Monday, December 24, 2007

Arthur C Clarke's 90th birthday wish list

David Smith
16 Dec 2007
Observer
Arthur C Clarke, author of science fiction including 2001: A Space Odyssey, celebrates his 90th birthday today and continues to embrace new technology: he has marked it by releasing a video on the website YouTube.

In the nine-minute message, recorded at his home in Sri Lanka, Clarke makes three wishes. First, he would like evidence of extraterrestrial life. 'I have always believed that we are not alone in the universe,' he says. 'But we are still waiting for ETs to call us - or give us some kind of a sign.'
Clarke aims his second wish at global warming: 'I would like to see us kick our addiction to oil and adopt clean energy sources. For more than a decade, I've been monitoring various new energy experiments, but they have yet to produce commercial scale results.
His third wish is closer to home: 'I've been living in Sri Lanka for 50 years and, half that time, I've been a sad witness to the bitter conflict that divides my adopted country. I dearly wish to see lasting peace established in Sri Lanka as soon as possible.'

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2228244,00.html

How the Queen became very well connected

In a bid to appeal to the internet generation, the royals launch their own YouTube channel

" ... Two years ago the Queen confessed, while conferring an honorary knighthood on American Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, that she had not yet used a computer.

Since then, however, she has willingly embraced the internet and other major technological advances.

She has a mobile phone, and last year was presented with a six gigabyte iPod by Prince William, allegedly another Facebook fan, on which she reportedly stores the Last Night of the Proms

She allowed her traditional Christmas broadcast to be podcast last year. And, not only has she acquired a BlackBerry, with its instant access to email on the move, but she has equipped all her senior aides with one too on the advice of her most technically savvy son, the Duke of York.

She has also, recently, learned how to email after years of relying on staff to do it for her.

The Royal Channel, www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel, launched initially with nine videos at midnight last night. On Christmas Day, at 3pm, this year's Christmas message will be uploaded exactly 50 years to the hour from her very first televised Christmas broadcast.

Rather aptly, her message back in 1957, which is the channel's main featured video, was on the theme of technology and could almost have been written for this year as she told viewers: 'I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct.

'That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around.' ... "

~ Read more... ~

 

Why the kite runners had to flee Afghanistan

Run for your lives

Interview by Stephanie Merritt
23 Dec 2007
The Observer

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965 and left in 1976. Since 1980, he has lived in California where he studied medicine and worked as a doctor while writing his first novel, The Kite Runner. Published in 2003, the novel has now sold more than eight million copies worldwide in 34 languages. The film version is released on Boxing Day. Hosseini worked on the film as a cultural consultant.
 
The movie cast unknown schoolboys from Kabul in the lead roles and that decision has led to controversy as the boys' families recently claimed they feared reprisals because of the material - the story highlights ethnic conflict in Afghanistan and features a brutal scene in which a boy is raped. The release date was delayed in the US so that the young actors and their families could be relocated to the United Arab Emirates.

Q
Did you anticipate this degree of controversy over the subject matter?

KH
I don't think anyone believed that the families would say their lives were in danger. If anyone had thought that would be the case, they would never have gone to Kabul to cast the actors and I would have advised them not to go to Kabul.

Q
Had you received adverse reactions to the book on the same grounds?

KH
I have received some criticism. In the Afghan community, the reaction to my novel has been overwhelmingly positive - I've received thousands of letters from fellow Afghans who loved the book - but a smaller number of letters from people who are critical. Not because they feel misrepresented but because I'm talking about things that they would rather keep within the family. They feel that revealing these truths will paint a negative picture of Afghanistan.

Q
Because of the ethnic conflict or the rape scene?

KH
The ethnic conflict is a big one. Every person who has criticised it acknowledges the veracity of it but questions the wisdom of actually voicing it, which to me doesn't make sense because I always thought the whole point of writing books and making films was to talk about the things that shape people's lives. I'm not going to shy away from things because it may upset a few people. The rape scene is shot very suggestively, it's not graphic in any sense. Nevertheless, for that actor and his father, his family, it was problematic and they felt that the scene could lead to problems down the road. I hope that's not the case, but for me, the whole experience has been very upsetting.

