Perhaps then, we will once again see a generation eager to build their lives, rather than stand with a sign demanding one.
Posted by dmacc502 on December 11, 2011
Posted by dmacc502 on December 4, 2011
Posted by dmacc502 on August 9, 2011
FEW Olympics are as famous as the 1936 Berlin Games, whose 75th anniversary falls this month. The publicity that accompanied the competition, held under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler, supposedly tamed the Nazi regime, if only temporarily — a story that has since justified awarding the Games to places like Soviet Moscow, Beijing and Sochi, Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Posted by dmacc502 on June 25, 2011
Al-Serat, journal of Islamic studies
The Qur’an is so wonderfully arranged and so marvellously composed, and so exalted is its literary excellence that it is beyond what any mere creature could attain.
Posted by dmacc502 on June 24, 2011
Not everybody wants to be buried in a cemetery. In Switzerland, you can have your ashes scattered to the wind, in a forest or over a glacier.
The liberal practice has resulted in entrepreneurs hawking some rather unusual services to people in other countries.
According to Ewiges Alpenglühn (Eternal Alpine Glow), a Swiss company that arranges open-air funerals, EU citizens can have their ashes buried or scattered in the Swiss countryside as there is no obligation to be buried in a cemetery.
Oase der Ewigkeit (Oasis of Eternity) in Grevenbroich near Dusseldorf promotes natural burials in Beatenberg in the Bernese Oberland.
Posted by dmacc502 on June 22, 2011
After winning Wimbledon in 1968, the men’s champion, Rod Laver, walked away with $4,800. Billie Jean King, the women’s champion, left with just $1,800. At other events, the gap in pay was even wider. King — who won 129 career titles, including 12 Grand Slam single titles — fought to change that. As the dominant force in tennis at the time, she had the most to lose by spending time campaigning for reform rather than focusing solely on tennis. But she never lost sight of the bigger picture, and she turned her back on the U.S. Tennis Association as leader of the “Original 9″ group of women who fought for gender equality in tennis. “We had one dream, and that was to create an opportunity where any girl — if she was good enough — could make a living playing professional tennis,” King, now 67, tells TIME. “Today they are living the dream, and we need to continue to make progress for all girls. Women from around the globe have chosen tennis as a career, and I am so proud of the champions in our sport as they truly embody our vision from 1970.” In 1973, King defeated former men’s No. 1 Bobby Riggs in a nationally televised matched dubbed the Battle of the Sexes. (Riggs, who played the role of male chauvinist rather well, had beaten Margaret Court in a similar televised match earlier that year and spent the interim taunting female players.) In 1981 King became the first professional female athlete to come out as a lesbian.
Posted by dmacc502 on June 21, 2011
organic farming and world hunger | The Prince of Wales Says “Organic Can Feed the World” | Rodale News
Posted by dmacc502 on May 20, 2011
RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—There aren’t many times you’ll find a farmworker advocate, a poet, an organic-farming senator, and British royalty all in the same room. But if you happened to attend (or watch streaming video of) the Washington Post’s Future of Food Conference yesterday, that’s exactly what you would have seen.
A variety of food activists, ranging from author Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and poet/environmentalist Wendell Berry to the cofounder of the Coalition of Immokallee Workers, an advocacy group that protects the rights of migrant farmers, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, convened to talk about the long-term survival of the world’s food supply and how our current industrial food system is poisoning our children, destroying the planet, and threatening the world’s most vulnerable citizens. “We’re venturing into extremely dangerous territory by speaking of the future of food,” Prince Charles said in his keynote address. “Questioning the conventional world view is risky business.”
Posted by dmacc502 on May 10, 2011
“Can’t anybody here play this game?”
The president, revealing himself to be Barack Obungle, has done what nobody else could have done, not even the spectacularly hapless original New York Mets, who drove Casey Stengel to his famous cry of terminal frustration.
The White House converted a picture-perfect military operation into a public-relations disaster that will be cited as what not to do and how not to do it in flackery textbooks for a hundred years. Days after the raid on Osama bin Laden’s “mansion” they still can’t get the “fact pattern,” in the language of the White House, even close to straight.
Even that ubiquitous photograph of the president, the secretary of state and assorted minions bravely watching the operation in “real time” looks now to have been a “photo-op” taken after the fact. This is the scene that the goofy John Brennan, the president’s anti-terrorism chief, described as one of unbearable tension endured heroically by the magnificent minions. Hillary seemed to be clutching her throat, choking back terror as she watched the raid unfold, but now Leon Panetta, the chief of the CIA, reveals that 24 minutes of the 40-minute video were “blacked out” by some kind of electronic malfunction. Maybe she was only wishing she had ordered pepperoni with extra cheese when the president sent out for pizza.
