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Index March 2009

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Sabine A. Döring-Manteuffel – Germany

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Sabine A. Döring is Professor Philosophy at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. She studied Philosophy, German Literature, Linguistics, and Psychology at Göttingen University. Before moving to Tübingen, she was Research Associate in Philosophy at King’s College London and The University of Manchester, and prior to that an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Duisburg-Essen University, also doing research at UC Berkeley and St. Andrews University … (full text on the homepage of sabinedoering.de).

Sabine Döring’s main research areas are the theory of practical rationality, ethics, aesthetics, and increasingly the philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on the philosophy of emotion. In her thesis (entitled “Ästhetische Erfahrung als Erkenntnis des Ethischen: Die Kunsttheorie Robert Musil’s und die analytische Philosophie”) she examined Robert Musil’s claim that ethical knowledge can only be gained by aesthetic experience. This claim is ultimately based on a particular theory of emotion, fascinating enough to ground an enduring interest into the subject. Sabine Döring “Habilitationsschrift” (Second Book) deals with the problem of rational motivation, i. e. with the problem of how to account for the conceptual claim that normative practical reasons are capable of motivating us towards action. In short, the idea is that this problem can only be solved by integrating the emotions, understood as “affective perceptions”, into the theory of practical rationality and morality. (on sabinedoering.de/research).

Sabine Doering-Manteuffel (geborene Künsting, * 3. August 1957 in Bonn) ist seit 1995 Professorin für Europäische Ethnologie/Volkskunde in Augsburg. Nach dem Studium der Völkerkunde, Philosophie, Geschichte und Volkskunde in Köln und Bonn, das sie 1984 mit der Promotion abschloss, war sie bis 1989 an der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin tätig. 1987 war sie Visiting Scholar an der Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Kanada. 1988 hatte sie ein Post-Doc-Stipendium am Maison des Sciences de l`Homme in Paris. Nach der Habilitation in Mainz 1993 erhielt sie 1995 den Ruf nach Augsburg. 1999 war sie Gastprofessorin am Center for West European Studies an der University of Pittsburgh, USA. 2003 nahm sie eine Gastprofessur (Directrice d`Études associée) am Maison des Sciences de l`Homme in Paris an. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel ist verheiratet mit dem Zeithistoriker Anselm Doering-Manteuffel … (full text).

Her bio in german on the UniAugsburg;

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Sabine A. Döring-Manteuffel – Germany – (sorry, it’s again the upload tool for NEW photos)

Listen this audio in german: WGT 2008 MDR Radio Bericht über Okkultismus & Schwarze Szene, 06.13 min, May 20, 2008.

Her book: The Occult, 352 pages, 2008:

  • Occultism is the collective name for a number of neo-heathen, esoteric and theosophical currents that affect, move and threaten people. Especially since the 18th century, occultism has been going through a period of popularity that is unbroken to this day. Sabine Doering-Manteuffel tells the history of occultism from the late Middle Ages until the present day … (full text).
  • A success story in the shadow of the Enlightenment.

Moral Emotions about Risky Technologies, Delft, Netherlands: Risk Assessment as Virtue, by Sabine A. Döring and Fritz Feger, University of Mancheste, 11 pdf-pages.

Find her and her publications bei PapierChaos; bei alibris.com and on alibris.uk; on de.wikipedia; on philPapers; on Google Book-search.

Beyond the Witch Trials – Witchcraft and Magic in Enlightenment Europe, Edited by Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt: (This) is an important volume on the nature of witchcraft and magic in European society during the Enlightenment. This innovative book provides the reader with a challenging variety of approaches and sources of information, as well as advancing the study of witchcraft into the eighteenth century. The essays cover England, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Finland and Sweden, and examine the experience of and attitudes towards witchcraft in those countries. The contributors come from different academic disciplines and move beyond the usual historical perspectives and sources. They emphasize the importance of studying such themes as the aftermath of witch trials, the continued role of cunning-folk in society, and the nature of the witchcraft discourse in different social contexts … Praise: This is a fine collection of essays on an important topic in witchcraft studies.The study of the persistence of witchcraft beliefs and accusations during a period of enlightenment has only recently begun, and these essays make a substantial contribution to that enterprise.”–Brian P. Levack, University of Texas at Austin … Table of contents: … The dissemination of magical knowledge in Enlightenment Germany, (by) Sabine Doering-Manteuffel … (full text).

IMPRESSIONS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE RESEARCHERS CONFERENCE “ERZÄHLEN ZWISCHEN DEN KULTUREN” IN AUGSBURG, 1.–5.09.2002 – The committee for narrative research at the German Ethnology Society (Die Kommission für Erzählforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde) organised under the leadership of narrative researchers Sabine Wienker-Piepho and Sabine Doering-Manteuffel on September 1–5, 2002, in Augsburg, Germany, the international conference Erzählen zwischen den Kulturen (Intercultural Narrating): … The question of right and wrong, with regard to heritage, often can be reduced to fears and stereotypes that help create a distance from strangers. This distance is necessary for getting used to the stranger. And it is also used to change the stereotype and assimilate the other among the self. The task of narrative research is to find the reasons of narrating: what is important in the society, what is feared, what are we protected from by narrating the fears or by visualising them. Herein lies the reason for giving value to the comments and narrating situation and the need to record both. The papers revealed that within Europe we might rather talk about local features of intracultural narratives, especially in the case of stories concerning the relations of people and nature, Europeans and non-Europeans or even political relations. Intercultural narrating is related to national relations, migration and tourism. Narrating is limited to a fairly limited circle if the topic concerns conflicts that do not carry similar weight with other heritage groups (holocaust stories in Jewish families, deportations in Estonian families … (full text, 5 pages).

She writes: With the consequentialist’s view, the emotions are a nonrational source of practical reason by constituting goals for action. What if, then, they interfere with the reasoned pursuit of these goals? Can emotional choices be rational? This is the claim of Robert H. Frank, whose evolutionary economic theory has recently gained some popularity among philosophers. Frank’s so-called commitment model is my concern in this paper. I explain its formal version which is meant to demonstrate that ‘honest’ individuals can prosper in the material world. It is those individuals who, according to Frank, regularly make rational emotional choices so as to solve ‘commitment problems’. This is claimed to be due to their specific genetic predisposition. I offer two interrelated arguments against the commitment model. First, I argue that Frank does not succeed in bridging the gap between deliberation and evolution. His model rather is exemplary of a research strategy which does not address the question of how the two processes may be combined coherently. Frank applies what, in inversion of Elliott Sober’s ‘heuristic of personification’, I am calling the ‘heuristic of biologisation’. He draws upon the isomorphism between deliberation and evolution consisting in that both are optimising processes. But the respective optimality criteria can come apart. I point out that this is so in the one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma. Frank’s prime example of a commitment problem provides a counter-example to the method he applies, and his classification of choices is ecisionist and inconsistent. This in turn undermines his account of practical rationality and morality. Opposing Frank’s ambitious normative claims, I show, secondly, that the commitment model does not rationalise emotional choices, leave alone establish their morality. Instead, Frank’s adaptive strategy leads to a paradox, which emerges precisely because the gap between deliberation and evolution remains unbridged … (full long text, 17 pdf-pages). Continue Reading…

Jacquie Cozens – Ireland

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Linked with loggerhead turtles in a nutshell, and with Seaturtle.org.

Jacquie Cozens is a wildlife film-maker, with credits on The Discovery Channel, Channel 5 in the UK, and the BBC. Jacquie is based in Dingle where she co-owns a dive centre. (on IrishWildlife).

Until recently Jacquie Cozens and Neal Clayton owned a dive centre in Dingle, south west Ireland but are now living on Sal in Cabo Verde. Jacquie has been diving for more than 20 years with experience in cave diving and using rebreathers. Her credentials include an HSE Part IV Commercial Diving qualification as well as being a PADI Open Water Instructor.  Jacquie holds an RYA Advanced Powerboat qualification. Jacquie is also an independent producer and presenter of underwater natural history programmes, having worked for BBC Leonardo’s Amazing Inventions (Leonardo’s Amazing Inventions), Walt Disney (The Real Killer Squid), C5 and The Discovery Channel (The Truth About Killer Squid).  Her latest film, ‘Grey Seals – Life on the Edge’ has won many awards at Festivals and (was) broadcasted at the end of 2007. Jacquie also occasionally writes for Diver & Dive magazine in the UK and Subsea, the magazine of the Irish diving organisation, CFT.  This feature was published in October 2003.  Jacquie’s article about yoga and diving was published in April 04, a review of the Steam Machines Prism rebreather in Oct 04 and an article about diving in Panama (May 05). Her latest article about grey seals was published in Diver in March 2007. Jacquie is now working on a film about the turtles in Cabo Verde. (on diveCapoverde.com).

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Jacquie Cozens – Ireland

4th Matsalu International Nature Film Festival 2006 – Highly Commended Nominations:  “Grey Seals – Life on Edge“, Jaqcuie Cozens, UK/Ireland, Excellence in Documentary.

Leonardo’s design for an underwater breathing apparatus consists of cane tubes joined by leather, with steel rings to prevent them being crushed by the water pressure. The tubes are attached to a face-mask and at the other end to a bell-shaped float to keep the openings above water. A diving suit based on this design using pig leather, bamboo tubes, and a cork float was built, and tested by a diver, Jacquie Cozens. It worked well in shallow waters … (full text).

For five years I had been studying to make this dive in the Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, which divides Mexico’s Baja California peninsula from the mainland. Along with my diving partner Jacquie Cozens and a small crew, I was there filming Humboldt: The Man-Eating Squid. This documentary, which is the first episode in a series called “Dangerous Waters,” is scheduled to be released in January. For most people, the word “squid” probably conjures images of deep-fried appetizers, not flesh-eating carnivores. But the truth is, Humboldt squid have approximately 1,200 sucker discs, each one lined with 20 to 26 needle-sharp teeth. This allows the Humboldt to attack its prey with more than 24,000 teeth at once. And nestled in its bed of eight muscular arms and two feeding tentacles is a disproportionately large, knife-edged beak similar to a parrot’s. But the Humboldt is much larger than a parrot: they have been found as large as 14 feet in length and weighing more than 700 pounds … (full text).

She writes:

  • … We work in partnership with the DGA (Dept of Environment), the Câmara Municipal (local government), Maritime and Civil Police, INDP (Fisheries) and ISECMAR (Marine Sciences Institute). The project is incorporated into the National Plan for the Protection of Marine Turtles. Other threats to the turtles include nest destruction by vehicles, egg poaching and the collection of turtles (in tourist facilities and homes as pets), loss of habitat (plastic waste and depleted beaches) and massive shoreline development. Public awareness of conservation issues has been very low. The strategy has been to train Capeverdian Wildlife Rangers, who with overseas and local community volunteers patrol the beaches every night and morning. Former turtle keepers have also been recruited. Rangers have saved 18 turtles that were about to be killed and, together with the Public Prosecutor, we are bringing the first action against hunters for Environmental Crime. The only turtles lost on protected beaches have been killed far from the beach, something that was previously unnecessary, as killing turtles was considered risk free. Protected areas (including a hatchery) have been established (first official quad/ATV trails in Cabo Verde) as well as an ecotourism programme, a ‘turtle friendly’ programme for businesses and beach clean ups. All illegal tourist attractions with turtles have been closed down … (full text 29th Sea Turtle Symposiumm, Brisbane, Australia, 2009);
  • DIVERS LOVE GREY SEALS, and I have been fortunate enough to spend a large part of the past two years documenting the most westerly colony in Europe. The remote Blasket Islands in County Kerry, Ireland are just one of their havens around the British Isles and Ireland. Grey seals were the world’s first protected mammals, but unfortunately they are still persecuted in many European countries. Last September, 12 pregnant seals were shot on an Orkney beach by a gunman using a high-velocity rifle, and there have been recent calls for culls by fishermen, who often blame seals for low fish catches and for damaging fishing gear. In November 2004, the seals on the Blasket Islands were subjected to a brutal and unwarranted slaughter. Almost 60 animals were killed, mainly newborns, accounting for virtually the entire season’s pups. By some strange coincidence, we had chosen that day to film the seals, so we were able to notify the authorities immediately of killings that might otherwise have gone unnoticed … (full text);
  • … As a film-maker, using a rebreather makes perfect sense – the lack of bubbles and longer dive times have obvious benefits. Previous use of a semi-closed system had not impressed me – it was definitely not bubble-free and the dive times were barely longer than using a single tank of nitrox. So, having looked long and hard at what was available and after several years of thinking about it, … (full text).

Underwater film-maker Jacquie Cozens says rebreathers allow her to get closer to subjects and extend valuable filming time … , Continue Reading…

Phyllis Bennis – USA

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Linked with the Institute for Policy Studies IPS, and with the Transnational Institute TNI (appears on March 27).

Fellow Phyllis Bennis is in charge of the New Internationalism Project at IPS. The Middle East component of the Project challenges the drive towards U.S. empire in that region and beyond, focusing particularly on ending the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq, and supporting a just and comprehensive peace based on an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine. The United Nations component analyzes U.S. domination of the UN and attempts to strengthen the potential role of the UN as part of a new internationalism and the global resistance to empire. Since September 11, 2001, the New Internationalism Project has also been involved in assessing the root causes of, and critiquing Bush administration responses to, that tragedy.
Phyllis is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. While working as a journalist at the United Nations during the run-up to the 1990-91 Gulf War, she began working on U.S. domination of the UN, and stayed involved in work on Iraq sanctions and disarmament, and later U.S. war and occupation in Iraq. In 1999, Phyllis accompanied a group of congressional aides to Iraq to examine the impact of U.S.-led economic sanctions on humanitarian conditions there, and later joined former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, who resigned his position as Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq to protest the impact of sanctions, in a speaking tour. In 2001 she helped found and currently co-chairs the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement. (on IPS /about /staff).

Phyllis Bennis, author and senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies speaks to Paul Jay about Obama’s plan for withdrawal as the war in Iraq marks its sixth year anniversary. She says, “the Obama administration has a commitment to a major reduction in the size of the occupation,” but continues, “I am less convinced that there is a real commitment to a real withdrawal” … (watch this video, 16.39 min, March 23, 2009).

… Her latest book is “Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power” (Interlink, 2005). The Institute for Policy Studies is a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C.

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Phyllis Bennis – USA

Watch these videos:

Author and activist Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies will speak in the Senate Chambers (Tivoli 329) on Wednesday, April 11, at 1:00. She will be discussing U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran and other countries in the Middle East. (on aurariasds.blogspot).

… Mozgovaya neither showed up nor sent her regrets, however, and Barghouti, who was in Ramallah, initially couldn’t be reached by phone. So Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, spoke to the nearly full room of mostly new faces, as Peace Café co-founder Andy Shallal tried to reach Barghouti … (full text, March 2009).

Find her and her publications on Ask.com; on Zmag; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies writes, “War production doesn’t create real economic health.” We account for approximately half of all global military spending. Our military budget is larger than what the next 45 nations together spend, much wasted on fantasy weapons like Reagan’s silly missile defense system or outmoded weapons systems like aircraft-carrier battle groups. Meanwhile, the infrastructure deteriorates. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave it a grade of D. Thirty-five million citizens go hungry or face hunger on a regular basis. Forty-five million people have no health insurance and millions more don’t have enough. But we throw away trillions on war, especially the war on terror, which, as Meriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies and Lawrence Korb write, “is one that is not working (while) diplomacy, peacekeeping, and international police work are the ones that are” … (full text, March 11, 2009).

The Gaza Crisis, Phyllis Bennis, December 28, 2008.

… Obama is no patsy. He has practical reasons for his desire to move on. First of all, he’s sending more U.S. troops in Afghanistan — a poorly thought-out plan, argue Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) contributors Farrah Hassen and Phyllis Bennis — and any discussion of U.S. war crimes would complicate his mission. Moreover, any investigation of U.S. conduct in Iraq would run up against the uncomfortable truth that a large number of folks in Obama’s party favored the invasion. A Predator strike on the Republican opposition, in other words, would cause collateral damage on the Democrats. This collective responsibility relates to the second problem: The legal case for war crimes isn’t a slam dunk. Unlike the Nuremberg trials against the Nazis, lawyers can’t make the argument that the government that authorized the invasion of Iraq was an illegitimate one. “The legislature and the courts continued to function according to the constitution, even though the president tried to shield his actions and those of his administration from review,” writes Foreign Policy In Focus contributor Robert Pallitto in Prosecuting the Bush Team? “In several instances — authorizing military action against Iraq, detainee treatment, denial of court review to detainees, immunity for warrantless wiretapping — Congress approved presidential actions, thus making it harder to argue that the government wasn’t operating according to valid law” … (full text, March 10, 2009).

Americans Open To Force To Rein In Iran On Nukes, March 10, 2009.

Continue Reading…

Steve Keen – Australia

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Linked with Steve Keen’s Deptwatch – The blog, and with The Roving Cavaliers of Credit.

Dr Steve Keen is an Associate Professor in economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney. He identifies as post-Keynesian, criticizing both modern neoclassical economics and (some of) Marxian economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported. The major influences on Keen’s thinking about economics include Hyman Minsky, Piero Sraffa and Joseph Alois Schumpeter. His recent work mostly concentrates on mathematical modeling and simulation of financial instability … // … Debunking Economics:  Keen’s full-range critique of neoclassical economics is contained in his book Debunking Economics. Keen collects and popularizes a wide variety of critiques of numerous aspects of neoclassical economic theory and argues that together they show that neoclassical assumptions are badly flawed. Keen’s book closes with a survey of various schools of heterodox economics, concluding “None of these is at present strong enough or complete enough to declare itself a contender for the title of ‘the’ economic theory of the 21st century.” However, he argues that neoclassical economics is a degenerative research program, not generating new knowledge but growing a belt of protective auxiliary hypotheses to shield its core beliefs from critique … (full text).

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Steve Keen – Australia

Watch these videos:

Steve Keen’s (free online) Lectures on Economics and Finance:
If you are new to economics?or my approach to it?then I suggest you start with the History of Economic Thought lectures, and/or the Managerial Economics lectures, which evaluate conventional economics against the empirical data. All lectures are in Powerpoint format (which Linux users can now access using OpenOffice.org), and quite a few are supported by simulations … (full text … and much more … ).

He says also: Australia’s private debt has been growing more than 4 per cent faster than our GDP for over 50 years.

His book Debunking Economics is now available as an eBook. He writes about: … Debunking Economics takes you behind the sanitized, airbrushed view of economics given by its textbooks, and details the many critiques which have been made of economic theory by economists, in a fashion which is accessible to the intelligent non-economist. This site provides my presentations, lectures and academic papers on economics, as well as supplementary materials for the book Debunking Economics. By far the largest resource here is my collection of lectures on economics and finance that I give at the University of Western Sydney … (full long text).

… Keen’s outspoken views have made him a controversial figure in a profession dominated by those who believe in the essential equilibrium of capitalism. So does he feel vindicated in witnessing the subprime disaster and its fallout? “It’s nice to be right but when what you’re right about is saying that there’s going to be a serious catastrophe that will damage the lives of hundreds of millions of people, it’s very hollow … You don’t want to win like this.” He thinks many in the industry, including reserve banks around the world, should have foreseen the crisis but chose not to … (full long text, Aug. 27, 2008).

Find him and his publications on the Debunking Economics website; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

AUSTRALIA is facing its own version of the US sub-prime housing crisis, with thousands of young homeowners risking bankruptcy as a result of Kevin Rudd’s economic stimulus package. That is the grim warning from the economic expert who first called the debt crisis that is driving the global financial meltdown. Dubbing the looming crisis “Sub-Prime Lite,” Professor Steve Keen told The Sunday Telegraph Australia was making the same mistakes as the US. Professor Keen said in trying to avoid an economic crisis caused by too much borrowing, Australia was in effect encouraging the poorest in the community to take on even more debt. “Yet these low-paid first homebuyers are the people who are most vulnerable to the economic downturn,” he said … (full text, March 22, 2009).

He writes:

  • … On this basis, the current Australian house price bubble is about 75% more extreme than the USA’s, which is now clearly in free-fall. A fall in Australian house prices is inevitable, and it will be driven by the household sector’s attempt to de-lever from its currently unprecedented level of debt. This de-leveraging will drive the economy down, taking employment with it–and especially the jobs of First Home Buyers, who are definition have less secure employment than older, established home owners. As I argued when The Boost was first announced (Rescuing the Economy or the Bubble? Debtwatch Blog October 19 2008), the policy is a mistake that will backfire on the Rudd Government when the global financial crisis finally comes home to roost here. Despite the bleatings of the property lobby, it should not be extended past its current termination date. (full text, Mar 23, 2009); Continue Reading…

Arun Manilal Gandhi – South Africa and USA

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Linked with The Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute.

Arun Manilal Gandhi (born April 14, 1934, Durban, South Africa) is the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi through his second son Manilal. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, he is also a socio-political activist, although he eschews the ascetic lifestyle of his grandfather.[1] In January 2008, Gandhi resigned as director of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, which he founded, following publication by the Washington Post of an essay “calling Jews and Israel ‘the biggest players’ in a global culture of violence”[2], an act that sparked criticism of Gandhi, as well as criticism of his detractors …(full text).

1946-1948 – He lived with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi considers himself to be a Hindu but expresses universalist views.[8] Gandhi has worked closely with Christian priests and his philosophies are strongly influenced by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian concepts. Like his grandfather, he also believes in the concept of non-violence (ahimsa). In 2003 he was one of the signatories to Humanism and Its Aspirations (Humanist Manifesto III). (on wikipedia /Principles).

In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute was dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. In 2007, the institute moved to Rochester, New York, and is currently located on the University of Rochester River Campus … (on wikipedia /Nonviolent activism).

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Arun Manilal Gandhi – South Africa and USA

Watch this video:

  • Arun Gandhi: Lessons from My Grandfather, first, 55.40 min, Aug 29, 2008.

He writes (about his grandfather): … “Ironically, if it hadn’t been for racism and prejudice, we may not have had a Gandhi. See, it was the challenge, the public need for the public victory that developed the private victory. He may have been just another successful lawyer who had made a lot of money. But, because of prejudice in South Africa, he was subjected to humiliation within a week of his arrival. He was thrown off a train because of the color of his skin. And it humiliated him so much that he sat on the platform of the station all night, wondering what he could do to gain justice. His first response was one of anger … (full text).

And three short videos:

  • Arun Gandhi on Overcoming Anger, 6.13 min,
  • Building Positive Relationships, 4.28 min,
  • the Sunanda Gandhi Memorial School, 4.34 min.

In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute is dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. Arun has given many speeches about non-violence in many countries. During his tour to Israel, he urged the Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation peacefully to assure their freedom.  In August 2004, Gandhi proposed to the Palestinian Parliament a peaceful march of 50,000 refugees across the Jordan River to return to their homeland, and said MPs should lead the way. Gandhi also remarked that the fate of Palestinians is ten times worse than that of blacks in South African Apartheid … (full text).

On July 22, 2007 Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Manilal Gandhi, was interviewed by Peter Sissons of the BBC News 24. Peter asked what Mahatma Gandhi would have done had he seen the Al-Qaeda problem. “Why don’t all the Muslims, Christians and other religions have a day of fasting to show Al-Qaeda that we reject their philosophy,” Arun Manilal Gandhi, founder of M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence replied … (full text).

Find him and his publications on NNDB; on IMDb; on duckduckgo.com; on FreeBase; on BookRags; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

On January 7, 2008, in an article entitled “Jewish Identity Can’t Depend on Violence,” published in the Washington Post online “On Faith” section, Mr. Gandhi wrote that the “Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience,” which he considered “a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends.” He concluded: “We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity” … (on wikipedia /Controversy).

