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Subject:Do you want this person as a Supreme Court justice?
Time:11:40 am
"In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery," she has warned in speeches. Society and the courts have turned away from the founders' emphasis on personal responsibility, she has argued, toward a culture of government regulation and dependency that threatens fundamental freedoms.

"We no longer find slavery abhorrent," she told the conservative Federalist Society a few years ago. "We embrace it." She explained in another speech, "If we can invoke no ultimate limits on the power of government, a democracy is inevitably transformed into a kleptocracy - a license to steal, a warrant for oppression."


From The New York Times, 9 June 2005

I haven't written here in a while. Nice to have a freeform outlet.
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Subject:death of a friend
Time:07:52 am
Dear all,

I seem to write only when something really bad happens. Well here's again no exception.

A wonderful woman I had just come to know has just been killed in a car bomb blast in Baghdad. Marla Ruzicka had set up an organization call CIVIC Worldwide ( http://www.civicworldwide.org/ ) to campaign for innocent victims in conflicts, focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan, and she had just started to work to help the conflict victims in Nepal. I met her in December in the US and again in Kathmandu in January and I was always disarmed in the most positive way by her personality. She made me question assumptions and complacency in such a strong way. She made me nervous but in a really positive way. She recently helped me in organizing this speaking tour to bring attention to the human rights violations in the conflict in Nepal. Please visit this link and read the memorium:

http://insn.org/?p=870

Please do - this amazing woman gave her life. The least you can do is read the links.

Onward, one foot in front of the other.
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Subject:The King Pleads to the World
Time:06:53 pm
Yesterday, Nepal's Foreign Minister, Ramesh Nath Pandey, spoke before the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. (His statement can be seen here, it's a large PDF file.)

He states how the government is fully committed to strengthen the independence of the National Human Rights Commission. Meanwhile, the government has restricted the travel of the top members, so that they cannot leave Kathmandu Valley to investigate rumoured events in Kapilvastu.

He states how all incidents committed by security forces have been investigated and have been brought to justice. Meanwhile, a good friend of mine, who knitted me a beautiful blue and white scarf, and to whom I gave a good sweater and an electric heater, was informed recently that her daughter was killed. She had gone missing 11 months ago. Devi thought that her daughter was dead, but the uncertainty and the scrap of hope kept her in a constant state of unknowing for 11 months, until she heard the Chief of Army Staff tell her, in front of the US Ambassador to Nepal and the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations System, Louise Arbour, that her daughter was dead. I'm sorry. Mistakes happen.

Mistakes happen. Yes, mistakes happen.

But not mistakes like "I'm sorry, Mrs Sunuwar, we accidentally kicked in the door of your aunt's house and kidknapped your daughter and your neice, because we accidentally suspected that they could perhaps be sympathizers of the Maoists or have gone to a Maoist meeting once. I'm sorry, Mrs Sunuwar, we accidentally took your neice into the woodshed and raped her for five hours while you had to stay in the house and try not to scream because we had told you we'd kill anyone who came out of the house. I'm sorry, Mrs Sunuwar, that we accidentally forgot to punish those involved even after you got the pro bono legal services of a human rights lawyer and the international backing of Human Rights Watch to write about your case because we just didn't seem to give a shit whenever you came to our Army or Police offices. I'm sorry, Mrs Sunuwar, that we made your life a living hell, accidentally."

Well I'm fucking sorry, Mrs Sunuwar, that the rest of the world lets the Royal Nepalese Army under the Chief Command of a medieval King get away with atrocities, and then listens to their pandering Foreign Minister Pandey grovel and make excuses in Geneva.

I'm sorry Mrs Sunuwar.
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Subject:Experiencing a Royal-Military Coup
Time:08:37 pm
For sammka and others...

I woke up at 7 AM like any other day. I showered and put on a cap and walked down the street for a Five Rupee Tea. Panch Rupaiya Chiyaa, that is, pardner.

So I walked down the street and bought the Kathmandu Post and Kantipur dailies, and sat in the chiyapasal (teashop). Read the paper, walked back to the hotel, got a call from a friend.

"I'm glad I caught you. Something's going to happen at 10:00. The King's going to make an announcement. If anything happen's we're going to meet in Anamnagar."

So I went to breakfast and had a big pile of food in case I didn't get to eat much later. At 9:30 I was supposed to be in the Canadian Embassy for a meeting. I got there and we chatted for a while about the security situation, and then went up to the embassy's meeting room to watch the King's address.

For forty minutes, with lots of Nepali officers of the Canadian Embassy, I watched as the King pronounced that in the name of Democracy, he was outlawing the political parties and arresting the top officers. I watched as he said that in the name of the free press he was taking control, meanwhile the phones were all cut and mobiles were cut and the internet was off and the Royal Nepal Army was occupying every news and media outlet in the country. I watched King Gyanendra say that he was taking control for the sake of Peace and Security (shanti-saraksha). Meanwhile I found out later about the military encouraging killer mobs called "Village Defence Committees" in Kapilvastu district.

