Monday, April 28, 2008


This poem I wrote while in college. The time would have been sometime between 1970 through 1972. I had recently left the college that I loved, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois outside of Chicago. I was attending the local college, Huntington College in Huntington, Indiana which is a very fundamentalist Christian college. I had heard that I was being judged on the reputation of another female student that I was considered to be friends with. I don’t remember her name, but she had a reputation by the other students for being a “wild” young woman. I didn’t have that knowledge of her. And I wrote this poem in a response to this.

I share it here, asking anyone who wants to share or copy it to always put my name with it as the author.

In Risking
By Sandra Hammel

Accept me as I am
Don’t require me to be
anything I’m not

Don’t ask of me to measure up
to your standards
or to live by any code that is pre-anything,
preconceived, pre-generation, pre-set.
I’d rather take the probable consequences
and possible discrimination,
if necessary, for me to be myself.
If I’d be any other way
I would have to face a hypocrite
in my mind’s constant mirror.

There is no alternative.
I am me.
My ideals are not borrowed
or second generation,
they are just mine…
fused conglomeration.

I try to love others
for what they are,
not for what I can make them up to be.

My hope is that
you can accept me
as I alone am.
If you cannot,
then words be silent
and we will part
going our separate ways.

For those of us who can meet
the beautiful of earth is ours in infinity.
We will stop no where
all in us is open
and all is open to us.

We dare to step out into this world of infinity
aware of the possible hurt,
but knowing we must become so vulnerable.
We have no other way to be.
The arms of our souls are long,
the depth of our warmth penetrates beyond physical imagination.


Eva Cassidy sings True Colors

The following is an excerpt from Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit

THERE was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.

There were other things in the stocking, nuts and oranges and a toy engine, and chocolate almonds and a clockwork mouse, but the Rabbit was quite the best of all. For at least two hours the Boy loved him, and then Aunts and Uncles came to dinner, and there was a great rustling of tissue paper and unwrapping of parcels, and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit was forgotten.

For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn't know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

For the entire story The Velveteen Rabbit

USA Voters

Choosing our Presidents
hasn't shown voters' thoughtful,
informed voting selections

Leaders with traits of

Perceptive judgments


Searching for personal satisfaction
Missing genuine issues

Voting on whims

Led by pundits

Mindless chatter

Ignoring what matters

How can WE be at war

and it is not the most important issue?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008


ATP Masters Series Tennis in Monte-Carlo, France


Rafa interviewed by TVE
Thanks to Ines for the upload by

Translation by Rafa fan Ines from Sevilla, Spain (from Rafa's website's Forum at www.rafaelnadal.com) :
"I trained pretty well, today I've did a good train, a little bit better every day, but I had very little time to train, it is obvious and clearly the start is going to take me a lot, the draw has been difficult, since the beginning, I have bad first rounds, but well, I will try to do everything as possible to get to Wednesday with warranties to make a good match.

I have many points to defend, yes, but I don't think in anything at all this, I only think is that at the moment, I made a great start of the season. I am the number two in the race and I have to try to keep playing regularly to stay in the top, no?"

Match report: Mario Ancic vs Rafael Nadal

4/23/08 6:35 PM | Johan Lindahl
- If you blinked during the first set of this match, you probably missed it completely. So dominant was Spaniard Rafael Nadal over Mario Ancic, that the Croat won a dismal six total points in the set, five on his own serve and one on Nadal's.

Nadal had incredible depth of shot on both the forehand and backhand side, pummeling Ancic on all sides. Today should remind all and sundry of precisely why Rafael Nadal won 81 matches in a row on clay.

The second set was significantly better from the big Croat. Nadal broke to start theset on Ancic's first service game, but was broken right back. Ancic played attacking tennis, coming to net more and more. Unfortunately for him, Rafael Nadal was on the other side of the net and could quite easily spend all day passing his opponent, which he did. The two men stayed on serve until 4-3, when Nadal made his move. The Spaniard started the game with a smoking forehand down the line. Ancic contributed a netted volley at 30-30 and a wide forehand at break point. Nadal made no mistake serving the set out for 6-3.
Source: Tennis Talk News Mario Ancic_vs_Rafael Nadal


Highlights of the match April 23, 08 with an interview
Rafael Nadal versus Mario Ancic Uploaded by: gandaines
Translation by Rafa fan
Ines from Sevilla, Spain (from Rafa's website's Forum at www.rafaelnadal.com):
"Thank you very much. yes, an important match for me, it is clear that start the clay season winning to a difficult rival as is Mario Ancic is a good start, there is no denying, no?, Happy... because I played a great first set and the second was going well at the beginning, but I played a bad game and Mario started playing better, so it got complicated ... but in the end I was able to resolve it well."


Worldwide TV Schedule

COURT CENTRAL start 10:00 am
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB)
[13] J Ferrero (ESP) vs [2] R Nadal (ESP)
[1] R Federer (SUI) vs G Monfils (FRA)
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) vs [14] A Murray (GBR)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [WC] J Benneteau (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:00 am
I Andreev (RUS) vs N Almagro (ESP)
[16] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [4] N Davydenko (RUS)
[12] T Robredo (ESP) or R Soderling (SWE) vs [6] D Nalbandian (ARG)
S Querrey (USA) vs [Q] K Vliegen (BEL) or [7] R Gasquet (FRA)
F Cermak (CZE) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs R Nadal (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP)

COURT 2 start 1:00 pm
J Coetzee (RSA) / W Moodie (RSA) vs [7] A Clement (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA)
[8] J Bjorkman (SWE) / K Ullyett (ZIM) or M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs P Hanley (AUS) / L Paes (IND) or [2] J Erlich (ISR) / A Ram (ISR)

You can buy live streaming at www.atpmastersseries.tv
and at www.TVUnetworks.com some of the matches are shown delayed ~ FREE. For example the days' matches are shown in the wee hours the night of the day they were played. Tonight, you may be able to catch Rafa's match from this morning. They don't say what or whose matches will be aired, just that Monte-Carlo Tennis Tournament is scheduled. But you'll need to do the installation first.

