The Common Good

Not getting the message

Sojomail - October 31, 2001

               
*************************************************************

                       S O J O M A I L

          Promoting faith, reason, compassion, and justice
                   in days of violence and fear

                 Brought to you by SojoNet
              Publisher of Sojourners magazine
                 Visit: http://www.Sojo.net


++++++++++++++++++++ 31-October-2001 ++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++ "Not getting the message"  +++++++++++++++

 Q u o t e   o f   t h e   W e e k
     *Dwight D. Eisenhower: the costs of war

 H e a r t s   &   M i n d s
     *Not getting the message

 B y   t h e   N u m b e r s
     *Out of control

 B a t t e r i e s   N o t   I n c l u d e d
     *Sojourners is not abandoning non-violence

 S o u l   W o r k s
     *A trilogy of hope

 R e l i g i o n   &   P o l i t i c s
     *Researcher seeks out militants

 B o o m e r a n g
     *SojoMail readers hit reply

 C u l t u r e   W a t c h
     *New films/books/music worth paying attention to...

 T e c h   E t h i x
     *Anti-terrorism bill has lasting effects

 B u i l d i n g   a   M o v e m e n t
     *Mexican human rights workers under threat; leader assassinated

 W e b   S c e n e
     *Books for understanding the world
     *Follow the government payola trail
     *For art's sake...the Guggenheim online
     *Activists against privacy unite!
     *You got money to study that?!
     
*****************************************************************

Q u o t e   o f   t h e   W e e k
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket
fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who
hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending
the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the
hopes of its children.... This is not a way of life at all, in
any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is
humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

                 -Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953,
                  before the American Society of Newspaper
                  Editors.

*****************************************************************

H e a r t s   &   M i n d s
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Not getting the message

by Jim Wallis

As I watched the horrific images of the New York Trade
Towers collapsing over and over again, a clear mantra
emerged for me: We all suffered together; now we must
all heal together. It has become a strong realization
and almost a calling. CEOs along with janitorial workers,
senior vice presidents of brokerage firms along with
waiters and cooks, law partners along with firefighters
and police officers, were all lost on September 11. Their
families and friends felt a deeply shared sense of pain
and loss. The enormous tragedy of New York and Washington,
and the extraordinary heroism in its aftermath, knew no
boundaries of race, class, country, or religion. The
evil that assaulted us created equality in our vulnerability,
and a commonality in our response.

Last week, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new stamp
celebrating "United We Stand." But on that same day, the
House of Representatives passed an "economic stimulus"
package loaded with tax breaks and handouts for our
richest corporations and wealthiest citizens, while the
majority of unemployed workers hit hardest by the
economic fallout of the terrorist attacks get little
or nothing. Somebody is not getting the message of unity.

More than 500,000 workers have been laid off since
September 11 - many of whom were just one paycheck away
from poverty. The layoffs have occurred in more than
half the country, and most have been in the transportation
and hospitality/tourism sectors. An economic stimulus
package should have as its goal to immediately "stimulate"
the economy by providing emergency assistance for those
families in greatest jeopardy - who, in fact, are most
likely to spend the money. Instead, 80% of the House
package benefits corporations and the wealthiest
taxpayers, who are in least jeopardy and less likely
to spend the money. That fails both the tests of
common sense and unity.
 
The stimulus includes $70 billion in corporate tax
cuts, with $24.5 billion going to cover the repeal of
the alternative minimum tax (designed to make sure
that corporations not evade all their taxes through
a variety of deductions and loopholes) - with refunds
retroactive back to 1986! Seven corporations alone
will receive $3.3 billion dollars. An additional 28
billion in individual tax cuts is also a part of the
bill, heavily skewed toward high-income earners, but,
gratefully, including rebates for some lower-income
workers who did not receive any tax refund this summer
because they make too little. But the Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities estimates that 80-90% of the tax
cuts go to corporations or disproportionately benefit
upper-income families. A "significant majority,"
according to the CBPP, of unemployed workers would
receive nothing at all. Republicans say that giving
corporations money will keep them from cutting back
jobs. But Congress just handed the airlines $15 billion
dollars, and they proceeded to lay off 140,000 workers.
 
