This is not a Puerto Rican stamp, but it is an international phenomenon, at least judging by its impact on social networks. I refer to the case of Yvonne, a cow Bavarian escaped from his farm. Apparently she was pursued intensely, on a quest initially reinforced by the presence of her calf, her sister and a "groom" potential, and eventually turned into a chase and a death sentence.
Enter social networks: Sets up a campaign on Facebook and other sites, the cow is " steals the heart of the German people and the world ", lift the death sentence, and an animal shelter Ivonne Bavarian decides to adopt, standing at forefront of the campaign, it is no longer hunt but rescue.
I look at the photos of the vaquita run, and read the story of his escape, and I can not avoid making some connections. After all, it's Sunday, and I'm drinking coffee and trying to avoid issues such as crime or hurricane is coming. Anyway, I read the story of Yvonne and, perhaps for their species or perhaps the initial of his name, I think of another cow, the mythological Io. I remember the general outlines of the classic story and share here: Io was a young priestess of Hera (Juno), the jealous wife of Zeus (Jupiter). Zeus, who had what he called "Commitment issues" Io decides to woo his wife back. But Hera is not stupid, he realizes the move, and goes down to investigate. To protect Io, Zeus turns into a white cow.
Hera still suspect, and puts his servant Argos, that of the hundred eyes, to look after the cow. Argos 50 sleeps with his eyes open, so that the poor Io, who to start and was particularly interested in Zeus, has now lost not only the human form, but also freedom. Someone (I think it was Hermes (Mercury)) drunk at Argos, who finally closes all eyes, and the cow escapes.
(Incidentally, Hera was very angry with Argos, calls him to punish irresponsible drunk, makes turkey and rolls his eyes in line with what the story not only explains the origin of the cow but also the peacock.)
Haps. The cow is free, but Hera hates her more than ever. The flight of Io, as of Ivonnne now, is epic. I do not remember the whole story, but it was persecuted, who crossed valleys and mountains, in the end managed to cross the sea and come to Egypt where (I presume its still a cow) became an Egyptian deity. The Egyptians, as the Bavarians the shelter who adopted Ivonne, adopted it for himself and made a little place in a pantheon distinct and seemingly less hostile.
Ivonne Why get all that attention? I can not but think that the world's news consumers share, for whatever reason, an inclination to favor the exception. After all, how many of those who today protect the lives of Ivonne not eaten, cheerfully, their brothers and sisters every day? That exceptionalism our defines what becomes news material (cow that escapes) and what does not (the many more cows do not escape, and we eat.)
This exceptionalism occurs in many other areas. I think for example in education, both in Puerto Rico and the United States and elsewhere: We love the educational exceptions, special cases and hopeful. We keep millions of children in an educational situation can only be described as inferior, even deprivada, but sometimes we find one exception (a student who nevertheless manages to get ahead, maybe become famous musician, or neurosurgeon), and that exception overwhelmed with the media attention, praise, fellowship ... The other million children still slaughter and cultural work that represents the combination of a mediocre education and hostile economy. But we do not see. Or just do not see them. No follow his tribulations with the same emotion, the same suspense.
And there is nothing wrong in itself, in the attention that is intended to Ivonne, or poor student and prodigious. But it would have to examine the hows and whys of media and emotional invisibility of many.
Nothing. I was drinking coffee, and not thinking about the hurricane, or murder, and found Ivonne-Io. Happy Sunday.Print
I've been living here a few months on the continent, the metropolis, the United States (disunited? Sunk?), The country's second invaders, step-country, in my small diaspora of four. Working in DC but I live in Virginia, connected by bus and metro to the liver of the American nation.
My journey begins in Virginia morning, coming from the hand of my youngest in the door of a large apartment building. Around us, the employees of companies, NGOs and government walk quickly. They are many, and are usually slender / as and white / as. They wear headphones in their ears and wear light colors and bright summer. There gardeners. They are many, and are usually Salvadorans or Bolivians. They plant flowers in light and bright colors of summer.
We got on the train. For months I traveling by train, and still love it. Our local friends lovingly tease my enthusiasm. The train, I say, go always late, your stairs are always damaged, it is very crowded. But to me, jíbara Mayaguez, used to having to drive a car to go anywhere, the subway I find tremendously liberating. Even in the rush hour, even with a stranger's elbow in my ribs, still listening to the protests of my little, squeaky voice that question in two languages for if the flies where we have left the minivan, even then, I smile and I delight in my new pedestrian status, calculation with relish the miles that day slip without compartmentalization without gym, in my life.
We got in DC and walked half a mile to the summer camp. There loose my companion and going the way to work. Every morning I pass by the side about eight homeless, homeless. They are a familiar presence in this city. They are usually black and thick, and they move, when they move slowly. Many times they are rather stationary. And it makes sense that they are, because they take their life in tow, on a cart, in a baby carriage without baby on their own bodies by sleeping bags bulging, the gear number, the mementos of the war, life that was life to be. The surrounds and serves to contrast the dynamic mass, moving fast and constant, many other people, so different, white, very thin, well-dressed, light, people who do not carry their life in tow because located elsewhere. On trips, in apartments, in the future.
One of the homeless men usually located stubbornly on a park bench. Take your life in a shopping cart, which protects the weather and from prying eyes with a blanket decorated with eagle and American flag. Abandon your bank periodically cast (reluctantly) by a policeman who is usually located on a nearby corner and whose mantra I can guess, and somehow pity, from my walk: I'm just doing my job.
I'm getting to the sidewalk outside the White House, and a mass of Chinese, arising from a nearby bus and harmless bifurcated to face the obstacle represented by moi, around me. I imagine a camera filming the scene from above, the one walking towards the south, many north and surprised me hoping that the scene is not an omen, or clumsy metaphor of something on my life, history or the world.
I watch the clock. I have twenty minutes before my next appointment. I walk into a coffee cute, I buy a bad coffee, and write this. For me, for you, from here, from my diaspora of four.
Today, on the bus between Washington DC and Arlington, traveling with my youngest son, I saw a woman, about my age, up to the device accompanied by a child, about the age of my son. He took a bag of coins from his wallet, and began to place them in the receptacle payment under a sign that read "$ 1.70". The issue took a few seconds, which became particularly long in the temporality of the rows, and passengers waiting their turn watched with some impatience, but nobody said anything. Finished in coins to pay your fare and your son, and sat, and I like mine.
When climbing, I had paid my metro card and metro bus, purchased online with a credit card. And how I used the card, my rate was twenty cents, per person, than the lady of the coins. A forty cents per trip multiplied by two times a day, I estimate the unknown ends up paying almost a dollar a day older than me, by moving the same distance. The soles of his shoes were worn. His clothes, material and workmanship of her purse and other signs contextualize what might seem like a neutral decision to pay with coins: The lady was poor.
