peat o’neil

Travel * Think * Create

Archive for the ‘Global view’ Category

Museum of Political Corruption

leave a comment »

Check the transparency and  ethics of government and corporate management daily. Maybe hourly?

Teachers, create a popular lesson by displaying the reach and excesses of political corruption all the way into the classroom.

Random browsers, visit the Facebook presence of the Museum of Political Corruption

No building is big enough to hold the documented and undocumented malfeasance of politicians and their money-bag cronies.  Mr. Big, and Mrs. Big too, built their short-cut to the big-top on a pile.  They usually don’t get caught; throw their myrmidons out as distraction bait.

Mr. Big gets a suitcase

The  Museum of Political Corruption will be located in Albany, a city-state capital thought to be the bedrock of American political corruption.  Maybe the museum library will be interested in maintaining print and digital archives of reporting on political corruption. Some writers and journalists have deep troves of subject files long predating the Internet.

Fortunately, investigative reporters like Susanne Craig of The New York Times are on the case.  In May, 2017 Susanne Craig was named first winner of The Nellie Bly Award for Investigative Reporting.

Reporter Susanne Craig’s mailbox mysteriously yielded leaked pages from Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return.  A former Albany bureau chief for The Times, Susanne Craig has also led investigations into allegations of wrongdoing in state government, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to shut down a much-heralded commission investigating public corruption.

The Museum of Political Corruption established the Nellie Bly Award to recognize the vital role investigative reporting plays in government oversight and maintaining an informed electorate.  The award is named after late 1800s pioneering investigative reporter Nellie Bly.

Nellie Bly stamp

Advertisements

Exploring Female Adventurers at London’s Women of the World Festival

leave a comment »

Great concept to pull together successful women of the world and learn from their adventures.

Nellie Bly in the Sky

Sunday 13 March, 11.30 a.m.  SOUTHBANK CENTRE, London   

wow logo 4As part of the Women of the World Festival 2016,  I am inviting women to ignite their own adventurous spirits through the journeys of  women explorers — past and present — who defied convention, pushed limits and travelled into the unknown.

In this era of shrinking comfort zones and glitzy role models, I’ll be celebrating women adventurers — women who take a walk on the wild side and explore the world. I’ll be paying tribute to those before us who left inhibition at home and journeyed through a man’s world on awe-inspiring voyages;  as well as today’s ‘adventuresses’ who challenge themselves on foot, bikes, skis; in boats, vans, planes…in the true spirit of adventure.

Today's female explorers (l to r) Felicity Aston, Rosie Stancer, Jacki Hill-Murphy, Lois Pryce, Ann Daniels and Arita Baaijens at the Women's Adventure Expo 2015. Today’s female explorers (l to r) Felicity Aston, Rosie Stancer, Jacki Hill-Murphy, Lois Pryce, Ann Daniels and Arita Baaijens at the Women’s Adventure Expo 2015.

The…

View original post 166 more words

Written by patwa

08/03/2016 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Global view, Travel, Women

People Met on the Road

leave a comment »

One of my an indelible travel memories is listening to a guy on the beach at Playa Manuel Antonio, in Quepos, Costa Rica in late December, 1981.  Travelers from France, Canada, Asia, the USA and locals from San Jose were gathered at the nightly campfire and sipping on Heineken green stubbies.  He told our spellbound group about working in [somewhere in the Middle East] assembling grenades that would be shipped to Iraq via Israel.  This was during the Iran-Iraq War. The work was through a sub-contractor and well paid, enough to fund his flight to San Jose from [that factory place] and months of living on $10 a day which, at the time,  covered beachside rustic lodging, excellent meals, beverages and even bus rides to the capital city.

 

Playa Samara, Costa Rica

Playa Samara, Costa Rica

At another beach in Costa Rica, I believe it was Playa Samara,  there was a Canadian fellow who worked as a gold miner during the warm season up in the Yukon or NWT and spent his winters in Central America.  He said gold mining was one of the worst jobs in the world, coughed violently to prove it, then tapped another Marlboro from the red pack.  The villas, cabanas, swimming pools and restaurants depicted on tourism websites in 2016 did not exist at Playa Samara in 1981-1982.

