, regulations, or local rules that limit or suppress the religious freedom of citizens. We should abolish the current system that requires religious groups (and their places of worship) to get official approval in advance and substitute for it a system in which registry is optional and, for those who choose to register, automatic.

13. Civic Education. In our schools we should abolish political curriculums and examinations that are designed to indoctrinate students in state ideology and to instill support for the rule of one party. We should replace them with civic education that advances universal values and citizens' rights, fosters civic consciousness, and promotes civic virtues that serve society.

14. Protection of Private Property. We should establish and protect the right to private property and promote an economic system of free and fair markets. We should do away with government monopolies in commerce and industry and guarantee the freedom to start new enterprises. We should establish a Committee on State-Owned Property, reporting to the national legislature, that will monitor the transfer of state-owned enterprises to private ownership in a fair, competitive, and orderly manner. We should institute a land reform that promotes private ownership of land, guarantees the right to buy and sell land, and allows the true value of private property to be adequately reflected in the market.

15. Financial and Tax Reform. We should establish a democratically regulated and accountable system of public finance that ensures the protection of taxpayer rights and that operates through legal procedures. We need a system by which public revenues that belong to a certain level of government—central, provincial, county or local—are controlled at that level. We need major tax reform that will abolish any unfair taxes, simplify the tax system, and spread the tax burden fairly. Government officials should not be able to raise taxes, or institute new ones, without public deliberation and the approval of a democratic assembly. We should reform the ownership system in order to encourage competition among a wider variety of market participants.

16. Social Security. We should establish a fair and adequate social security system that covers all citizens and ensures basic access to education, health care, retirement security, and employment.

17. Protection of the Environment. We need to protect the natural environment and to promote development in a way that is sustainable and responsible to our descendants and to the rest of humanity. This means insisting that the state and its officials at all levels not only do what they must do to achieve these goals, but also accept the supervision and participation of nongovernmental organizations.

18. A Federated Republic. A democratic China should seek to act as a responsible major power contributing toward peace and development in the Asian Pacific region by approaching others in a spirit of equality and fairness. In Hong Kong and Macao, we should support the freedoms that already exist. With respect to Taiwan, we should declare our commitment to the principles of freedom and democracy and then, negotiating as equals and ready to compromise, seek a formula for peaceful unification. We should approach disputes in the national-minority areas of China with an open mind, seeking ways to find a workable framework within which all ethnic and religious groups can flourish. We should aim ultimately at a federation of democratic communities of China.

19. Truth in Reconciliation. We should restore the reputations of all people, including their family members, who suffered political stigma in the political campaigns of the past or who have been labeled as criminals because of their thought, speech, or faith. The state should pay reparations to these people. All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience must be released. There should be a Truth Investigation Commission charged with finding the facts about past injustices and atrocities, determining responsibility for them, upholding justice, and, on these bases, seeking social reconciliation.

China, as a major nation of the world, as one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and as a member of the UN Council on Human Rights, should be contributing to peace for humankind and progress toward human rights. Unfortunately, we stand today as the only country among the major nations that remains mired in authoritarian politics. Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China's own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer.

Accordingly, we dare to put civic spirit into practice by announcing Charter 08. We hope that our fellow citizens who feel a similar sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether they are inside the government or not, and regardless of their social status, will set aside small differences to embrace the broad goals of this citizens' movement. Together we can work for major changes in Chinese society and for the rapid establishment of a free, democratic, and constitutional country. We can bring to reality the goals and ideals that our people have incessantly been seeking for more than a hundred years, and can bring a brilliant new chapter to Chinese civilization.
POSTSCRIPT

The planning and drafting of Charter 08 began in the late spring of 2008, but Chinese authorities were apparently unaware of it or unconcerned by it until several days before it was announced on December 10. On December 6, Wen Kejian, a writer who signed the charter, was detained in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China and questioned for about an hour. Police told Wen that Charter 08 was "different" from earlier dissident statements, and "a fairly grave matter." They said there would be a coordinated investigation in all cities and provinces to "root out the organizers," and they advised Wen to remove his name from the charter. Wen declined, telling the authorities that he saw the charter as a fundamental turning point in history.

Meanwhile, on December 8, in Shenzhen in the far south of China, police called on Zhao Dagong, a writer and signer of the charter, for a "chat." They told Zhao that the central authorities were concerned about the charter and asked if he was the organizer in the Shenzhen area.

Later on December 8, at 11 PM in Beijing, about twenty police entered the home of Zhang Zuhua, one of the charter's main drafters. A few of the police took Zhang with them to the local police station while the rest stayed and, as Zhang's wife watched, searched the home and confiscated books, notebooks, Zhang's passport, all four of the family's computers, and all of their cash and credit cards. (Later Zhang learned that his family's bank accounts, including those of both his and his wife's parents, had been emptied.) Meanwhile, at the police station, Zhang was detained for twelve hours, where he was questioned in detail about Charter 08 and the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders in which he is active.

It was also late on December 8 that another of the charter's signers, the literary critic and prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo, was taken away by police. His telephone in Beijing went unanswered, as did e-mail and Skype messages sent to him. As of the present writing, he's believed to be in police custody, although the details of his detention are not known.

On the morning of December 9, Beijing lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was called in for a police "chat," and in the evening the physicist and philosopher Jiang Qisheng was called in as well. Both had signed the charter and were friends of the drafters. On December 10—the day the charter was formally announced—the Hangzhou police returned to the home of Wen Kejian, the writer they had questioned four days earlier. This time they were more threatening. They told Wen he would face severe punishment if he wrote about the charter or about Liu Xiaobo's detention. "Do you want three years in prison?" they asked. "Or four?"

On December 11 the journalist Gao Yu and the writer Liu Di, both well-known in Beijing, were interrogated about their signing of the Charter. The rights lawyer, Teng Biao, was approached by the police but declined, on principle, to meet with them. On December 12 and 13 there were reports of interrogations in many provinces—Shaanxi, Hunan, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, and others—of people who had seen the charter on the Internet, found that they agreed with it, and signed. With these people the police focused on two questions: "How did you get involved?" and "What do you know about the drafters and organizers?"

The Chinese authorities seem unaware of the irony of their actions. Their efforts to quash Charter 08 only serve to underscore China's failure to uphold the very principles that the charter advances. The charter calls for "free expression" but the regime says, by its actions, that it has once again denied such expression. The charter calls for freedom to form groups, but the nationwide police actions that have accompanied the charter's release have specifically aimed at blocking the formation of a group. The charter says "we should end the practice of viewing words as crimes," and the regime says (literally, to Wen Kejian) "we can send you to prison for these words." The charter calls for the rule of law and the regime sends police in the middle of the night to act outside the law; the charter says "police should serve as nonpartisans," and here the police are plainly partisan.

Charter 08 is signed only by citizens of the People's Republic of China who are living inside China. But Chinese living outside China are signing a letter of strong support for the charter. The eminent historian Yu Ying-shih, the astrophysicist Fang Lizhi, writers Ha Jin and Zheng Yi, and more than 160 others have so far signed.

On December 12, the Dalai Lama issued his own letter in support of the charter, writing that "a harmonious society can only come into being when there is trust among the people, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, rule of law, justice, and equality." He called on the Chinese government to release prisoners "who have been detained for exercising their freedom of expression."

—Perry Link, December 18, 2008
          Company With Ties To UFO Cover-up Gets Huge Antarctica Contract - Why All The Defense Contractors And Mercenaries?    
http://www.stillnessinthestorm.com

http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/images/uploads/expeditions/expeditions-antarctica-new-year.jpg

(Stefan Stanford) According to this interesting new story from the Herald Review, studies that were completed upon sedimentary rock in Antarctica have given us undeniable and conclusive evidence that palm trees once grew there in that land long covered by ice as also heard in the 1st video below. As the author of the Herald story asks, how is that possible when nothing other than primitive vegetation grows there today? As we hear in the 3rd and final video below featuring Clif High of the Web Bot project, the data that he mines every day tells him that something very, very strange is going on in Antarctica, and each day he's getting more and more indications that something huge is ramping up down there.
 Source - All News Pipeline

by Stefan Stanford, June 20th, 2017

Sharing with us evidence he's gotten through his internet word-monitoring project that, beyond many visits made by the elite to Antarctica, including Newt Gingrich himself in February of 2017 as seen in the Twitter screenshot below, he also sees a big ramping up of jobs in Antarctica including highly elite globalist corporations, (one with long ties to the UFO coverup!), and the numbers of military passes there indicate to him a major operation is being prepared for.


Between large tracts of land in Australia and New Zealand being dedicated to something new and still mysterious, he also tells us of the creations of new cargo routes from the areas closest to the land of ice, where it is now winter. High tells us he expects we may see something huge during the Antarctic spring while telling us one of the biggest indicators of what might be happening there now are the huge number of high tech companies becoming involved. He also tells us that whatever it is, the American people may never hear anything about it with the companies now involved.


According to the Professional Overseas Contractors website, a new company called LEIDOS recently took over the massive Antarctic support contract formerly held by deep-state, military-industrial-complex tied Lockheed Martin. Their story interestingly mentions that nowhere on LEIDOS company history page did they mention their parent company, a mega-giant for the 'deep state' called SAIC, the Scientific Applications International Company.


And as High tells us in this video, SAIC has deep ties to the secrecy surrounding UFO's, history that can be traced by those willing to investigate it including a slew of CEO's from the military-industrial-complex including retired US Navy Admiral and CIA Deputy Director Bobby Ray Inman, who's held several influential positions within the intelligence community, including time at SAIC, and who has long been believed to be one of the 'UFO Gatekeepers'.

Interestingly we also learn that the reason SAIC created LEIDOS was that they were unable to bid on certain government contracts as SAIC, but as LEIDOS they were able to bid upon them. Add in the fact that Lockheed Martin's Antarctica contract was supposed to run through 2025 but was 'conveniently' cut short, with LEIDOS taking over, and all kinds of questions arise that need to be answered with the starter: What is REALLY going on down there?


According to Steve Quayle's book "Empire Beneath The Ice", the truth about history has been hidden. In 'Empire Beneath' Quayle persuasively argues that most of what we have learned about World War II and the defeat of Nazi Germany is wrong, and the truth is something not only sinister but are at the root of some of the biggest secrets of our age.

Interestingly, Quayle's book aligns greatly with much that we're hearing from Clif High now via his Web Bot project and High tells us he believes that what's happening down there might somehow be UFO/alien related. He also claims that with most jobs in the Antarctic being seasonal and short term, there's a mathematical certainty that more and more information will be leaking out about what's really going on down there that he'll be able to data mine through his project.

Might Steve Quayle's book have been way ahead of the truth? These main points of his book are shared with us.:
Why the suppressed evidence proves Adolf Hitler didn’t die before Germany surrendered during WWII, and how he eluded capture.

How Nazi SS members, scientists, and soldiers escaped with Hitler to create colonies in other parts of the world to continue their monstrous research.

Why in 1947 Admiral Richard E. Byrd warned that the US should adopt measures to protect against an invasion by hi-tech aircraft coming from the polar regions, adding, “The time has ended when we were able to take refuge in our isolation and rely on the certainty that the distances, the oceans, and the poles were a guarantee of safety.”

How, using advanced technology, Nazi saucers defeated the US military — long after WWII was supposedly over.

Why the US space program was mostly a sham, and why the “UFOs” that started appearing around the world in the late 1940s were (and still are) most likely flown by Nazi pilots.

How key government, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, financial leaders, and institutions helped Hitler come into power, and facilitated the preservation of Nazi wealth and power after WWII.

Why today’s world is secretly controlled by a malevolent shadow government and entire populations are being surreptitiously brainwashed.

How ancient stargates have been duplicated to open portals into spiritual and demonic universes.

Why those controlling our planet have laid the groundwork for a takeover by a dictator who could best be described as the Antichrist of the Bible. Empire Beneath the Icecarefully documents these and many more astounding facts, divulging the truth about what is happening today. It gives you the insights to help prevent this diabolical takeover or, if it occurs, reveals the details and essential actions you and your loved ones must take. Empire Beneath the Ice exposes the dangers our world faces, and will arm you with the tools you need to counter these unspeakable, secret evils.




While High makes sure to reaffirm that we still don't know exactly what's going on down there, he claims that based on the few clues we do have that things are definitely ramping up. The fact that LEIDOS/SAIC refocused a core science group on Antarctica, which did part of their past work in 'reverse engineering', tells him that, while we're now living in very exciting times, a major inflection point is ahead. As he continues, with the old system dying and a new one being born, there are great opportunities along with great risks.


In the 2nd video below our videographer talks with us about the massive military build-up going on down in the Antarctic region including many defense contractors and mercenaries. Also discussed in the eye-opening final video below featuring Clif High are Bitcoin and other digital currencies and the potential for financial unrest ahead. The conversation turns towards Antarctica at the 24 minute mark. For those new to the Web Bot project, Cliff High's cutting edge technology is a set of algorithms used to process variations in the language that can offer insight into the mood of the collective unconscious through “predictive linguistics.”



found on Operation Disclosure
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Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.com with the error, headline and urlThank you for reading.

          Marcação de consulta lidera procura nas Prefeituras-Bairro   
Os serviços de saúde têm sido um dos carros-chefes das Prefeituras-Bairro de Salvador. De janeiro a junho de 2017, 74,5 mil marcações de consulta e exames foram solicitadas nas unidades descentralizadas da administração municipal. Hoje, ocupa o topo da lista dentre todos os serviços oferecidos, seguido pelo cadastramento no Bolsa Família (55,1 mil pedidos) e pela retirada de medicamentos (45,4 mil).

No mesmo período, 50,3 mil cartões do SUS foram confeccionados e 51,2 mil medicamentos foram distribuídos. Somadas, as demandas de saúde representam cerca de 40% dos 434 mil atendimentos realizados nas unidades de janeiro a junho deste ano.

Em relação à marcação de consulta, as unidades que tiveram maior procura foram as do Subúrbio, com 15,4 mil solicitações; Valéria, com 10,2 mil e Pau da Lima, com 9 mil. Para marcar a consulta, o cidadão precisa se dirigir a uma unidade da Prefeitura-Bairro mais da residência com o RG, CPF, cartão do SUS e requisição do médico em mãos.

A guia de solicitação médica não é necessária para os seguintes procedimentos: atendimento clínico, ginecológico, oftalmológico e pediátrico. A presença do paciente não é obrigatória. Se o interessado pela consulta não estiver em condições de comparecer ao local, o procedimento pode ser solicitado por terceiros, desde que o solicitante esteja com os documentos originais do requerente em mãos.

Todas as especialidades médicas abrangidas pela Rede Pública de Saúde, no âmbito do município, são disponibilizadas para a população nas Prefeituras-Bairro. É possível marcar consultas para médico clínico, pediatra, oftalmologista, cardiologista e fisioterapeuta, por exemplo. A disponibilidade de vagas para cada especialidade é conferida no momento do atendimento.

  • Cartão SUS – Tão importante quanto a marcação é a confecção do Cartão SUS, uma vez que ele serve de porta de entrada para qualquer atendimento do Sistema Único de Saúde. As Prefeituras-Bairro que mais entregaram o cartão, esse ano, foram as do Subúrbio (8,4 mil), Centro (6,5 mil) e Cabula (5,9 mil). Para fazer o documento, o cidadão precisa ter em mãos o RG, CPF e comprovante de residência atualizado em seu próprio nome ou no nome dos pais. A documentação é exigida tanto para a solicitação de primeira via, quanto para o pedido de mudança de endereço para outro estado ou município. O Cartão SUS é feito em menos de 30 minutos e entregue no mesmo dia.

  • Medicamentos – De maneira complementar às unidades de saúde da cidade, as Prefeituras-Bairro também realizam entrega de medicamentos para controle ou tratamento de doenças como hipertensão e diabetes. A Prefeitura-Bairro de Cajazeiras foi a que mais entregou medicamentos à população esse ano. De janeiro a junho, 9,8 mil medicamentos foram fornecidos. Na unidade, as substâncias mais procuradas são Losartana, Anlodipino, Sinvastatina, Omeprazol e Dipirona. Os medicamentos são indicados, respectivamente, para o tratamento de hipertensão, doenças cardíacas e cardiovasculares, dores no estômago e dores em geral.

  • Atendimento – Ao todo, dez prefeituras-bairro prestam atendimento à população de Salvador de segunda a sexta-feira, das 8h às 17h. São elas: a prefeitura-bairro do Subúrbio/Ilhas, Centro/Brotas, Cajazeiras, Itapuã/Ipitanga, Cidade Baixa, Pau da Lima, Cabula/Tancredo Neves, Liberdade São/Caetano, Barra/Pituba e Valéria.

Marcação de consulta lidera procura nas Prefeituras-Bairro

          By: Xennady   
Anyway, about the topic at hand, I just find it rather stunning to read about Nixon deliberately tossing the Republic of Vietnam under the bus, for the supposed strategic prize of China. I find it despicable, as well. Millions of people friendly to the United States were abandoned, soon to be murdered. And this happened after the South had successfully defeated a Northern invasion- the so-called Eastertide offensive- indicating that the fall of Saigon and all that followed was not inevitable. Not only that, but since the USSR was a threat to China as well as the US I see no reason why China wouldn't have been willing to accept the continued existence of South Vietnam, much like they accept the existence of South Korea. And as long as I'm talking about South Korea, I note that for a long time it a basket case run by a dictatorship. No more. I suppose if Nixon had been president in 1953 he would have tossed them under the bus, too. Thing is, if you make a habit of screwing over your friends you'll soon have none. And if the other nations on the planet notice that the united States is a completely unreliable ally, willing to abandon them for any reason or no reason at all, then we won't find any of those new polycentric centers of gravity willing to align with us at all, not even dysfunctional welfare cases. If you put lipstick on a pig it still squeals. If you rationalize defeat you've still lost. Nixon was yet another failure as president who- much like George Bush- presided over disasters, foreign and domestic. It took the election of Ronald Reagan to put us on the right path- "My vision of the Cold War? We win, and they lose,"- and we eagerly await the emergence of someone who will lead the nation to success once again. Looking to Nixon as a guide for US policy- uhm, I just don't think that's right way to go.
          What About Military Blunders?   
I recently wrote a post about Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, and since that wound up being a total disaster I started thinking about other military blunders….disasters that accomplished little and cost the lives of many. Let’s look at the last 100 years or so……. The first one … Continue reading What About Military Blunders?
          The Rise of Non-surgical Cosmetic Procedures Posted By : Clair David   
A rise in interest of cosmetic surgery does not immediately equal to a rise in the size of the plastic surgeon's wallet. Needless to say, cosmetic surgery is expensive as well as scary. But for those men and women hoping for the same results at a much lower cost, with a smaller time frame for recovery, and with less invasive methods, then the swell of non-surgical procedures is surely a gift from God. These treatments, developed and perfected, do not necessitate the use of dozens of strange and scary-looking apparatuses, nor do they hurt the wallet nearly as much; instead, they're quicker and easier to get. So don't shy away from beauty, because you don't have to hurt to be beautiful.
          Brutal Invasion On This Slut Asshole   
Watch Brutal Invasion On This Slut Asshole at free fuck and porn video site
          SmartPractice donates $50,000 toward TGen liquid biopsy research   
(The Translational Genomics Research Institute) In support of efforts to find better ways of diagnosing and monitoring breast cancer patients, SmartPractice today donated $50,000 to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). This SmartPractice gift will support TGen's development of 'liquid biopsies,' which are simple, low-cost, non-invasive blood tests that can help clinicians more accurately treat patients with cancer.
          Liquid biopsies: A non-invasive look at treatment response   
(European Society for Medical Oncology) A new study, to be presented at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, shows that so-called "liquid biopsies", blood tests that detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), may not only sound an early alert that a treatment's effect is diminishing, but may also help explain why -sometimes offering clues about what to do next.
           Protesta antimigranti Cagliati, tensioni    
CAGLIARI - Insulti e qualche momento di tensione, oggi pomeriggio a Cagliari, durante la manifestazione organizzata dal Movimento Sociale Sardo "#Stop invasione" contro l'arrivo di migranti in Italia e in particolare in Sardegna. Una cinquantina di persone si è radunata in piazza Repubblica per la partenza del corteo: contemporaneamente un gruppo di antagonisti antifascisti, circa 60, ha preparato una contro manifestazione. I due gruppi si sono fronteggiati, insultandosi. La situazione è stata costantemente tenuta sotto controllo dal cordone di sicurezza formato da polizia, carabinieri e guardia di finanza in tenuta antisommossa. Tre manifestanti sono venuti alle mani ma stati subito bloccati dalle forze dell'ordine. Il corteo ha attraversato diverse strade della città: da piazza Repubblica a via Dante, quindi via XX Settembre, via Sonnino e via Roma, raggiungendo il palazzo del Consiglio regionale dove la protesta si è conclusa senza ulteriori frizioni.
          La cromoendoscopia aumenta la tasa de detección de lesiones preneoplásicas y cáncer precoz   


 La cromoendoscopia convencional se basa en técnicas de tinción para identificar y caracterizar  lesiones malignas o que están en proceso de malignización, favoreciendo con ello la toma de biopsias dirigidas sobre los tejidos identificados o incluso prescindir de ellas. Dependiendo del tipo de lesión, ésta se puede o no resecar en la misma sesión de forma no invasiva, evitando así procedimientos quirúrgicos.
En la cromoendoscopia convencional se utilizan colorantes o pigmentos sobre el tejido o pólipo “sospechoso”.  Actualmente, se han desarrollado nuevas técnicas y contamos con equipos que permiten realizar también cromoendoscopia virtual, aumentando con ello la tasa de detección de lesiones preneoplásicas y puede emplearse durante todo el procedimiento y en prácticamente todo el tracto digestivo.
Por ello, en ciertas lesiones (pólipos gástricos, colónicos) o patologías con riesgo de desarrollar lesiones premalignas (Esófago de Barret, Enfermedad Inflamatoria Intestinal [Enfermedad de Crohn, Colitis Ulcerosa]), y Gastritis Atrófica, entre otras) la cromoendoscopia es de gran utilidad para detectar lesiones tempranas susceptibles de tratamiento no invasivo y sin necesidad, en algunos casos, de realizar biopsias.  Sin embargo, si se detecta un patrón avanzado o maligno, entonces está indicada la toma de biopsias dirigidas y posteriormente el tratamiento que sea indicado, comenta la doctora Alejandra Jiménez de la Unidad de Aparato Digestivo del Hospital Vithas Nisa Sevilla que dirige el doctor Rafael Romero.

Los pólipos
Los pólipos son lesiones que protruyen desde la pared intestinal y que pueden hallarse en varios lugares del tubo digestivo, aunque el sitio más frecuente es el colon.
La incidencia de pólipos colónicos de cualquier tipo en la población general es alta, sobre todo en mayores de 50 años, donde ésta se sitúa aproximadamente en el 70%, y de ellos, casi la mitad son pólipos adenomatosos, es decir, con riesgo de malignización. En personas sin antecedentes familiares, la edad es el factor de riesgo más importante.
 “Aunque aproximadamente la mitad de los pólipos no evolucionarán hacia tumores malignos es importante la detección temprana. Por ello, contar con equipos de tecnología avanzada es esencial para un diagnóstico y tratamiento precoz”
En Hospital Vithas Nisa estas técnicas endoscópicas, tanto gastroscopias como colonoscopias, se hacen con anestesia general, lo que permite al especialista digestivo trabajar con más seguridad y confort para el paciente.

Resección
El 20% de las endoscopias que se hacen en el HVNS son avanzadas, empleando cromoendoscopia y resección mucosa de lesiones. “Para ello es necesario “sobreelevar” la lesión y resecarla completamente a nivel de mucosa para evitar dejar fragmentos que infiltren posteriormente las capas más profundas del colon. Esta técnica endoscópica aporta muchos beneficios para el paciente, entre otros el no someterse a procedimientos quirúrgicos invasivos siempre y cuando la lesión  sea detectada precozmente”, reconoce la doctora Jiménez, que recibió el premio a la mejor residente del Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena y se formó durante 6 meses en el National Cancer Center de Tokio, Japón, con quien colabora en la realización de diferentes estudios sobre este tema.
Los endoscopios habituales amplían la imagen en 30-35 veces, de manera digital. Sin embargo, los endoscopios que además tienen Alta Definición tienen una mayor resolución que proporciona imágenes más claras y detalladas, mejorando la visualización de la mucosa en el campo cercano, lo que aumenta la detección de lesiones sutiles.
Otros procedimientos de endoscopia avanzada que se realizan en el HVNS sonel tratamiento de lesiones sangrantes, dilatación endoscópica de estenosis benignas, ecoendoscopia diagnóstica y terapéutica con punción con aguja fina para obtener muestras de lesiones del tórax o abdomen para confirmar o descartar se traten de tumores, especialmente de páncreas y colocación de prótesis en distintas localizaciones del tubo digestivo y de las vías biliares y páncreas, con excelentes resultados de seguridad y eficacia. El Dr. Romero es pionero a nivel nacional e internacional en distintas técnicas endoscópicas avanzadas, teniendo acreditada su experiencia en diferentes publicaciones internacionales de prestigio en endoscopia.



          Dienstag, 12. Dezember 2006   
John Holbo: »Für ein einziges Wort«
—Ein Essay über China Miéville—

1. DREI DINGE ÜBER MIÈVILLE

Mein Beitrag ist größtenteils eine Collage aus vorhandenen Texten, die ich über China Miéville geschrieben habe: überarbeitete Segmente, die ich zu einer kritischen Betrachtung über seinen neuen Roman Der Eiserne Rat verwoben habe. Über wichtige Handlungsentwicklungen werde ich hier nichts verraten.

Ich werde einige Fragen an den Autor richten. Normalerweise ist es nicht meine Art, hinter den Kulissen nach Absichten zu schnüffeln. (Obwohl ich nicht der Ansicht bin, daß diese Herangehensweise verwerflich ist.) Doch im vorliegenden Fall bin ich ausnahmsweise neugierig, was der Autor sich gedacht haben könnte. Vielleicht antwortet er darauf, wie bewunderswert — wenn auch seltsam — diese Welt arrangiert wurde.

Zuerst nun eine kurze Darlegung, nicht meiner These, sondern von Offensichtlichem, auf dem meine Argumente hoffentlich fundiert aufbauen:

  1. Miéville ist, um Tolkiens Ausdruck für die Kunst des phantastischen Weltenbauens zu verwenden, ein Zweitweltschöpfer der Extraklasse;
  2. Miéville ist ein polemischer Kritiker Tolkiens — oder genauer: von Tolkiens Genre-Erben —, und China setzt sich für ein vermeidlich reiferes Konzept des Fantasy-Genres ein;
  3. Miéville erzählt selbst Geschichten die sich prinzipiell an den Konventionen des Fantasy-Genres orientieren, sowohl was die Form als Ganzes, als auch wasx viele Einzelheiten betrifft.

Eine kritische Frage zu Miéville könnte nun also lauten, ob Behauptung 1) bis auf einige Ausnahmen Behauptung 2) hinreichend stützt; denn Behauptung 3) neigt dazu die Glaubwürdigkeit von 2) zu zersetzten.

Man sollte zudem die Möglichkeit beachten, ob sich Miéville mit 2) lediglich schnarkischen Spaß gönnte, und als Punk einigen Dampf auf einer Website[1] abgelassen hat. Dann können die Behauptungen 1) und 3) nämlich nebeneinander bestehen, ohne daß sie sich stellvertretend wegen Behauptung 2) in die Wolle kriegen und gegenseitig müssen.


2. DIE DICHTGEDRÄNGTE MÜLLKIPPE DER MENSCHHEIT WIRD NIEMALS ORDENTLICH BEREINIGT WERDEN

Ridley Scott meinte über Blade Runner, daß »dieser Film eine Torte mit 700 Schichen ist«. Das ist eine Weltanschauung über Produktion und Komposition, wird aber zu einer entscheidenen Angelegenheit, wenn man sie auf den Inhalt einer fiktionalen Welt bezieht. Für SF-Fans war Blade Runner eine Offenbahrung, weniger wegen seiner Charaktere oder der Handlung, sondern aufgrund seiner überwältigenden Anhäufung von visuellen …(wie sollen wir es nennen?) Müllkippen[2], die uns überzeugen, daß die Welt des Filmes dicht, verklumpt und total überbevölkert ist. Die Science Fiction kommt mit ihrer gedankenexperimentellen Weise oftmals enttäuschend dünn daher, wie eine abstrahierte technische Darstellung. Man will ja die wesentlichen Umrisse der Ideen klar erkennen können. Doch in Sachen Fiktionen kann sich das als schlechte Idee herausstellen.

Die Müllkippe die in Blade Runner die klaren, wesentlichen Züge verdeckt, ist zum größten Teil chronologischer Art: auf 40 Jahre der Vergangenheit wurden 40 Jahre Zukunft aufgetürmt, um Scotts eigene Aussage zu umschreiben; doch diese Halde zeichnet sich auch durch kulturelle, wirtschaftliche, wissenschaftliche und soziale Aspekte aus. Die Menschheit ist zur Müllkippe geworden, sogar unsere eigenen Erinnerungen sind nur Flickwerk und Stücksel, die in unsere Köpfe geschüttet wurden, und sind vielleicht nur die nachträglichen Einfälle anderer. Die Geschichte kommt wie ein Abfalleimer der Historie daher. Dagegen bezieht Blade Runner freilich Stellung, und tritt für das indiviuelle menschliche Bewußtsein ein. Dabei ergibt seltsamerweise die Handlung des Films nicht sehr viel Sinnfälliges. Eine Menge Noir und harte Polizisten-Klischees wurden da miteinander vermengt, doch die aufwändige Produktion läßt darüber gnädig hinwegsehen. Darauf kommen wir noch stillschweigend, wenn nicht sogar ausdrücklich zurück.

Was hat nun Blade Runner mit China Miéville oder Der Eiserne Rat zu tun? Ich glaube, Miéville will den Blade Runner der Fantasy schreiben. Eben eine Welt erschaffen, in der (wie es in Miévilles Manifesto heißt) »es knrischt und verzwickt zugeht, gerade so wie im echten Leben.«[3]

Zurück zu Blade Runner. Jaja, schon gut, es wäre flasch zu behaupten, daß Blade Runner igendetwas als erster vollbracht hat. Düstere, eigenbrötlerische, harte, verzwickte, dreckige und dystopische SF gab es davor auch schon. Aber der Film war vor allem Visuell etwas Neues. (Ich erinnern mich an William Gibson[4] der auf auf einer Lesung sagte, — oder vielleicht hab ich's nur von ihm gelesen. Er sagte jedenfalls, daß er damals bei Blade Runner vor Begeisterung schreiend aus dem Kino gekommen ist. 1982 war er gerade dabei Neuromancer zu schreiben; und sehet, es wurde ihm offenbahrt! Dieser Filmemacher war Gibson zuvorgekommen, und hatte dessen sehr an Oberflächen orientierte visuellen Vorstellungen auf den Punkt gebracht.) Blade Runner bewirkte eine maßgebliche Schwerpunktverlagerung in der Art wie man SF aufnahm und sich darüber Gedanken machte. Zumindest bleibt der Film eine weithin sichtbare Marke für diesen Wandel in der Haltung gegenüber der SF, wenn es ihn denn nun auch nicht ausgelößt haben mag. Jaja, schon klar, daß heißt auf keinen Fall, daß wir vor 1982 in einer Hugo Gernsback-Rille[5] festhingen. Um aber nun zur Sache zu kommen: Man kann sagen, daß es keinen Blade Runner der Fantasy gibt. Noch nicht. Kein Werk hat bisher eine Welt zwischen all die Tolkien-Nachahmer herabdonnern lassen, dessen Anblick diese tippenden Affen losheulen läßt, als ob sie einen Monolithen gesehen hätten. Und genau das möchte Miéville tun.

Wie Ridley Scott komponiert Miéville mit der Müllkippe als Medium; kunstvolle Anhäufungen von planlosem Müll — lebendiges, unbelebtes, quasi-lebendiges — was eine mächtige Illusion von Tiefe und Dichte in alle Dimensionen erzeugt; zeitliche und horizontale Ausweitungen, aufeinander- und wiedererrichtete Lebensräume, sowie eine promiske Einwohnerschaft. Miévilles Anstrengungen als Zweitweltschöpfer gelingen, Dank des puren Überflußes an … Abfall; Details, wenn man den freundlichen Ausdruck vorzieht.

Das ist sehr markant, denn Fantasy ist wie SF oft unbefriedigend seicht, nicht wie trockenes SF-Gedankenexperiment, sondern durch mikriges Vertrauen auf Klischees. Henry Farrell hat vor einiger Zeit[6] eine schöne Passage von Mike Harrison dazu zitiert:

Bevor der Begriff ›Fantasy‹[7] zu einer Beschriebung für eine Monokultur wurde, war das Wort ein Baldachin, unter dem man tatsächlich ganz allegemein phantastische Werke versammelte. Niemand »schrieb Fantasy«. Man schrieb persönliche, stark vom Geschmack geprägte individualistische Sachen, und der Begriff »Fantasy« wurde erst im weiteren Verlauf der Dinge drangehängt. Unvorhersehbarkeit, Erfindungsreichtum, Seltsamkeit, Befremdlichkeit, Gewitztheit, all das ließ sich finden und auch so etwas wie eine Maschinerie, mit der die Welt ungewöhnlich verfremdet wird und sie damit wie etwas Neues erscheinen läßt. Was wir heute – oder zumindest noch bis vor kurzen – haben, sind gleichmäßige Kartoffelfelder die von Maschinen so abgeerntet werden, daß sich die Produkte gut an die typischen Konsumenten von Großunternehmen wie Sainsbury, McDonalds und HarperCollins verkaufen lassen.[8]

Und ich selbst schrieb damals (und da ich mit dem Einkaufswagen buchstäblich richtig lag, ist es denke ich angebracht, daß ich mich selbst zitiere):

Erstens: ›eintönige Monokultur‹ trifft den Nagel auf den Kopf; genau das ist das Problem der Fantasy, und Miéville gebührt alle Anerkennung dafür, seinen Kraftakt geleistet zu haben um den Karren aus der entsetzlich eingeschliffenen Spur gehieft zu haben. (Wenn ein neuer Roman von Robert Jordan erscheint, ist es wohl Samstag!) Und zweitens ist Tolkien natülich irgendwie schuld an all dem, hat er doch die idealen Blaupausen für diese Farmfabriken geliefert. Andererseits ist es natürlch nicht Tolkiens Schuld, denn es war bestimmt nicht seine Absicht, zur Verbreitung der beklagten Monokulturen anzuregen.[9]

Die richtige Strategie, um den Schaden wieder gut machen, besteht nun jedenfalls darin, daß man wild Zeugs zwischen all die gleichförmigen Äcker pflanzt. In diesem Sinne sollte man Miévilles gegen Tolkien gerichtete Polemik verstehen. Aber immer schön der Reihe nach.

Einer der feinsten dramatischen Ausschnitte von Der Eiserne Rat ist die Szene, in der das avantgardeistische Stück der Puppentheaters Flex'ibilis von Die Traurige und Lehrreiche Moritat von Jack Gotteshand von den Zensoren von New Crobuzon unterbrochen wird (wegen »unmanierlicher Umtriebe zweiten Grades gegenüber New Crobuzon«), und sich in einen Tumult auflöst.[10] (Hier zollt ein Gegner Miévilles widerstrebend den Flex'ibilis künstlerische Anerkennung.[11]) Solche kleinen Tricks in hunderfacher Vielzahl verleiten den Leser dazu die Stadt — ihre Gesellschaft, Kultur, Wirtschaft, Historie, Bevölkerung — als wirklich zu betrachten. New Crobuzon, die Stadt zu der alle Wege von Bas-Lag führen, ist nicht irgendein Potemkischer Ort, an dem Elfen und Zauberer aus Pappe klischeehafte Stücke vom üblichen Kampf gegen das abolute Böse aufführen. Nur weil die Szenerie offensichtlich realistisch angelegt ist, bedeutet das andererseits aber nicht, daß die Darsteller keine genretypischen Pappfiguren sind. Ich werde darauf zurück kommen.

Ich werde jetzt einen doofen Kritikertrick anwenden. China kann »Nein, Du hast nicht recht« sagen, und ich werde ihn beim Wort nehmen müssen. Aber lassen Sie mich eine Einzelheit aufgreifen und als wahrhaft ideale Linse postulieren, durch die gesehen sich alle Aspekte von Miévilles Kunst bestimmen lassen.

Miéville versucht für die Fantasy das zu leisten, was die Puppenspieler für Jack tun wollen. (Wenn Sie wissen wollen, was es mit Jack auf sich hat, dann lesen sie das Buch oder Henrys Beitrag.[12]) Betrachten wir die Kunst der Flex'ibilen (ich vermute, ihr Name ist eine Homage an den Märtyrer Benjamin Flex, oder?[13]) Das Fantasywägelchen, von dem ich schrieb, wird renovierungsbedürftig und mit einem Haufen neuen Abfall[14] planmäßig auf die Bühne geschoben:

Es gab das übliche – das karrengroße Puppentheater mit den kleinen geschnitzten Figuren in bunten Kostümen stocksteif auf der Bühne –, aber die Seitenflügel und das Proszedium hatte man entfernt, und die Puppenspieler waren sichtbar, Milizoffizieren täuschend ähnlich in dunkles Grau gekleidet. Und auf der Bühne verstreut befanden sich noch andere Gegenstände unklarer Verwendung. Auf ein aufgespanntes Laken im Hintergrund projezierte eine Laterna Magica Zeitungsartikel {…}

Aber diese Flex'ibilis waren Könner – freche Scherzbolde, ja, aber mit ernsthaftem Konzept –, und sie verstanden sich darauf, ihr Publikum bei Laune zu halten. Nach jeder Impertinzenz {verbotenden Obzönitäten} folgte schlagfertiger, witziger Dialog, oder mitreißende Musik, und es fiel schwer, den Unmut aufrechtzuerhalten. Trotzdem war das Ganze eine außerordentliche Herausforderung, oder vielmehr eine Reihe von Herausvorderungen, und das Publikum schwankte zwischen Verwirrung und Ärger. {…}

Man wusste nicht genau, was einem da zugemutet wurde, dieses unstrukturierte Bric-à-brac von Ausrufen und zerstückeltem Text und Geräuschen und den vielen komplizierten, rätselhaften Kostümen. Die Puppen wurden meisterhaft geführt, aber sie waren gedacht – und gemacht – hölzerne Akteure in volkstümlichen Fabeln zu sein, nicht diese kleinen Provokateure, die, von ihrem Lenker souffliert, dem Erzähler Widerworte gaben (immer in dem traditionellem Jargon der Marionetten, nachgeahmtes Kindergebrabbel aus zusamengesetzten Substantiven und Lautmalerei). Sie tanzten zur Musik und mimten Geilheit, so weit ihre Gelenke und Fäden es gestatteten

Über das aufgespannte Laken flackerten Bilder, sogar bewegte – in Abschnitte zerlegte Bewegungsabläufe in so schneller Folge, dass die Personen sprangen, liefen, Gewehre abfeuerten. Der Sprecher beschimpfte das Publikum, lieferte sich Wortgefechte mit den Puppen und den anderen Akteuren und unter zunehmender Unzufriedenheit in den Bogen schälte sich Stück für Stück die Geschichte von Jack Gotteshand aus dem Chaos.[15]

Dem stelle ich eine Passage aus einer Auslassung von Miéville über Tolkien gegenüber:

Tolkien ist der Pickel auf dem Hintern der Fantasy/Phanatstik-Literatur. Sein Werk ist gewaltig und ansteckend – du kannst es nicht außer Acht lassen, also versuch's erst gar nicht. Das Beste was man machen kann, ist zu versuchen, das Furunkel absichtlich aufzustechen. Und da gibt es viel was man verachten kann – sein nachgeahmter Wagner'ianischer Pomp; seine sich am Krieg berauschende Jungs-unter-sich-Abenteuerlichkeit; seine kleingeistige und reaktionäre Liebe für die bestehenden hierarchischen Zustände; sein Glaube an eine absolute Sittlichkeit, durch die moralische und politische Verzwicktheiten verwässert werden. Die Klischees von Tolkien – Elfen, Zwerge und magische Ringe – haben sich wie Viren verbreitet. Er schrieb, daß der Zweck der Fantasy darin besteht Trost zu spenden, und behauptet damit, daß es zur entscheidenen Angelegenheit eines Fantasyautoren gehört, die Leser zu verhätscheln.

Das ist eine abstoßende Vorstellung, die viele Phantasten dankbarerweise mißachtet haben. Von den Surrealisten bis hin zum Pulp – über Mervyn Peake und Michail Bulgakow[16] und Stefan Grabinski[17] und Bruno Schulz und Michael Moorcock und M. John Harrison, und ich könnte noch mehr Namen nennen – haben die besten Autoren die Ästhetik der Phantastik genau dazu genutzt, um herauszufordern, zu befremden, und subversiv Erwartungen zu untergraben.

{…} Warum probiert man nicht zur Abwechslung mal ein paar andere Themen aus, oder auch ungewöhnlichere Monster? Warum nutzt man die Fantasy/Phantastik nicht, um gesellschaftliche und ästhetische Lügen herauszufordern?[18]

Diese Forderungen sind nicht gerade ungebührlich, aber es ist seltsam, daß in beiden Passagen ›nachgeahmt‹ auftaucht. (›Nachgeahmtes Kindergebrabbel‹, ›nachgeahmter Wagner'ianischer Pomp‹. Gehe ich zu weit?) Miéville drängt drauf, die Fantasy zu einer entscheidenden Konzentration zu treiben, die New Wave[19] der Sechziger zu aktualisieren möglicherweise unter dem Begriff ›the New Weird‹.[20] Also: Tolkiens Pickelhintern nimmt sich verglichen mit Miévilles ›New Weird‹ aus wie New Crobuzons traditionelles Puppentheater, wenn man esmit der subversiven Schau der Flex'iblen vergleicht. (Lieg ich richtig, China?)


3. OH, DU SÜSSE BÄRENHAFTIGKEIT DES ZUSTANDS DES TODES

Auf diese Thesen aufbauend, folgt nun einiges über Puppen, Mannequins und Golems. Erstens: Die Vorstellung, daß man aus der Fantasy folgendes machen kann — oder, wie Henry[21] schreibt, was Miéville bereits daraus gemacht hat (siehe auch Henrys Speculative Economics[22]):

Miéville ist ein historischer Materialist und schenkt den wirtschaftlichen Fundamenten auf die seine erfundenen Gesellschaften errichtet sind viel Aufmerksamkeit. Aber damit steht er fast ganz alleine auf dem Feld der Fanatsyautoren, denn die meisten davon ziehen es vor, die schmuzigen Geschäfte der materiellen Anhäufung unter einem schön gewebten Teppich aus Ritterlichkeit, noblesse oblige und dergleichen zu kehren.

In Miéville's Das Silmarill sag ich durch die Blume etwas ähnliches.[23]

Zweitens: Puppentheater — egal wie gesellschaftlich wachsam und subversiv es ist — handelt niemals von den wirtschaftlichen Grundlagen, außer wenn es auf äußerst eindimenionale Art expressionistisch ist. Es ist also eine heikle, zweischneidige Sache, wenn Miéville in seinem Manifesto schreibt, daß »Charaktere mehr als nur Pappfiguren sind«. Macht er also aus den traditionellen, eindimenionalen nun dreidimensionale Charaktere, oder führt er diese eindimensionalen Figuren eben nur mit bemerkenswert geschickterem und durchdachterem Puppenspielerkönnen? Das wären zwei Möglichkeiten der Steigerung, zwei Geschmacksrichtunen die sich nicht unbedingt gut miteinander vertragen. Lassen Sie mich dazu nochmal aus einem alten Beitrag von mir zitieren, der einiges über die Angelegenheit der Puppenspielerkunst vorwegzunehmen scheint:

Es hat eine Weile gedauert, bis ich mit Miéville zurecht kam. Zwischen ihm und mir gab es Mißverständnisse. Er kommt daher, aufgemacht und angepriesen als rechtmäßiger Anwärter auf die Robe des Erbes von Mervyn Peake (dem sich seit Kurzem eine sehr schöne Website widmet.[24] Es gibt dort Gedichte die ich noch nicht kannte und Bilder die ich noch nie gesehen habe, und die Umschlaggestaltung der Erstausgaben und reichlich weitere wundervolle Sachen. Darf ich besonders auf diese reizende Umsetzung von Carroll's Walross und Zimmermann hinweisen[25]; oder auf diese eher jenseitige Alice.[26])

Miéville kommt also angepriesen als der neue Peake daher und erkennt Peake auch als ein Hauptvorbild an. Und — nun ja, diese Nähe kann ich durchaus sehen. Und es ist nicht fair, wenn man Miéville zum Vorwurf macht, von seinem Vorbild abzuweichen (immerhin zwingt eine dankbare Verbindlichkeit ja nicht dazu, sein Vorbild plagiieren zu müssen.) Wie dem auch sei, hat Miéville etwas von Peake übernommen, was ich nicht gerade am meisten schätze: seine groteske Launenhaftigkeit und die zwanghafte, selbstberauscht überzogene, verbale Energie der Gormenghast-Trilogie. Die haben Sie nicht gelesen? Stellen Sie sich vor, Edward Gorey hätte Die Pickwicker[27] geschrieben. Oder noch besser: lesen Sie Gormenghast.

Und nebenbei hier ein Verweis auf diese schöne Edward Gorey-Gallery mit Umschlagsillustrationen.[28]
Wie ich schon sagte, ist jeder Charakter bei Peake eine Puppe, und seine Sprache läßt diese ausgezeichnet gestalteten Artefakte mit äußerst erstaunlicher Meisterschaft tanzen, vor allem auf visuelle Weise. Es bietet sich geradezu an Gormenghast als Puppentheater aufzuführen, auch wenn es dann nicht mehr so beeindruckend wäre, denn immerhin erwartet man bei einem Puppenpiel eben Puppen. Zu erleben, wie diese Charaktere in Puppenform in einem Buch lebendig werden — tatsächlich zu sehen, wie sie von den Seiten des Buches aufsteigen — ist eine ungleich einzigartigere ästhetische Errungenschaft.[29]

In dem zitierten Kommentar führe ich viele Beispiele an, um diesen Unterschied zu verdeutlichen, falls Sie mehr darüber lesen wollen.

Und nun möchte ich, auch wenn es scheinbar an der Sache vorbeigeht, fragen, was Peake denn mit seinen Puppencharakteren in Gormenghast vorhatte? Eine durchaus wahrscheinliche, gute Antwort darauf — die pure ästhetische Selbstberauschtheit, die könnerhafte Konstruktion von Bühnenbildern und Mannequins — gibt für mich schon ein anderer Autor, den Miéville in seiner Polemik lobend erwähnt, und über den ich in letzter Zeit einiges geschrieben habe: Bruno Schulz.

In diesem Beitrag[30] von mir schreibe ich über Golems und Schulz Die Zimtläden (auch bekannt als Die Staße der Krokodile). Es findet sich dort ein Verweis auf diese Site über Schulz, wo Sie einige neue englische Übersetzungen seiner Geschichten umsonst lesen können. Der erzählende Sohn preist in Die Zimtläden die Vaterfigur als einen Helden der Flucht … weg von der Langeweile der eintönigen Dumpfheit der Wirklichkeit. Ich kann mir denken, daß man sich Peake so vorstellen kann, wäre er von seiner Familie mit krasser Abschätzigkeit behandelt worden:

{D}er letzte und glänzende Kontermarsch der Phantasie, welchem dieser unverbesserliche Improvisator, dieser Fechtmeister der Einbildungskraft, auf den Schanzen und Gräben des schalen und öden Winters aufführte. Heute erst verstehe ich das einsame Heldentum, in dem er mutterseelenallein dem grenzenlosen Element der stumpfen Langeweile den Krieg erklärte. Jeglicher Unterstützung beraubt, ohne Anerkennung unsererseits, verteidigte dieser wundervolle Mann die verlorene Sache der Poesie. Er war eine Zaubermühle, in deren Trichter die Kleie öder Stunden geschüttet wurde, um dann im Getriebe in allen Farben und Gewürzdüften des Orients aufzublühen. Doch, an die glänzenden Gaukelspiele dieses metaphysischen Zauberkünstlers gewöhnt, waren wir geneigt, den Wert seiner souveränen Magie, die uns vor der Lethargie öder Tage und Nächte rettete, zu verkennen.[31]

Das ist keine gesellschaftlich oder politisch herausfordernde Sprache, wie ich anmerken darf. Das ist kompromissloser Eskapismus, und das scheint der Kern von Peakes Werke zu sein (und auch von Schulz). Ich behaupte nicht, daß Miéville das leugnet. Aber vielleicht neigt er dazu, ›das Untergraben von Erwartungen‹ mit dem ›Herausfordern von Lügen‹ gleichzusetzten, oder er neigt dazu Eskapismus — d.h. die willentliche Weigerung der harschen Wirklichkeit ins Antlitz zu schauen — mit der Verhätschelung der Leser gemäß irgendeiner warmen, behaglichen Mode zu verwechseln. (Möglicherweise sind diese Dinge für Miéville nicht gleich. Kann sein, daß ich zuviel in all das hineinlese.)

Noch stärker beim Vergleich zwischen Schulz und Miéville fällt mir auf, daß Der Eiserne Rat nicht nur von Puppen handelt, sondern auch von Golems und von der fremdartigen Brut der Remade.[32] Schulz legt eine ganze Philosophie der Mannequins vor — oder der Golemetrie, wie Miéville die Sache nennt. Den folgenden Abschnitt habe ich schon einmal ausführlich zitiert, tue es aber hier nochmal, weil die Passage sich hier vorzüglich für meine Absicht eignet:

»Demiurgos«, sprach mein Vater, »besaß kein Monopol auf Schöpfung — Schöpfung ist ein Privileg aller Geister. Der Materie ist eine unendliche Fruchtbarkeit gegeben, eine unerschöpfliche Lebensmacht und gleichzeitig eine verführerische Macht der Versuchung, die uns zum Formen verlockt. In der Tiefe der Materie gestaltet sich undeutliches Lächeln, knüpfen sich Spannungen, verdichten sich Versuche von Formen. Die ganze Materie wogt von unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten, die in matten Schauern durch sie hindurchgehen. Während sie auf den belebenden Odem des Geistes wartet, fließt sie endlos in sich selbst dahin, und lockt mit Tausenden süßer Rundungen und Weichheiten, die sie sich selbst in blinden Schwärmereien erträumt.

Jeder eigenen Initiative beraubt, wollüstig biegsam und geschmeidig, plastisch auf weibliche Art, überhaupt allen Impulsen unterworfen, bildet sie ein Terrain außerhalb des Gesetztes, das jeglicher Art von Scharlatarnerie und Dilettantismus offensteht, eine Domäne für Übergriffe jeglicher Art und zweifelhafte demiurgische Manipulationen. Die Materie ist das passivste und wehrloseste Wesen im Kosmos. Jeder kann sie kneten und formen, jedem gehorcht sie. Alle Organisationen der Materie sind unbeständig und locker, leicht empfänglich für Rückbildungen und Auflösungen. Es steckt nichts Böses in der Reduktion des Lebens auf andere und neue Formen. Der Mord ist keine Sünde. Er ist manchmal eine notwendige Gewalt widerspenstigen und verknöcherten Daseinsformen gegenüber, die aufgehört haben interessant zu sein. Im Interesse eines aufschlußreichen und wichtigen Experiments kann der Mord sogar ein Verdienst darstellen. Hier ist der Ausgangspunkt für eine neue Apologie des Sadismus.«

Mein Vater war in der Glorifizierung dieses wunderlichen Elements, wie die Materie es ist, unerschöpflich. »Es gibt keine tote Materie«, lehrte er, »der Zustand des Todes ist lediglich ein Schein, hinter dem sich unbekannte Daseinsformen verstecken. Die Skala dieser Formen ist unendlich, ihre Schattierungen und Nuancen sind unerschöpflich. Demiurgos war im Besitz wichtiger und aufschlußreicher Schöpfungsrezepte. Dank diesen Rezepten schuf er eine Vielzahl von Arten, die sich aus eigener Kraft erneuern. Es ist unbekannt, ob diese Rezepte jemals rekonstruiert werden können. Aber ist auch nicht nötig; denn selbst wenn sich diese klassischen Methoden der Schöpfung ein für allemal als unzugänglich erweisen sollten, verbleiben noch bestimmte illegale Methoden, eine ganze Unermeßlichkeit häretischer und verbrecherischer Methoden.«[33]

Und:

»Es liegt uns nichts«, sprach er, »an Geschöpfen mit langem Atem, an Wesen auf lange Sicht. Unsere Kreaturen werden nicht die Helden vielbändiger Romane sein. Ihre Rollen werden kurz und lapidar, ihre Charaktere ohne weitläufigere Planung sein. Oft nur für eine Geste, für ein einziges Wesen werden wir uns der Mühe unterziehen, sie für diesen einen Augenblick ins Leben zu rufen. Wir geben offen zu: wir werden keinen Nachdruck auf Dauerhaftigkeit und Güte der Ausführung legen, unsere Geschöpfe werden gleichsam provisorisch, für das eine Mal gemacht sein. Wenn es Menschen sein sollten, werden wir ihnen zum Beispiel nur eine Gesichtshälfte, einen Arm, ein Bein geben — eben nur das, was sie für ihre Rolle brauchen. Es wäre Pedanterie, sich um das zweite Bein zu kümmern, das nicht zum Spiel gehört. Hinten können sie einfach mit Leinwand zugenäht oder geschweißt werden. Unseren Ehrgeiz werden wir auf folgende stolze Devise legen: Für jede Geste einen anderen Schauspieler. Zur Handhabung jedes Wortes, jeder Tat rufen wir einen anderen Menschen ins Leben.

