Tedenski izbor

Še enkrat poudarjamo: absurdno poigravanje z mislijo, da je bil Balantič, da so bili številni drugi uporniki zoper revolucijo sokrivi in celo sostorilci zlasti nemškega kulturnega pogroma nad Slovenci, ki se je med drugim odrazil v barbarskem uničenju velikanskega števila knjig, nima nič opraviti z razmerami na Slovenskem med drugo svetovno vojno, pač pa služi samo podaljševanju neke, za razmeroma ozek krog rentnikov zelo donosne iluzije.

France Balantič sodi v javni spomin slovenskega naroda – Skupina podpisnikov

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Po ocenah strokovnjakov je bilo pobitih nekaj sto tisoč ljudi, ki so bili krivi le tega, da so bili ideološki in vojaško nasprotni komunizmu in njegovi revoluciji. Regularna okupirana država se je borila proti boljševiški revoluciji in ostalim, ki so čakali, da bodo to državo lahko dokončno uničili (ustaši, balisti, separatisti in vsi nasprotniki Kraljevine).

Poslednji dom sinov Črne gore – Uroš Šušterič, Časnik

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Skratka, Resolucija 1096 je dve desetletji po sprejemu nujno branje za vsakdanjo slovensko rabo. Svet Evrope nam ne ukazuje, z resolucijo le prijazno svetuje, kaj nam je treba narediti, da bi se skobacali iz teh smrdljivih cunj preteklosti. Tega v dveh desetletjih nismo uspeli in vse bolj se zdi, da tudi prihodnjih dvajset let ne bo dovolj.

Lustracija ob predpostavki – Miro Petek, Slomedia.it

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Dokler bomo imeli tako politiko, v najširšem smislu, vključno s tisto v pravu, nimamo pogojev za ustvarjanje pravne države. Dokler bomo imeli to isto politiko, vključno s tisto v gospodarstvu, ni nikakršnih obetov za bolj konkurenčno ekonomijo, s katero lahko preživimo v globalni tekmi. Dokler bomo imeli tako politiko v najširšem možnem smislu bo ta država umirala na obroke in večina bo živela slabše. 

Dovolj je bilo – Matej Avbelj, IUS-INFO

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Koalicija Združena levica je v nedavni javnomnenjski anketi, skupaj s SDS, dosegla prvo mesto na lestvici podpore slovenske javnosti. To je bil zagotovo velik uspeh za koalicijo, ki združuje politično levico, a tudi trenutek za premislek in zaskrbljenost tistih sil, ki se zavzemajo za demokratični razvoj države. Luka Mesec in njegovi namreč žalujejo za propadlo Jugoslavijo, poveličujejo njene simbole in domnevne vrednote, hvalijo Tita, socializem in se zavzemajo za obnovitev močne države. Vanjo naj bi se vrnili Slovenci, saj bi po zatrjevanju Združene levice samo močna država lahko odpravila slovenske težave in z vrednotami ter simboli iz preteklosti upravljala z državljani in njihovim življenjem.

V Sloveniji skrajna levica za izhod iz težav ponuja socializem – Marijan Drobež, Novi glas

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To figure out whether a policy is good or bad, you have to first figure out what effects it would have. And while ideologues like to treat this as obvious, it rarely is.

Consider the minimum wage, one of the topics covered in the survey Roberts cites. Much of the debate over the minimum wage focuses on the empirical question of how a higher minimum wage would affect low-wage workers. Some economists believe a higher minimum wage will eliminate low-wage jobs; others believe this effect is negligible.

And crucially, this depends on the details. It’s plausible that today’s relatively low federal minimum wage costs few jobs, and that higher minimum wages in wealthy urban areas won’t cause much unemployment. But in areas where wages are lower, minimum wages can cause a lot of harm.

Sorry, liberals, liking free markets doesn’t make someone a jerk – Timothy B. Lee, Vox

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Conservatives, for their part, wanted to know why we are now expected to accept, if not celebrate, those who choose their own gender identities, in defiance of hard chromosomal and anatomical facts, but are forbidden from extending an equally tolerant welcome to those who choose their own racial identities. After all, liberals tend to be the ones who insist that race is a “social construction”. So why not roll out the red carpet for Ms Dolezal?

Rachel Dolezal and race: Blurred lines – The Economist

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The current definitions advanced by social liberalism do not make individual autonomy the measure ofall things; they do not simply instantiate a will to power or self-fulfillment. But they do treat adult autonomy as a morally-elevated good, and rate other possible rights and harm claims considerably lower as a consequence. Linker is right that today’s social liberalism does not simply preach an individualism unbound. But it preaches an individualism in which many bonds and rules and constraints are thinned to filaments, and waiting for the knife.

The Liberalism of Adult Autonomy – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

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The concept of “micro-aggression” is just one of many tactics used to stifle differences of opinion by declaring some opinions to be “hate speech,” instead of debating those differences in a marketplace of ideas. To accuse people of aggression for not marching in lockstep with political correctness is to set the stage for justifying real aggression against them.

Micro-totalitarianism – Thomas Sowell, The New American

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Hyperbole is part of politics. But there seems to be a fairly large disconnect between the criticism of Laudato Si (much of it made prior to the release of the actual text) and the encyclical itself. Theactual document is a more measured affair. For one thing, it’s not even really accurate to call it a “climate encyclical.” Most of the document is devoted to other environmental issues (ranging from clean drinking water to biodiversity) or to the proper Christian perspective on the environment generally. Only a small portion of the lengthy encyclical is devoted to climate change per se, and much of what the encyclical does say about climate change is in keeping with the prior statements of John Paul II and Benedict XVI on the issue.

(…)

It’s not progress but “irrational faith in progress” that he opposes; not technology but “blind confidence in technical solutions.” And Francis elsewhere praises specific new technologies that are going to be needed if we are going to reduce carbon emissions without hurting the poor.

Let’s Listen to the Pope on Climate – Josiah Neeley, First Things

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Although Levin acclaims the thinking of the 18th-century Anglo-Irish statesman Burke with fewer reservations than Fisichella approaches his more controversial object of study, both authors believe that their subjects have much to teach the present age. They try to make their ideas relevant to the present, although in the case of the second figure in Levin’s book—Thomas Paine, who was a critic of Burke, an enthusiast for the French Revolution, and an advocate of the “rights of man”—we are given a counterexample to what Levin considers to be sound political and social views.

Inventing the Right – Paul Gottfried, The American Conservative

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Tedenski izbor

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V Sloveniji bi radikalen umik države iz gospodarstva in zlasti bančništva dejansko naredil čudež, saj bi politiki vzel instrument, s katerim je doslej zagotavljala svojo reprodukcijo. Zato je edina rešitev za Slovenijo danes radikalna, obsežna privatizacija, zlasti bank, v kateri lastniki (domači ali še bolje tuji) ne bodo mogli računati, da bo njihove dolgove pokrila država, pa tudi, da ne bodo izpostavljeni pritiskom politike ter bodo podjetja lahko vodili odgovorno, s tem pa tudi uspešno.

Država, ki jo je zapustil zdrav razum – Matevž Sedej, Časnik

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Moj sogovornik ima prav in hkrati ne. Prav ima po mojem mnenju zato: narobe je, da ima redno zaposleni profesor hkrati tudi podjetje. Kajti tudi zato, ker je profesor, ima ime, infrastrukturo ter še kaj, kar mu omogoča, da svoje storitve sploh ponuja. Če ne bi bil profesor, bi svoje storitve težje prodal in zato je edino logično, da je tudi njegov zaposlovalec udeležen pri teh prihodkih. In logično je tudi, da fakulteta želi tržiti svoje storitve in da svoje zaposlene za dodatno delo tudi dodatno plača. Če redno zaposleni profesor oceni, da bi svoje storitve lahko prodajal tudi brez redne zaposlitve na fakulteti, naj odpove delovno razmerje, naj se trži, in tudi fakulteti naj za svoje raziskave in predavanja zaračuna kot podjetnik. In fakulteta bo presodila, kdaj ga potrebuje. Biti redno zaposlen in hkrati izdajati fakture prek svojega podjetja po mojem mnenju ni etično – torej tudi profesor Miro Cerar ni bil etičen -, vse dokler ni postal predsednik vlade.

(…)

Pri nas trga »ni«, ker je »vse« državno. In dokler bo to tako, za kar so zaslužni predvsem profesorji-politiki-nadzorniki-honoriranci, bo na seznamu sramote tudi kdo, ki svoje znanje prek fakultete trži samo Franckam, d. o. o. Žal.

Honorarji in etika Mira Cerarja – Peter Frankl, Finance

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Delu politikov, ki so sprožili zadnjo akcijo, ni šlo samo za to, da istospolnim izboljšajo pravni položaj, ker o tem se je v celoti strinjala tudi desna politika. Tudi jim ni šlo za to, da ti pridobijo nekaj svetega, ker niti ne vejo, kaj je to in kaj bi s tem počeli.

Šlo jim je tudi za to, da nekomu nekaj svetega vzamejo. Za nalašč. Ker lahko. Ker tega ne razumejo, so pa vseeno nevoščljivi tistim, ki razumemo. Kot otrok, ki iz zavisti z veseljem polomi igračo vrstniku. Na tej točki pa je zmerna levica, ki bi se iz Viča rada preselila v Center, naredila napako in jim pritegnila.

(…)

Med tem, ko se bodo medijsko po prsih trkali tisti, katerih največji dosežek v življenju je, da so heteroseksualno spolno usmerjeni in tisti, katerih dosežek je, da se napredno zavzemajo za politično oportune manjšine, bo referendum odlična dimna zavese za rabote na DUTB, SDH in drugod. Mogoče je pa center kost v glodanje vrgel prav zato.

Razumeti sveto in svetno – primer družinske zveze – Žiga Turk, Časnik

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What must one take for granted in order for same-sex marriage to be intelligible? (This is not a question about the motives or beliefs—which can seem quite humane—of those who support same-sex marriage.) It is commonly argued that marriage is no longer principally about the procreation and the rearing of children but that it centers instead on the companionship of the couple and the building of a household. The courts have repeatedly accepted this reasoning. And yet, if same-sex marriage is to be truly equal to natural marriage in the eyes of society and the law, then all the rights and privileges of marriage—including those involving the procreation and rearing of children—must in principle belong to both kinds of marriage, irrespective of the motives impelling a couple toward marriage or whether, once married, they exercise these rights and privileges.

With same-sex couples this can be achieved only by technological means. And so the case for companionate marriage has been supplemented again and again by the argument that we must endorse reproductive technologies that eliminate any relevant difference between a male–female couple and a same-sex couple. This elevates these technologies from a remedy for infertility, what they principally have been, to a normative form of reproduction equivalent and perhaps even superior to natural procreation. But if there is no meaningful difference between a male–female couple conceiving a child naturally and same-sex couples conceiving children through surrogates and various technological means, then it follows that nothing of ontological significance attaches to natural motherhood and fatherhood or to having a father and a mother. These roles and relations are not fundamentally natural phenomena integral to human identity and social welfare but are mere accidents of biology overlaid with social conventions that can be replaced by functionally equivalent roles without loss. The implications are enormousexistential changes to the relation between kinship and personal identity, legal redefinitions of the relation between natural kinship and parental rights, and practical, biotechnical innovations that are only beginning to emerge into view and will be defended as necessary for a liberal society.

(…)

Whether this is the logical outworking of the metaphysical and anthropological premises of liberalism or a radically new thing (…), it marks a point of no return in American public philosophy. And it effectively brings the civic project of American Christianity to an end.

