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Page 1
"Men and women really don't understand the nature of either their own or the other's sex. Those natures have stayed relatively constant thruout our anthropology inspite of extended lifespans, history and changes in life-style and the quality of life. There is no wonder, consequently, that we mate and 'love forever!' -but divorce and separate increasingly as our intellectual communion (homo- or heterosexual) fails with time ..."
(-from Feminism, Male Sex, Evolution and Jail)
June 6, 2005 Newsweek Magazine
What's Love Got to Do With It? Everything.
In a new book, a marriage historian says romance wrecked family stability.
By Barbara Kantrowitz

For the true commitment-phobe, living among the Na people in southwestern China would be paradise. The Na are the only known society that completely shuns marriage. Instead, says Stephanie Coontz in her new book, "Marriage, a History," brothers help sisters raise the children they conceive through casual sex with nonfamily members (incest is strictly taboo). Will we all be like the Na in the future? With divorce and illegitimacy rates still high, the institution of marriage seems headed for obsolescence in much of the world. Coontz, a family historian at Evergreen State College in Washington, doesn't proclaim the extinction of marriage, but she does argue that dramatic changes in family life over the past 30 years represent an unprecedented social revolution—and there's no turning back. The only hope is accepting these changes and figuring out how to work with them. The decline of marriage "doesn't have to spell catastrophe," Coontz says. "We can make marriages better and make nonmarriages work as well."

To understand how we got here, Coontz traces the evolution of marriage from Paleolithic times. Throughout human history, people married to arrange child rearing, pass on property and organize life. Until relatively recently, most of these alliances were not legally sanctioned but rather informal arrangements accepted by society at large. The choice of partner was rarely left to the couple; parents and other respected community elders made the match. "Marriage was a way of turning strangers into relatives, of making peace, of making permanent trading connections," Coontz says. "There are many different languages that call wives the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the word 'peace-weaver'."

In the Western world, that model held until about 200 years ago, Coontz says, when the idea of marrying for love emerged. Those who bemoan the current state of marriage should blame the Enlightenment emphasis on self-fulfillment and the pursuit of happiness. It took a while for the love revolution to have its full impact. Some other barriers had to be knocked down first: inequality between men's and women's roles, little social mobility, unreliable birth control and harsh penalties for illegitimacy.

By the 1970s, Coontz says, these obstacles were gone and marriage became a potentially much more satisfying personal relationship but a much weaker social institution and the subject of intense debate. In this country, it has become a lightning rod, Coontz says, "for our anxieties about our speeded-up, materialist, winner-take-all society. People think if only marriage were more committed, that would take care of all the other problems." But Coontz argues that it's pointless to try and roll back time. For better or worse, we're stuck with marrying for love and accepting the consequences of living happily ever after—until someone better comes along.

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Page 2
Most people do not understand that American democracy and all governments of mankind so far are still fundamentally aristocratic. Yes, you have a 'vote' and you have a 'say' in government, but what you 'know' and what you have been led to know -the power of your vote therefore, is under control of very hierarchic and primitive structure above: Money is power -and power, money.

aristocracy n., 1. A heriditary privileged ruling class or nobility. 2. Government by the nobility or by a priviliged minority or upper class. 3. A state or country having this form of government. 4. a. Government by the best citizens. b. A state having such a government. 5. Any group or class considered superior.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

May 31, 2005 Los Angeles Times
CALIFORNIA EXECUTIVE PAY REPORT
Gulf Between Top, Bottom Gets Wider

A Times survey of the state's largest companies shows that CEOs' pay is growing at a much faster pace than that of rank-and-file employees.
By Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer

Everyone knows that the top dog makes a lot more than the rest of the pack. But the big pay hikes awarded to chief executives are leaving the pack even further behind each year, The Times' annual executive compensation survey shows.
   CEOs at California's largest 100 public companies took home a collective $1.1 billion in 2004, up almost 20% from 2003. That compares with the 2.9% raise that the average California worker saw last year, according to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
   The difference is even sharper at the top rungs of the ladder. The 10 highest-paid executives on this year's list earned 36.7% more than last year's top 10 — garnering a collective $467.5 million. That's enough to buy about 275 homes in Malibu or 1.5 million sets of golf clubs or two 747 jumbo jets.
   Although limited to California companies, the survey reflects a national trend: a widening chasm between the pay of chief executives and rank-and-file employees.
   "The average CEO made 42 times the average worker's pay in 1980. That increased to 85 times in 1990 and is now over 300 times," said Brandon Rees, a research analyst with the AFL-CIO's office of investment, a group that tracks, and is critical of, executive pay policies. "That is clearly not a sustainable rate of growth."
   Compensation consultants counter that high salaries are driven by competition for the best bosses.
   "There's a different market for executive-level jobs," said Nadine Winter, a compensation consultant with Watson Wyatt Worldwide in Los Angeles. "If one company pays more than the market rate and others feel that they have to compete to get top talent, that's what they do. The market has its own momentum."
   Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Terry Semel tops The Times' pay list with a $145-million compensation package — nearly double the $74 million that put Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs in the lead last year.
   Semel illustrates one reason that executive pay is skyrocketing: Companies make lucrative deals to recruit executives, then have a tough time scaling those deals back, said Patrick S. McGurn, executive vice president of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. in Rockville, Md.
   Semel, who previously co-led the Warner Bros. movie studio, was drafted by Yahoo in 2001 to reinvigorate a company that some analysts said was in a "death spiral." Impressed by Semel's solid credentials in the entertainment industry, Yahoo's board agreed to give him 11 million stock options.
   Options are rights to buy company shares at a set price in the future. Five million of those optioned shares were tied to the current market price, meaning any rise in share value would go into his pocket. But the rest were linked to higher prices staggered at different price points, making them effectively worthless unless Semel really moved the company's needle.
   That he did. Yahoo's revenue doubled and profit rose 237% last year, according to The Times survey.
   Yahoo shares, which traded at about $9 before he took over, have quadrupled in value, closing Friday at $37.27. That boosted the fortunes of Yahoo's shareholders and its chief executive.
   In 2004, Semel earned $600,000 in salary. But the company's board gave him 7.2 million additional stock options, worth an estimated $144.3 million. Total 2004 pay: $145 million, up nearly 24,000%.
   Last year, Semel reaped $230 million when he exercised 10.1 million in stock rights that were granted to him in previous years. Gains from the sale of stock options are excluded from The Times' calculation of "total direct compensation" because the money, although realized in 2004, was earned in previous years.
   Total direct compensation in The Times' survey is made up of 2004 salary, bonus and the present value of stock given to the executive either outright or through stock options. It also includes the reported value of perks, such as personal use of company planes, cars and apartments, as well as financial and tax-planning services, that the executive received during the year.
   The data were mined from the companies' most recent proxy statements and compiled by Aon Consulting's EComp Data Services.
   Compensation critics say they don't begrudge Semel the $230 million he realized by exercising his past options, but they're critical of the board's decision to continue giving him additional stock options year after year.
   "Initially, what the board did at Yahoo was really smart. They awarded him a huge grant of options, but some of them were at a premium price," said Paul Hodgson, research analyst with the Corporate Library, a company watchdog group. "Subsequent decisions by the compensation committee have not been as inspired. They keep feeding him stock options, in enormous quantity, and they're all at market prices. They need to find a new tool."
   Semel holds rights to buy an additional 22.5 million shares, which were worth about $395 million when Yahoo put out its last statement to shareholders.
   McGurn, who advises big pension funds and other institutional investors on how to vote corporate proxies, told his clients to vote against reelecting the members of Yahoo's compensation committee this year.
   Semel's "performance was great, but the calibration is so out of whack that whether they intended it or not, even paltry performance would produce a substantial payout," McGurn said. "When the magnitude of the grant is out of line, you have guaranteed a windfall to the executive. The only thing you don't know is whether the windfall will be enormous or astronomical."
   Yahoo counters that Semel has been such a superstar that the company must pay richly to keep him.
   "When somebody performs as well as Terry has, certainly other companies will be interested," spokeswoman Joanna Stevens said. "We need to make sure he's well motivated to stay."
   This year, Gateway Inc.'s new top dog, Wayne Inouye, struck a deal similar to Semel's initial pact. Inouye, who had been running privately held EMachines before Gateway purchased the company last year, earned $587,077 in salary in 2004. But he got $7.8 million of Gateway stock and rights to purchase 10 million additional shares. Although the estimated present value of those rights — $39.9 million — landed Inouye the second spot on The Times ranking, they will be worthless unless Inouye can lead Gateway through a turnaround that boosts share value by more than a third, company spokesman John Spelich said.
   "He could have taken the money he got for his equity stake in EMachines and gone to sit on a beach, but the compensation committee wanted to keep him," Spelich said. "We have three or four years of really hard work here. If we are able to pull that off, we all benefit. Equity-based compensation is a large portion of the Gateway pay package for the vast majority of our employees."
   Another problem with executive pay, critics say, is that the pay-for-performance ethic typically goes only one way: soaring when performance is good but rarely declining.
   To be sure, some executives cut their own salaries in tough times, said Alan Johnson, managing director of the New York-based compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. They might turn down a bonus or decline stock grants, he said. But it's a rare board that demands cuts in executive salaries, he added.
   "It is very hard to just say no," Johnson said.
   In fact, 39 of the executives on The Times list earned less in total direct compensation than they had the previous year. But in some instances, the pay cuts are misleading.
   That's because many companies give stock options to their chief executives just once every few years. That makes the CEO's pay look unusually rich in some years and unusually poor in others.
   Both Apple Computer Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. fall into this category. Apple's Jobs earned just his $1 annual salary in 2004, compared with $74 million in direct compensation — from stock — in 2003. At Cisco, John Chambers' cash pay was up by $1.9 million — a bonus. But his total pay was down 95% because he didn't receive any stock options during the year.
   In other cases, a pay cut may be illusory. EBay Inc.'s Margaret Whitman saw a 16% cut in total direct compensation, largely because she received fewer options to buy EBay stock. But her cash pay — a $994,052 salary and a $1.55-million bonus — was up 27%.
   Because stock options carry risk — EBay's shares, for example, are down 34% this year — the higher salary and bonus could more than make up for the diminished options. (And with total pay of $36.2 million, Whitman remains near the top of The Times ranking.)
   Only 17 executives saw both cash pay — salary, bonus and perks — and total pay, which includes stock grants, decline in 2004. Many of them worked for companies in trouble, including Calpine Corp., which suffered a $440-million net loss in 2004; First American Corp., whose profit fell 23%; and Titan Corp., whose profit was down 54%.
   One CEO who did appear to take an unequivocal pay cut was Google Inc.'s Eric Schmidt, who reduced his own salary 85% and announced plans to work for $1 a year in the future. But his lifestyle probably won't suffer: Schmidt's stake was valued at $1.5 billion when Google went public in August and closed at $100.34 a share on its first day of trading. Google had risen to $266 a share as of Friday.
   Less wealthy CEOs can take solace in the fact that pay cuts are often temporary. Corporate boards that skimp on raises in lean years have been known to make up the difference when good times return.
   That was the logic behind the 129% raise that Safeway Inc. Chief Executive Steven Burd received last year, company spokesman Brian Dowling said.
   By some measures, the raise might look questionable — company revenue inched up by 1% last year, and the stock tumbled 7%. But Safeway returned to profitability in 2004, earning $560 million after a $169-million loss in 2003, which was attributed to a 4 1/2 -month strike and lockout at the company's Southern and Central California grocery stores.
   "When performance gets better — when the company goes from a loss position to a profit position — CEOs get rewarded," Dowling said. "He had absolutely no bonus in years when the company wasn't making any money or the company was in a loss position. What the board did was correct his compensation, because if you look at the compensation for other grocery CEOs, Steve was well below market."
   Sometimes, executive pay soars even in bad years.
   Sanmina-SCI Corp., a San Jose telecommunications company with $12 billion in sales, lost money in 2003 and 2004. Yet Chief Executive Jure Sola scored a 1,500% hike in total pay during 2004, according to The Times survey. Sola was paid $19.8 million last year, while the company lost $14.9 million.
   Sola said his raise didn't tell the entire story. The bulk of his pay is in stock, he said, which cannot be turned into cash for several years. If he leaves the company or if the stock price tanks — it declined 60% in 2004 — it could be worth nothing.
   "It's a carrot that is given to me and to every other employee for the company," he said. "If you do well, you should be rewarded. If you don't, you should be fired."
   Sola said he didn't know why the board opted to give him such a large carrot in such a bad year. "I cannot get into the minds of our directors," he said.
   Similarly, Charles Schwab Corp., which had a 12% decline in profit and a nearly flat market value, gave its namesake founder a 283% hike in total compensation, according to the survey.
   Schwab earned $3.5 million in 2004 from a combination of his $900,000 salary and the $2.5 million present value of stock options granted to him during the year.
   Schwab spokesman Glen Mathison said the comparison was misleading. Schwab got the grant in January 2004, reflecting 2003 performance, when net income had tripled. Moreover, in leaner years, the executive has given back stock options that the board awarded him and has declined to take bonuses that the company's performance-based formula would have otherwise provided.
   "Chuck Schwab provides the leadership, vision and inspiration that has generated growth and superior performance over the long-term history of this company," Mathison said. "We believe the record of the last four years demonstrates that both he and the board of directors are firmly committed to aligning pay with performance."

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Page 3
Adjacent is an extremely important article with a small but not minor flaw, that is that because of negative connotations culturally attaching 'psychopathy' (an essentially clinical word) and 'bad behaviour', it might be considered that they should both have the single quotes used here to offset probably unintended bias in the reader. The point is that manifest 'psychopathy' and manifest 'bad behavior' are fundamentally cultural perceptions, thus what may be either in one arena may not be in another. -Given some situation of 'genetically-based bad behaviour' then, there is a profound difference between calling a person a 'psychopath' and merely calling him 'weird'.

psychopathy n. Mental disorder, esp. when of unknown origin
(American Heritage Dictionary)

May 28, 2005 Economist Magazine
Psychopathy
Original sinners?

Evidence that psychopaths are born, not made

RESEARCHERS at the Institute of Psychiatry, in London, are not shy about tackling controversial topics. One of them, Terrie Moffitt, was responsible for studies that showed how different versions of the gene for one of the brain's enzymes resulted in different predispositions to criminal activity. Another, Robert Plomin, found the first plausible candidate for a gene that boosts intelligence. Now, Dr Moffitt and Dr Plomin have been helping two other researchers, Essi Viding and James Blair, with an equally high-profile study—one which asks whether psychopaths are born that way, or are made so by their upbringings.

That, of course, is rather a crude way of putting it. After decades of debate, biologists have come to understand what was blindingly obvious to most laymen—which is that rather than being shaped by nature or nurture, most behavioural traits are the result of an interaction between the two. Nevertheless, one or the other can still be the dominant factor. And the study in question, to be published in June's edition of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that in the case of psychopathy, the genetic side is very important indeed.

The four researchers have drawn their conclusion from a study of twins. The twins in question are on the books of a long-term project known as the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), which has been following several thousand twins since their births in 1994 and 1995. Among other things, many of the twins in TEDS have been assessed both for a tendency to bad behaviour (“conduct disorder”, in the argot of the field) and for the display of what are referred to as callous-unemotional traits, such as a lack of feelings of guilt after doing something wrong, or not having at least one good friend. In adults, callous and unemotional traits are symptoms of psychopathy, and those who display such traits in childhood frequently keep them into adult life. The assessments were done by the children's teachers, whom years of experience have shown are more objective and accurate than a child's parents.

As is well known, twins come in two varieties: fraternal, in which the individuals have half their genes in common, just like ordinary siblings, and identical, in which the individuals have all their genes in common. This means that behavioural traits with a large genetic component are more likely to be shared by identical twins than fraternal twins. Conversely, those traits with a large environmental component will be shared by identical and fraternal twins in equal measure. Applying appropriate statistical techniques to the actual amount of shared behaviour observed allows the relative contributions of genes and environment to be worked out.

Based on the teachers' assessments, the researchers identified the naughtiest 10% of the individuals in their sample—in other words those with severe conduct disorder. They then subdivided these children into those with psychopathic traits and those without and asked, in each case, whether an individual's twin showed bad behaviour, psychopathy, or both.

Their analysis showed that bad behaviour without psychopathy has relatively little genetic component—less than a third. By contrast, four-fifths of the difference in behaviour between the general population and children with psychopathic traits seems to lie in the genes.

All of this raises interesting questions. On a practical level it suggests that bad behaviour needs to be handled differently in different children, and will be much harder to eradicate if associated with psychopathic traits (though that does not mean that parents and teachers should not try). On an intellectual level, it asks about the origins of psychopathy.

Though the genes in question have yet to be identified, this result suggests they are too abundant to be there by chance—in other words they are being kept in the population by natural selection because psychopathic behaviour confers a selective advantage. If it does, such an advantage probably pertains only when psychopaths are in the minority (a state of affairs known to biologists as a balanced polymorphism). But it does mean that far from being an aberrant behaviour, psychopathy may be disturbingly normal.

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Page 4
... In 2003, Russian authorities picked up 620,000 children wandering without supervision in the streets. More than 2,100 children were reported missing last year in Siberia's 375,000-square-mile Krasnoyarsk region, home to 3.5 million Russians. Of those, 25 were found dead and 178 are missing.
   Many runaways make their way to Moscow, where those as young as 10 or 12 can be found by the half-dozen in railway stations, basements and old bunkers. They forage for half-eaten hamburgers at fast-food outlets and stop passersby for spare kopeks or paid sexual assignations. Some can be seen simply standing on sidewalks crying...

Oksana Korshunova walks through a landscape of decay in Krasnoyarsk, near the sewage collection pipe where the remains of her son and four other boys were found. She believes the youngsters did not go there of their own accord. (Sergei L. Loiko/LAT)
May 26, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
Russia's Lost Children

The mysterious deaths of five schoolboys in Siberia cast a macabre light on the nation's many youths who are brutalized or go missing.
By Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer

KRASNOYARSK, Russia — Every day, Oksana Korshunova drives to the 9-foot-deep sewage pipe about a mile from her house. She squats on the rim and stares into the charred hole, straining to imagine how her son, Maxim, got down there and what happened to him before he did.
   She has gone over it day and night for weeks, a hideous loop of film that keeps replaying in the back of her brain.
   The 11-year-old came home from school, then dashed out to play with his friend Sasha from downstairs. It was 4 p.m., possibly 4:30, on April 16. How many times had Korshunova watched absently as her only son shuffled out the door? Listened to the boys' shouts and giggles filtering up through an open window, then dwindling into the distance as they picked up reinforcements and went over to the schoolyard to swing?
   That evening, when Maxim didn't come home for dinner, Korshunova went down to the courtyard, blinking into the empty dusk. She wasn't alone. Sasha's parents, Larisa and Pyotr Lavrenov, came down about the same time. Then the parents of Safar Aliyev, Galash Mamedgasanov and Dmitry Makarov walked up. None of the five boys had returned that evening.
   The parents alerted the neighbors and split up the work. They looked through all the neighboring courtyards, went up to the school, fanned out into the nearby junkyards and industrial plants. Three days later, police joined the search, making their way up to the river, even sending motorboats out to deserted islands.
   Over the next few weeks, photographs of five skinny, smiling boys, ages 9 to 12, appeared all over Russia. After an all-points bulletin was issued, 18,000 police officers from Siberia to Moscow checked more than 15,000 basements and attics and more than 45,000 homes. Thousands of wells were inspected; a psychic was commissioned.
   The mystery ended May 8, when a pile of small bodies, burned so badly that they were little more than blackened bones and fragments of bones, was found at the bottom of the empty concrete sewage well. Or perhaps, that's when the mystery began.
   There are only two possibilities, police say. The boys climbed down into the pipe themselves and accidentally touched off a firestorm of methane gas and old fuel oil, perhaps while sniffing aerosol fumes or trying to light a small bonfire. (This imagines five boys crowding into a space barely five feet in diameter.) Or they were killed somewhere else, and their bodies were torched in the abandoned collector.
   It is part of post-Soviet Russia's nightmare that there are many such mysteries, though few with such bleak endings. An estimated 30,000 children go missing in Russia each year, most of them runaways who flee the miseries of the nation's underfunded orphanages or the homes of alcoholic or abusive parents.
   In 2003, Russian authorities picked up 620,000 children wandering without supervision in the streets. More than 2,100 children were reported missing last year in Siberia's 375,000-square-mile Krasnoyarsk region, home to 3.5 million Russians. Of those, 25 were found dead and 178 are missing.
   Many runaways make their way to Moscow, where those as young as 10 or 12 can be found by the half-dozen in railway stations, basements and old bunkers. They forage for half-eaten hamburgers at fast-food outlets and stop passersby for spare kopeks or paid sexual assignations. Some can be seen simply standing on sidewalks crying.
   "In most of these cases, these are not homeless children. They are neglected," said Boris Altshuler, who heads the Moscow nonprofit group Right of the Child. "Neglected means their parents don't give them food, they beat them. These children vote with their legs to leave the bad conditions of their families or to escape from an institution, and it's very important to know that many of these children escape again and again."
   Yet few think of the boys in Krasnoyarsk city's impoverished Leninsky neighborhood as runaways, though even parents acknowledge that the district's "Blade Runner"-like landscape of hulking, old factories, slowly crumbling into oblivion, might be enough to drive any child toward greener playgrounds.
   True, one of the boys had talked of leaving home and had even tried once. And although a burnt aerosol can was found near the bodies, their parents and teachers say there were no previous hints of substance abuse. By all accounts, the boys had attentive, loving parents and little inclination to wander far from their front doors.
   "Boys will be boys, of course. But these were normal children. These children were well-bred, they had good manners. Their parents were very involved in their schooling," said fourth-grade teacher Natalya Vikulova, who taught both Maxim and Sasha.
   She pulled out a grade book and pointed to a long row of 5s and 4s, the equivalent of As and Bs, next to the boys' names.
   "There is nothing that can make me believe they ran away. And the children couldn't just burn themselves up like that in the bottom of a [9-foot] hole. Five children together?" Vikulova said. "My personal opinion is that something horrible occurred."
   Deputy Prosecutor-General Vladimir Kolesnikov, visiting from Moscow to discuss the case, said May 14 that authorities were investigating it as a possible murder.
   "We today cannot for sure establish the cause of death for every child. But the complexion of materials makes us believe that the case based on murder was opened correctly, with all the consequences connected with it," Kolesnikov told reporters.
   Police say it will be weeks before a positive identification can be made. But along with the bodies, police found a silver-plated chain like the one that held a tiny cross around Maxim's neck, the key to Sasha's apartment house door and a shoe and part of a sweater linked to some of the other boys.

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Page 5
trying to get along with incompatible (AND indefinable) gods is one thing, compounding it into still more bullshit is another.

perryb

May 23, 2005 Los Angeles Times
FITNESS
Pathway to spirituality

For some Jews, yoga delivers not only physical well-being, but also a deeper connection to their faith.
By Stephanie Shapiro, Baltimore Sun

As she perfected a yoga pose demanding a balance of strength and surrender, Myriam Klotz "understood in a flash," she says, a parallel principle developed by spiritual master Baal Shem Tov, founder of Judaism's Hasidic movement. The principle stresses the importance of remaining both firm and supple in one's spiritual explorations.
   "Once I got that in yoga through a bodily experience, I saw insights into that teaching and vice versa," says Klotz, a yoga instructor and rabbi trained in the progressive Reconstructionist movement. Over the years, she has created an art form that merges yoga and Judaism into what she calls Torat haGuf, or "Torah of the body."
   The sense of discovery that motivates a prayerful or intellectual search for the divine also might be manifested in a person's physical life, says Klotz, 41, a teacher at the


ON BALANCE: Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton of Baltimore's Beit Tikvah says certain Jewish prayers and yoga poses can bring "literally a physical sense of comfort".

Institute for Jewish Spirituality, based in Northampton, Mass. Torat haGuf is what she calls a "different expression" of the same impulse.
   For Klotz and other yoga adherents in Jewish communities around the country and abroad, the ancient practice of yoga delivers not only physical well-being, but also a deeper connection to their faith through mind, spirit and body.
   "Organically, [the two traditions] complement each other," says Klotz, who lives outside Philadelphia.
   As a practicing Jew and as a yoga instructor, Dayna Macy sees no conflict between the two traditions. "It does not surprise me in the least that there are [observant] Jews who will find a sympathetic partner in yoga," says Macy, communications director for Yoga Journal, based in San Francisco.
   Not everyone would agree, she says. "I could very well imagine that an Orthodox Jew or a very orthodox practitioner of yoga [would resist a merger]," Macy says. For such traditions to maintain their vitality, though, they must "adapt themselves to the culture and time in which they live without losing the foundation of the teachings," Macy says. "Both yoga and Judaism are doing that beautifully."
   Practitioners of Torat haGuf and other methods of integrating yoga with Judaism speak to the obligations of Jews "to care for our bodies as part of a continuum of overall health," says Klotz, who has released an audiocassette called "Each and Every Day: Yoga and Meditation for Jewish Spirituality" and is completing a book on Torat haGuf.
   Diane Bloomfield, a former classmate of Klotz's, has written "Torah Yoga: Experiencing Jewish Wisdom through Classic Postures" and teaches workshops in the United States, Europe and Israel. "Every yoga posture [is] a gateway to greater Torah consciousness," she writes. In each chapter, Bloomfield demonstrates how a Torah concept may be internalized and experienced through the practice of various yoga postures.
   In "Leaving Egypt," for example, Bloomfield explains that the concept of exodus is a living dynamic within our minds and bodies.
   Every "place you are tight, constricted or in pain is your own personal Egypt," she says. "You join the exodus from Egypt when you discover areas of tension and release them. Yoga teaches you how to leave Egypt."
   Others, such as dance therapist and yoga instructor Joyce Wolpert of Baltimore, have found their own common ground between Judaism and yoga. Through movement therapy and yoga, Wolpert helps clients get "geared up to make a prayer in a deeper way," she says.
   Jewish liturgy brims with images of physical activity, she says.
   "We are supposed to use our breath and our body in a full prayer," says Wolpert, who would like to start a synagogue where movement is the basis of prayer.
   Another book, "Aleph-Bet Yoga: Embodying the Hebrew Letters for Physical and Spiritual Well-Being," combines hatha yoga with the shapes and meanings of Hebrew letters. Among other lessons, the book describes how to "weave together the meaning of each Hebrew letter with the Sanskrit word for the yoga pose and a biblical phrase in meditation," according to the Jewish Lights Publishing website.
   Otiyot Hayyot, or "living letters," is a tai chi-influenced form of movement that also emulates Hebrew letters. Invented by Yehudit Goldfarb, Otiyot Hayyot is "the latest effort to blend the martial arts of the Far East with the spiritual letters of the Near East," wrote Alana Newhouse in a 2003 issue of the Forward, the Jewish weekly newspaper published in New York.
   Just as there are many forms of Judaism and schools of yoga, there are multiple ways of intertwining the two.
   "One needn't be monolithic either in Judaism or in yoga," says Klotz, who directs a certification program in yoga and Jewish spirituality at a Catskill Mountain retreat center with Bloomfield and yoga instructor Ida Unger.

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Page 6
May 13, 2005 Science Magazine
MICROBIOLOGY:
Global Spread of Leprosy Tied to Human Migration

David Grimm

Long before the Black Death or AIDS ravaged society, there was leprosy. But for a disease that has devastated humans for millennia, leprosy remains enigmatic. Where did it originate, and how has it followed people seemingly everywhere they've gone?

The first comprehensive genetic comparison of the bacterial strains that cause the disease is providing some answers. On page 1040, molecular microbiologist Stewart Cole of the Pasteur Institute in Paris and colleagues use rare DNA differences among leprosy strains culled from various corners of the world to infer an East


Figure 1 Worldwide toll. Leprosy persists among people in poor regions, such as these women in Afghanistan.
CREDIT: JEFF GEISSLER/AP PHOTO

African or Near East origin of the disease. Their findings also challenge popular theories of how leprosy spread and indicate that colonialism and the slave trade helped bring the sickness to West Africa and much of the New World.

"It's very interesting work that should help us fill in the picture of how human migration is tied to the dissemination of leprosy," says Daniel Hartl, a population geneticist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Confirmed reports of leprosy first appear around 600 B.C.E. in sacred Indian texts that describe a victim's loss of finger and toe sensation--a hallmark of the damage the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae inflicts on the nervous system. By medieval times, cultures around the globe were familiar with the deforming lesions and decaying flesh that resulted in lepers being burned at the stake or carted off to die in remote colonies. Antibiotics helped bring the disease under control in the 1940s, but it persists in poor regions, and there are more than 500,000 new cases reported each year.

Scientists rely on genetic differences among strains to trace the history of a microbe, but seven strains of the leprosy bacterium, collected by Cole's group from an array of countries, had practically identical genomes. "M. leprae has the lowest level of genetic diversity of any bacterium I'm aware of," says Cole. "One clone has infected the whole world."

The intense similarity between strains compelled the researchers to take a closer look at their samples. Eventually they found subtle DNA sequence mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms that allowed them to break a total of 175 worldwide strains into four types. Most Central Asian strains were of the type-1 variety, whereas type 2 predominated in Ethiopia, type 3 in Europe, North Africa, and the Americas, and type 4 in West Africa and the Caribbean.

The mutation patterns among the strains suggest that leprosy originated in either Central Asia or East Africa, says Cole, who favors the latter location because type 2 is the rarest and, thus, likely the oldest. "India has been stigmatized as the cradle of leprosy," Cole says. "But the disease could have just as likely arisen in East Africa."

The data also challenge the theory that Alexander the Great's soldiers brought leprosy to Europe when returning from their Indian campaign. "That would have required a transition from type 1 to 2 to 3," says Cole. It's more likely, he argues, that the soldiers contracted the bug in the Near East.

Another striking finding is the apparent effect of European emigration and the West African slave trade on the spread of leprosy. M. leprae types 3 and 4 are more similar to each other than they are to type 1, indicating that these activities, rather than human passage from Asia via the Bering Strait, brought the disease to the New World. "Leprosy has clearly migrated with human populations in orderly patterns," says Cole. "And in places like the Americas, where the disease is relatively new, you're really seeing the negative side of colonialism."

Molecular anthropologist Connie Mulligan of the University of Florida, Gainesville, says the data tying colonialism to the spread of leprosy are "really good," but she's not convinced there's enough evidence to favor type 2 over type 1 as the original leprosy strain. Still, Mark Achtman, a microbial population geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, says that this new study is bringing us closer to understanding leprosy's past. "As humans, we want to know where we came from," he notes. "The same goes for our diseases."

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Page 7
"Men and women really don't understand the nature of either their own or the other's sex. Those natures have stayed relatively constant thruout our anthropology inspite of extended lifespans, history and changes in life-style and the quality of life. There is no wonder, consequently, that we mate and 'love forever!' -but divorce and separate increasingly as our intellectual communion (homo- or heterosexual) fails with time ..."
(-from Feminism, Male Sex, Evolution and Jail)
June 6, 2005 Newsweek Magazine
What's Love Got to Do With It? Everything.
In a new book, a marriage historian says romance wrecked family stability.
By Barbara Kantrowitz

For the true commitment-phobe, living among the Na people in southwestern China would be paradise. The Na are the only known society that completely shuns marriage. Instead, says Stephanie Coontz in her new book, "Marriage, a History," brothers help sisters raise the children they conceive through casual sex with nonfamily members (incest is strictly taboo). Will we all be like the Na in the future? With divorce and illegitimacy rates still high, the institution of marriage seems headed for obsolescence in much of the world. Coontz, a family historian at Evergreen State College in Washington, doesn't proclaim the extinction of marriage, but she does argue that dramatic changes in family life over the past 30 years represent an unprecedented social revolution—and there's no turning back. The only hope is accepting these changes and figuring out how to work with them. The decline of marriage "doesn't have to spell catastrophe," Coontz says. "We can make marriages better and make nonmarriages work as well."

To understand how we got here, Coontz traces the evolution of marriage from Paleolithic times. Throughout human history, people married to arrange child rearing, pass on property and organize life. Until relatively recently, most of these alliances were not legally sanctioned but rather informal arrangements accepted by society at large. The choice of partner was rarely left to the couple; parents and other respected community elders made the match. "Marriage was a way of turning strangers into relatives, of making peace, of making permanent trading connections," Coontz says. "There are many different languages that call wives the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the word 'peace-weaver'."

In the Western world, that model held until about 200 years ago, Coontz says, when the idea of marrying for love emerged. Those who bemoan the current state of marriage should blame the Enlightenment emphasis on self-fulfillment and the pursuit of happiness. It took a while for the love revolution to have its full impact. Some other barriers had to be knocked down first: inequality between men's and women's roles, little social mobility, unreliable birth control and harsh penalties for illegitimacy.

By the 1970s, Coontz says, these obstacles were gone and marriage became a potentially much more satisfying personal relationship but a much weaker social institution and the subject of intense debate. In this country, it has become a lightning rod, Coontz says, "for our anxieties about our speeded-up, materialist, winner-take-all society. People think if only marriage were more committed, that would take care of all the other problems." But Coontz argues that it's pointless to try and roll back time. For better or worse, we're stuck with marrying for love and accepting the consequences of living happily ever after—until someone better comes along.

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Page 8
Most people do not understand that American democracy and all governments of mankind so far are still fundamentally aristocratic. Yes, you have a 'vote' and you have a 'say' in government, but what you 'know' and what you have been led to know -the power of your vote therefore, is under control of very hierarchic and primitive structure above: Money is power -and power, money.

aristocracy n., 1. A heriditary privileged ruling class or nobility. 2. Government by the nobility or by a priviliged minority or upper class. 3. A state or country having this form of government. 4. a. Government by the best citizens. b. A state having such a government. 5. Any group or class considered superior.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

May 31, 2005 Los Angeles Times
CALIFORNIA EXECUTIVE PAY REPORT
Gulf Between Top, Bottom Gets Wider

A Times survey of the state's largest companies shows that CEOs' pay is growing at a much faster pace than that of rank-and-file employees.
By Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer

Everyone knows that the top dog makes a lot more than the rest of the pack. But the big pay hikes awarded to chief executives are leaving the pack even further behind each year, The Times' annual executive compensation survey shows.
   CEOs at California's largest 100 public companies took home a collective $1.1 billion in 2004, up almost 20% from 2003. That compares with the 2.9% raise that the average California worker saw last year, according to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
   The difference is even sharper at the top rungs of the ladder. The 10 highest-paid executives on this year's list earned 36.7% more than last year's top 10 — garnering a collective $467.5 million. That's enough to buy about 275 homes in Malibu or 1.5 million sets of golf clubs or two 747 jumbo jets.
   Although limited to California companies, the survey reflects a national trend: a widening chasm between the pay of chief executives and rank-and-file employees.
   "The average CEO made 42 times the average worker's pay in 1980. That increased to 85 times in 1990 and is now over 300 times," said Brandon Rees, a research analyst with the AFL-CIO's office of investment, a group that tracks, and is critical of, executive pay policies. "That is clearly not a sustainable rate of growth."
   Compensation consultants counter that high salaries are driven by competition for the best bosses.
   "There's a different market for executive-level jobs," said Nadine Winter, a compensation consultant with Watson Wyatt Worldwide in Los Angeles. "If one company pays more than the market rate and others feel that they have to compete to get top talent, that's what they do. The market has its own momentum."
   Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Terry Semel tops The Times' pay list with a $145-million compensation package — nearly double the $74 million that put Apple Computer Inc.'s Steve Jobs in the lead last year.
   Semel illustrates one reason that executive pay is skyrocketing: Companies make lucrative deals to recruit executives, then have a tough time scaling those deals back, said Patrick S. McGurn, executive vice president of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. in Rockville, Md.
   Semel, who previously co-led the Warner Bros. movie studio, was drafted by Yahoo in 2001 to reinvigorate a company that some analysts said was in a "death spiral." Impressed by Semel's solid credentials in the entertainment industry, Yahoo's board agreed to give him 11 million stock options.
   Options are rights to buy company shares at a set price in the future. Five million of those optioned shares were tied to the current market price, meaning any rise in share value would go into his pocket. But the rest were linked to higher prices staggered at different price points, making them effectively worthless unless Semel really moved the company's needle.
   That he did. Yahoo's revenue doubled and profit rose 237% last year, according to The Times survey.
   Yahoo shares, which traded at about $9 before he took over, have quadrupled in value, closing Friday at $37.27. That boosted the fortunes of Yahoo's shareholders and its chief executive.
   In 2004, Semel earned $600,000 in salary. But the company's board gave him 7.2 million additional stock options, worth an estimated $144.3 million. Total 2004 pay: $145 million, up nearly 24,000%.
   Last year, Semel reaped $230 million when he exercised 10.1 million in stock rights that were granted to him in previous years. Gains from the sale of stock options are excluded from The Times' calculation of "total direct compensation" because the money, although realized in 2004, was earned in previous years.
   Total direct compensation in The Times' survey is made up of 2004 salary, bonus and the present value of stock given to the executive either outright or through stock options. It also includes the reported value of perks, such as personal use of company planes, cars and apartments, as well as financial and tax-planning services, that the executive received during the year.
   The data were mined from the companies' most recent proxy statements and compiled by Aon Consulting's EComp Data Services.
   Compensation critics say they don't begrudge Semel the $230 million he realized by exercising his past options, but they're critical of the board's decision to continue giving him additional stock options year after year.
   "Initially, what the board did at Yahoo was really smart. They awarded him a huge grant of options, but some of them were at a premium price," said Paul Hodgson, research analyst with the Corporate Library, a company watchdog group. "Subsequent decisions by the compensation committee have not been as inspired. They keep feeding him stock options, in enormous quantity, and they're all at market prices. They need to find a new tool."
   Semel holds rights to buy an additional 22.5 million shares, which were worth about $395 million when Yahoo put out its last statement to shareholders.
   McGurn, who advises big pension funds and other institutional investors on how to vote corporate proxies, told his clients to vote against reelecting the members of Yahoo's compensation committee this year.
   Semel's "performance was great, but the calibration is so out of whack that whether they intended it or not, even paltry performance would produce a substantial payout," McGurn said. "When the magnitude of the grant is out of line, you have guaranteed a windfall to the executive. The only thing you don't know is whether the windfall will be enormous or astronomical."
   Yahoo counters that Semel has been such a superstar that the company must pay richly to keep him.
   "When somebody performs as well as Terry has, certainly other companies will be interested," spokeswoman Joanna Stevens said. "We need to make sure he's well motivated to stay."
   This year, Gateway Inc.'s new top dog, Wayne Inouye, struck a deal similar to Semel's initial pact. Inouye, who had been running privately held EMachines before Gateway purchased the company last year, earned $587,077 in salary in 2004. But he got $7.8 million of Gateway stock and rights to purchase 10 million additional shares. Although the estimated present value of those rights — $39.9 million — landed Inouye the second spot on The Times ranking, they will be worthless unless Inouye can lead Gateway through a turnaround that boosts share value by more than a third, company spokesman John Spelich said.
   "He could have taken the money he got for his equity stake in EMachines and gone to sit on a beach, but the compensation committee wanted to keep him," Spelich said. "We have three or four years of really hard work here. If we are able to pull that off, we all benefit. Equity-based compensation is a large portion of the Gateway pay package for the vast majority of our employees."
   Another problem with executive pay, critics say, is that the pay-for-performance ethic typically goes only one way: soaring when performance is good but rarely declining.
   To be sure, some executives cut their own salaries in tough times, said Alan Johnson, managing director of the New York-based compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. They might turn down a bonus or decline stock grants, he said. But it's a rare board that demands cuts in executive salaries, he added.
   "It is very hard to just say no," Johnson said.
   In fact, 39 of the executives on The Times list earned less in total direct compensation than they had the previous year. But in some instances, the pay cuts are misleading.
   That's because many companies give stock options to their chief executives just once every few years. That makes the CEO's pay look unusually rich in some years and unusually poor in others.
   Both Apple Computer Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. fall into this category. Apple's Jobs earned just his $1 annual salary in 2004, compared with $74 million in direct compensation — from stock — in 2003. At Cisco, John Chambers' cash pay was up by $1.9 million — a bonus. But his total pay was down 95% because he didn't receive any stock options during the year.
   In other cases, a pay cut may be illusory. EBay Inc.'s Margaret Whitman saw a 16% cut in total direct compensation, largely because she received fewer options to buy EBay stock. But her cash pay — a $994,052 salary and a $1.55-million bonus — was up 27%.
   Because stock options carry risk — EBay's shares, for example, are down 34% this year — the higher salary and bonus could more than make up for the diminished options. (And with total pay of $36.2 million, Whitman remains near the top of The Times ranking.)
   Only 17 executives saw both cash pay — salary, bonus and perks — and total pay, which includes stock grants, decline in 2004. Many of them worked for companies in trouble, including Calpine Corp., which suffered a $440-million net loss in 2004; First American Corp., whose profit fell 23%; and Titan Corp., whose profit was down 54%.
   One CEO who did appear to take an unequivocal pay cut was Google Inc.'s Eric Schmidt, who reduced his own salary 85% and announced plans to work for $1 a year in the future. But his lifestyle probably won't suffer: Schmidt's stake was valued at $1.5 billion when Google went public in August and closed at $100.34 a share on its first day of trading. Google had risen to $266 a share as of Friday.
   Less wealthy CEOs can take solace in the fact that pay cuts are often temporary. Corporate boards that skimp on raises in lean years have been known to make up the difference when good times return.
   That was the logic behind the 129% raise that Safeway Inc. Chief Executive Steven Burd received last year, company spokesman Brian Dowling said.
   By some measures, the raise might look questionable — company revenue inched up by 1% last year, and the stock tumbled 7%. But Safeway returned to profitability in 2004, earning $560 million after a $169-million loss in 2003, which was attributed to a 4 1/2 -month strike and lockout at the company's Southern and Central California grocery stores.
   "When performance gets better — when the company goes from a loss position to a profit position — CEOs get rewarded," Dowling said. "He had absolutely no bonus in years when the company wasn't making any money or the company was in a loss position. What the board did was correct his compensation, because if you look at the compensation for other grocery CEOs, Steve was well below market."
   Sometimes, executive pay soars even in bad years.
   Sanmina-SCI Corp., a San Jose telecommunications company with $12 billion in sales, lost money in 2003 and 2004. Yet Chief Executive Jure Sola scored a 1,500% hike in total pay during 2004, according to The Times survey. Sola was paid $19.8 million last year, while the company lost $14.9 million.
   Sola said his raise didn't tell the entire story. The bulk of his pay is in stock, he said, which cannot be turned into cash for several years. If he leaves the company or if the stock price tanks — it declined 60% in 2004 — it could be worth nothing.
   "It's a carrot that is given to me and to every other employee for the company," he said. "If you do well, you should be rewarded. If you don't, you should be fired."
   Sola said he didn't know why the board opted to give him such a large carrot in such a bad year. "I cannot get into the minds of our directors," he said.
   Similarly, Charles Schwab Corp., which had a 12% decline in profit and a nearly flat market value, gave its namesake founder a 283% hike in total compensation, according to the survey.
   Schwab earned $3.5 million in 2004 from a combination of his $900,000 salary and the $2.5 million present value of stock options granted to him during the year.
   Schwab spokesman Glen Mathison said the comparison was misleading. Schwab got the grant in January 2004, reflecting 2003 performance, when net income had tripled. Moreover, in leaner years, the executive has given back stock options that the board awarded him and has declined to take bonuses that the company's performance-based formula would have otherwise provided.
   "Chuck Schwab provides the leadership, vision and inspiration that has generated growth and superior performance over the long-term history of this company," Mathison said. "We believe the record of the last four years demonstrates that both he and the board of directors are firmly committed to aligning pay with performance."

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Page 9
Adjacent is an extremely important article with a small but not minor flaw, that is that because of negative connotations culturally attaching 'psychopathy' (an essentially clinical word) and 'bad behaviour', it might be considered that they should both have the single quotes used here to offset probably unintended bias in the reader. The point is that manifest 'psychopathy' and manifest 'bad behavior' are fundamentally cultural perceptions, thus what may be either in one arena may not be in another. -Given some situation of 'genetically-based bad behaviour' then, there is a profound difference between calling a person a 'psychopath' and merely calling him 'weird'.

psychopathy n. Mental disorder, esp. when of unknown origin
(American Heritage Dictionary)

May 28, 2005 Economist Magazine
Psychopathy
Original sinners?

Evidence that psychopaths are born, not made

RESEARCHERS at the Institute of Psychiatry, in London, are not shy about tackling controversial topics. One of them, Terrie Moffitt, was responsible for studies that showed how different versions of the gene for one of the brain's enzymes resulted in different predispositions to criminal activity. Another, Robert Plomin, found the first plausible candidate for a gene that boosts intelligence. Now, Dr Moffitt and Dr Plomin have been helping two other researchers, Essi Viding and James Blair, with an equally high-profile study—one which asks whether psychopaths are born that way, or are made so by their upbringings.

That, of course, is rather a crude way of putting it. After decades of debate, biologists have come to understand what was blindingly obvious to most laymen—which is that rather than being shaped by nature or nurture, most behavioural traits are the result of an interaction between the two. Nevertheless, one or the other can still be the dominant factor. And the study in question, to be published in June's edition of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, suggests that in the case of psychopathy, the genetic side is very important indeed.

The four researchers have drawn their conclusion from a study of twins. The twins in question are on the books of a long-term project known as the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), which has been following several thousand twins since their births in 1994 and 1995. Among other things, many of the twins in TEDS have been assessed both for a tendency to bad behaviour (“conduct disorder”, in the argot of the field) and for the display of what are referred to as callous-unemotional traits, such as a lack of feelings of guilt after doing something wrong, or not having at least one good friend. In adults, callous and unemotional traits are symptoms of psychopathy, and those who display such traits in childhood frequently keep them into adult life. The assessments were done by the children's teachers, whom years of experience have shown are more objective and accurate than a child's parents.

As is well known, twins come in two varieties: fraternal, in which the individuals have half their genes in common, just like ordinary siblings, and identical, in which the individuals have all their genes in common. This means that behavioural traits with a large genetic component are more likely to be shared by identical twins than fraternal twins. Conversely, those traits with a large environmental component will be shared by identical and fraternal twins in equal measure. Applying appropriate statistical techniques to the actual amount of shared behaviour observed allows the relative contributions of genes and environment to be worked out.

Based on the teachers' assessments, the researchers identified the naughtiest 10% of the individuals in their sample—in other words those with severe conduct disorder. They then subdivided these children into those with psychopathic traits and those without and asked, in each case, whether an individual's twin showed bad behaviour, psychopathy, or both.

Their analysis showed that bad behaviour without psychopathy has relatively little genetic component—less than a third. By contrast, four-fifths of the difference in behaviour between the general population and children with psychopathic traits seems to lie in the genes.

All of this raises interesting questions. On a practical level it suggests that bad behaviour needs to be handled differently in different children, and will be much harder to eradicate if associated with psychopathic traits (though that does not mean that parents and teachers should not try). On an intellectual level, it asks about the origins of psychopathy.

Though the genes in question have yet to be identified, this result suggests they are too abundant to be there by chance—in other words they are being kept in the population by natural selection because psychopathic behaviour confers a selective advantage. If it does, such an advantage probably pertains only when psychopaths are in the minority (a state of affairs known to biologists as a balanced polymorphism). But it does mean that far from being an aberrant behaviour, psychopathy may be disturbingly normal.

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Page 10
... In 2003, Russian authorities picked up 620,000 children wandering without supervision in the streets. More than 2,100 children were reported missing last year in Siberia's 375,000-square-mile Krasnoyarsk region, home to 3.5 million Russians. Of those, 25 were found dead and 178 are missing.
   Many runaways make their way to Moscow, where those as young as 10 or 12 can be found by the half-dozen in railway stations, basements and old bunkers. They forage for half-eaten hamburgers at fast-food outlets and stop passersby for spare kopeks or paid sexual assignations. Some can be seen simply standing on sidewalks crying...

Oksana Korshunova walks through a landscape of decay in Krasnoyarsk, near the sewage collection pipe where the remains of her son and four other boys were found. She believes the youngsters did not go there of their own accord. (Sergei L. Loiko/LAT)
May 26, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
Russia's Lost Children

The mysterious deaths of five schoolboys in Siberia cast a macabre light on the nation's many youths who are brutalized or go missing.
By Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer

KRASNOYARSK, Russia — Every day, Oksana Korshunova drives to the 9-foot-deep sewage pipe about a mile from her house. She squats on the rim and stares into the charred hole, straining to imagine how her son, Maxim, got down there and what happened to him before he did.
   She has gone over it day and night for weeks, a hideous loop of film that keeps replaying in the back of her brain.
   The 11-year-old came home from school, then dashed out to play with his friend Sasha from downstairs. It was 4 p.m., possibly 4:30, on April 16. How many times had Korshunova watched absently as her only son shuffled out the door? Listened to the boys' shouts and giggles filtering up through an open window, then dwindling into the distance as they picked up reinforcements and went over to the schoolyard to swing?
   That evening, when Maxim didn't come home for dinner, Korshunova went down to the courtyard, blinking into the empty dusk. She wasn't alone. Sasha's parents, Larisa and Pyotr Lavrenov, came down about the same time. Then the parents of Safar Aliyev, Galash Mamedgasanov and Dmitry Makarov walked up. None of the five boys had returned that evening.
   The parents alerted the neighbors and split up the work. They looked through all the neighboring courtyards, went up to the school, fanned out into the nearby junkyards and industrial plants. Three days later, police joined the search, making their way up to the river, even sending motorboats out to deserted islands.
   Over the next few weeks, photographs of five skinny, smiling boys, ages 9 to 12, appeared all over Russia. After an all-points bulletin was issued, 18,000 police officers from Siberia to Moscow checked more than 15,000 basements and attics and more than 45,000 homes. Thousands of wells were inspected; a psychic was commissioned.
   The mystery ended May 8, when a pile of small bodies, burned so badly that they were little more than blackened bones and fragments of bones, was found at the bottom of the empty concrete sewage well. Or perhaps, that's when the mystery began.
   There are only two possibilities, police say. The boys climbed down into the pipe themselves and accidentally touched off a firestorm of methane gas and old fuel oil, perhaps while sniffing aerosol fumes or trying to light a small bonfire. (This imagines five boys crowding into a space barely five feet in diameter.) Or they were killed somewhere else, and their bodies were torched in the abandoned collector.
   It is part of post-Soviet Russia's nightmare that there are many such mysteries, though few with such bleak endings. An estimated 30,000 children go missing in Russia each year, most of them runaways who flee the miseries of the nation's underfunded orphanages or the homes of alcoholic or abusive parents.
   In 2003, Russian authorities picked up 620,000 children wandering without supervision in the streets. More than 2,100 children were reported missing last year in Siberia's 375,000-square-mile Krasnoyarsk region, home to 3.5 million Russians. Of those, 25 were found dead and 178 are missing.
   Many runaways make their way to Moscow, where those as young as 10 or 12 can be found by the half-dozen in railway stations, basements and old bunkers. They forage for half-eaten hamburgers at fast-food outlets and stop passersby for spare kopeks or paid sexual assignations. Some can be seen simply standing on sidewalks crying.
   "In most of these cases, these are not homeless children. They are neglected," said Boris Altshuler, who heads the Moscow nonprofit group Right of the Child. "Neglected means their parents don't give them food, they beat them. These children vote with their legs to leave the bad conditions of their families or to escape from an institution, and it's very important to know that many of these children escape again and again."
   Yet few think of the boys in Krasnoyarsk city's impoverished Leninsky neighborhood as runaways, though even parents acknowledge that the district's "Blade Runner"-like landscape of hulking, old factories, slowly crumbling into oblivion, might be enough to drive any child toward greener playgrounds.
   True, one of the boys had talked of leaving home and had even tried once. And although a burnt aerosol can was found near the bodies, their parents and teachers say there were no previous hints of substance abuse. By all accounts, the boys had attentive, loving parents and little inclination to wander far from their front doors.
   "Boys will be boys, of course. But these were normal children. These children were well-bred, they had good manners. Their parents were very involved in their schooling," said fourth-grade teacher Natalya Vikulova, who taught both Maxim and Sasha.
   She pulled out a grade book and pointed to a long row of 5s and 4s, the equivalent of As and Bs, next to the boys' names.
   "There is nothing that can make me believe they ran away. And the children couldn't just burn themselves up like that in the bottom of a [9-foot] hole. Five children together?" Vikulova said. "My personal opinion is that something horrible occurred."
   Deputy Prosecutor-General Vladimir Kolesnikov, visiting from Moscow to discuss the case, said May 14 that authorities were investigating it as a possible murder.
   "We today cannot for sure establish the cause of death for every child. But the complexion of materials makes us believe that the case based on murder was opened correctly, with all the consequences connected with it," Kolesnikov told reporters.
   Police say it will be weeks before a positive identification can be made. But along with the bodies, police found a silver-plated chain like the one that held a tiny cross around Maxim's neck, the key to Sasha's apartment house door and a shoe and part of a sweater linked to some of the other boys.

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Page 11
trying to get along with incompatible (AND indefinable) gods is one thing, compounding it into still more bullshit is another.

perryb

May 23, 2005 Los Angeles Times
FITNESS
Pathway to spirituality

For some Jews, yoga delivers not only physical well-being, but also a deeper connection to their faith.
By Stephanie Shapiro, Baltimore Sun

As she perfected a yoga pose demanding a balance of strength and surrender, Myriam Klotz "understood in a flash," she says, a parallel principle developed by spiritual master Baal Shem Tov, founder of Judaism's Hasidic movement. The principle stresses the importance of remaining both firm and supple in one's spiritual explorations.
   "Once I got that in yoga through a bodily experience, I saw insights into that teaching and vice versa," says Klotz, a yoga instructor and rabbi trained in the progressive Reconstructionist movement. Over the years, she has created an art form that merges yoga and Judaism into what she calls Torat haGuf, or "Torah of the body."
   The sense of discovery that motivates a prayerful or intellectual search for the divine also might be manifested in a person's physical life, says Klotz, 41, a teacher at the


ON BALANCE: Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton of Baltimore's Beit Tikvah says certain Jewish prayers and yoga poses can bring "literally a physical sense of comfort".

