Päivän kuvat

Olen työstänyt valaisuohjeita salamalle ja tällä viikolla tulee ensimmäinen osa, jossa käsitellään aivan perusasioita. Valaisun perusasioita siis. Vanhan kertausta on tulossa, ainakin aluksi, mutta katsotaan mihin kaikki johtaa.

Tässä joitakin Nikon D300ässällä pikseleille tallennettuja näkymiä. Kaikki on kuvattu 35 mm f/1.8 objektiivilla.

150th Anniversary---December 2, 1859: John Brown's Execution; "He Knew How To Die" On The Gallows

“He Knew How to Die”: John Brown on the Gallows, December 2, 1859, David W. Blight, History News Network, November 30, 2009.

One hundred fifty years ago this week, John Brown, the radical abolitionist, walked out of the Charlestown, Virginia jail to a wagon containing his simple wooden coffin. He sat on the box as the wagon conveyed him a half mile to the edge of town for his appointment with the gallows. U. S. troops and Virginia militia guarded this most famous execution in American history, fearing attempts to rescue the leader of the shocking Harpers Ferry Raid. As Brown’s 59-year old body dangled in the cold breeze that morning with the starkly beautiful mountains as a backdrop, Americans all across the land contemplated the meanings of violence, slavery, and martyrdom as never before. And we have never managed to get John Brown – his deeds and his death – out of our consciousness.

Every discussion of the history of revolutionary violence or terrorism (choose your label) in American history begins with John Brown’s efforts to destroy slavery. Today, many have folded Brown’s story into a pleasing sense of the inevitability of the Civil War; Harpers Ferry is viewed as the ordained “first shots” of the nation’s tragic, but worthwhile, struggle to end slavery in a society as Brown so famously put it, “purged with blood.” Some admire Brown as America’s own righteous, Bible-quoting Spartacus somehow advancing our history, a redemptive hero who justifies our self-perception as a nation devoted to freedom and equality. Or, then as now, Brown can be dismissed as the midnight terrorist, the bloody agent of fanatical rage in the name of God’s designs. These extremes can keep us comfortable with our prejudices and our desires, but blind to the authentic fated tragedy in Brown’s acts.

Saintly hero or evil monster, John Brown on the gallows has inspired and haunted American poetry, painting, fiction, and historical interpretation. A living ghost in the national psyche, he will not go away, especially in our post 9/11 world of ubiquitous political and religious violence. John Brown should and does still trouble us; his “soul” may “go marching on” in the song that bears his name, but we should never let him or his story rest too easily in the narratives we tell ourselves. History should never come so cheap as to simply make us feel good about murder in the name of vengeance for slaveholding. Yet, few at the time of his execution could resist the fact that vengeance (God’s or man’s) for more than two centuries of the destruction of the lives, the souls, the collective human future of millions of Africans and African Americans was a primal challenge in the struggle for the very existence of the experiment called the United States.

The raid on the federal arsenal in October and the famous trial that followed were sensational events. But the public hanging, conducted on southern soil by the state of Virginia, was far more important in the long run. If Brown had not been captured so readily, if a slave insurrection in Virginia had killed thousands and Brown himself had been merely shot on some country road and the body never found we would not be thinking about him today. It is all about the gallows. Brown said so himself in one of his many letters from jail while awaiting execution: “I am worth now infinitely more to die than to live.” And many of his admirers would say the same thing over the generations. Ralph Waldo Emerson gushed that Brown had “made the gallows as glorious as the cross.” By 1880, Frederick Douglass, to some extent a co-conspirator with the Old Hero, declared: “I could speak for the slave. John Brown could fight for the slave. I could live for the slave, John Brown could die for the slave.” In 1928, the poet Stephen Vincent Benet tellingly captured Brown’s lasting meaning: “He had no gift for life, no gift to bring/ Life but his body and a cutting edge, / But he knew how to die.” And in Jacob Lawrence’s haunting series of paintings of John Brown done in the 1930s, nearly every one of the 22 images contain some variation of a cross, formal or twisted, made of rifles and spears, or of Brown’s body itself. Lawrence’s Brown on the cross was America on the cross. And no use of this most powerful image of western culture – crucifixion – should ever make us comfortable in our stories.

John Brown should confound and trouble us. Martyrs are made by history; people choose their martyrs just as we choose to define good and evil. And we will be forever making and unmaking John Brown as Americans face not only their own racial past, but the ever changing reputation of violence in the present. Indeed, as Robert Penn Warren, a fierce critic of Brown, nonetheless once said, it is the job of historians to pick the “scabs from our fate.” Love old John Brown or not, if we can do that with this subject we will learn a great deal about ourselves.

Mr. Blight is professor of American History at Yale University, director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery and Abolition, and author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.

Text Source:History News Network, November 30, 2009.

Top and Middle Images: Jefferson County West Virginia Historical Society
Bottom Image: Yale University

Unsettling profile of war crimes ambassador

War crimes envoy has personal touch read the headline for Colum Lynch's recent Washington Post profile of Stephen J. Rapp, who, as we've posted, became U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues in September.
Figured the story would talk about how Rapp's experiences as the top prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone had prepared him for this post. Fair enough.
But then came the subhead:
U.S. ambassador at large knows victimization and is a 'champion' of the brutalized
The story kicked off with a harrowing account of an all-night carjacking/kidnapping that Rapp endured 48 years ago. It then repeatedly linked this personal tragedy to Rapp's avowed self-image as "'a champion'" of the victims of crimes he's prosecuted, 1st in federal courts back home in Iowa, then at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and eventually at the Sierra Leone court.
Midway through, the story quoted criticism of the United States' policies on war crimes, levied by Fabienne Hara of the International Crisis Group, who contended

that the United States has not lived up to its commitment to stop violence as it unfolds. Its response to war crimes in three of the most serious conflict zones of the past two years, Congo, Sri Lanka and Gaza, consists of pressing for 'accountability after the crisis rather than stopping or preventing the crisis.'
Yet the reporter seems oblivious to another concern -- a concern apparent in the way that he chose to frame his story.
I've written here and here about what I call an "impartiality deficit" in international and internationalized criminal tribunals. Included within the term is concern that victims and victimization are overemphasized, to the exclusion of other interests at play in a properly balanced criminal justice system. Values of fairness and due process preclude establishment of a criminal court -- or prosecution office -- solely for the purpose of representing victims' interests. Both the court and the prosecutor have the duty to represent the larger society, to serve the interest of public safety even if that interest at times conflicts with those of victims -- as, for instance, proper adherence to defense rights often does.
That's not my own idiosyncratic view. Rather, it embodies tradition recalled in a 1935 U.S. Supreme Court opinion.
In Berger v. United States, Justice George Sutherland, a conservative Republican, wrote this in a unanimous opinion that reversed a conviction on account of misconduct by the federal prosecutor:

The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor-indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.
Prosecutors who assume a different mantle of responsibility, who construe their their role as the victims' lawyers, as the winners of the case, do so at a risk. 1st, identifying "victims" and "perpetrators" can be a difficult task, as is evident not only in yesterday's Los Angeles Times story about cycles of violence, but also in any consideration of how to deal with former child soldiers. 2d, feeding perceptions that international criminal justice seeks vengeance stokes already overheated claims of "victors' justice." 3d, as many pretrial proceedings at Guantánamo and the trial of Saddam Hussein demonstrated, singular equation of justice with victory does little to reduce the dangers of impartiality deficit.
It's to be hoped that the spin of the Post profile reflects reportorial choice rather than any such singular equation -- that punishment will be but 1 goal of the Office of War Crimes Issues, and that postconflict reconstruction and preconflict prevention will enjoy priorityof place.