The Civil Project of American Christianity – Micheal Hanby, First Things

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reading-hipster

Ali, dragi levičarji, razumete perverzijo, ki se dogaja na Mladini? Ta tednik ni proti privatizaciji, ker sovraži Janšo, ni proti privatizaciji zato, ker so partizani umirali za našo svobodo in slovenski jezik, niti ni proti privatizaciji, ker ne prenese kapitalizma, proti je zaradi tega, ker je proti njihov lastnik, politično upravljani zmazek, imenovan NLB! S tega vidika je enačba Mladina = politično upravljana NLB = interesne skupine, ki so penetrirale v vlado, najlepši model za opisovanje motivov Mladine.

Kako kazino kapitalizem hrani Mladino – Kizo, Portal Plus

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Oblast govori o reševanju krize, hkrati pa zaradi socialnega miru marginalizira in v tujino izganja sodobnemu svetu najbolje prilagojen del prebivalstva.

Namesto da smo “mladi” in naivno čakamo, da se “postaramo” – ali pa pristanemo na izgon možganov – se že enkrat opredelimo in politično organizirajmo kot generacija. In sporočimo – dovolj, tudi mi si zaslužimo enake priložnosti. Zaslužimo in izboriti si moramo generacijsko neodvisnost; torej sposobnost sprejemanja lastnih odločitev kot posledice vsaj približne premoženjske neodvisnosti. Naša moralna odgovornost v prvi vrsti ni in ne sme biti do staršev in starih staršev, ampak do lastnih partnerjev in – morda ravno zaradi katastrofalne socialne situacije nerojenih in zato povsem neupoštevanih – otrok. Socialna država je super; ampak veljati mora v istih ključnih točkah za vse, ali pa je ni.

Odj**ite že s temi mladimi – Davor Hafnar, Torek ob petih

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hieronim

Politically correct leftism is more than a challenge to liberalism. It is a test of liberalism. (…)

America’s most effective liberals—from Harry Truman to Rahm Emanuel—have known how and when to defy the illiberal left, whether that illiberal left was communist or Third Worldist or, as it is today, infatuated with the jargon of “intersectionality.” The liberals who couldn’t or wouldn’t or didn’t have been dragged toward the same marginality that has always befallen the hard left in America—and always will.

Republicans have suffered greatly over the past six years from their visible terror of their more extreme associates. The evolution toward a more responsible Republicanism remains incomplete, but is visibly under way. Now it seems to be the turn of liberals and Democrats to veer off into their own ideological fever-swamps.

Liberals and the Illiberal Left – David Frum, The Atlantic

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The Church does not rename pagan traditions as the secularist renames Christian holidays, seasons, symbols and so forth. The Church baptizes the world. The Church impudently gives pagan traditions new meanings, of which a new name is an icon and consequence. The Winter Solstice is not renamed ‘Christmas’ in the manner in which secularists timidly rename Christmas ‘Winter Solstice.’ No, the Winter Solstice becomes Christmas — the old gods are dead and Christianity has killed them.

(…)

This helps us to finally understand the difference between a baptism and a renaming. The post-Christian renaming reduces to an acceptable effect without daring to alter the cause. The baptism invokes and declares a new cause — not Spring, but Christ, not the gods, but God, not the garden’s growth, but the Gardener. A cause alone can remain and bear the fruit of effects. An effect divorced from its cause — a holiday apart from a Holy Day, a sign of the cross apart from the Cross — these crumble as a tree without roots. I am Catholic because I want to live in a universe of primary meaning, of a real relation of effect to cause

The Difference Between Renaming and a Baptism – Marc Barnes, The Bad Catholic

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FolioCarols

Če nič od tega ne bo razkritega, pričakujemo vsaj en pošten medijski umor Bojana Petana. Saj veste, Dnevnik je v tej panogi v samem svetovnem vrhu. Dajte jim Dalajlamo pa kak teden dni časa in iz njega bodo naredili mešanico Al Capona, Radovana Karadžića ter Bernarda Madoffa. Njihova prepričljivost, angažiranost in posvečenost medijskim umorom je tako iskrena in silna, da jim je za to res potrebno dati posebno priznanje. Nobena novica za Dnevnik ni tako pozitivna, da iz nje ne bi mogli narediti negativnega spina in nobena informacija ni tako kredibilna, da je ne bi mogli popolnoma relativizirati. Zato vas, sužnje Petana, najlepše prosim, da raztrgate svoje okove in temu trpečemu narodu omogočite vsaj en pošten (čeprav ojdipovski) resničnostni šov letos, in sicer “Dnevnik uniči svojega gospodarja”.

Končno! Vukovićeva in Ranka bosta v Dnevniku raztrgali lastnika Petana! – Kizo, Portal Plus

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By running on a single issue, anticorruption candidates often avoid taking positions on the long list of problems their countries face: stagnant economies, a need for foreign investment, a lackluster civil service. And getting things done often requires knowing how to deal with the people and practices of a corrupt system.

In Slovenia, for instance, Cerar has already faced two serious obstacles in his fight to eliminate corruption. First, many of his nominees to high positions in his new government come from the political establishment he campaigned against. This raises serious doubts about the credibility of Cerar’s electoral promises. Second, a majority of legal institutions continue to do a poor job of upholding the rule of law. The Slovenian judiciary, for example, remains among the least trusted institutions in Slovenia. In a recent high-profile case, the Ljubljana county court sentenced Janez Jansa, the leader of the main opposition party, to two years in prison for accepting bribes in a public procurement case. According to a former justice of the country’s constitutional court, the case was based on insufficient, largely circumstantial evidence. But with the backing of Cerar’s own party, Jansa was also stripped of his seat in parliament, underscoring the political nature of the prosecution and suggesting that Cerar might not be as independent as voters believed him to be.

Put simply, eliminating corruption is difficult, if not nearly impossible—especially from the outside. Yet eastern Europeans hope for deliverance. In Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine, a silent majority has rejected right-wing nationalists in favor of unassuming, pro-European reformers. Liberal-minded parties throughout eastern Europe should take note and seek renewal themselves, drawing to their ranks antiestablishment outsiders with moral backbone.

 The Eastern European Spring. Voters Tilt Toward Pro-EU, Anti-Corruption Candidates – Mitchell A. Orenstein, Bojan Bugarič, Foreign Affairs

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Če je pomembno le število znakov, naštempljane ure, potem bodo uredniki hitro ugotovili, da so v idealni deželi: člankov jim še brati ni treba, kaj šele komentirati in se komu zameriti. Tudi novinarji se bodo hitro prilagodili. Kdor odda raziskan in temeljito pripravljen članek, je idiot – mar bi skopiral nekje od nekod, izpolnil normo glede znakov, poštempljal odmerjeno število ur, od tega pol na kavici s predstavnikom lastnika, kjer bi se mu prilizoval.

(…)

Omeniti moram še element novinarskega dela, ki pa je zunaj poklica in del nezavednih družbenih pravil: jamranje, pasivnost, letargija, fatalizem. Tudi če objavite še tako raziskano in šokantno novico, recimo lopovščino kakega politika, bodo ljudje le zavzdihnili “Takle mamo” in to bo to. Politik seveda ne bo odstopil, le zameril bo.

Skratka, javno mnenje, ki bi moralo biti največji zaveznik novinarstva, pri nas ne obstaja.

Obstaja le javno jamranje. To pa se lahko najbolj naslaja ravno pri zgodbah o lačnih čistilkah in tako je krog sklenjen.

Mučno potovanje v nepomembnost – Miha Mazzini, Planet Siol

 

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Mariboru je šlo slabo že takrat, ko se je še zdelo, da gre Sloveniji dobro. Poudarjam: zdelo! Danes je vsakomur jasno, da se kriza v Sloveniji ni začela 15. septembra 2008 z bankrotom Lehman Brothersov. To nas je kvečjemu pahnilo v spiralo, na katero pa že prej nismo bili pripravljeni.

Razlogi za slovensko zavoženost so starejši. Če bi bili pametnejši, bi jih videli v Mariboru. Namesto da bi v njihovih težavah videli resne, splošne, vseslovenske napake – ekonomske, politične, socialne, kulturne napake, celo zmote -, smo videli zanemarljive probleme lokalnih ljudi, ki da se ne znajdejo in pričakujejo pomoč drugih.

Maribor je bil vseh teh dvajset in več let ogledalo Slovenije, ki nam je kazalo prihodnost. Našo skupno prihodnost. Mi pa smo gledali stran.

(…)

Nihče ni v Mariboru videl splošnih slovenskih problemov. Ne ti ne jaz, ne profesorji ne komentatorji in ne politiki – ne Kučan ne Drnovšek, ne vsi tisti vmes med njunimi časi in današnjim Cerarjem.

Maribor je veliki poraz slovenskega ekonomskega in političnega modela. Sram nas je lahko.

Maribor je Slovenija : samo bolj fejst nor – Marko Crnkovič, Primorske novice

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V Sloveniji se je plačna enakost povečala, ugotavlja urad za makroekonomske analize in razvoj. Kot so pojasnili, so se plače nižje izobraženih v krizi najbolj zvišale (nominalno za več kot 16 odstotkov), plače višje izobraženih pa so se znižale.

(…)

Res se je enakost torej povečala, a na žalost tako, da smo vsi revnejši.

Čedalje bolj enaki, čedalje bolj revni – Rok Pikon, Finance

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Zelo nizek obisk /kinodvoran/ po Sloveniji pomeni, da se, ne glede na to, da smo praktično v vseh večjih mestih v zadnjih desetih letih dobili kinosredišča (te imajo Koper, Kranj, Ljubljana, Celje, Novo mesto, Maribor in Murska Sobota), vseeno srečujemo z nekakšno deurbanizacijo mladega resnejšega aktivnega prebivalstva, ki kulturne vsebine preprosto vse manj spremlja na tak način, da se odpravi od doma. (…) Če (in kako) mladi filmske vsebine spremljajo doma, pa je že drugo, morda malce bolj filozofsko vprašanje.

Nadaljnji strahovit padec kinooobiska v letošnjem letu kaže, da je erozija resnejšega filmskega občinstva vse večja in večja in da je ta ostala relativno čvrsta zgolj še v jasno določenih nišah filmske kulture, ki jo recimo v Ljubljani tvorita Kinodvor in Liffe.

V zgolj dvanajstih letih se je Slovenija iz dežele, kjer je film, tudi slovenski (v obdobju 1998–2003), relativno dobro cvetel, spremenila v urbano puščavo iz poapokaliptičnih filmov, kjer se mladi ljudje najraje zadržujejo doma, od koder jih sem ter tja spravijo zgolj še razvpiti filmi. Ti seveda niso sinonim za mestno življenje, kjer naj bi se rojevale družbene pobude in nove ideje.

Slovenija, dežela brez mestnega življenja? – Samo Rugelj, Planet Siol

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Homosexual marriage is primarily a creation of the judiciary, a fact which is especially evident right now as the lower federal courts go about using the United States Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision to nullify the marriage laws of state after state.

In this essay, we deal with the decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 and a federal district court in California in 2010 holding man-and-woman marriage deficient and, indeed, unconstitutional. But how and on what basis did they do that? There were no written laws, constitutions, or case precedents in either state or federal constitutional law to which to refer. Marriage had existed in the form of a relationship of a man and a woman with a primary purpose of procreation for all human history. Before the homosexual rights movement, no one had ever thought to sue marriage. Marriage was not considered to be a subject for “equal protection” analysis in either state or federal constitutional law. It was not a civil rights issue, much less an “issue.”