Institute for Jewish Spirituality, based in Northampton, Mass. Torat haGuf is what she calls a "different expression" of the same impulse.
   For Klotz and other yoga adherents in Jewish communities around the country and abroad, the ancient practice of yoga delivers not only physical well-being, but also a deeper connection to their faith through mind, spirit and body.
   "Organically, [the two traditions] complement each other," says Klotz, who lives outside Philadelphia.
   As a practicing Jew and as a yoga instructor, Dayna Macy sees no conflict between the two traditions. "It does not surprise me in the least that there are [observant] Jews who will find a sympathetic partner in yoga," says Macy, communications director for Yoga Journal, based in San Francisco.
   Not everyone would agree, she says. "I could very well imagine that an Orthodox Jew or a very orthodox practitioner of yoga [would resist a merger]," Macy says. For such traditions to maintain their vitality, though, they must "adapt themselves to the culture and time in which they live without losing the foundation of the teachings," Macy says. "Both yoga and Judaism are doing that beautifully."
   Practitioners of Torat haGuf and other methods of integrating yoga with Judaism speak to the obligations of Jews "to care for our bodies as part of a continuum of overall health," says Klotz, who has released an audiocassette called "Each and Every Day: Yoga and Meditation for Jewish Spirituality" and is completing a book on Torat haGuf.
   Diane Bloomfield, a former classmate of Klotz's, has written "Torah Yoga: Experiencing Jewish Wisdom through Classic Postures" and teaches workshops in the United States, Europe and Israel. "Every yoga posture [is] a gateway to greater Torah consciousness," she writes. In each chapter, Bloomfield demonstrates how a Torah concept may be internalized and experienced through the practice of various yoga postures.
   In "Leaving Egypt," for example, Bloomfield explains that the concept of exodus is a living dynamic within our minds and bodies.
   Every "place you are tight, constricted or in pain is your own personal Egypt," she says. "You join the exodus from Egypt when you discover areas of tension and release them. Yoga teaches you how to leave Egypt."
   Others, such as dance therapist and yoga instructor Joyce Wolpert of Baltimore, have found their own common ground between Judaism and yoga. Through movement therapy and yoga, Wolpert helps clients get "geared up to make a prayer in a deeper way," she says.
   Jewish liturgy brims with images of physical activity, she says.
   "We are supposed to use our breath and our body in a full prayer," says Wolpert, who would like to start a synagogue where movement is the basis of prayer.
   Another book, "Aleph-Bet Yoga: Embodying the Hebrew Letters for Physical and Spiritual Well-Being," combines hatha yoga with the shapes and meanings of Hebrew letters. Among other lessons, the book describes how to "weave together the meaning of each Hebrew letter with the Sanskrit word for the yoga pose and a biblical phrase in meditation," according to the Jewish Lights Publishing website.
   Otiyot Hayyot, or "living letters," is a tai chi-influenced form of movement that also emulates Hebrew letters. Invented by Yehudit Goldfarb, Otiyot Hayyot is "the latest effort to blend the martial arts of the Far East with the spiritual letters of the Near East," wrote Alana Newhouse in a 2003 issue of the Forward, the Jewish weekly newspaper published in New York.
   Just as there are many forms of Judaism and schools of yoga, there are multiple ways of intertwining the two.
   "One needn't be monolithic either in Judaism or in yoga," says Klotz, who directs a certification program in yoga and Jewish spirituality at a Catskill Mountain retreat center with Bloomfield and yoga instructor Ida Unger.

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May 13, 2005 Science Magazine
MICROBIOLOGY:
Global Spread of Leprosy Tied to Human Migration

David Grimm

Long before the Black Death or AIDS ravaged society, there was leprosy. But for a disease that has devastated humans for millennia, leprosy remains enigmatic. Where did it originate, and how has it followed people seemingly everywhere they've gone?

The first comprehensive genetic comparison of the bacterial strains that cause the disease is providing some answers. On page 1040, molecular microbiologist Stewart Cole of the Pasteur Institute in Paris and colleagues use rare DNA differences among leprosy strains culled from various corners of the world to infer an East


Figure 1 Worldwide toll. Leprosy persists among people in poor regions, such as these women in Afghanistan.
CREDIT: JEFF GEISSLER/AP PHOTO

African or Near East origin of the disease. Their findings also challenge popular theories of how leprosy spread and indicate that colonialism and the slave trade helped bring the sickness to West Africa and much of the New World.

"It's very interesting work that should help us fill in the picture of how human migration is tied to the dissemination of leprosy," says Daniel Hartl, a population geneticist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Confirmed reports of leprosy first appear around 600 B.C.E. in sacred Indian texts that describe a victim's loss of finger and toe sensation--a hallmark of the damage the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae inflicts on the nervous system. By medieval times, cultures around the globe were familiar with the deforming lesions and decaying flesh that resulted in lepers being burned at the stake or carted off to die in remote colonies. Antibiotics helped bring the disease under control in the 1940s, but it persists in poor regions, and there are more than 500,000 new cases reported each year.

Scientists rely on genetic differences among strains to trace the history of a microbe, but seven strains of the leprosy bacterium, collected by Cole's group from an array of countries, had practically identical genomes. "M. leprae has the lowest level of genetic diversity of any bacterium I'm aware of," says Cole. "One clone has infected the whole world."

The intense similarity between strains compelled the researchers to take a closer look at their samples. Eventually they found subtle DNA sequence mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms that allowed them to break a total of 175 worldwide strains into four types. Most Central Asian strains were of the type-1 variety, whereas type 2 predominated in Ethiopia, type 3 in Europe, North Africa, and the Americas, and type 4 in West Africa and the Caribbean.

The mutation patterns among the strains suggest that leprosy originated in either Central Asia or East Africa, says Cole, who favors the latter location because type 2 is the rarest and, thus, likely the oldest. "India has been stigmatized as the cradle of leprosy," Cole says. "But the disease could have just as likely arisen in East Africa."

The data also challenge the theory that Alexander the Great's soldiers brought leprosy to Europe when returning from their Indian campaign. "That would have required a transition from type 1 to 2 to 3," says Cole. It's more likely, he argues, that the soldiers contracted the bug in the Near East.

Another striking finding is the apparent effect of European emigration and the West African slave trade on the spread of leprosy. M. leprae types 3 and 4 are more similar to each other than they are to type 1, indicating that these activities, rather than human passage from Asia via the Bering Strait, brought the disease to the New World. "Leprosy has clearly migrated with human populations in orderly patterns," says Cole. "And in places like the Americas, where the disease is relatively new, you're really seeing the negative side of colonialism."

Molecular anthropologist Connie Mulligan of the University of Florida, Gainesville, says the data tying colonialism to the spread of leprosy are "really good," but she's not convinced there's enough evidence to favor type 2 over type 1 as the original leprosy strain. Still, Mark Achtman, a microbial population geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, says that this new study is bringing us closer to understanding leprosy's past. "As humans, we want to know where we came from," he notes. "The same goes for our diseases."

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Page 13
May 23, 2005 - below is text to the latimes photos link emailed yesterday -that link also here in the second item below -good reading.


May 21, 2005 Los Angeles Times
PORTRAITS OF WAR
When Words Weren't Enough

By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer

Americans had never seen anything like the photographs from the battlefield at Antietam. A critic for the New York Times said the unflinching images of the dead defied "the public's long nurtured belief that death on the battlefield was glorious and heroic."
   Alexander Gardner's Civil War photos became iconic markers of sacrifice and suffering for later generations. But they had limited reach in their day. The vast majority of Americans could not make it to Mathew Brady's galleries in New York or Washington, where the pictures were shown, or afford the limited-edition books that published the photos.
   In virtually every American war that has followed, including the ongoing combat in Iraq, journalists have captured stunning images from the heart of battle. Yet they have often struggled with whether to take, or publish, photos of the dead and wounded.
   By the time of the Spanish-American War, technology had advanced enough that photographers could ship pictures home. But most considered it disrespectful to take pictures of their dead countrymen.
   In World War I and the early months of World War II, U.S. military censors blocked most photos of American losses. That meant few pictures of the dead or wounded. Even pictures of bombed-out tanks, jeeps and other equipment could be censored by military overseers, who believed such pictures would deflate morale on the home front, said University of Maryland journalism professor Susan Moeller, author of "Shooting War: Photography and the American Experience of Combat."
   That practice changed dramatically in 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the War Department and the Office of War Information decided Americans needed a less-sanitized view to understand the true risks and costs of the war, Moeller said.
   After restrictions were lifted, pictures of the dead and wounded began to appear regularly. Life magazine published one of the first in September 1943 — a full-page photo by George Strock of the bodies of three U.S. soldiers at the edge of the surf on Buna Beach in New Guinea.
   "Why print this picture, anyway, of three American boys dead upon an alien shore?" the magazine asked in an accompanying essay. "Is it to hurt people? To be morbid?"
   "Those are not the reasons. The reason is that words are never enough."
   Rather than turn off the public, the picture and others like it helped synthesize U.S. opinion in support of the war, Moeller said. It also helped usher in a new era of frank war photography, which many believe reached its apogee two decades later in Vietnam.
   Photographers such as Larry Burrows, Henri Huet, Horst Faas and Philip Jones Griffiths found the U.S. military would fly them almost anywhere from Saigon, putting them quickly in the thick of the action. Unlike today's "embed" photographers in Iraq, they did not have to sign agreements with the military and they submitted to few rules.
   The freedom — and the fact that some photographers spent years on assignment getting to know Vietnam — produced extraordinary photos such as Burrows' 25-picture Life magazine photo essay depicting a helicopter crew chief's ultimately failed attempt to save a fellow flier.
   Photographers of that era enjoyed not only extraordinary access, but a prized, high-profile venue for their work. Life magazine then had a circulation of more than 7.2 million and a coffee-table readership that was much higher.
   "There is no real equivalent today, because everyone read Life magazine," said Richard Pyle, a onetime Associated Press bureau chief in Saigon, who co-wrote a book about photography during the war. "Even a great photo can get lost today. We are awash in a marketplace of noise."
   Still, Vietnam was far from a free-for-all of vivid photography. Then, as now, photographers said they felt the pull of loyalty to American troops and inhibitions about taking pictures of casualties, especially those that would identify the dead.
   "I think the Stockholm syndrome does apply: You become part of the group and you don't want to let the group down," by taking negative photos, said Griffiths, whose book "Vietnam Inc." was cited by many as synthesizing the futility of the war.
   It was not pictures of American GIs or U.S. casualties that became the iconic images of the Vietnam War. Instead, people remember photos of Vietnamese suffering: a Buddhist monk burning himself to death, a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack, and the head of South Vietnam's national police executing a Viet Cong prisoner with a shot to the head.
   Television news also found little airtime for depictions of U.S. casualties in Vietnam, said Daniel C. Hallin, a UCSD communications professor who studied thousands of hours of newscasts on the war.
   Later documentary and feature films focusing on the violence have contributed to the common misconception that those images were all readily available at the time. But Hallin said his research, described in the book "The Uncensored War," found that television provided "a very limited and sanitized portrayal" of the bloodshed, except during brief periods such as the 1968 Tet offensive.
   Nonetheless, many blamed the media for undercutting support for the war. And that viewpoint would influence the Pentagon's handling of future wars.
   When it invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983, the Reagan administration left reporters and photographers behind. That fueled a backlash and an agreement from the military in the 1991 Persian Gulf War to allow limited access to a pool of media representatives who would share their reports with other news outlets.
   The arrangement allowed a minimal view of the fighting. But photographers protested their limited access and said military handlers held back some images until they were too old for publication.
   America's charge through occupied Kuwait left little time for in-depth coverage. But David C. Turnley of the Detroit Free Press managed to take one of the war's most moving photos. It showed Sgt. Ken Kozakiewicz crying beside the body bag of a buddy who had just been killed by friendly fire.
   As was common in that war, Turnley used a military courier to ship his film. But two days later he found it still hadn't been passed on to his editors. With the dead man's next of kin already notified, Turnley recalled, he appealed to an officer to release the film.
   "I said, 'If you don't release this photo you are really contributing to the impression that soldiers over here didn't sacrifice and didn't risk their lives,' " Turnley recalled. "He released the film. And it ended up being published around the world."

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Page 14
May 21, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Unseen Pictures, Untold Stories
U.S. newspapers and magazines print few photos of American dead and wounded, a Times review finds. The reasons are many -- access, logistics, ethics -- but the result is an obscured view of the cost of war.
By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer

The young soldier died like so many others, ambushed while on patrol in Baghdad. Medics rushed him to a field hospital, but couldn't get his heart beating again.
   What set Army Spc. Travis Babbitt's last moments in Iraq apart was that he confronted them in front of a journalist's camera.
   An Associated Press photograph of the mortally wounded Babbitt remains a rarity — one of a handful of pictures of dead or dying American service members to be published in this country since the start of the Iraq war more than two years ago.
   A review of six prominent U.S. newspapers and the nation's two most popular newsmagazines during a recent six-month period found almost no pictures from the war zone of Americans killed in action. During that time, 559 Americans and Western allies died. The same publications ran 44 photos from Iraq to represent the thousands of Westerners wounded during that same time.
   Many photographers and editors believe they are delivering Americans an incomplete portrait of the violence that has killed 1,797 U.S. service members and their Western allies and wounded 12,516 Americans.
   Journalists attribute the relatively bloodless portrayal of the war to a variety of causes — some in their control, others in the hands of the U.S. military, and the most important related to the far-flung nature of the conflict and the way American news outlets perceive their role.
   "We in the news business are not doing a very good job of showing our readers what has really happened over there," said Pim Van Hemmen, assistant managing editor for photography at the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.
   "Writing in a headline that 1,500 Americans have died doesn't give you nearly the impact of showing one serviceman who is dead," Van Hemmen said. "It's the power of visuals."
   Publishing such photos grabs readers' attention, but not always in ways that news executives like. When the Star-Ledger and several other papers ran the Babbitt photo in November, their editors were lashed by some readers — who called them cruel, insensitive, even unpatriotic.
   Deirdre Sargent, whose husband was deployed to Iraq, e-mailed editors of the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., that the photo left her "shaking and in tears for hours." She added: "It was tacky, unprofessional and completely unnecessary."
   Babbitt's mother, Kathy Hernandez, expressed ambivalent sentiments. "That is not an image you want to see like that," said Hernandez, still shedding tears of fury and sadness six months after her son's death. "Your kid is lying like that and there is no way you can get there to help them."
   Hernandez — who lives in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio — wishes the newspapers at least had waited until after her son's funeral to run the photo. But she has no doubt why they wanted to print it.
   "I do think it's an important thing, for people to see what goes on over there," Hernandez said in a phone interview. "It throws reality more in your face. And sometimes we can't help reality."
   In virtually every conflict since the beginning of the 20th century, the debate has been renewed: Do Americans need to see the most vivid pictures of the consequences of war?
   One camp has argued against publishing graphic images of U.S. casualties, saying the pictures hurt morale, aid the enemy and intrude on the most intimate moments of human suffering.
   Journalists, in contrast, generally have invoked their responsibility as witnesses — believing they must provide an unsanitized portrait of combat.
   "There can be horrible images, but war is horrible and we need to understand that," said Chris Hondros, a veteran war photographer whose pictures are distributed by the Getty Images agency. "I think if we are going to start a war, we ought to be willing to show the consequences of that war."
   Among the most arresting images of the last three years: the charred bodies of American contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallouja, by Khalid Mohammed of the Associated Press; the stoic face of an exhausted U.S. Marine, cigarette dangling from his lip, by Luis Sinco of the Los Angeles Times; the wrenching series of pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated at the Abu Ghraib prison, taken by the prison guards; and Hondros' tableau of blood-stained Iraqi children whose parents had been mistakenly shot to death before their eyes.
   So why have photographs of the American dead and wounded been so few and far between?
   A wide array of photographers and editors agreed that the most significant reason was logistical.
   With a relative handful of photographers at any time covering a nation the size of California, a probing camera is usually absent when a guerrilla attack erupts. Scenes of roadside bombings typically show only a burned-out armored vehicle.
   On other occasions, photographers find themselves thwarted by their military handlers. In one case last summer, troops jumped in the way to block pictures of the dead and wounded being rushed to a hospital in Najaf.
   Photojournalists sometimes withhold the most striking images from Iraq on their own.
   When 22 people died just before Christmas in the bombing of a mess hall near Mosul, a Virginia newspaper photographer was closest to the action. Thrown to the ground amid dead and dying servicemen, he sent many images that ran around the world. But he believed the photos of a soldier who died by his side were too personal, and perhaps too gruesome, to transmit home.
   A complex machinery sifts out many other images before they reach print. Photographers embedded with the U.S. military agree not to use photos that show the dead or wounded if faces can be recognized. A rule requiring notification of family members means that some photos are held for so long that they lose their immediate news value. In other cases, stateside photo editors rule pictures too graphic for publication.
   None of those decisions goes without scrutiny in a war that has been politically charged since its inception. The Pentagon banned photographs of flag-draped coffins being delivered to the U.S., arguing it was a necessity to protect the privacy of the dead and their families. But war critics said the military imposed the ban (lifted partially with the release of some of the military's own casket photographs) to obscure the costs of combat.
   Veteran photographer Paul Fusco — a liberal whose pictures of soldiers' funerals appeared early this year in Mother Jones magazine — said he was convinced that controls on war coverage came "straight from the White House" and helped prop up support for an unjustified war.
   By contrast, a handful of conservative Internet commentators hammered the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the Associated Press in April. They said the wire service's 20 winning photos for breaking news (including the one of the 24-year-old Babbitt) bucked up the insurgents and failed to show U.S. troops looking heroic or helpful. The pictures, said a blog called Riding Sun, "portray the American invasion and occupation of Iraq as an unmitigated disaster."
   To measure how American publications have depicted the war in pictures, The Times reviewed six months of coverage from Iraq. The period from Sept. 1 of last year until Feb. 28 of this year included the U.S. assault on Fallouja and the escalating insurgent attacks before January's election.
   Despite the considerable bloodshed during that half-year, readers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Washington Post did not see a single picture of a dead serviceman. The Seattle Times ran a photo three days before Christmas of the covered body of a soldier killed in the mess hall bombing. Neither Time nor Newsweek, the weekly newsmagazines, showed any U.S. battlefield dead during that time.
   The New York Times and Los Angeles Times printed the most shots of wounded in the war zone during that time — with 10 each, an average of one every 2 1/2 weeks. The other six publications ran a total of 24 pictures of American wounded.
   "I feel we still aren't seeing the kind of pictures we need to see to tell the American people about this war and the costs of the war," said Steve Stroud, deputy director of photography at the Los Angeles Times.
   Fred Nelson, a photo editor at the Seattle Times, said his newspaper ran graphic photos when necessary to convey the gravity of losses on either side.
   "But our readers are incredibly intelligent," Nelson added. "And I think they can figure it out without us sticking a photo of a bloody body in their face every time it happens."
   American television news also has delivered a relatively blood-free portrait, according to academics who have studied video imagery from the war. A George Washington University survey of about 2,000 TV news segments found that the war had been "sanitized" and rendered "free of bloodshed."
   With relatively few pictures coming from the battlefield, American publications have used photos from the home front in an effort to get the story across.
   The Los Angeles Times and the newspapers in St. Louis and Atlanta, in particular, have focused on covering memorial services for soldiers and stories about grieving families.
   On more than a dozen occasions, the Washington Post opened full pages inside the newspaper to print "Faces of the Fallen," with hundreds of portraits of those killed. The New York Times packed similar images into a single edition when the U.S. death toll reached 1,000. Newsweek ran a large color spread on a tank soldier weeping over the death of a crewmate. And Time magazine this spring ran a six-page story with photos by perennial award-winner James Nachtwey, offering an unflinching view of amputees at military hospitals.
   American publications typically have run substantially more photos of Iraqi blood spilled, including the New York Times with 55 photos of Iraqis dead or wounded over the six months surveyed, compared with its 10 photos of U.S. casualties.
   The Los Angeles Times ran 41 photos of Iraqi casualties and 10 of American wounded. The Washington Post ran 18 Iraqi casualty photos and six of U.S. wounded.
   "War kills men, women and children, and we would be remiss if we couldn't in some way show that this is what happens in war," said Michele McNally, New York Times director of photography. "It's our responsibility to bear witness to these events."
   Photographers and editors said pictures of Iraqi losses had been much more prevalent in large part because Iraqis had suffered many more casualties.
   But there are other reasons. American editors have less fear that grieving friends and relatives half a world away will have see the traumatic photos. And Iraqi casualty photos can be transmitted without the "hold" restrictions — for notification of family members — that govern photos of American casualties.
   When they do show images of casualties on the American side, newspaper executives can count on a backlash. Newark's Star-Ledger received about two dozen complaints when it ran the picture of Babbitt on its front page.
   Complaints to the News Tribune of Tacoma about the "insensitivity" of the photo prompted Executive Editor Dave Zeeck to write an explanatory essay on Page 2 of the main news section. Zeeck told readers that he believed the picture, taken by John Moore of the Associated Press, epitomized the sacrifice of the American soldier.
   "We not only have the right, but the responsibility to run such photos," Zeeck said.
   Nearly 20 photographers who have worked in Iraq said in interviews that no factor limited pictures of the bloodshed more than the difficulty in getting to the news.
   News organizations have invested millions of dollars in covering the war, but journalists form a thin, broken line when stretched across the vast deserts and mountains of Iraq.
   At any given time in recent months, from three to 13 photographers have been on assignment with the military, a U.S. Army official said. And those who remain "in country" find their movements increasingly limited by the violence.
   "Compared to the pope's funeral or Martha Stewart or the Michael Jackson trial, there is nobody here," said Jim MacMillan, part of the Associated Press' Pulitzer Prize-winning team of photographers in Iraq. Americans, he said, "are missing the war. The embedded perspective is going vastly undercovered, with some exceptions, and that is the only place you can cover the risk and the price being paid by Americans."
   The conflict in Iraq has produced uncommon displays of bravery and skill from dozens of photographers; that's the consensus of correspondents who have been there and of those who have covered earlier conflicts.
   But like journalists through history, today's war photographers endure long hours of boredom, punctuated by "crazy adrenaline for perhaps 20 minutes at a time," said Thomas Dworzak of Magnum Photos, another agency whose photos are distributed widely to the media.
   In one six-week period, Dworzak said, the unit he was embedded with engaged in two firefights and suffered two bomb attacks, while violent encounters went unrecorded minutes away.
   Digital cameras and satellite communications make it possible to ship pictures from a foxhole at the front. No technological advance, however, can eliminate perhaps the photojournalist's most difficult terrain — building camaraderie with soldiers while continuing to hold them objectively as subjects.
   Many soldiers and officers in Iraq said they came to respect the cameramen and camerawomen who stood beside them through firefights and mortar barrages. But those relationships can fray quickly when things go wrong.
   Tyler Hicks of the New York Times and Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times accompanied the Army in August during the dangerous assault on the insurgent stronghold of Najaf. They weathered several life-threatening episodes with the troops. But much of the respect they gained disappeared when the two tried to take pictures of wounded and dead soldiers being rushed to a field hospital.
   Cole, a Pulitzer winner for photographs she took of the war in Liberia, said later she understood the soldiers' high emotions. But she resented the row of soldiers blocking her camera, who in her view prevented her from doing her job.
   "They were happy to have us along when we could show them fighting the battle, show the courageous side of them," Cole said. "Then suddenly the tables turned. They didn't want anything shown of their grief and what was happening on the negative side, which is equally important."
   Although they had not broken any written agreement, both photographers said their Army handlers made it clear they were no longer welcome. They transferred to a Marine unit. (The Army public affairs officer who oversaw the two did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)
   Hondros, the Getty Images photographer, took pictures early this year that provoked a particularly strong reaction. They showed children in the terrifying moments after an Army patrol accidentally shot their parents to death.
   Published in Newsweek and several newspapers, the pictures sparked discussion of the military's rules of engagement with civilian vehicles and provoked an outpouring of aid for the "orphans of Tall Afar." They also resulted in Hondros being banned from any further work with the unit, part of the 25th Infantry Division.
   Officers with the unit, which patrolled the town near the Syrian border, said they thought they had an understanding with the photographer that he would hold the pictures until they could investigate. Hondros said he had made no such agreement.
   "The military does hold over your head the ultimate trump card that if you do something they don't like, they can boot you out," said Joe Raedle, another war photographer for Getty Images. "But for the most part, it doesn't keep you from doing your job."
   Though a few photographers relentlessly blare the 1st Amendment clarion, most said they found themselves on the battlefield balancing a more nuanced set of values and emotions.
   Dean Hoffmeyer of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia found out how confounding such calculations could become a few days before Christmas, when a suicide bomber attacked the military mess tent where he was waiting in line with dozens of soldiers.
   Blasted to the ground, Hoffmeyer pulled himself up and into the chaos of the deadliest attack of the war on any U.S. base. A young man bleeding to death beside him would be one of 22 to die that day.
   Despite a broken lens, aperture wide open, Hoffmeyer fired off several frames of the mortally wounded soldier.
   He continued taking pictures of the blast scene — images that ran prominently in nearly every American paper in the days to come. But he never transmitted the pictures of the dying GI.
   Seeing them weeks later, his editor would describe them as "horrible pictures, wonderfully made."
   The married, churchgoing Hoffmeyer has struggled with the decision ever since. He has gotten plenty of support from other photographers and taken hits from a few others, who suggested he left his best work in his camera.
   Hoffmeyer thought the pictures of the soldier — his hand pressed over a neck wound streaming with blood — might be too graphic for publication. If the vivid shots had made the paper, they might have infuriated the Virginia National Guard battalion he had covered, and threatened his plan to catalog the unit's postwar lives. Finally, he thought how terrible it would be if he ever had to see pictures of his own son, age 9, in such a position.
   "I don't know if what I did was right," the 41-year-old onetime radio disc jockey said. "But it's what I felt was right."
   Another photographer on the front line made the opposite decision, but the result for American newspaper readers was much the same.
   Stefan Zaklin of European Pressphoto Agency transmitted the picture of a fallen U.S. Army captain during November's assault on Fallouja. It was apparently the only news picture to be published of one of the dozens of service members who died in the battle.
   The photo ran in Thailand's Bangkok Post, in Paris Match and on the front page of Germany's Bild-Zeitung, the highest-circulation newspaper in Europe.
   The Village Voice in New York became the first American newspaper to print it this week, along with an essay in which Sydney H. Schanberg argued that the war could not be covered while "omitting anything important out of timidity or squeamishness."
   MSNBC.com had briefly posted the shot in November, but took it down after complaints from the officer's family.
   "At first we thought it was a really iconic photo of the terrible violence going on in Iraq," said Dean Wright, editor in chief of MSNBC.com. But when it appeared the soldier could be recognized, "we thought it was too horrific, because it was more personalized then."
   Many American editors sound the same note as Jeff Schamberry, director of photography for Newsday, the Long Island, N.Y., daily.
   "Our policy in general is not to use a picture with a body, a dead person — unless there is a very compelling reason," Schamberry said.
   That's a marked contrast from the attitude at many foreign publications, which tend to run more pictures of bloodshed, whether from the accident across town or a war across the world.
   Scenes of the war's death and destruction appear routinely in Europe and Asia, according to several journalism analysts. But that coverage has limits. Editors of several English newspapers acknowledged, for instance, that they used pictures of British casualties sparingly.
   Nonetheless, foreign news outlets depict more bloodshed, perhaps in part because their audiences have often had closer contact with war and seem less willing to accept sanitized coverage, one U.S. academic said.
   "Americans have a view of war that comes out of World War II, that war is a sort of sacred national cause," said Daniel C. Hallin, a communications professor at UC San Diego, who has conducted extensive reviews of TV war coverage. "We are all supposed to unite around war … because these great sacrifices are being made for freedom."
   Even aggressive American photographers sometimes become resigned to the notion that the public might not see their work.
   "These pictures are going unseen because editors don't print them," Hondros said. "And they don't print them because readers don't want to see them."
   But there is some evidence that the public holds a more ambivalent view.
   A survey on behalf of Associated Press managing editors questioned 2,461 regular newspaper readers about a series of photos, including the image of the mortally wounded Babbitt.
   In the unscientific survey, 59% of the readers said they would have published the Babbitt photo.
   "This doesn't tell me we shouldn't be there," reader Rose Barnett of Jacksonville, Fla., said of the photo. "This tells me that this was a brave and kind man to lay his life down for the freedom of others. God rest his soul."

Times researchers Jacquelyn Cenacveira in Los Angeles, Jenny Jarvie in Atlanta, Lynn Marshall in Seattle and Janet Stobart in London contributed to this report.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
U.S. count
American newspapers and newsmagazines have printed few pictures of American casualties. The Times surveyed six newspapers and two newsmagazines for six months for pictures of the dead, wounded and grieving--including funerals, memorials and rehabilitation of the wounded.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dead: 0
Wounded: 4
Grieving: 33

Los Angeles Times
Dead: 0
Wounded: 10
Grieving: 43

New York Times
Dead: 0
Wounded: 10
Grieving: 24

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dead: 0
Wounded: 6
Grieving: 25

Seattle Times
Dead: 1
Wounded: 4
Grieving: 38

Washington Post
Dead: 0
Wounded: 6
Grieving: 25

Newsweek
Dead: 0
Wounded: 0
Grieving: 1

Time
Dead: 0
Wounded: 4
Grieving: 6

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Iraqi count
Images of Iraqis killed and wounded in the war have been much more common during the six months from Sept. 1, 2004, to Feb. 28, 2005. Editors said there had simply been more Iraqi casualties and that they were less concerned about relatives seeing images published here.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Dead: 3
Wounded: 9
Grieving: 8

Los Angeles Times
Dead: 22
Wounded: 19
Grieving: 17

New York Times
Dead: 30
Wounded: 25
Grieving: 17

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dead: 8
Wounded: 7
Grieving: 10

Seattle Times
Dead: 5
Wounded: 5
Grieving: 6

Washington Post
Dead: 5
Wounded: 13
Grieving: 3

Newsweek
Dead: 1
Wounded: 4
Grieving: 1

Time
Dead: 5
Wounded: 2
Grieving: 0

Graphics reporting by Jacquelyn Cenacveira, Lynn Marshall and Jenny Jarvie


Page 15
"...The reasoning is simple enough. In January 1973, the Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the United States, where previously it had been available in only five states. In 1974, roughly 750,000 women had abortions in America; by 1980, the number was 1.6m (one abortion for every 2.3 live births). “What sort of woman was most likely to take advantage of Roe v Wade?” the book asks. “Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three...In other words, the very factors that drove millions of American women to have an abortion also seemed to predict that their children, had they been born, would have led unhappy and possibly criminal lives...In the early 1990s, just as the first cohort of children born after Roe v Wade was hitting its late teen years—the years during which young men enter their criminal prime—the rate of crime began to fall.”

May 14th 2005 Economist Magazine
Unconventional wisdom
Curiouser and curiouser

Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
William Morrow; 256 pages; $25.95. To be published in Britain by Penguin/Allen Lane in July

WHAT a shame about that title. “Freakonomics” is bound to dampen the spirits of any intelligent reader, suggesting an airport-ready, dumbed-down romp—the back cover would inevitably call it a romp—through the bogus theories of some semi-literate phoney economist. But that is not this book at all. Steven Levitt is no “rogue economist”, still less a phoney one; and his book, praise be, does not try to explore “the hidden side of everything”. Far more intelligent, modest and orthodox than it pretends, the book is a delight; it educates, surprises and amuses. It shows, in fact, what plain old-fashioned economics can do in the hands of a boundlessly curious and superbly skilled practitioner.


Many economists don't care whether sumo wrestling is fixed, or whether drug dealers prefer to live with their mothers. It is their loss

Mr Levitt is a professor at the University of Chicago, and a winner of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association every two years to the best economist under 40. Not many rogue economists achieve either distinction. Stephen Dubner, Mr Levitt's co-author, is a contributor to the New York Times magazine, and presumably responsible for the book's frequently tiresome breathlessness. And it might be Mr Dubner's fault that the book often veers without due process between being about Mr Levitt and being by him, which is jarring. But the material triumphs over these flaws of style. Indeed, the material is quite fascinating.

Mr Levitt's speciality is to spot interesting questions that arise in apparently unrelated fields—questions that it may not even have occurred to anyone else to ask—and then answer them with dazzling ingenuity. The man's curiosity is unbounded in two complementary senses. He finds intriguing anomalies in extraordinarily arcane places—for instance, in sumo wrestling and in alternative spellings of the name Jasmine, to name just two topics examined in this book. And then he digs for explanations with total disregard for the demands of political correctness. You might say that he rejoices in being politically incorrect, except that he seems not to care much one way or the other.

One of his best-known, and in some quarters notorious, findings concerns America's falling crime-rate during the 1990s. Towards the end of that decade, confounding the expectations of most analysts, the teenage murder rate fell by more than 50% in the space of five years;

by 2000, the book notes, the overall murder rate was at its lowest for 35 years. Other kinds of crime fell too. Why? Some gave the credit to economic growth; others to gun control; still others to new methods of policing, or to greater reliance on imprisonment, or to increasing use of the death penalty, or to the ageing of the population.

Mr Levitt goes carefully through these various explanations, checking them against the evidence. He finds that some of them do offer a partial explanation (more jail time, for instance), whereas others do not (greater use of the death penalty, new policing methods). But the most intriguing finding was that one of the most powerful explanations had not even been broached. That explanation was abortion.

The reasoning is simple enough. In January 1973, the Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the United States, where previously it had been available in only five states. In 1974, roughly 750,000 women had abortions in America; by 1980, the number was 1.6m (one abortion for every 2.3 live births). “What sort of woman was most likely to take advantage of Roe v Wade?” the book asks. “Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three...In other words, the very factors that drove millions of American women to have an abortion also seemed to predict that their children, had they been born, would have led unhappy and possibly criminal lives...In the early 1990s, just as the first cohort of children born after Roe v Wade was hitting its late teen years—the years during which young men enter their criminal prime—the rate of crime began to fall.”

The theory is the easy part, once you dare to articulate it. Testing it is quite another matter. But the book moves methodically and persuasively through the statistical evidence. It turns out, for instance, that crime started falling earlier in the states that legalised abortion before Roe v Wade; that the states with the highest abortion rates saw the biggest drops in crime (even controlling for other factors); that there was no link between abortion rates and crime before the late 1980s (when unborn criminals, as it were, first began to affect the figures); and that a similar association of crime and abortion has been found in other countries.

The book ranges over cheating teachers, corrupt sumo wrestlers and lying on-line daters. It asks, among other things, whether Trent Lott is more racist than the typical contestant on “The Weakest Link”. It examines parallels between estate agents and the Ku Klux Klan. It asks why drug dealers tend to live with their mothers. Always it finds questions that are mischievously intriguing in themselves but that also shed light on broader matters as well—and then it finds ingenious ways of answering them.

“Freakonomics” looks in particular detail at racial aspects of parenting, which is where those variant spellings of Jasmine (or Jazmyne, or Jazzmin, and so on) come in. Examining the data, Mr Levitt tabulates the “blackest” names (Imani tops the list for girls, DeShawn for boys) and the “whitest” (Molly and Jake). Using all his ingenuity in finding and exploring data, he then examines whether being given a distinctively black or white name affects one's prospects in life. Does it? Surprisingly, perhaps, no. A boy named Jake will tend to do better than one called DeShawn, but that is because he is less likely to have been raised in a low-income, low-education, single-parent household, and not because the name itself confers any advantage.

So much for boys' names; what about book titles? Does a stupid title herald a worse-than-average book? Probably—if only because books with bad titles tend to be written by intellectually disadvantaged authors. But if a really clever author were to write a book and give it a really stupid title, it might turn out as well as this one.

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Page 16

[from a recent citibank ad]

Diane Arbus committed suicide
-but her reasons live on.

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Page 17
...
O'Grady testified that he was molested as a child by two priests in the sacristy of his church. The first occurred when he was 10 and an altar boy, he said.
The priest "began the conversation by asking how I was, what I was going to do for the day, and I remember he was — he called me over to him and he began to hug me, you know, in a kind of gentle way, first of all.
"Then he turned me around … which means I had my back to him with him standing behind me, and then the hands would come down and hug me here and then went lower."
When he was growing up, he testified, he was involved in molestation within his family, both as perpetrator and victim. And when he was a teenager, he added, a priest touched him sexually.
"It was not a very pleasant experience on some occasions, but it was a very normal thing. Nobody talked about it," he said. "I did not consider it a very serious criminal matter."

May 11, 2005 Los Angeles Times
THE STATE
A Glimpse at the Mind of a Pedophile

A former priest who served under Mahony in the Stockton Diocese describes his ploys.
By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

In a chillingly frank account, a former Roman Catholic priest, promoted 20 years ago by Roger M. Mahony, recently described his decades-long career as a pedophile, including his sexual tastes and how he groomed his young victims for abuse.
   In a 15-hour videotaped deposition in March, Oliver O'Grady described how his heart raced when one of the slim, playful boys he preferred toweled off after a swim. He also said he liked to lift little girls' skirts and peek at their underpants.
   Asked to demonstrate how he would lure one of his estimated 25 victims into his arms, the 59-year-old Irish native softened his voice, flashed an avuncular smile and looked directly into the video camera.
   "Hi, Sally," O'Grady improvised. "How are you doing? Come here. I want to give you a hug. You are a sweetheart. You know that. You are very special to me. I like you a lot."

   If his hug met no resistance, O'Grady testified, he would take the child's compliance as "permission" to molest.
   The deposition came in connection with lawsuits filed against the Stockton Diocese over alleged abuse by clergy. Mahony, who was bishop of Stockton from 1980 to 1985 before heading the Los Angeles Archdiocese, inherited O'Grady, who had admitted years earlier to molesting an 11-year-old girl. In 1984, police investigated a therapist's report that O'Grady had molested a boy.
   After police declined to file charges, Mahony transferred O'Grady to a rural parish and later promoted him to pastor there, where he allegedly molested three more victims, including a baby girl who suffered vaginal scarring, according to plaintiffs' lawyers. Mahony has said he was unaware of any molestation reports. The additional victims were molested after he left the diocese.
   "The cardinal acted on the information he had, just as the police investigator did," church attorney Don Woods said.
   Costa Mesa-based plaintiffs' attorney John C. Manly conducted the deposition in Ireland. The now-defrocked priest, an Irish citizen and native of Limerick, was deported from the U.S. in 2001, after serving seven years in California state prison for sexually abusing two brothers. He lives in Thurles, Ireland.
   A transcript of the deposition was filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, where the Stockton Diocese is defending four lawsuits alleging that the church failed to protect parishioners from abuse. Manly filed the transcript in opposing a church motion to dismiss one of the suits.
   O'Grady, on the video, asked why church officials did not remove him from ministry after he committed the molestations.
   "I think it probably would have been best if, back in 1984, they said, 'Look, we need to put a halt to this. We need to take you out,' " O'Grady told lawyers during the questioning. "But even the 1984 situation, as I understand it, was handled as best it could have been handled at the time."
   Woods said Tuesday that O'Grady "was not trying to say what should have been done. He's saying I wish it could have been done differently.
   "It's a lament from hindsight," he said.
   An attorney for the Stockton Diocese, Paul Balestracci, declined to comment, noting the open lawsuits over O'Grady's misconduct.
   O'Grady's deposition offers a far-reaching, and often disturbing, glimpse
into the mind of a convicted pedophile. Still, there were times during the marathon question-and-answer session when he was less than candid.
   He refused to name any of his 25 victims, invoking his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. He at first denied molesting one little girl, then the next day admitted that he had lied and that he had abused her. He said his abuse ended in the mid-1980s, but in his criminal case he had pleaded guilty to molestations as late as 1991.
   Although O'Grady voiced remorse for his abuses, he often appeared to be enjoying his videotaped performance. At one point, he winked into the camera.
   O'Grady testified that he was molested as a child by two priests in the sacristy of his church. The first occurred when he was 10 and an altar boy, he said.
   The priest "began the conversation by asking how I was, what I was going to do for the day, and I remember he was — he called me over to him and he began to hug me, you know, in a kind of gentle way, first of all.
"Then he turned me around … which means I had my back to him with him standing behind me, and then the hands would come down and hug me here and then went lower."
   When he was growing up, he testified, he was involved in molestation within his family, both as perpetrator and victim. And when he was a teenager, he added, a priest touched him sexually.
   "It was not a very pleasant experience on some occasions, but it was a very normal thing. Nobody talked about it," he said. "I did not consider it a very serious criminal matter."
   O'Grady testified that his own sexual attraction to children began before he was ordained a priest in 1971.
   "The only thing I understood religion to say at the time was that anything … to do with sexuality was sinful, and that is where a lot of my conflict came," he testified.
   His first assignment as a priest was to the Stockton Diocese in 1971. Five years later, O'Grady testified in an earlier deposition, he fondled an 11-year-old girl he had met at a summer camp and invited to sleep over at the rectory.
   "I remember going into her bed, and I tried to caress her and fondle her, and I sensed her objections to that, nonverbally, and I stayed for a little while more and then decided not to continue. So I left and went back to my own bed," he told lawyers during the March deposition, estimating that he had spent no more than 20 minutes in the girl's bed.
   The girl's parents complained to then-Bishop Merlin Guilfoyle, who preceded Mahony in Stockton. O'Grady testified that the bishop, who is now deceased, confronted him and he confessed.
   O'Grady wrote the family a letter of apology, angering Guilfoyle, O'Grady said. The letter was in O'Grady's personnel file when Mahony assumed the bishopric, according to court records.
   O'Grady said he suffered no repercussions for his transgression.
   "Life just continued," he testified.
   Court records show that in 1984, four years after Mahony became bishop of Stockton, O'Grady told his therapist he had fondled a 9-year-old boy. The therapist alerted child welfare officials, and police opened an investigation.
   O'Grady took the 5th Amendment when asked during the deposition what he told his therapist. But he testified that Mahony was out of town at the time, so he told the bishop's second-in-command about the investigation. He said the official sent him to talk to the diocese's lawyer.
   The child, who had been asleep during the alleged molestation, said he was unaware of any abuse, and police declined to file charges. Court records show, however, that police said an attorney for the diocese promised that O'Grady would be transferred to a job where he would not have contact with children, and that he would be sent to therapy.
   O'Grady testified that Mahony sent him to a psychiatrist for an evaluation, which the cardinal has acknowledged was the church's standard operating procedure at the time for handling pedophile priests. Almost immediately
thereafter, O'Grady said, Mahony transferred him to a parish in San Andreas, about an hour outside Stockton. Mahony later promoted him to pastor.
   There was no school at his new assignment, but O'Grady testified that he supervised hundreds of students who came in on weekends and after school to study Catechism.
   Mahony has testified in court that he never saw the letter of apology O'Grady wrote to his female victim's family. He also said that he did not know the details of what O'Grady had told his therapist and that once police declined to file charges in connection with the 9-year-old boy, he saw no reason to investigate further.
   O'Grady "was in counseling at the time," Woods said, "and the second opinion that the diocese obtained said the counseling was satisfactory and he should continue with it.
   The second opinion did not recommend that he be removed from ministry, nor did the [evaluation] render any diagnosis of pedophilia."
   After years of therapy, O'Grady said, he's embarrassed and ashamed of his sexual attraction to children.
   But asked to describe his "type," he gave an animated response. "Generally, a boy who was — spontaneous, affectionate, playful, generally around the age of 10, 11, and who seemed to maybe need somebody to care for him. I'm not saying that he necessarily had family problems but seemed to identify with me as somebody who he could trust, who he could come to, who was willing to take care of him."
   The priest searched his congregation for submissive children. "If they demonstrated affection, by hugging and that sort of stuff, it sort of awakened within me urges to be affectionate in return," O'Grady testified.
"If I got comfortable doing that and felt he was comfortable with me hugging him, and I had thoughts or feelings that I wanted to go further, I might at that time explore that possibility," he said.
   "I might have to do a little planning … to be sure that the boy was there, to be sure the boy was alone, and that there was not any hurry on him leaving."
   O'Grady testified that he had sexual relationships with two mothers of children he molested. He also said he occasionally wore women's lingerie he found among donated clothes left at his church.
   "Perhaps I was trying to use external things to arouse myself," he said.
   A Stockton jury in 1998 awarded one of O'Grady's victims $30 million, later reduced to $7 million. Jury members told The Times they thought Mahony was untruthful on the witness stand, that he had allowed O'Grady's pattern of abuse to continue.
   Mahony said he thought the jurors were wrong and that he took extraordinary steps to protect children.
   Over the years, O'Grady said, he tried to understand and possibly curb his appetite for children — reading books about his disorder, touring a residential treatment center for pedophile priests and eventually opening his parish to secret Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings so he could attend.
   After O'Grady was released from prison and returned to Ireland, the Stockton diocese paid for him to undergo three years of outpatient therapy, he said, and also agreed to pay him $800 a month for 10 years starting on his 65th birthday.
   "I would have liked somebody in the diocese or somebody to have intervened as early as possible in helping me confront this situation as a very, very serious one," he said, "and help to educate me to the very serious nature of the problem that I had and was causing."
   Each time he reached into a child's pants, O'Grady said, he knew his conduct was wrong, "definitely a sin." But there was "another part of me saying, 'I can't seem to control these desires, thoughts, feelings when they come.' "
   After a molestation, O'Grady testified, he always went to a priest and confessed his sin.

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Page 18
"Clark forwarded Fulkerson’s letter to his superiors at the War Department back in Washington, D.C. But most of the federal government appeared to shrug off the impending disaster, following a familiar pattern: five years earlier, Secretary of War Lewis Cass had cut off funding of a vaccination program for the Indians in the Upper Missouri, apparently not wishing the doctors to proceed as far upriver as the pro-British Blackfeet. The powerful Chouteau family, which controlled fur trade on the Missouri, had likewise blocked a vaccination program because it would have delayed Indian hunting parties from leaving for their profitable trips to the high plains".

MAY 2005 Smithsonian Magazine
TRIBAL FEVER
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO THIS
MONTH, SMALLPOX WAS OFFICIALLY
ERADICATED. FOR THE INDIANS
OF THE HIGH PLAINS, IT CAME A
CENTURY AND A HALF TOO LATE
BY LANDON Y. JONES

On may 4, 1837, Francis A. Chardon, the churlish head trader at Fort Clark, a fur-company outpost on the Upper Missouri River, reported in his journal, “Last night the Cock crowed five times.” The superstitious Chardon then added: “Bad News from some quarter is expected.”

But with the severe winter over, and the ice-clogged river finally thawed, Chardon’s mood inched toward optimism. The nearby Mandan and Hidatsa tribes had gathered hundreds of packs of bison robes. Traders and Indians alike were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the steamboat St. Peters, churning upriver from St. Louis to pick up the furs and drop

"FOR OUR PEOPLE THIS IS HALLOWED GROUND,
A SACRED SPOT," SAYS NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATOR
AMY MOSSETT. "WE MUST TREAT IT WITH REVERENCE."


[...walking through the depressions left by earth lodges that stood there...]

off its annual load of supplies from Pratte, Chouteau & Company, the western branch of John Jacob Astor’s former American Fur Company.

The St. Peters, a 119-ton side-wheeler, docked at Fort Clark on June 19 and unloaded trade goods and Indian provisions. Also aboard was Chardon’s 2-year-old son, Andrew Jackson Chardon, whom he had fathered with a handsome Lakota Sioux woman, Tchon-su- mons-ka. That night the crew members of the St. Peters joined in a boisterous “frolick,” singing and dancing with the men and women at the Mandan’s bustling village of Mit-tutta-hang-kush.

The next day the St. Peters headed upstream toward Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone. But in its wake it left a ticking time bomb. In addition to its cargo of supplies, the steamboat had been carrying several passengers and crewmen infected with variola major, the lethal virus feared for thousands of years by its better-known name: smallpox.

Smallpox had previously swept across the high plains from Mexico in the late 18th century, ravaging the Mandan and other tribes such as the Ojibwa, Pawnee and Arikara, whose population fell by as much as two-thirds. But by the 1830s the Mandan and the other tribes of the Upper Missouri had largely outlived their acquired immunity to the disease, and none had been inoculated or vaccinated. As a result, the voyage of the St. Peters triggered one of the most catastrophic epidemics recorded on the North American continent.

“There is nothing in our experience we can compare it to,” says W. Raymond Wood, an anthropologist who has studied Plains Indian cultures. “It was completely devastating.”

The disease had announced itself when a St. Peters crew member had showed symptoms on May 2, two weeks after the boat left St. Louis. Ignoring suggestions that the man be put ashore, the 33-year-old captain, Bernard Pratte Jr., said he needed every available hand to bring back to St. Louis the packs of profitable furs his company was expecting.

Chardon reported the first Mandan death from smallpox on July 14, less than a month after the side-wheeler left Fort Clark. Then Indians began dying at an accelerating rate—at first, two or three a day; later, entire families of eight or ten persons at once. “I Keep no a/c of the dead, as they die so fast that it is impossible,” Chardon wrote. Soon his young son Andrew would join them.

The deaths were as horrifying as they were numerous. Victims experienced high fever, chills and excruciating pain. With blood pouring from their mouths and ears, they often died even before the appearance of smallpox’s characteristic pustules. In a futile effort to find relief, sufferers threw themselves into water and rolled in hot ashes. Husbands and wives committed mutual suicide, stabbing themselves with arrows and knives, or leaping off cliffs. Chardon reported that one Mandan woman, after watching her husband die, killed her two children and “to complete the affair she hung herself.”

In scenes that might have been painted by Goya, bodies piled up in the village too rapidly to be buried and were dumped into the river. “This Morning two dead bodies, wrapped in a White skin, and laid on a raft passed by the Fort, on their way to the regions below,” Chardon reported, adding sardonically, “May success attend them.” After estimating that 800 Mandan had died by mid-September, Chardon—who never concealed his contempt for Indians—commented, “What a bande of RASCALS has been used up.”

The pandemic was no less terrifying elsewhere along the river. At Fort Union, the post at the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, traders bungled an attempt to inoculate Indian women living there with scabs taken from a victim. Dozens of Indians died, as did whites who had not been inoculated, and the stench of decaying bodies inside the post was palpable 300 yards away. When one party of Assiniboine arrived outside the post’s walls, they were persuaded to leave only after the traders lifted an infected boy above the pickets, displaying for the visitors his ghastly face that “was still one solid scab,” as one of the traders later wrote.

Reports of the immensity of the horror on the Upper Missouri soon began to trickle eastward. William Fulkerson, who oversaw local Indian affairs from his base at Fort Clark, wrote to the explorer William Clark, at the time Indian superintendent in St. Louis, that “the small pox has broke out in this country and is sweeping all before it—unless it be checked in its mad career I would not be surprised if it wiped the Mandans and Rickaree [Arikara] tribes clean from the face of the earth.”

Clark forwarded Fulkerson’s letter to his superiors at the War Department back in Washington, D.C. But most of the federal government appeared to shrug off the impending disaster, following a familiar pattern: five years earlier, Secretary of War Lewis Cass had cut off funding of a vaccination program for the Indians in the Upper Missouri, apparently not wishing the doctors to proceed as far upriver as the pro-British Blackfeet. The powerful Chouteau family, which controlled fur trade on the Missouri, had likewise blocked a vaccination program because it would have delayed Indian hunting parties from leaving for their profitable trips to the high plains.

But this time, in the face of widespread administrative indifference, one U.S. official finally decided to take action. Joshua Pilcher, a 47-year-old Virginian, had just been appointed to take charge of the Sioux Agency at Fort Kiowa, north of today’s Chamberlain, South Dakota. Traveling to his new post on board the St. Peters during its fateful trip, Pilcher had observed the disease spreading among passengers on the ship before he disembarked at his post, downriver from Fort Clark. Quickly realizing the nature of the unfolding calamity, Pilcher sent out messengers from Fort Kiowa to warn the nomadic Lakota and Nakota Sioux still hunting on the plains to stay away from the river in order to avoid contagion.

By the time he returned to St. Louis that winter, Pilcher had pieced together the first overall estimate of the extent of the tragedy. In just seven months since the first death, the Mandan had been reduced from 1,600 people “to thirty-one persons,” he wrote to Clark in February 1838. (Scholars now believe that there were 100 to 200 actual survivors.) Half of the Hidatsa had died, as had half of the Arikara. “The great band of [Assiniboine], say ten thousand strong, and the Crees numbering about three thousand have been almost annihilated. . . . The disease had reached the Blackfeet of the Rocky Mountains. . . . All the Indians on the Columbia River as far as the Pacific

Ocean will share the fate of those before alluded to.” In short, Pilcher told Clark, the Great Plains were being “literally depopulated and converted into one great grave yard.”

But what to do? Pilcher reasoned that it was not too late to save the bands of nomadic Sioux whom he had warned away from “the fatal destroyer” over the summer—and were still on the plains. He proposed going upriver with a doctor and $2,000 in presents. They would try to locate the Sioux and persuade them to accept vaccination with the milder form of variola called cowpox. This vaccine, developed by the Englishman Edward Jenner in the 1790s, had proved so effective that Jefferson had urged Lewis and Clark to carry it with them on their historic expedition. (Their supply was damaged in transit and never used.)

As Pilcher observed, “It is a very delicate experiment among those wild Indians, because death from any other cause, while under the influence of vaccination, would be attributed to that and no other cause.” Nevertheless, he wrote to Clark, “If furnished with the means, I will cheerfully risk an experiment which may preserve the lives of fifteen or twenty thousand Indians.”

It was a bold and seemingly quixotic undertaking. The Indians were profoundly embittered toward the white traders who had inflicted the malady upon them, and some sought revenge. Chardon himself received several death threats and narrowly escaped an assassination attempt at Fort Clark. In a speech found among Chardon’s papers— the authenticity of which is doubted by some scholars—the dying Mandan chief Four Bears denounced the whites as “a set of Black harted Dogs, they have deceived Me, them that I always considered as Brothers, has turned Out to be My Worst enemies.” Four Bears allegedly went on to say that “my face is so rotten” that “even the Wolves will shrink in horror at seeing me,” and urged his warriors to “rise all together and Not leave one of them alive.”

The War Department, feeling pressure from church groups to take action to relieve the Indians’ suffering, approved Pilcher’s plan. But the agent needed to locate a doctor willing to enter the dangerous borderlands on the Middle and Upper Missouri, at a wage of $6 a day, to vaccinate the Indians. Who would risk such a perilous trip?

Pilcher would find his man in an unlikely spot: the roughhouse streets and saloons of St. Louis. Dr. Joseph DePrefontaine, who was apparently having little success in medicine, had started a new career in theatrical management—and had become notorious for his barroom carousing. In March 1838, DePrefontaine had been ordered out of his employer’s theater for rolling on the floor and singing during a performance of Hamlet. Undeterred,

DePrefontaine took his revenge by writing newspaper articles attacking the theater.

Swallowing whatever doubts he may have harbored, and with no other applicants breaking down his door, Pilcher hired DePrefontaine. By April 1838, ten months after smallpox first hit the Mandan, the two men were ready to head up the Missouri to look for Sioux. At the St. Louis levee, they boarded the steamboat Antelope and proceeded upriver, making the usual stops at Fort Leavenworth and the Black Snake Hills near present-day St. Joseph, Missouri.

Once past Council Bluffs, in what is now Iowa, Pilcher and DePrefontaine prepared to face tribes angry at whites and suspicious of vaccinations. Instead, they were astonished to find that the Indians had not only lost their fear of vaccinations but were eagerly seeking them. The two men stopped to vaccinate the Oto, Omaha and Santee Sioux. Just below the Sioux Agency at the mouth of the White River, they found “three or four thousand” Sioux who had gathered for the annual distribution of presents and annuities mandated by the Indians’ treaties with the U.S. government. “Having explained to the Indians the object of the physician, he commenced vaccinating,” Pilcher reported later in a letter to Clark. DePrefontaine soon found himself so inundated by “the mass of men, women and children that crowded around me” that he gave up any effort “to keep an account of ages, sexes, etc.” Working rapidly, he ran out of the vaccine supplied by the War Department and was forced to acquire more on his own, presumably from traders.

