"The life of nations merely repeats, on a larger scale, the lives of their component cells; and he who is incapable of understanding the mystery, the reactions, the laws that determine the movements of the individual, can never hope to say anything worth listening to about the struggles of nations."
~Marcel Proust

Soldiers humiliate Iraqi prisoners
An interesting point of view 'Dumb and Dumber' culture has bred depravity.


Happiness Survey
Sent in by Neil

LONDON, Oct. 1; People in Latin America, Western Europe and North America are happier than their counterparts in Eastern Europe and Russia, according to a British study. An analysis of levels of happiness in more than 65 countries by the World Values Survey shows Nigeria has the highest percentage of happy people followed by Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador and Puerto Rico, while Russia, Armenia and Romania have the fewest. NEW ZEALAND ranked 15 for overall satisfaction, the U.S. 16th, Australia 20th and Britain 24th - though Australia beats the other three for day-to-day happiness," New Scientist magazine, which published the results, said on Wednesday. But the weekly magazine said that factors that make people happy vary. Personal success, self-expression, pride, and a high sense of self-esteem are important in the United States. "In Japan, on the other hand, it comes from fulfilling the expectations of your family, meeting your social responsibilities, self-discipline, cooperation and friendliness," according to the magazine. The survey is a worldwide investigation of socio-cultural and political change conducted about every four years by an international network of social scientists. It includes questions about how happy people are and how satisfied they are with their lives. It showed that average happiness has remained virtually the same in industrialized countries since World War Two, although incomes have risen. The exception is Denmark, where people have become more satisfied with life over the last three decades. Researchers believe the unchanging trend is linked to consumerism.

"Survey after survey has shown that the desire for material goods, which has increased hand in hand with average income, is a happiness suppressant," the magazine added.

It's official. (People have been telling me this for years:)

[From the San Francisco Chronicle] Governor Gray Davis answered some questions with personal stories, including one about his ill mother, and with apt anecdotes from the past, but, surprisingly, he got caught up when someone asked him to explain his "vision for the state."

"My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth," he said.

Never mind...
Of the 170,000 objects previously said to have been looted from the National Museum in Baghdad, only 3,000 remain unaccounted for. Most were found... in the hiding place where they were stored intentionally by museum staff for safekeeping, and "The Treasure of Nimrud" (enamel jewelry from Assyria dated 900 BC) in a bank vault. [Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2003]

8,400 people in the world have contracted SARS (00.0132%) about 10% died..
6,342,000,000 have not (99.9868%).
              42,000 Americans died in car wrecks last year.

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