Conservative commentator Kevin Phillips said the House
stimulus package should cause a "public outcry," and
urged Americans to point their fingers at the politicians
who voted for it, saying "Shame, shame, shame!" At a
time when the country is being urged to make sacrifices
for the common good, the spectacle of the most well-to-do
Americans lining up for huge tax breaks is, indeed,
appalling. The religious community in particular, which
has played such a central role in this time of crisis,
needs to raise its prophetic voice for justice and equity.

A more fair stimulus package might include: targeted
help to those displaced by this crisis; an end to taxing
unemployment benefits; a fund to allow laid-off workers
to maintain their families' health care coverage; re-training
and re-employment programs; and home energy and
child care assistance. Equitable help for those in most
need should be a bi-partisan effort. We need a "Republican"
initiative that sends money to the state and local
governments who are also reeling from the crisis, and
a "Democratic" initiative that invests in the nation's
infrastructure, from vital nutrition and transportation
needs, to health care and education reform, to affordable
housing and sustainable energy programs - all part of
the overall effort to bolster true national security.
 
The Senate will now take up the stimulus package debate.
There is a better way, and a great opportunity here in
our response to the horrible events we've all suffered.
I've had some fictitious newspaper headlines in my head
for several days now - headlines from the future, perhaps
five years from now. One reads, "After September 11,
Americans became less tolerant of their own gaping
inequalities." Another one says, "Attack on America's
democracy from without strengthens democracy within."
Sadly, many of our citizens were not really a part of
American unity before September 11, including 11
million of our poorest children. Will our unity
include them now? 

In the big celebrity telethon to raise money for the
victim's families after the attacks, Julia Roberts
made a statement that has endeared her to me as my
favorite "theologian" of this crisis. The popular
sweetheart of America went right to the heart of things
when she said, "We're learning that in a crisis, we
don't just save ourselves, we save each other."
Everything we do now should reflect that moral wisdom.
So let's start with a dramatic revision of the economic
stimulus package.  

-------------------------------------------------------------------

B y   t h e   N u m b e r s
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Out of control

80: Average number of minutes American men spend
    each week looking for the TV remote.

7: Average number of minutes American women spend
   each week looking for the TV remote.

6: Average number of minutes Americans spend each
   week looking for their car keys before going
   to work.

Source: You Can't Be Too Organized," a survey
conducted by IKEA.

*************************************************************

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*******************************************************************

B a t t e r i e s   N o t   I n c l u d e d
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sojourners is not abandoning non-violence

Re: David Batstone's SojoMail column, "What else can
we do?...Plenty":

Hugo Schwyzer of Pasadena, California, wrote:

I find myself disheartened rather than encouraged as I
read David Batstone's latest piece. In a discussion of
alternatives to the current horrific bombing campaign,
he asks rhetorically, "Does building public consensus
and legal recourse obviate the use of force?" The answer,
according to Batstone, is no, and he goes on to give a
secular and thoroughly unscriptural defense of police
actions.

Since when has Sojourners bought into the just war
theory? What has happened to radical, biblical non-violence?
Where are the voices schooled in Anabaptist or Quaker
theology? Do I need to send the editors of Sojourners a
copy of John Howard Yoder's "The Politics of Jesus?"
The use of force to bring Osama bin Laden to justice
in a criminal court will involve violating the sanctity
of life just as surely as dropping bombs on Kabul will do.
I know it seems folly to rule out even the most targeted
and restrained of police actions, but as Christians, we
are called to reject the pragmatic when it is in conflict
with the gospel. 

Of course, I still love the magazine and SojoMail...
keep it coming!

--------

Dear Hugo:

I appreciate your pursuit of this topic. Since there
were several other letters that shared your concern
about my column, and the broader position of Sojourners,
I want to address the issue directly.

Given the understanding of Sojourners' history implicit
in your letter, I guess you know that as a magazine and
a movement we have pursued non-violent responses to
conflict and injustice for 30 years. We've actively 
pursued non-violent action to stop the war in Vietnam, 
promote the civil rights movement, protect the 
people of Central America from military governments
and their death squads, and on and on. We choose the
path of non-violence both as an act of faith and as one
of hard pragmatism - nonviolent methods will usher in
more just and peaceful resolutions than is possible with
the resort to weapons of war.

