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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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lunarchick - 09:25am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7416 of 7421)

RIP Bandit Queen sold into marriage, raped ... fought oppression ... Murdered by Organised Guns.

    film The Bandit Queen. It is a remarkable piece of work, not least because of the controversy it has engendered, leading it to be banned in India for the present. The story is based on the real-life events surrounding Phoolan Devi as she grew up in the 1970s. Destitute and from a lower caste, she was subjected to the most humiliating physical and mental abuse from a group of high-caste men in her village. Unable to take it any more, she got her revenge when she transgressed all convention and joined a group of bandits, eventually becoming the leader of her own gang until her arrest in 1983. By then she had become a folk heroine and revolutionary symbol with her devotees creating their own images of her.
    In an attempt to understand how a myth is made, Kapur and the screenwriter Mala Sen – who wrote a book about Devi based on the diaries she kept while in prison – create a mythology of their own. The extraordinary story deals with issues of sexuality and class – which make it so contentious in India – and is filmed in epic style with much made of the cracked and hard Chambal valley landscape in which the action is set. The haunting soundtrack by the Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan compounds the mood. But central to the film is the brilliant performance from Seema Biswas who plays Devi with a suitably fierce intensity. Certainly the role is not an easy one. The scenes in which Devi is raped and tortured are extremely disturbing, though sensitively constructed to avoid exploitation. ‘Was I born of an act of love or violence?’ Devi cries at one point, feeling no more than a piece of dispensable trash. Biswas persuades us of Devi’s transformation as, rather than remain a victim, she is fuelled by a visceral anger and ends up perpetrating bloody deeds of her own.
    If this is not dramatic material enough, the film already has its own bizarre coda. While the film champions Devi, she herself has chosen to distance herself from it – though she has yet to see it. What’s more she has threatened to set herself on fire if The Bandit Queen is ever released in India; hence the present ban. Kapur is attempting to contest the decision and one suspects there is a further saga to come.

lunarchick - 09:37am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7417 of 7421)

GU Thread Bio-weapons

lunarchick - 10:02am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7418 of 7421)

Bwsh is cooking up a storm on the world stage!

lunarchick - 10:06am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7419 of 7421)

Weapons - the 5000 year old Ice-Man found on the Italian Alps is now thought to have died from an arrow, the head is in his shoulder.

lunarchick - 10:07am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7420 of 7421)

Weapons - the 5000 year old Ice-Man found on the Italian Alps is now thought to have died from an arrow. The head, of which, is embedded in his leather shoulder.

rshowalter - 10:13am Jul 25, 2001 EST (#7421 of 7421) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Thank God that the military-industrial complex's efforts, in the last decade, have been so amazingly ineffectual -- that they've made such fundamental mistakes, both at the level of mathematics and of judgement - and that they are now committed to "weapons" that are so totally ineffectual, except as sinks for US national wealth.

We are dealing with an amazingly deep, wide, longstanding pattern of fraud here.

And that is becoming more widely known.

Some ideas are difficult, not because they are complicated, but because the challenge so many preconceptions at once -- because they are, in some social and psychological sense, "unthinkable."

The idea that the United States military industrial complex is corrupt in decisive ways and a fraud on the whole world is becoming thinkable.

But perhaps, in the real world, people who've been crazy in an area of their lives have to come to their senses slowly. Maybe that is happening now.

We need to overcome Chain Breakers ...

We are in ugly situations where honesty and hard work are needed. Maybe there are good reasons for hope - though there's plenty to fear, too. The US military-industrial complex has screwed up so much, so long, that they've taken the whole world to the edge of destruction - - we need to wake up, and step back.

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