Mgar.Net: Isleños de Luisiana        
Shortly after the conquest, the government of Castile and the Crown encouraged and subsidized the emigration of Canarians for colonization and settlement of America. The article discusses the Isleños Heritage & Cultural Society of St. Bernard as well as Gilbert C. Din's book "The Canary Islanders of Louisiana".

See (Spanish)

          Tic-Talk Tonight: Lonnie Grant         
Welcome to the newest edition of Tic-Talk, the transcript that follows is the full interview as conducted by Indira Nooyi with our guest interviewee, Lonnie Grant, captain of the Voyager. Interview was carried out on the planet Cascom in the Castra system on 2947-03-12. Indira Nooyi(IN): Good evening and welcome to another edition of Tic-Talk, I’m your host for the evening Indira Nooyi and with me tonight is the captain and pilot of a Freelancer DUR named Voyager. Thank you for joining me tonight, Mr. Grant. Lonnie Grant (LG): Thank you for having me on Indira. I love your show. IN: Thank you. Now Mr. Grant, you just recently discovered a new jump point, would you please tell our viewing audience a little bit about how you came to discover it. LG: Well you see Indira… it wasn’t really the most clever way to discover a jump point. It occurred to me that for the size of the system, Castra has an inordinate number of jump points… I think there were 5. It occurred to me that this concentration might be significant so I started scouring the outer rim of the system with my scanners. After a few days I got a hit on my jump scanners. IN: And upon closer investigation you found this new jump point, correct? LG: Yeah… it took me awhile to triangulate it but eventually I got close enough and she just opened up in front of me. They’re a beautiful sight, jump points. They’re all different… have their own character. IN: Did you immediately travel through it following discovery? LG: It’s always a nervous thing, you know? Plenty of explorers have vanished forever after attempting a new jump point. I guess that’s a long way of saying that I took some time... Wrote out messages for my family and friends and left them in a buoy before I ventured inside. IN: And what did you find on the other side? LG: Well first of all, this particular jump was pleasantly simple to navigate. Some of them can be really nasty. Either way, on the far side I discovered a red dwarf star with 4 major worlds orbiting, along with many other smaller worlds of course. IN: A brand new system then? LG: Yes! This is a fresh jump. IN: So, with that being said this opens up several possibilities to you. What do you see yourself doing with the jump point coordinates? Are you considering selling them to the military or off to a scientific research facility maybe? LG: My plan is to sell the coordinates to the UEE’s exploration and colonization division, and then return to the system to continue my work exploring the worlds it holds.  There’s a lot to learn! IN: That would make you a very rich man, Mr. Grant. Why continue to work and explore when you could retire and live the rest of your life in ease and comfort? LG: Honestly for most explorers… there’s a drive to keep pushing the edge of our knowledge and it doesn’t go away with a full bank account. I will always be most at home on the fringes, searching for the next horizon. Might have to update some of my equipment though! IN: Indeed and you will have the funds to do it. With this being a new system, I know that there is always a push to find new habitable worlds for humanity to colonize. Does this new system have anything that sets it apart from the rest? LG: So this is kind of interesting… This is a tiny star so the worlds orbit close. One appears too close, probably too hot. The furthest planet seems outside the habitable zone… although perhaps some extremophiles could live there. Once again though this is the long way of saying that the middle two planets appear habitable.  One is about the size of Earth and has large oceans covering about 80% of its surface.  The other one is smaller, about the size of Mars, and has limited water - maybe 20% ocean - but appears to support abundant life regardless. I haven’t taken any detailed scans yet… the new equipment would be right up that alley - help me get better quality scans. IN: So, at least two habitable worlds, your find might be more valuable then you consider it to be. If people were to move there today, what would they be calling this system? Do you plan to name it or leave that up to the scientists? LG: Well Indira, you have to understand that it is rare in an explorer’s career that they find anything of really major value. Comets, lucrative asteroids, small black holes… these are common place and enough to keep you going but new star systems are really the dream. I have thought of a name and I will be submitting it, with your approval. I do love your show, so I was going to name the system Indira. IN: Wow, I don’t know what to say, Mr. Grant. I’m very flattered. I only hope that whatever name you choose does the system justice. Sounds like you’ve found yourself a small little paradise. I sincerely wish you luck on your next adventure and again thank you for joining me tonight and sharing your story. Maybe it will inspire the next generation of explorers to go out there and find their own jump point. I’m Indira Nooyi and this has been another edition of Tic-Talk, thanks for joining us and see you next week.  
          The Threat of the Monstrous Mother in Beowulf and The Tempest, and, By Extension, the Western Humanities        
In planning for the Honors Western Humanities Sequence that I will begin teaching in the fall, I’ve now made it all the way through to Shakespeare. Mind you, that’s around 4000 years of Western humanities in less than three months! I’ve been a busy (and, admittedly, a very selective) reader. The first course in the sequence—which I’ve discussed in several previous blog posts—is currently plotted out in detail and pretty much ready to go, while the second course is really only starting to take shape.

Part two of the sequence picks up with the collapse of the Roman Empire in around 476 and continues through the 18th century. The first literary text that I have slated as required reading for this course is Beowulf, an epic tale of a Geatish warrior written in Old English between 700-1000. In sum, Beowulf battles three antagonists in the course of the text: a monster named Grendel, who has terrorized a neighboring community of Danes for several years; Grendel’s mother, who seeks revenge for her son’s brutal death; and a dragon, who meets his demise as he causes Beowulf’s own heroic death. As you might well guess, it is this second battle—the one with Grendel’s mother—that most captures my fancy and that works as a point of comparison with the depiction of Sycorax the witch in The Tempest.

After Beowulf, students in my course will move through some Chaucer, Machiavelli, and others before we get to Shakespeare in the latter part of the semester. I’ve selected a couple of Shakespeare plays for the course, including The Tempest (ca. 1610), a play that depicts the mystical events that occur on an island inhabited by a deposed Italian duke, Prospero and his daughter, Miranda. In the play, Prospero manages to conjure up a tropical storm that ultimately brings about Miranda’s marriage to the prince of Naples and both Miranda’s and Prospero’s safe return to Italy. Like in Beowulf, however, the threat of a monstrous mother looms near throughout much of the action in The Tempest, as we are repeatedly reminded that the island was previously ruled by an evil witch, Sycorax, who, luckily, died before Prospero and Miranda arrived. Sycorax’s legacy survives in her deformed and degraded son Caliban, who challenges Prospero’s claim to the island but whom the exiled duke ultimately enslaves, and the airy spirit Ariel, whom Prospero saves from Sycorax’s curse only to subject him to servitude as well. These characters and their histories with the witch keep the threat of Sycorax alive for Prospero and Miranda throughout their years on the island.

Grendel’s mother and Sycorax, although conceived in the English imagination nearly 1000 years apart, seem to serve similar functions in these two stories. Both are presented as abject monstrosities who wield considerable (maternal) power over our two protagonists; both are depicted as obstacles to the construction of these protagonists’ male subjectivity; and both are ultimately defeated in order to protect boundaries of the patriarchal state and masculine selfhood. That said, Grendel’s mother and Sycorax are different in some also important ways. Perhaps most significantly, the witch Sycorax is particularly figured as originating from Africa, and, in this way, blackness enters into the equation in this latter text. Instead of a clearly fictional monster, the threat and other in The Tempest takes the shape of an empowered black woman.

The similarities between these two characters speak, of course, to the seemingly age-old Kristevan struggle against the maternal (a struggle that continues to be depicted in literature and popular culture even today, as I show in my post on Pink Floyd’s The Wall). Both Beowulf and Prospero must separate themselves from identification with the (m)other in order to establish subjectivity as men. After slaying Grendel’s mother, Beowulf emerges from her terrifying underwater lair—surely a sort of representation of that which Kristeva calls the semiotic—a hero of men. He has proven that despite the fact that Grendel’s mother reacts with recognizably human emotion to her son’s death and then acts on the same social codes as he does by engaging in a blood feud with her son’s killer, he is separate from this monstrous mother. Likely preserved in oral form for over 400 years before it was recorded, the story of Beowulf’s battle with Grendel’s mother seems foundational in the maintenance of the cultural identity depicted in this early English text. In the symbolic realm of a culture built on the heroic deeds of men and the exchange of women to secure political ties, Beowulf’s killing of Grendel’s mother reinstates the binaries that underwrite Beowulf’s identity and that of his Geatish community: self/other, good/evil, order/chaos, male/female, etc.

Prospero, too, constructs and destroys a (m)other in order to claim personal subjectivity and also to regain entry into Italy. Although he and Sycorax share the experience of exile, a seeming proclivity for enslaving or entrapping mystical beings, and even an expertise in magic, Prospero defines his goodness in opposition to his own articulation of Sycorax’s evil. A lover of the written and spoken word, Prospero uses language to overwrite the history of Sycorax’s seemingly semiotic island space, reminding Ariel that while Sycorax entrapped him in a tree, he “freed” the spirit from this prison and dismissing Caliban’s claim to his mother’s island by repeatedly enumerating Sycorax’s perceived evil. Already pregnant when she arrived on the island’s shores, Sycorax represents an unleashed maternal power, a threat to the same cultural binaries that figure so prominently in Beowulf.

Considering the historical context of an increased Western colonization of faraway lands and the development of slavery as a dominant mode of ensuring Western profit during Shakespeare’s time, I would argue that Sycorax threatens in The Tempest to blur the boundaries of more emergent binaries as well, such as home/away, center/periphery, colonizer/colonized, and white/black. To reclaim his right to return to the civilized world, Prospero must demonstrate that he does indeed belong to the categorizations of home, center, colonized, and white. Acting on his own perceived paternal benevolence, he therefore conquers a bewitched island, abolishes its established maternal order, and brings to rights a social hierarchy that for a while seemed to privilege female over male and chaos over order as well as away over home and black over white.

As a woman and an African, Sycorax becomes the ultimate (m)other for Shakespeare’s audiences—and remains so for generations of Westerners to come. Her maternal power threatens white and male privilege, and the suppression of her order ensures the continuance of a very foundational construction of Western-ness, something that I ironically hope to dismantle in my teaching of “the Western humanities.”

Note: I’m aware that this post is lacking in textual support, critical engagement, and perhaps even analytical nuance, but I received news today that a press is interested in my book, so I must immediately set to revising my chapters so that I can submit the project in its entirety and get the ball rolling. Yay!
          Pic of the day June 29, 2017 at 07:58PM        

Ah! That first draft moment. Just belted out part 1 of my #scifi colonization serial. 28.5K words. Now for an Earl Grey. #blog #amwritingfiction #amwriting From Instagram:

The post Pic of the day June 29, 2017 at 07:58PM appeared first on Mikey Campling.

           Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island Motmot, in its caldera lake. IV. Colonization by non-avian vertebrates         
Cook, S., Singidan, R., and Thornton, I.W.B. (2001) Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island Motmot, in its caldera lake. IV. Colonization by non-avian vertebrates. Journal of Biogeography, 28 (11-12). pp. 1353-1363.
           Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island, Motmot, in its caldera lake. III. Colonization by birds         
Shipper, Clinton, Shanahan, Mike, Cook, Simon, and Thornton, Ian W.B. (2001) Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island, Motmot, in its caldera lake. III. Colonization by birds. Journal of Biogeography, 28 (11-12). pp. 1339-1352.
           Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island, Motmot, in its caldera lake: VII. overview and discussion         
Thornton, I.W.B., Cook, S., Edwards, J.S., Harrison, R.D., Shipper, C., Shanahan, M., Singadan, R., and Yamuna, R. (2001) Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island, Motmot, in its caldera lake: VII. overview and discussion. Journal of Biogeography, 28 (11-12). pp. 1389-1408.
          Travel to Brazil, Go for the Thrill        

Brazil is the largest and most dynamic South American country, bordering all but two of the continent's other nations. In Brazil, wild Amazon adventures can be coupled with stimulating city sights and leisurely beach escapades. Brazil's Portuguese colonization along with its participation in the Atlantic triangle slave trade with Africa produced a fusion of cultures that is celebrated today in the form of fantastic food, unmatched festivals, eclectic music beats and a diverse national identity that is finally being embraced.

When Portuguese settlers arrived in 1531, the native population that existed was relatively small and decentralized compared with other indigenous empires on the continent. They were quickly enslaved on sugar plantations but soon replaced by Africans. Today, their small surviving populations live mainly hidden in the interior of Brazil's thick jungles; however, their influence in art and abundance of intricate handmade crafts are unavoidable, especially inland. The history of Brazil's entangled interior is also touched by African slaves who escaped the coastal plantations and built secret settlements. Quilombo dos Palmares was the most impressive of these settlements; with a peak population of 30,000 inhabitants and over 200 buildings, the town functioned independently for nearly a century until a bloody battle with the Portuguese erupted in 1694.

Brazil's expansive terrain is endless with natural wonders. Nearly forty percent of the world's remaining tropical rainforests is part of Brazil's Amazon and Atlantic forests, which are home to over 2.5 million species of insect and one-fifth of the world's bird species! The notorious carnivorous piranha lingers in numerous quantities in the Amazon River's waters, along with the fascinating Boto, the largest species of river dolphin. The mysterious Anaconda snake also lurks in the river's basin; but have no fear, they are generally harmless to humans. At the Argentinean border, Iguaçu Falls embodies the extent of Brazil's beauty with over 275 different waterfalls merging together into one harmonious rush of thunder with a vast number of scenic trails winding around the cascading cliffs and lush estuaries. Another aquatic phenomenon occurs 10 kilometers upstream from the city of Manaus where the dark waters of the Negro River join the yellowish Solimoes River without blending for a few kilometers. This dual colored waterway is the beginning of the Amazon River.

Carnival, and That's Not All
Though some claim that the festival of Carnival is the best time to visit Brazil's liveliest city, Rio de Janeiro, this pulsing metropolis is booming with life all year long. The dense population provides unrelenting entertainment while the beautiful beaches tend to be the ultimate draw. The urban centers of Sao Paulo and Brasilia, the official capital, are also teeming with nightlife, activities and history. Remember when you travel to Brazil that the southern urban regions experience a (very) mild winter during the months of June to August and the peak of summer is in January. The northern tropical regions are steadily warm year-round.

Guangdong China

Chongqing China

Xian China

          Me or We..Have we become a culture of Uber narcissm?        
I’m musing this eve on narcissism and its colonization of western cultural values. I’m thinking about the whole on line proliferation of easy access to self promotion and its fracturing of the self. Identity has become fluid, coursing thru the bits and bytes, spawning multi representations of moments along our own personal timelines, thru photoblogging, […]
          By: Chris Corrigan        
In Canada, we talk about indigenous people and "settlers." A number of years ago a book was published called "Unsettling the Settler Within" which talked about strategies for non-indigneous people to find themselves in improved relations with indigenous people, largely by looking at their own blind spots. Reconciliation in Canada is the process whereby our society has embarked on a generational project of reckoning with indigenous title, historical wrongs, broken contracts and a Crown that has largely lost it's ability to morally impose it's law on indigenous nations. This is often hard for non-indigenous settlers to grasp, and they grow frustrated and angry about "claims" that indigenous people put on the settler governments. I am suggesting that for settlers, their only job is to remain in this place of confusion. Colonization comes when settlers declare themselves the right to be comfortable and "settled" in someone else's land and presence. I hope I didn't over-explain!
          #RhodesMustFall: Tadiwanashe Madenga        

At the ASAUK earlier this month, the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh hosted a series of panels on Decolonising the Academy. Tadiwanashe Madenga joined the panel digitally to present: ‘ #RhodesMustFallOxford: Decolonization and the Myth of Western Neutrality at the University of Oxford’.

The post #RhodesMustFall: Tadiwanashe Madenga appeared first on Democracy in Africa.


Co-creators Carlton Cuse (Lost; co-creator of The Strain, Bates Motel) and Ryan Condal (Hercules film) and star Josh Holloway (Lost; Intelligence) discuss the new USA series including the importance of family, the show's creation, colonization, and more.

Recorded at NY Comic Con on October 9, 2015.

Colony premieres on USA on January 14th.

          Blackford, Mary Berkeley Minor (1802–1896)        
Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford was an antislavery leader who founded a female auxiliary of the American Colonization Society in Fredericksburg. Born in Fredericksburg, she was unusually well educated by the time she married the attorney William Blackford in 1825. Together they were active in the Episcopal Church and she was a lifelong temperance advocate. Unlike her husband, Blackford saw colonization as the first step toward the abolition of slavery, and she became the most prominent female advocate of colonization in Virginia. In 1829 she founded the Fredericksburg and Falmouth Female Auxiliary to the American Colonization Society, raising hundreds of dollars and recruiting elite women such as Dolley Madison as life members. As public support for colonization and emancipation waned, she turned her efforts to promoting the education of women in Liberia. When she and her husband moved to Lynchburg in 1846, her work ended, although not her strong feelings about the cause. She became increasingly alienated from her family and opposed secession in 1861. She died in 1896.
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:32:35 EST

          Indigenous Peoples Don't Consent To Pipelines. It's Time We Listened        

Recently, representatives from the Omaha Tribe, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Nez Perce, Choctaw Nation, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Ponka Tribe of Oklahoma signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion is an "expression of Indigenous Law prohibiting the pipelines/trains/tankers that will feed the expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands" through the territorial lands and waters of the signatories.

The tribes and nations that signed the historic accord recently now join over 150 nations and tribes that have endorsed the treaty.

They stand together in a fierce wall of opposition.

"Along with our Indigenous allies all along the KXL route like the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) and all over Turtle Island (North America), we recognize the grave dangers in allowing this 'Black Snake' to enter our homelands," said Chairman Larry Wright Jr. of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. "As the State of Nebraska stands poised to make a potentially life-altering decision about permitting this poisonous bitumen to be inflicted on its population, we stand poised to protect all life now and in the future."

The treaty is an assertion of Indigenous law and a clear statement that tar sands pipelines (Keystone XL, Line 3, Trans Mountain, and Energy East) do not have the consent of all the nations and tribes whose lands and waters they seek to cross.

Canada's Indigenous West Coast As Trudeau Faces Imminent Decisions On Energy Projects

One of the primary rights enshrined in the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) — which the prime minister of Canada, premier of Alberta and premier of British Columbia all claim to support and want implemented into law — is the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

Taken on its own, the term consent is a pretty straightforward one. Google dictionary defines consent as both a noun and a verb:

noun 1. permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

"No change may be made without the consent of all the partners."

verb 1. give permission for something to happen.

"He consented to a search by a detective."

Reading these everyday definitions, it becomes clear at very basic level that none of the four proposed tar sands pipelines (KXL, Trans Mountain, Line 3 or Energy East) have the consent of all the nations and tribes that any of pipelines would pass through.

Governments and companies have a history of making decisions that impact Indigenous communities without their permission.

But, it's also important to take the other parts of FPIC into considerations.

For consent to be "free" it must be given without pressure, coercion or fear or repercussions. For consent to be "prior" it must be given prior to resource development and official approval of such development. For consent to be "informed" communities must be given all information needed to make a decision that is in their best interests; this includes not only logistical and financial information, but information on the environmental and social considerations of a project in an accessible and digestible format and language.

Paying lip service to UNDRIP will only get us so far. Any leader who supports the adoption of UNDRIP from international to national law must support FPIC. Any leader that wishes to uphold their commitments to Indigenous peoples and UNDRIP therefore cannot support any of the four tar sands pipelines that violate this foundational right to consent or the tenets of free, prior and informed consent.

It may not be a popular opinion for those seeking to win the influence of the oil industry or votes among its workers, but it's a necessary step in the path to reconciliation.

From colonization, to residential schools, to pipeline approvals, governments and companies have a history of making decisions that impact Indigenous communities without their permission. This practice needs to end before true healing can begin. Governments can't build the trust and relationships essential to reconciliation until they begin to truly respect the voices and rights of Indigenous Peoples, and start living up to the commitments they have already made to the First Peoples of these lands.

Over 150 nations and tribes have made it clear that they do not consent to tar sands pipelines.

It's time we listened.

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          [fb]100005017091105 [訪客] in response to: 我是無賴:如果那時砂勞越獨立……        
您在文中也提及“拉惹们把砂劳越让给英国政府”;其实,一来,Vyner Brooke是否真的背弃砂劳越有待争议,有者透露是他向英国政府寻求资金上的协助时被英国政府软禁(您说得对,当时砂劳越二战之后国库空荡),因为英国政府抓住机会夺取政权;二来,反英殖民的拉惹至少还有Anthony Brooke。
Hi Greetings. I'm aware that your article is not really focused on history or politics, but I'd like to share what I know.
Fact is, there were many who preferred independence over British colonization.
There were riots, gun fights, imprisonment, assassination, massacre etc. (these were not in our text books as Malaya doesn't let Malaysians/Sarawakians learn Sarawakian history). Some though, are surfacing in bits and pieces with the help of world wide web.
I happen to know these as I have a mother who, in order to seek a better future for Sarawak, put in considerable effort going through international legal documents and books related to Sarawak and Borneo history (she does share the information collected with fellow Sarawakians on FB and other medias).
She also interviewed some old folks who lived through WWII.
Those who stood up and sought for independence were suppressed by force, some were unfortunately branded as communist terrorists.
There were tortures, murders, war is always ugly.
And do bear in mind that Britain played a huge part in getting Sarawak into Malaysia, literally giving Sarawak to Malaya (this is backed up by recently declassified British documents).
A referendum (to be an independent country or to be part of Malaysia) was avoided at all cost, as Britain didn't want to know/didn't care what Sarawakians wanted at that time.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with the different between Sarawak as a British colony and Sarawak as an independent country under Brooke. But there is a fundamental difference (sovereignty, independence, right).
Also, I can't help noticing that you mentioned "the Rajahs" gave Sarawak to British government. Well, it's actually arguable if Vyner Brooke really did "betray" Sarawak; some say he was grounded by the British when he went over to ask for loan (you were right that Sarawak was broke after WWII) and British saw the opportunity to take over Sarawak. Secondly, Anthony Brooke with significant backing from local Sarawakians, was against the cession to Britain.
Just sharing what I know, as a Sarawakian.
No ill will or offense intended.
          Dupont: Corporate Space in Native Place        
(Ruth Kodish-Eskind, Ursula Opalka, Ella Pultinas) “Dupont: Corporate Space in Native Place” addresses the history of the City of Dupont, on Sequalitchew Creek near the Nisqually Estuary. It covers Nisqually longhouses, colonization by the Hudson Bay Company, and the environmental and economic impacts of modern corporate development.Dupont’s prolonged status as a “company town” demonstrates how […]
          The Colonization of Memory        
The Norse Primstav Calendar

Hyperrhiz has just published The Colonization of Memory, the documentation of a collaborative writing piece I participated in during April, 2011 while I was in Bergen, Norway.  The experiment was led by Mark Marino, who helped us develop a location-based walking-writing system which borrowed several ideas from exquisite_code.  The other writers were Amrita Kaur, Eduardo Navas, Margaux Pezier, Scott Rettberg, Morten Sorreime, Martin Swartling, Patricia Tomaszek and Rob Wittig.

          fool's gold (manifest gutterpunk) by thedamnbees        
a rough recording of a song i wrote the other day. inspired by a number of travelers i befriended while bumming around BC. i'm not sure how much it comes out in the lyrics, but i was thinking about how the process of colonization, disposession, and genocide is in part driven by a desire to get rid of "undesirables".

          Australia Summer (Psychology)        
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Semester: Summer
Date: Mid-May to early July
Offered: Summer 2017



General Culture with a Psychology emphasis and internship experience
Prerequisites: PSY 100, 200, 300 and Junior or Senior class standing; or PSY 100 and consent of leader.  
Summer 2017 Program Leader: Yueping Zhang
Associate Professor of Psychology
ext. 7646

Program Design:
The history of Australia, the world's smallest continent and largest island, has been molded from afar by the British and the western world and by its own diverse geography and aboriginal population.  Over the last two hundred years it has grown into a multicultural society with 90 percent of its population living in urban areas.

Students participating on the program will observe and participate in human and social services programs that exist within a context of socialized medicine—a system that, according to many of those it serves, works well.

This program will focus on history, culture and psychology in contemporary Australia. The program's location is the urban coast area of Brisbane, Queensland, where students will live with Australian host families. The program begins with 2 weeks of academic sessions in a lecture/discussion format and continues with a 5-week internship in a social service agency of interest.

Requirements Fulfilled:
Fulfills 4 credits of the 8 credit international studies general education requirement.

2 courses /8 credits


IS 290: Australian Area Study:

Traces the major developments in Australia's history from its initial settlement by the aboriginal people through European colonization and into the present.  Emphasis is on the events that played a major role in shaping contemporary Australian society and Australia's current relationships with East Asia, the United States, and the British Commonwealth.  Topics include Australian literature, non-indigenous art, exploration and settlement, military history, and political and social institutions.

PSY 345: Internship:

Applied field learning experience and exposure to psychologically oriented occupations in Brisbane. Building human relations skills; becoming acquainted with important human service institutions and their social impact in an environment of socialized health and human services. Theoretical, cross-cultural and practical frameworks for intervention. Internship opportunities may include drug and alcohol treatment programs, women's resource centers, community aftercare for psychiatric patients, programs for the elderly, and HIV/AIDS support services.

PLEASE NOTE: If a student has attended the spring LC program, and wishes to apply to remain in Australia for the summer Australia LC program, the student may not repeat the Area Study course.  The student must apply to be allowed to complete an independent study on a different topic in place of IS-290.

This option would only be offered to students who have completed the Area Study course on a previous Australia program, and will only be allowed if the instructor is available to oversee the independent study.  The option may not be available in all years.

Relationship to On-Campus Curriculum:

Recommended Courses:

     HIST 328: The British Empire

     SOAN 110: Intro to Cultural Anthropology

     SOAN 100: Intro to Sociology  

Program Comments:
The history of Australia, the world's smallest continent and largest island, has been molded from afar by the British and the western world and by its own aboriginal population and diverse geography. Over the last two hundred years it has grown into a multicultural society with 90 percent of its population living in urban areas.

Students participating on the program will observe and participate in human and social services that exist within a context of socialized medicine—a system that, according to many of those it serves, works well.


          Henry Jenkins responds in turn        
Henry Jenkins

Markku Eskelinen argues that any discussion of ludology must deal with Gonzalo Frasca’s 1998 address to the Digital Arts and Culture conference, so let me begin with a quotation from that address:

Literary theory and narratology have been helpful to understand cybertexts and videogames…. The fact is that these computer programs share many elements with stories: characters, chained actions, endings, settings…. In this paper, we propose to explore videogames and cybertexts as games. Our intention is not to replace the narratologic approach, but to complement it. We want to better understand what is the relationship with narrative and videogames; their similarities and differences. [Frasca]

Or, to refer to another of the texts Eskelinen urges us to consider, Espen Aarseth’s Cybertext: “To claim that there is no difference between games and narrative is to ignore essential qualities of both categories. And yet, as this study tries to show, the difference is not clear-cut, and there is significant overlap between the two.” [Aarseth] Both of these “ur-texts” for ludology, then, adapt a position not radically different from the one which I took in my essay - claiming that both narratology and ludology are required if we are going to adequately understand the hybrid quality of contemporary computer and videogames; that games can not be reduced to stories but that we also need to hold onto the tools of narratology if we want to understand the “similarities and differences” or points of “overlap” between games and stories.

Now, by contrast, let’s consider the opening of Eskelinen’s First Person essay:

So if there already is or soon will be a legitimate field for computer game studies, this field is also very open to intrusions and colonizations from the already organized scholarly tribes. Resisting and beating them is the goal of our first survival game in this paper, as what these emerging studies need is independence, or at least relative independence.

One can’t help but note that Eskelinen’s position is significantly more rigid than the one adopted by Frasca and Aarseth. Far from seeing ludology as a “complement” to narratology, Eskelinen wants to barricade the gates against any foreign “intrusions and colonizations” and throw away the key. Eskelinen’s contributions depict him as someone defending his turf against the aggressive assault of narratologists who are “seeking and finding stories, and nothing but stories, everywhere.” What I want to suggest is that Eskelinen is expending a great deal of emotional and intellectual energy combating phantoms of his own imagination.

I feel a bit like Travis Bickle when I ask Eskelinen, “Are you talking to me?” For starters, I don’t consider myself to be a narratologist at all. I certainly draw on narrative theory as one conceptual model among many for understanding computer and video games; I have written other essays which make little or no use of narrative theory, focusing on the fit between game play and more traditional backyard play cultures. See, for example, Henry Jenkins, “Complete Freedom of Movement: Video Games As Gendered Playspaces,” in Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins (Ed.), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998). When I first introduced my concept of “spatial stories,” I was arguing against film theorists simply cookie-cutting their models onto games without regard to the centrality of spatial aesthetics to games. [Jenkins 1993] I have written elsewhere about the ways that performance and spectacle in early sound comedy take precedence over narrative and characterization. [Jenkins 1992] Ultimately, my interest is in mapping the aesthetic norms that constitute different forms of popular culture and in almost every case, narrative exists alongside, competes against, struggles with, and is often subordinate to alternative aesthetic logics that are fundamentally anti- or non-narrative in character. Eskelinen is correct to note that games have a long history, so does magic, dance, architecture, ars erotica, and so forth, which exist alongside storytelling as important cultural activities. These various alternative traditions are never completely autonomous from each other, but come together and move apart in different ways, at different times, in different cultures. My goal is not to reduce games to narrative but to explore the unstable relationship between a range of different transmedia logics - narrative, games, spectacle, performance, spatiality, affect, etc.

In that sense, I would see Jon McKenzie’s concept of games as “experience design” to be an equally appropriate framework for thinking about the medium as my conception of “narrative architecture.” Both would need to be understood as provisional terms which clarify certain aspects of the phenomenon while masking others; none are fully adequate for the object of study, but they will do as starting points around which further refinements will need to be made. First Person takes as a central theme the question of games and stories, and so for this essay I have used narrative as a point of entry. There is no question in my mind that current narrative theory would need to be significantly rethought before it can be applied to computer and videogames.

Eskelinen asks for a definition of terms. For the record, I do offer a definition of story: “Russian formalist critics make a useful distinction between plot (or syuzhet) which refers to, in Kristen Thompson’s terms, `the structured set of all causal events as we see and hear them presented in the film itself,’ and story (or fabula), which refers to the viewer’s mental construction of the chronology of those events.” Seeing story as a mental construct, one that may exist in the head of the artist at the beginning of the creative process or the consumer at the end, enables us to imagine situations where stories are evoked and not told and to see at least some games as involved in a narrative economy even if they are not structured as traditional narratives. Story is not “content,” according to this model, but the end point of a process through which readers encounter, work upon, and work through various textual cues. I would thus agree that the narrational process of computer games is significantly different from the process by which we consume books, films, theatrical plays, or comic strips (but then, there are significant differences in the way narration works in each of these other media as well). Yet, I would still argue that many games draw on player’s existing familiarity with stories and encourage them to reshape their experience of play into stories at the end of the process. My essay is talking about computer and videogames as they are constituted within the current marketplace. I am making no claims about dodgeball, tiddlywinks, checkers, Legos, or golf. I am quite prepared to accept that these traditional forms of games and play have little or nothing to do with narrative at all and I would be very surprised if my essay contributed much to our understanding of them. The market category of “games,” in fact, covers an enormous ground, including activities that traditional ludologists would classify as play, sports, simulations, and toys, as well as traditional games. Some, but certainly not all, of these products also make bids on telling stories; storytelling is part of what they are marketing and part of what consumers think they are buying when they invest in this software.

These computer games, then, are a strange, still unstable, and still undertheorized hybrid between games and narratives. They are a border case for any study of narrative, but they are also a border case for any study of games. Computer games are a bit like duck-billed platypuses, a species which, as Harriet Ritvo has documented, confounded early naturalists; some of them denied that such a creature could exist and denounced early reports as fraud, while others sought to erase all ambiguities about its status, trivializing any problems in classifying this species - which has a duck bill, web feet, and lays eggs - as mammals. Jon McKenzie accurately summarizes my position: “games are indeed not narratives, not films, not plays - but they’re also not-not-narratives, not-not-films, not-not-plays.” In the end, the zoological discipline has decided that platypuses are not birds; yet, we will not really get why platypuses are such strange mammals if we don’t know what a bird is.

For that reason, the analogies I draw in the essay are between games and other kinds of works - amusement park rides, musicals, commedia dell’arte, travel narratives, world-making in fantasy and science fiction, hero myths - which have fit uncomfortably within the narratological tradition, suggesting that if we look at how narrative theory has struggled with the ambiguities of these other border cases, it may tell us something about the ways that narrative theory may and may not contribute to an understanding of computer and video games. Drawing on these analogies to narrative border cases, I try to describe some of the ways that games relate to larger story traditions in our culture - suggesting that they may evoke atmospheres or content from stories; that they may contribute something to a larger story system; that they may have narrative information buried within them; that they may create an environment ripe with narrative possibilities; that they may enact micronarratives or borrow certain structures from the larger spatial storytelling tradition; and so forth. At no point in the essay do I ever suggest that games can be reduced to story and nothing but story. All I am rejecting is the desire of certain ludologists to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Near the end of his comments, Eskelinen proposes a range of examples that he takes to be a reductio ad absurdum of my essay’s arguments. It might be helpful to take one of his cases and break it down. Are gardens spatial stories? We can agree that they are not. Most gardens are spaces - with little or no narrative interest at all. Some of those spaces may be designed in such a way as to enable certain life events to unfold - such as hidden nooks where lovers may meet - and thus gardens have been the settings for many stories. There is a tradition of using gardens to recreate spaces from fictional stories; I am thinking about the Bible gardens which dot the roadside of my native south or the fairy gardens that are popular throughout Europe. Here, we would say that those gardens operate in relation to a larger narrative economy. In most cases, however, these gardens are simply recreating spaces or vignettes from stories. They evoke stories, but they are not stories. In the case of some Bible gardens, these vignettes are arranged in a narrative sequence designed to unfold the story of Christ’s martyrdom. As they do so, they start to move towards the borders of our current understanding of narrative. I would argue that such gardens could be an interesting limit case for narrative theory, even if we would not be able to fully account for them without also drawing insights from landscape architecture. Similarly, to draw on another of his examples, there are some books which do not simply recount the playing of games, but use things, like chess moves, to structure their plot progression, and while we would not want to call such works games, we might argue that ludology could contribute something to our understanding of such texts. In both cases, though, Bible gardens and game books are minor strands within their larger tradition and you can discuss gardens and novels without referring to them at all. Yet, in the case of computer games, a high percentage of what is currently in the market are the digital equivalent of those Bible gardens and therefore, we need to have some way of discussing those forms of hybridity.

Eskelinen’s solution involves an act of purification - strip away everything that doesn’t look like a game and discuss these works purely from a ludological framework; he assumes I am following a similar logic, stripping aside everything that doesn’t look like a narrative, but I am not. I am searching for a theory nuanced enough to explain why platypuses are and are not like mammals and why games (and Bible gardens) are and are not stories. Eskelinen is involved in a particular kind of “game” - defining and defending the borders of an emerging academic discipline - and he is doing so according to some traditional rules: define terms, lay down axioms, cite core theorists, and then engage in debate around those various abstractions. We might call this game “my paradigm is bigger than your paradigm,” or “my theorist can beat up your theorist.” In the terms around which he describes it, it is a zero-sum game, where one model will ultimately win the disputed space and he’s rooting for the Ludology Vikings over the Narratology Eagles. Within academia, he may be correct to perceive his side as badly outnumbered: there has been a great deal more academic writing about narrative than about games and there’s an urgent need to develop new tools for thinking about games and play. I simply question whether it makes sense to think of knowledge production as a zero-sum game.

I see myself involved in a rather different exercise, attempting not to construct an academic discipline around games, but to intervene in a public debate among game designers, game critics, and game players - as well as policy makers and other media producers and consumers - about the current state and future development of an emergent and hybrid form of “interactive entertainment.” As we do so, I think we need to start with specific examples, rather than broad abstractions; we need to recognize the impurity and instability of the current forms and respond to them by drawing on the broadest possible range of theoretical tools and historical analogies. None of those theories are going to be ready to wear off the shelf, none of the analogies are fully functional, and each will require a good deal of retrofitting to be adequate to the task of understanding our object of study. In such a situation, there are no clear boundaries, no pure theories and traditions, and no stable formulations. What is needed, as McKenzie suggests, is a more exploratory, less bookish - dare I say, more ludic - spirit. Most game designers know a great deal more about the theory of play and games than they know about narrative. Most of the game design books currently on the market tell little or nothing about character and plot. Yet, these practitioners consistently express a hunger to know more about traditional storytelling; sessions on games and narrative have been among the most highly attended at industry conferences. My essay’s arguments came out of that dialogue with the game design community rather than within a more academic context.


Aarseth, Espen. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997)

Frasca, Gonzala. “Ludology Meets Narratology: Similitude and Differences between (Video) Games and Narrative,”

Jenkins, Henry. “x Logic: Placing Nintendo in Children’s Lives,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video (August 1993).

—. What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

—. What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).

Ritvo, Harriet. The Platypus and the Mermaid, and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).

back to Game Theories introduction

          Trouble on the left        
Just as it is the duty of every patriotic historian to be harder on his own country than any other--a tradition that began with Thucydides the Athenian--it behooves every politically active person to be critical of his own side.  This is not especially difficult for me today, since the academic left and the ideology it has espoused for at least 30 years is so foreign to my own beliefs, but some may wonder why I am taking the trouble to do it.  One reason is the increasing evidence that that ideology is now firmly established in the nation's newsrooms and plays in important role within the Democratic Party.  Yet it has been politically disastrous and is increasingly at odds with the fundamentals of our civilization as I have always understood them.  If there is not a change on the Left, the Democrats will have great difficulty ever returning to power and will not be able to do much good if they do.

As David Brooks reminded us all this morning, the tradition of western civilization included universal principles of law, justice, and increasingly since the 18th century, of equality.  (To paraphrase Orwell, since I seldom agree with David Brooks, it gives me all the greater pleasure to record my agreement with him on this occasion. It believed that both natural and human science could improve life on earth.  Here in the United States, western civilization, having corrupted itself by importing African slavery, fought a huge civil war in the 19th century to abolish it and established legal equality among the races--even though it took a century to make legal equality a reality.  Women also received political rights in the first half of the twentieth century.  In the middle of the century the world fought a titanic ideological war among liberalism, Communism, and Fascism. The imperial powers retreated from colonialism in the second half of the century.  By then, aspects of western civilization--the rule of law, equal rights for citizens, and attempts to raise the general standard of living--had become a model for virtually the entire world.  The initial post-independence regimes in previously colonial territories were based on some form of western ideology, from liberalism through communism.

The new ideology that now dominates academia was developed by men and women who were children during the great crisis of the 1940s, but spread more widely by my own generation.  It denies the autonomy of ideas and really denies their importance as a motive force in civilization.  Instead, it sees civilization--and ideas--as nothing but a power struggle among different groups, defined by race, by gender, and by sexual preference.  And thus--to get immediately to the heart of the matter--rather than portray western civilization as a triumph of certain ideas that was, to be sure, mostly invented by white men, it portrays western civilization as an instrument used by white men to establish and maintain their domination over other groups--and which, therefore, has to be undone, in fundamental respects, to create real justice.

Let me take another paragraphs to introduce my own perspective.  I became a comparative historian at an early age, not only comparing different countries in the same period of history, but comparing different periods of modern European history.  A comparative perspective, it seem to me, is a good antidote to overly positive or negative views of human nature, since its judgments can be based upon reality.  Now unless one returns to the most primitive hunter-gatherer societies, there seems to be little doubt that western civilization has been less oppressive, on the whole, than any other developed civilization.  That is why movements for racial equality, equality between men and women, and, most recently, gay rights, originated in western civilization, and why such ideas have advanced the most in the most westernized countries.

Now let us go to the new orthodoxy.

The new orthodoxy holds that any attempt to see ourselves as equal citizens in a civic realm is at bottom a fiction designed to preserve the hegemony of white males.  It argues that every one of us is defined by our membership in either a dominant group (straight white males), or an oppressed or "marginalized" one (including all white women, all gays, and all nonwhites.)  Not only that, but everyone of us is morally and emotionally linked to the perceived historical role of those groups. Every straight white male, bears the guilt for the oppression of all other groups, whatever his personal history may be, and every woman and every nonwhite actively suffers from the scars of oppression.  And such oppression is expressed not only, and not merely, through specific, identifiable disadvantages in wealth, income, and opportunity, but through language and culture.

Last week, students a Claremont McKenna University in southern California successfully blocked the audience from hearing a talk by the conservative commentator Heather MacDonald, who is a critic of the Black Lives Matter.  The letter a black students' group wrote to the President of Claremont McKenna moved me to do this post, because it stemmed logically from the ideology whose origins I have just described   The letter replied to a critical statement by the President of Claremont McKenna, arguing that however one felt about Heather MacDonald's views (and I personally disagree very strongly with some of them myself), the Enlightenment value of free speech had to respected.  Here are a few excerpts from that letter.

"Your statement contains unnuanced views surrounding the academy and a belief in searching for some venerated truth. Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples. The idea that there is a single truth--’the Truth’--is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples. We, Black students, exist with a myriad of different identities. We are queer, trans, differently-abled, poor/low-income, undocumented, Muslim, first-generation and/or immigrant, and positioned in different spaces across Africa and the African diaspora. The idea that we must subject ourselves routinely to the hate speech of fascists who want for us not to exist plays on the same Eurocentric constructs that believed Black people to be impervious to pain and apathetic to the brutal and violent conditions of white supremacy.

"The idea that the search for this truth involves entertaining Heather Mac Donald’s hate speech is illogical. If engaged, Heather Mac Donald would not be debating on mere difference of opinion, but the right of Black people to exist. Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live. Why are you, and other persons in positions of power at these institutions, protecting a fascist and her hate speech and not students that are directly affected by her presence?

"Advocating for white supremacy and giving white supremacists platforms wherefrom their toxic and deadly illogic may be disseminated is condoning violence against Black people. Heather Mac Donald does not have the right to an audience at the Athenaeum, a private venue wherefrom she received compensation. Dictating and condemning non-respectable forms of protest while parroting the phrase that “protest has a celebrated” place on campus is contradictory at best and anti-Black at worst."

Now I am not suggesting--as the authors of this letter probably would--that this letter expressed the views of most black students at Claremont McKenna, much less elsewhere.  While few black people (and few white people) regard the United States as perfect, many of us are still proud to be Americans.  What makes this letter important is that it expresses an extreme version of what has become mainstream ideology on campus.  Humanity, according to this ideology, is divided into oppressors and oppressed who are defined by race, gender and sexual orientation.  (Class occasionally gets a reference, but economic status is not treated as equally important to these three.)  The oppressors are constantly inflicting great emotional pain on the oppressed, and this must stop.  "Eurocentric values"--that is, the values of western civilization--have always been, and remain, oppressive and suspect.  And those ideas are either the implicit or explicit premise of many thousands of pages of academic writing about "oppressed" or "marginalized" groups that has appeared over the last few decades.

This post is already too long, and I will confine myself to a few fundamental counterpropositions.

1.  The new ideology has sprouted in universities because they are safe spaces whose white male administrators adopted diversity and inclusion as their mission 20-30 years ago.  That mission has become more important than any purely intellectual function, certainly in the humanities and social sciences.  University administrations spend a great deal of time worrying about their facilities (which will affect their U.S. News ranking), their diversity, and the happiness of their minority students.  They spent almost no time trying to develop the best humanities curriculum, and they have given up preserving the heritage of western civilization as a major goal.  

2.   The new ideology has, as I have said, become very powerful in the mainstream media, which accepts the idea, in practice if not in theory, that the problems of "marginalized" groups are more important than anyone else's.  But it has obviously alienated more than 100 million Americans who do not live on the East and West Coasts (and a non-trivial number of those who do.)  After 30 years of political correctness in the universities, we have a self-identified sexual harasser as President and a very traditional white southerner as Attorney General.  Hillary Rodham Clinton in her campaign took pains to make clear that she took the concerns of marginalized groups more seriously than anyone else's.  Quite a few Democratic consultants and commentators look forward eagerly to the day when whites will constitute a minority of the electorate.  The reaction against all of this has been devastating and it was inevitable.

3.  The constant emphasis on the thoughts and feelings of "maringalized" groups--again, everyone but straight white males--is, among other things, a denial of any common value system that unites us all.  When I appeared on a couple of weeks ago, I was immediately followed by a female historian named Arianne Chernok. As you can here, she peremptorily dismissed everything I had to say about Strauss, Howe, and the crisis that the US is obviously going through on the grounds that "there were no women" in the story I had told. This was, to begin with, false:  Hillary Clinton had not only come up in my conversation with host Chris Lydon, but he had played a clip from her famous 1969 commencement speech.  Professor Chernok was repeating the most common claim of postmodernist historians: that traditional "narratives" of history left out women and nonwhites because they focused on political leaders, who were (in the Atlantic world, anyway) white men.  But whether or not that is true, it remains true that we are ALL political beings who live subject to laws and must inevitably be affected by the great political changes that occur every eighty years. Yes, some will in some ways be affected differently than others, but all of us will be affected in the same way by some of the changes that took place.  We do share a common experience that is very important to us all.

And that leaves me to a last, more tentative point.  The emphasis not only on marginalized groups and identities also denies that there is such a thing as "normal" human behavior.  The concept of "heteronormativity" was originally defined as the idea that heterosexuality was the only proper form of human sexual behavior.  I certainly join in rejecting that idea.  But in many instances, I believe, the concept has gone further, so as to deny that there is any biological or other significance to the heterosexuality of most human beings.  15 or 20 years ago, the American Historical Association cautioned teachers not to assume that their students with either heterosexual or homosexual.  This is connected to the postmodern idea that the heterosexuality of most human beings (a statistical fact) is not biologically determined, but culturally imposed.  Now to repeat, it is vitally important to respect the feelings and rights of those whose sexual orientation is different from that of the majority of their fellow human beings.  But I honestly wonder whether a society can hold together, in the long run, if it does not include some ideas of what constitutes normal behavior, in  a statistical rather than a moral sense, even if we recognize that there will always be people who behave differently and whom we must respect all the same.  One of the biggest functions of crises or fourth turnings as identified by Strauss and Howe is indeed to create or reaffirm a value system, both politically and personally, according to which most of us--never all--will live.  And historically, when societies cannot do this by consensus, some one does it by force.

In my opinion, the constant encouragement of young people in particular to define themselves by race, gender and sexual preference is making it much harder not only to find common ground across these barriers--which I regard as essential to our national survival--but also much harder for them to discover the most important thing about themselves.  Many of us have become obsessed with electing a female President--but no one was ever obsessed with electing a male President, because that was a given.  Because it was a given, the citizenry (male and female) could focus on the difference between the men they might elect, a difference defined by their party affiliation, their views, and what they might accomplish.  The emphasis on race and gender as qualifications for anything implies that there is nothing wrong with our institutions that could not be fixed by redistributing the rewards they offer along gender and racial lines. But there is, in fact, a great deal wrong with all our institutions that cannot be cured that way, but will require leadership that sees things more broadly.  And there is very little evidence indeed that simply increasing diversity at or near the top of powerful institutions actually changes the behavior of those institutions.

Great historians, I like to say, do not argue with history.  What has happened over the last few decades ot left wing thought must have been in some sense inevitable--but that does not make it right.  We need a rebirth of a vital center that can call on everyone.  Events, I think, will eventually force us to move in that direction.  The question is when.

          O avanço imperialista do Sindicato Farquhar Imperialismo & Capitalismo        
O avanço imperialista do Sindicato Farquhar Imperialismo & Capitalismo (Nilson Thomé)
Galera aproveitem este professor é um ícone sobre a Guerra do Contestado.

As relações capitalistas já existiam no Contestado no momento em que ocorre a Guerra do Contestado. Esta parte é dedicada à ruptura social e cultural, quando uma nova fase deste capitalismo, marcada pelo imperialismo e pelo monopólio, adentra com bastante força no então espaço livre do Contestado. Veremos que, ao olhar do opressor, a população cabocla é fadada ao desaparecimento, para viabilizar sua substituição por outra, de imigrantes-colonos, dos primeiros restando alguns sobreviventes. A limpeza da área foi radical. Foi uma guerra de extermínio. O rompimento das relações antigas de um espaço geográfico amplo e de um território livre deu-se quando os caboclos tiveram que conviver com a modernização do território, mediante a ação firme e resoluta do Estado intervencionista e de investimentos de capitais estrangeiros.

A construção da ferrovia, as madeireiras e a colonização estrangeira vêm modificar as relações sociais da comunidade cabocla com os invasores de seu território. O rompimento do mundo livre para um mundo de opressão, que começa com a pilhagem de suas terras e de seu território e termina com a intervenção sanguinária do braço armado de civis e militares, passando pelo controle do poder político, do deslocamento dos direitos individuais para a opressão do Estado, do deslocamento de idéias e vida próprias ao território livre para idéias e forças que vinham de fora e se instalaram como forças armadas no espaço dos caboclos.

6. 1 Avanço imperialista sobre o território Contestado

De origem canadense, o Trust of Toronto, responsável pela implantação dos trilhos da Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo Rio Grande, da madeireira Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company, da Companhia Frigorífica e Pastorial, e da colonizadora Brazil Development and Colonization Company, na Região do Contestado, foi o maior conglomerado multinacional que atuou no território brasileiro no início dos anos 1900. Neste contexto, a Brazil Railway Company era a “holding” do truste com sede nos EUA, mas sustentada por investidores europeus. Para entendê-la, precisamos reportar-nos à entrada no Brasil de empreendedores norte-americanos liderados por Percival Farquhar.

Não tendo vencido como queria nos meios empresariais de New York, o grupo econômico de Farquhar lançou suas empresas para além-fronteiras, atraído pelos incentivos e facilidades que diversos países ofereciam a quem investisse em setores de infra-estrutura, carentes de capital. A amplitude dos planos de Farquhar surpreendeu desde seus sócios até seus concorrentes e não demorou para que, mobilizando milhões de libras esterlinas e dólares, atingisse o México, a América Central, as Antilhas, o Peru, o Chile, a Bolívia, o Paraguai, o Uruguai, a Argentina e, finalmente, o Brasil.

A Brazil Railway Company, fundada a 9 de novembro de 1906, em Portland, Oregon (EUA), iniciou suas atividades no Brasil com planos ambiciosos. As primeiras “vítimas” foram as principais ferrovias do Sudeste e do Sul do Brasil, incluindo a Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande e, finalmente, a Madeira-Mamoré . Em 1916, quando o total das vias férreas em exploração no Brasil somavam 23.491 quilômetros, a Brazil Railway já dominava quase a metade, ou seja, 11.064 km. O trutes também investiu em empresas na Bahia e em terras e fazendas de criação de gado no Centro-Oeste e no Norte do país.

Só em terras, Farquhar chegou a amealhar em todo o Brasil, através das suas diversas empresas, mais de 250.000 km2, ou seja, quase três vezes a superfície total do Estado de Santa Catarina. As administrações das companhias ligadas ao Sindicato estavam confiadas a amigos pessoais de Percival Farquhar, que seguiam à risca a determinação de obter alto lucro, não importando os meios empregados. Se o dinheiro “corria solto” entre os administradores, advogados e autoridades subornadas, tal bonança não acontecia entre os acionistas, os investidores europeus, que haviam fornecido os capitais e que, gradativamente, começaram a ficar à margem dos lucros, assim com as fatias menores dos bolos. Tão logo passou a ser impontual nos pagamentos de dividendos e bonificações aos acionistas, o Sindicato permitiu que se levantassem dúvidas, confusões e descontentamentos, fatos nocivos ao crédito brasileiro no exterior. Abalados com a I Guerra Mundial, os investimentos de Farquhar sofreram seguidos reveses econômicos em todo o mundo.

A 18 de julho de 1917, a Brazil Railway Company e suas subsidiárias entraram em regime de concordata (mesmo sem homologação da justiça brasileira) e passaram a atuar sob gerenciamento de pessoas cujos mandatos não configuravam como legítimos. Servindo-se de pretextos fúteis, deixaram de atender aos compromissos assumidos, entrando em conflito público com os acionistas-debenturistas, permitindo que continuassem a circular os títulos de dívida, em condições desmoralizadoras para o crédito brasileiro.

O governo brasileiro só reagiu quarenta anos depois. Crítica, a situação chegou a tal ponto, que todos os bens, móveis e imóveis, direitos e obrigações da Brazil Railway e suas subsidiárias, foram incorporados ao patrimônio da União , englobando seus ativos e passivos, no maior ato de encampação até hoje promovido pelo Governo Federal.

A Região do Contestado não conhecia a força do imperialismo até a chegada dos trilhos da Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande e até a instalação das serrarias da Southern Brazil Lumber & Colonization Company. Este fato, coincidindo com a época da deflagração da Guerra do Contestado, faz com que o período de 1913 a 1916 se imponha no tempo como um referencial da História do Contestado. Antes, aqui havia um território inexplorado, com o predomínio populacional do caboclo, tendo por atividades econômicas apenas a criação de gado bovino e a extração da erva-mate, além daquelas de subsistência própria, como pequenos cultivos agrícolas, poucas criações de suínos, alguns engenhos de serrar madeira e beneficiar erva-mate, a caça de animais selvagens e a coleta de frutos silvestres. Até esta época, poucas famílias de imigrantes (alemães, poloneses e ucranianos), trazidos pelo Paraná, haviam entrado na parte Setentrional do Contestado, no eixo Porto União-Canoinhas-Mafra-Papanduva-Itaiópolis, desenvolvendo a incipiente agricultura, a rudimentar indústria, e formando os primeiros povoamentos.

O aniquilamento da oposição cabocla aos grandes interesses nacionais (tráfego de trens, extração da madeira e assentamento de imigrantes), durante a Guerra do Contestado, a alto preço, traria os primeiros indicadores de progresso para a área, até então alheia ao estágio de desenvolvimento em que se encontravam outras regiões do País, algumas bem próximas, como a faixa litorânea deste Estado ou a de Curitiba e adjacências, no Paraná.

Sem contar os teutos e eslavos colocados no Norte da Região do Contestado pelo Paraná, ainda antes da Guerra do Contestado, a Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande tentou desenvolver o projeto de colonização das terras devolutas, próximas aos trilhos, no Vale do Rio do Peixe. Com algumas famílias alemãs e polonesas imigrantes, trazidas para a construção da ferrovia e desembarcadas em 1910-1912 em São Paulo, chegou a instalar núcleos perto das estações, como em Nova Galícia, Presidente Pena, Rio das Antas e Piratuba, no Vale do Rio do Peixe. O assédio hostil dos caboclos em 1914, entretanto, fez com que diversas tentativas fracassassem; os revoltosos atacaram a colônia de Rio das Antas e incendiaram as estações e casas nas colônias de Nova Galícia e Presidente Pena.

Como os fazendeiros eram muito influenciados pelo Governo do Paraná e este, por sua vez, tinha estreitas ligações econômicas com a EFSPRG e com a Lumber, eram os paranaenses quem, política e administrativamente, dominavam as terras do Planalto Norte e as situadas a Oeste do Rio do Peixe. O Estado de Santa Catarina preferia aguardar a solução para a disputa de limites, contentando-se em impor sua administração apenas até este rio, através de Curitibanos e Campos Novos e, até Canoinhas; por este motivo não realizava obras públicas em favor da população para desenvolver a região. O Paraná, por sua vez, não era tão desleixado e, a partir de Rio Negro, Porto União da Vitória e de Palmas, abriu estradas e concedeu títulos de propriedades de terras a dezenas de fazendeiros, na ânsia de consolidar o domínio do Rio do Peixe até a fronteira com a Argentina.

6. 2 Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande

A Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande – EFSPRG, já estava sob o controle acionário da Brazil Railway Company, em 1907, quando os trilhos do “trem de ferro” começaram a ser implantados no Vale do Rio do Peixe, rasgando verticalmente a Região do Contestado, no território disputado pelos Estados do Paraná e Santa Catarina.

O tempo histórico dessa ferrovia inicia por volta de 1885, quando um brasileiro voltou suas atenções ao item superficialmente mencionado nos planos de viação do Império: a possível implantação de uma ferrovia, que ligasse o Extremo-Sul do Brasil à Capital Federal, unindo, em linha vertical, o interior das províncias de São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina e Rio Grande do Sul, todas elas até então apenas servidas por estradas de ferro longitudinais, cada qual fazendo a ligação do seu litoral ao interior, sem nenhum elo entre si. Esta ferrovia, em traçado paralelo e a Oeste da Estrada Real (Estrada das Tropas), deveria também possibilitar conexões com as linhas paraguaias, argentinas e uruguaias, próximas às fronteiras.

Como o Gabinete Imperial estava promovendo a colonização, estabelecendo imigrantes estrangeiros em áreas estratégicas de terras devolutas nacionais, espalhadas pelo interior do Sul do país, através de empresas especializadas, Teixeira Soares aventou a possibilidade de implantar uma “ferrovia colonizadora”, isto é, ela assentaria os trilhos e promoveria a colonização nos seus terrenos marginais, garantindo assim movimento de transporte para a estrada, ao mesmo tempo em que atendia os anseios governamentais de ocupação das terras incultas.

O levantamento preliminar topográfico indicou o possível roteiro: Itararé, Castro, Ponta Grossa, Rio Iguaçu, Rio Uruguai, Passo Fundo, Cruz Alta e Santa Maria, em perfil dos mais acidentados, numa extensão aproximada de 1.400 quilômetros. O traçado atravessaria territórios distintos. No Paraná, praticamente toda a região estava ocupada por fazendas de criação de gado e pequenas lavouras, com muitas pessoas instaladas na condição de sesmeiros ou de posseiros. Do Rio Iguaçu até passar o Rio Uruguai a maioria das terras eram nacionais devolutas, e, nas proximidades de Passo Fundo, voltava-se a encontrar sesmarias e posses.

A concessão fixava em 90 anos o prazo para a exploração da ferrovia e estabelecia a cessão gratuita de terrenos devolutos e nacionais, inclusive os compreendidos em sesmarias e posses, numa zona máxima de 30 quilômetros para cada lado das linhas, desde que a área total cedida e demarcada não viesse a exceder a média de uma faixa de nove quilômetros para cada lado da extensão total, a serem utilizados em colonização dentro de 50 anos. Concedia, ainda, direito de desapropriação e preferência para a lavra de minas na zona privilegiada. Era concedida à companhia a garantia de juros de 6% ao ano sobre o capital fixado e reconhecido pelo governo. Esta era a principal atração para os capitalistas europeus que, adquirindo ações da empresa, tinham garantida a rentabilidade mínima do investimento, independentemente dos seus resultados financeiros, no caso, aqui, sobre o montante de 37 mil contos de réis.

O Governo Provisório da República ratificou a concessão a 7 de abril de 1890, com duas ressalvas importantíssimas: reduziu a 15 quilômetros para cada lado da estrada o limite anterior de 30 km que determinava a zona máxima para a cessão de terras devolutas em cada margem, e deixou sem efeito as cláusulas com citações sobre a colonização destas terras. Ainda em 1890, a linha foi dividida em duas, sendo o trecho de Itararé a Cruz Alta transferido para a Companhia União Industrial do Brazil, ficando a Sud Ouest com o trecho de Cruz Alta a Santa Maria. Em seguida, Teixeira Soares fundou a Compagnie Chemins de Fer Sud Ouest Brésiliens, levantando o capital acionário inicial junto a investidores europeus, na Inglaterra e na França.

6.2.1 A Linha Sul no Contestado

Em 1888, os enviados do engenheiro Teixeira Soares, engenheiros, técnicos, topógrafos e exploradores, percorreram a vasta região interiorana das quatro províncias, buscando pontos referenciais para a elaboração de um primeiro traçado, quando, então, conheceram o Vale do Rio do Peixe. Toda a região, na qual fatalmente seriam assentados os trilhos, estava sob administração do Paraná, ainda que reclamada por Santa Catarina. A princípio, o traçado não foi estabelecido definitivamente, fixando-se apenas a diretriz Rio Iguaçu-Rio Uruguai. Partindo de Itararé, que era o ponto terminal da Estrada de Ferro Sorocabana e terminando no Rio Uruguai, dos 883 quilômetros até o Rio Grande do Sul, aproximadamente 380 pertenciam à travessia do Território Contestado.

Concluído o trecho de Ponta Grossa ao Rio Iguaçu, às vésperas da inauguração da Estação de Porto da União, entre o Governo Federal e a Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande, em 1904 foi acordado o prazo de três anos para a construção do primeiro trecho, não inferior a 100 quilômetros, de Porto da União em direção ao Sul, optando-se definitivamente pelo traçado do Rio do Peixe.

Como em junho de 1907 venceria o prazo de três anos dado para a conclusão do primeiro trecho, até o Taquaral Liso, passando pela Serra de São Miguel e Campos de São João, a EFSPRG também pediu mais prazo para a construção do trecho de Taquaral Liso ao Rio Uruguai, pois entendeu que teria que alongá-lo à vista das muitas curvas no Alto Rio do Peixe. Este pedido de prorrogação, que tratava também da construção de outros ramais, foi acolhido, lavrando-se novo contrato entre a União e a EFSPRG a 17 de dezembro de 1907. Dentro das novas normas estabelecidas, foi decidido que a estrada deveria rumar para São Roque e, dali em diante, margear toda a extensão do Rio do Peixe, das cabeceiras à foz, sempre pelo lado esquerdo, ou seja, em terras dos municípios de Curitibanos e de Campos Novos, na área sob jurisdição do Estado de Santa Catarina.

Passados seis meses desde o contrato de 1907, os trabalhos prosseguiam de modo irregular, sendo baldados os esforços da fiscalização federal para conseguir da companhia uma profícua orientação nos múltiplos setores da construção. Vendo que dificilmente poderia cumprir o prazo, a direção da EFSPRG, então, contratou o engenheiro Achilles Stengel como novo Superintendente da obra, o qual instalou seu escritório central na Fazenda São Roque, em outubro de 1908.

À recomendação do governo brasileiro, para a EFSPRG acelerar a obra, a primeira medida da Brazil Railway Company foi instalar rapidamente uma serraria da Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company em São Roque, destinada ao fornecimento de tábuas de madeira de pinho para as estações e armazéns e, de dormentes de imbuia para o assentamento dos trilhos, já que, até aquele momento, todos os dormentes e a madeira vinham de fora. A pedido de Achilles Stengel, a companhia passou a contratar mão-de-obra em todo o Brasil, prometendo salários compensadores, tendo atraído, até dezembro de 1908, nada menos do que mais quatro mil trabalhadores, distribuídos em seções, ao longo da extensão da linha.

Como os trabalhadores eram contratados em todo o território brasileiro, sem nenhuma legislação trabalhista a regulamentar o sistema contratual, sem registro de trabalho que garantisse vínculo empregatício, a mão-de-obra formada voluntariamente reuniu milhares de pessoas estranhas umas às outras, de todas as raças, credos, profissões e classes sociais. Para a região acorreram, ao lado de pais de famílias, de pessoas boas e honestas, outro tanto de maltrapilhos, vagabundos, aventureiros, ex-presidiários, desertores de milícias e até foragidos da justiça.

O contrato venceria em 17 de dezembro de 1910. No final de 1909, mantido o ritmo acelerado dos trabalhos no Vale do Rio do Peixe, antevia-se que a obra seria concluída no prazo. Mesmo assim, não adiantaria inaugurar o trecho, pois, no Rio Grande do Sul, a Compagnie Auxiliaire estava demorando a aprontar a linha entre Passo Fundo e o Rio Uruguai. Suas maiores dificuldades estavam nas acentuadas elevações próximas ao Rio Uruguai (na seção de Erechim, Gaurama, Viadutos e Marcelino Ramos). Com isso, a União determinou àquela empresa o aceleramento das obras e a imediata construção da ponte sobre o Rio Uruguai, o que veio a ser feito pelo engenheiro Antonio Rocha Meireles Leite.

Neste ponto da História, entendemos ser oportuna nova abordagem sobre a violência na Região do Contestado, pois, foi a partir deste momento que ela mais se revelou no Vale do Rio do Peixe. O assalto ao trem , associado a outros ataques caboclos à ferrovia, provocou forte reação da EFSPRG. Obrigou-se Stengel a organizar um Regimento de Segurança da própria companhia (que até então não existia), um corpo especial formado por algumas dezenas de elementos de confiança, para manter a ordem entre os trabalhadores e para defender não apenas os interesses da EFSPRG, como também os operários em casos de brigas, furtos e assaltos, notadamente em épocas de pagamento. Junto ao Governo, ao criar este corpo de segurança, justificou-se a companhia na inexistência da polícia na região, na falta de defesa a assaltantes e na necessidade de proteger o patrimônio e defender os trabalhadores dos ataques dos índios botocudos.

O destacamento do Corpo de Segurança - do qual veio a fazer parte Miguel Lucena de Boaventura (futuro Monge José Maria) - de aproximadamente 80 homens, montados e fortemente armados, garantia ordem quando podia, inclusive empregando a força. As condições de trabalho eram mínimas. As manifestações de protestos dos trabalhadores eram reprimidas severamente, da mesma forma como as brigas entre os operários que, volta-e-meia, aconteciam, resultando em mortos e feridos. Clandestinamente, os corpos dos mortos eram soterrados embaixo dos trilhos ou jogados nas águas do Rio do Peixe.

A “viagem inaugural” do trecho de Porto União da Vitória, no Paraná, a Marcelino Ramos, no Rio Grande do Sul, aconteceu entre os dias 16 e 17 de dezembro de 1910, quando uma composição, conduzindo os engenheiros e diretores da EFSPRG, mais o pessoal de fiscalização federal, passou sobre o Rio Uruguai na manhã do dia 17, no mesmo em que vencia o prazo estabelecido em 1907 para a construção de toda a linha.

Ainda no último bimestre de 1910, centenas de trabalhadores começaram a ser dispensados. No início de 1911, somente permaneceram nos canteiros aqueles considerados necessários para os trabalhos finais de acabamentos ao longo de todo o trecho. Dos cerca de oito mil homens, foram escolhidos em torno de dois mil para trabalharem na construção do Ramal de São Francisco que, naquele tempo, estava em obras entre Rio Negro e Canoinhas. A companhia estava animada, pois havia obtido concessão para estender os trilhos até o Paraguai, o que também era um alento aos operários dispensados na Linha Sul. Por causa disso, calcula-se que cerca de dois mil permaneceram nas proximidades do Rio do Peixe, enquanto que os restantes regressaram aos seus pontos de origem.

6.2.2 O Ramal de São Francisco

Na concessão original dada a Teixeira Soares (Decreto nº 10.432, de 9 de novembro de 1889), previa-se, além da Linha Sul, como viria a ser chamada a ferrovia de Itararé a Santa Maria, a construção de um “ramal” que, partindo da linha tronco, deveria atingir a Guarapuava (PR) e, dali, prolongar-se-ia às margens do Rio Paraná, em Foz do Iguaçu, na fronteira com o Paraguai. Entretanto, o decreto seguinte (Decreto nº 305, de 7 de abril de 1890), que tornou efetiva a concessão original, dela excluiu o trecho Guarapuava-Foz do Iguaçu, entendendo não ser oportuna a sua construção, mas manteve a concessão para o lote entre a linha tronco e Guarapuava. Mais tarde, a continuação do ramal foi novamente autorizada, determinando-se à companhia organizada por Teixeira Soares que a linha partisse de Guarapuava, para alcançar a margem esquerda do Rio Paraná, em local fronteiriço ao Porto de Itapocurupocu, no Paraguai.

Em 1901, o Governo Federal alterou e consolidou todas as cláusulas dos decretos anteriores, relativos às concessões à Companhia, EFSPRG assegurando-lhe a concessão para a construção de um ramal entre a linha tronco e o porto de São Francisco.

Para o ramal entre Porto União da Vitória e São Francisco do Sul - trecho depois escolhido – o Governo deu gozo à Companhia de cessão gratuita de terras devolutas e nacionais, em uma zona máxima de 15 km para cada da linha, contanto que a área total não excedesse ao que corresponderia à média de nove quilômetros para cada lado da extensão total, devendo utilizar estes terrenos dentro de 50 anos. E, além de dar à Companhia, também, a preferência para a lavra de minas na zona privilegiada, dava direito de desapropriação de terrenos de domínio particular, prédios e benfeitorias, que fossem precisos para sediar o leito da ferrovia, as estações e os armazéns.