On November 30

On this day in ...
... 1999 (10 years ago today), what had been scattered anti-globalization demonstrations the day before, of a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, turned into street protests that, according to a website set up by the University of Washington libraries, "forced the delay of the WTO opening ceremonies." Soon joining in were "youthful, out-of-control, self-proclaimed 'anarchists'"; by midday local police "ran low on tear gas, bus service was suspended downtown, and many businesses closed their doors." (credit for photo of police directing pepper spray at protesters on this day) A state of emergency and curfew were declared; "forced retreat" occurred amid vandalization of local businesses. Collapsed WTO talks would be resumed in 2001 at Doha, Qatar.

(Prior November 30 posts are here and here.)

A strategy of gender fundamentalism in Afghanistan?

(It's our great pleasure to welcome IntLawGrrls alumna Penelope Andrews, who contributes this guest post on a critical issue also addressed in today's post just below it)

As President Barack Obama prepares to give a speech this Tuesday on his administration's strategy going forward in Afghanistan, it's time to ask what role the cause of women in Afghanistan should play in reaching this decision. It's not evident that any of President Obama's advisors are giving any weight to the cause of women as a relevant factor in determining future strategy in Afghanistan.
Eight years is a long time for the prosecution of a major international war. It is therefore appropriate to ask:
What has been achieved in the cause for women and their status in Afghanistan's life?
Undeniably, there have been a few notable gains, such as the increasing number of girls who now attend school, and the presence of some female parliamentarians. But for the most part the fundamental gains required for Afghan women to achieve full citizenship have not transpired. Women continue to remain hostage to President Hamid Karzai’s equivocation and compromises -- as well as to the authoritarian traditions of warlords who support, and are supported by, President Karzai.
► from U.S. and NATO forces who drop bombs on them or raid their homes and detain indefinitely family members;
► to an unrelenting reign of terror from the Taliban groups who persist in their strategy of denying women basic rights and who act to undo the few gains and rights that Afghan women have in the interim obtained or may gain;
► to violence committed by warlords inflicting harsh punishments on women and seeking to confine them to traditional roles.
When it comes to women, the war has been another disaster, and has obscured both the continuing denial of their civil and political rights and the deleterious impact of that denial. Women's hopes, raised during the early days of the invasion, have turned into a poignant despair. With the warlords and the Taliban controlling about ninety percent of Afghanistan, it's not surprising to hear, as one notable Afghan women activist put it, that the invasion has led to “no positive change” regarding the situation of women. (credit for Office of U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees photo of Afghan women)
Given these conditions, a key issue is to provide for the basic rights of women. Given past experience, there is no reason to believe that sending more troops will secure this goal. Can this aim be achieved through negotiations and reduction of violence? That is where the focus should be, not on adding more troops to wage war. Moreover, securing the rights of women is probably the best way to aid Afghanistan's indigenous democracy.
To be sure, the Taliban in the past has been chronically against women's rights, but could the United Nations broker an agreement whereby the war would be ended in exchange for a guarantee by the Taliban and the Karzai government to respect and promote women's rights?What exactly would this entail? First, the international community, through the United Nations, should adopt a policy akin to a zero tolerance approach to the pursuit of gender equality and the eradication of violence against women, a gender fundamentalism if you will. This means that women’s equality, along with the campaign to provide democracy, would be the raison d’être for international engagement.
This must be the commitment of the international community. The role and status of women would become an important measure of the achievement of democracy in Afghanistan, perhaps a harbinger of democracy.

(A longer version of this post appears at this month's issue of Asian Currents, the e-bulletin of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, the country where Penny's taken up a Chair in Law at La Trobe University)

On November 29

On this day in ...
... 1983, meeting in the chamber at right, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 37/37, in which it called for "the immediate withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan" -- that is, for the withdrawal of Soviet troops that had been in the Central Asian country for 3 years. As we've posted, it would be another 6 years before any such withdrawal came to pass. Decades later, as further discussed in Penelope Andrews' guest post above, U.S. President Barack Obama will give a televised address Tuesday on the future of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Those troops 1st entered the country after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

(Prior November 29 posts are here and here.)

How to End Violence?

So much of what we international lawyers do is aimed at preventing, ending, or responding to violence. Wouldn't it be lovely to make that aspect of our jobs obsolete?
Unfortunately, as illustrated by IntLawGrrls' numerous writings on the subject (including Naomi's post earlier today), violence—by states, by groups, by individuals—endures as a pervasive plague in almost every society. International legal organizations, states, and the lawyers who assist them try to prevent or constrain state violence through norms on aggression and the use of force, the conduct of war or armed conflict, human rights violations, or international crimes. But many civilians also experience violence perpetrated by non-state actors (insurgent groups, paramilitary units, terrorists, and family members). Often, they are targeted, at least in part, because of their gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or other status.

Gender-Based Violence
This week marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November; prior post). Rashida Manjoo, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women (on whom we’ve posted here), issued a statement outlining plans for her mandate. Manjoo called for “timely and focused attention” on three themes:
►reparations to women for wrongs committed in contexts of peace, conflict, post-conflict and transitional justice settings;
►prevention strategies including those which promote women’s empowerment and engagement in challenging patriarchal interpretations of norms, values and rights; and
►multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of discrimination affecting women and leading to increased levels of violence and limitation or denial of their human rights.

Roles of Men
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued parallel statements to mark the day as well. Interestingly, one of his statements focused on the roles of men in ending violence against women. The statement recognizes that men and boys must also be engaged, committed, and involved in efforts to end gender-based violence. Secretary-General Ban announced the launching of a network of male leaders charged with taking proactive steps, in collaboration with existing women’s organizations, to address gender-based violence. The new network is part of the “UNiTE to End Violence Against Women” initiative he launched in 2008.

