Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I really should be prepping tonight's final seminar of the semester. But the weather is lovely here in DC and there's a wide open summer coming on. Plus, there are other interesting things to read if one must be a slave to the computer on a day like today.

Jim at Politics, Theory, and Photography discusses the "worst killings in US history" assumption that made the rounds regarding the VA Tech shootings. If one includes labor massacres from American history, the assumption is clearly wrong.

Julia Buxton, an expert on Venezuela currently on a visiting professorship here in DC, writes about mistaken assumptions regarding the "Bolivarian Revolution." Julia argues that the reality of the chavista project gets little fair play in the US and UK media. As I've said many times before, I'm all for criticizing Chavez if it is warranted, but uninformed criticism simply serves ideological purposes. The problem is that the Venezuela situation runs even deeper. There are basically two realities and little common ground for communication between them. The exchange of comments on Julia's article provide a little example of this rift.

Scott Horton at Harper's (via Mark at Norwegianity) discusses the growing tension with Turkey over Iraq's instability and the US-Kurd alliance. The tension has been clear for years, but Horton notes that it could soon come to a violent head. You think Iraq is a disaster? Wait until Turkey and the US are waging war through Kurdish proxies. Remember, Turkey is seeking entrance into the European Union as well. One would like to think that everyone is reasonable enough not to start World War 3, but we've had more than our share of unreasonableness over the past six years such that it is worth taking the tensions with Turkey very seriously.

Finally, for the sickos as well as people like me with a purely scholarly interest, WFMU's blog posts mp3s from "Tortura: The Sounds Of Pain And Pleasure."

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