Tedenski izbor

branje9

Everyone in this debate favors marriage equality. Everyone wants the law to treat all marriages in the same ways. The only disagreement our nation faces is over what sort of consenting adult relationship is a marriage. Since the Constitution doesn’t answer that question, the people and their elected representatives should.

As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pointed out two years ago, there are two different visions of marriage on offer. One vision of marriage sees it as primarily about consenting adult romance and care-giving. Another vision sees it as a union of man and woman—husband and wife—so that children would have moms and dads.

Our Constitution is silent on which of these visions is correct, so We the People have constitutional authority to make marriage policy.

Ryan T. Anderson – Citizens, Not Judges, Should Determine Future of Marriage, The Daily Signal

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Tedenski izbor

branjevka

Everybody who is on the Internet is subject to insult, trolling, hating and cruelty. Most of these online assaults are dominance plays. They are attempts by the insulter to assert his or her own superior status through displays of gratuitous cruelty toward a target.

(…)

Clearly, the best way to respond is to step out of the game.

(…)

Historically, we reserve special admiration for those who can quiet the self even in the heat of conflict. Abraham Lincoln was caught in the middle of a horrific civil war. It would have been natural for him to live with his instincts aflame — filled with indignation toward those who started the war, enmity toward those who killed his men and who would end up killing him. But his second inaugural is a masterpiece of rising above the natural urge toward animosity and instead adopting an elevated stance.

Conflict and Ego – David Brooks, The New York Times

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Tehnologija nam je omogočila, da stojimo sredi dvorane zrcal in povsod vidimo samo sebe. V resnici pa nas internetni algoritmi delajo osamljene in nevarne, ker večajo naš narcisizem s tem, da odstranijo ves svet, ki ni kot mi. Okrepijo lastnosti, ki jih imamo. In ker se v osami in anonimnosti interneta prej pokažejo slabe lastnosti, okrepijo njih.

Drugačno mnenje je šok. V svetu, ki je ves kot jaz, nenadoma zagledamo košček nejaza in srd je strahoten, treba ga je odstraniti, takoj! Grožnje in trolanje postajajo norma. Sodobna komunikacija ni več pogovor, marveč je postala eksorcizem.

Dvorana zrcal – Miha Mazzini, Siol.net

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There’s much to the view of Punxsutawney as purgatory: Connors goes to his own version of hell, but since he’s not evil it turns out to be purgatory, from which he is released by shedding his selfishness and committing to acts of love.

(…)

Ultimately, the story is one of redemption, so it should surprise no one that it speaks to those in search of the same. But there is also a secular, even conservative, point to be made here. Connors’s metamorphosis contradicts almost everything postmodernity teaches. He doesn’t find paradise or liberation by becoming more “authentic,” by acting on his whims and urges and listening to his inner voices. That behavior is soul-killing. He does exactly the opposite: He learns to appreciate the crowd, the community, even the bourgeois hicks and their values. He determines to make himself better by reading poetry and the classics and by learning to sculpt ice and make music, and most of all by shedding his ironic detachment from the world.

A Movie for All Time. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Growdhog Day Scores – Jonah Goldberg, National Review

 ***

For conservatism is about national identity. It is only in the context of a first-person plural that the questions – economic questions included – make sense, or open themselves to democratic argument.

Such was the idea that Edmund Burke tried to spell out 200 years ago. (…) Political wisdom, Burke argued, is not contained in a single head. It does not reside in the plans and schemes of the political class, and can never be reduced to a system. It resides in the social organism as a whole, in the myriad small compromises, in the local negotiations and trusts, through which people adjust to the presence of their neighbours and co-operate in safeguarding what they share. People must be free to associate, to form “little platoons”, to dispose of their labour, their property and their affections, according to their own desires and needs.

But no freedom is absolute, and all must be qualified for the common good. Until subject to a rule of law, freedom is merely “the dust and powder of individuality”. But a rule of law requires a shared allegiance, by which people entrust their collective destiny to sovereign institutions that can speak and decide in their name. This shared allegiance is not, as Rousseau and others argued, a contract among the living. It is a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead

(…)

In other matters, too, it is not the economic cost that concerns the conservative voter but the nation and our attachment to it. Not understanding this, the government has embarked on a politically disastrous environmental programme. For two centuries the English countryside has been an icon of national identity and the loved reminder of our island home. Yet the government is bent on littering the hills with wind turbines and the valleys with high speed railways. Conservative voters tend to believe that the “climate change” agenda has been foisted upon us by an unaccountable lobby of politicised intellectuals. But the government has yet to agree with them, and meanwhile is prepared to sacrifice the landscape if that helps to keep the lobbyists quiet.

Identity, family, marriage: our core conservative values have been betrayed – Roger Scruton, The Guardian

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I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.

(…)

The definition of marriage should have nothing to do with lessening emotional suffering within the homosexual community. If the Supreme Court were able to make rulings to affect feelings, racism would have ended fifty years ago. Nor is this issue primarily about the florist, the baker, or the candlestick-maker, though the very real impact on those private citizens is well-publicized. The Supreme Court has no business involving itself in romance or interpersonal relationships. I hope very much that your ruling in June will be devoid of any such consideration.

