Radio SAWA: hitting a nerve?
Arabnews seems finally have taken notice
of Radio SAWA. Maybe it's propaganda but I guess authouritarian regime consider any alternative perspective to be propaganda. Danm right rock music and other forms of popular music are 'corrupt.' Corrupt in the sense that the youngsters will eventually give the finger to the religious police or cause other kinds of headaches to the authourities.
In any case, I suspect the growing popularity of Radio Sawa is driving the tyrants up the wall.
It's not the Frankfurt book fair but I guess it's a start
Arabnews reports on the Riydah book fair
It's not the Franfurt book fair but I guess it's a good sign that the Saudis are hosting this events. 150 000 titles by 500 publishers doesn't strike me as all that impressive for a 10 day event. That works out to about 50 000 titles per publisher. I did a Google search of the Frank furt book fair and found the official site
Acoording to some of the information, the Frankfurt- to be held from 9-14 October- will feature 7000 publishers from 100 different countries. They'll be 20 000 titles in 60 different languages.
This year's honouree is Lithuania. The info about book publishing
there. For a small country of nearly 4 million, they publish a progidious amount even if a lot of it is translations of English language books and the economic crisis.
What makes Lithuania's publishing output even more astonishing is that at the Riyadh book fair, the organizers will feature 10 new books by Saudi authours
whereas teh Franfurt will have at least over 40 Lithuanian authours
There's no information at the Frankfurt's website if the featured authours' books are new or not but even if half are; that still more than the Saudis and from a regional
European language no less.
What this tells us is that Saudi Arabia still has a way to go
Les abus financiers et économiques ne se limitent pas aux américans
Le Monde a publié
cet article intéressant sur la délinquence économic. Bien qu'elle ne répresente qu'1% des cas, il y a eu quand même une augmentation pendant la décinne précednet à l'égard de l'abus de biens socials. C'est à dire lorsqu'un cadre utilise les bien d'une entreprise à l'encontre de son intérêt social. Un peu come a fait l'ex PDG du TYco qui a depensé 135 millions U.S.$ pour des fins personnelles tell qu'un rideau de douche qui vaut 6000$ et ainsi de suite.
Ce qui pique l'intérêt c'est la sophistication croissante de ces types d'abus qui aboutient à des procés plus longs et plus complexe que jadis.
José Batlle: cuando el candor es referescante pero durar a avalar
Roberto Oppenhimer escribó este artículo
de lo cual atribuye una cierta estabilidad política de Uruguay ante la crisis financeria que golpea Argentina, al presidente del primero. Batlle habló con una cierta dureza sobre por que Argentina se esfumo en su crísis económica. Dejaré a los lectores a leer los propuestos del presidente uruguano.
Suspendo el jucio si la clase política argentina es ladrona pero al menos es interesante a oir un alto ejéctivo político caractirizar sus homológos con esa cualificación. Sin embargo hay una líniea muy delicada entre ser candido y decir disbarates. a ver si el preidente Batlle se meta la pata o no.
Speaking of drivel:the Defense Policy board presentation and Saudi reaction
The Editor in chief of Arabnews has weighed in
over the controversy of a presentation which views Saudi Arabia as an enemy. He's really irritated and considers the presentation to be nothing more than shallow content for the hawks' consumption to justify more military intervention.
James Robbins for his part
dismisses the presentation as nothing more than unorthodox ideas that are typically presented at the Defense Policy Board.
What I find very interesting is Khaled Al-Maeena's call for the Saudi regime to formulate its own media startegy. I welcome it as we can ask and debate the Saudis face to face.
Where are the others?: a minor gripe about 1/6th collecting
I've always been an informal collector. One of the interest is 1/6th
scale action figures(aka gi joes).
There's never been a better time to be a collector of this genre; there are many different companies covering different segments of the market with plentiful figures, accessories and time periods at various prices. Nonetheless I do have a gripe against the manufacturers: They've limited themselves to modern American, modern British and WW II German, British and American figures. Indeed with some manufacturers that group is a positive fetish. I can understand that the manufacturers want to cater to the biggest market which is the American and commemorate in their own way, the varous units participating in the war against radical Islamism. Nonetheless, it's still an annoying limitation.
