,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Friday, June 30, 2006


Abuse of Power - Checks and Balances, and The SCOTUS

The Hamdan Case * Guantanamo

Maybe there is hope. That was my thought when The Supreme Court's 5:3 ruling on the Hamdan case sent shockwaves on June 29th. To say that it was a setback to President Bush's arrogant disregard of the Constitution and Geneva Convention would be an understatement. It brought him to a screeching halt. What a subservient Congress does to give him the authority he is now seeking remains to be seen. Peter Baker and Michel Abramowitz in the Post: "For five years, President Bush waged war as he saw fit. If intelligence officers needed to eavesdrop on overseas telephone calls without warrants, he authorized it. If the military wanted to hold terrorism suspects without trial, he let it."
  • Now the Supreme Court has struck at the core of his presidency and dismissed the notion that the president alone can determine how to defend the country. In rejecting Bush's military tribunals for terrorism suspects, the high court ruled that even a wartime commander in chief must govern within constitutional confines significantly tighter than this president has believed appropriate.
This case vividly demonstrates the crucial importance of the swing vote. Chief Justice Roberts recused himself because of his prior involvement in a case about Hamdan. If he sat on this case then the ruling would have gone 5:4.

SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)


The Guantanamo Prison is also a part of the story about abuses. The Road to Guantanamo, a film made by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, depicts the experience of three British nationals who were held there. David Denby's review of the movie appeared in The New Yorker June 26th issue. Here is his concluding paragraph:
  • "The movie is shot from the victims’ point of view, as a kind of absurdist, theatre-of-cruelty exercise set in the real world. But what do the Americans think they are doing? How do they justify themselves? The actors playing the guards and interrogators are nonentities with beefy faces; they are just as opaque as the men who have fallen into their hands. We seem to have entered a land in which intelligence of any kind has been extinguished. The Red Cross has reported that some of the prisoners at Guantánamo are falling into despair; three have committed suicide, and more than twenty have tried. “The Road to Guantánamo” will tell you why, but it won’t tell you much else. And the movie, harsh as it is, underplays the moral case against Guantánamo. The filmmakers implicitly condemn the practice of holding men without formally charging them, and without giving them access to counsel and family visits. But, in making a melodrama about three innocent men, they ignore the larger point—that all prisoners should be granted these basic rights. This exposé of American sadism is a shocker, but the movie doesn’t bring us any closer to understanding the abuse that is carried out in our names."

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Be Afraid - Vulnerability of Electronic Voting Machines

Remember 2004 * The Internet - Republicans Go After Consumers, Again

Election fraud by manipulation of Diebold voting machines in Ohio was reported after the 2004 presidential election. There was no conclusive evidence. Now, as the nation gears up for mid-term elections, to be followed by the race for 2008 presidential election, the Post reports" "A Single Person Could Swing An Election"To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota and a fictional gubernatorial race between Tom Jefferson and Johnny Adams. It's the year 2007, and the state uses electronic voting machines. Jefferson was forecast to win the race by about 80,000 votes, or 2.3 percent of the vote. Adams's conspirators thought, "How easily can we manipulate the election results?"
  • The report concluded that the three major electronic voting systems in use have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities. But it added that most of these vulnerabilities can be overcome by auditing printed voting records to spot irregularities. And while 26 states require paper records of votes, fewer than half of those require regular audits.
  • "With electronic voting systems, there are certain attacks that can reach enough voting machines . . . that you could affect the outcome of the statewide election," said Lawrence D. Norden, associate counsel of the Brennan Center.
This must be music to some ears and not all of them are hackers. Now, more than ever, there is need to be on guard against the nefarious fraudsters who will go to any length to attain power and retain it.

"Net Neutrality"

Following their usual practice the Republicans in Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted against consumers' interests. "A proposal to prevent Internet service providers from charging Web firms more for faster service to consumers failed yesterday to clear a Senate committee."
  • The bill would make it easier for telephone companies to expand into the cable television franchise business, a move which lawmakers hope will result in more competition and lower prices for consumers.
".....more competition and lower prices". We have heard that song before. The large telecom companies are straining at the leash for an opportunity to assess charges on use of Internet.
  • Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the committee, said he was not sure he had the 60 votes necessary to move the legislation forward. He said he would be open to negotiating with Democrats in September, when Congress comes back from its recess.

  • The House passed its telecom bill earlier this month, and both versions include weaker net-neutrality language that would require the Federal Communications Commission to study and monitor the issue.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The F Word Goes Mainstream

The Foreign Secretary who said "Fuck"

Today The Guardian, tomorrow The Times, The Washington Post ! Well, maybe not tomorrow but it is not too far off. It was amusing to read that Margaret Beckett, the new British Foreign Secretary exclaimed "fuck" when told by Prime Minister Blair that she was being promoted. "Ms Beckett was the secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she was called in by the prime minister following the May 5 local elections. When told she would replace Jack Straw as the foreign secretary - one of the most senior ranking posts in government - Ms Beckett's response was "unprintable in your newspaper", she confided."
  • "Fuck", she told Tony Blair at the time, who was nothing if not amused. "He told me he wanted me to go on working on climate change issues but to do it from the foreign office. I was stunned."
A good, old Anglo-Saxon word. There is nothing wrong with its appearance in media. In fact, people use it all the time in conversation. Can "Cunt" be far behind ?


