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Archive for September, 2004

Christian Peacemaker Teams

This site has a number of stories about the

Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers who were attacked by Jewish settlers when escorting Palestinian children to school.

One suffered a broken arm and leg, and was robbed of her passport, money, and cell phone. The other, beaten with a bat and chains, has a punctured lung from his broken ribs, and facial injuries.

CPT, with an Italian group, Operation Dove, and an Israeli group, Taayush, are escorting the students at the request of villagers. The children must walk to school because Palestinians are not allowed to use the road with vehicles, only walk on it. Israeli authorities have failed to protect these children, and now the Army is outright stating that if CPT continues to take the children to school, there will be violence.

There was outrage when Irish children had a hard time getting to school — why is there not an outrage when these children have a hard time getting to school?

Surely there is a relationship between education, hope, and terrorism. If there is a better life, will it keep people from desperate measures? You can’t say it will guarentee it, but if you have a good life, an education, food and clean water, a roof over your head, I think you’ll be less likely to blow yourself to pieces in the name of religion or land. Call me crazy.

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Air Force Times has a piece on Bush’s National Guard situation (in what they refer to as a “champagne unit”), including an interesting quote from Colin Powell’s 1995 book, “My American Journey”.

“The policies — determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live — were an antidemocratic disgrace,” Powell wrote. “I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well placed … managed to wangle slots in reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country.”

Would he write those same words today?

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Astrophotography

Astrophotography by Anthony Ayiomamitis. Pretty stuff to tide you over until I’m up to putting actual content in, again.

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A quick post

MSN Money has an article called “Why we’re not having enough babies”.

I guess three isn’t enough, and I’d better get to work!

As good an excuse as any to go to bed, eh?

Goodnight. 😉

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Gotta Catch ’em All!

Ok, maybe in this case, you wouldn’t want to. But you can view or download and print the CDC Disease Cards and probably come up with some very interesting games. . .

Solitaire, perhaps? (Biological) War? UNO!

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Mothering as a Spiritual Path is an article from an old issue of Sage Woman magazine.

I think keeping the spiritual aspects of motherhood in mind, no matter what path you follow, can help you get over the rough spots, the days where you are operating on little sleep, one kid pukes on you, another one doesn’t want to do homework, and the third thinks that hours of videogames are a good use of their time, and they all do that LOUDLY.

I signed up for this gig, I wouldn’t trade it, I know there will be some pretty low points as well as high points, but having someone on the outside validate it on a leverl higher than “your kids are clean and fed and quiet” is quite nice.

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Confess!

Group Hug is a site of anonymous online confessions.

Confess your secrets, or read the archives.

People out there are really naughty.

Other people seem to get flustered over the stupidest things.

And no, I haven’t confessed a thing, not that you would believe me.

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For my geekier readers

I don’t understand quite how it works, but I like it. Coral: The New York University Distribution Network, is, well, their goals, are, let me just tell you how THEY word it.

Coral is peer-to-peer content distribution network. It allows a user to run a web site that offers high performance and meets huge demand, all for the price of a $50/month cable modem. Sites that volunteer to run Coral automatically replicate content as a side effect of users accessing it. Publishing through Coral is as simple as appending a short string to the hostname of objects’ URLs; a peer-to-peer DNS layer transparently redirects browsers to participating cache nodes, which in turn cooperate to minimize load on the source web server. Using modern peer-to-peer indexing techniques, Coral will efficiently find a cached object if it exists anywhere in the network, requiring that it use the origin server only to initially fetch the object once.

I believe the best way to put it, is that it avoids slashdotting. I’ve poked around and I guess it works, but how it works and when I would use it remains a mystery to me.

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You’re So Vain

I bet you think this post is about you.

(Pride, Vanity. Pot. Kettle.)

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Tarsian & Blinkley

As some of you may know, I am a big fan of buying American, and buying union when possible. I feel that it is important to support companies that treat workers fairly, and for the good of my economy, I need to support it.

I also feel that encouraging fair labor practices and wages in developing countries isn’t just the humanitarian thing to do, but the smart thing to do. An educated and comfortable society may be less likely to despair enough to fall under the spells of extremism and violence.

This is why I was pretty happy to find theTarsian & Blinkley catalog, a catalog of clothing made by women in Afghanistan, a company that claims to pay them fair wages and educate them. This can only be a good thing.

This company won an award, probably about $25,000 worth. A nice little sum to encourage a business, right?

So of course, you would think that these clothes may be affordable. Perhaps a bit expensive for being imported, but surely something that you could buy as a treat, something nice, and something that would make you feel good.

Well, first of all, a company that decides that size 11 is a large (average is 14 in the USA), right off the bat, isn’t in touch with the American woman, not the average American woman at least. Whilst trying to liberate women in a foreign country, they are encouraging the holding American women to the Hollywood and Supermodel standards of beauty, instead of celebrating women everywhere. To top it off, some don’t go as high as a large, some are only a medium, which is a size 8.

Secondly, the prices. They’re VERY high. One hundred and fifty two dollars for a shirt is outrageous. How much is the woman getting for this shirt? I know that I could do quite a bit with $100 myself, for example. I’d be able to feed my family dinner for a week if I was frugal (I am), could you imagine what I could do in a country like Afghanistan with that kind of money? And that is one shirt! Shipping isn’t bad though, just $10, I guess since they have stores in the USA, including here in Brooklyn, they don’t have to ship it that far.

So I guess if I want to support fair trade practices, I’m going to have to buy little trinkets at the Body Shop, and pay attention to which coffee brands I buy.

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