Tonight, technically Thursday morning,
TVU's schedule says these hours will be showing Monte-Carlo
Midnight (USA EST) to 3:00 a.m.
4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Friday, April 25, 08
Midnight - 3:00 a.m.
4:30 a.m. - 6:29 a.m.
6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
10:31 a.m. - it didn't say


Resumen Nadal-Ancic con entrevista = Summary Nadal-interview with Ancic
Uploaded by

Resumen Nadal en montecarlo = Summary Nadal in Monte-Carlo
Uploaded by gandaines

April 23, 2008

Rafael Nadal


Rafael NADAL Versus Mario Ancic
6-0, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. He's a very talented player, obviously. You must be very pleased to have come through that relatively comfortably?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. Was a tough draw, no? Mario is a big player. He had some injuries in the past, no? But he gonna be in the top position soon another time.
Well, very, very happy for my win today. I started playing very well the first set. Later I play a bad game in the 2-0. But I think I have to be very happy about my game today. First match on clay after long time. So, well, happy about everything.

Q. Were you pleased how good it felt straightaway, that you felt so good on the clay straightaway? Good for the confidence?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure, is very important win the first match, no, especially against tough opponent like Mario. But, you know, is very soon for say something, and now is important win for me. Start the clay season like this always give me more confidence.
But I know tomorrow I have very tough match against Ferrero, no? I have to be very concentrate to try to have a good win tomorrow. I know going to be a very tough match.
But I hope continuing playing well and I hope have my chances.

Q. Do you think about all the next weeks of all these titles you have to hope to defend?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I No. 2 in the race right now. I was doing very good hard court season and I arrive here for try to do my best. If my best is do semifinals, quarterfinals, final, champion, I don't know. I gonna try my best in every tournament. If I can win any tournament, gonna be important for me. I know repeat every year, every title gonna be impossible.
But I know gonna be a very tough clay season. I gonna try my best. But, well, repeat everything is almost impossible.

Q. When you think of Roland Garros, not winning the titles, but when you think of Roland Garros, what do you think of? What is your best memories besides three titles?
RAFAEL NADAL: The true right now, I don't think Roland Garros, no one minute, no? I think about Monte-Carlo, I think about Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg. I think about try to play and adapt as fast as possible to the clay season, to the clay court.
After when I arrive to Roland Garros and I have my first practice on the center court, for sure is special, no?

Q. What do you think about the reduction of the season on clay? You expressed yourself about that.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I said day before. I spoke about that. Right now I am in the tournament. I prefer don't continuing speak about that. I said everything about how disappointed I am, and I think lot of players are in the same way like me.
But right now I just think about my tournament and try to play my best every day now.

Q. Did you see Roger's game? If yes, what was your feeling?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I saw little bit. He start playing very well the first set after he had some mistakes. But I think he finished the match playing very well.

Q. What do you think about the clay court? It will be a three-player battle, with Novak you and Roger, or do you think other players can fight also?
RAFAEL NADAL: I think never is only three-player battle, no? Look Roger today. He have a good battle against Ramon Ramirez, no? I think every match going to be important for everybody. I don't think there is only three players, no?
Last year was only two players on tour? Right now three? C'mon. I think a lot of good players are on the tour, no?

End of FastScripts

Rafa and Djokovic dress up and do a promo in Monte-Carlo ~ It's fun to see.

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RACE in the USA ISN'T Black and White

Sound bites are biting sounds

Not all bigots want others to know they
won't vote for a non-white
......that's an opinion

Prejudice-hiding is easy to do in
white communities.

"Factor" producer Porter Berry questions Father Pfleger for his friendship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Farrakhan is also mentioned. Link:
http://www.foxnews. com/video2/ video08.html? videoId=1fd1c0cf -5c80-4d75- 996f-bd53b2461ae 0&sMPlaylistID
JUDGE AND JURY ~ the WHOLE Truth is under all those layers of misconceptions....

Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. will speak publicly to veteran journalist and fellow UCC member Bill Moyers Friday evening, April 25, on Bill Moyers Journal, a PBS news series that airs nationally.
One source: www.ucc.org/news



On Friday, April 25, 2008 at 9 PM on PBS (
check your local listings at www.pbs.org/moyers), for the first time the Reverend Jeremiah Wright speaks on television with a journalist since he became embroiled in a controversy for his remarks and his relationship with Senator Barack Obama. The full interview will be available at www.pbs.org/moyers after the broadcast.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


One of my wishes: to visit Japan.

Zen Garden
From: MysticZen
Japanese Meditation Music - Zen Garden - Kokin Gumi - Daylight

The works of Japanese painter Hokusai set to traditional Japanese music.

Click the post title for Flowers of Japan

Thanks for stopping by

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Monday, April 21, 2008


I first was introduced to Bobbie McFerrin by Charles Kuralt on his TV show Sunday Morning (which was NEVER the same since he left the show ~ since then he's left this earth). It was way before Don't Worry, Be Happy. Bobbie McFerrin was amazing then and just starting his unique career. Soon after I saw him perform in Boston. Just because I like to wander around Youtube, I checked if he was there. Seems he's been around the world, creating his magic.

Bobbie McFerrin the Marvel Ode to Miles
From: francky85

I've Got the Feeling by Bobbie McFerrin
From: cachu


Bobby McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma ~ Ave Maria
From: alvarezsosa

Bobbie sings Drive on his video
Bobbie sings Drive live

Bobbie sings Thinking About Your Body

Bobbie sings By the Sea

Bobbie in Warsaw


Hold On Performance in Leipzig, Germany with Bobbie McFerrin
From: kuumbasingers

Hush Little Baby with Yo Yo Ma and Bobbie McFerrin

Blackbird by Bobbie McFerrin

Round Midnight

Something Special Bobbie McFerrin

Thanks, Bobbie

...even more if you click on my title...