As I launch this Network, I call on men and boys everywhere to join us. Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act. Advocate. Unite to change the practices and attitudes that incite, perpetrate and condone this violence. Violence against women and girls will not be eradicated until all of us – men and boys – refuse to tolerate it….

According to a UN Press release,

he cited positive actions that men are already taking, such as judges whose decisions have paved the way for fighting abuse in the workplace, networks of men who counsel male perpetrators of violence, and national leaders who have publicly committed to leading the movement of men to break the silence.

Such efforts must begin early and locally in homes, schools, religious and community institutions. Educators and community activists must work with young people to build cross-gender and cross-cultural understanding, respect, and non-violent approaches to problem-solving. National governments must prevent the economic, social, and cultural rights violations that intersect with the causes and consequences of violence. And, at the international level, political and military leaders, diplomats, and multinational business leaders also must show that they, too, can learn such lessons. They can do so by promoting and adhering to laws against aggression, the threat or use of weapons of mass destruction, targeting of civilian populations, and the reckless trade in small arms.

(Photo: Leymah Glowee, Liberian peacebuilding activist and a subject of the documentary film, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," about women peace activists. Photo Credit: Robin Holland.)

Off Topic Biography---Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Teller of Many Tales In Many Genres

Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle, Daniel Stashower, Henry Holt Books, Inc, 472 pp., index, bibliography, illustrations, 1999, $16.00.

I say Arthur Conan Doyle and you say Sherlock Holmes. But don't stop there. Doyle lived a very long, complicated and multi-layered life. This biography won the 1999 Edgar (Allan Poe) Award for Best Biographical Work and it generously explores the origins of Doyle's detective fiction, his science fiction, his fantasy fiction, his historical adventure fiction and his military histories. Sired by an alcoholic father, Doyle was born in 1859 to a Scots family with a very strong, enduring mother. He started as a very young whaling ship's doctor looking for adventure and soon afterward became a struggling provincial doctor who with few patients and time on his hands. He then decided to write his way out of poverty.

The extended Doyle clan were prosperous Irish-Catholic families, who had a prominent position in the art world. Charles Doyle, Arthur's father, a chronic alcoholic, was the only member of his family, who apart from fathering a brilliant son, never accomplished anything of note and was institutionalized for the greater part of Arthur's life. At the age of twenty-two, Charles had married Mary Foley, a vivacious and very well educated young woman of seventeen.

Mary Doyle had a passion for books and was a master storyteller. Her son Arthur wrote of his mother's gift of "sinking her voice to a horror-stricken whisper" when she reached the culminating point of a story. There was little money in the family and even less harmony on account of his father's excesses and erratic behavior. Arthur's touching description of his mother's beneficial influence is also poignantly described in his biography, "In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life."

It is safe to say that Arthur Conan Doyle turned his life's adventure into literature. As a whaling crew's physician and adventurer, he walked on ice floes, killed seals, and nearly drowned. As a merchantman's crew physician he explored the coast of Africa and battled typhoid among the crew and within himself. As a war correspondent, as a medical volunteer in during the Boer War, as WWI front line army administration observer, he always wrote for himself, his familiar and then later turned the adventure into fiction or military history.

Made famous by Sherlock Holmes, Doyle created other popular characters such as Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard. Challenger visited The Lost World
and Brigadier Girard a variety of Victorian Era conflicts. Doyle wrote and invested his theatre plays, sometimes writing well and making returns on his money, other times not. Critics give Doyle recognition for his combat scenes in The White Company and in his administrative reports from the European and Italian Fronts of WWI. In three instances, Doyle challenged judicial convictions of those whom he felt to be innocent or unrepresented before the bar. Establishing a reputation that would be today called an Innocense Mission, he investigated and paid from his own pocket judicial appeals in capital and non-capital crimes.

Throughout his life, he felt infuriated, challenged, and intrigued by the spiritual realm. Having been sternly educated in a Jesuit school, exposed to other cultures view of death in his travels, and finding evidence of an afterlife in his own life's experiences, Doyle practiced Spiritualism. Mediums using automatic writing and channeling spirits were apart of the last three decades of Doyle's life. In part, having lost sons and nephews in WWI, his investigation of Spiritualism gave him some comfort. Spiritualism came to the fore during the 1830s and continued to be matter of scientific investigation by early psychologists through until 1930s in both Europe and America.

Hale and hardy throughout his life, Doyle eagerly embraced sports but not hunting. An avid but unskilled driver of the new automobile, he wrecked a vehicle near his house and was pinned under the car in such a fashion that his back carried the weight of the vehicle. After several minutes his nearby friends lifted the auto off of him and he slowly walked away from the accident. With his reputation for great strength, none of his friends were surprised that his back could carry the weight of vehicle for several minutes and not collapse his chest.

Stashower's biography is well worth reading for its glimpse into the Victorian Era and its description of a writer's life well lived.

For Further Information: Sherlock Holmes on The Web that has a fairly comprehensive collection of research, bibliography, chronology, and literary history and criticism resources.

Olympus E-P2 sähköinen etsin

Merkittävin ero uuden Olympus Pen E-P2 ja viime kesänä esitellyn E-P1 välillä on sähköinen etsin, josta tähystely muistuttaa perinteisen kameran etsimen läpi katselua. Tässä muutamia huomioita etsimen toiminnasta.

Etsin kytketään toimintaan sen takareunassa olevasta pienestä napista ja kun etsin on toiminnassa, niin kameran takaseinän iso lcd-näyttö ei toimi. Jos kuvaaja haluaa tehdä kameraan jotain säätöjä, jotka vaativat näytöltä katselua, niin etsin pitää kytkeä pois toiminnasta. Ainakin aluksi tämä tuntuu hiukan hankalalta.

Toivoisin, että Olympus tulevissa firmware päivityksissä tekisi seuraavan kaltaisen muutoksen kameran toimintaan, kun etsin on kytketty käyttöön. Esim. menu- tai toistonappia painamalla takanäyttö kytkeytyisi päälle ja sammuisi esim. laukaisimeen koskemalla.

Toinen toive olisi lukitus etsimeen, sillä nyt se saattaa kuvauksen kiihkeässä rytmissä luiskahtaa pois paikaltaan salamakengästä. Tämä kylläkin vaatisi mekaanisia muutoksia.

Etsimestä kuvaaminen on paljon mukavampaa kuin takanäytöltä. Kamerasta saa kunnon otteen ja esim. pitkähköillä suljinajoilla kuvaaminen on varmempaa. Suoraan sanottuna kamera tuntuu enemmän oikealta kameralta, kun siinä on etsin. Sähköinen etsin lukittuu normaaliasentoon, mutta sen voi kääntää pystyyn n. 90 astetta, joka mahdollistaa alaviistosta kuvaamisen.

