June 2010
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Notes on a Trip to Auschwitz

I wrote the following one year ago, when I went to the Auschwitz museum near Krakow.  I emailed this to friends and family, but never posted it on-line.  I am going again to the museum as part of a summer school program I help run/teach here in Poland.  For those who have never been to [...]


Don’t be stupid, folks: send those cribs back to the store:

More than 2 million cribs from seven companies were recalled Thursday amid concerns that babies can suffocate, become trapped or fall from the cribs.Most of the cribs were drop-sides, which have a side rail that moves up and down so parents can lift children [...]

Obama Fires McChrystal: Petraeus Now Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

A Rolling Stone article convinced President Obama to fire Gen. McChrystal and hire Gen. Petraeus.  Petraeus faces an uphill climb, and The New York Times is very, very optimistic:

In late 2008, shortly after he had helped pull Iraq back from the brink of catastrophe, Gen. David H. Petraeus prepared to turn to that other [...]

From War Propaganda to Strong Government Criticism: Is The New York Times Over-Compensating for Their War Propaganda?

First, The New York Times reports the non-story of allegedly untold mineral riches in Afghanistan, buying the Pentagon war propaganda hook, line and sinker (NYT wasn’t the only ones).  Now, an inflammatory piece the other way:

U.S. Said to Fund Afghan Warlords to Protect Convoys

American taxpayers have inadvertently created a network of warlords across [...]

War Propaganda? What Happened to the “1 Trillion Dollar Mineral Deposit in Afghanistan” Story?

Presented by The New York Times as a major event, a potential turning point in the Afghanistan War, the story has virtually disappeared from the news.  Was it a mirage?

Some say the story was war propaganda:

Reading this week’s New York Times headline — “U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan” — many [...]

Doctor Invents a 2-Dollar Anti-Rape “Female Condom” with Sharp Hooks

Toothy condom invented, has to be seen to be believed:

South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.  “She looked at me and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there,’” recalled Ehlers, [...]

1 Trillion Dollars Worth of Minerals in Afghanistan May Turn Tide of War

Or, it may escalate it, as I’m sure the Taliban would like to get control of it:

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American [...]

Shades of Solidarinosc: Chinese Auto Workers Strike, Want Independent Labor Union

Shades of 1980-era Poland, when Solidarity helped form a large strike at Gdansk and, later, across Poland, in order to demand concessions from the communist state: they wanted to form an independent trade union (independent from the state, that is).  They were smart, well-disciplined, and well-organized against a state used to strikes and labor unrest.

And [...]

Nooooooooo! Darth Vader, Borderline Personality Disorder Sufferer

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, French researchers into personality disorders  had too much time on their hands and made a joke:

The manipulations of  Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader in the “Star Wars”  saga, have long been ascribed to the Dark Side of the Force. Now, psychiatrists suggests that [...]

Helen Thomas’ “get the hell out of Palestine” Comment Ends Helen Thomas’ Career

Anti-Israel (and anti-Jew) comments spell the end of the era of Helen Thomas:

Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas announced her retirement Monday following an uproar over comments she made last month about Jews in Israel. 

Hearst Corporation, which employed Thomas as a columnist, put out a brief story via Hearst [...]