Tedenski izbor


reading-stairs

Across Eastern Europe, local oligarchs and investment groups — some directly connected to their countries’ political leadership — are snapping up newspapers and other media companies, prompting deep concerns among journalists and others about press freedom.

It is just one of an array of developments across the region raising questions, a quarter century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, about progress toward Western standards of democracy and free speech. As in Russia, there are increasing worries about a potentially dangerous concentration of power in the hands of people who have managed to acquire both wealth and political influence and are increasingly extending their control to media outlets.

Oligarchs of Eastern Europe Scoop Up Stakes in Media Companies – Rick Lyman, The New York Times

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Povprečna mesečna bruto plača zaposlenih v slovenskih sindikatih je po podatkih državnega statističnega urada avgusta letos obsegala 2.445 evrov. Za primerjavo: povprečna slovenska bruto plača je avgusta letos dosegla 1.517 evrov.

Plačni rekorderji so po podatkih iz baze GVIN v Sindikatu zdravstva in socialnega varstva, ki ga vodi Zvonko Vukadinovič. Lani je povprečna bruto plača v tem sindikatu, ki sicer zaposluje pet ljudi, znašala 5.071 evrov bruto. Med prvo deseterico najbolje plačanih sindikalistov se uvršča tudi Sviz Branimirja Štruklja s povprečno plačo 2.607 evrov bruto. Ob tem povejmo, da več kot 2.600 evrov zasluži le 10 odstotkov najbolje plačanih v državi.

Razkrivamo: sindikalisti med slovenskimi plačnimi rekorderji – Jurij Šimac, Jure Ugovšek, Finance

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You can’t succeed in politics if you give too much appearance of despising the low arts by which we govern ourselves. Fastidious distaste for the roughness and meanness of political life may work in a seminar room, but it’s fatal on the campaign trail.

This distaste is common among people who’ve enjoyed success outside of politics, in academia or journalism or business, and who go into politics with the reasonable assumption that the prestige they achieved in their former profession should automatically transfer into politics. It doesn’t. People who think they’re entitled to standing—because they are brainy, rich, or famous—almost always lose. They forget you earn your standing, you are not entitled to it. That’s the best thing about democracy, the single reason why we’re not yet entirely governed by wealthy oligarchs.

I may have come into politics with an unacknowledged condescension toward the game and the people who played it, but I left with more respect for politicians than when I went in. The worst of them—the careerists and predators—you find in all professions. The best of them were a credit to democracy. They knew the difference between an adversary and an enemy, knew when to take half a loaf and when to insist on the whole bakery, knew when to trust their own judgment and when to listen to the people.

 I Wish Someone Had Told Me This Before I Became a Politician – Michael Ignatieff, The New Republic

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Dejstvo je, da je ta družba, ta politična nomenklatura, ta slovenska levičarska falanga spravila SDS na rob propada. Bolj kot s političnimi metodami – legitimnimi ali nelegitimnimi, obsojanja ali skomiganja z rameni vrednimi – pa jim je to uspelo s psihološko vojno proti njihovemu karizmatičnemu voditelju. Pravilno so domnevali, da se mu bo nekega dne utrgalo in da bo pri tem nastal vtis, da ni poti ne nazaj ne naprej.
Odnos politike in javnosti do SDS – in obratno! – je vseh dvajset let nekakšna samouresničujoča se prerokba. Dogaja se to, kar hočejo drugi – oni pa ostajajo na svoji liniji.

Na svoji liniji: edini možni reset SDS – Marko Crnkovič, Požareport

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Spodaj objavljam, kar sem bil takrat napisal. V skoraj štirih letih se je zgodilo marsikaj. Zadeva Patria je naredila svoje. Marsikaj, kar je SDS v začetku leta 2011 še bila, danes ni več. Marsikaj, kar bi leta 2011 lahko postala, danes ne more postati več.

(…)

SDS nagovarja ljudi, ki niso bili prijatelji prejšnjega režima. Niso se mogli okoriščati z drobnimi privilegiji, s katerimi je prejšnji režim kupoval ljudi. Ker niso bili pri koritu, so bili tudi luzerji tranzicije. Več jih je iz podeželja kot iz mesta, več je revnih kot srednjega sloja, prej so manj kot bolj izobraženi. Nezadovoljni so, razočarani, terjajo popravo krivic. Nekateri nosijo v sebi veliko bolečino in dosti grenkobe. Te znamo nagovoriti.

Ampak jezik, s katerim jih nagovarjamo, prispeva proporcionalni delež tega, kar Drago Jančar v Viziji 20+20 označi kot »Drobnjakarski pragmatizem in provincialna prepirljivost« ki da »blokirata kreativni zanos, jemljeta veter iz jader vsakemu poskusu drznejše plovbe skozi sodobne ekonomske in kulturne tokove, v celotni družbi ustvarjata ozračje negibnosti in lenobnega samozadovoljstva

V SDS smo nezadovoljneži in nergači. Jamramo čez komuniste, bivše komuniste, tranzicijske bogataše in povzpetnike in sploh vse, ki so po krivici (kdo pa tudi po pravici) uspešnejši ali bogatejši od nas. Znamo kritizirati, interpelirati, blokirati, preiskovati, sklicevati izredne seje in referendume, vihteti kazalec in moralno dvigati obrvi ob aferah, od kokaina do bulmastifov. In še vsaka manjša zadeva nam pride prav, vsaj za na spletno stran ali pa tiskovno konferenco. Bolj ko vse to počnemo, bolj smo naši, bolj smo »ta pravi«.

Spomini na neko resetiranje – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

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But modernisers have two great faults. The first is to assume that what is modern is inevitable. Soviet Communism was modern once, and part of its power lay in its claim that it was inevitable. It wasn’t, and now it is dead.

The second is to equate modernity with virtue and so to treat its critics as moral inferiors. In Britain, the saga of same-sex marriage is a classic case. Parts of the Western world are heading in that direction: “therefore” it must be welcomed: “therefore” its opponents are bigots: “therefore” they should be virtually disqualified from public office.

All those “therefores” are wrong. A moderate conservative approach would try to balance the age-old, universal view that marriage is between a man and a woman with tolerance of homosexual relationships. This balance was achieved by civil partnerships, but violated by the way that Mr Cameron casually imposed gay marriage. His approach insulted settled beliefs, and therefore wounded him politically more than people like to state directly. In times of wrenching economic change, social conservatism (not to be confused with social authoritarianism) helps reassure people. Instead, we have had doctrinaire, finger-wagging modernism from a party that calls itself Conservative. And, broadly speaking, the better off and better educated have been lecturing the less fortunate. Again, a reason to edge towards Ukip.

Ukip’s Rochester win shows voters no longer trust the main parties – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

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On a une gauche européenne sociale qui préfère parler de politiques publiques (policies) plutôt que de politique (politics). Ce discours-là ne peut pas battre la Manif pour tous. Beaucoup de gens sont heurtés par la société de la rentabilité dans laquelle on vit, une société du chiffre où on évalue les enfants dès 3 ans. Les conservateurs de la nouvelle génération proposent une vision du monde philosophiquement contre-révolutionnaire mais qui répond à ces aspirations-là, en rejetant le productivisme, le consumérisme, et l’économie inféodée à la finance. Ils trouvent écho dans la société. Mais il y a aussi une France qui ne supporte plus de vivre dans la société d’Eric Zemmour. Qui parle pour cette France-là? Qui s’insurge ? Être à gauche, ça ne consiste pas, comme le décrit la Manif pour tous, à être un libéral-libertaire fanatique de GPA et désireux de vendre des bébés sur Internet à des consommateurs américains. Il y a la place pour un mouvement républicain qui s’appuie sur les idéaux égalitaires. La République n’est pas qu’un bataillon de CRS filmé par BFM TV : au-delà du maintien de l’ordre, la République c’est aussi la générosité.