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from a Child of a Loving Gay Parent – Katy Faust, Public Discourse

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Tedenski izbor

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

***

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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Tedenski izbor


reading-stairs

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

Spomini na neko resetiranje – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

***

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

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

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

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

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

 

***

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

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

Are the Genitals Beautiful? – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

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

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

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

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

Biti tukaj – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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

Prispevki k spremembi slovenskega kulturnega modela – Pogledi

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

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

(…)

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

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

Tedenski izbor

nun-reading

The contrast illustrates a characteristic of Lincoln’s which his biographers have never sufficiently emphasized. His mind was capable of harboring and reconciling purposes, convictions and emotions so different from one another that to the majority of his fellow-countrymen they would in anybody else have seemed incompatible. He could hesitate patiently without allowing hesitation to become infirmity of will. He could insist without allowing insistence to become an excuse for thoughtless obstinacy. He could fight without quarreling. He could believe intensely in a war and in the necessity of seeing it through without falling a victim to its fanaticism and without permitting violence and hatred to usurp the place which faith in human nature and love of truth ordinarily occupied in his mind.

When, for instance, the crisis came, and the South treated his election as a sufficient excuse for secession, he did not flinch as did Seward and other Republican leaders. He would not bribe the South to abandon secession by compromising the results of Republican victory. Neither would he, if she seceded, agree to treat secession as anything but rebellion. But although he insisted, if necessary, on fighting, he was far more considerate of the convictions and the permanent interests of the South than were the Republican leaders, who for the sake of peace were ready to yield to her demands.

Abraham Lincoln Was Not a Man of the People – Herbert Croly, The New Republic

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Lahko rekonstruiramo genezo Zgodovencev? Na našo srečo so kolumnisti v tem smislu povsem jasni: Zgodovenci so nastali, ko so se zgodovinski Slovenci »zataknili« pri eni stvari. Ne pri desetih ali petintridesetih stvareh v preteklosti, ampak zgolj pri eni stvari, ki je niso »prebavili«, »predelali« ali »presegli«. Ostali so na neki stopnji in se pač niso premaknili naprej. Na zunaj živijo sodobna življenja, v svojem bistvu pa se vedno znova vračajo k enem problemu, v katerega se neuspešno zaletavajo in si tako razbijajo betice. Povsem logično je, da si kolumnisti niso povsem edini, kaj naj bi bila ta »stvar«, ki je ustvarila zgodovenskega belcebuba. Še največ zagovornikov imata hlapčevstvo in tlačanstvo, zanemariti ne smemo tudi majhnosti, katolištva, komunizma, revolucije, pa še kaj bi se našlo.

Zgodovenci – Marko Zajc, Airbeletrina

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Iskanje krivca za vsako stvar je zgolj obsedenost naše civilizacije, da mora biti vedno vse brez napak, da če pa gre kaj narobe, je pa nekdo kriv. Nekdo drug. Ne jaz sam. Zgoraj je, upam, naštetih dovolj “drugih”, da boste imeli lep dan.
Pokaže tudi, upam, da prava debata ni o tem, kaj je krivo za poplave, ampak, kaj se da narediti, da bi bile posledice blažje.

***

Kritiko pri nas razumemo kot element promocije. Vsakršna kritiška refleksija, ki zazna slabosti umetniškega dela, je obravnavana kot ad hominem napad na umetnika. Kot »nesramnost«, ki si jo kritik od časa do časa »privošči«. Ko si jo, pa mora za svojo nesramnost tudi »odgovarjati«.
Osebno sem se s tem fenomenom prvič soočil, ko sem prejel prošnjo piarovske službe nekega ljubljanskega gledališča, če bi lahko naslednjo predstavo prišel ocenjevat kdo drug, ker je bil moj zapis »preveč negativističen«; še jasneje pa se mi je razkril, ko mi je na enem od festivalov ugledni gledališki ustvarjalec diskretno svetoval, naj prihodnjih nekaj sezon pišem le pozitivne kritike, ker je slovensko gledališče »trenutno res v redu«.
Gre torej za stanje duha, ki že skoraj meji na bolestni optimizem stereotipne predkrizne evforije korporativnega sveta, v kateri je vsaka negativnost šteta kot »slaba za posel«; evforije, v kateri so tiste, ki so poskušali opozarjati na rdeče številke, najrajši po hitrem postopku odpustili, češ, ne kvarite razpoloženja, dobra volja je najbolja.
Seveda si nihče ne želi, da bi grenko obračunavanje z neuspehi postalo osrednji modus slovenskega kritiškega diskurza. Navdušenje nad dosežki in presežki mora vselej preglasiti nerganje ob spodletelih podvigih. A če res želimo prve, je pač treba tudi druge vselej iskreno analizirati, ovrednotiti in poimenovati.

Oklofutaj svojega kritika – Matic Kocijančič, Pogledi

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Mojmir Mrak je prepričan, da se bo spremenilo razumevanje narave gospodarske krize, ključno vprašanje v Evropi pa je že postalo “kako priti do neke stabilnejše obnove gospodarske rasti v pogojih, kjer je fiskalni prostor praktično zelo omejen. Cela vrsta držav – tudi Slovenija – je v situaciji, kjer drugega fiskalnega prostora ni.”