And I remembered the title of an essay by Barbara Ehenreich I read a lot ( Could you afford to be poor? ) and documenting the many ways in which poverty, ironically, increases national life. If you are poor, often live further away from things like good quality food or employment opportunities; usually address their ailments, late and wrong, in emergency rooms because public health care is broken or because you earn too much to qualify for public insurance but too little to pay private pay higher interest rates, on average, for things like mortgages, car insurance, and furniture. Your budget is by definition bored, replete with indirect costs more privileged sectors do not feel or know as part of your daily walk: ten dollars (or fifty dollars) that charge to change a check, for example. The financing of the furniture. Walking without response because there was not enough money for five rubbers. Or an accident by being forced to walk with slicks.
The interesting thing is that in popular discourse, often dominate not so much concern about the many ways in which being poor expensive and makes life difficult for people, but rather the alleged "benefits" that come with poverty. Advantages such as subsidized rents and utilities, for example. Or food stamps. But look closely, and look twice, it must be recognized that being poor sale ... expensive. A few days ago I visited some relatives who walk in financial trouble, trouble that illustrate well what tells Ehenreich. The husband, who works eighty hours a week on average on the docks (and there are still those who dare to say that people do not want to work!) Him down to forty hours, so that in that month, had to make a decision difficult: either pay the rent or pay the car insurance. They chose to pay the rent "because if not, we put the furniture in the street," the wife tells me. One morning, on my way to work, a rubber exploded, they got to change, a policeman nice people stopped to help ... And they ran out of car, because it is illegal to walk around without insurance and the police were good people but not . Difficult decisions accumulate: rent one, or take a taxi, at prices that amount to the equivalent of half a day of work, in order to arrive on time and avoid being cut more hours, or missing, and risk becoming unemployed?
And that is a borderline case in terms of what we call "social class". At least there are no jobs, no health, no hope of social mobility. The most extreme cases, the poor poorer, end up paying in ways that are almost unimaginable, from the perspective of middle class that dominates my head and probably in most of my readers: Homeless people, for example, forced to pay for pre-cooked meals every day, because they have no home fridge to put it. For homeless women it is even worse, are frequent victims of rape and physical assaults. Long ago one told me, referring to the homeless and that "at night, men seek accomodations: women seek to hide." In an almost surreal example of how expensive it is poverty, this woman was forced to pay with coins or other homeless favors for his "protection."
I think all in the Metrobus way home. I think as I look at the woman who could be me, with your child is like mine, looking at the same scenery at the same time, like a window, on a journey that is very similar in range and content to our but that cost twenty cents more, and whose fate is probably very different.Print
Brian, a longtime resident of Michigan, went to college for profit (in English, 'for profit college') to obtain a degree in computer programming. Change.org , in partnership with Education Trust, tells us its history: It was not until after signing a contract that recruiters told that his scholarship will cover only a modest portion of the tuition costs, and would have to apply for student loans. Several years and $ 70,000 later, has a degree, but the work to which that degree makes you eligible pay very little, and lives eternally indebted.
In the United States, the for-profit sector, capturing 24 billion annually until federal money intended to help students earn college degrees. There is a minor player: recruit about 12% of American college students, and of these, 60% enter baccalaureate programs. And it is in these programs that "for profits" are being cruelly ineffective because their graduation rates four years programs are, on average (with some very few honorable exceptions) very low.
In 2009-2010, the for profit University of Phoenix was the first university in the educational history of the United States to get 1 billion (1,000,000,000!) in Pell grants. This is because they recruit a disproportionate number of low-income students. How many of them graduate? 9%. Less than one in ten.
The thing, encapsulated, it looks something like this: recruit aggressively among students who qualify for federal aid, they charge the total amount of such aid and much more, the indebted, not graduate.
Will not have sufficient funds to provide student services (counseling, tutoring, child care, and other support) to increase those graduation rates? Do not think: the president of one of these companies earned about 40 million (40,000,000, many zeros) in a single year. For something called "for profit".
All this is, I think, very relevant to Puerto Rico, especially now that seems to be weakening public higher education. The institutions of this type seem to have multiplied in our island. About that I have no numbers, but I've seen their signs, their When babies, their recruiters walking from door to door on farms and in villages like Jehovah's Witnesses. Many do not graduate. Other graduate but remain indebted. Some get jobs, but jobs are not enough to repay their loans. I have a family member with a history like this: after graduating from chef, and work night after night in a hot kitchen in a restaurant rather fine, you would pay the full check a room in a shared apartment and ... their loans. And that's a success story, at least graduated.
So eye to the proliferation of degrees for profit in Puerto Rico, as well say that in troubled waters ... We must protect the public university, because the less public options, our youth more vulnerable to this type of gansería. And please, pass, read and if you can sign the petition links here , or give "click" a sad kid photo, and sign a petition in support of efforts to regulate the education sector minimally university for profit. What do guys, ok-but to provide a better product. One with quality content, support for students, improved graduation rates and, why not, lower costs. So not fair to kids. A disadvantage expense of others, the lack of options for the most disadvantaged.
Leo in the New Day today that Puerto Rico's governor understands that "the time has come to establish new restrictions on demonstrations of certain opposition groups trying to sow chaos." refers to the events of Wednesday at the Capitol. He adds that "these groups" who insists on calling "socialist" because they include people inserted into the ideological tradition should not reach or stoop, or the plaza or inside the building. Minimizes the unusual action of the police claiming they were "a few". In SuperXclusivo yesterday repeated (with a satisfied expression) that this "is Venezuela".
For its part, now the secretary of state of the United States, Hillary Clinton warned Poland that activists play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of democracies. He denounced countries, he said, are "strangling organizations like labor unions, human rights activists and NGOs pushing for social change and who denounce the shortcomings of their governments. "He added that" some of the countries that make this claim to be democracies "but that" true democracies do not fear their own people.'s True democracies recognize that citizens must be free to associate, to advocate for causes, and to agitate. "In his pseudodemocracies list includes Ethiopia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela ...
The governor speaks of backpacks filled with stones. But the videos do not show protesters throwing rocks. Show unarmed people getting hammered while doing things like asking the entrance, sitting on a staircase and even, unusually, negotiate, obey and to run. Figueroa Sancha, meanwhile, has reiterated its understanding that was used "necessary force". ? The force required to, for example, break the glass of an automobile in response to bad words used by the occupants?
But I get out of it. Go back to Hillary. I wonder how it would feel with the idea of Puerto Rican statehood if they put those videos in front. Perhaps, by that which we are Latinos, get confused and think you are watching a video of Venezuela ...Print
In his budget address a few weeks ag or governor Fortuño Referred to public, affordable higher education as a "privilege" that Puerto Rico Provides to its students at no small cost to its Citizens. To Reinforce the message, tuition prices have UPR Compared to the much higher ones of other, private, higher education institutions in the island, and of colleges and universities in the United States.
