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Worth Your Time

July 11, 2010

A White God Freakout, via Texas in Africa:

Background: last week, the press watchdogs at FAIR did a review of Perry’s scare piece about how the Chinese are taking over Africa (China’s New Focus on Africa, June 24th). The Perry piece used the standard Western-correspondent formula for covering the third world, a formula I’m very familiar with from my Russia days. In it, the moral of every story you write has to be that the backward subject country cannot survive without the indulgence, political protection, and gigantic brain-power of the superior Western societies. At the eXile we used to call this “White God” reporting.

The Coup in Honduras and Its Aftermaths: Women’s Lives One Year Later

From the very beginning, women, many of them feminists, were at the forefront of the resistance – resisting with their voices, their bodies and their critical thinking. Out of this resistance, the coalition Feministas en Resistencia was born. According to Mujeres y Feministas en Resistencia, the coalition consists of “young women, mature women, old women, black women, indigenous women, mestiza women, white women, talkative and quiet women, rural women, working women, students and intellectuals. Women who walk and who resist. Those of us who have cried and laughed while we tried to build the motherland: Honduras, as we call her.”

More developments in Jesuits (1989 murder in El Salvador) case in Spain

A Spanish court has heard new testimony from a witness about the 1989 Jesuit murders. Spanish newspapers, citing sources close to the proceedings, revealed that the witness testified about participation at the highest levels of the Salvadoran military in the November 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America, their housekeeper and her daughter. The witness, whose name was not disclosed, is said to be a former military officer. His testimony reportedly indicated, as has generally been assumed, that the planning of the Jesuits murder happened at the highest levels of the Salvadoran military. The bombshell revelation was that the witness apparently testified that president Alfredo Cristiani had advance knowledge of the assassinations and approved them. Previously Cristiani had only been accused of participating in a cover-up of the crime.

Reporting from the TED Senior Fellows mini-conference at TEDGlobal

Paradoxically, V.K. Madhavan opened the session by defending a traditional approach. Madhavan works with chirag.org, a rural development project in the Himalayas of India. His group takes on projects all around Kumaun region of Uttarakhand, from running preschools to recharging dry springs. And this kind of multi-disciplinary approach, he says, has somewhat fallen out of fashion in this decade, compared to specialized, results-oriented projects that focus on one topic (education, farming, roads) and have one measureable result or end product. Another Senior Fellow, Frederick Balagade, asked him, “What is the end product of your work?” Madhavan replied: “There is no end product; we’re working with people. Our work sometimes doesn’t show until the second or third generation of families.” It’s a large-scope approach that has a complicated relationship with the local government that, in a healthier society, would do chirag.org‘s work. As he says: “We mirror the state. We exist because the state has failed.”

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