April 3rd, 2006

Chris Keeley

secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the

"Four decades ago, the new GOP coalition seemed certain to enjoy a major
infusion of conservative northern Catholics and southern Protestants.
This troubled me not at all. I agreed with the predominating Republican
argument at the time that "secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the
depth and importance of religion in the United States, had given
conservatives a powerful and legitimate electoral opportunity."Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Civil rights of transgendered Army vet confirmed by court

Civil rights of transgendered Army vet confirmed by court

A federal judge ruled last week that an employment discrimination suit against the Library of Congress, brought by the ACLU on behalf of a transgender veteran, may go forward. Plaintiff Diane Schroer is a male-to-female transsexual and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. Snip from ACLU notice:
Finding that sex may not be "a cut-and-dried matter of chromosomes," the court ruled that federal protections against sex discrimination may also protect transgender people who are discriminated against based on their gender identity. In rejecting the government's argument that discrimination against transgender people is not sex discrimination, the court noted "the factual complexities that underlie human sexual identity. These complexities stem from real variations in how the different components of biological sexuality -- chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal, and neurological -- interact with each other, and in turn, with social, psychological, and legal conceptions of gender."
Link to more on the ACLU's website, and here's a copy of the court's decision (PDF).

posted by Xeni Jardin

Chris Keeley

Jasmina Tesanovic: Scorpions Trial, Day 3

Jasmina Tesanovic: Scorpions Trial, Day 3

Jasmina Tesanovic, Belgrade
Scorpions Srebrenica Trial
Day Three: March 15, 2006
The Tin Soldier

I repeat, we should not mix anymore. This is not healthy, it is perverse, it is sickening: my gay friend, a Woman In Black, is looking at the Scorpion witness today and saying: he is so cute...

In his early thirties, dressed in a fancy suit, with an upright muscled body, he lies at full speed. His voice is scarcely audible, so that his contradictions cannot be followed. We, the audience, are huge today. Most of us are law students, led by their right wing professor from Belgrade law school, who thinks very well of the Scorpions, and very badly of all other ethnic communities on this territory. They are the clerico-fascist party in the government coalition; in the nineties, they used to be Milosevic's best allies, supporters of his troops such as Scorpions.

The "cute" witness was in his teens back then. Today he is obviously a professional criminal, blackmailed and pampered by his famous commander, who still makes them all tremble with his praises or scoldings.

Back then, the Tin Soldier was a war orphan, hired to drive a truck. A truck full of food-tins, he claims: food for the troop. Today he remembers nothing, or next to nothing, of names places deeds words. Not even one Name, not even one Place.

He has become a true geek, autistic and narrowly determined. He is a Tin Soldier, whose emptiness clanks like an empty tin, its contents eaten by Scorpions. He says he has no friends, no wife, just a boss whom he drives. The Tin Soldier needs no money for his expenses. He just wants to go. He says, many many times, as any answer to judge's questions; "everything is possible."

[image: Detail of interior house wall, Serbia, by Aleksandra Radonić]


posted by Xeni Jardin

Chris Keeley

broke into your house, took over the whole house, finally agreed -- tortured you, you know, stole e

Noam Chomsky on Iraq Troop Withdrawal, Haiti, Democracy in Latin America and the Israeli Elections
Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Part II of our interview with world-renowned linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky on Iraq troop withdrawal, Haiti, democracy in Latin America and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Chomsky's latest book is titled "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy."

We turn now to Part II of our interview with Noam Chomsky. The world-renowned linguist and political analyst has just come out with a new book. It's called "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy." In his first broadcast interview upon the book's publication, Chomsky spoke to us from our Boston studio Friday. In this second part of our conversation, Chomsky discusses a wide range of issues that are making headlines today -- including troop withdrawal from Iraq; the growing rejection of US policies in Latin America; the upheaval in Haiti; and last week's elections in Israel. We began by talking about dissent and media control in the United States today.

Noam Chomsky, world renowned political analyst and professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author of dozens of books, his latest is "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy."
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Chris Keeley

battling the insurgency in Iraq, and whether those lessons have come too late. Here, Packer talks to

Small Victories
Posted 2006-04-03

In this week’s magazine, George Packer reports on what American soldiers have learned about battling the insurgency in Iraq, and whether those lessons have come too late. Here, Packer talks to Matt Dellinger about the situation, accompanied by a portfolio of photographs by Samantha Appleton.

