October 19th, 2024

Megagaltastic tour de force…

  • el
  • pt
  • Faithful Interpretation: Reading the Bible in a Postmodern World” arrived. George Mosse gets a citation, and Eric Idle, and of course Reichsbishop Ludwig Muller. There are perhaps fewer really big words than my headline use of the adjective “megagaltastic” might imply, but the use of commas is creative and permits a parsimonious approach to the use of end-stops, as witness:

    If, however, we allow that no lode of meaning lies embedded in our texts, that we (and not texts) sponsor and permit interpretations, that communication and interpretation constitute phenomena of far greater intricacy than the verbal paradigm allows, and that we may honestly and fairly consider the possibility that a given expression may mean several different things — if we yield on these points, the guild of biblical scholars suspects that we will disrupt the exquisite architecture of human communication (and especially, of course, of God’s communication with humanity), rapidly declining into inarticulate grunts and brutality.

    Flipping the pages I see that there’s a lot of food for thought in here… an opportunity to re-visit Luce Irigaray’s sense of feminine identity and difference, nuanced linguistics, Julia Kristeva… it’ll be cool. I’ll be glad for reading it. Will I find the power of an authentic universal connection, the wailing of trumpets of spirit and truth? I’ll tell you later.

    October 18th, 2024

    Age of irony…

    Charles Starkweather and the freshly kindled space race shared the news in the fall of 1957. Sputnik went up in October, Vanguard crashed and burned in December and the Charles Starkweather’s killing spree pushed the space competition out of the headlines for a while, distracting us from the cold war angst we felt with a Russian satellite in space and a failed Vanguard launch still smoldering on the pad at Canaveral. Starkweather distracted us when we needed distracting, and then on January 29th he was apprehended and two days later we caught up with Russians with a successful Explorer launch.

    A few weeks ago Beth Adams (The Cassandra Pages) wrote comparing responsible media coverage of an event of public concern (an overpass collapse) with the sensationalist coverage of school shootings and the like. Ms. Adams gently urges self censorship in the latter case and encourages investigative reporting in the former. Reading that post I was reminded of the media self censorship in the US that began in the 1970’s during the wind down of the Vietnam war.

    While the war progressed, media coverage of opposition across the nation was commonplace. People were aware of the broad opposition because the media reported broadly on dramatic events: civil disturbance, arrests, marches, protests, rallies. At some point in the mid-seventies that reportage ended and it has never been re-established that it is in the national interest for local opposition to be broadly reported. Thus the Bush wars, while facing significant opposition from the beginning, have not been subject to national scrutiny. When Bush arrives in La Crosse, Wisconsin and faces hundreds of demonstrators opposing his policies, it is reported as a local matter and ignored by the national press. Whenever he goes out campaigning he faces significant populist opposition in the streets, but it is not reported. The press has disciplined itself because the experience during Vietnam was painful and dangerous. People were blowing shit up.

    Thus the ironic circumstance… the press can discipline itself in matters relating to public policy and freedom of expression, limiting the exposure that dissident voices receive, but it will almost certainly refuse to discipline itself from he soft-core prurience of second hand reportage of tragic events involving hate crimes. Adams asks,

    Who are the people sitting in editorial offices today? How do they feel, I wonder, about their decisions of what to publish, and what not to publish, or how much play to give a particular story? On the other hand, with free access to the internet across the globe, is the cat so far out of the bag now that we simply have to live with the consequences of instantaneous reporting, lurid detail, and the desire - in an increasingly impersonal and alienated society - for brief moments of “fame” which occasionally turn very dark indeed?

    October 18th, 2024

    monetize this, muthah…

    Okay bmo, do me a favor and sit through both of these tiresome boring and simple-minded presentations. Now consider the financial support model… anything wrong? anything right?



    (I like “micro-duckie sponsorship” better myself — I mean, holy-moly, ze made two thousand simoleons on his first try with that scam! — but then that pay-per-post ad is kind of lame, so I’d call it a draw. What do you think?)

