quinta-feira, maio 31, 2007

Nuclear (again, again)

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Pato Ciça
:Look there Tico-Tico, it says that the Stanford Institute did a study on spending in the last few decades on arms, wars, and space programs ...
:It must have been a black note!
:It looks like that money would have been enough to eliminate hunger and sickness from the face of the earth if it had been applied to food production and health programs ...
:Tsk, tsk ...
:What do you expect? The group who control the money have never been hungry and only in the last instance do they die of sickness ...

31/05/07, Philip Bethge, The Nuclear Temptation, Source.

Nuclear Waste & ForecastNuclear Plants Worldwide & PlannedNuclear Plant Types

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quarta-feira, maio 30, 2007

Shiraz Dossa

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Previously: Rex Murphy / Holocaust Deniers.

Sunday June 24 2007

24/06/07, Neil MacFarquhar, Iran Cracks Down on Dissent, Parading Examples in Streets, Source.

Wednesday May 30 2007

Only chicken connection here is 'Ku Klux Klan' if you repeat it quickly ...

Shiraz Dossa
"In fact, Ahmadinejad has not denied the Holocaust or proposed Israel’s liquidation; he has never done so in any of his speeches on the subject (all delivered in Farsi/Persian)."
     Shiraz Dossa.

"Izzat so then? Really? Let's see about that ..."
     David Wilson.

Hairsplitting over exactly what was said in 2005 ... those with one axe to grind see it one way, those with another see another, etc. Shiraz Dossa appears to me to be a childish whiner, albeit with some letters after his name. False humility (shown in his university homepage) does not make judgements, but it gives clues. He is a doting father apparently - can't be all bad then eh? He has not been fired, and I for one am glad of that (though how he got tenure is another question).

Ideological tempest in a teapot. The last letter-writer to the Globe came closest to a balanced view, in my estimation. 'Nuf said.

Articles roughly in order:
28/10/05, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at Tehran Conference (translation), Source.
02/06/06, Jonathan Steele, If Iran is ready to talk, the US must do so unconditionally, Source.
11/06/06, Ethan Bronner, Just How Far Did They Go, Those Words Against Israel?, Source.
14/06/06, Jonathan Steele, Lost in translation, Source.
13/12/06, Editorial, A denial-fest in Tehran, Source.
14/12/06, John Ibbitson, Even a scholar's academic freedom has its limits in Canada, Source.
14/12/06, CAUT/APCCU, Statement on the controversy over Professor Shiraz Dossa, Source.
14/12/06, Raymond J. Lahey, The Dossa debate, Source.
14/12/06, Caroline Alphonso, University embarrassed by professor's Tehran visit, Source.
15/12/06, Frederick Sweet, Dr. Dossa: round two, Source.
16/12/06, Allan Greer, The light of truth, Source.
28/12/06, John Ibbitson, The responsibility of freedom, Source.
06/07, Shiraz Dossa, The Explanation We Never Heard, Source.
28/05/07, Michael Valpy, Professor who attended Holocaust conference blasts critics as Islamophobes, Source.

Some Letters to the Editor:
29/05/07, Letters, Russell Maynard, The professor and the Holocaust, Source.
29/05/07, Letters, Cal Bricker, The professor and the Holocaust, Source.
29/05/07, Letters, David Schatzky, The professor and the Holocaust, Source.
29/05/07, Letters, Michael Benedict, The professor and the Holocaust, Source.
30/05/07, Letters, Abraham H. Foxman, The professor and the critics, Source.
30/05/07, Letters, Ed Morgan & Irving Bella, The professor and the critics, Source.
31/05/07, Letters, Miles Tompkins, The professor and tolerance, Source.

Some links to Juan Cole referred to by Shiraz Dossa as an authority:
Wednesday, May 03, 2006, Hitchens the Hacker; And, Hitchens the Orientalist, And, "We don't Want Your Stinking War!.
Global Americana Institute / Americana in Arabic Library Translation Project.
Juan Cole - Wikipedia.
Informed Comment / Thoughts on the Middle East, History, and Religion.

A-and to StFX:
St. Francis Xavier University, Shiraz Dossa Homepage, Student Comments.

A-and to the Iranian government:
Presidency of The Islamic Republic of Iran, unfortunately no longer has any 2005 archives available.

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segunda-feira, maio 28, 2007

Tommy Douglas & Chicken Little

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"One does what one can ..."

