segunda-feira, dezembro 25, 2006

Handel's Messiah in Vancouver

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Pedras Portuguêsas, Thread Back: St. James United Church, Montréal.

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Vancouver Cantata Singers, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Conductor - Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Mezzo-Soprano - Laura Pudwell, at the Orpheum Theatre.

Just lucky to see it with my son. Hope springs eternal, and indeed sprang up again in my heart at these sublime sounds.

For unto us a child is born ...

I know that my redeemer liveth ...

Still no pictures, hahaha, Martin finally admits it is a 'bug' - but it is not a bug, it is software incompetence ... okokok.

Oops - it came back! With the help of my son I reloaded Picasa and Hello and now it works again. Who knows what changed - possibly even some of my own incompetence mixed in there eh?

Merry Christmas to you all. Be well.

22/12/06, Margaret Wente, Go ahead, make my Christmas, (Archive).
23/12/06, Rex Murphy, The last spasm of Humbugitis, (Archive).
27/12/06, Neil Reynolds, The most giving nation? It's not us, (Archive).
20/01/07, Margaret Wente, The charitable and the cheap: Which one are you?, (Archive).

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quarta-feira, dezembro 20, 2006

Darfur, two more views

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: one more on Darfur, Thread Back: Two Views of Darfur.

No more pictures, thanks Blogger! Thanks Picasa/Hello! thanks Google! Merry Christmas to you all - and a lump of coal for ya! And, being the lazy reprobate that I am I will probably soon give up on the blog as well, since ... really it was the pictures I liked. OK, enough.

20/12/06, Peter Boehm, Darfur: Genocide without borders, (Archive).

02/10/06, Gwynne Dyer, No Genocide in Darfur, (Archive).

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domingo, dezembro 17, 2006

Rex Murphy / Holocaust Deniers

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Shiraz Dossa, Thread Back: None.

This one really scares me: 18/12/06, David Motadel, Interview with Harun Yashayaie, (Archive), Technorati Blog Search.

15/12/06, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Confronting Holocaust Denial, (Archive), Technorati Blog Search.

15/12/06, Rex Murphy, Eichmann in Tehran: horror revisited.

Mocking the absolute misery, of another human being has to be — next to deliberately and wantonly designing that misery — the lowest of human behaviours.

Mocking the misery, torment and death of six million human beings, therefore, belongs to some unspeakable category of epic depravity.

What form, what shape would the keenest of such mockery take? Would it be to jeer publicly and laugh at the torments and death of so many, to take open delight at the nearly unimaginable pain and terror visited on so many?

To cheer the misery of millions would surely be an offence to scorch the ears of hell itself. But, if you are a Jew, I suspect that the last and perfect insult, the one that surpasses even open mockery of the Holocaust — its last cruelty so to speak — is to say there was no Holocaust.

And, yet, here we are, barely six years out of the bleak century forever stained by Adolf Hitler's near extermination of European Jewry in the great murder factories of the concentration camps, and the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hosts a “conference” on the myth of the Holocaust.

He assembles a clutch of “scholars” to launch an inquiry into the Holocaust, most eminent among whom is that paragon of erudition and dispassionate inquiry, a veritable Causabon-under-a-white-sheet, former Ku Klux Klanner, David Duke. Dr. Duke, as he pretentiously styles himself, may be a depleted merchant of old and expired hatreds in North America, but he's the headline guest and revered scholar at the conference in the soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.

Lesser Aristotles include Robert Faurisson, a French professor who denies the existence of the gas chambers; an Australian, Michele Renouf, who hails Mr. Ahmadinejad as a hero just for holding the conference, and another Australian, Frederick Toben, who delivered to the assembled illuminati this ferocious particular: “The number of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp could be about 2,007.” The “about” in that sentence is amazing.

There was also a Canadian professor, Shiraz Dossa from StFX, who evidently travelled to this zoo of mountebanks unawake to the thought that a conference called to discuss the myth of the Holocaust would be a gathering dedicated to the idea of the Holocaust as a myth.