Ponekod, denimo v Grčiji, bo za rast treba najprej odpisati dolgove ali močno podaljšati njihovo ročnost. Drugod, denimo v Sloveniji, se bo treba bolj odpreti tujemu kapitalu. Privatizacija ni nujna zaradi zmanjšanja dolgov: “Osebno vidim privatizacijo bolj v kontekstu korporativnega upravljanja.” In izboljšanje upravljanja lahko pripomore k rasti.

In pa, Slovenija ob nevzdržno visokem javnem dolgu še vedno nima izgovora za opustitev proračunske konsolidacije, naše varčevanje je bilo medlo in bilo bi“nekorektno primerjati, da je naše varčevanje bilo tako drastično, kot je bilo drugod”. “Kar pa smo res naredili, je, da smo celotno varčevanje izvedli na investicijah.”

Moralo pa bi biti obratno: manj varčevanja pri investicijah in več reform, ki bi ustavile naraščanje javnih izdatkov, pravi Mrak.

Mrak o krizi: drugačna diagnoza, drugačni ukrepi – Maja Derčar, MMC RTVSLO

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Ste eden tistih ljubljanskih voznikov, ki pri zelenem semaforju najprej malo razmislijo in pogledajo, nato počasi in previdno speljejo, si pustijo razkošno varnostno razdaljo in potem zelo zelo zelo zložno pospešujejo do naslednjega križišča? Ker verjamete, da tako varčujete gorivo? Za vas imam novico – motite se. Fizikalno gledano, porabite enako energije, da od nič do 60 pospešite v petih sekundah, kot če za enak pospešek potrebujete 20 sekund.

Očitno ne veste niti tega, da taka ležernost povzroča tudi nemajhno kolateralno škodo. Če vsi speljejo po polževo, bo šlo v zelenem intervalu skozi križišče samo pet avtov namesto 10 ali 15. Postopoma se bodo naredili zastoji, križišča se bodo navzkrižno blokirala, tisoče avtomobilskih motorjev bo teklo v prazno, kurilo gorivo in povečevalo izpuste. Zapomnite si, torej: naslednjič, ko boste spet speljali takole po principu »previdnost je mati modrosti«, bo zaradi vas še en severni medvedek nekje na Arktiki izgubil bitko za preživetje, ker se mu bo zaradi globalnega segrevanja stalila njegova ledena gora.

Cijazenje prometa po naši prestolnici je metafora za naše reševanje gospodarskih težav. Strukturne reforme se vlečejo v nedogled. Sanacija bank se vleče v nedogled. Privatizacije se vlečejo v nedogled. Insolvenčni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki zmanjševanja presežkov zaposlenih se vlečejo v nedogled. Sodni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki prestrukturiranja podjetij se vlečejo v nedogled. Likvidnostnemu in razpoloženjskemu krču dajemo čas, da metastazira po dobaviteljskih verigah in omrežjih. Zaradi dolgotrajne negotovosti zmrznejo še porabniki in kar naenkrat ves center stoji, vsa križišča so navzkrižno blokirana, prometnikov, ki bi razčistili situacijo, pa od nikoder. Počasi se vse več ekonomskih subjektov zakrči, izgubijo voljo do iskanja dela, do iskanja podjetniških priložnosti, do investiranja in rasti. In za piko na i jih zaradi dolgotrajnega stresa zatolčejo še psihosomatske težave.

Prestavite vsaj v tretjo, prosim – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Contrary to standard definitions of sociology as an a-telic pursuit of insight and knowledge, Smith argues that sociology has an agenda, “visionary project of realizing the emancipation, equality, and moral affirmation of all human beings as autonomous, self-directly, individual agents (who should be) out to live their lives as they personally so desire, by constructing their own favored identities, entering and exiting relationship as they choose, and equally enjoying the gratification of experiential, material, and bodily pleasures” (7-8). Sociology isn’t philosophically neutral, but pursues a vision of the “good life and society” as one that “throws off the restrictive, repressive constraints placed on the gratification of individual pleasures and frees everyone to satisfy any pleasure that she or he so desires” (17).

Borrowing from the aims of Christianity, sociology unsurprisingly offers “a secular salvation story” with roots in the “Enlightenment, liberalism, Marxism, reformist progressivism, pragmatism, therapeutic culture, sexual liberation, civil rights, feminism, and so on” (20). Some sociologists are true believers; others are tacitly friendly to the project. Describing sociology in this terms has a couple of advantages: It’s sure to shock, and so has some rhetorical punch. But it also helps to explain some of the behavior that Smith describes in the book. As he shows, the reaction to sociology’s “heretics” isn’t rational discussion and dispassionate weighing of evidence.

Sacred Sociology – Peter Leithart, First Things

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The disintegration of the ruble is merely a symptom of something much deeper and more worrying. This is Putin digging in; this is Putin reinforcing his foxhole and preparing for the long fight ahead. He will not let go of eastern Ukraine, and he is trying to keep the reserves full so that he can survive the long fight ahead.

The problem, though, is that the pressure inside the system is rising. Food prices are jumping and, though so far, Russians mostly blame the West for their country’s economic malaise, it’s not clear how long that will last.