As if the modern armies are just limited to the British and American armies. I disagree; as the other NATO, ex-Warsaw Pact and Asian armies have interesting uniforms and equipment; yet the manufacturers seem to fear that the American colectors wouldn't be interested. Of course, that's commercially shortsighted because the manufacturers can only produce so many Marine, SAS, Green Beret, Delta figures before they saturate the market and lose their customers' interest due to sheer reptation of the subject matter.
Some manufacturers studiously avoid copying what the others and I think they'll win market share as a result.
Adb Al Hanid Al Bakkoursh: common sense that'll be ignorned
MEMRI has published this article
by the Libyan ex-prime minister. He diagnoses the Arab's principal problem: the refusal to diagnose seriously their shortcomings and ask searching questions. It's this fear of shame to admit openly and frankly their malaise. As if exposure somehow diminishes them rtaher than strengthening them. Further, there's that desire to look back in time for their solutions rather than forward. Better to stay mired with the past than to shed the bad inherited from that time.
I suspect that Platonism influences more deeply the Arab psyche than we suspect and that should be investiaged; if only to confirm or refute the hypothesis.
A hardening attitude towards Saudi Arabia
This latest article
shows that the presentation to the Defense Policy Board has struck a nerve really hard, really deep. The Saudis can whine about being snubbed and 'mistreated' but it's hard to feel any sympathy when an 'ally' decides this
Contrary to Rizgar Khoshnaw's assertion, there are no commercials or talk shows hand wringing about the perennial question of why Americans are hated. In fact, there's a hardening attitude on their part that wants to reform the Mideast so thoroughly that it metamorphsizes into something radically different that what it is today.
What history lesson?
Philip Knightley doesn't want an invasion of Iraq
And boy does he make it clear. First off he begins the first sentence with that inflammatory code word: crusaders. Will you Arab and pro-Arab journalists give it a rest! There's no need to enflame gratuitously your opposition to an invasion of Iraq. Just state your opposition without teh jargon,
Further, I'm deeply disturbed by Knightley's anti-foreigner diatribe. Foreigners are an inherent part of the Mideast since the dawn of written history and will remain so for the foreseable future.
Second, it shows what that anti-foreigner sentiment has done to those parts of the Mideast that fanatically denounce Western influences. After all, it's Arab intellectuals who wrote the report under the auspices of the UN, which exposed the truly abysmal state of Mideast society, culture, sciences and education. If Kingsley's right that the region takes revenge on foreigners, than the Mideast will remain in its abject state.
Third, are many of the Arab states that artificial that they don't correspond with geographical or ethnological reality? I doubt it. African countries are more contrived. In fact, their borders are more articifial thanks to the 1888 Berlin conference. It took no more into consideration the geographical and ethnological realities of Africa than the French and British supposedly did after the First World War. I find the Berlin Conference to be more deleterious than the Sykes-Picot Treaty. The Berlin Conference could be viewed as a source of Africa's problems precisely because the borders of various African countries are unrealistic.
Fourth, it's particularly unconvincing to cite Iraq as an example of an Arab 'nation'. It's not. In fact, it's an amalgamation of 3 different provinces of the Ottoman empire. Further, the marsh Arabs and the Kurds don't feel that their a part of Iraq and probably never will after the atrocities they've suffered.
Finally, it's particularly repulsive to make Saddam Hussein an Arab hero who swept into power on a platform of anti-Westernism. It also betrays a certain amount of historical amnesia. He didn't hesitate to accept Western and Soviet arms or American intelligence during the Iran-Iraq war. Ideology is a tool that ensures his survival; not a coherent worldview.
Le syndicat et Vidéotron: assez c'est assez!
Hier, la Presse a publié cet article
sur un autre cas suspect de vandalisme. Mettre feu à un véhicule d'un sous-traitant de câbles qui se propage à sa résidence, n'est pas la meilleure façon de gagner la sympathie du public. Au contraire, commettre ces actes criminels assurera le cynisme du public et la main forte de la loi.
