Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Principles of Uncertainty


NYT's has a video on Maira Kalman's talk at NYPL.
Watch it, it's quite fun.

Yoga

Thanks Shamnad for the comment and link to your article. This helps put the debate in more context, than just that Yoga is being patented. The article is below.


The latest move by the government of India “to lodge its protest against yoga-related patents issued by the US Patents & Trademarks Office” prompted a number of emails to me this morning. Some even went to extent of suggesting: “Surely, if the government is taking this up, there must be some merit in this case”.

If you really want to believe that a naked emperor is adorned with the finest clothes, be my guest!! It’s all a matter of perception anyway, and as our good old sages rightly intuited: the world is nothing but “Maya”-- an illusion!!

Metaphysical musings aside, given the fact that governmental interventions in matters of this sort cost time and money (tax payers, of course), I think it’s important to think through these issues carefully and not fall prey to a trigger happy attitude. Shwetasree did an excellent post reflecting on this constant confusion between “patents” and “copyrights” and this tendency to force emotional rhetoric down the throats of unsuspecting members of the public.

In the wake of complaints that SpicyIP only caters to IP aficionados, I’ve tried to present the issues in a simple Q/A format below. A special thanks to my friend, Rohan George, an excellent journalist with “Down to Earth” for highlighting the utility of such a format to me.

1. Has the USPTO granted any patents on yoga asanas?

No. I searched the USPTO database and couldn’t find a single patent that claims any of the yoga asanas. It’s highly amusing therefore to hear a government official state lament:

"It's ridiculous to even think that an asana which has been practised for several years can be patented just because they think it is different. They have not been looking at the digital library,"

Well, good sir, they’re going to ask you to take a look at the USPTO database before venturing into your digital library!

2. Are there any patents related to yoga at all?

Yes, a search of the USPTO database reveals 166 Yoga related patents. However, most of them relate to yoga related props and accessories (and some of them only mention the term “yoga” in passing). Examples include:

i) Device and Kit for Body Stretching
ii) Yoga Grip Block
iii) Yoga Mat Carrier
iv) Yoga Socks

3. Do these patents matter?

A patent is granted to any invention that is “new”, “inventive” and “useful”. Upon grant, a patent provides the exclusive right make, use and sell the invention in question. Given this fact, do we have objections to any “accessory” related patents that meet the patentability criteria spelt out above?

I guess not, since they don’t lay claims on our “timeless” asanas –rather, they cater to what Ayesha had earlier referred to as “karma capitalism”—a world where yoga has become more of a fashion statement and less of a spiritual endeavour. In other words, Suketu Mehta who was concerned about his father performing Sirsasana in the wake of these “accessory” monopolies need not worry, unless his father insists on standing on his heard whilst at the same time, wearing the Yoga Socks.

4. If there are no patents on yoga asanas but only on the props/accessories, why is there so much of a fuss?

I’m not entirely sure—it probably has to do with the fact that such emotional appeals are fashionable today. Those that have been following this thread will know that this controversy has its roots in our famed “hot” guru Bikram claiming copyrights over his 26 sequence “sauna” room Yoga. I’m also guessing that some part of all this fuss (or tamasha, to use an Indian term) sprang from Suketu Mehta’s famed editorial that made its rounds in almost all the IP related listservs that I know of. I advised Suketu to stick to fiction when I first reacted to his NY Times piece—and now the advise turns to a deep imploration—as he has in many ways caused a considerable waste of my valuable time (and I’m sure of many others who are tired of dealing with this constant play on emotional rhetoric).

5. Where does Bikram Choudhary and the copyrighting of “hot yoga” poses fit into all of this?

If at all Yoga fans and guardians of Indian heritage need to be concerned, it’s with the copyrighting of Yoga sequences by Bikram Choudhury. Of course, this copyright only covers the exact 26 sequence step allegedly distilled out of the ancient scriptures by Bikram, to be performed in a “hot” environment. It does not prevent you from doing the asanas in any other sequence in a not so hot environment. More importantly, such a copyright may be contestable: As I noted in an earlier posting:




"… even under the most liberal IP standards that the US has now come to represent, you could still run a claim that yoga sequences are not copyrightable, since they are predominantly “functional”. And if the US is serious about “precedents” and respecting the classic “idea expression” dichotomy laid down in Baker vs Selden, you’re likely to succeed. The Patry Copyright Blog, by William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel, Google Inc, elucidates this point quite well and also cites to 2 law review articles on this theme.”