Far more alarming, though, is the struggle over resources that is starting to take shape among the billionaires in Putin’s orbit. In January, I quoted Elena Panfilova, now the vice president of Transparency International, who predicted that the elites will start to cannibalize themselves as they fight over a rapidly shrinking economic pie. These men are used to a certain level of income and it is one that is hard to maintain when your economy isn’t growing. At all. And so, over the last year, we’ve seen the system eat two men who were once quite close to Putin. Earlier this year, Sergei Pugachev, the man known as the “Kremlin’s banker,” fled Russia, a warrant out for his arrest. This fall, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia, was arrested. In record time, a court said that an oil company he owned actually belonged to the government, and it was gone.

Russia’s Ruble Value Is Plummeting and Putin’s Billionaires Are Canabalizing Each Other – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

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Today, the positive emphasis on a war of aggression goes well with tendencies in the Russian media, where defiant declarations of Russian anti-fascism are increasingly submerged in rhetoric that may seem rather fascist. Jews are blamed for the Holocaust on national television; an intellectual close to the Kremlin praises Hitler as a statesman; Russian Nazis march on May Day; Nuremberg-style rallies where torches are carried in swastika formations are presented as anti-fascist; and a campaign against homosexuals is presented as a defense of true European civilization. In its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has called upon the members of local and European far right groups to support its actions and spread Moscow’s version of events.

In the recent “elections” staged in the Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as in the earlier faked referendum in occupied Crimea, European far-right politicians have come as “observers” to endorse the gains of Russia’s war. Far from being an eccentric stunt, the invitation of these “observers” reveals why the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is meaningful to Moscow today. Although Putin would certainly have been pleased if actual German or Polish political leaders were foolish enough to take the bait of agreeing to a new division of Europe, he seems satisfied for the moment with the people who have actually responded, in one way or another, to his appeal to destroy the existing European order: separatists across Europe (including the UK Independence Party, whose leader, Nigel Farage, calls Putin the world leader he most admires); anti-European right-wing populist parties (of which the most important is France’s National Front); as well as the far-right fringe, including neo-Nazis.

Putin’s New Nostalgia – Timothy Snyder, The New York Review of Books

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Zionism, which did not undergo a metamorphosis in 1948 and did not desist in 1967, became a kind of revolution-in-progress and thereby became like the other revolutions-in-progress of the 20th century. It forged a situation that a liberal democrat cannot live with and cannot accept. This is a situation that cannot endure indefinitely.

(…)

I will tell you where you differ from the Zionist left. For most of us, the key concept is the “State of Israel.” As we see it, the Zionist enterprise was intended to bring into being a place where the Jewish people would constitute the majority and enjoy sovereignty. If there is no majority, there is no sovereignty and no democratic-Jewish state; there is no point to all this. It’s more convenient to live as a minority in Manhattan. But for you the basic concept is the “Land of Israel.” In that sense, you resemble the right wing and the Palestinians. You have a soil fetish. You come from the soil and you live the soil and you speak in the name of the soil.

It’s true that I live the story of the soil. I live the whole land and I am mindful of all the people who live here. That is how I know that the land cannot tolerate partition. And I know the land is hurting. The land is angry. After all, what two great monuments have we built here in the past decade? One is the separation fence and the other is [architect Moshe] Safdie’s terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport. The two monuments have something in common: they are intended to allow us to live here as though we are not here. They were built so that we would not see the land and not see the Palestinians, and live as though we are connected to the tail end of Italy. But I see all the fruit groves that were demolished in order to build the fence. I hear the hills that were sliced in two in order to build the fence. The heart weeps. The heart weeps in the name of the soil. For me, the soil is a living being. And I see how this conflict has tortured the soil, the homeland. I grieve for the torments of the homeland.

Jerusalem-born thinker Meron Benevisti has a message for Israelis: stop whining – Ari Shavit, Haaretz

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Why was the South so well suited to fill the demand for congenial Catholic voices? The standard explanation holds that their inability to retreat to insular, self-sufficient “ghettos” made Southern Catholics more appealing on the national scene. Forced to find their way in a largely non-Catholic world, they grew adept at expressing their moral vision in terms accessible to outsiders. The flowering of Catholic fiction in the mid-twentieth century bore witness to this dynamic. Readers who wished to penetrate the inner workings of a self-contained parochial universe could listen to the musings of J. F. Powers’ upper-Midwestern clerics. Those who wanted to explore broader applications of Catholic soteriology attended to the harsh twang of Flannery O’Connor’s “good country people” or the more gentlemanly drawls of Walker Percy’s cosmic wanderers. In political matters, meanwhile, the Southern Catholic voice remained optimistic about the basic congruity of civic aims and Christian commitments. It was yet another South Carolinian, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who emerged as the Church’s leading architect of moderation and consensus amid our late-century culture wars.