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Sunday, April 20, 2008


Rafael Nadal

I would like to thank the wonderful Rafa fans at www.rafaelnadal.com
especially Valerie Brighouse for the great information, finds including the above picture of Rafa

Nadal slams ATP over crazy calendar

Sun 20 Apr, 05:14 PM TENNIS 2008 Davis Cup España Rafa Nadal rueda prensa - 0

MONTE CARLO (Reuters) - World number two and claycourt master Rafael Nadal hit out at the ATP over a "crazy calendar" on Sunday.

The Spaniard said men's tennis's ruling body was not taking the players' interests into account by scheduling three Masters Series events within four weeks.

"I said it a lot of times, the calendar is completely crazy. I think this is not fair for the European players and for the clay players, too. Three Masters in four weeks, it is too much," Nadal told reporters at the Monte Carlo Masters Series.

The prestigious Monte Carlo tournament started on Sunday and by May 18, the players will also have played the Rome and Hamburg Masters Series.

"I think the board, everything has to change. A lot of things have to change at the ATP because right now the players no longer have confidence in the ATP," he said.

"The ATP are always doing what they want. They have to inform the players on what is going on."

"I think we have to try to change everything because right now we have no influence on the ATP."

The three times French Open champion believes the governing body is more sensitive to U.S. interests.

"They say this is an Olympic year, that is very nice, but the truth is that they put Indian Wells and Miami one week back because they have the college (basketball)," he said.

"Well, I understand in the United States that is very important. For us, we have the world tour calendar. We can't do the calendar thinking about the college (sports) of the United States. That's my feeling."

The Miami Masters Series was brought forward one week to March 27 with the NCAA basketball finals starting in San Antonio, Texas, on April 8.

Nadal, who won in Monte Carlo, Rome and Barcelona and reached the Hamburg final en route to his third successive French Open title last season, goes into the claycourt season with 2,650 ranking points to defend.

Despite the hectic schedule, the Mallorcan said he would try and play all these tournaments.

"You never know, I am going to try my best to play the four," he said.

Nadal, who was awarded a bye in the first round at Monte Carlo, will meet either a qualifier or wild card Mario Ancic in the second round.

Sources:UK Eurosport Yahoo
Eurosport Yahoo Masters Series Monte-Carlo Nadal


The Tennis Clock is in my Sidebar and changes with each current tournament
Monte-Carlo is 6 hours ahead of USA EST.

COURT CENTRAL start 10:00 am
[13] J Ferrero (ESP) vs M Llodra (FRA)
F Lopez (ESP) vs [14] A Murray (GBR)
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [9] P Mathieu (FRA)
[WC] G Kuerten (BRA) vs I Ljubicic (CRO)
[WC] G Couillard (MON) / J Lisnard (MON) vs R Nadal (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:00 am
F Santoro (FRA) vs [Q] K Vliegen (BEL)
N Mahut (FRA) vs F Volandri (ITA)
[Q] N Lapentti (ECU) vs P Starace (ITA)
G Monfils (FRA) vs F Verdasco (ESP)
P Hanley (AUS) / L Paes (IND) vs D Nalbandian (ARG) / S Prieto (ARG)

COURT 2 start 10:00 am
[Q] I Minar (CZE) vs [WC] M Ancic (CRO)
T Haas (GER) vs [Q] O Rochus (BEL)
[10] C Moya (ESP) vs S Querrey (USA)
N Djokovic (SRB) / R Stepanek (CZE) vs J Kerr (AUS) / R Wassen (NED)

COURT 9 start 12:00 noon
R Stepanek (CZE) vs R Soderling (SWE)
[16] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs J Acasuso (ARG)

Rain ends play early at Monte Carlo Masters

MONTE CARLO, April 20 (Reuters) - Only one of four singles matches was completed at the Monte Carlo Masters Series on Sunday before rain stopped play for the day.
German Nicolas Kiefer beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 3-6 7-6 6-3 in a first round match but organisers then called it a day at 1610 GMT.
Former French Open champion Carlos Moya, scheduled to play after Kiefer, is now due to face American Sam Querrey on Monday although rain showers are again forecast in the principality.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Ken Ferris)
SOURCE: sport.guardian.co.uk/

Photos of Rafael NADAL

Another place to find information about Rafa: www.vamosbrigade.com

and at Zimbio: Rafael Nadal articles April 14-202008



Rafa working on his game in Monte-Carlo
From: sarahmusic



More of Rafa working on his tennis in Monte-Carlo
From: sarahmusic

Results of Sunday, 20 April / Dimanche 20 Avril

Main Draw Singles First Round / Tableau Principal Simples - Premier Tour

N Kiefer d M Cilic 36 76(1) 63

Singles Qualifying - Final Round / Qualification Simples - Dernier Tour
M Gicquel (FRA) d J Del Potro (ARG) 64 64
I Minar (CZE) d J Benneteau (FRA) 64 63
O Rochus (BEL) d A Montanes (ESP) 36 76(1) 61
S Bolelli (ITA) d [WC] L Recouderc (FRA) 63 62
K Vliegen (BEL) d G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 64
N Lapentti (ECU) d F Cipolla (ITA) 64 63
R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) d [WC] B Balleret (MON) 64 62

Tennis in Barcelona, Spain
April 24 ~ May 4, 2008

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Saturday, April 19, 2008


2007 Champion Rafael Nadal of Spain

Monte-Carlo, France

Monte Carlo Masters Series
April 19 through the 27, 2008

Time in Monte Carlo



I read The Tennis Channel is airing the Tennis tournament in Monte-Carlo. But I'm not lucky enough to have The Tennis Channel. Starting, Monday, April 21, 2008 the
ATP Masters Series TV is live streaming and the annual pass is $69.95 or $54.95 Euros. The tournament pass $14.97 or 11.95 Euros. IMACs are apparently not accommodated.


