Sunday, January 31, 2010

I wonder why Togo get their team bus attacked and get banned from the next two ACNs, yet Egyptians attack Algeria's team bus and are allowed to win the competition?
The Supreme Court had criticised the growth of "anonymity orders" granted by courts in recent years, which had become an "ingrained habit" among court officials without "the slightest justification".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No such proof is available for the existence of ADHD, which is an assertion based upon a set of changing and subjective 'symptoms'. In fact, 'ADHD' must be one of the very few complaints whose symptoms are mainly felt not by the alleged patient but by those who live with or teach him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The sense of representing popular interests and values has survived, but is often overridden by either (a) right-wing criticism of this, as in demagogy, which has moved from 'leading the people to 'crude and simplifying agitation, or (b) left-wing criticism of rightist and fascist movements which exploit 'popular prejudices, or of leftist movements which subordinate socialist ideas to popular (populist) assumptions and habits.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In his unfinished Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind (1784--9 1) he wrote of Cultur: 'nothing is more indeterminate than this word, and nothing more deceptive than its application to all nations and periods. He attacked the assumption of the universal histories that 'civilization or culture -- the historical self-development of humanity -- was what we would now call a unilinear process, leading to the high and dominant point of C18 European culture. Indeed he attacked what be called European subjugation and domination of the four quarters of the globe, and wrote:

Men of all the quarters of the globe, who have perished over the ages, you have not lived solely to manure the earth with your ashes, so that at the end of time your posterity should be made happy by European culture. The very thought of a superior European culture is a blatant insult to the majesty of Nature.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There is a general assumption that Israel at some point stole its territory from a legitimate Arab state. Many of Israel’s critics seem to believe that there was at one stage a sovereign country called “Palestine” out of which the Jewish nation was unfairly carved. But no such country ever existed; Palestine was never the name of anything but a Roman province. The only previous title—for so many centuries that it had no real rival claimant—had belonged to the Ottoman Empire. From the Ottomans it passed directly to the British. When Britain, bankrupt and demoralized, scuttled from the region in 1948, Israel grabbed as much as it could of this dubious legacy. Arab armies in turn seized as much as they could.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Even though there will be an increase in orphaned children in Haiti, social workers say it's already a crisis all over the world.

There are 6,000 children waiting to be adopted in Alabama alone.

"That's true for every state in the U.S., as well as every country, if not even greater in other countries and it's just a great thing that everyone is blessed by who participates in it," said
Claims of a million earthquake orphans are clearly false and those making them are being irresponsible.

Memories it seems are short in the media. Already we have stories of 200,000 dead with a million earthquake orphans. I have even seen a UK tabloid claim "2 million earthquake orphans" (do people on the highstreet buy the paper with the higher number?). Okay, schools were out when the earthquake struck, okay offices were at work and breadwinners were killed, perhaps disproportionately.

Perhaps the figure might be 5% or even 10% of the total death toll. But whoever (and the media is quoting "aid agencies" without attribution) is claiming a million orphans is not doing the children of Haiti and their needs any favours. They may get more short term sympathy and money from these claims but the reality is that providing a loving home to every child orphaned by a major earthquake is within our reach. And credibility will be dented as before when all becomes clear. The less accurate and more exaggerated the figures, the more risk of rapid removal of children, who may still have parents searching for them, from their country, their culture and their family.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm sure if I was buried under a collapsed orphanage it would give me much comfort to know that pub crawls in camden were being organised to raise money and make liberal middle class twenty-somethings feel slightly less guilty about getting hammered midweek.
"I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send," Chavez said on his weekly television show. "They are occupying Haiti undercover."

Saturday, January 09, 2010

All mankind are alike.”[62] Love, he professed, was the dominant factor in human existence—“Had violence, i.e., hate, ruled us, we should have become extinct long ago”[63]—whereas the apparent omnipresence of violence is an optical illusion— “History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul.”[64] Just as “families and even clans” manage to resolve conflicts nonviolently due to the binding powers of love, so can “humankind” which is “one big family.”

Monday, January 04, 2010

Christianity as the most excessively thorough elaboration of a moralistic theme which humanity up to this point has had available to listen to. To tell the truth, there is nothing which stands in greater opposition to the purely aesthetic interpretation and justification of the world, as it is taught in this book, than Christian doctrine, which is and wishes to be merely moralistic and which, with its absolute standards, beginning, for example, with its truthfulness of God, relegates art, every art, to the realm of lies—in other words, which denies art, condemns it, and passes sentence on it. Behind such a way of thinking and evaluating, which must be hostile to art, so long as it is in any way genuine, I always perceived also something hostile to life, the wrathful, vengeful aversion to life itself; for all life rests on appearance, art, illusion, optics, the need for perspective and for error. Christianity was from the start essentially and thoroughly life’s disgust and weariness with life, which only dressed itself up with, only hid itself in, only decorated itself with the belief in an “other” or “better” life.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

China saw our bankruptcy as its chance. For decades, it has resented the fact that Britain – having dealt with an independent Tibet in the days of Empire – insisted that Tibet’s position was special and different from the rest of China. This infuriated the Chinese leadership, who like to pretend that Tibet has always been part of their empire.

We do not know exactly what happened, but a few weeks after the IMF approach, the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, slipped an announcement on to the Foreign Office website that Britain had finally – after 60 years of refusing to do so – recognised Tibet as ‘part of the People’s Republic of China’. This is a total and unmitigated diplomatic defeat, and a warning of worse to come as we learn to toady to the new superpower.
Fake bravado over drug-smugglers should not hide the speed with which we are ceasing to be a serious or important country.
If you don’t want to be executed in the People’s Republic, my advice is not to carry suitcases given to you by strangers through Chinese customs.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Egypt, which was among the first Arab countries to apply for a domain names with Arabic letters, is ranked by Global Voices as one of the most repressive countries for bloggers.
So here's the situation. There is no deal. The world's leaders refused to agree to limit our emissions of warming gases. The most they could agree was to officially "note" the scientific evidence about C – with no roadmap to keep us this side of it. You get a sense of how valuable this "noting" is when you look at the things the conference also "noted": the hard work of the airport security staff, and the quality of the catering in the Bella Centre. It seems impossible, but our leaders really did give the stability of our climate the same status as their praise for Danish sandwiches.