Here's a couple of Tommy Douglas stories. The photos are from Douglas-Coldwell Foundation and are worth the time to download and look at as they are good pictures at reasonably high-resolution.

Tommy's version of Chicken Little:

Chicken Little is lying in the middle of the road with his feet up in the air. Someone stops and says, "What are you doing?"

Chicken Little says, "The sky is about to fall and I am prepared to hold it up."

The passerby says, "How do you think that you are going to hold up the sky with those skinny little chicken legs?"

Chicken Little replies, "One does what one can ... one does what one can."

See more-or-less upright (!?) for a similar story by Amos Oz, and, The Gods Must be Crazy for one by Betinho; also Is that a chicken joke? for others.

The Story of Mouseland, as told by Tommy Douglas in 1944.

It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws - that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds - so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said, "The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. (My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea.) And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "Oh," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.

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domingo, maio 27, 2007

The Bride

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Pato Ciça
:What a thing ... Bandits in the street, in congress, everywhere ...
:What can a poor citizen do at a time like this?!
:Join in?

Ring Them Bells, Oh Mercy, 1989. For me this song echoes Revelations 3.

And time is running backwards
And so is the bride.

It seems to me that 'the bride' he is talking about is the church, viewed in some Christian circles as 'the bride of Christ.' He could have anything in mind ... this is just my notion.

And they're breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong.

A-and this sounds like ... well, just exactly what's going on eh? But it is also another of Dylan's lines that leads outwards and away into uncharted territory: what is the distance between right and wrong? what might it mean to break it down? is there a distance at all? how do you break down distance? and so on ... no certain judgements here.

: Vasconcelo Quadros, Reação parte de setores acostumados à corrupção, Source.
: Anon, B.C. Ferries reaches out-of-court deal with TSB to view ferry sinking evidence, Source.
: Scott Sutherland, Family lawyer of Ian Bush believes he was targeted by RCMP, Source.
: Gary Mason, Mind-boggling testimony leaves everyone at inquest exhausted, Source.
: Gary Mason, What delayed body's trip to morgue?, Source.

Paulo Fernando da Costa Lacerda, Diretor do Departamento de Polícia Federal. Appointed by Márcio Thomaz Bastos, ministro da Justiça.

Paulo LacerdaPaulo LacerdaPaulo LacerdaPaulo LacerdaPaulo LacerdaPaulo LacerdaPaulo Lacerda

Blogging always seems upside-down, the latest at the top; and consequently the mind has always to be ajusting perspectives through a reversing lens, because common visualizations of 'writing' or 'recording', run the other way, sort of ...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how depressing the news is; all the denial and inaction around global climate change; a Canadian boy is killed by the RCMP and it is clear that the truth is nothing-like coming out, very important questions remain unanswered; two people die when a Canadian ferry boat sinks and nothing but the silliest of political lies and transparent manipulations can be seen, on all sides!; a Brazilian cop blows the whistle on 50 generations of corruption and the government, seemingly with one voice, and including President Lula, condemns him (this is not entirely clear to me yet, I will update later - OK, I think the translation is closer now, people I talk to figgure it is just a matter of time before Lacerda is killed, or his family, or his friends, but he is from Goiana which is known as a stubborn and crafty culture ... so who knows, but this is the beginning of the end for Lula, he has basically admitted on national television that he wants the PF to keep their hands out of politics and off of politicians, doh!).

Most of the people of my aquaintance, those near and dear to me, are confused and confounded and unable to come to terms with any of it; and we all, in a sense, cave in and just get on with our lives - but carrying a heavy weight. A good friend of mine now espouses the doctrine of 'deixar' / 'let it go'; comforting at least, and ... effective maybe.

What I have come to is (just about :-) exactly what Bob sings out - Ring them bells! Not like a fire-alarm, that went off long ago and no one listened and no one came; not like blowing your horn trying to get through traffic; not even like an ambulance lost on the bridge ... when I can say what it is 'like' I will let you know. For now, dipping into Revelations 3 (a-and the Song of Songs) is probably not a bad start.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

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sexta-feira, maio 25, 2007

Brazil explained in chickens ...