Gaël Brustier: “La Manif pour tous est un combat pour l’hégémonie culturelle” – Mathilde Carton, Les In Rocks

 

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Across the United States and Europe, sexual partnerships between persons of the same sex are being legally recognized as “marriages,” thus abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic companionship or domestic partnership. The unavoidable message is a profoundly false and damaging one: that children do not need a mother and a father in a permanent complementary bond.

To insist on the truth that neither mothers nor fathers are expendable is not to dishonor anyone.

Marriage and the Black Family – Jacqueline C. Rivers, Public Discourse 

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If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation. My showdown with the debate-banning Stepfords at Oxford and the pre-crime promoters at Cambridge echoed other recent run-ins I’ve had with the intolerant students of the 21st century. I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’ – Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator

 

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Pornography is an act of disgust, for by visually isolating the sexual organs for the sake of stimulus and libidinous pleasure, it places its viewer in contact with the genitalia considered as objects unto themselves. Once the desire for physical pleasure evoked by the visual stimulus of genitalia is satisfied, the genitalia lose their “erotic light” and reassume their status as organs with functions quite apart from that of sexual gratification. They become disgusting.

Thus the faces of pornography and pornographic advertising are usually sneers, and expressions of lust tend to mimic a barely suppressed nausea. Within the pornographic, Eros never smiles, never laughs, never plays — she is busy holding down and warding off disgust by the force of sexual arousal. The sin of pornography is not that it makes sex too free and casual, but that it makes it something serious — a suppression of disgust that is doomed, at the end of the day, to return to it. The tragedy of pornography is not that it makes men and women lust after each other, but that it makes them disgusted by the images of each other.

Are the Genitals Beautiful? – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

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Molti dei triestini in platea non sono mai entrati nel teatro della Kulturni Dom, sono quelli che, come me, stanno seguendo la scena con un occhio ai sottotitoli. L’effetto è ancora più straniante perché non viene giustificato, lascia credere l’incredibile e, al tempo stesso, mostra l’occasione perduta: quindi avremmo potuto fare così? Parlarci? Dialogare? Trieste, una città in guerra è uno spettacolo concepito in occasione del centenario, ma di fatto, grazie all’intuizione del giovane regista Igor Pison, i due testi di Marko Sosič e Carlo Tolazzi sono stati manipolati e fusi in una pièce sul linguaggio. A Trieste la Grande Guerra è stata solo l’esordio di un conflitto che le due comunità autoctone hanno condotto e, potremmo dire, interpretato per tutto il Novecento. L’italianizzazione coatta degli sloveni, le foibe titine, la divisione in zona A e zona B, le manifestazioni contro il bilinguismo, e sempre l’ombra della cortina di ferro alle spalle del Carso e la possibilità che la paranoia si trasformi in odio personale; possibilità la cui soluzione ottimale è stata una surreale convivenza tra estranei.”

Trieste, città in guerra. Dialogo sul palco tra italiani e sloveni – Mauro Covacich, Corriere della Sera

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Naj se torej omejim le na nekaj vtisov, kot so se mi porajali ob nedeljskem spremljanju njegove posvetitve v stolnici sv. Nikolaja. Njena najopaznejša značilnost je bila, da so razen v vznesenih obrednih obrazcih skoraj scela umanjkale velike besede. Kako drugače kot pred slabima dvema desetletjema, ko smo bili še mladi petelinčki in smo za velike praznike namesto nevpadljive pridige patra Zoreta na Tromostovju poslušali med oboki iste stolnice, v kateri so ga sedaj posvetili, rafale težkih misli in izjav ter imeli o vsaki izmed njih občutek, da izraža ravno tisto, kar nas trenutno najbolj žuli. Šele čez veliko časa smo se zbudili v bridkem spoznanju, da ni zaradi velikih besed Cerkev iz neke pravljične, v mitične višave povzdignjene preteklosti nič bliže, da pa ji zaradi od besed vse drugačnih dejanj pod nogami spodmika sedanjost.

Nič takega se ni dogajalo v nedeljo. Nabito polna stolnica, zaradi katere sem si sicer čestital, ker sem se zadnji hip odločil zgolj za spremljanje slovesnosti po televiziji, me je skupaj z na prvi pogled nenavadno kombinacijo dvornega baročnega ambienta, baročnih latinskih mašnih napevov in lesene pastirske palice novega nadškofa spomnila predvsem na genialnega Dominika Smoleta. In na zaključek njegove resda kisle pokristjanjevalne drame Krst pri Savici. Tudi za zbrano ljudstvo v Nikolajevi stolnici bi lahko kot za njegove Slovence, ki na koncu napolnijo oder, rekli: Vsak zase stoji težko in trdo, kakor da bi pognal korenine. Če kaj, kaže njih drža pač to, da so tukaj.  Da, namesto vzvišenih fraz je bil v ospredju ta molčeči, preprosti, a v plašč prostora z žlahtnim izročilom oblečeni (še) biti tukaj.

Biti tukaj – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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Naš kulturni model je v marsičem posnetek tistega iz petdesetih, šestdesetih let 20. stoletja. A odtlej se je ogromno spremenilo, vzniknile so, denimo, nevladne organizacije, ki ne delujejo za zasebno zabavo, saj krepko spreminjajo javni prostor in je tudi njihov obstoj pravzaprav v javnem interesu – pri čemer je tistih 0,5 odstotka dohodnine, s katerimi jih državljani lahko podpremo, za njihovo delovanje odločno premalo. Kosovel je poudaril še, da je v Sloveniji težko govoriti o trgu za kulturo, še zlasti pri vseh zadevah, ki imajo opravka s slovenskim jezikom (knjige ni mogoče prepustiti trgu). A kako iznajti sistem, da bodo uporabniki lahko nagradili tiste izdelke, dogodke, ki so zanje relevantni? Vprašati se moramo, kaj je v javnem interesu, kaj je dovolj dobro, da dobi javna sredstva, je razmišljal Kosovel. Presenetil ga je podatek, da je kar 90 odstotkov vseh sredstev iz razpisov ministrstva za kulturo šlo v Ljubljano. »Razumel bi, če bi bila ta številka 70, toda 90 odstotkov!« je vzkliknil. Kakovost in relevantnost kulturnih dogodkov in vsega, kar se odvija s podporo javnih sredstev, bi morali po njegovem mnenju ocenjevati tudi ljudje, ne le neke strokovne komisije na ministrstvu.

Prispevki k spremembi slovenskega kulturnega modela – Pogledi

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The Russian state has always done everything it could to conflate love of country with love of government, arguing that one is indistinguishable from the other.

This is why Russians who love their homeland but question their government are once again being cast as ‘enemies,’ ‘traitors,’ and ‘fifth columnists.’ They are hounded and threatened in both public and private. This is why independent media in Russia is not just in a precarious position anymore but has been almost declared anathema. The simple calculation made says that Russia equals the Kremlin. As it permeates most aspects of public life, the state is declared to be the face and soul of the Russian nation.

(…)

And because the Kremlin’s strategic thinking is more short-term than long-term, casting the government as the soul of the nation has become a kind of band-aid solution to this multitude of problems. Sure, things may be hard, the message goes, but the government is the glue that’s holding everything together —criticising us is like criticising the ground beneath your feet. People fall for this argument because they don’t feel they have a choice. The problem of autocracy is that it is like a perpetually collapsing house of cards. It leaves the people living under it few alternatives apart from propping it up, or being buried underneath it.

Kremlinophobia, russophobia, and other states of paranoia – Natalia Antonova, Open Democracy

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Tedenski izbor

lettura

 

Kako to, da ji v Sloveniji nihče nikoli ni postavil težkih vprašanj? Kako to, da na Univerzi v Ljubljani lahko zagovarjaš znanstveni magisterij, čigar mentor je “akademski profesor”, naziv, ki ne obstaja? Kako to, da je v Sloveniji gladko prišla na najvišji položaj? Kako to, da v Sloveniji nihče ni opazil tega, kar so v prvi uri opazili evropski poslanci?

