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Showing posts from October 7, 2001
Today we have some comments on my post Friday by Alan. There's a NYT article by Robert Worth The Deep Intellectual Roots of Islamic Terror which I'd also like to juxtapose to Alan's reply.
Comments Alan replies to yesterday's post! At last, dialogue! I'll make a comment on this comment later. I've also included some further links at the end. Roger, I think you missed the boat on this one. "It also seems to be true . . . the putting down of Pure Land Buddhism." --Yes, but these aren't religions of the Book. They do have their sacred texts -- scads of them -- but those texts aren't nearly as central to those religious traditions as their respective scriptures are to the Big Three monotheisms. -- The religious traditions of East Asia that you mention do have blood on their hands, but much less of it than do the religions of Europe/North Africa/Central Asia. -- You haven't shown that such violence as they have committed is in any way tied to the content of their sacred texts, which is RDC's charge against Islam; to my knowledge their is no such relationship (and very little violence in those texts). "F
Dope A friend sent me this article from Salon. Since I don't pay for the premium articles, I was unaware of it. But reading it has made me feel, for a moment, positively Voltarian: Islam: Religion of the sword? Unlike Christianity or Judaism, Islam's religious history is inseparable from its conquests -- which is why the concept of holy war lives on today. A certain Richard D. Connerney wrote it. He is credited with teaching religion at Iona College. What can one say? His students are obviously being fed a mixture of bigotry and error, poor guys. Connerney has an at best vague acquaintance with the history of religion. But he is eager to show it off, nonetheless. The point of his article seems to be that Islam, being a religion of the book, is tied to the violent message within that book. That seems fair enough. It also seems to be true of almost all religions that have achieved political status. I don't know enough about the internicene disputes betwe
Remora I know -- the few readers I have, my friends, do they want another post about boring economics? How about some fun stuff? I was thinking of doing a post about Buffon's proto-pragmatism, knowing that there is overwhelming interest, right now, second only to that in Bond's home run record, in the first book of Buffon's Histoire naturelle and its aggressively anti-Cartesian stance -- but noooooooo - I think I will do this instead. There's a NYT story today, and a Nation article by the always elegant William Greider, which should be read in conjunction. So that those among us who are opposed to the rule by economist - the decisions of a bunch of pointy headed bureaucrats in the WTO and other assorted international organizations - get a sense of the extent of that rule, right now. First, the NYT article: U.S. Will Appeal Tax Ruling After Talks With Europe Fail essential graf: The office of the United States trade representative said today that it would
Remora I'm a little sick today. Sore throat, feverish, and all day I've been trying and failing to complete a review that I should have done, I really should have done as a good person and upright citizen, two weeks ago. I'm having trouble framing it -- I'm having trouble restraining myself from inelegantly ladling the tons of research I did, all the things I found out about the Ottoman empire, about Persian miniaturists, and about Vasari, all over the thing (some more gravy, dear?). Also, Johanna, who I thought was coming to visit from Denmark, e-mailed me that it's a no-go. So, you're expecting the same old same old rant about the war. But no - no, today the Nobel Prize went to three economists, one of whom, Joseph Stiglitz, is rather famous. He's famous for having resigned from the World Bank as a dissenter from the World Bank IMF approach to global economic policy. He is, by a fluke of history, on the side of the kids, or some of the kids, in the
Remora The War on Terrorism spawns curtailment of rights by paniced legislators should be the headline. We are lucky that the kooky right has an unwavering committment to at least one of the first ten amendments. And Russ Feingold gets high marks (he had, in Limited Inc's book, low, low marks for his Ashcroft vote) for standing up to the madness. Time's story, and two grafs Not So Fast, Senator Says, as Terror Bill Gains Ground "Both the House and the Senate are expected to consider legislation this week that would expand the powers of law enforcement agencies to investigate and punish suspected terrorists and those who support them. Leaders in both chambers are trying to push the legislation through with expedited procedures but face several hurdles. The legislation in the House differs significantly from the bill pending in the Senate, most notably because it puts a two-year limit, known as a sunset provision, on some of the new powers. There is no such provisio
Dope About twenty years ago, when I was an emotional young man - mine was a generation of emotional young men, the seventies guys, always breaking down and retiring to mental hospitals or moving back home -- I resolved to toughen up, to become a much less emotional man. There is a french word I love - desinvolture - which has the sense of lucid, disinterested, and leans towards cynical. I was attracted to writers and thinkers who valued the disinvolte above everything else -- the Tallyrandian ideal, above the fray and participating on one side or the other with the private proviso that such alliances were temporary. Well, sometimes I think desinvolture comes close to callousness. Yesterday's post is a case in point. Discussing war as if casualties were mere logs on the pyre is a bad thing to do, especially when it is my bombs and cruise missiles that, right now, are hurting and killing real people. And of course real people in those airplanes are themselves targets, althoug
Remora Lag time. Let history show that while the bombs and cruise missiles were falling on Kabul, I, Roger Gathman, was doing the two step with a friend to the music of B.B. King at the Ausin Blues Festival. The crowd at the festival, when we got there in the afternoon, was subdued. I hadn't listened to the radio or read the newspapers that morning, deciding, in a fit of absent minded good will, to make a lemon pound cake instead. Lemon pound cake, alas, was verboten - the fascists at the entrance sniffed it out like I was smuggling in cocaine, and quickly scotched my gesture as the shabby anti-capitalist ploy it was. The order of the day was, get your food at the booths for a considerable markup, or else. Who was I to think that somehow, at a blues concert, we could have a brief glimmer of coolness? So the whole cake had to go briskly into the trash. The musicians -- including Stevie Ray Vaughn's old group, Double Trouble - played to a field that was weirdly divide
Remora Gretchen Morgenstern, how do I love thee? In the nineties, I used to read Tom Byron's articles in the New York Observer as my guide to what was going on in the world of Money. He was wry, he was sardonic, he was on top of bullshit, he was having a great time, as the bubble inflated, pecking away at some of the peculiar intellectual corruption that creeps into eras of enthusiasm. Let me count the ways... And then, for a while, I was writing for Ken Kurson's Green magazine on business. Reviewing books that were, broadly, business oriented. So I immersed myself in business journalism, and I discovered -- not shockingly -- that business journalism is mostly bad. On a daily basis, the most erroneous news and views can be found on your local business section. The reaason is simple. Whereas reporters covering politicians are allowed to have a healthy dislike for politicians, no such critical distance is allowed between biz reporters and your neighborhood confidence