Une société démocratique garantit par loi le droit du grève mais elle ne tolère pas des actes criminales lorsque les syndicats revindiquent leurs demande.
En plus, c'est vraiment stupide car chaque saccage, chaque sabotage saigne des abonnés au profit de fornissieurs de satellite. Chaque perte difficulte la possibilté de rencontrer les revendications syndicale et éventuellement, l'entreprise fermera ses portes faute d'argent et les membres du syndicat se rétroveront au chômage au lieu d'avoir ses revendications satisfaites.
Un failli satisfait à nulle et à rein.
Voici une actualisation
d'une region qui a été affectée par le vandalisme et les conséquence qui en subiront.
Some thoughts on the copyright enforcement controversy
I've read lots of online articles, commentary and opinions. I even contributed to the ongoing controversy. I even held that the current wave of copyright enforcement would lead us to an authoirtaian period with dire consequences. I simply underestimated the time it would take.
And I want to explain why I'm consistently held this opinion. It's based on historical analogy.
The early years of the Internet and the personal computer revolution: the Charles V period
I'm struck at how the both the early years of the personal computer revolution and that of the Internet (which I'm arbitrarily dating to the 90's when everyone started to go online) reminds me of the Charles V's reign. Charles V inherited and ruled over the first world. In Europe most of his empire was a hodgepode of lands speaking their own languages ruled by traditions, custom, scrupulous adherence to the local 'constutionalism'. Culturally, he was Erasmian and in the early years of his rule it was a fecund period: new discoveries of hirthero unknown lands and people, astonishing leaps of technology and knowledge. Astronomical wealth pouring in from the New World. To be sure there where thr Protestents but they seemed at first to be nothing more than yet another protest for Church reforms that had arisen in the past
Thus, in many ways, one could see the same ellubience during the personal computer and Internet revolutions, new discoveries, incredible leaps of knowledge and mind-numbing weath. To be sure many people pirated software but the companies often turned a blind eye. What beter way to secure market shre?
Unfortunately, such times can't last forever and events change people and condition circumstances. These lead to a hardening of attitudes as it occured during Felipe II's reign
The later years of the revolution: Felipe II
Felipe II inhereited in his time the world's biggest empire. The astronomical wealth encourged the other European powers to covet the gold and silver coming to Spain. There was even one time that the Sivile Fleet was captured and caused enormous havoc to Spain. However, most actions were pinprick harrasments of the treasure fleet. In the meantime, the 30 Years' War was passing through a more ideological phase and attitudes between the Protestants and Catholics so no compromise was possible. Further, because of the Protestants were viewed as a full blown heresy that subverted the unity of religious faith as well as threatening public order, Felipe prohibited Spanish students from studying abroad and closed the country off to external influences. The result wasn't just a growing authouritarianism in the political culture but a slow decline of its preeminence in economic, cultural and military spheres.
We see the same in the technology sector. The astronomical wealth that the computer revolution generated, incited companies to grab as much of it as possible; even attacking each in court to enforce some trivality. Further the there was a crackdown of the casual piracy because it violated copyright as much as it affected profits. Finally, the early attitudes of sharing information and the free exchange of sotware code suddenly constituted a menace to the social peace and to corporate well being that the lobbies have advocated that free exchange of information be prohibited, reinforced by a delegation of the state's police power to the various affected industries or their mandataries- the lobbies.
The result is a progressive authouritraianism which will close off external influences, particularly critical ones; and lead to slow decline of innovation within the advanced industrialized countries and stagnation in the economic, cultural, technological and industrial spheres.
One can't push historical analogies too far because time, place and people are different; yet, the analogies are still precisely helpful because similar events have happened in the past.
Leeden's interview with a Hebrew university bombing survivor
There's nothing for me to say other than read it
El gobrieno español remite todos los documentos y preubas para ilegalizar Batasuna
El gobierno ha presentado
a la Fiscalía toda la materia para ilegalizar Batasuna. Sera a ver si el gobierno tiene éxito o no de declarar la organización fuera de ley.