A predsednik slovenske vlade je pa lahko kar vsak? Za razliko od ministrov predsednika vlade niti domači parlamentarni odbori ne izprašajo. Pri čemer so slovenski parlamentarci praviloma vsaj taki začetniki kot bodoči ministri in debata na zaslišanjih ne dosega nivoja evropskega parlamenta. Ker imamo nestrankarsko demokracijo brez pravih politikov.

Kako to, da njenih omejitev niso opazili mediji? Z izjemo tistih, katerih fokus je bila Bandiera rossa. Kako to, da naš politični sistem na najvišje položaje pripelje ljudi, ki v mednarodnem okolju, torej zunaj akvarija, popolnoma pogorijo? Mimogrede, kakšne so pravzaprav mednarodne reference trenutnega političnega vrha? (…)

Komisarka Alenka Bratušek je rezultat akvarija, ki smo si ga naredili, ki ga vzdržujemo. Pretvarjamo se in nas pretvarjajo, da je ta akvarij vse, kar obstaja. Do so najboljši v akvariju najboljši na svetu. Na nek način je Alenka Bratušek njegova žrtev.

Nevidni akvarij Alenke Bratušek – Žiga Turk, Časnik

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Es gibt eine Menge Dinge, die eine angehende EU-Kommissarin können muss, um das grilling zu überstehen – jene Anhörung im Europa-Parlament, bei der Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten ihre Kompetenz für das hohe Amt beweisen sollen. Über glühende Kohlen laufen zu können, gehört normalerweise nicht dazu.

Doch genau diese Qualifikation bringt Violeta Bulc mit, soeben von der slowenischen Regierung als neue EU-Kommissarin nominiert. Sie soll Sloweniens ehemalige Regierungschefin Alenka Bratusek ersetzen, der das Europaparlament die Zustimmung verweigert hatte.

Die 50 Jahre alte Bulc ist nicht bloß Eigentümerin der Beratungsfirma “Vibacom”, sondern auch begeisterte Anhängerin von Esoterik und New Age. Auf ihrem Firmen-Blog erklärt sie, an die “Kraft von Netzwerken, das holistische Individuum und positive Energie” zu glauben.

Umstrittene EU-Kandidatin Bulc: Komissarin für positive Energie – Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel

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Temelje negativne kadrovske selekcije je slovenska politika postavila že na začetku samostojne Slovenije. Razkril jih je Ivan Oman, ko je javno rekel: “Ni važno, da je pismen, važno, da je naš!”

Slovensko politiko tudi danes poganja vodilo: ni važno, kaj znaš, važno je, da si naš.

Zato ostaja blokovska delitev na naše in vaše, zato v slovenski politiki ni mogoče uspeti sposobnim, ki bi smeli razmišljati s svojo glavo, zato predsedniki strank nimajo dostojnih naslednikov, imajo zgolj svoje kopije. A vsaka kopija je le še slabša od originala.

V slovenski politiki so lahko uspešni samo luzerji – Uroš Urbas, Planet Siol

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Kdaj in kako bo drugače? Takole smo zapisali v zborniku Evropska Slovenija:

»Z uveljavitvijo liberalne misli bo na prvo mesto spet stopil posameznik: svoboden, odgovoren in ustvarjalen. Iz množice takih posameznikov bodo ob ustrezni, spodbudni družbeni klimi zrasle meritorne elite z znanjem, ki bodo zagotovile človeške vire za delovanje institucij. Na drugi strani bodo ti isti posamezniki res uveljavili svojo svobodno gospodarsko pobudo in na njeni osnovi ustvarjali zasebni kapital.

Iz tega se bodo pobirali davki za delovanje institucij demokratične in pravne države, za socialne transferje najšibkejšim v družbi, presežki pa se bodo lahko namenjali za investicije v novo gospodarsko rast, kakor tudi za delovanje civilne družbe. Vse to se bo odražalo v močnih zasebnih, civilnodružbenih in državnih institucijah. Te bodo predstavljale prostor za uveljavljanje idej in bodo hkrati njihova valilnica. Večja kot bo možnost za uresničitev idej, večja bo spodbuda posameznikov za njihovo proizvodnjo. In to bo gonilo svobodomiselnega napredka.

Spoštovanje vsakega posameznika, njihova ekonomska okrepitev, razcvet civilne družbe in s tem pravega družbenega pluralizma bodo Slovenijo odprli tudi navzven in jo spremenili v svetovljansko družbo. Kot taka, odprta za pretočnost dobrih idej, ne glede na njihov izvor, bo sama po sebi pritegnila tudi številne posameznike iz sveta, ki bodo s seboj prinesli nove ideje, nov kapital in nove spodbude za nadaljnji družbeni razvoj, obenem pa bodo Slovenijo vpeli tudi v globalne okvire.«

Tako se bodo postopoma vzpostavile predpostavke Slovenije kot normalne evropske države. Tedaj ne bomo več kulturni šok za druge, temveč bomo – sebi in drugim – v iskren, a skromen ponos.

Kulturni šok v Bruslju – Matej Avbelj, Ius Info

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Orbán exerts fascination on international commentators because he is an Anakin Skywalker-like figure who walked from the light side (democratic, liberal, anti-communist) to the dark side (illiberal and pro-Russian). But this response suggests that Orbán’s story is unique, which is unfortunately not true. Orbán is not the only opportunist populist politician who lost his enthusiasm for western-type democracies. The Turkish president Erdogan for example – who began his career as a religious hardliner – surprised many at the beginning of his political career with his moderate, reformist line of governance. Erdogan established good relations with the US, the EU, and even Israel, and made steps to calm relations with Greece. But he gradually shifted away from this political line and became a populist, nationalist conservative leader, turning against western values and allies, who now wants Turkey to walk its own way instead of belonging to a western alliance. It is symbolic that Erdogan, formerly a good ally of Israel, has just returned the award he received from the Jewish World Congress a decade ago.

This should be a wake-up call for the west: the political attractiveness of the western model is eroding, and populist politicians who have made many efforts to gain the support of the west one or two decades ago are now abandoning the western path.

More Hungarys in Eastern Europe – Péter Krekó, Open Democracy 

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The question of a double standard on equal rights has much to do with the left’s longstanding devotion to multiculturalism and cultural relativism: that we must respect the value systems of cultures different from our own, and that, since we are all morally compromised, we shouldn’t cast stones. As Azlan points out in his CNN interview, Saudi Arabia may be the most extreme Muslim country in the Middle East, and still it’s the United States’ closest Arab ally. Too often we have funded extremist regimes in the region at the expense of fostering democracy, creating an environment for radical Islam to thrive.

But this doesn’t negate the argument that there is a double standard. Even if we admit complicity in the rise of militant Islam, we have every right to condemn the values of Islamic fundamentalists. Fears of cultural imperiousness cannot allow us to ignore or, worse, justify beliefs and behavior in other cultures that we would never accept here at home.

Yes, Bill Maher Is Boorsih. But We Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Criticize Islam – Eric Sasson, The New Republic

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Na simbolni ravni za Stranko Mira Cerarja ni najhujše to, da je bilo za njenega županskega kandidata nedosegljivih že pet odstotkov glasov in da je v mestnem svetu šele na tretjem mestu. Ne, bistvena je njena vnaprejšnja prepustitev terena Zoranu Jankoviću. Niti za resen izziv niso imeli volje. S tem pa se SMC dokončno odmika od predstave o domnevno sredinski stranki, drugačni od predhodnic, ki so jo z njo povezovali nekateri komentatorji po volitvah.  S svojo ljubljansko kapitulacijo so Cerarjevi dokazali, da so povsem običajni nasledniki LDS in Pozitivne Slovenije,  stranka brez lastne volje v službi svojega bloka.