After the food and supplies were distributed to the hungry tribes, the Indians quickly departed, Pilcher wrote, like “a flock of Crows rising from a dead carcass—they are suddenly gone, and in a few hours are spread over the Country in every direction, in numerous small bands.” The two men continued upriver, vaccinating isolated bands of Yankton, Oglala and Saone. By the time the Antelope reached Fort Pierre, 1,500 miles above St. Louis, DePrefontaine estimated he had given 3,000 vaccinations, though Pilcher believed the actual total was far larger.

But DePrefontaine had not yet located several large bands of nomadic Lakota still hunting somewhere in the vast plains between the Missouri River and Rocky Mountains. Pilcher furnished him with more vaccine and sent him overland on horseback. His instructions were to find the Sioux, or to return to Fort Pierre in three weeks.

Unfortunately, the mission was only a partial success. De- Prefontaine himself fell ill from an unnamed malady “in the Prairies and was not so successful in finding the Indians as I anticipated,” Pilcher reported. Still, DePrefontaine located “several small bands, and operated on all that he found.”

A few months later, Pilcher was able to tell his superiors that the epidemic had finally subsided. He returned to St. Louis and eventually went on to serve as Clark’s replacement as superintendent of Indians. DePrefontaine continued to vaccinate tribes on the Missouri for at least two more years. But as often on the frontier, there was a fine line between humanitarian and rogue. In the 1840s, the mercurial doctor was identified as a member of a gang that robbed and murdered a Spanish merchant on the Santa Fe Trail. He later was reported to have been involved in an attempt to assassinate Frank P. Blair Jr., a prominent antislavery activist and future U.S. senator.

Pilcher and DePrefontaine may well have felt that their efforts did not make much difference in the end. The vaccination campaign saved thousands of lives—but as many as 20,000 Indians had perished across the high plains. Ninety percent of the Mandan died. “In human terms, their culture was massively impoverished,” says anthropologist W. Raymond Wood. “The epidemic ravaged their economy, their arts, their social systems and their kinship systems.” And the epidemic had a monumental effect on the destiny of the West: “By reducing the number of Native Americans,” Wood says, “it made settlement simpler for whites.”

While many Native Americans today are descended in part from the Mandan, there are no full-blooded Mandan left. Only a handful of teachers still know the Mandan language. “When those people leave us, they are going to take the language with St. Louis native LANDON Y. JONES is the author of William Clark and the Shaping of the West, published last year. them,” says Amy Mossett, a Mandan-Hidatsa educator and interpreter of the life of Sacagawea, the famed Indian woman who helped guide Lewis and Clark. Mossett lives in North Dakota, not far from the site of the old Fort Clark and Four Bears’ village. “I go out to that site every now and then,” she says. “It’s usually real quiet, and I remember one July walking through the depressions left by earth lodges that stood there. It was searing hot, and I could see the heat waves dancing on the prairie. I remember wondering if our ancestors saw those heat waves before they slipped into delirium, then death.” Now, she says, “for our people this is hallowed ground, a sacred spot. We must treat it with reverence.”

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s official declaration of the elimination of smallpox from the earth. It’s been even longer, since 1949, that a single case was reported in the United States. But the variola virus itself still exists in the form of samples retained for research in Siberia and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta—leading scientists and homeland security officials to raise the specter

of other samples potentially finding their way into the hands of bioterrorists. If that were to happen, the human population would be susceptible to a resurgence of smallpox. Without acquired immunities or widespread vaccinations, “to some extent we’re in the same boat Native Americans were in before 1492,” points out Duke University professor Elizabeth Fenn, author of Pox Americana, a history of the disease. “We’re approaching 100 percent vulnerability.”

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the World Health Organization’s official declaration of the elimination of smallpox from the earth. It’s been even longer, since 1949, that a single case was reported in the United States. But the variola virus itself still exists in the form of samples retained for research in Siberia and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta—leading scientists and homeland security officials to raise the specter of other samples potentially finding their way into the hands of bioterrorists. If that were to happen, the human population would be susceptible to a resurgence of smallpox. Without acquired immunities or widespread vaccinations, “to some extent we’re in the same boat Native Americans were in before 1492,” points out Duke University professor Elizabeth Fenn, author of Pox Americana, a history of the disease. “We’re approaching 100 percent vulnerability.”

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Page 19
what are we doing in Iraq???

May 8, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Emerging From Their Bunkers
Germans are reflecting on their nation's defeat in World War II in more nuanced ways. Feelings of victimhood blend with long-held guilt.
By Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer

BERLIN — Waltraud Sussmilch and her mother hid beneath a city of war and flame. They slipped out of a subway car, tiptoeing past drunken Russian soldiers and the bodies of raped German women. Her mother stopped and straightened the skirts of the dead. Sussmilch hurried out of the tunnel and into morning light, where blood trickled over bricks and smoke coiled in the sky.
   "I recognized nothing," said Sussmilch, who was 14 years old and lived on Saarlandstrasse when Russian troops entered the German capital in the last days of World War II. "Not a building was left. You could hear the sounds of fire, like blown-up paper bags popping one after the other…. I kept thinking, how could the sun shine under such circumstances?"
   Germany surrendered 60 years ago today, ending a war that killed as many as 50 million people, ravaged the map of Europe and added "Holocaust" to the lexicon of barbarity. Adolf Hitler had shot himself days earlier in a bunker. Allied soldiers handed out candy bars and cigarettes.
   Left with incalculable tons of rubble and facing decades of balancing guilt and atonement, Germany became a nation on a psychiatrist's couch, suppressing any wisp of patriotism and experiencing denial and, finally, acceptance.
   For years, the country refused to ponder the enormous suffering of its civilians. It did not question the morality of Allied bombings that ignited 1,000-degree firestorms in cities such as Dresden, where as many as 40,000 civilians died Feb. 13, 1945. But Germans today are articulating a more nuanced view that stretches beyond complicity in Nazism to show that many Germans were victims of the Third Reich — and of Allied air raids.


   "Are the Germans now suddenly seeing themselves in a different light — as a community joined in suffering?" the magazine Der Spiegel asked in a recent issue. "Has the 'nation of perpetrators' become the 'nation of victims'? Has the chapter of self-chastisement now been closed?"
   Generations of Germans have sought to navigate beyond their history. Persevering through the Cold War and building Europe's largest economy, a reunified Germany entered the new century an influential voice in international affairs. The country looked to globalization and began restoring a national identity; the war turned into something to be studied, not be shackled by. Even the new government buildings in Berlin were designed in sharp angles and walls of glass, a transparent architecture to imply that nothing dark will rise again.
   But for aging soldiers and survivors, the past lingers like a sonata crackling from a gramophone.
   "All my life I've had a bad conscience about what the Germans did," said Sussmilch, who recently published "In the Bunker," her recollections of Berlin under siege. "I felt as if I, myself, had something to do with it. Like many Germans, I believe I will feel guilty in my grave. But even if I would have known, I couldn't have done anything about it. You cannot know the times we were living in then."
   A tall, vibrant woman with reddish hair, Sussmilch writes deliberate prose that seeks no sympathy when describing her own vanished neighborhood. "It happened and it's over," she said, sitting with her husband, Martin, who served with a tank division in the 1940s and was captured by American forces. "What is fair in war? Nothing."
   The literature of German suffering was scant through much of the postwar era. There were some dramatic recollections, such as the Aug. 20, 1943, diary entry by Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen that describes a cardboard suitcase containing "the roasted corpse of a child, shrunk like a mummy, which its half-deranged mother has been carrying about." But stories of fires howling through alleys, melting corpses and swarms of flies descending in black waves upon mass graves were inscribed mainly upon memory.
   A country that "had murdered and worked to death millions of people in its camps could hardly call on the victorious powers to explain the military and political logic that dictated the destruction of German cities," W.G. Sebald wrote in his book "On the Natural History of Destruction." Sebald discovered that many Germans "regarded the great firestorms as just punishment, even an act of retribution on the part of a higher power with whom there could be no dispute."
   Historians have debated the air raids on Dresden and other cities. The Allies said the raids were necessary to destroy the battered German industrial complex and break the nation's will. But Germans have increasingly questioned this assessment, saying that Hitler's war machine had crumbled and that, in the words of former German President Richard von Weizsacker, it was "inhuman" to target tens of thousands of civilians.
   Germans, however, are vigilant not to escape responsibility for the war, nor mar the reverence for the millions killed by Hitler. "Nie wieder," or never again, is a lesson memorized by schoolchildren. Yet, in a nation where the past so often spirals through the present, there are constant battles over memory. Berlin will inaugurate its Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe on
Tuesday amid threats by neo-Nazis to march near the site in hope of instigating a new spasm of nationalism.
   Despite persistent economic problems and high unemployment, there is little chance that far-right political parties will gain widespread support. One seldom hears "German" and "pride" in the same sentence. The war is too large a specter for such revival, even if historical facts are sometimes parlayed into euphemisms. A recent Forsa poll, for example, found that 80% of Germans prefer believing that they were "liberated" rather than defeated May 8, 1945.
   "The process of memory is not finished in Germany," said Susanne Kiewitz, a historian overseeing an exhibition of 200 letters written by German soldiers in the 1940s. "Sixty years after the war, there are only a few people left who actually experienced it. We have maybe five more years to get their memories. We are at the threshold between biological memory and scientific historical memory."
   Reinhold Skoecz estimates that his infantry division marched 1,200 miles from Poland into Russia between 1940 and 1945. He was shot in the leg in 1943; shrapnel sliced his jaw two years later. At 85, he is a well-built retired shop teacher with a trove of carved elephants. His hair is the same sandy brown it was when he posed for his army portrait. He visits classrooms whenever he can to tell students his story.
   "We started the war and pushed all of Europe into tragedy," he said, unfolding a map in his apartment and recalling his battles in the swamps of Belarus as he advanced toward Moscow. "There can't be too much enlightenment on what happened. It's bitter and sad for us Germans, but we have to face it. I just don't want to be perceived as this old guy talking about an old war."
   Skoecz was banned from a local soccer league after refusing to join the Hitler Youth corps. He was drafted into the army soon afterward and, like many Germans who witnessed anti-Semitism in schools and in their jobs, says he was unaware of the atrocities by the Nazis. It wasn't until he read newspapers in a Russian POW camp in the late 1940s that he says he learned of the Holocaust.
   "We thought the Jews were just being sent east to dig ditches and build bridges," Skoecz said. He paused. It was useless to seek words. Then he added: "We damaged the continent, but over the years we Germans have become accepted again. But we shouldn't open our mouths too much to try to play the 'big guy.' We should be modest and keep quiet."
   Harri Czepuck's German artillery unit fought the Red Army south of Berlin near Frankfurt an der Oder in the spring of 1945. Russian forces pressed in from the east and north and circled the capital and the German ranks
collapsed. In the region around Halbe, the remains of German soldiers are still being found in scattered fields and forests and given proper burials.
   "Our food ran out around April 20," said Czepuck, a retired journalist with a prodigious library in his home. "Everyone wanted to move west toward the Americans. No one wanted to be captured by the Russians. When our fuel ran out, we confiscated horses from local farmers to pull the cannons. But the Russian planes came and strafed the horses. We couldn't move the artillery, but we could eat the horses. Then we had cows pull the artillery, but the planes came again, so we ate the cows."
   Czepuck worries about today's Germany. He thinks it's too materialistic, too consumed again with being the biggest and strongest. He calls it the "German disease." He contemplates his boyhood, when a strange man with a stubby mustache rose to power on mesmerizing rhetoric.
   "It's complicated," said Czepuck, a broad-faced man with silver hair. "I went to a high school heavily influenced by the Nazis. They were sometimes stronger than my father's influence. I always tried to sneak around the Hitler Youth. But how can you sneak around the draft? Sometimes as a young man, you don't know what courage is. Is it courageous to join or not to join? At 17, how could I imagine what war was? It sounded like an adventure."
   Sussmilch, the Berlin survivor who wrote "In the Bunker," has questions of her own.
   "Who does God listen to?" she said, sitting with her husband near a bowl of cookies and a copy of her book. "As a child, I prayed to God for no air raids in Berlin. Then I imagined a British girl out there far away praying her war prayers. Who does he listen to?"
   More than 10,000 people hid in the bunker where Sussmilch, her mother and brother ran after their house was bombed. They were quickly ordered to leave the bunker and escape through the subway tunnels before the underground was flooded to prevent Russian tanks from navigating the rail lines. Thousands clattered through the darkness.
   Russian soldiers appeared in the tunnel one night. They took away wounded German soldiers and gathered women on a platform. Sussmilch and her family hid in a subway car.
   "They forced the women to drink alcohol," she said. "Their voices didn't sound human anymore. You wouldn't believe what they did with the bottles. It was a night you couldn't imagine."
   In the morning, the women, their skirts hiked up and swastikas carved in their thighs, lay dead on the platform. Sussmilch and her family crept past them and toward the light.
   Sussmilch's mother would later die in a mental hospital; her brother would disappear to start a new life.

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Page 20
what are we doing in Iraq???

May 7, 2005 Los Angeles Times
THE WORLD
From Sorrow to 60 in 5.8 Seconds

By Ashraf Khalil, Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — Screeching tires are about the last thing you want to hear these days in Iraq. Too often they signal a car bomber zeroing in on his target, or wary drivers fleeing from danger.
   But for the 200 or so young men who gathered Friday to watch drag races in the park next to Baghdad University, the squeal and smell of burning rubber were symbols of their country's new freedom — and a relief from the day-to-day violence.
   Plus, it's really cool to drive fast.
   "I love this!" yelled Hussein Matrout, moments after botching the slalom course.
   The 21-year-old mechanic had lost control of his souped-up BMW and spun out, winging a couple of tire barriers. Rather than rush through the rest of the slalom, he turned a couple of skidding doughnuts before cruising to the finish line amid the jeers of spectators urging Matrout, "Get out and never race again!"


BURNING DEVOTION: Car rallies at a Baghdad park have drawn a hard-core following in Iraq, where the competitions are a symbol of newfound freedoms and a relief from the realities of war.
(Saad Khalaf / For The Times)
   Between races, young men gathered in chattering groups, popping hoods and comparing rides. Custom paint jobs, wraparound shades and gelled hair gleamed in the spring sun, and muscle shirts bulged.
   Mohammed Ibrahim, 28, a Jordanian-born mechanic, was dressed like a rock star: black on black on black, multiple silver rings and a mullet hairdo. Of his four cars — "all American," he boasted — his pride and joy was a white Camaro with racing stripes and skull decals.
   For these gearheads, the races at Jadriya Park every Friday — the Muslim holy day and most everybody's day off here — satisfy a long obsession with all things automotive. It wasn't until Saddam Hussein was ousted by the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that their passions could pick up speed.
   Years of United Nations sanctions and a near-monopoly on the imported-car market by cronies of Hussein's son Uday greatly limited the number of vehicles coming into Iraq. Small groups of aficionados tinkered in semi-secret garages and indulged their racing addictions in abandoned industrial areas.
   Uday and his inner circle were themselves car fanatics, cruising around the upper-class Mansour district of Baghdad in their Porsches, Lamborghinis and Camaros. Uday was notorious for confiscating anyone else's car he liked — especially Corvettes.
   "Everybody was afraid for his car," said Yasser, an army sergeant who requested that his last name not be used. "If Uday found it, he would take it for himself."
   But Hussein's fall brought a new era. With no real border restrictions or customs, and no Hussein-family mafia controlling the market, cars and parts flooded into the country.
   In early 2004, the Iraqi Autosports Club was formed and the group began searching for a suitable track.
   Street racing is not an option in Baghdad, with its constant traffic jams and its roadblocks and barriers to slow down car bombers. The city's well-armed police, army and U.S. checkpoints mean any potential speed demon is taking his life in his hands.
   Matrout proudly recounted what happened when he was caught peeling rubber on a Baghdad street last month.
   "The police thought I was a car bomber," he said. "They were so mad at me for scaring them that they threw me in jail for two days."
   The car club finally secured a home at Jadriya Park several months ago, and the Friday morning rallies have gained a hard-core following. Events include the slalom and a 400-meter drag race, followed by the so-called display portion, which consists mostly of drivers wheeling in circles until their tires shred.
   But even on this festive morning, the realities of life in a shattered and fearful city were never far away. Police cruisers patrolled the edges of the crowd, and a U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle was visible on a nearby hilltop.
   "We need to release our sadness and our concerns over everything that's happening," said Ali Adil, a 21-year-old college student who won Friday's drag race in his 1998 Toyota Celica. "This is a safe place. It's guarded. There's inspections. We can relax here."
   Almost every car at the rally seemed to have been the recipient of hours and hours of loving care, some with chrome hubcaps, turbocharged engines and painted flames.
   Then there was the guy driving the "Brazili," slang for a Brazilian-made Volkswagen Passat, one of the most common cars in Iraq. The battered sedan stuck out by a mile: The would-be racer looked like he'd borrowed Mom's car.
   For the drag race competition, crowds gathered around the finish line as racers came screaming past in pairs. Every new finish brought a new round of cheers, jeers and applause.
   Halfway through the competition, the spectators exploded in shock and laughter. Grown men danced in place.
   The Brazili had won its heat.

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Page 21
what are we doing in iraq???

May 7, 2005 Los Angeles Times
THE WORLD
A Somber Realization in Battlefields of Bones
Volunteer searchers come face to face with the enormity of the toll Nazis exacted in Russia.
By Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer

MOZHAYSK, Russia — The first shoots of spring grass have emerged in this sunny field, abandoned years ago when the collective farm next door shut down. Every year now, the birch and fir forest creeps a little farther into the meadow, covering its secrets with a canopy of boughs and murmuring leaves.
   Every spring, when the snow has melted, the searchers come armed with shovels and spades, metal detectors and long steel probes, coaxing the field to give up its bones. This spring, they have been working for two weeks, and already there is a neat pile of ribs, thigh bones, broken skulls and bits of pelvis laid out on a plastic sheet: the remains of 94 men.
   In 10 years of springs, workers have unearthed the bones of more than 2,000 other men from this field steeped in birdsong and memory. By all accounts, at least 9,000 more died here during 15 horrific days in February 1942, when Russia's 32nd Rifle Division stood alone in the dead of winter as a tightening noose of German forces encircled, froze, starved and finally slaughtered them.


LONGTIME VOLUNTEER: Yelena Pavlova-Roslyakova, a Moscow police captain, is one of the diggers at a field in Mozhaysk, outside the capital. At least 11,000 Russian soldiers are believed to have died there in a battle with German forces in February 1942.
(Sergei L. Loiko / LAT)
   The searchers know where many of them are — broken skeletons lie scattered on the forest floor, or piled in trenches no one has time to sift. And time is what it takes. In much of the world, the casualties of World War II lie under rows of neat white military crosses, but here in Russia, millions still lie where they fell.
   A war that killed an estimated 26 million Russians — more than 60 times the number of American casualties — may never give up all its dead. But it won't be because no one looked for them. For decades, teams of searchers have patiently sifted the muddy spring soil of Russia's miserable battlefields, searching for ID tags or a name scratched on a bent spoon.
   "When we started looking at the number of families who, 40 years after the war, now 60 years after the war, knew nothing about their men, I was shocked at what we discovered," Yuri Smirnov, chairman of the Union of Search Teams of Russia, said this week as he oversaw a group of volunteers, some as young as 12.
   "It turned out there are not dozens or hundreds of thousands of people missing, but millions," Smirnov said. "It turned out that from Brest in the west to Sakhalin, the country is covered with bones. And I decided I should devote myself to looking for these people."
   So many Russians died during the nation's fateful arrest of Hitler's army on the eastern front that it would be impossible to ever completely record their fates. More than a million are believed to have died in Leningrad when the Third Reich army besieged the city for 30 months; a million or more were killed in the hellish battles of Stalingrad. Battlefields across thousands of square miles were littered with Russian boys whose bodies piled up as barriers to the advancing Germans.
   After these battles, Germany put prisoners to work shoveling the bodies into mass graves, or Soviet commanders enlisted villagers to push them into tank trenches and bomb craters. Many were left to the thieving crows.
   Smirnov and his colleagues initially tried to compile a national database of the missing soldiers. In the late 1990s, they took out newspaper ads with registration forms and painstakingly recorded the names of troops, the names of survivors, the names and locations of military units. They entered the data into a computer, and "stopped counting when we reached a million," Smirnov said. The search teams began matching five to seven sets of bones with families per day.
   But the database was lost when police, looking for evidence of trafficking in World War II-era arms, raided Smirnov's house and office in 2000. Later, when Smirnov was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, police refused to return the data, saying it could fall into the wrong hands.
   Only once, in 1995, has the government made a small allocation for the diggings; otherwise the work is funded almost exclusively through private donations.
   "Big bureaucrats tell us: 'Why do you keep digging, boys? Who needs it? The people who needed it all died long ago.' But we receive letters not just from wives, not just from children, but from grandchildren," Smirnov said. "After we lost our database, a lot of our people lost their morale."
   Smirnov and his colleagues have their own explanation as to why the police confiscated the records.
   Konstantin Stepanchikov, who has written several books on Russia's war history and is a consultant to the searchers, believes that a thorough accounting could greatly inflate the government's official estimate of 8.6 million battle deaths for the Soviet army. The higher toll, he said, would reveal the degree to which Hitler's defeat may have been due as much to the willingness of Soviet commanders to sacrifice staggering numbers of soldiers as to their shrewdness in battle.
   "One officer I know estimates the number of military losses at 14 million. And I tend to agree with him," Stepanchikov said. Estimates of civilian casualties range from 7 million to 19 million.
   Many searchers believe that the issue of compensation has been a factor in the government's unwillingness to finance, organize or equip their excavations. Soviet-era government payments of 5 rubles a month for families with relatives killed in action could have grown by billions of dollars, according to Smirnov's calculations.
   Like the work at most of the old Soviet battlefields, the search at Mozhaysk, in the area known alternately as the Valley of Glory and the Valley of Death, is conducted in large part by young volunteers, who do three-week stints in the harsh conditions of forest and field camps.
   Many of the volunteers had a grandparent who died in the war; some were sent by parents who thought a battlefield of bones would straighten out the incorrigible.
   "As soon as a child comes here for the first time, he's faced with all the weather difficulties here, the military discipline, and finally, when he excavates remains with his own hands, his thinking changes completely. He begins to grow interested in his history," said Yevgeny Shtukaturov, who leads a Moscow-area search club working at Mozhaysk.
   "My children were 16 and 12 when I first started bringing them here," said Yelena Pavlova-Roslyakova, a Moscow police captain who was digging during her vacation. Now, years later, "my youngest son has his own military patriotic club."
   Fourteen-year-old Igor Lazarev was one of about 20 searchers who had traveled from Saratov, on the Volga River, the original home of the 32nd Rifle Division.
   Most of his friends, Lazarev said, have no idea what drove him to come. "They can't understand how digging could be interesting," he said. "But I'm here to find the soldiers who died here. They died for us. They need to be buried."
   At night, young diggers tell of the footsteps they've heard out on the edge of the forest at night. Some say they know diggers who squinted into the morning fog and saw rows of men trudging into the trees.
   Many said they felt a kinship with those who had died here. For others, the search means coming to terms with a long-ago war that, even now, seems an inevitable part of what it means to be Russian.
   "You need to come here to do it, if only once," said Vladimir Kharlov, a 40-year-old digger who traveled from the town of Shadrinsk, in the Urals. "You need to bring all this through your nervous system, through your heart. You need to see it with your own eyes when a grandmother after 60 years gets the documents that show what happened to her husband, how she receives it with tears in her eyes. You need to see the people who are still waiting for news."
   As best the historians can tell, the 32nd pushed ahead to Mozhaysk after fighting the Germans for weeks at the legendary battlefield of Borodino, where Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov had confronted Napoleon's army in 1812. Some credit the division's efforts with holding back the Germans on the Moscow-Minsk highway long enough to save the capital.
   In December 1941, Soviet troops, their backs against Moscow, launched a massive counteroffensive that helped turn the tide of the war. The 32nd pushed deep into German lines west of the city, but got so far ahead of the front that it became isolated at Mozhaysk. By February, it was nearly encircled by powerfully equipped German forces.
   The men were able to get some poorly outfitted reinforcements, but in a furious exchange of mortar rounds, artillery, submachine-gun and rifle fire that lasted Feb. 6 through Feb. 20, only 10% to 20% of the 32nd's estimated 14,000 soldiers escaped.
   Working on this field for the last 10 years, searchers have been able to identify only about one in 100 of the skeletons they have recovered. The small plastic ID capsules worn by soldiers at the time are vulnerable to water and rot, and many troops refused to even wear them, convinced they were a death sentence, searchers say.
   Of the 94 sets of remains uncovered this year, three had the capsules, one of which was legible. It belonged to Pavel Potilytsen, a 36-year-old soldier from the village of Bateni in the Krasnoyarsk region. His skeleton was found clutching a pair of binoculars, and the amount of shrapnel among his bones indicated he probably had been killed by a grenade.
   Also partially identified were the remains of a young German soldier, who belonged to the 2nd Reserve Company of the 8th Motorized Infantry Regiment. His name wasn't legible. He was from Berlin.
   The helmets, binoculars and shrapnel are all stacked next to the bones, which are laid out neatly in rows, arm bones with arm bones, jaws with jaws, skulls with skulls. A torn boot sits to one side.
   Shtukaturov surveys the grim fruits of the team's labor. "Here the boys lie," he says with a sigh.
   On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Russians will attend military parades, fireworks displays, art shows and film festivals aimed at remembering the events of 60 years ago. Some will simply keep searching these quiet fields.

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Page 22
"documentary team ZBriski and RKauffman extend their Calcutta red-light project: children become photographers and are pushed towards school -the whole a broadside on incested prostitution, poverty, ignorance and failure"
(-my review of the 4-star film)

May 2005 Smithsonian Magazine
AN OSCAR-WINNING DOCUMENTARY SHOWCASES THE RESILIENCE -AND VISION- OF TALENTED INDIAN CHILDREN BORN IN THE CITY'S BROTHELS
BY ANDREW CURRY

Young Eyes on Calcutta
British documentary filmmaker Zana Briski and collaborator Ross Kauffman's Academy Award winning documentary chronicals the resilience and vision of children in a Calcutta red-light district

On a trip to Calcutta in 1997, Zana Briski visited the Sonagachi neighborhood, the oldest and largest red-light district in Calcutta. She was intrigued by its warren of brothels and other illegal businesses. Over the next two years the British-born photojournalist kept going back to get closer to the prostitutes and brothel owners whose lives she hoped to document. "Photography there is completely taboo," says Briski, 38, who now lives in New York City. "People there don't usually see Westerners, let alone people with cameras." She spent countless hours with the women, ultimately even convincing one brothel owner to rent her a room. "The women trusted me," she says.

As Briski worked, she was surprised that children—most of them sons and daughters of prostitutes—would surround her, fascinated by


"Babai" Photographer: Kochi, 13
Kochi lives in a Calcutta boarding school, where she has learned English. "I feel shy taking pictures outside," she says. "People taunt us. They say, 'Where did they bring those cameras from?'"
her camera. So she started teaching them to take pictures, setting up weekly classes and giving them cheap, point-and-shoot cameras with which to experiment. Their snapshots—arresting portraits of their families, each other and the surrounding streets—capture a chaotic world as few outsiders could.

Briski pressed on, securing grants to fund her efforts, soon dubbed Kids with Cameras, and arranging to sell the kids' photographs in Calcutta and New York City galleries. The pictures attracted attention. "These children have what adults most often don't: total openness," says Robert Pledge, co-founder of the Contact Press Images agency. Briski persuaded Pledge to meet the children, and he was soon convinced that the pictures had genuine merit. "Most photography is observation, from the outside," he says. "You're very rarely inside, looking from the inside out."

But teaching photography wasn't enough. Briski plunged full time into trying to help several of the kids get into private schools—all the while videotaping her efforts and their struggles. For two years beginning in 2002, Briski and New York-based filmmaker Ross Kauffman shot 170 hours of video of the children. Just walking through Sonagachi with a camera invited trouble, Kauffman says. "It was always a very tenuous situation. We had to be careful of when and how and who we were shooting. A fight could explode at any time because of the cameras, because of anything."

This past February, the resulting documentary, Born into Brothels, added an Academy Award for Best documentary feature to its more than 20 other awards, including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. New York Times critic A. O. Scott called the 85-minute film "moving, charming and sad, a tribute...to the irrepressible creative spirits of the children themselves."

Briski and Kauffman, to preserve the subjects' anonymity, have chosen not to screen the film in India, though aid workers in Calcutta say that the children's identities are no secret; their names have been widely reported in the Indian press and the kids have appeared on Indian television. Critics there complain that Briski didn't sufficiently credit aid workers who helped her, and that her approach—taking the children out of their brothel homes and placing them in boarding schools—was presumptuous.

To be sure, her movie documents that some of the kids she sponsored dropped out of school. But she remains committed to her original vision of educating the children, and plans to go back to Calcutta this spring, where she hopes to open a small school for children like those in the film, with a curriculum that will focus on arts and leadership. She also wants to expand Kids with Cameras to Haiti and Egypt.

For children in Sonagachi and other Indian brothels, the cycle of poverty and

prostitution is difficult to break. According to India's National Human Rights Commission, hundreds of thousands of Indian women work as prostitutes; some Indian aid organizations place the estimate as high as 15.5 million. Almost half of them began working as children. "The numbers have gone up and the ages have gone down," says Ruchira Gupta, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker who in 1997 founded Calcutta-based Apne Aap Women Worldwide to help Indian prostitutes. Gupta says brothel owners and pimps often press young women to have babies, making them more financially dependent on the brothel. "When mothers die of AIDS or other diseases," Gupta adds, "their daughters are immediately brought in."

In Born into Brothels, Briski's star student is Avijit, whose self-portraits and street scenes so impressed Pledge that he arranges for the boy to visit the

World Press Photo Children's Competition in Amsterdam. But when Avijit's mother is killed by a pimp, the pudgy 12-year-old drifts away, skips photography classes and stops taking pictures.

Briski, in a final effort to rescue the boy, finds Avijit and takes him to get a passport the day before he is to leave for Amsterdam. Avijit makes the journey from Sonagachi to Amsterdam, and to see him discussing photography with children from around the world in the exhibition's crowded halls is to see raw potential released. "Children at that age can so easily go in one or another direction," says Pledge. "That environment isn't specific to India, or to red-light districts. All kids have amazing learning abilities, and they're being robbed constantly in all parts of the world—sometimes not that far away."

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... "High-ranking Army officers were so convinced of a potential Red-led revolution" that they secretly studied, for immediate use, the deadly tactics of the German officers who used aircraft to machine-gun rioters in Weimar Germany...Almost all photographs of these vets prominently show African Americans. Perhaps more than anything else, the prospect of disaffected blacks and whites uniting terrified Washington. Gen. George Van Horn Moseley, MacArthur's chief of intelligence, called the vets "drifters, dope fiends, unfortunates and degenerates." It also was assumed that they were Communists if they had "a Jewish name or a black face"...

April 24, 2005 Los Angeles Times
The last war of brothers in arms
Book review by Clancy Sigal, screenwriter and novelist, [and] veteran of the U.S. Army.

The Bonus Army
An American Epic

Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen Walker & Co.: 370 pp., $27

The last great cavalry charge in the United States occurred within sight of the White House on a hot July day in 1932. It was led by saber-wielding Maj. George S. Patton Jr. under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Mounted troopers were followed by tanks, machine gunners and soldiers with fixed bayonets hurling teargas bombs. The enemy was an "army" of more than 20,000 of the poorest American civilians — unarmed, gaunt, sometimes wounded or shellshocked veterans of World War I, their wives and children.

This so-called Bonus Army had traveled by boxcars and thumb to Washington in late spring to peacefully petition Congress for an early release of promised war service "bonus" payments of $600 each that would save many of them from starvation. Because of budget wrangling, their bonus had been deferred until 1945. President Hoover refused to see these "bums, pacifists and radicals," and locked the White House gates against them. He ordered MacArthur to forcibly expel the vets and their families from shantytowns named "Hoovervilles" along the Anacostia River, igniting the bloody Battle of Anacostia Flats.

In cities and towns across America, most people were sympathetic to the bonus marchers and had offered handouts and dollar bills. But members of the Washington establishment, especially in the War Department, were so gripped by fear of a revolution and the radical potential of organized veterans — as happened in fascist Germany and Italy — that they lost their cool entirely. With the exception of some Marines, especially fiery Quantico commandant Gen. Smedley Butler, the military officer class, led by MacArthur, were prepared to kill their former comrades without scruple. Patton was especially thirsty for the blood of the "bums" he'd fought with in France, including the very soldier, by then down and out, who had saved his life. "Use the bayonets," Patton urged his troops. "If they resist they must be killed."

"The Bonus Army," a haunting, compellingly written and marvelously researched book, is an important contribution to American history. Today the actions of these veterans is virtually unknown. Yet the fight on the Capitol steps is contemporary dynamite.

Co-authors Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen end on a note of triumph with passage during World War II of the GI Bill of Rights, which laid the educational and technological basis for America's postwar prosperity. As they make clear, the GI Bill would have faced much rougher passage had it not been for memories of the defiant Bonus Army vets, who hung on in the face of negative news coverage, government propaganda and, in the end, the slashing bayonets of the U.S. Army.

Even newly elected President Roosevelt, who defeated Hoover — in large part due to public revulsion over the attack, which left 100 injured and several dead, including a 3-month-old child — opposed paying the bonus because it might cost too much and, in the words of one executive, "make mercenaries out of our patriotic boys." That callous attitude lingers in the present-day bureaucracies of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon. Ask any GI returning from Iraq, especially a National Guardsman, who has tried to navigate the veterans agency's medical red tape or obtain treatment for post-traumatic stress.

We've seen images of broken men shuffling in bread lines or selling apples on street corners during the Great Depression. But as Dickson and Allen illustrate, the "cruel year" of 1932 had pushed masses of Americans over the edge into rage and collective action. With a quarter of all families unemployed and banks foreclosing on homes and farms, "two million people wandered the country in a futile search for work." But the remarkably self-disciplined, single-purpose Bonus Army "knew where they were going and why they were going there."

Official Washington's paranoia was not altogether misplaced. "In the United States, there was open talk of domestic war," the authors declare. "Fear of … revolutionary unrest spread in the wake of the Ford Massacre," when auto company hit men fired into a crowd of strikers, killing four. "High-ranking

Army officers were so convinced of a potential Red-led revolution" that they secretly studied, for immediate use, the deadly tactics of the German officers who used aircraft to machine-gun rioters in Weimar Germany.

The Bonus Army was the inspired idea of one man, Walter Waters, a former sergeant down on his luck in Portland, Ore. At first nobody listened, but as conditions worsened, he organized 250 jobless veterans — who had only $30 among them — to start the cross-country trek. "The Oregon veterans joined hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and babies who were already on the move … walking, hitchhiking, hopping freights, heading somewhere, heading nowhere, looking for a meal, a job, a place to flop."

The idea took fire. Men wearing their ragged WWI uniforms and combat medals streamed toward Washington, D.C., from all corners of the nation. They perched on "boxcars, on coal gondolas, and on the sides of tank cars" in what Waters called "a struggle in passive resistance." They elected Workers Councils. And most extraordinary, the Bonus Army was racially integrated at a time when strict segregation was the rule elsewhere. Almost all photographs of these vets prominently show African Americans. Perhaps more than anything else, the prospect of disaffected blacks and whites uniting terrified Washington. Gen. George Van Horn Moseley, MacArthur's chief of intelligence, called the vets "drifters, dope fiends, unfortunates and degenerates." It also was assumed that they were Communists if they had "a Jewish name or a black face."

Communist veterans were real enough. They had their own agenda but often marched alongside the Bonus Army in their own (much smaller) formations. They were shunned by Waters' men, who on occasion ran them from camp. Eventually, Waters did try to organize vets into a fascist-like "Khaki Shirts" army. But most of his followers rallied under such imploring slogans as "We ask very little for what we gave." Thanks to Hoover's isolation from reality and Washington's unease about being invaded by hordes of the "forgotten men" and their hungry families, confrontation was inevitable. MacArthur, in pressed jodhpurs and freshly shined boots, struck poses for the cameras while his troops torched the veterans' Anacostia shantytowns. (He similarly ordered his closest aide, an uncomfortable-looking Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower, to be properly tailored for the bloodbath.)

On July 28, the Army attacked, bayoneting women and children, shooting veterans, brutalizing bystanders and torching the shantytowns. A Paramount Pictures newsreel of the Anacostia atrocity was shown later in movie houses nationwide to loud boos. FDR's election in November seemed assured.

When a second Bonus Army marched on Washington in 1933, Roosevelt shrewdly sent his wife, Eleanor, to hand out coffee and cookies and persuade the destitute vets to leave for a hastily prepared job-creation scheme in the Florida Keys. There, the biggest hurricane of the century smashed into their flimsy barracks and washed hundreds out to sea. Ernest Hemingway, a witness to the catastrophe, wrote furiously that Roosevelt "who sent those poor bonus march guys down there to get rid of them got rid of them all right."

It wasn't until 1935, over FDR's veto, that a "bonus" bill was finally passed. An army of postmen — many of them veterans themselves — swiftly delivered checks to families close to starvation and, in some cases, suicide.

The America we know today was built on the backs — and bodies — of the "bums, drunkards, riffraff, and crazy men" who made up the Bonus Army. Their despair and stick-to-it-iveness created a social climate in which veterans could no

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we will probably continue to eat meat, but in time, that may be produced by any number of futuristic, thus-far unconceived-of ways (or 'grown' replacements), ways that prevent and preempt the pain (not to say 'revulsion'(?) that we often associate with animal slaughter. be that what it be then, there is a profound difference between such 'intellectualization' and "experiencing the thrill of the hunt, the boredom, everything that goes with it" which -if one examines the 'salivation' that attaches it carefully enough, accounts for Abu Ghraib -et cetera, et cetera.

perryb that

April 22, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Online Hunting Firm Is Now the Quarry
Lawmakers nationwide are targeting a website that allows computer users to fire at game roaming a Texas ranch.
By Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — So far, John Lockwood has had only two customers for his new Internet-based business, yet lawmakers in California, 14 other states and Congress are moving to shut it down.
   Lockwood operates a website — live-shot.com — that for a few hundred dollars lets anyone with access to a computer shoot and kill a variety of animals roaming a fenced ranch in Texas.
   A rifle, video camera and computer are mounted on a stand at the ranch at a spot frequented by deer, antelope and sheep. From thousands of miles away, via computer, a person can control the camera and gun, firing with a click of the mouse.
   Even if Lockwood doesn't yet have customers lining up around the block, the mere notion that a venue exists for remote-controlled killing has triggered a backlash of disgust, compelling lawmakers and forging an unlikely coalition of big- game hunters and animal rights activists.


John Lockwood explains how Internet users can fire a rifle located on a 300-acre ranch in Texas. (Jack Plunkett / AFP/Getty Images)
   Lockwood's venture has offended sensibilities even in Texas, where many private hunting ranches promise clients they can bag exotic trophy animals such as impala and wildebeest.
   "It's not hunting," said Kirby L. Brown, executive vice president of the Texas Wildlife Assn., which represents landowners, hunters and conservationists. "It falls off of the end of the ethical chart."
   Scholars such as Dale Jamieson, a professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York
University, also see Lockwood's business as an understandable, if disturbing, extension of a computer society where popular video games such as "Grand Theft Auto" let players pretend to kill police officers.
   Jamieson said people feel threatened by Lockwood's business, much as they do violent video games, because both involve an unseemly delight in killing. Lockwood's business, he said, undermines the central argument in defense of hunting: that the joy of the sport comes in the chase and in being attuned to the natural world, but not in the kill itself.
   "If you look at this as being kind of a continuum or slippery slope," said Jamieson, "you have people who enjoy the act of killing and destruction in video games, you have people who enjoy killing animals over the Internet…. But of course the next step in this is that people start killing people over the Internet. That's the worry."
   In February, state Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey) introduced SB 1028 to forbid Californians to use Lockwood's website or starting a similar business. The bill faces a vote in the full Senate today.
   Bowen said she shares a concern about where Internet hunting might lead. "What happens if this technology gets expanded to other uses?" she said. "It's actually pretty scary.
   "What's the line between real life and a video game? It has all the video game feel: It's remote, it's disconnected from the reality of it, the hunter doesn't have to deal with any blood or wounding or tracking."
   In Congress on Tuesday, Rep. Thomas M. Davis (R-Va.) introduced a bill to make Internet hunting punishable by up to five years in prison. Lawmakers in Texas, Maine and other states have also introduced bills, some that would require hunters to be in physical control of their weapons, others that make it illegal to kill a bird or animal by remote control or via an Internet connection. Virginia has already imposed such a law.
   Lockwood, 40, a body shop estimator in San Antonio whose website also offers target shooting, stands alone in the face of the backlash. He has no outspoken supporter, but he is ever willing to defend his business.
   "I think they have a misconception about what it is," Lockwood said. "They think it's a slaughterhouse. They think I'm going to decimate the animal population. It's unethical because all I'm trying to do is kill things."
   But Lockwood said the animals on the 300-acre ranch, which is owned by a friend and located 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, are essentially wild and easily spooked. The only difference between an Internet customer and one who visits the ranch to hunt, Lockwood said, is that the electronic customers can't walk the land and their view is limited to a narrow camera viewfinder.
   Lockwood or one of his employees is always at the camera during a "hunt" to control the rifle safety and make sure a shot is clean and that nothing is in the way.
   "Hunting is different for everybody," he said. "And everybody has their own idea of what they think is ethical."
   The idea was born last year when Lockwood showed a friend a video he took while hunting. The friend mused that there must be a way to hook up a gun to a camera. Lockwood said he was also inspired by http://www.fantasyhunt.com , where people "hunt" by clicking a mouse to take photos with a network of cameras set up in places frequented by wildlife.
   Lockwood argued that legislators haven't taken the time to understand how his business can help disabled people or soldiers stationed overseas enjoy the thrill of hunting. He said he has received inquiries from soldiers in Iraq and Spain, including one who said he was less interested in hunting than in getting meat to his family.
   "Most people would prefer to be out there," said Lockwood. "But I do get many, many e-mails from those who can't. Why deny those people that opportunity?"
   Lockwood features blackbuck antelope from India, fallow deer from Europe, Barbary sheep from Africa and a variety of other sheep, as well as wild hogs and native Texas white-tail deer, in season. But he is also willing, he said, to import any animal a hunter is interested in bagging. Meat processing and taxidermy services are also available for an extra charge.
   In Lockwood's first Internet hunt in January, recorded by a German television crew, one of his friends shot a wild hog while sitting at a computer 45 miles away. Lockwood, at the ranch, killed the boar with two more shots.
   In the second hunt, last weekend, Dale Hagberg of Ligonier, Ind., got three clear shots at a fallow deer over two days of hunting. He came away empty-handed.
   An avid hunter before he was paralyzed below the neck in a diving accident 17 years ago, Hagberg had sought a blackbuck, but it never showed — perhaps sensing that Lockwood and several news reporters stood in the blind near the rifle.
   Each time Hagberg had a clear shot at a fallow deer, the deer moved before Hagberg could use his tongue and mouth to manipulate the joystick that activated the trigger.
   "It was disappointing that he didn't get a shot, but the excitement was there for him to get so, so close," Lockwood said.
   Hagberg, he said, plans to buy a faster computer and hunt again.
   Lockwood points to the failure of Hagberg's hunt as proof that it is truly a "hunt," complete with hours of idle waiting for prey and ample opportunity for it to escape.
   "It's not about killing something," he said. "It's about experiencing the thrill of the hunt, the boredom, everything that goes with it."
   But Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, called it "pay-per-view slaughter."
   "This is a dangerous concept," he said, "because people may treat this like a video game, and it's reality for the animals that are gunned down and slaughtered."
   Though Republicans in other parts of the country have sponsored and voted for bills to ban Internet hunting, GOP lawmakers in California have so far opposed it. The Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee passed Bowen's bill April 5 on a 7-4 vote, with all four Republicans voting against it.
   One of those Republicans, Sen. Sam Aanestad of Grass Valley, is troubled that Bowen's bill goes beyond banning Internet hunting in California to ban
residents from paying to hunt with Lockwood, said spokesman Bill Bird.
   Aanestad "has a problem with any legislation that restricts customers from doing business with a legitimate company," Bird said.
   Even if lawmakers bring an end to his Internet hunting venture, Lockwood said his online target-hunting business — $14.95 for a 30-day membership plus $5.95 for 10 shots — will survive, he said.
   "The part that saddens me the most," Lockwood said, "is they want to ban something that they're not interested in finding the truth about."

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Note: most of the people on this listserve are outside of los angeles times readership.

April 17, 2005 Los Angeles Times
On the medical front
Book Review By Eric Lax, author, most recently, of "The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle."

Bleeding Blue and Gray
Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine
Ira M. Rutkow Random House: 396 pp., $27.95

"Long trains of ambulances, dripping with their gory burdens, were continually arriving at the designated spots for field hospitals," a witness to the 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in Virginia reported. "Some of the sufferers were pale and silent, the life-blood nearly exhausted; some were mutilated with the most frightful wounds; prayers, sighs, groans were heard on all sides. The surgeons, bloodstained to the elbows, were busy with knife and probe. Piles of arms, legs, hands, feet, and fingers covered the ground." And this was the good news. As Ira M. Rutkow writes in "Bleeding Blue and Gray," an excellent instance of medical history with equal emphasis on medicine and history, the commentator was describing how much patient care had improved since the start of the Civil War and the First Battle of Bull Run — or the Battle of First Manassas — in July 1861.

In that sorry conflict, Rutkow points out, "with few available surgical supplies and no plans in place to evacuate casualties, the injured lay for days on the ground where they fell, suffocating in their own vomit and delirious from infection. Many received neither medical attention nor so much as a mouthful of water." Nor was there any coordinated medical care or even an approach to care. In the early 1860s, there was no cohesive American medical community but rather combatant medical camps; homeopaths and spiritualists demanded equality with traditional physicians, who themselves lacked understanding of communicable diseases and human physiology.

"Modern" medicine is by definition limited to what is known at the present. However painful and primitive the treatment in the mid-19th century, it was the norm. Treatments were generally the same herbal and mineral concoctions in use since the time of Hippocrates; the insistence by a leading American physician, Benjamin Rush, on bleeding, blistering and purging for every imaginable ailment brought about tens if not hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in the preceding century. As unenlightened as those practices seem to us, today's treatments also may be viewed by future physicians with dismay. Civil War doctors did the best they could with the knowledge they had.

It would not be until the end of the war, in 1865, that English surgeon Joseph Lister would introduce antiseptic into operating rooms and thus vastly lower the almost 50% fatality rate of surgery; it would not be until 1877 that Louis Pasteur would show that killer organisms rendered harmless could provide immunity against any number of diseases; and it would not be until 1880 that German scientist Robert Koch would show that microorganisms were the root of disease, not the result. Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was first tried on a human in 1941 and not widely available until 1943 (and then reserved mostly for soldiers). Until the advent of antibiotics, about the best a doctor could do when confronted with a gangrenous limb was to amputate above the infection to prevent an agonizing death.

About 600,000 Americans died in the Civil War; almost as many were left debilitated or disfigured, generally by amputation. Daily conditions in the military camps rivaled the carnage on the battlefield for hellishness. By May 1862, dysentery and other epidemic diseases largely caused by troops drinking water contaminated by human waste had left one-fifth of the Union Army too ill to fight.

But "Bleeding Blue and Gray" is more than a compendium of illness and gore. Rutkow, a clinical professor of surgery at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, has written three highly regarded books about progress in the operating room, including "Surgery: An Illustrated History." Here, his vivid descriptions of battles and of the horrors faced by soldiers and surgeons are matched by equally vivid accounts of the political battles in Washington, D.C., over the direction of military medicine.

The second front of the Civil War was fought in Washington over who would control military medical care — politicians or physicians. Especially interesting is Rutkow's recounting of the feud between Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Surgeon General William Alexander Hammond. Their surrogates abetted the pair's contentious scramble for primacy in medicine and political power with dubious reports and scabrous assertions to the public and to a U.S. Congress that as late as 1862 had no sense of the breadth and brutality of the war.

Rutkow weaves stories of the battlefield and of Washington infighting through character sketches that bring his tale to life, in particular the vast assistance offered by the U.S. Sanitary Commission and its tens of thousands of volunteers, including Louisa May Alcott. He shows the contribution to improved medical care made by Frederick Law Olmsted, better known for his design of New York's Central Park.

This massively researched, clearly written history is an important contribution to Civil War scholarship. It is also an inviting read for anyone who enjoys peering through a portal to the past. One can only be grateful that whatever the failings of modern medicine, it is unlikely that any of us, as did so many during the Civil War, will ever lie on a makeshift table in a muddy field as a doctor with filthy hands, his clothes soaked with the blood of other unfortunates, takes a saw to one of our unanesthetized limbs. •

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Some will argue (for example) "If we don't give the children some kind of religious training, how will they know right from wrong?" -for which you can try either EO Wilson's The Biological Basis of Morality or the possible superfluity of teaching (eg) 'morality' -Out Of Time from Smithsonian Magazine

April 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
African Catholics Seek a Voice to Match Their Growing Strength
Catholicism: The state of the church worldwide
By Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer

LAGOS, Nigeria — A fierce competition for souls is on in Lagos. In this sprawling capital that seems glued together out of scraps of rusted iron, plywood and torn posters, the immortal combat is being waged on faded billboards so closely planted along the highway that it's difficult to make them out as they flash by: Divine Harvest! Holy Fire! Winners Chapel! Victorious Family! Champions Chapel! Miracle Explosion!
   None of the posters is for the Roman Catholic Church, which is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else. Father George Ehusani, secretary-general of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, hardly needs to advertise, when the church's biggest challenge is not attracting people but dealing with the growth.
   The number of African Catholics has increased 30% in a decade, to more than 130 million, served by 426 bishops and more than 27,000 priests. In Nigeria, with about 25 million Catholics in a population of about 137 million, congregations spill out onto benches outside most Catholic, churches, even with five or six Masses on Sundays.


AT MASS: Schoolchildren in Soweto, South Africa, pray for the pope. The continent has more than 130 million Catholics. (Gianluigi Guercia / AFP / Getty Images)
   The phenomenal growth brings ambitions, and not only for an African pope when the College of Cardinals convenes next week. Catholics here are also eager to dispatch a wave of African priests, generally conservative, to an increasingly secular Europe and United States, just as white missionaries once arrived on African shores.
   Their time, these Africans believe, has come.
   But the growth, attributed to high birthrates and Irish missionaries' proselytizing in schools, is also creating problems. Thinly stretched priests are barely able to serve their own congregation's needs, leading some neglected Catholics to turn instead to the less restrictive — and even faster-growing — evangelical Protestant churches.
   Catholic clerics also face cultural pressures from those rival churches, where no preacher will get upset when a worshiper shouts out hallelujahs, sings, dances or drums any time they feel moved by the Holy Spirit.
   Ehusani acknowledges that growth hasn't come without difficulties.
   "You go to Catholic churches in this country and they're all overfull. If you are five or 10 minutes late, you will hardly find a seat," he said. "Some are not happy that there's not enough dancing and there's not enough miracles, and they move on. But their seats are taken by others."
   But, he admitted: "You can have some problems with quality when you have large numbers. Some of the needs that the Pentecostal preachers are meeting, we have not been able to meet, and I humbly admit that."
   With thousands of people being confirmed into the faith, Ehusani said, priests can't hope to interview each one. And with thousands of followers in each parish, there is no hope of visiting each sick and dying person, as many believers expect.
   Father Innocent Opogah serves a parish of 4,000 people at Badagri, about 30 miles west of Lagos. The 30-year-old struggles to handle his duties, which include ministering to 13 distant villages.
   One of his most difficult jobs, he said, is to make people understand the limits of incorporating traditional African culture into the church.
   Since the late 1960s and '70s, there has been a move to make a place for local language, drums, tambourines and traditional costumes, a process the church calls inculturation.
   "Trying to explain inculturation to the people is not very easy," Opogah said. "As Africans, we love to sing. Now this has been accepted. We can sing, dance, beat drums. But these are checked.
   "Some say, 'The Holy Spirit moved me to sing at this time.' That is where it is difficult to explain to the people that at certain times you can't do certain things. With burials, some say, 'We want to open the coffin and dance around it and sing.' We say, 'No, no, no, we don't do that in the Catholic Mass.' Things like that we reject. Maybe that is why the church is seen as being too strict."
   Eleven of the 115 cardinals who will choose the next pope are from Africa.
Nigerians, even Muslims, fervently hope that Cardinal Francis Arinze, born of non-Christian parents in a mud house in the Nigerian village of Eziowelle, will be elevated to the papacy. Arinze is a conservative who argues that politicians who support abortion and homosexual rights must be denied Holy Communion.
   But at least three Catholic leaders in Africa — Archbishop Theodore Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg, South Africa and Cardinal Bernard Agre of Abidjan, Ivory Coast — say they believe it is unlikely that an African will be chosen to be the new pope.
   Tlhagale has said the Vatican is like a train that cannot make sharp turns, and that though the cardinals were happy to have many Catholics in Africa, "they don't think we are ready for high positions. They fear paganism might come through the back door."
   But across the faiths, Africans are tired of waiting.
   One recent sweltering evening, in his plywood shack of a church in Owode Ajegunle on the outskirts of Lagos, a young Pentecostal evangelist, Pastor Steve Ahanotu, boomed his own message into his microphone before a swaying congregation.
   "This is the time of the African," he declared, as overhead fans decked with curling ribbons swirled. "The Europeans have had their time, the Asians have had their time, the Americans have had their time. The black man is going to read the last Gospel before the coming of Christ. That is why the most vibrant churches in the world are pastored by blacks. It's our time."
   Ahanotu, 39, encapsulates the hurtling journey through faith that many African families have made. He was raised a Catholic by his mother, who practiced it along with traditional African beliefs.
   But the rosaries, the confessions, the coming and going to church while banking on old beliefs seemed too half-hearted to Ahanotu. At 17, he embraced the Redeemed Evangelical Mission, which meant he had rejected all the African spiritual traditions his father taught.
   "My father expressed his displeasure. He said, 'I don't like you going to that church. You're going to get lost.' I just had to go my own way."
   His father never abandoned his traditional faith, so the pastor lives with the painful conviction that he will not enter heaven.
   At the end of Ahanotu's evening prayer meeting, Teresa Isichei stepped forward, complaining of a headache. The pastor put his hands tightly on her
head, prayed for several minutes and told her she was healed. Indeed, she said, the headache was gone.
   "The prayer is different to the Catholic Church," said Isichei, who grew up Catholic. "See how he prayed now? We used to say 'Hail Mary, full of grace,' but I feel as if this prayer is more powerful. If a person is sick, it can heal them.
   "This church is better than the Catholic Church," she said, though she still calls herself a Catholic.
   Some African Catholics believe that an African pope would keep Catholics from gravitating to the evangelical churches as well as send a powerful message to the world that all people are created equal.
   "It would make a vibrant church even more vibrant," said Ehusani, of the Catholic Secretariat.
   But even if an African is not selected to lead the church, many Catholics believe that African priests are ready to lead Catholics in Europe and the United States back to the moral absolutes of the church, to preach the need to eschew contraception, avoid adultery and reject homosexuality as evil.
   AIDS activists have criticized the Catholic Church's strong campaign in Africa against the use of condoms as a means of checking the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.
   And some doubt whether the conservative message that most African Catholic priests offer is capable of answering the needs of Catholics in developed Western countries.
   "It's very perplexing when there are people arguing in the West, 'No, we don't want African priests, let them take care of themselves,' " Ehusani said. "It's a poverty of the mind."
   Issues such as the use of condoms, premarital sex and homosexuality are moral absolutes that can never be determined by popular opinion, he said.
   "What is happening is a crisis of faith. There's a widespread loss of a sense of moral absolutes," he said.
   "In Europe and America, people may be afraid of what they see as our conservative Christian views. But what I see is a matter of an attempt to reduce Christianity to an opinion poll."