Qualifying - J Benneteau (FRA) vs I Minar (CZE)
M Cilic (CRO) vs N Kiefer (GER)
[10] C Moya (ESP) vs S Querrey (USA)
R Stepanek (CZE) vs R Soderling (SWE)
M Melo (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) vs R Gasquet (FRA) / J Tipsarevic (SRB)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
Qualifying - S Bolelli (ITA) vs [WC] L Recouderc (FRA)
Qualifying - [WC] B Balleret (MON) vs R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP)
Qualifying - N Lapentti (ECU) vs F Cipolla (ITA)
[16] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs J Acasuso (ARG)
P Mathieu (FRA) / F Santoro (FRA) vs [WC] J Benneteau (FRA) / N Mahut (FRA)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
Qualifying - A Montanes (ESP) vs O Rochus (BEL)
Qualifying - M Gicquel (FRA) vs J Del Potro (ARG)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
Qualifying - G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs K Vliegen (BEL)

Source: Schedule in Monte Carlo

Draws in PDF


Rafael Nadal at Monte-Carlo

Mario Ančić
Source: wikipedia

Mario Ančić (born March 30, 1984)(he is just 24 now) is a professional tennis player from Croatia. He is sometimes nicknamed "Super Mario" or "Baby Goran."As a teenager making his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in 2002, he defeated 9th-seeded Roger Federer, becoming the first teenager since Björn Borg to win his Wimbledon debut on Centre Court. The win also makes him the last player to defeat Federer at the All England Club, and Grass courts.

Mario Ancic plays an all-court game and is able to adapt his game to all surfaces, making him a difficult player to play regardless of the surface. Ancic also has a good serve and is capable of producing many aces in a match. On grass and faster surfaces he serves and volleys but on slower courts he is more than able to rally from the back of the court.


This is what he did in 2008
Ancic started the year again with illness. He got a stomach virus and was forced to withdraw from the tournaments in Adelaide, Auckland and the 2008 Australian Open. His first tournament was Marseille Open where he reached the finals beating on the way Australian-Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis. He lost in straight sets to Andy Murray.

At the 2008 Pacific Life Open, as a wild card, Ancic defeated Gaël Monfils and Fernando González, before losing to former number one Juan Carlos Ferrero 75, 46, 76 (7).

At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, as a wild card, Ancic defeated Gilles Simon in the first round 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-3. He then defeated Andy Murray in a rollercoaster match 6-2 2-6 7-6(7). He saved two match points during the third set tie-break. He defeated Argentine Juan Monaco in the third round 7-6(5) 4-6 6-1. He eventually lost in the fourth round to World No. 4 and eventual champion Russian Nikolay Davydenko in a tight three set match. Thanks to Nina at the Fan Page at www.rafaelnadal.com

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008



T.R. Reid presents a lowkey study of health care in five countries other than the USA. And he has a book coming out as well. But if you missed it on Frontline on TV and you are reading this, most likely you have at your fingertips the possibility to see a great hour...

PBS' Frontline had a wonderful hour on TV this week, Sick Around the World. You can watch the entire show and gain even more knowledge by clicking Sick Around the World.

Japan, England, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan's health care systems for ALL people in their countries is explored. If you didn't see Sicko, or did see it and need some more information to think about changing the USA health care or where you live, this is a website worth some exploration. There are many resources including interviews from a representative from each of the five countries named.

At Sick Around the World Countries you can learn such things as

in England the Percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health care is 8.3 % and the average family premium is $0. It is funded by taxation. Co-payments: None for most services; some co-pays for dental care, eyeglasses and 5 percent of prescriptions. Young people and the elderly are exempt from all drug co-pays.

In Japan you can learn that Percentage of GDP spent on health care is 8% and the average family premium is $280 per month, with employers paying more than half. Co-payments: 30 percent of the cost of a procedure, but the total amount paid in a month is capped according to income. In Japan a hospital bed is nightly $10 for a 4 patient room and $90 for a private room.

In Germany, the Percentage of GDP spent on health care is 10.7% and the average family premium is $750 per month; premiums are pegged to patients' income.
10 euros ($15) every three months; some patients, like pregnant women, are exempt.

What is it? Germany, like Japan, uses a social insurance model. In fact, Germany is the birthplace of social insurance, which dates back to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. But unlike the Japanese, who get insurance from work or are assigned to a community fund, Germans are free to buy their insurance from one of more than 200 private, nonprofit "sickness funds." As in Japan, the poor receive public assistance to pay their premiums.

In Taiwan, the Percentage GDP spent on health care is 6.3% and the average family premium is $650 per year for a family for four.
20 percent of the cost of drugs, up to $6.50; up to $7 for outpatient care; $1.80 for dental and traditional Chinese medicine. There are exemptions for major diseases, childbirth, preventive services, and for the poor, veterans, and children.

What is it? Taiwan adopted a "National Health Insurance" model in 1995 after studying other countries' systems. Like Japan and Germany, all citizens must have insurance, but there is only one, government-run insurer. Working people pay premiums split with their employers; others pay flat rates with government help; and some groups, like the poor and veterans, are fully subsidized. The resulting system is similar to Canada's -- and the U.S. Medicare program.

In Switzerland, the Percentage of GDP spent on health care is 11.6% and the average family premium is $750, paid entirely by consumers; there are government subsidies for low-income citizens.
10 percent of the cost of services, up to $420 per year.

What is it? The Swiss system is social insurance like in Japan and Germany, voted in by a national referendum in 1994. Switzerland didn't have far to go to achieve universal coverage; 95 percent of the population already had voluntary insurance when the law was passed. All citizens are required to have coverage; those not covered were automatically assigned to a company. The government provides assistance to those who can't afford the premiums.

How does it work for Doctors in these five countries?

T. R. Reid
Reid is a former chief of The Washington Post's London, Tokyo and Rocky Mountain bureaus, and also had stints covering Congress, national politics and four presidential elections for the paper. He is the author of eight books -- three in Japanese -- most recently "The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy." Source

Questions and Answers with T.R. Reid

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Sunday, April 13, 2008


I love you. Whoever reads this, I don't care that I don't know you ~ I can love you. May you find peace in your spirit. If you don't have joy, I can give you mine.


The Water is Wide

This is one of my favorite songs. It is plaintive, soothing while at the same time, sad. If we live and haven't felt these feelings, we have missed a wonderful experience. The words have been slightly altered in many versions, but the music has stayed the same.