In an "us vs. them" move seemingly designed to conceptually place responsible tax payers against protesting students, I Stated That "tuition paid by students, When They do pay, is but a 3% of the university's budget ... the rest is paid by us Taxpayers. Which is why our people, just and noble yes, But Also democratic and respectful of law and order, get upset When They see what info we have all seen in the University These past two days. "As the strike grew bigger and more complicated, Involving today all of the 11 campuses, a number of public and private Citizens have echoed the governor's overall message, portraying the students as selfish, privileged, disorderly, and "ideologically" driven. As I write this column, the president of the UPR's Board of Regents is Stating, on the radio, That the striking students are "breaking down the institution".
At the heart of this image is the notion That the university is too inexpensive for the single students and too expensive for the state, rendering Malthus student complaints about the elimination of tuition waivers, and Their insistence That tuition rates stay low, as shallow. I propose we examine this notion. Is the university really "too cheap"? Is it a "cost" to the state? "Cheap" and "expensive" are relative terms, and They Arise From Comparing the costs of the UPR With Other Institutions. However, is the comparison with private institutions in the island, and with public and private universities in the U.S., an Appropriate comparison?
Private institutions in the island have Helped the country meet an Increasing demand for higher education degrees but in terms of efficiency and value, economic studies Have Shown That the University of Puerto Rico, with double the graduation rate and producing 95% of the island's research output , dealer to the best return on investment for public funds.
Universities across the United States, a country traditionally Known for its excellence in higher education, are experiencing problems That the states are concerned With. Two (related) ones are 1) access issues faced by minorities and l ow-income students and 2) the production of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees. Access problems are in great part due to Increasing tuition costs Precisely in 4 year colleges and universities. STEM degrees hover around 20% of U.S. degrees, at a time When the country desperately needs to Increase the domestic STEM workforce. Mainland universities have an average of only 14% of Their student body qualifying for need-based Pell Grants. A number of Efforts in the United States, treats including the intensive use of federal ARRA funds, are directed at Increasing the number of underrepresented students and of STEM degrees.
In contrast, at the University of Puerto Rico, 40% of the degrees are STEM, and two-Thirds of its student body qualifies for need-based aid. The UPR today produces 16% of the Hispanic STEM workforce in the U.S.. Historically, the people of Puerto Rico have Their public university viewed not as a cost or as a burden but as an investment-the kind of investment Most needed in times of economic crisis.
The governor is fond of the "family" metaphor. Often I compare Puerto Rico and its current financial crisis, with a Family That needs to make hard choices to face periods of economic crisis, and wonders out loud why the UPR acerca can not seem to Be Able to "tighten its belt" like so many families have done around the island. But even Within the metaphor, choosing to take resources away from the public university in times of financial crisis, would be akin to taking away children's educational opportunities. Few families would agree with this choice.
The constitution of Puerto Rico (section 5, article 2) Provides for a free public education system covering grades 1 through 12. This was in 1952, When a high school diploma Brought to Un certain amount of prestige and a number of job opportunities. It Could easily be Argued That what the high school diploma meant for the fifties, the college degree means for today.
Affordable, public higher education can not be seen as cost or expense, but as value. It is one of Those Things where Puerto Rico consistently "does it better." It is one of the best investments info we have made as a collectivity, as a society. Let us protect it.
"... The sign that hung on the neck of the cow was an exemplary of the way in which the inhabitants of Macondo were prepared to fight against forgetting: This is the cow must be milked every morning to produce milk and the have to boil milk to mix with coffee and make coffee. They continued living in an elusive reality, momentarily captured by words, but that was to escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written word .... But the system demanded so much vigilance and moral strength that many succumbed to the spell of a reality imaginary, invented by themselves, which they found less practical but more comforting. "
- G. García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
When a little over a year I started writing this blog, I described it as a place to "look in disbelief everyday life, humanity and seek what we think 'exotic'." It still seems that that is what this exercise more or less weekly, to write, to blink. And looking at everyday thus requires assuming a distance-not cold detachment laboratory prescriptions postulate (and creative scientists do not always follow), but the curious eyes and open-eyed Martian.
Or the tourist. Or the anthropologist tourist.
That passage unforgettable, best in a novel that certainly has to be one of the best ever, it was the first thing that came to mind when, entering Merida in a taxi, I came across the first of many examples what immediately christened "literalism": A sign stating, unequivocally, the name of an establishment as "PHARMACY SIMILAR", and just in case it was not clear, finished off in the subtitle sold there "SAME BUT CHEAPER . "
In the days that followed, between one thing and another, I noted other examples of wording in the notebook that Martians, say, anthropologists, usually (with a mixture of shame and pride) carry with us wherever we go. I found names like the following:
- SERVI-FRESH, a servicarro where they sell soft drinks ...
- TYPE-HOTEL in a setting like a hotel but no frills, and cheaper ...
- X MAS PLAN LEAST a phone plan with more minutes for less money ...
- GLASS AND ALUMINIUM, in a shop ... glass and aluminum ....
- -COLD BEER, selling beers, and are cold ...
- ACEROFERTAS, best prices around Merida steel ...
- OAXACA HONEY, honey imported from Oaxaca ...
- MERIDA-HIGHWAY CANCUN, no names of heroes living or dead, that there the highways are named with the formula point A-point B ...
- AUTO TUR - buses for tours. At some point we got one ...
- CAFI-ASPIRIN, the winning combination to treat headache. Caffeine and aspirin. Together ...
- CATTLE, a steakhouse, or in good puertorro, "steak house" ...
And so by the style. Once you look at the first two or three, we were surrounded by exquisite examples of such literal, lovely, everyday and exotic at the same time. And we loved. Why? Perhaps because it was a little familiar, they brought us an aftertaste business town, a childhood memory, of spaces called "Furniture Z" because selling furniture, "Pharmacy X" if they sold drugs, or "Windows Fulano" if sold windows and the owner called John Doe. No "Rooms to Go", which sounds a service trolley tables and chairs, or "Walgreens", which suggests a maze of bushes emerald or "Wendy's" that you sell are burgers and where the owner is not called Wendy. Perhaps because both see labels that in my country, rather than designate the thing appeals to a complex symbolism where children learn to revere and want the thing before you know what else is it (what does the word PEPSI • How many degrees of separation between the phrase meaning "THREE MUSKETEERS" and a simple chocolate? And who the hell was MacDonald, and how and when he had the unfortunate idea of frying potatoes?)