The copyright issue is a complex one and the “real” issue here--- however, there are strategic ways of dealing with this, which the government or any interested party ought to explore. But unless we identify the correct issue, we may be barking up the wrong tree (or in the context of Yoga, breathing up the wrong nostril OR stretching the wrong way).

6. Any final pearls of wisdom?

Yoga in many ways is about “breath”—so lets take some deep breaths here, calm our minds and explore these issues in a sensible way.

As the noted Yoga maestro, BKS Iyengar, once remarked “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured”.

I’m hoping that “ignorance” is something that can be cured. Else, we may have no choice but to endure it.


Posted by Shamnad Basheer at 9:01 PM

Labels: Copyright, Patents, Religion, Traditional Knowledge, Yoga


8 comments:
Vikram said...
Thanks Shamnad for a wonderful note!

Vikram SIngh

12:31 AM
Viralfish said...
I think the real worry is not about this individual copyright itself, or at least, not only about this. If Bikram Choudhury gets to keep the copyright over his "Hot Yoga", he's essentially setting a precedent. It could mean that any combination of yoga asanas could be copyrighted. In a short while, someone will copyright 20 asanas in a forest, another person may copyright 30 asanas underwater, and eventually, someone will obtain protection for a compilation of asanas, Period. By the end of this potential copyright frenzy, it may become nearly impossible for a regular practitioner of yoga to teach a combination of asanas without infringing on someone's copyright. Of course, this is a worst case scenario, but sometimes thats the only way to gain some clarity on the bigger picture. Consider this the first boot of individual ownership planted on the hitherto virgin intellectual property of yoga technique and theory.

5:19 AM
Scott Hughes said...
I agree with Viralfish. I think a person can't just copyright a series of ancient poses. That would be like a certain church copyrighting a series of prayers when those prayers have been around for thousands of years.

BTW, you might like OnlineYogaClub.com.

12:15 PM
Travel Gizmo said...
I found stretching really complicated too if you don't know what your doing. I've pulled some serious muscles when I first started out. I recommend checking out Mind and Body Workout so you can get some tips right from your own home.

12:46 PM
Sneha said...
I agree with Shamnad. Us copyright law might be liberal but we Indians dont need to go so crazy over a copyright in the sequence of the yoga asanas...I think everyone who fears a copyright in the yoga sequence should read Baker v. Selden as suggested by Shamnad...it will definitely dispel all our fears of our traditional knowledge becoming the playthings of money hungry westerners...

3:35 AM
Shamnad Basheer said...
Dear All,

Thanks for your comments. Viralfish and Scott--you are absolutely right that the real worry is not the individual claim by Bikram but the threat of a proliferation of such claims that could drastically impact the common pool of yoga asanas. And this is precisely why the idea expression dichotomy is an important one. If there are only a limited number of ways that you can arrange these sequences (in order to get the maximal advantage out of asanas), then you come very close to claiming rights over something purely "functional" (with limited modes of expression) and this is clearly not copyrightable under Baker vs Selden. But, as you will appreciate, this is a very different issue from claiming asanas via a patent AND the government/press need to draw this distinction in order to pose an effective counter to this monopolization threat.

10:05 AM
information is wealth said...
I found this patent claim in USPTO during casual searching..

claims of US patent 5,897,865

1. A method of treating acne comprising, administering orally an effective amount of turmeric to a subject having acne

I believe ladies in tamilnadu has been using this for centuries.
so did'nt this make any furore in india?

5:16 AM
Shamnad Basheer said...
Dear Information is Wealth,

You're absolutely right. This patent pops us when we enter the search term "yoga". This is something that shouldnt have been granted--as the patent is anticipated by prior art (grandma's way of helping you look pretty--something that has been known in India for centuries)...

5:46 AM

Our Inherited Brutalities

Tehelka has a powerful story of our Inherited Brutalities. In India, tradition is a mask for tyranny. Collective violence is unleashed upon all those who defy it. Thanks Marginal ALien for the link. A very disturbring article, that challenges the notion of shinning India, when lynchings, murders and collective violence is being perpetuated all around.


