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07/30/2003 Archived Entry: "Liberty Reprint Website"

Those familiar with Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" -- and it *is* one of his more obscure songs -- will fall on the floor with laughter over this fabulous Flash animation set to his lyrics.

For further comic relief, I offer cartoons by Jeff Danziger "Homeland Security Investigates Political Cartoonists" and David Horsey"s "It Must Have Been the Canapies".

Thanks to Ken G. for pointing me to a website that is endeavoring to reprint the contents of Benjamin Tucker's Liberty (1881-1908). I'm not sure I thank him for this next item, however: "Working from their university labs in two different corners of the world, U.S. and Australian researchers have created what they call a new class of creative beings, "the semi-living artist" a picture-drawing robot in Perth, Australia whose movements are controlled by the brain signals of cultured rat cells in Atlanta." Frightening. As a writer of both fiction and non, I'm starting to feel...well, I feel so five minutes ago, so close to obsolete. Yikes!!

The new requirements being imposed for US Visas are draconian and they are hurting both innocent foreigners and American businesses. The Christian Science Monitor explains, "the new approach is the equivalent of a US citizen - who wanted to visit, say South Africa - having to call the South African Embassy on a 1-900 number to schedule an interview several weeks in advance, travel to Washington, D.C., for the interview, stay overnight in a hotel, fly back home to await the visa's arrival by mail, and only then be allowed to leave on the trip. At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., visa delays are hurting a once-booming international business. The application used to be a 24-hour process but is now routinely a 3-week wait, says Stephen Gudgell, head of the clinic's international program. He notes that competitors in other countries, including Germany, are capitalizing on America's newly cumbersome process. They're able to guarantee medical visas in 24 hours. He recalls a young Middle Eastern male - the kind the State Department would watch carefully - who wanted cardiac surgery at Mayo. But rather than waiting three to four weeks for a visa, he went to Germany. 'Those situations occur on a regular basis,' Mr. Gudgell says." Hello Fortress Amerika.

Best to all,

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