Immediately on finishing, in fact while still reading this appendix to the first part of Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics, we couldn’t help thinking of the many fine religious people, especially political leaders and decision-makers, who ‘paved paradise and put up a parking lot,’ often in the name of the same god who had so guided man’s wisdom that he had created the greatest tool in history: an eternally rising real estate market.Read More »
Angels arise where every day is a Day of the Dead, -blj
New York Times
Ciudad Juárez Journal
Angels Rushing In Where Others Fear to Tread
Katie Orlinsky for The New York Times
By DAMIEN CAVE
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — Angels are not a common sight here in Mexico’s most violent border city, where the public cemetery is putrid and overflowing, and where a handful of churches worship the skeletal saint of death, Santa Muerte.
Lately, the group has been traveling to other dangerous cities where they join other young Christians dressed as angels to promote their message.
But at crime scenes and busy corners recently, more than a dozen angels have appeared — 10 feet tall, with white robes and wide feathered wings. The fact that these angels are mostly teenagers from a tiny evangelical church on a dirt road makes their presence no less striking: they carry signs to murder scenes that say “murderers repent.”
“Now we’re going to have to start all over again,” Isabel Bravo, retired long-time president of the Placer County CA chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), told me Monday. She said she’d met last week with the new police chief in her city, Roseville, and he didn’t know anything about NAMI training programs for departments to build “crisis intervention teams” so that police could identify the mentally ill, differentiate them from people either stoned or drunk, disarm them if necessary, and talk them down from “the ozone.”
Strange, I thought. Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville PD and another voice from my past as a reporter in that town, had told me the week before that the teams were alive and well in Roseville and at the county sheriff's office.Read More »
In the generation of Californians alive at the turn of the 20th century, three names have stood out and have far outlived their times: Jack London, John Muir and Lincoln Steffens. London, the great writer of fiction, journalism and socialist tracts; Muir, the father of the world conservation movement; Steffens, the great muckraker.
New York Times columnist Timothy Egan describes below what the frat boys and sorority sisters up at the state Capitol are doing to one historical monument to of the figures, Jack London. Those of us of a certain age, with roots in Sonoma County, remember the time before London's Beauty Ranch in the Valley of the Moon was made into a state historical park. Governor Pat Brown, father of the present governor, was in office then and lived with his family on H Street in downtown Sacramento in a Victorian mansion built in the 1870s. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles lamented the rundown condition of London's beautiful ranch and pilgrimages to the ruins of Wolf House were important educational outings, followed by readings of London's short stories to the young. My father gave me a collection published by Hanover House, "Jack London's Tales of Adventure," when I was 13. "There will always be London," he inscribed. It is one of the few books I have carried around for 55 years, wherever I've gone.Read More »
Here are three articles written in the last two days on the Israeli military act of piracy against the flotilla of people and supplies headed for the Gaza Strip. Each has valuable insights from experienced, different angles. We think, however, that the most immediate lesson for us may be Patrick Cockburn's theory of why Israel leaders are so stupid: "The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis." The same phenomenon explains the idiocy of our own leaders here in the Valley.
Maybe they all go to the same leadership training classes.
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Mad-Dog of the Planet
Notch Up Another Disaster for Israel's Well-Oiled Propaganda Machine
By PATRICK COCKBURN
The Independent (UK)
Gaddafi son sparks crisis with arrest at Swiss hotel
By Peter Popham
Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Libya were in crisis yesterday after Libya vowed "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" in retaliation for the Swiss authorities putting Hannibal, the youngest son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in jail for two days.
Libya announced it would halt fuel supplies to Switzerland and bar the country's ships from its ports in protest at what it called the "fabricated" and "illegitimate" charges against one of Col Gaddafi's seven sons.
Hannibal Gaddafi, 30, who has a record of run-ins with police across Europe, was arrested and jailed on 15 July after staff at the luxury Geneva hotel where he was staying alerted police to violent rows in his suite. Mr Gaddafi and his wife, Aline, who is nine months' pregnant, were arrested and charged with maltreating their domestic staff. He was held in custody and later released on bail; she was taken to hospital when she complained of feeling unwell.
When the fascist regimes rose in Europe, scholars could continue their work by taking refuge in countries whose universities remained unaffected by government pressure. They could go to France, Canada, the United States. But since then, a new and infinitely vaster danger has arisen to unfettered academic activities. This is the irresistible pressure emanating from the explosive dimensions of modern mass societies, which can educationally be accommodated only by universities of vast scale. Though these are no less destructive to scholarship than tyrannical governments, one can no longer escape their strangulating effect, as was possible under fascism, merely by taking refuge in other countries. There are none left which do not share the mounting pressure of their increasing multitudes. Geographically, only flight to another planet could solve the problem.
Yet, there is one last way out. This is for scholarship to change its location not geographically but institutionally; to flee not from the earth to another planet but from the university to another establishment, an institution which by nature is immune to persecution from mass pressure because of the intrinsic smallness of its material frame; and from ideological pressure because it exerts a dissolvent effect on all solidified ideas as a result of the fragmentising radiation to which it exposes everything. This institution - the last refuge of the humanities - is the inn.Read More »
As old readers of Badlands know, we've been great fans of George Monbiot for years and always recommend people visit Monbiot.com for a broad, deep perspective on environmental issues. Monbiot was in Copenhagen for the UN climate change conference. His report begins with a call for human decency and ends with a report of the probably tragedies arising from the failure of human decency at this conference. Of course, if tragedy is uncomfortable, one can always join the climate-change deniers and the onward stampede to continue idiotically plundering nature and destroying whole continents. This international mentality is mirrored at the local level because sewage always flows downhill. Apparently, awareness of natural limits on the planet has driven the major power states in the world into nakedly anti-democratic aggression against their own people and others. It is as if present and past imperial powers, when confronted with the planet's growing ecological distress, regress to imperial patterns of 150 years ago. Their policy is to seize more control while rejecting any responsbility for the human element in global climate change.Read More »
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Letter: Patience is needed
Editor: Gary Frago made a mistake. He has admitted it and has apologized for it. Like others, I was surprised and disappointed. From serious eye-opening experiences like this, humble people can learn and grow from them.
Give Gary Frago a chance to address the issue from all angles, spiritual included. Elections are the time to select our City Council persons.
It's good to remember heroes when times look dark -- BLJ
University of California Riverside
Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Center
Activism and Intellectual Struggle in the Life of Ernesto Galarza (1905-1984) with an Accompanying Bibliography by Richard Chabran first published in: Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 1985, Vol 7 No. 2, 135-152
Ernesto Galarza was a man of stature. He was a man of conviction and action. He was recognized both within the Chicano community and, as witnessed by his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, internationally. He knew his mission in life and pursued it with a rare precision and determination. Yet Don Ernesto was also a humble man of letters. This small tribute in no way pretends to be comprehensive; our intention is to provide an outline of his life and work and provide a glimpse of the person behind these actions.Read More »