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Luis Fernando VeríssimoLuis Fernando VeríssimoLuis Fernando VeríssimoGênesis

O Brasil explicado em galinhas ...
Luis Fernando Veríssimo

 Brazil explained in chickens ...
Luis Fernando Veríssimo
Pegaram o cara em flagrante roubando galinhas de um galinheiro e o levaram para a delegacia. They caught the guy in the act of stealing chickens from the chicken farmer and took him to the police station.
D - Delegado
L - Ladrão
 C - Police Chief
T - Thief
D - Que vida mansa, hein, vagabundo? Roubando galinha para ter o que comer sem precisar trabalhar. Vai para a cadeia! C - What a soft life eh, you low-life? Stealing a chicken so you can eat without working. You are going to jail!
L - Não era para mim não. Era para vender. T - It wasn't for me. I was going to sell it.
D - Pior, venda de artigo roubado. Concorrência desleal com o comércio estabelecido. Sem-vergonha! C - Even worse, selling stolen goods. Unfair competition with the established trade. Shameless!
L - Mas eu vendia mais caro. T - But I was selling at a higher price.
D - Mais caro? C - More expensive?
L - Espalhei o boato que as galinhas do galinheiro eram bichadas e as minhas galinhas não. E que as do galinheiro botavam ovos brancos enquanto as minhas botavam ovos marrons. T - I spread the rumour that the chicken farmer's chickens were sick and that mine were not. And that the chicken farmer's gave white eggs while mine gave brown.
D - Mas eram as mesmas galinhas, safado. C - But they were the same chickens, you impudent liar.
L - Os ovos das minhas eu pintava. T - I painted the eggs from mine.
D - Que grande pilantra ... (mas já havia um certo respeito no tom do delegado ... ) Ainda bem que tu vai preso. Se o dono do galinheiro te pega ... C - What a scoundrel ... (but there was now a certain respect in the tone of the Police Chief ... ) It's a good thing you are going to jail. If the manager of the chicken farm got his hands on you ...
L - Já me pegou. Fiz um acerto com ele. Me comprometi a não espalhar mais boato sobre as galinhas dele, e ele se comprometeu a aumentar os preços dos produtos dele para ficarem iguais aos meus. Convidamos outros donos de galinheiros a entrar no nosso esquema. Formamos um oligopólio. Ou, no caso, um ovigopólio. T - He already got me. I made a deal with him. I promised not to spread any more rumours about his chickens, and he promised to raise the prices of his products to be equal with mine. We invited the managers of other chicken farms to come in on our scheme. We formed a cartel. In this case, an egg-artel.
D - E o que você faz com o lucro do seu negócio? C - And what did you do with the profits of your business?
L - Especulo com dólar. Invisto alguma coisa no tráfico de drogas. Comprei alguns deputados. Dois ou três ministros. Consegui exclusividade no suprimento de galinhas e ovos para programas de alimentação do governo e superfaturo os preços. T - I speculated on the dollar. I invested some in the drug trade. I bought a few Police Chiefs. Two or three government Ministers. I managed to become the exclusive supplier of chickens and eggs to government soup kitchens and I grossly inflated the prices.
O delegado mandou pedir um cafezinho para o preso e perguntou se a cadeira estava confortável, se ele não queria uma almofada. Depois perguntou: The Police Chief sent out for an expresso coffee for the arrested man, asked him if the chair was comfortable, if he wouldn't like a cushion. Then he asked,
D - Doutor, não me leve a mal, mas com tudo isso, o senhor não está milionário? C - Doctor, don't take me the wrong way, but after all of this are you not a millionaire?
L - Trilionário. Sem contar o que eu sonego de Imposto de Renda e o que tenho depositado ilegalmente no exterior. T - Trillionaire. Not counting the income tax I didn't pay and what I have hidden illegally in foreign banks.
D - E, com tudo isso, o senhor continua roubando galinhas? C - And, with all this, your honour continues to steal chickens?
L - Às vezes. Sabe como é. T - Sometimes. You know how it is.
D - Não sei não, excelência. Me explique. C - No, I don't know. Explain it to me.
L - É que, em todas essas minhas atividades, eu sinto falta de uma coisa. O risco, entende? Daquela sensação de perigo, de estar fazendo uma coisa proibida, da iminência do castigo. Só roubando galinhas eu me sinto realmente um ladrão, e isso é excitante. Como agora fui preso, finalmente vou para a cadeia. É uma experiência nova. T - It's that, in all of my activities I feel the lack of something. The risk, don't you know? That sensation of danger, of doing a forbidden thing, of imminent punnishment. Only when robbing chickens do I really feel like a thief, and this is exciting. As I have now been arrested, I am finally going to jail. It's a new experience.
D - O que é isso, excelência? O senhor não vai ser preso não. C - What's this your excellency? Your honour is not going to be imprisoned, certainly not.
L - Mas fui pego em flagrante pulando a cerca do galinheiro! T - But I was caught in the act jumping the chicken farmer's fence!
D - Sim. Mas primário, e com esses antecedentes ... C - Yes, but it's a first offence, and, all things considered ...

