Thursday, March 31, 2005

On page 73, the fearful face of a haunted black woman stares askance, tentatively tugging on her right ear. Her head is shaven, her eyes are marked

On page 73, the fearful face of a haunted black woman stares askance, tentatively tugging on her right ear. Her head is shaven, her eyes are marked by dark circles, and her breasts droop ever so slightly under an orange-yellow muscle shirt that shows off her golden-brown skin. As she reappears on subsequent pages, the pictures document her bout with breast cancer, showing the scar that is proof of her ordeal, and revealing to the reader traces of intense beauty in her vulnerability.
While these photos depict a dark time that many women would want to forget, Deborah Willis uses them to remember, having photographed herself for "Cancer Diaries," just one chapter in Family History Memory, her new collection of photos and prose that chronicles her life, as well as her life’s work in documenting the African-American experience.
"It’s not hard to look at," says 57-year-old Willis from her New York home, about "Cancer Diaries." "I see it as a reminder of what I was struggling through at the time. I see my visual image as a part of my diaristic." She calls Family History Memory, begun in 2001, the same year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, an effort to teach people "to value how photographic memory is essential to storytelling."

The above is from "Reflected in the Lens: After Years of Chronicling the African-American Experience, Photographer and Former MICA Professor Deborah Willis Turns the Camera on Herself" by Christina Royster-Hemby from The Baltimore City Paper. Yes, it's Thursday and we're doing the Indy Media Round Up.

From IE Indy Media, note Caoimhe's "Olunkunle Eluhanla Coming Home To His Mates:"

McDowell has been forced to admit that he made a mistake in deporting Palmerstown student Olunkunle Eluhanle and is now bringing him back from Nigeria. He is giving him a six month visa to remain in Ireland to do his Leaving Cert. This is obviously due to the immense amount of effort put into this campaign by the Palmerstown Community School students and Residents against Racism, who together forced this issue. They kept this issue alive in the media, which led to all of the oppostion parties, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Teachers Union of Ireland, Integrating Ireland and different schools around the country among others, all coming out against the deportation.
What needs to be done now is that all of those on that flight should be brought back.

From The Boise Weekly, note Bingo Barnes' "The Future of Radio: With technology changing how we consume information, will public radio have a voice in the world of tomorrow?:"

Kevin Klose, the president and CEO of National Public Radio visited Idaho last week. Boise Weekly caught up with him to ask a few questions.
[. . .]
What can both the people who access NPR on the Internet and the local listeners of public radio can expect from NPR in the future?
First of all, lets start with basic radio listeners, which is where the bulk of our support is from. NPR and the member stations are at the forefront of technological change in radio transmission.
In 1979 you were the first to distribute to memberstations your programs.
Yes, we got off the phone lines. But what is coming next is HD radio, which is digital radio transmission. We and our member stations have proven to the FCC that as this digital pipe emerges and analogue transmission-which is the way radio is transmitted now in this country-transitions to digital transmission, we have shown to the FCC that we can multiplex down the pipe. In other words we can put two or more non-interfering channels into the same frequency. It's amazing. Nobody was interested in this. The commercial side was utterly disinterested. They didn't want to go through the rigmarole of having new competition with each other.

Rob e-mails (from The Hartford Advocate) Christopher John Treacy's "Back to the Garden: Tori Amos gets all biblical on her latest :"

"Everything is so fast food, it's super-size-me music, super-size-me information, and it's super-size-me art," she says. "I feel like everything is 'something for dummies.' But you cannot base your performance as an artist of any kind on that model. I don't make records for dummies. I don't provide that sort of literal experience through music; I work in allegory. But Jesus didn't do that either. He didn't do 'literal-anything,' and you know what? I feel like I'm in really good company."
Amos says that she tries to construct music that speaks for itself -- so there's still enjoyment to be derived even if the intended meaning gets misperceived, either through a pure lack of metaphoric understanding, or as a result of language barriers.
"On the last few records, I've wanted to create music that, if you didn't speak English, you could enjoy on a different level," she says. "This record is really popular in Europe, so far, and that's because of its musicality, its rhythmic complexity, etc. -- because it doesn't get translated into all the languages. If people don't want to know what any of the words might mean, that has to be valid, and I have to respect that. So I've had to surrender that one for the sake of not wanting to take a person's enjoyment away. As [my] husband would say, 'Wife, don't beat me over the head with what it means! Let me love it.'"
But that doesn't mean that she's moving away from her standard conceptual motif; Amos is still very much involved in the intersection of feminism, religion and spirituality.