Hämärässä sisätilassa kittizoomin teleasennossa aukolla f/5.6 etsimen kuva kohisee jonkin verran, mutta valovoimaisemmalla optiikalla kohina ei häiritse. Etsinkuva suurenee automaattisesti, kun käsitarkennusrengas liikahtaa ja suurennetusta kuvasta on helppo tehdä tarkennus. Suurennettu kuva muuttu hämärässä huonovalovoimaisella, esim. f/5.6, objektiivilla melkoiseksi puuroksi ja käsitarkennus voi olla hankalaa.

Kuvittelisin, että useimmat kuvaajat käyttävät automaattitarkennusta, joten tuo suurennetun etsinkuvan puuroutuminen ei mielestäni ole paha ongelma, eikä se valovoimaisilla ( parempi tai yhtäsuuri kuin f/2.8 ) objektiiveilla ole muutenkaan ongelma. Etsimen kuva on käyttökelpoinen niissä puitteissa kuin käsivaralta kuvaaminen on mahdollista tai järkevää.

Micro 4/3 kameroihin saa sovittimella kiinni lähes mitä objektiiveja tahansa, mutta silloin tarkennus on pakko tehdä käsin. Tässä tapauksessa sähköinen etsin on paljon parempi kuin takanäyttö. Kokeilin vanhaa Olympuksen 50 mm objektiivia ja tarkennus oli suhteellisen helppo suorittaa. Etsinkuva ei suurene automaatisesti, mutta silti tarkennus on vaivatonta.

Eihän sähköinen etsin ole peilikameran optisen etsimen veroinen, mutta useimmissa kuvaustilanteissa se on kameran takanäyttöä parempi vaihtoehto.

Ohessa Olympuksella kuvattu mahtava maisema :-) Ainakin meillä päin satoi lähes koko valoisan ajan, mutta aurinko pilkisti pilven takaa muutaman hetken ennen kuin meni horisontin taakse.

Children's rights against violence

This month the world duly marked the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (prior post), to which my country of residence, France, and all countries except Somalia and the United States, are states parties. Article 19 of that Convention provides:

States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
The Convention says nothing specifically about protecting children from such violence when they are out on the street. But one of its overall goals, as stated in the preamble, is to ensure that children are

fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity.
In a radio program here last weekend, a link was vaguely made between protecting children both from suffering violence and from becoming violent. In particular, there was a discussion of whether watching violent films or playing violent video games makes children/adolescents violent.
This reminded me of a study I read over 20 years ago, which concluded that after watching a violent film, adolescents are de-sensitized to violence. I suspect this effect is more widespread than that of actually becoming violent, and should be cause for greater concern.
The psychologist interviewed on the radio said all societies need to represent violence.
But consider the recent attack on a 15-year-old girl in California's Bay Area (which I describe here in haiku in honor of a friend's new "Haiku Friday" kick):

After the school dance
For two and a half hours
They watched her gang raped.

The attack is an indicator that current representations of violence (beyond videos and films specifically labeled "violent") are not having any positive socializing effects. Indeed, they seem to run counter to the above-mentioned goal of the Children's Convention, and perhaps thus deny children their right to be raised and live in a manner that meets that goal.

Write On! Trial of Slobodan Milosevic

(Write On! is an occasional item about notable calls for papers.) Three units at Indiana University, Bloomington -- the Maurer School of Law, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Center for Western European Studies-- are seeking papers from scholars of international criminal law, transitional justice, or the former Yugoslavia for a conference entitled "The Milosevic Trial: An Autopsy," to be held February 18-21, 2010. Papers should address issues related to the trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of the former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic (below right) -- a trial that, as we've posted, ended with his death in 2005 -- or to the trial's impact on the former Yugoslavia, on international criminal law, or on transition justice. Paper topics should fall within the themes of conference:

The trial's significance and legacy are strongly contested; the conference will examine both the causes of the trial's termination and its implications for post-conflict justice. Drawing on major trial participants, experts on the former Yugoslavia, and international criminal law scholars who have written on the trial, the conference will address issues such as:
► the proper role of historical truth-telling in war crimes trials;
► measuring the impact of trials;
► prosecutorial and judicial strategy in designing trials; and
► access to trial archives.
Preliminary program and other details here. Deadline's soon: send a 500-word abstracts, a 200-word biography, and a c.v. by December 5, 2009, to tiwaters@indiana.edu. (N.B. One version of this call put the deadline as early as "November 31," so better to inquire if you've any questions.)

On November 28

On this day in ...
... 1990, the BBC reported:

The woman dubbed as the Iron Lady during her premiership made her last tearful speech as the leader of the country from the doorstep of Number 10.
She was, of course, Margaret Thatcher, shown here with her political ally from across the pond, U.S. President Ronald Reagan. (photo credit) A Tory who ruled for nearly a dozen years, Thatcher's the 1st and only woman to have been the Prime Minister of Britain.

(Prior November 28 posts are here and here.)

News---Gambling's Second Assault on GNMP, Park Donor Likes Slots

Potential Casino Site Near Borough, Scot Andrew Pitzer, Gettysburg Times, November 26, 2009.

There is new life in efforts to bring a gaming facility to Adams County, and a Gettysburg businessman is believed to be a part of the talks. The Harrisburg Patriot News reported Wednesday that an unidentified investment group has expressed interest in obtaining a Category III resort casino license in Cumberland Township. Legislative insiders say the project could potentially include table games, although there is no law authorizing those games now.

A spokesman for David LeVan, the Battlefield Harley Davidson owner who tried unsuccessfully in 2006 to obtain a gaming license for Adams County, said that “it’s no surprise” that the philanthropist would be involved in the discussions. LeVan announced in the summer of 2008 that he would seek another license, if an opportunity presented itself. “It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone to hear Dave’s name or Adams County mentioned during the ongoing debate in Harrisburg over gaming-related issues,” said spokesman David LaTorre. “Dave is considering a number of economic development opportunities in Adams County that will create jobs, and opportunities for Adams County residents.”

The last time a gaming facility was proposed in Adams County, Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa in Straban Township, it was rejected because of opposition, and it’s proximity to the 6,000 acre Civil War battlefield. This time, the potential site is an existing hotel in Cumberland Township — the 307 room Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center — located along the Emmitsburg Road, just south of Gettysburg. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach confirmed that no applications have been submitted for a Category III license in Adams County, and that “none could be accepted unless the board decides to re-open the application period.” There is one available Category III license, which permits as many as 500 slot machines at an existing resort and recreational complex.

The hotel is owned by the estate of developer Richard D. Michael, and the estate’s executor, Larry Musselman, told the Patriot News that a potential buyer has secured an option on the property. Musselman would not name the group, citing confidentiality issues.