Site: Luis Fernando Veríssimo, with some neat animated cartoons.

A-and an unrelated cartoon along more-or-less the same lines; don't know who did it:

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quinta-feira, maio 24, 2007

Is that a chicken joke?

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Two stories of chickens gone wrong; small ones, both of them.

Rowan and Martin Laugh-In / Jo Anne Worley
Chicken Little / Henny Penny

Once upon a time there was a tiny little chicken whom every one called Chicken Little.

One day while she was out in the garden, a rose-leaf fell on her tail. Away she ran in a great fright, for she thought the sky was falling. As she ran along she met Henny Penny.

"Oh Henny Penny," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling!"

"How do you know that?" asked Henny Penny.

"Oh, I saw it with my own eyes; I heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my very own tail," said Chicken Little.

"Well then, we must run and tell the King," said Henny Penny.

So they ran along together until they met Ducky Lucky.

"Oh Ducky Lucky," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling!"

"How do you know that?" asked Ducky Lucky.

"Oh, I saw it with my own eyes; I heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my very own tail," said Chicken Little; "and we must go and tell the King."

"May I go too?" asked Ducky Lucky.

"Yes you may," said Chicken Little, and they all ran along together. Presently they met Goosey Loosey.

"Oh Goosey Loosey," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling!"

"How do you know that?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"Oh, I saw it with my own eyes; I heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my very own tail," said Chicken Little; "and we must go and tell the King."

"May I go too?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"Yes you may," said Chicken Little, and they all ran along together. Presently they met Turkey Lurkey.

Henny Penny / Foxy Loxy"Oh Turkey Lurkey," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling!"

"How do you know that?" asked Turkey Lurkey.

"Oh, I saw it with my own eyes; I heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my very own tail," said Chicken Little; "and we must go and tell the King.

"May I go too?" asked Turkey Lurkey.

"Yes you may," said Chicken Little, and they all ran along together. Presently they met Foxy Loxy.

"Oh Foxy Loxy," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling."

"How do you know that?" asked Foxy Loxy.

"Oh, I saw it with my own eyes; I heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my very own tail," said Chicken Little; "and we must go and tell the King."

"Come with me," said Foxy Loxy, "and I will show you where the King lives."

So Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey all followed Foxy Loxy; but, oh! he led them into his den, and they never, never came out again!

Red Hen / Andy Warhol
The Little Red Hen with illustrations by Andy Warhol (they say).

One day the little Red Hen was in the farmyard with her chicks, when she found a grain of wheat. "Who will help me to plant this wheat?" she said.

"Not I," said the Goose; "Not I," said the Pig; "Not I," said the Cat; "Not I," said the Duck.

"I will then," said the little Red Hen; and she did. When the wheat was ripe she said, "Who will help me to take this wheat to the mill?"

"Not I," said the Goose; "Not I," said the Pig; "Not I," said the Cat; "Not I," said the Duck.

Red Hen / Andy Warhol"I will then," said the little Red Hen; and she did.

When she brought the flour home she said, "Who will help me to make some bread with this flour?"

"Not I," said the Goose; "Not I," said the Pig; "Not I," said the Cat; "Not I," said the Duck.

"I will then," said the little Red Hen; and she did.

When the bread was baked, she said, "Who will help me eat this bread?"

"I will," said the Goose; "I will," said the Pig; "I will," said the Cat; "I will," said the Duck.

"Ah, no you won't," said the little Red Hen. "I shall eat it myself. Cluck! cluck!" And she called all of her little chicks to help her.

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segunda-feira, maio 21, 2007

Kierkegaard's Clown

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Another very poor translation; I apologize in advance, but it seems important enough to at least try.

