Vanished at last beyond the blue sky
And I could see only the river
Flowing along the border of heaven.
By the end of last week more than 60,000 people in this city of 108,000 had come to the temple and left their messages. “For a united Derry,” pleaded one. “For the sake of our children,” read another. There were grainy photographs, a ponytail of human hair, a knitted baby hat and at least two vessels with ashes of loved ones. A postcard quoting the poet Seamus Heaney, raised nearby, wished for life “on the far side of revenge.”
1) drive the Islamic State out of Iraq, with Iranian help;a lot of people are asking whether this makes sense.
2) keep Iran from building a bomb;
3) end the Syrian civil war without either the Assad regime or the Islamic State ending up on top;
4) preserve Israel's security without writing off the Palestinians;
5) limit the export of terrorism to the west;
6) support the democratic aspirations of the urban middle class in Egypt, Tunisia,and other places; and now
7) help the Saudis defeat an Iranian-backed rebel group in Yemen and put what we regard as the legitimate government back in charge
Making sense of the Obama administration’s patchwork of policies “is a puzzle,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, a researcher at the Brookings Institution and former senior State Department official.Personally I fail to see the point of several recent American actions, such as supporting the military coup against Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, or continuing to insist that there are “moderate elements” in Syria who could somehow prevail against both the government and the Sunni radicals. But I am very skeptical that the U.S. could have some strong, coherent, sensible policy that would either make sense or help people in the region. For a look at a different kind of thinking, take a glance at the Op-ed by John Bolton the Times ran the other day, arguing that the US should bomb Iran now and bomb it again every three or four years in perpetuity. “The logic is straightforward,” he says, that Iran cannot be trusted, that unless stopped it will get a bomb, and that a nuclear Iran would be some kind of disaster for the Middle East. (The actual disaster for the Middle East has been John Bolton and his ilk, with their mad attempt to square all of these circles by invading Iraq, but that's water under the bridge by now.)
Your numbers are dwindling. Your side is losing. Your way of life is passing from this Earth. In bygone eras, your people transmitted your ideals from one generation to the next with ease. Now, you plant a teaching in the heart of your children, and all the world conspires to strip it out before it can take root. The gravity of this world now inclines away from you. When you set the things you love on the ground, they roll away from you like marbles in an uneven house. When you become tired in the evening and your eyelids lower, contrary forces rise to undo all you have accomplished in the day. Your constant worry is how to conserve the good things your people struggled for centuries to obtain, how to keep the gold that flowed toward your kind (mankind, really) in those sane years when your star was on the ascent. Now, that star has begun a scythe-like sweep toward the horizon and you fear that, when it passes from the heavens, it may pass forever. The conundrum is how to spend these years— these years when there is but a little light left, a little beauty, a few statues which remain unsmashed, a few drops of perfume to drive the stench of death and vulgarity away.
some of the corpses had bunches of plants, flowers or fruits (figs, blackberries) between the arms that were placed on bedding plants, such as cereals, wild olive, rosemary, margarita, celandine, and asphodel.
Marriage has long been, at least in part, a deeply gendered economic arrangement, so it's natural that growing economic opportunities for women would transform the meaning of marriage. In particular, it has made women choosier about their partners. That led to a surge in divorces in the 1970s, followed by a slow and steady decline in the divorce rate ever since 1981 or so.But what about the children?
Among college graduates, marriage has been re-founded on a new basis. As Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers put it, we have gone from shared production to shared consumption and formed more egalitarian partnerships based on common preferences rather than a swap of housework for rent money. This new model of partnerships has thus far not taken root as strongly in working-class relationships. That's unfortunate. But it's a mistake to believe women are making themselves worse off than their next actually available alternative. As women have become more empowered, they have gotten pickier. That means more single women, and a higher quality of relationship for the non-single.
It's true there is a lot of very persuasive observational data to indicate that children raised by stable, loving couples end up better off than children whose family lives are disrupted by divorce or breakups. But what we don't see is the aggregate increase in children borne by unmarried women leading to bad aggregate outcomes. Instead, the current generation of teenagers is the best-behaved on record. Young people are doing less drugs, having fewer teen pregnancies, and even doing better at meeting federal exercise guidelines. The high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, and so is the share of the population with a college degree.Take that, worryworts.