The Courts Invent Homosexual Marriage – Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

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The book contains numerous examples to illustrate the deleterious effect boycotts have upon academic freedom. We’re told of authors who refuse to have their books translated into Hebrew, Israeli academics pulled from the editorial boards of journals, PhD students prevented from taking up scholarships, as well as many more mundane examples of academics not being able to speak at conferences or take part in collaborative research projects.

The Boycott-Israel Brigade Undermines the University – Joanna Williams, Spiked

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Pero el problema es que la palabra liberal la quiere todo el mundo. Todos son liberales y conservadores, o socialistas a fuer de liberal. Es una palabra manipulada por todo el mundo. Por eso los que de verdad somos liberales tenemos que tener clara una cosa: si eres liberal tienes que serlo en todas las manifestaciones. La palabra liberalismo no solamente habla de libertades, también de liberación. El liberalismo habla de que el ser humano no puede estar oprimido por los poderes financieros, ni por el poder de los medios de comunicación, ni por el eclesiástico. En este mundo la tendencia a la concentración de poder es tremenda. Este es el problema del liberalismo y tarda uno mucho en entenderlo.

[Težava je, da si besedo liberalizem želijo prisvojiti vsi. Vsi so liberalci in konservativci ali pa so socialisti, ker so liberalci. Gre za besedo, ki jo vsi manipulirajo. Zato nam mora resničnim liberalcem biti jasno nekaj: če si liberalec, moraš biti liberalec v vseh pogledih. Beseda liberalizem ne govori le o svoboščinah, temveč tudi o osvoboditvi. Liberalizem pravi, da človek ne sme biti zatiran niti s strani finančnih moči niti s strani medijskih moči niti strani moči cerkvenih institucij. V našem svetu obstaja grozljiva koncentracija moči. To je problem, s katerim se sooča liberalizem, in zelo zamuja z njegovim dojemanjem.]

Antonio Garrigues Walker: “El auge de Podemos es absoluta y radicalmente lógico y positivo” – Guillermo de Haro & Álvaro Corazón Rural, Jot Down Magazine

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The full horror of the CIA interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in the long-awaited Senate report released on Tuesday.

While parts of the programme had been known – and much more will never be revealed – the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch.

Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.

Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.

The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.

Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings – Dominic Rushe & al, The Guardian

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Torture is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless, and demonstrating the truth of both statements will make clear how completely bankrupt its defenders’ arguments really are. Proving that torture achieves nothing except the cruel degradation of human beings takes away the only argument its defenders have left. It would obviously be better if no one were willing to offer a defense for something as abhorrent as torture, but we know very well that quite a few people are prepared to do that so long as they can dress up what they’re defending in euphemisms and false claims about its efficacy. The point of insisting on torture’s uselessness is to strip away the remaining falsehoods that its defenders use to conceal the ugly reality of what they are defending.

Torture Is Wrong and Useless – Daniel Larison, The American Conservative

***

There is, however, another prism through which to examine these grim stories: the use of excessive violence by the state (see article). It, too, has complex origins, but quite a lot of them may be susceptible to reform. In many cases Americans simply do not realise how capricious and violent their law-enforcement system is compared with those of other rich countries. It could be changed in ways that would make America safer, and fairer to both blacks and whites.

Bits of America’s criminal-justice system are exemplary—New York’s cops pioneered data-driven policing, for instance—but overall the country is an outlier for all the wrong reasons. It jails nearly 1% of its adult population, more than five times the rich-country average. A black American man has, by one estimate, a one in three chance of spending time behind bars. Sentences are harsh. Some American states impose life without parole for persistent but non-violent offenders; no other rich nation does. America’s police are motivated to be rapacious: laws allow them to seize assets they merely suspect are linked to a crime and then spend the proceeds on equipment. And, while other nations have focused on community policing, some American police have become paramilitary, equipping themselves with grenade launchers and armoured cars. The number of raids by heavily armed SWAT teams has risen from 3,000 a year in 1980 to 50,000 today, by one estimate.

Above all, American law enforcement is unusually lethal: even the partial numbers show that the police shot and killed at least 458 people last year. By comparison, those in England and Wales shot and killed no one.

America’s Police on Trial – The Economist

 ***

Votre ouvrage, en rendant Foucault compatible avec le néolibéralisme, risque de faire grincer un paquet de dents!

J’espère ! C’est un peu le but du livre. Je voulais clairement rompre avec l’image bien trop consensuelle d’un Foucault en opposition complète avec le néolibéralisme sur la fin de sa vie. De ce point de vue, je pense que les interprétations traditionnelles de ces derniers travaux sont erronées, ou évitent du moins une partie du problème. Il est devenu aujourd’hui une sorte de figure intouchable dans une partie de la gauche radicale. Les critiques à son encontre sont pour le moins timides. Cet aveuglement est d’autant plus étonnant que j’ai moi même été surpris de l’indulgence dont fait part Foucault vis-à-vis du néolibéralisme lorsque je me suis plongé dans les textes. Ce n’est pas uniquement son cours aux Collège France qui pose question (Naissance de la biopolitique) mais de nombreux articles et interviews, qui sont pourtant accessibles. Foucault était très attiré par le libéralisme économique : il voyait dans celui-ci la possibilité d’une forme de gouvernementalité beaucoup moins normative et autoritaire que la gauche socialiste et communiste qu’il trouvait totalement dépassée. Il percevait notamment dans le néolibéralisme une politique « beaucoup moins bureaucratique » et « beaucoup moins disciplinariste » que celle proposée par l’État social d’après guerre. Il semble imaginer un néolibéralisme qui ne projetterait pas ses modèles anthropologiques sur les individus et leur offrirait une autonomie plus grande face à l’État.

Peut-on critiquer Foucault? – Daniel Zamora, Ballast

***

Slovenija je bila že pred letošnjim letom na nehvaležnem prvem mestu držav po številu sodb ESČP na število prebivalstva z ugotovljenim kršitvami Evropske konvencije. Zdi se, da je v iztekajočem se letu svoj položaj le še utrdila. Statistični podatki so več kot alarmantni, zaradi česar zahtevajo skrbno ter resno obravnavo. Dosegli so že takšno stopnjo resnosti, da jih nosilci državnih oblasti ne morejo več kar tako pometati pod preprogo, če jim je seveda kaj mar za izboljšanje stanja na področju varovanja človekovih pravic.

Najprej se bo potrebno vprašati zakaj smo dosegli tolikšno število obsodilnih sodb Evropskega sodišča in zakaj se varovanje človekovih pravic prav nič ne izboljšuje. Več kot očitno je, da težave nastajajo ne le zaradi pomanjkljivega znanja o Evropski konvenciji, ampak morda tudi zaradi premajhnega zavedanja resnosti problema. Odsotnost resnega obravnavanja takšnih sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav izhaja iz vseh vej oblasti v Sloveniji, pa tudi od organov, ki naj bi delovali na področju varovanja človekovih pravic. Denimo, letno poročilourada Varuhinje človekovih pravic za leto 2013 obravnava le posamezna drevesa – navaja denimo le dve sodbi Evropskega sodišča zoper Slovenijo, ne vidi pa celotnega gozda, torej sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav slovenske države, prvič, pri uresničevanju Evropske konvencije, in drugič, pri izvrševanju sodb Evropskega sodišča v slovenskem pravnem redu.

Tristo – Jernej Letnar Černič, Ius Info

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Po raziskavah zgodovinarjev, ki se ukvarjajo z genocidom nad Romi, je bilo med drugo svetovno vojno v Evropi pobitih okrog pol milijona Romov in Sintov. Nekateri raziskovalci to številko sicer močno povečujejo. Romi so bili, tako kot Judje, žrtev genocida, ki so ga izvajali nacisti in ga strokovno imenujemo porrajmos. Heinrich Himmler je namreč sredi novembra 1943 tudi uradno izenačil položaj Romov z žalostno usodo evropskih Judov.
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Omenjene poboje, ki so jih zakrivili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja, moramo prišteti med vojne zločine nad Romi. Resda ni šlo za genocid, saj slovenske partizanske oblasti niso nikoli ukazale njihovega načrtnega ubijanja. Ampak, ali to spremeni dejstvo, da so več kot polovico vsega romskega prebivalstva v t. i. Ljubljanski pokrajini med drugo svetovno vojno pobili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja?

Sprenevedanje po slovensko – Renato Podbersič ml., Časnik

 

***

Most protesters said Thursday morning that they had returned to the camp not to resist the clearance, but to witness what they called the beginning of another era in a long-term democratic movement.

“This is definitely not the end of the movement,” lawmaker Leong told TIME just hours before his arrest. “With this awakening of the Hong Kong people, we have sown the seeds for the next wave of the democratization movement.”

Hong Kong’s Main Democracy Protest Camp Falls With Leading Protest Figures Arrested – Elizabeth Barber, Time

Tedenski izbor

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Mass clientelism, Fukuyama writes, is different from outright corruption. It creates a primitive (but economically highly damaging) form of democratic accountability. Citizens, after all, can say that they’ll only keep casting their ballot for a politician who actually delivers that plum job in Athens.

Fukuyama argues that the real division in Europe is not between a disciplined, hard-working north and a dolce far niente south, or between countries with generous welfare states and those harder on the needy. The real opposition is between what he calls a clientelistic Europe and a nonclientelistic Europe.

Francis Fukuyama’s ‘Political Order and Political Decay’ – Jan-Werner Mueller, The Irish Times

***

Miti so vsegliharska poceni promocija različnih interesnih grupacij, ki se prolongirajo z mediji samo zaradi tega, ker obstoj mitov garantira donos. Če ne bi bilo mita o zlati dobi Janeza Drnovška, bi se slovenska levica referirala zgolj na Tita, kar pa je slaba popotnica za zajemanje sredinskega volilnega telesa. Če ne bi obstajal mit o racionalnosti in progresivnosti levice, bi se levičarji razgalili kot vsebinsko prazni blebetači, požrtni hohštaplerji, homofobi in odurni nacionalisti. Če ne bi bilo mita o reformatorski desnici, bi desnica morala sama reformirati. To so slovenske kosovske bitke.

Trije najbolj odurni miti o slovenski politiki in ekonomiji – Kizo, Portalplus

***

Bergant, Starič, druščina, dobro jutro. Pred dobrim letom je bil vaš kolega na TV Slovenija suspendiran, ker je povedal, da Bratuškova v svojem govoru v Mariboru ni povedala nič. Takrat neke velike zaskrbljenosti glede kratenja novinarske svobode niste pokazali. Je mogoče zdaj, ko je njeno vsebinsko praznost uradno potrdila tudi Evropa, trenutek za katarzo? Boste na odgovornost pozvali odgovorno urednico, ki je odgovorna za tisto? In še pomembneje, boste končno odložili rožnata očala in pogledali svet v njegovih pravih barvah? Je mogoče bruseljska blamaža Bratuškove priložnost, da postanete neodvisna, nepri­stranska in neobrzdana četrta veja oblasti in se resno lotite resnih zgodb?

Levo. Priden. Piškotek – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Seveda niso vsi novinarji neprofesionalni, manipulativni, kupljeni, pokvarjeni ali preprosto butasti. O številnih bi lahko napisal veliko pohvalnega. Toda večina teh ob vsem skupaj tiho gleda stran in se ne zgane. Čeprav splošno nezaupanje v medije, ki ga opisane slabe prakse povzročajo, najbolj škodi prav tistim, ki odstopajo od povprečja.

