Have a Merry New Year, With Richard and MimiFarina song and this

Texas Woods Dance on Vimeo

Texas Woods Dance from mira cook on Vimeo.


René O'Deay

A Basiji from Iran, recently involved in the post-election abuse ordered by the Supreme Leader, has escaped to the UK, requesting refugee status.

This Basiji gave an anguished interview with the new World News Channel 4.

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A defecting member of the infamous Basij militia, the men who wounded and killed in the aftermath of the Iran elections in the summer, talks to Lindsey Hilsum about what he witnessed.

"I've lost my world and I've lost my religion" - the words of a former Iranian Basij militia member who says he witnessed killings and tried to stop rapes during the uprising that followed the disputed Presidential election in June.

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There are videos of the interview in Farsi, along with the translation. You can hear his anguish, even if you cannot understand the language.

Perhaps the most shocking is that pre-planning, premeditation of these crimes against the people of Iran by the present leaders of the regime.

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From an email:
Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc.. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know.

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method. (Gargling with warm salt water kept me from being sick, after I got that tell-tale tickle in my throat. YEAY!....Della)

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*
(A Neti pot with saline solution cleared up my chronic sinus infection this fall, after suffering for years. Even antibiotics didn't heal it.....Della)

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never know who might pay attention to it - and STAY ALIVE because of it.

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Quetta Front & the Baluchi Factor

As fighting in Afghanistan, particularly the south, intensifies U.S. policy-makers are beginning to shift their gaze to Afghanistan’s southern border with Pakistan and wondering if the northern regions of Baluchistan are – like the FATA on Afghanistan’s eastern border – serving as a Taliban haven. U.S. officials have even claimed that Taliban head Mullah Omar and his top leaders are living in Baluchistan’s capital Quetta.

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One of our friends here on NowPublic has been bemoaning the lack of concern for his countrymen for awhile, and the presence of the Taliban in his country along with their partnership with Pakistan forces in oppressing them.

From 2003:

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The border regions of Pakistan, and Quetta in particular, are emerging as the main center of Taliban support in the region, and a breeding ground for opposition sentiment to the American campaign in Afghanistan and Mr. Karzai's government. Senior Taliban officials and commanders are taking refuge here, too, Afghan and American officials say. Members of the political opposition in Pakistan confirm that Taliban leaders are active and are recruiting young men to fight.

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Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan, and reports have confirmed a major training camp for Taliban is located there.

Some bits of advice from in-country:

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"America is in for big trouble in Afghanistan unless you remove the source," warned one influential editor, who declined to give his name.

Habib Jalib Baloch, a former senator and leader of the Baloch National Party, said, "America should have selected to crush Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan, rather than go to war in Iraq."

He said he was sure that the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, and his top commanders were all in Pakistan, protected by their links to the Pakistani establishment.

"You need to cut the funding," he said. "You will not kill them with a hammer. You must cut the funding and the connection."

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IRAN- Protests in Kashan University Part 2

see larger video

uploaded by René

IRAN- Protests in Kashan University Part 2

This video is amazing (uploaded July 3). The song translation from Saaed on his blog Revolutionary Road:

They form chains and sing ``Yare dabestani``, ``my fellow schoolmate`` a classic revolutionary song that every Iranian around knows by heart.

(rough translation)

My schoolmate
You're with me and going along with me
The alphabet stick is above our heads
You're my spite and my woe
Our names have been carved
On the body of this blackboard
The stick of injustice and tyranny
Still remains on our body

This uncivilized plain of ours
Is covered with weeds
Good, if good
Bad, if bad
Dead is the hearts of its people
My hand and yours
Should tear up these curtains
Who can, except you and I
Cure our pain?

Kashan lies south of Tehran, a major oasis with 2 universities. Kashan University website is offline.

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For some light relief, I'm pleased to announce the streetcars in New Orleans will get Federal Stimulus cash.