Majhen obliž na veliki rani – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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Several of the traits that Dawkins displays in his campaign against religion are on show here. There is his equation of superiority with cleverness: the visiting aliens are more advanced creatures than humans because they are smarter and know more than humans do. The theory of evolution by natural selection is treated not as a fallible theorythe best account we have so far of how life emerged and developedbut as an unalterable truth, which has been revealed to a single individual of transcendent genius. There cannot be much doubt that Dawkins sees himself as a Darwin-like figure, propagating the revelation that came to the Victorian naturalist.

Among these traits, it is Dawkins’s identification with Darwin that is most incongruous. No two minds could be less alike than those of the great nineteenth-century scientist and the latter-day evangelist for atheism. Hesitant, doubtful, and often painfully perplexed, Darwin understood science as an empirical investigation in which truth is never self-evident and theories are always provisional. If science, for Darwin, was a method of inquiry that enabled him to edge tentatively and humbly toward the truth, for Dawkins, science is an unquestioned view of the world.

The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins – John Gray, The New Republic

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Novi nadškof ima tako vse pogoje za neodvisnost in distanco do dosedanjih škofijskih in medškofijskih upravljavskih struktur in mrež, do katerih se je zaradi toliko bolečih dogodkov v zadnjem času pojavilo veliko nezaupanja.

To bo verjetno eden od temeljnih preizkusnih kamnov novega vodenja – na eni strani graditi na vsem dobrem in v spoštovanju in pravilnem vrednotenju prispevka vsakega doslej odgovornega posameznika, po drugem pa odločnost za spremembe ter imenovanje, priznanje in odpravo nepravilnosti, napak ali celo zlorab.

Ta distanca in neodvisnost mu bosta lahko pomagali pri uvajanju potrebnih sprememb, če bo želel in če se bo na to prednost seveda tudi naslonil.

Prvi vtisi o novem ljubljanskem nadškofu – Štefan Kržišnik, Iskreni.net

***

Caring for your corner, making the world a better place, one square foot at a time: this is localism, and conservatism, at root. Supporting the foundations, heritage, and traditions that one has inherited. Using one’s talents and gifts to build a better street, a better neighborhood, a better town or city.

Why Cities Need Localists – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

***

An atemporal victory of masculinity over the principle of femininity is no victory. A life without history, without children, without season, without going back, without produce besides money, without a fixed vision of “the other side of the river,” just the daily, masturbatory existence of constant acquisition and forward-plowing line without end — this over-masculization is as much a source of impotence, rage and violence as it is of millionaires, and could as easily end in prolonged video-gaming as becoming a CEO. Women, by the very mystery of their form, embody a conception of time that teaches men to rise to the fullness of their humanity — to resist the temptation to violence which is a foremost perversion of masculinity.

It is far more difficult to speak of what the masculinity offers to femininity, for while I daily receive an education from the latter, marvel at the fact, and can attest to its reality — women are awfully quiet about whether men are doing them any good. But if I were to venture a guess, I would say that the masculine form is an education in teleology — in achieving an end. It is written in the very muscular structure of the male form — to accomplish the task, to complete the mission, to do and do well, to use strength.

Masculine and Feminine Time – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

***

Razsežnost vojne je pomenila, da je kruto realnost jarkov na svoji koži izkusil marsikateri slikar, pesnik in pisatelj. Med slovenskimi ustvarjalci je bil v takih kritikah šaljivo oster prav Hinko Smrekar, ki je v svojih podobah in zapisih obsojal vojno, opozarjal na njen nesmisel in razgalil brutalnost avtoritarnega vojaškega sistema. S svojim begom v zaigrano blaznost pa postal “simbol usode malega človeka v spopadu z represivnim militarizmom”. Žal je v drugem velikem svetovnem spopadu sam postal del tragike in nesmisla, na katerega je opozarjal. Na prvi oktobrski dan leta 1942 so ga po brutalnem zaslišanju v Gramozni jami ustrelili fašisti. Če je pogreb minil brez prisotnosti znancev, pa je bil drugi dan Smrekarjev grob ves pokrit s cvetjem.

Zaigrana blaznost Hinka Smrekarja – Maja Kač, MMC RTVSLO

***

Starejši občani so, kot je znano, pogosto tarča raznih vsiljivcev. Ker neprijetni pripetljaj, ki se je zgodil Mesečevim starim staršem tudi ni edini, v bodoče malce več pozornosti ne bo odveč.

Pozor starejši: vsiljivi novinarji revije Reporter na vratih! – Uroš Abram, Spletna Mladina

***

Državnega monopolista niso še nikoli prisilili v učinkovitost s tem, da so mu dali več denarja. Ukrotiš ga lahko le, če ga izpostaviš odprti konkurenci ali pa ga preprosto ukineš.

Konkurenca pri avtomobilskem zavarovanju deluje, prav tako deluje ločitev na obvezni in prostovoljni del zavarovanja (na primer kasko). Na podoben način bi lahko delovala tudi pri zdravstvenem zavarovanju in tudi deluje v številnih državah, po katerih se sicer radi zgledujemo, na primer v Nemčiji, Avstriji ali na Nizozemskem.

Če bi konkurenco dopustili, bi jo ZZZS najprej skušal onemogočiti, podobno, kot je Telekom nekoč onemogočal konkurenčne ponudnike storitev. Tako kot se agenciji za varstvo konkurence in za telekomunikacije dolgo nista hoteli spraviti nad Telekom, se verjetno tudi agencija za zavarovalni nadzor ne bi lahkega srca spravila nad ZZZS. Ko bi se, bi se moral ta končno prilagoditi. Morda bi kar sam predlagal spremembo upravljavske strukture, se trše pogajal z dobavitelji in z lastnimi močmi preganjal korupcijo.

Ukinitev dopolnilnega zavarovanja je slepilni manever – Janez Šušteršič, Planet Siol

***

Wealth inequality is generated not by intrinsic features of capitalism—the most important of which, in Taleb’s view, is that every participant is exposed to the losses that go hand in hand with risk—but from specific state and central-bank policies that reward leveraged speculation and enable financiers to play with no skin in the game. In Taleb’s trenchant phrase, financial inequalities are “one crash away from reallocation.”

This suggests that one way to address both wealth inequality and speculative excesses is to rewrite the rules so that participants must have skin in the game. Whether this is possible in an era of regulatory capture by the very financiers the rules aim to corral is an open question. Wallerstein’s school, like Piketty, also overlooks the transformative power of the factors Giovanni Arrighi—another disciple of Braudel and author of The Long Twentieth Century—identifies as the key drivers of capital accumulation: attracting entrepreneurs and mobile capital.

What could replace the current iteration of global state-capitalism? If we assemble these three potentially transformative dynamics—degrowth, the recoupling of risk and loss, and entrepreneurial mobile capital—we discern a new and potentially productive teleological arc to global capitalism, one that moves from a capitalism based on financial hyper-centralization and obsession with rising consumption to one focused on more efficient use of resources and capital via decentralization and localized innovation.

Is There Capitalism After Cronysm? – Charles Hugh Smith, The American Conservative

Tedenski izbor

civilwar

Glasilo Ljubljana, ki ga izdaja Mestna občina Ljubljana, v zadnji številki sploh ne omenja drugih kandidatov na prihajajočih lokalnih volitvah. Seveda je v glasilu dovolj prostora namenjenega aktualnemu županu Zoranu Jankoviću in njegovim projektom, pri Transparency International ugotavljajo, da je publikacija za skoraj 55 odstotkov daljša od običajne take publikacije, zaznali so podobnost med oblikovnimi rešitvami v občinskem glasilu in v propagandnem gradivu liste Zorana Jankovića.