And who could forget Max, the French-Canadian chopping every day at  a massive tree stump on the shoreline which he shaped into a throne facing the water?

Playa Manuel Antonio

Other folks enjoying the low-key, sustainable lifestyle in Costa Rica back before the tourist masses changed Costa Rica’s coasts forever financed  their Winter travel by working in Alaska’s salmon canning factories.  They headed down the Pacific Plate to trade savings gleaned during double-shift work all summer for relaxing months of winter sunshine on the Pacific Coast of Mexico or Costa Rica.  At the time, many of the other Central American countries were too dangerous for nomads because of civil wars and external paramilitary interventions like the illegal activities paid for by American taxpayers through the nefarious acts by US government officials and their myrmidons in the  Iran-Contra scandal.

Another memorable encounter was the terrifying hostel owner at Simanindo on Samosir Island  in Lake Toba, Sumatra.  He tried to imprison my friend and I in his very scary hostel. As a precaution, I always ask to see the room before agreeing to rent a room.  As we walked through the dim rabbit warren of dirty cement-floored stall-like spaces,  I noticed the rooms had peep-holes and spotted English phrases scratched on the walls that indicated previous “guests” had been prisoners.  We beat a determined path to the exit and chatted tensely with the owner until he reluctantly moved aside and let us leave.   Was this guy renting rooms in the town jail or extorting money from hapless backpackers?

We hiked at top speed for more than an hour. In the dark, we set up the tent in a cow  pasture. In the morning, the kind lady-farmer invited us to have coffee and bananas at her airy house.

Local map of Lake Toba and Samosir Island.  Simanindo is on the north-east coast of Samosir Is.

Written by patwa

28/10/2015 at 8:52 pm

Da do ron ron an’ taliban 1985

leave a comment »

Is this a photoshopped cut and paste image? Really real?

Written by patwa

24/04/2014 at 1:23 am

Colin Thubron

leave a comment »

Colin Thubron, the prize winning  (PEN Silver Pen Award, Thomas Cook Travel Award, Hawthornden Prize,) author of many travel books, reads from In Siberia to an assembly of spellbound professors who are gathered at a conference on travel writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We waded down its passageways as down a sewer,” Thubron reads.  “I lost count of the iron doors awash with stench, the grilles giving on to blackness.  Each dungeon was still fixed with twin wooden platforms bound in iron, and might have held forty prisoners. There were twenty such chambers in the basement alone.  Their walls were sheathed in ice.  Prisoners here, said Fedor (Thubron’s guide who knew a prisoner there), used to press the bodies of the dead against the walls to insulate themselves from the cold.” p. 273

Individuals in the audience tighten their flanks, others draw in breath, there’s a nervous cough.  We’re listening to Thubron describe his wintertime visit to desolate and decaying Stalin-era forced labor camps near Magadan in far eastern Siberia.  It is difficult to remember that Thubron wasn’t a prisoner in the transit camp, so bleak and painful is the word painting he recounts.

You need an atlas at hand to properly understand this book. Siberia occupies an enormous landmass–the 50 states would easily fit inside with millions of square miles to spare.  With  three of the world’s long rivers, and Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, gold, uranium, timber and permafrost, the mix of geography and geology as forecasters of destiny permeates the narrative.  This spiritual barrenland called Siberia has been the proving ground for explorers in search of fame, the vast closet where the outcasts were swept.  The endless stretches defeated the dreamers and the exiles alike.  All except those who survived.

Thubron sketches the missionaries and explorers who came before him, the refugees and exiles cast out from the west by rulers from Peter the Great to Kruschev (and who knows, probably others since then). They swept the opposition and the detritus of their society off the map beyond the Urals. In the imagination of working stiffs back in Moscow, far eastern Russia holds the same mystique as the American west did 200 years ago or the Yukon and parts of Alaska still hold.  To Siberia went the crooks, the dissemblers, the weirdoes, the inconvenient, the too-smart, the too-dumb.