Stephen Colbert and the Southern Catholic Charism – Drew Denton, First Things

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According to Bromwich, Burke’s importance must be understood in terms of a theological crisis in the late 18th century. This was, Bromwich tells us, the crisis of “secularization.” In the old Thomist view of politics, the state was a practical extension of the moral law. But in Burke’s day, Bromwich explains, this vision of politics had become increasingly untenable. In its absence, what arguments could be levied against the Machiavellian image of politics as an amoral arena in which statesmen recognize only the dictates of power and prestige? If statesmen are to obey gods higher than the will to power or the logic of the market, then in the wake of religion’s collapse a new justification for political morality is needed. This is what Bromwich thinks he has found in Burke.

Again and again Bromwich repeats Burke’s mantra that “the principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged, and I neither now do nor ever will admit of any other.” For Burke, he argues, political morality was grounded in the natural human ability to empathize with one’s fellow man. Rather than divine command, Burkean morality is based on human psychology.

Occupy Edmund Burke – Jonathan Green, The American Conservative

Tedenski izbor

lettura

 

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

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

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

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

Nevidni akvarij Alenke Bratušek – Žiga Turk, Časnik

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kulturni šok v Bruslju – Matej Avbelj, Ius Info

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

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

More Hungarys in Eastern Europe – Péter Krekó, Open Democracy 

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

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

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

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

Majhen obliž na veliki rani – Aleš Maver, Časnik

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

Why Cities Need Localists – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

***

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

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

Masculine and Feminine Time – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

***

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

Zaigrana blaznost Hinka Smrekarja – Maja Kač, MMC RTVSLO

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Tedenski izbor

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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

***

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Danes je moto dneva povprečnost. Danes seveda nihče z IQ, višjim od sobne temperature, ne bi upal Slovenije več postaviti v bližino kakšnega svetilnika uspešnosti. (Izjema je Alenka Bratušek, ki še kar misli, da nas je njena vlada pripeljala v nekakšen trajen gospodarski orgazem.) Pač pa nas danes vsi, na čelu s politiki levice, »resnimi ekonomisti« in »resnimi mediji«, prepričujejo, da je v Sloveniji stanje čisto povprečno, obdavčitev je čisto povprečna, obremenitev plač je čisto povprečna, kriza je čisto povprečna (itak je uvožena iz ZDA), rast je čisto povprečna, zadolženost je čisto povprečna, stroški javnega sektorja so čisto povprečni, brezposel­nost je čisto povprečna, državna lastnina je čisto povprečna, znanje naših otrok je čisto povprečno, vraga, še nesposobnost naše politike naj bi bila čisto povprečna. In če smo čisto povprečni, smo torej čisto O. K. in neke resne spremembe niso potrebne. In da bo natančno jasno, katere spremembe še posebej niso potrebne, je Mladina celo spet začela neskrupulozno in primitivno pogrevati stare pravljice o grdih domobrancih, češ vsakdo, kdor podpira privatizacijo in prilagajanje normam EU, je v resnici kolaborant in izdajalec, če že ne to, pa vsaj en ušiv hlapec. Kako nazadnjaško, predmoderno, blut-und-boden, res vredno tako imenovane progresivne novolevičarske publikacije.

Tako imenovani pogum, tako imenovana povprečnost in tako imenovane spremembe – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

Trdim, da sistemsko preprečujemo, da bi imeli boljše politike. Razmeroma maloštevilen parlament le majhnemu številu ljudi omogoča preživljanje s politiko. Fluktuacija v parlamentu je velika, to preprečuje, da bi se ljudje s poslansko funkcijo gradili. Za ministra ni obvezno, da je izvoljen kot poslanec. Plače politikov, zlasti na izvršilnih mestih, so demagoško nizke. Zapenjanje pri financiranju strank še bolj zmanjšuje možnosti za ekonomsko preživetje v politiki in financiranje ustrezne strokovne podpore. Volilni sistem tisto malo politikov razprši v veliko strank, to pomeni, da skoraj v nobeni ni kritične mase – ne pameti ne denarja.

Vzorci prejšnjega sistema živijo naprej. Tam so partija in njeni sateliti razpolagali z dovolj velikim številom delovnih mest, da so se na njih lahko gradili politiki. Celoten samoupravni delegatski sistem, ki je zakrival partijsko diktaturo, je bil amaterski, jedro pa je bilo profesionalno. Stari mački danes odhajajo v pokoj. A naslednice partije imajo vsaj nekaj ustanov, fakultet in inštitutov, kjer se njihovi kadri, kot pravijo, »sončijo«, ko niso v politiki. Na drugi strani sta ducat, dva kariernih politikov in še amaterji, ki sem in tja nekaj pametujemo. Nimamo razvitega ekosistema think-tankov, kjer bi se razvijale politike in o njih tekla široka družbena debata, na katere bi se politiki lahko strokovno naslonili in od koder bo prišla, ko bo, politika 2.0.

Vse to zmanjšuje intelektualno raven in akcijsko sposobnost politike, da bi urejala javne stvari v državi. Na mesto politike vstopajo interesne skupine in neformalni centri moči, ki niso od nikogar izvoljeni in nikomur odgovorni. Politika je samo za vse kriva.

Več politike, prosim! – Žiga Turk, Reporter

***

Kako ste prišli do liberalizma kot tipični socialistični klon v Sloveniji: ali skozi LDS »liberalizem« ali skozi gospodarski liberalizem (prosti trg)?