At 11:00 AM, I walked out on the street because I had no place in the Canadian Embassy. It was calm outside. I took a taxi to Ratna Park. Nothing happening there. Took a taxi back to the hotel. Changed my clothes. Took a taxi back into town. Walked around looking for people I knew. Found a few, saw a large military presence, trucks full of army and Armed Police Force personnel with their guns all ready. A large show of force.

I expected some kind of protests, this being Kathmandu after all it's only natural. And I feared bloodshed if the Army retaliated violently as was very likely.

But no protest ever materialized. There was a very brief black flag rally that I missed. Nobody hurt, lasted 10 minutes and dispersed.

The reason: without the mobile phones, and with some key leaders arrested, there was nobody to coordinate a rally.

That night I went to the Kantipur and Kathmandu Post offices to see what was there. Indeed it was occupied by the Royal Nepal Army. They walked around while editors nervously scurried around trying to figure out what they could do now that all news stories had to be cleared by an Army censor.

I spoke with the editors of Kathmandu Post and one said to me "In all my 13 years as Chief Editor, I have never had a sadder day to be a journalist than this one. I might as well print a giant picture of Mount Everest on the front page. And love poems. I cannot publish news."

I flew out the next day after running all around to finish urgent tasks and to check on some organizations to see if they were okay.
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Subject:Abstracts On the Ides of March
Time:08:28 pm
What is surprising to me is the resiliance in every person through every disillusionment. "Okay, it really is that bad. Well, we'll just have to deal with it."

What is surprising to me is that the US is still fighting the cold war in Nepal.

What is surprising to me is the equanimity with which the people of this good nation learned and accepted that their nation is a sponsor of torture.

Torture has become part of our vocabulary. It's been let out of the closet. It's an ugly beast in the open. It's fast becoming an accepted instrument of 'nation-building' and Empire-maintaining.

Torture. You can't sweep it under the rug any longer. It's happening closer than you think. It's not just what the 'evil faraway dictator' does -- now it's what our own Eagle-headed administration does. Or at least they 'outsource' it: "Oh, okay, we're only paying for it and sanctioning it, but it's not being done on our soil. Then it must be okay. Gotcha."

Torture. We must speak about it. We must integrate it into our narratives of life. We must integrate it into our political concept of the world, and not only as a faraway mythical evil ghost.
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Subject:NEPAL - URGENT ACTION NEEDED
Time:06:11 am
Dear all,

I haven't posted here. I returned from Nepal on 3 Feb, after the 1 Feb royal takeover. Please see http://insn.org and do all you can to help the situation in any way you can - from contacting a Senator or MP, to going to Nepal yourself... etc. Massive repression in all forms - arrest, censorship, communication blackout. You name it. If it's in Orwell's 1984, it's happening in Nepal right now.

Again, see:
http://insn.org
http://insn.org
http://insn.org

S
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Subject:Nepal
Time:04:54 pm
See the International Nepal Solidarity Network website.
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Subject:hostility to the US
Time:04:36 pm
is a costly mistake.

So why does it keep appearing? Is there some kind of mental disease that causes people to hate the U.S.? Or are they being hypnotized by the grainy videotaped messages that Bin Laden posts on the internet?

No, an overwhelming majority of those who dislike the U.S. say it is simply because U.S. policies are wrong. Policies are the problem.

But wait!

It is U.S. "policy" for a free and democractic Iraq. It is U.S. "policy" to see a free and independent Palestine.

The words must match the deeds. People are not so stupid to simply believe what someone says is their policy. They watch what they actually do. What does the word "actually" mean? Think about it.

It's a war of information. A battle for "hearts and minds" if you will.

It is the endeavour of maintaining the machinery of empire with minimal cost. It's a business-like process.

I think that the whole mythical concept of the "America-hating disease" is just laughable. So many people believe in it.
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Subject:some images from Nepal
Time:04:57 am



Working on lobbying in the US for better foreign policy on Nepal. Working to build an international group to apply pressure around the world and raise awareness about the situation in Nepal. A lot of this means trying to affect the US and India's undying support for a king and his army that shows no sign of knowing what human rights or civil rights means. It also means working on the UN and European nations and major INGOs. There are a lot of good people involved but not enough. It is hard to do this kind of work publicly for many people who are in Nepal because of the level of intimidation by the government. So many people do it hush hush. All of the people in these photos are people whose family members were either killed, disappeared, or illegaly detained in the conflict, mainly by the army that is supposed to be fighting the Maoist 'terrorists'. I use quotes because it's hypocritical to call one group terrorists when the other group is just as bad in terms of rights violation.
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Subject:HIV worldwide
Time:07:18 pm
Today the World Health Organization and UNAIDS announced that 39.4 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. 40 million people.

I took out a calculator and did a simple long division: 1 in 150.

1 in 150 people have a disease which is at present considered terminal.
That's YOU or SOMEONE you KNOW.

And the TV goes on talking about some tiny worthless bullshit day after day.

Come on people, we HAVE to do better!
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[icon] lacunae
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View:End factory farming. Eminism. Carol Leigh (scarlet harlot). schema-root for Nepal.
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