He says also: … “Nonviolence is something very powerful, and the power behind it is not weapons, but the support of the people … and: People need to realize that they need to take the initiative … and: Nonviolence, therefore, can be described as an honest and diligent pursuit of truth. It could also mean the search for the meaning of life or the purpose of life, questions that have tormented humankind for centuries. The fact that we have not been able to find satisfactory answers to these questions does not mean there is no answer. It only means we have not searched with any degree of honesty. The search has to be both external and internal. We seek to ignore this crucial search because the sacrifices it demands are revolutionary. It means moving away from greed, selfishness, possessiveness, and dominance to love, compassion, understanding, and respect … and: So many people around the world have used nonviolence as a way to resolve a conflict that they faced in their lives. And they continue to use it everywhere all over the world there. And I think, in a way, nonviolence is our nature. Violence is not really our nature. If violence was our nature, we wouldn’t need military academies and martial arts institutes to teach us how to kill and destroy people. We ought to have been born with those instincts. But the fact that we have to learn the art of killing means that it’s a learned experience. And we can always unlearn it” … (more quotes on BetterWorldHeroe). Continue Reading…

Marshall Berman – USA

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Marshall Berman (pronounced “beer-mun”) (born 1940) is an American Marxist Humanist writer and  philosopher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, teaching Political Philosophy and Urbanism. Berman completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1968. He is on the editorial board of Dissent and a regular contributor to The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, Bennington Review, New Left Review, New Politics and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. His main works are The Politics of Authenticity, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, One Hundred Years of Spectacle and Adventures in Marxism and On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square. His most recent publication is the anthology, New York Calling: From  blackout To Bloomberg, for which he was co-editor, with Brian Berger, and also wrote the introductory essay. In Adventures in Marxism, Berman tells of how while a student at Columbia University in 1959, the chance discovery of Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 proved a revelation and inspiration, and became the foundation for all his future work. This personal tone pervades his work, linking historical trends with individual observations and inflections from the situation … (full text).

… Marshall Berman found the works of the young Marx – including the Communist Manifesto – spoke to him in a way that the dry tracts of orthodox Marxism he had been exposed to before did not. (full text).

… In sociology, in the writings of Marshall Berman, Faustian refers to the short-time perspective of society in modernity. It also refers to Faust’s desire in the second part of Goethe’s Faust, especially act V, to defeat the forces of nature and create a mechanical heaven on earth by draining the seabed and using it for farming … (Faustian on wikipedia).

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Marshall Berman – USA

He says: “Every book is a building and every building is a book.”

… Early in the 1960s, a little over forty years ago, I discovered the work of Sylvia Plath.  Alas, I discovered it (as most people did) at exactly the moment it stopped.   The London Observer, along with its story on her suicide, printed a whole page of her poems.  In the midst of “Daddy”, one of the  most riveting of those poems, Plath pulls herself up short and says, I began to talk like a Jew … (full longest text).

He says also: (What books are you currently reading?): Interpretation of Dreams, for a course I’m currently teaching: Political Theory – Plato to Marx. In class we discuss Freud’s dreams, his patient’s dreams and our own dreams. I also read a Colin Dexter detective story set in Oxford, a landscape I recently returned to after 40 years. I returned to Oxford last year to teach some workshops, and it was wild walking through these 18th century rooms, the same rooms I had walked through as an 18 year-old-kid … (full interview text, December 10, 2007).

Twilight of the Machines, by thomaspainescorner on March 4, 2009.

Marshall Berman reviews Peter Gay’s latest book, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy, in the fall issue of Dissent. He begins his review with a pair of dislcosures, the second of which leads to an interesting riff on Columbia at midcentury. This is perhaps in part because a shorter version of the review first appeared in Columbia Magazine last spring … (full text, December 26, 2008).

marshall berman vs. wallace berman, March 15, 2009.

… But this – along with a recent re-reading of Marshall Berman and this Mike Davis interview (ta to Savonarola) where he talks about Constructivism as one of the most valuable intellectual engagements with the city, albeit one that ended in (literal) anti-urbanism -  has made me think more than I am inclined to do about one of the central New Town tenets: the Modernist campaign against the street … (full interview text, 03/20/2007).

Find him and his publications on City College of New York;
on wikipedia /Bibliography; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Marshall Berman opted not to speak about the perils of modernity and asked if anyone in the audience had seen Don’t Mess with the Zohan. I might have been the only person to raise a hand. (Damn those NYPL elitists.) Berman said, “I don’t know much about the Atlantic Yards project, but see Zohan… It’s good for your morale to see that it’s possible to blow these [real estate developer] creeps away.” He’s right, the movie has a strong anti-gentrification message … (full text, June 19, 2008).

… Marshall Berman (right), Professor of Political Science, City College and the Graduate Center, was the closest thing to a defender of the government, citing “the very larger and strong libertarian opposition to eminent domain” and warning that the backlash to eminent domain might make it “impossible to create public facilities” … (full text, June 20, 2008).

… Throughout his life, Berman observed the way different generations come to the square and learn from each other about the possibilities of the world. Despite the corporate control prevalent in Times Square today Berman is hopeful that new generations will find ways to take ownership of the Square and return it to its role as a crucible for modern identity. (full text, 05.02.06).

Continue Reading…

Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim – Indonesia

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She’s one of Indonesia’s most prolific short-story writers with more than 300 published. Plus novels, poetry and a basket full of articles. For these she’s collected several awards. When she’s not writing she’s pushing social and cultural causes. All this makes Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim worthy of respect; add to this her work practices. For Ratna is severely crippled and cannot write or use a keyboard; all her stories have to be dictated and transcribed. Duncan Graham met the determined author at her home in Malang, East Java … (full text, June 17, 2007).

Find her on the Indonesian wikipedia.

Selanjutnya! – Tempat Bercermin: Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim: Sudah lama kami tak bertemu. “Bertahun-tahun, Helvy, begitu lama…,” katanya saat saya rangkul. Saya menatap perempuan di hadapan saya dengan sangat bangga. Perempuan yang tak pernah berhenti menginspirasi saya dan mungkin banyak lagi perempuan di negeri ini: Ratna Indraswasi Ibrahim! “Mahasiswa-mu baru telepon setengah dua belas malam untuk acara pagi ini!” ujarnya. “Kalau bukan karena kamu, Helvy, aku tidak akan datang,” katanya pura-pura ngambek. “Sebulan setengah lalu memang sudah dihubungi. Habis itu tak ada kabar. Aku kira tidak jadi.” Saya rangkul lagi dia. “Maafkan mereka ya, Mbak,” kata saya mewakili 70 mahasiswa JBSI Angkatan 2003 yang saya bimbing bersama tiga dosen lainnya dalam KKL (Kuliah Kerja Lapangan) di Malang ini. Salah satu acara yang mereka adakan bekerjasama dengan Universitas Malang adalah menghadirkan diskusi mengenai karya-karya Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim, pagi itu. (on her blog).

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Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim – Indonesia

She works for Bakti Nurani (named on mitra netra online), for the Entropic Foundation, and for Yayasan Pajoeng.

She says: “Conflicts and wars are awful because they disable more and more people in every sense of the word”.

Find her and her publications on goodreads; on National Library of Australia; on open Library.org; on Google Group-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Blog-search.

… For 13 years she chaired a Non-Government Organization (NGO) for disabled people, then founded an NGO concerned with environmental issues. She also works for Yayasan Kebudayaan Panjoeng, a cultural foundation to stimulate and preserve local history and the arts. Her once secluded 93-year old home in central Malang is now overshadowed by a hotel on one side, and a high school on the other. When prayers and public announcements are made on what must be East Java’s most raucous and deafening sound system, the mind hibernates for self-protection. It hardly seems the ideal environment for creativity, but Ratna resting on a bed in her library while she structures her next sentence to be transcribed by secretary and poet Ragil Sukriwul, doesn’t seem to mind. She has many visitors who bring her stories that may eventually find a way into her work. Then there are the students seeking the magic elixir: ‘Please tell me how to write.’ Ratna’s answer is blunt and direct: “Just do it!” So what sort of courses should they take? “Education is not the same as intelligence.” Relationships between the sexes are a major theme in her stories, with situations growing out of male domination of women in a society that’s overwhelmingly dogmatic and masculine, and often violent. Her female characters are usually semi-urban Muslims struggling with life and injustice, battling to raise families while maintaining a sense of self-worth. Their situations are real. Her popularity depends on her readers identifying with the characters and their daily lives. Surprisingly many of her admirers are men. There are two main streams of women’s literature in Indonesia, the traditional romantic novel (love lit) and the new kid on the shelves, sastra wangi (literally ‘perfumed writing’) but known elsewhere as chick lit … (full text, June 17, 2007).

On 1000peacewomen:  … Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim (born 1960) lives in East Java, Indonesia. At the age of 13, she was stricken with polio and other orthopedic diseases that permanently hindered the functions of her arms and legs. Her family encouraged her never to lose hope in spite of her disabilities. She writes short stories about discrimination against women that are published regularly in Indonesian newspapers. Ratna is also involved in local campaigns to improve accessibility for people living with disabilities and to save the urban forest in her hometown, Malang. Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim is a well-known woman writer based in Malang, a city in East Java, Indonesia, whose short stories are regularly published by Indonesian national newspapers.

Her works convey strong messages about discrimination against women in Indonesian society. She says that her writing is a reflection on culture and the self. “Women are unfairly treated since early childhood. I see a lot of girls deprived of their playing time because they have to help with house chores. It doesn’t happen with boys,” she observes.

Ratna started writing short stories in 1975. “My mother had a large collection of novels and I loved to read them,” she recounts. Her reading intensified after she was stricken with polio and orthopedic disease which permanently impaired the functions of her arms and legs. “The infection started when I was about 10 and went on for about three years. In the beginning it was quite frustrating, but my mother supported me all the way,” she says.

Ratna’s family saw to it that she went to a regular public school until she reached college.She is highly influenced by her mother, who raised the family by herself after her husband died. “She encouraged me to read and write,” Ratna recalls, “and she was very independent.” Living with disability also made Ratna aware of how certain groups are excluded in the society. Families and communities tend to treat their members who are disabled as a curse and often prevent them from being seen in public. Children with disabilities have very little access to education, especially in poor and uneducated communities.

Continue Reading…

Philip Pullman – England

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Linked with The National Secular Society NSS, and with The British Humanist Association.

Philip Pullman CBE (born 19 October 1946) is an English writer. He is the best-selling author of His Dark Materials (a trilogy of fantasy novels), and a number of other books … and: Perspective on religion: Pullman is a supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. New Yorker journalist Laura Miller has described Pullman as one of England’s most outspoken atheists … (full long text, last modified on 6 March 2009).

Philip Pullman is one of the most highly acclaimed children’s authors of the decade. He has been on the shortlist of just about every major children’s book award in the last few years, and has won the Smarties Prize (Gold Award, 9-11 age category) for THE FIREWORK-MAKER’S DAUGHTER and the prestigious Carnegie Medal for NORTHERN LIGHTS. He was the first children’s author ever to win the Whitbread Prize for THE AMBER SPYGLASS and he won the ‘Carnegie of Carnegies’ in 2007 for NORTHERN LIGHTS – the favourite Carnegie winner in the past 70 years. (on House of Legends).

He says: (What advice would I give to anyone who wants to write?): Don’t listen to any advice, that’s what I’d say. Write only what you want to write. Please yourself. YOU are the genius, they’re not. Especially don’t listen to people (such as publishers) who think that you need to write what readers say they want. Readers don’t always know what they want. I don’t know what I want to read until I go into a bookshop and look around at the books other people have written, and the books I enjoy reading most are books I would never in a million years have thought of myself. So the only thing you need to do is forget about pleasing other people, and aim to please yourself alone. That way, you’ll have a chance of writing something that other people WILL want to read, because it’ll take them by surprise. It’s also much more fun writing to please yourself. (full interview text).

His official website.

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Philip Pullman – England

Watch these videos:

Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, caused controversy by praising the National Theatre’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials – a work that has been interpreted by some as anti-Christian. The two men met at the theatre on Monday to discuss the meaning of religion in art and literature -and its enduring relevance to the education of our children. This is the record of their conversation … (full long interview text).

Listen on your computer this podcast: Guardian book club podcast, Philip Pullman, 47 min, he talks to John Mullan about plot, morality, language and Milton in His Dark Materials.

… His Dark Materials: His Dark Materials consists of Northern Lights (titled The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. The first volume of the trilogy, “Northern Lights”, won the Carnegie Medal for children’s fiction in the UK in 1995. The Amber Spyglass, the last volume, was awarded both 2001 Whitbread Prize for best children’s book and the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in January 2002, the first children’s book to receive that award. The series won popular acclaim in late 2003, taking third place in the BBC’s Big Read poll. Pullman has written two companion pieces to the trilogy entitled, Lyra’s Oxford, and the newly released Once Upon a Time in the North. A third companion piece Pullman refers to as the “green book” will expand upon his character Will. He has plans for one more, the as-yet-unwritten The Book of Dust, which is tentatively set for release in 2009. This book is not a continuation of the trilogy but will include characters and events from His Dark Materials. In 2005 Pullman was announced as joint winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s literature … (full long text).

Find him and his publications on amazon; on Internet Speculative Fiction Database; on IMDb; on wikipedia /Bibliography; on Random House; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search (with Fan di Philip Pullman, with alt.books.philip-pullman, and with group directory, all groups, lookup Philip Pullman); on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search; on Google News-search.

… Pullman, who was once described as “semi-satanic” for his stance on religion, accused novelists of letting down their readers by failing to use their full potential to explore the moral questions of good and evil, life and death. Fiction would lose its value unless writers did more to tackle the great moral dilemmas of our time. “Fantasy, and fiction in general, is failing to do what it might be doing,” he said. “It has unlimited potential to explore all sorts of metaphysical and moral questions, but it is not doing that.” Described by a columnist as “the most dangerous author in Britain” for his children’s trilogy His Dark Materials, Pullman this year became the first writer of children’s books to win the Whitbread best book award for his final installment, the Amber Spyglass … (full text, 12 August 2002).

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Karsten Weitzenegger – Germany

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Linked with Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting, with The Global Financial Crisis: What does it mean for microfinance? with South East European Educational Cooperation Network SEE-ECN, and with Consultative Group to Assist the Poor CGAP.

Karsten Weitzenegger is a political scientist specialising in international development cooperation. He is an expert on developing participatory organisational changes in the field of social and economic policy. His work has focused on institution building for financial and non-financial business development services, ownership and governance issues, and also investment and export promotion activities or products from developing and transition countries. As long term expert with the United Nations, Mr Weitzenegger has provided advice to the Government of Sao Tome and Principe on the design of the national economic policy and poverty alleviation programs. He has also recently advised banks, business associations and vocational training authorities on business services and product development. Key Qualifications: … (full long text). See also his CV on South East European Cooperation Network.

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Karsten Weitzenegger – Germany

Only broad, sustainable economic growth creates opportunities for employment that can move large sections of the population out of poverty. Organisations that provide underprivileged men and women with access to education and capital enable them to contribute toward growth as well as benefit from it. Free market access and legal security in conjunction with modern communication and transport infrastructures set the stage for a good business climate and thus the international competitiveness of developing and transition countries. At the same time, industrial countries can help reduce world poverty by respecting fair-trade conditions and social and ecological standards … (full text).

Find him and his publications on EPIN (economy policy institutes network); on dgCommunities; on XING; on business fights poverty; on Google Book-search.

The October 2006 Newsletter for international co-operation professionals on economic and social development by Karsten Weitzenegger, International Development Cooperation has a Special Edition on Post-conflict economies. There is a report on the conference Private Sector Development and Peacebuilding, relevant Organisations and Websites, Training Events and Learning Materials, Publications and Tools. Free subscription by sending an e-mail. The Web version is available on October 2006 from weitzenegger.de.

Some Google groups he is participating:

UNDP Crisis Prevention and Recovery: The Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) is one of nine major bureaus within the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Consistent with UNDP’s mission to promote sustainable human development, the focus is on the development dimension of crisis situations. Currently developing a new website for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) information, which will be available in October 2006. (Contributed by Karsten Weitzenegger).

On Google Blog-search you find:

  • … In the following I list some virtual communities, where economic development professionals meet and share knowledge. If you recommend more, please add them as a comment … (full text);
  • … The Accra Agenda for Action is the product of an unprecedented alliance of development partners – developing and donor countries, emerging economies, UN and multilateral institutions, global funds and civil society organisations. They all participated in the discussions leading up to the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, hosted by the Government of Ghana and organised by OECD and the World Bank, in Accra … (full long text);
  • … The October 2006 Newsletter for international co-operation professionals on economic and social development by Karsten Weitzenegger (http://www.weitzenegger.de) has a Special Edition on Post-conflict economies. There is a report on the conference Private Sector Development and Peacebuilding, relevant Organisations and Websites, Training Events and Learning Materials, Publications and Tools … (full text);
  • Keine Chance als Young Professional in der EZ?
  • AGEG WIRAM NEWS NETWORK – This Newsletter is a summary and analysis of trends in economic development in international co-operation policy … ;
  • Empowering Cybernetic Codevelopment with Africa.

He writes:

  • …Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA) helps decision makers determine strategic choices for public actions so as to have the greatest impact on reducing poverty and achieving pro-poor growth. PIA provides a better understanding about potential winners and losers of an intervention and thus strengthens a results-oriented approach. PIA helps to understand stakeholders and institutions that influence and are influenced by an intervention understand the importance and inter-relationship of specific transmission channels through which changes are transmitted to the stakeholders assess the likely positive and negative outcomes for stakeholders taking into account multi-dimensionality of poverty assess the reliability of data/information and knowledge gaps. Using PIA, policy-makers can estimate the likely quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the policy for poor groups, identify potential risks and assess the reliability of available data. Through involving people with different interests and approaches, ex-ante Impact Assessment helps to save resources, and design interventions to be better targeted to achieve their goals and avoid unintended harmful consequences. Thus it also contributes to strengthening the transparency and accountability of democratically elected governments, and encourages consistency of policy-making across policy areas … (full text, March 14, 2009); Continue Reading…

Mike Whitney – USA (the American writer)

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(disambiguate from other persons with the same name, for ex.: MW cricket player Australia)

Linked with Haircut time for bondholders, and with Eastern Europe is about to Blow.

Mike Whitney is an American writer who runs his own landscape company in Snohomish, Wa, U.S., Mike Whitney regularly features on ukurnet and other websites (on the truth seeker).

Mike is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective. (on market oracle).

He says: We said many times on this site that George Bush is a baby killer. We said it over and over. Today Mike Whitney has written an article here talking about baby killers. It is George Bush. He is responsible. We only need to do the calculations. Sixty percent of Iraqis are children. To date it is estimated that 300,000 Iraqi civilians have been slaughtered by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Sixty percent of 300,000 comes to 180,000 children murdered by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. That’s a lot of baby killing. So the prime characteristic, the prime attribute of our current US president is that he is a baby killer. This attribute stands out above all others. This is what history will remember about Mr. Bush – that he was first and foremost a goddamn baby-killer! … (on World Prout Assembly, March 18, 2006).

Mike Whitney (asks Bede Vincent Curley): I have been beating the same dead horse for three or four years now and many people are getting tired of the endless iterations of collapsing markets, rising unemployment and growing pessimism. What’s needed is a vision of the future and a concrete plan of action, but I don’t have one. So, tell me, what is to be done? … (full text, March 16, 2009).

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Mike Whitney – USA

… Whitney argued that Eastern Europe “is about to blow”. He pointed out that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not have the resources for a bailout of the size Eastern European economies need to stave off total collapse … Representatives of the World Bank at the G7 meeting in Davos stated that the world economic crisis will push the incomes of an extra 53 million people in the Third World below $2 a day, and that rising food and fuel costs have driven 130-150 million more into poverty, according to BBC News on January 29. The World Bank predicted a “lost decade”, where growth rates the world over would remain static or drop substantially. As the crisis deepens, the battle will increasingly be over whether the corporate elite — who are to blame for the crisis — force the rest of us to pay for it, or whether alternative systems can be built that place human need ahead of private profit. (full long text, 28 February 2009).

Find him and his publications(disambiguate from other persons with the same name):on the truth seeker; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • … It couldn’t be much clearer than that. But don’t expect “compliance” from Geithner or Bernanke. They have no intention of reworking their plans to meet the demands of the G-20. No way. Multilateralism and cooperation might sound great in speeches, but it’s not what drives policy. The TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility) and the “Public-Private Partnership” are another slap in the face of the international community. They violate the spirit and the letter of the G-20 communique. It will be interesting to see if foreign holders of US Treasurys endure this latest insult in silence or if there’s a sudden stampede for the exits. There’s a sense that the world is getting fed up with the Fed’s financial chicanery and would like to chart a different course. Enough is enough. (full text, March 16, 2009);
  • … It was securitization and the 25 to 1 leveraging of toxic assets at the hedge funds, investment banks and private equity firms, that brought on the current financial crisis. When trouble broke out in the subprimes, the secondary market shut down, and the flow of credit from nonbank financial institutions dried up. Unfortunately, the real economy has become addicted to easy credit and sky-high asset prices. Now that the bubble has burst, the phony prosperity of the Bush years has been wiped out in one fell swoop. The stock market has plunged to its 1996 level and housing prices are returning to the mean. The question now should be, do we really want to restore a crisis-prone credit-generating system (securitization) by providing a $1 trillion subsidy to profit-oriented hucksters who are largely responsible for the current recession? As Barak Obama stated last week, “Credit is the economy’s life-blood”. It should distributed through government-owned and regulated financial institutions that operate as public utilities. Credit is everyone’s business. It shouldn’t be controlled by speculators. (full text, March 5, 2009).
  • The Obama Team has a big problem on its hands; Timothy Geithner. Geithner was picked as Treasury Secretary because he is a trusted ally of the big banks and has a good grasp of the intricacies of the financial system. The problem is that Geithner can’t handle the public relations part of his job. His big debut in prime-time last Tuesday turned out to be a complete dud. He was thoroughly unconvincing and looked like a nervous teenager at a speech contest. He fizzled on stage for 25 minutes while the little red box in the corner of the TV screen–which shows the current Dow Jones Industrials–plummeted nearly 400 points. It was a total disaster and one that is sure to be repeated over and over as long as Geithner is at Treasury. Not everyone can be a charismatic orator like Obama and nothing short of a personality transplant will fix Geithner. He lacks gravitas and doesn’t inspire confidence. That’s a problem since, the administration’s main objective is to restore public confidence and get people spending again. They’re just shooting themselves in the foot by using him as their pitchman. Eventually, Geithner will either have to be tossed overboard or strapped to Obama like a papoose so he can share in the president’s popularity. Otherwise he will continue to be a millstone. (on after Amageddon, Feb 23, 2009);
  • … The banking lobby has already set the agenda.  All the hooplah about “financial rescue” is just a smokescreen to hide the fact that the same scofflaws who ripped off investors for zillions of dollars are back for their next big sting; a quick vacuuming of the public till to save themselves from bankruptcy. It’s a joke. Obama floated into office on a wave of Wall Street campaign contributions and now it’s payback time. Prepare to get fleeced. Geithner is fine-tuning a “public-private” partnership for his buddies so they can keep their fiefdom intact while shifting trillions of dollars of toxic assets onto the people’s balance sheet. They’ve affixed themselves to Treasury like scabs on a leper. Geithner is “their guy”, a Trojan Horse for the banking oligarchs. He’s already admitted that his main goal is to, “keep the banks in private hands”. That says it all, doesn’t it? … (full text, February 18, 2009); Continue Reading…

Lynn Fattouh / MC Lix / Malikah – Lebanon

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Linked with MTV Arabiya.

Lebanese Queen of Rap Lynn Fattouh, known as Malikah “Queen” aka Lix, is a role model to many female Arabs who fear following in her footsteps due to society’s view of the hip hop industry, especially Arab female hip hop! From the wars in Lebanon to haters in the industry, Malikah has had her fair share of road blocks along the way. Shining all over the Middle East, Malikah has managed not to stumble and fall and has taken her rightful place amongst all the Arab Male rappers and MC’s. Born in Marseille, France in 1986, Malikah is a Lebanese Algerian raised in Beirut. What makes her a unique Arab rapper, singer, and MC, that stands out in the industry, is that she is not only a female but she also raps fluently in Arabic, English, and French … (full long text).

