...Views from mid-Atlantic
27 March 2004

That Saddam Hussein's family has asked French lawyer Jacques Verges to represent the former dictator has been a widely-run story this weekend. What many of them have missed is identifying the Iraqi lawyer who is to be his partner in this enterprise. Badie Izzat Izzat represents nearly half the faces on that famous most-wanted deck of cards, but he's never set foot in a criminal court in his life.

Ever wonder why the ice caps on Mars should have deep canyons spiralling out for hundreds of miles from their centres? Well, you should have. Think of all the fun you've missed now that they've figured it out.

In English, it is really quite a fundamental rule: alright isn't. All right is. The fact that it is a common mistake is no excuse for allowing it into the language as correct usage. You'd think people would be tipped off by the visual...alright just doesn't look all right, does it? All praise to the Guardian for its intention to stick by the rule.

Fascinating article in the Guardian about Stanley Kubrick. The writer was invited to the Kubrick estate two years after his death and allowed to rummage through his famous archives. This is what he found.

Because a woman in Bermuda was jailed this week for injuring a baby by shaking it, this Globe and Mail story about research on why some babies cry more than others has a particular resonance here. The article is written so as to suggest that the research it is detailing might reduce death or injury due to shaking, but I have my doubts. The main finding is that intense crying may not indicate that there is something wrong with the child, but may simply be a sign of "the reorganization of the many systems learning to interact with each other at this stage of life, such as digestion, learning, the visual system." If that is the case, the researchers hope, parents or other caregivers need not be frustrated by their inability to console the child. The difficulty with that theory is that people shake babies not because of frustration at their inability to comfort them, but because they are annoyed by the bloody awful noise they make.

Before the invasion of Iraq began, The US Joint Chiefs of Staff commissioned a report on the conduct of the US military from a team of nearly 60 people. It is not due to be published for a few weeks yet, but reports based on a draft have been published, most notably in the Boston Globe this week. The Christian Science Monitor rounds up some of the bits of the report that have appeared. Big lesson? For all the talk about it showing that the military needs to be re-sized and re-equipped, Iraq's a poor model on which to base scenarios for future wars.

26 March 2004

Elvis was a Scotsman? Well, you can add that possibility to the earlier suggestions that he was Welch, or Jewish. One thing's for sure, I think. The people of little Lonmay are very quickly going to learn that in the penny-pinching business, even the very tightest purse in Scotland will be taking a distant second place to the people at Graceland. Change the name of the Ban-Car Hotel to the Heartbreak Hotel, would they? I'd be surprised if they didn't get dinged for royalties for even having that thought.

A Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Ariel Cohen, has published a pretty robust commentary this morning in the Washington Times about the killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin. His take is that in the absence of effective nation-state action to control global radical Islamist terrorist networks, targeted killings are legitimate acts of national self-defense. He's right, of course.

His analysis of what's wrong with the European model of response to terrorism is especially worth reading.

The Washington Post has put some pretty damaging facts together about the UN's Oil-for-Food programme. New to me are these: First, although the programme was supposed to facilitate the supply of things like beans, rice and medicine for the poor, it actually included such things as plumbing and sanitation for swimming pools. Second, the UN director of the programme may have ended up with some of the Iraqi oil money himself. Third, the company the UN chose to inspect goods being imported into Iraq had not only been implicated in bribery scandals, it had also employed Kojo Annan, son of none other than Kofi, the UN Secretary General.

Linda Ellerbee, no stranger to the electronic media herself, is as upset about the dismissal of Bob Edwards as the host of NPR's Morning Edition as anyone else. She puts it down to ageism. One of these days, I guess, we'll find out for sure.

The Palestinians now say that the boy stopped by soldiers at an Israeli checkpoint with a bomb strapped to his waist was an Israeli PR stunt, concocted to make them look like monsters. An Arab Knesset member, Muhammad Baraka, told Aljazeera that "Using children as bombs is infinitely diabolical. It is totally inconsistent with all religious, moral and human values."

The difficulty the Palestinians have with this kind of denial is the evidence of hundreds of pictures, available all over the Internet, of Palestinian children, some of them babies, proudly dressed up as suicide bombers, or gun-toting terrorists, by their doting parents. You can't create a culture of hate that uses children to advertise and propagate itself and wish it away overnight, simply when it becomes inconvenient for you.

