bm173 Turkey Talk in Lisbon

by bicyclemark

En route from Amsterdam to Lisbon via Porto, I had ample time to read through the French, British, and Portuguese papers. I ran into many articles on Turkey and the decision by the EU to slow down or what many call “freeze” the process of expansion to include them. While it is certainly not under-reported news, it is an issue that I have a seperate or somewhat different concern about, and therefore voila: a podcast on this topic, including some other EU related concerns and criticisms from me. No podjournalism today, just me in this chilly Lisbon apartment, trying to huddle around a electric-space-heater.

Here’s an article for additional reading.


Haloween and Habeas Corpus

by bicyclemark

Im sure you heard about the recent death of Habeas Corpus.. which began with the Magna Carta back in 1215 and was destroyed by the Bush administration and the US congress in 2006.

In honor of that occasion, and since last night was haloween here in Amsterdam amongst the crazy Dutch, the expats, and the visiting bloggers, I came up with a special costume.

I haven’t gotten the best photos, but here are two to tide you over

UPDATE: The lovely Lyssa took some excellent photos of my costume… I present to you, the Ghost of Habeas Corpus:

Flew Past The Big Apple

by bicyclemark

I’m just in off the KLM flight from Amsterdam. Badly in need of sleep, and what better place to sleep then the bed which I basically grew up sleeping on, not including the new-er mattress.

Before I head off to jet-lag-sleep-land, I wanted to mention something I noticed as the tanks rolled through Bangkok earlier this week: Josh Wolf, the very active citizen journalist, who you may have heard on Democracy Now last week, is heading back to jail. Once again the authorities want him silenced and used as an example for all citizen journalists to be afraid when it comes to doing their work. Josh gets my utmost respect for the way he has gone to jail and does not run from the idea of having to go back. Myself I imagine I would be finding ways to fly off to some safe haven country somewhere, out of fear of incarseration.

So watch his video, and like the man says… talk about this on your blog, at work, etc. Spread the word and do not let such battles go unnoticed.

Nicest Populations Get Murdered

by bicyclemark

Sitting in the heart of the Jordaan this evening, as boats sailed by, bikes rattled past, and drunken teenagers hobbled from bar to bar, I spent some quality time with a very special girl. She graduated, as did I, from the U of Amsterdam, and during her studies went off to Darfur to do field work related to displaced people and the genocide that happened and is beginning to happen again.

She’s been travelling alot lately, and so I updated her on things like Spike Lee’s documentary, conspiracy theories, and who’s been on Bill Maar’s show lately. As we sat there talking about all the death and destruction in the world, she began to go into detail about her experience in Darfur and how everything is unfolding with the world’s full knowledge and yet nothing is done.

Among the things she talked about was the hospitality she received there, how people were so unbelievably welcoming to an American girl from Georgia. They even knew I was Jewish, she said, to further emphasize how kind the people of Darfur are. We went on to speak about the oil deals and other interests, especially those of China and Russia, that further help to halt any and all efforts to intervene in the mass murders.

At some point, she puts her empty glass on the table and says something like

“It is almost like, the nicer a culture or a population, the more likely they are to be victims of mass murder.”

I thought about that as I rode home. I thought about her travels and how eventually, she’ll likely end up back in Sudan, trying to do whatever she can, her small part in the face of so much complacency. As sad as the conversation sometimes seemed, it is inspiring to spend time and share ideas with someone of such intelligence and understanding of the world around us.