Jan Strupczewski has been covering the stalemate in negotiations between Greece and the European Union (EU) over the next stage in financing its debt. Things have now progressed to a point where one encounters the noun “default” in these dispatches. This led to a quote on this matter from one unnamed EU official that was too good to resist: They think, that we think that the unthinkable cannot be thought.
In his review of Adam Phillips’ On Balance for The New York Review , Michael Greenberg cites a perspective on liberalism that may do much to explain why Barack Obama’s attempts to deal with the Republican Party have amounted to little more than fiasco. The source of the perspective is John Gray. Greenberg summarizes it as follows: Modern liberalism is based on the premise that all views can be discussed, fundamentalism on the fact that there is nothing to discuss
Yes, I know it is really early in the week;? and thinking about the Chutzpah of the Week award runs the risk of being premature.? However, this one is too good to resist for a variety of reasons.? It concerns a recent decision made by Mike Leigh to decline an invitation to teach at the Sam Spiegel Film & TV School in Jerusalem.? Dave Itzkoff documented Leigh’s justification on his ArtsBeat blog for The New York Times as follows: Mr. Leigh wrote that he “always had serious misgivings about coming,” adding that he almost canceled after an incident in May in which Israeli commandos raided a Gaza-bound flotilla.
Last week it seemed as if Goldman Sachs’ reaction to the civil fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was that, if the matter came to court, Goldman Sachs would have no problem winning the case. However, a lot happened last week; and it now appears that, between the beating it took from both its Senate hearing and the public reaction to that hearing and the decision by the Department of Justice to begin a formal investigation based on the SEC charges , Goldman Sachs is showing signs of rethinking its position (an ironic word choice considering how much of this case hangs on their own particular semantics of the noun “position”). As I argued last Friday , Goldman Sachs sees no grounds for fraud, since they were only engaged in ” normative business practices consistent with the constructed reality of Planet Wall Street.” It now appears that, while Goldman Sachs still feels that this provides valid grounds for defense, it might actually be in their best interest to rethink their business practices.
Naomi Klein has filed a report for The Nation from Cochabamba in Bolivia, the site of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth . However, there is one path that her logical analysis does not follow; and I think it is important, because it addresses a line of reasoning far more general than current environmental problems. Let me begin with how she sets the stage with her opening paragraphs: It was 11 am and Evo Morales had turned a football stadium into a giant classroom, marshaling an array of props: paper plates, plastic cups, disposable raincoats, handcrafted gourds, wooden plates and multicolored ponchos
I just finished reading Brian Stelter’s piece in today’s New York Times regarding the new role that Twitter will play in the second season of Nurse Jackie . Here is his account of the what and why of that role: Beginning in the season’s second episode, the Dr. Cooper character, played by Peter Facinelli, will be shown posting on Twitter, and the character’s comments will show up in real time on a Twitter account, called @DoctorCoop