Pennsylvania Senator Richard Alloway, whose district includes Gettysburg, said Wednesday that he’s “heard there is some interest over there to bring some gaming into Adams County...although there are some people involved from out of town as well.” The first-term senator hasn’t ruled out supporting a casino, as long as it doesn’t “detract from our number one asset in Adams County, the battlefield.” “It’s our economic driver. We get three million visitors every year here to spend their money and see our beautiful land,” said Alloway.

The Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center is about five miles from downtown Gettysburg, in an area that is zoned for “mixed-use development,” located outside of Gettysburg National Military Park boundaries. Previously, a water park was proposed near the same site. Alloway vowed to consider any proposal “with an open mind.” “We need jobs, so people can pay their bills. We need tax dollars. We need to revive our economy,” said Alloway. “We need to be careful, but at the same time, we have to be realistic as it comes to job and tax revenue.”Gettysburg area State Representative Dan Moul said he would support an Adams County casino, “depending on where it’s located.” “I’m sure you’re going to have a lot of people, just like they did several years ago...that will say they’re not comfortable with having gambling in this area,” said Moul.

He stressed that it’s “too early to be talking about table games, since we don’t even have a law that would put them into place.” He there are “a ton of issues that need to be considered, before the law is passed.” The current “bones of contention,” in Moul’s opinion, are a $5 million permit fee, and how the table revenues would be distributed. Moul believes the state could receive as much as 35 percent, but legislators are currently considering between 16-18 percent.

Under the latest proposal, table revenues would be disbursed to the four state-related schools, but Moul thinks the money — “in the tune of $600 million” — should be used for property tax relief instead. “It might not ever happen,” Moul said regarding table games. “If they do it right, I’m OK. If they do it wrong, I’m against it.”

Category III licenses are “slots only,” as are permits for Category I and II facilities. But Category III licenses are limited to a maximum of 500 machines, opposed to 5,000 machines for the first two licenses. License fees for Category III licenses are $5 million, and $50 million for larger facilities. There are restrictions over who can enter the gaming area of a Category III casino, according to state gaming law. Patrons must be registered overnight guests of the hotel, a customer at one of the facility’s attractions.

Text Source: Gettysburg Times, November 26 2009

Map Source: Heritage Markets

Olympus E-P2 Sulantoblogissa

Olin kuullut huhuja, että Olympus Pen E-P2 kamera olisi jo maassa, mutta tänään iltapäivällä sain yllättäen kutsun noutaa E-P2 pikakokeiluun viikonlopun ajaksi. No, mitäpä en tekisi lukijoideni hyväksi. Hyppäsin siis autoon ja lähdin hakemaan kameraa.

Viikonlopun aikana otan selvää miten sähköinen etsin toimii ja mitä uutta Olympus Penin viimeisin versio sisältää. Sain kameran mukana sovittimen Olympuksen filmiobjektiiveja varten ja Olympus Zuiko 50 mm f/1.8 objektiiivin. Uusi etsin nimittäin tekee vanhojen käsitarkenteisten kakkuloiden käyttämisen melko mukavaksi, kun tarkennus on helpompaa edelliseen Peniin verrattuna.

Palataan tähän aiheeseen siis huomenna syvällisemmin.

A glimmer of hope . . .

On Wednesday, UNAIDS and the World Health Organization released a report on the AIDS epidemic. Much of the news is grim: in 2008, over 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV, nearly 3 million people were newly infected with HIV, and an estimated 2 million people died of AIDS, including nearly 300,000 children under the age of 15. While these numbers are of great concern, they represent a continuing decline in new HIV infections and HIV-related mortality. New HIV infections were 30% lower than at the epidemic's peak in 1996, and HIV-related deaths were 10% lower than at their peak in 2004. The number of children newly infected with HIV has dropped by nearly 20% since 2001, in part due to the significant increase in services to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (from 10% in 2004 to 45% in 2008).
The continued spread of HIV has a significant gender dimension, which UNAIDS aims to address through two of its central goals for 2009 to 2011. First, UNAIDS seeks to prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV. Its suggested strategies include the reduction of unwanted pregnancies among HIV-positive women, the provision of antiretroviral drugs (which can decrease the risk of mother-to-child transmission from 30-35% to 1-2%) during pregnancy and delivery as well as appropriate treatment, care, and support for mothers living with HIV.
UNAIDS also sees stopping violence against women and girls as a crucial component of ending the AIDS epidemic. This focus is particularly crucial in sub-Saharan Africa, where women account for approximately 60% of estimated HIV infections, "not only [because of] their greater physiological susceptibility to heterosexual transmission, but also to the severe social, legal and economic disadvantages they often confront." The report highlights a study from Lesotho finding that sexual and physical violence against women are key components of that country's AIDS epidemic. Unsurprisingly, the risk of contracting HIV is even higher for marginalized groups, including girls and young women and female sex workers, and in the United States, African-American women, who are more than 19 times more likely to contract HIV than Caucasian women. The social stigma that attaches to women who contract HIV may in turn lead to greater marginalization including divorce at a time when they may be in dire need of financial and emotional support. Here's hoping that the holistic approach prescribed by UNAIDS is pursued with vigor by those committed to ending the spread of HIV/AIDS.

On November 27

On this day in ...
... 1797, a Federalist by the name of John Marshall wrote a letter home to his Virginia-based wife Mary, known as Polly Marshall (right), in which he described the circumstances of his diplomatic mission to Paris:
I lived till within a few days in a house where I kept my own apartments perfectly in the style of a miserable old bachelor without any mixture of female society. I now have rooms in the house of a very accomplished, a very sensible, and I believe a very amiable lady whose temper, very contrary to the general character of her country women, is domestic and who generally sits with us two or three hours in the afternoon.
The woman who'd so bedazzled Marshall, then 42, was Reine-Philiberte de Villette (left), a 30-year-old widow with 2 children. As a girl she "had been destined for a convent" because of her family's impoverishment; instead, she'd been adopted and brought up by the aged French philosopher Voltaire. As detailed in this French account of her life, following the death of the Marquis de Villette, whom she'd married by arrangement of Voltaire, Madame de Villette became a society woman. Her salon afforded an entrée into French circles for diplomats from the new American republic -- among them Marshall, who 4 years after writing this letter would become Chief Justice of the United States.

(Prior November 27 posts are here and here.)

News----Stonewall Jackson AKA George Pickett Defeated On Earth, Invades Another Planet

Colonel Miles Quaritch played by Stephen Lang (Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals, George Pickett in Gettysburg) invades another planet in the film Avatar which is being release in late December. Avatar is written and directed by James Cameron, writer and director of Titanic. Avatar is a story set in the future and tells of Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, who is sent to Pandora a planet not close to Earth. Pandora is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their its language and culture.

Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. Jake Sully is a former Marine who was wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. Selected to participate in the Avatar program which will enable him to walk, Jake travels to Pandora, a lush jungle-covered worl filled with incredible life forms both beautiful and terrifying. The Navi, a sentient humanoid race that are more physically capable than humans but are considered primitive. Standing three meters tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin, the Navi live in harmony with their unspoiled world.

As humans encroach deeper into Pandora's forests in search of a valuable mineral, the Navi unleash their formidable warrior abilities to defend their communities. Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this invasion force. Unable to breathe the air on the planted, humans have created genetically-bred human-Navi hybrids known as Avatars. The Avatars are living, breathing bodies that are controlled by a human "driver" through a technology that links the driver's mind to their Avatar body. On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake can be whole once again.

Sent deep into Pandora's jungles as a scout for the soldiers that will follow, Jake encounters many of Pandora's beauties and dangers. There he meets a young Navi female, Neytiri, whose beauty is only matched by her ferocity in battle. Over time, Jake integrates himself into Neytiri's clan, and begins to fall in love with her. As a result, Jake finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of Earth, and the Navi, forcing him to choose sides in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

Avatar Trailer: The Internet Movie Database

Text and Top Image Source: The Internet Movie Database

Bottom Image Source: Kevin King

Muutama kuva Nikon D300s kameralla

Tässä joitakin kuvia Nikon D300s kameralla. En ole kuvannut yhtään kuvaa s-mallin edeltäjällä, joten en voi esittää mitään vertailevaa analyysiä. D300s on minulle helppo kamera, koska se on käytännössä hyvin samanlainen kuin oma kamerani, D700.

Nikonin käyttölogiikka ja säätimet ovat hyvät, parhaasta päästä mihin tahansa verrattuna, mutta minulle opettelukynnys on joka tapauksessa olematon. Kaikki tuntuu olevan kohdallaan ja kuvaamisen aloittaminen on hyvin helppoa.

Nikon tuntuu oikealta työkalulta heti kättelyssä. Etsinkuva on erittäin hyvä, tarkennus toimii varmasti ja kamera reagoi kuvaajan toiveisiin rivakasti.

Ensimmäiset tunnelmat ovat mukavat, mutta katsotaan miten jatko sujuu.

Kaikki nämä kuvat on otettu Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8 DX objektiivilla, jonka pitäisi löytyä jokaisen DX-kennoisella Nikonilla työskentelevän kuvaajan kameralaukusta. Se on hyvä objektiivi.

Holiday wish

On November 26

On this day in ...
... 1832, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (right) was born in Oswego, New York. Twenty-two years later she graduated from Syracuse Medical College, then married a fellow medical student, though she kept her own name. The couple's attempt to set up a joint practice failed because patients would not accept a woman as their physician. When the Civil War broke out, Walker, a slavery abolitionist, volunteered as a nurse, the only position open to her. Eventually she became the 1st woman physician contrator, and treated the wonded at battles such as Bull Run, Chickamaugua, and Atlanta. Captured by Confederate troops, she was a prisoner of war for the better part of a year. Walker was a feminist and an advocate for change in "women's dress":
During the war, she wore trousers under her skirt, a man's uniform jacket and two pistols. As an early women's rights advocate, particularly for dress reform, she was arrested many times after the war for wearing men's clothes, including wing collar, bow tie and top hat.

Walker, the only woman ever to have received the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military award, died in 1919.

(Prior November 26 posts are here and here.)

Post-hoc constitutional review à la française

Post-hoc constitutional review is finally coming to France.
As many comparatists know, constitutional review of laws has hitherto been limited to abstract review before laws are adopted, and it has only been about 20 years since the right to request such review was enlarged such that a group of 60 or more senators or deputies (members of the national assembly) may make such a request. Well, yesterday Parliament approved one of aspect of the constitutional revisions proposed by the Sarkozy government in July 2008: the right of citizens to petition the Conseil constitutionnel or Constitutional Council (above right) -- albeit indirectly -- for post-hoc review of a law they feel violates their constitutional rights.
Except in felony trials before the cour d'assises, citizens in the course of first-instance or appellate proceedings may claim a law already implemented violates her constitutional rights. If to he lower-court judget deems the complaint founded, she forwards the request for review either the Cour de cassation, the supreme court for civil actions, or the of civil jurisdiction, or to the Conseil d'État, the supreme administrative court. That court then decides whether or not to forward the complaint to the Conseil constitutionnel (Game of telephone, anyone?)
The government's original proposal included a time limit for all this forwarding, after which the citizen could petition the Conseil constitutionnel directly if the relevant supreme court hadn't responded. But fears of overloading the Conseil constitutionnel led to adopting the law without any such limit.
Defended by some as not being an "Americanization" of French law (major fear here in France) because other European states allow post-hoc review and because there will be both pre- and post-hoc review, the new law may be implemented as early as next spring. There's no telling, however, when it might actually lead to a Conseil constitutionnel ruling on a post-hoc challenge.

Keikalla valkoisella taustalla

Tässä yksi keikkakertomus, nehän ovat osoittautuneet suosituiksi.

Asiakkaani toive oli, että ihmiset ovat valkoisella taustalla ja näyttävät hauskoilta, innostuneilta tai muuten vaan hulluttelevat. Ei ole ihan helppo toive, sillä suomalaiset ovat usein melko vaatimattomia kuvissa ja haluavat esiintyä hillitysti. Kuten näistä parista esimerkistä näkyy, niin lopputulos on ihan kelvollinen. Helppoa kuvaajalle, kun mallit ovat näin hyviä, niin ei tarvitse kuin nappia painella.

Ennen laukaisimen painelua minun piti kuitenkin pystyttää tausta ja valot. Olin sopinut tietyn tilan käytöstä kuvaukseen ja koska olin ollut siellä ennenkin, niin pystyin etukäteen miettimään studion paikan.

Sillä välin kun pystyttelin valoja, niin maskeeraaja Sanna Liljamo laittoi mallit edustavaan kuntoon. Kuvausmeikki tekee ihmeitä ja vaikuttaa lopputulokseen ihan silmin havaittavasti.

Valkoinen tausta on sinänsä helppo tehdä, mutta huolellisella valaisulla lopputulos paranee merkittävästi ja kuvankäsittelyä tarvitsee tehdä vähemmän. Jos valkoinen on liikaa valaistu, niin kuvan kontrasti kärsii ja kohteen ääriviivat pehmenevät. Jos valkoinen on taas liian vähän valaistu, niin se ei ole valkoinen. Tässä tavoitteena oli juuri ja juuri puhkipalanut valkoinen.