So ist unser Geschmack, das wird die Welt nach unserem Gusto sein. Demiurgos gefiel sich in ausgewählten, vollkommenen und komplizierten Materialien, wir geben dem Trödel den Vorrang. Uns entzückt und ergreift einfach das Billige, das Minderwertige, das Trödelhafte des Materials. Versteht ihr«, fragte mein Vater, »den tiefen Sinn dieser Schwäche, dieser Leidenschaft für buntes Dekorationspapier, für Pappmaché, für Lackfarbe, für Werg und Sägespäne? Das ist«, sprach er mit schmerzlichem Lächeln, »unsere Liebe für die Materie als solche, für ihre Flaumigkeit und Durchlässigkeit, für ihre einzige, mystische Konsistenz. Demiurgos, dieser große Meister und Künstler, macht sie unsichtbar, läßt sie aus dem Spiel des Lebens verschwinden. Wir dagegen, wir lieben ihr Knirschen, ihren Widerstand, ihre klotzige Unzierlichkeit. Wir lieben es, unter jeder Geste, unter jeder Bewegung ihre schwerfällige Bemühung, ihre Unbeweglichkeit, ihre süße Bärenhaftigkeit zu sehen.«[34]

Da sind wir also wieder bei der Menschen-Kippe — dem kurzlebigen, entropischen Abfall eines demiurgischen Zweitschöpfers. Wiegesagt, habe ich diese Abschnitte schon einmal zitiert, jedoch ohne dabei auf die fast schon unfassbar bittere Ironik der Todesumstände von Bruno Schulz hinzuweisen: er wurde kaltschnäuzig von den Nazis ermordet, die es nicht als Sünde ansahen, eine unterlegene Lebensform auszumerzen. Wie sich zeigte, war das Zeitalter von Schulz, kurz nachdem er Die Zimtläden schrieb, der Ausgangspunkt für neue Formen der Apologien des Sadimus. (Ich habe in The Cildren of the Heart[35] und (eher beiläufig) in Some Versions of Mock-Pastoral, Part I[36] mehr über Schulz geschrieben. Siehe dazu auch, wie David Grossman mit Stichwort: Liebe Schulz als einen idealen romantischen Typus würdigt[37] .)

In keinster Weise möchte ich nahelegen, daß Schulz an seinem eigenen Tod irgendwie schuld war, nur weil er ein eskapitsches Werk in Form einer romantischen Phantasmagorie geschrieben hat, in dem er mit dem Gedanken spielt, daß Morden nicht schlimmes ist. Vielmehr möchte ich Miéville gemäß seiner eigenen Aussagen beim Wort nehmen. Er drängt ja drauf, daß auch Fantasyautoren sich mit politischer Ernsthaftigkeit und gesellschaftlichem Verantwortungsbewußtsein ihrer Sache widmen sollen, und damit hat er zweifellos recht. Mit manchen Dingen liegen auch puppenspielende Eskapisten liegen ab und zu nicht daneben. Meine Meinung ist aber (wie soll ich es sagen? Ich bin nicht ganz sicher), daß Miéville sich nicht wirklich klar gewesen ist, was er eigentlich wollte — ob seine Zweitschöpfungen verantwortungsbewußt gehaltvoll, oder brilliant aber dünn expressionistisch sein sollen. Sollten Fantasyromane zu wirtschaftlichen und politischen Traktaten heranreifen, oder sollten die Charaktere zu Puppen ausgedünnt werden, deren Fäden sich mit mehr Geschick zupfen lassen? Einen künstlerischen Weg gibt es immer, aber ich muß gestehen, daß ich hier keine Möglichkeit sehe, diese beiden Impulse auf wirklich gütliche Weise miteinander zu vereinen. Ich bin der Ansicht, daß Miéville sich selbst dabei hemmt, sein ganzes Vermögen auszuspielen, weil er sich nicht für einen dieser beiden Modi entscheiden kann, von denen er gleichermaßen angezogen wird, und die er jeden für sich durchaus überzeugend meistern könnte.


4. PAPIER-FIGUREN, FÜSSE AUS LEHM[38]

Lassen Sie mich Miévilles Neigung für's Vermischen des Politisch-Wirtschaftlichen mit der Puppemspielerei veranschaulichen — anhand seiner farbenfrohen Groteskerien, die theatralisch das menschlich Furchtbare behandeln. In folgendem Abschnitt wird berichtet, wie New Crobuzon in einen Krieg mit Tesh, die Stadt der Schleichenden Wasser gerät. (Miéville zeigt uns diese Stadt mit »ihren Ringgräben und gläsernen Katzen und d{er} Catoplepas-Ebene und {den} Kauffahrteischiffe{n} und unsteten Diplomaten und de{m} Weinende Prinz« nie direkt.[39])

Die geheimnisumwitterten Schiffe aus Tesh, die Barkentinen und schnittigen, mit flatternden bunten Tüchern behangenen Katboote, deren Manschaften sich mit Henna bemalten und die Zähne spitz feilten, hatte man seit längerem nicht im Hafen gesehen. Man hörte Gerüchte, durch seit einiger Zeit verödete und erst jüngst wieder benutzte Kanäle hätte Tesh geheimer und nie gesehener Botschafter der Bürgermeisterin die offizielle Kriegserklärung seiner Regierung übermittelt.

Berichte über Aggressionen Teshs gegen Crobuzoner Schiffe in der Lohwasser-Enge wurden häufiger und bekamen größere Präsenz in der Tagespresse und den Wandzeitungen des Magistrats. Die Bürgermeisterin versprach Vergeltungsmaßnahmen und Gegenschläge. Die Marine verstärkte ihre Rekutierungsmaßnahmen, parallel zu – hörte Ori – der Anwerbung mittels Schnappsflasche.

Das Ganze war immer noch fern, abstrakt: Seeschlachen tausend Meilen weit weg. Doch die Feindseligkeiten eskalierten. Immer mehr Reden von Ministern hatten den Krieg zum Thema. Der neue kaufmännische Unternehmungsgeist der Stadt brachte keinen Aufschwung: Absatzmärkte für Exporte blieben verschlossen, die Unsicherheit auf den Meeren blockierte den Import exotischer Luxusartikel. Schiffe liefen aus und kamen nicht wieder. New Crobuzons stillgelegte Fabriken nahmen den Betrieb nicht wieder auf, andere meldeten Konkurs an, und die Schilder am Tor wurden stockfleckig, zum Hohn der darauf verkündeten »vorrübergehenden Schließung«. Die Stadt stagnierte, sie wurde saft- und kraftlos und verlotterte. Der Krieg schickte seine Überlebenden nach Hause.

Soldaten, an Leib und Seele verwundet, vom Staat im Stich gelassen, sah man in Dog Fenn und Riverskin betteln und allen, die es hören wollten, ihre Erlebnisse predigten. Narbig, mit zerschmetterten Knochen, verstümelt vom Feind und im blutigen Chaos eines Feldlazeretts, hatten manche überdies befremdliche Blessuren davongetragen, wie nur die Streitkräfte Teshs sie ihnen zugefügt haben konnten.

Hunderte der Heimgekehrten waren ihres Verstandes verlustig gegangen, und in ihrem Wahn rabulierten sei in einer fremden, lispelnden Sprache. Alle, über die ganze Stadt verstreut, skandierten die gleichen Worte, synchron. Da waren Männer mit blutigen Gallertbällen als Augen, die dennoch sehen konnten, hörte Ori, und die unaufhörlich weinten, weil sie den Tod in allen Dingen sahen. Die Leute fürchteten, die Veteranen wie das eigene schleche Gewissen. Einmal, es lag inzwischen einige Monate zurück, war Ori an einen Mann vorbeigekommen, der auf seine verschreckten Zuhörer einredete und ihnen seine Arme zeigte, die wie gebleicht aussahen, fahlgrau.

»Ihr wisst, was das ist!«, rief er ihnen zu. »Ihr wisst bescheid! Ich war am Rand der Explosion – und ihr seht ja. Die Knochenflicker wollten mir die Arme abschneiden, sagten, sie müssten ab, aber sie wollten nur verhindern, dass ihr das hier seht…« Er schwenkte seine gespenstischen Gliedmaßen wie Scherenschnite, und die Miliz kam und brachte ihn zum Schweigen, schleppte ihn weg. Aber Ori hatte das Grauen auf den Gesichtern der Leute gesehen. Hatte Tesh wahrhaftig das vergessene Geheimnis der Farbenbombe wiederentdeckt?[40]

Für mich trifft das genau den richtigen Ton, der gelungen zwischen grimigem Realismus und herzhaftem Puppenspiel balanciert. Der Farbenbomben-Veteran könnte aus einem Bild von Otto Dix stammen.[41] Doch habe ich den Eindruck, daß dieser Ton nicht aufrechterhalten werden kann — oder jedenfalls eben nicht aufrechterhalten wird.

Zuerst aber ein weiteres ausgezeichnetes Beispiel. In New Crobuzon sind Thaumaturgen in den Straffabriken damit beschäftigt, aus Verbrechern groteske Gestalten zu machen. Die Philosophie die diesem Remaking, diesem Ummodeln zugrunde liegt, läßt sich, bis auf einen finsteren Foucault'schen Dreh, vergleichen mit der einfachen Freude der Vaterfigur bei Schulz, über den demurgischen Möglichkeitsreichtum, den langweilige Materie bietet. Arme Verbrecher werden umgemodelt (und dann zur Arbeit gezwungen, um ihr Remaking zu begleichen.) Entsprechend ihrer Verbrechen werden bei ihnen Körperteile durch Tier- oder Maschinenteile ersetzt, manchmal aber auch nur, um sie zu erniedrigen oder zu verhöhnen. Da gibt es dann sehr garstige Beschreibungen. Ein Junge, dessen Hals mit Insektenbeinen umwachsen ist, wie eine Krause. Menschen die sterben müssen, wenn ihnen die Heizkohlen ihrer eingemodelten Motoröfen ausgehen. Den unzureichend hergerichteten Remade-Sklaven, die gezwungen werden die transkontinentale Eisenbahnstrecke zu errichten, stehen tatsächlich über weite Teile des Romans im Mittelpunkt der Aufmerksamkeit. (Siehe dazu auch Henrys Essay.)

—Zu verdammt nichts nütze, flucht ein Aufseher und lässt den Knüppel auf einen gestürzten Mann niedersausen, dessen Hände mit Augen gespickt sind. —Was für einen Sinn hat es, mehr Remade zu fabrizieren, wenn dabei jämmerliche Pfauenvögel herauskommen, wie du? Jede verfluchte Woche predige ich ihnen, wir brauchen Remade, die für Schwerstarbeit gebaut sind, nicht irgendwelche Spaßfiguren zu ihrer eigenen Belustigung. Hoch mit dir und pack an.[42]

Ein entsetzliches Alptraumbild. Wie schon Schulz schreibt: »Wenn es Menschen sein sollen, werden wir ihnen zum Beispiel nur eine Gesichtshälfte, einen Arm, ein Bein geben – eben nur das, was sie für ihre Rolle brauchen.« Das läßt Gedanken an hässliche Folgen und Verwicklungen aufkommen. (Was ist in menschliches Fleisch geformt schlimmer: erzwungene Launenhaftigkeit oder maschinelle Effizienz?) Ich befürchte, daß sich spätestens mit Belles Esssay zeigen wird, daß Miéville im politischen und wirtschaftlichen Sinne nicht länger als erfolgreicher Expressionist gelten kann, sondern vielmehr jemand ist, der sich perverserweise weigert uns irgendetwas nettes oder erfreuliches zu zeigen, obwohl er versprochen hat, uns alles zu zeigen. (Wo bleiben die schönen Gegenden von New Crobuzon?)

Andererseits ist aber Golemetrie etwas durchaus hübsches; so etwas wie ein Hegel'scher Traum. In Der Eiserne Rat überlegt sich Judah Low:

Was genau habe ich getan? {…} Ich habe einen Golem aus Gas geschaffen. Kann ich einen Golem aus noch weniger festem Stoff bilden? Golemetrie ist eine Auseinandersetzung, eine Intervention, ist es ergo möglich, dass ich interveniere und einen Golem schaffe aus Dunkelheit oder Tod, aus Elektrizität, aus Klang, aus Reibung, aus Ideen oder Hoffnungen?[43]

Was ist denn Hegels Idee des Weltgeistes anderes, als ein seltsam beseelter, und dennoch im strengem Sinne lebloser Golem?

Als Gegenargument läßt sich dazu behaupten, daß wenn man denn nun Mitleid mit der Menschheit hat, wie sie als entropischer Abfallhaufen vom gedankenlosen Besen der Historie zusamen- und hinfortgefegt wird, dann kann Golemtrie etwas Humanistisches sein. Pennyhaugh hält Judah einen Vortrag über diese Wissenschaft:

Was lebt, kann nicht Golem sein. Ausgestattet mit der Vitalität des Orgon, haben wir bei Flora und Fauna Materie, die mit ihren eigenen Mechanismen interagiert. Das Unbelebte hingegen ist passiv, es kommt durch Zufall so zu liegen, wie es eben liegt. Wir geben ihm Bedeutung. Wir befehlen ihm nicht, sondern weisen hin auf die Ordnung, die immer vorhanden ist, inhärent, unsichtbar. Dieser Akt des Hinweisens auf Vorhandenes ist wenigstens ebenso sehr Bestätigung und Überredung wie Observation. Wir sehen Struktur, und indem wir sie analysieren, erkennen wir Mechanismen und greifen danach und legen den Schalter um. Weil Muster sich nicht in der Stasis geltend machen, sondern in der Veränderung. Golemetrie ist eine Unterbrechung. Zu verstehen als die Unterordnung des statischen IST unter das aktive BIN.[44]

Die Schwierigkeit liegt, wie der Vater bei Schulz es ausdrückt, darin, »den tiefen Sinn dieser Schwäche, dieser Leidenschaft für buntes Dekorationspapier, für Pappmaché, für Lackfarbe, für Werg und Sägespäne«[45] anzuerkennen, und dabei trotzdem jede noch so kleine Unterbrechung gegen die immanente Zerstörung zu unterstützen.

An dieser Stelle möche ich Sie, was diese Feststellung betrifft, und um keine entscheidenden Handlungswendungen auszuplaudern, weiterleiten zu Henrys Auseinandersetzung über Walter Benjamin und die nunc stans des Eisernen Rates.


5. GESCHICHTENERZÄHLEN

Nun wollen wir uns einmal anschauen, was für Geschichten uns Miéville erzählt. Das erste, was ich dazu sagen will, ist, daß mir diese Geschichten großartig gefallen. Stunden voller Unterhaltung. Zweitens finde ich das meine hier beitragenden Kollegen über das, was ich noch anmerken möchte, bisher in negativen Ausdrücken geschrieben haben. Belle behauptet, daß Miéville eine sonderbare Besessenheit für launisch-taktische Grabbelbeutel-Situationen pflegt. Matt Cheney stellt unverblühmt fest:

Die drei Bücher {Perdido Street Station, Die Narbe und Der Eiserne Rat} sind Abenteuerromane, und ihre großen Handlungsmuster gleichen einander: etwas Geheimnisvollen taucht auf und wird langsam enthüllt, das Leben der Hauptfiguren ist in Gefahr, die Schauplätze werden von völliger Vernichtung bedroht, dann bringen viele Leute sich gegenseitig um, mit bitter-süßen Ausklang. Diese Formel fünktioniert in Der Eiserne Rat prächtig, bis etwa 200 Seiten vor Schluß, zum Teil wegen der komplizierten Nebeneinanderführung der zeitlichen Abläufe und Ereignisse, aber auch, weil es überflüssig scheint, daß New Crobuzon wieder einmal von unheilvollen, jenseitigen Mächte bedroht wird, und für mich persönlch hätten halb so viele Schlachten auch gereicht, denn das Buch begann sich bereits wie ein Rollenspielszenario zu lesen, und weniger wie ein Roman: immerhin folgt eine scheinbar unmögliche Schlacht (»Deine Waffen sind gegen nicht-kooperationistische Wesen wirkungslos, doch glücklicherweise naht zur Rettung den Hügel hinab…«) auf die nächste und die nächste und …

Während ich also darauf hoffe, daß sich Miéville bald ein neues Rezept einfallen läßt, kann ich andererseits auch verstehen, daß diese Formel, auf die er immer wieder zurückkommt, der Art von Geschichten die er bieten möchte nun mal innewohnt, und daß andere Autoren diese Aufgabe schon viel schlechter bewältigt haben. Miéville hat auch sonst noch so vieles zu bieten, weshalb es schade ist, daß er seine Fäden immer wieder damit zum Ende bringt, daß seine Figuren die meiste Zeit damit beschäftigt sind, sich gegenseitig zu töten.[46]

Dem will noch ein Detail hinzufügen. Miéville pflegt (wenn man seine polemische Haltung beachtet) einen merkwürdigen Hang zu Hollywood-artigen Spezialeffekt-Extravaganzen, kurz bevor der Nachspann einsetzt. Ich bin mir sicher, daß Miéville nicht absichtlich mit Blick in Richtung Hollywood schreibt. Vielleicht ist eine unabsichtliche Hingezogenheit der Grund. Auch bei vielen kleineren Szenen denkt man sich als Leser: das ist besser als alle CGI-Sequenzen.[47] Kurz vor dem Ende des ersten Teils gibt es zum Beispiel 10 Sekunden an gehaltsvoller (und teurer) Filmzeit:

Der Golem war primitiv und einzig beseelt von dem Trieb zu vernichten. Gedankenschnell streckte er tonnenschwere Arme aus und ergriff die beiden Handlinger. Sie versuchten, Front gegen ihn zu machen. Im Nu hatte der Golem mit Urgewalt den Nacken des Tieres gebrochen und den Handlinger zerquetscht, der sich an die Mähne klammerte.

Der Mann war schneller. Er spie Feuer, das wirkungslos über das Gesicht des Golems fauchte. Mit unvorstellbarer Kraft zerrte der Mann an dem Arm aus aneinander haftenden Felsbrocken und renkte ihn aus dem Gelenk, sodass die Bewegungen des Golems schwerfälliger wurden. Dennoch hielt er eisern fest. Obgleich sein Arm Stück für Stück abfiel, zog der Golem den schwebenden Mann aus der Luft, packte seine Beine mit einer steinernen Hand, den Kopf mit der anderen und riss ihn mitten entzwei.

Sobald der Wirt tot war, noch ehe die beiden Hälften der Leiche den Boden berührten, erstarrte der Golem, sein Werk getan. Steine lösten sich aus dem Verbund, Staub wölkte. Krachend und rumpelnd zerfiel er zu einem blutspritzenden Haufen, begrub eine Hälfte des toten Pferdes unter sich.

Die zerrissenen Teile des menschlichen Wirtskörpers rollten ins Farnkraut und tränkten die Erde mit Blut. Unter dem Anzug zappelte etwas.

»Haltet Abstand«, warnte Cutter. »Das Ding sucht einen neuen Wirt.«
Drogon hatte den Leichnam unter Feuer genommen, während er fiel. Der Rumpf war kaum zur Ruhe gekommen, als ein Ding auf vielen Beinen, kränklich lila wie ein Bluterguss, aus den Kleidern kroch. Es lief behände über den Boden, spinnenartig.

Sie spritzten auseinander. Pomeroys Gewehr entlud sich donnernd, aber das Ding trippelte beharrlich weiter und war nur noch wenige Schritte von Elsie entfernt, die schrie wie am Spieß, als eine Salve Drogons es aufhielt. Der Wisperschmied schritt darauf zu und schoss im Gehen, drei wohl gezielte Kugeln trafen das Ungeziefer, dass sich ins Gras duckte. Er stieß es mit dem Fuß an, bückte sich und hob es eauf, zerfetzt und bluttriefend.

Es war eine Hand. Eine gescheckte rechte Hand. An ihrem Handgelenk wuchs ein kurzer Schweif. Hing herab als totes Gewicht und troff.

»Dextrier«, bemerkte der Wisperschmied zu Cutter. »Kriegerkaste[48]

Der Roman ist nun wirklich nicht nur wegen für solcher Szenen geschrieben worden. Man möchte eine entschuldigende Bemerkung über die Dramaturgie des orthodoxen Flex'iblen Theaters machen: »Bilder, sogar bewegte – in Abschnitte zerlegte Bewegungsabläufe in so schneller Folge, dass die Personen sprangen, liefen, Gewehre abfeuerten.« Doch selbst diese Stelle würde sich geradezu gut auf der Leinwand machen. Anders als bei einer gewissen Art von Jux, kann aus Schlag-auf-Schlag-Blutspritzerei[49] niemals großartige Romanprosa werden. Und dennoch: ich hatte meinen Spaß. Mehr noch: ich bewundere den ersten Teil für seine unglaublich schnelle Abfolge der Geschehnissse. Im Rahmen eines kleines Experimentes habe ich auf den ersten 40 Seiten des Buches alle neuen und originellen Szenerien und/oder aufregenden Kämpfe gezählt. (Die Maßeinheit ist freilich ein wenig subjektiv gewählt.) Der Eiserne Rat brachte es auf stattliche 25 Punkte. Vielleicht glauben Sie nicht ganz, daß dies ein ein guter Wert ist, aber es wird tatsächlich um einiges mehr geboten, als bei einem fortgeschrittenem D&D-Modul[50] wo im ersten Raum eine Mantikore ist, hinter Tür 30 Orks warten, und im Gang ein gallertartiger Würfel schwebt, und am anderen Ende des Ganges sind ein Hügelgrabunhold und ein chaotisch-böser Priester. Zeitweise ist die Geschwindigkeit des Romans in bester Ordnung: »Ihre Rollen werden kurz und lapidar, ihre Charaktere ohne weitläufige Planung sein. Oft nur eine Geste, für ein einziges Wort werden wir uns der Mühe unterziehen, sie für diesen einen Augenblick ins Leben zurufen.« Dieser Effekt von Miéville läßt sich geographisch und gesellschaftlich nicht vergleichen, mit einem kümmerlich durchdachten Verließlageplan, den ein Zölfjähriger entworfen hat, ohne dabei daran zu denken, von wo die Orks ihr Essen holen und wohin sie gehen, wenn sie aufs Klo müssen. Nein, Mißeville liest sich vielmehr wie ein Gemälde von Hieronymous Bosch. Man bewundert diese erfindungsfreudige Ballung von so viel Groteskem auf einer Grundfläche. Das wird umso besser, desto mehr diese totale Lebhaftigeit aufkommt. Man fragt sich nicht mehr: von was ernährt sich der Vogel-Typ? Wer bezahlt den Maurer für das Errichten der Wand?[51] (Streikt er jemals, und wenn ja, wer läßt sich dann als Streikbrecher anwerben? Der Kerl mit all den Wundkrusten?)[52] Schachern die mit diesen toten Typen, die aus dem Auge des Dämons kommen? Usw.

Und da sind wir wieder bei der problematischen Unvereinbarkeit von politisch-wirtschaftlichem und puppenspielerischem Expressionismus.

Miévilles Talent fürs Hervorbringen eines ungemein heftigen Überflußes an beiläufigen Bosch-artigen Einzelheiten ist mir eindrucksvoll klar geworden, als ich vor kurzem Steph Swainstons Komet[53] gelesen habe. Dieser Roman wurde als Beweis dafür angepriesen, daß so etwas wie eine ›New Weird‹-Strömung gibt; daß dieses neue Genre nicht nur durch China Miéville allein bestritten wird. (Obwohl ich befürchte, daß diese neue Spielart bald schon durch entsprechende Ettikettchen heimgesucht wird; vielleich ›Käfer und Drogen‹ statt ›Elfen und Zwerge‹.) Swainstons Roman kommt mit einem überschwänglichen Zitat von Miéville im Klappentext daher, aber für mich wird das Buch diesem Lob nicht gerecht, größtenteils deshalb, weil die Reisen des geflügelten Protagonisten Jant bei mir keinen reichhaltigen Eindruck erwecken, was diese Welt alles bietet. Das kam mir nicht wie ein Kuchen mit 700 Schichten vor, sondern wie einer mit höchstens 70 Schichten, wenn's hoch kommt. Ich verfiel nicht wie bei Miéville der Täuschung, jeden Quadratzentimeter dieser Welt zu sehen, durch die ich im Höchsttempo gezerrt wurde. Für mich wurde dadurch deutlich, daß Komet, abgesehen von den ganzen Käfern und Drogen, im Grunde ›die finsteren Mächte rücken an‹-Fantasy/Phantastik von der Stange ist, mit einem guten Schuß Kostüm-Soap Opera-Melodrama über interne Machtrangelein der strammen Verteidiger. Komet strebt an, eine Mischung aus Der König von Narnia und Aliens mit einer Priese Naked Lunch zu sein. Doch ich finde, daß weder die Der König von Narnia-, noch die Aliens-Aspekte wirklich gelungen sind, womit die wirklich beeindruckenden Käferschlachten übrig bleiben. Die habe ich auch sehr genossen, aber ich fand nicht, daß diese Käferschlachten grandios sind. Das war unterhaltsamer Eskapismus.

Das Dauerfeuer an grotekem Erfindungsreichtum — eine Puppe pro Seite — dient in Miévilles Fall dazu, die Konventionalität des überwiegenden Teils seiner Erzählung zu verschleiern (auch wenn sich, wie es Henry in seinem Beitrag tut, behaupten läßt, daß Der Eiserne Rat einen anderen Ansatz bietet.) Diese Tarnung wirkt die meiste Zeit, bleibt aber Tarnung.

Und das einzige Problem damit, daß Miéville ein konventioneller Geschichenerzähler ist, besteht darin — nun ja, daß dies eben nicht zu seiner Polemik über eine reifere, genre-sprengendere Art von Fantasy paßt, die uns eigentlich versprochen wurde. Wie auch Belle in ihrem Beitag sagt, lassen sich keine schwerwiegenden Einwände dagegen anbringen, eine schon absurd erfolgreiche Revolution zu veranstallten, wenn zuvor bereits lächerlich arg in die Ecke gedrängte Helden die Gierfalter abgewehrt haben. Ein reiferes Gespür dafür, daß ›die Historie nun mal so schmerzhaft ist‹ verträgt sich eben nicht mit den aufgetakelten, affirmativen (sentimantalen, nennt Sie das wie Sie mögen) ›Frodo und Sam können es schaffen‹-Konventionen die sonst vorherrschen. Psychologischen Realismus anzustreben ist ein ernsthaftes Prolem, wenn man diesen action-abenteuer Genre-Erwartungen nachgeben will. Keine wirkliche Person wäre so heldenhaft, so daß ihr Eindruck echte Menschen zu sein wie Wachs zerschmilzt, wenn die Action benzlig wird und für uns nur … nun, Genre-Mannequins übrigbleiben. (Und das nach all der anstrengenden Mühe, das Wachs richtig gut wirken zu lassen.)

Kurz gesagt, auch wenn es in Miévilles Geschichten »knrischt und verzwickt zugeht, gerade so wie im echten Leben«, bedeutet das nicht, daß es in ihnen auf die gleiche Weise knirscht und verzwickt zugeht wie im wirklichen Leben. Das echte Leben folgt gewöhnlicherweise nicht den üblichen dramatischen Dreiecks-Strukturen wie sie Gustav Freitag[54] beschrieben hat. Wie schon sagte, folgt das echte Leben nicht der Hollywood-artigen ›die Bombe wird explodieren und alle sterben, wenn niemand sie aufhalten kann‹-Achterbahn-Dramatik mit Nervenkitzel, Überschwang, Schauer und Toten.[55] Das echte Leben verläuft vielmehr so ähnlich wie eine Jim Woodring-artige Geschichte: »Lieber Höchster Alturist, ich danke Dir, daß Du eine Bombe in mein Inneres gelegt hast, die nie zu explodieren aufhören wird«.[56] Auf soetwas will Miéville hinaus mit seiner Eisenbahngeschichte. Die Handlungsdramaturgie der Bombe entspricht aber dabei ganz dem Hollywood-Stil, daran ändert auch alles Knirschen und alle Verzwacktheiten nichts.

Um mit positiven Bemerkungen diesen Punkt abzuschließen, will ich mich an die Szenen erinnern, die mir am besten in Miévilles Bas Lag-Büchern gefallen haben. Als Erstes muß man diese Anhäufung von Zeugs schon an sich würdigen. Das kommt an erster, zweiter und dritter Stelle. Dann folgen die Szenen in denen — wie oben beschrieben — für einen kurzen Augenblick das politisch-wirtschaftliche und puppenspielerhafte ausgewogen scheinen, auch wenn diese Momente nicht lange dauern. Anonsten mag ich die Passagen, in denen die eine oder andere Stimmung (politisch-wirtschaftlich oder puppelspielartig) deutlich gesteigert werden. So zum Beispiel in Perdido Street Station, wenn Rudgutter und Kollegen mit dem Teufel um Hilfe gegen die Gierfalter verhandeln, und erkennen, daß der Teufel aus Angst kneift, und die Gruppe sich (schaudernd) an den Weber wenden muß. Das ist ein herrlich albernes Puppenspiel über Machtpolitik und ›Profis‹, die man anheuert wenn die Angelegenheiten hässlich werden. Auf die gleiche Art ist der umfassende ›Jagd nach dem Schnark‹-Bogen[57] von The Scar schön (ich danke Henry, mich darauf aufmerksam gemacht zu haben; ich nehme an, daß China selbst Dir von den Namensscherzen erzählt hat. Ich selbst habe keinen davon bemerkt.) Für jemanden, der so stark von Peake beeinflußt wurde, bietet Miéville bedauerrlicherweise so gut wie keine Komik. Er sollte öfter versuchen komische Texte zu schreiben.

Am anderen Ende der Skala, wenn ich den politsch-wirtschaftlichen Pol betrachte, haben wir die rauen Arbeitsverhandlungen des Streiks der Vodyanoi-Hafenarbeiter. Sehr fein, wie auch der wendungsreiche Geheimagenten-Garn über eine Grindilow-Invasion in The Scar. Zu den meiner Meinung besten Abschnitten von Der Eiserne Rat gehören die Auftritte des Charakter Weather Wrightby (ob's recht sein wird?)[58], Industriekapitän der transkontinentalen Eisenbahnstiftung; sowie Judahs entbehrungsreiche Arbeit für Wrightby als Geländeauskundschafter, der unter den zum Untergang verdammten Stiltspear zum Antropologen wird. Die beharrliche Art und Weise, wie ironisch-verdreht gesellschaftliche Typisierungen und Probleme unserer Welt eingeflochten werden, hat etwas unaufdringlich Neues an sich. Ich vermute, das dies an der erwachseneren Reifere des Miéville'schen Fantasy/Phantastik-Ansatzes liegt. Nur allzuschnell könnten diese Abschnitte zur Parodie oder Abgedroschenheit geraten, was aber nicht der Fall ist. (Ich will nicht behaupten, das Parodien schlecht sind. Sie können sogar ziemlich gut sein. Ich denke dabei z.B. an Senator Bilbo[59] von Andy Duncan, einer Beschreibung von Rassenverhältnissen im Shire nach dem Fall von Sauron. Es gibt Immigranten-Orks, und der alte Biblo kann sie nicht ertragen, was auch ein netter Seitenhieb auf diesen Senator Bilbo ist.[60] Miéville unternimmt Sachen, die auch Tolkien-Parodisten anpacken, aber er tut es nicht parodistisch.)

Wie auch immer, glaube ich, daß Weather Wrightby, der trotz seiner monomanischen Onkelhaftigkeit seltsamerweise sympathisch wirkt, einem hohen Ziel, das sich Miéville selbst stellt, am weitesten annähert: gut und böse nicht vereinfachend darzustellen. Ich wünschte nur, es gäbe mehr Figuren wie ihn in den Roman. Aus dem Charakter läßt sich was machen.


6. TOLKIEN

Eigentlich wollte ich ein paar meiner Gedanken zu Tolkien im bisher Geschriebenen anführen, und nun weiß ich nicht recht, wie ich sie noch unterbringen soll. Sicherlich hab ich bereits genug dazu gesagt. Hier also als Erstes: Ich halte es für ungerecht, auf Tolkien wegen seiner »Verherrlichung des Krieges als Abenteuer für Jungs« einzuschlagen. Jemanden wie Tolkien, der auf dem Somme-Schlachtfeld war — dessen Freunde auf schreckliche Weise im Schlamm gestorben sind, und dessen Freund C.S. Lewis irrtümlich für tot gehalten auf dem Schlachtfeld zurückgelassen wurde, mag man womöglich Verherrlichung des Krieges vorwerfen können. Aber man kann ihn unmöglich beschuldigen, den Krieg auf eine ›Du glaubst nur, daß Krieg spaßig ist, weil Du Matsch und Blut nicht erlebt hast‹-Art gepriesen zu haben. Wenn also Tolkien moralisch gestört war, dann ist das eine anders geartete Störung. (Erinnere ich mich korrekt an die Kriegserlebnisse der Inklings?) Dazu möchte ich an einen Beitrag von Tom Shippey[61] in einer Dokumentation zu dem Die Zwei Türme-Film erinnern:

All diese Schriftsteller, ich nenne sie ›traumatisierte Autoren‹, {…} sie alle sind dazu getrieben worden, ihre eigene Erzählung {über den 1. Weltkrieg} zu schreiben. Seltsamerweise ist es fast immer so, dass sie das nicht in Form von realistischen Erzählungen tun konnten. Sie mußten etwas schreiben, das auf irgendeine Weise phantastisch ist. Nach dem 1. Weltkrieg erhielt die mittelalterliche Literatur plötzlich wieder eine völlig neue Relevanz. Sie sprach Themen an, die die Menschen vergessen oder für überholt gehalten hatten. Nun, da hatten sich die Leute geirrt. Diese Themen waren wieder aktuell geworden.[62]

Der Umstand, daß diese Autoren Kriegsveteranen waren, gibt diesen Autoren nicht automatisch recht, aber es macht die Deutung der Reaktionen auf ihre Erfahrungen komplizierter. Zudem könnte man erwidern, daß Miévilles Kampfszenen selbst wiederum durch einen Gutteil ›Bubenhaftigkeit‹ geprägt werden. In ihren gelungensten Momenten wirken sie wie Boschgemälde oder wie feuriges Puppentheater. Aber die erzählerische Spannung von Judah Lowes Golemetrie-Fähigkeiten — zuerst verfeinert durch Straßenwettklämpfe in New Crobuzon und dann auf die Kampfschauplätze gebracht — gleicht sehr den Siegen des Protagonisten in Das Große Spiel[63]. Statt eines videospielenden Jungen, haben wir halt einen Schlachtspiele-Champion der alles zum Guten richtet. (Diese Bemerkung ist etwas zu grob.)

Zur erzählerischen Struktur: eines der auffälligsten Dinge an Tolkien ist ja, wie schlecht er schrieb. Oder bessser gesagt, daß er Dinge anstellte, die kein respektabler Berufsschriftsteller versuchen würde, offensichtlich, weil Tolkien vornehmlich zur eigenen Freude schrieb und gar nicht von der ›richtigen Art und Weise‹ zu schreiben wußte. Tolkien errichtete, wie ich schon schreib, Texte wie ein Maurer; was auch dem entspricht, wie Tolkien das von ihm verehrte Beowulf auffaßte, wie er in seinem Essay Die Ungeheuer und ihre Kritiker darlegt.[64] Das verleiht Tolkiens Schreiben seine schon monumentale Würde, und ist nicht zu vergleichen mit der für die moderne Agrarindustrie typische Monokultur. Seine Texte sind wie gothische Architektur, auch wenn man eingestehen muß, daß sie klobig sind. Deshalb glauben die Horden von Tolkiens Nachahmern, sie könnten mit klobigen Zeug kommerziell Erfolg haben, was ja auch stimmt. Aber dabei ist nicht Tolkien der Schuldige.

Nun weitere interessante Informationen aus den Dokumentationen von Die Zwei Türme, die ich zusammenfasse.

Tolkien begann zu schreiben und geriet in Schwierigkeiten. Statt Stellen zu streichen, um- und zurückzuzustellen, fing er wieder ganz ganz von Vorne an. Nochmal stieß er auf Probleme. Wieder beginnt er von Vorne. Kommt etwas weiter als beim ersten Mal. Hat wieder Schwierigkeiten. Wie Wellen auf den Strand treffen, schafft es Tolkien bei jedem Anlauf ein Stückchen weiter, doch für jeden Anlauf kehrt er zurück bis zum Ausgangspunkt, wie die Beiträger in der Dokumentation bestätigen. Es ist beachtenswert, daß wir einen Autor der so arbeitet, schnell als besessen-zwanghaft einstufen. (Das fügt sich passend zu der irgendwie vorwurfsvollen Beschreibung Tolkiens, als eines ungeübten Außenseiterkünstlers.[65] Ja, ja, ich weiß. Wirklich isoliert war er gar nicht. Er hatte C.S. Lewis und andere Inklings, die seinem entstehenden Werk Kritik angedeihen ließen.)

Der Herr der Ringe ist nicht wie ein ordentlicher Roman strukturiert, wichtige Figuren werden nicht entwickelt, es gibt zu viele Wiederholungen, die Eröffnung ist zu zögerlich, das Ende ist zu kurz, es wird viel geredet, es gibt lange Abschnitte in denen nichts geschieht, Elronds Rat mit seinen 15000 Wörtern liest sich wie eine schlecht geleitete Vorstandsbesprechung, bei der auch viel über Figuren geredet wird, die dem Leser nicht ordentlich vorgestellt wurden. Was für ein Mut dazu gehört, zu glauben, daß die Leser mit all diesem Unsinn zurande kommen! Welch brilliante Naivität es braucht, gar nicht zu merken, daß dies ein mutiges Unterfange

           Calcium-binding protein S100A4 confers mesenchymal progenitor cell fibrogenicity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis    
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with a prevalence of 1 million persons worldwide. The fibrosis spreads from affected alveoli into contiguous alveoli and leads to death by asphyxiation. We previously discovered that the IPF lung harbors fibrogenic mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) that serve as a cell of origin for disease-mediating myofibroblasts. In a prior genomewide transcriptional analysis, we found that IPF MPCs displayed increased expression of S100 calcium-binding A4 (S100A4), a protein linked to cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. Here, we have examined whether S100A4 mediates MPC fibrogenicity. Ex vivo analysis revealed that IPF MPCs had increased levels of nuclear S100A4, which interacts with L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase to promote p53 degradation and MPC self-renewal. In vivo, injection of human IPF MPCs converted a self-limited bleomycin-induced mouse model of lung fibrosis to a model of persistent fibrosis in an S100A4-dependent manner. S100A4 gain of function was sufficient to confer fibrotic properties to non-IPF MPCs. In IPF tissue, fibroblastic foci contained cells expressing Ki67 and the MPC markers SSEA4 and S100A4. The expression colocalized in an interface region between myofibroblasts in the focus core and normal alveolar structures, defining this region as an active fibrotic front. Our findings indicate that IPF MPCs are intrinsically fibrogenic and that S100A4 confers MPCs with fibrogenicity.
           NK cell heparanase controls tumor invasion and immune surveillance    
NK cells are highly efficient at preventing cancer metastasis but are infrequently found in the core of primary tumors. Here, have we demonstrated that freshly isolated mouse and human NK cells express low levels of the endo-β-D-glucuronidase heparanase that increase upon NK cell activation. Heparanase deficiency did not affect development, differentiation, or tissue localization of NK cells under steady-state conditions. However, mice lacking heparanase specifically in NK cells (Hpsefl/fl NKp46-iCre mice) were highly tumor prone when challenged with the carcinogen methylcholanthrene (MCA). Hpsefl/fl NKp46-iCre mice were also more susceptible to tumor growth than were their littermate controls when challenged with the established mouse lymphoma cell line RMA-S-RAE-1β, which overexpresses the NK cell group 2D (NKG2D) ligand RAE-1β, or when inoculated with metastatic melanoma, prostate carcinoma, or mammary carcinoma cell lines. NK cell invasion of primary tumors and recruitment to the site of metastasis were strictly dependent on the presence of heparanase. Cytokine and immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapy for metastases was compromised when NK cells lacked heparanase. Our data suggest that heparanase plays a critical role in NK cell invasion into tumors and thereby tumor progression and metastases. This should be considered when systemically treating cancer patients with heparanase inhibitors, since the potential adverse effect on NK cell infiltration might limit the antitumor activity of the inhibitors.
           Macrolides selectively inhibit mutant KCNJ5 potassium channels that cause aldosterone-producing adenoma    
Aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) are benign tumors of the adrenal gland that constitutively produce the salt-retaining steroid hormone aldosterone and cause millions of cases of severe hypertension worldwide. Either of 2 somatic mutations in the potassium channel KCNJ5 (G151R and L168R, hereafter referred to as KCNJ5MUT) in adrenocortical cells account for half of APAs worldwide. These mutations alter channel selectivity to allow abnormal Na+ conductance, resulting in membrane depolarization, calcium influx, aldosterone production, and cell proliferation. Because APA diagnosis requires a difficult invasive procedure, patients often remain undiagnosed and inadequately treated. Inhibitors of KCNJ5MUT could allow noninvasive diagnosis and therapy of APAs carrying KCNJ5 mutations. Here, we developed a high-throughput screen for rescue of KCNJ5MUT-induced lethality and identified a series of macrolide antibiotics, including roxithromycin, that potently inhibit KCNJ5MUT, but not KCNJ5WT. Electrophysiology demonstrated direct KCNJ5MUT inhibition. In human aldosterone-producing adrenocortical cancer cell lines, roxithromycin inhibited KCNJ5MUT-induced induction of CYP11B2 (encoding aldosterone synthase) expression and aldosterone production. Further exploration of macrolides showed that KCNJ5MUT was similarly selectively inhibited by idremcinal, a macrolide motilin receptor agonist, and by synthesized macrolide derivatives lacking antibiotic or motilide activity. Macrolide-derived selective KCNJ5MUT inhibitors thus have the potential to advance the diagnosis and treatment of APAs harboring KCNJ5MUT.
          Does this make smoke come out of any of your ears?   
Wow! It's been a long time since I've paid any attention to this blog. Life is getting back to normal lately, though, and I want to get back to it.

Here's a little kick-off: Does this article (and the associated content of course) make smoke come out of any of your ears? Does it bother you or no? The article is about new airport screening techniques that include aggressive pat-downs by security if you choose not to go through a full-body screener. According to the article, there will soon be ~1,000 or so full-body screeners in airports around the country, so we will all soon have this choice to make.

Here are some choice quotes from the article:

'The new searches are done with screeners' hands sliding over a passenger's body. However, the searches require screeners to touch passengers' breasts and genitals.'

'"As a woman, it is somewhat unnerving to have someone touching you in these areas in full public view."'

'An effective pat down "has to be invasive" and touch both breasts and genitals, says Billie Vincent, a former security director for the Federal Aviation Administration. "It is clearly a technique that most people would consider an invasion of their privacy."'

'"Are we giving people two intolerable actions at airports?" Calabrese asks. "They can be virtually strip-searched or endure a really aggressive grope?"'

In summary, I like this Ben Franklin quote: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Is this really the United States? Is this what we have come to? I think it is sad we have let our fears about terror take us to this place. It doesn't seem right to me.
          vakantiehuisje in Lantheuil, Frankrijk : Le Pressoir du Château voor 6 personen   
vakantiehuisje : Le Pressoir du ChâteauDit prachtige landhuis heeft voorheen dienstgedaan als personeelsverblijf van Chateau Pierrepont, een kasteel uit 1775. Het landhuis is later eigendom geweest van Paul Peytral, minister van binnenlandse zaken aan het begin van de vorige eeuw. De huidige huiseigenaren hebben het volledige domein, bestaande uit het kasteel en diverse bijgebouwen, gerenoveerd. Het gaat hierbij om het linkergedeelte van het landhuis. Privacy is gegarandeerd, en u bechikt over een eigen oprijlaan, terras, tuin en parking. Werkelijk aan alles is gedacht: van een met video bewaakte, elektronische entreepoort, ruime en luxe slaapkamers met comfortabele hotelbedden, ensuite badkamers met regendouches/ligbad, tot een ingebouwd stofzuigsysteem, een prachtige, 18e-eeuwse schouw, een flatscreen tv en een iPod-Dock. Het landhuis ligt op een prachtig terrein met tal van bijgebouwen. Een grote vijver siert de prachtige tuin en geeft een romantisch uitstraling. Het is hier heerlijk vertoeven tijdens de zomerdagen. De directe omgeving biedt vele toeristische trekpleisters, zoals de invasiestranden, historische kastelen, steden en het gedenkteken van Caen. Tevens kunt u hier prima terecht voor activiteiten als watersport, paardrijden en wandelen. Voor een kleine meerprijs kunt u op de dag van aankomst een welkomstmaaltijd krijgen. Gelieve tenminste een week voor aankomst contact op te nemen met de huiseigenaar indien u hiervan gebruik wenst te maken. Mocht u het huis met een grotere groep willen huren, neemt u dan eens een kijkje bij 'Château de Pierrepont'.
          vakantiehuisje in Asnières, Frankrijk : Château Saint Gervais voor 23 personen   
vakantiehuisje : Château Saint GervaisMet uitzicht over het 'Vallée de la Calonne' en gelegen aan het begin van het 'Pays d'Auge' staat dit charmante kasteel met Normandische bijgebouwen uit de 12e, 15e en 16e eeuw. De vakantiewoning bestaat uit het kasteel twee slaapkamers op de tweede etage. Het bevindt zich in een parkachtig landschap van 70 hectare. Het is hier ideaal voor een verblijf met vrienden of familie. Op 30 km van het strand van Deauville en op ruim een uur van de invasiestranden van Caen. Dit mooie landgoed is uitstekend geschikt voor rustzoekers en liefhebbers van het landelijke leven in een streek waar ook van alles te beleven is. Zo vindt u hier de paardenstoeterijen in het 'Circuit des haras' en de Abdijenroute. U kunt diverse kastelen bezoeken, waaronder de middeleeuwse kastelen, zoals Gaillard en Harcourt, en kastelen uit de Renaissance, zoals Beaumesnil en Champ de Bataill. Geniet tevens van de Seinevallei, schilderkunst (Honfleur, Giverny), de Normandische kust met Deauville en Trouville, musea en kerken plus de uitstekende keuken!
          vakantiehuisje in Asnières, Frankrijk : Château Saint Gervais voor 19 personen   
vakantiehuisje : Château Saint GervaisMet uitzicht over het 'Vallée de la Calonne' en gelegen aan het begin van het 'Pays d'Auge' staat dit charmante kasteel met Normandische bijgebouwen uit de 12e, 15e en 16e eeuw. Het kasteel ligt in een parkachtig landschap van 70 hectare. Dit mooie landgoed is uitstekend geschikt voor rustzoekers en liefhebbers van het landelijke leven in een streek waar ook van alles te beleven is. Het kasteel biedt ruimte aan maximaal 19 personen en 2 baby's en beschikt over 10 slaapkamers (allen op de eerste etage), waarvan 7 met eigen badkamer. U heeft een woonkamer, eetkamer, keuken en diverse zitkamers op de begaande grond. In een van deze zitkamers staat een biljart. Op de tweede etage vindt u recreatie ruimtes met een tafeltennis- en tafelvoetbaltafel. In de tuin staat tuinmeubilair en een BBQ voor u klaar, zodat u ook buiten van de maaltijd kunt genieten. Op het terrein vindt u tevens een trampoline, tennisbaan (gedeeld met andere gasten), jeu de boules baan en speeltoestellen. Op 30 km afstand vindt u het strand van Deauville en op ruim een uur de invasiestranden van Caen. Bezoek bijvoorbeeld het 'Circuit des haras' (paardenstoeterijen), volg de Abdijenroute, bezichtig kastelen uit de Middeleeuwen (Gaillard en Harcourt) en de Renaissance (Beaumesnil, Champ de Bataille), de Seinevallei, bewonder schilderkunst (Honfleur, Giverny), de Normandische kust (met Deauville en Trouville). En geniet bovendien van de uitstekende keuken! FR-1555/02 en 03 zijn ideaal voor een verblijf met vrienden of familie.
          vakantiehuisje in Carentan, Frankrijk : Beaumont voor 4 personen   
vakantiehuisje : BeaumontDit kleinschalige en knusse, vrijstaande vakantiehuis ligt ongeveer 2 km buiten Carentan. Dit gezellige plaatsje ligt ongeveer 50 km ten zuidoosten van Cherbourg. De eenvoudige maar comfortabele inrichting is past helemaal bij de woning. In de fraai aangelegde tuin beschikt u over een gezellig terras met tuinmeubelen en een barbecue. Wat een prachtig uitzicht heeft u vanaf hier. Ook de parkeergelegenheid bevindt zich bij het huis Deze prachtige omgeving is zeer de moeite waard om te ontdekken. Carentan staat bekend als de zuivelstad en kent een rijke historie. Ook is deze streek historisch door de invasiestranden uit de tweede wereldoorlog. Kortom een knusse woning met een prachtige tuin in een historische omgeving.
          Latitude Tofinou 7, EUR 33.000,-   
Vendesi barca a vela natante Tofinou 7 (Cantiere Latitude - http://www.tofinou.com/). Anno 2004 in perfette condizioni (dal 2004 al 2013 usata solo al lago). Scafo in vetroresina blu e coperta in tek e mogano. Deriva mobile. La barca è una replica di uno sloop francese degli anni 30. Vele anno 2016: randa Banks membrane full batten con lazy jack e lazy bag, fiocco e gennaker con bompresso inox rimovibile. Spinnaker e tangone.Motore entrobordo Yanmar 10 hp con tagliandi annuali.Attrezzatura di coperta Harken Carbon, vang rigido, telo di copertura 2016, pompa di sentina elettrica e manuale, batteria motore 2016, invaso in acciaio, dotazioni di sicurezza. Pronta alla boa e visibile presso il Porto di Pisa.
          SHORT TRIPS - HOW TO WIN PLANETS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE   
“memo: to the board of the Darkon Corporation
re; recent events regarding “The Monk” and his suitability as our strategic invasion planner
 Its not gone very well has it? foiled at every turn by that mysterious traveller in time and space known only as “The Doctor” this lecture he is about to give is his final chance to show us just what he is made of and that he is definitely and undoubtedly THE man for the job of ensuring our galactic domination and we were right to pick him and not that mad woman dressed like a Nanny for the job….
 Memo ends.”
 Ah Rufus Hound, what a performance – he now IS the Monk having squared off on audio against Doctors 2,3,4 and 8 but in this particular Short Trip Mr Hound takes centre stage (Literally) as he delivers his presentation to the Darkon Corporation. The whole story is set as a corporate lecture full of awful business speak, peppy and banal and just flipping marvellous as the Monk regales us with tales of his failures at the hands of the Fourth Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane – marvel as his plans to own all property on earth fall over, revel in his plan to change the outcome of the Russian Revolution becoming an away day on a beach and prepare to be amazed as his turn as a professional foreteller of all things leads to a surprising win on Strictly Come Dancing. Sounds crazy, well it is and it is all the better for it because basically, deep down, I think the Monk isn’t really that bad a guy – no one who is that bad at being bad can really be that dedicated can they. Of all the Doctor Who “villains” he was almost the most loveable in his Peter Butterworth incarnation, not evil, just a bit mischievous and constantly out of his depth, and Rufus Hound channels  this beautifully – he almost seems to see being evil as a game he is playing and is almost pleased when he fails – a bit like the baddies in “The Web of Caves” (not seen it? what sort of fan are you? check it out HERE).
 Thirty five minutes is almost too short for a story of this quality, it feels just like the “Doctor-Lite” stories we used to get on TV back in the day, a completely different approach and a chance to do something very different with the structure of the Short Trip – and by jingo is it a success (unlike The Monk’s plans) If I were appraising I would say something along the lines of “full of blue sky thinking, with out of box aspirations and all boxes ticked” and I would award a big bonus and 10/10.


          Test May Detect Oral Cancer Earlier   

Oral and throat cancers can be life-threatening, and their frequency seems to be increasing. Now, two tests that are simple, painless and noninvasive can often detect them at very early stages when they can often be treated successfully. Both were developed here in South Florida. When Dr. Elizabeth Franzmann was working at the University of […]

The post Test May Detect Oral Cancer Earlier appeared first on OncAlert Oral Cancer.


          The REAL cause of Europe's 'refugee' invasion   
An excerpt from a 2016 John Pilger interview with Julian Assange. It shows how all this "crisis" is only a surprise for those who trust the ones in power. And, as they always do, they try to take advantage of their own mistakes.
          File: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete:: Air-Landing Card   

by jlchacon

New File: Air-Landing Card for Board Game: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete
          President Magufuli, ban sexual violence, not teenage mothers from school   

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli is facing widespread criticism from human rights organizations following comments he made last Thursday at a public rally that girls who become pregnant should not be allowed to return to school.

President Magufuli was quoted as saying:

"In my administration, as long as I am president ... no pregnant student will be allowed to return to school. We cannot allow this immoral behaviour to permeate our primary and secondary schools ... never.”

"After calculating some few mathematics she’d be asking the teacher in the classroom ‘let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby’... After getting pregnant, you are done! 

“If we were to allow the girls back to school, one day we would find all girls in Standard One going home to nurse their babies.”

These worrying statements were backed up this week by Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister, Mr Mwigulu Nchemba, who warned civil society organisations advocating for teenage mothers’ education that they would be deregistered if they continued campaigning on this issue.

Tanzania's ban on pregnant girls attending state primary and secondary schools dates back to 1961, and according to a 2013 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), more than 55,000 schoolgirls have been expelled from school over the last decade for being pregnant.

Although some more affluent families have been able to pay for their daughters to attend private school, the majority of girls have had to miss out on the rest of their education.

Civil society organizations including Equality Now argue that denying girls who have become mothers access to education is a violation of their human rights, and is a form of discrimination as highlighted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in their recent report: Realization of the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl.

