December 6, 2001 - The Park Falls Herald: Uzbekistan RPCV John Smart talks to Senator Feingold about Peace Corps Issues at Senator's listening session

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 12 December 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: December 6, 2001 - The Park Falls Herald: Uzbekistan RPCV John Smart talks to Senator Feingold about Peace Corps Issues at Senator's listening session

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, January 12, 2002 - 10:47 pm: Edit Post

Uzbekistan RPCV John Smart talks to Senator Feingold about Peace Corps Issues at Senator's listening session

Read and comment on this excerpt from a story from the Park Falls Herald in which RPCV Uzbekistan John Smart questioned Senator Fiengold of Wisconsin (shown in the photo above) about Peace Corps issues and raised the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez to the Senator. Senator Fiengold subsequently voted against Gaddi Vasquez in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Read the full story at:

Uzbekistan RPCV John Smart talks to Senator Feingold about Peace Corps Issues at Senator's listening session*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Uzbekistan RPCV John Smart talks to Senator Feingold about Peace Corps Issues at Senator's listening session

John Smart, chairman of the Price County Democratic Central Committee, said of the issue of lower prices for pharmaceuticals in other countries that while he was in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, he regularly obtained a prescription drug for 25% of the cost for the same drug in the United States.

Smart also raised an issue pertaining to the Peace Corps, entirely separate from health care. He objected to the Bush Administration's intent to appoint Gaddi Vasquez, chairman of the Orange County, CA, board until resigning when the county went bankrupt, as director of the Peace Corps. Asked to elaborate after the session, Smart said that after his resignation "just short of a recall," Vasquez donated $100,000 remaining in his re-election campaign fund to the Republican Party. Smart said Vasquez has no qualifications for the job, and his appointment as Peace Corps director would be entirely a political payoff.

Feingold said one of the problems was that some past Peace Corps directors weren't particularly well qualified either, but Smart said that was no justification for appointing someone unqualified for the position now. Feingold said he would be looking closely at the proposed Vasquez appointment.

Although Smart was generally complimentary of Feingold's performance in the Senate, he complained that presently there was no "loyal opposition" in Congress, and he criticized Feingold for voting to confirm the nomination of John Ashcroft as attorney general.

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By Erik McLane on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 10:29 pm: Edit Post

“The Fall of Rome”

Saddam Hussein asked George Bush if he wanted a duel. Reported on National Public Radio before March 20, George Bush did not reply.  One simple question after a reported twelve thousand pages of secrets translated into English. And only one would have to die.....George Bush is “scared” to take a bullet to save Trillions of dollars and a month of soldiers lives.

"Decapitation" bombings on about March 20, were said publicly to be an assassination attempt of Saddam Huessein. The pictures released on television were of a city mansion, which was thought to be the Iraqi leaders house. Assassinating a leader of a country is against international law and breaks the U.S. Constitution "The Right to a Fair Trial." We must prosecute our leaders now.

Syria is part of the United Nations, If so many countries sponsored terrorism then The State Department must look for their own faults rather than antagonizing another Muslim country (considering that we really do have U.S. nuclear weapons protecting Kuwait, where Woman cannot vote and Muslims must stay that way).

Saddam said he is secular (ie. worldly) while the U.S. media uses the worlds airwaves though neglecting to make the hoop on the very important elections in Cambodia. Television ignored Freedom,  after years of war inwhich we participated, and while we were over zealously about to invade, against the recommendation of those whose laws we were said to be enforcing. Weeks after Saddam had destroyed the weapons which could have hit the American manned Nuclear Arsenal in Kuwait.

“With a whiskey in my hand” I nailed Bush at a friends wedding. This summer at the wedding of a childhood friend I had a conversation with another childhood friend who is an American civilian that works in a facility in Kuwait which has nuclear missiles aimed at Iraq. (See “Plutonium Bush” video freeze on for Wall Street Protest 1990 under former Bush Admin. and Rocky Flats
Nuclear Weapons Warhead production facility near Boulder Colorado).

Saddam is an elder of Bush, and most probably could have lived the last decade of his life and eased out with the help of The United Nations. Thank You for your concern and prosecution of the officials who seem to have broken our civil rights.