Most people do not realise that society can practice tyranny and oppression against an individual in a far greater degree than a government can. The means and scope that are open to society for oppression are more extensive than those open to the government; also, they are far more effective. What punishment in the penal code is comparable in its magnitude and its severity to excommunication? — BR Ambedkar


Willing cops In Bihar’s hagalpur, policemen tied a man to their motorcycle and dragged him in front of live television cameras. The crowd egged them on.
A CONSERVATIVE SOCIETY, enforcing its dictates with an iron hand — that is who we are, us Indians. Men and women who do not fall in line are routinely persecuted — and killed — under antiquated norms of honour and right conduct. Each day, violence is unleashed by society in its various manifestations — the family, biradari, caste, village, religion. Governed by unwritten rules, the “world’s largest democracy” seems to be doing little better than a theocratic dictatorship.

A spate of incidents testifies to this. The mysterious death of Rizwanur Rehman in Kolkata for the crime of loving and marrying Priyanka Todi, a Hindu; the September 10 lynching of ten people of the Kureri community in Vaishali, Bihar; the ostracisation of HIV-positive Jayalakshmi Bhovi, a midday-meal worker in Thombattu in Karnataka’s Udupi district; the televised mob attack on August 27 on Salim Ilyas, an unemployed youth in Bhagalpur, Bihar, which inspired a similar attack on a “gypsy” woman and her children in Kerala on October 3; the forced expulsion in September of 62 families of Pardhis — an itinerant tribe — from Chothiya village, 165km from Bhopal, and the razing of their homes built on authorised land; the killing of 30- year-old Natarajan, tied to a coconut tree by mill workers in Salem, Tamil Nadu, on September 23; the regular persecution of men and women who prefer to choose their own partners anywhere in the country. Life in India’s village republics can indeed be nasty, brutish and short. An urban location may offer relative relief, but not necessarily. As popular television actor Aamir Ali, who plays a Hindu protagonist in the serial Woh Rehne Wali Mehelon Ki, would testify. He was recently denied the right to buy a house in Springfield Co-operative Housing Society in the upmarket Andheri suburb of Mumbai — a city that passes for India’s most cosmopolitan even when it nurtures caste and community-specific housing societies.

Ali filed a public interest litigation petition before the Bombay High Court this August, but lawyers are already citing the 2005 Supreme Court judgement by Justices BN Agrawal and PK Balasubramanyan in the Zoroastrian Co-operative Housing Society case. The court upheld “the right of the Society to insist that the property has to be dealt only in terms of the bye-laws of the society, and assigned either wholly or in parts only to persons qualified to be members of the society in terms of its bye-laws.” Meaning, there is nothing illegal if a registered society seeks to restrict membership and exclude the general public. In Chennai, a magazine called Dalit Murasu was denied space and hounded out. Having moved several offices, its editor Punitha Pandian says, “People would receive us well and be nice to us till we mentioned the name of our magazine.”

In India — rural and urban — what passes for tradition and collective wisdom acts as a regulatory mechanism more powerful than the laws of the land. Those who transgress boundaries are either excommunicated or ghettoised, or sometimes simply executed. Everyday societal violence is rendered invisible, for much of it is “constitutive of Indian society, particularly in the maintenance of a hierarchical Hindu society,” ashistorian Dilip Menon sees it. “The State in India is like Dhritarashtra: blind, ineffective, idealistic.”


Hated love Priyanka Todi with Rizwanur Rehman, who was killed because he married the girl he loved
IN THE HINTERLANDs, women who assert their individuality are paraded naked, branded witches and often killed. In Assam, in the past five years, 59 people have been killed — 22 in 2005 alone — in 47 reported cases of witch-hunting. Six months ago, in the Chennai suburb of Pallavaram, a woman suspected of infidelity was tied to a tree and lynched. In most cases, the police blame it on mob fury and no action is taken. Under the ruse of maintaining law and order, the police, and sometimes the judiciary, invariably take the view that society’s diktats must be respected. In several instances, such as in Kherlanji where a year ago four members of a Dalit family were tortured to death for defying caste rules, the police, even when alerted, took its own time to arrive. When it did, it just pleaded helplessness. Says Menon, who teaches at Delhi University, “Bollywood satirises the police force and exalts the vigilante. As in the Hindi film, justice is not the preserve of the State; it is the right of the people. The police always arriving late in films is a metaphor for the irrelevance of the State apparatus. The perception is that you need to take the law into your own hands, as the Thakur did in Sholay. Of course,such heroism is prohibited for the Dalit and the Muslim.”

