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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Faiz Shakir, Ibrahim Abusharif, The age of Undoing, Afghanistan, Don Paterson, Mahir Ali

Bachmann: I'm comfortable with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck being the voices of the GOP.
By Faiz Shakir - Bachmann once again demonstrated her true love for Fox News.

Rape: Polanski and the burqa by Ibrahim Abusharif - When Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty more than 30 years ago to having illicit sex with a 13-year-old girl, his legal counsel brokered a plea agreement, according to press accounts, in order to avoid incarceration. But then the judge (now dead) reportedly reneged, and Polanski, 43 at the time, was confronted with the possibility of serious jail time. So the director, like in good movie drama, fled the country and has lived in France ever since, frequently visited neighboring European countries.
What sets latter-day un- verbs apart from these historical examples is that the “reality rewind” is no longer a flight of counterfactual fancy: it’s built right into the interfaces that we use to make sense of our shared virtual worlds. Facebook, for instance, allows you to register approval for a posted message in a very concrete way, by clicking a thumbs-up like button. Toggling off the button results in unliking your previously liked item. Note that this is different from disliking something, since unliking simply returns you to a neutral state. This kind of instant reversibility is now an inescapable facet of our digitized life — like it or un-. The Age of Undoing

Eight Years Is Long Enough: What You Can Do to End the War in Afghanistan By Peter Rothberg - Antiwar activists are reallocating their attention from Iraq towards Afghanistan, organizing protests and demonstrations for the coming weeks.

Don Paterson wins the Forward poetry prize with 'masterful' collection By Alison Flood on Books
Scottish poet Don Paterson has triumphed over one of the strongest poetry shortlists in years to take the Forward prize for best collection with Rain. Sixteen years after he debuted on the poetry scene with the acclaimed collection Nil Nil, Don Paterson has triumphed over one of the strongest poetry shortlists in years to take the Forward prize for best collection with Rain, a work which judges said showed the Scottish poet's "total mastery of his art".

Racially Exclusive Suburbs Across U.S. Dubbed the New 'Whitopia' By Lewis Beale - Some of the fastest-growing areas in America are also the most Caucasian -- author Rich Benjamin's new book explores the new establishment of white ghettos.

‘There is,’ as someone relatively insignificant once pointed out, ‘a struggle going on. It’s happening an ocean away. But it’s a struggle that touches each and every one of us. Whether we know it or not. Whether we want it or not. A struggle that demands we choose sides ... It’s a choice between dignity and servitude. Between fairness and injustice. Between commitment and indifference. A choice between right and wrong.’ That someone was Barack Obama. As a student in the 1980s, he was taking a stand against apartheid. He was calling for divestment. True, South Africa’s transformation into a non-racial democracy required a historic compromise — but it was propelled by sanctions that international public opinion insisted upon in the face of shameful resistance from the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The time has come to do it again, for reasons that are not all that different. Mahir Ali


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