Lynn Fattouh aka MC Lix aka Malikah was born in Marseille *, France in 1986. Half Lebanese, half Algerian and raised in Beirut, Lebanon under the shadow of war, Malikah first hit the Lebanese hip hop scene at the tender age of 16, showing early signs of success, working with EMI Arabia in 2003 after winning a hip hop competition and appearing on the Lebanese television show – Zaven. Malikah raps in Arabic and English and has honed her skills as an RnB and dance vocalist over the last 5 years. She regularly performs in Lebanon and has gone afar afield as America and Canada to spit her rhymes. Malikah has worked with most of Lebanon’s hip hop producer and rapper talent and has actively collaborated with named local talent – Beirut Biloma, Cheb Mami, Hasna and Aks’ser. She is featured on the upcoming debut album release of DJ/Producer Lethal Skillz called ‘New World Disorder,’ and is a member of the 961 Underground family – which includes RGB, and Siska – both members of the old school Lebanese hip hop group Kitaa3 Beirut and MC Moe, aka Gemini 7. Malikah also features prominently in the 961 underground documentary produced by Phonomefodz currently in the final stages of post-production … (full text).

Lynn is one of seven top Arab rappers, hand-picked by MTV Arabiya …

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Lynn Fattouh / MC Lix / Malikah – Lebanon

Watch these videos (two videos found under the keyword Malikah):

Nothing in her life fated Lynn Fatouh to a career as a rap singer. Born into a consrvative Muslim family in Beirut *, the 23-year-old is now recording alongside stars like 50 Cent, Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Her first album, attests to her ability to cut through male-dominated cultures – in the Arab world and the world of rap to make a name for herself (on uk.TRUVEO.com).

She says:

  • “Lebanon’s MC’s spit the sickest flows,” insists Lynn Fattouh, a.k.a. MC Lix, a.k.a. Malikah (”The Queen”). Long after the party has ended, she is sitting on the dance floor of club Black & White on Monot Street. Lynn is one of seven top Arab rappers, hand-picked by MTV Arabiya, a new cable channel that began broadcasting over the weekend … (full text);
  • … “I have a collaboration track on Aks’seir’ album, that was released a couple of years ago where I rap in French and Arabic (Algerian accent)” … and; “Malikah is the rough, serious, hardcore, Arabic woman who raps about politics, religion, and social issues; and MC Lix is my alter-ego, the feminine, sexy lady who is more commercial and talks about love, friendship and so on” … and: “Back then, I had to cover my face because my parents were against me rapping … This is where I had to face my parents. Eventually we spoke and made a deal that they would let me do my music as long as I keep up with school” … and: Malikah seeks to “reunite Arabia, but most of all to unite the world. I’m trying to spread peace and unity. My dream is to live in a united peaceful world” … and: Malikah urges all Arab females to stand up for their rights and freedom “I encourage them to be active in their societies; to work, study, and vote. Moreover, they should respect themselves and their cultures and keep their head up at all times” … (full long text).

Find her as Malikah: on myspaceMusic; on 961underground; on Google Video-search; and as Lynn Fattouh: on Google Blog-search.

… Participating in Hip HopNa gave Malikah the exposure she was looking for. Not only did fans from all over the Arab world contact Malikah to show love, respect, and to ask about the release of her album; “Many producers and MC’s approached me for collaborations. Record companies also offered me record deals. Hip HopNa opened a lot of doors for me and I am thankful for that,” she said.
Malikah has collaborated with talents such as Beirut Biloma, Cheb Mami, Hasna and Aks’ser. She is a regular performer in events held in Lebanon and was hosted on “New TV” channel on May, along with DJ Lethal Skillz and Ragtop. She has also reached the U.S and Canada to spit her rhymes. Malikah is also featured prominently in the 961 underground documentary, produced by Phonomefodz, which will be released in the summer and will be available on DVD in music stores such as Virgin megastore and online … (full text).

La Gale et Llixx aka Malikah Beirut en concert au CSA.

* (two different claims): born in Beirut or in Marseille?

Lynn Fatouh est considérée comme la plus grande chanteuse de rap dans le monde arabe. Issue de la scène hip-hop underground orientale, Lynn Fatouh, alias Malikah rappe et ne mâche pas ses mots en langue arabe. Connue aussi sous le nom de MC Lix (c’est l’Orient, c’est compliqué), Lynn Fatouh décrit ainsi ses “2 surnoms”. “Malikah est la rappeuse dure, sérieuse, sauvage, une femme arabe qui rappe sur les problèmes de la politique, la religion et la société; et MC Lix, c’est mon autre facette, plus féminine, sexy qui fait dans la chanson commerciale et parle d’amour et d’amitié”. Lynn Fatouh fut élue en 2007 parmi les meilleurs MCs du Liban par MTV Orient. Voici une vidéo d’une de ses prestations, pour mieux faire connaissance avec la seule rappeuse du monde arabe, la chanteuse arabe de Beyrouth, Lynn Fatouh alias Malikah mais connue aussi sous l’étiquette MC Lix. (on Mondorama).

Continue Reading…

Matthias Chang – Malaysia

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Linked with The Federal Reserve is Bankrupt, with The Real Significance of the Fed’s Zero-Interest-Rate Policy ZIRP, with Part 4 – Wall Street’s Perverse Logic, and with Bernd Senf – Germany (and with all its english and german links).

Matthias Chang is a Malaysian of Chinese descent. He is a Barrister of 31 years standing and once served as the Political Secretary to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He is the author of three bestsellers, “Future FastForward”, “Brainwashed for War, Programmed to Kill”, and “The Shadow Money-Lenders and the Global Financial Tsunami”, published in the US and in Malaysia. Since his student days in England in the late 1960s, he was and still is, actively involved in the anti-war movement spanning a period of 41 years. He is a Catholic but enjoins all to promote inter-faith understanding. He resides in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia … (full text).

His website: Future Fastforward.

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Matthias Chang – Malaysia

His Address to American Patriots at the 2006 TBR-AFP Conference in Washington D.C.:
2 short excerpts: … Firstly: We, in Malaysia are no stranger to the goodness of America and your free Constitution. Strange as it may sound, your Constitution has inspired a generation of freedom fighters in the third world following World War II and continues to inspire people throughout the world even as the United States is waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening insane nuclear strikes against Iran and Syria …
… secondly: … I am not ashamed to admit in front of you that when I first saw the brutally deformed babies in the pediatric wards of various hospitals in Iraq – the result of depleted uranium radiation – and the wanton destruction and pain, anguish ripped through my guts and, as tears welled in my eyes, I prayed and prayed for strength to live through that horrifying day. And I vowed on that day that we must campaign to stop the killings. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in the Perdana Global Peace Conference in December 2005, called on the world to criminalize war. If murder is a crime during peacetime in our society, killing in time of war is also a crime. If we are civilized, war cannot be an option in the settlement of disputes between nations … (full long text).

Find him and his publications on ;
on Global Research.ca; on his website: GEOPOLITICAL ANALYSIS, FINANCIAL ANALYSIS, MILITARY / INTELLIGENCE; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • … The Blame Game: It would be naïve to assume that the status quo would remain, when the Global Trillion Dollar Casino is for all intents and purposes broken down beyond repair.
    Confirmation that the blame game has started in earnest can be found in the aforesaid remarks of President Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown on March 3, 2009 given after their meeting at the Oval Office and Brown’s speech to Congress on March 4, 2009.
    Let us come back to the issue of the money-lenders. For some strange reason, many people are put off by the term “money-lenders” but are ever so comfortable with bankers.
    But are not bankers, money-lenders?
    In fact I would say that money-lenders are more honourable than your high street bankers, as they can only rob you in the millions. The global bankers, they rape and plunder in the trillions!
    Is it any wonder that Gordon Brown and President Obama, the political representatives of the Power Elites have decided that it is about time that these financial harlots are to be brought under control before they wreck the entire global power structure?
    Let us have no illusions about Obama and Gordon Brown. They are going after these financial harlots not because they want to protect us from these criminals, but because for too long the political faction had to play second fiddle to the financial faction in the overall scheme of global one world government.
    Until lately, money power triumphed over political power. However, when the entire financial system broke into pieces, it was time to settle scores!
    Read for yourself: … (full text, March 7, 2009);
  • … When the Dow was 14,000, I advised my friends that it will soon dive below 11,000. Further research showed that even at this level, it could not be sustained and I gave the call to short the Dow as it would plunge below 9,000. These facts can be verified in my books, The Shadow Money-Lenders and Will Barisan Nasional Survive Beyond 2010? published in early 2008 and the articles posted to this website! Not one political / financial analyst in Malaysia dare make such calls. They were completely out of the loop, frolicking in La La land and telling fairy tales that a “new era of prosperity was on the horizon. Good times are here for good”. This was even after the collapse of Bear Stearns in 2007 and Lehman Bros in 2008 … (full text, March 3, 2009);
  • … This is the third time that a catastrophic event is invoked to justify a certain course of action.
    Why?
    That it is Warren Buffett who is making this reference is most telling, for he is the hidden economic and financial adviser to President Obama. Warren Buffett has in fact said that Obama is the best man for the job!
    Warren Buffett is not the effable businessman that the mass media make him out to be. He is an insider in every sense of the word.
    I have said repeatedly for over two years that there is an ongoing global currency warfare and what is at stake is the hegemony of the US dollar. Warren Buffet knows that if the dollar ends up officially as toilet paper, his fortune and that of his global partnership – the hidden manipulators would be finished.
    This message that the US is in an economic Pearl Harbor is meant for the enemy, as yet to be disclosed to the American public. It is a warning no less.
    President Obama has echoed the sentiments in the course of his inauguration speech.
    Food for thought: … (full text, January 23, 2009); Continue Reading…

Martin Jacques – England

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to disambiguate from other persons named Jacques Martin: on wikipedia

Linked with Global recovery rests on a fresh US approach to China, and with The New Depression.

Martin Jacques was editor of Marxism Today until its closure in 1991. He is co-founder of the think-tank Demos.  He has been a columnist for The Times and The Sunday Times and was deputy editor of The Independent. He is the co-editor and co-author of ‘The Forward March of Labour Halted?’ (1981), ‘The Politics of Thatcherism’ (1983) and ‘New Times’ (1989). Currently he is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Asia Research Centre. During the last year he has been a visiting professor at the International Centre for Chinese Studies at Aichi University in Japan, a visiting professor at Renmin University in Beijing and a senior visiting fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. He is writing a book about Asian modernity and the rise of China. He is a columnist for The Guardian and The New Statesman … (full text).

… (He) assert that Prime Minister Tony Blair is presently “the only show in town”, because “there is no serious, ideologically based opposition to Blair within the party” … (full text, 15 December 2004).

Imperial overreach is accelerating the global decline of America: The disastrous foreign policies of the US have left it more isolated than ever, and China is standing by to take over, by Martin Jacques, March 28, 2006.

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Martin Jacques – England

Find him and his publications on alibris; on New Statesman; on The Guardian; on amazon; on Demos /latest publications; on ukwatch.net; (Google searches may ask our attention for disambiguation): on Google News-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • … Was the defeat inevitable? This, of course, was not the only defeat that the trade union movement suffered during the Thatcher period, but it was by far the most serious. If the miners had enjoyed unity, then not only would the strike have been more effective, but they would also have enjoyed much broader public support. This would have made it harder for the Thatcher government to be so ruthless and uncompromising in its conduct of the strike.  They would have been obliged to find ways of convincing the middle ground … (full text, 6 March 2009);
  • … This report identifies a new breed of scientist inhabiting the world’s science and innovation networks, and argues that the UK should embrace them … (full text, March 4, 2009 – and: download of the 100 pages-pdf text);
  • … The financial crisis that is now wreaking havoc all over the western world, however, tells a very different story. The Thatcherite world is unravelling before our eyes. Its beloved City has been damned in the minds of most, as the shock troops of the neoliberal revolution, the bankers, have become the object of enormous popular anger. The market, the white knight of Thatcherism, has failed in the most spectacular way imaginable. The state is universally seen as indispensable to any solution. In the United States, which for Thatcher was always the compelling model, the new president appears to be on the verge of nationalising the banks; it cannot be long before the same thing happens here. Nationalisation, the state as saviour, the failure of the market, the demise of the City, the rise of protectionism, the decline of the US: on the 30th anniversary of Thatcher’s rise to power, we are witnessing nothing less than the implosion of the Thatcherite project. Its system and credo have landed the country in its greatest economic crisis for 60 years, perhaps much longer. That she led a party wedded to the status quo, to the preservation of Britain as it was, made her Bolshevism even more unlikely. But just as it took a long time for people to understand the significance and meaning of her rise in the 1970s and early 1980s, so now it is as if the country is in a state of shock, unable even vaguely to comprehend the ramifications of what is happening … (full text, 26 February 2009);
  • … In all these senses the financial meltdown has far more in common with the Great Depression than the Great Inflation. When the financial crisis consumed Wall Street in 1929 and proceeded to undermine the real economy, engulfing Europe in the process, it was not accompanied by a radical shift towards Keynesianism, but rather a reassertion of sound finance orthodoxy, followed in due course by the adoption of protectionism. The political mainstream as represented by Labour’s Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden and the Conservative Stanley Baldwin all sang from the same hymn sheet. Only Keynes and a faction of the Liberal Party enunciated a plausible alternative. Eventually a programme of fiscal deficits and public works was pursued by Franklin D Roosevelt in the United States, but in Britain Keynesianism was not properly embraced until rearmament and the approach of war. Indeed, it was not until 1945 that the combined legacy of war and the Depression belatedly resulted in a fundamental political realignment and the birth of the social democratic era. (full text, Feb 18, 2009);
  • A round-up of some of the highlights from this week’s New Statesman plus some of the things we’re up to online. We launch our brand new columnist Martin Jacques – the former editor of that legendary publication Marxism Today. Don’t miss his fascinating essay on the financial collapse – and you can learn more about him online through our Q&A. (on NewStatesman, 13 February 2009);
  • … The left is very fragmented and does not have a strong sense of itself anymore. It’s much more polycentric than it used to be. I suppose that has advantages but there are also a lot of disadvantages. This is a situation in which an inchoate shift to the left is taking place – popular opinion has turned on the citadels of neo-liberalism, chiefly the banks. There’s a turn against the gross inequalities and gross privilege that have characterised the neo-liberal era. Furthermore, there’s an almost universal belief that there’s only one body that can sort this out and that’s the government. That’s a fundamental shift because for over thirty years people have believed the opposite: that government is ineffectual, even obsolescent, while the market and private enterprise are dynamic and operate in the public interest. They don’t think that now. The striking thing, however, is that the left has had precious little to do with this shift – it’s not like the 1970s when the old system ran out of steam and was undermined by the rise of Thatcherism. The whole thing has imploded but not thanks to the left … (full text, 13 February 2009); Continue Reading…

Germaine Greer – Australia

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Germaine Greer (born 29 January 1939) is an Australian-born writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century. Greer’s ideas have created controversy ever since her book The Female Eunuch became an international best-seller in 1970, turning her into a household name and bringing her both adulation and opposition. She is also the author of many other books including, Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984); The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991) and Shakespeare’s Wife (2007). She currently serves as Professor Emeritus of English Literature and Comparative Studies at the University of Warwick … (full long text).

… A former Professor of English at Warwick, Greer became a household name when she published The Female Eunuch, attracting praise and opprobrium in more or less equal measure. She has since highlighted injustice against women in Asia and Africa, and managed an area of rainforest in her native Australia. On a raft of contentious issues, she takes a refreshingly practical view where others mire themselves in political correctness. In her speeches and theatre shows Germaine fields questions on almost any subject, serious or light, from biodiversity to Shakespeare’s women to sex for the over 60s. Audiences find the encounter candid, provocative and seriously amusing. (full text).

… Other works include The Madwoman’s Underclothes (1986), Slip-shod Sibyls (1995), The Whole Woman (1999) and The Boy (2003) Her latest book Shakespeare’s Wife was published in 2007 by Bloomsbury. (full text).

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Germaine Greer – USA

Watch these videos:

A project to build a network of seven roof-top nature reserves across the capital is to be launched by writer and broadcaster Germaine Greer today. The three-year project is funded through SITA Trust’s Enriching Nature Programme and will install living roofs on buildings including the Transport for London headquarters in St James Park, Ford Motor Company at Dagenham, the University of East London (Stratford) and Lewisham Town Hall … (full text, 4 March 2009).

… Meawhile controversial Australian author Germaine Greer has echoed claims that failure to backburn contributed to the huge death toll – claiming: “It’s useless running around looking for arsonists. The arsonists are us. They are our government and our administrators. We have been stupid”. Speaking from London, Greer said Australians were paying the price for repeatedly ignoring the lessons of past bushfires – the need for burn-offs in cooler months to lessen the risk of blazes in the summer. “I was born in 1939 and Melbourne was under black clouds of smoke with cinders sifting down everywhere and we were already there on Black Friday,” she said. “We get taught the same lesson again and again and we just think: ‘Oh no, that’s a bit drastic’. No, it’s not a bit drastic, we have to do it. “It’s the same old story. We need to educate people, we need to also have a bit of courage and we probably need somebody to direct the operation.” Is she right or off the mark? Read more of Germaine Greer’s bushfire argument here … (full text, February 13, 2009 ).

She says:

  • … Professor Germaine Greer, president of Buglife, which helped organise the project, said: “Living roofs are one way we can all do something to help so many of the creatures we love that are disappearing because of loss of habitat.” It is hoped the spaces could replace those lost to patio gardens and other developments … (full text, March 4, 2009).
  • Germaine Greer has joined the  call for reform of Australia’s fire management systems, arguing that it is “useless looking for arsonists” as the blame for Victoria’s bushfires lies with “governments and administrators”. In an impassioned statement in London overnight, Professor Greer said that Australians have repeatedly ignored the lessons of nature and that while fires cannot be prevented, “we have to learn to use fire”. Speaking with journalists at a function hosted by Prince Charles to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the UK friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Professor Greer said the notion of great swathes of rural Victoria – including Marysville where she spent childhood holidays – being transformed into an enormous sepulchre was “just too terrible” to contemplate … (full long text, February 13, 2009)
  • … “Greer said Australians were paying the price for repeatedly ignoring the lessons of past bushfires — the need for burn-offs in cooler months to lessen the risk of blazes in the summer. “I was born in 1939 and Melbourne was under black clouds of smoke with cinders sifting down everywhere and we were already there on Black Friday,” she said in London on Thursday. “We get taught the same lesson again and again and we just think: ‘Oh no, that’s a bit drastic.’ No, it’s not a bit drastic, we have to do it. “It’s the same old story. We need to educate people, we need to also have a bit of courage and we probably need somebody to direct the operation. “It’s useless running around looking for arsonists. The arsonists are us. They are our Government and our administrators. We have been stupid” … (full text, February 14, 2009)”.

Find her and her publications on IMDb; on wikipedia: /works, /further reading; her bio on biogs.com; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search; on Google Image-results.

Continue Reading…

John Hoyer Updike – USA (1932 – 2009)

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John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike’s most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Both Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest received the Pulitzer Prize.  Describing his subject as “the American small town, Protestant middle class,” Updike was widely recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his highly stylistic prose, and his prolific output, having published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children’s books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books. His work attracted a significant amount of critical attention and he was considered one of the most prominent contemporary American novelists.  Updike died, aged 76, of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 … (full long text).

Further on wikipedia: his career, his obituaries.

… John Updike was a legend among poets, writers and literary critics. Updike won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work on the Rabbit series. And he regularly wrote for the New York Times and the New York Times book review. He was a thoughtful, enlightening and creative mastermind. Let’s remember his March 18th birth with these inspiring 12 John Updike quotes: … (full text, March 9, 2009).

A JOHN UPDIKE WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION.

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John Hoyer Updike – USA (1932 – 2009)

American author John Updike, a leading writer of his generation who chronicled the emotional drama of American small-town life with searing wit and vivid prose, has died of lung cancer. He was 76. “It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning,” said Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A Knopf, a unit of Random House. “He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed.” Updike died in a hospice in Massachusetts, the state where he lived for many years … (full text, ).

Watch these videos:

… While John Updike was working at becoming an American literary giant, he took time out to write a historical pageant of the place he called home in 1968, Ipswich. “Three Texts From Early Ipswich: A Pageant” was first performed Aug. 3, 1968, at the South Parish Church. It was part of an annual celebration called 17th Century Day, which residents had for many years observed by parading dressed in period costumes.
The church burned down, and 17th Century Day is now Olde Ipswich Days, a decidedly more commercial celebration than its predecessor. 375th Committee Chairman Nat Pulsifer said the pageant has been staged periodically over the years. He wrote Updike last fall for permission to put it on once again … (full text, March 07, 2009).

… I’ve never connected John Updike and Paul Harvey before, but will do so now. Both came approximately from the same era, and Updike’s perfectly pitched prose reached a New Yorker audience as deftly as Paul Harvey’s genial stories attracted those who had never heard of the New Yorker, and wouldn’t have read it if they had … (full text, March 4, 2009).

John Updike in pictures: on The Guardian; on New York Social Diary; on John Updike, 1966; on John Updike in Cincinnati 2001; on Google Images-search.

In his autobiography Self-Consciousness, a “big-bellied Lutheran God” within the young John Updike looked on in contempt as he struggled to give up cigarettes. Many years later the older Updike, now giving up on alcohol, coffee, and salt, put into the mouth of that God the words of Frederick the Great excoriating his battle-shy soldiers—”Dogs, would you live forever?” But all the life-enhancing substances were set aside, and writing became Updike’s “sole remaining vice. It is an addiction, an illusory release, a presumptuous taming of reality.” In the mornings, he could write “breezily” of what he could not “contemplate in the dark without turning in panic to God” … (full text, March 12, 2009).

… After many years of admiration for John Updike’s abundant creativity, I took the bold step and wrote him a note expressing my pleasure with his memoir, Self-Consciousness. To my astonishment, he promptly replied, using a dirty-keyed old fashioned typewriter: “I am happy you found so much to recognize in Self-Consciousness; our generation, which tended to slip between wars and cultural upheavals, still has a story to tell and a song to sing.” He then told me about his high school and how his town had changed … (full text, March 10, 2009).

Reading is required for any John Updike pilgrimage. That’s not “reading,” as in books, but Reading, as in Pennsylvania. It seems you can’t go a block in this city of about 83,000 without running into one of the author’s old stomping grounds or a scene from one of his books, where often the city is named Alton or Brewer … (full text, February 22, 2009).

Find him and his publications on ;
on Pegasos; on ;
on wikipedia/bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search, and all Google News-results.

Continue Reading…

Pepe Escobar – Brazil

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Linked with The Real News Network.

An extreme traveler, Pepe’s nose for news has taken him toall parts of the  globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination (Masoud: From warrior to statesman, Sep 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, ATol published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else … (Aug 30, 2001). Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China … Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). (on Asia Times Online).

He says: … The Petraeus-Gates strategy now under Obama is to shower US dollar bills on any Taliban commander that wants to make a deal with NATO. Zardari’s doing the same thing Petraeus-Gates want to do, but much, much faster. “Taliban” is a very elastic term. It applies to all these people: number one, the historic Taliban led by Mullah Omar, now based in Quetta in Balochistan—Pakistan territory; number two, the Hezb-e-Islami Islamic party of former Afghan prime minister and super-warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; number three, the group of famous jihad commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, based in Waziristan—Pakistan tribal areas. Then there are at least three Pakistani Taliban groups: Mehsud, Gul Bahadur, and TNSM. And, finally, any group of Pashtun peasants who hate foreign occupation—that’s about everybody in the Pashtun tribal areas—who had their family killed by the Americans or by the Pakistani government troops or lost their poppy crops, which means their livelihood. All these on the Afghan side, there are no more than 15,000 people, according to the Afghan minister of interior, but they’re active in 17 Afghan provinces. Now, compared to the more than 60,000 US and NATO troops, not to mention the 17,000 in Obama’s surge, how to solve this riddle? For the key to the riddle, watch Part 2 of this report … (full long interview text, March 5, 2009).