A magnet for melancholy characters, Thubron talks to the drunks and the disillusioned, doctors without hospitals, priests without parishioners, but his humility and honesty show up in the details.  

Thubron’s great gift to readers lies in the focused details, the dirty fingernails, tangled beards, and the back slapping, vodka swilling Mafioso. You live in the movie while reading this book. Entertaining stuff for the curious Russophile who may never get to these outposts.

 

The meaning of siber is “pure” in Mongol and siber means “sleeping land” in Tartar. Thubron traveled during a confluence of seasons,  moving across Siberia by train, truck, boat and plane, put on fast forward by nature’s cycles.  “For two more days and nights we sailed downriver, while around us the deciduous green turned to bronze, and the birch trees massed along the shores were blacked by pines, and the crimson flares of aspen flickered out.  The seasons were speeding up.  Within four days we traversed autumn, until the leaves were falling, and a coniferous deadness began to spread.” p. 121. Ultimately the immensity of nature overwhelms human scale and capacity. Only by communal effort can villages prosper in the harsh wilderness.

 

Travel writer, fiction stylist, Colin Thubron executes a distinctive sense of place in his narratives.  For example, in his quasi science-fiction, A Cruel Madness: “the older inmates still call the central block ‘the mad house,’ and sometimes, when the mist pours off the Black Mountains, you might think the whole institution a Gothic fantasy.” And in Turning Back the Sun: “You can never go back.  Deep ranges of mountain isolate the town from the sea, and lift across half the skyline.” His ability to convey a sense of people and culture within geography –whether he’s writing history, fiction or his own experience —  renders a deeper topography.

 

In Siberia is seen through the eyes of a  hardy traveler willing to go hard seat, hitch hike and live in his clothes.   Thubron hints at his underlying unease at these great distances and the legacy of suspicion from Soviet rule.  In his other book about Russia —  Where Nights are Longest, an account of a 10,000 mile drive through western Russia published in 1983, he watched his back, sometimes afraid for his safety and concerned about reprisals to his hosts.  During his mid 1990’s Siberian trip, inertia has replaced bureaucratic zeal; his papers are rarely checked, he moves freely.  The constraints are the original shackles of Siberia – distance, isolation and the elements.   

There are travel writers aplenty in the marketplace today. A swathe of them are gathered at this conference to parse intention and impact of several centuries worth of travel narratives.  Some of them have written up their own travels.  Some publish scholarly accounts gleaned from the journals of long forgotten perigrinators. Most are English professors  who use the travel format to coax young writers to improve their writing — travel writing has  found legitimacy with academia at last in English Composition 101.

 

The difference that separates Thubron from other practitioners in the genre, is that he digs deeper. When he arrives in a new place, he seeks clues that create a narrative about the place and its people.

 “I was looking for signposts, I knew.  I couldn’t imagine a Russia without destiny.  So I was hunting for symptoms of a new faith or identity, but hunting impatiently, as people do on first arriving somewhere, hoping for talismans, for simple meanings.  ”p. 6

As he moves across the continent, he dogs after scraps of information that stop at the edge a town or a bleak cement building. Yet he finds a self-anointed shaman and an archeologist who believes he’s found evidence of the earliest human settlement. Introductions bring him to an apparatchik who believes in the government still, a museum curator willing to whisper what the real story is. He listens solemnly to  disillusioned scientists set up by Soviet government to research laughably impossible projects—magnetic power zones, physic rays, aspects of the soul that no research might quantify.

 

You can’t be a writer with the Thubron’s treadwear  without a refined sense of self awareness.  He knows the little boy within him is excited by a river trip to the Arctic Circle and telling this, allows himself to be vulnerable to the world-weary scorn of his readers, who may think themselves more daring adventurers. He pokes fun at himself and wins our trust. I liked Thubron’s humility in the face of workers rising early in the morning to do jobs of enormous difficulty that might not even pay. 

