Short Takes: News from All Over: January 29, 2004

Robert McNamara on Iraq: ‘It’s Just Wrong What We’re Doing’
By Doug Saunders, Toronto Globe and Mail / Common Dreams
In an interview, Robert McNamara breaks a long silence on American actions in Iraq. ‘We’re misusing our influence,’ says the former defense secretary and subject of the current Errol Morris film, Fog of War. ‘It’s just wrong what we’re doing. It’s morally wrong, it’s politically wrong, it’s economically wrong.’ — Joel Stonington

Uncharitable Care: How Hospitals Are Gouging and Even Arresting the Uninsured
By the Staff of Democracy Now!,
If you thought the emergency appendectomy you just had was painful, wait till you try to pay for it. For the uninsured, the financial side of hospital care is becoming increasingly nightmarish, with hospitals employing collection agencies, the courts, and even imprisonment to recover the cost of healing. — Kyle Cohen

The Voices of Slavery
‘If I thought…that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and just end it all right away.’ Anyone tempted to romanticize the Old South should listen to the ringing voice of 101-year-old former slave Fountain Hughes, recorded in 1949, and archived on Voices From the Days of Slavery, part of the Library of Congress Web site: The site includes powerful narratives from six other former slaves as well. — Jon F. Spayde

Georgia: Debate Over Military Bases
By Georgy Kupatadze, Caucasus Reporting Service
The ex-Soviet republic of Georgia wants Russian military bases out — no surprise there. However, with a brand new, pro-US president in charge, the U.S. may angle to establish its own bases in the country. Georgia, after all, would be the perfect place to watch over both oil-rich southern Russia and volatile northern Iraq. — Erica Wetter

Iraq Blotted Out the Rest of the World in 2003 TV News
By Jim Lobe, Interpress Service News Agency
Counting minutes-per-year tells the tale of TV news. According to ADT Research, the three major networks’ evening news shows devoted a whopping 4,047 minutes to Iraq in 2003, while the worldwide AIDS crisis got 39 minutes, global warming 15 minutes, and the war in Congo (which has killed 3 million people) got 5. — EW

A Snooze Can Deliver Insight
Feel guilty about nodding off on the job? No need. Research reported by suggests that our brains can work problems out while we sleep. In figuring out mathematical problems those who took a long snooze were much more likely to come up with the right solutions. — JS

The Web’s Weirdest Blog? Geisha Asobi
What do naked-body ties, supermodels posing with meat, and spooky photographs of abandoned nuclear facilities have in common? Nothing! But that doesn’t stop Japan’s Asobi Tsuchiya from posting them on her Geisha Asobi Blog, one of the most interesting collections of disparate (though often art-oriented) web sites available. — KC

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