Tuesday, May 03, 2016

"Einstein publicly stated reservations about the proposal to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish countries. In a 1938 speech, "Our Debt to Zionism", he said: "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain—especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. ... If external necessity should after all compel us to assume this burden, let us bear it with tact and patience.". His attitudes were nuanced: In his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 he stated that he was not in favour of the creation of a Jewish state, while in a 1947 letter to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru intended to persuade India to support the establishment of a Jewish state, Einstein stated that the Balfour Declaration's proposal to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine "redresses the balance" of justice and history. Einstein remained strongly supportive of unlimited Jewish immigration to Palestine."

Albert Einstein Letter to The New York Times. December 4, 1948 New Palestine Party. Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed

الإرهابي الصغير
ذاك الذي أطلقوا عليه الرصاص
لم يسقط منذ أول طلقة
بل جثا على ركبتيه
ونظر إليهم
حيث كانوا يختبئون
خلف أسلحتهم
وربما كانوا يخشون
أن يكشف وجوههم الملثمة
وحين تلقف رشاشه
كما يتلقف الأطفال ألعابهم
كانت الرصاصة الأخيرة
تستقر حذو فكرته الأخيرة
لم تكن فكرة عن الجنة
ولا عن الله
ولا الملائكة
بل عن صديقته الصغيرة
عن رضابها
وحلمتيها الرقيقتين
ولحسن الحظ
أنهم أخطؤوا التصويب
ذلك أن صورتها لم تكن
في رأسه
بل بين يديه
وحين ارتطم وجهه
بالأسفلت الساخن
مررها بين فكيه
وبينما كان يمضغها بهدوء لذيذ
كانوا يفككون قنبلته الصغيرة
تلك التي لم يسعفه الوقت

محمد مثلوثي، تونس

Monday, May 02, 2016

Financial terrorism on Greece goes on

"Voters across Europe have got the message from the way Greece’s opposition to austerity was crushed - you can vote for whoever you like, but it won’t make any difference."

Europe's liberal illusions shatter as Greek tragedy plays on

Sunday, May 01, 2016

"An integral nationalism that never flinched in exterminating Armenians, expelling Greeks, deporting Kurds and torturing dissident Turks, and which still enjoys wide electoral support, is not a force to be taken lightly. The Turkish left, consistently among its victims, has shown most courage in confronting it. Politically speaking, the ‘generation of 78’ was cut down by the military coup of 1980, years of imprisonment, exile or death killing off any chance of a revival of popular attraction or activism on the same scale. But when the worst of the repression lifted, it was this levy that produced a critical culture without equal in any European country of the same period: monographs, novels, films, journals, publishing houses that have given Istanbul in many respects a livelier radical milieu than London, Paris or Berlin."
After Kamel

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The future of our earth looks bleak, capitalism will be established in space in the near future. So will tax havens!

"To evangelists of asteroid mining, the heavens are not just a frontier but a vast and resource-rich place teeming with opportunity. According to NASA, there are potentially 100,000 near-Earth objects — including asteroids and comets — in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Two amusing headlines by foreignpolicy.com, 
Thursday, April 28

"U.S. servicemembers who were involved in the October 2015 strike on an MSF hospital in Afghanistan will receive counseling and letters of reprimand..."

"Despite a conflict in South Suden [sic] that has left 50,000 dead, Washington is still hesitating to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on the country..."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A good analysis, but with a utopia.

"But for all the clarity of this historical continuity, it cannot deliver us from the particularities of the present. The most obvious difference between the pre- and postmodern circulation struggles is the contemporary primacy of the “race riot.” That term too easily forgets the great inversion that occurs sometime after the world wars. From the nineteenth century on, the racialized riots of the United States featured white mobs attacking not just African-American but famously Asian and Latin American groups — events among which the Zoot Suit Riots are only the best-known example. It’s not until the ‘60s that the phrase fastens its current meaning. There is something bizarre and perhaps obscene in the extent to which the political memory of “the sixties” is in the US dominated by the free speech and antiwar movements. This is not to diminish such projects, but rather to underscore the historical forgetting of the great rebellions of Watts, Newark, Detroit, Chicago, and hundreds of other uprisings. Almost 160 in 1967 alone, black America’s 1968. And these are in turn inseparable from the forces that drove black exclusion, the political economy of social death: automation, weakening profits, and the Last Hired/First Fired policies that ejected vast numbers of African-Americans from the urban industrial jobs which had drawn them during the great migrations."
Baltimore Riot. Baltimore Commune?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

 Europe’s Joint-Smoking, Gay-Club Hopping Terrorists

The Abdeslam brothers, with their sudden escalation from dancing in nightclubs to killing in them over the course of a few months, seem to challenge this picture. They also raise a deeper and more troubling question for those seeking to understand the genesis of terrorist acts: What if they were not “radicalized” and underwent no dramatic metamorphosis at all? What if their violence had only the most tenuous connection to what they believed, whatever that was? What if the story of how they came to be involved in terrorism had no real coherent narrative arc? What if the script of terrorism doesn’t always feature the drama of radicalization?
According to one of the two friends who filmed the nightclub footage, the Abdeslam brothers “were nice people.… I suppose you could say they lived life to the full.” The other friend, going by the name “Karim,” adds: “I saw Salah joke, smoke, drink, and play cards.… If anything, he liked women. He was something of a ladies’ man, and I heard he had a girlfriend at one point.” The CNN report continues, “At the time, the friends said they had no idea that the two had embarked upon their journey toward radicalism.… ‘They must have been changing bit by bit.
Despite its seeming exotic otherness, and for all its theological quiddities, the world of the Islamic State is not wholly disconnected from that of our own. Its ideals of heroic self-sacrifice, adventure, violence, and machismo are mirrored, albeit in a secularized and far more muted form, in our own culture; they find less constrained expression, for example, in our movies. In other words, the breach between those who join the Islamic State and “us” is not as deep as we would like to think. It is even narrower in the case of Molenbeek in Brussels, where a hybrid subculture of crime, violence, and jihadi activism has taken root. The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet describe members of this subculture as “part terrorist, part gangster”: liminal badasses who exist between two overlapping worlds, for whom, as terrorism expert Rik Coolsaet documents in a recent study of Belgian foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, “joining [the Islamic State] is merely a shift to another form of deviant behaviour, next to membership of street gangs, rioting, drug trafficking and juvenile delinquency.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"In his story, Fischer quoted a UW philosophy professor saying Heller was so dedicated “He would have lived in a barrel, if necessary, to devote himself to teaching.” That’s a great tribute to the man, but an indictment of the system that it almost came to that."
Gifted professor’s ‘life of the mind’ was also life of near destitution