Ne eno ne drugo. Skozi zdravo kmečko pamet, bi rekel. Predvsem preko spletnega foruma Financ, na katerem smo v tistih časih (10 do 15 let nazaj) zelo kvalitetno debatirali o perečih problemih Slovenije na področju borze, gospodarstva in politike. Šele naknadno sem izvedel, da se tej smeri razmišljanja reče liberalizem. Sam bi to poimenoval zdrav razum. Veliko vlogo pri usmeritvi foruma v to smer pa je imel takratni urednik Financ Črt Jakhel.

Marko Pavlišič, inženir v politiki – Robert Šifrer, Časnik

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Če lahko pritrdimo dejstvu, da se je v 20. stoletju na nemški strani odpor do Slovencev podkrepil z rasnimi teorijami, pa moramo tudi priznati, da se je na slovenski strani podkrepil z enačenjem nacionalnega in razrednega sovražnega. Ko  je marksistična definicija razrednega boja postavila enačaj, Slovenec = kmet in se je sovraštvo do višjih stanov povezalo z nacionalnim sovraštvom. Nemci in v manjši meri Italijani so tako ”postali” zatiralci par excellence. To se je pokazalo tudi pri sovraštvu do Nemcev, ki je najverjetneje vsaj delno dobilo svoj izraz pri ravnanju po drugi svetovni vojni, saj vsega spet ne gre povezati z maščevanjem nad okupatorjem, tako kot ne gre vsega prebivalstva nemškega izvora in/ali identitete imeti za naciste.

Ne vrag, le Švab bo mejak – Andraž Kovač, Časnik

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There may be lessons in Jeremiah and Jewish history for Christians and others concerned about their place in modern society. These can be sketched by three ideas.

First, internal exiles should resist the temptation to categorically reject the mainstream. That does not mean avoiding criticism. But it must be criticism in the spirit of common peace rather than condemnation. Jeremiah is famous as the etymological root of the jeremiad. Yet his most scathing criticisms are directed against his own people who have failed in their special calling of righteousness, not the “mainstream” culture. /…/

Finally, Jewish tradition provides a counterpoint to the dream of restoring sacred authority. At least in the diaspora, Jews have demanded the right to live as Jews—but not the imposition of Jewish law or practices on others. MacIntyre evokes historical memories of Christendom that are deeply provocative to many good people, including Jews. The Jeremiah option, on the other hand, represents a commitment to pluralism: the only serious possibility in a secular age like ours.

What Would Jeremiah Do? – Samuel Goldman, The American Conservative

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Unlike the military, who are trained in nonviolent options for conflict resolution, the police often lack such knowledge. Bonnie Kristian expounded this failure and reasons behind systematic police brutality earlier this summer, noting also that cops are rarely held accountable for abuse. “Only one out of every three accused cops are convicted nationwide, while the conviction rate for civilians is literally double that.”

The entrenched racial injustice behind Michael Brown’s death will be difficult to root out, as it has been over centuries of American history. But the decades of policy that allowed for police abuse of Brown, and his town’s peaceful protesters, could be reversed—and if the public outcry over Ferguson is anything to judge by, Americans will be keeping a closer eye on the police in the coming years.

What Ferguson Has Revealed – Catherine Addington, The American Conservative

***

The media’s handling of this case was no surprise: political correctness rules in America’s newsrooms. But imagine a hypothetical crime: two clean-cut black couples go into University McDonald’s during the daytime – and are viciously attacked by a mob of whites. An international media circus would erupt! Big-time journalist from all over the world would descend on College Station to deal with the deplorable state of America’s race relations caused by bigoted whites. President Obama would weigh in with a few comments about America’s racial sins; and Attorney General Eric Holder – just like with the Ferguson disturbances – would travel to College Station, where Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be leading protest marches.

But the narrative they’re promoting is false.

It obscures where most of the hate is coming from. Crime statistics have long reveled the real problem: high levels of black-on-black violence, followed by black-on-white violence and mob attacks — and the latter has been on the increase at an alarming rate, underscoring deep pathologies in a growing black-thug subculture — even as liberals in the mainstream media and Washington are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.

Beaten to Death at McDonald’s – David Paulin, FrontPage Magazine

***

There’s no better example of that than Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., the Harvard professor who was arrested at his own house in Cambridge in 2009 by a white police officer responding to a report of a burglary. “Gates is as respectable and renowned as any black person in the U.S. and he is not shielded from this type of harassment despite being very affluent and even more prestigious,” says Dawson.

Gates is perceived as “respectable” for another reason, too: He preferssportcoats to  baggy pants. On that day in 2009, he was wearing a red polo and dark slacks, and still he was cuffed and thrown in jail. No amount of grooming changed the fact that he was a black man in America. 

“No One Treats African-Americans Worse than We Treat Each Other” – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

***

To kar se v zadnjih letih proti moji krščanski skupnosti dogaja v moji rojstni deželi Iraku in v mestu Mosul, od koder izhajam, je genocid po vseh pravilih, je zločin in še ena črna stran več v zgodovini Islama in muslimanov. Na tisoče ljudi je ubitih, družine so uničene, ženske posiljene, otroci zasužnjeni, hiše napadene, trgovine ukradene, cerkve iz prvih stoletij krščanstva napadane in zažgane.