    October 18th, 2024

    But I’m a guy and I don’t cry…

    So why, I wonder, did I get so teared up over Joy’s write-up of her daughter Jory’s marriage this weekend?

    October 18th, 2024


    (h/t to Denise)

    October 17th, 2024

    Ida Red

    October 17th, 2024

    The disease is growing, it’s epidemic…

    October 17th, 2024


    clip-clop clip-clop clip-clop BLAM BLAM BLAM-DE-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM-BLAM clip-clop clip-clop clip-clop
    – Amish drive-by

    This post is not about the grim and twisted irony of the violence of a school shooting in Amish country. Rather, I want to draw attention to the unspoken horror of the misogyny, the hate crime against the female gender that it represents. Jessica at Feministing wrote about this when it happened. Imagine being a girl, a child immersed in the news that people like you were so devalued that they could be singled out and shot, their deaths made the subject of national mass media attention, their powerlessness in the vile face of male hatred made obvious, yet the nature of the crime not remarked upon.

    Bob Herbert opined yesterday in the NYT that the Pennsylvania Amish school house shootings were a gender crime of misogynistic violence and not mere inexplicable psycho-trash random acts. Too bad the piece is locked behind a paid subscription firewall. I’m glad I read it in dead trees syndication today, and also glad to see it discussed by Page Rockwell at Broadsheet (free for the viewing of a commercial).

    Herbert suggests that most media outlets glossed over the victims’ gender because we’ve all become desensitized to violence against women and girls: “[No outcry] occurred,” he wrote, “because these were just girls, and we have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that violence against females is more or less to be expected. Stories about the rape, murder and mutilation of women and girls are staples of the news, as familiar to us as weather forecasts. The startling aspect of the Pennsylvania attack was that this terrible thing happened at a school in Amish country, not that it happened to girls.”

    It’s time to start naming these crimes against females, pointing them out for the hate crimes they are. The prurience implicit in making national a story about this kind of deviant behavior stokes the fires, emboldens those ill enough to be aroused by the story. Echidne wrote, Yesterday’s massacre of little girls was not because they were Amish. It was because they were girls. And only a few days earlier another murderer selected smaller teenaged girls for his violence in another school. Yet this is something the radio news last night didn’t mention when discussing “school violence”.

    Misogyny is everywhere. It’s in the burka. It’s in the genital mutilation of so-called “female circumcision.” It’s in the Chinese infanticide of baby girls. It’s practically a human condition. Yet once slavery was a human condition too, and now, except for a few corporate monsters, some backwards nations, and the perversion of sexual slavery it has largely been wiped out. Can we make progress against misogyny too?

    October 16th, 2024

    Ben covers the rodeo…

    October 16th, 2024

    Ummmm, Go Phish…

    Received this in one of those special personal messages…

    …sent this e-mail to you because your Notification Preferences indicate that you want to receive information about Special Events & Promotions. Amazon will request personal data (password, credit card/bank numbers) only on our home site, wich is securely incrypted with SLL.

    Yeah, that “SLL incryption” is the one “wich” sure makes me feel secure!

    October 15th, 2024

    Edelman and Wal-Mart and fake blogs? Oh my…

    [Disclosure: Saturday night at a fund raiser for Rae Vogeler, our Green Party candidate for Senate, I picked up two “I Hate Wal-Mart” pins. I put one on my jacket, and brought the other one home to Beth.]

    But really… Edelman is supposed to be coached in this web-world stuff by the best. How could they make a bonehead move like this for such an important client? I’m guessing, a) they didn’t ask David Weinberger; or b) they didn’t listen to what he told them.

    WHAT DO YOU CALL A phony blog that’s actually a front for a huge corporation? A “flog”?

    A pro-Wal-Mart blog called “Wal-Marting Across America,” ostensibly launched by a pair of average Americans chronicling their cross-country travels in an RV and lodging in Wal-Mart parking lots, has been reduced to a farewell entry. One of its two contributors was revealed to be Jim Thresher, a staff photographer for The Washington Post.