When the news broke that the professor was attending this festival of blight, he lamented that the gathering was full of “hacks and lunatics” and that he wouldn't even “shake hands with most of them.” One can only hope for the students of StFX that Professor Dossa is not teaching either logic or holiday planning.

The target of it all, as it always is, was Israel and the Jews. For Mr. Ahmadinejad, the nearly illimitable suffering of the six million is a Jewish lie. On state television he proclaimed: “They [the Jews] have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves.” The same Mr. Ahmadinejad, who mocks and derides the historical Holocaust, opens this demented seminar with the clear promise of one soon to come: “The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon, the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom.” He has so often proclaimed that Israel will be “wiped off the map” that the phrase hardly needs quotation marks. But note, too, how he links Israel's being wiped out with humanity, all humanity, “achieving freedom.”

The death of Israel, i.e., the death of Jews, as millennial panacea, the removal of the one impediment to universal harmony — where have we heard this before? We are not far, not far by one inch, from the racist dogmas that found such terrible audience in 1930s Germany. The Jew now, as then, is always out of scale — in power, in insidiousness, in perniciousness to the common good of mankind.

“If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. “But if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream.”

This is anti-Semitism's latest diabolic twist. The Holocaust was powered by the great lie of the Jewish world conspiracy, and now the Holocaust itself is another “Jewish conspiracy.” Anti-Semitism as the snake that swallows its own tail. The malice here is profound. While most of the sane world looked upon this conference as deranged and hateful, and many worthy people said as much, hatred and mockery of Israel and the Jews has become so common that this outlandish gathering in Tehran this week seemed almost ordinary, predictable.

Let us recall that was Arendt's reading of Eichmann — ordinary, predictable, banal.

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quinta-feira, dezembro 14, 2006

Amazônia / Pará / Feminismo

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Gathering Storm, Thread Back: Grande Fóssil Canadense.

Google/Blogger are 'improving' service - consequently nothing is working, photo upload is down and has been for days; confusion, nonsense, haste, stupidity ... o que mais?

My pop-up window will not work with the new photo format - right-click / open in new window still works though, sorry for the inconvenience, not in my control.

"Cela est bien dit, répondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin."

"Tudo isso está muito bem dito – respondeu Cândido, – mas devemos cultivar nosso jardim."

"All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our

     Candide / Cândido / Candide, Voltaire, 1759

o Rio Amazonas - the Amazon River
o estado do Amazonas / o Amazonas - the Brazilian state of Amazonas
a Amazônia - the Amazon region

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from Friends of the Earth: (Archive)
     04/12, Pará establishes the largest contiguous preservation area in the world.
     05/12, Cristina Amorim, Floresta Amazônica: Preservação por decreto - Área protegida é a maior do mundo.

some companies in Pará:
     Jari Celulose S.A., CAEMI / CADAM.

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I wanted to sort a few things out ... it will probably never be done, oh well.

'Saving the Amazon'? Simão Jatene, the outgoing Governor of Pará, set up a deal, I don't know much about it but it seems to please too many people to be true, and anyway I personally don't think the Amazon can be saved - I think it's too late; that is not a scientific opinion it is just my hunch.

The incoming Governor (Governadora) is Ana Julia, a Petista, PT, Partido dos Trabalhadores, Lula's party. I wonder how she will implement this deal?

Which brings me to thinking about Marina Silva, the brazilian Environment Minister that maybe Lula will trash for being too Ambientalista - though to me she seems soft; and Rona Ambrose, Canada's redundant feminist presence in the cabinet.

And such like thoughts ... like I said, it will probably go nowhere, ok. How much of an idiot do you need to be to beliebve that sex has anything to do with it? Or that indigenous peoples have a better relationship with it? Then you look at the state of it ... lots of idiots around out there eh?

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terça-feira, dezembro 12, 2006

Grande Fóssil Canadense

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Amazônia / Pará / Feminismo, Thread Back: Nova moralidade / New Morality.

Bone heads! ... Dinosaurs! ... Extinct ...