Listen to the interview. (8 minutes)

NOTE: To listen to the conversation, you will need Flash Player, which may be obtained free of charge here


Chris Keeley

Kronos proved that the string quartet, long the most self-consciously “classical” of classical ensem

The Kronos Quartet returns to Carnegie Hall.
Issue of 2006-04-10 Posted 2006-04-03

The Kronos Quartet, which is in the middle of a six-concert series at Carnegie Hall, has enacted two revolutions in its more than three-decade life, one of style and one of substance. Back in the nineteen-eighties, the members of Kronos—the violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, the violist Hank Dutt, and the cellist Joan Jeanrenaud, whose place is now occupied by Jeffrey Zeigler—startled audiences by coming onstage in modish fashions, in a look that suggested a genteel art-rock band. They also lowered the lights, projected images behind them, and generally attempted to bring a little atmosphere to whichever hall they had booked for the night. Self-appointed guardians of the classical grail (I was one at the time) dismissed them as purveyors of kitsch. But Kronos wasn’t putting on a show; they were choosing to be their funky San Francisco selves, rather than checking their personalities at the door. Now others have come around to their way of thinking. Vibrant younger quartets like the St. Lawrence, the Pacifica, the Flux, and Ethel make music in whatever style they see fit, dispelling the aura of aristocratic make-believe that surrounds classical music. The new-music ensemble Alarm Will Sound has developed a casually dynamic style that is like Kronos gone orchestral.Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Most people's dream is some form of job in an old-style Communist industry, or to be employed in a s

April 3, 2006
Macedonia Dreams of One Nation, Wireless
KANATLARCI, Macedonia — Thirteen-year-old Nustreta Mimovic's hand trembled as she placed it over the computer mouse. Slowly she dragged the mouse and watched the screen, as her fellow students looked on.

"I'd love to know how to use it, but I don't have a computer," she explained, giving up the controls to another pupil.Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Although Ms. Ross's photographs are in many major museum collections, their prices remain at the low

Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery

The portraits of Judith Joy Ross are featured in a new book and exhibition. Her Hazleton schools series include an image of the Stewart sisters.

The Portraits of Judith Joy Ross: Not Just Faces in the Crowd

THAT'S me when I was little," said the photographer Judith Joy Ross, pointing to a picture of a small girl, with blond hair and large plastic-framed glasses, standing next to a scuffed metal desk in a second-grade classroom. Dressed in a homemade skirt and top, the girl appears grave and guileless, her thin lips pressed into a straight line across her face.

In fact, this is not a picture of Ms. Ross — at least not literally. The portrait that so reminds her of herself belongs to a series of photographs she made between 1992 and 1994 in the public schools of her hometown, Hazleton, Pa., a small city in a former coal-mining region.

Ms. Ross, 59, is well known in photography circles for her tenderly attentive, black-and-white portraits of people, often children, who seem to radiate a soulful vulnerability. She generally works in series, motivated by a sense of civic inquiry and a keen curiosity about individual emotional lives.

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Chris Keeley



Fish Fashion

These surreal images come from a book, Fishes, crayfishes, and crabs, of diverse colours and extraordinary form, that are found around the islands of the Moluccas and on the coasts of the southern lands (translated from french and truncated) originally published in 1719 by Louis Renard, and it was claimed it took 30 years to compile. The 460 engravings on 100 copper plates were later hand coloured and a 2nd edition of the book was published in Amsterdam in 1754.

Renard himself, comes across as a rather curious character..
"As well as spending some seventeen years as a publisher and bookdealer, Renard (c.1678-1746) also sold medicines, brokered English bonds and, more intriguingly, acted as a spy for the British Crown, being employed by Queen Anne, George I and George II. In this capacity he helped guarantee the Protestant succession to the throne by preventing stores from reaching the 'Old Pretender' James Stuart. These supposedly clandestine activities were not particularly secret. In fact, Renard used his status as an 'agent' to help advertise his books. This particular work is actually dedicated to George I while the title-page describes the publisher as 'Louis Renard, Agent de Sa Majesté Britannique'."
These embellished images are said to mark an important milestone in the depiction of marine creatures. Much of the exaggeration may have crept in from repeated copying and colouring from verbal directions but, perhaps the authority on the subject, Theodore Pietsch, considers that the patterns and key character features present allow association of each drawing with a real creature.
The engravings (many done from secondary source drawings) are meant to depict creatures from the East Indes. There is no text, save for the commentary next to each animal. Not suprisingly there are many commercial representations of Renaud's beasts around in such forms as posters and address books &c. I also find it interesting that the original title includes the words Terres Australes - a geographic location descriptor, not name of course (interesting just because those of us who live in Oz hear variations on the terra australis nomenclature all our lives and we associate it with the name Australia, so an early 18th century reference is just .... strange or something).