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Pepe Escobar – Brazil

Watch these videos:

… In a multi-segment story on the situation in Afghanistan, before the start of the upcoming surge in troops, Pepe Escobar offers his sharp commentary, calling the situation a riddle to be solved. In Part One, Escobar explains that many Afghans are fed up with the violence and would like to see more scholars and engineers, not troops because for many Afghans more foreign troops equate more violence. According to Escobar, the neo-liberal realists in the Obama administration are fed up with Afghan President Karzai–who is sarcastically referred to by many as the mayor of Kabul–and have already begun their search for a new puppet. Escobar brings to the fore the intricacies of the situation within the Taliban and their shifting corrupt alliances as they continue to forge new deals with Pakistan’s widely despised President, Asif Zardari, the widower of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. While Zardari continues to allow U.S. drones to kill Pakistani pashtuns, he continues to forge new alliances, so far three of them, with different Taliban factions … (full text, March 6, 2009).

Find him and his publications on WordPress.com; on amazon; on Asia Times online; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

Surging Towards Disaster in the “Afpak Theatre”, by Tom Burghardt: On February 18, President Barack Obama ordered 17,000 additional U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan. Obama’s announcement will result in a major escalation of America’s bloody occupation of that war-ravaged country … // … As investigative journalist Pepe Escobar points out, “the price” that the United States and NATO will pay to have their supplies arrive from Russia is being made painfully clear to Washington: “no more encirclement, no more NATO extension, no more anti-missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland for protection against non-existent Iranian missiles. All this has to be negotiated in detail”  … (full long text, 22 February 2009).

He writes:

  • … In a secret Obama letter, hand-delivered to Medvedev three weeks ago, as the New York Times revealed and the administration confirmed, the US “non-proposal proposal” essentially broke down to this: if you help us get rid of non-existent Iranian nuclear weapons, we’ll get rid of our missile shield which we don’t know if it’s any good anyway … // … Obama and Medvedev will finally meet in person for the first time on April 2, in London, on the sidelines of what will certainly be a tumultuous Group of 20 meeting discussing the global financial crisis. Russian media have reported that Medvedev has invited Obama to visit Moscow. The date may be announced in London. Obama will have plenty of time to brush up on his Godfather flicks. He’d better leave the gun in Washington and take the cannoli to Moscow. (full text, March 5, 2009).
  • … In the United States, the myth rules that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) delivered the Soviets “their Vietnam”; thus this was basically a US victory, with the “freedom fighters” (copyright president Ronald Reagan) as supporting actors. It was never that simple. The Pakistani military-intelligence establishment believes since the late 1970s, that a puppet Afghanistan was essential for its “strategic depth”. It was never that simple. It’s also useful to remember today that little has changed regarding the Afghan tragedy in these past three decades. And that makes the upcoming US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) surge in Afghanistan a certified road to ruin … // … Everyone’s talking about US fighter jets and CIA Predator drones raising hell out of three secret Pakistani air bases – with Islamabad’s complicit silence. But nobody talks about the “humint”, or human intelligence, component of the US’s covert war in Afghanistan, conducted by what the New York Times defines, with spectacular hypocrisy, as “military units operating outside the normal chain of command”. US special forces are part of this deadly mix. A recent UN report identifies these US commandos as the key culprits as far as the killing of Afghan civilians is concerned. Washington happens to identify similar outfits – if they operate under a different banner, or religion – as “terrorists”. In the case of this new American breed, it’s fair to expect the Pentagon and the Washington establishment to sooner or later start calling them – in a sinister echo of recent Afghan past – “freedom fighters”. (full text, Feb 27, 2009). Continue Reading…

Vina Mazumdar – India

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inked with SPARROW, and with Global Feminisms Project, at the Universty of Michigan.

Vina Mazumdar calls herself a chronicler and recorder of the movement in India. She also fondly refers to herself as the grandmother of Women’s Studies in India. As the Member Secretary of the Committee on the Status of Women in India she was instrumental in drafting what is now known as the Towards Equality report, which has been the turning point both for Women’s Studies and women’s movement in India. She is the co-founder of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies in Delhi and has served as its Director for many years. This pioneering institution has greatly influenced the course Women’s Studies has taken in India. Vina Mazumdar is 76 years old and is still active voicing her protest and influencing policies regarding women. (on Sparrow online … and click there on view for a 1.25 min video-explanation).

… She is an Honours Graduate and D.Phil from Oxford University. In her professional career she has been a teacher of Political Science in the Universities of Patna and Berhampur, an Officer in the UGC Secretariat and Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla. She was Member Secretary, Committee on the Status of Women in India, and later Director, Programme of Women’s Studies, Indian Council of Social Science Research for five years (1975-80). She was founder-Director of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi from 1980 to 1991, and thereafter was Senior Fellow at CWDS and JP Naik National Fellow, ICSSR for two years … (full text).

She says: “Extensive discussions with over 10,000 women from different backgrounds revealed our own ignorance and shattered our self images as social scientists and as daughters of independence. (1000peacewomen).

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Vina Mazumdar – India

She works for the Centre for Women’s Development Studies CWDS.

NEW DELHI: Women’s groups and activists on Thursday submitted an “open petition” to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court demanding review of a Division Bench judgment reducing the life sentence for a rape convict after he passed the Civil Services examination. If it is not reviewed, a special leave petition will be filed in the Supreme Court, said the signatories, numbering over 100. The judgment set an extremely retrograde and wrong precedent, the women’s groups said registering their protest … // … The signatories include the All-India Democratic Women’s Association, the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, the Guild of Services, the Joint Women’s Programme, the National Federation of Indian Women, the Young Women’s Christian Association, Vina Mazumdar, Romila Thapar, Upendra Baxi, Zoya Hasan, and other eminent social activists and representatives of civil society groups.  (full text, Feb 27, 2009).

The book: Note of Dissent, by Lotika Sarkar and Vina Mazumdar – read the first page.

Find her and her publicationson openLibrary; on amazon; on CWDS/papers; on alibris; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

1000peacewomen: Vina Mazumdar (born 1927) is called “the grandmother of women’s studies in South Asia”. Her transformation from an activist academic to a grassroots intervention worker began with a project that took her across the country. Her distress at the condition of women migrant laborers was the impetus for an experiment on the use of wastelands to provide sustenance for rural women. The project, widely emulated, changed the lives of the women. Vina’s mix of academic enquiry, dialoguing with policy-planners, and engaging with grassroots initiatives, is a whole new way of looking at women’s issues. (She) is a social scientist by training, a women’s activist and feminist by instinct and choice, a “troublemaker” by her own confession, and a “recorder and chronicler of the Indian Women’s Movement”. Vina is fondly referred to as “the grandmother of women’s studies in South Asia”.

Born into a middleclass Bengali family, Vina grew up in an atmosphere that instilled in her the value of education, simplicity – and the love of argument and discussion. She studied at a Diocesan Girls School run by the British Protestant Mission, graduating from the Benaras Hindu University. She went to Oxford in the 1960s and, later, in the 1970s to complete her Bachelors and Doctorate.

From 1951-65, she taught Political Science at Patna University, trying to energize the curriculum and the examination system, especially during her tenure as first secretary of the Patna University Teachers Association. Her abiding interest in educational reform prompted her move to the University Grants Commission, the apex body for the national university system.

Her appointment in the Committee on the Status of Women in India radically altered the direction of her life and work. The committee, appointed by the Government of India in 1971, was reconstituted in 1973 with Vina, a later entrant, as member secretary. The committee was given an extended term of one year to finalize its report, to enable the government to face the first UN-sponsored World Conference on Women at Mexico in 1975, after debating the Report in Parliament. The resurgent women’s movement of the 1970s acknowledged the Report, Towards Equality, as its “Founding Text”.

Traveling across the country and analyzing volumes of research and writings on women left an ineradicable impression about the large-scale marginalization, poverty, and invisibility of the majority of India’s laboring women–”the hidden and unacknowledged majority”. The concern and challenges thrown up by Towards Equality became a lifelong passionate commitment that had nothing to do with the course of her career. “Our findings through extensive discussions with over 10,000 women from different backgrounds in most states/cultural regions revealed our own ignorance and shattered our self images as social scientists /teachers/and as ‘daughters of Independence’,” she says.

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Jestina Mukoko – Zimbabwe

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Linked with Zimbabwean prisoners Jestina Mukoko and Broderick Takawira released, with Top Zimbabwean rights activist poisoned in custody, with Joint Nordic initiative on Zimbabwe, Journalists abducted in Zimbabwe.

Jestina Mukoko is a Zimbabwean human rights activist and the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project.

A journalist by training, and former newsreader with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, she was abducted from her home north of Harare on December 3, 2008. A witness said that twelve armed men abducted Mukoko at night from her home. Dumisani Muleya of Business Day said that she was “abducted by suspected state agents for allegedly being involved in plans for anti government demonstrations.” One week later the Zimbabwe High Court ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police to look for Mukoko. On December 24, it was reported by the state-run Herald newspaper that Mukoko had appeared in court in Harare to face charges of attempting to recruit people for military training to try to overthrow the government. Her whereabouts during the previous three weeks were unclear and the Zimbabwean police denied opposition claims that she was in their custody. Along with several other individuals, Mukoko was remanded in custody and the case referred to the Zimbabwean High Court … (on wikipedia, last modified on 6 March 2009).

I met Jestina Mukoko two years ago at the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust. She was working on an innovative peace-building program for ZIMCET, one that brought together political opponents in small towns and cities across Zimbabwe to work together to stop violence that had become so routine during all political elections. One man from Chimanimani we met with said the program had changed his life … (full text, December 10, 2008).

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Jestina Mukoko – Zimbabwe

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On Jestina Mukoko’s release:

  • … Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe granted Mukoko bail in the amount of US$600. She must now report twice a week to police in Norton, about 30 kilometers northwest of Harare where home is located, and surrender the deed to her residence. Though technically free on bail, Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, remained in the Avenues Clinic in Harare where for some weeks she had been receiving court-ordered treatment under police guard for injuries sustained during her ordeal. (full text, 02 March 2009).
  • … Mukoko was kidnapped December 3 and remained missing for a month until police produced her and proceeded to bring the coup conspiracy charges against her. Her Zimbabwe Peace Project compiles extensive documentation of human rights abuses. It was a major source of information on political violence mainly directed at MDC members in the aftermath of the March 2008 presidential, general and local elections … (full text, March 3, 2009).
  • … The release of Ms Mukoko and the others in Harare, constitutes an important victory for the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, who had been pressing Mr Mugabe to let them go. Ms Mukoko, who headed a group that documented state-sponsored acts of murder and torture committed before Mr Mugabe’s June election run-off against Mr Tsvangirai, was held for weeks in secret locations. She was beaten on the soles of her feet and forced to kneel on gravel during interrogation intended to force her to confess to recruiting youths for military training in Botswana … (full text, March 4, 2009).
  • … Both were victims of enforced disappearance, unlawful arrest, detention, and torture by state security agents. They were released on Saturday, after each paying US$600 bail and depositing surety of at least US$20,000 in title deeds. A third man, Fidelis Chiramba was also released. He remains in hospital receiving treatment. Ten other detainees were granted bail. Four are likely to be released shortly. The other six will remain in custody because they are unable to present title deeds as part of the bail requirements. Three other detainees, Andrison Manyere, Gandhi Mudzingwa and Kisimusi Dhlamini were denied bail. On Tuesday, the High Court in Harare dismissed the state’s application opposing granting bail to Roy Bennett, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) treasurer general who was arrested by police in February. The MDC is anxious to see whether the state will comply with the court order. “While welcoming news about the release of Jestina Mukoko, Broderick Takawira and Fidelis Charamba and the granting of bail of 11 other political detainees, we also call on the Zimbabwean government to immediately end persecution of human rights defenders and political activists,” said Veronique Aubert, Deputy Programme Director for Amnesty International’s Africa Programme. More than a dozen detainees remain in custody in Zimbabwe and they seem to have all been arrested simply for exercising their rights to freedom of association and expression … (full text, March 4, 2009).
  • THE deal between the Attorney-General (AG)’s office and defence lawyers for political detainees to drop cases against the state in exchange for bail will not stop the accused from suing the government or the people responsible for their abductions and torture, legal experts said yesterday. The pact, which saw the release of several human rights and MDC activists, among them Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko, was made at a meeting held last Friday between senior officials from the AG’s office and defence lawyers representing the activists. According to Veritas, a group of lawyers, the state’s condition for withdrawal of all defence applications currently pending in the High Court and the Supreme Court was a limited one. The lawyers said:  “It does not prevent future legal action by the abductees against the state and the state agents responsible for their abduction, unlawful detention and torture” … (full text, 06 March 2009).

Find her and her publications on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Images-search; on Google News-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Russ Baker – USA

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nked with Obama Should Worry About the Bush Family Tentacles Undermining His Plans.

Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative reporter with a track record for making sense of complex and little understood matters. He has written for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Village Voice and Esquire. He has also served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. Baker received a 2005 Deadline Club award for his exclusive reporting on George W. Bush’s military record. He is the founder of WhoWhatWhy /the Real News Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organization, operating at whowhatwhy.com. (on family of secrets.com).

He says (on Bush): … “Based on early feedback, I’d say there are a number of contenders. Could be the four chapters of never-before-revealed facts surrounding the JFK assassination. Or the evidence I have uncovered suggesting a new interpretation of Watergate. Some are most intrigued by the new examples of George W. as a naughty fellow and moral hypocrite – including on the matter of abortion. And some say that my examination of W.’s military service record is especially effective in settling the dispute over whether this eager-beaver “warrior king” skipped out on his own military obligations. Finally, some are most struck by the new evidence of a cynical calculation behind George W’s so-called religious rebirth. For me, the big story is simply the cumulative sense, based on hundreds and hundreds of fresh facts, of the extent to which elites write our history. And the realization that, as we flee the Bush years, we remain utterly in the dark about so much … (on russbakeer.com, December 30, 2008).

Russ Baker is the founder of the Real News Project (seems still under construction today). He may be reached by e-mail. (on The Nation, 2008).

His website.

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Russ Baker – USA

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… According to his own website: “Russ Baker is an old-fashioned muckraking journalist and pamphleteer using the newest technologies. In his reporting and writing he brings the best of mainstream methods (balance and rigor) to the alternative media, and the best of the alternative media (passion for the truth and the larger story) to the mainstream. He focuses on getting past the rhetoric to expose the hidden levers and machinations that shape our world. Baker’s investigative reporting, analysis pieces, features, and essays on politics, power, and perceptions have appeared in many of the world’s finest publications” … (full text).

Reviews of the book: Family of Secrets, The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America, by Russ Baker, (Bloomsbury. 577 pp.):

  • He (Gore Vidal) has some kind things to say about Family of Secrets, beginning at about the four-minute mark: There’s a wonderful book, by the way, I’m reading called Family of Secrets by…Russ Baker. He spent many years on it. And it’s a family — forgive me, Bushes and Bushettes — a family of criminals. Why they’re not all in jail I don’t know. If I seem a little dazed, I’ve been reading about their crimes, and proposed crimes, and how they got away with it. (on familyofsecrets.com, February 25, 2009);
  • … Baker begins this dispiriting tome with a couple of reasonable questions that probably are on a great many minds as George W. Bush’s disastrous presidency sputters to a close: “What did the ascendancy of this frighteningly inadequate man signify? Could anything be learned from the George W. Bush phenomenon that would help us understand how we Americans choose our leaders and chart our collective course?” … (full text, January 7, 2009);
  • Halfway through the concluding chapter of Family of Secrets, Russ Baker mentions, not entirely modestly, that when a colleague heard some of the things he would be disclosing in his almost 600-page book about the Bush family and its connections to John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Watergate and many other pivotal events, the colleague suggested, only half in jest, that the book be called Everything You Thought You Knew Is Wrong … (full text);
  • family of secrets – flowing data, added by visual think map on 15 February 2009;
  • as long as Bush is trying to shape his legacy on his way out the door … Russ Baker examines the history of the Bush family … interviewed hundreds of people … tons of footnotes … 577pp. Baker explains the 4 generations of the Bush family and the tentacles of their power and influence … (full text);
  • Linda Eckstein sent this graphic along to show the main ideas of Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets. In Linda’s words, “[T]he idea was for me to come up with a visual representation of the scope and complexity of Baker’s book. In a way, it’s the unWordle. Wordle only analyzes what is said, sometimes it’s necessary to remind the public of what is NOT said” … (full text).

… BuzzFlash has often said that “conspiracy theories” exist because a threshold of people believe that the official version of an event or personal history does not pass the believability test.  But then the fun begins, because theories are just that, so you become an advocate of one perspective or the other, hopefully based on the strength of the argument and the backing of documentation.  But that becomes more difficult as time passes and access to the unofficial version of events becomes more difficult … (full text, 12/30/2008);

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Emmeline Pankhurst – England (1858 – 1928)

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Linked with The positive side to anger.

Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden; 15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928) was a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. Although she was widely criticised for her militant tactics, her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women’s suffrage in Britain. However, historians disagree about whether she did more to help or hinder public support for the cause. Born and raised in Manchester by politically active parents, Pankhurst was introduced at a young age to the women’s suffrage movement. Although her parents encouraged her to prepare herself for life as a wife and mother, she attended the École Normale de Neuilly in Paris. In 1878 she married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister known for supporting women’s right to vote; they had five children over the next ten years. He also supported her activities outside the home, and she quickly became involved with the Women’s Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for women. When that organisation broke apart, she attempted to join the left-leaning Independent Labour Party (the ILP was a socialist political party in the United Kingdom) through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie, but was initially refused membership by the local branch of the Party on account of her gender. She also worked as a Poor Law Guardian, where she was startled by harsh conditions in Manchester workhouses … (full long text).

… Richard and Emmeline were immediately attracted to each other and although there was a significant age difference, he was forty-four and she was only twenty, Richard Goulden gave permission for the marriage to take place. Emmeline had four children in the first six years of marriage: Christabel Pankhurst (1880), Sylvia Pankhurst (1882), Frank (1884) and Adela (1885). During these years Richard and Emmeline continued their involvement in the struggle for women’s rights and in 1889 helped form the pressure group, the Women’s Franchise League … // … Emmeline continued her involvement in politics but she grew gradually disillusioned with the existing women’s political organizations and in 1903 she founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). At first Emmeline intended that the main aim of the organisation was to recruit working class women into the struggle for the vote … (full text).

A Conservative Revolutionary: Emmeline Pankhurst (1857-1928), a long essay by Carl Rollyson.

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Emmeline Pankhurst – England (1858 – 1928):

  • Emmeline Pankhurst is shown, above (center), being released from a English jail after yet another arrest. The suffragists who were arrested went on hunger strikes and were force – fed by the police – usually through a funnel thrust down their throats and food dumped into it. The damage to the women’s health was astounding. The Brit police (and later the police in the U.S.) would arrest the women, keep them for up to 30 days, release them until they got healthy again and then arrested them yet again and again. It was called the cat and mouse game … (fullt text right column).
  • … When these measures risked taking lives, the infamous Cat & Mouse Act was passed so that a dangerously weakened hunger striker would be released and then rearrested when strong enough to continue her sentence. Under its terms, Mrs. Pankhurst, age 54 in 1912, went to prison 12 times that year. No wonder she railed, “The militancy of men, through all the centuries, has drenched the world with blood. The militancy of women has harmed no human life save the lives of those who fought the battle of righteousness” … (full text).
  • Cat and Mouse Act, nickname for a British law of 1913 — the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health) Act—that allowed the government to release and later re-imprison suffragettes who went on hunger strike in jail … (full text on MS Encarta).
  • Google Web-search for Cat and Mouse Act.

She worked for the British suffragette movement … (and she) led the movement to win the right for women to vote … and: … In 1918 the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men (at 21).

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She said: … “the Government must not think that they can stop this agitation. It will go on … We are here not because we are law-breakers; we are here in out efforts to become law-makers … and: “We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half” … and: “What is the use of fighting for a vote if we have not got a country to vote in?” … (on better world heroes.com).

Sunday March 8th is International Women’s Day and there’s a wonderous array of events going on in the region to tickle your fancy…here’s the low down: Where better to start than the home of the suffragette movement; The Pankhurst Centre are celebrating International Women’s Day with heritage talks and information stalls from 10am, followed by an international lunch at around 12pm. In the afternoon (1.30pm) there will be a whole host of workshops on offer, ranging from drama, tap dancing, djing, African drumming and creative writing. There will be a crèche available at this time. The Pankhurst Centre’s evening event will begin at 6pm with entertainment from the urban gypsies … (full text, published: 5 March 2009).

25th February 2009: On this day in … 1913 – Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst went on trial for a bomb attack on the house of David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer … (on newshopper).

Find her and her publications on Google Video-search; on Google Images-results; on Google Group-search; on Google Book-search and -results; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

After years of the BBC attacking Thatcherism and the lady herself, a miracle: the Corporation is about to broadcast a film which depicts her as a cross between Elizabeth I and the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. The production, which includes some witheringly satirical cameos, is not quite a hagiography, and it catches Mrs T’s habit of thinking she was right the whole time … (full text).

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Michel Sasseville – Canada

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Linked with Matthew Lipman – USA, with ChildrenThinking.co.uk; with The IAPC program; with Cours à distance: la philosophie pour les enfants, with Toward a Philosophy of Thinking, and with the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children ICPIC.

Michel Sasseville, a professor with the philosophy faculty at Laval University, has received the 2005 Excellence and Innovation in Instructional Design award from the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE) for his course, “L’observation en philosophie pour les enfants.” The online multimedia course has been available to philosophy students since January 2005. The course’s pedagogical approach is based on observing children engaged in philosophical research activities. Students have access to audiovisual material allowing them see and observe the Grades 1, 3 and 6 children, who were filmed in real classroom situations. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to help create a virtual philosophical inquiry and research community …;

(He is) Ph.D. in Philosophy, Professor at Laval U. (Quebec), Michel Sasseville is responsible for the training programm in philosophy with children, according to Matthew Lipman´s approach. Also guest Professor at Montclair U. (New jersey), he intervenes regularly in the french part of Switzerland, in Czecky and in diverse parts of the world, training professionals in the practice of philosophy with children (on odef.ch).

Professeur à l’Université Laval depuis 1995. Chargé de cours, Université Laval (1982-1995). Président du Conseil international de recherches philosophiques avec les enfants (1997-1999). Professeur invité, Université Iberoamericana, Mexico (1995-1997), Montclair State University, New Jersey (1997-1999), Université du Sud de la Bohème, Ceskè Budejovice, République Tchèque (2003-2004), Institut de formation pédagogique de Genève, Suisse (2003-2004). Collaborateur principal au centre La Traversée, St-Lambert, pour un projet de prévention de la violence et philosophie pour les enfants (depuis 1998). Responsable du développement des programmes de formation en philosophie pour les enfants offerts par la Faculté de philosophie (depuis 1996). Doctorat en philosophie, Université Laval et Montclair State University (1993). Maîtrise en philosophie, Université Laval (1985). B.A. philosophie, Université Laval (1980). (à Uni Laval).

Le rencontrer aussi sur fr.wikipedia.

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Michel Sasseville – Canada

He says: … 3- We have seen a profound reform in Education in Québec since 20 years and now, at primary school, we talk about competencies and transversal competencies among them we find critical judgment. More than that, the ministry of Education of Québec goes up to say that the classroom should be transformed into a community of learners. In this context, P4C is more than welcome because doing philosophy with children means inviting them to become critical thinkers (not only that but also that) within a community of inquiry. This is exactly what people in primary schools are looking for. And here we are with more than 40 years of experience showing how this could be done and the impacts of doing this on the performance of the child in other disciplines. No surprise that people are more and more interested by philosophy for children … (full interview text – link disabeled since).

Find him and his publications on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search.

He contributed on Analytic Teaching, Vol. 27, No. 1; and on World Philosophy Day 2008.