She has worked for more than 30 years among the shoeshine men of Luxor. She sits with men in coffee shops, prays with them in the local mosque and dresses just as they do in pants or a traditional floor-length tunic known as a galabeya.
Many people believed Sisa Abu Daooh was a man until several weeks ago, when she publicly revealed her 42-year-old secret.
Perhaps surprisingly in a society where many hold conservative notions of gender roles, Ms. Daooh’s announcement was greeted not with condemnation but with curiosity and a flurry of mostly positive reactions from local news media and officials. On Sunday, Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, personally gave her an award for being an extraordinary mother.
In an interview last week, Ms. Daooh, 64, said she began dressing as a man as a practical matter, to escape restrictions on women’s employment in a patriarchal culture and earn enough to support her daughter, Hoda. But now, whether she still needs to pose as a man or not, she said she had no intention of changing. What began as a way to survive rural poverty has evolved into her preferred way of life and a means of navigating a world dominated by men.
If all men are said to have the same chances of advancement, those left behind will lose the face-saving and acceptable excuse of social injustice and lowly birth. The weakness of mind or character of the overwhelming majority of average or below-average people will be harshly revealed as the reason for failure, and it would be a poor observer of the human soul who thought that this revelation would not prove poisonous. No more murderous attack on the sum total of human happiness can be imagined than this kind of equality of opportunity, for, given the aristocratic distribution of the higher gifts of mind and character among a few only, such equality will benefit a small minority and make the majority all the unhappier.I copied this text last year, intending to post it, but I haven't gotten around to it because I am not sure how I feel about it. Is it the truth, expressed harshly? Or does it express contempt for most of humanity? Is it simply true that meritocracy, both as reality and ideology, will make many people feel terrible about themselves, or is this a lame excuse for hereditary rank? (Out of the kindness of our hearts, we will protect the commoners by keeping them out of a competition they cannot win. . . . ) But, anyway, this made a strong impression on me when I read it, so I have decided to toss it out and find out what others think.
At the time this case was tried there was evidence that would have cleared Glenn Ford. The easy and convenient argument is that the prosecutors did not know of such evidence, thus they were absolved of any responsibility for the wrongful conviction.What's more, that experience and others have turned Stroud against the death penalty:
I can take no comfort in such an argument. As a prosecutor and officer of the court, I had the duty to prosecute fairly. Part of my duty was to disclose promptly any exculpatory evidence relating to trial and penalty issues of which I was made aware. My fault was that I was too passive. I did not consider the rumors about the involvement of parties other than Mr. Ford to be credible. . . .
Had I been more inquisitive, perhaps the evidence would have come to light years ago. But I wasn't, and my inaction contributed to the miscarriage of justice in this matter.
My mindset was wrong and blinded me to my purpose of seeking justice, rather than obtaining a conviction of a person who I believed to be guilty. I did not hide evidence, I simply did not seriously consider that sufficient information may have been out there that could have led to a different conclusion. And that omission is on me. . . .
I also participated in placing before the jury dubious testimony from a forensic pathologist that the shooter had to be left handed, even though there was no eye witness to the murder. And yes, Glenn Ford was left handed.
All too late, I learned that the testimony was pure junk science at its evil worst.
In 1984, I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning. . . .
I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family. I apologize to the family of Mr. Rozeman for giving them the false hope of some closure. I apologize to the members of the jury for not having all of the story that should have been disclosed to them. I apologize to the court in not having been more diligent in my duty to ensure that proper disclosures of any exculpatory evidence had been provided to the defense.
This case is another example of the arbitrariness of the death penalty. I now realize, all too painfully, that as a young 33-year-old prosecutor, I was not capable of making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being.Stroud concludes:
No one should be given the ability to impose a sentence of death in any criminal proceeding. We are simply incapable of devising a system that can fairly and impartially impose a sentence of death because we are all fallible human beings.
