|Badshah Masala launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan|
by Shrutee K/DNS
National: Badshah Masala, this Independence Day, has launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan, aiming to decrease this divide and pushes notice to how similar these two sister countries are. Badshah Masala believes that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together.
In this video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in US, also shows her a picture with her Pakistani friend, Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter.
Dimple then mentions that she wants to meet Saad, an idea which Manno isn't too fond of. After much deliberation, Manno asks Dimple to invite Saad over for dinner so that she can keep an eye on him. Once Saad comes over for dinner, he amazes Manno with what he does.
This video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. The campaign also communicates a broader message that gets us thinking as to how Indians perceive foreign nationals. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.
Kailash Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, said,âAs we are inching closer to a 70th Independence Day, there is no better time to contemplate the ties between these two countries. We are trying our best to close this divide by starting a conversation over something that no one would decline - Swaad.â
Hemant Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, adds, âBadshah Masala has always been involved in forming connections through food. From the very beginning of this company, we have looked at food as something that can bring people from everywhere together. We are glad that we are taking this opportunity to provide another outlook to the current scenario that our country is facing.â
Anushree Pacheriwal, Creative Head of Gemius, said, âIt has been an incredible experience working for this campaign. From the very start, we were certain that this message needed to be out there, and that shaped the direction that this campaign took.â
The campaign is by Badshah Masala conceptualised by agency Gemius and creative head Anushree Pacheriwal, Story, Saurabh Pacheriwal. The production house is 50mm Media Productions and Director & DOP is Saurabh Desai and Ankit Mavchi. Gemius is co founded by Saurabh Pacheriwal, a marketing professional and Anushree Pacheriwal, a creative professional. Its clientele includes Badshah Masala, World Economic Forum, Just In Time, Baggit, TEDx events amongst others.
Â· Campaign Link: https://youtu.be/2LFIuXf1Gqo
Client: Badshah Masala
Managing Partners: Kailash Jhaveri, Hemant Jhaveri
Managing Director: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Creative Head: Anushree Pacheriwal
Account Management Team: Tanvi Khandelwal, Abhishek Doshi, Varsha Tanna
Story: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Production House: 50mm Media Productions
Director & DOP: Saurabh Desai & Ankit Mavchi
Production Team: Fenil Patel, Siddhant Shah, Nehal Trivedi, Jigar M, Setu U
|Sulla critica del diritto nel giovane Gramsci|
E' successo che, preparando un commento all'ultima sortita di Saviano a proposito di storia della sinistra italiana, ho ripreso in mano, dopo anni, il vecchio volume dell'Einaudi (Torino, 1960) che raccoglie i corsivi pubblicati da Gramsci sull'"Avanti!" nella rubrica Sotto la Mole (1916-1920). Qui mi Ã¨ capitato sotto gli occhi il commento di Gramsci alla sentenza sui "fatti di Torino", cioÃ¨ (annotano i curatori dell'edizione) "lo sciopero generale per il pane e contro la guerra, che sfociÃ² nella sommossa del 23-26 agosto 1917". 
Il commento di Gramsci fu pubblicato sull'"Avanti!" il 20 ottobre 1918: il testo, come di frequente, uscÃ¬ con vistosi "vuoti" dovuti all'azione della censura. Eccolo qui di seguito .
BELLU SCHESC' E DOTTORI!
Il giudice Emanuele Pili non Ã¨ senza storia, come gli uomini e i popoli felici. Ma la storia del giudice Emanuele Pili ha una lacuna; iniziatasi col protagonista autore drammatico, riprende ora col protagonista Â«ragionatoreÂ» di sentenze, e riprende con una gloriosa e strenua pugna: il Â«ragionamentoÂ» della sentenza per i fatti di Torino, che nell'ultimo numero della Â«Gazzetta dei tribunaliÂ» il misuratore di crani prof. Vitige Tirelli qualifica Â«dottaÂ».
Benedetto Croce ha scritto: Â«Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piÃº gio [dodici righe e mezzo censurate]. E il giudice giovane ha fatto sfoggio di dottrina; e il giudice giovane â poichÃ© nella prima gÃoventÃº aspirava alla gloria di Talia e dedicava le sue fresche energie intellettuali a scrivere commedie nei vari dialetti di Sardegna e non potÃ© studiare tutti i risultati delle ultime ricerche sulla natura del diritto e delle costituzioni â ha ragionato [una riga censurata] nella sentenza dei fatti di Torino, rovistando nei vecchi cassettoni, rimettendo alla luce tutti gli imparaticci scolastici del primo anno universitario, quando ancora si frequentano le lezioni e si prendono gli appunti.
[Venticinque righe censurate].
Gli sono estranee le correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure â superando le concezioni puerilmente metafisiche della dottrina tradizionale, degli imparaticci da scoletta universitaria â colla riduzione dello Stato e del Giure a pura attivitÃ pratica, svolta come dialettica della volontÃ di potenza e non piÃº pietistico richiamo alle leggi naturali, ai sacrari inconoscibili dell'istinto avito, alla banale retorica dei compilatori delle storiette per la scuola elementare. Il Â«ragionamentoÂ» del giudice Pili Ã¨ solo una filastroccola di banalitÃ retoriche, di gonfiezze presuntuose: esso Ã¨ il ridicolo parto di un fossile intellettuale, il quale non riesce a concepire che lo Stato italiano almeno giuridicamente (e come giudice questa apparenza della realtÃ doveva solo importare al Â«giovaneÂ» da tribunale) Ã¨ costituzionale, ed Ã¨ parlamentare per tradizione (l'on. Sonnino Ã¨ gran parte dello Stato attuale, ma crediamo che il suo articolo Torniamo allo Statuto! non sia ancora diventato legge fondamentale del popolo italiano): [cinque righe censurate]. La Â«dottrinaÂ» del giovane da tribunale infatti si consolida (!) in esclamazioni enfatiche contro chi ha Â«resistitoÂ» o Ã¨ accusato di aver resistito: non cerca (come era suo compito) di dimostrare, alla stregua delle prove concrete e sicure, un delitto per passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entitÃ di una pena contemplata nel codice. No, il Â«giovaneÂ» vuole sfoggiare, come una contadina ricca del Campidano di Cagliari le vesti multicolori che hanno servito alle sue antenate per le nozze e per decine e decine di anni sono rimaste seppellite in un vecchio cassettone a fregi bestiali e floreali tra lo spigo e una dozzina di limoni: e sfoggia tutti i vecchiumi, tutti gli scolaticci dei vespasiani giuridici chiusi per misura d'igiene pubblica.
Il giudice Emanuele Pili ha scritto una commedia dialettale: Bellu schesc' e dottori! (che bel pezzo di... dottore!) L'esclamazione potrebbe essere la conclusione critica della lettura di una sentenza, cosÃ com'Ã¨ il titolo di una commedia.
La prima lacuna Ã¨ stata integrata facilmente dai curatori del testo gramsciano. Si tratta di una citazione dalla Logica di Croce, riportata come segue:
Â«Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piÃº giovane collega di "ragionarla", ossia di apporre una parvenza di ragionamento a ciÃ² che non Ã¨ intrinsecamente e puramente prodotto di logica, ma Ã¨ voluntas di un determinato provvedimento. Questo procedere, se ha il suo uso nella cerchia pratica o giuridica, Ã¨ affatto escluso da quella della logica e della scienzaÂ» (B. CROCE, Logica come scienza del concetto puro, Bari 1917, pp. 87-88).
Quando Gramsci nel suo corsivo parla delle "correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure", si riferisce appunto alla filosofia del diritto di Benedetto Croce. Croce aveva infatti affermato l'assoluta separazione tra morale e diritto, e aveva sottoposto il diritto alle categorie dell'utile e della forza. Nella concezione di Croce, il diritto Ã¨ forza, che viene applicata per il raggiungimento di uno scopo ritenuto (da chi agisce questa forza) utile; il diritto Ã¨ inoltre amorale, in quanto prescinde dal giusto e dall'ingiusto.
E' interessante notare che qui Gramsci si serve della teoria del diritto di Croce per porre un'istanza di garantismo giuridico. Infatti, ciÃ² che Gramsci rimprovera al giudice Pili, estensore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino, Ã¨ di aver confuso il diritto con la morale. Il giudice avrebbe dovuto limitarsi a vagliare le prove, accertare se fosse stato commesso un reato, e, in caso affermativo, determinarne la pena secondo le norme del codice. Invece, questa sentenza (scrive Gramsci) pretende di condannare gli imputati non sulla base della legge, bensÃ¬ sulla scorta di considerazioni di ordine moralistico, la cui infondatezza giuridica Ã¨ mascherata dal ricorso all'enfasi e alla retorica.
La linea del ragionamento gramsciano Ã¨ abbastanza riconoscibile, nonostante i buchi lasciati dalla censura, e nonostante un probabile refuso tipografico . Comunque, in un poscritto all'articolo del giorno successivo (Le vie della divina provvidenza, 21 ottobre 1918), Gramsci scrive:
P.S. Nell'articolo pubblicato ieri sul giudice Emanuele Pili la censura ha lasciato solo la parte Â«florealeÂ» che puÃ² far supporre aver noi scritto un puro pamphlet per insolentire un magistrato. La censura ha imbiancato le giustificazioni delle insolenze: la giustificazione filosofica trovata nella Logica del senatore Benedetto Croce; la giustificazione storica trovata in una notizia pubblicata dal Â«Journal des DÃ©batsÂ» l'8 novembre 1817 (milleottocentodiciassette!), la giustificazione costituzionale trovata nello Statuto albertino. Un'insolenza giustificata da Â«pezzeÂ» di tal genere crediamo non sia piÃº insolenza, ma espressione plastica della imparziale giustizia. La censura pertanto ci ha solo diffamati, senza che le leggi ci diano il modo di dar querela.
La "giustificazione filosofica" delle critiche che Gramsci rivolge al magistrato corrisponde, lo abbiamo visto, ad una citazione da Croce. Rimane la curiositÃ di sapere quali potessero essere le altre due "giustificazioni" imbiancate dalla censura.
La "giustificazione costituzionale", che corrisponde alla lacuna di cinque righe, si trova, dice Gramsci, nello Statuto albertino; e potrebbe forse trattarsi di uno degli articoli che, in quel testo costituzionale, tutelavano i diritti civili: per esempio l'art. 26, secondo comma, "niuno puÃ² essere arrestato e tradotto in giudizio, se non nei casi previsti dalla legge, e nelle forme che essa prescrive".
Naturalmente, non Ã¨ da pensare che Gramsci si facesse particolari illusioni circa l'effettivitÃ delle garanzie prescritte dallo Statuto. Sappiamo, invece, che Gramsci sempre ritenne la borghesia italiana incapace di creare un vero Stato di diritto che tutelasse le libertÃ individuali . Un articolo di Gramsci di qualche anno successivo a quello che stiamo ora esaminando (Lo Stato italiano, in "L'Ordine Nuovo", 7 febbraio 1920) contiene una puntuale critica, da questo punto di vista, allo Statuto albertino:
Lo Stato italiano [...] non ha mai neppure tentato di mascherare la dittatura spietata della classe proprietaria. Si puÃ² dire che lo Statuto albertino sia servito a un solo fine preciso: a legare fortemente le sorti della Corona alle sorti della proprietÃ privata. I soli freni infatti che funzionano nella macchina statale per limitare gli arbitrÃ® del governo dei ministri del re sono quelli che interessano la proprietÃ privata del capitale. La Costituzione non ha creato nessun istituto che presidÃ® almeno formalmente le grandi libertÃ dei cittadini: la libertÃ individuale, la libertÃ di parola e di stampa, la libertÃ di associazione e di riunione. Negli Stati capitalistici, che si chiamano liberali democratici, l'istituto massimo di presidio delle libertÃ popolari Ã¨ il potere giudiziario: nello Stato italiano la giustizia non Ã¨ un potere, Ã¨ un ordine, Ã¨ uno strumento della Corona e della classe proprietaria.
Gramsci sottintendeva questo tipo di considerazioni anche all'articolo qui in commento, laddove scriveva che lo Stato italiano "almeno giuridicamente" (cioÃ¨ solo formalmente) era costituzionale, ed era "parlamentare per tradizione", nel senso che lo Statuto albertino non istituiva una vera e propria democrazia parlamentare, bensÃ¬ l'ordinamento parlamentare dello Stato derivava da una semplice consuetudine che poteva essere in ogni momento abrogata: cosÃ¬ come aveva proposto di fare Sidney Sonnino nel suo articolo del 1897, appropriatamente richiamato da Gramsci, Torniamo allo Statuto!, e come poi farÃ il fascismo.
Tuttavia, il fatto che la monarchia sabauda fosse uno Stato di diritto carente e imperfetto non avrebbe dovuto esimere il magistrato dall'applicare comunque quelle garanzie (pur se insufficienti) che la legge disponeva a favore degli imputati: "come giudice questa apparenza della realtÃ doveva solo importare" al giudice Pili, osserva giustamente Gramsci.
La "giustificazione storica", che corrisponde alla lacuna di venticinque righe, Ã¨ data (scrive Gramsci) da una notizia pubblicata sul numero dell'8 novembre 1817 del "Journal des DÃ©bats". Internet consente oggi di consultare facilmente quel numero di giornale per cercare quale potesse essere la notizia che costituiva la "giustificazione storica" invocata da Gramsci.
Una delle notizie ivi contenute, che possono essere state utilizzate da Gramsci ai fini del suo commento, Ã¨ una corrispondenza dalla Gran Bretagna datata 3 novembre, che riporto qui di seguito in una mia traduzione (il testo originale Ã¨ in nota):
Quattro individui di nome Booth, Brown, Jackson e King, prima delle ultime assisi di Derby, erano stati condannati a morte per crimine di ribellione. Condotti sul patibolo, al momento stesso della morte hanno avuto l'audacia empia di arringare la folla, affinchÃ© li venisse a liberare. Questa folla era composta da loro vecchi amici che li avevano frequentemente visitati in carcere; ma il luogo dell'esecuzione era sorvegliato da folti distaccamenti di cavalleria e di fanteria, e la legge ha avuto esecuzione .
Inizialmente ho pensato che questa notizia potesse aver attratto l'attenzione di Gramsci (per analogia con i fatti di Torino) perchÃ© riferita a un episodio di ribellione delle classi subalterne conclusosi con una condanna penale. Episodio che forse Ã¨ leggibile nel quadro della fase di irrequietezza sociale che fu caratterizzata, in Gran Bretagna, dalle proteste contro la legge sul grano del 1815, fase che sfociÃ² nel massacro di Peterloo.
Tuttavia, non ho trovato alcun elemento che potesse suffragare questa ipotesi. Non Ã¨ chiaro neanche se i quattro uomini giustiziati a Derby nel 1817 siano stati effettivamente condannati a morte per reati politici, o non piuttosto per reati comuni; in un elenco dei giustiziati nel carcere di Derby, compilato da Celia Renshaw, una storica locale, questi Booth, Brown, Jackson e King risultano essere stati condannati per aver appiccato il fuoco a dei covoni di paglia . Inoltre Ã¨ noto che Gramsci non amava gli atteggiamenti tribunizi e teatrali, nÃ© apprezzava particolarmente i gesti individuali di ribellione: lo si evince dal suo stesso comportamento di imputato durante il "processone" del 1928 , nonchÃ© dal suo commento, contenuto nei Quaderni del carcere, ad un libro che raccoglieva i resoconti di una serie di processi contro anarchici libertari . PerciÃ² mi sembra improbabile che, nel suo corsivo del 1918 che stiamo ora commentando, Gramsci possa aver preso ad esempio il comportamento di quattro condannati a morte per reati contro il patrimonio che, dal patibolo, incitano la folla alla rivolta.
C'Ã¨ perÃ² un'altra notiziola, sempre nella prima pagina del "Journal des DÃ©bats" dell'8 novembre 1817, che potrebbe aver attirato l'attenzione di Gramsci. Si tratta di una corrispondenza da Losanna datata primo novembre:
Il Cantone Esterno di Appenzell ha da poco emesso una singolare sentenza contro un ragazzino accusato di alcuni piccoli furti. Lo hanno condannato a 50 fl. di ammenda e a trenta colpi di verga. Gli sarÃ inoltre assegnato un posto particolare in chiesa per un periodo di due anni: dovrÃ trovarsi colÃ per due volte ogni domenica, e sarÃ punito severamente in caso d'inosservanza .
In questa notizia di cronaca (un ragazzino condannato con sentenza penale ad andare a messa due volte la settimana) troviamo un esempio estremo e grottesco di quella perniciosa, pre-moderna confusione tra diritto e morale, che Gramsci stigmatizza nella sua polemica col giudice relatore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino. PerciÃ² ritengo che sia stata questa la pezza giustificativa di quella parte dell'argomentazione gramsciana, che la censura ha cancellato lasciando nell'articolo un buco di venticinque righe.
 Sempre secondo l'apparato critico dell'edizione citata, la sentenza fu emessa dal Tribunale militare di Torino il 2 agosto 1918; il testo della sentenza Ã¨ reperibile in "Rivista storica del socialismo", n. 2, 1960.
 A. Gramsci, Sotto la Mole, ed. cit., pp. 447-48. L'articolo Ã¨ stato poi raccolto nella piÃ¹ recente edizione degli scritti gramsciani precarcerari: A. Gramsci, Il nostro Marx 1918-1919, a cura di Sergio Caprioglio, Einaudi, Torino 1984, pp. 360-2. In Internet si trova qui: http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/g/gramsci/sotto_la_mole/pdf/sotto__p.pdf, p. 269.
 "Passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entitÃ di una pena contemplata nel codice" Ã¨ frase di cui si capisce il senso, ma che sembra guasta anche grammaticalmente. Penso che Gramsci abbia invece scritto "fissare l'esatta commisurazione della sua entitÃ ad una pena contemplata nel codice".
 Cfr. Leonardo Rapone, Cinque anni che paiono secoli. Antonio Gramsci dal socialismo al comunismo (1914-1919), Carocci, Roma 2011, pp. 162-6.
 Quatre individus nommÃ©s Booth, Brown, Jackson et King, antÃ©rieurement aux derniÃ¨res assises de Derby, avoient Ã©tÃ© condamnÃ©s Ã mort pour crime de rebellion. AmenÃ©s sur l'Ã©chafaud, ils ont eu, mÃªme au moment de la mort, l'audace impie de haranguer la multitude, et de l'engager Ã venir les dÃ©livrer. Cette multitude Ã©toit composÃ©e de leurs anciens amis qui les avoient frÃ©quemment visitÃ©s dans leur prison; mais le lieu de l'exÃ©cution Ã©toit gardÃ© par de forts dÃ©tachements de cavalerie et d'infanterie, et la loi reÃ§ut son exÃ©cution.
 Cfr. Giuseppe Fiori (a cura di), Antonio Gramsci: cronaca di un verdetto annunciato, I Libri de "l'UnitÃ ", supplemento al numero del 4 aprile, Roma 1994.
 Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, edizione critica a cura di Valentino Gerratana, Einaudi, Torino 1975, pp. 6-7 e 1896-7.
 Les Rhodes extÃ©rieurs d'Appenzell viennent de rendre une singuliÃ¨re sentence contre un enfant accusÃ© de quelques petits vols. Ils l'ont condamnÃ© Ã 50 fl. d'amende et Ã trente coups de bÃ¢tons. Il lui sera d'ailleurs assignÃ© une place particuliÃ¨re Ã l'Ã©glise pendant deux ans; il devra s'y trouver deux fois chaque dimanche sous des peines sÃ©veres.
|Sull'"Elogio dei riformisti" di Roberto Saviano||1. AffinitÃ e divergenze fra Saviano e noi. Considero Gomorra uno fra i libri letterariamente piÃ¹ importanti di questi anni nonchÃ© fra i capolavori del giornalismo d'inchiesta italiano. Ammiro e rispetto Roberto Saviano, anche se a volte non sono stato d'accordo con lui su alcune delle sue prese di posizione (ad es. sulla politica dei governi israeliani, oppure sugli scontri di piazza che hanno contrassegnato l'ultima fase del governo Berlusconi).|
Ho trovato molto superficiale e semplicistico l'articolo di Saviano uscito su "La Repubblica" del 28 febbraio, dedicato all'elogio del riformismo.
Prendendo spunto da un recente libro di Alessandro Orsini sulla storia della sinistra italiana, libro che contrappone Turati a Gramsci, Saviano traccia una riga sulla lavagna, mettendo da una parte i riformisti e dall'altra i comunisti. I primi sarebbero pacati, realisti, tolleranti e liberali, i secondi sarebbero fanatici, violenti, malati di dogmatismo e d'ideologia.
Scrive Saviano: "i comunisti hanno educato generazioni di militanti a definire gli avversari politici dei pericolosi nemici, ad insultarli ed irriderli. Fa un certo effetto rileggere le parole con cui un intellettuale raffinato come Gramsci definiva un avversario, non importa quale: 'La sua personalitÃ ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato'. Invitava i suoi lettori a ricorrere alle parolacce e all'insulto personale contro gli avversari che si lamentavano delle offese ricevute [...]. ArrivÃ² persino a tessere l'elogio del 'cazzotto in faccia' contro i deputati liberali. I pugni, diceva, dovevano essere un 'programma politico' e non un episodio isolato".
Viceversa, sempre secondo Saviano:
"in quegli stessi anni Filippo Turati, dimenticato pensatore e leader del partito socialista, conduceva una tenacissima battaglia per educare al rispetto degli avversari politici nel tentativo di coniugare socialismo e liberalismo".
Questa contrapposizione fra estremisti e riformisti, dice Saviano, si protrae fino ad oggi:
"Naturalmente, oggi, nel Pd erede del Pci, non c'Ã¨ piÃ¹ traccia di quel massimalismo verboso e violento, e anche il linguaggio della Sel di Vendola Ã¨ molto meno acceso. Ma c'Ã¨ invece, fuori dal Parlamento, una certa sinistra che vive di dogmi. Sono i sopravvissuti di un estremismo massimalista che sostiene di avere la veritÃ unica tra le mani", sono quei "pacifisti talmente violenti da usare la pace come strumento di aggressione per chiunque la pensi diversamente". Eccetera.
Quindi tutto lineare, nello schema di Saviano. Tutto semplice. Riformisti, buoni, in parlamento; comunisti, fuori dal parlamento, cattivi. Chiaro, no?
E perÃ², se si va a verificare nel dettaglio gli esempi storici addotti da Saviano, ecco che le cose si complicano.
2. Cosa c'era prima degli assorbenti. Vediamo ad esempio la prima frase "incriminata". Di un suo avversario politico ("non importa quale", dice Saviano), Gramsci scrisse: "La sua personalitÃ ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato".
La similitudine usata da Gramsci, al nostro orecchio di contemporanei, suona senza dubbio molto sgradevole. Intollerabilmente sessista, fra l'altro. Proviamo perÃ² a collocarla nel suo contesto. La frase Ã¨ tratta da un articolo di Gramsci, allora venticinquenne, pubblicato sull'edizione torinese dell'"Avanti!" il 19 aprile 1916. In quel periodo la redazione di Torino dell'"Avanti!", di cui Gramsci era giornalista, stava conducendo una campagna di stampa sugli sprechi e sulle ruberie di cui si erano resi responsabili i promotori dell'Esposizione Universale di Torino del 1911. Come spesso succede in Italia quando si tratta di "grandi opere", anche questa era stata accompagnata da malversazioni, che Gramsci e i giornalisti dell'"Avanti!" avevano puntualmente denunciato.
Fra i bersagli di questa campagna di stampa c'era il conte Delfino Orsi, che all'epoca faceva parte della direzione della "Gazzetta del Popolo", un giornale monarchico, filogovernativo e interventista. L'articolo di Gramsci del 19 aprile 1916 Ã¨ appunto una risposta ad un altro giornalista che aveva accusato l'"Avanti!" di aver attaccato Delfino Orsi non per il ruolo di quest'ultimo nello scandalo dell'Esposizione Universale, bensÃ¬ invece perchÃ© Orsi era "una delle piÃ¹ influenti figure dell'interventismo subalpino".
Teniamo sempre presente il contesto storico. In Italia, nel 1916, lo scontro politico fra governo e opposizione era polarizzato sul problema della guerra. Era soprattutto lo scontro fra interventisti e pacifisti. Era in corso la Prima guerra mondiale, un conflitto che oggi praticamente tutti gli storici valutano come un'orrenda ecatombe, una catastrofe che segnÃ² l'inizio del declino della civiltÃ europea, e che, in Italia, aprÃ¬ la via al fascismo. In Italia il bilancio della guerra fu di circa 680.000 morti e quasi 500.000 invalidi permanenti. Il Partito Socialista Italiano, nel quale all'epoca militavano sia Gramsci sia Turati, era su posizioni pacifiste, e si opponeva compattamente alla guerra. A favore della guerra erano invece i nazionalisti, i liberali e il Partito Socialista Riformista Italiano, composto perlopiÃ¹ da riformisti, come Bonomi e Bissolati, che erano stati espulsi dal P.S.I. giÃ nel 1912 per il loro appoggio alla guerra di Libia.
Tale era il contesto della polemica fra l'"Avanti!" di Gramsci da una parte, e la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi dall'altra.
Quando, nell'agosto 1917, a Torino la popolazione diede vita ad una rivolta spontanea contro la guerra e contro la mancanza di pane (rivolta che fu ovviamente repressa nel sangue, con circa 50 morti e 200 feriti fra gli operai e le loro famiglie), la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi fu tra gli organi di stampa che giustificarono la repressione.
PiÃ¹ tardi, coerentemente, Delfino Orsi fu deputato nel Parlamento fascista, ed era ancora tale quando morÃ¬ nel 1929 (mentre Gramsci era in carcere). Il gerarca Federzoni, nel suo elogio funebre pronunciato alla Camera dei Deputati l'11 dicembre 1929, disse di Orsi fra l'altro: "egli potÃ© rinverdire i fasti patriottici della Gazzetta del Popolo, levando ancora la gloriosa bandiera del Risorgimento per le nuove battaglie dell'intervento nella grande guerra, della difesa delle aspirazioni nazionali, della rivoluzione fascista".
Delfino Orsi era appunto l'uomo che Gramsci paragonÃ² ad uno "straccio mestruato". Un epiteto certamente poco gentile. Ma possiamo veramente dire, con Saviano, che "non importa quale" individuo egli fosse, nÃ© in quale periodo storico fosse situata la polemica fra lui e Gramsci?
Che diremmo di un giornalista il quale scrivesse, di alcuni suoi concittadini (non importa quali, direbbe Saviano), che essi sono "vigliacchi, in realtÃ ", un "manipolo di killer", "abbrutiti e strafatti", un "branco di assassini" che "vivono come bestie"? Sono insulti pesanti e hanno ben poco di mite e di liberale. Ma se collochiamo questi epiteti nel contesto dell'articolo da cui sono tratti, scopriamo che si riferiscono ad una banda di camorristi responsabili di svariati omicidi, e che l'autore del pezzo Ã¨ Roberto Saviano ("la Repubblica", 22 settembre 2008). Dobbiamo condannare il giornalista per la sua eccessiva violenza verbale? O non dobbiamo piuttosto ritenere che l'indignazione di Saviano, seppure si esprima in termini poco urbani, sia alquanto giustificata dalle circostanze?
3. La nobile arte. Vediamo, ancora, un altro passo gramsciano cui si riferisce Roberto Saviano. Si tratta dell'articolo intitolato "Elogio del cazzotto", uscito sempre sull'"Avanti!" il 12 giugno 1916. L'episodio cui si riferiva Gramsci in questo articolo era il seguente. Dei deputati socialisti, come gesto dimostrativo, avevano lanciato nell'aula di Montecitorio alcune cartoline con l'effige di parlamentari russi che erano stati deportati in Siberia a causa della loro opposizione alla guerra (c'era ancora il regime assolutista dello zar, e la Russia era alleata in guerra con le potenze della Triplice Intesa, con l'Italia, e contro la Germania e l'Impero asburgico). Un deputato interventista, Giuseppe Bevione, in quell'occasione accusÃ² i socialisti di essere al soldo del nemico. Ne nacque un tafferuglio, durante il quale il socialista Nino Mazzoni colpÃ¬ Bevione con un pugno. Questo, nello specifico, fu il "cazzotto" cui si riferisce GramscÃ¬ nel suo articolo, scrivendo fra l'altro:
"Non siamo entusiastici ammiratori del diritto del pugno; eppure quei pugni vibrati robustamente sul ceffo di Bevione ci riempiono di giubilo e di ammirazione".
Anche qui: possiamo dire che sia davvero ininfluente collocare la citazione di Gramsci nel suo contesto?
4. Vota Antonio. Veniamo ora ad un'altra delle dicotomie che Roberto Saviano delinea nel suo pezzo: quella fra opposizione parlamentare Vs. opposizione extraparlamentare. La prima riformista e "buona", la seconda estremista e "cattiva". E confrontiamo questa dicotomia con un esempio storico.
Nel giugno 1924, dopo il rapimento di Giacomo Matteotti, i parlamentari dell'opposizione antifascista decisero di disertare le aule del Parlamento, dando cosÃ¬ luogo a quella forma di protesta extraparlamentare che passÃ² alla storia come "secessione dell'Aventino". Fra loro c'era Filippo Turati, assieme a tutti i socialisti riformisti. C'era anche la piccola pattuglia dei deputati comunisti, che perÃ², nel novembre 1924, verificata l'inefficacia della protesta aventiniana, decisero di rientrare in Parlamento, dove rimasero a contrastare la maggioranza fascista, praticamente da soli, per altri due anni, fino a quando il partito comunista non fu messo fuori legge. (A che tipo di pacifica dialettica parlamentare fossero avvezzi i deputati fascisti lo si puÃ² vedere consultando la voce di Wikipedia dedicata a Francesco Misiano).
Quindi, ricapitolando. Nel 1925 abbiamo il socialista riformista Turati fuori dal parlamento. In parlamento c'Ã¨ una maggioranza parlamentare "estremista" fascista e una minoranza comunista (parimenti "estremista" secondo Saviano) di cui Gramsci fa parte. Comunque si voglia giudicare la situazione, si tratta di un caso in cui la realtÃ storica si rivela piÃ¹ complessa dei rigidi schematismi delineati da Saviano.
5. Conclusione. Con tutto questo discorso non voglio dire, naturalmente, che la violenza verbale nella lotta politica va sempre bene, che Ã¨ sempre giustificata. Sono d'accordo con Saviano nel condannare certe forme di settarismo inutile e controproducente (di cui Ã¨ un esempio il giudizio su Turati espresso da un Togliatti al peggio del suo stalinismo, citato da Saviano nel suo articolo). NÃ© intendo affrontare discorsi astratti sul punto se sia meglio la lotta extraparlamentare o quella parlamentare.
Dico che ogni situazione fa storia a sÃ©, che occorre giudicare caso per caso, e che generalizzazioni astratte e astoriche, come quella proposta da Saviano nell'articolo in questione, non hanno alcun significato.
|(Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization (no replies)|| |
'I remain optimistic, but even more cautiously than before. If 2016 taught me anything, it was that we economists should stick to our jobs as "students of civilization" as the founding members of the Austrian School saw their intellectual mission.
'This book argues that the work of the Austrian economists, including Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, has been too narrowly interpreted. Through a study of Viennese politics and culture, it demonstrates that the project they were engaged in was much broader: the study and defense of a liberal civilization. Erwin Dekker shows the importance of the civilization in their work and how they conceptualized their own responsibilities toward that civilization, which was attacked left and right during the interwar period. Dekker argues that what differentiates their position is that they thought of themselves primarily as students of that civilization rather than as social scientists, or engineers. This unique focus and approach is related to the Viennese setting of the circles, which constitute the heart of Viennese intellectual life in the interwar period.
Context 'A judgment of value .. a man's affective response to definite conditions of the universe..' - Ludwig von Mises
'..dismantle the Marxist myth..' - 'Karl Marx, False consciousness'
|Miras Bebas, Maksiat dan Kejahatan Makin Bablas|
Bebas, Maksiat dan Kejahatan Makin Bablas
[Al Islam 589] Bukannya mencegah kemaksiatan, pemerintah malah memberikan jalan bagi suburnya kemaksiatan dan kerusakan di tengah masyarakat. Lihatlah, pemerintah justru mencabut perda yang melarang miras (minuman keras).
Setidaknya ada sembilan perda miras yang diminta untuk dicabut oleh kemendagri. Diantaranya, Perda Kota Tangerang No. 7/2005 tentang Pelarangan, Pengedaran, dan Penjualan Minuman Beralkohol; Perda Kota Bandung No. 11/2010 tentang Pelarangan, Pengawasan, dan Pengendalian Minuman Beralkohol; dan Perda Kabupaten Indramayu No. 15/2006 tentang Larangan Minuman Beralkohol.
Keputusan itu memicu protes dan penolakan dari banyak pihak. Keputusan pencabutan itu dianggap kontraproduktif terhadap upaya mengatasi kerusakan moralitas dan maraknya kejahatan di tengah masyarakat. Protes keras juga datang dari sejumlah Pemda yang telah mengeluarkan perda miras.
Melawan Hukum Lebih Tinggi?
Kemendagri beralasan pencabutan perda-perda miras itu karena menyalahi aturan yang lebih tinggi, yaitu Keppres No. 3 Tahun 1997 tentang Pengawasan dan Pengendalian Minuman Beralkohol. Sejak perda dinyatakan batal maka dalam waktu paling lama 15 hari harus dicabut dan tak diberlakukan. Seperti diberitakan pikiran-rakyat.com (31/11/11), melalui surat nomor: 188.34/4561/SJ tertanggal 16 November 2011, Mendagri meminta perda miras kabupaten Indramayu segera dicabut dalam waktu 15 hari sejak 16 November.
Alasan bertentangan dengan Keppres No. 3 Tahun 1997 itu terkesan dipaksakan. Keppres itu dikeluarkan pada era orde baru yang sarat masalah. Mestinya Keppres bermasalah itu yang harus dicabut. Sebab Keppres itulah yang justru menjadi biang kerok maraknya peredaran miras di tengah masyarakat. Apalagi adanya Keppres ini berarti menghalalkan perkara yang jelas-jelas diharamkan Allah SWT. Lebih tinggi mana hukum Allah SWT dibanding keputusan presiden? Mana yang lebih baik, hukum Allah SWT atau hukum jahiliyah yang bersumber dari hawa nafsu manusia yang rakus?
Motif Bisnis Haram
Aroma kuatnya pengaruh bisnis miras pun menyeruak. Sudah lama para pengusaha miras mengeluhkan kesulitan memasarkan produk mereka karena adanya perda pelarangan miras dan menambah jumlah produksi miras akibat pembatasan produksi. Padahal Indonesia dianggap pangsa pasar miras potensial. Menurut catatan Gabungan Industri Minuman Malt Indonesia (GIMMI) orang Indonesia mengkonsumsi 100 juta liter bir pertahun. Jumlah konsumen minuman keras domestik terus meningkat 3-4 % pertahun, belum lagi dengan bertambahnya kunjungan wisatawan asing. Maka pengusaha miras ingin agar pembatasan miras dilonggarkan dan kuota produksinya ditambah.
Keputusan kontroversial Kemendagri ini menjadi jalan bagi mulusnya bisnis miras itu. Selama ini yang pertama-tama menentang perda larangan miras adalah pengusaha miras. Perda miras kabupaten Indramayu misalnya, sempat digugat oleh kalangan pengusaha minuman beralkohol dan miras. Namun gugatan tersebut ditolak oleh MA.
Pencabutan perda miras ini menambah keberpihakan pemerintah pada bisnis haram ini. Dua tahun silam pemerintah sudah menetapkan miras terbebas dari Pajak Pertambahan Nilai dan Pajak Penjualan atas Barang Mewah (PPN dan PPnBM). Hal ini menunjukkan lagi-lagi pemerintah lebih memikirkan kepentingan segelintir pengusaha bejad yang hanya memikirkan uang, dibanding keselamatan dan moralitas masyarakat. Padahal semuanya sudah tahu dan terbukti, miras pangkal berbagai macam kejahatan. Baru-baru ini, seorang ibu diperkosa di sebuah angkot di Depok, dan pelakunya diberitakan dalam keadaan mabuk. Kejahatan seperti ini sering terjadi. Polres Minahasa Utara mencatat, dari 969 kasus kejahatan dan KDRT sepanjang 2011 di wilayahnya dipicu oleh minuman keras (TRIBUNMANADO.CO.ID, 5/1/2012).
Polda Sulawesi Utara juga melaporkan sekitar 70 % tindak kriminalitas umum di Sulawesi Utara terjadi akibat mabuk setelah mengonsumsi miras. Kabid Humas Polda Sulut Ajun Komisaris Besar Benny Bela di Manado mengatakan, masih tingginya tindak kriminalitas di daerah itu disebabkan oleh minuman keras. Diperkirakan 65-70 % tindak kriminalitas umum di daerah itu akibat mabuk minuman keras. Selain itu sekitar 15 persen kecelakaan lalu lintas juga akibat pengaruh minuman keras. (lihat, kompas.com, 21/1/2011).
Miras juga menjadi pemicu beberapa tawuran massal seperti yang pernah terjadi di beberapa daerah dan hingga menyebabkan sejumlah korban tewas. Begitu juga tak sedikit orang yang tewas setelah menenggak miras.
Maka sungguh aneh bila pemerintah justru mencabut perda miras yang sebenarnya masih terlalu longgar itu. Padahal fakta yang ada sejak perda miras diberlakukan terjadi penurunan angka kriminalitas, bahkan sampai 80 % seperti di Bulukumba. Di Indramayu dan Tangerang penerapan perda miras berhasil mengurangi angka kriminalitas secara nyata.
Apalagi, perda-perda itu sebelumnya sudah dikonsultasikan ke tingkat provinsi dan bahkan ke Kemendagri dan dinilai tidak masalah. Perda anti miras itu didukung dan diterima oleh masyarakat. Perda itu juga dihasilkan melalui proses demokratis dan disetujui oleh DPRD setempat. Sekali lagi, pencabutan perda miras ini makin menunjukkan keanehan demokrasi. Kalau benar-benar memperhatikan suara rakyat seharusnya perda miras yang dihasilkan secara demokratis itu diterima. Kenapa malah ditolak dan dianggap tidak demokratis?
Aroma anti syariah Islam pun muncul dibalik ini . Mengingat selama ini, perda-perda seperti ini kerap digugat kelompok sekuler liberal karena dianggap kental dengan syariah Islam. Mereka menuding syariah Islam mengancam negara. Tudingan yang tidak masuk akal. Bagaimana mungkin syariah Islam yang bersumber dari Allah SWT yang Maha Pengasih lagi Maha Penyayang disebut membahayakan masyarakat? Bagaimana mungkin aturan Allah SWT yang melarang miras yang menjadi salah satu sumber kejahatan dianggap membahayakan masyarakat ?
Syariah Islam Membabat Miras, Menyelamatkan Umat
Islam dengan tegas mengharamkan khamr. Allah SWT berfirman:
ÙÙØ§ Ø£ÙÙÙÙÙÙØ§ Ø§ÙÙÙØ°ÙÙÙÙ Ø¢Ù ÙÙÙÙØ§ Ø¥ÙÙÙÙÙ ÙØ§ Ø§ÙÙØ®ÙÙ ÙØ±Ù ÙÙØ§ÙÙÙ ÙÙÙØ³ÙØ±Ù ÙÙØ§ÙÙØ£ÙÙØµÙØ§Ø¨Ù ÙÙØ§ÙÙØ£ÙØ²ÙÙÙØ§Ù Ù Ø±ÙØ¬ÙØ³Ù Ù ÙÙÙÙ Ø¹ÙÙ ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙØ´ÙÙÙÙØ·ÙØ§ÙÙ ÙÙØ§Ø¬ÙØªÙÙÙØ¨ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¹ÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ù ØªÙÙÙÙÙØÙÙÙÙ
Hai orang-orang yang beriman, sesungguhnya (meminum) khamar, berjudi, berkorban untuk berhala, mengundi nasib dengan panah, adalah termasuk perbuatan syaitan. Maka jauhilah perbuatan-perbuatan itu agar kamu mendapat keberuntungan. (QS. al-Maidah : 90)
Syaikh Ali ash-Shabuniy di dalam Tafsir ayat al-ahkam (I/562) menyatakan bahwa ayat berikutnya menyebutkan berbagai keburukan untuk mengisyaratkan bahaya yang besar dan kejahatan materi dari kriminalitas perjudian dan meminum khamr. Allah berfirman (yang artinya): Sesungguhnya syaitan itu bermaksud hendak menimbulkan permusuhan dan kebencian di antara kamu lantaran (meminum) khamar dan berjudi itu, dan menghalangi kamu dari mengingat Allah dan shalat; maka berhentilah kamu (TQS al-Maidah :91)
Rasul saw. juga sudah memperingatkan:
Â« Ø§ÙØ¬ÙØªÙÙÙØ¨ÙÙÙØ§ Ø§ÙÙØ®ÙÙ ÙØ±Ù ÙÙØ¥ÙÙÙÙÙÙØ§ Ù ÙÙÙØªÙØ§ØÙ ÙÙÙÙÙ Ø´ÙØ±ÙÙ Â»
Jauhilah khamr, karena sesungguhnya ia adalah kunci semua keburukan (HR. al-Hakim dan al-Baihaqi)
Islam memandang, meminum khamr merupakan kemaksiyatan besar dan pelakunya harus dijatuhi sanksi had. Had meminum khamr adalah dijilid empat puluh kali dan bisa ditambah. Ali bin Abi Thalib mengatakan:
Â« Ø¬ÙÙÙØ¯Ù Ø§ÙÙÙÙØ¨ÙÙÙÙ Ø£ÙØ±ÙØ¨ÙØ¹ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¬ÙÙÙØ¯Ù Ø£ÙØ¨ÙÙ Ø¨ÙÙÙØ±Ù Ø£ÙØ±ÙØ¨ÙØ¹ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¹ÙÙ ÙØ±Ù Ø«ÙÙ ÙØ§ÙÙÙÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ø³ÙÙÙÙØ©Ù Â»
Nabi saw menjilid (orang yang meminum khamr) 40 kali, Abu Bakar menjilidnya 40 kali dan Umar menjilidnya 80 kali, dan semua adalah sunnah (HR Muslim)
Islam juga mengharamkan semua hal yang terkait dengan khamr (miras), termasuk produksi, penjualan, kedai dan hasil darinya, dsb. Rasul saw bersabda:
Â« ÙÙØ¹ÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙÙÙÙÙ Ø§ÙÙØ®ÙÙ ÙØ±Ù ÙÙÙÙØ¹ÙÙÙ Ø´ÙØ§Ø±ÙØ¨ÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙØ³ÙØ§ÙÙÙÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙØ¹ÙØ§ØµÙØ±ÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙÙ ÙØ¹ÙØªÙØµÙØ±ÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙØ¨ÙØ§Ø¦ÙØ¹ÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙÙ ÙØ¨ÙØªÙØ§Ø¹ÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙØÙØ§Ù ÙÙÙÙÙØ§ ÙÙØ§ÙÙÙ ÙØÙÙ ÙÙÙÙØ©Ù Ø¥ÙÙÙÙÙÙÙ ÙÙØ¢ÙÙÙÙ Ø«ÙÙ ÙÙÙÙÙ Â»
Allah melaknat khamr dan melaknat orang yang meminumnya, yang menuangkannya, yang memerasnya, yang minta diperaskan, yang membelinya, yang menjualnya, yang membawakannya, yang minta dibawakan, yang makan harganya (HR. Ahmad).
Karena itu sistem Islam akan melarang produksi khamr (miras), penjualannya, tempat-tempat yang menjualnya, peredarannya dsb. Orang yang melanggarnya berarti melakukan tindakan kriminal dan dia harus dikenai sanksi taâzir.
Dengan semua itu, syariah Islam menghilangkan pasar miras, membabat produksi miras, penjualan, peredarannya dan tempat penjualannya di tengah masyarakat. Dengan itu Islam menutup salah satu pintu semua keburukan. Islam menyelamatkan masyarakat dari semua bahaya yang mungkin timbul karena khamr.
Wahai Kaum Muslim
Pencabutan perda miras ini menunjukkan kebobrokan pemerintah. Pemerintah justru telah memberikan jalan bagi maraknya kejahatan dan kemaksiatan di tengah masyarakat. Sekaligus semakin membuktikan bahwa masyarakat yang bebas dari bahaya khamr (miras) tidak akan terwujud dengan sistem kapitalisme demokrasi. Sistem Kapitalis-Demokrasi hanya memikirkan pemilik modal, hanya memikirkan perut dan materi segelintir pengusaha rakus. Sistem ini tidak akan memberikan kebaikan sedikitpun kepada manusia.
Bahaya khamr dan semua keburukan akibat khamr hanya akan bisa dihilangkan dari masyarakat dengan penerapan syariah Islam secara utuh. Karena itu impian kita akan masyarakat yang tenteram, bersih, bermartabat dan bermoral tinggi, hendaknya mendorong kita melipatgandakan perjuangan untuk menerapkan syariah Islam dalam bingkai Sistem Politik yang telah ditetapkan oleh Islam yaitu Khilafah âala minhaj an-nubuwwah. WallÃ¢h aâlam bi ash-shawÃ¢b. 
Komentar Al Islam:
BURT DPR: Proyek Toilet DPR Rp 2 M Bisa Dibatalkan (detik.com, 9/1/2012).
1. Innalillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun, sampai urusan buang kotoran pun anggota parlemen masih juga mau bermewah-mewah, padahal di Indonesia masih ada tunawisma sebanyak 25.662 orang dan pengemis 175.478 orang.
2. Rencana itu menunjukkan sifat asli rakus kemewahan. Bila diributkan baru merasa malu, tapi bila tidak maka maju terus pantang mundur. Itulah produk sistem politik demokrasikapitalisme.
3. Politisi dan penguasa yang sederhana dan peduli kepentingan rakyat hanya bisa diwujudkan oleh sistem politik mengutamakan pemeliharaan urusan rakyat, itulah Sistem Islam
Hasil survei Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI) yang menempatkan kinerja lembaga penegakan hukum kurun waktu 2011 jeblok hingga 44 persen (inilah.com, 9/1/2012).
1. Hukum buatan manusia memang tidak pernah berpihak pada keadilan, melainkan kepada yang membayar.
2. Hanya hukum Islam yang menjamin keadilan sempurna bagi setiap manusia tanpa pandang bulu dan agama.
|2015 Emmys Host Andy Samberg Touches On All Liberal Talking Points in His Opener|
2015 Emmy host Andy Samberg made sure to touch on all current lib talking points for his opener tonight:Â diversity, the wage gap, Donald Trump's racism, and even Kim Davis!
|ECO-IMPERIALISMO, HIDROELÃCTRICAS, MENTIRAS Y VERDADES|
Esta maÃ±ana me encontrÃ© este artÃculo en el muro de un amigo http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2705631/el_quimbo_colombia_enelendesas_low_carbon_hydroelectric_racket.html. El artÃculo por un imperialismo ecolÃ³gico critica el imperialismo econÃ³mico, pero su crÃtica, aunque razonable en algunos puntos, no deja de tener el trasfondo errado de muchos ecologistas: Â¡imponer condiciones a los paÃses subdesarrollados para que los ecologistas de los desarrollados sigan contaminando en paz! Pero lo irÃ³nico es que The ecologist critica una de las fuentes de generaciÃ³n de energÃa renovable mÃ¡s bonitas, eficientes y que puede darle a la gente que vive en ese territorio que llaman Colombia fuentes de riqueza. AdemÃ¡s, la crÃtica se hace de manera ligera pasando por alto las consideraciones del International Panel on Climate Change acerca de sus ventajas. En el punto que acierta es precisamente en los abusos del estado sobre las comunidades, donde vale la pena resaltar que el aprovechamiento del potencial hidroelÃ©ctrico no da derecho a expropiar, en favor del que sea.
Este escrito consta de varias partes. El primero es que hay una confusiÃ³n entre inversiÃ³n extranjera y concesiÃ³n de monopolios extranjeros, donde los ecologistas aciertan. Y para la aclaraciÃ³n cito a un a un profesor de la Universidad de New York, a Murray Rothbard. Luego, muestro que tras el ecologismo hay tambiÃ©n imperialismo, pero uno que suele gustarle a ciertas izquierdas, uno que impone condiciones insoportables a los paÃses pobres, para que los ecologistas nÃ³rdicos no tengan cargos de conciencia por prender la calefacciÃ³n, dado que en las zonas tropicales hay selvas que se beneficiarÃ¡n de su cariÃ±o al planeta. En ella explico que hay una falacia en cuanto a la consideraciÃ³n que hace el artÃculo de las hidroelÃ©ctricas, incluso basÃ¡ndome en el IPCC. Posteriormente, se muestra que las hidroelÃ©ctricas ademÃ¡s de ser tecnologÃas que producen energÃa eficiente sin emisiones de CO2 (no se discute acÃ¡ el tema de si el cambio climÃ¡tico es originado o no por el hombre) es una oportunidad de ofrecer energÃa barata. El precio de la energÃa se relaciona con el crecimiento econÃ³mico, inclusive una disminuciÃ³n de la demanda de energÃa puede ser un indicio previo a una crisis econÃ³mica. La energÃa elÃ©ctrica es clave en la industria y una energÃa mÃ¡s barata puede disminuir costos. Finalmente, ante un planteamiento del artÃculo que menciona las pÃ©rdidas de energÃa en transmisiÃ³n y distribuciÃ³n (o sea los cables que llevan la energÃa de la planta a su casa) que denuncian a que se deben Â¿a las leyes de la fÃsica? Â¿a viabilidad tÃ©cnica pero no econÃ³mica? Â¿a ineficiencia? Esto porque consideraban que era mÃ¡s importante disminuir las pÃ©rdidas que construir hidroelÃ©ctricas. Hasta cierto punto, por fÃsica, las pÃ©rdidas en transmisiÃ³n son inevitables, no sÃ© cuÃ¡l sea el punto. Pero eso no es una excusa para no mejorar la oferta.
IMPERIALISMO ECONÃMICO Y MONOPOLIO ESTATAL
El imperialismo ecolÃ³gico es una realidad. Sin embargo, muchos partidos de izquierda al ser ecologistas estÃ¡n convencidos de que no es imperialismo. Ya Hayek denunciaba que existÃa una imposiciÃ³n de paÃses ricos y contaminados que obligaban a paÃses pobres y selvÃ¡ticos a generar amplias Ã¡reas protegidas. Esto genera como dice don Alpiniano en El Tomismo DesdeÃ±ado unos beneficios a unas personas que no les corresponden, imponiendo cargas a otros que no las merecen. Sin embargo, luego de que en estos paÃses -como Colombia- nadie puede hacer nada, ni tiene cÃ³mo adquirir recursos para explotar sus ventajas ahÃ sÃ llegan empresas extranjeras que, haciendo convenios con el gobierno, adquieren los beneficios que los nacionales no han tenido.
Hace Murray Rothbard, citado por el instituto Mises Hispano una distinciÃ³n importante entre la sana inversiÃ³n extranjera y la alianza de empresas ricas con gobiernos ineptos pobres:
"Los conservadores norteamericanos insisten en particular en resaltar ante los paÃses retrasados las grandes posibilidades y la importancia de las inversiones privadas procedentes de los paÃses avanzados, y les incitan a crear un clima favorable a las mismas, de modo que no se vean sujetas al instigamiento de los gobernantes. Todo ello es muy cierto, pero, una vez mÃ¡s, a menudo es irreal, dada la situaciÃ³n de estos paÃses. Estos conservadores caen persistentemente en el error de no saber distinguir entre las inversiones exteriores legÃtimas del mercado libre y las basadas en concesiones monopolistas y en donaciones de vastas extensiones de tierras otorgadas por los Estados subdesarrollados. En la medida en que las inversiones exteriores se basan en monopolios y en agresiones contra el campesinado, en esa misma medida adquiere el capitalismo extranjero las caracterÃsticas de los seÃ±ores feudales y debe ser combatido con los mismos medios"
En este sentido, estoy de acuerdo con el artÃculo -y en contra del imperialismo econÃ³mico- en que el estado confunde inversiÃ³n extranjera con monopolio extranjero. Y el monopolio es desagradable venga de donde venga, sea el monopolio estatal tan "nacional", como cualquier otro. Por eso, cuando Robledo, senador del Polo, defendÃa a los arroceros por la imposiciÃ³n ridÃcula de tener que comprar nuevas semillas estaba promoviendo algo anarcocapitalista y liberal, aunque con argumentos de izquierda.