The right to education plays a pivotal role in development, both of the individual and society. It opens up access to information on protection, opportunities and other fundamental rights, and is highly linked to personal, social and economic empowerment.

Barring teenage mothers from education not only perpetuates discriminatory gender norms, but is also an indication of government failures to address the root cause of widespread sexual violence against adolescent girls.

Efforts to eradicate violence against girls and women in Tanzania need to be increased, and laws against perpetrators of sexual violence have to be better enforced. More needs to be done also to alleviate the stigma and discrimination endured by pregnant girls and survivors of sexual violence and exploitation.

Girls’ human rights to health, life and right to equality and non-discrimination must be guaranteed by providing them with quality education, and to sexual and reproductive health care information, services and goods. 

The Tanzanian government and President John Magufuli should ensure that all school settings across the country are free from sexual violence and that holistic programming is in place to prevent and address sexual violence as outlined in the Global Guidance to Address School Related Gender Based Violence.

Description: https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/RnNZfQn2o2xpggJQqefCOervMbPIci5mujDPJnvl43kv6Rtxjyh5gHN_JKVzeU-aaGz3pePFgxfoAAtZJZNx8mveVTc-11j98EfuAJVcumUenA=s0-d-e1-ft#https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifEducation is key to eliminating poverty and denial of education is counter to any proposals aiming to improve society. Around one in four females in Tanzania are illiterate and the country’s illiteracy rate rose by one per cent to reach 23 per cent in 2015. By only punishing pregnant girls and denying them their education, the government is penalizing them on the basis of gender and is curtailing their futures so they are likely to remain trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Providing access to child care for girls who become mothers should be a state priority, as should the provision of other vital support services so that they can return to school.  Of particular urgency is guaranteeing girls’ right to access post-rape healthcare information and services including those necessary to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as ante-natal care.

President Magufuli’s comments go against the Tanzanian government's own policy and contradict the 2015 General Election campaign pledge of the ruling political party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi. They are also directly at odds with the commitments that Tanzania has already made by signing up to various regional and international pieces of legislation. These include the Maputo Protocol, which guarantees the rights of women and girls in Africa including their rights to education and training, and the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which clearly states that girls who get pregnant should be given an opportunity to access education.

People wanting to join the conversation on social media can use the hashtags #ArudiShule and #StopMagufuli, which are trending since last week. Many are urging President Magufuli to withdraw his damaging statements, lift the ban on teenage mothers accessing schools, and take all necessary steps to ensure the wellbeing and future prospects of all girls across Tanzania.

ENDS

Notes to Editor: For media enquiries and interview requests please contact Equality Now Media Relations Manager Tara Carey at tcarey@equalitynow.org; +44 (0)20 7304 6902; +44 (0)7971 556 340.

About Equality Now:

Equality Now is an international human rights organization that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world by combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy. Our international network of lawyers, activists, and supporters achieve legal and systemic change by holding governments responsible for enacting and enforcing laws and policies that end legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence, and harmful practices such as child marriage and FGM. Equality Now is dedicated to creating a more just world where women and girls have equal rights under the law and full enjoyment of those rights. For details of our current campaigns, please visit www.equalitynow.org.

To follow and engage with us online go to: Twitter: @equalitynow. Facebook:  facebook.com/equalitynoworg Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/equalitynoworg/?hl=en

Christa Stewart is Program Manager, End Sexual Violence, and Justice for Girls. She is a lawyer experienced in working with adolescent girls and on issues of human trafficking, sexual assault and immigration. Twiiter @c_stewart_esq

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Equality Now

          Les féministes nous emm…, disons : nous ennuient   

Les-feministes-demandent-un-ministere-des-droits-des-femmes.jpg

Bernard Plouvier

C’est la dernière stupidité de la presse parisienne mondialo-dévouée : Trump serait sexiste pour avoir dit à une femme qu’elle avait un joli sourire ! Il faut n’avoir jamais mis les pieds dans une salle remplie de femmes à la langue vipérine pour croire en l’unilatéralité des dits propos sexistes.

Reconnaissons simplement que rares sont les cas où une femme enragée agresse un mâle, alors que les agressions de mâle en rut sur des passantes sont devenues monnaie courante en Europe, et cela ne s'est pas arrangé depuis que l’on y a favorisé une invasion, entre autres, d’Africains, de Turcs et autres Proche-Orientaux… si la presse française n’évoque cette réalité que de loin en loin, à l’occasion de viols en grande série, la presse scandinave, la presse people britannique et, à un moindre degré, l’allemande publient des articles, de façon pluri-mensuelle, sur le sujet.

Le mouvement féministe a exigé, et obtenu ce qui est plus grave, la parité en politique… et l’on constate quel foutoir fut la France du non-regretté Hollande, quelle ignominie règne en Allemagne chez la toquée de l’immigration-invasion jugée salutaire. Même en Grande-Bretagne, l’on commence à comprendre que Margaret Thatcher représentait un cas unique dans l’histoire contemporaine. Les hommes politiques sont suffisamment irrationnels pour qu’on ne les encourage pas dans cette voie avec la sensiblerie & la mauvaise foi féminines.

Depuis 1968, nous avons pu constater les ravages du féminisme dans la société occidentale : diminution effarante des mariages stables et de la natalité autochtone, promotions indues des femelles arrivistes dans le milieu du travail.

La femme occidentale se croit déshonorée si elle se veut mère de famille. Le résultat en est une effrayante baisse de la natalité dans la race blanche. Son corollaire – du fait des exigences des patrons de la grande distribution qui craignent par-dessus tout une baisse de la consommation intérieure – en est l’invasion de l’Occident par les rejetons innombrables des pays pauvres… et pauvres parce que peuplés de sous-doués, de sous-productifs, de sous-inventifs.

Les couples stables sont devenus minoritaires, par incompatibilité d’ambitions. Madame veut dominer son mâle ! On aimerait savoir dans quelle espèce de mammifère l’on rencontre une telle éventualité. Nos modernes abeilles et mantes-religieuses changent de partenaire pour un oui ou, plus souvent, pour un non, et, se retrouvant solitaires la quarantaine venue, tâtent du mâle exotique… et reçoivent quelques raclées.

Dans le monde du travail, l’accès des femmes aux postes dits de responsabilité – en gros depuis les années 1980 – s’est traduit par deux phénomènes connexes : la réunionite et la collégialité.

C’est logique : la femme adore papoter et considère que causer, c’est aussi travailler. En outre, soumise à son irrationnalité, ses doutes et ses problèmes hormonaux, elle déteste assumer les conséquences de ses choix et de ses décisions, d’où la multiplication des « groupes de travail », où l’on peut aisément piquer des idées aux subordonnés et diluer, par la collégialité, la prise de décision… en médecine hospitalière, cette « révolution » a fait des ravages et continue de le faire !

La femme chef de quelque chose est un animal redoutable. Ses choix personnels sont toujours teintés de favoritisme, de sensiblerie, voire d’une touche de perversité – dans le registre sadique, cela va sans dire. Encline aux manœuvres tortueuses et fort peu sensible au respect du règlement, voire des lois, la femelle-chef est une adepte de la très italienne Combinazzione, ce qui permet de faire une grande carrière dans l’administration, mais n’a jamais résolu le moindre problème.

Le XXIe siècle globalo-mondialiste, dominé par l’hédonisme et le tout à l’ego, où le fric et son étalage sont les valeurs dominantes, est un fruit pourri de la spéculation, c’est bien connu. Mais c’est également un sous-produit du féminisme. Il n’est pas mauvais de le faire remarquer.


          CARICOM deals a blow to US plans for regime change in Venezuela    

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, recently tweeted that the “US State Department deployed its ambassadors in the region to attack Venezuela. We come with renewed vigor to defeat them at the OAS.”

So said, so done. The US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, spewed the US false narrative regarding Venezuela in our local newspapers. US ambassadors in a number of other Caribbean countries did the same. It was a coordinated attempt to mislead the people of Guyana and the region about what is really happening in Venezuela, and to apply pressure on members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the OAS (Organization of American States) to succumb to US calls for intervention, with the aim of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

US diplomats in Guyana, and for that matter throughout the Global South, are not diplomats in the strict sense of the word, and can be better described as political activists. They are constantly meddling in the internal affairs of the country they are stationed in, giving directives to the compliant neo-colonial regimes and actively undermining and destabilizing independent and anti-imperialist governments, such as the government in Venezuela.

This latest US psych-ops came just after the May 31st meeting of the OAS in Washington DC and just prior to the June 19th OAS meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where CARICOM member states took a firm and united anti-interventionist position in relation to the current situation in Venezuela, delivering a resounding defeat to the interventionist approach advocated by the US, Mexico, Peru and Panama,

Following the June 19th OAS meeting, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, said: “Today we come with the strength of our people who took to the streets to denounce the interventionism of the Organization of American States, we come with the force of the rain of our commander Hugo Chavez. Independence and sovereignty triumphed today over the United States of America, with its brutal pressure, with its gross extortion, with its maneuvers…”

She added that the call for intervention encourages the “most violent, anti-democratic factions in our country,” and she thanked the Caribbean nations for their “deeply principled stand.”
In his letter and articles, US ambassador, Perry Holloway, had the temerity to lecture Guyana and other member-states of the OAS about their obligation to democracy and human rights. He stated that: “The diverse family of nations in the Americas recognizes democracy is a part of our collective DNA. Sixteen years ago in Peru, we underscored this principle with the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, affirming the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and obligating our governments to defend that right.”

I suggest that before US diplomats in the Caribbean and the Americas offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any member-state of the OAS on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Trump lays bare sham democracy

The only positive aspect of Trump’s presidency is that it is exposing, once and for all, the sham that parades as US democracy and concern for human rights. The entirely undemocratic nature of US internal and foreign policy is clear to all in 2017. Even that minority of citizens on this planet who still held out some hope that the US resembled anything close to a democracy, have now seen through the façade. American political philosopher, Sheldon S. Wolin, in his brilliant work, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, renders a devastating critique of US democracy and is a vital read for anyone who wishes to understand the latent fascism that underpins the politics of this Empire.

Former US Attorney-General, Ramsay Clark, had this to say: “We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy, a government by the wealthy.” He compared President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, and is on record as saying at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq, that it “will be genocide again,” adding that “the greatest crime since World War Two has been US foreign policy.”

As I watch the hue and cry over Trump’s actions, it reminds me of Adolph Hitler’s response to Europe’s criticism of his policies. He told them: “I am only doing out in the open what you have been doing behind closed doors for centuries.”

A meme that was circulated at the end of Obama’s presidency said it best: “Only in shallow, self-absorbed, privileged America could a leader drop 26,000 bombs on seven countries in a single year, and have citizens mourn the end of his term because he looked and sounded classy while doing it.”

The illusion highlighted in this meme picks up on the public relations stunt that has become a hallmark of the US establishment, and which Sheldon Wolin identifies as a major feature of the “inverted totalitarianism” that exists in the US today. He describes “inverted totalitarianism” as a state of affairs where a small ruling elite (the 1%) have established an authoritarian society which benefits them exclusively. In this society, corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy, and natural resources and labor are seen as mere commodities to be exploited for huge profits.

This status quo is maintained by a sophisticated propaganda machine that lulls the majority of people into apathy. Central to reinforcing this hegemon is a tightly controlled corporatized media, a mouthpiece for the establishment, that is constantly spinning fake news and false narratives, and emphasizing rabid consumerism, individualism and the politics of personality and sensationalism. Wolin, like Clark, compares modern day USA to Nazi Germany, pointing out that the form is different but the essence, that is, fascism, is the same.

Friendly fascism

Tirty-seven years ago, political scientist, Bertram Gross, coined the term “friendly fascism” and predicted the Orwellian reality we are witnessing today in the US. His thesis converges with the conclusions reached by Wolin, Clark and others.

In his farewell address at the end of his presidency in 1961, Republican Dwight Eisenhower, warned the American people about the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex”, the control it exerted and its ability to, in his words, “weaken or destroy the very institutions and principles it was designed to protect.” This has surely come to pass.

So, before US diplomats such as Perry Holloway attempt to discredit the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, initiated by one of the most revered freedom fighters in the Americas, the late Hugo Chavez, and led today by President Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela with the support of the majority of the people of Venezuela, they would do well to take a long and hard look at the crisis of democracy in their own country.

Let Mr. Holloway explain to Guyanese and the citizenry of all member-states of the OAS why, in 2017, Africans in the US continue to be gunned down in the streets on a regular basis.
Let him explain to us why the US has the largest number of persons imprisoned per capita in the world, and why the prisoners are disproportionately made up of Africans, Indigenous and other people of color, before he points the finger at a revolution that has lifted African and Indigenous Venezuelans out of debilitating discrimination and poverty.

Let Mr. Holloway address the situation of US political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Al-Amin (formerly Rap Brown), Leonard Peltier and so many others who are languishing in US prisons before he speaks of Venezuela’s human rights record.

Let the US Ambassador focus on the shocking poverty and illiteracy statistics emerging from his own country, before he points the finger at the Bolivarian revolution which has made unprecedented gains in eradicating poverty and illiteracy amongst the masses of Venezuela’s poor. Anyone who visited oil rich Venezuela prior to the Bolivarian revolution can testify to the abhorrent conditions and the repressive measures used to subjugate the majority of Venezuelans, and in particular, African and Indigenous Venezuelans.

Does the Ambassador truly believe that his letters and articles, full of the usual delusional and empty rhetoric, would convince any of us that his government is concerned about democracy and human rights in Venezuela, or anywhere in the world for that matter, after we have witnessed the apocalyptic events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the list goes on?

Does Mr. Holloway think we have forgotten our own history in the Americas and the Caribbean, including the US orchestrated coups that overthrew the democratically elected governments of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, President Salvador Allende in Chile, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada, President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and the constitutional coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil? What about the removal at gunpoint of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by US military personnel in Haiti?

There is not the space in a single article to even list the US crimes in our region. Just to chronicle them warrants a book. If we were to list US crimes against the whole of humanity, we are looking at a library of books. The US Empire and the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch Empires that preceded it, have been without doubt the worst examples of terrorism in all of human history.

In his letter and article, Mr. Holloway advises that “when a government breaks with democracy, we must act in solidarity with its people, not through intervention or interference, but with diplomacy and mediation among all parties to help find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution.” Tell us Mr. Holloway: Are the examples listed above your idea of diplomacy and mediation?

These governments were not removed because of their lack of democracy or abuse of human rights. They were removed, like countless others throughout the Global South, because they were attempting to free their country from the clutches of the Empire, and liberate their wealth and resources so that they might benefit the masses of their people. Our own founding fathers in Guyana, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, were subjected to the same destabilization tactics at the hands of the US government and its CIA.

Empire loses its grip

The US and its diplomats need to understand that with the advent of the internet and the availability of information in this day and age, the Empire has lost all credibility. There is no one left on earth who can be misled by their hollow and hypocritical rhetoric. Do not be fooled by those who dare not speak openly -- they are afraid of losing their visas and even worse reprisals. Regardless of their cowardice and silence, everyone knows that the Emperor is naked. Behind closed doors, even those satraps who publicly profess their allegiance, such as the Saudis, snigger and jeer at the hideous state of affairs in the United States of America.

As the US Empire crumbles, its vampires, who have sucked the blood of the sufferers for so long, are in panic mode because, despite their descent into blatant authoritarianism and fascism, they continue to lose their grip on the terrifying world they have created, as it spins more and more out of control. The ugly death squads such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, the very Frankensteins of their own making, are turning right back on them. As Malcom X observed so long ago, the chickens must come home to roost. One cannot keep up with the number of attacks in the US and Europe.

One of the vampires, largely credited with creating Al Qaeda, a former US National Security Advisor, and founder of the Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a speech to British elites at Chatham House in 2008, spoke volumes when he said:

“…new and old major powers face still yet another novel reality, in some respects unprecedented, and it is that while the lethality of their power is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at an historical low…I once put it rather pungently, and I was flattered that the British Foreign Secretary repeated this… namely, in earlier times, it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today, it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people.”

The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against US plans for regime change in Venezuela.”
The current US administration, like its predecessors, whether Democrat or Republican, is involved in just that, killing millions of people all over the world in its bid to control, and trying desperately to convince us of the absurd notion that that they are doing this in the name of democracy and human rights. Trouble is, no one is buying it? The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against US plans for regime change in Venezuela. The playbook is old and tired. Donald Trump just tied up an arms deal worth 350 billion US dollars with the corrupt and entirely undemocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, a regime that is without doubt the main proliferator of the ideology of Wahhabism and the movements intent on imposing this ideology worldwide, such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front and ISIS. All these weapons to a government that is funding terrorism worldwide and committing genocide in Yemen.

And, when the power struggle between the Saudis and the Qataris surfaced, Trump paid lip service to the manufactured war on terror by publicly condemning Qatar’s support for terrorism, and days later sold the Qataris US military hardware worth 12 billion dollars. In light of this hypocrisy and blatant disregard for the victims of these rogue states and their global terrorist network, can you really expect us to believe that your concern with Venezuela is about lack of democracy and human rights?

No shame
Finally, to Mr. Holloway and his cohorts throughout the region, your expressed shock and horror about the so-called spillover from Venezuela’s current predicament was perhaps the most shameful part of your missive: “The spillover effects from Venezuela’s crisis are serious and growing, whether it is irregular migrant flows to countries in our region or the increasing flow of arms and criminal activity that affect the Caribbean in particular.”

This is rich coming from the people who illegally invaded Libya, murdered the Libyan leader and freedom fighter, Muammar Qaddafi in the street, and in so doing, destroyed the most prosperous and democratic nation on the African continent, causing a migration crisis of a magnitude never seen before. Your government handed over the nation of Libya to a conglomerate of thugs, criminals, terrorists and reactionary warlords, and this spillover continues to wreak havoc throughout Africa and the Arab Region six years on. Before you concern yourself with any spillover in the Caribbean, please deal with the spillover from your criminal invasion of Libya, a spillover that only this month reached Manchester, England.

In Guyana, the Americas and throughout the Global South, the masses of people are sick and tired of the same old playbook -- the one that is in fact the cause of the current situation in Venezuela. But then, that is part of the devil’s own script, cause the problem and then come to us as savior, with a solution. It plays like this: the US, through its infamous web of security agencies, NGOs, Aid Agencies, think-tanks and other Trojan horses, destabilize, sow confusion and do everything in their power to overthrow any government and subjugate any people that refuse to obey Empire. Recently, more than 300,000 Venezuelans took to the streets in support of President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

The opposition held a demonstration that attracted 50,000. Of course, in your United States, the corporate media is reporting just the opposite. By the admission of your own president they are the purveyors of fake news and this is just another example of your country’s lack of democracy. The bottom line is this Mr. Holloway: your country and its government is no way fit to point the finger at anyone when it comes to infringement of democracy, democratic values and human rights.

In your letters and articles you ask: “If these things were happening in our own countries, would we not want the rest of our American family of nations to speak out, and reach out, to help restore fundamental democratic freedoms and respect for constitutional institutions?”

In your own words you proclaim that: “The Organization of American States has for decades provided a forum to discuss our greatest challenges and take action together to address them. The challenge before us today is the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela.”

What you say in the two quotes above is correct except for one thing, the challenge before us today is not the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela, it is the death spiral of democracy in the United States and an evil Empire spinning out of control.

You are right -- the OAS should take immediate action to prevent further terrorism and turmoil because the spillover worldwide from the crisis in the United States is serious and growing.

* GERALD A. PERREIRA is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP) and an executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network in Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah Revolution, and was an executive member of the World Mathaba based in Libya. This article previously appeared in Black Agenda Report.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

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          Canadian PM Trudeau is not a friend of all God’s children   

Trudeau’s first cabinet was Africanless. Africans in Canada, from the continent and here questioned this move.  Many felt that the younger Trudeau took us for granted because his father Pierre Elliott Trudeau (October 18, 1919 – September 28, 2000) “opened” the doors for immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. Eventually he did appoint Somali Toronto MP Ahmed Hussen to the federal cabinet as immigration minister.

Trudeau did appoint Indian-born Sikh Harjit Sajjan, MP for Vancouver South, minister of defence. Sikhs have a significantly different history in Canada than Africans.  The Sikh community is represented in all professional fields: medical, legal, technological, academic. Africans came kicking and screaming to the Western Hemisphere. Recently he has been questioned about “fibbing” about being the leader of a battle in Afghanistan. Sajjan said yearly defence spending will swell by more than 70 per cent, from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion in 2026-27. He promised $62.3 billion in new spending over 20 years.

Bardish Chagger is another India- born Canadian politician who is the current Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.  Chagger was elected as a Liberal member of the House of Commons of Canada in 2015.  She is the first female Leader of the Government in the House of Commons by Trudeau.

Amarjeet Sohi is an Indian-Canadian politician, currently the Member of Parliament for Edmonton and the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in the federal cabinet. He narrowly beat out strong community advocate Nigerian-born Chinwe Okelu.

Maryam Monsef is an Afghan Canadian politician, a Liberal member the House of Commons in 2015. She was previously the Minister of Democratic Institutions and president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada until January 10, 2017.

Monsef has not had an easy ride. According to Wikipedia: “Monsef has been criticized for stating that she was born in Afghanistan, when in fact she was born in Iran. When this was revealed in September 2016, some commentators pointed out that this could lead to revocation of her Canadian citizenship and potential deportation, while others have criticized the absurdity of the present law or decried the importation of birtherism into Canadian politics. In an interview at that time, former MP Dean Del Mastro said that political workers in the 2014 municipal and 2015 federal campaigns knew she was not born in Afghanistan, but chose not to make an issue of it.”

Navdeep Singh Bains, the new minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is a Canadian born Indian.

Canada’s role in Haiti should never be forgotten. Back in the day I discussed Haiti on the Black Commentator in an article: “Canada's Crimes Against Haiti” in   the October 27, 2005 issue. After reading Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton’s  volumeCanada in Haiti’, I pointed out: “The chapter ‘Responsibility to Protect or A Made in Ottawa Coup?’ points out the coup against Aristide was actually planned on Canadian soil. From January 31-February 1, 2003, Canada’s Secretary of State for Latin America and La Francophonie, Denis Paradis, played host to a high-level roundtable meeting dubbed, The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti. Surprise, surprise, no representative of Haiti’s elected government was invited. However, Otto Reich, then President George W. Bush’s appointee as Assistant Secretary State for the Western Hemisphere, was in attendance. Paradis leaked the fact that this meeting took place to journalist Michael Vastel, who reported the meeting in the March 15, 2003 edition of L’Actualite magazine. Another chapter, ‘Using NGOs to Destroy Democracy and the Canadian Military Connection’ exposes the shameful role played by many Canadian NGOs.”

Trudeau is a self-proclaimed “feminist”. The court is still out on this matter. A recent article in the British based Guardian newspaper questioned the Canadian Prime Minister: “A slight note of exasperation crept into Justin Trudeau’s voice, suggesting that this was a topic he had broached many times before. ‘I’m going to keep saying loud and clearly that I am a feminist until it is met with a shrug,’ he declared to an audience at the United Nations in New York.”

His words sparked delight around the world. But one year on, Trudeau’s heady promises have run into the realities of government, prompting the question: has electing a self-described feminist to helm of the country translated into real change for Canadian women?

Canada’s prime minister is moving the Great White North further to the right on foreign affairs. Trudeau’s father Pierre Elliot Trudeau opened the doors to draft resisters including myself who refused to fight against the Vietnamese people. I saw Africans in America and the Vietnamese as colonial subjects. Africans in the United States were colonized by Uncle Sam and the Vietnamese by the French. Wiki pointed out: “While Canada had previously participated in military action against Iraq  in the Gulf War of 1991, it refused to declare war against Iraq without United Nations approval.

The Iraq War began with the United States-led 2003 invasion. The Government of Canada did not at any time formally declare war against Iraq, and the level and nature of this participation, which changed over time, was controversial.

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said on 10 October 2002 that Canada would, in fact, be part of a military coalition to invade Iraq if it were sanctioned by the United Nations. However, when the United States and the United Kingdom subsequently withdrew their diplomatic efforts to gain that UN sanction, Jean Chrétien announced in Parliament on 17 March 2003 that Canada would not participate in the pending invasion.”

However, this is not the full story. The “Big White Folks” as Paul Robeson called them speak with forked tongues. “Nevertheless, he offered the US and its soldiers his moral support. However, according to classified U.S. documents released by Wikileaks, a high-ranking Canadian official may have secretly promised to clandestinely support the invasion. Two days earlier, a quarter million people in Montreal had marched against the impending war. Major anti-war demonstrations had taken place in several other Canadian cities.” Chrétien’s moves had more to do with the growing opposition to the invasion than his political morality.  

The not so great white north has a checkered history in the African continent. Canada joined the imperialists and played with the white checkers. They played a significant role in the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, Maurice Mpolo, and Joseph Okito on January 21, 1961. Ottawa came up on the wrong side of history on the question of the Congo. Yves Engler author of the illuminating volume, Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation, pointed out: “Siding with Washington, Ottawa promoted ONUC) and UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold’s controversial anti-Lumumba position. ONUC was established in July 1960 to ensure the withdrawal of Belgian forces. 1,900 Canadian troops participated in the UN mission between 1960 and 1964, making this country’s military one of its more active members. There were almost always more Canadian officers at ONUC headquarters than those of any other nationality and the Canadians were concentrated in militarily important logistical positions including chief operations officer and chief signals officer.”

Canada opposed anticolonial struggles in Africa, supported apartheid South Africa and Idi Amin’s coup against Milton Obote (December 28 1925- October 10, 2005) who had led Uganda to independence in 1962 from British colonialism. He was overthrown by Amin in 1971. Canada played a role in the ousting of Lumumba in the Congo by the CIA, Belgium and Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga aka Joseph Mobutu and Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah.

The Great White North pressed African states to follow neoliberal policies, which have benefitted Canadian corporations. The Canadian International Development Perform points out: “Canada is a global mining giant and a leading player in Africa’s mining sector. 70% of the equity capital raised globally by the mining industry was raised on the Toronto (TSX) and Venture (TSXV) exchanges. Of the $10.3 billion in equity raised for mining on the TSX and TSXV in 2012 $1.9 billion or 18.5% was for projects in Latin America while another $1.7 billion or 16.5% was for projects in Africa.”   Canada played a role in the violence the Congo, Rwanda and Somali.  

Canada does have a Black Radical Tradition. However, we cannot expect Corporate Canada or the Black Misleadership Class to tell the story. That is on us on the Black Left.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

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          Thread: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete:: General:: transparent status counters   

by Cisco Serret

A problem with most games are the status counters which are usually placed on top of counters, hiding the unit that's under them. Placing status counters under unit counters has the opposite problem. I've seen some games using transparent or semi-transparent/colored pieces. These should be fairly cheap to manufacture. Or home-made with a laser cutter, using lexan or plastic.

Whenever I can afford a laser cutter, I'll try making some.


          Thread: Operation Mercury: The Invasion of Crete:: General:: Follow our Campaign...   

by bspeer

Starting 2 July on Twitter: #GTSCRETE
          Thread: 878: Vikings – Invasions of England:: General:: promo cards from BBG   

by Longtooth77

I had read that BBG was going to have a promo pack of cards for sale (4 cards I think), bu have never seen them. does anyone know anything about them?
          Review: 1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War:: Club Fantasci Review: 1754: Conquest - The French and Indian War   

by Moezilla


Publisher: Academy Games
Game Designer: Beau Beckett, Jeph Stahl
Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 60-120 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $70



TRILOGY CONCLUSION

1754 – Conquest: The French and Indian War is the third and final title in the Birth of America series from Academy Games. The game carries on the same core game play of the first two games, 1812: The Invasion of Canada and 1775: Rebellion, making it very easy for gamers already familiar with the system to jump right in.

SEVEN YEARS OF HARD LUCK

1754 covers the Seven Year’s War, which ran from 1754 – 1763, and was fought between the French and British along the northern American colonies, to points west and into Canada. As with the other titles in the series, this is an area control game with randomly dictated turn orders and card play, for two to four players. Random turn ordering and being card driven are two mechanisms that I really enjoy in games. I find that they keep both the play and strategies fluid, and drive unexpected momentum swings.

Component and rule book quality are top-notch as expected, this is Academy Games after all, and they rarely disappoint. The game is rules light, clocking in at a mere three pages, with the balance of the book covering examples of play, card explanations, and historical background to the conflict. When you have an elegant design, wordy rules aren’t a necessity, and this is quite an elegant system.

The board gets pre-seeded with different colored cubes, representing the starting forces of all five factions in the game. The two main antagonists are composed of British regulars and colonials, taking on the French regulars and French Canadiens. The Native Americans make up the fifth faction, and act as free agents throughout the game.



The six Native Nations form a buffer between the existing French and British territories, and ally with whomever is in contact with them first. These alliances are fleeting, and last only as long as you stay with them. However, they are a powerful force to not be overlooked because they bolster your forces immediately, granting you the extra troops needed to take or protect critical control points, which in the end are everything.

Winning is a simple case of having the most control markers at game’s end, which comes at either the end of the eighth round, or can be triggered once all four sides have played the Truce card from their hand.

Truce cards are one of the twelve cards in each player’s deck, from which players always have a hand of three to work with. Eight of the cards handle movement, while four others are a mix of events with a historical flavor that benefits its faction. The cards are well balanced, having both matching and unique cards for either side sprinkled between the factions. When playing a four-player game, good communications and team work are essential in maximizing card play opportunities.


Player Board

Aside from the tried and true mechanics of the series proper, 1754 adds a couple of new tricks to the mix. The additions of Forts and Ports is fantastic and distinguishes this title with its own identity, adding new and interesting avenues to be explored through repeated plays.

Each side has three Forts under their control at the start, with another that can be added through card play. Forts add a defense die to combat, giving the defender a 50/50 chance of blocking one hit from the attacker. This is a minor change, but one that can have a major implications in combat, slowing the pace of the siege and really frustrating the attacker.

If your Fort defense isn’t faring well, you have the option of destroying it while withdrawing using the command die. This is an important point to keep in mind, you don’t want to just hand over a strong defensive position to your opponent at a critical juncture. Forts can and will change the tide of battle!



Ports are an incredibly critical feature in the game, this is where the French and British regulars receive reinforcements and can move freely across large sections of the map. While the colonial militia and French Canadiens have limited muster sites in home territory cities, French and British troops make the trek from Europe. So anchoring those port locations (pun intended) with a steady troop presence is key. Leave them open, and your opponent will choke off control of the area.

Along with their reinforcement importance, ports are also where you can ferry troops to and from, to launch amphibious assaults. Using any movement card, you can move from port to port, make landfall and an offensive ingress into your opponent’s territory. There are no water movement cards that limit you in this game, a very welcome and smart game change in my opinion.

To be successful in battle, you’ll need to optimize your forces with a mix of Regulars, militia and Native Americans to build a good dice pool. Although the Regulars have the stronger combat die, the militia can add up to three more and the Native Americans another pair, greatly increasing your odds. I like how the dice abstractly resolve the outcome of the battle. Sure, there’s some luck involved, as there always is in dice rolling, but there are different levels of luck in battle as well.

When using Native Americans, be sure to bring more than your opponent does to a battle to gain the die bonus. Not really having a dog in the fight, Indians will avoid fighting each other, and cancel each other out on a one-for-one basis.

Stepping back to the militia for a moment, it’s true that they have a greater chance of fleeing back to their homes when the battle gets tough, but don’t write them off too quickly. With an extra three dice, you have a greater chance of failure, but when successful, they can quickly whittle down your opponents armies. Letting them take hits first also protects your Regulars, yes, they are cannon fodder.


Native Alliance Card

There’s one last addition to touch on and it’s an interesting one, the Native Alliance expansion. This 15 card deck adds some interesting abilities and powers. The cards are drawn randomly, one per faction at the start of the game. They can grant extra control markers, if you have control of the specified area and have a Native cube in it with you. Or, can give you special abilities, such as the Mingo power. This ability blocks the defender from rolling a Fort die in combat, and that can be huge! It’s a fun little expansion that keeps things fresh and helps broaden the game nicely.

One minor niggle I had with the game was an absence of an overflow area for battles. Some territories are fairly tight on the map, and when those areas become points of contention, the cube count becomes unwieldy. Perhaps in future iterations of the system, a battle board could be used to make managing this a little easier. That way players won’t be ham fisting other cubes out of the way in neighboring spots. Yea, I’ve done that more than once.

Games move pretty quickly, generally lasting about 90 minutes. There is a lot of back and forth action, as territories change hands and strategies are adjusted based on turn order. The game has a nice historic feel, keeps things balanced and makes for a highly enjoyable gaming experience for any level and age of gamer.

WARGAMING MADE SIMPLE

Any game in this series is a perfect introduction for a new wargamer, or when trying convert a friend over to the dark side. Each has its own identity, and 1754 – Conquest: The French and Indian War is no exception. The introduction of forts and ports are both important aspects to securing and maintaining footholds in different regions, with water movement no longer limited to specific water movement only cards, things really open up. These new mechanisms expand an elegant system, giving it its own flavor and feel and makes it shine.

I don’t often say a game is a classic title, and while it may be a bit early to lay that title here, I do feel that 1754, and the whole BoA line are deserving of that moniker. These are games that will be played for years to come, because they are great gateway wargames that are easy to teach, play, are very fun, and make you want to keep coming back for more. This is a credit to the solid design work of Beau Beckett, Jeph Stahl, for creating a solid and versatile system.

Thanks to a concise and informative rule book coupled with intuitive play, 1754 is accessible to any audience. Everyone from families to grumpy old grognards will find this an engaging bit of quality entertainment, that even manages to sneak in a little history lesson. Well done once again Academy Games!

While the game is rules light, 1754 has enough layers of strategic depth to keep you coming back again and again. Most importantly, it’s a damn fun game, and one that really belongs on your shelf. Now pardon me, I need to go acquire 1812: The Invasion of Canada, so I can finally own all three games in this series.



Company Website: https://www.academygames.com

Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AcademyGames

Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/Academy_Games



Note: A copy of this game was provided to me for this review.



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          7/1/2017: WEATHER: GPS tracking   
A study on GPS tracking in the workplace has found 65 per cent of respondents feared they would be tracked outside of work hours, and 66 per cent thought it was an invasion of their privacy, and it made most feel their boss did not trust...
          IU traslada a Bruselas la “persecución” a tuiteros activistas en el Estado español   

La portavoz en el Parlamento Europeo, Marina Albiol, organiza una conferencia para dar a conocer los casos de César Strawberry, Cassandra y las personas encausadas por solicitar a la organización del festival Rototom que cancelara el concierto de Matisyahu por apoyar el apartheid del pueblo palestino.

La portavoz de Izquierda Unida en el Parlamento Europeo, Marina Albiol, ha organizado este jueves en Bruselas una conferencia que bajo el título Derechos fundamentales y libertad de expresión en el Estado español, tenía como objetivo dar a conocer en la Unión Europea los casos de César Strawberry, Cassandra Vera y activistas como Jorge Ramos, de la Campaña contra la criminalización de la solidaridad con Palestina, quienes han sido o juzgados y condenados, o están siendo procesados por comentarios en la red social Twitter.
 
En una rueda de prensa, Albiol ha explicado que en los últimos años se está viviendo “un retroceso de libertades y un incremento de la represión” en el Estado español ligado “a las políticas económicas de recortes de derechos laborales, en los servicios públicos o las pensiones” del Partido Popular. Recortes que “han sido fuente de paro, pobreza y precariedad” y han generado “una contestación de la sociedad civil organizada” a la que el Gobierno ha respondido con el endurecimiento del Código Penal.
 
A la criminalización de la protesta social se le ha añadido, en paralelo, el control y represión que se está ejerciendo en las redes sociales, sobre todo en Twitter, y que ha sentado en el banquillo de los acusados a “activistas, periodistas, cómicos o artistas”, que están siendo perseguidos por el contenido de sus tuits, por sus canciones o por llevar a cabo protestas pacíficas.
 
Estas jornadas coinciden justo con el segundo aniversario de la Ley mordaza, “una legislación que convierte al Estado español en represivo”, al vulnerar “los derechos fundamentales que dice proteger incluso la legislación europea”. De ahí que “estemos viendo cómo hay personas a las que se les juzga por enaltecimiento del terrorismo por hacer un chiste o un tuit con determinada ironía”. Una situación paradójica, ha dicho Albiol, “ya que se está criminalizando a alguien por hacer un chiste sobre Carrero Blanco pero no se está juzgando a los criminales franquistas”, o cuando “se persigue a los activistas por los derechos del pueblo palestino y del BDS”, pero no se condena la política criminal del Estado de Israel.

Isabel Elbal, que es la abogada que ha llevado el caso de Strawberry, ha señalado que aunque “hace seis años que la banda terrorista ETA ya no está activa, desde hace tres se persigue despiadadamente y con un celo inusitado a las personas que se limitan a expresar sus opiniones en las redes sociales”.
 
Esta persecución se lleva a cabo con “investigaciones de corte inquisitorial” que, a través de determinados programas informáticos, permiten a la Policía hacer incursiones en las redes sociales seleccionando a personas que usan determinadas palabras. Pero para sostener que se los encause se necesitaba un marco jurídico, “que se llama enaltecimiento del terrorismo”.
 
Un marco que “permite la persecución sistemática de ciudadanos anónimos no organizados, sin que conste afinidad con actividades terroristas y en un contexto en el que ETA ha cesado su actividad”. El resultado - con 76 personas imputadas hasta hoy- es que “no se puede bromear, no se pueden hacer chistes”, y que “estas personas juzgadas en la Audiencia Nacional son condenadas de forma injusta en muchos casos”.  Por último, Elbal ha lanzado la voz de alarma ante la posibilidad de que “este delito de enaltecimiento del terrorismo se extienda por la UE”.
 
Strawberry ha relatado su caso y cómo pese a que la Audiencia Nacional le absolvió, “el Tribunal Supremo optó por condenarme sin permitirme testificar, lo que vulnera claramente mis derechos”. “He venido a denunciar la normalización de la represión, que está dando lugar a un estado coercitivo en el que se impone la política del miedo y que el ciudadano se autocensure”. Asimismo, y ante la posibilidad de que el Tribunal Constitucional pueda ratificar la condena del Supremo, ha pedido amparo a la UE y que “no permita que esta deriva autoritaria se extienda a otros países”. Strawberry también ha reconocido que si el Constitucional da ese paso, recurrirá su sentencia al Tribunal de Derechos Humanos de Estrasburgo.
 
Por su parte, Cristóbal Gázquez, uno de los abogados de la tuitera Cassandra, ha explicado que el suyo es “el mayor ejemplo de hasta qué punto está llegando la Justicia”, ya que “de 91.000 tuits sobre su vida, todos ellos investigados por un cuerpo especial de la Policía, se eligen 13 bromas sobre Carrero Blanco” para pedir su imputación. Lo que pasa es que “bromas que se han hecho toda la vida, aplicadas a las redes sociales son sinónimo de un año de cárcel y siete años de inhabilitación absoluta”, lo que entre otras cosas pueden impedir a la joven ser profesora.
 
Finalmente, ha intervenido Jorge Ramos, de la asociación Defenssem els drets humans, que ha explicado cómo él y otros ocho activistas defensores de los derechos del pueblo palestino, se han visto envueltos en un proceso judicial desde 2015 por una campaña en redes para que un festival de música retirara de su cartel a un artista que había mostrado su apoyo en diversas ocasiones a las acciones del Ejército israelí y que había incluso defendido el asalto al Mavi Marmara de la Flotilla de la libertad, que acabó con el asesinato de nueve personas.
 
“Nuestro caso” se contextualiza “en un momento de crecimiento global de la solidaridad con el pueblo palestino y de apoyo a la campaña Boicot, Desinversión y Sanciones, que en estos momentos está siendo perseguido por el lobby sionista”. “En 2014 participamos en el Rototom, donde fuimos invitados a exponer nuestra posición después de la última invasión de Gaza que acabó con la vida de más de 2.000 palestinos, 500 de ellos niños y niñas”, pero “nos encontramos con que al año siguiente, en 2015, un festival que se autoproclama como defensor de la libertad y los derechos humanos invitó a Matisyahu, un cantante que había llegado a poner la recaudación de sus canciones al servicio del Ejército israelí”.
 
“Hicimos una campaña en redes” que se centró en “pedir a los organizadores que cancelaran el concierto de Matisyahu y no tenía nada que ver con que esta persona fuese judía o no”. Pero tras las presiones “en forma de notas de prensa de los gobiernos israelí y español y de editoriales de importantes medios de comunicación”, llegó una querella “contra nueve a activistas a los que se nos acusa de acoso y un delito de odio”. Ahora “nos enfrentamos a cuatro años de prisión y una de las cuestiones que se pone sobre la mesa es que si la sentencia es condenatoria está en peligro cualquier tipo de campaña no violenta antirracista por los derechos humanos”.
 
Ayer, en una primera parte de su visita a Bruselas, todos ellos mantuvieron una reunión con representantes de la Dirección General de Justicia y miembros de Amnistía Internacional. Esta tarde, además, participarán en la mesa redonda De la Europa, del imperio de la ley al estado de excepción, coorganizada por Albiol con otros diputados y diputadas del Grupo de la Izquierda Unitaria Europea/Izquierda Verde Nórdica.


          UN DIA... 28 DE JUNIO   
1865
Nace en Buenos Aires el médico cirujano, político y legislador Juan B. Justo, fundador del diario "La Vanguardia" y del Partido Socialista. Falleció en su chacra de Los Cardales (provincia de Buenos Aires) el 8 de enero de 1928.

1990
Por decreto del Poder Ejecutivo Nacional 1235, del 28 de junio de 1990, se crea la Academia Nacional del Tango.


Efemérides Culturales Argentinas.
..........................................................

UN 28 DE JUNIO COMO HOY

En 1982 murió: Raúl Berón

En 1939 nació: Juan Cedrón ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!
En 1913 nació: Roberto Grela

En 1908 nació: Juan Carlos Thorry

En 1898 nació: Edelmiro Garrido

En 1892 nació: Eduardo Bianco
En 1888 nació: Lola Membrives

Efemérides de TODOTANGO.
...............................................
28 DE JUNIO

1948 - Nace Suna Rocha, en Las Arrias (Prov. de Córdoba). Cantante, autora y compositora.



1955 - Se registra la zamba “Tacita de plata”, con música de los hermanos Simón y letra de José Antonio Faro. Tema grabado y editado. “Entre cumbres y nieves estás,/ luciendo debajo un cielo azul,/ tacita de plata que el Ande forjó/ y que el inca llamó: ¡Jujuy! ¡Jujuy!”.

Efemérides Folklóricas Argentinas
de Juan Carlos Fiorillo.
........................................

28 de Junio de 1807: Segunda Invasión Inglesa.

28 de Junio de 1990: Creación de la Academia Nacional del Tango.

1245 – se abre el primer Concilio de Lyon.
1491 – nace Henry VIII de Inglaterra.
1519 – la Dieta de Frankfurt elige a Carlos I de España emperador de Alemania.
1577 – nace el pintor Peter Paul Rubens.
1635 – los franceses se establecen en Guadalupe, en el Caribe.
1669 – Luis XIV establece la Opera de París.
1712 – nace Jean Jacques Rousseau, contratista social francés.
1765 – se inaugura en Lima la plaza de toros de Acho, la más antigua de América.
1808 – José de San Martín alcanza el grado de capitán luchando contra las tropas invasoras de Napoleón, en España.
1825 – nace el químico alemán Richard August Carl Emil Erlenmeyer.
1835 – Inglaterra y España firman un convenio por el que estos últimos se obligan a impedir el comercio de esclavos hacia América bajo pabellon español.
1838 – coronación de la Reina Victoria.
1839 – el Gral. Lavalle inicia su ofensiva contra Rosas, gobernador de Buenos Aires.
1844 – fusilamientos en Matanzas, Cuba, tras una sublevación de esclavos negros.
1853 – la escuadra enviada por el presidente Justo José de Urquiza para bloquear Buenos Aires se subleva contra él y se pasa a los rebeldes.
1865 – nace Juan Bautista Justo, cirujano, escritor y periodista argentino, fundador del Partido Socialista y del diario “La Vanguardia”.
1867 – nace Luigi Pirandello, escritor italiano.
1880 – Guerra de Cuba: con la rendición del caudillo Limbano Sánchez termina la llamada “Guerra chica”.
1883 – nace Pierre Laval, político francés.
1886 – Inauguración del ferrocarril Canadian Pacific, entre Montreal y Port Moof (en la costa del Pacífico).
1888 – nace Lola Membrives, actriz argentina.
1889 – muere Maria Mitchell, primera mujer astrónoma estadounidense.
1902 – el Congreso estadounidense aprueba la ley Spooner, que autoriza al presidente a comprar por 40 millones de dólares la concesión del canal de Panamá, por quiebra de la antigua compañía del Canal Interoceánico.
1902 – nace el compositor estadounidense Richard Rodgers.
1909 – nace Eric Ambler, escritor.
1913 – empieza la segunda Guerra Balcánica: ofensiva de Bulgaria contra Serbia y Grecia.
1914 – asesinan en Sarajevo al Archiduque Francisco Fernando, heredero del trono de Austria-Hungría, y su esposa.
1918 – el Gobierno soviético nacionaliza la industria.
1919 – se firma el Tratado de Versalles que impone gravosas condiciones a los vencidos en la Gran Guerra.
1919 – se constituye la Organización Internacional del Trabajo.
1921 – Yugoslavia se constituye en Estado único centralista.
1924 – nace George Morgan, músico.
1926 – nace Mel Brooks, cineasta y humorista.
1929 – El Instituto Alemán de Física concede la “Medalla Max Planck” al propio Planck y a Albert Einstein, entre otros.
1940 – Rumania cede la Besarabia a la URSS.
1943 – nace Bobby Harrison, músico.
1943 – Nace Alfonso Santisteban, músico.
1945 – Nace Dave Knights, músico.
1945 – se funda el club Monterrey, de México.
1946 – Enrico de Nicola es elegido primer presidente de Italia.
1948 – nace Kathy Bates, actriz estadounidense.
1950 – las tropas de Corea del Norte ocupan Seúl.
1950 – China confisca las grandes propiedades territoriales y requisa las de la Iglesia.
1951 – nace Daniel Ruiz Bazani, ex futbolista español.
1952 – nace Pietro Menea, ex atleta italiano.
1954 – Chou Enlai y Nehrú proclaman “Los cinco principios de coexistencias pacifica”.
1960 – el gobierno cubano incauta la refinería de petroleo estadounidense Texaco.
1966 – nace el actor John Cusack.
1966 – nace Mary Stuart Masterson, actriz.
1966 – una rebelión militar derroca al presidente argentino Arturo Illia.
1968 – Nace Elmer Figueroa, “Chayanne”, cantante, bailarín y actor puertorriqueño.
1969 – nace Stephane Chapuisat, futbolista suizo.
1974 – Derrumbes de tierras en una carretera colombiana producen la muerte de 300 personas y el aplastamiento de 30 vehículos.
1976 – Independencia de las islas Seychelles, luego de 162 años de dominación británica.
1990 – se crea en Argentina la Academia Nacional del Tango.
1991 – se firma en Budapest del protocolo de autodisolución del Consejo de Ayuda Mutua Economica (CAME o COMECON).
1992 – La coalición de centro-izquierda gobernante en Chile obtiene una amplia mayoría en las primeras elecciones municipales celebradas en el país tras la dictadura militar.
1992 – muere Howard Roberts, músico.
1993 – Guatemala reconoce la independencia de Belice.
1994 – Carlos de Inglaterra admite en televisión que engañó a Lady Di.
1995 – Muere Francisco Grande Covián, bioquímico español considerado el padre de la dietética.
1996 – El Gobierno de Aznar aprueba un marco para privatizar las empresas del Estado español.
1997 – El Barcelona gana la Copa del Rey de fútbol ante el Betis.
1997 – Mike Tyson es descalificado luego de mutilar la oreja de su contrincante, el campeón de los pesos pesados, Evander Holyfield.
1998 – Clinton y Jiang Zemin debaten en televisión.
1998 – En la Conferencia Mundial de Ginebra sobre el SIDA se presenta un informe que afirma que las cesáreas y AZT pueden acabar con el SIDA infantil.
1998 – Se celebra el mayor festival musical de Europa en la localidad inglesa de Glastonbury.
1999 – La primera cumbre de mandatarios de la UE, América Latina y el Caribe aprueban la Declaración de Rio de Janeiro y las Prioridades Conjuntas de Acción, cuyo objetivo es consolidar una asociación estratégica de carácter político, económico, cultural y social.
2001 – ONU: Kofi Annan es reelegido por unanimidad secretario general de la ONU.
2003 – El ex represor argentino Ricardo Cavallo es extraditado de México a España, acusado de genocidio y terrorismo de Estado por la justicia española.
2004 – En una ceremonia sorpresiva y anticipada, preparada en estricto secreto, Estados Unidos transfirió el poder en Irak a un gobierno interino.
Periodismo.com
...................................

          UN DIA... 27 DE JUNIO   
-1929
Muere en Buenos Aires el escritor francés Paul Groussac, ex director de la Biblioteca Nacional y crítico mordaz y ajustado de la literatura argentina de su tiempo. Nació en Toulouse (Francia) el 15 de febrero de 1848.
-2013
Día del Trabajador del Estado
 

Efemérides Culturales Argentinas.
..........................................................

UN 27 DE JUNIO COMO HOY

En 1996 murió: Roberto Achával

En 1986 murió: José Reschini

En 1979 nació:  Mirta Alvarez ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

En 1969 murió: Robertino Acosta

En 1965 nació: Pablo Zapata ¡Feliz cumpleaños!

En 1961 murió: Domingo Fortunato

En 1955 murió: Carlos Minotti

En 1924 nació: Ebe Bedrune

En 1903 nació: Fernando Montoni

En 1892 nació: Miguel Correa



Efemérides de TODOTANGO.

..................................................

EVA FIORI, Feliz cumpleaños...!!! cantora..!!!!!

27 DE JUNIO

2008 – Muere en Buenos Aires, Jorge Berén (Jorge Beremlisky), cantor, autor, compositor, técnico en grabación. Integrante de Los Nocheros de Anta, de gran reconocimiento en la década de 1960. Su éxito fue la calidad armónica y letras poéticas. Con el tiempo integró Santaires. Tenía 66 años.



27 de junio: Día Mundial de la Persona SORDOCIEGA.

27 de Junio de 1806: Primera Invasión Inglesa.

.................................................


1734 – el Consejo de Indias aprueba los estatutos de la Universidad de la Habana.
1774 – nace Paula Albarracín, madre de Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, político argentino.
1806 – las tropas inglesas toman Buenos Aires al mando de Beresford.
1809 – muere el explorador español Francisco de Viedma.
1812 – Bernardino Rivadavia convoca a los comandantes del Interior para el acopio de materiales para crear lo que luego sería el Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Buenos Aires.
1832 – Nace Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, “Lewis Carroll”, escritor británico.
1839 – muere Manuel Vicente Maza, titular de la Sala de Representantes de Argentina.
1874 – muere José Matías Zapiola, patriota y militar argentino.
1880 – nace Helen Adams Keller, conferencista y escritora estadounidense, sorda y ciega.
1905 – se amotina la tripulación del acorazado ruso “Potemkin”, en Sebastopol, y el buque se refugia en el puerto rumano de Constanza.
1910 – se aprueba la ley de defensa social en Argentina.
1923 – nace Paul F. Conrad, autor de comics estadounidense.
1929 – muere el escritor francés Paul Groussac.
1942 – enfermo de diabetes, renuncia el presidente argentino Marcelino Ortíz y asume Ramón Castillo.
1955 – nace Isabelle Adjani, actriz francesa.
1965 – Los Pumas (selección argentina de rugby) vencen por 11 a 6 a los Springboks.
1982 – Manifestación de ciegos en Madrid en contra de la proliferación de formas de juego en España.
1985 – El presidente argentino Raúl Alfonsín es galardonado con el Premio Príncipe de Asturias de Cooperación Iberoamericana.
1988 – el boxeador estadounidense Mike Tyson nockea a Michael Spink en 91 segundos.
2001 – Muere Jack Lemmon, actor.
Periodismo.com
...............................