    The blog, launched Sept. 27, was profiled in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek, which exposed the site as a promotional tactic engineered by Working Families for Wal-Mart (WFWM), an organization launched by Wal-Mart’s public relations firm Edelman.

    October 15th, 2024

    Least tragic hip-hop deaths…

    I don’t want to be thought insensitive — especially I don’t want to be thought insensitive by a bunch of gang bangers who hold their guns sideways while they blow people away — but this post cracked me up!

    Does anybody know if this guy was an actual rapper, or if the cops just assumed he was a rapper because he got shot?

    I know that’s a serious question, and the other citations and comments on this post are serious too, but my style is to smile at that shit. Take 2Pac, number ten on the list of least tragic… there’s gotta be a weed carrier out there who should replace 2Pac. Yet I always think of 2Pac as the only Marin County rapper I know, and there’s a disconnect there, until you understand more about the projects at Marin City.

    Cobb (Michael David Cobb Bowen) cites the “least tragic” post while writing of his equivocal love for Hiphop. He says, “You know something mysteriously wrong is going on when you have a category like ‘Least Tragic Hip Hop Deaths’.” He brings a lot of other threads together, including Lonnae Parker’s Washington Post article today:

    Last spring, I got together with some other moms from the first generation of hip-hop. We decided to distribute free T-shirts with words that counter some of the most violent, anti-intellectual and degrading cultural messages: You look better without the bullet holes. Put the guns down. Or my favorite: You want this? Graduate! We called it the Hip-Hop Love Project.

    Others are trying their own versions of taking back the music. In Baltimore, spoken-word poet Tonya Maria Matthews, aka JaHipster, is launching her own “Groove Squad.” The idea is to get together a couple dozen women to go to clubs prepared to walk off the dance floor en masse if the music is openly offensive or derogatory. “There’s no party without sisters on the dance floor,” she told me. In New York, hip-hop DJ and former model Beverly Bond formed Black Girls Rock! to try to change the portrayal of black women in the music and influence the women who are complicit in it. “We don’t want to be hypersexualized,” said Joan Morgan, a hip-hop writer and part of the group, but we don’t want to be erased, either.
    Lonnae O’Neal Parker

    Final analysis for me is to read the comments thread at bol’s “least tragic” post. For me, Hiphop is about the language. The commenters’ back and forth on 2Pac, the “hateration” and the slams on one artist or another, the ethical asides, the serious intent of some commenters and the dry humor of others makes the post entirely worthwhile. I’m grateful to Cobb for surfacing it. Cobb says this and I can say no more:

    As usual at Cobb, I think of taxonomies. And because it was my generation that was responsible for investing so much into hiphop, these taxonomies are deeply intertwined with black identity. So I must speak of these in terms of black people and all of black music. Black music is Hiphop, Gospel, Blues, Funk, Reggae, Jazz and R&B. Seven nice round categories. Each of those expresses a different set of values best. The tragedy of hiphop is that while it has the potential to sample expressions of all because of its open structure, that it has been reduced to the narrow emotional spectrum of lust, greed, anger and frustration. Now one can split hairs and say that is really the fault of rap lyrics; that hiphop music can express a broad range of emotion instrumentally. My response is that jazz musicians and R&B artists have appropriated all that. I would allow one other exception to the completeness of this taxonomy and it is an important one, and that is the emotions of dance music. When Missy Elliot cranks out one of her jams, she has got the groove nailed and the infectious beat. I’m going to call that Funk, not Hiphop. And in that realm, I’ll gladly admit things get complicated for me.

    October 15th, 2024

    Bring out your dead…

    Peter (the other) worked up a nice Friday the 13th rant and ramble regarding body counts and all…

    … the venerable John Hopkins has chimed in (via Lancet), and if a blog is not a place to go FUCK YOU! I TOLD YOU SO YOU GOD DAMN MURDERERS…. well then, what is it for then?

    Sadly, those who would prefer not to believe the stark facts regarding the horrible costs of the Bush war can always find an equivocation. Cal Berkeley grad student Ka-ping Yee offered up a thoughtful post and his readers were amazingly diffuse in their responses in the comment thread that followed.