In that spirit, practically every aspect of my column
explored nonviolent alternatives to the military options
unleashed by the U.S. government in Afghanistan. I urged
pursuit of an international court trial, halting the
bombings on Afghanistan, massive economic aid and
development, and a media and education campaign to raise
the voice of credible Muslim voices who could save Islam
from its perversion. I do find it a bit perplexing, then,
that more than a few of the letters I received this week
from confessing pacifists completely discounted this
90% of the content, asking me why "I support the use of
violence." Of course, they homed in on the one aspect of
force that I find tenable, namely, police action that
has been authorized by due process of law.

Let me assure you that I am quite familiar with the
work of John Howard Yoder, having read "The Politics"
of Jesus" on more than one occasion. I'm also aware
that near the end of his life Yoder spoke quite openly
of the need to define an ethics of police action. My
experience tells me that even Mennonites, Anabaptists,
and other pacifist traditions rely on police action
for peace and order in their own communities. If a
gunman is loose in the neighborhood, I suspect
that even these good folks will call on police
intervention. If that is the case, why would we not
consider the need for a global police action
that acts under the limitations, and accountability,
of due process?

I must admit my own ambiguity on this point. I still
have doubts whether Osama bin Laden and his network
should be considered "criminals." I reject the idea
of "America at war" because I don't see bin Laden's
network as a legitimate ruling authority (such as
a nation-state). But how do we categorize "terrorists?"
And how do we bring them to justice for the crimes
against humanity they have already committed? Perhaps
more importantly at this moment, how do we prevent
them from carrying out other acts for which they do
not lack the will, but only the capacity?

I don't have definitive answers. I'm hopeful that
SojoMail will be an important forum for discussion
to cover new ground. In the meantime, let's all of
us link arms and exhaust every conceivable nonviolent
means to end the suffering and create the conditions
for peace in this volatile conflict.

With all respect,

David Batstone
Executive Editor
Sojourners/SojoMail

------------------------------------------------------------------

S o u l   W o r k s
++++++++++++++++++++
A trilogy of hope

by Peter Ediger

I. Rivers of tears
now flooding from Western eyes
joining rivers of tears
long flowing from Eastern and Mid-Eastern eyes
washing away the blindness of us-against-them
clearing the eyes to see
we.

II. Streams of compassion
rushing to the Hudson and Potomac
flow on the Jordan and Tigris
greening arid lands.

III. Oceans of love
long captive to slogans damning
nations and cultures and creeds
well up from depths devoid of
enemies.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

R e l i g i o n   &   P o l i t i c s
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Researcher seeks out militants

Cynthia (Keppley) Mahmood, a professor who grew up in 
the pacifist tradition in Reading, Pennsylvania, has conducted 
personal interviews in guerrilla camps in remote corners 
of the world, including India, Pakistan, and Cyprus. She's also
interviewed religious militants and extremists who
live in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Following are excerpts from an article by Margaret Fosmoe 
that was published in the South Bend Tribune:

Mahmood thinks U.S. leaders must consider carefully
the likely results of a military attack on Afghanistan
designed to kill or capture bin Laden. Civilians are
likely to be killed, and she truly fears the results:
"It's going to push more moderate Muslims to the radical
cause in solidarity. It's going to spread the reaction
to all the other (Muslim) countries," she said. "It's
an impossible task to say we're going to root
(terrorists) out and assassinate them one by one. This
is a self-replenishing operation."

Mahmood fears such action could proliferate into a
world war. Americans who conclude that religious
militants must be crazy to agree to suicide missions
are only viewing the Islamic world through their
own Western eyes, Mahmood said. Seeking martyrdom
isn't that different from Americans joining the
military and being willing to sacrifice their own
lives for their nation, she said. They are fearless
of death because their concept of death is apart
from worldly comfort.

U.S. leaders don't seem interested in understanding
these groups, Mahmood said. "We fear understanding
them is tantamount to condoning or sympathizing
with them," she said. It is only through personal
contact and knowing as much as possible about such
groups that world leaders can make wise decisions
about how to respond to disasters such as the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks. She prefers the term "militant"
to "extremist" because, she said, some of the people
she interviews are not at the margins of their groups
but at the center.

Americans must learn to understand the way such groups
think and view the world in order to understand why
they act in certain ways. It's simplistic to categorize
all terrorists as religious madmen, Mahmood said. "If we
envision them all as psychopaths, we are going to be
failing to understand their roles within their
communities," she said.