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"The canadian minister of the Environment received the anti-prize "Big Fossil", from the Conference on Climate in Nairobi, for her country, one of the richest on the planet, having de-railed the Kyoto Protocol to reduce the greenhouse effect."
      Jornal do Brasil, Ecológico, 10 dezembro

From the Penticton Western News: (Archive)
     06/12, Stockwell Day, Constituency caught in winter’s icy grip.
     10/12, Wolf Depner, Inconvenient truth spoils MP’s punch-line.

From the Globe: (Archive)
     12/12, Bill Curry, This Day gets cold.
     12/12, Bill Curry, Ambrose feels the heat as blunders pile up.
     12/12, Jeffrey Simpson, The green revolution that Canada's missing.
     15/12, Jeffrey Simpson, Rona Ambrose has been left to ....

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quarta-feira, dezembro 06, 2006


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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: America, Thread Back: RCMP, bungling incompetence & malice.

Comeuppance!! ... that's the word!

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Whole thing this morning in the Globe reminded me of Wind in the Willows. At first I was thinking Mister Toad ... but then I found the Weasel Cadet!

In the Globe: (Archive)
     07/12, Scott Deveau, Day says RCMP chief never lied to him.
     07/12, Daniel Leblanc, Zaccardelli takes the fall.
     06/12, Jeff Sallot, RCMP chief's troubles grow.
     06/12, Editorial, Zaccardelli wades deeper into the mire.
     06/12/06, Greg McArthur, Politics closing in on RCMP's top cop.
     05/12, Editorial, The two Arar stories that Zaccardelli tells.

Government of Canada - SECU Meetings:
     Thursday, December 7, 2006 - Stockwell Day (no Minutes yet).
     Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - Giuliano Zaccardelli (no Minutes yet).
     Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - Anne McLellan.
     Thursday, November 23, 2006 - Department of Foreign Affairs.
     Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - Security Intelligence Review Committee.
... and much more.

"There is not one moment, one decision or one circumstance of my career, that I would change."
      Giuliano Zaccardelli (today!)

So himself has learned nothing, nor his bosses Stockwell Day & Harper. There are a few worms writhing in the Ottawa mud under rocks they hope will not be turned over now that Zack is carrying the can - and I am sure these maggots are privately resolving with utmost febrile fervency to do better next time; though what they mean by better is anyone's guess.

"Them's the conditions that prevail."
      James Francis (Jimmy) Durante

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terça-feira, dezembro 05, 2006

Nova moralidade / New Morality

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Grande Fóssil Canadense, Thread Back: Words.

Some aquaintances here in Rio think that Leonardo Boff is 'chato' - boring; and there is something of a Jeremiah about him I admit - but so many times he is simply spot-on, and for me this is one of them.

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I read it last night in the Jornal do Brasil - which used to be the liberal paper and still is I guess but they have changed to a tabloid format. This has (incredibly to me) won praise and prizes from the propaganda pundits. I now find it next to impossible to read over a beer or on a bus; and they have a website but the website is like the paper, impossible to find anything in it ... so I have lifted the article from another source.

Please excuse my translation ... it will probably take me a week or so to complete ...

