CJR: Under Spain’s gag law, covering the news could cost you.
“The so-called Citizen Security Law makes it illegal to disseminate pictures, video and other content deemed “damaging” to Spain’s police and security forces. Coinciding with a wave of demonstrations over austerity programs and bank bailouts, the law criminalizes demonstrations in front of some government agencies and public buildings, and includes stiff fines for documenting the police response.” Keeping an eye on this kind of thing.
Aeon: The allure of ISIS resembles that of Tolkien.
“... many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.” Bound to ruffle some feathers.
InTheseTimes: How the TPP Will Hand Corporations the Reins to Our Government.
“Sure, corporations may still be considered people under U.S. domestic law — but under American trade policy, they get far more rights than almost everyone else.” I’ve never agreed with the ‘corporations are people’ judgment. If they were people, they’d make Scrooge look generous to a fault.
Vox: A day of global terror - horrifying attacks strike France, Tunisia, and Kuwait.
Well-expressed. Could have been much worse, yet ... without powerful and immediate international response, it likely will be.
Slate: Clarence Thomas same-sex marriage dissent: “Slaves did not lose their dignity.”
“... human dignity cannot be taken away by the government.” One can tell immediately he has never applied for welfare or unemployment. I propose a new rule - you can’t judge, legislate or litigate unless you’ve direct experience.
Naked Cap: Who was Alexander Hamilton? Militarism, High Finance and Checking the Democracy.
Civil War Memory: Removal of Confederate Flags Marks the End of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
Hmmm. As I mentioned yesterday, I wonder what rationalizations will come forward to excuse the use of slave-built structures in Washington, D.C. [in the addendum of that post] ... you know that shoe’s gonna drop soon.
NPR: Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States.
And, I expect Roberts to hope this will mollify Conservatives over the previous ACA ruling: “But do not celebrate the Constitution. [snip] It had nothing to do with it.” Of course, he has a point. Marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution at all. His statement is perfectly ‘safe’ - too subtle for most to understand. Even most of our modern media.
Hyperallergic: Another Treasure Lost in Iraq - The Story of Mar Behnam Monastery
“The demolition of the mausoleum of Imam Yahya ibn al-Qasim and the tomb of Imam Ibn Hassan Aoun al-Din wiped out two of Mosul’s prominent medieval landmarks. When another explosion obliterated the Imam Dur mausoleum in Samarra, it wiped out the earliest example of a muqarnas dome in the world.” Not just the well-known landmarks are being destroyed. They’re blowing up *everything*.
Hyperallergic: What Should Be Done with the US’s Many Confederate Monuments?++
I understand the longstanding outrage over the symbols of a defeated racist rebellion. Hideous to have to see the pastor’s coffin pass the Confederate flag. However, this article touches on a sensitive point. You don’t change a culture in a single news-cycle. The current ‘ride-em-all-out-of-town-on-a-rail’ wave is in danger of making two very important mistakes:
One, driving the hardcore racists further underground, allowing them to stew into a more potent - and potentially lethal - broth. I’m very concerned about this.
Two, disenfranchising those Southerners who see the flag, and all associated Confederate memorabilia, as a simple differentiating point. Many see the trappings of the old Confederacy as the only method to gain attention vs. Northern ‘liberalism’ (as Southerners interpret it). They like and celebrate being “Southern,” esp. in the so-called ‘Deep South.’ What would you do, if your culture was attacked? Entrench. We all do it, on all sides of the aisle. I’m hearing “carpetbagging” by “Northern liberal elites” being bandied about, on the far edges of the ‘net.
Why is that entrenchment worrisome? As the media rages on, they’re building a voting bloc for whatever Republican decides to embrace and romanticize the symbols of Confederacy, no matter how small the gesture. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Or Perry could simply push the old Texas flag, and leverage the outrage. Even the conservative radio shock-jocks are jumping on the wagon, saying “Is the American flag next?” I think we need to tread carefully. Roof is the result of ‘thintelligence’ ... someone who lacked basic education, who retained only what was discussed in the small niches he enjoyed. I worry more about internet echo chambers and their adherents; ultimately we’re going to find they’re more lethal than old battle flags. It’s easier than ever to pick and choose facts to create a separate ‘reality’. And it’s certainly not limited to the Southern US.