Lo mismo pasa en este caso, si se trata de una inversiÃ³n privada Â¿por quÃ© el estado entra y desaloja campesinos? Â¿Por quÃ© expropia? Y por mÃ¡s que la ley diga que la expropiaciÃ³n requiere una indemnizaciÃ³n al precio del avalÃºo comercial, Â¿es el avalÃºo comercial el precio de venta? Hombre, no estoy en momento de calcular las rentas campesinas vs las rentas hidroelÃ©ctricas, pero sospecho que las rentas hidroelÃ©ctricas son mÃ¡s altas. Ahora, si el campesino no quiere vender al precio que dice el avaluador Â¿por quÃ© le quita el estado su tierra bajo la excusa del "bien comÃºn" para las rentas particulares? No creo que si la transacciÃ³n se diera en condiciones de libre mercado los campesinos salieran a protestar. Hay alrededor de un millÃ³n de kilÃ³metros de lÃneas de transmisiÃ³n elÃ©ctrica, y si uno viaja por carretera suele ver vacas o sembrados alrededor. Â¿Por quÃ© esos campesinos no protestan? Porque 1. esos terrenos no son expropiados sino que cuentan con servidumbres de paso, 2. Se suelen hacer arreglos de mercado. Hombre, hay casos de casos, pero en general no se ve un descontento generalizado.
Pero, no, la herramienta de la expropiaciÃ³n es el arma para el bien comÃºn, como en Venezuela que hay mucho "bien comÃºn", siendo tan paradisiado que prefieren venirse para Colombia. La expropiaciÃ³n existe pero tiene sus lÃmites. En todo caso, sin estado Â¿quiÃ©n expropiarÃa para que se hicieran las vÃas?
Sin embargo, las razones ecolÃ³gicas que plantean para oponerse a las hidroelÃ©ctricas son mÃ¡s bien pobres. En primer lugar, las consideran tambiÃ©n causa del calentamiento global. Â¿CÃ³mo? No quiero citar el artÃculo porque me da pereza pero la idea se resume en 1. cortan bosques tropicales que recogen el CO2, 2. son fuentes de Metano. Hombre Â¿cÃ³mo un artÃculo que cita el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio ClimÃ¡tico para defender a los campesinos y el agro sale a decir que son mÃ¡s contaminantes? En primer lugar, si uno revisa lo que dice el IPCC en materia de energÃa hidoelÃ©ctrica (sacaron un documento sobre energÃas alternativas) su resumen -de la IPCC- arranca asÃ: "Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions" http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srren/Chapter%205%20Hydropower.pdf. Creo que en ese punto "The ecologist" se equivoca.
Por otro lado argumenta que las represas (reservoirs) son fuentes de Metano. La verdad, lo que dicen los cientÃficos climÃ¡ticos es que si bien el metano CH4 es un gas efecto invernadero, su absorciÃ³n es mÃ¡s rÃ¡pida que el CO2, una diferencia que va desde unas dÃ©cadas en el metano, hasta miles de aÃ±os para el diÃ³xido de carbono. AdemÃ¡s, de acuerdo con la siguiente imagen que proviene del Ãºltimo reporte del IPCC parte del CO2 proviene del uso de la tierra http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/IPCCGeneva/fifth-assessment-report-synthesis-report/11:
Francamente, si queremos disminuir TODAS las emisiones humanas de CO2 hay que empezar por dejar de respirar. Â¿Y todas las artificiales? Dudo que la energÃa que utiliza "The ecologist" sea propiamente energÃa que no emita CO2 -bueno, puede ser nuclear que no les gusta tampoco- pero no es de las "terribles" hidroelÃ©ctricas.
Â¿QuÃ© otra razÃ³n puede tener "The ecologist"? Â¿Proteger los bosques de los paÃses subdesarrollados? Â¿Para quÃ©? Â¿Para que haya bosques que puedan chuparse el CO2 que producen sus plantas a carbÃ³n, gas, petrÃ³leo, etc. a costa de energÃa mÃ¡s costosa, menor productividad, entre otras, en nuestros paÃses? Â¿Para que ellos puedan seguir subsidiando sus industrias a cambio de que las nuestras no puedan competir en sus mercados por el costo de la energÃa?
DEFENDIENDO LAS HIDROELÃCTRICAS
El potencial hidroelÃ©ctrico de ese territorio que llaman Colombia es una maravilla. Eso sin contar con el potencial energÃ©tico de otras tecnologÃas renovables como las fotovoltaicas por su ubicaciÃ³n terrestre, las mareomotrices, entre otras. Que cualquiera venga y lo explote es necesario, aunque en condiciones de mercado, no monopÃ³licas ni imperialistas. Adicionalmente, la energÃa hidroelÃ©ctrica es mÃ¡s barata. En el siguiente grÃ¡fico hay un promedio de los precios mensuales en comparaciÃ³n al porcentaje de generaciÃ³n tÃ©rmica en Colombia:
Por puro azar puede observarse con claridad la correlaciÃ³n entre el porcentaje de generaciÃ³n tÃ©rmica en Colombia y el precio constante (deflactado con IPC) de la energÃa. Como la grÃ¡fica de generaciÃ³n tÃ©rmica de alguna manera encaja con la hidrÃ¡ulica (la cogeneraciÃ³n y la eÃ³lica representan porcentajes insignificantes) podrÃa afirmarse que a mayor generaciÃ³n hidrÃ¡ulica en general menos precio. Â¿Por quÃ© se presentan esos baches en la generaciÃ³n? La razÃ³n es muy simple, el agua es renovable pero no predecible. Si uno mira las correlaciones de series de ingresos los caudales en dos o tres dÃas tienen altas correlaciones, pero alrededor de dos meses -algo que corroborÃ© con un ex empleado de ISA e ISAGEN- las correlaciones son nulas.
Hay incertidumbre en el ingreso del agua. Adicionalmente, en unas ocasiones por dÃ©cada se presenta el fenÃ³meno del niÃ±o. El fenÃ³meno del niÃ±o genera lluvias en PerÃº -un paÃs desÃ©rtico- y trae sequÃa a un paÃs lluvioso como Colombia. Como el agua escasea hay que producir la energÃa con un sustituto: las termoelÃ©ctricas. El costo de la energÃa se dispara. En este momento parece que estÃ¡n las condiciones para que se dÃ© el fenÃ³meno del NiÃ±o si es que no estamos ya en Ã©l. De ese fenÃ³meno se ha venido especulando desde que empecÃ© a investigar este tema en Junio del aÃ±o pasado (o sea el 2014). Esa especulaciÃ³n posiblemente tambiÃ©n influye en los precios, el aumento de la producciÃ³n tÃ©rmica y la disminuciÃ³n de la hidroelÃ©ctrica porque ante el riesgo de escasez se empieza a guardar el agua. El profesor John Jairo GarcÃa y otros de EAFIT en un paper al respecto proponÃa medir las expectativas de aportes al sistema en relaciÃ³n con el precio:
"Una variable importante sobre la determinaciÃ³n del precio en el mercado no regulado que debiera incluirse en estudios futuros son las expectativas climatolÃ³gicas; en la medida en que se espere una disminuciÃ³n del recurso hÃdrico, generarÃ¡ expectativas de aumentos en el precio.". http://revistas.upb.edu.co/index.php/cienciasestrategicas/article/view/1093/1313
La intuiciÃ³n tras el anÃ¡lisis es muy buena, pero dudo que pueda encontrarse una variable de expectativas climatolÃ³gicas. Aunque si algo me soprendiÃ³ de John Jairo era esa capacidad de creatividad economÃ©trica. El caso es que la ventaja de tener un sistema donde el "combustible"que es el agua es variable, permite inferir que, al menos en las condiciones geogrÃ¡ficas de los Andes Colombianas, es mÃ¡s barato que el uso de otros combustibles.
Es asÃ como la construcciÃ³n de hidroelÃ©ctricas -aunque respetando los derechos de propiedad privada- es una necesidad para mantener bajos los precios de la energÃa. Hay muchos trabajos que buscan predecir el precio de la energÃa y lo hacen en funciÃ³n de variables hÃdricas. Pero nada mejor que leer los errores de las predicciones pasadas de los economistas. En este artÃculo participÃ³ mi amigo y profesor de econometrÃa Mauricio Lopera y dice lo siguiente:
" La coherencia del resultado se corrobora en el mes de enero de 2014, donde se aprecia una caÃda grande en el precio producto de la entrada en operaciÃ³n de El Quimbo y Sogamoso, las cuales en conjunto aumentan la oferta de electricidad en 1220 MW" http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1552/155226077004.pdf
Mauricio nos insistÃa mucho que verificÃ¡ramos que el resultado economÃ©trico coincidiera con la "intuiciÃ³n" econÃ³mica. El problema es que las predicciones se equivocan y fuertemente. En el artÃculo citado, se muestra que los precios caerÃan en enero de 2014, la razÃ³n serÃa lÃ³gica la entrada de hidrosogamoso y quimbo (que es la que menciona The ecologist). Los precios en 2014 en bolsa fueron altÃsimos, y apenas hoy 16/01/2015 leÃ que estaban inaugurando la planta de hidrosogamoso. Lo que es cierto es que esas plantas deberÃan influir en la disminuciÃ³n del precio por el aumento de la oferta, ademÃ¡s, de un insumo mucho mÃ¡s barato como "combustible" que el carbÃ³n. En eso acertÃ³ el trabajo de Mauricio y otros. Pero el cÃ³mo o cuÃ¡nto bajarÃ¡n los precios no podemos calcularlo con exactitud.
DEFICIENCIAS DEL SISTEMA
El sistema de energÃa que nace con las leyes 142 y en concreto 143 de 1994 tiene muchas deficiencias. Aunque la L143/94 trataba de dar paso a un modelo mÃ¡s parecido al de un mercado, esa distinciÃ³n del mercado regulado del consumidor de energÃa hace que nos saquen un ojo de la cara porque sus precios estÃ¡n muy por encima de los de bolsa; aunque relativamente influidos por ellos como lo mostraba el profesor John Jairo GarcÃa. El modelo aunque avanza hacia tratar de liberar lo que considera de mercado y regular lo que considera "monopolio natural" se queda corto. Pero realmente si hay algo aburrido es la regulaciÃ³n del sistema de energÃa, como todas las regulaciones. Hablemos mÃ¡s bien de leyes bonitas, las del "fatum" o de la naturaleza... las humanas dan asco.
Quiero enfocarme mÃ¡s en los problemas que mencionaba "The ecologist" y es las "pÃ©rdidas" de energÃa del sistema de transmisiÃ³n y distribuciÃ³n. Una de las leyes de la fÃsica es la ley de la entropÃa. BÃ¡sicamente consiste en que aunque la energÃa no se destruye, solamente se transforma, se degrada a formas de energÃa mÃ¡s "desordenadas". BÃ¡sicamente la energÃa se transforma en "calor", o que es lo mismo que movimiento y vibraciÃ³n molecular. Utilizaremos el tÃ©rmino "pÃ©rdida" de energÃa en un sentido amplio, o econÃ³mico, pero entendiendo que solamente es una transformaciÃ³n no utilizable. Esta es la razÃ³n por la cual no existe una mÃ¡quina perfecta, sin desgaste y de movimiento absoluto. Por esta razÃ³n los relojes de pÃ©ndulo necesitaban que les dieran "cuerda".
De esta manera, por cada 1 KWh (3.600.000 Joules) que produce uno recibe una cantidad menor de energÃa porque esta se ha "pÃ©rdido" transformÃ¡ndose en calor. Esto se debe a que los transformadores -que no entiendo cÃ³mo funcionan pero cambian el voltaje- generan pÃ©rdidas, la transmisiÃ³n de energÃa puede generar calor, en la costa el desgaste de los cables genera pÃ©rdidas. Todo esto, como me decÃa un ex trabajador del sector eso es parte del costo de la energÃa. Dice textualmente "The ecologist" que se pierde alrededor del 16% de la energÃa generada:
"Yet the Government is neglecting simple options to raise power supply - like reducing the high level of losses in transmission and distribution, which run at about 16% of power generation and amount to some 10,000 GWh per year - more than four times the energy production of El Quimbo."
Pero es que por las leyes de la fÃsica: Â¡tiene que "perderse" parte de la energÃa generada! De la energÃa potencial del agua embalsada el 80%-90% se transmite por medio de la electricidad y el 10%-20% se "pierde" o sea se transforma en "calor". Â¡Y es de las mÃ¡s bajas! Las tÃ©rmicas pierden el 59% de la energÃa contenida en el combustible, las nucleares el 70% (CARTA GONZÃLEZ, CALERO PÃREZ, COLMENAR SANTOS, CASTRO GIL, & COLLADO FERNÃNDEZ, 2013, pp. 113-114). Puede que pueda perderse menos bajo un mantenimiento mucho mÃ¡s costoso, o puede que efectivamente pueda perderse menos. El caso es que siempre se va a "perder" algo de la energÃa.
Puede que The Ecologist tenga razÃ³n en que se aumente la eficiencia energÃ©tica. Algo que puede ser inviable o fÃsica o econÃ³micamente. Pero eso no es razÃ³n para impedir que se produzcan plantas de producciÃ³n de energÃa elÃ©ctrica, es bueno aumentar la oferta por todos los medios.
Lo que no puede el gobierno es ordenar que se cree energÃa, ni que no se degrade una parte en otras formas. Gracias a Dios las leyes de la fÃsica son inderogables, imprescriptibles, inembargables, anteriores al ser humano mismo. Â¿Puede imaginarse una ley que cree energÃa? El Congreso de Colombia Decreta "CrÃ©ase energÃa a partir de la nada...". Gracias a Dios eso no es posible, no soy capaz de imaginarme la inflaciÃ³n energÃ©tica lo que producirÃa, al menos la moneda de la naturaleza es absolutamente neutral. O una ley que diga "DerÃ³gase la gravedad", el totazo que se pegarÃan de cuenta de creer en su validez serÃa de lo lindo...
En primer lugar pido perdÃ³n al lector por tratar la energÃa de una forma tan polÃtica. Es decir, es demasiado pobre, aunque no mÃ¡s pobre que el Ministro de Minas que confundiÃ³ potencia con energÃa, pero Â¿quiÃ©n es uno para cuestionar a los "doctores" Ministros? Â¡De pronto ignoro una ley que asimila energÃa con potencia! En segundo lugar, no es esta, ni mÃ¡s faltaba una defensa al rÃ©gimen de energÃa elÃ©ctrica Colombiana, tan no lo es, que arranco dÃ¡ndole la razÃ³n a los ecologistas en que muchas de esas empresas grandes y concesionadas arrasan con las comunidades. El problema de esas empresas grandes, no es la falta de estado, por el contrario, su exceso, lo que falta es libertad.
Lo que sÃ creo es que en sanas condiciones de mercado y con precios justos a los dueÃ±os de las tierras, la construcciÃ³n de hidroelÃ©ctricas es una de las ventajas que tiene este territorio geogrÃ¡ficamente llamado Colombia. Es vital empezar a utilizar en este territorio las ventajas que ofrece el desarrollo de miles de tecnologÃas de energÃa renovable, como la solar, la mareomotriz, la eÃ³lica y la mÃ¡s fuerte la hidroelÃ©ctrica. En esta regiÃ³n se podrÃa utilizar un potencial enorme para producir energÃa barata, renovable y libre de elementos contaminantes. Esta energÃa se podrÃa exportar. Â¿Por quÃ© no hay lÃneas de transmisiÃ³n a PanamÃ¡ y Centro AmÃ©rica? Â¿Por quÃ© no hay lÃneas de transmisiÃ³n al PerÃº? Â¿Imposibilidad logÃstica? Â¿No serÃ¡n mÃ¡s bien los elevados costos regulatorios -que agudizan las barreras de entrada- sumado al monopolio estatal? Â¿O el monopolio de la transmisiÃ³n es "natural"?
Casi todas las citas salen de internet asÃ que si no refiero la fuente, estÃ¡ el link. Las formalidades APA o lo que sea me parecen demasiado engorrosas para escribir informalmente. Con el internet deberÃa bastar con el link. El Ãºnico libro que cito, con todas las normas mamonas para probar su existencia, es:
CARTA GONZÃLEZ, J. A., CALERO PÃREZ, R., COLMENAR SANTOS, A., CASTRO GIL, A., & COLLADO FERNÃNDEZ, E. (2013). Centrales de energÃas renovables. GeneraciÃ³n elÃ©ctrica con energÃas renovables. (P. E. S.A. Ed. SEGUNDA ed.). Madrid, EspaÃ±a.
|COLCIENCIAS Â¿PROMOTORA O TRABA?: CIENCIA A LA COLOMBIANA...|
Â¿Ciencia a la Colombiana? Este es un artÃculo que va en contra de la corriente actual, de alguna manera podrÃ¡n decir que estoy en contra de la "ciencia" lo que me parece en cierto sentido excelente. Hace pocos dÃas se desatÃ³ el escÃ¡ndalo de que le iban a quitar plata a Colciencias. Para mÃ fue motivo de decepciÃ³n: Â¡DeberÃan cerrarla! Si yo fuera presidente lo primero que cerrarÃa serÃa Colciencias y eso que es complicado dado como se comporta la academia actual, deseo que eso pase, que cierren a Colciencias... no ser presidente.
Â¿QuÃ© ha pasado? La verdad hay un exceso de noticias que impiden afirmar cientÃficamente quÃ© fue lo que pasÃ³. Hay dos hechos que creo claros:
1. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dijo que iban a quitarles presupuesto"
2. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dejÃ³ su cargo a los pocos dÃas"
COL CIENCIA... RAZONAMIENTO INDUCTIVO A LA COLOMBIANA...
Â¿QuÃ© pasÃ³ realmente? Â¿CÃ³mo se supo la "noticia" difundida como escÃ¡ndalo nacional? Lo primero que genera inquietud es Â¿cÃ³mo sabÃa la directora que les iban a quitar presupuesto? Â¿Le escribieron el ministro o el presidente? De acuerdo con un artÃculo de "El Tiempo" (al que hay que leer a favor de Colciencias por el sesgo a favor del presidente) http://www.eltiempo.com/estilo-de-vida/ciencia/colciencias-recibira-menos-presupuesto-en-el-2015/14203881 manifestÃ³ que recibiÃ³ un correo de su director de planeaciÃ³n, es decir, un funcionario de ella. Â¿Y ese funcionario de dÃ³nde la recibiÃ³? El confuso artÃculo del periÃ³dico El Tiempo menciona al Departamento Nacional de PlaneaciÃ³n. Esa menciÃ³n parece una "Colcienciada..." es decir una imprecisiÃ³n de tipo periodÃstico como se da en Colombia. Pero Â¿y si viniera del DNP? Si uno mira las funciones del DNP frente al presupuesto sus funciones son mÃ¡s de carÃ¡cter burocrÃ¡tico y asesor que realmente quien elabora el presupuesto https://www.dnp.gov.co/Qui%C3%A9nesSomos/Funciones.aspx . Por su parte, quien realmente elabora y sigue el presupuesto, por tener la misiÃ³n de la polÃtica fiscal y la definiciÃ³n del gasto pÃºblico es el Ministerio de Hacienda http://www.minhacienda.gov.co/HomeMinhacienda/presupuestogeneraldelanacion.
Â¿Entonces era informaciÃ³n veraz con la que se basaba la directora de Colciencias? Es factible que la informaciÃ³n fuera veraz. Â¿Y cÃ³mo lo comprueba? Pero no es una informaciÃ³n que uno pueda tomar como concluyente. Lo serÃa si hubiera conocido el proyecto de ley del presupuesto presentado al congreso, ni siquiera un borrador permitirÃa una inferencia que "les quitaron el presupuesto". Solamente podrÃa hablarse de una intenciÃ³n. Pero releamos las palabras: "Voy a dar la mala noticia que me acaba de llegar en un correo. Me dice mi jefe de PlaneaciÃ³n: 'Directora, le mando la confirmaciÃ³n del presupuesto del aÃ±o entrante, que es 289.000 millones de pesos. Estamos ya a 125.000 millones del presupuesto del aÃ±o pasado". Pero bueno esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, una declaraciÃ³n no confirmada de una funcionaria -con autoridad de dirigir la "ciencia colombiana"- da para que toda una academia proteste porque "le van a bajar el presupuesto a Colciencias".
Pero bueno ese es el ridÃculo argumento de autoridad -no verdaderamente cientÃfico- por el que la "academia" reconoce un hecho probado: le van a disminuir el presupuesto a "Colciencias". Ni el mÃ¡s formalista, ni el menos riguroso de los acadÃ©micos validarÃa una informaciÃ³n de ese calibre. Es mÃ¡s ni siquiera hace bien el Ãºnico trabajo que ese el estado: Â¡producir formularios y saber llenarlos! Es como si un cientÃfico dijera que en su laboratorio la presiÃ³n atmosfÃ©rica es de 900 HPa porque se lo dijo su "asistente". Uno como mÃnimo mira el barÃ³metro. Pero es ciencia a la colombiana... una mentalidad que se cree pensadora porque sabe muchos chismes... Recuerdo que hablaba una vez con una niÃ±a que estudiaba periodismo y ella leÃa "las fuentes son... el ministro". Y yo le dije que eso no era real, que la fuente es el acto -que es como se comunica el ministro como ministro- no la opiniÃ³n -polÃtica ademÃ¡s-del ministro. Bueno, tal vez la directora de "ciencias a la colombiana" querÃa rebelarse contra la Â¡producciÃ³n de formularios! y ver que puede haber verdad confirmada mÃ¡s allÃ¡ del formulario... en especial lo referente al futuro...
UNA INSTITUCIÃN PARA "FOMENTAR" LA "INVESTIGACIÃN"
Â¿QuÃ© es Colciencias? Uno podrÃa quedarse por lo que dicen los decretos que la crean, que es el mismo copy paste de esos sueÃ±os que quedan en las leyes. AcÃ¡ creemos que el tiempo y el reloj se mueven por decreto, sino pregÃºntele a Juan Manuel Santos su ridÃcula e improvisada propuesta que pasÃ³ a la historia como "la hora Gaviria" y que cancelaron casualmente en el momento en que astronÃ³micamente era inconveniente... manifestando que "ya era econÃ³micamente viable". AsÃ como creemos que por decreto va a salir la ciencia, la tecnologÃa y la innovaciÃ³n, creemos que necesitamos gente "trabajando" para hacer magia el decreto. Y eso hace "Colciencias":
Â¿Las cosas se conocen por el quÃ© o por el cÃ³mo? Seguramente por el cÃ³mo. Â¿CÃ³mo promueve, fomenta, (y mil sinÃ³nimos de la burocracia para enfatizar sus objetivos) la Ciencia, la TecnologÃa y la InnovaciÃ³n? ContarÃ© mi experiencia. Â¿QuÃ© hace Colciencias?
Siendo uno de los pocos privilegiados que pudo pasar por la universidad recuerdo varias cosas. Una de mis grandes amigas (que seguro estarÃ¡ en desacuerdo y podrÃ¡ precisar este artÃculo) era la Directora del Centro de Investigaciones. TambiÃ©n intentaba entrar al mundo de la investigaciÃ³n universitaria con un Semillero de InvestigaciÃ³n. Y bueno he encontrado mÃ¡s cosas en las universidades.
En aquellas Ã©pocas mi amiga trabajaba con otra amiga que se encargaba de arreglar todos los asuntos de la investigaciÃ³n. Bueno "investigaciÃ³n". Recuerdo que una de sus tareas era ayudar a los profesores a actualizar el CVLac Â¿QuÃ© es el CVLac? En Colciencias http://www.colciencias.gov.co/tutorialcvlac puede verse un tutorial especial para hacer el CVLac. Esto es bÃ¡sicamente la hoja de vida del investigador. Â¿Por quÃ© para investigar en las universidades se requiere una hoja de vida? El tutorial para hacer el CVLac tiene unas 66 pÃ¡ginas http://es.calameo.com/read/000051811450cdee35ceb cuya lectura muy posiblemente serÃ¡n horas de investigaciÃ³n... perdidas... Y eso que luego de leerlo hay que llenarlo... Una labor que podrÃ¡ ayudar a la paciencia, la templanza, la fortaleza pero no la investigaciÃ³n, mucho menos la innovaciÃ³n... Bueno, puede servir a crear el llenado automÃ¡tico de formularios, Â¿se le ocurrirÃ¡ eso a la brillantez colombiana? Espero que como un chiste bastante picante el programador del llenado automÃ¡tico de formularios sea colombiano...
Alguna vez renegaba del colegio del que salÃ diciendo "en este colegio no quieren cientÃficos sino secretarias". Pero el colegio no era mÃ¡s que un mini-Colciencias. Creo que Colombia solamente necesita una profesiÃ³n "elaboraciÃ³n y llenado de formularios", asÃ que el colegio pensaba en mi bien cuando me hablaba de la importancia de no salirme de los mÃ¡rgenes. De paso no debÃa enseÃ±ar nada mÃ¡s, porque los que "estudiamos" comemos cuando llenamos formularios, y comemos mejor cuando llenamos formularios mÃ¡s elaborados. Pero entre llenar un CVLac para decir que investigo o una declaraciÃ³n de renta por plata prefiero llenar una declaraciÃ³n de renta.
Ahora bien, no bastaba con llenar la hoja de vida. TambiÃ©n las universidades hacen grupos de investigaciÃ³n. Aunque la curiositas es amplia la investigaciÃ³n suele centrarse, no en el macrocosmos sino en el primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana.Y allÃ tenemos los grupos de investigaciÃ³n. Esos grupos se mueven por proyectos. Por ejemplo "El crecimiento del primer pelo de la segunda pata de la hormiga culona santandereana en la disminuciÃ³n del consumo de la misma en la dieta de los habitantes de San Gil, Santander". Esos grupos tambiÃ©n tienen hoja de vida... efectivamente, mÃ¡s formularios. Pero bueno, eso no es lo que hace Colciencias, lo que hace es tomar esas hojas de vida y "pesarlas" y es bÃ¡sicamente comparar la investigaciÃ³n con la producciÃ³n de bienes y servicios. La calidad de la investigaciÃ³n es "cantidad" http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sites/default/files/ckeditor_files/files/DOCUMENTO%20Modelo%20de%20Medici%C3%B3n%20Grupos%202013-VERSI%C3%93N%20II%20Definitiva%20DIC%2010%202013%20_protected.pdf.
Es asÃ como los investigadores ya tienen un buen tiempo llenando formularios -e investigando cÃ³mo se llenan esos formularios-. Pero uno tal vez piensa "bueno, ese no es el dÃa a dÃa de la 'apasionante' investigaciÃ³n". Pero no es extraÃ±o encontrar a los profesores llenando esos formularios que tienen plazo para enviarlos. Eso sin contar con los miles de informes que deben mandar. Creo que Colciencias tambiÃ©n financia proyectos o autoriza sumas pero eso por lo menos no lo vi. Bueno, vi los jÃ³venes investigadores de Colciencias Â¿Un incentivo para destruir la investigaciÃ³n verdadera con dudosas vinculaciones a universidades?
EL PELIGROSO MIX DE CIENCIA Y ESTADO
Supongamos que Colciencias sÃ financia los proyectos de investigaciÃ³n y supongamos que es una financiaciÃ³n eficiente: la burocracia es simple papeleo en comparaciÃ³n al apoyo a la investigaciÃ³n. Esto es un peligro porque queda centralizada a los intereses y compromisos del gobierno de turno. SupÃ³ngase que un grupo de investigaciÃ³n investiga las vÃas para la paz en Colombia y encuentra "peligroso negociar en la Habana por la inviabilidad y efectividad del acuerdo para generar un desarme efectivo". O supÃ³ngase que un grupo de investigaciÃ³n en "EnergÃas renovables" investiga "la generaciÃ³n elÃ©ctrica mediante el uso de las olas" que afecta a los monopolios del carbÃ³n y de las energÃas en petrÃ³leo, carbÃ³n o gas que de paso son empresas "industriales y comerciales del estado" que le generan regalÃas o pueden subastar para mejorar su cash flow... O algo un poco mÃ¡s de frente "La necesaria liberalizaciÃ³n de la investigaciÃ³n para asumir los retos del mundo moderno" o algo con un tono mÃ¡s marxista "el factor alienante del estado en sus 'oficinas de fomento' de ciencia y tecnologÃa".
La primera es una investigaciÃ³n que puede estar en el rigor legÃtimo y que estÃ¡ en todo su derecho a disentir de las polÃticas del gobierno. Pero como "la investigaciÃ³n debe realizarse dentro de los marcos, planes y programas" del estado posiblemente no se le acuse de frente, pero sÃ le exigirÃ¡n hasta por un milÃmetro demÃ¡s en los mÃ¡rgenes. Mejor dicho le dirÃ¡n "claro que puedes abrir las alas... dentro de la jaula que hemos construido para ti". La segunda tampoco saldrÃ¡ de plano, pero le exigirÃ¡n todo y de paso se fomentarÃ¡n investigaciones para demostrar "la inviabilidad del uso de las olas en la generaciÃ³n elÃ©ctrica". La tercera tampoco se aprobarÃ¡. El estado no es el garante, ni el promotor, ni la ciencia nace por decreto, ni llenando formularios. Bueno, sÃ salen libros sobre cÃ³mo llenar formularios, 66 pÃ¡ginas sobre cÃ³mo llenar la hoja de vida del investigador, algo que nos "facilita" la vida...
El nacimiento de la innovaciÃ³n, la tecnologÃa y la ciencia se da de una forma totalmente contraria al planteamiento burocrÃ¡tico y centralizado de Colciencias. Al respecto puede leerse "El Tomismo DesdeÃ±ado" donde explican con claridad cÃ³mo el descubrimiento, el aprendizaje y demÃ¡s son cuestiones que se dan en el marco de cada persona en concreto. Esa novedad, eso que estaba 'under my very nose' para parafrasear a un autor judÃo-norteamericano citado en "El Tomismo DesdeÃ±ado", no es algo sujeto a la forma, la cantidad o la temporalidad. De esa misma forma investigo yo, abierto a la naturaleza, al mundo y a los hechos... En esa forma de investigar no tengo que llenar formularios, a veces ni dejar registro -aunque sea mejor hacerlo- sino una permanente observaciÃ³n.
No niego que en el sistema de ciencia a la colombiana pueda haber buenos, incluso genios en la investigaciÃ³n y verdaderos aportes a la ciencia. Pero me parece que el sistema de "ciencia a la colombiana" o "investigaciÃ³n de llenado de formularios" anula, restringe o excluye a aquellos que son a mi juicio los mejores investigadores y restringe el alcance de los que lo logran. Los mejores investigadores son los niÃ±os sin lugar a dudas, su permanente contacto con la magia de la naturaleza y su capacidad de asombro los lleva a proponer las mejores soluciones y conclusiones sobre el mundo. La investigaciÃ³n necesita tambiÃ©n del error, cosa que no se puede si estÃ¡ centrada en el llenado de formularios que considera el error como incorrecto... y de paso delito...
Y seamos sinceros Â¿cÃ³mo se dio el aporte a la ciencia en la historia? Â¿Por Ã³rganos centralizados que fomentaran la "innovaciÃ³n, la ciencia y la tecnologÃa"? Entre algunos ejemplos Fermat era un matemÃ¡tico aficionado cuyo oficio era el de abogado, y tener un diploma en derecho hace 'necesariamente' que uno no sepa de matemÃ¡ticas. ConclusiÃ³n a la que los "col-cientÃficos" han decretado como dogma. Fermat jugaba con los nÃºmeros y hacÃa continuos descubrimientos que sorprendieron a muchos matemÃ¡ticos posteriores como Euler. PitÃ¡goras necesitaba seguramente un proyecto de investigaciÃ³n -y financiaciÃ³n de "Crotociencias"- para probar que "en un triÃ¡ngulo rectÃ¡ngulo la suma de los cuadrados de los catetos es igual al cuadrado de la hipotenusa". Se dice que PitÃ¡goras huyÃ³ de su ciudad natal a Crotonas entre otras porque no querÃa participar en cuestiones de polÃtica http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit%C3%A1goras. Eso sin contar con notables condenas y asesinatos a genios del calibre de SÃ³crates, asesinado entre otras porque pidiÃ³ como condena que "Colciencias" lo financiara de por vida por sus aportes a la sociedad...
Acabo de citar a Wikipedia que en ciencias colombianas "no es una fuente de fiar porque lo modifica cualquiera", el problema creo no es que cualquiera pueda modificarlo sino que lo hace gente que no tiene "CVLac". Probablemente los que modifican Wikipedia sean unos mediocres que pasan todo el dÃa de fuente en fuente y no se gradÃºen con honores como Newton http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton que pasaba todo el dÃa en la biblioteca y no iba a clase. Un artÃculo acadÃ©mico trae mil fuentes -CITADAS CON NORMAS APA- wikipedia trae Â¡las fuentes! con link directo. O sino vea lo que trae la Wikipedia cuando uno busca a Newton: http://gravitee.tripod.com/booki1.htm Â¡Su obra maestra!
IN CONCLUSIÃN...CIERRE, CIERRE!!
El conocimiento, la verdad y demÃ¡s, es dialÃ©ctico y por eso no deberÃa concluir un debate. Pero yo concluirÃa, cerrarÃa, a Colciencias. Una tÃmida disminuciÃ³n de presupuesto es poco por la ciencia, la tecnologÃa y la innovaciÃ³n... pero, si eso es cierto Â¡hay que reconocerle la buena obra al gobierno! Los crÃticos -simplemente porque no es el gobierno que quieren- critican cualquier cosa que haga o digan que haga el gobierno, es un deporte, hasta bueno, el caso es que ver algo bueno en un gobierno es TAN difÃcil que hay que felicitarlo si estuviera haciendo las cosas bien...
Sin embargo, asÃ es la realidad de este alienante y desmoralizador paÃs cuya Ãºnica profesiÃ³n es el llenado de formularios... Si alguien pregunta por Colombia y lo que hacen... Â¿QuÃ© hacen? las empresas "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo producir bienes y servicios, las universidades "llenar formularios" y si les queda tiempo dan clases pero Â¿investigan? Y los abogados "llenan formularios" y Â¿en su tiempo libre? Piensan cÃ³mo hacerlos mÃ¡s enredados Â¿Y quÃ© hace el gobierno? Â¡Produce formularios!
Y Â¿quÃ© son entonces El Tiempo, El Espacio, El Asombro o Espectador, El Colombiano, La RepÃºblica, Portafolio, El Nuevo Siglo, El PaÃs, El Universal? Â¿Realidades? Â¡QuÃ© va! Â¿Formularios? No, eso tiene su ciencia... Â¡PeriÃ³dicos! Pero los dueÃ±os de los periÃ³dicos son los mismos que hacen los formularios... Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, basta leer un periÃ³dico, e improvisar su resumen como lo hacÃa un mediocre profesor del colegio que estaba allÃ porque sabÃa cÃ³mo ser un buen policÃa... ah y sabÃa verificar que el "desprendible" -formulario para niÃ±os- se llenara bien so pena de llamar "negligentes" a sus alumnos... Ese era mi "modelo" de "diligencia"... Clases improvisadas, formularios bien llenados...
Esa es la ciencia a la colombiana: producciÃ³n de formularios. Y su proceso o mÃ©todo:
- JustificaciÃ³n o discusiÃ³n del formulario: periÃ³dicos
- ProducciÃ³n del formulario: gobierno/estado
- Control y auditoria para garantizar su incomprensiÃ³n: abogados, lobbies, grupos de poder. Su objetivo es que entre mÃ¡s incomprensible, mejor...Â¡calidad!
Â¿Y Colciencias? Una tuerca sin aceite en medio del engranaje decadente... al que muchos encuentran por donde elogiar sus "grandezas"...
NOTA: Si quiere comentar este artÃculo escriba 1. para queja, 2. para ironÃa, 3. para felicitaciÃ³n y agradecimiento, 4. Para reclamo... Â¡QuÃ©! Si le da la gana de escribir hÃ¡galo como quiera... si quiere insÃºlteme, internamente me ofenderÃ© y reirÃ© de usted al mismo tiempo, pero bienvenido...
NOTA 2: O uno escribe o se dedica a recopilar fuentes, ahÃ estÃ¡n los links y un libro "El Tomismo DesdeÃ±ado" de paso le dejo el "CVLac" del autor http://188.8.131.52:8081/cvlac/visualizador/generarCurriculoCv.do?cod_rh=0000534471. Algunos me entenderÃ¡n que ese CVLac es ridÃculo...De investigador junior no tiene ni un pelo...
|ALEATORIEDAD, POLÃTICA Y VOTOS...|
Hace unos dÃas hablÃ¡bamos mi hermano y yo de la aburridora polÃtica. Este aÃ±o no me gusta porque hay elecciones. Todo el mundo se apasiona por unos seres que ni conoce y por lo que vota y como mÃnimo su participaciÃ³n, si quedan puede ser irrelevante para cada uno. Pero bueno, yo jugarÃ© tambiÃ©n a la hinchada en este escrito. Los candidatos por los que he votado solamente ganÃ³ una amiga a la Junta Administradora Local del Barrio: esa es la democracia. Votamos para que gente que no elegimos decida sobre nuestras vidas.
En estas elecciones votarÃ© por el nÃºmero 19 de la Lista del Partido Liberal, por Marcela Posada. Dos razones claves me mueven a votar por ella. La primera es que su propuesta se centra en apoyo a la maternidad, la segunda es que medio la conozco. Marcela Posada es actriz (Â¿yo votando por una actriz?) y era "la jirafona" en Betty la Fea, no me vi Betty la fea. Sus propuestas van en la lÃnea de protecciÃ³n a la maternidad y primera infancia, ademÃ¡s defiende la vida de los bebÃ©s. A Marcela la tengo en Facebook. Â¿La conozco? Sin embargo, muchas cosas me preocupan de votar por Marcela. No es ella, me da confianza asÃ apenas la conozca (primera irracionalidad polÃtica), lo que mÃ¡s confianza me da es que no intentÃ³ convencerme de votar por ella. Adicionalmente es transparente expresa sus ideas sin esperar el voto, muestra todo hasta las propuestas indecentes que le hacen y muestra su lealtad. Pero es mÃ¡s lo que no conozco de Marcela que lo que conozco.
En primer lugar me preocupa la forma en que plantea sus buenas propuestas son quitando el dinero de otros para fines que a mÃ me interesan. Puede beneficiar a los bebÃ©s, mamÃ¡s, etc, pero sus propuestas son entre coactivas e impositivas o sea no en lo que yo entiendo por liberales, no se trata de obligar se trata de promover. SerÃa perfecta si sus propuestas fueran vÃa incentivos, descuentos, entre otras y como asumo que ella lo leerÃ¡ sepa que yo me ofrezco a redactarle la ley vÃa incentivos tributarios y laborales (sin coacciones) para promover el apoyo a la protecciÃ³n a la maternidad, la vida del no-nacido y la primera infancia.
EL PROBLEMA DE LOS VOTOS A "CUERPOS COLEGIADOS"
El segundo problema mÃ¡s grave es quiÃ©nes conforman la lista del partido liberal. Entre esos estÃ¡n Horacio Serpa, Vivian Morales y otra serie de personajes de quienes desconfÃo. DesconfÃo del mismo partido liberal, de todos los partidos desconfÃo. El problema radica en que gracias a una reforma que propuso e impulsÃ³ GermÃ¡n Vargas Lleras uno ya no vota por una persona avalada por el Partido Liberal, uno vota por alguien que quede en una bancada. Eso funciona de la siguiente manera:
1. Se cuentan los votos vÃ¡lidos
2. Se divide el nÃºmero de curules al Senado (en este caso 100) por el nÃºmero de votos totales y eso da el umbral. Los partidos o movimientos que no pasen el umbral no obtienen curules.
3. Los partidos que pasen el umbral serÃ¡n aquellos en los que se distribuyan las curules Â¿CÃ³mo? El sistema que es una funciÃ³n bastante rara que se llama cifra repartidora. La cifra repartidora consiste en tomar los votos de los partidos que superan el umbral y dividirlo entre 1, 2, 3, hasta n que es el nÃºmero de curules. Eso da una matriz de nÃºmeros de los cuales los primeros 100 nÃºmeros son las curules a asignar. Es asÃ que supongamos tenemos dos partidos que pasaron el umbral y 5 curules a asignar a continuaciÃ³n la tabla:
Con cifra repartidora dividimos hasta 5
PARTIDO 1: 100, 50, 33.33333, 25, 20
PARTIDO 2: 50, 25, 16.66666, 12.5, 10
Y ordenamos los primeros 100 nÃºmeros
PARTIDO 1: 100, 50
PARTIDO 2: 50
PARTIDO 1: 33.333, 25
La cifra repartidora es 25 y con base en este mÃ©todo el PARTIDO 1 tiene 4 curules y el PARTIDO 2: tiene 1 curul. No sÃ© cÃ³mo se asignan en caso de empate, pero supongamos que se asigna la curul empatada al que tiene mÃ¡s votos. AquÃ en primer lugar la desigualdad es clara la relaciÃ³n de votos entre partidos es de 1/2 la relaciÃ³n de curules de 1/5.
Luego de tener la cifra repartidora se mira si la lista es cerrada o abierta, si es cerrada se asigna al primero de la lista y asÃ sucesivamente. Si es abierta se mira el nÃºmero de votos y se organizan de mayor a menor. AsÃ que no voto por la lista de Marcela Posada, voto por la lista del Partido Liberal y espero a que los votos que corresponden a los de las maquinarias den para un espacio para Marcela.Vale la pena correr el riesgo, pues por un lado estÃ¡ el tema de que los candidatos del Partido Liberal con maquinarias pueden ganar solos, pero darle el voto a Marcela puede dar un espacio para votos de opiniÃ³n dentro del Partido. Pero las probabilidades no son mejores que las de candidatos con maquinarias, aunque es actriz y en Colombia la gente cree y quiere a sus actores (sin perjuicio de que yo no los conozca ni los vea). Es allÃ donde viene otra vez la conversaciÃ³n con mi hermano.
ALEATORIEDAD O DEMOCRACIA...
Si hacemos una distribuciÃ³n aleatoria es muy probable que todos los partidos superen el umbral con mÃ¡s o menos la misma cantidad de votos. Lo mismo los votos al interior de los partidos, teniendo una probabilidad mÃ¡s o menos equilibrada entre honestos y deshonestos. La cuestiÃ³n funciona teÃ³ricamente y si uno hace simulaciones, que se pueden programar en R Statistics y ver que efectivamente el azar elegirÃa mejor que lo que lo hace la democracia, porque corruptos y honestos tendrÃan las mismas probabilidades. Claro asumiendo que los corruptos no hagan un programa que desbalancee las probabilidades. Mejor dicho a la democracia le irÃa mejor en un casino que en las urnas...
Ya queda claro que apostarÃ© por el L 19 al Senado, ademÃ¡s me gusta ese nÃºmero, pero es una apuesta riesgosa como lo es la polÃtica. Â¿Por quiÃ©n apostar en los otros? Bien para CÃ¡mara no conozco a nadie, y no creo en los conocidos de los conocidos de los conocidos, se supone que deberÃan ser mÃ¡s cercanos, pero no lo son. Pensaba dar ingenuamente el voto por el Partido Conservador pero, Â¿dar un voto por una lista de un partido que se dice pro-vida? Â¿Les creo? Solamente he votado por ellos por eso Â¡quÃ© pendejo! En la consulta del Partido Verde votarÃ© por Ingrid Betancourt, con sus defectos pasados y su impopularidad presente, me ha parecido una mujer autÃ©ntica, eso no significa si gana tenga que votar por ella, pues tendrÃa que tantear cÃ³mo estÃ¡ en el tema pro-vida. Finalmente, tampoco conozco a nadie para el parlamento Andino, asÃ que tristemente esos dos cuerpos colegiados se van con mi voto en blanco, le apuesto al 0. Esa apuesta tambiÃ©n tiene sus riesgos, como que gente buena no alcance el umbral, pero eso no es una carga mÃa sino del candidato.
Finalmente queda la Presidencia, tambiÃ©n creo que le apostarÃ© al blanco. No me gusta la bala, no me gusta la Habana y esos dos son los menos malos a mi juicio, bueno Clara LÃ³pez no me da la sensaciÃ³n que lo haya hecho mal como alcaldesa encargada de BogotÃ¡, pero su partido promueve el aborto, estÃ¡n en contra de la libertad de empresa bueno del TLC que no necesariamente ha significado libertad de empresa.
El problema del voto en blanco es que si gana mandarÃan a otros de los mismos partidos y como dice la canciÃ³n de Arjona: "para quÃ© cuentan los votos si se repite la ecuaciÃ³n". Se supone que el paÃs no puede quedar en "situaciÃ³n de interinidad" que eso es "malÃsimo" para la democracia, a mÃ me parecerÃa genial no tener presidentes, ni congresistas, no creo en el estado, no creo en la constituciÃ³n pero no puedo librarme de ella, bueno al menos no en el corto plazo. Yo soy partidario de la anarquÃa que permite la libertad y solamente cuando hay libertad se puede ver la solidaridad. No hay solidaridad forzada. Yo preferirÃa ver a Marcela Posada parada con su liderazgo y autenticidad apoyando ella directamente a las mamÃ¡s, pero no hacen daÃ±o las leyes que bajen los excesivos impuestos a cambio de promover el amor a los bebÃ©s y las mamÃ¡s...
|Selective Amnesia of Reaganâs Legacy|
Amazingly and audaciously, the mainstream media and liberal pundocracy has created a narrative that President Obamaâs newly found centrism is molded in the inspirational optimism of President Reagan. This narrative seems confusing, when many liberals excoriate Reaganâs economic policy as the grim reaper of capitalism coming to instill all the inequities of the free market.
Maybe It is time for President Obama to return to some of Founder's writings in order to rediscover his inner centrism. He can begin with Thomas Paine.
|âThe Flexible Unity of Economics,â M. J. Reay (2012)||Michael Reay recently published this article on the economics profession in the esteemed American Journal of Sociology, and as he is a sociologist, I hope the econ navel-gazing can be excused. What Reay points out is that critical discourse about modern economics entails a paradox. On the one hand, economics is a unified, neoliberal-policy-endorsing monolith […]|
|Kindahan Amar Maâruf Nahi Munkar (Bag. 1)||Sebuah Catatan di Balik Kasus âKekerasanâ Dalam Usaha Menghilangkan Kesesatan Disusun oleh : Redaksi Al-Hujjah Buletin Al-Hujjah Vol: 12-IX/Jumadil Akhir-1429H/Juni-08 Belakangan, kaum sekuler dan liberal yang begitu getol membela kesesatan Ahmadiyyah, semakin gencar menabur benih-benih fitnah demi merontokkan persatuan Islam dari dalam. Mereka (Sekuler-Liberalis) seolah mendapatkan angin segar manakala ada oknum-oknum tidak bertanggungjawab -yang bukan […]|
|Why Did Nobody Tell Us? Reporting the Global Crash of 2008 [Audio]||Speaker(s): Alex Brummer, Vince Cable MP; Evan Davis; Gillian Tett; Professor Willem Buiter | This event will discuss the reporting leading up to the global credit crash of 2008. Alex Brummer has been City Editor for the Daily Mail since 2000. He has over thirty years' experience in the media. Vincent Cable is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and speaks for his party on issues of Finance, European Economic and Monetary Union and the City. Evan Davis is a presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He was the BBC's Economics Editor from 2001-2008.|
Professor of Spanish Laura Senio Blair, Mattie Cryer, Class of 2017, and Antonio Mendez, Class of 2020, served as coaches at SXSWedu on March 7. Senio Blair met with attendees interested in the liberal arts, Cryer spoke about undergraduate research, and Mendez mentored first-generation college students. The meetings were one-on-one or small group opportunities for students, parents, and attendees to think about and explore their learning goals.
|START OF FALL CLASSES AT ECU SET FOR MONDAY, AUG. 14|
Anticipation is high on the East Central University campus for the beginning of the 2017 fall semester on Monday, Aug. 14.
Enrollment is still open through Friday, Aug. 18, and prospective students have the choice of more than 80 majors in undergraduate degree programs offered through the College of Education and Psychology, College of Health and Science, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.
New masterâs degree programs are available, including the new masterâs degree option in Sport Psychology as part of the Department of Psychologyâs Master of Science in Psychological Services (MSPS); Masterâs in Management degree program as part of the School of Business and the M.S. Water Resource Policy and Management degree program as part of the School of Graduate Studies.
For more information visit www.ecok.edu or call 580-332-8000.
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Brian Johnson or Amy Ford
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â East Central University Communications and Marketing
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 580-559-5650 or 405-812-1428 (cell)
|Liberal Youth make some noise for human rights||Last week, on a cold December afternoon Liberal Youth continued their campaign for human rights in Belarus, a country often described as âEuropeâs Last Dictatorshipâ. We were joined by the Free Belarus Now group, lead by Irina Bogdanova (sister of an ex-Presidential candidate) in a demonstration outside the Belarusian embassy in London. The event was […]|
|Liberal Youth: Itâs time to think about Freshers||As the academic year draws to a close, most young people are thinking about the summer ahead – not us though. At Liberal Youth we’re already planning for the next academic year and we want this year’s Freshers (the inaugural party / join-a-society week at the start of the academic term) to be the one […]|
|Fermentation Fun with Friends||The Red River General Store at 5700 Henderson Highway - for my friends in the local Jewish community, that's the old Stern store. I was stunned to discover how many people were sentimentally attached to that place! |
First of all, many thanks to my friend Rosalie, who brought her iPad and took pictures for me. Here is a picture of me behind the counter, posing with a jar of lacto-fermented pearl onions I brought along to demonstrate the kind of things we can make.
We started with a brief overview of lactic acid fermentation (in which cells convert glucose into lactic acid and energy - it's the same process that happens in your muscles when you run fast, causing "the burn" - although if you are a scientist you may prefer to call it anaerobic glycolysis). It's a traditional method of food preservation all around the world, because the increased acidity of the food causes molds, botulism, etc. to be inhibited, making it very safe. The Lactobacillus bacteria responsible for this miracle are present everywhere, in the air, on the vegetables, on our hands, and most importantly, in our gut. Eating lacto-fermented food, whether vegetables or dairy, is a great way to heal our antibiotic-ravaged digestive systems.
We washed our hands and cut up that lovely cabbage. We added some good, real salt that had not had all its minerals stripped away, and also some caraway seeds and/or juniper berries for flavour. Then we squished that cabbage within an inch of its life - a source of great enjoyment for everyone, I think. Who says only kids can have fun squishing their food?
The salt drew liquid out of the cabbage incredibly quickly, and we soon found ourselves with liberal quantities of brine in our bowls. We then filled little mason jars (yes, I know, they don't seal as well as one would like, but they are great for beginners). We were careful to cover the cabbage with a nice big leaf to keep it submerged in the brine, and weighted it down with little plastic bags filled with excess brine (again, yes, I know, plastic in our food is B.A.D. But I hope everyone found a better, more suitable weight when they got home).
We finished the evening with a quick, funny video about fermentation and some great discussion. Monique spoiled us with yummy snacks, coffee and amazing herbal tea.
I had an absolute blast and it looked like most people were having a good time. I'm hoping we can do this again - maybe we'll do a kombucha/water kefir/milk kefir session? I do need somebody to provide me with water kefir grains before I can do that ...
Thanks again to Monique, Rosalie and everyone who came out on a rainy, yucky October night to celebrate lacto-fermentation with me!
|Nationally-televised interview with Liberal MP for Goldstein Tim 'Freedom Boy' Wilson that lasted just 22.55 seconds and 66 words|
New Matilda, 3 August 2017:
Sky News journalist Peter van Onselen had invited the loyal Liberal Party politician onto his program to discuss marriage equality, a burning topic in politics at the moment as Wilsonâs colleagues seek to try and delay or sink momentum for enabling legislation.
Wilson is gay, so heâs an obvious choice for an interview, and van Onselen wasted no time in getting straight to the point.
VAN ONSELEN: Thanks very much for your company, do you like the idea of a secret ballot in the party room?
TIM WILSON: Thanks Peter. I said everything I had to say on this issue and I make no plans to make any other comment at this time. Iâd rather talk about something else that actually matters to the Australian population â the economy, energy prices, whatâs going on with Laborâs tax slug, you pick it, Iâm happy to talk about it. Iâve said what Iâve said on this issue.
VAN ONSELEN: Tim Wilson thanks for your company.
TIM WILSON: [Pause] Thatâs alright, pleasure.
Does this interview rank as the shortest Australian political interview on record?
|Water rorting continues in the Murray-Darling Basin aided and abetted by the NSW Nationals|
And local government and commercial interests in the Murray-Darling Basin have the hide to cry that they are water deprived and should be allowed to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment until that coastal system is a pale shadow of its vibrant self.
The Guardian, 4 August 2017:
The New South Wales regional water minister, Niall Blair, has quietly granted himself the power to approve illegal floodplain works retrospectively.
A Wentworth Group scientist, Jamie Pittock, has accused the NSW government of actively undermining the Murray-Darling basin plan as revelations have continued about the state governmentâs management of the river system.
Since Four Corners report raised allegations of water theft and secret meetings between a senior NSW water bureaucrat and a small number of irrigators,Blair is under increasing pressure over his water responsibilities.
This followed Daily Telegraph reports that the Nationals MP had been urging his Liberal colleague, the environment minister, Gabrielle Upton, to change the Barwon-Darling water-sharing plan retrospectively to favour large irrigators. He said the change was needed because of an error in the rules.
It has now come to light that Blair gazetted a Barwon-Darling valley floodplain management plan which gives him power to approve flood works built illegally even if they do not comply with requirements prior to the plan.
Under clause 39 of the new Barwon-Darling valley plan, a flood work that does not comply can be approved if âin the ministerâs opinionâ it is for an access road, a supply channel, a stock refuge or an infrastructure protection work
A spokesman for WaterNSW said three relevant applications from the Barwon-Darling region had been received since the change but none had yet been approved.
The NSW Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham called on the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to remove the water portfolio from the National party after the regulation changes came to light.
âThis is disgraceful example of the National party giving away free water to their big irrigator mates,â Buckingham said. âMany of these areas are so flat that even a 10 to 20cm bank can divert a huge amount of water into an irrigation dam and away from natural waterways.
âItâs a massive gift of water to the big irrigators. If we want to recover the water in the future then taxpayer will have to hand over huge amounts of compensation for what were illegal constructions.â
A spokeswoman for Blair said the gazettal was a âsignificant legacy issueâ required to create a process where unapproved works could be properly and transparently assessed. She said to be considered, works must not have been previously refused and would still need to be assessed under certain criteria.
âSupply channels are one of the types of existing works that clause 39 indicates that we will accept application for,â the spokeswoman said. âJust because they are existing, doesnât mean that they will be approved, just that they can apply. This approach is being rolled out through all floodplain management plans.â
Pittock, an associate professor in the Fenner school of environment and society at the Australian National University, said the revelations showed NSW was systematically white-anting the Murray Darling plan.
âThe ârule errorâ and other questionable dealings between wealthy irrigators, government officials and politicians in NSW highlight how the intent of the basin plan can be frustrated by those hostile to its implementation at the state level,â he told Guardian Australia.
âChanges of regulations in NSW have allowed irrigators to take erstwhile environmental flows by allowing greater pump capacity and earlier extraction based on river heights such that commonwealth-purchased environmental water in Queensland in not âshepherdedâ through New South Wales to the lower Murray.
âConsequently towns like Broken Hill, pastoralists and Aboriginal communities, as well as the environment, have been starved of water.
|This is what privatisation did to Australia's household electricity bills|
When three eastern and one southern state formed the National Electricity Market in December 1998 Australia had the lowest retail prices in the world along with the United States and Canada.
The rules which underpin this National Electricity Market are created by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) set up by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) - through the COAG Energy Council - for that purpose and to advise federal & state governments on how best to develop energy markets over time.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) sets the amount of revenue that network businesses can recover from customers for using networks (electricity poles and wires and gas pipelines) that transport energy.
So far so good. There's a defined market and there are rules.
Then the privatisation of electricity supply and infrastructure began in earnest.
It should come as no surprise that this push towards full privatisation, with its downhill spiral in service delivery and uphill climb in cost to retail customers, began and was progressed during the term of Liberal Prime Minister John Howard.
By 2017 the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government has almost completed its three-stage privatisation of state power infrastructure by selling off poles and wires and, it goes without saying that the retail cost of electricity is expected to rise again next year.
This is where we stand todayâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
[Graphs in Financial Review, 4 August 2017]
The Financial Review, 4 Augut 2017:
The annual cost to households of accepting a standing offer from one of the big three retailers instead of the best offer in the market has been estimated at $830 in Victoria, $900 in Queensland and $1400-$1500 in NSW and SA by the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Mr Mountain said power bills are constructed in such a complex way that ordinary customers without sophisticated spreadsheet and analytical skills have little hope of analysing competing offers to work out which offers them the best deal.
Private comparison websites do not include all market offers and charge retailers for switching customers, while the websites offered by the Australian Energy Regulator and the Victorian government do not provide the tools customers need to discriminate among offers.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into electricity supply, costs and pricing, including retail pricing.
The Treasurer should have a preliminary report from the ACCC in his hands by the end of September this year, however this body does not submit a final report until 30 June 2018 with no guarantee that any recommendations will be adopted by government and industry.
Quite frankly, it appears the privatisation train left the platform some time ago and there is no way to halt or divert it in order to genuinely benefit household consumers.
|So why might the far right of the Liberal and National parties being pushing for a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage?|
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) states this of national plebiscites:
An issue put to the vote which does not affect the Constitution is called a plebiscite. A plebiscite is not defined in the Australian Constitution, the Electoral Act or the Referendum Act. A plebiscite can also be referred to as a simple national vote.
Governments can hold plebiscites to test whether people either support or oppose a proposed action on an issue. The government is not bound by the 'result' of a plebiscite as it is by the result of a Constitutional referendum. Federal, state and territory governments have held plebiscites on various issues.
Under s. 7A of the Electoral Act, the AEC can conduct a plebiscite as a fee-for-service election, with the AEC entering into 'an agreement, on behalf of the Commonwealth, for the supply of goods or services to a person or body'. The rules for a plebiscite or fee-for-service election are normally contained in the terms of the agreement between the AEC and the person funding the election.
Military service plebiscites were held in 1916 and 1917 but, as they were not proposals to amend the Constitution, the provisions of section 128 of the Constitution did not apply. Voters in all federal territories were permitted to vote. Both the military service plebiscites sought a mandate for conscription and were defeated.
The first thing to note about a national plebiscite is that its outcome is not binding on the federal parliament or on any MP or senator.
Additionally, voting in a national plebiscite can be voluntary, unless otherwise stated in any legislation authorising a specific plebiscite. As was the case in the National Song Poll in May 1977 at which 7.59 million people or est. 90%+ of registered voters cast a voluntary ballot.
Besides being voluntary a plebiscite can also be a mail-out ballot as was the Election of Delegates to the Constitutional Convention some twenty years later in December 1997, at which 6 million ballot papers were returned, scrutinised and counted â that is to say only 50.04% of all eligible voters actually voluntarily voted and an est. 1.13% of these cast informal ballots.
A parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage was calculated as costing $17 million in 2016. A stand-alone same-sex plebiscite was estimated to cost up to $525 million in that same year.
An important point to note about a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage is that it is unnecessary as s51 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act gives federal parliament power to make laws regarding marriage and, parliament exercised that right as recently as 2004 when it changed the definition of marriage in order To ensure that same sex marriages are not recognised as marriage in Australia, inclusive of those performed under the laws of another country that permits such unions.
So one can see why far-right federal MPs and senators would be in favour of a voluntary plebiscite, particularly a postal one.
It may cost taxpayers more but the chances of a high voter participation rate is not as certain and, if the government of the day doesn't like the results of the ballot it can decide to not to act on them.
These parliamentarians probably believe those voters who will be less likely to return a postal ballot will not be those strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, but those who are undecided, neutral, or disinterestedly in favour of rewriting the Marriage Act to allow gay couples to wed.
In the minds of zealots like Eric Abetz and Tony Abbott this is probably seen as giving their cause a fighting chance and absolving them of any responsibility for continuing to actively oppose same-sex marriage.
|Politicians and Water: The Murray Darling Basin Scandal Fallout|
The ABC Four Corners program âPumpedâ which was screened on 24th July has illustrated how important scrutiny of the establishment is to the rule of law in our democracy. It also illustrates why the ABC is under threat from many politicians and other powerful players who see any effective scrutiny of their operations as an intolerable threat to their way of doing business, a way that is against both the general community interest as well as the national interest.
The outrage from the revelations of water theft and other illegality by big irrigators in the northern NSW area of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) has increased over the days since the program was screened. Politicians have been left scrambling and forced to change tack following the strength of the reaction and the condemnation of the inadequacy of their initial responses.
In NSW the Nationals Minister for Primary Industry, Niall Blair, was forced to change from an internal inquiry conducted by his department to an independent inquiry. Blair was excessively optimistic in thinking that such an internal inquiry would be acceptable given that Four Corners had revealed a questionable relationship between Gavin Hanlon, his departmentâs Deputy Director General (Water), and big irrigators in the upper MDB. In addition there was the important question of why the department had failed to act on departmental compliance officersâ reports of licence breaches and meter tampering. And there were questions about the role of the former water minister Kevin Humphries in dealing with the large irrigators.
The NSW Opposition has also taken action referring both the former Nationals water minister Kevin Humphries (Member for Barwon) and a senior bureaucrat (presumably Gavin Hanlon) to ICAC.
The Federal Government reaction was initially almost dismissive. The Minister for Water Resources, Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce, as well as attempting to downplay the water theft by comparing it to cattle rustling, claimed that it was a matter for NSW and that there was no need for Federal Government involvement. Billions of dollars of taxpayer funds have been used to buy back water for environmental flows and instead of being used for this purpose this water has gone to the big irrigators in the upper Barwon-Darling. Presumably the taxpayer funds had come from the Federal Government. This would surely make it a matter of very great interest to this government which, seeing it is so concerned about budget repair, would surely be appalled at the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.
Joyceâs totally inadequate initial response was compounded shortly afterwards with what he said in a speech to irrigators in a hotel at Shepparton, a speech which was recorded by one of those attending.
Joyce said, "We have taken water, put it back into agriculture, so we could look after you and make sure we don't have the greenies running the show basically sending you out the back door, and that was a hard ask.â
"A couple of nights ago on Four Corners, you know what that's all about? It's about them trying to take more water off you, trying to create a calamity. A calamity for which the solution is to take more water off you, shut more of your towns down."
Even a dinosaur like Barnaby Joyce should have been aware that anyone carrying a smartphone has the capacity to secretly record what others are saying. In the political sphere we have seen how damaging this can be in the cases of Christopher Pyne and One Nationâs James Ashby. The Shepparton recording has certainly damaged Joyce and has added volume to the calls for him to be sacked from the Water portfolio. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen as the Prime Minister has enough problems in his own party without alienating Joyce and the Nationals.
By Sunday 30th the scandal became a matter that the Federal Government had to act upon despite Joyceâs earlier labelling it a state matter. The Federal solution was for the Murray Darling Basin Authority to carry out an independent basin-wide review into compliance with state-based regulations governing water use. The Authority is to report by 15th December 2017. The Government saw this review as complementing the other investigations of the Four Corners allegations.
However, this is a case of far too little too late. The MDB Authority is scarcely a body able to conduct an independent review of what has obviously been happening under its watch. Furthermore a cynic would see the reporting date of 15th December, just before the Christmas holiday season, as a typical government move to ensure that the review report would receive minimal attention and be forgotten about over the holiday break.
The Federal Opposition, like its NSW state counterpart, has also taken action on the scandal. It requested that the Auditor-General expand his current audit of the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The Auditor-General will now include how the federal department is monitoring the performance of NSW under the National Partnership Agreement on Implementing Water Reform in the MDB relevant to the protection and use of environmental water.
Unsurprisingly, the South Australian Government, which has long been concerned about the lack of water reaching the end of the Murray-Darling system, was outraged by the allegations. It is calling for a judicial inquiry, a much stronger investigation than those arranged by NSW and the Federal Government. SA senators from Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Party and the Conservatives have joined their state government in calling for a judicial inquiry.
This scandal has a long way to run yet. There are major questions to be answered about the National Party â both state and federally - and its relationship with the big irrigators and its apparent indifference to the needs of other irrigators further down the system. There is also the question of its influence on the workings of the NSW Department of Agriculture. And just what role has it had in limiting the effectiveness of â perhaps even of sabotaging - the Murray Darling Basin Plan?
For both Federal and NSW state Liberal leaders there is the question about the advisability of having resource management portfolios in the hands of Nationals and of putting both Agriculture and Water in the same portfolio. Each of these governments has a very poor environmental record. What has been happening on the Barwon-Darling reinforces the view that keeping âin goodâ with the Nationals is far more important for the Liberals than ensuring that environmental policies are in the best long-term interests of the state and nation.
 Gavin Hanlon joined the NSW Department of Primary Industries in December 2014. Prior to this he had been Managing Director of Goulburn Murray Water since 2011.
 The water portfolio was removed from the Environment Department and allocated to Joyce as a result of the agreement with the Liberals in 2015 following Malcolm Turnbull becoming Prime Minister.
Guest Speak is a North Coast Voices segment allowing serious or satirical comment from NSW Northern Rivers residents. Email northcoastvoices at gmail dot com dot au to submit comment for consideration.
|Centrelink Mandatory Drug Testing: Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation calls on the Australian Government to stop playing games with people's lives|
In its drive to universally implement the Cashless Debit Card for all welfare recipients, the Abbott Government first targeted remote indigenous communities to âtrialâ this income
Now the Liberal-Nationals federal government intends to extend the reach of this card even further and from 1 July 2018 intends to impose compulsory drug testing on 5,000 new recipients of unemployment benefits â with all who test positive for alcohol or drugs being immediately placed on restricted and controlled payments regardless of their personal circumstances.
All those government MPs and senators cushioned by generous salaries and benefits from lifeâs vagaries have chosen this group because of the illegality of many of the drugs it will test for, as they think that all Australians will blame those with substance abuse problems and feel comfortable with the idea that they should be punished in some way.
These MPs and senators do not appear to give a toss that in an effort to eventually control the income support payments of all welfare recipients, it will socially profile and discriminate against a specific group of people with little if any positive outcomes flowing from this discrimination.
Because it is admitted that cutting off access to cash may exacerbate mental health issues, increase homelessness and lead the desperate into crime.
The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 which contains this measure is currently before the federal parliament and, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee is due to report on this bill on 4 August 2017.
So a call has gone outâ¦â¦â¦.
For 30 years, I served as the head of St Vincent's Hospital Alcohol and Drug Service in Sydney.
I have treated many thousands of patients trying to rebuild their lives in the face of alcohol and drug problems. Many have been victims of sexual abuse, violence from family members, or other devastating trauma â and most are already living on the margins of society.
That's why I'm stunned by the government's plan to strip people with alcohol and drug problems of income support payments.1
Thirty years of experience, backed by research from all over the world, tells me that you can't punish people into recovery. In fact, pushing people into poverty only serves to undermine their chance of recovery â and puts lives at risk.
Over the coming weeks, Parliament will vote on whether to implement mandatory drug testing. Doctors, nurses and allied health workers â determined to protect patients â are speaking out against the changes.
Will you stand with us to ensure dignity and compassion for people struggling with alcohol and drug problems?
Prime Minister Turnbull assures us that the proposal to strip people of income support payments is "based on love".2 That's a hard thing to swallow given his government's failure to consult with addiction medicine experts and lack of evidence to support the trials.
Mandatory drug testing has already been trialled and abandoned in multiple countries around the world. It's a failed policy that violates our professional commitment to do no harm. This government is forcing doctors to make an impossible choice â to break the law or to hurt our patients.
I've seen with my own eyes how medical treatment of people struggling with severe alcohol and drug problems must be guided by compassionate care and respect for their human rights.
Call on the government to stop playing political games with people's lives: https://www.getup.org.au/help-not-harm-petition
Dr Alex Wodak
President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
 Drug testing welfare recipients is not about love, Malcolm Turnbull, it's about punishment, The Guardian, 11 May 2017
 Federal budget 2017: Turnbull says welfare drug test policy 'based on love', ABC News, 12 May 2017
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|The Trouble With Water: not a good look for the National Party of Australia|
On 1 June 2017 former NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water (23 April 2014 - 2 April 2015) and current Nationals MP for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, announced that he will retire at the next state election in March 2019.
In the wake of the 24 July ABC âFour Cornersâ revelations of large-scale water theft under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Humphries has been referred to the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) by the Labor Opposition.
Hot on the heels of this program came another announcement on 31 July 2017.
Former NSW Minister for Primary Industries (3 April 2011 - 2 April 2015) with responsibility for lands & water and current Nationals MP for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson, announced her retirement effective mid to late August 2017.
Hodgkinson denies any connection between her sudden retirement and those Four Corners revelations.
However it should be noted that it was on the joint watch of Humphries and Hodgkinson that the position of NSW Water Commissioner responsible for the overall management of the Stateâs surface water and groundwater resources was axed and the NSW Office of Water was reformed as part of the Dept. of Primary Industry maintaining overall responsibility for accepting and assessing applications to change water access licences and operating the Water Access Licence Register.
High volume water theft appears to have become easier on the watch of these two National Party politicians.
All that would be needed for a trifecta of retiring state politicians associated with water resource policy would be for the current NSW Minister for Primary Industry, Minister for Regional Water and Nationals MLC, Niall Blair, to announce an unexpected desire to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
Any further scandal surrounding the management water resources in the NSW section of the Murray-Darling Basin and this may well be a distinct possibility - or even more media coverage like this perhaps?
The Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2017:
A NATIONALS minister is pushing Cabinet colleagues to change irrigation laws to retrospectively justify a decision by his department to give a major political donor and cotton farmer more rights over the precious Barwon-Darling River.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair is behind a push to alter an element of the Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan.
It comes after his department in 2016 overruled what it called âminorâ error in the law to grant extra irrigation rights to Brewarrina cotton farmer Peter Harris.
A department briefing, seen by The Daily Telegraph, said the error was impacting on âsome users wishing to trade between river sections covered by the planâ.
The briefing was written shortly after Mr Harris was given extra rights.
Mr Harris gave $10,000 to the National Party prior to the 2011 election in combined personal donations and those made by his company.
Its understood an internal Coalition fight has broken out between Mr Blair and current Water Minister Gabrielle Upton , who is resisting the changes. The revelations come as several inquiries have been launched into the alleged water theft on an industrial scale of precious resources across the basinâ¦â¦.
The Daily Telegraph has obtained another document showing that the retiring Ms Hodgkinson changed the water sharing plan to benefit irrigators after lobbying. She was water minister at the time.
In a 2012 letter to lobbyist and cotton farmer Ian Cole, Ms Hodgkinson wrote: âFollowing consideration of a number of WSP (water sharing plan) matter raised with me, I Ârequested the Office of Water to make several amendments which I believe now present a fair and equitable outcome for all.â
The Minister for the Environment and Liberal MP for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton's obvious reluctance may be due to her appreciation of a change in wind direction within the national electorate on the subject of Murray-Darling Basin water allocations.
The present Deputy Prime Minister and Australian Water Minister, Barnaby Joyce, is also in a somewhat precarious position â less to do with his manifest inadequacy as a federal minister and more to do with his stated motives for seeking to add the water ministry to his portfolio responsibilities.
Cartoonist David Rowe at Financial Review
|Surprise, surprise - those Murray-Darling Basin water raiders have slithered over the horizon once more and are eyeing off the Clarence Valley river system yet again|
With so little fanfare that much of Northern Rivers region missed it, the NSW Berejiklian Government reopened the March 2016 inquiry into augmentation of water supply for rural and regional New South Wales on 28 May 2017, with Terms of Reference published in July 2017.
This Upper House inquiry is chaired by Robert Brown MLC, from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and its reporting date has been extended to 30 March 2018.
Current committee membership is as follows:
Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Chair
Mick Veitch MLC, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Chair
Jeremy Buckingham MLC, The Greens
Rick Colless MLC, The Nationals
Scot MacDonald MLC, Liberal Party
Greg Pearce MLC, Liberal Party
Penny Sharpe MLC, Australian Labor Party
Daniel Mookhey MLC, Australian Labor Party
Paul Green MLC, Christian Democratic Party
* Jeremy Buckingham MLC (Greens)is substituting for Dr Mehreen Faruqui MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
* Matthew Mason-Cox MLC (Liberal) is substituting for Hon Greg Pearce MLC for the duration of the inquiry.
* Paul Green MLC and Penny Sharpe MLC will be participating for the duration of the inquiry.
A poorly advertised public hearing scheduled for 1 August 2017 in Lismore (with details sent to media on 31 July 2017) excluded Northern Rivers residents from giving evidence unless they represented a small number of invited groups.
It appears the committee had also determined that Clarence Valley Council was to be asked its view on diverting Clarence River system flood water.
Given flood water is already diverted to the purpose built Shannon Creek side dam to ensure a sustainable water supply for the est. 125,103 residents (Census 2016) currently living in Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour local government areas, there are no prizes for guessing where any additional water diversion would be allocated.
Yes, that paragon of sustainable water mismanagement - the cluster of councils, industries, irrigators and water traders within the Murray-Darling Basin.
It will come as no surprise that Griffith Council is still pursuing a Clarence River dam and divert scheme. North Coast Voices reported on its obsession in August 2016.
This is what the Griffith City Council Deputy mayor, Dino Zappacosta of Zappacosta Estate Wines in Hanwood, told the inquiry on 1 March 2017:
The issue that my committee, Build More Dams, has looked at is that we need more water because farmers are crying out for more water. We need new water. By "new water", I mean water that is not currently being used at all. We looked at various options, including the Clarence Valley area, where millions and millions of megalitres of water flow out into the sea for what seems to be no real benefit at all for the community of the Clarence region, other than for the natural farming land and the fishery industry there.
It soon became apparent that, appart from the notion of free water at the expense of Clarence Valley communitiesâ social, cultural, aesthetic, environmental and economic values, Griffith Council knew little about how this dam and divert scheme would work.
The Hon. RICK COLLESS: You have been talking about the Clarence River diversion scheme. Is it correct that that is essentially restricted to the Mann River subcatchment?
Mr ZAPPACOSTA: To the best of my knowledge, it covers most of the tributariesâfor example, the Boyd River, the Mann River, the Nymboida River and the Timbarra River. They are highlighted on map 2, which was provided to the Committee.
The Hon. RICK COLLESS: I am a little confused about the way the map reads. It appears as though the water is coming out of the Mann River catchment, which is a subcatchment of the Clarence. The divisions appear to be above the confluence of the Nymboida and the Mann. You recommend a 23 per cent Clarence River diversion, but the question is: What percentage of is that of the Mann River flow and what environmental impact will that have on the Mann River below where it is diverted? We should keep in mind the history of the Snowy River and what has happened there over the past 50 years. Does anybody have any thoughts about that? Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I will have to take on notice exactly how much comes from the Mann River itself.
The Hon. RICK COLLESS: What is the reduction in flow from the sub-catchment rivers below where the water is diverted from them? What environmental impacts will that have on those rivers?
Mr ZAPPACOSTA: I appreciate the question. I think what you are asking is something we should dig into a bit deeper; there should be a study of it, preferably a feasibility study.
The Hon. RICK COLLESS: There needs to be a lot of work done on this, as you would appreciate.
While the Director of Utilities at Griffith City Council stated:
As an engineer I see the great benefits of supporting a scheme such as the Clarence River diversion scheme, not only from a water augmentation point of view. My directorate covers water supply as well as the flooding impacts caused by rainfall run-off. The Clarence River diversion scheme is not only a supply scheme but a flood mitigation solution, as the general manager mentioned. In my research I have referred to the document entitled Lower Clarence Flood ModelâUpdate 2013 produced by BMT WBM consultants. They happen to be the same consultants who undertook our flood study and provided our flood mitigation options. They work across the State and they are well versed in flooding, from the Northern Rivers down to our area.
The Clarence River catchment on the far North Coast of New South Wales is one of the largest catchments on the east coast of Australia. It is approximately 20,000 square kilometres. It is above the towns of Grafton, Maclean and Yamba, and it is home to more than 20,000 people. The lower Clarence Valley has a long history of flooding, since settlement in about 1850. Bear with me as I read out the dates of the flooding events. I was just going to say a number, but it has more of an impact when you follow the years of flooding that the area has endured due to the large catchment that sits above it. Floods were recorded in 1863 and 1864. There was a record flood in 1890 in which two people lost their lives and there was extensive damage to the rural area. Further floods occurred in 1921 and 1928. Since 1945 the incidence of major flooding has been much higher, with floods occurring in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2001, 2009 and 2013.
There is a regular occurrence of extreme flooding in the Northern Rivers catchment, below the Clarence River. Section 4.4 of the Lower Clarence Flood ModelâUpdate 2013 acknowledges that "the river flows originating from upstream of Grafton dominate flooding in the Lower Clarence Valley". Diversion of the Clarence River flows for that area towards the west, and the 25 per cent or 23.8 per cent that will be captured, diverted and controlled, will be of great benefit to flood mitigation in the Northern Rivers area. The document further says that it will maximise the investment from the Government not only to help solve water augmentation issues but to reduce the financial and human impacts flooding has in the northern coastal areas. The Clarence River diversion scheme was documented in 1981 by David Coffey and he estimated costings back then. We have done a projection to a present-day cost of approximately $10 billion. There are statistics on the map that I have provided to the Committee.
The Snowy Mountains scheme would have cost $10 billion in present-day money, so there are similar costings in the schemes. The 1,100 gigalitres diverted per annum from the Clarence River has generated $1.82 billion in agriculture. The scheme means that 23.8 per cent of the flows that would be heading down to flood people can be diverted. When you equate the $550 million a year in flood damages with the cost of a diversion scheme, 1,100 gigalitres can generate $1.8 billion a year in agriculture growth. The additional water means that 118,000 hectares of viable open country can be farmed. The offset of diversion and flood protection is that it is beneficial to all. That is where I will leave it.
The public hearing in Griffith was reported thus by The Area News on 2 March 2017:
HIGH-profile Griffith water users and city officials enjoyed a rare opportunity to sit face-to-face with Members of the NSW Upper House on Wednesday to discuss their handling of waterâ¦.
The Honourable Rick Colless, The Honourable Paul Green, The Honourable Matthew Mason-Cox and The Honourable Penelope Sharpe were on hand to hear the concerns of the communityâ¦.
Along with wanting to fix the water sharing plans, the other hot topic was the Clarence River Scheme, initially conceptualised by David Coffey in the 1970s.
The plan outlined diverting river flows westward from high rainfall catchments in the Northern Rivers.
According to Griffith City Council, the scheme will benefit lands south of the Dumaresq River while also providing flows into the Murray River, reducing the reliance for Murray-Darling Basin allocations to fill the original allocation to the basin.
âWe have looked at various options and we look at the Clarence Valley area where there are millions of millions of megalitres of water flowing out into the sea for what seems to be for no real benefit,â Councilor Dino Zappacosta said.
Griffith City Council general manager, Brett Stonestreet said itâs time the scheme is looked at again.
âIt provides new water to give this state another shot in the arm,â he said.
âIt also looks at potentially reducing flooding impact of the coastal communities adjacent to the Clarence by 25 per cent.
âThere is a huge amount of money that can be generated and inland communities rediscovered and regenerated through new water.â
Mayor Dal Broi was pleased with how the inquiry was conducted and the feedback from the Senators.
âSome of the questions that were asked by the panel members, we know now what they are thinking,â he said.
âThey were very receptive to the concept of new water so whether it's the diversion of the Clarence or lifting the wall on Burrinjuck Dam ... they were very receptive to that because we tried to make the point that the limited resources at the moment.â
âWe need new water if our regions are to grow and have a better long-term sustainable allocation.â
Not content with bringing down the largest river system in Australia in order to line their own pockets, these wanabee water raiders just keep on coming after what they see as more 'free' water for the rorting.
Clarence Valley Council gave evidence at the re-opened inquiry on 1 August and the only question of interest to the water raiders came after a few minutes of questioning at Page 26 of the Lismore public hearing transcript:
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Thank you for your submission. In your submission you talk about this idea of diversion of the Clarence River to west of the Great Dividing Range. Could you give us a bit of a background on that proposal and what your council thinks about it?
Mr ANDERSON: I will start but Mr Mashiah might finish. Our council has resolved six times that they do not support the diversion of the Clarence, and each time that has been unanimous in regard to council's position. That is based on the fact that damage to the environment and the ecological systems that work within the Clarence River emerge from there.
The CHAIR [Robert Brown MLC, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party]: You probably cannot answer this, but that is an all-encompassing position of council?
Mr ANDERSON: Yes.
The CHAIR : I wonder what the council's position would be on the diversion of floodwaters only.
Mr ANDERSON: Again, Mr Chair, like you said, I cannot answer that question.
The CHAIR: What I am asking you is that I guess the council's resolutions were not burrowed down to that extent to be able to answer that question. We might ask Clarence council for an opinion on that.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: Are those decisions supported by an independent side to pick advice? How were they derived?
Mr MASHIAH: There was a Healthy Rivers Commission inquiry into the Clarence in I think it was 1999, from memory, and part of the outcome of that commission inquiry was the importance of regular flood events in terms of the fishing industry and also the cane industry. I believe you have representatives from the cane industry here with us later.
The CHAIR: This afternoon, yes.
Mr MASHIAH: And also in terms of fisheries, one of the aspects that Clarence Valley Council has been active in for the past 20 years is trying to manage the floodplain to address issues such as acid runoff.
The CHAIR: Solid sulfate soils.
Mr MASHIAH: As the sulfate soils and particular acids run off. So we have done things like open floodgates andâ
The CHAIR: And you should be congratulated.
Mr MASHIAH: Thank you, Mr Chair, for that. I will pass that on to the relevant staff who have been coordinating that. The regular flushing of those areas, which are fish breeding grounds, by floodwaters is very important. So if floods were diverted there are significant concerns from the fishing industry about the ongoing viability of the industry because the grounds where fish breed, according to the studies that have been undertaken, would then be adversely impacted. So that is one of the reasons that the fishing industry has very strongly opposed, through our estuary management committee in particular and through the estuary management plan, any diversion of water and we have tried to ensure that the fish breeding grounds are protected.
The CHAIR: I just made the observation that most of those fish breeding grounds would not be the same areas of land that are subject to high residential development or business or commercial or other aspects. In other words, you are not talking about the township of Grafton itself, you are talking river peripheries, flooded-out areas, for breeding concerns?
Mr MASHIAH: The challenge is that the urban footprint on the lower Clarence floodplain is probably about 1 to 2 per cent of the total surface area and all the urban areas are surrounded by rural areas. So it is very hard to work out how you manage that 1 or 2 per cent without adversely impacting the other 98 per cent, or vice versa, how do you manage the 98 per cent without adversely impacting 1 or 2 per cent of urban area?
The CHAIR: The 2013 flood, you have described it as a major flood, correct?
Mr MASHIAH: It was the flood of record at Grafton.
The CHAIR: I am wondering how the 2013 flood would have enhanced the fishery on the Clarence?
Mr MASHIAH: The main issue with the 2013 floodâI guess with any flood in the Clarence the flood behaviour in the upper river is a lot different to the flood behaviour in the lower river because of the tidal influences in particular and also how wet the floodplain is already. The 2013 event was actually three floods.
The CHAIR: And they rolled up on each other?
Mr MASHIAH: Yes, within a three-week periodâquite distinct flood events.
The CHAIR: So it was a prolonged flood.
Mr MASHIAH: It was a prolonged flood and that meant there was significant inundation of back swamp areas, and I understand that there were some areas that effectively were areas that were flushed that had not been flushed in floods probably since 2001, so it is probably 12 years. So from an ecological perspective, talking to our environmental scientists, I understand that it was actually quite beneficial because the bigger floods only get into those areas once every 10 to 20 years.
The CHAIR: Were there any concurrent blackwater events for the fishery?
Mr MASHIAH: Not that I can recall, and I think that is a result of the management measures that have been undertaken on the floodplain because most of the farmers now operate the floodgates and so only shut the floodgates when there is actually a flood coming and open them fairly soon afterwards.
The CHAIR: So it is their responsibility to operate their own floodgates, is it?
Mr MASHIAH: That has been passed on to them, yes.
The CHAIR: Do you have any oversight of that?
Mr ANDERSON: Yes, we do, and we work with those groups and undertake training et cetera . It is a two-way street of communication: they tell us what they need and, vice versa, we provide training associated with that and inductions and operate that through a number of committees et cetera as well.
Evidence was also given by the NSW Professional Fishermenâs Association (commencing Page 38) the NSW Canegrowers Association (commencing Page 45) and the Clarence Environment Centre (commencing Page 56).
One has to wonder why the committee members of this reformed Water Augmentation Inquiry didn't seek the views of those holding Native Title(See Yaegl People #1 & Yaegl People #2)
over the Clarence River fromthe waters approximately half-way between Ulmarra and Brushgrove right down to the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwater walls at the mouth of the river.
After all they are significant stakeholders in any discussion of water policy and water management in the Clarence River catchment area.
The other matter of note, arising from North Coast Voices somewhat belated discovery that the water raiders were back on the scene, is the suggestion that not all Clarence Valley councillors had forewarning that council staff were appearing before the inquiry on 1 August.
If true this would be a disturbing indication that council administration has retained some of the bad habits it acquired under the former general manager who was handed his hat in March this year.
|LORINC: Dedicate foreign-buyers tax to social housing||The latest spitball fired in the ongoing pissing match between the City and the province came from the new Liberal housing minister, Etobicoke MPP Peter Milczyn, who yesterday accused John Tory and company of chronically underfunding Toronto Community Housing, as the Toronto Sun reported. Which, of course, is true, as is the ritual counter-allegation from […]|
|il mio Ubuntu||Dopo un paio di settimane di uso continuo posso proprio dirlo: ma quanto mi piace Ubuntu!|
Da quando lo uso non ho piÃ¹ acceso Winzozz XP, salvo un paio di volte per fare il confronto.
Tutto rose e fiori? no, certamente no; la mia scheda video ha dei driver cani che mi impallano X (almeno penso sia quello il problema), quindi ho dovuto disabilitare tutte quelle belle cose 3D con cui tirarsela, e comunque tende ad andare molto lento in certe situazioni (ma io lo stresso).
PerÃ² ho tutti i programmi che mi servono:
Pensare che tutto questo software, con tutto il lavoro che ci sta dietro, sia gratis, anzi, piÃ¹ che gratis, mi fa girare la testa e un qualche senso di colpa mi viene:
io che gli do in cambio?
Prima o poi mi cimenterÃ² nelle traduzioni, magari, che mi sembrano l'unica cosa nella quale si possa contribuire senza far danni micidiali :-)
Pro rispetto a Winzozz XP?
non ho pagato per averlo, mentre il caro Winzozz costÃ² la bellezza di 128 euro ivati; non mi sembra un dettaglio da poco!
L'interfaccia grafica semplice, personalizzabile, molto piÃ¹ usabile e comoda di quella winzozziana (che Ã¨ decisamente datata...)
Altro pro Ã¨ la trasparenza: non so che farmene dei codici sorgente del software che ho installato, ma sapere che c'Ã¨ una comunitÃ di sviluppatori che controlla il "come" Ã¨ fatto un software e quello che fa mi fa stare molto tranquillo; con Winzozz i comportamenti strani / che sfuggivano dalla mia volontÃ erano molti, senza contare che nessuno poteva sapere cosa faceva "veramente" il software... e perchÃ© ogni 3 mesi volesse controllare se la mia copia era originale?...
Ancora un pro? la gestione pacchetti per l'installazione e l'aggiornamento del software: Ã¨ anni luce dal sistema di Winzozz (che consiste nel: "fate un po' come cazzo vi pare"); su Ubuntu basta andare su
"Applicazioni -> Aggiungi/Rimuovi..."
e compare una bellissima libreria con una marea di software tra cui scegliere, navigabile per categoria, tipo etc. Quando hai letto le descrizioni ed ha selezionato quello che ti serve (e deselezionato quello che non ti serve ma che hai giÃ nel pc) basta dargli un Ok, e lui fa tutto. E tu nel frattempo continui a lavorare sapendo che difficilmente servirÃ riavviare il sistema al termine dell'installazione.
Il vero pro, per me, Ã¨ comunque politico: la possibilitÃ di avere un mercato che offra prodotti di qualitÃ , gratuiti e su cui puoi avere il pieno controllo; e penso soprattutto a cosa puÃ² (potrebbe) fare un paese del terzo mondo grazie al Free software...
In definitiva, sperando che venga definitivamente risolto il problema dei driver con le dannatissime schede Ati (colpa di Ati, ci tengo a precisarlo), e sperando che il mercato del software in Europa si liberalizzi (avete giÃ firmato la petizione? ne parlai anch'io mesi fa), ormai il passaggio a Linux son riuscito a farlo, e spero che non sarÃ² costretto ad arretrare.
L'obiettivo di rendermi indipendente da Winzozz prima di esser costretto a passare a Vista Ã¨ ormai raggiunto, ora dovrÃ² mettermi a far proselitismo :-)
Tag: Ubuntu, Windows XP, Linux, Windows, Free software
|La universidad sigue doliente 90 aÃ±os despuÃ©s...|
Por Sara Plaza y Edgardo Civallero
En Chile, profesores y estudiantes de enseÃ±anza secundaria y universitaria convocaron hace dÃas una huelga indefinida en protesta por el proyecto de ley de EducaciÃ³n del Gobierno.
En las universidades espaÃ±olas han tenido lugar diversos actos de protesta en contra del Espacio Europeo de EducaciÃ³n Superior (EEES, mÃ¡s conocido como Bolonia, la ciudad donde tuvo lugar la declaraciÃ³n). Sus detractores opinan que ayudarÃ¡ a privatizar y mercantilizar la universidad pÃºblica, a degradar los tÃtulos, a subordinar el conocimiento a los intereses del mercado, y a hacer de la universidad una escuela de formaciÃ³n profesional donde primen las enseÃ±anzas prÃ¡cticas sobre la reflexiÃ³n, el debate, la crÃtica, la investigaciÃ³n y la discusiÃ³n.
El Congreso Regional de EducaciÃ³n Superior celebrado en mayo de 2008 en Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, por el Instituto Internacional para la EducaciÃ³n Superior en AmÃ©rica Latina y el Caribe (Iesalc/Unesco) limita la participaciÃ³n de miles de investigadores, no recoge las actuales problemÃ¡ticas ni plantea nuevas ideas, y excluye una gran parte del pensamiento latinoamericano. A la vez, asume el papel que durante tiempo criticÃ³ al Banco Mundial, convirtiÃ©ndose asÃ en un mercado donde se silenciÃ³ a la comunidad educativa con documentos estÃ©riles âelaborados por economistas en su mayorÃaâ y se repitieron hasta la saciedad tÃ©rminos neoliberales como eficiencia, eficacia, calidad, acceso y equidad, competitividad, innovaciÃ³n, pertinencia, financiamiento, gestiÃ³n, gobernabilidad, acreditaciÃ³n de programas, evaluaciÃ³n...
Ãstas son informaciones aparecidas en distintos medios de comunicaciÃ³n durante los Ãºltimos dÃas. Curiosamente, leemos estas denuncias âexpresadas por distintos actores de la comunidad educativaâ cuando se estÃ¡ celebrando el 90Âº aniversario de la Reforma Universitaria que tuvo lugar a partir de los reclamos de los estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional de CÃ³rdoba (UNC), Argentina. Ãstos, al ver que no eran escuchados, irrumpieron en la Asamblea Universitaria que elegÃa nuevo rector el 15 de junio de 1918 y se declararon en huelga indefinida, a la que se adhirieron estudiantes y obreros de todo el paÃs. El dÃa 21 de ese mes apareciÃ³ en "La Gaceta Universitaria" el Manifiesto Liminar de la Reforma escrito por Deodoro Roca y firmado por los dirigentes de la FederaciÃ³n Universitaria de CÃ³rdoba. Durante el mes de julio se clausurÃ³ la universidad âque ya habÃa sido intervenida en abril, por orden del entonces presidente HipÃ³lito Yrigoyen, al incrementarse las protestas estudiantilesâ, el rector elegido por la asociaciÃ³n clerical Corda Frates renunciÃ³ al cargo y el gobierno intervino la UNC, reformÃ¡ndose sus estatutos, renovÃ¡ndose la plantilla docente y siendo introducidos muchos de los reclamos de los estudiantes.
Entre las denuncias que vertÃa el Manifiesto podemos encontrar algunas de las que se lanzan hoy a los actuales modelos universitarios a uno y otro lado del AtlÃ¡ntico:
"Las universidades han llegado a ser asÃ fiel reflejo de estas sociedades decadentes que se empeÃ±an en ofrecer el triste espectÃ¡culo de una inmovilidad senil. (...) Nuestro rÃ©gimen universitario âaun el mÃ¡s recienteâ es anacrÃ³nico. EstÃ¡ fundado sobre una especie del derecho divino: el derecho divino del profesorado universitario. Se crea a sÃ mismo. En Ã©l nace y en Ã©l muere. Mantiene un alejamiento olÃmpico. (...) Los gastados resortes de la autoridad que emana de la fuerza no se avienen con lo que reclaman el sentido y el concepto moderno de las universidades. El chasquido del lÃ¡tigo sÃ³lo puede rubricar el silencio de los inconscientes o de los cobardes. (...) La juventud universitaria de CÃ³rdoba afirma que jamÃ¡s hizo cuestiÃ³n de nombres, ni de empleados. Se levantÃ³ contra un rÃ©gimen administrativo, contra un mÃ©todo docente, contra un concepto de autoridad. Las funciones pÃºblicas se ejercitaban en beneficio de determinadas camarillas. No se reformaban planes ni reglamentos por temor de que alguien en los cambios pudiera perder su empleo. La consigna de âhoy para ti y maÃ±ana para mÃ' corrÃa de boca en boca y asumÃa la preeminencia de estatuto universitario. Los mÃ©todos docentes estaban viciados de un estrecho dogmatismo, contribuyendo a mantener a la universidad apartada de la ciencia y de las disciplinas modernas. Las lecciones, encerradas en la repeticiÃ³n de viejos textos, amparaban el espÃritu de rutina y de sumisiÃ³n."
La universidad argentina a la que se referÃa Deodoro Roca hace 90 aÃ±os estaba atada "a la antigua dominaciÃ³n monÃ¡rquica y monÃ¡stica". La universidad espaÃ±ola a la que actualmente los estudiantes visten con pancartas que dicen "NO a Bolonia" parece dolerse de los intereses mercantiles transnacionales que quieren sujetarla, a los que tampoco ha sido ajeno el Congreso Internacional de EducaciÃ³n Superior celebrado en Cartagena. En 1918 el sentimiento religioso que inspiraba la CompaÃ±Ãa de JesÃºs â "[c]uriosa religiÃ³n que enseÃ±a a menospreciar el honor y deprimir la personalidad. ReligiÃ³n para vencidos o esclavos", escribÃa Rocaâ amordazaba aquella universidad. En el momento actual son las tesis del Banco Mundial derivadas de la teorÃa del capital humano (manifestando que "el estado no debe invertir en educaciÃ³n superior" porque "la inversiÃ³n en educaciÃ³n superior es regresiva") y la resoluciÃ³n de la OrganizaciÃ³n Mundial del Comercio (esa que afirma que la educaciÃ³n superior es un bien negociable) las que coaccionan la libre expresiÃ³n de la comunidad universitaria.
No parece que hayamos avanzado mucho si en el lugar que ocupaban los religiosos de entonces se encuentran ubicados los economistas de hoy. QuizÃ¡s no estÃ© de mÃ¡s recordar los principios reformistas de 1918 para impulsar y discutir las leyes educativas de 2008. Entonces se pedÃa la autonomÃa de las universidades respecto de los gobiernos. Hoy habrÃa que aÃ±adir tambiÃ©n respecto de los mercados, las empresas, la OMC, el BM... Sigue siendo deseable que el gobierno de las universidades quede en manos de sus principales actores, es decir, los claustros de profesores, los estudiantes y los graduados. HabrÃa que seguir defendiendo la gratuidad de la enseÃ±anza pÃºblica. Y tambiÃ©n la extensiÃ³n universitaria: el hecho de que la universidad, su comunidad y sus conocimientos no se alejen de los problemas y debates sociales sino que intervengan en ellos. Sin duda es fundamental mantener la libertad de cÃ¡tedra y renovar periÃ³dicamente los cargos docentes. Y sigue siendo necesario que la docencia estÃ© en estrecha relaciÃ³n con la investigaciÃ³n. Si entonces ya se proponÃa una unidad latinoamericana, Â¿por quÃ© no discutir hoy el Espacio Europeo de EducaciÃ³n Superior sin confundir convergencia con una Ãºnica forma de pensar, hacer y decir las cosas, sin excluir la diversidad, reconociendo las dificultades, las presiones, los errores y los desaciertos para compartir y debatir nuevas propuestas?
El mercantilismo que afecta a todas las facetas de nuestra vida en esta enorme "aldea global" âque cada vez parece menos "unificada" y mÃ¡s "colonizada"â no deja de lado la producciÃ³n, uso y disfrute de los conocimientos. AsÃ como presiona deliberadamente en la educaciÃ³n (un factor estratÃ©gico en el crecimiento, desarrollo y progreso de los pueblos) tambiÃ©n lo hace en la gestiÃ³n de la informaciÃ³n. Nuestras bibliotecas y centros de documentaciÃ³n ofrecen pruebas palpables de la aplicaciÃ³n de "estrategias de gestiÃ³n", "medidas de calidad y eficacia" y un sinnÃºmero de tÃ©cnicas y herramientas que sÃ³lo buscan convertir a las unidades de conocimiento en negocios de los cuales obtener pingues beneficios. La cultura mercantilista se filtra en todos los rincones: mientras las leyes de copyright golpean duramente la circulaciÃ³n y uso de documentos y software, se alzan los debates por las polÃticas de "cobro de tasas" en bibliotecas. Al mismo tiempo la brecha digital se abre, los roles sociales de los profesionales de las bibliotecas se difuminan o esfuman, el analfabetismo informativo crece... La bibliotecologÃa âal igual que la educaciÃ³nâ se ve bombardeada por un nuevo modelo, cuyos defensores ni dan tregua, ni ofrecen caminos intermedios ni adaptaciones, ni oyen razones. Parece una batalla sin cuartel en la que los perjudicados son los de siempre.
En 1918, la Reforma de CÃ³rdoba se extendiÃ³ a travÃ©s de LatinoamÃ©rica, y fueron muchas las subsiguientes protestas estudiantiles que, usando el texto cordobÃ©s de Deodoro Roca como base, lograron cambios en varios sistemas universitarios nacionales. Hoy... Â¿quiÃ©nes darÃ¡n el nuevo ejemplo, tanto en la educaciÃ³n como en otros Ã¡mbitos? Â¿QuiÃ©nes alzarÃ¡n la bandera de la libertad de pensamiento y acciÃ³n? Â¿QuiÃ©nes se rebelarÃ¡n contra los nuevos yugos que intentan colocarnos?
|In the name of development|
Pankaj Sekhsariaâs recent book Islands in flux--The Andaman and Nicobar Story is a collection of around 20 years of his writings on the environmental and conservation concerns faced by the indigenous tribal communities of the region. Unlike his previous book, The last wave, a factual fiction adventureÂ story dealing with love, longing and loss, this one is a collection of contemporary developments in the islands. The book is divided into seven parts and several chapters each dealing with the societal and ecological facets of the islands. Issues related to the environment, wildlife conservation and development policies that threaten the islandâs indigenous communities have been chronicled by the author who is a long-time member of the NGO, Kalpavriksh.
Alienation of islanders
The book begins with the section, Setting the context, in which he writes about the history of the alienation of the island communities living there for over 40,000 years. The author takes a dig at the history writers of the modern democratic Indian state who have left gaping holes in their writings by not sudying the ancient indigenous communities--the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa and the Sentinelese. It is here that the author mentions âif the real and complete history of the islands is ever written, the British would not be more than a page and India could only be a paragraphâ.
The indigenous people have been systematically alienated from their resources by the British colonial policies and the post-colonial development-oriented policies of India. The Britishers set up a penal colony in the islands in 1858, the Japanese occupied the islands during the World War II, and during the post colonial period, thousands of settlers from mainland India were brought to the island. Though the islanders put up a fierce fight to defend their territories, the social fabric of the island communities has been violently torn apart and their populations decimated while the settlers outnumbered the original inhabitants. The region is witness to nation building exercises, hinduisation of âuncivilized jungleesâ and even an attempt to rename the islands. The author calls this as an attempt to âreclaim what was never yoursâ. No effort has been made by way of scholarship or historical studies to take the islandersâ point of view.
Forestry is the chief source of revenue in cash in the islands but the system of forestry did not suit the region. The author quotes an official report by the Department of Environment, Government of India that argues that âthe forestry system was leading to a preponderance of deciduous elements in the evergreen system that would eventually destroy the whole island ecosystemâ. The carrying capacity of the islands has been long exceeded, the author says. Ill-conceived schemes like cattle rearing were introduced for a community that does not consume milk. Tourism is a concern in the islands which have been declared as âglobal biodiversity hotspotâ.
The pristine forests and the people living in the Jarawa tribal reserve that covers half the island is under threat because of the ill conceived Andaman Trunk Road that separates the reserve land from the rest of the island. The Jarawas for whom the forests have been a home for ages have been reduced to begging around the Trunk Road that runs through the reserve. The road has been controversial due to the negative fallouts on the islandâs ecology and the indigenous people. The Supreme Court had in 2002 passed an order to close it; the island administration chose to ignore it. Its closure was absolutely critical to protect the Jarawa community, the author says.
Islands turn colonies
The author chronicles the colonising of the islands in a chapter of the same name and discusses how the settlers look down upon the indigenous communities. Tension continues between the tribal communities especially the ancient tribal community of Jarawas and the settlers over land rights and there is a lack of political will to ease this even as the population of the Jarawas has been reduced to a few hundreds. âThere are opinions that the Jarawas should be assimilated into the modern world, but it is clear that it is exactly this contact with the outside world that is rapidly pushing them towards the brink,â the author states.
In the chapter, A brief history of logging, Sekhsaria provides an account of the timber operations in the Andamans. He notes how as a part of Indiaâs colonisation scheme, mainlanders were settled here. This was done to strengthen Indiaâs claim over the islands. Incentives were offered to settlers by way of land and royalty free timber. Timber-based industry was promoted and liberal subsidies offered. Forests were exploited to benefit settlers who had little stake in the islands or its natural resources. Timber offered for millions decreased after the 2002 Supreme Court order. The order was in response to a petition by three NGOs to stop logging. The Supreme Court order that banned the cutting of naturally grown trees in the Andamans and Nicobar islands were welcomed by the environmental rights groups. But logging continued within the tribal reserve.
In the section, Environment, ecology and development, the author stresses the need for evolving sensible conservation policies. The author discusses the consequences of introducing exotic species into the island systems. This has led to irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems. âThe Andaman and Nicobar islands are unsurpassed in their botanical wealth, and the ethnomedical knowledge of the tribals who live here is astounding,â he says.
In the section, December 2004 and its aftermath, the author discusses the turmoil caused by the tsunami of December 26, 2004 which killed around 3500 people in the fragile Andaman and Nicobar islands, the worst hit area in India. The tectonic activity due to the third deadliest earthquake of the world in the last 100 years caused a significant shift in the islandsâ geography with a permanent average uplift of four to six feet while parts of Nicobar islands went significantly under, with the southernmost tip, Indira point on Great Nicobar island going 15 ft down. Apart from dealing with how the tsunami destroyed the island, the section also highlights how the people picked up the pieces and started all over again.
Leave them alone
The tsunami waters inundated large areas of the islands causing damage to its coastal and marine ecology. In the aftermath of this turmoil, ecologists have suggested âno interventionâ and that âleaving areas alone should be the preferred management optionâ. A disturbing facet of the islands in recent times is its water scarcity. The islands have been facing severe water shortages even during the pre-tsunami period but this got worse after 2004. Fresh water sources got hit by the tsunami.
Talking about the faulty development planning, the author discusses how the former president late Abdul Kalam in 2005 in the aftermath of the tsunami announced a grandiose vision for the development of the Andamans and Nicobar islands. This included ecologically perilous components like deep sea fishing, exploitation of bamboo, value-added coconut products and tourism.
A central thread of Sekhsariaâs book has been the neglect and acculturation of the Jarawas, and their losing scuffle with the outsiders. The book presented in a journalistic manner handles the issue very sensitively and the author exhibits a keen understanding of the history of the indigenous people and its ecology.
Don't Show In All Article:
|Ramalan Bintang hari ini Paling Lengkap Terbaru|
banyak sekali ramalan Bintang yang ada di ranah maya terutama di Google, sebab dengan mencari dan mengeteik kata kunci Ramalan Zodiak atau ramalan bintang maka anda akan ditujukan pada beberapa ramalan yang ada dan sangat terperinci, nah kali ini kami Ramalan Indonesia akan mencoba untuk memberikan sedikit Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini untuk anda semua yang memang ingin melihat perkembangan Zodiak anda sehari hari.
Mungkin saja bisa membuat anda jadi lebih termotivasi dan bersemangat karena melihat ramalan bintang anda baik untuk hari ini, langsung saja deh akan kami berikan atau kami sajikan untuk anda semua di bawah ini :
Ramalan Bintang Hari Ini :
Ramalan Bintang ARIES (The Ram)
Sifat: Cardinal, Api, Personal
Kata Kuncinya: "I am" (aku)
Bebas, asertif, individualistik, impulsif, intelektualitas tinggi, keras kepala, ingin menjadi yang terdepan, pemimpin, action oriented (berorientasi pada aksi), Intemperate (tidak terkendali), cenderung ke arah kekerasan, fiery, (berapi-api), straight-forward (berterus terang), ekstrem, sombong (arogan), passionate (penuh dengan nafsu), powerfull (sangat kuat), ada sifat suka menyendiri (loner), fredom-loving (menyukai cinta yang bebas dan tidak terikat)
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kepala Yang Sering Pusing
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars
Tanggal Zodiak: 21 maret - 20 April
Ramalan Bintang TAURUS (The Bull, banteng)
Sifat: Fixed atatu tetap, membumi atau berhubungan dengan elemen tanah/bumi, personal.