The Water Is Wide

The Water is Wide
Sung by Indigo Girls, Sarah MacLachlan and Jewel

Joy, Peace, Happiness, Contentment, Be in Love

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Saturday, April 12, 2008


Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco play for Spain in Bremen, Germany for the Davis Cup tennis tournament. And now move on...


Spain into semis after 3-0 win over Germany

Source: tennis

BREMEN, Germany (AP) - Spain advanced to the semifinals of the Davis Cup after saving two match points to win a five-set doubles match Saturday and establish an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany.

Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco beat Philipp Kohlschreiber and Philipp Petzschner 6-7, (3), 7-6 (1), 6-4, 2-6, 12-10 in 4 hours, 45 minutes on Rebound Ace at AWD Dome Indoor Arena.

The Spaniards saved match points at 6-6 and 8-8 in the final set, and clinched the best-of-five series when Kohlschreiber hit the ball long in front of 5,000 home fans.

Spain led 2-0 as second-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 5 David Ferrer each won Friday's singles. Both players may now skip Sunday's meaningless reverse singles.

Kohlschreiber was taken to a hospital for a checkup late Friday after complaining of not feeling well following his four-set loss to Ferrer.

"It's enough to make you sick," Kohlschreiber said. "I was on the court three hours yesterday, 4:45 today and didn't win. We lost that last set rather unluckily."

Spain, the 2004 champions, now face either the United States or France in September's semifinals.

Germany made only four of 22 breakpoint chances as it failed to erase an 0-2 deficit for the first time since losing to the Czech Republic in 1960.

During the final set, Kohlschreiber and Petzschner held serve easily and had several chances to break the Spaniards until they themselves dropped the final service game.

Germany was without the injured Tommy Haas (22-8) and Alexander Waske (7-1 in doubles).

















Rafael Nadal v Kiefer in Bremen, Germany ~ Davis Cup April 11, 2008 ~ 3rd Set
From: TschagerVB

Bryan twins lose in Davis Cup doubles, leaving US up 2-1 on France


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -Bob and Mike Bryan were struggling to describe how the so-called ``automatic point'' for the United States Davis Cup team had failed to close out France on Saturday when captain Patrick McEnroe chimed in.

``These guys are human. You see them? They're human,'' McEnroe said. ``We count on them. Everybody always says, 'The doubles are a lock.' Well, they played a great team and they played well.''

The joking and loose French pair of Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement ended the Bryans' doubles dominance, rallying past the top-ranked twins 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to cut the Americans' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five competition.

The Bryans had been 14-1 in Davis Cup play and 5-0 in clinching situations, but they couldn't secure a spot for the U.S. in the semifinals against Spain. Llodra and Clement, who said they were discussing wine between points, raised their record to 4-2 against the Bryans and kept the French alive for Sunday's reverse singles.

``We knew before the match when the Bryans lead they are very big on the court,'' Llodra said. ``We knew we had to stay positive and have a good attitude. That's the key when you are down in the score. In the middle of the fourth set, I saw the Bryans were a little bit shorter.''

In the other Davis Cup quarterfinals, Spain swept Germany 3-0; Argentina leads Sweden 2-1; and Russia is in front of the Czech Republic 2-1.

A day after Andy Roddick and James Blake put the U.S. in command with singles wins, the Bryans wasted a chance to pass John McEnroe and Peter Fleming as the winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team.

``We wanted to shut it down so we could have a good time tonight,'' Mike Bryan said.

Instead the pressure shifts to Roddick, who will play the first match Sunday against Paul-Henri Mathieu or perhaps Richard Gasquet if he's recovered from a blister on his right hand and a sore knee. Blake plays the final match, tentatively against Llodra.

French captain Guy Forget was seen talking to Gasquet after the doubles match ended. Forget hinted his lineup will depend on whether Gasquet thinks he's healthy enough to play.

``I feel it should be an honor to play for your country. I feel it's a privilege when somebody asks you if you want to play,'' Forget said. ``Richard felt like he couldn't play at a decent level (Friday). Now the question is how he really feels. But I'm not begging him. If he doesn't want to play he won't go out.''

Similar to their win over the Bryans in last year's Wimbledon final, Llodra and Clement were the aggressors on the quick indoor hard court, coming to the net often in an entertaining match that included big serves, multiple volleys and quick reflexes.

Clement's forehand winner down the line broke Mike Bryan in the seventh game of the fourth set. Two games later, Llodra served it out on a day when the French never lost serve.

``They had chances, but you you've got to give the French credit,'' McEnroe said. ``They played unbelievable tennis in big points. It wasn't like the guys choked and missed easy points.''

Instead, Llodra, who lost to Roddick in straight sets on Friday, continued to frustrate - if not irritate - the Bryans.

After winning the Wimbledon title, Llodra and Clement whipped off their shirts and tossed them into the crowd. It was a toned-down version from the 2004 Australian Open final, when Llodra stripped to his underwear after he and Fabrice Santoro beat the Bryans.

Llodra kept his shirt on in the post-match celebration, but did hurdle the net after France evened the doubles match at a set apiece. He then told Clement that, win or lose, they were going to drink expensive Chateau Margaux wine after the match.

``He's crazy, this guy,'' Clement said.

The French team was in trouble early, after the Bryans staved off a set point in the first-set tiebreaker before closing it out, with Clement's missed volley the difference.

Clement made up for his mistake in the second set. His return down the line set up a set point, and he finished off the break of Mike Bryan with a backhand volley on the next point.

The French broke Bob Bryan early in the third set, racing to a 3-0 lead. They fought off two break points at 4-2, then served out the set, silencing the crowd.

Now the U.S. will turn to Roddick to close it out Sunday against an undetermined opponent.

``We're not really too concerned, to be honest,'' McEnroe said. ``If Andy comes out and plays well, plays his game, I think we're in pretty good shape.''

Elsewhere in Davis Cup doubles:

In Bremen, Germany, the Spanish team of Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber and Philipp Petzschner 6-7, (3), 7-6 (1), 6-4, 2-6, 12-10. The clinching match lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes. Spain won the Davis Cup in 2004.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Argentines went up 2-1 when David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas beat Jonas Bjorkman and Robert Lindstedt 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. Argentina has won 11 straight Davis Cup series at home since 1998. The winner plays Russia or the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

In Moscow, Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev rallied past Radek Stepanek and Pavel Vizner 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 to put Russia ahead of the Czechs 2-1. Russia has not lost at home since the 1995 final, when Pete Sampras won three matches to lead the U.S. to victory. The Russians have since won 15 straight.

