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Showing posts from December 25, 2008

Harold Pinter: Nobel-Winning Playwright Dies At 78

Harold Pinter: Nobel-Winning Playwright Dies At 78: "LONDON — British Nobel laureate Harold Pinter _ who produced some of his generation's most influential dramas and later became a staunch critic of the U.S.-led war in Iraq _ has died, his widow said Thursday. He was 78.

Pinter died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, according to his second wife Antonia Fraser.

In recent years he had seized the platform offered by his 2005 Nobel Literature prize to denounce President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the war in Iraq.

But he was best known for exposing the complexities of the emotional battlefield.

His writing featured cool, menacing pauses in dialogue that reflected his characters' deep emotional struggles and spawned a new adjective found in several dictionaries: 'Pinter-esque.'

'Pinter restored theater to its basic elements: an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue, where people are at the mercy of each other and pretense c… - Politics - Politics

God Bless America

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

Harper's index (Harper's Magazine)

Harper's index (Harper's Magazine): "Chance an American believes it is very likely that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will lead to World War III: 1 in 51

Chance an American believes that peace in the Middle East will require a military victory: 1 in 22

Military budget of Israel in 1967 expressed as a percentage of the budgets of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria combined: 583

Israeli military budget today expressed in these terms: 1874"
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25 Years of the Harper's Index : Indybay

25 Years of the Harper's Index : Indybay
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 :Harper's Magazine is marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of its popular monthly feature, the Harper's Index. The Index reports sometimes funny, often sobering political realities through statistics and unusual figures. Turn to this month's edition, and you'll find out things like how much the Bush campaign paid Enron and Halliburton for use of corporate jets during the 2000 recount, or the estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving President Bush's 2002 State of the Union standing ovations.


TomDispatch: "What do you do when you notice that there seems to have been a killing spree? While the national and international media were working themselves and much of the public into a frenzy about imaginary hordes of murderers, rapists, snipers, marauders, and general rampagers among the stranded crowds of mostly poor, mostly black people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, a group of white men went on a shooting spree across the river.

Their criminal acts were no secret but they never became part of the official story. The media demonized the city's black population for crimes that turned out not to have happened, and the retractions were, as always, too little too late. At one point FEMA sent a refrigerated 18-wheeler to pick up what a colonel in the National Guard expected to be 200 bodies in New Orleans's Superdome, only to find six, including four who died naturally and a suicide. Meanwhile, the media never paid attention to the real rampage that took place …

In Oft-Invaded Afghanistan, Many Still Admire Alberto Cairo, a Foreigner -

In Oft-Invaded Afghanistan, Many Still Admire Alberto Cairo, a Foreigner - "There was the catastrophic retreat of a British expeditionary force in 1842. Nearly 150 years later came the Soviet troop withdrawal of 1989. Now, with the Taliban pressing in on this city and dominating the countryside, there are fears that this occupation, too, will eventually fail.

But whatever the outcome, Afghans of all ethnic and political stripes, even the Taliban, seem likely to count Alberto Cairo as one foreigner who left the country better than he found it."

Informed Comment

Informed Comment

Even Santa Claus is protesting the walling off of Bethlehem Some 15 percent of the 10 million Palestinians is Christian, and they are after all the original Christians. Bethlehem has a special place in their hearts because it is the birthplace of Jesus in Christian belief.