          Comment on During The Economic Reset People Are Going To Feel The Pain Of A Collapsing Economy: Andrew Hoffman (Video) by Squodgy   
Even more ominous. As the writer points out, all previous examples of a Police State practiced the same on the ordinary citizen. http://www.activistpost.com/2017/06/new-invasive-measures-are-coming-to-your-local-airport.html?utm_source=Activist+Post+Subscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5dd25016d6-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_b0c7fb76bd-5dd25016d6-387785841
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          Comment on Hinduism Is Different by S Kr   
Hi Ambaa, [I am reposting this because somehow this comment did not appear for past 4 days when I had originally posted it]This is a very relevant article. It is indeed frustrating that modern day athiests and 'rationalists' lump us with other Abrahamic religions.But there is one important feature about modern day atheism which you seem to have missed - it is that modern day atheism is not something very distinct from the proselytizing Abrahamic religions of Islam and Christianity. It is a logical follow-up of Islam and Christianity, and the modern day Dawkin-sian atheism is itself Abrahamic in nature in that it subscribes to the binary of either you are an atheist or a 'religious' person (also, it has some proselytizing component as well).It is the tragedy of the West that after the fall of Rome and its takeover by Christianity, it's like Westerners have been continuously living in this believer-nonbeliever duality !!Christianity was the first of this Abrahamic proselytizing religion, Islam was the next, and if you think about it, Communism was the next (Communism also distinguishes in terms of 'believer' [of class struggle,socialism,utopia, blah blah] and nonbeliever, and wants to convert everyone to its fold by any means possible, result being Stalinist purges equalling crusades and Islamic conquests). Next in that succession are modern day concepts such as atheism ('liberalism', feminism etc and so on...). Now, don't get me wrong. It is true that atheism ('liberalism', feminism etc) might have done great to liberate the West from the deadly grasp of Abrahamic Christian religion, but they seem to have inherited the curse of 'my way or the highway' style of Abrahamism; coupled with concepts such as excommunication of 'nonbelievers' of the ideology, and 'total war' (i.e. trying to insert one's ideological position in every aspect of life and with everyone). Maybe, who knows, a foundationally similar ideology was necessary to take on the earlier more-brutal proselytizing Abrahamic religions.Often while discussing Hinduism with Western Dawkin-sian atheists and while listening to their critiques of Hinduism (like by Sam Harris etc), I always find them picking things from the worst period of Hindu history (I would say ~1700s-1900s, a broken Hindu society after centuries of invasions and conversions etc) and ignoring the rest some 3000+ years. By this time, Hinduism had degenerated because of brutalities, and lots of 'evil' regular practices one finds solidified. I don't know if they are just ignorant or have an agenda to ignore.And just as an aside, I don't think Judaism is doing to 'Palestine' what Muslims and Christians did to natives at other places. Jews *are* the natives of Israel and Jerusalem area, and they are merely retaking the area they were one brutally displaced from by Muslims. It's like if Hindus displace the Muslim Pakistanis and retake the Indus Valley area, then there is nothing wrong with it, because Indus Valley is where Hinduism arose (Sapta Sindhu:The land of the seven rivers) - an area from which Hindu population has been wiped out (Similar for Sikhs in Pakistani Punjab area).
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          General: US Troops ‘Just Getting Started Good’ in Raqqa   

US commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend today told CBS News that he believes only about 25-30% of the military campaign for the ISIS capital city of Raqqa has happened, talking up the massive US military buildup in the area, and insisting that US troops are “just getting started good” in the city’s invasion.

This is all happening without the permission of the Syrian government, of course, but Townsend downplayed the risk of clashes with Syria or Russia over that fact, saying that he believes they’re comfortable with focusing on the rest of the country while the US invades Raqqa, and that he doesn’t anticipate any conflicts.


          An instructor analyzes how to discuss the "Hypatia" controversy with her grad students (essay)   

Maybe I’m a bad feminist, but I was on vacation and away from social media when the controversy at Hypatia blew up. Only when I returned to the office late in May and confronted my overflowing email box did I catch up on Rebecca Tuvel’s controversial article on “transracialism” and the ensuing outcry over it: the open letter to Hypatia calling for its retraction, the mea culpa from some of the journal’s associate editors, the defense of the article by the editor, the gleeful crowings of the mainstream press about the pettiness of the intellectual elite and, finally, a second open letter, from a group of what might be described as materialist progressives, decrying the signatories to the first open letter.

I had to swallow the story whole, rather than a course at a time. As a result, I’m not even sure I can even digest it all. Some points from both sides of the argument seem relevant, others not so much. The decibel level doesn’t help anything. Still, this question of how language may harm by (ostensibly) violating identity claims has become so prominent that I feel obliged to try to reckon with it.

I don’t work in philosophy or in critical race or sexuality studies, so I found my way into the contretemps by extracting a few potential teaching moments from it, focusing on the open letter’s criticisms of Hypatia’s editorial process and its call for changes to the same. Some of those issues are specific to Tuvel’s article, but a couple are technical problems -- with conceptual ramifications -- that every scholar deals with at least occasionally. Thinking about how to walk my graduate students through them, I hoped, would help me engage this controversy without getting bogged down in it.

The Obscured Bread-Crumb Trail

First, and maybe most banal, is a matter of citation practices, an aspect of scholarly knowledge production that I just can’t seem to convince my students is both fascinating and vitally important. Some of the most spectacular attacks on Tuvel’s article center on her use of the name that celebrity transwoman Caitlyn Jenner was assigned at birth, a process known as “deadnaming.” The author of the original open letter argued that by referring to Jenner in this way, Tuvel “uses vocabulary and frameworks not recognized, accepted or adopted by the conventions of the relevant subfields.” Tuvel defended herself by noting that Jenner uses that name in her memoir but admitted that was an insider privilege she’d unthinkingly claimed for herself, thus “perpetuat[ing] harm” to Jenner personally and to the trans community over all.

Reasonable people, both cis and transgender, might disagree about whether and how such a practice does harm. (It could also be argued that celebrities, by definition, sacrifice some rights to privacy that the regular folks retain.) When in doubt, it’s certainly most polite to use a person’s preferred name when referring to them directly.

But what about the more complicated case of referring to a trans author -- and to works that cite them -- prior to their official transition? If citations are a sort of intellectual bread-crumb trail that we leave for our readers to follow, how we name authors and represent other scholars’ engagements with their work is important, lest our own readers get lost in the forest.

For example: sociologist Raewyn Connell’s website notes she is the author of 1987’s Gender and Power (Stanford University Press), which was published under the “gender-neutral name R. W. Connell.” The copyright pages lists “R. W. Connell” as the author, as do WorldCat and the publisher’s website. How should the book appear in a bibliography? Contemporary scholarship that engaged with Gender and Power’s arguments referred to the author with the male name assigned to her at birth, and the Amazon.com page for Gender and Power does the same. Is quoting that scholarship “deadnaming”? If so, should we make a journalistic “silent correction” when we quote? Or selectively edit quoted material so that names never appear? Should the difference between the names across time be explained in a footnote, or does that, too, deadname?

This example is particularly real for me as I have directed many undergrad and grad students to Raewyn Connell’s work on masculinity, only to hear that “our library doesn’t own her book, so can I use this one by R. W. Connell instead?” That’s an easy correction in the classroom context, but it speaks to the problem of the obscured bread-crumb trail. The open letter’s call to Hypatia to “commit to developing best practices for naming trans individuals as authors and subjects of scholarly discussions” acknowledges as much. Systematic practices in this area, consistent across disciplines, would indeed be useful.

The other teaching issue raised in the open letter is more complex. Tuvel’s critics argued vehemently that her work “fail[ed] to seek out and sufficiently engage with scholarly work by those who are most vulnerable to the intersection of racial and gender oppressions (women of color) in its discussion of ‘transracialism.’” It thus fell short of Hypatia’s stated commitment to exploring a diversity of gendered and sexed experiences.

In the public commentary on the controversy, “sufficiency” has featured prominently. On one side are scholars who believe that Tuvel’s inattention to, for example, critical race theory allowed her to make a facile, bad-faith argument. Taking concepts like embodied racism and micropolitics seriously would have complicated or perhaps invalidated her own claims, this logic goes. To get around that problem, she just avoided this body of thought altogether. Compounding that intellectual gaffe is a political one: by not engaging critical race theorists, many of whom are people of color, Tuvel re-marginalized a vulnerable population and reaffirmed her white privilege.

On the other side of a yawning chasm are those who claim that as an untenured member of a philosophy department, writing for a philosophy journal (albeit a feminist one that describes itself as “richly interdisciplinary in orientation”), Tuvel is not beholden to critical race theory. Her article responds primarily to the work of one major figure in her field, feminist philosopher Sally Haslanger, who writes about race and gender from a foundation in epistemology, with attention to philosophies of justice. It is to these branches of philosophy -- not other scholarship, and not the social locations of other scholars -- that Tuvel owes deference. Many academics who have staked out this position seem to be professional philosophers aware of and, to various extents, comfortable with their field’s traditional (some might call it airless) rhetorical and argumentative style.

Could Tuvel have opened up her article to more fully consider and engage with critical race theory’s ideas about power and identity? That is a serious teaching question -- let’s answer it first in a deeply prosaic fashion. To wit: while calls for paradigm-shifting interdisciplinary scholarship have increased over the past few decades, the word limit for a typical journal article has not. Hypatia’s word limit is 8,000. Excluding citations, Tuvel’s piece comes in just at 7,900. Engaging with such ideas would have blown her word count out of the water.

Lurking beneath the language of “sufficiency” is a more troubling question: Should Tuvel have written the article without such engagement? Signatories to the open letter clearly believe she should not have. To write without such engagement is to cause harm.

Here is where the teaching issues of academic genres and audiences come into play. Though it’s not analytic philosophy by a long shot, Tuvel’s article is quite discipline specific -- a straight-up thought experiment that proceeds precisely along philosophy’s traditional “if A, then B; if B, then C or D, but not E” lines.

There’s a reason I’m a cultural historian: the abstractness of the one philosophy class I took as an undergraduate drove me nuts. All the arguments seemed true, but none of them seemed accurate -- at least not to the messy reality that I lived in. This sense came back to me on reading Tuvel, but 30-odd years later, I understand that this is just what philosophers do. Or rather, it’s something they can do.

And for good or ill, it seems it’s the thing Rebecca Tuvel wanted to do in this article. (Although I’d wager she thinks somewhat differently now.) Both her CV and her online presence suggest Tuvel is well read in bodies of scholarship -- like critical race theory -- that could have informed and given shape to an argument about transracialism. Apparently she didn’t want to write that article. For whatever reason, Tuvel seems to have been uninterested in authoring an article that used critical race theory to complicate Sally Haslanger’s claims about the constructed nature of race and gender. If we acknowledge that lack of interest, we can move to ask the real teaching question: Is it wrong?

The Act of Saying “I”

As I mentioned above, I may be a bad feminist: most of my graduate teaching shies away from questions of feminist methodology and focuses instead on writing. Specifically, to quote Joan Didion, I teach students that “writing is the act of saying ‘I.’” Within the context of graduate teaching, this means helping students figure out what they are arguing about complex and multifaceted topics with which they tend to have, in clinical mental health terms, deeply codependent relationships. On the road to determining what they are arguing, they must also decide what they are not arguing.

There’s a feminist dimension to this teaching, obviously: bell hooks calls the process “coming to voice”; it’s a version of “empowerment.” We invite graduate students to leave behind their undergraduate lives as talented assignment completers and become instead genuine authors. We succeed in that task when they lose some of their deference to us and the other clamorous voices they have encountered in their course work. Confidence in their own author-ity allows them to say both “this is my argument” and “that could be my argument, but it is not.”

Making such claims is scary; they entail a lot of responsibility. Traditional feminist pedagogy -- indebted to the ethics of care -- provides an easy jumping-off point for discussing the responsibility an author has to sources and audience. We have theory, we have practices, we have models for how to respect those parties.

But we lack a feminist discourse that grapples with the fact that, as Didion explains, writing is -- must be -- “an aggressive, even a hostile act … an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.” To be clear, that aggression inheres not in the things one says (although one can certainly say aggressive things), but in the act of clearing space (in one’s head, on the page, in the scholarly conversation) for one’s own vision and voice. Writing in standard academic English, “the act of saying ‘I’” always already occurs over and against the voices of others. Writers dialogue with some of those voices, but to most of the others, they must say, “That could be my argument, but it is not.”

I’ve developed a few tried and true practices for shifting students out of assignment-completion mode and into the act of saying “I.” Extreme prejudice against passive-voice writing is one. A relentless classroom focus on “argument literacy” is another: understanding the university as an example of what former Modern Language Association President Gerald Graff calls “an argument culture” trains students in professionalism as well as in rhetoric. Teaching counterexamples -- writers like Didion, or Michelle Cliff, Gloria Anzaldúa and Alison Bechdel, who make their points through rhetorical means disallowed in scholarly discourse (narrative, collage, purposeful ambiguity) -- is one more. But I’ve never had a real-life case study of the costs entailed by saying, “This -- not that -- is my argument.” Tuvel’s piece presents a perfect teaching case, and it will be interesting to try it out in the classroom come fall.

A focus on these teaching issues does not resolve the existential question of “harm.” It doesn’t even shed light on the more mechanistic question of what constitutes “sufficient engagement.” At this stage of the game, those questions may not have answers -- at least not good ones. But I like to think that if anything makes me a good feminist, it’s a stubborn resistance to bad answers. For that reason, I’ll be eager to see if, once the heat of the summer dies down, other commentators on the Hypatia controversy can extract a little light from it all.

Trysh Travis an associate professor at the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida.

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          Update: Police make 3rd arrest in murder of Black Georgia CEO   

There’s been a new development in the home invasion and murder of the Black CEO of a prominent Atlanta company. Albert DeMagnus, 74, was stabbed to death in his home last week, his wife Beverly awoke at 2 a.m. to investigate a noise and saw three men hovering above her husband’s body. The men demanded... Read more »

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          Cotidiano - Dá pra entender   

Cotidiano - Dá pra entender

Justificativas pra não terem matado o invasor do Alvorada!

Data: 30/06/2017

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          Gentleman-nya Bung Hatta   

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Banyak orang mengira termasuk hampir semua sejarawan bahwa mundurnya Hatta di tahun 1956 adalah ketidakcocokannya dengan Bung Karno. Tapi sebenarnya tidak, Hatta tidak pernah memusuhi secara serius Sukarno, Hatta sama sekali tidak ada masalah pada tahun 1956 dengan Sukarno atau keputusan-keputusan politik besar. Pembubaran Konstituante justru dilakukan setelah Hatta mundur, pemberontakan-pemberontakan di daerah tidak ada hubungannya dengan Bung Hatta, bahkan setelah tahun 1956 beberapa pemberontakan daerah awalnya adalah mosi tidak percaya kepada Djakarta karena dikira Djakarta menyingkirkan Hatta, padahal tidak.

Dalam beberapa titik penting sejarah di masa lalu, Sukarno amat pasif dalam melakukan keputusan-keputusan politik, Sukarno. Hampir semua keputusan ditangani Hatta. Keputusan yang terkenal adalah Maklumat X 1945 soal liberalisasi pembentukan partai-partai politik. Dalam soal itu Sukarno kerap mengeluh ia dilangkahi Hatta. Dalam revolusi Sukarno ingin adanya Partai tunggal, tapi setelah fait accompli Hatta, partai menjadi terlalu banyak dan kerap menimbulkan friksi politik besar, puncaknya adalah perang Solo yang berakhir pada geger Madiun 1948.

Akhir Tahun 1948, Belanda menerjunkan puluhan ribu tentara mereka serentak ke kota-kota penting di Indonesia. Di muka dunia Internasional aksi itu dikatakan "Aksi Polisionil" karena Belanda masih menganggap Indonesia adalah wilayah dalam negeri Belanda. Sementara pihak Indonesia menyatakan itu adalah "Agresi Militer yang kedua" setelah sebelumnya terjadi tahun 1947, Indonesia menuduh inilah yang disebut ekspansi militer sebuah Negara kepada Negara lain seperti hal-nya Hitler menginvasi Polandia. Sukarno, Hatta, Sjahrir, Agus Salim dan pemimpin-pemimpin lain di Yogya ditangkapi. Militer Republikein lari ke gunung-gunung mereka menolak untuk ditangkap, pihak Militer praksis dipegang Jenderal Sudirman yang sudah rusak paru-parunya untuk menembus lebat hutan di Jawa Tengah dan Timur melakukan konsolidasi pasukan.
Saat itu Tan Malaka sudah berhitung, “Kekuatan Belanda tinggal sedikit lagi, saya tahu benar watak orang Belanda. Dia tidak akan melakukan kekuatan besar-besaran bila tidak putus asa. Saya perkirakan perang paling lama akan berlangsung selama 2 tahun lagi, sementara Amerika Serikat dan Sovjet Uni masih pusing soal Eropa setelah selesainya Hitler dibunuh”

Belanda berlagak gagah dimana-mana, tank-tank Sherman berkeliling ke segenap penjuru kota dan membangun pencitraan bahwa Hindia Belanda dalam waktu dekat akan berdiri kembali. Ternyata terbukti dengan serangan militer yang sporadis dari militer Indonesia pasukan Belanda keteter dimana-mana. Serangan Umum di Yogya dan Serangan umum di Solo membuat Belanda keliatan kelemahannya. Tapi tidak bagi kelompok pro perundingan.

Di tahun 1945 ada perbedaan antara Pemuda-Pemuda Djakarta dengan Djawa Tengah dan Djawa Timur. Pemuda-pemuda Djawa Tengah dan Timur memutuskan tidak mau berunding dengan pihak Djepang soal merebut gudang senjata, mereka langsung perang dan rakyat mengepung gudang. Senjata-senjata banyak didapatkan, bahkan di Surabaya kelengkapan militernya akibat merebut gudang senjata mampu secara jantan menghadapi Inggris, dan sejarah mencatat : ‘Hanya di Surabaya-lah Inggris kalah perang’. Di Djawa Tengah juga begitu, tidak ada perundingan gudang-gudang senjata harus direbut. Perebutan senjata ini nyaris tak menimbulkan korban, bahkan Kapten Suharto (kelak jadi Letkol Suharto) berhasil merebut gudang senjata di Kotabaru dan pasukannya memiliki alat kelengkapan militer paling kuat. Di Djakarta lain lagi ceritanya, keputusan saat itu adalah perundingan untuk merebut gudang senjata, akibatnya fatal. Puluhan tokoh pemuda mati dalam perang saat perundingan berlangsung bertele-tele, Daan Mogot dan tragedi dua anak Margono Djojohadikusumo : Subianto dan Sujono di Serpong Januari 1946. Akibat perundingan inilah pemuda-pemuda Djakarta terlalu lemah dibandingkan rekannya yang di Djawa Tengah dan Djawa Timur.

Begitu juga dengan pemikiran memperpendek perang revolusi 1945. Tan Malaka berpikir apabila perang diperpendek dengan perundingan maka yang terjadi adalah ‘Revolusi melahirkan bangsa yang lembek’. Tan Malaka ingin dilakukan perang total karena dengan hanya perang total-lah “Semua royan-royan revolusi bisa melahirkan rasa persatuan yang amat kuat diantara rakyat Indonesia, rakyat akan paham tujuan besar bangsa Indonesia liwat kesakitan-kesakitan perang revolusi”

Tapi kabar di Yogya begitu menyakitkan hati Tan Malaka. Para pemimpin tidak mau tempur mati-matian di hutan-hutan, tidak membangun perlawanan revolusinya. Di tahun 1948 terlihat sekali para pemimpin yang lahir dari dunia pergerakan Intelektual tidak terlatih untuk melakukan perang di hutan-hutan seperti yang dilakukan bekas anak buah Tan Malaka, Ho Chi Minh dari Vietnam. Tan Malaka sudah memperkirakan “Kalau pemimpin ditangkap tak lain tak bukan, ujung-ujungnya adalah Perundingan”.

Generaal Sudirman, adalah pengikut Tan Malaka yang paling setia. Ia orang yang paling mendukung program-program Tan Malaka. Saat pertempuran di Solo terjadi, Sudirman menunggu apa kata Tan Malaka. Saat rapat Persatuan Perjuangan, Sudirman-lah yang membuka pidato rapat, lalu ketika Tan Malaka meneriakkan “Merdeka 100%” maka Sudirman berdiri dan bertepuk tangan seraya bersumpah akan memerdekakan Indonesia, total…setotal-totalnya.

Sukarno sendiri saat itu sudah terjebak pada sistem pemerintahannya yang ia bentuk. Bila ia ke hutan, maka ia akan berhitung ‘siapa yang pegang komando’ bisa saja nanti kelompok Tan Malaka yang bisa drive dirinya. Sukarno selama perang revolusi menyerahkan keputusan ke Hatta, dan Hatta selamanya satu napas dengan Sjahrir lalu terjadilah keputusan yang paling amat dibenci Tan Malaka “Berunding dengan Belanda”
Perundingan KMB di Den Haag akhir tahun 1949, merupakan penghinaan bagi kelompok Tan Malaka. Di Koran-koran terjadi eforia KMB, rakyat seakan-akan gembira menerima keputusan perundingan, dikiranya KMB adalah kemenangan Republik, dikiranya KMB adalah berhasilnya perang. KMB justru adalah ‘Pertanda Indonesia Kalah Perang’ karena dimanapun dalam hukum perang Internasional ‘pihak yang kalah perang harus membayar ganti rugi akibat peperangan’ seperti Jerman yang kalah perang pada Perang Dunia Pertama, membayar dengan ‘Klausa Perjanjian Versailles’ dan Jepang yang kalah perang dengan Amerika Serikat harus menerima pendudukan pasukan Amerika Serikat di Jepang juga Jepang dilarang memiliki pasukan militernya sendiri. Indonesia harus membayar 4.6 Milyar Gulden ganti rugi perang. ‘Jadi logikanya Indonesia harus membayar bangsa asing yang membunuhi bangsanya sendiri’. Akibat perjanjian inilah yang amat lama tidak menjadi bahan perdebatan di muka-muka publik karena para tokoh kharismatis terlibat dalam perundingan ini. Ukuran dana 4,6 milyar gulden itu amat besar dengan nominal pada jaman itu, sebagai perbandingan : di tahun 1950 Amerika Serikat pernah menawari pembangunan jalan besar (Highway Standard) di sepanjang pulau Sumatera dengan konsesi masuknya mobil Ford ke Indonesia sebagai satu-satunya mobil yang bisa masuk ke Indonesia selama 10 tahun. Nilai jalan itu adalah 6 juta dollar, tapi usulan itu ditolak karena akan memberlakukan sistem monopoli. Jadi seandainya 4,6 milyar gulden itu tidak dikembalikan maka 200 kali highway standard bisa dibangun diseluruh wilayah Indonesia.

Setelah terjadi perundingan, Sudirman menolak turun gunung. “Kalau saya turun gunung berarti saya gembira akan kekalahan pasukan TNI”. Generaal Sudirman menolak turun gunung karena ia tahu, perundingan berarti kalah perang. Selama ini banyak di buku sejarah, seakan-akan Sudirman menolak turun gunung karena marah pada Sukarno, padahal bukan. Orang-orang di masa lalu tidak dangkal hatinya, mereka tidak peduli dengan konflik personal. Generaal Sudirman menolak turun gunung karena alasan prinsipil, ia tidak mau kalah perang. “Tapi pada akhirnya” persatuan diatas segala-galanya, pertaruhannya kalau Sudirman menolak turun gunung makan yang akan terjadi adalah perang saudara. Setiap orang tahu pada saat itu, Sukarno yang selalu jadi kartu pegangan orang Indonesia, rakyat akan terjebak pada perang saudara yang tidak mereka mengerti. Sudirman mengalah demi persatuan. Sudirman turun gunung, tapi Tan Malaka ditembak mati di Jawa Timur. Inilah tragedi revolusi.

Beberapa kelompok pasukan Tan Malaka menolak turun gunung, yang paling terkenal adalah Chaerul Saleh. Chaerul ini yang pegang pasukan Bambu Runtjing. Ia terus melawan tentara resmi dan menolak perundingan, pasukan Chaerul Saleh menyerang pos-pos militer TNI di Sukabumi dan wilayah lain di Djawa Barat sebagai aksi bentuk penolakannya terhadap KMB. Bahkan sampai pada tahun 1952 pasukan Chaerul Saleh terus bertempur dengan pihak militer. Inilah yang membuat Nasution marah.

Kebenaran kelompok Tan Malaka akhirnya terbukti pada tahun 1950-an ke atas. Di Vietnam, mereka menolak kalah dari Perancis dan melakukan perang total, di tahun 1952 Perancis angkat kaki dari Vietnam dengan menyisakan ratusan ribu serdadu berkalang tanah di Vietnam. Lalu Amerika Serikat datang dan merebut Vietnam dua puluh tiga tahun kemudian 1975, Amerika Serikat hengkang dari Vietnam dengan rasa malu, tentaranya berlarian ke helikopter seperti tentara pengecut menyelamatkan diri saat pasukan Ho Chi Minh masuk ke kota Saigon. Begitu juga dengan pasukan Mao yang berhasil menghantam kelompok Kuo Min Tang sampai ke Taiwan padahal pasukan Kuo Min Tang didukung Amerika Serikat. Dan saat ini di tahun 2011 kita menyaksikan seluruh Negara Eropa Barat mengemis pada RRC karena krisis ekonomi yang mereka alami.

Inilah yang dimaui Tan Malaka, fase pertama dalam pembentukan Negara atau bangsa yang terjajah adalah perang total. Dalam perang total akan terjadi situasi baru, pemahaman-pemahaman baru, alam sadar baru, dan yang terpenting arah sejarah menjadi lebih jelas tidak lembek.

Terbukti benar di tahun 1950-an perang Korea meletus. Harga-harga komoditi naik : timah, minyak bumi, kopra, karet dll naik. Kejadian ini mirip dengan boom minyak tahun 1973 yang kemudian dijadikan landasan rejeki Suharto di masa Orde Baru untuk membiayai kekuasaannya. Kenaikan luar biasa harga-harga akibat perang Korea 1950-an ini tidak bisa dinikmati rakyat Indonesia karena Indonesia harus bayar hutang perang kepada pihak Belanda. Yang kaya tetaplah perusahaan-perusahaan besar milik Belanda macam Lindeteves atau Borsumij Wehry. Kejadian ini membuat marah anggota Parlemen Komisi A, mereka memanggil Menteri Perekonomian saat itu Prof.Sumitro Djojohadikusumo. Sumitro menjawab “Kita sudah terikat perjanjian dengan Belanda”. Kelompok sisa-sisa Tan Malaka yang saat itu bergabung dalam Partai Murba marah besar ‘Wah, kalau begini caranya kita harus buat mosi tidak percaya terhadap KMB”.

Perjuangan menyusun Mosi tidak percaya ini bukan soal mudah. Kelompok Partai Murba yang dipimpin Maruto Nitimihardjo harus berkelahi kesana kemari untuk meyakinkan mosi tidak percayanya. Untuk memulai mosi ini Maruto mendatangi Hatta lalu Maruto bicara “Masih kurang saja Belanda mengambil dari kita”. Seraya berkata pasrah Hatta berkata “Karena saya yang menandatangani perjanjian KMB itu, saya persilahkan saudara Maruto untuk melanjutkan apa maunya, saya siap menerima segala konsekuensinya”.

Hampir lima tahun Maruto melakukan pendekatan-pendekatan politik ke semua pihak untuk menolak hasil KMB dan menyatakan mosi tidak percaya. Akhirnya mayoritas anggota Parlemen menyetujui untuk melakukan mosi tidak percaya, apalagi setelah Pemilu 1955 Perdana Menteri Ali Sastroamidjojo mendukung apa mau Partai Murba. “Mosi tidak percaya pada KMB”.

Melihat perkembangan mosi itu Hatta secara gentlemen berkata “Saya akan mundur” Saat itu Maruto mendatangi Hatta di kantornya di Merdeka Selatan. Hatta lama memandangi wajah Maruto, dan ia mengeluarkan air mata lalu memeluk Maruto. Setelah pertemuan itu datanglah surat dari Hatta : “Surat Pengunduran Diri”.

Surat pengunduran itu menjadi heboh dimana-mana, bahkan Sukarni Ketua Umum Murba, Partai yang jadi pelopor mosi tidak percaya itu berkata singkat sambil mau nangis : “Wah, Bung Hatta terlalu gentleman”.
Mundurnya Hatta membuat pihak banyak kalang kabut. Achmad Subardjo yang saat itu jadi Duta Besar di Swiss berkata kepada beberapa orang “Sesungguhnya dulu di tahun 1945 terjadi apa namanya Gentleman Agreement Four, mirip Amerika Serikat pada awal Revolusinya di tahun 1776. Seperti perjanjian antara Washington, Jefferson, Madison dan Franklin untuk bergantian menjabat sebagai Presiden Amerika Serikat, walaupun Franklin tidak menjabat tapi tiga orang menjabat bergiliran. Itulah yang terjadi, nah empat orang yang akan bergiliran jadi Presiden saat itu adalah : Sukarno, Iwa Kusumasumantri, Achmad Soebardjo dan Hatta sendiri. Tapi itu tidak terlaksana toh, malah keluar Testamen Tan Malaka”…..

Sukarno berdiam diri saja, ia sudah tahu arah sejarah akhirnya kelompok Tan Malaka yang menang dan benar melihat keadaan. Kemerdekaan 100% adalah tujuan terbesar bangsa ini, lalu dengan inspirasi dari Tan Malaka, Sukarno menjalankan program-program politiknya tapi siapakah yang bisa menggantikan Hatta? Kelompok PSI mengajukan Subandrio, yang pada akhirnya Bandrio malah merapat ke PKI. Sementara Murba harus menarik Maruto Nitimihardjo dan Sukarni sebagai lobbying ke Pemerintah, karena Maruto dianggap Sukarno selalu melawan, sementara Sukarni setiap ketemu Sukarno selalu berantem. Akhirnya Murba memanggil Chaerul Saleh yang di Jerman Barat untuk mendampingi Sukarno.

Dan pada akhirnya sejarah memberi tahu pada kita, ketika Sukarno dikalahkan saat menjalankan agenda Tan Malaka dengan bahasa-bahasa Sukarno yang ia namakan Trisakti, Berdikari, Pantja Azimat Revolusi, Gesuri, Vivere Pericoloso lalu Gestapu 65 terjadi, Sukarno diinternir di Wisma Yaso, Subandrio diseret ke penjara, Chaerul Saleh kabarnya mati di WC Tahanan Militer dan membuat Sukarni di depan jenasah Chaerul Saleh ngamuk-ngamuk kepada Adam Malik karena tak bisa memberikan pertolongan sama sekali kepada Cherul Saleh.

Lalu kita menyaksikan Indonesia seperti sekarang ini, tidak seperti Bung Hatta yang mengakui bila kebijakannya kalah dan tidak diakui, ia harus gentleman, coba sekarang Sri Mulyani menandantangani keputusan talangan Bank malah dilarikan ke luar negeri, ada juga Budiono yang malah dijadikan Wakil Presiden RI, Kebijakan Negara dijalankan tanpa rasa bersalah.

Negara kaya raya yang terus menerus dibodohi oleh Imperialisme asing. Negara dijual untuk kekayaan para pejabat. Kepada sejarah kita harus banyak belajar untuk masa depan Indonesia…………

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          The Indolence of the Filipinos   
English translation by Charles Derbyshire. The article by José Rizal, originally written in Spanish, was published in La Solidaridad in five installments,from July 15 to September 15, 1890.

PART ONE: Doctor Sanciano, in his Progreso de Filipinas, has taken up this question, agitated, as he calls it, and relying upon facts and reports furnished by the very same Spanish authorities that ruled the Philippines has demonstrated that such indolence does not exist, and that all said about it does not deserve a reply or even passing choice.

Nevertheless as discussion of it has been continued, not only by government employees who make it responsible for their own shortcomings, not only by the friars who regard it as necessary in order that they may continue to represent themselves as indispensable, but also by serious and disinterested persons: and as evidence of greater or less weight may be adduced in opposition to that which Dr. Sanciano cites, it seems expedient to us to study this question thoroughly, without superciliousness or sensitiveness, without prejudice, without pessimism. As as we can only serve our country by telling the truth, however, bitter it be, just as flagrant and skillful negation cannot refute a real and positive fact, in spite of the brilliance of the arguments; as mere affirmation is not sufficient to create something possible, let us calmly examine the facts, using on our part all the impartiality of which a man is capable who is convinced that there is no redemption except upon solid bases of virtue.

The word indolence has been greatly misused in the sense of little love for work and lack of energy, while ridicule has concealed the misuse. This much-discussed question has met with the same fate as certain panaceas and specifics of the quacks who by ascribing to them impossible virtues have discredited them. In the Middle Ages, and even in some Catholic countries now, the devil is blamed for everything that superstitious folk cannot understand or the perversity of mankind is loath to confess. In the Philippines one's and another's faults, the shortcomings of one, the misdeeds of another, are attributed to indolence. And just as in the Middle Ages he who sought the explanation of phenomena outside of infernal influences was persecuted, so in the Philippines worse happens to him who seeks the origin of the trouble outside of accepted beliefs.

The consequence of this misuse is that there are some who are interested in stating it as a dogma and others in combating it as a ridiculous superstition, if not a punishable delusion. Yet it is not to be inferred from the misuse of a thing that it does not exist.

We think that there must be something behind all this outcry, for it is incredible that so many should err, among whom we have said there are a lot of serious and disinterested persons. Some act in bad faith, though levity, through levity, through want of sound judgment, through limitation in reasoning power, ignorance of the past, or other cause. Some repeat what they have heard, without examination or reflection; others speak through pessimism or are impelled by that human characteristic which paints as perfect everything that belongs to oneself and defective whatever belongs to another. But it cannot be denied that there are some who worship truth, or if not truth itself at least the semblance thereof which is truth in the mind of the crowd.

Examining well, then, all scenes and all the men that we have known from childhood; and the life of our country, we believe that indolence does exist there. The Filipinos, who can measure up with the most active peoples in the world, will doubtless not repudiate his admission, for it is true there one works and struggles against the climate, against nature and against men. But we must not take the exception for the general rule, and should rather seek the good of our country by stating what we believe to be true. We must confess that indolence does actually and positively exist there, only that, instead of holding it to be the cause of the backwardness and the trouble, we regard it as the effect of the trouble and the backwardness, by fostering the development of a lamentable predisposition.

Those who have as yet treated of indolence, with the exception of Dr. Sancianco, have been content to deny or affirm it. We know of no one who has studied its causes. Nevertheless, those who admit its existence and exaggerate it more or less have not therefore failed to advise remedies taken from here and there, from Java, from India, from other English or Dutch colonies, like the quack who saw a fever cured with a dozen sardines and afterwards always prescribed these fish at every rise in temperature that he discovered in his patient.

We shall proceed otherwise. Before proposing a remedy we shall examine the causes, and even though strictly speaking a predisposition is not a cause, let us, however, study at its true value this predisposition due to nature.

The predisposition exists? Why shouldn't it?

A hot climate requires of the individual quiet and rest, just as cold incites to labor and action. For this reason the Spaniard is more indolent than the Frenchman; the Frenchman more so than the German. The Europeans themselves who reproach the residents of the colonies so much (and I am not now speaking of the Spaniards but of the Germans and English themselves), how do they live in tropical countries? Surrounded by a numerous train of servants, never-going afoot but riding in a carriage, needing servants not only to take off their shoes for them but even to them! And yet they live and eat better, they work for themselves to get rich, with the hope of a future, free and respected, while the poor colonist, the indolent colonist, is badly nourished, has no hope, toils for others, and works under force and compulsion! Perhaps the reply to this will be that white men are not made to stand the severity of the climate. A mistake! A man can live in any climate, if he will only adapt himself to its requirements and conditions. What kills the European in hot countries is the abuse of liquors, the attempt to live according to the nature of his own country under another sky and another sun. We inhabitants of hot countries live will in northern Europe whenever we take the precautions of the people there do. Europeans can also stand the torrid zone, if only they would get rid of their prejudices.

The fact is that in tropical countries violent work is not a good thing as it is in cold countries, there it is death, destruction, annihilation. Nature knows this and like a just mother has therefore made the earth more fertile, more productive, as a compensation. An hour's work under that burning sun, in the midst of pernicious influences springing from nature in activity, is equal to a day's work in a temperate climate; it is, then, just that the earth yields a hundred fold! Moreover, do we not see the active European, who feels the fresh blood of spring boil in his veins, do we not see him abandon his labors, during the few days of his variable summer, close his office -- where the work is not violent and amounts for many to talking and gesticulating in the shade beside a lunch stand -- flee to watering places, sit in the cafes or stroll about. What wonder then that the inhabitant of tropical countries, worn out and with his blood thinned by the continuous and excessive heat is reduced to inaction? Who is the indolent one in the Manila offices? Is it the poor clerk who comes in at eight in the morning and leaves at one in the afternoon with only his parasol, who copies and writes and works for himself and for his chief, or is it the chief, who comes in a carriage at ten o'clock, leaves before twelve, reads his newspaper while smoking and with his feet cocked up on a chair or a table, or gossiping about all his friends? What is indolent, the native coadjutor, poorly paid and badly treated, who has to visit all the indigent sick living in the country, or the friar curate who gets fabulously rich, goes about in a carriage, eats and drinks well, and does not put himself to any trouble without collecting an excessive fee?

Without speaking further of the Europeans in what violent labor does the Chinaman engage in tropical countries, the industrious Chinaman, who flees from his own country driven by hunger and whose whole ambition is to amass a small fortune? With the exception of some porters, an occupation that the natives also follow, he nearly always engages in the trade, in commerce; so rarely does he take up agriculture that we do not know of a single case. The Chinaman who in other colonies cultivates the soil does so only for a certain number of years and then retires.

We find, then, the tendency to indolence very natural, and have to admit and bless it, for we cannot alter natural laws, and without it the race would have disappeared. l Man is not a brute, he is not a machine, his object is not merely to produce, in spite of the pretensions of some Christian whites who would make of the colored Christian a kind of motive power somewhat more intelligent and less costly than steam. Man's object is not to satisfy the passions of another man, his object is to seek happiness for himself and his kind by traveling along the road of progress and perfection.

The evil is not that indolence exists more or less latently but that it is fostered and magnified. Among men, as well as among nations, there exist no only, aptitudes but also tendencies good and evil. To foster the good ones and aid them, as well as correct the evil and repress them, would be the duty of society and government, if less noble thoughts did not occupy their attention. The evil is that the indolence in the Philippines is a magnified indolence, an indolence of the snowball type, if we may be permitted the expression, an evil that increases in direct proportion to the periods of time, and effect of misgovernment and of backwardness, as we have said, and not a cause thereof. Others will hold the contrary opinion, especially those who have a hand in the misgovernment, but we do not care; we have made an assertion and are going to prove it.



PART TWO: When in consequence of a long chronic illness the condition of the patient is examined, the question may arise whether the weakening of the fibers and the debility of the organs are the cause of the malady's continuing or the effect of the bad treatment that prolongs its action. The attending physician attributes the entire failure of his skill to the poor constitution of the patient, to the climate, to the surroundings, and so on. On the other hand, the patient attributes the aggravation of the evil to the system of treatment followed. Only the common crowd, the inquisitive populace, shakes its head and cannot reach a decision.

Something like this happens in the case of the Philippines. Instead of a physician, read government, that is friars, employees, etc. Instead of patient, Philippines; instead of malady, indolence.

And just as happens in similar cases when the patient gets worse, everybody loses his head, each one dodges the responsibility to place it upon somebody else, and instead of seeking the causes in order to combat the evil in them, devotes himself at best to attacking the symptoms; here a blood-letting, a tax; there a plaster, forced labor, further on a sedative, a trifling reform. Every new arrival proposes a new remedy; one, seasons of prayer, the relics of a saint, the viaticum, the friars; another shower-bath; still another, with pretensions to modern ideas, a transfusion of blood. "It's nothing, only the patient has eight million indolent red corpuscles; some few white corpuscles in the form of an agricultural colony will get us out of the trouble."

So, on all sides there are groans, gnawing of lips, clenching of fists, many hollow words, great ignorance, a deal of talk, a lot of fear. The patient is near his finish!

Yes, transfusion of blood, transfusion of blood! New life, new vitality! Yes, new white corpuscles that you are going to inject into its veins, the new white corpuscles that were a cancer in another organism will withstand all the depravity of the system, will have more stamina than all the degeneration, all the trouble in the principal organs. Be thankful if they do not become coagulations and produce gangrene, be thankful if they do not reproduce the cancer!

While the patient breathes, we must not lose hope, and however late we may be, a judicious examination is never superfluous; at least the cause of death may be known. We are not trying to put all the blame on the physician, and still less on the patient, for we have already spoken of a predisposition, in the absence of which the race would disappear, sacrificed to excessive labor in a tropical country.

Indolence in the Philippines is a chronic malady, but not a heredity one. The Filipinos have not always been what they are, witnesses whereto are all the historians of the first years after the discovery of the Islands.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Malayan Filipinos carried on an active trade, no only among themselves but also with all the neighboring countries. A Chinese manuscript of the 13th century, translated by Dr. Hirth (Globus, September, 1889), which we will take up at another time, speaks of China's relations with the islands, relations purely commercial, which mention is made of the activity and honesty of the traders of Luzon, who took the Chinese products and distributed them throughout all the islands, for the merchandise that the Chinaman did not remember to have given them. The products which they in exchange exported from the islands were crude wax, cotton, pearls, tortoise shell, betel-nuts, dry goods, etc.

The first thing noticed by Pigafetta who came with Magellan in 1521, on arriving at the first island of the Philippines, Samar, was the courtesy and kindness of the inhabitants and their commerce. "To honor our captain," he says, "they conducted him to their boats where they had their merchandise, which consisted of cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmegs, mace, gold and other things; and they made us understand by gestures that such articles were to be found in the islands to which we were going."

Further on he speaks of the vessels and utensils of solid gold that he found in Butuan where the people worked in mines. He describes the silk dresses, the daggers with long gold hilts and scabbards of carved wood, the gold sets of teeth, etc. Among cereals and fruits he mentions rice, millet, oranges, lemons, panicum, etc.

That the islands maintained relations with neighboring countries and even with distant ones is proven by the ships from Siam, laden with gold and slaves, that Magellan found in Cebu. These ships paid certain duties to the king of the island. In the same year, 1521, the survivors of Magellan's expedition met the son of the Rajah of Luzon, who, as captain-general of the Sultan of Borneo and admiral of his fleet, had conquered for him the great city of Lave (Sarawak ?). Might this captain, who was greatly feared by all his foes, have been the Rajah Matanda whom the Spaniards afterwards encountered in Tondo in 1570?

In 1539 the warriors of Luzon took part in the formidable contests of Sumatra, and under the orders of Angi Sity Timor, Rajah of Batta, conquered and overthrew the terrible Alzadin, Sultan of Atchin, renowned in the historical annals of the Far East. (Marseen, History of Sumatra, chapter 20)

At that time, that sea where float the islands like a set of emeralds on a paten of bright glass, that sea was everywhere traversed by junks, paraus, barangays, vintas, vessels swift as shuttles so large that they could maintain a hundred rowers on a side (Morga); that sea bore everywhere commerce, industry, agriculture, by the force of the oars moved to the sound of warlike songs of the genealogies and achievements of the Philippine divinities. (Colin, Chapter 15)

Wealth abounded in the islands. Pigafetta tells us of the abundance of foodstuffs in Pragua and of its inhabitants, who nearly all tilled their own fields. At this island the survivors of Magellan's expedition were well received and provisioned. A little later, these same survivors captured a vessel, plundered and sacked it and took prisoner in it the chief of the Island of Paragua with his son and brother.

In this same vessel they captured bronze lombards, and this is the first mention of artillery of the Filipino, for these lombards were useful to the chief of Paragua against the savages of the interior.

They let him ransom himself within seven days, demanding 400 measures (cavanes ?) of rice, 20 pigs, 20 goats, and 450 chickens. This is the first act of piracy recorded in Philippine history. The chief of Paragua paid everything, and moreover, voluntarily added coconuts, bananas, and sugar-cane jars filled with palm wine. When Caesar was taken prisoner by the corsairs and required to pay twenty-five talents ransom, he replied, "I'll give you fifty, but later I'll have you crucified!" The chief of Paragua was more generous: he forgot. His conduct, while it may reveal weakness, also demonstrates that the islands ere abundantly provisioned. This chief was named Tuan Mahamud; his brother, Guantil, and his son, Tuan Mahamud. (Martin Mendez, Purser of the ship Victoria: Archivo de Indias.)

A very extraordinary thing, and one that shows the facility with which the natives learned Spanish, is that fifty years before the arrival of the Spaniards in Luzon, in that very year 1521, when they first came to the islands, there were already natives of Luzon who understood Castilian. In the treaties of peace that the survivors of Magellan's expedition made with the chief of Paragua, when the servant-interpreter died they communicated with one another through a Moro who had been captured in the island of the King of Luzon and who understood some Spanish (Martin Mendez; op cit.) Where did this extemporaneous interpreter learn Castilian? In the Moluccas? In Malacca, with the Portuguese? Spaniards did not reach Luzon until 1571.

Legazpi's expedition met in Butuan various traders of Luzon with their boats laden with iron, cloths, porcelain, etc. (Gaspar de San Agustin) plenty of provisions, activity, trade, movement in all the southern islands.

They arrived at the Island of Cebu, "abounding in provisions, with mines and washings of gold, and peopled with natives, "as Morga says: "very populous, and at a port frequented by many ships that came from the islands and kingdoms near India," as Colin says: and even though they were peacefully received discord soon arose. The city was taken by force and burned. The first destroyed the food supplies and naturally famine broke out in that town of a hundred thousand people, as the historians say, and among the members of the expedition, but the neighboring islands quickly relieved the need, thanks to the abundance they enjoyed.

All the histories of those first years, in short, abound in long accounts about the industry and agriculture of the natives; mines, gold-washings, looms, farms, barter, naval construction, raising of poultry and stock, weaving of silk and cotton, distilleries, manufactures of arms, pearl fisheries, the civet industry, the horn and hide industry, etc., are things encountered at every step, and considering the time and the conditions in the islands, prove that there was life, there was activity, there was movement.

And if this, which is deduction, does not convince any minds imbued with unfair prejudices perhaps, of some avail may be the testimony of the oft-quoted Dr. Morga, who was Lieutenant-Governor of Manila for seven years and after rendering great service in the Archipelago was appointed criminal judge of the Audiencia of Mexico and Counselor of the Inquisition. His testimony, we say, is highly credible, not only because all his contemporaries have spoken of him in terms that border on veneration but also because his work, from which we take these citations, is written with great circumspection and care, as well with reference to the authorities in the Philippines as to the errors they committed. "The natives," says Morga, in Chapter Seven, speaking of the occupations of the Chinese, "are very far from exercising those trade and have forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton, and weaving cloth. As they used to do in their Paganism and for a long time after the country was conquered."

The whole Chapter 8 of his work deals with this moribund activity, this much forgotten industry, and yet in spite of that, how long is his eighth chapter!

And not only Morga, not also Chirinco, Colin, Argensola, Gaspar de San Agustin and others agree to this matter, but modern travelers, after two hundred and fifty years, examining the decadence and misery, assert the same thing. Dr. Hans Meyer, when he saw the tribes not subdued cultivating beautiful fields and working energetically, asked if they would not become indolent when they in turn should accept Christianity and a paternal government.

Accordingly, the Filipinos in spite of the climate, in spite of their few needs (they were less then than now), were not the indolent creatures of our time, and, as we shall see later on, their ethics and their mode of life were not what is not complacently attributed to them.

How then, and in what way, was that active and enterprising infidel native of ancient times converted into the lazy and indolent Christian, as our contemporary writers say?

We have already spoken of the more or less latent predisposition which exists in the Philippines toward indolence, and which must exist everywhere, in the whole world, in all men, because we all hate work more or less, as it may be more or less hard, more ore less unproductive. The dolce far niente of the Italian, the rascarse la barriga of the Spaniard, the supreme aspiration of the bourgeois to live on his income in peace and tranquility, attest this.

What causes operated to awake this terrible predisposition from its lethargy? How is it that the Filipino people, so fond of its customs as to border on routine, has given up its ancient habits of work, of trade, of navigation, etc., even to the extent of completely forgetting its past?



PART THREE: A fatal combination of circumstances, some independent of the will in spite of men's efforts, others in offspring of stupidity and ignorance, others the inevitable corollaries of false principles, and still others the result of more or less base passions, has induced the decline of labor, an evil which instead of being remedies by prudence, mature reflection and recognition of the mistakes made, through a deplorable policy, through regrettable blindness and obstinacy, has gone from bad to worse until it has reached the condition in which we now see it.

First came the wars, the internal disorders which the new change of affairs naturally brought with it. It was necessary to subject the people either by cajolery or force; there were fights, there was slaughter; those who had submitted peacefully seemed to repent of it; insurrections were suspected, and some occurred; naturally there were executions, and many capable laborers perished. Add to this condition of disorder the invasion of Li-Mahong; add continual wars into which the inhabitants of the Philippines were pledged to maintain the honor of Spain, to extend the sway of her flag in Borneo, in the Moluccas and in Indo-China; to repel the Dutch foe; costly wars, fruitless expeditions, in which each time thousands and thousands of native archers and rowers were recorded to have embarked, but whether they returned to their homes was never stated. Like the tribute that once upon a time Greece sent to the Minotaur of Crete, the Philippine youth embarked for the expedition, saying goodbye to their country forever; on their horizon were the stormy sea, the interminable wars, the rash expeditions. Wherefore, Gaspar de San Agustin says: "Although anciently there were in this town of Dumangas many people, in the course of time they have very greatly diminished because the natives are the best sailors and most skillful rowers on the whole coast, and so the governors in the port of Iloilo take most of the people from this town for the ships that they send abroad . . . When the Spaniards reached this island (Panay) it is said that there were on it more than fifty thousand families; but these diminished greatly . . . and at present they may amount to some fourteen thousand tributaries." From fifty thousand families to fourteen thousand tributaries in little over half a century!

We would never get through, had we to quote all the evidence of the authors regarding the frightful diminution of the inhabitants of the Philippines in the first years after the discovery. In the time of their first bishop, that is, ten years after Legazpi. Philip II said that they had been reduced to less than two-thirds.

Add to these fatal expeditions that wasted all the moral and material energies of the country, the frightful inroads of the terrible pirates from the south, instigated and encouraged by the government, first in order to get a complaint and afterwards disarm the islands subjected to it, inroads that reached the very shores of Manila, even Malate itself, and during which were sen to set out for captivity and slavery, in the baleful glow of burning villages, strings of wretches who had been unable to defend themselves, leaving behind them the ashes of their homes and the corpses of their parents and children. Morga, who recounts the first piratical invasion, says: "The boldness of these people of Mindanao did great damage to the Visayan Island, as much by what they did in them as by the fear and fright which the native acquired, because the latter were in the power of the Spaniards who held them subject and tributary and unarmed, in such manner that they did not protect them from their enemies or leave the means with which to defend themselves, AS THEY DID WHEN THERE WERE NO SPANIARDS IN THE COUNTRY." These piratical attacks continually reduce the number of the inhabitants of the Philippines, since the independent Malays were especially notorious for their atrocities and murders, sometimes because they believed that to preserve their independence it was necessary to weaken the Spaniard by reducing the number of his subjects, sometimes because a greater hatred and a deeper resentment inspired them against the Christian Filipino who, being of their own race, served the stranger in order to deprive them of their precious liberty. These expeditions lasted about three centuries, being repeated five and ten times a year, and each expedition cost the island over eight hundred prisoners.

"With the invasions of the pirates from Sulu and Mindanao," says Padre Gaspar de San Agustin, (the island of Bantayan, near Cebu) "has greatly reduced, because they easily captured the people there, since the latter had no place to fortify themselves and were far from help from Cebu. The hostile Sulus did great damage in this island in 1608, leaving it almost depopulated." (Page 380)

These rough attacks, coming from without, produced a counter effect in the interior, which, carried out medical comparisons was like a purge or diet in an individual who has just lost a great deal of blood. In order to make headway against so many calamities, to secure their sovereignty and take the offensive in these disastrous contests, to isolate the warlike Sulus from their neighbors in the south, to care for the needs of the empire of the Indies (for one of the reasons why the Philippines were kept, as contemporary documents prove, ws their strategic position between New Spain and the Indies), to wrest from the Dutch their growing colonies of the Molluccas and get red of some troublesome neighbors, to maintain, in short, the trade of China and New Spain, it was necessary to construct new and large ships which, as we have seen, costly as they were to the country for their equipment and the rowers they required, were not less so because of the manner in which they were constructed. Padre Fernando de lost Rios Coronel, who fought in these wards and later turned priest, speaking of these King's ships, said, "As they were so large, the timber needed was scarcely to be found in the forests (of the Philippines?), and thus it was necessary to seek it with great difficulty in the most remote of them, where, once found, in order to haul and convey it to the shipyard the towns of the surrounding country had to be depopulated of natives, who get it out with immense labor, damage, and cost to them. The natives furnished the masts for a galleon, according to the assertion of the Franciscans, and I heard the governor of the province where they were cut, which is Laguna de Bay, say that to haul them seven leagues over very broken mountains 6,000 natives were engaged three months, without furnishing them food, which the wretched native had to seek for himself!"

And Gaspar de San Agustin says: "In these times (1690), Bacolor has not the people that it had in the past because of the uprising in that province when Don Sabiniano Manrique de Lara was Governor of these islands and because of the continual labor of cutting timber for his Majesty's shipyards, which hinders them from cultivating the very fertile plain they have.

If this is not sufficient to explain the depopulation of the islands and the abandonment of industry, agriculture and commerce, then add "the natives who were executed, those who left their wives and children and fled in disgust to the mountains, those who were sold into slavery to pay the taxes levied upon them," as Fernando de los Rios Coronel says; add to all this what Philip II said in reprimanding Bishop Salazar about "natives sold to some encomenderos to others, those flogged to death, the women who are crushed to death by their heavy burdens, those who sleep in the fields and bear and nurse their children and die bitten by poisonous vermin, the many who are executed and left to die of hunger and those who eat poisonous herbs . . . and the mothers who kill their children in bearing them," and you will understand how in less than thirty years the population of the Philippines was reduced one-third. We are not saying this: it was said by Gaspar de San Agustin, the preeminently anti-Filipino Augustinian, and he confirms it throughout the rest of his work by speaking every moment of the state of neglect in which lay the farms and field once so flourishing and so well cultivated, the town thinned that had formerly been inhabited by many leading families!

How is it strange, then, that discouragement may have been infused into the spirit of the inhabitants of the Philippines, when in the midst of so many calamities they did not know whether they would see sprout the seed they were planting, whether their field was going to be their grave or their crop would go to feed their executioner? What is there strange in it, when we see the pious but impotent friars of that time trying to free their poor parishioners from the tyranny of the encomenderos by advising them to stop work in the mines, to abandon their commerce, to break up their looms, pointing out to them heaven for their whole hope, preparing them for death as their only consolation?

Man works for an object. Remove the object and you reduce him to inaction. The most active man in the world will fold his arms from the instant he understands that it is madness to bestir himself, that this work will be the cause of his trouble, that for him it will be the cause of vexations at home and of the pirate's greed abroad. It seems that these thoughts have never entered the minds of those who cry out against the indolence of the Filipinos.

