Philocrites : Scrapbook : October 2007 Archive

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boston Jews, Christians spar again over Palestinians

Quoted 10.27.07:

Hundreds of advocates for Palestinian rights gathered inside a Back Bay church yesterday as pro-Israel demonstrators denounced them from across Boylston Street in Copley Square .  . .

Inside Old South Church, about 700 advocates of Palestinian rights launched a two-day conference, provocatively titled, "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel." The meeting will feature a keynote speech today by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

The pro-Israel demonstrators, who numbered about 200, furiously denounced the use of the word apartheid to describe Israel, as well as what the Jewish community said were anti-Israel views espoused by Sabeel, the Palestinian Christian organization that put together the conference.

Michael Paulson, Boston Globe 10.27.07; background (Boston Globe 10.14.07); Jeff Jacoby criticizes Sabeel's cross-based rhetoric (op-ed, 10.21.07); pro-Israeli Chrisian's incendiary op-ed (Dexter Van Zile, 10.25.07); Old South Church's official response (10.25.07)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hopelessness, fear in totalitarian Myanmar

Quoted 10.21.07:

An ominous calm has settled here, less than a month after the military junta crushed an uprising for democracy led by the nationís revered monks. People have quietly returned to the squalor and inflation that brought them to the streets in protest. . . .

But beneath the surface, anger, uncertainty, hopelessness — and above all, fear of the junta — prevail. . . .

By perpetrating what most Burmese felt was unthinkable — the beating and killing of monks — the ruling generals proved that they would stop at nothing to keep their grip on power. People were again cowed into subjugation. Now dissidents worry that the world, after its initial uproar, will again leave the Burmese people to cope with the junta on their own.

Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times 10.21.07

Christian Right divided between Romney, Huckabee

Quoted 10.21.07:

Out of 5,775 votes cast [at the Values Voters Summit], Mr. Romney won 27.6 percent; Mr. Huckabee, 27.1 percent; Ron Paul, 15 percent; Fred D. Thompson, 9.8 percent. Mr. Giuliani finished second to last, with less than 2 percent of the vote, and Senator John McCain of Arizona finished last among the nine candidates. . . .

The Romney campaign trumpeted the victory, but there was only a smattering of applause in the auditorium when his name was announced and the event's organizers cautioned against his deriving any kind of mandate from the results. . . .

Of the votes cast in person, Mr. Huckabee was the runaway winner with over 50 percent of the vote, trailed badly by Mr. Romney with 10 percent.

Michael Luo, New York Times 10.21.07

Friday, October 19, 2007

Indie rock's nerdiness is rooted in class, not just race

Quoted 10.19.07:

With its true spiritual center in Richard Florida-lauded "creative" college towns such as Portland, Ore., [indie rock] is the music of young "knowledge workers" in training, and that has sonic consequences: Rather than body-centered, it is bookish and nerdy; rather than being instrumentally or vocally virtuosic, it shows off its chops via its range of allusions and high concepts with the kind of fluency both postmodern pop culture and higher education teach its listeners to admire. (Many rap MCs juggle symbologies just as deftly, but it's seldom their main point.) This doesn't make coffeehouse-indie shallow, but it can result in something more akin to the 1960s folk revival, with fretful collegiate intellectuals in a Cuban Missile Crisis mood, seeking purity and depth in antiquarian music and escapist spirituality. Not exactly a recipe for a booty-shaking party.

Carl Wilson, Slate 10.18.07; see A paler shade of white: How indie rock lost its soul by Sasha Frere-Jones, New Yorker 10.22.07

Monday, October 8, 2007

Demanding trans rights now may doom gay rights law

Quoted 10.08.07:

Civil rights legislation — hell, all legislation — is a series of compromises. You rarely get everything you want, nor do you get it all at once. Blacks, for example, won the right to vote in 1870. Women didn't get that same right until 1920. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided a large umbrella of rights based on race, religion, sex and national origin, but failed to mention gays or people with disabilities. People with disabilities were finally given specific rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but gays as a class have still to be granted a single civil right at the federal level. If we waited until society was ready to accept each and every member of the civil rights community before passing any civil rights legislation, we'd have no civil rights laws at all. Someone is always left behind, at least temporarily. It stinks, but it's the way it's always worked, and it's the way you win.

John Aravosis, Salon 10.8.07; via The Chalice Blog; on the other hand, Bush will veto it no matter what, so include T with GLB (Mass Marrier)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bush lawyers lied, authorizing torture while declaring it 'abhorrent'

Quoted 10.06.07:

When the Justice Department publicly declared torture "abhorrent" in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Scott Shane, David Johnston and James Risen, New York Times 10.4.07