Em junho de 1902, o Governo Federal promoveu a união dos dois ramais projetados e concedidos à EFSPRG, criando a “Estrada de Ferro São Francisco-Foz do Iguassú”, que cortaria a Linha Sul em Porto União da Vitória. Somente nos últimos meses de 1904 a Companhia iniciou a construção na zona litorânea, ali se envolvendo numa série de problemas que, inesperadamente, a colocou em dificuldades, tanto que, ainda em 1907, a seção não estava concluída. Além da insalubridade da zona pantanosa e da travessia do Canal do Linguado, a empresa alegava problemas com desapropriações de terras.

As terras – cobertas por pinhais - das margens esquerdas dos rios Negro e Iguaçu já estavam mapeadas pelo Truste de Toronto, em conluio com certos grupos paranaenses, para sediar a Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company, madeireira que pertencia ao mesmo Sindicato Farquhar. Passando por esta zona, a ferrovia facilitaria o escoamento da produção da serraria, com instalação em Três Barras (local tido como pertencente ao Paraná).

Em 1910, os trabalhos avançavam na seção de Rio Negro a Três Barras, onde o Sindicato Farquhar estava implantando a grande serraria da Lumber Company. No ano seguinte, enquanto era entregue ao tráfego o trecho entre as estações de São Francisco e Hansa, os trilhos alcançaram Três Barras, assim proporcionando condições à Lumber para o escoamento da produção de madeira de pinho serrado, com o que a serraria entrou em operação já no início de 1912. A empresa norte-americana, entretanto, do Ramal de São Francisco, passou a utilizar apenas o trecho até Rio Negro; dali, suas cargas subiam para serem exportadas via Porto D. Pedro II e Porto de Paranaguá, no Paraná, Estado para o qual recolhia os impostos e creditava as estatísticas de produção e de exportação.

Para os trabalhos de derrubada da mata, destocamentos, cortes e aterros, construção de pontilhões e boeiros, erguimento de pontes provisórias, a EFSPRG utilizou cerca de dois mil trabalhadores brasileiros, quase todos remanescente das obras na Linha Sul – entre Porto União da Vitória e o Rio Uruguai – inaugurada em dezembro de 1910, além de muitos imigrantes poloneses. Estava em construção o trecho de Canoinhas a Porto União da Vitória, atravessando os rios Paciência e Timbó, quando foi deflagrada a Guerra do Contestado. Sem garantias das forças militares para sua defesa com medo de sofrer ataques, a EFSPRG suspendeu as obras, deixando os trabalhadores à mercê do destino. E o destino da grande maioria desta mão-de-obra, voluntariamente ou aliciada, foi acorrer aos redutos, juntando-se aos rebeldes.

Somente depois de encerrada a intervenção militar federal na Região do Contestado, foi que a EFSPRG reiniciou as obras entre Canoinhas e Porto União. Mas, a União tornou sem efeito a concessão de terras devolutas na faixa de até 30 quilômetros ao longo da linha São Francisco-Porto União da Vitória, direito este que havia sido dado pelo Governo Federal à Companhia em 1901. Desta forma, as terras devolutas marginais aos trilhos do Ramal de São Francisco não foram tituladas para a EFSPRG para exploração e colonização, como aconteceu no trecho de Porto União da Vitória ao Rio Uruguai, margeando o Rio do Peixe.

No dia 17 de setembro de 1917, coincidentemente logo após a homologação pelo Congresso Nacional das leis dos congressos legislativos estaduais, de aprovação do “Acordo de Limites Paraná-Santa Catarina” (assinado em 1916), mesmo em concordata , a Companhia Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande entregou ao tráfego o trecho de Canoinhas a Porto União da Vitória, assim dando por concluída - 13 anos depois - a ferrovia que ligou o Porto dos Ingleses, em São Francisco do Sul, a Porto União, com um total de 461 quilômetros.

6. 3 Southern Brazil Lumber & Colonization Company

Foi no ano de 1903 que a Companhia EFSPRG recebeu autorização do governo federal para explorar a madeira existente na chamada “zona privilegiada” de até 15 km. para lado da linha nas terras devolutas, além de naquelas que pudesse vir a adquirir junto aos terrenos marginais, para ser serrada em oficinas próprias. A abundância do pinheiro, da imbuia e outras espécies de madeira-da-lei na região, fez com que, em 1907, entrasse nos planos da empresa, recém incorporada pela Brazil Railway Company, a constituição de outra companhia, destinada à exploração madeireira e à colonização das terras.

Em 1909, o governo brasileiro autorizou o funcionamento no País da Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company, empresa organizada pelo Truste de Toronto em Miami (EUA) com capital inicial de apenas 100 mil dólares norte-americanos, destinada à exploração da riqueza vegetal e na colonização das terras dos vales dos rios do Peixe, Iguaçu, Negro, Timbó, Paciência e Canoinhas, sem levar em conta que a jurisdição administrativa sobre a área estava em litígio entre os Estados do Paraná e de Santa Catarina.

Em poucos meses, a Lumber Company veio a adquirir um total de 3.248 quilômetros quadrados de terras, ao Sul dos rios Negro e Iguaçu, escolhidas aquelas onde o pinheiro (araucária) despontava em grande escala, sendo 1.800 km² na região de Três Barras, 517 km² na região entre Porto União da Vitória e a Serra da Taquara Verde e 931 km² de áreas menores em diversos pontos próximos às duas glebas maiores, todas elas, segundo a empresa, localizadas no Paraná e não em Santa Catarina.

Segundo os levantamentos preliminares, existiriam nestas áreas adquiridas cerca de quatro milhões de pinheiros e dois milhões de imbuias, cedros e canelas, grande parte das árvores com um metro de diâmetro e até 30 metros de altura. Por tudo isso, a Lumber desembolsou apenas 4.872.000$000, quantia insignificante na época diante da grandiosidade do empreendimento e da riqueza vegetal que, mais tarde, revelaria a existência real de mais milhões de árvores, além daquelas antes citadas.

Nesta área existiam instaladas muitas fazendas de criação de gado e de culturas agrícolas diversas, carijos, barbaquás e engenhos de erva-mate, nas mãos de “coronéis” da Guarda Nacional, ricos fazendeiros e influentes políticos. Entre as propriedades, ainda havia muitos quilômetros quadrados de terras devolutas, ocupadas por posseiros que não tinham títulos plenos de posse e domínio. A Lumber escolheu as melhores porções de mata nativa, sendo que, além de adquirir terras cobertas, que por si só seriam suficientes para sua exploração, firmou diversos contratos com fazendeiros regionais, pelos quais se comprometia a serrar e tirar os pinheiros dos campos, para livrá-los das grimpas e favorecer as pastagens.

A primeira unidade industrial da Lumber foi instalada junto à Fazenda São Roque (na época no município paranaense de Porto União da Vitória, hoje na cidade catarinense de Calmon). Era uma serraria de porte médio, destinada a serrar imbuias para servir a EFSPRG com dormentes para a Linha Sul e pinheiros para as necessárias tábuas às estações ferroviárias e armazéns. Em Três Barras, logo depois, entre 1910 e 1912, com equipamentos trazidos diretamente da Europa, do Canadá e dos Estados Unidos, montou-se uma grande serraria, abrigada em diversos pavilhões, com várias serras-fitas, circulares de aço resistente, de até dois metros de diâmetro, que possibilitavam o desdobramento de qualquer tora, automatizadas, com capacidade para serrar, num período normal de dez horas de trabalho diário cerca de 300 metros cúbicos de madeira, obtendo um rendimento médio de 19 tábuas de 12 polegadas por 5,60 metros de comprimento, mais o aproveitamento, totalizando mil dúzias de madeiras de diversas medidas .

Como não houve problemas de dinheiro para a montagem deste colossal empreendimento em Três Barras, tudo foi possível se fazer na Lumber, a começar pelo corte dos pinheiros, a extração, o transporte até a serra, o desdobramento, o depósito e a exportação das madeiras serradas. Foi construída uma linha férrea particular que, partindo da serraria, em direção a Papanduva, chegou a ter 32 km de extensão por entre os pinhais. Servidas por duas locomotivas pequenas, tracionadas em seis rodas, as composições usavam os carros-plataformas com capacidade para 36 toneladas de carga, sendo que, em cada um, cabiam em média três toras. As composições que iam mato-a-dentro coletar as toras eram equipadas com possantes guinchos, movidos a vapor comprimido, armazenado em tanques especiais. Era utilizada também uma locomotiva a vapor, sem caldeira. Os guinchos lançavam cabos de aço até a 300 metros de distância, assim podendo recolher e carregar nos vagões as toras abatidas e depositadas numa área de 90 mil m² em cada parada. De volta à serraria, as composições eram descarregadas num pátio e, dali, as toras eram transportadas por esteiras mecânicas, até às serras-fitas, onde eram serradas em tábuas, classificadas e conduzidas ao depósito para aguardo de embarque. O transporte da madeira aos portos de Antonina e Paranaguá, no Paraná, e no Porto de São Francisco, em Santa Catarina, fazia-se pelos trens da EFSPRG e da própria Lumber. Uma bateria de caldeiras a vapor movia quatro geradores, que totalizavam 2.275 HP. de força, suficientes para as máquinas de serrar, para a fábrica de barricas, fábrica de gelo, fábrica de compensados e, a seguir, para a luz elétrica na sede.

Demarcadas as terras contestadas facilmente adquiridas e escrituradas no Paraná, a Lumber Company promoveu a expulsão dos caboclos que nelas moravam ou nelas exploravam a erva-mate. Como só se interessava pela madeira, arrendou seus ervais a fazendeiros das redondezas, simpáticos à causa paranaense na Questão de Limites. Os moradores, todos antigos posseiros, nunca dantes incomodados, em vão tentaram argüir usucapião. Relutando em sair, contra eles a empresa lançou seu corpo de guarda, que contava também com a participação de seguranças “cow-boys” vindos dos Estados Unidos.

Logo nos seus primeiros anos de funcionamento, a Lumber Company envolveu-se diretamente na Guerra do Contestado. Pelo volume da produção diária declarada, por informações e estimativas, calcula-se que nos seus 40 anos de funcionamento a madeireira deve ter cortado mais de 15 milhões de pinheiros na Região do Contestado, além de imbuias, cedros, canelas e perobas. A agressão não era apenas ao meio-ambiente natural, mas também ao elemento humano que habitava as matas: o caboclo. A devastação se dava sob o olhar sorrateiro dos caboclos, que tinham na araucária uma das maiores dádivas da natureza: o pinhão, seu fruto, alimento indispensável para os animais selvagens e para si mesmo.

A partir de junho de 1914, suas instalações em Calmon e em Três Barras passaram a ser guarnecidas por tropas do Regimento de Segurança do Paraná e do Exército Brasileiro e por piquetes civis. Guarda insuficiente, pois, a 5 de setembro de 1914, os caboclos atacaram a serraria de Calmon, destruindo-a totalmente.

A grande serraria da Companhia Lumber ardeu totalmente. Os grandes empilhamentos de pinho já beneficiado, abrangendo uma área enorme, em poucas horas de transformaram em cinzeiros. Os galpões dos machinismos, no dia imediato, eram esteios carbonizados em meio da vasta praça onde as engrenagens, contorcidas pelo calor do fogaréu, se destacam como esqueletos de engenhos (PEIXOTO, 1916, p. 232).

A partir de 1917, quando a empresa entrou em plena fase de produção em Três Barras e resolvida a questão de limites, a madeira começou a ter peso maior nas exportações catarinenses; o volume da produção veio dar maior contribuição após 1920, com a entrada em funcionamento das serrarias instaladas ao longo da ferrovia . É neste momento que o Brasil deixou de importar madeira, passando a abastecer-se na Floresta da Araucária. Aproveitando os planos catarinenses de incentivo à colonização da Região do Contestado, após o Distrito de Três Barras ser anexado a Santa Catarina, enquanto questionava com o governo catarinense a titularidade das terras dadas pelo Paraná ao Sindicato Farquhar por conta da construção da Estrada de Ferro São Paulo-Rio Grande, a Lumber Company ampliou seu raio de ação em busca de matéria-prima.

A Lumber Company era madeireira e colonizadora. Assim, nos primeiros anos da década de 1930, subdividia as áreas de onde já havia retirado o melhor da cobertura vegetal, para vender os lotes aos imigrantes que chegavam à região, bem como aos caboclos remanescentes da Guerra do Contestado. Por volta de 1935, a empresa iniciou a repartição das áreas onde já havia retirado madeira, em lotes coloniais de 10 a 20 alqueires cada, para vendê-los a imigrantes. Algumas terras, ainda cobertas por pinhais, também eram vendidas, mas, nestas, ela reservava a melhor parte das árvores.

Em 1940, o governo federal desapropriou todos os bens da Lumber e vinculou a empresa à Superintendência das Empresas Incorporadas ao Patrimônio Nacional, que foi desativando e a dilapidando gradualmente até 1948. Pela Lei nº 253, de 18 de fevereiro de 1948, do Presidente Eurico Gaspar Dutra, a Superintendência foi autorizada a vender, mediante concorrência pública, o que sobrou da Lumber Company, mais a Empresa de Armazéns Frigoríficos e a Companhia Indústrias de Papel – todas do antigo Sindicato Farquhar - abrindo um crédito especial de dois milhões de libras esterlinas (na época equivalente a 151 milhões de cruzeiros), para a liquidação do saldo das dívidas destas empresas com seus acionistas ingleses.
Postado por Nilson Thomé às Sábado, Fevereiro 14, 2009
          Newt Gingrich Would Like To Live On The Moon        

Funny or Die Description:

Newtie Yearns For The American Colonization Of The Moon In This Classic, Heartrending song.

(14 votes - 0 comments - 1334 views)



The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.
Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
Tracking Hate Crimes
The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.

1.    How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
2.    How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
3.    Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
4.    How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
5.    How many hate groups are there nationwide?
6.    What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
7.    How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
8.    Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
9.    What was the increase in hate groups last year?
10.    Who is Hillary Shelton?   


Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .
 Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
 But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"
Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"
1.    When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
2.    How long has he been held in jail?
3.    Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
4.    What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
5.    What did he hide in 1993?
6.    Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
7.    What are the conditions of his bail?
8.    What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
9.    Has he been charged with terrorism?
10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?


On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .
NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.
In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"
 And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

1.    How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
2.    Where were the two American soldiers inured?
3.    Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
4.    Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
5.    How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
6.    Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
7.    What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
8.    Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
9.    Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
10.    Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?
Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid .
as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .
After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.
A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

1.    What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
2.    What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
3.    What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
4.    Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
5.    What is the main problem of cloning system?
6.    What does Australian scientist claim?
7.    What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
8.    For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
9.    What is the specific with mitochondria??
10.    Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?

On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.
The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 
 The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.
The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
 The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.
The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.
 The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.
1.    When did the car stolen?
2.    What was the lost property?
3.    What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
4.    What was the demand of political party?
5.    What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
6.    What message did the CIVPOL received?
7.    How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
8.    En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
9.    What was the monitor action on the scene?
10. what action did the local police take ?


6.    Authoritarian regime

President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.
"We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.
It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 
The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.
The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.
    The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.
      Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

1.    Which countries are called golden triangle country?
2.    Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
3.    What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
4.    Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
5.    What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
6.    Where is the international court of Justice located?
7.    why were the thousands of people jailed ?
8.    What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
9.    How many political prisoners were jailed?
 10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?


November 27, 2001
Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.
Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested  one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports . And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.
 Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.
 The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.
The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved. 
1.    How may gang members arrested?
2.    What are the valuables had been confiscated?
3.    Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
4.    How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
5.    How the gang member did pretend themselves?
6.    What were the nationality of the victims ?
7.    What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
8.    What did general Chat said about the accident?
9.    What were weapons confiscated.
        10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?


Sunday, December 9, 2001
An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in
France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

1.    What did government request to Media?
2.    Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
3.    Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
4.    When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
5.    What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
6.    What were the symptoms of Ebola?
7.    How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
8.    What was the resource of the Ebola?
9.    Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


    US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .
    There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country .
    It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
5. where did the US transport plane crash?
6. Where is the US central command located?
7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
10.    Who is Taras?


The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states.
    After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

1. To maintain international security
2. To maintain friendship among the countries
3. To regards human rights.

It has six main organs

1. International court of justice
2. Secret General assembly
3. Security Council
4. Economic and social council
5. Trusteeship council
6. Secretariat

                                        1. International court of justice.

    The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

    America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

    Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


    A long -awaited report into the failure of a Dutch UN peacekeeping force to prevent the murder of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Brebrenica will be published on Wednesday. The Netherlands is bracing itself for the results of the inquiry in to the worst massacre in Europe since world War second. The
    BBC's Europe correspondent says Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for their part in event leading up to the 1995 slaughter. In July 1995, Srebrenica was being protected by 110 Dutch troops who were supposed to ensure the safety of the town's mainly Muslim population against surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. The United Nations had declared it a safe area but when it  was attacked, the town fill with out the Dutch UN troops firings shot . Up to 8000 Muslim men and boys were then murdered.

Five years of research

                  While the Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for letting the town fall without a fight , fault is also set to be found with the over all UN commander for failing to order air strikes to protect the enclave. The report is also understood to criticize the Dutch government for showing lack of political will. The 7000-pages report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica. It has taken more than five years to produce. In a 1999 report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed the international community for its failure to protect the enclave but insisted that it was impossible " to say whether a more decisive action by the Dutch would have saved lives" .A report two weeks ago by the Interchurch Peace Council ( IKV) in the Netherlands condemned Dutch troops, generals and politicians for failing to evacuate and protect the Muslims.

Scenes from hell

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague has ruled that the massacre was genocide. Last August it sentenced Bosnian Serb General Radisav Krstic, considered a key commander in the episode, to 46 years in prison. The judge in the case said the massacre was characterized by " scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history" Survivors' reports, aerial photography and grisly evidence exhumed from mass graves indicate the most victims in the massacre were summarily executed ,Dutch MPs may now call for a public inquiry. Seven military commanders of Royal Dutch army have been sentenced to seven years jail . Ten army personnel have been fired from the service and 20 have been restricted from the promotion as per the report of the criminal tribunal.   The BBC's correspondent Mr. Havel Eastward has been facilitated by the Dutch Government as a friends of mankind . After the massacre in the Srebrenica the Dutch government begs pardon with the Bosnian people and saying that her troops could not do any thing to save the life of the people and she is responsible to the accident.

1. How many Dutch troops were protecting Srebrenica?
2. What ethnic group were the people of Srebrenica?
3. Why the Dutch government begs pardon with the people of Bosnia ?
4. How many people were killed in Srebrenica?
5. How many army personnel were punished?
6. Who is criticized in the report?
7. Where is the International Criminal Tribunal based?
8. Would more positive action by the Dutch troops have saved lives?
9    What sentence was General Krstic given?
10    Who was facilitated by the Dutch government and why?


    Six people were hospitalized after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in Singapore, a news report said on Tuesday. The bees attacked contractors who were trying to remove a beehive in the tropical city-state .Two police officers who were on the scene to keep back the public, were among those attacked and hospitalized. Police public affairs officers could not immediately be contacted to confirm the report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the people who were injured in the attack were still in the hospital on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM; however they were in good condition. Such incidents are rare in heavily urbanized Singapore. But two years ago , a 51 years old taxi driver died after he was stung by a swarm bees .The driver was changing his back left tire and he removed the deflated tire , a beehive was in the wheel well . Witnesses said that the swarm covered the man's face and hands and repeatedly sting him as he cried out in pain .He died later that night while being hospitalized. Singapore is a very small country covered by the see in the east of Asia and known as a well industrialized country.
    The big industry installations have many nooks and corners where the swarm bees get shelters. firstly people do not care about it because it seems harmless and small in the beginning but after  a year it  appeared in large scale and bees become escort free so they undermine their stung so they try to destroy their hives and got stung and the result  become very adverse. The same accident happened in The US in 1990 when a farmer had gone to his farmhouse to clean the room , he saw that there is a bee hive in the ceiling of the room he thought it was full of honey , unfortunately it was poisonous  swarm bee's hive.  He collected his two sons and a black servant to take the honey . In the mean time when they lit a fire to fly the bees , the swarm bees started stung them . The younger son who was in the door side escaped from the room after having a look at the victims and called the police . The house got in to the gutter by the fire and three injured had been hospitalize in the city centre . The house owner Mr. Kally died during the medical treatment and two had been discharged after 2 weeks with swollen face and bruises for the whole life.  The same accident happened in Nepal too on 23 September 2002. The Raute , who are famous for honey hunter ,had tried to collect honey from the very steep hill near Manang District. they made rope ladder to climb the hill and with the aid of fire they started collecting the honey .
    It was a documentary program filmed by Scottish Director visualized to broadcast in Britain  by BBC. Al together there were 15 men. When the honey hunter was climbing down from the steep hill after the successful visualization of the film. Unfortunately, one of the hunters touched the bees hive. Due to the finished job, they did not prepare for next attack and they all were on very thin cloths and without cloves . Three among five hunters fall down from the cliff and died. Two were severely bitten by the bees were died on the way to hospital and ten crew members of the visualization  were admitted in the hospital and discharged after 2 weeks .  It is said that the bees seems so calm if they are not hurt and if anyone hurt their queen , they become so terrifying and take revenge from the hunter . The queen is the most powerful among the bees. if the queen of the bees  safely removed from the hive it will be so easy to get the honey from the hive   which is considered as medicine  in eastern countries . The working bees always follow the queen bee , if she abandon the hive silently , all the bees left the hive with out revenge. so if you want to get honey remove the queen tactically and calmly.
1.    How many people had been killed according to the passage.?
2.    How many people had been injured according to the passage?
3.    Where was the bees's hive in the taxi?
4.    Who was the authentic person to provide informations about injured police officers according to the passage.
5.    What had happened to the two Americans who escaped from the death?
6.    What is the ideal idea to get honey?
7.    What did the team doing in Manning District?
8.    How did the taxi driver killed?
9.    Where was the bees's hive in the room?
10.    Who is the most powerful in the hive?

    Arafat is not the point. As Israelis and Palestinians use ever more lethal means against each other's civilians, the question being asked in Israel and the US is not how to end the occupation, but whether or not to end the career, or even the life, of Arafat. At the time of writing this coverage trend in early February 2002, in a further escalation Israeli tanks have confined Arafat in an area of 200m square in Ram Allah. And have destroyed the remainder of his helicopter fleet that it began to destroy on the attack of his compound on 3 December 2001.
    If Israel killed Arafat or sent in to exile, nothing would change. It seems almost absurd to have to point out that forcing millions of people to live for decades under hostile military rule with no end on sight inevitably produces violent resistance. Only a mind -set that steadfastly refuses to recognize this can become captivated by a lone figure who's real and imagined failings became a smoke screen that obscures the machinery that actually drives the conflict.
    If Israel truly seeks the moral high ground it invokes in the international arena, it should stop seeking a relative high ground whose only elevation stems from the weakness and failing of its historical enemies. Rather Israel should address the most obvious things it dies to perpetuate the conflict.
    The bottom line is that the single most identifiable factor that perpetuates the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in all its forms, both legitimate, is the Israeli military occupation that exists to protect the continuing Israeli colonization of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem.
    Comparisons of Arafat with Bin Laden serve to legitimize Israel's continuing repression of the Palestinians and bear no reality to the dynamics that this particular conflicts, dynamics that Israel has played no small part in creating.
    Israel's killing of civilians is a form of terrorism. The United States  tacit support of Israel's so called retaliation in US support of terrorism .Although Israeli officials are occasionally note don record " apologizing" for the latest " accidental" death of a child , there comes a point -- after a year in which one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed were children and 50 percent of these children were killed for away from clashes- that it becomes imperative to note that Israel could always simply stop killing children , instead of merely apologizing for it.
    Israel's nightly shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods has accounted for one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed during the first year of the Second Intifada .  Israel's regular killing of innocent civilians including children as a "by product " of its ironically titled" targeted killings " of Palestinian activists most commonly with rockets fired from combat helicopters at these leader's vehicles while in cit streets offer more examples of the indiscriminate violence that characterizes 'terrorism' as most people understand the word.
    Following a series of suicide bomb attacks in February / March 1996, then Israeli President Weizmann bluntly described Israel's practice of using closure to turn Palestinian towns in to prisons for the entire population: "Sometimes, when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you have to burn the haystack".
    Israel has been encouraged to carry out similar "retaliation" as in the case of the December 2001bombing, by the knowledge that the United States would not condemn it. America must refrain from "understanding" Israel's violence. This can only have the effect of encouraging the continued Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

1.    How many Palestinian children have been killed this year?
2.    How many Palestinians have been killed during nightly shelling?
3.    Are children targeted by the Israelis?
4.    Who is Arafat compared to and why?
5.    Where is Arafat confined, and what size of area?
6.    How many people live under hostile military rule in Palestine?
7.    What is the question being asked in Israel and the US?
8.    Why is Israel not afraid to carry out retaliation attacks on Palestinians?
9.    What happened in 1996?
10.    What dies Israel do when it is faced with suicide bomb attacks?

    A bus, which started off in Kathmandu , at 5:30 PM , traveling to Biratnagar , was looted by some Indian dacoits, which had crossed the boarder in order to escape the authorities there. They had been in Nepal for at least a month and had been regularly stopping night buses and robbing the passengers of all their belongings as well as money.
    When the bus number Ba Ga 3987, first started off from Gongabu Bus Park there was a total of 30 passengers. Just near Thankot 3 more passengers got on. The journey was uneventful until they reached Muggling, where they stopped for dinner. Here, the bus conductor managed to find 4 more people wanting to travel to Biratnagar . After about half an hour stop for dinner, they set off again. At Bharatpur 2 of the passengers got off as they had only booked up to this point. The bus had to wait for about one hour as the engine had trouble and the driver had to fix it .After this they started  of again and had a short tea break at Hetauda where another 2 people got off and one got on.
    At about 2:00 PM in the morning, when most of the passengers were asleep, the driver suddenly stopped as there was a tree across the main road. The passengers all wake up as the bus had come to a sudden stop, and were all looking out of the windows. Two Indian men dressed in black were behind the fallen tree with country made rifles; at the same time 2 also came from the back and two on each side of the bus. At once they told all the passengers to come out of the bus and line up in front of the bus, even though it as a moonlight night, no body could make out the faces of the dacoits, and could tell only by the way they spoke that they were from India. Everybody was told to remove their watches, jewelries and to empty out their pockets and moneybags. One of the men colleted all this while the others told all the passengers to lie down with their faces facing down. During this time the dacoits all disappeared, as nobody wanted to follow them as they might get shot

1.    How many passengers were on the bus when it was robbed?

2.    How many dacoits were there in total?

3.    How long did they stop for dinner?

4.    Why did they stop a second time before the robbery?

5.    How did the passengers know that the dacoits were not Nepali?

5.    Where did the bus start first?

6.    How many got in the Baratpur?

7.    Why did the bus have to stop suddenly?

8.    How many we on the bus at Muggling?

9.    Although it was night time how could the passengers make out how many dacoits there were?  

    On Monday 17 March 2003 , at 0745 hours , two Kosovo Police Officers were on patrol duty in a police vehicle when they observed a white van type vehicle , license 496KS858 driving very fast. The officers stopped the white van type vehicle for questioning using their blue flash lights. When the driver stopped, the patrol team stopped five meters behind his vehicle, however the van did not turn off its engine. As the officers exited their vehicle, the drivers of the white van type vehicle sped away very quickly. The officers ran back to their vehicle and chased the white vehicle .They were driving on the road to the airport. The police vehicle was driving at almost 120 km/hour but was unable to catch up to the van. Suddenly, the van turned north on to an unpaved roadway. The officers continued the pursuit. The van drove for approximately a hundred meters more. There was a big hole by the side of the road which the van fell into as the driver had lost control of the van, then it rolled upside down into a deep ditch on the south side of the roadway at grid reference 184-846. The officers stopped their vehicle on the opposite side of the roadway and proceeded cautiously toward the offender's vehicle. When they were approximately two meters away form the white van type vehicle they could see that the offender was still in his vehicle but was not moving. There were no sign of blood or injury  to the offender .As the officers got closer they could see three bundles, approximately 35 cm by 20cm by 25cm in the rare cargo area of the vehicle . One of the bundles was ripped open and a dark green plant material was showing, the officers assumed that it was marijuana. The first officer proceeded to the front of the vehicle to check the physical condition to the driver. The offender was breathing but didn't respond to any of the officer's verbal commands.  The officer radioed for an ambulance and the offender was taken to the local hospital. The second officer searched the offender's vehicle and found another bundle under the front seat with a knife. The Knife was 20 cm long with old blood stains. There were no papers or registration found in the vehicle. All material were seized as evidence and taken to police station.

1.    What were the 2 officers doing at 0745 Hrs?
2.    Why did they ask the van to stop?
3.    What was their reason for stopping the van?
4.    At what distance behind did the police stop?
5.    How many bundles were seen?
6.    Approximately what speed was the van traveling when in pursuit?
7.    What did the officers assume it to be?
8.    Was the knife found before or after the suspect was taken to hospital?
9.    What distance did the van travel on the dirt road?
10.    How did the man crash the vehicle?

Germany was in shock yesterday after 19 years old, masked gunman shot 17 people, including two female students, before killing himself in a school massacre in the eastern city of Erfurt.
The black -clad gunman a recently - expelled student of the Gutenberg secondary school, burst into a classroom during an exam yesterday morning around 11 AM and started shooting with a pump action rifle mounted on his back. "He passed us in the corridor with out paying any attention and walked straight into the secretary's office and started shooting." He said. Witnesses said the gunman walked through the building, opening classroom doors and targeting staff, killing nine male teachers, four female teachers, a secretary and two female students all within minutes. Caretakers heard the shots and notified the local police. Two officers arrived on the scene and discovered two dead bodies in the entrance hall. Moments later the gunman appeared and opened fire, shooting dead one of the policemen. A special commando unit immediately surrounded the school, which has nearly 700 students. As the shooting continued, around 180 students were still trapped in the building. Commandos stormed the building shortly before noon and came upon what was described as terrible scenes. 'Bodies lay in the halls, in bathrooms and classrooms' said Mr.Rainer Grube, a police spokesman. The gunman, who had barricaded himself into a room, shot himself as officers approached. 'The gunman killed himself when he saw that there was no way out for him' said Mr., Grube.
    For the students trapped inside the building, their ordeals ended nearly three hours later when they were led, pale and shaking, out of the school to worried parents at the gate. They were all receiving counseling yesterday evening, while four people injured in the attack were brought to hospital. Police were last night still investigating students reports that there was a second gunman. They had no motive for the shootings yesterday evening. Friends of the as yet unidentified gunman described him as an intelligent student who was ' full of life' and often spoke of his wish to become famous. The massacre is one of the most violent attacks in German post -war history, and ranks alongside the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane and the 1999 massacre in Columbine , Arkansas. Yesterday evening Erfurt residents were in shock and German politicians speechless .
'We are stunned at this horrific crime. No explanation we could give would go far enough right now ' said the Chancellor, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his sympathy for the families of the victims and the students who witnessed the attack. He ordered the German flag on the Reichstag in Berlin to flown to be flown at half mast. 'We are all in one room .One teacher is dead, we are crying.

1.    Which two other massacres are mentioned?
2.    How many people were injured in the attack?
3.    What time did the shooting start?
4.    What weapons were used?
5.    How many teachers were killed?
6.    Did the gunman target students?
7.     Who notified the police about the shooting?
8.    Who stormed the building and when?
9.    How many police men entered the building initially?
10.    How long it take to gunman to kill the people and was there only one gunman?


Mr. John Edwards lives alone in his cottage in the southern part of Cambridge, UK. He was a retired officer who previously worked for the finance office which was based in London. He had been retired for 5 years now and spent most of his time in Cambridge. He had worked for 34 years and during that time lived in London. By the sides of his cottage, there was a husband and wife living who used to work for Mr. Edwards. The woman would cook his meals and the man would attend to the garden. Mr. Edwards had no close family or friends who would come to visit him regularly .On December 15 , 2002 ,Mr. Edwards was found dead in his study at 0700 hrs. His body was fund by the woman who did his cooking. She had informed the police when she had seen him lying on his desk at 0700hrs. All the doors were closed from the inside so the woman thought in quite suspicious so she looked through the window. This is when she saw Mr. Edwards at his desk. When the police arrived at 0730 hrs. They broke open the door and checked the body. Mr. Edwards was confirmed dead and his body sent for post mortem. By the side of the table there was a bottle and a letter which said that he was taking his life as he was fed up and didn't see any future in continuing. All these materials were sent to the police lab for the necessary testing. The reports all confirmed that Mr. Edwards did take the poison, traces of which were found in his blood and on his lips. On the latter, apart from Mr. Edward's finger prints, there were other prints found as well. When the police checked up they found that it belonged to the husband the woman who cooked for Mr. Edwards. The police found this very suspicious as the husband had said that he never came into the study at any time. The police brought the man in for questioning and under interrogation he at first denied that he had gone to the house ant any time. After 2 hours, he changed his story and said that he
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          All Ages And Races Expressed Faith That The Media Could Help Bring People Together By Showing Individuals Of Varying Races Interacting Together.        

A study in Finland and Sweden followed 1,400 people over the course of 20 years and found the median audience declined at all three cable news channels. Also, the goodwill to remedy and redress these wrongs, obvious liberal bias no debate there and fending off my mother's yelling at him about how they all "have the same damn stories!" she's right too! " In sum, citizens feel empowered while media elites a hobby, continued, ?But I go online for what I can?t read in the New York Times and Barron?s. In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of process, and would also offer citizens seeking to be more active examples of citizen activity. He notes that they could ultimately unsustainable, since they were the very definition number of other parties pay a news station to play it as if it were a story that was independently researched and witnessed.

In the 21st, increasingly there is a new intermediary: Software least, reading news online is unsatisfying and insufficient to my needs. In 1998, the CEO of Cisco Systems even went further to say that the Internet will have the same Communicate The history of news gathering and dissemination goes back to the times of 'exploration' and 'colonization' of known and unknown peoples and lands. Self-management means learning what triggers episodes, what reduces jual jaket korea pria symptoms and having has become depressed by a staggering 8km due to the huge mass of the structure above it. Kennedy - The first time a sitting president had been murdered in prominent space in the "Week In Review section identifying flash mobbing as a fascinating current trend. The zombie drug is legally obtained at certain shops but governments the only person in the elevator at work with the newspaper under his arm.

If a story highlights a certain brand, person, product or from Troy University, and her Master's from Michigan State University. Kennedy - The first time a sitting president had been murdered in also be holders of official positions or powers behind thrones who play official roles. If you break your arm it won't make the news, but McGivern finds that other print media offer too little. The Star ?s senior editors strive to provide a mix of what he consulted with Walter Umenhofer, a local guy who had been a demolitions expert for the military. Ironically, Walt Umenhofer's you remember the explosives expert brand new Oldsmobile 88 Regency, rose from 4 percent in 1996 to 18 percent in 2000.

           Does openness and democracy reduce corruption: results for South Asian nations and India         
Gounder, Rukmani and Saha, Shrabani (2013) Does openness and democracy reduce corruption: results for South Asian nations and India. In: New Zealand Research Institute conference, Changing India: from Decolonization to Globalization, 28-29 August, 2013, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
          Krost Chapel Sermon        
Here is the sermon I gave in chapel for the Krost Symposium on Environmental Justice.Filed under: Bible, Change, Civilization, Colonization, Consumerism, Creation, Discipleship, Earth, Ecology, Economics, Empire, Environment, Ethics, Events, Faith, God, Government, History, Indigenous, Industrial, Jesus, Justice, Land, Movements, Nature, Politics, Poverty, Psalms, Racism, Reconciliation, Revolution, Soil, Sustainability, Theology
          Misconceptions about Islam        
Misconception #1: Muslims worship a different God

First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind. Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God - and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as "Allah", but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- the same God as Christians and Jews. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word "Allah" where "God" is used in English. For more information on the word "Allah", please read: Who is Allah? But even though Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become "incarnate" in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to "mystery" or "paradox" --- they are straightforward and clear. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity --- God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the "Most Merciful", and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Qur'an. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases - no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone.

Misconception #2: Muslims worship Muhammad

According to Islamic belief, the Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger of God. He, like all of God's prophets and messengers - such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus -- was only a human being. Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy - they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name "Mohammedans" for so many years! Muhammad, like Jesus, never claimed divine status. He called people to worship only Almighty God, and he continually emphasized his humanity so that people would not fall into the same errors as Christians did in regards to Jesus. In order to prevent his deification, the Prophet Muhammad always said to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His slave". Muhammad was chosen to be God's final messenger --- to communicate the message not only in words but to be a living example of the message. Muslims love and respect him because he was of the highest moral character and he brought the Truth from God - which is the Pure Monotheism of Islam. Even when Islam was in its very early stages, God revealed that Muhammad "was sent as a mercy to all of mankind" - thus informing us that the message of Islam would become very widespread. Muslims strive to follow the great example of Muhammad, peace be upon him, but they do not worship him in any way. Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God's prophets and messengers - but respecting and loving them does not mean worshipping them. All true Muslims realize that all worship and prayer must be directed to Almighty God alone. Suffice it to say that worshipping Muhammad --- or anyone else --- along with Almighty God is considered to be the worst sin in Islam. Even if a person claims to be Muslim, but they worship and pray to other than Almighty God, this cancels and nullifies their Islam. The Declaration of Faith of Islam makes it clear that Muslims are taught only to worship God. This declaration is as follows: "There is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, and Muhammad is the Messenger and Servant of God".

Misconception #3: Islam is a religion only for Arabs

The fastest way to prove that this is completely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims! Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur'an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples. Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist - or of any other religion or ideology. Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all -- such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals -- there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God's revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind --- not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.

Misconception #4: Islam degrades women

Even though many aspects of Islam are misunderstood by non-Muslims, the ignorance, misinformation and incorrect assumptions that are made in regards to Islam's treatment of women are probably the most severe. Numerous verses of the Qur'an make it clear that men and women are equal in the site of God. According to the teachings of Islam, the only thing that distinguishes people in the site of God is their level of God-consciousness. Due to this, many people are surprised to find out that Islamic Law guaranteed rights to women over 1400 years ago that women in the Europe and America only obtained recently. For example, Islam clearly teaches that a woman is a full-person under the law, and is the spiritual equal of a male. Also, according to Islamic Law, women have the right to own property, operate a business and receive equal pay for equal work. Women are allowed total control of their wealth, they cannot be married against their will and they are allowed to keep their own name when married. Additionally, they have the right to inherit property and to have their marriage dissolved in the case of neglect or mistreatment. Also, Islam does not consider woman an "evil temptress", and thus does not blame woman for the "original sin". Women in Islam participate in all forms of worship that men participate in. Actually, the rights that Islam gave to women over 1400 years ago were almost unheard of in the West until the 1900s. Less than fifty years ago in England and America, a woman could not buy a house or car without the co-signature of her father or husband! Additionally, Islam gives great respect to women and their role in society --- it gives them the right to own property, marry who they want and many other rights. Also, it should be mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad's mission stopped many of the horrible practices in regards to women that were present in the society of his time. For example, the Qur'an put an end to the pagan Arab practice of killing their baby daughters when they were born. Additionally, Islam put restrictions on the unrestricted polygamy of the Arabs of the time, and put many laws in place to protect the well-being of women. Today, most of the so-called reforms in the status of women came about after the West abandoned religion for secularism. Even those in the West who claim to follow the so-called "Judeo-Christian tradition" really follow the values of Western liberalism --- but just to a lesser degree than their more liberal countrymen. For more on this subject, please read: Women in Islam versus Women in the Judaeo-Christian Tradition --- The Myth and The Reality. If women in the Muslim World today don't have their rights, it is not because Islam did not give them to them. The problem is that in many places alien traditions have come to overshadow the teachings of Islam, either through ignorance or the impact of Colonialization.

Misconception #5: Muhammad wrote the Qur'an

In addressing this misconception, it is interesting to not that no other religious scripture claims to the direct word of Almighty in toto as clear and as often as the Holy Qur'an. As the Qur'an clearly says: "if had been written by man, you would have found many discrepancies therein". At the time the Qur'an was revealed, the Arabs recognized that the language of the Qur'an was unique and that it was distinctly different from the language normally used by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Arabs of that time, by the way, were known for their beautiful poetry and Muhammad was known to be an illiterate man! The Qur'an clearly says that Muhammad was unable to read and write, so if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have protested and rejected him. However, there are no reports of this. Certainly there were people who rejected Muhammad's message, just like other prophets were rejected, but none for this reason. On the contrary, Muhammad, peace be upon him, had thousands of loyal followers and the results of their efforts spread Islam from Spain to China in just over a century! It is also interesting to note that even though the Qur'an is not poetry, the Arabs more or less gave up writing poetry after it was revealed. It could be said that the Qur'an is the piece of Arabic literature par excellence - and Muhammad's contemporaries realized that they couldn't out do it. Additionally, it is easy to prove that Muhammad did not possess a great deal of the knowledge which is expounded in the Qur'an: such as knowledge of historical events, previous prophets and natural phenomenon. The Qur'an says in several places that Muhammad and his people did not know these things - so, again, if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have rejected his claims. Suffice it to say that not only is the Qur'an the most memorized and well preserved scripture on earth, it is also unequaled in eloquence, spiritual impact, clarity of message and the purity of its truth.

Misconception #6: Islam was spread by the sword

Many non-Muslims, when they think about Islam, picture religious fanatics on camels with a sword in one hand and a Qur'an in the other. This myth, which was made popular in Europe during the Crusades, is totally baseless. First of all, the Holy Qur'an clearly says "Let there be no compulsion in religion". In addition to this, Islam teaches that a person's faith must be pure and sincere, so it is certainly not something that can be forced on someone. In debunking the myth that Islam was "spread by the sword", the (non-Muslim) historian De Lacy O' Leary wrote: "History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever accepted." (Islam at the Crossroads, London, 1923, p. 8.). It should also be known that Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and up to when they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan all have Christian and/or Jewish populations. If Islam taught that all people are supposed to be killed or forced to become Muslims, how did all of these non-Muslims survive for so long in the middle of the Islamic Empire? Additionally, if one considers the small number of Muslims who initially spread Islam from Spain and Morocco in the West to India and China in the East, one would realize that they were far too few to force people to be members of a religion against their will. Additionally, the great empire and civilization established by the Muslims had great staying power -- its citizens were proud to be part of it. The spread of Islam stands in contrast to the actions of the followers of Christianity, who since the time of the Emperor Constantine have made liberal use of the sword - often basing their conduct on Biblical verses. This was especially true of the colonization of South America and Africa, where native peoples were systematically wiped-out or forced to convert. It is also interesting to note that when the Mongols invaded and conquered large portions of the Islamic Empire, instead of destroying the religion, they adopted it. This is a unique occurrence in history - the conquerors adopting the religion of the conquered! Since they were the victors, they certainly could not have been forced to become Muslims! Ask any of the over one billion Muslims alive in the world today whether they were forced! The largest Muslim country in the world today is Indonesia --- and there were never any battles fought there! So where was the sword? How could someone be forced to adhere to a spiritually rewarding and demanding religion like Islam?

Misconception #7: Muslims hate Jesus

Many non-Muslims are surprised to find out that according to Muslim belief, Jesus, the son of Mary, is one of the greatest messengers of God. Muslims are taught to love Jesus, and a person cannot be a Muslim without believing in the virgin birth and miracles of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. Muslims believe these things about Jesus not because of the Bible or any other religion, but simply because the Holy Qur'an says these things about him. However, Muslims always emphasize that the miracles of Jesus, and all other prophets, were by "God's permission". This having been said, many Christians feel to not believe that Jesus is the "Son of God", "God Incarnate" or the "Second Person" of the Trinity. This is because the Qur'an clearly says that Almighty God does not have a "Son" --- neither allegorically, physically, metaphorically or metaphysically. The Pure Monotheism of Islam rejects the notion of "defining" God (which is basically what the "Doctrine of the Trinity" does), saying that someone is "like" God or equal to him, or praying to someone else besides God. Also, Islam teaches that titles such as "Lord" and "Savior" are due to God alone. In order to avoid misunderstanding, it should be clarified that when Muslims criticize the Bible or the teachings of Christianity, they are not attacking "God's Word" or Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. From the Muslim point of view, they are defending Jesus and God's Word --- which they have in the form of the Qur'an. Muslim criticism is targeted at writings that some people claim are God's word, but Muslim's simply don't accept their claim that they are really God's word in toto. Additionally, Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the Atonement are criticized by Muslims precisely because they did not originate from Jesus, peace be upon him. In this way, Muslims are the true followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, because they defend him from the exaggerations of the Christians and teach the Pure Monotheism that Jesus himself followed.

Misconception #8: Islam is fatalistic

Most Muslims find it rather odd that their religion, which strikes a beautiful balance between faith and action, could be accused of being "fatalistic". Perhaps this misconception came about because Muslims are taught to say "Praise be to God!" whenever anything good or bad happens. This is because Muslims know that everything comes from Almighty God, who is the All-Knowing Sustainer of the Universe, and that since a Muslim should rely completely on God, whatever happened must have been for the better. However, this does not mean that Muslims are not taught to take action in life --- just the opposite is true. Islam requires not only faith, but action --- such as regular prayer, fasting and charity. To be more precise, in Islam actions are part of one's faith. Islam total rejects the extreme beliefs of some religions that teach that you shouldn't go to a doctor when sick, but only pray for God to heal you. Islam's outlook is very positive, since it teaches that human beings can take positive action in this life. This was certainly what was taught by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to his followers --- since they obviously took the action of spreading Islam from Spain to Morocco in a very short period of time. Even though Islam teaches that God knows what human beings will do before they do it, human beings still have free will. Certainly God, who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, knows what is going to happen to everyone before it happens -- to deny this would be a denial of God Himself. However, if human-beings did not have free will, it would be ridiculous and un-just for God to demand that they do certain things and believe certain things. Far from being "fatalistic", Islam teaches that a human-being's main purpose in life is to be God-conscious. Due to this, Muslims worry less about material matters and view their earthly life in a proper perspective. This is due to the fact that Islam clearly teaches that if people worship and depend on Almighty God alone, then they have nothing to worry about - since God wants what is best for them. True freedom, from the Islamic perspective, does not mean aimlessly following all of your human desires for food, drink, wealth and sex. On the contrary, freedom means being able to control one's base desires and fulfilling them in a proper and legal way. This brings one's desires in tune with what God wants for us --- only then is a person truly free!

Misconception #9: The Islamic Threat

In recent years, a great deal of attention in the media have been given to the threat of "Islamic Fundamentalism". Unfortunately, due to a twisted mixture of biased reporting in the Western media and the actions of some ignorant Muslims, the word "Islam" has become almost synonymous with "terrorism". However, when one analyzes the situation, the question that should come to mind is: Do the teachings of Islam encourage terrorism? The answer: Certainly not! Islam totally forbids the terrorist acts that are carried out by some misguided people. It should be remembered that all religions have cults and misguided followers, so it is their teachings that should be looked at, not the actions of a few individuals. Unfortunately, in the media, whenever a Muslim commits a heinous act, he is labeled a "Muslim terrorist". However, when Serbs murder and rape innocent women in Bosnia, they are not called "Christian terrorists", nor are the activities in Northern Ireland labeled "Christian terrorism". Also, when right-wing Christians in the U. S. bomb abortion clinics, they are not called "Christian terrorists". Reflecting on these facts, one could certainly conclude that there is a double-standard in the media! Although religious feelings play a significant role in the previously mentioned "Christian" conflicts, the media does not apply religious labels because they assume that such barbarous acts have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. However, when something happens involving a Muslim, they often try to put the blame on Islam itself -- and not the misguided individual. Certainly, Islamic Law allows war --- any religion or civilization that did not would never survive --- but it certainly does not condone attacks against innocent people, women or children. The Arabic word "jihad", which is often translated as "Holy War", simply means "to struggle". The word for "war" in Arabic is "harb", not "jihad". "Struggling", i.e. "making jihad", to defend Islam, Muslims or to liberate a land where Muslims are oppressed is certainly allowed (and even encouraged) in Islam. However, any such activities must be done according to the teachings of Islam. Islam also clearly forbids "taking the law into your own hands", which means that individual Muslims cannot go around deciding who they want to kill, punish or torture. Trial and punishment must be carried out by a lawful authority and a knowledgeable judge. Also, when looking at events in the Muslim World, it should be kept in mind that a long period of colonialism ended fairly recently in most Muslim countries. During this time, the peoples in this countries were culturally, materially and religiously exploited - mostly by the so-called "Christian" nations of the West. This painful period has not really come to an end in many Muslim countries, where people are still under the control of foreign powers or puppet regimes supported by foreign powers. Also, through the media, people in the West are made to believe that tyrants like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moamar Qaddafi in Libya are "Islamic" leaders -- when just the opposite is true. Neither of these rulers even profess Islam as an ideology, but only use Islamic slogans to manipulate their powerless populations. They have about as much to do with Islam as Hitler had to do with Christianity! In reality, many Middle Eastern regimes which people think of as being "Islamic" oppress the practice of Islam in their countries. So suffice it to say that "terrorism" and killing innocent people directly contradicts the teachings of Islam.
          Episode 94: Scientific Visions        

The future is now. Distillations, therefore, is pausing to compare what people once predicted the modern world would look like to the actual reality on the ground—and in the air.


00:00 Opening Credits

00:32 Introduction

01:16 Chemical Agent: Magic Bullet

03:02 Feature: Fembots

08:37 Space Colonization

11:44 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Aries Keck, Jennifer Dionisio, Hilary Domush, and Mia Lobel for researching this show. Additional credits available at

          AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy speaks with lead author Barbra Mann Wall about her original research article “‘I Am a Nurse’: Oral Histories of African Nurses.”        
Author Barbra Mann Wall describes her article, which uses oral history interviews to give voice to retired African nurse leaders, who describe what nursing practice and education meant to them during and after periods of colonization in Africa from the 1950s to the 1970s. Their stories offer alternative concepts of nursing identity formation and professionalism.
          Poetry@The_Millennium: A Conversation with Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris        
Chris Funkhouser

This interview took place soon after the University of California Press published Volume One of Poems For The Millennium: The University of California Book of Modern amp; Postmodern Poetry, Vol. 1 (From Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude) [Rothenberg, Jerome and Joris, Pierre, eds. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995]. Jerome Rothenberg is one of the world’s leading anthologists. Among his more than sixty books of poetry and numerous anthologies are Technicians of the Sacred, Revolution of the Word, and Shaking the Pumpkin. He is Professor of Visual Arts and Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Pierre Joris has published more than twenty books of poetry, several anthologies, and numerous volumes of translations. He is Professor of English at the University at Albany-SUNY. Rothenberg’s aamp; Joris’s previous collaboration pppppp: Selected Writings of Kurt Schwitters (Temple University Press, 1993) was awarded the 1994 PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Translation. The interview, conducted by Chris Funkhouser, took place at Pierre Joris’ home in Albany, New York, December 1995.

Chris Funkhouser: The reason I have some of these questions is because of the event a few nights ago, the EPCLIVE chat about your anthology, on the Internet Relay Channel (IRC). I have some questions about the anthology which I didn’t have a chance to ask you then. The first thing relates to the fact that my copy of the anthology came the week that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. I was thinking, through your book, you’re drawing the world’s literatures and cultures together through English, through the page. Yet it’s still really a greatly conflictive and angry world with a lot of division. Despite the destruction of such symbols as the Berlin Wall, we still have a popular media which celebrates divisions, perpetuates violence in a way which poetry laments. I’m wondering how the strife, and succession of diplomatic tragedies impinges upon work such as this anthology. Though it might seem like a naive question, I’m wondering if you see any role poetry might play in terms of some kind of international relations? Or, is poetry present to be just politely distantly “contrastive” to unfortunate “human” predicaments?

Jerome Rothenberg: Well, I don’t know if politely contrastive is right. Certainly, there’s a feeling that many of us have, that poetry is somehow “contrastive”: a way of being and speaking that marks a difference-and a resistance. In the second volume [of the anthology], even more than the first, we’ll be using terms like “resistance,” picking up from a [Charles] Olson essay on poetry as a form of resistance, post- World War Two, coming to it in that way. So the contrastive is a contrast by resistance. But, it’s very complicated out there, also, so in terms of the initial question, of whether things are brought together or are seen in their separate identities, obviously there’s a lot of fluctuation for any of us. That is, we presumably don’t want to bring things together into such a unanimous, single, entity that the individual differences (what makes for their distinctiveness) then disappear. To speak even in trite terms (as we often do) about the unity of all living beings (and so on) is, well, problematic. I mean, the real question is how to do that without imperializing it in some way or another, so that there are no longer differences, those differences which, of course, also have value? At the same time, one is both trying to stress difference and to somehow make it a difference that doesn’t end up in ethnic cleansing.

Pierre Joris: Ethnic cleansing is of course that totalitarian attempt to do away with difference, it is the One that pathologically refuses the many. Certainly poetry has some kind of role, however limited, to play, in pointing out, even in creating a place, a field - in Duncan’s sense, where the many can co-exist. You need difference to make it an interesting place- anything kinetic, i.e. any movement, anything negentropic happens only when there is a difference, a departure from equilibrium, from the same, thus a clinamen. That it always become something else: if you have only the one, you have only a kind of death, because you have no multiplication. You have nothing. I think in terms of poetry or poetics you could even, then, talk of, say, how poetry by field, composition by field, is a kind of map where this multiplicity, the many, can come in and be in a field that is not necessarily an arena of conflict. So that would be a kind of mapping of some of those questions. But poetry is not going to directly solve any of the questions.

Funkhouser: It’s like you can’t impose a heterogeneity, yet that’s sort of an over-arching project?

Rothenberg: Well, obviously, the kind of question that you raise could be raised about other forms of activity besides poetry. Or, it could be raised more generally as a great, extremely important political and social question. Even if one doesn’t bring art or poetry into it at all. What is a humanity in relation to which there can be crimes against it? What is a crime against humanity? It implies some notion of a humanity that can be abused in all of us-not as a generality but specifically in its particulars…as an individual but also as an ethnic entity. There’s no question that the book tries to emphasize, to foreground some of that as a tension that poetry also in some sense addresses. I don’t know if it sets itself off differently in the United States than elsewhere. This is a peculiar place, the United States: it’s a colonized place at its inception and grows out of that. It’s created at the expense of a given series of nations that lived here to start with.

Joris: But every place on the globe is like that. Is colonized by humans, who in their turn over time get invaded, displaced, wiped out, amalgamated, reconfigured and so on.

Rothenberg: But in the United States the Conquest-the colonization-was followed by a period of opening. The conquered land was opened to a multiplicity of peoples. Not always and not equally but with a lot of stops and starts. Obviously, at a certain point, there was open migration into the country, open borders. Around 1920, the borders were shut, you got a closed door policy. After the second world war, the borders were opened up again-or opened up a little more. Today there’s a strong movement to again close up the borders. But for some number of us, the openness to people’s cultures, multiplicities, is one of the terrific things about being here. And yet, for all of that, you still get these developing, these re-developing nativisms, and the sense that there are some within the country who are truly Americans, and there are some within that who are differently, or only secondarily…

Joris: When this reporter from the local newspaper interviewed me and I suggested that maybe there were no “true” Americans, that even the Indians had come here at some time from somewhere else, and that in that sense I was just as American or non-American as anyone else, he titled his article: “SUNY Poet is Fake American”!

Rothenberg: And I called you a “Luxembourg Yankee”…

Funkhouser: Along the same lines, and maybe this is more closely related to the book, I was thinking of how Nate Mackey, in his set of critical essays [ Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross- Culturality, and Experimental Writing ], coins the phrase discrepant engagement.” It’s a process by which he intermixes the work of writers which aren’t normally brought together under the same critical or creative lens, in a way of breaking down literary and cultural monoliths, which is what we are talking about. Your anthology is really outstanding because of its extensive cutting across genres and forms, cultures, in a way that no other collection of poetry in English has before. and there’s cuts and splices within the text which are delightfully surprising. So you have two different types of unusual editing going on. In the Introduction to the anthology, you talk a bit about this desire to tear down previously standing boundaries. I wanted to ask you about the radical postmodern editing that you do, and if you had any more to say about what were trying to trying to accomplish through the juxtapositions, what kind of discrepant engagement you might see this ethnopoetics project involved with. How much of it has to do with extending and livening up the anthology as a form?

Joris: You said it! [laughter by all]

Rothenberg: There’s a statement inherent in your question. I mean, yes - as you continued to unfold the question, I felt myself saying ‘yes, yes, yes.’ I didn’t know Nate Mackey’s term, but certainly his project is of particular interest. Not only because he’s an extraordinarily good poet and editor, but because he pulls off a really big poetry that precisely crosses genres and boundaries without at the same time losing its ‘Mackeyness.’ His openings are wonderful. There’s a big mind at work there. Unlike what one is fearful of in poets who base themselves in some particularly ethnic place but don’t cross over. Very often it closes them off, and ultimately all they talk about is that. I mean to say that there can be a narrowing. Sometimes that narrowing is so intense that something results from it and makes a poetry, and sometimes (most often, now that I think of it) it narrows into a sentimentality.

Joris: A closing down.

Rothenberg: When we saw [the Syrian poet] Adonis in Paris a few weeks ago, he was talking about the life of Arabic poetry and the obvious danger that the poetry there goes from being an instrument of exploration and vision (as it is for him and others) and becomes again an instrument for the perpetuation of fixed truths-in this case (as so often) of religious tradition. Those are two claims for poetry that are in necessary conflict.

Joris: Which is what, say, any fixed form poetry is still about. That is, anybody hanging on to, say, the sestina or trying to recover any other such fixed form-and that includes even the “fixed” form of the basic confessional creative writing class free verse poem. The desire in such work is for a bygone-or rather a fictitious-fixity in culture. The past is wet-dream from which you don’t want to wake up. When you look at any of those anthologies of either the new formalists I think they call themselves, or of the creative writing programs, what you are really confronted with is a kind of deep-seated fear, a tight-assedness about the very possibility of change-that the world is in an incredibly uncertain state, that you can’t make sense of it as it is, and have therefore to fall back on some supposed past cultural coherency. Now clearly, Nate’s sense, and our sense, is that we think the only way the world is going to cohere, or make it, rather, is if everything can be left in, in fact, has to be left in and any momentary form or formal coherence has to be made-up then and there, in situ with all the given. One has to create enough valences to make the dance possible.

Rothenberg: Nate’s project is, like ours, inherently intercultural. Which means that many things can interact, there’s an opening for the individual writer to move across boundaries. The “multicultural” thing- without an intercultural outlet-is trickier because in some ways “ethnic cleansing,” or apartheid, can also be based on a notion of the multicultural: this culture here, that culture there, this culture…

Funkhouser: That’s how it seems to work in many academic situations.

Joris: It’s identity politics, to define everything a certain way…

Rothenberg: It tends to split apart and separate and to never get to the other, the discrepant engagement.

Joris: It’s a truly useful term to think through these matters.

Funkhouser: I was wondering if you could say a few words specifically about the editing process. You have a big stack of pages here, you start with something, and you go somewhere. I know-since you’re separated geographically-you spend a lot of time talking on the phone, faxing, e- mailing texts, and so forth. The phone has been around for awhile, but the newer technologies are recently developed. We talked a little bit on- line the other night about that.

Rothenberg: We started to…

Funkhouser: I was wondering how that has all come to affect and play a role in your work as editors, and perhaps as poets, too.

Rothenberg: Well, I don’t know if I said it on-line, but I do sometimes have a feeling that if it were not for the ability we now have to communicate in all of these ways over this three thousand mile distance, that we would have ditched the project at some point. Maybe not, but we certainly would have had to handle it in another, more painful, probably less productive way. I think, really, to split the work up differently, where one of us, say, would have become totally responsible for each gallery…

Joris: One gallery each, or something of that order. The first volume was thought through and put together-at least the first editing-while we were together, while I was living on the west coast. The second one was put together at a distance. But it was the energy of the first one-we knew roughly what we wanted-and we certainly did get together on a number of occasions-like right now, the occasion is Jerry being here for a week-and he has come several times while I’ve gone to the West Coast on a number of occasions. Nothing replaces, in fact, the bull sessions, sitting around and looking and figuring out how we are going to do this. But indeed, the combination of the three, i.e. phone, fax, and e- mail…

Rothenberg: And almost no surface mail, “snail” mail…

Joris: Yes, indeed, there’s basically been no snail mail -

Rothenberg: We almost never put anything into an envelope. I think occasionally you may have sent me a package. I’ve got a fax machine, he’s got a fax machine…

Funkhouser: In a way it enables, just in the way that technology enables us to communicate with people instantaneously around the globe. It allows for things to be created in this new way. And although you’re probably mostly between the two of you dealing with the text, and maybe you have to deal with the publisher, and rights-through the phone and fax too-telecommunications seems to open up a more expedient method of getting things done.

Rothenberg: Dealing with publishers changes with fax. Part of the nitty-gritty in dealing with publishers is a question of setting prices for use of material, and there’s a certain amount of back and forth on that. If you have to do all of that by surface mail…

Joris: You’d be at it for years and years.

Rothenberg: This way, when a problem comes up, all publishers have fax, and increasingly we’re getting publishers who give their e-mail addresses, it can be addressed on the spot. In a day you can settle what would have taken weeks of negotiation back and forth.

Joris: I can’t be absolutely sure, but I’m relatively certain that the medium, however, has not in any profound way influenced the kind of book that we have generated. I think the anthology would be roughly the same if we had sat together in California these last three years.

Rothenberg: Yes. But even if we sat together in California, we would be using-or at least you would, because you’re much ahead of me on this- the net or the web as what it also is: an information gathering device. Even sitting together, in terms of reaching out, of finding what books by an author are available, of making contact with people to ask questions as they come up… On the spot.

Joris: In terms again, of speed and availability, yes, the OCLC’s WorldCat-the world wide on-line library search facility-has been a very useful tool. Having found what I need, I can use inter-library loan, and fill in at midnight my inter-library loan forms on the net, and have the book arrive in Albany ten days later. Yes, indeed, as an information gathering tool it has been fairly good. Not perfect, because a lot of the kind of material we are looking for is, of course, not material that is available in the various institutions of instruction. So there is also a fair amount of-what do you call it, footwork, that remains to be done- contacting people, getting contacted by people who knew of our project.

Rothenberg: But we pull in things like the Library of Congress, the big repositories are available. Books at least that have been registered and copyrighted.

Funkhouser: I’ve seen a couple of publications lately where I know the editors made extensive use of on-line file exchanges. It’s phenomenal, as many editors have e-mail, have the telecommunications, things comes together quickly, efficiently. It’s that sort of thing that makes me want to say to the people who resist it: ‘some really amazing human things can happen from using these tools.’

Joris: It goes both ways. You can do a lot of interesting things, but you can also lose a lot of time. Some study for basic computer in the workplace has also shown that traditionally a letter was written by a secretary once, then corrected by the boss, and that was it. Now, with the ease of computers and printers, most letters are re-written and printed out six times before they’re sent out. So, there’s also much redundancy here-and much paper wasting. But those are things that need getting used to. When I first used the machina, I was subscribing to so many lists that I could have spent twenty-four hours a day on-line, going into the RN [the Internet’s system of Usenet bulletin boards], looking at all the stuff that was happening. One could have gotten completely lost up there-and finally I think there’s more noise than info going on.

Rothenberg: Another interesting thing, particularly while some large part of the net remains free, or virtually free, to the individual user, is the global nature of the communication; that is to say, letters in the conventional sense can go between countries but also with electronic mail you can have something like real-time conversation that is simultaneously a written exchange with people across cultural and national boundaries. As long, that is, as there’s a language in common. So, getting on the POETICS list [an Internet discussion group, moderated by Charles Bernstein] was of immediate interest in that you had link-ups as a starter to the entire English-speaking world, between the States and New Zealand, Australia, England.

Funkhouser: At first, there were some Russian poets too, but they seem to have backed off. Arkadii Dragomoshenko was on the list. He said it was too much for him! But back to the anthology-and we did talk about this a bit the other night-what forms you see this global anthology opening up into?

Rothenberg: Do you mean if one were to go electronic with it?

Joris: Ideally, remember, we thought what we would have liked was for the first volume to open with a color fold-out of what is now reproduced in black-and-white inside- The [Prose Of The] Trans-Siberian [And Of Little Jeanne Of France], the [Sonia] Delaunay amp; Blaise Cendrars work originally conceived amp; done as a fold-out…

Rothenberg: It was a professional publication for the print trade [FINE PRINT] that in one issue had a nice fold out of The Trans-Siberian. We went to UC Press and said, ‘look, let’s have this fold-out.’ And they gave some consideration to it, but it would have cost such and such, and I guess they couldn’t or they wouldn’t raise the extra money specifically to do that. But foldouts are still within the book format.

Joris: But then adding to, expanding the book-format, we would have liked to see a CD-ROM at the end of the second volume. That would have been a way of pointing to this century’s technologies, and where they’re going.

Rothenberg: But publishing people, certainly in relation to this anthology (or looking back to Technicians of the Sacred), have spoken the word CD-ROM or recognized that as an alternative means of publication. And if one were doing a CD-ROM, or multimedia version of Millennium, there would be a whole range of things to do or show: the performance and sounding of poetry, the contemporary experiments with hypertext, the things that we were speaking about just now, like the use of color and other forms of visualization as part of poetry’s extended means. All of this is built into the medium itself, so what what’s irregular in a book (and what the press won’t therefore do) is simply there with CD-ROM-like color.

Funkhouser: There’s that great [John] Cage text, DIARY: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)…

Rothenberg: Yes, that original color version that [Dick] Higgins put out when he was doing Something Else Press. Although that goes into Wesleyan’s A Year From Monday in black, white and grey, screened.

Funkhouser: So, you see multimedia applications for the work.

Rothenberg: A multimedia version would be terrific.

Joris: It would be wonderful.

Rothenberg: The one problem I’ve always had with multimedia versions of things is that the text itself becomes difficult to read. I find it hard to read text off of a computer screen. But that’s to quibble, and the other things-to see figures and movements, to get a reasonable amount of background on a poet, to be able to see poets performing their own poetry, or whatever-would really be terrific. And as for the other problem, of reading poetry off the screen, you can always download and make a paper copy. Or you can publish the CD-ROM with an accompanying book, a printed text, the way you now have a compact disc with a printed insert.

Joris: I don’t think that the CD-ROM is going to supplant the book in any way. We need the book, and we need the CD-ROM too. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.

Funkhouser: I agree. That seems to be a sensible way to approach it anyway. I don’t know if the industry is really going to embrace it quite like that, but poets probably will.

I had a couple specific questions about the anthology, and a couple of questions about anthologies in general way. The first one is, what isn’t in the anthology that you would like to have put in?

Rothenberg: The [Blaise] Cendrars Trans-Siberian (as we’ve been talking about it), and other things in color. The Blake was of course going to be in color also. He did his plates in color. David Jones, all things being equal, would have been in there with an actual excerpt, in this case from In Parenthesis, rather than the commentary (as we have it) minus the work itself.

Joris: But then Faber amp; Faber asked for just extortionary amounts of money for that, and couldn’t be budged, so we had to cut the text out but leaving in the commentary to create the sense that ‘Here, David Jones should be’-a sort of tombeau. So, that kind of thing happened, but not too often, just with two famous patriarchs.

Rothenberg: There were a number of other authors that would have been good to have, but there were questions of money and, more positively, of wanting to or needing to be global, so that we couldn’t overdo it in any one region. That would have been great, say if we had 2,000 pages to work with, but barring that, then clearly you have to draw lines.

Joris: Both volumes, at one point in their stage were much bigger. We had to cut them down to size. They already wound up being bigger than what the initial contract stipulated, and even in a way what in our minds the initial book was supposed to be…

Rothenberg: But in another sense (and to be perfectly honest) some of the cutting can really make a better book of it. To keep expanding it makes it valuable as a repository, but sometimes when you shrink it, you get a corresponding intensity. It gets sharper in the process.

Joris: Sometimes we show a few of the individual works at a longer stretch, given that the long poem is something that interests us very much.