From Worcester Indy Media, note Kvn's "Kerry tells Worcester - EXPAND the Military:"

John Kerry came to town, bringing the near obligatory “recently returned Iraqi Vet” for his show-and-tellesque Political Speechmaking 101 moment. Kerry was in Worcester at the invitation of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette to be part of their Visions 2005 community awards celebration and Kerry wowed the crowd by announcing his plans to actively work for the EXPANSION of the U.S. military.
In "the Kerry Plan", our Senator is very clear, he is not arguing for an expanded military simply to put more bodies on the ground. Sen. Kerry argues that in the present world order, the "military must be reshaped to meet today's threat environment." He continues, "Challenges to America's security do not start and stop with Iraq. The war in Iraq taught us that a lightening fast, information age military can drive to Baghdad in three weeks, but it also reminded us that there is no technological substitute for boots on the ground. Our ongoing commitments in Iraq, the nature of the War on Terror and the need to be ready for any future challenges mandate larger ground forces, equipped and trained for any mission."
Kerry’s expansion calls for an increase in “boots on the ground” by 40K (30KArmy and 10K Marines) and he estimates it would take 2 years for the recruitment and training process to Kerry believes, “The U.S. military is too small for our national security needs….Our military must have the strength and resources to meet any challenge, now and in the future.” How Kerry intends to increase the number of military personnel at a time when recruitment is hitting new lows wasn’t addressed.
Although Kerry is clear in saying that re-enlistments and recruitment are all down because of the present situation soldiers are facing in Iraq.

Two of you were reading NYC Indy Media. Shirley e-mails Ya-Ya Network's "Counter Recruiting Victory: NYPD Rescinds Policy Barring 1st Amendment Activity in Front of Schools:"

March 29, 2005- To settle a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the youth-advocacy organization Ya-Ya Network, the New York City Police Department has agreed to rescind a policy by which it was prohibiting all First Amendment activity on public sidewalks in front of schools. Under that policy, which has been in effect for years, the NYPD had barred all leafletting, petition-gathering, press conferences, picketing, and other First Amendment activity on public sidewalks in front of schools.
The NYCLU brought the case on behalf of the Ya-Ya Network in October 2003 after students working with the group were threatened with arrest outside of schools for handing out literature informing students of their rights to keep personal information from military recruiters and of the risks of relying on promises made by recruiters. Earlier that year, two students from another youth group were arrested outside a school for seeking to gather petition signatures about the City's AIDS curriculum. As the NYCLU case was scheduled to go to trial this month, the City agreed to the settlement, which federal Judge Denise Cote approved earlier this month.NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, who handled the case, said, "Because schools are at the center of many important controversies, they should be a hotbed of First Amendment activity. This settlement assures that students, parents, teachers, advocates, and community members can exercise their First Amendment rights in front of schools without fear of arrest." A copy of the settlement is enclosed.

Also from NYC Media, Portland e-mails Jed Brandt's "FBI Pressures Anarchist Internet Administrator Into Disclosing IP Addresses:"

According to the report on their discussion forums, two comments were posted to subdomains hosted by the server, including, which claimed responsibility for "propaganda of the deed." Although the administrator "Dave" is under some kind of government gag order, he did say this: "Both incidents involve topics which are completely out of line for consideration here at flag and really I can only view them in two ways. Either people are simply ignorant about the murderous history of the FBI, or, as is my belief in one case, they are trying to make flag vulnerable to government intrusion."
It's all getting very real. The administrator of, a major anarchist internet host, has gone public with a harrowing account on FBI thuggery.
According to
the report on their discussion forums, two comments were posted to subdomains hosted by the server, including, which claimed responsibility for "propaganda of the deed." Although the administrator "Dave" is under some kind of government gag order, he did say this: "Both incidents involve topics which are completely out of line for consideration here at flag and really I can only view them in two ways. Either people are simply ignorant about the murderous history of the FBI, or, as is my belief in one case, they are trying to make flag vulnerable to government intrusion."

