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Last Updated:
Jun 25th, 2008 - 15:22:17 


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The Travels of our First Webmaster

Voices for the World

Voices for the World
Remembering Crisis Darfur and The World Games
Bernard-Henri Levy
The Olympic Games are meant to foster world peace but "...There is one actor in this terrible game, who has huge power, and can do a lot if it wants. This actor is China. China is the one [that] provides the weapons which I saw and which made these big craters from bombs. China provides the weapons. China buys a big portion of the oil. China protects the Sudanese regime in the Security Council of the United Nations. So the real pressure, the most efficient pressure should be and is still today the pressure on China. And we have a tool, as you know, on China. We have a real weapon, which would prove to be very efficient if we tried. It has been tried for a few days about Tibet. It has already given results: the resuming of the dialogue with the Dalai Lama. It should be implemented [against] the Darfur tragedy, [and it] is the weapon of a boycott of the Olympic Games..." including remarkable photos- with a link to Guernica
Jun 25, 2008

Voices for the World
Caroline Alexender
A journey through the mangrove forest of Bengal:" 'If the Sundarbans goes under, the tiger episode on earth is over,' Kushal said, a belief shared by many authorities. The plight of tigers worldwide is critical, with the most optimistic estimates positing a population of between thirty-three hundred and forty-three hundred. Some four hundred tigers are cautiously estimated to inhabit the combined Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh... From time to time, we passed solitary women trudging through the water near the shoreline, pulling nets behind them as they trawled for prawn seed. This practice, introduced in the past twenty years or so, has disastrously reduced prawn and other fish populations, and the constant pacing along the fragile shore by the women and children who drag the nets has contributed to erosion. In their flowing saris, the women presented picturesque silhouettes that belied the danger of their work, up to ten hours a day waist high in the murky water. As many as ten fatal crocodile attacks are documented each year..."-with a thanks and a link to The New Yorker
Apr 18, 2008

Voices for the World
Nobel Laureates Condemn China on Tibet
Carley Petesch, Associated Press
Pray for the people of Tibet, and the world. Meanwhile: "Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and 25 other Nobel laureates on Thursday condemned the Chinese government's violent crackdown on Tibetan protesters and called on Beijing to exercise restraint...But he said pressure for peace and dialogue is needed until we 'hear reports from the Tibetan themselves that all has been restored and the prisons are opened.' Tibetan exile groups have claimed that 80 people were killed during the protest and its aftermath, while Beijing maintains that 16 died and more than 300 were injured."–with a link to news
Mar 20, 2008

Voices for the World
Shunning Iraq's Refugees
Los Angeles Times Editorial Staff
"There are 2 million displaced Iraqis. The U.S. has a moral responsibility to issue more than 200 asylum visas a year to help them... Most Americans are probably familiar with Colin L. Powell's 'Pottery Barn rule' for Iraq: You break it, you own it. This notion of responsibility has been invoked to justify extending or increasing the U.S. troop presence there. But it is mysteriously absent from discussions about Iraq's 2 million refugees... One of eight Iraqis is displaced, and the number is growing rapidly. An estimated 1,500 people flee their homes each day, especially in mixed-religion neighborhoods and cities. Of those, an unknown but significant number are Iraqis who have risked their lives to provide assistance to the U.S.-led coalition, to foreign journalists or to international nongovernmental organizations." –with a thanks and a link to The LA Times
Mar 8, 2007

Voices for the World
Water Prices Rising Worldwide
Edwin H. Clark, II
In its own dry, precise style the Earth Policy Institute continues to put key environmental issues in a factual context. Just as the Darfur crisis was triggered by drought, the world is beginning to see the results of climate change and the value of water. Here is a good introduction to the economics of water: "Water subsidies can be very large. For instance, water revenues in the city of Delhi are less than 20 percent of what it spends each year to provide water. On average worldwide, nearly 40 percent of municipal suppliers do not charge enough for water to meet their basic operation and maintenance costs... Subsidies often benefit only higher-income families. Frequently, urban slum residents in developing countries have no access to municipal water supplies and instead purchase water from private purveyors..." – a feature at
Mar 8, 2007

Voices for the World
From the Inside Looking In
Darius Rejali
Reed College political science professor spoke at a lecture series, Understanding Iran: Images and Realities. He adapted his presentation, a fascinating personal and political description of his visit: "The principal political fracture in Iran today is not between the liberal youth and the conservative clerics, as American analysis—often over-simplified—would have it. Rather, it is a fracture within the war generation, between those whose memory of the war is animated by ideals of equality, brotherhood, and national sacrifice, and those who fought for a more domineering vision of national unity and religious control. The battle is between two competing visions of the war experience. The debate is over what it meant, what it achieved, and how it will be remembered." – with a link to Reed Magazine
Mar 5, 2007

Voices for the World
Oaxaca, a State of Mind
Nat Levy
One of the states in Mexico that has seen a loss of population from migration has also been the scene of mass protests. Coincidence? "Despite the constant debate over illegal immigration from Mexico there is a fundamental lack of understanding in this country about what has been happening in Mexico in recent months. The fates of Mexico and the United States have always been intertwined. When something happens here Mexican people are affected. Conversely, significant events in Mexico also affect the United States. Despite this fact, people seem to be ignoring the country unless it is within the context of an immigration issue." –a feature at
Jan 26, 2007

