“We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing - an actor, a writer - I am a person who does things - I write, I act - and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.”—Stephen Fry (via bookshavepores)
Newly posted subway station ads that have incited city-wide anger over what many are calling a “racist” message, continue to stir controversy as a protest is called for tomorrow’s MTA meeting.
Writer and political activist Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, was arrested yesterday in the Times Square station after attempting to spray-paint over one of 10 ads that refer to jihad as “savage.”
Armed with a video camera, Pamela Hall, a Manhattan woman, put herself between Eltahawy and the ad in an attempt to prevent her from defacing it. Undeterred, Eltahawy warned Hall to get out of the way or get sprayed. She then sprayed paint at Hall when she refused to move. After the heated confrontation continued, Eltahawy was handcuffed by two police officers who stayed quiet when she demanded to know why she was under arrest.
Eltahawy was in court this morning on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief, according to her Twitter account. Meanwhile, Hall uploaded her video of the confrontation to YouTube.
The International Action Center, an anti-war group, is planning to stage a protest against the ads, which remain in 10 Manhattan subway stations, at tomorrow’s MTA board meeting.
“This week the MTA issued another slap in the face to its riders,” the IAC said in a statement. “As if the new round of fare hikes weren’t enough, it carried racist, anti-Muslim ads in ten NY subway stations.”
Making the rounds today is a piece up at the Guardian in which a former top CIA terrorism official admits the obvious: that the drone war if overly broad, kills too many civilians, provokes anti-American hatred, and could inadvertently create terrorist safe havens.
“Has there ever been a point since America’s inception when someone, somewhere, wasn’t plotting our downfall? I have great difficulty perceiving a time when this won’t be true. And so drone strategy comes to self-replicate. We bomb your village. You declare war on us for the bombing. We deem you a terrorist and bomb again. Rinse. Repeat.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, on Obama’s “kill list” and drone attacks. (via theatlantic)
The ever important pivot that every traditional newspaper publisher is realizing: “We are a technology company that happens to publish a newspaper. We deliver content. And we will deliver content on many platforms and in ways that we haven’t yet fully considered.”
“This, perhaps, is what is so unsettling about today’s China: the suspicion that its authoritarian capitalism is not merely a reminder of our past - a repetition of the process of capitalist accumulation which took place in Europe between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries - but a sign of the future? What if “the vicious combination of the Asian knout and the European stock market” proves to be economically more efficient than liberal capitalism? What if this signals that democracy as we understand it, is no longer the condition and motor of economic development, but its obstacle?”—Slavoj Žižek, Living in the end times
“Bourgeois class domination is undoubtedly an historical necessity, but, so too, the rising of the working class against it. Capital is an historical necessity, but, so too, its grave digger, the socialist proletariat.”—Rosa Luxemburg (via fyeahrosaluxemburg)
“You are a worthy individual, no matter what your past, no matter what your thoughts, no matter who believes in you. You are life itself, growing and expanding and reaching upward. All people are valuable, beautiful and unique. Every experience you have is meant to teach you more about creating love in your life.”—Orin (via nirvikalpa)
“Why should the public believe what the Obama administration says about the people being assassinated by drones? Especially since, as we learn in the New York Times, the administration came up with a semantic solution to keep the civilian death toll to a minimum: simply count all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants. The rationale, reminiscent of George Zimmerman’s justification for shooting Trayvon Martin, is that “people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.” Talk about profiling! At least when George Bush threw suspected militants into Guantanamo their lives were spared.”—Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama’s Drone Warfare? by Medea Benjamin
“When women and children in Waziristan are killed with Hellfire missiles, Pakistanis believe this is what the American people want. I would like to ask Americans, ‘Do you?’
“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful people”. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind. it needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and human, and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”—
Before the 1970s, banks were banks. They did what banks were supposed to do in a state capitalist economy: they took unused funds from your bank account, for example, and transferred them to some potentially useful purpose like helping a family buy a home or send a kid to college. That changed dramatically in the 1970s. Until then, there had been no financial crises since the Great Depression. The 1950s and 1960s had been a period of enormous growth, the highest in American history, maybe in economic history.
And it was egalitarian. The lowest quintile did about as well as the highest quintile. Lots of people moved into reasonable lifestyles — what’s called the “middle class” here, the “working class” in other countries — but it was real. And the 1960s accelerated it. The activism of those years, after a pretty dismal decade, really civilized the country in lots of ways that are permanent.
When the 1970s came along, there were sudden and sharp changes: de-industrialization, the off-shoring of production, and the shift to financial institutions, which grew enormously. I should say that, in the 1950s and 1960s, there was also the development of what several decades later became the high-tech economy: computers, the Internet, the IT Revolution developed substantially in the state sector.
The developments that took place during the 1970s set off a vicious cycle. It led to the concentration of wealth increasingly in the hands of the financial sector. This doesn’t benefit the economy — it probably harms it and society — but it did lead to a tremendous concentration of wealth.