Jankovićevo glasilo se je znašlo v ‘sivi coni’ – Novica Mihajlović, Finance

***

Pope Francis isn’t the best thing to happen to the Gospel in our lifetime, just as he isn’t the best thing to happen to the global economy, politics, or ecumenism. He’d surely tell you that himself if you asked. He is, though—by his own admission—an example of a life lived in Christ, and of a sinner saved by a merciful God. His pontificate is a story worth retelling to our children and grandchildren, and more importantly one worth listening to carefully and with rapt attention. Not because its characters are played by the biggest stars, but because the writing is just so damn good.

Pope Francis is a Toxic Asset – Andrew M. Haines, Ethika Politika

***

To be sure, I had many other Evangelical apologetic heroes, who were not only outstanding scholars in their respective disciplines, but also good and decent people as well. In the case of this latter group, however, unlike the former, they were men and women of prayer, devotion, deep piety, and personal charity.  Because their Christian faith was not reducible to cerebral combat, they had an attractive manner and radiated a sense of joy, contentment, and real intellectual curiosity.  I wanted to be like them.

After I re-entered the Catholic world nearly eight years ago, I discovered a similar phenomenon. Some Catholic apologists were like the first group I had encountered as an Evangelical: they often had wonderful arguments, but ugly souls. They seemed perpetually angry, dismissing critics as blind fools motivated by bad faith.

Others, to my great joy, were like the latter group. They understood that evangelization is not just about introducing your neighbors to arguments in order to win them to Jesus; it is about introducing Jesus to your neighbors through one’s example so that they may be drawn in to listen to your arguments. This is what I believe Pope Francis is trying to teach the Church about the New Evangelization.

Reason Is More than Just Arguments – Francis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing

***

Nekaj hinavskega je v našem glorificiranju uspehov Slovencev v tujini. Posamezniki, ki jih ni nihče povohal, dokler so delovali na domačih tleh, so se spremenili v genije in superjunake, takoj ko so švignili čez mejo. Časopisi, ki so jih dolga leta ignorirali, zdaj objavljajo naslove v stilu »Doma neznan, v tujini pa velika zvezda!«. Pri tem uredniki seveda pozabljajo, da so jim domačo prepoznavnost onemogočali ravno oni sami, ko jim niso hoteli nameniti prostora. Na podoben način država, ki se tako rada hvali z mednarodnimi dosežki svojih državljanov, noče podpreti njihovih projektov doma. Zmage naših športnikov fetišiziramo v nedogled, a mirno sprejemamo stradanje domačih klubov, iz katerih so ti vrhunski igralci izšli. Ujeli smo se v zanko naših lastnih moralizmov: če je uspeh v tujini junaštvo, potem je domači uspeh lahko le lopovščina. Treba je torej ljudem preprečiti možnost uveljavljanja, da se ne spridijo. Tako je edina rešitev, ki ostane, da vse sposobne ljudi pošljemo ven, v Slovenijo pa pripeljemo tujce.

Samo ven! – N’Toko, Mladina

***

Ker je bilo v socialističnem sistemu pravo potemtakem v celoti instrumentalizirano za politične cilje, ti pa so se z muhavostjo partije lahko spreminjali iz dneva v dan, tako da je bilo stanje za pravne akterje skrajno negotovo, Uzelac ugotavlja, da so pravniki, zlasti pa sodniki, razvili celo plejado metod, kako slednjič ne-odločiti v zadevi. Poleg razvlečenega sojenja, razpisovanja na desetine obravnav, neuspešnega vabljenja strank, prič, nepotrebnih izvedencev, iskanja materialne resnice itd., Uzelac trdi, da je najbolj izpiljena metoda v izogib sprejetju vsebinske odločitve in s tem tudi odgovornosti zanjo bila razveljavitev sodbe in vrnitev v ponovno odločanje na prvo stopnjo. Kot slikovito zapiše avtor: »ta vrtiljak se je lahko vrtel toliko, kolikor je bilo potrebno, de je slednjič odpadla družbena potreba po odločitvi v zadevi.«

/…/

Rezultat je bila frapantna neučinkovitost sodstva in vse, kar dobro poznamo tudi iz lastnih slovenskih izkušenj v povezavi z nespoštovanjem pravice do sojenja v razumnem roku.

Kljub temu Uzelac sklene, da se vse opisano ne bo kaj kmalu spremenilo. Še več (post-) socialistično pravo je po njegovem zacementirano za naslednjih nekaj desetletij in to vse bolj glasnim javnim kritikam navkljub. Vse to pa, na nek način paradoksalno, zahvaljujoč zahodnim standardom, katerih uveljavitev so terjali zavezniki v najrazličnejših evropskih integracijah. Med temi prednjači neodvisnost sodstva. Pod njeno krinko, ugotavlja Uzelac, se ohranja vse staro na način preverjenega, izbranega kadriranja; preprečevanja vseh kritik, tudi legitimnih, in to »na sindikalni način, ki nekritično brani vsakega člana svojega ceha.«

Socialistični pravni cement – Matej Avbelj, Iusinfo

***

Čakam odrešitelja – ministra za pravosodje, recimo -, ki bo dal sodnikom diskrecijsko pravico, da nekatere tožbe zavržejo. Zakaj bi se moral tako velik del sodnega aparata (če primere seštejemo) ukvarjati z bagatelnimi bizarnostmi trmastih ljudi? Predstavljajte si ves ta pogon, profesionalni in privatni: posvetovanje z odvetnikom, pa sestavljanje tožb, pa samo še brezplačna pravna pomoč se manjka, pa mastne odvetniške tarife, pa razpis naroka, pa nekaj obravnav, pa propadle mediacije, pa zapisničarkino histerično tipkanje, pa vse te slovnične pomote in célo stran dolgi stavki, pa vročanje in prevzemanje pošte itd. itd. Celi ducati ljudi zapravljajo ure in ure dela, za katero so sicer v službi, in denarja, ki je sicer davkoplačevalski – koga to briga, ne? -, samo zato, ker se dva človeka ne moreta dogovoriti o neki popolni neumnosti, ki nikogar na svetu, razen njiju, ne zanima in katere objektivna vrednost je tako rekoč enaka nič!

Ah, saj res, Slovenija mora biti pravna država, kajneda? Od pametnih pravnikov pričakujem, da bodo našli rešitev za onemogočenje tožarjenja za irelevantnosti, ki so v izrazitem nesorazmerju z za to potrebnim vložkom oziroma trudom sodnega aparata, in ki obenem ne bo kršila človekove pravice do sodnega varstva, kadar gre za nekaj pomembnega in tudi resnično materialno vrednega.

Bela tehnika, črna kronika: pralni ali pravni stroj – Marko Crnkovič, Primorske novice

***

Kliše, ki v Sloveniji noče in noče umreti, govori o urbani levici in provincialni desnici, kar naj bi pomagalo pojasniti dosedanje volilne rezultate v Ljubljani kot “rdeči trdnjavi”. Če se vrnemo na izhodiščno dilemo – koga v tej državi pravzaprav zastopa t. i. levica – smo se znašli pred paradoksom, saj obstaja tudi primer Maribora, kjer je socialna struktura prebivalstva neprimerljivo bolj proletarska kot v Ljubljani, pa je bil vseeno za župana že dvakrat izvoljen Franc Kangler, čigar ljudska stranka stranka niti po definiciji ni levičarska.

Lublana je še naprej bulana – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

***

Težko se je tedaj znebiti vtisa, da puščajo sedanji »novi obrazi« za ohranitev ljubega miru na levi sredini razmeroma velik ljubljanski fevd padlega bivšega novega obraza namenoma nedotaknjen in v polnem obsegu, ne oziraje se na vse homatije v zadnjem letu in pol.  Kar bi moralo verjetno sprožiti kakšno neprijetno vprašanje o enakih vatlih, a ga morda niti ne bo.