 

To his credit, Thubron listens to the Siberians, the crude and the complaining, the sensible and the fraught.  He quests after the unfathomable and mystical, an aspect no itinerant can really grasp, and usually comes up with a semblance of personal mysticism overlaid on experience.

He has a habit of focusing on the slightly insane, the obsessed, the madly optimistic.  Perhaps this is characteristic of residents of Siberia, as I discovered myself during a month in the Russian Far East, in 1993.  Siberia, like the American West, became the zone for cast-offs, criminals, trouble makers, dissidents, proto-revolutionaries.  Siberia is a cleansing ground, a wetland to purge those perceived a problem by whomever was in charge.   p. 114. Along the way we met a practicing Tuvan shaman near Lake Baikal who needs Walrus tusk, we visit the tender of the last chapel of the Old Believers, a mad scientist who believes Russian cosmic thinking can save the world from soul destroying materialism and

 

 

Focusing on a pivotal local figure in each town he visits, Thubron gives us dialogue with real people, sometimes the characters are achingly optimistic, sometimes, as we might expect, they are  beaten. The tone is set early on, when Thubron tips the bottle with a hobo drunk living in a field near Katarinaberg where Czar Nicolas II and his family were murdered.  He examines the decay and detritus of a society moved on like debris after a flood, stuck or clinging to their ideological branches

 

In a way Thubron is  travel writer as knowing spy. Blending in because he speaks Russian and his features suggest Estonia or  the Sami of the far Arctic,  yet standing out because he isn’t really from there, Thubron nods and agrees with locals as they tell their tales, while thinking his private thoughts.

Later in the conference I sought Thubron and tried to pin him down on truth in travel writing, an issue that buzzed during between-session parlays. The previous evening, another writer had read from his book,  a narrative larded with obviously imagined and embellished events, which he claimed was non-fiction travel writing.   One of the conferees had pointed out that all writing is invented, whether it is called fiction or non-fiction. Others complained  that the  author from  the make-it-up style of travel writing insulted the audience.

“We expect truth within the form.  I take exception when the reader expects truth and the writer purposefully distorts  the event,” he said. “A postscript or an editor’s forward alerts readers that the writer is playing with images, but to present all as truth when whole sections are invented, that’s wrong.”

“The caveat, of course, is that nothing written is truth,” said Thubron, joining his hands around a thick white mug at a table in the hotel’s dimly lit coffee shop. “Writers forget, they exclude information all the time, creating a parallel text to what actually happened.  When you work from notes, it’s the author’s choice.  No travel book is entirely truth in that sense.  But, when reality is so extraordinary, why invent?”

I asked the obvious: “How would a reader know when a writer invents material.”

“If a reader  knows the culture, when a writer invents, the scenes ring false.”

For me, that was the crux of Thubron’s In Siberia.

Anyone who has been there– and I have, to a few of the places he visited and others, equally remote, that he didn’t – knows in a heartbeat that these odd and wildly generous characters that Thubron meets wherever he goes are typical of the Russian hinterland. He didn’t have to look too deeply to find pathos.  Travel in Siberia

is always consternating, so the encounters with the colorful locals replace the tedium and the setbacks.  That’s exactly the way In Siberia reads.

But I wondered about the dull people Thubron must have met in Siberia.

He writes of a broken infrastructure, people with suspicion for outsiders and neighbors alike.

Using a technique that could trip a clumsy writer, Thubron alternates passages in the past tense for bits of arcane history and urgent present tense description of  his own adventures.  He artfully weaves anecdotes that demonstrate ‘what if’ scenarios — a Spanish commandant’s daughter in  1803 San Francisco who pined in a convent she founded, to live veiled in the memory a noble Russian adventurer who died before he could return to California, a land that could have become Russian if  history played out differently. p. 111.  What if Lenin was never exiled?

 

The surrealism that characterizes Siberia  edges onto nearly every page. Mystified by the people’s  quest for religion, he walks with “the KGB major turned Baptist pastor, to a chapel built with American dollars in Communism’s City of the Dawn.” p. 239. Shaking his head in disbelief, he tells the conference audience,  “The gulags exist –the mines at Butugychag and the transit camps at Magadan are all still there.  But the people don’t have the aversion to the camps.  Disaster is perceived as normal in Russian history,” said Thubron.