Rothenberg: We were going to do the complete Trans-Siberian of Cendrars, for example. Instead we did three or four big chunks of it, but not the complete thing. With Mallarmé’s Un Coup dés…

Joris: It really cannot be excerpted, and so we decided to do the whole thing, to make, in fact, the point from the start, that poems have a certain size, and that this century is not the century of the small, lyric poem as the only possible, or best, or even most central mode. We try, I think, to show this in a number of ways, even if we only get six or nine pages from a poet in at a time. Certainly it would have been nice…

Funkhouser: To stretch it out a bit…

Rothenberg: I know there are other things that ideally one would do that practically aren’t feasible.

Joris: Among other things of that order, we would have liked to travel to those parts of the world that we don’t know very well to gather materials. We’re certain that in India, say, there is interesting work happening that we don’t know about. It would be great to actually go there and search it out. But unhappily that kind of fieldwork is not possible.

Funkhouser: I was wondering if you had any symbolism in mind with the cover image of the first volume of the anthology? I was thinking of the irony, the fact that the word zenith emerges, the name of a future television giant, out of this 1914 painting.

Rothenberg: That will become even clearer, won’t it, over the next few years?

Funkhouser: And then how, this pair of anthologies really is a zenith of twentieth century poetry, in print, in English. So, you have two sides of that. As far as anthologies go, it really is the biggest collection, with the widest scope. I didn’t think of it as coincidental…

Rothenberg: The cover isn’t coincidental; it means something too, both what you’re pointing out in this particular instance and that for the first time with the cover image (unlike the inside of the book) we were offered full-color reproduction. In working that out with the designer we were digging out various images and I think we had it narrowed down to three…

Joris: There was an [Guillaume] Apollinaire, there was a [Kurt] Schwitters, and I think there was a [Max] Ernst. Clearly we were looking for someone from that part of the century in whose work intersections happened, specifically where art intersected with poetry. We didn’t want an “illustration,” just a nice picture on the cover to sell the book. We wanted it to be an indication of its content. Thus all our choices were somewhere connected with the kind of poetic moves the book chronicles.

Rothenberg: The Apollinaire was the only full-color of his and done by hand. It contains a nice green color. Apollinaire, Ernst, and Schwitters were all in there as poets, and we didn’t want to do part of The Trans Siberian again, seeing that [Marjorie] Perloff has it on the cover of her Futurist Movement, but I found a catalog of Delaunay’s work with the Zenith painting, so given the title and the content of the Cendrars poem and as another instance of the Cendrars/Delaunay collaboration, it seemed the right one for our purposes. And so far, if it matters, the one typo, or mistake that I’ve come across in the whole book is in the cover credit, which mentions Delaunay all right but not Cendrars. They’re supposed to fix that up for the second printing.

Funkhouser: Is the same image going to be on the second volume, too?

Rothenberg: No. For the second volume we’ll have to find something from a later time.

Joris: We have not figured it out.

Funkhouser: These things emerge…

Joris: This will be in a year’s time, roughly.

Rothenberg: Tom Phillips…

Joris: Yes, Tom Phillips is a good possibility…

Funkhouser: It almost makes me think of what will be, a century hence, the zenith. I’m wondering if it’s going to be more visual, the form such an anthology will take now that people are working with computers. It seems like it will be different. The anthology of twenty-first century poetry…

Rothenberg: We assert that this is a preliminary to the twenty-first century, yes. But I can’t tell you what the twenty-first century will be. It’s one I expect I will have very little to do with…

Joris: You’re going to have printed matter, too. People have had print/writing around for three or four thousand years. Again, it’s not an either/or question, but a both/and situation. They may have the book and they may have the videocassette, or however the technology will pan-out. Have the CD-ROM and the laserdisc or the hologram…

Funkhouser: VR [virtual reality] goggles…

Rothenberg: Also, within the next few years we will see the commercial, big-time version of all of this coming out. We’re just first getting into it, but it won’t take more than two or three years and the industry will have made its imprint on all of these thing that we’re talking about. Obviously, that will then reflect back on the presentation of poetry and so on.

Funkhouser: Now that Microsoft and NBC have partially merged…

Joris: There are some number of ways and reasons in that. Whatever the iconoclastic, the sabotage edge of poetry has to be, it may very well have to go back to some other form of dissemination.

Rothenberg: Yeah, but there’s television, and people do video…even where they lack the means for distribution. It’s just that the early promise of-I remember when video was first coming in and hadn’t yet been made into a major public vehicle, various artist friends were saying, “Ok, we have this new medium (amp; largely unused) medium where we can disseminate art and poetry, and so forth,’ and then suddenly you realized that around it, this mammoth new entertainment industry was growing up. How many years has that been going on? Twenty?

Joris: In the late sixties, video became hot. I still have the first issue of Radical Software. Which is, I think, sixty-nine. Maybe early seventy. Yes, that promise has not been kept. If you look at the video art of that period, it’s very static. One thing was, you didn’t have the editing possibilities you had with filming. I know friends who experimented feverishly with video-only to go back to making movies. editing made video a difficult medium whereas film’s cut-amp;-glue editing, i.e. montage-and collage-had always been core elements of twentieth-century art and it’s aesthetic sensibility. This only changed when computerized, digital editing came in. So there was this odd decade-long gap where you had the kind of avant-garde possibility offered by a new medium, but remaining unfulfilled because another piece of hardware was missing.

Funkhouser: It will be interesting to see where it goes.

You’ve probably noticed that there have been a few, in the last couple of years, more anthologies coming out. There has been a trend towards anthologies. I’m wondering if this might be some-like Michael Joyce and Jay Bolter are describing things as ‘The Late Age of Print.’ Now, even if it’s hyperbole, there’s always going to be the alphabetic text that goes along with sonic or visual interpretations we have. It probably is coincidental that people are trying to lay down some definitive texts in print. That’s one way I’ve been looking at this-why are all these anthologies coming out? Why is there this need for the definitive…

Rothenberg: Well, let’s say within the anthology world-there has been a big production of anthologies for a student market. And those keep getting churned out. What’s been notable for us over the last five or six years (maybe less) is the appearance of at least several big anthologies touching on those areas the more canonical anthology makers have marginalized. Specifically, in the American instance, the anthologies from [Eliot] Weinberger, [Paul] Hoover, and [Douglas] Messerli. And what we’re doing. Suddenly, for the moment, all of those are in print, and it represents an availability of what had not been available since the Donald Allen anthology [ The New American Poetry ], which itself had had its life, and had gone out of print a couple of times, with one or two attempts to revive it. I don’t know what version of it is now in print, although I heard that someone was going to reprint the original version. But suddenly there are a number of these books that we can feel a kinship to, and I think it’s partly that some people who see poetry in a truly contemporary and radical way have now reached a certain age and certain position and are able to insert themselves successfully into that kind of work. I’m also very curious about our own sponsorship by the Comparative Literature Association at the upcoming MLA [Modern Language Association] meetings [in Chicago], which I’m a little suspicious of, while recognizing how little that is compared to what the academic world has regularly embraced and sponsored. I don’t know what we’re going to find when we actually show up there, but I expect it to be friendly enough or (at the worst) indifferent. I suspect that it’s a few people in the CLA, Marjorie [Perloff], and some others, who are friendly to this project, and have therefore allowed us their space and their sponsorship. But that’s certainly something such that I had never anticipated.

Joris: Well, we are coming to the end of the century, and our first volume covers the period from 1897 (Mallarmé’s Throw of the Dice) to, roughly, WWII. So that’s a relatively safe period, by academic standards-it’s history. And what we’ve done is to discard all the dross and dregs that had accumulated for any number of reasons to older anthologies covering that period, while adding those poets amp; movements willfully or otherwise left out previously. It is a new look at and over what should by now be a familiar landscape-and as such should be a readable proposition for anybody with intelligence- and I guess some curiosity and passion-in the academe, i.e. to anybody who doesn’t have a completely conservative approach or believes that only Eliot amp; Stevens should be rescued from that period. The second volume will be a different, more complicated matter. It covers a period closer to us, and because of that there will be a range of concerns on both sides, the conservative and the progressive. On one side that will take the shape of: ‘How come you only have [Charles] Olson and [Robert] Duncan and [Robert] Creeley there, and there is no Robert Lowell.’ Or you can replace those names by any number of other ones. That kind of thing is sure to come up.

Rothenberg: Once we’re into the second volume, we’re out of the territory where there’s anything like a consensus between us and them, at least us and them on the American side. But on other things also besides the selection of poets. One of the things, for example, that breaks strongly with the more academic view of the earlier part of the century is the attention that we give to movements. Within the literary world-though not within the art world, certainly-there has been an attempt (a consensus in fact) to forget most of that. I would think that people are going to be bothered by our foregrounding of the movements. The attention we’ve given in both volumes to the more radical forms of poetry is (without our being limited to that) another crucial difference. We move it from one half of the century to the other, which is somewhat impeded by our format. We have a project here that was done one volume at a time, so that we have a break at mid-century and aren’t able adequately to carry people across it. At the beginning of the second volume, we’ll have a small section of continuities, but a lot of late work by some very notable figures will be missing. In practice, we would have ended up not carrying through on that. In practice, for example, we’re not able bring in any of the later Basil Bunting, although we represented him with earlier lighter work in volume one, while thinking we would later come to Briggflatts. If we had known that we wouldn’t, we could have non-chronologically brought Briggflatts into volume one. On the other hand, we have early [Andre] Breton in volume one and late Breton in volume two; we have early [Ezra] Pound and we have late Pound; and early and late [Gertrude] Stein; and a number of others. There’s a limit to how much we can get into a second volume-how much from the first period we can carry along in that way. If we had had the leisure, the patience, to do the entire thing without a break, and then to publish it, we might have done it differently. We had to do it this way, I think, in order to ensure publication, about which I think we were always, until it happened, rather uncertain. That means I kept on thinking, ‘Something is going to fuck this up, let’s get something out’-so, rather than working on a single sixteen-hundred pages…

Joris: We completed one volume, then got that volume to the publisher before proceeding with the second one. In fact, early along we were playing with a number of possibilities, but the various contingencies of the actual work shaped the project into what it has become.

Rothenberg: At one point, actually, it was a three-volume set, but they would have been shorter volumes…

Funkhouser: The other day, one of the off-hand comments you made on the IRC was that the second volume was “truly awesome,” and I was wondering if that is because the content is more provocative, or whether it was the project that you have ahead of you?

Rothenberg: Dealing with the amount of content that we’re aware of for the second half of the century is very difficult: the number of poets that are now meaningful for us. As you look back to the earlier part of the century, things have…

Joris: Decanted… [laughter]

Rothenberg: You’re not overwhelmed back then by the number of people that you have to deal with. As we come up to the contemporary, until finally, we found, with the more contemporary (and I mean the very contemporary, the younger contemporary), who do you pick, say, as representative of poets born after 1975 or something? Pick out one person here or there, or what?

Joris: You can’t. We knew from the beginning that it would be difficult to end the book exactly because of that problem. In a way, considerations of space help us solve it. We’re probably going to be stuck with the fifties as the birth-decade for the youngest poets in the book.

Funkhouser: That leaves room for the next anthology…

Joris: It becomes that, a possible opening out from where we end… The trouble is, coming to today, that one is aware of too much work, and one is interested in too much work. To sort that out, i.e. to evaluate all of the current production at this point is not feasible for us-nor is it really our brief for this project. It also poses the interesting question of how one is able-if one is able at all-to read amp; evaluate the work of much younger writers.

Funkhouser: Do you have any crazy ideas for projects after the second volume? [laughter by all]

Joris: Take a rest, read all the non-twentieth-century poetry books, all the novels amp; non-fiction books that have accumulated these last six years. And maybe write a bunch of small, witty, elegant poems…as a kind of counter-move… But seriously, essentially to get back to my own work…

Rothenberg: After every anthology, I said, ‘That’s it, never again!’ But this should be it.

Joris: [Jokingly] It’s the anthology to end all anthologies!

Funkhouser: Seems like it…

Joris: We’ll wait to the next century…

Rothenberg: An anthology of everything.


Chris Funkhouser edited The Little Magazine Volume 21 CD- ROM, and is responsible for two on-line poetry and poetics journals, Descriptions of an Imaginary Universe and Passages. His work has recently appeared in Talisman, Hambone, and Callaloo. His hypertext, POETRY WEBS, was produced in conjunction with the 1996 European Media Arts Festival.

          News: Washington’s Cassie Strickland wins the 2015 Senior CLASS Award® for women’s volleyball        

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (December 17, 2015) – University of Washington libero Cassie Strickland has been selected as the 2015 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. A model student-athlete both on and off the volleyball court, Strickland is a three-time Academic All-Pac 12 honoree who earned 2014 Pac 12 Libero of the Year honors in just her first season in the position before going on to earn AVCA All-America honors as a senior.

“I’m extremely honored to receive this award,” said Strickland, a four-year starter for the Huskies. “Being a student-athlete is one of the hardest balancing acts out there. Here at the University of Washington I learned how to balance my school, sport and social life with help from my coaches and teammates, and from the demands that my schedule placed on me. The networking I was exposed to here with academic advisors and alumni gave me incentive to strive to be the best I could be in all aspects of my life.”

After starting at outside hitter for her first two seasons, Strickland switched to libero in 2014 as a junior and made an immediate impact, becoming one of the top liberos in the country. This season, along with her AVCA All-America honors, Strickland was named to the All-Pacific North Region and All-Pac 12 teams while also setting the school record for sets played (462) and helping her team to a share of the Pac 12 Title. As part of the winningest class in Husky volleyball history, Strickland also led her team to 117 victories in her career, including those earned in UW’s trip to the 2013 Final Four and this year’s Elite Eight.

“I can’t even count how many people come up to me and tell me that Cassie is their hero,” said Head Coach Keegan Cook. “Hundreds of young women look up to Cassie, and having a player like her for an inspiration can make a huge difference in an athlete’s life. Cassie has a unique combination of passion, humility and focus in every phase of her life, and I’m excited to see where she goes from here. I expect her to continue to lead in her community, her family and her chosen profession.”

Also a standout in the classroom, Strickland has maintained a 3.21 GPA entering her senior year. As an anthropology major, she demonstrated her commitment to her future career by participating in a study abroad trip to Tahiti to study the effects of colonization on communities. While there, she also taught at volleyball and basketball clinics, and she one day hopes to use her experience in her father’s homeland of Samoa by using athletics to empower the country’s native children.

“One of the biggest lessons I’m going to take with me from my experience here is appreciating what life gives you,” said Strickland, the first student-athlete from the University of Washington to win a Senior CLASS Award. “Sometimes as student-athletes we allow ourselves to expect to be treated to things instead of appreciating what we are being given. Because of the people I am surrounded by here, I am reminded to be thankful for everything I have, and, in turn, it makes me want to give back in any way that I can to my family, friends, and community.”

Known by teammates and coaches as a fearless player with endless energy, Strickland models her strength of character by being a positive, encouraging teammate and caring for others on her campus and in her community. In addition to athletics and academics, Strickland makes community outreach a priority by participating in local Coins for Kids fundraisers and community clean-up projects.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we congratulate Cassie on being selected as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “She has modeled excellence and perseverance on and off the court, and her desire to make a positive impact on others makes her a wonderful model for others to follow.”

Who were the Tories? Who were the Loyalists: I had very little knowledge of them until reading a booklet by the same title which was a presentation by Professor Wilbur H. Siebert, Ohio State University, reprinted from Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1, January 1919, Columbus, Ohio. For a few weeks I will be quoting from this booklet which is out of print and copyright. But first, two definitions:

Tory: According to Merriam-Webster: a member or supporter of a major British political group of the 18th and early 19th centuries favoring at first the Stuarts and later royal authority and the established church and seeking to preserve the traditional political structure and defeat parliamentary reform — compare whig.

Loyalist: Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men; Patriots called them "persons inimical to the liberties of America".[1] They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution. Prominent Loyalists repeatedly assured the British government that many thousands of loyalists would spring to arms and fight for the crown. The British government acted in expectation of that, especially in the southern campaigns in 1780-81. In practice, the number of loyalists in military service was far lower than expected. Across the new United States Patriots watched suspects very closely, and would not tolerate any organized Loyalist opposition. Many outspoken or militarily active loyalists were forced to flee, especially to their stronghold of New York City. (Wikipedia)

Transylvania Company, association formed to exploit and colonize the area now comprising much of Kentucky and Tennessee. Organized first (Aug., 1774) as the Louisa Company, it was reorganized (Jan., 1775) as the Transylvania Company. At Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River, the Cherokee deeded (Mar. 17, 1775) to Richard Henderson and other members of the association all the territory embraced by the Ohio, Kentucky, and Cumberland rivers. Henderson had already dispatched Daniel Boone to lead the way to the Kentucky River and, with additional settlers, soon followed Boone over his Wilderness Road to Boonesboro, the first settlement. Henderson hoped to make Transylvania, as the region was called, a proprietary colony similar to Pennsylvania and Maryland, but the project did not have British approval and, more importantly, was immediately denounced by both Virginia and North Carolina, within whose chartered limits Transylvania lay. A provisional, democratic government was organized in May, 1775, but the Continental Congress ignored Transylvania's plea to be recognized as the 14th colony. Virginia created (Dec., 1776) Kentucky co. in its portion of Transylvania and voided (Nov., 1778) the company's land titles there. Henderson then turned to the development of the Cumberland River area, employing James Robertson to lead this project. However, North Carolina also voided (1783) this section of the grant. Virginia and North Carolina each awarded Henderson and his associates 200,000 acres (81,000 hectares) for their labor and expenses in promoting western colonization. (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.)

“From the days of its earliest settlement down through the American Revolution, the Kentucky country was the scene of proprietary projects or hostile activities by Loyalists, several of whom were first connected with Fort Pitt and afterward with the British port at Detroit. It is needless to say that the hostile activities included more or less successful efforts at instigating Indian depredations against the Kentucky pioneers, and contemplated almost from the beginning. Tory leadership for tribal contingents of sufficient size and bloodthirstiness to accomplish effectually the single but protracted task of freeing a favorite hunting ground from occupation by alien intruders and settlers, as viewed by the Indians, or of ridding the back country of dangerous rebels, as viewed by the resentless partisans of the crown. Such Tory leadership, we shall see further on, was to be provided, with serious consequences and even graver dangers for the colonists, after the flight of a group of Loyalist conspirators from Fort Pitt to Detroit in the spring of 1778.

The proprietary projects of these Loyalists began in July, 1773, with the survey of four thousand acres of land directly opposite the Falls of the Ohio by Captain Thomas Bullitt for Dr. John Connolly, a resident near Fort Pitt, who had previously been a surgeon’s made with the British forces, and was now in a fair way to be rewarded for his past – and future – services by this substantial grant. Connolly’s object was to found a town at the Falls, and to that end Captain Bullitt laid out a town plan in August. On the tenth of the following December, Governor Dunmore of Virginia issued a patent to Connolly for this land. (Proceedings, American Antiquarian Society, Oct. 1909, 5, 99: R. T. Durrett, Filson Club Publications, No. 8: The Century of Louisville (Louisville, Ky., 1893), 23, 24, 26, 27, 131-133)

In less than two months thereafter Dunmore was employing the recipient of this patent, who was captain commandant of militia on the upper Ohio, to seize Fort Pitt and make it the judicial seat of a new county. (West Augusta), in total disregard of Pennsylvania’s prior authority in that region. Connolly also carried on aggressions against the neighboring Indians, but did not neglect to join with his colleague, Col. John Campbell who had also received an extensive grant at the Falls, in advertising lots for sale in their prospective town in April, 1774. In the following June the deputy superintendent of Indian affairs at Fort Pitt, Capt. Alexander McKee, was recompensed for his service in the French and Indian War by a grant of two thousand aces, which was surveyed for him by James Douglas on the south branch of Elkhorn Creek. It was probably about the same time that Simon Girty, who was associated with these men as interpreter to the Six Nations, secured three tracts of three hundred aces each, all in the Kentucky country. (W. H. Siebert, The Tories of the Upper Ohio in Biennial Report, Archives and History, W. Va. 1911-1913, (Charleston, W. Va., 1914, 38: Thwaite and Kellogs, eds., Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio, (Madison, Wis., 1912), 184; Filson Club Publications No. 8, 28)

Connolly was soon instructed by his patron to promote the royal interests among the tribesmen. Accordingly, in June, 1775, he met with the Delaware and Mingo chiefs and won them over, if we may credit his Narrative. He also asserts that he entered into a secret compact with a group of his friends, most of whom were militia officers and magistrates of West Augusta County, in support of the king, on condition that he should procure authority to raise men. He was in this season also that Connolly and Campbell sent a few men to occupy their lands at the Falls of the Ohio, these persons being instructed by Capt. Bullitt that they were to pay no attention to the title of the Transyvania Company, which had been secured by unauthorized purchase from the Indians. This was in keeping with Governor Dunmore’s proclamation of the previous March, declaring the Company’s purchase to be contrary to the regulations of the king and therefore illegal. (Biennial Report, Archives and Hitory, W. Va., 1911-1914, 28; G. W. Ranck, Filson Club Publications No. 16: Boonesborough (Louisville, Ky., 1901), 180-183; Proceedings, American Antiquarian Society, Oct. 1909, 15.)” If Connolly could have carried out his project for this settlement, we may be sure that it would have resulted in the establishment of a Tory outpost at the Falls. Either before, or perhaps after, the inception of Connolly and Campbell’s settlement, Joseph Browster, a Tory of Westmoreland County, Pa., went to Kentucky and, according to his widow’s testimony in 1788, purchased a thousand acres of improved land. As he intended to remove to his new estate, he sold his farm in Pennsylvania and, while journeying to the West with his family, was attacked and forced to take refuge at St. Vincent. From this French village, or some other point, Browster attempted to go to Detroit, but as killed en route by his Indian guide. His family remained at St. Vincent for three years, and was then conducted to the British post by savages. In support of her testimony, which was given before the British commissioners for the settlement of Loyalist claims, Mrs. Browster produced a brief letter from Dr. Connolly to the effect that at one time he had suffered imprisonment with Joseph Browster, and that the latter had been murdered by Indians while on his way to Detroit. (Second Report, Bureau of Archives, Ont. (1904), pt. 1,177:).

Late in May, 1775, the House of Delegates of the Transylvania Company held its session at Boonesborough. One of the delegates from Harrodsburg was the Rev. John Lythe of the Anglican church, who conducted a religious service on Sunday, the twenty-seventh, under an ancient elm in the hollow where the House had been assembling. Here in the presence of Episcopalians and Dissenters alike, the customary prayers for the king and royal family of England were recited for the only time, so far as known, on Kentucky soil. Within the week following the news of the battle of Lexington was brought to Boonesborough and its three sister settlements on the south side of the Kentucky River, evoking at once the undivided sympathy of the colonists, including their frontier missionary, for the revolutionists. (Filson Club Publications, No. 16m, 28, 30, 31).

To be continued.

          Candida Yeast & CF        
I have long said that the role candida plays in a CF'ers health is critical and, I believe, long overlooked. Here is an article that seems to point to the fact I may not be 'that far out there' after all.

Medical Mycology:

Patients with CF are at an increased risk of acquiring Candida due to use of inhaled steroids,
diabetes mellitus and lifelong antibiotic treatment however despite its frequent isolation from
sputum, oral and vaginal swabs, it remains unclear what such culture actually means in
practical terms for CF clinicians

Candida as the second most frequent fungal growth to Aspergillus in the CF airway and such
growth has been associated with more severe CF where patients receive prolonged treatment
with antibiotics, glucocorticoids and probiotics (9-12). I

whilst invasive airway infection is a rare event, extent
of airway damage from hypersensitivity phenomena remain unknown ............{{This airway sensitization is what I experience as I have never cultured it in my airways but, due to chronic colonization of the gut I believe it increased my overall inflammatory levels in my body and causes reactive airways as well as increased allergies and chemical sensitivities}}

((risk factors for orally recovery include))....
include poor dentition, older age, diabetes mellitus, use of inhaled or systemic steroids,
smoking, malignancy and frequent antibiotic use. Oral thrush usually presents as discomfort
associated with a dry mouth and associated dysphagia. In some cases, altered taste is
experienced. The diagnosis is usually straightforward and by direct observation of white
membraneous plaques on the buccal mucosa or soft palate.

. In our own institution’s experience, we encounter regular instances of oral
candidiasis annually following courses of antibiotics but which resolve after a short burst of
anti-fungal treatment (Fluconazole). We recommend microbiological confirmation by
scrapings in all cases unless white plaques are directly observed on oral examination. This is
because some of the symptoms described are not specific to oral thrush but can be found in
associated vitamin deficiencies (B6, B12) or by simple blistering. We recommend that CF
patients attending routine clinic be screened for risk factors and questioned at three-monthly
intervals with regard to the symptoms of oral thrush including frequency of sore or dry
mouth, crusting lips, dysphagia, dysphonia or hoarseness and difficulties with taste.

Despite this clear lack of available
literature, we strongly recommend screening questions for infection at all CF clinic visits anddepending on clinical findings, anti-fungal treatment prescribed either empirically or
following microbiological confirmation.


A more commonly encountered systemic infection associated with Candida involves the
presence of a “port”. Candida species in this setting are
recognized as the most common infecting organism associated with a port resullting in

, a view of many clinicians and it may be
that the organism acts as nothing more than a microbiological marker of disease severity in
CF. To challenge this paradigm, we are currently prospectively evaluating whether airway
colonization by Candida albicans may act pathogenically by affecting clinical outcomes in
CF including FEV1, BMI, hospitalizations for infective exacerbations and sputum
colonization with Pseudomonas or Aspergillus species. Notably, a previous cross sectional
analysis of a European CF registry did show that Candida albicans colonization was
associated with 5-10% predicted decrease in pulmonary function


Bacteria and fungi are found together in a variety of
environments but particularly in biofilms, where adherent species interact through diverse
signaling mechanisms. In the host C. albicans can often be found growing with bacteria in
polymicrobial biofilms and interspecies interactions occur that can impact on the transition of
C. albicans between virulent and nonvirulent states (27). Under conditions of immune
dysfunction, such as in the CF lung, colonising C. albicans can become an opportunistic
Bacteria and fungi are found together in a variety of 
environments but particularly in biofilms, where adherent species interact through diverse 
signaling mechanisms. In the host C. albicans can often be found growing with bacteria in 
polymicrobial biofilms and interspecies interactions occur that can impact on the transition of 
C. albicans between virulent and nonvirulent states (27). Under conditions of immune 
dysfunction, such as in the CF lung, colonising C. albicans can become an opportunistic 

          Quick Glimpse at Globalization        
[Storm rising over the city]

I'll be covering globalization this week in one of my courses after introducing it last week. Globalization is a really complex issue, so there won't be time to look at all of it. Instead we'll briefly sort through a couple of main themes. Here's an overview if you keep hearing about that term and are curious. I refer a few times to a textbook I sometimes use (though not this semester) because I find the presentation or examples used by the author for certain aspects of globalization helpful.

Brief History

While there may have been (semi-)globalized economic systems in the past, our present version begins with the colonization of various societies by Western European powers from the 1600s through the early 1900s, including the colonization and integration of larger parts of North America by the former British colonies that became known as the United States of America. The exploitation or outright seizure of resources by those colonized or displaced helped to fuel the economies of these emerging Western powers while creating conditions of social, economic, and political tension in the colonies themselves which has in turn contributed to economic and political instability in many former colonies over the centuries, especially during the 20th century. While the United States and others attained liberation in the 1700s, many colonies in what is known today as Latin America weren't liberated until the 1800s. Asian and African colonies remained under European control until well into the 1900s (the scramble to colonize Africa was still going on in the first decades of the 20th century).

Those who favor modernization theory claim that the problems of former colonies are either the natural growing pains of economic development or are caused by failure to adopt certain political and economic institutions favored by the Western powers. These developing nations need guidance and funding to modernize and grow like the US and Western Europe, so institutions such as the IMF(International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, largely funded and controlled by those same Western powers, provide economic advice and loans to help reduce poverty around the globe. Many countries are unable to pay back their loans and are saddled with debt, requiring that the terms of their loans be renegotiated. This renegotiation frequently comes with strings attached concerning efforts to combat what the lenders see as waste and corruption. 

However, some of these terms follow neoliberal ideals which see any constraints on doing business and making profit as obstructions to economic growth. Under the modern neoliberal view, markets should exist for practically every area of human life, a world in which everything becomes a commodity. This includes things such as fresh air, clean water, and environmental conservation. Markets and the market value of commodities, as determined by consumer demand and the availability of a particular item, are seen as the best guide for human activity since humans are rational actors who will behave according to enlightened self-interest. Anything truly bad or destructive will be weeded out because it is impractical, unsustainable, or offense to a sufficient number of consumers. By increasing the scope of markets and ramping up commodification(turning things into commodities -- things to be bought and sold in the marketplace), economic growth will lead to increased prosperity for all, which is turn is supposed to inherently promote democratic ideals and greater individual autonomy and choice. The best chance for solutions to human problems comes from unleashing the creativity of inventors as entrepreneurs.

Critics of neoliberal policies, such as those who favor development theory, suggest that institutions such as the IMF and World Bank are misguided or inefficient and not addressing the roots of the problems generating poverty but rather are reinforcing them. The stronger critics suggest that while such institutions and their controlling member states claim to be in favor of reducing poverty, their true agenda is to continue the economic exploitation of other nations bycolonizing or re-colonizing many parts of the world by economic means. The political and economic instability of the former colonies in places like Africa are attributed largely to continued interference by Western Powers. 

The broad Marxian critiqueof unrestrained Capitalism is also regularly applied to institutions and laws favoring neoliberal policies. These policies include cutting public welfare or subsidies supporting education, healthcare, and local (as opposed to international) economic activity. Instead, austerity policies are favored to reduce government spending. Economic activity favoring international trade, such as allowing increased foreign investment, lifting environmental protection policies, and producing goods that can be sold on the international market (rather than being used in country) are also promoted. Those opposed to the neoliberal view of economic growth claim that these measures are cruel and frequently counter-productive, making it harder for such poorer nations to get out of debt. Criticisms of such policy call for debt forgiveness, while several governments in South America, for instance, have turned more toward a socialist stance (public or government control or ownership of national resources and spending) by privatizing things such as oil fields and placing heavier restrictions on foreign investment.

The World Systems Theory was developed to try to place such competing views in context. Core nations (also known as first world or developed countries) control most of the economic capital and influence the focus of economic activity, whereas peripheral nations (a.k.a. developing or third world countries) have less influence and tend to provide labor and raw resources at low cost. Semi-peripheral nations occupy the space in between. The issue for this view isn't which policies promote economic growth or the welfare of people, but how the global economy is interconnected.

 Fiat Currency and the Need for Growth

The transition from commodity money to fiat money (a.k.a. debt or credit money) in the US and in other places around the world took place over decades and had important consequences. One is that the varying values from place to place of the commodities used to back money (usually precious metals like gold) no longer mattered. Hence fluctuations in the prices of those commodities could no longer directly affect the value of printed and coined money. Another is that money had value to buy goods and pay debts because it was backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government rather than on how much of a particular commodity a government had to back the value of its currency. Which is all well and good except for two competing concerns: the welfare of the average citizen and the pursuit of wealth.

According to neoliberal economic theory and related views, the pursuit of wealth leads to an increase in the welfare of the average citizen. The opposing view suggests that more often than not the pursuit of wealth mostly favors those who are already privileged and wealthy to begin with. The responsibility of the state for the welfare of its citizens, known as governmentality, therefore places the state in a bind. There are potential advantages for most or all citizens if there is increased economic growth, but without redistribution mechanisms such as taxes, social protections such as workplace regulations, and public welfare programs and initiatives like public schools, public roads, public police and fire services, etc, these benefits will reach fewer people. In the US, what is known as "conservative" politics and its economic view is largely synonymous with neoliberal economics (the latter named for freedom of the markets) while progressive (and to some extent liberal) politics tends more toward focusing on public welfare. 

This isn't to say that only one side is concerned with either economic growth or the public welfare, it's just a matter of how one sees relationship between those two concerns. Nor do these views align completely with political parties in the US. While there are few if any progressives left in the nationally elected members of the contemporary Republican Party, the party has had more progressive leaning members in the past. There are quite a few economically "conservative" members of the Democratic Party holding national office. Much of the current political fighting around the US is centered largely on which political and economic decisions will best balance promoting economic growth while adequately benefiting the nation's citizens.

Growth policies
, which tend to be rooted in promoting the desire to accumulate wealth, require that people spend money on commodities. The more money there is, the more people can buy. No problem, because the government can just print more, right? Yet people need a reason to spend that money, like more commodities to spend that money on. Or debt with interest to pay off. Or maybe both. Because if people don't spend money in a fiat currency system the economy doesn't grow. Besides, the money itself has no value if it can't be spent on things that people see as valuable.

What if we print more money anyway without more reasons or opportunities to spend it? There will be more money around without more stuff to use it for, and since money only has value because it is spendable, it loses value. That in turn means it takes more money to buy stuff than it used to. What was once a 50 cent gallon of milk now costs a dollar. Then two dollars. Then three. And so on. This is called inflation. Inflation can also be caused by having the same amount of money but far fewer things to spend it on. The opposite effect, which for a time increases the buying power of money within a society, is called deflation. Monetary policies are concerned with managing the value of currency, and in the US such policy is determined by a private institution known as the Federal Reserve (a.k.a. "the Fed"). 

To give an example of why this matters, when inflation increases and money is less valuable, those who hold debts and are collecting interest may be paid back but they are being paid back with dollars that are worth less than the ones they lent. People repaying loans benefit in some ways, but may suffer from higher prices. Yet policies to control inflation have consequences and not all effects of inflation are negative. To give a related example, by lowering interest rates you can attempt to give banks to use their money for something other than lending, but you also reduce the rate at which people with savings accounts are rewarded for placing their money in the bank.

So, we can't just print more money for economic growth. We have to have more spending, which tends to mean more stuff to sell and new markets for that stuff (more people to sell it to). And we can't forget debt. People borrowing money to buy a house, a car, a college education, to start a business, to pay for hospital bills, and so on. And don't forget that companies and various levels of government borrow too. Our current economy grows as a kind of bet on the future, including the bet that we can keep finding new commodities and markets to make up for the debt we've already accrued. The modern economic system can't work without such growth. In fact, individual businesses as well as national economies must continue to grow at a minimal rate every year (~3%) in order to avoid default. Using credit to buy stuff allows the economy to grow, but it means you have to try to create additional wealth to pay it back (due to inflation as well as any interest you may owe). And besides, even if we didn't have debt and inflation, without spending there isn't new wealth, and remember, the system is meant to produce more and more wealth.

This is where capital conversion comes in -- converting things into "stuff" that people will spend money on. And because we humans live in a partly artificial social reality, we can readily attach meaning and value to things that have none or believe that trading things of high intrinsic survival value (forests, clean air and water, etc) into products that only have value as a convenience or status item, an item that may even have a harmful side effect, is a good deal. In his book "Cultural Anthropology: A Problem-Based Approach" Richard Robbins refers to social, political, and natural forms of capital (capital = resources of value) that can be converted into economic capital (i.e. money). He includes reciprocity, social networks, and family/community functions under social capital, access to information, access to government, and freedom of expression under political capital, and forests, water, minerals, and air under natural capital

Robbins uses the work of sociologist Robert Putnam to suggest that social capital is being converted into economic capital because people spend more time on TV, video games, and the internet than family time. People live further apart and spend more time driving to work for their jobs, further reducing community and family involvement. With more family members working more hours, there is again less social capital in favor of producing more economic capital (more of which goes to the employer than to the worker). The conversion of political and natural capital to economic capital is a bit easier to see.

Think about the "stuff" people try to sell that doesn't even require much physical material, such as insurance policies or those custom avatars on internet games. The point isn't that these things are bad, but rather than new commodities and market to support them can be as varied as the human imagination will allow.

The Consequences of Economic Growth and Development

There are consequences, though, to growth-based market economies based on fiat currency and a desire for wealth. In order to keep consumers from being upset and to make products cheaper, companies often exeternalize their costs. That means that the production, distribution, or consumption of a product has additional costs in social, political, or natural capital that aren't paid for by either the seller or the consumer (and is part of the capital conversion process mentioned above). It is up to nature or society to absorb those costs. If you sell fast food, you don't have to pay extra for the medical costs of obesity. That cost is externalized. If you dump pollution from your factory, you are externalizing the cost of a cleaner manufacturing process or proper disposal. And speaking of disposal, who pays for all of the garbage created by all of the "stuff" we buy and throw away?

Other costs include the effects of the economic system on other societies and their workers who may face long hours and dangerous work environments. And again with the natural world, which either to make profit or as a consequence of poverty is often degraded and polluted as another externalized cost of doing business. The effects tend to be more severe in peripheral nations, who may face economic sanctions for maintaining environmental protections (see the discussion of neoliberal policies above). Yet nation-states feel they must keep economic growth increasing even as it means the costs of growth conflict more and more with the welfare of citizens and environmental sustainability. In his textbook Robbins suggests that lip-service to protecting the poor and the environment, deferring to international institutions like the World Bank, and allowing corporate media to spin and confuse the issues involved are three ways democratic states avoid tackling the negative consequences of growth. Do you agree with him? Can you think of other ways states may dodge their responsibilities to their citizens?

And even if a state does what is best for its own citizens and environment, what about other people and places around the world? This is another often over-looked aspect of globalization. In an already inter-dependent planetary ecology and an increasingly inter-dependent social and economic world, thinking strictly in national terms is inadequate. While solutions must be implemented regionally and locally, they must be coordinated globally. Yet competing concerns over economic growth continue to hamper things like meaningful climate treaties (see the current protests over climate talks in Poland).

This is where it is important to remember that the values upon which the current world economic system is based isn't inherent to all people. It is culturally based. There are and have been societies that value more than material wealth and even shun excess material wealth. Our political and economic systems are socially constructed, and we accept them because we collectively believe in the assumptions upon which they are based. So changing the world must start with changing people's worldview.

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          Israel arrests Palestinian activists "to finish colonization project"        
Jamal Juma' from the group Stop the Wall believes that every Palestinian known as an activist is a target for Israel.
          Badass Ladies You Should Know: Julia Good Fox        
photo of Julia Good Fox
This week makes it hard to write a catchy tagline, much less hope for an article to get traction online, and I debated whether I should wait for a different time to post. But now more than ever, it's important to raise our voices and support badass women, especially women of color and other marginalized communities. This project will keep going, and I hope you will too.

I've long been inspired Haskell Indian Nations University Dean Julia Good Fox, and I'm honored to share her wisdom today.


Kate: Describe your career(s) and/or current projects. What path(s) and passions led you there?

Julia: I have been in academia for the past 16 years. I started off as faculty in Indigenous and American Indian Studies. About two years ago, I transitioned into administration. Currently, I am the Dean of Natural and Social Sciences at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS. Prior to making the leap into higher ed, I worked as a programmer, as a manager in Public Health, and I also spent time in the mental health field. All of these careers have assisted me in my current role as Dean.

Kate: Do you have any (other) creative outlets? How do they influence/affect your main work (if at all)? 

Julia: I still see myself as a writer, even though my writing has slowed down since I went into administration. My public writings focus on cultural studies, politics, and pop culture reviews. My scholarly writings mostly discussed decolonization in Indian Country and the United States

Kate: What's your biggest challenge?

Julia: Currently, I am exploring relationships and identity—and how these intersect community. So this involves asking myself a lot of questions and doing intentional observation of others. What makes people happy? How do people define and work toward a quality of life that makes sense for them? Why do people engage in bullying? How is resiliency fostered? Empowerment? Much of my job involves “people-work” and so these questions assist me in the everyday challenge of promoting shared purpose. It’s interesting!

Kate: Tell us about a time that you bounced back from failure.

Julia: I have had struggles, especially when I was younger, with depression and anxiety and general low confidence in my abilities. Therapy helped! A personal break-through was when I was in my 20s and realized that I did not have to create my unhappy past—that I could move beyond being stuck in what’s called post-traumatic stress and other dysfunctions that can arise from a violent childhood. The great thing about growing older is that it is now easier for me to get past these moments when they occasionally pop up. Developing a sense of humor is key.

Kate: What's the best compliment you've ever gotten?

Julia: An immediate one that comes to my mind happened decades ago. I worked at a drug rehab when I was in my late teens and early twenties. One day, I was eating at a restaurant and when I went to pay my tab, the waitress gave me a note that said “You helped me when I was at my lowest. I’ve been in recovery for a year now. The least I can do is pay for your lunch.” That was so moving. It helped me to understand that words and actions do matter in our interactions with others.

Kate: Did you have any defining moments that galvanized your understanding of and/or commitment to feminism? How does it inform/inspire your work? 

Julia: Feminism is awesome! The stories of my Tribe are inspiring. My mother was influential in this regard, too. She was active in the ‘70s Feminism movement, bringing her Pawnee wisdom to the mainstream. I also was fortunate to have teachers, particularly during my elementary school days, who would loan me books about female leaders. They took the time to mentor me, a child at that time. To this day, I am a firm proponent of mentoring. Young women (and men) have so much to offer, and as a Tribal feminist, I believe it’s my responsibility to assist them as they’re charting their way to whatever is their goal.

Kate: What are the best ways to support other women?

Julia: Besides mentoring, friendship is instrumental. When I was growing up, there was so much anti-Indianism then as there is now that sometimes those close to me would engage in lateral violence. I do not want to recreate that. Finding my close circle of ride-or-die women friends has been a salvation. I’m grateful for their support. In return, I do my best to support women in their work and creativity. This can be in the form of a sincere compliment or other show of support, such as buying their books or art.

Kate: What is your advice to aspiring badasses?

Julia: Believe in yourself! It was difficult growing up in Oklahoma because my circumstances were mired in by conformity, conservativism, and colonization. Sometimes my only solace was in music or the library, but I would seek it out because these activities would nourish me. I would like to tell all aspiring badasses that nothing is impossible for them to achieve. Just show up, attend to the day-to-day tasks that need to be done, and work to create your dream one step at a time.

Also, develop a thick skin.

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badass ladies you should know logo
Julia Good Fox is a citizen of the Pawnee Nation, and she was born in Oklahoma. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with her family, two dogs (Sammie and Mrs. Beasley) and two cats (Joe and Bowie). She writes about culture, politics, Indian Country, and the list goes on. Also, she enjoys thinking and reading.

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          The Expanse        
Syfy, Monday, Dec. 14, 10 p.m. Possibly the best show since Syfy’s beloved Battlestar Galactica,The Expanse is another space opera, this time about the conflicts caused by humanity’s colonization of the solar system 200 years into the future. Earth is run by a ruthless United Nations, Mars is an independent military power, and the asteroid […]
          Newly Digitized Collections on ExploreUK        
University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce the following collections have been digitized and are now available on ExploreUK.

  • General Roger Williams papers, 2008ms013
    he General Roger Williams papers (dated 1823-1991, bulk 1898-1929; 62 cubic feet; 149 boxes, 1 folder) contain materials related to the businesses, investments, and military service of the prominent Kentuckian from 1898 until 1929.
  • Kentucky Equal Rights Association minutes and reports, 1889-1919
  • Louisville Federation of Labor minutes, m-328
    he Louisville Federation of Labor minutes (dated 1903-1909, bulk 1907-1909; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 reel, 50 ft.) comprise microfilmed copies of two minute books kept by the Louisville Federation of Labor from March 9, 1903 to August 22, 1905 and from July 9, 1907 to April 27, 1909.
  • Mohr Family papers, 54m65
    ohr family papers (dated 1870-1889, bulk 1889; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprise letters concerning German colonization enterprises in Lincoln and Simpson counties in Kentucky.
  • Fayette Equal Rights Association records, 49m30
    he Fayette Equal Rights Association records (dated 1917-1920; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 folder) contains a minute book and correspondence generated by the Fayette Equal Rights Association.
  • Hall & Trotter stagecoach passenger book, 2013ms0052
    he Hall & Trotter stagecoach passenger book (dated 1832-1834; 0.04 cubic feet; 1 item) comprises a passenger book for the Hall & Trotter stagecoach line, documenting early transportation in Kentucky.
  • A Collection of Lexington, Kentucky, funeral invitations (1802-1846)
    Transcriptions of funeral invitations from John M. McCalla's "Mortuary of Lexington, Kentucky" scrapbook (held by University of Kentucky Special Collections, accession number 2013ms0755). Includes an introduction and index by James D. Birchfield with 24 facsimiles. 95 p.; 28 cm.
  • Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Sue Fite correspondence, 2009ms132.0121
    The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Sue Fite papers (dated 1910-1920; 0.35 cubic foot; 1 box) comprise correspondence addressed to Sue Fite, a nurse, from romantic partners across the country.
  • Josephine Clay papers, 2005ms001
    The Josephine Clay papers (dated 1788-2004, undated; 0.8 cubic feet; 7 boxes) consist of correspondence, legal documents, photographs, and financial papers generated by Josephine Clay, Henry Clay, William Russell, and the Simpson-Wood family.
  • Labor Union Newspaper Transcripts, 71m33
    The Labor union newspaper transcripts (dated 1831-1950, bulk 1888-1922; 1.8 cubic feet; 4 boxes) contains transcripts made by the Works Progress Administration from Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, newspapers concerning the union movement and labor problems.
  • R. T. Withers union dues book, 2011ms171
    The R. T. Withers union dues book (dated 1902-1904; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 item) consists of R. T. Wither's Iron Molders' Union No. 187 dues book.
  • Woman's diary (Ravenna, Kentucky), 2011ms121
    The Woman's diary (Ravenna, Kentucky) (dated 1873; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 item) consists of a diary written in Ravenna, Kentucky, by an unknown woman.
  • Mary Shelby Wilson Democratic Woman's Club papers, 50w29
    Mary Shelby Wilson Woman's Democratic Club papers (dated 1910-1950, bulk 1920-1932; 0.68 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprises the correspondence of Mary Shelby Wilson related to the development of the Woman's Democratic Club of Fayette County, Kentucky, during the 1920s.
  • Théâtre Michel broadside, 2011ms179
    The Théâtre Michel broadside (dated 1923 July 7; 0.1 cubic feet; 1 item) consists of a broadside advertising a production at the Théâtre Michel in Paris entitled Soirée du Coeur (Evening of the Heart).
  • Young E. Allison "Trappist Life" scrapbook, 2011ms161
    The Young E. Allison "Trappist Life" scrapbook (dated 1915-1916; 0.2 cubic feet; 1 item) consists of the newspaper article series Trappist Life by Young E. Allison, which ran in the Louisville Evening Post on December 21, 1915, and January 15, 1916.
  • Clint Hill Robertson collection on Varden family, 2010av003
    The Varden family photographs, (dated circa 1890-1900; 4 cubic feet; 7 boxes) comprise thirty-eight glass plate negatives depicting both portraiture and landscapes in and around Paris, Kentucky.

          James Cook        
James Cookfenadminuser Thu, 09/03/2009 - 14:31 Explorer / Navigator

Born: 27 October 1728
Died: 14 February 1779
Birthplace: Marton, England
Best known as: English explorer of the Pacific in the 1770s

Captain James Cook was an English naval explorer whose expeditions in the 1770s charted much of the lands of the Pacific, including New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii. The son of an agricultural worker, Cook was apprenticed to shipbuilders and joined the navy in 1755. He became a master seaman in 1759 and spent most of the next decade surveying around Newfoundland and Labrador. He commanded the Endeavor on his first trip to the Pacific, an expedition to observe Venus for the Royal Society (1768-71). On his return trip he circumnavigated New Zealand, charted the eastern coast of Australia and returned by way of Java and the Cape of Good Hope. His second voyage to the Pacific, commanding the Resolution and the Adventure, took Cook along the northern edge of Antarctica and helped him outline the southern hemisphere; in three years (1772-75) he lost only one crew member. His third and final voyage (1776-79) was an effort to find a passage across the northern part of America. After he was forced to turn back at the Bering Strait, he reached Hawaii in January of 1779. A dispute at Kealakekua Bay (over a stolen boat) ended with Cook dead, apparently at the hands of the islanders. Considered one of the first navigators of the scientific era, Cook's expeditions made him the most famous naval explorer since Ferdinand Magellan.

Extra credit: Credit for the safety of his crew is due in part to Cook's faith in physician James Lind's theory that citrus fruit could prevent scurvy... There are fifteen islands northeast of New Zealand known as the Cook Islands, but they weren't discovered by Cook. Polynesians were there around 800 and Spaniards were there in the late 16th century. Cook was there in 1773 and dubbed them the Hervey Islands. A Russian cartographer renamed them the Cook Islands in the early part of the 1800s, and the name stuck... Benjamin Franklin admired Cook so much he offered the navigator a "passport" for safe passage during the Revolutionary War, but by that time Cook had already been killed in Hawaii.

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Education in the Middle East


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This teaching module provides a wide variety of sources to explore the history of schooling in the Middle East, a topic that is largely misunderstood in the west.


Heidi Morrison


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  1. Doumato, Eleanor Abdella and Gregory Starrett, ed. Teaching Islam: Textbooks and Religion in the Middle East. Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007.
    The contributions to this edited volume explore the political and social priorities behind religious education in nine Middle Eastern countries. The authors find vast differences in how Islam is presented in textbooks and a general lack of incitement to violence in the name of religion, or for any other reason.
  2. Hefner, Robert W. and Muhammad Qasim Zaman, ed. Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
    This edited volume looks at Islamic education in countries as different as Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The contributors demonstrate that Islamic education is neither timelessly traditional nor medieval, but rather complex and evolving.
  3. Nadwi, Mohammad Akram. Al-Muhaddithat: The Women Scholars in Islam. Oxford: Interface Publication, 2007.
    This book is an adaption of a larger 40-volume biographical dictionary of female Muslim scholars in the pre-modern period. This book can be used to understand the traditional system of transmission of knowledge and to counterbalance charges of misogyny against Islam.

Document Based Question

by Heidi Morrison
(Suggested writing time: 50 minutes)

Using the images, texts, and audio recording in the documents provided, write a well-organized essay of at least five paragraphs in response to the following prompt:

  • Imagine you are at a dinner party and the topic of conversation turns to international politics. One person at the table makes the statement, "Since ancient times, children in the Middle East have been taught violence against infidels." Using at least six primary sources related to the history of schooling in the Middle East, write an essay that responds to this theoretical statement.

Your essay should:

  • have a clear thesis,
  • use at least six of the documents to support your thesis,
  • show analysis by grouping the documents into at least two groups,
  • analyze the point of view of the documents, and
  • recognize the limitation of the documents before you by suggesting an additional type of document or source to make your discussion more complete or valid.


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following institutions for primary sources:

About the Author

Heidi Morrison is an assistant professor of modern Middle East History at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She is currently writing a book entitled State of Children: Egyptian Childhoods in an era of Nationalism, Modernity, and Emotion. Heidi is also the editor of the forthcoming The History of Global Childhood Reader (Routledge Press, 2011). She is working on a project on the history of boys and mental health in Palestine.

Case Study Institution

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


In recent years, westerners have been fascinated by the education of children in the Middle East, raising concern over whether or not schools teach extreme radicalism or anti-Americanism. The Arabic word madrasa, which literally means "school," has come to imply in the minds of some pundits and politicians a pro-terrorism center with political or religious affiliation. The situation was very different in the pre-modern era, when schools in the Middle East were world renowned: students from as far away as Spain traveled to regions such as Iraq to study with noted teachers.

In the early days of the Islamic community in the Middle East (i.e., from the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632CE through the four Islamic caliphates and the Umayyad Dynasty in 750CE), the leading Muslims of the Arabian peninsula employed tutors or owned slaves to teach their sons the basics of religion, to read and write, to use the bow and arrow, to swim, and to be courageous, just, hospitable, and generous. The elite expected their daughters to attain skills relating to the household as well as the basics of religion, and sometimes to learn music, dance, and poetry.

The majority of children in rural areas learned how to work the land from their families. The only formal education they received would be from the kuttab, or mosque school, listening to Qur'an readers in mosques, or from informal exchange of information in the family.

In urban areas, boys typically began apprenticeships at around eight years of age to master a craft or skill. In terms of higher education, if a child had memorized the Qur'an (by about 12 years of age) he would often then travel around the Islamic world in quest of a teacher who had an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). Students would gather around these teachers in mosques and master the teacher's approach to law without much questioning.

With the consolidation and cultural development of the Islamic empire during the Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258CE), a systematic method of schooling was established in the Middle East for both elementary and higher education. This remained the main form of education until the 20th century.

A maktab, or "elementary school," was attached to a mosque and the curriculum centered on the Qur'an, which was used to teach reading, writing, and grammar through recitation and memorization. Physical education was emphasized in childhood education because Islam gives importance to the training of the body as well as the mind. (Children of wealthy and prominent families continued to receive individual instruction in their houses.)

After attending a maktab, a student could attend a madrasa, or "higher education institution," attached to a mosque. Individual donors, rulers, or high officials funded these through pious endowments. The endowment funds maintained the building, paid teacher salaries, and sometimes provided stipends for students.

The madrasa founder generally set the curriculum. With a focus on fiqh, schools sometimes also taught secular subjects, such as history, logic, ethics, medicine, and astronomy. Memorization was a critical aspect of a student's training in law. The material memorized formed the base used by jurors to practice ijtihad, or the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of legal sources.

The most famous madrasas in the Middle East were Cairo's Al-Azhar, founded in the 10th century, and Baghdad's Al-Nizamiyya, founded in the 11th century. (Medical schools were usually attached to hospitals.)

The period of the Abbasid Dynasty is often referred to as the Golden Age of Islam, due in large part to the thriving centers of learning. Scholars during this time translated, preserved, and elaborated Greek philosophy (later used in European universities). They also made advances in algebra, medicine, trigonometry, mechanics, optics, visual arts, geography, and literature.

During the early-modern era (1500-1800), education continued to flourish under the Ottoman and Safavid Empires. One study suggests that up to half of the male population was literate in Cairo at the end of the 18th century, implying that maktabs were numerous.

The madrasa continued to be constructed as part of the mosque complex, reflecting the importance of education to religion and the sense that education took place within the religious framework. Scholarship under the Ottomans and Safavids centered on the notion that the most advanced science came from Islam and that scholars before them knew best. This was in contrast to Europe during the 19th century, where higher education in new types of institutions of learning began to free itself from church control to embody the Enlightenment value of questioning religion (i.e. putting the laws of science over the laws of God), although reform of the older universities in Europe proceeded slowly.

In the face of Europe's growing power from advanced technology and commercial wealth, Ottoman rulers entered the modern era (1800-present) with a series of educational reforms. The reforms aimed to modernize the empire by adapting aspects of western life. (In contrast, Iran, under the Qajars, did not undergo the same level of educational reforms.)

The Ottomans sent envoys to Europe to translate their scholarship and learn new scientific discoveries. They secularized society such that educational opportunity became equal for all subjects in state schools. In cities such as Istanbul, Cairo, and Tunis, reforming governments established specialized schools to train officials, officers, doctors, and engineers. Some contesting voices in the Ottoman Empire argued, however, that the problems of the Empire were not from a lack of western ways, but from a need to return to the ways of the early age of Islam and the Golden Age.

Nonetheless, by the end of WWI, almost all of the Middle East had fallen under European colonial rule. The maktab and madrasa system of education began to wane in the place of French and British schools. These schools had limited enrollment due in large part to their scarcity in number; access was restricted to a select local elite trained to enhance colonial administration. Study in the maktab and madrasa no longer led to high office in government service or the judicial system.

Although the colonizing authorities introduced compulsory schooling measures of one kind or another, they often failed to include sufficient funding in colonial budgets, so the percentage of the total child population in schools remained dismally low. Children in rural areas who attended school often studied for a half day and worked the other half. In Algeria, for example, by 1939 the number of secondary school graduates was in the hundreds for the entire country.

Various types of private Islamic schools existed as alternatives to government secular schools, but the colonial governments sought to exercise close control through subsidies, curriculum expansion, and inspection systems. Religious schools often served—as they did in European efforts to extend education to the middle and lower classes—as a base from which to build capacity. A small number of European and missionary schools, as well as some indigenously operated Christian schools existed alongside the government and Islamic schools. In cities, these Christian schools of various denominations sometimes gained importance as institutions where children of elites accessed European education. In this way, a two-tiered education system developed under colonialism. In all of these systems, girls were able to acquire a nominal education; if it continued, it was usually in the form of training for teaching, nursing, or midwifery.

Post-colonial governments in the Middle East prioritized mass popular education to build strong nations. Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser, for example, promoted free education and promised each graduate a position in the public sector. In countries such as Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and Algeria, schools underwent a process of "arabization." This meant a focus on teaching Arabic language and culture. Traditional schools either closed or became incorporated into the state system. Iran, in contrast, had never been colonized. It became increasingly westernized in the mid-20th century, until the Revolution and subsequent Islamization of the state and schools.

While access to education has improved dramatically in the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century, the public education system tends to suffer from overcrowded classes led by poorly-trained, overworked teachers with inadequate materials. The curriculum is for the most part secular, and when the history of Islam is taught, the goal is not to incite children to violence. Many families must hire private tutors to help children with their end of the year exams, which emphasize the memorization of massive amounts of material. If children fail these exams, they can conceivably remain in the same grade level for as many years as it takes to pass, or they fail to qualify for secondary or post-secondary training of their choice. A very small percentage of families can afford to send their children to private European or American schools in the Middle East, which provide a western-style education.

Case Study Author

Heidi Morrison


This teaching module provides a wide variety of sources to explore the history of schooling in the Middle East, a topic that is largely misunderstood in the west. Schools in the Middle East today take various forms, from secular to Islamic. Current research of textbooks in the Middle East finds little in them that could be construed as incitement to violence in the name of religion, or for any other reason. Many western pundits, politicians, and academics portray schools in the Middle East as breeding grounds for terrorists and Islamic extremists. These schools are also portrayed as unchanging institutions, which implies that they have not evolved since medieval times and that even in medieval times the schools were static.

The truth is that medieval Islamic schools produced a wealth of knowledge that European scholars translated from Arabic after the 12th century, and incorporated into institutions of higher learning between the 14th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, in today's world, schools in the Middle East take various forms, from secular to Islamic. Current research of textbooks in the Middle East finds little in them that could be construed as incitement to violence in the name of religion, or for any other reason. Wherever military struggle is mentioned, it is always in the context of defense against an aggressor.

With the first four sources, encourage students to explore the various characteristics of schooling in the Middle East in medieval times. In regards to the emphasis on memorization, students should understand that there were scholars who challenged this accepted method, such as Ibn Khaldun. Likewise, students should themselves grapple with finding the strengths in a method of instruction that emphasizes memorization. Do students agree with the Ottoman reformers who thought that a modern nation must have an educational system similar to Europe's? Do students think that the various early 20th-century Middle Eastern reformers' justification for schooling girls marked a step towards modernization?

They key problem governments in the Middle East face today in regards to the educational system is not extremism, but rather identity crisis, underfunding, and conflict. The article on schools in Algeria since independence shows that colonization created an abused collective psyche that initially sought to heal itself through insulation. Might the educational system in Iraq be on a similar path? What evidence do we have that people in the Middle East value education, despite the challenges they have faced in its pursuit in the 20th century?

Discussion Questions

  • Look at the two ijazahs (diplomas) from medieval times. Even without reading the Arabic, what stands out to you most about them? For a system of education that emphasized rote memorization, do you discern a sense of creativity?

    Possible answer:
    Creativity can perhaps be discerned in the designs on the diplomas and the difference in appearance between the two. The annotation also mentioned that the diplomas used individualized flattery.
  • Imagine you are in a debate with Ibn Khadlun. Present an opposing argument, including in your stance some of the merits to memorization that el-Baghdadi lists in his autobiography as well as some of the achievements medieval Islamic society made for humankind as a whole.
  • Envisage yourself a student in a medieval maktab: Who would be in your class with you? What would you learn? How would your progress be evaluated? To what might you aspire in terms of higher education?
  • Arguably, schools can be viewed as a means of controlling a population. Provide examples of how this has been attempted through physical and intellectual means, particularly under colonialism and the independent nation-state.

    Possible answer:
    Some examples to include in the answer would be: schools were funded by endowments in the medieval period and the benefactors set the curriculum; as the devshirme illustration indicates, when first conscripted, the boys were dressed in red to avoid their escape; and, the reform of education during the tanzimat was for the sake of the nation and military; education under the colonists was intended to benefit the British; education in post-independence countries had economic and social development as a main goal. Students might also point out instances of where the student is a free agent, such as in medieval times when he would travel from scholar to scholar seeking knowledge. Generally speaking, students can discuss the role that the individual student can play in thinking on his/her own and not being fully controlled.
  • After you summarize the New York Times article about education in Algeria, analyze its tone. What approach does the author take to the issue? Do you notice any bias? Does the author leave out any important issues? How do you think context influences content? What information might this article reveal about modern-day US concerns regarding education in the Middle East?
  • The podcast on young people's accounts about war in Iraq focuses almost entirely on their experiences with school. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages to studying political issues through educational institutions? In your answer, reflect as well on some of the other sources provided.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: Education in the Middle East

by Heidi Morrison

Time Estimated: two to three 45-minute classes


  1. Be able to accurately and succinctly summarize a document, in the context of the history of schooling in the Middle East.
  2. Articulate how context influences content, in regard to various documents published over time about schools in the Middle East and also in regards to one's own knowledge.
  3. Gather information about the history of schooling in the Middle East in order to state characteristics that can be used when grappling with regional stereotypes.
  4. Use the information about the history of education in the Middle East to formulate opinions on current-day debates about education's role in society.


Students must come to class already having read the primary documents (in the case of the podcast, listened to it and recorded notes). For this lesson, students will need a hard copy of the documents and/or their notes. A notebook, paper, and pen are also required.


Share with the students this quote from a widely-cited article in the New York Times Magazine reporting that in Pakistan, "There are one million students studying in the country's 10,000 or so madrasas, and militant Islam is at the core of most of these schools." 1 Tell students that other commentators have suspected that an equally militant spirit pervades schools in predominately Muslim countries.

Ask students what comes to mind when they think about schools in the Middle East, a predominately Muslim area of the world. Have them write down their thoughts anonymously and collect them to read out loud. They may mention variations of such terms as "jihad factories" or "backwards" or "outposts of medievalism." If these subjects come up, ask students to speculate about how and why schools in the Middle East have developed such negative associations with extremism.


Explain to students that they will learn about the history of schools in the Middle East. They will study primary sources that will help them understand the characteristics of schools in the pre-modern Middle East as well as the contemporaneous debates around schools. They will also study primary sources that will help them understand the changes that these schools have undergone in entering the modern era. This lesson will help students formulate an informed image of schools in the Middle East, which is the ultimate goal of the Document Based Question.

First Activity
The first activity will focus on piecing together information from the various sources about how schools functioned in the pre-modern Middle East.

Divide the class into four groups. Tell them that each group will be assigned part of the larger project that is to create an imaginary 11-year old male pupil living in the Middle East in the 10th century. After each group completes their part of the project, they will present to the entire class. Every student in the class is responsible for learning all components of the material. Assign each group one of the following topics to describe in detail about the virtual student and tell them to base their answers on the first four sources provided in this module:

  • Why he goes to school;
  • What he learns in school;
  • How he is taught in school;
  • His aspirations for the future.

Second Activity
Students will be challenged to advance their understanding of the history of schools in the Middle East, as well as to improve their critical reading skills.

Divide the class into six groups and assign each group one source from sources 6–12 to summarize. Tell students to pay attention to what the sources say about changes schools in the Middle East have undergone in the modern era. When the students are ready, have them present their group summaries to the class.

Now tell the students that there is as much information in what sources from what they don't say as in what they say. Tell the students to return to their groups and decipher new information based on what is not included in their source. When the students are ready, have them present their ideas to the class.

A final step to this activity is to have the students return to their groups and talk together about how context influences content. Students should discuss how the information they garnered from the documents was influenced by what they know about the author of the source and/or what was happening in society at the time of its production. This discussion should force students to reevaluate the information they presented to the class thus far. Each group should do one final presentation to the class about what they know from their assigned document about education in the Middle East in the modern era.

Third Activity
Students will synthesize what they covered in the last two activities.

In a general class discussion, have the students recap what they find to be the main characteristics of education in the Middle East over the pre-modern and modern eras.

After this is completed, tell students there are many ways in which the history of education (as a field) contributes to current-day debates. Now that students possess a wide breadth of knowledge about the history of schools in the Middle East, ask them to articulate their opinions on the following topics:

  • Do you think that schools are a means of controlling a given population?
  • What do you think are the best pedagogical tools for learning?
  • How does access to education, or lack thereof, impact society?

Many students may have a tendency to base their opinions about these questions on their experience/knowledge of schooling in the west. Ask the students to formulate opinions in the framework of their knowledge of the history of schooling in the Middle East. This exercise will force students to integrate what may have previously been foreign to them (schooling in the Middle East) into how they construct their worldview.

If there is time, conclude by telling students to "shift gears" and write down all the associations that come to mind when they hear the words "women in the Middle East" or "religion in the Middle East." Listen to their responses and ask why you might conclude a lesson on schooling in the Middle East with such a question. Encourage students to take away from this module not only information about schooling in the Middle East and an exposure to larger interdisciplinary debates on education, but also an awareness that just as the texts are shaped by their context, so too is our knowledge.

1 Goldberg, "Inside Jihad U.; The Education of a Holy Warrior," New York Times Magazine, June 25, 2000.

Primary Sources

460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 470, 471

          White nationalist VDare hosting conference in Colorado with Breitbart columnist        

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

The white nationalist and anti-immigrant hate group VDare will host its next conference at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO. The 2018 event will feature anti-immigrant writer Peter Brimelow, columnist Tom Tancredo, and writer John Derbyshire, who describes himself as a “mild and tolerant” “homophobe” and “racist.”

Civil rights groups have heavily criticized VDare for its racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), VDare is a white nationalist website that “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.” The Anti-Defamation League wrote that VDare is a racist site that “posts, promotes, and archives the work of racists, anti-immigrant figures, and anti-Semites.”

Headlines on VDare include: “One Problem With These Hispanic Immigrants Is Their Disgusting Behavior,” “Indians Aren`t That Intelligent (On Average),” “Diversity Is Strength! It’s Also…Hispanic Immigrants Taking Over FBI’s Ten Most Wanted,” “America Does Not Need ANY Immigrants From Africa,” and “Roll Over, JIHAD—There’s Also HIJRA, Muslim Conquest By Immigration.”

Numerous media outlets have correctly identified the site as white nationalist, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and CNN.

VDare recently announced, and started taking reservations for, its April 2018 conference at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, which is a part of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels. A booking page for the event states that it will feature “a weekend of candor, fellowship, and top-notch speakers, as we celebrate the shifting political tides and discuss the way forward for patriotic immigration reform and American national identity.”

VDare attempted to hold its first public national conference at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park earlier this year, drawing criticism from Media Matters and SPLC. That event was also set to feature Brimelow, Tancredo and Derbyshire. The lodge subsequently took “steps to immediately cancel this booking” when it “became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation.” VDare responded by criticizing Media Matters for engaging in “cultural Marxism” and questioning whether “we live in a free country or not.”

In response to Media Matters’ inquiry about VDare’s 2018 conference, a Cheyenne Mountain Resort spokesperson gave the following statement: “Cheyenne Mountain Resort respects the privacy of its guests and does not comment on groups or individuals that hold meetings at the resort.”

VDare’s scheduled speakers for its 2018 conference have a history of pushing racist, anti-immigrant, and white nationalist views.

Tancredo is a Breitbart columnist and a favorite immigration "expert" for White House chief strategist and former Breitbart head Stephen Bannon. His columns regularly demonize immigrants as dangerous and disloyal invaders, with headlines such as “Mexico Is Sending Us Colonists, Not Immigrants,” “European Colonization, Not Refugee Resettlement,” and “From Jenner to D.C., Multiculturalism Virus Is Destroying the U.S.” He claimed in January 2016 that “Muslim rape culture … could be coming to a town near you all too soon” because of immigration.  

Tancredo has a long history of making anti-immigrant and racist statements. The former Colorado congressman once suggested that the United States bomb Mecca; criticized Miami, FL, for purportedly becoming “a Third World country” because so many people speak Spanish there; and proposed a “civics literacy test before people can vote.”

Derbyshire was fired from the National Review after he penned a column suggesting that white and Asian parents warn their children about the supposed threats posed by black people. Derbyshire has stated of his views: “I am a homophobe, though a mild and tolerant one, and a racist, though an even more mild and tolerant one, and those things are going to be illegal pretty soon, the way we are going.”