To view the entire article by Fasmoe, go to: 
http://www.southbendtribune.com/search 
(a subscription fee is required)

**************************************************************

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*************************************************************

B o o m e r a n g
++++++++++++++++++

Alan Hatfield of Florey, Australia, wrote:

Thanks for David Batstone's article ("What else can we do?
Plenty ....") in SojoMail. This asks the questions and
makes the kind of points that I and quite a few of my
friends (all of us non-Americans) are asking but not
seeing widely asked in America.

America is a great nation and has much to offer the world,
but it seems to be constantly unaware of the illogicality
and counter-productivity of its stances on many international
issues - to others and to its own longer-term self-interest!
An instructive if very sad case study is Israel's current
attempt to kill (literally!) terrorism in its own sphere
of interest. Apparently, even many in America are coming
to see the futility and counter-productivity of this approach.
Is there any chance that America may learn from this ?

-----------------------

SojoMail reader R.P. Baldwin wrote:

David Batstone: I have read all of your writings over
the last month and agree with part of what you say
concerning poverty and dictators. But where and how
do you propose to finance these grand programs to
stamp out all the world's problems? And how do
you negotiate with a dog that has rabies [the
terrorists]? When I was on a farm, all the neighbors
got their guns and went hunting. You either isolate or
neutralize. Either solution is acceptable.

-----------------------

Ruthmary Mangan of Columbus, Ohio, wrote:

I am grateful for the "other side" type of voice you are
presenting, one not coming through the general media. And
I am particularly appreciative of your providing a forum
for discussion of the issues.

I don't think our American government does everything right
and, as an American, I am very aware of our own failings.
However, I have some thoughts that are perhaps a little
different from David Batstone's....

While I am also concerned with "innocent civilians" and
the loss of innocent lives is indeed a tragedy, still I have
some sense that there really are no genuinely "innocent" civilians.
Peoples are ultimately responsible for the governments they
allow to rule them and if they passively (or actively) allow a
despotic, destructive government to take over (prime example:
Hitler in '30s Germany), they bear some responsibility as well.
The other night I heard on the news a fleeing Afghani man say:
"The Taliban caused the bombs to come. I don't blame America."

NOW: before y'all jump on me, I do realize that the Afghan
people are largely victims of the Taliban rule (I have a
friend who has lived and suffered under their rule - I truly
do know in some detail). I am not blaming the civilians for
the oppressiveness of their rule; the blame rests with the
committed members of the Taliban. However, just five to six 
years ago, many of these same "innocent civilians" were welcoming
and supporting the Taliban. It will now cost something to
get rid of it - much as it did in Nazi Germany.

-------------------------

Jim Stanley of Fort Wayne, Indiana, wrote:

Okay Sojourners family, I am conflicted. I opposed the
Vietnam War, U.S. support for Central American death
squads, and the Gulf War. I am ashamed that our nation
has supplied so many brutal regimes with weapons,
landmines, and "moral" support. Some of the enemies we
now face are folks we helped arm 20 years ago! I
realize this. 

But I just can't get past the fact that 6,000
innocent people were vaporized on September 11th -
hundreds of them firefighters and police officers
who actually ran into hell in an effort to save lives.
I do not desire vengeance, for where does vengeance
end? But neither do I discount the importance of
punishment. There is a difference, isn't there?

I wonder: how would you have responded to the December
7th, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor? When hundreds of
people - some American and many Kenyan and Tanzanian
nationals - are killed in an unprovoked attack on
two embassies in Africa?

I ask this without any malice or antagonism toward my
pacifist brothers and sisters. Indeed, how I wish the
whole world shared your vision! I praise God for each
one of you and your many works around the world aimed
at disarmament, non-violence, and human rights. I find
myself in complete or substantial agreement with you
most of the time. But help me understand. Is there not
also, as Solomon has written, a time for war?  And if
not in 1941 and again in 2001...then when? I loathe the
very idea. But can there be an effective, realistic,
non-violent resolution to the murder of 6,000 people? 

--------------------

Larry Egly of Killeen, Texas, wrote:

I am new to nonviolence, having only six years ago resigned
my commission in the military reserves as well as my job
with the Department of Defense out of a desire to be
faithful to Jesus' instruction to love our enemies.
Sojourners and the writings of Jim Wallis were pivotal in
my conversion. Maybe it is inexperience, but I am confused
by Jim's recent statements in Sojomail. He is saying, if I
am understanding him correctly, that military force is an
acceptable option to solving the current terrorist crisis.
David Batstone seems to echo this idea. How does love for
enemies come from military violence? Are we to believe
that because the terror has struck our homeland, the
situation is somehow different this time? Does the biblical
call to peacemaking extend only to situations that don't
affect our country in such a painful manner?