Have Viagra - Will Travel

Newsmaker, Not Newscaster

Yes, this is about Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh. The rabble-rouser survived his brush with the law about his Oxy-contin addiction. Now he is in the news about possession of unprescribed (for him) Viagra. The latest incident might actually endear him to Dittoheads. One can imagine them leering. Old Rush flies to Dominican Republic in his own jet plane with a stash of Viagra! Wink wink, nod nod.
  • Chicago Tribune:"FT. LAUDERDALE -- Police and prosecutors were investigating Tuesday whether Rush Limbaugh broke the law by obtaining Viagra in someone else's name, possibly violating a deal with prosecutors in his "doctor shopping" case.
  • Limbaugh's attorney, Roy Black, has said the two doctors prescribed the Viagra for Limbaugh under their names to protect his privacy. An expert on medical practice said Florida requires the patient's name and address be on the label."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Defeat of Flag Burning Amendment

Hypocrisy Failed

They tried hard and they succeeded in getting support from 14 Democrats. Yet the proponents couldn't muster the two-thirds majority required for passage. Three Republicans---Senators Robert F. Bennett of Utah, Lincoln Chafee, R.I., and Mitch McConnell, Kentucky---voted against the amendment. They came close. The vote was 66 to 34---a narrow victory, but a victory nevertheless for the those who opposed the measure. It was a cynical move by the Republicans. They expect to make capital out of their loss as described by Charles Babington in the Post: "Behind the constitutional rhetoric were cold political considerations. Republicans are eager to energize conservative voters this fall, and the flag initiative -- even if doomed to fail -- is seen as a sure-fire way to inspire them, especially a week before Independence Day."
  • Overturning a Texas law in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that burning an American flag in protest is a form of political speech protected under the First Amendment. Congress later passed a federal anti-flag-desecration law, and the high court invalidated it on the same grounds.
  • Ever since, lawmakers have debated whether flag burning is an unsavory cost of political freedom or something more akin to intolerable hate speech or monument defacement.
  • "Hours before the votes were taken, Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) thrust the issue into his reelection campaign. Noting that Democratic challenger James Webb had said he opposed the amendment, Allen's campaign issued a press release linking Webb to Sens. John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who voted against the amendment. The release said Webb is "totally beholden to the liberal Washington senators" who backed him in this month's primary.
We are going to hear a lot more along this line before...and after the mid-term elections. They will exploit it, squeeze the last drop out of it.

But hypocrisy was not limited to Republicans. An alternative proposed by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and seconded by Senator Hillary Clinton was a transparent attempt to appease both sides. "The measure -- a proposed statute, rather than constitutional amendment -- was offered by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and was strongly endorsed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), a possible presidential candidate who has sought a middle ground in the flag-burning debate."
  • The proposal would have outlawed flag desecration if the perpetrators were also damaging federal property, trying to incite violence or trying to intimidate someone. Opponents called Durbin's measure a political fig leaf that the Supreme Court would rule unconstitutional.
It fooled no one.


Flag Burning Amendment: Politicians in Search of Bogies

Are we naive ?

The WMD cow has been milked dry. The President went on the bully pulpit to speak about the evils of same-sex marriage but The Marriage Protection Amendment went down like a rock in the Senate. Now the champions of freedom and democracy, the guardians of American virtues are getting ready to revive Constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning. The timing is right. July 4th is around the corner. Some Democrats, including Senator Diane Feinstein of California, are with the Republicans on this one. Hillary Clinton is trying to take a middle ground.

Dana Milbank in the Post: "The naive among us may have trouble appreciating how four flag-burning episodes would constitute a constitutional crisis. But the men and women of the Senate, ever alert to emerging threats, are on the case."
  • "I think it's important to focus on the basic fact that the text of the First Amendment, the text of the Constitution, the text of the Bill of Rights is not involved," Specter argued. The Judiciary Committee chairman did not explain how he could add 17 words to the Constitution without altering its text."
I am a naturalized citizen. I love America and respect the flag but I remain unconvinced about the need for Constitutional amendment. It is a non-issue, a case of jingoism. By far the best piece of writing on this subject is in The New Yorker by Hendrik Hertzberg. Mr. Hertzberg's For Which It Stands is in the print edition dated July 6, 2006 and it appeared in the on-line edition on June 26, 2006.
  • "The flag is not a piece of cloth, any more than the Constitution is a piece of paper; and the flag’s sacredness is not damaged when a piece of cloth representing it is burned or trampled or used as an autograph book, any more than the Constitution can be damaged by the destruction of a printed copy. But the Constitution can and would be damaged, to the nation’s shame, by the addition of something as inimical to its spirit as the flag-desecration amendment. One may safely assume that most of the sixty-six senators—fifty-two Republicans and fourteen Democrats—who at this writing are listed as supporting the amendment do not seriously regard it as a good, let alone a necessary, idea. Its Republican supporters intend to use it aggressively while its Democratic supporters intend to use it defensively, but for both the support is a by-product of negative campaigning. (Intellectual corruption, like the venal variety, is no stranger to either party, even if, in the present era, both varieties are more common among Republicans.) “Providence,” Lord Bryce, the laboratories-of-democracy chap, once remarked, “has under its special care children, idiots, and the United States of America.” The kids are still all right, but unless thirty-four senators hold firm Providence may no longer be able to indulge the second without harming the third."

Monday, June 26, 2006


".....the times they are a changing"

Mid-term Elections * A Treasure Trove of Travel Books

Interesting to read in a British paper, The Observer (Guardian), that Mark Parkinson, former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, is running as a Democratic candidate for the position of Deputy Governor. My regular source of such news, the Washington Post, buried it in Page A20 on May 31st, and it was one of many items under the heading Nation in Brief ! "TOPEKA, Kan. -- Mark Parkinson, the former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, switched his affiliation to Democrat amid speculation that he would become the running mate of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) as she seeks a second term."