The Dissident Frogman, a blogger based in France, has made a little show out of these images. It's a little less than half-way down this page. His message is "There will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel"...a quote, apparently, from Golda Meir.

Investigators for Israel's Antiquities Authority have said that an ivory pomegranate on display at the Israel Museum since 1988 is a forgery. On the basis of its inscription, it had been dated as having been made in the 10th Century, BCE. But the expert who confirmed the authenticity of the inscription was a Frenchman, Andre Lemaire. M Lemaire has been in the news recently as having also authenticated the inscription on the James Ossuary, subsequently confirmed as another forgery. The Israel Museum paid $600,000 for the pomegranate.

According to the investigators, the pomegranate is another of the successes of a group of forgers who have been running what amounts to a forgery factory for the last 15 years. They have alleged that at the centre of this ring is Oded Golan, the collector who owned the James Ossuary.

Transparency International says Mohammed Suharto, Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko were the most corrupt politicians of the last two decades, as measured the amount of money they managed to steal from their respective countries.

It's funny they should say that at this particular moment, because I had a letter from Mrs Sese Seko just the other day. She sounds charming, if a little defenceless now her husband isn't there to protect her. She says she wants to give me $18 million to invest for her, and if I will just give her my phone number, she'll introduce me to her son, Kongolo, who she says "has the modalities for the claim of the said funds." Doesn't she sound like a poor widow lady? Must simply have been her husband who was the bad egg in the family.

Buckingham Palace wants to try to change the image of George III as a madman. They've put up an exhibition in the Queen's Gallery that shows him as a cultured, intelligent man. What the Brits don't understand, though, and what few Americans understand to this day, is that old Sam Adams was a spin doctor so accomplished that he makes Alastair Campbell looks like a rank amateur. When he spun one of his little webs, they stayed spun. Not even Buckingham Palace can change that.

One thing you have to say about British scientists and space - that little hiccup with the Beagle hasn't limited their ambition in the slightest. Now they want to push a telescope far enough out in space so that its ability to see isn't diminished by glow from the Earth. They want to push it out to a La Grange point, a spot where the gravitational pulls of the Earth, the moon and the sun are equalised, and from there, they want to take a look at first light objects - those that formed immediately after the Big Bang. Go for it, chaps!

It seems not every Palestinian in the Middle East wants to revenge the killing of Sheik Yassin by chopping Ariel Sharon's head off. Sixty prominent officials and intellectuals have urged "the public" to refrain from retaliation, saying it would ignite a new round of bloodshed that would only hurt Palestinian aspirations for independence. It would be nice if independence were the true, common aspiration of the Palestinian people, When your aspirations are to kill or drive every Zionist from the Middle East, though, you're bound to take a different view of the right next step.

Cold fusion was so soundly rejected by the scientific community that people connect it with hoaxes like crop circles or the Bermuda triangle. But it's now getting a second chance, because scientists who continued to test the idea say their figures unambiguously verify the original report, that energy can be generated simply by running an electrical current through a jar of water. The New York Times reports this morning that the Energy Department has agreed to take another look.

25 March 2004

It must be difficult for anyone not born on one of the pink bits in the atlas to understand the place of cricket in pink society. It can ease the tensions of war, it shapes the ethical outlook of the British, and the once-British, and it can carry the burden of the self-respect of a whole region on its shoulders. National leaders may well tremble when things go wrong.

Spacedaily thinks the discovery that there was once standing water on Mars is a defining moment in our understanding of the universe. "It ranks with the moment, nearly 400 years ago, when Galileo Galilei peered through his telescope and discovered spots on the sun, mountains on the moon and four tiny bodies circling Jupiter.

"It is an extremely simple rule: No water, no life. As long as Earth was the only planetary body containing liquid water - and, more particularly, seawater - then it was the only place in the universe where life was possible. Now, suddenly, there are two."

The Washington Times is this morning comparing Hamas's ex-leader, Sheik Yassin, to Al Capone: "Yassin's social work was similar to 'the good works' of Mafia boss Al Capone, renowned in certain neighborhoods for his contributions to Chicago charities, such as helping orphans and the poor. But Capone was a thug and a murderer, who destroyed untold lives." As the Times points out, since the current war began on September 29, 2000, Hamas, under Yassin's leadership, has carried out more than 400 attacks, in which it killed 377 Israelis and wounded 2,076 others.