Q
You returned to Kabul for the first time in 2003 and went again this year with the UN refugee agency. Has the country changed for the worse?

KH
It has changed; I felt a lot safer in 2003. This time in Kabul, I definitely felt an apprehension in people now that they didn't have in 2003. It's really the suicide bombing. That has had a profound effect on people's psyches, because it's a very terrifying and powerful weapon; it can strike at any time and any place. Being in public places was definitely nerve-racking. So actually having those kids out of there is a blessing in a way because Kabul has become such a dangerous place.

Q
Are you able to feel optimistic about the future of Afghanistan? Do you think one day you would take your own children?

KH
My optimism is very sober. Afghanistan has moved forward in some ways but has regressed in others. But the one thing I heard universally when I spoke to people there is that Afghanistan cannot afford to be abandoned, cannot afford for the international community to weaken its commitment to the country. I'd love to take my wife with me - she hasn't been back since the mid-Seventies - but as a parent, no, I couldn't take my children with everything that's going on in Kabul at the moment.

~ Link ~

 

Kerouac Christmas

scooped by Evelyn Ruut:
 
"Tonight," I thought, "I sleep tight and long and pray under the stars for
the Lord to bring me to Buddhahood after my Buddhawork is done, amen." And
as it was Christmas, I added "Lord bless you all and merry tender Christmas
on all your rooftops and I hope angels squat there the night of the big real
star, amen." And then I thought later, lying on my bag smoking, "Everything
is possible. I am God, I am Buddha, I am imperfect Ray Smith, all at the
same time, I am empty space, I am all things. I have all the time in the
world from life to life to do what is to do, to do what is to be done, to do
the timeless doing, infinitely perfect within, why cry, why worry, perfect
like the mind essence... ..I was started on my new life...a regular Don
Quixote of tenderness.  In the morning I felt exhilarated and meditated
first thing and made up a little prayer: "I bless you, all living things, I
bless you in the endless past, I bless you in the endless present, I bless
you in the endless future, amen."

-- Jack Kerouac

   "The Dharma Bums"

Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea



As narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker John Waters, there was time when the Salton Sea, tucked into the southeast corner of California was known as the Riviera of the West, a haven for jetsetters and vacationers. Originally created by accident, it's now one of the country's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Still, a hardy few have hung on there, hoping for help to come along and restore the lake to its former glory. Congressman Sonny Bono himself was once dedicated to saving the lake, until he went skiing one day. Eccentrics abound in this surreal landscape: the naked guy who waves to passing RVs; the man who built his own holy mountain; beer-loving Hungarian Hunky Daddy; the guys who plan to get rich someday when this virtual sewer becomes a Riviera again. Hair-raising and hilarious, part history lesson, part cautionary tale and part portrait of one of the strangest communities you've ever seen, this is the American Dream gone as stinky as a dead carp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhB2ZvHVFls

Nat'l Lawyers Guild voted for impeachment of Bush, Cheney

5 Nov 2007 

Washington, D.C. The National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously and enthusiastically for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney at its national convention in Washington, DC. The resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America."

The resolution provides for an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members that will help organize and coordinate events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.

The resolution calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office.

The full text of the resolution Below

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:
1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street
minutes,
http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to
justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333
http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf
and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter
http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/;

3. committed crimes against humanity in their conduct of the occupation of Iraq in which they
killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and created millions of
refugees
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1892888,00.html and http://edition.cnn.com/2
006/WORLD/meast/10/13/iraq.main/index.html;

4. killed over 3700 American soldiers and severely wounded nearly 30,000 more in the pursuit of
an illegal, immoral, and unjust occupation of Iraq. While Bush and Cheney have stated no
truthful noble cause for the war, one of the central purposes appears to be to take control of Iraq's
immense oil reserves to financially benefit private corporate interests. See Bush's benchmark
listing fact sheet released the same day Bush announced the "surge" that expressly called on the
Iraq parliament to "enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment . . . "
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-
3.html and http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/56672/;

5. committed further crimes against peace by threatening Iran in violation of the UN Charter, as
described in House resolution H. Res. 333
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgibin/
query/z?c110:H.RES.333: and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6649053.stm;

6. detained thousands of prisoners without charges and without providing the ability to confront
their accusers at a fair trial
http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Americas/United-States-of-Ameri...

7. condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the US anti-torture
statute of 1994, the US War Crimes Act of 1996, and the oath of
office
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/05/24/usint8614.htm and
http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/Regions/Americas/United-States-of-Ameri... and
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/03/24/bush_shuns_patriot....
Bush's refusal to faithfully execute the laws prohibiting torture and his declaration on February 7,2002 that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo set the stage for torture there
http://hrw.org/reports/2004/usa0604/2.htm. The Rumsfeld approved Guantanamo torture techniques were then imported to Iraq in August 2003, where the International Committee of the Red Cross found "systemic" mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in
several facilities and where the Schlesinger Report confirmed in August 2004 that abuses were
"widespread" and "serious both in number and in effect," and that there is both "institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels;"

8. approved at least two different illegal electronic surveillance programs of American citizens
without a warrant in violation of the fourth amendment and in violation of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and repeatedly lied to the American people by stating that
no surveillance was taking place without a court order. The first program includes intercepting
phone and email conversations without warrants and was exposed by the NY Times on December
16, 2005
http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/CPC/NYT_15cnd-program.html. After that program
was exposed Bush said the program was carefully targeted to just include international calls and
suspected members of Al Qaeda. Then, the second program was exposed by USA Today on May
11, 2006. It provides a wholesale attack on the fourth amendment by recording call identification
information of tens of millions of purely domestic calls as well as international calls
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm;

9. attacked basic human rights protections in the constitution including habeas corpus, fifth
amendment freedom from loss of life, liberty and property without due process of law, eighth
amendment freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and fourth amendment freedom from
unreasonable search and seizure;

10. attacked the separation of powers in an effort to consolidate power in the executive;

11. attacked the messenger who revealed that Bush "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi
threat." Just as Nixon retaliated against former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ellsberg, according to papers filed in court by special
prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in April 2006, there was "concerted action" by "multiple people in
the White House" to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" former Ambassador Joseph
Wilson for his July 6, 2003 NY Times op ed piece
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/06WILS.html?ex=1372824000&en=6...
dec0&ei=5007 that ripped the cover off of Bush's false assertions in his 2003 state of the union
address that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Africa for building a nuclear bomb. In
retaliation, and to silence other would-be critics, the White House collected information about
Wilson and disclosed to reporters that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert agent in the CIA
counterinsurgency division, putting her life, and the lives of her contacts, at risk in violation of a US law protecting intelligence personnel (The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman);

12. as the sole person under the Federal Stafford Act with responsibility and authority to issue
emergency orders to mobilize the military and any federal resources needed to aid and assist in a
disaster (see Failure of Initiative, February 2006 report of the House Select Bipartisan
Committee to investigate the Preparations for and the Response to Hurricane Katrina
http://katrina.house.gov/), Bush failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, violated the public trust, and demonstrated reckless and inexcusable indifference to human life before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Bush knew but did not act until too late, and then he lied about it on national TV.

Footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 demonstrate that Bush was personally told well in advance of the "unprecedented strength" of the hurricane, the "devastating damage expected," and that "water shortages will make human suffering
incredible," according to highly accurate predictions by the National Weather Service. The
Associated Press reported that "in dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster
officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck
that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm
rescuers, according to confidential video footage,"
http://www.truthout.org/cgibin/
artman/exec/view.cgi/47/18079.