Lynda notes the San Francisco Bay Guardian News' "Veterans payWhy are former soldiers shelling out more for AIDS drugs than everybody else?" by Tali Woodward. From that article:

Patient A is sick with AIDS and makes $35,000 a year. The federal government pays every last cent of his prescription drug costs. Patient B, who has the same disease and the same income, must pay $7 each time he needs a prescription filled -- which can add up quickly for a heavily medicated AIDS patient.
What's the difference between Patient A and Patient B? The second one is a military veteran.
It's a strange twist in the complicated web of government programs designed to help disadvantaged people get their meds -- one that is unknown even to most people who are affected by it. An estimated 20,000 patients with HIV seek care at the country's Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals each year.
But under the current system, some of the most needy are having to pay for drugs they would get for free if they hadn't served in the armed forces. And the discrepancy may get bigger soon. President George W. Bush's proposed budget for 2006 would more than double the co-pay the V.A. charges for all prescriptions -- bumping it from $7 to $15.

From The Syracuse New Times, ??? e-mails Sam Graceffo, M.D.'s "Rock the Jailhouse Doc:
The Abu Ghraib shockers reveal the ethical dilemmas of medical personnel in the military

The telephone rang at the hospital ward: "This is Doctor Graceffo," I answered. The response stunned me: "This is Colonel Schroder, and you will not answer the telephone as Doctor Graceffo, but as Captain Graceffo." I replied, "Yes sir, I understand." In my view, I was a doctor first and a soldier second; the Army viewed it differently.
That long-ago interchange came to mind as I read of the ethical dilemmas faced by some military doctors serving at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The military physician is sometimes confronted with conflict between medical ethics and compliance to military policy.
In an article published in the medical journal Lancet, author Steven Miles claims doctors at the prison falsified death certificates to cover up killings. Miles, a University of Minnesota professor who has researched human rights issues for 20 years, also contends that doctors hid evidence of beatings and even revived a prisoner so that he could be tortured further. The Defense Department denies these charges, but investigations are ongoing.
The American Medical Association's council on ethics and judicial affairs has a long-standing policy against doctors joining in abuse "in any form" and says that they have an obligation to report it whenever they are aware of it. An essay in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton urged military physicians to come forward with what they know about prisoner abuse or torture.
Clearly, the soldier-doctor is often a captive of the all-powerful military machine. Even if the command structure does not directly endorse or promote torture and abuse of prisoners, it may have a policy of doing little or nothing to discourage it when it occurs.
It seems likely that when all is known about the prisoner abuses in Iraq, some doctors will be shown to have been complicit. While their moral lapses in no way compare to those of Nazi doctors during World War II, they are still serious deviations from accepted medical ethics and practice.

Brenda e-mails, from Euguene Weekly, Kera Abraham's "Test CaseBiscuit Fire decision seen as turning point in future of forest management:"

The charred wooden skeletons in the burned-out patches of the Biscuit Wilderness are totems of change, hinting at the past like the ruins of a once-vibrant city. The burned trees also harbor keys to the future: the nutrients that will feed the forest's re-growth. Already plants are shooting up in tufted rings around their trunks, shocks of green against the black, soaking in nitrogen-rich ash and the sunlight that beams clear to the forest floor.
The Biscuit Fire blazed a mosaic into southern Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest in the summer of 2002. It was the biggest wildfire in the country that year, eating through 500,000 acres of America's most florally diverse wilderness. To a human observer, the fire appears devastating, having ripped dark scars into that beautifully freakish landscape. But the forest operates on a broader time scale, and the burn is part of a natural pattern of destruction and regeneration that created an ecosystem unlike any other on Earth. The forest, in all its stark magnificence, needs the fire.
Now, the Forest Service pushes forward with a logging plan that could rob the nutrients from the future forest, like starving a woman in the early stages of pregnancy. The Biscuit Plan proposes to remove 370 million board feet of timber -- enough to fill logging trucks positioned bumper-to-bumper from Canada to Mexico -- from 20,000 acres of the Siskiyou. Opponents of the operation say it contradicts the Northwest Forest Plan, enacted in 1994 to balance logging with endangered species protections. The Forest Service's potential breach of that legislation is the basis of two federal lawsuits challenging the legality of the Biscuit Plan. Silver Creek Timber Company has already started cutting, seemingly trying to get the trees on the ground before the lawyers get to court. Meanwhile, protesters link up on bridges, hang from trees and blockade roads, trying desperately to stall the operation until judges can rule it illegal.