To the extent that the European Commission is trying to do RealNetworks' media player a favour by trying to insist that Microsoft stop bundling its own media player with its operating system, it is making a mistake. I won't have the RealNetworks software in my machine, because it is the most relentlessly nagging, annoying piece of software I have ever come across. Windows Media Player is, to me, the better product.

After Rush Limbaugh, Bob Edwards' Morning Show on NPR had the widest listenership in the United States. Had is the operative word, though, because NPR has removed him from the job for reasons which no one yet has got much of a handle on. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post talks about the "telling sign" of the dismissal, but in the end, doesn't know any more than anyone else, which is pretty much nothing. NPR has been criticised recently for being as knee-jerkedly liberal and negative as the BBC, but in truth, I can't tell you that has anything to do with it.

The photographer Bill Brandt had a strange sort of background. He was born in London of parents who were both partly of Russian descent, and spent his early life in Germany in delicate health (he was not born there, as this article suggests). He left a Swiss tuberculosis sanitarium in 1929 to study with the surrealist Man Ray in Paris. Brandt worked closely with Man Ray in his studio for three months and continued to see him regularly for the next two years. From Man Ray to Britain? Sounds a little improbable, but that's the way it worked. He loved the place, and took photographs that were so good I've heard it said he was a social commentator as skilled as Charles Dickens. A retrospective of his work is opening today at the Victoria and Albert Museum, for those lucky enough to be in the neighbourhood.

Across the pond and down the road a piece, the Italian designer Gio Ponti is on show at the LA gallery Acme. At the same time, some of his designs are on the block at an auction in Chicago. Ponti designed the La Pavoni espresso machine, among other things. The LA Times recalls that he "designed glass for Venini, lighting fixtures for Fontana Arte, silver cutlery for Reed and Barton. He designed eye-grabbing interiors for trains, ocean liners and hotels, and invented headboards with built-in night tables and lamps. He even crafted a line of sinks and toilets that were hailed as domestic sculpture. His most iconic creation, however, was the Superleggera for Cassina. This chair, based on one Ponti had seen in a fishing village, took him six years to develop. The result: a sturdy chair so light a child could lift it with one finger."

The West's powerful drug industry is starting to pay attention to traditional Chinese medicinal techniques, with a view to getting in on their action. There are some hurdles to overcome - one of them is that the West's quality control requirements with respect to drugs are rather different from those in the East.

I had an experience of my own some years ago with the mysterious ways of a Chinese herbalist that turned out...well, not in the way I had expected. In the middle of a very cold winter in Toronto, I was staying in a tightly-sealed apartment with my wife and a much-loved, long-haired cat (really the Master of the Universe in disguise, but that's another story). I was sometimes finding it difficult to breathe, and suspected the cat was the cause. We were on the edge of Chinatown. There was a popular and respected herbalist just a couple of blocks away, so I thought I would visit and tap into the deep, dark wisdom of the Orient and all. The herbalist and I sat down to a cup of tea. I explained the problem. "Problem simple," he said, after a moment. "Kill cat."

24 March 2004

Ever wonder why the European Union is so brazen in its opposition to financial reform? It may have something to do with the fact that EU civil servants are, according to the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities of 8 April 1965, "immune from legal proceedings in respect of acts performed by them in their official capacity, including their words spoken or written. They shall continue to enjoy this immunity after they have ceased to hold office." It's a sort of looter's charter.

AlJazeera says Capitol Hill has begun demanding that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon, where it wields a firm grip over Beirut's security apparatus and government. The Arab news service quotes State Department spokesman Nabil Khury, who was responsible for liaison between Washington and the Arab media during the US-led war against Iraq, as having said: "The old arguments that this presence was necessary as collateral for recovering the Golan or to protect Syria's flank in the event of an Israeli attack are now obsolete and out of date."

A Washington Times commentary this morning fills in a little more of the background.

The Baghdad-based journalist Hiwa Osman says the reason there were no major demonstrations in Iraq on the first anniversary of the occupation of the country is that Iraqis realise the antiwar effort is not motivated by any real concern for the Iraqi people. "A year has lapsed," she says, "and the antiwar movement apparently remains ignorant to what the people of Iraq want...No Iraqi today wants to hear whether going to war last spring was legitimate or not. It is simply irrelevant. As far as Iraqis are concerned, the war was one of liberation: no more mass graves, no more torture chambers, no more random arrests, detention and extrajudicial killings."