Kata kuncinya: "I Have" (Saya memiliki)
Imajinatif, sistematk, devoted (mengabdi), patient (sabar), sensual, affctionat (menghargai pertemanan), possesif, sangat berhati-hati, suka hal yang bersifat materi (rasa kepemilikan terhadap sesuatu yang tinggi), menyukai hal-hal yang berbau musik, artistik, keras kepala, solid earthy (keduniawian), kuat, slow (lamban), kind (baik hati), just (monoton).
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Sariawan dan Radang Tenggorokan
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
Tangal Zodiak: 21 April - 21 Mei
Ramalan Bintang GEMINI (The Twins)
Sifat: Mutable, selalu bergerak, seperti udara dan air, bersifat personal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Think" (Saya Pikir)
Logis, selalu ingin tahu, energik, aktif, dapat mengerjakan banyak hal, banyak bicara , berjiwa sosial, mampu beradaptasi dengan baik, cenderung memiliki dua karakter yang berbeda, bersifat seperti air dan logam atau merkurial, kurang sabar, selalu ingin tahu hal-hal yang terbaru
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Olahraga Tertentu dan juga Hindari Kebiasaan Merokok
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Merkurius
Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Mei - 21 Juni
Ramalan Bintang CANCER (Si Kepiting)
Sifat: Cardinal, water, personal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Feel" (Saya Rasa)
Protektif, sensitif, Keras kepala yang cenderung tidak fleksibel, sangat sayang pada keluarga, home oriented (orientasi utama pada keluarga), helpfull (suka menolong), berkembang dan selalu menyebar, moody (berubah turuti suasana hati), bersikap seperti air yang mengalir ke bawah, cenderung memendam perasaan dan keinginan, emosional, temperamen (tapi tidak terlalu lama / gampang reda), penuh cinta
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Penyakit Maagh dan juga masuk Angin.
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Bulan atau Luna
Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Juni - 23 Juli
Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)
Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Jantung dan Punggung
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus
Ramalan Bintang LEO (The Lion)
Sifat: Tetap, Api, Berjiwa Sosial
Kata Kuncinya: "I Will" (Saya Akan, Berkemauan Tinggi)
Baik hati dan suka memberi, liberal, realistis, berhati besar, proud (menjunjung harga diri), dramatikal, suka membesar-besarkan masalah, passionate (mempunyai gairah yang tinggi), pencemburu, suka dipuja, Bossy (suka memerintah), loves attention (gila perhatian), arogan, terkesan sombong, independent (mandiri), leader (berjiwa pemimpin), berjiwa bebas, egotistic (cenderung ke diri sendiri dan tidak peduli pada lingkungan), kingly (bergaya bak raja), powerfull (bertenaga).
Kesehatan: Anda mudah sekali capek , dan juga hindari merokok yang memicu penyakit jantung
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Matahari
Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Juli - 23 Agustus
Ramalan Bintang LIBRA (Si Timbangan)
Sifat: Cardinal, Udara, Sosial
Kata Kuncinya: "I Balance " (Aku Seimbang)
Kooperatif, diplomatis, selalu berpindah, stylish (bergaya, luwes), suka berpartner, superior yang suka berkembang, menginginkan keseimbangan dengan suka membandingkan, Charm (mempunyai daya tarik sendiri), debative (suka berdebat), open minded (mudah menerima hal baru), memiliki jiwa sosial, kaya akan ide
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Hati dan Lumbar Region
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Venus
Tanggal Zodiak: 24 September - 23 Oktober
Ramalan Bintang SCORPIO (The Scorpio)
Sifat: Tetap, Seperti Api, Sosial
Kata Kuncinya: "I Desire" (Aku Menginginkan)
Passionate (nafsu yang tinggi), kreatif, powerfull, selalu ingin tahu, antusiasme tinggi, berdedikasi, pengabdian, pencemburu, selalu menganilisis sesuatu, selalu berevolusi, memiliki daya tarik kuat, memiliki daya hipnotis, menyukai hal yang berbau seksual, pandai dan kreatif, sangat sensitif, cerdik cenderung licik, agresif, self oriented (cenderuh mengarah ke diri sendiri), sadis, misteruis, bisa melakukan perubahan mendadak yang mengejutkan
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pelvis dan Organ Reproduksi
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Mars dan Pluto
Tanggal Zodiak: 24 Oktober - 22 November
Ramalan Bintang SAGITARIUS (Si Pemanah)
Sifat: Berubah, Udara, Universal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Perceive " (Saya Mengetahui, Saya Memahami)
Bebas, straight-forward (berterus terang), careles (ceroboh), kasar, tidak berperasaan, sangat berfilosofi, intelektualitas tinggi, Fun-Loving, arogan, berjiwa petualang, suka melakukan perkembangan, optimis, blundering (membuat kesalahan besar), believer (mudah percaya pada sesuatu yang diyakininya).
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Pinggul dan Paha
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter
Tanggal Zodiak: 23 November - 21 Desember
Ramalan Bintang CAPRICORN (The Sea-Goat)
Sifat: Cardinal, Membumi, Universal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Use" (Saya Berguna)
Prudent (bijaksana), cautious (berhati-hati, tidak mudah percaya), ambisius (cenderung ingin punya kekuasaan atau otoritas), cerdik namun kadang cenderung licik, kompeten, suka memberi perintah, dan kaku.
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada bagian Lutut dan Tulang
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus
Tanggal Zodiak: 22 Desember - 20 Januari
Ramalan Bintang Aquarius (Si Air Mengalir)
Sifat: Tetap, Air, Universal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Know" (Saya Tahu)
Demokratis, unconventional (selalu ingin tahu hal baru dan mengikuti perkembangan), tidak mau terikat, selalu terpisah dari yang lain, sering berpindah, ada yang cenderug meng-isolasi diri (membentuk sebuah kelompok tersendiri / suka berkelompok) namun memiliki rasa pertemanan yang tinggi (friendship), berjiwa sosial, eksentrik, elit, menyukai sebuah kejutan, obyektif
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Sistem Saraf Nervous
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Saturnus dan Uranus
Tanggal Zodiak: 21 Januari - 19 Februari
Ramalan Bintang Pisces (The Fishes)
Sifat: Selalu Berubah, Air, Universal
Kata Kuncinya: "I Believe" (Saya Percaya)
Imajinatif, sensitive, sulit berkonsentrasi pada satu hal (no-focus), distracted (gampang rusak / patah), feeling (selalu memakai perasaan pada suatu masalah), Duality (memiliki pribadi yang berlawanan) namuni memiliki idealisme dan agamis (spiritual), acceptance (menerima), undiscriminated (tidak pernah membedakan), soul growth (jiwa yang berkembang), artistik, ceroboh, sering gampang menyerah pada keadaan (melarikan diri dari keadaan / tangung jawab / keadaan yang membuatnya sulit) namun memiliki kesabaran yang tinggi pada hal-hal tertentu yang cocok.
Kesehatan: Perlu perhatian ekstra pada Kaki dan Sistem Kekebalan Tubuh
Ramalan Bintang: Dipengaruhi oleh Planet Jupiter dan Neptunus
Tanggal Zodiak: 20 Februari - 20 Maret
nah sudah dulu Ramalan Bintang yang bisa kami berikan untuk anda semua, semoga saja bermanfaat untuk anda semua, dan kami akan memberikan banyak artikel seputar ramalan yang lainnya untuk anda semua, Oke,,
|"Wicked practise & sorcerye": The Witches of Belvoir|
Before I went off to Shropshire for a week - hence my break from blogging - we visited the tombs of the Earls and Dukes of Rutland in Bottesford church.
There I wrote that one of the tombs has some dark history attached to it.
That tomb is the grandest one in the church: the tomb of Francis Manners, the sixth Earl, and his two wives and children.
And you will see above that the inscription on the tomb attributes the deaths of two of those children to "wicked practise & sorcerye".
Witchcraft tells the story behind this:
The Witches of Belvoir were three women, Joan Flower and her two daughters, Margaret and Philippa, who were accused of witchcraft in eastern England around 1619. The story has many classic elements of witchcraft trials, and much of the evidence revolved around various alleged familiar spirits.
A Bottesford woman named Joan Flower and her two daughters, Margaret and Philippa, were employed as servants by the Earl and Countess of Rutland at Belvoir Castle near Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Joan Flower in particular was unpopular and feared in the local community. She was an unkempt woman, with sunken eyes and a foul mouth, who boasted of her atheism, and of consorting with familiar spirits.
Margaret was dismissed from the castle for stealing and, not long after, the Earlâs whole family became sick, suffering extraordinary convulsions. Although most of the family recovered, the eldest son, Henry, Lord Ross, died, and the Earl and Countess became convinced that Joan Flower and her daughters were to blame.
All three women were arrested at Christmas of 1617 (or 1618) and were taken to Lincoln jail, where they were examined.Joan Flower died in prison and her two daughters were tried, convicted of witchcraft and hanged.
A dreadful tale of the sort I came across some years ago at Husbands Bosworth.
The only positive factor I can see is that Joan's familiar was a cat called Rutterkin. And you have to admit that is a terrific name for a cat.
|Expensive new trains on the Midland main line will be slower than the current diesels|
You may recall that it was announced last month that plans to electrify the line from St Pancras to Sheffield have been scrapped.
The line is currently electrified to Bedford. That will be extended to Kettering and Corby, but no further.
Services to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield will be provided by new bi-mode trains that will take power from the overhead lines as far as Kettering and use diesel engines north of there.
Then the other day there was this story from Chris Doidge, BBC Radio Derby's political reporter:
BBC Radio Derby's learned that the government's decision to scrap the electrification of trains between Derby and London will mean slower journeys.
Three weeks ago, the government said its new bi-mode trains - that run on electric and diesel - would mean "quicker journey times", but now it's admitted that's not quite the whole story.
Journey times will reduce - because lines are being straightened and junctions improved.
The trains will actually be slower than the electric ones the government has scrapped.Today I met an old friend who knows far more about railways than I do. He explained why this may be the case.
The overhead electrification from St Pancras to Bedford was erected to serve commuter trains not faster long-distance services.
As a result, the maximum speed for trains using it is 100mph. So, unless a lot of money is spent to upgrade this electrification, that will be the maximum speed of the bi-mode trains using electric power on this section of the line,
Yet the diesels currently providing the service can travel at up to 125mph.
I suppose the bi-mode trains could use diesel power throughout, but then there is not much point paying extra for them.
Mind you, as Chris Doidge went on to say:
The group which represents rail operators says the bi-mode trains are heavier, less powerful and more expensive to buy, more expensive to maintain and more expensive to operate than their electric cousins.
And that is not the bottom of this mess.
As I said in my post when electrification to Sheffield was cancelled, a great deal of work has already been carried out along the line to raise bridges to make room for overhead wires.
The Leicester Mercury has also reported this and quoted my old friend Simon Galton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Leicestershire County Council:
"We have already had the road closure and the disruption and for what â for the Government to scrap the scheme almost everyone else says is vital to the region.
"The money that has already wasted adds insult to injury.
"It would not surprise me if Â£50 million at least had been spent."This whole affair has highlighted how hopelessly inefficient and centralised our current way of running the railways is. The Department for Transport is intimately involved in every decision.
In fact, the railways had far more autonomy when they were nationalised under British Rail.
|Liberal staffer Barrie Macmillan resigns over lobster with alleged mobster||Our Headline of the Day Award goes to the Australian newspaper The Age.|
|Liberal Democrats to demonstrate against Brexit at Tory conference|
Richard Vaughan reports on iNews today:
The Liberal Democrats will abandon political party protocol by joining pro-EU campaigners to protest against Brexit outside this yearâs Conservative Party Conference.
Activists are planning to stage one of the biggest marches in opposition to Britain leaving the EU when the Tories stage their annual conference in Manchester in October.
And they will be joined by the Lib Dems who will break the conventional truce that prevents parties from disrupting other political conferences.
The party said it did not take the decision "lightly", but said such action was necessary to prevent the Government pressing on with a "harmful" Brexit.He goes on to quote Tom Brake:
"Brexit is the battle of our lives and it is vital we make the Conservatives see the strength of feeling against their disastrous extreme Brexit, which threatens to crash the economy and damage the life chances of millions."The question is whether Labour will mount a counter-demonstration in support of Conservative policy.
|Welcome to the new Liberal Democrat bloggers|
Feminist Mama @ Ambitious Mamas is written by Jane Chelliah and has been running for five years.
Here she responds to Nick Timothy's claim that because of sexism Theresa May has not received enough credit for her policies:
It's a cynical and convenient use of a prejudice to spin a yarn to extricate his then boss, Theresa May, from the blame and shame that was heaped on her after the disastrous run at the general election by both the electorate and the Westminster bubble inhabitants. The electorate who voted for non-Tory parties at the general election very much blamed Theresa May for the policies.Radix is a group blog written by a team from a cross-party organisation that includes David Boyle. It has been running for three years.
Here is David writing on agricultural policy after farming:
The key question it seems to me that we should ask, in the emerging debate about trade deals and subsidies, is this: does it promote agricultural diversity? Does it support our emerging local food economies? Does it build the UKâs capacity to regenerate its agriculture?If you have a new blog you would like to appear here next month, please add it to LibDemBlogs.
|Scott Walker: On Your Own Again|
I have spent the past week in Shropshire with the songs of Scott Walker going through my head.
Before I left I watched the BBC Prom devoted to those songs and I thought it was wonderful.
I had heard it on the radio, but the staging in the Royal Albert Hall added magic. Without it, on the radio, you missed Scott Walker's voice.
But then the fact that Walker devoted himself to these songs when, with that voice, he could have done anything he wanted in music was somehow a statement of their importance in itself.
On Your Own was at the Prom by Susanne SundfÃ¸r. You can see her performing it in a preview of the concert for Newsnight.
I have sometimes been a little sceptical of the new emphasis on accessibility at the Proms - or at least of the BBC's insistence on promoting those concerts above all others.
But the Scott Walker Prom reminded us that the important difference is not the one between classical and popular music but the one between good and bad music.
I find I have chosen four Scott Walker songs for my Sunday music video before:
|Write a guest post for Liberal England|
This is a reminder that I welcome guest posts on Liberal England.
And as you can see from the list of the 10 most recent guest posts below, I am happy to consider a wide range of subjects.
If you would like to write a guest post yourself, please send me an email so we can discuss your idea.
|Vince Cable is the man to scare Jeremy Corbyn into supporting a second referendum|
That's the headline on an article by Matthew Norman on the Independent website today.
After reminding us that it is almost seven years since Vince Cable appeared on a Strictly Come Dancing special, Norman rightly observes:
Although Labour has done brilliantly so far at disguising this, it is barely less split than the Tories. Jeremy Corbyn, as Cable pointed out in a recent article, is far keener on Hard Brexit than May.
Contempt for the EU has always been one of those points at which the far-left and far-right meet round the back.
Whether Corbyn actually voted Out is between him and his ballot paper. But no one doubts he would have wished to, or that the truancy from the referendum campaign of someone whose great joy is campaigning was a device to avoid perjuring himself in public.So what happens when all those young Remain voters who turned to Labour at the general election realise that Corbyn is not some cuddly, pro-EU Gandalf?
Norman suggests those voters
will find Vinceâs Lib Dems waiting with open arms. Already, he has nimbly reversed his step over a second referendum. Betting the house that support will drain away from Leave as the general horror of Brexit and its specific impact on consumer prices hits home, he is now in favour.Well, it's our best hope of a Liberal Democrat revival. And as Norman concludes:
All in all, then, itâs nice to see Vince back, to see Vince back, as his Strictly warm-up man would want to add for clarity. Nice.
|Six of the Best 713||Matthew Green offers a sober assessment of Liberal Democrat prospects under our new leader.|
"The progressive alliance can only work when everyone is genuinely willing to work together. If they are all fighting over the same voters then it was always a fallacy." Neil Monnery draws a lesson from this year's general election campaign.
"Looking back at the time of the 1967 Act even those supporting decriminalisation called homosexuality âa disabilityâ and âa great weight of shameâ. Bisexuals didnât even occur to them. Goodness knows what theyâd think of all the diversity of sexuality we share today! It shows us how far weâve come, how hard that fight has been, and how much further we still have to go." Jennie Rigg marks an important anniversary.
Melanie Phillips is rightly critical of the way some exploited the plight of Charlie Gard and his parents.
Social workers and other professionals need to do more to help looked-after children achieve their potential, and to diminish the âstigmaâ of being in care, research has found. Alex Turner on the findings of a new survey.
James Fitzgerald introduces us to the inhabitants of Eel Pie Island.
|Nene Park, where Rushden & Diamonds played|
Rushden & Diamonds was formed in 1992 by a merger between two non-league team from Northamptonshire, Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds.
The merger was promoted by Max Griggs, owner of the Doc Marten shoe brand, who funded the new club.
The new club was remarkably successful. It rose through the non-league divisions and were promoted to Division 3 of the Football League (as its lowest division was then called) in 2001. Two years later they won it.
After that they began to struggle, particularly after Griggs handed the club to its supporters. They were soon out of the Football League and were wound up in 2011.
I was at the site of Rushden & Diamonds' ground, Nene Park, today.
Once they brought Leeds United and Sheffield United here in the third round of the FA Cup and staged under 21 and non-league internationals.
Even after Rushden & Diamonds folded, Kettering Town (a club with its own problems) played here for a while, and there was even talk of Coventry City being based here.
But Nene Park was demolished earlier this year. A Northamptonshire Telegraph report said:
"The building is in a dangerous condition and is unsafe.
"The stadium represents a major fire risk.
"The site is derelict and subject to wanton damage."It is not known what will become of the site - nothing has happened at Leicester City's old Filbert Street ground - but at least that was nice use of "wanton".
And for the time being the blackberries growing there are very good.
|Jonathan Meades on album covers and cooking|
If you enjoyed film of Jonathan Meades at Marsh Court that I posted recently, here are two more contributions by the great mean that may be to your taste.
He has reviewed a book on album covers for the Literary Review:
Three hundred pages of photographs of egomaniacal longhairs trying their utmost to look insolently delinquent (as only the alumni of Harrow, Charterhouse, Haberdashersâ Askeâs, Oundle, the Perse and numerous other public schools can). An introductory essay weighed down by clichÃ©. A commemoration of the last centuryâs over-denimed, over-flared sartorial nadir. A vanity project that exhumes ephemera â mere record sleeves! â and binds them boastfully in hard covers. Thatâs one way of looking at this book.
Another is to consider this doggedly thorough doorstop as a comprehensive celebration of a gloriously impure mix of photographic surrealism, graphic ostentation, inventive mise en scÃ¨ne, darkroom experimentation (Photoshop was far in the future), palaeo cut and paste (using cowgum, of course), hoary jokes, bricolage, inspired ad hocism and, above all, sheer cleverness.And in June he spoke to John Mitchinson of Unbound Books at the London Review Bookshop about his career and in particular his new book.
You can listen to the evening as a podcast and it is well worth doing so as Meades was in good form.
|The tombs of the Dukes of Rutland in Bottesford church|
St Mary the Virgin, Bottesford, is a beautiful church, known as "The Lady of the Vale" - the Vale of Belvoir, that is.
But it is devoted more to the glory of the Dukes of Rutland than to the glory of God.
So much so that the altar has been moved to near the chancel arch. After that it is tombs all the way.
The result is a wonderful collection of 17th and 18th century sculpture after that the dukes were buried in a mausoleum at Belvoir Castle.
One of the tombs has some dark history attached to it, which I shall write about another day.
Back to the chancel arch.
It is impossible to miss the arms of Queen Victoria (who, even in Bottesford,outranked the Duke of Rutland), but there is also has a faded medieval doom painting of the sort I photographed in Lutterworth.
|Labour's only councillor in Oadby and Wigston resigns|
The Leicester Mercury reports:
A Labour councillor has quit after being deemed not a fit and proper person to drive a taxi by his own authority.
Gurpal Atwal has resigned as the member for the Uplands Ward on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.The resignation followed the failure of Atwal's court appeal against his council's own finding.
You can read the allegations made against him, all of which Atwal denies, in an earlier Mercury report.
Atwal blames a former business partner for those allegations and, in a statement issued today, blamed others for his resignation too:
"Oadby and Wigston Council officers and one or two local councillors have taken positions in this matter that impact on my ability to concentrate on working effectively as a councillor on behalf of the Uplands Ward constituents.
"On that basis, I resign my seat as a Borough Councillor for Oadby Uplands Ward forthwith."Intriguingly, though he doesn't give a source for it, Guido Fawkes claims:
A witness claimed in a statement that Atwal once boasted of having âKeith Vaz in my right pocketâ.Elected in 2015, Gurpal Atwal was the first Labour councillor to win a seat on the Liberal Democrat run authority for some 30 years.
|Approaching St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bottesford|
Yesterday I was locked out of a church full of monuments to the local aristocracy - Exton in Rutland.
Today I got into St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bottesford, where the Dukes of Rutland are buried.
More of their tombs another day. For tonight, let's just enjoy the view of the church's 212ft spire as you approach it across a field path from the village's railway station.
The Bonkers tombs in St Asquith's are very fine too, of course.
|By: Gene||executive orders cant contradict laws passed by congress.
Former republican gay man here. I know the other side well. If the dems have not given us all we want, the other side is the enemy. Period. Hate crimes, passed by liberal dems, and signed into law by him is NOT squat. He pushed for the end of DADT, and we fell short in the senate. Poor politics on several peoples parts, but not his alone. The youth I volunteer with, gay kids in the south, see this president speaking of us with dignity and respect, and it matters to them when he declares GLBTQ history month.
The entire might of the religious right is arrayed against him and his party, and lots of bigoted people will easily fall for Republican attempts to use US and our causes as a reason to vote against them, but, we expect the real world of politics to just put itself on hold for us?
It wont. Never will. He is the best we have ever had, and, sad to say with the "oh I wanted more...I just dont feel like working for any campaigns, and I am so disappointed he did not find a new presidential power to overturn things and make things just" attitude, the NEXT president will certainly be worse.|
iridium 2006 from nervegascloud on Vimeo.
Sono arrivate le liberalizzazioni e nella mia cittÃ da una settimana allâaltra i negozi, soprattutto i centri commerciali e gli ipermercati, restano aperti anche la domenica. Passo con lâauto in tangenziale e mi sorprendo nel vedere le insegne assurdamente luccicanti.
Tutto come durante la settimana, tutto spalancato, si compra e si vende. Naturalmente i piazzali dâasfalto antistanti a questi orribili edifici si ingravidano di automobili che vanno e vengono.Tumore chiama tumore.
La pausa, il silenzio, lasciano il posto alle luci squillanti che illuminano peperoni, prosciutti crudi, pagnotte e bottiglie di vino. La domenica della marmellata e della passata di pomodoro dilaga come un'infezione. Candeggina? Assorbenti? Dentifricio? Formaggini? Carrelli stracolmi vomitano il loro contenuto anche quando tutto dovrebbe tacere, salvo poi scoprire che sempre meno merci escono nei fatti dai negozi. Un'alluvione di niente. Commessi, cassiere e altri dipendenti si affannano quando potrebbero riposarsi. Si fermeranno in un altro momento, ma forse questo accadrÃ in giornate in cui altri avranno gli impegni che loro affrontano ora, magari familiari, mogli, figli, amanti. Una deriva senza senso di relazioni tranciate.
La sosta domenicale Ã¨ stata rimossa, il momento della riflessione, della pausa, della preghiera e dellâozio annichilito, il silenzio cancellato in favore della folla e della follia.
La sospensione malinconica, se non la noia, fatta poesia da Leopardi nel suo Sabato del villaggio Ã¨ ora definitivamente archiviata:
Questo di sette Ã¨ il piÃ¹ gradito giorno,
Pien di speme e di gioia
Diman tristezza e noia
Recheran lâore, ed al travaglio usato
Ciascuno in suo pensier farÃ ritorno.
Il sapore vitale che portava con sÃ© il sabato, amputata la domenica, rende il poetare Leopardiano senza senso. Un sabato senza domenica Ã¨ giorno fra i giorni Ã¨ promessa senza spazio per realizzarsi.
Affoghiamo in un fango dove ogni giorno Ã¨ domenica o lunedÃ¬ o venerdÃ¬. Il rituale (l'ennesimo) Ã¨ stato rimosso per decreto e la barbarie di assurdi tempi moderni travolge maleodorante le nostre vite, restituendoci lo sterco di ore evirate da ogni sacralitÃ . Tutto luccica vanamente, senza senso e senza poesia, a favore di quel che Ã¨ apparentemente utile, ma che in realtÃ mira ad ammazzarci tutti quanti. E' sempre domenica, non sarÃ mai piÃ¹ domenica.
|Lights out: GOP stays in the house||There is a story buzzing around the internet, but hardly any news media outlets are covering it. Pelosi turns the lights out on the GOP after the GOP stayed in the house and refused to go on the 5 week vacation without proposing an energy vote. I can't find a video of this anywhere, however I turned on CSPAN last night and there was some footage before the democrats left the house. John Boehner was quite adamant about a vote on energy regulation, but democrats kept putting it off saying it would stop votes on other important bills, not energy regulation.|
You can see the article here about what happened:
I was impressed with the veracity in which the GOP finally went after the dems in the final hours of the day on Friday. It's historic. First, when a vote came to adjourn, the 50+ members of the GOP stayed. Then, Pelosi turned off the microphone; then the lights, then one of the GOP members somehow got the microphone back on, Pelosi turned it back off again.
The GOP stayed for 5 hours talking about energy crisis and they are fed up. It's about time as the American public has been outraged about this issue for six months.
The dems better listen, otherwise they are going to get wiped out. This issue crosses all party line barriers, and even many environmentalists are saying lets get energy independent with our own oil, wind and start using some natural gas too. You should see pickensplan.com if you are interested in that particular plan. It's quite good and will take time to implement, but a step in the right direction.
Well, enough about this for now. Hopefully we get some real energy changes over the next few years, my gas bill is killing me now. . . any extra income I had goes in the fuel tank. Forget about saving any money or putting money into the property right now.
I hope you all contact your congressman or senator and tell them how you feel. They are actually listening right now and know a revolt is in the works. The government can only ignore it's people for so long. I am surprized some nut-job hasn't gone out and whacked some of the liberal leadership in congress/senate who want to keep us dependent, want to raise our taxes, want us to just become Europe. Hey, at least it'd be a start. LOL BTW, congressional approval rating is less than 10%. Even Bush's approval rating is near 30%.
|Single quote that summarizes state of USA||A blogger called MichiganFarmer has quoted "Our totalitarian government has, by stealthy encroachment, taken our basic rights away and is forcing us to buy them back as privileges, permits, and licenses. This is not freedom.". Lets break this down.|
Source - Dictionary.com
totalitarianism, a modern autocratic government in which the state involves itself in all facets of society, including the daily life of its citizens. A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population, erasing the distinction between state and society. The citizen's duty to the state becomes the primary concern of the community, and the goal of the state is the replacement of existing society with a perfect society.
Encroachment is a term which implies "advance beyond proper limits"
Human rights refers to "the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and social, cultural and economic rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to work, and the right to education.
Permit may refer to:
Does any of this sound like a free society? - What happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? We all need shelter, water and food and even these basic rights have been violated.
Shelter - Need building permit + Ton of fees
Food - development permit for over an acre of land in California + requires water, hunting licenses and fishing licenses.
Water - illegal to drill a well in California for your own needs without using a C-57 licensed driller specializing costing you about $6000-20,000.
I thought that this is the one exact sentence that shows us the state of our country and it's distance from the founders. Jefferson believed that the people would have to occasionally rise up and wash out the government and start over.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
Each day that goes by with the government is becoming more cradle to grave, anti free-market and anti-capitalist. The people want the government to allow us to have our own energy independence. The people are sending a clear message to the politicians and they are not listening. It's time to continue the Revolution Ron Paul started. Government is too big, too costly and is strangling it's working class by the neck to support a welfare state. Something will change in time. I have personally lost faith in our system, it's politicians and activist judges. It is no longer functioning to it's original purpose. I can only trust that God is putting us through this turmoil to bring us a reformer.
To the liberals - YOU cannot put enough solar panels on your car to make it function- plus the power to charge batteries has to come from somewhere- either more solar or wind power.
WE NEED DOMESTIC OIL RIGHT NOW. There is a gap between technologies that may be viable and the available infrastructure such as the state with hydrogen. Live in reality - most liberals would rather see our internal destruction with our economy before we drill more oil on our lands and make more refineries.
|Cameroon's Far North: Responding to Boko Haram|
âWith Boko Haram, we joined your club,â mused Mdjiyawa Bakari, the governor of Cameroonâs Far North Region (ExtrÃªme-Nord), when we met at his home in Kousseri. The âclubâ consists of liberal democracies bound by a common dilemma: defeating terrorist insurgencies at home while respecting the laws of war, including civic and human rights. From his veranda we gazed across the Logone River at the dusty skyline of Nâdjamena, capital of Chad. I was visiting to understand exactly how civilians were coping with the threatâforced displacement, pervasive suspicion of strangers, neighbours, even friends, and a near collapsed economy â posed by this West African affiliate of the Islamic State to this most peripheral region of Cameroon. âAsymmetric war means an invisible enemy playing by other rules,â he continued. âItâs turned our lives upside down.â
Read the rest of my analysis for Oxford Policy Group here.
|Dr. Gerard NeCastro Named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts|
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 10, 2017 — West Liberty University has named Dr. Gerard NeCastro its new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. NeCastro joined the campus on July 1, 2017 and now supervises the departments of Humanities, Social Work and Behavioral Sciences and Criminal Justice, which offers undergraduate programs and WLU’s new graduate … Read More
The post Dr. Gerard NeCastro Named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts appeared first on News & Media Relations.
The post Dr. Gerard NeCastro Named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts appeared first on Academics.
|Pipe en la lista roja|
Luego de acompaÃ±ar en elÂ movimiento âCompromiso Ciudadanoâ del precandidato a la Presidencia de la RepÃºblica, Sergio Fajardo, el exconcejal de Valledupar, HernÃ¡n Felipe Araujo, aspirarÃ¡ a la CÃ¡mara de Representantes por el partido Liberal.
|Partido Liberal elige su directorio municipal y departamental|
Luego de la escogencia de Â los delegados para las diferentes asambleas municipales y departamentales, el partido Liberal Â procediÃ³ a escoger los directorios este fin de semana.
La entrada Partido Liberal elige su directorio municipal y departamental aparece primero en Elpilon.com.co.
|Rickey's Vacation Coda|
So true to recent form, Rickey completely neglected to keep his readers appraised of his Floridian Odyssey. Perhaps it was because Rickey was busy banging his head on the wall due to being COMPLETELY UNABLE TO WITNESS the first no hitter in Mets history while away on vacation. Oh bother.
In short, nothing happened in Florida. Seafood was consumed regularly, drinks were poured liberally and sunscreen applied judiciously. Rickey Jr. enjoys the pool and is not allergic to shellfish. You get the picture.
Before we switch back into "zany angry blogger!" mode, one last thought on Rickey's 57 hour train ordeal (the final tally was 31 hrs down + 26 hours back)...
Travelling back, Rickey lunched with a late thirty something year old who was travelling with her 14 month old daughter. The poor woman looked like she'd just fled Saigon. See, aapparently her husband insisted she take the train back to New York while he flew back. His logic? Recent iintense solar flare activity might bombard the aircraft would harm his wife and 14 month old daughter. And they were trying to have another kid. Well OK then, two things... first off, that guy's got major balls. And secondly: that's what it apparently takes to get someone to ride Amtrak??? The threat of horrific radiation dosage causing a miscarriage? Rickey fully expects to see that in their next ad campaign.
|Experiment in fear|
This sounds brilliant. A tv show based on exposing the mental influence of the tabloids Not just tabloids in general, with their z-list celebs and soap opera stars, but the most mind-sapping terror-inducing tabloid – the Daily Mail.
If you can get to see this programme, it sounds really worth watching.
By coincidence, it’s particularly relevant today. Following on from yesterday’s post here and Xanderg’s (of badnewsbible’s) excellent comments, the Daily Mail seems intent on lowering the bar below its even its own usual ant-limboing level.
The Tory leader is calling for the repeal of the Human Rights Act and the government is doing its best to pull the despotism rug from under the Tories by itself challenging the operation of the courts. Scenting success for its worldview, the Daily Mail has redoubled its attack, over the Chindamo case.
Here are three headlines from pages linking to today’s main Stephen Lawrence storyMail’s pages which carries the title ‘He’s no risk’: why jail boss backed Lawrence killer (I’m selflessly ploughing through this rubbish so you don’t have to. You can get the flavour of it from the headlines. But if you want to try an experimental diet of the Daily Mail, the link will take you to enough pages to undermine your will to live):
The Commentary refers to an editorial piece which tugs at the reader’s sympathy and emotions but signally fails to make any logical connection between sympathy for Frances Lawrence and their case for overriding EC law to deport Chindamo.
Why does justice for Frances Lawrence require that her husband’s killer doesn’t live in Britain? I know that Great Britain is a small island (compared to the land mass of Canada, say) but there are still about 65 million of us living here. The chance of accidentally bumping into him in Tesco’s is statistically pretty slim.
Just in case you think we are all certifiably mad in the UK, there’s a reasoned piece by Katie Ghose in the Guardian. This human rights hysteria threatens every one of us.
|Chendamangalam - My kind of Shangri-La||November 24, 2007|
Two days before the start of SAP TechEd Bangalore '07 we set out to visit Cochin in Kerla. From my scant knowledge of the history of this coastal town, we would find an amalgam of culture; Cochin having been home during various periods of history to Chinese settlers, the Portuguese, Dutch and English. We went to the bay to see the Chinese fishing nets and fisherman, learned from them of the inability to make a living from this activity beyond being a tourist attraction, visited a spice factory, tried unsuccessfully to book a homestay in the house where Vasco DaGama ended his days and took a cab out to the nearby village of Chendamangalam, which we had heard was home to four major houses of worship and disparate communities living side by side.
"The hillocks at Kottayil Kovilakom are unique as the site of a Hindu temple, a Christian church, a mosque and the remains of a Jewish synagogue, all within 1 km of each other." (Wikipedia)
"A popular account goes that the town of Chennamangalam was planned ... by a liberal and tolerant Maharajah who wished to have four major religious faiths equally represented in town. He designated a site on each of the cardinal points for the construction of a Jewish synagogue, a Christian church, a Hindu temple, and a Muslim mosque. At the crossing of the axis, so the tale continues, was the palace for his minister set on a hill."
Truth or fiction aside, we visited 3 of these sites and were warmly greeted by parishioners in two of the places where we found activity: the mosque and the Hindu temple. The synagogue was recently reconstructed but its worshipers were long departed and unfortunately we did not see the church.
I was particularly uplifted by the fact that these communities had for all intents and purposes, managed to exist side by side despite the religious strife and discord found in many other places in the world at the exact time that these house of worship were erected.
A ray of hope for the possiblity of peaceful co-existence...
|Britain's anti-Christian brave new world||AD2000 REPORT|
The head of the British Christian Legal Centre sees persecution of Christians in public life looming behind controversial recent remarks by the Equality and Human Rights Commissioner Trevor Phillips.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, who directs the legal centre, said that Phillips also sounded "naive," saying he "doesn't seem to be living in the same Britain that I'm living in."
Williams is not the only one who wondered where Phillips got some of the ideas he expressed in an interview on 19 June with the London Telegraph newspaper. The equality commissioner indicated that Muslim immigrants were integrating better into British society than many Christian populations, and said that Catholic adoption agencies were more clearly discriminatory than Sharia courts.
Phillips also said British Christians tended to imagine discrimination against them where none existed. And he indicated that believers should not expect exemptions from the 2010 Equality Act, with its controversial language on sexual orientation, once they stepped outside "the door of the church or mosque."
Williams, whose legal centre advocates for the rights of British Christians in the public square, said her country's Christian roots once made it "a land of great freedom," where "freedom of conscience" was respected.
"Those things we have seen eradicated under the Equalities agenda, which is Trevor Phillips' approach," she said in a 30 June interview. "Secularism, under the Equalities agenda, is not neutral. It punishes dissenters."
Williams said the system of equality laws, which began under Prime Minister Tony Blair and continued with his successor Gordon Brown, "sounds like utopia - but in fact, it leads to the beginnings of tyranny."
"If you enter into the public sphere, or a public sector job, you have to speak and act the prevailing Equalities agenda. If you do not do that, if you disagree, then you are punished. You lose your job. You become under investigation. You perhaps get accused of hate speech. These are our realities in the United Kingdom."
Phillips' most blatant criticism of traditional Christianity in the Telegraph interview came during a discussion of immigrant populations from Africa and the Carribean.
The commissioner acknowledged that there was "an awful lot of noise about the Church being persecuted," but said the "more real issue" for "conventional churches" was the influx of "people who ... believe in an old time religion which in my view is incompatible with a modern, multi-ethnic, multicultural society."
Williams explained that this perception of "incompatibility" came from a caricature of Christianity, not from the Gospel of Christ himself. "Everything that flows from him," she said, "leads to the recognition of the innate dignity of every human being."
"Because Christianity is not coercive - unlike secularism, and unlike Islam - it leads to true tolerance."
In his extensive interview with the Telegraph, Phillips said individual believers could expect the commission to stand up for their right to worship and believe as they pleased. He said it was "part of the settlement of a liberal democracy" for individuals not to be "penalised or treated in a discriminatory way" on account of "being an Anglican, being a Muslim, or being a Methodist, or being a Jew."
But Williams charged that the commission is not upholding even this limited interpretation of religious freedom.
"What Mr Phillips needs to do," she said, "is to come spend a day at the Christian Legal Centre, run through the cases, and see the discrimination that is out there."
"In the Sherry Chapman case, for instance - the nurse who was told to take off her cross after 38 years of wearing it in frontline nursing - exceptions were made for the Muslims, with the long flowing hijab and a big brooch."
"Down in a South London council, Muslims are allowed to pray five times a day, but Christians are not permitted to display Christian calendars on their desks. These are our realities."
She also pointed to the case of Eunice and Owen Johns, the elderly Pentecostal couple who were rejected as foster parents - despite their extensive experience - because they disapproved of homosexuality. "The Equality Commission intervened in that case. They intervened against the Christians," Williams noted.
"They've intervened in a number of other high-profile cases. They have not, ever, intervened against Muslims. They've only ever intervened in the Christian cases to stand against the Christians. This is not equality. This is inequality."
"There's a complete making-way for Islam, and yet Christianity is suppressed," Williams observed.
"This notion of accommodating Sharia, of accepting it - and then, of saying that Catholic adoption agencies, which believe a child needs a married mother and father, should be closed - is devastating for society."
Williams says Britain's aggressive pursuit of secularism was creating a "vacuum" that radical Muslims could seek to exploit. "Radical Islam has an agenda in this nation, and works hard," she noted.
But many English Christians fail to stand up for biblical truth in this context. "In many ways, the Church has herself to blame for the state we're in. What we've got to do is find our voice. Otherwise, there will be increased oppression and suppression."
Williams observed that Christianity has historically "survived much worse than attacks by Trevor Phillips." But she acknowledges that things look "very bleak" at the moment.
"We've currently got a government that's consulting on extending civil unions to religious premises," she noted. "They said they would never do that."
Williams and other English Christians want authentic religious freedom for themselves and others. But they understand the conflict with secularism is part of the cost of discipleship.
"Jesus suffered a false trial, was hated by the world, put on the cross," she recalled. "But there was his resurrection, and the great hope that flows from that."
With acknowledgement to Catholic News Agency.
|Prosperity Gospel in the News Again||The "Prosperity Gospel" is in the news again, with an article in the New York Times about the recent Southwest Believers' Convention held in Fort Worth, TX, August 3rd through the 8th. As you may know, I am absolutely no fan of the "Prosperity Gospel", as I believe it is another gospel, that is really no gospel at all. In fact, I love this video produced by Desiring God Ministries (John Piper) a few years back|
For those of you who are interested, Albert Mohler has a good commentary on this event, and the "Prosperity Gospel" as a whole. This is something that I believe that my moderate and liberal friends and I can agree on - the "Prosperity Gospel" is dangerous and tragic and should be opposed by all of God's people.
|More Changes||Over the past few months (o.k. the past year), I have neglected my blog. I have had plenty of things to say (as most of you know), but unfortunately, I have been lazy in my writing. However, I hope to once again begin to blog soon.|
Just to update those of you who still visit the blog or who subscribe by RSS, I have recently accepted a position as Pastor at a church just outside of Athens, GA - Cleveland Road Baptist Church. My wife and I will be moving there in the next couple of weeks and my first Sunday is tentatively set for May 4th. We are thrilled to have been led by the Lord to serve this congregation.
Because of that, I believe I should get back in the habit of blogging, not just for myself, but for those in my congregation, and those considering attending Cleveland Road in the Athens area. Currently we do not have a church website, but I hope to eventually put one together and link my blog to it. And I am considering a second blog, specifically for the congregation, which would be a 5-day devotional reading related to the Sunday morning sermon.
To those ends, tomorrow I will be attending the Band of Bloggers fellowship, which coincides with the Together for the Gospel Conference, which I will also be attending this week. Hopefully, I will be able to fellowship with fellow bloggers and possibly get some ideas about how to make my site better and more pointed. One of the things I have struggled with over the past year is what I should or shouldn't post on my blog. Having the title of "Christ and Culture" seems like it allows a great deal of flexibility, but in reality I believe that I want narrow the focus to issues which Christians should consider in the public square. I think other points of interest, such as liberal theological positions and Scriptural interpretation are important, but often so wide that my blog ends up being about everything instead of anything in particular. Thus, my ideas are too plentiful to create a true niche in the Christian blogosphere.
So, be patient and watch for future posts. And pray for the new chapter of our life to unfold with wonder and awe and that it would be glorifying to God.
|Cities ask feds to rethink homeless strategy|
Cities press Liberals to cut red tape, revamp funding for key homeless strategy
|Roberta Anastase: PSD si USL si-l doresc pe Adrian Nastase premier daca vor castiga alegerile||Prim-vicepresedintele Partidului Democrat Liberal (PDL) Roberta Anastase a spus, sambata, la Conventia Nationala a femeilor din PDL, ca USL il pregateste pe Adrian Nastase pentru functia de premier iar cu Victor Ponta "joaca la cacealma".
"Ar fi de bun simt ca PSD sa spuna ca nu Ponta va fi p...|
|Udrea: Mai toate femeile din PDL care au functii importante au fost sutinute de Traian Basescu||Vicepresedintele Partidului Democrat Liberal, Elena Udrea a declarat, astazi, la Conventia Nationala a Organizatiei de femei democrat-liberale, ca presedintele Traian Basescu "este cel mai deschis" la capitolul promovarea femeilor in functii importante.
"Mai toate femeile care au astazi functii i...|
|Oltean catre femeile din PDL: Luptati pentru a lua puterea||Secretarul general al PDL, Ioan Oltean, le-a indemnat pe femeile democrat-liberale sa lupte pentru a prelua puterea in politica pentru ca barbatii nu o vor ceda de bunavoie, sambata, in discursul tinut la deschiderea lucrarilor Conventiei Nationale a Organizatiei de Femei a Partidului Democrat Liber...|
I recently decided that my personal site needed a tune up. No longer happy with the current design, I decided to throw it away completely and to start from scratch. Here are a few things I thought about during the process of re-writing the website.
Choosing a backend
Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted to continue using a static site generator for my homepage. Tools like WordPress and Ghost are interesting but for my use case I found both to be overkill. After taking a look at some of the most popular static site generators1 around and playing around with them, I had a better idea of the current tool landscape at the time.
On the Ruby end, I took a look at Middleman and Jekyll. Middleman is a great competitor for Jekyll with some neat features. It allows for incremental building of your site, a feature that Jekyll will be lacking until its v3 release. I have not had much of an issue with build times with Jekyll but I can see how a huge site with thousands of pages would not scale well without incremental builds. Middleman also offers more in the way of a default template and such. However, in the end I stuck with Jekyll. Recent additions to Jekyll such as collections make building non-blog and hybrid websites with Jekyll much easier.
Choosing a colour palette
I am not a designer - I think the previous designs of my site show as much. As much as I wish I did, I just donât have the eye for colour. Working with designers in the past always blew my mind as to how easy it came to them. I know I could take the time to learn colour theory (and perhaps I will someday) but at the time I was more focused on redesigning my site quickly, not leisurely learning something new. This made the simple task of choosing a colour palette a long and tedious process. There are a few tools available to help one come up with a colour palette, such as Paletton or Adobe Color CC, formerly Kuler. After fiddling for them for a few days on and off and having no success, I decided just to choose a colour I liked: blue. Once I had a colour chosen for the header, I was able to build the rest of the site off of that.
While Iâm pleased with how the header turned out, I still feel as if the rest of the site can possibly use a splash of colour here or there just to make things a bit more appealing. I couldnât really see any place to fit these accent colours in a way that felt natural. This will probably be something that will to be iterated on over time.
The Holy Grail that is Flexbox
Flexbox is the best thing to happen to CSS. Iâll scream it from the mountain tops if needed because itâs true. As long as the only browsers your site needs to support are IE11+ or an evergreen browser, you can (mostly2) say goodbye to hacky CSS rules to position elements on a web page.
The great thing about Flexbox is that itâs flexible (yet another surprise!) and will adjust its size across different screen sizes if the developer desires it. For example, the page header makes use of flexbox to make sure it looks great on both large and small screens. All I need to do to get my header to scale the way I wish is use the following CSS rules on the wrapper for my header block:
This sets the wrapper rendering box style to flexbox and centers all the elements along both axis. When the screen width is below a certain size, we can use the following rules to change the direction of the main axis from a row to a reversed column so each header element has room to breath and appears in the proper order:
Iâm using a few more rules to align individual items, but that is the basics of it. Flexbox has enabled me to re-arrange the entire site with just a few CSS rules and I think that is awesome. Iâm using it for any part of my page that requires even a tiny bit of element positioning and itâs been very easy to both learn and use. Offloading a lot of the grunt work to the browser while providing a fewer set of CSS rules was definitely a smart move, and Iâm excited to see what further revisions to the spec bring.
Consistency between old and new
In the redesign, I decided to make better use of header tags to denote subheading rather than bolded text. Unfortunately, a few of my older blog posts made liberal use of the old and bold way. I took this opportunity to flex my bash and regex muscles and see if I can come up with an elegant way to fix this in one swing.
My first step was to construct a regular expression that would find all the old headers. The old headers took the form of bold text which, in Markdown, meant the text was surrounded by two asterisks on each end. The header would be the only string of text on the line. With this information, I came up with the following regular expression and used it to find all headers in my
This regular expression looks for any length of characters in between two literal asterisks that bookend the entire line. After testing that the regex worked, I used a combination of the
The above command looks for files in the _post directory, and for each file runs a
Design & organization choices
Aside from choosing site colours, I spent the most time thinking about how I wanted to layout my website. My previous v3 design was bland and didnât make the best use of available space. I spent a lot of time looking at other Jekyll blogs for some inspiration but I found many of them to be overly busy or overly minimalistic. I would draw layout after layout on paper until I came to the one you see now. Moving the persistent navigation block from the side to the top allows me to take advantage of all the below space: this comes in handy when scaling the site to work on multiple resolutions.
Since the beginning of 2015, Iâve been writing reviews on the games I have finished for fun. After deciding to add these reviews to the site. As of the launch of the redesign, only one of the eight reviews I have written are published but Iâll be editing the others and getting them online shortly. Right now, they are a separate entity from the other blog posts and Iâm not sure if this was the best idea. This home page is a place for me to talk about what I love doing. For the past few years, this has solely been about programming. Iâd like to expand that to writing about other subjects but dividing posts up into âblogsâ and âreviewsâ may limit myself in the future. I could (and probably will) just treat everything as a blog and use tags or categories to group the related info. Design choices like this are what I spent the most time on during this redesign. Implementing the ideas I come up with are no problem but deciding whether Iâm making the right choice on certain decisions is an area where working on a team definitely benefits.
There are a bunch of other small but useful additions Iâve made. If you havenât noticed, I tend to go off on tangent mid-paragraph. Making use of footnotes allows me to do this without breaking up the flow of content, and the Kramdown markdown renderer used by Jekykll makes usage of footnotes very easy. Some posts can have a header image, such as this one. If youâre reading this on a small device, you may not see it - Iâm currently thinking of a good way to display the header image without making all of the above-the-fold content on a mobile device nothing but headers. Most of the small additions are there to make writing content easier for me and for said content to display correctly, no matter the screen scale.
In the end
Iâm pretty happy with the layout I ended up with. I find easier on the eyes than previous designs. Standing here with the project finished, I already have a list of things Iâm no longer happy with and will work on for the next iteration. Personal projects like home page redesigns give me an opportunity to experiment and play but if I donât limit myself and consider the project âfinishedâ, Iâll never release it. Do you have any suggestions about the design? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments!
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about my experience playing around with the Phaser game engine. I ended up making a short 2D platformer game called Jump Around. Iâve uploaded the source onto GitHub for those who are interested in taking a peek. It was a great experience in which I learnt quite a bit, so without further adoâ¦
Initial Design & Scope
My initial goals for the project were pretty simple:
I wanted to keep things pretty simple, as this project was meant to not only evaluate Phaser for future projects but also getting my feet wet with some simple game design. It seems almost like a rite of passage nowadays for game developers to make a 2D platformer, so I decided to go for that. Jump Around is inspired by platformers such as Super Meat Boy, where the emphasis is on pixel-perfect platforming as quickly as possible. The smaller levels in Super Meat Boy that would fit within the initial camera frame were always pretty interesting to me. The small characters moving quickly around an environment in which danger is visible everywhere made for a strange mix of emotions. Upon entering a level, Iâd both feel terror at the level that I was to get through, and excitement at the challenge ahead.
I originally scoped for around 6 levels, but I cut it down to 3 as I came to a realization: good level design is hard work! Once the game mechanics were implemented, the majority of my time was spent on figuring out how to be clever with level design. This wasnât my goal for the project so I decided to cut the level count in half so I could move on to another project sooner. Aside from that, I feel like I did a good job with my initial design and didnât end up with much feature creep. The only feature I ended up missing was using âJump Aroundâ by House of Pain as the obvious background music choice. I planned on distributing the source code for this and Iâm pretty sure I would not have the rights to distribute that song. This is an issue I also had to look into regarding art I used (gasp, could this beâ¦ a segue?!).
Art is hard
Although I have tried many times, I just canât draw very well. This can be a problem when you are a lone programmer working on a video game. Thankfully, there are tons of free art resources online. One of these is the great website Open Game Art. I ended up purchasing a donation-ware art pack from an incredibly talented & generous artist named Kenney. Iâve seen him post on /r/gamedev before, offering free art packs under liberal license terms for people like me who arenât so artistically inclined. While this was a decent solution to not being able to produce art myself, in retrospect I think I should have kept it simple and gone with a more abstract art style.
As said before, I eventually wanted to release the source of Jump Around. However, I wasnât too sure about the license to redistribute the assets. Thankfully, Kenney includes a LICENSE.TXT in his zip of art which helpfully states that the assets are released under the liberal CC0 license. As long as I attribute him, I should be okay to redistribute the art I used and modified for my purposes.
Most of the audio I use is also from Kenneyâs donation pack, but the
Resolution is confusing
Another issue I ran into was answering the question âWhat resolution am I targeting with this game?â I was making this game for web browsers running on a desktop. I probably should have consulted the great Valve Hardware Survey to get a sense of what kind of resolutions people were playing at. While 1920x1080 is the most popular resolution, it only had 33.48% of user share as of this blog post. In second place was 1366x768 with 26.80%. I ended up hardcoding my gameâs resolution at a very strange and non-standard 1050x714. I did this because that was the size of my level in tiles (50x24 tiles, as each tile was 21x21). In retrospect, this was a dumb idea. While I havenât exactly alienated either of the two largest resolution groups (according to Valve), it doesnât scale up or down at all. I probably should have spent more time on making sure the scaling worked; at one point in development, I found myself even looking at options to use the fullscreen API. In the end, I decided to push that learning exercise to my next project.
Another consideration was âCould this game work on a mobile device?â Due to the decisions I made based on the art and not bothering to scale anything, it wouldnât be a great experience. However, mechanically, it could work. I ended up adding a toggle to cause the player to continuously jump, and I noticed the game was actually kind of fun when I left it on. It felt more like âPogo Aroundâ than âJump Aroundâ but it was still fun. I could have left that setting on for the mobile version and had the user touch either side of the screen to simulate the left/right cursor movements. Using two fingers instead of one could make the player runâ¦ orâ¦ pogo-runâ¦ rather than pogo-walk. In the future, I may revisit this project and try to add that in, but for now it was out of scope of what I wanted to accomplish.
If youâre interested in trying this âpogoâ mode for yourself, just hit the F key while playing the game. It adds another layer of challengeâ¦ think of it as hard mode!