Take for example the case of Cafiaspirina. Same as Excedrin. Is not the first name clearly superior, more beautiful, and more clear? I guess corporations find it more convenient to develop consumer brand loyalty, not necessarily to use original product - so can sell more, exploiting the tendency we have to buy what is familiar (though we do not need ). Thus, not only Tylenol sells us the original painkiller (which in my Macondo could be labeled as "ASPIRIN LIGHT"), but liquids for sinusitis, the monga-with-fever, monga-no-fever, the almost-monga the-monga-of-day, the monga-of-night ... and so on.
Sometimes one can glimpse the original literal labels today. So, the thing becomes clear when I explain to my children that KFC was called Kentucky Fried Chicken, when we allow speculation tasty, between bites, on the habits chocolatiers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, when we discovered that the daughter of the founder of Wendy's Wenda was nicknamed ... (close enough).
As in the Macondo he described García Márquez, we use the explanation, real, imagined, both, to vaccinate against forgetting. Perhaps that's why despite the constant pressure so that we become more and more superficial, yet preserve the inclination to study history and all those other arts (literature cine.. Poetry. Ethnography. Gossip. Legend.) That allow us, as Pilar Veal, articulate the memory, connections, explanation. The common humanity. Life.
Perhaps for that to be an anthropologist, or perhaps inquisitive, the first thing I felt was not anger, but the question: Why? What were they thinking physicians smiling, watching us from the photos, or black beer in hand patient's leg? What motivates the smile? And stranger still, what motivates the picture?
Maybe they are to good people, these doctors who appear in the photos . After all, they were there to help. But the pictures reveal something shady. Or is confirmed, because there is usually clouding everything that has to do with the way the world treats Haiti. Even through the exercise of charity.
I looked in the press and on Facebook, where the scandal began. But I did not find many answers. I found just indignation. Probably justified, by the way. A half-naked woman who would add up over the molestation of semi-nudity and tragedy of imminent amputation, humiliation Photo. Maybe you have not seen it, maybe not known to have photographed, I , to comfort a little. worse But then I riposto. do not even know if they had the decency to ask permission, to alert you, then worse ...
I see another photo, this one of a boy or girl. A little body amputee. My eyes itch, I knotted the soul and throat, I feel guilty .. I do not know exactly what, but something. I close my eyes, I press next.
The photo that follows contains no Haitian. Only Puerto Rican doctor, armed with a rifle and a smile. And I still do not understand why (why have a rifle? Why smile?), But begin to have something familiar. Both photos No smiles. Where have I seen smiles like that before?
Several answers come to mind. 1. In the Abu Ghraib scandal, the smiles of the martyred soldiers and their Iraqi victims who posed with them in situations that clearly left the power difference between prisoner and soldier. Two. In the photos visitors to zoos usually taken next to the cages, especially those whose guests are thought to be particularly dangerous (tigers, lions, snakes) or, perhaps more frequently, particularly funny (dolphins, chimpanzees, ostriches.) three. Colorados Tourists take a picture near the "native" visiting.
All these situations have in common a particular combination of two beings: One camera owner or friend / spouse / colleague carrying it, smiling for insurance audience will see the photo and that he / she knows, because it will be him / her on the show; Another, perhaps invited, maybe not the first, maybe smiling, maybe not, perhaps aware of being photographed, maybe not, a being taken as an "other", as "different" in some fundamental way, intrinsically, an "other" that the photo will not show anyone because you do not own the camera, or the situation.
Of course the three situations I outlined above are morally different. The smile of the soldier in Abu Ghraib prisoner chained to a dog, or requires you to pose naked and in open violation of what their religion (the victim), ideology (the victim), you indicate as correct, it is morally much more serious than the visitor to take a photo next to the dolphin or Zoo chimpanzee, or that of the tourist to take a picture next to a native who at the end of the day, perhaps to be agree.
But the three exemplify a smile that suggests satisfaction, delight, a relatively well be a mobile traveler, visitor, warrior, posing, happy, with someone who considers not only different, but somehow inferior. Because if we thought that "other" as an equal, we would ask permission, we would offer you a copy of the photo, would care, respect, none of the examples shown.
(An apparent exception: The photos people take with artists, and political figures. There have also often smile, but the smile that generates the situation I am describing here. Artist or public figure is no less powerful than the owner of the camera, is master of the situation, and is equivalent to a monument, a marvel. Typically the object of the admiration of taking photo.'s perceived as an "other", but higher, not lower. And resulting smile is different, childish, grateful.)
The scandal of doctors sent by the Senate to Haiti it seems, more than any other picture in the content, in the smiles at Abu Ghraib. Different, yes, after all they were not tortured but curing, alleviating, the "other", but similar in the sense that the picture produced on the beholder. Anyone suffering and someone happy in the same picture. And the contented dominates the camera and the situation. Racial difference adds another layer of discomfort to the subject - the happy has lighter skin than the suffering. And I do not know if the photo sufferer knows, or cares. In fact we know nothing of suffering, is a prop, a sign, a show, in a scene where the protagonist, who has name and profession, is the doctor. The suffering we know only suffering. He has been denied his story, his humanity, his prominence. Could be any of the many amputees, victims of the earthquake, slavery, international banks, of globalization, of local and global tyrants, of indifference, of racism, disinterest. 's first country to abolish slavery, and cursed forever punished for having the gall to take this abolition in their hands instead of waiting for the generosity and diplomacy white.
Charity is better than indifference. But even in the midst of charity arise, such as a chemical precipitate bubbling, unexpected but inevitable ideologies governing our attitude (and the world) to Haiti.
Postscript: I was thinking about this post while doing other things and went back to clarify something that I think is important: this examines another angle - the idea that the type of picture shown (especially those containing patients) are suggestive of that perpetual otherness, that racism, that contempt, that the world has shown for the Haitian people for so long, and that shows even while you help. That the Haitian patient privacy is not worth the same, or seriousness, that the ordinary patient. We feel sympathy but empathy we fall short.
I do not think these doctors deserve a punishment to annul their careers or radically affect their lives. I do not accuse for drinking beer (I probably would have drunk several, after a day working in a tragedy like that) or what some are calling internet, with contempt, "partying" in full tragedy. In fact I think that with all their faults, the doctor who chooses to go to Haiti to help in free is impressive-after all, most of our doctors were here, some by many guys. Perhaps, if they were part of a contingent more experienced, like Vargas Vidot, this had not happened. Hopefully the ones in the photos continue to cultivate the generosity they showed in making the decision to go to help, and that in turn choose to examine their prejudices them, and us. That, and not punishment, would be the best outcome of this whole episode.
Freedom of speech is a great thing, and is especially valuable in universities. It is free, however, gray areas. For example, if John Yoo. Until recently the department of Justice of the United States, this Mr. Yoo played a key role in designing Bushite policy justifying torture as "enhanced interrogation" ("enhanced interrogation") and Geneva removes protection for prisoners political (re-defined as "enemy combatants"). He is a professor at Berkeley, and she spoke in one of his classes (nothing less than constitutional law), an actor wearing the ensemble we now associate the terrible activities "interrogation" conducted by American soldiers in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison has risen to a desk to question, symbolically, the positions taken by Yoo as torture is concerned.