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Tako kot niso vsi novinarji slabi, tudi vsi mediji niso enako neprofesionalni ali manipulativni. Nikakor pa zapisano ne velja samo za tiste, ki jim običajno pravimo levičarski ali dominantni mediji. Če uporabim duhovito domislico Blaža Vodopivca, piškotke za novinarje pečejo tako na levici kot na desnici in tudi v zasebnem sektorju. Sam zato za medije in roke, ki jih hranijo, že nekaj časa uporabljam izraz “krotilci javnega mnenja”

Sedem razlogov, zakaj bi morali novinarji razkriti svoje vire – Janez Šušteršič, Planet Siol

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Ker se torej vračamo tja, od koder smo prišli, pravzaprav z dvojno plebiscitarno večino pobegnili, javna intelektualna vest narekuje, da je nekaj treba storiti. V nasprotju z Lukacsem menim, da alternative niso samomor, dekadenca in revolucija, temveč aktivna, javno-intelektualna državljanska zavzetost za evropsko Slovenijo. Pri čemer se je treba zavedati, da tu ne gre za ad hoc politični, ekonomski ali katerikoli kratkoročni interesni izziv, temveč za jedrno civilizacijsko vprašanje o tem, kakšna družba ali država bomo. Oblikovati je treba široko, vključujočo koalicijo razmišljujočih ljudi, zares vseh, »ki dobro v srcu mislijo«, da bodo s svojim delom in imenom aktivno branili tisti vrednostni civilizacijski minimum, ki nam ga zapoveduje slovenska ustava. Demokratično in pravno, ekonomsko odprto in socialno prijazno slovensko državo, utemeljeno na človekovem dostojanstvu, zasidrano v vsebinskem liberalizmu, ki naj nas popelje v svetovljansko smer zahodnega sveta, ne pa v provincialno samozadostnost semidespotskih režimov na obronku Evrope.

Samomor, dekadenca ali revolucija – Matej Avbelj, Časnik

***

Zakaj imamo torej takšne težave z zavračanjem smejočih županov, ki so v resnici navadni kriminalci? Zakaj vsi po malem goljufamo in utajujemo davke? Zakaj imamo problem s sprejemanjem lastne države in spoštovanjem njenih institucij? Zakaj dvomimo v pravno državo in enakost pred zakonom, zakaj smo prepričani, da sta klientelizem in korupcija osrednja problema naše državljanske eksistence?

Odgovori se skrivajo v intimnem dojemanju države kot slabe, nepravične in nefunkcionalne. Umanjkanje normativne integracije se stopnjuje do tiste skrajnosti, onkraj katere je prostor za vse in kjer je tudi dovoljeno vse. To je tisti pravi Balkan, katerega smo ponotranjili približno tako, kot so naši politični zaporniki in pošteni župani obtoženca Josipa Broza Tita, ki se je v bombaškem procesu leta 1928 drl iz zatožni klopi: »Ne priznajem buržoaski sud, jer se smatram odgovornim samo svojoj komunističkoj partiji!«

Banditi, Balkanci, titoisti – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

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Most of Mrs Merkel’s predecessors stood for at least one big, controversial project. Konrad Adenauer after 1949 bound the new republic to the West at the cost of making reunification seem impossible. Willy Brandt recognised East Germany. Helmut Schmidt allowed American Pershing missiles in West Germany to deter a Soviet attack. Helmut Kohl made the Germans give up the D-mark for the euro. Gerhard Schröder liberalised the labour market.

Nobody in Germany today considers Angela Merkel capable of a similar level of leadership. Her power is immense but mainly potential. “She has not tried out how much power she has. For that she would have to dare to do something, to go against polls and the Zeitgeist,” concludes Mr Kurbjuweit. “In a certain way, Merkel is thus a powerless chancellor.” She uses her power to block, not to promote. It is power amassed but unused. If she goes on this way, that will be her main legacy.

Sedating, not leading – The Economist

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Russia has attempted to involve Poland in the invasion of Ukraine, just as if it were a post-modern re-run of the historic partitions of Poland. “He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine,” says Sikorski. “Putin wants Poland to commit troops to Ukraine. These were the signals they sent us. … We have known how they think for years. We have known this is what they think for years. This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, [soon to be President of the European Council] when he visited Moscow. He went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together. Luckily Tusk didn’t answer. He knew he was being recorded.”

Putin’s Coup – Ben Judah, Politico Magazine

***

Kiev feels like a Russian city, architecturally and linguistically. Check into a hotel, signal a waiter, enter a shop, and chances are you will be addressed in Russian. Television talk shows are bilingual — guests speak the language in which they are most comfortable. Taxi drivers still listen to “Russky Chanson,” Russian prison ballads that are something of a cross between gangsta rap and country and western music.

But recent months brought subtle changes. The young consider speaking Ukrainian cool. Some older Ukrainians have adopted the attitude that Russia does not own the culture.

“Some of my friends think that real patriots of Ukraine should not speak Russian because they are enemies,” said Irina Bekeshkina, a sociologist who specializes in political polling. “Why should we identify Putin with the Russian language? Russian language and culture has been around a lot longer than Putin.”

Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots – Neil McFarquhar, The New York Times

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I wrote a piece for the New Republic soon afterward about the Obamacon phenomenon—prominent conservatives and Republicans who were openly supporting Obama. Many saw in him a classic conservative temperament: someone who avoided lofty rhetoric, an ambitious agenda, and a Utopian vision that would conflict with human nature, real-world barriers to radical reform, and the American system of government. (…)

In my opinion, Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today. (Ultra-leftist Noam Chomsky recently called Nixon “the last liberal president.”)

Obama Is a Republican: He’s the Heir to Richard Nixon, Not Saul Alinsky – Bruce Bartlett, The American Conservative

***

Vatican II sought to respond to the changing circumstances of modernity.  Council Fathers wanted to discover how the Holy Spirit was moving the Church to present the teachings of her faith to a new world.  The Council Fathers sought to discover how to follow Our Lord’s great commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19) in the cultures of modernity.  The attempts by the Council Fathers to answer these questions and to present the fruits of their deliberations, however, were hindered by a media contingent attempting to explain the conciliar debates in terms alien to the council and divorced from a deeply historical and nuanced understanding of the faith.  Thus, many misleading and false interpretations of council spread quickly. If nothing else, it allowed for the so-called “hermeneutic of rupture,” which saw Vatican II as a clear split with the tradition of the faith, to survive and take root. Those who were not already well catechized and firm in their faith were unable to differentiate the true faith from that presented to them by a largely secular media.

The Dangers of Transparency – John Macias, Ethika Politika

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One exception to the generally positive religion-marriage link is Latin America, as the figure above indicates. In many countries in this region, cohabitation, single parenthood, and family instability are high, according to data from the World Family Map. And, yet, so too are forms of the Catholic and Protestant faith. Marriage is comparatively weak, and religion is comparatively strong, in countries like Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. In these countries, religious faith may be a lifeline for women, children, and families in communities where the family is weak and poverty is common, places where—as political scientists Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart have argued—“existential insecurity” is high.

So, perhaps it’s no accident that Pope Francis has been making waves with his untraditional approach to tackling the issue of marriage. He may be less likely to associate strong families with strong faith, and more likely to see the ways in which religious faith can be a balm for fragile families. After all, in Francis’s native Latin America, the ties between hearth and altar are attenuated at best.

Religion and Family around the Globe – Bradford Wilcox, First Things

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The central message, after all, of the New Atheism — the message that divides it from earlier forms of skepticism — is that it’s perfectly obvious that God and the supernatural don’t exist, and the only reason you might think otherwise is because you’re either a fool or a charlatan. Dawkins doesn’t know theology and is proud he doesn’t; P.Z. Meyers will happily tell you that the religious emperor obviously has no clothes, and any argument to the contrary is merely the courtier’s reply. It’s obvious, they’ll tell you, that the supernatural doesn’t exist, because science hasn’t found it, and we know that science is the only valid method of inquiry, because the supernatural doesn’t exist.

Duh. Obviously.

The mix of self-congratulation and playground taunts that defines the movement is, in essence, merely the flipside of the defining characteristic of religious fundamentalism: a refusal to acknowledge the intellectual experiences of others. Never mind that plenty of thoughtful, sincere people believe in God due to varying mixes of personal experience and ontological argument; it’s just so obvious that scientific rationalism is the only valid means of interpreting the world that the experiences of others can simply be dismissed out of hand.

Rape Culture, Fundamentalism, and the New Atheism – Luke T. Harrington, Presbylutheranism

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Italijanski filozof Gianni Vatimo razume današnji čas kot »mnoštvo«. S tem hoče povedati, da se sodobni človek ne počuti več povsem vključenega v delo institucij, ki so se oblikovale v 19. in 20. stoletju. Korporativni model, kjer je vsaka panoga ali skupina reprezentirana s strani višjih, ponekod javnih institucij, danes ne deluje več tako organsko kot nekoč. Zato se v sodobnem mnoštvu nenehno rojevajo nove in nove oblike združevanja in delovanja, ki hočejo iz posameznikov ustvarjati javno: pobude, društva, zadruge, kolektive, gibanja, iniciative … Vendar ta združevanja, čeprav izhajajo iz zasebne pobude (s strani posameznikov ali skupin), niso nujno usmerjena le v zasebno dobrobit, temveč želijo doseči neko javno dobro.

Ta premik se je zgodil v vseh segmentih družbe, vendar je najrazločneje opazen prav na področju kulture. Zanjo ne moremo več reči, da je najboljše, najsodobnejše, najkvalitetnejše zaobseženo v javnih ustanovah. Konkretno: ne moremo reči, da so vsi interesi ustvarjalcev in odjemalcev kulture zaobseženi znotraj tradicionalnih kulturnih institucij, kot so kulturni domovi, knjižnice in gledališča. Mesta, ki so znana po svojem živahnem kulturnem življenju, to še dodatno dokazujejo. Berlin, Praga, Krakov, Varšava, Gradec, Gent, pa tudi Pordenone ali Ljubljana ne uživajo ugleda zanimivih in živahnih kulturnih središč zaradi svojih javnih kulturnih zavodov, pač pa ravno zaradi omogočanja spodbud od spodaj, da kulturna združenja bolj optimalno delujejo in s tem ustvarjajo svojo razpoznavnost.

Goriški kulturi naproti – Miha Kosolel, Anja Medved, Gorazd Božič, Goriška.si

Tedenski izbor

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Vprašanje položaja humanističnih ved v izobrazbi je precej aktualno. Če levičarski del javnosti razume pomen, čeprav znotraj svojih ideoloških okvirjev, pa je na desnici pogosto nerazumeljena, in občasno celo zaničevana. A vendar je ravno konzervativna misel tista, katera lahko humanistiki, da smisel obstoja, kateri ni pogojen z njeno koristnostjo in uporabnostjo. Levica pogosto opozarja na nujnost humanistike in družboslovja s potrebo po družbeni kritiki, ki je ne moremo zanikati. A vendar se je potrebno vprašati, kakšno funkcijo bi lahko imela humanistika, ali pa celo katerakoli bazična znanost v brezrazredni družbi, ko bi bil cilj celotne zgodovine izpolnjen.

Apologija humanistike – Andraž Kovač, Časnik

***

His /Tocqueville’s/ ultimate fear was that this tendency toward privatism—especially the “restless” pursuit of thing after thing—and disinterest in the banal activities of self-government would result in an apathetic and disconnected citizenry whose main interest would be security and comfort amid the unpredictability of their economic lives. /…/

In contrast to democracy understood as a discipline of shared self-governance—leading to self-command and an inclination to obey laws made by oneself—Tocqueville describes here instead a people altogether infantalized by their private materialist obsessions and civic indifference. Rather than making them into men and women, this form of democracy creates perpetual adolescents: “[Democratic despotism] would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood.”

The answer to this threat, then, isn’t simply “more democracy.” Tocqueville, rather, pointed to certain arrangements in which active self-rule was more likely to occur—especially local, small-scale settings in which people would develop a strong sense of investment and care in the outcome of decisions.