“I really have to check facts out,” said Thubron. He worries that travel writers prolong myths and clichés. We talked about the issue of accepting hearsay when local knowledge may be the wrong information.  How writers have to check the facts in libraries. “People don’t mention what they don’t see.  They miss the things out there that might surprise them,” he said. “I may do too much analyzing. When I’m obsessed with a subject, I’m thinking how to get people to talk about it, how to describe the next landscape.”

 

Tourism has benefited Siberia, to a certain extent.  Korean and Japanese investment has improved some of the far eastern cities.  But environmental restrictions may be overlooked when rivers are leased for fishing tour operators and though the state logging companies have seized up, timber harvesting continues.   

 

Thubron said he worries he might miss something.  “You’re nagged that you’re an outsider looking in.  For example, I spoke with Muslim students in Bukhara–they’re the heart of young Islam of the future.

I considered them true insiders, but they told me they felt like outsiders with little communication. They felt shunned by the secular city.”  

The book ends in Magadan with the scary shuffle through ruined transit camps and caved in gold mines.  “ In Siberia we’re all outsiders,” said Thubron, “immigrants to the landscape. The world is made up of hundreds of millions of exceptions.

In Siberia

by Colin Thubron

Harper Collins, January, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-019543-6

$26.00, 288 pages, Index

——

Interview reported by L. Peat O’Neil who writes for the Washington Post and teaches travel writing at UCLA online. Books include:  See the World-Sell the Story (2005), and Pyrénées Pilgrimage (2010).

Written by patwa

01/12/2013 at 10:51 pm

Rail Link from China to Germany :: Silk Road Revived

leave a comment »

Update: China’s Grand Project, The Economist August 5, 2017 p. 49-50.

In 2013, Zhengzhou, a business and logistics center in Central China, became the starting point for rail transport service to Hamburg, Germany and other European ports.  The trip is a 6,436 mile (10,214-kilometer) run taking 15 to 18 days — twice as fast as shipping goods by sea.

China manufactures products for the world.  We all know that.  And it imports tons of materials and mineral resources. Trade connections between China and the major markets of Europe and North America are essential for global economic prosperity.

No one can overlook the importance of railroad infrastructure and the challenges of distance in historical economic advancement. If a country can’t get its goods to a robust marketplace with money, the economy doesn’t grow. Ship, truck and airplane transport are all part of the modern trade and transport equation, but rail is often the cheapest way to ship goods overland.

 

China was slow to build its rail system, but it is now third largest in the world.  During the past few decades, China has made lightening strides to improve its rail networks for passengers and freight. Some analysts believe the extensive new rail infrastructure may have been built too fast, given the problems along the Beijing to Tibet line.

The Mag-Lev rail connecter from Shanghai airport to the city’s terrific subway is a marvel, priced for tourists from the western hemisphere and wealthy Chinese. I also traveled on other Chinese railroads promoted as high speed, which were not.

Why Ship by Rail? Why Now?

Global Shipping Routes by GPS. Map: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/infographic-global-shipping-routes-mapped-using-gps-data/3605

Global Shipping Routes by GPS.
Map: Smart Planet.com

Maritime routes from Central China to Northern Europe go through the Suez Canal, because despite global warming and climate change, shipping on a great circle route over the North Pole isn’t a viable option yet. According to the information graphic, the China to Northern Europe sea route is one of the heaviest travelled routes in the world. It also goes right through pirate zone near the Horn of Africa. The Suez Canal and eastern Mediterranean, last time I checked, have issues of potential instability.

20130802_chinazug_karte

Rail link between China and Germany.
Map: DB Schenker

This land route from China to Northern Europe saves potentially 80 % of the cost compared with air shipments, and it’s about $489 cheaper on average, compared with road transportation. DB Schenker manages the transportation and logistics.