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Page 27
April 9, 2005 Economist Magazine
Brazil's trigger-happy police
Law-enforcers on the rampage

SĂO PAULO
A murderous day in Rio

TWO of the victims were riding bicycles. Four of them were adolescents playing pinball in a bar. Two were transvestites, lounging outside a hotel. They were among the 30 people murdered on the single day of March 31st in Baixada Fluminense, a poor area outside Rio de Janeiro, apparently in a co-ordinated action by rogue members of the state police force. Only two of the victims had criminal records.

Twelve policemen have been arrested, including eight charged with murder. Brazilians were shocked by the worst massacre in the history of Rio state, but perhaps not shocked enough. That is because such outrages are not that uncommon. In 1993 a group of policemen murdered 21 people in a Rio favela to avenge the killing of four of their colleagues. In the same year seven children were shot by police near the Candelária church, in the centre of the city of Rio. The state's mix of murderous drug-trafficking gangs and ill-trained, poorly paid police makes such violence a daily occurrence. Last year the state's police killed a total of 983 people out of a population of 14m, slightly fewer than the 1,195 they killed the year before.

The Baixada Fluminense massacre seems to have started as a reaction against a crackdown by a local commander against crooked officers, but has its roots in a police force that is both fiercely repressive in its approach to crime and prone to criminality itself. Police “extermination groups” kill for hire and sometimes engage in theft and kidnapping. Since their victims are generally criminals, most people approve of them, says Pedro Strozenberg of Viva Rio,

an anti-violence organisation. In some areas of Rio, police “militias” have driven out drug-trafficking gangs and imposed a harsh order. The perpetrators of last week's massacre may have belonged to an extermination group.

Rio's security secretary, Marcelo Itagiba, has set up a task-force to fight such groups and had earlier promised to take a “meat cleaver” to corrupt policemen. The state is already experimenting with promising initiatives to weave police forces into the communities they serve—a better way of catching criminals than invading their neighbourhoods.


Gunning down the innocent

“Things are advancing,” says Mr Strozenberg, but not yet far enough. The streets of Baixada Fluminense and other depressed areas will not be secure until both the locals and the police are convinced that there is more to be gained from obeying the law than breaking it.

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Page 28
April 11, 2005 Newsweek Magazine
MY TURN
Tutoring Rich Kids Cost Me My Dreams

It took me a while to figure out what my boss already knew: I had been hired to do their work.
BY NICOLE KRISTAL

FOR THREE YEARS I WAS AN academic prostitute. I ruined the curve for the honest and ensured that the wealthiest, and often stupidest, students earned the highest marks. I was a professional paper-writer.
   It all started when I quit my journalism job in order to pursue my dream of being a singer-songwriter. I snagged a job tutoring inner-city foster children, but it didn't pay the bills. One day, I found a TUTORS WANTED flier on the UCLA campus. A small tutoring agency that serviced affluent families hired me.
   "Just sit at her computer and type for her," my boss advised me with my first client, a private-high-school student. But as I typed her name at the top right corner of the screen, she slithered onto her bed to watch "Are You Hot?" I asked her what she remembered about Huxley's "Brave New World."
   "She's a slut," my client said with a sigh, referring either to the character of Lenina or the woman on TV: After a handful of three-word responses like that, I realized she didn't care. I was hired to do the thinking. The parents knew it. So did my boss.
   Welcome to the world of professional paper-writing the dirty secret of the tutoring business. It's facilitated by avaricious agencies, perpetuated by accountability-free parents and made possible by se1f-loathing nerds like me. For three-hour workdays, the ability to sleep in and the opportunity to get


WRITER FOR HIRE: I tackled Dostyoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex.
paid to learn, I tackled subjects like Dostoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex. Though some offered me chateaubriand and the occasional illicit drug, most treated me like the help. I put up with it because I feared working in an office for $12 an hour again.
   Six months into the job, my boss sent me on a problem-solving mission for $10 more per hour than I was already making. He had earned C's and D's on papers for Evan (not his real name), a USC freshman my boss described as a "typical surfer retard." Evan's parents had hired "tutors" to compose their son's papers since he was 12 because he "wasn't going to be a writer anyway:" They were furious. In Evan's penthouse, surfers carved across the screen of this 51-inch television, next to a poster of "Scarface." The former clothes model handed me his assignment: to describe utopia. "I couldn't ask for a better life. I mean, -- was my soccer coach;' Evan said, naming a famous studio head.
   Despite living in utopia, during the session Evan purchased an ounce of weed and a bag of Xanax. His WASPy girlfriend washed down a pill with some Smart Water and offered me one. T declined. Even sent me home with his $3,000 PowerBook to write his paper because he was "too busy" to work. Before I left, his girlfriend hired me to write her paper on "Do the Right Thing." I drove home at midnight, once again missing my chance to hit the music scene and battle my stage fright.
   No matter. After I scored an A on Evan's paper, he promised to pass my demo on to a legendary music producer's family friend. He also promised a few leftover pairs of designer jeans. He never mentioned either again, and I knew I'd been played. The only help Evan offered came in the form of new clients, such as his roommate, who had one-night stands with strippers and
said things like "Why should I care about some little black girl?" in regard to Toni Morrison novels.
   When my streak of A's ended after I scored a B-minus on Evan's paper about clanship in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," I never heard &om him again. His teenage sibling, for whom I composed countless high-school English papers, revealed that Evan had replaced me with a classmate.
   That summer break, my boss referred me to a junior at a private Christian university who couldn't spell "college." Come fall, the kid leased my brain three hours a day, five days a week. Depressed, I lounged around in my bathrobe until he finished class, then waded through rush-hour traffic to demoralize myself. One day, my Ford Bronco lost all power on the freeway and I could have died. I hadn't played a gig for seven months. I could barely pay my bills because I refused to take on more paper-writing clients.
   Last spring, two months shy of my client's graduation date, I snapped while staring at a term-paper assignment on Margaret Thatcher. "I can't do this anymore," I mumbled. I had completed nearly two years of college for him. He replaced me with a teacher about to earn his Ph.D. who charged $15 less per hour than I did. Despite my intellect, I handed over my self-respect to rich losers. I allowed myself to be blinded by privilege and the hope that some of it would rub off on me and help my flailing music career. Ultimately, trading my morals for money cost me the confidence I needed to turn my dreams into reality. Unemployment was a small price to pay to restore my fractured dignity.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
KRISTAL lives in Los Angeles.

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Page 29
... "He once had four captured Indians tomahawked to death in front of a besieged fort, and one eyewitness claimed Clark had personally taken part in the killings.
... Yet Clark was a willing executor of a Jeffersonian policy of economic servitude that created in Indians a hunger for consumer goods, then encouraged them to cede land to pay their debts..."

April, 2005Smithsonian Magazine
Book Review
William Clark and the Shaping of the West
Landon Y. Jones
Hill and Wang, $25.00

In a deeply researched, splendidly written biography (a part of which appeared in Smithsonian), William Clark and the Shaping of the West, Landon Y. Jones gives an impressive—if not always noble—American his due. In filling the gaps in our knowledge of Clark, who, along with Meriwether Lewis, led Thomas Jefferson's Corps of Discovery expedition (1804-1806), Jones also revivifies the complex and compelling period when the West didn't reach very far beyond the ramshackle settlement of St. Louis. In 334 pages, he sharpens the soft focus that tends to blur and compress our national historical view of the long struggle between European settlers and Native American tribes. In setting the stage for his close examination of William Clark's busy

life—he outlived Lewis (who committed suicide in 1809) by 29 years and died at 68 in 1838—Jones vividly limns the tooth-and-claw savagery of the struggle for territory on both sides.

Much has been written about the expedition of the Corps of Discovery—Jones is the author of The Essential Lewis and Clark (the pair's edited diaries)—but after the fabled band returned, Clark began a long career as a military leader, chronicler, diplomat, territorial administrator and enforcer of the draconian Indian policies that largely contributed to, as the title states, the shaping of the West.

Jones is no hero worshiper, and he shows us Clark by turns enlightened, conniving and cruel. In the free-form society beyond the Appalachians, where opportunity favored boldness, and ethical behavior was less than consistently applied, Clark did not hesitate to pursue his own aggrandizement. In today's world, he would be the kind of canny, compromised rascal who might end up in jail, or in politics.

His older brother George felt that the only way to convince Native tribes not to side with the British was to "excel them in barbarity," and this harsh attitude influenced William. He once had four captured Indians tomahawked to death in front of a besieged fort, and one eyewitness claimed Clark had personally taken part in the killings.

But later, when the Indians were rarely an equal force in battle and Clark served as Jefferson's superintendent of Indian affairs, his approach became more nuanced, taking into account political as well as military realities. Working as a direct representative of the federal government, Clark could be fair and helpful to tribes that went along with his edicts but ferocious to those that resisted. Jones points out that Clark honestly felt his tactics of removing Indians from land coveted by settlers was the only way to save them; the

author quotes a number of contemporaries attesting to the man's humaneness.

Yet Clark was a willing executor of a Jeffersonian policy of economic servitude that created in Indians a hunger for consumer goods, then encouraged them to cede land to pay their debts. In a time when many states still recognized slaves as legitimate property, this may not have seemed beyond the pale, but it is hardly enlightened public policy, and its short- and long-term effects were devastating. In this essential biography, Jones looks on his subject's behavior with a humaneness of his own: "The cruelties of Clark's time and the strengths of his character did not contradict one another; they lived within him. He was a man whose complexity encompassed both."

Reviewed by Owen Edwards

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Page 30
March 29, 2005 Los Angeles Times
For Sudan Slaves, Freedom at a Cost
Most are thrilled to be emancipated, but the uprooting shocks some of their children.
By Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer

MALUAL KON, Sudan — The map of Majok's life is carved on his body in scars. They trace the vicious beatings, his castration, the time he was left hanging by a rope around his neck. But grief and trauma have erased nearly every other scrap of his boyhood story.
   He has no idea of his age or his family name. From his initiation marks and coloring, it is obvious he is a member of the dominant Dinka tribe of southern Sudan. But he says he is an Arab and that the man who kept him as a slave in northern Sudan is his father.
   "I do not know whether I am an adult or a child," he said, puzzled, as a small crowd of villagers here snickered at his confusion. Bereft of his identity, family or home, he can imagine nothing of his future except that, his manhood stolen from him, he can never marry. He hangs his head in silent distress at this thought.
   "All I do is eat and sleep, eat and sleep," said Majok, who was brought to southern Sudan in January by the Commission for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children, or CEAWC, an organization set up by the Sudanese government in 1999 after an international outcry over the enslavement of southerners by northerners, who speak Arabic and identify themselves as Arabs.


Years of bondage: Now free, Akon Lual, with daughters Abla Umar and Nadya Umar, says she was seized when she was a child and later forced to be a soldier's wife. "I was not there as a housewife. I was there as a slave, because they used to call me a slave," she says.

   The deal signed in January ending a 21-year civil war between Sudan's mainly Muslim north and predominantly animist and Christian south has opened the way for a surge in the return of slaves from the country's north. CEAWC plans to bring back 7,000 abductees this year, almost 10 times the number it brought last year.
   Sudan was notorious for slavery until it was conquered by Britain in the 19th century. But the practice was revived in the mid-1980s during the civil war when the Arab-dominated government armed militias known as murahaleen to fight the southern rebels, much as they more recently have armed militias against rebels in Darfur in the country's west.
   The murahaleen were given free rein to raid villages, steal cattle, kill men, rape women and abduct southerners, including thousands of children, as slaves.
   Although personal accounts of slavery in Sudan have been emerging since the mid-1990s, the large-scale returns offer a broader insight into the magnitude of the murahaleen's slavery operations.
   The returnees arrive in the dusty heat, crammed atop trucks, some with terrible stories of the organized abduction, for years denied by the government, of southerners into slavery in the north.
   But these homecomings defy easy definition. The jubilation of older returnees, delighted at their freedom after years of slavery, abuse and forced marriage, often contrasts with the dismay and shock of their children born in the north. In their teens or early 20s, they feel they are Arabs, speak only Arabic and miss their northern homes and Arab fathers.
   They've returned, sometimes against their will, to a region where individual rights can be subsumed by family decisions or tribal traditions, where women and children are considered the property of their male relatives who believe they belong with them in the south.
   Relief agencies such as UNICEF and Save the Children UK have questioned CEAWC's methods, citing reports that the group has rounded people up without checking whether they are actually slaves, whether women and children want to leave the north or whether they even have homes and families to go back to. Some critics accuse CEAWC of luring people back with misleading promises that all their needs will be met in southern Sudan.
   Many slaves and abductees return with unrealistic hopes. They do not know of the desperate shortage of services, water and food here in the dry and remote southern province of Bahr el Ghazal, hard hit by two decades of war. Some are shocked by the deprivation they find, and a few have even turned around and walked back to the north.
   At the end of January, a convoy of about five big, old Ford trucks, decked with bunches of plastic water containers like garlands of bulbous flowers, pulled into the nearby trade town of Warawar, one of the main crossing points from the north. Hundreds of exhausted people clambered down.
   Some admitted they were not former slaves but refugees who had hitched a free lift with the CEAWC trucks instead of walking home. But CEAWC spokesman James Aguer insisted that all 479 were former slaves and their children.
   They spent a cold first night on the ground in a compound in Malual Kon.
   "I was surprised because we were sleeping on the ground in the open," said Achol Deng, 45, who returned with her father, Cuor Koot, and her three children after more than two decades in the north. Within a few days, most of the arrivals were sent home to their villages.
   Aboc Awet, now 21, was a child when she was seized by Arab militias and stabbed in the face and back. They put her on the roof of a long, slow train to the north. She cried every day of the monthlong journey, missing her mother. A vast mob of dusty plundered cattle ambled alongside, she remembers.
   "The train was very, very long. The whole train was full of abducted people, inside and on top. There were many, many people," Awet said. The Arabs raided every village on the way, returning each time with more cattle and abducted people.
   No one is sure how many people have been abducted into slavery, nor how many remain enslaved. A 2003 study by the Rift Valley Institute, based in London and Kenya, documented 12,000 abductions by name, 11,000 people still unaccounted for and 5,000 killings.
   CEAWC says that 20,000 people were abducted, and estimates there also are at least 20,000 children born to slaves. Spokesman Aguer said CEAWC and the Dinka Committee, a group of activists in the north, had returned 4,000 slaves from 1989 to 2004.
   But a Swiss-based religious group, Christian Solidarity International, frequently cites claims by southern community leaders that 200,000 people were abducted and says it has bought and freed 80,000 of them.
   In the late 1990s, CSI was condemned by UNICEF and criticized by Human Rights Watch for its controversial decision to buy slaves in order to set them free. Critics say most of the people they bought freedom for were not abductees and the money was pocketed by unscrupulous middlemen who staged the events.
   Christian Solidarity International spokesman Max-Peter Stussi said accusations that many of the people redeemed were not slaves were unfounded.
   After her long train journey to the north, Awet says she was taken to a village called Dar el Afat, and became one of five slaves for her abductor, Ibrahim Salim. She endured harsh beatings as she worked from morning until night fetching water and firewood, cleaning and cooking. Three boys owned by Salim's family shepherded the cattle and goats. She said all the families in the village had slaves.
   "Some families had two slaves, some had three," she said. "People bought them in the village, or sometimes slaves were brought to the houses and people could buy."
   After three years, Salim married her. She says she accepted because she was terrified he would kill her otherwise. Now she has his baby girl, but lost two babies when she gave birth after savage beatings by her father-in-law.
   Awet is not sorry to be free of Salim and his violent father: She hopes to find a new husband in the south to look after her.
   Cuor Koot, who says he is 60 or more, was abducted more than two decades ago when murahaleen raided his village of Amath.
   Enslaved in the north for two years, he worked on a farm cultivating peanuts and millet with about 60 other slaves, guarded by Arab gunmen. He says he was beaten daily, once so brutally that he lost consciousness.
   "They would tie your hands and tie your feet and cut your throat. That's how they kill," he said. After escaping one night, Koot spent the remaining years in paid work in the north.
   Koot said that in the north, "they treated us badly, as if we were not even people, just slaves. We had no rights there." But his happiness at returning home is tempered by the realization that it was easier to earn money in the north.
   "I was shocked when I came here and saw the conditions. I don't know how I'll take care of these children here. I heard from people that I'd be helped by the U.N. They said, 'If you go back to your village, you'll be given everything.' "
   He tries to be optimistic, hoping for seeds and tools and rain, so he can plant a crop.
   His daughter, Achol Deng, wishes she were still in the north. After being abducted, she was taken as a wife by an Arab named Ali, who she says always treated her with love and respect. CEAWC took her away from her husband at her father's request.
   Her daughter, Sara Ali, 20, is horrified by the move, but as a young woman in this traditional society, she has no say in her future. Her grandfather plans to marry her off as soon as he can so he can get a bride price of cows, which would ease the family's problems settling back.
   "I'm Arab. I want to go back. It's bad for me, this place," said Sara Ali. "I feel like I can't live here. This place is a long way away and I left my father alone.
   "They won't let me go back, but if it was my choice, I'd go."
   Deng said other Dinka people in the north had told her that if she returned to her village she would never have to do any heavy work again. But Deng, who says she never felt like a slave doing housework for her family, is not likely to have a lighter load here. Women in Bahr el Ghazal work long hours collecting firewood, cooking, caring for children, cultivating the fields and often walking many hours a day just to fetch water.
   "I'm feeling upset that my children are uncomfortable here," Deng said. "I'm worried, worried my children will starve. My children were used to eating good food there, bread and meat."
   Spokesman Aguer said many people enslaved as children had lost the Dinka language and many also had lost their parents. Some resisted CEAWC's approaches to return to the south, but he put that down to fear.
   "Even now, people are afraid," he said. "When CEAWC comes to get them, they say, 'No.' They are afraid to be killed."
   Aguer denied the accusations that CEAWC drives around northern villages rounding up southerners, but the process he described — negotiating releases with slave owners — conflicted with the stories of returnees. Many of them described CEAWC vehicles arriving, and people jumping on board chaotically, often with angry Arab husbands in hot pursuit.
   Majok, the youth scarred and castrated in boyhood, is glad he no longer has to work all day without pay, herding cattle for his Arab "father." But he has no place and no meaningful role in Malual Kon, where his mental disturbance and confusion make him a figure of ridicule. No one here knows where to send him.
   If he once knew love, he has forgotten it. "I do not know whether my father loved me or not," he says sadly.

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Page 31
(-from the article below-)
... But at the maloca I've seen no religious carvings, no rain forest altars the Korubo might use to pray for successful hunts or other godly gifts...
... Magna tells me that in the two years she's tended to clan members, she's never seen any evidence of their spiritual practice or beliefs...
... "Jesus said, 'Go to the world and bring the Gospel to all peoples,'" Pastor Antonio told me. "The government has no right to stop us from entering the Javari Valley and saving the Indians' souls" ...
Complete Article

April, 2005 Smithsonian Magazine
OUT OF TIME
Less than a decade after their first contact with the outside world, the volatile Korubo of the Amazon still live in almost total isolation. Their fiercest champion, Indian tracker Sydney Possuelo, is trying to keep their world intact. But how long can he, and they, hold out?
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS
BY PAUL RAFFAELE

Deep in the amazon jungle, i stumble along a sodden track carved through steamy undergrowth, frequently sinking to my knees in the mud. Leading the way is a bushybearded, fiery-eyed Brazilian, Sydney Possuelo, South America's leading expert on remote Indian tribes and the last of the continent's great explorers. Our destination: the village of a fierce tribe not far removed from the Stone Age.

Complete Article

On the lookout for enemies, a warrior named Ta'van leads a patrol tyhough the jungle. Several hundredindians -some never seen by outsiders- live in the Amazon's Javari Valley.

Maya, the second adult from the left, seems to call the shots for the Koruba, says writer/photographer Paul Raffaele. But is she the chief: Hard to say: Posseulo won't let anthropologists study the group, so its social structure remains a mystery.

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Page 32

March 27, 2005 Los Angeles Times
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ
Comforts Of Home Amid Perils Of Iraq

U.S. soldiers confront chaos daily, then take refuge
By David Zucchino, Times Staff Writer

BAGHDAD — The war in Iraq is the first American conflict in which a GI on patrol can risk evisceration from artillery shells rigged to a cellphone, then return to base in time for ESPN's "SportsCenter," a T-bone steak, a mocha cappuccino, a gym workout, an Internet surf session, a hot shower and a cold, if nonalcoholic, beer.
   In Iraq, there is the "fob" — the forward operating base — and there is life outside the fob. A soldier's existence in Iraq is defined by the fob, and by the concertina wire that marks its boundaries.
   The war beyond the wire is so draining that the more than 100 fobs in Iraq are fortified refuges for the nearly 150,000 U.S. troops here. Brig. Gen. Karl Horst, a 3rd Infantry Division commander based at the Baghdad airport's FOB Liberty, calls them "little oases in the middle of a dangerous and confusing world."
   This is a war with no front but plenty of rear. Many soldiers spend a year in Iraq without ever leaving their bases. Others may never even meet an Iraqi. A soldier may patrol for months without ever seeing the enemy, yet risk death or disfigurement at any moment.


ON A MISSION: Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Flowers is forced to don a bomb-protection suit and venture out to inspect ordnance because the batteries died on a remote-controlled robot. “That robot is gonna be the death of me,” Flowers says.
(Steve Hebert / Polaris / For The Times)

   Almost each day in Iraq will end with an American on patrol losing an arm, a leg, an eye or a life to an earth-shattering detonation of high explosives. That these bombs are embedded in the most prosaic emblems of Iraqi life — a car, a donkey cart, a trash pile, a pothole — only intensifies the dread that attends every journey outside the wire.
   Inside each fob lies an ersatz America, a manifestation of the urge to create a version of home in a hostile land.
   The three vast airport fobs, home to the 3rd Infantry Division and 18th Airborne Corps, have the ambience of a trailer park set inside a maximum-security prison. Soldiers live in white metal mobile homes piled high with sandbags. They have beds, televisions, air conditioning, charcoal grills and volleyball courts.
   At the flat, dusty airport fob called Liberty, there is a Burger King, a Subway sandwich shop and an Internet cafe. TV sets in mess halls and gyms blare basketball games or Fox News, the unofficial news channel of the U.S. military. A sprawling PX sells CDs, DVDs, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" caps and T-shirts that read: "Who's Your Baghdaddy?"
   Every need — food, laundry, maid service — is attended to by a legion of workers from non-Muslim nations, mostly Indians, Filipinos and Nepalese.
   They are a chipper, efficient lot who, combined with soldiers from places like El Salvador and Estonia, give the fob the breezy, cosmopolitan feel of a misplaced Olympic Village.
   The mess halls are like shopping mall food courts, with salad bars, taco bars and ice cream stations. Cheeseburgers and cheese steaks hiss and pop on short-order grills. The aisles are clogged with M-16 automatic rifles and flak vests set aside by soldiers. Fit young men and women in combat fatigues mingle with civilian contractors, some of them beer-bellied, bearded and well into middle age.
   Administrative specialists who never leave the fob are known, with some condescension, as fobbits. Like every soldier here, a fobbit could be killed at any time by a random rocket or mortar round. But on most days the greatest danger to a fobbit's health are the three heaping, deep-fried daily portions of mess hall food.
   From the relative safety of fobs, U.S. commanders deliver calm, reassuring accounts of progress — insurgents captured, weapons seized and Iraqi soldiers trained to one day fight the insurgency on their own. Some commanders plot strategy in marble-walled offices inside Saddam Hussein's former palaces, beneath massive chandeliers and tiled ceilings.
   For staff officers billeted at fobs, the war sometimes has all the glamour and drama of a doctoral dissertation. Maj. Tom Perison, the future operations chief for the 42nd Infantry Division at FOB Danger in Tikrit, likes to joke that he is "at the pit of the spear" — a play on the "tip of the spear" analogy used by combat commanders. Perison spends much of his time in one of Hussein's palaces analyzing local political currents and worrying about the state of the regional oil industry.
   The measure of military success in Iraq lies not in cities taken or enemies killed.
   "The key is learning who has control of the local population — the imams, tribal sheiks, local council leaders — and turning that to your advantage," said Maj. Doug Winton, a planner with the 3rd Infantry Division.
   This is a war in which soldiers must also be politicians, diplomats, engineers and city planners, as familiar with municipal budgets and sewage capacity as M-16s and Abrams tanks.
   Their daily schedules are consumed by initials.
   The typical BUB — daily battle update brief — lists attacks by roadside bombs and raids on insurgent hide-outs. But the briefings devote far more time to trash pickups, mosque sermons, road paving, school attendance and repairs to electrical substations. Many officers spend more time with Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations than in armored Humvees.
   They preside along with local officials at DACs and NACs (district advisory councils and neighborhood advisory councils). They work with civil affairs officers in CMOCs (civil military operations centers) and with Iraqi police and municipal workers at JCCs (joint coordination centers). Each meeting requires a perilous round-trip patrol.
   Not even an armored U.S. patrol equipped with 21st century weaponry is guaranteed safe passage on Iraq's roads. To leave the blast walls and sandbags is to virtually guarantee American casualties — without forcing the face-to-face firefights that U.S. troops are certain to win.
   If the defining mission of the Vietnam War was the jungle foot patrol, the defining mission of Iraq is the vehicle patrol. There are hundreds a day involving thousands of GIs. There is no such thing as a "routine patrol" in Iraq. Every patrol, whether to raid an insurgent hide-out or deliver the mail or attend a meeting, is a combat patrol.
   "We're fighting the hardest war this country has ever had to fight," said Brig. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, who finished an exhausting year in Iraq late last month.
   Each journey begins with a pre-combat review, a weapons check, a map session and a grave discussion of how casualties are to be handled. There are medics on every trip. Soldiers scrawl their blood types on their helmets and boots. Aspirin is banned — it promotes bleeding.
   In this war, face-to-face combat is rare. It is a war of stealth and cunning and brutally effective means of shredding human tissue. The signature weapon is the IED, the improvised explosive device, a lethal fusion of ordinary combat munitions and the electronic signal of the ubiquitous cellphone. It is the single biggest killer of U.S. troops, 1,524 of whom have died so far.
   Every trip outside the wire is also, by necessity, a mission to search for IEDs. Soldiers on patrol are constantly scanning the roadside. Their radio chatter focuses on the endless places to hide an IED, and on divining the intentions of approaching drivers, vegetable-cart owners and grinning little boys. Every car is a potential bomb, every pedestrian a possible suicide bomber.
   For soldiers on patrol, every Iraqi is the enemy until proven otherwise. All Iraqis are known as hajjis, which actually means someone who has made the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Often the terms "hajji" and "the enemy" are used interchangeably.
   Some children smile and wave and try to cadge candy or coins from passing convoys. Most soldiers wave back but keep one hand on their weapons. Most Iraqi men, particularly the young ones, offer only baleful stares. Women are distant, spectral figures in black.
   There is a delicate ballet on roadways when convoys pass. U.S. forces have learned to hog the middle of the road to reduce the effects of IEDs from either side. Iraqi drivers have learned to pull off the road entirely and stop, flashing emergency blinkers to signal an absence of malice. Scores of Iraqi civilians have been shot dead by U.S. soldiers and Marines at checkpoints and on roadways.
   Many U.S. vehicles display huge signs, in Arabic and English, warning drivers to stay 50 meters away to avoid possible "lethal force." Some soldiers joke that the signs should say, "If you can read this, you're just about to get shot."
   It is the job of civil affairs officers to somehow mitigate the poisonous relationship between many Iraqis and U.S. soldiers. In Baghdad's Shiite Muslim slum of Sadr City recently, Capt. Raul Gamble, a civil affairs officer, made a point of stopping a patrol to pass out candy, pencils and paper Iraqi flags to a group of children and teenagers.
   Predictably, the handouts attracted a rowdy throng of grasping youths. Other soldiers on the patrol, fearing the crowd would draw an insurgent attack, were eager to leave. But Gamble patiently threaded his way through upraised arms to deliver a small stuffed bear to a 2-year-old boy in his grandfather's arms.
   "It's the little things that add up to big things," he said.
   Other encounters are less congenial. A day after a soldier in their unit was killed by an IED outside Muqdadiya, north of Baghdad, soldiers in an IED search team discovered and detonated a roadside bomb nearby. A crowd of young men gathered to watch, smirking and snickering over the American's death a day earlier. On a concrete wall behind them was a drawing of a donkey and the word "Bush."
   The risk of IEDs is notoriously unpredictable. Surviving 100 patrols is no guarantee of surviving the 101st; the first trip is as dangerous as the last.
   On Feb. 4, two 3rd Infantry Division soldiers who had just arrived in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Steven G. Bayow and Sgt. Daniel Torres, rode in a patrol with members of the unit they were replacing. It was a "right seat" ride, designed to familiarize new arrivals with conditions outside the fob. Both soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb.
   Soldiers on patrol say they find themselves bracing every few moments, anticipating an explosion. The stress saps their concentration, and only grows when they realize they've lost their focus.
   Some say they try to think of anything except the jury-rigged "hillbilly armor" some have added to their Humvees for protection, or the military-issue "up-armor" kits that can leave gaps in the armor plating. Soldiers say they try not to imagine shrapnel or super-heated shards of the vehicle blasting through the gaps.
   On his first convoy since he saw a good friend killed by a roadside bomb, Sgt. Travis Hall drove past the site of the explosion. It was a tense, taxing journey, made almost unbearable when Hall's Humvee was stalled in rush-hour traffic for half an hour.
   Three hours later, Hall pulled his Humvee safely past the berms and blast walls of FOB Warhorse. He was one month into a one-year tour in which he expected to take several patrols a week.
   "Made it," Hall said, stepping out to clear his rifle. "Only 200-some more to go."
   Like any war, the one in Iraq is defined by long periods of excruciating boredom punctuated by intervals of sheer terror.
   After hauling weapons and anti-American propaganda from an insurgent hide-out on the shore of Lake Hamrin near the Iranian border recently, a patrol from Task Force 1-30 of the 3rd Infantry Division spent a listless afternoon on futile searches of surrounding hillsides.
   Then, in rapid succession, they watched another unit chase suspected insurgents through a village across the lake; listened to U.S.-fired 155-millimeter artillery shells whistle over their heads toward an insurgent redoubt a few miles away; and stumbled across the ingredients of a powerful roadside bomb on their way back to base.
   A soldier in Lt. Brian Deaton's platoon noticed a pile of rocks at the edge of the roadway, halting the convoy. Insurgents often leave markings to warn civilians about IEDs. A search of a culvert revealed a pair of 9-foot-long, 122- millimeter rockets tucked under a riverside roadway.
   As the patrol radioed for an ordnance-disposal team, Deaton noticed several men standing on a far ridge. Fearing they were spotters preparing to detonate the rockets by remote control, he ordered a gunner in a Bradley fighting vehicle to fire a burst from his 25-millimeter main gun. The rounds thudded against the ridge, scattering the men.
   Fearing a detonation or ambush, soldiers took cover in the hills as two bomb-disposal experts, Staff Sgt. Dustin Flowers and Pfc. Forrest Malone, sent out a remote-controlled robot on wheels to investigate the rockets. Malone steered the robot, a Mars rover look-alike the size of a child's wagon, from a computer screen set up on the hood of his armor-plated vehicle.
   As he guided the device toward the rockets, the robot's batteries suddenly died and it rolled to a stop. Flowers, who had taken cover behind a boulder several hundred yards away, cursed at Malone over a two-way radio. He thought the private, who was just six months out of military explosives school, had botched the remote-control operation. Flowers is a veteran of 50 ordnance disposal missions in Iraq.
   He stomped over to Malone. When the private explained that the battery had died, Flowers muttered, "That robot is gonna be the death of me," and began climbing into a 70-pound bomb-protection suit. He would inspect the rockets himself.
   Even wearing the suit, Flowers said, he wouldn't survive if the rockets exploded in his face. "The suit just gives them something to bury me in," he said.
   Struggling to walk in the clumsy clothing, Flowers lumbered toward the rockets, but he couldn't safely get close enough to see whether they had been wired to a detonator.
   He asked Deaton to have a Bradley gunner fire machine-gun rounds into the rockets. The bullets would detonate the rockets if they had been wired to explode. The gunner fired several bursts, but couldn't manage to hit the rockets. Finally, Flowers decided to take matters into his own hands. Sweating profusely inside the suit, he made his way down into the culvert. He maneuvered close enough to see that the rockets had not been wired.
   He and Malone hauled the heavy rockets, one at a time, down an embankment. They wired several blocks of C-4 plastic explosive to them, set a fuse, then hurried back to their armored vehicle and sped to safety.
   The rockets exploded with a thump that echoed off the hillsides. A black mushroom cloud rose over the river valley.
   The smoke spread as the patrol raced down the roadway, still scanning both sides of the curving mountain road for more IEDs. At dusk, the soldiers eased back into FOB Warhorse, safely home in time for evening chow, DVDs and a hot shower.

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Page 33
March 18, 2005 Science Magazine
ECOLOGY:
Are U.S. Coral Reefs on the Slippery Slope to Slime?

J. M. Pandolfi,1* J. B. C. Jackson,3,4 N. Baron,5 R. H. Bradbury,6 H. M. Guzman,4 T. P. Hughes,7 C. V. Kappel,8 F. Micheli,8 J. C. Ogden,9 H. P. Possingham,2 E. Sala3[HN15]

Coral reefs [HN1] provide ecosystem goods and services worth more than $375 billion to the global economy each year (1). Yet, worldwide, reefs are in decline [HN2] (1-4). Examination of the history of degradation reveals three ways to challenge the current state of affairs (5, 6). First, scientists should stop arguing about the relative importance of different causes of coral reef decline: overfishing, pollution, disease, and climate change. Instead, we must simultaneously reduce all threats to have any hope of reversing the decline. Second, the scale of coral reef management--with mechanisms such as protected areas--has been too small and piecemeal. Reefs must be managed as entire ecosystems. Third, a lack of clear conservation goals has limited our ability to define or measure success.


Figure 1 The slippery slope of coral reef decline through time.
CREDIT: MARY PARRISH

Large animals, like turtles, sharks, and groupers, were once abundant on all coral reefs, and large, long-lived corals created a complex architecture supporting diverse fish and invertebrates (5, 6). Today, the most degraded reefs are little more than rubble, seaweed, and slime. Almost no large animals survive, water quality is poor, and large corals are dead or dying and being replaced by weedy corals, soft corals, and seaweed (2, 7, 8). Overfishing of megafauna releases population control of smaller fishes and invertebrates, creating booms and busts. This in turn can increase algal overgrowth, or overgrazing, and stress the coral architects, likely making them more vulnerable to other forms of stress. This linked sequence of events is remarkably consistent worldwide (see figure, below).

Even on Australia's Great Barrier Reef [HN3] (GBR), the largest and best-managed reef in the world, decline is ongoing (9). Australia's strategy, beginning with the vision to establish the world's largest marine park in 1976, is based on coordinated management at large spatial scales. Recently more than one-third of the GBR was zoned "no take," and new laws and policies to reduce pollution and fishing are in place (10). Evaluating benefits of increased no-take zones [HN4] will require detailed follow-up, but smaller-scale studies elsewhere support increased protection. Two neighboring countries, the Bahamas (11) and Cuba (12), [HN5] have also committed to conserve more than 20% of their coral reef ecosystems. By contrast, the Florida Keys and main Hawaiian Islands are far further down the trajectory of decline (see figure, below), yet much less action has been taken.

What is the United States doing to enhance its coral reef assets? In the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary [HN6], the Governor and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agreed in 1997 to incorporate zoning with protection from fishing and water quality controls (13). But only 6% of the Sanctuary is zoned no take, and these zones are not strategically located. Conversion of 16,000 cesspools to centralized sewage treatment and control of other land-based pollution have only just begun. Florida's reefs are well over halfway toward ecological extinction and much more impaired than reefs of Belize [HN7] and all but one of the Pacific reefs in the figure above (6). Large predatory fishes continue to decrease (14), reefs are increasingly dominated by seaweed (15, 16), and alarming diseases have emerged (17).

Annual revenues from reef tourism are $1.6 billion (1), but the economic future of the Keys is gloomy owing to accelerating ecological degradation. Why? Without a clear goal for recovery, development and ratification of the management plan became a goal in itself.

Reefs of the northwest Hawaiian Islands [HN8] have been partially protected by isolation from the main Hawaiian Islands (which show degradation similar to that of the Florida Keys) and are in relatively good condition (see second figure). Corals are healthy (2, 18), and the average biomass of commercially important large predators such as sharks, jacks, and groupers is 65 times as great (19) as that at Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. Even in the northwestern islands, however, there are signs of decline. Monk seals and green turtles [HN9] are endangered (20, 21); large amounts of marine debris are accumulating, which injure or kill corals, seabirds, mammals, turtles, and fishes (2, 18, 22); and levels of contaminants, including lead and PCBs are high (18).

Until recently, small-scale impacts from overfishing and pollution could be managed locally, but thermal stress and coral bleaching [HN10] are already changing community structure of reefs. Impacts of climate change may depend critically on the extent to which a reef is already degraded (8, 23). Polluted and overfished reefs like in Jamaica [HN11] and Florida have failed to recover from bouts of bleaching, and their corals have been replaced by seaweed (2). We believe that restoring food webs and controlling eutrophication [HN12] provides a first line of defense against climate change (8, 23); however, slowing or reversing global warming trends is essential for the long-term health of all tropical coral reefs.

A ROADMAP FOR REVERSING THE TRAJECTORY OF DECLINE OF U.S. CORAL REEFS
Threat (time frame)Critical first stepResultsBenefits
Overfishing
(years)
Immediate increase of cumulative
no-take areas of all U.S. reefs to >30%;
reduce fishing efforts in adjacent areas
Increase in short-lived species,
such as lobsters, conch,
parrotfish, and sea urchins
Economic viability to lost or
weakened fisheries; reduction in
algal competition with corals
Overfishing
(decades)
Establishment of large fish, shark, turtle,
and manatee breeding programs;
mandatory turtle exclusion devices (TEDs)
and bycatch reduction devices (BRDs)
Increase in megafauna
populations
Return of key functional
components and trophic structure
Pollution
(years-decades)
Stringent controls over land-based
pollution
Increase in water qualityReduction in algal competition
with corals; reduced coral disease
Coastal development
(years-decades)
Moratorium on coastal development
in proximity to coral reefs
Increase in coral reef habitatIncrease of coral reef populations
(i.e., reduced mortality)
Global change
(decades)
International engagement in
emission caps
Reduction in global sea surface
temperatures and CO2
Lower incidence of coral bleaching;
increase calcification potential

For too long, single actions such as making a plan, reducing fishing or pollution, or conserving a part of the system were viewed as goals. But only combined actions addressing all these threats will achieve the ultimate goal of reversing the trajectory of decline (see the table below).

We need to act now to curtail processes adversely affecting reefs. Stopping overfishing will require integrated systems of no-take areas and quotas to restore key functional groups. Terrestrial runoff of nutrients, sediments, and toxins must be greatly reduced by wiser land use and coastal development. Reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases are needed to reduce coral bleaching and disease. Progress on all fronts can be measured by comparison with the past ecosystem state through the methods of historical ecology [HN13] to determine whether or not we are succeeding in ameliorating or reversing decline. Sequential return of key groups, such as parrot fish and sea urchins that graze down seaweed; mature stands of corals that create forest-like complexity; and sharks, turtles, large jacks, and groupers that maintain a more stable food web (4, 5, 6, 24) constitutes success.

This consistent way of measuring recovery (see the second figure) and the

possibility of short-term gains set a benchmark for managing other marine ecosystems. Like any other successful business, managing coral reefs requires investment in infrastructure. Hence, we also need more strategic interventions to restore species that provide key ecological functions. For example, green turtles and sea cows [HN14] not only once helped maintain healthy seagrass ecosystems, but also were an important source of high-quality protein for coastal communities (25).

Our vision of how to reverse the decline of U.S. reefs rests on addressing all threats simultaneously (see the table above). By active investment, major changes can be achieved through practical solutions with short- and long-term benefits. Short-lived species, like lobster, conch, and aquarium fish will recover and generate income in just a few years, and benefits will continue to compound over time. Longer-lived species will recover, water quality will improve, and the ecosystem will be more resilient to unforeseen future threats. Ultimately, we will have increased tourism, and the possibility of renewed sustainable extraction of abundant megafauna. One day, reefs of the United States could be the pride of the nation.

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Page 34
March 18, 2005 Science Magazine
Science, Vol 307, Issue 5716, 1716-1717 , 18 March 2005
PUBLIC HEALTH:
Provocative Study Says Obesity May Reduce U.S. Life Expectancy

Charles C. Mann

The rising incidence of obesity, especially among children and teenagers, is leading to a variety of diseases that could depress average life span In the 1980s and 1990s, the late maverick economist Julian Simon infuriated environmentalists by arguing that free markets and scientific progress were constantly improving human life rather than pushing the world toward ecological ruin, social collapse, and famine. A key example was life expectancy at birth, which Simon showed had been steadily rising for centuries. Using that as a metric, he repeatedly claimed that in the 21st century, "humanity's condition will improve in just about every material way."

Not so, says a 10-person research team led by S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois, Chicago, and David S. Ludwig of Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. In a study published in the 17 March New England Journal of Medicine, the team predicts that U.S. life expectancy "could level off or even decline" by 2050.


Figure 1 End of an era? Average years remaining for U.S. females at age 65 rose steadily, in spite of projections to the contrary.
CREDIT: N. ENGL. J. MED. 352, 11 (2005)

Figure 2 A growing health burden. One in eight U.S. youths is now overweight.
CREDIT: RADHIKA CHALASANI/CORBIS

The culprit, though, is not environmental heedlessness but [perryb] the very market-driven affluence that Simon celebrated, because it has fostered an explosive rise in obesity, and especially childhood obesity. That rise, the research team argues, has already offset increasing life expectancy "by 0.33 to 0.93 year for white males," with similar offsets for women and other races. Assuming that current trends continue and that no big technical fixes emerge, Olshansky says, "we have strong reason to believe this number will rise rapidly in the coming decades."

That conclusion is likely to be controversial. Critics argue that it is based on a partial reading of the evidence. "Obesity is indeed a problem," says James Vaupel, director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. "But on the other side there are extraordinary advances being made as a result of biomedical research." Moreover, he says, "the United States has seen a slowdown in life expectancy, but in other countries it's going up fairly rapidly--about 3 months per year in places like France and Japan."

To Olshansky, the continuing increases in those countries may mean only that they have not yet reached U.S. obesity levels. If the projections in the New England Journal article come true, he notes, the next generations will be the first in recorded history to die younger and sicker than their parents--a public-health catastrophe.

But there may be more immediate consequences as well. In 2004 the Social Security Administration estimated that by 2078 female and male life expectancy will jump from their current levels of, respectively, 79.9 and 74.5 years to 89.2 and 85.9 years. That rapid increase, which will increase disbursals, is one of the motors driving the current debate over the program's potential insolvency. "Those projections are made from mathematical models," Olshansky says. "If you look at actual people now, I believe you see very quickly that this is not going to happen. The 'benefit,' if you can call it that, is that Social Security will be in less trouble, because fewer people will be alive to collect it."

What goes up ...
In the 20th century, U.S. life expectancy climbed from 47 to its present height, a rise unprecedented in human history. The fastest part of the increase occurred in the first few decades of the century, as improved sanitation and nutrition dramatically reduced infant and child mortality. Because a child who avoids death from measles may go on to live for decades more, whereas an older person who avoids death from the same cause will only live a little longer, reducing childhood mortality has a disproportionately large impact on overall life expectancy.

Now, if the New England Journal authors are correct, the unprecedented rise in life expectancy will be followed by an equally unprecedented fall. In the 1999-2002 period, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis last year, some 16% of U.S. children from 6 to 19--more than 1 out of 8--were overweight, a proportion that has more than tripled in the past 30 years. (Overweight is defined as a body mass index, or BMI--weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters--for age and gender at or above the 95th percentile of CDC's baseline growth charts.) Another 15% were at risk for becoming overweight (a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles of CDC's growth charts). (For adults, a BMI of 30 or above is considered "obese," and between 25 and 30 is "overweight.")

Because the health effects of obesity can take decades to appear and childhood obesity is a relatively new phenomenon, researchers have relatively little firsthand information on the impact that being overweight in childhood has on the incidence of disease in later life. Instead they make projections from the consequences of obesity on life expectancy for adults. "Obesity is not like running through a minefield, which kills you all at once or lets you run through it unscathed," says David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a co-author of the New England Journal paper. "Instead, your risk increases over time. What you die of is the accumulated effects from years of obesity."

In a typical study, the Netherlands Epidemiology and Demography Compression of Morbidity Research Group analyzed data from the Framingham Heart Study to find in January 2003 that obesity led to declines in life expectancy of 7.1 years for 40-year-old female nonsmokers and 5.8 years for 40-year-old male nonsmokers. The next day, Allison's research team released a study arguing that life expectancy for extremely obese white 20-year-olds (BMIs of 45 or more) is 13 years lower than that for people of normal weight. "The younger you become obese, the more years of life you lose," Allison says. "That's not at all surprising. If you become obese as a child, the impact should be even greater."

Conservative assumptions
For the New England Journal study, Olshansky says, "we tried to answer a simple question: What would life expectancy be like in the U.S. if obesity did not exist?" Basing their estimates on data from CDC's big National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, they assumed, for simplicity's sake, that all overweight or obese people had BMIs of either 30 or 35, respectively. The assumption had the additional beneficial effect of making the calculation "very conservative," Olshansky says, because it implicitly excluded the impact of higher BMIs. "The proportion of extremely obese is rising very rapidly--things are really moving in the wrong direction--and we ultraconservatively eliminated that." The researchers also assumed that obesity had no effect before the age of 20 or after 85, both of which "we know are not true."

Although Olshansky stresses that the estimate is "a first-pass approximation," he believes the effect is large enough to demonstrate "that trends in obesity in younger ages will lead to significantly higher rates of mortality in the future--we will lose 2 to 5 or more years [of life expectancy] in the coming decades" if the obesity epidemic continues unchecked. Another way of expressing this impact is to note that curing all forms of cancer would only add 3.5 years to average U.S. life expectancy. Rising obesity would more than cancel that out.

Perhaps so, says Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute. But on a global level the United States is an outlier--life expectancy is continuing to rise elsewhere. "That suggests to me that this is a localized problem that could be addressed by appropriate public-health policies," Vaupel says. As he has argued (Science, 10 May 2002, p. 1029), demographers have repeatedly predicted that increases in life expectancy will level off. "And they've always been wrong. Olshansky himself wrote in 1990 [Science, 2 November 1990, p. 634] that life expectancy would never exceed 85 on average without major breakthroughs. Well, in 2003, Japanese female life expectancy reached 85.33."

To team co-leader Ludwig, the New England Journal paper is a "call to action

when action could still make a difference." The explosion in obesity, he says, will occur in three phases. The first is increased prevalence. "For the first decade or so, very little occurs--you just have a lot of heavy kids." In the second phase, the rising prevalence is "translated into actual diseases. Then, after yet another period of time, the third phase comes, when those diseases come to translate into lower life expectancy. Right now, we're at the beginning of the second phase. ... The first wave of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in adolescence is now reaching their late 20s, and we're just starting to see [circulatory problems leading to] amputations, kidney failure requiring dialysis, and increased mortality."^

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Page 35
this article is NOT about terry schiavo herself, but about the
specifics of various mental and physical states surrounding hers
-good reading.

p

March 22, 2005 Los Angeles Times
NEUROSCIENCE
Time Robs Hope for Recovery

One man came to after 20 months in a vegetative state. Terri Schiavo has been in one for 15 years.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Rosie Mestel and Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writers

While serving a search warrant on a December afternoon in 1979, Minneapolis police Officer David Mack was shot in the neck and abdomen, triggering a cascade of events that left him in a persistent vegetative state.
   He choked on his own vomit, depriving his brain of oxygen for several crucial minutes. Doctors gave up hope that he would ever regain consciousness.
   Then he surprised them. After 20 months, the policeman came to, eventually gaining the ability to communicate with nods and to spell out words on an alphabet board.
   Mack is the only known patient to regain consciousness after so much time in a persistent vegetative state brought on by oxygen deprivation. Doctors consider his recovery after 20 months mind-boggling.
   Terri Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years.

   For all the legal, political and religious arguments that swirl around the Schiavo case, it is the faint hope of recovery that fuels her parents' efforts to keep her alive with a feeding tube.
   Terri Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years.
   The overwhelming consensus among neurologists is that the chances are almost nil.
   "After 15 years, it is truly hopeless," said Dr. Howard M. Eisenberg of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
   Dr. Ronald Cranford, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota who examined Schiavo in 2002, added: "The chances of her waking up or benefiting from treatment are zero."
   If you are in a room with Schiavo, her eyes do not track you, Cranford said.
   CT scans show that the higher-thinking region of her brain — the cerebral cortex — has been severely damaged and scarred, he said.
   To visitors, she may look as if she is aware. She sleeps and wakes. Her eyes move. She smiles at times.
   It is an illusion of consciousness, doctors say.
   Much confusion exists among the public about the nature of a persistent vegetative state, as compared with a coma or even being brain-dead.
   A coma covers a range of conditions that can reflect minor to severe brain damage. Those patients are unconscious, lying still with eyes closed, unable to wake or speak. A person in a coma may respond to pain and there are some reflexes, such as gag or swallow responses.
   Brain death is a severe loss of cells in the brain so that it cannot carry out any normal functions. Parts of the brain involved in high-level thinking are severely damaged or destroyed, as are the most primitive parts that control autonomic functions, such as breathing.
   Brain-dead patients may be kept alive on life support, but if that support is stopped, they die within minutes.
   A persistent vegetative state is somewhere between coma and brain death. As many as 35,000 Americans are in such a state at any one time.
   In that condition, the primitive parts of the brain continue to function and the patient goes through normal sleep-wake cycles and is able to breathe.
   But patients lose all meaningful contact with the world because of damage to higher-functioning parts of the brain. Such patients show no awareness, no ability to interact with others and no evidence of language comprehension.
   They do display random tic-like behaviors, apparently grimacing or smiling, making sounds, and moving arms and legs. Such patients can even squeeze a hand in response to a caress.
   "The problem frequently is that people who are involved with the patient over-interpret this very rudimentary behavior and develop unrealistic hopes," said Eisenberg of the University of Maryland. "That is not unusual, but it makes for a very difficult problem."
   There are essentially two causes of a persistent vegetative state. The first is head injuries that damage a part of the brain. Patients with this condition have a better chance of recovery because they may not have suffered widespread death of brain cells.
   The second cause is oxygen deprivation, typically through a heart attack or stroke.
   Once the blood supply is stopped, the lack of oxygen can kill the cortex, "the part of the brain that makes us human," Eisenberg said.
   Schiavo and Mack both suffered this form of injury.
   After Mack awoke, he remained almost entirely paralyzed. He could smile and frown, but he could not speak and had trouble swallowing. He would go through periods of depression, though he said he didn't regret the decision to be kept alive.
   Mack died of an infection 5˝ years after regaining consciousness.
   According to guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology, a vegetative state can be judged to be permanent rather than persistent after 12 months if it results from traumatic injury or after three months if it results from heart attack, stroke or other illness.
   "The chance for recovery after these periods is exceedingly low," the guidelines note.
   Most patients die in two to five years due to infections, general systemic failure, respiratory failure or strokes. It is unusual for a patient to survive for 10 years, according to the committee, and the odds of surviving for 15 years vary from 1 in 15,000 to 1 in 75,000.
   The panel identified three patients, however, who survived for 17, 37 and 41 years.
   In general, children who enter a persistent vegetative state do not survive as long as adults.
   The guidelines were set off partly in response to the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, whose parents sued to have her removed from life support after she had been comatose for 11 months after consuming alcohol and tranquilizers.
   That case established the right-to-die debate in the U.S. Quinlan survived for nine years after Joseph and Julia Quinlan took her off a respirator in 1976.
   The hopes of Schiavo's parents are fueled in part by pronouncements from physicians such as Dr. William Hammesfahr, a neurologist who runs the Hammesfahr Neurological Institute in Clearwater, Fla.
   "Her chances of getting better are excellent," he said in an interview Monday. "They are overwhelming, with the proper therapies."
   Among other treatments, Hammesfahr proposed placing her in a hyperbaric chamber to force more oxygen into her blood and administering drugs to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the brain. He also suggested using physical, speech and occupational therapy, and perhaps omental transfer, in which fat from the stomach is transplanted into the brain, to increase blood flow.
   Hammesfahr said he had treated 250 patients and that 98% of them showed "significant improvement."
   Cranford, however, described such treatments as absurd.
   "The idea that she would respond to hyperbaric oxygen or vasodilator therapy is totally bogus," he said.
   Dr. James Bernat, professor of neurology at the Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H., agreed. "There is no scientific evidence that it helps," he said.
   Schiavo's parents have expressed hope that science may one day come up with a solution to their daughter's plight.
   Indeed, scientists have begun experimenting with stem cells in animals to regenerate neurons, with some success.
   But the thought of rebuilding whole sections of the brain is beyond reasonable speculation, doctors said.
   "When you are talking about what is currently regarded as irreversible neuronal damage, I don't know what kind of treatment in the future could bring those back to life," Bernat said. "It sounds like science fiction to me."