Architecture & Tools
Since the majority of my game objects were simple, I was able to make
to do with simple objects that didnât follow any particular
programming pattern. Some variables, such as current level and overall
game time, were kept in the
The levels themselves were created using the fantastic Tiled map editor. One neat feature of Tiled that I liked was creating Objects on the map that can store any properties you wish. I ended up doing this to store quite a bit of data in the level itself, such as player spawn position, level key position, and starting positions of moving platforms, as well as their speed, distance and initial direction. This allows me to use a single state for each level with little to no code change needed to properly load each level. I feel like I do cheat a bit by passing the player object through each level state to retain some data like how many times the player has died, but it seemed like the simplest solution so I went with it.
Phaser is a pretty nice framework but I ran into some issues. Currently only a single tile layer from Tiled can be marked as a collision layer. When Phaser moved from version 1 to 2, it lost some of itâs advanced camera capabilities such as the ability to zoom; I believe the current camera can only pan by default. Neither of these are dealbreakers, but they would be nice to have features. I still think Phaser is one of the best JS engines you can use right now. It has a decent sized community and there are always people on the IRC channel willing to help (such as myself!) Iâve read that Phaser 3 may be getting a ES6 makeover which makes me very excited for the future of the engine.
I had a blast making Jump Around, and Iâm glad I finished the project. I learnt quite a bit about a variety of topics. I now have a huge amount of respect for great level designers, as I spent quite a bit of time thinking of how to make each level progressively more interesting. Iâm not sure if Iâve succeeded but I tried to do something new in each level. I also learnt a bit about 2D animation to animate the player, audio codecs & conversion to get the sound effects working, and some basic game design as a result of the project.
One area that I didnât get to focus on as much as I would have liked was the game programming itself. I think this is because I used an engine which did a lot of it for me. Because of this, my next project will most likely not use an engine at all. I donât want to do everything myself (not yet at least) so Iâll probably use a helper library to handle things like asset loading, input reading and window creation (if targeting desktops rather than the web). I plan on reading some of the excellent Game Programming Patterns book to get a better feel on how game architecture works and how things fit together.
|Eric Toussaint o GrÄiji: âDolg je plod uveljavljanja neoliberalnih politik in praks v GrÄiji od leta 1982 do leta 2010â||Foto: BBC Eric ToussaintÂ o grÅ¡kem dolgu: “… Jasno je, da se je grÅ¡ka dolÅ¾niÅ¡ka kriza zaÄela z neoliberalnimi reformami. Ljudje se Å¡e spomnijo Mitterrandovega predsednikovanja v Franciji leta 1981. Bil je izvoljen z levim programom, z nacionalizacijo vred. In v enem letu je izpeljal nekaj progresivnih reform. Leta 1982 pa je obrnil ploÅ¡Äo na desno. […]|
|Comment on SNOPES.com Exposed: Left Wing Website Not Quite the Impartial Arbiter of Truth by Moonbattery Â» Hitler, Hitlery, and Snopes||[…] Relying as Snopes as a final arbiter of truth is like letting George Stephanopoulos and Candy Crowley moderate presidential debates. As with the rest of the liberal establishment, bias comes first. […]|
|The Sexual Power of Mother Nature in Prodigal Summer|
Teeming with the imagery of natural fertility, Barbara Kingsolverâs 2000 Prodigal Summer presents the intertwined stories of three unlikely romances: Deanna Wolfe, a ranger dedicated to protecting the ecosystems of Zebulon Mountain, and Eddie Bondo, a bounty hunter in pursuit of pack of coyotes; Nannie Rawley, the liberal owner of an organic orchard, and Garnett Walker, a stodgy old-timer determined to repopulate the Zebulon forests with an ancient breed of chestnut trees; and Lusa Maluf Landowski, a scientist-turned-farmer, and Cole Widener, Lusaâs husband who is killed early in the narrative but whom she comes to know better after his death than she had during their very brief marriage. Within each of these pairs, the woman comes to represent âmother nature,â pittedâto varying degreesâagainst the forces of âman,â enacted and symbolized by her partner.
The storyline closely associates these women with natureâespecially its nurturance and fertility. The two who are still menstruating, Deanna and Lusa, note that they naturally cycle with the moon, for instance. Deanna also cares for the wild animals that live near her mountain cabin in a way that Eddie declares can only be classified as âmaternalâ (190). And after a couple of months of passionateâeven animalisticâintercourse with Eddie, a man nearly 20 years her junior, she realizes that she will have a child of her own (387). Despite being recently widowed, Lusa, too, becomes a figure of maternal abundance, deciding to adopt a troubled niece and nephew as her sister-in-law loses her battle with cancer (380). Finally, both Lusa and Nannie use flower pollination as a way of talking about sex with their young charges, Lusa with her niece Crystal (351) and Nannie with Deanna when she was a girl (200). In this way, they present sexuality as a natural part of lifeâand, indeed, as necessary to the continuance of life.
The three women also seem to understand the interdependence of living things more clearly than their male counterparts. Several times, Deanna explains to Eddie that a predatorâthough villanized in American cultureâis a critical link in the food chain, finally managing to convince him to read her Masterâs thesis on the importance of the coyote to the health of the mountain ecosystem (179, 362). Nannie values predators as well. When Garnett refuses to stop spraying near Nannieâs farm, she invites him to sit down and delivers a lesson on the different insects that live on her orchard, detailing how the bigger insects naturally take care of the âpests.â This natural form of pest control is disrupted, though, when these predators are killed off by the drift of herbicide that Garnett uses to keep his lawn looking tidy. The pest population recovers more quickly than the predator population, Nannie explains, and causes great damage to her crops until the bigger insects can once again handle the pests (274). Lastly, after Coleâs death, Lusa decides to try an alternative to tobacco, previously the Widener cash crop, and raise goats for meat instead. Quite intentionally, she integrates the goats into the landscape of the farm, using them to keep the briars and thistles from taking over her hayfields and, in turn, allowing the animals to harvest some of the hay in order to round out their nutritional profiles (also turning them into more quality products for market) (157).
In the end, each of the men seems to acquiesce to the womenâs greater wisdom of the natural world, at least temporarily. Eddie departs Zebulon Mountain (without knowing about Deannaâs pregnancy), leaving behind a note that simply states, âItâs hard for a man to admit he had met his matchâ (432). Deanna takes this one line as an indication that Eddie is âoffering his leaving as a gift,â that he is leaving both Deanna and her beloved coyotes alone: âNo harm would come to anything on this mountain because of himâ (433). On the Widener farm, Lusaâs goat-raising scheme is successful, bringing more of a profit than Coleâs tobacco ever had. More importantly, Lusa comes to realize that Cole had disliked the conventional agricultural methods that he felt that he had had to use; she begins to think that Cole probably would have enjoyed seeing the farm reformulated into a hormone- and pesticide-free operation, although he was not willing to implement these kinds of changes himself. For his part, Garnett accepts Nannieâs offer to use the genetics of the old chestnut trees on her orchard to strengthen the strains that he is developing and, in doing so, starts to accept the idea that she already takes for grantedâthat relationships are more important than property lines.
What is interesting about these cases, taken together, is that the men seem to submit to the women as much because they are each irresistibly attracted to their female counterparts on a carnal level as because they are persuaded on an intellectual level to see the womenâs points of view. Both Lusa and Deanna speak with their mates, Cole when he was living and Eddie during his time atop Zebulon Mountain, of the power of womenâs pheromones to attract men (37, 92). After Coleâs death, Lusa is finally able to accept Coleâs sense of attachment to her, and, then, that he would have wanted her to make the farm her own after his death. Just as Lusaâs pheromones most certainly played a part in the development of Coleâs love for her, it is likely that Deannaâs womanly scents played a part in Eddieâs development of affection for her and his subsequent decision to leave instead of to hunt Zebulonâs coyotes. For his part, Garnett finally gives in to Nannieâs kindness toward him when he can no longer resist the image of her picking fruit in her âshort pantsâ (427). Although each situation is different, in each of all three relationships, the man finally succumbs to the power of a distinctly female sexuality.
Tom Conoboy has pointed out that the ending of this novel is a little too neat, happy, ultimately âbloodless.â This is true in lots of ways; one of these is that the men seem to lose very little of themselves in submitting to their female mates. I would argue, though, that Eddie, Cole, and Garnett may be willing to shift in their worldviews, if only temporarily, because they benefit as much as the women in seeing the interconnectedness of the natural world. If Deanna, Lusa, and Nannie represent âmother natureâ in this text and their male counterparts represent âman,â then the novel seems to suggest that we must allow ourselves to be seduced by the sensuous beauty of the Earthâas Eddie, Cole, and Garnett allow themselves to be by the women in the story. We must submit to the power of natureâs fertility and abundance in order to reap the benefits of these.
|The N-Word Presentation||I developed this sample presentation for a course on "othering." It is designed to both model how I'd like students to construct their own presentations throughout the semester and also to introduce them to some of the controversial issues that will arise as they read and discuss Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The presentation brings up some important issues for teachers to consider--what are the consequences of using this term in the classroom or of avoiding the term?|
I've posted the rough script below. Follow along with the visual part of the presentation at: http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/education/the-n-word-controversy-7764505.
N-Word Controversyâmore apt title might be N-Word Controversies
Used as my cover image a pic of Malcolm X, a man who gave a lot of thought to this word
According to a treatise that he wrote for the Organization of Afro-American Unity in his final years, decided that it must be rejected in all of its forms
So, going to turn it over to you
Will ask you to think about whether this word should ever be uttered in todayâs world
If so, who has the right to say it?
When should it be said?
Should it be printed in classic literary texts?
Finally, how should we handle this issue as we encounter the term in our own classroom?
DisclaimerâI use term ân-wordâ when reading aloud, but I have printed the actual word in the text of the presentation
Going to start by talking a little bit about the word's orgins, specifically how it came to be used in the US
N-word derived from the Latin âniger,â meaning âblack,â according to an entry in the OED
More importantly, became derogatory in the US as African-Americans became quintessential others
Remember our definition of otheringâprojecting negative traits onto another human or group of humans in order to imagine that you donât possess those traits and then treating them as inferior to reinforce your own superiority
This is exactly how white colonists used n-wordâto show that they were superior to another group, to other and oppress
Many ask, why is this one word so incredibly offensive, maybe more so than any other in the English language?
Letâs follow the flow chart here
In American, at least, it all started with slavery
Here we have a poster, offering a monetary reward for the return of human property
Evidence of people hunted like animals, forced to serve others in ways that we donât want to even imagine, and regarded as little more than part of white peopleâs larger estate
Next, after abolition, freed slaves were forced to continue to serve white people, despite their legal âfreedomââas cooks, caregivers, maids, farm-hands
Disallowed opportunities for education, social advancement, political activism
Any attempts at uplift were met with violence
Were continued to be treated as others in order to reinforce superiority of white people
Here we have an example of segregationâa âcoloredâ water fountain, where black people were forced to drink water separately from white people because white people could not bear the thought of putting their lips near a metal piece that black people might also put their touch with their mouths
Finally, in the present day, we only have to look at incarceration statistics to know that racism continues
There were more than five times as many black men in jail than white men in 2006 according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.
We know that this is partly due to the continued limited opportunities available to black men and partly due to the stricter penalties enacted on black men vs. white men
So, why is this word so offensive?
Aha! I know.
It has everything to do with othering
It is because this word represents how black men and women have been othered throughout American history, it has been used to reinforce the inferiority of black men and women for centuries
A clip from YouTube shows this legacy of oppression well--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdY04-xds3k: show segments 0-53, 1:24-2:05, 2:50-4:56
The history of othering and oppression that my flow chart and the video show are very convincing in suggesting that the word should just never be spoken
On the other hand, some insist that we should say the word in appropriate contexts, in order to diffuse its power over us
Emily Bernard writes about a series of discussions that she had with her college-aged students about the word
Most refused to say it, but some agreed with her that it should be spoken
In The N-Word, a documentary produced by Andy Cohen, comedian Dick Gregory goes a step further, saying that we are actually allowing a white racist system to erase a history of oppression if we stop saying the word that represents that oppression.
Certainly, we donât want our silence to amplify or erase a history of othering
In the past few decades, black men and women have attempted to rehabilitate the n-word, or the different forms of it that Iâve printed on this pageWe know that lots of people today use it as a way of identifying fellowship or brotherhood among black people or even just close friends
OED even recognizes this positive form of the wordâs usage
We see this in the media with figures like Laurence Fishborne, film director, who admits to using the term within close circles of friends on the documentary The N-Word
Nicki Minaj uses the term a total of 35 times in just one song, entitled âN.I.G.G.A.S.,â which laments the current oppression of black men in this country
And she actually references the problem that I talked about a few minutes agoâthat many black men are given very little opportunity for social advancement and end up incarcerated in numbers that are not proportionate to the number of white men who are imprisoned for the same crimes
It is as if she is using this wordâwhich some would say carries with it a history of oppressionâto unite the black community in continuing âhold onâ and âkeep tryin,'â as the lyrics to the song say
Then we have Sean Combs and Ludacris who also use the word in their music as a way of indicating fellowship or closeness with other black men
Samuel L. Jackson says on The N-Word that he insists that all who work with him know upfront that he is an n-word
Using the word in slightly different wayâto indicate that he is tough and not afraid to fight for what he believes in
Then we have Katt Williams who uses the term liberally in stand-up
Use of n-word by black people themselves started to gain national attention in the 1970s when Richard Pryor began to do it in his comedy routines
Used it in a positive way, as a way of showing affection between family members, brotherhood between menâmuch like all of these contemporary figures do
Ironically, after pretty much single-handedly managing to take the use of this word mainstream, Pryor renounced his use of the term in the late 80s.
According to Hilton Als, Pryor came to the conclusion that âto call one's brother a 'nigger'" is to describe one's own "wretchednessââ
Now going to turn to the use of the word in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Ranked #14 on the American Library Associationâs list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books for the decade of 2000-2009Reason cited is racism
Book actually uses word total of 219 times
Might have something to do with it
Because of the history of oppression and othering that comes with this word, it can make the book very difficult to read, even at the college level
Going to quote from an article that you are going to read for this class in a couple of weeks
This section of the article is written from the perspective of a non-traditional studentâAfrican-American woman, on her experience of reading Huck Finn
Had just returned to college
Excited to have opportunity to read this classic that she had never read
Interesting that she refers to Malcolm X here, man who believed in procuring dignity of black men and women through eradication of n-word, in her lamentation of its use in this American classic
If it is this painful for a grown woman to read this word, imagine effects on a child
This is why, in 2011, publisher NewSouth introduced edited versions of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Replaced "n-word" with "slave"
Here are some reasons that Professor Alan Gribben gave during NPRâs Talk of the Nation last January for agreeing to edit the two texts in this way
Says that this edition is for young children who would not get to read the book otherwise because of the ways that the book has been censored
Says that Twain might well have adapted to this change, since this author was particularly known for changing his opinions about matters throughout his life
And, finally, says that this edition does not change the central concept of the book, only makes it more tolerable for those sensitive to a particular word
It would appear that Professor Gribben should get a gold star, right?
Well, except for the fact that the new edition has caused public and scholarly outrage
One commentator on NPRâs Weekend Edition Saturday compared the editing out of the n-word in Huck Finn to the covering of the bloody figures in Picassoâs âGuernicaâ with band-aids
Picasso painted âGuernicaâ to protest the bombing of Guernica, Spain by German and Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil War
Meant to show suffering that war causes
To put band-aids over the gashes in this scene would not only deface this classic, evocative work of art, but it would also cover over a history of suffering that we should remember
Similarly, Simon is saying that to change "slave" for the n-word in Huck Finn is to tamper with a work of art and also to deny the oppression and othering that this word connotes
It is both silly and unwise
Time is ticking
Now is when you decide what you believe and how you will handle this issue
Weâve looked at figures like Malcolm X and Richard Pryor, who insist that the use of this term is harmful
People like Nicki Minaj, who see it as a way of uniting black men and women and fighting oppression
Seen how it can be hurtful to people when read in classic texts like Huck Finn
Learned how others insist that we must keep it and talk about it in order to remember a history of oppression
What do you think?
Maybe take three comments on one small part of this issue, most important to us, how we should handle this in the classroom
Each extreme and in the middle
Clearly a provocative topic
My hope is that discussion of it can bring us together instead of divide us
|"Matriarchy" and the Contemporary Black Family||For all of you who are wondering where I've been, I'm back to let you that the last few weeks have brought some exciting changes in my life. Not only are we selling our house and moving into a beautiful new home (hopefully within the month of December because it is dang hard to keep a house clean enough to show with an 19-month-old and a 7 1/2-year-old--this situation does not accentuate my better nature!!), but I have also been assigned three new classes for the Spring semester. I am thrilled to be teaching two sections of a "Reading and Writing about Literature" class, an introductory course in the English major, and a colloquium for the Honors College. Because the theme of my colloq so well matches the focus of this blog, I thought that I'd share my syllabus and schedule with you, my loyal followers. |
I've entitled the course "'Matriarchy' and the Contemporary Black Family." As the syllabus demonstrates, we're taking as a springboard the US Department of Labor's Moynihan report of 1965 which--although likely well-intentioned--propelled the myth of the black matriarch into the forefront of the American consciousness. The report attributed the "pathology" of the black family to its "matriarchal" nature, pointing out that many black families were headed by women who oftentimes ran the home and at the same time financially supported the men in their families. The report was meant to convey the necessity of creating more jobs for black men, but many have claimed that it blamed the victims, the women who were--and had been for centuries--keeping it all together in the face of greatly oppressive social and political circumstances. The matriarch myth has stayed with us and has played out in complicated social scripts as well as in popular culture representations of black women.
This course will therefore investigate "matriarchy," past and present. It starts with "The Articulation of the Matriarch Myth" in 1965 and then jumps back to slavery to explore what I am calling, facetiously, "The Rise of the Matriarch" from slavery times up to the 1960s or so. This portion of the course will examine the historical circumstances that positioned the black woman as so central to the black family and also media representations of this positioning, such as in Amos and Andy, for instance. Next, we will move to "Disciplining the 'Matriarch,'" which will cover the ways that both black men and mainstream America have endeavored to punish black women for their deviance and powers of emasculation in movements such as Black Power and Reaganism. In addition to the listed readings, in these weeks we will view an episode of Sanford and Son, Boyz in the Hood and a documentary on hip-hop music. The fourth unit in the course is "Michelle Obama in the Context of 'Matriarchy'" and will explore Obama's portrayal in the media as an emasculating matriarch and the ways that she has negotiated this stereotype. Finally, in "Making Sense of the 'Matriarch,'" we will try to reckon with the legacy of the matriarch myth for us today.
I am proud of this course because my conception of the overall narrative arch of the story of the matriarch has been affirmed by the readings that I've found. Like me, many critics and theorists that I'm including in the course trace the myth of matriarchy to Moynihan, and, together, they present a complex and rich understanding of the significance of his report. In other words, the readings build on each other and complicate each other. It is awesome to see the course come together like this!!
Please take a look at the tentative syllabus that I've posted below! I'd love to hear your suggestions about how I can make this semester an even richer experience for my students as we work together to understand black "matriarchy."
âMatriarchyâ and the Contemporary Black Family
Name: Dr. Andrea Powell Wolfe
Office: RB 297
Office Hours: Tuesday 2-3 and 3:30-5, Thursday 2-2:45, and by appointment
Title: HONRS 390: Honors Colloquium
Semester: Spring 2011
Location: Honors House
Meeting Times: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45
Credit Hours: 3
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. (any edition)
Williams, Sherley Anne. Dessa Rose: A Novel. (any edition)
Readings for the course are listed on the schedule below. In addition to the two books that Iâm asking you to borrow or purchase, I will also provide some handouts in hard copy. You will access the majority of the readings for this course, however, either on the World Wide Web, through Blackboard, or via Electronic Course Reserves. In order to locate readings stored in the Electronic Course Reserves, log in to CardCat and then select âCourse Reservesâ from the menu bar.
This course will constitute a semester-long interrogation of the term âmatriarchyâ as it has been used over the course of decades to describe the make-up of the black American family. Grounded in an awareness of âmatriarchyâ as a terrible misnomer in this context, the course will explore ways that the classification of the black family as âmatriarchalâ has reinforced oppressive cultural and political conditions for black Americans. We will endeavor to recognize the widespread abuse and subjugation of black women over time and still celebrate the strength of black mothers who have nurtured children and maintained families in the most dire of circumstances throughout American history. We will discuss ways that black men have reacted to the labeling of their families as âmatriarchal.â Perhaps most importantly, we will attempt to uncover how the stereotype of âthe matriarchâ continues to play out in contemporary media representations of black womanhood and how it has played out in social scripts surrounding even our current First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Paper #1 100 points
Paper #2 100 points
Paper #3 100 points
Final Exam 200 points
Participation 20 points per class
Quizzes 10 points each
Assignment sheets for each paper will be posted in the âAssignmentsâ area in Blackboard. In general, these assignments will ask you to use textual evidence to support thoughtful and sophisticated claims regarding âmatriarchyâ and the black family. Papers will be 4-5 pages (1400-1750 words) in length and will be due to my email before class on the days noted on the course schedule. Late papers will lose 10 points per day late (including weekends).
The final exam will be comprehensive and will consist of short essay questions. In order to prepare for the exam, you will need to read carefully, participate attentively in class, and take good notes throughout the semester.
Quizzes over reading notes and class notes may be given without advanced notice. You are always welcome to use written or typed notes for quizzes. Quizzes cannot be made-up.
Your active and thoughtful participation in this course is absolutely critical to its success! Because discussion is such a big part of the Honors Colloquium experience, you will earn daily participation points for coming to class and engaging in meaningful discussion. Part of participation is also preparation to learn and interact in the classroom. This means that you must bring the appropriate reading(s) to class every day, either in hard copy or in electronic form on your laptop. Participation scores will be posted in the grade book in Blackboard after every class.
Because I want to give you the opportunity to make up points that you might lose due to necessary absences, I will allow you to complete two extra credit assignments throughout the semester for a total of 40 points in extra credit. For each extra credit assignment, you will choose a full-length book (either critical or literary) or a film (either documentary or fictional) to review for extra credit. I will be happy to recommend texts that might match your personal interests, and, even if you do not need suggestions from me, I ask that you allow me to âapproveâ your selections before you begin working on these assignments. Each review should be 3-pages (1050 words) in length and should analyze the representation of black motherhood in the text that you have chosen.
You will lose all daily participation points when you miss class. While one or two absences may not affect your overall grade in the class, making a habit of missing class will most certainly negatively impact your grade. Any requests for a waiver of the penalty for missing class must be made before the absence for which you seek to be excused.
Classroom Behavior Policy
It is my goal to foster a classroom environment in which every student feels comfortable contributing to discussion. Though we will not always agree with one another, we must listen to one another with respect. Furthermore, you are never required to agree with me or with a text we are discussing; disagreement is a valuable part of the thinking process. I will not tolerate disruptive behaviors such as reading newspapers, talking on cell phones, texting, emailing, or sleeping in class. Behaviors like these will cause you to lose participation points for that day. In order to promote engaged discussion, I may ask you to close your laptop at times during class.
In order to protect the integrity of the university and of students who work hard, I take academic dishonesty seriously. The intentional or unintentional use of anotherâs writing without giving proper credit or any credit is theft and the use of a previously written paper for a current course without approval of the instructor is dishonesty. These types of actions undermine the educational process and may be cause for course failure or expulsion from Ball State University.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible
I am happy to meet with students about drafts, assignment questions, additional discussions of a text, and absence policies, etc. during office hours or by appointment. I also encourage you to visit a writing tutor at The Writing Center to work on your papers at any stage in the writing process.
Syllabus Information Disclaimer
Parts of the syllabus and the course, including the schedule and assignments, are subject to change to meet the needs of students in the course.
Articulating the Matriarch Stereotype
Tuesday, January 11 Introductions
Thursday, January 13 Readings Due: Syllabus; Daniel P. Moynihan, US Department of Labor, âThe Negro Family: The Case for National Actionâ, Chapters II-IV
Tuesday, January 18 Reading Due: Hortense Spillers, âMamaâs Baby, Papaâs Maybe: An American Grammar Bookâ in Blackboard
The Rise of the âMatriarchâ
Thursday, January 20 Reading Due: Deborah Gray White, âJezebel and Mammy: The Mythology of Female Slaveryâ on Reserve
Tuesday, January 25 Reading Due: Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Chapters I-XIV
Thursday, January 27 Reading Due: Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Chapters XV-XXXIII
Tuesday, February 1 Reading Due: Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Chapters XXXIV-XLI; Stephanie Li, âMotherhood as Resistance in Harriet Jacobsâs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girlâ in Blackboard
Thursday, February 3 Reading Due: Deborah Gray White, âFrom Slavery to Freedomâ handout
Tuesday, February 8 Reading Due: YouTube videos, âScarlett Dresses for the Barbequeâ, âMammyâGone with the Windâ; Maria St. John, ââIt Ainât Fittinâ: Cinematic and Fantasmatic Contours of Mammy in Gone with the Wind and Beyondâ in Blackboard
Thursday, February 10 Reading Due: George Kirby, âAmos and Andy: Anatomy of a Controversyâ
Tuesday, February 15 Reading Due: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, Acts I-2
Thursday, February 17 Reading Due: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, Act 3; Ellen Silber, âSeasoned with Quiet Strength: Black Womanhood in Lorraine Hansberryâs A Raisin in the Sun (1959)â in Blackboard
Disciplining the âMatriarchâ
Tuesday, February 22 Assignment Due: Paper #1
Thursday, February 24 Reading Due: bell hooks, âThe Imperialism of Patriarchyâ on Reserve
Tuesday, March 1 Reading Due: Amiri Baraka, â20-Century Fox,â âNewshit,â âSong,â âLady Bug,â âA Poem for Black Hearts,â âBlack Art,â âFor a Lady I Know,â âCivil Rights Poem,â âBeautiful Black Women . . .,â âBludoo Baby Want Money and Alligator Got it to Give,â âLeroy,â and âWho Will Survive Americaâ handout; Daniel Matlin, ââLift Up Yr Selfâ: Reinterpreting Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Black Power, and the Uplift Traditionâ in Blackboard
Thursday, March 3 Reading Due: Hortense Spillers, âInterstices: A Small Drama of Wordsâ on Reserve
Tuesday, March 8 No Class; Spring Break
Thursday, March 10 No Class; Spring Break
Tuesday, March 15 Reading Due: Herman Gray, âReaganism and the Sign of Blacknessâ on Reserve
Thursday, March 17 Reading Due: Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose, âPrologueâ and âThe Darkeyâ
Tuesday, March 22 Reading Due: Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose, âThe Wenchâ and âThe Negressâ
Thursday, March 24 Reading Due: Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose, âEpilogueâ; Ashraf H. Rushdy, âReading Mammy: The Subject of Relation in Sherley Anne Williamsâ Dessa Roseâ in Blackboard
Tuesday, March 29 Reading Due: Linda M. Burton and M. Belinda Tucker, âRomantic Unions in an Era of Uncertainty: A Post-Moynihan Perspective on African American Women and Marriageâ in Blackboard
Thursday, March 31 Reading Due: âBetween Apocalypse and Redemption: John Singletonâs Boyz in the Hoodâ in Blackboard
Tuesday, April 5 Reading Due: Mark Anthony Neal, âBaby Mama (Drama) and Baby Daddy (Trauma): Post-Soul Gender Politicsâ on Reserve
Michelle Obama in the Context of âMatriarchyâ
Thursday, April 7 Assignment Due: Paper #2
Tuesday, April 12 Reading Due: Mosheh Oinounou and Bonney Kapp, âMichelle Obama Takes Heat for Saying Sheâs âProud of My Countryâ for the First Timeâ; Fox News, âOutraged Liberals: Stop Picking on Obamaâs Baby Mama!â; Marcus Baram, âRusty DePass, South Carolina GOP Activist, Says Escaped Gorilla Was Ancestor of Michelle Obamaâ; The Paparazzis, âComedian Jay Mohr disrespects Michelle Obamaâ; Alicia Shepard, âJuan Williams, NPR and Fox Newsâ
Thursday, April 14 Reading Due: Fight the Smears, âThe Truth about Michelleâ; Lois Romano, âVoices of Power: White House Social Secretary DesirÃ©e Rogers,â Chapter 3; The White House, âFirst Lady Michelle Obamaâ
Tuesday, April 19 Reading Due: The Huffington Post, âUp In Arms: Michelle Obamaâs Sleeveless Style Sparks Controversyâ; Wendy Donahue, âSome harrumph over Michelle Obamaâs sleeveless dressâ; Bonnie Fuller, âMichelle Obamaâs Sleevegate: Why Canât America Handle Her Bare Arms?â; Madison Park, âHow to get Michelle Obamaâs toned armsâ; Andrea Sachs, âMichelle Obamaâs Fashion Statementâ; Danny Shea, âNew York Magazine Blog Takes Down Michelle Obama Booty Postâ; Gina, âAnother âBootyâ Post: âThat Siteâ Puts the Marginalization and Dehumanization of First Lady Michelle Obama Up for Voteâ; Erin Aubry Kaplan, âThe Michelle Obama Hair Challengeâ
Thursday, April 21 Reading Due: The White House Organic Farm Project, âAbout TheWhoFarmâ; Michelle Obama, âRemarks by the First Lady to Unity Health Care Centerâ; Sesame Street, âSesame Street: Michelle Obama and ElmoâHealthy Habitsâ; AOL Health, âFirst Lady Michelle Obama Answers Your Questions on Letâs Move!â
Tuesday, April 26 Reading Due: Patricia Yaeger, âCircum-Atlantic Superabundance: Milk as World-Making in Alice Randall and Kara Walkerâ in Blackboard; Kara Walker, âI Dream of Michelle Obamaâ
Tuesday, April 26 Reading Due: Andrea Powell Wolfe, âMichelle Obama and the Historical Positioning of the Black Mother within the Nationâ in Blackboard; Ann Ducille, âMarriage, Family, and Other âPeculiar Institutionsâ in African-American Literary Historyâ in Blackboard
Making Sense of âMatriarchyâ
Thursday, April 28 Assignment Due: Paper #3
Thursday, May 5 Final Exam at 9:45-11:45
|Both the Left and the Right are at war with science||Michael Shermer on why neither side of the American political spectrum gets a pass when it comes to acceptance of science. Includes this interesting (and often overlooked) detail from recent national polls — 41 percent of Democrats are young-Earth Creationists. |
|IU Dept. of Theatre and Drama: The Real Thing||Tom Stoppard’s "The Real Thing" is about honesty in relationships and in art, so of course the focus of the action is on multiple adulteries and a writer reduced to writing television drama to pay alimony and a gussying up a piece of agit-prop theatre to placate his liberal leaning second wife. The general outline […]|
|The Beckoning of Nuclear War|
SUBHEAD: A glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to our "national security" managers.
By John Pilger on 4 August 2017 for JohnPilger.com -
[IB Publisher's note: As much as Trump may not wish a nuclear exchange with Russia, he seems quite amenable to turning North Korea into an ashtray. World War III may begin in Guam and relay to Hawaii on its way to the US mainland. Here in Hawaii it may mean Duck and Cover!]
Image above: Detail of original paperback cover of Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On the Beach". From (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267542034087528868).
In Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach" the US submarine captain says;
"We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
These two lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.
Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.
Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless spectre descending on the last of the living world.
I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power. There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.
The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.
Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.
The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people"He was not referring to the Vietnamese.
Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. "Listen up," he said. "We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom."
At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.
A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls "an eternal present".
Harold Pinter described this as "manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."
Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously "the left" are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.
Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics", wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.
While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.
On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a "Soviet agent"), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was "clearly unconstitutional".
A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.
This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the "national security" managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today".
They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia's "borderland" - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people. Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.
In response, "partnership" is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.
The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China's economic lifelines.
The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, "if required", he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute's fiction.
None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichÃ©s. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.
The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a US Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 - during the Cuban missile crisis - he and his colleagues were "told to launch all the missiles" from their silos.
Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded - but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not "stand down".
At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that US officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 - the year Shute wrote On the Beach - no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world's most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.
The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms "left" and "right" are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.
When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America's longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.
In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the "reluctant liberal warrior", dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Having pledged to help "rid the world" of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.
Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the "deporter-in-chief".
One of Obama's last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.
Buried in the detail was the establishment of a "Center for Information Analysis and Response". This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an "official narrative of facts" that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war - if we allow it.
Video above: "On the Beach" the complete 1959 movie from Nevil Shute's novel. From (https://youtu.be/Ue8hC5qqMt4).
|New GOP Rules for Discussing the President||We're still trying to get used to the idea of Democratic nominee Barack Obama actually being President of the United States.|
To help us get acclimated, the wingnut freakazoids have kindly provided criticism that follows the new GOP Rules for Discussing the President. Steve Benen explains.
DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES.... Either the president's conservative critics have very short memories, or they assume we do.
|Some Bucking Up For Us Hand-Wringers||Bob Cesca at HuffPo reminds us that the repug rejection of the stimulus bill isn't the first time Barack Obama has seemed defeated, only to come roaring back in victory, and it probably won't be the last.|
There's a killer web graphic that was created back in the post-Republican Convention days while everyone was writing spasmodic, breathless "Obama should [fill in the blank]" blog entries and "Oh crap! We're gonna lose!" newspaper columns.
Read the whole thing.
|The Big Blue Boat!|
Itâs been a long time since the last post. Things have just seemed really busy the last couple of months and I just havenât been able to get around to writing. I have been involved in some car stuff though... I just havenât been able to write about it.
Probably the biggest car news from the front is that Iâm the proud new custodian of a 1985 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. Itâs a bit of a family heirloom, having originally belonged to my wifeâs grandparents. Itâs basically been sitting in a barn for the last 10 years though, so it needs a little TLC.
Over all though, Iâd say itâs in pretty good shape. The interior is excellent, everything still works (including cold blowing AC!) and the underside is practically new looking! There are a couple of minor rust events occurring on the body as we speak, but nothing too bad. I will be on the hunt for a new rear bumper at some point though, as this one has a small hole in it.
Now traditionally being a GM man, I was initially looking for a B body or a G body, preferably something with 2 doors but a sedan wasnât out of the question. I had a next to nothing budget of about $1000-$1500, which back when I was a teenager would have yielded good results. Nowadays that only buys, well, crap.
There were a few promising looking ads in kijiji that caught my attention. Tales of rust free, non winter driven cars that only need a few minor repairs for safety draw you in. But the reality is a car that has Blizzaks on it was probably not ânever driven in winterâ.
Also, I discovered people have a very liberal interpretation of ârust freeâ and âsurface rustâ. Look, if thereâs red, crumbling sections on the carâs body itâs not ârust freeâ. And if I can see daylight on the other side of that rust, itâs not âsurface rustâ.
Anyway, after one particularly disappointing viewing, I was talking to my wifeâs uncle and he let me know that her other aunt and uncle were getting rid of their old 1985 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. They had been given the car from my wifeâs grandparents as a B-car. Only thing is it had been off the road for about 10 years.
My dad and I went to take a look at the old beast and we werenât disappointed. Itâs a two tone blue four door sedan with a 302. It wasnât perfect, but it was in a lot better shape than everything else that I had found. In the coming weeks Iâll go over some of the stuff weâve done, what needs to be done and what we dream about doing in the future.
For now the big olâ girl is resting in the garage getting ready for a safety. I donât expect to get her on the road until next year, but itâs good to know that sheâs there for some big blue boat cruising.
|Identify, don't gag citizens during elections||Musings by Premier Stelmach coupled with a report by Alberta's chief electoral officer have added up to a rare consensus among two of Alberta's chief political rivals. When political enemies line-up in agreement it can often spell trouble. Last spring it was the Alberta NDP joining PC MLAs to approve political pay hikes, and this fall it appears the Liberals will be helping the government legislate a monopoly for politicians during election campaigns. |
|150 Things to Know on Canadaâs 150th Birthday|
|The Democratic Case Against Islamism||This article originally appeared in Al-Monitor, where you can find the full text. |
These days, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is under a systematic (some would say justified) assault by authorities seeking to dissolve the entire organization. Yet, itâs not just in Egypt that Islamists find themselves under attack, rhetorically or by force. Across countries in the Arab world that had revolutions in the past two years, there is a growing wave of public opposition to the participation of Islamists in the political system, whether in Tunisia, Libya or elsewhere.
Against this backdrop, countless Western analysts have clashed with their liberal Arab counterparts on the issue of Islamism, arguing that the exclusion of religious parties is incompatible with modern democratic principles. Yet is the exclusion of parties like the Muslim Brotherhood undemocratic on its face? The truth is somewhere in the middle and in fact, there is a legitimate democratic case to be made against the inclusion of some Islamists.
Since 2011, there have been two primary grievances levied against Islamist parties. The most salient argument in recent weeks has been that these groups are linked to a wider âterroristâ agenda, and are, as such, enemies of the state. Of concern is not necessarily their religious nature but the fact that they represent a subversive political movement. Granted, the closed nature of the Brotherhood, given its precarious legality in past decades, only feeds this view. In addition, offshoots from the Brotherhood like Gamaa Islamiya have been responsible for terrorist attacks in Egypt, and other affiliated groups such as Hamas do have militant wings as well.
Nevertheless, this argument is not one against "Islamism" or in favor of "secularism." When Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held court with his beautifully choreographed choir of support on the night of the coup on Egyptian state TV, at his side were two religious figures, the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar and the Coptic pope. Furthermore, the recently announcedconstitutional committee includes a representative from the Salafist Nour Party, a group also present at that previous gathering. Thus, the argument in Egypt appears to be that the right type of Islamists (and in limited number) can be tolerated, as can a role for religion in the state.
Of course, the second case against Islamism is that it is inherently incompatible with modern democracy. At its core, the ideology is an absolutist form of thought that rejects all other intellectual currents in a society. While that may be true, couldnât the same argument be made for any political ideology, whether it be libertarianism, or communism, or socialism, and the list goes on? Each political movement sees its ideas and philosophies as essential and paramount. A corollary to Islamist thought, however, is that it constitutes a religious supremacist movement that seeks to achieve the supremacy of its religion â Islam â at the official level of the state. It is here where Islamism and democracy start to have legitimate friction....
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/democratic-case-against-islamism-egypt-arab-world-rahim.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#ixzz2dwRsXyRb
|Hypernationalism, Islamism, and Fascism all En Vogue||This article appeared in Al-Monitor, where you can find the full version. |
Since the military overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsiâs government in early July, the rhetoric by critics of the Muslim Brotherhood has been vitriolic and relentless. The campaign has sought to delegitimize the Islamist movement, and in fact, negate its Egyptian identity. Morsi himself has been charged with espionage and serving foreign interests. The general prosecutor has accused Muslim Brotherhood supporters of hiring Syrian and Palestinian mercenaries. Partisans of the army-led government, including some familiar âdemocracyâ activists, have repeatedly called for additional crackdowns on Islamists. More often than not, Muslim Brotherhood members are portrayed in juxtaposition to ordinary Egyptians, rather than among the people, and as a âcancerâ that must be removed at all costs.
As the Arab world continues to politically devolve following the revolutions of 2011, it seems that a new fascism is becoming en vogue. In many ways, a response to the rise of religious supremacy over the past three decades, the ideology is predicated on a foundation of hypernationalism whereby the state is paramount, and any intellectual contestation is met with rhetorical â if not legal â excommunication. As the dust settles, a shrinking political class of moderate Islamists and liberals are increasingly caught between these dueling ideologies and their proponents.
This religious supremacy, or Islamism, has its roots in the modern Middle East in a seminal work by Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood leader imprisoned and executed in Egypt in the 1960s. In "Signposts along the Road" (or Milestones), Qutb intellectually grounds the rejection of fellow Muslims in a process of delegitimization, or takfir. This ideology went into overdrive with the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and the subsequent jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, both of which laid the groundwork for Islamism as a modern political movement.
The continuum of Islamism has always been expansive, so it is sometimes hard to differentiate what constitutes the extremist elements of the political community as opposed to more moderate forces. In postâSaddam Hussein Iraq, the philosophy of takfir descended to a new level with the dehumanization of other Muslim groups, with authorization to kill those deemed takfiris. Yet, Morsi, allegedly a mainstream Islamist, sat applauding the same rhetoric targeting Shiites by preachers in relation to the Syrian conflict, illustrating how difficult it can be to draw distinctions.
With the rise of Islamism, most regimes in the region â lacking a real contesting ideology in response â felt compelled to peddle hollow exhortations of bygone regionalism, or pan-Arabism. Direct attacks on Islamism would have run the risk of alienating their Muslim populations. In this space and amid the tumult of the last two years during which Islamists have grown increasingly unpopular after ascending from the opposition to seats of power, religious supremacy has finally met its match â hypernationalism. In effect, takfir is now being opposed with takhwin, the delegitimization of opponents of the state as traitors of the national cause....
Read the full version here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/violence-arab-nationalism.html#ixzz2crhOSTyD
|The Dubai Model and the new Arab world|| |
Johann Hariâs article âThe Dark Side of Dubaiâ in The Independent in 2009, crystallized the hyperbolic writing on the Gulf emirate in the recent past:
âThis is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing â at last â into history.â
Of course, Dubai did not crash into history and Hari was dislodged from his perch due to a plagiarism scandal a few years later. Yet, for many commentators and journalists, any mention of Dubai still evokes a sense of moralistic derision â Dubai the land without culture filled with a people without history. For the youth of the region, however, Dubai represents something different: jobs, a relatively open society, and a government (in progress) that works. As countries in transition, like Libya, Tunisia and Egypt look to transform their own societies, Dubai is an enigmatic model in the distance.
What is the Dubai model? It is hard to fully capture the multi-faceted nature of it in just a few words, but there are several key dimensions. In addition, the unique (and transferable) aspects of the Dubai model, however, are less to do with its political system, and more about the policies pursued. In fact, too much time is spent in the region debating the political system rather than the impact of policies on the ground enacted by any ruling group or party.
Fundamentally, Dubai made itself open to people flows from around the world, with all its associated risks. This has meant that its small population â today 90% of residents are non-citizens â has been able to build an economy depending on an externally generated labor and consumer market. In addition, to unskilled labor, Dubai has also been keen to open itself to the best talent from around the world. Take Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL) as an example, founded n 1979 and predicated on leveraging international talent and expertise. In fact, in its initial year of operation, few of the 1,386 employees were Emiratis. Yet that has changed over time, as DUBAL has grown to become the worldâs largest aluminum smelter. Understanding its own labor market and taking advantage of regional and international labors flows and talent has been critical to the Emirateâs success.
Despite being in conservative surroundings, Dubai has also ensured that it functions as an open society, in terms of social and religious practices. While this diversity can raise tension, like last summerâs #UAEdresscode campaign for example, there is an open coexistence, as can be witnessed while walking on JBR Walk, along the beachfront, with full-length niqabs side-by-side with what could well be described as the opposite of that! This openness has also contributed to Dubai becoming a global hub, and now the 7th most visited city in the world, with 10 million tourist arrivals annually. This did not occur overnight, and was linked to the gradual (and sometimes sudden) growth of the hospitality industry and expatriate population. Being an open society, however, does not just mean bottles and bars; the government has consistently emphasized gender empowerment in all fields as a matter of policy, including in key positions, political and economic.
In addition to people flows, Dubai has ensured an inflow of capital, by building a financial sector and set of institutions to leverage the capital-rich environment around it. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has created a separate regulatory environment and court system to provide security to investors and companies alike. In addition, while still not perfect, it is relatively easy for any foreigner to set up a local free zone company, allowing him or her to deploy capital, which subsequently generates employment (albeit more for non-locals than Emiratis). The stability of Dubai and the strength of its soft and physical infrastructure has meant that in times of uncertainty, capital finds its way there; last year that included $8 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI), a 25% increase from 2011.
In order to spur growth and absorb investment, Dubai borrowed a page from several economic models (Singapore & Hong Kong among them) and cluster-based theories (see Michael Porter). Take a look at the growth of the aviation sector in Dubai, which in 2011, directly or indirectly contributed $12 billion towards the GDP, and accounted for 125,000 jobs (in a city of 2 million people). The same can be said for the logistics (e.g. Dubai Ports) and retail sectors (e.g. Majid al-Futtaim & City Centres), all of which have benefitted from an ecosystem approach that has included new regulation, government-driven investment, and infrastructure development. Emirates Airlines did not become one of the worldâs leading airlines by accident or in isolation.
Finally, on a consistent basis, Dubai has pushed excellence in public services, culminating in the Government Summit earlier this year, which convened public servants from across the country to âexchange best practices.â In Dubai, there are regular awards for government excellence given to high-performing departments. In fact if you go see the Director-General of the Dubai Courts, he will likely give you a PowerPoint presentation on their caseload, wait times, and improvements.
Lest, anyone think that everything is âperfectâ in Dubai, it is not. There are a number of issues, ranging from political prisoners in the country (due in part to a stifling intellectual/political climate) to the lack of legislative oversight to continued labor exploitation (far less than before but still problematic, given there is still no minimum wage). Societally, there are also a number of challenges, including naturalization, obesity, and a growing culture of materialism, none of which should be taken lightly. And, for the local Emirati population, there is a high rate of unemployment due to a mismatch between expectations and skills and the needs of the labor market. None of these should be under-estimated for both the moral issues they pose as well obstacles they may present to the viability of Dubai's success, as is the case in many transformative development contexts.
The Dubai model works quite obviously, in Dubai. While other countries â especially those in transition â cannot copy-and-paste what Dubai has done, particularly on migration, cultural change, and government led-investment, they can still apply lessons from Dubaiâs experience. Although it may seem that Dubai had the guarantee of Abu Dhabi behind it or capital flows in the Gulf to harness, every country has an advantage, which can be used as a foundation. Egypt has the largest consumer base in the entire Arab world that can drive industry. Tunisia has some of the highest literacy rates and education levels in the region, and an established tourist bridge with Europe. Libya has tremendous oil-wealth and a strong connection to the Sub-Saharan economy.
The fragility of transitional countries means that everything must be done to improve. What Dubai has demonstrated is that there can be positive momentum and development on areas that affect the quality of peopleâs lives and their livelihoods. There remain critical challenges in front of it, but there is also something that works in Dubai, and itâs about time that some of these lessons are transferred to the wider region.
|The (Counter?)Revolution in #Egypt will be Televised (and Tweeted)||Around midnight in Cairo the night of Tuesday, July 2, millions of people in Egypt awaited the President of the Republic, Mohammad Morsi, to respond to the 48-hour ultimatum delivered by the country's military on Monday: resolve your differences with the protestors or we will do it for you. With the deadline fast approaching, and due to hit at 4:30pm local time the next day, Morsi rejected the challenge by the military in a tweet. Then, he came on television and delivered what was the most important speech in not just his life but in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood movement he represents. And it was a spectacular failure. While not as long-winded as the two-and-a-half hour speech he had given just days earlier - akin to a State of the Union - it was just as hollow. His near constant use of the word 'legitimacy' began to elicit uncontrollable laugher in many corners (with the usage count of the word at around 75 in the speech). With millions of Egyptians on the streets across the country - some in support of him but many if not most in opposition - and the military's ultimatum in the background, Morsi had seemingly put the final nail in his own coffin.|
Just 30 months after the ousting of the dictator for the past 30 years, Hosni Mubarak, street protests in Egypt culminated on Wednesday night in a coup d'etat, effectively overturning the 14 democratic elections since February 11, 2011 (the total voting cycles for the parliament, presidency and constitution). Indeed, it was broader than a coup d'etat, as the Tamarod (rebellion) movement that brought millions of people to the streets was a grassroots uprising that gathered millions of signatures from ordinary Egyptians, and more significantly, managed to coalesce a previously disparate and dispirited opposition. Additionally, deposed President Mohammad Morsi had governed incompetently and non-inclusively, which seemingly left the invitation open to change. Yet, what transpired this week, especially in the final sequence of events, could be the initial salvo of a counter-revolution 2.0, potentially endangering the process of democratization in Egypt for years to come.
While things seemingly have not changed that much in Egypt, and in many ways have gotten worse, a lot has transpired. Following the departure of Mubarak and his gang from the scene, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took charge of managing the country's affairs. It took nearly a year to hold parliamentary elections. When it did happen, in late 2011-early 2012 the Brotherhood's party (the Freedom & Justice Party or FJP) took 38% of the vote, followed closely by the more conservative Salafist party, Al Nour, which took 28%. Given that this body would determine the fate of the new constitution (and the assembly to draft it), the fact that it was dominated by 'Islamists' already meant the new era of Egypt was handed a poisoned chalice in the eyes of many. Six months later, in June 2012, the Presidential elections saw a run-off between a former Prime Minister but tainted 'remnant' of the old Mubarak regime, Ahmed Shafiq, and Mohammed Morsi (representing the Muslim Brotherhood). Morsi won, and with the backing of protests in the famed Tahrir Square, also managed to wrest plenty of executive authority from SCAF. Within two months, Morsi also seemed to assert civilian control over the military, with a shuffling of key positions in the defense establishment.
Then on November 22, 2012, with full executive powers, and the parliament in limbo (due to pending court cases), Morsi assumed essentially legislative powers and declared himself immune from judicial oversight until a new constitution was formed. In essence that gave birth to the current movement (well at least the National Salvation Front that formed 2 days later and was a hodge-podge of opposition groups, including figures such as Mohamed El Baradei) which culminated in Morsi's removal from office this week. Morsi and the FJP then ham-fisted a constitution through a referendum, which garnered the support of 64% of the voting public. However, the process was not led by consensus and Morsi appeared to be increasingly marginalizing the judiciary, which many viewed as being too linked to the old regime, especially given that many senior judges were appointed by Hosni Mubarak (the judges had their own democracy movement in 2006 so not a unified group by any means). Yet for many in the opposition, the judiciary was still a check against Morsi and the Brotherhood's power. And there were also complaints about the ikhwanization of the state; given what transpired this week, this appeared not to have been the case.
Nevertheless, the concentration of power by the Brotherhood and its non-inclusive method of governance as described above, could have overcome minor challenges from the opposition, if Morsi had enacted policies that improved the lives of everyday people. His approval rating had begun to drop dramatically, falling to 28% of the public just weeks before his overthrow. This was mainly due to the inability of the government to turnaround the economy, with 25% of Egyptians below the poverty line, unemployment on the rise, and the country's fiscal health on the decline. Meanwhile, his approach to foreign policy of aligning with the US, engaging with Iran, partnering with Qatar, and leading the charge on Syria, did little to assuage a frustrated public waiting for change at home in their daily lives that had yet to materialize. And sectarian clashes that mainly killed Shiites and Christians tarnished the impartial role the President was assumed to play, given that he was close to figures that were prone to incitement.
In the backdrop of all of this, the Tamarod movement, which started just several months ago (in April), began to tap into the widespread anger and frustration. Gone was the gloss of a technocratic 'Islamist' party - a la the AKP in Turkey, who incidentally are having their own issues - replaced instead by the reality of the FJP in Egypt. And gone also was the mystique of a survivalist Brotherhood that was the David against the Goliath of the last half century; the Brotherhood was now the Goliath, and seemingly squandering the power that it had accumulated. The Tamarod activists claimed to have gathered 22 million signatures, in a country of 93 million people, which seems patently ridiculous for many demographic/logistical reasons (in the course of just two months). Nevertheless, their demands were clear, and principally centered on early Presidential elections (Morsi had served one of a four-year term). They were supported by umbrella opposition groups such as the National Salvation Front, April 6 Movement, and others, and with their deadline of June 30 for Morsi to respond coming fast, thousands and then millions began to fill Egypt's squares (some as noted in support of Morsi).
By Wednesday, just prior to the removal of Morsi from power, several implications of what was transpiring were already clear. Firstly, the Tamarod movement, and subsequent mobilization demonstrated that there could be an organized opposition to Islamists in the 'new' Arab world, and that this secular alternative could mobilize numbers. This could have far-reaching consequences in other countries such as Tunisia, where Islamists like the Nahda Party hold sway, as well as eventually (in the longer-term) in autocratic countries where often the only strong opposition movements are bogeyman Islamists movements. Secondly, Morsi's reign had as noted above, dulled - as power does to any party - the shine of the Brotherhood. It has been noted, for example that the clashes that led to the separation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip, and undermined the Hamas victory in Palestinian elections, only emboldened Hamas instead of forcing the movement into the pubic accountability spotlight.
Of course, in the euphoria of what the opposition was about to gain, the darkness just around the corner might have seemed far away. With millions on the street, and the military indicating a willingness to force itself on the scene as the arbitrator, Morsi offered a new constitutional process, a unity government of technocrats, and an accelerated schedule of new parliamentary elections but it was too little too late it seemed for the street, especially with the military now backing the activists' play. And so instead of a negotiated agreement with President Morsi, or a legal process through the courts, or any other process through civilian authorities, it was the military that removed Morsi from power. The crowds in Tahrir Square cheered but the supporters of the deposed President, in Nasr City (also in Cairo), jeered. In a carefully choreographed display, the civil secular state - with an associated roadmap essentially a reset of the revolutionary period - was re-established by three initial speeches: first by General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, head of the armed forces (appointed by Morsi), second by the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, and third by the Coptic Pope. Short statements followed from a range of opposition figures, including a representative of Tamarod and El Baradei and the conservative Nour Party.
