Friday, March 23, 2007

Jacques Brel

Bodies and politics

A Quote:

[The body] is a concrete physical space of flesh and bone, of chemistries and electricities; it is a highly mediated space, a space transformed by cultural interpretations and representations...

Body and the body politic, body and the social body, body and the city, body and the citizen body, are intimately linked productions.... The practice of using the individual body as a metaphor for the social body, of deploying it as a sign of the health or disease of the social body, develops in the Athenian polis with ideas of democracy and reason and continues into the present. Body and city are the persistent subjects of a social/civic discourse, of an imaginary obsessed with the fear of unruly and dangerous elements and the equally obsessive desire to bring them under control: fears of pollution, contagions, disease, things out of place [for the ancient Greeks, the definition of 'pollution']; desires for controlling and mastering that [become] the spatial practice of enclosing unruly elements with carefully guarded spaces. These acts of differentiation, separation, and enclosure involve material symbolic and lived spaces....bodies and cities and tests...and are practiced as a politics of difference, as segregation and separation. (Hooper quoted in Soja 114) [Soja, Edward. (1996) Thirdspace. Malden, MA: Blackwell Press.]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Scientist Accuses White House of "Nazi" Tactics

Ah, yes, Darrell "Bush macht frei" Issa knows a lot about science, truth and professionalism. He's a reall thinker:

Scientist Accuses White House of "Nazi" Tactics: "Scientist Accuses White House of 'Nazi' Tactics
By Joel Havemann
The Los Angeles Times

Monday 19 March 2007

Washington - A government scientist, under sharp questioning by a federal panel for his outspoken views on global warming, stood by his view today that the Bush administration's information policies smacked of Nazi Germany.

James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, took particular issue with the administration's rule that a government information officer listen in on his interviews with reporters and its refusal to allow him to be interviewed by National Public Radio.

'This is the United States,' Hansen told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. 'We do have freedom of speech here.'

But Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) said it was reasonable for Hansen's employer to ask him not to state views publicly that contradicted administration policy"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

To be a Leftist...

CORNEL WEST: What does it really mean to be a leftist in the early part of the 21st century? What are we really talking about? And I can just be very candid with you. It means to have a certain kind of temperament, to make certain kinds of political and ethical choices, and to exercise certain analytical focuses in targeting on the catastrophic and the monstrous, the scandalous, the traumatic, that are often hidden and concealed in the deodorized and manicured discourses of the mainstream. That's what it means to be a leftist. So let's just be clear about it.

So that if you are concerned about structural violence, if you're concerned about exploitation at the workplace, if you're concerned about institutionalized contempt against gay brothers and lesbian sisters, if you're concerned about organized hatred against peoples of color, if you're concerned about a subordination of women, that's not cheap PC chitchat; that is a calling that you're willing to fight against and try to understand the sources of that social misery at the structural and institutional level and at the existential and the personal level. That's what it means, in part, to be a leftist. [Source]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

French Elections

The Conseil Constitutionnel has finished and the official nominees are out. You can read all about them here:;sid=2007/3/19/12453/9251

And, of course, in any French newspaper (,

And for your viewing pleasure, the sad state of affairs at the PS. This is unfortunate, but so is their centrism à la Clinton.

If anybody is wondering, je déteste Sarkozy autant (presque) que je déteste Bush.

A Brief History of Neoliberalism: cont.

I've been rolling out the whole series on Harvey over at You can view it here:

Note that Part I and II here are only part I there...

Monday, March 19, 2007

More Harvey Coming, Palestine

More of Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism is on its way. I'm rolling it out over at, where there will be additions every other day or so. The next part will probably come tomorrow.

Until then, this, from the NYT:

JERUSALEM, March 13 — An up-to-date Israeli government register shows that 32.4 percent of the property held by Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is private, according to the advocacy group that sued the government to obtain the data.

The group, Peace Now, prepared an earlier report in November, also provided to The New York Times, based on a 2004 version of the Israeli government database that had been provided by an official who wanted the information published. Those figures showed that 38.8 percent of the land on which Israeli settlements were built was listed as private Palestinian land.

The data shows a pattern of illegal seizure of private land that the Israeli government has been reluctant to acknowledge or to prosecute, according to the Peace Now report. Israel has long asserted that it fully respects Palestinian private property in the West Bank and takes land there only legally or, for security reasons, temporarily. That large sections of those settlements are now confirmed by official data to be privately held land is bound to create embarrassment for Israel and further complicate the already distant prospect of a negotiated peace.

I don't know if the link below is a picture of seized private or seized public land. Either way, here it is: