Thursday, June 12, 2008

Conservatism is a set of neuroses

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Is Google Making Us Stupid?

What the Internet is doing to our brains

by Nicholas Carr

Illustration by Guy Billout

"Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?" So the supercomputer HAL pleads with the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial »

brain. "Dave, my mind is going," HAL says, forlornly. "I can feel it. I can feel it."

I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn't going—so far as I can tell—but it's changing. I'm not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I'm reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I'd spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That's rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.

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Our work here is done!

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Justice Dept Probing Russian Influence Buying

by Paul Kiel

The Justice Department is investigating "what officials suspect are efforts by Russian-backed firms to gain influence or gather information in Washington," the Wall Street Journal reports ($) today.

Credit: AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek

Credit: AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek

The piece reveals a number of new details about the investigation of ex-Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), whose former aide pleaded guilty to accepting corrupt payments from a Russian non-profit. But there is nothing else in the piece about this broader probe or who else might be of interest to investigators. One possibility involves lobbyist Jack Abramoff's longterm dealings with Russian oil company executives, who also had ties to Weldon.

Not that the Weldon case isn't sensational enough on its own. The Journal reports Russell Caso, Weldon's former aide, accepted payments via his wife from the International Exchange Group, a Russian arms-control group. The group, which employed the Russian army's current chief of staff and the head of the Federal Security Service (the successor of the KGB), paid his wife $19,000 for $1,500 worth of editing work, according to Caso's plea. Weldon and Caso energetically boosted the group's cause, mainly obtaining U.S. money for non-proliferation programs. 

 

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The Right’s New Attack on Voters

By Jessica Pupovac

passports

If the GOP gets its way, passports might become the new ticket to vote.

Last April, as a national debate raged over whether Indiana's voter ID law protects election integrity or disenfranchises low-income voters, a more sinister and potentially damaging voter-vetting proposal sat quietly in nine state legislatures, attracting little attention.

Laws that would require proof-of-citizenship in the form of a birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers in order to register to vote have been introduced in eight states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

That number was pared down from nine in late May, when, under popular pressure, the Missouri legislature ended their sessions without calling their proof-of-citizenship referendum to a vote. The Missouri bill—HJR 48—was the only such law that had the potential to go into effect prior to this November's elections.

Birdell Owen, a Missouri resident who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and has no birth certificate, was among those who celebrated the victory.

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Round Two is Here

by DieHard Cowboy

Heavy rains overnight are bringing the floods back to Mason City. Just when we thought we were past the worst. Our rivers had dropped to 10' (7' is flood stage), but are projected to crest again back to 18' later today. They hit almost 19' earlier this week. All those houses and businesses I have shown cleaning up in the pictures below will once again be under water.

This time we will be prepared, but the really frightening news for the rest of Iowa is that our flooding will soon be moving downstream on top of them. Every River in Iowa is at record flood stages.

The Federal response in Iowa remains virtually non-existent and another body was recovered in a rural area south of Mason City yesterday.

And of course all of us are grieving for the young men who lost their lives and were injured at our Boy Scout camp last night.

Please call your congressmen and tell them to tell Bush to get off his ass and protect the homeland instead of talking about invading Iran.

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Seoul protest threatens to topple government

Protesters at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Gwang-ho/Newsis, via Reuters)

SEOUL: President Lee Myung Bak confronted the biggest challenge to his young and unpopular administration Tuesday as tens of thousands of demonstrators filled central Seoul to protest his agreement to resume imports of American beef and to denounce a broad range of other government policies.

The entire cabinet offered to resign as a way to help Lee find a way out of the crisis. It was unclear how many cabinet members Lee would replace, but he indicated that the changes could be substantial.

Lee's 107-day-old government has been beset by fears - partly stoked by media reports and his critics - that his agreement to reopen South Korea to American beef could expose the public to mad cow disease.

In a way, lifting the import ban on American beef was a long overdue action that Seoul had promised to take once the World Organization for Animal Health ruled American beef safe, as it did last September.

But until Lee, politicians here had shunned taking the political risk because, among left-leaning or nationalistic young South Koreans, the issue has become a test of whether Seoul can stand up to Washington.

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Paul to Host Parallel Convention

By Sarah Wheaton

Representative Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate, will be the main attraction at the Twin Cities confab. No, not the Republican National Convention fewer than eight miles away at the XCel Center, but at his own party, to be held on the second day of the event that will seal Senator John McCain as the G.O.P. nominee.

"This isn't a protest," said Jesse Benton, the libertarian-leaning Republican's spokesman. "This is a celebration of limited government and Republican principles."

Mr. Paul, of Texas, racked up record-breaking amounts of money and passionate Internet support during his bid for the Republican nomination. He refused to officially quit the race even after Mr. McCain amassed enough delegates to claim the nomination, and he continued to garner around a quarter of the votes in late primaries. About 50 people will attend the convention as delegates pledged to Mr. Paul.

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George's Amazing Alphabet Book

[Editor's note: It's unprecedented for any official -- high or low -- to leak information to Tomdispatch, but some weeks ago a Senior Official in one of our intelligence agencies -- and since we have so many, that's a little like saying none-of-your-business -- slipped me the text of a book allegedly written by our President and due to be published early this Fall. (Unfortunately, the illustrations by Paul Wolfowitz, mentioned on the title page, did not accompany the manuscript, and a page and a half of the text was missing.)

If my informant's account is accurate, George's Amazing Alphabet Book of the Contemporary World, or Al-Qaedas All Around was produced before the November election when the White House grew tired of kiss-and-tell memoirs from former administration officials and decided to strike back. The text was then held up by hostile CIA vetters; and further delayed when, in a post-election euphoria, the President decided to "update" the book before handing it over to new CIA Director Porter Goss for a final vetting (which reportedly took less than ten minutes).

I've delayed releasing the text at Tomdispatch because I was suspicious of its provenance and authenticity, and because I've so often criticized the use of anonymous sources in mainstream journalism. Yet everything about the text rang true to me and, in the end, it seemed unreasonable to hold back a story of this magnitude.

To be safe, I had the Alphabet Book informally vetted by several well-known children's book writers (all of whom asked that their names not be used) as well as two former Yale classmates of the President. They concluded, beyond almost a shadow of a doubt, that it was the genuine article. Two of the writers suggested that, given its chatty tone, the President might actually have spoken the text into a tape recorder.

My Senior Intelligence Source does not believe that Paul Wolfowitz, well known as an amateur artist, actually drew the illustrations (which he hasn't seen). His sources, including an Iraqi informant known inside the Intelligence Community as Screwball, suggested that they might have been outlined on cocktail napkins by Donald Rumsfeld during an especially tedious meeting about torture in early 2004 in the office of then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and subsequently colored in by Vice President Dick Cheney from a secret bunker somewhere in the greater Washington area. Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins is reportedly set to publish the book in September with a million copy first printing aimed, according to a publicist for the firm (who also insisted on anonymity), at the burgeoning evangelical children's market.

I was convinced of the book's authenticity, in part, by the ever-expanding White House website aimed at children. It even includes a sub-site focused on the President's dog (Barney), cat (India), pet Longhorn (Ofelia), and the Vice President's two dogs (Jackson and Dave), which contains "answers" -- also, according to my source, written by the President -- to children's questions. (Q: Dani from Dallas, Texas writes: Barney -- My scottie, Cooper has a question for you. How does sandpaper feel? A: Barney, First Dog: Ruff!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HEE HOOO HAAA.") Clearly, Karl Rove has launched a new campaign to reach around the "filter" of the media and directly mobilize a new generation of Americans for the Republican Party. The President's ABC book will evidently be the centerpiece of that campaign.

Of course, I have no way of confirming any of this, my resources being slim, and so must leave what follows to your judgment. But whatever the reason it was slipped my way, I'm pleased to be the first to release the President's manuscript to the world, word for word as it arrived at my doorstep. Make of it what you will. Tom Engelhardt]

George's Amazing Alphabet Book of the Contemporary World, or Al-Qaedas All Around (completely cross-referenced)

By George W Bush
Illustrated by Paul Wolfowitz
A Laura Bush Production for a Literate Society

A as in Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaedas all around. I know. I know. It's usually alligator or aardvark or ant or armadillo, but kids, really, it's a New World and it's never too early to be armed and ready for it. (By the way, boys and girls, prepare yourself for the first White House single-shooter video game, Armageddon Battles Al-Qaeda! In your neighborhood stores soon!) Amazing Fact: Did you know that, according to my friend Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at least ten terrorists could fit in your room and you wouldn't even know it?

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US-led raid kills Afghan civilians

Three women and a child have been killed along with a number of Afghan fighters in an air raid led by US troops, the US-led forces in Afghanistan said.
 
The deaths came as US troops were targeting two Afghan leaders in the Paktia province allegedly involved in setting up attacks with explosives, according to a coalition statement on Wednesday.   The troops responded with heavy gunfire when they were fired upon and the clashes "resulted in four civilian deaths [with] one civilian injured", the statement read.  
 
One of the two "militant leaders" targeted in the attack was involved in improvised bomb attacks on international troops while the other was facilitating "foreign fighter operations", according to the statement.
 
The US-led forces did not give a specific number of fighters killed but Ghamai Khan Mohammadyar, a spokesman for the provincial government, put the number at 17.
 
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Iraqi Parliament's Push for Sovereignty

by Maya Schenwar

photoKhalaf Al-Ulayyan, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. According to Al-Ulayyan and others in Parliament, the vast majority of Iraqis favor a complete US withdrawal from Iraq.
(Photo: Jose Luis Magana / AP)

Truthout discusses Iraq's future and the politics of US influence with two visiting Iraqi Parliamentarians.

Last week, for the first time, two Iraqi members of Parliament (MPs) testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. They spoke bluntly.

"The anarchy and chaos in Iraq is linked to the presence of the occupation, not withdrawal from Iraq," Nadeem Al-Jaberi, an MP and co-founder of the Al-Fadhila party, testified.


Under questioning by Republican Congress members, Al-Jaberi repeatedly renounced the "success of the surge," and added, "What we strive for is establishing a balanced relationship between the two countries. But nothing of this could be made possible until the troops withdraw from Iraq."

    In fact, Al-Jaberi told Truthout, not only do most Iraqis strongly oppose the kind of agreement that President Bush hopes to negotiate with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, which would keep US troops in Iraq on a long-term basis; they see a complete troop withdrawal as a precursor to any diplomatic negotiation.

    "The majority of Iraqi MPs, and more than 70 percent of the Iraqi people, are against signing any agreements or treaties with the US while Iraq is under the occupation," Al-Jaberi said.

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America's Medicated Army

By MARK THOMPSON

Seven months after Sergeant Christopher LeJeune started scouting Baghdad's dangerous roads — acting as bait to lure insurgents into the open so his Army unit could kill them — he found himself growing increasingly despondent. "We'd been doing some heavy missions, and things were starting to bother me," LeJeune says. His unit had been protecting Iraqi police stations targeted by rocket-propelled grenades, hunting down mortars hidden in dark Baghdad basements and cleaning up its own messes. He recalls the order his unit got after a nighttime firefight to roll back out and collect the enemy dead. When LeJeune and his buddies arrived, they discovered that some of the bodies were still alive. "You don't always know who the bad guys are," he says. "When you search someone's house, you have it built up in your mind that these guys are terrorists, but when you go in, there's little bitty tiny shoes and toys on the floor — things like that started affecting me a lot more than I thought they would."

The resolution passed by the House of Representatives on Feb. 16, expressing disapproval of President...

So LeJeune visited a military doctor in Iraq, who, after a quick session, diagnosed depression. The doctor sent him back to war armed with the antidepressant Zoloft and the antianxiety drug clonazepam. "It's not easy for soldiers to admit the problems that they're having over there for a variety of reasons," LeJeune says. "If they do admit it, then the only solution given is pills."

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Imperialist threats against Iran have been stepped up once again

by James Turley

Last July, during a Youtube debate, Barack Obama (now de facto official Democrat presidential candidate) promised he would talk to the leaders of what are perceived as anti-American states - Venezuela, Cuba and Iran among them.