If you are an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, this was indeed a victory. And given the direction that Egypt was going, if you are an Egyptian, you can only hope that this could lead to a more positive future. Whatever the case, however, the military re-takeover appears to also be a re-launch of the counter-revolution. The autocratic powers that be in the region were effusive and immediate in their praise of the military and the coup. More worryingly, was the systematic campaign of arrests that already started to unfold late into the night of Muslim Brotherhood activists, leaders, affiliated journalists, and yes even Mohammad Morsi. The military is looking not just to referee the playing field but to define the playing field and the players allowed on it. That's not democracy. It may be that in the modern Arab world the demographics are such that the debate is about choosing between liberalism and democracy, but isn't that the false choice of the last 40-50 years offered by autocratic rulers in the Arab world? And there is nothing 'rosy' about liberal autocracy versus religious autocracy in this region. In fact, if anything, liberal/secular authoritarianism has been the bane of decay in modern Arab history: the Baath parties in Iraq and Syria, Ben Ali's Tunis, Mubarak's Egypt, and the list goes on.
Yet, unless the Egyptian military is kept in check, it will likely go down the path it knows best and one that it has followed since 1952, which is to systematically crush dissent and marginalise and exclude the Muslim Brotherhood. All indications today point to a proclivity to re-instate this exclusion, which could lead to an Algeria scenario of the 1990s, albeit in a different form, of course. Paradoxically, as this new Pandora's Box is opened, the only hope to keep the military in check is the very street and youth who demanded its removal from the scene, and then demanded it to come back to its role as guarantor of the state. Hopefully the tamarod or rebellion, will keep that spirit, now that they have been given a share of the power.
|Why Dubai is the best (biggest, tallest, and coolest) candidate for Expo 2020||Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, agreed to form a federation of what were then then The Trucial States, a British protectorate, hardly anyone could have envisioned what the United Arab Emirates would have become today, nearly 45 years after that historic meeting [eventually seven of the nine 'sheikhdoms' joined the union]. For all intents and purposes, at inception in 1971, the United Arab Emirates could be described as a desolate backwater, despite a strong history of local traditions, and legacy as a trading post. Today, Dubai and the UAE bring forth images of economic strength and progress in an increasingly volatile and definitively confused region. Dubai's development, specifically, is a once-in-a-generation global phenomenon, and the city is unique like no other. As the bid committee for Expo 2020 look to decide on the host city for the world event seven years from now, there really is no other choice but Dubai - and let me tell you why.|
1. The other candidate cities are Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya...
There is nothing wrong with Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya but do they really measure up to Dubai? Now before anyone gets in a tizzy or their 'socks' in a twist, they are all great cities! Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and home to a great literary tradition. Sao Paulo is one of the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Yekaterinburg (in Russia), well it's Yekaterinburg and they have a monument to Michael Jackson. And Ayutthaya was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let's just say the final three are likely Izmir, Sao Paulo and Dubai. Izmir is certainly a great city but does not have the global resonance of Dubai. And Sao Paulo...well Brazil has both the Olympics (2016) and the World Cup (2014); are you telling me that they really need the pesky Expo 2020 as well!?
2. The Expo needs a city of significance to make the event significant
Do you remember where the last Expo was held (or even that there is an Expo!)? You could be forgiven for not recalling that it was Yeosu, South Korea. Where was the one in 2010? That's right Shanghai. The Expo 2010 attracted a staggering 73 million visitors and was the most visited exhibition of its kind and brought together 189 different expositions from around the world. While in 2015 the Expo will be held in Milan and in 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) it is likely that it would take the Expo 2020 in Dubai to bring the event back to the international spotlight (the governing body regards the Expos held every 5 years to be 'World' Expos). In fact, it normally requires an emerging or new city of a transformative nature to inspire the type of attention that Shanghai in 2010 did (or Osaka in 1970 etc).
3. The entire ethos of Dubai is synonymous with what Expo 2020 would be about
Dubai is a global city by its very nature. It is home to over 2 million residents - and growing - from all over the world and from every socio-economic background, representing over 200 nationalities. The city is at once a home to and meeting-ground for people from the the Middle East, Subcontinent, Central Asia, Africa (especially East Africa) and Europe, North America, and Australia. There are even an estimated 180,000 Chinese residents in Dubai. With the tourist profile of the city, Dubai has in fact become the 8th most visited city in the world (in 2012). It's cultural diversity is on constant display with a burgeoning arts scene (that is driven at the grassroots level), international film festivals, culinary celebrations, and so much more that you might as well just visit Timeout magazine.
4. Dubai inspires the imagination as the Expo event is meant to do
The landmark World Expo (or Great Exhibition) was organized under the auspices of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, all the way back in 1851, in Hyde Park. It was an inspiring event that showcased the burgeoning city of London - the world's city at the time - and the promise of a future driven by technology and industrialization. In a region too full of dark pessimism and cynicism, Dubai represents optimism and opportunity. And it will represent that even more so in 2020, as the city, albeit far along the way, is only at the beginning of its journey in my view of what it will become. Think about it. Who would have said twenty years ago that the world's tallest building would be built in the (Arabian) Gulf? Who would have said only several years ago after the 9/11 attacks that the world's leading airline would be from an Arab country? Who would have thought that the 3rd largest ports operator in the world, handling over 33 million containers annually, would be from Dubai? Today, when you look at the volatile, unstable, and stagnant Middle East, there is one destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to go to - and that is Dubai.
5. Expo 2020 would drive Dubai and the UAE to improve
Before I even write this sentence, I'm sure several of London's finest are in a huff-and-puff that I have not yet mentioned jailed Islamists or tourists having sex in a taxi. Better yet, given the refusal-of-entry for a scholar from LSE this past week, shouldn't I be talking about the closure of the academic environment (I mean I masquerade as an intellectual from time to time as well)? Whether or not I believe in liberal democracy (I do - shock!), is it really a matter of discussion for Expo 2020? Well, in that case, we should reject Izmir's candidacy because of Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militants, Ayutthaya's candidacy because of Thailand's campaign in Malay Pattani, Yekaterinburg's candidacy because of Russia's crackdown on political opposition, and Sao Paulo's candidacy because of Brazil's anti-slum raids. Such nullification would leave no one left to host the event! Now beyond the two issues I mentioned above there are a number of continuing issues of concern in the UAE, allow me to list some of them: labor rights (even though this is improving); integration of stateless residents (i.e. bidoons); and increased confusion around cyber surveillance. Hosting the Expo 2020 would not exacerbate but more than likely shed more light on and ameliorate these challenges. In fact, the event would serve as a target-date for when Dubai and the UAE will be (even more so) on the world stage, and that attention would drive improvements on areas of concern.
There are more reasons than the five I've listed here on why Dubai should be the host for Expo 2020, but I like the number 5 (it's the former consultant in me - I almost went with three). Whether you live here or plan to visit, I look forward to seeing you in Dubai in 2020! Until then:
|When did Canada go wrong on Israel/Palestine?||A lot has been written in the subsequent weeks following Canada's strong stand and vote against Palestinian statehood at the United Nations. The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel, in an almost intrinsic and essentialist stance. It is a relationship that Harper has said he would defend at any cost:|
There is a history of how Canada's policy towards the Middle East conflict has shifted from neutral peacemaker to partisan cheerleader over the last decade and it started not with the Conservatives but with the Liberal Party, particularly under Paul Martin's leadership. Yet a lot of what is out there in the media is based on revisionism. I wanted to therefore post for the first time, exclusively on these pages, the official policy of the Government of Canada back in 2001, just over a decade ago, on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is in the form of a formal email that I received (as a freshman at Princeton!) from then Foreign Minister John Manley, clarifying Canada's position following the 'controversial' anti-racism conference in Durban that year. Obviously written by his policy team, it is still telling on the marked departure that Canada has taken from its more grounded and neutral past in the region.
Thank you for your e-mail of August 30, 2001, concerning the situation in the Occupied Territories, and the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) held in Durban, South Africa, from August 31 to September 8, 2001. I regret the delay in replying.
The Government of Canada has an ongoing dialogue, both in bilateral and in multilateral forums, with the Government of Israel concerning the general state of human rights, including minority rights. Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over the territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) and opposes all unilateral actions intended to predetermine the outcome of negotiations, including the establishment of settlements in the territories and unilateral moves to annex East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. We consider such actions to be contrary to international law and unproductive to the peace process. Canada's policy on Palestinian refugees is based on UN Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948, which stipulates that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practical date, and that compensation should be paid for those choosing not to return. Canada believes that the Palestinian refugee issue must be resolved in a manner in keeping with the spirit of Resolution 194 through negotiations among the parties directly concerned. Any solution must respect the rights, dignity and human security of the refugees, and should be consistent with international law. Canada also believes that the best way to ensure a durable peace is to offer the refugees real choices.
The international community must work with the parties to encourage them to live up to their agreements and continue the active search for a just peace. Both parties must work toward the complete cessation of violence and terrorism, stay committed to the Peace Process and build upon the real progress achieved at Camp David and Taba. Please be assured that we continue to monitor the situation closely, and stand ready to assist Israel and the Palestinians to bring about peace. The objectives of the WCAR were: to review all factors leading to racism; review progress in the fight against racism; increase awareness of the problem; and recommend new and improved measures to combat racism. Canada had hoped that the WCAR would lead to a renewed global commitment and action plan against racism and racial discrimination.
Canada stayed at the Conference in an attempt to ensure that the Declaration and Program of Action contained text worthy of global support, and to speak out against the elements of text that were inappropriate and unacceptable. At the closing of the WCAR, Canada believed it was necessary to issue a strong statement of reservation on the Declaration and Program of Action. Our concerns centred on inappropriate references to the Middle East, the failure to include the multiple forms and grounds for discrimination, and the issue of apology, reparations and compensation for slavery, colonialism and the slave trade. The Canadian delegation registered its strongest objections and dissociated itself integrally from all text in this document directly or indirectly relating to the situation in the Middle East. We have said, and will continue to say, that any language presented in any forum that does not serve to advance a negotiated peace that will bring security, dignity and respect to the people of the region is - and will be - unacceptable to Canada. A copy of a news release issued in this regard, to which Canada's statement of reservation is attached, can be found on our Web site at http:/www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca, News Releases and Statements.
However, these reservations should not overshadow the positive elements of the final documents, or the strong role Canada played in influencing progressive strategies for indigenous peoples and in encouraging the role of civil society, especially youth, in combatting racism, in particular hate on the Internet.
The issue of Zionism was excised from the United Nations' books in 1991. It had no place in the work of the WCAR. Canada strongly maintained its position that any attempt to equate Zionism with racism was unacceptable.
Canada remains committed to fighting discrimination in all of its forms, and will continue to channel its international efforts through the United Nations until a global consensus is reached in which Canada could join.
Thank you again for writing.
Yours very truly,
|Liberal, Tory, same old story||Like Liberal MPs in Ottawa, Alberta's governing Conservatives just don't understand whose money fills government coffers. Both groups seem to think the money belongs to politicians rather than to those who earned it.|
|Why Stephen Harper should vote against this budget||It looks like it only takes $16 worth of tax cuts to get Tory MPs to support a Liberal budget. If enough Conservative MPs carry out their plan to abstain from the budget vote in the House of Commons, the Liberals will easily pass it over the objections of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois.|
|Albertans didn't get what they voted for||Albertans are served poorly by a voting system which doesn't give them the representation they voted for. The majority of Albertans rejected Ralph Klein's Tories in the provincial election. Nevertheless, three quarters of the MLAs in Alberta's legislature are Progressive Conservatives.|
A better voting system would give Albertans what they really voted for: a legislature with 39 PCs, 24 Liberals, eight New Democrats, eight Alberta Alliance, three Greens and one Socred MLA.
|Klein's survey biased towards bigger government||Premier Klein's $500,000 mail-in survey reads like it was designed by the Liberals or NDP. The survey's underlying assumptions are that government is responsible for our lives and our happiness, and that problems can be solved by throwing tax dollars at them.|
Surveys are a poor substitute for real democratic accountability. This will exist only when Albertans acquire the right to initiate and vote in referendums on issues important to them.
This mail-in survey leaves no room for solutions other than spending tax dollars.
|Health care is a provincial issue, Mr. Martin||Paul Martin is profoundly disturbed by the prospect of Premier Klein's government coming forward with new health care policies later this month. Without knowing the content of Alberta's reforms, Mr. Martin has declared his determination to say "no" to Mr. Klein. In Canada it's not surprising when a Liberal automatically opposes whatever a Conservative supports - and vice versa. However, what is startling is Mr. Martin's assumption - also shared by others - that provinces have no business running health care.|
|Experiencing is believing: Odyssey into the heart of American religion punctures stereotypes||Forget the popular cultural images from shows such as HBO's "Big Love" that revive stereotypes linking Mormonism with polygamy or the ubiquitous images in the news associating Islam with terrorism. Look past the cultural crossfire that lumps religious liberals and conservatives into separate boxes defined by extremist political and social agendas. The reality, as presented in a new book by two respected scholars, is that if you walk into a mosque, synagogue, temple or church next weekend, you will most likely find groups of believers in prayer and meditation seeking spiritual growth.
|New fiscal stability fund is a step in the right direction||Kudos to Alberta's Tories for starting a new fiscal stability fund. Putting all of Alberta's sometimes-high and sometimes-low royalties from oil and gas into one fund, and then taking out a steady, predictable $3.5 billion per year, is eminent good sense. Kudos also to the Liberals and NDP for having promoted this idea for many years.|
|Who speaks for taxpayers in Alberta's Legislature||In theory, all 83 Alberta MLAs speak for the taxpayers in their constituencies. But since Premier Klein increased our taxes by $641 million this past March, how many MLAs have called for reversing these tax hikes Some ND and Liberal MLAs criticized Premier Klein for breaking his pre-election promise to Albertans that "the only way taxes are going is down." But these same opposition MLAs consistently call on the government to throw more money at health care, teachers' salaries, social workers, etc.|
|El aborto desde un punto de vista liberal||Si siempre ha sido delicado abordar el tema del aborto, hoy dÃa lo es mÃ¡s que nunca. Uno de los cambios sustanciales que trajo la Ã©poca moderna fue destronar de sus pedestales a las personas mayores, los ancianos, para ser sustituidos por los niÃ±os. Todo lo referente a los niÃ±os es polÃ©mico y todo el […]|
|Church Lets Muslim Worship During Service, She De-Deifies Christ|
After almost every act of radical Islamic terrorism, liberals like to remind everyone that a vast majority of Muslims are tolerant folk who are more than capable of getting along with their Christian neighbors. One of those so-called “tolerant” Muslims was reportedly invited intoÂ St. Maryâs (Scottish Episcopal) Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland, and given the opportunity…
The post Church Lets Muslim Worship During Service, She De-Deifies Christ appeared first on Conservative Tribune.
|ALERT: Potential DNC Chairâs Dark Past Finally Exposedâ¦ Spread This Everywhere|
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim in Congress, may be the next Democrat National Committee Chairman. There’s just one, big problem, however, and that is how the media have refused to cover the dark past of Ellison — namely his ties to the Nation of Islam and radical Islam. The liberal media have…
The post ALERT: Potential DNC Chair’s Dark Past Finally Exposed… Spread This Everywhere appeared first on Conservative Tribune.
|Black Woman Obliterates the Leftâs Muhammad Ali Love Fest With 1 Brutal Question|
For the past week, liberals nationwide has been celebrating the life of Muhammad Ali as a champion of liberal causes and a Muslim-American activist who stood up against injustice. Mona Walter has taken issue with this and posted a video on YouTube in which she called liberals out for (once again) being complete hypocrites when…
The post Black Woman Obliterates the Left’s Muhammad Ali Love Fest With 1 Brutal Question appeared first on Conservative Tribune.
|Muslims Order Pastor to Take Down âBigotedâ Church Sign, HATE His Epic Response|
One sign at a church in Oregon has attracted quite a bit of attention because of what liberals call its bigoted message, but the pastor has his own opinion and itâs sure to get the politically correct crowd fired up. There are two signs at the Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church in Hood River that…
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|DesconexiÃ³n obligatoria del trabajo fuera del horario laboral|
'DepresiÃ³n y ansiedad generalizada'
Francia no es el Ãºnico
|Students sit-in at SNC|
Sierra Nevada College students came together in solidarity to share what they value in a Liberal Arts education on May 8, 2017. One of the first protests at SNC, the idea was to raise awareness about budget cuts while asking school administration to consider what the students value in SNCâs Liberal Arts program moving […]
|Opinion: SNC Needs to Stay True to Liberal Arts Roots|
What kind of citizens do we hope to send into the world? What kind of society do we want to create? What role does the college play in serving the public good? The most important questions related to academia are often the ones left unasked in the United States, since the responses cannot be confined […]
The post Opinion: SNC Needs to Stay True to Liberal Arts Roots appeared first on Eagle's Eye.
|Vortrag von Dietmar Neutatz Ã¼ber die Russische Revolution 1917||Der Freiburger Osteuropahistoriker Dietmar NeutatzÂ hÃ¤lt am 9. Mai 2017Â im Rahmen der RingvorlesungÂ Â âDas Jahr 1917. Auftakt zum kurzen 20. Jahrhundert?â den Vortrag Die Russische Revolution 1917: Ihre Folgen und historischen Bewertungen Dazu lÃ¤dt das Institut fÃ¼r Geschichte InteressierteÂ um 18.15 Uhr herzlich inÂ S1|03 223 ein. Das Jahr 1917 war in Russland geprÃ¤gt von zwei Revolutionen, die extrem unterschiedliche Konzepte von Staatsmacht und Gesellschaftsordnung vertraten. Die Februarrevolution ebnete mit der Ãberwindung der Zarenherrschaft den Weg fÃ¼r eine demokratische Verfassung und versprach das zu vollenden, was die liberalen … „Vortrag von Dietmar Neutatz Ã¼ber die Russische Revolution 1917“ weiterlesen|
|By: Kevin||But, I'm a knee-jerk liberal! I don't have to read the WHOLE post before I write a rebuttal. Heck, I shouldn't have even read as much as I did! ;)
|ETIKA BISNIS (UAS)|
Bisnis dan Etika dalam Dunia Modern
1. Bisnis modern merupakan realistas yang yang amat kompleks. Banyak faktor yang mempengaruhi dan menentukan kegiatan bisnis. Guna menjelaskan kekhususan aspek etis ini, dalam suatu pendekatan pertama kita membandingkan dulu dengan aspek-aspek lain, terutama aspek ekonomi dan hukum. Sebab, bisnis sebagai kegiatan social dapat disoroti sekurang kurangnya dari tiga sudut pandang yang berbeda tetapi tidak selalu mungkin dipisahkan ini : sudut pandang ekonomi, hokum, dan etika.
1.1. Sudut pandang ekonomis
Bisnis adalah kegiatan ekonomis Yang terjadi dalam kegiatan ini adalah tukar-menukar, jual-beli, memproduksimemasarkan, bekerja-memperkerjakan, dan bertinteraksi dengan orang lain lainnya, dengan maksud memperoleh untung. Dipandang dari sudut ekonomis, good bussines atau bisnis yang baik adalah bisnis yang membawa banyak untung. Orang bisnis selalu akan berusaha membuat bisnis yang baik (dalam arti itu).
1.2. Sudut pandang moral
Disamping aspek ekonomi dari bisnis, di sini tampak aspek lain : aspek moral. Selalu ada kendala etis bagi perilaku kita, termasuk juga perilaku ekonomis. Tidak semuanya bisa kita lakukan untuk mengejar tujuan kita (di bidang bisnis : mencari keuntungan) boleh kita lakukan juga. Kita harus menghormati kepentingan dan hak orang lain. Bisnis yang baik (good bussines) bukan saja bisnis yang baik secara moral .
1.3. Sudut pandang hukum
Tidak diragukan, bisnis terikat juga oleh hukum. âHukum dagangâ atau âHukum bisnisâ merupakan cabang penting dari ilmu hukum modern. Dari segi norma, hukum lebih jelas dan pasti dibandingkan etika. Karena hukum dituliskan hitam atas putih dan ada sanksi tertentu, bila terjadi pelanggaran. Hukum dan etika kerap kali tidak bisa dilepaskan satu sama lain. Memang benar, ada hal-hal yang diatur oleh hukum tidak mempunyai hubungan langsung dengan etika. Tetapi ada juga ada perilaku dalam segi moral penting, tetapi tidak diatur menurut hukum.
Untuk bisnis, sudut pandang hukum tentupenting. Bisnis harus menaati hukum dan peraturan yang berlaku. âBisnis yang baikâ antara lain berarti juga bisnis yang patuh pada hukum. Disamping hukum, kita membutuhkan etika juga. Kita memerlukan norma moral yang menetapkan apa yang etis dan tidak etis untuk dilakukan. Pada taraf normatif etika mendahului hukum. Jika secara moral suatu perilaku ternyata salah, kemungkinan besar (walaupun tidak pasti) perilaku itu melanggar hukum juga.
1.4. Tolak ukur untuk tiga sudut pandang ini
Dapat disimpulkan, supaya patut disebut good bussines, tingkah laku bisnis harus memenuhi syarat-syarat dari semua sudut pandang tadi. Memang benar bisnis yang ekonomis tidak baik (jadi, tidak membawa untung) tidak pantas disebut bisnis yang baik. Bisnis tidak pantas disebut good bussines kalau tidak baik dari sudut pandang etika dan hukum juga. Dalam hal ini penting aspek hukum lebih mudah diterima, sekurang-kurang pada taraf teoritis (walaupundalam praktek barangkali sering dilanggar).
2. Apa itu Etika Bisnis
- Etika sebagai praksis berarti : apa yang dilakukan sejauh sesuai atau tidak sesuai dengan nilai dan norma moral.
- Etika sebagai refleksi adalah pemikiran moral. Dalam etika sebagai refleksi kita berpikir tentang apa yang dilakukan dan khususnya tentang apa yang harus dilakukan atau tidak boleh dilakukan.
- Etika adalah cabang filsafat yang mempelajari baik buruknya manusia. Karena itu etika dalam arti ini disebut juga âfilsafat parktisâ.
Seperti etika terapan pada umumnya, etika bisnis pun dapat dijalankan pada tiga taraf : taraf makro, meso dan mikro. Tiga taraf ini berkaitan dengan tiga kemungkinan yang berbeda untuk menjalankan kegitan ekonomi dan bisnis.
- Pada taraf makro, etika bisnis mempelajari aspek-aspek moral dari sistem ekonomi sebagai keseluruhan.
- Pada taraf meso (madya atau menengah), etika bisnis menyelidiki masalah etis di bidang organisasi. Organisasi di sini terutama berarti perusahaan, tapi bisa juga serikat buruh, lembaga konsumen, perhimpunan profesi dan lain-lain.
- Pada taraf mikro, yang difokuskan adalah individu dalam hubungan dengan ekonomi atau bisnis. Di sini dipelajari tanggung jawab etis dari karyawan dan majikan, bawahan dan manajer, produsen dan konsumen, pemasok dan investor.
3. Perkembangan etika bisnis
Sepanjang sejarah, kegiatan perdaganga atau bisnis tidak pernah luput dari sorotan etika. Namun demikian, jika kita menyimak etika bisnis sebagaimana dipahami dan dipraktekkan sekarang, tidak bisa disangkal juga, di sini kita menghadapi suatu fenomena baru. Belum pernah dalam sejarah, etika bisnis mendapat perhatian besar intensif seperti sekarang ini.
Etika bisnis dalam arti khusus ini pertama kali timbul di Amerika Serikat dalam tahun 1970-an dan agak cepat meluas ke kawasan dunia lain.
4. Profil etika bisnis dewasa ini
Kini etika bisnis sudah mempunyai status ilmiah yang serius. Ia semakin diterima di antara ilmu-ilmu yang sudah mapan dan memiliki ciri-ciri yang biasanya menandai sebuah ilmu.
5. Faktor sejarah dan budaya dalam etika bisnis
Jika mempelajari sejarah, dan khusunya dunia barat, sikap positif ini tidak selamanya menandai pandangan terhadap bisnis. Sebaliknya, berabad-abad lamanya terdapat tedensi yang cukup kuat memandang bisnis atau perdagangan sebagai kegiatan yang tidak pantas dilakukan bagi manusia beradab. Orang seperti pedagang jelas-jelas dicurigakan kualitas etisnya. Sikap negative ini berlangsung terus sampai zaman modern dan baru menghilang seluruhnya sekitar waktu industrial.
6. Kritik atas etika bisnis
6.1. Etika bisnis mendiskriminasi
Kritik pertama kali ini lebih menarik karena sumbernya daripada isinya. Sumbernya adalah Peter Drucker, ahli ternama dalam bidang teori manajemen. Tuduhan Drucker tidak beralasan. Sekali-kali tidak benar bahwa etika bisnis memperlakukan bisnis dengan cara lain ordinary folk (orang biasa). Kritiknya berasal dari salah paham besar terhadap maksud etika bisnis. Justru karena orang bisnis merupakan ordinary folk (orang biasa). Justru orang bisnis merupakan ordinary folk, mereka memerlukan etika. Sebagaimana semua orang lain, para pebisnis merupakan pelaku moral.
Etika bisnis menjadi suatu ilmu dengan identitas tersendiri, bukan karena norma-norma yang tidak berlaku di bidang lain, melainkan karena aplikasi norma-norma yang umum atas suatu wilayah kegiatan manusiawi yang minta perhatian khusus, sebab keadaannya dan masalah-masalahnya mempunyai corak tersendiri.
6.2. Etika bisnis itu kontradiktif
Kritik lain tidak berasal dari satu orang, tetapi ditemukan dalam kalangan popular yang cukup luas. Sebenarnya bukan kritik, melainkan skepsis. Orang-orang ini menilai etika bisnis sebagai suatu usaha yang naÃ¯f.
6.3. Etika bisnis tidak praktis
Tidak ada kritik atas etika bisnis yang menimbulkan begitu banyak rekasi seperti artikel yang dimuat dalam Harvard Business Review pada tahun 1993 dengan judul âWhatâs the matter with business ethics?â. Pengarangnya adalah Adrew Stark, seorang dosen manajemen di Universitas Toronto, Kanada. Ia menilai, kesenjangan besar menganga antara etika bisnis akademis dan para professional di bidang manajemen.
6.4. Etikawan tidak bisa mengambil alih tanggung jawab
Kritikan lain lagi dilontarkan kepada etika terapan pada umumnya, termasuk juga etika bisnis, di samping etika biomedis, etika jurnalistik, etika profesi hukum dan lain-lain. Kritisi meragukan entah etika bisnis memiliki keahlian etis khusus, yang tidak dimiliki oleh para pebisnis dan manajer itu sendiri.
Seluruh kritikan ini juga berdasarkan salah pahan. Etika bisnis sama sekali tidak bermaksud mengambil alih tanggung jawab etis pebisnis, para manajer, atau pelaku moral lain di bidang bisnis. Etika bisnis bisa membantu untuk mengambil keputusan moral yang dapat dipertanggungjawabkan, tapi tidak berniat mengambil tempat dari para pelaku moral dalam perusahaan.
Sekilas Teori Etika
Etika bisnis adalah penerapan prinsip-prinsip etika yang umum pada wilayah pelaku manusia yang khusus, yaitu kegiatan ekonomi dan bisnis. Secara konkret etika sering terfokuskan pada perbuatan. Bisa dikatakan juga bahwa teori etika membantu kita untuk menilai keputusan etis.
Akan tetapi, setiap penguraian macam ini terbentur pada kesulitan bahwa kenyataanya pada teori etika. Di sini akan dibahas secara singkat beberapa teori yang dewasa ini paling penting dalam pemikiran moral, khususnya dalam etika bisnis.
âUtilitarismeâ berasal dari kata Latin utilis yang berarti âbermanfaatâ. Menurut teori ini suatu perbuatan adalah baik jika membawa manfaat, tapi manfaat itu harus menyangkut bukan saja satu dua orang melainkan masyarakat sebagai keseluruhan. Dapat dipahami pula utilarisme sangat menekankan pentingnya konsekuensi perbuatan dalam menilai baik buruknya suatu perbuatan.
Kita dapat menyimpulkan bahwa utilitarisme aturan membatasi diri dari pada justifikasi aturan-aturan moral. Dengan demikian mereka memang dapat menghindari kesulitan dari utilitarisme perbuatan.
Istilah Deontologi (deontology) ini berasal dari kata Yunani deon yang berarti kewajiban. Maka deontology melepaskan sama sekali moralitas dari konsekuensi perbuatan. Utilitarisme mementingkan konsekuensi perbuatan, sedangkan deontology konsekuensi perbuatan tidak berperan sama sekali.
3. Teori Hak
Dalam pemikiran moral dewasa ini barangkali teori hak ini adalah pendekatan yang paling banyak dipakai untuk mengevaluasi baik buruknya suatu perbuatan atau perilaku. Sebetulnya teori hak merupakan suatu aspek dari teori dentiologi, karena berkaitan dengan kewajiban.
4. Teori keutumaan
Apa yang dimaksud dengan keutamaan?keutamaan bisa didefinisikan sebagai berikut: diposisi watak yang telah diperoleh seseorang dan memungkinkan dia untuk bertingkah laku baik secara moral. Ada banyak keutamaan dan semua keutamaan dan semua keutamaan untuk setiap orang dan untuk setiap kegiatan. Diantara keutamaan yang harus menandai pebisnis perorangan bisa disebut: kejujuran, fairness, kepercayaan, dan keuletan.
Kejujuran secara umum diakui sebagai keutamaan pertama dan paling penting yang harus dimiliki oleh pelaku bisnis. Orang yang mempunyai keutamaan kejujuran tidak akan berbohong atau menipu dalam transaksi bisnis, bahkan kalau penipuan sebenarnya gampang. Perlu diakui, tentang keutamaan kejujuran kadang-kadang ada kesulitan juga. Garis perbatasan antara kejujuran dan ketidakjujuran tidak selalu bisa ditarik dengan tajam.
Keutamaan kedua adalah fairness. Kata inggris ini sulit diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Indonesia. Kerap kali diberi terjemahan âkeadilanâ dan memang fairness dekat dengan paham âkeadilanâ tapi tidak sama juga. Barangkali terjemahan yang tidak terlalu meleset adalah: sikap wajar. Fairness adalah kesediaan untuk memberikan apa yang wajar kepada semua orang dengan semeua orang dan dengan âwajarâ dimaksudkan apa yang bisa disetujui oleh semua orang yang terlibat dalam suatu transaksi.
Kepercayaan (trust) juga adalah keutamaan yang pentng dalam konteks bisnis. Kepercayaan harus ditempatkan dalam relasi timbale balik. Ada beberapa cara untuk mengamankan kepercayaan. Salah satu cara ialah member garansi atau jaminan.
Keutamaan keempat adalah keuletan (Solomon menggunakan kata toughness). Pebisnis harus bertahan dalam banyak situasi yang sulit. Ia harus sanggup mengadakan negosiasi yang terkadang seru tentang proyek atau transaksi yang bernilai besar. Ia harus berani juga mengambil risiko kecil ataupun besar, karena perkembangan banyak faktor tidak bisa diramalkan sebelumnya.
Kelompok keutamaan lain menandai orang bisnis pada taraf perusahaan. Dengan kata lain, keutamaan-keutamaan ini dimiliki manajer dan karyawan sejauh mereka mewakili perusahaan. Keempat keutamaan ini adalah: keramahan, loyalitas, kehormatan, dan rasa malu.
Keutamaan sebenarnya lebih cocok untuk digambarkan secara konkret daripada diuraikan pada taraf teoritis. Dalam filsafat dewasa ini dikenal pendekatan yang sering disebut ânaratifâ. Artinya, kebenaran filosofis yang mau dibicarakan, tidak diuraikan secara teoretis, melainkan dikisahkan dalam suatu contoh atau kasus konkret. Dibandingkan dengan teori-teori lain, teori keutamaan mempunyai kelebihan lagi, karena memungkinkan untuk mengembangkan penilaian etis yang lebih etis. Teori-teori yang didasarkan atas aturan, pada umumnya cenderung menilai perbuatan-perbuatan dari segi negative, artinya mereka terutama menyoroti yang tidak etis.
EKONOMI DAN KEADILAN
Keadilan dapat diartikan sebagai to give everybody his own (memberikan kepada setiap orang apa yang menjadi haknya).
Ciri khas keadilan :
a. Keadilan tertuju pada orang lain
b. Keadilan harus ditegakkan atau dilaksanakan
c. Keadilan menuntut persamaan (equality)
Pembagian keadilan menurut Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) yang mendasarkan pandangan filosofisnya atas pemikiran Aristoteles (384-322 SM) disebut juga pembagian klasik, membedakan keadilan menjadi :
a. Keadilan Umum (general justice) : berdasarkan keadilan ini para anggota masyarakat diwajibkan untuk memberi kepada masyarakat (negara) apa yang menjadi haknya.
b. Keadilan Distributif (distributive justice): berdasarkan keadilan ini negara (pemerintah) harus membahi segalanya ddengan cara yang sama kepada para anggota masyarakat.
c. Keadilan Komutatif (commutative justice) : berdasarkan keadilan ini setiap orang harus memberikan kepada orang lain apa yang menjadi haknya.
Pembagian keadilan yang dikemukakan oleh pengarang modern tentang etika bisnis, khususnya John Boatright dan Manuel Velasquez dapat dibedakan menjadi :
a. Keadilan Distributif (distributive Justice)
b. Keadilan Retributif (retributive justice) : berkaitan dengan terjadinya kesalahan
c. Keadilan Kompensatoris (compensatory justice) : berdasarkan keadilan ini orang mempunyai kewajiban moral untuk memberikan kompensasi atau ganti rugi kepada orang atau instansi yang dirugikan
Disamping pembagian tersebut, keadilan juga dapat dibedakan menjadi keadilan sosial dan keadilan individu
Dalam teori etika modern, ada dua macam prinsip untuk keadilan distributif, yaitu : prinsip formal dan prinsip material. Prinnsip formal yang dirumuskan dalam bahasa Inggris berbunyi âequals ought to be treated equally and unequals may be treated unequalsâ. Yang dapat diartikan bahwa kasus-kasus yang sama harus diperlakukan dengan cara yang sama, sedangkan kasus-kasus yang tidak sama boleh saja diperlakukan dengan cara yg tidak sama. Sedangkan prinsip material menunjukkan kepada salah satu aspek relevan yang bisa menjadi dasar untuk membagi dengan adil hal-hal yang dicari oleh berbagai orang. Beauchamp dan Bowie menyebut enam prinsip keadilan distributif terwujud apabila diberikan kepada setiap oraang dengan syarat :
a. Bagian yang sama
b. Sesuai dengan kebutuhan individualnya
c. Sesuai dengan haknya
d. Sesuai dengan usaha individualnya
e. Sesuai dengan kontribusinya kepada masyarakat
f. Sesuai dengan jasanya
Berdasarkan prinsip material tersebut, telah dibentuk beberapa teori keadilan distributif. Antara lain :
a. Teori egalitariasme (membagi dengan adil berarti membagi rata)
b. Teori sosialistis (membagi adil sesuai dengan kebutuhan individualnya)
c. Teori liberalistis
Liberalisme dan Sosialisme sebagai Perjuangan Moral
1. Tinjuan historis
1.1. John Locke dan milik pribadi
John Locke (1623-1704), seorang filsuf inggris yang banyak mendalami masalah-masalah social politik, secara umum diakui sebagai orang yang pertama kali mendasarkan teori liberalisme tentang milik. Menurut Locke, manusia mempunyai tiga âhak kodrat: (natural right): âlife, freedom, and propertyâ. Yang penting adalaha hak atas milik karena keidupan dan kebebasan kita miliki juga. Jadi, hak atas milik menyedia pola untuk memahami kedua hak lain juga. Argumentasinya mempengaruhi secara mendalam pemikiran tentang milik di kemudian hari.
Dalam pandangan Locke ini, sudah tampak beberapa cirri kapitalisme liberal yang dengan tegas akan ditolak oleh Karl Marx. Pertama, Locke mengandaikan begitu saja bahwa pekerjaan pun harus diukur atas dasar nilai tukarnya, artinya sebagai komoditas pasaran. Kedua, Locke mengandaikan juga bahwa hasil kerja karyawan menjadi milik sah dari pemilik tanah atau pemilik sarana produksi.
1.2. Adam Smith dan pasar bebas
Tokoh lain yang pantas dibahas dalam rangka liberalism adalah orang Skotlandia, Adam Smith (1723-1790). Adam Smith menjadi terkenal karena dengan gigih membela pasar brbas di bidang ekonomi. Adam Smith tentu bukan filsuf pertama yang membedakan antara kepentingan-diri dan egoisme, tapi ia melihat pentingnya khusus untuk relasi-relasi ekonomis. Kepentingan diri merupakan motIvasi utama yang mendorong kita untuk mengadakan kegiatan ekonomis.
Kegiatan ekonomis di pasar bukan saja menguntungkan bagi pihak-pihak yang langsung terlibat di dalamnya, tetapi bermanfaat juga untuk masyarakat sebagai keseluruhan. Smith menekankan bahwa dengan mengejar kepentingan diri masing-masing dalam sistem pasar para anggota masyarakat mewujudkan kesejahteraan umum yang paling besar.
1.3. Marxisme dan kritiknya atas milik pribadi
Yang dimaksud dengan marxisme adalah pemikiran Karl Marx (1818-1882) bersama dengan teman seperjuangannya, Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Marxisme adalah ajaran social-ekonomis-politik yang sangat kompleks dan tidak mudah untuk disingkatkan tanpa mengorbankan cukup banyak unsure yang sebenarnya hakiki juga. Bisa dikatakan juga marxisme menolak pemilikan pribadi atas capital atau modal, sebab yang memiliki capital dengan sendirinya memilki juga sarana-sarana produksi. Ciri kapitalisme yang jelek adalah bahwa mereka memperkerjakan orang lain untuk memperkaya diri sendiri. Menurut Marxisme, lembaga pribadi pada dasarnya merupakan penindasan atau eksploitasi kaum pekerja. Di sini dengan jelas tampak inspirasi etis dari marxisme. Tujuannya bukan menghapus milik pribadi begitu saja, melainkan secara radikal menentang penindasan atau eksploitasi yang berasal dari pemilikan eksklusif atas sarana-sarana produksi. Menurut mereka, cara pemilikan itu harus diganti dengan sistem milik kolektif.
2. Pertentangan dan perdamaian antara liberalism dan sosialisme
Inti pemikiran liberalism adalah tekanannya pada pada kebebasan individual (liber Lat.=bebas). Tugas pokok Negara menurut pandangan liberalism secara klasik dilukiskan sebagai nighwatch state, âNegara jaga malamâ, karena Negara hanya membatasi diri pada perlindungan dan pengamanan para warga Negara.
âSosialismeâ berasal dari kata Latin socius yang berarti âtemanâ atau âkawanâ. Sosialisme memandang manusia sebagai makhluk social sebagai sesame yang hidup bersama orang lain. Liberalisme lebih cenderung melihat manusia sebagai individu yang mempunyai kebebasan masing-masing. Masyarakat yang diatur secara liberalism ditandai egoism, sedangkan masyarakat yang diatur secara sosialistis atau kesetiakawanan.
a. Sosialisme komunistis
Sosialisme komunistis atau komunisme (communis Lat.=bersama) menolak milik pribadi. Menurut mereka, milik harus menjadi milik bersama atau milik kolektif. Tetai, sebagaimana dijelaskan sebelumnya, Karl Marx tidak menolak semua milik pribadi. Marx dan pengikut-pengikutnya membedakan antara pemilikan barang konsumsi dan pemilikan sarana-sarana produksi. Barang konsumsi adalah barang yang dipakai oleh seseorang bersama dengan keluarganya, seperti rumah, kendaraan, fasilitas olah raga, koleksi buku dan lain sebagainya. Yang tidak boleh menjadi milik pribadi adalah sarana-sarana produksi, seperti pabrik.
|Christmas Liberal Style|
|Gel-10 Lifecast Prep||Well I posted the new Gel-10 lifecasting video to youtube. For those of you who are interested in trying out a Platsil Gel-10 lifecast here are some prep pointers:|
|What is the pedal configuration in a manual car from Great Britan? Is it the same as North America?||I am going to England soon and will be renting a car. All of the rental cars are manual transmission. I have no problem with the manual part, what I would like to know, is the pedal configuration the same as here in Canada? Control gas and Brake with right foot, and control clutch with left. I ask this because you are driving on the right side of the car, changing gears with your left hand, just wondering if the pedals are backward too? Anyone who has ever driven in Great Britan please respond and let me know, it will take a load off my shoulders, and may help me prepare for driving in that country...if driving on the right side isn't confusing enough. Thanks!|
What is the pedal configuration in a manual car from Great Britan? Is it the same as North America?
The pedal layout and gear positions are the same both sides of the Atlantic. Getting used to the layout of the car controls will be the first of the issues that you'll have to cope with.
I used to work at a large airport outside London and have seen some of the daft things that US drivers do as soon as they collect their hire cars. They seem to think that everything is same as %26quot;at home%26quot;. Please accept the following in the spirit of helpfulness...
A few things to note, or you may have %26quot;difficulties%26quot; when driving in the UK:
Get the terminology right (English is a slightly different language from American).
In the UK only very specially adapted cars run on 'gas'. Your fuel will be diesel or petrol (don't mix them up, it would be an expensive mistake). What you call the %26quot;gas pedal%26quot; is the %26quot;Accellerator%26quot;.
There are commonly two grades of petrol, their names vary by company: normal/regular/super and Premium. Unless you have a souped-up sporty car then don't waste your money on Premium.
Most car diesel is very much the same these days (low sulphur etc) regardless of what label the garage gives it. In some places you can buy bio-diesel if your car will take it and you're feeling %26quot;eco-friendly%26quot;.
As a general rule at roundabouts (and many other junctions) - unless signs indicate otherwise - you should give way to traffic approaching from your right (unless you're already on the major road).
Most garages are self-service and Petrol is sold in litres. It is very expensive (about 97pence/litre) so drive carefully or your fuel bills will be shockingly high. The further from London you are the cheaper it gets, unless you're in a very rural area. Don't buy it from a motorway service station because it's even more expensive. The cheapest places to refuel are in supermarkets.
People are generally tolerant at road junctions etc. but if you make a mistake and proceed as if you were driving on the right then people will not accept %26quot;US tourist%26quot; as an excuse when you bend their car.
At all times keep in the left lane on motorways unless you are overtaking. You'll see lots of idiots who think that they have a God given right to hog the centre lane. Don't be one of them, they cause jams and bad tempers.
Keep to speed limits at all times (as usual, you should ignore the idiots who think the rules don't apply to them). The UK is liberally covered with automatic cameras, which you won't see untill it's too late, and your car will be traced to you via your hire company. They'll have a nice collection of fines for you to pay.
Trains always have right of way at level crossings. There are not many of these in England but there do seem to be plenty of people who %26quot;play chicken%26quot; and usually lose. Bumping a train could affect your collision damage insurance.
Familiarise yourself with UK driving rules, road signs and terminology. Many are not the same as in the US (especially at junctions). To keep yourself out of trouble you should read the Highway Code BEFORE you come. It's not long and will save you a lot of grief. The link below should help you.
Enjoy your stay.
What is the pedal configuration in a manual car from Great Britan? Is it the same as North America?
I haven't driven in Great Britain, but I have driven in Japan which also has right-hand drive cars. The gas is on the right, brake in the middle and clutch on the left just like you are used to with a left-hand drive car.
The hardest thing to get used to is looking to the right first when crossing an intersection (and when crossing the street when you are walking).
I am American and went to the UK in May. The pedals are the same as cars in North America - gas on the right, brake in the middle, clutch on the left. The gear shaft is also the same as cars in north America in that 1st gears is the upper left corner of the shaft, 2nd gear is the lower left corner, etc. But you will have to use the gear shaft with your left hand which is strange. You may bump the curb a few times since your perception of the width of the car will seem odd from the right side but you will get used to it. Driving on the left side of the road will be odd but you will get used to it. Just a note - Unless you are in a city, the roads in the UK are very confusing if you are from North America. They are very narrow and most are not labeled. My buddy and I drove around Somerset County and we were so lost even with a map. Both of us have a great sense of direction but the signs were either non-existent or came up so fast that you missed them. When we would ask people for directions, they didn't even know the names of the streets on the map - they would say,%26quot;Just drive up the road and take a left go to the third roundabout and take a right drive straight and take a left after that.%26quot; We were so lost and we just got more lost as the day went on. But it was an adventure. Just be sure to have the passenger navigating while you drive. You will need it. Have a great time : )
PS - Don't bring a car into London unless you are used to heavy city driving. My buddy and I are from NYC so we are used to it but if you aren't, park the car out of town and take the train into the city center.
You should be able to get an automatic if you ask for it in advance. However, the pedals are exactly the same, gas/throttle/accelerator on the right, brake in the middle and clutch on the left. I'd agree with The Tank, and have a look at the Highway Code he recommends. Remember roundabouts work clockwise and you give way to traffic from the right on these (usually). And if you dodge around the barriers on a level crossing you'll be explaining yourself to a higher authority that the police!
yes, just the same, its surprisingly easy, i drive on right in France regularly, the only thing is when youv'e had a break leave a note on the wheel to say drive on the %26quot;right%26quot; to remind you, once your'e going its no problem, don't worry , enjoy, the thing that will amaze you over here is the speed and overtaking- good luck
The pedal layout is the same in the UK as the US / europe.
And the gear stick layout is the same - reverse position may vary if its 5 or 6 speed.
You should be able to get an automatic car to hire though...
Our cars are powered by engines in Britain, only our bicycles have pedals!
you have got it from GB
exactly the same.all cars over here are right hand drive though so should be taken into consideration.most hire companies have automatic cars so insist or try another.welcome to britain.
yes its the same
|Libertarians & The Death Penalty|
Libertarian: âDeath Penalty Essential for Social Justiceâ
The Libertarian Party has, recently, voted, overwhelmingly, to oppose the death penalty, a decision based upon the inaccuracies and irrationality of the anti death penalty movement.
quotes by Murray N. Rothbard - the Godfather of Libertarianism
Walter E. Block, PhD, well known libertarian, Austrian Economist and The Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans and Prof. Roy Whitehead
"What the murderer has done, essentially, to his victim is, in effect, steal his life away." " . . . the murdererâs life is forfeit now, for justice is timeless." (1)
" . . . an individual's most important and primary property right consists of his ownership over his own person. To interfere with that right is to engage in an illicit taking . . . in effect murder is the theft of a life . . ." (2).
" . . .the murderer loses precisely the right of which he has deprived another human being: the right to have one's life preserved from the violence of another person. The murderer therefore deserves to be killed in return." (3)
" . . . the instincts of the public are correct on this issue: namely, that the punishment should fit the crime; i.e., that punishment should be proportional to the crime involved. The theoretical justification for this is that an aggressor loses his rights to the extent that he has violated the rights of another human being." (3)
Victim survivors show 95% death penalty support. When the question to the public is "Do you support the death penalty for murder?" and the responses are - sometimes - always - or never - death penalty support is 80% or above (8).
"The libertarian takes his stand for individual rights not merely on the basis of social consequences, but more emphatically on the justice that is due to every individual." (3)
" . . . the libertarian theory of punishment is one of compensation for the victim; that is, the perpetrator is punished by forcing him to compensate the injured party to the extent of the rights violation perpetrated upon him." "The reason for this is that libertarianism is predicated on an attempt to attain justice . . . " (4)
" . . . while it is impossible to place the victim back on the plane of life he was following before the outrage, justice consists of at least attempting to do so as far as possible." (5)
"Each libertarian has his own foundation - or none - for private property and non-aggression. What we have in common are just these two axiom." (6) "If (libertarianism) has any one principle, it is that no one should initiate force against non-aggressors." (6)
Murder takes away all your property - your self - and violates the second of the two primary axioms - the murderer violates non-aggression in the worst form - by committing murder.
Murder is, therefore, the greatest violation of libertarianism, with execution representing justice for that violation.'
" . . . (killling) is not impermissible in self-defense, nor is it to kill those who no longer have entitlement to their own lives. Let the message go out, loud and clear: If you murder, you give up the right to your own life." (1)
"It is a crime and a disgrace that such criminals now enjoy air conditioning, television, exercise rooms, etc. They owe a debt to their victimsâ heirs, who are now, to add insult to injury, forced to pay again, through taxes, to maintain these miscreants in a relatively luxurious life, compared to what they richly deserve." (1)
See "The Death of Punishment", by Robert Blecker, 2014
"Another common liberal complaint is that the death penalty does not deter murder from being committed. While it is impossible to prove the degree of deterrence, it seems indisputable that some murders would be deterred by the death penalty. Sometimes the liberal argument comes perilously close to maintaining that no punishment deters any crime â a manifestly absurd view that could easily be tested by removing all legal penalties for nonpayment of income tax and seeing if there is any reduction in the taxes paid."
(Wanna bet?)" (3)
"If the prospect of even a small probability that the death penalty might be imposed for even relatively minor crimes does not put a severe dent in criminal behavior, then nothing will." (7).
" . economists who ought to know better have found no statistically significant correlation between reducing the murder rate and being or becoming a death penalty state . . . that is only because murderers, like most of the rest of us, pay attention not to dead letter laws, but to actual penalties." (1)
"It is fallacious to regard murderers as irrational: very few conduct their business in police stations." (1)
" When multiple regressions are run on murder rates, not against death penalty status, but with regard to actual executions, the evidence is consistent with the notion that such punishments reduce these crimes. This is entirely compatible with the economic principle of downward sloping demand: the higher the price, the less people wish to access. This holds for all human endeavors: cars, pizza, and, yes, murder too." (1)
There are now 28 US studies finding for death penalty deterrence, since 1997. The studies finding for deterrence are considerably stronger than the criticisms of them. (9)
"Nor is it possible not to regard murder as a stiffer penalty than life in prison.Were this not so, we would scarcely find the denizens of death row trying desperately to stave off, or better yet overturn, their executions." (1)
"As for the costliness of executions, this is entirely a function of present judicial functioning, which can be changed with the stroke of a pen." (1)
Responsibly managed death penalty systems should be less expensive or no more than for life without parole, as detailed (10).
Virginia has executed 70% of her death row murderers since 1976, that being 111 murderers executed within 7 years of full appeals, with not even a hint of an innocent executed. Virginia's last execution took place on 10/1/2015, after 5 years of full appeals (10).
1) âDeath Penalty Essential for Social Justiceâ, Block, Walter E., The Maroon, 10/10/03, Loyola University (New Orleans)
2) p, 245, Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2003. âTaking the assets of the criminal to compensate victims of violence: a legal and philosophical approach,â Wayne State University Law School Journal of Law in Society Vol. 5, No. 1, Fall, 2003, pp.229-254; (death penalty justified) http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_taking-assets.pdf
3) The Libertarian Position on Capital Punishment, Murray N. Rothbard, Libertarian Review, June 1978
This article originally appeared as "The Plumb Line: The Capital Punishment Question" in the Libertarian Review, Vol. 7, No. 5 (June 1978), pp. 13â14.
4) p 243, ibid footnote 2
5) p 244, ibid, footnote 2
6) "Libertarianism vs Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz", Walter Block, pg 41, 42, Reason Papers Vol. 26 39, Loyola University, New Orleans
7) p 248, ibid footnote 2
8) 86% Death Penalty Support: Highest Ever - April 2013
World Support Remains High
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty
9) The Death Penalty: Saving More Innocent Lives
10) See Virginia and Utah within
Saving Costs with The Death Penalty
|Monedero: âMadrid va a ser la tumba del neoliberalismoâ||El cofundador de Podemos apoya la candidatura de Espinar, portavoz en el Senado, pero no participarÃ¡ en la lista|
|Ezra Taft Bensonâs âStand Up For Freedomâ speech (video excerpts)||We Should All Be Opposed to Socialistic-Communism and Liberalism …These liberals want you to know how much they are doing for you â with your tax money of course. But they donât want you to realize that the path they are pursuing is socialistic, and that socialism is the same as communism in its ultimate […]|
|Undoing the soul of democratic-secular india: The RSS pracharak Batra way|
Apart from physical attacks and threats of elimination to these centres of learning, a more insidious game-plan of RSS is unfolding through RSS pracharak, Dina Nath Batra. He, as a father-figure of the RSS demolition squad against the largely liberal-democratic-secular system of school education which aimed at producing inquisitive young scholars who would question the status quo. Batra has come out with a new HIT LIST to be cleansed from educational content.- Educating to Hate: fundamentalisms in school books [& educational space] / India, Textbooks / curriculum, Fundamentalism(s)
|Involuntary Servitude Returns to America||A confession: Many years ago, I was an ultra-left liberal, a Marxist, in fact. As a newly minted attorney at law in New York, I joined the ACLU and volunteered serve as one of their lawyers. About six weeks later, they asked me to represent an American Nazi accused of inciting to riot. I refused. They were mightily put off, horrified in fact. They remonstrated. But he has a right to counsel. I said, Maybe so, but he doesnt have a right to me. Im protected by the Thirteenth Amendment. (The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary...|
|âThe political consequences of Norman Mailer and Norman Podhoretzâs friendshipâ||
Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
|Tim Sommer: âImpotent Political Grandstanding Is Forcing Rock and Roll into Irrelevancyâ||
Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
|Poetry From a Friend|
When I started my Taekwondo training in 1987, I was a Freshman in high school and a man named Rex Veeder was the highest ranking Black Belt in Arizona. He was my instructor's instructor's instructor - like a great grandpa, if you will. Rex was a leader and someone I looked up to and respected. While I didn't get to work with him often, when I did, it made an impression.