O palhaço de Kierkegaard e a crise do clima
Leonardo Boff
 Kierkegaard's Clown and the Climate Crisis
Depois dos alarmantes relatórios do Painel Intergovernamental sobre as Mudanças Climáticas (IPCC), o pior que nos pode acontecer é deixar as coisas correrem como estão. Então iríamos alegremente ao encontro de nosso próprio fim. Tal atitude me faz lembrar o conhecido aforismo de Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855), famoso filósofo dinamarquês, sobre o clown, um palhaço de circo. Since the alarming reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the worst that can happen to us is to leave things running as they are. Then we would go happily to the meeting with our own end. Such an attitude reminds me of the tale of Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the famous Danish philosopher, about the clown, a circus clown.
O fato, conta ele, é que estava ocorrendo um incêndio nas cortinas do fundo do teatro. O diretor enviou então o palhaço, que já estava pronto para entrar em cena, avisar toda a platéia do fato. Suplicava que acorressem para apagar as chamas. Como se tratava de um palhaço, todos imaginavam que era apenas um truque para fazer rir as pessoas. E estas riam que riam. Quanto mais o palhaço conclamava a todos, mais eles riam. Pôs-se sério e começou a gritar: "O fogo está queimando as cortinas, vai queimar todo o teatro e vocês vão queimar junto". Todos acharam tudo isso muito engraçado, pois diziam que o clown estava cumprindo esplendidamente seu papel. The fact is, he relates, that there was a fire in the curtains at the back of the theatre. So the director sent the clown, who was ready to go onstage, to tell the audience what was happening. He begged them to run and help put out the flames. Since he was dressed as a clown, everyone imagined that it was just a trick to make people laugh. And they laughed and laughed. The more he implored them, the more they laughed. He tried to be serious and screamed, "The fire is burning the curtains, it will burn the whole theatre and you with it." Everyone thought this very amusing, and they said how splendidly the clown was fulfilling his role.
O fato é que o fogo consumiu o palco e todo o teatro, com as pessoas dentro. Termina Kiergegaard: "Assim, suponho eu, é a forma pela qual o mundo vai acabar no meio da hilariedade geral dos gozadores e galhofeiros que pensam que tudo, enfim, não passa de mera gozação". The fact is that the fire consumed the stage and the entire theatre with the people in it. Kierkegaard concludes, "In such a way, I suppose, will the world end amidst general hilarity of the jokers and ?? who think that everything, in the end, amounts only to a joke.
Estas palavras de Kierkegaard se aplicam perfeitamente a muitos cientistas, empresários, bispos e até gente do povo que pensam ser o aquecimento global uma grande enganação ou um alarme desnecessário. Dizem que o fenômeno é, em grande parte, natural, e que a Terra tem condições, por si mesma, de encontrar o equilíbrio ótimo para a vida. E vivem como os ricos do Titanic, rindo e se afundando. Kierkegaard's words apply perfectly to many scientists, businessmen, bishops and those of us who think that global warming is an unnecessary alarm. They say that the phenomenon is, in large part, natural, and that Earth has the possibility in itself to find an optimum equilibrium for life. And they live like the rich people on the Titanic, laughing and drowning themselves.
Por outro lado, muitos são os que tomam as advertências a sério, Estados e grandes instituções, também entre nós. Sabem que se começarem agora, com apenas 2% do PIB mundial, poderão equilibrar o clima global e continuar a aventura planetária com perspectivas de esperança. On the other hand, there are many who take the signs seriously, states and large institutions, and also among ourselves. Who know that starting now, with only 2% of the global gross national product, they coulde balance the global climate and continue the planetary adventure with a hopeful perspective.
O fato inegável é que estamos face a um problema global. Não afeta apenas este ou aquele ecossistema ou região, mas seu conjunto, a biosfera e o inteiro planeta. Somos todos interdependentes, e as ações de todos afetam a todos - para o bem ou para o mal. Tardiamente, só a partir dos anos 70 do século passado, ficou-nos claro que a Terra é um superorganismo vivo, Gaia, que regula os elementos físicos, químicos, geológicos e biológicos de tal forma que se torna benevolente para todas as formas de vida, especialmente, da nossa. Mas agora, dada a intervenção prolongada e persistente do processo produtivo mundial, ela chegou a um ponto em que não consegue sozinha se auto-regular. Precisa de nossa intervenção, que vai muito além de apenas preservá-la e cuidá-la. Temos que efetivamente resgatá-la e curá-la. Pois, em termos cósmicos, é um planeta já velho, com recursos limitados e dificuldades de auto-regeneração. The irrefutable fact is that we face a global problem. It does not affect only this or that ecosystem or region, but the aggregate, the biosphere of the entire planet. We are all interdependent, and the actions of each affect all - for good or ill. Too late, only starting in the 70s of the last century, was it clear to us that the Earth is a living superorganism, Gaia, which regulates physical elements, chemicals, geologies and biologies in such a way as to be benevolent to all forms of life, especially ours. But now, given the prolonged and persistent intervention in the productive world process, she has come to the point of not being able to regulate the planet by herself. We must effectively rescue her and cure her. Since in cosmic terms she is already an old planet with limited resources and difficulty in self-regenerating.
Como somos o principal agente desestabilizador, pode acontecer que ela não nos considere mais benevolentemente e queira continuar sem nós. A dinâmica do processo de produção e consumo ilimitados não consegue manter o equilíbrio do planeta. Somos obrigados, todos, a mudar na linha do que sugere a Carta da Terra: assumir um modo sustentável de vida. Este somente se alcançará mediante a cooperação mundial e a percepção espiritual de que o planeta é Terra-Mátria, prolongamento natural de nossa própria existência terrenal. As it is we who are the principal destabilizing agent, it may happen that she no longer considers us benevolent and would rather continue without us. The dynamic of the process of production and consumption without limit does not succeed in maintaining the equilibrium of the planet. We are obliged, all of us, to redraw the map of the world: to take on a sustainable mode of living. This will only reach a natural prolongation of our own existence by means of global cooperation and a spiritual perception that the planet is Mother Earth.