Seeing what was coming, Yoo, obviously uncomfortable, canceled the class and the actor was removed from the classroom. Who is right? On one hand, it could be argued that teachers have the right to teach in peace, and that the actor's performance was unacceptable disruption. On the other hand, however, I wonder if Yoo's discomfort is not morally inferior to human and social cost of its position against torture. And yes, the question is rhetorical. I mean, this actor was not disrupting the class for frivolous reasons, but was making direct reference to a teacher's actions were terribly relevant to the topic of his lecture - constitutionality. Yoo's discomfort and upset students shouted "get out!" Tortured disguised actor is petty, when compared with the implications that the official position regarding torture concerns had for so many men and women in the world. There are still people, most of them probably innocent, languishing in jails, some of them secret. What Yoo up and leaves because he is "uncomfortable"? Gimme a break!
More than an interrupt, the performance of the actor was a "teaching moment". A chance to really talk about constitutionality. If we truly want to educate, and talk. That does not seem to be the case with Yoo.
update: EYE: The acronym 'HP' refers to the Huffington Post. No invent.Print
Recently, Susan Boyle, second in the televised show Britain's Got Talent , was hospitalized. To reassure his audience, the cause was none of the usual suspects: overdose, suicide or both. Nah. Boyle was simply exhausted.
A research entertainment newspaper The Wrap, however, notes that eleven participants of what we call "reality TV" have committed suicide, and two more have attempted suicide, in events that appear to be directly related to the "shows" in those involved. Paula Goodspeed, for example, died from an overdose in front of the house itself of Paula Abdul after being eliminated from American Idol. The second part of the series admits that suicide in all probability had previous problems but stresses the role of instant fame-and its consequences - in the clinical picture that ends with suicide.
"Reality shows open wounds Which no one can suture, so after your appearance, you're left to bleed to death ... In effect, everyone who Appears is thrown out of the lifeboat When Their segment ends. "For everyone who Appears - winners and losers alike - the lights go down, clinical issues remain.
I have no cable, but equally, one learns. The Reality TV permeates our daily lives. And there is something deeply disturbing about this whole instant fame of reality TV. The daily battle of the fatties who lose a lot of weight (or not) in front of cameras and thus, in front of millions of people. The desperation of parents requesting the help of the super nanny. The woman who chooses to give birth to eight children at a time. Adults who come in fierce competition with each other in settings ranging from the jungle to the kitchen. The cops who arrest people on camera.
Humans division between actors and audience, of course, not new. The show takes a lot of time with us. But something about these reality shows to me more like the circus or the Roman arena at the theater art. Roman gladiators, for example, were mostly slaves, victims of abuse, whose precarious existence depended largely on their antagonism to the other slave-killing to survive. And the audience applauded. Any resemblance to Survivor does not seem coincidental.
And Boyle? I think if it had been pretty much had not generated even half the enthusiasm - his first hit with the audience and the judges after it, precisely, their underdog status. Those interviewed after his excellent performance on both occasions spoke of "unlikely" that was her beautiful voice. From that defied the expectations of the audience. The surprise of the judges, and thus the success of Boyle, in principle, are the same and the same as the bearded lady of the circus - the unexpected combination of two elements.
The phenomenon of reality show, in addition, contains a basic cruelty. A cruelty that recognize participants, suicidal or not, as "volunteers" not completely relieved. The "volunteers" are looking for absolute fame post-modern culture presented as desirable, and that fame leads to overexposure which magnifies and aggravates every fault, every wrinkle, every grimace, every defect that turns into a public tara any decision, however small (I remove the eyebrows? apologize to the roommate?) at the start of a chain of consequences which can lead to fame, in the ostracism of the expulsion of the show, or in death itself.
We will continue talking about this. For now, let's celebrate with Boyle and his beautiful voice. Also celebrate our privacy, our anonymity, the relative inconsistency of our daily actions, and our secrets. I suspect that today, as in the days of the Roman Empire, it is better in the stands in the sand. The question is why we are so determined to jump to try their luck, to cucar the lion.
The Belfast Telegraph reports today that 1,500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh have committed suicide en masse. 1500. The equivalent of four jumbo jets, writes Malika Chopra in the Huffington Post . 50 classrooms full of students, on campus where I work. Taken to the extreme desperation by a cycle involving low water level, low rainfall, and loan sharks. Those farmers lent outrageous interests. But even those who lend to countries with mega collateral.
The drought in that region is not purely "natural". For decades, Indian and international activists have been denouncing the mismanagement of the resource. Says Vandana Shiva that water, traditionally a common good and sufficient, it has become one privatized, manipulated and insufficient. Examples are large dams or dams that store water at key points to redirect to the areas most "commercial."
And That Were Meantime the areas getting water through the river, That the wells were being re-charged by That River, the fisheries That Were being supported by That River, are killed. That cost is never taken into account.
Traditional agriculture that feeds and employs local mouths and hands and suffers the consequences of a development, or rather in a particular dominant and development, often promoted and financed by international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, which requires to villages to move, changing the course of rivers, which destroys aquifer systems, and that immerses families (and whole countries) in bad debts.
Related post: Free WaterPrint
[Reprinted from my column today in the Puerto Rico Daily Sun.]
I'm all for long term investments in education. I am concerned however it With The potential loss of this important and Timely opportunity.
Take for example the case of E-Rate, an ambitious effort designed to help poor schools connect to the Internet. This program has distributed billions of dollars to schools and libraries That serve low-income Populations. In its early years, the amount of money Involved was fertile ground for all kinds of trouble. In El Paso, the school district IBM paid 35 million to build a network That the New York Times describe as "powerful enough to serve a small city", in Florida, a 1 million dollar network was created to serve the needs of a 650 pupil elementary school, in San Francisco, a contractor was found guilty of rigging bids and bribing Officials, and in Puerto Rico, after an investment of 100 million to hook 1,500 schools to the Internet, only a handful were online - partly Because the schools had not computers to hook to the new networks.
In Spite of massive Expenditures That promised to leave "no child behind", the United States in 2006 was one of only three (out of 34) OECD countries where younger workers were less That older college-educated ones. Hundreds of Puerto Rican schools are in "Improvement Plan" (an euphemism for "academically troubled"). The effectiveness of big investments in the improvement of education will depend on careful management of funds target That well-known and well-researched problems. Good data and best practices abound. Let's use them.
