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Showing posts from January 13, 2019

A. J. Arberry's 1955 translation of the Koran

Apparently considered one of the finest. I've only read the 1956 Penguin translation by N. J. Dawood; may take a stab at this one, too, after I finish Mommsen and Rostovtzeff on Rome and Finkel on the Ottoman Empire.

"The West Has Islam Dangerously Wrong": Robert Scheer interviews Juan Cole about Cole's new book on Muhammad

Correct; it does. Even among supposedly "liberal" circles--thank you, Bill Maher, Sam Harris, and other New Atheist idiots.
The audio:

Here's the link to the transcript; here's the intro blurb:

In January of 2017, one week after he was sworn into office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order prohibiting foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. Approximately 18 months later, the United States Supreme Court voted, 5-4, to uphold a revised version of Trump’s Muslim ban—a decision that Omar Jadwat of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project has lambasted as one of the worst in our nation’s history, on par with the Korematsu v. United States decision during World War II.

If nothing else, Trump’s political ascent has served as a potent reminder of Islamophobia’s pervasiveness throughout 21st century American society. How then do we dismantle these harmful stereotypes, which threaten Muslim communities both at home a…

Noam Chomsky on RussiaGate

Worthwhile, not just for Chomsky's comments but the video inserts that may remind Good Democrats of what they believed up until they were told to believe something else, and turned on a dime.

SIPRI: The landscape of arms control: perspectives from Russia

SIPRI is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. They do good work, as far as I can tell.

Here's the playlist; here's the blurb:

"SIPRI is pleased to present a new series of films that provide Russian perspectives on the landscape of arms control. The interviewees give their assessments of the current obstacles facing the arms control agenda and ways to overcome them.
"The interviews were recorded in Moscow in October 2018 during a conference co-hosted by SIPRI and the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO). The conference celebrated 25 years of translation of the SIPRI Yearbook into Russian. The films can be viewed on SIPRI’s YouTube channel and on Facebook. "Dan Smith, SIPRI Director, introduces the series by describing the bleak state of arms control. However, he also outlines reasons to be optimistic—namely the launch of a new United Nations (UN) disarmament agenda, ‘Securing Our Common Future’ …

The Left Case Against the EU

Contra Varoufakis and others. Lapavitsas is serious, agree or not; this should be useful.

FAIR: Triumph of Conventional Wisdom: AP Expunges Iran/Contra Pardons from Barr’s Record

Well, that seems sorta relevant, that Barr was the AG who approved the post-Iran-Contra pardons of Bush Senior (now known as, "The Good Emperor Bush the Elder, Now Deified, Who Symbolizes The Resistance").

Read on, Macduff.

Juncker's EU mea culpa. Varoufakis: "Too little, too late, it will be condemned by historians."

Varoufakis' comments are in English, and well worth attending to.


This is worth subscribing to--there are some great reports that come out periodically.

Here are the highlights from this report (PDF):
Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $900 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Women had median weekly earnings of $794, or 80.0 percent of the $993 median for men. (See table 2.)

The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 79.7 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with 86.0 percent for Black women, 74.6 percent for Asian women, and 82.9 percent for Hispanic women. (See table 2.)

Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings of Blacks ($712) and Hispanics ($684) working at full-time jobs were lower than those of Whites ($931) and Asians ($1,095). By sex, median weekly earnings for Black men were $773, or 75.5 percent of the median for White men ($1,024). Median earnings for Hispanic men were $736, or 71.9 percent of the median for White men. The difference was less a…

New Study Concludes Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Even In Winter

No worries: just a twenty-foot rise in sea levels if this sheet goes bye-bye. It's all a deep-state hoax, luckily, so we can keep on with our autosuicide with a clear conscience.

It's all about the children!

Here are the two articles Fraser is discussing:
Fraser, NJ and Inall ME (2018) Influence of barrier wind forcing on heat delivery towards the Greenland Ice Sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123 (4) Free abstract; paywall for full article.
FraserNJ, Skogseth, R, Nilsen, N and Inall, ME (2018) Circulation and exchange in a broad Arctic fjord using glider based observations. Polar Research, 37 (1) abstract and full article freely available.

Here's some relevant commentary from MediaLens: "Remembrance: The Dehumanized Human." Gets at the psychological basis for this mass denial, which is just the other side of the coin of mass "remembrances" of those slaugh…

History of Islamic Science Documentaries

The BBC's Science and Islam (2009) and Al Jazeera English's Science in a Golden Age (2015), both with Jim Al-Khalili.