Éxito en separar las gemelas guatamaltcas siamesas
La intervención quirúrical a separar las cabezas de la niñas
ha sido un éxito y las muchachitas parecen recuperar bien.
¡Por fin un poco de buenas notícias a contar por cambiar!
Get ready for the Fiskathon!
site, I came across, this bit of news
that the Guardian/Independent have unleashed Fisk on Afganistan. Most bloggers will roll their eyes and shake their heads. I disagree. With Fisk back to reporting, I say we honour him with a Fiskathon. Weeks of fisking and frisking.
That oughta keep us busy.
With citizens like these...
I don't know what Gush Shalom hopes to accomplish with its latest antics
Sending letters to soldiers and officiers intimiating them with 'war crimes' is sedition PERIOD. What I want to know is why the hell don't the members of Gush Shalom also send a duplicate copy of the letter to Hamas and the others? I guess that because the armed Palestinans would simply whack the Gush Shalom members and be done with it.
Europe isn't a superpower
Johnathan Power's article
contains many errors. Chief among them is that presumption is that it's a super power.
It isn't. Just having a common currency doesn't suffice. Where's Europe's military? Further there's no such thing as European culture, Culture is still that of several states and regions no matter how hard Brussels tries to forge one.
Further since Chirac's electoral victory, the attitude has changed noticeably: the French government supports an invasion to Iraq and Chirac has pretty much reached the same conclusion as Bush with respect to Arafat. The Spanish and Belgian governments are either denying or delaying visia requests from
The angst that European suffers is actually confined to the elite. So Power's proposals are worse that a waste of time, they're appeasment, Al Qu'ida and its SOB supporters hate our guts so intensely that they want us dead whether we're American, European or anybody else.
Flagrant bias alert: read the Penguinista!
As this my blog and not a news site, I'm allowed to be flagrantly biased from time to time. Case in point: my shilling for a site that I regularly contribute to:Penguinista
As a contributing editor, the Penguinista is a great place to read the latest views, news, opinions and commentary on the technology industry and its impact on society and vice-versa. It's fair to say that Penguinista is a good example of advocacy journalism. Brent- colleague and Editor in chief- and I have our preferences and biases.
And we don't hide them.
You don't like our opinions or commentary, drops us a note
So read the Penguinista!
The consequences of cultural isolation
is one of those occasional, honest pieces that surfaces from to to time at Arabnews. The columist chats with a visiting professor hoping that he'll be an ambassador of sorts of Saudi life after teaching there for 10 years. The teacher reponsed thusly:
The American professor told me frankly and clearly that he was leaving without understanding much about the Saudi society because of the cultural isolation which the Saudis impose on foreigners who come to the country.
This is an American Muslim
The columnist reaction is quite forthright; unfortunately nothing will come of it. The problem is that Saudi Arabia doesn't have much to offer. Non-Moslems are prohibited from visiting Mecca and Medina, a disqualification that non-Moslems respect; the society doesn't exactly welcome the foreign workers and there's not much culture to explore:no monuments from past civilizations, no architecture, music, literature with which to intrigue the foreign workers.
To reiterate the point again: in comparasion to the Arabs of the Levant and the Mahgreb, the Saudis have nothing in common with the foreign workers.
Serving Gaia: or the newest imperialism on the block
I visited Prof Glenn's blog when I ran into a post mentioning Suman's comments on the ecologists.I immediately clicked and when I finished the August 5th I read the day
I laughed really hard. More vanity of humanity. However, as I told Suman at his comment section that unlike past imperialisms which were stimulated by the rather human motivations of God, gold and glory, the newest imperialism on the block, ecoimperialism is a singularly humourless enterprise. Its adherents have all the zeal of a missionary, explorer or adventurer but no sense of irony, humour, modesty or sadness. The ecoimperialist attitude is so very earnest.
Their attitude awakens a pet peeve of mine: a despicable attitude that the little bronze coloured people are ignoramuses; hence clueless about how to take care of their environment, so it must be the anointed that must show them the way. The Cambodians are ignorant of the more up to date methods available for farming, fishing and exploiting the natural resources but at the same time, they have worked on their land for a millenium or so; thus they've accumulated knowledge that's worth exploring as much as transforming.