In times of crises, a solid government investment in the economy makes sense-if the government does not, who will? FDR applied this notion with great success During The Great Depression. But These investments need to be watched after Carefully, and to include a plan That Measures results and holds contractors accountable to the citizenry. We want this investment in education to be truly long-term - to focus on what is good for the children, conceived of as future adults That will have better jobs (and Malthus Contribute to a better economy) as a result of our actions today. We do not particularly want this portion of Obama's stimulus package to end up in CEO's pockets, like some of the recent bailout funds did, or to create short term jobs and feed ghost companies, as happened with E-Rate and other Initiatives. As the package gains momentum in Congress, and people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. enjoy some well-deserved and Sought after hope, let us keep an eye on Those Who May see the effort to Provide for the economy's long term health as an opportunity for Their short-term gain. Our education is just too important.
But good news. You can see the version of the NYT here , the IH of here , and the Guardian here . It seems that the facts are more or less like this: It turns out there lithium, much, in Bolivia, more than anywhere else in the world. It turns out that the new electric car models, the car companies in so many problems that rely on efficient new generation of cars to exit the economic quagmire, could use that battery. Is the metal lighter, the lowest density solid, and experts in the field indicate that it is possibly the most appropriate material for the development of batteries for these new vehicles.
But my eyes sting, my Amaze and flicker, not a consequence of lithium. Congratulations for Bolivians, trucks, and all other beneficiaries logical. My surprise has to do with the coverage of the issue in the press.
A search on google news (an engine that uses what is perhaps the most sophisticated algorithm of the network, to choose their news, but it has its limitations, maybe one of these days talk about it here) yields three main news: The HI and NYT (actually two editions of the same newspaper) quoted above, and the Guardian. Let me illustrate my discomfort with some quotes:
” (International Herald Tribune) "The country's socialist president, Evo Morales, and its junction powerful leaders are all deeply suspicious of foreigners, and Their politics stymie Could yet another opportunity for Bolivia to Improve the lives of its Citizens." (International Herald Tribune)
of the United States who has already nationalized Bolivia's oil and natural gas industries.” (New York Times) . "Japanese and European companies are busily trying to strike deals to tap the resource, but a nationalist sentiment about the lithium is building quickly in the government of President Evo Morales , an ardent critic of the United States who have Already nationalized Bolivia's oil and Natural gas industries. "(New York Times) .
The blog that the New York Times keeps on Bolivia, reviewed today, by the way, has the same flavor: Photo indigenous poor, accompanied by an introduction to the country whose first three sentences longer intend publishing clear: "Bolivia is South America's poorest country, With acerca 60 percent of the population of 9.1 million mired in poverty. Since the election of President Evo Morales in 2006, regional Tensions have grown. "
The subtext, the hint, the suggestion is clear: that here is a case of a government that does not yield to the needs of globalization, nationalism which prevents you from just economic decisions, which hinders international firms to handle groped important mineral resource that the world, the atmosphere, the Bolivians themselves urgently need ... and of course the obligatory references to socialism of Evo Morales, who could not miss.
Promised that the entries in "chopped up" would be brief, so far. But I can not help but think of some interesting historical parallels. In the many countries whose economic agendas are dictated by international organizations and banks, whose interests are not the country's development but the foreign capital ... Jamaica, for example, how terribly portrayed in the book beautiful Jamaica Kincaid and the movie Life and Debt , treated island "selfish" because he committed the audacity to enter into negotiations with Europe on their own to sell bananas good and cheap ... Or the Venezuelan government, which since has taken to exploit its oil and use it to build alliances with other countries, has had to put the label of "dictatorship" despite the polls depend as much or more than our ...
I guess we are waiting to see what happens with Bolivia.
In a demonstration prior to the opening of the World Social Forum in Brazil, over a thousand Indians from different parts of the region collaborated to compose an urgent message, photographed from the air and visible here. (Photo by Associated Press, Spectral Agency, Lou Dematteis ). "We are raising our voices in a warning to the world, and especially the rich countries to accelerate their destruction," said Edmundo omore, a member of the indigenous Xavante of Mato Grosso. (You can view the full news story here and here .)
And I felt alluded. That things ... one, as an environmentalist, here, minding ...
Because even environmentalists that we sing, it strikes me that we will never be as environmentally correct as someone who, on a typical day in a different environment, do not drink eight ounces of coffee in a foam cup, yogurt plastic one of these that the municipality does not recycle or recycled so strange and erratic we all suspect that not recycle anything but we are continuing to feel less guilty, especially after consuming approximately eight letter-size paper only three remain well printed sheets because we were not centralizing photocopy photocopier properly in addition to consuming electricity also uses ink, and more to recycle cartridges the only way to improve things is to use significantly less ink, but going by the yogurt and it was a wrap noon as it indicates that his name was envueltito in wax paper and bringing diet coke, of course, cup, lid and sorbet "disposable" (here the only disposable appears to be the planet), and had not given me two in the afternoon and without trying , and without being particularly throwaway, and had consumed more calories and produced more waste than it consumes and produces half the people on the planet in their everyday ...
Our daily routine consumption, even of those with some pride that we attempt very hard not to step on the planet, is the "golden arrow" that moves the system that starts with extraction, consumption goes through and ends with waste - 99% of production is garbage before reaching six months. Click here to view the lighter ones in the excellent video " story of stuff ". Average 4.5 pounds of trash per person per day in the United States.
Recycling is fine, but it is insufficient. We have to find ways to consume less. "I say the ones That are not being realistic Are those who think we can keep up current rates of consumption", says Annie Leonard.
But back to the Amazon: The World Social Forum this year, he said, has begun. And more than ever, the world's indigenous groups become a potent symbol. Not as much as the thing romanticona folcórica and style of Disney's Pocahontas (Disney those symbols of what they do at the end of the day is to generate more consumption and more waste), but as the voice of the real dangers, gigantic, arising from that dysfunctional relationship "developed economies" have created with the planet (yes, the same economies that get to give advice and predatory lending to the other), to multiply the dollar and eliminate species. Not to be too leftist to see that the current scheme of capital to equity capital is not working. That, as the thousand bodies that recommend us save the Amazon, is visible from afar. SOS.Print
"Whatever it takes to make friends and Influence people - Whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra," said one longtime agency operative and veteran of several Afghanistan tours. "
Yes, you read that right. It seems that the CIA is using a special incentive er .. as a strategy for information and support to pursue the Taliban in Afghanistan : VIAGRA.
I know, I know: This news seems taken directly from a type thing yams , or the onion , but no ... it's in the washington post. You can see the original here if you do not believe me. I'm still blinking in disbelief ...
But nothing, I summarize the issue: It turns out the CIA in Afghanistan needs, with some frequency, the cooperation of tribal leaders who control important information over particular territories, the will of the people, etc.. The CIA, (as any agency of its kind, explains the news) has a very long tradition of bribery ... Well, the article does not bribe. Says "enticement" or "inducement". Nothing, say that the CIA often used to facilitate cash gifts and good will of the leaders whose cooperation you need.