Elsa Schiapparelli, says the Telegraph's Richard Dorment, was as much an artist as she was a fashion designer. "She was more modern than her rivals because she was a woman of ideas who collaborated with artists and artisans to turn her artistic vision into reality. Sometimes it is simply a matter of artistic give-and-take, as when she created fabrics printed with a pattern of newspaper clippings that look like Picasso's collages, or when Meret Oppenheim made her fur-lined tea cup after seeing a fur bracelet by Schiaparelli, who then returned the compliment by designing a shoe lined with monkey fur...

"The best-known Dali-Schiaparelli collaboration (and one of the best surrealist jokes) was Dali's notorious lobster dress, worn by the Duchess of Windsor for Cecil Beaton's photo of her just before her marriage in May 1937.

"The dress is so beautiful that the Duchess didn't notice where Dali had placed the lobster: on the front of the dress so that it functioned as a kind of fig leaf, or like an long arm reaching up to the crotch. When the picture appeared in Vogue, it drew attention to the precise part of the Duchess's anatomy that had caused the abdication crisis."

The Life of Brian as an antidote to The Passion of Christ? This story is about as thin as they get, but I still loved reading it. Brian: "Well, who cured you?" Ex-Leper: "Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business. All of a sudden, he comes, cures me. One minute I'm a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood's gone. Not so much as a by your leave...you're cured, mate. Bloody do-gooder."

"At the end of the day" has been voted the most irritating phrase in the English Language. Bermuda once had a politician who used the phrase so much, he was known in the biz as Cap'n Sundown. Fact is, though, any word or phrase used often enough can be like the pea under the mattress. My pet hate at the moment is "clearly", which shows up in some public pronouncements almost as often as "the".

Slavery was an equal opportunity business, and reparations advocates, according to columnist Thomas Sowell, are in it for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks.

That NASA press conference yesterday announced that Opportunity was at the Martian seaside. "We think Opportunity is now parked on what was once the shoreline of a salty sea on Mars," Dr. Steven W. Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for the science payload on the Opportunity and its twin Mars exploration rover, Spirit, said.

23 March 2004

NASA is going to be announcing another "major scientific finding" from its Mars Rover mission today. A press conference has been scheduled for 2 pm ET. You can watch it from here, if you like.

I don't use these things, on the grounds that telephones are ubiquitous enough without being given the power to chase people into their very baths. However, I recognise that for people who do want to submit themselves to that kind of indignity, this will be very good news.

I really enjoy this column from the San Francisco Chronicle, written by a world-weary and slightly mad taxi driver. In this episode, he learns that a bird who's too early isn't getting much more worm than a latecomer...among other things.

In the second part of its editorial on the significance of the burgeoning UN Oil for Food scandal, the Washington Times focuses on what it thinks might be one positive result: "It has begun to cause some in the Arab world to take a more introspective look at the behavior of Arabs who took money from Saddam — and specifically, to examine whether the money caused them to remain silent while the dictator killed and brutalized millions of their fellow Arabs."

I think most people would think that causing the United Nations to take a long, hard look at itself might also be a positive result. In a separate opinion piece on its editorial page, two Italian political activists, say the UN should try to return to the letter and spirit of its original charter. It should not be "'imposing or exporting Western values or models,' but working to remove all those obstacles that still greatly hinder the establishment of the individual's right to freedom and democracy, namely those values and models that have inevitably been chosen throughout history by anyone who has been given the possibility of making informed, free choices. Thus, the world will finally be able to cast off, once and for all, its racist attitude and cease to believe that all this does not benefit the vast majority of men and women living in this world."

Terry Eagleton, writer and professor of cultural theory at Manchester University, points out that modern politicians deal in facts, not philosophies. As with bad breath, he says, "ideology is always what the other person has. Socialism and anti-racism are ideas; greed and inequality are just plain, honest-to-goodness facts of life." Whether you read his article as philisophical lament or philisophical caution, you have to admit, he's got the facts down cold.

Readers of the Kipling Society's journal are working themselves up into a froth of excitement over its pending publication of a new Stalky & Co story, 77 years after Rudyard Kipling's death. D Day is April 7. The Stalky stories were first published 105 years ago and became well-loved by children, from five to 105 years old, because they were written from the viewpoint of three small boys, three small fiends in human likeness, battling to outwit the forces of authority.

