Monday, February 19, 2007
- "The lies stripped bare." Sydney Morning Herald (Aus). 24 July 2004.
- "Bestseller's lies exposed." Sydney Morning Herald (Aus). 24 July 2004.
- "A hoax and honor lost for Norma Khouri" Daily Star (Leb.). 10 August 2004.
- "Report on Brigitte Gabriel Talk." Zionists Out of the Peace Movement. 6 December 2006.
- "Exposed: a literary liar and her phoney love." Independent (UK). 18 February 2007.
The Tampa, FL-based Friends of Human Rights is calling for a "rolling hunger strike" in solidarity with Al-Arian. Those who would like to join are asked to please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the day they will fast. I'll be fasting on February 22nd as Al-Arian's fast enters its second month.
Also, keep an eye out for, or better yet arrange a showing of, the new Norwegian documentary film, USA vs Al-Arian.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
In my study, I've read one book and watched two documentary films. The most recent of the films was Devil's Playground. When Amish children turn sixteen they are allowed to indulge for a period of years in the material and sensual pleasures of the surrounding "English" or American society. This period in their lives is called the rumspringa--lit. "running around"-- and is meant to afford them the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether they want to be Amish or not. Many Amish teens get jobs with non-Amish employers and, thereby, obtain the cash to buy cars, beer, cable TV, crystal meth, etc.
The question posed on the DVD cover (top right) is "Which path will they choose?" The interesting answer is that, according to the filmmakers, 90% of Amish youth reject 'the world'--mainstream American society--and choose to join the Amish church. "This retention rate," we are told, "is the highest ever since the founding of the Amish church in 1693."
To me, this is a powerful statement that people who have been exposed to viable alternatives will reject American society as morally and spiritually repugnant and vacuous, even after they've been exposed to all--which is really very little--it has to offer. It is this bankruptcy, in part, which fuels the fundamentalist and charismatic religious movements in the US. It also helps explain global resistance against the imposition of American culture and economic restructuring. The pity is that more Americans cannot imaginatively expose themselves to other ways of living and build just, peaceful, and sustainable alternatives to stop the death machine that is America.
- NPR's "Amish Teens Tested in 'Devil's Playground' "
- The Net: The Unabomber, LSD and the Internet
Monday, February 12, 2007
Source: Character of the Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Stave 3.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
the wealth of the material world.
The Devil is, then, by and large,
materialism's fierce mirage.
So, in the light Renaissance brings,
the Age of Reason spreads its wings.
The rational now holds full sway
and science ascends as God gives way.
Materialism's steady creep
which William Blake called
brings worldy blessings,
fair and fine.
Yet blinds mankind to the divine.
Such tempting gifts
this devil brings:
Steam engines, printing, splendid things
that in their wake, an age decree
of spiritual drudgery.
Source: Characters of Mike and Mack a.k.a. the Caduceus in Promethea (Collected Edition Book 2) by Alan Moore et al. (La Jolla, CA : America's Best Comics, 2001).