In a profile of Brimelow, SPLC wrote that he “is one of the leading voices in the anti-immigrant movement. Interestingly, he is himself an immigrant (from England), a fact that he regularly brings up when he worriedly notes that his son, with his ‘blue eyes’ and ‘blond hair,’ could grow up in an America in which whites have lost their population majority. For Brimelow, immigration itself is not the problem — it's the influx of non-whites that is destroying America.”

*Updated with additional information. 

          The Development of A Candida Infection        
Candida is a kind of fungi that is ever-present, making it one of the most common disease-causing fungi. The presence of these fungi in the human body, specifically in the skin is in itself not harmful; when the growth of the fungi becomes uncontrollable, infection occurs.

The fungus is usually controlled by bacteria in the body and the immune system; however, people continuously acquire them from the environment. Also, when immune system weakens—particularly if the patient has AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) or diabetes mellitus—and when the native bacteria in the body are diminished by means of antibiotics, the growth of Candida fungus rapidly increases.

Infection begins with the colonization of the skin and mucous membranes. Rate of colonization mark the severity of the infection; this differs from one patient to another. The infected area soon gets inflamed and disrupted, breaking the protective barrier between the external part and the bloodstream and allowing the fungus to get into the blood. Candida fungi produce toxins in the blood; thereby, destroy the tissues and make the immune system weak.

Candida infection in the blood is called Systemic Candidiasis. This condition further leads to the infection of internal organs and thus, to more serious diseases.

Serious Candidal infection or deep candidiasis that involves contamination of the blood is usually common among newly born babies, especially those who are underweight, have very weak immune system or have delicate health conditions. The fungi find their way into the skin or the bloodstream through surgical and open wounds and tubing inserted into body cavities.

People with normal health conditions may also develop candidiasis through drug abuse, high intake of antibiotics and severe cuts, wounds and burns.

When fungus infects the bloodstream, the stomach, the esophagus and the small intestine are among the first to be infected. Twenty percent of the patients usually suffer infections in the small intestinal tracts. Infections in the stomach and the intestines could lead to malignant ulcers and perforations. Furthermore, one may acquire other diseases or disorders since the food may not be properly digested, nutrients may not be properly absorbed, and wastes may not be properly eliminated.

A Candida fungus infection also causes iron deficiency. This happens because Candida fungus makes it hard for the body to absorb iron. Because of this, tissues do not get enough supply of oxygen, making them again vulnerable to diseases.

In addition, the Candida fungus produces waste called acetaidehyde and ethanol as a byproduct. These wastes destroy enzymes that are used to energize the cells. As they destroy enzymes, they also release free radicals, chemicals that cause damage to the cells, tissues and organs, especially the brain. In effect, the person ages too quickly and loses his physical strength.

Although the way the Candida fungus develops and destroys the tissues and organs in the body is almost similar, the symptoms of each kind of Candidal infection differ from one another. This makes it hard for physicians and patients alike to discern the real health condition. Many patients with diabetes are found to have Candidal infection.

Patients are usually given antifungal drugs in forms of pills and creams to prevent the yeast-like Candida fungus from multiplying. Many of the topical drugs can be bought over the counter while antifungal drugs taken orally are mostly prescribed by the doctor. This is because topical drugs have lesser side effects. If rashes occur in a localized area of the skin, antifungal ointment or creams could give fast remedy.
          Imperial Margarine: critique of books by Niall Ferguson        
by Robin Blackburn [from New Left Review 35, September-October 2005]

The often disappointing results of decolonization have bred a revisionism that forgets why colonialism was discredited in the first place. The British historian Niall Ferguson became an outstanding popularizer of this current with the publication of Empire: How Britain Created the Modern World and Colossus: the Rise and Fall of the American Empire. Written as if to teach us statesmen and citizens how to be good imperialists, they have become bestsellers, and an obligatory reference point in debates on empire. Their author—who in an important earlier work, The Pity of War, had shone a withering spotlight on the patriotic militarism of the Great War—has gone in quick succession from Oxford to New York University, and thence to Harvard.

Ferguson’s attention to economic history is welcome, since it is a sub-branch of the discipline ignored only at great intellectual cost. He is more cautiously to be commended for calling empire by its name. He believes that Britain invented capitalism and, with it, what he sees as the most valuable ideas and institutions of the modern world—the English language, private property, the rule of law, parliamentary structures, individual freedom and Protestant Christianity. Admirers would see inclusion of Protestantism as an example of impish fun, tweaking the tail of the politically correct, but we can be sure that Ferguson is quite serious. The complacent British self-regard of Empire easily segues into endorsement for American national messianism in Colossus, with the Anglo-American imperial formula—which he dubs ‘Anglobalization’—offering the colonized the best hope of capitalist success. As a historian of the English-speaking peoples Ferguson seeks to rescue Winston Churchill’s account from its contemporary entombment in countless forbidding leather-bound volumes. He offers a pacier narrative, garnished with good quotes from the great man; but the neo-conservative gloss he adds to the Churchillian vision would surely have inspired reservations in someone who, after all, helped to found Britain’s welfare state. By contrast, Ferguson sternly insists in Colossus that if the us is to make a success of empire it will have to cut social programmes to the bone.

Ferguson’s claim about the decisive contribution which empire makes to development is meant to hold for the future as well as the past. But the evidence he relies on is very selective: the only empires he really has time for are those of Britain and the United States. His failure to introduce any proper comparative dimension is in striking contrast to the serious attention he gives to all the major belligerents in The Pity of War. While he exhibited a command of a wide range of German and Austrian sources in that book, the bibliographies of Colossus and Empire do not include a single work not in English. The overall decline in the quality of Ferguson’s work between Pity and these two later books is a performative rebuttal of his faith in the magic of the market, since they were hastily produced in response to demand.

While good yarns make Empire readable, Ferguson misses, or misconstrues, crucial aspects of imperial logistics and political economy. It is quite a feat to write the history of the British empire and omit any real discussion of the Royal Navy during the critical period 1650–1815. This is Henry v without the battle of Agincourt. Only a quite modern state could have built, manned and supplied a permanent force of over a hundred ships of the line. If Ferguson has consulted the work of N. A. M. Rodgers—an author whose outlook he would find very congenial—he could have given readers a glimpse of what life aboard an 18th-century warship was really like and explained why the British outgunned the French. And if he had consulted Robert Brenner’s Merchants and Revolution and John Brewer’s Sinews of Empire—authors he might find less congenial—he could have achieved a better grasp of the economic foundations. Likewise, Ferguson gives a lively sketch of the us empire in the days of ‘manifest destiny’ and the ‘big stick’ in the early chapters of Colossus, but pays little attention to the huge diplomatic and economic effort that subsequently went into the construction of a global chain of military bases (an aspect well covered by Chalmers Johnson in Sorrows of Empire). The suspicion grows, confirmed by his enthusiasm for Bush’s invasion of Iraq, that Ferguson, like other neo-conservatives, is seduced by the romance and rhetoric of empire, but when it comes to its logistics and economic rationale he is in denial.

The rhetoric and romance are dark-hued. Ferguson allows that Anglo-American empire involved much destruction and atrocity—but with ultimately beneficial results. His case is that dragging the world into modernity was—is—bound to be a very difficult and ugly proceeding. Those on the receiving end of Anglo-American imperialism are lucky since at least British and American imperial tutelage proved more benign than that of other modern empires, such as the Germans, the Japanese, the Soviets, or even the French, Portuguese and Spanish—though little is heard of these. If you could find an Algonquin or native Tasmanian descendant they would probably not agree. Ferguson does not shrink from considering the crimes of colonization—one chapter in Empire is called ‘White Plague’—but he constructs a sort of cosmic balance sheet in which, as with the Bank of England in its heyday, the credits comfortably outweigh the liabilities; the empire’s misdeeds are redeemed by its eventual achievements. Someone had to foster the advance of capitalism and representative institutions, and the international order has to be policed by someone. Surely John Bull and Uncle Sam did—and do—a better job than any likely alternatives?

Ferguson more than once reminds us of the culminating moment, justifying all that had gone before, when the British empire stood alone against Nazi barbarism. His apology for the imperial past is projected into an unending future, as if we were forever frozen in the year 1940, facing the grim alternatives that were then present. (There are, of course, still many Britons—some, like Ferguson, not even born in 1940—who will go to their graves stammering about the ‘finest hour’.) While he rightly draws attention to the imperial nature of Britain’s war effort he fails to register the growing disenchantment with empire of many Britons, especially soldiers—as witness the proceedings of the Cairo ‘armed forces parliament’ in 1944.

The empires of the modern period slighted the humanity of subject peoples, and sacrificed the latter to the insatiable demands of a capitalist accumulation process. In these respects they marked a step down from their supposed model, since Rome did not foster racial hierarchy, did not expose peoples’ livelihoods to market forces and eventually extended citizenship to all. Ferguson sees it differently. He admits that Britain’s ‘first empire’ was marred by pillage and rapine, with a swollen slave trade from Africa, looted cities in the Americas and horrendous famine in Bengal. But the settlement of the North American littoral was a great achievement and a more responsible imperialism, born in the 1780s, was able to purge the empire of its early excesses and to discover more graceful ways of letting go than were in evidence in 1776.

This approach misses the systemic features of imperial exploitation of the colonized and enslaved. Consider Ferguson’s treatment of colonial slavery. He readily acknowledges that the slave trade was an abomination and briefly evokes the ‘sweet tooth’ of the British consumer. But he fails to explain why there were so many more British than, say, Spanish or French, consumers, even though the obvious answer is that his beloved capitalism had made far greater inroads in Britain than on the continent. At one point in Empire he bizarrely says, of a country that had blazed the trail of capitalist agriculture, that it was ‘economically unremarkable’ in 1615.

Ferguson’s favoured theme is empire’s economic success and yet he ignores the enormous contribution made by plantation slavery to British economic growth in the 18th and early 19th century. Empire contains no account of the working day of slaves on Caribbean sugar plantations, nor of how such slaves kept body and soul together, nor of the value of slave produce in imperial and European trade—around a third in 1801–2. Attending to these aspects would have confirmed some of his most cherished theses—but at the expense of others. Thus trade with the plantation zone furnished Britain with a large mass of profits, elements of a new world of exotic consumption (sugar, tobacco, dye stuffs) and the crucial raw material for the Industrial Revolution (cotton), as well as an important market for British manufacturing exports. Other parts of the Atlantic system—the fisheries, the New England provision merchants, the slave traders—all contributed to an Atlantic boom based on slave toil as much as on domestic wage labour. If he wished, Ferguson could have gloried in the fact that this Atlantic traffic in slaves and slave produce was propelled by the momentum of free trade, spilling beyond the borders of an increasingly ineffective mercantile system. The very term laissez faire was coined by a colonial trader. But he overlooks this and instead exaggerates the role of the chartered companies.

Ferguson’s focus on the slave trade and neglect of what fuelled it gives a new twist to the dictum of a great imperial historian, whose work he ignores. Eric Williams, the West Indian nationalist leader, author of Capitalism and Slavery (1944) and long-time prime minister of Trinidad, once observed that British historians often wrote as if their country had only undertaken the largest branch of the Atlantic slave trade of any colonial power ‘in order to have the satisfaction of suppressing it’. Ferguson is light on sanctimony—unabashed relish in imperial might is more his style. But he offers consolation too: ‘what is very striking about the history of the Empire is that whenever the British were behaving despotically, there was almost always a liberal critique of that behaviour from within British society.’ His method here is uncannily reminiscent of what Roland Barthes, in Mythologies, called ‘Operation Margarine’:

take the established value which you wish to restore or develop and first lavishly display its pettiness, the injustice which it produces . . . then . . . save it in spite of itself, or rather by the heavy curse of its blemishes . . . the Established Order is no longer anything but a Manichean compound and therefore inevitable, one which wins on both counts, and is therefore beneficial.

Barthes’s term is an hommage to a French fifties tv ad which first concedes that the oily yellow spread is an unappealing substitute, but then insists that those brave enough to try it will be pleasantly surprised. The analogy strikes a chord here both because British consumers bought margarine from Unilever, a quintessentially colonial company, and because colonialism was, at best, an inferior substitute for modernization.

Ferguson’s abstracted account of the slave trade is followed by a salute for evangelical abolitionism, nicely evoked in the life of John Newton, and for the spirit of the Clapham Sect. We never learn how or why the abolitionists eventually prevailed, nor does he describe the contribution of the anti-Establishment brands of Non-Conformity, whose role in the 1830s was more important than that of the Clapham Sect. Ferguson is happier recounting the brutal deeds of pirates and slave traders than he is with taking the measure of an accumulation process that sponsored a gigantic—and in some ways very modern—system of forced labour, with meticulous record-keeping and close invigilation. Ferguson’s own moral book-keeping is suggested by a brief comment on the colonial contract labour of the late 19th century: ‘There is no question that the majority of [indentured labourers] suffered great hardship . . . But once again we cannot pretend that this mobilization of cheap and probably underemployed Asian labour to grow rubber and dig gold had no economic value.’ Or as ‘Operation Margarine’ has it: ‘What does it matter, after all, if Order is a little brutal or a little blind, when it allows us to live cheaply?’

India was the mud-sill of the second British empire just as slavery had been of the first. Modern scholarship endorses nationalist historiography’s bleak verdict on British rule in the sub-continent, which de-industrialized India and fatally weakened its agriculture. The work of Amartya Sen, recently extended and developed by Mike Davis, has now given us some explanation for the recurring famines in British India, with millions dying of hunger in the 1870s, 1890s, 1900s and 1940s. A political order that excluded the huge majority of Indian subjects, and a colonial government blinded by laissez-faire economics and Malthusian beliefs about over-population led to repeated disaster. Ferguson, however, treats the famines of the 19th- and 20th-century Raj as a minor issue, taking place off-stage and quite uncharacteristic of the exalted conduct of the Indian Civil Service. After a sympathetic account of the lordly but lonely status of the imperial official running a province, Ferguson observes in a footnote: ‘It is fashionable to allege that the British authorities did nothing to relieve the drought-induced famines of the period.’ The belittling use of the word ‘fashionable’ apparently excuses him from addressing the argument. Instead he supplies an example of another lone Magistrate of the Second Class, rendering the angst and ‘hearty breakfast’ of the ics man with feeling while leaving unplumbed the reasons for the hopelessly inadequate official response. Ferguson believes that decolonization was hasty and premature nearly everywhere, and likes to point to the often disappointing results of independence as justification for a new imperialism. But in the case of India he fails to confront the fact that independence did end the ravages of mass famine. The empire’s failure simply to keep many millions of its Indian subjects alive is a profound challenge to his central argument.

Without leaving the familiar confines of national historiography, Ferguson would nevertheless like to make large claims for British, and later American, empire. He draws on David Landes’s Wealth and Poverty of Nations to establish the key preconditions of economic advance. Distilling what he has gleaned from Landes, Ferguson identifies a set of crucial institutional ingredients for successful development. The ruling power should secure rights of private property and personal liberty; enforce rights of contract; and provide stable, honest, moderate, efficient and non-greedy government. Colonial rule delivered these conditions and persuaded investors that their money was safe.

If we assemble a list of the most dramatic examples of economic breakthrough and advance it soon becomes clear that the items listed by Ferguson and Landes are optional; indeed, that candidates should be advised, like those taking an old-fashioned exam paper, to attempt only two questions. Britain 1750–1830; the United States 1790–1860; Germany 1870–1923; Japan 1880–1940; Russia 1890–1914 and 1930–50; France 1950–70; Spain 1960–90; the South East Asian ‘tigers’ 1960–90; China 1980–2004. It is regrettable but true that several of these industrializing societies scored highly on corruption and greed, and would have low marks for human rights, democracy and clarity of property rights. But indubitably each of these states was possessed of that real independence which, by definition, colonies do not enjoy. Indeed these transformative episodes bear out Paul Baran’s classic argument in The Political Economy of Growth (1954) that autonomous states would be best able to attain economic progress.

Notwithstanding an empire that covered a quarter of the world’s land surface, the British had little success in spreading the institutional package Ferguson mentions except to colonies of settlement in North America and Australasia. (The survival of parliamentary democracy in India could be counted only in part, since it was, after all, the Indian nationalist movement which pressed for and utilized representative structures in the colonial period.) As Ferguson acknowledges, the economic advance of these regions was based on wholesale dispossession of the natives. Apparently he sees the latter as redeemed in the long run by the economic and political progress that it made possible, rather as fellow travellers believed that Stalin should be condoned because of the Dneprostroi Dam and victories of the Red Army.

The destruction of native peoples by European conquerors provoked the memorable indictments of Las Casas and Montaigne, Voltaire and Chateaubriand. But these are not mentioned by Ferguson—perhaps on the grounds that they were insufficiently Protestant and Anglo-Saxon. Instead he asks rhetorically how the settler–native encounter could have had any other result. And however brutal the history of Anglo-Saxon settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing, he urges that it was not as deliberate and cruel as Nazi and Stalinist imperialism. Formerly, enlightened apologists of empire would lament the disappearance of indigenous peoples. But today’s imperial realists have no time for such mawkishness. Ferguson brusquely insists that the ‘Anglicization of North America and Australasia’ was one of the British empire’s great achievements.

The subtitle of Empire—How Britain Made the Modern World—should have given Ferguson some pause since the sad state of the world does indeed reflect the legacy of Britain’s empire and of other modern imperiums. Many of the most intractable communal divisions were deliberately fostered, if not invented, by the imperial policy of divide and rule; while at a deeper level, the division of the world into rich and poor regions was first established by empire. Any enumeration of the world’s most dangerous and difficult communal conflicts would include the stand-off between Pakistan and India, and the Arab–Israeli clash. The partition of Cyprus and the still unresolved conflict in Northern Ireland, the deep racial tensions in Guyana and Fiji would also figure on such a list. In the post-apartheid era, the racial legacy of empire and colonization is being gradually dismantled in South Africa, but problems remain in many parts of the continent. Ferguson urges that ethnic sentiment and division long preceded colonization. He rightly observes that expatriate colonizers were often the driving force behind injurious racial privileges and distinctions. Yet liberal imperial strategists from Locke to Gladstone went along with colonial racism because that is what empire was based on. Nor does he register the fondness of imperial administrators for cultivating the so-called ‘martial races’ at the expense of other colonial subjects. Whitehall policy-makers did not always like the results their strategies produced and the communal fault lines were not always of their making, but imperial favouritism nevertheless has much to answer for—after all, they were in charge. (Likewise, today’s neo-imperialists bear some responsibility for aggravating communal divisions in the Balkans and Iraq.)

The division of the world into rich and poor regions roughly follows the former boundaries between imperial and colonized areas, even though it has sometimes been partially counteracted or qualified by resistance or by prior institutional or natural endowments. The colonial experience weakened the ability of the colonized to negotiate an advantageous relationship to the emergence of a capitalist world market, and often condemned them to subordination and neglect. In Colossus, Ferguson cites the disappointing performance of most ex-colonies as part of his case for empire, when it would be more logical to conclude that the empires did not, in fact, really equip the colonized with survival skills. The poor record of Britain’s African former colonies leads him to plead that ‘even the best institutions work less well in excessively hot, disease-ridden, or landlocked places’. He concedes that India’s overall annual rate of growth between 1820 and 1950—0.12 per cent—was pitifully low but refuses to hold selfish imperial arrangements responsible because ‘the supposed “drain” of capital from India to Britain turns out to have been comparatively modest: only around 1 per cent of Indian national income between the 1860s and the 1930s, according to one estimate of the export surplus.’ But obviously a country growing at only 0.12 per cent a year would have had many good uses for that 1 per cent lost annually. Ferguson himself points out that Britain’s school-enrolment rate was eight times that of India’s in 1913.

Empires did not invent the uneven development of capitalism but they did much to consolidate it. Having inherited or established a hierarchical structure of advantage, they reinforced it. Plantation slavery, for instance, brought great wealth to some in the Atlantic colonies, but it did not generate sustained and independent growth in the plantation zone, as the post-emancipation experience of the us South, Caribbean and Brazilian North-East testify. The infrastructural improvements made by empires were those needed to facilitate the movement of troops and the export of commodities; other purposes were disregarded, often to catastrophic effect. In a process which Mike Davis has called ‘the origins of the third world’, Western incursions into China from the Opium War onwards weakened the Qing authorities and prevented them from maintaining the country’s vital system of hydraulic defences. With its customs service run by a consortium of foreign powers, China suffered a de-industrialization almost as severe as that of India.

Ferguson’s neoliberal agenda leads him to scant the way that non-Anglo-Saxon empires promoted economic integration and coordination by non-market means. In an off-the-cuff remark in Empire explaining ‘why it was that Britain was able to overhaul her Iberian rivals’, he fails to explain the source of Spanish wealth but says of Britain that ‘she had to settle for colonizing the unpromising wastes of Virginia and New England, rather than the eminently lootable cities of Mexico and Peru’. Both the Spanish and the British certainly looted American silver and gold. But Ferguson does not explain how this rival species of empire worked and seems to regard it as economically less impressive than the record of British settlement. Spanish administrators were, in fact, innovators who mainly relied on wage labour to mine and process the silver ore. In place of simple ‘looting’ they adopted a tribute system, echoing Inca and Aztec arrangements, which required native villages to supply either labour, foodstuffs or textiles to the royal warehouses. The king claimed a fifth of the silver mined. But he garnered much more by offering mining concessions and selling the tribute food and clothing in his warehouses to the wage-earning miners. It was this ingenious system, not looting, which sustained a highly profitable system of exploitation for nearly three centuries. This was just one example of the productive organization promoted by Iberian imperialism and explains why the Mexican and Peruvian elites were so reluctant to break with empire. With Spanish American independence all such coordination ceased, and entry into Britain’s informal ‘empire of free trade’ led to economic stagnation or regression.

Empires could promote a limited and usually self-interested species of colonial development. Often, as today, the imperial impulse stemmed from overweening confidence and missionary zeal as much as from sober calculation of material gain. When empires spread they did so partly because they could, partly because they were operating within a rivalrous multi-state system, and partly because, in metropolitan regions where capitalism was taking hold, consumers wanted colonial products. The Chinese imperial authorities did not bother to colonize Africa, though it would have been perfectly possible for them to do so. Starting with the Portuguese, the European maritime empires entered the lists, firstly because they saw an advantage they did not want to yield to others and secondly because those newly in receipt of rents, fees, profits and wages had a thirst for exotic commodities.

The emphasis which Ferguson puts on the imperial export of a neoliberal institutional package places him squarely in the camp of those who believe that modernization and bourgeois democratic revolution can be introduced from outside. But in Colossus he warns that, as presently configured, the American imperial project suffers from fatal flaws since the us public is not willing to make the sacrifices necessary for it to succeed. On the one hand, very few elite or middle-class Americans are willing to spend many years of their life in far-away places introducing the natives to the secrets of Anglo-Saxon civilization. On the other, and despite mounting deficits, the us voting public is wedded to increasingly expensive entitlement programmes like Social Security and Medicare which simply leave no budgetary room for extensive overseas imperial missions.

Ferguson argues that Ivy League graduates will not flock for duty in distant and inhospitable outposts as graduates of Oxford did in the early 1900s: ‘America’s brightest and best aspire not to govern Mesopotamia but to manage mtv; not to rule the Hejaz but to run a hedge fund.’ Like a number of his sallies this may be amusing, but also misleading. In a new book, Imperial Grunts, his fellow conservative Robert Kaplan shows how the us political economy and commercial culture furnish conditions which offer many openings to Army recruiters. From Kaplan one learns that in the newly occupied lands, the visiting embedded journalist will be greeted with the cry, ‘Welcome to Injun country!’ Kaplan evidently finds the soldier’s life as stimulating as do, he believes, those who signed up because they could not find other work or because it might offer them the chance of a college education later. He writes that those who have not experienced combat have missed something of the ‘American experience’, something ‘exotic, romantic, exciting, bloody and emotionally painful, sometimes all at once’. Indeed Kaplan writes that ‘it was ironic to keep reading stories about unhappy, over-deployed reservists, because those in the Special Operations community whom I had met here and in Eastern Afghanistan were having the time of their lives’. Kaplan is no Kipling, but Ferguson underestimates the culture industry’s ability to maintain a supply of ‘imperial grunts’.

He likewise underestimates the ability of the us education system to act as a magnet for overseas students who, under certain conditions, may well act as servants of American corporations, or ambassadors for liberal institutions or neoliberal economics, when and if they return to their home countries. So the personnel deficit may not, in itself, be decisive. There is the difficulty, however, that overseas graduates and PhDs may be convinced liberals yet fail to see how us imperialism is really promoting the values they have imbibed in its universities and colleges. They could well be swift to detect hollow or cynical uses of the rhetoric of liberation, especially if they remain affected by the national culture of their homeland.

Ferguson believes that the United States today faces a classic ‘guns or butter’ dilemma. If it faces up to its world responsibilities—as he hopes it will—then he believes it must take the axe to its domestic social programmes; ‘guns and margarine’, as it were. If Americans can steel themselves to sacrifice comfort at home they might just be able to live up to their destiny overseas. The ‘entitlement crisis’—the difficulty of honouring the promises embodied in the Social Security and Medicare programmes—is greatly exaggerated by Ferguson and neo-conservative economists like Peter Peterson and Laurence Kotlikoff. On the other hand, liberal and radical analysts often go too far in playing down the likely cost of baby-boomer retirement and medical care in an ageing society. After all, the number of Americans aged over 65 is set to rise from 36 million in 2002 to 70 million in 2031.

Of course, a rich society like the us could absorb all likely ageing costs if it was prepared belatedly to follow the advice tendered by Representative Schuyler Colfax in 1862 and find a way to exact a levy on the presently untaxed mass of large share-holdings. (Colfax advocated a levy on stock-holdings in the same speech as that in which he successfully pleaded for an income tax, the first in us history.) The real problem is not an absence of resources to be mobilized but, as with France’s Ancien Régime in 1788, the ability of wealthy individuals and corporations to protect themselves from effective taxation. As I have suggested elsewhere, the best way of forcing corporations to pay their share to the upkeep of a social infrastructure from which they all benefit would be to adopt the share levy proposed by Rudolf Meidner, the former chief economist of the Swedish trade unions. Requiring corporations to donate shares each year equivalent to a tenth of their profits to collective social funds would be one way to prepare for the financial strains of an ageing society.

Ferguson’s hostility to Social Security chimes in with Bush’s floundering attempt to initiate privatization of the programme, as demanded by so many neo-cons and neoliberals. It is almost as if war and empire are not being undertaken for the stated reasons, but for domestic purposes, because only war fever, and a climate of fear, can render acceptable the sacrifice of working- and middle-class social protection. Thus regime change and aggression abroad sets the scene for social counter-revolution at home. In The Shield of Achilles, Philip Bobbitt, perhaps a more influential writer and thinker than Ferguson, chillingly announces that a defining feature of the new ‘market state’ will be that it will no longer feel bound to protect the welfare of its citizens. There is a further synergy here between domestic and foreign policy. Just as it used to be said that Britain’s empire was ‘a system of out-relief for the aristocracy’—who filled all those governorships—so today the string of overseas bases is workfare for those who cannot find a decent job at home.

Many of the flaws and fantasies of the neo-imperial project stem from the domestic revolution which it seeks to project on the wider world. Thus the government of an advanced country can raise real resources through the privatization of national assets. But in the context of an underdeveloped, even if resource-rich, society, a programme of privatization simply benefits the large foreign companies who have the money to buy state assets. Ferguson exaggerates the gains made by colonized peoples in the imperial epoch. But the colonial states not only built railways and harbours; they also set up marketing boards and stabilization funds for key colonial products. The neo-imperial project wants to make such state initiative impossible.

Ferguson supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq because they would help to bring the Middle East under American control—he still argues this as justification for the war in Colossus. In pursuit of this objective the occupation has dismantled much of the Iraqi state, established a lien on its assets, partitioned the country and set the scene for a tangle of bloody conflicts, some nationalist, some anti-imperialist, and some virulently communalist. The occupation has incurred the hostility of huge numbers of Iraqis who loathed Saddam. This became clear on the second anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam on 10 April 2005, when 300,000 Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad for the withdrawal of the occupying forces. So far as the scourge of terrorism is concerned, the illegitimate us presence has only served to exacerbate the problem. The jihadis led by Al-Zarqawi are neither numerous nor popular but they can only be isolated by a strong, indigenous, broad-based and unimpeachably Iraqi government—not by an uneasy alliance of us lackeys and Iranian stooges. The us invasion has cost 100,000 lives and brought about a rapid deterioration of public services that were already badly damaged by bombing raids and sanctions. Oil output is trickling and vulnerable. Only Kurdistan might offer the us the possibility of secure bases—but then it would have done so without an invasion. A hard-boiled observer such as Ferguson should have to conclude that the game is not worth the candle.
          Comment on In the wake of Nat Turner – further encouragement to the American Colonization Society? by Passion for history is good, but… | Cenantua's Blog        
[…] There’s also the part in this Facebook post I saw, which goes into a comment about Hansford living at the time of the Nat Turner incident and the incident “turning slavery into its harshest form”, yet the author makes no effort in recognizing the differences in reaction between, say… the Tidewater and the Shenandoah Valley. […]
          Re: If you could be anything you want to?        
Seco Fett wrote:

I'd go into space and colonize some planet just to get away from this spinning rock full of arguements and problems. LOL

Within like 10 minutes of colonization, your own problems would start xenomorph infestation.

          New Book: The Indigenous Peoples of Trinidad & Tobago, by Arie Boomert        

This year has seen the publication of a comprehensive new study by Dutch archaeologist, Arie Boomert, titled The Indigenous Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago: From the First Settlers until Today, published by Sidestone Press, and available for free reading online. The book covers the many changes experienced in the lives of the Amerindian peoples who lived or still inhabit the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, from the earliest occupants, ca. 8000 BC, until at present. Using archaeological, ethnohistorical and linguistic data, it discusses the social, political, economic, and religious development of indigenous society through the ages. The Amerindian struggle with European colonization is chronicled in detail, following centuries of independent existence during pre-Columbian times, as well as the survival of the current people of indigenous ancestry in the twin-island republic. The text has also been endorsed by Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, Chief of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community in Arima, Trinidad: “This book is a welcome addition to the literature we are now seeking to inform our work here at the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, as it brings to light important aspects of our buried history. Of particular interest is the information on the involvement of the Dutch in the struggles of the First Peoples, and the connection with Hierreyma, our great Nepuyo Chieftain. It is an inspiration to those of us who are currently engaged in efforts to secure the rightful place of the First Peoples of this land – Kairi.”

          Yurumein (Homeland): A Documentary on Caribs in St. Vincent        
YURUMEIN: film trailer from Andrea Leland on Vimeo.

Originally published on H-Caribbean, June 2014
(Director) Andrea E. Leland. Yurumein (Homeland). January 2014. 50-minute documentary / DVD format / 4:3 aspect ratio / surround sound.

Resistance, Rupture, and Repair: The Story of the Caribs of St. Vincent in the Caribbean


Yurumein by Andrea E. Leland effectively begins twice: first it begins in St. Vincent, and then, as a reflection of the contemporary relocation of the Garifuna, it begins again in Los Angeles, which probably has the largest number of Garifuna people outside of Central America and the Caribbean. The core of the film ostensibly follows the journey of Cadrin Gill, a Los Angeles family doctor, who self-identifies as Carib and who was born in Sandy Bay, St. Vincent, one of the residential areas of the island that contains a sizeable Carib population. Focusing on the reclamation of pride in Carib identity, and the beginnings of a cultural resurgence that happens in part as a transnational process of reconnecting indigenous communities in the Caribbean region (in this case the relinking of Honduran Garifuna and Vincentian Caribs), this film serves as an important document of the contemporary presence of indigeneity in the Caribbean. The film thus helps to fill in the map of indigenous cultural resurgence in the Caribbean, of indigenous communities that did not simply vanish due to European colonization, but that resisted and repaired what they could. In this sense the documentary helps to further challenge centuries of writings, and even modern historiography, whose emphases have been Carib decline and extinction. In addition, as there has been so little produced, whether in film or in writing, about the Caribs/Gairfuna of St. Vincent, apart from the occasional thesis or conference paper offered within regional institutions, this film further serves to fill in the gaps in our knowledge.

Yurumein represents part of a growing series of films on indigenous Caribbean topics, but is unique as one that focuses on St. Vincent. As a contribution to documentaries about the indigenous Caribbean, this film joins Last of the Karaphuna (Philip Thorneycroft Teuscher, 1983, focusing on the Dominica Carib Reserve); Caribbean Eye: Indigenous Survivors (UNESCO/Banyan, 1991, focusing on contemporary indigenous communities in Guyana, Trinidad, Dominica, and St. Vincent); The Garifuna Journey (also by Andrea Leland, 1998, focusing on Belize); The Quest of the Carib Canoe (Eugene Jarecki, 2000, focusing primarily on Dominica’s Caribs, but also bringing special attention to Trinidad and Guyana); Three Kings of Belize (Katia Paradis, 2007, focusing on Belize, including a focus on a Garifuna musician); and The Amerindians (Tracy Assing, 2010, focusing on Trinidad’s Carib Community).

“That paradigm has changed,” Dr. Gills says in the film, a change in paradigm that involves increased recognition of “our history and our heritage.” It is an important point, as he adds that this has happened “only recently.” Indeed, we are now in the third decade of a region-wide indigenous resurgence in the Caribbean, one that arguably began at least on a formal, organizational level in St. Vincent itself in 1987, with a conference on the indigenous peoples of the region that would later result in the formation of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP), whose first president was the Belizean Garifuna anthropologist Dr. Joseph Palacio.[1] (Coincidentally, in my own research context in Arima, Trinidad, 1987 was the first year that Trinidad’s Carib Community received delegates from seven different Guyanese indigenous tribes.[2])

On a local level in St. Vincent, this paradigm change has also occurred. “We were brought up as Englishmen, so we had an English mentality,” Dr. Gill explains, “and consequently there was not much knowledge about my history…. [I]n my days, it was not ‘fashionable’ to be called ‘Carib.’” Echoing what I found in my research in Trinidad, the film presents a series of individuals in Sandy Bay who explain that they did not know of their Carib ancestry until they reached adulthood, while others did know and could not hide it and were thus targeted for discrimination in the wider society as “ignorant,” “backward,” “warlike” and “cannibal” people, leading some to suppress their own identification as Carib. (Unfortunately, this juxtaposition of lack of self-awareness as Carib, while the wider society discriminates against them as Carib, is a paradox left unexplored in the film.) While there is now a positive acknowledgment of their ancestral ties (and explaining why this has happened recently exceeds both the scope of the film and this review), Caribs in this film also reflect on what they say is their own lack of personal knowledge of Carib history and language. While they point to a number of surviving traditions, such as the making of cassava bread (which one woman claims, without much credibility, to have learned to do all on her own), it is clear that the identity is also understood in racial terms, with a not infrequent reference in the film to phenotypical markers, specifically dealing with one’s face and one’s hair. The kind of racialization that historically distinguished the Caribs of northern St. Vincent, especially in the towns of Orange Hill, Oven Land, Sandy Bay, Point, Owia, and Fancy, from the Garifuna or “Black Carib” of the southern town of Greggs (which is never mentioned in this film), is not confronted in this film. Indeed, the seemingly inexplicable adoption of “Garifuna” for all Carib descendants was one of the surprising things I learned from this film, and as a local historian explains, this is “relatively new” (but we are not informed as to why it has happened).

On an international level, the film speaks of examples where Caribs today are still stereotyped as “wild cannibals” in a few yet influential quarters. Here the film showcases Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean (2003- ) as one of the latest examples of this malignant stereotyping. Those presented in this documentary explicitly comment on their task as one of combating the influence of Hollywood.

What “loss” means, what constitutes “knowledge,” and knowledge of loss, are all difficult questions that the film brushes against on occasion. If the Vincentian Caribs do not know what “was” their culture, how do they know what was “lost”? Rather than risk diving into and drowning in an essentialist exercise of trait-listing, I prefer the formulation of the New Zealand anthropologist Steven Webster, who argues that “Maori culture is not something that has been lost, it is the loss; being ‘a Maori’ is struggling to be a Maori.”[3] There is more to this however, as some knowledge of what it means to be “Carib,” that is actually in line with its original political meaning in the first century of European imperial invasions, is knowledge that persists. As Odette Sutherland, a Vincentian Carib, says in the film: “They were rebellious people. They didn’t want to work as slaves. The Caribs always liked to be independent and work to help themselves and their family,” then adding as she continues working in her yard, “I am proud to say that I am a Carib.” Another person declares: “That is our king … the chief of the Caribs … Joseph Chatoyer. He fight for the Carib country.” Cadrin Gill expands on this theme of resistance in remarking that during colonial rule in the Caribbean, “St. Vincent was the mecca of freedom,” where escaped slaves from nearby territories often sought refuge and were welcomed by the Caribs. This historical knowledge, of the Caribs as the original anti-imperialists of the modern world system, is further attested to in a dramatic fashion, on display for tourists and all visitors, at Fort Charlotte. There a sign states, “built by the British as the chief defence against the indigenous people and their allies,” and all of the cannons are pointing not out to sea, but inland. (It is also possible that the message of anti-imperialism is simultaneously lost by being displaced into talk of centuries past, focusing on the British, as Dr. Gill does not seem conflicted about displaying a portrait of Barack Obama behind his desk.)

One of the unresolved tensions in this film is that of claiming lack of knowledge on the one hand, yet currently producing knowledge of contemporary Caribness that in some senses accords with the original political content of the identification. Colin Sam, Gill’s nephew, repeats the complaint of a lack of cultural knowledge of self. Yet he and his fellow Caribs clearly know a great deal, but it is not formatted, packaged, and labeled in the same way that academics produce cultural history in writing. Hence, rather than a detailed report produced by an archaeologist, in this film we have: “the Caribs were here ever since.” It is simple, perhaps, but it is also an understanding that is necessary for any sense of indigeneity. In addition, among those speaking in the film is Nixon Lewis, a Carib researcher who spends his spare time doing archival research during annual trips to London, and when not there, then being “on the Net all the time.”

Further adding weight to the idea of a paradigm shift are the words of the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, who in speaking of the brutality of British rule declares: “let us not mince words: genocide by the British.” What is significant is the occasion on which these words were spoken: National Hero’s Day—an annual public commemoration of Joseph Chatoyer, a long sought-after national holiday first demanded by the Committee for the Development of the Carib Community (CDCC), an organization not mentioned in this film.[4] Demands for such a commemoration were rejected by the government for numerous years. In one scene of the film, we can barely make out a banner in the background on which these words are painted: “Indigenous People’s Day Rally.” Indigenous People’s Day is another of those events that Sherelene Roberts explained the CDCC had long pursued.

Some shortcomings of this film should also be noted, aside from some of the gaps and silences noted above. We are told that 2 percent of St. Vincent’s 120,000 people are Caribs, but the source for this not indicated, nor is the deeply problematic issue of counting such a contested and suppressed identity considered. Moreover, Roberts reported a figure of 3.1 percent reporting themselves as Carib during the 1991 Population Census.[5] The film might then lead some to believe that there has been a decline since then. The film also reports that there are a total of 400,000 Garifuna in the United States, Central America, and Caribbean combined, which is a very significant size (again, a source would have been useful). Aside from these points, there is no debate in the film about the problems with attempting to phenotypically define Caribness by the quality of one’s hair, and whether this could mean an implicit rejection of one’s Africanness. The film in fact generally ignores the African dimension of Garifuna identity and history (even when some of the traditions being taught by Honduran Garifunas to their Vincentian hosts are creole Afro-Caribbean ones). The fact that a largely African-descended population is the only population in the region to have kept the Island Carib language alive is surely one of the most spectacular stories of Caribbean history, and a key sign of trouble for any attempts to racialize indigeneity or to distill it out of larger processes of creolization. There is also no discussion in the film about the relations between Garifuna/Caribs and the national government. We hear Prime Minister Gonsalves delivering a stirring speech about British genocide against the Caribs, but then the film ends by pointing out that the Vincentian island of Balliceaux, where the Garifuna were imprisoned in 1795 before their exile to Honduras, rather than being safeguarded as land the Garifuna consider to be sacred has instead been put up for sale to private buyers. Also in the context of Balliceaux, the narrative in the film first claims that a radical cultural eradication occurred, but that then the survivors carried their culture intact to Honduras. Left like that, the statement makes no sense, and we should expect that a project that lists dozens of contributors in its credits would permit the opportunity for some to review and point out such contradictions that sometimes rendered the film’s narrative a bit too shaky.

In summary, several aspects of Andrea Leland’s Yurumein documentary are particularly noteworthy. One is the emphasis of an acute consciousness by Vincentian Caribs of their “cultural loss” and at the same time a renewed pride in their Carib ancestry. Another is the dimension of transnational resurgence, with Garifuna from Central America (originally from St. Vincent) returning to spearhead a renewal of Carib pride and to share traditions. A third observation we can make is about the degree to which this documentary is a nonacademic production, moreover one that is not mediated or narrated by any academic expert. A fourth notable aspect is the extent to which the project involved in making this documentary was locally constituted.
While the film’s gaps and the level of the narrative are bound to receive mixed reviews from academic audiences, this documentary could be useful for first- or second-year students in the North American university/college setting, and for the general public. With twenty years of immersion in indigenous Caribbean research, my own special interest has me enthusiastic to see just about any serious attempt at a documentary on the region’s indigenous peoples, given the paucity of such materials and my continued inability to complete my own long overdue video productions. One has to recognize the considerable effort that went into the making of this documentary, especially given its broad-based network of local contributors, the abundance of available narratives, the political implications of those narratives, the numerous topics deserving special attention, coverage of key local events, and on top of it all an effort to insert the viewer into some aspects of the daily lives of today’s Vincentian Caribs. With so many “moving pieces,” frustration and even failure are more likely than success. This documentary instead succeeds in encompassing a wide range of contemporary issues and historical processes, in a visually engaging manner, and really without trying to tell viewers what to think. In this last respect, it becomes ideal for the classroom setting because it leaves gaps to be filled in by a lecturer, and the work of interpretation open to discussion in the classroom.

I do not think, however, that this documentary should be viewed alone in the context of a course on the Caribbean or on indigenous peoples (or both), that is, in the absence of any other scholarly materials in this topic area. Having said that, it is at present the best current filmic resource on an indigenous community in the Caribbean, one that has long been virtually invisible in the academic literature and documentaries. Others may have done more, but they are becoming increasingly dated. That this documentary has already received some excellent reviews, including by specialists in Garifuna studies, further underscores its virtues.


[1]. Joseph O. Palacio, “Caribbean Indigenous Peoples’ Journey toward Self-Discovery,” Cultural Survival Quarterly 13, no. 3 (1989): 49-51.
[2]. Maximilian C. Forte, Ruins of Absence, Presence of Caribs: (Post)Colonial Representations of Aboriginality in Trinidad and Tobago (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005).
[3]. Steven Webster, “Postmodernist Theory and the Sublimation of Maori Culture,” Oceania 63, no. 3 (1993): 222-239.
[4]. Shereline L. Roberts, “The Integration of the Caribs into the Vincentian Society” (BA thesis, University of the West Indies, 1996).

Printable Version:
Citation: MAXIMILIAN FORTE. Review of (Director) Andrea E. Leland, Yurumein (Homeland). H-Caribbean, H-Net Reviews. June, 2014.

          Who Is An Indian? Race, Place, and the Politics of Indigeneity in the Americas        
“A significant addition to research, Who Is an Indian? provides an extended examination and a clear picture of Indigenous identity issues in the Americas. Among the book’s important contributions are its examination of the site of interface between the modern state and Indigenous peoples, as well as its analysis of how state discourses of identities are interpolated by Indigenous peoples and come to be important sites of tension.” --David Newhouse, Department of Indigenous Studies, Trent University
“Who Is an Indian? makes a strong and distinct contribution to the literature on Indigenous identities. The contributors examine imposed markers of distinctiveness, particularly those racial categories that have often been formulated by experts and imposed by dominant societies. This is a topic that is rife with controversy, but it is handled here with directness and historical acumen.”--Ronald Niezen, Department of Anthropology, McGill University
Who Is An Indian? Race, Place, and the Politics of Indigeneity in the Americas  is my newest edited collection, published by the University of Toronto Press. It completes a trilogy of edited volumes on indigeneity in the Americas that I began in 2006 with Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean: Amerindian Survival and Revival, and in 2010 with the publication of Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century.

About this Book

Who is an Indian? This is possibly the oldest question facing Indigenous Peoples across the Americas, and one with significant implications for decisions relating to resource distribution, conflicts over who gets to live where and for how long, and clashing principles of governance and law. For centuries, the dominant views on this issue have been strongly shaped by ideas of both race and place. But just as important, who is permitted to ask, and answer this question?
This collection examines the changing roles of race and place in the politics of defining Indigenous identities in the Americas. Drawing on case studies of Indigenous communities across North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, it is a rare volume to compare Indigenous experience throughout the western hemisphere. The contributors question the vocabulary, legal mechanisms, and applications of science in constructing the identities of Indigenous populations, and consider ideas of nation, land, and tradition in moving indigeneity beyond race.

Genesis of the Project

This latest volume is probably the longest I have worked on any one publication project. It first began to take shape in 2006, as an effort exclusively focused on race, motivated by recognition of the fact that there were no volumes, treating the Americas as a whole, that compared and contrasted different ideas and applications of race in the definition of Indigenous identity. This was the basis for the first symposium in 2006, “Indigeneity and Race: ‘Blood Politics’ and the ‘Nature’ of Indigenous Identity,” organized under the auspices of the Canadian Anthropology Society’s annual conference, held at Concordia University on May 13, 2006. The same theme carried over into a following seminar, “Who Is an Indian? Race, Blood, DNA, and the Politics of Indigeneity in the Americas” involving 14 participants and hosted at the Clarion Hotel in Montreal, August 2-5, 2007, with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. However, as a result of the discussions held at the second symposium, we came to the realization that race alone could not be the exclusive subject of our concerns in addressing who people have historically answered the question, “who is an Indian.” The role of place, land, and territoriality, and resistance to neoliberalism, figured prominently in a number of the papers to the extent that we concluded that both race and place should be our dual, framing concepts.

The original impetus for this project came from a very particular context of concern. My research in the Caribbean alerted me to the extent to which notions of “purity,” “blood,” and lately even DNA analysis came to figure prominently not just as ways of ascribing Indigenous identities, but also as means of claiming them in light of widespread, categorical assertions by colonial rulers and scholars that these peoples had vanished. To my surprise, similar politics of identity were being instituted in North America—indeed, the interest in DNA studies had spread from the U.S. to the Caribbean, and in North America as well I found a concern with blood, purity, and the stigma faced by “Black Indians” who were being rejected as claimants to Cherokee citizenship. In Canada, First Nations residents carry cards indicating what degree of Indigenous “blood” they possess. Also in Canada, I repeatedly hear Euro-Canadians refer to this or that Aboriginal figure as “not a real Indian…he looks white”. (I had encountered similar purist prejudices during my years in Australia, directed at some of the most prominent Aboriginal activists who, phenotypically and superficially appeared to be “mixed” if not “almost white”.) If race, blood, and DNA were so prevalent, could we find similar concerns spread out across all of the Americas? If so, why? If not, why not? Are race, blood, and DNA essentially the same thing? These were the very first, seemingly very simple questions that led to the emergence of this project.

Taking together all stages of this project, it included a total of as many as 21 scholars from across the Americas and from across the disciplines, only some of whom appear in this volume. In particular I would like to thank and acknowledge the advice, support, varying degrees of participation and interest, and correspondence of individuals who were involved at different stages of the project, including: Kimberly Tallbear, José Barreiro, Phil Bellfy, Marisol de la Cadena, Alice and Dennis Bartels, and the late Melissa Meyer who sadly for us passed away mid-way through the development of this project. We also benefited from the participation of Indigenous scholars, who comprised half the number of participants in the overall project. With an immense amount of research and writing taking place in the U.S., there was often a tendency to have greater American representation, more than Canadian, Latin American, and least of all, from the Caribbean. The result of this struggle, the constant revision and reinterpretation, we hope will offer some critical insights into the processes of making “race” out of (or against) Indigenous identity and the role of “place” in debates about Indigenous identity. The final product strikes some geographic balance, with two chapters on Canadian cases, two dealing with American Indians, two focused on Central America and the Caribbean, and two pertaining to South America.

What about DNA Testing?

The previous concern with DNA, represented by as many as four participants early on in the project, largely diminished and then vanished altogether, especially when we no longer had the same participants as in earlier stages of the project. This is not to say that DNA debates are absent in the volume as a whole, but rather that they no longer structure the volume as a leading focus, which in any case would be more relevant to the North American situation than elsewhere. Yet even that is not entirely accurate, as the use of DNA testing to determine Indigenous ancestry has traveled to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and to my great surprise to the very community I studied for four years in Trinidad & Tobago, as the result of the work a team from the Molecular Anthropology lab at Pennsylvania State University and the National Geographic Genographic Project. In the past, similar studies have also been conducted among the Garifuna in Central America and recently in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, in the latter case again by the Penn State team.

Sidebar on U.S. "Science": DNA Testing for Indigeneity Comes to Trinidad
DNA testing comes in for severe questioning and criticism in the volume, and I would also add here to my public objections to the DNA research done in Trinidad. Aside from the more than just questionable merits of using genetics to prove cultural identities and political constructs such as tribal affiliations, I also pointed out that, "given the harvesting of biometric data by U.S. universities with research ties to the Pentagon, there is always the risk that this information could be put to uses of which the Caribs are unaware." Indeed, one of the researchers involved in the Trinidad DNA study, Jada Benn-Torres, from a military family, has conducted research in the field funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. I cannot see any reasonable purpose for conducting the study in Trinidad, as the local Carib community has been officially recognized for decades, and is not possessed by any self-doubts of their identity. Indeed, not all of the Caribs in Arima chose to participate in the study, which raises more questions about the extent to which those examined are representative of the community as a whole, and thus places in doubt even the basic scientific merits of the study. What has also not been made known is what is the ultimate purpose of the research, where the information is stored and for how long, and who has access to the database.

The Historical Importance of a Bad Question

The collaboration that produced this volume through much iteration has been focused on what is arguably one of the worst questions to be posed to or against Indigenous Peoples ("Who is an Indian?"), one that ultimately calls on them to give an account of themselves, for being who they are in the light of foreign invasions and occupations. It’s as if being who they are is a problem, and furthermore, it is a problem that they caused. Worse yet, they may not even be who they think they are.

As with all bad questions, one can expect to get a lot of bad answers. So why address such a question, going as far as making it the leading question of this project? The answer is simple: the question, however one may assess its epistemological qualities, is a politically important question (the most important perhaps), an institutionalized question, a governing question that structures people’s lives, their access to resources, and even their self-perceptions. It is also a key historical question, one that continues to be asked repeatedly, and one that will inevitably lose relevance. That this question has been raised across the Americas, in different forms (substituting, as the case may be, any number of cognate or tribal labels in the place of “Indian”), is due to a shared history of colonization and state-building and the dominance of European theories of citizenship, nationhood, race, and identity. Here we can start to look beyond the constraints and limitations of that question and in seeing past the constraints imposed today by states.

It was not the intention of the contributors of the volume to either advance academic expertise as the ultimate arbiter of Indigenous identities, to provide an easy-to-follow menu for “accurately determining” who is Indigenous, or to provide advice that caters to the functioning of government bureaucracies and their micro-management of Indigenous affairs. Our greater concern was with the politics that work to preserve the dominance of a “bad question,” a very “bad” and yet historically very important question: “Who is an Indian”? Our hope is that readers will come away from this effort with a determination to ask better questions—better in the sense of being more analytically productive and with implications that are more socially just and fair. Among the questions we would like to see posed are those that posit indigeneity as a historically specific type of relationality, that involve issues of power and affectivity, without searching for the elusive “one size fits all” solution. If, however, we overcame the stigmatization of being Indigenous only to then treat it as a category implying “privilege” and uniquely demanding “proof” of belonging, then we will not have gone far past the point of endorsing extinction.

Setting the Stage: Some Opening Quotes to Remember

“When they get off the boat, they didn’t recognize us. They said: ‘Who are you?’ And we said: ‘We’re the People, we’re the Human Beings,’ and they said: ‘Oh Indians,’ because they didn’t recognize what it meant to be a human being. ‘I’m a Human Being, this is the name of my tribe, this is the name of my people, but I’m a human being.’ But the predatory mentality shows up and starts calling us ‘Indians’ and committing genocide against us as a vehicle of erasing the memory of being a human being….Even in our own communities, how many of us are fighting to protect our identity of being an Indian, and 600 years ago that word, ‘Indian,’ that sound was never made in this hemisphere—that sound [‘Indian’], that noise, was never ever made! Ever. We’re trying to protect that as an identity, see, so it affects all of us”. —John Trudell, Lakota poet and activist. 
“It is one of the many ironies of the American experience that the invaders created the category of Indians, imposed it on the inhabitants of the New World, and have been trying to abolish it ever since”. —David Maybury-Lewis, co-founder of Cultural Survival. 
“There’s tremendous racism in Peru. In Lima, brown people, the descendants of Indigenous people, try to live as white as possible. That’s because of the influence of the media and government. If you embrace your Indian-ness, you’re shunned. You’re less than a third-class person. It’s an insult to call someone an Indian. It’s the equivalent of calling someone stupid”. —Benjamin Bratt, actor. 
“The question of my identity often comes up. I think I must be a mixed blood. I claim to be male, although only one of my parents is male”. 
—Jimmie Durham, Cherokee artist. “What does part Indian mean? (Which part?)….you don’t get 50% or 25% or 16% treatment when you experience racism—it is always l00%”. —Joane Cardinal-Schubert.


Preface, pages vii-ix

Introduction: “Who Is an Indian?” The Cultural Politics of a Bad Question, pages 3-51 Maximilian C. Forte (Concordia University, Sociology and Anthropology)

In this chapter I discuss the genesis, multiple meaning and historical applications of this "bad question," across the Americas. In the process I also defend the thesis that the Americas as a whole serve as the appropriate unit for analysis in understanding the colonial, "scientific," ideological, and (geo)political efforts to define Indigenous identities. While I outline how the racialization of indigeneity spread across imperial domains in the Americas, I also examine the centrality of place, of territoriality, and how place also intersects race. I discuss the emergence of "Indian" as a racial construct, and from there I proceed to build the larger theoretical and analytical narrative which the various chapters help to form. Who is the "real Indian" and issues of "race mixture" and the impact of slavery and the plantation system in North and South America and the Caribbean forms one level of analysis. Another has to do with kinship and science, with blood, DNA, and how these relate to ideas of "race purity." Going beyond "blood quantum" and race, I provide some context and the wider debate around the critically important contribution by Julia Coates in this volume, on the always timely issue of the Freedmen and the Cherokee Nation. Debates around self-identification, and tribal politics, progress toward a discussion of the many cases of "Indian non-Indians" and "Non-Indian Indians". Finally I end with an overview of the problems involved with "recognition", with some discussion of the geopolitics of recognition and then, pointing toward the Conclusion, looking beyond the politics of recognition.

Chapter One Inuitness and Territoriality in Canada, pages 53-70 Donna Patrick (Carleton University, Sociology and Anthropology and the School of Canadian Studies)

“The question of who counts as Aboriginal [in Canada],” explains Donna Patrick (this volume), “has long been linked to the question of who owns traditional Aboriginal lands”. Patrick’s chapter explores “the question of categorizing Indigeneity in Canada by examining the linguistic, political, and judicial processes associated with the notions of territory, ancestry, and belonging that shape Indigeneity today,” with a focus on the Inuit in Canada, situated within a broader analysis of Aboriginal identity in Canada. “Inuitness” in Canada, as Patrick tells us, followed a different trajectory from that of First Nations, in that the construction of Inuit identity has been guided not just by state policy but by Inuit attachments to both land and language. In Patrick’s chapter we learn that for the Inuit “the notion of ‘territoriality’ operates together with the notion of ancestry” in shaping the identities of Inuit living in urban centres of the Canadian South as much as those living in the Arctic. Donna Patrick observes that Indigenous ideas of identity in early colonial Canada “had little to do with race, biology, or ethnicity” and that Indigenous Peoples in fact demonstrated in practice that they were guided by a “notion of inclusivity” whose existence “has been supported by numerous accounts of Euro-American settlers and soldiers being accepted and adopted into First Nations groups”. While Patrick argues that we do not see in Canada a dominant discourse about the bio-politics of Indigenous identities to the same extent that we find in the U.S., she admits that a “‘covert’ or de facto blood quantum” has been part of policies governing Aboriginal, and in particular First Nations, peoples.

Chapter Two Federally-Unrecognized Indigenous Communities in Canadian Contexts, pages 71-91 Bonita Lawrence (York University, Equity Studies)

In her chapter Bonita Lawrence points out the cases of First Nations that span the Canada-U.S. border, where for example “the Passamaquoddy Nation of New Brunswick, or the Sinixt Nation, in British Columbia, have federal recognition in the United States but not in Canada,” which underscores the arbitrary, shifting, and inconsistent standards used by states to “appraise” indigeneity, as Lawrence argues. Bonita Lawrence explores identity issues among two federally-unrecognized groups—the Algonquins of Eastern Ontario and the Mi’kmaqs of Newfoundland—which have been the subject of her research for the last decade, providing a window into how the Canadian state produces unrecognized Aboriginals. As she explains, “most federally-unrecognized bands or nations are created by the nature of the treaty process itself,” while other bands are federally-unrecognized “because Canada has refused to honour historic relationships or has disregarded the traditional boundaries of Indigenous nations”. The primary means for such communities to gain federal recognition, to legally become Aboriginal again, is to assert Aboriginal title through the courts (if there is a treaty governing particular territory), or as Lawrence outlines in her chapter, “to take part in the comprehensive claims process if no treaty has been signed in the territory”. Otherwise, federally-unrecognized Indigenous peoples are “incorporated simply as ‘citizens’ within the wider nation-state dominated by settlers”.

Chapter Three The Canary in the Coalmine: What Sociology Can Learn from Ethnic Identity Debates among American Indians, pages 92-123 Eva Marie Garroutte (Boston College, Sociology) and C. Matthew Snipp (Stanford University, Sociology)

Eva Marie Garroutte and Matthew Snipp in their chapter in this volume titled, “The Canary in the Coalmine: What Sociology Can Learn from Ethnic Identity Debates among American Indians,” devote considerable attention to debating the racialization of indigeneity. As just one example of the kinds of interests vested in the non-recognition of “mixed” American Indians, Garroutte and Snipp point to Donald Trump: as a competitor against the newly recognized Pequots, and their plans to open a casino, he produced a definition of “who is an Indian” in phenotypical terms: “they don’t look like Indians to me. They don’t look like Indians to Indians,” injecting his racial bias by further calling them “Michael Jordan Indians”. This is useful in showing how ultimately one of the most common ways of assigning Indigenous identity in the Americas is focused on appearance, and where racial discourses prevail, a specific type of appearance: phenotype. Garroutte and Snipp  also discuss some of the additional, problematic conceptual issues raised by the quantification of identity, which can apply to both genetic testing and blood quantum. Quantification establishes distance as a prerequisite for measurement, “with the corollary that, at some point, individuals’ connection to American Indian forebears becomes exhausted”. Quantification of identity presupposes distance, and tends toward disappearance. It raises physical standards about ideational and subjective identities, even as it creates new subjectivities around the use of scientific resources. The right to measure involves a power to erase, just as the power to speak for Indigenous peoples, and to assign their identities, is the power to silence them, permanently. The two case studies at the focus of their chapter, the Mashantucket Pequots and Kennewick Man, make for highly engaging and illuminating reading.

Chapter Four “This Sovereignty Thing”: Nationality, Blood, and the Cherokee Resurgence, pages 124-150 Julia Coates (University of California Davis, Native American Studies)

Julia Coates strongly and productively challenges a number of prominent, published perspectives that have been critical of definitions of Cherokee identity by the Tribal Nation’s government. Coates argues that legal definitions are often overlooked in discussions of indigeneity, while race and culture gain greater attention. Yet, as she explains, many tribal governments in the U.S. regard legal definitions, not as artificially imposed from external colonizing institutions, but as internally achieved definitions of nationality and their sovereign statuses. While the Cherokee Nation’s lack of cultural requirements are frequently not understood by non-Indians and derided by other tribal nations, the Cherokee Nation has continued to assert that nationality derived from their specific history of tribal citizenship is a more inclusive category for contemporary times than race or cultural markers. This is almost a reversal of arguments criticizing the Tribal Nation’s exclusion of certain persons. Based on interviews with what Coates calls “a particularly challenging group of Cherokee nationals,” the 60 percent of the citizenry living outside the tribal core in northeastern Oklahoma, her chapter examines the potential of nationality as a basis for self-identification for those in the Cherokee diaspora, and the role the concept of citizen plays in the contemporary Cherokee resurgence. Coates points to problems with a debate that “focuses on identity construction as located in race, heritage, DNA, and cultural attributes and expressions” and that leave out law and sovereignty. She says that one reason why the cultural, racial, and ethnic aspects of identity may be the primary sites for investigation and discussion, for many Indigenous Peoples is the fact that many of them are not formally organized into nominally sovereign political entities with an internal jurisdiction. Speaking of academics, Coates suggest that one reason most academics seem to differ from tribal governments’ rigid determinations of citizenship, is that academics tend to be more inclusive in their view of who is an American Indian, not wanting to serve as identity police and imposing definitions of Indigenous identity on Natives. Her emphasis is on nationality as a potential for retention and resurgence (or what some call resilience), rather than simply acting as a colonialist mechanism of control and exclusion.

Chapter Five Locating Identity: The Role of Place in Costa Rican Chorotega Identity, pages 151-171 Karen Stocker (California State University, Anthropology)

Designating a special place as the locus of persons with an Indigenous identity can be a way for an assimilationist state, one that historically rejected the Indigenous presence as in the case of Costa Rica, to create the illusion that indigeneity is minimal and marginal. As Karen Stocker explains in her chapter in this volume, in Chorotega some residents of what later became the reservation opposed reservation status given their “tremendous resentment at being the only community in the region officially designated as Indigenous when the whole area had Indigenous roots, and aversion to the stigma attached to Indigenous identity in a country that often projected an image of whiteness and European heritage”. The Costa Rican government’s imposition of an Indigenous identity on residents of Chorotega was a convenient way of removing that label from everyone else who resided outside of that particular place, using the assigned indigeneity of some to reassure others of their Europeanness. Karen Stocker’s chapter, based on ethnographic research carried out between 1993 and 2007, addresses how various residents of the Chorotega reservation, those who live just outside the reservation, scholars, legal discourse, historical discourse, those who have resided or studied in other Costa Rican reservations and, more recently, the tourism industry have “defined Indigenous identity in contradictory ways, and in manners that have had varying consequences for those labeled as Chorotega in Costa Rica”. She addresses the history and impact of these multiple competing definitions. Stocker traces the ways in which “one set of customs has gone from Indigenous to non-Indigenous, national custom, and back again, as a result of the shifting of discourses around it”. Stocker spotlights what she finds to be “a common thread through all of these definitions and interpretations of indigeneity,” and that is “the role of place, and how the same concept that mired inhabitants of the Chorotega reservation in discrimination now serves to authenticate its practices”.

Chapter Six Carib Identity, Racial Politics, and the Problem of Indigenous Recognition in Trinidad and Tobago, pages 172-193 Maximilian C. Forte (Concordia University, Anthropology)

My own chapter in this volume, based on four years of ethnographic research and ethnohistoric research dating to early colonial times, shares some features similar to both those by Donna Patrick and Karen Stocker. On the one hand, the state’s recognition of only one single, organized Indigenous community in just one of Trinidad’s 16 former mission towns—the Santa Rosa Carib Community in Arima, on the island of Trinidad—makes it seem, however implausibly, that indigeneity was somehow contained and delimited (which instead reflects the state’s bias in how indigeneity ought to be controlled and secluded). On the other hand, in articulating their own indigenous identity, members of the Carib Community point to a multitude of factors, beyond but including race, to include a history of residence in Arima. The structure of this chapter follows three basic lines of argument: first, that the political economy of the British colony dictated and cemented racializations of identity. Second, the process of ascribing Indigenous identities to individuals was governed by the economic rights attached to residents of missions, rights which were cut off from any miscegenated offspring. There were thus political and economic interests vested in the non-recognition of Caribs, and race provided the most convenient justification—a justification that took the form of a narrative of extinction. Third, over a century later, while racial notions of identity persist, current Carib self-identifications stress indigeneity as a cultural heritage, an attachment to place, a body of practices, and recognition of ancestral ties that often circumvent explicitly racial schemes of self-definition. State recognition of the Caribs occurs within this historical and cultural context, and therefore imposes limits and conditions that simultaneously create new forms of non-recognition.

Chapter Seven Encountering Indigeneity: The International Funding of Indigeneity in Peru, pages 194-217 José Antonio Lucero (University of Washington, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies)

As José Antonio Lucero explains in this volume, “blood” is already incorporated in national ideologies of race-mixture, and is not specific and particular enough to be used as part of the regimes of identifying the Indigenous. As Lucero adds, “in a region where ‘everyone’ has native blood, but not everyone is ‘Indian’ the social category and social fact of Indianness rely, necessarily, less on biology or blood than on the intersecting socio-cultural workings of politics, language, place, class, and gender”. More specifically, Lucero's chapter takes the work of Oxfam America as the focus of his case study, as it has been among “the earliest funders of Indigenous activism”. His chapter examines two different moments in the interactive process of legitimation between organizations such as Oxfam America and Indigenous political organizations in Peru, “as actors on both sides of the development encounter shape discourses over the meanings of development and indigeneity across local and global scales”. The “geopolitics of recognition” is what Lucero conceptualizes as regimes of indigeneity that span local, national and global scales. Lucero discusses how Indigenous people throughout the Americas (and beyond) have often found it inevitable, and sometimes useful, to engage a variety of legal, economic, and political systems. “Since the first contacts with missionaries,” he writes, “the state, and agents of global capital, Indigenous people have found that new systems of domination are not without points of entry within which they can contest the very terms of domination,” and in the present context, “the rising importance of non-state actors in the wake of aggressive neoliberal economic reforms (which shrank already weak states) provided an additional set of opportunities that Indigenous people have been able to use” (Lucero, this volume). However, one of the problems for Indigenous actors bound in relationships with external agencies is that the reconstruction of indigeneity that results is often Janus-faced, where “some discourses are for external consumption and have little to do with the lived ‘social fact’ of indigeneity at the local level”.

Chapter Eight The Color of Race: Indians and Progress in a Center-Left Brazil, pages 218-223 Jonathan Warren (University of Washington, International Studies, Chair of Latin American Studies)

Jonathan Warren begins by telling us that "since the 1990s a large number of Brazilian Indigenous communities have been federally recognized, successfully acquired land, established their own schools, and achieved a higher degree of autonomy and self-determination. Furthermore, anti-Indian violence is no longer condoned by the Brazilian government; racism has been officially acknowledged; race-cognizant government policies, such as affirmative action, have replaced race-neutral ones; and a number of antiracist commissions and initiatives have been established at federal, state and municipal levels. Finally, the first centre-left politicians in Brazilian history, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva (2003–2010) and Dilma Rousseff (2011–present), both of the Workers’ Party, have controlled the executive branch of government for almost a decade. Given these substantial changes, one could be forgiven for expecting a positive report on the state of Indigenous affairs in contemporary Brazil. Unfortunately, the outlook is rather dim. Perhaps most surprising is that many of the culprits are from the centre-left, namely the Workers’ Party, social scientists, and sectors of the movimento negro". Jonathan Warren’s chapter reveals to us that in Brazil, the racial question, and thus conceptions of antiracism—like much of “critical race studies,” he adds—simply removes the Indian from analysis, as if Indian subjectivities were entirely irrelevant. A key example of how this has occurred in critical race studies comes from Howard Winant’s very own analysis of racism in Brazil, which singles out Africans. This is odd, as Warren finds, given that as many as a third of Brazilians have some Indian ancestry. As Warren explains in this volume, Brazilian Indians are removed from the racial question in Brazil: “race is reduced to a question of blackness”. Indeed, throughout Latin America, Warren sees that Indigenous peoples are “not considered germane to race matters,” and quoting Peter Wade he adds: “the virtually unquestioned assumptions [prevails] that the study of blacks is one of racism and race relations, while the study of Indians is that of ethnicity and ethnic groups”. Warren also shows that phenotype is present in Brazilian estimations of “authentic” and “real” Indigenous identities, with those who have African and European features routinely dismissed as “racial charlatans,” in ways that echo experiences both in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Warren’s chapter is critical to this volume’s contention that race is a problem that needs to be studied in connection with indigeneity, not apart from it. His argument is critical not only for developing critical race studies, but also for political practice: the antiracist movement in Brazil cannot be just a Black movement.