My suspicion is that a lot of the condemnation and handwringing over the killing of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin is motivated more by a desire to be politically correct than it is by genuine belief. Yassin was a terrorist in exactly the same way Osama bin Laden is a terrorist. The only difference is that world opinion mistakenly and reprehensibly sees terrorism that targets Israel as acceptable.

A terrorist is a terrorist, and if the life of one of them is forfeit for trying to achieve political goals by killing innocent people, as is obviously correct, then the lives of all of them are forfeit. Killing Yassin was the correct move strategically for Israel, because Hamas without Yassin is like the horde without Genghis...less than it was. Although there is likely to be an immediate spike in violence because of it, over the longer term, violence will be discouraged because the leadership of Hamas and other terrorist groups will be made fearful, isolated and destabilised. If terrorism is to be defeated, a message must be sent by the world that if, in order to advance your political gains, you target civilians anywhere, including Israel, you and your organisation will be hunted down and destroyed.

Nigeria appears to have agreed to a Caricom request that it grant former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide "temporary asylum. Caricom's current president is PJ Patterson, the Jamaican Prime Minister. My guess is that he has come to realise that inviting Aristide to Jamaica was a blunder which this move ameliorates.

22 March 2004

Just over one year ago, Fidel Castro demonstrated to the world once again what his power in Cuba depends on: brutal repression. On March 18, 2003, Mr. Castro's security forces arrested 75 dissidents, 27 of them journalists. Shortly afterward, those dissidents were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison by Cuba's courts. The imprisonment of those Cubans remains a testament to the dictator's illegitimacy, according to the Washington Times.

"Many world leaders have tried to cast ambiguity on that illegitimacy. Supporters of democracy must firmly challenge that dangerous illusion and remind the world of the dissidents languishing in Cuban jails, many of whom have become seriously ill after being confined for long periods in dank cells. While opinion-makers may not be able to stop Mr. Castro's repression, they can deny him the international acceptance he craves."

The mounting evidence of scandal that has been uncovered in the UN Oil For Food program, the Washington Times says in this, the first of a two-part editorial on the subject, "suggests that there was never a serious possibility of getting Security Council support for military action (in Iraq) because influential people in Russia and France were getting paid off by Saddam. After the fall of Baghdad last spring, France and Russia tried to delay the lifting of sanctions against Iraq and continue the Oil for Food program. That's because France and Russia profited from it: The Times of London calculated that French and Russian companies received $11 billion worth of business from Oil for Food between 1996 and 2003."

If it turns out that prominent politicians and businessmen profiteered while Iraqis were deprived of basic necessities that the Oil for Food program was supposed to pay for, the paper says, there should be serious consequences, up to and including criminal prosecution.

This man's characterisation of Robert Stigwood's Bermuda estate as being the size of a small country, and containing at least one mountain, is about as wild as exaggerations get. Bermuda itself is one of the smallest countries in the world, at 21 square miles or so on a hot day, and Stiggie's estate occupied a tiny corner of it. Furthermore, there's nothing taller than a very modest hill here. But then he does admit that he was drinking fountains of champagne and snorting fishbowls of cocaine at the time. And it is the Mirror, of course.

Condoleezza Rice seems to have leaped into action to defend herself and others, including the President, against the allegations of a former security aide, Richard Clarke, who is said to have painted a picture of an administration which bumbled the beginning of the war on terror by obsessing on Iraq when they should have been focussing on al Qaeda. The National Security Adviser was on television this morning, saying Clarke's views were ridiculous, and tried to set the record straight in a little more detail in a good opinion piece published in the Washington Post.

Lufthansa's jumbo jets are just about to provide facilities to allow their passengers to plug in to the Internet during flight. The airline thinks it will have installed the new Boeing system on all of its long-haul aircraft within the next two years. Six other airlines also plan to have the Boeing system up and running later this year. Several airlines, including United, already offer a more limited Internet service to their passengers, using a less expensive system than Boeing's, developed by Tenzing Communications of Seattle. It's a service that is expected to generate $5 billion in revenue by 2010.

International efforts to reach a deal to unify Cyprus have stalled again. And again, Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish half of the Island, seems to be the fly in the ointment. Mr Denktash has refused to attend the Lucerne meetings on the Island's political future, despite his role as chief negotiator.

Mr Denktash is evidently afraid that the much richer and more numerous Greek Cypriots will dominate a reunited island, although the UN plan would limit the number of Greek Cypriots who could return to live in the north.