Nicknamed the New Silk Road, the route goes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Zhengzhou International Inland Port Development Co Ltd is responsible for cooperating with partner rail companies in each country.

Variables affecting international rail transport include:
1) Rail loading gauge — how much weight can be tolerated on given carriers and track.
2) Track gauge — the width between the tracks.

There is broad gauge, standard or international gauge and narrow gauge. Further complicated by an array of different widths for broad gauge.

Loading gauges, couplings, container markings, and much more are encoded by the International Union of Railways, an organization created in 1922 to standardize rail transport industry practices. There are 82 active members including from Europe, Russia, China, Kazakhstan and others. The U.S. is an associate member.

With a route that travels through five or more countries, there are challenges along the route. The railroad containers have to be shifted by crane twice:

  • From Chinese rolling stock to the Russian style broad gauge line at the Kazakhstan-China border at Alashankou, in northeastern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
  • Second transfer to standard gauge at the Polish-Belarusian border.

US Customers

Hewlett Packard was an early customer of the new rail connection. They booked the route for a major shipment of H-P computers manufactured in China destined to ship from Holland across the Atlantic Ocean to the US.

Here is a video of train route that the H-P computers traveled to Rotterdam, including crane transfer of containers from one railway track to a different gauge rail track.

I’m looking forward to the day passenger trains run the route!

Written by patwa

02/10/2013 at 1:29 am

Jihadi Stamps ?

leave a comment »

People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, 1971 stamps depicting weapons and soldiers

People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, 1971 stamps depicting weapons and soldiers

Jihad Stamps from Yemen

FDR collected stamps.  Has any president since?   Maybe philately should be a required hobby for NSA types.   Stamps are miniature works of art, symbols of national identity, achievement and aspiration.   If  Bush I or Bush II had been stamp collectors, they might have noticed evolving political sentiments expressed on the postage stamps in the Persian Gulf region.  Rising militaristic spirit is spelled out boldly on Yemen’s stamps, for example.

Let’s look at a few stamps from Yemen Arab Republic (YAR), People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and People’s Republic of Southern Yemen. Same place, different guys with guns in charge.

On stamps from the 1920’s through 40’s, the nation was known as Royaume de Yemen and Aden.  Stamps resembled philatelic issues of Syria and Lebanon, then French protectorates.  Early in the 1950’s the country name is simply Yemen.

There’s a flashback to French titling and design on several issues celebrating the Arab Postal Union, Arab League and other pan-Arabian organizations. During the early 1960’s, a wave of modern philatelic design focused on great works of art, boy scouts and the United Nations.

Yemen Arab Republic stamps, 1963-64.  Images of military equipment.

Yemen Arab Republic stamps, 1963-64. Images of military equipment.

Uh oh, trouble ahead. Trouble behind…

Issues of 1963-64 are labeled Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) and the stamps depict patriotic themes – flags and tanks, raised torches, guns with bayonettes and more flags.

Yet in 1964, the YAR splashed  their stamps with JFK, Olympic sports and Soviet astronauts, a practice used by many small nations to generate sales to topical collectors.  Oddly, the New York World’s Fair appears on Yemen’s 1964 stamps.  There’s  prescient symbolism too, with New York City skyscrapers on Yemen’s stamps.

Yemen Arab Republic stamps, 1963-64 showing New York skyline with Yemen flag and aircraft in the center.

Yemen Arab Republic stamps, 1963-64 showing New York skyline with Yemen flag and aircraft in the center.

New York City Skyline

The Yemen flag appears inside an oval over- laid on New York harbor including the Empire State Building.  It’s tempting to read meaning into the stamps which show airplanes  aimed at the New York skyline, but the stamps were airmail, so the image is reasonable.  I guess.

Issues of 1964-65 depict a turbaned revolutionary figure (an image similar to 21st century radical Arab-Islamics) holding a machine gun aloft honoring the Yemen Second Revolution Anniversary, not the 2nd anniversary of a revolution, but the Second Revolution.  Was the  First Revolution skipped by government stamp designers?