Source: The Tennis Channel

Homeboy Without Attitude
Rafa in Manacor, Mallorca
Below is just a part of the article. To read all of it, click the title above.

For Rafael Nadal, living with his family in his home town of Manacor keeps him focused and down to earth

For Rafael Nadal, living with his family in his home town of Manacor keeps him focused and down to earth
Photo: Getty Images

Locals ensure that Rafael Nadal keeps his feet firmly on the clay, writes Mark Hodgkinson

Alongside all the names of the club hackers on the court booking sheet was that of Rafael Nadal, carefully written in blue ink in the small space provided.

Nadal simply would not have been allowed to just turn up at his local courts at Club Tenis Manacor and then blithely walk on to el campo numero uno to practise his felt-scorching strokes for an hour or two. No, senor.

Nadal, the boy from the Balearics, would not have it any other way.

He would not want any special treatment at his home town club in Majorca. Watching him interact with the locals, it was obvious that he was no diva in clay-smeared kit. Nadal could hardly have been more humble and unassuming - a 19-year-old Majorcan with an extraordinary talent and a blue ballpoint pen.

He had a crowd of five for one training session to prepare for his title defence at the French Open, which started in Paris yesterday.

And a couple of those spectators were elderly men sitting in chairs that had been pushed up against the wall of the clubhouse in an attempt to escape the relentless, skin-frazzling afternoon sun.

The sense was that the old men would have stayed there in the shade and watched anyone on el campo numero uno. It just happened that, on that particular afternoon, it was Nadal out there.

As the practice continued, with Nadal smacking the ball with all the strength those pumped-up biceps of his could manage, a couple of teenage girls walked into the club, took one look at him, and quickly walked on to find their own court.


Nadal has lived in Manacor all his life. The town is the second biggest on the island after the capital, Palma, with 30,000 inhabitants, but it is also 10 minutes from the coast, and even further removed from the "sex, sand and sangria" image of Majorca. He still lives at the family home, a smart building almost within touching distance of the 19th-century, neo-gothic church dominating the Manacor skyline.

The locals said Nadal shares his home with his grandparents, his parents, his sister and uncle Toni and his family. Talk in the town also suggested that Nadal, already a millionaire several times over, has just the one room to himself.

The close quarters are for a reason. The family wants to look after him, and he benefits from the support and stability of staying at home between tournaments...

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Friday, April 11, 2008



The USA under leadership of George W Bush bombed Iraq in March 2003. Bin Laden is the accepted leader behind the attack on the USA September 11, 2001. The point of the USA Iraq war is not one point, but ever-changing lies for stated reasons for doing it. What we have is a mess. What we have is hardly "liberator status". What we have is a President who has broken the law, ignored, not protected the United States Constitution as he took an oath to do. Twice.

Osama Bin Laden hates the USA. We know his point. He wanted to kill us. He wanted to frighten us.

Now Iraq and Iran appear to be coming together and talking with one another. Which one's plan, Bush or Bin Laden's does that work the best for? I gather for Bin Laden.

The numbers of those who died at the hands of Bin Laden in 2001 and at the hands of George W Bush's poorly planned purposes and war are worth noting.

Documented Iraqi civilian deaths from violence:

82,771 – 90,304 deaths

Deaths in each week from 2003–2007

Deaths per day from vehicle bombs

Deaths per day from vehicle bombs

Deaths pre day from gunfire / executions

Deaths per day from gunfire / executions

Source: Iraq Body Count

Casualites in Iraq
The Human Cost of Occupation

Latest Fatality Apr. 9, 2008
Page last updated 04/10/08 11:34 am EDT
Iraqi Casualties

USA deaths so far from USA's War in Iraq is over 4,032 since March 2003

September 11, 2001 Death List
Confirmed dead: 2948
Reported dead: 24
Reported missing: 24
Total: 2996
Source: Honorable Website of those killed September 11, 2001 ~ Victim List

Some websites about deaths from USA's War in Iraq:
Lives Killled in USA's War in Iraq

USA Iraq Casualty Count including Great Britain's casualties

Graph of Iraqi deaths

George W Bush has broken laws and I would like to see him tried.

Truth and justice are more important than George W Bush, Dick Cheney and all the "kings'" men and women.

Bush Worse than Watergate Keith Olbermann and John Dean
April 11, 2008

We Torture ~ USA Rationalizing Torture
From: Obamacitizens


Part 1 of 11 parts of “Buying the War” from PBS' Bill Moyers Journal
From: biggesthoax of Singapore

Uploaded April 25, 2007


Bill Moyers Journal ~ watch the show at PBS and read the entire script of the show


Countdown's Olbermann exposes 911 and the FISA bill
From: Obamacitizens

Tracking Why We Went to War
Article by William Raspberry
Monday, May 31,
2004; Page A23

Heard any good rationales for the war lately?

If not, maybe you ought to talk to Devon Largio, a new graduate of the University of Illinois, who says her research turned up 23 different rationales offered by the Bush administration in the year following the Sept. 11 attacks.

They're all laid out in her 212-page senior honors thesis, "Uncovering the Rationales for the War on Iraq: The Words of the Bush Administration, Congress and the Media from September 12, 2001, to October 11, 2002."

The work is largely a computer-driven analysis of the available public statements of Bush administration officials and key members of Congress during the run-up to war. By searching key words, she was also able to map the administration's shifting interest from Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein and Iraq -- and also the news media's response to that shift...

...And did she ever "figure out why we went to war"?

"I didn't include this in my paper," she said, "but I'm as torn now as I was when I started. I tend to accept the good intentions of the president, and it's tempting to say that if they have 23 reasons for going to war, we probably should have gone. On the other hand, I find myself thinking that if they had to keep coming up with new reasons for going to war, we probably shouldn't have done it. It's almost like the decision came first, then the rationales.