Four years later I moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. Rex was a professor there and helped me start a Taekwondo club on the campus. He was a great mentor and was always there if I had any questions or needed any help.
Rex moved to Minnesota and became a professor in St. Cloud. We spoke rarely as the years passed.
Then came Facebook. We connected and would make occasional comments on each other's posts from time to time. Now, I am very out on social media. If people didn't know I was gay before...well it doesn't take long to figure it out. I hadn't come out until well after Rex moved to Minnesota, however, he has been very supportive of me and of the LGBT community.
This past weekend Rex performed a reading that kicked off the Second Annual Above the Clouds Pride March held at the campus where he teaches. He posted it on Facebook and I have his permission to re-post it here. I found the words very powerful and hope you will too.
Mr. Veeder, thank you again for your leadership. For standing up. speaking out, and giving hope.
Above The Clouds on Judgement Day
by Rex Veeder
[Imagine as you read this rock guitar as duet. Or, put on some Jazz and go down deep.]
Above the Clouds on Judgment Day
(What good is wit if not savage?)
Allen Ginsberg and Carl Solomon,
I am with you in Rockland
where you are madder than I am
where we remember together the all night winter-party of Normal Illinois
and memory is a Mexican volcano
where I am young and you are gay
and we Buddha on the road
waiting to be killed or dragged as you said
off roof tops waving genitals and manuscripts.
Poets doing politics
Are rodeo clowns looking for a barrel.
I don't mean to complain
only flash a grin at the bull
But, so many politicos
(the politicians of Inquisition)
JUDGE the sick, lonely, old, poor, people of color, and the gay
that I guess I'll make an adjudication about the judges.
It's judgment day.
So, marriage is for hetros only,
someone wants to vote on legal love
reminding us it's a nation of laws
why arouse us
with blatant provocation --
are you crazy,
are you drinking LSD tea?
If you canât imagine yourself gay
At least imagine what itâs like to be gay
And step away for Godâs sake.
How about an invocation
a necessary provocation
to rile the steel-crusted knights of
supply-side rightness --
I'll even challenge liberals
to stop ending the world with a whimper and
come out in the streets.
It's high noon
and townâs folks have to get it up.
Show some balls
What if Brave Heart were gay
and raising his kilt to moon the Brits
REALLY pissed them off?
There might have been no bloody battle at all,
only a huddle of family-value knights
confused and outraged,
writing Magma Carter into
the wee-willy hours of the morning,
their maces, broad swords and spears piled in the corners
like declarations of penis envy
with bright heralds fluttering
or speculative expectation.
Being Gay in Minnesota must be
like living with Peyote in the drinking water,
Minnesota with its optimistic blue sky
and white Fluffy clouds
and cows with incredibly pink udders.
Suddenly, a vision at once utterly funk-dance
and yes queer
billows out into the streets
like deathly hollows smoke from the Mall of America.
And the politicos who hide in the cloud are afraid
of themselves and the world
demand a law to insure isolation's rules,
command with rage the vigilantes of misplaced rightness
to loose the hounds on the highway to hell --
so ripe with envy,
with skully grins for the sound-bites
with proclamations at tea against
that rings like a brass alarm bell
that to be born "the other"
is to find in queerness
a world more vast and kind
than white bread, white milk, and white fish.
In the schemes of the straight and narrow, Leprechauns
(they MUST be gay)
escape from prison and
cart kettles of gold
to a bow-end denied them
since the road to rainbow end is not straight . . .
no three wishes, no magic, not even the gold
and all the while those who escape march the streets
chanting: "Bring out your queer. Bring out your queer."
And the queer do come out
along with all those who feel strange
or have been the other
who died to themselves
or to the world
or found DELIGHT a habit
delight that is by birth chosen
not to be prayed away
but saturated with joy --
God in all the glory
funk-dancing in the streets
with Godâs brothers and sisters
stating publicly to the slayers of love:
"Bring it on politicians of inquisition;
your days are numbered,
and you can't count anyway.
Hell, you don't count at all."
|Frequently Abused Verses: Was Jesus Poor So We Could Be Wealthy? (2 Corinthians 8:9)|
The prosperity gospel is neither a small nor isolated error. The fixation with money and material riches pervades the theology of its adherents, corrupting every aspect of their faith and doctrine. It is a comprehensive lie—one that skews the very nature of the gospel itself, distorting even the Person and work of Christ.
In particular, it assaults the nature of Christ’s atoning work on our behalf. Forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness are of minor importance at best. Instead, prosperity preachers teach a version of the atonement that serves their material interests. And it all hinges on one verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Here’s how TBN televangelist Joseph Prince explains it:
Prince is partly right—2 Corinthians 8 is about blessing others financially. But his fixation with money forces him to overlook the obvious flaw in his argument—that Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to give for the sake of other Christians in need. Apparently they had not been—as Prince promised his readers—delivered from “the curse of poverty.”
In verse 1 Paul commends the Macedonian Christians for the “wealth of their liberality” that flowed out of their “deep poverty.” Likewise, in verse 7 Paul reminds the Corinthians of their own spiritual riches: “Just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious [giving] work also.” The Corinthians and Macedonians were wealthy in many ways, just not in the specific way Joseph Prince is.
Phil Pringle, another prosperity preacher and founder of the gigantic C3 Church in Sydney, Australia, leaves no doubt about his interpretation of 2 Corinthians 8:9—going so far as to offer his own paraphrase: “Jesus became poor regarding the wealth of this world on the cross, that those who receive Him may become rich with the wealth of this world.”  Phil Pringle, Dead for Nothing?: What the Cross Has Done for You (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2007), 58.
Such is the corruption and greed of men like Prince and Pringle, that no subject is off limits in their quest to sanitize and sanctify their perverse love of money. At best, they minimize the forgiveness of sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness at the expense of physical health and material wealth. At worst, they do away with the spiritual components of Christ’s atoning work altogether.
That self-absorbed theology collapses under biblical scrutiny. John MacArthur points out the true nature of Christ’s earthly poverty:
Christ was not a wealthy man, but He wasn’t especially poor, either. The poverty He endured was in contrast to the vast heavenly riches He willingly set aside during His incarnation:
Therefore, the riches Christ offers us surpass anything this world can offer. Material blessings don’t merely pale in comparison—they fade into oblivion when contrasted with the vast spiritual riches the Lord supplies. Justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and, eventually, glorification—the eternal benefits of salvation are beyond our comprehension. Peter described them as “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for [believers]” (1 Peter 1:4).
And as John MacArthur explains, these are the riches we most desperately require:
Paul anticipated the lies of the prosperity gospel. In his letter to the Philippians, he described its promoters as “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). He charged the church to avoid such worldly distractions. Instead, Christians must fix their hearts on the eternal riches only Christ can provide.
|IETF: The Harmful Consequences of Postelâs Maxim|
This Internet-Draft resonates strongly with me: Jon Postel’s famous statement in RFC 1122 of “Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send” – is a principle that has long guided the design of Internet protocols and implementations of those protocols. The posture this statement advocates might promote interoperability in the short […]
|To understand white liberal racism, read these private emails||On a gray day last October, teachers across Seattle wore a shirt that read BLACK LIVES MATTER.|
|Hitchens on the Scandinavian Utopia||I had a couple of readers alert me to a post by Peter Hitchens, in which he reviews a book on the Swedish model of society by Michael Booth. Hitchens praises a particular insight in Booth's book:|
But on pages 357 to 360 he produces one of those blinding-light moments that finally link up and solidify long strands of thought.
What is the blinding-light moment? It is that a liberal society aims to make individuals autonomous, by severing the natural connections existing between people, but that this then leaves individuals dependent on the state.
This is not a new insight - I've made the same point many times myself, as have others. But it is expressed well in Hitchens' blog post:
Michael Booth concludes that Swedish Social Democracy 'was driven by one single, over-arching goal; to sever the traditional, some would say natural, ties between its citizens, be they those that bound children to their parents, workers to their employers, wives to their husbands or the elderly to their families. Instead, individuals were encouraged - mostly by financial incentive or disincentive, but also through legislation, propaganda and social pressure - to âtake their place in the collectiveâ, as one commentator rather ominously put it, and become dependent on the governmentâ.
Hitchens has another passage following through on this idea. He notes aspects of the decline in British society, such as permissive attitudes to drug use, and writes:
What were all these things about? Why, personal autonomy. Their central slogan was âI can do what I like with my own body and nobody can stop me. How dare you tell me what I can do with it?â
There is just one thing I'd like to add to Peter Hitchens' observations. There are traditionalists who instinctively recognise the dynamic that Hitchens describes and who, quite rightly, think it important to uphold non-state institutions like church and family. So they become good churchmen and family men. I don't think this enough. When fathers stand only as individual men, they have little control over the torrent of influence that comes from the larger institutions of society, such as the mass media, the schools and the universities. Defending family or church requires organising together as fathers to shape the larger institutions, wherever this is possible.
|Bill Kristol wants to rebrand conservatism as...||Bill Kristol is a leading "neoconservative" member of the American Republican Party. I have argued for many years that the establishment Republicans should really be called right-liberals, as they mostly hold to some variant of a classical liberal politics. Bill Kristol was asked how "conservatives" (establishment Republicans) like himself might rebrand themselves and he answered as follows:|
He is happy to rebrand "conservatism" as liberalism. And I hope he does, as using the term conservatism deceives people into thinking they have more political choice within mainstream politics than they really do. The choice is really one between a left liberalism and a right liberalism. You get to choose liberalism.
And in case you are sympathetic to the right wing brand of liberalism, it was Bill Kristol who earlier this year responded to problems within the white American working class by suggesting that the white working class should be replaced by Mexican immigrants.
(Kristol is backed financially by our own Rupert Murdoch.)
|A sixties feminist regrets||Before I leave behind Karley Sciortino, I'd like to make one final point. Sometimes societies forget the reasons why traditional moral rules exist. Why, for instance, did traditional societies frown upon young, unmarried people being promiscuous? Was it simply because the elders of these societies were "hung up"? |
The lesson to be learnt from recent decades is that when promiscuity is accepted, the young women of a society experience a situation of "abundance" - no shortage of offers - and that large numbers will then spend their 20s trying to hook up with the "hottest" men available to them. But this damages the ability of these women to pair bond with just one man. Karley Sciortino calls this being jaded:
Now, being jaded doesnât simply mean that youâre âover it.â Itâs more that youâve become sick and tired after overindulging in something. And Iâm pretty sure that my current state is the result of binge-eating on sex and relationships for the past 15 years. Some of the telltale signs include: Being around cheery, optimistic people makes me nauseous...I often swipe through Tinder in front of my friends, sighing unnecessarily loudly and saying things like, âSee, this is what I have to choose from!â...When I see engagement notifications on Facebook, I think, She must have settled. (Or, if Iâm in a particularly bad mood: She just ruined her life.)
Young adults have an instinct to save themselves for the person they will ultimately commit to, but they also have an instinct to want to experience sexual pleasure and variety. The question then becomes: what is the highest good? Is it a lifelong, loving marriage in which two people successfully bond together? Or is it the pleasure of sexual variety?
What Karley is reminding us is that sexual variety loses its lustre over time and that it undermines the opportunity to experience love with a person of the opposite sex. Traditional societies chose the higher path.
Which brings me to the remarkable Daily Mail column by sixties feminist Jeannette Kupferman. She was one of those young women who initially embraced the feminist sexual revolution but who now wonders about its effect on relationships between the sexes:
It makes me wonder what happened to the Brave New World weâd envisaged for our daughters and granddaughters. A world of unlimited possibilities, choices and equality for girls to become or do anything?
Note the orthodox liberalism here. She wanted unlimited choices for girls to become or do anything. But she didn't think through what this would logically lead to. If the important thing is not the quality of what you choose, but the fact that you can choose to do or to be anything, then the older moral rules will be thought to limit the individual and his choices. Those who transgress these rules will then be admired as cutting edge and liberated.
She now thinks it has all gone too far. She reminisces about what life was like before the sexual revolution, finding many positives. She writes,
I feel so sad for young girls who will never receive a beautiful love letter or go on a romantic date with no strings attached.
And she wishes the following for her recently born granddaughter:
...I want her to feel euphoria because of the rare richness and uniqueness of life, and because of pride in her own innate womanhood â not be sozzled with booze or worse, ending up destroying body and soul in some demeaning, meaningless sexual encounter.
And yet it was she, and her liberal values, which pushed society along this path. It has been pointed out many times that there is no stop button built into the liberal ideal. You can't push liberalism so far and then say "this is good, but we shouldn't take it any further". It is going to keep logically unravelling, to ever more radical and socially dissolving outcomes.
|Reply to a libertarian||My previous post on the Cato Institute attracted some interest, including a comment from a libertarian named Kurt who wrote:|
The Cato Institute approves a model of society in which there are simply individuals in pursuit of their own self-interest (in particular their economic self-interest).
Kurt is suggesting that you can make society in general run along libertarian lines but within this society individuals could voluntarily associate to purse a traditional lifestyle together.
I want to point out a few of the problems with Kurt's suggestion. First, it does not allow for the preservation of real, historic nations of people. If the Poles, for instance, were to adopt Kurt's advice, they would not be able to say "we want to preserve our existing Polish identity at the state level, for instance, through immigration policy." You could not assert, at the public level, one thing over another as that would be "coercion" against individual preference. The best you could do would be for individual Poles to try to keep their tradition going by gathering together somewhere in Poland as part of a voluntary association.
In the meantime, you would have an influx of people into Poland not sharing the Polish identity or tradition and, most likely, being willing to use their resources and influence to make sure that the native tradition did not prosper. Would the little pockets, the little remnants, of Polish communities survive? Even if a few did, the effect of libertarianism would not be neutral - it would have forever impacted on the real existence of the Poles as a nation of people.
It's the same when it comes to family. A traditional society requires a stable form of family life. Libertarians, though, believe that family is whatever people choose it to be. Furthermore, libertarians see the family as a purely voluntarily association that people can choose to join or leave at any time and for any reason.
And so a traditionalist community would be radically countercultural within a libertarian society. It would require a massive undertaking by individuals without large-scale resources, to set up their own towns, schools, universities and mass media, where a traditionalist understanding of family could prosper in opposition to the libertarian one. In a sense, traditionalists would be creating their own society from scratch. It is a daunting prospect, that involves escaping libertarian norms, rather than one easily accomplished within a libertarian system.
And here's another issue. Libertarianism is not value neutral. Libertarianism rests upon a particular understanding of man and society that has evolved over time from a mishmash of intellectual influences. Kurt himself acknowledges that he agrees with "a model of society in which there are simply individuals in pursuit of their own self-interest (in particular their economic self-interest)".
So it is not possible for Kurt to claim that, in pushing for a libertarian model of society, he is not imposing his own world view on others. Libertarians are, in fact, imposing a very specific concept of man, his purposes, his relationship to others and the sources of meaning, value and human dignity. From these assumptions then flow the libertarian concept of how society should be organised politically.
Furthermore, once you accept the libertarian/classical liberal world view, then a particular kind of morality emerges, one that is inevitably held to seriously by the "thinkers" within such a society. For instance, if what matters is an untrammelled pursuit of individual self-interest by all, then it becomes critical that I do not in my own choices hinder or limit the choices of others. So the moral thing then becomes "non-interference" which leads to a moral system centred on attributes such as openness to the other, respect for diversity, non-discrimination, and tolerance. Particular loyalties, especially those based on inherited attributes such as race, sex, ethnicity - even culture - are thought of negatively as limitations, perhaps even "bigotry".
So a traditionalist community is once again going to be radically countercultural within a libertarian society. It is going to be countercultural at a deeper philosophical level, and, more immediately, in terms of the moral values of that society. The traditionalist community is going to be put in the position of having to resist the moral norms of the larger society, no easy task given the way that people generally conform to the leading ideas of the society they inhabit.
Finally, there is the issue of truth claims. If you set out to create a society with a multitude of religions and cultures, then it becomes difficult to hold to the deeper truth claims of any of them. To be part of one tends to become something like a "personal preference" or a "sentimental attachment" without a wider significance. The centre moves elsewhere, most likely to some sort of commercialised lifestyle and culture. In practice there is a hollowing out of the culture.
I remember the comment of one American classical liberal who forcefully insisted on cultures and religions being inconsequential:
Cultures and religions are either about weddings and music and fancy clothes or they're about to get their asses kicked...If all religions and cultures are equal then none is superior, and that is how we keep them in line.
Kurt, I hope you can understand from all this why I don't find the prospect of trying to maintain a traditionalist community within a libertarian system appealing. It is certainly not the ideal for traditionalists to aspire to. Nor does it make sense for traditionalists to accept the organisation of society according to a value system so much at odds with our own.
|Comment on Telling the Middle Class How to Be Middle-Class: Tax Incentives for Saving by Lisa Philipps||Thank you Professor Buchanan for this incisive (and generous) review. Anyone interested in the power of tax law as political discourse should have a look at the full Symposium issue in the Fordham Law Review, based on a compelling two days of discussion curated by Professors Linda Sugin and Mary Louise Fellows. I should note that the retirement security picture in Canada is slightly more optimistic since the general election of fall 2015. This summer the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached agreement with the provinces in principle to expand the Canada Pension Plan, which pays defined benefits to retired workers in a manner similar to U.S. Social Security. Much work is ahead to secure final agreement and passage of CPP reform, and future governments will have to contend with the rising revenue cost of the multiple registered savings plans that remain in place, particularly the Tax Free Savings Account introduced by the former Conservative government (similar to, but in some respects more generous than, the United Statesâ Roth IRA). Nonetheless, these recent shifts are a reminder that the power of tax discourse to produce subjects and social relations does also contain the possibility of change. The meaning of middle class in Canada remains a struggle in progress.|
|Libertarianism is not traditionalism 2||I published a post a few days ago on the Cato Institute, a leading libertarian organisation. I was therefore interested to find this in my Twitter feed:|
Libertarians, like other right-liberals, look to the free market to regulate society. They believe that this is the engine of human progress. Hence the following quote:
"Capitalism reduces the oppression of traditional societies that impose hierarchies of gender and caste,â writes Cudd, because embedded within market exchange itself is the idea that each individual should be free to pursue her self-interest.
So there you go. The Cato Institute approves a model of society in which there are simply individuals in pursuit of their own self-interest (in particular their economic self-interest).
To a traditionalist this is a model of society that is not only ultimately unworkable, but that also has too limited a view of individual life. Are we really just atomised individuals in pursuit of our own individual profit? Is that what defines us as humans? Are men and women simply interchangeable units within a system of production and consumption?
Capitalism, as an economic system, should not define what humans are. Nor should it define our concept of society. Nor our understanding of the roles of men and women in society.
Does anyone really believe that if we tell young men and women that the highest good is to pursue their own individual self-interest that we will arrive at successful relationships between men and women? Stable families? High levels of trust between the sexes? A commitment to raise children successfully?
Capitalism alone cannot create a good society. It's necessary to keep to those traditional values and institutions that cohere or successfully order a society and which express deeper truths about man, community, belonging and identity.
The one good thing to draw from the Cato tweet is that it reminds us of what to look out for. Perhaps it is, in fact, true that a market system encourages the idea "that each individual should be free to pursue his or her self-interest." This idea goes back a long way in Western political theory - it brings to mind the view of man and society of John Locke in the late 1600s. It is likely that men made wealthy in the market will be attracted to the idea and give patronage to those holding it. But wherever and whenever it arises it needs to be vigorously opposed.
|Canadian baby must choose its own sex?|
The essence [of liberalism] is that individuals are self-creating...
Professor Alan Ryan
Let's say that you believe that the highest good is for individuals to be self-creating. What would this logically lead to?
Well, it might lead you to think that people should get to choose their own sex. Hence this story about a Canadian parent who believes that their baby should not be assigned a biological sex because this would limit them:
A baby has been issued an âunknownâ gender identity health card in British Columbia, Canada, after the childâs parent fought to raise the infant with a neutral gender.
Note how something predetermined, like being a boy or girl, is portrayed negatively as a restriction, as something that boxes in the individual.
As outlandish as the Canadian baby case sounds now, it fits the state ideology and so is likely to become more accepted over time, unless that ideology is effectively challenged. As mentioned above, the Canadians state has already seen fit to issue the baby with a health card that lists its sex as unknown:
|Cato libertarians take a step to the left||The Cato Institute is a leading libertarian organisation in the U.S. The Institute recently published a significant article about race. It's fascinating to read because it shows the logic of how left-liberalism developed out of classical/right-liberalism. |
But I need to quickly set the scene for this. All forms of liberalism begin with the idea that what matters is a freedom of the individual to be autonomous: to have the liberty to choose to be or to do whatever, as long as it does not limit a similar liberty for others to choose to be or to do whatever.
But this raises the question of how a society of atomised, autonomous individuals each seeking their own subjective good can be successfully regulated. Although there is no single answer given by liberals, the dominant form of liberalism in the mid-1800s, classical liberalism, emphasised the idea that the market could best regulate society. Millions of individuals could participate in the free market, each seeking their own profit, but the hidden hand of the market would ensure that the larger outcome was a positive one for society.
So what went wrong? The classical liberals would say that as long as everyone had an equal opportunity to participate in the market, then everyone had an equal human dignity as an autonomous individual.
But in the later 1800s this was queried. If I am poor and uneducated do I really have the same opportunity in the market as someone who is born to private schools and so on? The new liberals thought that there needed to be a greater role for government intervention to overcome institutional disadvantage.
And so the modern left emerged. For decades there has been a right-liberal party which emphasises markets (Republicans, Tories etc.) and a left-liberal one which emphasises government programs to overcome inequality (Democrats, Labour etc.). Libertarians have mostly been purist right-liberal types, pushing for limited government, markets, and liberty understood as individual autonomy.
So it is no surprise that the Cato Institute piece on race begins as follows:
Libertarians tend to think of freedom as either a means to an end of maximum utilityâe.g., free markets produce the most wealthâor, in a more philosophical sense, in opposition to arbitrary authorityâe.g., âWho are you to tell me what to do?â Both views fuel good arguments for less government and more personal autonomy.
That's exactly what you would expect from someone on the liberal right. Autonomy, free markets, limited government, freedom. But look at what happens next:
Yet neither separately, nor both taken together, address the impediments to freedom that have plagued the United States since its founding. Many of the oppressions America has foisted upon its citizens, particularly its black citizens, indeed came from government actors and agents. But a large number of offenses, from petty indignities to incidents of unspeakable violence, have been perpetrated by private individuals, or by government with full approval of its white citizens.
You can tell what this is leading up to. It's leading up to the left-liberal idea that there are institutional, systemic barriers to equal participation. That disparities in outcomes are to be explained in terms of institutional oppression, racism and systemic discrimination. And that's exactly where the Cato writer goes:
Take, for example, the common libertarian/conservative trope: âWe believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.â Most people, outside of the few and most ardent socialists, should believe that is a fair statement. But to say such a thing as a general defense of the status quo assumes that the current American system offers roughly equal opportunity just because Jim Crow is dead. Yet, that cannot possibly be true.
He goes on at length about racism and white supremacy and how the Federal Government has helped to overcome this more than markets have. He stops a short of endorsing big government solutions, but you can see how the logic of his argument prepares the ground for this.
The mainstream left and right are not so different from each other. They both exist within the same philosophical framework, sharing the same assumptions about what human life is for. Mainstream leftism is an attempt to perfect the liberalism that came before it, to realize it in a more equitable and consistent way.
The challenge for those who dislike what the modern West has become is to step outside of the liberal framework entirely - to be neither of the left nor of the classical liberal/libertarian right.
|Liberalism, secular religion, vulnerability||There is a terrific review of a new book on liberalism over at First Things. The book is by a Polish philosopher named Ryszard Legutko, who was a dissident under the communist government and who believes that communism and liberalism share a similar secular religious framework. |
The review, by Adrian Vermeule, is difficult to improve on, so I will limit myself to some commentary on one of the key points raised and then encourage you to go and read the whole thing yourselves.
What I found most interesting was the discussion of some contradictions within liberalism. For instance, liberalism emphasises both a materialist determinism (i.e. everything we do is predetermined by forces of history, genetics etc.) and a belief in the radically autonomous individual, including the idea that individuals, absent certain social conditions, will use this autonomous freedom to choose the good. How can you have a radically self-determining individual if you believe that everything is materially predetermined? One part of liberal philosophy insists that the individual is radically predetermined, the other that he only has dignity if he is radically self-determined.
The most interesting contradiction discussed, and one that is complained about all the time in alt-right discussions on social media, is why liberals seem uninterested in seriously illiberal policies in places like Saudi Arabia but come down heavily on mildly illiberal policies in places like Hungary. I think the answer given by Legutko, as summarised by Vermeule, is very interesting:
Why do Western liberal academics and EU technocrats object so stridently to the mild illiberalism of the Fidesz parliamentary party in Hungary, while saying little or nothing about Saudi Arabia and other monarchical or authoritarian nations, nominal allies of the West, who routinely control, punish, and dominate women, gays, and religious dissenters? Why are the EU technocrats, whose forte is supposed to be competence, so very bumbling, making policy mistake after policy mistake? How is it possible that while the sitting president of the United States squarely opposed same-sex marriage just a few years ago, the liberal intellectuals who supported him passionately also condemn any opposition to same-sex marriage as bigotry, rooted in cultural backwardness? Why was the triumph of same-sex marriage followed so rapidly by the opening of a new regulatory and juridical frontier, the recognition of transgender identity?
If this is true, then it gives liberalism both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that people hold to liberal beliefs like a religion, and therefore as a source of meaning that is difficult to step away from. The weakness is that the force of the religious belief depends on an "eschatology" in which there is always a progress toward an ever more radical application of liberalism in society. Therefore, once liberalism is forced back it is vulnerable to collapse. In other words, if liberalism is seen to be obviously stopped, and some aspect of traditionalism restored, it is likely to trigger a psychological demoralisation amongst liberalism's adherents.
Liberalism needs opposition, it needs a force of reaction to battle against, but it needs to always win.
So we must not be content with being "house traditionalists" who exist merely to play a role within "the liturgy of liberalism." We need to be serious about building to the point that we are obviously regaining ground. At that point, liberals become vulnerable to psychological confusion and demoralisation. There may not be great depths of resistance once they lose a sense of inevitable progress.
|To love and to serve||Liberals sometimes express their ideal as being the individual pursuit of happiness. But such a pursuit is likely to leave many people feeling uncommitted in life, as if they were merely treading water rather than plunging in. Perhaps that's because humans have a powerful impulse to love and to serve, so much so that this is felt to be one necessary part of a truly committed and meaningful life.|
I don't think we can ignore this impulse to love and to serve, as it is an aspect of life that needs to be carefully ordered. It very easily goes wrong.
With men, the easiest focus of this impulse is to love and to serve a wife. The service here is not to something intangible, but to a person who is real and immediate, and who draws love not only by her own individual feminine attractiveness, but by a man associating her with a perceived feminine essence of beauty and goodness. A man feels elevated in his own feelings when making this kind of commitment, particularly as in doing so he draws on, and exercises, his own stronger masculine qualities.
So how does this go wrong? You get a hint of the problem from what went wrong in the Middle Ages. The literary tradition of courtly love was about men becoming lovesick for a noblewoman and pledging their service to them as a way of winning the lady's love. The men were expected to grovel and abase themselves as part of the process. The outcome depended on the whim of the lady - she held the upper hand throughout.
A commitment to serve can be thought to give power to the person being served. In modern marriage, this can mean that a man's willingness to commit to marriage and to work to provide for his wife and children can be perceived by the woman to make him "beta" - and therefore sexually unattractive, making for a less than happy outcome for both husband and wife.
The solution? One part of the solution, in my opinion, is for men to have other outlets for the "love and service" impulse and not to rest everything on the marital relationship. A man can love and serve God, his nation/people/country, and his local place/community. Saint Thomas Aquinas thought that the focus on the larger communal life, in being oriented to the common good, was the highest natural fulfilment of men:
Whereas the residents of the village better serve their individual interests, the goal of the political community becomes the good of the whole, or the common good, which Aquinas claims (following Aristotle) is "better and more divine than the good of the individual." (Commentary on the Politics, Book 1, Lesson 1 ). The political community is thus understood as the first community (larger than the family) for which the individual makes great sacrifices, since it is not merely a larger cooperative venture for mutual economic benefit. It is, rather, the social setting in which man truly finds his highest natural fulfilment. In this sense, the political community, even though not directed to the individual good, better serves the individual by promoting a life of virtue in which human existence can be greatly ennobled.
The further advantage to a man of dedicating part of his life to the larger community he belongs to, is that it practically repudiates the impression that he is merely a servant to his wife.
However, for this to work, it needs to be built into the social arrangements. Despite not finding "servant men" sexually attractive, women still tend to jealously guard their monopoly over men's time and resources. It's difficult to ask a solitary man to break through this alone; better if it is normal within a society for men to spend part of the week doing church activities, or contributing to some sort of cultural or political organisation.
And what of marriage itself? It's common for men to think that women will appreciate the sacrifices they make by going out to work to provide money for their wives and children. But women are strangely unaffected by this. In a woman's mind, this is just something that men do. Maybe this is women not wanting to think that their husbands are doing "servant" work as this would make the husband unattractive. Or maybe it reflects the long human prehistory when men went out to hunt, leaving women's minds focused on their relationships with other women and with children.
Sacrificing as a breadwinner does not rebalance the marital relationship. It might be thought that the solution then is for women to also love and serve their husbands. It's true that this would help. It also seems to be true that Western culture used to encourage women to do this: think of the advice to wives to cook something nice for their husbands, or to give him a warm and welcome environment for him to return to after work.
On the other hand, women are more likely to be focused on a "love and serve" relationship with their children rather than their husband. It's noticeable that a husband's love for his wife is likely to be constant, as you would expect when someone makes a commitment to love and to serve. Similarly, a mother's love for her children is also usually constant. But a wife's love for her husband is likely to be inconstant - a woman might even say things to her husband such as "I don't even like you right now".
What would help most is if the roles of husband and father had more power, authority and prestige associated with them. Then a man could love and serve his wife and children without the negative implication that he was thereby submitting to his wife, rather than leading in a masculine way.
But this cannot be a pretend role, a role that we pay lip service to, whilst the same old dynamic continues on as before. A husband has to be trusted to exercise real authority within his family and he should not be undermined by family laws which make it extraordinarily easy for his wife to strip him of children, home and income.
We could decisively reject some of the egalitarian ethos. My own father used to sit at the head of the table; be served first; and read family prayers. The point of this is not power for its own sake, but to embed the dignity of the office itself - which is necessary for a system of marriage to work. It is a pushing back against the strong forces eroding a man's position in the family, including a wife's perception that her husband is there to serve her and is therefore lowlier than her, and that she is in the position to easily control him, which kills her respect and passion for him.
|Credit to Bolt||Andrew Bolt is the most prominent right-wing journalist here in Australia. He has a large audience, writing for the Herald Sun newspaper and hosting a pay TV commentary show.|
He is not a traditionalist but a kind of right-liberal. This is most obvious in his attitude to communal identity. He has written that he considers himself Australian but only reluctantly:
Yet even now I fret about how even nationality can divide us.
Liberals want us to be self-determined, therefore something that is predetermined like our ethnicity becomes something negative for the individual to be liberated from. That's why Andrew Bolt once declared his support for:
The humanist idea that we are all individuals, free to make our own identities as equal members of the human race.
And he is intellectual enough to take this liberal principle to its logical conclusion, namely that we should only identify with our own self. He writes about how he once tried to identify with his Dutch ancestry but rejected this because:
I was borrowing a group identity rather than asserting my own. Andrew Bolt's.
You would think, given this dramatic adherence to liberal principles, that Andrew Bolt would not be of great interest for traditionalists in Australia. Yet because he has a courageous personality he raises issues that many others will not. Last week he wrote one of the best newspaper columns I have ever read in the Australian mainstream media. The first part dealt with a physical attack on him launched by two members of the Melbourne antifa. You can see footage of the attack in the video below:
Bolt defended himself remarkably well and he wasn't backing down when he wrote about the incident in his column:
TO ALL those who called me with sympathy for being attacked on Tuesday by masked protesters: stop it.
The main part of his column was a strong argument to close the borders to avoid the terror threat. It's worth reading in full, but here are some highlights:
But did Khayreâs rampage finally shock our politicians into admitting the truth?
|Professor's "solution" for white working-class American communities||Justin Gest thinks he has a kindly solution for the plight of white working-class American communities. It's to make their passing "as comfortable as possible". |
It's noteworthy that he won't even consider the option that these communities might have a future. He talks as if some inevitable, agentless force of history were putting these communities on a "path to death" rather than the specific policies of their own government.
There is a "no future clause" built into liberal modernity that academics like Justin Gest are happy to embrace:
|Unhinged liberal parenting||Let's say that you're a liberal and you believe that the highest good is a freedom to be self-defining. What does that mean for how you parent?|
In a previous post Mark Moncrieff (of Upon Hope) observed that,
I think the most important word here is the word "raise", children need to be raised. But "being free to be whoever they want to be" implies that children can raise themselves.
It's a good insight and led me to respond as follows:
That's a good way of putting it. And you can imagine why this is so. If you are a liberal and you think that there are no objectives purposes in life and that people should just "be themselves" however they see fit, then there is little purpose to parenting your child - there is nothing definite to raise them toward. Parenting just comes to mean accepting unconditionally. Not imposing anything. Giving the child confidence to "be anything you care to be". The parents are just there to ferry the child around as a kind of support crew, rather than transmitting culture, identity, purpose, wisdom, values.
As it happens a news item appeared last week to illustrate concretely how this works. A Canadian mother is raising her son to be gender fluid. Look at how she explains her decision:
I want my son to grow up knowing he has a voice. Grow up knowing he can do and be ANYTHING he wants to be in this world.
Here we have the logic of liberal parenting set out openly. First, the belief that the highest principle is one of being self-determined or self-defined, as when she says that she wants her son to "Grow up knowing he can do and be ANYTHING he wants to be in this world."
This leads her to the idea that her role is not to interfere with who the child becomes, but instead to take the "support crew" role ("We support our child in whoever they are").
The assumption is that the child will become "the best version of themselves" by himself alone; that he will, in Mark Moncrieff's words, raise himself while his parents look on with interest.
One final point. The father is partly at fault here. Mothers have an instinct to give unconditional love to their children, fathers have a stronger instinct to socialise their sons toward a successful manhood. The father in this case is not even trying.
|Wentworth Miller on race||Wentworth Miller is a British-American actor. He is a bit of everything when it comes to race, to the point that he has described himself as a racial Lone Ranger. He has also described himself as being caught between two communities, black and white. He seems to realise the disadvantage of his position in the following quote: |
What he says about race is even more true for ethny - for a group of people connected not only by kinship but also by a shared history, language, culture and religion.
It's one of those aspects of life that liberalism is dissolving - at least for Westerners. It is a loss of one of the rewarding and inspiring experiences of human community and identity.
|Why We Should Care How Straight Allies Benefit From Their Support|
Letâs talk about allies for a moment. What is an ally? The term is used to describe those who support and stand by marginalized groups as they work to combat various social and legal inequalities. For instance, white people can work as anti-racist allies alongside communities of people of color, pro-feminist men can act as allies to women, and straight people can stand as allies alongside sexual-minority communities.
How one can best be an ally has recently come up for debate in the blogosphere (see here, here, and here). Indeed, being an ally is a tricky business. It requires careful thinking through and distinguishing between intentions and the effects of oneâs actions.
Given recent changes in public opinion on civil rights for sexual minorities in the United States, it is perhaps little surprise that straight white men are publicly âcoming outâ for gay rights in an unprecedented way. Survey studies have shown that Americansâ opinions about sexual prejudice and inequality have taken a sharp turn for the liberal. Gallup reports that, for the first time since it has been asking, more than 50 percent of the American public identifies gay and lesbian relations as âmorally acceptable.â Similar trends are happening across all manner of beliefs about sexual inequality (support for same-sex marriage, opinions regarding the legality of same-sex sexual behavior, and so on). Demographically speaking, this is a huge shift. The hearts and minds of Americans appear to have altered dramatically in a short period of time. This is wonderful, and it certainly deserves to be celebrated and recognized.
Part of this shift has included increasing numbers of public figures acting as straight allies on issues like marriage equality, school bullying, and workplace discrimination against GLBTQ people. The intentions of straight allies are significant and merit recognition. And yet â¦ as sociologists, we are also interested in the consequences of peopleâs actions regardless of their intentions. Sociologists often find, for instance, that the consequences of individual or collective actions may be at odds with the intentions driving those actions. For example, when Macklemore (a young, straight, white hip-hop artist) came out with his 2012 song âSame Loveâ in support of gay marriage, he had great intentions. Macklemore, the nephew of gay uncles, claims he was frustrated with the homophobia in hip-hop music and wrote a song to simultaneously challenge it and to âcome outâ in support of gay marriage. Thatâs great, and it deserves recognition. But, hereâs our question: How much recognition?
How much recognition does Macklemore deserve for coming out as a straight ally? (And he lets us know that heâs straight, mentioning early in the song that heâs âloved girls since before pre-k,â and his other hit songs feature a fantastic array of misogynistic lyrics.) How much recognition does James Franco deserve for responding to rumors about his sexuality by claiming he is straight, but âwishes [he] was gay.â (Attitude magazine depicts Franco on the cover of a recent issue with the caption, âHollywoodâs Gayest Straight Man.â) How much recognition do a couple of straight guys deserve for staging a kiss-in at Chic-fil-A to oppose the chainâs stance on same-sex marriage? How much recognition is Alec Baldwin entitled to for his donations to GLSEN and his public support of gay rights? How much attention does a group of (mostly) straight college boys deserve for taking off their clothes in opposition to homophobic bullying?
Letâs think seriously about the Chic-fil-A protest staged by comedian Skyler Stone with his friend and fellow comedian Mike Smith. The two men made out in front of a Chic-fil-A as a form of protest. However, they didnât just make outâthey asked gay men how men should kiss one another in the video they distributed on YouTube to document the event. They brushed their teeth, ate mints, and swirled mouthwash to sweeten their breath. In other words, they actively geared up to kiss. And then when they did kiss, it was arguably one of the least erotic make-out sessions ever caught on film. Sure, it was funny. Perhaps their intentions were laudable. But what did they actually accomplish? Did their protest question the naturalness and inevitableness of heterosexuality? Or did they, in effect, re-heterosexualize themselves in a sort of unorthodox way? Their heterosexuality is presented as so powerful, stable, and inevitable that they have to ask others how to kiss another man; and when they do kiss, it is a distinctly unattractive kiss. Allowing for any eroticism would be to call into question the naturalness and strength of their heterosexual drive. (Note to those who might protest that it is indeed their heterosexuality that makes their kissing un-sexy, two words: Brokeback Mountain.)
This is why studying effects, not just intentions, is important. The effect of Stone and Smithâs protest is, in part, to underscore the stability of their heterosexuality, while it seems their intentions were to act as straight male allies.
Itâs important to study the effects of alliesâ actions for another reason: The positive attention we direct toward these white, straight, male allies for their intentions may be less than desirable. The best way to think of this may be in terms of what sociologist Arlie Hochschild calls the âeconomy of gratitude.â When she studied the division of household labor in the 1980s in her now famous book, The Second Shift, Hochschild was interested in how American couples divided up work in the home, both physically and emotionally. In the book, she discusses the ways that womenâs movement into the workplace was accompanied by continued expectations of domestic upkeep, constituting what Hochschild calls the âsecond shift.â She found that the home was characterized by an âeconomy of gratitudeââthe ways couples express appreciation to one another for performing the more onerous elements of household maintenance.
In her research, Hochschild found that husbands were often given more gratitude for their participation in work around the house than were women. That is, men were subtlyâbut systematicallyââover-thankedâ for their housework in ways that their wives were not. This simple fact, argued Hochschild, was much more consequential than it might at first appear. It was an indirect way of symbolically informing men that they were engaging in work not required of them. In fact, we have a whole language of discussing menâs participation in housework that supports Hochschildâs findings. When men participate, we say theyâre âhelping out,â âpitching in,â or âbabysitting.â These terms acknowledge their work, but simultaneously frame their participation as âextraââas more of a thoughtful gesture than an obligation.
We would suggest that something similar is happening with straight male allies. We all participate in defining the work of equality as not their work by over-thanking them, just like housework is defined as not menâs work. By lauding recognition on these âbraveâ men in positions of power (racial, sexual, gendered, and in some cases classed) we are saying to them and to each other: This is not your job, so thank you for âhelping outâ with equality.
Sometimes, these men are participating in over-thanking themselves for their own supportâa phenomenon sociologist Michael Kimmel refers to as âpremature self-congratulation.â And at other times, the rest of us are doing it, through Likes and shares on Facebook, public awards, and honors. Sociologist Tal Peretz has also studied the ways that pro-feminist men are sometimes over-thanked in similar ways, referring to the phenomenon as âthe pedestal effect.â Peretz finds men are symbolically placed on a pedestal for their efforts. In doing so, we are actually producing a new form of privilege from which they benefit: the privilege of not having their actions (or the consequences associated with them) subject to critique. This form of privilege allows these noble men to escape a critical evaluation and appraisal of their participation.
By situating âallyâ as a static state of being, we implicitly suggest that allies are capable of no harm. So, when Alec Baldwinâwho puts big bucks behind LGB organizationsâcalls a man trying to take a picture of his family a âfag,â he relies on this understanding of ally when he claims that he canât possibly be promoting sexual inequality. He donates money to gay organizations and causes, heâs got gay friends, heâs an actor, for crying out loud.
Letâs not make anti-homophobia the equivalent of âbabysittingâ for dads and activism a de facto âsecond shiftâ for marginalized folks. The movement toward equality should be everyoneâs responsibility and mandate.
|This is personal|
I can find just as much racism googling liberal events and anti-war protests that occurred under President Bush.
I have attended rallies on both the right and the left. Have either of you done that? I documented in first person the messages of hate and death threats that liberals carried around. In my opinion, this is just as bad as some of the supposed racism.
Karen, in what ways am I distorting your words? I've asked you to directly respond to FACTS that I've presented. You refuse to do that.
My qualm with this post is that it was allowed to be published. As someone who has submitted a number of front-page Blogher posts, I am REQUIRED to document and link almost every sentence that I write. Sometimes my posts go through a number of rounds of edits and compromises.Most of my paragraphs are almost solid blue to back up what I write.
There is absolutely no evidence that this occurred with Karen's article.
All I want are fair and equal standards to apply to everyone who covers politics.
If the personal is political, then Karen needs to learn to face the people that she is calling racists.
She needs to know that she's is personally insulting grandmas, housewives and women business owners. She's calling ministers, nonprofit managers and fellow bloggers racist with her blanket and unproven language.
The tea party is a large, unorganized group of people. There probably are racists, but I've never encountered any in the untold number of events that I've attended in both DC and Tennessee.
How many have either of you attended? Are you just basing these opinions on HuffPo or DailyKos articles?
Have you talked to people in the Tea Party? Have you asked the little grandmas why they're protesting for the first time in their lives?
Oh, and consider this study the next time you scream, "RACISM."
I am outraged that this type of writing is tolerated here and I will continue to be angry until this issue is addressed, and Karen apologizes.
Adrienne works in the conservative movement and blogs at Cosmopolitan Conservative.
|Monarchy in the age of New Labour|
"...Anyone who tries to discuss the political role of the monarchy is immediately banged over the head by tedious quotations from Walter Bagehot (it helps a lot if you know this is pronounced Badjot), who for some reason is believed to be the last word on the subject, thanks to some 19th-century scribblings that have become famous. He limited the functions of the monarch to muttering hesitant advice, and perhaps warnings, into the ears of ministers. This is taken as a sort of gospel on the subject.
And this might have worked in the dead era when the British establishment was run by gentlemen. Though don't be so sure. George V exerted all his influence to obtain a peaceful settlement in Ireland in 1921, which few can object to, but was he entitled to do so? He may well have gone beyond his powers in helping set up the National Government of 1931. Edward VIII came close to causing complete constitutional catastrophe. George VI utterly disgraced himself when he publicly lauded Neville Chamberlain's catastrophic surrender at Munich in 1938, an error he atoned for later but which oughtn't to be overlooked, ever. It is not often enough remembered that George VI and his Queen (the future Queen Mother) invited Chamberlain on to the balcony of Buckingham Palace to bathe in the cheers and admiration of a gigantic, deluded crowd, the whole embarrassing scene illuminated by the only anti-aircraft searchlights then available in London.
There are a couple of interesting fictional reflections on this that are worth looking at. George Macdonald Fraser's 'Mr American', one of his few non-Flashman books, contains an well-observed and historically well-informed depiction of Edward VII and examines the cunning and shrewdness that monarch used to keep pre-1914 Britain from flying apart. Constantine Fitz Gibbon's enjoyable and bitter Cold War thriller 'When the Kissing Had to Stopâ has some cunningly-described scenes as various highly responsible and senior persons try to use the traditional safeguards of the British constitution to prevent a pretty obvious coup d'etat. In an entirely believable way, they all persuade themselves that they are powerless to act until it is too late, and the putsch, with all its terrible consequences, succeeds.
Why does this matter? I think our obsession with 'democracy' as the only thing that makes government legitimate tends to blind us to the importance of other things. Why do we make such a fetish out of universal suffrage? If you had a choice between liberty and democracy - which are by no means the same thing, which would you pick? If you had a choice between the rule of public opinion and the rule of law, which would you pick? Are we safer with both Houses of Parliament 'elected' by party machines, or with at least one House whose members are immune from 'democratic' party pressure?
Actually, pure democracy would be unbearable, since every politician, to survive or prosper, would have to be a crowd-pleasing Blair type (actually, this now seems to be more and more what we have got).
Even assuming that we could reconstruct something like a decent education system, it is hard to see how a state governed purely by the popular will could be anything other than a corrupt anarchy, or a demagogic dictatorship. The purest product of mass democracy since it came into being was Adolf Hitler - whose National Socialists would have won an absolute majority in the Reichstag under our first-past-the post system, by the way. This isn't an argument against that system( which I favour) just a warning against being complacent.
Mass opinion can prevent good actions, as well as stimulating bad ones. It was American democracy, and the fervent campaigns of the America Firsters, that prevented Franklin Roosevelt from aiding Britain against Hitler. US public opinion was dead against involvement in a European war, and it's still not clear what would have happened if Hitler hadn't declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbor.
So most serious wielders of power in democratic states devise ways of frustrating, or getting round the 'people's will' which they praise in public. Mostly, these days, these anti-democrats are of the left. In the US, a largely liberal elite has for decades been using the unelected third chamber of Congress - the Supreme Court - to pass radical social legislation. In Canada, left-wingers who could never get anywhere in parliamentary politics have exploited the 'Charter of Rights and Freedoms' to do the same sort of thing.
And the European Convention on Human Rights gives liberal judges and the lawyers the same power to intervene here. The balance of our mixed constitution, partly as a result of this, has tipped heavily towards the Left. Parliament, especially the House of Commons, is now the servant of a left-wing governing party, not at all its master. So who or what can speak for tradition, for conservative opinions, for private life and family, for inheritance and continuity? Certainly not the Tory Party, which flatly refused to defend the hereditary principle against the attacks of Baroness Jay (who just happened to be the daughter of Jim Callaghan, and had no other visible qualification for her grand post as Leader of the Lords, in one of the best jokes of the 1990s).
That Tory failure to defend heredity was a warning to the British people and the monarchy that worse was to come. We all actually value inheritance - we expect to leave, or be left our goods and wealth in legally enforceable wills. We all know that we inherit important characteristics and gifts from our parents, and hope to pass such things on. Our state, with its memory and experience stretching back a thousand years, inherits each generation the principles of law and justice and liberty wrought by centuries of experience and combat. So what is wrong with a Head of State who embodies this idea?
Nothing, except that he or she gets in the way of the Left's desire for total control over the state, especially over the things previously regarded as politically neutral and so loyal to the crown - the civil service, the armed forces and the police. All these bodies are now increasingly politicised. I think that the moment is approaching when the monarchy has either to assert itself or be abolished. The danger is that, in asserting itself, it may get abolished as a punishment, while being slandered as unrepresentative, elitist etc. It will be a very difficult and risky moment..."
|Dos parejas espaÃ±olas amateur hacen un intercambio|
Estas dos parejas espaÃ±olas anÃ³nimas a parte de ser muy liberales son unos apasionados del sexo, de ahÃ que hayan decidido organizar una quedada con la productora espaÃ±ola BrunoyMaria para hacer un intercambio de parejas muy caliente en el que los cuatro disfrutaron de lo lindo follando sin parar.
La entrada Dos parejas espaÃ±olas amateur hacen un intercambio aparece primero en VIDEOS XXX GRATIS EN XVIDEOSPORNO.XXX.
|StraftÃ¤ter orientieren sich an BÃ¶ll-Stiftung, "Inquisition" bei Google â News vom 10. August 2017||1. Der FAZ-Journalist "Don Alphonso" (Rainer Meyer) berichtet auf Twitter mehrere interessante Dinge. |
ZunÃ¤chst mal ist der Wikipedia-Artikel Ã¼ber ihn in einem sogenannten "Edit War" festgefahren. Ich kenne das von dem Wikipedia-Artikel Ã¼ber mich: Das radikalfeministische Lager mÃ¶chte seine Gegner so schlecht darstellen wie mÃ¶glich, andere Wikpedianer versuchen, den Neutral Point of View zu schÃ¼tzen. In der Regel setzen sich bei so etwas die Feministinnen durch, weil sie so hartnÃ¤ckig und so widerwÃ¤rtig auftreten, dass anderen Leuten irgendwann schlicht die Lust vergeht, sich mit solchen Leuten noch lÃ¤nger abzugeben. Also lÃ¤sst man sie sich austoben. Von Wikimedia dÃ¼rften die Ideologen ohnehin RÃ¼ckendeckung genieÃen; Einhalt geboten wurde ihnen von Wikimedia auch, als es gegen mich ging, nie. ErwartungsgemÃ¤Ã enthÃ¤lt Meyer auf eine offizielle Presseanfrage zu diesem Treiben auch keine Antwort. Angesichts dieses moralischen Verfalls der Wikipedia tweetet er: "Ganz langsam fange ich an zu verstehen, was WikiMANNia antreibt."
Des weiteren belegt Meyer, dass sich auch Autonome bei ihren Straftaten auf Feindbilder beziehen, die von der Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung verbreitet werden â hier auf die berÃ¼chtigte Schrift Hinrich Rosenbrocks, in der dargelegt wird, wie man die MÃ¤nnerrechtsbewegung am besten bekÃ¤mpfen kÃ¶nne. Meyers Kommentar: "Sage also keiner, man habe nichts gewusst."
Und schlieÃlich berichtet Rainer Meyer auf Twitter: "Heinrich Alpin hat aber auch schon 2015 geholfen, Arne Hoffmann zu denunzieren. So wichtig war er dem."
Spannende Anschlussfrage: Wer steckt hinter "Heinrich Alpin"? Da ich ein recht gutmÃ¼tiges Kerlchen bin, ist die Zahl der Antimaskulisten auÃer Andreas Kemper, die mich persÃ¶nlich auf dem Kieker haben, Ã¼berschaubar. Martin Rosowski, Vorsitzender des Bundesforums MÃ¤nner, verleumdet mich in seinen Mails zwar schon mal als "Frauenfeind", dÃ¼rfte aber Besseres zu tun haben, als bei Schwarzen Listen mitzumischen. Auch Thomas Gesterkamp mÃ¼sste eigentlich anderweitig ausgelastet sein. JÃ¶rg Rupp hat sich lautstark von den GrÃ¼nen verabschiedet, weil sie ihm viel zu rechts waren; er macht jetzt sein eigenes Ding. Bleibt eigentlich nur Hinrich Rosenbrock, der seit Jahren in der Versenkung verschwunden ist.
Diese Logik setzt natÃ¼rlich die Annahme voraus, dass es sich bei "Heinrich Alpin" um jemanden handelt, den ich namentlich kenne. Es kann aber natÃ¼rlich auch jemand Unbekanntes sein, den zum Beispiel Andreas Kemper gegen mich aufgehetzt hat. Auf Kempers Facebookseite etwa zieht sein KlÃ¼ngel Ã¼ber "Elendsgestalten wie Arne Hoffmann" her. Hass steckt an. Genau dieser Reproduktion von Hass hÃ¤tte ja der grÃ¼ne Pranger gedient. Wie gesagt: Auch StraftÃ¤ter orientieren sich an Produkten aus dem Hause BÃ¶ll.