Valaisin taustan kahdella 1 x 1 metrin tasovalolla, joissa kummassakin oli Elinchrone 600 Ws salama. Käytin tasoja, koska halusin mahdollisimman tasaisen valon, joka ei leviä kohteeseen.

Päävalona käytin yhtä 300 Ws salamaa heijastavalla sateenvarjolla. En erityisemmin pidä läpiampuvista sateenvarjoista, koska niiden valo leviää joka puolelle ja sitä on vaikeampi hallita. Kuvissa näkyvä neljäs salama oli varalla, jos sille tulisi tarvetta.

Halusin kuvausaukoksi melko pienen, joten päädyin aukkoon f/10 ( 8 2/3 ) ja koska taustan piti palaa hallitusti puhki, niin taustan valotukseksi säädin f/14 ( 11 2/3 ), eli yksi aukko ylivalotusta pääkohteeseen verrattuna. Nämä lukemat on siis mitattu kohdistuvasta valosta, joka on tavallaan absoluuttinen mittaustapa, johon kohteen väri tai sävy ei vaikuta.

Mitä kauempana tausta on kohteesta, niin sitä helpompi on hallita kummankin, kohteen ja taustan, valaistus toisistaan riippumatta. Toisaalta mitä kauempana tausta, sitä isompi sen pitää olla, varsinkin jos kuvaaja haluaa käyttää laajakulmaa.

Minä halusin käyttää laajakulmaa joihinkin kuviin ja koska vakio taustakartonki on n. 2,7 m leveää, niin en voinut laittaa taustaa kovin kauaksi kohteen taakse. Tässä tapauksessa kuvaustilan korkeus asetti myös omat rajoituksensa studion rakentelulle.

Merkkasin pienellä teipinpalalla kohteelle paikan, jonka päällä pyysin malleja seisomaan. Kuvattavia oli seitsemän ja valotin heistä yhteensä n. 300 ruutua, joista n. 100 heitin pois, koska ilme tai asento oli huono. Toinen esimerkkikuvista on tavallaan pilalla, koska kuvattavan käsi meneen ulos kuvasta. Pidän kuvasta muuten ja siksi käytän sen nyt tässä.

Kuvauksessa käytin Nikon D700 kameraa ja 24 - 70 mm zoomia. Kuvasin vaihtelevilla polttoväleillä ja kuvakulmilla taustan suomissa rajoissa.

Huom: Olen korjannut aukkoarvot oikein myös tuonne tekstiin. Alunperin olin kirjoittanut taustan aukoksi f/11, joka on tietenkin väärin.

Classics---Washington DC and Richmond VA During Wartime

Freedom Rising: Washington in the Civil War, Ernest B. Furgurson, Vintage, 2008, 496 pp. $16.00 and Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War, Ernest B. Furgurson, Vintage, 2008, 464 pp. $16.00

Washington and Richmond: A Tale of Two Cities during the American
Civil War
review by Michael Taylor, Published on H-CivWar, November, 2009.

On a scholarly level,it [the Aemrican Civil War] is a saga of ideals cut asunder by familial bloodletting, as well as being the one event that has spawned more intellectual contemplation and interpretation than any other in the national
collective conscience. One of the scholars who has contributed to this body of work is Ernest B. Furgurson, whose two social histories covering the capital cities adds a new component to the study of this cataclysmic event. His bold narratives craft vivid pictures of two communities in desperate times fighting for their very survival and the political ideals their nations represented. With every turn of a page, the economic hardships, divided loyalties, and the ever-present threat of both humiliation and destruction at the hands of the enemy is made painfully real. When read in sequence, these volumes tell a chilling tale not only of the death throes of a nation as envisioned by its founders but also of violent communal fratricide that would be long in healing.

In the first of the two books, Freedom Rising, Furgurson paints a portrait of the Union capital in a persistent state of tension, intrigue, and distrust. As with later historical periods when the United States was at war, during this conflict, xenophobia was pervasive, and loyalty was a badge of honor as well as a visceral weapon of sectional hatred from which no one was spared. The communal threads of this portrait are of intrigue and suspicion, woven together by ever-present military threat and vituperative political repercussions. It is this eerie presence that is ubiquitous throughout nearly every page. Perhaps, as the author explains, this was due to the fact that across the Potomac River lay the Confederacy, whose spies and sympathizers were numerous.

Yet the work of a national capital continued. The construction of the Capitol building, the symbol of the American nation and home to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, had begun during the Franklin Pierce administration under the supervision of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, and continued throughout the war. Work was often stopped due to either the lack of manpower or the necessary building materials. After the calamitous Union loss at the first Battle of Bull Run, and with it the perception that a Confederate invasion was imminent, General George McClellan was convinced of the need to both arrest spies and to protect the commander in chief. As such, it was he who initiated the Secret Service and hired detective Alan Pinkerton as its initial chief. Finally, conducting a national election during wartime, especially during one of a fraternal nature, presented such a myriad of logistical and organizational difficulties that Washingtonian Francis Lieber remarked that if the country survived it, "I shall set it down as the most wonderful miracle in the whole history of events" (p. 333). The nation not only endured the ordeal but also reelected its commander in chief Abraham Lincoln to a second term by a comfortable margin. But these are but a few fascinating stories among the many within this volume.

Southern loyalists were consistently suspect as spies and continued to serve their adopted nation with dedication. Because of their heritage, they faced an unceasing barrage of insults, both in the press and behind their backs, and yet bore the burden of their decision with strength and character. The most potent examples of this circumstance were those of Justice Wayne and Vice President Johnson. Unfortunately for the reader, it was an aspect that Furgurson touched on only slightly without examples as commanding, and, as a result, the book is not as effective without them.

In the second of the two books, Ashes of Glory, Furgurson recounts a lurid and desperate tale of a proud community under the pervasive duress of economic hardship, shortages of essential items, and, later, a long military siege. With eloquence and sympathy, the author constructed a portrait of a community akin to a venerated dowager: in her youth a vibrant patrician with the world at her feet; at the close of her life, robbed of her riches, keepsakes, and memories; and, through it all, retained her elemental poise. More than the cause of independence, it is Richmond's pride in her traditions and her history that is at the heart of her survival, even after her citizens faced starvation and her buildings were reduced to rubble. Again, through it all the necessary business of both a national and state capital continued.