The recommendations of Jim and David in SojoMail of
limited use of military force, or police action, are still
recommendations to use violent force. Is this the role of
a peacemaker? I myself readily admit to not having the
magic answer to solving this issue. The international
legal system, diplomacy, perhaps economic sanctions that
do not harm the poor (are there such actions?) appear to
be the best choices to me. I am hopeful wiser, more
experienced peacemakers will produce other, better options
as well. Am I being a fool, or am I being a fool for Christ?
Sometimes I am not sure. It is certain, however, that Jesus
and Paul call Christians to love their enemies. Military
force is not an act of love.

-----------------------

Kathy Neely of Chicago, Illinois, wrote:

Thanks for all your provocative articles and letters!
I am an admirer (but not a thorough-going student) of Martin
Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I found this quote
yesterday (on a PBS site - I hope we can rely on its accuracy):

"If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi
and non-violence. But if your enemy has no conscience
like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer."

                   - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I'd like to know more about Bonhoeffer's journey from
pacifism to the plot to kill Hitler.

-----------------------------

Boomerang is an open forum for all kinds of
views. The views expressed are not necessarily
those of Sojourners. Want to make your voice
heard? Send Boomerang e-mails to the editor:

"boomerang@sojo.net"

--------------------------------------------------------------------

C u l t u r e   W a t c h
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
New films/books/music worth paying attention to...

by Beth Isaacson and Molly Marsh

*"America's New Religious Landscape," a new 60-minute
video from the producers of PBS's Religion and Ethics
NewsWeekly, contains descriptive segments on Buddhism,
Hinduism, Islam, and other faiths and their growth in
America, as well as how some immigrants and their
children adapt their religious faith to life in
America. With the accompanying discussion guide, the
video is an excellent resource for church, community,
or individual study. Order at:

http://www.alban.org; 1-800-486-1318, x244

----------

*"Witness to Genocide: The Children of Rwanda," edited
by Richard Salem. A heartbreaking and hopeful book that
contains more than 50 photos and drawings by child
survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which left
more than 300,000 orphans. The drawings depict what
children weren't able to express verbally in trauma
counseling. Royalties will be donated to trauma
treatment organizations in Rwanda. Order at:

http://www.cmi-salem.org; 1-800-889-5733

----------

*Jubilant Sykes follows up his acclaimed collection
of spirituals, "Jubilant," with "Wait for Me," which
includes classic songs by some of the greats - all
in Sykes' rich, soulful baritone: Bob Dylan's "Ring
Dem Bells," John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in
Me," Son House's "John the Revelator," and Bruce
Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind."
(Available on Sony Classical)

----------

*"Affluenza," by John de Graaf, David Wann, and
Thomas H. Naylor. Clear, witty, and heartfelt, this
236-page follow-up to the PBS documentaries "Affluenza"
and "Escape from Affluenza" divides its investigation
of rampant over-consumption into three parts. The
detailed descriptions of "affluenza" symptoms,
exploration of the historical and cultural causes
of the disease, and "staggeringly practical"
prescriptions for treatment offer readers a
vivid picture of this epidemic in our midst.
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.)
             
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

T e c h   E t h i x
++++++++++++++++++++
Anti-terrorism bill has lasting effects

by Declan McCullagh

Though minor provisions in the sweeping anti-
terrorism bill will expire in 2005, many have no
sunset clause and broaden police powers indefinitely.
To read more, go to:

http://www.wired.com/news/conflict/0,2100,47901,00.html?tw=wn20011026

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

B u i l d i n g   a   M o v e m e n t
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mexican human rights workers under threat; 
leader assassinated

SIPAZ (Servicio Internacional para la Paz/International 
Service for Peace) is deeply saddened and disturbed by 
the assassination October 19th of Digna Ochoa, one
of Mexico's most prominent human rights lawyers.

We believe this is a critical moment for an outpouring of
concern at the international level to press the Mexican
government to resolve this terrible crime, to ensure the
protection of other human rights defenders, and to
demonstrate concretely its commitment to human rights.