But what happens next (I'm paraphrasing of the news, not making this up): If you are a CIA operative, and gives him say a thousand dollars to a man of these, it is very possible that man can think of ... and USE IT that makes inconveniently visible. The same with the gifts. Others suspect that the guy is on the payroll, endangering the guy, the spy, and mission ...
Again like any other agency (the Russian KGB is famous for this, in part thanks to Hollywood), the CIA seeks favors more discreet. In the past, sexual favors (not operational, we assume, but of some other mercenary personnel ...), beautiful women, and the like.
The key, Smith said, is to find a way to meet the informant's staff needs in a way Firmly That keeps him on your side but leaves little or no visible trace.
At some point, it seems that a sheikh entrusted them to a spy who had four younger wives, and operating and fastened the bulb. The perfect gift: Discrete, small, portable, valuable .... He got four viagras Sheikh, and
Four days later, When the Americans returned, the gift had worked its magic, the operative Recalled. "He came up to us beaming," the official said. "I said, 'You are a great man.' "
"And after That we could do whatever we wanted in his area."
Of course, the news makes important clarifications: The CIA (again, in contrast to the KGB) makes little use of this type of strategy, favoring nicest things as free medical treatment offerings, and do not offer the sheikhs pills without first establish that they are in good health (although the story does not explain how manage to establish such a thing, or say anything about what they think the wives on the renewed vigor of the informant ...)
While our leaders here raised the "problem" "moral" or not if we teach gender in schools, the U.S. Army helps happily playing polygamy as a desirable form of marriage. While corporations prevent mass distribution of new drugs to control HIV in Africa, they sell the little blue pills the army to these noble and novel uses.Print
Eye chopped is a new category of entries, which represent a blink away a startle response, a reaction and perhaps the germ of an input or larger series. They can share their ideas in the comments or by calling firstname.lastname@example.org email.
The recent press release of our new governor is giving enough to talk about. At first glance, it seemed confusing, contradictory: On the one hand, the statement said that "no aspiration, however legitimate, justifies terrorism. No cause, however just it may be, is exempt from the rules of morality and civility ... "; almost immediately seems to contradict claiming that sovereign nations must react "Taking action to ensure and guarantee the security of its citizens .... All this said to imply that Israel, which has invaded the Gaza Strip with the balance horrendous know, deserves our support and Palestine. Aha ...
After a moment of Shocked and blink a few simple questions to the statement immediately raises eye-bite:
- Why the statement is written in English? Eye, I have no particular issues with the language and I even like to write to him, but ... is not this news release for a Spanish speaking country overwhelmingly? would be interesting to know what the logic of language selection.
- Why this "timing" unfortunate? On the same day, the Red Cross and the United Nations published his, harshly criticizing Israel after losing one of his workers, who drove a support vehicle in Gaza, with a bullet, and discover children, too weak to stand up, next to their dead mothers. The statement is contrary not only to the world's public opinion until the usually conservative El Nuevo Dia .
- How do you distinguish "terrorists" of "sovereign nations with the right to defend itself"? And how is that there are more victims, almost one hundred (100!) Times more, a third of them children, including Fortuño called "terrorists"?
You can read more about all this in many places good. I like commondreams.org, and realnews.net. You should also visit the blogosphere boricua, with recent posts on the subject, for example: Loading and Unloading , Urban Jibaro and The Finger in the Wound . If you know of other sources of quality, you can share them in the comments.
Today the New Day published an editorial repudiating Israel's actions in Gaza. This gesture deserves applause ... cautious.
Why applause? For the record Rican newspaper, which has an extremely conservative record has been thrown some American newspapers supposedly liberal tradition, as the NY Times, which today publishes a column by Thomas Friedman (the guy who used the metaphor of the world is flat to support uncritically globalization in full swing ... or should I say blood and oil? Let's see if one day we encourage and discuss, criticize the text here on the blog) which reduces the killing in Gaza (not to mention much to the dead, must seem in poor taste) to your bottom line conservative: They sought him because Hamas is antisemitic.
At least the New Day has the ability to recognize that no one is "looking" something like that. Hamas say that it "sought" is the global equivalent of saying that domestic violence occurs because women "ask for it". Did Mary raises her voice and Pepe hits a shot?
So why is cautious our applause? Because once again, the reasons for Israel are pictured as incomprehensible or as purely political - a government that seeks support from an electorate who fears "for their safety". The paper does not explore the reasons (usually economic) that governments (and wealthy lords often part thereof) may have to foment fear of its citizens. You can see an approach to this issue here . The editorial also occurs late in the thing. It seems more a critique of the disparity or the length of the attack that the attack itself. No mention of the locks and other previous Israeli abuses.
History indicates that the early days of a policy of this nature are crucial to the action of the peoples and governments. Why not condemn the killing when they were two hundred, and six hundred corpses? Did the first 200 were acceptable and Hamas "were sought"?
To read the editorial of the New Day, click here .
Soon in Flashing: Disaster capitalism and the "Hurricane" Boricua.Print
[Note: This entry is the first in a series of two, examining the application of the concept of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein, "The Shock Doctrine", 2007) first away (in Gaza) and then close (Puerto Rico). The first looks at the motivations of Israel, the second is about our "crisis". You can read more about the book in shockdoctrine.com Klein.]
Photo: The Nation, 12/29/08
Why Israel attacked Gaza? Some see it as a matter inscrutable, inexplicable hatred based on confused between Jews and Palestinians and outside the realm of the comprehensible logic. That if one understands, and poor things, and God help you. Another reaction, the most "official" of the Jewish state and the U.S. government, touted as a given by most broadcast media, is the short-term, the reaction: the attack is a response to provocations by Hamas and Israel has responded in "self defense".
It's not a Marxist myself, but I think history suggests that while an individual may behave psychotic or incomprehensible [and we leave that matter to psychologists], communities often have, even in his most incredible, logic, and that logic usually has at least some roots in the economy. So compared to the apparent madness of Israel, who has decided to respond to the death of a Jew with 400 Palestinians, I can not but wonder what the relationship between those actions and the Israeli economy ... and the world. There is much talk about it in the press, but chapter 21 of the book of other one disputes Klein.
The concept of disaster capitalism refers to the corporate takeover of economies for some reason (a natural disaster or a war, for example) are in a state of "shock", with the consequences we know: the privatization of public services, erosion of the social safety net, unemployment. A main contribution is his analysis of Klein show, through numerous examples (Chile under Pinochet, Russia in Yelstein, the slaughter of Tiananmen in China) that democracy as a political system, often at odds with the extreme forms of free markets, and vice versa: When the dictator Pinochet died in 2006, the New York Times praised it as the head of the "Chilean economic miracle" through liberalization of markets. The newspaper is not clear that such policies had another side - the thousands of missing victims of the regime of terror that facilitated the implementation of economic reforms unfriendly to most of the population and abetted by the ideologues of the "free market" more Free to corporations, not individuals.
