Bloggers who risked all to reveal the junta’s brutal crackdown in Burma – Times Online

The realities of political oppression made life difficult. A blogger who posted a photograph of a demonstration found herself arrested, questioned and her computer seized.

On domestic blogs, they were able to express themselves only indirectly. The blogger nicknamed Sun, for example, posted quotations from a famous Burmese memoir of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, full of observations about how to live with dignity under a brutal regime.


The regime responded, first by blocking individual Burmese blogs, then, last Wednesday, by blocking all of them. But the overseas sites were beyond its reach, so on Friday it switched off the internet altogether. Now e-mails can be sent only within Burma; the only pages that web browsers can view are those of the official websites.

The only solution now would be to dial up ISPs overseas but the cost of international calls makes this prohibitive. As Superman puts it: “Now Burma is like the Stone Age.”

You can watch it from the TV but these people are living with the oppression in Burma and taking the risk of reporting it to the world. I admire their tenacity and bravery.

They make the rest of us look trivial – and we are.

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NPR : Artists of Battlefield Deception: Soldiers of the 23rd

Another great NPR story of the day! This week they are runnning stories on WWII to coincide with the Ken Burns documentary on PBS.

The art of deception has been part of warfare since its beginnings. There is no more famous example than the Trojan Horse.

But few people know much about the deceptive role the U.S. Army’s 23rd Special Troops played in World War II.

That’s because their work was kept secret until 1996. The mission of the 23rd — made up largely of artists, designers, architects and sound engineers — was to deceive the enemy by drawing their attention away from real combat troops.

Their weapons? Inflatable jeeps and tanks, acting, sound recordings and plenty of imagination.

Among it’s members were Ellsworth Kelly (abstract expressionist painter) and Bill Blass (fashion designer). Check out the article and/or podcast which has much more information. Hey – I would join the army if I could do this kind of work.

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