E.M. McLane,

Grandson of Malcolm McLane esq.
World War II pilot,Prisoner of War, Rhodes Scholar.

Great grandson of L. Neidlinger, Dean of Dartmouth, 1932 to 1952.

Great grandson of ‘Judge' McLane Attorney, Manchester New Hampshire.

I am a Journalist, my mother owned a small restaurant and father was a carpenter. Credits include PBS and intellectual films*. I was also an editor and writer on youth culture, snowboard, skateboard, surf and music shows for “BOARDWILD” which was translated into several languages. (Swatch Laax SWITZERLAND, TAHITI, COSTA RICA, VANCOUVER Thrasher slam city jam, FRANCE Bec Des Roses, Vans ALL GIRL SKATE JAM, Mountain Boarding BOREAL) Erich Lyttle, Mike Waltz, R.D.Allen, Veronica Reith, Mike Strasman, Steve Mitchel, Mary C. Reese.

“SAGE of BURNSIDE" by Erik McLane.

"DENI on the PROMENADE" by Erik McLane, w/Deni Leti Grobman.

“THE GLASS SHIELD" by Charles Burnett, Editor Curtis Clayton, Assistant Craig Hayes

“SAFE” by Todd Haynes.

“BAR GIRLS” by Lauren Hoffman (it’s all lesbians, no sex) Carter Dehaven editor.

“VANISHED’ by Korean Director Simon Sheen.w/out credit assistant edit for Cannes .

*“with a whisky in my hand” is slang made famous by Arty & Shawn Farmer.
*”Plutonium Bush” is a journalism arts piece with too much green filter, features alot of arrests and somewhat spontanius street theater, made in NYC while visiting my EX-StepGranparents in Jersey. I took the train with the morning Rush Hour.
*”scared” is Hollywood slang, not open to real possibilities, un-balanced ego.

eyes & pen of E.M. McLane

Last winter in Southeast Asia, a London educated political analyst who lives in Cambodia (and originally moved there to work for The United Nations) explained to me that The Khmer Rouge defense is a reverse indictment on Nixon, Kissenger, Johnson, Ford and others. (Another scenario includes The United States, France, China &The Former Soviet Union)

The Beehive

I was planning on sitting out Chinese New Year in Bangkok before making my last sojourn into Cambodia, this being the third time and motivated by an extended ticket. The southern route into Khmer Rouge country was drawing me because of a curiosity which may last for my entire life if not thoroughly understood now.

A bus to an Island departure had me confused, the boarder between Thailand and Cambodia was still at least another hour east.
My money was thin so this cul de sac almost ended my attempt. I Think it was a pick-up truck and a five dollar hired ride around the south eastern coast of Thailand that found me at a bus station. There was another American from Seattle and several Thai people, we waited for half an hour then boarded a van. We drove for an hour or so and late in the day we reached the boarder. The guy from seattle had a big Japanese stereo with him, he had recently bought it and had it repacked in the original box as he was moving back to Siem Reap to teach English. He had been in Southeast Asia for a few years and had just gotten some international teaching credentials in Bangkok. The two of us were the only ones in the van who were continuing across the boarder. My passport was stamped without a problem. He was held up because of the stereo and length of intended stay, they wanted an extra forty dollars for the visa, and he didn’t have it. We had decided to share a taxi, as he had entered from the south before and spoke Khmer. I watched the locals play soccer as the sun was sinking over the ocean behind the southern goalie. There were nearly twenty players, I think they were Khmer at that point. A young man introduced himself as someone who had a guest house in the first town inside Cambodia. He had more money than I did, which wasn’t saying much, as my stay in that part of the world had been extended twice. The Seattle guy borrowed the forty dollars from him and the three of us took the taxi to the water, where we walked down a little hill to the boats. The boats were tippy, and powered by little two or three stroke engines. There was a bridge being built, an exciting endeavor for the local businesses and jobs for the builders. We each hired a scooter and went towards the guest house, our lenders guest house was full so he brought us to his friend, a Khmer man watching television in a tile lobby. It turned out our guide was actually Chinese, though he spoke Khmer and English well. The place was perfect enough, I took the first door on the left and put my bags down, the Seattle guy dealt with his finances, and made arrangements to take the Russian speed ferry in the morning.