How Democracy Dies – Patrick J. Deneen, The American Conservative

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Tako kot nekateri Italijani prvo svetovno enačijo zgolj z italijanskimi žrtvami in zmago, počnejo to tudi nekateri Primorci. Natančneje, borci. Takoimenovani borci. V njihovi zvezi je namreč večina ljudi, ki druge svetovne vojne niso doživeli niti kot dojenčki. Oni drugo svetovno vojno enačijo zgolj z levičarsko mitologijo o partizanstvu.

Za ene je prva svetovna vojna samo trikolora. Za druge je druga svetovna vojna samo rdeča zvezda.

In to je velika škoda. Oboji namreč pozabljajo na preproste ljudi, ki so se borili prisilno ali za svoje ideale in mnogi tudi zato umrli. Je moj nono s partizanske strani hotel, da bo po vojni zavladala diktatura? Prepričan sem, da ne. Takoimenovani sodobni borci zato nimajo pravice, da govorijo v njegovem imenu.

Vojna je tragedija, ki se je moramo spominjati, saj tako preprečujemo nove. Zato bi bilo dobro, če se takoimenovani borci usmerili v prihodnost in nehali politiki vsiljevati svoje zvezde.

Mi pa verujemo v našo pomlad! (O Primorcih in t. i. borcih) – Tino Mamić, Časnik

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Kakšno uro ali dve po premieri se je nedaleč stran, v zakulisju informativnega teatra zavrtel še en, neznatnejši, a pozornosti vreden dramski prizor. Besedilo, ki ga je napisala poročevalka STA (Slovenske tiskovne agencije) Jasmina Vodeb, se je uredništvu zazdelo neustrezno ali kar napačno. Zato je bil del poročila črtan in slavnostni govorec je ostal brez besed oziroma brez citata.

Kaj je bilo predmet spora? Dogajanje leta 1939/40. Po besedah Ljuba Sirca se je usodni preobrat v življenju te angažirane ženske zgodil z avgustom 1939, ko sta nemški zunanji minister Ribbentrop in sovjetski zunanji minister Molotov sklenila pakt o nenapadanju (in delitvi Evrope), imenovan tudi pakt med Hitlerjem in Stalinom. Angela Vode, ki je bila tedaj članica komunistične partije, se je nad povezovanjem komunistov z nacisti zgrozila. To je tudi jasno povedala in delovala naprej, kot da pakt ne velja oziroma da nje ne zavezuje ukaz, da se čez naciste ne sme reči žal besede. Zaradi kljubovanja so jo iz partije izključili, za nameček pa sprožili hudournik raznih oblik kaznovanja, tudi dolga leta zapora.

In zakaj se o tem še aprila 2009 ne bi smelo govoriti? Po informacijah, ki so s STA prišle do mene, zato, ker baje jugoslovanska partija ni imela nič s paktom med Hitlerjem in Stalinom. Tudi je menda izmišljotina, da bi koga kaznovali, če je temu nasprotoval. Kaj šele, da bi koga izključili in maltretirali! Saj je vendar splošno znano, da je bil Tito proti Stalinu…! – Tako so torej Ljuba Sirca črtali iz poročila o premieri. Besede, s katerimi je označil Angelin spor s partijo in odnos do nacizma, so izpuhtele, stavek o izključitvi pa je bil zmehčan v »se je s partijo razšla«. Ta verzija – tako rekoč uradna, saj jo je razširila državna tiskovna agencija – je potem zasedla večino informacijskega prostora.

Ob ognju iz polen, vrženih pod noge – Alenka Puhar, Časnik

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Po podatkih finančnega ministrstva je zadolženost Ljubljane 31. decembra 2006 znašala 29,7 milijona evrov, zadolženost njenih pravnih oseb (mestnih podjetij, zavodov…) še dodatnih 26,2 milijona. Skupno torej 55,9 milijona ali 202,3 evra na Ljubljančana. Podatkov za letos še ni, konec leta 2013 pa je dolg Ljubljane znašal 120,5 milijona evrov, dolg njenih pravnih oseb pa 84 milijonov. Skupaj torej 204 milijone oziroma 758 evrov na Ljubljančana. Dolg Ljubljane je bil konec prejš­njega leta torej skoraj štirikrat večji kot v času, ko je Janković začel županovati.

Grdi obrazi najlepšega mesta na svetu – ni jih malo – Jurij Šimac, Novica Mihajlović, Finance

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Vprašanja, ki bi morala plavati po javnem prostoru, so sledeča: kakšen je bil Mramorjev odnos do managerskih prevzemov s pomočjo denarja iz državnih bank? Kakšen je Mramorjev pogled na dajanje garancij, koncesij in subvencij? V kakšni relaciji je Mramor z ljudmi, ki so kronični in masivni odvisniki od koncesij, subvencij in garancij? Kdo so ljudje, ki lahko vplivajo na Mramorjevo mnenje pri javnofinančni konsolidaciji? Kakšne so relacije med Mramorjem in posamezniki, ki upravljajo s paradržavnimi podjetji in paradržavnimi skladi?

Vse to bi morali vedeti in analizirati v kontekstu njegovih preteklih dejanj in interesnega kroga iz katerega prihaja in je tisto, o čemer bi morali razpravljati že od prvega dne, ko je iz SMC prišla informacija, da je Mramor njihov ministrski kandidat.

Razumel bi, da je danes gospodarska rast okoli 5 odstotna, da dolg ne presega 20 odstotkov BDP in da imamo proračunski presežek, ampak temu ni tako, zato skorajda popolna odsotnost debate o svetovnem nazoru in interesni grupaciji tega človeka kažeta, da kljub šestletni ali recesiji ali stagnaciji v tej državi še vedno nihče ni sposoben razprave o realnih problemih in načinih reševanja teh problemov.

Dušan Mramor, računovodja, ki je postal finančni minister – Kizo, Portal Plus

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In your chapter on “The Truth in Socialism”, you say that what conservatives, in your sense, and socialists share is a recognition of the “truth of mutual dependence”. Where, then, does the conflict between socialists and conservatives arise? Over the distribution of the benefits of that mutual dependence?

Partly that. But it also has to do with control. Socialists, when they see a problem, they want a centralised answer to it. Whereas conservatives are more open to the thought that if a problem arises locally, it must be solved locally—to the extent that it can be solved at all. Also, conservatives are open to the thought that most [political] problems are not soluble.

How to be a conservative: a conversation with Roger Scruton – Jonathan Derbyshire, Prospect

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In reality, as the German economist Walter Eucken observed, actually existing economies involve a web of various market forms, with up to 100 different possible combinations of various types of supply and demand (competitive, semi-oligopolistic, oligopolistic, semi-monopolistic, and monopolistic), each of which can be either open or closed. And market forms, of course, are only one of many aspects of an economy. Reality doesn’t often give us easy choices between good and evil but requires a high level of prudence and discernment. In other words, it requires hard work.

My point is not that every time a person advocates capitalism, socialism, or any other economic “-ism” that she must, therefore, be scapegoating. Rather the goal is to encourage my coreligionists (and myself) to get beyond the abstract.

Do you support capitalism? Socialism? Distributism? Something else? Wonderful. What does that look like among the mess of market forms that actually constitute the economy you participate in every day? Rather than criticizing those policies that fall short of your saintly ideal or align too closely with your Hitler, what ones constitute a first step in the right direction for you? And why? And what are the actual consequences, intended or otherwise, that may come about?

Scapegoats of Christian Social Thought – Dylan Pahman, Ethika Politika

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Zaradi vnetega zagovarjanja državnih investicij kot vzvoda gospodarske rasti vas večkrat primerjajo z Jožetom Mencingerjem. Vas ta primerjava moti?

Za te stvari mi je vseeno, včasih so me zmerjali kot neoliberalca, zdaj kot keynesijanca ali mencingerjanca, če hočete. Pomembno je, da znaš v pravem času najti prave recepte za konkretne težave. Najhuje je, če vztrajaš pri istih stališčih vse življenje. Mencinger je nekoč o mojih stališčih dejal nekaj v smislu, končno je ugotovil, jaz to vem že vse življenje. Ampak težava je ravno v tem, da je keynesianec že vse življenje. Keynesijanec moraš biti, kadar je čas za to, torej ko imaš težave s povpraševanjem. Hudič je, če želiš vse bolezni zdraviti z istim zdravilom.

Kam je šel liberalec v meni? – Jože P. Damijan, intervju za Manager

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Begin with the disease. At the core of America’s problems with health care is a great delusion: it likes to think it has a vibrant private marketplace. In fact the country has long had a subsidy-laden system that is the most expensive and complicated in the world, with much of the government cash going to the rich, millions of people left out and little individual responsibility.

/…/

Obamacare’s effects will not be fully understood for years; but it will never be the core of the problem. If America wants to stick to the idea that it has a health-care market, then it should focus on trying to make it more like a market—with prices, competitors and some form of choice.

How to fix Obamacare – The Economist

Tedenski izbor

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Slavish loyalty to historical example at least makes the beliefs and plans of ISIS a little more predictable than those of a spry, global-reach organization like Al Qaeda. We know, for example, that Baghdadi demands total allegiance and that the caliphal structure of ISIS does not lend itself to the cell-based activity that made the bin Laden network hard to eradicate. It also severely limits what ISIS can do, since any attack on a Western city would draw an immediate and devastating counterattack on Raqqa, and wouldn’t require the laborious fumigation of hundreds of mountain caves.

What ISIS’s Leader Really Wants – Graeme Wood, The New Republic

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SD ni sodobna evropska socialna demokracija, za njih je EU neoliberalni sovražnik in jih zato prav nič ne povezuje z ostalimi evropskimi socialno demokratskimi strankami, ki v EU vidijo svoj dom, ne pa demonsko združenje neoliberalnih fašistov. /…/

Ne zanima jih normalizacija političnega trga, ampak si s svojo agresivnostjo in političnim nasiljem ter medijskim izživljanjem prizadevajo, da bi v Sloveniji imeli ekstremno ne pa proevropsko desnico. Zato si vsi tisti, ki razumemo, da levica nikoli ne bo izginila lahko zgolj želimo, da konzervativna in rentniška SD čim prej izgine iz političnega prizorišča na njeno mesto pa stopi moderna in proevropska socialno demokratska stranka. Torej nekaj takega, kot je SD, tam okoli leta 2007, obljubila, da bo postala.

Nekaj ogabnega se je zaredilo v SD – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

Poverty does not explain the lure of jihad for Western fighters. Many of them are quite middle-class. Nasser Muthana, a 20-year-old Welshman who goes by the name Abu Muthana al-Yemeni in IS videos, had offers to study medicine from four universities. Nor does a failure to integrate into the societies around them. Photographs of Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, another British fighter thought to have recently been killed, show a young man in a snazzy suit with a slick hairstyle. He worked at Primark, a cheap retailer, in Portsmouth, a city on the English coast. His father ran a curry restaurant. Nor does religious piety. Before leaving for Syria, Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed, two young men from Birmingham who pleaded guilty to terrorism offences in July, ordered copies of “Islam for Dummies” and “The Koran for Dummies” from Amazon. Some fighters are religious novices, says Mr Maher.

European jihadists: It ain’t half hot here, mum – The Economist

***

It was many years ago that I began investigating this scandal for the Mail. At first, I was accused by some of making up the stories that were, in fact, told to me by parents and the abused girls themselves. I was also branded racist. The reason? I had dared to mention the uncomfortable truth about this abhorrent behaviour: most of the victims are white or of mixed race, while all too often the perpetrators come from Britain’s South Asian communities.