Voices for the World
A Grand Bargain for the Middle East
Raj Purohit and Amjad Atallah
"For all their hype, the 79 recommendations made by the Iraq Study Group (ISG) last week amount to a middle-of-the-road stance instead of a bold new direction. The panel paid lip service to the idea of broader diplomacy, even calling for a regional conference. But its thinking is still too narrow and US-centric... US foreign policy in the Middle East can - and must - do better. It can begin by looking at a bigger map. The violence in Iraq is situated within - and partly connected to - broader tensions endemic to the massive crescent that stretches from Turkey in the northwest, to Sudan and Somalia in the southwest, and to India in the east." –with a link to The Christian Science Monitor
Dec 15, 2006

Voices for the World
The Silent Revolution
Marcelo Ballve'
Inspiring survival: "From the rubble of economic collapse, Argentina's workers are building an alternative economy from the ground up based on fairness and cooperation, not widely discredited World Bank economic policies... 'To avoid seeing their livelihoods consigned to the junk heap of the global economy, the ex-Cristalux workers made a bold request to Matilde Evangelina Ballerini, the bankruptcy judge divvying up the factory’s assets. The request ... was not entirely unprecedented... let the workers return to their machines and work to feed their families. Like those who occupied scores of other factories in Argentina, the ex-Cristalux employees had no boss, no manager, no help from labor unions, no real plan, no money, and no ambitions of glory. They just wanted in.'" -with a link to Orion
Oct 7, 2006

Voices for the World
No Cause for Celebration When Car is King
Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Sometime this month, the U.S. population is projected to reach 300 million. In times past, reaching such a demographic milestone might have been a cause for celebration. In 2006, it is not. Population growth is the ever expanding denominator that gives each person a shrinking share of the resource pie. It contributes to water shortages, cropland conversion to non-farm uses, traffic congestion, more garbage, overfishing, crowding in national parks, a growing dependence on imported oil, and other conditions that diminish the quality of our daily lives." – a feature at
Oct 7, 2006

Voices for the World
A Palestinian View: Israel Needs to Come Up with Solutions
Mkhaimar Abusada
When Middle East events heat up, an unique magazine, Bitter, dedicated to dialog between Israelis and Palestinians puts the crisis into dual perspectives. "Over the past two weeks, the children of Palestinian prisoners have called for the release of their parents in return for the release of the Israeli kidnapped soldier. They also appealed directly to Aviva Shalit, the mother of the Israeli soldier, to understand their grief and suffering. Said one: 'we know how eager you are to have your son back, to know anything about him and this is your right. But could you stop for a moment and think of the thousands of Palestinians in your jails?' " – with a links to Bitter
Jul 15, 2006

Voices for the World
An Israeli View: How About One for One?
Yossi Alpher
"Every thinking Israeli understands that ransoming captured Israelis with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners runs completely counter to the logic of deterrence and encourages the abduction of additional Israelis. Yet most Israelis refuse to punish their leadership for doing this, because bringing home Israelis who have been captured and imprisoned simply because they are Israelis is a very high-value national principle. Besides, the ongoing conflict seems to provide Israel with an endless supply of new Palestinian prisoners--more than half a million (!) Palestinians have at one time or another been imprisoned by Israel--who will be available as ransom payment when the time comes... Suppose Olmert offered to release one Palestinian, Marwan Barghouti, in exchange for Corporal Shalit... " –with a link to Bitter
Jul 15, 2006

Voices for the World
Turkish Writer in 'Call-up' Trial
BBC News
"The trial of Turkish writer Perihan Magden, who is accused of trying to turn Turks against compulsory military service, has begun in Istanbul... Charges were filed against her after she argued that conscientious objection - for which there is no provision under Turkish law - was a human right... She is the latest writer to be tried for her views on sensitive issues." -with a thanks to CTP and a link to The BBC News
Jun 10, 2006

Voices for the World
Born with a Burden
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Since the G-8 economic summits which agreed to debt cancellation, more than 1 million Africans have died from AIDS, famine, and poverty-related illness. Meanwhile their governments have paid almost $7 billion to institutions servicing their debts. "We must muster the spiritual strength and vigor of the American civil rights movement and South Africa's anti-apartheid movement to remove this crushing burden from the poor." – with a link to the's Life Over Debt campaign
Mar 2, 2006

Voices for the World
Earth Policy Institute: Curbing the HIV Epidemic
Lester R. Brown
A simple little object could alter the de-stabilizing spread of AIDS: "Sadly, even though condoms are the only technology available to prevent the spread of HIV, the U.S. government is de-emphasizing their use, insisting that abstinence be given top priority. While encouraging abstinence is important, an effective campaign to curb the HIV epidemic cannot function without condoms." – –with a thanks to The Earth policy Institute and a feature at
Mar 2, 2006

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