No wonder I missed it. How did Mark Parkinson dare to leave God's Own Party! As the Queen said to Alice "Off with his head". (Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

The Observer piece, filed by Paul Harris from Topeka, Kansas, deserves attention. Mr. Harris mentioned Mark Parkinson's defection and more. "Sitting in his headquarters, the new Democrat is sticking to his guns. Republicans in Kansas, he says, have let down their own people. "". 'They were fixated on ideological issues that really don't matter to people's everyday lives. What matters is improving schools and creating jobs,' he said. 'I got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right.'
  • This is music to Democratic ears and has profound potential implications for November's mid-term elections. Kansas has been an iconic state for the Republican right, a symbol for issues such as teaching creationism in schools and fighting abortion rights. The modern Republican party, masterminded by political guru Karl Rove, has harnessed fury over such topics to allow the Republicans to dominate US politics since 2000. This was the topic of Thomas Frank's hit book of the 2004 presidential election campaign entitled: What's The Matter With Kansas? It used the state's falling under the spell of conservative Republicanism to explain national American politics.
  • But in a swath of heartland states such as Kansas, Democrats are seeing the first signs of their party's rebirth. Parkinson is not alone in switching sides. In Virginia, Jim Webb, a one-time Reagan official, is seeking to be a Democrat senator. In South Carolina, top Republican prosecutor Barney Giese has defected after a spat with conservatives. Back in Kansas another top Republican, Paul Morrison, also joined the Democrats and is challenging a Republican to be the state attorney-general.
"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."
---Bob Dylan

Unrequired Reading !

The world wide web continues to amaze me. Last year I posted an item about Chasing the Monsoon, a book by British travel writer Alexander Frater. Checking recent visitors to my blog I found one who came to it from Marriott Picks, web site of the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library! Following the link I landed at a page titled "Unrequired Reading - Travel and Adventure". To my great pleasure I found a listing of travel books that took my breath away. I like to travel and I enjoy reading travel books. Don't believe I shall find all of them in local libraries but there will be enough of them to keep me content for months.

The list below is just to impart a flavor of what the Marriott has.

A Time of Gifts; from the Hook of Holland to the middle Danube /Patrick Leigh Fermor
As an 18 year old walks from Holland to Istanbul in 1933

London / John Russell
“a fine and scholarly book that is also, in a sense, indulgent. John Russell is like a kind uncle who is taking London itself out for a treat.” NYTimes

A Corner in the Marais; memoir of a Paris neighborhood /Alex Karmel A short history of Paris as exemplified by the author’s pied-a-terre.

Long ago in France / M.F.K. Fisher
America’s most gifted food writer on her life in Aix , Marseilles, and Dijon.

The Roads to Santiago / Cees Nooteboom
An appreciation of Spain by an art-lover who especially favors the Romanesque and small towns.

Motoring with Mohammed; journeys to Yemen and the Red Sea / Eric Hansen
Shipwrecked on a Red Sea island, Hansen must bury his travel journals and return years later to isolated Yemen to retrieve the experiences.

The Heart of India / Mark Tully
” ... powerful moral fables, informed by an elegiac sadness at the gradual erosion of the rural old India before a riptide of corruption, brutality and intolerance.” The Times

In Xanadu / William Dalrymple
A retracing of Marco Polo’s trek from Jerusalem to Kubla Kahn’s legendary palace.

Desert Places / Robyn Davidson
Trek with the Rabaris, one of India’s vanishing nomadic peoples.

Travel, it is wonderful. It educates your mind and your palate. It broadens your horizons. If you travel, go with an open mind.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Prudes, Pricks, Bigots

Mandarins of Morality * The non-existent WMD

Think Fahrenheit 451. Can book burning be far behind? How appropriate, North Carolina---the home of Rev. Billy Graham, took the step to ban Cassel Dictionary of Slangs from school libraries. Before going further I would like to state I used the word "prick" as defined in wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn (asshole: insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous) and not one of the other definitions---"penis".

The pricks, devout pricks, campaigned against five books. Four of them escaped being banned but their turn might come.

What about the Song of Songs (Bible: King James Version) ? That's one erotic piece of verse.

From The Guardian, June 24, 2006:
  • Jonathon Green, who compiled the 87,000 entries in the Cassell Dictionary of Slang, which was published last year, said that North Carolina is the only place he knows of where the book cannot be used in schools.
  • A Wake County school official told ABC News that five books, including the dictionary, were formally challenged. The others were listed as The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, Junie B Jones and Some Sneaky, Peaky Spying by Barbara Park, Reluctantly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds and In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. School officials acted after pressure from Called2Action, a local Christian activist group whose website asks people to "join our E-army today to take your place on the front lines of the battle for our children's future".
  • Some parents were also upset that their children were required to read books such as The Colour Purple by Alice Walker and Beloved by Toni Morrison, on the grounds that the books contain "vulgar and sexually explicit language".
Saddam Hussein's WMD

They found them---they were stored in their heads---and they took us to war. Now they talk about democratizing Iraqis as the reason for the war. This is from the Post: "In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare."
  • Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.
  • A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: "We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails."

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Young Voters, Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show"

Politicians and Electorate

An ominous trend that has been growing for some time---more and more voters, especially younger ones, are sitting out elections. They think that it does not matter. Before criticizing them we ought to consider the legislators and their shameless antics in Congress. The title of late John Kennedy Toole's novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, is an apt description for the lot. Richard Morin's column in the Post points the finger at Jon Stewart's Daily Show for being partly responsible. "This is not funny: Jon Stewart and his hit Comedy Central cable show may be poisoning democracy. Two political scientists found that young people who watch Stewart's faux news program, "The Daily Show," develop cynical views about politics and politicians that could lead them to just say no to voting. " Perhaps there is some truth in it but let's face it, the so called "voter turn off" began long before Jon Stewart appeared on the scene.