In Edappal, Malappuram district, Kerala, a mob at a busy market area descended on 41- year-old Jyoti and her two children when a customer raised an alarm saying her child’s gold anklets had been stolen. Jyoti was a suspect only because she belonged to a denotified nomadic community from Karnataka and was found “loitering” in the area. Public spaces in India are demarcated on such basis: there are legitimate occupants and then there are loiterers.

According to J. Devika, historian with the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram, when Jyoti was strip-searched and manhandled by a mob, progressive intellectuals and the political class were quick to re-emphasise the difference between (uncivilised) Bihar and (civilised) Kerala. “But the state government and the intelligentsia remain blind to other forms of mob rule that are part of everyday life in Kerala. When sex workers are pushed out of their homes by moral vigilante “mobs”, when HIV infected children are thrown out of school by well-educated parents, when the “Gulf wife” is publicly punished for alleged “straying”, why is Kerala’s enlightened civil society so slow to respond?” asks Devika.

Ravikumar, writer and Dalit Panthers MLA in Tamil Nadu, says universal adult franchise and other ornamental aspects of parliamentary democracy do not ensure social democracy. “Most Indians, especially in rural India, are outside the purview of citizenship. Basic rights that many urban Indians take for granted do not exist for millions. Authoritarianism in Indian society is not vested solely in the centralised authority of the State, it is vested more within society. Hence the urban middle-class’ passive acceptance of the Emergency.”

The increase in the physical manifestation of violence also owes to hitherto-subordinated communities asserting their rights. It is only when subaltern communities seek to transgress boundaries drawn by society that we see erruptions. K. Satyanarayana, who heads the Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samiti (Forum for Annihilation of Caste) in Hyderabad, says the spurt in brutality should not be read merely as collusion between civil society and the State. “The widespread violence inflicted on Dalits across the country, particularly in the North, owes also to their assertion in the public domain — especially in the wake of Mandal and the Ambedkar centenary in 1990. A Dalit who goes to college and falls in love with an upper caste girl would be beaten up or even killed for asserting his humanity,” he says.



Targeted The “gypsy” woman facing the mob’s fury in Kerala
BESIDES DALITS, several communities — sub-castes, religious minorities, tribes — are organising themselves as identity movements. “The secular and liberal intellectuals are uncomfortable with such assertions of caste and religious minorities, but these struggles are significantly reshaping democracy in India. The violence we see today is a result of these contestations,” says Satyanarayana.

Even chilling statistics — 13 Dalits murdered every week, 3 Dalit women raped every day — do not evoke a response. “We are inured into thinking India is not racist and fascist even if society murders 2,000 Dalits over a year, witch-hunts 500 women, and kills a few hundreds in mob violence. Our civil society does not seem to react as long as a pogrom like in Gujarat does not happen,” says Ravikumar.

It’s a society that also comes down heavily on marriages which defy the system. A look at matrimonial columns and websites shows how most Indians prefer to find comfort in “arranged” subcaste and denomination-specific marriages. Despite the State providing Rs 50,000 as cash incentive to marriages involving a Dalit partner, there’s widespread persecution of couples who marry out of choice. Says Sharmila Rege, professor of sociology at Pune University, “Denial of the freedom to love a person — who does not belong to the same religious and caste group into which one is born, or a person of the same sex — is so naturalised in our caste-based patriarchal society that it does not even appear as denial until someone is brutally murdered for challenging this denial.” Rege says, “Women are the gateways of the caste system. Endogamy or marriage within sub-caste becomes essential to maintaining hierarchy and caste status in Indian society. Family, community and the State collude to punish young people who transgress these boundaries, for at stake is the reproduction of gender, caste and class inequalities.”

The haemorrhaging in society is historically linked to two perspectives that have dominated views on development in post-Independence India: the Nehruvian liberal State that stood for technocratic governance and which was criticised for oppressive homogenisation of society, and the communitarian perspective represented by Gandhi that has, since the 1980s, resulted in the NGO-led critique of the Nehruvian paradigm. Gandhi put forth the concept of a society based on sanatana (eternal) dharma, emphasising a non-secular, communitarian logic. The performance of duties was prio - ritised over the exercise of individual rights. However, Ambedkar spoke the secular language of rights of individuals, especially of minorities, and championed liberty, equality and fraternity. Reacting to Gandhi’s romance with villages, Ambedkar had told the Constituent Assembly: “I hold that these village republics have been the ruination of India. What is the village but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-mindedness and communalism?”




