Blog Posts

Reading Steven Salaita

I have followed Corey Robin online for about a year through email notices to his frequent blogs at his own site. He also contributes at Crooked Timber and has done so at many other places including The New York Times. For about a month he has been pushing hard on an issue of academic freedom which I have followed there but was un-aware was gaining the traction it has. It is even being covered internationally, at least in England and Israel. As my title indicates, it is the issue of the firing of Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois.

About Human Shields

I lost a longer version of this and that is probably for the best. Here is the shorter version in which I don't try to cover every possible nuance but just hit the high points to make my point.

The phrase “human shield" has, IMO, become Orwellian in its use in relation to the ongoing conflict between Israel and either Hamas or the Palestinian people as a whole. One aspect of actually using humans as shields is emphasized while another equally important aspect is ignored. The complete, true, and honest implications of the phrase itself, regardless of whether Hamas actually does use humans as shields, is intentionally obscured. A narrow and less than complete understanding of the implications of the charge is intended to be mentally embedded while the full implications are distorted or, hopefully, un-noticed.

Giddy up, Horse

  I assume that anyone reading this notices, like most Americans who are either literate or have a TV, or who listen to drive-time AM radio, that we are heavily involved in the Middle East. We have at least a general knowledge of how the last thirty years or so have played out. If we are intellectually honest [IMO] we admit and acknowledge that the USA has no business being there as an influential power except for the business of business.

Ramblin, Blabberin, and Confabulatin'

Color coded revolutions right and left, so to speak. So many different points of view. So many reasons to guess one way or the other at what is happening and why.

A One Day Quick Blogroll About "Who Ya Gonna Believe"?

It is my observation that in any online discussion of politics, a discussion which is usually more narrowly about a particular facet of politics such as international diplomacy, an important factor in that discussion is always that of the credibility of the sources of information that one person or another chooses in order to form and then defend their position. It comes down to , "Who ya gonna believe"? I am aware of how 'confirmation bias' affects that judgment. I don't claim to be immune.

The Phone is Ringing

The phone is ringing and Hillary is not deaf.
I would like to believe that anyone with two brain cells working, and also a working conscience, would want the negotiations with Iran to achieve a successful agreement that avoids war. But, what I do believe is what is obvious, there are powerful individuals and groups within the U.S and our allied countries which are working hard to prevent that outcome and they might very well be successful.

Some Random Thoughts on Syria

I assume that Assad has constructed a golden parachute. He could bail out and land in a well feathered nest in any one of several countries. But, if he did so, his minority tribe would almost certainly lose and suffer terrible retribution. So far Assad is hanging tough and so are his followers. We often bandy the term, "existential threat" lightly, but there are many people fighting for the very life of their families, themselves, and their country as they know it.

We Have A Pope

I just stumbled onto a pretty good movie that is coincidentally quite timely. It is a comedy played seriously. It is called We Have A Pope. I liked it from the beginning where there is what I presume to be a realistic portrayal of the pomp and ceremony surrounding the death of a Pope. It quickly goes to the election process for the new Pope which reminded me of a comical twist on Putney Swope that might actually be quite inciteful. The movie is completely non-polemic. Wiki's description;

Fred On the Universal Soldier

Today I read a column by my old buddy whom I have never met, Fred Reed.  I suppose it could be called a poem but it definitely is not a feel-good piece. After reading it I considered putting a link here but felt that it needed some context, so after thinking about it for a while I started doing some googling.

Its a Small Thing, Its Right, Do It

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal was big news for a while, as it should have been. As it should be. Articleman presented here at Dagblog a long, well researched, well presented opinion piece which I felt made some good arguments. Others did as well. Respondents who disagreed with parts of A-man's argument made strong points as well.



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