    As President George W. Bush is fond of saying, “Denial is not just a river in Libya.”

    So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? The evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old…
    – Ti Jean

    October 15th, 2024

    River of Clues

    Getting back to basics this morning…

    October 15th, 2024

    Mackin’ on the Galaxy

    (h/t to shakespierce…)

    Jonathan Abrams raked down $13million in VC cash for a stake in Friendster (YASN). The safe bet would have been the $30million that Google was offering. This is a story that’s two or three years out of date but it seems to have grown legs because Google bought YouTube. The cultural poverty, the lack of imagination implicit in riding that Silly Valley merry-go-round, stretching out for the brass ring, over and over, trying to get rich from the business side… that’s what the NYT River of Cluelessness story is about today. It’s not about the fun Abrams had genning up a big social network enterprise in the days when YASN was a new acronym. It’s not about the staying power of useful products and services. It’s simply about the brass ring and the lionization of windfall success.

    Any analyst worth her salt knew the potential and the limits of Friendster two or three years ago. The story of Abrams $13million payday remains a nice success story. Belittling the accomplishment because Google-power could have left him enormously better off is shoddy story telling.

    October 14th, 2024


    Magic feather

    October 14th, 2024

    Power of prayer

    October 14th, 2024

    Pomodoro, Eris rising…

    In 1691, Cotton Mather, based on current events in the Ottoman Empire and on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France (1685) tentatively predicted the end of the world in 1697. In 1692 Mather proclaimed that “I am verily persuaded ‘The Judge is at the door;’ I do without any hesitation venture to say, ‘The Great Day of the Lord is near,’ it is near, and it hastens greatly.”

    When the 1697 date passed in an uneventful manner, Mather determined that the world would end in 1736. Later he corrected that to 1716. He dramatically proclaimed, “All that has been foretold . . . as what must come to pass before the Coming . . . is, as far as we understand, Fulfilled: I say ALL FULFILLED!”

    Girding my loins to do battle with the demons in AKMA (for surely he must be possessed by demons since I sense that we disagree)… christians, whose infinite variety is perhaps exceeded only by the speciation of insects have offered the following several quotes. Let google be my bibliography, and Cotton Mather be my guide:

    Postmodernity can be defined in terms of Nietzsche’s genealogy of morals, which aims to show how moral meanings are the cultural creations of particular human wills. The Nietzschean project challenges conventional moral assumptions that mask and perpetuate the spiritual malaise of modernity. This essay seeks to show how John Howard Yoder’s eschatological genealogy of morals both affirms aspects of this postmodern project-especially by developing an engaged, dramatic reading of morality-and yet challenges other aspects by adverting to a fundamentally opposed vision of human cultural sickness and health-the slain Lamb versus the Dionysian drama. At stake is the question of how to understand the moral and ecclesial implications of the apocalyptic «war of the Lamb». Yoder’s genealogical critique of various forms of Constantinianism is helpful but too sharply separates Jewish and Greek Christianity, overlooking resources in the Platonic diaspora and dividing what the apostle Paul unites.

    John writes Revelation to underscore that Christians must take the conflict with evil seriously, engage this conflict in the same manner as God does, and face the future with confidence in God’s strategy for victory. We have many questions for Revelation. John’s initial readers had many questions as well, but of a different sort. By the end of the first century, the situation for Christians was becoming quite ambiguous. For some it was becoming more difficult as their exclusive commitment to Christ required a measure of social and moral distance between believers and the surrounding culture. Others, however, had evidently found ways by which they could enjoy the benefits and advantages of their culture and, at least to their mind, not jeopardize their Christian identity. Either group of Christians might have had some important questions to ask: What price might I have to pay for my faith? Where is God in these difficult times? How am I to respond to the challenges of a wider culture that does not support my faith? Following Jesus doesn’t really have anything to do with politics or economics does it?

