Bedeutung Blog

Category Archives: current affairs

Yes, It Was Torture, and Illegal

Editorial from The New York Times Bush administration officials came up with all kinds of ridiculously offensive rationalizations for torturing prisoners. It’s not torture if you don’t mean it to be. It’s not torture if you don’t nearly kill the victim. It’s not torture if the president says it’s not torture. It was deeply distressing to watch the [...]
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Skepticism via YouTube

by Tim Farley from CSI In the summer of 2008, Georgians Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer claimed to have found a Bigfoot carcass. These claims were initially made via a number of YouTube videos that garnered significant attention in the cryptid community. In August 2008, they partnered with well-known cryptozoology personality Tom Biscardi for a national press [...]
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Speak No Evil

by John B. Judis from The New Republic The lines most cited in Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech were those about evil: “Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary [...]
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The Soviet Victory That Never Was

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev from Foreign Affairs Could the Soviet Union have won its war in Afghanistan? Today, the victory of the anti-Soviet mujahideen seems preordained as part of the West’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. To suggest that an alternative outcome was possible — and that the United States has something to learn from the [...]
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Six Questions for John Scott-Railton on Cambodia

by Ken Silverstein from Harper’s Magazine While completing a master’s degree at the University of Michigan, John Scott-Railton helped develop “participatory mapping” projects aimed at protecting the fragile property rights of poor families living in Phnom Penh. While there he became an advocate of transparency in Cambodia’s natural resource management. Scott-Railton, now a doctoral student at the [...]
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Even Bigger Than Too Big to Fail

Editorial from The New York Times Asserting that it “is among the strongest banks in the industry,” Citigroup announced on Monday that it would soon repay $20 billion of federal bailout money. This from a bank that has been in the red for most of the past two years, that is expected to limp through 2010 [...]
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The Noughties: a fond(ish) farewell

by Toby Young from the Telegraph I was in a French ski resort on January 1 2000 and the first thing I thought about, when the fog of the previous night began to clear, was the Millennium Bug. Deputy US Defence Secretary John Hamre had predicted it would be ‘the electronic equivalent of the El Niño’. Just how [...]
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Memo to Danes: Even You Cannot Control This Summit

by Naomi Klein from The Nation On Saturday night, after a week of living off of conference center snack bars, a group of us were invited to a delicious home-cooked meal with a real live Danish family. After spending the evening gawking at their stylish furnishings, a few of us had a question: Why are Danes so [...]
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Iranian banknotes uprising

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Buy Local, Act Evil

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow from Slate As the owner of several energy-efficient light bulbs and a recycled umbrella, I’m familiar with the critiques of “ethical consumption.” In some cases, it’s not clear that ostensibly green products are better for the environment. There’s also the risk that these lifestyle choices will make us complacent, sapping the drive to call [...]
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Too big to burn: AIG plays God in a man-made firestorm

By McKenzie Funk from Harper’s The first light we ran was at Main Street and Jamboree Road, near the Hyatt, and we ran it mostly because we could. Chief Sam flicked on his siren, and eighteen lanes of traffic froze in place. We nudged into the intersection. We accelerated. We swerved. We accelerated again. Our red Ford [...]
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Reckoning with Torture: Memos and Testimonies from the "War on Terror"

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Bedeutung interviews Noam Chomsky

by Alexandros Stavrakas from Bedeutung Magazine In the context of Bedeutung’s fourth and forthcoming issue, titled Intellectuals & Masses, editor Alex Stavrakas interviewed Noam Chomsky. The well-known linguist and vocal critic of capitalism speaks about American politics and Obama, the financial crisis, religious faith, the US’s role as a hegemonic power and, even, the move from [...]
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Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

by Christopher Booker from The Telegraph A week after my colleague James Delingpole , on his Telegraph blog, coined the term “Climategate” to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But [...]
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How to Save Journalism

by John Nichols & Robert W. McChesney from The Nation We will give you the good news first: the politicians and regulators who have it in their power to do something about the decline of American journalism are finally paying attention. Already this year, House and Senate hearings have investigated the crisis. And even as Congress focuses this [...]
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Google and the new digital future

by Robert Darnton from The New York Review of Books November 9 is one of those strange dates haunted by history. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, signaling the collapse of the Soviet empire. The Nazis organized Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, beginning their all-out campaign against Jews. On November 9, 1923, Hitler’s Beer Hall [...]
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Slavoj Žižek extravaganza!

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: The Double Death of Neoliberalism and the Idea of Communism This event was recorded on 25 November 2009 in Old Theatre, Old Building, The London School of Economics and Political Science Slavoj Zizek argues that the neoliberalism died twice: first as a political doctrine in the tragedy of the attacks of [...]
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Love and Truth: Václav Havel in Bratislava, Twenty Years After 1989

by Timothy Snyder from The New York Review of Books – Blog It can’t happen often that citizens of one country gather to honor someone who was the president of two other countries, all the while claiming him as their own. But so it was on November 18, 2009, twenty years after student protests in Prague that [...]
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Obama's Troubles

by George Packer from The New Yorker At every stop on my mini-book-tour for “Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade,” someone asks a variation on the question of what’s gone wrong with Obama. Usually it’s asked in a tone of bewilderment verging on panic, as if the aircraft’s engines were shutting down one after another at [...]
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Žižek – BBC HARDTALK interview

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