Luis Buñuel Documentaries

Here's the playlist of all the English-language documentaries (including those not in English but with good subtitles) that are currently on the Tube of You. Here's a link to more material in French, German, and Spanish.

Dude could make a film, is the upshot.

Reactions to the Brexit Vote

1. "UK Brexit Vote Reflects a Deep Crisis in Capitalism," Leon Panitch and Jon Lansman (Labour, National Executive Committee). Panitch is usually worth attending to, and you won't find this kind of analysis elsewhere too easily.

Here's the playlist, here's some info on Lansman, and here's a picture of the man who's done more to damage the UK than anyone since Adolf Hitler:

2. John Weeks' analysis:

3. Robert Mackay of the Intercept.
4. Me: “Dear Brits: See why it’s a good idea to have, like, a constitution that’s all, like, written down, and shit?”

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Fine With Anti-Semites — as Long as They Support I...

Pretty much. And not just him: all the Jewish Trump voters, and they exist, are equally fine with antisemitism.

But Finkelstein and Chomsky are evil. I see.

The Caesars, 1968

Great as the later I, Claudius is, this series is much closer to Tacitus, with the major exception of making Tiberius the mostly-hero. 

Good stuff, and you'll quickly get used to the shitty audio. The writing and acting is spot on, including Freddie Jones as Claudius, iconic as Derek Jacobi's portrayal rightly is.

Risking Total Annihilation for the Sake of Profit - with Wilkerson and J...

Here's a YouTube playlist of the full discussion, which began by reviewing the current film on Dick Cheney, Vice.

This segment is the point: it's about the US military-industrial complex, and the survival of the species.

On that note, here's the full playlist of Daniel Ellsberg's long interview with Paul Jay on his book, The Doomsday Machine, which you should read. And then act upon.

You won't. Much more relevant to bash your kids for not scoring in the 99th percentile on the SAT. I mean, clearly, the priority for parenting is to make sure that when your kid melts into the liquefying asphalt, somewhere in a box in his or her basement, a diploma from an Ivy-level university is what instantly incinerates. Not to do so would be bad parenting.

"But, Doug--what do I do about this? Certainly, I and my Ivy-level degrees can't figure it out on my own, so, in order to try to get myself off the hook, I'm going to heavily imply there's no reason for me to ch…

Channel 4 (UK) Live Coverage of the Brexit Debate

Watch the UK continue to weaken itself as much as it can. David Cameron's legacy is to have done the most damage to the UK since Adolf Hitler.

Dean Baker, The Green New Deal Is Happening in China

Dean Baker talks sense, as per usual.

Read it here; follow his work here; here's his background.

The Military-Industrial Complex Launches a "Feminist" PR Campaign

Satire is not only dead, the gravesite has been forgotten.

I know: I’m a misogynist, Bernie-Bro, woman-hating antifeminist because I’m appalled by this PR campaign. I should say, “I’m with her!” I mean, how dare I hold women to the same standard as men, and sorta like not want to encourage people to go into the death machine business? Surely, all that sugar and spice will make the bombs so much prettier, no? Who cares if something more representatively feminine is slouching toward Bethlehem waiting to be born? As long as it can code!
TP Gore, Gore Vidal’s grandfather: “If there were any race other than the human race, I’d go join it.”
I asked Grendel the Cat if I could join up with the cats. He said, no way. Can't blame him.

Who's Afraid of AOC?

Lots of people, apparently.

Um, yeah, you primary all the time. That's how it works. It's called, "representative democracy."

Little note to the idiot ruling class: make reform impossible and you make revolution (left or right) inevitable. Get it now, morons?

Turkish Journalist Sentenced To Prison Over Paradise Papers’ Investigation, ICIJ

Coming soon to the US? So, publishing the truth in Turkey is now (sic, has been for some time) defamation.

Think about this when Trump whines about libel laws.

"Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker has been sentenced to jail over the Paradise Papers investigation after being found to have defamed her nation’s former prime minister and two of his sons.

An Istanbul court sentenced the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ member to imprisonment for 13 months for “defamation and insult.”

Ünker, who reported that former prime minister Binali Yildirim and his sons owned companies in Malta in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, was also fined $US1615.

Prime minister from May 2016 to July 2018, Yildirim became speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly after the post of Prime Minister was abolished."