If you live in Uptown New Orleans, part of the $787 billion federal economic stimulus package is coming soon to a streetcar line near you.

The Times-Picayune archive
The U.S. Transportation Department announced Friday that the Regional Transit Authority will get $2.4 million in federal stimulus money to improve the St. Charles Avenue line.

Read the details here:

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Here's one of the greatest covers of Bo Diddly's MONA! Quicksilver!

Lake Catherine Round House

Louisiana, High and dry
: That's exactly how Bob and Sherry Bourg expect
to spend the 2009 storm season, now that their new hurricane-resistant home
has been installed on the shores of Lake Catherine.

Deltec, an Asheville, N.C., business, designs hurricane-resistant circular (technically, polygonal) homes and produces kits for assembly. The company trains contractors
in various locales to ensure that kits are assembled according to company standards.
Locals who follow "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" were introduced to the company when Ty Pennington and crew landed in town last spring and replaced the storm-and tornado-damaged home of a Westwego first responder and his extended family using a Deltec product.

Survived Katrina in Pass Christian, Mississippi:
A sales brochure for Deltec Homes says "round for a reason".

Dale and Carolyn Medley of Pass Christian now understand the reason, courtesy of Hurricane Katrina. The couple's unusual home withstood the storm's fury.

"We've had several people come by and look at it since the storm," said Dale Medley, while giving a tour of his unusually-shaped home.

The round house in Timber Ridge proved its worth in Katrina.

Pass Christian Katrina survivor

"My son's an architect and he advised that a round house, he explained to me, that the wind goes around it and it's safer with high winds than a square house," said Carolyn Medley.

Dozens of nearby houses in the Timber Ridge subdivision gave way to Katrina's wind and water. The Medley home survived the storm's wind with very little damage.

Deltec helped build home for Westwego couple and rebuild a church: banding
together with Extreme Makeover Home Edition and construction crews from around the country for 7-day rebuild of the New Orleans area home and a church damaged by Hurricane Katrina and tornadoes.

Westwego Extreme Makeover rebuild

For more information visit http://www.DeltecHomes.com/

Notice the homebuilding seminars also on the site.

Grand Isle 'Round House' Post-Katrina, a survivor.

Round House Grand Isle Katrina survivor

See you in a couple of weeks. Gone to Taos!

René O'Deay

A mega-herd of a quarter of a million Mongolian gazelles has been seen gathering on the country's steppes, one of the world's last great wildernesses.

The coming together on the grassy plains is the largest ever recorded.

The biologists who saw it estimate it contained perhaps a quarter of all Mongolian gazelles on the planet.

"It was stunning," says Kirk Olson of the University of Massachusetts, US. "I don't know if I was surprised or simply blown away by what we came across."

This large of a gathering of these antelope is highly unusual, as herds of 5,000 to 8,000 only gather in the fall. The area has been unusually dry, but just a couple weeks ago there was a huge rainfall. Must be great grass.

See Olson and his group's detailed article on this epic gathering of the Mongolian Gazelle in the ORYX Journal.

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Farmer Suicides, the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal, Wal-Mart in India and Monsanto

Farmers in India have been committing suicide in unprecedented numbers. 1 every 30 minutes.

We're talking small farmers who hold from 7 to 12 acres of land. Social pressures like raising money for weddings and for education for children cause many to sell off land to pay for them or make loans they cannot repay when crops fail. This is probably not good for the financial health of the family or their daughters's. Add to that many families are left destitute, landless, homeless.

VANDANA SHIVA: (interviewed in 2006) Indian farmers have never committed suicide on a large scale. It’s something totally new. It’s linked to the last decade of globalization, trade liberalization under a corporate-driven economy. The seed sector was liberalized to allow corporations like Cargill and Monsanto to sell unregulated, untested seed. They began with hybrids, which can’t be saved, and moved on to genetically engineered Bt cotton.