Resnica je, da se kristjanom v Iraku zelo slabo godi, da jih ne bo ostalo veliko v Iraku, da maloštevilni, ki ostajajo prosijo pomoč, saj ne vedo, kakšna prihodnost jih čaka. Egoistično bi želel, da moji bratje kristjani ne zapustijo Iraka, ker nočem izgubiti svojih korenin in naše dvatisočletne zgodovine. Po drugi strani pa jim tega ne morem direktno zapovedati. Sam namreč živim tukaj v Španiji dokaj varno, zares trpijo pa oni.

R. S. Naaman: Kaj pomeni črka  in kdo so “kafir” – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

 ***

Evangelijski kristjani, ki živijo na območju spopadov, so se znašli v nezavidljivi situaciji. Proruski uporniki so se zavezali, da bodo branili “sveto pravoslavje” in njegove tradicije pred vsakim zahodnjaškim vplivom in evangelijskimi “heretiki”, ki da kvarno vplivajo na edine prave ruske narodne vrednote.  Kot poroča Sergej Rahuba, pravijo separatisti, da se bodo bojevali proti vsakemu heretiku, vsakemu protestantu in vsakomur, ki predstavlja nemoralne zahodne vrednote. Evangelijski kristjani, pa ne le oni,  so torej postali smrtni sovražniki  edinih pravih ruskih vrednot.
 
Prišlo je že do zaplemb protestantskih cerkva, ugrabitev in brutalnih umorov. V mesecu juliju so uporniki ugrabili štiri prostovoljce, ki so delali za krščanski radio in jih pretepli do smrti. 9. junija so oboroženi uporniki med nedeljskim bogoslužjem vdrli v evangelijsko cerkev v Slavjansku in odpeljali v neznano štiri mlade pridigarje. Njihova trupla so pozneje našli v masovni grobnici zraven pediatrične bolnišnice.
 

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

Tedenski izbor

subway-reading

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

Intervju z Lojzetom Peterletom – Jani Drnovšek, Časnik

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

Izlet v Libanon – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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

Politics and Literature – Micah Mattix, The American Conservative

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

The Twilight of Conservatism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

Between Brussels and Russia – The Economist 

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

Koliko je ura v resnici? – Boštjan Videmšek, Pogledi

***

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

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

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

Tedenski izbor

porch-reading

Alternativa je seveda, da pomladna gibanja odrastejo v stranke. Razlika med gibanjem in stranko je v tem, da gre gibanju za stvar. Da oznanja, kar se mu pač zdi prav, pa tudi, če nič od tega nikoli ne izpelje. Uspešnost strank se meri v tem, kaj izpeljejo.

Kako končati s tranzicijo – Žiga Turk

***

Naš izobraževalni sistem nas je, kar se tega tiče, naredil za invalide, saj je ključni način pojasnjevanja sveta izgnal s polja resničnega. Kaj je danes resnično za dijaka, osnovnošolca? To je celica, molekula, ameba, električna napetost itd. V redu. Toda kaj nam tedaj govorijo roman Zločin in kazen, načelo svobode in enakosti, svetovne religije? Je to nekaj resničnega? Ne! – ker se tega se ne da dokazati. Projekt sovjetizacije šolstva je iz učilnic izločil vse, kar naredi človeka za človeka. Klasični jeziki so kot »buržoazni« padli prvi. Ostala omika pa se je skrčila na instrument za »splošno razgledanost«. Buldožer naravoslovja je naposled pregazil izobraževalno vertikalo. S tem je človek oropan svoje duhovne svobode. Ne zna zavzeti odnosa do Celote bivajočega. In s tem do sebe.

Kritika prostaškega uma – Rok Svetlič, Razpotja

***

The libertarian age is an illegible age. It has given birth to a new kind of hubris unlike that of the old master thinkers. Our hubris is to think that we no longer have to think hard or pay attention or look for connections, that all we have to do is stick to our “democratic values” and economic models and faith in the individual and all will be well. Having witnessed unpleasant scenes of intellectual drunkenness, we have become self-satisfied abstainers removed from history and unprepared for the challenges it is already bringing. The end of the cold war destroyed whatever confidence in ideology still remained in the West. But it also seems to have destroyed our will to understand. We have abdicated.

Our Libertarian Age – Mark Lilla, The New Republic

***

Barth yielded to modernity’s most pernicious idea, which took aim not at belief in the supernatural but at our rational capacity for knowledge of it. In denying what Jesuit philosopher Bernard Lonergan called the “native infinity” of human understanding, Barth capitulated where he most needed to take a stand. He seemingly did not understand that restricting reason was modern philosophy’s great act of presumption, not humility. Nor did he understand that rejecting the secularity of reason was Christian philosophy’s great act of piety, not hubris. And his bargain with Kant—turning the limits of reason into an opening for revelation—could only corrode the foundations of Christian faith.

Karl Barth’s Failure – Matthew Rose, First Things

***

Ours is a culture that lacks hope, that is characterized by a sort of interior despair, the antithesis of hope: a disorientation of the pilgrim character of man’s earthly sojourn. In despair, man denies his status viatoris by swapping his “not yet” with a “not,” turning away from the fulfilment for which he was called into existence and anticipating the time when the unrepentant “no” of sin becomes the “never” of damnation—when hope, because the striving after the promise-object of hope, extinguishes irrevocably.