Yet Bush failed to muster resources to evacuate residents in advance and failed to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina hit. Then three days later Bush told Good Morning America, "I don't think that anybody anticipated a breach of the levees." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/
content/article/2006/03/02/AR2006030202130.html In years before the storm
Bush demonstrated inexcusable criminal negligence and violated the public trust by cutting the
budget for hurricane defense, though the high probability of the breaching of the levees and the
enormous risk to human life from a major hurricane hitting New Orleans were predicted and well
known for years before the hurricane hit
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.chertoff/index.html;

13. failed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed by issuing signing statements
that claim the authority to disobey laws based on the president's own interpretation of their
constitutionality, and then by taking action in violation of these laws, including the US law
making torture a crime, laws regarding Congressional oversight that require providing
information to Congress, laws regarding domestic spying, laws regarding civil liberties, and laws
strengthening whistle blower protection, thereby expanding the president's own power by
stepping into the legislative and judicial functions at the expense of Congress and the
courts, upsetting the balance among the three branches of government, and moving us away from
the rule of law toward vastly increased executive
power;
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hu...
aws/ and http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/03/24/bush_shuns_patriot...

14. converted the Justice Department into an arm of the Republican Party by firing meritorious
federal prosecutors who refused to base decisions on whom to prosecute on political
considerations--to help Republicans win election, an offense James Madison discussed in a
speech to the Senate on June 17, 1789, in which Madison said, "The danger then consists merely in
this, the president can displace from office a man whose merits require that he should be continued in it. What will be the motives which the president can feel for such abuse of his power, and the restraints that operate to prevent it? In the first place, he will be impeachable by this house, before the senate, for such an act of mal-administration; for I contend that the wanton removal of meritorious officers would subject him to impeachment and removal from his own high trust."
http://www.gwu.edu/~ffcp/mep/displaydoc.cfm?docid=fc11904
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/03/27/113/print/;

15. condoned criminal conduct and obstructed justice by commuting the sentence of convicted
perjurer Scooter Libby to keep him silent and to demonstrate that Bush and Cheney will not
allow high officials in the administration to be held accountable for their criminal acts;

16. obstructed congressional investigations of these and other acts by the administration by
defying subpoenas from Senate and House committees seeking documents and testimony under
oath by administration officials and former administration officials; and
Whereas the constitution requires the president to take the following oath of office:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States;"

and Whereas the constitution provides that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed;" and Whereas the constitution mandates that "the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of,Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors;" and
Whereas impeachment was so important to our founding fathers that it is mentioned six times in
five different sections of the constitution; and Whereas George Mason, a primary author of the Constitution, said that impeachment was the single most important part of the entire document. "Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice?"
http://gunstonhall.org/georgemason/constitution.html July 20, 1787; and Whereas "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a term of art that means a serious abuse of power, whether or not it is also a crime, that endangers our constitutional system of government, or an abuse of public trust.

(See Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Report of the House Judiciary Committee, 1974, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/
politics/special/clinton/stories/watergatedoc_3.htm, articles by Elizabeth Holzman who
served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon in
1974
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060130/holtzman; and http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070212&s=holtzman, and the book, The Impeachment of George W. Bush, by Elizabeth Holtzman)

Whereas each of the above listed acts meets or exceeds that standard; and Whereas impeachment is the only constitutional method to protect Americans from a president intent on abusing power, violating the constitution, violating the laws, and breaching public trust; and
Whereas Bush and Cheney threaten further crimes, including launching a war of aggression
against Iran, and whereas sufficient time remains in their term of office for them to commit those crimes so allowing either or both of them to remain in office for that remaining time will
facilitate these crimes, and whereas pretexts for attacking Iran have been issued, as described by a former CIA Middle East field officer and current Time Magazine columnist
http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1654188,00.html;

and Whereas failing to hold Bush and Cheney accountable not only condones their crimes but facilitates a future president committing similar or greater crimes; and Whereas members of Congress swear an oath to "support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and no part of this oath permits exception for partisan advantage, the next election, political expediency, whether it is distracting from other issues, or how much time they have left in office;