Even Boff can be excused for some half-baked nonsense when it comes to trying to describe spiritual necessities. As Frye says, sacred history is difficult and subtle and neither well taught (if at all) nor well understood. When everyone wants a single-vision 'answer', and when the real answer is a double-vision of spirit and nature coexisting ... well, enough said for now.


domingo, maio 20, 2007

The 11th Hour

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Annie Leibovitz Leonardo DiCaprio JökulsárlónAnnie Leibovitz Leonardo DiCaprio JökulsárlónThe 11th Hour - DiCaprio's 'Documentary'.

"The environment is going to survive. We're the ones that may not survive or we may survive in a world that we don't particularly want to live in."
       Kenny Ausubel.

OK, the incident: 05/07, Eco-Hero, The Man of the Hour, Leonardo DiCaprio: actor, activist, Source.
A-and Rex Murphy's response: 18/05/07, Rex Murphy, The eco-joke is on Hollywood, Source.

Hard to get a grip. 'Polysemous' (many meanings), says Frye about the Bible (a wonderful word harking back to semen among other things). A-and not just the Bible either, I'd say ...

Al Gore, a rich man, living in great comfort; Leonardo Dicaprio, ditto. Easy enough to focus on the hypocrisy, the double standards, the obvious. Gore is fronting seven simultaneous concerts (including one with Madonna?), Live Earth; Dicaprio is presenting a bunch of talking heads (looks like) with some good credentials and some good sound bytes.

The quote above needs qualification of course. The emotional impact of 'we don't particularly want to live in' is considerably reduced if you consider that these changes will take place over generations, and what looks lousy to us now may very well just be commonplace for our grand-children, maybe our children. They may very well not complain very much.

But I find Rex's hee-haw donkey braying ... unsettling. He is a clever fellow, a Rhodes Scholar, an alcoholic I am told, maybe an ex-alcoholic by this time, a Newfie, and so on ... my generation more-or-less. I like him well enough to wonder how it all feels.

A taxi driver said to me the other day: What about the Lord's prayer? Pai Nosso, Our Father? What about, 'Seja feita a Vossa vontade assim na Terra como no Céu.' / 'Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.' (?) Good question I thought.

[effing M$ software hung-up again, took me ten minutes to get back to an old post of these prayers Ash Wednesday / quarta-feira de cinzas]

The taxi driver assumed, as I do, that whatever God's will may be it is surely not for us to wantonly ruin the earth. If you believe in God or not, the coming changes have to look like a judgement, yes indeed they do.

So, I have been trying to just let it all go by while I see what to do; don't panic! (says the computer in Hitchhiker's Guide); be kind, says the Profeta de Gentileza, repeating once again the Golden Rule. Good advice.

nANII don't think governments any bigger than municipalities are going to do anything very effective about climate change, because really, the scale of their operations and the mentality required at that scale make real paradigm shift changes unlikely; and anyway organizations do not have Spirit, individuals do. I think it is up to individuals to change themselves, bit by bit as humans sometimes do, in supportive association maybe with a few friends and neighbours.

