Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shanghai Revisted Through An Alternate Lense

Since postings to PW this summer have appeared somewhat sparingly, I offer a blast from past. A year ago Paddy was spewing venom from his desk in Shanghai. In contrast I give you a much more measured and contemplative view of China, from the very same East China Normal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A video you have to see....

The video below is now on YouTube and has spurred a political video making contest on Chris Mathews' Hardball show. ( His censors did not let him show it all....) Lets all have at it. Power to the People:)

Hilary Music Video

Putin's Russia

As a student of Russian language I'm constantly asked "why do you study Russian, what good is that?" Well, typically I ignore the bastion of stupidity that haunts many of the questioner's minds and try to comfort them with an "oh what'd you think of Harry Potter?" but for those of you who recognize the Russian language as a possibly-legitimate venture, I have further reason for the language's importance. Anna Politkovskaya's "Putin's Russia" is a journalist's approach to the corruption and horrors of Putin's regime. I've only read the first 40 pages, but the writing has been intelligent and the content horrifying, and still highly edifying. On par with Peter Maass's "Love thy Neighbor." Furthermore, Politikovskaya was shot dead in the elevator of her Moscow apartment last year most probably due to her muckraking approach to Russian politics, specifically the Chechnyan wars. I picked up a copy at Politics and Prose for 12 bucks or something, it is Very much worth the read.

The Washington Post review: "A courageous investigative journalist...In the tradition of the great Soviet dissidents. Politkovskaya was unwavering in telling the gruesome truth about the injustices that she witnessed"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

SPS Blog Open for Comment

Sieg Heil Mein Tintin

So now they're trying to ban Tintin. Isn't that rich.

London, July 12: Comic book character Tintin is in the midst of a race row, after Britain's Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) accused one of the books of making black people "look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles".

The CRE claimed that the book -- Tintin In The Congo -- has projected "hideous racial prejudice" and recommended that its sale be stopped.According to The Telegraph, the Borders chain of bookshops has agreed to move it to the adult graphic novels area of its shops, but the official Tintin shop vowed to keep selling it, as did Waterstone's and WH Smith.Tintin, written and drawn by the Belgian author Hergé, was first published in 1931 but was redrawn in 1946, when Hergé removed several references to Congo being a Belgian colony.

I don't recall anyone, myself included, calling for the ban on most of the literature of Britain from the 17th and 18th centuries because it portrays the Irish as lazy, potato-eating, popish dullards and simpltons.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The History Boys

By David Halberstam Vanity Fair
August 2007 Issue

In the twilight of his presidency, George W. Bush and his inner circle have been feeding the press with historical parallels: he is Harry Truman - unpopular, besieged, yet ultimately to be vindicated - while Iraq under Saddam was Europe held by Hitler. To a serious student of the past, that's preposterous. Writing just before his untimely death, David Halberstam asserts that Bush's "history," like his war, is based on wishful thinking, arrogance, and a total disdain for the facts.

read full article here

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Maybe More Americans Should Read This From Time-to-Time

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
[A free pint at 4GF for anyone who can identify this patriot; a man who, when pushed to rebellion, let his musket do most of the talkin'.]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WIP Heads to Nanny's

Seission Night still hangs on at Nany's despite the appalling transformation of the rest of the bar.