    ουτοι μετα του αρνιου πολεμησουσιν και το αρνιον νικησει αυτους οτι κυριος κυριων εστιν και βασιλευς βασιλεων και οι μετ αυτου κλητοι και εκλεκτοι και πιστοι

    It seems to me as if Christian proponents of gospel nonviolence must cautiously re-embrace Revelation and the language of apocalyptic, instead of simply leaving them to the war-mongering fanatics. Nonviolent ministers must do the hard work of preaching from Revelation, because only by teaching our people to read this book as a handbook of nonviolent patience for persecuted churches can we inoculate them against the virulent war-mad interpretations so popular in many U.S. Christian circles.

    Who authored Revelations? What did he mean?

    Although the traditional view still has many adherents, many modern scholars believe that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos refer to three separate individuals. Certain lines of evidence suggest that John of Patmos wrote only Revelation, not the Gospel of John nor the Epistles of John. For one, the author of Revelation identifies himself as “John” several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly. While both works liken Jesus to a lamb, they consistently use different words for lamb when referring to him — the Gospel uses amnos, Revelation uses arnion.[3]. Lastly, the Gospel is written in nearly flawless Greek, but Revelation contains grammatical errors and stylistic abnormalities which indicate its author may not have been as familiar with the Greek language as the Gospel’s author. Proponents of the single-author view explain these differences in various ways, including but not limited to factoring in underlying motifs and purposes, authorial target audience and the author’s collaboration with and/or utilization of different scribes. A natural reading of the text would reveal that John is writing literally as he sees the vision (Rev 1:11; 10:4; 14:3; 19:9; 21:5) and that he is warned by an angel not to alter the text through a subsequent edit (Rev 22:18-19), in order to maintain the textual integrity of the book.

    October 14th, 2024

    Henry Strangelove, and a disclaimer

    Disclaimer: This blog, Listics, and it’s predessors, including but not limited to Sandhill Trek rel. 2.0 and the original Sandhill Trek are not now associated with, nor have they ever been part of arcane movements such as runic revivalism, futharkh spelling, nor any other pan-Germanic proto-linguistic baffle-gab promoted by the likes of Guido von List.

    GuidoThe existence of such a person, a man with a suspiciously Italianate first name, had nothing to do with naming this blog Listics. Anyone who says otherwise is a cad and a bounder. While we here at Listics thoroughly approve of Herr (or should I say “signor?”) von List’s choice of facial hair styling and fabulous headgear, I must re-emphasize, that his relationships in the Germanic Paganism movement, the insidious influence of Blavatsky and her nest of Theosophists on his otherwise clear and noble Wotanist thinking, have nothing to do with the work we are trying to accomplish here at Listics.

    But, while we had thought that Guido Karl Anton List was a far remove from any cultural avatars that may have influenced what passes for higher consciousness in these environs, we have now been proven wrong. American Romanticism has impelled our work from the beginning, romanticism combined with a sort of native “one lord, one faith, one cornbread” naturalism.

    Yesterday, Chris Locke, in a shocking thrust at the heart of American culture sullied — yes SULLIED — the memory, the reputation of New England’s favorite sons, Henry David Thoreau and by extention Ralfualdo Emerson. If Locke is to be believed, then the entire literary history of the Romantic movement on these shores is tainted — yes TAINTED — by some sort of ur-Fascist elitism and a bourgeois individualism masking as egalitarian idealism but in reality sowing the seeds of authoritarian and ultimately autocratic dictatorial repression.

    Of course, this could just be my own inference, a sort of guilt by association thing…

    October 14th, 2024

    Wave from the future…

    Amanda blew into town recently and did some vlog entries including an interview with Madison’s liberal/progressive mayor, Dave Cieslewics (pron. Chess-LEV-itch). Reportedly she also interviewed people from Hybridfest and Prairie Biodiesel, as well as checking in with family and friends, driving an EV1, and broadcasting an interview with WORT. (Thanks to Dane101’s Jesse Russell for these details).

    Amanda is paving a pathway of upbeat progressive relationships and engaged environmental concern on her travels. The “car-ma” (sorry…) she’s building is rubbing off on her sponsors, and vice versa one suspects.