Vsaj v nečem se ljubljanskemu in še kakšnemu »večnemu županu«  rahlo poznajo tegobe obdobja, ki je minilo med dvema svetovnima nogometnima prvenstvoma. Zaradi občasno močno povišanih tonov proti praksam obstoječe politike je njihova javna navzočnost manj izrazita in bo bržkone tudi proslavljanje zmag manj bučno kakor nekdaj. Pa še kak njihov volivec bo ob vprašanju, komu je oddal glas, raje zamenjal temo.

Parcelice in veleparcela – Aleš Maver, Časnik

***

Mr Orban outlined his longer-term vision in a much-noted speech on July 26th in Baile Tusnade, in neighbouring Romania. Hungary, he explained, would become an “illiberal state”. Speaking admiringly of Russia, China and Turkey, he said Hungary would remain a democracy, and not reject liberal principles such as freedom of speech, but would be based on “a different, special, national approach”. The approach, say critics, was evident earlier this month when police raided the Budapest office of Okotars, an NGO that manages funds from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and confiscated computers and documents for alleged financial mismanagement. Okotars strongly denies the charge. The police raid was “completely unacceptable”, thundered Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s minister for Europe.

The show of force has sent shivers through Hungary’s non-profit sector. The EU had no comment, as the NGOs are funded by Norway. But Kate Byrnes, the deputy chief of America’s OSCE mission, demanded that Hungary allow NGOs to operate without “further harassment, interference or intimidation”, repeating earlier protests.

Orban the Unstoppable – The Economist

***

Po Mitchellovih opažanjih in analizah so baltske države najbolj tržno usmerjene, Skandinavija pa prosti trg združuje z veliko vlado. Francozi so brezupen primer, saj po eni strani hočejo veliko, socialno in redistributivno državo, ki jo na drugi strani sami goljufajo. Južne ekonomije so v globokih težavah.

Uničile so svoj socialni kapital, delovno etiko in zanašanje nase. Vlade v južnih državah so prevelike in demografska razmerja so obupna in … Pravzaprav imam svojo različico Evrope dveh hitrosti. Južna bo propadla in večina severne bo ugotovila, kako preživeti in se reformirati. Ne bi bil presenečen, če v južni Evropi čez 10 ali 20 let ne bi bilo več demokracije.”

Kje v takšnih razlikah med evropskimi državami vidi Slovenijo? “/…/ Moj občutek mi govori, da je Slovenija podobna severni Italiji – zmerno produktivna, zmerno dobro izobražena, z veliko impresivnimi zmožnostmi, a s političnim sistemom, ki jo drži nazaj. To bi bil moj preprost sklep. Če bi severna Italija postala švicarski kanton, bi njeno gospodarstvo cvetelo. Ljudje bi živeli v političnem sistemu, ki deluje, namesto da jih, tako kot zdaj, nadzoruje disfunkcionalni Rim. Menim, da bi Slovenija prav tako dosegala precej višje stopnje rasti, če bi bila vodena kot švicarski kanton. Slovenija je namreč sposobna hitrejšega razvoja, toda ne v obstoječem političnem okolju.”

Če bi bila Slovenija vodena kot švicarski kanton … – Pogovor z ameriškim predavateljem Danielom Mitchellom, MMC

***

Očitno je, da so ti ljudje, izbrisani, mnogo pretrpeli, utrpeli so krivico. To mora biti popravljeno. Vendar pa naj se v to, prosim, ne vpleta Jožeta Pučnika. Znova sem prebral tisti njegov sporni govor, besedo za besedo, tako kot je o njem poročalo Delo. Ne vem točno, kaj je želel povedati. Vendar pa sem ga poznal. Ko Jože Pučnik reče, da je potrebno neko zadevo razrešiti »humano, socialno in pravno demokratično«, misli natanko to. O tem ste lahko prepričani. Bil je najbolj pokončna in pravična oseba, kar sem jih kadarkoli poznal. No, nekateri očitno mislijo, da je te besede izgovoril na izjemno ciničen način, kot kakšen SS-Obersturmbannführer, ki Zyklon B označi za »humano rešitev«. Bog jim pomagaj, jaz jim ne morem.
Zlo, ki ga povzročijo ljudje, jih preživi, dobro je pogosto pokopano z njihovimi kostmi. Prepričan sem, da je Božo Repe častivreden mož. In prav tako so vsi, vsi častivredni. Vsake toliko uživajo v blatenju, vendar to ne more omadeževati njih samih. Kajne?

Nasprotujem nacionalizmu kot konceptu – intervju z Marcusom Pučnikom, Razpotja

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Prav zato smo se osamosvojili in kot dokaz večstoletnega boja za narodno osvoboditev ustvarili svojo državo, ki je utemeljena, tako večkrat poudarja tudi slovensko Ustavno sodišče, na vrednostnem prelomu s prejšnjo Socialistično federativno republiko Jugoslavijo. Izjave predsednika Državnega zbora kažejo na to, da si sam tega preloma ne želi in zato tudi ne zmore. Pritrjevanje pozivom k ponovnemu obveznemu uvajanju srbo-hrvaščine v osnovne šole, objokovanje izgube domnevnih komparativnih prednosti na Balkanu zaradi neznanja tega jezika, dokazujejo njegovo ujetost v miselni in politični kontekst, ki ga ni mogoče poimenovati Evropska Slovenija, ki nasprotuje etosu slovenske ustave in zato vsemu, kar naj bi predstavljal Državni zbor kot njen vsakodnevni izvrševalec.

In morda najbolj pomembno: nikjer v zahodni civilizaciji, še posebej pa ne po grozotah druge svetovne vojne, ne boste našli visokega politika, ki bi povojne poboje pojasnil z golim upoštevanjem naravnega prava s strani tedanjih oblastnikov. Gre za izjavo, ki je nevredna intelektualca, še manj univerzitetnega predavatelja mednarodnih odnosov in ki je naravnost škandalozna za predsednika Državnega zbora države, ki jo vse mogoče krivice, storjene v in po drugi svetovni vojni tako zelo bremenijo še danes. Bistvo naravnega prava, kot ga poznamo v zahodni civilizaciji, je pravičnost sama na sebi, v naravi stvari, ki v posebej hudih okoliščinah celo terja umik pozitivnega prava, ki ga sprejme človek in njegove institucije. Trditi, da so povojni poboji odraz take pravičnosti je bodisi skregano z zdravo pametjo bodisi, če je mišljeno resno, skrajno zavržno. Povojni, in zares vsakršni poboji, nimajo ničesar opraviti s kakršnimkoli pravom, še najmanj pa naravnim. So preprosto proti-pravni.

Javno vprašanje Društva Evropska Slovenija predsedniku Državnega zbora

Tedenski izbor

subway-reading

Sprašujem se, kam bomo prišli, če bodo duhovniki med najsvetejšim obredom licitirali za stranke. To ni v skladu z doktrino Cerkve v odnosu do politike. Tudi, če bi hodili v Cerkev pripadniki samo ene stranke, bi bil proti temu, da se med evangelijem in povzdigovanjem daje politična navodila, kaj šele pod pretnjo greha. Ne samo zato, ker temu nasprotuje Cerkev sama in ker ne maram, da se razodeta resnica meša s političnim interesom. Vprašljivo se mi zdi, z duhovno avtoriteto v času govornega monopola (med mašo), pozivati politično različne vernike k  strankarski podpori. Duhovnik tudi nima pooblastila govoriti v imenu vernikov o strankarskih zadevah – ne samo pri maši. Nekateri so me takoj obtožili, da oporekam duhovnikom pravico do mnenja. Seveda so duhovniki politična bitja z vsemi pravicami, potrebno pa je razlikovati, kaj je delo za vrednote, za pravico in poštenje, za politiko v širšem smislu, kaj pa opredeljevanje za stranko in aktivizem zanjo. Eno je menje, volilno navodilo pa je nekaj bistveno drugega.

