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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sonia Gandhi gambled big, pushed hard,Update on PC Hotel Workers Strike – 12 Days, Oscar night in Baghdad,

A lamb of a Monday in March as Toronto hits 14C
THE ROVING EYE : Oscar night in Baghdad Kathryn Bigelow - an otherwise terrific indie filmmaker - as Best Director. Iraqis themselves are not even allowed a cameo as extras in one of those corny Oscar night dance numbers. The Hurt Locker is a mere unintended (and ultimately profitable) by-product of an invasion and occupation that destroyed a nation and killed, directly and indirectly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who, unlike "our man and women in uniform" do not even merit a mention from Bigelow in her moment of glory. The fact that Hurt Locker won over Avatar - the most elaborate and the highest-grossing anti-war movie of all time - speaks volumes of improvised explosive devices about America's supposed "cultural" elite.
David Shasha: Moses Maimonides: Arab Jew, Religious Humanist The figure of Moses Maimonides (ca. 1138-1204), perhaps the greatest post-Talmudic rabbi, exemplifies the complications and pitfalls involved in the Arabic articulation of Judaism. It can be said without exaggeration that to know Maimonides is to know Judaism. Never has such a figure become as central to Judaism as he has. And yet Maimonides, like many other religious giants, has been transformed and co-opted by reactionaries in order to suit their own agendas. Maimonides' great genius was in the creation of a synthesis that my teacher Jose Faur has called "Religious Humanism." Taking the parochial traditions of Judaism, its laws, its rituals and its particular understanding of God and the Covenant, and merging them with philosophy, science and history, Maimonides' Religious Humanism was of a piece with the civilization of the Arabic Mediterranean world he lived in.


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