As a dual-capital in the midst of a large-scale war, the administration of both the Confederacy and the state of Virginia was omnipotent within the city limits. With every issue came long and heated debates in the Congress: keeping the military equipped, the manufacture of arms, the maintenance of a navy, the management of several prisoner-of-war camps, and several others. There were also the domestic problems that come with shortages during wartime, the most acute being the shortage of comestibles, which led to the 1863 food riots, and to intense hostilities between the president of a nation and the mayor of a community. There was always vitriol concerning the deployment of human chattel, especially near the end of the war, to fight on the side of the Confederacy. With regard to this issue, Secretary of State R. M. T. Hunter wrote, in a searing note in protest, which in many ways got to the heart of the conflict itself: "This Government assumes the power to arm the slaves, which involves also the power of emancipation" (p. 308). And, finally, when General Robert E. Lee's defense of the capital city had weakened beyond effectiveness, there were the city's residents to evacuate, all refugees with little left to return to once the hostilities had ceased.

When the narratives of these books are placed side by side, the comparisons could not be more obvious: These two American capitals could not coexist. As the result of fraternal war, Richmond faced the brutal realities of war in a manner unknown to the citizens of Washington who, though inconvenienced at times, maintained a certain level of similitude. Because the Union was forced to reshape and remake its military to the changing timbre of the war, its capital city remained flexible to changing winds of war; whereas Richmond, the proud bastion of Confederate civility, was as staid and proud as its president. Yet the hard hand of war leveled the city and forced the Confederacy into extinction because of its unyielding penchant toward chivalry as Ulysses S. Grant's army drained it of its lifeblood. In retrospect, perhaps it was the Union's early demoralizing losses that prepared the city for a long and brutal struggle, which, in turn, assured its survival. In tandem, the string of Confederate victories during the first two years of the conflict had created an air of invulnerability that ultimately made the shortages of the final two years so acute as to tear the sinews of the community apart.

Together, these two volumes only touch the surface of their shared subject; however, they provide a respectable introduction to the real cost of fraternal brotherhood. The American nation must be often reminded that the sinews that hold the country together were wrought through sacrifice of not just those on the battlefield but also those who survived on the home front and lived to tell the tale. It is their descendants who are the richer for the experience.

Read the entire review at H-Net.org

New---Lincoln Statue at GNMP Visitors Center

A new statue of President Abraham Lincoln will greet visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park. The life-sized bronze statue is situated at the front of the museum and visitor center, and is the creation of of Ivan Schwartz of Brooklyn, New York. It was unveiled today, on the anniversary of his famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. "It seems like the right moment to do this. I don't know about the past, and why it hasn't happened before, but it seems like the correct moment now," says Ivan schwartz, sculptor. The statue is a gift from philanthropist Robert H. Smith. His family's foundation funds an education initiative that focuses on Abraham Lincoln.

Members of the public received their first look at a new Lincoln sculpture at the main entrance to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center on Thursday, Nov. 19, Dedication Day. The life-sized bronze sculpture was created by Ivan Schwartz, founder and director of StudioEIS of Brooklyn, N.Y. The Lincoln sculpture was made possible by a generous gift from philanthropist Robert H. Smith.
Associated landscaping was created by landscape architects Donovan, Feola, Balderson & Associates, Inc. of Montgomery Village, Md. The landscaping was also made possible by a generous gift from philanthropist Robert H. Smith.

Text Sources: Fox News and Gettysburg Foundation.

Images' Source: Gettysburg Daily

Sufferin' suffragettes

There's a tendency to romanticize our foremothers in what's known as the 1st wave of feminism. Back then, sometimes, they were called by the diminutive term "suffragettes"; they're known today, more often, as "suffragists."
We think of them -- indeed, we IntLawGrrls have posted on them -- as hardy women:
Women who dove under race horses to draw attention. Women who spoke and wrote about their sisters' plight. (Also here, here, here, and here.)
Women who went to jail rather than accept criminal fines for "disturbing the peace" by pressing their cause. (Also here and here and here and here.)
Women who marched till they wore down the soles of their high-heeled -- and often high-buttoned -- shoes.
But not all women, it seems. Nor all shoes.
A dispatch entitled WOMEN MUST HIKE OR PAY, published in the January 18, 1913, edition of The New York Times, reported on suffragists' fear that a planned "mandatory" march on Washington would be "a fizzle," for the simple reason that not enough women wanted to march.
The wealthy among them were permitted to buy their way out of the long haul. As The Times put it:
Those of the ardent suffragists who talk loud and do little are to be permitted to purchase immunity from the long hike from New York to Washington only by hiring a substitute and paying her expenses.
The decision to allow immunity-purchase was made by "Gen. Rosalie Jones," shown standing in the crossing-the-Delaware caricature at right (credit), at the request of one "Mrs. Travis Cochran, a wealthy woman of this city, who is interested in 'the cause,'" The Times wrote from Philadelphia, the "city" of dispatch. (One suspects the latter part of this item refers to the "well-connected" Mary Peppers Cochran.)
Guess all this oughtn't come as that much of a surprise.
Consider, for example, the unsympathetic portrait of "Mrs. Banks" in the Disney version of Mary Poppins (1964). Perhaps the best line that Mrs. B -- Winifred, that is -- has is this one, part of the rousing musical number in the clip at bottom:
Our daughters' daughters will adore us and they'll sing in grateful chorus, 'Well done, sister suffragettes.'

The script says otherwise, however; the London banker's wife is continually out the door, on her way to a suffrage meeting, leaving wee Jane and Michael in the care of ... whomever.
But let's not judge our 1st-wave foremothers too harshly.
After all, in a similar vein, a lot of Unionist men paid $300 each to buy their way out of service in America's Civil War -- men like Jay Gould, Philip Armour, Andrew Carnegie, James Mellon, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller. The choice freed each to become a human engine of America's industrial and financial revolution.
And their Mrs.?

On November 25

On this day in ...
... 1958, a colony in West Africa known as French Sudan "gained complete internal autonomy" (flag at left). Five months later it would join with Senegal to form the Mali Federation, a fully independent entity within the French Community for a few months in the summer of 1950, until Senegal seceded. Thereafter, in September 1960, "French Sudan proclaimed itself the Republic of Mali and withdrew from the French Community."

(Prior November 25 posts are here and here.)

Pentax K-7 lähti ja Nikon 300s tuli tilalle

Kamerat vaihtuvat, Pentax lähti takaisin maahantuojalle ja Nikon D300s tuli tilalle. Jos asiat menevät hyvin, niin saatan saada Nikonin kanssa samaan aikaan kokeiluun myös Canon 7D:n, mutta se asia on vielä hieman epävarma.

Olen vaihtanut kameralaukunkin toiseen, sillä Lowepro Classified vaihtui Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 85:een, joka on selkäreppu. Kerron lähiaikoina mitä mieltä olen tästä kalustonkantoratkaisusta.

Tällä viikolla on tulossa vielä yksi keikkaraportti ja ehkä jotain muutakin kiinnostavaa.

Tässä näin lyhyesti tänään, mutta huomenna enemmän asiaa taas.
Bloggers Team