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Page 36
March 20, 2005 Los Angeles Times
'Honor Killings' Show Culture Clash in Berlin
The latest slaying of a Muslim woman in the German capital has sharpened the debate over the place of immigrants in Europe.
By Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writer

BERLIN — Frost covers the roses, and the scrawled eulogies are tattered near the sidewalk where Hatun Surucu was gunned down. The attackers appeared on a cold night more than a month ago. Three shots were fired and the young Turkish woman crumpled in the blurred glare of a streetlight.
   The accused assailants fled to a place that Surucu knew well: the home where she was raised. Her killers, police say, were her brothers.
   A 23-year-old single mother seeking to escape tradition and religious constraints, Surucu was the sixth Muslim woman to have died in the German capital since October in suspected "honor killings," slayings arranged by families who believe that their reputations have been stained.
   Such crimes are rarely mentioned in Germany's newspapers.
   But Surucu's public slaying has instigated fresh debates on politics, immigration, human rights and a rigorous Islam adopted by a minority of Muslims confronted with poverty, discrimination and liberal European attitudes. The case is a portrait of contradictions — much like Surucu, whose memorial pictures show her either wearing the hijab, the head scarf of her Eastern heritage, or with the uncovered hair of her Western aspirations.

   "Hatun couldn't bring her two worlds together," said Marko Katovcic, a classmate in an electrical apprentice program. "There is too much contradiction between these worlds. We knew she had problems, but she didn't talk about private things."
   Surucu's violent fate is a verse in the larger epic of European immigration. The continent's Muslim population has nearly doubled to about 14 million over the last decade. Many Muslim immigrants seek immediate assimilation. Others practice their religion and traditions while embracing their adopted countries. A small but growing proportion turns to more radical religious precepts that have unsettled the continent since Sept. 11, 2001, and last year's Madrid train bombings.
   Surucu crossed all strands of these immigrant classes, but it was only after her death that her predicament touched German society.
   On websites and television shows and in speeches and proclamations, Surucu, who lived with her 5-year-old son in a worn-down complex of pre-World War II apartment buildings, has become a symbol for causes ranging from women's rights to conservative Christianity.
   "Something like this happens, and suddenly all Turks in Germany get recognized through Hatun," said Eren Unsal, a representative of the Turkish Assn. in Berlin and Brandenburg. "This is not fair or accurate."
   A lithe woman who wore big earrings and shoulder-length hair, Surucu was the daughter of Turkish-Kurdish immigrants from the Anatolian plains of southeastern Turkey, part of a stream of guest workers who began arriving in
the 1960s. She grew up amid the basement mosques and kebab stands in this city's multicultural Kruez- berg district.
   Friends say her father, Kerim, a cook, adhered to the strict traditions of his native land. She was 16 when her parents arranged for her to marry her cousin and move to Istanbul, Turkey.
   It didn't last. She returned to Germany around 2000 with her son, Can. She distanced herself from her family and complained to police that one of her five brothers had threatened her.
   She moved into her own apartment and enrolled in an electrician apprentice program. She went to discos. She drank alcohol. She stopped wearing the hijab. She observed some tenets of her faith, such as not eating pork. Friends say she believed that Europe held a place for modern Muslim women.
   Her opportunities were limited. Despite their decades-long history in Germany, the majority of the nation's 2.5 million Turks exist in a parallel society that has only recently shown signs of integration. Turkish artists, writers and film directors, along with a growing number of businesspeople and a scattering of politicians, are making inroads. But the children of immigrants, such as Surucu, face daunting statistics: 45% of the Turks in Berlin are unemployed, and 30% drop out of high school.
   "Hatun was independent and believed she could make it," said Iris Bock, who runs a bakery across the street from Surucu's apartment in the western Tempelhof district. "But she made a mistake, and she cut the ties to her family. She was direct and said what she felt."
   Unsal of the Turkish association tried to explain the implications of that estrangement.
   "Respect is the motive behind honor killing. The honor of the family and the honor of the brothers are fixed upon how the sister's perceived," he said. "I don't want to defend these brothers, but they were raised in a system to uphold the honor of the family at any price. Hatun married and left a husband and returned home to live alone.
   "What's worse, she didn't want anything to do with her biological family. They couldn't figure this out. She just didn't want to be controlled anymore."
   According to police, about 9 p.m. on Feb. 7, Surucu's brothers Mutlu, 25; Alpaslan, 24; and Ayhan, 18, shot her on Oberland Street about two blocks from her apartment. Police were led to the men after one of their girlfriends made comments about the alleged plot. The brothers have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder. Their father told a Turkish newspaper that he did not sanction an honor killing.
   "They are all my children," said Surucu's mother, Hanim, standing at the family's front door wearing an ankle-length green-and-blue print dress and matching hijab. "My sons didn't do this. They went to work and then were taken away in handcuffs."
   Surucu's slaying followed the suspected honor killings of five other Berlin women since the fall. They include a woman who was stabbed in front of her children and another who drowned in her bathtub.
   Human rights organizations and Muslim activists estimate that there have been 45 honor killings and thousands of arranged or forced marriages in Germany since 1996.
   These cases have further complicated this country's troubled, and sometimes misguided, efforts at integration.
   Conservative legislators in some states want to ban teachers from wearing the hijab in public schools, and new laws make deportation of radical mullahs and extremists easier. Conservative German groups and right-wing websites say Surucu's slaying is another indication the Muslim immigrant community ignores Western values and is growing increasingly volatile.
   "Along with Hatun Surucu, so has the dream of multiculturalism died," states the website run by the far-right Republikaner political party. "The death of this young woman must convince the last multi-culti romantic that the dream of a peaceful coexistence of different cultures and religions is over. Islam is and stays incompatible with the values of our constitution."
   Muslim political and religious organizations decried Surucu's death and have called for examinations of cultural relations and religious attitudes.
   But Germans were stunned when the media reported that some Turkish boys in a neighborhood school said they sympathized with Surucu's suspected killers. One of them said Surucu "had only herself to blame." Another said: "She deserved what she got — the whore lived like a German."
   Seyran Ates, a Berlin-based lawyer and women's rights activist, said Germany's efforts to spread social equality and its "oversensitivity" toward minorities had allowed a conservative radicalism to flourish in some Muslim neighborhoods. Since the Holocaust, German governments have been careful not to single out religious or ethnic groups, an approach some critics say spawned an atmosphere that aided several Sept. 11 hijackers who had studied in Hamburg before leaving for the U.S.
   "This false dream of tolerance and Germany's fear of being called racist are helping fundamentalists," Ates said. "Honor killings are a cancer brought here from the East. But now this cancer is receiving nourishment because this fake
tolerance has created parallel societies…. Radicalism is increasing, especially among the young. This 'lost generation' is returning to its roots because they feel they have no chance of a job and that they've been put into a box since Sept. 11."
   Some Muslim activists say they are surprised at the attention that Surucu's case has raised.
   "The interesting thing now is that talk of honor killings is getting on the evening news," Unsal said. "The negative effect is that it fits into the agenda of Christian conservatives who believe Germany should only be a Christian country. I'm sure Hatun's murder will be used in many political campaigns. The positive side is that we're finally becoming sensitive to protecting the rights of Muslim women."
   The candles were cold at the ragged memorial near the bus stop where Surucu died. Passersby stopped and read notes tacked on cellophane and roses left in the dirt. One note read: "What's wrong with a world where we judge others in the name of God?"
   Around the corner and down an icy sidewalk, Surucu's apartment has been sealed by police. Her neighbors don't answer their doors; they have spoken enough.
   But still there are contradictions, those unresolved questions left by a young woman tugged by two worlds. Surucu was buried in German soil with her face pointed toward Mecca. She had shunned Islamic veils for blue jeans and body piercings, yet a picture taken at her funeral that appeared in a national newspaper showed men with beards praying over her coffin.
   The German courts will decide who will raise her son.

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Page 37
March 20, 2005 Los Angeles Times
WORLD CINEMA
He's outgrown anonymity

Discovered in an orphanage at age 14, Olzhas Nusuppaev has won several best actor awards for his role in the Kazakh film "Schizo."
By John Clark, Special to The Times

The legend of Schwab's drugstore — of being discovered in an unlikely place and becoming a star — lives on, though in ways more poignant and more unexpected than might be imagined.
   Such is the case of then-14-year-old Olzhas Nusuppaev, who was found in an orphanage in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan and cast in "Schizo," a film that went on to appear in festivals at Cannes, Tokyo, Toronto, Copenhagen and Morocco and that opens here April 1. Along the way, Nusuppaev has won several best actor awards.
   "He even became actor of the year in Kazakhstan, or something like that," says the film's director, Guka Omarova, laughing a bit at the wonder of it all.
   Of course, it's a wonder that she had everything to do with creating. Omarova says she was "looking for someone who was strange. He's calm, he doesn't look smart, but at the same time he could be aggressive, so you don't know what to expect of a guy like that."
   In other words, she was looking for someone like Schizo, so named because of his unpredictability. He lives with his mother and her younger boyfriend (Eduard Tabyschev) in poverty near Almaty in southeastern Kazakhstan, a derelict, windswept area on the Chinese border. To make ends meet, Schizo is employed by the boyfriend to solicit fighters for illegal fistfights.


   One of them, before dying in the ring, entrusts his prize money to Schizo, instructing him to give it to his girlfriend (Olga Landina). It turns out that she is older (28), attractive and poor, and she has a young son (played by another orphan, Kanagat Nurtay). Schizo falls in love with her and the child and becomes the man of the house — which means supporting them, something he does with surprising cunning and ruthlessness.
   "It's strange because people from the Western world think it's a very tough movie, but for us it's just normal, regular," says Omarova.

Fateful turns of events
The director is a native of Kazakhstan who peddled Philip Morris cigarette brands on the street ("I was the only woman driving a car in Almaty," she says. "I had a beautiful business future"), then studied journalism, worked in television, directed documentaries and co-wrote a highly successful film called "Sisters." She was inspired to write "Schizo" by a young fighter who approached her at a cafe and told her about himself. He had a mangled nose and missing teeth, and it was clear he wouldn't last much longer. She couldn't get this man out of her head. A little later the teenage son of a friend committed suicide, and the images came together in her mind.
   How Omarova found the young man to play a character inspired by suicide is, she says, "a strange story." She began casting the film in June 2003 with the idea that she would start shooting that fall. But schoolchildren were on

their summer holidays, so there was no easy way to canvass the country for the right boy.
   "Then I had a very weird idea," says Omarova, who now lives in the Netherlands. "I thought maybe I should take a look at an orphanage house. I called my assistant and said, 'Take a camera and go and have a look.' He chose an orphanage [at random]. And it was his first day of casting, it was the first orphanage, and it was the first boy. It was him. And later, when we looked at 300 people, we came back to him."
   Omarova says she wasn't concerned about Nusuppaev's inexperience but about his height, which made him look younger than she wanted the character to be. But she was won over by his mixture of aloofness and vulnerability.
   "I asked him to play a gangster in front of the mirror," she says of the first time she actually saw him. "He was so awkward and so touching." According to Omarova, when she found Nusuppaev he was the leader of what the orphanage director called high-risk kids, meaning they smoked, drank and stole. Both his mother and his aunt had died of a vascular disorder, which he has inherited (which explains the unexplained bandage on his leg in the film). His father, a pianist, is an alcoholic, so Nusuppaev and his older brother were taken away from him by the state — and split up. In another strange story, Omarova says she actually considered the brother for the part, not knowing that he was related to Nusuppaev.

Working with teenagers
One thing Omarova had to deal with that she wouldn't have with a boy from a more conventional background was his guarded nature, a common characteristic of institutionalized children. This, she says, she overcame simply by working with him (the shoot lasted six weeks). It may have helped that she was an actress when she was his age, working for the famed Russian producer Sergei Bodrov (who also produced and co-wrote this film). And she has a 17-year-old son herself, so she's certainly used to dealing with teenage boys.
   Asked if he liked the experience, Nusuppaev, speaking Russian as Omarova translates, says, "Yes, except when she was shouting at me." Omarova describes her relationship with Nusuppaev as friend, sister and mother, a combination she can pull off in part because she's 36 but looks 26. She needs to be all of these things to him because even though the movie was huge in Kazakhstan and his face was everywhere on posters, no one has come forward to claim him. So Nusuppaev, now 16, is back at the orphanage.
   "Before the film he had lots of problems with alcohol and cigarettes, but now everything has changed," Omarova says. "I think he became more self-confident. He's definitely not a child anymore. It's a great experience that

people love him. Now it's helping him to be strong enough to struggle. But he has another problem: He has lots of girls."
   Nusuppaev, who will leave the orphanage when he is 18, says he would like to continue acting but has to think about making money. Omarova is helping him accumulate enough to continue his schooling and thinks he may try the oil business, because that's where the money is in Kazakhstan.
   "Although I don't think he can make it because he's more humanitarian, rather than businessman or technician," she says. "We'll see." Meanwhile, with the festivals and press appearances, Nusuppaev has gotten to see a bit of the world. While in New York recently he was most impressed by St. Patrick's Cathedral. And when the movie was screened at Cannes last spring, he and Omarova's son met for the first time at the famed La Croisette hotel and had a glass of Champagne. But even this heady experience was bittersweet, because although the boys got along well, Omarova says her son is a bit jealous of the attention she gives Nusuppaev — and vice versa.
   "It's very complicated," Omarova says, not wanting to hurt either boy. "It's like being on a knife edge."
   Which is to say that — at least for now — Nusuppaev is part of the family.

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Page 38
March 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
OBITUARIES
Opal Marie Petty, 86; Won Lawsuit Over 51 Years in Mental Hospitals
By Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer

Opal Marie Petty, the Texas farm girl who spent 51 years wrongly locked away in mental institutions and ultimately won a six-figure verdict for her suffering, has died. She was 86.
   Petty died of unspecified natural causes Thursday at a hospital in San Angelo, Texas.
   In 1989, four years after she was rescued by a nephew she had never known, Petty won a $505,000 verdict against the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation for negligently subjecting her to "institutionalization syndrome."
   The Texas Supreme Court upheld the decision three years later, cutting the amount to the $250,000 legally allowed in damage suits against the state. With interest, she received about $350,000.
   Because the state's Supreme Court issued a 9-4 decision, and declined to resolve several issues over mental health treatment records, the ruling was not considered a legal precedent.

   Nevertheless, Petty's case became a rallying cry for those in Texas and across the country working to reform mental health treatment practices through the courts and state legislatures.
   Petty's sad saga began on the family farm in Goldthwaite, Texas, in 1934, when she was 16. She talked about seeing a man at her window and frequently lashed out at family members. One day she was found digging her own grave with a butcher knife.
   Her parents, baffled, consulted a local doctor who convinced them to commit her to Austin State Hospital. Depression-era conditions meant that patients slept on concrete floors and cared for each other because of a lack of staff.
   State officials claimed that Petty was schizophrenic. Her lawyers argued that she suffered a brief period of psychotic depression and recovered but was never released.
   The Texas Supreme Court majority opinion concluding her personal injury case on Dec. 31, 1992, noted that Petty was variously diagnosed during her confinement as being schizophrenic and not mentally ill, and mentally retarded and not mentally retarded.
   "Her treatment, however, was never affected," the court said. "For five decades, her treatment consisted of only 'custodial care,' the principal rehabilitative therapy being 35 years of work in the hospital laundry at a salary of $2 per week."
   After 37 years at the Austin facility, Petty was transferred to a state school for the mentally retarded in the west Texas town of San Angelo in 1971, when she was 53. Her status was first reviewed by a court in 1979.
   In 1978, Texas had passed its Mentally Retarded Persons Act, which for the first time set standards for involuntary commitment.
   A year later, the U.S. Supreme Court upgraded involuntary commitment standards, forcing all states to revamp their mental health laws. By 1983, Texas completed its revision, which included periodic reviews of all mental health patients.
   But Petty's involuntary institutionalization had long pre-dated those measures and seemingly was not to be affected by them.
   Her personal happy ending began not in a court or legislature but at a family reunion in 1985. Her younger sister happened to mention Petty's whereabouts — the first time Clint Denson, the son of a third sister who had died, had ever heard of his Aunt Opal.
   Denson and his wife, Linda Kauffman, went to see her — finding her dirty, disheveled and barely able to communicate. They began visiting, took her clothes and convinced officials to place her in a group home. When that didn't work — she had become so institutionalized that she couldn't bathe herself — they moved her into their own home.
   At age 68, Petty finally began to regain her independent life. With the help of a speech therapist, she became more verbal. She resumed playing the piano, which she had learned as a youngster, and took an interest in wearing jewelry and polishing her nails.
   She sewed clothing for the six dolls she had purchased with her earnings from the hospital laundry, caring for them like the children she never had.
   Denson and Kauffman worked with Texas Civil Rights Project to file suit on behalf of Petty. The money Petty received in her court case was administered through a trust fund by the Texas Mental Health Assn.
   She used some of the funds for her health care and to purchase a limestone ranch house on a 6 1/2-acre lot 20 miles outside San Angelo, where the trees outnumbered people and she could simulate her early farm life. She lived there with Denson and Kauffman.
   Petty disliked talking about her half century of involuntary confinement, saying only that it was "awful" and that she missed having birthday parties.
   She allowed herself one big celebration after receiving money from her personal injury case — a trip to Disneyland.

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Page 39
18 February 2005 Science Magazine
Science, Vol 307, Issue 5712, 1032-1034
ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION: A project backed by the World Bank aims to reverse the Aral Sea's rapid decline, but it could also increase traffic to an abandoned bioweapons testing site
To Save a Vanishing Sea
Christopher Pala*

AKESPE, KAZAKHSTAN--Amid a parched landscape, Denis Zhakupov draws his hand across his chest, recalling how shoreside reeds grew "up to here" in his childhood. The air was full of birds, and the sea was full of fish. "We had everything," the 60- year-old medic recalls. But his community, like many other towns near the coast of the Aral Sea, has lost its shoreline and its easy fishing. They are victims of an avoidable environmental catastrophe that has devastated this region and given Akespe a problem all its own.

As the sea withdrew several kilometers to the south, it bared a bottom of fine, alluvial sand. The winds picked it up and blanketed the village, piling up dunes higher than houses that now make the place look like a Saharan oasis--without the palms. Some houses have collapsed under the pressure of drifts. "We have to dig ourselves out every day when the wind blows," Zhakupov complains.

Desiccation has been eating at the Aral Sea for 30 years, turning a bountiful source of fish into a salty, inhospitable body of water. The sea shrank by 75% and split into two parts joined by an isthmus: the Small Aral in the north, which includes Akespe, and the Big Aral in the south.


Beached. A Soviet decision to divert river water to cotton farming hastened the Aral Sea's retreat.
CREDITS: C. PALA

A regional governor in the north decided to do something about the crisis a dozen years ago and built a primitive dike to prevent the Small Aral from completely draining away. But the dike quickly breached. Workers rebuilt it again and again--seven times in all--finally giving up in 1999.

After years of monitoring the local efforts, the World Bank agreed to finance a properly engineered dike that includes a sluice to release excess water. The bank also committed to major works aimed at doubling the flow of the Syr Darya, the main river that feeds into the Small Aral. The $85 million project, now under way, "is the biggest attempt to repair a damaged lake that we've seen so far," says Philip Micklin, an Aral Sea specialist at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

The new dike and sluice are to be completed this summer. Within 3 years, the Small Aral is expected to rise at least 3 meters and cover about 1000 square kilometers of now-dry former seabed, extending its surface by 25%.

The water's rise is also expected to increase rainfall, improve pastureland, and cut down on dust storms. The sea's salinity, now at 15 grams per liter, is predicted to fall to 10 grams, a third of the concentration of the ocean and roughly that of the Aral Sea before desiccation began. Fish and other freshwater aquatic life forms that retreated into the Syr Darya delta when the sea became too salty are expected to return, perhaps including the commercially valuable caviar-yielding ship sturgeon. If it succeeds, the restoration will partly undo the damage wrought by 3 decades of Soviet policy. But the dike may also decrease water flow to the south and expose land in the Big Aral that was partially submerged. This in turn is likely to increase traffic across a land link to Vozrozhdeniye (Renaissance) Island, a remote site where the Soviet military once did field tests of plague and other bacteria whose lethality had been artificially increased. Thus the paradox: Reviving the Small Aral could worsen problems around the Big Aral.

Sacrificed to cotton
The recent disruption of the Aral Sea began in the 1940s with Josef Stalin's decision that the Soviet Union needed to become self-sufficient in cotton production. This could be done, he declared, by massively increasing the amount of water diverted for irrigation from Central Asia's two big rivers, Uzbekistan's Amu Darya in the south and Kazakhstan's smaller Syr Darya in the north. The sea, which got most of its water from these, would shrink, and a 50,000-ton-a-year fishery would be lost, but the Kremlin calculated there was plenty of seafood coming in from its Pacific and Atlantic fisheries. Today, the skeleton of a huge fish cannery towers over the town of Aralsk, Kazakhstan, once the main port on the northern part of the sea, now 80 kilometers away.

Since the heavy irrigation began in 1961, the Aral Sea has dropped 22 meters and lost 90% of its volume (Science, 2 April 1999, p. 30). Dust storms have picked up millions of tons of salt and scattered it over neighboring areas, spurring desertification. Pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers used with abandon during the Soviet period were also picked up by winds, resulting in steep increases in respiratory diseases and cancers--one consequence the Soviets hadn't expected.

As the sea level dropped, the sea's only nature preserve, located on an island called Barsa Kelmes, became accessible by car in 2000. It had been a primary research center for Soviet-era university studies of desert botany and zoology. Hundreds of saiga antelopes once grazed there; poachers have decimated all but a few, and the park administration no longer bothers keeping wardens there. A summer visitor, after driving for hours on the caked mud of the former seabed, found the scientific station deserted and partly in ruins. Because the water table had dropped, even the sturdy saxaul trees that form the region's biggest vegetation were dying.

This wasn't the first time irrigation had damaged the Aral Sea region. The Zoroastrian civilization built a vast agricultural network that collapsed in the 3rd century. In the 16th century, the British traveler Anthony Jenkinson noted that abuse of irrigation by Islamic settlers had caused "the great destruction" of the Amu Darya. Both civilizations discovered a simple fact of nature: The region is steeped in plant-stunting calcium sulfate, which is why very little grows, even near rivers. This salt leaches to the surface when land is excessively irrigated and requires increasing amounts of water to wash it away. The modern ecosystem collapse differs from earlier ones in two ways:

It happened faster and was accompanied by chemical contamination from fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.

As the crisis deepened, Soviet scientists and policymakers drew up grandiose plans for digging huge canals to divert and bring southward the waters of two of Siberia's northward-flowing great rivers. But when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985 with a mandate for change, he tossed out the plan as environmentally dangerous and ordered a reduction in the use of river water for irrigation. Uzbekistan, for whom cotton is the main export, ignored him.

The Amu Darya was still pouring some water into the Big Aral when Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991. To rescue the wetlands around its delta, Uzbek authorities, with international support, built a half-dozen more dikes. As a result, the Big Aral dropped another 7 meters and became so salty that today only brine shrimp survive in it.

The economic collapse brought one positive change, however: The use of agricultural chemicals plummeted. Residues seem to have settled or dissipated; the remaining fish in the Small Aral have fewer poisons in their fatty tissues than those in Europe, says Sergei Sokolov, a hydrochemist monitoring the project for the World Bank.

But the risk isn't gone, Sokolov says. As Kazakhstan's economy improves, the use of fertilizers has been rising. They flow into the river in the fall, after

the harvests of rice and cotton, when farmers rinse the ground to wash out salt. "There needs to be a system under which, for 1 month a year, this water is not sent into the river but into special lakes," Sokolov argues. If not, he warns, "the Small Aral will become polluted." But Masood Ahmad, the World Bank official in charge of the project, disagrees: He says pollutants will be diluted to a safe level by the river's increased flow.

New prospects
Standing atop the smooth, new, 13-kilometer dike financed by the World Bank, most of which is already completed, Aitbai Kusherbayev, the dam's chief engineer and a former governor of the Aralsk region, says he's confident the barrier will work this time. It stands 6 meters high, 3 meters above the planned new sea level, and slopes gradually for about 120 meters toward the water. The seaside will be covered with gravel to resist the waves and the winter ice that dislodged the previous dike in 1999.

The structure will indisputably benefit the Small Aral. But the three-times-larger Big Aral will suffer as water from the Syr Darya is retained in the north for several years to raise the Small Aral by 3 meters.

Already, desiccation around the Big Aral has caused Vozrozhdeniye to grow from a 33-kilometer-long island into a 145-kilometer peninsula attached to the coast of Uzbekistan. Until last year, this southern end was too wet even in summer for any vehicle to pass. But access may soon be possible.

Because of its remoteness, Vozrozhdeniye was used as the main Soviet center for testing bioweapons, antidotes, and vaccines in complete secrecy. In the 1970s and 1980s, the only town, Kantubek, had a population of 2000 in the summer when experimenters were busy. Researchers exposed monkeys, horses, and other animals to weaponized anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, plague, typhus, Q fever, smallpox, botulinum toxin, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.

In 1992, Uzbekistan acquired the southern part of the deserted island; Kazakhstan, the northern part. But neither country bothered posting guards, so Kazakh scavengers were able to travel there episodically in small boats to take away pipes, wires, and other materials and sell them on the mainland.

To a visitor 2 years ago, Kantubek presented a rare glimpse of the world's biggest bioweapons program in ruins. Cages and lab equipment were piled haphazardly, and unused germ suits still could be found in boxes. Most of the equipment in the "hot zone" had been evacuated.

Russian and Kazakh scientists agree that one potential hazard remains: Military-grade, antibiotic-resistant plague bacteria--very different from the strain endemic in Central Asia--may have survived among the rodents in the testing range, 16 kilometers from Kantubek, despite attempts to minimize risk. Gennady Lepyoshkin, who spent 18 summers supervising a laboratory testing weaponized bacteria such as plague and brucellosis, recalls: "Before we tested, we would spray a poison over the area to kill all wildlife. Then we would bring in our testing animals and release the aerosol with the germs. But there's a good chance that some rodents had stayed in their burrows when the poison gas was released and came out when the germs were passing around

them." Rodents and camels are natural carriers of plague; they don't die of it but spread it through fleas.

Lepyoshkin says Uzbeks will eventually cross the land bridge to Vozrozhdeniye, and the weapons-grade plague, if it has indeed survived, will spread when island and mainland populations of rodents begin to mingle. "An environmental catastrophe is inevitable," he claims.

There is a solution, according to Nikolai Aladin, a professor at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Aladin, 51, has been studying the Aral Sea for 27 years, perhaps longer than any other scientist (see sidebar on p. 1033). He proposes building a dike from the northern part of Vozrozhdeniye to the Kazakh mainland that would cause the shallow water on the eastern side to rise and return the foot of the peninsula to marsh, making it impassible for vehicles.

"There has been talk about it," says the World Bank's Ahmad, "but so far no work has been done to investigate its feasibility or find financing for it."

Micklin, while acknowledging the bioweapons threat, calls the dike project backed by the World Bank "a reasonable approach" for now. He says, "You can't restore the whole sea, given the amount of water you have available now, so restoring the Small Sea and bringing back the fishery is a wise idea, even though it may speed up the decline of the Big Aral." It boils down to a tradeoff between the clear benefits of restoring part of a devastated ecosystem and the uncertain risks of resurrecting an old threat.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Christopher Pala is a writer based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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Page 40
more 'patriotic gore': "Many are humorous or patriotic, others gory" (-from the picture caption)

March 14, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
Extreme Cinema Verite

GIs shoot Iraq battle footage and edit it into music videos filled with death and destruction. And they display their work as entertainment.
By Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer

BAQUBAH, Iraq — When Pfc. Chase McCollough went home on leave in November, he brought a movie made by fellow soldiers in Iraq. On his first night back at his parents' house in Texas, he showed the video to his fiancee, family and friends.
   This is what they saw: a handful of American soldiers filmed through the green haze of night-vision goggles. Radio communication between two soldiers crackles in the background before it's drowned out by a heavy-metal soundtrack.
   "Don't need your forgiveness," the song by the band Dope begins as images unfurl: armed soldiers posing in front of Bradley fighting vehicles, two women covered in black abayas walking along a dusty road, a blue-domed mosque, a poster of radical cleric Muqtada Sadr. Then, to the fast, hard beat of the music — "Die, don't need your resistance. Die, don't need your prayers" — charred, decapitated and bloody corpses fill the screen.
   "It's like a trophy, something to keep," McCullough, 20, said back at his cramped living quarters at Camp Warhorse near Baqubah. "I was there. I did this."


This image was shot by an American soldier in Iraq. There is an abundance of battle footage, which the soldiers edit into short films. Many are humorous or patriotic, others gory.


   Film cameras arrived at the front during World War II, but soldiers didn't really document their own combat experience until the Vietnam War. (The technology didn't lend itself to amateur moviemaking until the arrival of the smaller Super 8 cameras.)
   Today, video cameras are lightweight and digital technology has cut out the need for processing. Having captured a firefight on video, a soldier can create a movie and distribute it via e-mail, uncensored by the military. With editing software such as Avid and access to Internet connections on military bases here, U.S. soldiers are creating fast-paced, MTV-style music videos using images from actual firefights and killings.
   Troops often carry personal cameras and video equipment in battle. On occasion, official military camera crews, known as "Combat Camera" units, follow the troops on raids and patrol. Although the military uses that footage for training and public affairs, it also finds its way to personal computers and commercial websites.
   The result: an abundance of photographs and video footage depicting mutilation, death and destruction that soldiers collect and trade like baseball cards.
   "I have a lot of pictures of dead Iraqis — everybody does," said Spc. Jack Benson, 22, also stationed near Baqubah. He has collected five videos by other soldiers and is working on his own.
   By adding music, soldiers create their own cinema verite of the conflict. Although many are humorous or patriotic, others are gory, like McCollough's favorite.
   "It gets the point across," he said. "This isn't some jolly freakin' peacekeeping mission."
   Commanders have discretion to establish regulations concerning photography on base, but common-sense rules apply, an Army spokesman said. Images that threaten operational security — such as pictures of military installations or equipment — are not allowed.
   Before being deployed to Iraq, some Marines were told they could not take pictures of detainees, dead or wounded Iraqis or American casualties. But photographs and videos of dead and maimed Iraqis proliferate.
   "It doesn't bother you so much taking pictures of the guy who was just shooting at you," McCullough said. He added that he hadn't seen any pictures of dead U.S. soldiers. "It's just a little too morbid, a little too close to home."
   On the bases where Benson and McCullough live, the Army regularly searches soldiers' quarters for drugs, alcohol and pornography as part of what it calls health and safety inspections. But searching personal laptops would infringe on soldiers' privacy, said Capt. Douglas Moore, a judge advocate general officer with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Warhorse. Besides, if this brand of filmmaking breaks rules, they're of a different kind.
   "It's in poor taste," Moore said, "kind of sick."
   McCullough was surprised that his favorite video was disturbing to his loved ones back in Texas.
   "You find out just how weird it is when you take it home," said McCullough, whose screensaver is far more benign, showing him on his wedding day.
   Brandi McCullough, then his fiancee and now his wife, said she had walked in as he was showing the videos to friends who were "whooping and hollering."
   The 18-year-old was shocked by images of "body parts missing, bombs going off and people getting shot."
   "They're terrifying," she said by phone from Texas. "Chase never talked about anything over there, and I watch the news, but not all the time. I didn't realize there was that much" violence.
   She also wondered why anyone would record it.
   "I thought it was odd — a home video," she said. "People getting shot and someone sitting there with a camera."
   McCullough said his father, a naval reserve captain, had told him, " 'You know, this isn't normal.'
   "They were pretty shocked," he said. "They didn't realize this is what we see."
   Daniel Nelson, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, said he understood the disconnect.
   "I'm not surprised about this — it's a new consciousness that we're beginning to see," he said, comparing the videos to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photographs. "What happens in this situation, the culture is endorsing something that would be prohibited in another context stateside."
   What seems disrespectful or a trivialization is also a way for soldiers to distance themselves from the trauma, he said, which says: "I don't want to see what I've done or experienced as real."
   The creation of videos resembles what Nelson has seen in his work with traumatized children and Vietnam veterans, he said.
   "How do we create the story about our lives?" he asked. "Part of the healing process is for them to create a narrative, to organize an emotional story that allows them to get a handle on it."
   Thomas Doherty, chairman of the film studies program at Brandeis University and author of "Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture and World War II," called the videos an authentic diary of the war.
   "There's always the disconnect between the front-line soldier and the sheltered home front," he said. "It's a World War II ethos: You don't bring it home."
   After watching the video, Doherty said, "Of course you're struck by the gruesomeness of the carnage, but it's a wide range of images."
   He went on to praise "the contra-punctual editing — the beat of the tune and the flash of the images," calling it "a very slick piece of work."
   "The MTV generation goes to war," he said. "They should enter it at Sundance."
   In another video, made by members of the Florida National Guard, soldiers are shown kicking a wounded prisoner in the face and making the arm of a corpse appear to wave. The DVD, which is called "Ramadi Madness," includes sections with titles such as "Those Crafty Little Bastards" and "Another Day, Another Mission, Another Scumbag," came to light in early March after the American Civil Liberties Union obtained Army documents using the Freedom of Information Act.
   James Ross, senior legal advisor for Human Rights Watch, called it "disturbing that soldiers are making videos like that." But he added, "It doesn't mean that it's necessarily a violation of the Geneva Convention."
   The Geneva Convention instructs that remains of deceased shall be respected and not "exposed to public curiosity," Ross said. "It's not putting heads on spikes and things like that. To argue you can't photograph [a body] would be a bit of a stretch."
   Several websites sell footage from the war.
   "Militants fight in the streets of Baghdad, looting, lawlessness," is how clips are advertised on efootage.com. A Las Vegas-based company, Gotfootage.com, offers $50 and $100 clips that include older footage of Saddam Hussein, Jessica Lynch, aerial bombardment and "sooooo many bombs." The site also advertises video showing an Iraqi fuel truck being destroyed by U.S. bombs during the invasion in March 2003.
   Another website advertises, "GrouchyMedia.com is the place to find those pump-you-up-to-kill-the-bad-guys videos everyone has been talking about."
   Spc. Scott Schroder, a gunner with Task Force 2-63, wouldn't show what he described as the "evil, nasty kill-videos," to his family.
   "That's cool with the guys," he said. "I don't think my mom would care to see any of these videos."
   Another specialist, who wouldn't give his name, said the bloody videos disgusted him.
   "I wouldn't watch them, and the people I work with wouldn't watch them," said the specialist, stationed at a base near Mosul in northern Iraq. "I don't think it's proper."
   He compared the violent videos to those made by insurgents showing beheadings.
   "You bring yourself down to their level," he said. "Why would you do that?"
   A poster for the video game "Grand Theft Auto" is pinned to the door of McCullough's room at Camp Warhorse.
   Watching the home videos gives him a different perspective on combat, he said. Details are missed in the heat of battle, and the military "could use it as a tool, kind of like how they do it with high school football."
   His roommate, 30-year-old Sgt. Benjamin Bronkema from Lafayette, Ind., said he was surprised no one had tried to sell the movies yet.
   "If I had a copy of it, and MTV called, I'd sell it," he said. The videos are no different than what's on screen at the cinema, showing glorified violence, he added.
   "It's no more graphic than 'Saving Private Ryan,' " he said. "To us, it's no different than watching a movie."

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Page 41
perryb here with "Patriotic Gore" (compliments of Edmund Wilson)

March 14, 2005 Newsweek Magazine
The Military
Back To The Front

Soldiers who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing the unthinkable:
Going back into battle.
Pat Wingert and T. Trent Gegax

Army S/Sgt. Daniel Metzdorf figured his career as an infantryman was over when he lost his right leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq in January 2004. But back at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, Metzdorf saw other amputees ambling by on high-tech prosthetic legs and had a crazy idea: he wanted to go back into battle with the 82nd Airborne. It was a long and painful struggle. The 28-year-old had 19 operations and faced hours of grueling rehab, first learning to walk again, and then to run and swim. Confident that he was ready, Metzdorf applied for reinstatement. But instead of a new post, the Army had another offer: a medical discharge. To a fighter like Metzdorf, quitting didn't seem like an option. "I told them, 'I'm not going to get out'," he says. He applied--and was rejected--twice more before he won over one important ally, his unit commander, who weighed in on his behalf. Finally, the Army relented, assigning Metzdorf to a desk job at Fort Bragg, N.C. He's still angling to get back to combat duty in Iraq. "I'm still an asset," Metzdorf says. "I just want to give back as much as I got."

In previous wars, many severely wounded soldiers died on the battlefield. Amputees who made it home were automatically retired. Now advances in medicine mean more amputees are surviving, and today's high-tech replacement limbs let them lead active lives-- something soldiers like Metzdorf aim to do in uniform. George W. Bush buoyed their hopes when he visited Walter Reed in late 2003. "Today, if wounded service members want to remain in uniform and can do the job," Bush said, "the military tries to help them stay."


PFC. GEORGE PEREZ: Age: 21. Hometown: Carteret, N.J.: Paratrooper Perez recently completed his first successful jump with his new prosthetic leg. Now training at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, he's preparing to head to Afghanistan as a member of the 82nd Airborne in May.


A small core of determined vets is taking the president at his word. So far, fewer than a dozen have been declared "fit for duty," and many more are training for their comebacks. Top Pentagon officials were at first reluctant. But after hearing personal pleas from wounded vets--and seeing the soldiers' astonishing recoveries firsthand--they reconsidered. The first Marine amputee found fit for duty has just returned from seven months in Iraq. "We realize that a soldier's strong mental and emotional outlook can more than compensate for a changed body," says Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel.

The same grit that drew many of these vets to the military in the first place helps push them back into combat. Army Pfc. George Perez, 21, who lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Fallujah, wanted to stay in the service as soon as he found out he could walk again. "Ultimately, I want to do what makes me happy. It's also love of country, but I've got goals. I'm hard to keep down," he says. In May, he'll head to Afghanistan. S/Sgt. David Chatham, 34, won a Silver Star for rescuing troops after a rocket- launched grenade attack outside Fallujah in 2003. He applied his own tourniquet to a nearly severed left ankle. As soon as he was conscious, "I knew I wanted to stay in," he says. "I've been in the Army for more than half of my life. It's my family."

It's not just the grunts who are eager to fight again. This month Army Capt. David Rozelle, 33, who lost part of his right leg to an antitank mine in 2003, will return as commander of the Third Armored Cavalry's regimental headquarters. Hours after surgery, Rozelle's commander stopped by his bedside to promise him another command once he'd healed. "I thought to myself, You can do this, I can go back and serve my country," says Rozelle, who has written about his experience in a new book, "Back in Action."

Some wounded soldiers are willing to do almost anything to get back into uniform. After Senior Airman Anthony Pizzifred, 20, lost his leg just above the ankle in Afghanistan last March, surgeons told him that the best

prosthetic leg--one that would allow him to walk, run and wade in the ocean--was designed for those with more severe amputations. Pizzifred wanted maximum mobility as fast as possible. So he told his doctors to take off as much as they needed. They wheeled him back into the operating room and cut off his leg almost to the knee.

Rejoining the service isn't necessarily a moneymaking proposition. Pizzifred says the Air Force would pay for a college education and a guaranteed mortgage if he retired, but he passed up the perks for a chance to serve overseas again. "I would have gotten more if I got out than I would by staying in," he says.

For many amputees, returning to combat duty may be an impossible dream. Some have multiple amputations. And those who've lost arms find it very difficult to learn to fire a weapon again. Special Forces Sgt. Andrew McCaffrey, 32, who lost his right arm below the elbow to a grenade in Afghanistan, now hopes to redeploy with the elite Green Berets. He has spent more than a year training and last week was performing field exercises with his unit at Fort Bragg. But base officials said his status was still uncertain. Many amputees can't return to the exact jobs they left. Army S/Sgt. Josh Olson, 25, lost his leg clear up to the hipbone while on foot patrol in Iraq in 2003. Army recruiters asked him to retrain and teach marksmanship instead. Last week Olson was thrilled to learn he'd been declared fit for combat.

Even if they persuade the military to let them go back to work, soldiers have to contend with an even tougher force: their families. Metzdorf is still trying to persuade his. "They think I've lost part of my brain, too," he says. Metzdorf told them not to worry. This time, he joked grimly, he'd be coming back in one piece.

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Page 42
March 7, 2005
"The proximal situation for the First World -the next 10 to 15 years, is that as technology and scientific advancements support more people with less work, not only will there be more and more 'idlemindedness to be filled', but there being a 'rate of creativity' relatively fixed by organism genetics (The Unemployability Conjecture), 'filling' that growing
drone/burden idlemindedness will become increasingly difficult -especially under constraint of 'what the system can bear', and indeed, it will be under abandonment found necessary by 'the aristocracy' that having nothing better to do and no 'viable directive', drone/burden idlemindedness will fill itself with 'taking to the streets' -the brute idiomatics 'from whence he sprung'".
(-from Breakdown - A Futurology -1996)

March 7, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
Deadly Swerves and Spins

Nightly displays of automotive recklessness called 'sideshows' have turned Oakland's streets into danger zones. Fans liken it to an art form.
By Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer

OAKLAND — At 1:30 on a recent Saturday morning, a caravan of 60 cars and vans barreled through this city's gritty east side, running red lights and stop signs. Some drivers weaved in and out of their lanes, dodging oncoming traffic at the last second.
   Moments later, three cars collided, the wreckage spattered with engine fluids, blood and brandy. Though some people stopped to help the injured — or to grab stereo equipment — most raced on.
   They had to get to the "sideshow," a dangerous and illegal frenzy of speeding and acrobatic driving perhaps best described as vehicular break dancing.
   Virtually every night, from midnight to dawn, hundreds of young people gather at intersections throughout this city to watch cars spin and swerve wildly, the drivers and passengers often dangling halfway out of open doors as the vehicles burn rubber. Some drivers like to spew sparks by wearing their tires down to the steel belts.


VEHICULAR BREAK DANCING: In a “sideshow” exhibition in an East Oakland intersection, passengers stand on the roof and hang out the doors of an accelerating car. (Robert Durell / LAT)
   The people of Oakland have survived epidemic drug use, soaring murder rates and police corruption scandals, but now they face an increasingly violent homegrown movement that has police chasing one spontaneous driving exhibition after another at a cost of $500,000 a year.
   "Sideshow" means something to the side — on the side of the road and outside the law. Many residents say sideshow is a growing threat to people and property. Participants, however, tout it as an Oakland original: an artistic expression of controlled power — like riding a bull — and East Bay hip-hop culture.
   "The sideshow has always been about where you go out and get seen," said Yakpasua Zazaboi, 28, whose company has been making sideshow videos for five years under the brand name Sydewayze.
   "When you successfully do doughnuts," he said, referring to 360-degree spins, "especially doughnuts that the crowd likes, it's such a release just to know that, if for no other reason, you are accepted."
   Part of the sideshow experience is the caravans that blast through major thoroughfares, picking up participants along the way. That's what led to the early-morning three-car pileup at MacArthur Boulevard and 77th Avenue.
   Two Times reporters traveling with undercover police officers in an unmarked vehicle happened upon the crash moments after neighbors summoned an ambulance. Two of the drivers had fled on foot. Police later determined that they were driving stolen vehicles. The third driver, who collects parking meter fees for the city, suffered a deep eyelid cut, bruises and
a mild concussion.
   The caravan eventually came to a stop a few blocks away at Foothill Boulevard and High Street, and the strange ritual that is sideshow began. As some cars blocked oncoming traffic, others took turns entering the intersection to perform tricks — some at high speed, others at a crawl.
   With sexually explicit rap music thumping from oversized speakers, cars spun and fishtailed with passengers hanging out of open doors and windows, a move called "spread your wings."
   Another car moved in tight circles with the driver somehow sticking both feet out an open door. Spectators jumped into the fray, standing on the hoods of slow-moving cars or dancing in the street in the thick blue smoke of burning rubber.
   "It's crazy," Taja Hamilton, 28, a sideshow follower of many years, said of the nightly scene. "The cars attract people like magnets. I've seen people almost get hit, then turn to the crowd and yell, 'Wow! Great! Did you catch that?' "
   By the time police arrived, the cars roared off for a new place to sideshow, their numbers overwhelming the few patrol cars on duty. The strange delirium at Foothill and High was broken.
   Sideshow began a decade ago as impromptu street parties featuring stunt driving. About two years ago, it took an ominous turn, with crashes, beatings, fatal shootings and a rave-like lunacy fueled by the psychedelic stimulant Ecstasy.
   "It used to be about candy-apple paint, loud music, guys trying to meet girls, and doughnuts," said Zazaboi, a former driver. "It used to be about doing perfect doughnuts for a big crowd, and feeling special. It was about physics and skill, and knowing your vehicle, and the tread of your tires.
   "Now it's a different crowd," he said, shaking his head in dismay. "It's something crazy. It's 'anything goes.' "
   Mayor Jerry Brown, who has led the effort to revive this once-struggling city, has called for tougher laws to combat sideshows, which occasionally erupt under his bedroom window.
   "They're about spinning cars, girls, booze and drugs — with a lot of yelling and loud music," Brown said. "It has a certain ritual quality and obviously is stimulating and attractive to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
   "They are totally unacceptable," he added, "and an unfortunate drain on Oakland resources."
   When police roll up on a sideshow, they are often greeted with bottles and rocks — or worse.
   At a sideshow last November, two men were shot to death and three officers were injured. Among them was Officer Brad Young, who was bruised when someone placed a brick on a car's accelerator, tied off the steering wheel and sent the vehicle careening down a hill.
   "It hit the side of the patrol car I was in," Young recalled. "Man, that night was like a Baghdad street fight."
   In December, four young women in an Escalade were trapped in sideshow traffic congestion, pulled from the car, stripped, assaulted and sent running down the street naked as participants turned over their automobile, authorities said.
   On Feb. 6, a young mortgage broker who got caught up in a sideshow was shot and killed after his car accidentally grazed a van.
   Sideshows occur mainly at intersections along major thoroughfares. They can last a few minutes or more than an hour. But they also can erupt in mall parking lots, in tunnels, even on Interstate 80.
   They tend to feature Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Corollas and Chevelles with oversized 20-inch wheels, state-of-the-art sound systems with 15-inch speakers and special oil pans that prevent overheating by not allowing the lubricant to slosh to one side during high-speed turns.
   Maneuvers include sidin' — another term for doughnuts — and dippin', in which a driver hits the brakes and the gas to make a car rock back and forth in time to, say, Tupac Shakur's "Starin' in My Rearview" or Mac Dre's "Thizzelle Dance," a slang reference to Ecstasy. Ghost ridin' means jumping out of a moving vehicle — usually stolen — and letting it smash into another car, home or business.
   Then there is gettin' stupid, in which drivers or spectators dance spasmodically, sometimes on the hoods of moving cars.
   All of this is chronicled on DVDs and videos with titles such as "Oakland Gone Wild" and "23109" — the vehicle code for reckless driving.
   Sideshow was born a decade ago in places such as East Oakland's Eastmont Mall, where columns of smoke from burning rubber could be seen half a mile away.
   Though imitations have been reported over the years by police in Sacramento, San Jose, San Bernardino, Riverside and even St. Louis, sideshow never caught on outside the East Bay. Just why is anybody's guess.
   In Oakland, police cracked down on the parking lot sideshows a few years ago, inadvertently forcing the activity onto the streets.
   Former Oakland Police Chief Richard Word, who now heads the Vacaville Police Department, will never forget the night his commanders pushed hundreds of sideshow participants onto Interstate 80, then blocked all of the freeway's exits for six miles.
   "We sent them as far south as Hayward, where they looted a convenience store," Wood recalled. "Hayward folks were pretty upset. They said, 'Don't do that again!' "
   The city has tried various ways to control sideshow. In 2002, state lawmakers passed legislation by Sen. Don Perata (D-Oakland) that allows officers to confiscate sideshow vehicles for up to 30 days.
   During a dozen operations last summer, "we wrote about 3,000 citations and towed over 1,400 cars," said Oakland Police Traffic Cmdr. David Kozicki. "Labor Day weekend alone, we towed 321 cars. Of those 321 cars, 64% were unlicensed. The average age of their drivers was 25."
   In December, the Police Department announced plans to disband its 25-year-old mounted patrol to free up more officers for sideshow suppression.
   But the damage inflicted by sideshow continues to mount.
   Twice in November, sideshow drivers who were, as they say, swingin' acrobat ripped through Gladys Green's yard.
   "The first time, it cost me $1,200 to fix a fence," said Green, 81. "The second time, they tore down a different fence. That one cost me nearly $900."
   Ralph Davis' Higher Spirit Fashion store has been hit three times since June — most recently when the three cars collided at MacArthur and 77th. The vehicles had smashed up beneath a banner reading: "MacArthur Merchants Revitalizing the Boulevard."
   Several hours later, Davis gazed at broken glass and metal parts that had been swept into neat piles near the entrance to his store. "This stuff is bankrupting me, man…. It just tears me up. I've lost everything," he said.
   With residents demanding more protection, Councilwoman Deseley Brooks has proposed creating a city-sponsored sideshow venue.
   "The preferable thing is to move sideshow out of neighborhoods and into a place like the airport or Army base," she said. "We're spending an inordinate amount of money on this problem. Law enforcement, by itself, won't get the job done."
   "That's nuts," said Councilman Larry Reid, whose district has been hit hard by sideshow activity. "It's not the responsibility of the city to provide a venue for adults to engage in sideshow."
   For now, Reid's main concern is putting more officers in the vicinity of Palm Villa, a development of brightly painted affordable homes built on what used to be a stretch of liquor stores and seedy motels.
   The homes were designed to attract development in the blighted area. But lately they have been plagued by sideshow and its fans.
   "The stench and squeal of burning tires can be so strong that people can't sleep," Reid said. "Buses can't traverse the intersection. Homes have been hit by spinning cars."
   Oakland police have cracked down hard on sideshow in the past, most notably in 2002 after 22-year-old U'Kendra Johnson was killed in a sideshow-related accident. But sustaining those crackdowns has taxed department resources. Maintaining them year round, officials say, simply isn't possible.
   Brown says that with Oakland's homicide rate at historic lows, the city plans to splurge on "sophisticated new tactics" to combat sideshow. Those may include curfews, permanent confiscation of vehicles and arresting sideshow organizers.
   Even some sideshow participants, such as Terone Ward, 26, agree that the activity has spun out of control. Yet he can't imagine Oakland without it.
   "They'll never be able to stop sideshow; we've got strength in numbers," Ward said. "It's part of Oakland culture. It's in the people. It's who we are."

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Page 43
25 February 2005 Science Magazine
RISK AND PUBLIC POLICY: Courting Disaster
A review by Kenneth R. Foster

Catastrophe Risk and Response
by Richard A. Posner
Oxford University Press, New York, 2004. 332 pp. $28, Ł16.99. ISBN 0-19-517813-0.

In this fine book, U.S. federal judge and public intellectual Richard A. Posner worries about events of very low probability but very high impact, such as possible human extinction. These are catastrophes of a different order than the usual hurricanes and floods that are subject to a growing academic literature on risk management (1).
Complete article


Natural event with an impact. There is little doubt that a collision with an asteroid 10 kilometers in diameter, such as the one that hit the Yucatan 65 million years ago, would lead to the death of much of the world's population.
CREDIT: DON DAVIS/NASA

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Page 44
March 6, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Owners Unleashed at Afghan Dogfights
The tradition once banned by the Taliban now attracts nouveau- riche former guerrillas. A veteran referee decries the loss of etiquette.
By Paul Watson, Times Staff Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan — Referee Rozi Mohammed longs for the good old days of pro dogfighting, when competitors had a killer instinct and the owners had brains.
   The spectators' gallery used to include government officials, intellectuals and other members of the Afghan elite. Today's "shampoo users" spend too much time in front of mirrors, he scoffed. And in the sport's golden age, humans left the fighting to the dogs.
   At a recent Friday bout, a brawl among dog owners and fans drew the loudest cheers. After more than two decades of war, Afghans have forgotten the etiquette of one of the country's oldest blood sports, the referee said. These days, some fans come armed with concealed knives or guns in case the canines leave any scores unsettled.
   "They don't know what a book is — or what a dogfight is," said Mohammed, who thinks the rabble are ruining a noble sport. "It was a gentleman's game."
   For most of the last four decades, Mohammed has tried to bring order and fair play to the brawls between dogs with heads as big as bowling balls, fangs like daggers and impressively constructed shoulders.