Yemen Arab Republic stamp, 1964-65, commemorating the Anniversary of the 2nd Revolution.

Yemen Arab Republic stamp, 1964-65, commemorating the Anniversary of the 2nd Revolution.

JFK and Builders of World Peace

There’s a stylized peace dove on one YAR stamp issued in September 1964 for the Arab Summit Conference.     U.S. President Kennedy’s  face appears on a series honoring space exploration and Russian cosmonauts issued in 1966.

JFK image with space craft.  Yemen Arab Republic stamp .

Builders of Peace series, Yemen Arab Republic, 1966.

Builders of Peace series, Yemen Arab Republic, 1966.

JFK image with space craft. Yemen Arab Republic stamp .

Also in 1966, Yemen prints  the  Builders of World Peace series and includes JFK and Pope Pius XII, who famously built peace by appeasing Nazi Germany.  Can you find the Arab leader who was an honored peace builder?

Several years pass.  Birds, fruit, medicine, space craft, European and Asian art treasures, and Olympic winter sports are the subjects Yemen prints on its stamps.  Not a bad idea since these are topical subjects prized by world philatelists, translating to revenue for the YAR.

 

Countries like Turkmenistan and Palau issue stamps commemorating events in the U.S. featuring U.S. Presidents.  Sales revenue unknown.

Palau stamps commemorate the First Undeclared Gulf War and President Bush, I.

Palau stamps commemorate the First Undeclared Gulf War and President Bush, I.

Honoring Rescue Workers.

Turkmenistan honors U.S. Rescue Workers and President Bush, II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon Yemen has another name and a new revolution.  Would this be the Third Revolution? The Fourth?   In 1971 the postage stamps of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen depict turbaned and masked fighters in white robes holding machine guns against a backdrop of barbed wire.


YAR barbed wire & fighter stamp

Perhaps the Yemen political propaganda department decided that didn’t encourage productive international relations, because in 1972, the commemorative stamps show folk dancing.

Southern Yemen abruptly appeared  as a new country in 1968.  (I’ve lost count of the revolution time line.)  The new name is overprinted on stamps of the Federation of South Arabia.  Subsequent stamps from the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen use images of girl scouts and soldiers aiming rifles out of a foxhole.  I wonder why is it,  that countries titled “People’s Republic” or “People’s Democratic Republic” never are?

Southern Yemen name overprinted on Federation of South Arabia, 1968.

Southern Yemen name overprinted on stamps of the Federation of South Arabia, 1968.

People's Republic of Southern Yemen, 1969=70 depicting explosions.

People’s Republic of Southern Yemen, 1969-70,  Palestine Day commemorative stamps depicting explosions.

 

Southern Yemen’s stamp designs and subjects for commemorative issues  in 1969-71, glorify rifles, fighters, explosions and soldiers with rifles.

Not surprising, the series titled Palestine Day bristle with military images.  The most explicit seems to be a jihad warrior ascending to the heavens on a cloud above what might be a sleeping dog.

Revolution Day in Yemen is October 14.

Might be a day to stay home.

People's Republic of Southern Yemen Revolution Day, 14 October 1965.

People’s Republic of Southern Yemen Revolution Day, 14 October 1965.

 

Chalk it up to your least favorite Bad President.

Images of fake stamps and coins from theskunk.org

Images of fake stamps and coins from theskunk.org

 

 

 

 

Written by patwa

04/08/2013 at 4:58 pm

Andrew McDowell

An Author of Many Parts

RED ROAD PRESS

On the Red Road in South Puna, Hawai'i

m.lever

life. as i see it.

Interning in Milan

62 Days....counting slow

Mail Artists Index

Biographies, works and links of representative Mail Artists. - Biografien, Arbeiten und Links zu typischen Mail Art Künstlern.

Nellie Bly in the Sky

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of Nellie Bly's historic voyage around the world in 72 days.

The Fox Trails

Exploring Nature and Society

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Travel * Think * Create

No White Food

Add Life::Eat Color

Travel * Think * Create