This rather mild pledge, in another reminder of the general state of US politics at this time, has turned up again in attempts to smear the White House hopeful as 'soft'. Obama, for his part, is having none of it - first, he declared last month that non-specified diplomatic "preparations" would be required.1 Then last week, at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) conference, he went much further, claiming that "by pressuring Israel to allow Palestinian elections with Hamas participation", and by going to war against Iraq when "Iran was always the greater threat", administration foreign policy had made Israel "less secure".2

Aipac has a deceptively neutral name - in fact it is the motherlode of the so-called 'Israel lobby' in the US. Obama was not the only candidate to give a speech at the conference, and all were gushing in their admiration for America's most steadfast ally in the Middle East. There is little wonder that the Jerusalem Post called the Aipac conference "an expression of all that is wonderful about America and about the US-Israel relationship".3 What with Obama's comments and John McCain's now infamous rendition of the Beach Boys' 60s hit, 'Barbara Ann', as "Bomb Iran",4 Americans once more go to the polls to choose between two sabre-rattlers.

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Lawmakers Say Computers Hacked By Chinese

2 House Members Say Sources In China Infiltrated Electronic Info On Political Dissidents
 
(AP) Two House members said Wednesday their Capitol Hill computers, containing information about political dissidents from around the world, have been hacked by sources apparently working out of China.
 
Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf says four of his computers were hacked. New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith says two of his computers were compromised in December 2006 and March 2007.
 
The two lawmakers are longtime critics of China's record on human rights.
 
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Bush's Crimes

Since George W. Bush came to power, he has systematically flouted international agreements that the US had previously signed up to.


While previous US administrations might not be able to claim much better records, it is clear that Bush is not even making an attempt to stick to these numerous treaties, laws and obligations.

Rogue State
  List of International Obligations violated by George W. Bush
  US as nuclear rogue

International Law Relating to nuclear weapons:
  International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion
  Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
  Non Proliferation Treaty
  Geneva Conventions Protocol
  UN Charter
  US Constitution.
(source: IEER)

Environmental Agreements:
  Failure to Ratify Kyoto Agreement on Climate Change:
(source: NRDC)
  Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

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A Good Case for Universal Healthcare

by Bryan Young

I draw a modest income with my media production business, but being self-employed makes health insurance damn near impossible to afford. Hell, with the way self-employment taxes are set up, we're lucky to be able to pay those.

Because of this catch-22 (running your own business at the expense of normal company perks like medical care), I find myself thinking things that no one in an emergency should have to deal with. You see, at a Mother's Day barbecue last month, my son accidentally lit himself on fire. The barbecue was luau themed and he was wearing a grass skirt. Getting too close to an open flame with all of that dead grass and he was quickly running in circles in the backyard trying to put himself out before family members came to his aid.

My first thought (other than, "Jesus, he's on fire!") was, "Is this bad enough to need an emergency room visit?"

As soon as I got close enough to see that the skin on his hands and legs was bubbled over and charred, I realized that it was, indeed, bad enough to need a visit.

My second thought was, "But how will I pay for it?"

It's sad and disgusting to me that these things were forced to enter my mind when my only thought should have been getting my son immediately to the hospital.

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French checkout girl, Anna Sam's book takes revenge on rude shoppers

Anna Sam

Anna Sam has witnessed thieves, drunks and lovers. She has put up with rudeness, indifference and ignorance, and has gleaned what she describes as an almost unparalleled insight into the full extent of human stupidity.

Now, after eight years as a supermarket checkout worker, she has turned the table on her customers with a book that depicts their behaviour as they push their trolleys around the aisles.

It is not a pleasant sight. She says that social etiquette is cast aside as shoppers jump queues, squabble and show the utmost disdain for the women, and occasionally the men, behind the till. "You see people as they really are," Mrs. Sam told The Times. "They behave as though they were in their living room and they forget that the checkout girls are watching them. It's incredible."

Often appalled and sometimes amused at the antics of the average French shopper, Mrs. Sam, 28, began to write about her experiences in a blog last year. This proved a success - with 600,000 visits to date - and thrust her into the media spotlight as the public voice of the supermarket worker in France. After she appeared on prime-time television, publishers fought with each other to offer a book deal to the woman described by one daily as France's most popular check-out employee.

The work, Les tribulations d'une caissière (The Trials and Tribulations of a Check-Out Girl), was published last week amid another swirl of publicity. But Mrs. Sam never intended to end up in a supermarket. She was a literary student in Rennes, where she specialised in Jean Ray, a cult Belgian author dubbed the Edgar Allan Poe of the French language.