and Whereas failure by Congress to initiate the one remedy--impeachment--provided by our
founding fathers to protect the constitution from such serious abuses has put that constitution, the rule of law, civil liberties, our democratic form of government, the separation of powers, the lives of our men and women in uniform, and the lives of countless civilians at severe risk; and Whereas citizen pressure led the Vermont State Senate and 87 cities and towns around the
nation to pass impeachment resolutions; and Whereas a poll conducted by
http://www.americanresearchgroup.com on July 5, 2007 found that 54% of American adults want the US House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney while only 40% oppose, and whereas the poll also found that 45% are in favor of the same thing for President George W. Bush while 46% oppose; and Whereas in view Congress' ongoing complicity with the war, the torture, the lies, the warrantless wiretapping, and the imprisonment without trial, and its failure to protect rights and civil liberties, it is up to the people themselves to defend the constitution and our civil liberties by building larger grassroots movements, including a movement for impeachment; Therefore be it resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, and if the investigation supports the charges, to vote to impeach George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney as provided in the Constitution of the United States of America;

and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will establish an NLG Impeachment Committee open to all members to coordinate action by the NLG in support of impeachment, to work with national and grassroots impeachment organizations, and to provide legal assistance for those efforts to strengthen the national campaign for impeachment;

and Be it further resolved that the NLG Impeachment Committee will help organize and coordinate
events at the local, state, and national level to build public participation in the campaign to
initiate impeachment investigation, impeachment, and removal of Bush and Cheney from office
without further delay; and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on NLG members to ask their respective member of Congress to support H. Res. 333 to impeach Cheney and to introduce or support other impeachment resolutions; and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild calls on all other state and national bar associations, state and local government bodies, community organizations, labor unions, and all other citizen associations to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay;

and Be it further resolved that the National Lawyers Guild will forward a copy of this resolution to the Speaker and the Clerk of the US House of Representatives, to Representative John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to the various state and federal bar associations, to other peace and justice organizations, and to the news media.
Implementation: By the NLG Impeachment Committee established by this resolution, by
interested local chapters, and by national officers. Submitted by: James Marc Leas,
jolly39@juno.com

The resolution cosponsors are:
Audrey Bomse, Marjorie Cohn, Laura Safer Espinoza, John Wheat Gibson , Eileen Hansen,
Larry Hildes, Jim Klimaski, Jordan Kushner, Jim Lafferty, James Marc Leas, Kerry McLean,
Bill Monning, Dorinda Moreno, Michael Ratner, Susan Scott, Jennifer Van Bergen, Aaron
Varhola, Karen Weill

http://www.nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry071106-092734

http://jointhefightforfreedom.com/node/114

Fernanda Pivano and the Beat generation

24 Dec 2007
 
“Fernanda Pivano e la Beat generation – Mostra di fotografie e memorie” is the title of this collection of photos on display in Verona from 1st December last to 2nd February 2008, at the Modern Section of the Biblioteca Civica in the centre of Verona, on the corner of via Cappello (at number 23 is the home of Giulietta Capuleti, a place of continuous pilgrimage to this day) and vicolo San Sebastiano.

The exhibition was set up by the Verona City Council for Culture with the help of Biblioteca Riccardo e Fernanda Pivano - Fondazione Benetton studi e ricerche and the Verona Centro Internazionale di Fotografia Scavi Scaligeri.
45 photos are on display, in two sections: in the first one there are 30 black and white pictures taken as far back as 1948 by Ettore Sottsass – Pivano’s husband – some on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of “On the road”.
In the second section, there are 10 photos of the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who then became the publisher of the Beat movement, taken from the Conz Archive in Verona and 5 photos of Pivano taken between 2002 and 2005 by Walter Pescara, the photographer and curator of the collection.
Then there is a special section dedicated to autographed books, documents and papers that relate mainly to Hernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
This exhibition is noteworthy because, among other things, it allows young people to learn about the Beat movement that their “all and now” generation feeds on.
A generation that is considered “as voracious as it is unknowing” by Pescara, who denounces the fact that all too often in schools the Fifties are barely mentioned.
However, Pescara also says, “that climate of holier-than-thou conformism and prohibitionism that existed at the time has been eroded in the West thanks to those poets, writers and musicians: opinions that went against the tide, that dissociated themselves from the ideas shared by most"; these are words that echo those of the poet Gregory Corso: “Beat is whoever breaks away from the established line in order to follow the line of his destiny”.
And the faces of those pacifist-revolutionaries are all there, often with Fernanda Pivano: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Hemingway, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Rudolf Nureyev, Bob Dylan, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder, Julian Beck, Judith Malina.