Professor Michel Sasseville, then President of ICPIC, presented the following account of “The State of International Cooperation in Philosophy for Children” at a UNESCO meeting in March 1998: The activity of doing philosophy with children is not a new one. In the Middle Age, adolescents were already invited to study logic. Though there is almost a difference of nature between what was done at this time and what we mean today by doing philosophy with children, it remains true that people living in this time were convinced that the study of logic could be very helpful if we want to think in a more proper way. For a variety of reasons, this assumption disappeared with the Renaissance and we had to wait until this century, more precisely in 1969, to see philosophy being used again as a tool to help children to become more critical, creative and caring persons … (full text, 22 September 2004).

He writes: Introduction – In this paper I would like to show how the transformation of traditional classrooms into classrooms of communities of inquiry can bring about not only better thinking on the part of students but also a growth in emotional maturity. The classroom community of inquiry fosters the growth of three kinds of thinking: critical, creative and caring. Although equally important, caring thinking is crucial in making possible the democratic dialogue essential to communal inquiry. It focuses on the building of solidarity and the preservation of values and relationships. It enables the child to deal with the relationship of self to other, learning how one can put one’s ego in perspective in light of the other’s views, interests and concerns. Caring thinking attends to the feelings of students as well as their thinking. It aims at preserving, cherishing and celebrating that which they value and fostering the courage to let go of that which no longer serves the growth of the self  in relation to the other.. It consists in the sharpening of numerous skills of translation involved in the understanding of different world views and the making of new meanings. It relies on communication, translation, empathy, compassion, understanding and dialogue. When it is embedded in communal dialogical inquiry, it constitutes an education of the emotions, a necessary constituent of global intelligence. Caring thinking aims to foster relational consciousness, dialogue, understanding and inquiry while at the same time helping children to tend to the reasonableness of their emotions in given contexts. What is Caring Thinking? … (full long text – link disabeled since).

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Sabriye Tenberken – Germany

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Sabriye Tenberken (born 1970) is a German socialworker and co-founder of the organisation Braille Without Borders. Biography: Sabriye was born near Bonn, Germany, and she became gradually visually impaired and completely blind by the age of thirteen due to retinal disease. She studied Central Asian Studies at Bonn University. In addition to Mongolian and modern Chinese, she studied modern and classical Tibetan in combination with Sociology and Philosophy … (full text).

Sabriye Tenberken, a German who became blind at the age of 12, established the first school for blind Tibetan children in Lhasa in 1998. She had to overcome numerous obstacles, including official indifference, active hostility, and irregular financial assistance, but today her Rehabilitation and Training Center for the Blind is transforming the lives of a growing number of blind Tibetan youngsters. The achievements of its students are beginning to change traditional Tibetan beliefs that blindness is a punishment for their sins in previous lives.Sabriye Tenberken, a slender, brown-haired woman who does not wear dark glasses to hide her blind eyes, radiates energy and warmth. Totally informal and insatiably curious, she is the kind of person who, after patiently answering all a journalist’s questions, starts asking him about his personal life! She moves about with such confidence that it is hard to believe that she cannot see. And it is this confidence and love for life, along with practical skills, that she wants to infuse in her students … She says: “Blindness is not the end of the world. You can have a wonderful life as a blind person”.  (1000peacewomen).

… Tenberken is a different sort of role model, more accustomed to moving mountains than climbing them. She is close in age to Weihenmayer, and became blind near the same time as he did due to a similar degenerative disease … (full text).

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Sabriye Tenberken – Germany

She works for Braille Without Borders BWB, and for the Tibet Disabled Persons’ Federation.

There were three turning points in the early life of Sabriye Tenberken, a native of Cologne in Germany, who lost her sight when she was just 12 owing to a congenital retinal degenerative disease. The first was when she found out about author Jacques Lusseyran who, despite being visually challenged, worked in the Resistance during the Third Reich. She realised that, whether you are sightless or not, “it is very important to put all your energy in doing something for the underprivileged”. Then, a totally new world opened for her when she learnt Braille: “I suddenly experienced the joy of reading.” And when she learnt to walk with the help of a white cane, Tenberken found that this little tool had opened her world still further and made her independent … (full text).

… In 2004, Paul and Sabriye and a team of their blind students from Lhasa embarked upon the Climbing Blind expedition in Tibet under the leadership of blind Everest mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer. The prize-winning documentary Blindsight about this expedition was released worldwide to cinemas in 2006 … (full text).

… At 26 years old, she decided to travel through remote areas of the Tibetan countryside, where she visited rural villages, spreading the word about her Braille system and helping the blind children there to be able to receive an education. When she decided that the best way to do her mission was on horseback, there were protests from everywhere. But still, she continued her journey with three companions, two of whom were Tibetan, riding from village to village … (full text).

… In addition to teaching blind children how to read with Braille, Tenberken also teaches them how to climb in the Himalayas, and overcome the stigma of their disabilities. In 2006, the award winning film, Blindsight, documented Sabriye and Paul’s expedition with a group of their students to climb Mt. Everest. She and 6 of her blind students joined world class blind mountain climber, Erik Weihenmayer, in an attempt to summit Lhakpa Ri, the 23,000 foot peak which rises spectacularly beside Mount Everest. The resulting 3-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted … (full text).

Find her and her publications on IMDb; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

You can’t tell that Sabriye Tenberken is blind. She rides horses to crisscross Tibet’s forbidding passes and plateaus. When talking, she looks you straight in the eye and describes things by their colors: the yellow mushrooms or the azure lake. And to greet a visitor, she bounds down a flight of steps in her boarding school for visually impaired children in Tibet’s capital Lhasa. In the playground Tenberken points to 15-year-old Ngudup, who is playing a song for her on his guitar. “For 11 years,” she says, “he was locked up in a dark room” … // … Tenberken’s latest project is a farm some 300 kilometers from Lhasa, where blind adults are taught to raise animals and plant vegetables, and she’s also establishing a center in Kerala, India, where trainees from developing countries can learn to set up similar schools. “There should be no limits for the blind,” says Tenberken—clear proof that you don’t need sight to have vision. (full text).

(On 1000peacewomen): Sabriye was born in Germany in 1970. At the age of two, she started losing her sight. By 12, she could not see anything, and was sent to a special school for the blind in Marburg. “It was the beginning of a new, wonderful life for me,” she says. Not only did she learn Braille and how to move about using a white cane, she learned to ski, ride horses and row in a kayak. “That school,” she says, “infused in me all the confidence I could possibly have.”

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Uri Caine – USA

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Uri Caine (born June 8, 1956 in Philadelphia) is an American classical and jazz pianist and composer. Caine began playing piano at seven and studied with French jazz pianist Bernard Peiffer at 12. He later studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he came under the tutelage of George Crumb. He also gained a greater familiarity with classical music in this period and worked at clubs in Philadelphia. He played professionally after 1981, and by 1985 had his recording debut with the Rochester-Gerald Veasley band. In the 1980s he moved to New York City where he lives now. He also appeared on a klezmer album with Mickey Katz and played with modern jazz musicians Don Byron and Dave Douglas … (full text).

… Caine, who has recorded 16 albums, is celebrated for his eclectic and inventive interpretations of the classical repertoire. His 1997 jazz tribute to Gustav Mahler received an award from the German Mahler Society, while outraging some jury members. Caine has also reworked Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, as well as Wagner and Mozart. (full text).

His bio also on his own website.

He says: … URI: Well, my attitude at Penn was … I heard professors say the most ignorant things about jazz, as if it were a waste of time, and my thing was, “As long as I’m doing your thing, don’t ever tell me not to do the other! And by the way, I never see you guys come up to 46th and Walnut to the jazz places. They’re three blocks from your school, and you won’t set foot in these places where the most amazing music is being played! So don’t tell me that!” And I guess they said, “OK! OK!” I had my problems at Penn, and felt very alienated by the time I completed the program. But the van Pelt Libarary at Penn is a tremendous library: they had so much music. One of the tests the department gave at the end of the year was a brutal one in which you had to identify any piece of music from 1500 to the present. Most students spent half a semester just to study all this music. I would just take out hundreds of recordings, and 8-10 hours per day, put on 30 seconds of each piece so I could recognize it. I did this for about five months, and something happened musically for me … (full 4-page interview text, ).

His website.

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Uri Caine – USA

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In 2001, pianist Uri Caine, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Ahmir Thompson – three Philly jazz and hip-hop musicians – recorded a soulful stellar album, The Philadelphia Experiment, for the Ropeadope label of music old and newly original and inspired by our region … // … Their brand of blasted-out punk-funky jazz could put the “meat” in meatballs, especially with guitarist Nick Bockrath in on the fun. And this month, special guests from Philly’s Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars pay a musical tribute to South Philly including music from Rocky. Get there early for the snacks provided by DiBruno Brothers. Mangia. (full text, Feb. 20, 2009).

Upcoming concerts.

… Caine seeks grandiloquent melodrama one moment, komic kapering vaudeville the next. He preserves the pomp, but also sets off the pearl necklace detonators at the soiree. His vocalists arrive from diverse zones: Bunny Sigler (Philly soul on the Met stage), Dhafer Youssef (taking Moorish flight), Sadiq Bey (rap-poetic toughness), Josefine Lindstrand (ethereal balladry), Marco Paolini (Italian theatricality) and Julie Patton (cooled narration). Musicians include Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Zach Danziger (drums), Joyce Hammann (violin), Nguyen Le (guitar), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Stefano Bassanese and Bruno Fabrizio Sorba (electronics), although several more are on-hand for guest appearances … (full text, February 16, 2009).

… Caine’s Wagner extrapolations are more modest in scope. The inspiration for the project came from a passage in Wagner’s diaries in which he records hearing his overtures after a meal at the Quadri, a café in the Piazza San Marco then frequented by Austrians. Producer Stephan Winter asked Caine to arrange Wagner’s music for an ensemble similar to the one Wagner might have heard, and they recorded the music live in the very same environs. Caine’s string-quartet/accordion/piano arrangements of familiar Wagner opera passages capture the flavor of the originals. And the recording includes ambient sounds, such as the bells of San Marco ringing out at the end of the Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and the mundane sounds of café traffic, which add poignancy to the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde … (full text, OCTOBER 12, 1998).

Violinist Feldman, bassist Cohen, pianist Caine and drummer Baron have been involved on a number of Tzadik projects throughout the years, and this is another genuinely enjoyable one. Touching on the gentle chamber jazz swing of projects like the Masada String Trio and BarKokhba, the music improvises on music with a Middle Eastern feel, led by Feldman’s violin which achieves a sweet aching and longing on several of the tracks here. Caine’s acoustic piano isn’t often featured, but here he gets a bit of space and uses it to excellent effect, with some swinging and thoughtful improvisations and solid support for the other musicians … (full text, February 05, 2009).

Find him and his publications on iLike; on amazon; on his website/discography; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah – Soudan

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(Update: Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah on en.wikipedia;
) – Linked with Physicians for Human Rights PHR.

Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah is the Medical Treatment Director of the Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture  in Sudan, a leading Sudanese Darfuri-led human rights organization. Despite being surrounded by the on-going brutal conflict in Darfur, Dr. Ahmed has been steadfast in his efforts to rectify the region’s human rights crisis through serving victims of torture and providing leadership in the movement for peace. Dr. Ahmed is renowned for creating a network of health professionals in Darfur to provide quality care to the victims of violence and to ensure the human rights of all Darfuri people. Dr. Ahmed has represented the Fur tribe, the majority ethnic group in Darfur, in national and international forums and negotiations for peace in Sudan … and: (he is the) Medical Director (of the) Amel Center for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, Nyala, Darfur … and: In addition to his medical work with Amel Center in Nyala and El Fasher, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed has participated actively in the “human rights movement” in Sudan during the period 1998 -2007 also taking various courses in human rights, including the training series on international standards for documentation of torture in 2005 and 2006 organized by Physicians for Human Rights and Redress together with Amel Center, Khartoum. The most recent training occurred in July 2006 at Nyala Farmers Hall (Dr. Mohammed’s remarks from this training program on torture in the context of Darfur are found on PHR’s website under the Darfur Survival Campaign in Susannah Sirkin’s “blog” from Darfur. As a leading voice and advocate for his victimized people, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed was a member of a delegation that met US Special Representative Robert Zoellick at the Kalma camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 2005 where he raised a variety of human rights and health issues. He has actively participated as a leader in addressing major community problems in his native region of Darfur …

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Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah – Soudan

… and: Dr. Mohammed works every day as a physician. His work as a community leader and rights advocate are a complement to his core commitment to use his professional skills to benefit victims of violence and human rights abuse … Since the war started in Darfur in 2002-2003, Dr. Mohammed and his colleagues have been deeply involved in treating survivors of torture and rape through their work in Nyala Hospital. As conditions continued to deteriorate and violence persisted, with massive displacement and large numbers of IDPs settling in camps outside the major towns of Darfur, Dr. Mohammed was inspired to join Amel Center and started professional work there in 2004. In Darfur, Amel Center’s mandate is documentation of torture, sexual violence and other crimes, provision of medical and psychological treatment of survivors, and legal aid with protection. As Dr. Mohammed wrote to us: “Right now, Darfur is a big prison for the IDPs and those living in towns. For the last seven years, Darfur has been under marshal laws which enable anybody to be arrested, tortured, or even killed. In July 2006 the Amel Center’s coordinater, Massad Ali was arrested for two weeks. The Center’s legal aid coordinator was harassed and tortured by the security forces, making the work environment for Amel one of constant intimidation and risk. In spite of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South of Sudan, and in spite of commitments made by the Government when it signed the Darfur Peace Agreement in 2006, there is no rule of law and arbitrary detentions, especially of those opposed to the Agreement itself, continue”. In late 2006 and early 2007, conditions have worsened will many non-governmental organizations pulling out due to the unfavorable security conditions … (full long bio on The George Washington University, Medical Center, (by Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of Physicians for Human Rights,  October 2007).

… Dr. Ahmed is also a respected community leader, peace negotiator and human rights advocate. He represents the voice of indigenous leadership that is not heard from in reporting on Darfur … (full text, 14 November 07).

Listen to actual chat audio on selected questions: Erin: Welcome to T2A for November 15th. We’re meeting Darfur rights activist Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdalla. He is medical treatment director for Darfur’s leading indigenous human rights organization. The Amel Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture works in Nyala, al-Fashir and the surrounding encampments of internally displaced people. Dr. Mohammed Ahmed is the 2007 recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Award being presented in Washington Friday … (full text with different mp3- and Real-audios, 14 November 07).

Dr Abdallah said: “In the hospital, we are seeing more cases of malnutrition and infectious diseases we have not seen in a long time, such as polio, measles and tuberculosis. In addition to killing, [government forces] are using violence or the threat of violence to force others to leave the camps. In the last two weeks, at a camp near Nyala, soldiers and police carrying sticks and rubber hoses threatened IDPs, while tents were destroyed and property was carried away in trucks. Approximately 1,000 IDPs were forced onto trucks at gunpoint and were dumped in the outskirts of the city.” Dr Abdallah told the audience that immediately before leaving for Washington D.C. he had met with the leaders of 27 tribal groups: “Today, I speak on their behalf. I also speak on behalf of my patients – 14-year-old girls who have been gang raped in front of their families, men and boys thrown into the fire that also burned their villages and all their possessions, prisoners who have spoken out against the government and paid for it with awful torture and mutilation of their bodies […] We need the immediate protection of civilians before peace talks can take place” … (full text IRCT, 23. Nov 2007).

Doctor Warns of Darfur Camp Expulsions … WASHINGTON (AP) – A prominent doctor who treats displaced people in Darfur says the Sudanese government is risking the deaths of hundreds of thousands by forcing people out of the camps where they receive humanitarian aid. Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, who runs a human rights group in south Darfur’s capital, Nyala, said he has seen evidence backing a recent U.N. claim that the government was chasing people out of nearby camps … (full text, 11/12/2007).
… Recently awarded for his commitment to human rights, 54 year-old Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah is a respected community leader, peace negotiator and human rights advocate who battles adversity to protect torture survivors and seek sustainable peace in Darfur. Based in Darfur, Dr. Abdallah is a physician and medical treatment director at the Amel Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, Darfurs leading indigenous human rights organization.The Amel Center operates as an independent entity that offers services and support to survivors of torture and sexual violence while documenting violence and human rights abuses, torture and rape. When asked about the future of Darfur at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Ceremony, his plea was simple: to provide equipment to UNAMID, the UN-AU joint hybrid peacekeeping force for Darfur. Otherwise, if the international community does nothing to provide the equipment, “the result will be absolute disaster, we will have another Rwanda” … (full text).

On 9 September 2006 at 12.15pm Mohamed Badawi Mohamed Badawi, human rights lawyer and coordinator of the Amel Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in el Fashir was summoned to the office of the National Security in el Fashir. Mr. Badawi immediately reported to the Security Offices and remained there until 3.30pm when he was released without charge. Mr. Badawi was not interrogated but was ordered to report again to the offices the following day, 10 September 2006 at 9.15am. Mr. Badawi reported to the National Security Offices in el Fashir at 9.15am on 10 September 2006 where he was held until 3pm. He was interrogated by Security Officers about the activities of the Amel Centre, the relationship between the Amel Centre and international organisations and the relationship between the Amel Centre and the Communist Party. He was released without charge. Background: SOAT’s partner organisation in Sudan, the Amel Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture has offices in Khartoum, Nyala and el Fashir. The Amel Centre provides legal aid to victims of torture and sexual violence and represents individuals at risk of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments including the death penalty and amputations … (full text).  Continue Reading…

Sotigui Kouyaté – Mali and Burkina Faso

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Linked with Vent d’Afrique (African wind, about African Arts).

Sotigui Kouyaté (born c. 1936) is one of the first Burkinabé actors. He is the father of film director Dani Kouyaté and is a member of the Mandinka ethnic group. Kouyatés have served as griots for the Keita clan since the 13th century. The Kouyatés guard customs, and their knowledge is authoritative amongst Mandinkas. Keitas have to provide amenities to Kouyatés, who in turn should not hesitate to ask for Keita help. The word Kouyaté translates as “there is a secret between you and me”. Sotigui Kouyaté was born in Mali to Gambian parents and is Burkinabé by adoption. When he was a child, he enjoyed koteba performances. He once played on the Burkina Faso national football team. Kouyaté began his theatre career in 1966, when he appeared as adviser to the king in a historical play produced by his friend Boubacar Dicko. That year, he founded a theatre company in 1966 with 25 people and soon wrote his first play, The Crocodile’s Lament … // … In 2009, Kouyaté won a Silver Bear at the Berlinale Filmfestival for his acting. He played the male main character in Rachid Bouchareb’s drama London River on the 2005 London bombings … (full text, last modified on 22 February 2009).

… As government funding has dried up, Dani Kouyaté and other film-makers have become increasingly dependent on the West – particularly France – for cash. About 80% of the money for films in Burkina now comes from Europe. Kouyaté himself, the son of one of the first ever Burkinabé actors, Sotigui Kouyaté, spent five years at the Sorbonne after studying film in Burkina Faso. (full text).

He says: Let’s be modest. Africa is vast, and it would be pretentious to speak in its name. I’m fighting the battle with words because I’m a storyteller, a griot. Rightly or wrongly, they call us masters of the spoken word. Our duty is to encourage the West to appreciate Africa more. It’s also true that many Africans don’t really know their own continent. And if you forget your culture, you lose sight of yourself. It is said that “the day you no longer know where you’re going, just remember where you came from.” Our strength lies in our culture. Everything I do as a storyteller, a griot, stems from this rooting and openness … (more on wikipedia).

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Sotigui Kouyaté – Mali and Burkina Faso

… This past is again present in three new French-language plays at his Paris home, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord. The main work, “Tierno Bokar,” the name of a Sufi mystic caught in an Islamic dispute in French-ruled Africa, has echoes of Mr. Brook’s African epic, “The Conference of Birds.” “The Death of Krishna” is taken from Mr. Brook’s Indian saga, “The Mahabharata.” “The Grand Inquisitor,” based on Dostoyevsky, also addresses questions of religion and power … Yoshi Oida, Habib Dembele, Sotigui Kouyaté and Bruce Meyers in “Tierno Bokar,” one of three new Peter Brook works about religion now at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris … (full text, November 29, 2004).

… Sotigui Kouyate taking the award for best actor. It was a good decision, as it was only Kouyate’s performance that lifted an otherwise dull and predictable film that avoided any meaningful discussion about the effect of the terrorist attack around which the story was shaped … (full text).

Multinational Forces at the Berlin Film Festival.

… At the same time in France, the elderly African father Ousmane also sets out for London in search of his missing son. The tall, austere Ousmane (played with great dignity by Sotigui Kouyate) works as a forester in France and is a practising Muslim with long dreadlocks … (full text).

BERLIN, Feb. 14 2009 (Xinhua) – Actor Sotigui Kouyate from “London River” won the silver bear for the Best Actor on the 59th International Film Festival Berlin (Berlinale) on Saturday …

Le Malien Sotigui Kouyaté, 72 ans, a gagné l’Ours d’argent du meilleur acteur dans “London river” du Franco-Algérien Rachid Bouchareb, samedi soir à la Berlinale … (full text, Feb 14, 2009).

He plays a French Muslim desperately awaiting news of his son after the 2005 terrorist attacks in London

GERMANY-FILM-BERLINALE-AWARDS: Actor Sotigui Kouyate of Mali poses during a press conference after winning the Silver Bear award for best actor following the awards ceremony of the 59th International Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on February 14, 2009. Sotigui Kouyate won the award for his role in “London River” by Franco-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb as a father looking for his son after the July 2005 attacks in the British capital … (full text, Feb 14, 2009).

Find him and his publications, movies, videos, pictures: on this, and on that zimbio page; on yahoo movies /filmography; on IMDb; on Google Video-search; on Google Images-search; on Google News-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

SIA: THE MYTH OF THE PYTHON (2001, Burkina Faso, 96 min.), directed by Dani Kouyaté; screenplay by Kouyaté, loosely adapted from the play The Legend of Wagadu Seen by Sia Yatabéré by Moussa Diagana; cinematography by Robert Millié; sound by Pierre Lorrain; edited by Zoë Durouchoux; music by Daniel Rousseau and Fantani Toure; with Sotigui Kouyaté (Watigué the General), Habib Dembelé (Balla the Griot), Hamadoun Kossoqué (Kerfa the Madman), Fatoumata Diawara (Sia), Ibrahim Baba Cissé (Mamadi), Kardiqué Lolco Traoré (the Emperor, Kaya Maghan), Fily Traoré (Kététigui), Mariétou Kouyaté (the Empress). In Bambara with English subtitles … (full text).

Genesis: … Il restait à faire des liaisons en filmant Sotigui Kouyaté dans un décor indéfini qui pourrait ressembler à une case faite en terre. Nous avons tourné au studio Eclair pendant deux semaines pour une durée de 7 à 8 minutes. Travail très précis et rigoureux pour des metteurs en scène très exigeants et très agréables. En fait, des conditions de tournage idéales. Nous avions le temps de travailler calmement et dans la bonne humeur. Pour eux ce petit tournage était vraiment un tout petit court métrage, ils ont tourné plus de deux ans et sur plusieurs continents. (full text, octobre 2004).

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Pinar Ilkkaracan – Turkey

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Linked with Women for Women’s Human Rights WWHR, and with Sexuality Studies.net.

Pinar Ilkkaracan is the Founding President of Women for Women’s Human Rights, a leading women’s advocacy organization in Turkey; and co-founder of The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, an international network of NGOs and academicians working towards promotion sexual and bodily rights in the Middle East/ North Africa and South/Southeast Asia. She has participated in various UN meetings and conferences on women’s human rights both as a member of the Turkish delegation and NGO representative … (full text).

… Ms. Ilkkaracan has authored numerous articles on violence against women, women in Muslim societies, women in Turkey, and women and sexuality. She edited the book, Women and Sexuality in Muslim Societies and co-authored a human rights manual, Human Rights and Legal Literacy Training Manual, which is used in community centers throughout Turkey to raise awareness of women’s reproductive rights. She is also a member of the Global Fund for Women’s Advisory Council, the International Advisory Committee of BRIDGE at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics. (full text).

