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Showing posts from April 15, 2007

Letter to Charles Dickens re: "A Christmas Carol," or, "The Work of Children's Literature in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

Dear Sir:

We suggest the following changes to "A Christmas Carol."
It will be hard to market dolls of poor people. Plus, the Cratchits are so depressing. Can't you give them a Lexus or something? Or at least refer to a temporarily underperforming investment portfolio? The whole exploitation of the workers thing, while properly moralized, is still too harsh for our target demographic (see attached spreadsheet). Even though the problem has been properly personified in the moral failings of Scrooge, as opposed to the economic system at large, it's still a little too depressing. Lighten up the situation -- have Cratchit simply be denied a promotion. God knows this would be traumatic enough!
We'll need to increase the Cratchit's economic status in order to maximize product placement. Poor people don't have much; this is a definite cross-marketing problem. At least bring them up to the Ikea level, as we'd like to ink a deal with them. We realize that the whol…

Doha Debates: 'This House believes the Palestinians should give up their full right of return'

Before you scream, "Anti-semitism," you might want to note that these debates are made up of people on both sides -- in this case, Israelis and Palestinians. Bill Clinton, Shimon Peres, and other well-known anti-Semites have been on this debate show, which (of course) has no equivalent on US television.

See all the different debates here.

Truthdig - Reports - "NAB-bing the Election," Amy Goodman

Posted on Apr 10, 2007By Amy GoodmanAs the TV pundits on the networks gab about the tens of millions of dollars raised by the top presidential candidates, what they don’t talk about is where that money is going: to their own networks.[Click the title of the post for "Amy Goodman" above for information on her and links to her other columns.]

Democracy Now! Archived Features

Ana Nogueira Reports from Lebanon: From 2006. You didn't see this on MSM.

Ana Nogueira Reports from Lebanon
Special to Democracy Now! Business Owners, Workers Charge Israel Deliberately Targeted Lebanon's Economy
[Stream] [Download: 14MB || 82MB]

Rebuilding Lebanon: Residents Struggle to Cope with Destruction
[Stream] [Download: 22MB || 97MB]

Unexploded Israeli Cluster Bombs Litter Southern Lebanon
[Stream] [Download: 9.4MB || 27MB]

The Civilian Toll: Over 1,000 Lebanese Killed, One in Four Displaced
[Stream] [Download: 14 MB || 40MB]

"Unhappy-Headed Cho", or, "The Cho Video(s), Free Speech, and Flak"

Yes, I feel badly for the victims' families. Of course. I'm serious. I also don't like cancer, the neocons' unending rampage, the Nazi holocaust, al-Qaida, existential pain, aging, or regret. I'm serious about that, too.

Isn't that amazing to find out? Do we all have to go around the table and say that over and over again? Just to make sure we're in the in-group? My god, it hasn't stopped for 9/11 yet -- to say nothing about other older tragedies. The emotional reaction for those not personally involved ought to stop after a couple of days so thought can set in. I realize this is a radical concept to some.

Now, can we talk about some actual news, please? Or: how best to prevent, if possible:
other mass shootings (gun control/ammo control, anyone? better mental healthcare system, anyone?);
environmental triggers for cancer, and not just promulgate genomic grant applica -- I mean, promises;
air strikes, possibly nuclear, on, say, oh, I don't…

Iraq Has Two Virginia Techs Every Day

I know this is un-American to even consider, but surely we have emotional room for all victims? From Juan Cole's Informed Consent:
I keep hearing from US politicians and the US mass media that the "situation is improving" in Iraq. The profound sorrow and alarm produced in the American public by the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech should give us a baseline for what the Iraqis are actually living through. They have two Virginia Tech-style attacks every single day. Virginia Tech will be gone from the headlines and the air waves by next week this time in the US, though the families of the victims will grieve for a lifetime. But next Tuesday I will come out here and report to you that 64 Iraqis have been killed in political violence. And those will mainly be the ones killed by bombs and mortars. They are only 13% of the total; most Iraqis killed violently, perhaps 500 a day throughout the country if you count crim…

Columbia News ::: Video ::: The Roots of American Radicalism, Mar 1, 2005

I was lucky enough to have Jacob as a professor in grad school. She's the real deal: a true intellectual, not a word-gamesmith.

