French elder statesman and legal scholar Robert Badinter, who as François Mitterrand's Justice Minister abolished the guillotine twenty years ago and who rushed from the Congress to negotiate the truce in Macedonia, pointed out that just four countries--China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States--are responsible for 90 percent of world executions. "How can you explain these strange bedfellows?" he demanded.
thanks to Walter Ego
1. Most students starting college this fall were born in 1983.
thanks to X-Ray Net
THE EXPERIENCES from which M. Sartre draws his emotional ties are irrelevant to this new struggle. Both sides draw from them conclusions which must horrify the man of rationalist tradition and universalist ideals. The bulk of the Jews and the Israelis draw from the Hitler period the conviction that, in this world, when threatened one must be prepared to kill or be killed. The Arabs draw from the Algerian conflict the conviction that, even in dealing with so rational and civilized a people as the French, liberation was made possible only by resorting to the gun and the knife. Both Israeli and Arabs in other words feel that only force can assure justice. In this they agree, and this sets them on a collision course. For the Jews believe justice requires the recognition of Israel as a fact; for the Arabs, to recognize the fact is to acquiesce in the wrong done them by the conquest of Palestine. If God as some now say is dead, He no doubt died of trying to find an equitable solution to the Arab-Jewish problem.
If in this account I have given more space to the Arab than the Israeli side it is because as a Jew, closely bound emotionally with the birth of Israel, I feel honor bound to report the Arab side, especially since the US press is so overwhelmingly pro-Zionist. For me, the Arab-Jewish struggle is a tragedy. The essence of tragedy is a struggle of right against right. Its catharsis is the cleansing pity of seeing how good men do evil despite themselves out of unavoidable circumstance and irresistible compulsion. When evil men do evil, their deeds belong to the realm of pathology. But when good men do evil, we confront the essence of human tragedy. In a tragic struggle, the victors become the guilty and must make amends to the defeated. For me the Arab problem is also the No. 1 Jewish problem. How we act toward the Arabs will determine what kind of people we become: either oppressors and racists in our turn like those from whom we have suffered, or a nobler race able to transcend the tribal xenophobias that afflict mankind.
This is a long piece and is 34 years old but bears reading in its entirety. It's a shame that we don't have an I.F. Stone today. If we do will someone point him out to me?
This issue of the New York Review of books also has two other lengthy pieces from the past with warnings that have gone unheeded.
The Price Israel Is Paying
Israel: The Tragedy of Victory
And a recent piece about Camp David.
Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors
A story in Flash with soundtrack. It's about banks.
thanks to /usr/bin/girl
A team of Japanese engineers has created the smallest statue ever.
A three-dimensional bull the size of a red blood cell has been etched in plastic by engineers at Osaka University in Japan.
Gosh, it seems we now have Republicans calling Republicans hypocritical.
Burton also noted that Ashcroft, as a Republican senator, supported Burton's efforts to force former Attorney General Janet Reno to turn over similar memos during the Clinton-era fund-raising investigations.
"I am concerned that you have one standard for a Democrat attorney general and another standard for yourself," Burton wrote, citing a 1998 transcript of an Ashcroft TV appearance.
"Your position in 1998 was unambiguous and it was correct. Thus, I am at a loss as to why you would take a contradictory position just a few years later," Burton said.
Burton said while he held high regard for Ashcroft, a fellow Republican, "my personal confidence in you does not diminish the responsibility of this committee to conduct vigorous oversight of the Department of Justice."
"Unfortunately, rather than meet me halfway as other administrations have done and as you yourself have demanded in the past you have elected to follow a course that makes Congress subservient to the executive branch. This I cannot accept," he said.
The Mariners have another major league record. The most road series wins without a loss - 27. And they do it this afternoon with a 4 - 0 win over Tampa Bay.
Missiles targeted at US cities and intercepted by President Bush's proposed missile defence shield could fall on Europe, Canada or middle America instead, arms researchers warn.
The shortfall problem could, however, increase tensions between the US and its allies, says George Lewis, a physicist at MIT. "If you ask how many people are going to be killed, on average, you're clearly better off having the warhead fall short," he says. "But the people who it's going to land on may have a different view."
thanks to SmirkingChimp.com
Congressional Democratic leaders sent President Bush a letter on Wednesday asking him to explain how he intends to fund various proposals in the face of a rapidly shrinking projected budget surplus.
"It is imperative that you provide specific guidance on how you intend to pay for the additional initiatives that you are calling for," wrote the Democrats, who requested a meeting with the president on the matter.
"We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to receive the benefit of your thinking," they said.
The letter came two days after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected the overall budget surplus for fiscal 2001 would be $153 billion, down $122 billion from an earlier estimate in May and made up entirely of funds intended for Social Security. Excluding those Social Security funds, the 2001 budget would be $9 billion in deficit, the CBO figured.
"For Democrats, saving the Social Security surplus is not a symbolic goal -- it is a shared commitment we have made to the American people and one that we thought you shared," the letter said.
I was doing some quick surfing on the National Security Archive (see below) and I found the tape of the phone conversation when General Alexander Haig first informs President Nixon of the release of the Pentagon Papers. This is incredible! You can hear the actual voices! You are there while history is happening! There aren't enough exclamation points to express how amazing this is! You need a RealAudio Player to listen.
This whole site is mind boggling.
The National Security Archive combines a unique range of functions in one non governmental, non-profit institution. The Archive is simultaneously a research institute on international affairs, a library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information through the FOIA, and an indexer and publisher of the documents in books, microfiche, and electronic formats. The Archive's approximately $1.8 million yearly budget comes from publication revenues and from private philanthropists such as the Carnegie Corporation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. As a matter of policy, the Archive receives no government funding.
The National Security Archive was founded in 1985 by a group of journalists and scholars who had obtained documentation from the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act and sought a centralized repository for these materials. Over the past decade, the Archive has become the world's largest non governmental library of declassified documents.
This is an incredible repository of primary source material - declassified government documents. It will take a while to mine this material!
thanks to wood s lot
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thanks to wood s lot
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Wendy and Sarah made a suprise visit. They had come over to the island to hear a reading by a friend of Wendy's at Hedgebrook which is sort of a retreat for women writers. After the reading they dropped by.
Katie and Mike had spent the day with me and were still here. Mike (who will be 2 in October) proceeded to put on a show flirting with Sarah. (Katie and Sarah are cousins.)
We are not sure whether to now refer to Mike as Joe Cool or The Stud. Wendy and Katie assure me that most men do not outgrow this behavior.
Three great art sites.
The purpose of the Himalayan Art Project is to exhibit and catalog Himalayan and Tibetan art from collections around the world with the long term goal of creating a comprehensive and definitive archive.
This is a bells and whistles site but it displays the art well. You can really zoom in on the detail of these pieces. Which is good since they have a lot of detail.
The Chairman Smiles
all three thanks to Netsurfer Digest