All 23 of them..."

George W Bush Administration worse than Nixon's Watergate by John Dean

BBC UK Video Nation featuring People's video about Iraq

News about the Iraq War from the BBC UK

Audio Slideshow: One Woman's War

Iraq war show limits of US Power

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


As activists who stand with the people of Tibet, also are people who stand with the people of Darfur. We honor the Darfuri families, who live with injustice with every breath they take. Instead of participating in and watching the Olympics of Beijing, China next summer, the Darfuri people will be living under a tree, piece of plastic or makeshift shelter ~ if they haven’t been murdered with their government’s sanction.

The Torch Relay is an opportunity to tap into the ideals of the Olympics, but also to call on the host of the 2008 Olympics, the government of China, to do more to help end the genocide.

The Beijing, China Olympics, chose the theme ONE WORLD, ONE DREAM. The number 8, Chinese number, ba, is considered the luckiest number. It is no coincidence that the Summer Olympics in Beijing will open on 8/ 8/08 at 8:00 p.m.

I invite you to light a candle in your home as your family gathers and say:

€ This flame honors those who have been lost and those who suffer.
€ This flame celebrates the courage of those who have survived.
€ This flame symbolizes the hope we share for an end to the violence in Darfur and an end to genocide everywhere.”

Genocide anywhere is unacceptable.

My father invited an Olympic track star to speak at our high school’s annual athletic banquet in the sixties. I grew up in Indiana and my father was a high school teacher and coach. This track star was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave. He also was the first American in the history of Olympic Track and Field to win four gold medals in a single Olympics. The story of Jesse Owens is relevant to today’s Torch Relay event. The year that Mr. Owens became world famous was in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, that are also known as the Hitler Olympics. It is worth noting that on March 22, 1933, the first extermination camp was opened in Dachau, Germany and began its ugly business of committing crimes against humanity that later was called – genocide. So at the same time that the death camps were operating, people and Hitler were sitting in the stands watching the Olympian athletes in Berlin compete. The Olympic Torch Relay as we know it today was actually introduced at the very Olympic games in Berlin in 1936.

Today, the Official Website of the Beijing Torch Relay states “The Olympic Flame is the highest symbol of the Olympic spirit. The Olympic Torch Relay is a celebration of human peace and friendship. Under the guidance of International Olympic Committte, Beijing is working closely with the relay cities around the world, widely promoting the theme of ‘One World, One Dream,’ upholding the torch relay concept that is ‘a journey of harmony’ to make the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay a complete success.”

I dare to say - that complete success is not possible, if the “journey of harmony” is soiled by the lack of extending the theme “One World, One Dream” to Darfur. China needs to use its influence with Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, to help bring the genocide to an end.

While the Olympics’ host country has the world’s eyes on it, we ask the 2008 Olympic theme to not exclude the Darfuri people, but to include the Darfur people. While it sits on the UN Security Council, China supports the Sudanese government…the government who has been coordinating the genocide in Darfur with the janjaweed for over four and half years with weapons purchased from China. Darfur is a part of the world and needs the Olympic dream desperately.

Like the irony of the Berlin games in 1936, the 2008 Beijing games will have its own irony if China ignores its role in the Darfur genocide.

The above text is taken from my speech of a Torch Relay that I organized in my state that took place October 27, 2007.

Torch Relay in Providence, Rhode Island

In 1936 the Olympics were taking place in Berlin, Germany while human rights were being taken away

This is the Beijing Phoenix Torch Relay graphic

Phoenix is the king of birds and belongs to Fire in Five Elements. It is the spirit of fire. The soaring phoenix with graceful bearing and dignified air is the totem of fire. The legend "phoenix nirvana and rebirth out of ash" also symbolizes man's constant striving spirit.

Down the ages, "Loong" (Chinese dragon) and "Phoenix" are the traditional totems embedded with people's blessing and hope.... more

Today, the closing San Francisco Torch Ceremony was cancelled according to MSNBC.

Some news out today:
Gordon Brown will not attend opening of Beijing Olympics

By Christopher Hope, Richard Spencer and Catherine Elsworth
Last Updated: 10:36pm BST 09/04/2008

Gordon Brown has said that he would not be attending the opening ceremony for the Olympics Games in Beijing in August.
He is the first major world leader to say that he would definitely not attend the opening ceremony.

Downing Street insisted that the Prime Minister had never intended to go.

Instead Mr Brown would be present for the closing of the Games as leader of the next Olympic host country.

However, the move could be seen as a snub to Beijing after it was widely reported in the Chinese press that Mr Brown would attend the opening.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has said that he was thinking about not attending the three-hour opening celebration. Pressure will now be on other world leaders to do the same.

Opinion against the Games has hardened after protests over China's occupation of Tibet disrupted the procession of the Olympic torch through London and Paris this week.

Read the entire article

International Olympic Committee deserves these protests

09:26 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's almost the stuff of standup comedy.

"Did you see the Olympic torch get attacked in Paris? After that, it decided to take the bus."

But it's no joke. In city after city, runners tasked with what is usually a lofty honor – carrying the Olympic torch for one brief segment of its trip around the world – are surrounded by as many security guards as fans. It seems that before Beijing gets its moment in the sun in August, some protesters want to shed light on some truths China might not want revealed.

The torch is the most famous symbol of the Olympic Games, and that means that this year it is a symbol of the worst site-selection decision in Olympic history.

Passing up Toronto and Paris, the International Olympic Committee eagerly in 2001 awarded the precious jewel of the 2008 Summer Games to the most evil regime on the planet.

IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch was particularly eager to see the Games in communist China. The IOC's Evaluation Commission swooned like schoolgirls, calling the venues "environmentally impressive" and the budget "viable and sound." You have to hand it to totalitarianism – it tends to assure you a reliable cash flow.

The committee even found a way to give a big thumbs up to oppressive dictatorship itself: "The overall presence of strong governmental control and support is healthy."