Yesterday’s report was a vindication of the Mail’s journalism as Professor Alexis Jay said that the majority of the abusers were Pakistani males.

Crucially, I believe the reason the crimes were not tackled properly by the authorities was because the racial make-up of the perpetrators was a taboo subject. In the politically correct culture of modern Britain, police, councillors and social services chiefs were terrified of being accused of racism if they highlighted crimes by racial minorities. Instead, they shamefully blamed the girls for being out of control, wilful young teenagers who eagerly consented to sex with men old enough, in some cases, to be their fathers or even grandfathers in exchange for a ‘good time’.

‘I was called a liar and a racist for exposing this sex gang abuse horror’ – Sue Reid, The Daily Mail

***

The liturgy centers the church community around the Sacrament of the Altar–the bread and wine that become, through grace, the Body and Blood of the Lord. “Liturgy” is nothing more (or less) than thousands of years of developed thought about Christ’s relationship with the church, acted out by the church. It is the Church’s attempt to align our worship of Christ on earth with the way Christ is worshiped in heaven.

Hipster liturgists: or, Why I am an Episcopalian – Holgrave, The Hipster Conservative

***

As one of the pioneers of the analogy I feel the irony in how it has quickly gone from scandal to cliché to compare Putin to Hitler, for better and for worse. Certainly Putin’s arrogance and language remind us more and more of Hitler’s, as does how well he has been rewarded for them. For this he can thank the overabundance of Chamberlains in the halls of power today — and there is no Churchill in sight.

It’s a War, Stupid! – Garry Kasparov, Time

***

Covering wars for a polarized nation has destroyed the civic mission I once found in journalism. Why risk it all to get the facts for people who increasingly seem only to seek out the information they want and brand the stories and facts that don’t conform to their opinions as biased or inaccurate?

Why I Decided War Reporting Was No Longer Worth the Risk – Tom A. Peter, The New Republic

Tedenski izbor

The-young-student-Ozias-Leduc

Can you guess which books the wannabe jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed ordered online from Amazon before they set out from Birmingham to fight in Syria last May? A copy of Milestones by the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb? No. How about Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden? Guess again. Wait, The Anarchist Cookbook, right? Wrong.

Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war”but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.

This Is What Wannabe Jihadists Order on Amazon Before Leaving for Syria – Mehdi Hasan, The New Republic

 ***

If Mr Valls wanted to send a message with his new government, Mr Macron is it. Mr Montebourg, who was ousted the previous day, had a knack of irking foreign investors, once telling Mittal, a steel company, that it was “not welcome” in France. Mr Macron, by contrast, spent much time privately picking up the pieces, arguing to investors that France was in fact open for business. Of Mr Hollande’s election-campaign promise in 2012 to set a sky-high top income-tax rate of 75%, Mr Macron once said scathingly, “it’s Cuba without the sun!”.

By itself, of course, Mr Macron’s appointment will not make it any easier for Mr Valls to press ahead with the politically daunting job of sorting out France’s squeezed public finances and trying to revive the stagnant economy. Nor will it put an end to the debate, led by Mr Montebourg and other fellow anti-austerity Socialist deputies outside government, over the pace of fiscal consolidation. But it does at least suggest that the Valls government is serious about pursuing a more business-friendly approach, and about starting to bring the largely unreconstructed left into line with the rest of Europe’s social democrats.

No more Cuban-style policies? – Charlemagne, The Economist

***

Hearing students cite Marcuse while decrying bourgeois society, Novak thought it a good idea to bring Marcuse to campus for a day of discussion and lecturing. But the admiring conversation he expected to witness didn’t occur. Instead, Novak recounts in his 2013 memoir Writing from Left to Right,

After mingling with the students, he was affronted and disgusted. At his lecture he set aside his prepared notes and instead described the severe Prussian discipline of his own education: the classics he had to master; the languages he had to learn by exercises and constant tests. His theme was that no one had any standing on which to rebel against the past—or dare to call himself a revolutionary—who had not registered the tradition of the West. (p. 107)

We can imagine how the students felt hearing this denunciation, but what could they say? Here was a prophet of youth rebellion endorsing utterly disreputable ideas—classics, discipline, mastery, tradition, the West—and telling students fully convinced of their own supremacy that they had nostanding to overturn anything.

The Enemies, and Friends, of the Humanities – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

***

Dear Dr. Dawkins,

Earlier this week, on Twitter, you drew attention to a troubling fact unknown to most people. You pointed out that in the United States and Europe, most children conceived with Down syndrome are aborted.

/…/

You’ve traditionally held a position of moral neutrality regarding abortion. You’ve asserted that killing animals, with the capacity to experience pain, fear, and suffering, is of greater moral significance than killing fetuses: nascently human, you assert, but without the kind of sentience that gives them moral significance. You’ve suggested that no carnivore can reasonably hold a position in opposition to abortion. You’re not alone in that position, it’s become de rigueur among most contemporary analytic ethicists.

disagree with your position. I’ve long ago concluded that the fetus, the embryo, and in fact, the zygote are human beings—undeveloped, certainly, but possessing the dignity and the rights of sentient adults.

Despite my disagreement, I recognize that you’ve tried to apply your viewpoint with consistency across a variety of ethical situations.

Until this week. This week, you moved from presenting abortion as a morally neutral act to asserting that the abortion of some people—genetically disabled people—is a moral good. A moral imperative, in fact.

An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins – J. D. Flynn, First Things

***

Ni ogrožena samo otrokova neodvisnost. Spremembe v strukturi prostega časa in odnosov v družini , ki na podoben način potekajo v večini razvitih držav, lahko po mnenju nekaterih strokovnjakov ogrozijo tudi zdravje otrok. Ameriški psiholog dr. Peter Gray z univerze Boston College trend upadanja količine proste igre povezuje s hkratnim trendom naraščanja psihopatologije med otroci – povečane pojavnosti depresije, anksioznosti in narcisoidnosti. Kot opaža, so intristične dejavnosti (tiste, ki nas veselijo in si jih izberemo prostovoljno) začele upadati na račun ekstrističnih ciljev (tistih, ki nam jih narekujejo od zunaj). »V šoli si otroci prizadevajo za čim boljše ocene in pohvale, v organiziranih športih si prizadevajo za pohvale in pokale. Vse temeljijo na presoji drugih. V prosti igri pa otroci počno, kar hočejo, učenje in duševni razvoj sta stranska produkta, ne pa zavestno postavljena cilja aktivnosti.« Ta premik k potrebi po zadovoljevanju zunanjih pričakovanj je po Grayevem mnenju idealen recept za povečanje depresije in anksioznosti. Če temu dodamo še upadanje občutka samostojnosti, nadzora nad svojim življenjem, ki je povezan s povečanim nadzorom staršev, je recept še prepričljivejši.

Ni časa za igro – Staš Zgonik, Mladina

***

5. Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind. The melanin content of two people’s skin has nothing to do with their capacity to unite in the bond of marriage as a comprehensive union naturally ordered to procreation. The sexual difference between a man and a woman, however, is central to what marriage is. Men and women regardless of their race can unite in marriage, and children regardless of their race deserve moms and dads. To acknowledge such facts requires an understanding of what marriage is.

/…/

While Americans are free to live as they choose, no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationships.Whatever one believes about marriage and however government defines it, there is no compelling state interest in forcing every citizen to treat a same-sex relationship as a marriage when this would violate their religious or other conscientious beliefs.

7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage – Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

***

Joj, kako me je o stanju slovenskih političnih medijev, se pravi, medijev, ki pomagajo razmišljati o človeku in družbi, poučil letošnji žled! Četrtek v žlednem tednu (6. februar): Demokracija ima na naslovnici udbovca Janeza Zemljariča. Slučajno se slišiva s prijateljem J. C., ki profesionalno dela v visoki politiki. Rečem mu, da sem razočaran, da Demokracija ni zmogla na naslovnico dati žleda. Da pa bom počakal še dan, da vidim, če ga bo na svojo naslovnico dala Mladina. Z J. C. sva bila prepričana, da ga tudi Mladina ne bo dala. In res. Mladina (7. februar) je izšla, verjetno že tisočič, s popačenim obrazom Janeza Janše na naslovnici. Če ni Janše, Mladina nima družbene teorije.

To je bil slovenski žledni teden, ki se zgodi na vsakih sto let. To je bil teden, ko so gasilci, prizadeti vaščani, drugi prostovoljci in razne službe dali najboljše od sebe ter pravzaprav razkazali solidarnostni in demokratični potencial slovenskega naroda. In glej: eminentni politični tisk, ki naj bi imel nos za „demokracijo od spodaj“, je ostal v svojih fiksacijah, v svojem negativizmu. Ubožci – sem dejal – še ko vsi trpimo, oni demonizirajo drug drugega. In bil jezen.

Čakajoč na repo iz ušes- Branko Cestnik, Časnik

***

Če zdaj to situacijo vseeno na hitro prenesemo v politični prostor in pogledamo rezultate letošnjih volitev, bomo ugotovili, da bi se pomladna politika iz tega medgeneracijskega razkoraka in prekinitve stika lahko kaj naučila. Tudi v pomladni politični drži namreč mladi nimajo pravih sogovornikov in nič ne pomaga, če se zgražamo, kako na drugi stani mlade nekakšni navidezni sogovorniki in šarlatani vedno zavedejo. Pravi sogovornik mladih je nekdo, ki se približa njihovemu doživljanju, kar sploh ni enostavno, in jih poskuša razumeti in sprejeti, kar je še težje. Tak sogovornik ni žrtev, zato ni zagrenjen in se ne posmehuje zgroženo niti najbolj čudnim idejam, ker so samo ideje. Stoji na svojih nogah, svoje potrebe rešuje drugod, ali pa jih začasno odloži ali skrije, vsekakor pa od mladih nič ne zahteva, se jim ne dobrika in jih ne krivi za njihovo kratkovidnost in obrnjenost vase. Ker vsega tega v našem političnem prostoru ni, me ne čudi, da so nekateri mladi volivci pripravljeni podpreti celo tako absurdno idejo, kot je ideja demokratičnega socializma. Če so bili pred leti zadovoljni samo s stranko mladih, je kriza očitno prinesla zaostritev retorike in, zanimivo, naslonitev na neke čudaške politične zglede pri starejši generaciji. Kot bi se povezali dedki in vnuki, in sicer dedki, ki so zamudili svoj čas, ter vnuki, ki jim nihče ne pokaže, kako vstopiti v tok časa.

Zakaj (travmatične) zgodbe dedkov vnukov ne zanimajo? – Tomaž Erzar, Časnik

***

Še nekaj za tiste, ki berete italijansko:

Nessuno dei quattro grandi paesi che adottano l’euro è davvero a posto, nessuno può alzare il ditino o indossare l’aureola del santo. Ma chi è in grado di convincerli a seguire la retta via? È questo il dilemma che Draghi ha posto indirettamente, ma con chiarezza. E si è scontrato contro un muro, perché nessuno oggi ha il potere di farlo, certo non la Ue che è ridotta sempre più a un club di nazioni chiassose e litigiose, ma nemmeno la Bce che pure è l’unica istituzione federale dotata di veri strumenti d’intervento. I cambiamenti principali finora sono stati compiuti sotto la pressione degli eventi, davanti a rischi drammatici come la crisi bancaria del 2008, il crack della Grecia nel 2010 o il collasso dell’euro nel 2012. E sono comunque rimasti cambiamenti a metà, accettati di mal grado dalla Germania che pure vanta il proprio europeismo federalista.