On to Charles Babington, Page 01 of the Post: "The Republican-controlled Congress seems to be struggling lately to carry out its most basic mission: passing legislation. A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage failed miserably. Long-debated immigration legislation has reached an impasse. The House passed line-item veto and estate tax measures that face significant hurdles in the Senate, while the Senate devoted a week to impassioned debates over Iraq that only resulted in two failed Democratic resolutions.
  • "Democratic critics are reviving Harry S. Truman's taunt of a "Do-Nothing Congress." But many Republicans say they are exactly where they want to be as they head into the November elections, which will determine whether they retain their House and Senate majorities. In every instance, GOP leaders pushed legislation known to have little or no chance of eventual enactment but also known to appeal to conservative voters, whose turnout is crucial to the party's success.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Summer of '06 - Republicans' Grand Strategy

We Are the Enemy * Ronaldo the Magnificent

They are at it again. The Republicans have decided that success lies in standing behind the president and demonizing those who are critical of the war in Iraq. They have embraced the strategy, reported to be engineered by Karl Rove, to recover their crumbling fortunes. They have found the enemy and it is us. Charles Babington in the Post: "The Republican-controlled Senate, embracing President Bush's handling of the unpopular war in Iraq, rejected two Democratic efforts yesterday to begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the three-year-old conflict."
  • Displaying cohesion that has eluded Democrats, Republicans voted overwhelmingly to leave deployment decisions in the president's hands. The votes, which followed three days of sometimes-fierce debate, outlined the positions the two parties will carry into the November congressional elections and underscored the Democratic constituency's split between staunchly antiwar activists and those who are frustrated but less fervent. Thirty-one of the Senate's 44 Democrats opposed setting a firm deadline for withdrawal.
True to form, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Con) sided with Republicans.

More about Rove in Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing, June 22,2006: "Karl Rove is a master of high-stakes brinksmanship, as he has proven time and time again. But his latest venture may be his riskiest yet. Rove is betting that he can reframe the war in Iraq as a battle between courageous Republicans and pusillanimous Democrats. The stakes: Congress. (And subpoena power.)"
  • Rove believes that this strength vs. weakness rhetorical construct, combined with continued attacks on the media, will be enough to counterbalance whatever negative news about the actual war continues to emerge between now and the mid-term elections.
Ronaldo of Brazil

Between Robinho, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho the Brazilians displayed great skill in their game against Japan (4-1). The Brazilians are in a strong position to return home with the cup.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Left, Right or Center?

Pragmatism or expediency

Summer has begun. The mid-term elections are getting closer and there are signs that the Democrats don't have their act together. The Republicans are vulnerable but how strong is the backlash against their excesses and the president's failed policies remain open to questions. A lot can happen between now and November. But November will certainly be an indicator of the direction the winds are blowing. Then the presidential hopefuls will begin jockeying in earnest for 2008. David Broder's Thinking Outside The Blog describes the influence of bloggers in shaping policies of the Democratic Party. "But the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought. The candidates who have been adopted as heroes by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the convention's leader, and his fellow bloggers have mainly imploded in the heat of battle -- as was the case with Howard Dean in 2004 -- or come up short, as happened to the Democratic challengers in special House elections in Ohio and California."
  • Fortunately, there are others than these "net roots" activists working on the challenge of defining the Democratic message. I do not include the Democratic congressional leadership in the hopeful camp. The new legislative "agenda" that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Co. trotted out last week was as meager as it was unimaginative.
Yes, bloggers like Moulitsas of the DailyKos have an impact. If some of them are strident, some stridency is needed. For too long the divisive and militant tactics of the Republicans succeeded in muting the voice of opposition. However, for the Democrats to take back Congress calls for the need to compromise. My fear is how far to the right they will move. The Democratic leaders in Congress do not give much reason to hope that they will be more principled than the members across the aisle. I am for pragmatism; I will bitterly condemn them if they sell themselves and end up becoming Republican light.

Martin Taylor

Is the departure of Martin Taylor from Microsoft a significant event? To us, non techies, he was unknown until the announcement on June 20th that he was no longer vice president of Windows live and MSN marketing. There are speculations about where he will surface---Google, Yahoo. Does it really matter?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Dr. Strangelove alive and well in Washington DC

Looking for Enemies, Looking for Wars

The more we learn about the people who exploited and manipulated post 9/11 America the more scary they look. In their world the enemies lurk everywhere...enemies often created by them. In The Shadow War, In a Surprising New Light, Barton Gellman of the Washington Post writes about Ron Suskind's new book "The One Percent Doctrine". "This "Cheney Doctrine" let Bush evade analytic debate, Suskind writes, and "rely on impulse and improvisation to a degree that was without precedent for a modern president." But that approach constricted the mission of the intelligence and counterterrorism professionals whose point of view dominates this book. Many of them came to believe, Suskind reports, that "their jobs were not to help shape policy, but to affirm it." (Some of them nicknamed Cheney "Edgar," as in Edgar Bergen -- casting the president as the ventriloquist's dummy.) Suskind calls those career terror-fighters "the invisibles," and he likes them. His book is full of amazing, persuasively detailed vignettes about their world. At least a dozen former intelligence officials speak frankly in public here, as did former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill in Suskind's previous book, "The Price of Loyalty."

Where are they going to take us and how far are we going to let them go?


India - A Journey to the Past

" A novel where India examines E.M. Forster"

That is the title of the review of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. The Guardian, one of my favorite newspapers on the web, republished its review of "A Passage to India". The review had appeared 82 years ago---on June 20, 1924. "The story is, essentially, that of the close contact of east and west in the persons of Dr Aziz, a Muslim, assistant medical officers of the Chandrapore hospital, and Mr Fielding, principal of the college. In them it is as close as blood itself allows. So far as affection is concerned they are friends, so that the interplay of east and west is along the very finest channels of human intercourse - suggesting the comparison of the blood and air vessels in the lungs; but the friendship is always at the mercy of the feelings which rise from the deeps of racial personality. "

I have read the book more than once (it was a must read for book lovers growing up in India) and I have seen the 1984 movie directed by David Lean. It is Forster's "Howards End" that I rate at the top of his works. But Forster's story of a small town in India during the early part of 20th century remains a classic.
  • Mr Forster leans, if anywhere, towards his own race in his acute sense of their difficulties, but not more than by the weight of blood; and, again, fairness is not the word for his sensitive presentation. It is something much less conscious; not so much a virtue as a fatality of his genius. Whether he presents Englishman or Muslim or Hindu or Eurasian he is no longer examining life, but being examined by it in the deeps of his personality as an artist.
Not all readers will agree but it is a passage worth taking.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Running with the Mob - The Indictment that never happened