Just as bad, the ecoimperialists have a rather distressing tendency to join the worst aspects of premodern economic systems, which are closed, traditional and limited by guilds, monopolies, oligopolies; with worst aspect of technological societies which is highly scientific, innovative and limited, ironically enough to a small external elite.
Consequently, Cambodia can't advance because any societal developments from within the country are shunted to the side in order to accomodate the ecoimperialists' developmental schemes. Their behaviour reminds me a lot of the Latin American intellectuals in the post-independence period. They would visit France, Britian and the U.S. and then come home and rewrite an ambitious constitution that they convince some strongman or political party to implement... Only to have them ignored or dumped because didn't suite the country.
In fact, the Rousseauian observation that a constition must fit the laws, customs, temperment and values of a people equally applies to the environment. In fact, it's as much a part of the constitution as the political institutions.
Bill Allison's response to my questions: corrections, clarifications and yet more questions
Professor: ooop! but not totally wrong
I thank Bill Allison for taking the time to answer myquestions and to correct some errors. Most notably for bestowing on him a professorate when he isn't. Yet as I'll explain further below we're not wrong to call each other professor. Nonetheless, I did contact him to apologize for obviously misreading a past post that led to my flagrantly erronious conclusion. In fairness though, eventhough, we've arrogated an exclusive competency of the university, being professors isn't an incorrect usage of the word if we look at the etymology. Professor is a noun dervative of the past participle: professus-a-um of the deponent profeitor, professus sum (a deponent verb is one in which the active tenses are lost and the passive is the active) which signifies public declaration and is ultimately made up by the preposition pro on behalf of, for and fateri, fantus sum to speak
So in a manner of speaking each time that Bill publish his posts, he's a 'professor' of his views
Having apologized for my error, I wish to make some additions clarifications
On rereading my original question about the Qur'an and the non-Arabic Moselm, I realized that I didn't make my a priori assumption more explicit so that it could easily be refuted or confirmed.
I apologize for any misunderstandings.
Bill is correct to say that the Church prohibited the Bible in the venaculars but the affirmation needs to be relativized somewhat. The original prohibition arose in the 13th century during the Catarian (Albigenisan) heresy. The Catars translated the Bible in the venacular but the translation was selective in order to advance their theology. This caused confusuion among the laity and so the Church prohibited the venacular.
However, that prohibition had lapsed when Catarism disappeared but was brought back during the Counter-Reformation but only with respect to the public celebration of the liturgy. The prohibition was never aboslute because contemporary to the King James was the Douay-Rheims for English Catholics. The latter was also translated into English and served up to the 19th century. Some Catholics prefer it to the newer translations but they're a minority. One of the most widespread venacular editions of the Catholic Bible is the Jerusalem edition. I've seen it in 5 different languages.
I've disgreesed enough and I now want to turn to Bill's respose to my questions which has raised more musings
Qtub: Platonic or something else?
Bill's response to my question if Qtub's dismissal of Islamic philosophy and history is Plantonic or not merely reinforces my original question with more urgency but with a modification:
How much does Wahhabism owe Platonism in the former's rejection of innovation? If Wahhabism owes nothing to Platonism; was the former influenced by any currents of Greek philosophy?
The other question that arises: what's the attraction of Wahhabism? Does Wahhabism articulate more succiently the longing for primitivism, (in the Brazunian definition of returning to the past), that periodically arises within Islamic thought to cure the ills of contemporary society?
I've read Adil's post
on Wahabbism. I then visited Aziz's blog
but I didn't find any posts on the subject. It's somewhat unfortunate as I was hoping to have a tenative survey about how Moselms view Wahhabism. From what I can glean from Bill's answer to my question, it appears that Wahabbism is opposed to change (innovations in Bill's post) but I'm unclear as to what the Wahabbi adherents conceive of as innovations and why they're opposed to them.
Finally, how did Qtub's American soujorn lead him to espose Wahabbism, to vehemently repudiate modernism that he saw in America and why to both questions?
