March 30, 2004
# Recent Books

Books I've picked up, read completely, or something in between in the past few months. Posted here mostly for my future reference, but they're all pretty interesting books.

Oh, and feel free to start a discussion about any of these, or tangental topics.

Politics of Reality: essays in feminist theory, by Marilyn Frye

Vernon God Little, by DBC Pierre

In Search of Islamic Feminism, by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

The Social Shaping of Technology, Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman, eds.

Information Feudalism, by Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite (essential stuff if you have any interest in the politics of IP law)

The Uses of Haiti, by Paul Farmer

Mind in Society, by L.S. Vygotsky

History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides

Barney's Version, by Mordechai Richler

The Art of Art Works, by Cyril Welch

Basic Writings, Martin Heidegger

St. Urbain's Horseman, by Mordechai Richler

Safe Area Gorazde, by Joe Sacco

On History, Immanuel Kant

Modern Sociological Theory, by George Ritzer (old textbook; a high-level hack job that still manages to be worthwhile as an overview)

When Words Deny the World, by Stephen Henighan

Upheavals of Thought, by Martha Nussbaum

Discipline and Punish, by Michel Foucault

History of Sexuality, vol. I, by Michel Foucault

Aesthetics, Epistemology, Method, Michel Foucault (collection)

"Society Must be Defended": Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976, Michel Foucault

Titans: How the new Canadian establishment siezed power, by Peter C. Newman. (Former T-Star editor fetishizes power from a distance.)

The End of the Peace Process, by Edward Said

Antarctica, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau (still plucking out pages here and there and dwelling)

The Great Fires, poems by Jack Gilbert

posted by dru in books
by evan

wow, you're reading a lot these days. Sometimes i wish i could just sit down and read books and not doing anything else. I just get so caught up in projects i have to stick my reading in here and there.

I recently read a collection of essays by Edward Said, "Reflections on Exile," in someways it was most interesting for how it presented a less political side of Said. Instead of only reading the stuff about the middle east and palestine i got more of a sense of him as an intellectual. Quite interesting. For one because he rips in to George Orwell for not being working class, when Said himself is as upper class as anything.


by dru

I should emphasize that in most of the above cases, I only read a few dozen pages. Time that I might have used to read more went to projects, or reading online.

March 21, 2004
# Global Anti-Occupation Protests

Looks like the global anti-occupation protests went off fairly well, though not with anything like the millions that came out on February 15, 2003, which was a historic event by any reasonable standard.

Still, it's good to see the global local protest continue as a practice. If a few million people had come in cities around the world as they did today outside the context of last Feb 15, it would have been an indisputably profound event.

As it stands, over a few million in total total came out in cities across Canada, the US, all over Europe, Baghdad, and Australia, Japan, East Timor and many others as well.

I wrote a short account of the Halifax demo, and there is coverage from Fredericton and Charlottetown on the Indymedia Maritimes wire.

Indymedia Global has some great photos from Baghdad, where Shias and Sunnis marched together in an apparently significant show of unity against the occupation. And google news will provide good overviews in the coming days.

posted by dru in activism
# Intervention in El Salvador

According to the Financial Times and the Christian Science Monitor, the US is pulling an old-style intervention in El Salvador's presidential elections, which happen today (Sunday).

And some analysts say that the comments by US officials may be bolstering ARENA's message. Last Sunday, White House Special Assistant Otto Reich gave a phone-in press conference at ARENA headquarters. According to local newspapers, he said he was worried about the impact an FMLN win could have on the country's "economic, commercial, and migratory relations with the United States."

To put it mildly. It may be obscure to the folks in the power centres up north, but I suspect that Salvadoran voters received the message loud and clear: elect Marxist, and we'll fuck you up good. Roger Noriega, who apparently pushed hard for the recent US-sponsored coup d'etat in Haiti, went even farther, and not without consequences:

In February, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega told voters to "consider what kind of a relationship they want a new administration to have with us." He met with all the candidates except Mr. Handal. Last week, 28 US Congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell saying Mr. Noriega "crossed a boundary" and that his remarks were perceived as "interference in Salvadoran electoral affairs." This week two US congressmen blasted Reich's comments as inflammatory.

Of course, the right-wing candidate is playing to the fear of losing ties with the US, as well he might:

More than a quarter of El Salvador's 6.5 million citizens live in the US, and Salvadoran economist Robert Rubio estimates that remittances account for 16 percent of the country's economy. He likens the flow of remittances to a life-support system for the country's poor economy

He can also accurately claim that relations with the US would be way better under his government. The reason this is the case, however, remains obscure. It's not that a lefty government would break off ties with the US. Quite to the contrary, it would not be in their interests to do so. However, what they might do, is begin acting in the interest of the majority of the people of El Salvador, which would guarantee that the US would flip right out, impose sanctions, deny aid, delay or block remittances, and maybe even fund terrorists to knock some sense into the poor of El Salvador.

Indeed, it's no surprise that Otto Reich was involved with funding the contras back in the 1980s.

Dennis Kucinich, who is apparently still a US presidential candidate, showed up on the sane side of the question of El Salvador. That's more than we can say for the NDP about Haiti or Venezuela, for example.

"Unfortunately, what is going on in El Salvador is representative of a Latin American policy that is not about promoting healthy democracies, but instead focused on making Latin American nations bend to U.S. commercial interests."

"The people of El Salvador have a right to free and fair elections without interference from the United States. The U.S. cannot claim to be a leader in promoting democracy worldwide and at the same time hinder democracy by attempting to influence the outcome of elections abroad," Kucinich said.

posted by dru in us
March 12, 2004
# Sylvia's

Sylvia Nickerson has a nice little web site up, with her recent artwork and some commentary inspired by the worlds of math and art.

posted by dru in art
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March 04, 2004