The taxi driver and I agreed in the end, rir pra não chorar / laugh so not to cry, and parted, laughing.

In the Nani cartoon the sign says, 'Speak to the driver only when necessary', and the passenger says, 'I love you.' Auden said, 'Love one another or die.' Same message sort-of but I like the cartoon better.

On re-reading this I see that I have not included the essential - that I believe that the 'solution' is a spiritual transformation and that nothing less will do it. I have been reading Northrop Frye in the last few weeks, who suggests that the spiritual and natural worlds are coeval, that they exist simultaneously. Stated like that it is ... well, obvious (to me) that it could be no other way. And he implies that realizing it is as easy as reaching out and recognizing it, "Our life in the resurrection, then, is already here, and waiting to be recognized."

I do assume that ressurection includes redemption :-)

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sábado, maio 19, 2007

Broken Heart Hotel

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My daily bus passes the York Hotel; usually there is someone in the centre window watching the street. I don't think it is either a termas or a 40 minute motel despite the imagery - more like a worker's hotel, not far from the bus station and not far from Ponta D'Areia where the shipyards are.

(Cartoon by Gilmar.)
GilmarGood thing I took the picture - a week or so later they re-painted and the hearts are gone.

Alcione Nazaré (english):

Ana CarolinaAna Carolina - Eu Comi A Madona

Me esquenta com o vapor da boca e a fenda mela.
Imprensando minha coxa na coxa que é dela
Dobra os joelhos e implora o meu líquido
Me quer, e quer ver meu nervo rígido
É dessas mulheres pra comer com 10 talheres, de
quatro, lado, frente, verso, embaixo, em pé
Roer, revirar, retorcer, labuzar e deixar o seu corpo
tremendo, gemendo
Ela tava demais o peito nu com 5 ou 6 colares
Me fez levitar em meio aos 7 mares e me pediu que lhe
batesse, lhe arrombasse, lhe chamasse de cafona,
marafona, bandidona
Fui eu que bebi, comi a Madonna
Chegou com mais três amigas, cinta-liga, perna dura,
dorso quente, toda língua e me encoxou me apertou, me
provocou e perguntou:
Quem é tua dona?
Fui eu quem bebi, comi a Madonna

K.D. Lang
Gettin' on ... Ana Carolina, 1974 ... 33 now, kd lang, 1961 ... 46. Putting on a bit of weight ...

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segunda-feira, maio 14, 2007

Doh (!?), Erm ... Ack!

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Thursday May 24 2007

and on

24/05/07, Colin BrownBlair commits to nuclear future as plans for five new power plants are revealed, Source.

Wednesday May 23 2007

It just goes on and on. Dumplings and nitwits.

21/05/07, David Ebner, Shell eyes nuclear power in oil sands, Source.
23/05/07, Cúpula do G8 é ´teste decisivo´ para EUA sobre clima, diz ONU, Source.
22/05/07, Jeremy Lovell, U.S. aims to stop G8's tough push on global warming, Source.

23/05/07, Thair Shaikh, Darling to unveil a nuclear future, Source.
16/05/07, Cahal Milmo, Live Earth? It's a waste of time, Geldof tells Gore, Source.

Saturday May 19 2007

Well ... next-to-last word then; 19/05/07, NYT Editorial, Can Cities Save the Earth?, Source.

Somebody smarter than me could devise a political index, call it 'psychological distance' and relate it to effectiveness, willingness to listen to the electors, even 'identify' with the electors ... blah blah blah ...

A-and a sort-of related idea on the relative environmental efficiency of apartments and town-houses from my friend Martin (Which is Greener, Houses or Apartments?, and, More on Which is Greener, Houses or Apartments?). Reminds me of a lecture in Architecture School given by a guy who proposed three-storey walk-ups as 'the answer'.

Friday May 18 2007

Giving President Bush the 'last word' since, according to the Editorial, there wasn't one: 18/05/07, NYT Editorial, Rose Garden Charade, Source.

Monday May 14 2007

04/05/07, Spiegel, The Worst May Be Avoidable, Source.

Spiegel quote 2004 numbers as follows (seven silver bullets):
Energy Supply 26%, Industry 19%, Transportation 13%, Living and Working 8%, Forestry 17%, Agriculture 14%, Refuse and Sewage 3%.
Energy Supply 26%Industry 19%Transportation 13%Living and Working 8%Forestry 17%Agriculture 14%Refuse and Sewage 3%

14/05/07, Daniel Howden, Deforestation: The hidden cause of global warming, Source.