Draghi ha chiesto un’ulteriore cessione di sovranità e vuole un patto per le riforme da accompagnare al patto fiscale. Se si vuole dare all’euro una intelaiatura più solida è un passaggio inevitabile. Ma oggi non c’è consenso né tra i paesi del sud né in quelli del nord Europa. Dunque, la politica economica europea è in un cul de sac. La Bce alla fine sarà costretta a fare come la Fed se arriverà davvero una nuova tempesta finanziaria. Ma senza dietro un paracadute politico, nessuno può garantire che sia davvero efficace. Draghi lo sa e lo ha detto. Anche la sua diventerà una predica inutile?

Mario Draghi e l’Europa irriformabile – Stefano Cingolani, Linkiesta

***

Za konec pa še zgodba, ki daje dober vpogled na način, kako se dela kadrovska politika v Sloveniji – ali drugače, na poniglavost, s katero je odhajajoča vlada v vse pore družbenega življenja skušala nastaviti svoje mediokritetne kadre. Bo v prihodnje kaj boljše? Gotovo ne, če bomo še naprej skomigali z rameni in s tem dopuščali tako prakso.

The Judicial Council of the Republic of Slovenia prepared a ranking of candidates and proposed to President of Slovenia to send the names of three highest-ranking candidates to the Parliament, which has to vote on the list of three candidates in order to be sent to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. However, Mr Pahor, the incumbent President of Republic of Slovenia, last week refused to send the list of three high ranking candidates to the Parliament and requested that the Ministry of Justice repeats the call for applications. It is not entirely clear why Mr Pahor rejected the list approved by the Judicial Council, but it appears that the merits of the candidates did not impress him. Surprisingly, the Ministry of Justice at this point does not plan to repeat the call for application.  It seems we are witnessing situation so often seen in the Central and Eastern European countries where the merits of the candidates play only side role in the nomination process and where the nomination of the candidates to the European Court of Human Rights comes down to brutal power politics.

Problem-Ridden Nomination Process for Judge on behalf of Slovenia at the European Court of Human Rights – Esohap

Tedenski izbor

kertesz

Sam nisem voznik, zato vsaki kritiki, ki jo naslovim na samozavestnega slovenskega voznika, sledi: »Ko boš imel vozniški izpit, boš že razumel!« Dober voznik ne potrebuje legitimacije drugega, dovolj mu je dejstvo, da je on voznik in vozi tako, kot je pač v navadi v teh krajih. Legitimacije ne pridobi z odgovorno soudeležbo v občem prostoru prometa, kjer so pravila jasna in vsakemu udeležencu že prej znana, temveč sam od sebe, v neke vrste cehovski solidarnosti, s tiho zavestjo, da si to lahko privošči, ker je močnejši. Ni promet kot občost tista, ki nekomu podeli status dobrega voznika, temveč je dober voznik tisti, ki ustvarja stanje v prometu.

S takimi dobrimi vozniki se srečujemo na vsakem ovinku svojega bivanja. Ko se pogajamo z občinskimi politiki in lokalnimi veljaki, ko poskušamo sodelovati z odgovornimi v javnih inštitucijah na področju kulture in drugih družbenih dejavnostih, ko se moramo meniti s poldržavnimi gospodarstveniki, študentskimi funkcionarji itd. Nihče se ne počuti kot del neke občosti, da je odgovoren do nje, in da bo legitimacijo, ali dela dobro ali ne, dobil ravno v tem, ko bodo vsi njeni udeleženci bolj optimalno delovali. Ne, že samo dejstvo, da so se prebili do neke pozicije in počnejo stvari tako, kot je v navadi, je čisto dovoljšnje upravičenje za njihovo nadaljnje delovanje.

»Ko boš imel vozniški izpoit, boš že razumel!« – Miha Kosovel, Časnik

***

Redukcija politike na boj med klientelami je, res, značilnost Vzhodne Evrope. In sploh perifernih držav. To pa se dogaja prav zato, ker te države niso vzpostavile učinkovitega mehanizma izmenjave elit. Ravno zato, ker v premnogih družbenih podsistemih vlada kadrovska inertnost, postane skrajna politizacija edini način, kako stvari premakniti iz mrtve točke. Politični boj se sprevrže v borbo za pozicije v javnem sektorju in paradržavnih strukturah, saj se zdi, da po normalni poti, prek kriterijev meritokratske selekcije, ni mogoče spremeniti ničesar. Javni sektor postane sistem dodeljevanja rent in sinekur političnim privržencem, ki v zameno skrbijo za širjenje »ideološke« (beri: kulturnobojne) megle, ki zakriva, za kaj v resnici gre. To stanje je gojišče vse bolj nezmernih idej o raznih »neoliberalnih revolucijah« – ki pa ne morejo priti do besede drugače kot z jezikom kulturnega boja, kar je voda na mlin taistim predatorskim elitam. Začarani krog.

O plemenitem poslanstvu Grege Repovža – Luka G. Lisjak, Časnik

***

Še vedno sem prepričan, da sta SDS in Janša glavna za kakršenkoli preobrat na bolje v Sloveniji. Na žalost pa kaže, da SDS sporočila volitev še ni dojela. Po objavi rezultatov so izdali javno sporočilo, ki še najbolj spominja na kakšen razglas zvezne partije v času, ko je nekdanja država že razpadala po vseh šivih, in se je nanašal na neko resničnost, ki je živela samo še v glavah zveznih funkcionarjev. Ko bo Janševa obsodba razveljavljena, mu Slovenija ne bo razvila rdeče preproge in ga povabila, naj postane imperator. Na žalost bo odziv sistema in tudi velike večine prebivalcev »business as usual«. Kardinal Rode je spomnil, da sta tudi Gandi in Mandela po prihodu iz zapora prevzela vodenje preporoda države. Vendar je prvi pogoj za to, da se nekaj podobnega zgodi tudi pri nas, da Janša pride iz zapora vsaj kot pol Gandi ali pol Mandela. Če pride kot stoodstotni Janša ali celo 150-odstotni Janša, se bo čedalje večji del zmernega volilnega spektra, tistega, ki ga je za premierski položaj podprl leta 2004, odvračal od njega.

Post mortem – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

Če smo demokrati, imamo zato samo eno možnost: spoštovati voljo ljudi in strpno sprejeti dejstvo, da je Janez Janša poslanec. Ali so njegovi volilci normalni? Da. Preprosto verjamejo, da je nedolžen in po krivem obsojen. In glede na šlamastiko slovenskega pravosodja, ki je prepleteno z mafijskimi omrežji pokvarjenih sodnic in sodnikov, imajo svoje argumente. Ali je vso to dogajanje zdravo za Slovenijo? Niti slučajno.

SDS je stranka, ki je danes ni mogoče vključiti v politični proces vodenja države. Je stranka destrukcije, ki s svojim pomembnim deležem pridobljenim na volitvah zaradi svoje strategije krči parlamentarni prostor. Je stranka, ki nima namena sodelovati in se pogovarjati z nikomer. Niti z najbližjimi, celo partnerji. Tako kot ima Italija težave z destruktivnostjo predstavnikov Beppe Grilla, ima tudi Slovenija težavo s tem, da petina parlamentarnega prostora nima namena sodelovati pri vodenju države. Tej petini pa se je sedaj pridružila tudi Združena levica, ki destrukcijo vodi z drugega kota. Zato je maneverski prostor pomembno zožen in terja še toliko več dialoga med preostalimi zmernimi političnimi silami. Ta strategija SDS je z vidika volilnega rezultata samomorilska. Zaradi take kampanje so samo na zadnjih volitvah izgubili vsaj pet odstotkov. Z vidika politike, ki hoče uspeh na volitvah ter nato vladati, je taka strategija torej nespametna.

Toda ta strategija je z njihovega vidika povsem utemeljena in celo edina možna etična drža.

A je to demokracija, da je Janša poslanec? – Sebastjan Jeretič, Neurovirtu

***

I recognize the Fox Geezer Syndrome these readers identify. This is what happens when conservatism becomes an ideology instead of an approach to life. It indicates an extremely unconservative temperament, frankly. /…/ These Fox Geezers may well be conservative in their politics, right down the line. What they’re doing, though, is allowing politics to consume their minds and their entire lives, such that they are making impossible the kinds of things that true conservatives ought to be dedicated to conserving: that is, the permanent things, like family. I have been around Fox Geezers before, and I see absolutely no difference between them and the kind of self-righteous loudmouths on the left that make reasonable discussion impossible, because all problems are reduced to a conflict between Good and Evil, and decided in advance.

The tragedy — and I think it is exactly that — is that the elderly often have great wisdom to share with the younger generations, to say nothing of the fact that it is they who have the long view, and who ought to understand how important it is to nurture bonds among family members, especially across the generations. Yet in these cases, it is they who behave like teenagers and twentysomethings, full of piss and vinegar and a toxic certainty, plus a radioactive impulse to crusade. What they lack is the principal conservative virtue: Prudence.

Fox Geezer Syndrome – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

***

It’s not that abortion opponents don’t really care about abortion as such, but only about sexual mores, but that political language is necessarily corrupt because its purpose is pornographic in the sense that it is intended to provoke action, not increase understanding.

/…/

I really, really do believe that the more seriously you take the proposition that abortion is categorically immoral, the more morally imperative it is for you not to hitch your wagon to the star of either political party. Nothing is more corrupting of the anti-abortion cause than its subsumption into a culture war that is fundamentally – fundamentally – about making it easier for politicians to get re-elected.

You Know What’s Murder? Politics Is Murder – Noah Millman, The American Conservative

***

It is not an accident that the three key planks of the Left-wing outlook today – the anti-Israel anti-war sentiment, the shallow anti-capitalism of Occupy, and the worship of those who leak info from within the citadels of power – should all have had issues with anti-Semitism. It is because the left, feeling isolated from the public and bereft of any serious means for understanding modern political and economic affairs, has bought into a super-simplistic, black-and-white, borderline David Icke view of the world as a place overrun and ruled by cabals and cults and sinister lobby groups. And who has always, without fail, been the final cabal, the last cult, to find themselves shouldering the ultimate blame for the warped, hidden workings of politics, the economy and foreign turmoil? You got it – the Jews.

 Is the Left Anti-Semitic? Sadly, it is heading that way – Brendan O’Neill, The Daily Telegraphy

***

Up until now, even European politicians who were paying attention to developments in Hungary — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example — believed that they didn’t have any political capital to spare amid the euro crisis. It was difficult enough for European leaders to bully Greek governments into drastic spending cuts; they didn’t want to be seen lecturing small central European nations on democratic norms as well. But given the current perception, right or wrong, that the continent’s financial crisis is no longer acute, Brussels and Europe’s bigger states may finally get serious about Orban. They should understand that the new ideological conflict — liberal versus illiberal Europe — is a greater danger to the foundations of the EU than the euro crisis. Of course money matters — but a rising antiliberalism inside the EU, inspired and materially supported by Putin, could tear the Union apart morally and, ultimately, politically. Orban has done the rest of Europe a favor by spelling out his illiberal intentions so openly — and making it clear just how high the stakes are.

Moscow’s Trojan Horse: In Europe’s Ideological War, Hungary Picks Putinism – Jan-Werner Müller, Foreign Affairs

***

I’d respectfully argue that libertarianism is neither dangerous nor doomed, and that people who think otherwise are misled by a double standard they use when analyzing this political faction. When they write about a “libertarian moment,” they act as if it would mean the immediate embrace of an extreme, ideologically pure version of a philosophy that most actual sympathizers embrace with pragmatic moderation. Yes, if the most radical faction of any ideology that has never before exercised power was suddenly put in charge, that might well end in disaster. But in the real world, libertarian ideas will only ever be implemented partially in a system of checks and balances where modest reforms are difficult to achieve, never mind sweeping, rapid changes. It’s true, but trivially so, that neither a libertarian nor a liberal nor conservative utopia is coming. But liberals and conservatives exercise power regularly, so no one is under the silly illusion that their ascendance would entail a pure ideological program untempered by reality.

