briefly noted

short notes from my reading

Nonpublic Space

“I think that one of the problems we have in New York City is that we have a vast amount of public space in which the public is not allowed to do what it wants. We have to liberate public spaces for these sorts of common political actions, and this is one of the arenas of struggle.”

-David Harvey and “the right to the city.”

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No Work

What we’re leaving behind today, at record pace, is what­ever belief we might once have had in the value of unstructured time: in the privilege of contemplating our lives before they are gone, in the importance of uninterrupted conversation, in the beauty of play. In the thing in itself – unmediated, leading nowhere. In the present moment.

-Mark Slouka, on the virtues of idleness, in “Quitting the Paint Factory

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State-Sponsored Terror

So Iran is supporting rebels fighting a dictatorship in one country (Yemen) and supporting the dictatorship in another (Syria). In those two countries, the U.S. is doing exactly the reverse: propping up the Yemeni dictatorship while arming the Syrian rebels. Why is one better than the other or a greater sign of aggression and threats?

Greenwald on the NYT and its propagandizing on the Iranian “menace”.

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Decline and Fall

“If there is no rolling back of the NDAA law [aka the Homeland Battlefield Bill] we cease to be a constitutional democracy.”

-Chris Hedges lays it out.

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Freedom for me

“‘Freedom’ for [American conservatives] isn’t about everyone in this country having the opportunity to live life as they see fit. It’s about making sure that the most powerful private individuals, be they CEOs or church leaders, get to make the rest of us live the lives they see fit.”

-David Atkins on the Republicans love of liberty – for themselves

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Power Drill

“For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with US oil and gas production rising and US fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.”

-Krugman injects some truth into the drilling debate.

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Ministry of Truth

Despite that important journalism — or, more accurately, because of it — Shaye is now in prison, thanks largely to President Obama himself. For the past two years, Shaye has been arrested, beaten, and held in solitary confinement by the security forces of Saleh, America’s obedient tyrant.

-Greenwald on the case of Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who is being held in Yemen for the crime of reporting and printing the truth about American drone attacks in the country, and Obama’s role in his detention.

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Messaging

“Little of that [bad news] is expected to be mentioned publicly at the Chicago meeting [of NATO]. Mr. Obama and the NATO allies, European and American officials said, must instead present a picture of success that includes the possibility of reconciliation talks with the Taliban and a NATO withdrawal that is coming only after a job well done.”

-The New York Times explains how the Afghan disaster will be “presented” at the upcoming NATO summit. A European official added, “The most important thing now is the messaging.”

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Moral Distinction

“There is no moral distinction between a drone strike and the explosion of the improvised explosive device, between a suicide bombing and a targeted assassination.”

-Chris Hedges in another lucid explanation of how war works.

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This Times is Different

“This time, the Times has to show the readers everything. You guys not only aren’t allowed to screw it up, again, you also aren’t allowed to complain that the coverage criticism isn’t fair. You people blew through all our good will, and until you get up off your knees and stop taking dictation from the PR wonks and special interest groups, you don’t get a free ride.”

-A commenter lays it out on the NYT’s warmongering reports

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