What a roller coaster ride: Osama bin Laden engaged the SEALs in a firefight. Well, no, actually, it turns out he didn’t. But he did seize a woman, probably one of his wives, to use as a human shield. Uh, well, actually he didn’t do that, either. But he was armed, we know that for sure. Ummm, no, not really. OK, but we’re positive that woman was killed. Uh, not exactly. But we definitely, positively, absolutely know that Osama is dead. We have the photographs to prove it and the public can see them. Er, no, not quite. The president has them but you can’t see them. Everybody will just have to take his word for it.
That won’t happen, either. There was a time when everybody took a president’s word for everything. But nobody trusts the government on anything anymore. Lies have withered public patience. Too bad, Mr. President, but you’ll have to show us the death certificate. No reasonable man can doubt that Osama is dead, dead, dead, but we’re talking now about the Middle East.
You might think the president would have rehearsed his minions in a story, even if concocted, so everybody would tell it like it is. The White House finally shut up with the explanation that “the fact pattern” is still being evaluated. It’s only now dawning on the president that he has done everything possible to guarantee an enduring worldwide harangue over whether Osama is in fact dead, how he was killed, whether dumping the body in the sea was wise, whether how he died violated the decencies of international custom, and whether burial traditions of Shariah law were followed before Osama became the ultimate fish dinner.
Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor and one of the most distinguished criminal lawyers in the land, says “burying his body at sea constituted the willful destruction of evidence.” The doubts that will be contrived by Muslim red-hots would have been prevented if Osama’s body had been subjected to the usual forensic testing, extensive examination of entrance and exit wounds, and paraffin testing for gunpowder residue. “Dead bodies,” he writes in an essay in the Wall Street Journal, “often talk more loudly, clearly and unambiguously than live witnesses.” He notes that when a Muslim or a Jew is murdered in the United States “religious considerations do not trump civil circumstances.”
But the real offense of the Washington wimpery is pushing a weakling’s canard against the military, asserting that the photograph can’t be shown because it would make Muslim terrorists cross at us. But surely the Army and the Navy can take care of themselves; soldiers, sailors and Marines aren’t Campfire Girls. Can anyone imagine FDR and his generals canceling D-Day because an invasion might infuriate the Germans? Or that a Muslim terrorist will now salute an American soldier in Afghanistan and put down his rifle and grenade launcher, telling him “we really appreciate your president’s keeping that ugly photograph to himself.”
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Posted by dmacc502 on April 21, 2011
Kremlin Quits $1Bln Aid for Weapons Program21 April 2011The Associated PressAP
Then-Senator Obama attending an International Science and Technology Center seminar in Golitsyno in 2005.
WASHINGTON — The Kremlin is pulling out of a program that poured $1 billion from the U.S. government and other foreign donors into the research labs that built the Soviet Union’s vast arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
Officials with the International Science and Technology Center are negotiating to close the Moscow headquarters of the organization, which was formed in 1994, three years after the Soviet Union collapsed. The center gave tens of thousands of experts in nuclear, chemical and biological warfare the chance to engage in civilian research and work with colleagues from the United States and other nations that once stood on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
The program helped pay the salaries of Russian weapons scientists who otherwise might have sold their services to rogue regimes or terrorists after the Cold War, but it long outlived the crisis that inspired its creation. Russia came to regard the intergovernmental program as obsolete as the country’s economy surged over the past decade.
Russia’s U.S. ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, who negotiated the establishment of the center, said in an interview that his country no longer needs it. “The mission has been accomplished,” he said. “It is a little bit outdated.”
U.S. congressional investigators concluded that U.S. taxpayer money helped Russia’s weapons institutes stay in business by recruiting younger scientists and retaining key personnel who might otherwise have moved to the West — a finding at odds with the program’s goal of reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
Foreign aid programs helped keep Russia afloat as it lurched from crisis to crisis in the 1990s. But the Kremlin has been phasing these programs out in recent years, saying in effect it no longer needs to be treated as a charity case.
In August, President Dmitry Medvedev‘s office issued a brief statement announcing Russia’s withdrawal from the program in six months. The center’s director, Adriaan van der Meer, said he is negotiating the terms of the closure and hopes to win an agreement for ”an orderly wind-down” over the next several years of 355 Russian projects worth about $155 million.