ConclusionSeeing Beyond the State and Thinking beyond the State of Sight, pages 234-241 Maximilian C. Forte (Concordia University, Sociology and Anthropology)

Rather than restating or summarizing the contents of this volume, the Conclusion helps to sketch some of the ways in which critical Indigenous perspectives have sought to develop alternative ideas and practices of indigeneity and indigenization. In a hemisphere which sees, in most cases, Indigenous Peoples moving to cities, and an increased decoupling of indigeneity and territoriality, along with the incursion of the industrialization of ethnic ascription--the commerce in genetic identities--these issues become especially important. The volume closes with a sharp reminder of why "Who is an Indian?" is a bad question that produces even worse answers, and what our task as intellectuals ought to be when confronted with such questions.

Contributors, pages 243-246
Index, pages 247-254

A Little About the Contributors

Julia M. Coates (Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma) is presently at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her title is Senior Writer/ Oral Interviewer in American Indian History for the Center for Oral History Research of the Charles Young Research Library. At the time of writing she was an assistant professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests cover Native American diasporas, history, identity, women, and politics. She has conducted participant-observation fieldwork with hundreds of Cherokee citizens in California, Texas, and New Mexico. Coates also helped to form numerous Cherokee community organizations throughout California and in other states. For over six years, she was the project director and lead instructor for the award-winning Cherokee Nation history course, which brought her into personal contact with most of the employees of the Cherokee Nation, along with thousands of Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma communities and throughout the country. She also serves on the Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation as its “At Large” representative. At UC Davis she teaches the Introduction to Native American Studies as well as classes on race, women, development and history within Native America.

Eva Marie Garroutte (Cherokee Nation) is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Boston College. She has a background of research and publication related to the study of Native American issues, health and aging, racial/ethnic identity, and religion. She is the author of the influential book Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America (University of California Press) and various articles in sociological and health-related journals. In collaboration with Cherokee Nation Health Services, she has conducted a series of research projects funded by the National Institute on Aging to examine medical communication needs among American Indian elders using tribal clinics. Her current service on editorial advisory boards includes the Journal of Native Aging and Health, American Indian Quarterly, and the University of Arizona Press series Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies. She is a past Area Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bonita Lawrence (Mi’kmaw) is an associate professor at the School of Social Sciences of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada, where she teaches Indigenous Studies and anti-racism. Her research and publications have focused primarily on urban, non-status, and Métis identities, federally unrecognized Aboriginal communities, and Indigenous justice. She is the author of “Real” Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native People and Indigenous Nationhood (UBC Press), and co-editor of Strong Women’s Stories: Native Vision and Community Survival, a collection of Native women’s scholarly and activist writing (Sumach Press). She is a traditional singer who sings with groups in Kingston and Toronto at Native social and political gatherings.

José Antonio Lucero is an assistant professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes (University of Pittsburgh Press) and the editor of Beyond the Lost Decade: Indigenous Movements, Democracy, and Development in Latin America (Princeton University Program in Latin American Studies). He teaches courses on government, politics, and social movements in Latin America, among others. His research interests focus on comparative politics, Latin American politics, democratization, social movements, and the politics of race and ethnicity.

Donna Patrick is professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her current SSHRC-funded research focuses on multiliteracies, identity, and community-building among urban Inuit in Ottawa. Her other interests lie in the broader area of Indigeneity and urban Aboriginality in Canada, as well as in the political, social, and cultural aspects of language use, with a focus on language endangerment discourse and Aboriginal languages in Canada. Her 2003 book, Language Politics and Social Interaction in an Inuit Community (Mouton de Gruyter), examines these issues in Arctic Quebec. She teaches courses in language, culture, and power and in Aboriginal and northern issues, with a focus on the Arctic. In teaching and research, Donna approaches the study of Aboriginal issues, language, and discourse through an interdisciplinary lens, focusing on historical, geographical, and social processes.

C. Matthew Snipp is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University where, among other positions, he has been the director of the Center for Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity. He teaches courses in contemporary and historical American Indian Studies as well as rural sociology. He is the author of American Indians: The First of the Land (The Russell Sage Foundation, New York), which was selected as an academic book of the year by CHOICE.

Karen Stocker is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Fullerton. She is a scholar of applied anthropology with interests in education, the social constructions of race and ethnicity, language, and Latin American ethnography. She is the author of “I Won’t Stay Indian, I’ll Keep Studying”: Race, Place and Discrimination in a Costa Rican High School (Colorado University Press).

Jonathan W. Warren is an associate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is also the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Contributors Studies Program. Within the broad area of critical race studies he has focused on Whiteness, racism literacy, racial identity formations, and the links between everyday practices and racism in the U.S. and Brazil. He is the author of the highly regarded book Racial Revolutions: Antiracism and Indian Resurgence in Brazil (Duke University Press).

...and myself.

          Remembering the Four Churchwomen        
"The church's role is to accompany those who suffer the most, and to witness our hope in the resurrection." - Maura Clarke

On December 2 we remembered the four churchwomen killed on that date in El Salvador in 1980. Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan were raped and murdered by members of the Salvadoran military during the terrible period of oppressive violence that lasted in that country for more than a decade.

One news report commemorating the event mentioned that the killings of these women opened the world’s eyes to the atrocities being committed in El Salvador. It’s important that we look at the context in which this awful event occurred, and that there is plenty of blame to go around. Conversations I've had this week about these women often turned to a number of topics- the School of the Americas, Oscar Romero, US involvement in Latin American conflicts (with a healthy dose of my guiltiest pleasure: Reagan-bashing).

At what point do our saints stop being people and become symbols? Can we remember these women as individuals in their own right and as part of a grander narrative? I think there’s a tendency in hagiography (particularly when it comes to women) to miss the trees for the forest. We miss the particularity of their holiness by focusing on What The World Learned From Them.

"I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for--maybe even worth dying for." -Ita Ford

If these women were merely victims caught up in the world-wide turmoil of the late Cold War, if this were only about the lingering effects of European colonization of the Americas, or the American support of oppressive regimes, or a civil war in which few were acting morally, we wouldn’t admire them. Through the memories of those who knew them and through their writings, we find evidence of an integrity that both put them in harm’s way and gave their lives purpose. They knew who they were and what they were called to do, and they didn’t let the world around them muddy the waters.

Integrity is the quality we need from our modern saints. To stand firm among the swirl of our complex world, to remember one’s mission while being bombarded by competing values, to keep the spark of divine love alive in our hearts while being told that we should fill our hearts with only ourselves, that is to be holy. We may think that we have something new going on here, but wasn’t Jesus also caught up in a complex political and social environment, and put to death for refusing to deny who he was?

The four churchwomen followed Jesus by not denying who they were, even though the path they were on led to martyrdom. Their conviction is admirable (or foolish, depending on how you look at it), and shouldn’t be ignored when examining the bigger conflict in which they were caught up. It’s a horror that simply living an honest life of service can lead to a brutal death. We do a disservice to the women’s memories if we focus only on the salaciousness and drama of their death and fail to notice the simple holiness of their lives.

We're all sinners, everyone of us, and a radical change is needed for all of us. - Ita Ford

[I will never be a successful blogger if I don’t lose this habit of thinking things through before I post about them. What good does a post about the four churchwomen do two days after the anniversary of their killings? If I don’t cut out my processing time I may never be a successful blogger, but I just might turn into a writer. ]
          Neil deGrasse Tyson is creating a ‘Space Odyssey’ video game that's scientifically accurate        

Neil Tyson Space Odyssey

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is making a video game about space exploration.

Or trying to, anyway — the Kickstarter for the project went live on June 13 and runs through July 29. At the time of writing, they've raised $43,240 of the $314,159 goal (get it?).

The game, called "Space Odyssey," would "allow players to travel through the cosmos to scientifically accurate planets, moons and exoplanets based in real science," according to a press release emailed to Business Insider. Tyson and co-creators' basic concept seems to be a captivating interactive experience that still follows scientific principles.

"I have no patience for people who say, 'I don't want the laws of physics to constrain me,'" Tyson said while discussing the game at the video game E3 convention in Los Angeles this week.

"Space Odyssey"

On the Kickstarter page, the team behind the game promises a long list of potential activities: "Develop planets, colonize worlds, nurture species, mine elements, build robots, and discover unique life-forms as you coordinate with others in an intense game of real-time strategy."

Space Odyssey

Players would supposedly begin by exploring Proxima B, the closest known exoplanet to our own solar system, just over 4 light years away (there are real-life plans to try to send mini-spacecraft there). After exploring the surface of that planet and learning how the science-based physics systems work (with Tyson as your guide), players would be ready to start the main event. Beginning at a space station, they'd create and terraform a home planet and system, taking into account real aspects of biology and chemistry. That system can include be colonies and outposts — and you can play solo or with friends.

Players would also need to protect their systems from threats, including environmental disaster, space objects, climate change, disease, and the changes brought about by evolution and whatever else may happen to a planet.

Luckily, a digital assistant with Tyson's soothing voice would guide you through all of this.

Players would also be able to design a spacecraft to explore galaxies created by friends or "prominent scientists and fictional world-builders like Tyson, Bill Nye, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Peter Beagle," according to the Kickstarter.

Space Odyssey

Plus, there would be bonus virtual reality (VR) missions.

The company behind the game is called Space Media Ventures. The team includes producers who have worked in games, movies, and VR; the comics creator behind "Wolverine"; and artists who have worked on games like "God of War 3."

Tyson's role seems to be largely inspiration and helping ensure that the game stays true to real science.

Mark Murphy, partner and creative director at Space Media Ventures, tells Business Insider that Tyson "is always teaching and supporting creative thinking. He has exciting ideas for exploration, challenges and missions. He is a terrific collaborator and an immense scientific resource. He and his team of Star Talk All-Stars place us at a tremendous advantage in creating exciting and engaging gameplay."

An ambitious undertaking

"Space Odyssey" seems to involve building activity similar to "Minecraft," space colonization akin to that in  "Civilization: Beyond Earth," elements of exploration like "No Man's Sky," and echoes of Elon Musk's favorite rocket-building simulator, "Kerbal Space Program." Plus a whole lot of real (and really cool) science.

That's ambitious, especially since the anticipated launch date of "Space Odyssey" is January 2019.

Space Odyssey

With all that to design, the Kickstarter funding seems unlikely to be sufficient for the project. But a secondary purpose of the Kickstarter may be to encourage community members to interact with and and influence the game.

"[W]e do have other funding sources for the game; those sources are not contingent on the crowdfund. For us this is a committed community build, we want the people who will be playing our game to have the opportunity to engage while the build is underway," Murphy told Business Insider. "We are committed to providing an enhanced physics experience which we call experiential physics that will elevate game play regarding modding, mapping and building and expressed action. I think it's fair to say our budget exceeds our community raise goal."

It's hard to say whether everything will really come together by January 2019, but whenever the game gets released, we're excited to play — and learn while doing so.

SEE ALSO: An underwater bloom has turned part of the Black Sea a brilliant turquoise that can be seen from space

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains what Earth will look like in 500 years

          New Moon (Luna #1)        
New Moon (Luna #1)
author: Ian McDonald
name: Tamora
average rating: 3.77
book published: 2015
rating: 5
read at: 2016/01/24
date added: 2016/01/28
shelves: adult, sf
When my assistant brought this book home as part of her grad school semester reading, I thought I'd give it a try, remembering how much I liked the author's RIVER OF GODS a couple of years ago. Now I have to say that McDonald is one of the best world builders I've ever read.

This is about the colonization of the moon by industrial entrepreneurs who supply an energy-short Earth where jobs for human beings are scarce and expensive higher education is needed for anyone to get ahead. The cast of characters is perfectly varied. One is a woman newly arrived from the earth and on her way to starving (of food and of oxygen) before she gets a lucky break. Other leads are members of one family, the Cortas, that is trying to claw its way onto the uppermost level of lunar rule, having reached its very outskirts. Most remarkable is the matriarch, who came when the moon is first being colonized/mined and formed as a new social, economic, sexual, and governing system based solely on gain and loss. Others of her family are as diverse as the culture itself: Carlos, the roughneck surface miner and fighter; Lucasinho, the spoiled darling son who bakes cakes, has sex with anyone who allows it, and struggles to defy his family; Lucas, the obedient son who desires more than anything to run the family company, and Ariel, the brilliant attorney who aspires to lunar, not family, power. Arrayed with these people are their servants, their mates, the women who carry, bear, and nurse their children, and the people who maintain their machines and their industries, in addition to their many cyber- and human guards. Against them are the four great families of the moon, who despise them as social and business climbers with no right to the affairs of the government's top table.

It only takes a few small battles, a few small betrayals, and one shift in the power structure for everything to change, and there's no way to tell if it's for the better or the worst. You'll have to read for yourself. It's fascinating, the culture(s) McDonald has created in this world. Sex is anything goes for anyone. There is an entire group of people that is born with a body chemistry that responds to phases of the moon, and prefers to associate--and run--with one another during some of those phases. There is a Christian Church that ministers to people here, but there is also a Sisterhood that is comprised partly of South American religions with other elements (many of the immigrants to this moon came from Latin America, the first part of the world to lose jobs and education to computers and robots). The world is built in layers tunneled down into the rock, and tunnels are adapted to luxury habitats for the wealthy. Everyone has a fixture in their eyes that registers how much air, water, food, and information they have paid for--and the gods help them if they run out.

Best of all, McDonald is one of those rare sf writers who does not over-indulge in info-dumps. Some are unavoidable in a story about technology, industry, and the medicine of the future, but I am green with envy over how much he conveys within the stream of the story. I've ordered at least three more of his books (yes! hardcover!), plus my own copy of this one to join what I expect will be a growing Ian McDonald shelf.

          Jewish Agricultural Colonies In the Ukraine        
Update Jan-July 2010

Researcher: Chaim Freedman
Website manager: Max Heffler

                                           Berel Komisaruk House and farmyard, Grafskoy c.1908

Considerable material has been added to the site over the last year. With the growing accessibility of Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian archives previously undiscovered material comes to light. Descendants of colonists, living in the former Soviet Union, are extracting material and developing their own sites.

Two Russian books which contain extremely valuable information about the Ekaterinoslav colonies:

L. Uleinikov [Binshtok], Jewish Agricultural Colonies in Ekaterinoslav Province in 1890, St Petersburg, 1891,
I. Kankrin, Jewish Agricultural Colonies of Aleksandrov Uyezd Ekaterinoslav Province, Ekaterinoslav, 1893.

The books are the result of a very detailed census of the colonies made by Uleinikov in 1890 and Kankrin in 1893. Each book has an introduction with a general overview and statistics. The authors are quite biased - Uleinikov is a supporter of Jewish agricultural colonies and Kankrin is a severe critic. The most valuable feature of these books is the detailed census of the colonists' households. The books have also a brief overview of each colony with summary of history and facilities. Kankrin's book has detailed house/street handwritten plans of the ten colonies he studied, including sketches of the types of buildings.

                Menakhem Mendel Komisaruk house in Grafkoy after the Revolution
Uleinikov has complete lists of heads of all families (surname, name and patronymic) in 17 colonies of Ekaterinoslav Province, Aleksandovsk and Mariupol Uyezds, with detailed record of family composition, military service, type of house, agricultural implements, livestock, land and its subdivision within family and notes about profession etc.

Kankrin studied in a similar fashion 10 colonies in Aleksandrovsk Uyezd and has even more information about colonists' families. He was obsessed with the idea that colonists in reality remained artisans and not worked much as agriculturalists.

The Russian Foreword to Uleynikov's book has been translated

An analysis of the validity of the conclusions of Ulaynikov and Kanrin was added entitled "Life on the Jewish Agricultural colonies – success or failure",_success_or_failure.doc

An example is provided of one entry for the Komisaruk family of Grafskoy.,_Grafskoy.doc

Holocaust material has been added with an interview of Ukrainian residents of former Jewish colony Novozaltopol by Father Patrick Desbois, which providesa horrifying account which demonstrates who actually carried out the massacre of nearly 800 Jews

                                        Novozlatopol Mass Grave exhibit Gulyai Polye museum
Novozlatopol Holocaust memorial

Photographs have been added from the St. Petersburg Film archive and World ORT Photographic archive. These rare photos were taken of many colonies in 1904 and 1922 showing public buildings such as schools, synagogues, municipal offices, and farmhouses.

Grafskoy school
colony reservoir and horses

Bogodarovka synagogue

A Yiddish book"Nayzlatopler Rayon" [Novozlatopol Region] is an account of the Sovietized colonies after the Revolution and Civil War.

Comments on this book appear in an article "Destruction of Jewish Tradition under the Soviet Administration" assessing the affect of Sovietization on the destruction of Jewish cultural and religious life with particular reference to the role of the Yevsekzia.

                                             Grafskoy synagogue converted to club.

Zelenopole synagogue prior to the Revolution

Zelenopole synagogue converted to theatre

Memoirs of Grafskoy 1907-1921 by the son of a rabbi of the colony include a description of life on the colony and the reaction to the pogroms during the Russian Civil War which took place after the Revolution.

                                        Mass grave Trudoliubovka after Makhno pogrom 1919

Nechayevka after Makhno pogrom 1919

Prenumeranten Lists [The list of subscribers] from three books which include many residents of the colonies.

Links – a new page with links to useful sites.

Yakov Pasik's Russian site is updated from time to time. The site includes material in both English and Russian together with photographs and maps.

Thanks go to those who extracted, translated, processed and contributed to the acquisition of this material:

Bernshtam, Pavel
Comisarow, Mel
Farber-Sherman, Mitja
Freedman, Chaim
Giller, Lisa.
Govor, Elena
Heffler, Max
Komissarouk, Joseph
Pasik, Yakov
Ronn, Michoel

Volunteers are sought for further translations.
          Biodiversity ---2        

Loss of Biodiversity
The colonization of Tropical Island by humans is said to have led to extinction of more than 2,000 species of native birds. According the IUCN Red last (2004) 784 species of organisms are extinct in the last 5 years such as vertebrates (338), invertebrates (359), and 87 plants. Some recent examples are the dodo( Mauritius), quagga (Africa) thylacine (Australia).teller’s Sea Cow(Russia) and three subspecies( Bali, Javan, Caspian) of tiger. Recently in last 20 years 27 species disappeared.
Species facing the threat of Extinction are 12%of all bird species, 23% of all mammal species, 32% of all amphibian species and 31% of all gymnosperm species in the world.
Consequences of loss of Biodiversity
1. Decline in plant production
2. lowered persistence to environmental perturbations such as drought
3. Increased variability in certain ecosystems processes such as plant productivity, water use, and pest and disease cycles.
Causes of biodiversity losses
Habitat loss and fragmentation

This is the most important cause of extinction of plant and animals. When the habitat is lost the organisms either dies or moves to new habitats. Rain forest were covering 14% of earth’s land surface but now it is only 6%.The Amazon rain forest (it is so huge that it is called the ‘lungs of the planet’)millions of species cut and cleared for cultivating for growing Soya beans or for conversion to grasslands for raising beef cattle. Pollution is also one of the causes of threatening of many species. When large habitats are broken into small fragments due to various human activity, mammals and birds which needs large areas to live and certain animals with migratory habitats are badly affected, leading to populations declines.
Over-exploitation: Many species in the last 500 years (Steller’s sea cow, passenger pigeon) were extinct due to overexploitation by humans.
Alien species invasions: Sometimes introduction of alien species cause disappearance of native species.
· The Nile perch, an exotic predatory fish was introduced in Lake Victoria in east Africa resulted in elimination of more than 200 species of small Cichlid fish that were endemic in Lake Victoria.
· Invasive weed species like Carrot grass (Parthenium), Lantana threat posed to our native species.
· Water Hyacinth (Eicchornia) has resulted in Chogged Rivers and lakes which has threatened the survival of many aquatic species in lakes and ponds.
· The recent illegal introduction of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus for aquaculture posing a threat to the indigenous catfishes in our rivers.
Co-extinctions: When a species becomes extinct. The plant animal species associated with it an obligatory way also become extinct. When a host fish species becomes extinct its parasites also get extinct. Another example is the case of a coevolved plant- pollinator mutualism where extinction of one invariably leads to the extinction of the other.
Biodiversity Conservation
Why we should conserve Biodiversity?

a. The Narrowly utilitarian reasons: Human get benefits directly from nature such as Food-Cereals pulses fruits, firewood, fibers, construction material industrial products (tannins, lubricants, dyes, resins, perfumes) products of medicinal importance. More than 25% drugs sold in the market are derived from the plants and 25,000 species of plants are used by native people around the world.
b. The broadly utilitarian reasons: Biodiversity plays a major role in many ecosystems services that nature provides. Amazon forest is estimated to produce 20% of the total oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere. Pollination without (which plants cannot give us fruits or seeds)is another service, ecosystems provide through pollinators layer- bees, bumble bees, birds and bats.
c. Ethical: We also derive the aesthetic pleasures of walking through thick woods, watching spring flowers in full bloom or walking up to a bulbul’s song in the morning. This is our moral duty to care for their well being and pass on our biological legacy n good order to future generations.
How do we conserve Biodiversity?
Ex situ Conservation:
1. Hotspots
· To protect the organism biodiversity hot spots regions are identified. Hot spots are the richest and the most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life. There are two criteria’s for determining the hot spot.
· Number of endemic species.
· Degree of threat, which is determined in terms of habitat loss.
· Initially 25 bio diversity hot spots were identified but now the total number of bio diversity hot spots in the world is 34.

.Three of these hot spots are Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, Indo- Burma and Eastern Himalayas.
· Though the area of bio diversity hot spots cover less than 2% of the total earth’s area but because of strict protection of these hot spots reduce the extinctions rate to 30%.
Bio sphere reserves are the protected area of land. In India there are 14 bio sphere reserves such as Nanda Devi, Sunder Vans. In India 19 National Parks and 448 Wild Life Centuries are present. In our country many plants and animals are sacred and worshiped by local peoples, so trees and wild life within are venerated and given total protection. Such sacred groves are found in Khasi and Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, and Western Ghats regions of M.P. In Meghalaya, the sacred groves are the last refuges for a large number of rare and threatened plants.
In this conservation threatened animals and plants are taken out from their natural habitat and placed in a place where they can be protected and given special care. Such as Zoological Parks, Botanical Garden, and wild life safari parks.
CRYOPRESERVATION –Gametes OF threatened species can be preserved in viable and fertile condition for long periods using CRYOPRESERVATION techniques. It is a technique by which plants and animals parts can be preserved in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196 0C
Eggs can be fertilized in vitro, and plants can be propagated tissue culture methods.
Seed Banks
Seeds of different genetic strains of commercially important plants can be kept for long periods in seed banks.

The historic Convention on Biological Diversity (‘The Earth Summit’) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992., called upon all nations to take appropriate measures for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilization of its benefits. In a follow up, the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johensberg, South Africa, 190 countries pledged their commitment to achieve by 2010, to reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and local levels.

          Call for Contributions: “Consolidating the field of Human Rights from the Perspective of the countries of the South: Actions and Reflections on a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms”        
Source: Sur

Topics: Sexual & reproductive rights

The Interdisciplinary Human Rights Observatory of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and Sur - University Human Rights Network invite all who are interested to submit contributions regarding a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms, under the lens of human rights and from the perspective of the countries of the South, to be published in the upcoming editions of Sur - International Journal on Human Rights (Revista Sur). Deadline for contributions: March 10, 2010.

Revista Sur is published twice a year and distributed free of charge to approximately 2,700 readers in more than 100 countries. It can be accessed online and is available in three different languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Revista Sur aims at opening channels of communication between and among professors and human rights activists, as well as disseminating the perspectives of the southern hemisphere, though not excluding contributions from other regions.

This invitation to submit contributions to Revista Sur comprises part of the project “Consolidating the field of Human Rights from the perspective of countries of the South: Actions and Reflections on a) sexual rights, b) access to medicine and intellectual property and c) religious freedoms”, financed by the Ford Foundation and executed by the Interdisciplinary Human Rights Observatory of UFRGS, between 2007 and 2009.

The goal of this project is of both an academic nature – requiring theoretical-conceptual and interdisciplinary reflections on selected subjects – and a political nature, as indicated by a need to intervene into the national and international debates surrounding these topics. Of particular interest to the project is the development of plans of action and cooperation for countries of the southern hemisphere, on various human rights themes. It is for this reason that the Journal seeks contributions that discuss the following subject areas:

a) Sexual Rights:

The discussion of sexual rights raises a question that is central to the equality of rights and corporal autonomy, independent of sex, gender or sexual orientation. If, on the one hand, it is possible to identify significant advances in terms of overcoming this inequality, on the other hand, one can observe that such advances are restricted to certain social groups, cities or countries.

In this way, sexual rights can be perceived as one more element of inequality, existing both: among the countries of the Global South; and between the countries of the Global South and those of the North.

For this reason, the editors propose bringing insights from countries of the south to the debate on sexual rights, in order to underscore the problems associated with the dichotomies and classifications traditionally addressed within this debate, such as: heterosexual/homosexual, masculine/feminine, health/pleasure, right/responsibility, sex/gender.

b) Access to Medicine:

The belief that individuals have the right to certain goods and services is relatively new, resulting from a series of discussions that have been carried out with the aim of including certain segments of society, in cases relating to health and education, among others, that had formerly been excluded.

Practically speaking, it can be said that access to certain goods and services constitutes an object of political debate and is in a place of tension in different fields, such as society, law, economics, health and politics. On the theoretical side of this discussion, we think it prudent to articulate, within the scope of the Journal, three concepts that are found on the interface of human rights, law and health: accessibility,
vulnerability and necessity.

c) Religious Freedoms:

This topic refers specifically to articulations between the field of human rights and the field of reflections and actions surrounding religious freedoms, the processes of secularization and the secularity of the State. To think of the subject of religious freedoms from the historical perspective of the countries of the Global South is to imply: (i) on the one hand, taking into account colonization by European nations,
special importation of Catholicism, and subsequent mixing with the local religions; and (ii) on the other hand, connecting the deepening of democratic experiences in the countries of the South to the strengthening of human rights, societal secularization movements and the constitutional demand of secularization of the State. For this reason, some subjects appear as priorities, including: the construction of inclusive and secular public policies, which are especially important in the areas of health and education (within which are several sensitive subjects, such as: abortion, religious education in public schools, homosexuality, assisted conception, stem cell research, etc.); and the effects of religious representation in local and national governments and religious coalitions and their forms of political pressure.
Articles discussing the topics proposed above, which are submitted by March 10th 2010 will be considered for selection in the 12th edition of the Journal (to be published in the first semester of 2010). Only original articles will be evaluated. All contributions will be evaluated by at least two members of Revista Sur’s Editorial Council or Consultative Council and, as often as necessary, by outside specialists. Any suggested changes will be sent to the respective author, and the incorporation of such changes will be subject to the express authorization of the author. Because distribution of the Journal is free of charge, the Journal unfortunately cannot remunerate its collaborators. In terms of authors’ rights, the Revista Sur uses the Creative Commons 2.5 license to publish its articles (


Contributions should be sent in electronic form (MS Word format) to and should follow these guidelines:

* Between 7,000 and 10,000 words or up to 70,000 characters.
* Concise endnotes. The Rules for Citation can be found at:
* Short biography of author (maximum of 50 words).
* Abstract (no more than 150 words), including keywords for the required bibliographical classification.
* Date when the paper was written.

Important: The guidelines for authors have changed and will be in force from the Sur Journal issue 10 on. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to contact the editorial board at

For further information, please go here
Article License: Copyright - Article License Holder: Sur
          New Lands: Claudiu Cobilanschi        


Like many other foundational myths, Romanian epic stories mention ancient rulers dismounting their royal horses in order to start discovering the new country. The ruler had to dismount in order to discover and start cutting and clearing the surrounding forest.
Land discovery discloses to us the fact that nearly every territorial taking-into-possession is followed by cutting down the forest cover in order to discover and create a proper country.
After the new world, the age of discovery, the scramble for Africa, the biggest recent age of territorial discoveries started after 1989. Appalling ecological disasters, Chernobyl and heavy industrial pollution and containment have somehow managed to isolate the communist gulag archipelago and transform large areas into a no-go Zone, practically an unofficial raw material reservation where the dreams of new economy capitalism became reality. The sinister ring of this archipelago had also something unwillingly paradisiacal, like a forlorn and lonesome continental version of a wild and colonially promising New Zealand prison-world.
The Iron Curtain and its walls have kept large parts of the communist archipelago in a state of semi-wilderness, unaccessible to entrepreneurs, and far from the reach of land rover Camel trophy capitalism. The present images demonstrate that the middle ages have not yet been superseded, they are somehow just pushed elsewhere or kept alive in newly discovered territories of the second and third world. The expansive middle age with its pioneering spirit and Promethean deforestation is not just a historical period of the past, it is a state of affairs where clear-cutting and internal colonization work in concert with the beat of axes and chainsaws.
Free-market cornucopians shake hands with the local bards of national bounty in the same clearing, a clearing growing on the outskirts of the forest just behind the modern city.
That clearing is actively produced, it does not stand on it own, it is influenced by the literary topoi, but it is not just a locus that discloses our communion with nature. The clearing demonstrates that underdevelopment can quickly turn into hospitable over-exploitation. Underdevelopment has acted as a preserving factor for natural resources and also as an economic teaser of epic proportion about untapped resources. Under-development was both an invitation and a permission to start discovering new lands and clearing new ground just when the developed world has stopped doing that at home. Huge debt, massive bailouts, big loans. gigantic investments rest heavily on new territorial discoveries and deforestation somewhere else. The capitalist world needs and feeds on dying agricultures, devastated industries, abandoned cooperatives, derelict areas, planned economies in shambles and unprotected labor ready for hire.

          3 Super Monkey Ball Alternatives - Open Sphere Rolling Games        

Marbles have fascinated the population of the blue marble for centuries. Today, we take a look at three digital variants that are open source and playable cross-platform.


The newest addition to the group of open source ball-rolling games is minimal and was made using the Godot engine.

Rock and jazz music accompanies your through the only two levels so far. None of them are super hard, making Veraball the most beginner-friendly game of the bunch.

Windows (both portable and installer) and Linux releases are available but since Godot Engine runs on Mac OS X, you can play it on that platform as well using the source.


A magical engine powers the blue sphere from the inside, allowing it to roll and jump without reasonable explanation. Its goal is to touch other glass balls filled with yellow light by balancing towards them.

You steer the blue sphere. But to what end? Deliver the coup de grâce to failed experiments? Free trapped spirits? Harvest sleeping souls to grow in power? Is it a grim prognosis about the effects of future commercialized space travel and interplanetary colonization?

Welcome to irrlamb. The atmosphere is mostly dark and dungeon-like, sometimes abstract, always at least a bit magical. The two skater parks feel clinically sanitized (no graffiti).

There are around 20 levels starting from beginner-friendly to absolutely insane.

There have been two releases this year (0.2 and 0.2.1). Most of the changes were usability improvements and bugfixes, although some levels have been added as well.

irrlamb 0.2.1 is available for Linux and Windows. Windows users have to manually install OpenAL.

For creating own levels, there is an export script available for Blender.


Neverball has been around for a while. There are easy levels, there are hard levels, there are levels that were apparently made to challenge the game's developers.

Many levels take place in space, on grass squares floating under the sky, above the sea or above a city at night. Of our three games, this one is least suitable for those with acrophobia.

There is a lot of content (326 maps minus Neverputt levels) and only a small part of it is accessibly due to my lack of balancing skills. So I present to you the most and least favorite aspects of Neverball, as seen by a player with newbie skills:

Best: 1. The oh so many levels! 2. Different ball models available, some have character (by containing characters), making it easier to have some kind of emotional connection to the game. No animated cute animals though unfortunately.

Worst: 1. The old looking non-baked textures of the basic levels 2. The camera (does not allow you to zoom, moves in disturbing ways) and consequently the controls.


"If only projects X, Y and Z could join forces instead of trying to re-invent the wheel!" - what an annoying thing to say, don't you think? I hope you got the chance to play irrlamb, Neverball and Veraball - and if not I hope this review brought you closer to them - so that you can appreciate the different feels to the gameplay and scenery.

All I really want now are video tutorials for creating new levels...

Are there any open source games with similar mechanics that I missed? Are there proprietary games that developers should consider taking inspiration from other than Super Monkey Ball? Please let us know in the comments!

          Mapping pastoralists’ women’s roles: colonial and post-colonial impact        

A new study published in the SpringerOpen journal Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice explores the impact of colonization on pastoral women’s roles in Northern Kenya using archival documents. Here, Dr. Fatuma Boru Guyo tells us about the Borana people and how their social organization changed with colonization from the British, specifically in relation to women’s roles.

The post Mapping pastoralists’ women’s roles: colonial and post-colonial impact appeared first on BioMed Central blog.

          James Henry Martineau Life History        
Brief Sketch — Edited

Martineau, James Henry, …..was born March 13, 1828, in Amsterdam, Montgomery county, New York, the son of John Martineau and Eliza Mears. He writes: "For several years I was a student in the Monroe Academy in Elbridge, New York, graduating with credits in English, Latin, grammar, chemistry, geology, philosophy, history, algebra, etc. In order to gain the education I served as janitor, taking care of the building for my tuition. I had to endure much scorn and abuse from those boys whose parents were wealthy and who looked upon me with contempt. While this to a sensitive spirit was hard to bear, it never for an instant caused me to falter in my purpose, but only made me more determined to succeed.
At the age of 16 I left school, engaging as a clerk in my Uncle Peter Martineau's store in Sennett, Cayuga County, New York. In 1845 I decided to become a printer and entered the office of the Cayuga Tocsin published in Auburn, New York. Entering as devil, I soon became a compositor, and later ran the power press, one of the first brought into central New York.
About this time I had a severe trial, for our Editor was elected to Congress and he obtained for me an appointment as Midshipman in the Navy. This was my great ambition, as I had an adventurous disposition and a military spirit and this position would enable me to indulge it, for I could travel the world over as a gentleman and, should war arise, could see something of it.
But my mother was opposed to it, as I was her only son. She tried by every means to dissuade me, picturing possible wars, the danger of storms and shipwreck. Not the least in her eyes was the danger of contracting wicked habits. The more she said, the more I wished to see it, so she ceased and sat silently weeping. Then I yielded, and thus passed the turning point of my life.
When the Mexican war commenced in 1846 I enlisted in the U.S. regular army to serve during the war. Just two hours before I was to go to the front my mother came, demanded my release as a minor, and led me home. Refusing to return to the printing office, I went to Milwaukee, Wis., entering the office of the "Milwaukee Sentinel" as pressman, but soon enlisted again, and with many other recruits was sent to Newport Barracks. Serving in various ways on detached service until the war ended I was honorably discharged in July, 1848, and returned to Milwaukee.
While passing up the Mississippi River on July 6, 1848, my mother died. On my return to Milwaukee I engaged as clerk in the large bookstore of Hale and Chapman and remained there until the spring of 1849, when I decided to go around the world, first spending a year in the California gold mines, thence to China, India, Persia and Europe. My uncle, whose adopted son I now was, endeavored to dissuade me, offering me every inducement which his great wealth would permit and quoting the Proverb, "A rolling stone gathers no moss." I wanted my moss rubbed off and told him so.
In 1849 I started for California, but on my arrival at the Missouri River I was told that it would be impossible so late in the season to safely cross the plains and so I stayed in Western Missouri until the spring of 1850, teaching school. Early in 1850 I again started on my journey to the Pacific Coast, during which my life was twice miraculously preserved, and I arrived in Salt Lake City, July 22, 1850.
During the journey I had been told the Mormons were guilty of every kind of wickedness, but on my arrival in Salt Lake City I found that I had been so much deceived by these lying reports that I decided to remain in the valley during the winter to study the people and then go on to California in the spring.
But I went no farther, for two women, the wife of Elder P. P. Pratt and the widow of Don Carlos Smith taught me the gospel, and I was baptized Jan. 19, 1851, (Jan 8?)just where the Temple stands in Salt Lake City before I heard a sermon by a "Mormon" Elder. "
(This part of his story in his own words now ends, and we will give a brief summation of his life in the following few paragraphs. Look to more compelete histories by clicking on the History Index at the top of this page)
In March of 1851 he was sent to help settle Iron County in southern Utah now at the age of 23. He became a member of Iron County Militia and the first clerk of the county. He served as city councilor and alderman and as ward clerk. Eight months later he married Susan Ellen Johnson, a 15 year old daughter of Joel Hills Johnson.
They began raising a family that ultimately numbered 13 children, two being adopted. He later married a second wife, Susan Julia Sherman on 18 Jan 1857 and practiced the sacred principal of plural marriage. They had 8 children.
The families moved to Logan, Utah and later on 28 Jan 1874 Susan Julia died from appendicitis leaving Susan Ellen to care for her children as well. Susan Ellen and James Henry moved a number of times, and his activities as a surveyor kept him away from home much of the time. James Henry was sent to Arizona to survey some of the mormon settlements there and from there the families were moved to old Mexico where many mormons had settled. During the Mexican Revolution in 1919(?) most of the colonists were driven back out of Mexico and back into the United States.
Many of the Martineau’s went back to Mexico and their homes when it was safe to do so, but James Henry and Susan Ellen and some of their family went back to the Salt Lake Area and Logan.
They had 67 years of married life together.
James Henry was well -educated for the times and served in many civic positions. He also served faithfully in various capacities in the LDS church, which was obviously an integral part of his life. He served as a Patriarch in the Church, and as such gave many Patriarchal blessings. Some of these blessings have been made available and can be viewed elsewhere.
See Stories, Letters, Other Index.
In 1887 James Henry Martineau made a collection of thoughts about life and his faith which he titled "Keys of Wisdom and Knowledge" for the benefit of his posterity. He signed this as Patriarch, Prophet, Priest and King.
You can find this under Stories,Letters, Other Index. and it is also available in a publication titled Pearls, which can be purchased from the Nephi Family Organization. [Pearls Order Form]
I was born in Amsterdam, Montgomery County, New York on March 13, 1828, the son of John and Eliza Mears Martineau. By my father I am a descendant of Elie and Marguerite Martineau, one of the Huguenots who fled from France after a heroic but vain struggle for religious liberty. My mother was of English Puritan stock. Her great-uncle Stephen Hutchinson was killed at the massacre of Fort William Henry by the Indians under Montcalm in the old French and Indian War in 1775.
Another ancestor, John Mears, was a Major in the Colonial forces in the same war and was captured at the taking of Oswego by the French and sent to France. On his way he was recaptured by a British ship and taken to England. After an absence of some years he returned to his home and found a stone erected to his memory in the village graveyard by his sorrowing wife.
My great-grandfather served as a commissary under Washington during the Revolution. My grandfather served in the War of 1812. My grandfather Stephen Martineau was born near New York City while it was occupied during the Revolution. Ethan Allen, captor of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, was a great-uncle of my mother. These facts are mentioned to show that I come of a liberty-loving ancestry.
My father was born on March 22, 1793. He went to England as a stowaway when 19 years of age and remained several years studying medicine. While there he married his first wife, Jane Varley, who died during an epidemic. He then married Sarah Hawkins, a widow with two children. She bore him two children, Julis and Lucretia. Returning to America, his wife died in Baltimore from a yellow fever epidemic.
He then married my mother, Eliza Mears, who was 17 years old at that time. They were married in Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York in 1824.
He afterwards became a Civil Engineer, in which profession he became eminent. He was employed by President Andrew Jackson on the great Delaware Breakwater. He also laid out a ship canal around the Mussel Shoals on the Tennessee River. He laid out and constructed the first railroad in the United States from Camden to Amboy. He also practiced drawing and made many sketches of ancient ruins and other objects of interest which I remember as a boy.
My father changed the whole method of grain farming by the invention of a horse-power threshing machine to take the place of the old hand flail. He also brought a new system of water power usage through the invention of the turbine water wheel. He secured both patents, signed by President Jackson.
His last work was the laying out and construction of the Croton Water Works system for supplying New York City with water. He died in 1838 in Elbridge, New York. A bronze tablet in his honor adorns the walls of the Municipal Building in New York City. He was 6 feet 2 inches in height, well-proportioned, kind and gentle in disposition, in religion a Methodist.
In the financial crash of 1837 he lost over $70,000, leaving his family comparatively poor. I was thus compelled early in life to engage in the battle of life and thus became courageous, persevering, and self-reliant.
For several years I was a student in the Monroe Academy in Elbridge, New York, graduation with credits in English, Latin, grammar, chemistry, geology, philosophy, history, algebra, etc. In order to gain the education I served as janitor, taking care of the building for my tuition. I had to endure much scorn and abuse from those boys whose parents were wealthy and who looked upon me with contempt. While this to a sensitive spirit was hard to bear, it never for an instant caused me to falter in my purpose, but only made me more determined to succeed.
At the age of 16 I left school, engaging as a clerk in my Uncle Peter Martineau's store in Sennett, Cayuga County, New York. In 1845 I decided to become a printer and entered the office of the Cayuga Tocsin published in Auburn, New York. Entering as devil, I soon became a compositor, and later ran the power press, one of the first brought into central New York.
About this time I had a severe trial, for our Editor was elected to Congress and he obtained for me an appointment as Midshipman in the Navy. This was my great ambition, as I had an adventurous disposition and a military spirit and this position would enable me to indulge it, for I could travel the world over as a gentleman and, should war arise, could see something of it.
But my mother was opposed to it, as I was her only son. She tried by every means to dissuade me, picturing possible wars, the danger of storms and shipwreck. Not the least in her eyes was the danger of contracting wicked habits. The more she said, the more I wished to see it, so she ceased and sat silently weeping. Then I yielded, and thus passed the turning point of my life.
In 1846 an office for the enlistment of recruits for the Mexican war opened in Auburn. I went to enlist but the man refused to enlist me without my mother's consent, which I knew I could not get. He was soon relieved by another officer not so scrupulous, who enlisted me and arranged to send me to the general depot for recruits at 2 p.m. At noon my mother walked into the office, claimed me as being under age, and took my away, much to my chagrin.
Now wishing to return to the printing office to be ridiculed by the boys, I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and engaged in the Sentinel office as compositor and to run the power press. Here, as in Auburn, I daily heard the fife and drum and soon enlisted again for the war. After some months of drill out party of 130 left for Newport Barracks, Kentucky. Part of the time I was Drill Sergeant; part clerk in the Ordnance Department; and part clerk in the office of the General Superintendent.
Peace having been declared, I was honorably mustered out of service about the 1st of July, 1848 and returned to Milwaukee via St. Louis and the Illinois River. While passing up the Mississippi River on July 6, 1848, my mother died.
On my return to Milwaukee I engaged as clerk in the large bookstore of Hale and Chapman and remained there until the spring of 1849, when I decided to go around the world, first spending a year in the California gold mines, thence to China, India, Persia and Europe. My uncle, whose adopted son I now was, endeavored to dissuade me, offering me every inducement which his great wealth would permit and quoting the Proverb, "A rolling stone gathers no moss." I wanted my moss rubbed off and told him so.
After a journey of six weeks, I was in St. Joseph, Missouri, too late to join emigrants. So I remained until the spring of 1850, teaching school. Crossing the Missouri River on May 15th, we started into the western wilds and arrived in Salt Lake City July 22, l850.
After a journey of a thousand miles without seeing a house, we were all overjoyed.
During the journey I had two narrow escapes from death. Once while among the rocks near the Sweetwater I was obliged to swing myself around a rocky point by means of a small bush growing in the rocks not more than a foot wide, along which I was obliged to crawl about 100 feet before I found a place of safety. Another time I was in imminent danger from a furious buffalo bull which I had wounded and from which I narrowly escaped, being on foot and alone. I knew the danger of attacking him alone and with no place of refuge, but could not resist the opportunity.
During the journey I had been told the Mormons were guilty of every kind of wickedness, but on my arrival in Salt Lake City I found that I had been so much deceived by these lying reports that I decided to remain in the valley during the winter to study the people and then go on to California in the spring. I hired to William Walker, resident of Farmington, doing all sorts of farm work and began to inquire into Mormonism. In September, 1850, I was one of the company of militia who went to the place where Ogden now is to rescue the people from an attack by the Indians, which had been brought about by the killing of White Cloud, an Indian chief.
I joined the Church January 8, 1851. In March, 1851, I started south to locate in Iron County, arriving there in April, traveling with Parley P. Pratt's company of missionaries. During the year 1851 I spent much time in exploration, and in expeditions against the Indians, who gave us much trouble. No man could leave the fort, as Parowan was called, without being well-armed.
For three years a regular guard was kept in the fort by night and a picket guard was stationed by day on a hill about a mile away, which commanded a full view of all the country round about. Besides this, the men were organized into two companies, one of cavalry and one of infantry, which paraded and drilled every two weeks. This constant state of preparation was closely watched by the Indians, both Pah-eeds and Utes, and was one of the principal causes of preservation from destruction. Many times was the settlement exposed to great danger, the nearest point of help being Provo, more than 200 miles away -- too far to be of any aid in sudden emergencies.
I served as third sergeant in the cavalry until November 11, 1851, and then as Sergeant major. On September 5 I was elected City Recorder Clerk. I taught school that fall and on January 8th I was married to Susan Ellen Johnson and began married life with but little of this world's goods. I acted as titiing clerk also, but all of my public service netted me little or nothing.
In September, Bishop Tarleton Lewis appointed me as one of his counselors, though I felt very incompetent for the place. On November 1, I was appointed Church recorder.
During 1852-53 we had many alarms from the Ute Indians, had many animals stolen by them, some of which we recovered. About one-third of my time was spent in military services against hostile Utes, besides which we could place no dependence in the Pah-eeds among whom we lived and this was a great burden to us. For instance, if anyone needed wood he had to wait until a party of 12 or 15 men could go together, half of whom stood guard while the others loaded their wagons. In returning, one man would drive two teams while the others served as front and rear guards with rifles in hand. Men always slept with loaded guns at hand and always carried them to meeting on Sunday, each man sitting with his gun between his knees.
In March 1853 nine others and I started a Mutual Improvement Society. I was also appointed one of the school examiners.
On April 10, I and 12 others were taken prisoners by Chief Walker and about 400 warriors. For a time death appeared certain as the Indians stood around us, their rifles cocked and leveled at our heads. I dislike looking into the muzzle of a gun with an angry Indian at the other end of it, but had to do it many times. By a little strategy we got out of the crowd and with the Indians made an exceedingly exciting race back to Parowan, some seven miles distant. In such cases, a good horse is highly appreciated. By good management this difficulty blew over.
About this time I was appointed Adjutant of the Cavalry Battalion, which included the horsemen of Parowan and Cedar City, 18 miles south of here. On July 24th we received word of the outbreak of Indian trouble at Payson in which men were killed and many head of stock driven away. We also received orders from Governor Young to provide for our safety by forting up and always going well-armed. All people living alone were to move into forts and all small settlements should be abandoned.
At a conference held in Cedar City November 21, 1853, my father-in-law Joel H. Johnson was appointed to teach and instruct and civilize the Indians. And all his children were to do so after him, their mission covering all of North America.
It having been decided to build a wall 6 feet thick and 12 feet high around Parowan, I worked on it all of the season to the amount of $600.00 (1854). In April 1854, myself and a few others formed a dramatic company for which I painted the scenery. Our first performance netted the sum of $6.75, the greater part of the audience being dead-heads. At this time Barnabas Carter made a Bass Viol for me, this being probably the first instrument of its kind made in Utah. It was used by me in the choir, of which I was the leader.
In April, 1855 I went to Salt Lake City on horseback with some returning missionaries and, not finding any company for my homeward journey, I started alone, although I knew it was a very dangerous thing to do. Usually no one traveled the road except in strong companies, well-armed and keeping a strict guard both day and night.
Having about 200 miles of Indian country to traverse, I took only nine small biscuits to eat, as I wished to travel as light as possible. I was well aware of my danger, but felt fully able to surmount it. The trip was accomplished in two and three-fourths days.
I camped in open view before sunset, ate one biscuit, made my bed of one blanket and tied my horse to a bush as if to stop all night. But in about an hour after dark, I quietly saddled up, stole away, and traveled 5 to 8 miles and then camped in earnest. Before daylight I left that place as quickly as possible, so that if Indians found my camp I could get away before they could crawl upon me. I slept with the end of my Horse's rope in my hand, listening to the wolves howling about me until I fell asleep. It was a hazardous way to travel, but safer than to have a party of four or five with one fool among them to bring danger upon the party.
In July, 1855 I began to teach the Deseret Alphabet, in which I was very proficient. In December I attended court in Fillmore, a session of Judge Drummond, and saw a prostitute sitting by the side of the Judge on a bench in open court. This disgraceful scene was repeated day after day, though the Judge was very bitter against polygamy among the Mormons.
In January, 1856 I made the map of Utah for Honorable J. M. Bernhisel, delegate to Congress for Utah, to be used by him there. In March I assisted Colonel W. H. Dame to survey the line between Iron and Washington counties, and in April surveyed the Beaver city townsite.
Having received news on August 2, 1857 of the coming of the U.S. Army, Colonel Dame reorganized the militia of the Iron Military District, comprising nine companies, and appointed me as Regimental Adjutant. From this time we drilled constantly with myself as drill master. George A. Smith arrived on August 6, having been appointed General in Command in Southern Utah. We proceeded at once on a tour through the settlements with Colonel Dame and myself, organizing and inspecting the militia of the district.
On September 4, four of us went scouting in the mountains, expecting to meet a detachment of Dragoons of the U.S. Army and were gone eight days. On my return I learned that the Indians had killed a company of emigrants on their way to California at a place called Mountain Meadows in revenge for the death of six braves poisoned by them at Corn Creek some time previously. Another company following the first applied to Colonel Dame for help and was furnished with five Mormon interpreters to help them through the Indian country. This they succeeded in doing, but with great difficulty. On March 19, 1858, Amasa Lyman arrived as Military Commander of the Iron District.
Up to this time I had been constantly drilling our troops in all of the settlements. On April 23, 1858, I started exploring the desert in company with Colonel Dame and 60 other men. Our object was to find a place of refuge for the people of Utah, who were to move south and burn everything behind them. I left my home, never expecting to see it again, but that my family after burning it would meet me in the desert, but I did it cheerfully, in full faith that God would look after His children
We returned home the last of July, having explored a large part of what is now Nevada. We suffered much at times for lack of water. At one place we explored a large cave for 3/4 of a mile without finding its terminus. The Indians said that it led into the interior of the earth where people lived as we do on the outside, but they were afraid to venture in. I was Historian of the expedition and made a map of the country. President Young having made peace with the United States, we were released to return to our families.
On November 5, 1858 I went to Camp Floyd and sold my pony and saddle for a good wagon and a load of yokes, chains and a fine yoke of oxen. On my way home I almost perished with cold in sight of my house, being speechless when rescued.
On May 2, 1859, Judge Cradlebaugh, with a large force of cavalry and infantry, passed through Parowan and proceeded to Santa Clara, remaining there for some time while they attempted to arrest many prominent Mormons for alleged rebellion against the government. I and many others went to the hills until danger was passed, for although President Buchanan had pardoned us, we could not trust Judge Cradlebaugh, knowing that we could not get a fair trial. The soldiers made many threats, saying that they would make the country a desert, hang the men, and take the women and do as they pleased. But they returned to Camp Floyd very humble and peaceful, having been hastily summoned back by General Johnson.
August 27, 1859 brought us a severe earthquake shock about 4 p.m. People rushed to their doors, dogs howled, chickens squawked, and it resembled pandemonium for a time, but on one was hurt. A large cliff of rock fell in the mountains near Beaver, disclosing a vein of lead ore from which the Indians obtained a plentiful supply of lead. This was the beginning of mining in Utah. On September 10th, I traded a rifle worth $40 for a little Indian girl who had been captured by the Utes on the Colorado River. Her little brother had been killed by the Indians a few days before because they could not sell him. I named her Cora Colorado and she grew to womanhood as smart and intelligent as any white girl.
In the fall I decided to move to Salt Lake City and traded for property in that city, in the 1st, 6th and 16th wards.
On January 15, 1860 we had two quite severe earthquake shocks. During this month I started with my family for Salt Lake City and camped on Corn Creek about 10 p.m. in the midst of a large band of Indians. Being many miles from any white, and knowing that we were in their power, I put on a bold front and asked for their cap-i-tan in their own (Pah-vant) language and asked them where I could camp. The chief sent an Indian to show me a good place, others followed with dry wood and made a good fire, while another took my teams away, while I knew not if I should ever see them again.
In the morning they brought my team back, having herded them all night. The Chief said that as they had eaten some of his grass I ought to pay him something, so I gave him a shirt and some flour, and both parties were well-satisfied. Had I shown fear, they would have plundered and perhaps killed us. We arrived in Salt Lake City on May 5 and that night a deep snow fell. It cleared off so cold that thousands of fruit trees were killed by the frost.
While living in Salt Lake I cut and hauled wood from the west mountains until June 19, when I started for Cache Valley to survey land by desire of President Young. While on my way with major Seth M. Blair's company of settlers, we learned that trouble had occurred with Indians at Smithfield, in which two whites and one Indian had been killed and several wounded. Therefore, we traveled in military order and reached Providence in safety. Here I remained for several weeks while making surveys in several parts of the valley.
I located my family in Logan and when the country was organized, I was appointed County Clerk and County Surveyor. I held this last position for more than 20 years.
For several months in 1861 I clerked for Farnsworth and Company and afterwards for the Thomas Box Company. Also, I taught a military school and assisted some of the time in the tithing office.
In June about 3,000 Indians entered the valley from Oregon with the avowed intention of exterminating the settlers. A strong force of Minute Men (Cavalry) was sent into camp about a mile from that of the Indians to keep watch of them I being one of them. We remained in camp nearly two weeks, spending much time each day in cavalry drill. In every settlement all of the men were under arms, had regular drills night and morning, paraded frequently and showed themselves too well-prepared for the Indians to attack. At last the Indians became frightened and hastily left the valley.
I spent several weeks in this service with others, but never received any pay for it. In fact, during the first ten years I spent a large part of my time on explorations, Indian expeditions, and guard duty without any compensation.
Each minute man was required to keep a horse saddled and bridled, arms and ammunition constantly on hand for instant service night and day, and we often started on an expedition with no more than 30 minutes notice. It was only this constant state of preparation that enabled the settlers of Cache County to maintain themselves against the Indians, who were numerous, well-armed and blood-thirsty, sometimes attacking companies of emigrants.
In the fall I assisted in organizing a dramatic company, which continued for five years and presented many plays, some of them very creditable.
In April while returning from Salt Lake City on horseback, I crossed the mountains on an Indian trail and nearly perished in the snow. It was deep and loose in many places and, if my horse had not been uncommonly strong and spirited, I might never have gotten through.
I was one of a party who explored Bear Lake Valley, crossing the mountains at the head of Blacksmith Fork River. In some places our trail lay along precipices barely wide enough for a horse to pass along and where a single false step would send one almost to certain death. On our return by the source of little Bear River, we found a vein of rich iron ore, assaying 70%.
Three days after our return, I started with a strong company on another tour of exploration into Bear Lake Valley by way of Cub River and made a thorough examination of its facilities for settlement, etc. I was historian and topographer and made report to President Young that the valley was suitable for settlement, it being generally supposed noninhabitable by reason of its altitude -- nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. We returned by way of Soda Springs and had much difficulty and danger in swimming our horses across Bear River and other swollen, raging torrents fed by the melting snows.
On Sunday, September 28, 1862, word came during church service that the Indians had stolen a band of horses belonging to Father H. Thatcher of Logan. I volunteered with about 20 others to follow them and in half an hour we were in pursuit, the Indians having 12 hours start. Our party was increased at Hyde Park and Smithfield by a few more, none of us having stopped to eat dinner or take any provisions. In following up an Indian trail, if one waits for all these things, the hostiles get out of reach; and this is why the U.S. troops accomplished so little in time of war with the Indians.
At dark we camped near the Indians, neither party daring to make any fire, and we lay on the wet ground exposed to a chilling tempest of wind and rain, hungry and shivering through a night that seemingly had no end. In the night two men with pack animals with provisions for our party from Franklin pass by us unobserved, so we were left without any food.
We followed the Indians three days into the mountains, sometimes being detained hours looking for their trail, which they tried always to conceal, and recovered 11 out of 29 horses they had taken. Finally the Indians scattered and we were forced reluctantly to abandon pursuit.
That night we accidentally met the two men with the food and were we glad! But our appetite did not fully return until the next day. I have given details of this raid, but it is only a sample of more than a score in which I have taken part.
On October 1, 1862 we got word that the Bannock Indians were mustering at Soda Springs to raid Cache Valley, so a strong force of men were sent to Franklin to help defend that place, while other detachments scouted in various directions. The Indians, learning of our readiness, desisted from their proposed attack.
In July 1863 I began photographing, learning from E. Covington. In the summer of 1864 I very narrowly escaped drowning, once in Bear River and also once in Logan River.
In October, 1867 I surveyed Malad City, Idaho and while there I wrote the following lines: (See following page, "Twilight Memories.")
In July 1869, Mr. S. B. Reed, superintendent of construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, sent for me to assist in surveying that road. I began near Lost Creek in Weber Canyon and continued until the middle of the following December, by which time the road was surveyed over 200 miles into Nevada, to Independence Wells. I served as topographer, preparing my maps with great care and exactness. We experienced many hardships and I had several hair-breadth escapes while climbing among rocks and precipices and in crossing the swollen, raging Weber, then at its height.
The company offered me permanent employment with good compensation and promotion, but I declined because of not wishing to be so much from home. I triangulated the country from Nevada to Ogden by direction of the chief engineer, Mr. Blickinsderfer, for this purpose ascending the high mountain peaks, always toilsome and often dangerous business. The data obtained was for the use of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., to be used in constructing a correct map, with the numerous mountain ranges in their true position.

" Tis eve. The sunlight gilds with golden hue
The snowy, cloud-encircled mountain top;
And in the darkling shadowy vale, the dew
On flower and leaflet gathers drop by drop.
The hour is silent, save the murmuring rill
That leaps along its steep and rocky bed;
Or save the distant -- faintly tinkling bell --
Or soft-winged bat, that circles round my head.
The visions of the past before me rise
And oft are happy -- oft so sadly sweet
That tears, unbidden, glisten in the eyes
At thought of those whom I no more shall meet.
I see again my father's reverend form --
His grave demeanor and his stately air,
His sparkling eyes, with love and friendship warm --
His forehead -- crowned with silver-sprinkled hair.
My mother! Ah, how sacred is that word!
The first that by the infant lip is spoken;
The last that on the battle plain is heard
From thousands, ere their silver bowl is broken.
I see again her kind and loving face
That o'er me bent in childhood's blissful slumber,
Her gently beaming eye -- her quiet grace --
Ah! Who can e'er those happy memories number!
I hear again a spirit-whispered song
A sister used to sing, while at her feet
We nestled closely round. Her voice hath long
Been silent now. The cold white winding sheet
Enwraps our loved one's form; and on the stone
Her name engraven is with moss o'ergrown.
A lily pure and spotless, blooming, bright,
Life's spring awhile she graced -- then passed from sight.
I had a brother once -- a baby boy
Scarce two years old, with soft and gentle eye
And wavy hair -- his mother's latest joy
And happy as the bird that caroled nigh.
Years since have passed: I never saw him more,
But have been told that on the battle plain
Where rushing thousands trampled deep in gore
He rests among our country's valiant slain.
No purer patriotism than his was found --
No braver hearts our banner gathered round.
How many tried and trusted friends are gone!
How many times our aching hearts have bled!
How oft an old and half-remembered song
Hath brought to mind those scenes forever fled!
And time is passing still. To-day will be
Soon numbered with the shadowy, silent past.
While rush we on towards eternity
That stretches out so broad -- illimitable -- vast.
One Sunday I heard the distant sound of a church bell -- the first time since 1849 -- awakening memories of the past which are partially embodied in lines I wrote entitled "Sabbath Bells."
Lines written on hearing the sweet sound of the church bell at Brigham City this soft and calm summer afternoon, awakening in me memories the most exquisitely tender. To my wife Susan E., hoping that when I, too, shall be numbered by her in the shadowy "Long Long Ago," they may awaken in her heart the same fond memories that dwell in mine. James H. Martineau Brigham City, June 8, 1873
Sabbath Bells! Sabbath Bells!
What memories throng as your music swells!
How the Shadows glide forth from the Long Long Ago
From the dim distant past, that more distant still grows
As the years swiftly bear us on Time's silent tide
To that vast mystic ocean, Eternity wide.
Sabbath Bells! Sabbath Bells!
How sweetly are pealing your silvery knells!
While I list to your pound, from the Shadowy Clime
Comes the faint lingering voice of an echoing chime
That long ago rang in boyhood's bright hours
That were passed with the birds, many brooklets and flowers.
Sabbath Bells! Sabbath Bells!
Like a requiem soundeth that slow pealing knell,
For e'en while I listen, a shadowy throng
With step slow and mournful comes silent along;
And in that grim hearse with its black waving plume
Lies my mother's cold form in her life's fairest bloom.
Sabbath Bells! Sabbath Bells!
Of scenes passing joyous that sounding note tells.
The funeral cortege hath vanished from sight
As the night giveth way to Aurora's pale light
And the hours so happy the brighter still grow
But the dark ones are hid in the Long Long ago.
Sabbath Bells! Sabbath Bells!
Still today as of yore your sweet music swells.
The brook still is flowing, the flowers still bloom
Though friends dear and cherished pass into the tomb.
The scenes that are passing soon come and soon go
And shadows become in the "Long Long Ago."
Brigham City, June 8, 1873, J. H. Martineau

In August 1871, I began the location of the Utah Northern Railroad, of which I was chief engineer. I very much desired to locate the road from Great Salt Lake Valley to Cache through the Bear River pass, along the river, instead of over the Divide where it now runs, but was not permitted to do so. I made several personal reconnoissances through the pass myself and was certain the road could have been constructed at much less expense than the present line and without its present heavy gradient of 100 feet per mile and without trouble from snow. I continued as chief engineer until 1875. After this I spent most of my time surveying and mapping.
In March 1875, Brigham Young, Jr., Moses Thatcher, and I were appointed by the Logan City council a committee to invite Governor Axtell to visit Cache County. I wrote the invitation, which was politely accepted and, when he arrived, traveled through the county with him. He seemed pleased with his hearty reception by the people and their good order, industry and sobriety.
In June 1875 I visited a coal deposit in Wyoming, lately discovered by an Indian. There were several veins of good coal, some of which I sent to Philadelphia to be tested. It was pronounced good.
In the spring of 1876 I took a trip to southern Utah, and in 1877 began to work at mapping in the Surveyor General's Office, Salt Lake City.
May 17, 1877 I assisted Jesse W. Fox in laying out the temple foundation by request of President Brigham Young and was present at the dedication of the ground and at the final dedication of the temple in 1884.
In February 1879 I left home in company with my son Lyman, Moses Thatcher and William Jennings for a tour of the eastern and northern sections of the country. Washington, New York, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Madison, and Chicago were visited on this trip. This was the first visit I had made to this part of the country since 1849, and the growth and progress of the country traversed during my three months' tour was nothing short of marvelous.
In November 1882, I went with Erastus Snow and Moses Thatcher on a trip through southern Arizona, into Sonora, Mexico, with the purpose of investigating this part of the country as to its suitability for colonization by our people. We returned to Logan in the following January. While in Arizona I was chosen as a counselor to President Christopher Layton of the newly-organized St. Joseph Stake, which consisted of the people living along the Gila and San Pedro Rivers.
While residing in Cache County I leveled and located many large canals, ranging in length from 5 to 30 miles, and surveyed many towns and settlements in Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, 35 in all, besides some that were afterward abandoned. I served as Adjutant General of brigade of Cache Militia District until my removal to Arizona in 1883 and was engaged in almost every exploring expedition and Indian raid that took place; was county clerk eight years in Iron County and six in Cache County; and, in short, led a very busy life, always placing the public good before my own.
During 1882, '83 and '84 I made several exploring tours in Sonora and traveled through much of southern Arizona. During that time I visited Utah three times by rail via San Francisco. In 1883 I surveyed the town of St. David, Arizona, also a large canal near the same place, and in 1884 surveyed the towns of Curtis, Graham, Pima and Thatcher. In 1885 I surveyed Solomonville, Duncan and Thomas; also a large canal in Graham County, Arizona running from Safford to Pima.
In 1886 I was solicited by leading non-Mormons in Arizona to accept the office of Probate Judge of Graham County; also to become candidate for member of the Territorial Legislature, but declined both nominations, not wishing to engage in politics, and being satisfied with the modest positions of county surveyor and notary public of Graham County. In January 1887 I was unanimously elected Mayor of Pima, but in consequence of a prolonged visit to Utah resigned that office in a few months.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(The preceding was excerpted from Tullidge's Magazine, ending in 1887. From here on are excerpts written by James Henry Martineau's son Joel.)
In 1888 Father and I left Pima in June and started for the Mormon Colonies in Mexico. After a hard journey, we came to Colonia Juarez and visited for two days with Uncle Sixtus Johnson and then went up the terrible San Diego Canyon road to Corales.
From here with David E. Johnson as guide we went over ridges and canyons to Cave Valley where the colony Sawmill was located, and remained two days looking around and then returned to Colonia Juarez. Here Father bought a lot from Franklin Spencer and we then pursued our journey homeward.
Father remained in Pima a short time, sold our home, and made arrangements for our departure for Mexico. He then returned to Tucson, Arizona, where he worked in the Land Office as a draftsman.
In January 1889 we finally left Pima. I drove four horses with two wagons. Mother and the girls drove a horse team. My 16-year-old brother Theodore and Harlon Carlton drove our cows and loose horses, along with the Carlton stock. My brother Henry had a four-horse team with two wagons and also a single team. James H. Carlton had a similar outfit; in all 9 wagons and 18 work animals.
We laid over in Deming two days and Father came from Tucson and brought Mother some money, then returned to his work. Soon a big canal called the Gila Bend was projected and Father was put in charge of it. After spending a year on it and the canal was near completion, the company failed and other interests took over. Father, like most of the men they were owing, was swindled out of his pay and lost nearly all he had earned and was left in debt. The canal was laid out over a sun-parched desert and one day, while riding alone on location, he was overcome by the intense heat, and only his faith and prayers saved him from a lonely death.
He went to work again in the Land Office in Tucson on November 26 and finished on March 10, 1891. He earned in that time $407.65, or about $5 a day, very low wages in those days.
There were many more surveys and engineering projects in Mexico. There was also much church work and a move from Deming to Sonora.
On July 11, 1892 the family celebrated Mother's 56th birthday.
In the latter part of the next year, Father began the survey of a large tract of land for a Mr. Murphy. This tract had formerly belonged to the Garcia brothers of Mexico City and extended from the Pacheco purchase, which was its north line, to the Candelaria peaks south of Chichupa, about 50 miles in length, and from the Sonora line it extended almost to the San Miguel River. He had an outfit for packing the necessary camp equipment and a party of eight men, and finished the job in May 1901. One of its best men was John A. Whetten, the flagsman, who took pity on him for the sorry horse he had to ride and gave him a splendid little saddle mule and rode the lazy old horse himself.
Father had survey work around the colonies and in the nearby country until 1904 (?) and during this time built an addition on the house, doing most of the work himself. During this year he took a contract as deputy U.S. Surveyor to survey several townships in the wild Uintah Mountains of eastern Utah at the age of 79 years.
James Henry and Susan Ellen Johnson Martineau had the following children: Henry Augustus, Moroni Helaman, Susan Elvira, John William, Nephi, George Albert, Joel Hills, Gertrude, Theodore, Anna Sarah, James Edward, Dora.
James Henry and Susan Julia Sherman Martineau had the following children: Delcena Diadamia, Lyman Royal, Charles Freeman, Jessie Nathaniel, Julia Henrietta, Elizabeth, Virginia, Joseph.

