the whole world burns

Archive for category 'politics'



I was going to express a fond wish that was a good first step towards the kind of free access that could give us an Australian TheyWorkForYou -- then discovered that it's existed since June 2008.

the business of Dubai: glitzy, impressive, and exploitative

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On the rim of the war zone, a new Mecca of conspicuous consumption and economic crime, under the iron rule of Sheikh al-Maktoum. Skyscrapers half a mile high, artificial archipelagoes, fantasy theme parks--and the indentured Asian labour force that sustains them.

Interesting and informative, especially compared to the kind of shallow "wow" travel-writing found elsewhere.

Veronica Mars, Class Warrior

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With an artfulness and pathos that no other show has quite pulled off, "Veronica Mars" expresses the deep ambivalence that the working and middle classes feel about the rise of a monstrously flush ruling class in our midst. In doing so, it makes manifest both the deep-seated class resentment that makes a populist political revolt seem so tantalizing possible and the Stockholm Syndrome-like admiration that makes it so maddeningly unattainable.

Translator on trial for... translating

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[W]hen NYU graduate student Mohammed Yousry took on the job of translating Arabic for lawyers representing Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring to bomb several bridges and tunnels around Manhattan, Yousry agreed, like any good translator, to follow his lawyers' lead. For doing his job, he now faces the possibility of twenty years in prison as a supporter of terrorism.

The curious rise of anti-religious hysteria

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It is the Anglo-American cultural elites' insecurity about their own values that encourages their frenzied attacks on religion.

The Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope


On cost-lowering slippery slopes, attitude-altering slippery slopes, small change tolerance slippery slopes etc.

How American moviegoers are influencing British politics


Throughout the 1970s and '80s British directors like Mike Leigh and Ken Loach portrayed the upper class as uncaring and contemptuous of the rest of society. ... Then, in 1994, the British movie industry shifted gears and started making the upper class loveable. Why? Because it wanted to make it big on the American side of the pond.

behind the "WorkChoices" rhetoric

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Howard's disastrous industrial relations "reform" package promises to make working conditions worse while decreasing pay.

The Rebellion of the Talking Heads


The media is refusing to play the political game in New Orleans. What's so sad and pathetic about this is that it's happened at all -- if it takes a disaster of this magnitude to get the media to ask hard questions, then in all ordinary circumstances their worth is less than nothing.

How to kill a country


How the free trade agreement fucked us over.

'a sex ed textbook that isn't "abstinence only" cannot be bought in the United States'

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If I have kids, I'll give them stuff like "The Straight Girl's Guide to Sleeping with Chicks" and "The Big Book of Bondage". They'll be so embarrassed they'll beg for a textbook about contraception...

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.

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