2. Das Bundesforum MÃ¤nner klagt Ã¼ber Reaktionen, nachdem man sich dort gegen die Jungenbeschneidung positioniert hatte:
In einzelnen Reaktionen auf das Positionspapier wird diesem allerdings vorgeworfen, es handle sich dabei "um ein massiv ausgrenzendes Papier, das darauf zielt, jÃ¼disches und muslimisches Leben in Deutschland unmÃ¶glich zu machen." Gegen diesen Vorwurf verwahrt sich das Bundesforum MÃ¤nner und weist ihn entschieden zurÃ¼ck!
Uuuh, karma is a bitch! Aus eigener Erfahrung weiÃ ich: Abstreiten hat in solchen FÃ¤llen noch nie geholfen. Immerhin seht ihr jetzt vielleicht, wie man sich fÃ¼hlt, wenn man in eine anrÃ¼chige Ecke gestellt wird. Aber ihr habt in euren Reihen ja Leute, die sich mit Ã¼blen Unterstellungen auskennen; vieleicht beratet ihr euch mit denen.
3. In einem "Zeit"-Artikel setzt Alice Schwarzer ihre ScharmÃ¼tzel mit Genderforscherinnen fort. Der Beitrag trÃ¤gt die Ãberschrift "Der Rufmord".
4. Die Ruhrbarone legen eine deutsche Ãbersetzung von James Damores "Google Manifest" mit einigen ErgÃ¤nzungen vor: "Was wirklich im Manifest steht". Dabei kommt der Autor auch Ã¼ber die flÃ¤chendeckend verzerrende Darstellung in den deutschsprachigen Leitmedien zu sprechen:
In den Berichten darÃ¼ber liest man sehr wenig Ã¼ber die Inhalte des Dokuments, dafÃ¼r umso mehr EmpÃ¶rung. Der Standard nennt das Dokument "sexistisch", wÃ¤hrend er keinen einzigen Inhalt des Dokuments zitiert, nur EinschÃ¤tzungen Dritter. Die SÃ¼ddeutsche fasst in einem Artikel vÃ¶llig falsch und grotesk verzerrt die Inhalte so zusammen, dass der Autor als absolutes Monster dasteht. Bei t3n titelt man "DiversitÃ¤tââânein Danke". Wenig Ã¼berraschend stellt VICEâs Motherboard die Stimmen in den Vordergrund, die sich Ã¼ber den Sexismus des Autors aufregten und Tweets mit ihrer Interpretation des Dokuments und sehr vielen wÃ¼tenden Emoji schrieben. Auch die deutsche TwittersphÃ¤re synchronisiert sich mit dem Medientenor.
Einer meiner Leser, der Einblick in die deutschen Presseagenturen hat, lieÃ mir zu meinem letzten Blogbeitrag, in dem ich dasselbe Problem angesprochen habe, wesentliche Informationen zukommen. Ihnen zufolge waren die meisten Medien schlicht einem Kurztext der Deutschen Presse-Agentur gefolgt, der die Ãberschrift "Google feuert Mitarbeiter nach sexistischem 'Manifest'" getragen hatte. SpÃ¤ter am Tag (um 16.12 Uhr) schickte die dpa eine "Berichtigung" mit verÃ¤nderter Ãberschrift "Google feuert Mitarbeiter nach umstrittenem 'Manifest' gegen Frauen" heraus. Diese neue Meldung war ein wenig differenzierter und erwÃ¤hnt etwa, dass James Damore von Teilen der Google-Belegschaft auch Zuspruch erhalten hatte.
Mein Leser schreibt mir hierzu:
Mir ist nicht bekannt, welche internen Ãberlegungen zur Ãnderung der Ãberschrift fÃ¼hrten. Meistens geht so etwas zurÃ¼ck auf Kritik von Kunden oder von anderen Redakteuren, denen das schief oder fragwÃ¼rdig erscheint. Der Kollege aus dem Ressort Netzwelt, der diesen Text geschrieben hat, ist hochgeschÃ¤tzt und sehr kundig. Sein Schwerpunkt sind Tech-Themen, Computer, Software, Telekommunikation etc.
Dabei bleibt der Kontrast zwischen deutschen und englischsprachigen Medien scharf. Bei der "SÃ¼ddeutschen Zeitung" etwa greift Nina Bovensiepen ganz tief in die Klischeekiste:
Das antifeministische Manifest des Google-Mitarbeiters ist rÃ¼ckstÃ¤ndig und dumm. Zustimmung bekommt er nur deshalb, weil er die Ãngste vieler weiÃer MÃ¤nner vor den VerÃ¤nderungen im Arbeitsumfeld ausspricht.
Deutschlandfunk Kultur hat einen Sinologen (Chinakundler), Tilman Spengler, zu James Damore befragt, wobei Spenglers EinschÃ¤tzung die Ãberschrift des Artikels wurde: "Ich hÃ¤tte den Kerl schon aus GrÃ¼nden der Dummheit gefeuert".
Spiegel-Online sprach auch gestern noch von einem "sexistischen Schreiben". SelbstverstÃ¤ndlich wurde die Kommentarfunktion unter dem Artikel abgestellt.
Christian Schmidt hat heute Morgen etwas genauer betrachtet, mit welchen Methoden deutsche Leitmedien den Inhalt von James Damores Memo verzerrt wiedergeben, und veranschaulicht das anhand der "SÃ¼ddeutschen Zeitung". Unter anderem wurde in der allgemeinen Berichterstattung eine Grafik in Damores Memo verschwiegen, die auf einen Blick deutlich gemacht hÃ¤tte, was seine tatsÃ¤chliche Position ist. Christian Schmidt kommentiert:
Ich finde es unglaublich, dass eine solche Grafik, die ganz deutlich macht, dass [Damore] nicht von absoluten Unterschieden ausgeht, herausgenommen worden ist. NatÃ¼rlich: Mit dieser Grafik wÃ¤re ein Entstellen seiner Meinung noch schwieriger gewesen. Viel Text wird vielleicht nicht gelesen, aber eine solche Grafik fÃ¤llt sofort ins Auge.
In englischsprachigen BeitrÃ¤gen ist das Niveau deutlich hÃ¶her. Ein kenntnisloses Aufgeplustere, um sich als den groÃen Antisexisten zu inszenieren, gibt es dort in zahlreichen BeitrÃ¤gen nicht.
Daily Signal etwa berichtet, dass Frauen in FÃ¼hrungspositionen Google wegen des Rauswurfs Intoleranz vorwerfen.
In der kanadischen Globe and Mail stellt die Neurowissenschaftlerin Debra Soh klar: "No, the Google manifesto isnât sexist or anti-diversity. Itâs science".
(Vermutlich hÃ¤tte der Chinakundler Tilman Spengler die Neurowissenschaftlerin Debra Soh auch "aus GrÃ¼nden der Dummheit gefeuert", wenn sie Ã¼ber ihr Fachgebiet und damit den Inhalt dieses Manifestes spricht. Warum mÃ¼ssen deutsche Intellektuelle eigentlich immer wieder bei Themen, bei denen sie sich Ã¼berhaupt nicht auskennen, Andersdenkende groÃspurig zu Idioten erklÃ¤ren, nur um billigen Applaus beim politisch korrekten Publikum zu ernten?)
In der auflagenstarken Zeitschrift USA Today erlÃ¤utert die liberale Feministin Cathy Young, warum James Damore einen legitimen Standpunkt vertritt:
The Google memo mostly avoids such overgeneralizations. It repeatedly acknowledges that sex differences are a matter of tendencies, not absolutes, and do not predict anything about any specific person. Far from embracing traditional sex roles, it suggests that working to change inflexible male roles and expectations and free more men to choose lower-paying, lower-status occupations could help narrow the gender gap in the tech sector. Damore urges Google to "treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group."
Die Washington Post merkt an:
The tech site Mashable assailed anyone who defended Damore as being part of the "alt-right." The problem, chiefly, is that many critics claimed Damore said things he did not and painted the things he did say in the worst possible light.
Macht dieser Artikel jetzt die "Washington Post" auch zu einem Teil der "neuen Rechten"?
Der National Review wirft Google "Inquisition" vor:
[Damore] argued â and Google quickly confirmed â that nonconforming political and social ideas are ruthlessly suppressed and punished within the firm, that those holding conservative (or simply non-left) views are subjected to a hostile work environment, and that the predominance of conforming views creates a problem of confirmation bias.
Wenn ein Konzern, der international so mÃ¤chtig ist wie Google, das politische Denken beeinflussen mÃ¶chte, ist das ein brisantes Thema â auÃer fÃ¼r die deutschen Medien. Die sehen nur das Problem "zu viele weiÃe MÃ¤nner".
"Breitbart" lÃ¤Ãt einen ehemaligen Google-Mitarbeiter zu Wort kommen, der behauptet, Google wÃ¼rde sogar Suchergebnisse politisch manipulieren. Sollte man diese Behauptung komplett ignorieren, weil die Quelle "Breitbart" ist? Ist man ein Nazi, wenn man eine "Breitbart"-Meldung aufgreift?
FÃ¼r die "New York Times" jedenfalls, rechtsradikaler Tendenzen eher unverdÃ¤chtig, stellt "Breitbart" eine relevante, verlinkenswerte Quelle dar. Die Zeitung berichtet:
Few Google employees came out publicly in defense of [James Damore], but some surreptitiously showed their support by leaking screenshots from internal Google posts of employees saying they planned to create blacklists of people who did not support the companyâs diversity efforts. The screenshots appeared on Breitbart News, which has championed Mr. Damoreâs memo.
AuszÃ¼ge eines Interviews des Totalitarismus-Kritikers Professor Jordan Peterson mit James Damore stehen hier online.
Amerikanische Leitmedien im Vergleich mit deutschen Leitmedien: Bei diesem Thema sind sie wie Tag und Nacht. In den USA wird die Debatte lÃ¤ngst differenziert gefÃ¼hrt. Hierzulande ist Damore eben ein Idiot, Ã¼ber den man Kaffee gieÃen sollte, und der Leser solcher BeitrÃ¤ge hat die Klappe zu halten. Was "Sexismus" ist, bestimmt die neue Priesterschaft zwischen Spiegel-Online und SÃ¼ddeutscher Zeitung.
5. Nach einem Urteil des EuropÃ¤ischen Gerichtshofs dÃ¼rfen homosexuelle MÃ¤nner jetzt Blut spenden â nach einem Jahr Enthaltsamkeit.
Der Deutschen Aidshilfe geht die neue Richtlinie nicht weit genug. "Eine HIV-Infektion kann man heute sechs Wochen nach dem letzten Risiko sicher ausschlieÃen", sagte Vorstandsmitglied BjÃ¶rn Beck. Eine Frist von einem Jahr schlieÃe hingegen die meisten schwulen und bisexuellen MÃ¤nner weiterhin unnÃ¶tig von der Blutspende aus.
Wie man das Jahr Enthaltsamkeit Ã¼berprÃ¼fen mÃ¶chte, bleibt ohnehin offen.
6. Auf "Broadly" beklagt sich die Feministin Yasmina Banaszczuk Ã¼ber Sexismus gegen Frauen auf Demonstrationen. Sie erwÃ¤hnt, dass entgegen des Klischees in den sogenannten "Schwarzen Blocks" auch viele Frauen mitmarschieren und fÃ¼hlt sich dadurch diskriminiert, dass sich Polizeigewalt in erster Linie gegen MÃ¤nner richtet:
Kleinere Frauen wÃ¼rden zuerst aus der Gruppe gezogen, um die Reihen zu destabilisieren. Danach werde noch hÃ¤rter gegen die verbliebenen Demonstranten vorgegangen. (...) Katja sagt, dass die Polizei Frauen eher als gesprÃ¤chsbereit und weniger bedrohlich wahrnehme. "Das geht so weit, dass eine Frau bei einer Blockade mal recht offensiv im Weg war und sie dann den Typen neben ihr mitnehmen wollten. Der hatte sich keinen Zentimeter bewegt, war aber halt groÃ und vergleichsweise laut." Auch Anna hat Ã¤hnliche Erfahrungen gemacht: "Bei StraÃenblockaden wurde ich durchgelassen, weil ich eine Frau bin. 'Geh mal durch, Kleine. Hier wird's gleich hÃ¤sslich.'" Was auf den ersten Blick wie eine angenehme Sonderbehandlung klingt, ist letztlich einfach nur Diskriminierung. (...) Am Ende bleibt das OhnmachtsgefÃ¼hl, das viele Frauen auch aus ihren Sexismuserfahrungen im Alltag kennen.
7. In einem australischen CafÃ© mÃ¼ssen MÃ¤nner 18 Prozenz mehr zahlen als Frauen â "und das hat gute GrÃ¼nde" meint Tasnim RÃ¶dder im feministisch geprÃ¤gten Magazin ze.tt. Denn MÃ¤nner verdienten im Durchschnitt deutlich mehr als Frauen. Bei einer Umfrage unter dem Artikel entscheidet sich die Mehrzahl der Leser jedoch fÃ¼r folgende AntwortmÃ¶glichkeit: "Ich unterstÃ¼tze die Hausordnung nicht, weil MÃ¤nner sowieso Ã¶fter an die Kasse gebeten werden."
8. Das ebenfalls feministisch geprÃ¤gte Magazin "Salon" titelt: Dang â looks like those women-only âWonder Womanâ screenings were illegal. Untertitel: "Turns out that when men whined about being banned from the screenings, they had a legal point." Wer hÃ¤tte das gedacht? Wobei fÃ¼r "Salon" weiterhin gilt: Wenn MÃ¤nner gegen Diskriminierung protestieren, dann wird das Wort "whine" verwendet â zu deutsch: heulen, quengeln, winseln, jammern. Echte Kerle sind das nicht. So transportieren auch Feministinnen uralte Geschlechterklischees.
9. Das linksliberale Magazin "The Atlantic" beleuchtet, wie MÃ¤nner zur neuen Minderheit an UniversitÃ¤ten geworden sind. An manchen Hochschulen machen sie inzwischen nur noch ein Sechstel der Studentenschaft aus.
10. Ein Video der Zeichentrickreihe "Die Simpsons" verarscht feministische Social Justice Warriors.
11. Und noch einmal die Post. In meinem letzten Genderama-Beitrag hatte ich einen FAZ-Artikel Ã¼ber ein Urteil des DÃ¼sseldorfer Verwaltungsgerichts zitiert. Dazu schreibt mir ein Leser:
"'Die FrauenfÃ¶rderung hat zwar Verfassungsrang, doch sie steht nicht Ã¼ber allem anderen', sagte [Richter] MÃ¼ller in der mÃ¼ndlichen Verhandlung. Vielmehr gelte es, die beiden widerstreitenden Interessen von Verfassungsrang â die Gleichberechtigung und das Prinzip der Bestenauslese â miteinander in Einklang zu bringen. Durch den Erlass des Ministeriums wÃ¼rden jedoch schlechtere Frauen besseren mÃ¤nnlichen Bewerbern vorgezogen."
12. Da ich nicht von jedem von euch/Ihnen die Mailadresse fÃ¼r ein persÃ¶nliches DankeschÃ¶n habe, auf diese Weise: Ganz herzlichen Dank fÃ¼r die Spenden der letzten Tage! Ich freue mich sehr darÃ¼ber. Einige von euch sind offenbar gerade durch die aktuellen Genderama-BeitrÃ¤ge dazu motiviert worden. Ein Leser aus Ãsterreich begrÃ¼ndet seinen Dauerauftrag auch explizit mit "der Berichterstattung Ã¼ber den Vorfall bei Google":
Ich hoffe, daÃ ich damit einen Beitrag leisten kann, damit Sie diese fÃ¼r mich sehr wichtige Arbeit, die ein Gegengewicht zur sehr einseitigen Berichterstattung in den sogenannten QualitÃ¤tsmedien darstellt, auch weiter fortsetzen kÃ¶nnen.
|Google attackiert die Meinungsfreiheit, deutsche Medien Ã¼ben den Gleichschritt â News zum 9. August 2017||1. Der "Economist" berichtet Ã¼ber die Entlassung James Damores bei Google, nachdem Damore in einem Memo Kritik an seinem Arbeitgeber geÃ¤uÃert hatte: |
"This isnât a question of legality or policy. This is a question of virtue-signalling," says the boss of a prominent tech startup, reflecting the view of many in the Valley.
Einer meiner Leser schreibt mir zu diesem Fall:
Der Google-Mitarbeiter der sich kritisch zur Diversity-Politik seines Arbeitgebers Ã¤uÃerte, hat es soeben in die Nachrichten geschafft (N24, 8.8.17, ca. 11:30 Uhr):
Bemerkenswert ist, dass die deutschsprachigen Leitmedien fast durchgehend schon in ihren Schlagzeilen die feministische Perspektive als Tatsache ausgeben. Nur einige Beispiele von mehreren Dutzend Artikeln: "Google entlÃ¤sst Mitarbeiter wegen sexistischem Text" titelt die "Zeit", "Google feuert Mitarbeiter wegen sexistischen Manifests" Ãsterreichs "Presse", von einem "sexistischen Pamphlet" spricht Spiegel-Online, und "Google feuert Mitarbeiter nach sexistischem Manifest" titelt die "Frankfurter Allgemeine". Sogar der Wortlaut dieser Schlagzeilen ist weitgehend derselbe.
Ich weiÃ es nicht, warum in unseren Medien immer noch eine derart unstillbare Sehnsucht danach herrscht, im Gleichschritt zu marschieren. Die angelsÃ¤chsischen Medien haben allen Grund, sich bis heute Ã¼ber den "German goosestep" lustig zu machen. Ich habe KEINEN deutschsprachigen Artikel gefunden, in dem Google dafÃ¼r kritisiert wurde, eine bestimmte Ideologie durchzusetzen, indem der Konzern unbotmÃ¤Ãige Untergebene schlicht entfernte. Das ist im angelsÃ¤chsischen Sprachraum anders. Sicher, auch dort Ã¼berschlagen sich die Leitmedien mit Falschdarstellungen. Im Gegensatz zu Deutschland geben dort aber zahlreiche Magazine Widerworte und verteidigen in ihren Artikeln die Meinungsfreiheit.
Ein paar Beispiele. Das Magazin Quilette schreibt Ã¼ber James Damores Essay:
This essay may not get everything 100% right, but it is certainly not a rant. And it stands in sharp contrast to most of the comments, which are little more than snarky modern slurs. The arrogance of most of the comments reflects exactly the type of smug self-appointed superiority that has led to widespread resentment of the left among reasonable people. To the extent that such views correspond to those at Google, they vindicate the essayistâs claims about the authoritarian and repressive atmosphere there. Even the response by Googleâs new VP in charge of diversity simply ignores all of the authorâs arguments, and vacuously affirms Googleâs commitment to diversity. The essay is vastly more thoughtful, linked to the science, and well-reasoned than nearly all of the comments. If I had one recommendation, it would be this: That, before commenting on these issues, Google executives read two books: John Stuart Millâs On Liberty and Jonathan Haidtâs The Righteous Mind."
Das sind auch zwei BÃ¼cher, die man in deutschen Redaktionsstuben groÃflÃ¤chig verteilen sollte.
Das linksliberale Magazin "The Atlantic" stellt klar, dass Damores Manifest keineswegs "anti-diversity" sei:
Its author, who was later fired, began, "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and donât endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we canât have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem."
Was davon kommt bei den selbsterklÃ¤rten BannertrÃ¤gern des deutschen QualitÃ¤tsjournalismus an? "Sexistisches Manifest".
Das Magazin Quartz kommentiert:
By getting fired, Damore proved his own point â that many of Silicon Valleyâs leaders remain unwilling to engage with socio-political views different from their own.
Der "National Review" titelt "Lena Dunham and Google Demonstrate Why Our Free Speech Culture Is Slipping Away" und berichtet wie folgt:
An anonymous employee penned a multi-page memo addressing why there are fewer women than men in key fields in the tech industry. In the memo, he noted that Google values gender and racial diversity but has created an "ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed." This means that Google responds to gender imbalances with "extreme and authoritarian" measures. At the extreme, it views all gender disparities as "due to oppression." Its authoritarian response is to "discriminate to correct this oppression." The writer than explores at length cultural and biological differences between men and women and then proposes some measures to increase female representation in the field without resorting to discrimination.
In einem weiteren Artikel stellt auch der "National Review" klar, dass es sich NICHT um einen frauenfeindlichen Text handelte:
The author (...) states repeatedly that he believes in diversity, and thereâs no reason to doubt his self-description as a classical liberal. His exclamation-point-free memo is hardly a rant. He expresses the hope that "open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow."
FÃ¼r die deutschen Leitmedien ist das schon lÃ¤ngst viel zu differenziert und kompliziert. "Sexistisches Manifest" muss genÃ¼gen. Es will sich ja auch keiner in irgendwelche Nesseln setzen. Wer weiÃ schon, wann der grÃ¼ne Pranger wieder online geht.
Der "Daily Wire" spricht von Firmenfaschismus :
James Damore, the author of the memo, told Bloomberg he had indeed been fired on grounds of "perpetuating gender stereotypes." Which is weird, since gender stereotypes are the basis for Googleâs "diversity policy," which suggests that more women must be hired in order to enrich the workplace. If men and women are identical, no such diversity policy would be necessary or praiseworthy.
CNBC berichtet in einem Artikel darÃ¼ber, warum die Entlassung James Damores illegal sein kÃ¶nnte, folgendes:
In a reply to the initial outcry over his memo, the engineer added to his memo: "Despite what the public response seems to have been, I've gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired." The law protects that kind of "concerted activity."
Diskriminierung von MÃ¤nnern? In den meisten deutschen Leitmedien selbst heute noch nicht der Rede wert.
Der "Federalist" sieht James Damores als Opfer eines politisch korrekten Mobs und kommentiert:
One of the problems with this kerfuffle was that the vast majority of the histrionic reactions on social media and elsewhere have misrepresented not only what the memo says but also its purpose. The memo was neither a screed nor anti-diversity. It was the kind of unvarnished, dispassionate, and meticulous case that I imagine many engineers offer. Itâs difficult to believe anyone who read through it with an open mind could interpret the authorâs notions as an attempt to consolidate the patriarchy or to make life less diverse in his field.
"Breitbart", aus Sicht deutscher Leitmedien und einem befreundeten GrÃ¼nen unter den Genderama-Lesern eine Website, die auf keinen Fall zitiert oder verlinkt werden darf, wenn der Verlinkende nichts als rechtsextrem beschimpft werden mÃ¶chte, hat sogar eine eigene Interviewserie "Die Rebellen von Google" begonnen, in der Google-Mitarbeiter berichten, wie in diesem Konzern Hexenjagden und Intoleranz regieren. Lesen Sie NICHT, ich wiederhole, lesen Sie NICHT das soeben verlinkte Interview. Sie fangen an, plÃ¶tzlich unkontrolliert "Heil Hitler!" zu schreien, sobald Sie das tun. Klatschen Sie lieber brav mit, wenn Google einen Mitarbeiter "wegen Sexismus" entlÃ¤sst.
(Hadmut Danisch hat mit der Verlinkung des "Breitbart"-Beitrags Ã¼brigens gerade dasselbe Problem, wie ich bei der Recherche zu dieser Debatte sehe. Man macht es nicht gerne, aber der leitmediale Einheitsbrei bringt einen derart zur Verzweiflung ...)
Falls Sie in den nÃ¤chsten Tagen irgendwo in den deutschen Medien einen Artikel finden, der Ã¤hnlich wie die zitierten angelsÃ¤chsischen Medien aus dem Gleichschritt ausbricht und pro Meinungsfreiheit argumentiert, freue ich mich Ã¼ber den Link. Ich rechne nicht damit. Stattdessen bekommen wir etwa von Angela Gruber Spiegel-Online folgendes serviert:
Es wÃ¤re wÃ¼nschenswert gewesen, dass ein solches Schreiben ohne Reaktionen im Google-Intranet versandet. Einfach, weil niemand Ã¼ber solche Thesen diskutieren will.
AutoritÃ¤res und freiheitliches Denken prallen hier frontal aufeinander. Und wieder einmal ist die Kluft zwischen Redaktionsmeinung und Leserkommentaren unter dem Artikel riesig. Unter vergleichbaren Artikeln sieht es nicht anders aus.
Dezidierte Technik-Magazine ticken Ã¼brigens Ã¤hnlich, was die journalistische GesprÃ¤chsbereitschaft mit Menschen anderer Meinung betrifft. So erklÃ¤rt Jessica Tomala bei "Giga":
Ich bin zwar keine Programmiererin, sondern Redakteurin, aber wÃ¼rde ich mit James Damore, dem Verfasser des zehnseitigen internen Manifests bei Google, zusammenarbeiten: Ich hÃ¤tte meinen morgendlichen Kaffeebecher wohl einfach Ã¼ber seinem Kopf ausgeleert.
Damit hÃ¤tte sie es James Damore einmal so richtig gezeigt. Von wegen, Frauen wÃ¤ren neurotisch. Ha!
Ach ja: Was macht eigentlich Deutschlands Linke, wenn ein marktbeherrschender Konzern Arbeitnehmer feuert, weil diese Arbeitnehmer missliebige Ansichten Ã¤uÃern und Diskriminierung beklagen? Auch von dort hÃ¶re ich gerade nicht sehr viel.
Julian Assange immerhin hat James Damore inzwischen einen Job bei Wikileaks angeboten. Eingeleitet wurde dieses Angebot von einem klaren Statement Assanges: "Censorship is for losers".
2. Leider ist der deutsche Hang zum Gleichschritt nicht einmal das einzige gravierende Problem in unseren Medien. Um ein weiteres Problem zu beleuchten, legen Hanna Herbst und Nora Kolhoff im Magazin "Vice" einen geradezu maskulistischen Text vor: "Versaute Klassenfahrt" und "Sex-Lehrerin": Wie Medien Ã¼ber Missbrauch durch Frauen reden.
3. In der Printausgabe der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen" von morgen findet sich auf Seite 8 der Artikel "Die Grenzen der FrauenfÃ¶rderung" von Reiner Burger. Der Untertitel des ausfÃ¼hrlichen Beitrags, der leider nicht online steht, lautet "Die nordrhein-westfÃ¤lische Polizei darf MÃ¤nner im Bewerbungsverfahren nicht benachteiligen".
Der Artikel handelt von einem Gerichtsurteil, nach dem drei junge Frauen vor dem Verwaltungsgericht DÃ¼sseldorf geklagt hatten, wegen ihrer geringen GrÃ¶Ãe nicht als Polizistinnen eingestellt worden zu sein. In dem Artikel heiÃt es:
Die 2. Kammer des Gerichts nutzte die Gelegenheit allerdings, um sich grundsÃ¤tzlich mit der Sache auseinanderzusetzen und um zum wiederholten Mal die Grenzen der FrauenfÃ¶rderung aufzuzeigen. Ganz allgemein gebe es "einen Trend", die FrauenfÃ¶rderung Ã¼ber alles andere zu stellen, monierte der Vorsitzende Richter Andreas MÃ¼ller.
Der Hintergrund: Um bei der nordrheinwestfÃ¤lischen Polizei eingestellt zu werden, mÃ¼ssen Frauen mindestens 1,63 Meter und MÃ¤nner mindestens 1,68 Meter groÃ sein. An MÃ¤nner wird ein strengerer MaÃstab angelegt, damit sich das VerhÃ¤ltnis der Polizeibeamten zugnsten der Frauen verschiebt.
Die zwischen 1,63 und 1,68 Meter groÃen MÃ¤nner werden also im Namen der FrauenfÃ¶rderung systematisch aussortiert, ohne dass sie im Bewerbungsverfahren zeigen kÃ¶nnen, ob sie nicht doch objektiv besser geeignet sind als andere Bewerber. Diese Regelung ist nach Auffassung des Gerichts verfassungswidrig. Nach dem im Grundgesetz verankerten Prinzip der Bestenauslese dÃ¼rfe der Zugang zum BeamtenverhÃ¤ltnis nur von Eignung, BefÃ¤higung und fachlicher Leistung abhÃ¤ngig gemacht werden. "Die FrauenfÃ¶rderung hat zwar Verfassungsrang, doch sie steht nicht Ã¼ber allem anderen", sagte MÃ¼ller in der mÃ¼ndlichen Verhandlung. Vielmehr gelte es, die beiden widerstreitenden Interessen von Verfassungsrang â die Gleichberechtigung und das Prinzip der Bestenauslese â miteinander in Einklang zu bringen. Durch den Erlass des Ministeriums wÃ¼rden jedoch schlechtere Frauen besseren mÃ¤nnlichen Bewerbern vorgezogen.
Das allerdings war das Ziel der rot-grÃ¼nen Landesregierung unter Hannelore Kraft gewesen. Frauen bekamen im Aufstiegswettbewerb einen Bonus gewÃ¤hrt. Das OVG allerdings hatte in dieser regelung einen VerstoÃ gegen das Grundgesetz gesehen. (Genderama berichtete.) Dieser Auffassung schloss sich jetzt das Verwaltungsgericht DÃ¼sseldorf bei seinem aktuellen Urteil an. In der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen" heiÃt es hierzu:
Damit ist die Entscheidung des DÃ¼sseldorfer Verwaltungsgerichts zwar im Kern ein MÃ¤nnerschutz-Urteil. Wird es rechtskrÃ¤ftig (...), werden aber drei Frauen als Erste von ihm profitieren. Denn hÃ¤tte das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen eine rechtskonforme MindestgrÃ¶Ãenregelung gehabt, dann hÃ¤tten die jeweils knapp unter 1,63 Meter groÃen KlÃ¤gerinnen wohl nie eine Chance bekommen, am Bewerbungsverfahren der Polizei teilzunehmen.
Putzig ist mal wieder, was deutsche Medien aus dem Urteil machen: Gericht kippt MindestgrÃ¶Ãe fÃ¼r Polizistinnen. Der Artikel unter der Schlagzeile, natÃ¼rlich die "Brigitte", erweckt den Eindruck, es sei die Diskriminierung von Frauen unterbunden worden. Noch irrer ist die Darstellung des Sachverhalts beim SWR. Dort heiÃt es:
Die MindestgrÃ¶Ãe fÃ¼r Polizistinnen in Nordrhein-Westfalen ist verfassungswidrig. Die Richter am Verwaltungsgericht in DÃ¼sseldorf gaben einer KlÃ¤gerin aus Oberhausen recht. Sie hatte sich bei der Polizei beworben und war nicht zum Auswahlverfahren zugelassen worden, weil sie anderthalb Zentimeter kleiner als die erforderlichen 1,63 Meter ist. Die DÃ¼sseldorfer Richter entschieden, die KÃ¶rpergrÃ¶Ãe habe wenig mit der Eignung von PolizeianwÃ¤rterinnen zu tun. Sie verwiesen unter anderem auf die Bundespolizei, die auch ohne eine MindestgrÃ¶Ãe auskomme. Die Bewerberin mÃ¼sse jetzt zum Auswahlverfahren zugelassen werden.
Immerhin gelingt es auch der "Zeit" den Fall korrekt darzustellen und u erklÃ¤ren, dass es um eine Diskriminierung von MÃ¤nnern geht. IrrefÃ¼hrend ist hier nur die Ãberschrift: "Polizei muss kleine Frau als Bewerberin akzeptieren."
4. Ebenfalls in der Printausgabe der "Frankfurter Allgemeinen" von morgen findet sich ein Beitrag von Rainer Meyer ("Don Alphonso"), betitelt mit "Das VermÃ¤chtnis der schwarzen Liste". Der Artikel bezieht sich auf den grÃ¼nen Online-Pranger und stellt dazu zunÃ¤chst einmal Andreas Kemper vor, dem Beitrag zufolge ein "54 Jahre alter Aktivist und Soziologiedoktorand aus MÃ¼nster, der seit mehr als zehn Jahren im Internet einen erbitterten, privaten Kleinkrieg gegen MÃ¤nnerrechtler und Gegner der Genderideologie fÃ¼hrt."
Hey, Kemper hat einen neuen Abschnitt fÃ¼r den Wikipedia-Eintrag Ã¼ber sich, sogar aus einem anerkannten Leitmedium. Ich hoffe, er freut sich ein bisschen.
Der FAZ-Artikel fÃ¼hrt aus, was die meisten Genderama-Leser ohnehin schon Ã¼ber den grÃ¼nen Pranger wissen. In einer Passage erfÃ¤hrt man folgendes:
Wer bei diesem Portal wen beschuldigte, war nicht offensichtlich. Zwar basiert Agent*In auf jener Wikimedia-Software, auf der auch die deutsche Wikipedia aufgebaut ist, wo Kemper und andere Aktivisten teils offen, teils anonym ihren Feldzug fÃ¼r ihre Vorstellungen von Sozial- und Geschlechterpolitik fÃ¼hren. WÃ¤hrend aber bei Wikipedia die Versionsgeschichte, die Diskussionen und die Autoren gesehen und recherchiert werden kÃ¶nnen, ist Agent*In um diese Funktionen beraubt. (...) Auf die Frage, wie viel Geld die hauptsÃ¤chlich durch Steuergeld finanzierte BÃ¶ll-Stiftung fÃ¼r Agent*In ausgibt, verweigerte von Bargen die Auskunft.
Bekanntlich nutzte das Versteckspiel wenig:
Erste Tarn- und Klarnamen, darunter der von Andreas Kemper, konnten durch eine simple Suchabfrage eruiert werden. Offensichtlich hatten die BÃ¶ll-Techniker die TÃ¼cken der Wikisoftware unterschÃ¤tzt. Erst nach der Darstellung des Lecks bei FAZ.net wurde die LÃ¼cke geschlossen. Mit reiner Spielerei an den URLs der BeitrÃ¤ge war es nicht nur mÃ¶glich, die VerÃ¤nderungen der BeitrÃ¤ge aufzurufen. Die Versionsgeschichte des Projekts vom 15. Dezember 2015 bis zu den letzten Ãnderungen stand offen im Netz. Ãber 7000 Seiten konnten erfasst und minutengenau erfasst werden. Obendrein zeigte sich nicht nur jede Ãnderung, sondern auch jeder Name der Autorenschaft. Ein kleines Team hatte Agent*In gepflegt, ergÃ¤nzt und juristisch weniger angreifbar gemacht. Personen, deren Namen genannt wurden, konnten zudem ihre "Akten" herunterladen und erkennen, was einem umfassenden Redigat im FrÃ¼hjahr 2017 zum Opfer gefallen war. Kemper hatte Anfang 2016 den grÃ¶Ãten Teil der BeitrÃ¤ge angelegt, und teilweise Formulierungen verwendet, die datenschutz- und persÃ¶nlichkeitsrechtlich problematisch waren.
Wiewohl die Verantwortlichen fÃ¼r dieses Projekt mit einer baldigen RÃ¼ckkehr drohten, wird das von Sicherheitsexperten bezweifelt:
Auch Bereiche, die mit PasswÃ¶rtern gesichert waren, stellten kein groÃes Hindernis dar, zumal Benutzernamen tagelang bekannt waren. Ob sich weitere ZutrÃ¤ger finden, die bei einem derartig unsicheren Projekt mitwirken wollen, ist fraglich: Die fast durchweg negative Resonanz zeigt, wie kritisch das Anlegen von schwarzen Listen mit "Feinden" durch eine mit Steuergeld finanzierte Parteienstiftung gesehen wird. Nur radikalfeministische Websites, linke Aktivisten und Genderforscher stellten sich vorbehaltlos hinter das Projekt.
5. Die Schwarzen Listen wiederum haben grundsÃ¤tzliche Fragen zur "Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung" ausgelÃ¶st. Was ist das eigentlich fÃ¼r ein Verein? Handelt es sich wirklich um eine Stiftung? Warum gibt es innerhalb dieses ohnehin schon feministischen Vereins noch einmal ein eigenes feministisches Institut? Warum spielen MÃ¤nner dort nur eine Rolle, solange sie Frauen dienen? Und wieso werden Menschen, die fÃ¼r die Rechte von Jungen und MÃ¤nnern eintreten, dort als Feinde behandelt, mit denen es keinen Dialog geben kann? Das Blog Man in the Middle hat seine Rechercheergebnisse Ã¼ber die BÃ¶ll-Stiftung zusammengetragen und gelangt zu dem Urteil: Faktisch handelt es sich um ein Matriarchat.
6. Die Brigitte versucht, den Leuten endlich einzublÃ¤uen, dass der Feminismus nicht mÃ¤nnerfeindlich ist.
7. Vor ein paar Monaten noch haben sich etliche Feministinnen vor Lachen auf dem Boden gekugelt, als sie hÃ¶rten, dass tatsÃ¤chlich MÃ¤nner gegen FilmvorfÃ¼hrungen nur fÃ¼r Frauen wegen Diskriminierung klagten. Die verantwortliche Kinokette hatte den Spott online angeheizt und zusÃ¤tzliche Veranstaltungen dieser Art angesetzt. Inzwischen hat sie im Rahmen gerichtlicher Vergleichsverhandlungen ihr Fehlverhalten eingestanden:
In a settlement offer July 18, Missy Reynolds, director of real estate and development for the Drafthouse, called that decree a 2tongue in cheek moniker" and said the theater wouldnât actually have denied men admission if any had purchased tickets.
8. Die US-Marines lieÃen durchgehend mÃ¤nnliche Einheiten gegen gemischtgeschlechtliche Einheiten antreten und gelangten zu einem Ergebnis, dass die deutschen Leitmedien wohl als zutiefst sexistisch bezeichnen wÃ¼rden:
Overall, the report says, all-male teams and crews outperformed mixed-gender ones on 93 out of 134 tasks evaluated. All-male teams were universally faster "in each tactical movement."
Wenn das US-MilitÃ¤r sich an Google orientieren wÃ¼rde, hÃ¤tte man dort die Verantwortlichen fÃ¼r diesen Bericht lÃ¤ngst entlassen. Nachdem man sie mit Kaffee begossen hÃ¤tte natÃ¼rlich. Das Magazin Quartz hingegen stellt dreist in Frage, dass das Ideal der Gleichstellung tatsÃ¤chlich Menschenleben wert ist:
Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.
|BÃ¶ll-Stiftung bittet um Verzeihung fÃ¼r Pranger, nennt aber keine Namen â News vom 8. August 2017||1. |
"Wir bedauern sehr, dass durch die gewÃ¤hlte Form manche an antidemokratische Methoden erinnert werden und entschuldigen uns bei denjenigen, die sich mÃ¶glicherweise persÃ¶nlich verletzt fuÌhlen."
So heiÃt es in einer Verlautbarung vom Vorstand der Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung zum Antifeminismus-Pranger, die gestern online gestellt wurde. Weiter heiÃt es dort, man werde die lagerÃ¼bergreifend entsetzte
Kritik und Reaktionen zum Anlass nehmen, die bisherige VerÃ¶ffentlichung zu Ã¼berprÃ¼fen. Entsprechend unseres SelbstverstÃ¤ndnisses werden wir Ziele und Format sowie die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Netzwerk und die Wirkung der "Agent*in" kritisch hinterfragen, zeitnah intern beraten und die Ã¶ffentliche Debatte fÃ¼hren.
FÃ¼r mich gibt es offen gesagt einige Hindernisse, diese Bitte um Verzeihung zu gewÃ¤hren. Beispielsweise wÃ¼sste ich gerne, wie genau es aussehen soll, wenn die BÃ¶ll-Stiftung mit mir eine "Ã¶ffentliche Debatte" fÃ¼hren mÃ¶chte. Bisher hatte man in der grÃ¼nen Stiftung peinlich genau darauf geachtet, zu geschlechterpolitischen Debatten wohl Feministinnen, aber ja keine MÃ¤nnerrechtler einzuladen. Das sind die Strukturen, die Ã¼berhaupt erst den Online-Pranger ermÃ¶glichten, der "an antidemokratische Methoden erinnert", wie die BÃ¶ll-Stiftung jetzt scheinbar einsichtig schreibt. Auch der Online-Pranger sollte offenbar das Entstehen einer Debatte auf Sachebene unterbinden, indem er Personen mit abweichenden Meinungen brandmarkte.
Das Blog Science Files schÃ¤tzt das Statement der Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung so ein:
Wenn man in Rechnung stellt, dass dieser Text mit Sicherheit die moderateste Formulierung ist, die man bei der HB-Stiftung gefunden hat, dann kann man sich ungefÃ¤hr vorstellen, welche AusmaÃe die interne Kritik angenommen hat und welche Folgen die Ã¶ffentliche Kritik fÃ¼r die Reputation und â viel wichtiger: die Bereitschaft der Projektpartner der HB-Stiftung, Geld an die Stiftung zu Ã¼berweisen â hatte. Dass sich UnmÃ¼Ãig und UeberschÃ¤r gemÃ¼Ãigt sehen, sich fÃ¼r die gewÃ¤hlte Form und dafÃ¼r zu entschuldigen, dass "manche" durch die Denunziationsplattform "mÃ¶glicherweise" persÃ¶nlich verletzt wurden, lÃ¤sst auch einiges an RÃ¼ckschlÃ¼ssen zu.
Science Files weist auch auf einen Tweet des FAZ-Journalisten "Don Alphonso" hin, dessen Recherchen wohl maÃgeblich dazu beitrugen, den Verantwortlichen fÃ¼r diesen Pranger zunÃ¤chst das Handwerk zu legen. "Don Alphonso" nÃ¤mlich merkt vÃ¶llig zu Recht an:
Zur Entschuldigung gehÃ¶rt auch die Benennung der Schuldigen. Und nicht deren Vertuschung.
Nun liegt der Einwand nahe, dass "Don Alphonso" selbst doch den umstrittenen Soziologen Andreas Kemper als Hauptschuldigen identifiziert hatte. Allerdings hegt "Don Alphonso" den wohl nicht unbegrÃ¼ndeten Verdacht, dass Kemper mit seiner bekannten Begeisterung dafÃ¼r, auf MÃ¤nnerrechtler loszugehen, nur anderen Leuten nÃ¼tzlich war und fÃ¼r sie eine vorgeschobene Figur darstellte. So beanstandet auch ein aktueller Artikel der "Welt", dass hier offenbar HintermÃ¤nner oder -frauen noch im Dunkeln bleiben:
Auf der vorÃ¼bergehend stillgelegten Seite findet sich kein namentlicher Absender, ein Impressum, das erst nachtrÃ¤glich eingefÃ¼gt wurde, verweist auf die BÃ¶ll-Stiftung. Wer sich informieren will, kÃ¶nne dies Ã¼ber eine Mail-Adresse tun, die ebenfalls von der BÃ¶ll-Stiftung angelegt wurde. (...) Weitere Namen von Mitwirkenden werden nicht genannt. Bei der BÃ¶ll-Stiftung heiÃt es, finanziell werde das Projekt "Agent*In" nicht von der Stiftung unterstÃ¼tzt, man stelle lediglich die technische UnterstÃ¼tzung. Eine Distanzierung von dem Projekt? Weitere Fragen mÃ¼ssten Henning von Bargen gestellt werden, hieÃ es noch Montagmittag. FÃ¼r die Stiftung der GrÃ¼nen eine zumindest missliche Konstruktion, wenn sich die Pressestelle inhaltlich nicht zu einem Projekt Ã¤uÃern kann, das eindeutig von der Stiftung gefÃ¶rdert wird, sei es auch nur Ã¼ber technische Dienstleistungen. (...) MitgrÃ¼nder Henning von Bargen befindet sich auf einer Dienstreise und sei bis Dienstag fÃ¼r Nachfragen schwer zu erreichen.
WÃ¤hrenddessen berichtet "Don Alphonso" auf Twitter, dass eine unter Pseudonymen wie "Fiona B." und "Fiona Baine" agitierende Aktivistin inzwischen auf der Wikipedia-Seite von "Don Alphonso" (Rainer Meyer) wÃ¼tet.
"Fiona B." ist mit einigen Helfershelfern seit Jahren dafÃ¼r verantwortlich, mich und andere Menschen, die sich fÃ¼r Jungen und MÃ¤nner einsetzen, in den Wikipedia-EintrÃ¤gen Ã¼ber uns so schlecht wie nur irgend mÃ¶glich darzustellen und die MÃ¤nnerrechtsbewegung als eine Mischung aus GeistesgestÃ¶rten und Schwerverbrechern erscheinen zu lassen. Dabei stellte die Wikipedia ein System dar, in dem ein solches Treiben nicht nur funktionierte, sondern wo die Verantwortlichen feministischen Eingriffen sogar UnterstÃ¼tzung anboten. SchÃ¼tzenhilfe gab es damals auch in BlÃ¤ttern wie der "taz", die letzte Woche Andreas Kempers momentanen RÃ¼ckzug vom VerÃ¶ffentlichen Schwarzer Listen flankierte.
Von dem "Neutral Point of View", den die Wikipedia als Banner vor sich her trÃ¤gt, ist hier nichts Ã¼brig geblieben. Stattdessen stellte sie eine Art ÃbungsgelÃ¤nde fÃ¼r den grÃ¼nen Online-Pranger dar, um politisch missliebige Personen durch den Dreck zu ziehen. Ich habe die dabei angewendeten Methoden hier und hier nÃ¤her aufgeschlÃ¼sselt.
GrundsÃ¤tzlich fÃ¤llt auf, dass Akteure, deren "politische Arbeit" meiner persÃ¶nlichen SchÃ¤tzung nach zu 95 Prozent aus dem Denunzieren anderer Personen besteht, extrem empfindlich reagieren, wenn sie selbst namentlich gemacht werden. Andreas Kemper etwa hatte dieser Tage in seinem Blog erklÃ¤rt, der InitialzÃ¼nder fÃ¼r seine Attacken auf die MÃ¤nnerrechtsbewegung sei seine Enttarnung in der "Jungen Freiheit" gewesen, wofÃ¼r er offenbar mir die Schuld gibt, weil ich zuvor in einem Blogeintrag gegen die AnonymitÃ¤t in der Wikipedia plÃ¤diert hatte.
Das Ungleichgewicht war in den letzten Tagen auch anderen Beobachtern aufgefallen. WÃ¤hrend die Verantwortlichen fÃ¼r den Online-Pranger anonym blieben, wÃ¼rden sie ihre Gegner "gnadenlos" angehen, hatte etwa das "Hamburger Abendblatt" angemerkt. Die Frage ist, wie lange das noch gutgehen wird. "Ich kann zeigen, wer die Beteiligten im Hintergrund sind" erklÃ¤rte "Don Alphonso" in einem weiteren Tweet. Und falls die BÃ¶ll-Stiftung das nicht selbst hinbekomme, werde er das auch tun.
Die Spannungskurve in diesem Krimi ist noch immer nicht am Ende.
2. Verschiedene Medien, darunter die New York Times berichten, dass der Google-Mitarbeiter James Damore, der in einem Memo die Diversity-Politik des Konzerns kritisiert hatte, gefeuert wurde:
Google on Monday fired a software engineer who wrote an internal memo that questioned the companyâs diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in technical positions was a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.
Aus der Washington Post erfÃ¤hrt man:
Yonatan Zunger, a former Google executive who wrote a widely read post about the memo published on the platform Medium, addressed the memo's author by saying "do you understand that at this point, I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you?" he wrote. "I certainly couldnât assign any women to deal with this, a good number of the people you might have to work with may simply punch you in the face, and even if there were a group of like-minded individuals I could put you with, nobody would be able to collaborate with them."
Hat James Damore nun Recht mit seiner Behauptung, dass es an biologischen Unterschieden statt Diskriminierung liegt, wenn sich weniger Frauen in technischen Berufen finden? Die Debatte darÃ¼ber wird durch Ausgrenzung und andere soziale Sanktionen weiterhin unterbunden.
Der Umgang mit Damore erinnert an den Fall von Professor Lawrence Summers, ehemals PrÃ¤sident der amerikanischen Elite-UniversitÃ¤t Harvard. Im Januar 2005 hielt Summers bei einer Wissenschaftskonferenz eine Rede Ã¼ber die Frage, woran es liege, dass Frauen in den oberen universitÃ¤ren RÃ¤ngen der Naturwissenschaften sowie der Mathematik unterreprÃ¤sentiert seien. Bei den denkbaren GrÃ¼nden verwarf er zunÃ¤chst Diskriminierung, weil das bedeuten wÃ¼rde, dass eine UniversitÃ¤t, die Frauen nicht benachteiligte, im Wettbewerb davonziehen kÃ¶nnte, indem sie schlicht jene Top-Akademikerinnen anheuerte, die anderswo diskriminiert wurden. Ãbrig blieben als mÃ¶gliche GrÃ¼nde, dass Frauen weniger bereit seien als MÃ¤nner, sich einer 80-Stunden-Arbeitswoche ohne jede eigene FlexibilitÃ¤t zu unterwerfen sowie dass Frauen aufgrund angeborener Eigenschaften weniger Zugang zu Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften finden als MÃ¤nner (aber dafÃ¼r z. B. sprachlich begabter sind), was auch aufgrund verschiedener Forschungsergebnisse belegt sei. Mehrere Feministinnen waren so auÃer sich Ã¼ber Summers MeinungsÃ¤uÃerung, dass sie seine Entlassung durchsetzten.
Menschen mit politisch unerwÃ¼nschten Auffassungen werden heutzutage einfach beseitigt.
Zu dieser UnfÃ¤higkeit einiger, abweichende Meinungen auszuhalten, gibt es einen aktuellen Beitrag im "Spektrum der Wissenschaft": "Warum wir etwas nicht glauben, das uns nicht passt."
Eine Reihe von Belegen, die die Auffassung des gefeuerten Google-Mitarbeiters stÃ¼tzen, findet man bei "Alles Evolution". Aber natÃ¼rlich wÃ¼rden Argumente nur eine Rolle spielen, wenn die MÃ¶glichkeit einer offenen Sachdebatte noch gegeben wÃ¤re. Vor diesem Hintergrund bewertet die liberale Feministin Cathy Young die Kontroverse so:
#GoogleManifesto reactions should dispel any notion that progressives are any more rational or fact-based than the trumpiest of Trumplings.
3. Aus einer Besprechung der neuen "Game-of-Thrones"-Folge erfÃ¤hrt man mehr Ã¼ber die Befindlichkeit von Feministinnen im Jahr 2017:
Half a season ago (...), folks were arguing that "Dragonstone" was the most feminist episode in GOT history. Why? Well, mostly because Arya slaughtered an entire castle full of men in one go. My personal take is that ye olde poison-the-wine trick didnât make a feminist statement, it just proved that weâre all so hungry for vengeance that we cheer when a young girl feeds some dude his sons.
|Feministischer Polizeistaat, MÃ¤nnerhaus in Texas â News vom 7. August 2017||1. Die Liberalen MÃ¤nner in der FDP sind gegrÃ¼ndet. Alles Weitere folgt. |
2. Die bekannte US-amerikanische Feministin Lena Dunham meldete ein privates GesprÃ¤ch zweier Flugbegleiterinnen, das sie als "transphob" betrachtete, der zustÃ¤ndigen Fluggesellschaft. WÃ¤hrend Dunhams VorwÃ¼rfe nicht bestÃ¤tigt werden konnten, macht ihr Verhalten, das als typisch fÃ¼r sogenannte "Social Justice Warrors" betrachtet wird, so manchem Beobachter Sorge. Lena Dunham Epitomizes Our Self-Enforcing Police State kommentiert Robert Tracinski fÃ¼r das politische Magazin "The Federalist".
3. Die L.A.Times berichtet Ã¼ber eine Zuflucht fÃ¼r geprÃ¼gelte MÃ¤nner in Texas. Ein Auszug:
Studies have long shown that men and women are on the receiving end at more or less equal rates, though women are much more likely to be injured and to report it.
Wer diese feministische Einseitigkeit kritisierte, wurde noch vor ein paar Tagen von der Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung als "antifeministisch" neben BjÃ¶rn HÃ¶cke & Co. einsortiert.
4. Die Filmemacherin Cassie Jaye, die mit ihrer MÃ¤nnerrechtler-Doku "The Red Pill" fÃ¼r internationale Aufmerksamkeit sorgte, berichtet jenen, die ihre Arbeit durch Spenden unterstÃ¼tzen, regelmÃ¤Ãig von den neuesten Entwicklungen. Einen aktuellen Bericht von ihr finde ich erwÃ¤hnenswert. Cassie Jaye teilte darin am Samstag folgendes mit:
Last night was The Red Pill's 4th film festival screening!
Sobald man es schafft, der Ãffentlichkeit die notwendigen Informationen zu vermitteln, kann dort sogar MitgefÃ¼hl fÃ¼r das Leiden von MÃ¤nnern entstehen. Allerdings belegt gerade der Fall Cassie Jayes, der wer immer das tut, bei dieser Aufgabe auch zahlreiche persÃ¶nliche Attacken und Verleumdungen zu Ã¼berstehen hat.
|Sachsen-Anhalt: Frauen verdienen mehr als MÃ¤nner â News vom 5. August 2017 &nb|