Burmese farmers need some $83 million dollars in aid in order to get back up and running after salt water inundated their fields as a result of Nargis. U.S. farmers, especially in Iowa, aren’t in such great shape either, but they have a government that that will advocate for them, at least in theory.

The Olympic torch is due to reach Tibet Saturday, and though things have quieted somewhat in terms of international press, the relay has been delayed and will be shortened to one day from three. China will not comment on why the relay in Tibet was shortened, but it’s pretty obvious. It’s gratuitous to send the torch through Lhasa. We’ll see how doing so affects Beijing’s Olympics, already as tainted as any in recent memory, despite China’s Sisyphean efforts to force the world to love them and their combination of the crudest, most exploitative capitalism paired with a one-party dictatorship that smothers press freedom and jails political dissidents. What’s not to love?

Plus an article from the Times of London’s Literary Supplement looking at two views of Tibet and China. Westerners misunderstand the problem because of prejudicial ideas about the concept of statehood dating back to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Okey dokey.

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