   Dogfighting is a big winter spectator sport, attracting high rollers from among Afghanistan's nouveau-riche former guerrilla fighters. Some have been known to wager new Japanese cars over the outcome.
   The regular Friday fights draw several thousand spectators — men and boys only — to an icy dirt lot on the capital's northwestern edge. They form a large circle around more than two dozen big, barking dogs, who strain against nylon ropes and harnesses for a shot at the big time.
   The dogs come from Tajik homes to the north and Pushtun homes to the south. They stand between 2 and 3 feet at the shoulders.
   Some have the pure blood of Afghan mountain breeds, with thick muscles and the glistening coats of golden retrievers. Others are dark-haired mongrels that look underfed. All have ears and tails that were bobbed when the dogs were picked from the litter to be pro fighters.
   The teams of owners have spent years exercising and bulking up their dogs with special formulas of grain, raw meat and milk. Some hope to win a jackpot bet; others are there for the pure blood sport of it.
   During one bout, dogs went at each other on their hind legs, grappling and biting like rabid wrestlers. In minutes, the winded, bleeding rivals had their jaws locked tightly on each other's throats, growling and panting through clenched teeth.
   "Enough! Enough!" shouted the owner of the underdog. "It's a tie!"
   "No! My dog is winning!" the owner with the upper hand screamed back. "It's not over yet!"
   The losing side's owner kicked the opposing dog, enraging its owner, and a brawl broke out. Dozens of rollicking spectators poured into the arena to get a closer look at humans fighting with bare hands.
   One enthusiastic fan wielded a wooden club spiked with nails. But before human blood could be shed, police began whipping the mob with truncheons and rubber straps.
   Down in the spray of mud and slush kicked up by human feet, the bleeding dogs were still clamped onto each other. The referee called it a tie, which was to his slight advantage.
   Normally, only the winning team owes him a tip. With no loser, he could demand baksheesh from both teams of owners. At least one paid him just over $10.
   Mohammed's aides chased after the other team, which was parading its dog on an owner's shoulders. Once the issue of payment was settled, the 65-year-old referee scolded the crowd.
   "You elders bring the children with the dogs to fight, and when the dogs fight, the children fight along with them," he said. "You should always be careful and teach your children. Make peace between the owners and then decide whether to fight your dog or not."
   The fans laughed and cheered. Mohammed pulled an orange from his pocket, peeled it, and shook his head in dismay.
   Mamoor Shah, 31, was sure that his dog Godeer, or the Brave, had won fair and square. He hectored the referee.
   "One of the other dog's owners was saying, 'Stop, we surrender.' But then another one says, 'No, don't stop!' " Shah told Mohammed.
   "I told you it was over, but you still continued the dogfight," Mohammed spat back. "You made the fight dirty. What kind of hobby is this if you fight instead of the dogs?"
   The referee is not happy with the sport that is his life. He says it has been going downhill for three decades, since the days before Afghans began fighting one another. For him, all the class, the heart of the game, is gone.
   Shir Agha, a fighting-dog owner for 25 years, had to think back to 1973 to remember the sport's classic match, a two-day scrap that ended when the winner killed the loser.
   "It is a hobby and a love," said Agha, a big man in a black leather jacket smeared with mud. "Many people love to have a canary in their house and listen to the bird singing. And there are many other people who like to watch dogs fight."
   Later, sitting cross-legged on the cold, dirt floor of his small home and bemoaning the sport's decline, Mohammed became so agitated that his turban started to unwind.
   Before he could face a reporter's questions after Friday's matches, he spent 10 minutes alone in a back room with a chillum packed full of black Afghan hashish, bound by a wet cloth to a bubble pipe.
   "Wait and let me organize my mind," Mohammed said, rubbing his furrowed brow with one hand as he fired up his pipe with the other. He also
referees while stoned and claims the hash strengthens his voice. Pro dogfighting is proudly not a drug-free sport.
   After his bracer, Mohammed, a former guerrilla, pulled off thick, woolen socks and rolled up his pant legs to show his war wounds. Four pet quails peeped from small, wooden cages that dangled from his sitting room ceiling.
   The Soviets shot him in one leg, he said, and in a later war, Taliban soldiers stomped on the other. The Taliban considered the dogfights an offense to God and banned them.
   "I was arrested by the Taliban, and they said: 'You are the king of the game. You know everyone big.' They were asking me for Northern Alliance commanders' names, but I told them I was doing the work out of love and enjoyment and for the fans, not for the war."
   Mohammed is training a new fighter himself, a 10-month-old dog named Talak, or Trap. Its late father, a champion called Palang, or Tiger, killed a few opponents, Mohammed said, smiling at Talak's prospects.
   He has been raising the puppy on a diet of milk, yogurt and sheep's liver and believes a smudge of black hair on the dog's bobbed tail, and a fine, white line down his long snout, mark him as a born champion.
   But dogs fight best in the cold, so Talak won't be ready to defend the family name until next season. Until then, Mohammed's only income is the tips winners might hand over.
   The referee pocketed less than $100 on this Friday, not great for a seasonal wage. In a freezing wind and snow flurries, he was dressed only in three baggy, cotton shalwar kameez suits — pants and tunic — under an old, green vest and a black-and-white turban.
   He carried a stained, white plastic whistle and a long stick wrapped in black electrical tape, strips of plastic bags lashed to the bottom. It looked like a freaky kitchen mop.
   But it is the referee's weapon, walking stick and scepter, which he holds high in front of the spectators, like a drum major leading the band.
   Mohammed, one of the sport's best-known referees, is a very intense man. He has fiery green eyes, and when he makes a point, they bulge as his head snaps forward like a striking snake.
   Sometimes he snarls at the crowd or unworthy competitors, letting loose a loud, beastly sound that rises up from the back of his throat. It seems to work better on dogs than humans.
   When Soviet troops invaded in 1979, Mohammed joined the rebel war that drove them out a decade later. The Soviets arrested him in one of the war's early years.
   Before Afghanistan fell apart, Mohammed was a housepainter. He wants to be one again, and to prove his dedication, he pulled out a folded, grimy color chart he keeps in a small box for the elusive day when he can return to his trade.
   Mohammed doesn't like quitters.
   If he hears a dog go quiet like a loser, he'll call it out. The referee imitated the sound with a soft, "whuff, whuff," like the noise a well-mannered housedog might make if someone was at the front door.
   Even a defeated look is fatal in Mohammed's ring. He tilted his head to one side and winced to show the body language he sees in a done dog.
   In pro dogfighting, as in life, looking like a winner is half the game.

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Page 45
the fundamental flaw of adversarial process in court is that all goverment in general is, so far, based upon pecking order -'winning is all'. what we should expect, in addition to a continuing evolution of increasingly unambiguous laws and more or less ideally, is that opposing lawyers would rather do their best to dig out and present the facts with the sole purpose of advancing that evolution and serving society.

perryb

March 3, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
Is Justice Done in 2 Versions?

A California murder case in which two juries were told differing accounts of events raises concerns about fairness, ethics and tactics.
By Maura Dolan, Times Staff Writer

   Los Angeles prosecutor Steven J. Ipsen, arguing his first murder case in 1990, told a jury that Tauno Waidla had used a hatchet to inflict "the death blow" that killed a woman in her North Hollywood living room. Waidla was sentenced to die.
   Several months later, the same prosecutor told a different jury that Waidla's accomplice, Peter Sakarias, had "finally ended" the life of the victim, Viivi Piirisild. Sakarias also was sentenced to die for the murder.
   The lethal blow could not have been inflicted by both men. Did the prosecutor mislead the jury? If so, should the death sentences be thrown out?
   More broadly, how far should prosecutors be allowed to go in presenting conflicting facts to different juries?
   Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court are considering that issue. In both cases, death sentences sit in the balance. The California court could rule in the Piirisild murder cases as early as today.
   The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing an Ohio case involving two men who broke into a home, killed a woman and wounded her husband.


Peter Sakarias, left, and Tauno Waidla were found guilty in separate trials of killing Viivi Piirisild in North Hollywood in 1988. The California Supreme Court is reviewing the trials because the same prosecutor presented different versions of the evidence to each jury.

   In that case, in which the court is expected to rule later this year, a prosecutor who argued that one of the defendants had fired the fatal shots accepted a guilty plea from him. The man received the death penalty. In a later trial, the prosecutor told a jury that the co-defendant had fired the fatal shots. The co-defendant received a life sentence.
   Courts and legal ethicists have split on the question of whether such tactics are proper.
   Prosecutors, as representatives of the government, are responsible for more than just advocacy. Legal ethics say they must seek justice and truth, not just victories.
   Because of that, some courts and ethicists say prosecutors should not take contradictory positions knowing that one must be false, particularly in a death penalty trial. A prosecutor is more likely to win a death sentence if he or she can show that the defendant was directly responsible for the death.
   "The prosecutor cannot argue for an inference he knows is false," said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University School of Law who specializes in legal ethics.
   "Defense lawyers can," Gillers said, but "the prosecutor has an obligation to an accurate verdict. The defense lawyer's obligation is to win."
   Others say that prosecutors should be free to make the most convincing case possible using the available evidence.
   "A prosecutor is entitled to ask different juries to draw different inferences provided both arguments are made in good faith and not based on any false evidence," California Deputy Atty. Gen. Michael C. Keller argued before the California Supreme Court.
   No one knows for certain how often prosecutors blame different defendants for the same criminal act.
   University of San Francisco law professor Steven Shatz, who has reviewed cases of inconsistent arguments in California, found 14 trials during the last couple of decades in which prosecutors made inconsistent arguments about the roles played by co-defendants.
   "I was quite surprised to find out how often it happens," Shatz said.
   In some cases he reviewed, prosecutors presented substantially the same evidence at both trials but argued that the juries should draw different inferences. In others, prosecutors provided different evidence.
   Such tactics appeared to bother several justices of the California Supreme Court during a hearing in December on the Los Angeles cases.
   "In each trial, there is a selective manipulation of the evidence … to create a false impression that the case is a done deal," complained Justice Joyce L. Kennard.
   Other justices argued that it was the defense lawyer's job to police the prosecutor's argument.
   "What we have here is a horrendous murder — as bad as any I have seen — and two defendants working in concert to accomplish that murder," Justice Marvin R. Baxter said. Defense lawyers could have "put on a case" to expose any inconsistent arguments, he said.
   Defense lawyers, however, note that doing what Baxter suggested is not always possible because of the rules that govern trials.
   The trials for Piirisild's murder show how a prosecutor can create different impressions using the same evidence.
   The 1988 killing of Piirisild, 52, stunned Estonian immigrants in Los Angeles.
   Piirisild, an Estonian community activist, and her husband had met Waidla and Sakarias through a group opposed to Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.
   At first the couple warmly embraced the young men, who had defected from the Soviet Army and escaped to West Germany.
   The Piirisilds invited Waidla to live with them. For a year, he did jobs around the house in return for room and board. Sakarias visited.
   Eventually, the Piirisilds began to feel alarmed by Waidla's behavior, court records say. Waidla demanded money for the work he had done and threatened to report the couple for construction done without a permit. The Piirisilds evicted him.
   On a July morning when the Piirisilds were not at home, Waidla and Sakarias, then 21, broke into the house. When Piirisild returned, the two men attacked and killed her, stole some jewelry and credit cards, and fled. They were arrested weeks later near the Canadian border.
   The evidence, including the defendants' statements to police, indicated that Waidla had attacked first, hitting Piirisild with a hatchet when she entered the door. Sakarias then stabbed her with a knife. The men later dragged Piirisild from the living room to her bedroom. Sakarias told police he then hit her twice with the hatchet.
   Dr. James K. Ribe, the deputy medical examiner who examined Piirisild's body, said she died from a combination of her wounds.
   But which wound was the fatal blow? The massive sharp-edged hatchet blow and the stab wounds both were potentially fatal, Ribe said.
   There also was an abrasion on Piirisild's back consistent with her having been dragged. Ribe believed the abrasion occurred after death.
   During the first trial, prosecutor Ipsen argued that Waidla had wielded the hatchet — "the more devastating of the instruments." He suggested that Waidla had delivered all of the sharp-edged hatchet blows, including "that deathblow" that killed Piirisild in her living room, according to court records.
   The deathblow was the "critical point" that jurors should consider in deciding whether Waidla should live or die, the prosecutor went on. And he reminded the jurors about the abrasion on the victim's back.
   "We know she was dead in the front room of her home in her living room. We know she did not live to see or be dragged back into her bedroom because the coroner testified and told you that the burn mark on her back, as she was dragged … was a postmortem, or an after-death wound," he told Waidla's jury.
   Moreover, he argued, Waidla was "the dominant person between himself and Mr. Sakarias" — "the planner."
   About eight months later, Sakarias went to trial.
   This time, Ipsen presented the evidence very differently: Piirisild was still alive when she was dragged to the bedroom, he told the jury. Sakarias, not Waidla, was responsible for all of the sharp-edged hatchet wounds, which he inflicted in the bedroom, Ipsen said according to court records.
   And, according to court records, he told jurors, "absolutely no evidence" showed that Waidla was the dominant personality. "In every respect, Peter Sakarias was a partner of Tauno Waidla," he said.
   This time, Ipsen did not mention the abrasion on the victim's back. He said he no longer believed that the abrasion was significant. Sakarias' lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Daniel Blum, did not ask about it.
   In an interview, Ipsen said his view of the evidence had changed between the two trials.
   "There were multiple fatal blows, any one of which could have killed her," said Ipsen, president of the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys Assn., a vice president of the State Bar of California and a board member of Crime Victims United, a victims' rights group.
   "They plotted the murder together. They were one," he said.
   Ipsen also denied telling both juries that each defendant had inflicted all the hatchet cuts, although the state attorney general's office, in its court filings, has conceded that his arguments to the jury "suggested" that conclusion.
   When the cases reached the California Supreme Court in a constitutional challenge to the inmates' death penalties, defense lawyers contended that Ipsen's arguments had violated the defendants' rights. The justices appointed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Willhite Jr. as a special referee to determine what had happened at the trials.
   Willhite decided that Ipsen had made "an intentional strategic decision … to maximize the portrayal of each defendant's culpability."
   At the time of the second trial, Ipsen may not still have believed that Piirisild died in the living room, but he had "strong reason" to believe it and "the great weight of evidence" supported it, the judge found.
   The judge presented his findings to the Supreme Court but did not make any recommendation about how the cases should be resolved.
   California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer and the Los Angeles district attorney's
office have urged the state high court to uphold the death sentences, arguing that there was plenty of evidence supporting death verdicts even without Ipsen's arguments.
   Deputy Dist. Atty. Hyman Sisman, who is representing the district attorney's office as a party in the litigation, said the sentences should stand because Piirisild could have died from wounds inflicted by either man.
   Sisman nevertheless said he personally would have argued the cases "a little differently."
   Ipsen is a "much more flamboyant kind of guy," Sisman said. "I probably would have said that it doesn't matter whether the cause of death was the ax crushing the skull or the knife piercing the heart."
   Lawyers for the two defendants contend that Ipsen's arguments amounted to misconduct.
   "The evidence cannot be accurate in both trials because the crime could have only occurred in one way: either the scenario the prosecutor asserted at Waidla's trial or the exact opposite scenario at Sakarias' trial," Waidla's lawyers told the Supreme Court.
   Legal ethicists say prosecutors who are uncertain about who did what during a crime should confess the ambiguity to a jury.
   "There is no way you can believe two inconsistent things at once," said Fordham University School of Law professor Bruce Green.
   Based on Willhite's findings, the California Supreme Court could overturn both death sentences or leave them intact. Or the court could order a retrial on the sentence for Sakarias but permit Waidla's death penalty to stand on the grounds that evidence indicates that Waidla probably inflicted the killing blow.
   That third possibility troubles some legal scholars.
   "The D.A. knows better than anyone else, and if the D.A. can't pick the truth, how is the appellate court in the position to do it?" asked the University of San Francisco's Shatz.

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Page 46
the below is merely one report on one aspect of human sexuality where most people have no idea what communion of sexes has lain in our evolution or in the evolution of ALL organism sex in general (not to mention the fact of intersex). should anyone think this is a 'critique' of some kind, he is welcome to read what i have to say (in my inaccessible style):
Feminism, Male Sex, Evolution and Jail
The Etiology of Homosexuality (and Divorce and ...
The War Between the Sexes

perryb

February 28, 2005 Newsweek Magazine
Party, Play—And Pay
Multiple partners. Unprotected sex. And crystal meth. It's a deadly cocktail that has stirred new fears about the spread of HIV
By David J. Jefferson

It's Saturday evening in Manhattan, and three dozen men are crammed into a one-bedroom suite in an upscale hotel across from Ground Zero. After shelling out $20 apiece to the man who organized tonight's event over the Internet, the guests place their clothes in Hefty bags for safekeeping and get down to business and pleasure. A muscular man in his mid-30s sits naked on the sofa and inhales a "bump" of crystal methamphetamine. Within minutes, he's lying on the floor having unprotected sex with the host of tonight's sex party, whose sunken cheeks, swollen neck glands and distended belly betray the HIV infection he's been battling for years. In the bedroom, a dozen men, several of them sweaty, dehydrated and wired on meth, are having sex on the king- size bed. There's not a condom in sight. "It's completely suicidal, the crystal and the 'barebacking' [unprotected anal sex]," says one of two attendees who described the scene. "But there's something liberating and hot about it, too."

This is the ugly underworld of meth-fueled sex: "Party and Play," or PnP for short, as it's euphemistically called in Internet personal ads. News that a gay meth user in New York who had hundreds of unsafe sexual encounters may carry a virulent, drug- resistant strain of HIV has forced health officials and gay community leaders to take a sobering look at the growing role crystal methamphetamine is playing in the spread of AIDS. Doctors are unsure


whether the new strain is an isolated case or the precursor of a deadly new wave of HIV. But it's clear that a dangerous nexus has formed between the nation's two big epidemics: AIDS and methamphetamine abuse.

The meth epidemic isn't new, nor is it just a gay problem. After exploding in the Southwest more than a decade ago, the relatively cheap drug has spread north and east; a 2003 federal study estimated that more than 12 million Americans have snorted, smoked or shot up meth at least once. But it is in the gay community that the link between crystal meth and unsafe sex is most

alarming. In a study of 1,600 men who have had sex with men, conducted by the L.A. County public-health agency in 2003-04, 13 percent said they'd used meth in the previous 12 months; those respondents were twice as likely to report having had unprotected sex, and four times as likely to report being HIV-positive. And as many as three quarters of new patients diagnosed with HIV by counselors at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York each month say crystal meth played a role in getting them there.

Even before crystal became commonplace in gay sex clubs and at the roving bacchanals known as circuit parties, many men had begun to let safer-sex practices slip. The arrival of retroviral cocktails in the late 1990s made HIV a chronic but manageable disease for many, but it also gave uninfected men, especially younger ones, a false sense of security. Throw meth into the mix, and safe sex goes out the window: men high on crystal are four times more likely to engage in unprotected sex as those who aren't, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The powerful stimulant leaves many users feeling euphoric and hypersexual, resulting in binges with multiple partners that can last until the user comes crashing off the drug a few days later. Because crystal causes temporary impotence for many men (some pop Viagra to counter the effect), users are more likely to be the receptive partners in unsafe sex, where the risk of contracting HIV is greatest.

Why are so many gay men tempted to play this game of Russian roulette? Hans Kindt did it for the sense of belonging—and for the sex. Arriving in San Francisco in 1994, Kindt, then 34, was just coming to terms with his homosexuality. "I had no role models. I had to find my own way. I really didn't know anything. So I asked a friend of mine, 'How do you meet guys?' He told me the way to get into anybody's pants is to give them a hit of speed." But the pleasure came with a steep price. Within a year, Kindt had lost his job, he was homeless and he was HIV-positive. "Had there been a

candid, clear, honest discussion about the drug and its dangers—not the hysteria we are prone to in this country—then I think I would have listened," says Kindt, now sober and 45.

Many agree that frank discussion is the only way to deal with the problem. Recovering meth addict Peter Staley was so disturbed by the lack of dialogue that he spent $6,000 of his own money to plaster ads on phone booths in New York's gay neighborhoods that read BUY CRYSTAL, GET HIV FREE; the New York city council has since ponied up funds to expand the effort. Authorities in San Francisco launched a media campaign against "crystal mess," even plastering the ads on coasters at gay bars. And the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center has formed support groups where men can learn ways to deal with self-esteem and relationship issues without turning to crystal meth.

Step into a Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting—they now rival AA in attendance in many gay neighborhoods—and you'll hear the same story over and over. John, a graying fortysomething New Yorker who earns a six-figure salary in finance, started using the drug as a way to meet guys. At first, John would use on the occasional Friday night. Then it became every Friday. Then every Friday and Saturday. Eventually, crystal took up the better part of his week. Decimated by the endless partying, he would crawl into the bathroom at his office and curl up around the toilet, still wearing his business suit, to steal an hour of sleep. "You get tunnel vision," John says. "Your world gets smaller until it's just you, a pipe and the Internet." And, for a growing number of users, HIV.

With Karen Breslau, Jonathan Darman, Sarah Childress, Vanessa Juarez And Kathryn Williams

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Page 47
February 26, 2005
short book-review/excerpt -great reading -perryb

February 26, 2005
March-April 2005 American Scientist Magazine
A New Force of Nature, an excerpt from Keepers of the Spring: Our Water in an Age of Globalization

There are today some 800,000 dams around the world. Some 45,000 of them are more than 50 feet high; more than a hundred tower 500 feet or higher above the rivers they are intended to tame. If all the water in all the reservoirs behind all the dams in the world were collected together, it would measure 8 billion acre-feet. It would cover half of California to a height of 130 feet. If it were all released into the oceans, it would raise the sea level on every beach around the world by some 8 inches.

... Since 1900, the world has on average completed one large dam every day. Their turbines generate a fifth of the world's electricity, and their waters irrigate a sixth of the world's crops. They barricade 61 percent of the world's river flows.

These dams have even changed the shape and rotation of planet Earth. The water in their reservoirs is so heavy that it deforms the Earth's crust and unleashes periodic earthquakes. And by shifting water away from the equator, where ocean water is concentrated, they have altered the speed of the Earth's rotation in much the same way as ice skaters speed up by pulling their arms in close to the body. The "reservoir effect" has so far shortened the length of the day by about a thousandth of a second. The asymmetrical distribution of reservoirs round the Earth has even tilted the Earth's axis. The North and South Poles and every line of latitude and longitude are now 2 feet from where they would otherwise have been.

Dams are more than an earth-shaping technology. They have great power as totems of modernism and as symbols of a very mechanistic notion of how mankind can "tame nature."

Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water in an Age of Globalization; Fred Pearce Island Press, $26

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Page 48
below is a more or less 'standard' newspaper item. it is reproduced here, however, for its sub-surface elements, for how it is reflective of the human condition -'cruelty', more or less 'standard' (and, to a degree, how we treat each other), but other aspects such as "as many as 10,000 tigers are living in homes and 'pseudo-sanctuaries' nationwide" (even as we overrun them in their natural habitats) serving various 'human ends' -'badges of self-indulgence', 'personality' statements and dumb-ass, disney-level animal films among them.

perryb

February 25, 2005 Los Angeles Times
CALIFORNIA
Couple Questioned About Ventura County Tiger

They had permits for three of the exotic cats but officials saw only two on a recent visit to the new residents.
By Amanda Covarrubias and Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writers

State authorities investigating how a 425-pound tiger wound up roaming eastern Ventura County have questioned a Moorpark couple whose menagerie of exotic cats was confiscated from their rental home in the Tierra Rejada Valley earlier this month.
   The couple had a state permit for three tigers, though authorities who originally inspected the cages found only two. Officials had been alerted to the presence of exotic cats by neighbors who reported that a bobcat had escaped from the property.
   Fish and Game officials said Thursday that after reports of large paw prints in the area surfaced, they returned to interview Abby and Emma Hedengran about the possibility of a missing tiger. Authorities declined to provide details of the questioning, and the couple could not be reached for comment.
   When first visiting the couple Feb. 9, the state officials had not yet learned about the prints discovered Feb. 8 at a nursery in the Santa Rosa Valley near Moorpark, according to Steve Martarano, a Fish and Game spokesman.
   The tiger that left those tracks was shot dead by trackers Wednesday in a narrow ravine off California 23 in Moorpark.
   It is not unusual for big-cat owners to have fewer animals than the number listed on their permits, because some may have died or be on loan for film shoots, Martarano said.


A Siberian tiger eats at a facility in Colton whose ex-proprietor was convicted of animal cruelty. Many who have exotic cat permits provide animals to the film industry.
(Irfan Khan / LAT)
   The Hedengrans had recently moved two dozen exotic cats from Temecula to the Tierra Rejada Valley rental home without informing Fish and Game as required by state law, Martarano said.
   Officials learned about the move earlier this month after neighbors reported the bobcat's escape.
   At the time, the couple held a permit to keep 30 animals in Temecula, mostly of the smaller-cat variety, including lynx, a snow leopard and bobcats. The Feb. 9 inspection turned up only 22 exotic cats, including three African lions and the two tigers.
   The Hedengrans, who had held the permit since 1998 under the name Wild World/Tiger Creek Foundation, had never had any major violations at the Temecula property, Martarano said.
   On the Ventura County land, officials found some animals in makeshift cages on the front and back porches, and smaller cats running loose inside, all in apparent violation of state code. The Ventura County Department of Animal Regulation ordered the couple to remove the cats from the premises within 72 hours.
   By Feb. 12, state and local officials had determined that all had been relocated to permitted sanctuaries in Nevada and California, Martarano said. Fish and Game officials learned three days later about the large feline paw prints found in Ventura County, he said.
   Although the Hedengrans held an exhibitor's permit, they had the cats just because "the owner said he liked working with endangered species," Martarano said.
   Many of the approximately 33 organizations and individuals in the Southern California region that hold permits to keep exotic cats, including lions, tigers and lynx, cater to the movie business. They seldom have trouble keeping their grounds and cages up to code, Martarano said.
   "We have to keep our animals healthy and safe, not only for their sake but because we couldn't stay in business," said David McMillan, owner of Worldwide Movie Animals in Saugus, which provides exotic animals to Hollywood.
   But Fish and Game has pursued at least 67 cases involving violations of its restricted-species code throughout Southern California since 1998, according to Mike McBride, an assistant chief of enforcement for the agency's southern district, which covers most of the area from Santa Barbara County to Imperial County.
   Riverside County tiger sanctuary operator John Weinhart was convicted this week of child endangerment and animal cruelty, two years after authorities seized dozens of cubs and adult tigers from his properties.
   When county animal control officials raided Weinhart's Glen Avon compound, they discovered 11 tiger and leopard cubs in an attic, scores of dead tiger cubs in freezers, two alligators in a bathtub and dozens of rotting tiger carcasses littering the property. Weinhart's then-8-year-old son had access to the animals and a refrigerator full of animal tranquilizers.
   Weinhart had been charging $7 for tours of his animal center and $20 more for guests to take photos holding tiger cubs.
   Animal rehabilitator Chuck Traisi, who has been caring for Weinhart's 50-plus big cats since 2003, said the property smelled of rancid meat and "fecal buildup" when he took over.
   "This place is horrible — and there are places worse than this," he said Thursday. "The exotic animal industry in this country is a disgusting disgrace."
   Traisi, who left his San Diego wildlife center 21 months ago to care for Weinhart's tigers full time, blamed the problem on animal breeders. "A true sanctuary … wouldn't have to exist if people didn't keep breeding" exotic animals, he said. "Whether it's in somebody's backyard or a Las Vegas stage, it's all the same."
   The Humane Society of the United States estimates that as many as 10,000 tigers are living in homes and "pseudo-sanctuaries" nationwide.
   Most of Weinhart's tigers have been transferred to sanctuaries in California and Colorado The last seven will be moved Saturday to Ark 2000, a sanctuary near San Andreas, east of Sacramento, run by the Performing Animal Welfare Society.
   Permits from both Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are needed to own "restricted species" animals, which include most creatures other than typical household pets, according to McBride.
   Applicants for permits are required to prove their knowledge of and experience with a wild animal before qualifying, and the state mandates species-specific requirements for cage size and general care, he said.
   But because Fish and Game is overburdened by its conservation responsibilities, violators can easily fall through the cracks, McBride said.
   "When you get into things like an exotic tiger in a cage, you're asking the same agency that is out there trying to protect the wetlands [to handle] animal welfare situations," McBride said.
   In the aftermath of the tiger slaying in Ventura County, Fish and Game officials have come under intense scrutiny by animal rights advocates and the public over whether the animal could have been sedated and moved to a sanctuary instead of shot.
   Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Moorpark) said her office got more than 50 phone calls and e-mails from angry constituents. She scheduled a meeting this afternoon with Fish and Game officials.
   "There are a lot of questions that need to be answered by the Department of Fish and Game surrounding why this tiger had to be killed and how much of our public safety was in jeopardy while it was roaming around Moorpark," Strickland said. "We have a duty to the public so they can feel safe in their homes."
   Moorpark Councilman Keith Millhouse questioned whether state laws should be changed to restrict the ownership of wildlife and whether owners should be required to place identification tags on their animals.
   "The owner needs to be prosecuted. And if they didn't violate the law, there's a serious loophole," said Millhouse, who lives less than a mile from where the tiger was shot.
   People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also weighed in, offering up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the tiger's escape.

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Page 49
February 24, 2005
the latimes article below is consistent with my listserve posting today -only a matter of time before we are no longer permitted to 'make as much money as we want and indenture society to make it good while we fuck-off and chew into the resource/environment' -when, rather, we are 'urged' and supported and learn as necessary and possible -heuristically, to do what is 'best' for the life-form in its continuing understanding of itself in its configuration space.

February 24, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COLUMN ONE
A New Wrinkle in Workforce

An increasing number of Americans are staying employed past age 75, earning income that's a perk for some, a necessity for others.
By Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writer

Dressed in painter's whites, Nick Williams points out his toughest job, a two-story Colonial with shingles that he painstakingly scraped, sanded and painted by hand.
   "I was on a 32-foot ladder most of the time," said Williams, eyes twinkling. "But I was only 82 then."
   Now 10 years older, Williams is still climbing ladders and painting homes all over Ventura. He labors six days a week, a pace he intends to keep until "more than my knees give out."
   Far from settling into retirement, Williams and a growing number of people 75 and older are continuing to work, some because they have to, and others, such as Williams, because they want to.
   There's the 81-year-old Minnesota schoolteacher who retired after 60 years last summer, only to return to the classroom in September as a substitute. In rural Wyoming, a 93-year-old surveyor pounds his own stakes five days a week.
   Ella Clarke Nuite of Georgia has got them all beat. Honored last fall as "America's Oldest Worker," Nuite, 101, still pitches in daily at her family's bottled water business, filling orders and doing the books.


HIGH ATTENDENCE: After three months of retirement, Lucille Decker, 81, came back as a full-time substitute teacher.
(-'inevitable usefulness to the life-form')

PRIMER ON LIFE: Nick Williams of Ventura has no plans to cut back on his six-day workweeks. "I don't tell people my age, because you probably wouldn't hire a 92-year-old house painter," he says.


   For this hardy crowd, work keeps their bodies fit and their minds active. It gives their lives vitality and purpose, they say, while bringing in income that is a bonus for some and a necessity for others.
   "My children and many of my friends think I'm crazy," said a grinning Williams, white hair escaping his painter's cap in unruly wisps. "They're probably right."
   These older workers are an example of what the U.S. workforce will look like in years to come as people live longer, healthier lives.
   The number of employed workers 75 and older grew from 669,000 in 1994 to just under 1 million last year, according to Labor Department statistics. Those numbers will increase as the large baby boom generation ages.
   "It's really like a big steamroller that's coming," said Martin Rome, spokesman for Experience Works, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates employment opportunities for seniors.
   For many of those older seniors, work is not a choice but a necessity.
   Whether outliving retirement savings or facing lower-than-expected investment returns, this population is finding that Social Security isn't enough to cover their bills.
   Even before the current debate over Social Security's future, many Americans seemed doubtful they could retire without working at least part time.
   In a 2003 survey, the AARP, the nation's largest senior citizens organization, found that 68% of those between the ages of 50 and 70 said they expected to work past normal retirement age. Financial need was the No. 1 reason cited.
   In California, 523,000 people older than 65 are still working, said Bonnie Parks, of the state's Employment Development Department. Of those, 144,000 are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Parks said.
   Companies are more open to hiring older people because of labor shortages, Parks said. Recent retirees are being coaxed back to work in the fields of nursing, accounting and retail, she said.
   But once workers reach about 75, finding work becomes much more difficult. Employers worry that those in their 80s and 90s might not have the strength or mental capacity to get the job done, said Parks, who runs the employment department's Senior Advocate Office.
   "They think that once you get gray hair and wrinkles, the brain stops working," she said. "But like everything else, it depends on the individual. A large segment of the population remains creative and mentally acute into a very late age."
   Rome's organization points to Nuite as a prime example of how seniors can successfully stay in the workforce.
   The great-grandmother easily rattled off dates from her past and explained nuances of the family water business in a recent interview. Hearing loss is her biggest problem, she said, especially when she uses a telephone that doesn't amplify voices.
   A trained dietitian, Nuite did other jobs until she inherited Windsor Spring Water Co. in 1961. She kept the business going after her husband died, Nuite said, delivering 16-pound water-cooler bottles until she turned 80.
   Two grandsons now help, and Nuite oversees operations from the 100-acre Civil War-era plantation home that her parents bought in 1930. Windsor Spring's water is drawn from a creek a quarter-mile away.
   In addition to the water business, Nuite manages nine rental properties that she bought and rehabbed 20 years ago. Keeping them rented and in good repair takes a lot of her time, she said.
   "I wouldn't do it for so long if I didn't enjoy it," she said of her daily schedule. "It's just a part of me."
   Deciding when it is time to step aside is more difficult when an employer wants to make the decision for the older worker.
   Before 1978, mandatory retirement was widespread in the United States. That year, Congress made it illegal to force a worker out before age 70, and in 1986 compulsory retirement was abolished altogether.
   Companies today must show that older workers can no longer perform duties before forcing them out, Parks said. To avoid legal challenges, "golden parachutes" and other financial incentives have become the standard way to usher aging workers out, she said.
   In an earlier day, Lucille Decker's teaching career might have ended before she was ready to set down her dry-erase marker. But the 81-year-old resident of Princeton, Minn., said she was never pressured to retire.
   It was her decision to finally call it quits last June, Decker said, after 60 years of teaching first grade. But the leisurely pace of retirement didn't last long.
   "Miss Decker," as she is known to students, was back in the classroom three months later, as a full-time substitute.
   "I like being where the action is," Decker said. "And I just love first grade. They are so eager to learn, and that's when they learn to read. It's so fun to see the light go on when they get it."
   A legend at South Elementary in Princeton, Decker has taught not only the parents of the current crop of students but their grandparents too, said longtime school secretary Sandy Lacher.
   In recent years, some parents have complained that Decker was too old for the job, Lacher said. But Decker proves them wrong with her energy and readiness to incorporate new classroom methods, she said.
   With Decker's help, the school last year won a prestigious state award for reading. In addition to her teaching duties, Decker has served as a reading coach for struggling students.
   Normally reserved, Decker goes all out for an annual faculty variety show, Lacher said. One year, she played a high-kicking football player, and another year, she was a singing Spice Girl, complete with short skirt and high boots.
   "The audience just waited for Lucille to come on and do her thing," Lacher said.
   People who continue working into late age today are mainly professionals, those with their own business or on a second or third career, Rome said.
   But for those who must work, the added income means the difference between living and just getting by, Rome said.
   Williams, who lives in a Ventura trailer park and buys his clothes at thrift stores, could survive on his $975 monthly Social Security check and his few hundred dollars of investment income.
   But that would leave nothing for the pleasures of his life — contributing to favored charities, dining out with friends and traveling.
   Each summer, he drives his battered VW van across the country to attend the big cultural festival in Chautauqua, N.Y. His family used to have a lakeshore cottage there, and he can't imagine skipping his annual slate of concerts, ballet performances and lectures, Williams said.
   He attributes his spryness to working nearly every day. Maintaining his balance on a 6-foot ladder comes from years of experience, he said.
   Sometimes he works for free, such as the year he spent painting — "between jobs" — the Unitarian Church in Ventura that he attends. "The prep work is pretty tough. I can only do it for about five hours a day," Williams said of scraping and sanding. "But it keeps me in shape. I don't complain about whether it hurts me or not, because it benefits me."
   Twenty years ago, Williams watched his two older sisters waste away from Alzheimer's disease in their 70s. That's when he decided to stay busy for as long as he could.
   "I'll work as long as I'm physically able and as long as people hire me," he said. "I don't tell people my age, because you probably wouldn't hire a 92-year-old house painter."
   Lloyd Baker, 93, says his daily labors as a surveyor mean that he can "do what I want and eat what I want." He employs five people at his civil engineering/land surveying firm in Thayne, Wyo.
   On a recent morning, Baker had to shovel so much snow before hitting ground that he and his crew got in only three stakes before noon.
   To make up for lost time, they ate a quick lunch before heading back into the snow.
   "We were supposed to put 20 stakes in, but the snow's been so heavy," he said.
   Baker says he still needs the income but that keeping his employees on the job is just as important. So he works five days a week.
   "This is the best part of life," said the lean man. "I work all week and dance on the weekends."
   Baker had a long career as a civil engineer, helping design dams in Wyoming, Arizona and California. He also taught physics for a few years and then went to work for Bechtel Corp. before retiring in 1973.
   He moved back to his native Wyoming to start his small firm and has been at it ever since.
   Like the others, Baker attributes his longevity to his active lifestyle. But experts in aging say that keeping a work schedule late into life does not necessarily add years.
   A long-term study of people who have lived past 100 shows that the most important factors in determining longevity are family genes, staying lean, not smoking and the ability to handle stress.
   "Working doesn't necessarily predict longevity as much as longevity allows people to work longer," said JaeMi Pennington, a research assistant at the New England Centenarian Study in Boston.
   All of that is academic to Baker, who says that if he weren't working so hard he'd probably spend his days playing golf or finding a quiet fishing hole.
   "Maybe when I'm older," he said.

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Page 50
perhaps the best obituary i've read on arthur miller -his quotations on his life -the human condition.

perryb

Feb 19th 2005 The Economist Magazine
Obituary
Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller, playwright, died on February 10th, aged 89

FOR most of his life, Arthur Miller was a carpenter. At 14, with the money made from delivering bagels on his bike round Harlem, he bought enough wood to build a back porch on the family house. In his old age, living on 360 acres in Connecticut, he made tables, chairs, a bed, a cabinet. To make extra-sure the angles were right, he once consulted a mathematician.

He loved making plays—which he did better than any other American of the 20th century, with the possible exception only of Tennessee Williams—for much the same reason. They gave him “an architectural pleasure”. He tried novels occasionally and wrote, in “Timebends” in 1987, a chaotic autobiography. But he revelled in the structure of the drama. He thought of Ibsen and Sophocles, his early influences, as master-carpenters, and of his own best plays as careful constructions of “hard actions, facts, the geometry of relationships”. It was no accident that his male characters were often skilful with their hands, even if they were good at little else.

Yet Mr Miller's plays were not conceived as simple artefacts. He meant them to move minds. If they could not do so, there was no point in writing them. His intention was to show the audience, in ordinary characters they might see every day, truths about themselves that they half-knew but would not acknowledge. Realising they were not alone in whatever they foolishly feared or unwisely hoped for, they might find the courage to change.


In “Death of a Salesman” (1949), the play that brought him global fame, he displayed in Willy Loman the futility of a salesman's life, the fragility of his dreams, his longing to leave a lasting mark on the world—and also, though Willy could not see it, the persistent strength of his family's love for him. In “A View from the Bridge” (1955) he anatomised, in Eddie Carbone, the unacknowledged terrors of incestuous passion. In several plays, the last written only a year before his death, he tried to unravel his own relationship with Marilyn Monroe, his wife for almost five years. She remained surrounded, however, by “a darkness that perplexed me”.

He also plunged into the past in order to illuminate the present. His account of the 17th-century Salem witch trials in “The Crucible” (1953) gave him the metaphor he needed to describe McCarthyism, a plague that touched him

directly when he was called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1956 for attending meetings of communist writers. (He refused to name names, was held in contempt of Congress, fined, and had his passport withdrawn.) His play “Broken Glass” (1994), ostensibly about the 1930s, was intended as a commentary on public indifference to the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. His audiences did not always notice these parallels, but they were always meant to.

Fixing on a star Throughout his work, his message was consistent. Actions had consequences, and the individual was responsible not only for his own acts, but for what he knew others were doing. In “All My Sons” (1947), his clearest statement of this philosophy, a father had secured the future of his family by shipping defective aircraft parts that had caused pilots to die; eventually, his own son reported him. There were moments, Mr Miller wrote, “when an individual conscience was all that could keep a world from falling.”

On the other hand, his characters were seldom that strong. Outside forces—destiny, law, political authority, sudden catastrophe—often overwhelmed them. As a child during the Depression, he had seen his father's coat-making business destroyed and his mother, whom he remembered in fox-fur and diamonds, reduced to eking out shovelfuls of coal. His father and his colleagues, he noticed, never blamed anyone but themselves for what had happened. Mr Miller, already imbued with his lifelong socialism, tried to

persuade his shellshocked father to blame the capitalist system too, and accept that profit was wrong. His father, naturally, could not begin to understand him.

His career was not all adulation. He had a dry patch in the 1960s, when he felt he did not speak with the accent of the time, and by the 1980s the all-powerful New York critics (whom he loathed) seemed to be tired of him. Constantly, critics objected to his blatant stage moralising: “like neon signs”, one wrote, “in a diner window.”

Mr Miller was unapologetic. He had a purpose, he confessed, even beyond teaching. Though he seemed to be didactic, he was in fact asking questions: “How can we be useful?” “Why do we live?” He was, he once admitted, “in love with wonder...the wonder of how things and people got to be what they are.” The aim of each of his plays was to discover which commitment or challenge his main character would accept, and which he would walk away from: “that moment when out of a sky full of stars he fixes on one star.”

He remembered his own such moment, when he decided to be a writer. It came when, reading Dostoevsky's “The Brothers Karamazov” as a teenager, he discovered that among the most breathtaking passages were accumulations of hard, simple fact: “the kind of bark on the moonlit trees, the way a window is hinged”. As well as the playwright, it was the carpenter speaking.

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Page 51
February 19, 2005
As we grow up, there is a limit to how much time we have for both having fun and actually learning the various things we have to to make a living and get along with society. There are such things as directed, more or less useful activities then, and other manipulated and more or less 'useless' things -in which, here, American (US) children are far and ahead of others, the useless leaders of useless fun. Whether we believe it or not, we are rate-limited organisms, and what is eventually but critically important to the life-form is the 'substance and its expanse' of our intellectual and operational capabilities. But here, because of our general lack of sophistication as (relatively
speaking) 'an arrogantly rich, new nation', 'American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose (as long as there's no law against it') has successfully subspeciated us into a nation -the greater percentage of our children growing up, 'occupied' by ultimately dead-end, 'wannabe' mentalities and capabilities -unable to maintain themselves as adults without our 'economic growth on cheap natural resources and labor'. -The article below is really great!

perryb

February 18, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Toy Concepts Grow Up Fast
Electronic makeovers rule the day at the 2005 Toy Fair in New York. 'Kids are getting older younger,' one exec laments.
By Melinda Fulmer, By Melinda Fulmer Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The hottest new products at the American International Toy Fair trade show aren't really toys so much as inexpensive consumer electronics that are kid-friendly and can take a beating.
   After years of watching cellphones, MP3 players, video games and digital video cameras steal sales, major toy makers this year are pinching a page from another industry's book.
   "I don't even call it the toy business anymore," said Jim Silver, publisher of Toy Wishes magazine. "It's the family entertainment business."
   The 2005 Toy Fair, which officially opens on Sunday in New York, is a showcase for what the industry hopes is a turnaround. In 2004, toy sales, which had been soft for years, slid 3% to $20.1 billion, according to market research firm NPD Group, partly because children shunned traditional items in favor of their parents' electronic gear.


American Idol Barbie is unveiled at the toy fair
in the Mattel showroom in Manhattan. (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)
   So Mattel Inc., the world's largest toy maker, plans to sell its first cellphone this June. The $35 My Scene Barbie phone is meant for girls as young as 8. The bright floral device, which requires activation from Verizon Communications Inc., allows girls to download ring tones from the Barbie website.
   "Cellphones are by far the No. 1 … electronics [product] requested by girls," said Dan Frechtling, director of marketing for El Segundo-based Mattel. And girls ages 8 to 12 constitute a market that Mattel believes has been underserved by video game companies and consumer electronics giants.
   Another new Mattel product is U-Flix, a digital video camera that is set to hit stores in the fall. It allows children to shoot and edit movies on PCs and watch their productions on TV at home. The plastic camera won't compete with top-end grown-up products by Sony Corp. or Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.'s Panasonic, but it's priced for kids at less than $100.
   Also coming up is Pixel Chix, a $25 hand-held game intended for girls as young as 5, to compete with Bandai Co.'s popular Tamagotchi digital pet. The Mattel character is a virtual digital friend who lives in a plastic house. When ignored, the digital gal pal fumes and packs her bags on screen. And Mattel's $59.99 Star Station karaoke machine, set for introduction in July, uses a video camera to allow a child to sing songs
On his or her own television, add disco-type effects and then burn the performance to a DVD.
   As for No. 2 toy maker Hasbro Inc., it is planning a fall launch for ChatNow, a walkie-talkie that looks like a cellphone and allows kids to call, write text messages and send each other digital pictures from an attached camera within a two-mile radius. A pair of walkie-talkies will retail for $74.99.
   "The reality of the toy business is that kids are getting older younger and growing out of [conventional] toys sooner," said Hasbro Senior Vice President Wayne Charness.
   The company's toy designers believe that kids don't want to just play a game, they want to interact with characters or become part of the action. So Hasbro has high hopes for its $119 Ion Educational Gaming System, equipped with a small camera that will put kids on a TV screen with cartoon favorites such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
   One game asks kids to jump around and use their arms to fling unwanted letters away and carry letters to one side of the screen to spell words; game cartridges cost an extra $17.99.
   This toy is part of the growing category of "plug-and-play" games, launched in the last couple of years, that don't require special video game consoles and simply plug into a television's audio-video jack.
   Linda Bolton Weiser, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said both Mattel and Hasbro had been more skillful than rivals at "trying to make their products more relevant to older kids."
   Given that retailers Toys R Us Inc. and KB Toys Inc. are shuttering hundreds of stores, that could help get the toy makers' products into more stores like Best Buy and Circuit City, she said.
   Movie tie-ins also play a role in the new products. A $49.99 video game by Hasbro, tied to the May release of "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," allows kids to wave light sabers and fight Darth Vader or other Jedi characters on their TVs.
   Jakks Pacific Inc., which pioneered the plug-and-play category with its TV Games Atari game a couple of years ago, now has more than 12 such products, including Spider-Man, Blue's Clues and retro games such as Ms. Pac-Man. Several of Jakks' $20 games were among the top sellers at toy stores this last holiday season.
   The Malibu-based firm's stock has fallen sharply recently amid investors' growing concern about a licensing scandal. A former licensing chief at World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. recently pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks in
exchange for handing out WWE licenses. Jakks makes WWE figures and games.
   Jakks is hoping to regain some momentum by launching 20 new game titles this year, including Batman, Mortal Kombat and another based on the popular "Jeopardy" game show. The firm is also launching new cartridges, called Game Keys, that add two extra games to each of its newly released units, priced at just under $10.
   To do well in the toy industry, you have to have "innovation or content," said Stephen Berman, Jakks president. "We are constantly rolling out new titles" to keep kids and gaming adults buying.
   Even the most old-fashioned of toys, such as stuffed animals, are getting electronic makeovers. Mattel has two new programmable Elmo and Winnie the Pooh plush toys, due out this fall. These $39.99 dolls allow a parent to use computer software and a USB cord to personalize them, so the toy knows the child's name, sings his or her favorite songs and tells the child when it's nap time or bedtime.
   "We are seeing a quick turnaround" on these new electronic toys, said NPD analyst David Riley. "It's a shot in the arm for the industry."

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Feb 12th 2005 The Economist Magazine
Drugs in Canada
Under the needle

VANCOUVER
A different kind of addiction

LITTLE by little, Canada is groping towards a distinctive approach to drugs, one that focuses on harm reduction rather than the repression favoured by the United States. The federal government is mulling over a bill to decriminalise possession of marijuana. North America's first trial of heroin maintenance—giving addicts free heroin on condition that they accept treatment—got under way on February 10th in Vancouver. Later this spring, it will expand to Toronto and Montreal.

An otherwise idyllic city, Vancouver has the worst drug problem in Canada. For years, addiction has been rising, and with it gang killings, violent robberies and break-ins. In 2002, fed-up citizens swept in a reformist city council dedicated to an alternative drug strategy, resting on “four pillars”: harm reduction, treatment, enforcement and prevention.

Its first move was to open North America's first safe heroin-injection site, a pilot project which, it is claimed, is curbing disease and deaths among addicts. Now comes the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI), a two-year C$8m ($6.5m) study funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a federal agency. In the three cities, the project will enrol 470 “treatment-resistant” addicts (meaning that they have been addicted for at least five years and have at least twice had treatment without success). Half will receive methadone, an artificial opiate; the others will get daily injections of heroin. After a year, those who have not broken their drug habit will be referred for further treatment. All will get help with health, housing and job training.

One aim is to determine whether heroin maintenance is more effective than methadone in helping break addiction. More broadly, NAOMI will test whether heroin maintenance, which is used in Switzerland and the Netherlands, will work in North America. The hope is that if hard-core


Vancouver's potentially productive citizens

addicts no longer have to commit crimes to fund their habits they are more likely to become productive citizens and leave drugs behind. In the Swiss and Dutch trials, says Martin Schechter, of the University of British Columbia, the addicts involved “reduced their use of street drugs, their health improved, the level of employment went up and the levels of criminality fell drastically.”

Researchers in three American cities were keen to take part in the study but found it too controversial for them to obtain funding. If the scheme turns out to save money as well as lives, Canadians are likely to want it to become permanent. By some counts, the total bill for enforcement of drug laws plus the cost of drug-related property crimes and health care for addicts amounts to at least C$5 billion a year. Researchers reckon that heroin maintenance will be cheaper.

NAOMI's promoters expected resistance from police chiefs and the opposition Conservative Party. In fact, reaction has been muted. Both have called for careful evaluation of the research. But while many Canadians agree with trying to reduce the harm associated with drugs, they also want a balanced strategy that includes those other three pillars: treatment, prevention and enforcement.

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Feb 12th 2005 The Economist Magazine
Myanmar
One last harvest

A ban on opium will leave millions of farmers without livelihoods

BAO YOU XIANG looks nothing like a drug lord. His neatly combed hair and the well-ironed creases in his trousers do not suggest a man with his own rebel army numbering 20,000, and control over 400,000 opium farmers. For the moment, though, that is still exactly what he is. But it is a part he plans to stop playing in the next few months.

The supreme leader of Myanmar's Wa Special Region No. 2 will is allowing his farmers one last harvest—just getting under way—of opium poppies before enforcing an absolute ban on the drug, its cultivation, sale and consumption. After this year, he insists in an interview, “there will be no more poppies in this region. I once said that I would chop off my head if opium is still produced here after the ban. And I will keep my word.”

The leafy poppy flower, Papaver somniferum, has grown for generations in this remote corner of the Golden Triangle, fuelling addiction on the other side of the world. For the farmers, opium is often the only way to earn a living. But for Mr Bao, and for Myanmar's beleaguered authorities, it is an embarrassment. Myanmar is the world's second-largest producer of opium, after Afghanistan, and powerful neighbours, like the Chinese, are fed up.

In Kaw Law Su village, every single family grows poppies to survive. With seven daughters, five sons and a handful of chickens to feed, Kya Law says he has no choice. Squatting on the rough deck of his stilted bamboo hut, he explains that poppy is by far the most profitable crop grown in the surrounding hills. In 2003 each household made an average of $250 dollars from opium—a pathetic sum, but still more than two-thirds of their annual income. Kya Law is painfully aware that the next opium harvest will be his last. He also knows he has no choice but to follow Mr Bao's orders. Wa rulers have a fierce reputation and a history of headhunting.

In 1995, Mr Bao committed himself to an opium ban during a meeting with the UN and the government in Yangon. If fully enforced, the ban will destroy one of the biggest components of the opium trade in the Golden Triangle, and shrink the world's supply of heroin.

Sceptics wonder. The output of opium in the Wa Special Region No. 2 may not have brought great prosperity to the people, but Chairman Bao has made a fortune through the production and trafficking of drugs. His United Wa State Army is built on drug money. His government openly collects a 7% tax on opium from farmers. And his own brother is accused of involvement in the production of methamphetamine pills, which are consumed in epidemic proportions in neighbouring Thailand. Yet Mr Bao swears he is sincere. “Opium is not good for the people,” he says. “For years I have seen how opium is destroying the Wa. It makes my heart bleed. I will ban it to save my people.”

The UN seems to believe Mr Bao. Its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) monitors opium production in the Wa region, and reports that he has already begun keeping his promise. Last year, the area under poppy cultivation (the best way of measuring output in remote areas, since satellites can be used, along with ground surveys) fell by 18% in Wa Special Region No. 2, where UNODC has provided some help to people trying to live without opium. In Myanmar as a whole, poppy cultivation fell by 18,000 hectares (47,400 acres) last year, or about 29%.

For the farmers, though, there will be big problems. In 2003, opium was banned in Kokang Special Region No. 1, just north of the Wa. Deprived of their main income, nearly one-third of the total population—an estimated 60,000 Kokang—left their homes in search of money and food. Health clinics closed down, school enrolment plummeted by 50%, and parents reportedly sent their daughters to brothels in Thailand and their sons to join rebel armies in a bid for survival.

“We certainly do not want to repeat this,” says the UNODC representative in Yangon, Jean-Luc Lemahieu. He says the Kokang's hardship is an indication

that the struggle will be three times worse when the Wa and its 400,000 people enforce the opium ban this year. But caring for ex-opium farmers in the pariah state that Myanmar has become is not a popular cause on the international circuit.

“There is an impeding humanitarian crisis on hand here because of the cynical attitude of the West,” says Mr Lemahieu, who thinks that donors are well aware of the situation but won't put their money into the country because they fear criticism. By refusing to help the opium farmers, the world may loose a historic chance to tackle the drug trade, he says. Myanmar may repeat the history of Afghanistan, where opium production was put to a complete stop by the Taliban only to explode again after the fall of the regime.

In Kaw Law Su village the final harvest is moving closer. “I have nothing. I don't know what to do,” says Kya Law in the soft light from the evening sun. Two of his children are playing at his feet and a few of his neighbours are standing around his hut. He looks at them quietly. “We all worry and fear that we will suffer,” he says at last. “But we are villagers. If they say stop, we just have to stop.”

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The peculiarity of hominids as 'warm-blooded cerebrating vertebrates' is manifest in their deliberative capability that drives them (evolution) into making, understanding and projecting successively deeper interrelationships between phenomena and events. In general then, it is also the nature of this human organism to 'put' or 'find' such 'knowledge' increasingly associable (evolution again) positions of authority in which some such 'breadth of knowledge' is of some use -even more so likely if of biological or anthropological substance.

The article below is interesting in this sense in that in keeping with the above -'evolution working properly' (but there is 'noise in the system', e.g. 'dubya' et al :-) one might expect to find the general of some army both able to do his job and also able to do so with some relatively deeper understanding and manipulation of 'human condition' attaching that job. What we have below instead is a throwback to branches sidelined at least a 100,000 years ago by human evolution.

perryb

February 4, 2005 Los Angeles Times
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ
General Draws Fire for Saying 'It's Fun to Shoot' the Enemy

By Esther Schrader, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The Marine general who led 65,000 Camp Pendleton troops to Baghdad in the first furious push of the Iraq war is drawing criticism after saying of battle, "It's fun to shoot some people."
   Lt. Gen. James Mattis made the comments Tuesday at a San Diego forum on tactics in fighting the Bush administration's war on terrorism. The general, known by troops as "Mad Dog" Mattis, is commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va.
   His comments were criticized by American Muslims, and the Marines' top commander said he had "counseled" Mattis. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, speaking at a televised news conference after the furor erupted, said he had not seen Mattis' remarks and refused to discuss them.
   Seated at a long table next to other military commanders, Mattis told about 200 people at the San Diego Convention Center: "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."
   Mattis added: "You go into Afghanistan, you've got guys who slapped women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

   His comments were met with laughter and applause from many in the audience of the forum, held by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Assn. and the U.S. Naval Institute and sponsored by many top U.S. defense contractors.
   But Thursday, after the comments were reported by San Diego television station KNSD, a prominent Muslim civil liberties group called on the Pentagon to discipline Mattis.
   "We do not need generals who treat the grim business of war as a sporting event," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "These disturbing remarks are indicative of an apparent indifference to the value of human life."
   Awad urged that "appropriate disciplinary action" be taken against Mattis.
   Asked about the remarks at a Pentagon news conference, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he would let Mattis address the issue himself.
   "All of us who are leaders have a responsibility in our words and our actions to provide the right example all the time for those who look to us for leadership," Pace said.
   In a statement issued earlier Thursday, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps, did not indicate that Mattis faced any discipline.
   "Lt. Gen. Mattis often speaks with a great deal of candor," Hagee said. "I have counseled him concerning his remarks, and he agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully."
   Hagee also said, "While I understand that some people may take issue with the comments made by him, I also know he intended to reflect the unfortunate and harsh realities of war."
   Hagee and Pace praised the general's service and leadership. "His actions and those of his troops clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership and the value of human life," Pace said. Hagee called him "one of this country's bravest and most experienced military leaders."
   At a Marine camp in Al Asad, Iraq, a cheer went up when a CNN report about Mattis' comments was shown on a mess-hall television Thursday night. Troops started swapping stories about "Mad Dog."
   Mattis, 53, has a reputation among the troops he commands as a jaunty, volatile figure fiercely committed to the Marine Corps and to the people he leads.
   As the lead commander of Task Force 58, he pushed hundreds of miles into the Afghan desert to establish bases a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. Marines under Mattis aided anti-Taliban forces, secured the strategic Kandahar airport and cut off escape routes for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
   As commanding general of the 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton, Mattis led that force in their advance on Baghdad in 2003, the longest, fastest move of a division-sized unit in Marine Corps history.
   Mattis, who is unmarried, has served nine tours of duty in the Mideast.
   Mattis' comments came in the context of how to transform the armed forces to fight terrorism beyond Iraq. He questioned future spending on new forms of air and sea warfare. "Our very dominance of certain forms of warfare have driven the enemy into historic forms of warfare that we have not mastered," he said.
   He also said it was "almost embarrassing intellectually" that commanders looked to unspecified future wars and enemies to reshape the military, rather than to the insurgents it faced in Iraq.
   "Don't patronize this enemy," he said of guerrillas. "They mean business. They mean every word they say. Don't imagine an enemy somewhere in the future and you're going to transform so you can fight him.
   "They're killing us now. Their will is not broken. They mean it. If they have their way, there'll be no science or math in school. There'll be no women in school," he said.
   Mattis added that it was important to recruit and select the right people and to give them training and language skills so they understood whom they were fighting.
   "As much emotional … satisfaction as you get from really whacking somebody [who abused women], the main effort, ladies and gentlemen, is to diminish the conditions that drive people to sign up for these kinds of insurgencies," Mattis said.
   Last year, on his second tour in Iraq, Mattis said he embraced a "hearts and minds" posture, lecturing troops to make friends with Iraqis. He laid down strict rules for when troops could fire and required commanders to seek his permission before using artillery.
   Soon after the fall of Baghdad, Mattis called for a criminal investigation into how some Marines were treating prisoners, and that led to several courts-martial.
   He also led an overhaul of procedures for handling prisoners to avoid mistreatment.

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from the LinguaPhile Newsletter via the editor of Verbatim, a linguistics
quarterly i cannot but recommend in understanding the breadth of
human communication (-related, The Matter of Forensic Integrity).

perryb

Goodbye Gutenberg: How a Bronx Teacher Defied 500 Years of Tradition and Launched an Astonishing Renaissance, written and designed by Valerie Kirschenbaum, is one of the most beautiful and amazing books you will ever see. It provides a history of writing -- how words and images have been presented around the world for millennia -- and proposes a renaissance for the future.

After savoring hundreds of the color images in _Goodbye Gutenberg_, you may think, This is gorgeous, but what's the point? Ms. Kirschenbaum answers that question systematically, articulately, and passionately. Quite frankly, she is intent on revolution. In attempt to stem the decline in reading and literacy (recently documented in Reading at Risk, a National Endowment for the Arts survey), she hopes to eliminate the dichotomy that has developed between literature and art, between word and image.

She makes a strong case, showing how word and image were married in various civilizations dating back to ancient Egypt. The Chinese, for example, had poetry, painting, and calligraphy done by the same person. The Maya had one word, "ts'ib," that referred to painting, drawing, and writing; word and image were one. During the Middle Ages manuscripts were painstakingly and elaborately illustrated and colored by hand. Of course, Ms. Kirschenbaum doesn't simply tell these fascinating tidbits; she shows

examples of ancient writing and uses various colors and fonts to illuminate her own commentary.

Gutenberg's printing press changed everything. While movable type led to increased knowledge because book production became cost- effective, it also led to the decline of beauty in books. Except for children's books, cookbooks, and coffee table books, most books today consist of rectangles of black type on white pages. That form is so prevalent that it thrives unquestioned. Ms. Kirschenbaum points out, however, that technology has advanced to the point that color is accessible to us -- even for the *words* in novels, histories, biographies, and other non-fiction books. While this idea may seem alien to us, Ms. Kirschenbaum reports that Faulkner lamented the fact that _The Sound and the Fury_ could not use various colors of type to help readers wend their way through various streams of consciousness.

Another result of Gutenberg's press was the translation of literature into the vernacular: English, French, Spanish, and other "languages of the people" replaced Latin. Today's vernacular, Ms. Kirschenbaum contends, is color. Everything around us is color -- the world itself, television, movies, advertising. What besides reading matter tries to capture our attention in black and white? Not only is black ink on a white page monotonous, Ms. Kirschenbaum cites neuroscientists' findings that color and design activate

areas of the brain that are shut down when a person reads in black and white.

Ms. Kirschenbaum has applied her theories with high school students in the Bronx. She found that when she colored and otherwise "designed" their literature assignments, students were more engaged; comprehension improved; discussion increased.

_Goodbye Gutenberg_ is extensively researched. Ms. Kirschenbaum confesses that her fourteen-page bibliography, conveniently divided into twenty-three categories, does not include all of her 1,000 sources. In addition to presenting the history of print from around the world, she garners support for her proposed renaissance from many disciplines, including education, psychology, neuroscience, literature and writing, art history, and graphic design.

_Goodbye Gutenberg_ is the ultimate example of "designer writing," the ultimate marriage of form and content. The medium is the message. The fact that Ms. Kirschenbaum, a high school English and social studies teacher, designed the whole book (requiring 300 *gigabytes* of storage space) on her home computer (with four gigabytes of RAM) substantiates her

claim that such designer writing is both accessible and affordable to the general public.

Ms. Kirschenbaum designed her own font for her writing (Edgar Allan Poe also believed that writers should design their fonts and their layouts). "Booklady" is indeed a very readable font. I am amazed at how effortlessly and enjoyably I assimilated the information Ms. Kirschenbaum presents in _Goodbye Gutenberg_. Probably that is because the book was designed by the writer. The information, the organization, the illustrations, the voice, the font, the color -- all blend seamlessly to communicate her message. And that message is that all writing should be so accessible.

Published by the Global Renaissance Society, LLC, 2005, 416 pages.

Ms. Kirschenbaum is offering _Goodbye Gutenberg_ to _LinguaPhile_ subscribers at a special price. The first book (regularly $47.50) will be $35.00; subsequent books will be $25.00. To get this special price go to http://www.GoodbyeGutenberg.com or call 1- 800-266-5564. Mention that you are "friends of Val."

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We will probably have war as long as pecking order exists among humans, but we will most certainly have war as long as ignorance exists.

perryb

January 30, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Maimed, betrayed, forgotten
Book Review by Chris Hedges, author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning." This essay will appear as the introduction to "Afterwar," to be published next month to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

Afterwar
Veterans From a World in Conflict
Photographs and interviews by Lori Grinker
de.MO: 248 pp., $47.50

My father and three of my uncles fought in World War II. I grew up in the shadow of the war. But it was not the romantic war of movies and books, although this romance infected me, but the war of the emotionally and physically maimed. My father, who had been an Army sergeant in North Africa, went to seminary after the war and became a Presbyterian minister. Years after the war he would speak about his rifle and you could almost see his fingers push the gun away. He loathed the military and the lie of war. When our family visited museums he steered us away from the ordered displays of weapons, the rows of muskets and artillery pieces, which gleamed from within cases or roped-off areas.

He was an early opponent of the Vietnam War. During a Fourth of July parade in the small farm town where I grew up, he turned to me as the paunchy veterans walked past and said acidly, "Always remember most of those guys were fixing the trucks in the rear." He hated the VFW Hall where these men went mostly to drink. He found their periodic attempts to re-create the comradeship of war, something that of course could never be re-created, pathetic and sad. When I was about 12 he told me that if the Vietnam War was still being fought and I was drafted, he would go to prison with me. To this day I have a vision of sitting in a jail cell with my dad.

But it was my Uncle Maurice whom I thought most about as I leafed through the images in Lori Grinker's book "Afterwar." He was in the regular Army in 1939 in the South Pacific and fought there until he was wounded late in the war by a mortar blast. He did not return home with my father's resilience, although he shared my father's anger and sense of betrayal. His life was destroyed by the war. He refused to accept his medals, including his Purple Heart.

Maurice would sit around the stove in my grandmother's home and shake as he struggled to ward off the periodic bouts of malaria. He could not talk about the war. And so he drank. He became an acute embarrassment to our family, who lived in a manse where there was no alcohol. He could not hold down a

job. His marriage fell apart. Another uncle hired him to work in his lumber mill, but Maurice would show up late, often drunk, and then disappear on another binge. He drank himself to death in his trailer, but not before borrowing and selling the hunting rifle my grandfather had promised me.

There was only one time he ever spoke to me about the war. It was at my grandmother's kitchen table. He spoke in a flat monotone. His eyes seemed to be looking far away, far across the field outside the house, across the snowy peaks of southern Maine, to a world that he could never hope to explain.

"We filled our canteens up in a stream once," he said. "When we went around the bend there were 25 dead Japanese in the water."

War is always about betrayal. It is about the betrayal of the young by the old, idealists by cynics and finally soldiers by politicians. Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, are shunted aside, crumpled up and thrown away. They are war's refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they bring is too painful for us to hear. We prefer the myth of war, the myth of glory, honor, patriotism and heroism, words that in the terror and brutality of combat are empty and meaningless.

It is a measure of the power of this myth that despite the experience of my father and my uncles in war I was seduced by the siren call of war. I longed for adventure, for a life that would allow me to break free from the confines of a farming community. I read about the American Civil War, the Spanish Civil War and World War II. I wanted an epic battle against evil to define my own life. Of course I would not return a shell of a man, like my uncle, for as I look back on it, I blamed him for the wounds he received. Now I know better. I had to learn this myself, as each generation learns it anew.

I did go to war, not as a soldier, but as a war correspondent, and 20 years later I too battle the demons that defeated my uncle. Perhaps it is hopeless to expect anyone to listen. The myth has a powerful draw. It allows us to be noble, heroic, to rise above our small stations in life.

Most war images meant to denounce war fail. They still impart the thrill of violence and power. War images that show scenes of combat become, despite the intention of those who produce them, war porn. And this is why soldiers who have not been to combat buy cases of beer and sit in front of movies like "Platoon," movies meant to condemn war, and yearn for it. It is almost impossible to produce antiwar films or movies or books that portray images of war. It is like trying to produce movies to denounce pornography and showing erotic love scenes. The prurient fascination with violent death overpowers the message.

The best records of war, of what war is and what war does to us, are those that eschew images of combat. This is the power of this book. Born of Lori Grinker's 15-year odyssey through more than 30 countries — some of them newly formed by violent conflict — it serves no ideology. Her subject is not the flag or the nation or even the victim. Instead, it is the real, unromantic life of the veteran whose body and mind are changed forever when they serve nations and movements that are all too ready to sacrifice them. It forces us to see what the state and the press, the handmaiden of the war makers, work so hard to keep from us. If we really knew war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be harder to wage war. This is why the essence of war, which is death, is so carefully hidden from public view. We are not allowed to see dead bodies, at least of our own soldiers, nor do we see the wounds that forever mark a life, the wounds that leave faces and bodies horribly disfigured by burns or shrapnel. War is made palatable. It is sanitized. We are allowed to taste war's perverse and dark thrill, but spared from ever seeing war's consequences. The wounded and the dead are swiftly carted offstage.

War, at least the mythic version, is wonderful entertainment. We saw this with the war in Iraq, where the press gave us a visceral thrill and hid from us the effects of bullets, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades. The war was carefully packaged, the way tobacco or liquor companies package their own poisons. We tasted a bit of war's exhilaration, but were safe, spared from seeing the awful effects of its machines.

Only those works, such as this one, which eschew the fascination with violence to give us a look at what weapons do to human bodies, begin to grapple with war's reality. We can only understand war when we turn our attention away from the weapons my father refused to let us see in museums and look at what those weapons do to those on the receiving end.

In the modern world, war is largely impersonal, mocking the image of individual heroics. Industrial warfare, waged since World War I, means that thousands of people, who never see their attackers, can die in an instant. The power of these industrial weapons is staggering. They can take down apartment blocks in seconds, burying everyone inside. They can demolish tanks and planes and ships in fiery blasts. The wounds, for those who survive them, are horrific, usually resulting in terrible burns, blindness and loss of limbs.

"There were three of us inside, and the jeep caught fire," the Israeli soldier Yossi Arditi says of a Molotov cocktail that exploded in his vehicle. "The fuel tank was full and it was about to explode, my skin was hanging from my arms and face, but I didn't lose my head. I knew nobody could get inside to help me, that my only way out was through the fire to the doors. I wanted to take my gun, but I couldn't touch it because my hands were burning."

He spent six months in the hospital. He had surgery every two or three months, about 20 operations, over the next three years.

"People who see me see what war really does," he says.

It is this view of war that most cannot stomach, that makes even those who are close to us flee in horror. Saul Alfaro, who lost his leg in the war in El Salvador, speaks about the first and final visit from his girlfriend as he lay in an army hospital bed.

"She had been my girlfriend in the military and we had planned to be married," he says. "But when she saw me in the hospital, I don't know exactly what happened, but later they told me when she saw me she began to cry. Afterwards, she ran away and never came back."

Those left behind to carry the wounds of war feel, as my uncle did, a sense of abandonment, made all the more painful by the public manifestations of gratitude to veterans. But these are the veterans deemed palatable, those we can look at, those who are willing to go along with the lie that war is about glory and manhood and patriotism. They are trotted out not so much to be honored but to perpetuate the myth.

Gary Zuspann, who lives in a special enclosed environment in his parents' home in Waco, Texas, suffering from Gulf War syndrome, speaks of feeling like "a prisoner of war" even after the war has ended.

"Basically they put me on the curb and said, OK, fend for yourself," he says. "I was living in a fantasy world where I thought our government cared about us and they take care of their own. I believed it was in my contract, that if you're maimed or wounded during your service in war, you should be taken care of. Now I'm angry."

My family was not unique. We carried the crucible of war. But there were tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of families like ours, families that cared for the human refuse of war. The wounded after war are cloistered away, kept from public view, swept to the sides. I went back to Sarajevo after the war and found that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of war wounded were trapped in rooms in apartment blocks with no elevators and no wheelchairs. Most were young men being cared for by their parents, the glorious heroes left to rot.

When the mask of war falls away, when the intoxication with the cause is spent, we fall into despair. This is why suicide so often plagues war veterans. Indeed, more Vietnam veterans may have committed suicide since the war than were killed during it. The very qualities drilled into soldiers in wartime defeat them in peacetime. This is what Homer taught us in "The Iliad," the great book on war, and "The Odyssey," the great book on the awful journey toward recovery from war.

"They program you to have no emotion, like if somebody sitting next to you gets killed you just have to carry on doing your job and shut off," Steve Annabell, a British veteran from the Falklands War, says. "When you leave the service, when you come back from a situation like that, there's no button they can press to switch your emotions back on. So you walk around like a zombie. They don't deprogram you. If you become a problem they just sweep you under the carpet."

"To get you to join up they do all these advertisements, they show people skiing down mountains and doing great things. But they don't show you getting shot at and people with their legs blown off or burning to death. They don't show you what really happens…. And they never prepare you for it. They can give you all the training in the world, but it's never the same as the real thing."

Those you have most in common with when the war is over are those you fought.

"Nobody comes back from war the same," says Horacio Javier Benitez, who fought the British in the Falklands. "The person, Horacio, who went to war, doesn't exist anymore. It's hard to be enthusiastic about normal life; too much seems inconsequential. You contend with craziness and depression."

"Many who served in the Malvinas," he says, using the Argentine name of the islands, "committed suicide, many of my friends."

And this, finally, is the power of the book. It looks beyond the nationalist rants that are used to justify war; it looks beyond the seduction of the weapons and the pornography of violence. It focuses on the evil of war. War always begins by calling for the annihilation of the others but ends ultimately in self-annihilation. It corrupts our soul and deforms our bodies. It destroys homes and villages. It grinds into the dirt all that is tender and beautiful and sacred. It is a scourge. It is a plague. And before you agree to wage war, any war, look closely at this book. •

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January 27, 2005
Kevin Thomas' (latimes) review of the film, In the Realms of The Unreal linked-to herein, is interesting to this writer for a number of things not covered in the review. The life of Henry Darger is, first of all, another aspect of the human condition in that it shows how someone can be so successively sidelined by society, so informationally isolated (Kasper Hauser comes to mind) -however circumstantially, as to appear merely a recluse, but have become, intellectually, an alien to the species. His life exemplifies, secondly, at least two of the basically six Kernel Properties of The Hominid Organism -'deliberative capability' and 'idle-mind occupation', but the second in particular here: so 'informationally isolated' was this man that he created out of what
little he had in his head -on paper and voluminously, a world of warring peoples and beliefs complexly and incestually extrapolated out of that little he knew -the matter of the human 'idle mind' -that it will not 'do nothing'; it will occupy itself some one way or another be that default 'desparate imagination, vandalism, crime, whatever' -this writer's argument, therefore, that we do not pay nearly enough attention to the substance of what we have to say and its validity, and the importance of actually getting it out there. -Observation and education are everything -'mere belief', nothing.

perryb

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Page 58
what's the below doing in a column on 'the human condition'? -Abu Ghraib, bushmeat and NOT this?

perryb

January 25, 2005 Los Angeles Times
CALIFORNIA
Just Before Trial, 1 of 2 Admits Animal Abuse

The guilty plea in the case of a Glen Avon exotic-animal sanctuary is to spare a son pain.
By Lance Pugmire, Times Staff Writer

The former longtime partner of tiger sanctuary operator John Weinhart pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and child endangerment charges Monday, hours before the pair's criminal trial was scheduled to begin in Riverside County.
   Marla Jean Smith, 49, said she pleaded guilty to spare their 10-year-old son, a key prosecution witness, the trauma of testifying against her later this week.
   Weinhart, 62, and Smith were each charged with 63 counts of animal cruelty and child endangerment after county officials in April 2003 raided Weinhart's Glen Avon compound and found 58 dead tiger cubs, dozens of adult tigers' carcasses and animals that were malnourished.
   "She did the right thing for a mom to do," said her attorney, Regina Filippone.
   Smith pleaded guilty to all counts and is scheduled to be sentenced March 10.
   The plea was accepted by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald Taylor, who then said Smith could get 120 days in jail and three years' probation.
   After the plea, Weinhart's trial began and included testimony from one of the county officials who raided his Glen Avon compound.
   "I remember the overwhelming smell of dead animals," animal control officer Tammie Belmonte testified. "There were filthy living conditions…. [Outside], there were hundreds of bones scattered, hides of tigers in various stages of decomposition."
   Authorities were stunned to discover the 58 tiger cubs stuffed in freezers, dozens of carcasses of full-grown tigers scattered around the property, malnourished animals including tiger and leopard cubs stuffed in an attic, and sick animals. They also found two alligators in a bathtub.
   Prosecutors say Weinhart and Smith endangered their son by exposing him to the wild animals and any diseases that could fester in the rotting animals.
   The tiger cubs were kept in freezers that also contained frozen foods, and the boy had access to kitchen refrigerators that stored animal tranquilizers, prosecutors said.

   "You can see chocolate [Easter] bunnies right on top of rotting meat," Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephanie Weissman told jurors during her opening statement.
   Filippone said Smith and the boy lived in a clean home separate from Weinhart's home on the compound. But Smith, in her plea, acknowledged that it was a mistake to allow her son to stray into Weinhart's home and the decrepit property surrounding it.
   Smith and Weinhart's relationship lasted 20 years, and they also have a 20-year-old daughter, Filippone said. The attorney said Smith's relationship with Weinhart had ended, describing the April 2003 raid as "the last straw."
   Weinhart's attorney, R. Addison Steele II, said, "I'm disappointed, and John's disappointed, as well, that [Smith] didn't want to fight her case. I know she wanted to do this for the sake of her son, but he'll still be called to testify."
   Smith will not testify against Weinhart. If convicted on all counts, Weinhart faces a maximum prison sentence of 16 years.
   During opening statements, the prosecutor depicted the "graphic, disturbing, suffering" scene animal investigators discovered, noting that the young boy was found watching television a few feet from a tiger whose outdoor cage was "locked" only by a screwdriver used as a pin.
   Steele described his client as a lifelong animal person and longtime rescuer who accepted any animal left at his property. Steele said the ailing donkeys, house cats and goat on Weinhart's property were abandoned by others in the days earlier.
   "Word had gotten out: If you have an animal in distress, drop him off at John Weinhart's," Steele told jurors.
   "He'd try to nurse it back to health first, and if he couldn't, he'd kill it and feed it to his tigers."
   Steele insisted the boy had not been in danger, saying there were barriers preventing his access to the tigers and because "he knew to leave [the tranquilizers] alone."
   Regarding the frozen cubs and tiger carcasses, Steele said, freezing the cubs allowed for a later post-mortem examination to establish a cause of death and that the full-grown tigers' bones were to be sold later to animal bone collectors.
   "It's not illegal for a person to keep dead animals," Steele told jurors.  

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the other day i posted my comments on dialog between barbara boxer and condoleezza rice -my interest being The Matter of Forensic Integrity. below is a related article, and there is much to criticize here too ('liberalism' as much an 'ism' as 'conservativism' :-) but insofar as we are 'objective', ramsey clark is to be commended. saddam hussein here, furthermore, is not much different than george dubya, and i picture hussein pointing to the US 'democratizing' iraq and harumphing (compliments to vaclav havel) "They think their mistakes are better than ours".

perryb

January 24, 2005 Los Angeles Times
COMMENTARY
Why I'm Willing to Defend Hussein

Former Atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark explains his offer to help the deposed dictator.
By Ramsey Clark, Ramsey Clark was attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Late last month, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, and met with the family and lawyers of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. I told them that I would help in his defense in any way I could.

The news, when it found its way back to the United States, caused something of a stir. A few news reports were inquisitive — and some were skeptical — but most were simply dismissive or derogatory. "There goes Ramsey Clark again," they seemed to say. "Isn't it a shame? He used to be attorney general of the United States and now look at what he's doing."

So let me explain why defending Saddam Hussein is in line with what I've stood for all my life and why I think it's the right thing to do now.

That Hussein and other former Iraqi officials must have lawyers of their choice to assist them in defending against the criminal charges brought against them ought to be self-evident among a people committed to truth, justice and the rule of law.

Both international law and the Constitution of the United States guarantee the right to effective legal representation to any person accused of a crime. This is especially important in a highly politicized situation, where truth and justice can become even harder to achieve. That's certainly the situation today in Iraq. The war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the widespread destruction of civilian properties essential to life. President Bush, who initiated and oversees the war, has manifested his hatred for Hussein, publicly proclaiming that the death penalty would be appropriate.

The United States, and the Bush administration in particular, engineered the demonization of Hussein, and it has a clear political interest in his conviction. Obviously, a fair trial of Hussein will be difficult to ensure — and critically important to the future of democracy in Iraq. This trial will write history, affect the course of violence around the world and have an impact on hopes for reconciliation within Iraq.

Hussein has been held illegally for more than a year without once meeting a family member, friend or lawyer of his choice. Though the world has seen him time and again on television — disheveled, apparently disoriented with someone prying deep into his mouth and later alone before some unseen judge — he has been cut off from all communications with the outside world and surrounded by the same U.S. military that mistreated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Preparation of Hussein's defense cannot begin until lawyers chosen by him obtain immediate, full and confidential access to him so they can review with him events of the last year, the circumstances of his seizure and the details of his treatment. They must then have time to thoroughly discuss the nature and composition of the prosecution and the court, the charges that may be brought against him, and his knowledge, thoughts and instructions concerning the facts of the case. And finally, they must have the time for the enormous task of preparing his defense.

The legal team, its assistants and investigators must be able to perform their work safely, without interference, and be assured that their client's condition and the conditions of his confinement enable him to fully participate in every aspect of his defense.

International law requires that every criminal court be competent, independent and impartial. The Iraqi Special Tribunal lacks all of these essential qualities. It was illegitimate in its conception — the creation of an illegal occupying power that demonized Saddam Hussein and destroyed the government it now intends to condemn by law.

The United States has already destroyed any hope of legitimacy, fairness or even decency by its treatment and isolation of the former president and its creation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try him.

Among the earliest photographs it released is one showing Hussein sitting submissively on the floor of an empty room with Ahmad Chalabi, the principal U.S. surrogate at that moment, looming over him and a picture of Bush looking down from an otherwise bare wall.

The intention of the United States to convict the former leader in an unfair

trial was made starkly clear by the appointment of Chalabi's nephew to organize and lead the court. He had just returned to Iraq to open a law office with a former law partner of Defense Undersecretary Douglas J. Feith, who had urged the U.S. overthrow of the Iraqi government and was a principal architect of U.S. postwar planning.

The concept, personnel, funding and functions of the court were chosen and are still controlled by the United States, dependent on its will and partial to its wishes. Reform is impossible. Proceedings before the Iraqi Special Tribunal would corrupt justice both in fact and in appearance and create more hatred and rage in Iraq against the American occupation. Only another court — one that is actually competent, independent and impartial — can lawfully sit in judgment.

In a trial of Hussein and other former Iraqi officials, affirmative measures must be taken to prevent prejudice from affecting the conduct of the case and the final judgment of the court. This will be a major challenge. But nothing less is acceptable.

Finally, any court that considers criminal charges against Saddam Hussein must have the power and the mandate to consider charges against leaders and military personnel of the U.S., Britain and the other nations that participated in the aggression against Iraq, if equal justice under law is to have meaning.

No power, or person, can be above the law. For there to be peace, the days of victor's justice must end.

The defense of such a case is a challenge of great importance to truth, the rule of law and peace. A lawyer qualified for the task and able to undertake it, if chosen, should accept such service as his highest duty.

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January 23, 2005 Below is a review of what I believe is an important book -a warning to modern man, that very well identifies how various peoples and societies more or less ecologically 'eat' themselves out of existence. What it does not address however, is why they do so -what drives them to do so, the underlying etiology -for which (my view) click on the graphic.

perryb

7 January 2005 Science Magazine Vol 307,
HUMAN ECOLOGY:
Learning from the Past to Change Our Future

A review by Tim Flannery*

Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
by Jared Diamond
Viking Press, New York, 2005. 591 pp. $29.95, C$44. ISBN 0-670-03337-5.

Jared Diamond's acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel (1) tells the story of humanity's rise from the hunter-gatherer societies of 13,000 years ago to the organized states in which most of us live today. Collapse is a perfect sequel, for it examines the fate that may be in store for our societies in the next few decades. While he planned the book, Diamond at first thought that it would deal only with human impacts on the environment. Instead, what has emerged is arguably the most incisive study of senescing human civilizations ever written.

Five factors guide Diamond's analysis: cumulative environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbors, friendly trade partners, and society's response to all of these. The book entails a broad-ranging and complex analysis that demands mastery of diverse disciplines--from ecology to climatology, sociology, politics, and history. This is the sort of thing at which Diamond excels, yet Collapse would be nowhere near as powerful a work without his acute understanding of the human condition-- particularly the motivations, limits of perception, methods of organization, and mental flexibility that are the common lot of humanity.


Classic collapse. At Maya sites such as Tikal, the population, number of monuments and buildings, and number of Long Count calendar dates plummeted during the 9th century A.D.
CREDIT: MACDUFF EVERTON/CORBIS

Diamond begins his analysis on familiar territory: the dairy farms of Montana, where he worked as a farmhand while a student. He has known the landscape and the people of this spectacular region for half a century and during that time has seen a dramatic transformation. Foremost among the changes he chronicles is the "conquest" of the Montana pioneers by wealthy out-of-staters, who in the absence of effective planning laws (some Montana counties even lack building codes and zoning laws) have built dude ranches, housing estates, and industrial developments at their whim. The result is that many former ranchers are now landless menial workers who labor in the estates of the wealthy new settlers--an outcome that has engendered considerable soul-searching. As Diamond puts it, "Montanans are beginning to realize that two of their most cherished attitudes are in direct opposition: their pro-individual-rights anti-government-regulation attitude, and their pride in their quality of life." This conflict of values is a key theme to which he returns again and again throughout the book.

The bulk of Collapse is taken up by considerations of societies that have failed (including Easter Island, the Classic Maya, and the Greenland Norse) and of societies such as the Tikopians, Tokugawa-era Japanese, and Icelanders, which have survived against the odds. Diamond places great store on the capacity of environmental conditions to shape society, which some may see as a bias toward environmental determinism. However, his fifth factor--how people react to environmental challenges--puts paid to such ideas. The Greenland Norse provide an example of particular relevance to our contemporary world. Inhabitants of a new and different land, they clung to a Christian, European lifestyle that ultimately doomed them to extinction. "It was out of the question to invest less in churches, to imitate or intermarry with the Inuit, and thereby to face an eternity in Hell just in order to survive another winter on Earth," Diamond says of the decisions that doomed them.

Diamond frames the Rwandan genocide as a contemporary example of a society in collapse. It was not, he argues, simply a racially motivated massacre, for the murders also occurred in areas where just one ethnic group (Hutu or Tutsi) was present. The real tension was over land. With median farm size declining from 0.89 acres in 1988 to 0.72 acres in 1992 and with inequality increasing, large sections of Rwandan society were driven to desperation in a classic Malthusian tragedy.

The last chapters of Collapse are devoted to the contemporary developed world. The perilous state of the Australian environment gives Diamond reason to suspect that Australia may be the first developed state to collapse under environmental pressures. This may seem absurd to many affluent Australians, but Diamond demonstrates convincingly that societies typically collapse

when at the height of their dynamism and affluence, because that is precisely when resource demand is greatest. One thing, however, is on Australia's side: its people are forging a new relationship with their land and in the process discarding cultural baggage such as sheep grazing, which came from England and in the past was a source of great wealth. This Diamond sees as a great positive because "the values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs."

In the final chapter, Diamond reflects on his own society, the United States. Many of his friends make great sacrifices so that their children can attend the best (and most expensive) schools, yet they barely give a thought to the environment in which their children will mature. The situation has now become so dire, Diamond believes, that huge changes to our societies will probably occur within the next few decades. Yet he is a cautious optimist who sees in growing environmental awareness and new technology reason to hope that we can triumph over adversity.

Diamond's book will doubtless spawn many sceptics and naysayers, including the likes of the CEO of one American mining company who believes that "God will soon arrive on Earth, hence if we can just postpone land reclamation for another 5 or 10 years it will then be irrelevant anyway." Yet the fact that one of the world's most original thinkers has chosen to pen this mammoth work when his career is at its apogee is itself a persuasive argument that Collapse must be taken seriously. It is probably the most important book you will ever read.

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January 21, 2005
Wednesday's latimes carried excerpts of the exchange between California Senator Barbara Boxer and Bush's Secretary of State appointee Condoleezza Rice at the latter's appearance before the Senate. That exchange went on to a comment on the nature(s) of language and communication as factors in 'the human condition' -the whole, now, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

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January 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
A familiar tale of uprising and bloody suppression
Book Reviews By Stanley Meisler, Los Angeles Times' Africa correspondent, based in Kenya, from 1967 to 1973.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Histories of the Hanged
The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire
David Anderson
W.W. Norton: 406 pp., $25.95
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Imperial Reckoning
The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya

Caroline Elkins
Henry Holt: 478 pp., $27.50

Mau MAU burst upon the imagination of the world half a century ago, when newspapers and magazines published lurid photos accompanied by accounts of crazed savages slaughtering white settlers and their families in the Arcadian and romantic British colony of Kenya in darkest Africa. The images of an irrational black onslaught were reinforced by the publication in 1955 of Robert Ruark's bestselling novel "Something of Value," which was made into a movie starring Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier. To European and American ears during the 1950s, the words "Mau Mau" conjured up chilling terror.

Historians and academics have chipped away at these images ever since. Carl Rosberg, a UC Berkeley political scientist, and John Nottingham, a former British colonial officer, published their pioneering work, "The Myth of Mau Mau: Nationalism in Kenya," in 1966. More studies have followed over the years. The two latest books, remarkable and lucid accounts by British and American academics that are brimming with new evidence, surely smash the myth and images for good.

David Anderson and Caroline Elkins describe the Mau Mau insurgency, which lasted from 1952 to 1960, as an extreme response by the Kikuyu tribe to British injustice and land grabbing — a response that might have been minimized had the British not reacted with so much fury. The British suppression was as bloodthirsty and irrational as the Mau Mau uprising itself. Despite all the tales, only 32 white settlers died at the hands of the Mau Mau terrorists. Tens of thousands of Kikuyus — Elkins says perhaps more than 100,000 — died at the hands of the British forces and their African allies, often in cruel and barbarous detention camps during the uprising.

For a reader, the new books have an odd, almost eerie dimension. So much seems to echo what has been going on of late in Iraq and Afghanistan. The British convinced themselves that the African insurgents were terrorists driven by tribal curses who had no reasonable motivation for their actions. International treaties like the Geneva Convention would not apply to them .

In their sweeps, the British did not differentiate between Mau Mau insurgents and other Africans; the innocent were swept along and kept in lengthy detention or even executed. The brutality of the repression produced more recruits for the insurrection. The British tortured prisoners to make them talk but hid their actions behind legal mumbo jumbo and euphemisms like "compelling force." When some of the abuses were exposed in Britain, the government insisted that strong measures were needed against terrorists and that the abuses, in any case, were committed by only a few bad apples.

Neither Anderson nor Elkins mentions Iraq or Afghanistan. They began their research long before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They focus only on the story of how a self-styled white man's colony burst into bloody insurrection and how the British stamped it down with brutal force. However, a reader has to marvel at how easily history and ignorance repeat themselves.

Anderson, a lecturer in African studies at Oxford University, bases his account of the Mau Mau insurrection mainly on a trove of records he found in the Kenya National Archives in Nairobi — the proceedings of more than 800 Mau Mau trials conducted by the British that condemned 1,090 Africans to death by hanging. Elkins, an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, takes a different approach. She embellishes her study of the

records of the British suppression with interviews of 300 Africans, most of them survivors of prisons, detention camps and emergency villages.

The audacity of Kenya's 40,000 white settlers during the 1950s is kind of mind-boggling now. They were outnumbered 200 to 1 by the country's 8 million Africans. Yet the settlers could imagine themselves someday running Kenya the way whites now run former British colonies like Canada or Australia or even the United States. The blacks, according to the white settlers, were simply too uncivilized to stand in the way.

Yet the Mau Mau rebellion came out of sophisticated nationalist feelings, especially among the Kikuyus, the largest tribe in Kenya. These feelings were powered by resentment over the large tracts of farm land monopolized by whites while the overcrowded African areas had too little land to go around. Kikuyu hotheads began to unite their compatriots against the British through a traditional religious ceremony known as oathing. The oaths, reinforced by such rituals as the smearing of blood on a forehead and the chewing of a goat's innards, were regarded as so binding that an oathed Kikuyu risked supernatural vengeance if he or she betrayed the tribe. The term Mau Mau — first coined by the British — was probably derived from the Kikuyu word for oath.

The first victims of the uprising were Kikuyus themselves — chiefs, landowners, Christians and others who refused to go along. To deal with this, Sir Evelyn Baring, the British governor, foolishly declared a state of emergency in October 1952, arrested Kikuyu nationalist leaders like Jomo Kenyatta and called for more British troops to pacify the colony. At the time Baring issued his decree, only a single white farmer had been killed. The emergency inflamed the insurgency and drove thousands of young Mau Mau to take refuge in the mountain forests of Kenya. The British insisted that Kenyatta was the Mau Mau leader, but both Anderson and Elkins dismiss the notion. In fact, they regard him as the only hope — before the emergency declaration — of moderating the movement and leading the Africans to majority rule peacefully. The conflict itself became a kind of civil war, with many Kikuyu fighting alongside the British against Mau Mau.

The British defeated the rebellion within eight years. They did so by killing and capturing the warriors in the forest, convicting suspected terrorists in the courts, detaining tens of thousands of Mau Mau sympathizers and rounding up more than 1 million Kikuyus — mostly women, children and elderly men — and confining them to 804 villages enclosed by trenches and barbed wire. Despite victory, however, the British government and public were so troubled by the cost and turmoil that — to the dismay and outrage of the settlers — they soon abandoned Kenya as a white man's colony. The Africans lost the war but won their independence.

In "Histories of the Hanged," Anderson tells the full story of the rise of Mau

Mau and the brutal British suppression that followed. He insists that "no one in authority" — from the prime minister in London to the district officers in Kenya — "could claim that they didn't know" about the British abuses, including torture and wanton killing of detainees. "Their reaction," he writes, " … was to deflect and deny, disparaging the accusers or making light of the accusations." Anderson's narrative — bolstered by realistic descriptions of life in Kenya and informed analysis of the causes of the Mau Mau insurrection — is ample, judicious and elegant.

Elkins' "Imperial Reckoning" complements Anderson's book. Although she includes an analysis of the causes and politics of the insurgency, she is more concerned with documenting the full extent of the British brutality. Writing with white heat, she details the unsavory story of summary executions, rapes, sodomy with bottles, castration, flogging with chains and rhino whips, attacks by dogs, humiliation by nakedness and a host of torture techniques including electric shock, near drowning and sleep deprivation. The detail is sometimes numbing but always vital. Her thorough documentation is necessary to prove her case that the British, while suppressing the Mau Mau, were guilty of "creating one of the most restrictive police states in the history of the empire and deploying unspeakable terror and violence."

Both books are distinguished additions to African colonial history and pointed reminders that even the most benign occupying power can behave inhumanely when its soldiers believe their enemies are less than human. •

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January 17, 2005
below is an article from the latimes -one of sunday's three on the same subject -my own subtitle of which might be-
'American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make
as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose' (as long as
there's no law against it :-) is the single agency of greatest per_capita
resource/environment destruction and waste in the history of man.
(-from 'Business' and 'Making money')

-'diasporatively cheap natural resources and labor' wherever and however you can get it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
A WORLD UNRAVELS
Clothes Will Cost Less, but Some Nations Pay

Consumers gain when textile quotas end and jobs move to China and India. Poor countries lose out.
By Tyler Marshall, Evelyn Iritani and Marla Dickerson, Times Staff Writers

Phenom Penh, Cambodia
As a poor nation struggling to compete in an increasingly globalized economy, Cambodia has little to offer factory owner Leon Hsu.
   Electricity is erratic. Traffic along the road to the port of Sihanoukville includes the occasional elephant. If a truckload of men's shirts doesn't reach the port on time, it may be days before another vessel departs for Singapore, where goods are transferred to a larger ship for the voyage to the United States.
   None of that much mattered over the years, because international quotas guaranteed Cambodia the chance to sell clothing and textiles to retailers in rich, developed nations. Designed to protect manufacturers in North America and Europe from foreign competition, the import quotas ended up working as a global version of Head Start, an affirmative action program for countries that had large, unskilled workforces and not much else.

   The last provisions of the 30-year quota system disappeared at the beginning of the month, leaving Hsu few reasons to stay in Cambodia. Beckoning him are far more efficient venues — chief among them China — with modern factories, highways and ports, prolific workers and all the fabric, thread and buttons he could want.
   Miss a shipping date out of southern China, and another vessel is leaving soon, often within 24 hours. And it's a direct shot to Los Angeles or Rotterdam, Netherlands.
   "I'll be happy to go," Hsu said.
   When he does, he won't be alone. The end of the quotas has triggered what trade experts believe could be one of the largest migrations of production in history, jeopardizing Cambodia's 220,000 apparel jobs. Hundreds of thousands more are threatened in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Lesotho and other countries that prospered under the quota system.
   The massive manufacturing shift will be a windfall for billions of people, bringing huge savings to consumers and accelerating the transfer of jobs to engines of low-cost production in China and India. But it could cripple economies across Latin America, Africa and Asia.
   Relative newcomers to the international commerce club risk losing their claim to an industry that lets them play in the big leagues. Millions of people whose jobs sewing knit shirts or jeans have meant schooling for their children or roofs over their heads could slide further into poverty.
   In Africa, where manufacturers supply employees with condoms and healthcare, the battle against AIDS could be weakened. Illegal immigration from Latin America to North America may rise. Efforts to improve the economic position of women in predominantly Muslim countries are threatened.
   The quota system "has been an extremely cost-effective method of bringing social and political stability to a very needy part of the world," said Peter Craig, a Washington-based trade commissioner for the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, which has lost 20,000 apparel jobs since 2003. When the full effects of its end are felt, "it'll be horrendous."
   Already, the unleashing of free-market forces has begun to shake the foundation of a trading scheme that brought undreamed-of prosperity to millions and helped create the corporations that dominate international commerce. Now that the rules have changed, those corporations are likely to become even more powerful, and some of the poorest will see their short-lived gains slip away.
   "Very few people understand, or they're just starting to understand, what this means," said Mark Levinson, a U.S. apparel union economist who estimates that as much as $40 billion of production will be transferred to China from the developing world. "It's going to be chaos in the global economy."
   Advocates of free trade see it all very differently. They argue that the quotas' demise should be celebrated. In their view, governments no longer protected by quotas will be forced to get rid of the corruption and inefficiencies that, in fact, have held them back.
   "This isn't punishment for those countries" that are losing factories and jobs, said Dean Spinanger, a senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for World Economics in Germany and an expert on the quota system. Instead, "it will make them aware that they have to shape up."
   Supporters also point out that the full effect of the phaseout isn't likely to be felt immediately, because Washington has the right, under World Trade Organization rules, to reimpose restrictions on Beijing through 2008 if the United States is swamped with too many Chinese imports.
   China has responded to the global angst. Last month, officials in Beijing said they were going to try to control their growth by imposing a small tax on apparel and textile exports and monitoring their factories' output.
   For his part, David Spooner, the U.S. trade official in charge of textile policy, believes that the elimination of quotas will be far less disruptive than many predict. A small nation, he said, might be able to develop a niche market and flourish. In any event, he added, a lot of the anxiety is unnecessary, because not all the big buyers of cut-rate T-shirts and jeans will abandon their longtime suppliers and rush to China.
   Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for one, says it isn't planning any dramatic moves. But of course Wal-Mart already is the leading U.S. importer of goods from China; it's expected to bring in $18 billion of goods this year. Spokesman William Wertz said the company expect to remain a major player in other countries such as Bangladesh, at least "until we see how things sort out."
   The chief purchasing executive for J.C. Penney Co., Peter McGrath, said he couldn't imagine the giant retailer's supplier base falling below a dozen countries, in large part because it doesn't want to be too dependent on any one region.
   On the other hand, J.C. Penney has in the last three years slimmed down its supply network from 5,000 manufacturing plants in 51 countries to about 1,800 in 23, which McGrath reckons will reduce import costs as much as 18%.
   J.C. Penney's purchasing freedom had been curbed by a 1974 trade pact called the Multifiber Arrangement, or MFA. Its members — the United States, Canada and 13 countries in Europe — used quotas to regulate access to their clothing and textile markets.
   The quota system was a bureaucratic headache. Every year, the United States and others in the MFA parceled out their quota allocations to various governments around the world, and those rights were distributed to companies that wanted to produce the goods covered by a particular quota. Manufacturing work was spread all over the world.
   The MFA's network of quotas began to be phased out in 1995, and now buyers can shop wherever they like.
   Oddly enough, many of the countries fretting about the consequences, such as Mexico and Egypt, were the very ones that pressured the WTO to do away with all the restrictions on trade in textiles and clothing.
   Armed with huge pools of cheap labor, these countries figured they could grab even bigger shares of the North American and European markets if the J.C. Penneys of the world were not constrained.
   What many failed to foresee was that the dynamics of global competitiveness would be turned upside-down with the emergence of China and India as economic powerhouses.
   Within their vast borders, the two countries — the most populous in the world — can offer the low wages of poor nations along with the efficiencies of modern economies. The advantages are perhaps most evident in the textile and apparel industry, which requires large pools of unskilled laborers but also depends on fast delivery and the ability to change production specs on a dime.
   What's more, global trade has come to be dominated by huge multinationals such as Wal-Mart or Carrefour of France that can make or break entire economies with their orders.
   Wal-Mart, for example, buys as much as one-third of the clothes made in Bangladesh, a major producer of men's dress shirts and khaki pants. In Cambodia, making clothes for Gap Inc. and other leading U.S. and European retailers accounted for one-third of gross national product in 2003.
   Big retailers have always been able to leverage their huge orders into lower prices for raw materials, production and shipping. But now that they aren't bound by import quotas, it's far easier to funnel orders to the factories that produce the most, the fastest and the cheapest.
   Yves Robert Lamusse, director of Palmar International Ltd., a struggling apparel factory in Mauritius, said it was impossible for a remote island nation to compete now that a "dictatorship of retailers" was pushing prices lower and lower.
   "My generation, I don't know what war is," said the fifth- generation Mauritian, who recently invested in two factories in Mozambique because labor costs there are 15% lower than in his native land. "My kid's generation, they don't know what war is. But we are in a war."
   The case of Cambodia illustrates how hard it can be to compete for clothing contracts against the likes of China, where the apparel and textile industry employs at least 15 million people and entire towns are devoted to the production of socks or neckties.
   During the murderous reign of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot in the late 1970s, Cambodia lost its business and intellectual elite, along with a generation of potential managers and entrepreneurs, when more than 1 million people were slaughtered.
   Foreign investors have been reluctant to put money into a country plagued by political unrest and illiteracy. The cash-strapped government can't afford to build new highways, upgrade the energy grid or modernize the Sihanoukville port, where inspectors tracking container traffic use pens and stacks of paper layered with carbon paper in a flashback to pre-photocopier, let alone pre-computer, days.
   Cambodia certainly doesn't boast the multilane freeways and high-speed telecommunications lines prevalent in the exporting zones of China. That infrastructure was paid for, in part, by the $52 billion in direct foreign investment China received in 2003 — compared with Cambodia's $251 million.
   But for a few decades, the textile and apparel quotas let Cambodia be a contender.
   Hsu, a native of Hong Kong, moved to Phnom Penh in the early 1980s and opened four factories. He counted among his customers J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart.
   Because they were forced to order clothing from factories in more countries than they would have liked, Cambodia benefited. Another boon was a U.S. initiative that linked expanded import quotas to improved labor rights.
   Then came the phaseout. At the end of 2002, quotas on nightgowns and baby clothes expired. J.C. Penney, which had bought $600,000 of baby clothes from Hsu's Cambodian factories in 2001, cut its order by two-thirds the next year and to zero in 2003.
   Wal-Mart, a buyer of women's nightgowns, told Hsu in 2003 that it wouldn't order from him unless he could lower his price to $5.95 a gown from $6.20. Hsu said he couldn't afford to say yes.
   "I lost 20% of my business right there," he said. "It's all gone to China."
   Wertz, the Wal-Mart official, said he couldn't confirm the details of that transaction. But he said Wal-Mart was still buying nightgowns and other apparel from Hsu's Cambodian factories.
   J.C. Penney spokesman Tim Lyons said his buyers couldn't find any record of business dealings with Hsu's factories in Cambodia.
   Although Hsu sees all the business heading to China, there are other nations benefiting from the quota elimination. New business is going to India and Pakistan, for instance, because of their homegrown cotton supply and reputations for high-quality linens.
   China, though, is drawing the bulk of the post-quota work.
   Although retailers claim that they won't risk placing all their eggs in one basket, experts figure that China could capture at least half of all apparel production — and a far greater share of the U.S. market — within a few years. India could take much of the rest of the $681-billion global apparel market.
   That could create a dangerous divide within the developing world, if China and India are seen as flourishing at the expense of their neighbors, said Auret van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Assn., a coalition of leading retailers, nongovernmental organizations and activists interested in improving working conditions.
   "You could end up with hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who start to question the basis of this new global economy," he said. And because the United States was a leading architect of the new trading system, "it would be naive not to anticipate a rise of anti-Americanism."
   For the United States, the quota system was a useful foreign policy tool. The quota system gave Washington some leeway in divvying up its market every year, and the government used that — along with tariff rates — to bolster poor countries or reward those that were geographically or politically strategic.
   By opening the doors wider for Lesotho in 2000, for instance, the United States sent the apparel industry in that African nation into overdrive. Since then, exports of clothing to U.S. buyers such as Gap, Wal-Mart and K-Mart have more than tripled to $400 million from $120 million.
   In the 1980s, the Reagan administration had done the same for countries in Central America and the Caribbean, which today supply two-thirds of the imported cotton undershirts, briefs, boxers and panties that Americans put on each day and 80% of the foreign-made cotton T-shirts cluttering U.S. closets.
   But for its part, the Bush administration isn't fretting over the policy implications of the end of quotas. The White House, and other supporters of the phaseout, contend that the system simply exacted too high a price to be maintained, propping up uncompetitive producers.
   What's more, it cost Americans $50 billion to $60 billion annually — an average of $500 per household — in higher clothing prices, according to the International Trade Commission. Part of the higher costs came from fees associated with the quota system.
   "Quota charges are essentially a tax paid by American consumers on imported goods," said Skip Kotkins, president of Skyway Luggage Co. in Seattle, who moved all of his production in Thailand to a giant new factory complex in southern China when quotas were removed from luggage in 2002. Kotkins said his costs had been trimmed by as much as 20%.
   The costs to the countries that are losing clothing and textile contracts have only begun to be counted. Many trade specialists see the post-quota era as every bit as potentially destructive as the unrestrained capitalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that spawned sweatshop conditions and price-fixing monopolies.
   Already, gains in wage levels and working conditions are starting to unravel. In Lesotho, the government has agreed to give apparel and textile factory owners an exemption from paying a mandatory cost-of-living increase. Business leaders in El Salvador want to reduce the nation's $5.04-a-day maquiladora minimum wage in rural areas to stay competitive with China and its lower-cost neighbors in Central America.
   Halfway around the world in the Philippines, a panel of business and government officials has proposed exempting garment makers from paying the minimum daily wage, which ranges from about $3.75 to $5.
   It's clear to Rustam Aksam who the losers will be. "No job security, no income security," said the Indonesian labor leader, who figures his country could lose as many as 500,000 jobs.
   Critics of the phaseout want world leaders to act now to ensure that the weakest countries — many of which are fragile democracies — are given the chance to reap the rewards of global trade, just as the United States acted to protect consumers in the late 1800s by passing antitrust laws to deal with the robber barons.
   "Americans have short memories," said Stephen Lande, president of Manchester Trade Ltd., a Washington trade consulting firm. "To just sit idly by and let these countries take an economic shot and not do anything about it makes no sense."
   Carving out space for the underdog is more complicated than it was a century ago, when Washington's major worry was that consumers would be gouged by the monopolists. Today, prices are still viewed as part of the problem — though not in the same way.
   In an unregulated global market, the drive to shave costs places excessive pressure on employers to keep wages low and to jettison costly benefits, said Gary Gereffi, a Duke University sociologist who is an expert in global production systems.
   "We need to find creative ways to reestablish the floor below which things aren't allowed to sink," he said.
   The problem: There are no international organizations with the responsibility or power to regulate manufacturing practices or labor conditions, let alone the world's new concentrations of industrial and buying power.
   The Geneva-based WTO is in charge of trade policy but has shied away from tackling contentious issues such as labor standards or environmental exploitation. The International Labor Organization, a United Nations body, has focused its limited resources on ridding the world of the most egregious abuses, such as child exploitation and prison labor, but lacks the teeth to have much effect.
   "The world is sort of where it was at the end of the 19th century, when there were robber barons and ruthless competition and consolidation and then the pendulum swung back at the national level and governments stepped in to regulate capital," said Richard Appelbaum, a professor of international studies at UC Santa Barbara. "Businesses are multinational today. What is the framework for regulating businesses globally?"
   There is no shortage of ideas. Some activists have pushed for the establishment of a global living wage that would vary from country to country but would guarantee workers a subsistence salary. Labor advocates also support the establishment of global standards for workplace safety, environmental protections and worker rights.
   Others would like to see the WTO or another body enact regulations to prevent large countries or companies from dominating crucial industrial sectors or key markets within the global economy.
   But in addition to opposition from the business community, resistance also comes from the nations that stand to benefit. Although governments recognize the threat to their economies and workers, they are loath to give up their ability to control labor rates, working conditions or competitive practices.
   Poor countries, whose workers are the most vulnerable to exploitation, have fought efforts to include tougher labor and environmental standards in trade agreements for fear they would be used by wealthier countries as protectionist shields.
   In any case, clothing factories are increasingly in the control of Asian conglomerates that operate with fewer restrictions on operations at home and abroad than their U.S. counterparts.
   Multilateral agencies have begun stepping in to help. The World Bank is providing technical assistance and aid for the modernization of ports and highways in countries trying to boost exports, and the International Monetary Fund is helping governments that suffer a budgetary shortfall because of a sharp shift in trade patterns.
   The Bush administration is taking steps to shore up vulnerable economies in Central America and the Middle East with trade pacts that provide expanded access for apparel. The United States also faces pressure to follow Europe's lead and remove tariffs on goods from struggling Muslim economies and low-income Asian countries such as Cambodia and Nepal that face tariffs as high as 32% on certain items.
   In Cambodia, with U.S. support, the government is working with the International Labor Organization on a program to improve working conditions in apparel factories.
   The hope is that big name brands will stay put and pay a little extra to support fair labor standards and reduce the possibility of becoming ensnared in a sweatshop scandal. That effort has won the backing of socially conscious U.S. retailers such as Gap.
   If that fails, as many experts predict, the outcome for Cambodia and others in the developing world could be bleak.
   "There is nothing else for these people," said Robin Rosenberg, a Latin American trade expert at the University of Miami. "You take away the garment industry, and it's going to be a natural disaster like Hurricane Mitch."
   Marshall reported from Asia, Iritani from Africa and Dickerson from Latin America.

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Page 64
January 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
A WORLD UNRAVELS
Made in L.A., for Now

Clothing firms cope with a global industry that is more competitive than ever
By Leslie Earnest, Times Staff Writer

Koos Manufacturing Inc. illustrates what has gone wrong for U.S. clothing manufacturers — and what can, sometimes, go right.
   A couple of years ago, the Southgate company's factory was cranking out 200,000 pairs of private-label jeans a week for some of the largest apparel chains in the country.
   But profit margins were for the most part thin. Owner Yul Ku said retailers pressed him for lower and lower prices until he refused to budge, and they took their orders elsewhere.
   Today, Koos Manufacturing's weekly output is down to about 35,000 pairs — of expensive, fashionable jeans that sell for as much as $170. And though the factory's assembly line is a lot smaller than it was in 2003, business is healthy enough that Ku plans to begin making two more lines of denim next month, one that will command as much as $250 a pair.