Truthout.org and Karl Rove * The World Cup - Braziiiiil, Braziiiill

A case of wish fulfillment. Joe Lauria's article in the Post reminded me that I was among those who ran with Truthout's report about the indictment of Karl Rove. The fact that mainstream media remained quiet didn't deter us because other important stories have appeared in independent publications , and in the blogosphere, ahead of the majors. Our visceral dislike of the Bush Administration no doubt played a role. We wanted to see Karl Rove on the dock and we didn't stop to think. "The May 13 story on the Web site Truthout.org was explosive: Presidential adviser Karl Rove had been indicted by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald in connection with his role in leaking CIA officer Valerie Plame's name to the media, it blared. The report set off hysteria on the Internet, and the mainstream media scrambled to nail it down. Only . . . it wasn't true."
Brazil in World Cup

Was not following the games closely but yesterday, when Brazil defeated the Australian Socceroos 2-0 to be in the final 16, my Brazilian neighbors made the whole neighborhood aware. Loud cheers, music and dancing on sidewalks by men and women wearing the Brazilian team colors provided entertainment on a sunny morning. Great fun. I was in Paris when the French beat Brazil (3-0) to win the cup in 1998. The city went wild. Champs D'Elysee was closed to vehicular traffic and the celebrations went on through the night. I am rooting for Brazil, the defending champions.


Sunday, June 18, 2006


Labour Party Wants Blair to Go * Gifts recived by Our President

Clock Ticking for Tony Blair * Lethal Weapons

Unless the Labour Party has a change of heart, Tony Blair's term as prime minister would end before 2008 when there will be a new president in the United States. I was in England shortly after the 1997 election when Tony Blair broke the Conservatives' 18-year lock by defeating John Major. There was a sense of hope among Labourites, and he did not let them down,,,,not then. But people change and power corrupts. Over the course of years he became arrogant and, among other things, led Britain into an unpopular and unjustified war. Why Tony Blair, a far more intelligent and eloquent man than G.W. Bush can ever hope to be, decided to hitch his star to the American president is a mystery. Perhaps he miscalculated. He saw a chance of glory and, after committing himself, he was unable back out. Blair was an active partner in the lies and deceptions spun about Iraq. Influence of "donors" has also raised its ugly head.

Patrick Wintur in The Guardian: "Nearly a quarter of current party members disclose they were close or "quite close" to quitting the party because of the invasion of Iraq, but 60% say they were not at all close. Asked to name the party's six worst mistakes, Iraq comes top, cited by 52%. Subservience to the US comes second (49%), relying on privatisation in the public services (46%) comes third, and refusing to raise the top rate of income tax (36%) comes fourth.

Only 15% of party members cite removing Saddam Hussein as the one of the most six successful aspects of the government."

  • A quarter of current party members think that rich donors have a "great deal of influence", with a further half claiming they have "some influence". Yet 62% believe individual donors should have no influence.
  • In a blow to Mr Blair's efforts to secure a legacy, members believe policies most associated with the chancellor, Gordon Brown - a stable economy and tax credits to help the poor - have been the most successful aspects of the Labour government. The poll also reveals members want the deputy leader, John Prescott, to stand down at the same time as Mr Blair.

Knives, Rifles and a Whip - Do They Tell Something

Julian Borger in The Guardian: "A braided leather whip, a sniper rifle, six jars of fertiliser and a copy of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook were among the presents foreign leaders have given George Bush. They are clearly trying to tell him something. The inventory of official gifts from 2004, published this week by the state department, reads like the wish list of the sort of paranoid survivalist who holes up in his log cabin to await Armageddon, having long ago severed all ties with the rest of the world."
  • The president received a startling array of weapons, including assorted daggers and a machete from Gabon. He got the braided whip with a wooden handle from the Hungarian prime minister. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, a gift from the Sultan of Brunei, has some tips on how to use some of these implements in a tight spot.
  • The paperback also explains how to wrestle with an alligator, escape from a mountain lion and take a punch. But the small arsenal of guns presented by Jordan's King Abdullah, including a $10,000 sniper rifle, would presumably render much of that advice unnecessary.
  • It is apparent that a lot of the foreign dignitaries do not do much research before buying gifts. President Bush, a reformed drunk, was given a cellarful of wine over the course of 2004.
Alligator, mountain lion---nothing about rattle snakes in Crawford, TX !


Saturday, June 17, 2006


Bad Hair Day * The President's Turd Blossom

Saturday's Snippets

Another delightful column in the Post by Alaka Basu of Cornell University. It took me back to the India I knew. It was not only girls, we boys too applied copious amounts of oil to our hair. Talk about a greasy look ! But the fact is I know of Indian women and men working and living in the United States who still follow the routine. Some traditions die hard. "But the lessons the nuns taught were clearly poorly absorbed. For even a simple term such as "bad hair," something on which a clear, literal definition was surely possible, meant different things to us and to those who controlled us. To our mothers, bad hair was hair that was cut so short that, when it was worn loose down the back, one could not sit on it. Bad hair was what resulted when we refused to let Granny massage her home-extracted hibiscus oil into our scalps twice a week. (Here we were one with the nuns, who also gagged on the smell of that oil.) Bad hair was hair that fell in bangs on the forehead, and caused our eyelashes to flutter unduly through them. Bad hair was hair that smelled of some capitalist-conspiracy-inspired shampoo instead of the sandalwood incense in which live coals were bathed for us to dry our freshly washed hair over."
  • Soon all the bad hair girls formed a bold and confident group around Sister Aquinas. She agreed that it was not immoral to want to look nice (we often wondered if she ever regretted her own clean-shaven head). But she also told us that it was immoral not to discover all the other joys that the world had to offer, joys that did not spring from male admirers alone. So she took us for long walks along the beach to savor the sand under our toes and the sunset above our heads; she introduced us to "How Green Was My Valley" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel." She assured us that it was important to know our native literature and our own gods as well as we were being taught to know William Golding and Jesus Christ."