We have sent the following letter to President Fox, with
separate letters to Interior Minister Santiago Creel,
the Attorney General of the Republic, General Rafael
Macedo de la Concha, and the Attorney General for
Mexico City.

Below we append the appeal in English sent out by the U.S.-
based Mexico Solidarity Network. It lists several options
for action, all of which we strongly support. The only
thing we would add is to ask that you direct your
appeals to as many of the following as possible:

Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de "Los Pinos"
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
C.P. 11850, México D.F., MÉXICO
Fax: +52 55 22 41 17 /+52 55 16 95 37

Sr. Secretario de Gobernación
Santiago Creel 
Bucareli 99, 1° piso
Col. Juárez 
C.P. 06699 México D.F., MÉXICO
Fax:+ 52 55 46 73 88

Procurador General de la República
General Rafael Marcial Macedo de la Concha
Reforma Norte esq.Violeta 75
Col. Guerrero, Delegación Cuauhtémoc México D.F.
C.P. 06300, México D.F., MÉXICO
Fax: +52 53 46 09 83 / +52 53 46 09 06 / +52 56 26 44 26

Sr. Procurador General de Justicia del Distrito Federal
Mtro. Bernardo Bátiz Vázquez
csocial@pgjdf.gob.mx
(NOTE: Attorney General of Mexico City; according to our
information, the criminal investigation is in his hands.)

President Vicente Fox Quesada,

We express our most profound sadness and outrage at the
assassination of human rights advocate Digna Ochoa. This
crime directly threatens the struggle in defense of human
rights in Mexico and every other part of the world.

The execution of Digna leads us to question the commitment
of your administration to the protection of human rights.
Her kidnapping, the threats directed against her, and,
finally, her assassination are a direct result of
ineffectiveness and/or lack of political will on the
part of the justice system to prevent these hideous deeds
and to sanction those who are responsible. At this moment
of crisis, we are especially concerned about the safety
of other Mexican human rights activists who have received
similar threats, including Maria Patricia Jimenez of the
Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center, members
of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center,
members of the Fray Lorenzo de la Nada Human Rights
Center, members of the Bartolome Carrasco Center, Arturo
Solis, Barbara Zamora, and Pilar Noreiga.

We demand the following measures:

- A thorough and transparent investigation of the
assassination of Digna Ochoa and the threats leveled
against other human rights activists, and the prosecution
of those responsible for these hideous acts.
- The immediate protection of human rights advocates,
especially those mentioned above, and development of public
policies for the long-term protection of human rights
advocates. 
- Immediate compliance with the Declaration of Human Rights
Defenders prepared by the General Assembly of the United
Nations.

Sincerely,

-- 

Servicio Internacional para la Paz (SIPAZ combines violence
reduction and peace-building strategies in Chiapas with
efforts to inform and mobilize the international community.

SIPAZ International Office
P.O. Box 2415 
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W e b   S c e n e
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This week's best of the Web

*Books for understanding the world
If you're looking for a way to get a handle on some of 
the issues swirling around us, Politics & Prose, an 
independent D.C. bookstore, has put together a great 
annotated bibliography. The list contains books that 
are grouped around five topics: Terrorism, Central 
Asia and Afghanistan, American Foreign Policy, 
Understanding the Middle East, and Islam.

http://www.politics-prose.com/radio.htm#ter

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*Follow the government payola trail

Curious about the flow of money in American politics?
Opensecrets.org lets you find out who is contributing
cash to individual candidates' war chests on the federal
and state level. You can also find out what candidates
and parties your particular industry is supporting.

http://www.opensecrets.org/

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*For art's sake...the Guggenheim online

Take a glimpse into the Guggenheim Foundation's new
online art museum. Although its official launch is set
for this fall, this promising site already has two
impressive multimedia exhibits: "The Art of the
Motorcycle" and "French Art, Russian Collectors."

http://www.guggenheim.com/

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*Activists against privacy unite!

A clever parody of the threat to our online privacy
is offered at this Web site. But the laughter recedes
once you realize how many of our rights are indeed
losing ground.

http://againstprivacy.tripod.com/

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*You got money to study that?!

Created by the science humor magazine "The Annals of
Improbable Research," this site blends strange-but-
true research with satire. You need only check out this
year's winners of AIR's "Ig Nobel Prize" to read gems
like "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts" and "An
Ecological Study of Glee in Small Groups of Preschool
Children."

http://www.improbable.com/


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