    Drive on, Amanda!

    October 13th, 2024

    Amanda interviews Mayor Dave

    It’s about cows, of course, but so much more

    October 13th, 2024

    Blue Whale Labs

    Stowe Boyd, Greg Narain and Ranvir Gujral have started a new company called Blue Whale Labs. Stowe says,

    Blue Whale is a strategic consulting, design and development company for innovative social applications, which is the same space I have been working in for a decade or so. So, don’t expect a big shift in my thinking, blogging, or how I spend my time. I just will be working more closely with my partners at Blue Whale, and getting more involved in actually building the applications that I have in the past.

    Of course, the three founders will need more people to fill out Blue Whale, so we will be adding a page here describing what sorts of people we are looking for. We are all about innovation, creativity, hard work, and no assholes.

    October 12th, 2024

    Mass Death

    Stan Goff (Feral Scholar) writes, (h/t to Woods Lot)…

    Today, the news is full of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study, released by The Lancet, showing that since March 19, 2024, the Bush administration liberation of Iraq has facilitated the liberation of more than 600,000 people from their corporeal existence. Among the national politicians in the US preparing for the 2024 electoral contest, this war is the subject they least want to talk about, and for which both parties seem to have employed armies of weasel-wordsmiths to develop saccharin pronouncements that ignore the existence of those residents of Iraq who are left behind by this exercise in mass death.

    Mass death had become the signature of the 20th Century. We are barely six years into this one.

    October 12th, 2024

    Guardian quotes Lancet: 650,000 dead in Iraq

    From The Guardian (October 12, 2024),

    The death toll in Iraq following the US-led invasion has topped 655,000 - one in 40 of the entire population - according to a major piece of research in one of the world’s leading medical journals.

    The study, produced by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and published online by The Lancet, claims the total number of deaths is more than 10 times greater than any previously compiled estimate.

    The findings provoked an immediate political storm. Within hours of its release, George Bush had dismissed the figures. “I don’t consider it a credible report,” he told reporters at the White House.

    Tonight Katie Couric led with a rehash of the unfortunate Lacrosse team rape charges at Duke stemming from a party last spring. She was ginning up interest in a weekend show her company produces called Sixty Minutes where the plight of the Lacrosse team and the possibilities that these are false charges will be examined in prurient detail, the better to take our minds off national and international issues that should now be getting the air time.

    The Couric broadcast continued with other items of interest and concern… evidently the Amish community that suffered the recent school shooting has pulled down the schoolhouse and no memorial is planned. There’s a lot of that kind of news. And there is happy news, ice cream cones and puppies, but there is no solid news, no important news, NO NATIONAL NEWS that could save our way of life were it only broadcast with clarity in time. The only news that the American public hears is local news. A school shooting here, a rape case there, all the fits that’s news to print. It can’t be collusion, it’s simply cowardice, fear, unwillingness to encounter an administration that would send anthrax to your newsroom. It doesn’t matter if they actually did that. No thinking person today can deny that they, the Bush administration and its corporate clients WOULD do that to save the billions they might otherwise lose with a sea change in governance in the United States of America.

    650,000 dead, and it’s our fault. We elected the monster. Then we re-elected him. Do you believe the Lancet or do you believe George W. Bush?

    “We estimate that, as a consequence of the coalition invasion of March 18, 2024, about 655 000 Iraqis have died above the number that would be expected in a non-conflict situation, which is equivalent to about 2·5% of the population in the study area. About 601 000 of these excess deaths were due to violent causes. Our estimate of the post-invasion crude mortality rate represents a doubling of the baseline mortality rate, which, by the Sphere standards, constitutes a humanitarian emergency.”
    The Lancet

    October 12th, 2024

    Pride and Shame

    How can a country that victimises its greatest living writer also join the EU?

    TIMES ONLINE (October 14, 2024)

    By Salman Rushdie

    THE WORK ROOM of the writer Orhan Pamuk looks out over the Bosphorus, that fabled strip of water which, depending on how you see these things, separates or unites — or, perhaps, separates and unites — the worlds of Europe and Asia. There could be no more appropriate setting for a novelist whose work does much the same thing.