Intervju z Lojzetom Peterletom – Jani Drnovšek, Časnik

***

Mogoče so hoteli predstavniki katoliške hierarhije nenadoma pokazati, da so bili ves čas na pravi strani poosamosvojitvene zgodovine. Bojim se namreč, da bi pogled od blizu velikokrat pokazal nezdravo navezanost na Cerkvi morda nenaklonjene, a z realno močjo obložene sile. Loščenje te nelepe podobe pa, kot kaže, ni bilo učinkovito. V javnosti je samo še okrepilo že tako zakoreninjeno prepričanje, da sodijo vsi katoličani na desno in k Janši. Čeravno ne prvo in še zlasti ne drugo ni nikdar držalo.

Izlet v Libanon – Aleš Maver, Časnik

***

Calling on conservatives to write fiction in order to regain power by shaping the moral imagination, as Bellow seems to claim, would, in my view, repeat the errors of the later avant-garde and progressives who came to view art as a weapon in class struggle. This attitude toward art always leads to art becoming a mere tool, a mere means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Bellow tries to distinguish between the “the original counterculture” and a counterculture that “was hijacked and turned into a vehicle for progressive politics,” but I don’t buy this. The problem with Bellow’s approach, as Rod [Dreherremarked two weeks ago, is that it would most likely lead to ideologically “pure” but bad work.

Politics and Literature – Micah Mattix, The American Conservative

***

The real foes of conservatism are not socialism and liberalism, but the reactionary and innovating mentalities. Neither the reactionary nor the innovator share the joie de vivre of the conservative mind—its natural inclination to rejoice in and savor what is. They are restless and tormented if things are not in a state of perpetual flux, if “progress” is not being made either backward toward an imagined age of innocence, or forward toward an imagined age of future liberation. If nothing is changing, then nothing is happening. Reactionaries and innovators eschew what Oakeshott calls the conservative mind’s “cool and critical” attitude toward change, advocating instead a radical overhaul of society and its refashioning in the image of a golden age which is either imagined to have existed in the past or lusted after as a possible future.

The Twilight of Conservatism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

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Since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began, Russian propaganda has sought to portray it as a civil war, an internecine Ukrainian conflicta formulation that was a comfortable dissimulation for many European democracies that wanted to avoid disrupting their economic relations with Russia. With the downing of MH17, the fighting in eastern Ukraine has been globalized into a war that has claimed the lives of western Europeans, Asians, and North Americans. It has place under unprecedented international scrutiny Russia’s central role as the backbone of the fighting in Eastern Ukraine and has stripped the mask off Russian subterfuge and propaganda.

The Malaysia Airlines Disaster Is Vladimir Putin’s Lockerbie Bombing – Adrian Karatnycky, The New Republic

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The Economist editors want to put the liberal state on a starvation diet. Theirs is a diagnosis that identifies symptoms, but if applied as policy medicine might just kill the patient. The problem needs to be understood differently. The modern state may be too large in some areas, like the US military, because legacy commitments have not been examined in the light of emerging strategic requirements; or because, in a few countries, still powerful public sector unions retain a hammerlock on human resource budgets; or in others because predatory elected elites are siphoning revenues into their own pockets. But in other liberal states, honest and well-administered governments are staggering along without the resources to provide citizens with valuable and needed services.

Are the Authoritarians Winning? – Micheal Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books

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What lessons does Switzerland offer? A strong doctrine of subsidiarity, whereby tasks should be done at the lowest possible level of government. Cantons have ceded powers to the confederation piecemeal (its right to raise taxes must be reviewed periodically), but have also devolved them to communes. All three levels of government have taxation powers and provisions for issues to be decided by referendum. German economists also point to Switzerland’s mechanisms to control public spending and enforce a no-bail-out rule. The big difference, though, is that cantons have drafted their own balanced-budget rules and voters have forced similar ones on the confederation. The euro zone imposed too much austerity on troubled countries, but Switzerland has shown that running surpluses and paying back debt in good times creates more scope to respond in a crisis.

Hail Helvetia: Some Swiss lessons for the Euro zone – The Economist

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Barring minor adjustments, the Orban project proceeds steadily. The prime minister has centralised power to a degree unprecedented since the collapse of communism. A report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe notes that, though there was a “diverse choice” of parties at April’s election, Fidesz benefited from “restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage and campaign activities that blurred the separation between political party and state”.

Some accuse Mr Orban of looking admiringly east at the state-controlled crony capitalism of the former Soviet Union. Certainly, there is talk on the nationalist right, from Fidesz to the far-right Jobbik, of the decline of the West. The government has boosted Hungary’s trade links with Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Between Brussels and Russia – The Economist 

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Traditionally, moral thinking about war is divided into two broad questions. First, we ask whether the decision to go to war was a moral one.In doing so, we ask: Are the reasons for the war morally compelling? Were less-destructive alternatives considered and pursued?

For Israel, the first question seems easier to answer. Few would deny that, in principle, Israel’s war with Hamas is both just and necessary. Israel acts on the most clear justification possible: self-defense after days of restraint, warnings, and pleasas rockets continued to land on its cities and later, as militants sprang from tunnels to kill its citizens. Ceasefires have been offered, but Hamas has rejected them. And whatever criticisms one may have of Israel’s failures to midwife an effective and peaceful alternative to Hamas (and I have many), these do not undermine the fundamental justice of this self-defense.

But there is also a second, larger question: How should wars be fought? And here, Israel runs into a problem.

Israel’s Deadly Invasion of Gaza Is Morally Justified – Yishai Schwartz, The New Republic

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Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial, infinitely more subtle than the David Irving version with its clunking body counts and quibbles over gas-chamber capability and chimney sizes. Instead of saying the Holocaust didn’t happen, the modern sophisticated denier accepts the event in all its terrible enormity, only to accuse the Jews of trying to profit from it, either in the form of moral blackmail or downright territorial theft. According to this thinking, the Jews have betrayed the Holocaust and become unworthy of it, the true heirs to their suffering being the Palestinians. Thus, here and there throughout the world this year, Holocaust day was temporarily annulled or boycotted on account of Gaza, dead Jews being found guilty of the sins of live ones.

Anti-Semitism? Absolutely not. It is “criticism” of Israel, pure and simple.

Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is – Howard Jacobson, The Independent

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From the classical Muslim perspective, the dhimma reflects the fact that Christians, as the recipients of an earlier, incomplete revelation, merit some protection and communal autonomy. But there is a price. The jizya and the many dhimma restrictions are meant to keep Christians in their place and provide a salutary incentive for them to convert to Islam.

By last week, most Christians in Mosul had already taken a fourth option—evacuation. Their departure marks the end of a continuous Christian tradition in Mosul. For thousands of years, Mosul has been a center for Christians, particularly for Assyrians, an ethnic group that predates the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia. Indeed, the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, where the Prophet Jonah preached, lies across the Tigris River. Christianized in apostolic times, Assyrians have divided over the centuries into a number of communions that reflect the history of the religion: the Assyrian Church of the East, a small body, historically associated with Nestorianism, which once spread as far as China; the Syriac Orthodox Church, a member of the Oriental Orthodox family; and the Chaldean-rite Catholic Church, in communion with Rome. A small number of Assyrian Protestant churches exist as well, the legacy of nineteenth-century American missionaries.

As recently as a decade ago, tens of thousands of Christians lived in Mosul, some of them descendents of victims of the genocide the Ottoman Empire perpetrated against Assyrians, as well as Armenians and Greeks, during World War I. After this weekend, virtually none remain.