Healthy? Tell that to the Chinese protesters serving jail time for suggesting that their nation ought to clean up its human rights act before hosting an Olympics. Tell that to the thousands who are kicked out of their homes every month for Olympic construction, a figure that will total more than a million by August.

There is no sign that the U.S. will boycott the Games, but there is a murmur of suggestions – including an opportunistic one from Hillary Clinton – that President Bush should refuse to attend the opening ceremony.

This is silly. Our 1980 boycott of the Soviet Games hurt no one but innocent athletes. We're not about to make that mistake again, so when our competitors file in for the start of this Olympiad, their president should be there to applaud them.

This does not mean the world cannot show proper revulsion for the IOC's shameful applause for China's sorry record on human rights. That's exactly what its moral blindness constitutes, and it should offend anyone with a shred of human decency that the Olympics will be held in a country that so routinely tramples on the rights and lives of its citizens and neighbors.

Today, the torch's tense path leads to its only U.S. appearance – in San Francisco, where protesters actually scaled the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday to hang protest signs. In the post-9/11 world, I don't know whether to be grateful that that was the protesters' only act or disturbed that people could so easily scale the bridge.

In any event, we have to figure out what we think of these protests, because we're going to see a lot of them. Even if IOC officials are forced to yank the torch off the streets of the world, activists will find other ways to draw attention to China's profound list of sins. Most of those methods will be disruptive, because that's how you get attention.

Even with my dark view of the IOC's shameful decision to place the Games in China, I cannot condone anything that disrupts the orderly attempt by the many innocent people who are part of the process and pageantry of the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics.

But I'd be lying if I did not confess to a certain satisfaction that the protests are drawing attention to what a contemptible decision the IOC made in placing the games in China – and to the horrors still committed by the Chinese government today.

Mark Davis is heard weekdays from 8 to 11 a.m. on WBAP-AM, News/Talk 820. His e-mail address is mdavis@wbap.com.
Source: Dallas News


Another article:
Olympic torch hidden in warehouse as protestors wait on route


Olympic torch protested in San Francisco

The 2008 Summer Olympic torch relay, in anticipation of the games which will be held in Beijing this year, met stiff protest in San Francisco over China’s bloody human rights record in Tibet. The presence of the torch has been protested in virtually every world city that it has traveled to, both by citizens, local government officials, and the athletes carrying the torch.

On Tuesday evening, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke to several thousand people at a candlelight vigil near City Hall and called on President George W. Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Smmer Olympics, which begin in August.

“To all the leaders of the world,” said Rev. Tutu, “for goodness sake, don’t go to Beijing.”

A Tibetan woman is led to be killed in a makeshift “field execution”.

Source: Olympic torch meets stiff protests in San Francisco


Security High for Torch's US Stop


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Security was being tightened around the city Wednesday as officials mobilized for protests in response to the Olympic torch's only North American stop on its journey to Beijing. Before dawn, supporters of China's role as host of the games gathered on the city's waterfront.

The Olympic torch's 85,000-mile global journey is the longest in Olympic history, and is meant to build excitement for the games. But it has also been a target for activists angered over China's human rights record.

As runners carry the torch on its six-mile route Wednesday, they will compete not only with people protesting China's grip on Tibet and its support for the governments of Myanmar and Sudan, but also with more obscure activists. They include nudists calling for a return to the way the ancient Greek games were played.

Law enforcement agencies erected metal barricades Wednesday morning and readied running shoes, bicycles and motorcycles for officers preparing to shadow the runners chosen for the relay. Read more


Chaos in London on the Olympic torch relay

If the Olympic torch relay is no more than a crude propaganda stunt on the part of the host nation then the London leg could hardly have backfired in a more spectacular manner, writes Andrew Baker.

Opinion is divided on the merits of the Olympic torch relay. Fans - of whom there were plenty braving the snow showers in London yesterday - applaud it as a way of exporting a little of the glamour of the five rings to places that would otherwise not experience it. Critics suggest that it is no more than a crude propaganda stunt on the part of the host nation.
  • Olympic showcase descends into a day of mayhem
  • Coe defiant as 'Journey of Harmony' descends into farce
  • Countdown to the Beijing Olympics | View from China: Protests? What protests?
  • Read the entire article

    Post of mine: Sponsoring Genocide Olympics

    China Olympic theme is One World One Dream, but what about their own people?

    Providence, Rhode Island Olympic Torch Relay
    From Rwandans' Hearts to Darfur

    International Olympic Committe to consier stopping international leg of torch relay

    From activists for helping end the genocide in Darfur:

    If you were invited to a party hosted by the enablers of the genocide of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, would you go?

    Today, as the Olympic torch passes through San Francisco for its only North American stop, join me in urging President Bush not to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Tell President Bush to take a stand for human rights and skip the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

    China has the power to convince the Sudanese government to accept deployment of the United Nations-African Union (UNAMID) peacekeeping forces for Darfur. But instead China remains Sudan's major weapons provider, largest foreign investor and trade partner, and diplomatic apologist.

    President Bush must not sit quietly and watch the lighting of the Olympic torch—under the 'one world, one dream' banner—unless China has used its influence to pressure the Sudanese government to allow the effective deployment of the UNAMID peacekeeping force.

    We can support the Olympic Games, but we cannot support China's tolerance for the atrocities being committed in Sudan. Beijing should not be allowed to bask in the warm glow of peace and brotherhood associated with the opening games if China is still underwriting atrocities in Darfur.

    Make sure President Bush gets the message: Stay home unless China uses its influence to get peacekeepers effectively deployed in Darfur.

    Please ask your friends and family to join you in calling on President Bush to skip the opening ceremonies.

    Thank you for your commitment to the people of Darfur.

    Call 1~800~GENOCIDE
    and urge
    your U.S. Representative and Senators
    to add their support
    and to pass the funding fully
    for the UN Peacekeepers for Darfur

    President Bush's Comment Phone Line
    He needs a push to do something right


    or it will go on forever

    save darfur
    genocide intervention
    darfur genocide

    Peace will not work if we don't do our part.

    donate solar cooker project

    Learn more about the project to protect women of Darfur by donating $30 for two Solar Cookers
    refugeerelief solar cooker project

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