Even were the Filipino not a man like the rest, even were we to suppose that zeal in him for work was as essential as the movement of a wheel caught in the gearing of others in motion; even were we to deny him foresight and the judgment that the past and present form, there would still be left us another reason to explain the attack of the evil. The abandonment of the fields by their cultivators, whom the wars and piratical attacks dragged from their homes was sufficient to reduce to nothing the hard labor of so many generations. In the Philippines abandon for a year the land most beautifully tended and you will see how you will have to begin all over again: the rain will wipe out the furrows, the floods will drown the seeds, pants and bushes will grow up everywhere, and on seeing so much useless labor the hand will drop the hoe, the laborer will desert his plow. Isn't there left the fine life of the pirate?

Thus is understood that sad discouragement which we find in the friar writers of the 17th century, speaking of once very fertile plains submerged, of provinces and towns depopulate, of leading families exterminated. These pages resemble a sad and monotonous scene in the night after a lively day. Of Cagayan, Padre Agustin speaks with mournful brevity: "A great deal of cotton, of which they made good cloth that the Chinese and Japanese every year bought and carried away." In the historian's time, the industry and the trade had come to an end.

It seems that there are causes more than sufficient to breed indolence in the midst of a beehive. Thus is explained why, after thirty-two years of the system, the circumspect and prudent Morga said that the natives have forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton and weaving cloth, as they used to do in their paganism and for a long time after the country had been conquered!"

Still they struggled a long time against indolence, yes: but their enemies were so numerous that at last they gave up!

PART FOUR: We recognize the causes that awoke the predisposition and provoked the evil: now let us see what foster and sustain it. In this connection government and governed have to bow our heads and say: "We deserve our fate."

We have already truly said that when a house becomes disturbed and disordered, we should not accuse the youngest child or the servants, but the head of it, especially if his authority is unlimited. He who does not act freely is not responsible for his actions; and the Filipino people, not being master of its liberty, is not responsible for either its misfortunes or its woes. We say this, it is true, but, as well as seen later on, we also have a large part in the continuation of such a disorder.

The following other causes contributed to foster the evil and aggravate it; the constantly lessening encouragement that labor has met with in the Philippines. Fearing to have the Filipinos deal frequently with other individuals of their own race, who were free and independent, as the Borneans, the Siamese, the Cambodians, and the Japanese, people who in their customs and feeling differ greatly from the Chinese, the government acted toward these others with great mistrust and great severity, as Morga testifies in the last pages of his work, until they finally ceased to come to the country. In fact, it seems that once an uprising planned by he Borneans was suspected: we say; suspected, for there was not even an attempt, although there were many executions. And as thse nations wee the very ones that consumed Philippine products, when all communication with them had been cut off, consumption of these products also ceased. The only two countries with which the Philippines continued to have relations were China and Mexico, or New Spain, and from this trade only China and a few private individuals in Manila got any benefit. In fact, the Celestial Empire sent her junks laden with merchandise, that merchandise which shut down the factories of Seville and ruined the Spanish industry, and returned laden in exchange with the silver that was every year sent from Mexico. Nothing from the Philippines at that time went to China, not even gold, for in those years the Chinese trades would accept no payment but silver coin. To Mexico went a little more: some cloth and dry goods which the encomenderos took by force or bought from the natives at a paltry; price, wax, amber, gold, civet, etc; but nothing more, and not even in great quantity, as is stated by Admiral Don Jeronimo de Benelos y Carrilo, when he begged the King that "the inhabitants of the Manilas be permitted (1) to load as many ships as they could with native products, such as wax, gold, perfumes, ivory, cotton cloths, which they would have to buy from the natives of the country. . . Thus friendship of these peoples would be gained, they would furnish New Spain with their merchandise and the money that is brought to Manila would not leave this place."

The coastwise trade, so active in other times, had to die out, thanks to the piratical attacks of the Malays of the south; and trade in the interior of the islands almost entirely disappeared, owing to restrictions, passports and other administrative requirements.

Of no little importance were the hindrance and obstacles that from the beginning were thrown in the farmer's way by the rules, who were influenced by childish fear and saw everywhere signs of conspiracies and uprisings. The natives were not allowed to go to their labors, that is, their farms, without permission of the governor, or of his agents and officers, and even of the priests as Morga says. Those who know the administrative slackness and confusion in a country where the officials work scarcely two hours a day; those who know the cost of going to and returning form the capital to the little tyrants will well understand how with this crude arrangement it is possible to have the most absurd agriculture. True it is that for sometime this absurdity which would be ludicrous had it not been so serious, had disappeared; but even if the words have gone out of use other facts and other provisions have replaced them. The Moro pirate has disappeared but there remains the outlaw who infests the fields and waylays the farmer to hold him for ransom. Now then, the government, which has a constant fear of the people, denies to the farmers even the use of a shotgun, or if it does allow it does so very grudgingly and withdraws it at pleasure; whence it results with the laborer, who, thanks to his means of defense, plants his crops and invests his meager fortune in the furrows that he has so laboriously opened, that when his crop matures it occurs to the government, which is impotent to suppress brigandage, to deprive him of his weapon; and then, without defense and without security, he is reduced to inaction and abandons his field, his work, and takes to gambling as the best means of securing a livelihood. The green cloth is under the protection of the government, it is safer! A mournful counselor is fear, for it not only causes weakness but also in casting aside the weapons, strengthens the very persecutor!

The sordid return the native gets from his work has the effect of discouraging him. We know from history that the encomenderos, after reducing many to slavery and forcing them to work for their benefit, made others give up their merchandise for a trife or nothing at all, or cheated them with the measures.

Speaking of Ipion, in Panay, Padre Gaspar de San Agustin says: "It was in ancient times very rich in gold . . . but provoked by he annoyances they suffered from some governors they have ceased to get it out, preferring to live in poverty than to suffer such hardships." (page 378) Further on, speaking of other towns, he says: "Boaded by ill treatment of the encomenderos who in administering justice have treated the natives as thier slaves and not as their children, and have only looked after their own interests at the expense of the wretched fortunes and lives of their charges. . . (Page 422) Further on, "In Leyte, they tried to kill an encomendero of the town of Dagami on account of the great hardships he made them suffer by exacting tribute of wax from them with a steelyard which he had made twice as long as others. . ."

This state of affairs lasted a long time and still lasts, in spite of the fact that the breed of encomenderos has become extinct. A term passes away but the evil and the passions engendered do not pass away so long as reforms are devoted solely to changing the names.

The wars with the Dutch, the inroads and piratical attacks of the people of Sulu land Mindanao disappeared; the people have been transformed; new towns have grown up while others have become impoverished; but the frauds subsisted as much as or worse than they did in those early years. We will not cite our own experiences for aside from the fact that we do not know which to select, critical persons may reproach us with partiality; neither will we cite those of other Filipinos who write in the newspapers, but we shall confine ourselves to translating the words of a modern French traveler who as in the Philippines for a long time.

"The good curate," he says with reference to the rosy picture a friar had given him of the Philippines, "had not told me about the governor, the foremost official of the district, who was too much taken up with the ideal of getting rich to have time to tyrannize over his docile subjects; the governor, charged with ruling the country and collecting the various taxes in the government's name, devoted himself almost wholly to trade; in his hands the high and noble functions he performs are nothing more than instruments of gain. He monopolizes all the business and instead of developing on his part the love of work, instead of stimulating the too natural indolence of the natives, he with abuse of his powers thinks only of destroying all competition that may trouble him or attempts to participate in his profits. It maters little to him that the country is impoverished, without cultivation, without commerce, without industry, just so the governor is quickly enriched."

Yet the traveler has been unfair in picking out the governor especially. Why only the governor?

We do not cite passages from other authors, because we have not their works at hand and do not wish to quote from memory.

The great difficulty that every enterprise encountered with the administration contributed not a little to kill off all commercial and industrial movement. All the Filipinos, as well as all those who have tried to engage in business in the Philippines, know how many documents, what comings, how many stamped papers, how much patience is needed to secure from the government a permit for an enterprise. One must count upon the good will of this one, on the influence of that one, on a good bribe to another in order that the application be not pigeon-holed, a present to the one further on so that it may pass it on to his chief; one must pray to God to give him good humor and time to see and examine it; to another, talent to recognize its expediency; to one further on sufficient stupidity not to scent behind the enterprise an insurrectionary purpose land that they may not all spend the time taking baths, hunting or playing cards with the reverend friars in their convents or country houses. And above all, great patience, great knowledge of how to get along, plenty of money, a great deal of politics, many salutations, great influence, plenty of presents and complete resignation! How is it strange that the Philippines remain poor in spite of the fertile soil, when history tells us that the countries now the most flourishing date their development from the day of their liberty and civil rights? The most commercial and most industrious countries have been the freest countries. France, England and the United States prove this. Hong Kong, which is not worth the most insignificant of the Philippines, has more commercial movement than all the islands together, because it is free and is well governed.

The trade with China, which was the whole occupation of the colonizers of the Philippines, was not only prejudicial to Spain but also the life of her colonies; in fact, when the officials and private persons in Manila found an easy method of getting rich they neglected everything. They paid no attention either to cultivating the soil or to fostering industry; and wherefore? China furnished the trade, and they had only to take advantage of it and pick up the gold that dropped out on its way from Mexico toward the interior of China, the gulf whence it never returned. The pernicious example of the dominators in surrounding themselves with servants and despising manual or corporal labor as a thing unbecoming the nobility and chivalrous pride of the heroes of so many centuries; those lordly airs, which the natives have translated into tila ka castila, and the desire of the dominated to be the equal of the dominators, if not essentially, at least in their manners; all this had naturally to produce aversion to activity and fear or hatred of work.

Moreover, "Why work?" asked the natives. The curate says that the rich man will not go to heaven. The rich man on earth is liable to all kinds of trouble, to be appointed a cabeza de barangay, to be deported if an uprising occurs, to be forced banker of the military chief of the town, who to reward him for favors received seizes his laborers and his stock in order to force him to beg money and thus easily pays up. Why be rich? So that all the officers of justice may have a lynx eye on your actions, so that at the least slip enemies may be raised up against you, you may be indicted, a whole complicated and labyrinthine story may be concocted against you, for which you can only get away, not by the tread of Ariadme but by Dane's shower of gold, and still give thanks that you are not kept in reserve for some needy occasion. The native, whom they pretend to regard as an imbecile, is not so much so that he does not understand that it is ridiculous to work himself to death to become worse off. A proverb of his says the pig is cooked in its own lard, and as among his bad qualities he has the good one of applying to himself all the criticisms and censures he refers to live miserable and indolent rather than play the part of the wretched beast of burden.

Add to this the introduction of gambling. We do not mean to say that before the coming of the Spaniards the natives did not gamble: the passion for gambling is innate in adventuresome and excitable races, and such is the Malay, Pigafetta tells us of cockfights and of bets in the Island of Paragua. Cock-fighting must also have existed in Luzon and in all the islands, for in the terminology of the game are two Tagalog words: sabong and tari (cockpit and gaff). But there is not the least doubt that the fostering of this game is due to the government, as well as the perfecting of it. Although Pigafetta tells us of it, he mentions it only in Paragua, and ot in Cebu nor in any other island of the south, where he stayed a long time. Morga does not speak of it, in spite of his having spent seven years in Manila, and yet he does describe the kinds of fowl, the jungle hens and cocks. Neither does Morga speak of gambling, when he talks about vices and other defects, more or lest concealed, more or less insignificant. Moreover excepting the two Tagalog words sabong and tari, the others are of Spanish origan as soltada (setting the cocks to fight, then the fight itself), pusta (apusta, bet), logro (winning), pago (payment), etc. We say the same about gamblilng; the word sugal (jugar, to gamble), like kumpistal (confesar, to confess to a priest), indicates that gambling was unknown in the Philippines before the Spaniards. The word laro (Tagalog: to play) is not the equivalent of the word sugal. The word play (baraja, playing card) proves that the introduction of playing cards was not due to the Chinese, who have a kind of playing cards also, because in that case they would have taken the Chinese name. l Is nto this enough? The word taya (tallar, to bet), paris-paris (Spanish, pares, pairs of cards), politana (napolitana a winning sequence of cards), sapote (to stack the cards), kapote (to slam), monte, and so on, all prove the foreign origin of this terrible plant, which only produces vice and which has found in the character of the native a fit soil, cultivated circumstances.

Along with gambling, which breeds dislike for steady and difficult toil by its promise of sudden wealth and its appeal to the emotions, with the lotteries, with the prodigality and hospitality of the Filipinos, went also, to swell the train of misfortunes, the religious functions, the great number of fiestas, the long masses for the women to spend their mornings and the novenaries to spend their afternoons, and the nights for the processions and rosaries. Remember, that lack of capital and absence of means paralyze all movement, and you will see how the native was perforce to be indolent for if any money might remain to him from the trials, imposts and exactions, he would have to give it to the curate for bulls, scapularies, candles, novenaries, etc. And if this does not suffice to form an indolent character, if the climate and nature are not enough in themselves to daze him and deprive him of all energy, recall then that the doctrine of his religion teach him to irrigate his fields in the dry season, not by means of canals but with amasses and prayers; to preserve his stock during an epidemic with holy water, exorcisms and benedictions that cost five dollars an animal, to drive away the locusts by a procession with the image of St. Augustine, etc. It is well, undoubtedly, to trust greatly in God; but it is better to do what one can not trouble the Creator every moment, even when these appeals redound to the benefit of His ministers. We have noticed that the countries which believe most in miracles are the laziest, just as spoiled children are the most ill-mannered. Whether they believe in miracles to palliate their laziness or they are lazy because they believe in miracles, we cannot say; but he fact is the Filipinos were much less lazy before the word miracle was introduced into their language.

The facility with which individual liberty is curtailed, that continual alarm of all from the knowledge that they are liable to a secret report, a governmental ukase, and to the accusation of rebel or suspect, an accusation which, to be effective, does not need proof or the production of the accuser. With the lack of confidence in the future, that uncertainty of reaping the reward of labor, as in a city stricken with plague, everybody yields to fate, shuts himself in his house or goes about amusing himself in an attempt to spend the few days that remain to him in the least disagreeable way possible.

The apathy of the government itself toward everything in commerce and agriculture contributes not a little to foster indolence. Three is no encouragement at all for the manufacturer or for the farmer, the government furnishes no aid either when a poor crop comers, when the locusts sweep over the fields, or when cyclone destroys in its passage the wealth of the soil; nor does it take any trouble to seek a market for the products of its colonies. Why should it do so when these same products are burdened with taxes and imposts and have no free entry into the ports of the mother country, nor is their consumption there encouraged? While we see all the walls of London covered with advertisements of the products of its colonies, while the English make heroic efforts to substitute Ceylon for Chinese tea, beginning with the sacrifice of their taste and their stomach, in Spain, with the exception of tobacco, nothing from the Philippines is known; neither its sugar, coffee, hemp, fine cloths, nor its Ilocano blankets. The name of Manila is known only from those cloths of China or Indo-China which at one time reached Spain by way of Manila, heavy silk shawls, fantastically but coarsely embroidered, which no one has thought of imitating in Manila since they are so easily made; but the government has other cares, and the Filipinos do not know that such objects are more highly esteemed in the Peninsula than their delicate piña embroideries and their vey fine jusi fabrics. Thus disappeared our trade in indigo, thanks to the trickery of the Chinese, which the government could not guard against, occupied as it was with other thoughts; thus die now the other industries, the fine manufacturers of the Visayas are gradually disappearing from trade and even from use; the people, continually getting poorer, cannot afford the costly cloths, and have to be contented with calico or the imitations of the Germans, who produce imitations even of the work of our silversmiths.

The fact that the best plantations, the best tracts of land in some provinces, those that from their easy access are more profitable than others, are in the hands of the religious corporations, whose desideratum is ignorance and condition of semi-starvation of the native, so that they may, continue to govern him and make themselves necessary to his wretched existence, is one of the reasons why many tows do not progress in spite of the efforts of their inhabitants. We will be met with the objection, as an argument on the other side, that the towns which belong to the friars are comparatively richer than those which do not belong to them. They surely are! just as their brethren in Europe, in founding their convents, knew how to select the best valleys, the best uplands for the cultivation of the vine or the production of beer, so also the Philippine monks have known how to selecte the best towns, the beautiful plains, the well-watered fields, to make of them rich plantations. For some time the friars have deceived many by making them believe that if these plantations were prospering, it was because they were under their care, and the indolence of the natives was thus emphasized; but they forget that in some provinces where they have not been able for some reason to get possession of the best tracts of land, their plantations, like Bauan and Liang, are inferior to Taal, Balayan, and Lipa, regions cultivated entirely by the natives without any monkish interference whatsoever.

Add to this lack of material inducement the absence of moral stimulus and you will see how he who is not indolent in that country must needs be a madman or at least a fool. What future awaits him who distinguishes himself, him who studies, who rise above the crowd? At the cost of study and sacrifice a young man becomes a great chemist, and after a long course of training, wherein neither the government nor anybody has given him the least help, he concludes his long stay in the University. A competitive examination is held to fill a certain position. The young man wins this through knowledge and perseverance, and after he has won it, it is abolished, because. . . we do not care to give the reason, but when a municipal laboratory is closed in order to abolish the position of director, who got his place by competitive examination, while other officers, such as the press censor, are preserved, it is because the belief exists that the light of progress may injure the people more than all the adulterated foods. In the same way, another young man won a a prize in a literary competition, and as long as his origin was unknown his work was discussed, the newspapers praised it and it was regarded as a masterpiece but the sealed envelopes were opened, the winner proved to be a native, while among the losers there are Peninsulars; then all the newspapers hasten to extol the losers! Not one word from the government, nor from anybody, to encourage the native who with so much affection has cultivated the language and letters of the mother country!

Finally passing over many other more or less insignificant reasons, the enumeration of which would be interminable, let us close this dreary list with the principal and most terrible of all: the education of the native.

From his birth until he sinks into his grave, the training of the native is brutalizing, depressive and anti-human (the word "inhuman" is not sufficiently explanatory; whether or not the Academy admits it, let it go). There is no doubt that the government, some priests like the Jesuits and some Dominicans like Padre Benavides, have done a great deal by founding colleges, schools of primary instruction, and the like. But this is not enough; their efforts is neutralized. They amount ot five or ten years (years of a hundred and fifty days at most) during which the youth comes in contact with books selected by those very priests who boldly proclaim that it is evil for the natives to know Castilian, that the native should not be separated from his carabao, that he should not value any further aspirations, and so on; five to ten years during which the majority of the students have grasped nothing more than that no one understands what the books say, nor even the professors themselves perhaps; and these five to ten years have no offset the daily preachment which lowers the dignity of man, which by degrees brutally deprives him of the sentiment of self-esteem, that eternal, stubborn, constant labor to bow the native's neck, to make him accept the yoke, to place him on a level with the beast -- a labor aided by some persons, with or without the ability to write, which if it does not produce in some individuals the desired effect in others it has the opposite effect, like that of breaking of a cord that is stretched too tightly. Thus while they attempt to make of the native a kind of animal, yet in exchange they demand of him divine actions. And we say divine actions, because he must be a god who does not become indolent in that climate, surrounded by the circumstances mentioned. Deprive a man, then, of his dignity, and you not only deprive him of his moral strength but you also make useless for those who wish to make use of him. Every creature has its stimulus, its mainspring; man's is his self-esteem. Take it away from him and he is a corpse, and he who seeks activity in a corpse will encounter only worms.

Thus is explained how the natives of the present time are no longer the same as those of the time of the discovery, neither morally nor physically.

The ancient writers, like Chirino, Morga, and Colin, take pleasure in describing them a well-featured, with good aptitudes for any thing they take up, keen and susceptible and of resolute will, very clean and neat in their persons and clothing, and of good mien and bearing (Morga). Others delight in minute accounts of their intelligence and pleasant manners, of their aptitude for music, the drama, dancing and singing, of the faculty with which they learned, not only Spanish but also Latin, which they acquired almost by themselves (Colin); others of their exquisite politeness in their dealings and in their social life, others, like the first Augustinians, whose accounts Gaspar de San Agustin copies, found them more gallant and better mannered than the inhabitants of the Moluccas. "All live off their husbandry," adds Morga, "their farms, fisheries and enterprises, for they travel from island to island by sea and from province to province by land."

In exchange, the writers of the present time, without being more gallant than Herman Cortez and Salcedo, nor more prudent than Legazpi, nor more manly than Morga, nor more prudent than Colin and Gaspar de San Agustin, our contemporary writers we say find that the native is a creature something more than a monkey but much less than a man, an anthropoid, dull-witted, stupid, timid, dirty, cringing, ill-clothed, indolent, lazy brainless, immoral, etc. etc.

To what is this retrogression due? Is it the delectable civilization, the religion of salvation of the friars, called of Jesus Christ by euphemism, that has produced this miracle that has atrophied his brain, paralyzed his heart and made of the man this sort of vicious animal that the writers depict?

Alas! The whole misfortune of the present Filipinos consists in that they have become only half-way brutes. The Filipino is convinced that to get happiness it is necessary for him to lay aside his dignity as a rational creature, to attend mass, to believe what is told him, to pay what is demanded of him, to pay and forever to pay; to work, suffer, and be silent, without aspiring any thing, without aspiring to know or even to understand Spanish, without separating himself from his carabao, as the priests shamelessly say, without protesting against any injustice, against any arbitrary action, against an assault, against an insult; that is, not to have heart, brain, or spirit; a creature with arms and a purse of gold. . . there's the ideal native! unfortunately, or because of the brutalization is not yet complete and because the nature of man is inherent in his being in spite of his condition, the native protests; he still has aspirations, he thinks and strives to rise, and there's the trouble!



PART FIVE: In the preceding chapter we set forth the causes that proceed from the government in fostering and maintaining the evil we are discussing. Now it falls to us to analyze those that emanate from the people. Peoples and governments are correlated and complementary: a stupid government would be an anomaly among righteous people, just as a corrupt people cannot exist under just rulers and wise laws. Like people, like government, we will say in paraphrase of a popular adage.

We can reduce all these causes to two classes: to defects of training and lack of national sentiment.

Of the influence of climate we spoke at the beginning, so we will now treat of the effects arising from it.

The very limited training in the home, the tyrannical and sterile education of the rare centers of learning that blind subordination of the youth to one of greater age, influence the mind so that a man may not aspire to excel those who preceded him but must merely be content to go along with a march behind them. Stagnation forcibly results from this, and as he who devotes himself merely to copying divests himself of other qualities suited to his own nature, he naturally becomes sterile; hence decadence. Indolence is a corollary derived from the lack of stimulus and of vitality.

That modesty infused into the convictions of everyone, or, to speak more clearly, that insinuated inferiority, a sort of daily and constant depreciation of the mind so that it may not be raised to the regions of life, deadens the energies, paralyzes all tendencies toward advancement, and of the least struggle a man gives up without fighting. If by one of those rare incidents, some wild spirit, that is some active one, excels, instead of his example stimulating, it only causes others to persist in their inaction. "There's one who will work for us; let's sleep on!" say his relatives and friends. True it is that the spirit of rivalry is sometimes awakened, only that then it awakens with bad humor in the guise of envy, and instead of being a lever for helping, it is an obstacle that produces discouragement.

Nurtured by the example of anchorites of a contemplative and lazy life, the natives spend theirs in giving their gold to the Church in the hope of miracles and other wonderful things. Their will is hypnotized: from childhood they learned to act mechanically, without knowledge of the object, thanks to the exercise imposed upon them from the most tender years of praying for whole hours in an unknown tongue, of venerating things that they do not understand, of accepting beliefs that are not explained to them, to having absurdities imposed upon them, while the protests of reason are repressed. Is it any wonder that with this vicious dressage of intelligence and will the native, of old logical and consistent -- as the analysis of his past and of his language demonstrates -- should now be a mass of dismal contradictions? That continual struggle between reason and duty, between his organism and his new ideals, that civil war which disturbs the peace of his conscience
          The Philippines a Century Hence   
(by José Rizal Translated by Charles E. Derbyshire)

NOTE: This famous essay of Rizal entitled "Filipinas de cien años" was first published in La Solidaridad, Madrid, between September 30, 1889, and February 1, 1890

PART ONE: Following our usual custom of facing squarely the most difficult and delicate questions related to the Philippines, without weighing the consequences that our frankness may bring upon us, we shall in the present article treat of their future.

In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past, and this, for the Philippines may be reduced in general terms to what follows.

Scarcely had they been attached to the Spanish crown than they had sustained with their blood and the efforts of their sons the wars and ambitions, and conquest of the Spanish people, and in these struggles, in that terrible crisis when a people changes its form of government, its laws, usages, customs, religion and beliefs; the Philippines was depopulated, impoverished and retarded -- caught in their metamorphosis without confidence in their past, without faith in their present and with no fond home of the years to come. The former rulers who had merely endeavored to secure the fear and submission of their subjects, habituated by them to servitude, fell like leaves from a dead tree, and the people, who had no love for them nor knew what liberty was, easily changed masters, perhaps hoping to gain something by the innovation.

Then began a new era for the Filipinos. They gradually lost their ancient traditions, their recollections, -- they forgot their writings, their songs, their poetry, their laws in order to learn by heart other doctrines, which they did not understand, other ethics, other tastes, different from those inspired in their race by their climate and their way of thinking. Then there was a falling-off, they were lowered in their own eyes, they became ashamed of what was distinctively their own, in order to admire and praise that was foreign and incomprehensible; their spirit was broken and they acquiesced.

Thus years and centuries rolled on. Religious shows, rites that caught the eye, songs, lights, images arrayed with gold, worship in a strange language, legends, miracles and sermons, hypnotized the already naturally superstitious spirits of the country but did not succeed in destroying it altogether, in spite of the whole system afterwards developed and operated with unyielding tenacity.

When the ethical abasement of the inhabitants had reached this stage, when they had become disheartened and disgusted with themselves, an effort was made to add the final stroke for reducing so many dormant wills and intellects to nothingness, in order to make of the individual a sort of toiler, a brute, a beast of burden and to develop a race without mind or heart. “Then the end sought was revealed, it was taken for granted, and the race was insulted, an effort was made to deny it every virtue, every human characteristic, and there were even writers and priests who pushed the movement still further by trying to deny to the natives of the country not only capacity for virtue but also even the tendency to vice.

Then this which they had thought would be death was sure salvation. Some dying persons are restored to health by a heroic remedy.

So great endurance reached its climax with the insults, and the lethargic spirit woke up to life. His sensitiveness, the chief trait of the native, was touched, and while he had the forbearance to suffer and die under a foreign flag, he had it not when they whom he served repaid his sacrifices with insults and jests. Then he began to study himself and to realize his misfortune. Those who had not expected this result, like all despotic masters, regarded as a wrong every complaint, every protest, and punished it with death, endeavoring thus to stifle every cry of sorrow with blood, and they made mistake after mistake.

The spirit of the people was not thereby cowed, and even though it had been awakened in only a few hearts, its flame nevertheless was surely and consumingly propagated, thanks to abuses and the stupid endeavors of certain classes to stifle noble and generous sentiments. Thus when a flame catches a garment, fear and confusion propagate it more and more, and each shake, each blow, is a blast from the bellows to fan it into life.

Undoubtedly during all this time there were not lacking generous and noble spirits among the dominant race that tired to struggle for the rights of humanity and justice, or sordid and cowardly ones among the dominated that aided the debasement of their own country. But both were exceptions and we are speaking in general terms.

Such is an outline of their past. We know their present. Now what will their future be?

Will the Philippine Islands continue to be a Spanish colony, and if so, what kind of colony? Will they become a province of Spain, with or without autonomy? And to reach this stage, what kind of sacrifices will have to be made?

Will they be separated from the mother country to live independently, to fall into the hands of other nations, or to ally themselves with neighboring powers?

It is impossible to reply to these questions, for to all of them both yes and now may be answered, according to the time desired to be covered. When there is in nature no fixed condition, how much less must there be in the life of a people, being endowed with mobility and movement! So, it is that in order to deal with those questions, it is necessary to presume an unlimited period of time, and in accordance therewith try to forecast future events.

PART TWO: What will become of the Philippines within a century? Will they continue to be a Spanish colony?

Had this question been asked three centuries ago, when at Legazpi’s death the Malayan Filipinos began to be gradually undeceived and, finding the yoke heavy, tried in vain to shake it off without any doubt whatsoever the reply would have been easy. To a spirit enthusiastic over the liberty of the country, to those unconquerable Kagayanes who nourished within themselves the spirit of Mgalats, to the descendants of the heroic Gat Pulintang and Gat Salakab of the Province of Batangas, independence was assured, it was merely a question of getting together and making a determination. But for him who, disillusioned by sad experience, saw everywhere discord and disorder, apathy and brutalization in the lower classes, discouragement and disunion in the upper, only one answer presented itself, and it was: extend his hands to the chains, bow his neck beneath the yoke and accept the future with the resignation of an invalid who watches the leaves fall and foresees a long winter amid whose snows he discerns the outlines of his grave. At the time discord justified pessimism -- but three centuries passed, the meek had become accustomed to the yoke, and each new generation, begotten in chains, was constantly better adapted to the new order of things.

Now then, are the Philippines in the same condition they were three centuries ago?

For the liberal Spaniards the ethical condition of the people remains the same, that is, the native Filipinos have not advanced; for the friars and their followers the people have been redeemed from savagery, that is, they have progressed; for many Filipinos ethics, spirit and customs have decayed, as decay all the good qualities of a people that falls into slavery that is, they have retrograded.

Laying aside these considerations, so as not to get away from our subject let us draw the brief parallel between the political situation then and the situation at present, in order to see if what was not possible at that time can be so now, or vice versa.

Let us pass over the loyalty the Filipinos may feel for Spain; let us suppose for a moment, along with Spanish writers, that there exist only motives for hatred and jealousy between the two races; let us admit the assertions flaunted by many that three centuries of domination have not awakened in the sensitive heart of the native a single spark of affection or gratitude; and we may see whether or not the Spanish cause has gained ground in the Islands.

Formerly the Spanish authority was upheld among the natives by a handful of soldiers, three to five hundred at most, many of whom were engaged in trade and were scattered about not only in the Islands but also among the neighboring nations, occupied in long wars against the Mohammedans in the south, against the British and Dutch, and ceaselessly harassed by Japanese, Chinese, or some tribes in the interior. Then communication with Mexico and Spain was slow, rare and difficult; frequent and violent the disturbances among the ruling powers in the Islands, the treasury nearly always empty, and the life of the colonists dependent upon one frail ship that handled the Chinese trade. Then the seas in those regions were infested with pirates, all enemies of the Spanish name, which was defended by an impoverished fleet, generally manned by rude adventurers, when not by foreigners and enemies, which was checked and an expedition of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, which was checked and frustrated by the mutiny of the Chinese rowers, who killed him and thwarted all his plans and schemes. Yet in spite of so many adverse circumstances the Spanish authority had been upheld for more than three centuries and, though it has been curtailed, still continues to rule the destinies of the Philippine group.

On the other hand, the present situation seems to be gilded and rosy -- as we might say, a beautiful morning compared to the vexed and stormy night of the past. The material forces at the disposal of the Spanish sovereign have now been trebled; the fleet relatively improved: there is more organization in both civil and military affairs; communication with the sovereign country is swifter and surer; she has no enemies abroad; her possession is assured and the country dominated seems to have less spirit, less aspiration for independence, a world that is to it almost incomprehensible. Everything then at first glance presages another three centuries, at least, of peaceful domination and tranquil suzerainty.

But above the material considerations are arising others, invisible, of an ethical nature, far more powerful and transcendental.

Orientals and the Malays, in particular, are a sensitive people: delicacy of sentiment is predominant with them. Even now, in spite of contact with the Occidental nations, who have ideas different from his, we see the Malayan Filipino sacrifice everything -- liberty, ease, welfare, name for the sake of an aspiration or a conceit sometimes scientific, or of some other nature but at the least word which wounds his self-love he forgets all his sacrifices, the labor expended, to treasure in his memory and never forget the slight he thinks he has received.

So the Philippine peoples have remained faithful during three centuries, giving up their liberty and their independence, sometimes dazzled by the hope of the Paradise promised, sometimes cajoled by the friendship offered them by a noble and generous people like the Spanish, sometimes also compelled by superiority of arms of which they were ignorant and which timid spirits invested with a mysterious character, or sometimes because the invading foreigner took advantage of internecine feuds to step in as the peacemaker in discord and thus after to dominate both parties and subject them to his authority.

Spanish domination once established, was firmly maintained, thanks to the attachment of the people, to their mutual dissensions, and to the fact that the sensitive self-love of the native had not yet been wounded. Then the people saw their own countrymen in the higher ranks of the army, their general officers fighting beside the heroes of Spain and sharing their laurels, begrudged neither character, reputation nor consideration; then fidelity and attachment to Spain, love for the fatherland, made of the native encomendero and even general, as during the English invasion; then there had not yet been invented the insulting and ridiculous epithets with which recently the most laborious and painful achievements of the native leaders have been stigmatized; not then had it become the fashion to insult and slander in stereotyped phrase, in newspapers and books published with governmental and superior ecclesiastical approval, the people that paid, fought and poured out its blood for the Spanish name, nor was it considered either noble or witty to offend a whole race, which was forbidden to reply or defend itself, and if there were religious hypochondriacs who in the leisure of their cloisters dared to write against it, as did the Augustinian Gaspar de San Agustin and the Jesuit Velarde, their loathsome abortions never saw the light, and still less were they themselves rewarded with miters and raised to high offices. True it is that neither were the natives of that time such as we are now: three centuries of brutalization and obscurantism have necessarily had some influence upon us, the most beautiful work of divinity in the hands of certain artisans may finally be converted into a caricature.

The priests of that epoch, wishing to establish their domination over the people, got in touch with it and made common cause with it against the oppressive encomenderos. Naturally, the people saw in them learning and some prestige and placed its confidence in them, followed their advice, and listened to them in the darkest hours. If they wrote, they did so in defense of the rights of the native and made his cry reach even to the distant steps of the Throne. And not a few priests, both secular and regular, undertook dangerous journeys, as representatives of the country, and this, along with the strict and public residencia then required of the governing powers, from the captain-general to the most insignificant official, rather consoled and pacified the wounded spirits, satisfying, even though it were only in form, all the malcontents.

All this has passed away. The derisive laughter penetrates like mortal poison into the heart of the native who pays and suffers and it becomes more offensive the more immunity it enjoys. A common sore the general affront offered to a whole race, has wiped away the old feuds among different provinces. The people no longer have confidence in its former protectors, now its exploiters and executioners. The masks have fallen. It has been that the love and piety of the past have come to resemble the devotion of a nurse, who, unable to live elsewhere, desires the eternal infancy, eternal weakness, for the child in order to go on drawing her wages and existing at its expense, it has seen not only that she does not nourish it to make it grow but that she poisons it to stunt its growth and at the slightest protest she flies into a rage! The ancient show of justice, the holy residencia has disappeared; confusion of ideas begins to prevail; the regard shown for a governor-general, lie La Torre, becomes a crime in the government of his successor, sufficient to cause the citizen to lose his liberty and his home; if he obeys the order of one official, as in the recent matter of admitting corpses into the church, it is enough to have the obedient subjects later harassed and persecuted in every possible way; obligations and taxes increase without thereby increasing rights, privileges and liberties or assuring the few in existence; a regime of continual terror and uncertainty disturbs the minds, a regime worse than a period of disorder for the fears that the imagination conjures up are generally greater than the reality; the country is poor; the financial crisis through which it is passing is acute, and every one points out with the finger the persons who are causing the trouble, yet no one dares lay hands upon them!

True it is that the Penal Code has come like a drop of balm to such bitterness. But of what use are all the codes in the world, if by means of confidential reports, if for trifling reasons, if through anonymous traitors any honest citizen may be exiled or banished without a hearing, without a trial? Of what use is that Penal Code, of what use is life, if there is no security in the home, no faith in justice and confidence in tranquility of conscience? Of what use is all that array of terms, all that collection of articles, when the cowardly accusation of a traitor has more influence in the timorous ears of the supreme autocrat than all the cries for justice?

If this state of affairs should continue, what will be come of the Philippines within a century?

The batteries are gradually becoming charged and if the prudence of the government does not provide an outlet for the currents that are accumulating, some day the spark will be generated. This is not the place to speak of what outcome such a deplorable conflict might have, for it depends upon chance, upon the weapons and upon a thousand circumstances which man cannot foresee. But even though all the advantages should be on the government’s side and therefore the probability of success, it would be a Pyrrhic victory, and not government ought to desire such.

If those who guide the destinies of the Philippines remain obstinate, and instead of introducing reforms try to make the condition of the country retrograde; to push their severity and repression to extremes against the classes that suffer and think they are going to force the latter to venture and put into play the wretchedness of an unquiet life, filled with privation and bitterness, against the hope of securing something indefinite. What would be lost in the struggle? Almost nothing: the life of the numerous discontented classes has no such great attraction that it should be preferred to a glorious death. It may indeed be a suicidal attempt -- but then, what? Would not a bloody chasm yawn between victors and vanquished and might not the latter with time and experience become equal in strength, since they are superior in numbers to their dominators? Who disputes this? All the petty instructions that have occurred in the Philippines were the work of a few fanatics or discontented soldiers, who had to deceive and humbug the people or avail themselves of their powers over their subordinates to gain their ends. So they all failed. No insurrection had a popular character or was based on a need of the whole race or fought for human rights or justice, so it left no ineffaceable impressions, but rather when they saw that they had been duped the people bound up their wounds and applauded the overthrow of the disturbers of their peace! But what if the movement springs from the people themselves and based its causes upon their woes?

So then, if the prudence and wise reforms of our ministers do not find capable and determined interpreters among the colonial governors and faithful perpetrators among those whom the frequent perpetrators among those whom the frequent political changes send to fill such a delicate post; if met with the eternal it is out of order, preferred by the elements who see their livelihood in the backwardness of their subjects, it just claims are to go unheeded, as being of a subversive tendency; if the country is denied representation in the Cortes and an authorized voice to cry out against all kinds of abuses, which escape through the complexity of the laws; if in short, the system, prolific in results of alienating the goodwill of the natives, is to continue, pricking his apathetic mind with insults and charges of ingratitude, we can assert that in a few yeas the present state of affairs will have been modified completely -- and inevitably. There now exists a factor which was formerly lacking -- the spirit of the nation has been aroused and a common misfortune, a common debasement has united all the inhabitants of the Islands. A numerous enlightened class now exists within and without the Islands, a class created and continually augmented by the stupidity of certain governing powers, which forces the inhabitants to leave the country, to secure education abroad, and it is maintained thanks to the provocation and the system of espionage in vogue. This class, whose number is cumulatively increasing, is in constant communication with the rest of the Islands, and if today it constitutes only the brain of the country in a few years it will form the whole nervous system and manifest its existence in all its acts.

Now, statecraft has various means at its disposal for checking a people on the road to progress; the brutalization of the masses through a caste addicted to the government, aristocratic, as in the Dutch colonies, or theocratic as in the Philippines; the impoverishment of the country; the gradual extermination of the inhabitants; and fostering of feuds among the races.

Brutalization of the Malayan Filipinos has been demonstrated to be impossible. In spite of the dark horde of friars in whose hands rests the instruction of youth, which miserably wastes years and years in the colleges, issuing therefrom tired, weary and disgusted with books: in spite of the censorship which tries to close every avenue to progress; in spite of all the pupils, confessionals, books, and missals that inculcate hatred toward not only all scientific knowledge but even toward the Spanish language itself; in spite of this whole elaborate system perfected and tenaciously operated by those who wish to keep the Islands in holy ignorance; there exist writers, freethinkers, historians, philosophers, chemists, physicians, artists, and jurists. Enlightenment is spreading and the persecution it suffers quickens it. No, the divine flame of thought is inextinguishable in the Filipino people and somehow or other it will shine forth and compel recognition. It is impossible to brutalize the inhabitants of the Philippines!

May poverty arrest their development? Perhaps, but it is a very dangerous means. Experience has everywhere shown us and especially in the Philippines, that the classes which are better off have always been addicted to peace and order, because they live comparatively better and may be the losers in civil disturbances. Wealth brings with it refinement, the spirit of conservation, while poverty inspires adventurous ideas, the desire to change things and has little care for life. Machiavelli himself held this means of subjecting of a people to be perilous, observing that loss of welfare stirs up more obdurate enemies than loss of life. Moreover, when there are wealth and abundance, there is less discontent, less compliant and the government, itself wealthier, has more means for sustaining itself. On the other hand, there occurs in a poor country what becomes in a house where bread is wanting? And further, of what use to the mother country would a poor and lean colony be?

Neither is possible gradually to exterminate the inhabitants. The Philippine races, like all the Malays, do not succumb before the foreigner, like the Australians, the Polynesians and the Indians of the New World. In spite of the numerous wars the Filipinos have had to carry on, in spite of the epidemics that have periodically visited them, their number has trebled, as has that of the Malays of Java and the Moluccas. The Filipino embraces civilization and lives and thrives in every clime, in contact with every people. Rum, that poison which exterminated the natives of the Pacific islands, has no power in the Philippines, but rather, comparison of their present condition with that described by the earlier historians, makes it appear that the Filipinos have grown soberer. The petty wars with the inhabitants of the south consume only the soldiers, people who by their fidelity to the Spanish flag, far from being a menace, are surely one of its solidest supports.

Three remains the fostering of internecine feuds among the provinces.

This was formerly possible, when communication from one island to another was rare and difficult, when there were not steamers or telegraph lines, when the regiments were formed according to the various provinces, when some provinces were cajoled by awards of privileges and honor and other were protected from the strongest. But now that the privileges have disappeared, that through a spirit of distrust the regiments have been reorganized, that the inhabitants move from one island to another, communication and exchange of impressions naturally increase, and as all see themselves threatened by the same peril and wounded in the same feelings, they clasp hands and make common cause. It is true that the union is not yet wholly perfected, but to this end the measures of good government, the vexations to which the townspeople are subjected, the frequent changes of officials, the scarcity of centers of learning, forces of the youth of all the islands to come together and begin to get acquainted. The journeys to Europe contribute not a little to tighten the bonds, for abroad the inhabitants of most widely separated provinces are impressed by their patriotic feelings, from sailors even to the wealthiest merchants, and at the sight of modern liberty and the memory of the misfortunes of their country, they embrace and call one another brothers.

In short, then, the advancement and ethical progress of the Philippines are inevitable, are decreed by fate.

The Islands cannot remain in the condition they are without requiring from the sovereign country more liberty. Mutatis mutandis. For new men, a new social order.

To wish that the alleged child remain in its swaddling clothes is to risk that it may turn against the nurse and flee, tearing away the old rags that bind it.

The Philippines, then, will remain under Spanish domination, but with more law and greater liberty, or they will declare themselves independent after steeping themselves and the mother country in blood.

As no one should desire or hope for such an unfortunate rupture, which would be an evil for all and only the final argument in the most desperate predicament, let us see by what forms of peaceful evolution the Islands may remain subjected to the Spanish authority, with the very least detriment to the rights, interests and dignity of both parties.

PART THREE: If the Philippines must remain under the control of Spain, they will necessarily have to be transformed in a political sense, for the course of their history and the needs of their inhabitants so required. This we demonstrated in the preceding article.

We also said that this transformation will be violent and fatal if it proceeds from the ranks of the people, but peaceful and fruitful if it emanates from the upper classes.

Some governors have realized this truth, and impelled by their patriotism, have been trying to introduce needed reforms in order to forestall events. But notwithstanding all that have been ordered up to the present time, they have produced scanty results, for the government as well as for the country. Even those that promised only a happy issue have at times caused injury, for the simple reason that they have been based upon unstable grounds.

We said and once more we repeat, and all will ever assert, that reforms, which have a palliative character, are not only ineffectual but even prejudicial when the government is confronted with evils that must be cured radically. And were we not convinced of the honesty and rectitude of some governors, we would be tempted to say that all the partial reforms are only plasters and salves of a physician, who, not knowing how to cure the cancer, and not daring to root it out, tries in this way to alleviate the patient’s sufferings or to temporize with the cowardice of the timid and ignorant.

All the reforms of our liberal ministers were, have been, are, and will be good -- when carried out.

When we think of them, we are reminded of the dieting of Sancho Panza in this Barataria Island. He took his seat at a sumptuous and well-appointed table “covered with fruit and many varieties of food differently prepared,” but between the wretch’s mouth and each dish the physician Pedro Rezio interposed his wand, saying, “Take it away!” The dish removed, Sancho was as hungry as ever. Truth is that the despotic Pedro Rezio gave reasons, which seem to have been written by Cervantes especially for the colonial administrations. “You must not eat, Mr. Governor, except according to the usage and custom of other islands, where there are governors.” Something was found to be wrong with each dish: one was too hot, another too moist, and so on, just like our Pedro Rezio on both sides of the sea. Great good did his cook’s skill do Sancho!

In the case of our country, the reforms take the place of the dishes, the Philippines are Sancho, while the part of the quack physician is played by many persons interested in not having the dishes touched, perhaps that they may themselves get the benefit of them.

The result is that the long suffering Sancho, or the Philippines, misses his liberty, rejects all government and ends up by rebelling against his quack physician.

In this manner, so long as the Philippines have no liberty of the press, have no voice in the Cortes to make known to the government and to the nation whether or not their decrees have been duly obeyed, whether or not these benefit the country, all the able efforts of the colonial ministers will meet the fate of the dishes in Barataria Island.

The minister, then, who wants his reforms to be reforms, must begin by declaring the press in the Philippines free and by instituting Filipino delegates.

The free press in the Philippines, because their complaints rarely ever reach the Peninsula, very rarely, and if they do they are so secret, so mysterious that no newspaper dares to publish them, or if it does reproduce them, it does so tardily and badly.

A government that rules a country from a great distance is the one that has the most need for a free press more so even than the government of the home country, if it wishes to rule rightly and fitly. The government that governs in a country may even dispense with the press (if it can), because it is on the ground, because it has eyes and ears, and because it directly observes what it rules and administers. But the government that governs from afar absolutely requires that the truth and the facts reach its knowledge by every possible channel so that it may weigh and estimate them better, and this need increases when a country like the Philippines is concerned, where the inhabitants speak and complain in a language unknown to the authorities. To govern in any other way may also be called governing, but it is to govern badly. It amounts to pronouncing judgment after hearing only one of the parties; it is steering a ship without reckoning its conditions, the state of the sea, the reefs and shoals, the direction of the winds and currents. It is managing a house by endeavoring merely to give it polish and a fine appearance without watching the money chest, without looking after the servants and the members of the family.

But routine is a declivity down which many governments slide, and routine says that freedom of the press is dangerous. Let us see what History says: uprisings and revolutions have always occurred in countries tyrannized over, in countries where human thought and the human heart have been forced to remain silent.

If the great Napoleon had not tyrannized over the press, perhaps it would have warned him of the peril into which he was hurled and have made him understand that the people were weary and the earth wanted peace. Perhaps his genius, instead of being dissipated in foreign aggrandizement would have become intensive in laboring to strengthen his position and thus have assured it. Spain herself records in her history more revolutions when the press was gagged. What colonies have become independent while they had a free press and enjoyed liberty? Is it preferable to govern blindly or to govern with ample knowledge?

Someone will answer that in colonies with a free press, the prestige of the rulers, that prop of false governments, will be greatly imperiled. We answer that the prestige of the nation is not by abetting and concealing abuses, but by rebuking and punishing them. Moreover, to this prestige is applicable what Napoleon said about great men and their valets. Who endure and know all the false pretensions and petty persecutions of those sham gods, do not need a free press in order to recognize them; they have long ago lost their prestige. The free press is needed by the government, the government which still dreams of the prestige which it builds upon mined ground.

We say the same about the Filipino representatives.

What risks does the government see in them? One of three things, either that they will prove unruly, become political trimmers, or act properly.

Supposing that we should yield to the most absurd pessimism and admit the insult, great for the Philippines but still greater for Spain, that all the representatives would be separatists and that in all their contentions they would advocate separatist ideas; does not a patriotic Spanish majority exist there, is there not present there the vigilance of the governing powers to combat and oppose such intentions? And would not this be better than the discontent that ferments and expands in the secrecy of the home, in the huts and in the field? Certainly the Spanish people does not spare its blood where patriotism is concerned but would not a struggle of principles in parliament be preferable to the exchange of shot in swampy lands, three thousand leagues from home in impenetrable forests, under a burning sun or amid torrential rains? These pacific struggles of ideas, besides being a thermometer for the government, have the advantage of being cheap and glorious, because the Spanish parliament especially abounds in oratorical paladins invincible in debate. Moreover, it is said that the Filipinos are indolent and peaceful -- then what need for government fear? Hasn’t it any influence in the elections? Frankly speaking, it is a great compliment to the separatists to fear them in the midst of the Cortes of the nation.

Now then, if the real objection to the Filipino delegates, is that they smell like Igorots, which so disturbed in open Senate the doughty General Salamanca, then Don Sinibaldo de Mas, who saw the Igorots in person and wanted to live with them, can affirm that they will smell at worst like powder, and Señor Salamanca undoubtedly has no fear of that odor. And if this were all, the Filipinos, who there in their own country are accustomed to bathe every day, when they become representatives may give up such a dirty custom, at least during the legislative session so as not to offend the delicate nostrils of Salamanca with the odor of the bath.

It is useless to answer certain objections of some fine writers regarding the rather brown skins and faces with somewhat wide nostrils. Questions of taste are peculiar to each race. China, for example, which has four hundred million inhabitants and a very ancient civilization, considers all Europeans ugly and calls them “fankwai”, or red devils. Its taste has a hundred million more adherents than the Europeans. Moreover, if this is the question, we would have to admit the inferiority of the Latins, especially the Spaniards, to the Saxons, who are much whiter.

And so long as it is not asserted that the Spanish parliament is an assemblage of Adonises, Antoniuses, pretty boys and other like paragons, so long as the purpose of resorting thither is to legislate and not to philosophize or wonder through imaginary spheres, we maintain that the government ought not to pause at these obligations. Law has no skin nor reason nostrils.

So we see no serious reason why the Philippines may not have representatives. By their institution many malcontents would be silenced, and instead of blaming its troubles upon the government, as now happens, the country would bear them better, for it could at least complain and with its sons among its legislators, would in a way become responsible for their actions.

We are not sure that we serve the true interests of our country by asking for representatives. We know that the lack of enlightenment, the indolence, the egotism, of our fellow countrymen, and the boldness, the cunning and the powerful methods of those who wish their obscurantism, may convert reform into a harmful instrument. But we wish to be loyal to the government and we are pointing out to it the road that appears best to us so that its effort may not come to grief, so that discontent may disappear. If after so just, as well as necessary, a measure has been introduced, the Filipino people are so stupid and weak that they are treacherous to their own interests, then let the responsibility fall upon them, let them suffer all consequences. Every country gets the fate it deserves and the government can say that it has done its duty.

These are the two fundamental reforms, which properly interpreted and applied, will dissipate all clouds, assure affection toward Spain, and make all succeeding reforms fruitful. These are the reforms sine quibus non.

It is puerile to fear that independence may come thorough them. The free press will keep the government in touch with public opinion, and the representatives, if they are, as they ought to be, the best from among the sons of the Philippines, will be their hostages. With no cause for discontent, how then attempt to stir up the masses of the people?

Likewise inadmissible is the obligation offered by some regarding the imperfect culture of the majority of the inhabitants. Aside from the fact that it is not so imperfect as is averred, there is no plausible reason why the ignorant and the defective (whether through their own or another’s fault) should be denied representation to look after them and see that they are not abused. They are the very ones who most need it. No one ceases to be a man, no one forfeits his rights to civilization merely by being more or less uncultured, and since the Filipino is regarded as a fit citizen when he is asked to pay taxes or shed his blood to defend the fatherland why must this fitness be denied him when the question arises of granting him some right? Moreover, how is he to be held responsible for his ignorance, when it is acknowledged by all, friends and enemies that his zeal for learning is so great that even before the coming of the Spaniards every one could read and write, and that we now see the humblest families make enormous sacrifices to the extent of working as servants in order to learn Spanish? How can the country be expected to become enlightened under present conditions when we see all the decrees issued by the government in favor of education meet with Pedro Rezios who prevent execution whereof because they have in their hands what they call education? If the Filipino, then, is sufficiently intelligent to pay taxes, he must also be able to choose and retain the one who looks after him and his interests, with the product whereof he serves the government of his nation. To reason otherwise is to reason stupidly.

When the laws and the acts of officials are kept under surveillance, the word justice may cease to be a colonial jest. The thing that makes the English most respected in their possessions is their strict and speedy justice so that the inhabitants repose entire confidence in the judges. Justice is the foremost virtue of the civilized races. It subdues the barbarous nations, while injustice arouses the weakest.

Offices and trusts should be awarded by competition, publishing the work and the judgment thereon, so that there may be stimulus and that discontent may not be bred. Then, if the native does not shake off his indolence he can not complain when he sees all the offices filled by Castilas.

We presume that it will not be the Spaniard who fears to enter in this contest, for thus will he be able to prove his superiority by the superiority of intelligence. Although this is not the custom in the sovereign country, it should be practiced in the colonies, for the reason that genuine prestige should be sought by means of moral qualities, because the colonizers ought to be, or at least to seem, upright, honest and intelligent, just as a man stimulates virtues when he deals with a stranger. The offices and trusts so earned will do away with arbitrary dismissal and develop employees and officials capable and cognizant of their duties. The offices held by natives, instead of endangering the Spanish domination, will merely serve to assure it, for what interest would they have in converting the sure and stable into the uncertain and problematical? The native is, moreover, very fond of peace and prefers a humble present to a brilliant future. Let the various Filipinos still holding office speak in this matter, they are the most unshaken conservatives.