A Line Crossed in the Middle East – Mark Movsesian, First Things

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In What Is Marriage? my coauthors and I try to present these traditions’ central insight in the thesis that what makes a marriage (and provides the intelligible grounds of its structuring norms) is comprehensive union. We begin by noting that any voluntary bond is created by common action—by cooperative activity, defined by common goods, in the context of commitment. The activities and goods build up the bond and determine the commitment it requires. Then we argue that the kind of union created by marriage is comprehensive in just these ways: in (a) how it unites persons, (b) what it unites them with respect to, and (c) how extensive a commitment it demands. That is, it unites two people (a) in their most basic dimensions, in mind and body; (b) with respect to procreation, family life, and its broad domestic sharing; and (c) permanently and exclusively.

You contend that same-sex partners could be united in just these ways. But clarifying each will show that they cannot be—unless we so stretch the criteria as to erase any principled difference between marriage and companionship.

Contrasting Views on Marriage: the Need for a Defining Principle – Robert P. George, Public Discourse 

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Sanjam o družbeno angažiranem mecenu, ki se bo, kot so to počeli pametni in etični bogati gospodje v 19. stoletju, odločil kupiti enega izmed obstoječih ali pa – precej bolj logično – ustanoviti svoj medij, s katerim bo »izpolnil svojo moralno dolžnost«.

Sanjam o internetnem dnevnem časopisu, ki bi imel svojo tedensko tiskano izdajo v obliki bogatega, s kontekstom, vrhunskimi reportažami, analizami in intervjuji napolnjenega magazina, katerega vsaka številka bi bila posvečena le eni sami temi.

Sanjam zagnane, zagrizene, etične in že skoraj do roba norosti razgledane in vedoče sodelavce in sodelavke, s katerimi bi dnevno izmenjavali tako funkcije – v resnih ekipah mora vsak igralec dobro igrati vsaj na treh ali štirih pozicijah – kot informacije in ideje.

Koliko je ura v resnici? – Boštjan Videmšek, Pogledi

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Bonus za tiste, ki berete italijansko: članek ob 22. letnici umora tožilca Paola Borsellina:

“L’equivoco su cui spesso si gioca è questo: si dice quel politico era vicino ad un mafioso, quel politico è stato accusato di avere interessi convergenti con le organizzazioni mafiose, però la magistratura non lo ha condannato, quindi quel politico è un uomo onesto. E NO! questo discorso non va, perché la magistratura può fare soltanto un accertamento di carattere giudiziale, può dire: beh! Ci sono sospetti, ci sono sospetti anche gravi, ma io non ho la certezza giuridica, giudiziaria che mi consente di dire quest’uomo è mafioso. Però, siccome dalle indagini sono emersi tanti fatti del genere, altri organi, altri poteri, cioè i politici, le organizzazioni disciplinari delle varie amministrazioni, i consigli comunali o quello che sia, dovevano trarre le dovute conseguenze da certe vicinanze tra politici e mafiosi che non costituivano reato ma rendevano comunque il politico inaffidabile nella gestione della cosa pubblica. Questi giudizi non sono stati tratti perché ci si è nascosti dietro lo schermo della sentenza: questo tizio non è mai stato condannato, quindi è un uomo onesto. Ma dimmi un poco, ma tu non ne conosci di gente che è disonesta, che non è stata mai condannata perché non ci sono le prove per condannarla, però c’è il grosso sospetto che dovrebbe, quantomeno, indurre soprattutto i partiti politici a fare grossa pulizia, non soltanto essere onesti, ma apparire onesti, facendo pulizia al loro interno di tutti coloro che sono raggiunti comunque da episodi o da fatti inquietanti, anche se non costituenti reati”.

Paolo Borsellino: “Chi ha paura muore ogni giorno, chi non ha paura muore una volta sola” – Beniamino Andrea Piccone, Linkiesta

Tedenski izbor

news

Like capitalist consumerism as a whole, the specifically sexual consumerism of the post-1960s sexual revolution gradually enslaves people by producing an increasingly large amount of the same desire that it alone purports to be able to satisfy, yet only satisfying that desire in increasingly diminished proportions. Instead of the straitjacketed view of freedom offered by the sexual revolution, Hayes proposes celibacy as a witness to a genuinely “responsible freedom” in the use of one’s own body and in one’s disposition toward the bodies of others “in today’s world of instant gratification”.

Celibacy and Sexual Capitalism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

 

When man viewed himself as generally ignorant of most things from the start, which is true of us all, then knowledge was able to maintain a position of authority and to direct the affairs of men. Once ignorance was forgotten—or denied altogether, particularly in regard to our social consciousness of the fact—the power and influence of knowledge began to evaporate. It began to wane, and has not stopped waning since, and it is reasonable to suggest that it may be ignorance, rather than knowledge, that gives direction to politics, economics, and the sciences of our world today.

Liberalism and the Empowerment of Ignorance – Daniel Schwindt, Ethika Politika

 

Ko se je Slovenska demokratska stranka odločila za referendum, se je morala zavedati, v kakšnem okolju in kakšnem razpoloženju bo potekal. Zastavlja se vprašanje, ali se je tveganje obrestovalo. Referendum o arhivski noveli se je namreč hočeš nočeš sprevrgel v referendum o politiki ene stranke. Seveda je res, da bi uspeh prinesel mnogo več, kot bo neuspeh odnesel, a vendar. Če nič drugega, je v veliki meri zbledel psihološki učinek zmage na volitvah v Evropski parlament. Razen tega se je najkasneje včeraj izkazalo, da so nepovratno del preteklosti časi, ko so se Janševi s svojimi referendumskimi pobudami sprehajali do zmag, tudi z bistveno več kot dvajsetimi odstotki glasov volilnih upravičencev.

Nepotrebna anketa – Aleš Maver, Časnik

 

V jedru skupnega paradigmatskega okvira obeh narativov je tranzicija. Prvi narativ pravi, da ni bila niti potrebna, drugi, da ni uspela. In spusti samokritiko, da tranzicija desnici ni uspela. Premik paradigme slovenskega političnega razmišljanja bi bil premik stran od koncepta tranzicije. Bi bilo priznanje, da je tranzicija končana. Kakor pač že. Konec koncev so to zelo jasno povedali državljani, ki so s skorajda severnokorejsko večino prešpricali referendum o arhivih. Ki je bil referendum tranzicijske paradigme per-excellence.

 

 

The progressive spirit came down upon the cities, bulldozing communities weak in the measurables of the moment, but strong in social solidarity and common support. It subsidized interstate systems and street grids that were placed in the hands of planners and engineers who would work with singular purpose to maximize car flow, without a thought given to community cohesion. The postwar explosion in building was dominated by a misunderstanding of human life manifested in suburban sprawl-friendly federal policy and local zoning codes alike. Their legacy has been a country largely built for a prosperous people seeking to purchase entertainment within the privacy of their own homes and backyards, not in town commons or on front porches.

Reform Conservativism Needs Place – Jonathan Coppage, The American Conservative

 

 

It’s not just the homeless who are targeted. “Those impacted are usually homeless people, teenagers, the poor, those who are marginalised or don’t have good social representation, or who aren’t organised as an interest group,” says Selena Savic, one of the editors of the book Unpleasant Design. The most egregious anti-teenage-loitering device is the Mosquito Alarm, which emits an unpleasant sound that many older people can’t hear. Aldi are one supermarket company that uses such devices. An Aldi spokesperson said: “These alarms are in place to prevent antisocial behaviour taking place near the store, prevent damage to the building and promote a safe shopping and working environment for customers and staff.”

Anti-homeless spikes are just the latest in ‘defensive urban architecture’ – Maryam Omidi, The Guardian

Tedenski izbor

Men Reading Newspapers in London

Tedenski izbor

gentleman reading newspaper

Bonus – najboljši nenamerni komentar k letošnji zmagi na Evroviziji: