Mar 18 2008
An excellent article by Gabriel Lafitte, advisor to the Tibetan Government in Exile, about the protests and riots, and what it means to the Tibetans themselves. What follows is his article in full (reprinted with permission).
The Tibetan revolt, like those of two and five decades ago, will be crushed by the overwhelming might of the Chinese military. No match could be more unequal: maroon-clad nuns and monks versus the machinery of oppression of the global rising power. In recent months, fast-response mobile tactical squads whose sole purpose is to quell the masses have been overtly rehearsing on the streets of Tibetan towns for just what they are now doing.
What is the point of revolt if it is almost certainly suicidal
Feb 16 2008
A friend of mine died yesterday, Valentines Day morning. She was at home surrounded by her sisters and held by her husband at the moment her body failed, as they sang to her and prayed. I sat in the hallway a few feet away and listened but did not impose myself to take up precious space at her bedside. She had pancreatic cancer that had remitted and recurred. Pain medication partially worked in the last few days, providing her hours or minutes of unconsciousness at a time but not in the final hour and a half of her life. Although unresponsive, she cried out strongly and often. Drowning finally ended her pain.
A couple of years ago she was diagnosed cancer and her prognosis was less than 5% chance of living beyond 6 months. Her treatment was first rate and with chemotherapy and surgery she went into complete remission. There wasn’t a trace of cancerous tissue in the organs that were removed, the therapy had been so successful, which is rare. However the treatment was so hard on her that she was left a shell of herself. We nearly lost her then and she almost succumbed to the trauma of the treatment. She had intense pride and it was clear she suffered greatly from seeing herself so feeble so she strictly limited her contact with anyone including old friends. Slowly she regained her health with many bumps along the way and only recently did we start seeing her back in her familiar settings. I saw her just before Thanksgiving as she made a point of coming to see me. She looked strong and had the old powerful and happy glint in her eye. She had always been a force to behold and she was back. I hugged her and told her how good she looked. I was happy to finally have her fully here among us again. Not more than a month later her diagnosis was changed again with no hope this time of survival. She went into bottomless depression and refused contact with anyone but her immediate family. Being a nurse, she even attempted push her family away and to find a facility to commit herself to that would oversee her care and allow her to deny her family the witness of the wrenching end she knew was coming. Of course that was far too much to demand of anyone and she was lovingly cared for at home by her family and hospice, but her passing has left wounds on those that were there. Hospice is a blessing, believe me.
Jan 26 2008
Bev Harris has caused a lot of harm and dissension in the voting rights community, so much so that I long ago wrote her off as an agent provocateur or mentally ill. But this latest documentation of hers from New Hampshire is hard to ignore, so with some trepidation, here it is.
Notice at the very end an open box of “extra” SecState seals and notice how easily they are removed after being applied. That is Secretary of State, Bill Gardner in the video with the vacant look on his face.
What the fuck?!
Jan 18 2008
Microsoft submitted a patent application in the US for a “unique monitoring system” that could link workers to their computers. Wireless sensors could read “heart rate, galvanic skin response, EMG, brain signals, respiration rate, body temperature, movement facial movements, facial expressions and blood pressure”, the application states.
Unique is right! Brain signals?! I wonder if they’re going to measure temperature rectally. I also wonder if the thing would know you hate it the minute you plug in. This is the kind of stuff they do with astronauts and pilots. I’m really glad there’s no diaper mentioned in the patent.
Jan 12 2008
The Secretary of State of New Hampshire has announced that they will do a statewide recount. Finally a state is taking sane steps to reassure its people that they in fact participated in a valid election and putting the controversy to rest. It’s about time. A lot of people have been shouted down as conspiracy nuts because they suspected otherwise. I am puzzled and a bit angry that it is controversial for progressives to insist on anything less than mandatory recounts of paper ballots for at least a random selection of districts in EVERY election. The burden is on the state to prove that the election results are correct, yet I read person after person insisting that we should be quiet. It is absurd to think that the burden of proof rests on the citizens.