The cotton belt is where the suicides are taking place on a very, very large scale. It is the suicide belt of India. And the high cost of seed is linked to high cost of chemicals, because these seeds need chemicals. In addition, these costly seeds need to be bought every year, because their very design is to make seeds nonrenewable, seed that isn’t renewable by its very nature, but whether it’s through patenting systems, intellectual property rights or technologically through hybridization, nonrenewable seed is being sold to farmers so they must buy every year.

There’s a case going on in the Supreme Court of India right now on the monopoly practices of Monsanto. An antitrust court ruled against Monsanto, because the price is so high, farmers necessarily get into a debt trap, which is why I was talking about credit, for the wrong thing, could actually be a problem and not a solution.

In addition, the price of cotton is collapsing under the huge $4 billion subsidies given to agribusiness in the United States, which then dumps cotton on a world market with 50% reduction of price artificially. This is what led to the Cancun failure of WTO, but this is what is killing Indian farmers.

Just three days ago, farmers were protesting against the low prices of cotton. They went to the government agency, which before globalization used to buy cotton at a fair price. One farmer was shot dead. So we’re not just seeing suicides, we’re also seeing farmers’ protests treated as a new threat to the regime.

Genetic modification based on an obsolete theory and hence ineffective and dangerous

Genetic engineered seed

Then, Walmart cames along and puts the small farmer markets out of business, an essential source of income for many in India.

Dr Vandana Shiva, physicist, eco-feminist, author, activist, has founded Seeds of Freedom and Naranya, with organic seed banks, in efforts to save over 56 species (under threat in India) of flower, fruits, grains, vegetables, and other cash crops from the dangers and eradication by GM seed crops and their products.

René O'Deay----

I find this claim somewhat oppotunistic. A Swiss art historian announces the release of a new book in which he claims that the bust of Nefertiti is actually a fake.

Doesn't have that much proof in my opinion. But here's one of the articles and you can make your own decision.

.....a Swiss art historian is claiming that a delicate bust of the Egyptian monarch in Berlin that was thought to date back to 1347 BC is in fact a 20th-century imposter.

Henri Stierlin says the bust was made by an artist named Gerardt Marks at the request of Ludwig Borchardt, an archaeologist, for research purposes. On December 6, 1912, a German prince admired the statue as an original, the story goes, and Borchardt didn’t have the heart to correct him.

Interesting that this appears just when Egypt's demands for the return of the bust of Nefertiti are heating up and after the recent CT scan of the statue revealed an exquisitely carved limestone base they claim proves its a real artifact, not a copy.

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Direct from Kabul, Afghanistan:

Taliban attack NATO terminal in Peshawar and torch nine vehicles

Dozens of armed Taliban militants on April 3 stormed a NATO supplies container terminal in Peshawar, the NWFP capital, and torched nine vehicles and several offices, Police and locals said the terminal, located on the Ring Road in Pishtakhara Police station precincts, was attacked early in the morning, adding that the Taliban and Police exchanged heavy fire, but no casualties were reported. Police officials said there were more than 100 militants who participated in the raid. They said the Taliban also used rockets to target the Police party but failed to hit anyone.

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Womens group "Pink Gang" fights for the rights of women and other marginalized people in rural India.

Taipei - The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in an interview with Taiwan television aired Sunday, said he is in excellent health - but won't seek reincarnation. In an interview with Taiwan's Formosa TV, which was conducted in India to mark the 50th anniversary of China's occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama said it would be up to the Tibetan people to decide if there should be a reincarnation after his death.

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"New Orleans, meet New Jersey: Bon Jovi is coming to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell.

The veteran Jersey rock band that lorded over MTV in the 1980s and continues to fill arenas worldwide performs at the Fair Grounds on May 2. That is the biggest surprise on the day-to-day Jazz Fest schedule released today.