Of no fixed address Punitha Pandian’s magazine was forced to
move several times
Such ruination unleashed by a militant society sits surreally juxtaposed to an Incredible India that the Dhritarashtra State prefers to showcase through malls, a soaring Sensex and nuclear muscle.

with inputs from Teresa Rahman in Guwahati, PC Vinoj Kumar in Chennai, Shalini Singh in Mumbai, M. Radhika in Bangalore, KA Shaji in Thiruvananthapuram and Anand ST Das in Patna [For case studies from across India, visit www.tehelka.com]

Monday, October 29, 2007

Copyrighting Knowledge Systems

An old oped (May 7th) by Suketu Mehta in the NYT discusses the patenting of yoga asanas, often by Indians in the U.S. He counter poses that by stating, India gave the U.S. yoga for free, so life saving Aids drugs should be given free to Indians. I do not disagree with his argument. The owning of Knowledge systems is what makes the West able to impose conditions on the East. For the East to develop it needs to create it's own knowledge systems.

I GREW up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others. The United States government has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There’s big money in those pretzel twists and contortions — $3 billion a year in America alone.

It’s a mystery to most Indians that anybody can make that much money from the teaching of a knowledge that is not supposed to be bought or sold like sausages. Should an Indian, in retaliation, patent the Heimlich maneuver, so that he can collect every time a waiter saves a customer from choking on a fishbone?

The Indian government is not laughing. It has set up a task force that is cataloging traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted by foreign hucksters. The data will be translated from ancient Sanskrit and Tamil texts, stored digitally and available in five international languages, so that patent offices in other countries can see that yoga didn’t originate in a San Francisco commune.

It is worth noting that the people in the forefront of the patenting of traditional Indian wisdom are Indians, mostly overseas. We know a business opportunity when we see one and have exported generations of gurus skilled in peddling enlightenment for a buck. The two scientists in Mississippi who patented the medicinal use of turmeric, a traditional Indian spice, are Indians. So is the strapping Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga, who has copyrighted his method of teaching yoga — a sequence of 26 poses in an overheated room — and whose lawyers sent out threatening notices to small yoga studios that he claimed violated his copyright.

But as an Indian, he ought to know that the very idea of patenting knowledge is a gross violation of the tradition of yoga. In Sanskrit, “yoga” means “union.” Indians believe in a universal mind — brahman — of which we are all a part, and which ponders eternally. Everyone has access to this knowledge. There is a line in the Hindu scriptures: “Let good knowledge come to us from all sides.” There is no follow-up that adds, “And let us pay royalties for it.”

Knowledge in ancient India was protected by caste lines, not legal or economic ones. The term “intellectual property” was an oxymoron: the intellect could not be anybody’s property. You did not pay your guru in coin; you herded his cows and married his daughter, and passed on the knowledge to others when you were sufficiently steeped in it. This tradition continues today, most notably in Indian classical music, none of whose melodies have been copyrighted.

Perhaps it is for this reason that Indians do not feel obligated to pay for knowledge. Pirated copies of my book are openly sold on the Bombay streets, for a fourth of its official price. Many of the plots and the music in Bollywood movies are lifted wholesale from Hollywood. I have sat in on Bollywood script meetings where we viewed American films and decided that replication was the sincerest form of flattery.

Still, Indians get upset every time they hear reports — often overblown — of Westerners’ stealing their age-old wisdom, through the mechanism of copyright law. They were outraged by a story last year of some Americans trying to copyright the sacred Hindu syllable “om” — which would be like trade-marking “amen.”

The fears may be exaggerated, but they are widespread and reflect India’s mixed experience with globalization. Western pharmaceutical companies make billions on drugs that are often first discovered in developing countries — but herbal remedies like bitter gourd or turmeric, which are known to be effective against everything from diabetes to piles, earn nothing for the country whose sages first isolated their virtues. The Indian government estimates that worldwide, 2000 patents are issued a year based on traditional Indian medicines.

Drugs and hatha yoga have the same aim: to help us lead healthier lives. India has given the world yoga for free. No wonder so many in the country feel that the world should return the favor by making lifesaving drugs available at reduced prices, or at least letting Indian companies make cheap generics. If padmasana — a k a the lotus position — belongs to all mankind, so should the formula for Gleevec, the leukemia drug over whose patent a Swiss pharmaceuticals company is suing the Indian government. But the drug companies are playing rough. Abbott, based in Chicago, has decided to sell no new medicines in Thailand, in retaliation for that country’s producing generic versions of three lifesaving drugs.