   Even now, as the clothing and textile industry is roiled by the end of 30 years of import quotas, "there will be survivors," Ku said. "We're one of them."
   Across Los Angeles County, clothing companies are expecting to hang on — or do better — as the global apparel trade becomes more competitive than ever.
   These companies have carved out niches in high- fashion and specialized production, with an emphasis on fast turnarounds, that could keep them in the international game.
   Factories and sewing shops can crank out, within weeks of a designer's vision, cutting-edge fashions for teenage girls and young women. Workers in cities such as Vernon, Commerce and Gardena turn out the vast majority of the nation's trendiest high-end jeans, including 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and Paper Denim & Cloth.
   The pressure on the local industry, though, can't be denied. The expiration of the import quotas Jan. 1 has empowered some cut-rate producers, principally China, and prodded others, notably the tiny island of Mauritius, to tweak their manufacturing strategies to remain competitive — possibly at L.A. County's expense.
   So far, China is primarily focused on the mass production of moderately priced items. But some people in the industry believe it won't be long before Chinese factories will be able to make it all, including $300 jeans.
   "If they want to," said Joe Rodriguez, executive director of the Garment Contractors Assn. of Southern California, "they could wipe out the whole industry."
   Los Angeles County — the largest clothing manufacturing hub in the nation — is no stranger to the tumultuous forces of globalization.
   For decades, U.S. retailers have been chasing lower-cost suppliers around the world. The loss of apparel jobs accelerated after 1994, when production moved south of the border after passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
   L.A. County's apparel manufacturing base has shriveled to 61,400 jobs, 41% fewer than in 1996, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Now, with the quotas' expiration, many predict that the job losses will accelerate, though there are widely differing opinions about how swiftly and to what extent.
   To be sure, Los Angeles isn't as vulnerable as the Southern U.S. Textile manufacturers there spent the most political capital trying to persuade Washington to maintain some forms of protection against economical, efficient factories in China, Bangladesh, Honduras and other developing countries. Factory workers in the Carolinas are expected to take the biggest hit from the competition unleashed by the end of the quotas.
   The quotas had limited the amount of apparel and textile products that could be imported into North America and Europe from any one country, forcing buyers to distribute their orders around the globe. Without restrictions, buyers can more easily shift their production to the cheapest supplier — which certainly isn't Los Angeles.
   In Los Angeles County, a woman who stitches a skirt earns as much as $15 an hour, and even an undocumented worker employed by an unlicensed contractor can make $7. In China, her counterpart pulls in 68 cents to 88 cents.
   But as superior as her pay might be to the going rate in the manufacturing Goliaths of China and India, a seamstress in Los Angeles is on one of the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, without health benefits and probably not unionized.
   The end of the quotas that gave developing nations a leg up — and that gave apparel workers in the United States some shield from the competitiveness of the international economy — may well mean that "the poorest of the poor are going to be left with an even more difficult struggle for survival," said Edna Bonacich, a UC Riverside professor and coauthor of the book "Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry."
   "The more manufacturing we lose," she said, "the more destitute people we have."
   Even the thriving denim business is a fraction of what it was in the early 1980s. As it is, premium denim represents a small portion of the $11-billion U.S. jeans market, and a lot of that market is supplied by foreign factories.
   But about 85% of high-end jeans — selling for $120 and more — are sewn in L.A. County. Manufacturers of premium denim are banking on buyers' willingness to pay top dollar to safeguard them from the forces of free trade.
   "Being a premium brand, it doesn't matter what we charge, so we can afford to make the jeans in America," said Rick Crane, the sales director for Koral Industries, which owns the 7 for All Mankind brand.
   L.A.'s advantage is about more than money. It's also about the vibe.
   "I can sit in a bar on Sunset and design the line" with inspiration from watching the local scene, said Adriano Goldschmied, a pioneer of premium denim who helped launch the Italian brand Diesel 25 years ago. "When I was in Italy, to see something like that I had to fly for hours."
   Just as important, Los Angeles boasts some of the world's most celebrated denim laundries, Svengalis that can transform plain Jane pants into hip fashion statements, perfectly faded and frayed.
   In fact, the founders of the James Jeans lines, James Sway and his wife, Seun, moved from New York because L.A. County "is the mecca for high-end denim manufacturing," Sway said.
   Here, he said, sewing contractors know how to make "lifting darted back pockets" — which give the appearance of a lifted derriere.
   Local laundries, he said, also are adept at shading jeans so that legs appear longer and thinner and at sanding in "whiskers" (light horizontal lines in the zipper area) so that hips seem narrower. James Jeans' new, higher-priced line, selling for about $180 a pair, employs what is called the "all in" method. That means using all techniques available to achieve a worn-in look, including applying oil stains and cigar burns.
   Hollywood is a magnet too: James Cured by Seun initially was available only to celebrities. The line went on sale to the public this weekend at 10 stores, including Barneys New York in Beverly Hills and Villa Moda in Dubai, the Persian Gulf emirate.
   "Any designer starting in L.A. has a leg up," said Gela Taylor, co-founder of the L.A.-based Juicy Couture brand, which creates velour sweat suits that sell for $185 and T-shirts that go for $60.
   "New York is great," she said, "but right now the young, edgy, hot designers are coming out of L.A."
   At Koos Manufacturing, the 700 employees at the pristine factory start from scratch, unloading piles of denim from delivery trucks. The material is cut and sewn and passed on to be sanded, ground, stonewashed and baked. Along the way, a screen-printed pocket lining is inserted in some jeans. It reads: "Made in Southgate (somewhere in California)."
   The factory can turn out a sample in 24 hours, and its two-story warehouse is packed with finished products.
   Ku explained the response time: "Customers call up," he said and then snapped his fingers.
   Rapid production is a theme in L.A.'s garment industry and one that gives Southern California an edge over China and other manufacturing centers, at least for now.
   Designers and retailers want new styles and variations to appeal to fast-changing tastes, and they demand that the latest slinky skirts or knit ponchos hit stores before the hot trend chills.
   American Apparel in downtown L.A. — whose seven-story factory is topped with a banner blaring "American Apparel is an Industrial Revolution" in red letters — employs machines that can cut eight T-shirts every 9.2 seconds.
   The factory has 75 knitting machines that cost $45,000 each and plans to double that number this year, said Marty Bailey, vice president of operations. As it is, if someone orders 1,000 T-shirts at 2 p.m., he said, he can ship them by 5:30 that evening.
   Bailey keeps 1.8 million pounds of finished fabric on hand at all times to make sure he can turn out products quickly. About 3,100 people work two shifts at American Apparel, which is expanding its casual cotton apparel lines and opening stores to help build its brand.
   On a tour of the factory, Bailey paused where an assembly line of five men and three women was putting together a shirt.
   Passing cloth down the line, each performed one task: hemming, sewing the shoulders, stitching the neckline, adding the label, strengthening the shoulder seams, inserting sleeves and trimming dangling thread. A ponytailed woman then scrutinized the final product, tugging at the fabric and measuring the gap at the neck and the width of the hem.
   The process took mere minutes. The team moves so briskly, Bailey said, that it can finish about 2,200 pieces a day.
   Speed is essential for Esperanza Hernandez. The 41-year-old seamstress works nine hours a day, five days a week, and sometimes on Saturday. Her boss takes orders from various companies, including Forever 21, an L.A.-based retailer that sells clothes to trend-hungry teens.
   "I have to produce a certain amount of clothing," Hernandez said, "so I have to work rapidly."
   But the Chinese are increasingly fast themselves, thanks to billions of dollars in foreign investment and technological advances in production techniques.
   "I hear that China is right now able to deliver garments in six to eight weeks, starting from fabric to finished goods — and that's what it takes to do it in L.A.," said the owner of one local factory that employs 150 workers who make women's tops. He is considering not renewing his lease.
   "We may have to shut down," said the contractor, who asked not to be named because he feared it would spook his customers. "We're dinosaurs, on the verge of extinction."
   Geographic diversification is one answer. Koos Manufacturing, for instance, has a plant in Mexico, where 1,200 workers make jeans for the Buckle clothing chain.
   But the reality is that China's lure is difficult to resist, even for disciples of Los Angeles. James Jeans' co-founder may have moved to L.A. to take advantage of its hip denim laundries, but that doesn't mean he is immune to a bargain.
   "If they can do it better and cheaper overseas," Sway said, "I have no choice but to go overseas."
   In fact, Sway said, he had been sending bits of work to China to monitor the technical progress of companies making jeans there — just in case. And the Chinese are getting better.
   "I'm already seeing season-to-season changes that are remarkable," he said. "It's like an arms race in a way."
   Times staff writer Evelyn Iritani contributed to this report.

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Page 65
January 16, 2005 Los Angeles Times
A WORLD UNRAVELS
Far-Off Mauritius in Local Territory

By Evelyn Iritani, Times Staff Writer

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius — For a glimpse of their future competition, Los Angeles garment makers shouldn't look just at the booming factories of southern China.
   Here on this tiny tropical island in the Indian Ocean, factory owners are spending millions of dollars to hire designers, upgrade machinery and build new spinning and fabric mills.
   Their goal: to move out of the mass-production T-shirts and sweat pants that are China's strength and into the more expensive, quick-turnaround market that is Los Angeles County's bread and butter.
   Mauritians reckon that they will be able to produce trendy shirts and slacks so efficiently that they could be airfreighted to customers in Los Angeles or New York and still cost less than anything stamped "Made in the USA."
   J.C. Penney Co., for one, is a believer.

   "If they can move and turn very quickly, and have good airfreight logistics to whatever point in the U.S., they can find their reason for being," said Peter McGrath, president of Penney's purchasing arm. "If we can get the price cheap enough, we can airfreight."
   Mauritius, with a population of about 1.2 million, developed its textile and clothing industry during the era of import quotas that helped small players compete for orders from buyers in North America and Europe.
   The quotas began to be phased out in 1994; the last of them expired Jan. 1. And in the last two years, Mauritius has lost nearly 20,000 apparel jobs as work moved from less competitive countries like itself to huge and highly efficient rivals such as China and India.
   But people in the clothing business here believe that the industry on the island can endure if it transforms itself, specializing in fast work or particular fashion trends. And Mauritius' success could come at the expense of factories in Los Angeles County whose profitable domain is express production.
   The sample books at Socota Textile Mills Ltd. tell part of Mauritius' story. Just a few years ago, sales manager Razia Sayed-Fakim would have been hauling around books filled with page after page of plain fabrics, one page showing different shades of blue, another browns and beiges.
   Today, Sayed-Fakim's sample sheets are ablaze with colors, textures and patterns. Customers see fabrics in collections, which may include a dozen or more different patterns or color combinations.
   "We want to bring everything to the customer," she said. "We want to be everywhere, and we want to be able to do everything for them."
   Those customers — including Marks & Spencer Group, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Carrefour, Gap Inc. and Liz Claiborne Inc. — demand more than ample color options. They want ever-speedier delivery so they can turn over their goods more often. So Socota Textile is aiming to become just as fast as producers in Los Angeles.
   The mill recently cut its delivery time to the United States in half — from three months to five or six weeks — and plans to shave an additional week in the coming year by making use of more efficient machinery and advanced weaving techniques.
   "If the product is right, a buyer can afford to pay 15 or 20 cents more a garment to have it airfreighted," said Olivier Stekelorom, Socota's general manager.
   At Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile, known here as CMT, owner Francois Woo has invested $50 million in the last five years in a new factory and spinning mill that employs 6,000 and is on track to produce 70 million garments a year.
   CMT headquarters is a building with a soaring ceiling and open design. Upstairs, there is a huge fabric library, a design center and a showroom that looks like a high-fashion boutique, the walls lined with racks of colorful T-shirts. The racks are a sea of mauve and blue, popular colors for the coming spring. CMT's U.S. customers include Eddie Bauer Inc., Gap and Foot Locker Inc.
   On the factory floor, employees, who make about $100 a month, sit in ergonomically designed chairs plucking garments from automated assembly lines, which move the product from a motorized track suspended from the ceiling. Although the automated workstations are costly — $6,000 to $7,500 apiece — they can increase productivity by 30%, according to the company's managing director.
   Speed is of the essence. Turnaround time on huge commodity orders has gone from six months to three; for fast fashion, it is two to four weeks. By spinning his own yarn for fabric rather than importing it from China or India, Woo has cut five to six weeks off his production time.
   Now the Mauritian factory owner is looking for other locales to set up shop so that he can offer buyers more than one low-cost production platform and can better compete with China.
   Globalization "is a real fight," Woo said. "We have to fight back."
   And if you can't fight them, join them. CMT is building a new factory that will open in 2006 — near Shanghai.

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Page 66
January 10, 2005 WWII's Dr. Mengele has to be somewhere in the below-

perryb

January 9, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Doctor's Orders -- Spill Your Guts
By M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan H. Marks, M. Gregg Bloche is professor of law at Georgetown University and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jonathan H. Marks is a London barrister and Greenwal

Credit the folks who ran Abu Ghraib for their wit. "The database is lonely," says a smiley face in a slide show for new interrogators prepared a year ago. "You can help! Visit the database every time you spend time with any of our esteemed guests. Tell the database about what fun conversation you and your guests had." The last slide is a cartoon of an interrogation session. "I realize it sounds rather cliche, but we have ways of making you talk," its caption reads.

At Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and "undisclosed locations," some U.S. military interrogators used troubling methods to try to get their captives to talk. Many of their efforts have been widely reported; some may have risen to the level of torture under international law. What is less known — but equally disturbing — is that military doctors become arbiters, even planners, of aggressive interrogation practice, including prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation and exposure to temperature extremes.

An August 2002 Justice Department memo, sought by White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales to protect interrogators against prosecution for employing such methods as sleep deprivation, defined torture in medical terms. Coercive measures, the memo stated, don't constitute torture unless they bring about "death, organ failure … serious impairment of bodily functions" or prolonged and severe mental illness. Use of mind-altering drugs is OK, so long as it doesn't "disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality." Even when these lines are crossed, the memo held, interrogators aren't torturers if they act "in good faith" by "surveying professional literature" or "consulting with experts."

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which monitors wartime detention practices, alleges that medical personnel at Guantanamo shared clinical information with interrogators, in "flagrant violation of medical ethics," to extract more information from detainees. The Pentagon says the charge is false. But our inquiry into the role that health professionals played in military intelligence-gathering in Iraq and Guantanamo has found a pattern of reliance on medical input. Not only did caregivers pass clinical data to interrogators, physicians and other health professionals helped craft and carry out coercive interrogation plans.

Such conduct violated U.S. obligations under the Geneva Convention, which bar threatening, insulting and other abusive treatment of prisoners. There is also probable cause to suspect that some physicians were complicit in the use of interrogation methods that constitute torture under international law.

Piercing the veil of silence surrounding Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo poses unusual difficulties. Military personnel knowledgeable about interrogation practices or medical care at these sites were reluctant to speak with us. Some cited orders not to discuss their service; others pointed to a general understanding, not expressed as an order, that public discussion of their experiences was ill advised. One, Maj. David Auch, commander of the clinical unit that staffed Abu Ghraib when the notorious photos of Iraqi prisoners were taken, said a military intelligence officer told his medics not to talk about deaths that occurred in detention.

Yet multiple interviews with military medical personnel, often on a not-for-attribution basis, made it possible to "connect the dots." Documents made public through Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the

American Civil Liberties Union also contributed.

Critical to understanding the medical role is the change in interrogation doctrine introduced by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and his team, first at Guantanamo, then at Abu Ghraib. A classified memo, prepared by Miller in late 2003, made the case for "fusion" of all prison functions to support the "interrogation mission."

Miller argued that "Behavioral psychologists and psychiatrists" were needed to "develop … integrated interrogation strategies and assess … interrogation intelligence production." To this end, he called for creation of "Behavioral Science Consultation Teams," known as "Biscuits," made up of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Desperate for some edge against a worsening insurgency in Iraq in November 2003, U.S. commanders implemented Miller's design at Abu Ghraib. In one example that came to our attention, Maj. Scott Uithol, a psychiatrist, arrived in Iraq expecting to serve with a combat stress-control unit. He was deployed instead to Abu Ghraib's newly formed Biscuit.

Uithol declined to talk to us, but other sources, including Abu Ghraib's chief of military intelligence, Col. Thomas Pappas, shed light on what at least some Biscuit members did. In testimony taken last February for an internal report but made public in October, Pappas described how physicians helped devise and execute interrogation strategies. Military intelligence teams, he said, prepared individualized "interrogation plans" for detainees, including a "sleep plan" and "medical standards." A physician and a psychiatrist monitored what went on.

What was in these interrogation plans? None have become public, but a classified January 2004 memo (prepared by unnamed military intelligence personnel at Abu Ghraib and made public in October) sets out an "interrogation and counter-resistance policy" calling for harsh measures. These include "dietary manipulation — minimum bread and water, monitored by medics"; temperature extremes; sensory and sleep deprivation "monitored by medics"; prolonged isolation; and "stress positions." Pappas' testimony refers to a written "sleep management plan" that instructs guards to wake a detainee "every X-amount of hours."

Doctors collaborated with guards and interrogators in applying these approaches. "The doctor and psychiatrist," Pappas said, "look at the files to see what the interrogation plan recommends; they have the final say as to what is implemented." A psychiatrist also went with interrogators to the Abu Ghraib prison, "review[ed] all those people under a management plan" and provided "feedback as to whether they were being medically and physically

taken care of."

At both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, interrogation teams also had access to clinical caregivers and medical records, a practice defended by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Clinical and Program Policy David Tornberg. There is "not a doctor-patient relationship in the traditional sense between a military healthcare provider and an enemy prisoner of war," he told us. "Medical information will not be protected … to the extent it is military relevant."

Tornberg's sweeping claim is at odds with the Geneva Convention's promise of adequate medical care to people detained in armed conflicts. When a caregiver learns of an imminent threat to the life of others (for example, a prisoner who tells his doctor about an impending terror attack), breach of doctor-patient confidentiality to save life is appropriate. But revealing health information to interrogators undermines detainees' trust in their doctors, a prerequisite for adequate care.

How did military physicians who advised or served with Biscuits justify this role to themselves? Some may have conflated Geneva protections with the ban on torture. So long as interrogation strategies didn't rise to the level of torture, they could see their conduct as lawful. Other physicians feared prosecution for disobeying orders more than they worried about the consequences of following illegal orders.

Some military doctors advanced another rationalization: Whatever their obligations under the international human rights law and the laws of war, medical ethics do not apply when they devote their skills to intelligence-gathering and other war-fighting functions. In such cases, these physicians say, they are combatants, not physicians, because they apply their knowledge to achieve military ends. A medical degree, Tornberg told us, isn't a "sacramental vow." When a doctor participates in interrogation, "he's not functioning as a physician," and the Hippocratic ideal of fidelity to patients is beside the point.

The Hippocratic ideal does fail to capture the breadth of the profession's social role. Doctors routinely serve criminal justice, public health and other social purposes, sometimes at the expense of individuals' well-being. But the proposition that, in so doing, they don't act as physicians is self-contradictory. It is their mix of technical skill, caring ethos and moral authority that qualifies them to assume these roles. It is why the architects of

the United States' post-9/11 detainee counter-resistance policy looked to medicine.

To their credit, some military physicians in leadership roles seek a larger public discussion of their profession's moral dilemmas in the war on terrorism. So far, the Pentagon's civilian leadership has stymied these efforts by telling doctors not to go public with their ethics concerns. This has left them isolated from their civilian peers.

The therapeutic mission is medicine's primary role, whether or not doctors wear their country's uniform. But military physicians make a national service commitment that is sometimes at odds with Hippocratic ideals. We owe them gratitude for making this commitment — and for their courage and sacrifice in Iraq and other post-9/11 theaters of war. But Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo should remind us that there are some things doctors must not do.

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Page 67
January 2, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Why we should put an end to the death penalty
Book review by Christopher Hitchens

The Death of Innocents
An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions

Sister Helen Prejean Random House: 314 pp., $25.95

The moral argument about the death penalty takes a good deal of its passion and energy from the consideration of two types of extreme case.
   In the first category, a murderer is released after serving a sentence in prison and kills again, or is sentenced to prison and kills another inmate or a guard. The deaths, it is sometimes argued in these instances, are on the conscience of the abolitionists.

In the second case, an innocent person is convicted and executed. Here, it seems, is something more than a miscarriage of justice. It indicts the whole system more than any other kind of wrongful verdict, because of its irrevocability. Meanwhile, the sufferings of the unjustly convicted person awaiting execution are somewhere in a realm thankfully beyond our imagination.

To this could be added two points, which remove the moral equivalence from the above two dilemmas. If an innocent person is convicted of a crime, then it follows by mathematical logic that a guilty person has escaped capture and

remains at large. The offense to justice and order is therefore a multiple one. And though no system, including a system that made extensive use of the death penalty, could ever be perfected to the point where no murderer would kill again, we do have it in our power to ensure that no innocent person is ever again executed. This decision would, however, commit us not to reforming capital punishment but to abolishing it.

To be able to do this and yet to choose not to do it is itself a decision that implicates us in something fairly dreadful. Here I'll quote from Sister Helen Prejean's admirable book:

"Recently, we have been witness to astounding admissions of error by state and federal courts forced to free 117 wrongly convicted people from death row since 1973, and the number keeps growing. Seven Louisiana death row inmates have been found to be innocent over the past six years (as of September 2004). Illinois alone has had to free 13 such people, some under sentence of death for eight, ten, fifteen years, which in the year 2000 led the governor to enact a moratorium on executions. Some innocent persons were freed because of DNA evidence, others because committed citizens and lawyers were finally able to expose suppressed exculpatory evidence, outrageous testimonies of jailhouse snitches, falsified police reports, or evidence of 'coached' eyewitnesses. In Illinois, Anthony Porter, two days away from execution, was freed because journalism students from Northwestern University dismantled the case against him and exposed the real murderer."

The case of Porter should put paid to those who privately think that many perpetrators, though perhaps framed in one case, were probably guilty in others. He had never harmed anybody. He was moreover both black and severely mentally disabled: a combination of circumstances that seems to bring out the worst in some of our police departments and district attorneys. And the actual killer was walking free.

The great merit of Prejean's last book, "Dead Man Walking," as of the movie that was made out of it, was that it took an unsentimental attitude toward the occupants of death row. Some of these people are hideously dangerous and without conscience or remorse, and it is for them that the sentence of life without parole was designed. (Juries have been known to pass death sentences without being informed of their option to impose this alternative.) Prejean is the woman of last resort in many desperate cases and has, I think, evolved a reasonable intuition of when someone is guilty or innocent. In the trials of Dobie Gillis Williams and Joseph Roger O'Dell, painstakingly recounted here, one is compelled to conclude that she is right and that these two men were put to death for crimes they did not commit. Her method is a simple one, modeled, I would guess, on the scenario of "Twelve Angry Men." First, the crime scene is described in a manner that makes things look highly incriminating for the accused. Then comes the slow adducing of exculpatory evidence. It's a work of great persuasive power.

It will also, I hope, become a source of outrage. You might think that the production of exculpatory evidence would be enough. But in many states, if you don't produce this by a certain tight deadline, you are too late and the courts may decline to hear it. This speeded-up process has increased alarmingly since the Clinton administration's Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act: To the objection that capital punishment is "cruel and unusual" there are those who seem to reply,

well, if we can't make it less cruel we can at least make it more usual. The effort to make it less cruel, or anyway less dramatic (the process known as "lethal injection"), involves a degradation of the medical profession. As for the legal profession, it seems nothing short of appalling that in a country absolutely stuffed with lawyers there should be so many poor defendants who have the "right to counsel" only in name.

Prejean is, of course, a Roman Catholic, and she tells of her disheartening struggle to persuade her church to condemn the death penalty. She also rehearses the argument, once advanced by the late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, that "the machinery of death" is so capriciously and randomly applied as to make it unconstitutional. Here her forensic and argumentative skills are weaker. There is nothing in Christian or biblical teaching that makes it incompatible with capital punishment and much Scripture that argues the other way. Many of the framers of the Constitution were influenced by Cesare Beccaria's famous Enlightenment text, "Of Crimes and Punishments," which was the first serious abolitionist book, but they did not succeed in writing this into the document, which is composed with admirable terseness and would have forbidden the practice explicitly if this had been desired. (Only the state of Michigan outlaws the death penalty in its Constitution; its homicide rate is no higher than that of any comparable state.)

It is for Congress to pass legislation removing the United States from the company of Islamic despotisms, banana republics and totalitarian dictatorships that still practice this barbarism: Alas, the recent election of so many of Sister Helen's brothers and sisters in Christ makes this outcome even more distant. •
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and a visiting professor at the New School in New York. His latest collection of essays, "Love, Poverty and War," has just been published.

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Page 68
January 1, 2005 Los Angeles Times
Teen Suicide and Feelings of Failure
By Joel Rubin and Sandra Murillo, Times Staff Writers

"Dear Family," Velia Huerta Victorino began her handwritten letter. "Sorry for what I did, but I had to. No one liked me anymore. All my friends left me because what people were saying."
   At the bottom, Velia drew a heart, signed her name and, in a postscript, wrote, "I was 15."
   A few hours later, as her mother slept nearby, the girl hanged herself from a beam in the living room of her family's San Bernardino home.
   In the 10 weeks since Velia's death, her mother and sister have angrily blamed the suicide on what they said were years of bullying by other girls that eventually became unbearable.
   But although it is tempting to look for easy answers, the tragedy — like most teen suicides — isn't simple to sort out.
   Her death, a month after a friend of Velia's hanged himself, has unsettled the working-class neighborhood in which she lived, prompting school officials, neighbors and classmates to try to puzzle out what drove Velia to kill herself — and what could prevent similar tragedies.
   From conversations with Velia's family and others who knew her, and from documents in her school file, a portrait emerges of an isolated, tormented girl who fought often with others and had been suspended from school several

times, once for threatening a teacher. Velia also had had a troubled home life with a mother who struggled to help control her daughter's anger.
   In 2002, more than 4,200 Americans aged 10 to 24 committed suicide, making it the third highest cause of death in that age group. Most, experts say, suffered from depression or other mental illnesses that left them vulnerable and unable to cope. Velia may have been no different, according to several experts.
   "The combination of mental illness, the perception that you have a problem that is unsolvable and coping skills that don't work tends to lead to death," said Joan Asarnow, a UCLA psychologist and national expert on teen suicide.
   Born into a family that dates back generations in the blue-collar streets of San Bernardino, Velia was the youngest of five children. When she was little, her parents divorced.
   Over the years that followed, the family moved frequently, subsisting on welfare, child support payments and Social Security. By the time she turned 12, Velia had attended at least three elementary schools.
   As early as second grade, records show, Velia had "behavioral problems" and was struggling to read and write. Teachers described a girl who could turn in moments from sweet to angry and who had trouble making and keeping friends.
   Her mother, Evangelina Huerta, doesn't dispute the description. "That was just my Velia," she said, "like a Jekyll and Hyde. There were times when she was as sweet as an angel and times when I was like 'God, where did this child come from?' "
   A second-grade teacher commented in a report, "Velia does a lot of teasing and hitting…. She needs peace-building skills," and by fourth grade, her records show, Velia was frequently reprimanded for hitting others and acting out in class. Throughout elementary and middle school, she consistently missed more than a month of classes each year.
   As she grew into a teenager, Velia's family continued to disintegrate around her. In 2000, an uncle was killed in a drive-by shooting, and soon after, her grandmother was hospitalized with cancer.
   In 2002, her closest brother, Mario, was sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing a friend who had allegedly attacked Velia's older sister, Angie.
   "Her brother being sent away was devastating for her," Huerta said. "It was like someone being dead."
   The same year, the family was evicted from its home after falling more than 15 months behind in rent.
   The instability and loss seemed to take a toll on Velia. She began trying to impress girls by picking fights and acting tough, according to school assessments and her neighbors. Her aggression led to frequent confrontations in which she was slapped in the hallways or jumped by girls after school, friends and her mother said.
   The anger management classes she was required to attend did little to help. In one particularly bad brawl, police were called to school after Velia hurled a chair at a group of girls, her mother said.
   "It is so easy to look at girls like [Velia] and just see a bully," said Rachel Simmons, author of "Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls." "We forget that inside is a girl who needs help."
   A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 60% of high school students who attempted suicide also were violent toward others.
   Her mother tried to help but was unsure what to do.
   Once, Huerta said, when Velia was in a rage, she took her daughter outside and challenged her to a fight, hoping it would help her get out some aggression.
   "Velia said, 'OK, you hit me first,' " Huerta recalled. "So I pushed her and she punched me…. But I allowed it because this is the only way that she could learn. I said to her, 'Get it out of you. It has to stop now.' "

But it did not stop.
In November 2003 came an even more serious warning sign. After a teacher discovered Velia scribbling a list of the "top ten ways to kill yourself and love yourself," Velia's mother got a call from the school about it, she said. "I said, 'She's just writing it. She's not going to do it.' "
   Velia was placed under psychiatric evaluation for several days at a Chino hospital. Asarnow, the UCLA psychologist, emphasized the importance of such interventions for children contemplating suicide. Adolescents who have made previous suicide attempts, she noted, are at risk of trying again to kill themselves.

   When Velia returned to her classes, she was still far from emotionally healthy. In an annual assessment a month after the hospitalization, school officials wrote that Velia "claims 'nobody likes me' at school (unable to give any reasons)" and that "she could not offer any suggestions to make her happy, other than returning to the hospital. ('They treat me nice.') Her drawings suggest: inadequacy, rejection, anxiety, low self-esteem, helplessness, insecurity, and poor interpersonal relations."
   But despite such obvious indications of trouble, weekly counseling sessions that followed the hospitalization were cut off in February, Velia's father, Rudy Victorino, said.
   A psychiatrist had recommended putting Velia on "some sort of medication," but her father says he was opposed. "I said [to the doctor], 'My daughter's not like that.' I don't believe in giving kids drugs."
   By the end of last school year, Velia had been suspended from school for more than 20 days, once for threatening to hurt a teacher after he took her cellphone away in class. A judge warned her that if she was suspended again, she would be sent to juvenile hall.
   With that threat hanging over her head, Velia seemed to try to change her ways. A summer school session went well, and she entered her freshman year at Pacific High School determined to stay out of trouble, said both her mother and Alyssa Vasquez, a classmate who had befriended Velia.
   Other girls still challenged Velia to fight, but Velia resisted. "I'd be standing right next to her," Alyssa said, "And she would say, 'I ain't even going to fight, I ain't even going to let it go down like that.' She just didn't want to be like that anymore."
   And there was someone new in Velia's life: 15-year-old Steven Vega Jr., whom she had begun casually dating, according to her sister.
   On Sept. 28, less than a month before Velia killed herself, Steven closed his bedroom door, attached a thick speaker wire to a belt and hanged himself from his bunk bed.
   Velia's sister Angie said that although Velia was upset over Steven's death, she became even more distraught when rumors spread at school that she had been the last to see him alive and had encouraged him to commit suicide.
   Copycat suicides in the United States are not uncommon, especially among teens and young adults imitating friends or acquaintances who have killed themselves. Researchers have found that every year in the United States, between 100 and 200 teenagers die in these "suicide clusters."
   On Friday, Oct. 22, Angie left a note for Mike O'Connor, who runs the peer counseling program at Pacific High School and works with the school's at-risk students, asking him to speak to Velia. O'Connor, who said he was unaware of Velia's earlier hospitalization, called Angie to tell her he would meet with Velia on Monday.

But he never got the chance.
About 6:30 on Sunday evening, Oct. 24, Velia woke from a nap and ate some leftovers with her mother. Afterward, she called a girl she considered a friend to ask about a homework assignment. By the time she hung up, Velia was in tears. She called Alyssa Gonzalez, one of her few friends.
   "She was really sad" about the phone call, Alyssa recalled. "She said that [the girl] had said that everyone at school thought she was a joke and that it would be better if she just wasn't around.
   "[Velia] asked me, 'What if I wasn't around? Would they stop talking about me? Would you miss me?' I told her not to listen to them, that it was just words. She said she'd see me tomorrow."
   Turmoil in peer relationships is common for teenage girls, UCLA's Asarnow said, but Velia's problems with her friends do not by themselves explain why she killed herself.
   Asarnow speculated that, like 90% of adolescents who kill themselves, Velia probably suffered from depression or another mental illness that left her unable to handle the strong, and typical, desire among teenage girls for friendship. She was also a teenager, and teens are impulsive.
   About 9:30 that Sunday evening, Huerta walked into the kitchen to find her daughter at the table writing what may well have been her suicide note. (The next day, family members found drafts of the suicide letter in the trash.) Later, about 11, the two crawled under the heavy blankets on their mattress and turned on the television.

   "Nobody likes me, Mom. I don't have any friends," Huerta recalled Velia's saying. "I'm your friend," she replied before drifting off to sleep.
   When he arrived at school Monday morning, Mike O'Connor was met by Angie, hysterical and screaming, "This school killed my sister!"
   O'Connor was stunned. As far as he knew, Velia had never threatened suicide. Ten days before her death, Pacific High officials had requested Velia's records from her middle school, which would have included health reports, but it appears they were not sent. Other than O'Connor, school and district officials declined to comment on Velia, citing student privacy laws.
   "There are kids who are acutely depressed," O'Connor said. "In Velia's case, we didn't know. I work with kids that say, 'I'm suicidal.' I don't leave their side. If I'd have known, I would have done an intervention."
   Velia's father, a devout Roman Catholic who believes those who commit suicide will not see heaven, spent weeks after his daughter's death going from priest to priest, finally finding some comfort from one who told him that "God loves children" and that he felt Velia's hurt and that he would protect her.
   He is still devastated by Velia's death. "I thought I knew my daughter," he said, "but I guess I didn't know her that well."  

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Page 69
December 28, 2004
The idea of 'self-esteem' and 'what one is worth' in general is the source of a great deal of what's wrong with the world today -consumerism, what we are told we 'deserve' and advertising -'American free-enterprise, capitalist democracy and the right to make as much money as you can and spend it any way you choose -as long as there's no law against it' and selling that to the nations of the world -and all the resource/environment degradation that goes with it and that we leave to posterity.

The article below really says it all 'between the lines' -browser-formatted at recent (my own mid-'90s take on the subject at afroamer).

perryb

January 2005 Scientific American Magazine
December 20, 2004
Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth
Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, researchshows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior.
By Roy F. Baumeister, Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger and Kathleen D. Vohs

People intuitively recognize the importance of self-esteem to their psychological health, so it isn't particularly remarkable that most of us try to protect and enhance it in ourselves whenever possible. What is remarkable is that attention to self-esteem has become a communal concern, at least for Americans, who see a favorable opinion of oneself as the central psychological source from which all manner of positive outcomes spring. The corollary, that low self-esteem lies at the root of individual and thus societal problems and dysfunctions, has sustained an ambitious social agenda for decades. Indeed, campaigns to raise people's sense of self-worth abound.

Consider what transpired in California in the late 1980s. Prodded by State Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, Governor George Deukmejian set up a task force on self-esteem and personal and social responsibility. Vasconcellos argued that raising self-esteem in young people would reduce crime, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, school underachievement and pollution. At one point, he even expressed the hope that these efforts would one day help balance the state budget, a prospect predicated on the observation that people

with high self-regard earn more than others and thus pay more in taxes. Along with its other activities, the task force assembled a team of scholars to survey the relevant literature. The results appeared in a 1989 volume entitled The Social Importance of Self-Esteem, which stated that "many, if not most, of the major problems plaguing society have roots in the low self-esteem of many of the people who make up society." In reality, the report contained little to support that assertion.

The California task force disbanded in 1995, but a nonprofit organization called the National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE) has picked up its mantle, aiming (according to its mission statement) to "promote awareness of and provide vision, leadership and advocacy for improving the human condition through the enhancement of self-esteem." Vasconcellos, now a California state senator, is on the advisory board.

Was it reasonable for leaders in California to start fashioning therapies and social policies without supportive data? Perhaps so. After all, practicing psychologists and lawmakers must deal with the problems facing them, even before all the relevant research is done. But one can draw on many more studies now than was the case 15 years ago, enough to assess the value of self-esteem in several spheres. Regrettably, those who have been pursuing self-esteem-boosting programs, including the leaders of NASE, have not shown a desire to examine the new work, which is why the four of us recently came together under the aegis of the American Psychological Society to review the scientific literature.

In the Eye of the Beholder
Gauging the value of self-esteem requires, first of all, a sensible way to measure it. Most investigators just ask people what they think of themselves. Naturally enough, the answers are often colored by the common tendency to want to make oneself look good. Unfortunately, psychologists lack any better method to judge self-esteem, which is worrisome because similar self-ratings of other attributes often prove to be way off. Consider, for instance, research on the relation between self-esteem and physical attractiveness.

Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent academic performance.

Several studies have explored correlations between these qualities, generally finding clear positive links when people rate themselves on both properties. It seems plausible that physically attractive people would end up with high self-esteem because they are treated more favorably than unattractive ones--being more popular, more sought after, more valued by lovers and friends, and so forth. But it could just as well be that those who score highly on self-esteem scales by claiming to be wonderful people all around also boast of being physically attractive.

In 1995 Edward F. Diener and Brian Wolsic of the University of Illinois and Frank Fujita of Indiana University South Bend examined this possibility.

They obtained self-esteem scores from a broad sample of the population and then photographed everybody, presenting these pictures to a panel of judges, who evaluated the subjects for attractiveness. Ratings based on full-length photographs showed no significant correlation with self-esteem. Head-and-shoulders close-ups fared slightly better, but even this finding is dubious, because individuals with high self-esteem might take particular care to present themselves well, such as by wearing attractive clothing and jewelry. The 1995 study suggests as much: when the judges were shown pictures of just the participants' unadorned faces, the modest correlation between attractiveness and self-esteem fell to zero. In that same investigation, however, self-reported physical attractiveness was found to have a strong correlation with self-esteem. Clearly, those with high self-esteem are gorgeous in their own eyes but not necessarily so to others.

This discrepancy should be sobering. What seemed at first to be a strong link between physical good looks and high self-esteem turned out to be nothing more than a pattern of consistency in how favorably people rate themselves. A parallel phenomenon affects those with low self-esteem, who are prone to floccinaucinihilipilification, a highfalutin word (among the longest in the Oxford English Dictionary) but one that we can't resist using here, it being defined as "the action or habit of estimating as worthless." That is, people with low self-esteem are not merely down on themselves; they are negative about everything.

This tendency has certainly distorted some assessments. For example, psychologists once thought that people with low self-esteem were especially prejudiced. Early studies, in which subjects simply rated groups to which they did not belong, seemingly confirmed that notion, but thoughtful scholars, such as Jennifer Crocker of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, questioned this conclusion. After all, if people rate themselves negatively, it is hardly proper to label them as prejudiced for rating people not like themselves similarly. When one uses the difference between the subjects' assessments of their own group and their ratings of other groups as the yardstick for bias, the findings are reversed: people with high self-esteem appear to be more prejudiced. Floccinaucinihilipilification also raises the danger that those who describe themselves disparagingly may describe their lives similarly, thus furnishing the appearance that low self-esteem has unpleasant outcomes.

Given the often misleading nature of self-reports, we set up our review to emphasize objective measures wherever possible--a requirement that greatly reduced the number of relevant studies (from more than 15,000 to about 200). We were also mindful to avoid another fallacy: the assumption that a correlation between self-esteem and some desired behavior establishes causality. Indeed, the question of causality goes to the heart of the debate. If high self-esteem brings about certain positive outcomes, it may well be worth the effort and expense of trying to instill this feeling. But if the correlations mean simply that a positive self-image is a result of success or good behavior--which is, after all, at least as plausible--there is little

to be gained by raising self-esteem alone. We began our two-year effort to sort out the issue by reviewing studies relating self-esteem to academic performance.

School Daze
At the outset, we had every reason to hope that boosting self-esteem would be a potent tool for helping students. Logic suggests that having a good dollop of self-esteem would enhance striving and persistence in school, while making a student less likely to succumb to paralyzing feelings of incompetence or self-doubt. Early work showed positive correlations between self-esteem and academic performance, lending credence to this notion. Modern efforts have, however, cast doubt on the idea that higher self-esteem actually induces students to do better.

Such inferences about causality are possible when the subjects are examined at two different times, as was the case in 1986 when Sheila M. Pottebaum, Timothy Z. Keith and Stewart W. Ehly, all then at the University of Iowa, tested more than 23,000 high school students, first in the 10th and again in the 12th grade. They found that self-esteem in 10th grade is only weakly predictive of academic achievement in 12th grade. Academic achievement in 10th grade correlates with self-esteem in 12th grade only trivially better. Such results, which are now available from multiple studies, certainly do not indicate that raising self-esteem offers students much benefit. Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent performance.

Even if raising self-esteem does not foster academic progress, might it serve some purpose later, say, on the job? Apparently not. Studies of possible links between workers' self-regard and job performance echo what has been found with schoolwork: the simple search for correlations yields some suggestive results, but these do not show whether a good self-image leads to occupational success, or vice versa. In any case, the link is not particularly strong.

The failure to contribute significantly at school or at the office would be easily offset if a heightened sense of self-worth helped someone to get along better with others. Having a good self-image might make someone more likable insofar as people prefer to associate with confident, positive individuals and generally avoid those who suffer from self-doubts and insecurities.

People who regard themselves highly generally state that they are popular and rate their friendships as being of superior quality to those described by people with low self-esteem, who report more negative interactions and less social support. But as Julia Bishop and Heidi M. Inderbitzen-Nolan of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln showed in 1995, these assertions do not reflect reality. The investigators asked 542 ninth-grade students to nominate their most-liked and least-liked peers, and the resulting rankings displayed no correlation whatsoever with self-esteem scores.

A few other methodologically sound studies have found that the same is true for adults. In one of these investigations, conducted in the late 1980s, Duane P. Buhrmester, now at the University of Texas at Dallas, and three colleagues

reported that college students with high levels of self-regard claimed to be substantially better at initiating relationships, better at disclosing things about themselves, better at asserting themselves in response to objectionable behaviors by others, better at providing emotional support and better even at managing interpersonal conflicts. Their roommates' ratings, however, told a different story. For four of the five interpersonal skills surveyed, the correlation with self-esteem dropped to near zero. The only one that remained statistically significant was with the subjects' ability to initiate new social contacts and friendships. This does seem to be one sphere in which confidence indeed matters: people who think that they are desirable and attractive should be adept at striking up conversations with strangers, whereas those with low self-esteem presumably shy away from initiating such contacts, fearing rejection.

One can imagine that such differences might influence a person's love life, too. In 2002 Sandra L. Murray of the University at Buffalo and four colleagues found that people low in self-esteem tend to distrust their partners' expressions of love and support, acting as though they are constantly expecting rejection. Thus far, however, investigators have not produced evidence that such relationships are especially prone to dissolve. In fact, high self-esteem may be the bigger threat: as Caryl E. Rusbult, Gregory D. Morrow and Dennis J. Johnson, all then at the University of Kentucky, showed back in 1987, those who think highly of themselves are more likely than others to respond to problems by severing relations and seeking other partners.

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll
How about teenagers? How does self-esteem, or the lack thereof, influence their love life, in particular their sexual activity? Investigators have examined this subject extensively. All in all, the results do not support the idea that low self-esteem predisposes young people to more or earlier sexual activity. If anything, those with high self-esteem are less inhibited, more willing to disregard risks and more prone to engage in sex. At the same time, bad sexual experiences and unwanted pregnancies appear to lower self-esteem.

If not sex, then how about alcohol or illicit drugs? Abuse of these substances is one of the most worrisome behaviors among young people, and many psychologists once believed that boosting self-esteem would prevent such problems. The thought was that people with low self-esteem turn to drinking or drugs for solace. The data, however, do not consistently show that low adolescent self-esteem causes or even correlates with the abuse of alcohol or other drugs. In particular, in a large-scale study in 2000, Rob McGee and Sheila M. Williams of the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand found no correlation between self-esteem measured between ages nine and 13 and drinking or drug use at age 15. Even when findings do show links between alcohol use and self-esteem, they are mixed and inconclusive. A few studies have shown that high self-esteem is associated with frequent alcohol consumption, but another suggests the opposite. We did

find, however, some evidence that low self-esteem contributes to illicit drug use. In particular, Judy A. Andrews and Susan C. Duncan of the Oregon Research Institute found in 1997 that declining levels of academic motivation (the main focus of their study) caused self-esteem to drop, which in turn led to marijuana use, although the connection was rather weak.

Interpretation of the findings on drinking and drug abuse is probably complicated by the fact that some people approach the experience out of curiosity or thrill seeking, whereas others may use it to cope with or escape from chronic unhappiness. The overall result is that no categorical statements can be made. The same is true for tobacco use, where our study-by-study review uncovered a preponderance of results that show no influence. The few positive findings we unearthed could conceivably reflect nothing more than self-report bias.

Another complication that also clouds these studies is that the category of people with high self-esteem contains individuals whose self-opinions differ in important ways. Yet in most analyses, people with a healthy sense of self-respect are, for example, lumped with those feigning higher self-esteem than they really feel or who are narcissistic. Not surprisingly, the results of such investigations may produce weak or contradictory findings.

Bully for You
For decades, psychologists believed that low self-esteem was an important cause of aggression. One of us (Baumeister) challenged that notion in 1996, when he reviewed assorted studies and concluded that perpetrators of aggression generally hold favorable and perhaps even inflated views of themselves.

Take the bullying that goes on among children, a common form of aggression. Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen was one of the first to dispute the notion that under their tough exteriors, bullies suffer from insecurities and self-doubts. Although Olweus did not measure self-esteem directly, he showed that bullies reported less anxiety and were more sure of themselves than other children. Apparently the same applies to violent adults, as Baumeister discussed in these pages a few years ago [see "More to Explore," below].

After coming to the conclusion that high self-esteem does not lessen a tendency toward violence, that it does not deter adolescents from turning to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and sex, and that it fails to

improve academic or job performance, we got a boost when we looked into how self-esteem relates to happiness. The consistent finding is that people with high self-esteem are significantly happier than others. They are also less likely to be depressed.

One especially compelling study was published in 1995, after Diener and his daughter Marissa, now a psychologist at the University of Utah, surveyed more than 13,000 college students, and high self-esteem emerged as the strongest factor in overall life satisfaction. In 2004 Sonja Lyubomirsky, Chris Tkach and M. Robin DiMatteo of the University of California at Riverside reported data from more than 600 adults ranging in age from 51 to 95. Once again, happiness and self-esteem proved to be closely tied. Before it is safe to conclude that high self-esteem leads to happiness, however, further research must address the shortcomings of the work that has been done so far.


People with high self-esteem are significantly happier than
others. They are also less likely to be depressed.


First, causation needs to be established. It seems possible that high self-esteem brings about happiness, but no research has shown this outcome. The strong correlation between self-esteem and happiness is just that--a correlation. It is plausible that occupational, academic or interpersonal successes cause both happiness and high self-esteem and that corresponding failures cause both unhappiness and low self-esteem. It is even possible that happiness, in the sense of a temperament or disposition to feel good, induces high self-esteem.

Second, it must be recognized that happiness (and its opposite, depression) has been studied mainly by means of self-report, and the tendency of some people toward negativity may produce both their low opinions of themselves and unfavorable evaluations of other aspects of life. In other instances, we were suspicious of self-reports, yet here it is not clear what could replace such assessments. An investigator would indeed be hard-pressed to demonstrate convincingly that a person was less (or more) happy than he or she supposed. Clearly, objective measures of happiness and depression are going to be difficult if not impossible to obtain, but that does not mean self-reports should be accepted uncritically.

What then should we do? Should parents, teachers and therapists seek to boost self-esteem wherever possible? In the course of our literature review, we found some indications that self-esteem is a helpful attribute. It improves persistence in the face of failure. And individuals with high self-esteem sometimes perform better in groups than do those with low self-esteem. Also, a poor self-image is a risk factor for certain eating disorders, especially bulimia--a connection one of us (Vohs) and her colleagues documented in 1999. Other effects are harder to demonstrate with objective evidence, although we are inclined to accept the subjective evidence that self-esteem goes hand in hand with happiness.

So we can certainly understand how an injection of self-esteem might be valuable to the individual. But imagine if a heightened sense of self-worth prompted some people to demand preferential treatment or to exploit their fellows. Such tendencies would entail considerable social costs. And we have found little to indicate that indiscriminately promoting self-esteem in today's children or adults, just for being themselves, offers society any compensatory benefits beyond the seductive pleasure it brings to those engaged in the exercise.

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Page 70
Virtually all Hollywood films on physically or mentally impaired people are shit because (hollywood disease) they are invariably so romanticized -'Loranzo's Oil', 'Bubble Boy' et cetera.

Attached is an article on the making of 'The Keys To The House' currently playing in Los Angeles -a nose-rub into another aspect of 'the human condition' -a film most people can not walk out of and some might, in a way, prefer not to have seen.

perryb

December 26, 2004 Los Angeles Times
WORLD CINEMA
Of disability and nobility

An Italian director receives a performance of quiet strength and humor from a teen with multiple disorders.
By Susan King, Times Staff Writer

When Italian director Gianni Amelio set out to cast the role of a disabled teenage boy in his haunting drama "The Keys to the House," he knew exactly where to scout for likely candidates.
   "Swimming is kind of a therapy with this kind of illness," says the veteran director through a translator. "I knew I would find a boy like that in a swimming pool. So I went to a swimming pool near Cinecitta [studios], and on the first day, I met Andrea. It was kind of a sign of destiny."
   Andrea Rossi, who was 16 then, was competing in a race the day he caught Amelio's eye. Rossi, who possesses a smile that doesn't quit, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and mental retardation. But his disabilities didn't stop him from racing against children who had no such disabilities. "He came in first," says Amelio, laughing. "Why did he come in first? He had challenged the 'normal' kids. He said to them, you can race me, but you have to swim with just one arm and a leg. That's a formidable piece of personality. That is when I became aware that I would have to make the film from a positive point — that he is winning against the handicap in some way."

   "The Keys to the House," which opened Wednesday, stars Kim Rossi Stuart as Gianni, a young man who had abandoned his baby 15 years earlier when the mother died in childbirth and he learned that the child had problems.
   Vivacious, inquisitive and mischievous, Paolo (Andrea Rossi) is both physically and psychologically disabled from the difficult birth and has been living with relatives.
   But now Gianni wants to meet Paolo and agrees to take him to a hospital in Berlin for tests in hopes of reconciling and getting acquainted with him. At the hospital, Gianni meets Nicole (Charlotte Rampling), who has spent years taking care of her disabled daughter and helps Gianni come to terms with the grief and guilt he feels over abandoning Paolo
   Amelio ("Stolen Children") was originally approached to do a film based on the book "Born Twice," which follows the life of a disabled boy from birth to age 32. But he told the producer, "I wouldn't be capable of telling the same story in a film version. It needed a personal experience of my own on the subject to be able to do that. I think I would have strayed from the spirit of the book. I asked if it was possible for me to write my own story."
   He wanted to tell about an "extreme" father and son — "the story of a father who refused his son as soon as he was born.
   "On screen, we practically see this feeling of guilt on his face. This practically deformed child somehow personifies the sense of his guilt. That is why I wanted the role of the father to be played by a very handsome actor, handsome in a classical way. Because being handsome would make that fact stand out more, that his child is deformed."
Film Work As Therapy
During the 10-week production of the film, Rossi underwent a metamorphosis, Amelio reports. "Andrea, like many kids with the same type of problem, is always treated from a physical point of view because adults keep thinking he is mentally unable to develop his own ideas. I had the feeling that Andrea did have some intelligence to express, and the feeling was right."
   Making the movie was mental therapy for Rossi, who turns in a performance of quiet strength, humor and nobility. "This was confirmed by Andrea's doctors," says Amelio. "He has a more adult attitude. He is less detached from things, and he thinks about things more. He has become more mature."
   Rossi's father stood beside Amelio on the set every day.
   "He said, 'I want to be beside you because I want to make sure what point Andrea can reach, and the things he is unable to do,' " recalls Amelio. "Each day I asked Andrea to do something a bit more but always stopped when I knew Andrea couldn't have gone beyond that part."
   Rossi's life, says Amelio, is vastly different from Paolo's. "He lives with a splendid family — with a mother, father and younger sister. They have brought him up as if he was a completely healthy person."
   And he attends regular school. "In Italy, all children are required to go to normal school," Amelio explains. "They have a special teacher that kind of follows them during the day."
   Still, he says, "there is a real problem with regard to disabled children because almost spontaneously we feel sorry for them. So we try not to ask too much of them. I demanded some kind of effort from [Rossi] and he managed to do this. My greatest joy having made the film is that he has something that has gone beyond the screen."
   Amelio didn't spend time rehearsing Rossi and Stuart. "I think the relationship of the actor with the director is more important than the relationship between the actors among themselves. Professionally, actors are very fragile people, even at the level of jealousy. So every actor needs to have the feeling that the director is looking exclusively at him. I wanted to give this feeling to Kim and Charlotte because they are actors."
   Alla Faerovich, the severely disabled young woman who plays Rampling's daughter Nadine, has been a friend of Amelio's since 2001, and he elicits a touching performance from her, as well.
   "She has a different syndrome than Andrea's," he says. "Her situation is worse, but mentally she's completely healthy. She speaks four languages and has an important job in Berlin. She reads a lot. She loves music."
   Amelio chose to set the film's hospital for the disabled in Berlin because he wanted the story to unfold in a city that would be strange for both father and son. "I wanted a disability for the father as well, the disability of being in a foreign city," says the director. "For us Europeans and for some Americans, Berlin reminds us of the Holocaust — a time when children like Andrea were eliminated."
   Rossi is now 17, and, Amelio happily reports, he does his homework. "He didn't used to in the past. All he did before was watch TV. Sometimes he comes over to my house to study. His father told me when the film came out in Rome, a kind of miracle has occurred. Before, Andrea was a disabled child. Now he is a person."

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December 17, 2004 Science Magazine
Documenting Diversity Declines.

From frogs to butterflies, ecologists and environmentalists outdid themselves this year in quantifying peaks and valleys in biodiversity. Disturbing news has come from large studies that show real declines in species richness.

Five hundred herpetologists completed the first global assessment of amphibians, and the news was not good. At workshops hosted by Conservation International and the World Conservation Union, research- ers presented data on all 5700 known amphibian species. They concluded that more than 30% were vulnerable to extinction, and some were critically endangered. Half these species might disappear over the next century, victims of overharvesting, loss of habitat, and unknown causes.

Naturalists who have tracked butterflies, plants, and birds in the United Kingdom for up to 40 years also turned up sobering statistics. Annual surveys in 10-kilometer quadrants showed that on average butterflies had disappeared from 13% of the squares. Researchers calculated that 71% of butterfly species had lost ground. Systematic counts of bird species in the U.K. showed that their numbers had dropped by half.

That work also found that 28% of the native plant species had disappeared from at least one square. Another U.K. study took a systematic look at grasslands growing on nutrient-poor soils. It revealed that species richness drops as the deposition of inorganic nitrogen--a product of industrial processes--increases. In some cases, the number of species declined by 23%.


Going, going ... This leopard frog is losing ground.


Diversity data far beyond the British Isles came from a compilation of 40 ecological studies. Lasting 2 to 5 decades, these efforts turned up 20 places where warming had changed the natural history of those areas. For example, red foxes are showing up north of their territory, barging in on Arctic foxes. Plants are flowering earlier. Birds are changing their migration habits and settling in places where food supplies have already peaked.

Bottom line: Biodiversity continues to be in trouble.

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