Fertility and the Crisis of Hope – Michael Bradley, Ethika Politika

***

In other words, America’s drug problem is not primarily about drugs. Instead drug abuse is a symptom of a variety of other social problems, and, not surprisingly, those problems are worst in the poorest communities. Hart stops short of calling for full legalization of all drugs, but he does recommend the decriminalization of drug possession. Portugal decriminalized drug possession in 2001 and has seen declines in drug-induced deaths and rates of drug use, particularly among the youth.

Drugs in Context – John Payne, The American Conservative

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Nevertheless, we cannot and must not conceive of physical sexuality as a mere raw material with which we can construct a form of psychosexual self-expression which is determined only by the free impulse of our spirits.  Responsibility in sexual development implies a responsibility to nature–to the ordered good of the bodily form which we have been given. And that implies that we must make the necessary distinction between the good of the bodily form as such and the various problems that it poses to us personally in our individual experience.  This is a comment that applies not only to this very striking and unusually distressing problem, but to a whole range of other sexual problems too.

The Transgender Question – Mere Orthodoxy

***

Still, the awareness of this fact helped me to understand the determination of these people who stayed and built that barricade. There was something of the “existential situation” that was described by French existentialists; Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus came immediately to my mind. I presume that most of those barricade builders had never read Camus – but they acted like him: they were resisting absurdity. And most amazingly, they did so with such strong determination! So together with awareness of my cowardice, another thought dawned on me: the Maidan is really invincible – you cannot defeat the people like these.

Diaries and Memoirs of the Maidan (Yaroslav Hrytsak) – Timothy Snyder & Tatiana Zhurzhenko, ur., Eurozine

***

Rather than propping up the old model, governments should make the new one work better. They can do so by backing common standards for accreditation. In Brazil, for instance, students completing courses take a government-run exam. In most Western countries it would likewise make sense to have a single, independent organisation that certifies exams.

Reinventing an ancient institution will not be easy. But it does promise better education for many more people. Rarely have need and opportunity so neatly come together.

Higher Education: Creative Destruction, The Economist

***

Covered by overgrown vegetation, locked away from public view, and every day a step closer to complete destruction, Plečnik’s stadium does not only represent a harmful impoverishment of the country’s cultural heritage. Rather, it also tells a much more familiar cautionary tale for our time – a tale of land use conflicts, inadequate spatial policy and a refusal to engage in constructive dialogue. It is, furthermore, a story that belies the public’s understanding of the irreversibility of radical spatial transformation.

The Shame of Ljubljana: Plečnik’s Abandoned Stadium in Full Bloom – Barbara Prezelj, Failed Architecture

***

Si predstavljate, da bi Hrvate začeli prepričevati, da je njihova rdeče-bela šahovnica ustaška? Srbe, da je njihov beli orel četniški? Nemce, da je njihov črni orel nacističen? Ali državljane vseh novonastalih evropskih držav v nekdanjem vzhodnem bloku, ki so se po propadu komunizma vrnili k svojim narodnim simbolom, da uporabljajo nacistično ali fašistično simboliko? Seveda ne. Saj bi se pred tujo javnostjo osmešili.

V Sloveniji pa se lahko na javni televiziji za notranjepolitična obračunavanja nemoteno izjavlja, da je modri orel nacistični simbol. Kot da se je zgodovina slovenskega naroda začela šele z revolucijo in njenimi simboli, preučevanje zgodovinskih virov pa šele z njenimi učbeniki. Če bi se zares pogledali v ogledalo, bi nemara opazili, da smo ravno mi tisti, ki še vedno uporabljamo totalitarno simboliko. Se morda bojimo tega?

Na krilih kranjskega orla – Blaž Karlin, Časnik

Tedenski izbor

gentleman reading newspaper

Bonus – najboljši nenamerni komentar k letošnji zmagi na Evroviziji:

Timothy Snyder o fašizmu, Rusiji in Ukrajini

russia_fascism

We easily forget how fascism works: as a bright and shining alternative to the mundane duties of everyday life, as a celebration of the obviously and totally irrational against good sense and experience. Fascism features armed forces that do not look like armed forces, indifference to the laws of war in theirapplication to people deemed inferior, the celebration of “empire” after counterproductive land grabs. Fascism means the celebration of the nude male form, the obsession with homosexuality, simultaneously criminalized and imitated. Fascism rejects liberalism and democracy as sham forms of individualism, insists on the collective will over the individual choice, and fetishizes the glorious deed. Because the deed is everything and the word is nothing, words are only there to make deeds possible, and then to make myths of them. Truth cannot exist, and so history is nothing more than a political resource. Hitler could speak of St. Paul as his enemy, Mussolini could summon the Roman emperors. Seventy years after the end of World War II, we forgot how appealing all this once was to Europeans, and indeed that only defeat in war discredited it. Today these ideas are on the rise in Russia, a country that organizes its historical politics around the Soviet victory in that war, and the Russian siren song has a strange appeal in Germany, the defeated country that was supposed to have learned from it.

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