From the Columbia site:
What are the prospects for radical thought in our own times? Some of the most eminent and interesting historians in the world gathered at the Columbia University Heyman Center for the Humanities on March 1 for a daylong conference focusing on some of the dissenting voices of the Enlightenment in both Europe and America. Leading scholars offered their perspectives on the intellectual movement that swept through Europe and the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries, impacting the realms of science, theology and politics.

Margaret Jacob Margaret Jacob, professor of history, UCLA, "The Radical Enlightenment: A Heavenly City with Many Mansions"Real Video (23:40)

Jonathan IsraelJonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study, "The Socio-cultural Structure of the Radical Enlightenment, or Why Holland and Not Britain? and Wh…

Akeel Bilgrami Challenges Widely Held View of Basis of Gandhi's Philosophy on Non-violence

Chomsky, via the Znet Sustainers board, was nice enough to suggest looking into Prof. Bilgrami on Gandhi. This clip is about six minutes long and is from 2001.
Philosophy's Akeel Bilgrami argues that Gandhi, who was assassinated on Jan. 30, 1948, believed the adoption of moral principles generated criticism of others and eventually led to violence. In contrast with Western understanding, Bilgrami argues that Gandhi believed exemplary actions, not principles, are at the root of his philosophy on non-violence.Some more by Bilgrami on Gandhi: "Gandhi, Newton, and the Enlightenment: Akeel Bilgrami Conjures a World Re-enchanted" (much longer -- about an hour -- from fall 2006).
If last year's Columbia-hosted panel discussion on the intelligent design controversy made one thing clear, it's that the stakes in the debate are much higher than simply arguing about whether the world was created in six days a few thousand years ago. For Akeel Bilgrami, even though he is a sec…

Chomsky and Zinn: Part 2; Amy Goodman: Force of Nature

1. Dershowitz gets called what he is: a jihadi. The esteemed lawyer's continuing project? To cover up his cover up of Israeli governmental crimes. The latter's been going on for 30-odd years; the former since Norman Finkelstein dismantled Dershowitz's The Case for Israel, a compendium of lies and plagiarism, in Beyond Chutzpah, which Dershowitz tried to keep from being published. It's all online (you can start here and here); the mass media has picked up on the story. A confrontation between Finkelstein and Dershowtiz on Beyond Chutzpah on DN! Part 1 (starts at 2:30), which was broadcast. Part 2, which was not (legal threats?).

2. Part one of Amy Goodman's joint interview of Zinn and Chomsky is here.

3. We saw Zinn and Goodman last night in Boston. Zinn was funny and informative.

Of course, Zinn was dryly funny and informative, as always.

But Goodman was a revelation. She is a force of nature. I had no idea what she was like as a speaker; had just seen her on DN! and i…

Noam Chomsky on American Foreign Policy in Latin America

This [is] an interview with Professor Noam Chomsky on American Foreign Policy in Latin America, and Latin American integration. In the interview, Noam Chomsky addresses the traditional relationship between the United States and Latin America, the impact of neoliberal economic policies, and Latin America's "turn to the left."

I am the Director of Investigative Reports for "The Global Current," which is an international news show entirely run by undergraduate students at Seton Hall University. Our radio show airs every Saturd[a]y morning in the NYC metropolitan area ["The Global Current" airs on WSOU 89.5 FM every Saturday at 6:30am], and we also create videos for all of our reports and host them on YouTube. Please check out all of our videos on our main YouTube website, and also check us out on our blogger site.
Part 1:

Part 2:

"The Emerging Framework of World Power," Noam Chomsky

Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Northeastern University, Blackman Auditorium
Exploring the repercussions of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Noam Chomsky talks about the war on terrorism, US involvement with Afghanistan, and the long-term implications of America's military attacks abroad. His extensive knowledge of American foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia sheds light on the new contours of world power while posing important and troubling questions about our country's role in international affairs.

Holocaust Memorial Day

An apt and classy message from Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich.

If only all such remembrances were actually remembrances rather than abuses of memory.

Let's try to keep this event free from political abuse.