She says: “The whole of Europe is focusing on honour crimes and we keep saying … honour crimes are the tip of the iceberg,” said Pinar Ilkkaracan, founder of Women for Women’s Human Rights.”We want quotas (for election candidates) … Fifty percent of the population are women and we’re asking for only 30 percent quotas, which is nothing”. (on Street News Service.org).

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Pinar Ilkkaracan – Turkey

She is founder of Women for Women’s Human Rights WWHR, and founder of Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies CSBR (named on Sexuality Studies.net), (both showed on zoom.info).

Starting with spearheading legal reforms for full equality of women in her own country, psychotherapist and activist Pinar Ilkkaracan expanded her advocacy to networking in Muslim societies and promotion of women’s human rights at the United Nations level. Her organization, Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways (WWHR) pioneered reforms to anchor women’s full equality in the legal system and launched the most widespread human rights training program for women in Turkey. Her international coalition of 38 organizations from 14 countries, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Countries (CSBR), promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights. The coalition works to transform and eliminate customary practices and discriminatory attitudes leading to human rights violations … (full text).

… Pinar Ilkkaracan has voiced the issue of women’s sexuality in Muslim societies through the first ever compilation on the issue, and connected groups working on sexual rights in Muslim countries to create the first solidarity network in the field. At the UN level, she has successfully lobbied for advancements on contentious issues such as honor crimes, forced marriages and the rights of the girl child. She is also a prominent researcher and scholar who has published extensively on a wide array of issues including sexuality, violence, migration, and human rights education. What makes Pinar Ilkkaracan’s work unique and noteworthy is her ability to link local, national and international contexts, capacity to combine activism and professionalism and ability to employ a holistic proactive approach using diverse methods. (full text, 2007).

Find her and her publications on zoom.info; on pipl; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

… The human rights training program she developed with WWHR, remains to be the most sustainable and widespread women’s human rights education program in the world. Pinar Ilkkaracan has led numerous successful advocacy initiatives in Turkey including the protection order law against domestic violence and the penal code reform to safeguard women’s sexual rights and effectively criminalize sexual violence. Pinar Ilkkaracan has voiced the issue of women’s sexuality in Muslim societies through the first ever compilation on the issue, and connected groups working on sexual rights in Muslim countries to create the first solidarity network in the field … (full text).

psikoterapist, araştırmacı ve insan hakları savunucusudur. Kadının İnsan Hakları – Yeni Çözümler Derneği’nin kurucu başkanı olan Pınar İlkkaracan, aynı zamanda Ortadoğu, Kuzey Afrika, Güney ve Güneydoğu Asya’daki önde gelen sivil toplum kuruluşları  ve akademisyenlerden oluşan Müslüman Toplumlarda Cinsel ve Bedensel Haklar Dayanışma Ağı’nın da kurucusudur. Sıcak Yuva Masalı: Aile İçi Şiddet ve Cinsel Taciz (1996), Müslüman Toplumlarda Kadın ve Cinsellik (2000), ve Orta Doğu’da Cinselliğin Çözümlenmesi (2008) gibi eserleri bulunmaktadır. Birleşmiş Milletler (BM) Kadının Statüsü oturumlarında Türkiye resmi delegasyonunda bir çok kere yer almış olan Pınar İlkkaracan, 2007 yılında Peter-Patricia Gruber Uluslararası Kadın Hakları’nı almıştır. (On AntiHomoFobi).

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Raoul Schrott – Austria

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Linked with Die Entstehung der „Ilias“ – Es geschah in Kilikien.

Raoul Schrott is at home in many countries, languages and cultures. He is the prototype of the ‘poeta doctus’, a cunning Proteus with a large and variegated oeuvre encompassing volumes of poetry, novels, short stories and an essayistic output of considerable intellectual prowess. He is a man of undeniable courage, witness the title of his much-talked-about poetry compendium: Die Erfindung der Poesie / Gedichte der ersten viertausend Jahre (The Invention of Poetry / Poems from the First Four Thousand Years,1977). Witness also his translation and modern adaptation of the Babylonian-Assyrian Epic of Gilgamesh. His search for the roots of language has led him to ‘small languages’ such as Breton, Basque and Occitan. Making tradition work for the present time is Schrott’s aim: In fact, I look upon poetry as a millennia-old machine that determines our literary production far more than we do ourselves. Schrott’s seemingly traditional stanzas are highly structured by a network of rudimentary rhymes; his vocabulary is as rich as a painter’s palette, for instance in the description of pigments and tinctures in ‘Cefalù’. The absence of conventional punctuation marks is compensated by various subtle structural devices. In the poem ‘La Ziza’, for instance, the length and number of lines is crucial: rotated a quarter turn, this poem exactly represents the silhouette of this Arab-Norman castle with its nineteen battlements and three gates … (full text).

… In Raoul Schrotts Gedichten laufen Erkenntnistheorie, Phänomenologie und Wissenschaftsgeschichte ineinander, ohne dass er je den Nahblick auf die Dinge verliert. Vernunft und Sinnlichkeit verschmelzen zu einer Weltsicht, die das eigene Selbst und das eigene Wissen relativiert. Raoul Schrott vermag es, bei seiner gedichtweisen Weltaneignung auf dem schmalen Grat zwischen Physik und Metaphysik zu balancieren und dabei niemals die humorvolle, augenzwinkernde Distanz zu verlieren. Unter zahlreichen anderen Auszeichnungen erhielt Raoul Schrott 1995 den Leonce-und-Lena-Preis, 1996 Berliner Literaturpreis und 1999 den Peter-Huchel-Lyrikpreis. Raoul Schrott lebt heute in Irland. Raoul Schrott (* 17. Januar 1964 in Landeck, Tirol) ist ein österreichischer Literaturwissenschaftler, Komparatist und Schriftsteller. (full text).

Raoul Schrott (* 17. Januar 1964 in Landeck, Tirol) ist ein österreichischer Literaturwissenschaftler, Komparatist und Schriftsteller … // … Ab 2005 arbeitete er an einer Neuübersetzung von Homers Ilias. Sie wurde von den Hörspielredaktionen des Hessischen Rundfunks und von Deutschlandfunk in Auftrag gegeben, als Hörspiel mit dem alleinigen Sprecher Manfred Zapatka und in der Regie von Klaus Buhlert produziert und ausgestrahlt … (full text).

A german-bio on the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.

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Raoul Schrott – Austria

Two videos in german:

… He is a prolific producer of essays, novels, and poetry, for which he won a major litrary prize about 5 years ago. I have just run across him myself and so while I have ordered a number of his works from interlibrary loan, I have yet to read them. I became aware of him by finding and listening to a fascinating 12-part radio series that he produced about a decade ago called die Erfindung der Poesie … (full text /Forum).

… Schrott can be considered not only an Austrian writer, but a cosmopolitan writer. Though he is best known for his poetry, his writing is as varied as his locale and encompasses many other genres, including the novel, the short story, and the essay. Schrott also successfully undertook the ambitious endeavor of translating and adapting the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh … (full text).

Listen in german on podcast: Die sumerische Hohepriesterin Enheduanna und die Hofdichterin, Länge 20.33 min … Il(…)ummiya* (* Name nicht lesbar) eröffnen Raoul Schrotts Anthologie als erste namentlich bekannte Dichter. Die sumerische Kultur entwickelte als erste die Schrift und gibt einen Einblick in den Ursprung der Poesie … (full text 01/12: Enheduanna, Ilummiya und die sumerische Literatur /24. Jh. v. Chr).

As a lover of lists, I was intrigued by the list of 100 Near Perfect Books of Poetry compiled by the people at the Lilliput Review.  So I undertook a less ambitious project of listing the 50 Near Perfect Books of  German Poetry, limiting it to 1) books published since 1900, and 2) collections or poem cycles published in the poet’s lifetime. The list is arranged by date of publication. I make no claims of completeness or objectivity: the choices are mine alone. No doubt Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s Literary Pope, would heap scorn on many of my choices. So be it … (full text 50 Near Perfect Books of German Poetry, August 17, 2008).

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Victor Kiernan – England (1913 – 2009)

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Linked with Historian with a global vision.

Victor Kiernan (4 September 1913 – 17 February 2009) was a British Marxist historian, a former member of the Communist Party Historians Group and has written in particular about imperialism … (full long text on wikipedia – last modified on 22 February 2009, at 09:10).

Victor Kiernan, professor emeritus of Modern History at Edinburgh University, was an erudite Marxist historian with wide-ranging interests that spanned virtually every continent. His passion for history and radical politics, classical languages and world literature was evenly divided. His interest in languages was developed at home in south Manchester. His father worked for the Manchester Ship Canal as a translator of Spanish and Portuguese and young Victor picked these up even before getting a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, where he learnt Greek and Latin. His early love for Horace (his favourite poet) resulted in a later book. He went on to Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied History, imbibed the prevalent anti-fascist outlook and like many others joined the British Communist Party. Unlike some of his distinguished colleagues (Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton, Edward Thompson) in the Communist Party Historians Group founded in 1946, Kiernan wrote a great deal on countries and cultures far removed from Britain and Europe. A flavour of the man is evident from the opening paragraphs of a 1989 essay on the monarchy published in the New Left Review: … (full long obituary text, 20 February 2009).

… Victor Gordon Kiernan. He turned 90 a month or so ago, and lives with his wife Heather in the tiny village of Stow in Scotland. Thanks to Prakash Karat, the editor of this book, and Leftword Books, the publishing house, a lot more people would have access to some of Kiernan’s writings. The value of this elegantly produced volume is, doubtless, enhanced by E.J. Hobsbawm’s brief but stimulating profile of his life-long comrade, and Harvey J. Kaye’s thoughtful essay “Seeing Things Historically” … (full text, Dec 07, 2003).

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Sorry, no photo found for Victor Kiernan – England (1913 – 2009)

Indian Prakash Karat’s obituary: … I was fortunate to have been a student of his in the late-1960s. The bond between us was strengthened by his India connection. I last met him in September 2008, a few days after his 95th birthday. He was cheerful, and asked about developments in India. Kiernan will be remembered both in India and Pakistan for his empathy with, and erudition of, this part of the world. (full text).

Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has written this about Kiernan: … He settled down in the 1950s to publish on everything: from Wordsworth to Faiz, evangelicalism to mercenaries and absolute monarchy, Indo-Central Asian problems, Paraguay and the “war of the Pacific” of Chile, Peru and Bolivia, not forgetting a full-scale study of the Spanish revolution of 1854. In the 1960s he discovered his unique gift of asking historical questions, and suggesting answers, by bringing and fitting together an unparalleled range of erudition, constantly extended by one of the great readers of our time. He became the master of the perfectly chosen quotation inserted into a demure but uncompromising survey of a global scene. Nobody else could have produced the remarkable works on the era of western empires he wrote after the middle 1960s, and by which he will be chiefly remembered, notably The Lords of Human Kind: Black Man, Yellow Man and White Man in an Age of Empire (1969) … (full text, February 18, 2009).

Find him and his publications on leftword books; on BookFinder; on amazon; on wikipedia; on Barnes and Noble; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

SOCIAL science scholarship on India will doubtless be enriched by Leftword Books’ year-end offering: a splendid collection of essays on India by Victor G. Kiernan, the British Marxist historian and literary critic. Kiernan who in the words of his friend and admirer Eric Hobsbawm has “no parallel amongst twentieth-century historians”, has nurtured a special attachment for the subcontinent over the decades, having spent several years in Lahore as a teacher in the 1940s, developing Indian friendships, and writing with insight and erudition on issues that ranged from India’s encounter with colonialism to Urdu poetry. The first ever compilation of Kiernan’s writings on India honours this distinguished historian and friend of India on his 90th birthday, which fell on September 4, 2003. The essays are not new, but for one that was written by him specially for this book, and were written from the 1960s through the early 1980s in books and journals that are no longer easily accessible. The book, therefore, re-introduces Kiernan to the Indian reading public, in particular, to a new generation of Indian scholars who may not be familiar with his work … (full text, January 03 – 16, 2004).

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Gil Scott-Heron – USA

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(Not to be confused with Guillermo Scott Herren, a hip hop and IDM producer and artist, who has been based out of Atlanta, Barcelona and New York).

Gil Scott-Heron (born April 1, 1949) is an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word soul performer and his collaborative work with musician Brian Jackson.[1] His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron’s recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. On his influence, a music writer later noted that “Scott-Heron’s unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists” … (full text wikipedia, last modified on 31 January 2009).

…Gil Scott-Heron may have started out in 1971 as an angry young revolutionary, spouting racially-charged polemics, but my man was also twenty-two years old at the time. Ten year later, when Gil cut “Blue Collar” (from the Moving Target LP), he was older, wiser and in tone at least, quieter. He realized that the battle for equality wasn’t just in the urban centers where most of the black and Latino folk are, but also “between the cities and the towns,” where you’ll find mostly working-class white folk, many of whom are dealing with the same or similar economic pressures as working class black people deal with in Chicago or L.A. or NYC … (full text, scroll down).

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Gil Scott-Heron – USA

Watch these videos:

… I won’t say working with Gil was easy – I was an inexperienced editor and publicist trying to look after one of the most notoriously erratic performers and get him to turn up to more interviews, broadcasts and signings than he would ever want to do – but it was rewarding and enlightening and to be absolutely certain – Gil knew exactly what he was doing the whole time and was in so many ways the consummate professional. (That he didn’t do things the way I wanted him to goes to show why I was the amateur.) I thought I’d share the follwing story as I’ve enjoyed telling it in the past … (full text, 23/08/06).

It was around the middle seventies when I first heard this brazen, young black man’s voice.  He was angry! We were angry! I was angry!  Angry over the fact that it was a few years ago that they had just taken from us our black shining Prince. He was mad.  We were mad.  I was mad!  Mad over the fact that our struggle for freedom had come to a screeching halt.  He was loud!  Loud and determined to be heard.  And I heard him. I heard him loud and clear.  I heard him when he said “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.  I heard him when he said “No Knock On My Brothers’ Head”.  I heard him when he was saying that the spirit of Brother Malcolm will flourish in him as it has in me … (full text, 2.13.2009).

… Musically, Mr. Scott-Heron sounded a bit more gruff, (we might call this older and wiser) and has thusly surrounded himself with an array of top-notch performers as his band (particularly on keys and bass). His songs retained all of the potency and relevance as when they were written, their lyrical content ranging from war to substance abuse to being down across this country … (full text, February 12, 2009).

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Pierre Claver Mbonimpa – Burundi

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Linked with Association for the protection of human rights and detained persons A.PRO.DH.

A former policeman in Burundi until he spent two years in prison because of false accusations, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa founded the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH). He has campaigned against torture, addressed the plight of the 9,000 detainees waiting years for trial in the country’s overcrowded jails, and organized events where police and military representatives have had to face questions from human rights activists and victims. Hailed as one of the few who stands up for the rights of Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa, he is regularly threatened by the government. Mbonimpa recently exposed the mistreatment of detainees in holding cells in rural Burundi. He says: “At the provincial capitals, where human rights organizations and the United Nations conduct monitoring visits regularly, there are fewer cases, but in the lock-ups in the interior of the country, further from these areas, there are many more cases”. (More on every human has rights.org).

… Upon his release, he founded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help protect the rights of prisoners, including the 9,000 prisoners that have been waiting for trial for years in the country’s overcrowded jails. He has campaigned fearlessly against torture, and organized events where police and military representatives have had to face public questions from human rights activists and victims. When civil society members and journalists were arrested recently, he again spoke out despite the risks. In a fragile country, where civil war has claimed thousands of lives, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is often hailed as the only person who stands up for the rights of Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa. He is outspoken about human rights violations, even in the public media … (full text, 04/05/2007).

Human Rights Defenders from Sri Lanka and Burundi share 2007 Martin Ennals Award, 4 May 2007.

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Pierre Claver Mbonimpa – Burundi

… According to the President of Association for Promotion of human and Prisoner Rights (APRODH), Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, only the International Criminal Court (ICC) was an appropriate body to try the case. Mbonimpa said that he was disappointed the way in which the case proceeded. “The national courts are unable to try the case, it is necessary to transfer it to ICC…we request its intervention”, he said … (full text, 3 June 2008).

… Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, head of the Association Pour la Protection des Droits Humains, a rights group, also challenged the numbers, saying it expected the “release not of 247 but 452 prisoners”, referring to its own investigations in prisons … (full text).

… “Colonel Vital Bangirinama, who supervised the massacre, has been condemned to death,” said Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, a local rights defender. Another senior officer and two ranking soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment, with seven more troops handed 10-year jail terms for taking part and another five given two years behind bars for failing to act, he added … (full text, Oct 23, 2008).

… Numerous expulsees have spoken out on local radio to accuse police of brutal and summary methods, rounding them up and tearing up their Burundian identity cards, and rights organisations have taken up their cause. The chairman of the Association for the Protection of Detained Persons and Human Rights, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, condemned what he called a “degrading hunt for foreigners” in police raids … (full text).

Find him and his publications on OMCT; on HuriSearch for any language, and on english HuriSearch; on EMM NewsExplorer; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

… Meanwhile, 37 founding members of Movement for Security and Democracy who were arrested along his side, had been freed since Saturday, a human rights activist confirmed. “Some were not even questioned and the police commander told me that he received orders from above to free them,” said Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, head of Association for defence of detained persons and human rights. Mr Sinduhije is one of several opposition and civil society figures in the central Mpimba prison. European Union on Monday condemned his arrest and warned central African country that such action violated terms of the bloc’s aid to Bujumbura … (full text).

High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Burundi Louise Arbour (second from right, at table), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Pierre- Claver Mbonimpa (right), founder and president of the Burundian Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH;) and Martin Ennals (left), 2007 Award laureate, are participating in a meeting with victims of violence at the APRODH office, in Burundi … (full text, 22 May 2007).

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Michael Hudson – USA

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Linked with A Short History Of US Government Handouts, with Once in a century rip-off, with Financial Bailout, America’s Own Kleptocracy, and with A Debt Write Down, and Jubilee Year Clean Slate.

Michael Hudson (born in 1939, Chicago, Illinois, USA) is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). He is also a Wall Street analyst and consultant as well as president of The Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET) and a founding member of International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE) … // … The New School in New York City, where he taught previously, and UMKC, where he is currently a Distinguished Research Professor, are the main U.S. alternatives to Chicago School anti-government economics. He also lectures and publishes in association with UMKC at The Berlin School of Economics. Hudson served as Chief Economic Advisor for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and holds the same position in Kucinich’s Congressional campaign. He has been economic advisor to the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and he is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET). Hudson is a former balance-of-payments economist for Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen, and economic futurist for the Hudson Institute
(no relation). For Scudder, Stevens & Clark in 1990, he established the world’s first Third World sovereign debt fund, which became the second best performing international fund in 1991 (an Australian real estate fund was number one … (full text).

Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972 and 2003) and of The Myth of Aid (1971). ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East … (full text).

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Michael Hudson – USA

Watch these 3 videos:

… Hudson calls it “Stage One of a two-stage plan”, so far unannounced, to transfer trillions more to people who, in any sane world, would be behind bars, the purpose being to re-inflate the bubble economy that made them wealthy beyond their dreams while leaving wages stagnant and creating little meaningful work. The “change” president is continuing the Bush-Paulson giveaway, allowing the process of creating a few giant Wall Street-based trusts which will act as the economy’s central planners in the new “socialism for the rich”. Any talk of nationalisation should be seen in this context. “ Washington has given them $9 trillion so far, with promises now of another $2 trillion – and still counting.” Instead of sputtering about capping CEO bonuses, if he is serious, why hasn’t Obama reversed the Clinton-Rubin repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, responsible for the massive speculation for the past two decades? … (full text, Febr 17, 2009).

He says:

  • … (on government bailout, which means taxpayers stuck with the bill. Do you think this is the right move?) – MICHAEL HUDSON: No, it’s the worst possible move, and it puts the class war back in business with a vengeance. Wall Street has been preparing for this for years, because every financial analyst knows that the debts can’t be paid. And the question that Wall Street has, if you’re going to take a gamble on bad debts that can’t be paid, how are you going to come out a winner? And there’s only one way of coming out a winner, and that’s to make the government bail you out. This has been known for years, because it’s inherent almost in the mathematics of compound interest. Every banker I know knew that the loans they were making were going to go bad. They were trying to sell them to somebody else, ultimately expecting them to end up with some sovereign wealth fund … (full interview text, September 17, 2008);
  • … Because it’s not leading to recovery at all. It’s now up to $12 trillion. It’s a giveaway to the banks, to the creditors, without a single penny for actual debt reduction. And I had thought that at least half a percentage point, $50 billion, was going to be to write down troubled mortgage debtors, but it turns out that not a penny of mortgage debt is going to be written down. When the banks have lent more money than a mortgage owes, with 38 percent, the government is going to create its own debt to come in and make up the difference, so the debt is going to continue to grow exponentially, and it’s way beyond the ability of the economy to pay. If people have to pay the amount of debt that they have now, there won’t be any money to buy goods and services, companies will not sell as much, they’ll invest less, they’ll hire less, and they’ll continue to downsize. And what’s happened is that this is the greatest transfer of wealth really in American history. It’s doubled the American debt. The closest parallel I can think of is William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. He came with a military band, conquered the land and imposed taxes over the whole land, basing it all on the Domesday Book, what—the rent could be squeezed out. In this case, the rip-off has been non-military. The bankers have done insider dealing to get the government to give them or guarantee them $12 trillion of bad loans they’ve made, many of them fraudulent … (full interview text, February 13, 2009);
  • … And the most worrisome aspect of the appointment of Summers is, indeed, as Naomi pointed out, what he did in Russia under privatization. He created a kleptocratic class of billionaires who will be ruling Russia for the next hundred years. And the key was to use public expenditure that would increase private wealth. And I think what the plan is that, from everything Obama has said, is that there is going to be a heavy government expenditure on infrastructure here, very much like there was in Chicago, and this infrastructure is going to create huge real estate fortunes for the property along the lines that—in the vicinity of the location of the infrastructure. It’s going to create huge financial fortunes … (full interview text, November 25, 2008).

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Alison Des Forges – USA (1942 – 2009)

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Alison Des Forges (née Liebhafsky) (August 20, 1942 – February 12, 2009) was an American historian and human rights activist who specialized in the African Great Lakes region, particularly the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. At the time of her death, she was a senior advisor for the African continent at Human Rights Watch … Des Forges left academia in 1994 in response to the Rwandan Genocide to work full time on human rights. She testified 11 times before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and gave evidence about the Rwandan Genocide to panels of the French National Assembly, the Belgian Senate, the US Congress, the Organisation of African Unity, and the United Nations. She was also an authority on human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Burundi. She wrote the 1999 Leave None to Tell the Story, in which she argued that the genocide was organized by the Rwandan government that took power in 1994, rather than being a spontaneous outbreak of tribal conflicts. Her specialized in the African Great Lakes region and studied the Rwandan Genocide. Des Forges was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, and became the senior advisor at Human Rights Watch for the African continent … (full text on wikipedia, last modified on 16 February 2009, at 20:49).

Her Bio on USHMM.org, on HRW.org.

Alison Des Forges chased justice right up until the very end. The 66-year-old, considered among the world’s foremost experts on the Rwandan genocide, had spent her career studying violence and genocide in Africa. Ms. Des Forges had long warned of a looming bloody conflict in Rwanda, before the 1994 killing of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. She then authored a much-heralded genocide account, Leave None to Tell the Story, and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1999. “She predicted the genocide. She worked very hard to prevent it. And when it occurred, she was trying to save lives while others stood by and watched,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director of the Human Rights Watch, a division Ms. Des Forges worked in for more than 20 years … (full text).

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Alison Des Forges – USA (1942 – 2009)

She worked for Human Rights Watch Africa.