Van der Meer said the center would continue working in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and several Central Asian states, where it runs about $95 million worth of projects. Over the past 17 years, the center has tracked space debris, developed fusion power, searched for vaccines against deadly diseases like Ebola and much more.
When the program began after the Soviet collapse, the Russian economy was in shambles and the government struggled to pay salaries in secret cities where armies of technicians, engineers and scientists designed and built weapons.
“It really provided a lifeline in the 1990s for people who were underpaid or underemployed and might otherwise have gotten desperate enough to sell their services elsewhere,” said Matthew Bunn of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Today Russia pumps more oil than Saudi Arabia, holds almost $500 billion in currency reserves and by one measure has the world’s seventh-largest economy. Increasingly, the Russian government has regarded foreign aid as an embarrassing reminder of its past dependence on aid. But some arms control experts said Russia’s decision may also have been motivated by security concerns.
Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, executive director for research at the Belfer Center, said both the Federal Security Service and the FBI have long worried that Russian and U.S. weapons scientists working together on peaceful projects might inadvertently spill state secrets. “That’s the risk for everybody, but they consider it a higher risk than we do,” Ryan said.
The United States contributes about one-third of the money for the center’s projects, van der Meer said, while the European Union pays for another third, and Canada, Norway, Japan and South Korea the rest.
Arms control advocates such as Ryan say the program still plays a vital role by supplementing salaries at underfunded weapons institutes and fostering ties between Russian and Western scientists.
A 2007 Government Accountability Office study of U.S. Energy Department collaborative research programs in Russia found that senior officials at many former Soviet labs believed that there was no longer any need for Western financial support.
Lab officials in Russia and Ukraine told the GAO, Congress’ investigative arm, that foreign grants had helped them recruit and retain key personnel, preventing them from emigrating to the United States or other advanced industrial nations. These officials told the GAO that there was “little danger of scientists migrating to countries of concern,” according to the 2007 study.
The center was prohibited from funding weapons work: The point was to introduce weapons scientists to civilian research. Congress objected when it discovered in 2008 that some of the institutes receiving U.S. aid were also working with Iran’s nuclear program, specifically the recently completed nuclear power plant at Bushehr. The United States has long contended that Iranian officials use the Bushehr civilian power project as cover for pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Iran has always denied that it is seeking to build atomic weapons.
Relations between the United States and Russia have roller-coastered since the center opened in 1994, reaching a high point after the September 2001 terrorist attacks and a post-Cold War low in the aftermath of the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia.
Under President Barack Obama‘s reset of ties with Russia, Moscow has agreed to let the United States ship military supplies to Afghanistan through its territory, supported tough new UN sanctions against Iran and signed the New START treaty reducing the ceiling on both countries’ nuclear arsenals.
Despite these improvements, U.S. intelligence officials say Russia remains wary of U.S. intentions. “Russian military programs are driven largely by Moscow’s perception that the United States and NATO are Russia’s principal strategic challenges and greatest potential threat,” James Clapper, director of national intelligence, told Congress in March.
Russia has recently launched a $700 billion drive to modernize its nuclear and conventional military forces by 2020.
Henry Sokolski, who once served as the Pentagon’s deputy for nonproliferation policy and is now director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, said the International Science and Technology Center leaves a mixed legacy. “Whatever good it might have done to deflect weapons activities, it probably undid by supporting these institutes, which are weapons institutes,” he said.
Ryan said that even if Western aid has helped Russia’s military institutes, they represent little threat to the United States compared with the weapons programs of countries like Iran and North Korea.
“We have disagreements [with Russia], but we’re not on the verge of war,” he said. “If you look at the results of the product of the Russian military-industrial complex right now, I don’t think we ought to be concerned.”
Van der Meer credited the Moscow center with creating almost from scratch a civilian research community in Russia, where in Soviet times 85 percent of scientists worked in military labs. Tens of thousands of them worked in ”closed cities” that didn’t appear on any maps. Van der Meer and several U.S. officials said they hoped the center’s programs could continue in some form in Russia.
“It would be very silly to destroy the investment of over $1 billion over the years,” van der Meer said.TagsDiscussionThe Moscow Times welcomes your comments and invites you to discuss topics with other readers. Your comment will be posted automatically to enable a live discussion. If you aren’t familiar with our comments policy, you can read it here.
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