60% dels espanyols identifiquen l'immigració amb la deliqüència
El divendres passat l'Avui publicà una enquesta del al qual uns 60% d'espanyols indentifiquen l'immigració amb la deliqüència. No es gens sorporent si prenem en compte les experiècies viscudes a la quotidiana de la gent i la seva percepció.
L'enquesta expos algunes qëstions sobre el tipus que la gent volen:una que es molt m.és controlada i restringida. Un gran percentage volen limitar els immigrants a un contract laboral y quand vé a terma que retorin a llurs païssos. La gent hi venun una corel.lació entre l'immigració i la deliqüència.
La gent concloeix- vegades amb una certa justicia que una tolèrancia dels immigrants il.legals encouratge el crim; perque els immigrants que arriven en Espanya de manera irregular no reben cap conseqüències. Parlar de deportar els 'sense papers' i tots els grups de pressió es mobilitzen per denunciar el 'rascisme', intolèrancia i la litània clixe o qu hi han jutges que deixen sortir en lliberat alguns 150 vegades encara que hagin comès crims amb violència abans que s'expulsin finalment del pais.
L'altra percepció- parcialment falsa- es que els immigrants que vénen en Espanya son de baix nivel d'instrucció i del qual no son preparats per participar en les industries modernes- i hi ha un cert numero que poguin treballar als camps abans se saturi. També molts vénen a Espanya a través les màfias de tràfic humà i han de repagar els 'gastos de passatge'. Això significa la prostitució, els robartoris, narcotràfic etc.
Un altra percepció, tampoc totalment falsa, es que alguns immigrants porten amb ells algunes valores culurals, religiosas o étiques que son contràrias a aquelles espanyoles i catalanes com la subordinació de les dones, l'abulació cliorial, impedir les nenes de continuar els estudis quan ténen la primera regla, el refus d'integrar-se i preferir de viure en guetos, etc. aquest comportament genren malestar.
En defensa dels immigrants, aquells que han viguts a Espanya, havien de travessar perills i reptes dels quals no podem imaginar. Precisament son gent amb tanta inciativa àdhuc entreprenadors que volem.
Tanmateix, L'immigració com la deliqüència s'ha de parlar; però pel moment els politics ho eviten com si fos tabú.
McKinney behind in the polls: gee what a surprise
What a cloying little article
about how poor, brave Cynthia is being done in by the 'Zionist' lobby. I doubt very much that her constituents shed any tears at that fact; hell, they want her out of office
I was struck though by this interesting tidbit:
Members of the Muslim American community, meanwhile, have rallied to support McKinney. At least three-quarters of the $234,299 that McKinney has raised from individuals this year is from donors with Muslim or Arab-American surnames, many who live outside her district.
75% of the 234 299$ were raised from individuals from the Arab/Muslem community this year alon? I wonder if that amount tallies with Scott Koening's
research on McKinney's finances.
In any case it'll be interesting to see.
In the meantime, Arabnews isn't helping McKinney with all the clichéd crap about the nefarious Jewish lobby trying to silence a 'brave, lonely' voice.
Arabnews complaining about Saudi Arabia's reputation abroad
I hate to break it to Tariq Abarahim but no amounts of personal relationships or friendships will convince Americans about Saudi Arabia. Bluntly stated, there's nothing common between the two peoples or countries. Further, Saudi regime doesn't exactly encourage such cultivation.
First, the women face heavy disqualifications in their activities: they can't venture out with the abbaya, they can't drive any vehicle outside the compounds; nor heaven forbid travel in the company of men who aren't a relation or a husband. Second, the Saudi regime explicitly prohibits the adherents from practicing their religion in peace even in the privacy of their own homes without the secular inquistorial police (my sardonic nickname for the Muthawa)barging at any moment to haul the adhrents off to jail.
Third the heavyhanded censorship and repression of free thought. The studying that exposed the Saudi regime's wholesale blockade of over 65 000 website.
Finally, in contrast to the Magrebian and Levintine Arabs come across as insufferably provincial. Sure they Saudis might travel abroad a lot but they don't seem to be all that interested in learning about their host countries.
I don't see the Saudi Arabia's reputation improve anytime soon in American eyes