Tributes for Alison Des Forges (1942 – 2009):

  • (New York) – It is with enormous sadness that Human Rights Watch announces the death of our beloved colleague Dr. Alison Des Forges, who was killed in the crash of Flight 3407 from Newark to Buffalo on February 12, 2009. Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division for almost two decades, dedicated her life to working on Rwanda and was the world’s leading expert on the 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath … (full text);
  • Alison Des Forges, 66, Human Rights Advocate, Dies;
  • Key human rights advocate dies in U.S. plane crash;
  • The New Yorker;
  • While many of the services are private, a public memorial for Alison Des Forges is set for Sunday. The human rights activist and expert on genocide and Rwanda was returning from London. Des Forges and 49 others died in the crash … (full text);
  • … and any article about on Google News-result.

Alison Des Forges (née le 20 août 1942 et morte le 12 février 2009) était une historienne américaine diplômée de l’université de Yale, conseillère principale de l’organisation Human Rights Watch pour l’Afrique. Elle s’est surtout fait connaître pour ses travaux sur l’Afrique des Grands Lacs et plus particulièrement sur le Génocide au Rwanda de 1994. Elle est la rédactrice d’un rapport sur le Génocide au Rwanda, réalisé sous l’égide de Human Rights Watch et de la Fédération internationale des droits de l’homme. Ce rapport, publié en 1999 est considéré comme une référence sur ce sujet. Alison Des Forges est morte le 12 février 2009 dans un accident d’avion survenu près de Buffalo dans le nord de l’État de New York … (texte entier sur fr.wikipedia).

Find her and her publications on amazon; on wikipedia /Bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Image results (Results 1 – 20 of about 33,500 – 0.13 seconds); on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

Long audio: Alison des Forges, The impact of the Rwandan genocide on Congo Episode, Vital Voices on Genocide Prevention, not dated, time not indicated.

ALISON DES FORGES had said about Rwanda:

  • … “Why didn’t the world react? That is a question that’s almost as difficult to answer as why did Rwandans engage in the killing, because the evidence was so clear. The argument that people didn’t know, particularly at the highest levels of governments, that as Clinton told the Rwandans, you know, “Your voices didn’t penetrate into my office,” that’s not true. They knew. We know now from intelligence records just how much they knew, that within hours they were aware that the killing was being done on an ethnic basis, systematically, that there were lists, that the killers were going through the capital city choosing out people from certain households and executing them. They knew this. People had the impression that this was tribal warfare, that this was a repeat of something that had gone on forever, for centuries. And none of that was true. What was true was that this was a genocide fully as modern as the Holocaust, in the sense that it was state-organized and state-driven. At least half-a-million people were killed, and they were killed in a hundred days. Does it have to be 800,000? Does it have to be a million to cross the threshold of a horror? Isn’t half a million enough? … (Alison Des Forges on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. She later became very critical of the Tutsi-led Rwandan government headed by Paul Kagame and its role in the mass killings in both Rwanda and neighboring Congo after 1994. Last year – in 2008 – she was barred from entering Rwanda) … (full interview text with Kenneth Roth of HRW);
  • … The U.S. was interested primarily in getting a war over. They acknowledged that there were human rights abuses which had taken place during the course of the war. But they felt that, rather than address those abuses directly, it was more important to resolve the conflict, because they believed that the killing of Tutsi, for example, the smaller-scale massacres that had happened in 1991, 1992 and so on – that these would end when the war ended. So their immediate preoccupation was ending the conflict, getting some kind of a stable government in place that would carry on. Often now, there has been the allegation that the U.S. was, in fact, favoring the RPF, was favoring that side of the conflict. Seems to me that was not the case, because in the discussions I had, both in Washington, and locally in Rwanda, where I attempted to create some sense of outrage about massacres of Tutsi and abuses of Tutsi – My sense was that this was that this was always downplayed; that the primary concern for the diplomatic personnel, both at the embassy and in Washington, was to maintain neutrality in this war and not to condemn any abuses of the Tutsi, because this might suggest they were no longer neutral. So they were very anxious to try to preserve their own role as a middle player here, as a facilitator between the sides. So once the paper was signed, it became a kind of sacred text, and everyone wanted very much to make it happen. The focus on making it happen meant perhaps the key players were unwilling to look away from that text, and [were unwilling] to actually look carefully at what was happening in the real scene … (full long interview text, posted april 1, 2004).

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Rima E. Laibow, M.D. – USA

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Linked with Natural Solutions Foundation, and with the video: Compléments alimentaires / about Food complements.

Rima E. Laibow, M.D. is the Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation. She is a graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1970) who believes passionately in the right every American to choose a personal health path that is free of government or corporate interference … // … Like other healers who trust the innate ability to heal, she believes in using nutrients and other natural options to find, define and treat the problems which underlie degenerative, chronic diseases. The key is supporting the immune and other crucial body systems. Dr. Laibow has seen results from these techniques so often in her patients and in her personal life, that she believes the medicine of the future is the medicine of cooperation with nature … // … Because of Dr. Laibow’s awareness of the wide variety of powerful natural, non-toxic options available to treat the underlying causes of disease, she is focused on maintaining these choices for all Americans. Based on her understanding of the impact of poor nutrition and chemical/pesticide toxicity on the declining health of America, Dr. Laibow is determined to help Americans maintain their right to choose health promotion rather than illness care in their efforts to protect themselves from disease and toxic harm. (full text).

Her full 10 pdf-pages CV.

She says: … “I am interested in learning more about the Transition movement. The Natural Solutions Foundation, www.HealthFreedomUSA.org, through its International Decade of Nutrition, www.NaturalSolutionsFoundation.org, has created the Valley of the Moon Eco Demonstration Community in the temperate, fertile Highlands of Panama and I am eager to learn more about the Transition movement … (full text).

Her Natural Solutions Foundation Codex Blog and Announcements Page.

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Rima E. Laibow, M.D. – USA

She works for the Natural Solutions Foundation … Washington, DC PRWEB January 21, 2009 – Health Freedom – the right to determine what happens to one’s own body – stands out as one of the “Top Ten” ideas at Change.org. Spearheaded by the efforts of Natural Solutions Foundation’s 190,000+ supporters, “Health Freedom” was voted as one of the Top Ten issues to be considered by the incoming Obama Administration. Because of its strong showing, Health Freedom is now mounted on the “Citizens BriefingBook” section of the official Obama transition web site, Change.gov. As with Change.org, voting at Change.gov takes place when people register and vote for an idea or concept … (full long text).

Watch this video: Your Food and Your Life – Divesting the FDA, 07.54 min, Oct 14, 2008.

Natural Solutions Foundations: The TRUTH is our Defense!.

… Several countries have recently objected to this practice and stated that because of this and other reasons, decisions made by codex in their absence do not have international legitimacy. One major point of contention has been the U.S. and Codex’s staunch refusal to allow labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Japan and virtually all African countries and the 26 countries of the EU (European Union) have fought the U.S. for nearly 18 years to allow mandatory labeling of GMOs. The U.S. fallaciously considers GMOs equal to non-GMOs solely based on a 1992 Executive Order from then-president George H. W. Bush, therefore no pre-market safety testing occurs on any GMOs before they are released into the food chain in the U.S. The FDA refuses to review any safety data except for a single, preliminary review early in the organism’s development … (full text).

… Letting Go of Medical Practice to Fight for Health Freedom: We looked at the current legislative climate and personnel and their stance on health and health freedom and then counted up the votes needed to push back the deadly incursions being made by CODEX ALIMENTARIUS and domestic health freedom threats. We felt that we had no moral and ethical choice but to close our medical practice of Advanced (pharmaceutical-free) Medicine to new patients so that we could tend to the body politic which was sick and suffering … (full text).

… The World Trade Association (WTO) is very close to taking away our right to buy, sell or use almost all nutritional supplements. In addition, the ability of physicians to legally practice environmental or natural medicine and the rights of patients to chose these treatments are about to be criminalized here in the United States. Currently in the U.S. nutrients are classified as foods [under the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA)] and any substance not explicitly forbidden is permitted as a nutrient. Under CODEX, any substance not explicitly permitted by CODEX policy is banned as a nutrient. The CODEX preamble specifies that supplements and nutrients “may not be used to prevent, treat or cure any disorder.” Natural health options will become illegal if either of the following occurs:
1) the United States is “harmonized” with the WTO this spring while compliance with CODEX is still “voluntary”
2) total compliance becomes mandatory, as it will be after the next CODEX Commission meeting in Rome July 4-9, 2005.
… (full long text, March 23, 2005).

Find her and her publications on ;
on YouTube videos concerning Natural Solutions; on live.video.com; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Eric Margolis – USA and Canada

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Linked with GLASNOST IN LONDON – WAR FEVER IN WASHINGTON.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular columnist with the Quebecor Media Company and a contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC … A native New Yorker, he maintains residences in Paris, New York and Banff but spends much of his time traveling the globe on assignment. (full text).

… He is a contributing editor to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam, and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts … // … His political views: Margolis identifies his politics as “Eisenhower Republican”. Though his domestic political persuasion is moderately conservative (he is a staunch anti-communist and a supporter of capitalism), Margolis’ views on the Middle East are sharply at odds with the neoconservatives. Margolis is best known from his coverage of Palestine and Kashmir. Margolis’ mother, Nexhmie Zaimi, was also a journalist who spent a long time in the Middle East documenting the plight of the Palestinians during the 1950s[1]. Her influence, plus Margolis’s role as a foreign correspondent in the Mideast and travelling with the mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War, invested Margolis with a strong interest in the Muslim World … (full text).

His personal website.

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Eric Margolis – USA and Canada

watch this videos:

He says:

  • … People have to realize that violence emanated from the Muslim world due to a combination of factors. It has a lot to do with a history of Western colonialism. America inherited a business model created by the British when they ruled India. One of the most galvanizing moments came when the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan and the Muslims found itself with a victory. It’s the first they had in hundreds of years. That victory also allowed Muslim radicals to formulate jihadism as a way to drive Western influence out of the area … and: As for Muslim influence in Pakistan, Islamic people never commanded more than 12 per cent of national votes. It’s real backwards fundamentally. In north Pakistan, bullets are whizzing, and tribes think unbelievers are those who come from another part of Pakistan. The problem is the Pakistani military keeps bombing Pashtun areas, inflaming opinion against the central government and thus creating more extremism. The only way out is for the U.S. to broker a political settlement. And neither presidential candidate is impressing me right now. I’m disappointed with Obama for taking such a shallow view of the area with little understanding of the problem. McCain was using Cold War rhetoric when he was debating with Obama about Russian and Georgia. That’s worrisome. Washington doesn’t understand the ethnic politics of region … (full interview text, Oct 4, 2008).

… Margolis also warned that Comparisons with the Warsaw ghetto uprising will inevitably be made … (in Canadian journalists castigated by media watchdog, Jan 26, 2009).

… His viewpoints always supply a real historical background to the typical trouble spots in the world — the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. This perspective usually points out the past European colonialist involvement in these areas — the maps of their former colonies were drawn to suit European needs. All of this is a moot point since, for the past 50 or more years, as the European colonialism has diminished, Americans have increasingly taken their place. The continued U.S. embargo of Cuba is a prime example of America’s colonial attitude in Latin America — which the U.S. seems to consider as its own property. America comes off looking nothing better than a bully of the first magnitude. Margolis is right, with President Obama in office, who was elected on the basic premise of change, this would be a perfect time to end this ridiculous struggle. (full text, 21st January 2009).

Find him and his publications on flickr.com; on Lew Rockwell.com; on Big eye.com; on his website: political commentaries, on writer’s notebook, on media/video, on publications; on Google Video-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Cassandra Balchin – England

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Linked with Women Living Under Muslim Laws WLUML, and with Musawah, there cannot be justice without equality.

Cassandra Balchin – Cassandra Balchin, formerly a journalist based in Pakistan, has been linked with the network Women Living Under Muslim Laws since the early 1990s. Her research and writing has focused on Muslim family laws and law-reform processes, and more recently on critiques of international development policy and practice regarding religion. She is currently concentrating on networking, advocacy, and policy work in the context of Muslim communities in Britain. (InformaWorld).

Cassandra Balchin is a freelance researcher, writer and human-rights advocacy trainer, and has been part of the network Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) for fifteen years. Formerly a journalist based in Pakistan, she has published on Muslim family laws and international development policy regarding religion … (openDemocracy).

… More recently, she has published critiques of international development policy and practice regarding religion, and has been assisting international development and human rights organisations to strengthen their analysis of fundamentalisms. She is currently focusing on networking, advocacy and policy work in the context of Muslim communities in Britain. Her more recent publications include: “‘Muslim Women’ and ‘Moderate Muslims’: British Policy and the Strengthening of Religious Absolutist Control over Gender Development”, in The Power of Labelling: How and Why People’s Categories Matter, Rosalind Eyben and Joy Moncrieff (eds.), Earthscan (2007); Recognising the Unrecognised: Inter-Country Cases and Muslim Marriage and Divorce in Britain, WLUML (2005). (full text).

She says: … I was in Pakistan for 17 years; 1983-1991 as a journalist and 1991-2000 with the Lahore-based women’s group Shirkat Gah, which is the Asia Regional Coordination Office of the WLUML network, and I helped them with their publishing programme. Then, in 2000 I left Pakistan and came to London to help the network set up its international coordination office … (full interview text, 10 February 2005).

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Cassandra Balchin – England

She works with Women Living Under Muslim Laws.

Book-review by Cassandra Balchin: Shari’a Has Never Been and Should Never Be the Basis for Family Law, February, 2004.

Shaping Women’’s Lives: Laws, Practices & Strategies in Pakistan, full article edited by Farida Shaheed, Sohail Akbar Warraich, Cassandra Balchin, and Aisha Gazdar. Lahore: Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, 1998.

Islamophonic: Muslim marriageRiazat Butt is joined by Sunny Hundal to discuss Muslim marriage contracts, the centre for social cohesion, and tensions between Muslims and Sikhs, 2 September 2008: … many Muslim marriages are not registered in accordance with UK law. Riazat meets Cassandra Balchin and finds out why she is campaigning for the recognition of a Muslim marriage contract … (full text).

Find her and her publications on pipl; on openDemocracy: author presentation, and: pathways of women’s empowerment; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

She says also:

  • … The network (WLUML) as such does not privilege faith-based discourse. We are not a faith-based organization. We regard religion as a private matter. We, however, bring together both practicing Muslims as well as people who define themselves in other ways. The dichotomy between faith-based and secular discourse is very distinct in the West, where the two are generally seen as opposed to each other. The distinction is much less sharp in other contexts. Thus, for instance, Sisters-in-Islam, a leading Malaysian feminist group that works from a faith-based perspective, works closely with secular human rights groups. I think this owes in some way to the fact that in non-Western contexts religion is so much part of people’s daily experiences that people are more aware of what harm can sometimes be done in the name of religion. In turn, this means that they can also be more confident in challenging conservative or reactionary interpretations of religion. This sort of thing does not happen much in the West, where faith-based groups and secular groups rarely, if ever, interact. For instance, here in Britain, women from non-white communities see racism as the principal source of their oppression and so tend to cling to their community identities, which leaves little or no room for challenging patriarchal forms of religion. This is bolstered by what is called multiculturalism, with the state privileging religious discourse and male religious leaders in the name of community authenticity, and more often than not it privileges conservative, patriarchal interpretations of religion over other competing understandings. At the same time, secular human rights groups or white feminist groups, who could be allies of women in non-white communities, are so terrified of being accused of being being racist that they often fall into the trap of cultural relativism, allowing for patriarchy to remain largely uncontested … (full interview text, 14 February 2005);
  • … The network as such does not privilege faith-based discourse. We are not a faith-based organization. We regard religion as a private matter. We, however, bring together both practicing Muslims as well as people who define themselves in other ways. The dichotomy between faith-based and secular discourse is very distinct in the West, where the two are generally seen as opposed to each other. The distinction is much less sharp in other contexts. Thus, for instance, Sisters-in-Islam, a leading Malaysian feminist group that works from a faith-based perspective, works closely with secular human rights groups. I think this owes in some way to the fact that in non-Western contexts religion is so much part of people’s daily experiences that people are more aware of what harm can sometimes be done in the name of religion … (full interview text, 10 February 2005).

Global solidarity by and for muslim women, an interview with Cassandra Balchin, 2005-03-08.

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Mary Liston Liepold – USA

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Linked with Peace, Prayer, and Protest; The World-Uniting Force of a New American President, with What Women want: RESPECT, with Peace x Peace.org,  and with Christine Ntahe – Burundi.

Mary Liston Liepold, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience writing and editing a wide range of materials for national nonprofits, federal and state agencies, and individual authors, and 10 years raising funds for major nonprofits. Before coming to Peace X Peace Dr. Liepold spent 14 years at the Child Welfare League of America, where she developed, and for eight years, edited the magazine Children’s Voice. From 2000 through 2005 she wrote speeches for CWLA President Shay Bilchik while raising several million dollars in federal and foundation grants and developing the organization’s first individual giving program. She earned her doctorate in American Literature and Linguistics from the Catholic University of America. Mother of four, grandmother of four, and a daycare mom for 15 years, Dr. Liepold believes with Gandhi that if we want peace, we have to begin with the children. She also believes that if the people lead, the leaders will follow, and she lives that maxim daily at Peace X Peace … (full text).

Mary Liston Liepold set her hair on fire reading under the covers with a swiped cigarette lighter when she was five. At 63, she’s a passionate reader, writer, activist, wife, mother, and grandmother. In her view, the second and third flow from the first as naturally as kids have kids. Once you know what’s going on, it’s almost impossible not to tell others and to act on what you know. Her activism for peace and justice includes working for the international nonprofit Peace X Peace, where she’s a host on the weekly interview series Women’s Global Roundtable and blogs on Week X Week, and attending demonstrations to let history and the rest of the world know our government doesn’t speak for all Americans … (full text).

She is Senior Writer and Editor for Peace x Peace.

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Mary Liston Liepold – USA

Her publication: Earthquakes: A Teacher Package for K – 6, 2nd ed.edited by Mary Liston Liepold. Containing five units that contain materials at three levels (K-2, 3-4, and 5-6) that contain activities to help teach children about earthquakes. IML Prof QE 535.2 .U6 E265 2002 (on uw.platt.edu).

Find her and her publications on amazon; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

She writes:

  • … With a global economic crisis making it harder for millions of the earth’s people to meet their basic needs, one pointless war is winding down in Iraq and another is heating up in the Gaza Strip. The Iraq war is such old news that the media have almost stopped covering it, but it’s still costing $500,000 a minute—enough every day to fund 35,000 four-year college scholarships, or Head Start for more than a million pre-schoolers. Those same pre-schoolers are going to lack lots of essential services if we keep this up—or we move the troops and dollars to Afghanistan—while also continuing to fund “bottomless bailouts” for multinational corporations with no accountability to any nation. And this is the world’s richest government. What about the rest? Isn’t it high time we all turn our attention to solving the environmental, educational, and health challenges that cross every border, and can only be solved by concerted global action? … (full text, December 30, 2008).

  • I’m not the only one who’s choosing the start of the new year to visualize peace. Pope Paul VI declared January 1 the World Day of Peace in 1967, and his successors have proclaimed it again each year. New Years Day is also Global Family Day, set aside for recognizing our common humanity. Ironically, given this week’s news, Global Family Day was first celebrated by Palestinians and Israelis in Nablus in 2000, after an uncommonly peaceful 1999, as One Day of Peace and Sharing. It was taken up by the United Nations and given its new name in 2001. US ex-president Bill Clinton and President George Bush were among sponsors representing 20 nations. So, how would YOU like to start the new year? Why make timid, personal resolutions like losing 10 pounds when we could resolve together to end the madness forever? We are half the human race, after all. Peace on earth will begin with us, the women … (full text);

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Lita Anggraini – Indonesia

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Linked with Urban Poor Linkage (uplink) – Indonesia.

Lita Anggraini brings marginalized domestic workers back into Indonesian society. She does this by educating workers, raising public awareness of the issues that affect them, and changing the laws so that the state recognizes, appreciates, and protects their rights as workers, persons, citizens, and women—leading to a better situation for domestic workers and their relationship with employers. In a country with more domestic workers than any other in the world, Lita has created an education system that empowers young female workers to take an active role in changing their conditions and societal attitudes toward them. Her goal is to change the way society values the contribution of domestic workers so that their rights as both workers and citizens are protected. To transform deeply ingrained attitudes toward women, women’s work, and the relationships between employers and informal employees, domestic workers must take a leading role. Lita’s new educational system teaches domestic workers life skills; trains them about their rights as workers, women (because the vast majority are women), and citizens; and gives them the skills they need to negotiate fair contracts with their employers. While Lita provides alternative learning opportunities, she has designed her system to encourage young domestic workers to seek more formal educational opportunities as well. The idea that domestic workers should be educated and taught to negotiate written contracts with their employers is new in Indonesia. As a result of her program, workers become more competent and more confident, and employees and employers have begun to communicate about their rights and responsibilities … (full text).

Her Bio also on changemakers.

She says: … “This show is in contrast with the stark reality … the Indonesian term “pembantu,” which means helper rather than worker and is used in the Indonesian title of the show, in itself reinforces the view that maids are not professionals and therefore not entitled to normal worker rights. And in practice Indonesia’s labor laws either don’t apply or are largely ignored when it comes to maids … (full text, 27 July 2005).

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Lita Anggraini – Indonesia

She works for National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (JALA PRT – Pekerja Rumah Tangga), named in the report LEGAL REFORM FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS – INDONESIA, october 2005.

… Salaries for domestic workers in Jakarta vary, from Rp 500,000 ($46) to Rp 1 million, on average. The government has set the minimum monthly wage for the Greater Jakarta area at Rp 972, 604. “Household helpers are not covered under the law, because they work in homes and not in factories,” said Lita Anggraini, who chairs the National Network of Domestic Workers Advocacy, or Jala PRT. They are also prone to abuse and exploitation, she said. Household workers “do at least two-thirds of the housework, including taking care of the kids,” Lita said. According to a paper presented by the International Labor Organization in 2007, domestic work in Asia represents the most important source of income for women with low levels of education … (full text, December 30, 2008).

She participates in the Asian Solidarity for Human Rights in Nepal, 1st February 2006.

Hundreds of thousands of young girls employed as domestic helpers in Indonesia are at risk of physical and sexual abuse, much of it due to lack of legal protection from the state … // … Another panelist, Lita Anggraini of Tjoet Njak Dien, a women’s organization, recounted a case in Surabaya as an example of the lack of protection that the law gives to young female domestic helpers … // … (full text, 21 June 2005).

… Separately, Lita Anggraini of Jala PRT domestic workers right NGO said several NGOs had been working on the 30-article bill since 2004. “The law will also specifically regulate housemaids agents so it can stop the exploitation of workers,” Lita said. According to research conducted by the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the International Labor Organization in 2007, Indonesia had some 2.6 million housemaids, 688,000 of whom were children under 15 years old.  (full textc, February 11, 2009).

Find her and her publications on Google Group-search.

… and there exists a great amount of texts from and about Lita Anggraini in Indonesian language.

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Brendan Barber – England

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Linked with Trades Union Congress TUC – Britain at work, and with TUC New Year Message.

Brendan Paul Barber (born 3 April 1951, Southport, Merseyside) has been the General Secretary of Britain’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) since June 2003 … // … TUC: In 1975 he got his first job at the TUC as a policy officer. In 1979 he became the head of the TUC’s Press and Information Department. In 1987 he became head of the Organisation and Industrial Relations Department and in 1993 he became Deputy General Secretary … (full text).

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber is the current General Secretary of Trades Union Congress. He took up the post in 2003, becoming only the 9th person to hold the position since its introduction in 1922. The General Secretary is responsible for the effective operation of the TUC and for leading implementation of policies set by the annual Congress and the organisation’s General Council … (TUC’s short bio) … and: (He) was born on 3 April 1951in Southport, Lancashire. He was educated at St Mary’s College, a grammar school in Crosby and spent a ‘gap year’ with Voluntary Service Overseas teaching in the Volta Region of Ghana before going on to the City University in London where he gained a BA Hons in social sciences … // … Recently he has helped establish new negotiating machinery in the university sector and worked hard to build better relations between all the unions in the schools sector. He has worked closely with John Monks in the area of government relations. Brendan Barber is a Non-Executive Director of the Court of the Bank of England. He was a member of the ACAS Council from 1995 until May 2004. He was also a member of Sport England from 1999 until 2003. He lives in Muswell Hill, north London with his wife Mary, whom he met when she worked in the TUC International Department, and his daughters, Amy (18) and Sarah (16). Brendan is an avid supporter of Everton Football Club, though he also occasionally attends the home games of Vauxhall Conference side Barnet. He is also a keen golfer. (full text).

