:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Wednesday, January 22, 2003  

Writing for our Rights!

Writing for Our Rights! Writers and Activists in Support of Civil Rights
January 25-26, 2003, Rutgers Newark Campus, Newark, NJ

This conference this weekend is open to everyone. And it's just a stone's throw from my apartment!

[From the website]: The headlines say it all: There is a massive assault on civil rights in the United States, unparalleled since the days of McCarthyism and Jim Crow. Thousands are being targeted for their religion or for their political views, detained indefinitely without charges or even killed. We will not stand by and let our fundamental civil rights be destroyed. The NJ Local of the National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981), together with other organizations, is hosting a conference of Middle Eastern, South Asian and Muslim-American writers to discuss with other writers and activists how to collectively respond to the attack on civil rights both overseas and domestically.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/22/2003 03:46:00 PM | (0) comments |


Palestinian Film Festival this weekend!

This weekend in NYC, Columbia University is hosting a 3 day event showcasing cinema by Palestinian filmmakers. The program includes over 34 films, several guest filmmakers, notable speakers (Edward Said, others), an opening night celebration, and other special events. Info at: http://www.dreamsofanation.org

The Film "Divine Intervention" and some Oscars controversy:
One of the films playing, "Divine Intervention", received the Grand Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Check out the story, view a trailer of the movie, and see where it's playing around the country on the Avatar Films website. And as of last month, Divine Intervention was refused as Palestine's entry to the Oscars, check out the article below:

The Academy Goes to War with the Bush Administration in the Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to refuse the Palestinian entry, "Divine Intervention", for the nomination of Best Foreign Film, while accepting submissions from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Chad. This decision has been expedited under the false pretext that the Academy doesn't recognize Palestine as a nation. It would be interesting to read the definition of "nation" as seen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

What the Academy knows and therefore reminds everybody, is that the government of each nation is allowed to submit one film to represent its country. This more or less defines the right for a film to be presented. Therefore, as long as the Palestinian government had agreed to submit "Divine Intervention" by Elie Souleimane, the Academy had no right to refuse to include it in the selection, unless the Academy, sitting atop its unchallenged power and authority doesn't recognize the Palestinian government. That would be unfortunate.

Even the Bush administration, although they would prefer that such government doesn't exist, was able to communicate and negotiate with Palestine, thus recognizing its existence. If Palestine doesn't exist in the movie world, why then was the same "Divine Intervention" selected as a Palestinian entry at the Cannes Film Festival this year? I'm sure that by now, Palestinian filmmakers - and there are a few, very talented people - wonder what nationality they are. Israeli? How ironic!

As we very well know, the Israeli government would never choose to send to Hollywood, a Palestinian film to represent its country. So for the Academy, it's probable that Palestinian films simply cannot be submitted, denying in a way, their right to exist. Sounds familiar? Isn't it in the Constitution of the Academy, or at least in its principles, to promote art without any distinction of race, religion or politics? Well, sometimes, the Bush administration would use the phrase "in times of war."

Now that art has to be put to the service of politics, it seems to me that the Academy and the entire Hollywood film industry has lost yet another piece of its credibility.

By Phil Ed for Au-Cinema.com

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/22/2003 08:26:00 AM | (0) comments |


Medical advances: a man with no brain

An Israeli doctor says "Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks."

A German doctor says "That is nothing, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks."

A Russian doctor says "In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks."

The Texas doctor, not to be outdone, says "You guys are way behind, we recently took a man with no brain out of Texas, put him in the White House, and now half the country is looking for work."

(thanks to Jen Cohn and the AMSA direct action listserv for this joke)

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/22/2003 07:20:00 AM | (0) comments |

Monday, January 20, 2003  

What Would King Say?

Interesting commentary "What would King say about Iraq War?" by Michael Honey. some excerpts below (lessons from history):

King said during the Vietnam War that "Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies," and "in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat." We seem to be doing much the same thing today. King also warned that militarism fosters a pervasive atmosphere of violence at home. As we confront gang wars, school shootings and other senseless violence in our society today, how can we not be concerned about the massive, state-sponsored violence modeled by our own government, as it and American companies become arms merchants to the world?

And, as King warned in 1968, military power exhausts resources needed to create jobs, health care, housing, education and economic infrastructure. As millions of Americans stand in food lines and as AIDS and hunger proliferate across the globe, can't we imagine better ways to make and use money?

As America plays both world arms merchant and policeman, the quest for military control, as King put it, has placed us "on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create a hell for the poor." It seems we truly are becoming a country where, as King warned, "machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people."

There is an alternative. Pursuing peace, economic redistribution and racial, ethnic and international fairness, King thought, could combat militarism, materialism and racism; it could insure that "the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war." We could become, as historian Howard Zinn says, "a humanitarian superpower" rather than a military juggernaut.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/20/2003 06:43:00 PM | (0) comments |

Sunday, January 19, 2003  

Okay so last week during lecture, one of our attendings in ob-gyn (I won't name names cuz I can't remember 'em) said that if we ever had an obgyn patient under anesthesia, we should take advantage of the opportunity to practice internal examination. That struck me as a little unsettling, but then thought that I was just being naiive and that perhaps consent to perform surgical procedures also included implied consent to perform such exams. Not bothering to confirm the veracity of that assumption, nor figuring out what I would do if asked to perform an exam on a sedated patient, I decided to not give the issue further thought. Then today, I ran into this article discussing a recent study in the UK about medical students performing pelvic exams without consent. Exactly what do we have consent to do when we consent our patients for procedures or surgeries? Anyone have an idea what our school's policy is?

posted by Rahat | 1/19/2003 12:39:00 PM | (0) comments |

Saturday, January 11, 2003  

“Nude women protest war again” -- an article from January 2nd about women getting together to make a statement for peace, in the nude. Great way of making a statement, and these woman know how to attract the media! (perhaps some organizations can get some ideas on publicity from these women -- too often, good organizations just don't know how to get their messages out because the media finds them too boring). The article and a great picture of women spelling out "peace" naked are here.

Some lines from the article:

Seeking to "reinvigorate the buzz across the country" from its first photo of women spelling "Peace" with their naked bodies, organizer Donna Sheehan and her group, Unreasonable Women Baring Witness, staged a second, much larger nude peace protest and photo shoot near Point Reyes Station on Sunday. ..

"It was automatic," said local singer and Point Reyes Station resident Rhiannon of camaraderie after the protest photo. "We all ran into the cold, glorious water. It was a great moment. We were washing each other off – The whole thing was very body, very human, very physical. And at the same time, we felt we were doing the best we can to represent the humans who don’t want to go to war."

posted by Anjali Taneja | 1/11/2003 07:37:00 PM | (0) comments |

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