Quarta-feira 11 novembro 2006
Urgência de uma nova moralidade
Leonardo Boff
 Thursday November 11 2006
Urgent need for a new morality
Leonardo Boff
Os relatórios sombrios sobre o estado da Terra e sobre o futuro desalentador da espécie humana nos sugerem a urgência de uma nova moralidade. Mais e mais nos damos conta de que esta situação dramática se prende à forma insensata e até imoral com a qual nos relacionamos com a natureza, depredando-a sem remorços através um modo de produção que faz do lucro sua única lei e religião. Somente agora quando a alarme ecológico chegou às páginas de economia é que vem sendo tomado a sério pelos governos e grandes instituições internacionais. A crise não vem; já estamos dentro dela, atingindo milhões de pessoas. Al Gore em seu documentário Verdade inconveniente nos forneceu os dados. Ou investimos já agora na dimuição dos gazes de efeito estufa ou então nos próximos anos teremos que aplicar mais de um trilhão de dólares anuais para estabilizar o aquecimento a dois graus acima do atual nivel. Ou então vamos ao encontro de catástrofes como nunca vistas antes. The dark news about the state of the Earth and the disheartening future of the human race suggests an urgent need for a new morality. More and more we take note that this dramatic situation takes its senseless and even immoral shape from the way we relate to nature, devastation without remorse in the manner of production which makes profit the only law and the only religion. It is only now that the ecological alarm has reached the economic pages and is being taken seriously by governments and large international institutions. The crisis is not coming; we are already in the middle of it, it is touching millions of people. In his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore gave us the facts. Either invest now in reducing greenhouse gases or we will shortly have to invest more than a trillion dollars annually to stabilize heating at two degrees above the current level. Either this or we willo encounter catastrophes such as we have never seen.
Bem analisadas, estas medidas são apenas paliativas. Partem de um pressuposto equivocado: pensam que limando os dentes do lobo diminuinos a sua ferocidade. Quer dizer, podemos continuar com o mesmo paradigma de produção e consumo, apenas diminuindo a dosagem. Esse paradigma nos condenará a todos porque se baseia numa metafísica falsa, a de que podemos dispôr dos recursos a nosso bel prazer e que nossa relação com a natureza é apenas de ordem utilitária. Entendemo-nos for a acima e contra a natureza. Ela se vingará, talvez nos expulsando definitivamente de seu seio como se expulsa uma célula cancerígena. Looked at cldearly, these remedies are nothing but palliatives. Coming from an equivocal premise: they think that cleaning the wolf's teeth reduces his ferocity. That is to say, we can continue with the same paradigm of production and consumption, simply reducing the dose. This paradigm will condemn us all because it is founded in a false metaphysic, which lets us dispose of resources as we wish and that our relationship with nature is nothing but utility.
Por isso, de pouco valem soluções técnico-científicas fundadas naquela metafísica. Precisamos, antes, de uma equação moral que mude os fins e não apenas os meios de nossa civilização. Eis alguns pontos para a nova moralidade. 
Em primeiro lugar, devemos tomar a sério o princípio de precaução e de cuidado. Ou cuidamos do que restou da natureza e regeneramos o que temos devastado ou então nosso tipo de sociedade terá dias contados. Ademais filosoficamente o cuidado é a pre-condição para que surja qualquer ser e é o norteador antecipado de toda ação. In the first place, we must take seriously the principle of precaution and care. Either we care for what remains of nature and regenerate what we have already devastated or the days of our type of society are numbered. Ademais filosoficamente o cuidado é a pre-condição para que surja qualquer ser e é o norteador antecipado de toda ação.
Em segundo lugar, importa dar centralidade ao afeto, à compaixão, ao coração e à piedade, como princípios morais. Isso nos ensinam o budismo no Oriente e Schopenhauer no Ocidente. Ambos afirmam:" não faças mal a nenhum ser, antes esforça-te em ajudar a todos o mais que podes". Second,
Em terceiro lugar, urge resgatar o repeito e a veneração diante de cada ser porque representam um valor em si mesmo. Como o formulou Albert Schweitzer:"ética é a ilimitada veneração diante da vida e o respeito diante de cada ser". Third,
Em quarto lugar, faz-se mister assumir a responsabilidade pelo futuro do planeta e da vida. Somos os guardiães do ser. Hans Jonas exprimiu assim o princípo de responsabilidade:"aja de tal maneira que teus atos não sejam destrutivos da vida". Fourth,
Em quinto lugar, em vez da competição há que se reforçar o princípio de cooperação porque é a lei suprema do universo: todos os seres são interdependentes e se ajudam uns aos outros para co-evoluir, sem excluir os mais fracos. Fifth,
Se vivermos essa nova-velha moralidade mudaremos os comportamentos dos estados e das pessoas para com a natureza e assim nos salvaremos. Vale a frase de 1968 nos muros de Paris:"sejam realistas; exijam o impossível". Se vivermos essa nova-velha moralidade mudaremos os comportamentos dos estados e das pessoas para com a natureza e assim nos salvaremos. It is worth remembering the phrase written in 1968 on the walls of Paris: "Be realistic - demand the impossible".