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Why typewriters beat computers

Typewriter graphic


By Neil Hallows

They're clunky, dirty and can't access the internet, yet every year thousands of people buy typewriters when they could probably afford a computer. Why?

When asked how he writes, Frederick Forsyth has a simple answer. "With a typewriter."

He admits this is to avoid the more difficult business of describing his creative process, but it also means he can celebrate old friends.

There was the steel-cased portable he used as a foreign correspondent in the 1960s. "It had a crease across the lid which was done by a bullet in Biafra. It just kept tapping away. It didn't need power, it didn't need batteries, it didn't need recharging. One ribbon went back and forward and back until it was a rag, almost, and out came the dispatches."

Then the blooming thing blew up and they told me that it was my fault, and it wasn't, it just burnt out
Maureen Huggins
And after 50 years and a dozen novels including The Day of the Jackal, why change now, he asks.

"I have never had an accident where I have pressed a button and accidentally sent seven chapters into cyberspace, never to be seen again. And have you ever tried to hack into my typewriter? It is very secure."

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See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Read Me

by David Misch
So this time, books may actually be dead.
Reports that Amazon's Kindle book-reader (has anyone else noticed its name's ominous similarity to "kindling"?) is actually a reasonable substitute for a book bring us one step closer to the death of bound paper. (A brief pause while all the trees in the world exhale.)
So, to paraphrase Barbara Walters, how does that make you feel? And by you, of course, I mean me.
I think sad. I'm no Luddite, you whippersnappers. (Wait, using "whippersnappers" may date me. How to fix, how to fix... Ah hah!) I'm no Luddite, you fucking whippersnappers. Hey, I'm a guy -- walk me past an HD plasma and I'm yours for the asking. (Of course, if you're a reasonably attractive woman, I already was -- hey, I'm a guy.) Whisper "T2 connection" in my ear and I may need tissue paper and some private time.
I think about the other things I've ditched. Cassette tapes: transferred to digital, good riddance. Videotapes: are you kidding me? LP's: ouch. But still.
The extra space, the convenience, and of course the goddam coolness -- my general policy is if it's in any way digital or has a hint of black cherry, I want it. (In fact, I have a digital garden: sensors in the ground connect to a web-based GPS system which uses a satellite to determine what gets watered when. Seriously.)
But books? It's a different relationship. Once you've read a book, you've touched, held... (dare I say caressed?... Yes, I dare!)... caressed every page. It's a much more intimate relationship than I've had with any other inanimate object, and a damn sight more than I've had with most animates. (My wife and 12 other women excepted.) (Editor: If you're printing this, please substitute "362" for "12".)
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Portable Cardboard Table from Liborius Reykjavík

by Kate Andrews

Cutting Table No.1, Liborius Reykjavik, flatpack tables, flatpack designs, portable tables, portable work spaces, affordable work tables, recycled cardboard furniture, cardboard furniture, flatpack cardboard furniture, flatpack1.jpg

This lightweight, portable cardboard table aims to assist on-the-go creative types like designers and students, who are often limited to work on low desks or floors. Made by Sruli Recht from flatpack cardboard pieces, this lightweight, sturdy design offers creatives an ergonomic plane on which to cut, fold, draft or design. Adding even more appeal to this smart and useful design, the table is biodegradable and can easily be folded up to pack into a portable carrier.

Cutting Table No.1, Liborius Reykjavik, flatpack tables, flatpack designs, portable tables, portable work spaces, affordable work tables, recycled cardboard furniture, cardboard furniture, flatpack cardboard furniture, Liborius

This affordable cardboard table (1500 x 1200 x 930 mm) comes with three collapsible drawers, a jute strap moving/storing box, laminated white surface and all parts are replaceable. Set to launch this week (Thursday, June 12) at Iceland's Liborius boutique, it will be available for purchase both online and in store. For further inquiries contact the store at librorius@liborius.is

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Conn. police find pipe bomb stuffed inside chicken

SIMSBURY, Conn. - Authorities in Connecticut are wondering who stuffed a raw roasting chicken with a pipe bomb and left it on a roadside.
 
Simsbury police Capt. Matthew Catania says a motorist noticed the chicken Friday morning. He says the bomb was large enough to harm a person if it went off.
 