Karl Rove Back in the Saddle

Did champagne corks pop in the White House? We'll never know but President Bush expressed his pleasure. Karl Rove, the master political strategist is back to serve the president. He has his work cut out for him. The political scenario has changed; not all of Rove's plans paid off. Jim VandeHei and Dan Balz in the Post:"Rove gambled that Bush could bend Congress and a skeptical public to his will. He was wrong."When you look at the history of this second term, the Social Security proposal and selling of it . . . was a big tactical mistake," said a former White House official, who would discuss internal operations only under the condition of anonymity. "The problem was the opportunity cost: When Bush was busy selling Social Security ineffectively, the numbers on Iraq were dropping precipitously."


Friday, June 16, 2006


John Danforth - In the Babble, A Sane Voice

Episcopalians * Southern Baptists

How refreshing to read in the Post about former Senator John Danforth's call to Episcopalians to retreat from the increasingly militant position being adopted by church leaders on issues that mean nothing except in the minds of bigots. "COLUMBUS, Ohio -- John Danforth, an Episcopal priest and former U.S. senator, warned Thursday that the church risked irrelevancy by focusing on divisive issues such as gay clergy and same-gender couples. Instead, Danforth said the denomination should turn away from the "inside baseball" of church politics and put its energy behind reconciling a world increasingly polarized by politics and religion."
  • "For 99 percent-plus of people, they really couldn't care less who the bishop of diocese `X' or `Z' is," Danforth said, during the church's national legislative meeting. "Nor could they care less whether a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions is available in a prayer book or over the Internet."
A Mellowing Among Southern Baptists ?

Stranger things have happened but I am not going to bet on Southern Baptists becoming compassionate Christians. That would be like the compassionate conservative G.W. Bush talked about during his campaign in 2000. Op-ed column by E.J. Dionne in the Post covers the recent election of Rev. Frank Page as the group's president and the possibility of a "shift". "Sometimes very important elections receive very little attention.When the Southern Baptist Convention elected the Rev. Frank Page as the group's president at its meeting this week in Greensboro, N.C., the news appeared on the back pages of most secular newspapers -- or it didn't appear at all.
  • But Page's upset victory could be very significant, both to the nation's religious life and to politics. He defeated candidates supported by the convention's staunchly conservative establishment, which has dominated the organization since the mid-1980s. His triumph is one of many signs that new breezes are blowing through the broader evangelical Christian world.
  • No, this is not some liberal victory. Indeed, the Baptist Press reported that Page went out of his way to tell reporters that he was not elected "to somehow undo the conservative resurgence" in the convention. But he also signaled that the spirit he hopes to embody is quite different from that of the angry, right-wing, politicized preacher who has been a stock figure in American life for more than two decades.
  • "I believe in the word of God," Page said. "I'm just not mad about it."


Thursday, June 15, 2006


U.S. Occupation of Iraq - Global Attitudes

The Gap between President Bush's View and A Worldwide Survey

Following his surprise visit to Baghdad and meetings with Iraq's prime minister and members of his cabinet, the president spoke of steady progress. "President Bush said yesterday that the United States is making steady progress in Iraq toward its goal of standing up a government that can sustain and protect the country, but he emphasized that the ultimate success of the U.S.-led venture lies in the hands of Iraqis. In a Rose Garden news conference just over six hours after his surprise whirlwind visit to Baghdad, Bush said that "I sense something different happening in Iraq" and predicted that "progress will be steady" toward achieving the U.S. mission there."

"Biggest Danger to World Peace"

A quite different picture emerges from Washington-based of Pew Research Center's worldwide survey released on Tuesday (June 13). The Guardian commented on the report. "Iraq war seen as biggest threat to peace. "The US occupation of Iraq presents a bigger danger to world peace than Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, according to a worldwide survey published on Wednesday. "
  • The annual survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center suggests that support for the US-led "war on terrorism" continues to be on the wane around the world, undermined by the Iraq conflict.
  • The Pew, which is widely respected and has been running since 2001, polled 17,000 people in 15 countries between March and May. In a press release, it says: "Despite growing concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, the US presence in Iraq is cited at least as often as Iran - and in many countries much more often - as a danger to world peace."
  • Only in the US and Germany is Iran seen as presenting a greater danger than the US in Iraq. Public opinion in 12 of the other countries - Britain, France, Spain, Russia, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, India and China - cite the US presence in Iraq as being the greater danger. Opinion in Japan was evenly divided.
The complete text of the worldwide survey can be accessed at the Guardian: Pew Global Attitudes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


On the Road to 2008: The Shadow of Iraq

Democrats dithering * Karl Rove

As the Democrats gathered in the nation's capital for Take Back America Conference, the war in Iraq cast its long shadow. Democratic leaders, including Hillary Clinton, who supported the decision to go to war, are scrambling to clarify their position. Not easy. As the saying goes "You can't have your cake and eat it too". Dan Balz in the Post: "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) drew boos and hisses from an audience of liberal activists yesterday as she defended her opposition to a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, and later she received an implicit rebuke from Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) for failing to acknowledge that her support for the war was a mistake. "
  • Clinton and Kerry supported the 2002 congressional resolution authorizing the Iraq war. Kerry recently renounced that vote, but Clinton has never done so. She finds herself in opposition to a majority of Democratic activists and is the target of passionate criticism from some of them.
  • Clinton won repeated applause through most of her speech, which dealt at length with domestic issues but also sharply criticized President Bush's handling of the war. But the audience turned against her when, in what she called a difficult conversation, she restated her long-standing position about timetables for withdrawing U.S forces.
Rove is off the Hook

It is official. Karl Rove will not be indicted in the CIA leak investigation. One can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from the White House. "Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald told Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, in a short letter delivered Monday afternoon that he "does not anticipate seeking charges" against Rove in the case, Luskin said. Rove was told about 4 p.m. while aboard a Southwest Airlines flight en route to a campaign speech in New Hampshire, but he waited until early yesterday morning to publicly reveal the news."