Later: Here’s another problem. What do we do with the White House? The Capital? Both built with slave labor. The Custis-Lee House (Arlington National Cemetery) kept slaves. Our ‘most hallowed ground’ was slave territory. All Presidents up to Lincoln used slaves. Andrew Jackson owned 150 - should he still be on the $20 bill? Should we still be celebrating George Washington, slaveholder? Jefferson? This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Slavery built much of this nation. It is interwoven throughout our history. I am not defending it; just recognizing it. Someone in the media will get to it eventually; I just thought I’d beat them to it.
The Nation: Bobby Jindal Broke Louisiana So Badly That Even the GOP Doesn’t Want Him.
“Things are so bad for Jindal that his constituents would rather vote for Hillary Clinton.” Hillary could use this as a textbook case of what Republican toe-the-line rule would gift to America.
LRB: Scott Ritter · ‘We ain’t found shit’.
“When Iraq finally told the truth about its weapons programmes, no one believed it. We used to joke about how often we came back from an inspection empty-handed, repeating the saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Civil War Memory: Black Confederates to the Rescue … Again.
WaPo: While GOP candidates stammer, Clinton directly confronts race.
She waited until Saturday, no doubt waiting to see which way opinions would swing. Bernie Sanders knocked it out of the park on Thursday, as BillSaysThis reminded me the other day. Vested interests, WaPo?
SF New Mexican: NM still down 21,000 from recession.
When politicos and media crow that the recession is over, I really - really - want to punch ‘em in the nose.
Aeon: People are violent because their morality demands it.
“They know that they are harming fully human beings. Nonetheless, they believe they should. Violence does not stem from a psychopathic lack of morality. Quite the reverse: it comes from the exercise of perceived moral rights and obligations.” At times like this, I reread Chapter One of Scaramouche. Change laws, change politicians like you change clothes ... for little real effect. We have to change our populace, and that is a much more complex task.
Smoking Gun: NAACP Imposter Sued School Over Race Claims.
The story gets weirder: “The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was ‘motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over’ her.”
Guardian.UK: Low oil prices force Oklahoma drilling workers to seek out new livelihoods.
“If only we knew then what we know now.” You did, if you’d paid any attention at all to the boom-and-bust history of the American West.
Vox: How to make sense of Rachel Dolezal, the NAACP official accused of passing for black.
NY Times: Hillary Clinton to Lay Out Economic Vision in New York Speech.
“It will be held in New York City on an island named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the shadow of diverse middle-class neighborhoods, as Mrs. Clinton tries to evoke the legacy of the New Deal and lays out her vision for a federal government substantially engaged in lifting American families that feel economically insecure and increasingly left behind.” Might as well put a big target on your back. Conservatives still hate Roosevelt with virulence, from Tea Party to Establishment. Mentioning the New Deal is just going to inflame cranks who’d be passive otherwise. Should have channelled TR, perhaps. Guess she’s not interested in swing voters.
Native American art from the collection of Mario Luraschi on offer at Bonhams in fall 2015
“he spent filming in the United States, he frequented Santa Fe, New Mexico, and other centers for Native American art, turning his love for the Old West into a remarkable collection from which Bonhams is pleased to offer a selection of the very finest pieces.” I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about this locally, in short order.
Nation: How Many People Are Killed by Police? We’re Only Beginning to Find Out.
The New Yorker: Why Jihadists Write Poetry.
“It may seem curious that some of the most wanted men in the world should take the time to fashion poems in classical metres and monorhyme — far easier to do in Arabic than in English, but something that still requires practice. And these are only the most obvious signs of the jihadis’ dedication to form.” Twisting this a bit (my nature), I wondered. And looked. Our Founding Fathers weren’t much for poetry. GW left two. TJ left two. Jemmy Madison [A good Princetonian student] showed a bit more spirit.
The Atlantic: Patagonia’s Human Trafficking Problem.
“... the findings of Patagonia’s audits take on a different cast, a sign not of corporate hypocrisy, but of the near impossibility of treating workers well at every step in the production process, even when a company is genuine in its desire to do so.” Impossibility? A bit far-reaching, that. You don’t have to source overseas; but then your pricing tiers would rise. There are a ton of smaller manufacturers all over the US now, doing all kinds of similar things ... though not ramping up to the huge scale of a Patagonia.