“Is libertarian economics at all realistic?” Krugman asks, as if the question is coherent. There are deep disagreements among libertarians about economic policy. There is never a moment when an entire economic philosophy comes up for a vote. It may just be that libertarian thinkers are correct on the merits of some policies, like rent control, and incorrect on others, like the gold standard, and that the prudent thing for a pluralistic society would be to adopt their best ideas and insights, rather than preemptively declaring all libertarian economic ideas unrealistic.

Libertarians Can Be a Significant Force for Good in U.S. Politics – Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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Prostitution is moving online whether governments like it or not. If they try to get in the way of the shift they will do harm. Indeed, the unrealistic goal of ending the sex trade distracts the authorities from the genuine horrors of modern-day slavery (which many activists conflate with illegal immigration for the aim of selling sex) and child prostitution (better described as money changing hands to facilitate the rape of a child). Governments should focus on deterring and punishing such crimes—and leave consenting adults who wish to buy and sell sex to do so safely and privately online.

Prostitution: A personal Choice – The Economist

 

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Compared to virtually all comedians today, Williams was a gentleman. He certainly wasn’t a jerk in the mode of Johnny Carson or Seinfeld. Nor did he content himself with ironically orbiting life with sad eyes in the mode of Bill Murray. He was hardly ever gratuitously gross, because he knew, even as a performer, he had grown-up responsibilities. Even though, in my opinion, Louis C.K. is funnier and maybe deeper, he has a lot to learn about being a grown-up, to say nothing of a gentleman.

Williams, apparently, never achieved in his own life the self-confidence and self-knowledge of his best characters. He seemed never to have been quite comfortable in his own skin. Too much restlessness and not enough serenity. He was a great man.

Robin WIlliams as a Man in Full – Peter Augustine Lawler, National Review

 

Tedenski izbor

library-reading

The enormity of the destruction of flight MH17 should have led Mr Putin to draw back from his policy of fomenting war in eastern Ukraine. Yet he has persevered, for two reasons. First, in the society he has done so much to mould, lying is a first response. The disaster immediately drew forth a torrent of contradictory and implausible theories from his officials and their mouthpieces in the Russian media: Mr Putin’s own plane was the target; Ukrainian missile-launchers were in the vicinity. And the lies got more complex. The Russian fiction that a Ukrainian fighter jet had fired the missile ran into the problem that the jet could not fly at the altitude of MH17, so Russian hackers then changed a Wikipedia entry to say that the jets could briefly do so. That such clumsily Soviet efforts are easily laughed off does not defeat their purpose, for their aim is not to persuade but to cast enough doubt to make the truth a matter of opinion. In a world of liars, might not the West be lying, too?

A Web of Lies: Russia. MH17, and the West – The Economist

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As America grew and changed after World War II, urban planners dismissed the historic structure of town life. Old buildings were demolished to make way for modern architecture. Neighborhoods gave way to suburbs designed around and for the automobile. Not only did this erase the aesthetic loveliness of our towns, it had dangerous consequences for community. Alexandria’s battle to preserve something small and traditional amid the burgeoning sprawl of the nation’s capital region is a struggle with obvious parallels to the efforts of traditionalist conservatives around the country—those who believe in creative preservation, not just creative destruction. But there’s more at stake here, too: a future for American urbanism that doesn’t just hold onto the best of the past but makes it a viable, enlivening pattern for the 21st century as well. Redevelopment must be handled with a delicate touch, careful not to stretch or tear the precious fabric that makes a town a place.

The Battle of Alexandria – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

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Young Democrats have become selfishly against real equality in their opposition to any kind of moral restraint imposed by government. They’re the party of uninhibited freedom in one’s own personal life. And they are no longer moved by any sensitivity to the injustices of the growing inequality — or the struggles of the failing middle class — that are the consequences of the unmediated effects of the global competitive marketplace on ordinary American lives. Well, I’ve been saying for a while that big-government progressivism, or the communitarian Left, is dead.

Is Progressivism Dead? – Peter Augustine Lawler, National Review

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According to Orbán, the time of liberal democracies has come to an end. Something else, something better will come that will ensure “competitiveness” in this global economy. Orbán mentioned a few countries worth imitating: Singapore, China, India, Turkey, and Russia. What a happy prospect in the center of Europe!

Close to the end of his speech Orbán listed a number of unexpected global occurrences. For example, no one would have ever imagined that Barack Obama could be sued by Congress for repeatedly encroaching on Congress’s power. He expressed his utter astonishment and continued: “What do you think, how long could I stay in office if parliament could sue me for overstepping our authority?” Viktor Orbán does not even pretend. He tells the whole world that he has unlimited power. He has no shame. In fact, he is proud of it.

Foreign journalists should no longer have to pretend either. They don’t have to use milquetoast adjectives like “conservative,” “right-of-center,” and “conservative-nationalist” anymore. Call it what it is. A one-man dictatorship with more or less free but unfair elections.

Viktor Orbán’s Hungary: An Illiberal Democracy – Hungarian Spectrum

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While you are on the demonstration, if passersby disagree with you about Israel and Gaza, do not surround them, shove them, steal their phone and call them a “Jew Zionist”. Having a different view of where blame and responsibility lie in the current conflict does not make someone a proxy-combatant for you to attack.

While you are at the demonstration, do not compare Israel to Nazi Germany. Gaza is not the Warsaw Ghetto. If you can’t tell the difference, this post explains it. It’s a totally false comparison that plays on Jewish sensibilities in order to provoke a reaction. Another word for that is Jew-baiting. Don’t do it.

In fact, don’t take any banner or placard that has a swastika on it. Not when it is equated with a Star of David and not when it is drawn on Bibi Netanyahu’s forehead. Don’t you find it odd that the only political demonstrations where it is considered OK by people on the Left to wave a swastika, just happen to be protests against the world’s only Jewish state? That’s an almighty coincidence.

Oh, and don’t wave a Socialist Worker banner out of the window of a Lamborghini. It makes you look like a shmuck. And I bet you don’t even need your Jewish friends to translate what that means.

An Open Letter to Pro-Palestinian Protestors – Dave Rich, The Huffington Post 

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There is no moral justification for Hamas firing rockets against Israeli cities, but what initially sparked the current conflict was Israel’s determination to undermine the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. By that agreement, Hamas actually subordinated itself to the Palestinian Authority and to a new government that was to be staffed by technocrats who had no affiliation to either party. As Nathan Thrall from the International Crisis Group wrote in The New York Times, that agreement could have served the interest of an Israeli government committed to a two-state solution:

It offered Hamas’s political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel.

But from the beginning, Israel set out to undermine it. That was consistent with Israel’s denial of Palestinian self-rule, and it helped to provoke the current conflict.

Who Bears More Responsibility for the War in Gaza? – John B. Judis, The New Republic

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Vse navedeno kaže, da pisanja na roko nikakor ne gre izrinjati iz šolskih klopi na račun uvajanja računalniških pripomočkov, kakršne so tablice. Te naj bodo le dopolnilo ostalim oblikam učenja in poučevanja. Kako tablice delujejo, otroci dovolj zgodaj ugotovijo sami, v šoli bi moral biti poudarek na drugih aktivnostih, meni Tancigova. Pisanje na roko spodbuja tudi razvoj fine motorike; predmeti, v okviru katerih se odvijajo telesne aktivnosti in spodbuja kreativnost (umetnost), bi morali imeti več prostora v šolskem kurikulu. Finski arhitekt in izjemni mislec Juhani Pallasmaa v knjigi Misleča roka(izid izvirnika 2009) zelo dobro pokaže pomen povezanosti telesa in možganov (utelešena kognicija) ter poudarja povezovanje uma in roke ter pomen ročnega risanja pri ustvarjalnem delu.

Uporaba sodobnih tehnologij ima po drugi strani za posledico, da se, laično rečeno, možgani polenijo. Človeški možgani so zelo plastični in se oblikujejo odvisno od rabe, zato ni vseeno, v kakšnem okolju živimo ali kaj delamo. Prva svarila pred pasivizacijo je bilo slišati že v času zmagovitega pohoda televizije, z internetom in sodobnimi tehnološkimi igračkami je podobno. Posledice prevelikega naslanjanja na tehnologijo je zaznati pri študentih, ki imajo zaradi pomanjkljivega znanja pogosto velike težave pri iskanju informacij ali selekcioniranju le-teh, se raje kot na izvirnike naslanjajo na kratke obnove knjižnih in strokovnih del, ki jih dobijo na spletu … Vse to neredko vodi v površinskost, nepoglobljenost in nereflektiranost /…/

O izginjanju pisanja na roke – Agata Tomažič, Pogledi

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Dawkins’ narrowmindedness, his unshakeable belief that the entire history of human intellectual achievement was just a prelude to the codification of scientific inquiry, leads him to dismiss the insights offered not only by theology, but philosophy, history and art as well.

To him, the humanities are expendable window-dressing, and the consciousness and emotions of his fellow human beings are byproducts of natural selection that frequently hobble his pursuit and dissemination of cold, hard facts. His orientation toward the world is the product of a classic category mistake, but because he’s nestled inside it so snugly he perceives complex concepts outside of his understanding as meaningless dribble. If he can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist, and anyone trying to describe it to him is delusional and possibly dangerous.

Richard Dawkins: What on Earth Happened to You? – Eleanor Robertson, The Guardian

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Bonus: članek dr. Mateja Avblja, objavljen v Delu pred enim letom, ter intervju z Bernardom Brščičem, objavljen v reviji Razpotja poleti l. 2011:

Spoštovanje vsakega posameznika, njegova ekonomska osamosvojitev, razcvet civilne družbe in s tem pravega družbenega pluralizma bodo Slovenijo pomagali odpreti tudi navzven in jo spremenili v svetovljansko družbo. Odprta za pretočnost dobrih idej, ne glede na njihov izvor ali svetovnonazorsko obarvanost, bo evropska Slovenija lahko pritegnila tudi številne posameznike s sveta, ki bodo s seboj prinesli spet nove ideje, nov kapital in nove spodbude za nadaljnji družbeni razvoj, obenem pa bodo Slovenijo vpeli tudi v globalne okvire.

Ideja Evropske Slovenije – Matej Avbelj, Delo

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Sam menim, da je ekonomiziranje, torej postavljanje primata ekonomiji in reduciranje vsega družbenega na ekonomsko, pogubno. Politika preprosto ima svojo dimenzijo in ekonomija ji je podrejena in je samo sredstvo za reševanje ekonomskega problema. V 20. stoletju pa smo zdrsnili v to, da je ekonomija postala primarna in politika zgolj odvisna od ekonomije. Politika se tako reducira bodisi na zadovoljevanje interesov – gre za politiko brez romantike, bodisi na urejanje javnih zadev iz vidika sodobne doktrine menedžiranja. Sam obema pojmovanjema politike in političnega ostro nasprotujem, zlasti redukciji političnega na udejanjanje interesov. Res pa je, da ob analizi slovenske stvarnosti človek zelo hitro dobi občutek, da politika ni nič drugega kot udejanjanje interesov.

Kljub temu sam menim, da je izhod iz te brezupne družbene krize povezan ravno z reafirmacijo političnega, s sposobnostjo političnih skupin, da artikulirajo skupno dobro.

 

Ugrabitev države in kriza političnega: pogovor z Bernardom Brščičem – Marijana Koren, Razpotja