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Mad Dogs, Zinsmeister, and God

Another Karl

A perfect fit, that was my impression when I read about Karl Zinsmeister, new chief domestic policy adviser to President Bush. What he wrote as editor in chief of the American Enterprise Institute's magazine, as reported in the Post, leaves no doubt about his qualifications. "Bill Clinton is a "virtuoso deceiver" and Hillary Rodham Clinton a "true chameleon" guilty of "self-serving behavior, comparative radicalism, and dubious personal morality. Al Gore is a "mad dog" known to "foam at the mouth." John McCain is given to "showboating." And Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, Gerhard Schroeder and Kofi Annan are all "feckless fools."
  • For a dozen years until his appointment, Zinsmeister held forth on all manner of issues and personalities as editor in chief of the American Enterprise Institute's magazine. With a sharp pen, he skewered the left, taking special aim at environmentalists, anti-globalists, feminists, contemporary artists, university faculties, Hollywood, Broadway and particularly the media, composed mainly of "left-wing, cynical, wiseguy Ivy League types, with a high prima donna quotient."
  • A review of years of articles reveals a formidable thinker with a powerful sense of what he considers right and wrong. As Zinsmeister sees it, racial profiling by the police makes sense; the military, if anything, treats terrorist suspects too gently; and casual sex has led to wrecked cities, violence and "endless human misery." In a "soft, often amoral, and self-indulgent age," he warned, some children "will be ruined without a whip hand," and he assured that "things generally go better with God."
Not hard to imagine Zinsmeister foaming at the mouth. Yes, surrender yourself to the almighty and let the president give tax breaks to a privileged few. After all, GOP is said to be God's Own Party. Zinsmeister is now among people of high moral values and impeccable standards. He should be happy.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Fear is the Key

Exploitation of Fear * Catch 22 defense for Domestic Surveillance Program

Princeton Professor Paul Krugman's columns in the NYTimes are incisive. He is much more than a renowned economist. "The Some of All Fears", his column today is about the exploitation of fear; how vague allusions and hints about some people and/or statements are made to create fear and uncertainty in the minds of people. I am breaking my rule about not publishing complete texts of articles. The NYTimes makes it difficult to link items because some of the authors can be accessed only by subscription and the items which are accessible remain available only for a week.

The Some of All Fears, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Back in 1971, Russell Baker, the legendary Times columnist, devoted one of his Op-Ed columns to an interview with Those Who — as in "Those Who snivel and sneer whenever something good is said about America." Back then, Those Who played a major role in politicians' speeches.

Times are different now, of course. ... And we rarely hear about Those Who these days. But the Republic faces an even more insidious threat: the Some. The Some take anti-American positions on a variety of issues. For example, they want to hurt the economy: "Some say, well, maybe the recession should have been deeper," said President Bush in 2003...

Mainly, however, the Some are weak on national security. "There's Some in America who say, 'Well, this can't be true there are still people willing to attack,' " said Mr. Bush during a visit to the National Security Agency.

The Some appear to be an important faction within the Democratic Party — a faction that has come out in force since the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Last week ... The Washington Times claimed that "Some Democrats" were calling Zarqawi's killing a "stunt."

Even some Democrats (not to be confused with Some Democrats) warn about the influence of the Some. "Some Democrats are allergic to the use of force. They still have a powerful influence on the party," said Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution after the 2004 election. Joe Klein, the Time magazine columnist, went further, declaring that the Democratic Party's "left wing" has a "hate America tendency."...

But here's the strange thing: it's hard to figure out who those Some Democrats are.

For example, none of the Democrats quoted by The Washington Times actually called the killing of Zarqawi a stunt, or said anything to that effect. Mr. Klein's examples of people with a "hate America tendency" were "Michael Moore and many writers at The Nation." That's a grossly unfair characterization, but in any case, since when do a filmmaker who supported Ralph Nader and a magazine's opinion writers constitute a wing of the Democratic Party?

And which Democrats are "allergic to the use of force"? Some prominent Democrats opposed the Iraq war, but few if any of these figures oppose all military action. Howard Dean supported both the first gulf war and the invasion of Afghanistan. So did Al Gore ... both men opposed the Iraq war only because they thought this particular use of force was ill advised and was being sold on false pretenses. ...

So what's going on here? Some might suggest that the alleged influence of the Some is no more real than the problem of flag-burning, that right-wing propagandists are attacking straw men to divert attention from the Bush administration's failures...

Some might also suggest that Democrats who accuse other Democrats of closet pacifism are motivated in part by careerism — that they're trying to sustain the peculiar rule, which still prevails in Washington, that you have to have been wrong about Iraq to be considered credible on national security. And they're doing this by misrepresenting the views and motives of those who had the good sense and courage to oppose this war.

But that's just what Some Democrats might say. And everyone knows that Some Democrats hate America.


Bush Administration's Warrantless Domestic Surveillance

Talk about a classic Catch 22 situation! A report by Sarah Karush of AP in The Washington Post: "DETROIT -- The federal government defended its warrantless domestic surveillance program in court for the first time Monday, saying it is well within the president's authority but that proving that would require revealing state secrets."

  • U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor was hearing arguments in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against the National Security Agency.
  • The ACLU wants the program halted immediately, arguing that it violates the rights to free speech and privacy, and says the government has already publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to find it illegal.
  • The Bush administration wants Taylor to dismiss the lawsuit.
  • "This case does not involve easy questions," government attorney Anthony J. Coppolino said. "It's a case that requires a robust factual record."