The collection that celebrates two important anniversaries of the two fathers of the movement, Kerouac and Ginsberg, is on display among the shelves and the computers of the renewed artistic and high tech version of the Library.
In fact, 2007 is the 50th anniversary of the Beat Bible: On the road, written in 1951 on a roll of teleprinter paper and published in New York in 1957 by Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books, while the author of Howl, a scandalous book published in 1956 by the same publishing house, who was taken to court for it the following year, died ten years ago.
The group was kept together by an extraordinary woman: Fernanda Pivano, 90 last July, famous above all for being Hemingway's translator, who also inspired Kerouac himself when he wrote the great new American novel.
Of the over 40 translations from across the ocean, Italy owes Pivano the Antologia di Spoon River by Edgar Lee Master, paraphrased to music by Fabrizio De Andrè, and the made-in-Usa classics: from Faulkner to Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom she met personally in order to grasp their essence.
Finally, the event is enriched by a series of fringe appointments, such as the screening of a video on the Beat Generation and a theatre performance on Kerouac.
 
~ Link ~
 

Santa's crimes against humanity

 
 
 

Lakota group pushes for new nation

By Faith Bremner
Argus Leader Washington Bureau
20 Dec 2007
 
WASHINGTON - A group of "freedom-loving" Lakota activists announced a plan Wednesday for their people to withdraw from treaties their forefathers signed with the U.S. government.

Headed by leaders of the American Indian Movement, including activist, actor and Porcupine resident Russell Means, the group dropped in on the State Department and the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa this week seeking recognition for their effort to form a free and independent Lakota nation. The group plans to visit more embassies in the coming months.

The new nation is needed because Indians have been "dismissed" by the United States and are tired of living under a colonial apartheid system, Means said during a news conference held at Plymouth Congregational Church in northeast Washington. He was accompanied by a bodyguard and three other Lakota activists - Gary Rowland, Duane Martin and Phyllis Young, all of South Dakota.

"I want to emphasize, we do not represent the collaborators, the Vichy Indians and those tribal governments set up by the United States of America to ensure our poverty, to ensure the theft of our land and resources," Means said, comparing elected tribal governments to Nazi collaborators in France during World War II.

Rodney Bordeaux, chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said his community has no desire to join the breakaway nation. Means and his group, which call themselves the Lakota Freedom Delegation, have never officially pitched their views to the Rosebud community, Bordeaux said.

"Our position on that is we need to uphold the treaties, and we're constantly reminding Congress of that message," Bordeaux said. "We're pushing to maintain and to keep the treaties there because they're the basis of our relationship with the federal government."

 

Nation's proposals

Members of the new nation would not pay any taxes, and leaders would be informally chosen by community elders, Means said. Non-Indians could continue to live in the new nation's territory, which would consist of the western parts of North and South Dakota and Nebraska and eastern parts of Wyoming and Montana. The new government would issue its own passports and drivers licenses, Means said.

"Our withdrawal (from the treaties) is fully thought out," Means said, referring to peace treaties the Lakota people signed with the government in 1851 and 1868. "We were mandated by our elders in 1974 to do two things. First, to establish relationships with the international community... and the second mandate, of course, was to reestablish our independence."

Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman, who attended the press conference out of solidarity, said he takes the Lakotas' declaration of independence seriously.

"We are here because the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands," Guzman said. "We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our ministry of foreign affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything."

~ Link ~

 

The Reiki Sangha

Reiki (ray-kee): universal life force healing energy (light-work, energy-work)
Sangha: sanskrit for community.

The Reiki Sangha is a community of energy-workers
bound by a strong sense of altruism to help heal the world.

 
 
 

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