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Brendan Barber – England

Watch these videos:

He says:

  • Banking sector needs root and branch reform, not a review of bonuses: Commenting on the Government’s announcement today (Monday) of a review of bankers’ bonuses, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘The determination of Britain’s bankers to hang on to their bonuses show just how broken down the banking model has become. ‘We do not need a review of bonuses, but a root and branch reform of the whole banking sector and the employment of people who do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, not expect a bonus to get out of bed in the morning.’ (on e-gov monitor, 10 February, 2009);
  • ‘The determination of Britain’s bankers to hang on to their bonuses show just how broken down the banking model has become. ‘We do not need a review of bonuses, but a root and branch reform of the whole banking sector and the employment of people who do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, not expect a bonus to get out of bed in the morning’ (on commenting on the Government’s announcement of a review of bankers’ bonuses, 9 February 2009);
  • … The government has been addressing some of these issues, though we are yet to see the impact of some of the decisions that have already been made. There is still work to be done to see the banking system working — to try and get banks to lend properly. A lot of financial institutions are withdrawing to the home base to try to build up their balance sheets again. In the case of British companies, 30 per cent of the lending came from international banks. In terms of stimulating the economy and trying to keep people in their jobs, the idea is to make big investments in major public works, which the government has talked about but has not yet been able to deliver. I would attach a lot of importance to that. We still have major social housing needs in Britain. We still have many problems with transport infrastructure that need attention without making work for the sake of making work. Hence, I will kind of group the major issues in three areas — banking and financial issues, public works issues and measures in the labour market to try and help workers through these difficult times … (full interview text, New Delhi, 3 February 2009);
  • Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary, has been hugely critical of the banking system and its role in causing the recession in the real economy. Last month, he even persuaded the Institute of Directors to join the TUC in calling for the reform of City bonuses. Privately, Mr Barber is understood to be telling ministers that there can be “no return” to the virtually unregulated financial system once the recession is over. However, Mr Barber is accused of “being as weak as a pint of piss” by a particularly militant trade unionist. The reason for this is that Mr Barber largely backs the Government’s handling of the financial crisis, at a time when many union members would like to see him battle to guarantee their jobs. “The union role remains to keep employers honest and make sure that they’ve thought through the money-saving options before handing employees their P45s,” says Mr Barber. “In this recession, we’ve seen more firms looking at short-term working options. For example, Honda is to shut for four months to help save jobs” … (full text, 1 February 2009);
  • … Recession must not lead to equality taking a back seat, says TUC, (full text, 9 February 2009);
  • … Brendan Barber, secretary general of the TUC, said workers were “rightly angry” at employers who have not given British based workers the opportunity to apply for new jobs but added: “The anger should be directed at employers, not the Italian workers”. (full text, 31 January 2009);
  • … “This is a terrible blow to Woolworth’s staff and to the firms and jobs that rely on the chain’s custom,” said Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, an umbrella group. “It will also mean a further dent to business and economic confidence and less spending power in the economy,” he added. (full text, 17 Dec 2008);
  • … “I do think the media characterisations of all of this are kind of ludicrous,” he says. “At the one extreme this is the government surrendering all autonomy and giving the unions a veto power over policy or it’s a totally meaningless talking shop at the other extreme. I just think you cannot win when people just reach for some of the tired old clichés about ‘the brothers are back’ and ‘beer and sandwiches’ and so on. I want us to have a modern, intelligent dialogue with the government so that we can make a good case that they will respond to” … (full long text, 6 September 2003).

Labour must show us that its love affair with the City is over, the government needs to realise that voters will no longer tolerate a government in thrall to Britain’s financial establishment, 6 October 2008.

Find him and his publications on quotes; on Ask.com; on Google Video-search; on Google 246 New-results; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

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Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA

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Linked with Made in America.

Stanford R. Ovshinsky (born November 24, 1922) is an American inventor and scientist who has been granted approximately 400 patents over the last fifty years, mostly in the areas of energy or information. Many of his inventions have come to play central roles in modern society. Among the most prominent are: his environmentally friendly nickel-metal-hydride battery, which has been widely used in laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones, and electric and hybrid cars; continuous web multi-junction flexible thin-film solar energy panels; flat screen liquid crystal displays; rewritable CD and DVD computer memories; hydrogen fuel cells; and nonvolatile phase-change electronic memories. Ovshinsky opened the scientific field of amorphous and disordered materials in the course of his research in the 1940s and 50s in neurophysiology, neural disease, the nature of intelligence in mammals and machines, and cybernetics. Amorphous silicon semiconductors have become the basis of many technologies and industries. Ovshinsky is also distinguished in being self-taught, without formal college or graduate training. Throughout his life, his love for science and his social convictions were the primary engines for his inventive work … (full text).

Read further on wikipedia:

He says: “The ages of mankind have been classified by the materials they use—the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Age of Silicon. We are at the dawn of the Hydrogen Age, what is more, the hydrogen economy is happening already” … (full text, Nov 30th 2006).

His Bio on OVONIC.com.

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Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA

Watch these videos:

He says also: … “We believe the functionality of the Ovonic Quantum Control device will enable it to replace transistors and result in new circuitry. It will also be used in the Ovonic Cognitive processor, positioning it to augment and increase performance of today’s computers and potentially become the preferred computational system, either binary or nonbinary. It can also be used in combination with the Ovonic phase change memory, Ovonic threshold switch and the Ovonic cognitive computer device. Therefore all thin-film computers would be made possible,” … (full text, 6 June 2006).

TIME.com has put him on its heroes-gallery, MARCH 1, 1999.

A husband and wife team has been working together since 1960 to solve the energy woes of today. As early as this year, world oil production will peak out and begin to fall off dramatically, causing fuel shortages and gas prices three or more times higher than we pay today. “Hydrogen has been called the ultimate fuel and the sun is the ultimate source of energy. If you tap into that, and you should, it changes the world beyond anything anybody could expect.” Stan Ovshinsky 2002 … (full text, not dated – in: Stan and Iris with the Hydrogen loop diagram in 1960).

Video is from Google video: Installing clean, reliable, inflation-proof solar power … (full text).

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Stanford R. Ovshinsky has spent 40 years — and millions of dollars in backing from various partners — pursuing his dream. He wanted to build a huge machine that would make giant sheets of material that can generate solar power. “I said we are going to make it by the mile,” he recalls. “Nobody believed me, not even in my own company.” Today, Mr. Ovshinsky, 84 years old, finds himself running his factory at full capacity and overwhelmed with orders. His company, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., is the largest U.S.-owned maker of photovoltaic materials, which convert sunlight to electricity. The company is a pioneer in an exploding global industry selling $15 billion a year of what’s called “PV.” The company’s mammoth machine extends the length of a football field … (full text, Nov. 28, 2006).

… My late father and I held stock in Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) which turned into Ovonics because we were great fans of Ovshinsky. Unfortunately General Motors and other companies made life difficult for him (and ENER) because much of his research was to enable technologies that would lessen our need for petroleum based products. I hope this new memory does well and I know my father, wherever he is, will be pleased with Ovshinsky’s success. (full text, April 1st, 2008).

Find him and his publications on MetaFilter.com; on Visual wikipedia; on PatentDocs; on IMDb; on ebay; on NationMasterEncyclopedia; on amazon; on yahoo glue; on flickr’s photo sharing; on RAD; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a “total crock of shit,” saying his views had no bearing on GM’s commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles … // … Watching the clips should energize the viewers to take action to prevent the GM-Chrysler bail out as currently proposed. The best use of US Treasury money would be to buy a controlling interest in Chrysler and turn it over to a really green management team which would rename it as the Chrysler Electric Auto Company (CEAC). CEAC would make only electric plug-in and electric plug-in hybrids. Over time, it would repurchase the older cars and trucks and convert them to electric vehicles. The full story can be read at a mock website of Chrysler: Chrysler Electric Auto Company. Summary of video clips and films: … (full text of Does Detroit Deserve a Handout? November 19, 2008).

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Suketu Mehta – India and USA

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Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found … Mehta is Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. He is currently working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary New York, for which he was awarded a 2007 Guggenheim fellowship. He has also written an original screenplay for ‘The Goddess,’ a Merchant-Ivory film starring Tina Turner, and ‘Mission Kashmir’, a Bollywood movie. Mehta was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (full text).

… Mehta moved from Mumbai to Jackson Heights when he was fourteen; his family lived on 83rd Street. Not many of the shops and restaurants from his youth are still in business–although he notes that his family didn’t eat out much anyway, unless it was to go for south Indian food (”That’s what Gujaratis eat when they go out.”) The neighborhood has evolved, as Indians who immigrated in the 70s move out to the suburbs and newer immigrants move in … (full text).

… He has attended New York University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His autobiographical account of his experiences with the city of Mumbai, Maximum City, was published in 2004. The book explores the underbelly of the sprawling city. It was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Suketu Mehta also co-wrote the screenplay to the Bollywood film Mission Kashmir with novelist Vikram Chandra. Suketu lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He is currently working on a book about the New York City immigrant experience. He will be joining the NYU journalism faculty in 2008. Awards: … (full text).

His official website.

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Suketu Mehta – India and USA

Watch these videos:

Two award-winning authors who feature one of the world’s most crowded and polluted urban centres in their books were a natural choice for a breakfast focussing on the city, moderated by York Professor Engin Isin, Canada Research Chair in Citizenship Studies. Suketu Mehta and Anosh Irani joined Isin on stage June 1 at the 75th Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences for a discussion about Bombay – or Mumbai as it is now called – and the role this city of dreams plays in their fiction, as both setting and subject … (full text).

He says: … It was very scary and continues to be so. But I wasn’t interested in making judgments because then I would be judging my own life. I would hope that they will find that I’ve been fair to them, presenting them as fully rounded humans … I don’t spare myself. I’ve changed the names of most – probably they won’t be identified – but there’s potential for really serious violence, or lawsuits. It’s a great risk one takes in writing nonfiction … As the famed Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert said, for anybody else, not telling the truth can be a tactical maneuver. But for the writer, staying silent is lying. So, if I write about these people without their darker side, then … I might as well be writing propaganda … (full interview text).

… To gain a deeper understanding of the city, Boyle urged Patel to read Suketu Mehta’s unparalleled account — part memoir, part travelogue — of modern Mumbai, Maximum City. When you walk out of the airport you are hit by all these people, and this heat, Patel says. There’s this smell in Mumbai — Mehta calls it the smell of sweat and dreams. Hard work and people pursuing their dream … (full text).

… In one voyeuristic flourish, Suketu Mehta describes in Maximum City how a slum goon thrusts a hand through an open window to grope a sleeping woman. Unless you can testify with conviction that no sick predator has ever sexually tormented anybody in offices, restaurants, homes, or trains – you will have to sing this dirge with me: Slums are us. (full text).

Find him and his publications on alibris; on LibraryThing; on BookFinder.com; on NationMaster.com; on Borders; on amazon; on Google Video-search; on Google inauthor-results; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He says also: … Well, I am doing something about it. I’m donating all of the Indian royalties of my book to set up a legal defence fund that will litigate on behalf of all the children in India. There are Acts of Parliament in India to protect children’s rights, and there are international covenants that India is a signatory to. Under these, every Indian child has the basic right to food, clothing, shelter and education. But you step off the plane in Mumbai, and immediately there are 1 million violations right there. The leading public interest lawyer, MC Mehta, has agreed to take on the responsibility. I’m really encouraged by that. There are some good people in government too who want some kind of outside pressure. What we’ll do is to first look at what’s happening with children on the streets and in prisons, we’ll prepare a report, and we’ll prepare a legal note of what the government is committed to and is not delivering. ‘MC’ will then take it to the Supreme Court, and hopefully the government can be persuaded to act. (full interview text).

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Frank R. Rijsberman – Netherlands

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Linked with Every Last Drop, and with the International Water Management Institute IWMI.

Since 2000, Frank Rijsberman is Director General of the International Water Management Institute IWMI. IWMI is the leading international research organisation on water, food and environment, headquartered in Sri Lanka. It is one of the 15 centres supported by the CGIAR. IWMI has over one hundred senior researchers, a staff of 380, offices in 12 countries in Africa and Asia and a budget of US$28M. Its mission is to improve water and land resources management for food, livelihoods and nature. Since 1999 Rijsberman has been appointed part-time Professor at the UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education (jointly appointed at Wageningen University since 2003). At IWMI, Frank Rijsberman has developed and spearheaded international initiatives to (a) increase the dialogue among agriculturalist and environmentalists (The Dialogue on Water, Food and Environment) and (b) increase water productivity in agriculture (Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management for Agriculture; CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food). He has 25 years of experience in natural resources management research and consulting, specifically for fresh water resources, coastal zones, soil erosion, environmental management and climate change / sea level rise … (full CV long text).

… From 1990-2000 he was a co-founder, partner and managing director of Resource Analysis, a private research and consulting firm in the Netherlands.  From 1998-2000 Mr. Rijsberman was also one of the key organizers of the World Water Vision and second World Water Forum process.  He has been a member of the Water Task Force of the UN Millennium Development Goals Project, an invited speaker at CSD 12, and a chapter review editor of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.  He has well over 50 scientific and technical publications. (full text).

The Board would like to commend Frank for his successful leadership of the Institute during the past seven years. As is well documented elsewhere, IWMI has grown and blossomed over the period under his leadership. The overall conclusion of the 3rd External Program and Management Review of IWMI was that the institute has emerged from its period of rapid growth as a larger, more diverse, more proactive and generally stronger research organization, with enhanced human resources management. IWMI has benefited greatly from the leadership of a strong and dynamic Director General since 2000 … // …The IWMI Board fully agrees with this endorsement of the external review panel and wishes Frank well as he goes on to new challenges in helping to build Google’s new philanthropic arm, google.org. (full text, May 2007).

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Frank R. Rijsberman – Netherlands

Find him and his publications on his CV page 4-6: Selected Publications; on amazon; on allBookstores; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • … As people accept that climate change is real and here to stay, they are likely to realize that while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is all about energy, adapting to climate change will be all about water … (as subtitle in an article, );
  • … However, water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and all other domestic needs is only a small fraction of the requisite supply. A much larger amount is needed to grow our food as well as the fibers, such as cotton, in our clothes. On average, growing a single calorie of food demands a liter (a little more than a quarter of a gallon) of water. Plants need water for evapotranspiration, the process by which water evaporates from soil and leaves and transpirates from plants through the stomata, thereby transferring water from Earth’s surface into the atmosphere. A healthy diet of 3000 calories requires at least 3000 liters (792.5 gallons) of water to produce; a vegetarian diet requires the least amount of water, while a Western, meat-based diet rich in corn-fed beef can require as much as 15,000 liters about 3,963 gallons) of water per person per day. Roughly seventy times as much water is needed to grow the food that people eat as to serve domestic purposes … (full text, 25 Jan 2009;
  • … It is surprisingly difficult to determine whether water is truly scarce in the physical sense at a global scale (a supply problem) or whether it is available but should be used better (a demand problem). The paper reviews water scarcity indicators and global assessments based on these indicators. The most widely used indicator, the Falkenmark indicator, is popular because it is easy to apply and understand but it does not help to explain the true nature of water scarcity. The more complex indicators are not widely applied because data are lacking to apply them and the definitions are not intuitive. Water is definitely physically scarce in densely populated arid areas, Central and West Asia, and North Africa, with projected availabilities of less than 1000 m3/capita/ year. This scarcity relates to water for food production, however, and not to water for domestic purposes that are minute at this scale. In most of the rest of the world water scarcity at a national scale has as much to do with the development of the demand as the availability of the supply. Accounting for water for environmental requirements shows that abstraction of water for domestic, food and industrial uses already have a major impact on ecosystems in many parts of the world, even those not considered ‘‘water scarce’’. Water will be a major constraint for agriculture in coming decades and particularly in Asia and Africa this will require major institutional adjustments. A ‘‘soft path’’ to address water scarcity, focusing on increasing overall water productivity, is recommended … (full text, Aug. 8, 2005, click on Water scarcity, Fact or fiction? 18 pdf-pages).
  • … Most of the earth’s water is saline, located in seas and oceans. And most of the earth’s fresh water is locked up in the ice caps around the poles. The rest is the water pumped around by the sun in the hydrological cycle: water that evaporates into the atmosphere, gathers in clouds, and falls as rain … (full text).

Sorry, many of his texts are not available for free.

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Asghar Ali Engineer – India

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Linked with Madrasa education myth and reality, with The Two Circles.net, and with Islamic banking in India: Challenges and prospects.

Asghar Ali Engineer is a Muslim scholar and engineer. Internationally he is known for his work on liberation theology in Islam, the leader of the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement, and his work on (and action against) communalism and communal and ethnic violence in India and South East Asia. He is an advocate of a culture of peace and non-violence. Asghar Ali Engineer was born 10 March 1939 in Salumbar, Rajasthan, India as the son of a Bohra priest. He was given training in Qur’anic tafsir (commentary), tawil (hidden meaning of Qur’an), fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadith (Prophet’s sayings), and learnt the Arabic language. He graduated in civil engineering in Indore, Madhya Pradesh), and served for 20 years as an engineer in the Bombay Municipal Corporation before he took voluntary retirement to devote himself to the Bohra reform movement. He began to play a leading role in the reform movement in 1972 when a revolt took place in Udaipur. He was unanimously elected as General Secretary of The Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community in its first conference in Udaipur in 1977. In 2004 due to criticism of the Dawoodi Bohra religious establishment he was expelled. Asghar Ali Engineer has been instrumental in publicizing the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement through his writings and speeches. He has authored more than 40 books and many articles in various national and international journals, and is founding chairman of the Asian Muslim Action Network, director of the Institute of Islamic Studies, and head of the Center for Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai. He has been awarded several awards, among which the Communal Harmony Award in 1997 and the Right Livelihood Award in 2004 (with Swami Agnivesh) for his ’strong commitment to promote values of co-existence and tolerance’ … (full text).

He receives the Right Livelihood Award, Joint with Swami Agnivesh (2004).

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Asghar Ali Engineer – India

He says: … Yes, that is very true, that secularism is a must for us. It is so multi-religious, it is so multicultural, multilingual, and so diverse. Even within Hindu society there is so much diversity, within Muslim society there is so much diversity in India. How can it function smoothly without secularism? … and: Secularism in Indian context means equal respect for all religion, equal protection for all religion by State, and the State not associating with any one religion, but keeping equal distance from all religions. That is secularism … (full interview text).

Combat Terror Day’ on February 5, 2009: … The other dignitaries who will preside over this youth initiative against terrorism include secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Teesta Setalvad; actress-cum-director Nandita Das; NDTV- Kashmir correspondent Zaffar Iqbal; journalist and editor of ‘Gujarat Carnage’, Asghar Ali Engineer; Centre for Health and Allied Services activist, Abhay Shukla along with director general of RSS-run NGO Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Vinay Sahasrabuddhe … (full text, 27 Jan 2009).

Find his bio on cmss.uwa.edu.au; his archive on countercurrents; his publications on andromeda.rutgers.edu; on amazon; on wikipedia /some works; on blogs on word-press; on Gojaba; on Google Images-results; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

He writes:

  • Every year we monitor communal riots in India. Here is the account of riots, which took place in 2007, which we could monitor through various sources … (full long text, 01/16/2008).
  • Modernity was greatly celebrated during colonial days of 19th century throughout the world, especially in African and Asian countries colonized by European countries. It was hallmark of superiority of west over east. West was considered most modern, rational in its approach and technologically far more superior whereas Asian and African countries superstitious, irrational and ignorant and backward. Most of the intellectuals, mainly product of western colonial education felt ashamed of their ignorance and backwardness and lack of rationality and science and tried to reform their societies by spreading modern approach among their people. However, there was vertical division in these societies between those who refused to modernize and preferred their orthodoxy and those who considered modernization a must and celebrated modernity … // … Spiritual joy and material happiness must go together. Reason should not be devoid of values. Reason without higher goals, meaning and significance of life, is two-edged sword. Truth should not be mere conformity with facts but also beyond and above it, transcendent and all inclusive. Otherwise modernity will remain handmaiden of powerful vested interests which is what it is today and will generate more and more discontents. (full long text, January 2009).
  • After the carnage in Gujarat and subsequent victory of Narendra Modi-led BJP in Gujarat has intensified threat of Hindutva forces. The Hindutva forces not only celebrated the victory in Gujarat but also declared their intention to repeat the Gujarat model in other states in coming elections. It is not so surprising after all that even the Prime Minister Vajpayee when asked about it, confirmed it. When reporters asked him would you repeat Gujarat model in other states he said, ìWill Godhra be repeatedî? The implication of this cryptic reply is that if Godhra is repeated (or created?) in other states Gujarat model will be justified and the BJP Government will neither owe responsibility to prevent Godhra-like occurrence nor the subsequent events that followed in Gujarat. Thus the BJP owes no responsibility to enforce rule of law but rule of hate, blind revenge and violence … (full text, Feb. 1-15, 2003).

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Dave Lindorff – USA

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Linked with The American Economy Is Not Coming Back.

Dave Lindorff (born 1949) is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. He received a Project Censored award in 2004 … // … Lindorff gained national attention when he ran a false story, just days before the 2004 presidential election, accusing President George W. Bush of using a remote wireless cueing device under his jacket and embedded in his ear during the Presidential debates against Democrat John Kerry. The article, which ran in Mother Jones magazine’s online edition, included photographs that had been edited by a leading photo analyst based at NASA’s Jed Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Born in Washington, DC in 1949, Lindorff lives just outside Philadelphia with his wife, harpsichordist Joyce Lindorff. He has two children, Ariel (a gifted vocalist) and Jed … (full text).

Dave Lindorff is a columnist for Counterpunch magazine and author of several recent books including ‘This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy’ and ‘Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal’. His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is ‘The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office’ /St. Martin’s Press, May 2006. (on his website).

His website named This Can’t Be Happening. And his blog The Smirking Chimp.

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Dave Lindorff – USA

Watch these videos:

Find him and his publications on Abu Jamal News; on OEN OpEdNews; on alibris; on amazon; on political affaires pa; on blogged.com, on mcMillan.com; on the populistParty; on his blog; on his website; on wikipedia /bibliography; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

A few articles:

Two Google download books:

Further he writes:

  • Many of the current administration’s “crimes” are not statutory violations. They are so called “high crimes” as defined by the Founders. That is to say they are abuses of power that threaten the nation’s very essense. They are not crimes in the sense that they violate a law, but, even more seriously, they undermine our political system and consequently threaten the very continued existence of our free and democratic society … (full text, January 16, 2009).
  • … Missile Defense is big business.  In addition to the billions of dollars already spent and millions more requested by the Bush administration, giving lucrative contracts to defense industry corporations and military agencies and high-level personnel, in late October, according to Mark Thompson, Time  Magazine/CNN, the Pentagon began work on a new missile defense “Headquarters Command Center” at Fort Belvoir, Virginia about 10 miles south of the Pentagon.  The $38.5 million building will be home to 300 Missile Defense agency workers. A key question we need to ask ourselves is will a renewed arms race, including the proliferation of nuclear weapons, between the U.S. and Russia on European soil and elsewhere provide security and gain trust among all nations concerned. Or would deterrence, containment and diplomacy, including talks with Iran, serve us far better in the long run. The time is now for the U.S. to withdrawal its plans for the missile defense system in Europe and for Russia to accept that withdrawal as a victory for peace by all sides and demonstrate to the world that diplomacy and disarmament can help lead us foward into more peaceful times – that give opportunities for progressive growth and development for millions of people worldwide. (full text, January 20, 2009). Continue Reading…