"There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to."
---Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Terrorists, Jihadis, Liberators

Iraq -Deaths and Destruction in the Name of God and Righteousness * For Democrats, Money from the People

'He is not dead, he is alive with God This is a wedding, not a funeral' Ghaith Abdul-Ahad attended Abu Musab Zarqawi's funeral in the town of Zarqa, Jordan. Reading his account in the Guardian (June 10th) again made me think about the strange world of extremists. They look at the world quite differently than the rest of us, and not all of them are Islamic.
  • In Amman, a jihadist told the Guardian: "The Americans created from him a pretext for the failures in Iraq. He was never in control of the whole insurgency, but they tried to negate the fact that the Iraqis had a legitimate resistance movement.
  • "His death will help the Iraqi mujahideen, because now no one can accuse them of being followers of international terrorism. He had created an umbrella network for the mujahideen in Iraq ... as an attempt to unify them and to have the nucleus of an Islamic state. And this group will continue to work.
  • "Zarqawi's main loss [will be felt] not in Iraq, but the region. He was trying to expand the jihad to the rest of region, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon," he added.
  • From Baghdad, a commander of the Iraqi insurgency was more upbeat about Zarqawi's death. "May God have mercy upon him, but things will change now," he said. "[Zarqawi] was committing lots of mistakes. Just wait for a few weeks and you will see the difference."
  • In the funeral tent, the teenager next to me was wearing a black cap. "My uncle might be dead, but his ideas are here," he said, pointing at his heart.
  • The sheikh, Zarqawi's former comrade, was looking to the future: "Oh, Allah, we pledge our alliance to our brother Abu Abdul-Rahman." In reference to the new head of the shoura council of mujahideen, the umbrella group formed a few months ago by Zarqawi, he named Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Iraqi as the head of the new organisation.
  • "Allahu Akbar ... Allahu Akbar" came the cry. "Oh, Bin Laden, don't worry, we will be Zarqawis," shouted other men.

Depressing. The cycle of violence isn't going to end anytime soon. There is no justification for actions of Zarqawi and bin Laden. Zarqawi died as he lived. Think of the more than 40,000 Iraqi civilians who have died in our war to liberate them. Is there justification for that ?

Money from the People

After years of lagging behind, fund raising efforts by Democrats have succeeded in bringing them close to the Republicans who have had the advantage of fat cats' contributions. The good news is that money for the Democrats has come from ordinary people. The Post: " A surge in small, individual contributions is lifting Democratic campaigns this year and is helping close a Republican fundraising advantage that has existed for years in national politics, according to Federal Election Commission data. "

  • Democratic House and Senate candidates and their two major campaign committees are enjoying stronger grass-roots support than at any time since the GOP took over both chambers of Congress in the 1994 elections, according to strategists from both parties who have reviewed the most recent FEC data released this spring.
"Grass-roots" support. As President Lincoln said "You can't fool all the people all the time". The Republican legislators became arrogant and corrupt. Their transgressions caught up with them. Let's hope that the Democrats will not squander what they have gained. Otherwise it will be back to the Red States and Blue States and lament for lost opportunity.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Sex and British Women - Pornography Goes Mainstream

The caption "Whatever turns you on", in The Guardian caught my attention. The fact that women have an interest in pornography is not news, and it is not only women in Britain who are exploring pornography. But the article by Anna-Marie Fitzgerald and Phoebe Frangoul contains witty comments and interesting facts. "Ever wondered what might happen if For Women magazine was edited by Courtney Love with a bevy of shaggy-haired NME-fodder for models? Well, wonder no more. Flick through the pearly pages of new German "porn for girls" magazine Glück (created by Cologne-based music industry scenesters Nicole Rüdiger and Elke Kuhlen, available via Leckerheft.de) and you get a pretty good idea."

  • There are no classically beautiful Adonises in these pages, just pale, skinny, sometimes hairy, indie boys. Photographed in the comfort of their own "bohemian" (read: dirty) bedsits, the Glück models pose naked, looking relaxed and natural, a million miles from the simulated "erotic" contortions of the girls in lads' mags. They gaze serenely, almost smugly, at the camera. In fact, these men seem to revel in their averageness: flaunting their flabby bodies and receding hairlines with aplomb. And the position of their hands is such that, whatever their appearance, your attention is drawn to just one thing (and it is not their come hither eyes).
  • Glück is one of a clutch of alternative porn products that have sprung up, marketed to hip, urban, educated young women and supposedly offering a new take on porn, a guilt-free fix of boy-bod. There is also the US magazine Sweet Action and the SuicideBoys section of SuicideGirls website, both of which feature young, naked hipster boys. In the UK, Anna Span (apparently "Britain's first female porn director") has made films such as Hoxton Honey, in which she "decided to hang out in London's trendy Hoxton area to catch the beautiful people going at it like animals in their own stylish pads". Hmm.
  • According to a Nielsen NetRatings survey for the Independent on Sunday last month, 1.4 million women in the UK downloaded pornographic images from the internet last year. Given this statistic, it is not surprising this indie niche has sprung up. It is certainly an alternative to the usual Playgirl/Cosmo beefcake, and, of course, to the über-creepy old-school porn stars - Ron Jeremy and his moustachioed ilk. But it raises the question: is this what young, educated women want to get off on?
As the ad for Virginia Slims cigarettes said: 'You've come a long way, baby'. A long way since Helen Gurley Brown's sensational Sex and the Single Girl appeared in print in 1962. Women have certainly become more aggressive in pursuit of sex. The covers of women's magazines at checkout counters of grocery stores in the United States leave no doubt that sex sells and publishers are making the most of it. Does aggressive pursuit result in success and satisfaction? I wonder.
Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation -
the other eight are unimportant.
---Henry Miller


Charities Suffering

As a volunteer in a local food kitchen I find it baffling that over the years contributions in cash and kind have decreased as level of affluence in the Silicon Valley has gone up by leaps and bounds. According to the Post, charities in Maryland and Virginia are feeling the crunch but for a different reason. ".........the soaring prices that have made housing affordability a growing concern throughout the region have claimed another casualty: generosity."

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