We could add other minor reforms touching commerce, agriculture, security of the individual and of property, education, and so on, but these are points with which we shall deal in other articles. For the present we are satisfied with the outlines and no one can say that we ask too much.

There will be lacking critics to accuse us of Utopianism: but what is Utopia? Utopia was a country imagined by Thomas Moore, wherein existed universal suffrage, religious toleration, almost complete abolition of the death penalty and so on. When the book was published these things were looked upon as dreams, impossibilities, that is Utopianism. Yet civilization has left the country of Utopia far behind, the human will and conscience have worked greater miracles, have abolished slavery and the death penalty for adultery -- things impossible for even Utopia itself!

The French colonies have their representatives. The question has also been raised in the English parliament of giving representation to the Crown colonies, for the others already enjoy some autonomy. The press there is also free. Only Spain, which in the sixteenth century was the model nation in civilization, lags far behind. Cuba and Puerto Rico, whose inhabitants do not number a third of those of the Philippines, and who have not made such sacrifices for Spain, have numerous representatives. The Philippines in the early days had theirs, who conferred with the King and Pope on the needs of the country. They had them in Spain’s critical moments, when she groaned under the Napoleonic yoke, and they did not take advantage of the sovereign country’s misfortunes like other colonies but tightened more firmly the bonds that united them to be the nation, giving proofs of their loyalty and they continued until many years later. What crime have the Islands committed that they are deprived of their rights?

To recapitulate: the Philippines will remain Spanish if they enter upon the life of law and civilization, if the rights of their inhabitants are respected, if the other rights due them are granted, if the liberal policy of the government is carried out without trickery or meanness, without subterfuges or false interpretations.

Otherwise, if an attempt is made to see in the Islands a lode to be exploited, a resource to satisfy ambitions, thus to relieve the sovereign country of taxes, killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, and shutting its ears to all cries of reasons the, however, great may be the loyalty of the Filipinos, it will be impossible to hinder the operations of the inexorable laws of history. Colonies established to subserve the policy and the commerce of the sovereign country, all eventually become independent said Bachelet, and before Bachelet, all the Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek, Roman, English, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies have said it.

Close indeed are the bonds that unite us to Spain. Two peoples do not live for three centuries in continual contact, sharing the same lot, shedding their blood on the same fields, holding the same beliefs, worshipping the same God, interchanging the same ideas, but that ties are formed between them stronger than those engendered by affection. Machiavelli, the great reader of the human heart said: la natura degli huomini, e cosi obligarsi pe li beneficii che essi fanno come per quelli che essi ricevono (it is human nature to be bound as much by benefits conferred as by those received). All this, and more, is true but it is pure sentimentality, and in the arena of politics stern necessity and interests prevail. Howsoever much the Filipinos owe Spain, they can not be required to forego their redemption, to have their liberal and enlightened sons wander about in exile from their native land, the rudest aspirations stifled in its atmosphere, the peaceful inhabitants living in constant alarm, with the fortune of the two peoples dependent upon the whim of one man. Spain can not claim, nor even in the name of God himself, that six millions of people should be brutalized, exploited and oppressed, denied light and the rights inherent to a human being and then heap upon them slights and insults. There is no claim of gratitude that can excuse, there is not enough power in the world to justify the offenses against the liberty of the individual, against the sanctity of the home, against the laws, against peace and honor, offenses that are committed three daily. There is no divinity that can proclaim the sacrifice of our dearest affections, the sacrifice of the family, the sacrileges and wrongs that are committed by persons who have the name of God on their lips. No one can require an impossibility of the Filipino people. The noble Spanish people, so jealous of its rights and liberties, cannot bid the Filipinos to renounce theirs. A people that prides itself on the glories of the past cannot ask another, trained by it, to accept abjection and dishonor its own name!

We, who today are struggling by the legal and peaceful means of debate so understand it, and with our gaze fixed upon our ideals, shall not cease to plead our cause, withou t going beyond the pale of the law, but if violence first silences us or we have the misfortune to fall (which is possible for we are mortal) then we do not know what course will be taken by the numerous tendencies that will rush in to occupy the places that we leave vacant.

If what we desire is not realized. . .

In contemplating such an unfortunate eventuality, we must not turn away in horror, and so instead of closing our eyes we will face what the future may bring. For this purpose, after throwing the handful of dust due to Cerberus, let us frankly descend into the abyss and sound its terrible mysteries.

PART FOUR: History does not record in its annals any lasting domination exercised by one people over another, of different races, of diverse usages and customs, of opposite and divergent ideals.

One of the two had to yield and succumb. Either the foreigner was driven out, as happened in the case of Carthaginians, the Moors and the French in Spain, or else these autochthons had to give way and perish, as was the case with the inhabitants of the New World.

One of the longest dominations was that of the Moors in Spain, which lasted seven centuries. But, even though the conquerors lived in the country conquered, even though the Peninsula was broken up into small states, which gradually emerged like little islands in the midst of the great Saracen inundation and in spite of the chivalrous spirit, the gallantry and the religious toleration of the caliphs, they were finally driven out after bloody and stubborn conflicts, which formed the Spanish nation and created the Spain of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The existence of a foreign body within another endowed with strength and activity is contrary to all natural and ethical laws. Science teaches us that it is either assimilated, destroys the organism, is eliminated or becomes encysted.

Encystment of a conquering people is possible, for it signifies complete isolation, absolute inertia, and debility in the conquering element. Encystment thus means the tomb of the foreign invader.

Now applying these considerations to the Philippines, we must conclude, as a deduction from all we have said, that if their population be not assimilated to the Spanish nation, if the dominators do not enter into the spirit of their inhabitants, if equitable laws and free and liberal reforms do not make each forget that they belong to different races, or if both peoples be not amalgamated to constitute one mass, socially and politically, homogeneous, that is, not harassed by opposing tendencies and antagonistic ideas and interests some day the Philippines will fatally and infallibly declare themselves independent. To this law of destiny can be opposed neither Spanish patriotism, nor the love of all Filipinos for Spain, not the doubtful future of dismemberment and intestine strife in the Islands themselves. Necessity is the most powerful divinity the world knows, and necessity is the resultant of physical forces set in operation by ethical forces.

We have said and statistics prove that it is impossible to exterminate the Filipino people. And even were it possible what interest would Spain have in the destruction of the inhabitants of a country she can not populate or cultivate, whose climate is to a certain extent disastrous to her? What good would the Philippines be without the Filipinos? Quite otherwise, under her colonial system and the transitory character of the Spanish who go to the colonies, a colony is so much the more useful and productive to her as it possesses inhabitants and wealth. Moreover, in order to destroy the six million Malays, even supposing them to be in their infancy and that they have never learned to fight and defend themselves, Spain would have to sacrifice at least a fourth of her population. This we commend to the notice of the partisans of colonial exploitation.

But nothing of this kind can happen. The menace is that when the education and liberty necessary to human existence are denied by Spain to the Filipinos, then they will seek enlightenment abroad, behind the mother country’s back or they will secure by hook or by crook some advantages in their country with the result that the opposition of purblind and paretic politicians will not only be futile but even prejudicial because it will convert motives for love and gratitude into resentment and hatred.

Hatred and resentment on one side, mistrust and anger on the other, will finally result in a violent terrible collision, especially when there exist elements interested in having disturbances, so that they may get something in the excitement, demonstrates their mighty power, foster lamentations and recriminations, or employ violent measures. It is to be expected that the government will triumph and be generally (as is the custom) severe in punishment, either to teach a stern lesson in order to vaunt its strength or even to revenge upon the vanquished the spells of excitement and terror that the danger caused it. An unavoidable concomitant of those catastrophes is the accumulation of acts of injustice committed against the innocent and peaceful inhabitants. Private reprisals, denunciation, despicable accusations, resentments, covetousness, the opportune moment for calumny, the haste and hurried procedure of the court martials, the pretext of the integrity of the fatherland and the safety of the state, which cloaks and justifies everything, even for scrupulous minds, which unfortunately are still rare and above all the panic-stricken timidity, the cowardice that battens upon the conquered -- all these things augment the severe measures and the number of the victims. The result is that a chasm of blood is then opened between the two peoples that the wounded and the afflicted, instead of becoming fewer, are increased, for to the families and friends of the guilty, who always think the punishment excessive and the judge unjust, must be added the families and friends of the innocent, who see no advantage in living and working submissively and peacefully. Note, too, that if severe measures are dangerous in a nation made up of homogeneous population, the peril is increased a hundred-fold when the government is formed a race different from the governed. In the former an injustice may still be ascribed to one man alone, to a governor actuated by personal malice, and with the death of the tyrant the victim is reconciled to the government of his nation. But in a county dominated by a foreign race, even the most just act of severity is construed as injustice and oppression, because it is ordered by a foreigner, who is unsympathetic or is an enemy of the country, and the offense hurts not only the victim but his entire race, because it is not usually regarded as personal and so the resentment naturally spreads to the whole governing race and does not die out with the offender.

Hence the great prudence and fine tact that should be exercised by colonizing countries, and the fact that government regards the colonies in general and our colonial office in particular, as training schools, contributes notably to the fulfillment of the great law that the colonies sooner or later declare themselves independent.

Such is the descent down which the peoples are precipitated. In proportion as they are bathed in blood and drenched in tears and gall, the colony, if it has any vitality, learns how to struggle and perfect itself in fighting while the mother country whose colonial life depends upon peace and the submission of the subjects, is constantly weakened and even though she makes heroic efforts, as her number is less and she has only a fictitious existence, she finally perishes. She is like the rich voluptuary accustomed to be waited upon by a crowd of servants toiling and planting for him and who on the day his slaves refuse him obedience, as he does not live by his own efforts, must die.

Reprisals, wrongs and suspicions on one part and on the other the sentiment of patriotism and liberty, which is aroused in these incessant conflicts, insurrections and uprisings, operate to generalize the movement and one of the two peoples must succumb. The struggle will be brief, for it will amount to a slavery much more cruel than death for the people and to a dishonorable loss of prestige for the dominator. One of the peoples must succumb.

Spain, from the number of her inhabitants, from the condition of her army and navy, from the distance she is situated from the Islands, from her scanty knowledge of them, and from struggling against a people whose love and goodwill she has alienated, will necessarily have to give way, if she does not wish to risk not only her other possessions and her future in Africa, but also her very independence in Europe. All this is at the cost of bloodshed, and crime, after mortal conflicts, murders, conflagrations, military executions, famine and misery.

The Spaniard is gallant and patriotic, and sacrifices everything in favorable moments, for his country’s good. He has the intrepidity of his bull. The Filipino loves his country no less and although he is quieter, more peaceful and with difficulty stirred up, when he is once aroused he does not hesitate and for him the struggle means death to one or the other combatant. He has all the meekness and all the tenacity and ferocity of his carabao. Climate affects bipeds in the same way that it does quadrupeds.

The terrible lessons and the hard teachings that these conflicts will have afforded the Filipinos will operate to improve and strengthen their ethical nature. The Spain of the fifteenth century was not the Spain of the eighth. With their bitter experience, instead of intestine conflicts of some islands against others, as is generally feared, they will extend mutual support, like shipwrecked persons when they reach an island after a fearful night of storm. Nor may it be said that we shall partake of the fate of the small American republics. They achieved their independence easily and their inhabitants are animated by a different spirit from what the Filipinos are. Besides the danger of falling again into other hands, English or German, for example, will force the Filipinos to be sensible and prudent. Absence of any great preponderance of one race over the others will free their imagination from all mad ambitions of domination, and as they tendency of countries that have been tyrannized over, when they once shake off the yoke, is to adopt the freest government, like a boy leaving school, like the beat of the pendulum or by a law of reaction, the Islands will probably declare themselves a federal republic.

If the Philippines secure their independence after heroic and stubborn conflicts, they can rest assured that neither England or Germany, nor France, and still less Holland will dare to take up what Spain has been unable to hold. Within a few years Africa will completely absorb the attention of the Europeans, and there is no sensible nation which, in order to secure a group of poor and hostile islands, will neglect the immense territory offered by the Dark Continent, untouched, undeveloped and almost undefended. England has enough colonies in the Orient and is not going to sacrifice her Indian Empire for the poor Philippine Islands -- if she had entertained such an intention she would not have restored Manila in 1763, but would have kept some point in the Philippines whence she might gradually expand. Moreover, what need has John Bull the trader to exhaust himself over the Philippines, when he is already lord of the Orient, when he has Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai? It is probable the England will look favorably upon the independence of the Philippines, for it will open their ports to her and afford greater freedom to her commerce. Furthermore, there exist in the United Kingdom tendencies and opinions to the effect that she already has too many colonies, that they are harmful, that they greatly weaken the sovereign country.

For the same reasons Germany will not care to run any risk, and because a scattering of her forces and a war in distant countries will endanger her existence on the continent. Thus we see her attitude, as much in the Pacific as in Africa, is confined to conquering easy territory that belongs to nobody. Germany avoids any foreign complications.

France has enough to do and see more of a future in Tongking and China, besides the fact that the French spirit does not shine in zeal for colonization. France loves glory, but the glory and laurels that grow on the battlefields of Europe. The echo from battlefields in the Fear East hardly satisfies her craving for renown, for it reaches her quite faintly. She has also other obligations, both internally and on the continent.

Holland is sensible and will be content to keep the Moluccas and Java. Sumatra offers her a greater future than the Philippines whose seas and coasts have a sinister omen for Dutch expeditions. Holland proceeds with great caution in Sumatra and Borneo, from fear of losing everything.

China will consider herself fortunate if she succeeds in keeping herself intact and is not dismembered or partitioned among the European powers that they are colonizing the continent of Asia.

The same is true with Japan. On the north side she has Russia, who envies and watches her, on the south England, with whom she is in accord even to her official language. She is, moreover, under such diplomatic pressure from Europe that she can not think of outside affairs until she is freed from it, which will not be an easy matter. True it is that she has an excess of population, but Korea attracts her more than the Philippines and is also easier to seize.

Perhaps the great American Republic, whose interests lie in the Pacific and who has no hand in the spoliation of Africa, may dream some day of foreign possession. This is not impossible, for the example is contagious, covetousness and ambition are among the strongest vices, and Harrison manifested something of this sort in the Samoan question. But the Panama Canal is not opened nor the territory of the States congested with inhabitants, and in case she should openly attempt it the European powers would not allow her to proceed, for they know very well that the appetite is sharpened by the first bites. North America would be quite a troublesome rival, if she should once get into the business. Furthermore, this is contrary to her traditions.

Very likely the Philippines will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at the price of so much blood and sacrifice. With the new men that will spring from their soil and with the recollection of their past, they will perhaps strife to enter freely upon the wide road of progress, and all will labor together to strengthen their fatherland, both internally and externally, with the same enthusiasm, with which a youth falls again to tilling the land of his ancestors who long wasted and abandoned through the neglect of those who have withheld it from him. Then the mines will be made to give up their gold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead, and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by their nature, ability and instincts, and once more free, like the bird that leaves its cage, like the flower that unfolds to the air, will recover the pristine virtues that are gradually dying out and will again become addicted to peace -- cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable and daring.

These and many other things may come to pass within something like a hundred years, but the most logical prognostication, the prophecy based on the best probabilities, may err through remote and insignificant causes: An octopus that seized Mark Anthony’s ship altered the face of the world; a cross on Calvary and a just man nailed thereon changed the ethics of half the human race, and yet before Christ, how many just men wrongly perished and how many crosses were raised on that hill! The death of the just sanctified his work and made his teaching unanswerable. A sunken road at the battle of Waterloo buried all the glories of two brilliant decades, the whole napoleonic world, and freed Europe. Upon what chance accidents will the destiny of the Philippines depend?

Nevertheless, it is not well to trust to accident, for there is sometimes an imperceptible and incomprehensible logic in the workings of history. Fortunately, peoples as well as governments are subjects to it.

Therefore, we repeat and we will ever repeat, while there is time, and that is better to keep pace with the desire of a people than to give way before them; the former begets sympathy and love, the latter contempt and anger. Since it is necessary to grant six million Filipinos their rights, so that they may be in fact Spaniards, let the government grant these rights freely and spontaneously, without damaging reservations, without irritating mistrust. We shall never tire of repeating this while a ray of hope is left us, for we prefer this unpleasant task to the need of some day saying to the mother country: “Spain, we have sent our youth in serving thy interests in the interests of our country; we have looked to thee, we have expended the whole light of our intellects, all the fervor and enthusiasm of our hearts in working for the good of what was tine, to draw from them a glance of love, a liberal policy and that would assure us the peace of our native land and thy sway over loyal but unfortunate islands! Spain, thou hast remained deaf, and wrapped up in thy pride, hast pursued thy fatal course and accused us of being traitors, merely because we love our country because we tell thee the truth and hate all kinds of injustice. What dost thou wish us to tell our wretched country when it asks about the result of our efforts? Must we say to it that, since for it we have lost everything -- yo
          Second Circuit holds that allegations of "systematic" underweighing plead injury in fact for specific individual   
John v. Whole Foods Market Gp., Inc., 858 F.3d 732 (2d. Cir. 2017)

John filed a putative class action under GBL §§ 349-350 alleging that New York City Whole Foods grocery stores systematically overstated the weights of pre-packaged food products and overcharged customers as a result. The court of appeals reversed the district court’s holding of lack of Article III standing on the pleadings.

John alleged that he “routinely shopped” for two years at two Whole Foods stores in Manhattan and made “regular[ ] purchase[s]” of pre-packaged products, including “pre-packaged cheese and cupcakes approximately one or two times per month.” The complaint didn’t identify a specific food purchase as to which Whole Foods overcharged John, but described pervasive overcharging of pre-packaged food throughout Whole Foods’ stores in New York City. The complaint a June 2015 press release of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announcing preliminary findings that Whole Foods’ New York City stores “routinely overstated the weights of its pre-packaged products—including meats, dairy and baked goods”:

DCA tested packages of 80 different types of pre-packaged products and found all of the products had packages with mislabeled weights. Additionally, 89 percent of the packages tested did not meet the federal standard for the maximum amount that an individual package can deviate from the actual weight, which is set by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The overcharges ranged from $0.80 for a package of pecan panko to $14.84 for a package of coconut shrimp.

The DCA’s findings, the press release continued, “point to a systematic problem with how products ... are weighed and labeled” and “suggest[ ] that individual packages are routinely not weighed or are inaccurately weighed, resulting in overcharges for consumers.” The investigation took place during the same period as John’s purchases and focused on the eight Whole Foods stores in NYC, including the two stores he patronized.  Whole Foods confirmed that cheese and cupcakes were among the pre-packaged products that the DCA alleged were mislabeled.

Because Whole Foods brought only a facial challenge to John’s allegations of standing, John had no evidentiary burden at the pleading stage. The district court thought that John didn’t plead injury in fact, which consists of “an invasion of a legally protected interest that is concrete and particularized and actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.”

The court of appeals disagreed. It was undisputed that overpaying for a product results in a financial loss constituting a particularized and concrete injury in fact. But the critical basis for John’s claim that he was overcharged was the DCA’s press release announcement that 89 percent of Whole Foods’ pre-packaged products tested by the DCA were mislabeled, and the press release’s conclusion that the mislabeling was “systematic” and “routine[ ].”  The district court didn’t think that was enough, but it failed to draw all reasonable inferences in John’s favor.  It wanted “an investigative finding of ubiquitous, systematic over-weighting at Whole Foods’ New York City stores,” “invariable incidents of this deceptive labeling practice,” and “across-the-board overcharging so as to embrace, other than by conjecture, the cheese and cupcakes ... that John ... occasionally bought in 2014 and 2015.” It also wanted a description of the DCA’s methodology.


But the DCA’s press release asserted that the mislabeling was “systematic” and “routine[ ],” and a facial attack on the pleadings wasn’t the right place to test the DCA’s sampling methods.  His alleged facts made his alleged injury plausible.  The district court was concerned over evidentiary obstacles on the merits, but targeted discovery might be able to address those. 

          Сборник - Back To 80's Disco Party Vol.2 (2017) MP3   

Категория: Музыка / Music MP3
Размер: 995.47 MB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 25, Скачивают (качают): 17
Добавлен: 2017-06-29 22:57:23
Описание: Информация о музыке
Исполнитель: VA
Название альбома: Back To 80's Disco Party Vol.2
Год выпуска: 2017
Жанр: Disco, Italo Disco

Список композиций:

Файлы
Время звучания: 07:12:09
Формат: MP3
Качество: 320 Кбит/с
          Machete attack in home invasion   
A GOLD Coast couple have been attacked with a machete at home in the early hours of this morning.
          Ger-ar Trading DME Supplies Brand New ResMed CPAP in Miami Beach and Aventura FL   

With millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea, ResMed CPAP is one of the best solutions to alleviate this problem.

Miami, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/30/2017 -- Sleep Apnea is a serious threat to millions of Americans who are afflicted with this chronic disease. The symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime drowsiness and loud snoring. If not taken care of at the very onset, it can lead to more serious consequence, causing death at times. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive (OSA), which refers to the partial blockage of the air passageway during sleep. The other types of sleep apnea are central (CSA) and mixed. CSA refers to the lack of respiratory effort, while mixed is a combination of both types.

Sleep apnea machines can be a solution to help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Of endless equipment available in the market, ResMed CPAP machine is considered for its undisputed functionality and features. The machine uses air to open the obstructed airway. Some of the most common sleep apnea machines include CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), BIPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure), and CPAP auto machine (Auto-Adjusting PAP device).

With numerous suppliers offering latest masks and equipment at affordable prices, obtaining the right device has become easier than ever. Ger-ar Trading DME is one such leading supplier of ResMed CPAP in Miami Beach and Aventura FL.

In addition to ResMed CPAP, the company keeps an extensive inventory of BIPAP, VPAP, and AutoCPAP machines. From the entry level CPAP to the most sophisticated BIPAP ADAPT SV, Ger-ar Trading DME has the machine that's right for the patients.

Operating in the US and Latin America, the company has spent years in the industry. Over the years, they have gathered experience and expertise to offer the right device for the patients suffering from sleep apnea. Their unmatched customer service coupled with the best technical and commercial support sets them apart from their competitors.

For more information on BIPAP in Aventura and Coral Gables FL and other products, visit https://store.tradingdme.com/collections/cpap.

About Ger-ar Trading DME
Ger-ar Trading DME is present in the US and Latin America since 2005 selling Non-invasive flow generators (CPAP, VPAP, AutoCPAP) from RESMED, sleep disorder diagnostics equipment by EMBLA and Oxygenotherapy and oximetry from Nonin.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/ger-ar-trading-dme-supplies-brand-new-resmed-cpap-in-miami-beach-and-aventura-fl-826871.htm

Media Relations Contact

Andy Glasgow
Email: Click to Email Andy Glasgow
Web: https://store.tradingdme.com/


          Ger-ar Trading DM Unveils New ResMed CPAP in Miami Beach and Aventura FL   

Ger-ar Trading DME has launched its ResMed CPAP in Miami Beach and Aventura FL, the world’s smallest CPAP machine - a game changer for people with a sleep disorder.

Miami, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/30/2017 -- Achieving new heights in patient-specific innovation, Ger-ar Trading DME packs ResMed's clinically proven CPAP technology along with its reliable and advanced features into sleek, portable, pocket-sized device perfect for traveling. The device is available with HumidAir Heated Humidifier for patient comfort.

The ResMed AirSense is one of the best in the market and quite possibly will be the best with the advanced features and technology. The device combines the proven technology with an integrated comfort of the optional ClimateLineAir Heated Tube. This machine is uniquely designed so it can easily adjust the pressure on a breath by breath basis to deliver minimal pressured required to maintain the airway.

ResMed provides an auto detection technology to meet and exceed the standard expectation and the features of other brands. Ger-ar Trading DME, one of the leading supplier of ResMed CPAP in Miami Beach and Aventura FL, now unveils this product that can quickly detect apnea, flow limitations, and hypopneas and other complications and then react with accuracy and precision to provide the user with a smooth and seamless flow of pressure.

The user-friendly controls, intuitive interface, and color LCD screen allow the users to navigate menus and customize comfort settings. In a recent survey, 65% of CPAP users said that they don't carry their CPAP every time they travel because of the device size, disturbing the cycle of adherence and exposing themselves to chronic effects of sleep apnea such as irregular breathing throughout the night, repeated awakenings, and other complications. This may further lead to daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, and even death.

The comfort and easy-to-use features of the device are ideal for patients afflicted with sleep apnea. With vast experience and knowledge, Ger-ar Trading DME offers high-quality customer service and provide the best technical and commercial support.

For more information on BIPAP in Aventura and Coral Gables FL and other products, visit https://store.tradingdme.com/collections/cpap.

About Ger-ar Trading DME
Ger-ar Trading DME is present in the US and Latin America since 2005 selling Non-invasive flow generators (CPAP, VPAP, AutoCPAP) from RESMED, sleep disorder diagnostics equipment by EMBLA and Oxygenotherapy and oximetry from Nonin.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/ger-ar-trading-dm-unveils-new-resmed-cpap-in-miami-beach-and-aventura-fl-826869.htm

Media Relations Contact

Andy Glasgow
Email: Click to Email Andy Glasgow
Web: https://store.tradingdme.com/


          Busty MILF Invastigator Is Gonna Get Screwed Hard By Her Assistant   
Watch Busty MILF Invastigator Is Gonna Get Screwed Hard By Her Assistant at free fuck and porn video site
          Wikileaks, Putra Mahkota Abu Dhabi Mata-matai AS Lawan Irak   
Jum’at, 30 Juni 2017 – 11.57 Wib, SALAFYNEWS.COM, ABU DHABI – Sebuah dokumen terbaru yang dirilis Wikileaks mengungkapkan bahwa Putra Mahkota Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan telah melakukan operasi mata-mata untuk Amerika dalam melawan Irak pada dua bulan sebelum invasi 2003. (Baca: Wikileaks Rilis Dokumen Program Spionase CIA Pada Seluruh Ponsel di Dunia) […]
          Famed Hollywood actress sues over ‘Feud’ depiction   

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood great Olivia de Havilland has launched her own sequel to the TV series “Feud” — a lawsuit. The double Oscar-winning actress filed suit Friday against FX Networks and producer Ryan Murphy’s company, alleging the drama inaccurately depicts her as a gossipmonger and is an invasion of privacy. The suit was […]
          A croissant search, a buttery find   
Every weekend I wake up with an itch-- an itch for butter, flake and warm doughy layers of golden pastry. The itch can only be scratched with that crusty, decadent food of the gods--the croissant.

Who am I kidding? I wake up every morning and crave a croissant, but (out of dignity for my butt and hips) only spring for one a week. Except this week. I had three. Not really three. I mean, I shared two of them. I only dabbled in the third. Just a nibble here and there. And let me assure you, every little crumb was sublime.


Many ruminations and myths exist tracing the origin of the croissant. The Larousse claims that an Austro-Hungarian baker commemorated the failed Turkish invasion of Budapest in 1686 when he baked the crescent-shaped pastries to mimic the symbol of the Ottoman flag. Whether pronounced kwaaason (French phonetics) or kruhsaawnt (American twang), this buttery crescent was most definitely popularized in France as a 'Viennese-style' pastry. Though The Oxford Companion to Food acknowledges the Turkish tale, it also claims that croissant, as it exists today, is a relatively modern creation. Its image as France's national pastry was perpetuated with the proliferation of boulangeries-Viennoise during the early 20th-century when the first definitive recipe appeared in the Nouvelle Encyclopedie Culinaire.

Much like France, New York is a carb-cornucopia with its abundance of bagels, cupcakes, breads and croissants, and I have been on the search for the best of the latter. I cannot say for sure whether my croissants were particularly Viennese, French or American, but I can definitely conclude upon their flaky character with lavish detail. (Flaky layers--not flaky losers, in which New York is abundant as well).


The first croissant was more of a fortuitous phenomenon than a search for the golden pastries, but kicked off the hunt quite divinely. Headed over to Chelsea one day, I looked up along the way and my nose and intuition had led me right to City Bakery's doorstep. I know their fame stems from the quirky Pretzel Croissant, but I wanted to play it classic on the first go. I ordered a whole wheat croissant and pranced out onto the sidewalk with my loot. Though I was a bit late for a warm batch, the first bite was at once crusty and soft with a buttery, layered center. Peering into the middle, a nice twirl of dough hints at the strenuous process of rolling butter between layers of yeasted flour. The whole wheat flour lends a nutty, almost brown butter flavor to the outer baked crust and is definitely an enhancer, rather than a health food version of the fatty classic. Though a bit expensive for the size at $3 a pop, City Bakery's whole wheat croissant is a solid play on the French stronghold, and will definitely lure me in for another.

City Bakery

3 W. 18th St. (between 5th & 6th Ave.)
Union Square, NY, NY
(212) 366-1414


The weekend's other two croissants were a purposeful quest. Having read raves from Gothamist and several others, I trekked west to feast upon the "croissant nazi's" delectables at Patisserie Claude. The unassuming storefront is the most understated expression of what lies inside. The options are sparse, but fresh and fragrant, and Monsieur Claude rumbles around in the background pushing trays and sniffing ovens. Among coffee eclairs, petites tartes and chocolate cake, lay the legendary crescent rolls. Following a demanding Long Island couple, Mike and I ordered up a pain au chocolat and the original and headed to a West Village square to devour every morsel. Both were warm and burning a hole in the bag with the glorious smell as we tore into them. The au chocolat was bursting with melted bittersweet batons, which dripped through the center of well-formed layers, while the regular croissant could not have been a better balance of exterior crunch and doughy crumb. The butter in each was almost sweet, offset by a perfect undertone of salt and fragrant yeast. Perhaps I am ignorant in the language of croissants, but they may have been the best I've tasted yet, and at such a petite price--$3.70 for les deux.


Patisserie Claude
187 W. 4th St. (between Barrow and Jones)
West Village, NY, NY
(212) 255-5911

More croissants to come.

          New Device Helps Protect Patients from Stroke During Heart Valve Replacement   

Health--heart

Health--heart(NewsUSA) - As people age, stroke is one of their greatest fears. In fact, many Americans believe that surviving a stroke with a disability could be worse than dying. With stroke being one of the biggest risks of undergoing heart valve replacement, doctors are enthusiastic about new technology that may help.
Almost one in 10 patients that undergo minimally-invasive heart valve replacement, known as trascatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, have a stroke.
Most of these strokes occur during the procedure or in the first 72 hours following it, caused by calcium deposits or tissue that breaks loose from the heart valve or surrounding area and travels to the brain, causing damage.
However, a new, FDA-cleared technology, called the Sentinel Cerebral Protection System, is now available and has been shown to help protect patients from the risk of stroke during TAVR.
It is the only device available in the U.S. to protect the brain during this procedure, and studies have shown that it reduces the incidence of stroke by 63 percent. The Sentinel works by capturing and removing the potentially damaging material released during the procedure before it reaches the brain, providing protected TAVR. Clinical studies have shown that 99 percent of TAVR patients have this type of debris removed after the procedure.
It is being offered by selected centers across the country that perform the TAVR procedure.
Robert Eckley of Seminole, Florida, was able to undergo protected TAVR using the new technology in a clinical trial before it was approved.
"My biggest fear was having a stroke, and I really believe if I didn't have the Sentinel device, I would have had serious problems. I'm grateful to have had a successful surgery and the device did capture a lot of debris," he says.
"My lifestyle is back to normal and I can do all the activity I used to do before the surgery without dizzy spells, shortness of breath or stopping to rest."
For more information about the Sentinel and protected TAVR, visit www.claretmedical.com or call (707) 528-7253.

          Valpolicella at a Crossroads in the New Millennium   
Outside a storm is passing over, the sky rumbling in a way that is at once ominous and reassuring. Texas in April is not for the faint of heart. Storms of Biblical proportions, hail, wind and torrential rains often put a damper on what only hours before might have been the most perfect of Spring days. But it is also a blunt reminder that none of us are really “in charge.” As someone much wiser than me once said, “We strut and point, pontificate and strike, but, rest reassured, there are always larger forces of destiny in play.”

As the world of wine turns from Bordeaux to Italy and Verona, there will be plenty of bottles opened in the coming days and weeks. None the less of them will be local bottles, in the various trattoria and bars around the city.


In one of my first visits to Vinitaly, long ago and far away, Valpolicella was the house wine of Verona. During those simpler times, Valpolicella had a secure place. But as the wine tower of Babel rose - the wine “to drink cool, with light summery dishes,” as Cyril Ray waxed half a century ago in The Wines of Italy – Valpolicella came out of its youthful fog into an age of hyper self-awareness. The spotlight shone on the region- eyes were on it – and the wine was pushed to become “fuller in flavor and deeper in colour.

Because of its enormous popularity in the United States (just do a search for “YouTube + Bolla Valpolicella”), money poured into the region from wine sales revenue. “Love makes people happy,” Franco Bolla murmured to his wife in the successful TV ads, which discharged all across America in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. America was entering into a love affair with Italy, and the invasion of Italian culture, music, art, fashion, food and wine was set in motion. It wasn’t limited to the Bolla family; the Veneto people are very industrious. And ambitious winemakers were looking to differentiate themselves from their neighbors.

Burton Anderson noted it in his trailblazing work, Vino, in 1980. While many books on Italian wine recounted the regions and the wines, sometimes even the grapes, Anderson told stories about the people. And he turned some of them into superstars. Vino was where I first heard about Giuseppe Quintarelli, whom Anderson recounted praise of the winemaker from another giant in Italian wine writing, Mario Soldati. Here’s what Anderson said: “Mario Soldati, in his first volume of Vino a Vino, determined that Quintarelli’s must be the Valpolicella closest to that described by Hemingway in Across the River.

Quintarelli, without a doubt, had an impact on Valpolicella, and wine in Italy. And while his Valpolicella reflects how simple and great a wine can be at the same time, one cannot ford the stream of Valpolicella that floods our markets using Quintarelli as the sole barometer of style or value. As Patricia Guy noted in her 2001 tome, Wines of Italy, “At this point, the only way of knowing which style is in any given bottle of Valpolicella is by tasting and keeping a note of the wine producer’s name.”

Therein lies the conundrum for today’s wine-lover looking to find their love in Valpolicella, a “love (that) makes people happy.” Is it light? Is it rich? Is it heavy? Is it fresh? Is it affordable?
Quintarelli is a marvelous choice. But at an average price of US $76 (Wine-searcher) it doesn’t radiate affordability for everyday. Not to say it isn’t worth it. It’s a gorgeous wine. There are other producers as well. Corte Sant’Alda’s “Ca’ Fiui” Valpolicella has an average price of US $16 (Wine-searcher) when you can find it. Organically grown and managed via bio-dynamic principles, hand harvested and fermented in large oak vats on its native yeasts. This would be my go-to Valpolicella, one which I have the funds for on a regular basis, but also one which is lively and fresh without becoming brawny and overly masculine, a problem which vexes me with the spate of inexpensive, testosterone-laden Ripasso wines that are rushed to the marketplace.

There isn’t enough room here to go into the Rape by Ripasso, which with beefed-up entries has contorted the idea of Valpolicella to the wine-going public in America. The onus isn’t just on the producers. Somewhere along the line, the consumer developed a liking for a richer, more unctuous supercharged-Valpolicella. Nino Francheschetti told Burton Anderson about Masi’s Ripasso wine, Campofiorin, ‘If you want to know the truth, I started doing it because I didn’t want to waste those good Amarone lees. It was an economically motivated experiment that produced a very pleasing result. I understand other wineries are doing the same now.” What started out as a means to preserve something has presented a challenge to the original idea of Valpolicella.

And as water seeks its own level, so will wine (it is after all 86% water, +/-). The mania for a Valpolicella Ripasso, perhaps to compete with Yellow Tail Shiraz, or Argentinian Malbec, might have pushed producers past the overflow point. But anyone who carries a wine bag (in the wine trade) knows what I mean. We may all want to sit in our cave, facing east, contemplating Quintarelli, but the world in motion (and in commerce) has a different rhythm. Which means, there has been an insatiable thirst for Valpolicella Ripasso, cheap and cheerful and with enhanced octane. But tides do turn.

Perhaps the current rosé mania is partially to blame. People are looking back towards lighter, fresher wines, like the Valpolicella of Hemingway’s time, “light dry red and cordial.” Or even, with a stretch, to the time when Dino and Sinatra swooned over spaghetti and Bolla Valpolicella in Palm Springs. Everything is cyclical. I hope the charm that brought so many young American’s to the Italian table – as Valpolicella did – is resurfacing.

Of course, let those who want Ripasso be satiated. After all, why waste those good Amarone lees? Maria Marta Galli (of Le Ragose fame) told Anderson, “Valpolicella is an underestimated wine,” in 1980. Would that we could have another taste of such a beautiful thing, as Patricia Guy writes about “Rediscovering lost flavors – not the husky, dusky, wood-laden numbers which strut off with their prizes. Rather they are the kind of wines that you can invite home to dinner.”


Can I get an Amen?





wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

          Nothing is straightforward in the cancer world.   
More Men With Early Prostate Cancer Choosing to Avoid Treatment [Gina Kolata, New York Times] From the above link:
"In the Gleason system, which involves a pathologist's assessment of how ominous the prostate cells look, 6 is actually pretty much the lowest score for cells that are cancer, despite the Gleason scale officially starting at 2. The highest is a 10. But many men, hearing that their cancer is a 6, assume the worst. "In the new system, which has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, instead of calling the cells Gleason 6, they will be called Group 1 in a scale that goes from 1 to 5. "One issue complicating the active surveillance questions, said Dr. Alan J. Wein, the chief of urology at the Perelman School of Medicine, is that the long-term outcomes are unclear. "'We need follow-up of at least 10 to 15 years to be sure we are not hurting these people,' he said. 'The problem is we've been in the active surveillance business only since about 2000, and everyone started off very, very slowly. No one really has a number of patients who have gone for years and years."
Older Men Are Still Being Overtested for Prostate Cancer [Paula Span, NYT]
"There's little medical dispute, however, about stopping PSA screening for men unlikely to live more than nine or 10 years because of their age and health. That so many in this category continue to be screened nonetheless — two million men older than 75 in 2013, the Chicago researchers estimated — is cause for considerable dismay. "For starters, the PSA test loses accuracy at older ages. In fact, abnormal results quite often return to normal in subsequent testing. "Yet abnormal results often lead to more invasive testing and then to treatment — surgery or radiation — that can cause life-altering side effects, including incontinence and sexual dysfunction. "'A PSA screen is not just a blood test,' said Dr. Victoria Tang, a research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, and the lead author of the V.A. study. 'It's signing up for a prostate biopsy if the screening is positive. And that biopsy can cause pain, bleeding, infection.' "The biopsy, taken with a rectal probe, finds cancer in only 30 percent to 40 percent of men with abnormal PSAs, Dr. Eggener said. If it's a low-risk cancer in a man unlikely to live another 10 years, guidelines advise 'watchful waiting' or 'active surveillance.'"
Previously: Is innumeracy harming the quality of medical care?
          Comment on Long-Distance Jammer Is Taking Down Drones by dje3   
Possibly, however get caught with anything that is commercial technical information could be considered espionage...and flying over my house and collecting information about me..or my property will be considered trespass. There are MANY other ways to knock down a device that is trespassing. Believe me. I am intelligent and could easily come up with several workable defenses that would most likely destroy the offending device while it was ONLY over my property. Easy to defend actions then. The drone would have to be at least 400 ft high to avoid y personal rights in most states..and if there was an active camera over my property..then it would still be invasion of privacy. In fact, a nude sunbathing person could probably effect an arrest that included sexual charges. That has already happened and been upheld in other ways with remote operated cameras....fun being a registered sex offender for wanting to fly a device..isn't it? Better think it through a LOT more.
          Comment on Long-Distance Jammer Is Taking Down Drones by dje3   
if it is OVER my property or spying or collecting any information about me or my property..it is an invasion of privacy and a trespass. PERIOD>
          Why Does it Matter That America Is Now a Villain?   
by Neil H. Buchanan

The annual Independence Day holiday festivities provide an opportunity to reflect on the unique place that the United States holds in world affairs, for better and for worse.  How much worse has it become because of Donald Trump?  And does it matter?

Back in 2008, as the Bush era was ending and we were attempting to assess the disturbing legacy of the Bush/Cheney Administration -- the falsified case for the Iraq invasion, the horrors at Abu Ghraib prison that had been perpetrated by U.S. Army and CIA personnel, the ongoing human rights disaster that was (and still is) the Guantanamo Bay prison, and on and on -- it had become obvious that the reputation of the United States as a beacon of hope had taken a huge hit in the eyes of the world.

In December of that year, I wrote a short essay, "Our Reputation Matters," expanding on an editorial in The New York Times that had argued for closing Guantanamo as a matter of both moral imperative and national self-interest.  The key argument in that editorial was that the world would not continue to follow the leadership of the U.S. if we were to continue -- especially, I would emphasize, under our new and idealistic president-elect -- to violate all standards of justice and decency by keeping the prison open.

We now know that Republicans and many Democrats prevented President Obama from delivering on that campaign promise.  Even so, U.S. standing and leadership in the world generally improved during the Obama years.  And now we have Trump.

In my 2008 essay, I used a 1945 movie (Roberto Rossellini's "Rome: Open City") about the Nazi occupation of Rome during the latter part of World War II as a vehicle to consider how the rest of the world thinks about a country.  In that great film, a Nazi officer is depicted as the essence of pure evil, cruel and amused by the pain and death that he could impose on vulnerable people.

This was, indeed, the general theme of the world's collective memory of that war.  The Allies were the Good Guys and the Axis Powers were the Bad Guys.  And although it is true that history would not be told in that way if the other side had won, the essential point is that Americans were able to say with considerable justification that we had ridden to the rescue of the world when it was faced with unimaginable evil.

In other words, it was not just that we won.  We had a more than defensible argument that it was good that we won.

I do not want to overstate the case, of course, because there are certainly plausible arguments that we took too long to act, that the use of the atomic bomb (twice) stains our legacy, and so on.  Without taking a position on any of those issues, however, the point is that the U.S. has since WWII been able to say that we have at least tried to be on the side of human advancement.

Americans are sure that, unlike that Nazi officer in Rossellini's film, we are not cruel people who inflict pain on other, weaker people for our own gratification.  That is what bad guys do.

And even those of us who refuse to forget the state-sponsored evils of the Jim Crow era, or the history of the Vietnam War, have always been able to say, "Well, we have never lived up to our highest ideals, but the world still looks to us with hope."  The only question has been how to do a better job of living up to that reputation as we move forward.

Finding out that "we" tortured people during the Bush era was bad enough.  What was much worse was that the people who ordered the torture never admitted that what they did was a blatant violation of international law, that they were never prosecuted, and that they found champions throughout the American political system -- most obviously among Republicans who thought that the TV show "24" was a how-to manual.

And then, through an eye-of-the-needle win made possible by one of the many racist and elitist features of our Constitution (the Electoral College), we improbably elected a president who thinks that the world's apparent esteem for the United States is nothing but a cover for laughing at us behind our backs.

Trump was in fact merely mainstreaming an idea that has been rumbling around in U.S. culture for decades.  In movies and television shows, sometimes seriously and sometimes as a joke, it is hardly uncommon to hear an American say to a Brit, a Frenchman, or anyone else: "You'd be speaking German right now if it wasn't for us, you ingrate!"

That a reunited (and politically reformed) Germany is the country that is stepping forward to lead where the U.S. has retreated is of some irony.  But the larger point is that even people who have long criticized the U.S. (and again, there are plenty of valid criticisms of U.S. actions over the decades, even as our overall track record has been defensible) have nonetheless had reason to think that we would take the lead to make good things happen.

For example, sometime in the mid-2000's, I recall watching a TV show that examined how the child abuse scandal that had rocked the Roman Catholic Church was playing out in Ireland.  During a tearful interview with a U.S. news outlet, an Irish activist said words to the effect that "I know the U.S. will do something to make the Irish government do the right thing, if only we can let them know what's happening."

That an idealistic non-American would be saying this about the U.S., even in the middle of the Bush era, was in some ways astounding, but in other ways it was completely unsurprising and even normal.  We were the superpower that at least had some reputation for doing good for the sake of doing good.  Of course we would do the right thing!

And now?  Last week, the Pew Research Center published the results of global polls showing that the Trump presidency has delivered a severe blow to the reputation of the U.S. around the world.  The Washington Post quoted Frank Wisner, a former U.S. diplomat:
"America’s image has taken hits in recent years, from the decision to invade Iraq to the events of 2007 and 2008, when the American financial model took a huge hit.  But the most consequential is the ascent of Mr. Trump to the Oval Office."
How bad is it?  At the end of the Obama Administration, 64% of the respondents in 37 countries had "confidence" in the U.S. president, as opposed to 22% now.  Showing that the world is still holding on to a historic sense that the U.S. is more than its current president, almost half of respondents still have a "favorable view of the U.S.," but that is down by 15% in 2017 polls compared to 2014-16.

Those numbers, moreover, are propped up by responses from Russia, where positive views of Trump (53%) show marked improvement from Russians' views of Obama (11% positive), and Israel (where the rise has been much smaller, 49% to 56%).  So other than in two very unique situations (at least one of which does not reflect especially well on Trump), Trump has dealt a huge blow to the reputation of the U.S. around the world.

The Post's Aaron Blake followed up on the release of the Pew polls with an analysis highlighting four devastating points:

(1) The world distrusts Trump more than even Vladimir Putin,

(2) In each of allied countries, 9 out of 10 view Trump as "arrogant," 7 in 10 as "dangerous,"

(3) Even nationalists don't love Trump, and

(4) Trump's reputation is already worse than George W. Bush's -- at the depths of his presidency.

But maybe none of this matters.  It is not as if the U.S. has any right to believe that it will be the most respected nation in the world.  Conservatives argue that America is exceptional for specific reasons, but they usually use those reasons to argue that we should be more politically conservative rather than as a call to take our global leadership seriously.

Maybe the U.S.'s leadership position in the world was merely a historical accident, and the next stages of history will see our country becoming ever less influential and isolated.  Other commentators have noted that Trump's version of America First is more accurately described as America Alone, so Trump and his followers might even welcome the idea that the world no longer thinks of us as the good guys.

There is, however, something about the founding documents of the United States that pushes irresistibly against this pessimistic view of the future.

As noted above, it is not as if those documents (even after amendments that erased the Three-Fifths Compromise and allowed women to vote, among other corrections) are not situated in a history of exploitation and white supremacy.  Consider, for example, that the Declaration of Independence includes this complaint about King George III:
"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."
Wide-eyed innocence is unwise, of course, but the fact is that even given the complicated historical context, the Declaration and the Constitution are uniquely optimistic statements of human capacity for doing good.  For example, the Declaration of Independence, far from being the anti-tax screed that many Republicans think it is, is actually a call for the rule of law and truly representative government (and taxation with representation).

The Trump presidency and everything it represents twist and mock the highest ideals of our founding documents.  Worse, Trump represents a catastrophic departure even from this country's highly imperfect and inconsistent efforts to live up to some of those ideals.

Trump has shown again and again that he sees no reason for the U.S. to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing, because then the world is supposedly "laughing at us."  (As opposed to what is happening now?)  Indeed, it seems unlikely that he knows the difference between right and wrong.

Everything is supposedly about getting a good "deal," but even there, Trump still does not understand that bargains are supposed to be win-win.  If the other side gets something good out of a deal, then Trump hates it (unless, of course, the other party is an authoritarian government).  Winning means nothing less than total domination.

This is the mindset of old-style corrupt political bosses and organized criminals.  Government and power more generally are useful for the purposes of enriching oneself and one's (currently useful, but completely expendable) associates.  It appears that Trump thinks we can only be great if we act like wise guys.

The rest of the world disagrees, of course, as well they should.  Unfortunately, it does not end there.  In the view of Trump and many of his Republican enablers, only some Americans are real Americans.  Trump and the vast majority of his party would happily take away health care from tens of millions of people, because those people evidently do not truly count as the Americans who should benefit from our supposed return to greatness.

The U.S. government, as it is constituted under Donald Trump, is now making us villains abroad and gratuitously cruel at home.  No matter what one thinks about whether we Americans should be able to think of our country as a unique force for good in the sweep of human history, we are doing real damage to real people everywhere.

Is it too much to ask, as we celebrate our nation's birth, that we at least stop moving in the wrong direction?
          Authentic Models Spitfire   

Fighter Plane

The Spitfire, also called 'Supermarine Spitfire', was first introduced in 1936, and became the most widely produced and strategically important British single-seat fighter plane of World War Two. As a mainstay of the Royal Air Force Fighter Command its speed and maneuverability were essential to carrying out its missions across the European and South-East Asian WWII theatres. In its many varients it served as trainer, intercepter, fighter-bomber and carrier-based figher during the worldwide conflict of 1939-45.

Collectors' Item

This Spitfire model from Authentic Models is made with acute attention to detail. Sold including a stand, it would make the ideal piece of decorative decor for a sophisticated study or library, and would make perhaps the most important addition to any aviation enthusiasts' collection. 

Worldwide Renown

The short-range Spitfire is best known, and indeed world-renowned, for the part it played in the stunning victory of the British RAF against all the odds in the Battle of Britain (1940–41), saving the British Isles from the Luftwaffe and German invasion. It was popular amongst pilots, and holds an iconic status today, beloved by the British people for its role in saving Great Britain from occupation.

Price: £475.00 Special Price: £356.25


          Bretagne : des plages fermées en raison d'une invasion d'algues vertes   
Sur les Côtes d'Armor, une soixantaine de communes sont touchées par une invasion d'algues vertes. Une telle prolifération que des plages ont dû être fermées. La raison ? Les fortes chaleurs.
          Fatty Crab   
It took me a long time to finally say yes to trying fatty crab; I’ve read lots of buzz before its opening but somehow invasion of NY names hasn’t lived up to the hype. Motorino, Boqueria, Lupa just to name a few, it seems like they don’t even try, and people think they sound uber […]
          Zé revela que a pressão quase o fez pedir demissão e fala sobre time ideal, veja a entrevista   

Desde cedo, Zé Ricardo se habituou a trabalhar. Tinha 15 anos quando um problema de saúde do pai o fez conciliar os estudos e o serviço na banca de jornais da família, no Centro do Rio. Foi jornaleiro por sete anos, até que o investimento na carreira o fez se dedicar a outros caminhos. Em 2017, num momento de extrema dúvida, apostou em suas convicções e em sua capacidade de trabalho. A expectativa criada em torno do Flamengo foi proporcional ao investimento feito pelo clube. E a queda na Libertadores, além de atuações abaixo do esperado, fizeram Zé Ricardo lidar com forte pressão. Ele revela, nesta entrevista ao GLOBO, que pensou em pedir demissão. O treinador vê o time novamente em crescimento, projeta as entradas de reforços como Éverton Ribeiro e revela um trabalho especial para Márcio Araújo evoluir na parte ofensiva.

No período de maior pressão, o que mais machucou você?

Ninguém gosta de ser criticado o tempo todo, mas faz parte. Em alguns momentos ultrapassa o limite a ponto de você ter problema na família, quando invadem sua privacidade.

Você se refere ao vazamento do seu número de celular?

Foi uma invasão de privacidade. Começaram a chegar mensagens, algumas até davam força, outras agrediam e entravam até em ameaças à segurança. Tem que administrar e seguir.

Já imaginava que o investimento alto do clube geraria tanta cobrança?

Avaliava que seria ano muito difícil em relação a cobranças. A torcida espera muito de nós. Mas só o nome não vai fazer a gente ganhar títulos. Temos estrutura grande, mas que é tocada por pessoas.

No auge da pressão, você pensou em pedir demissão?

Olha, eu não sei se cheguei ao ponto 100, mas cheguei perto. Porque a gente estava fazendo um esforço grande para sair do momento ruim e, mesmo assim, estava com dificuldade. E comecei a pensar se era culpa minha. Mas o pedido de demissão é uma derrota pessoal muito grande. Eu me coloquei numa situação de meu filho me perguntar por que eu desisti. O que eu iria falar para ele, quando ele crescesse, para explicar? Refleti com minha esposa e não tomei a decisão. Confesso que a pressão foi muito grande, mas entendi que era uma questão de provar a mim mesmo que era capaz de seguir.

Foi após a saída na Libertadores?

Aquele foi um momento agudo, mas até ali eu não pensava em pedir demissão. Mas a derrota para o Sport teve uma repercussão muito ruim, uma insatisfação da torcida. E eu respeito muito a torcida. Talvez a palavra certa nem fosse pedir demissão, seria fazer um acordo com a diretoria para encerrar o trabalho. O clube me deu respaldo, a direção sempre foi honesta. A maior cobrança era minha. Eu estava tentando arrumar forças para continuar.

Você reviu o jogo com o San Lorenzo? Mudaria algo?

Revi algumas vezes, foi uma derrota dolorida. A gente não fez um bom jogo no segundo tempo, aceitou demais o jogo do San Lorenzo, mas até levar o primeiro gol não tínhamos sofrido. Não mudaria as substituições. Eu tinha percebido que Berrío tinha mudado o comportamento. E ele teve uma lesão de grau 2. A entrada do Rômulo era natural. E a entrada do Juan no final do jogo foi para a gente suportar aquela pressão. Não vejo que tivesse outras opções a fazer. Quanto ao Sávio, era ele ou Ederson, que voltava de lesão.

Como foi a noite pós jogo?

Não teve noite, não consegui dormir. Você fica pensando por que foi daquela forma. Foi uma dura lição. Sem dúvida, vai servir para a minha carreira.

Por que o time não evoluiu como imaginado em relação a 2016?

Tivemos jogadores que se lesionaram. A gente precisa reencontrar o bom futebol do ano passado e agora acho que estamos crescendo. Claro que foi difícil substituir o Diego. Além de toda a identificação que criou com o clube, fomos obrigados a suprir sua ausência com jogadores de características diferentes. Agora, está recuperando o ritmo.