The clear reality is that the death penalty is an anathema to any society that purports to call itself civilized. It is an abomination that continues to scar the fibers of this society and it will continue to do so until this barbaric penalty is outlawed. Until then, we will live in a land that condones state assisted revenge and that is not justice in any form or fashion.
I end with the hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford. But, I am also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it.But maybe he is wrong about that.
participants who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight were significantly worse off psychologically at our follow-up assessment than those who maintained their weight.As the article from which I took this explains, studies of weight loss and mood have come up with all sorts of different results -- science! -- but there certainly is no consistent finding that losing weight makes people happier.
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.Personally my idea of education pretty much equates to being bombarded by viewpoints that go against dearly and closely held beliefs, so I don't know how you could have a university that avoided such mental assaults. (Some of my favorite documents to teach are chronicles of the massacres of Jews that took place in Germany during the First Crusade, and I've never met a student who didn't find them disturbing.) But what really bugs me is the notion that young people and especially young women have to be protected from Bad Things because they are too weak and vulnerable to stand it. Wasn't that the basic position of the patriarchs who fought against educating women or letting them hold any sort of important job? Wasn't it the point of feminism to assert that women can be just as intellectually and morally tough as men? If the presence on campus of a libertarian skeptic of "rape culture" is so upsetting to you that you need to retreat to the pastel room and watch puppy videos, are you really an equal adult?
The notion that ticklish conversations must be scrubbed clean of controversy has a way of leaking out and spreading. Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer.I guess I don't have any problem with students wanting "safe spaces" as long as nobody tries to make my classroom into one.
Fraser offers several explanations for the boldness of the post-Civil War wave of labor resistance, including, interestingly, the intellectual legacy of the abolition movement. The fight against slavery had loosened the tongues of capitalism’s critics, forging a radical critique of the market’s capacity for barbarism. With bonded labor now illegal, the target pivoted to factory “wage slavery.” This comparison sounds strange to contemporary ears, but as Fraser reminds us, for European peasants and artisans, as well as American homesteaders, the idea of selling one’s labor for money was profoundly alien.I often think that we accept capitalism's inequities because we can't imagine any other way of doing things. But I think Fraser is missing the other side of the ledger, the failure of revolutionary socialism. Striking workers in the 19th century had multiple goals, some practical and some revolutionary. Many of their practical goals have been achieved: 40-hour work weeks, weekends, safer work conditions, decent housing, an end to exploitative company stores. But those practical goals always existed in a sort of dance with a different vision of change, revolutionary transformation that would completely overturn the existing corrupt order. The world's experience with Stalinism and Maoism has destroyed that vision. I think Fraser is right that some workers fought capitalism because they were looking backward, but others did so while looking forward -- and many did both at once. Without that vision of a completely different future, much of the energy that drove the labor movement is missing.
This is key to Fraser’s thesis. What fueled the resistance to the first Gilded Age, he argues, was the fact that many Americans had a recent memory of a different kind of economic system, whether in America or back in Europe. Many at the forefront of the resistance were actively fighting to protect a way of life, whether it was the family farm that was being lost to predatory creditors or small-scale artisanal businesses being wiped out by industrial capitalism. Having known something different from their grim present, they were capable of imagining — and fighting for — a radically better future. It is this imaginative capacity that is missing from our second Gilded Age . . . . The latest inequality chasm has opened up at a time when there is no popular memory — in the United States, at least — of another kind of economic system. Whereas the activists and agitators of the first Gilded Age straddled two worlds, we find ourselves fully within capitalism’s matrix. So while we can demand slight improvements to our current conditions, we have a great deal of trouble believing in something else entirely.
I’m going to say this to American Christians: Your time to flee America, which is now Babylon, is quickly disappearing. Obama will destroy this nation too. He is a man of destruction, darkness and evil. There may be a year remaining in which you can get out and save your family. I’m convinced the Luciferian Illuminatus that control this country will dismantle it over the next two years and the Phoenix will ascend to replace the old constitutional republic.What is the Luciferian Illuminatus? I thought the Illuminati were controlled by the Bush family -- or was it the other way around? I'm so confused.