It is particularly fitting to me that these thoughts should come from a Brazilian.

This by Mauro Santayana was in the Jornal do Brasil last night too.
A tecnologia da morte
Mauro Santayana
 The technology of death
Com imagens de crianças sem olhos, sem braços, sem ouvidos, com a espinha dorsal dividida em duas, os membros atrofiados, o crânio piramidal, e relatos sobre recém-nascidos com os órgãos genitais na face, volta aos jornais europeus a denúncia contra o mais nefando dos terrorismos. São milhares de seres humanos e, enquanto viverem e continuarem a nascer, representam o libelo mais ácido contra os piores terroristas do século 20: os senhores norte-americanos da guerra. Trinta e um anos depois da derrota dos invasores na batalha final de Saigon, os efeitos da dioxina usada no desfolhante agente laranja continuam em região que compreende áreas do Vietnã, do Laos e do Camboja. Os resíduos se entranharam na terra e nas sementes das plantas, e os que as consumiram e consomem transmitiram e transmitem seus efeitos aos descendentes. 
Matéria de José Reinoso, o enviado de El País, de Madri, ao Vietnã - publicada sábado último - traz o depoimento seco, contundente, de médicos e dos pais de algumas dessas crianças. Um dos casais ouvidos teve todos os seis filhos horrivelmente deformados. 
A história do desfolhante laranja começa na Segunda Guerra Mundial, quando os encarregados das armas químicas sugeriram seu emprego maciço sobre os arrozais japoneses. Ao saber do projeto, que mataria os inimigos de fome, Roosevelt - vítima da paralisia infantil - horrorizado, vetou-o, mas Truman, ao substituí-lo, mandou jogar a bomba atômica sobre Hiroshima. Estimuladas pelo Pentágono, as maiores empresas químicas do país - tendo à frente a Monsanto e a Dow Chemical - passaram a pesquisar os efeitos do agente laranja contra os seres vivos, não só os da deformação genética, como também os da indução ao câncer. Em 1960 passaram a produzir para a guerra. Em novembro de 1961, o glorificado presidente Kennedy autorizou o uso do produto no Vietnã. 
Hoje, naquele país, além das crianças deformadas, a incidência do câncer de útero é 30 vezes maior do que no resto da Ásia. 
O Protocolo de 1925 - que integra os seculares acordos de Genebra sobre a conduta na guerra - proíbe rigorosamente o uso de armas químicas nas batalhas. A decisão foi tomada depois do emprego de gases mortais na Primeira Guerra Mundial. Mas, 20 anos depois, os nazistas, para o extermínio "limpo" dos judeus e outras etnias (incluída a "raça" dos comunistas) encomendaram à IG-Farben a produção do gás Zyklon B, usado em Auschwitz e em outros campos. 
É emblemático que a indústria química - essa tentativa de criar uma prótese da natureza, mediante materiais novos, alguns que beneficiam os homens e outros, que os eliminam e os deformam - tenha surgido há menos de 200 anos, na Alemanha, onde o Iluminismo encontrou a perversão política. 
Na liderança da civilização ocidental que começa a perecer submersa em nova barbárie, os Estados Unidos são os herdeiros da arrogância nazista. A IG-Farben - que nasceu para produzir anilinas - tem suas sucessoras na Monsanto e na Dow Chemical, orientadas pela mentalidade de que a morte pode ser o resultado de um processo técnico lucrativo, seja na produção da dioxina, ou dos transgênicos, obtidos mediante essa necrotecnologia que condena as sementes à morte, depois de duas ou três colheitas, a fim de que mantenham o monopólio de sua produção. Não lhes importa a possibilidade de que os transgênicos venham a matar os consumidores ou a condenar as almas das crianças a habitar corpos deformados nas próximas gerações. O que importa é o preço de suas ações, os dividendos aos acionistas e elevada remuneração de seus quadros executivos. 

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