Cuéllar tem jogado ao lado de Márcio Araújo. Com Éverton Ribeiro, além de Diego e Guerrero, será preciso ter dois volantes mais posicionados?

Esta é uma avaliação que temos. Para potencializar Éverton e Diego, além de Geuvânio, Guerrero, laterais que gostam de jogar na parte ofensiva, precisamos de equilíbrio. Estamos conseguindo, sofremos dois gols em cinco jogos. Nossa saída de bola ainda precisa melhorar, a segunda fase da construção das jogadas também. Mas estamos voltando a ter um jogo bem construído. O time andava se desfazendo da bola rapidamente, pela ansiedade. E um dos pontos importantes do nosso modelo de jogo era evitar a perda da bola, o contra-ataque, chegar ao ataque preparado para se defender.

Esperava contar mais com Rômulo?

Ele é excelente jogador e ainda vai surpreender muita gente. Estava com problemas para entrar na melhor forma, mas está voltando. Há coisas curiosas. No início do ano, conversei com o Márcio Araújo que queria colocar o Rômulo em condição o quanto antes, em dupla com o Arão, mesmo o Rômulo não estando na melhor forma. Talvez tenha sido um erro meu. Ele vinha bem. Contra a Universidad Catolica, perdemos sincronismo com a saída dele. E,na época, em jogos em que sofremos contra-ataques, como a final da Taça Guanabara, atribuíram à falta do Márcio Araújo. Mas o que havia era a precipitação no ataque. Sempre estive tranquilo quanto aos volantes.

Você concorda com as críticas de que Márcio Araújo prejudica a saída de bola?

Discordo. Ele é importantíssimo para o grupo, um modelo de atleta e tem evoluído. Contra o Santos, foi exemplar ao lado do Cuéllar. Temos cobrado para que não faça só passes curtos. Ele tem uma leitura de jogo após a perda de bola do time que poucos têm. Temos jogadores talentosíssimos como Guerrero e Diego, com certa dificuldade para marcar e o Márcio compensa isso de forma muito eficiente.

Houve trabalho especial com ele?

Primeiro, conversei com ele para ousar, arriscar. Naquela posição é necessário tentar mais. E durante três ou quatro meses ele fez complementos de treinos, com visão mais profunda do jogo, infiltração.

Após usá-lo como titular, você deu um passo atrás com Vinícius Júnior?

São vários fatores. Ele não está morfologicamente pornto. Tem dificuldade no jogo de quarta e domingo. Mas na função dele, tivemos lesões. Quando ele foi titular com o Avaí, tínhamos poucas opções. A gente entende que ele pode ser mais perigoso, agora, pegando o adversário desgastado. No confronto, tem a dificuldade natural do garoto de 16 anos. Minha preocupação é que ele evolua como atleta. Ninguém esperava que ele já fosse começar a decidir partidas para nós.

Pesou a vontade do Real Madrid para colocá-lo nos profissionais?

Eu conheço o plano de carreira do Vinícius desde que eu era dos juniores. Desde o fim do ano passado sabia que ele começaria a entrar no Campeonato Brasileiro.

Você defende que o Flamengo tenha iniciativa, construa jogo. Mas o time, por vezes, parece mais perigoso em contragolpes...

Estamos tentando ter as duas coisas. No ano passado, muitas equipes nos marcavam perto de sua área. E a gente precisava ter iniciativa, equilíbrio para não sofrer atrás. Neste ano, já vimos outros times marcando nossa saída de bola. E começamos a trabalhar formas de enfrentar a pressão do adversário.

Com os reforços, a expectativa de título aumenta. Como dosá-la num calendário com tão poucos treinos?

Até acho que as pessoas devem ter esta consciência, mas não tenho pretensão de achar que haverá tal paciência. A gente vai buscar entrosá-los nos jogos.

Éverton Ribeiro jogará como meia pelo lado direito? E Geuvânio?

Neste momento, é pela direita, mais aberto, que o Éverton vai se sentir mais à vontade. Numa função a que está habituado. É onde se adapta mais rápido, vindo também por dentro para criar. Geuvânio pode jogar pelos dois lados.

Como fazer o time não sofrer com Éverton ao lado de Diego e Guerrero?

Todos terão que fazer um esforço maior defensivo. O Éverton recompondo, o próprio Diego. E teremos que marcar com força o lado da bola.

Guerrero, Diego, Éverton Ribeiro e mais um meia, como Éderson ou Conca: é utópico vê-los juntos??

Isso demanda uma quantidade de treinamento que não sei se teremos. Em princípio é difícil.

Faltam jogadores íntimos do gol a este Flamengo?

Tudo é fase. A gente andou criando e não transformando em gol. Mas vejo muita qualidade no grupo, ainda mais com os reforços. Tem jogador que, quando está na grande área, parece outro momento do jogo para ele. É natural. Com calma e melhorando nosso jogo de ataque, voltando a jogar bem, os gols vão sair.

Com este elenco, qual a obrigação deste Flamengo? Promete títulos?

Nossa obrigação é ser competitivo. Buscar vitória a vitória. O Corinthians abriu, mas vamos pensar jogo a jogo. Prometo muita luta.

Fonte: O Globo

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          Repair may increase survival of direct posterior restorations – A practice based study   
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2017.06.002

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate repairs of direct restorations by a group of Dutch general dental practitioners (GDPs) and its consequences on longevity of restorations.

Methods

Data set was based on dental records of patients attending 11 general dental practices (24 Dentists) in the Netherlands. Patients that received Class II Amalgam or Composite restorations were included in the study. The outcomes were considered in two levels: “Success” – When no intervention was necessary on the original restoration, it was considered clinically acceptable. “Survival” – Repaired restorations were considered clinically acceptable. Kaplan–Meier statistics and Multivariate Cox regression were used to assess restorations longevity and factors associated with failures (p < 0.05).

Results

59,722 restorations placed in 21,988 patients were analyzed. There was a wide variation in the amount of repairs among GDPs when a restoration had failed (Level 1). Repairs of multi-surface restorations were more frequent (p < 0.001). A total of 9,253 restorations (Level 1) or 6,897 restorations (Level 2) had failed in a 12-year observation time. “Success” and “Survival” of the restorations reached 65.92% (AFR = 4.08%) and 74.61% (AFR = 2.88%) at 10 years, respectively. Patient (age, removable denture) and tooth/treatment-related factors (molars, >2 restored surfaces, endodontic treatment, Amalgam) were identified as risk factors for failure (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Overall, the GDPs showed satisfactory rates of restoration longevity over 10 years. Repair can increase the survival of restorations although, substantial differences exist among practitioners in repair frequency and AFRs. Molars, multi-surface restorations, presence of an endodontic treatment and a removable denture were identified as risk factors for failure.

Clinical Significance

Repair, instead of total replacement of a defective restoration, is a Minimally Invasive procedure which can increase the survival of the original filling, reducing the risk for pulp complications and treatment costs.

          Asian carp, airguns, and cod recoveries: Thursday Afternoon Dredging: June 29th, 2017   
  Cuttings (short and sweet): Watch what a little skate looks like inside an embryo, from the Gillis Lab at the University of Cambridge Follow the Fur Bearers, a Vancouver-based mammal conservation organization, on twitter! Invasive Asian carp found in Great Lakes, beyond electrified barrier. By Oliver Milman, for the Guardian. 6 things you’re missing if you’re […]
          Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment 3.8ml   

The discreet, easy to use treatment has been specially formulated to penetrate into the nail and kill nail fungus at its source.
 The Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment also helps to prevent the spread of the fungus and protects against recurrence. It is an effective, caring solution that can be used at home without prescription.
Fungal nail is an invasion of fungal species underneath the nail.
The fungi are passed from person to person by direct contact and are carried by carpets, socks, shoes and hosiery. Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment is suitable for treating mild fungal nail conditions.
Symptoms: Yellow/brownish discolouration of the nail, White 'islands' on the surface of the nail, The appearance of the nail is rougher, more brittle with ridges. If not treated: In most cases the nail will eventually crumble and become detached from the toe or finger.

Price: £19.99 Special Price: £16.99


          This Week's Interesting Music Releases - June 30, 2017   
Beach House

Beach House's B-sides And Rarities and Washed Out's Mister Mellow are the two new releases I can wholeheartedly recommend this week.

Reissues include vinyl editions of The Cure's Greatest Hits and Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson.

Archival recordings include live performances by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and R.E.M.

What new music are you looking forward to or enjoying this week?


This week's interesting music releases:

ABBA: Gold (gold-colored vinyl) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Acacia Strain: Gravebloom
Beach Boys: 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow
Beach House: B-sides And Rarities
A Blaze of Feather: Ultralife
Baio: Man Of The World
Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (remastered) [vinyl]
Bruce Springsteen: Hammersmith Odeon, London '75
Calvin Harris: Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
Catherine Wheel: Ferment (reissue) [vinyl]
Cellar Darling: This Is the Sound
Coathangers: Parasite (Sea Green Vinyl w/ etching) [vinyl]
Cody ChesnuTT: My Love Divine Degree
Coheed and Cambria: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Coheed and Cambria (2005-09-19)
Cranberries: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (reissue) [vinyl]
The Cure: Greatest Hits (reissue) [vinyl]
Danny Elfman: Rabbit & Rogue (Original Ballet Score) (CD and DVD)
Dave Matthews Band: Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95 (reissue) [vinyl]
The Dear Hunter: Act I, II & III
Depeche Mode: Playing The Angel (reissue)
Dokken: Beast from the East (remastered)
Doldrums: Esc
Elton John:: Honky Chateau (remastered) [vinyl]
Elton John:: Tumbleweed Connection (remastered) [vinyl]
Floating Points: Mojave Desert
Jay-Z: 4:44
Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (reissue) [vinyl]
Imagine Dragons: Evolve: Deluxe Edition
Jesse Malin: Meet Me at the End of the World
Jim Lauderdale: London Southern
John Zorn: Midsummer Moons
Judy Garland: 5 Classic Albums (remastered)
LANY: LANY
Laurel Halo: Dust
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul: Soulfire [vinyl]
Mark Kozelek & Sean Yeaton: Yellow Kitchen
Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow Forever [vinyl]
Max Richter: Infra (reissue) [vinyl]
Neil Young: Bottom Line 1974
of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (180-Gram Red & Yellow Vinyl) (reissue) [vinyl]
Origin: Unparalleled Universe
R.E.M.: Live At The Olympia in Dublin (CD and DVD)
Roger Clyne: Native Heart
Saint Etienne: Sound of Water (reissue)
Shakey Graves: Shakey Graves And The Horse He Rode In On (Nobody's Fool & The Donor Blues EP) [vinyl]
Slaid Cleaves: Ghost on the Car Radio
Stevie Wonder: Original Musiquarium I (remastered) [vinyl]
Stone Sour: Hydrograd
Sworn In: All Smiles
TLC: TLC
Tom Petty: Psychotic Reaction
Various Artists: The House - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Various Artists: Master of None Season 2 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack)
Various Artists: Pop Makossa: Invasive Dance Beat of Cameroon
Washed Out: Mister Mellow


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

weekly music release lists

Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily book and music news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


          Collar israelí monitorea la salud de las mascotas   

La innovadora tecnología del collar PetPace –desarrollado en Israel– utiliza sensores no invasivos para monitorear en tiempo real la salud de perros y gatos.

La entrada Collar israelí monitorea la salud de las mascotas aparece primero en Mariela TV.


          Freebie & Sale Apps/Games at iTunes Apps   

Notable titles include:

  • iPlayTo  for $0 (normally $2.99)
  • Stackables for $0 (normally $1.99)
  • Uzu: A Generative Design Playground for $0 (normally $1.99)
  • 100 Rogues Game for $0.99 (normally $2.99)
  • Cribbage HD for $0 (normally $3.99)
  • ReliCam for $0 (normally $0.99)
  • Oldify: Old Face for $0 (normally $0.99)
  • XCOM: Enemy Within Game for $2.99 (normally $9.99)
  • NBA 2K17 Game for $2.99 (normally $7.99)
  • Civilization Revolution 2 for $0 (normally $0.99)
  • Super Happy Fun Block Game for $0 (normally $0.99)
  • Dungeon Defense: The Invasion of Heroes Game for $0 (normally $0.99)

  •           France drops Windows 10 privacy case after Microsoft changes telemetry settings   
    There have been lots of complaints about invasion of privacy since the release of Windows 10. Microsoft's telemetry lead to several lawsuits, including one from France's National Data Protection Commission which said Windows 10 was collecting "excessive personal data" about users. But now the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has decided to drop its case against Microsoft. The commission is happy that sufficient steps have been taken to reduce the amount of data that is collected and users are now informed about data collection. Announcing that it was dropping the lawsuit, the CNIL says that: "The company… [Continue Reading]
              Late At Night Home Invasion Results With Raping Mother And Daughter In Front Of Daddy   
    Watch Late At Night Home Invasion Results With Raping Mother And Daughter In Front Of Daddy at free fuck and porn video site
              Danmark forbyder 14 invasive arter   
    Husejere kan komme til at betale for, at kommunernes ansatte bekæmper bjørneklo på privat grund, hvis husejeren ikke har fulgt kommunens påbud. Det fremgår af Miljø- og Fødevareministeriets handlingsp…
              Invasão Extraterrestre – Como se preparar   
    Invasão extraterrestre? É impressionante como a mente beligerante humana sempre acha que quase tudo que não se compreende na totalidade deve ser resumido em invasões, conquistas e guerras. O artigo...

    Visite OVNIhoje.com para maiores detalhes...

              Third suspect arrested in Fayette County home invasion   
    none
              Comment on Invasive clams continue to spread through Lake George by mugwump   
    Another example of Darwin at work. Some laws dan't be broken.
              BOCORAN SOAL BAHASA INGGRIS STAN EDISI 2016 VERSI KUMPULAN SOAL STAN   
    BOCORAN SOAL BAHASA INGGRIS STAN EDISI 2016 VERSI KUMPULAN SOAL STAN
    Part One: Reading Comprehension
    A MISTERY
    LAKEWOOD. N.J., Sept. 2- these have been strange happening in the home of Mr. Mrs. Alan Davis. A mysterious scratching, banging and bumping in the walls of their home has become so strong it has knocked down pictures and lamps.
    Investigators have torn the walls apart but have been unable to find the course of the sounds. They are also trying to find out if troublemakers have been at work. We first heard the sounds six weeks ago, said Mrs. Davis. For the next two weeks, the sounds happened regularly-every evening from 9:30 to 11:00.
    Little patches, said, began to appear on the living room and bedroom walls. Then the sounds changed and became irregular. Now, she said, the noises start at 8 A.M. and continue on and off till midnight.
    Based on Reading 1, answer questions no. 141-144.
    141.    Another title that would best explain the main idea of this story is ...
    A.    regular sound
    B.    strange happening in a jersey home.
    C.    Troublemakers
    D.    Banging and bumping
    142.    The cause of the mysterious scratching and banging is ...
    A.    not known
    B.    Mrs. Davis
    C.    Little patches
    D.    Troublemakers
    143.    The sounds ...
    A.    always happened in a regular day
    B.    now start at 9:30 P.M.
    C.    do not happen in a regular way
    D.    were first heard two weeks ago
    144.    The event told about in this story.
    A.    happened before and after September 2
    B.    never happened
    C.    happened before September 2
    D.    happened after September 2
    Reading 2
    A curfew is a specific type of law instituted by those in power. It is one that requires citizens to be off the streets and out of public places at specified hours.
    There are active curfew laws in some communities in the United States today; these laws are currently functioning. The existing curfew laws generally refer to minors. These laws usually indicate the hour when children must be off the streets and out of public unless they are with their parents.
    Curfew laws have a long tradition. William of Normandy introduced the custom to the British Isles after his invasion there in 1066. At curfew time, a bell was rung. The pealing at the bell indicated that citizens should extinguish any burning tires and clear the streets for the night. The word curfew actually developed at this time from the Norman French expression couvre-teu or cover the fire.
    Based on Reading 2, answer questions no. 145 -149.
    145.    Curfew is a specific kind of ...
    A.    public administrator
    B.    official building
    C.    government lawyer
    D.    government regulation
    146.    The word active in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to ...
    A.    operative
    B.    dormant
    C.    physical
    D.    healthy
    147.    The word minors in paragraph 2 could be best replaced by ...
    A.    public
    B.    citizens
    C.    children
    D.    communities
    148.    Look at the word pealing in paragraph 3. This word is closest in meaning to which of the following?
    A.    Breaking
    B.    Burning
    C.    Ringing
    D.    Uncovering
    149.    Citizens should extinguish any burning tires (paragraph 3).
    A.    put off
    B.    put out
    C.    put in
    D.    put on
    Reading 3
    The game of golf is not a young game. This game which has traditionally been credited as a scottish creation, has been around for hundreds of years. Its long existence can definitely be verified through a check of centuries-old legal document.
    Golf has definitely been around since at least the fifteenth century. This can be verified from a legal edict issued at the time in 1457, near the end of the rule of King James II, the scottish Parliament issued a decree outlawing the playing of golf. The reason was that golf was believed to be a waste of time. There was concern that citizens would be spending time on the useless sport such as archery, fencing, and jousting. Archery; fencing and jousting were, after all, considerably more useful in the defense of the country than golf.
    Based on Reading 3, answer questions no. 150-154.
    150.    The main idea of this passage is that ...
    A.    golf’s long history can be verified
    B.    golf can be played by both young and old
    C.    golf is one of the most popular Scottish games
    D.    many different games were played in the fifteenth century
    151.    According to the passage, we know that golf has been around for hundreds of years because ...
    A.    old golf clubs have been found
    B.    there are many traditional stories about golf
    C.    the Scottish Parliament has declared to be true
    D.    it appears in some official papers
    152.    According to the passage, how long has golf been around?
    A.    Since the first century
    B.    Only since 1500
    C.    For more than 500 years
    D.    For at least 1500 years
    153.    When did King James I most likely rule?
    A.    1437 to 1460
    B.    1450 to 1470
    C.    1457 to 1477
    D.    1437 to 1450
    154.    What was the purpose of the decree issued in 1457?
    A.    to outlaw the Scottish Parliament
    B.    to establish the rule of King James II
    C.    to make golf illegal
    D.    to encourage the playing of golf
    Part two: Vocabulary and Idiom
    Select the correct answer from the tour choices given.
    155.    It is not polite to break in on a conversation.
    A.    interrupt
    B.        withdraw from
    C.        seize
    D.    regard
    156.    Did your father get retirement benefit when he retired?
    A.    pension
    B.        subsidy
    C.        patent
    D.    bargain
    157.    His hobby is collecting stamps from all over the world.
    A.    career
    B.        pastime
    C.        business
    D.    vocation
    158.    It is believed that the spirit is...
    A.    inmoral
    B.        imperishable
    C.        immortal
    D.    immoral
    159.    A ... is the highest point of something.
    A.    crust
    B.        peak
    C.        ditch
    D.    slope

    160.    Bricks are commonly made of ...
    A.    clay
    B.        wax
    C.        timber
    D.    cord

    161.    He was fined for driving with a/an ... license
    A.    void
    B.    expired
    C.    terminated
    D.    out of date

    162.    Please check your friend’s telephone number in the...
    A.    encyclopedia
    B.    register
    C.    directory
    D.    dictionary

    163.    I am ... to pass this examination.
    A.    determined
    B.    willing
    C.    stubborn
    D.    resolute

    164.    Do you believe in the ... of good and evil spirits?
    A.    occurrence
    B.    existence
    C.    reality
    D.    incidence

    Part Three: Structure
    Select the correct answer from the four choices given.

    165.    Jonathan‘s ... daughter has been selected student ofthe year.
    A.    beautiful twelve-year-old
    B.    beautiful twelve-years-old
    C.    beautiful twelve-year-olds
    D.    beautifully twelve-years-old

    166.    ... taking over the leadership of this project is what made it succeed
    A.    Her    C.  She is       
    B.    She    D.  Her  having

    167.    Lisa seems ... the point you were making.
    A.    having misunderstood
    B.    to have misunderstood
    C.    misunderstood
    D.    misunderstanding

    168.    We should have the results of your blood test within a few days; ... I am going to start you on a preliminary treatment program.
    A.    meanwhile
    B.    however
    C.    otherwise
    D.    therefore

    169.    Sekolah Tinggi Akuntansi Negara (STAN) ... as one of the best colleges in Indonesia.
    A.    is regarded
    B.    regarded
    C.    regards
    D.    regarding

    170.    He went by bus, but he ... by car.
    A.    might of gone
    B.    should gone
    C.    could have gone
    D.    ought have gone

    171.    Rani seems very mature for a ...
    A.    twenty-year old-girl
    B.    girl with twenty years
    C.    girl of twenty year
    D.    twenty-years-old girl

    172.    The more I think about philosophy, ...
    A.    the less I understand it
    B.    I like it less
    C.    Better I like it
    D.    It likes better

    173.    Indonesian ... soup with rice.
    A.    accustomed to eat
    B.    are accustomed to eating
    C.    have the custom to eat
    D.    are accustoming in drinking

    174.    Your dress, ..., seems very strange for the party.
    A.    as hers
    B.    like hers
    C.    similar as hers
    D.    different than hers

    175.    Faiz almost never eat at home, ...?
    A.    did he
    B.    would he
    C.    had she
    D.    didn’t she

    176.    After Michael failed the first math test, he thought he ... the course.
    A.    will
    B.    is going to
    C.    failed
    D.    was going to

    177.    Tony is going to return to Aceh as soon as he ... his university diploma’s degree
    A.    gets
    B.    will get
    C.    would get
    D.    got

    178.    Mom and Dad just left for the airport twenty minutes ago, so they ... there yet.
    A.    Can’t have gotten
    B.    Shouldn’t have gotten
    C.    Had better have gotten
    D.    Could have gotten

    179.    All students … report to the examination hall on July 30th for the final exam.
    A.    might
    B.    need
    C.    could
    D.    are to

    180.    Since the company doesn’t charge a late fee until after the sixteenth, you ... pay until a day or two before that.
    A.    shouldn’t
    B.    mustn’t
    C.    needn’t
    D.    can’t


              Gazidis promises Arsenal fans more ‘top quality additions’   

    Former Schalke ace Sead Kolasinac has already joined the Gunners this summer, and their chief executive Ivan Gazidis seemed confident that this was just the...

    The post Gazidis promises Arsenal fans more ‘top quality additions’ appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Young Atletico star happy to remain a -better paid- Rojiblanco   

    Barcelona and Manchester United are reported to have him on their wish list, but despite not ruling out an exit from Atletico Madrid, he seems...

    The post Young Atletico star happy to remain a -better paid- Rojiblanco appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Kezman talks up client, claiming to have received €50m bids   

    As a player, he used to trouble defenses. As an agent, he seems anything but willing to… trouble Lazio, not pushing for a move for one...

    The post Kezman talks up client, claiming to have received €50m bids appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Celta eager to welcome back City wantaway Nolito   

    He moved to England full of hopes to win titles and prove that he could stand at a level higher than that of Celta’s in...

    The post Celta eager to welcome back City wantaway Nolito appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Llorente breaks arm while cycling with family(!)   

    The summer is when players get to relax and not worry about muscle problems, fatigue, all sorts of injuries. Well, not for Swansea City striker...

    The post Llorente breaks arm while cycling with family(!) appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Great border plant!   
    Low growing, sun-loving plant that blooms all summer. Currently used as a border. Has a tendency to become invasive if not controlled.
              Realistic Allegri, didn’t try to block Pogba to Man United   

    Usually, coaches are reluctant to lose a key player, especially one at a young age, on whom they could rely on for years and years....

    The post Realistic Allegri, didn’t try to block Pogba to Man United appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Wilshere ‘good’, but not on West Ham’s radar   

    The Hammers are reported to be interested in a number of Arsenal players, but their president, David Gold, seems very clear when he says that...

    The post Wilshere ‘good’, but not on West Ham’s radar appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Bravo ‘knew’ he was going to stop ‘two or three’ penalties(!)   

    Chile qualified for the Confederations Cup final thanks to their goalkeeper’s extraordinary show in the penalty shootout, after 120 goalless minutes in the semifinal versus...

    The post Bravo ‘knew’ he was going to stop ‘two or three’ penalties(!) appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Signing Sanchez, ‘not part of Bayern’s transfer policy’   

    Arsenal fans don’t know if one of their favorite players will still be at Emirates next season, but one thing seems to be for sure,...

    The post Signing Sanchez, ‘not part of Bayern’s transfer policy’ appeared first on Pitch Invasion.


              Anthropogenic signature in the incidence and distribution of an emerging pathogen of poplars. 2016. Herath, P.; Beauseigle, S.; Dhillon, B.; Ojeda, D.I.; Bilodeau, G.; Isabel, N.; Gros-Louis, M.-C.; Kope, H.; Zeglen, S.; Hamelin, R.C.; Feau, N. Biol. Invasions 18:1147-1161.   
    none
              Is North Korea a Diversion for a US-Jordan Invasion of Syria?   
    The United States is not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. The risks far outweigh the rewards and, besides, the US has no intention of getting bogged down in a conflict that doesn’t advance its geopolitical objectives. The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the...
              Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?   
    The Pentagon’s plan for seizing and occupying territory in east Syria is beginning to take shape. According to a Fox News exclusive: The move by ISIS corresponds to the secretive massing of US troops and military equipment on the Syria-Jordan border. It creates the perfect pretext for a ground invasion followed by a long-term military...
              UAE Crown Prince Asked US To Bomb Al Jazeera: Wikileaks   
    A diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks reveals that Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan asked the U.S. to bomb the Al Jazeera TV network in Qatar before the 2003 invasion [...]
              Comentario en Macri sentencia a Argentina a 100 años de esclavitud por rolo freyre   
    El grado de corrupción de nuestra estructura política, puede hacer posible que un ministro o un presidente tengan el poder en una estructura democrática para destruirnos como NACION??? Es un suicidio colectivo, mañana es tarde, la Primavera arabe... ya se instaló en Latinoamerica...Mike Pence ya viene con el programa de destruccion total de nuestra identidad...en agosto lo instituciona guerra contra el terrorismo y la droga... Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Irak, Libano Palestina, Afganistan y el ministro argentino de relaciones exteriores (quien lo conoce?) reclamando en la OEA la intervención (invasión) a Venezuela... el Pueblo dormido por los medios masivos de deformación... es un desahogo podr contar con un medio de VALOR ETICO. Mi reconocimiento-rolo
              Global Medical Videoscopes Market Will Reach USD 22.77 Billion by 2022: Zion Market Research   

    Sarasota, FL, June 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zion Market Research has published a new report titled "Medical Videoscopes Market by Product (Videoscopes and Visualization Systems), For Gastrointestinal, Arthroscopy, Laparoscopy, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Urology Endoscopy (Cystoscopy), Bronchoscopy, Mediastinoscopy, Otoscopy, Laryngoscope and Others: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2016 - 2022". According to the report, the global medical videoscopes market accounted for USD 15.34 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 22.77 Billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 6.8% between 2017 and 2022. 

    The Medical Videoscopes market is growing at a fast pace. Videoscope has a wide range of application in medical procedures with minimal invasiveness which is expected as the major driving factor of this market within the forecast period. Increasing incidences of gastrointestinal diseases, increasing healthcare expenditure, shifting towards more cost effective healthcare solutions and the introduction of various healthcare reforms are some of the significant factors expected to fuel the growth in this market. However, the high cost of medical videoscopes and lack of skilled professionals are the restraints of this market.In spite of these barriers, emerging markets in developing regions like Asia-Pacific can be an opportunity in this market.

    Browse through 31 Market Tables and 48 Figures spread through 110 Pages and in-depth TOC on "Global Medical Videoscopes Market: By Type, Application, Size, Share, Trends, Analysis and Forecast 2016 – 2022".

    Request Free Sample copy of Global Medical Videoscopes Market Report @ https://www.zionmarketresearch.com/sample/medical-videoscopes-market

    North America dominated the global medical videoscopes market and accounted for the largest ...

    Full story available on Benzinga.com


              Physician, Non-Invasive Cardiologist, Allegheny General Hospital - Allegheny Clinic - Pittsburgh, PA   
    Ashley Fusco , Physician Recruiter at Allegheny Health Network. The Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny General Hospital, part of the Allegheny Health Network...
    From Allegheny Clinic - Wed, 03 May 2017 17:39:43 GMT - View all Pittsburgh, PA jobs
              Quand National Geographic se fait le relais d'une propagande anti-chrétienne, anti-américaine et anti-israélienne   

    par Phyllis Chesler


    Article paru sur le site Pajamas Media le 18 mai 2009 

     

    http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesler/2009/05/18/the-blood-libels-at-national-geographic-magazine-the-planet-friendly-purveyer-of-anti-christian-anti-american-and-anti-israeli-biases/ 


    Les menaçantes manifestations de rue contre Israël, les résolutions anti-israéliennes rageuses de l’ONU, les appels obsessionnels au boycott d’Israël dans les universités occidentales, la succession incessante des gros titres condamnant Israël dans les médias du monde entier font maintenant partie d’un train-train habituel auquel participent surtout les jeunes et les fanatiques. La plupart des citoyens y font à peine attention. Ils se préoccupent plutôt de leurs emplois, de leurs prestations sociales, des frais de scolarité de leurs enfants – ou bien de l’ascension et de la disgrâce des stars dont la vie décadente les distrait de leurs propres petites misères ordinaires.

    Ce qui m’inquiète davantage, ce sont les spectacles qui influencent insidieusement et inexorablement l’opinion publique, les films qui présentent les dictateurs et les terroristes arabes sous des traits séduisants et qui diabolisent les soldats, les « colons » et les hommes politiques israéliens. Progressivement, de façon presque imperceptible, l’homme de la rue a ainsi fini par croire que le monde musulman est pacifique, accueillant et sûr, que ses aspects « rudes » s’expliquent par le fait qu’il s’agit de peuples ayant été opprimés par les Européens, que le terrorisme islamique a sans doute été provoqué par l’invasion de l’Afghanistan, de l’Irak et du Pakistan par les États-Unis, qu’une grande partie de tout cela est la faute d’Israël – ou plus exactement, que la plupart de ces problèmes pourraient être résolus aujourd’hui si seulement l’Amérique sacrifiait Israël au nom de la paix mondiale et de sa propre survie.

    Prenons le fameux magazine National Geographic, qui fait la promotion de la protection de la planète et qui revendique près de huit millions de lecteurs. Par suite d’un abonnement cadeau, je le reçois régulièrement. Parfois je l’ouvre, souvent je ne l’ouvre pas. Tant de belles photos brillantes, si peu de temps. Mais le dernier numéro a attiré tout de suite mon attention, à cause du titre en couverture « L’Exode chrétien de la Terre Sainte ». Par exemple, me suis-je dit, ce magazine ami des animaux a « compris un truc » ! Un espoir s’éveillant en moi, je suis allée lire l’article intitulé « Les fidèles oubliés : les chrétiens arabes ».

    Voici ce que dit cet article : pour l’essentiel, il rend les croisés, les chrétiens américains et Israël (!) responsables de la persécution et de la disparition des chrétiens arabes au Proche-Orient. Je n’aurais pas pu l’inventer. Les mensonges, les omissions, le parti-pris, tantôt insidieux tantôt manifestes, y sont stupéfiants. Par exemple, cet article, rédigé par Don Belt, n’explique pas pourquoi il y a eu des croisades – à savoir, pour empêcher que les Arabes chrétiens soient assassinés ou convertis de force par les musulmans. Toujours est-il que selon Belt, « l’ironie est que c’est pendant les croisades (1095-1291) que les chrétiens arabes, assassinés par les croisés en même temps que les musulmans et pris entre les tirs croisés de l’Islam et de l’Occident chrétien, ont commencé ce long et progressif déclin vers le statut de minorité. »

    Là, il y a quelque chose qui ne va pas. Comment Belt en arrive-t-il à occulter la conquête arabo-musulmane d’un Orient chrétien et juif ? Selon l’éminente spécialiste Bat Ye’or, par exemple (citée par Andrew Bostom dans son excellent ouvrage The Legacy of Jihad),

    « Abou Bakr entreprit l’invasion de la Syrie (Syro-Palestine) que Mohammed avait déjà envisagée […] la région de Gaza tout entière, jusqu’à Césarée, fut mise à sac et dévastée durant la campagne de 634. Quatre mille paysans juifs, chrétiens et samaritains qui tentaient de défendre leurs terres furent massacrés. Les villages du Néguev furent pillés par Amr B. al As […] dans son sermon de Noël de l’an 634, le patriarche de Jérusalem, Sophronius, se plaignit de l’impossibilité de se rendre en pèlerinage à Bethlehem […] Sophronius, dans son sermon du jour de l’Épiphanie de l’an 636, déplora la destruction des églises et des monastères, le pillage des villes, les champs dévastés […] des milliers de gens périrent en 639, victimes de la famine provoquée par ces destructions. Selon le chroniqueur musulman Baladhuri (m. en 892 ap. J-C), 40 000 Juifs vivaient dans la seule ville de Césarée au temps de la conquête arabe, après laquelle toute trace d’eux fut perdue. »

    Se fondant sur des sources savantes, Bostom raconte de façon méthodique et exhaustive le pillage systématique, par les musulmans arabes, de l’ensemble du Proche-Orient accompagné de l’asservissement et de l’assassinat des chrétiens et des Juifs. Ce que Don Belt oublie de mentionner, même de façon subsidiaire, c’est que la persécution des chrétiens par les musulmans arabes pendant plus de quatre siècles est précisément ce qui a entraîné les croisades.

    Certes, certains califes se montrèrent parfois cléments envers leurs populations dhimmies ; un gouverneur égyptien accorda l’asile au grand savant et philosophe juif Maïmonide, lequel n’en fuyait pas moins les musulmans d’Espagne. Maïmonide devint son médecin particulier. Le Sultan turc accorda l’asile à Donna Gracia HaNasi, cette femme fabuleusement riche qui fuyait les persécutions perpétrées par les catholiques en Espagne et au Portugal. Mais pour l’essentiel, les Juifs menèrent une existence extrêmement misérable et précaire et ils furent régulièrement assassinés, emprisonnés et rançonnés ou exilés et virent leurs biens confisqués. La plus grande histoire de réfugiés du Proche-Orient, jamais racontée à ce jour, est celle des Juifs des pays arabes fuyant les persécutions dont ils étaient victimes de la part des musulmans.

    Aujourd’hui même [le 18 mai 2009], M. Naguib Gibraeel, président de l’Union égyptienne de l’Organisation des droits de l’Homme (EUHRO), a écrit à la première dame d’Égypte pour exiger une intervention d’urgence « afin de sauver les chrétiens d’Égypte de l’islamisation forcée ».

    Mais continuons. Après avoir reproché aux croisés (!) d’avoir assassiné les Arabes chrétiens par mégarde, Belt poursuit en accusant l’Israël actuel (!) de persécuter les chrétiens. Sans jamais mentionner le fait que les terroristes palestiniens aient pris l’habitude de transformer les églises les plus sacrées en W.C., d’y entreposer des armes et d’y séquestrer des otages, Belt cite un chrétien arabe de Bethléem attribuant la responsabilité de ses malheurs au « mur géant [israélien] » et à une bureaucratie israélienne lui interdisant de vivre avec sa femme, citoyenne israélienne, à Jérusalem.

    Cela ressemble à l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud, non ? Ce qui est totalement occulté, c’est l’épouvantable réalité du terrorisme et des fabriques de propagande et d’incitation à la haine qui existent dans les villes et les villages de toute la Judée-Samarie – des villes et des villages qui sont entièrement « judenrein ». Les Juifs ne peuvent pas s’y rendre alors même qu’ils y ont des lieux saints et les chrétiens ne peuvent plus se rendre sans risque sur les leurs, ces lieux de culte étant sous domination musulmane. Ce n’est donc que pour des raisons de sécurité que les autorités israéliennes, si décriées, imposent des restrictions aux voyageurs. Ces restrictions n’ont rien à voir avec la couleur de peau ni avec la religion. Le gouvernement israélien a d’ailleurs laissé au Waqf islamique le contrôle total du Mont du Temple et du Dôme du Rocher à Jérusalem. Aucun gouvernement arabe ni palestinien n’a jamais laissé aux chrétiens ni aux juifs le contrôle total des lieux saints chrétiens et juifs. Au contraire, ils ont pillé et détruit ces lieux, ils ont parfois construit des mosquées par-dessus, ils ont interdit aux chrétiens et aux juifs de prier dans les ruines et dans les bâtiments laissés intacts, ou leur ont parfois permis d’y prier mais à leurs risques et périls.

    Les autorités israéliennes privent-elles d’eau, réellement, un quartier arabe chrétien ? D’après mes sources, il n’existe même pas de quartier arabe chrétien à Jérusalem et l’eau n’y est jamais coupée pour être redirigée vers « les implantations » : qu’est-ce donc que cet appel au meurtre auquel Belt se livre ? Bien sûr, selon l’informateur de Belt, ces barbares d’Israéliens couperaient l’eau exprès le dimanche de Pâques dans un secteur non précisé afin que « Marc » (ce n’est pas son vrai nom, mais l’information qu’il donne n’est pas davantage vraie) ne puisse pas laver sa voiture avant d’emmener sa famille à l’église.

    Après les croisés et les Israéliens, le troisième groupe que Belt rend responsable de la disparition des chrétiens arabes de la Terre Sainte, ce sont… les chrétiens américains ! Belt cite Razek Siriani, qui travaille pour le Conseil des Églises du Moyen-Orient à Alep, en Syrie.

    Voici ce que déclare Siriani, (sous la contrainte, pourrais-je ajouter) :

    « Nous sommes complètement dépassés et submergés de protestations, déclare-t-il. Les chrétiens occidentaux ont aggravé la situation », affirme-t-il, se faisant l’écho d’un sentiment exprimé par un bon nombre de chrétiens arabes. « C’est à cause de ce que les chrétiens en Occident, menés par les États-Unis, font en Orient », ajoute-t-il, dénonçant les guerres en Irak et en Afghanistan, le soutien américain à Israël et les menaces de « changement de régime » de l’administration Bush. « Pour beaucoup de musulmans, et surtout pour les radicaux, cela ressemble à une répétition des croisades partout, à une guerre contre l’islam menée par la chrétienté. Du fait que nous sommes chrétiens, ils nous voient aussi comme leur ennemi. Nous sommes coupables par association. »

    Apparemment, aussi bien Don Belt que Razek Siriani semblent totalement ignorer que dans ces régions, le djihad, le génocide et l’apartheid religieux ont toujours été la spécialité de l’islam et la marque d’un impérialisme musulman caractérisé par l’esclavage, le vol et le pillage.

    Belt trouve donc le moyen de condamner les croisés, puis les Israéliens, puis les chrétiens américains qui sont pro-israéliens et qui, de façon bien compréhensible, seraient considérés par les musulmans, gens tout à fait pacifiques et amicaux, comme les nouveaux croisés. Belt va plus loin. Il rend les chrétiens libanais, qui se sont défendus contre les gangsters et terroristes palestiniens, responsables de la recrudescence des attitudes antichrétiennes dans le monde musulman. Il présente les chrétiens libanais comme de dangereux hommes en armes, or on ne voit aucune photo des hommes du Hezbollah et de l’OLP, bien mieux armés encore et ô combien plus dangereux, qui ont terrorisé le Liban et qui l’ont occupé.

    Belt va plus loin encore : il nous montre une foule de fidèles chrétiens rassemblés le dimanche de Pâques à Jérusalem, à l’Église de Toutes les Nations, près du jardin de Gethsémani, en train de piétiner quasiment Nadia, une mère chrétienne arabe israélienne (la femme de « Marc ») et son bébé dans sa poussette, comme des barbares. Ces pèlerins étrangers (venus d’Europe, des États-Unis, d’Amérique du Sud et d’Afrique) n’ont tout simplement pas vu qu’il y avait un bébé dans une poussette et ils se sont mis à se pousser avec acharnement vers ce qu’ils croyaient être un espace laissé vacant. Quand Nadia a tenté de se sortir de là, ces mêmes affreux chrétiens « n’ont pas su réagir en voyant cette frêle femme arabe se diriger dans la mauvaise direction […] » Nadia s’exclame : « Vous voyez comment c’est ? […] c’est chez nous. Et c’est comme si nous n’existions même pas. »

    Est-ce que ni Belt ni Nadia n’ont jamais entendu parler de la façon dont les pèlerins musulmans piétinent à mort leurs semblables quand ils tournent autour de la Kaaba, à la Mecque ? Pourquoi ce quasi piétinement impliquerait-il un complot chrétien ou israélien ?

    Quels sont les seuls à ne pas être « accusés » ni rendus responsables, ou si peu, de la persécution des chrétiens hier et aujourd’hui, une persécution ayant provoqué une diminution considérable du nombre de chrétiens au Moyen-Orient ?

    Les musulmans, bien sûr, qui selon Belt auraient toujours vécu en paix avec les chrétiens et les juifs au Moyen-Orient. Belt nous montre même des scènes touchantes de musulmans priant sur des lieux de pèlerinage chrétiens pour que se produisent des miracles. En Syrie, Belt cite une mère, Miriam, dont la famille « était chrétienne » (on se demande pourquoi ils se sont convertis) et qui, aujourd’hui, déclare : « Je crois en les prophètes : musulmans, juifs et chrétiens. Je crois en Marie, je suis venue ici pour que mon fils guérisse. » Belt présente les conversions forcées à l’islam comme des choix anodins et libres, pour des raisons en partie économiques et souvent « pour avoir un lien plus personnel avec Dieu » par opposition à un lien possible uniquement via une médiation en raison des « hiérarchies oppressives de l’Église byzantine. »

    Le magazine National Geographicserait-il passé sous la dépendance juridique ou financière de l’Arabie saoudite ou de l’Iran ? Je me pose cette question parce que, de façon frappante, sa ligne politique en ce qui concerne le Moyen-Orient semble similaire à celle de ces deux régimes.

    Alors, vais-je adresser un courrier de protestation à National Geographic ? Non, car CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) s’en charge depuis 1996. Je ne le savais pas, mais ayant lu l’article de Belt, j’ai commencé à rechercher les articles que National Geographic avait déjà publiés sur le Moyen-Orient. J’ai ainsi appris que CAMERA avait analysé les partis-pris de ce magazine et avait déjà demandé à ses responsables de reconnaître que leurs travaux étaient incorrects, faux, très tendancieux et carrément bourrés de mensonges. CAMERA leur a indiqué les articles et les passages en question, et à chaque fois, ils ont maintenu leur version des faits et ont refusé d’y apporter le moindre changement, de se remettre un tant soit peu en question, de s’excuser et d’écrire des articles ne comportant pas un parti-pris anti-israélien flagrant.

    Toutefois, j’espère que mes lecteurs, avant de renoncer à leur abonnement, écriront au magazine pour protester contre ces appels au meurtre et contre cet article incroyablement anti-américain, antichrétien et anti-israélien de Belt.

    Un courrier peut être envoyé à l’adresse suivante :

    Chris Johns, Editor in Chief, National Geographic, 711 5th Ave. New York, NY 10022, États-Unis
    ngsforum@ngm.com 

    Phyllis Chesler est professeur émérite en Psychologie, en Etudes Féminines et en Psychothérapie à la City University of New York, expert près les tribunaux et auteur d'une douzaine d'ouvrages dont le best-seller mondial Les femmes et la folie (Payot, 1975, rééd. 2006) et Le nouvel antisémitisme (Eska, 2005). 

    Avec l'aimable autorisation de l'auteur

    © 2009 - Phyllis Chesler
    © 2009 - Marcoroz pour la traduction

              Le Psaume 137   
    par Zack Lieberberg
     
    Sur les bords des fleuves de Babylone, nous étions assis et nous pleurions, en nous souvenant de Sion. Aux saules de la contrée nous avions suspendu nos harpes. Là, nos vainqueurs nous demandaient des chants, et nos oppresseurs de la joie : « Chantez-nous quelques-uns des cantiques de Sion ! »
     

    Comment chanterions-nous les cantiques de l’Éternel sur une terre étrangère ? Si je t’oublie, Jérusalem, que ma droite m’oublie ! Que ma langue s’attache à mon palais, si je ne me souviens de toi, si je ne fais de Jérusalem le principal sujet de ma joie !
     

    Éternel, souviens-toi des enfants d’Édom, qui, dans la journée de Jérusalem, disaient : « Rasez, rasez jusqu’à ses fondements ! » Fille de Babylone, la dévastée, heureux qui te rend la pareille, le mal que tu nous as fait ! Heureux qui saisit tes enfants, et les écrase sur le roc !
     

    Il y a longtemps, jeune homme sorti depuis peu de l’université de Moscou, j’étais allé vivre quelques années à Bakou, la capitale de l’Azerbaïdjan qui était à l’époque une des quinze républiques soviétiques. Je n’y ai pas vécu les années les plus agréables de mon existence, mais cela m’a permis d’avoir une expérience directe de la vie parmi les musulmans et d’acquérir des bases pour les comprendre et pour déchiffrer leurs frustrations et leurs rêves. Le plus souvent, ce sont des circonstances apparemment banales et isolées qui m’ont apporté ces éléments de compréhension.

    Il y a eu par exemple ce matin d’été avant l’aube où, pour je ne sais plus quelle raison, je devais me rendre quelque part avec un ami. Je l’attendais près du guichet de la compagnie Aeroflot où il devait passer me prendre. Il était en retard. J’avais sommeil et j’étais fatigué. Les rues étaient vides, à l’exception d’un petit groupe d’hommes qui formaient un cercle resserré au bout du pâté de maisons. À en juger par leurs habits et par les sacs lourds qu’ils portaient, c’étaient des paysans azéris qui se rendaient au marché. Ils observaient quelque chose à leurs pieds, à l’intérieur du cercle. On aurait dit des badauds contemplant la victime d’un accident mortel avant que les autorités ne viennent chercher le corps.


    Or, il n’y avait eu aucun accident. J’ai décidé de m’approcher pour jeter un coup d’œil. Le groupe n’a pas fait attention à moi. Ils étaient tous complètement absorbés par le spectacle qui se déroulait sur le trottoir, juste sous leurs yeux. Ils observaient dans un silence recueilli. Leurs visages rudes de paysans, solennels, semblaient briller d’une lumière intérieure comme celle que l’on peut quelquefois percevoir sur le visage d’un homme plongé dans la lecture d’un de ses livres préférés. Il sait ce qui va arriver, mais cette connaissance ne diminue pas son plaisir. N’ayant jamais assisté à une exécution, j’imagine qu’on doit y retrouver un peu le même genre d’expression sur les visages : le mélange subtil d’une tristesse de circonstance, d’une répulsion physique face à certains détails inévitables, et par-dessus tout, d’un sentiment profond de justice.

    À l’intérieur du cercle, tout en regardant avec nervosité les spectateurs immobiles et silencieux, deux chiens errants étaient en train de s’accoupler à la va-vite.


    Lorsque les deux chiens se sont finalement dégagés l’un de l’autre et se sont séparés, les paysans sont restés encore un moment sans bouger, contemplant la scène de l’événement, désormais vide, toujours cois, la lumière s’estompant progressivement de leurs visages non rasés. Finalement, l’un d’entre eux s’est écarté, et le groupe entier est revenu à la vie. Sans un mot, ils ont échangé leurs regards, et le degré de compréhension mutuelle que j’y ai perçu ne pouvait être que le résultat d’une intimité partagée. Enfin, eux aussi ont commencé à s’écarter les uns des autres, et pendant une fraction de seconde, le groupe en cours de désintégration m’a paru aussi théâtral que les Bourgeois de Calais de Rodin.


    Je me suis souvenu de cette anecdote tout à fait sans importance le jour où j’ai contemplé la photo d’un groupe de musulmans en train de brûler un drapeau danois. Ils semblaient tout aussi immobiles et aussi solennellement satisfaits que ces paysans azéris. La ressemblance n’était pas fortuite. Dans les deux cas, des musulmans, cruellement privés de la chose réelle, se sont consolés avec le premier substitut qu’ils ont trouvé.

    Les paysans azéris, conformément aux lois et aux traditions islamiques, étaient privés d’une vie sexuelle normale à un point tel que je ne pense pas qu’ils aient su qu’une telle chose existait. Tout ce que nous considérons comme normal en matière de sexualité constitue pour les musulmans la forme la plus extrême de dépravation ; de notre côté, en toute sérénité, nous désapprouvons leurs pratiques zoophiles et pédophiles.

    Les brûleurs de drapeaux, pour leur part, se trouvaient privés par de cruelles circonstances de la possibilité immédiate de se purifier les mains dans le sang de l’infidèle, ce qui constitue, selon ces mêmes lois et coutumes islamiques, à la fois leur droit et leur devoir les plus sacrés. Dans les deux cas, le substitut était précieux et en même temps insuffisant.

    La principale différence entre ces deux groupes est que les paysans azéris ne pourront jamais réaliser entièrement leurs rêves, quels qu’ils soient. Au contraire, les brûleurs de drapeaux ont de bonnes chances de réaliser les leurs.

    Les médias rendent compte du dernier accès de rage des musulmans avec plus d’empathie encore que celle dont ils ont fait preuve quand ils ont relaté les récentes émeutes musulmanes en France. D’après le New York Times, ces émeutes avaient pour origine l’incapacité de la France à intégrer ses immigrés.

    Étant moi-même un immigré, je suis bien placé pour aborder ce sujet. Je suis entré dans le pays de mon choix, les États-Unis d’Amérique, sans y avoir été invité. Je serai éternellement reconnaissant à l’Amérique de m’avoir laissé venir, de m’avoir permis de rester et de m’avoir traité en égal selon ses lois. Je me suis intégré moi-même jusqu’à m’y sentir bien, ni plus ni moins. Je n’ai jamais attendu de l’Amérique qu’elle m’intègre. Qui plus est, je n’irais jamais vivre dans un pays qui ferait un effort pour m’intégrer. L’Union Soviétique n’a jamais cessé d’essayer de m’intégrer durant les trente-quatre premières années de ma vie, et elle n’a pas réussi.

    Certains de mes amis sont eux-mêmes des immigrés. Leur degré d’intégration varie, et certains d’entre eux sont bien moins intégrés que moi. Je connais une dame originaire de Chine qui vit dans ce pays depuis vingt ans. Un jour, je l’ai invitée à déjeuner dans un restaurant italien. Même les plats les plus courants lui étaient inconnus. Elle croyait que le mot Pizza était le nom d’une chaîne de magasins, comme Te Amo. Elle a été étonnée de s’apercevoir qu’une partie de cette nourriture étrangère était réellement savoureuse. Elle était incroyablement peu intégrée, ce qui lui occasionnait de graves problèmes. Pour autant, je peux garantir qu’en aucune circonstance elle n’aurait envisagé de résoudre ses problèmes en brûlant une voiture. Elle n’était pas musulmane.

    Le prétexte que les musulmans ont invoqué cette fois-ci semble presque raisonnable par comparaison. Combien de fois avez-vous entendu dire qu’ils considéraient toute image de Mahomet comme une insulte envers leur religion ? Vous voulez que je vous dise ? Ce n’est là encore qu’un mensonge islamique de plus.

    Sur mon bureau, j’ai un livre d’Andrew Bostom intitulé The Legacy of Jihad. L’illustration qui orne la couverture représente le massacre des Juifs de Médine. Ce massacre est surveillé par le faux prophète en personne, accompagné (si je ne me trompe) de son cousin Ali et de leurs épouses sans visage. Inutile d’être un expert en œuvres d’art pour se rendre compte qu’il s’agit de l’œuvre d’un artiste musulman. Produite au XIXe siècle, elle trahit l’ignorance totale, de la part de son auteur, des lois de la perspective et autres techniques fondamentales utilisées par les artistes européens depuis des siècles. Dans cette peinture, les flammes ressemblent à une sorte de cactus en contreplaqué, et il faut faire un sacré effort d’imagination pour comprendre lesquelles des victimes sont déjà terrassées et lesquelles sont encore debout.

    En résumé, ce chef-d’œuvre islamique reste loin du niveau de perfection atteint par les artistes de Cro-Magnon quelque 30 000 ans plus tôt. Il n’en représente pas moins, même avec un tel simplisme, le témoignage d’un des nombreux épisodes génocidaires dont toute l’histoire de l’islam est constituée et de la soif de sang génocidaire qui en est l’essence même. Je n’ai jamais entendu dire que les musulmans trouvaient à redire à cette représentation, même si leur führer bien-aimé, quand on l’observe avec attention, semble être gravement constipé.

    De façon générale, je crois que les gens – que ce soit individuellement ou collectivement – ne méritent jamais un respect plus grand que celui qu’ils montrent pour autrui. Quand, pour la dernière fois, des musulmans pratiquants ont-ils montré le moindre respect pour quoi que ce soit ou pour quiconque en dehors de leur culte de la mort ? La réponse, c’est : jamais. Mais finalement, cette question est elle-même problématique, sachant que dans le monde musulman, respect est synonyme de peur et de soumission. Elle devient plus problématique encore si l’on se souvient que chaque centimètre carré du soi-disant monde musulman a été pris par les musulmans à ses propriétaires légitimes en recourant au djihad, cette guerre musulmane de conquête et de génocide qui se poursuit sans interruption depuis quatorze siècles.

    Qui a oublié comment, en 2002, des terroristes arabes, pour échapper aux forces de défense israéliennes, se sont barricadés à l’intérieur de l’Église de la Nativité et ont pris en otages les prêtres qui s’y trouvaient ? Ces Arabes n’ont pas hésité à uriner et à déféquer à l’intérieur de l’église. Imaginez la réaction du monde musulman si des« infidèles» avaient fait quelque chose de similaire dans la plus insignifiante mosquée du globe.