    In many books, most recently the acclaimed novel Snow and the haunting memoir-portrait of his home town, Istanbul: Memories and the City, Pamuk has laid claim to the title, formerly held by Yashar Kemal, of Greatest Turkish Writer. He is also an outspoken man. Explaining his reasons for refusing the title of “state artist”, he said, in 1999: “For years I have been criticising the State for putting authors in jail, for only trying to solve the Kurdish problem by force, and for its narrow-minded nationalism . . . I don’t know why they tried to give me the prize.” He has described Turkey as having “two souls” and has criticised its human rights abuses. “Geographically we are part of Europe . . . but politically?” He is not sure.


    Press Release

    12 October 2024

    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2024

    Orhan Pamuk

    The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2024 is awarded to the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk
    “who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”.

    Whatever the country, freedom of thought and expression are universal human rights. These freedoms, which modern people long for as much as bread and water, should never be limited by using nationalist sentiment, moral sensitivities, or— worst of all—business or military interests. If many nations outside the West suffer poverty in shame, it is not because they have freedom of expression but because they don’t. As for those who emigrate from these poor countries to the West or the North to escape economic hardship and brutal repression—as we know, they sometimes find themselves further brutalized by the racism they encounter in rich countries. Yes, we must also be alert to those who denigrate immigrants and minorities for their religion, their ethnic roots, or the oppression that the governments of the countries they’ve left behind have visited on their own people.

    But to respect the humanity and religious beliefs of minorities is not to suggest that we should limit freedom of thought on their behalf. Respect for the rights of religious or ethnic minorities should never be an excuse to violate freedom of speech. We writers should never hesitate on this matter, no matter how “provocative” the pretext.
    Orhan Pamuk, “Freedom to Write,” New York Review of Books, May 25, 2024

    October 12, 2024, Associated Press — The European Commission said Thursday that a French bill that would make it a crime to deny that the World War I-era killings of Armenians in Turkey was genocide will hamper reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.

    “Turkey has been called on many times by the European Union to achieve reconciliation on that matter, and to conduct an open dialogue with its neighbor Armenia, and also with the Armenian Diaspora in France,” said EU spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy.

    October 12, 2024 Associated Press — “No one should harbor the conviction that Turkey will take this lightly,” Turkey’s foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, said. “The parliament will meet on Tuesday with a special agenda and no doubt we have measures to take in every field.”

    Gul did not elaborate but his comments were interpreted by many as also being a reference to proposals currently being debated by Turkish lawmakers to recognize an “Algerian genocide” by France.

    October 12th, 2024

    Morford on the money shot…

    Writing recently about the Foley affair, Mark Morford said

    Which is not to say that the prayers of us liberals haven’t already been answered, in spades, well before Mark Foley proved himself to be the perfect icing on the cake of GOP doom, the money shot of poetic justice, the period in this never-ending Republican sentence.

    Jack Abramoff was a damn fine answer to the prayer, though that beautiful firestorm dealt mostly with finance and slimy payoffs, and what good taxpaying American doesn’t fully expect every member of Congress to be rolling in dirty lobbyist payoffs? But Abramoff did have one glorious outcome: It put a stake straight through the heart of Tom DeLay, perhaps the nastiest and most thuggish political vampire in all of Congress, a worthwhile outcome all by itself.

    Valerie Plame? Also a delicious scandal, given how leaked CIA info is always a powerful destroyer of faith in current regimes, and this one snared Scooter Libby and poked a sharp stick into Karl Rove. But still the GOP hobbled on.

    The list goes on: WMD, Niger, bogus anthrax scares, Abu Ghraib, illegal wiretapping, gay male escorts hired to masquerade as sycophantic White House reporters — hell, it’s been a veritable fire hose of Republican scandals, indictments, violations, probes, investigations, arrests and abuses of power (not to mention all manner of sex scandals) lo these past years — so many it takes entire Web sites and multiple books to keep track of them all.

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