We went to the ferang hangout, where there was an long haired burnt out French ex-pat who had been there for years, and hated everything. A Sartre type ferang. I met some teenagers styled out in next years textiles, they were happy, interesting and juvenile, they reminded me of myself. I took some video of them and tried to talk, but they didn’t speak english, “Ah kun” was about all I could say in their language, which means thank you. They wanted to touch the camera, I let them take a look. If they were like my friends when I was that age, I better not tell them where I’m staying.

We went back to our guest house, my room was comfortable with a mattress on a wooden bed and shower room which I used; appreciating the warm water. I laid down for a few minutes, probably did a Codeine tablet from Bangkok, found a place to hide the camera and decided to also hide the book about Cambodia (Off The Rails in Phnom Penh) incase Gilboa was not tolerated. There actually had not been any police that had crossed my path ever in Cambodia. It occurred to me that maybe the reason that there is no crime is that there are no police. Or is it vice-versa? There’s a reason for international law, and that is part of it.

With wet hair I joined the teacher from Seattle and we went into the night. Suddenly I became aware that Chinese New Year was a week long affair, the day in Bangkok China town was not scary enough, the celebration vortex was in full motion. Our drivers led us to destination intrepid fair adventure. Dozens of scooters, strewn like snowboards at the bar, The Cambodian cha-cha rhythm from inside with backlit images of Khmer dancing and flowing about. We walked through the gates, towards the lights, in the dust, like that lazy mysterious cadence of walking alone through the dark isles of a concert or like the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show. There were Khmer sitting at card tables, with single light bulbs and riel’s trading hands on makeshift gambling wheels, with mysterious symbols, like a tarot deck on a twister dial. Our presence felt like a gamble, I didn’t want to parlay my Karma. We passed towards the booths with rows of Xmas style lights, the music was pumping the Cha-Cha which I would hear again later in the night. Cambodia has the glow of life
naturally, for pain they have opiates and Angkor Beer. Some Khmer were dancing and there was a moment when it felt like a barter fair in the Northwest, my father and stepmother had been there many times. The comfort of celebration reached my soul. I had wondered Grateful Dead show parking lots before Brent died, and for some people this would appear less scary, the vendors seemed kind of official, people serving food and Angkor beer with the same stylin clothes, like grunge clothes only preppier, very clean and edgy cool. In Afterthought, months later I would realize that they put the passion into textiles for themselves and
for the world.

Back at the fair, there were former Khmer Rouge soldiers, like police, who were not intimidating but a somewhat comfortable sight. We kept wondering, following our intuition around the entire event, curiously looking and being looked at, knowing that we were not the first ferang in this part of Cambodia, but certainly at this fair.

A certain quick smile and nod at those we approached, stepping beyond to the next. Gentle greetings to each Hey, Hi, Hey.....hi, we ended in the corner passed stage left, each of those we greeted stepped closer, hey, hi, it was the same faces and the crowed seemed thicker. Hey, hi, they followed. Little smiles now seemed intimidating.
It was subtle, they may have simply wanted to talk but anythought was possible. A picnic table with some people probably about our age blocked us in. The town riff raff graduates, probably born in the late sixties or early seventies, probably in their early thirties. One of them stood up, with a bird in his hand. The Bird was dead or dying and the young man was petting it’s wing. Grossly. It may sound today as if they’d rescued it, or simply found it, but the way he was petting it showed a love of death. The moment was the scariest in my life.

Cambodia has freedom (street level capitalism....which is a world better than before) and has had elections for the past 4 years, with the help of The United Nations. “It is important to have humble respect for all” and be mellow knowing that the locals (Khmer) may speak more languages than you even know exist. My experience last Chinese New Year revealed that the political murders almost obviously do not happen by veterans or by police, but by political bandits, likely discrete and likely those who were children during wartime. Many Khmer migrated to avoid starvation and death, Those who have returned and Veterans, tend to have amicable respect for people from The United States, but we needed
to acknowledge them before we went to war, as we are the ones who kicked the Beehive.

Beyond that, Cambodia may be the most interesting and beautiful place in the world today. Gentle steps keep peace in the beehive. Take it easy, seriously.

E.M. McLane

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