    Bien que l’Église de la Nativité soit un des lieux saints les plus importants pour la chrétienté, pas un seul musulman n’a protesté contre sa profanation. Quant aux chrétiens, ils n’ont pas exigé d’excuses de la part de ces musulmans, ni de leurs chefs, ni des autorités musulmanes en général. Dans aucun pays chrétien, il n’y a eu de réaction violente anti-musulmane. Au lieu de cela, les chrétiens, conformément à leur tradition deux fois millénaire, ont rendu les Juifs responsables de l’incident. Les Juifs, fidèles comme toujours à leurs propres coutumes, n’ont pas non plus réagi à ce nouvel appel au meurtre par des actes violents à l’encontre des chrétiens.

    Cela montre l’importance de l’antisémitisme dans les affaires du monde. Les Juifs sont le bouc émissaire tout trouvé des scélérats. A la majorité de ceux qu’ils prennent pour cible, l’antisémitisme apporte l’agréable illusion que les scélérats s’en prennent à quelqu’un d’autre. C’est cette tactique simple qui permet à notre ennemi commun de nous plumer un par un, et chaque fois que nous perdons l’un des nôtres, nous nous illusionnons nous-mêmes en nous disant qu’ils ne viendront jamais jusqu’à notre porte.

    Il est à peu près certain que c’est ce qu’ils feront, tout comme ils sont venus jusqu’à la porte des Danois. La réaction du monde chrétien a été aussi lâche que la réaction des Israéliens aux atrocités arabes sur leur territoire. Prenons le boycott des produits danois, par exemple. Quelle aurait été une réaction appropriée de la part du monde civilisé ? N’importe quelle réaction, pourvu qu’elle ait été significative. Or, pas un seul pays occidental, pas un seul producteur occidental n’a retiré ses produits des circuits de distribution du monde musulman par solidarité avec la position du Danemark en faveur de la liberté d’expression.

    Une telle réponse aurait-elle représenté le moindre danger ? Bien sûr que non. Nous faisons tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir pour accomplir la prophétie de Lénine, nous vendons à nos ennemis la corde avec laquelle ils viendront nous pendre.

    À l’accusation d’irrespect envers le Coran dans la baie de Guantanamo, quelle aurait été la réaction américaine appropriée ? La confiscation immédiate de tous les exemplaires du Coran des prisonniers. Y avait-il le moindre danger à agir ainsi ? Bien sûr que non. Mais il est bien plus important pour nous de rester politiquement corrects que de gagner la guerre déclenchée contre nous par les musulmans.

    La moindre mesure de l’administration Bush contre la terreur fait l’objet d’un examen malveillant, par le biais du soupçon de possibles violations de nos droits constitutionnels et d’érosion de nos libertés. Je vais vous dire ce qui constitue la plus abominable et la plus dangereuse violation de mes droits constitutionnels, ce qui menace mes libertés plus que toute autre chose. C’est l’influence toujours plus grande de l’islam dans ce pays. Est-ce si difficile de comprendre que la  composante la plus importante de la liberté n’est pas mentionnée dans la Déclaration des Droits parce qu’elle est tenue pour évidente, comme l’oxygène dans l’air que nous respirons ? Est-ce si difficile de comprendre que la  composante la plus vitale de la liberté est la sécurité des personnes ?

    On ne peut pas être libre quand on n’est pas en sécurité. On ne peut pas être libre dans son propre pays quand la population musulmane augmente. On ne peut pas être en sécurité dans ce monde quand l’islam se répand comme un cancer avec ses métastases et quand les gouvernements occidentaux, y compris le nôtre, au lieu de faire quoi que ce soit pour s’y opposer, concourent à qui fera preuve de la dhimmitude la plus abjecte.

    Cependant, il n’y a plus eu d’attaque terroriste à l’intérieur du pays depuis plus de quatre ans, pourrait-on objecter. Très bien, demandons-nous pourquoi. Est-ce en raison des efforts héroïques et de l’efficacité incroyable du Département de la Sécurité Intérieure, du FBI, de la CIA ? Dans une certaine mesure, oui, encore que des groupes de citoyens bien comme il faut s’emploient régulièrement à compromettre le succès de leur action. Mais ces organismes, de par leur nature même, ne peuvent prendre que des mesures défensives, donc passives, or tout le monde sait qu’aucune guerre ne peut être gagnée uniquement par des mesures défensives et passives.

    En vérité, nos ennemis n’ont pas besoin de commettre une nouvelle atrocité dans l’immédiat. L’immigration en masse des musulmans aux États-Unis continue. D’ici deux générations, ils seront assez nombreux pour pouvoir rejeter la Constitution et voter pour la Sharia. Le jour où nos autorités tenteront d’empêcher la réussite de leur entreprise, il y aura une autre attaque terroriste aux États-Unis, et nos dirigeants, comme leurs collègues d’Europe occidentale, procéderont docilement aux accommodements nécessaires.

    Nos mésaventures en Afghanistan et en Irak ne contribuent nullement à empêcher que cela se produise. L’administration américaine s’est sans doute rendu compte depuis longtemps que notre présence militaire là-bas ne contribuait en rien à réduire la menace du terrorisme : c’est pourquoi elle a remplacé l’objectif initial inatteignable de notre invasion par la chimère de l’instauration de la démocratie au Moyen-Orient. C’est pourquoi Oussama ben Laden continue de dicter ses lettres au peuple américain.

    Le seul résultat tangible de notre conquête absurdement bénévole est la détérioration continue et la destruction imminente de la seule démocratie qui soit possible dans cette région empoisonnée.

    Le jour où les imams et les ayatollahs ont décidé que les rituels électoraux de l’Occident, bien que futiles et vains, n’étaient pas contraires à la charia, les musulmans en Afghanistan, en Irak et dans les territoires d’Israël occupés par les Arabes sont allés aux urnes. Les élections qui ont eu lieu en Afghanistan ont été aussi dénuées de sens qu’elles l’étaient habituellement en Union soviétique, où l’on obligeait les gens à voter pour le seul candidat d’une liste unique. En Irak, elles ont porté au pouvoir des gens qui nous étaient ouvertement hostiles et qui s’opposaient à nos objectifs, mais c’était inévitable puisqu’en Irak, tout le monde nous est hostile et s’oppose à nos objectifs. En Israël, les Arabes se sont fait une joie de saisir cette occasion de montrer, de façon éhontée, qu’ils n’étaient pas un « peuple » mais une organisation terroriste.

    Et cependant, nous continuons à traiter ce moins que rien de Hamid Karzai comme un allié. Nous continuons à faire comme si la mort de nos soldats en Irak allait apporter quelque chose de bon à ce pays. Et nous retenons notre souffle en attendant de voir si le Hamas acceptera de reconnaître le droit d’Israël à exister. Pourquoi n’est-ce pas le Hamas qui se préoccupe de savoir si Israël acceptera son droit à exister ?

    Ce ne sont pas les signes de notre défaite. Ce sont les signes de notre désintégration.

    Il y a trente-six ans, l’Iran attaquait les États-Unis et prenait en otages soixante-six de nos concitoyens. Tout le monde a alors considéré que les États-Unis étaient impuissants à réagir à l’agression iranienne, car cela risquait d’entraîner l’exécution des otages. Malheureusement, les États-Unis ont accepté cette vision lâche.

    C’était une vision lâche car, à cette époque, les Iraniens, même en théorie, ne pouvaient faire de mal à personne hormis les soixante-six otages qu’ils détenaient. Les États-Unis, en revanche, auraient pu facilement prendre en otage le pays tout entier, avec la promesse claire et crédible de lâcher la foudre du ciel au moindre mal causé aux captifs.

    À la place de Jimmy Carter, n’importe quelle personne sensée aurait laissé vingt-quatre heures aux ayatollahs pour libérer les otages et nous livrer les cinq cents« étudiants révolutionnaires» qui avaient envahi l’ambassade et aurait procédé, s’ils ne s’exécutaient pas, à la destruction systématique et méthodique des lieux “saints” iraniens, des quartiers résidentiels de l’élite au pouvoir, des installations pétrolières et de tout ce qu’il aurait fallu brûler pour obtenir que le nouveau régime iranien demeure pour toujours la preuve la plus convaincante de l’inébranlable volonté de paix de l’islam. Quand bien même les« étudiants révolutionnaires» auraient été assez stupides pour faire du mal à leurs captifs, aucun musulman n’aurait plus jamais envisagé de prendre des Américains en otages ni de précipiter nos avions sur nos gratte-ciel.

    Mais Jimmy Carter n’était pas du genre à saisir leurs enfants pour les écraser sur le rocher. Il a toujours préféré voir nos enfants se faire écraser sur le rocher, et c’est précisément ce qui lui a valu son prix Nobel de la paix. Aujourd’hui, vingt-six ans plus tard, un de ceux qui ont organisé l’attaque des États-Unis dirige le front iranien du djihad mondial, avec le titre officiel de président de la République islamique, et il est sur le point d’acquérir des armes atomiques. Qu’allons-nous faire ? Que pouvons-nous faire ?

    Nous pouvons faire beaucoup. Nous sommes parfaitement capables de stopper le djihad pour toujours d’ici mercredi prochain. Mais au lieu de cela, nous ne ferons rien, car saisir les enfants de Babylone pour les écraser sur le rocher suppose un courage que nous n’avons plus.

    Mes chers amis, nous ne sommes finalement pas si différents de ces paysans azéris. Simplement, ce que nous contemplons passivement et en silence, ce n’est pas l’accouplement des chiens mais le déroulement d’une nouvelle Shoah.


    Zack Lieberberg est mathématicien et informaticien et habite New York.


    © 2006 - Zack Lieberberg & Yashiko Sagamori - http://middleeastfacts.com/yashiko/  

    © 2009 - Marcoroz pour la traduction

              アスホール オーディションス Vol.2   

    Mike Adriano initiates some of porn's sexiest young ladies into his particularly invasive style of sodomy in the perverse talent tryouts of "Asshole Auditions #2." All the sloppy, deep-throat cock worship and sphincter-expanding rectal debauchery mean a vigorous workout for Mike's big, tireless tool. Ultra-stacked sex bomb Jasmine Jae wraps her full lips around the director's thick dick and slides his cock between her enormous jugs. Mike pounds the built Brit's asshole to red prolapse! Pale, tattooed Anna de Ville buries a dildo in her tight, puckered butthole. After the slender slut's sphincter is enlarged, Mike's meat thrusts inside her reamed orifice. He fills Anna's mouth with cum. Big-eyed brunette Whitney Wright swallows Mike's pole, gagging and drooling, and tastes it straight from her well-fucked ass. Porn newcummer Christy Love is a sweet Eurasian cutie-pie with a deceptively kinky anal appetite. Mike thoroughly plows her gaping butthole, and the obedient slut sucks dick ass-to-mouth.

              Invasion migratoire : 8 000 personnes secourues en 48h en Méditerranée   
    Invasion migratoire : 8 000 personnes secourues en 48h en Méditerranée
    En 48h, 8 000 personnes ont été secourues en pleine mer, des départs massifs favorisés par le beau temps. La plupart de ces clandestins partent de Libye (merci Nicolas Sarkozy) pour envahir l’Europe :
              5 Pesepakbola Pendukung Palestina   


    (jelajahunik.us) Invasi Israel ke Palestina secara membabi buta membuat warga Palestina, terutama Kota Gaza berbatasan langsung dengan Zionis menjadi sasaran kebrutalan militer Israel. Korban banyak tumbang anak dan perempuan sudah mencapai ribuan jumlahnya. Saban hari warga Gaza hidup dengan teror disebarkan pasukan Bintang Daud itu.

    Di tengah konflik berkepanjangan, dukungan nyata justru datang dari mereka yang tidak ada kepentingan langsung. Para pesepakbola sejagat ikut gregetan dengan aksi Israel yang telah mengabaikan hukum internasional dengan membombardir tanag Palestina. Kelima bintang lapangan hijau ini secara terang-terangan memberi sumbangsih terbesar untuk Palestina dan membuat gerah pihak Zionis.

    Siapa saja bintang lapangan hijau pendukung setia Palestina ini? Dilansir dari stasiun televisi BBC, berikut ulasannya.

    1. Frederik Kanoute

    5 Pesepakbola pendukung setia Palestina

    Frederik Kanoute seorang pemain bola berdarah Mali, Afrika, dan muslim taat. Saat invasi Israel ke Palestina empat tahun lalu, Kanoute saat itu masih membela klub Sevilla, Spanyol, merayakan selebrasi gol dengan memperlihatkan kaos bertuliskan Palestina dalam beberapa bahasa.

    Aksi Kanoute ini diganjar kartu kuning oleh wasit Antonio Mateu Lahoz. Dia mengatakan ini tidak sesuai ketentuan federasi sepakbola, bukan karena kaos dikenakan Kanoute. Duta besar Israel di Spanyol menyambut baik hukuman itu, sementara duta besar Palestina memuji Kanoute sebab mendukung perjuangan rakyat Palestina secara terang-terangan dan itu tidak mudah.

    2. Diego Maradona

    5 Pesepakbola pendukung setia Palestina

    Legenda sepak bola Diego Maradona menunjukkan dukungan terbesarnya untuk rakyat Palestina. Dia mengatakan tidak akan pernah peduli jika ada pihak yang marah sebab pernyataannya itu. 

    Maradona menceritakan hidupnya penuh perjuangan, persis seperti rakyat Palestina. Itu sebabnya setiap usaha mempertahankan harga diri dan hidup perlu dihargai. Dia juga menyerukan agar negara Palestina diakui oleh dunia.

    3. Cristiano Ronaldo

    5 Pesepakbola pendukung setia Palestina

    Bintang lapangan tampan Cristiano Ronaldo, kemarin menyumbangkan sepatu emas bernilai Rp 18,5 miliar untuk pembangunan sekolah di Kota Gaza, Palestina. 

    Tahun lalu, Ronaldo juga menyumbangkan sepatu miliknya untuk dilelang dan hasilnya disumbangkan bagi sekolah di Gaza. Si ganteng lapangan hijau ini memang tercatat sebagai donatur tetap Palestina.

    4. Ronaldo

    5 Pesepakbola pendukung setia Palestina

    Pesepakbola dikenal plontos asal Brasil, Ronaldo, pernah menjadi duta Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa untuk kemanusiaan. Salah satu kota pernah dikunjunginya yakni Ramallah, Palestina.

    Ronaldo mengaku tidak mampu menahan air matanya melihat kondisi Palestina secara langsung tujuh tahun lalu. Hingga kini dia aktif menyerukan bantuan untuk penduduk Palestina pada warga Brasil.


    5. Muhammad Abutrika

    5 Pesepakbola pendukung setia Palestina

    Pesepakbola Mesir Muhammad Abutrika pernah mengirim surat terbuka pada pengurus klub tempatnya bernaung, Al-Ahly, agar setiap tahunnya mengadakan pertandingan amal untuk membantu warga Kota Gaza, Palestina.

    jelajahunik.us

              Comment on VINNIE VINCENT INVASION “ALL SYSTEMS GO” – 1988 ALBUM REVISITED! by Paul Grady   
    I COMPLETELY disagree with a few of the earlier posts,.This Album ROCKS,.Maybe they didn't "really" listen to BURN and BREAKOUT among others,.Kickstart My Heart totally rips off the intro to BURN as well,.Those songs absolutely push Metal, Glam, Musicianship, and Production to all-out levels,. It takes a FEW listens and then you realize (minus the pretty cheesey lyrics) that these guys were some serious hardcore jammers,.Sure, they went to an all out other level of Glam that most people can't tolerate,.With a few extra listens it will make you a believer,.These songs have DEPTH,.Great review MetalOdyssey,.I thought is was SPOT ON1
              Comment on VINNIE VINCENT INVASION “ALL SYSTEMS GO” – 1988 ALBUM REVISITED! by Paul Grady   
    I COMPLETELY disagree with a few of the earlier posts,.This Album ROCKS,.Maybe they didn't "really" listen to BURN and BREAKOUT among others,.Kickstart My Heart totally rips off the intro to BURN as well,.Those songs absolutely push Metal, Glam, Musicianship, and Production to all-out levels,. It takes a FEW listens and then you realize (minus the pretty cheesey lyrics) that these guys were some serious hardcore jammers,.Sure, they went to an all out other level of Glam that most people can't tolerate,.With a few extra listens it will make you a believer,.These songs have DEPTH,.Great review MetalOdyssey,.I thought is was SPOT ON1
              Playing with the light   

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    I felt so invasive:
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    My favorite:
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              TUYÊN BỐ VỀ CHỦ QUYỀN BIỂN ĐẢO QUỐC GIA VIỆT NAM    
    CỦA CÔNG DÂN VÀ CÁC TỔ CHỨC XÃ HỘI DÂN SỰ VIỆT NAM

      
    Xin ký tên ủng hộ bản Tuyên bố này qua địa chỉ biendongtuyenbo@gmail.com.


    Ngày 27 tháng 6 năm 2017



    Lần đầu tiên, một lãnh đạo Trung Quốc sang Việt Nam – tướng Phạm Trường Long –  đã tuyên bố công khai, trực tiếp với lãnh đạo Việt Nam, rằng “vùng lãnh hải Biển Đông là thuộc chủ quyền Trung Quốc từ thời cổ đại”, điều mà Chủ tịch Trung Quốc Tập Cận Bình đã phát biểu tại Singapore sau khi rời Việt Nam, mà không dám nói khi còn ở Việt Nam.

    Phạm Trường Long, đại diện lập trường bành trướng của Trung Quốc, đã tiến thêm một bước khiêu khích mới, đe dọa chủ quyền Việt Nam, đồng thời Trung Quốc tiến hành manh động gây hấn ở lãnh hải và một số điểm trên đất liền của Việt Nam.



    Dù yêu chuộng hòa bình hữu nghị, và đã từng trải qua chiến tranh, nhân dân Việt Nam  không sợ hãi và kiên quyết chống lại cuộc xâm lấn của nhà cầm quyền Bắc Kinh, như đã từng thể hiện qua lịch sử mấy ngàn năm chống giặc Tàu xâm lược.

    Chúng tôi, các công dân Việt Nam và các hội đoàn xã hội dân sự Việt Nam, long trọng tuyên bố:

    1) Phản bác và lên án các hành vi xâm lược lãnh hải, lãnh thổ Việt Nam của nhà cầm quyền Bắc Kinh đang diễn ra. Dù bất cứ tình huống nào, sự đánh trả của nhân dân Việt Nam để bảo vệ đất nước là tất yếu.

    2) Nhân dân Việt Nam đồng lòng, đoàn kết, gác bỏ mọi khác biệt và ủng hộ tất cả các Nhà nước của Quốc gia Việt Nam ở mọi thời kỳ, trong cùng lập trường bảo vệ chủ quyền quốc gia, chống mọi hành động xâm lược.

    - Tại Hội nghị quốc tế San Francisco – Mỹ, 1951, Thủ tướng Chính phủ Quốc gia Việt Nam Trần Văn Hữu đã khẳng định quần đảo Hoàng Sa - Trường Sa thuộc Việt Nam, và được hội nghị công nhận.

    - Chính phủ VNCH (Miền Nam), 1974, đã chiến đấu quyết liệt chống quân Trung Quốc xâm lược Hoàng Sa, tuy thất bại nhưng tinh thần không khuất phục.

    - Chính phủ CHXHCN Việt Nam, sau khi thống nhất đất nước, dưới thời Tổng Bí thư Lê Duẩn 1979 đã tiến hành cuộc đánh trả oanh liệt cuộc xâm lăng 6 tỉnh miền Bắc Việt Nam. Tuy Việt Nam chưa giành lại được 6 đảo ở Trường Sa và quần đảo Hoàng Sa còn bị Bắc Kinh chiếm đóng, nhưng năm 2011 trước Quốc hội Thủ tướng Nguyễn Tấn Dũng đã tiếp tục khẳng định chủ quyền của Việt Nam về Hoàng Sa và Trường Sa.  Chính phủ Việt Nam cũng có những tuyên bố khác có nội dung thống nhất như trên. Và Quốc hội Việt Nam đã công khai thừa nhận là Việt Nam chưa hoàn thành nhiệm vụ lịch sử khôi phục sự toàn vẹn lãnh thổ.

    Lập trường của nhân dân Việt Nam và sự nhất quán của các Chính phủ của Quốc gia Việt Nam đã rõ ràng trong suốt chiều dài lịch sử. Tham vọng ngông cuồng, lạc thời đại của bè lũ Bành trướng Tập Cận Bình – Phạm Trường Long không tránh khỏi sự thất bại thảm hại.

    3) Nhân dân Việt Nam luôn ghi nhận và tri ân các thế hệ quân đội thuộc các thời kỳ, đã chiến đấu và hy sinh vì Tổ quốc, để chống các loại giặc ngoại xâm bất cứ từ đâu đến và dưới màu sắc nào.  

    4) Cải thiện nội trị là điều khẩn thiết để có nội lực hùng mạnh bảo vệ Tổ quốc chống ngoại xâm. Các tầng lớp nhân dân đang phấn khích, ủng hộ và theo dõi xu thế làm trong sạch bộ máy nhà nước, và cải tổ về mọi lãnh vực: kinh tế, y tế, giáo dục, quốc phòng, tư pháp. Đặc biệt, canh tân quân đội, từ bỏ sự sa đà vào lợi ích nhóm bất chính, chấn chỉnh hệ thống hành chánh quan liêu, diệt trừ tham nhũng. Và quan trọng hơn hết là từ bỏ hệ tư tưởng lạc hậu ảo tưởng, sửa Điều 4 Hiến pháp nhằm hiệu chính vai trò của Quốc hội, tăng cường sức mạnh đoàn kết của nhân dân, thực thi nền dân chủ cho kịp đà tiến của thời đại.

    Tổ quốc là trên hết, gác lại quá khứ, chấp nhận khác biệt.

    Chúng tôi kêu gọi các tầng lớp nhân dân, các tổ chức xã hội dân sự, các thành viên trong bộ máy nhà nước, cùng đồng bào Việt Nam ở nước ngoài, ủng hộ tuyên bố này.

    Chúng tôi kêu gọi nhân dân các nước ủng hộ cuộc đấu tranh chính nghĩa, bảo vệ chủ quyền quốc gia Việt Nam theo công ước quốc tế, góp phần bảo dưỡng môi trường tài nguyên vùng biển, đảm bảo tự do hàng hải và hàng không ở Biển Đông.


    Xin ký tên ủng hộ bản Tuyên bố này qua địa chỉ biendongtuyenbo@gmail.com.


    English version:

    STATEMENTS BY CITIZENS AND CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS OF VIETNAM ABOUT SOVEREIGNTY ON VIETNAMESE WATERS AND ISLANDS



    Ho Chi Minh City June 27/6/2017
    Recently, Fan Changlong, a Communist China leader made official statements to the leaders of Vietnam in Hanoi: "The islands in the China Sea have belonged to China since antiquity". Even the Chinese President Xi Jinping did not dare to do such a thing in Vietnam. He only did it in Singapore after leaving our country.
     
    As the representative of the Chinese hegemonic lines, Fan Changlong took a new step in the provocation and threats against Vietnamese sovereignty. At the same time, China is deliberately attacking some parts of the continental shelf and the national territory of Vietnam.



    The Vietnamese people, enamored of peace and friendship, even after having suffered so many wars, is determined to struggle obstinately against these aggressions carried out by the Chinese leaders. Our people have proved throughout their millenary history, this unwavering will of resistance against Chinese aggression.



    We, citizens and civil organizations of Vietnam, make the following solemn declarations:
     
    1. We reject and condemn the actions of the current aggressions of the Beijing leaders against the waters and territories of Vietnam. In all circumstances, our fight for the defense of our country is an absolute necessity!
     
    2. In all the epochs of its history, the Vietnamese people were united in the support of the Vietnamese states in the struggle for the defense of the sovereignty of Vietnam against the external aggressions.
     
    -          At the International Conference in San Francisco in 1951, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) reaffirmed that the Hoang Sa-Truong Sa Islands were belonged to Vietnam. And this position was approved by all participating delegates.





    -          The Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) carried out a heroic but unsuccessful struggle against the Chinese aggression at Hoang Sa in 1974.



    -          In 1979, under the leadership of General Secretary Le Duan, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam stubbornly resisted Chinese aggression on the 6 provinces bordering North Vietnam.



    -          Although the Hoang Sa archipelago and the 6 Truong Sa islands remain still occupied by China, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reaffirmed Vietnam's rights on Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands before the National Assembly. This consistent position was subsequently confirmed in various statements. Among other things, the National Assembly has officially recognized the fact that Vietnam has missed its historic duty in restoring territorial integrity.
     
    -          The unfailing position of the Vietnamese people and successive governments is constant throughout our history. The extravagant and out-of-date ambitions of Xi Jinping - Fan Changlong will certainly encounter lamentable failures!
     



    The Vietnamese people always express their deep gratitude to their armed bodies, which have fought and sacrificed themselves for their fatherland in the struggle against the aggressors from wherever they come and under any color.
     
    Internal consolidation is the sine qua non condition of strengthening the country's defense forces against invasion. The different layers of the Vietnamese population are enthusiastically following and firmly supporting the State's transparency policy, the policy of reforming the economy, health, national education, national defense, justice ... Particularly, the reform of the army, the abandonment of financial interests related to particular selfish groups, the reorganization of the bureaucratic administration system, the liquidation of corruption. The most important of all, will be the abandonment of ideological illusions, the amendment of Article 4 of the Constitution to restore the rights of the National Assembly, strengthen national unity, achieve democracy in order to catch up with the times.



    The country must be above all. The past must be put on hold, the difference must be accepted.
     
    We appeal to all segments of the population, all civil and social organizations, all members of the apparatus of the state and all Vietnamese compatriots living both in Vietnam and abroad to support the present declarations.



    We also appeal to the people of the world to support our just struggle for the defense of Vietnamese sovereignty, in accordance with international laws, for the protection of the environment, for the preservation of natural resources, guaranteeing the freedom of maritime and air navigation, for the international legal order, in China Sea.
     
    If you are supporting these declarations, please provide your contact information (surname and first name, occupation, place of residence) via the following e-mail address:


    Ho Chi Minh City, June 27/2017



    Version français

    DÉCLARATIONS DES CITOYENNES-CITOYENS ET DES ORGANISATIONS CIVLES DU VIETNAM À PROPOS DE LA SOUVERAINETÉ SUR LES EAUX ET LES ÎLES VIETNAMIENNES



    Ho Chi Minh ville le 27/6/2017



    Récemment, Fan Changlong, un dirigeant de la Chine communiste a pour la première fois, fait des déclarations officielles devant les dirigeants du Vietnam à Hanoi : « Les iles dans la mer de Chine appartenaient à la Chine depuis l’antiquité ». Même le Président Chinois Xi Jinping n’osait pas fait une telle chose au Vietnam. Il l’a fait seulement à Singapore après avoir quitté notre pays.
    Etant le représentant des lignes hégémoniques chinoises, Fan Changlong a fait un nouveau pas dans la provocation et les menaces contre la souveraineté vietnamienne. En même temps, la Chine procède à des agressions délibérées sur quelques endroits de la plate-forme continentale et le territoire national du Vietnam.

    Le peuple vietnamien, épris de paix et de l’amitié, même après avoir subi tant de guerres, est déterminé à lutter avec opiniâtreté contre ces agressions menées par les dirigeants chinois. Notre peuple a prouvé tout au long de son histoire millénaire, cette volonté inébranlable de résistance contre l’agression chinoise.




    Nous, citoyens et organisations civiles du Vietnam, faisons des déclarations solennelles suivantes :



    1. Nous rejetons et nous condamnons les actions d’agressions actuelles des dirigeants de Beijing contre les eaux et les territoires du Vietnam. En toutes circonstances, notre combat de défense de notre pays est une nécessité absolue !



    2. Dans toutes les époques de son histoire, le peuple vietnamien s’est montré unis dans le soutien des états vietnamiens dans la lutte pour la défense de la souveraineté du Vietnam contre les agressions extérieures.



    A la Conférence Internationale de San Francisco en 1951, le Premier Ministre de la République du Vietnam (Sud-Vietnam) a réaffirmé l’appartenance des îles Hoang Sa  - Truong Sa au Vietnam. Et cette position a été approuvée par tous les délégués participants.



    -          La République du Vietnam (Sud-Vietnam) a mené un combat héroïque mais sans succès contre l’agression chinoise à Hoang Sa en 1974.



    -          En 1979, sous la direction du Secrétaire Général Le Duan, la République Socialiste du Vietnam a résisté avec opiniâtreté contre l’agression chinoise sur les 6 provinces frontalières au Nord Vietnam.

    Malgré que l’archipel de Hoang Sa et les 6 îles de Truong Sa soient restés encore occupés par la Chine, devant l’Assemblée Nationale, le Premier Ministre Nguyen Tan Dung a réaffirmé les droits du Vietnam sur les îles Hoang Sa et Truong Sa. Cette position constante a été confirmée par la suite dans différentes déclarations. Entre autre, l’Assemblée Nationale a reconnu officiellement le fait que le Vietnam a manqué son devoir historique dans la restauration de l'intégrité territoriale.
     
    La position sans faille du peuple vietnamien et des gouvernements successifs est constante tout au long de notre histoire. Les ambitions extravagantes et hors d’époque de Xi Jinping - Fan Changlong vont certainement rencontrer des échecs lamentables !



    1.       Le peuple vietnamien marque toujours sa profonde reconnaissance envers ses corps armés qui ont lutté et se sont sacrifiés pour la patrie dans les combats contre les agresseurs d’où qu’ils viennent et sous n’importe lesquelles couleurs.



    2.       La consolidation intérieure est la condition sine qua non du renforcement des forces de défense de la patrie contre l’invasion. Les différentes couches de la population vietnamienne sont entrain de suivre avec enthousiasme et soutiennent fermement la politique de transparence de l’appareil de l’état, la politique de réforme de l’économie, de la santé, de l’éducation nationale, de la défense nationale, de la justice… Particulièrement, la réforme de l’armée, l’abandon des intérêts financiers liés aux groupes particuliers égoïstes, la réorganisation du système de l’administration bureaucratique, la liquidation de la corruption. Le plus important de tout sera l’abandon des illusions idéologiques, la modification de l’article 4 de la Constitution pour remettre en selle l’Assemblée Nationale, renforcer l’union nationale, réaliser la démocratie afin de rattraper le retard de l’époque.



    La patrie doit être au-dessus de tout. Il faut mettre en veilleuse le passé, accepter la différence.



    Nous faisons appel à tous les couches de la population, toutes les organisations civiles, sociales, tous les membres de l’appareil de l’état, tous les compatriotes du Vietnam vivant au Vietnam comme à l’étranger pour soutenir les présentes déclarations.

    Nous faisons appel aussi au peuple du monde entier à soutenir notre juste lutte pour la défense de la souveraineté vietnamienne, conformément aux lois internationales, pour la protection de l’environnement, pour la préservation des ressources naturelles, garantissant la liberté de navigation maritime et aérienne, pour l’ordre légal international dans la Mer de Chine.

    Si vous soutenez ces déclarations, veuillez indiquer vos coordonnées (nom et prénom, occupation, lieu de résidence) via l’adresse d’e-mail suivante:




    DANH SÁCH KÝ TÊN

    I. Hội đoàn tổ chức xã hội dân sự

    1. Ban Vận động thành lập Văn đoàn Độc lập Việt Nam do nhà văn Nguyên Ngọc đại diện
    2. Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng do ông Lê Thân, Chủ nhiệm Câu lạc bộ, đại diện
    3. Diễn đàn Xã hội Dân sự do TS Nguyễn Quang A đại diện
    4. Người Bảo vệ Nhân quyền (Defend the Defenders) do ông Vũ Quốc Ngữ đại diện
    5. Mạng lưới Các Tổ chức Xã hội Dân sự Độc lập (Vietnam Independent Civil Society Organizations - VICSON) do ông Vũ Quốc Ngữ đại diện
    6. Câu lạc bộ Phan Tây Hồ do TS Hà Sĩ Phu và cán bộ cộng sản Tiền khởi nghĩa Đoàn Nhật Hồng đại diện
    7. Diễn đàn Bauxite Việt Nam do GS Phạm  Xuân Yêm và GS Nguyễn Huệ Chi đại diện

    II. Cá nhân

    1. Nguyễn Quang A, TSKH, nguyên Viện trưởng Viện IDS, Hà Nội
    2. Hồ An, nhà báo, Sài Gòn
    3. Vũ Hồng Ánh, nghệ sĩ, Sài Gòn 
    4. Lại Nguyên Ân, nhà nghiên cứu độc lập, Hà Nội
    5. Nguyễn Trọng Bách, kỹ sư động lực, Nam Định
    6. Trần Văn Bang, kỹ sư, cựu chiến binh chống Trung Quốc xâm lược, Sài Gòn
    7. Nguyễn Nguyên Bình, nhà văn, Hà Nội
    8. Huỳnh Ngọc Chênh, nhà báo, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn
    9. Nguyễn Huệ Chi, GS, hưu trí, Hà Nội
    10. Nguyễn Kim Chi, nghệ sĩ, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn
    11. Tống Văn Công, nguyên Tổng Biên tập báo Lao Động, Hoa Kỳ
    12. Ngô Thị Kim Cúc, nhà văn, nhà báo, Sài Gòn
    13. Tiêu Dao Bảo Cự, nhà văn tự do, Đà Lạt
    14. Nguyễn Trung Dân, nhà báo,  Sài Gòn
    15. Nguyễn Đắc Diên, bác sĩ, Sài Gòn 
    16. Nguyễn Xuân Diện, TS, Hà Nội
    17. Hoàng Dũng, PGS TS, Sài Gòn
    18. Nguyễn Duy, nhà thơ, Sài Gòn
    19. Lê Công Định, luật sư, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn
    20. Trần Tiến Đức, nhà báo độc lập, đạo diễn truyền hình và phim tài liệu, Hà Nội
    21. Phạm Nam Hải, Hà Nội
    22. Nguyễn Trần Hải, cựu sĩ quan Hải quân Nhân dân Việt Nam, Hải Phòng
    23. Chu Hảo, nguyên Thứ trưởng Bộ Khoa học, Công nghệ và Môi trường, Hà Nội
    24. Đặng Thị Hảo, TS, hưu trí, Hà Nội
    25. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hằng, dược sĩ, Pháp
    26. Vũ Thư Hiên, nhà văn, Pháp
    27. Bùi Hiền, nhà thơ, Canada
    28. Ngô Kim Hoa (Sương Quỳnh), nhà báo tự do, Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn
    29. Lại Thị Ánh Hồng, nghệ sĩ, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn
    30. Đoàn Nhật Hồng, nguyên Giám đốc Sở Giáo dục Lâm Đồng, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Phan Tây Hồ, Đà Lạt
    31. Phaolô Nguyễn Thái Hợp, Giám mục Giáo phận Vinh
    32. Nguyễn Đăng Hưng, GS Danh dự Đại học Liège, Bỉ, cư ngụ tại Sài Gòn
    33. Hoàng Hưng, nhà thơ, dịch giả, Sài Gòn
    34. Đoàn Thị Thu Hương, nội trợ, Sài Gòn 
    35. Lê Phú Khải, nhà báo, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn 
    36. Lê Xuân Khoa, GS, Hoa Kỳ
    37. Mai Thái Lĩnh, nhà nghiên cứu, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Phan Tây Hồ, Đà Lạt
    38. Gioan Baotixita Huỳnh Công Minh, linh mục Giáo phận Sài Gòn
    39. Lê Khánh Luận, TS Toán, TP HCM
    40. Phan Đắc Lữ, nhà thơ, Sài Gòn
    41. Kha Lương Ngãi, nguyên Phó Tổng Biên tập báo Sài Gòn giải phóng, thành viên Câu lạc bộ Lê Hiếu Đằng, Sài Gòn 
    42. Nguyên Ngọc, nhà văn, Hội An
    43. Nguyễn Đình Nguyên, TS Y khoa, Australia
    44. NATO, a monstrous institution 

      By Karel van Wolferen (June 3 2017)

      Their anxiety about the future of NATO, recently on full display again when the American president was in Europe, could not be bettered as a measure of the incapacity of Europe’s top politicians to guide their continent and represent its populations. Through its provocations of Moscow, NATO systematically helps increase the risk of a military confrontation. By thus sabotaging its declared purpose of serving collective security for the countries on either side of the Atlantic, it erases its fundamental reason for being and right to exist.

      Grasping these facts ought be enough to fuel moves aimed at quickly doing away with NATO. But it is terrible for more and easily overlooked reasons.

      NATO’s survival prevents the political entity that is the European Union from becoming a significant global presence for reasons other than its economic weight. If you cannot have a defence policy of your own you also deprive yourself of a foreign policy. Without a substantive foreign policy, Europe does not show anything that anyone might consider ‘a face’ to the world. Without such a face to the outside, the inside cannot come to terms about what it stands for, and substitutes meaningless platitudes for answers to the question as to why it should exist in the first place.

      NATO is an example of an institution that has gotten completely out of hand through European complacency, intellectual laziness, and business opportunism. As a security alliance it requires a threat. When the one that was believed to exist during the Cold War disappeared, a new one had to be found. Forged for defence against what was once believed to be an existential threat, it only began actually deploying its military might after that threat had disappeared, for its illegal war against Serbia. Once it had jumped that hurdle, it was encouraged to continue jumping toward imagined global threats. Its history since the demise of its original adversary has been deplorable, as its European member states were made party to war crimes resulting from actions at Washington’s behest for objectives that have made a dead letter of international law. It has turned some European governments into liars when they told their populations that sending troops to Afghanistan was for the purpose of assorted humanitarian purposes like reconstructing that country, rather than fighting a war against Taleban forces intent on reclaiming their country from American occupation. Afghanistan did not, as was predicted at the time, turn into the graveyard for NATO to come to rest, next to the British Empire, the Soviet Union and – farther back – Alexander the Great. Having survived Afghanistan, NATO continued to play a significant role in the destruction of Gaddafi's Libya, and in the destruction of parts of Syria through covertly organising, financing, and arming Isis forces for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government. And it continues to serve as a cover for the war making elements in Britain and France. America’s coup in the Ukraine in 2014, which resulted in a crisis in relations with Russia, gave NATO a new lease on life as it helped create entirely uncalled for hysterical fear of Russia in Poland and the Baltic states. NATO repudiates things that we are said to hold dear. It is an agent of corruption of thought and action in both the United States and Europe. Through propaganda that distorts the reality of the situation in the areas where it operates, and perennial deceit about its true objectives, NATO has substituted a now widely shared false picture of geopolitical events and developments for one that, even if haphazard, used to be pieced together by independent reporters for mainstream media whose own tradition and editors encouraged discovery of facts. This propaganda relies to a large extent on incessant repetition for its success. It can generally not be traced to NATO as a source of origin because it is being outsourced to a well-funded network of public relations professionals.

      The Atlantic Council is NATO's primary PR organization. It is connected with a web of think tanks and NGO’s spread throughout Europe, and very generous to journalists who must cope with a shrinking and insecure job environment. This entity is well-versed in Orwellian language tricks, and for obvious reasons must mischaracterise NATO itself as an alliance instead of a system of vassalage. Alliance presupposes shared purposes, and it cannot be Europe's purpose to be controlled by the United States, unless we now accept that a treasonous European financial elite must determine the last word on Europe's future.

      An influential policy deliberation NGO known as the International Crisis Group (ICG), is one of the organizations linked with the Atlantic Council. It operates as a serious and studious outfit, carrying an impressive list of relatively well-known names of associates, which studies areas of the world harbouring conflicts or about-to-be conflicts that could undermine world peace and stability. Sometimes this group does offer information that is germane to a situation, but its purpose has in effect become one of making the mainstream media audience view the situation on the ground in Syria, or the ins and outs of North Korea, or the alleged dictatorship in Venezuela, and so on, through the eyeballs of the consensus creators in American foreign policy.

      NATO repudiates political civilisation. It is disastrous for European intellectual life as it condemns European politicians and the thinking segment of the populations in its member states to be locked up in what may be described as political kindergarten, where reality is taught in terms of the manichean division between bad guys and superheroes. While Europe’s scholars, columnists, TV programmers and sophisticated business commentators rarely pay attention to NATO as an organization, and are generally oblivious to its propaganda function, what it produces condemns them to pay lip service to the silliest geopolitical fantasies.

      NATO is not only terrible for Europe, it is very bad for the United States and the world in general, for it has handed to America's elites important tools aiding its delusional aim of fully dominating the planet. This is because NATO provides the most solid external support for sets of assumptions that allegedly lend a crucial moral dimension to America's warmaking. NATO does not exist for the sake of indispensable European military prowess, which mildly described has not been impressive. It exists as legal justification for Washington to keep nuclear weapons and military bases in Europe. It obviously also exists as support for America’s military- industrial complex. But its moral support ought to be considered its most significant contribution. Without NATO, the conceptual structure of a 'West' with shared principles and aims would collapse. NATO was once the organisation believed to ensure the continued viability of the Western part what used to be known as the 'free world'. Such connotations linger, and lend themselves to political exploitation. The 'free world' has since the demise of the Soviet Union not been much invoked. But 'the West' is still going strong, along with the notion of Western values and shared principles, with ‘the good’ in the form of benevolent motives automatically assumed to be on its side. This gives the powers that be in Washington a terrific claim in the realm of widely imagined moral aspects of geopolitical reality. They have inherited the mantle of the leader of the 'free world' and 'the West', and since there has not been a peep of dissension about this from the other side of the Atlantic, the claim appears true and legitimate in the eyes of the world and the parties concerned.

      In the meantime the earlier American claim to speak and act on behalf of the free world was broadened and seemingly depoliticised by a substitute claim of speaking and acting on behalf of the ‘international community’. There is of course no such thing, but that doesn't bother editors who keep invoking it when some countries or the bad guys running them do things that are not to Washington's liking. Doing away with NATO would pull the rug from under the ‘international community’. Such a development would then reveal the United States, with its current political system and priorities in international affairs, as a criminal power and the major threat to peace in the world. I can hear an objection that without this resonation of moral claims the activities serving the ‘full spectrum dominance’ aim would have been carried out anyway. If you think so, and if you can stand reading again what the neocons were producing between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraqi in 2003, subtract all references to moral clarity and the necessity for the United States to serve as moral beacon for the world from that literature, and you will see that preciously little argument remains for American warmaking that ensued.

      The spinelessness of the average European politician has added up to huge encouragement of the United States in its post-Cold War military adventurism. With forceful reminders from Europe about what those much vaunted supposedly shared political principles actually stood for, American rhetoric could not have been the same. Strong European condemnation of the shredding of the UN Charter, and the jettisoning of the principles adopted at the Nuremberg trials, would have made it much more difficult for George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocons to go where blind fanaticism and hubris, with imagined economic advantage, took them. Perhaps more importantly, it might have given a relatively weak American protest movement the necessary added energy to rise to the level of effectiveness once attained by the

      anti-Vietnam activists as they imprinted themselves on the political culture of the 60s and 70s. European dissent might not have halted but could have slowed the transformation of much of the mainstream media into neocon propaganda assets.

      As it is, NATO exists today in a realm of discourse in which revered post-World War II liberal conditions and practices are still believed to exist. It is an apolitical and ahistorical realm determined by hubris and misplaced self-confidence, in which powers that have utterly altered these practices and negated its positive aspects are not acknowledged. It is a realm in which America's pathological condition of requiring an enemy as a source of everlasting profit is not acknowledged. It is a realm in which America's fatuous designs for complete control over the world is not acknowledged. It is a realm of foreign policy illusions.

      NATO is supposed to guard putative Western values that in punditry observations have something to do with what the Enlightenment has bestowed on Western culture. But it deludes staunch NATO supporters, who cannot bring themselves to contemplate the possibility that what they have long trusted to be an agent of protection, has in fact become a major force that destroys those very qualities and principles.

      There is a further more tangible political/legal reason why NATO is monstrous. It is steered by nonelected powers in Washington, but is not answerable to identifiable entities within the American military system. It is not answerable to any of the governing institutions of the European Union. Its centre in Brussels exists effectively outside the law. Its relations with ‘intelligence agencies’ and their secret operations remain opaque. Who is doing what and where are all questions to which no clear, legally actionable, information is made available.

      NATO has thereby become a tool of intimidation lacking any compatibility with democratic political organisation. An autocrat aspiring to unfettered rule with which to operate anywhere in the world would find in NATO the ideal institutional arrangements. All this should be of our utmost concern. Because all this means that NATO is now one of the world’s most horrible organizations that at the same time has become so politically elusive, apparently, that there is no European agent with enough of a grip on it to make it disappear. 



              'Caught Again In Their Trap'   

    The US-Russian Hearings: Caught Again In Their Trap

    3421321312“…one shouldn’t put one’s trust in speeches like that from the gentlemen, for on such occasions the gentlemen liked to say agreeable things, but they had little or no significance and, once uttered, they were forgotten for all time, but admittedly, on the very next occasion one got caught again in their trap.” 

    With these words Kafka described the modern condition, each one of us trapped in the sticky web of technology and deceit designed to manipulate us to act and think against our selves, to accept the role of monkeys offered bananas in a cage, surrendering the struggling to escape it.
    The most dangerous element of that technology is the constant and increasing flood of images of war, of “terror,” of cities destroyed, cultures erased, entire progressive socio-economic systems torn apart, or threatened with destruction, not by the “terrorists” but by the states that declared their “war on terror,” by the states that in reality created the terror in all its forms; the worst being the constant threat of instant and universal annihilation in a nuclear war.
    That threat, the threat of nuclear war is more dangerous with every passing day as we see the NATO build-up along Russia’s western borders echoing the Nazi build-up before their invasion in 1941, the rolling invasion of Syria by American and allied forces, the hysterical rhetoric and military movements against North Korea, and the increasing contempt for Chinese sovereignty. Any of these threats from the United States could lead to nuclear war but the threat that concerns all of us is the one against Russia because a nuclear war with Russia is, as President Putin pointed out recently, not survivable. Yet, it is the threat against Russia that is building, building, building; increased military pressure on all fronts, increased economic warfare, called “sanctions,” increased hybrid warfare ranging from hacking of Russian computer systems, to direct attacks on Russian forces in Syria, from expulsion of diplomats to verbal abuse against and assassination of ambassadors. But the extent of the danger is to be seen not outside the United States but in the internal political turmoil that is taking place inside the United States.
    There propaganda against Russia as the “enemy” trying to destroy America through various forms of subversion is daily fare in all the mass media. The alleged subversion is stated as fact. The fact that the allegations are patently absurd means nothing when those who mould opinion refuse to say so and openly lie to the people with every word they utter. But the level of the threat against Russia is signalled by the willingness among the war faction to sacrifice anyone, no matter who they are or what position, in order to advance this propaganda. We now watch as the US Congress holds hearings in which senior government officials are called to defend themselves against charges of having had Russian connections. The President of the country is himself subject to a barrage of accusations of treason.
    This scandal is not just about the bickering between the losing party in the US elections and the winning party with the losers willing to risk the security of the people of the country in a bid to take power denied them at the ballot box. There is an element of that. The war faction does want to have its finger directly on the button. Elections and democracy mean nothing to them so long as they take the power. But they could have used any scandal to try to do that. They have concocted the “Russian threat to democracy” because they want war with Russia and to convince the people of the United States and the world that this war is necessary and just, are willing to destroy even their own leaders, and their country’s democratic system, as weak and non-representative of the needs of the people as it is, in order to achieve their purpose.
    The longer this spectacle in the United States goes on the worse it is going to get. But those under attack do not seem to understand what is happening to them, that they are being used to advance this propaganda, that they are being set up as scapegoats and in fact they even play along with the game, with Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney-General, today, the 13 of June, telling the US Senate Intelligence investigative committee that the accusation he “colluded” with Russia was “an appalling and detestable lie” but playing his role in this propaganda show by adding, “that he was concerned the President did not realise the severity of the threat from Russia interference that can never be tolerated.”
    The former FBI Director James Comey, a man with deep state connections, testified to the same committee that he was fired because of his investigation into the Russian allegations even though he provided no proof there was anything to investigate. Again, the facts don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the impression left, that Russia has and is attempting to subvert the United States and has succeeded in infiltrating its agents into the presidency and senior government and military levels.
    To further advance this propaganda theme purges are necessary to add to the drama and we have seen Comey leave, General Flynn resign and others forced out of office or threatened with it. But the main objective of these hearings and the mass media coverage of them is to generate peoples hostility towards Russia, and this seems to be succeeding, as polls indicate. The next level of the propaganda war will be to create such an intense situation in the United States that the calls for war by the people will be the natural reaction of their outrage and, in any case, this is what the war faction and media will tell us, that the people demand action.
    President Putin can meet with celebrities like Oliver Stone to correct the facts and state the truth. He can successfully dance circles around bubble headed American journalists in interviews, but he cannot control the mass media in the west that rarely allows Russian points of view to be heard. Still the attempt must be made.
    The United States is in a crisis. The games being played there are dangerous for its people. The logic of the demands made by those making the allegations means that President Trump must resign or be charged with treason. If he refuses to go there will be attempts to force him. If he is forced out, the people that voted for him and support him will feel rightly cheated and they will react. And who is to replace him? It can only be one of the war faction or a puppet and if that cannot issue be resolved peacefully then the military could step in to “manage” things in a time of “threat” and “urgency.” There have been coup d’états before in the United States. We are witnessing another now.
    The United States is in a crisis generated by people who have no idea how to control all the possible consequences of the events they have begun and because of this they are very dangerous to themselves and to the world. While the Russians prepare for the worst and hope for the best we in the west must do what we can to challenge the war propaganda, the propaganda of hostility and hatred that is inflicted on us by the criminals in control of the western governments and western media. Each of us is just one voice, but our voices united become a shout and with our shout we can level the walls of hostility that keep us from the peaceful coexistence that the peoples of world need to continue the struggle for economic and social justice, for real democracy, for progress, against the forces of reaction and fascism that always threaten us. Let’s not get “caught again in their trap.”

    Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/25/the-us-russian-hearings-caught-again-in-their-trap/


              Tom Engelhardt 246   
    Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, All War All the Time, or War American-Style
    At 36% to 37% in the latest polls, Donald Trump’s approval rating is in a ditch in what should still be the “honeymoon” period of his presidency. And yet, compared to Congress (25%), he’s a maestro of popularity. In fact, there’s just one institution in American society that gets uniformly staggeringly positive votes of “confidence” from Americans in polls and that’s the U.S. military (83%).  And this should be the greatest mystery of them all.
    That military, keep in mind, hasn’t won a significant conflict since World War II. (In retrospect, the First Gulf War, which once seemed like a triumph beyond compare for the globe’s highest-tech force, turned out to be just the first step into the never-ending quagmire of Iraq.) In this century, the U.S. military has, in fact, stumbled from one “successful” invasion to another, one terror-spreading conflict to the next, without ever coming up for air. Meanwhile, the American taxpayer has poured money into the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state in amounts that should boggle the mind. And yet, the U.S. hasn’t been able to truly extricate itself from a single country it's gotten involved in across the Greater Middle East for decades.  In the wake of its ministrations, nations have crumbled, allies have been crippled, and tens of millions of people across a vast region of the planet have been uprooted from their homes and swept into the maelstrom. In other words, Washington’s version of imperial war fighting should be seen as the record from hell for a force regularly hailed here as the “finest” in history.  The question is: finest at what?
    All of this is on the record. All of this should be reasonably apparent to anyone half-paying attention and yet the American public’s confidence in the force fighting what Rebecca Gordon has termed “forever wars” is almost off the charts. For that, you can undoubtedly blame, in part, the urge of the military high command never again to experience a citizen’s army roiled by antiwar protests and in near revolt as in the Vietnam era. As a result, in 1973, the draft was ended and in the decades that followed the public was successfully demobilizedwhen it came to American war. George W. Bush’s classic post-9/11 suggestion that Americans respond to the horror of those falling towers by visiting Disney World and enjoying “life the way we want it to be enjoyed” caught that mood exactly. But the explanation undoubtedly goes deeper yet, as TomDispatch regular Gordon, author of American Nuremberg, suggests today. Tom
    America at War Since 9/11 
    Reality or Reality TV? 
    By Rebecca Gordon
    The headlines arrive in my inbox day after day: “U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria killed hundreds of civilians, U.N. panel says.” “Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields.” “The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.” There are so many wars and rumors of war involving our country these days that it starts to feel a little unreal, even for the most devoted of news watchers. And for many Americans, it’s long been that way. For them, the meaning of war is closer to reality TV than it is to reality.

    On a June day, you could, for instance, open the New York Times and read that “airstrikes by the American-led coalition against Islamic State targets have killed hundreds of civilians around Raqqa, the militant group’s last Syrian stronghold, and left 160,000 people displaced.” Or you could come across statistics two orders of magnitude larger in learning from a variety of sources that famine is stalking 17 million people in Yemen. That is the predictable result of a Saudi Arabian proxy war against Iran, a campaign supported by the U.S. with weaponry and logistical assistance, in which, according to Human Rights Watch, the U.S. may well be complicit in torture. You could contemplate the fact that in Iraq, a country the United States destabilized with its 2003 invasion and occupation, there are still at least three million internally displaced people, according to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees; or that more than 411,000 Iraqis remain displaced from their homes in Mosul alone since the Iraqi army launched a U.S.-backed offensive to drive ISIS out of that city last October.
    Yes, it’s possible to click on those links or to catch so many other Internet or TV news reports about how such American or American-backed wars are damaging infrastructure, destroying entire health care systems, uprootingmillions, and putting at risk the education of whole generations thousands of miles away. But none of it is real for most of us in this country.
    How could it be real? Most of us no longer have any idea what war is like for the people who live through it. No major war has been fought on U.S. territory since the Civil War ended in 1865, and the last people who remembered that terrible time died decades before the turn of this century. There is no one around to give us a taste of that reality -- except of course for the refugees that the Trump administration is now doing its best to keep out.
    In addition, Americans who once were mobilized to support their country’s wars in distant lands (