Picasso the architect? Well, le Corbusier apparently fancied him in the role, and others were influenced by him. Picasso played with the form of buildings in his art, and Guernica, painted for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair, led to some of the most profound buildings of all time.

A little fragment of silk and wool that Maeve Kennedy, art correspondent of the Guardian, characterises as "not big enough to make a mouse mat, never mind a carpet slipper" may be a portion of the finest hand-knotted carpet in history. It has been in someone's drawer for nearly a century. How did it get there? Ms Kennedy likes the explanation that a carpet-dealer ancestor of the present owner send a young assistant to India to buy stock. He spent all his money on this one fabulously rare fragment.

"If Sen. Kerry doesn't like the ads featuring him as Austin Powers, he better prepare for ones that compare his embrace of the incompetent U.N. bureaucracy and his on-again, off-again stance on providing money for our troops in Iraq to the bumblings of a foreign policy Inspector Clouseau." That's the rather unforgiving verdict of Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund this morning. You may need to register to read the rest of it.

21 March 2004

It takes a little while to drill down to it, but this Slate article records graffiti found recently on the walls of Baghdad. It's as fascinating as you might imagine. I especially liked DOWN WITH AHMAD CHALABI, MAN OF CATS, and this one:

WE WILL RETURN SOON! - The Baath Party
Underneath is written:

Smallweed's on about podgers, bodgers and doffers, among other things, in this most recent column. He's always a good read.

The search for a new chairman of the BBC's Board of Governors may well produce, unusually, someone who actually understands journalism and broadcasting. Mark Lawson reviews the contenders.

Meantime, an internal disciplinary procedure looking to assign blame for the Gilligan story's faults has set the staff of the organisation to seething and muttering about kangaroo courts. Lawyers are being consulted.

Phillip Bobbitt, author of an excellent book about the death of the nation state and the emergence of today's market state - The Shield of Achilles - says in the Guardian today that it is wrong to think that if the West hadn't invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, we wouldn't now be fearing attacks from al Qaeda. "Whether we are safer now than three years ago is not the right question. The real question is this: are we - the US, the UK, Spain, Italy, Poland and the rest - better off today than we would have been if we hadn't gone into Afghanistan and Iraq in order to remove the regimes there? He says the answer is that we are vastly better off.

Bobbitt is a former director of intelligence programmes at the US National Security Council. He is about to publish a new book, The War Against Terror.

Since my family has roots in both Brazil and Britain, the mysterious fate of the explorer, Col. Percy Fawcett, took root in my imagination at around the same time I was reading about Rapunzel and her hair. More than a dozen expeditions have gone into the Amazonian jungle trying to find out what happened to him and his team after they crossed the Upper Xingu, a tributary of the Amazon, and vanished. After a decade of research, some writer in Britain says he's found evidence among private family papers that the Colonel was planning to set up a commune in the jungle, based on a bizarre cult. Says he was "a kind of Indiana Jones figure".

"I can now show," the writer says, "that there were scores of associates who were planning to go out and join Fawcett to live in a new, freer way." He has uncovered a drawing of a beguiling and ageless "sith" or female "spirit guide" who he suspects is near the heart of the mystery. Appearing only to the Fawcett family and to those who try to track the expedition's path, the erotic siren draws white men into the jungle.

The truth has a certain clear, bell-like ring about it, doesn't it?

The New York Times (you'll need to register) reports today on an odd phenomenon. The internet seems to make people more honest than they are in person. Telephones make them less honest. At least, these are the results of a study of college students. "You can't make sweeping generalisations about society on the basis of college students' behaviour," the article warns coyly, ignoring the fact that, by inference, it has done just that.


Art in Bermuda
Bermuda's Cuban Connection
Death of the Nation State
Helen Lives!
Joe Wilson and Michael Moore
Linton Kwesi Johnson's Dub Poetry
Me and Evergreen Review
Michael Howard's Vision
Miss Lou and Jamaican Patois
More Doomsday Nonsense
Mullah Nasrudin's Lessons
New York Dogs
OECD's Unfair to Competition
On Catullus
On Charles Ives
On Colin MacInnes
On Collecting Books
On Collecting Books - Part Two
On Gambling in Bermuda
On Napoleon
On Patrick Leigh Fermor
Race and Bermuda's Election
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Gift of Slang
The Limits of Knowledge
The Nature of Intelligence
The Shared European Dream
The US Supreme Court's First Terrorism Decisions
Useful Yiddish
Yukio Mishima's Death

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