For decades, Indian law allowed its pharmaceutical companies to replicate Western-patented drugs and sell them at a lower price to countries too poor to afford them otherwise. In this way, India supplied half of the drugs used by H.I.V.-positive people in the developing world. But in March 2005, the Indian Parliament, under pressure to bring the country into compliance with the World Trade Organization’s regulations on intellectual property, passed a bill declaring it illegal to make generic copies of patented drugs.

This has put life-saving antiretroviral medications out of reach of many of the nearly 6 million Indians who have AIDS. And yet, the very international drug companies that so fiercely protect their patents oppose India’s attempts to amend World Trade Organization rules to protect its traditional remedies.

There’s more at stake than just the money involved in the commercial exploitation of traditional knowledge. There is also the perception that the world trading system is unfair, that the deck is stacked against developing countries. Unless the World Trade Organization and developed countries correct this, the entire project of globalization is at risk.

If the copying of Western drugs is illegal, so should be the patenting of yoga. It is also intellectual piracy, stood on its head.

Gap Kids and Child Labor in Delhi

Sepia Mutiny reports that Gap Kids is using child labor to make their clothing. I am sure this will generate a lot of heat in the marketplace here.

One of the items that has been getting votes on the News Tab today is the IBN Live story (thanks, Raprasad) on The Gap’s decision to pull a contract with an Indian contractor that had been using bonded child laborers in horrific sweatshop conditions in Delhi. (By a strange irony, the clothes the children were working on happened to be destined for GapKids. Oy.) The decision by The Gap was prompted by an excellent article in the UK Observer, which was in turn the product of an undercover investigation. The part that bugged me in the IBN article came at the end of the following passage:

The Observer quoted the children as saying that they had been sold to the sweatshop in Delhi by their families. The children, some of who worked for as long as 16 hours a day sewing clothes by hand, said they hailed from Bihar and West Bengal. They added that they were not being paid because their employer said they were still trainees; nor would they be allowed to leave till they could repay the amount for which they were bought from their families.

When contacted, Gap gave the official statement that the sweatshop was being run by a sub-contractor. This is a violation of Gap’s policies, said the fashion giant.

Gap spokesman Bill Chandler was vocal in his thanks to the media. “We appreciate that the media identified this sub-contractor and we acted swiftly in this situation,” he told the Associated Press. “Under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments,” he added.

Correctness-conscious America is very strict about the use of child labour. (link)
That last sentence, “Correctness-conscious America is very strict…” got under my skin. Granted, there are different ways of looking at this particular issue; I know some people justify limited child labor under the argument that families living in extreme poverty need all the income they can get. In this case, however, the kids were effectively slave laborers sold off by their families — an arrangement that in my view can’t possibly be defensible.

The sentence above could also be defended along the lines that the reporter was merely explaining to a readership that may not be that strongly opposed to child labor why this is such a big deal. If that’s the case — that is, if the majority of English-speaking readers of Indian business newspapers and viewers of cable news are nonplussed by bonded child labor in their own backyards — I’m not angry, just sad. It’s not about “correctness-consciousness,” it’s about basic human rights, is it not?

good night

 
Posted by Picasa

exhaustion

 
Posted by Picasa

kiwi

 
Posted by Picasa

the birthday Girl

 
Posted by Picasa

toddler time

 
Posted by Picasa

mama and baby

 
Posted by Picasa

umbrella

 
Posted by Picasa

papa n green baby

 
Posted by Picasa

papa n baby

 
Posted by Picasa

mama n baby

 
Posted by Picasa
 
Posted by Picasa

Musical Birthday Party

 
Posted by Picasa

Skeleton

 
Posted by Picasa

or this

 
Posted by Picasa

I am so not into this

 
Posted by Picasa

painting pumpkins

 
Posted by Picasa

Hair

 
Posted by Picasa

Spider woman spells

 
Posted by Picasa
 
Posted by Picasa

Patchwork Applique Quilt

 
Posted by Picasa

Princesses

 
Posted by Picasa

bee

 
Posted by Picasa

jester

 
Posted by Picasa

spiderwoman

 
Posted by Picasa

costumes

 
Posted by Picasa

Middle School chronicles

Middle School is a dress rehersal for life