The People's Republic of China marked its 50th anniversary on October 1, and in preparation for the occasion China's Communist Party did more than spruce up the streets of Beijing. It reasserted the authority of the party and made clear in old-style communist fashion that it intends to remain the sole actor in the political realm.
The taxi's motor died three times as the driver wound his way around the fallen trees and through the flooded streets of Havana. He was trying to get me back to my hotel before the worst of October's Hurricane Irene hit Cuba's capital. Each time the decrepit Lada—a Soviet version of a small Fiat—stalled, I climbed out to push it out of the deep water. And each time help appeared.
Part of the fabric of public life in America during the post–World War II years, perhaps the cross-stitch that held the symbolic boundaries in place, was anticommunism. Most mainline church editors were part of it.
In the forest shrine, the meat of two rams and a goat cook in great cauldrons suspended from wooden frames. Cloth belts stained with the blood of these sacrificial animals hang from the trees. Higher up, the branches are festooned with votive offerings—items of clothing brought by people who claim to have been cured during earlier ritual sacrifices.
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