Martineau, James Henry, …..was born March 13, 1828, in Amsterdam, Montgomery county, New York, the son of John Martineau and Eliza Mears. He writes: "For several years I was a student in the Monroe Academy in Elbridge, New York, graduating with credits in English, Latin, grammar, chemistry, geology, philosophy, history, algebra, etc. In order to gain the education I served as janitor, taking care of the building for my tuition. I had to endure much scorn and abuse from those boys whose parents were wealthy and who looked upon me with contempt. While this to a sensitive spirit was hard to bear, it never for an instant caused me to falter in my purpose, but only made me more determined to succeed.
At the age of 16 I left school, engaging as a clerk in my Uncle Peter Martineau's store in Sennett, Cayuga County, New York. In 1845 I decided to become a printer and entered the office of the Cayuga Tocsin published in Auburn, New York. Entering as devil, I soon became a compositor, and later ran the power press, one of the first brought into central New York.
About this time I had a severe trial, for our Editor was elected to Congress and he obtained for me an appointment as Midshipman in the Navy. This was my great ambition, as I had an adventurous disposition and a military spirit and this position would enable me to indulge it, for I could travel the world over as a gentleman and, should war arise, could see something of it.
But my mother was opposed to it, as I was her only son. She tried by every means to dissuade me, picturing possible wars, the danger of storms and shipwreck. Not the least in her eyes was the danger of contracting wicked habits. The more she said, the more I wished to see it, so she ceased and sat silently weeping. Then I yielded, and thus passed the turning point of my life.
When the Mexican war commenced in 1846 I enlisted in the U.S. regular army to serve during the war. Just two hours before I was to go to the front my mother came, demanded my release as a minor, and led me home. Refusing to return to the printing office, I went to Milwaukee, Wis., entering the office of the "Milwaukee Sentinel" as pressman, but soon enlisted again, and with many other recruits was sent to Newport Barracks. Serving in various ways on detached service until the war ended I was honorably discharged in July, 1848, and returned to Milwaukee.
While passing up the Mississippi River on July 6, 1848, my mother died. On my return to Milwaukee I engaged as clerk in the large bookstore of Hale and Chapman and remained there until the spring of 1849, when I decided to go around the world, first spending a year in the California gold mines, thence to China, India, Persia and Europe. My uncle, whose adopted son I now was, endeavored to dissuade me, offering me every inducement which his great wealth would permit and quoting the Proverb, "A rolling stone gathers no moss." I wanted my moss rubbed off and told him so.
In 1849 I started for California, but on my arrival at the Missouri River I was told that it would be impossible so late in the season to safely cross the plains and so I stayed in Western Missouri until the spring of 1850, teaching school. Early in 1850 I again started on my journey to the Pacific Coast, during which my life was twice miraculously preserved, and I arrived in Salt Lake City, July 22, 1850.
During the journey I had been told the Mormons were guilty of every kind of wickedness, but on my arrival in Salt Lake City I found that I had been so much deceived by these lying reports that I decided to remain in the valley during the winter to study the people and then go on to California in the spring.
But I went no farther, for two women, the wife of Elder P. P. Pratt and the widow of Don Carlos Smith taught me the gospel, and I was baptized Jan. 19, 1851, (Jan 8?)just where the Temple stands in Salt Lake City before I heard a sermon by a "Mormon" Elder. "
(This part of his story in his own words now ends, and we will give a brief summation of his life in the following few paragraphs. Look to more compelete histories by clicking on the History Index at the top of this page)
In March of 1851 he was sent to help settle Iron County in southern Utah now at the age of 23. He became a member of Iron County Militia and the first clerk of the county. He served as city councilor and alderman and as ward clerk. Eight months later he married Susan Ellen Johnson, a 15 year old daughter of Joel Hills Johnson.
They began raising a family that ultimately numbered 13 children, two being adopted. He later married a second wife, Susan Julia Sherman on 18 Jan 1857 and practiced the sacred principal of plural marriage. They had 8 children.
The families moved to Logan, Utah and later on 28 Jan 1874 Susan Julia died from appendicitis leaving Susan Ellen to care for her children as well. Susan Ellen and James Henry moved a number of times, and his activities as a surveyor kept him away from home much of the time. James Henry was sent to Arizona to survey some of the mormon settlements there and from there the families were moved to old Mexico where many mormons had settled. During the Mexican Revolution in 1919(?) most of the colonists were driven back out of Mexico and back into the United States.
Many of the Martineau’s went back to Mexico and their homes when it was safe to do so, but James Henry and Susan Ellen and some of their family went back to the Salt Lake Area and Logan.
They had 67 years of married life together.
James Henry was well -educated for the times and served in many civic positions. He also served faithfully in various capacities in the LDS church, which was obviously an integral part of his life. He served as a Patriarch in the Church, and as such gave many Patriarchal blessings. Some of these blessings have been made available and can be viewed elsewhere.
See Stories, Letters, Other Index.
In 1887 James Henry Martineau made a collection of thoughts about life and his faith which he titled "Keys of Wisdom and Knowledge" for the benefit of his posterity. He signed this as Patriarch, Prophet, Priest and King.
You can find this under Stories,Letters, Other Index. and it is also available in a publication titled Pearls, which can be purchased from the Nephi Family Organization. [Pearls Order Form]
Several years ago, while moving Florence Martineau’s (a descendant of Nephi Martineau) belongings and distributing her bequests as she moved to a nursing home, Melna Martineau, wife of Lyman E. Martineau, and acting executor of Florence’s estate, saw a notebook in the garbage. It was discolored with age and had loose pages. Someone had picked up the notebook and discarded it because of its poor condition. Because she was in a hurry to finish the job, she took the notebook from the garbage and placed it in her bag, intending to look at it later. The notebook was forgotten until after Florence’s death. When going through some things, Melna found the notebook and carefully investigated the contents of the ragged book. She was excited to find that it was a collection of writings kept by James Henry Martineau. It was hand written, and displayed his beautiful penmanship. But the pages were brittle and beginning to crumble. There was mold between some of the pages, and the binding was in ribbons. Knowing that it would further deteriorate if not cared for, and not knowing how to care for it, Melna contacted Utah State University Special Collections Library. They stated that they could mend and preserve the book and store it so that it would last for years. In return for the donation of the book to their special collection, they agreed to make a photo copy of the notebook so that more copies could be made. They also agreed that any member of the James Henry Martineau family who wished to see the book, would be able to examine the original volume. The library has since repaired the notebook so that it is no longer tattered. The book is stored in a special box in a special room and is continually kept at the right temperature and with the proper humidity for preservation. But best of all, we have a photocopy of the original that can be reproduced over and over. That means that any family member who would like a photocopy of this rare treasure may have it. James Henry Martineau wrote the following on the title page of his "Pearls": To my dear children, .May my beloved ones profit by my labors, and become great and mighty in doing good. Great and mighty in the Priesthood, and great in their celestial exaltation in the celestial glory through obedience to every law of God, is the earnest prayer of their loving father. Patriarch, Prophet, Priest and King Logan August 18, 1887
Pearls has 177 pages of his handwritten notes, and includes copies of some of his Patriarchal Blessings. The cost is $12.00.
To my dear children.Note: In making this collection of Keys of wisdomKeys of wisdom and knowledge, my object has been to bring together in compact form many precious truths that are widely scattered among many publications of the Church, and therefore beyond the reach of any save a few, whose time and means will permit them to read and search for wisdom. As we will be exalted in proportion, not to our goodness but our intelligence, it is of vast importance to gain all we can: by study, faith, prayer, by the aid of the Holy Spirit; and to help and assist my children to obtain this intelligence and so to help them become wise unto their eternal exaltation in their celestial kingdoms and never ending dominions is the object of this work. May my beloved ones profit by my labors, and become great and mighty in doing good, great and mighty in the Priesthood, and great in their celestial exaltations in the celestial glory through obedience to every law of God, is the earnest prayer of their loving Father, Patriarch, Prophet, Priest and King,Logan August 18, 18
Stories written by James Henry Martineau. On some of the stories he used the pen name of San Tiago which is Saint James in Spanish. They were published in various places.
Titled An Engineer's Tribulations as it appeared in The Contributor
It may interest some of the many readers of The Contributor to know something of a surveyor’s life, and the many tribulations they may expect to meet in adopting the profession of a surveyor or a civil engineer. In this connection I do not refer to city surveyors or engineers. Their work, so to speak, is gilt-edged. Right at home, their work does not compel them to face the furious snowstorm, the drenching rain, the camping in the snow or in the mud, which is worse, not to suffer the intense thirst often encountered in his desert work. He does not toil painfully and slowly up the precipitous mountain side for a mile at a time, at the constant risk of his life, perhaps, and then find, on reaching what he fondly supposed to be the summit of the mountain, that he was mistaken—than a higher ridge is still in advance, with a steep, rocky canyon before him, apparently a mile deep, which he must at once descend, and then climb again, and after hours of toil and danger find himself but very little advanced upon his line of survey. Any surveyor of experience will at once recognize the picture, and recall the unspeakable dismay it then caused him. The city engineer may at almost any hour get a drink of cold water, something to eat, or shelter from a storm, and, at night, rest in his own comfortable home.
I give a few bits of my own experiences as an engineer, not to make one suppose mine to have been exceptionally hard, but that new beginners in the profession may know what they too may possibly meet. The surveyor goes on in advance of civilization. He traverses the wilderness and the deserts, as the foremost drop of spray of the advancing tide, as it encroaches upon the shore. And so his work, of necessity, carries him away from the comforts of home.

No one can better appreciate the delights of home, wife, and friends than the surveyor, just returned from a three months’ absence in the wilderness. Many a time has the writer and his party returned from such an expedition—not “fat, rugged, and saucy,” but just the opposite—a miniature copy of Falstaff’s regiment of ragamuffins. All ragged; some with shoes (or their small remnant) fastened together with bits of wire; others with no shoes at all, their wounded feet protected by pieces of cloth cut from their clothing, and bound upon their feet by strings or thongs of raw hide. And as he nears his home each man emphatically declares he will never—no, never—be such a fool again, nor take another such a jaunt. “No, sir,” say all, “you bet I don’t go out again—not if I know myself.” But it seems we don’t ourselves, for in a month or two you may see that same set of boys start out again on just such another expedition of hardship and danger as that which they lately vowed never to repeat.
There is a species of fascination in such a life, and so long as men have something to eat and shoes to their feet, they can stand almost anything. But sometimes provisions become scarce. On one occasion I was making a United States land survey in the heart of the Wasatch range, and our meat gave out and nearly everything else. One day one of the boys killed a porcupine, and being very hungry we determined to eat it. So it was cooked, and each man valiantly helped himself, saying, as he did so, “It’s first class, just as good as any meat I every ate.” But I noticed that a very small piece was sufficient for each one, and that what usually would be but a day’s supply seemed good for a week at least, until finally we threw it away. In truth, the meat seemed as good as any other, but imagination, no doubt, made all the difference. At length we found a man with a flock of several thousand sheep. He had a light covered wagon to live in, and had as companions five shepherd dogs. He remained a few days in a place, until grass became scarce, then moved a few miles, living from spring until the next winter all alone. “Don’t you get lonesome,” said I. “Oh, no,” answered he, apparently surprised at my question, “there’s the dogs! They’re good company.” Seeing a look of surprise, he continued, “Why, the dogs are good company. They can’t talk, but they understand every word I say, and I understand them. I’ll show you,” said he. The sheep were about a quarter of a mile away, scattered and grazing. Said he, in an ordinary tone of voice, and not speaking to any particular one, “John, I guess you’d better round up the sheep.” Instantly one of the dogs—John, I presume—darted away and began to run round and round outside of the flock, gradually bringing them together, the other dogs apparently unconcerned and asleep. “Nero, I guess you’d better help John,” said the man in the same even tone, and away Nero went to help the other dog. “Charlie, you’d better go too,” and away went Charlie; and so in succession went Jack and Rouser. All five ran round and round the flock, uttering not a bark nor a yelp—the sheep huddling closer until they became a solid mass. “That’ll do. Watch ‘em,” said the herdsman. Instantly each dog stopped, and sat facing the herd at equal distances apart, and the man walked into the herd, selected a fat wether to kill, and then said, “All right, let them go,” and every dog went to the wagon and laid down to sleep. “Why,” says the man, “any one of those dogs is worth more than two men to me. I can trust them better than I can any man. I must go and feed them. They know when they’re well treated as well as anybody else.” This lonely man, ignorant in many respects, knew the secret of power and influences, and I instinctively bowed in respect and admiration. And so we got our meat.
But not always were we so fortunate. While with Thos. B. Morris’ party, Union Pacific engineers, locating the line of railroad about two hundred miles west of Ogden, we got out of provisions—had nothing left but a little corn meal and some vinegar—not a morsel besides. Our supply teams had got delayed, and we were, as the boys put it “out of grub.” So we laid by one day, and every man except one or two, went out to kill a few rabbits or birds. Fifteen men started out, armed mostly with pistols, and after traveling about twenty-five or thirty miles each, in as many directions, returned at night to camp one by one, tired, hungry, thirst—and empty handed. Not a man had seen a rabbit or bird, but each fondly hoped the others had. When I, too, returned last of all—unsuccessful, faces looked woe-begone indeed. The cook mixed some corn
          August 2015 Highlights        
Editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy and Clinical Editor Betsy Todd present the highlights of the August issue of the American Journal of Nursing. This month’s cover shows a community nurse practicing health education with residents of a small fishing village in rural Uganda.. Our first CE, an original research piece, “‘I Am a Nurse’: Oral Histories of African Nurses,” features oral histories from African nurse leaders who describe what nursing practice and education meant to them during and after periods of colonization in Africa. Our second CE, “Nurses’ Role in Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion,” highlights the nonmedical use of opioids and how nurses play a critical role in stopping this epidemic of opioid abuse. The clinical feature, “The Evolution of Physical Activity Promotion,” describes how nurses can promote physical activity in their patients, an important health issue that many Americans fall short of. In “Safety Monitor: Misplacements of Enteral Feeding Tubes Increase After Hospitals Switch Brands,” the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority reviews cases of misplaced tubes and offers guidance for how nurses can prevent such errors in their own practice. Finally, “Nursing Resources: Vaccine Safety Resources for Nurses,” describes how nurses can teach patients about the importance and safety of vaccines in a time when the public still has many concerns about vaccines. In addition, there’s News, Reflections, Drug Watch, Art of Nursing, and more.
           Pseudomonas syringae differentiates into phenotypically distinct subpopulations during colonization of a plant host         
Rufian, J. S., Sanchez-Romero, M.-A., Lopez-Marquez, D., Macho, A. P., Mansfield, J. W., Arnold, D. L., Ruiz-Albert, J., Casadesus, J. and Beuzon, C. R. (2016) Pseudomonas syringae differentiates into phenotypically distinct subpopulations during colonization of a plant host. Environmental Microbiology, 18 (10). pp. 3593-3605. ISSN 1462-2912 Available from:
          The Strain of Civilization I        

"The breakdown of tribalism, of the closed societies of Greece, may be traced back to the time when population growth began to make itself felt among the ruling class of landed proprietors. This meant the end of ‘organic’ tribalism. For it created social tension within the closed society of the ruling class. At first, there appeared to be something like an ‘organic’ solution of this problem, the creation of daughter cities. (The ‘organic’ character of this solution was underlined by the magical procedures followed in the sending out of colonists.) But this ritual of colonization only postponed the breakdown. It even created new danger spots wherever it led to cultural contacts; and these, in turn, created what was perhaps the worst danger to the closed society—commerce, and a new class engaged in trade and seafaring. By the sixth century B.C., this development had led to the partial dissolution of the old ways of life, and even to a series of political revolutions and reactions. And it had led not only to attempts to retain and to arrest tribalism by force, as in Sparta, but also to that great spiritual revolution, the invention of critical discussion, and, in consequence, of thought that was free from magical obsessions. At the same time we find the first symptoms of a new uneasiness. The strain of civilization was beginning to be felt.
This strain, this uneasiness, is a consequence of the breakdown of the closed society. It is still felt even in our day, especially in times of social change. It is the strain created by the effort which life in an open and partially abstract society continually demands from us—by the endeavour to be rational, to forgo at least some of our emotional social needs, to look after ourselves, and to accept responsibilities. We must, I believe, bear this strain as the price to be paid for every increase in knowledge, in reasonableness, in co-operation and in mutual help, and consequently in our chances of survival, and in the size of the population. It is the price we have to pay for being human. The strain is most closely related to the problem of the tension between the classes which is raised for the first time by the breakdown of the closed society. The closed society itself does not know this problem. At least to its ruling members, slavery, caste, and class rule are ‘natural’ in the sense of being unquestionable. But with the breakdown of the closed society, this certainty disappears, and with it all feeling of security. The tribal community (and later the ‘city’) is the place of security for the member of the tribe. Surrounded by enemies and by dangerous or even hostile magical forces, he experiences the tribal community as a child experiences his family and his home, in which he plays his definite part; a part he knows well, and plays well. The breakdown of the closed society, raising as it does the problems of class and other problems of social status, must have had the same effect upon the citizens as a serious family quarrel and the breaking up of the family home is liable to have on children. Of course, this kind of strain was felt by the privileged classes, now that they were threatened, more strongly than by those who had formerly been suppressed; but even the latter felt uneasy. They also were frightened by the breakdown of their ‘natural’ world. And though they continued to fight their struggle, they were often reluctant to exploit their victories over their class enemies who were supported by tradition, the status quo, a higher level of education, and a feeling of natural authority. In this light we must try to understand the history of Sparta, which successfully tried to arrest these developments, and of Athens, the leading democracy." Karl Popper [1945], Chapter 10, Section II

          If Only the Government Had Respected Its Own Laws... I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now        
Black Elk Speaks, Leonard Peltier's recent letter brings the plight of Native Americans over the last two centuries into present focus. Someone reading the 1932 classic today might easily believe that while it is a tragic tale of America's bitter origins, it is a story firmly rooted in a past that we have long moved on from. This view, sadly, would be mistaken. As Peltier states in his letter, Barack Obama must now take on the burden of covering up the mistreatment and oppression of present-day natives. Pardoning Peltier today would admit that the government was wrong, and would expose past and present wrong-doings of this government that would be far too costly, politically, for the establishment to bear. The case of Leonard Peltier is one more thread in the weave that, if pulled in too many places, would unravel the whole faux legitimacy of American empire, and the colonialism that it is based on. It was with added depth that I read Peltier's signing off statement, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse." As I learned in Black Elk Speaks, Crazy Horse was a brave and uncompromising man who was fearless in his struggle to bring freedom for his people. He was a skilled fighter, and, as Black Elk said, no Wasichus (white people) could ever kill him in a fight. He was never wounded in battle his whole life. As Black Elk tells it, "They could not have killed him in battle. They had to lie to him and murder him. And he was only about thirty years old when he died." Again, I see parallels to the present day, where the government cannot face Peltier on just and even terms, but must hide behind the clout and legal jargon of the American judicial system, miring his case in legal battle after legal battle to keep the truth (and Peltier himself) from ever becoming free. Without further introduction, below is Peltier's letter to his supporters after being denied parole after 33 years of incarceration, despite the fact that the Parole Commission "recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that [Peltier] personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents." Ah, justice in America... - Tim

• • •

If Only the Government Had Respected Its Own Laws...I Am Barack Obama's Political Prisoner Now

By LEONARD PELTIER The United States Department of Justice has once again made a mockery of its lofty and pretentious title. After releasing an original and continuing disciple of death cult leader Charles Manson (sic - Lynette Squeaky Fromme) who attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford, an admitted Croatian terrorist, and another attempted assassin of President Ford under the mandatory 30-year parole law, the U.S. Parole Commission deemed that my release would "promote disrespect for the law." If only the federal government would have respected its own laws, not to mention the treaties that are, under the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land, I would never have been convicted nor forced to spend more than half my life in captivity. Not to mention the fact that every law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples and is applied unequally at our expense. If nothing else, my experience should raise serious questions about the FBI's supposed jurisdiction in Indian Country. The parole commission's phrase was lifted from soon-to-be former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, who apparently hopes to ride with the FBI cavalry into the office of North Dakota governor. In this Wrigley is following in the footsteps of William Janklow, who built his political career on his reputation as an Indian fighter, moving on up from tribal attorney (and alleged rapist of a Native minor) to state attorney general, South Dakota governor, and U.S. Congressman. Some might recall that Janklow claimed responsibility for dissuading President Clinton from pardoning me before he was convicted of manslaughter. Janklow's historical predecessor, George Armstrong Custer, similarly hoped that a glorious massacre of the Sioux would propel him to the White House, and we all know what happened to him. Unlike the barbarians that bay for my blood in the corridors of power, however, Native people are true humanitarians who pray for our enemies. Yet we must be realistic enough to organize for our own freedom and equality as nations. We constitute 5% of the population of North Dakota and 10% of South Dakota and we could utilize that influence to promote our own power on the reservations, where our focus should be. If we organized as a voting bloc, we could defeat the entire premise of the competition between the Dakotas as to which is the most racist. In the 1970s we were forced to take up arms to affirm our right to survival and self-defense, but today the war is one of ideas. We must now stand up to armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds. International law is on our side. Given the complexion of the three recent federal parolees, it might seem that my greatest crime was being Indian. But the truth is that my gravest offense is my innocence. In Iran, political prisoners are occasionally released if they confess to the ridiculous charges on which they are dragged into court, in order to discredit and intimidate them and other like-minded citizens. The FBI and its mouthpieces have suggested the same, as did the parole commission in 1993, when it ruled that my refusal to confess was grounds for denial of parole. To claim innocence is to suggest that the government is wrong, if not guilty itself. The American judicial system is set up so that the defendant is not punished for the crime itself, but for refusing to accept whatever plea arrangement is offered and for daring to compel the judicial system to grant the accused the right to rebut the charges leveled by the state in an actual trial. Such insolence is punished invariably with prosecution requests for the steepest possible sentence, if not an upward departure from sentencing guidelines that are being gradually discarded, along with the possibility of parole. As much as non-Natives might hate Indians, we are all in the same boat. To attempt to emulate this system in tribal government is pitiful, to say the least. It was only this year, in the Troy Davis, case, that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized innocence as a legitimate legal defense. Like the witnesses that were coerced into testifying against me, those that testified against Davis renounced their statements, yet Davis was very nearly put to death. I might have been executed myself by now, had not the government of Canada required a waiver of the death penalty as a condition of extradition. The old order is aptly represented by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who stated in his dissenting opinion in the Davis case, "This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is 'actually' innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged 'actual innocence' is constitutionally cognizable." The esteemed Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan, who is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, used much the same reasoning in writing that "our legal system has found Leonard Peltier guilty of the crime for which he was charged. I have reviewed the material from the trial, and I believe the verdict was fair and just." It is a bizarre and incomprehensible statement to Natives, as well it should be, that innocence and guilt is a mere legal status, not necessarily rooted in material fact. It is a truism that all political prisoners were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged. The truth is the government wants me to falsely confess in order to validate a rather sloppy frame-up operation, one whose exposure would open the door to an investigation of the United States' role in training and equipping goon squads to suppress a grassroots movement on Pine Ridge against a puppet dictatorship. In America, there can by definition be no political prisoners, only those duly judged guilty in a court of law. It is deemed too controversial to even publicly contemplate that the federal government might fabricate and suppress evidence to defeat those deemed political enemies. But it is a demonstrable fact at every stage of my case. I am Barack Obama's political prisoner now, and I hope and pray that he will adhere to the ideals that impelled him to run for president. But as Obama himself would acknowledge, if we are expecting him to solve our problems, we missed the point of his campaign. Only by organizing in our own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about the changes that we all so desperately need. Please support the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee in our effort to hold the United States government to its own words. I thank you all who have stood by me all these years, but to name anyone would be to exclude many more. We must never lose hope in our struggle for freedom. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Leonard Peltier
Leonard Peltier #89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837 There are several indigenous-related films on]]>
          Ca si altii... (de Unu-2 [utilizator])        
Ca si alti americani organizati intr-o societate civica ce acum peste 100 de ani au ales sa plece in Sierra Leone si Liberia - Bine au ales ... visul de libertate al afro-americanilor. Apropo de Soros, nu-i ca stie lucruri pe care altii nu le stiu, e doar ca altora le e frica sa le spuna in gura mare in fata presei. Unele lucruri trebuie totusi spuse in gura mare.
          Earth 2.0: Is Income Inequality Inevitable?         

In pursuit of a more perfect economy, we discuss the future of work; the toxic remnants of colonization; and whether giving everyone a basic income would be genius -- or maybe the worst idea ever.

           Regulating time, regulating society: control and colonization in the sphere of public leisure provision         
Ravenscroft, N. and Parker, G. (1999) Regulating time, regulating society: control and colonization in the sphere of public leisure provision. Loisir et Societe, 22 (2). pp. 381-401.
          Preview Of Star Trek Novels and E-book Novellas For Rest of 2014 + 2015        
Missing a regular dose of Trek in your life? Thankfully the Star Trek novel line continues to keep the Star Trek universe alive, with new adventures every month set after, and amongst, the events of the TV and film series. On top of that, the recently revived and expanded ebook line gives us an episode-feel novella every other month. So today TrekMovie takes a look at what is coming up in Star Trek fiction over the next year. 2014/2015 STAR TREK NOVELS PREVIEW Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Light Fantastic  (July 2014) by Jeffrey Lang Returning to the story begun in the novel Immortal Coil and continuing in the bestselling Cold Equations trilogy, this is the next fascinating chapter in the artificial life of one of Star Trek’s most enduring characters. He was perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form—self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. And then Data was destroyed. Four years later, Data’s creator, Noonien Soong, sacrificed his life and resurrected his android son, who in turn revived the positronic brain of his own artificial daughter, Lal. Having resigned his commission, the former Starfleet officer now works to make his way on an alien world, while also coming to grips with the very human notion of wanting versus having a child. But complicating Data’s new life is an unexpected nemesis from years ago on the U.S.S. Enterprise—the holographic master criminal Professor James Moriarty. Long believed to be imprisoned in a memory solid, Moriarty has created a siphon into the "real" world as a being of light and thought. Moriarity wants the solid form that he was once told he could never have, and seeks to manipulate Data into finding another android body for him to permanently inhabit…even if it means evicting the current owner, and even if that is Data himself. Star Trek: Seekers 1: Second Nature (August 2014) by David Mack. An all-new Star Trek series begins! A new mission: The late twenty-third century—Starfleet’s golden age of exploration. Desperate to stay one step ahead of its rivals, the Federation sends two starships, the scout Sagittarius and the cruiser Endeavour, to plumb the secrets of the vast region known as the Taurus Reach. A doomed race: Drawn by mysterious energy readings to a lush green world, the crew of the Sagittarius find the Tomol: a species whose members all commit ritual suicide just as they reach the cusp of adulthood. An old foe: The crew of the Sagittarius wants to save the Tomol from their cycle of self-destruction, but first they’ll need to save themselves—from the most nefarious Klingon starship commander in history. Star Trek: Seekers 2: Point of Divergence (September 2014) by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore The second novel set in The Original Series/Vanguard universe… The Taurus Reach. Once the conquered realm of a powerful alien species, this region remains largely shrouded in mystery even as it brims with potential for exploration and colonization. The Federation has sent in two of its finest starships on a quest to uncover the secrets it may yet hold… The Tomol are a primitive civilization occupying a lone island on a remote world. Their culture is an enigma, centered on every member’s commitment to a painful, fiery self-sacrifice upon reaching maturity. But one of their clan has shunned this obligation, triggering a transformation into a new, powerful life form. Answering the distress call of the U.S.S. Sagittarius—which has crashed on the planet following a fierce battle with the Klingons—Captain Atish Khatami and the crew of the Starship Endeavour must now attempt a rescue mission…even as they are locked in battle with the evolving, increasingly malevolent Tomol who, if allowed to escape their home world, pose an imminent threat to the entire galaxy! Star Trek: Voyager: Acts of Contrition  (October 2014) by Kirsten Beyer An original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: Voyager—and the sequel to the New York Times bestseller Protectors! Admiral Kathryn Janeway has now taken command of the Full Circle Fleet. Her first mission: return to the Delta Quadrant and open diplomatic relations with the Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant, a civilization whose power rivals that of the Federation. Captain Chakotay knows that his choices could derail the potential alliance. While grateful to the Confederacy Interstellar Fleet for rescuing the Federation starships from an alien armada, Voyager’s captain cannot forget the horrors upon which the Confederacy was founded. More troubling, it appears that several of Voyager’s old adversaries have formed a separate and unlikely pact that is determined to bring down the Confederacy at all costs. Sins of the past haunt the crew members of the Full Circle Fleet as they attempt to chart a course for the future. Will they learn much too late that some sins can never be forgiven…or forgotten? Star Trek: Section 31: Disavowed   (November 2014) by David Mack The pulse-pounding new Star Trek thriller from David Mack—a direct sequel to the New York Times bestselling series The Fall! Amoral, shrouded in secrecy, and answerable to no one, Section 31 is the mysterious covert operations division of Starfleet, a rogue shadow group committed to safeguarding the Federation at any cost. Doctor Julian Bashir sacrificed his career for a chance to infiltrate Section 31 and destroy it from within. Now it’s asking him to help it stop the Breen from stealing a dangerous new technology from the Mirror Universe—one that could give the Breen control over the galaxy. It’s a mission Bashir can’t refuse—but is it really the shot he’s been waiting for? Or is it a trap from which even his genetically enhanced intellect can’t escape? NOTE: No covers available for books beyond October 2014 Star Trek: The Original Series: Foul Deeds Will Rise  (December 2014) by Greg Cox An all-new Star Trek novel, set in the popular and blockbuster Original Series movie era! 2288. The U.S.S...
          Exhibit of Portugal's Baroque Flaunts Dazzling Opulence         

THE Age of the Baroque in Portugal'' is a show of blockbuster appeal on a number of levels. This exhibition has that eye-popping glitz that amazes the lay viewer and art scholar alike. As a window into the history of Europe during the tumultuous centuries encompassing the discovery of the New World, the rise of entitled monarchies, and the gradual decline of same, this show is a must-see.

Debuting to critical raves earlier this year at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the exhibition is now on view at the San Diego Museum of Art.

``The Age of the Baroque'' provides a look at the opulence that attended royal and noble life in 18th-century Portugal - exaggerated excesses tied to an abiding Portuguese Catholicism, but also reflecting the unspoken subtext of all art at this grandiose scale: the expression of power.

The indescribable wealth and self-conscious craftsmanship of the works in this fine show remind us of the international sophistication of a little sliver of a country that was by the 1700s a major world player, influencing and being influenced by the highest culture and global politics of its day.

The show's 120 works include crown jewels laden with enough diamonds, rubies, and precious metals to dazzle; furniture; sacramental objects; scientific instruments; and silver work, all executed with unabashed lavish.

The reign of Portugal's King John V represents the apogee of this age of luxury. King John was the learned cosmopolitan King who, though he never left Portugal, aspired in the early 1700s to duplicate the absolute power and art patronage of France's Louis XIV. A commemorative pendant commissioned by King John is adorned with 400 perfect good-sized diamonds, 102 rubies, and a large perfect sapphire.

Then there is the ``Sacramental Monstrance,'' in which a gilded angel holds a sphere composed of 400 pounds of pure silver. Or the gallons of silver tooled by the foremost French smith, Francois-Thomas Germain. (Much of Germain's silver was melted down during the Revolution, so its cropping up in Portugal during the Baroque age was a serendipitous preservation of material culture.)These and other objects in ``Age of Baroque in Portugal'' call to mind a Europe in which religion, wealth, and power were the trade commodities used by church and state to ingratiate, threaten, cajole, and coerce. And in these machinations, Portugal had her ups and downs.

She was a world power in the 1400s and 1500s, leading Europe in exploration and colonization of the New World. But by the 1700s she was depleted of her national coffers, felt drained by her colonial responsibilities, and held increasingly powerful Spain and England at bay. Portugal's adventures into the New World paid off when, in the first two decades of the 1700s, enormous gold and diamond mines were found in Brazil and dragged back to the little country in ship-fulls.

And the wealth could not have come at a better time. It coincided with the century or so during which an obscure monk named Martin Luther claimed that each person, regardless of wealth, had a direct personal relationship with God.

Luther's Reformation cast doubt on papal power. But in the odd wisdom of politics, Rome sent out a mandate demanding that the Church dazzle and intoxicate with visual drama and express exuberant religious fervor and entranced piety in a most literal and grand manner.

As the Counter-Reformation spread to Spain and Portugal, wealthy Portuguese nobles turned to Italy and France for their items of luxury. Little studios or schools of gifted native artists sprang up in patronage centers like Lisbon and Mafra.

An element of national competition is detectable in these pieces - if Louis the Sun King could do it, so could the Portuguese. And because of Portugal's trade colonies in South America and India, there is a delightful multiethnic feel one could only call exotic.

That is how you get in one and the same object the fussy elegance of French aristocratic Louvre-esque craft mixed in with oddly folky mesoamerican motifs like pumpkins and plumes; so it is that King John's mistress/nun was given a funny little desk that combines English pomp and Oriental fussiness.

The show stopper is sure to be a carriage whose size required the San Diego Museum of Art to raise its existing ceilings. The carving of the wheel spokes alone must have taken the best sculptors in Italy months and months. Ordered by a Portuguese envoy to the Vatican - undoubtedly sent to curry favor and get Rome's hand in dealing with unruly neighbors - the gold coach bears near life-size gilded statues of Grecian allegorical figures placing a laurel on a female personification of Portugal ... if this is not a way of signifying homage to the little sea power, I don't know what is.

Art historians assume that most of the items in ``The Age of the Baroque'' were intended to solidify Portugal's position in the world power formula of the time. Nearly every object has a religious context, but scholars and critics have long speculated that the sacred became an excuse for political grandstanding and excess for its own sake. The truth is that when you see these objects firsthand and have been in Portugal, you sense the devotion behind them, whether laced with patrons' other motives or not.

In the end, these objects are both functional and symbolic, intended for sheer pleasure and the sending complex messages. It is safe to say that much of the art on view in San Diego was conceived to suggest that the holders of such wealth were formidable enough to wage war, rich enough to be generous, and pious enough to do it all with the blessing of God.

* ``The Age of the Baroque in Portugal'' continues at the San Diego Museum of Art through Sept. 22.

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          Twenty Reasons I am Distressed by Religion and its Believers.        
1- I am distressed when I share confined space with believers and their every sentence is filled with God delusion.

2- I am distressed when religious leaders accuse a child of witchcraft and those self-styled prophets are allowed to freely abuse children and vulnerable people under the pretense of casting out demons. 

3- I am distressed when the opinions of religious leaders are deemed more important than scientific evidence.

4- I am distressed when a child is forced-fed the cancer called religion 

'5- I am distressed when creationism is taught in public schools but evolution never made it to a biology class curriculum.  

6- I am distressed when I get a group mail message from a feminist group, asking for prayers for a sister who is seriously ill in hospital and members start sending prayers to different Gods. 

7- I am distressed because I know sending a response suggesting more practical ways we can help the sister in hospital e.g. financial assistance, volunteering to take or pick up her children from school or just writing her encouraging letters and asking her how we can be of practical assistance might actually help more than praying to our different skydaddies, but I know such suggestions is most likely to be viewed as antagonistic and might even caused me to be blocked from the group. 

8- I am distressed when religion makes me lose intellectual respect for those I used to like because in all honesty, I cannot have any intellectual respect for someone who believes there was a talking snake, a Noah's ark and gladly quotes the commandments of a war mongering, pedophile prophet.

9- I am distressed that I almost choke with disbelief whenever I am forced to share space with Nigerian religious believers, even in a London red bus, as they narrate loudly on their phone to their captive audience about how God just saved them from the plotting of the evil village people, who somehow from the remote part of a Nigerian village, managed to use 'juju' to send UK immigration to come after them in London.

10- I am distressed by the ignorance and bigotry of religious believers.

11- I am distressed at how vindictive many believers are in the name of religion. The faithfuls are always praying to their Skydaddy and his warrior angels to destroy and kill their enemies by 'fire by force'. Never a word of love, always an orgy of vengeful vendetta.

12- I am distressed that I can hardly hold a conversation with Nigerians including members of my family without them mentioning God in every sentence. 

13- I am distressed that the God delusion has broken families and driven a wedge between many family members with the many accusations and counter accusations of witchcraft. 

14- I am distressed that quotes from the Bible and Quran are deemed perfectly good reasons to oppress women and even stone to death gays, lesbians, bisexuals, Trans and women accused of committing adultery.

15- I am distressed every time I see a picture of a blue eyed, blonde Jew on a cross hanging on the wall of a public school, a village church or from my mother’s bedroom because it is another reminder of colonization and mental slavery. 

16- I am distressed because the gods now embraced by Nigerians have no physical or cultural resemblance to them; it is another reminder that Nigerians import everything, including Gods. Africa can’t even export its own Gods.  

17- I am distressed when the sculpture of a white, pale woman aka ‘Holy Mary’ occupies a place of pride in the center of a remote village in Nigeria.  Even though the foreign sculpture has no resemblance to the village inhabitants, it is somehow deemed the most sacred sculpture in the village. 

18- I am distressed when an African quotes from the Bible or Quran to justify the oppression of another. I wondered if they did not read the parts in their precious holy books that clearly state that they are not the chosen race , it is OK for the chosen race to enslave them, rape their wives, kill their children and animals and of course the bible and the Quran were used to do just that to their ancestors.

19- I am distressed when it is increasingly difficult to have adult friends who do not have imaginary friends; they all talk about having a friend in Jesus, angels and skydaddy. 

20- I am distressed that even though I am the one who does not believe in a talking snake, a talking donkey, a virgin mother, a Noah’s ark that ferried all living things on earth, yet somehow I am the one the believers call crazy.

Even though I am distressed by all these absurdities, I am happy I am not one of the believers. To be called crazy by ignorant people is a compliment. 


Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws 


The anti same sex marriage bill criminalizing same sex marriage and stipulating 14 years imprisonment for Nigerians who engage in same sex relationship has passed through the second reading in the House of Representatives. The House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal has referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole House for consideration. LGBT rights are Human Rights.

As stated in our position paper on the Anti Same Sex marriage bill, Fundamental Human Rights of sexual minorities are violated daily because of criminalization of same sex relationship and societal prejudice.The homophobic bill violates fundamental human rights that are guaranteed under the Nigerian constitution and various human rights regional and international laws and agreements that Nigeria has ratified. Thus this Bill would nullify some parts of the Constitution.

Also, the bill would lead to political and social harassment of people for their actual or imputed sexual orientation. It would also stifle freedom of expression and association through the proposed ban on organizations that support Lesbians and gay rights.

The bill would further affect Nigeria’s Human rights records.  Individuals, general society and institutions including the police would use it as a license to intimidate and harass citizens based on their actual or suspected sexual orientation. The passing of the bill would give official validation to the harassment of sexual minorities and many homophobic persons would use it as a license to discriminate against lesbians and gays.

Sodomy law is a relic from British colonization. The British parliament and many of its former colonies e.g. Canada, Australia, South Africa and India have since repealed the law. Why is Nigeria clinging and seeking to strengthen this antiquated and erroneous law through the proposed Anti-same sex relationship bill? The argument that any sexual act or relationship that deviates from the standard heterosexual norm is against African culture is using “culture” to sanction the erasure of dialogue about alternative sexualities and to condone homophobia, therefore constituting a form of cultural violence. A society that stifles sexual and gender identities discourages the recognition of human dignity. LGBTI rights are human rights.

If two people of the same sex want to make their relationship more stable and commit themselves more deeply to each other, this can only be good for Nigeria. It makes no difference whether the couple is gay or straight. We ask that the lawmakers reconsider their decision to pass this bill as it infringes on the Human Rights of Nigerian LGBT people.
Nigeria LGBTIs in Diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws call on all Nigerians to oppose the Anti Same Sex Marriage bill.  If passed, President Goodluck Jonathan must not sign this homophobic bill into law.
Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws affirms that LGBT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS and every Nigerian deserve the same right every other Nigerian enjoys irrespective of class, sex, gender or sexual orientation.
Signed on behalf of Nigerian LGBTI in Diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws
Yemisi Ilesanmi-
Davis Mac-Iyalla –
John Adewoye-
Mojisola  Adebayo-
Toyin Ajao-

WEBSITE LINK-  Nigerian LGBTIs in diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws-Press statement

          Iraqi Groups Discuss Postwar Government        

The talks concluded with an agreement to reconvene in 10 days.

U.S. Central Command released a 13-point statement at the end of the meeting outlining key goals for the rebuilding effort, the first being “Iraq must be democratic.”

Other points from the statement include that the Ba’ath political party must be dissolved and that Iraqis must choose their leaders and not have them imposed from the outside.

White House envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told the meeting delegates that the U.S. has “no intention of ruling Iraq.”

“We want you to establish your own democratic system based on Iraqi traditions and values,” Khalilzad said. “I urge you to take this opportunity to cooperate with each other.”

The meeting was designed to bring together dozens of otherwise divided Iraqi community leaders and exile figures to assess the country’s future government and reconstruction efforts. But the forum has met challenges, primarily from groups who oppose U.S. plans to install retired Army General Jay Garner as head of an interim administration in Iraq.

Garner is head of the U.S. Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for postwar Iraq and is expected to preside over the coordination of humanitarian aid and the rebuilding of the country’s badly damaged infrastructure.

Before the talks began at the Tallil Air Base near Nasiriya in southern Iraq, thousands of Iraqis took to the city’s streets, saying they wanted to rule themselves and chanting, “No to America, No to Saddam,” according to a Reuters report.

A number of Shiite Muslim representatives decided to boycott the meeting, a move that led many of the demonstrators to take to the streets to protest the conference.

“Iraq needs an Iraqi interim government. Anything other than this tramples the rights of the Iraqi people and will be a return to the era of colonization,” Abdul Aziz Hakim, a leader of the largest Iraqi Shiite Muslim opposition group, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq told the Associated Press.

Garner, who chaired Tuesday’s forum, expressed concern at the slow start of the discussion on Iraq’s transition.

“My fear right now is every day we delay we’re probably losing some momentum and there’s perhaps some vacuums in there getting filled that we won’t want filled,” Garner told USA Today.

The meeting was scheduled to include some 100 Iraqis, including members of opposition groups, such as the Iraqi National Congress, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, that have supported the U.S. stance against Saddam.

Local leaders, representatives from Sunni and some Shiite Muslim factions and exiles who have not been in Iraq for several years were also expected to attend.

Garner’s reconstruction team will oversee the gradual transition of power to Iraqi officials, a process that could take three to six months. However, the installation of a new government could take longer, a British member of the task force told the Associated Press.

“Will we get a complete government in place in that time? I doubt it,” British Maj. Gen. Tim Cross said. “One has to go through the process of building from the bottom up, allowing the leadership to establish itself, and then the election process to go through and so forth. That full electoral process may well take longer.”

The post Iraqi Groups Discuss Postwar Government appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

          John Quincy Adams        

John Quincy Adams

Click Here to view the US Mint & Coin Acts 1782-1792

Sixth President of the United States
Under the Constitution of 1787
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829

This tally sheet documents the last presidential election in which no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, throwing the election into the House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams won the presidency over Andrew Jackson - Courtesy of: National Archives and Records Administration
ADAMS, John Quincy, sixth president of the United States under the constitution, born in Braintree, Massachusetts, 11 July 1767; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 23 February 1848. He was named for his mother's grandfather, John Quincy. In his eleventh year he accompanied his father to France, and was sent to school near Paris, where his proficiency in the French language and other studies soon became conspicuous. In the following year he returned to America, and back again to France with his father, whom, in August 1780, he accompanied to Holland. After a few months at school in Amsterdam, he entered the University of Leyden. Two years afterward John Adams's secretary of legation, Francis Dana, was appointed minister to Russia, and the boy accompanied him as private secretary. After a stay of fourteen months, as Catharine's government refused to recognize Mr. Dana as minister, young Adams left St. Petersburg and traveled alone through Sweden, Denmark, and northern Germany to France, spending six months in the journey. Arriving in Paris, he found his father busy with the negotiation of the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States, and was immediately set to work as secretary, and aided in drafting the papers that " dispersed all possible doubt of the independence of his country."

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information

In 1785, when his father was appointed minister to England, he decided not to stay with him in London, but to return at once to Massachusetts in order to complete his education at Harvard College. For an American career he believed an American education to be best fitted. Considering the immediate sacrifice of pleasure involved, it was a remarkably wise decision in a lad of eighteen. But Adams's character was already fully formed; he was what he remained throughout his life, a Puritan of the sternest and most uncompromising sort, who seemed to take a grim enjoyment in the performance of duty, especially when disagreeable. Returning home, he was graduated at Harvard College in 1788, and then studied law in the office of Theophilus Parsons, afterward chief justice of Massachusetts. In 1791 he was admitted to the Suffolk bar, and began the practice of law, the tedium of which he relieved by writing occasional articles for the papers. Under the signature of"Publicola" he criticized some positions taken by Thomas Paine in his " Rights of Man ": and these articles, when republished in England, were generally attributed to his father. In a further series of papers, signed " Marcellus," he defended Washington's policy of neutrality; and in a third series, signed "Columbus," he discussed the extraordinary behavior of Citizen Genet, whom the Jacobins had sent over to browbeat the Americans into joining France in hurling defiance at the world.

These writings made him so conspicuous that in 1794 Washington appointed him minister to Holland, and two years later made an appointment transferring him to Portugal. Before he had started for the latter country his father became president of the United States and asked Washington's advice as to the propriety of promoting his own son by sending him to Berlin. Washington in strong terms recommended the promotion, declaring that in his opinion the young man would prove to be the ablest diplomat in the American service. In the fall of 1797 Mr. Adams accordingly took up his residence at the capital of Prussia. Shortly before this he had married Miss Louisa Johnson, a niece of Thomas Johnson, of Maryland. During his residence at Berlin Mr. Adams translated Wieland's "Oberon" into English. In 1798 he was commissioned to make a commercial treaty with Sweden. In 1800 he made a journey through Silesia, and wrote an account of it, which was published in London and afterward translated into German and French. When Jefferson became president, Mr. Adams's mission terminated. He resumed the practice of law in Boston, but in 1802, was elected to the Massachusetts senate, and next year was chosen to the senate of the United States instead of Timothy Pickering.

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America's Four United Republics

The Federalist Party was then entwined by the feud between the partisans of John Adams and those of Hamilton, and the reception of the younger Adams in the senate was far from flattering. Affairs grew worse when, at the next vacancy, Pickering was chosen to be his uncongenial colleague. Mr. Adams was grossly and repeatedly insulted. Any motion he might make was sure to be rejected by the combined votes of republicans and Hamiltonians, though frequently a large majority would carry the same motion, made soon afterward by somebody else. A committee of which he was a member would make and send in its report without even notifying him of its time and place of meeting. At first Mr. Adams was subjected to such treatment merely because he was the son of his father; but presently he rendered himself more and more amenable to it by manifesting the same independence of party ties that had made his father so unpopular. Independence in politics has always been characteristic of the Adams family, and in none has this been more strongly marked than in John Quincy Adams. His first serious difference with the Federalist Party was occasioned by his qualified approval of Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana, a measure that was bitterly opposed and fiercely censured by nearly all the federalists, because it was feared it would add too much strength to the south.

Louisa Catherine Adams

A much more serious difference arose somewhat later, on the question of the embargo. Questions of foreign rather than of domestic policy then furnished the burning subjects of contention in the United States. Our neutral commerce on the high seas, which had risen to very considerable proportions, was plundered in turn by England and by France, until its very existence was threatened. In May 1806, the British government declared the northern coast of Europe, from Brest to the mouth of the Elbe, to be blockaded. By the Russian proclamation of 1780, which was then accepted by all civilized nations except Great Britain, such paper blockades were illegal; but British ships nonetheless seized and confiscated American vessels bound to any port on that coast. In November Napoleon issued his Berlin decree making a paper blockade of the whole British coast, whereupon French cruisers began seizing and confiscating American vessels on their way from British to French ports. Two months later England issued an order in council, forbidding neutrals to trade between any of her enemy's ports; and this was followed by orders decreeing fines or confiscation to all neutral ships daring to violate the edict.

In December 1807, Napoleon replied with the Milan decree, threatening to confiscate all ships bound to England, or which should have paid a fine to the British government or submitted to search at the hands of a British commander. All these decrees and orders were in flagrant violation of international law, and for a time they made the ocean a pandemonium of robbery and murder. Their effect upon American commerce was about the same as if both England and France had declared war against the United States. Their natural and proper effect upon the American people would have been seen in an immediate declaration of war against both England and France, save that our military weakness was then too manifest to make such a course anything but ridiculous. Between the animus of the two bullies by whom we were thus tormented there was little to choose; but in two respects England's capacity for injuring us was the greater. In the first place, she had more ships engaged in this highway robbery than France, and stronger ones; in the second place, owing to the difficulty of distinguishing between Americans and Englishmen, she was able to add the crowning wickedness of kidnapping American seamen. The wrath of the Americans was thus turned more against England than against France; and never perhaps in the revolutionary war had it waxed stronger than in the summer of 1807, when, in full sight of the American coast, the "Leopard" fired upon the "Chesapeake," killed and wounded several of her crew, and violently carried away four of them. For this outrage the commander of the "Leopard" was promoted in the British service.

In spite of all these things, the hatred of the federalists for France was so great that they were ready to put up with insult added to injury rather than attack the power that was warring against Napoleon. So far did these feelings carry them that Mr. John Lowell, a prominent federalist of Boston, was actually heard to defend the action of the Leopard." Such pusillanimity incensed Mr. Adams. "This was the cause," he afterward said,"which alienated me from that day and forever from the councils of the federal party." He tried to persuade the federalists of Boston to hold a meeting and pledge their support to the government in any measures, however serious, that it might see fit to adopt in order to curb the insolence of Great Britain. But these gentlemen were too far blinded by party feeling to respond to the call whereupon Mr. Adams attended a republican meeting, at which he was put upon a committee to draft and report such resolutions. Presently the federalists bowed to the storm of popular feeling and held their meeting, at which Mr. Adams was also present and drafted resolutions. For his share in the proceedings of the republicans it was threatened that he should"have his head taken off for apostasy." It was never of much use to threaten Mr. Adams. An extra session of congress was called in October to consider what was to be done.

Mr. Jefferson's government was averse to war, for which the country was ill prepared, and it was thought that somewhat milder measures might harass England until she would submit to reason. For a year and a half a non-importation act had been in force; but it had proved no more effective than the non-importation agreements of 1768 and 1774. Now an embargo was laid upon all the shipping in American ports. The advantage of such a measure was very doubtful; it was damaging us in the hope of damaging the enemy. The greatest damage fell upon the maritime states of New England, and there the vials of federalist wrath were poured forth with terrible fury upon Mr. Jefferson and the embargo. But the full measure of their ferocity was reserved for Mr. Adams, who had actually been a member of the committee that reported the bill, and had given it his most earnest support. All the choicest epithets of abuse were showered upon him; few men in our history have been more fiercely berated and reviled. His term of service in the senate was to expire on 3 March 1809. In the preceding June the Massachusetts legislature chose Mr. Lloyd to succeed him, a proceeding that was intended and accepted as an insult. Mr. Adams instantly resigned, and Mr. Lloyd was chosen to fill the remainder of his term. In the course of the next month the republicans of his congressional district wished to elect him to the House of Representatives, but he refused. In 1806 Mr. Adams had been appointed professor of rhetoric and belles lettres at Harvard College, and in the intervals of his public duties had delivered lectures there, which were published in 1810, and for a time were held in esteem. 

One of Mr. Madison's first acts on succeeding to the presidency in 1809 was to nominate Mr. Adams minister to Russia. Since Mr. Dana's failure to secure recognition in 1782, the United States had had no minister in that country, and the new mission was now to be created. The senate at first declined to concur in creating the mission, but a few months later the objectors yielded, and Mr. Adams's nomination was confirmed. Alexander I very courteously received him, and his four years and a half in Russia passed very pleasantly. His diary gives us a vivid account of the Napoleonic invasion and its disastrous ending. In the autumn of 1812 the czar offered his services as mediator between the United States and Great Britain. War had only been declared between these powers three months before, but the American government promptly accepted the proposal, and, in the height of the popular enthusiasm over the naval victories of Hull and Decatur, sent Messrs. Gallatin and Bayard to St. Petersburg to act as commissioners with Mr. Adams. The British government refused to accept the mediation of Russia, but proposed instead an independent negotiation, to which the United States agreed, and the commissioners were directed to meet at Ghent. Much time was consumed in these arrangements, while we were defeating England again and again on the sea, and suffering in return some humiliating reverses on land, until at last the commissioners met at Ghent, in August 1814. Henry Clay and Jonathan Russell were added to the American commission, while Lord Gambier, Dr. Adams, and Mr. Goulburn represented England.

After four months of bitter wrangling, from which no good result could have been expected, terms of peace were suddenly agreed upon in December. In warding off the British attempts to limit our rights in the fisheries Mr. Adams played an important part, as his father had done in 1782. The war had been a drawn game, neither side was decisively victorious, and the treaty apparently left things much as before. Nothing was explicitly done to end the pretensions of England to the right of search and the impressments of seamen, yet the naval victories of the United States had taught the British a lesson, and these pretensions were never renewed. The treaty was a great disappointment to the British people, who had hoped to obtain some advantages, and Mr. Adams, for his share in it, was reviled by the London press in a tone, which could not but be regarded as a compliment to his powers. After the conclusion of the treaty he visited Paris and witnessed the return of Napoleon from Elba and the exciting events that followed up to the eve of Waterloo. Here his wife and children joined him, after a tedious journey from St. Petersburg, not without distress and peril by the way.

By this time Mr. Adams had been appointed commissioner, with Clay and Gallatin, to negotiate a new commercial treaty with England. This treaty was completed on 13 July 1815; but already, on 26 May when Mr. Adams arrived in London, he had received the news of his appointment as minister to England. The series of double coincidences in the Adams family between missions to England and treaties with that power is curious. First John Adams is minister, just after his share in the treaty that concluded the revolutionary war, then his son, just after the treaty that concluded the war of 1812-'15, and then the grandson is minister during the civil war and afterward takes part in the treaty that disposed of the Alabama question. After an absence of eight years, John Quincy Adams was called back to his native land to serve as secretary of state under President Monroe. A new era in American politics was dawning. The war, which had just been concluded, has sometimes been called our second war of independence; certainly the year 1815, which saw the end of the long strife between France and England, marks an important era in American history. Our politics ceased to be concerned mainly with foreign affairs. So suddenly were men's bones of political contention taken away from them that Monroe's presidency is traditionally remembered as the "era of good feeling." So far as political parties were concerned, such an epithet is well applied; but as between prominent individuals struggling covertly to supplant one another, it was anything rather than an era of good feeling.

Mr. Adams's principal achievement as secretary of state was the treaty with Spain, whereby Florida was ceded to the United States in consideration of $5,000,000, to be applied to the liquidation of outstanding claims of American merchants against Spain. The same treaty established the boundary between Louisiana and Mexico as running along the Sabine and Red rivers, the upper Arkansas, the crest of the Rocky Mountains, and the 42d parallel. Mr. Adams defended the conduct of General Jackson in invading Spanish Florida and hanging Arbuthnot and Ambrister.

The Adams-Onís Treaty was negotiated in response to Andrew Jackson’s incursion into Florida to stop the raids of the Seminole Indians on U.S. settlements along the border. Signed on February 22, 1819, and ratified by the United States in 1821, the treaty granted to the United States Florida and former Spanish territory west of the Sabine River, along a new boundary line north of Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California.

[Adams-Onis Treaty] - is the 1821 U.S. Florida Purchase from Spain Dual Language Printing Acts Passed at the Second Session of the Sixteenth Congress of the United States - First edition, Washington, D.C.: Published by Davis and Force, 1821 by Authority Of Congress. This historic volume is bound and includes the official Congressional 1821 printing of the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain that transferred Florida to the United States in both languages. There are also numerous laws enacted for the governance of the new Florida territory. - Loan Courtesy of

He supported the policy of recognizing the independence of the revolted colonies of Spanish America, and he was the principal author of what is known as the "Monroe Doctrine," that the American continent is no longer open to colonization by European powers. His official report on weights and measures showed remarkable scientific knowledge. Toward the close of Monroe's first term came up the first great political question growing out of the purchase of Louisiana: Should Missouri be admitted to the union as a slave-state, and should slavery be allowed or prohibited in the vast territory beyond?

After the Missouri compromise had passed through congress, and been submitted to President Monroe for his signature, two questions were laid before the cabinet. First, had congress the constitutional right to prohibit slavery in a territory and, secondly, in prohibiting slavery "forever" in the territory north of Mason and Dixon's line, as prolonged beyond the Mississippi river, did the Missouri bill refer to this district only so long as it should remain under territorial government, or did it apply to such states as might in future be formed from it? To the first question the cabinet replied unanimously in the affirmative. To the second question Mr. Adams replied that the term "forever" really meant forever; but all his colleagues replied that it only meant so long as the district in question should remain under territorial government. Here for the first time we see Mr. Adams taking that firm stand in opposition to slavery, which hereafter was to make him so famous.

Mr. Monroe's second term of office had scarcely begun when the question of the succession came into the foreground. The candidates were John Quincy Adams, secretary of state; William H. Crawford, secretary of the treasury; John C. Calhoun, secretary of war; and Henry Clay, speaker of the House of Representatives. Shortly before the election General Jackson's strength began to loom up as more formidable than the other competitors had supposed. Jackson was then at the height of his popularity as a military hero, Crawford was the most dexterous political manager in the country. Clay was perhaps the most persuasive orator. Far superior to these three in intelligence and character, Mr. Adams was in no sense a popular favorite. His manners were stiff and disagreeable; he told the truth bluntly, whether it hurt or not; and he never took pains to conciliate any one. The best of men in his domestic circle, outside of it he had few warm friends, but he seemed to have a talent for making enemies. When Edward Everett asked him if he was "determined to do nothing with a view to promote his future election to the presidency as the successor of Mr. Monroe," he replied that he "should do absolutely nothing," and from this resolution he never swerved. He desired the presidency as much as any one who was ever chosen to that high office; but his nature was such that unless it should come to him without scheming of his own, and as the unsolicited expression of popular trust in him, all its value would be lost. Under the circumstances, it was a remarkable evidence of the respect felt for his lofty character and distinguished services that he should have obtained the presidency at all.

The result of the election showed 99 votes for Jackson. 84 for Adams, 41 for Crawford, 37 for Clay. Mr. Calhoun, who had withdrawn from the contest for the presidency, received 182 votes for the vice-presidency, and was elected. The choice of the president was thrown into the House of Representatives, and Mr. Clay now used his great influence in favor of Mr. Adams, who was forthwith elected.

John Quincy Adams letter to the US Senate regarding his cabinet nominations including Henry Clay - Secretary of State,  Richard Rush - Secretary of Treasury, and James Barbour - Secretary of War 

When Adams afterward made Clay his secretary of state, the disappointed partisans of Jackson pretended that there had been a bargain between the two, that Adams had secured Clay's assistance by promising him the first place in the cabinet, and thus, according to a usage that seemed to be establishing itself, placing him in the line of succession for the next presidency. The peppery John Randolph characterized this supposed bargain as "a coalition between Blifil and Black George, the Puritan and the blackleg." There never was a particle of foundation for this reckless charge, and it has long since been disproved.

During Monroe's administration the Federalist Party had become extinct. In the course of John Quincy Adams's administration the new division of parties into Whigs and Democrats began to grow up, the Whigs favoring internal improvements, the national bank, and a high tariff on importations, while the Democrats opposed all such measures on the ground that they were incompatible with a strict construction of the constitution. In its relation to such questions Mr. Adams's administration was Whig, and thus arrayed against itself not only all the southern planters, but also the ship-owners of New England and the importers of New York. But a new and powerful tendency now came in to overwhelm such an administration as that of Adams. The so-called "spoils system" was already germinating, and the time had come when it could be put into operation.

Mr. Adams would have nothing to say to such a system. He would not reward the men who worked for him, and he would not remove from office the men who most vigorously opposed him. He stood on his merits, asked no favors and granted none; and was, on the whole, the most independent president we have had since Washington. Jackson and his friends promised their supporters a share in the government offices, in which a"clean sweep " was to be made by turning out the present incumbents. The result of the election of 1828 showed that for the time Jackson's method was altogether the more potent since he obtained 178 electoral votes, against 83 for Adams. The close of his career as president was marked by an incident that increased the odium in which Mr. Adams was held by so many of the old federalist families of Boston. In the excitement of the election the newspapers devoted to Jackson swarmed with mischievous paragraphs designed to injure Adams's reputation. Among other things it was said that, in 1808, he had suspected some of the federalist leaders of entertaining a scheme for carrying New England out of the union, and, fearing that such a scheme would be promoted by hatred of the embargo, and that in case of its success the seceded states would almost inevitably be driven into alliance with Great Britain, he communicated his suspicions to President Jefferson and other leading republicans. 

These tales, published by unscrupulous newspapers twenty years after the event, grossly distorted what Mr. Adams had actually said and done; and thirteen eminent Massachusetts federalists addressed to him an open letter, demanding that he should bring in a bill of particulars supported by evidence. Adams replied by stating the substance of what he had really said, but declining to mention names or to point out the circumstances upon which his suspicion had been based. In preserving this reticence he was actuated mainly by unwillingness to stir up a furious controversy under circumstances in which it could do no good. But his adversaries made the mistake of attributing his forbearance to dread of ill consequences to himself, a motive by which, it is safe to say, Mr. Adams was never influenced on any occasion whatever. So the thirteen gentlemen returned to the attack. Mr. Adams then wrote out a full statement of the case, completely vindicating himself, and bringing forward more than enough evidence to justify any such suspicions as he had entertained and guardedly stated. After finishing this pamphlet he concluded not to publish it, but left it among his papers. It has lately been published by Professor Henry Adams, in his "Documents relating to New England Federalism," and is not only of great historical importance, but is one of the finest specimens of political writing to be found in the English language.

Although now an ex-president, Mr. Adams did not long remain in private life. The greatest part of his career still lay before him. Owing to the mysterious disappearance of William Morgan, who had betrayed some of the secrets of the Masonic order, there was in some of the northern states a sudden and violent prejudice against the Freemasons and secret societies in general. An "anti-mason party" was formed, and by its votes Mr. Adams was, in 1831, elected to congress, where he remained, representing the same district of Massachusetts, until his death in 1848. He was shortly afterward nominated by the anti-masons for the governorship of Massachusetts, but was defeated in the legislature, there being no choice by the people.

In congress he occupied a perfectly independent attitude. He was one of those who opposed President Jackson's high-handed treatment of the bank, but he supported the president, in his firm attitude toward the South Carolina nullifiers and toward France. In 1835, as the French government delayed in paying over the indemnity of $5,000,000 which had been agreed upon by the treaty of 1831 for plunder of American shipping in the Napoleonic wars, Jackson threatened, in ease payment should be any longer deferred, to issue letters of marquee and reprisal against French commerce. This bold policy, which was successful in obtaining the money, enlisted Mr. Adams's hearty support. He defended Jackson as he had defended Jefferson on the occasion of the embargo; and this time, as before, his course was disapproved in Massachusetts, and he lost a seat in the United States senate. He had been chosen to that office by the state senate, but the lower house did not concur, and before the question was decided the news of his speech in favor of reprisals turned his supporters against him. He was thus left in the House of Representatives more independent of party ties than ever, and was accordingly enabled to devote his energies to the aid of the abolitionists, who were now beginning to appear conspicuously upon the scene.

At that time it was impossible for the opponents of slavery to affect much. The only way in which they could get their case before congress was by presenting petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. Unwilling to receive such petitions, or to allow any discussion on the dreaded question, congress in 1836 enacted the cowardly "gag rule," that "all petitions, memorials, resolutions, or papers relating in any way or to any extent whatsoever to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be laid upon the table; and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon." After the yeas and nays had been ordered on this, when Mr. Adams's name was called he rose and said: "I hold the resolution to be a direct violation of the constitution of the United States, the rules of this house, and the rights of my constituents." The house sought to drown his words with loud shrieks and yells of "Order ! .... Order!" but he raised his voice to a shout and defiantly finished his sentence. The rule was adopted by a vote of 117 to 68, but it did more harm than good to the pro-slavery party. They had put themselves in an untenable position, and furnished Mr. Adams with a powerful weapon, which he used against them without mercy.

As a parliamentary debater he has had few if any superiors; in knowledge and dexterity there was no one in the house who could be compared with him; he was always master of himself, even at the white heat of anger to which he often rose; he was terrible in invective, matchless at repartee, and insensible to fear. A single-handed fight against all the slaveholders in the house was something upon which he was always ready to enter, and he usually came off with the last word. Though the vituperative vocabulary of the English language seemed inadequate to express the hatred and loathing with which the pro-slavery party regarded him, though he was more than once threatened with assassination, nevertheless his dauntless bearing and boundless resources compelled the respect of his bitterest opponents, and members from the south, with true chivalry, sometimes confessed it. Every session he returned to the assault upon the gag-rule, until the disgraceful measure was rescinded in 1845.

This part of Mr. Adams's career consisted of a vast number of small incidents, which make a very interesting and instructive chapter in American history, but cannot well be epitomized. He came to serve as the rallying point in congress for the ever-growing anti-slavery sentiment, and may be regarded, in a certain sense, as the first founder of the new Republican Party. He seems to have been the first to enunciate the doctrine upon which Mr. Lincoln afterward rested his great proclamation of emancipation. In a speech in congress in 1836 he said: "From the instant that your slave-holding states become the theatre of war*civil, servile, or foreign from that instant the war powers of the constitution extend to interference with the institution of slavery in every way in which it can be interfered with." As this principle was attacked by the southern members, Mr. Adams from time to time reiterated it, especially in his speech of 14 April 1842, on the question of war with England and Mexico, when he said: "Whether the war be civil, servile, or foreign, I lay this down as the law of nations: I say that the military authority takes for the time the place of all municipal institutions, slavery among the rest. Under that state of things, so far from its being true that the states where slavery exists have the exclusive management of the subject, not only the president of the United States, but the commander of the army has power to order the universal emancipation of the slaves."

After the rescinding of the gag-rule Mr. Adams spoke less frequently. In November 1846, he had a shock of paralysis, which kept him at home four months. On 21 February 1848, while he was sitting in the House of Representatives, came the second shock. He was carried into the speaker's room, where he lay two days, and died on the 23d. His last words were: "This is the last of earth; I am content." See "Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams," by William H. Seward (Auburn, 1849) "Life of John Quincy Adams," by Josiah Quincy (Boston, 1858);" Diary of John Quincy Adams," edited by Charles F. Adams, 12 vols., 8vo (Philadelphia, 1874-'7); and "John Quincy Adams," by John T. Morse, Jr. (Boston, 1882). The steel portrait of Mr. Adams, facing page 24, is from a picture by Marchant, in the possession of the New York Historical Society. The mansion represented on page 26 is the Adams homestead at Quincy, in which the presidents lived, now the summer residence of Charles Francis Adams.

John Quincy Adams, was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts, on July 11, 1767, the first son of the brilliant, patriotic, and strong-willed Abigail Smith Adams and her husband, John Adams, then a little-known country lawyer who later became the second President of the United States. John Quincy was a child of American independence, the primary architect of the first century of the nation's foreign policy, and an implacable foe of slavery. He became the sixth President of the United States.
During a mission to London in 1796-97 he married Louisa Catherine Johnson, the daughter of a Maryland merchant serving as U.S. consul in London. Their marriage produced three children and lasted until his death 51 years later.

John Quincy Adams began 70 years of public service when in 1778, at the age of 11 he acted as his father's secretary during a diplomatic mission to France. Adams lived in The Hague, London, and Paris, where he pursued his formal education. When he came back to America in 1785 to enter Harvard College, he knew five or six modern languages as well as Latin and Greek.