The road was closed while the Hartford Police Department's bomb squad came and blew up the chicken.
 
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Single-horned 'Unicorn' deer found in Italy

By MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 11, 3:06 PM ET

ROME - A deer with a single horn in the center of its head much like the fabled, mythical unicorn has been spotted in a nature preserve in Italy, park officials said Wednesday.

"This is fantasy becoming reality," Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center of Natural Sciences in Prato, told The Associated Press. "The unicorn has always been a mythological animal."

The 1-year-old Roe Deer nicknamed "Unicorn" was born in captivity in the research center's park in the Tuscan town of Prato, near Florence, Tozzi said.

He is believed to have been born with a genetic flaw; his twin has two horns.

Calling it the first time he has seen such a case, Tozzi said such anomalies among deer may have inspired the myth of the unicorn.

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Does the Truth Really Matter?

by Sean  Carman

ImageDB

Sarah Lyall wraps her profile of David Sedaris in the New York Times around the question "How authentic is it?" In other words, she asks, "how much can we believe that Mr. Sedaris's funny tales are also the truth?"

It's a question we all asked when Oprah was dressing down James Frey and journalists were taking the poor guy to task for his seeming ignorance of the difference between fiction writing and reporting. I mean, didn't it cross your mind back then? What about David Sedaris' stories? Did he make any of that stuff up? Didn't he sort of have to?

Lyall's profile gets at the answer, although I have to say I'm surprised so much written about the "fake memoir" genre seems to skirt around the central issue, which I think is this: It doesn't matter whether the reported facts really happened. What matters is whether, in telling the story, the writer is, in an artful way, honest with the reader about what's going on.

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What Hillary Clinton did for feminism

What happened
Barack Obama praised Hillary Clinton for running a groundbreaking campaign two days after she conceded the Democratic presidential nomination to him. "I just want to take a minute to thank Sen. Clinton for the kind and generous support she offered on Saturday," Obama said at a campaign stop on Monday. "She ran an historic campaign that shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere who now know there are no limits to their dreams." (The Washington Post's The Trail blog)

What the commentators said
"Hillary Clinton came this close," said Katha Pollitt in the Chicago Tribune. "And once the bitterness of the present moment has faded, people will recognize they owe her a standing ovation, even if they can't stand her." By winning 18 million votes, she "normalized," once and for all, "the concept of a woman running for president. She made it easier for women to run for every office, including the White House."

It's a bit troubling how so many people are lamenting Clinton's loss as a "tragedy for women," said David Harsanyi in The Denver Post. The primary's result was "not a tragedy for feminists. It's not a tragedy for Democrats." It was a tragedy for the Clintons alone, and even in defeat Hillary will return to the Senate as "a formidable power broker"—if she doesn't get the nod as Obama's running mate.

It's still easy to understand why many feminists are so disappointed, said Steve Huntley in the Chicago Sun-Times. The end of "Clinton's dream of being the first woman president" also "likely marked the death of the dream of the first female chief executive arising from the ranks of the 1960s and early '70s pioneers of the modern feminist movement. With the fall of Clinton, no name immediately comes to mind as the next great female hope."

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Al Mezan Warns of IOF Conducting Large-Scale Military Operation in the Gaza Strip; Denounces Killing of Children and Aggression

by Mahmoud Abu Rahma

Field observations collected by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights indicate an impending escalation of aggression and murder of civilians and children by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the Gaza Strip. Political and military officials of the Israeli government, including high-ranking Ministers, continue to announce the possibility of conducting a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip.


Meanwhile, the IOF has escalated recently its operations and incursions, in which it routinely demolishes homes and land, and shelled areas along the eastern border. An even wider expansion of IOF's military operations would inevitably include carrying out incursions in large areas of the Strip, which would incur a serious threat to civilians. With such an impending escalation, there is a strong possibility of war crimes to be committed and for it to be widespread.


According to the Center's field investigations, on 11 June 2008, at approximately 2:30am, IOF warplanes began firing and shelling on Al Sreij area of Al Qarara village, northeast of Khan Younis. Simultaneously, IOF military vehicles entered amid intensive fire approximately one kilometer into the area. The IOF also began bulldozing in the same area.


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