Sydney’s Trams their Rise, Decline, Demise and Rebirth by Maximos62.
George St, Sydney looking south from Goulburn St 1960. From State Records NSW
Why Are the United States and Israel at the Top of Human Rights Hit Lists? This is from Foreign Policy November 2009, but was picked up this morning by 3 Quarks Daily.
Human Rights Watch and its rights-watching peers have heard it all. They’re quasi-terrorists with an anti-U.S. ax to grind or perhaps stealth fighters for global capitalists. They’ve been accused of being anti-Semitic, anti-Asian, and anti-African at one time or another. Since the human rights movement began in the early 1970s, the criticism has grown as fast as the stacks of reports, op-eds, and analysis that the organizations’ analysts produce.
Six years ago, we decided it was time to systematically examine the accusations flying from all directions. After subjecting human rights organizations’ work to a barrage of statistical tests, we found that everyone was right. Yes, the watchdogs have biases. But they might make those groups more effective at pushing the human rights cause. Whichever side of the fence you fall on, there’s no denying it: There’s a politics to human rights…
3. Not new news
Nothing like the revelation of precious metals in a far off land to get the hyperbole flowing — and stir up the cynics. And so it goes in the wake of James Risen’s New York Times report that the U.S. has identified nearly a trillion dollars in mineral deposits throughout Afghanistan:
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe…
And that’s so 1985: Not everyone is titillated. Marc Ambinder, writing for The Atlantic, points out that Afghanistan being pockmarked with mineral deposits is old news — the Soviets knew as far back as 1985 –and suspects that the Pentagon’s revelation has more to do with trying to shed a little sunshine on a country where things aren’t going so well at the moment. Writes Ambinder:
What better way to remind people about the country’s potential bright future — and by people I mean the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans — than by publicizing or re-publicizing valid (but already public) information about the region’s potential wealth?…