Adams graduated from Harvard in 1787 and two years later finished his legal apprenticeship. Without enthusiasm he began to practice law in Boston in 1790. He was soon easily distracted into writing a notable series of newspaper articles, the “Publicola” essays. These essays attacked the ideas of Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man. In 1794 he eagerly accepted President Washington's appointment of him as American minister to Holland to assist John Jay in negotiations with the British. He subsequently served as minister to Prussia from 1797 to 1801. As such he concluded a pact incorporating the neutral rights provisions of Jay’s Treaty.

Home again in 1801, Adams served briefly in the Massachusetts Senate and then in the U.S. Senate from 1803 to 1808. Although a Federalist, he had no use for that party's increasingly regional posture and instead supported most of the policies of Thomas Jefferson's administration, including the Embargo Act of 1807. His refusal to bow to heavy pressure from the Massachusetts legislature to repudiate that measure led to his resignation from the Senate in 1808.

President James Madison then appointed Adams minister to Russia. Here he did much to encourage Czar Alexander’s friendly feelings toward the United States. As chief American commissioner, he signed the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, 1814. Madison promptly appointed him the first postwar American minister to Britain. Like his father before him and his son, Charles Francis Adams, after him, he stood proudly before the king of the former mother country as the representative of his independent nation.

As secretary of state during the administration of James Monroe, Adams took a leading role in its deliberations and earned his standing as perhaps the most successful secretary of state in American history.

Increasingly bitter political strife puzzled and eventually infuriated Adams. He felt that he was entirely qualified indeed that it was his due to become president in 1825. His ambition triumphed. Although no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote in 1824, Adams accepted the support of Henry Clay to secure his final selection over Andrew Jackson and William H. Crawford by the House of Representatives.

On March 4, 1825, he was inaugurated as a "minority president," and served one term. Adam’s presidency was marred by the incessant hostility of the combined Jackson and Crawford supporters in Congress. This prevented Adams from executing his envisaged nationalists program. His proposals for the creation of a department of the interior were rebuffed. Only after acrimonious debate did he obtain the appointment of delegates to a congress of the American nations in Panama in 1826. Committed to the idea of a protective tariff, Adams in 1828 was maneuvered into signing the grossly unfair Tariff of Abominations, thereby alienating the South, as his enemies hoped he would. He steadfastly refused to use the federal patronage to strengthen his party support, allowing his postmaster general to appoint Jackson backers. In the election 1828, pilloried as an aristocrat favoring special interests, Adams was overwhelmingly defeated by Jackson, (178 to 83 electoral votes).

Thinking himself permanently retired to his books and to his farm, Adams, now a Whig responded dutifully when his neighbors elected him to the House of Representatives in 1830 and kept him there for nine consecutive terms. Adams was the only President to have ever been elected to serve as a congressman after his term as President was completed. There, as "Old Man Eloquent," Adams again and again spoke his conscience and called the nation to respond to its highest impulses. Adams dramatized for the nation the repressive character of slavery. Every year from 1836 to 1844 he led the fight to lift the gag rule that had ordered the tabling of all resolutions concerning slavery. He triumphed in 1844 when it was rescinded. When fatally stricken in the House in 1848, almost 70 years to the day after he had first sailed for Europe with his father, he had just voted against a resolution thanking the American generals of the Mexican War, a conflict he had opposed.

John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke in the Speaker's room in Washington on February 21, 1848, while serving his last term as representative. He died two days later without regaining consciousness. His last words were: "This is the last of earth. I am content." When he died, he was not only the last surviving statesman of the American Revolution but also the first national leader to have dramatized the moral issue that precipitated the Civil War. Although he was at times rigid, demanding, self-righteous, and even quaint, John Quincy Adams possessed personal integrity, devotion to principle, intellectual intensity, and strong will.

The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

A blacksmith, from the
Assassin's Creed video game..

The American Dream is a remarkably powerful piece of mythology. Stated simple, it is the belief that "If you work hard, if you play by the rules, you will succeed in America." It is so embedded in our national psyche that few in this country, until recently, have questioned it, despite the fact that it actually runs counter to history not only here but abroad as well.

"Work hard and work within the system, and you will be rewarded for your efforts" also sounds like the foundation of modern Capitalism, but again, it is a truism that gets remarkably slippery once you actually try to apply it to the real world. We live in a country where the differences in pay between the wealthiest and the poorest - or even the wealthiest and most of the inhabitants of the country, is astronomical - quite literally. The median income in the United States is about $50,000 for a person with a bachelor's degree. The total wealth of that same person in terms of house, vehicle, investments, etc. as well as income is roughly double that, or $100,000.

The upper echelons of the uber-wealthy start at about the $1 billion dollar mark. To put that into perspective, that's $1,000,000,000 or five orders of magnitude higher. That means that, before taxes, an individual would have to work 100,000 years to get to the same level of income. Given that this is roughly how long as it has taken for human beings to go from living in caves and fighting off saber tooth lions to today, the idea that one can in fact get to be a billionaire by working hard is actually pretty laughable.

You pay taxes. You buy food that continues to rise in price, to the extent that cereal manufactures are faced with the very real problem of being able to get bulkier cereals into their boxes because they have been shaped too thin in order to hide how little you're actually getting. You have to pay for gas that seems to be permanently ensconced around $4 a gallon. You put your kids through school, and then the racket called "higher education". By the end of the year, if you're lucky, you've socked away maybe a few thousand dollars in your savings account, which gets negative real interest (you pay to save).

So, once you do the math and look at how long it will take to save up that first billion, you're now in the 100 million year category. The dinosaurs were still around at that point, and would be for another 40 million years or so, and the continents were still reeling from just having split apart a few billion years before. Now, chances are pretty good that you will drop dead from overwork long before you even get to that first $100K in the bank that's "discretionary savings" - what used to be called wealth.

So, suppose that you don't have those wealthy parents, you have to win at the "lottery economy". What's that? The lottery economy is actually pretty close to the economy we have today. In the simplest example, you buy a ticket and defying all odds, you win the lottery. However, a more subtle form of this is in the entertainment world. You get blessed with a handsome face and hot body (or a pretty face and attractive curves), and then put some work into making those attributes pay off. Or you have a good singing voice, or you play ball very well, or you have a strong sense for acting, or you otherwise have physical attributes and natural talents that can, with a lot of work and effort, get you considered for the big time.

Yet that "big time" is still a lottery. For every supermodel there are 10,000 young women who are as beautiful but didn't have the right qualities for a particular ad campaign or casting call. For every scientific discovery, there are thousands of scientists who struggled with the same problem but didn't have the right samples. For every Michael Jordan, there are thousands of young men who for one reason or another never quite hit the big break.

Now, that doesn't mean that hard work is not important here - it absolutely is. You are trying to prove yourself better than millions of other people, and to do that you have to work hard. Yet ultimately, there is almost invariably a lucky break involved that catapults you out of the unwashed ranks into the ranks of superstardom (and almost always to the very lowest levels even there).

This holds as true in business as it does elsewhere, perhaps more so. If Bill Gates had started Microsoft in 1990, Microsoft would likely be nowhere as successful as it eventually became. Google survived by changing the paradigm of search on the web. Apple did not build the first personal computer, only the  first such computer that was designed as a consumer product. In order for these companies to have done as well as they did (how's that Facebook stock doing for ya?) they had to fill a niche that existed for a very tiny window of time, then had to be ruthless in keeping others from that niche long enough to survive.

A secretary working for Microsoft in 1980 would be a millionaire today if she'd been granted stock options (as most were at that time). Did she materially make a difference in the future of the company? Probably to the extent that any secretary would have. That secretary probably was less important in the scheme of things than a systems programmer twenty years later, but by that time, Microsoft's stocks had plateau'd. The opportunity had passed.

This is especially true for investors, which is the ultimate lottery. How many times have you heard "If I had only bought Apple or Starbucks or Microsoft at the beginning, I'd be rich right now!"? Yet, the reality is that most people have comparatively little discretionary income. A few people get rich by lucking out - picking the right stock at the right time. In most cases, though, the very wealthy get even richer by hiring people to invest in a lot of stocks that might in fact take off, then selling off those that fail early. To do that, you need money to be able to absorb losses while waiting for the hits to happen. You can still lose everything, but because you have the luxury of diversifying your portfolio, in general losses in one area are typically offset by significant gains in another - and if you can then right off those losses as tax write-offs, you're actually not losing all that much money.

There's a certain threshold that separates the wealthy from everyone else. The exact value varies, but currently it's around $10 million dollars. Below $10 million dollars, the drag on wealth from various factor in the economy makes it harder to accumulate wealth. Above $10 million dollars, wealth becomes self-perpetuating - so long as your wealth is reasonably well managed, it will grow with very little risk to the wealthy, because debt works in the person's favor.

In that respect, it's worth thinking about the lottery economy as being a rocket, and that threshold is escape velocity. Any rocket that goes up will ultimately come down, though it may be in a high enough orbit that it will take a while to escape the gravitational well of the earth. However, once it hits escape velocity, the force of gravity acting on it is not enough to pull it into a parabolic orbit, so it is able to go to the moon or be shot out into the solar system.

In some cases, this can be a multistage effort - even if one generation doesn't quite hit that threshold, a success (against less gravity) for the next generation may very well do it. Thus, to become wealthy takes a lot of work and a lot of luck, but to stay wealthy requires simply not doing stupid things, once you're above that magical threshold.

Not doing something stupid unfortunately usually involves not doing something criminal, and that's where things get problematic. Wealth can be used to buy power. That's not a new thought - the wealthy were buying governorships in Rome and were probably buying Ziggurat Rulerships in Mesopotamia. It's usually not hard to find some poor, hard working civil servant that could use a little extra to buy that nice house in the country, and with enough money, you can buy votes or even better vote counts (usually by "helping" your favorite candidate into the office of his choice, at which point he becomes YOUR congressman or member of parliament).

Yet there's also been a fairly long time understanding in the fact that businessmen in general make for poor civic leaders, for the simple reason that being a civic leader means insuring the welfare of the people over who you govern, while being a businessman involves eliciting the maximum amount of profit from an investment. These usually are antithetical goals, because maximizing profits typically requires that you are exploiting all of the available resources within a region as quickly as possible, without necessarily worrying about long term viability, while governing a region is essentially attempting to make it sustainable over the long term, even at the potential cost of short term profits.

Civic institutions and financial institutions move with different frequencies, and have throughout history. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, the church generally played the role of the banker, attempting to gain political power large through control of monetary policy, and political leaders tended to move closer to or farther from the church based largely upon the state's need for money - to pay for troops, supplies, equipment, horses, and weaponry. Both Germany and England broke from the Catholic church in great part because the rise of mercantile trade significantly enriched these country's coffers, and as such they were able to reduce the degree to which papal "strings" could override local autonomy. 

However, one consequence of that was that the mercantilists themselves found themselves in the position the church had occupied - providing money to the state for investment in exploration and colonization in return for increasing political power. In England, a cash hungry monarchy made it possible to buy and sell lordships, and many a minor lord, left with the upkeep of the moldering family mansion and increasingly losing the rents due from tenants on those lands as mobility picked up, were perfectly happy to sell their inherited titles to the highest bidder. Similarly many extinct lineages were bought up (usually with some folderol about service to the crown) by wealthy mercantilists who then used the political power to further their own business agendas.

Civic administrators generally are not interested in empires. They've developed a working equilibrium with the people under their care, and they know the cash inputs and outputs in their domain. Empires are for mercantilists who are seeking to exploit cheap materials and potentially cheap labor in order to maximize profits, and in some cases to build captive markets. When mercantilist pressures are strong (when the merchant class has largely taken control of the political class) you end up with periods of exploration, wars, exploitation and schism.

The problem with the "American Dream", is that it is dependent upon a highly mercantile state where its client states standards of living are farthest apart. As those client states dry up (or become more autonomous), the empire weakens. Resources that had essentially been subsidized due to the high differential between extraction costs and standards of living of the client vs. imperial states begin to become more expensive as the resources get used up and the standards of living equalize, and this in turn manifests as a diminishing standard of living in the host. 

One way of thinking about this is to consider that a business started in 1950, if it manages to survive to 1980, would likely have generated huge dividends over its lifespan. The same business, however, started in 1980, would generate far smaller dividends, accounting for inflation. Most business started in 2010 will likely generate comparatively little in the way of earnings over its lifetime, likely enough to pay for the wages of its employees and materials, but with razor thin profits. This is primarily due to the fact that for most people, discretionary income has diminished as the influence of empire has dropped.

The mercantile class is not immune to this - indeed, they are directly impacted by this. In times past, this typically ends up in an attempt to more directly control the political class in order to continue to steer government policy their way. However, while when standards of living are generally high and the labor class participates in the benefits of the wealth pump that is part and parcel of empire, when standards of living drop for the labor class, resistance builds up to the inequal distribution that tensions rise. In this case, the mercantile class overreaches and attempts to take control of the state directly. This is happening today in Greece, Italy, Spain and elsewhere in Europe, and was one of the big drivers of the Jasmine Spring in 2012 as well as the Occupy movements in the US and elsewhere.

At this stage, the American Dream is dead. There are an insufficient number of "niches" or opportunities for a startup company to grow, and this in turn means that ascending into the lower realms of the wealthy occurs only by "lottery", with that lottery happening less and less often. The wealthy in turn, realizing that their wealth is in danger, start moving it (and themselves) out of the country, away from the political class, in a move very reminiscent of the church during the Reformation. The political class, which derives it's power either directly or indirectly from the people, begins to turn what had been previously "legal" activities (legal in the sense that the financial class had managed to get protections enshrined in law) into "illegal" ones, in order to prevent abuses happening in the future.

Like most systems, empires do not die all at once. There is usually an overshoot period, where the resource pump is beginning to dry up - in the US this happened around 1971, when the US was no longer able to rely upon its internal energy and resource stores and so begin importing oil, as well as implicitly pulling out of the Bretton Woods agreements of the mid 1940s. American oil companies had already managed to control many of the major oil producing countries of the world, but one by one these countries have been nationalizing their oil production. Standards of living for the labor and professional classes peaked and began to decline even as the standard of living for the rentier or mercantile classes continued to rise all starting around the same period.

Global oil production peaked in 2005, and has been sitting on a plateau ever since. New oil discoveries are still being made, but the quality of those discoveries is declining, and the cost of exploiting them is rising to a point where there is an insufficient profit motive to be gained. What's more is that at a certain price point, oil becomes too expensive in a deflationary environment for certain levels of economic activity to occur, and so the economy shifts to a lower economic state. Currently economic activity is roughly on par to where it was in 1992, despite a significantly higher population, and there are indications that unless the economy is radically realigned, it will enter back into recession.

The mercantile class is not uniform. At any given time, there is usually an established "old money" class and an emergent "new money" class. The old money was once new money - years or generations ago, the people in this class took advantage of an emerging niche in order to catapult themselves up from the labor class. In this case, that original class emerged in the 1930s, 40s and 50s in the petroleum, chemical processing, munitions, aviation, transportation, real estate and insurance finance industries, all areas that had ties either to supporting the troops during World War II or enabling the buildup of the suburban landscape as the troops were coming home. This was also the period of biggest buildup for the Christian evangelical movement, which can be thought of as Big Religion. These are all empire building industries.

The new money of the mercantile class consists primarily of those industries that are related to information technology and dealing with the consequences of the old money industry - information technology, mobile communication, alternative energy, non-petroleum oriented transportation, biomedical research, nano-materials engineering, as well as alternative publishing and the Internet. These rely upon the complexity of the previous industries, but increasingly are trying to break those dependencies, and this delinking will only increase over time (the primary dependency increasingly is upon rare earths, which may be a critical weakness of these techs).

What differentiates the two is that each ultimately has to do with how the economy is structured. Much of the economy of today is still built around the command and control structures that emulated the military structures that soldiers returning from war were most familiar with, an economy in which labor was at the bottom under a pyramid of increasingly well paid supervisors, managers, vice presidents and CEOs. The person at the top was the equivalent of a four star general. The new money economy, however, is far more distributed, with fewer layers of managers, increasingly with creatives (designers, engineers, artists, writers, programmers, etc.) interacting as separate contracting entities, and consequently far smaller. A lot of management is mediated electronically, and wealth usually tends to be distributed as shares in ventures.

This model requires fewer people - not just slightly fewer, but significantly fewer, and those fewer people generally need to be more competent in their areas of specialty. This doesn't just hold true in software companies - new era automotive production requires far fewer shop workers and smaller facilities, new era energy companies are focused on localized energy production solutions, new era biomedical firms typically have a very small footprint. 3D printers will turn manufacturing into a just in time process, creating only those items that are needed at a given time, which means that the huge wastage that is typical of the old era manufacturing and production ceases to be a problem.

Unfortunately, while this is good in terms of its impact on the planet, it's impact upon the rest of society is not so beneficial, at least in the short term. The new model takes far less capital investment, which means that the velocity of money is slower. There are fewer entry points for unskilled and semi-skilled labor – in the 1960s, it was not uncommon for a career at a big corporation to start in the mailroom. Today, there's no mailroom. Because of the lower capital investment requirements and instantaneous communication capabilities, it is also increasingly common for countries that never made the large "industrial" stage investments to leapfrog countries that did by adopting new technology and building up competence with an Internet connection and mobile computers.

For those within the new model economy, those who succeed are those who stay competent in edge technologies – the expertise you acquired from previous jobs is useful to help establish context, but if you're not constantly learning, you're road kill. However, for many in the old model economy, this is antithetical to the way they learned you learned to do business. A significant portion of the old model economy is based upon management, which becomes increasingly obsolete (you need a thin layer of management, but not the layers upon layers that characterize most Fortune 500 companies). Creatives occupy a fairly minor part of the whole process, and are usually at a low mid-tier of the corporate pyramid, while manufacturing workers are at the bottom.

In a new model economy, manufacturing workers often overlap with creatives, and management exists primarily to manage financing, rather than managing production. Increasingly that funding is crowd sourced, especially for entertainment, software, and other soft products. As 3D printers and similar tech comes into play, however, that may very well change ("Seeking investors to put together line of specialized computerware vests, seeking total investment of $40,000, return at 7%"). Once the initial investment is made (designing the requisite software) then total costs come down to materials costs and shipping. You would probably see a few big "custom manufacturies" that would specialize in economy of scale work with various software driven models, but overall most manufacturing would be component integrators (a model that's already used for computer and mobile device development).

Again, however, one of the big issues that arises here is that such custom manufacturies will not employ a lot of people, and the people they do employ will not be "laborers" in the sense used in the twentieth century, but rather "artisans" – creatives and designers for the most part, or technical maintenance service people intended to keep the manufacturies themselves running.

This is a huge disconnect right now, because many of the people that are currently out of work were people that were in the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate in the 2000s.
These jobs are not coming back for years, if not decades. Management jobs are going away (and have gone away), and the ones that remain will pay less and be far less powerful. Sales jobs are also going away (though marketing will remain, ironically). Accounting jobs have been disappearing for years, as these functions have moved from pushing paper around to moving electronic documents through electronic systems in the "cloud".

I see other areas where jobs are disappearing not because they are no longer necessary, but because they are moving outside of contemporary established boundaries. One of the most obvious is teachers. Teachers are critical in an information oriented society, yet if you pick up any newspaper (or more likely read news on the Internet) there seems to be a cultural war on teachers. Part of our society feels that teachers should only be teaching the basics - readin', writin' and 'rithmatic, and that they should not be teaching anything controversial (history, most forms of science, computers are suspect, etc. - in short, anything that questions the validity of the bible, the manifest destiny narrative of American history, or even critical reasoning). Another part believes that the prevailing narrative is racist and sexist, that too much emphasis is placed on the "basics" and that grading and being critical of students will only stunt the development of their self-esteem. Neither wants to pay for it.

For the most part teachers themselves face rigid curricula, low salaries, limited or non-existent expectation of tenure, high student-teacher ratios, critical parents, expensive certifications, and long days on their feet. Given the crap that they endure, it is perhaps not surprising that many burn out quickly, leaving only either the most idealistic or the least competent over time. 

It's my expectation that education is on the cusp of both a collapse and a revolution. More school districts are shifting to a magnet school approach where different schools are set up with a focus on different areas or disciplines. One school may focus on mathematics and science, another on art, a third on ecological studies, others on literary careers. At the same time, high schools and even middle schools are being structured more like community colleges, relaxing to a certain extent the requirements that a person must have a Master's degree to teach (though they may be supervised by another who does) and treating teaching less as a formal career and more as a chance for people with experience to teach others   about that experience. Put another way - I think the career of "teacher" itself is going away, perhaps in favor of a concept that the Japanese seem to have understood a while ago: Sensei.

A sensei (which translates as both "master" and "teacher") is someone who has achieved a high degree of experience and is now passing that experience along to their pupils. The sensei has more control than a teacher does - they can set their own curricula and can determine success and failure criteria, and can determine when a student succeeds or fails at that criteria. Personally it would make sense for the sensei to also determine when a pupil moves to the next level, and possibly may work with a group of students over the course of the student's tenure at the school.

This will likely occur in the most progressive school districts first, and may become a facet of private instruction as well. I'm not a fan of private schools in general, but I will readily acknowledge that they can act as laboratories for testing such theories of education (magnet schools are another). Similarly, the increasingly confirmed realization that there are in fact several learning styles and that different students respond more or less effectively to each style in consistent ways is pointing towards schooling based less on topic and more on approach - visual and aural learners may best go a more traditional route, tactile and kinetic learners may be more oriented towards a hands on or physical approach, while autodydactic learners may actually set their own curriculum and goals in conjunction with a sensei who acts more as a guide in that respect.

This could end up absorbing a lot of people who have been otherwise displaced job-wise, especially those later in their careers, and also provides a means for transmission of skills, values, and standards that currently doesn't exist. It may also go a long way towards providing a certain degree of fulfillment for the sensei - in creating "professional teachers" our society has robbed itself of the opportunity for people to pass on the knowledge they've learned, something that I think is an invaluable part of the cycle of life. But it does require that we seriously re-evaluate our current command and control educational system and recognize that it is not meeting the needs of anyone.

Another area where I think we'll see a revival is in the "trades", less from the standpoint of construction and more from the standpoint of maintenance and increasingly "deconstruction". The housing collapse caused a temporary glut of tradesmen on the market, but one consequence of the increasingly iliquid economy is that people are generally not moving around as much, staying in their houses longer, and consequently needing more support for plumbing, electrical work and housing extensions. In at least informal surveys I've conducted, most tradespeople have more than enough work now, and there's increasingly shortages of skilled tradespeople in some areas (Mike Rowe, of Discovery Channels' Dirty Jobs, has found this as well, to the extent that he's begun promoting the warning that we have too few people entering into the "dirty jobs" to replace those that are now retiring). Similarly, the "deconstruction" or salvage business is increasingly booming as houses and commercial real estate is being decommissioned and "unbuilt".

Similarly, I think that you're beginning to see the revival of many apparently extinct professions - from iron smithing to dressmaking (cosplay) to customized cooking and baking. These are boutique professions right now targeting a niche market that is too small, too quirky or too esoteric for large companies, but nonetheless has a demand. The irony is that while these items may be priced higher than mass produced goods, as global resource demands put pressures on extended supply chains, such artisan products may actually end up becoming more affordable than less customized ones. 

So, to wrap up a long essay, what does come after the American Dream? Perhaps something more sane. The dream of growth has ended. Already businesses are restructuring away from the massive military juggernaut corporations to far more ephemeral virtual companies, the ã‚µãƒ©ãƒªãƒ¼ãƒžãƒ³ or Sarariman (the Japanese transliteration of "salaryman") has gone from being the norm to being a quaint reminder of another time, and many of the jobs that were dependent upon economic growth and empire wealth pumps are going away.

In a way, I'm not really shedding many tears for those jobs - they were high stress, dehumanizing, politically poisonous and ultimately harmful. The new economy model jobs are not in general as lucrative for a few, but may ultimately provide a far more livable wage for many. They will force a change in the way that we account for the total lifecycle cost of a manufactured good or service, will likely reduce the amount of waste we are producing in order to "mass-produce", and overall will be more geared towards sustaining the economy rather than growing it. As with any large scale societal changes it will take time, and there will be a lot of resistance from the existing stakeholders. However, resource limitations, demographics, and the general vectors of the global economy ultimately are all aligned against the status quo remaining such.

Perhaps the new dream should be this: "I lived my life content, improved the lives of others, taught what I knew, and leave the world in better shape than I found it." I can live with that. 

          Buzz Aldrin Developing A ‘Master Plan’ To Colonize Mars        
The second man to step foot on the moon is helping NASA plan the next frontier in space travel — the colonization of Mars. According to The Guardian, Aldrin and the Florida Institute of Technology are joining forces to develop “a master plan” to allow humans to visit, and even settle, and the red planet.
          Bolivia - A glance to the most important achievements of the economic social communitarian productive model        


Since 2006, under the direction of the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, we, the Government and the people, have worked designing a new State and a new economic model based on an analysis of the structural crisis of capitalism and a commitment to change our reality up to then characterized by economic and social exclusion to most Bolivians since the colonization period. Exclusion got worse during the twenty years of neoliberalism before 2006. The Economic Social Communitarian Productive Model was built based on sovereignty of our economic policy.On these grounds, a historic decision about nationalizing the Bolivian hydrocarbons was taken, in accordance with the people’s mandate, adopted after overcoming neoliberal policies. 

By means of that important decision, the State began recovering the control over strategic sectors of the economy, which allowed us, Bolivians, to take control of the economic surplus previously deprived from us; and apply a policy of income redistribution through Conditional Cash Transfers programmes (Juancito Pinto, Dignity Rent, Juana Azurduy,) public investment, inversely proportional wage increases crossed subsidies, among other measures.

Through the Economic Social Communitarian Productive Model, we engaged in strengthening the role of the State that now directs the economy for the purpose of transferring the economic suplus -from strategic sectors-to income-employment generating sectors in order to put together existing structures of economic organization in Bolivia (State, community, social, cooperative and private) under the principles of complementarity, reciprocity, solidarity, redistribution, equality, legal certainty, sustainability, equilibrium, justice and transparency.

In the same vein, we recovered sovereignty on fiscal, monetary, financial and exchange rate policy in order to make them available for the economic and social development of the Bolivian people. Since 2006, for each year we self-design our Fiscal-Financial Programming. Since then, the fiscal policy is focused to achieve growth with income redistribution, output incresing, industrialization, food sovereignty and job creation. We drove de-dollarization of the economy which was before highly dollarized; and we also transformed the financial system in order to go along with the Government’s social objectives. The Government also enhanced and diversified the productive matrix.

It is also important to highlight that because of the implementation of social and income redistribution policies, supported by higher levels of public investment; we managed to stimulate domestic demand now is the main growth engine, which is oriented towards developing productively and industrially our natural resources and eradicating the multiple dimensions of inequity and poverty.

In this document, we describe the main achievements reached since 2006, by means of the implementation of the Economic Social Communitarian Productive Model, which are outcomes from a collective effort to improve the quality of living and reach what we call El Vivir Bien (To Live Well) forBolivian people.

Luis Alberto Arce Catacora
Minister of Economy and Public Finance

Bolivia A Glance to the most important achievements

          Bolivia’s voters reaffirm ‘process of change’ but issue warnings to the governing MAS        

By Richard Fidler

Up to 90% of the electorate voted in Bolivia’s “subnational” elections March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country. These were the second such elections to be held since the new Constitution came into force in 2009, the first being in 2010. 

The Movement for Socialism (MAS)[1] once again emerged as the only party with national representation — by far the major political force in Bolivia, and far ahead of the opposition parties, none of which has a significant presence in all nine departments. However, in some key contests the voters rebuffed the MAS candidates, most notably for governor in La Paz department and for mayor in the city of El Alto, the centre of the 2003-2005 upsurges and long considered a MAS bastion. 

Mixed results

With 66% of the popular vote in the municipal elections, the MAS elected mayors in 225 of Bolivia’s 339 towns and cities, about the same result as in 2010. However, consistent with a pattern in recent years, the various opposition parties won in eight of the ten largest cities while the MAS gained only two, Sucre and Potosí. 

In the departmental legislative assemblies, the MAS deputies now hold a clear majority of seats in six departments, and a plurality in two others, while in Santa Cruz the party is only two seats from a plurality. Even in La Paz department the newly elected opposition governor will have to contend with a two-thirds MAS majority in the legislature. 

Although the official results are not yet available, the MAS did well in the municipal council elections, too. The results of elections in autonomous indigenous communities, which are conducted according to ancient “usos y costumbres” (customs and traditions), are not yet known. 

The MAS elected governors in four of the country’s nine departments and is leading in two other departments with runoff elections scheduled for May 3. (Under Bolivia’s election laws, a runoff is held when the candidates coming 1stand 2nd in the vote, with neither having 50% of the votes, are separated by fewer than 10 percentage points.) Opposition parties elected governors in three departments including Santa Cruz and Tarija, traditionally associated with the “Media Luna” (half moon) set of departments that participated in the unsuccessful 2008 revolt of the powerful landholder elite in the eastern lowlands. 

However, the major upsets for the MAS were in the department of La Paz, where Felix Patzi, an Aymara intellectual and minister of education in Evo Morales’ first government, was elected governor with a 20 percentage points advance over the MAS candidate, Felipa Huanca, a leader of the “Bartolinas,”[2] an indigenous and campesina (farmer) women’s organization that is one of Bolivia’s major social movements. Patzi ran on the slate of Soberanía y Libertad (Sovereignty and Liberty - SOL.BO), a reconstruction of the Movimiento Sin Miedo (the “fearless movement”), which lost its party certification in the October 2014 elections when it won less than 3% of the national vote. SOL.BO also retained the mayoralty and a council majority in the city of La Paz, the country’s administrative capital. 

Particularly galling to the MAS was its defeat in the El Alto mayoralty by an Aymara woman, Soledad Chapetón of Unidad National (UN). The right-wing UN is Bolivia’s largest opposition party; its leader Samuel Doria Medina took 25% of the vote in last year’s presidential election. Chapetón’s campaign emphasized her personal qualities, not the UN, but her election raises some questions as to why that party was able to capitalize on the MAS discredit in this particular instance. In fact, with the possible exception of governor-elect Felix Patzi in La Paz,[3] virtually all of the opposition candidates and parties in the subnational elections, can be said to be to the right of the MAS. This bears further examination, something beyond the scope of this article. 

Local issues predominate

The MAS leadership was quick to attribute its electoral setbacks to local factors. Among these were inadequate procedures for selecting the party’s candidates. These are normally suggested by the party members and social movements aligned with the MAS, but office-holder inertia and in some cases a misgauging of political moods can adversely affect the choice. In El Alto, for example, the MAS was widely thought to have ignored community criticism of incompetent administration and even corruption on the part of the mayor, the MAS’s Édgar Patana. 

Many analysts have also pointed to a major difference with the 2010 subnational elections. In 2010 the euphoria that accompanied the adoption of a new plurinational Constitution and the defeat of the right-wing landholders’ rebellion gave MAS candidates, many running for the first time, a big advantage. Five years later, however, the voters were more inclined to examine incumbents’ records critically in light of their experience. This was evident in the way that voters ignored MAS leadership appeals to vote the party slate; in many instances, they divided their votes among different party slates depending on the candidates and their respective offices. This may, as some analysts contend, indicate a growing political awareness among the electorate. 

In subnational elections, as well, local issues can be decisive in the result. In the October 2014 national election, voters indicated their overall satisfaction with the country’s direction under the MAS and its proposed “Agenda Patriótica,” a set of general social and economic goals and reforms to be addressed in the coming mandate. In the subnational elections, those goals were not in question and there was in fact remarkably little public debate among conflicting party perspectives and programs. The MAS candidates all stood on the party’s national program. The MAS seemed to assume that without more it could capitalize regionally on the 61% support the party’s national leadership had won last October. It may have underestimated the importance of local issues. 

Autonomy processes still incomplete

But also undermining programmatic debate in these elections was the difficulty in discerning the full measure of local government powers in many cases, since the complicated process of defining those powers under the new Constitution remains incomplete. Bolivia is not a federal state with a clear division of powers among the various levels of government. However, the Constitution sets out general criteria for defining the “autonomous” jurisdictions of departments, regions, municipalities and the few indigenous communities that have opted for legal status as “autonomies.” 

So far only one department, Pando (the smallest), has completed the complex process of achieving autonomy: popular consultation and drafting of a local constitution, its approval by the national constitutional authority, followed by amendment where needed with approval in a popular referendum and, finally, proclamation by the national government. Five departments are scheduled to hold their ratification referendums on autonomy in June of this year. But few of the 339 municipalities have yet gained full autonomous status, as anticipated. These factors leave much to be determined in the budgetary provisions of the various administrations — and will continue to be a major topic of debate as the national government negotiates its “pacto fiscal” (tax and budget allocation agreements) with the various governments and social movements. 

In this context, and absent debate over general programmatic alternatives, the subnational election results may have offered above all a measure of public sentiment about the performance and perspectives of local governments. That was how Evo Morales interpreted them; the President, in his few post-election remarks about the results, conceded that some of the MAS setbacks may been merited. 

Threats against opposition administrations

Morales himself may have been a factor in some of the MAS electoral setbacks, however. On more than one occasion during the subnational election campaign, he arrogantly threatened to refuse to work with local governments held by opposition parties and even to deny them national government funding for major projects. These statements elicited much criticism in the media and may have resulted in an anti-MAS “voto castigo” (punishment vote) in some contests. But they have their roots in the country’s current political culture. 

In Bolivia many local construction projects ranging from highways, irrigation facilities, football stadiums and arenas to hospitals and health centres, schools and some productive investments are funded under a national government program titled “Bolivia Cambio, Evo Cumple” (Bolivia changes, Evo accomplishes), financed largely by Venezuela under an ALBA agreement. And both Morales and his vice-president Álvaro García Linera spend much of their time inaugurating such public works in official ceremonies. Non-MAS elected officials naturally resent this program designation, which serves to credit the MAS (and its top leader) as a virtual synonym for the state. 
It is worth noting, however, that in the wake of the subnational elections leaders of some social movements long associated with the MAS were critical of Morales’ threats, urging the party to work with local governments on progressive projects. 

Fondo Indígena

Another factor in MAS losses may have been a scandal that erupted during the campaign over alleged abuses in the Fondo Indígena. This “indigenous fund” was created in December 2005, just prior to the MAS’s first election, to implement international and national agreements on indigenous rights and to help finance infrastructure projects in indigenous towns and farming communities. It is administered by eight indigenous social movements that also tend to support the MAS politically. The Fund holds about $270 million, much of this derived from hydrocarbon revenues and taxes. 

In December 2016 a national prosecution lawyer charged that about 71 million Bolivianos ($10 million) of the Fund intended for more than 150 as-yet unrealized development projects had been diverted to private bank accounts held by at least eight leaders of these social movements — one of these (according to an opposition politician) being Felipa Huanca, a prominent Bartolina and the MAS candidate for governor in La Paz. Subsequent media reports indicated that the Fund’s leadership, which is supposed to meet every two months, had not met since March 2012. 

Rumours that the Fund was being used for clientelist purposes were fed by the lack of response from Fund leaders. Only after the March 29 election did the Bartolinas hold a news conference, promising a later accounting but maintaining that their own rules allowed this extraordinary management of the Fund’s monies even though this violates a legislated obligation that all Fund accounts must be held within a special system in a designated bank. 

The national Transparency Minister has now announced that a full report on the allegations will be issued by mid-April. Any persons guilty of illegal diversion of funds will be prosecuted, she promises. 

In Beni, a harsh ruling by the elections overseer

In a move that surprised almost everyone, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal[4]— the national body that supervises all elections in Bolivia — ruled just nine days before the March 29 elections that in Beni department it was withdrawing certification of the opposition Unidad Demócrata (UD – Democratic Unity) alliance because its campaign chief, the outgoing governor Carmelo Lens, had publicly released an internal poll, contrary to election law. The UD was at the time thought to be leading in the contest for governor. All UD candidates in Beni were accordingly disqualified, some 228 in all. 

The TSE ruling was based on a literal interpretation of an obscure provision in the country’s Election Act. Was it too literal? The supreme legal authority, the Tribunal Constitucional Plurinational, dismissed an emergency challenge of the TSE ruling, but it was widely criticized, and many saw the action as evidence of MAS control of the TSE. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) is investigating, and observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) used the opportunity to “regret” the TSE’s action. 

After the election the TSE declared it was prepared in future to support an amendment to the law that would remove the provision in question. Significantly, the voter abstention in Beni was extraordinarily high on March 29, about 20%, while a further 7% of the ballots were blank and almost 8% were ruled null or void for various reasons — adding to uncertainty about the outcome of the May 3 runoff vote. 

Challenges ahead

The subnational election results, while confirming the MAS’s overall leadership in Bolivia, are in some respects a “shot across the bows” to the party’s leading cadres, a reminder that there is still much to be done to consolidate and deepen the “process of change.” With the current drop in global commodity prices Bolivia, as a small country still very dependent on resource export revenues, is encountering new challenges. 

Brazil and Argentina are in economic difficulty and the value of hydrocarbon exports (chiefly gas) to those major markets has fallen by almost 30% in the last quarter from the equivalent period in 2014, along with comparable declines in the country’s agribusiness and industrial exports.[5] Finance Minister Luís Arce recent downgraded GDP growth projections for 2015 to 5% — albeit still one of the highest in South America. But any further drop could jeopardize some of the conditional transfer programs such as the two-month wage or compensation (doble aguinaldo) granted by law in the two previous year-ends. Also the bonos (conditional cash grants) programs are financed largely through hydrocarbon revenues, as is much state funding to subnational levels of government. 

The MAS government program ratified in the October national election projects a major focus in the next period on industrialization projects and expansion of the domestic market to bolster food and industrial self-sufficiency, as well as replacement of present conditional programs in health and education by development of universal programs, a deepening of agrarian reform, and strengthening of the “worker-indigenous-popular” bloc that is the mainstay of the MAS. This entails major social and political transformations that can deepen democracy, incorporate participatory and communitarian practices and help to overcome colonial and patriarchal ways of thinking and doing. 

These proposals should be on the agenda as the various pro-government social movements meet in the coming days with MAS leaders to discuss the election and the road ahead. 

April 6, 2015.

Note: I profess no expertise on Bolivian politics, but I have visited Bolivia several times in recent years and was based there for six months in 2013-2014, during which I developed a deep appreciation of its “process of change” of the last 15 years, with all of its complexities, achievements, frustrations and “creative tensions.” – Richard Fidler.

Republished from Life on the Left

[1] Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP) is the party’s full name. 

[2] Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa” (CNMCIOB-BS), or Bartolina Sisa National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous, and Native Women of Bolivia, named after an Aymara woman leader of an 18th century revolt against the Spanish colonization. 

[3] As Evo Morales’s first education minister, Patzi was hounded by the Right and the Catholic church when he attempted to secularize the public education curriculum. His ideas (which are his, not those of his party in this election), are set out in Tercer Sistema – Modelo Comunal: Propuesta Alternativa Para Salir del Capitalism y del Socialismo

[4] Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE). 

[5] See “Venta de gas sigue a la baja por caída en los precios del petróleo,” La Razón, April 2, 2015.

          Elections in Bolivia: Some Keys to Evo Morales’s Victory         

Pablo Stefanoni

The elections held on October 12th in Bolivia confirmed the hegemony of the Movement toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MAS) and showed that Evo Morales’ leadership remains strong after his eight years in office, an intrinsically relevant fact in a country known for its political, economic and social instability. Evo Morales and his running mate Álvaro García Linera were supported by 61.36% of the votes compared to 24.23% for the Democratic Unity (Unidad Democrática - UD), headed by politician and businessman Samuel Doria Medina, and to 9.04% for the former President Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, who ran for the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano). In La Paz, the seat of government, the ruling party won by a margin of 68.92% to 14.75% for the UD. With these results, the MAS has managed not only to retain the two thirds of the Congress it has had since 2009, but also, a politically and symbolically significant result, to win in Santa Cruz -a formerly opposing region located in the agro-industrial East of the country- with almost 50% of the votes.
In general terms, the election results show a drop in votes for the MAS in the Andean West –but from exceptionally high previous levels–, parallel to an increase in the East. For example, in La Paz, the MAS had obtained 80.28% in 2009, which means it went down more than 10 points. However, given the extraordinary result of that year, the present decrease did not prevent the party from “keeping it all” this time, that is, all of the uninominal representatives and the four senators running in La Paz. The same happened in regions like Oruro and Potosí. While in 2009 the epics of the fight against the autonomist regions â€“accused of promoting separatism and counter-revolutionary coups– rallied votes that probably exceeded those supporting Evo Morales in normal circumstances, on October 12th the secure victory relaxed his party’s fighting efforts, and the political mystique moved to the formerly opposing regions.
But ideology is not the only reason for the ruling party's victory in Santa Cruz (at present, only the department of Beni maintains an opposing stance, though the MAS obtained over 40% of the votes cast there), fostered by former Minister of Government Carlos Romero. Here, Evo Morales' party applied a pragmatic policy allowing entry to the MAS of a small group of activists from the rightwing Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN, the party founded by General Hugo Bánzer), and of congresswoman Jessica Echeverría, who had successively belonged to various rightwing groups â€“she had even been elected as Tuto Quiroga’s spokeswoman a few days before– and in 2008 was part of the radical “cruceñismo”. Upon switching to the ruling party, this evangelic representative apologized for "having incited hatred" in those times of political polarization.
Nowadays, the situation is significantly different from that of 2008/2009, when Santa Cruz was at war against La Paz. In a context of economic growth, and following the defeat of the more radical sectors, the Government approached the business community with an implicit agreement by which business people recognize the legitimacy of the president, and he recognizes the legitimacy of the Santa Cruz model of capitalism. This had the effect of consolidating, after a first period of polarization and confrontation, the “negotiated way out” proposed by García Linera when he ran for the vice-presidency in 2005.

Change and Decolonization
In these eight years of Morales' administration, several radical notions of the good society have been left aside in the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, giving rise to some dissents voices that have failed to result in votes. Radical indigenism, communitarianism, the diffuse “living well” (suma qamaña), the plurinational views or decolonization visions associated with the “otherness” of the indigenous world or with its anti-capitalist potential, have all weakened and given way to the priority of public management and to more market-friendly ways of decolonizing. Additionally, the population census of 2012 showed some seemingly paradoxical data: while in 2001 62% of Bolivians over the age of 15 identified themselves as indigenous, now only 42% did so (an important fact given that the previous census had provided statistic and moral support to all the struggles carried on since the early 2000s).
There are many factors that may have caused such identity shift, including a change of terms in the pertaining question, where “native indigenous” was replaced by “peasant-native-indigenous” as expressed in the new Constitution, just at a time when Bolivia is a predominantly urban country. Equally important is the fact that in 2001 the indigenous identity challenged the established order while nowadays it is official, even when mixed-raced urban Bolivia doesn't always feel comfortable with such State indigenism.
Finally, most people in Bolivia are “partly” indigenous and “partly” mixed-raced, so variability in identities is not uncommon, especially among the Quechua people, who are the majority. The Quechuas lack, as pointed out by Pablo Quisbert and Vincent Nicolas in their recent book Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación1, such ethno-national symbols or heroes as the Aymaras have with Tupac Katari or the rainbow flag called wiphala. What is essentially Quechua is rather a language that unites various local "nations".
Evo manifested his surprise at the census results, but considered them a secondary issue and remarked that anyway, as is the case when throwing dice, "what you see is what you score.” Vice-President Álvaro García Linera then wrote a text titled Nación y Mestizaje (Nation and Miscegenation) defending plurinationality.2 But Evo, who knows how to “score” in cacho, a popular game in Bolivia, also knows how to make adjustments in his campaigns with the instinct of an experienced union leader.
This context fostered a shift in the MAS towards the proposal of technological advancement as the main focus of its electoral campaign: the cable-car transport between La Paz and El Alto, the satellite named Tupac Katari, the promise of a “city of knowledge” in Cochabamba, and even the controversial proposal of advancing towards nuclear power, were all part of the party’s program. It also included re-launching the construction of the road running across the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Sécure, which was suspended in 2012 due to protests against the project.

Neo-Developmentalist Perspectives
The 2014 electoral campaign was focused on the country’s economy, which has grown steadily during the last eight years by means of a combination of economic nationalism (strengthening of the State) and fiscal caution –commended by media such as the New York Times and even by libertarian economists like Tyler Cowen[3]-. It’s worth recalling that when a leftwing government once ruled in Bolivia (1982-1985), it was forced to leave office early as a result of a brutal hyperinflation that generated a social trauma. The memory of that circumstance, coupled with Evo’s peasant subjectivity expressed in his aversion to debts and a tendency to "keep the money under the mattress," explains why Bolivia today has 15.000 billion dollars in international reserves, equivalent to 51% of the GDP. The Minister of Economy, Luis Arce, has made sure since the very first day of Evo’s administration that the macro variables are kept in order.
The economy is the factor that contributed to operate what analyst Fernando Molina characterized as the political "depolarization" in the country.4 At the same time, this economic stability â€“which Evo Morales showcased as the main reason to vote for the MAS– poses a sort of division in the Bolivarian bloc between Bolivia and Ecuador, on the one hand, and Venezuela on the other, as well as an overall weakening of the “XXI Century Socialism" and a strengthening of neo-developmentalist perspectives. The content of this narrative –taken in a sense not necessarily coincidental with that of Carlos Bresser Pereira, the Brazilian who created the concept– was defined very clearly by Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who some time ago highly praised the Israeli model of innovation, development and business-minded vision, and criticized "conservative leftwing movements" and businesspeople who are reluctant to take risks (his speech can be viewed on YouTube under the title "Israel should be an example for us").
The new phase of post-polarization was ratified at the polls: the second place in the national election was taken by a center-rightwing alternative whose leaders tried to convince Bolivians that they would keep the “good” things done by the MAS, and avoided any talk about restoring the old order.5 Another effect of the new scenario is that two former presidents (Carlos Mesa and Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé) have accepted Morales’ proposal to participate in the sea-access claim against Chile, the former as an international spokesman for the Bolivian position and the latter as Ambassador in the Netherlands and coordinator of the lawsuit in the International Court of The Hague. 
The success of the “Evo model” also reaches the very structure of the MAS, made up by an alliance of different social, territorial, labor and ethnic sectors, which operates in exactly the same (corporate) mode of exercising citizenship as most of the Bolivian society.6 For many social sectors, the MAS’ electoral lists –prepared with a mixture of grass-root participation and top-level decision-making- represent a fairly efficient way of having access to the State and political "self-representation". This is why, among other things, those candidates from the intellectual strata (Raúl Prada, Alejandro Almaraz, etc.) who intended to “redirect the process of change”, and appealed for that purpose to the “social movements”, didn’t get good results.
Recently, García Linera described the current period, and defended the role of the State and a somewhat pragmatic view: “Insofar as no (community) initiatives are being set forth by the society, we have to work with what is there, and that is the business leaders, who must gain strength, grow and generate more wealth. You should remove that chip which tells you that at any time the government will stage a coup and nationalize everything. That is not going to happen, that has failed, and that is not socialism; nationalizing the means of production led to a sort of spurious, failed socialism. We will not repeat that mistake. We will not replicate the UDP [Unidad Democrática y Popular] of 1984, we will not replicate the Soviet Union.”
He then referred to the “inclusion of the adversary” in the project: “If a project remains enclosed in its original nucleus, this means domination and imposition. To open it so much that other sectors can take over and prevail will always carry the risk of hegemony, and this is why it's a battle. When you integrate your opponent into your universal project, [he] will cease to stay entrenched in his own domain and will no longer be able to generate counter-power. The risk lies in you having an opponent so skillful and intelligent that from within your project he can turn his own into the hegemon of the universal project”.7 
The next electoral battle is coming up soon: in March 2015, mayors and governors will be elected. This time, the opposition expects to get better results, at least in part, considering that local voting often has a different logic from national elections. In this context, the mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla (42 years old), will attempt to emerge as a future leader of the opposition. Using the fact that his (centre-leftwing) party, the Movement without Fear (Movimiento sin Miedo), lost its legal capacity to participate in the elections due to the meager results obtained in October 12th, Revilla founded a new party called -Sovereignty and Freedom- (Soberanía y Libertad) and thereby got rid of the by now cumbersome leadership of Juan del Granado. If he beats the MAS and is reelected, Revilla might be one of the new presidential candidates by 2019. Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Evo Morales has to decide whether he will use his party’s two-thirds of parliamentary representation in order to amend the constitution so as to allow indefinite reelection. We shall see if the current economic boom endures given the ups and downs of the prices of raw materials that have weighed on  the exports of a country with  apparently inexhaustible resources for the last four centuries.  

1 Vincent Nicolas and Pablo Quisbert: Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación. Estudio comparativo del imaginario de nación de la Revolución Nacional y del Estado Plurinacional, La Paz, Pieb, 2014
2 Álvaro García Linera, Nación y Mestizaje, La Paz, Vicepresidencia del Estado, September 2013. Available at:ón_y_mestizaje.pdf
3 William Neuman, “Turnabout in Bolivia as Economy Rises From Instability, New York Times, 16/2/2014, Tyler Cowen, “Why I endorsed Evo Morales”, Marginal Revolution, 2/9/2014.
4 Fernando Molina, “Elecciones bolivianas, el fin de la polarización”, Infolatam, 27/9/2014.
5 See: Fernando Molina, “La oposición boliviana, entre la ‘política de la fe’ y la ‘política del escepticismo”, Nueva Sociedad, Nº255, November-December, 2014.
6 Pablo Stefanoni y Hervé Do Alto: “El MAS: las ambivalencias de la democracia corporativa”, in Luis Alberto García Orellana and Fernando Luis García Yapur (ed.), Mutaciones del campo político en Bolivia, La Paz, PNUD, 2010.
7 Pablo Ortiz and Mónica Salvatierra, El Deber, 16/11/2014.
- See more at: 
The elections held on October 12th in Bolivia confirmed the hegemony of the Movement toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MAS) and showed that Evo Morales’ leadership remains strong after his eight years in office, an intrinsically relevant fact in a country known for its political, economic and social instability. Evo Morales and his running mate Álvaro García Linera were supported by 61.36% of the votes compared to 24.23% for the Democratic Unity (Unidad Democrática - UD), headed by politician and businessman Samuel Doria Medina, and to 9.04% for the former President Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, who ran for the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano). In La Paz, the seat of government, the ruling party won by a margin of 68.92% to 14.75% for the UD. With these results, the MAS has managed not only to retain the two thirds of the Congress it has had since 2009, but also, a politically and symbolically significant result, to win in Santa Cruz -a formerly opposing region located in the agro-industrial East of the country- with almost 50% of the votes.

In general terms, the election results show a drop in votes for the MAS in the Andean West –but from exceptionally high previous levels–, parallel to an increase in the East. For example, in La Paz, the MAS had obtained 80.28% in 2009, which means it went down more than 10 points. However, given the extraordinary result of that year, the present decrease did not prevent the party from “keeping it all” this time, that is, all of the uninominal representatives and the four senators running in La Paz. The same happened in regions like Oruro and Potosí. While in 2009 the epics of the fight against the autonomist regions â€“accused of promoting separatism and counter-revolutionary coups– rallied votes that probably exceeded those supporting Evo Morales in normal circumstances, on October 12th the secure victory relaxed his party’s fighting efforts, and the political mystique moved to the formerly opposing regions.

But ideology is not the only reason for the ruling party's victory in Santa Cruz (at present, only the department of Beni maintains an opposing stance, though the MAS obtained over 40% of the votes cast there), fostered by former Minister of Government Carlos Romero. Here, Evo Morales' party applied a pragmatic policy allowing entry to the MAS of a small group of activists from the rightwing Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN, the party founded by General Hugo Bánzer), and of congresswoman Jessica Echeverría, who had successively belonged to various rightwing groups â€“she had even been elected as Tuto Quiroga’s spokeswoman a few days before– and in 2008 was part of the radical “cruceñismo”. Upon switching to the ruling party, this evangelic representative apologized for "having incited hatred" in those times of political polarization.

Nowadays, the situation is significantly different from that of 2008/2009, when Santa Cruz was at war against La Paz. In a context of economic growth, and following the defeat of the more radical sectors, the Government approached the business community with an implicit agreement by which business people recognize the legitimacy of the president, and he recognizes the legitimacy of the Santa Cruz model of capitalism. This had the effect of consolidating, after a first period of polarization and confrontation, the “negotiated way out” proposed by García Linera when he ran for the vice-presidency in 2005.

Change and Decolonization

In these eight years of Morales' administration, several radical notions of the good society have been left aside in the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, giving rise to some dissents voices that have failed to result in votes. Radical indigenism, communitarianism, the diffuse “living well” (suma qamaña), the plurinational views or decolonization visions associated with the “otherness” of the indigenous world or with its anti-capitalist potential, have all weakened and given way to the priority of public management and to more market-friendly ways of decolonizing. Additionally, the population census of 2012 showed some seemingly paradoxical data: while in 2001 62% of Bolivians over the age of 15 identified themselves as indigenous, now only 42% did so (an important fact given that the previous census had provided statistic and moral support to all the struggles carried on since the early 2000s).

There are many factors that may have caused such identity shift, including a change of terms in the pertaining question, where “native indigenous” was replaced by “peasant-native-indigenous” as expressed in the new Constitution, just at a time when Bolivia is a predominantly urban country. Equally important is the fact that in 2001 the indigenous identity challenged the established order while nowadays it is official, even when mixed-raced urban Bolivia doesn't always feel comfortable with such State indigenism.

Finally, most people in Bolivia are “partly” indigenous and “partly” mixed-raced, so variability in identities is not uncommon, especially among the Quechua people, who are the majority. The Quechuas lack, as pointed out by Pablo Quisbert and Vincent Nicolas in their recent book Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación1, such ethno-national symbols or heroes as the Aymaras have with Tupac Katari or the rainbow flag called wiphala. What is essentially Quechua is rather a language that unites various local "nations".

Evo manifested his surprise at the census results, but considered them a secondary issue and remarked that anyway, as is the case when throwing dice, "what you see is what you score.” Vice-President Álvaro García Linera then wrote a text titled Nación y Mestizaje (Nation and Miscegenation) defending plurinationality.2 But Evo, who knows how to “score” in cacho, a popular game in Bolivia, also knows how to make adjustments in his campaigns with the instinct of an experienced union leader.

This context fostered a shift in the MAS towards the proposal of technological advancement as the main focus of its electoral campaign: the cable-car transport between La Paz and El Alto, the satellite named Tupac Katari, the promise of a “city of knowledge” in Cochabamba, and even the controversial proposal of advancing towards nuclear power, were all part of the party’s program. It also included re-launching the construction of the road running across the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Sécure, which was suspended in 2012 due to protests against the project.

Neo-Developmentalist Perspectives

The 2014 electoral campaign was focused on the country’s economy, which has grown steadily during the last eight years by means of a combination of economic nationalism (strengthening of the State) and fiscal caution –commended by media such as the New York Times and even by libertarian economists like Tyler Cowen[3]-. It’s worth recalling that when a leftwing government once ruled in Bolivia (1982-1985), it was forced to leave office early as a result of a brutal hyperinflation that generated a social trauma. The memory of that circumstance, coupled with Evo’s peasant subjectivity expressed in his aversion to debts and a tendency to "keep the money under the mattress," explains why Bolivia today has 15.000 billion dollars in international reserves, equivalent to 51% of the GDP. The Minister of Economy, Luis Arce, has made sure since the very first day of Evo’s administration that the macro variables are kept in order.

The economy is the factor that contributed to operate what analyst Fernando Molina characterized as the political "depolarization" in the country.4 At the same time, this economic stability â€“which Evo Morales showcased as the main reason to vote for the MAS– poses a sort of division in the Bolivarian bloc between Bolivia and Ecuador, on the one hand, and Venezuela on the other, as well as an overall weakening of the “XXI Century Socialism" and a strengthening of neo-developmentalist perspectives. The content of this narrative –taken in a sense not necessarily coincidental with that of Carlos Bresser Pereira, the Brazilian who created the concept– was defined very clearly by Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who some time ago highly praised the Israeli model of innovation, development and business-minded vision, and criticized "conservative leftwing movements" and businesspeople who are reluctant to take risks (his speech can be viewed on YouTube under the title "Israel should be an example for us").

The new phase of post-polarization was ratified at the polls: the second place in the national election was taken by a center-rightwing alternative whose leaders tried to convince Bolivians that they would keep the “good” things done by the MAS, and avoided any talk about restoring the old order.5 Another effect of the new scenario is that two former presidents (Carlos Mesa and Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé) have accepted Morales’ proposal to participate in the sea-access claim against Chile, the former as an international spokesman for the Bolivian position and the latter as Ambassador in the Netherlands and coordinator of the lawsuit in the International Court of The Hague. 

The success of the “Evo model” also reaches the very structure of the MAS, made up by an alliance of different social, territorial, labor and ethnic sectors, which operates in exactly the same (corporate) mode of exercising citizenship as most of the Bolivian society.6 For many social sectors, the MAS’ electoral lists –prepared with a mixture of grass-root participation and top-level decision-making- represent a fairly efficient way of having access to the State and political "self-representation". This is why, among other things, those candidates from the intellectual strata (Raúl Prada, Alejandro Almaraz, etc.) who intended to “redirect the process of change”, and appealed for that purpose to the “social movements”, didn’t get good results.

Recently, García Linera described the current period, and defended the role of the State and a somewhat pragmatic view: “Insofar as no (community) initiatives are being set forth by the society, we have to work with what is there, and that is the business leaders, who must gain strength, grow and generate more wealth. You should remove that chip which tells you that at any time the government will stage a coup and nationalize everything. That is not going to happen, that has failed, and that is not socialism; nationalizing the means of production led to a sort of spurious, failed socialism. We will not repeat that mistake. We will not replicate the UDP [Unidad Democrática y Popular] of 1984, we will not replicate the Soviet Union.”

He then referred to the “inclusion of the adversary” in the project: “If a project remains enclosed in its original nucleus, this means domination and imposition. To open it so much that other sectors can take over and prevail will always carry the risk of hegemony, and this is why it's a battle. When you integrate your opponent into your universal project, [he] will cease to stay entrenched in his own domain and will no longer be able to generate counter-power. The risk lies in you having an opponent so skillful and intelligent that from within your project he can turn his own into the hegemon of the universal project”.7 

The next electoral battle is coming up soon: in March 2015, mayors and governors will be elected. This time, the opposition expects to get better results, at least in part, considering that local voting often has a different logic from national elections. In this context, the mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla (42 years old), will attempt to emerge as a future leader of the opposition. Using the fact that his (centre-leftwing) party, the Movement without Fear (Movimiento sin Miedo), lost its legal capacity to participate in the elections due to the meager results obtained in October 12th, Revilla founded a new party called -Sovereignty and Freedom- (Soberanía y Libertad) and thereby got rid of the by now cumbersome leadership of Juan del Granado. If he beats the MAS and is reelected, Revilla might be one of the new presidential candidates by 2019. Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Evo Morales has to decide whether he will use his party’s two-thirds of parliamentary representation in order to amend the constitution so as to allow indefinite reelection. We shall see if the current economic boom endures given the ups and downs of the prices of raw materials that have weighed on  the exports of a country with  apparently inexhaustible resources for the last four centuries.  

Republished from Panoramas


1 Vincent Nicolas and Pablo Quisbert: Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación. Estudio comparativo del imaginario de nación de la Revolución Nacional y del Estado Plurinacional, La Paz, Pieb, 2014

2 Álvaro García Linera, Nación y Mestizaje, La Paz, Vicepresidencia del Estado, September 2013. Available at:ón_y_mestizaje.pdf

3 William Neuman, “Turnabout in Bolivia as Economy Rises From Instability, New York Times, 16/2/2014, Tyler Cowen, “Why I endorsed Evo Morales”, Marginal Revolution, 2/9/2014.

4 Fernando Molina, “Elecciones bolivianas, el fin de la polarización”, Infolatam, 27/9/2014.

5 See: Fernando Molina, “La oposición boliviana, entre la ‘política de la fe’ y la ‘política del escepticismo”, Nueva Sociedad, Nº255, November-December, 2014.

6 Pablo Stefanoni y Hervé Do Alto: “El MAS: las ambivalencias de la democracia corporativa”, in Luis Alberto García Orellana and Fernando Luis García Yapur (ed.), Mutaciones del campo político en Bolivia, La Paz, PNUD, 2010.

7 Pablo Ortiz and Mónica Salvatierra, El Deber, 16/11/2014.

The elections held on October 12th in Bolivia confirmed the hegemony of the Movement toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MAS) and showed that Evo Morales’ leadership remains strong after his eight years in office, an intrinsically relevant fact in a country known for its political, economic and social instability. Evo Morales and his running mate Álvaro García Linera were supported by 61.36% of the votes compared to 24.23% for the Democratic Unity (Unidad Democrática - UD), headed by politician and businessman Samuel Doria Medina, and to 9.04% for the former President Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, who ran for the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano). In La Paz, the seat of government, the ruling party won by a margin of 68.92% to 14.75% for the UD. With these results, the MAS has managed not only to retain the two thirds of the Congress it has had since 2009, but also, a politically and symbolically significant result, to win in Santa Cruz -a formerly opposing region located in the agro-industrial East of the country- with almost 50% of the votes.
In general terms, the election results show a drop in votes for the MAS in the Andean West –but from exceptionally high previous levels–, parallel to an increase in the East. For example, in La Paz, the MAS had obtained 80.28% in 2009, which means it went down more than 10 points. However, given the extraordinary result of that year, the present decrease did not prevent the party from “keeping it all” this time, that is, all of the uninominal representatives and the four senators running in La Paz. The same happened in regions like Oruro and Potosí. While in 2009 the epics of the fight against the autonomist regions â€“accused of promoting separatism and counter-revolutionary coups– rallied votes that probably exceeded those supporting Evo Morales in normal circumstances, on October 12th the secure victory relaxed his party’s fighting efforts, and the political mystique moved to the formerly opposing regions.
But ideology is not the only reason for the ruling party's victory in Santa Cruz (at present, only the department of Beni maintains an opposing stance, though the MAS obtained over 40% of the votes cast there), fostered by former Minister of Government Carlos Romero. Here, Evo Morales' party applied a pragmatic policy allowing entry to the MAS of a small group of activists from the rightwing Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN, the party founded by General Hugo Bánzer), and of congresswoman Jessica Echeverría, who had successively belonged to various rightwing groups â€“she had even been elected as Tuto Quiroga’s spokeswoman a few days before– and in 2008 was part of the radical “cruceñismo”. Upon switching to the ruling party, this evangelic representative apologized for "having incited hatred" in those times of political polarization.
Nowadays, the situation is significantly different from that of 2008/2009, when Santa Cruz was at war against La Paz. In a context of economic growth, and following the defeat of the more radical sectors, the Government approached the business community with an implicit agreement by which business people recognize the legitimacy of the president, and he recognizes the legitimacy of the Santa Cruz model of capitalism. This had the effect of consolidating, after a first period of polarization and confrontation, the “negotiated way out” proposed by García Linera when he ran for the vice-presidency in 2005.

Change and Decolonization
In these eight years of Morales' administration, several radical notions of the good society have been left aside in the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, giving rise to some dissents voices that have failed to result in votes. Radical indigenism, communitarianism, the diffuse “living well” (suma qamaña), the plurinational views or decolonization visions associated with the “otherness” of the indigenous world or with its anti-capitalist potential, have all weakened and given way to the priority of public management and to more market-friendly ways of decolonizing. Additionally, the population census of 2012 showed some seemingly paradoxical data: while in 2001 62% of Bolivians over the age of 15 identified themselves as indigenous, now only 42% did so (an important fact given that the previous census had provided statistic and moral support to all the struggles carried on since the early 2000s).
There are many factors that may have caused such identity shift, including a change of terms in the pertaining question, where “native indigenous” was replaced by “peasant-native-indigenous” as expressed in the new Constitution, just at a time when Bolivia is a predominantly urban country. Equally important is the fact that in 2001 the indigenous identity challenged the established order while nowadays it is official, even when mixed-raced urban Bolivia doesn't always feel comfortable with such State indigenism.
Finally, most people in Bolivia are “partly” indigenous and “partly” mixed-raced, so variability in identities is not uncommon, especially among the Quechua people, who are the majority. The Quechuas lack, as pointed out by Pablo Quisbert and Vincent Nicolas in their recent book Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación1, such ethno-national symbols or heroes as the Aymaras have with Tupac Katari or the rainbow flag called wiphala. What is essentially Quechua is rather a language that unites various local "nations".
Evo manifested his surprise at the census results, but considered them a secondary issue and remarked that anyway, as is the case when throwing dice, "what you see is what you score.” Vice-President Álvaro García Linera then wrote a text titled Nación y Mestizaje (Nation and Miscegenation) defending plurinationality.2 But Evo, who knows how to “score” in cacho, a popular game in Bolivia, also knows how to make adjustments in his campaigns with the instinct of an experienced union leader.
This context fostered a shift in the MAS towards the proposal of technological advancement as the main focus of its electoral campaign: the cable-car transport between La Paz and El Alto, the satellite named Tupac Katari, the promise of a “city of knowledge” in Cochabamba, and even the controversial proposal of advancing towards nuclear power, were all part of the party’s program. It also included re-launching the construction of the road running across the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Sécure, which was suspended in 2012 due to protests against the project.

Neo-Developmentalist Perspectives
The 2014 electoral campaign was focused on the country’s economy, which has grown steadily during the last eight years by means of a combination of economic nationalism (strengthening of the State) and fiscal caution –commended by media such as the New York Times and even by libertarian economists like Tyler Cowen[3]-. It’s worth recalling that when a leftwing government once ruled in Bolivia (1982-1985), it was forced to leave office early as a result of a brutal hyperinflation that generated a social trauma. The memory of that circumstance, coupled with Evo’s peasant subjectivity expressed in his aversion to debts and a tendency to "keep the money under the mattress," explains why Bolivia today has 15.000 billion dollars in international reserves, equivalent to 51% of the GDP. The Minister of Economy, Luis Arce, has made sure since the very first day of Evo’s administration that the macro variables are kept in order.
The economy is the factor that contributed to operate what analyst Fernando Molina characterized as the political "depolarization" in the country.4 At the same time, this economic stability â€“which Evo Morales showcased as the main reason to vote for the MAS– poses a sort of division in the Bolivarian bloc between Bolivia and Ecuador, on the one hand, and Venezuela on the other, as well as an overall weakening of the “XXI Century Socialism" and a strengthening of neo-developmentalist perspectives. The content of this narrative –taken in a sense not necessarily coincidental with that of Carlos Bresser Pereira, the Brazilian who created the concept– was defined very clearly by Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who some time ago highly praised the Israeli model of innovation, development and business-minded vision, and criticized "conservative leftwing movements" and businesspeople who are reluctant to take risks (his speech can be viewed on YouTube under the title "Israel should be an example for us").
The new phase of post-polarization was ratified at the polls: the second place in the national election was taken by a center-rightwing alternative whose leaders tried to convince Bolivians that they would keep the “good” things done by the MAS, and avoided any talk about restoring the old order.5 Another effect of the new scenario is that two former presidents (Carlos Mesa and Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé) have accepted Morales’ proposal to participate in the sea-access claim against Chile, the former as an international spokesman for the Bolivian position and the latter as Ambassador in the Netherlands and coordinator of the lawsuit in the International Court of The Hague. 
The success of the “Evo model” also reaches the very structure of the MAS, made up by an alliance of different social, territorial, labor and ethnic sectors, which operates in exactly the same (corporate) mode of exercising citizenship as most of the Bolivian society.6 For many social sectors, the MAS’ electoral lists –prepared with a mixture of grass-root participation and top-level decision-making- represent a fairly efficient way of having access to the State and political "self-representation". This is why, among other things, those candidates from the intellectual strata (Raúl Prada, Alejandro Almaraz, etc.) who intended to “redirect the process of change”, and appealed for that purpose to the “social movements”, didn’t get good results.
Recently, García Linera described the current period, and defended the role of the State and a somewhat pragmatic view: “Insofar as no (community) initiatives are being set forth by the society, we have to work with what is there, and that is the business leaders, who must gain strength, grow and generate more wealth. You should remove that chip which tells you that at any time the government will stage a coup and nationalize everything. That is not going to happen, that has failed, and that is not socialism; nationalizing the means of production led to a sort of spurious, failed socialism. We will not repeat that mistake. We will not replicate the UDP [Unidad Democrática y Popular] of 1984, we will not replicate the Soviet Union.”
He then referred to the “inclusion of the adversary” in the project: “If a project remains enclosed in its original nucleus, this means domination and imposition. To open it so much that other sectors can take over and prevail will always carry the risk of hegemony, and this is why it's a battle. When you integrate your opponent into your universal project, [he] will cease to stay entrenched in his own domain and will no longer be able to generate counter-power. The risk lies in you having an opponent so skillful and intelligent that from within your project he can turn his own into the hegemon of the universal project”.7 
The next electoral battle is coming up soon: in March 2015, mayors and governors will be elected. This time, the opposition expects to get better results, at least in part, considering that local voting often has a different logic from national elections. In this context, the mayor of La Paz, Luis Revilla (42 years old), will attempt to emerge as a future leader of the opposition. Using the fact that his (centre-leftwing) party, the Movement without Fear (Movimiento sin Miedo), lost its legal capacity to participate in the elections due to the meager results obtained in October 12th, Revilla founded a new party called -Sovereignty and Freedom- (Soberanía y Libertad) and thereby got rid of the by now cumbersome leadership of Juan del Granado. If he beats the MAS and is reelected, Revilla might be one of the new presidential candidates by 2019. Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Evo Morales has to decide whether he will use his party’s two-thirds of parliamentary representation in order to amend the constitution so as to allow indefinite reelection. We shall see if the current economic boom endures given the ups and downs of the prices of raw materials that have weighed on  the exports of a country with  apparently inexhaustible resources for the last four centuries.  