But the point. What does the disaster capitalism with the attack on the Gaza Strip (see a summary here , here and here ) and the apparent madness of Israel? I think a lot. Israel's economy in the nineties was based primarily on technology-and thus plunged into a recession with so-called dot.com crisis in 2000. So what did the Israeli government? Investing in its military, then absorbing abundant labor and educated associated with technology and, from 2001 (year of the attacks in NYC and the Pentagon), leverages the new niche provided by the War on Terror. They specialized well on defense, surveillance ("surveillance"), and "homeland security". In 2004, Israel's economy had recovered only: it was better than ever. War is their business and fear, its main customer.
What does all this mean for the relationship between Israel and Palestine? Many. For example, although common sense would suggest that we should peace to all and is good for the economy, the logic of disaster capitalism suggests not-especially in the case of industry-based economies of war and fear. A corporations Israel conflict suits them - capitalized on our elaborate charade of security at airports, on fears of terrorist attacks that intervention in Iraq more likely now than in the past, about the growing industry of "national security "that the Bush administration and the leadership of Rumsfeld became a matter less national and more corporate. To the extent that the "terror" is associated with the middle east, Israel has become their best customer, one blessed both its geography and its expertise.
Israel's economy, in other words, does not want peace: live by war, conflict, and fear. In the words of Ronsen, a banker and investor very prominent Jew speaking to Forbes in 2006, "more than peace, security is what matters".
Cruel?? indeed. Irrational?? Of course not. It's time we stopped to clear the actions of the Israeli state (distinguish the state of its citizens, many of whom are against the slaughter in Gaza, for more information click here ) as irrational and incomprehensible: they are rational, are understandable, are horrendous and are unjustified. And they are part of a global logic must be understood in order to resist.
Soon in Flashing: Disaster capitalism and the "Hurricane" Boricua.Print
The U.S. branch of Amnesty International yesterday sent an urgent letter to Condi Rice, asking him to end what the letter calls an "unbalanced response" to the conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza gaza. [You can access the news here , and previous posts on this site about the issue of Gaza here and here .]
The generators that keep the fragile structure of management of wastewater in Gaza are running out of fuel , accelerating what by all accounts (although the U.S. and Israel do not accept it) is a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. The resulting sewage overflow can add epidemic diseases such as dysentery and cholera to the growing list of tragedies of the Palestinian population.
The Israeli government keeps out, among other things, food, fuel, medicines ... and foreign journalists. This part of the criminal economic blockade preceding attacks this week. This blockade, Israel says is necessary, because the mainstay of the economy in Gaza amounts to support Hamas ....
But like so many locks "economic" to Israel only makes the suffering, malnutrition, illness, and growing anger of the civilian population.
"I was at work. Someone from the hospital called and said they experienced found my son, "said Marwan Abu Rabia, 44, a plumber. "I went straight to the hospital and found him lying on the floor outside the morgue. There were too many bodies. It looked like a massacre. "
The son of Marwan Abu Rabia was twenty years old, and a student universitario.Había been taking a test on Saturday, and walked back to his house when an Israeli bombardment killed him. His father found the body out of the morgue - full yesterday and hospitals, with about 300 killed and 600 wounded Palestinians.
Our local politicians, so far, remain curiously silent, at least in the press. I guess the Christmas deal and transition. The only exception, as usual, is left no-election, which is consolidated in a protest today at four p.m. in Chardon Street. Local media reported the thing so skewed as the U.S.: Israel's right and the Palestinians are terrorists, seems to say. 'And the three hundred dead? Oh well. Who the boss, says our silence. (See exception in the New Day here , where a Palestinian on the island offers his perspective of the issue.)
The response of the U.S. Democratic Party in the United States is certainly predictable, but no longer sad. I always disappoint some moments that crystallize how, at the end of the day, it seems Obama Democrats republicans Bush. Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has established that guilt, and responsibility to resolve the issue, fall on Hamas, and the United States, in situations like this, should support Israel, his "friend and democratic ally." El party, and the incoming government, are in general agreement. That's the line. Same as Bush.
The only dissenting voice in the House is that of Kucinich, D-Ohio, who said yesterday that
So true, so transparent ... and yet, only a minority opinion.Print
"My son is gone, my son is gone," wailed Said Masri, a 57-year-old shopkeeper, as I sat in the middle of a Gaza City street, slapping his face and covering his head with dust from a bombed-out security compound nearby.
Some things are quite clear. We know that on Saturday, the Israeli army attacked hard, the Gaza Strip. To read the Reuters news click here .
We know (and quite predictable) that the U.S. White House support Israel. Gordon Johndroe spokesman put it, not very diplomatically:
The sources seem to agree on the balance of approximately 150-200 Palestinians dead and 400 wounded.
What still is not clear to me why. This despite the news that Time Magazine devotes an entire section to the issue of motivation Israelite, aptly titled The Gaza air strikes: Why Israel Attacked . The people at Time summarizes the thing as follows: Palestinian militants in Gaza have been firing rockets into Israel, and such attacks had increased dramatically in the past six weeks. In fact, says the news, the Israeli air counterattack was predictable. Says "predictable" no "justifiable", but I can not avoid the impression that the latter want to communicate.
This counterattack, "taking advantage of the good weather," according to Time, occurred this morning, and caused the morgues and hospitals in Gaza are filled to the brim with about 600 victims, dead and wounded, pumps the neighboring country.
What the U.S. press "mainstream" does not emphasize much is the number of Israeli victims of Palestinian projectiles according to Time, provoked the attack.
A. And six wounded.
Of course, a human life is a very valuable thing and it is very sad and all, but ... it's a. Apparently, an Israeli citizen worth 200 Palestinians. Far. Maybe more.
You can read the sources here and here . This data is, for now, buried in the text of the news, but is. In the case of Time, which is a fairly conservative magazine, is followed by something like "expected many Palestinian suicide attacks as a result." It's almost like the force of the attack justified by appealing to a (hypothetical) Arab reaction. In fact, l to official U.S. reaction was to ask Hamas, not the Israeli government to stop the attacks.
The real why probably has more to do with the elections in Israel, where the leader of the right-wing opposition , Benjamin Netanyahu , political positions, with Israel's economy, which depends on the military-industrial complex local and global, with the building more Jewish settlements, with things you might discuss in another entry in this blog soon ...
Faced with the hardness of today's attacks, some governments allied to Israel (with the exception of the U.S.) have asked moderation. This does not seem likely. And as the White House seeks to represent, despite the opinion of most of the world, the fault of Hamas.
Published on December 27 to add that according to Richard Falkm United Nations, Israel is allowing in observers and human rights experts. To view the news IPS, use this link .