Ross e-mails Blair Goldstein's "Pro-choice activists worry bill sets precendent" from The Independent Weekly:

If Senate Bill 200, also named "The Baby Greer Act," passes this session, those convicted of killing a pregnant woman will be charged with double homicide instead of a single murder.
Supporters of the bill say the law is needed to protect pregnant women from domestic violence. But pro-choice activists say the bill does little to prevent domestic violence and instead establishes a dangerous precedent that could damage abortion rights in the state.
"This bill has nothing to do with domestic violence and everything to do with establishing fetal rights," said Paige Johnson, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. "The real issue here is women are more likely to be beaten when they are pregnant, and we need to address that."

From The Stranger, Marcia e-mails Eli Sanders' "GOD WAS WITH THEM:"

Last June three men from rural Washington jumped out of a pickup truck and, wielding a broken vodka bottle, attacked a gay man in Seattle. This week all three were found guilty of a hate crime, bringing an end to a story that has been covered here--when it has been covered at all--as a clash of opposites: rural versus urban, straight versus gay. But a look into the pasts of the victim, Micah Painter, and his three attackers reveals that a single force shaped all four young men: Evangelical Christianity.
[. . .]
The man they thought walked like a girl was named Micah Painter. He had left the Timberline, a gay club at the foot of Capitol Hill, where a celebration in honor of Gay Pride weekend was taking place, and was on his way to get a dry shirt from a friend's car. As he headed away from the club, Painter heard someone yelling "f*ggot!" and turned to see a person in the white truck giving him the finger. Although he had no idea exactly what type of person this was, Painter had long been clear on how Evangelicals felt about his appearance, and his affection for other guys. Painter's father had been an Evangelical preacher and, as Painter would put it later, "having a faggot child was not his idea of fun." At a young age, Painter said, he had run away from the violence of his home life, vowing not to be beaten and bullied anymore.

From The Madison, Wisconsin Indy Media Center, note Stephen Mikesell's "More Details on Mob Violence in Kapilvastu, Nepalby:"

In an audio interview taken Sunday night, a journalist returning from Kapilvastu District provides further details and insights for WORT-FM Radio on the anti-Maoist mob killing, burning and rape in villages that began on Nepal's southern border with India on February 17. Landlord instigation, government complicity, struggle over land, religious undertones, killing of innocent villagers, cross-border gunmen, Red Army retribution, and massive flood of refugees are documented.
Kathmandu, March 28. The widespread killings, house burnings and rapes in Kapilvastu District of Southern Nepal in mid-February reported as being anti-Maoist vigilantism arose out of many local antagonisms. A journalist reporting on his investigation says the anti-Maoist uprising was actually a mix of state sponsored terror, landlord attacks on landless villagers, and a religious war of lowland Hindus and highland war refugees.
In the last nine years following the start of the people's war, large numbers of people have fled the highland districts of Rukum, Rolpa, etc., where the People's War had begun, to settle in border districts of Nepal. The Nepal government has been trying to evict these people from the government lands they have cleared and has cast suspicion on them as being Maoists, even though they came fleeing the Maoists. Deeply entrenched local landlords who share the Hindu culture of the northern plains also found the new settlers with their highland religious traditions and more communal forms of culture threatening, and blamed them for encroaching on their lands and stealing resources. And as the People's War spread into the lowland areas, the Maoists targeted the refugee villages as base for their activities.

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