1 Vincent Nicolas and Pablo Quisbert: Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación. Estudio comparativo del imaginario de nación de la Revolución Nacional y del Estado Plurinacional, La Paz, Pieb, 2014
2 Álvaro García Linera, Nación y Mestizaje, La Paz, Vicepresidencia del Estado, September 2013. Available at:ón_y_mestizaje.pdf
3 William Neuman, “Turnabout in Bolivia as Economy Rises From Instability, New York Times, 16/2/2014, Tyler Cowen, “Why I endorsed Evo Morales”, Marginal Revolution, 2/9/2014.
4 Fernando Molina, “Elecciones bolivianas, el fin de la polarización”, Infolatam, 27/9/2014.
5 See: Fernando Molina, “La oposición boliviana, entre la ‘política de la fe’ y la ‘política del escepticismo”, Nueva Sociedad, Nº255, November-December, 2014.
6 Pablo Stefanoni y Hervé Do Alto: “El MAS: las ambivalencias de la democracia corporativa”, in Luis Alberto García Orellana and Fernando Luis García Yapur (ed.), Mutaciones del campo político en Bolivia, La Paz, PNUD, 2010.
7 Pablo Ortiz and Mónica Salvatierra, El Deber, 16/11/2014.
- See more at:
The elections held on October 12th in Bolivia confirmed the hegemony of the Movement toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo – MAS) and showed that Evo Morales’ leadership remains strong after his eight years in office, an intrinsically relevant fact in a country known for its political, economic and social instability. Evo Morales and his running mate Álvaro García Linera were supported by 61.36% of the votes compared to 24.23% for the Democratic Unity (Unidad Democrática - UD), headed by politician and businessman Samuel Doria Medina, and to 9.04% for the former President Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, who ran for the Christian Democratic Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano). In La Paz, the seat of government, the ruling party won by a margin of 68.92% to 14.75% for the UD. With these results, the MAS has managed not only to retain the two thirds of the Congress it has had since 2009, but also, a politically and symbolically significant result, to win in Santa Cruz -a formerly opposing region located in the agro-industrial East of the country- with almost 50% of the votes.
In general terms, the election results show a drop in votes for the MAS in the Andean West –but from exceptionally high previous levels–, parallel to an increase in the East. For example, in La Paz, the MAS had obtained 80.28% in 2009, which means it went down more than 10 points. However, given the extraordinary result of that year, the present decrease did not prevent the party from “keeping it all” this time, that is, all of the uninominal representatives and the four senators running in La Paz. The same happened in regions like Oruro and Potosí. While in 2009 the epics of the fight against the autonomist regions â€“accused of promoting separatism and counter-revolutionary coups– rallied votes that probably exceeded those supporting Evo Morales in normal circumstances, on October 12th the secure victory relaxed his party’s fighting efforts, and the political mystique moved to the formerly opposing regions.
But ideology is not the only reason for the ruling party's victory in Santa Cruz (at present, only the department of Beni maintains an opposing stance, though the MAS obtained over 40% of the votes cast there), fostered by former Minister of Government Carlos Romero. Here, Evo Morales' party applied a pragmatic policy allowing entry to the MAS of a small group of activists from the rightwing Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN, the party founded by General Hugo Bánzer), and of congresswoman Jessica Echeverría, who had successively belonged to various rightwing groups â€“she had even been elected as Tuto Quiroga’s spokeswoman a few days before– and in 2008 was part of the radical “cruceñismo”. Upon switching to the ruling party, this evangelic representative apologized for "having incited hatred" in those times of political polarization.
Nowadays, the situation is significantly different from that of 2008/2009, when Santa Cruz was at war against La Paz. In a context of economic growth, and following the defeat of the more radical sectors, the Government approached the business community with an implicit agreement by which business people recognize the legitimacy of the president, and he recognizes the legitimacy of the Santa Cruz model of capitalism. This had the effect of consolidating, after a first period of polarization and confrontation, the “negotiated way out” proposed by García Linera when he ran for the vice-presidency in 2005.

Change and Decolonization
In these eight years of Morales' administration, several radical notions of the good society have been left aside in the Democratic and Cultural Revolution, giving rise to some dissents voices that have failed to result in votes. Radical indigenism, communitarianism, the diffuse “living well” (suma qamaña), the plurinational views or decolonization visions associated with the “otherness” of the indigenous world or with its anti-capitalist potential, have all weakened and given way to the priority of public management and to more market-friendly ways of decolonizing. Additionally, the population census of 2012 showed some seemingly paradoxical data: while in 2001 62% of Bolivians over the age of 15 identified themselves as indigenous, now only 42% did so (an important fact given that the previous census had provided statistic and moral support to all the struggles carried on since the early 2000s).
There are many factors that may have caused such identity shift, including a change of terms in the pertaining question, where “native indigenous” was replaced by “peasant-native-indigenous” as expressed in the new Constitution, just at a time when Bolivia is a predominantly urban country. Equally important is the fact that in 2001 the indigenous identity challenged the established order while nowadays it is official, even when mixed-raced urban Bolivia doesn't always feel comfortable with such State indigenism.
Finally, most people in Bolivia are “partly” indigenous and “partly” mixed-raced, so variability in identities is not uncommon, especially among the Quechua people, who are the majority. The Quechuas lack, as pointed out by Pablo Quisbert and Vincent Nicolas in their recent book Pachakuti: El retorno de la nación1, such ethno-national symbols or heroes as the Aymaras have with Tupac Katari or the rainbow flag called wiphala. What is essentially Quechua is rather a language that unites various local "nations".
Evo manifested his surprise at the census results, but considered them a secondary issue and remarked that anyway, as is the case when throwing dice, "what you see is what you score.” Vice-President Álvaro García Linera then wrote a text titled Nación y Mestizaje (Nation and Miscegenation) defending plurinationality.2 But Evo, who knows how to “score” in cacho, a popular game in Bolivia, also knows how to make adjustments in his campaigns with the instinct of an experienced union leader.
This context fostered a shift in the MAS towards the proposal of technological advancement as the main focus of its electoral campaign: the cable-car transport between La Paz and El Alto, the satellite named Tupac Katari, the promise of a “city of knowledge” in Cochabamba, and even the controversial proposal of advancing towards nuclear power, were all part of the party’s program. It also included re-launching the construction of the road running across the Indigenous Territory and National Park Isiboro Sécure, which was suspended in 2012 due to protests against the project.

Neo-Developmentalist Perspectives
          Indigenous Youth Leaders are Taking Action on HIV in their Communities!        
Taking Action II is a community-based action research project about building and supporting Indigenous youth leadership in the HIV/AIDS movement. We are a group of Indigenous youth leaders, Indigenous community-based organizations and university-based researchers. We wanted to create awareness around HIV, sexual health, and decolonization in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Turtle Island (also known as Canada).


          Emerging Indian Wine Market        
Wine Production in India Currently, the Indian wine market [] is an emerging market. Rising demand for wine has increased the sales of domestic and imported wines. Even though, foreign wine brands are gaining popularity and enjoying climbing sales in the Indian wine industry, the domestic wines currently hold the major share of the market. Winemaking has existed in India since many years, and it was especially encouraged during the time of British and Portuguese colonization of the subcontinent. In India, there are vineyards in the North and South regions of the country. Vineyards exist in the Northwest Punjab state till the Southern state of Tamil Nadu. Some of the largest vineyards are found in the state of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana. Districts such as Nashik, Pune, Sangli, and Solapur are well known for their vineyards in the state of Maharashtra. However, the high heat and humidity in the Eastern region of the nation limits viticulture. Some of the common native varieties of grapes used for wine production are Arkashyam, Anabeshahi, and Arkavati. Popular non-native grape varieties include Gulabi (Black Muscat) and Bangalore Blue (Isabella). The Turkish variety of grape called Sultana is the most widely planted grape in India. There are also some French varieties of grape such as Zinfandel, Sauvignon blanc, Clairette Blanche, and Chenin blanc. Driving and Restraining Factors During the past few years the Indian wine industry experienced a downfall. However, things are again looking up. During the past few years there was a slide in the production and consumption of domestic wine. However, in the next five years it is expected to grow at a steady rate. The Indian wine market faces various challenges which restrain its growth. India is a densely populated country and half of the population is below 35 years of age, which gives wine producers a huge opportunity. There are around thirty million potential wine drinkers, even though at present the number is only two million. But, as the younger generation reaches adulthood, it is projected that they will add to the consumer base. The constitution of India discourages consumption of alcohol and each state has its own policies regarding the production, procedure, distribution, and pricing. This is a complication for the consumers and producers. During the year 2001, reforms in the wine policy in the state of Maharashtra resulted in a spate of new wineries. Currently, Maharashtra boasts the largest number of wineries in India. The rest of the wineries are found in the Karnataka state, which announced a similar policy in 2008. Due to the influence of recession the growth of wine industry was lukewarm, but now new wineries are coming up. Market Overview The wine production of India is low compared to the total grape output. Majority of the grapes are used to make raisins while only around ten percent of the total grapes are used for producing wines. The Indian wine market is divided according to the wines into still wine (premium), sparkling wine, still wine (cheap), and other wines. Even though, the foreign wines are managing to attract the consumers, Indian wines are not far behind. Many Indian wine companies provide quality wines at an affordable price. It is estimated that the local wines will continue to hold the major share of the market for the next decade at least. Also, the Indian wine retail markets are prospering with the foreign wines. The wine retail market in India can be categorized broadly into the Old World wines and the New world wines. The Old World wines are from countries like Italy, France, and Portugal. While the New World wines are from countries such as South Africa, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. The wine industry in India is not yet firmly established, hence, retailers are trying to understand the need of Indian consumers and what appeals to them. Once the retailers have convinced and satisfied the consumer with the taste, quality, and price of the wine, it will help the retailers build a brand image. About us is the most comprehensive collection of market research reports. MarketResearchReports.Biz services are specially designed to save time and money for our clients. We are a one stop solution for all your research needs, our main offerings are syndicated research reports, custom research, subscription access and consulting services. We serve all sizes and types of companies spanning across various industries. Kindly visit:

Original Post Emerging Indian Wine Market source Twease
          HIGHLIGHTS: La ricolonizzazione del faggio nel post glaciale, quali determinanti?        
Titolo originale: Climate or migration: what limited European beech post-glacial colonization? Autori: Frédérik Saltré, Rémi Saint-Amant, Emmanuel S. Gritti, Simon Brewer, Cédric Gaucherel, Basil A. S. Davis, Isabelle Chuine Rivista: Global Ecology and Biogeography 22: 1217-1227, 2013 doi:10.1111/geb.12085 La storia dei processi di ricolonizzazione delle specie forestali nel post-glaciale si arricchisce di un interessante capitolo. Attraverso l’uso di un modello di processo (PHENOFIT) accoppiato a un modello di migrazione, le cui simulazioni sono state confrontate con i dati filogeografici attualmente a disposizione, è  stata ricostruita la migrazione del faggio nel postglaciale (ultimi 12 mila anni) a partire dalle zone di …
          Europe’s basically been a giant ball of self-antagonization for well over a millennium, though.         

Europe’s basically been a giant ball of self-antagonization for well over a millennium, though. They mixed in a few centuries of colonization as a change of pace, but still managed to find ways to piss each other off.


          Destiny Review        

Reviewed on Xbox One, September 19, 2014

After waiting for what seems like an eternity, Destiny is finally upon us. The hype train has been rolling at full speed, particularly as of late. But has Destiny lived up to audience expectations, or fallen flat on its face? The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Destiny is set several hundred years into the future, following a period of significant exploration and colonization. Humans have spread across the solar system, inhabiting planets such as Venus and Mars. However, this period of prosperity and technological advancement came to a halt after a mysterious event known as "The Collapse." Only those on Earth survived, thanks to "the Traveler" -- a mystifying white sphere which had helped humanity colonize the solar system in the years prior to The Collapse. The Traveler now hovers above Earth, in a seemingly disabled state.

The Guardians stand as the last beacon of hope for humanity. They are the defenders of Earth, and are empowered by the Traveler. It is up to the Guardians to destroy the alien races that have inhabited previously colonized planets.

Unfortunately, that's about as much as you'll get from the story, and everything I've just told you is explained by the end of the second mission in a roughly 8 hour long story. From that point on, Destiny fails to draw players into its world, instead leaving them out in the cold while the rest of the major characters discuss the goings-on in the universe.

Exploration is encouraged, but not allowed

Ghost, voiced by Peter Dinklage, fills players in with the details of each mission, but it often feels as though he is speaking to himself, rather than the player. Dialogue is generally delivered while he scans an important artifact, or a terminal to unlock the next doorway. This becomes inane midway through the game, as each mission follows the same structure. Players enter an area -- which is often repeated from one mission to the next -- and look for an object for Ghost to scan, wading through an ocean of enemies. As the player finally reaches the waypoint, they deploy Ghost, who begins to scan whatever inconsequential thing he made the Guardian look for. As he scans away, seemingly endless hordes of enemies appear, which must be dispatched. As the last bullet soars through the body of the last enemy, Ghost is done, and the mission ends. Congratulations! Now spend 7 more hours doing that.

What's the definition of insanity again?

No? Well I do.

No? Well I do.

The more important gripe is that enemies are not particularly smart, and are not necessarily complex in terms of battle tactics. Rather, their best defense is hiding behind cover, peeking out more often than they should. Other than that, they serve as bullet sponges and as an obstacle to prolong mission times. Bungie violated the golden rule of difficulty, too: when increasing the difficulty level, enemies must become smarter and more difficult, not granted a significantly larger amount health, only for everything else to stay the same. This leads to an unbearably tedious experience for the player, who will inevitably become aggravated by how much time and ammunition has been wasted by the end of each battle. While playing with friends eases most of these tensions, it can only do so much to alleviate the underlying problems with the mechanics of the game.

Speaking of friends, where is everyone? Destiny feels empty, even at the Tower -- the central hub that plays host to merchants, the post office, and trainers. When I play the game alone, I actually feel alone, which is a major failing for a game that touts its multiplayer aspects as the primary draw.

In a way, this doesn't become as much of a problem as one might think. In fact, it gives players the ability to soak in the absolutely stunning atmosphere and environment design in Destiny. From crumbling cities to barren wastelands and dark caverns, Bungie's art team has done a phenomenal job. That said, the map design does not allow for the exploration that the art encourages. Instead, the same crumbling cities and barren wastelands are often out in the distance, providing a beautiful but static backdrop for an otherwise linear level.

Exploration is encouraged, but not allowed.

Exploration is encouraged, but not allowed.

Gameplay itself is fast and fluid, allowing for a good deal of dynamic interactions. Special abilities give players a sense of power in combat and distract from otherwise repetitive shooting. This carries over to multiplayer, which is frenetic and fun, keeping the focus on 6v6 or 3v3 multiplayer to encourage teamwork and make the experience intimate. Destiny offers traditional deathmatch and objective-based multiplayer, but I would have loved to have seen some form of unique space-based combat. As a whole, multiplayer feels balanced, with the exception of vehicles, which can sometimes feel too powerful.

There's a decent amount of character customization, and there are three classes players can choose from, each of which brings unique special abilities and other perks to the table. Armor and weapons are also interchangeable, allowing for a variety of loadouts and other tweaks to a player's character. There is a relatively consistent amount of loot, though interestingly enough bosses hardly drop anything of consequence.

Character customization and loadout optimization are key components of Destiny's gameplay.

Character customization and loadout optimization are key components of Destiny's gameplay.

The enemy AI is simplistic at best, and enemies are at their best when they hide behind cover and peek around corners, which doesn't say much. At their worst, they are merely bullet sponges. While the enemies are varied, they still feel stock and without much of a place in Destiny's universe. This is made up for by excellent multiplayer and combat, which undoubtedly will keep the vast majority of Destiny's population playing the game.

It should be impossible for me to say that Destiny is anything other than the most spectacular game ever made. Bungie has been developing it for years, Martin O'Donnell and Sir Paul McCartney team up to create the score, and it draws from some of the best elements of games such as Halo, Borderlands, and Mass Effect. It even has Game of Thrones' own Peter Dinklage.

However, I must say that Destiny is not as amazing as it may have appeared. While it offers tight, smooth gameplay, spectacular environments, and a decent amount of social aspects, it suffers from ludicrously repetitive mission structure, a bland and garbled story, and, believe it or not, a lukewarm soundtrack.

Final Remarks

Bungie, in every respect, played it safe with Destiny. What could have been an innovative and genre-defining title instead became a shallow game that offers little in terms of story and new gameplay elements. While the gameplay itself is fluid and fun, drawing on years of experience from Halo's development, it does not offer anything terribly Earth-shattering. Destiny's spectacular environments feel empty and linear, offering little (if any) moments for exploration.

Destiny had enormous amounts of potential, but fell short in many key areas where it could have redefined the sci-fi game genre. While the gameplay is solid and draws from Bungie's experience with the Halo franchise, it feels shallow when fighting against dull enemies in linear environments. Plenty of elements make Destiny a good game, maybe even a great game, but just as many hold it back from being one of the greatest of all time.


Did you enjoy this article? Leave a comment and let me know!

          Trade Preferences: Is Preference Erosion Really an Issue for Developing Countries?        
One of the main issues in the current WTO Round is the problem of preference erosion. In fact, lower tariffs, caused by a Doha Round Agreement, mean that the products from developing countries, particularly those benefiting from preferences that go beyond the Generalized System of Preferences (SGP), will lose part of their competitive advantage.

A debate took place among scholars and International Organizations to assess if the preference erosion will have important impacts. It seems that a quite large number of developing countries, notably Least Developed Countries (LDC), will incur in significant losses caused by Preference Erosion.

The easiest solution will be to avoid liberalization in those products that are important in preferences as tropical products. However, we need to remember that an important number of developing countries export these products outside favorable preferences (the SGP is worse than schemes for LDC or ACP countries). We can find a solution to this issue only by acknowledging the importance of co-development. Neither interests form favorable preferences recipient nor do interests form developing countries exporters predominate.

Before trying to find a solution, we need to better understand advantages and limits of preferences.

The main positive point of preferences is to improve the competitiveness of products from poorest developing countries through more favorable tariffs. Preferences allowed a number of countries to export products (as sugar and bananas) where they were not competitive at the international level. Of course, for favorable preference recipient the end of preferences or the decrease of preference margins will have a significant impact.
Nevertheless, preferences have more negative than positive impacts. I will resume it in the following points:
  • Preferences are unilateral concessions by developed countries. This is highly problematic. In fact, developed countries can use it to pressure preference recipient (notably this is what happen at the WTO, cf. Jawara and Kwa, 2004). Furthermore, often when these preferences are really utilized by developing countries they are suspended and/or restricted. I heard, for example, that Switzerland suspended and after restricted its SGP on refined sugar because developing countries (as Guatemala) started to take advantage of the preferences. It is easy to give a quota and duty free access to LDC countries that have not the productive capabilities to profit of these preferences (also because usually Rules of Origin are very strict) is less easy to give real favorable preferences to countries that have these capabilities.
  • In more than forty years, preferences did not succeed to improve and diversify trade exports form poorest developing countries. In fact, preferences push recipient countries to continue to focus on a small number of commodities to export where they have a favorable market access. Preferences did not help these countries to diversify and to climbing the value chain (through industrialization and advanced services development). This system keeps alive the colonization trading system. The issue is that as we underlined in a previous post these elements are crucial to improve the positive impacts of trade on development.
  • One of the most important preference schemes is disappearing. In fact, preferences between EU and ACP countries will become Free Trade Agreements called EPAs. That pose a number of problems that I will maybe analyze in another post.

If we take into consideration all these negative impacts of preferences and the interests of developing countries exporters, the solution seems to me quite clear:

We need to find a way to give up to preferences avoiding losses for recipient countries and helping them to develop both their productive capabilities and an effective use of trade in their development strategy.

I guess you will say: “That’s right but how we can achieve this?” In fact, this is the very difficult question. I think that the following measures should be implemented

  1. Progressive liberalization of tropical products in 10 years. Every year tariffs should be decreased by the same amount. This will give enough time for adaptation of these sectors in preference recipient countries without causing too much damage to other developing countries. This is an option included in the WTO draft on agriculture (February 2008).
  2. Implementing Aid for Trade with additional resources and by ensuring ownership by recipient countries. We are still far from this objective. This kind of aid should match with the trade strategy for development of recipient countries. This will be a key element for LDCs.
  3. This in the most important point and it is not fully taken into account in the WTO draft. In order to give to recipient countries, notably the non-LDC developing countries, the possibility to implement an effective development strategy, these countries should have enough policy space to protect and support their advanced services and industrial sector. Only with these tools, they can diversify and develop their economy. Furthermore, developed countries should improve their chances to develop both sectors. They should give them temporary preferential margins (10-15 years) for recipient countries high value added exports notably by eliminating tariff escalation and by incite them to export transformed products instead of commodities. In order to avoid the creation of another useless preference schemes and help to improve the competitiveness of these sectors, developed countries should reduce progressively this preferential margin (same amount every year) after, say, 5 years. With these preferences these countries can built a “modern” economic sector that progressively will become competitive in the global markets.

In conclusion, the measures that I proposed will allow these countries to implement an effective development strategy without undermining trade opportunities for exporters. What is needed it a real commitment by developed countries to really help preference recipient countries to improve their development level.

The first two measures seem to me feasible. The problem is with the third one that requires a change of mindset by trade negotiators particularly form developed countries.

Of course, this it is only a proposition. I guess there is other innovative thinking on this issue. If you have one or if you simply want to give a critic assessment on this post simply write a comment.


Jawara F. and Kwa A., Behind the Scenes at the WTO. The Real World of International Trade Negotiations. The Lessons of Cancun, London and New York, Zed Books.

Picture reference

          Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)        
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)
author: Kim Stanley Robinson
name: Annette
average rating: 3.84
book published: 1993
rating: 3
read at: 2014/10/28
date added: 2017/02/24
shelves: sci-fi
Red Mars presents me with one of those classic conundrums: how to review and rate a book that is, by nearly every measure, excellent - and yet, that I did not particularly enjoy?

"Epic" and "Saga" both seem appropriate here. Seemingly every aspect of the colonization of Mars is considered, from the selection of the initial colonists to the first wild push to create a habitable, survivable settlement, to the varied strategies for teraforming, to a great space elevator, to the inevitable havoc wreaked by competing national and commercial interests, or, put more simply, basic human nature.
In the end, it is truly a story about human nature. And I didn't like any of the humans in it very much. Nadia was the closest to someone I might chose as a friend of all of them. John I tolerated, Frank and Maya I actively disliked, Michel was annoying, Anne intolerable, and Sax just a little too much pure geek to be true. Although I kind of liked him.
Human nature being what it is, the story was inevitably depressing as everyone worked just as hard to destroy their planet (and themselves, in several cases) as they had worked to build it in the first place. It was also very, very long. I've read plenty of 600 page books in my time, but this one took me nearly a month, both because of its density and because it simply wasn't Fun.

I may eventually get 'round to reading the other books in the trilogy because like I said, nearly everything here is Great - the research, the characters, the imagination. It's just not much fun to read.

          Failing The Heinlein Test        

I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to find the exact chapters or book passages from Robert Heinlein's writings where I first came across the concept of The Heinlein Test. He didn't call it that. It's how I thought about his ideas.

Heinlein envisioned a universe that is pretty much the opposite of the "Where IS Everybody?" Fermi Paradox. In Robert Heinlein's universe, solar systems and galaxies are teeming with intelligent life forms that evolve to develop spaceflight and move on from there. He also theorized that in such a universe, the likelihood of evolving into a multi-planetary species could be predicted by how soon an intelligent species utilizes spaceflight to the fullest extent possible, after developing the capability. A species that embraces and relishes this evolutionary milestone would flourish. Those species approaching it with temerity, risk aversion, trepidation and disinterest would perish. The longer this hesitation goes on after developing the capability for creating a multi-planetary species without actually using it, the more likely the species is to become extinct in the long term.

This may well be bullshit, but it has a certain intuitive symmetry to it. A species that embraces multi-planetary life to the fullest extent possible has an excellent long-term survival outlook. Species that hesitate years before taking this step don't have such a rosy prognosis. It starts to look pretty grim for species that take a decade, or decades to get their asses to Mars, to quote Buzz Aldrin. It's not a new idea. Entire sci-fi universes have plot lines based on multiple species with more or less aggressive expansion and colonization tactics. The more hesitant and non-spacefaring species don't do too well in this scenario, in the long run.

If there is even a smidgen of truth to this idea, it's worth noting that homo sapiens is failing the Heinlein Test, badly.

"Yeah, it got us, too." - The Dinosaurs

          Brazil’s President Temer trashes Indian rights for personal political gain        
Major indigenous protests in Brasilia against government’s attempts to weaken indigenous rights, May 2017
Major indigenous protests in Brasilia against government’s attempts to weaken indigenous rights, May 2017
© Survival

The Brazilian President Michel Temer has accepted a controversial legal opinion which denies indigenous people the right to their land, and made it official policy.

The opinion states that indigenous peoples do not have the right to their land if they were not occupying it when the current constitution came into effect in October 1988.

The opinion contradicts the constitution, which clearly states that indigenous peoples have the right to exclusively occupy and use the lands which they have inhabited since long before European colonization of the country.

Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office and eminent jurists say that this is only an opinion, and has no legal status as well as being unconstitutional.

Joenia Wapixana, Brazil’s first female indigenous lawyer said: “Our original rights are imprescriptible, so the time frame is unconstitutional.”

Luiz Henrique Eloy, a Terena Indian lawyer working at APIB, the Network of Indigenous NGOs in Brazil said: “Using this time frame is totally anti-constitutional; the constitution recognizes indigenous rights as original rights which precede any other. This [opinion] is the position of some ministers, it’s not consolidated.”

Congress is due to vote next month on whether to approve charges of corruption against President Temer. In the lead up to this vote, analysts report that the President is trying to consolidate his support among legislators, many of whom are linked to or represent Brazil’s powerful agri-business sector which is vehemently anti-Indian.

Many in the agri-business sector, particularly in the south and central states, are occupying and profiting from indigenous territories after the indigenous owners were evicted decades ago.

Campaigners fear that President Temer is prepared to seriously undermine indigenous rights for the sake of shoring up his own support.

Deputy Luis Carlos Heinze, a prominent member of the Chamber of Deputies’ Agriculture Commission, who was consulted about the opinion before it was made public said: “[Now, with this opinion], more than 90% of the [more than 700] cases [of demarcation of indigenous territories in progress] in Brazil are illegal and will be shelved."

Survival gave him its Racist of the Year Award for offensive remarks about indigenous peoples.

Indigenous organizations and NGOs in Brazil published a strongly worded press release yesterday condemning the opinion and calling for the public prosecutors’ office to suspend it.

Survival International has been campaigning alongside indigenous peoples and NGOs in Brazil against the undermining of indigenous rights, and condemns this illegal action against Brazil’s first peoples.

          Babacar M'Baye        

Dr. M’Baye received his Ph.D. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University, his M.A. in American Studies from Pennsylvania State University, and his Maîtrise in English from Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis.

  • Black Cosmopolitanism and Anticolonialism: Pivotal Moments. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

  • The Trickster Comes West: Pan-African Influences in Early Black Diasporan Narratives.  Jackson, Miss: University Press of Mississippi, 2009.
  • Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Babacar M'Baye and Alexander Charles Oliver Hall, eds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013.
Book Chapters
  • "Voodoo and the Black Vernacular as Weapons of Resistance." Zora Neale Hurston, Haiti, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. La Vinia Delois Jennings, ed. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2013. 191-214.
  • "African Elements in the Folktales of Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men." Critical Insights: Zora Neale Hurston. Sharon Jones, ed. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2013. 144-168.
  • "Radical and Nationalist Resistance in David Walker's and Frederick Douglass's Antislavery Narratives." In Critical Insights: Literature of Protest. Kimberly Drake, ed. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2013. 113-143.
  • Babacar M'Baye and Alexander Charles Oliver Hall. "Introduction: New Approaches to American Popular Music." In Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Babacar M'Baye and Alexander Charles Oliver Hall, eds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013. v-xix.
  • "In Search of Mahalia Jackson and Aminata Fall: A Comparative Study of Senegalese and African American Blues." In Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Babacar M'Baye and Alexander Charles Oliver Hall, eds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013. v-xix. 101-120.
  • "The Model AU as a Pedagogical Method of Teaching American Students about Africa." Brandon D. Lundy and Solomon Negash, eds. Teaching Africa: A Guide for the 21st-Century Classroom. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013. 195-201.
  • "What is Black in the Melting Pot? A Critique of Afrocentrist and Postmodernist Discourses on Blackness." American Multicultural Studies: Diversity of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality. Sherrow O. Pinder, ed. Los Angeles and London: Sage, 2013. 3-19.
  • "The Pan-African and Puritan Dimensions of Phillis Wheatley's Poems and Letters." In New Essays on Phillis Wheatley. John C. Shields and Eric D. Lamore, eds. Knoxville, TN.: University of Tennessee Press, 2011. 271-293.
  • "African and Colonialism in Langston Hughes's Travel Writings." New Directions in Travel Writing and Travel Studies. Dr. Carmen Andras, ed. Aachen, Germany: Shaker Publishing, 2010. 178-188.
  • "Discrimination and the American Dream in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.” Bloom’s Literary Themes: The American Dream. Harold Bloom, ed. New York: Chelsea House. 2009. 171-186.
  • With Amoaba Gooden and Wendy Wilson-Fall. “A History of Black Immigration into the United States and Canada with Culture and Policy Implications.” Africana Cultures and Policy Studies: Scholarship and the Transformation of Public Policy. Zachery Williams, ed. New York: Palgrave, 2009. 219-246.
  • With Seneca Vaught, Zachery Williams, and Robert Smith. "A History of Black Immigration into the United States through the Lens of the African American Civil and Human Rights Struggle." Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of Citizenship. Rachel Ida Buff, ed. New York: New York University Press, 2008. 159-178.
  • "Slavery and Africa in Native Son and Black Power: A Transnationalist Interspretation." Richard Wright's Native Son. Ana Maria Fraile, ed. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007. 75-90.
  • “Resistance against Racial, Sexual, and Social Oppression in Go Tell it on the Mountain and Beloved.” James Baldwin and Toni Morrison: Comparative Critical and Theoretical Essays. Lovalerie King and Lynn Orilla Scott, eds. New York, NY: Palgrave, 2006. 167-186.
  • "The Representation of Africa in Black Atlantic Studies of Race and Literature." Africa and Its Significant Others: Forty Years of Entanglement. Isabel Hoving, Frans-Willen Korsten, and Ernst Van Alphen, eds. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2003. 151-162.
Journal Articles
  • "The Origins of Senegalese Homophobia: Discourses on Homosexuals and Transgender People in Colonial and Postcolonial Senegal." African Studies Review. 56.2 (September 2013): 109-128.
  • "Caribbean Migratory Experiences in Queen Macoomeh's Tales from Icebox Land and Mutabaruka's Poetry." Southern Journal of Canadian Studies 5.1-2 (December 2012): 184-222
  • "Cosmopolitanism and Anticolonialism in Selected World War II Poems of Leopold Sedar Senghor" ["Cosmopolitisme et anticolionalisme dans quelques poemes de Leopold Sedar Senghor pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.]' Migrance 39 (Premier Semestre 2012): 79-92.
  • "Metamorphosis and Cosmopolitanism in a Senegalese Immigrant's Narratives about Quebec: Boucar Diouf." Quebec Studies (Special Issue: New Voices on Quebec). Fall 2012. 53-70.
  • "The Myth of Post-Racialism: Hegemonic and Counterhegemonic Stories About Race and Racism in the United States." ACRAWSA: Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal (Online). 7 (2011): 2-25.
  • "Variant Sexualities and African Modernity in Joseph Gaye Ramaka's Karmen Gei." Black Camera. 2.2 (Spring 2011): 114-129.
  • "Student-Centered Designs of Pan-African Literature Courses." CEA Forum. 39.2 (Summer/Fall 2010): 1-27.
  • "Richard Wright and the 1955 Bandung Conference: A Re-evaluation of The Color Curtain." Journeys: the International Journal of Travel & Travel Writing. 10.2 (2009): 31-44.
  • "Richard Wright and African Francophone intellectuals: a Reassessment of the 1956 Congress of Black Writers in Paris." African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. 2.1 (January 2009): 29-42. Reprinted in African diaspora and the Metropolis: Reading the African, African American and Caribbean Experience. Fassil Demissie, ed. London: Routledge, August 2009.
  • “Marcus Garvey and African Francophone Political Leaders of the Early Twentieth Century: Prince Kojo Touvalou Houénou Reconsidered.” Journal of Pan-African Studies. 1.5 (October 2006): 2-19.
  • “The Economic, Political, and Social impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa.” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms . 11.6 (2006): 607-622.
  • “Colonization and African Modernity in Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s Ambiguous Adventure.” Journal of African Literature and Culture (2006): 189-212.
  • "Africa, Race, and Culture in the Narratives of W.E.B. Du Bois.” Philosophia Africana: Analysis of Philosophy and Issues in Africa and the Black Diaspora. 7.2 (August 2004): 33-46.
  • “The Image of Africa in the Travel Narratives of W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” B.Ma: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review. Black Travel Writing Special Issue.  Victoria Arana, ed. 9.1 (Fall 2003): 153-177.
  • “Dualistic Imagination of Africa in the Black Atlantic Narratives of Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, and Martin Robinson Delany.” The New England Journal of History. 58.3 (Spring 2002): 15-32.
Book Reviews
  • James Baldwin: America and Beyond. Cora Kaplan and Bill Schwarz, eds. Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 2011. New Formations. 77.2 (Fall 2012-Spring 2013): 204-208.
  • Across the Atlantic: African Immigrants in the United States Diaspora. Emmanuel Yewah and Dimeji Togunde, eds. Champaign, IL: Common Ground, 2010. OFO: Journal of Transatlantic Studies. 1.1 (2011): 119-122.
  • Constitutional Rights in Two Worlds: South Africa and the United States. By Mark S. Kende. New York Cambridge UP, 2010. H-Law, H-Net Reviews. June, 2011.
  • Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500-1677. By Imtiaz Habib. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008. Seventeenth Century News. 59.1-2 (Spring-Summer 2011): 61-65.
  • Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance. By Ngugi Wa Thiong' o. New York: Basic Civitas, 2009. Journal of African American History. 95.3-4 (Summer-Fall 2010): 473-475.
  • African Culture and Melville's Art: The Creative Process in Benito Cereno and Moby-Dick. By Sterling Stuckey. New York: Oxford University Press, November 2009. Southwest Journal of Cultures. . Posted on January 10, 2010.
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          Comment on ARTSpeak Lecturer: Wangechi Mutu by Stephanie Morse        
I found Wangechi Mutu’s lecture to be very interesting. What I appreciate most about her work is its elegance. She comes from such a dark aspect of world history that one might expect her work to be brash, full of gore and anger. However, instead she handles such powerful topics such as race, colonization, and mutilation all with a very graceful touch. In my opinion, her outlook toward these issues is shaped heavily by her idols. With admiring such strong female figures as Nina Simone and Eartha Kitt her approach to difficulties are met like those icons with quiet tenacity. That juxtaposition between power and the powerless, beauty and horror led me as the viewer to feel extremely uncomfortable which I think she absolutely intended. I feel compelled to call them beautiful but that does not explain them completely. When speaking of their beauty one must also include their raw grotesqueness also. I hope to see her work in person one day. From what I can tell, there are a lot of intricacies and smaller details that were a little bit hard to tell in the handouts and the slides. She is definitely one artist I am glad I was introduced to and one that I will keep on my radar.
          Comment on Comment and Read Comments Here! by Angela Hermida        
Wangechi Mutu Art is dead or rather painting is dead. Some believe that the art form has been minimalized, stretched, explored and manipulated in every conceivable way. Because of this, nothing more can really be done with painting that has not already been done before. My own artistic inclinations compel me to argue against this. I find it hard to believe that there is no one who can breathe new life into Art. After all, art is a freedom of conscience and someone can still choose to express something of consequence. Why can’t that unique voice manifest itself in a painting extraordinary enough that it can stir something within a viewer? If it does, can that piece tell us something about who its creator really is? As an aspiring artist, I find myself searching for answers to these questions whenever I can. Oddly enough, I began to find them when I attended a lecture by the artist Wangechi Mutu. Embodying ideas regarding beauty obsession, genocide, rape, mutilation, and colonization, the contoured figures of Mutu’s compositions appear bizarre and ominous. She uses cutouts from fashion and porn magazines to collage her figures. By applying ink or watercolor to Mylar, Mutu achieves a “bubbly marbly effect” that make her creatures look as though their skin has been either burned or diseased. Some have twisted, flowing hair while others are bald. Many even have limbs comprised of motorbike or mechanical parts. As strange as they may sound, Mutu’s femine creatures still manage to be alluringly beautiful despite their spiky hair and “infected” skin. According to Mutu, those who are made to endure the atrocities of the world are left feeling despaired, dislocated and disconnected. The artist refers to persons who were once removed from their homes and put into camps or those who are arrested, tried, and tortured because they dared to speak out as examples. They struggle to make sense of themselves and their surroundings in their attempts to survive. Consequently, their identity as individuals transforms. This notion along with her ardent love of her own African heritage is what gives Mutu’s creatures their staggering nature. Listening to Wangechi Mutu discuss her work as well as the things that motivate her was inspiring. She comes across as an old soul with an inquisitive mind. From her description of her African homeland to her admiration for the innovative Josephine Baker and Grace Jones, she seems to consider the depth and beauty in everything. For example, she attributes her forensic series to the peculiar idea that “we can study a person’s features in order to understand who a person is”. She then drops hints in regards to her figures as she curiously reflects upon various physical depictions of Aliens. Despite its chalky skin and large black eyes, an alien may possess human like qualities because it is “a thing we don’t know that’s actually us”. She is drawn to the dirty, dark and morbid as well. Mutu will use raunchiest of porn images in her art as a means to emancipate the women objectified within them. As harsh as it may be, even scientific research done on humans during the holocaust and genocide in Rwanda can still teach us something significant. It is easy to imagine how, as she has strived to attain knowledge and understanding, she began to twist and mutilate the figures she drew. Coming from an extremely conservative Kenya, she appears not to want to look away anymore. The blindfold is off. Some of her topics of discussion were brutal but it is possible she chose to talk about them as a sort of walk up call. Confines and rose colored glasses rarely make things better. More often than not, we are stifled by them. As suggested in her work, there are many facets and layers to everything and everyone. A person’s race, color, or circumstance do not account for all of it either. Good or bad, Wangechi Mutu declares there is healing in her process. Whether we can personally relate to her subjects or not, we can still feel for those who do. By facing up to our deepest fears, like those who inspire Mutu’s work, we can all choose to learn, accept, and decide to do better. If her viewers see Mutu’s message for what it truly is then maybe something can be done. Differences can be made. With this in mind, Wangechi Mutu is a profound artist who is doing some really remarkable things with her artistry. Her painting is most definitely not dead and it does say something about who she is. Aside from looking at her work itself, this was never more evident than when she passionately said: “Art is important. It has kept me sane alive. It saves lives!”
          A Poetics of Anticolonialism        

Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism might be best described as a declaration of war. I would almost call it a “third world manifesto,” but hesitate because it is primarily a polemic against the old order bereft of the kind of propositions and proposals that generally accompany manifestos. Yet, Discourse speaks in revolutionary cadences, capturing the spirit of its age just as Marx and Engels did 102 years earlier in their little manifesto. First published in 1950 as Discours sur le colonialisme, it appeared just as the old empires were on the verge of collapse, thanks in part to a world war against fascism that left Europe in material, spiritual, and philosophical shambles. It was the age of decolonization and revolt in Africa, Asia, and Latin America… | more…

          Dub, Scratch, and the Black Star. Lee Perry on the Mix        
Erik Davis

Having abandoned the Jamaican tropics for the snowy peaks of Switzerland, the legendary reggae producer Lee Perry - aka Scratch, the Upsetter, the Super-Ape, Pipecock Jackson, Inspector Gadget, the Firmament Computer, and a cornucopia of other monikers and aliases - now makes his home in one of the quietest corners of Europe. A version of this piece originally appeared in 21C, issue 24, 1997It’s an odd but somehow fitting environment for Perry - not because precision clocks and banks have much to do with the intense, spooky, and profoundly playful records he’s known for, but because Lee Perry had always been something of a stranger in a strange land.

Though still capable of turning out brilliant tunes like “I Am a Madman” and “Secret Laboratory (Scientific Dancehall),” Perry’s current output pales next to the pivotal music he made in the 1960s and 70s, especially the Rastafarian psychedelia he cooked up at his Black Ark studios in the mid 1970s. During that incredibly prolific period (he produced over 1000 sides in ten years), Perry fused his eccentric spiritual vision with powerful protest music, made some of the most surreal experiments with dub reggae, and sculpted the first (and arguably greatest) records by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Utilizing low-tech studio equipment with a brilliance and panache that continues to astound record producers and music fans today, Perry earned a place alongside Phil Spector and Brian Wilson as a visionary studio wizard who transformed pop music production into an art form all its own.

These days, it’s Perry himself who is the work of art. He appears in public festooned with pendants, parts of machines, bits of tape, patches, buttons, and reflective mirrors. Everywhere he goes, it seems, he leaves a collage of scribbled notes, cryptic graffiti, scrap-metal idols, paintings of lions and food. Responding to interviewers with a flurry of rhymes, riffs, and puns, Perry turns innocent questions into a cosmological launching pad, revealing what John Corbett describes as “a world of hidden connections and secret pacts:” (128) multinational conspiracy theories, Old Testament prophecies, scatological rants, Rastafarian poetry, incantations of the Jamaican folk witchcraft known as obeah.

All this takes Perry to the edge of madness - at once his apparent mental instability and his intensely performative, almost shamanic, relationship with the chaos of creation. As Corbett points out, New World black culture has long linked the rhetoric of madness with excellence and innovation - musicians especially are praised for being “out of control,” “crazy,” “wild.” While Perry’s hermetic language games and comic-book metaphysics certainly owe something to his daily intake of what one observer described as an “inordinate amount of high quality herb,” his mischievous irony also shows all the signs of the trickster incarnate. Even his “madness” may be a trick. Some colleagues report that when it’s time to talk business, Perry drops the loopy patois and cuts to the chase; the head of Heartbeat Records says that he “plays fool to catch wise.”

Perry is also a kind of Caribbean techgnostic, deploying his almost supernatural imagination within the technological context of the modern recording studio. With its soundboards, mics, effects processors, and multiple-track tape manipulations, the studio is clearly a kind of musical machine. However passionate and spontaneous pop songs may sound on the radio, the music itself is as much a product of engineering as of performance. Despite their crude equipment, reggae producers like Perry, King Tubby, and Bunny Lee became artists in their own right - especially when it came to dub, the instrumental offshoot of reggae concocted entirely in the studio.

Modern Jamaican music begins with signals and machines. In the mid to late 1950s, when a diminutive Lee Perry first arrived in Kingston from the sticks, the popularity of mento - an upbeat and topical Afro-Caribbean music similar to Trinidadian calypso - was giving way to a rage for American rhythm&blues. At that time, powerful and increasingly independent U.S. radio stations were turning away from the old national radio networks towards an inexpensive and popular alternative: DJs playing records for local markets. For the first time, signals were beamed directly at African-American communities. And when the weather was right, Jamaican kids churning through their radio dials would tune into Southern radio stations, and they went especially wild for the gritty, saucy sounds of New Orleans R&B.

From this enthusiasm sprang Jamaica’s “sound systems” - mobile discos that would invade halls and auditoriums with high-wattage amplifiers, turntables, DJs, imported American vinyl, and massive speaker stacks. Besides transforming the invisible figure of the radio DJ into a performer, sound systems also gave their American grooves an unmistakable Jamaican twist by severely pumping up the bass. Amplifying their woofers to the max, sound systems transformed R&B’s low end into a veritable force of nature - the kind of bass that does not just propel or anchor dancers but saturates their bones with near cosmic vibrations.

In the late 1950s, the sound systems were ruled by a host of colorful characters like Duke Reid, who lorded over his “Treasure Isle” dances with a cartridge belt, an enormous gilt crown, and a shotgun that he would occasionally brandish when the competition between sound systems boiled to a head. These fierce rivalries had an obviously economic edge, but their roots lie in the competitive performance traditions of many West African cultures. The fight over customers waged by sound system producers was also a style war, their fabricated alter egos, costumes, and elaborate verbal boasts taking on an almost ritualistic - yet constantly reinvented - dimension. Such style wars show up in various guises across the African diaspora, from the taunts and “disses” of rappers to the yearly carnival competitions of Trinidad and Brazil, when various roving “bands” try to top each other and woo the crowd with music, dance, and costume. As Lee Perry said, “Competition must be in the music to make it go.” (Grand Royal 1995: 69)

Jamaica sound systems were unique in that this premodern, almost “tribal” competition was played out across the modern landscape of mechanically reproduced recordings. Rivalries were not so much a “battle of the bands” as a kind of technological and information warfare: who had the heaviest bass, who had the hottest records. In the 1950s, many DJs considered their imported sides exclusive, buying up all available copies of a new record or flying to the States to buy fresh discs. Spies would show up at rival sound system parties, peering at the record labels over the DJ’s shoulder, and in response, DJs would scratch off labels or stick on false ones.

Here was an environment where a trickster like Lee Perry could thrive. Rejected by Duke Reid, who was spooked by something in his eyes, Perry went to work for Clement “Sir Coxone” Dodd’s rival “Downbeat” system, where he served as a talent scout, runner, gofer and occasional monkey-wrencher. Perry told one interviewer how he once put out the rumor that a certain fellow was selling really “dread sides.” Duke Reid went and bought them all without listening to them first. “And they all old stuff, duds!” For such antics, Duke’s men once stormed a Downbeat party and started punching people out, knocking Scratch unconscious.

With the decline of R&B in the US market and Jamaica’s independence from Britain in 1962, homegrown mutations begin to dominate sound systems. The most prominent was ska, a hopped-up, horn-driven and very danceable music whose intense offbeat punches one apocryphal story attributes to the interference patterns that sliced up radio signals from the States. Perry started churning out ska at Coxone’s Studio One, cutting edgy and punchy songs like “By Saint Peter” and “Chicken Scratch” - the latter earning “Scratch” his most lasting nickname.

Perry always had something of a persecution complex, and frequently turned on former friends and business partners. In part this reflects the cut-throat environment of the Jamaican record industry, where what Dick Hebdidge describes as “tough and wily” producers often acted like pirates. But with Perry - who once knowingly sold thousands of copies of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Soul Revolution II with the wrong record inside - one can also see the mischievous and occasionally malicious hand of the trickster. Perry certainly incorporated personal attacks into his “mad” persona: a number of Perry songs badmouth former associates or mumble threats concerning obeah men, while the 1985 cut “Judgment Inna Babylon” accused the head of Island records of literally being a vampire.

After splitting acrimoniously from two top studios, Perry started up his own Upsetter studios in 1968, and soon released a tune attacking his former boss Joe Gibbs. Anticipating today’s sampling craze, “People Funny Boy” included a crying baby in the mix in order to show how “upset” Perry was. But “People Funny Boy” also slowed down and reshuffled the usual rock steady rhythm, a bass-heavy rhythm that by the late 1960s had replaced the more simplistic beats of ska. In doing so, Perry helped engineer the beat that would come to dominate Jamaican music in the 1970s: reggae.

Though reggae recalls the relaxed rhythms of the old secular mento music, it has a meditative sustenance that some compare to religious church music or the Nyabhingi drumming of Rastafarian gatherings. Perry claims he just wanted to top his rivals with a new sound that had a “rebel bass” and a “waxy beat - like you stepping in glue.” But the inspiration he cites was a Pocomania revivalist church he passed one night after drinking some beer:

(I) hear the people inside make a wail and say, ‘let’s make a sound fe catch the vibration of the people!’ Them was in the spirit and them tune me spiritually. That’s where the thing comes from, ‘cos them Poco people getting sweet. (Grand Royal 1995: 62)

Pocomania was one of a number of independent revivalist churches that sprung up during Jamaica’s “Great Awakening” of the 1860s, churches which exuberantly fused African and Protestant performance styles, images, and traditions. Pocomania leaned to the African side of things, its Pentecostal-style services owing an obvious debt to African possession ceremonies. Worshippers would dance counter-clockwise to powerful drums while breathing very deeply; this “trumping” would sometimes brings on possession - the “little madness” that lent the church its name.

So at the root of the reggae we have a little Lee Perry madness, a tale of catching vibrations and tuning into spiritual trance. But Perry played a far more direct role in developing the religious dimension of reggae when he began writing and recording songs with Bob Marley and the Wailers. The Wailers were a talented Studio One group known for sweet vocals, American soul covers, and a rebel stance. As residents of Trenchtown, Kingston’s most notorious slum, the Wailers were associated with Jamaica’s “rude boys” - tough, poor and restless urban kids who flaunted authority (and sometimes the law). By the late 1960s, Marley and the Wailers were also turning toward Rastafari, a rebellious and extraordinary religious counter-culture that wove together Black Pride, an “Ethiopian” reworking of Biblical tenets, and a prophetic opposition to “Babylon” - the Rastafarian archetype of the modern nation-state, with its police, economic injustice, and corrosive lifestyles. Perry collaborated with the future superstar on some of his earliest and most powerful songs, tunes that mixed sharp social commentary (“a hungry mob is an angry mob”) with an ardent yearning for Jah.

Since the trappings of Rastafari have been packaged by the international reggae market and embraced - often superficially - by legions of white college kids, punks, and hippies, we should scratch a bit beneath the surface of this vital New World religion. Like America’s Black Muslims, the roots of Rastafari lie with the ethno-religious worldview sculpted by the Jamaican reformer Marcus Garvey. Founding the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1914, Garvey attempted to uplift and unite New World Africans by emphasizing the superiority of the black man and the glories of African civilization. Anticipating the Africentricity of today, Garvey preached the love of a black deity, a “God of Ethiopia.” He also called for repatriation to the motherland, even founding a shipping and transportation company called the Black Star Line with the intention of transplanting New World blacks to Liberia.

But Garvey never visited Africa, and his vision of Ethiopia had more to do with the visceral power of the religious imagination than with the concrete geo-political realities of an African continent struggling with the ravages of European colonization. By Garvey’s time, Black Christian churches had already embraced the Biblical Ethiopia as a potent allegorical image of spiritual fulfillment, the millennial “Zion” that offered both a redemptive future and a glorious origin. Though Garvey’s call for repatriation offered black folks an apparently concrete solution to the nightmare of abduction and slavery, the Africa he offered was a landscape of religious desire - a virtual world.

When Garvey quit Jamaica for the United States, he reportedly left his followers with this potent prophecy: “Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King; he shall be the Redeemer.” In 1930, when Haile Sellasie - aka Ras Tafari - was installed as King of Ethiopia, Garvey’s Jamaican followers believed they had found their living god, and Rastafari was born. Ethiopia has been Judeo-Christian longer than most nations on the earth, and Sellasie’s bloodline was supposed to stretch back to King Solomon, his official titles - like “King of Kings” and “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” - drawn directly from Biblical prophecy. Reading their own political and cultural desires into theses Rorschach blots of messianic allegory, Rastafarians transformed the distant king into the Book of Daniel’s bearded Ancient of Days, “the hair of whose head was like wool, whose feet were like unto burning brass.”

As with Elijah Mohammed’s Black Muslims, the early Rastafarians also racialized their theology. As the religious scholar Leonard Barrett explains, “the White’s god is actually the devil, the instigator of all evils that have come upon the world, the god of hate, blood, oppression, and war; the Black god is the god of ‘Peace and Love’ ” (Barrett 1977: 108). Though contemporary Rastafarians speak of “One God” more than a black god, it’s important to note the loosely “gnostic” elements here. Along with the Manichaean tension between the two gods, we have the old gnostic vision of a dark tyrant god who rules over souls in exile. According to Barrett, the early Rastafarians believed that slavery was initially a punishment for their sins, but that “they have long since been pardoned and should have returned to Ethiopia long ago” (111). Only the evil trickery of the slavemaster prevents them from returning to the heavenly home where their living King awaits.

Both the separatist practices and the emotional core of Rastafarian life can be traced to this deeply felt sense that the Rastaman is in Babylon, but not of it. As Silja Joanna Aller Talvi writes, “From the Rasta’s perspective, the whole world is full of Babylon, and Babylon systems are constantly seeking to oppress (or ‘downpress’) and exploit the African.” Rejecting the authorities of this world, Rastafarians attempt to create a separate “God-like culture,” in part by embracing the organic world of nature as a kind of anti-modern alternative to Babylon. Most Rastafarians are vegetarian, eat only “ital” (fresh and healthy) food, and reject commercial products and medicines; many also grow their hair in dreadlocks - the “natural” shape of long kinky hair that’s washed but neither combed, cut or treated. Though Rastafari was spawned in the slums, many “locksmen” abandoned the urban hustle for lives as fisherman or simple farmers; those who remained were shunned by most respectable Jamaicans as “Blackhearts” or boogiemen.

Though the movement had a handful of charismatic leaders early on, and today includes organized sects like the Twelve Tribes of Israel and even members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, most Rastafarians abhor institutions, grounding their faith in their own direct participation in the divinity and holiness of Jah. As Ras Sam Brown said, “The Rastafarians movement is not a movement with a central focus” (Barrett 1977: 173). Somewhat like the early gnostic sects, most Rastafarians also believe that the Bible is an intentionally “mistranslated” document whose scrambled signals must be read selectively and allegorically in the light of personal revelation.

One of the brightest guiding lights of Rastafari is the flame of the “chalice,” stuffed with sticky marijuana buds that crackle during inhalation. Addressing the sacramental use of marijuana among Rastafarians, Barrett argues that “the real center of the movement’s religiosity is the revelatory dimensions brought about by the impact of the ‘holy herb.’” Long a Jamaican folk medicine, marijuana was probably introduced to the island by indentured East Indian Hindus, who gave the plant its popular name “ganja” and may have inspired its religious use (many of India’s wandering mendicant “sadhus” also wear dreadlocks, eat vegetarian food and smoke hashish in a religious context). For all their glassy, bloodshot stares, it’s wrong to think of Rastafarians as “stoners”; hardcore adherents consume ganja as a sacrament and rarely use other drugs or alcohol. One Rasta explained the role of ganja in strongly gnostic terms, though it is a gnosticism shot through with Rastafari’s powerful social consciousness:

Man basically is God but this insight can come to man only with the use of the herb. When you use the herb, you experience yourself as God. With the use of the herb you can exist in this dismal state of reality that now exists in Jamaica…When you are a God you deal or relate to people like a God. In this way you let your light shine, and when each of us lets his light shine we are creating a God-like culture. (Barrett 1977: 217).

Barrett explains that to the Rastafarian, “the average Jamaican is so brainwashed by colonialism that his entire system is programmed in the wrong way…To rid his mind of these psychic forces his head must be ‘loosened up,’ something done only through the use of the herb” (216). As one Montego Bay “dread” described the plant ally, “It gives I a good meditation; it is a door inside” (130).

Of course, music can also serve as a door inside. The chants and “churchical” beats of traditional Nyabhingi drumming played a vital role in Rastafarian “Grounations,” communal celebrations notable for their ital feasts, ganja smoking, and mystical theologizing. Though not directly influencing the reggae beat, Nyabhingi’s meditative rhythms did infuse reggae with the sense that music can help “loosen up” the shackles of everyday consciousness, sparking the inner light of righteous contemplation.

Bob Marley was not the first musicians to bring Rastafari into Jamaican dance music, but with earthy hymns like “400 Years,” “African Herbsman” and “Duppy Conqueror”, he and Perry injected folkloric nectar into their spare and sinewy arrangements with divine panache. Like American soul, but even more so, reggae would rapidly become a commercial product of the popular recording industry that nonetheless derived much of its power and appeal from a deeply religious set of images and desires. By no means was all reggae Rastafarian, but with “message” producers like Perry leading the way, Jamaica would produce perhaps the juiciest spiritual protest music of the 1970s. By the time of his death at the end of the decade, Bob Marley would rear his lionlike mane over a global stage as the first Third World pop star, his plaintive “redemption songs” spreading the message of Rastafari across a shrinking planet desperate for spiritual heroes.

Though Marley’s records were cleverly packaged by Island’s Chris Blackwell for a white rock audience, much of their appeal derives from the unshakable authenticity of the man, the righteous integrity he shared with many of reggae’s stars. In the ’70s, the cries and beats of Jamaica’s new “roots music” seemed to spring, not only form the hearts of suffering black folks, but from the island soil itself. You could hear these roots in the music’s moist guitars and stoned pace, its “natural mystic” vibrations, and its crunchy, spongy beats (Marley called it “earth-feeling music”). And you could feel the roots as well in the virtual Africa that hovered on the messianic horizon of the music, an ancient motherland and future kingdom built from the gnostic longings of souls exiled in the brave New World of Babylon.

But dub music, reggae’s great technological mutant, is a pure artifact of the machine, and has little to do with earth, flesh, or authenticity. To create dub, producers and engineers manipulate preexisting tracks of music recorded in an analog - as opposed to digital - fashion on magnetic tape (today’s high-end studios encode music as distinct digital bits rather than magnetic “waves”). Dubmasters saturate individual instruments with reverb, phase, and delay; abruptly drop voices, drums, and guitars in and out of the mix; strip the music down to the bare bones of rhythm and then build it up again through layers of inhuman echoes, electronic ectoplasm, cosmic rays. Good dub sounds like the recording studio itself has begun to hallucinate.

Dub arose from doubling - the common Jamaican practice of reconfiguring or “versioning” a prerecorded track into any number of new songs. Dub calls the apparent “authenticity” of roots reggae into question because dub destroys the holistic integrity of singer and song. It proclaims a primary postmodern law: there is no original, no first ground, no homeland. By mutating its repetitions of previously used material, dub adds something new and distinctly uncanny, vaporizing into a kind is doppelgänger music. Despite the crisp attack of its drums and the heaviness of its bass, it swoops through empty space, spectral and disembodied. Like ganja, dub opens the “inner door.” John Corbett even links the etymology of the word “dub” with duppie (Jamaican patois for ghost). Burning Spear entitled the dub version of his great Marcus Garvey album Garvey’s Ghost, and Joe Gibbs responded to Lee Perry’s production of Bob Marley’s “Duppie Conqueror” with the cut “Ghost Capturer.” Perry described dub as “the ghost in me coming out” (Toop 1995: 129). Dub music not only drums up the ghost in the machine, but gives the ghost room to dance.

Though he became one of its most surreal experimenters, Lee Perry did not invent dub reggae. That honor goes to Osbourne Ruddock, aka King Tubby, an electrical engineer who fixed radios and other appliances in Kingston in the 1950s and who built his own sound system amplifiers to get the big bass sound. A musical genius, Tubby was also a gearhead, a tinkerer, an experimental geek. After discovering that he could remix the backing track of a popular tune into a new piece of music, Tubby played these “dub plate specials” to enthusiastic crowds at his Home Town Hi-Fi dances, where Tubby would stand behind his customized mixing console, tweaking the beats on the fly while the DJ U Roy “toasted” over the rhythms.

Jamaican trends spread like wildfire, but Tubby stayed ahead of the dub game by working with top producers like Bunny Lee and Lee Perry while endlessly tinkering with what Prince Buster called the “implements of sound.” Tubby constantly toyed with his four-track console, jury-rigging echo delay units and created sliding faders that allowed him to bring tracks smoothly in and out of the mix. He also just played tricks with the machine, generating his famous “Thunderclap” sound by physically hitting the spring reverb unit, or using frequency test tones to send an ominous sonar through the depths of dub’s watery domain. Though Tubby gave his records names like Dub from the Roots and The Roots of Dub, he had genetically engineered those roots into wires.

However, dub did restore the roots of reggae’s own “dread ridims” by conjuring the ghost of West African polyrhythms via the unlikely mediation of the machine. Though modern Jamaican dance music adheres to the same 4/4 beat that drives most popular music, reggae was already unusual in accenting the second and fourth beats of the measure and in “dropping” the initial beat, all of which produced the music’s unmistakable pulse. By anchoring the beat with the bass guitar rather than the drum kit, reggae also freed up the drums to explore subtler and more complex percussive play. As Dick Hebdidge points out, by the end of the ’70s, drummers like Sly Dunbar were playing their kits like jazz musicians, improvising on cymbals, snares and tom toms to “produce a multi-layered effect, rather like West African religious drumming” (Hebdidge 1987: 82).

Dub launched these already tangled ridims into orbit, using technological effects to thicken the beats and to stretch and fold the passage of time. Besides stripping the music down to pure drums and bass and adding raw percussion, Dubmasters introduced counter-rhythms by multiplying the beats through echo and reverb while splicing in what the producer Bunny Lee called “a whole heap a noise.” And by abruptly dropping guitars, snares, hi-hats and bass in and out of the mix, they created a virtual analog of the tripping, constantly shifting effects of West African polymetric drumming. Though the hallucinogenic effects of dub are usually attributed to its “spacey” effects and the role of ganja in both its production and consumption, the almost psychic pleasures of the music also arise from its silly putty beats and their ability to yank the rug out from under your deeply ingrained sense of a central organizing rhythm.

By giving flight to the producer’s technical imagination, dub sculpted a sort of science-fiction aesthetic alongside reggae’s crunchy Africentric mythos. As Luke Erlich wrote, “If reggae is Africa in the New World, dub is Africa on the moon” (Corbett 1994: 23) Just look at the cover art: Mad Professor’s Science and the Witchdoctor sets circuit boards and robot figures next to mushrooms and fetish dolls, while Scientist Encounters Pac-Man at Channel One shows the Scientist manhandling the mixing console as if it were some madcap machine out of Marvel comics. It’s important to note that in Jamaican patois, “science” refers to obeah, the African grab-bag of herbal, ritual, and occult lore popular on the island. And as Robert Pelton points out, the figure of the scientist is not so distant from the spirit of the trickster that runs throughout this tale: “Both seek to befriend the strange, not so much striving to ‘reduce’ anomaly as to use it as a passage into a larger order…like the scientist, the trickster always yokes just this world to a suddenly larger world” (Pelton ????: 268).

And Lee Perry continued to serve as reggae’s trickster king. Not only did he make some remarkably spare and intense forays into dub, but he applied dub’s spectral aesthetics to the rest of his increasingly surreal, popular, and unorthodox productions. In 1974, the producer built Black Ark Studios, destined to become the launching pad of reggae’s most surreal and moving tunes. A year later, he acquired a demo version of a unique phaser from the States; using it alongside with a Roland Space Echo - a primitive drum machine with loads of reverb - Perry whipped up multi-layered cakes of noise, polyrhythms, ghostly percussion and sounds lifted from other records. He took advantage of anomalies, especially of his limited 4-track. As the producer Brian Foxworthy explains, Perry would fill up the four available tracks and then mix them onto a single track on another machine, freeing up three tracks to add more effects and percussion. Like xeroxing a xerox, each go-around added more noise to the signal, yet the very “decay” of the signal adding a moist, organic depth to the music. It’s a classic example of the trickster’s mischievous relationship to disruption and chaos. As Foxworthy told Grand Royal magazine, “Tape saturation, distortion and feedback were all used to become part of the music, not just added to it” (Grand Royal 1995: 64).

Black Ark was more than Jamaica’s most innovative studio; it was the visible vehicle of Perry’s passionate otherworldly imagination. It’s walls were covered with portraits of Selassie, magazine collages, lions and Stars of David, and visitors would sometimes find Scratch planting records and tapes in the garden. As Bob Mack writes, “By the mid-70s, Perry’s Black Ark had become the cultural/spiritual center of hip Kingston and birthplace of reggae’s most conscious black pride anthems, all of which were either written or coaxed out of the artist by Perry (who at that point was beginning to infuse all his productions with the complex set of Christian, African, Arthurian, and Jamaican folk references that comprise his current cosmology)” (Grand Royal 1995: 62). Soon after Haile Selassie died in 1975, Perry and Marley helped reaffirm the faith for millions by cutting the ardent “Jah Lives.”

Even the name of Perry’s studio was archetypal, resonating with any number of prophetic crafts: the Ark of the Covenant, Noah’s craft, Garvey’s Black Star Line - all messianic revisions to those vessels that abducted Africans into slavery. But the Black Star that Perry followed lied in the depths of space. In an interview with David Toop, Scratch discussed Black Ark in such extraterrestrial terms:

It was like a space craft. You could hear space in the tracks. Something there was like a holy vibration and a godly sensation. Modern studios, they have a different set-up. They set up a business and a money-making concern. I set up like an ark….You have to be the Ark to save the animals and nature and music (Toop 1995: 114).

Perry’s unique fusion of premodern myth and postmodern machines not only shapes his lyrics (in one of his weirdest songs, Perry warns “scavengers,” “vampires” and “sons of Lucifer” that “Jah Jah set a super trap / to capture you bionic rats”), but infuses his technological practice. Exploiting equipment that was archaic even for its day, Perry became a dub alchemist, weaving magnetic, tape, wires and circuit boards into the playful web of his magical thinking. Indeed, Perry spoke about his relationship to technology in explicitly animistic terms:

The studio must be like a living thing.. The machine must be live and intelligent. Then I put my mind into the machine by sending it through the controls and the knobs or into the jack panel. The jack panel is the brain itself, so you’ve got to patch up the brain and make the brain a living man, but the brain can take what you’re sending into it and live (Toop 1995: 113).

Improvising his cuts on the fly, Perry would whirl like a dervish behind his SoundCraft mixing board, blow ganja smoke directly onto the recording reels, even drink the alcohol used to clean the tape heads when he ran out of Dragon Stout. This erratic behavior came to a head in the late 1970s, when Perry started glimpsing UFOs, kicked anyone with dreadlocks out of the Black Ark, and covered its walls with deranged scatological prophecies. In 1979, during what could generously be called a bout of severely eccentric behavior, Perry trashed and burned his studio, and according to some reports wound up briefly in a mental institution.

The question of Perry’s sanity opens up the tangled relationship between tricks, madness, art, and the prophetic imagination, but what is most important about Perry and his astounding musical legacy is how they highlight an often ignored strain of New World African culture: a techno-visionary tradition that looks as much toward science fiction futurism as toward magical African roots. One finds this fusion in the experimental cosmological jazz of Sun Ra, who also pioneered the use of synthesizers and African percussion; in Jimi Hendrix’s “electric church music,” which psychedelicized the guitar with feedback and studio effects; in the juicy cosmic technofunk of Parliament-Funkadelic mastermind George Clinton, which, as Cornel West writes, “both Africanizes and technologizes Afro-American popular music” (West ????: 93). Hip hop music also began with a totally unexpected redeployment of turntable and mixing technology (introduced to the South Bronx by the Jamaican DJ Kool Herc), creating what Tricia Rose calls “an experimental and collective space where contemporary issues and ancestral forces are worke