The Independent tells us there is but a single silver bullet:
Deforestation 25%, Transport 14%, Industry 14%, Aviation 3%.

A-and Al Gore figgures rock-n-roll will save the day ... Live Earth, I doubt it. Oh well, the one in Copacabana is free so why not? ... but Madonna?

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terça-feira, maio 08, 2007

Manifest Absurdity

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Friday May 11 2007

Spencer Tunick Mexico CitySpencer Tunick Mexico CitySpencer Tunick Mexico City

But really the whole thing is becoming the Emperor's New Clothes - Spencer Tunick's got it right!

I guess if the zipper teeth really are diamond chips, we can maybe hope this Judge, wazizname ... Roy L. Pearson Jr. (emphasis on the Jr.) pulls an auto-Bobbit - since Lorena is probably busy on the lecture circuit (... naw, she went back to being a hair stylist).

Continuing the tooth imagery ... IPCC gets its teeth pulled? Third stroke is, "well, 800 billion more-or-less, and everything's gonna be OK kids." Demonstrating once again the pervasive influence of Tinkerbelle and the tooth fairy in UN affairs.

Not even worth going into the latest Mountie incompetence - they just let Air India Flight 182 go on by. James Bartleman is daemonized for saying it until Serge Carignan comes along and sorta 'corroborates'.

Lula threatens the environmentalists of Rio Madeira with nuclear plants if they don't knuckle under to his hydroelectric plans, and goes flat-out for the San Francisco diversion - everybody is on auto-destruct.

I've been sittin' down studyin' the art of love;
I think it'll fit me like a glove.
I want some real good woman to do just what I say.

Everybody gotta wonder what's the matter with this cruel world today.

Tuesday May 8 2007

Editorial, Hypocrisy on parade, Source.
Reuters, Naked man superglued ..., Source.
Sandy Cohen, Paris Hilton's jail ..., Source.
Lubna Takruri, $65-million suit ..., Source.
Rex Murphy, ... utter lunacy, Source.

"The manifest absurdity of it is too obvious to require explanation."
     Melvin Welles.

"Either these pants are woven with platinum threads, or the zipper teeth are composed of fragments of the Hope diamond."
     Rex Murphy.

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segunda-feira, maio 07, 2007

Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI

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A Visita do PapaWednesday May 9 2007

This cartoon by Ernani Diniz Luca / Nani in the Jornal do Brasil will be incomprehensible to many of you. In Rio children beg at stoplights, selling candies like the little girl pictured or juggling. And yes, juggling with flaming sticks; because there are enough of them that there is competition and the best act gets the most 'esmola'. And there are often people there in wheelchairs or on crutches, with no legs or with some palsy, not shown in this particular view. I hope this puts a different shine and a different colour on the Pope's smile for you.

07/05/07, Jens Glüsing, Defending the Powerless in Brazil, Source.

Monday May 7 2007

08/05/07, Presidente da CNBB: educação sexual leva à promiscuidade, Source.

“I am, of course, isolating only one element in Christianity, but cruelty, terror, intolerance, and hatred within any religion always mean that God has been replaced by the devil, and such things are always accompanied by a false kind of literalism.”
     Northrop Frye, The Double Vision.

Dom Geraldo Majella Cardeal Agnelo:
Geraldo MajellaGeraldo MajellaGeraldo MajellaGeraldo Majella

Dom Erwin Kräutler:
Erwin KräutlerErwin KräutlerErwin KräutlerErwin KräutlerErwin Kräutler

Monday May 7 2007

“The force of Latin America’s harsh social reality is stronger than Rome’s ideology, so the theology of liberation still has a great deal of vitality. It is true it doesn’t have the visibility it once had and is not as controversial as it once was, but it is very much alive and well.”
     Leonardo Boff.

07/05, Larry Rohter, As Pope Heads to Brazil, a Rival Theology Persists, Source, Ditto in Spiegel.

Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVIJoseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVIJoseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI

hino a Liberation Hymn
pirâmide In the land of mankind,
Conceived of as a pyramid,
There are few at the top,
And many at the bottom,

In the land of mankind,
Those at the top
Crush those at the bottom.
Oh, people of the poor,
People subjected to domination,
What are you doing standing there?
The world of mankind must be changed,
So arise people, don’t stand still.

Wikipedia - Liberation Theology, Teologia da libertação.

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