After Hurricane Katrina, Bon Jovi donated $1 million to build 28 homes in Houma in conjunction with Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network and Habitat for Humanity. A street was renamed Bon Jovi Boulevard.
Bon Jovi joins New Orleans Jazz Fest roster as daily schedule is announced - Keith Spera - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com


Covert Carnival double-secret agent, checks out Krewe du Vieux - Angus Lind - Times-Picayune - NOLA.com: "'Timing is everything and what's happening in the news -- the passage of Obama's $819 billion stimulus package -- could not have played into their hands any better,' said the unmistakable raspy voice.

'Speaking of time, the clock's running and we haven't much time. Quick, look at this, scribe.'

Mardi Gras Parade Krewe du Vieux

The legendary but oft-bungling covert Carnival double secret agent -- dormant since Carnival past -- handed me a stack of papers indicating that these always ribald, risque and roguish revelers had conjured up their own version of what's in the news: "Krewe du Vieux Releases Its 'Stimulus Package,'" based on sex-based initiatives.

That provocative package will be released Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in a 12,000-step recovery program and parade through the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny, as the krewe declares moral bankruptcy. Parental discretion is not only advised, it is mandatory -- a kiddie parade this ain't.

"Parade-goers are advised to watch their assets -- it says so right here on this page," Float said. "You can look for them to show their Bare Stearns."

Reigning over the 23rd procession of mule-drawn floats, brass bands and 17 sub-krewes drinking lots of booze is Crooner, Cruise Director and King Frankie Ford, he of "Sea Cruise" fame and Gretna's only Grammy winner.

"These papers we now have in our hands show that the parade is a veritable sea of sexual innuendoes, Scribe, and it's ingenious," Float told me. "Based on what we're seeing, I think on Saturday night you'll see Endowed Jones Averages, the S&M 500 and lots of mutual fun. Here's the skinny on the sub-krewe Mama Roux: They say to invest in stocks and bondage, tie up good investments."

"Float," I replied, "the sub-krewe Drips & Discharges, it appears, has become a newly formed investment spanking firm. They claim to have gotten a jump on the market by creating a binge fund, hoping that people will use it to cover their assets during these troubling times."

"Here's the Krewe of Underwear's plan, Scribe," Float said. "They say the entire country will go into foreclosure and the People's Republic of China will take over the Capitol, coating all the monuments with red lead-based paint. Stimulus checks will thereafter be drawn from China's official state-run bank, WonTon Savings and Loin. On Great Wall Street, the foreclosure news will cause the Mao Jones Industrial Average to fall 669 points.

"Look," he continued, "there's Underwear's float. It looks like Uncle Sam is going down a toilet. You know, this is our second worst economy in history, but there ain't nothing so bad that you can't make fun of it. This krewe just wants to, uh, stimulate people into having fun at Mardi Gras, that's all."

"Float, see these caveman costumes?" I asked. "It appears the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E. is going back in time and giving in to their sub-primal urges. And they're scrapping mules in favor of their float being pulled by unemployed bankers."

"No fluff in this naughty parade, Scribe. The stars always seem to align for them. They picked this stimulus package theme a long time ago. And, like one of their members said, 'Even the president is talking about us. It's strange how we get this publicity.'¤"

Rumors that the president is in the parade could not be confirmed or denied.

Columnist Angus Lind can be reached at alind@timespicayune.com "

More of their Stimulus plans are revealed on the Krewe du Vieux website:

Reflecting national trends, Krewe du Vieux is wheeling and dealing with its own brand of economic incompetence. On February 7th, KdV will roll out its own STIMULUS PACKAGE that includes substantial “Investments in Stocks & Bondage” and a bailout plan for “D&D Cock Market Investment Spankers.” In a “Salute to Trickle Down Economics” Krewe du Vieux’s crack economic team, advised by the investment firm of “Schmeckel and Shekel’s Foreskins and Foreclosures,” promises to “Extend the Guard” and “Go Down With Uncle Sam.”

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