Fathers and Sons

Barack Obama says ‘I wish I’d had a father’
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones in Chicago and Jon Swaine
The Telegraph, 16 Feb 2013

Obama-FatherIn an unusually personal speech at a school in his old Chicago eighbourhood, Mr Obama, who was raised by his mother, said his attempts to introduce new gun control laws must be matched by more men behaving like role models who are “held up in respect” by their sons, grandsons and nephews.
“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families, which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” said Mr Obama.
Hailing his “heroic” late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, “who gave everything she had to raise me”, “At the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved”.
Barack Obama senior, a Kenyan economist, divorced Ms Dunham in 1964, three years after the birth of their son. A heavy drinker, he died in a 1982 car accident, 11 years after he last saw Barack junior.

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Sylvester Stallone: “I’m a hopeless romantic”

Sylvester Stallone: His main values

* I am a sensitive writer, actor and director. Talking business disgusts me. If you want to talk business, call my disgusting personal manager.
* I’m a patriot of the heart.
* I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.
* Rambo isn’t violent. I see Rambo as a philanthropist.

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Don’t be a Girlyman

The Christian Paradox
How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
by Bill McKibben, August 3, 2005

bigstock-jesus-in-usaWhen George Bush says that Jesus Christ is his favorite philosopher, he may or may not be sincere, but he is reflecting the sincere beliefs of the vast majority of Americans.
And therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior.
Maybe we’d be better off if we abandoned religion for secular rationality, but we’re not going to; for the foreseeable future this will be a “Christian” nation. The question is, what kind of Christian nation? …
When one of the Pharisees asked Jesus what the core of the law was, Jesus replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Love your neighbor as yourself: although its rhetorical power has been dimmed by repetition, that is a radical notion, perhaps the most radical notion possible.
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Baathism: Liberty and Socialism

The Ba’ath Party was made famous in the West by the late Iraqi dictator and one-time ally of the United States Saddam Hussein. It is largely regarded in the West as something to be associated with the most “evil of evils” since the 1991 Gulf War.
As NATO/GCC backed mercenaries and ultra-conservative Islamic militias battle the Government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Ba’ath Party is once more a phrase that is popping up in the Western mainstream media, mentioned in the kind of tones one would associate with when referring to Nazi Germany.

But what exactly is the Ba’ath Party? How did it start? What does it actually stand for?

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Nietzsche: holy states are monsters

Nietzsche4Contrary to the popular vulgarized interpretation of Nietzsche’s thought as a forerunner to Fascism and National Socialism, Friedrich Nietzsche was greatly alarmed by the growth of the modern state and of the tendency towards militarism resulting from the mass armies made possible by the modern state’s powers of conscription.

In Part One of Friederich Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra‘ there is a provocative section entitled ‘Of the New Idol’, an attack on statisme and, when statism is defined as ‘deification/idolisation of the state’, a rejection of all those ideologies that can be classified as ‘forms of fascism’.
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God is an Anarchist

The life and thought of Lev Shestov
by Bernard Martin


Lev Shestov (1866-1938) belongs to the small company of truly great religious philosophers of our time and his work deserves the closest attention of all who are seriously concerned with the problems of religious thought.
Unfortunately, Shestov’s stature has not hitherto been generally recognized nor has his work been widely studied. Even in Europe he did not enjoy any great popularity in his lifetime and now, a quarter of a century after his death, his writings are little read.
In America his name is practically unknown to the general public, and even many professional philosophers and theologians are unacquainted with his work.
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Jesus, The Mystic Blasphemist

Why Did The Jews Accuse Jesus Of Blasphemy?
By Bassam Zawadi, anwering-christianity.com

One argument often raised by Christians in order to try and prove the deity of Christ is that they say that the Jews accused Jesus of committing blasphemy. However, I am here to argue that the Jews misunderstood them and that Jesus never did commit blasphemy. We will also examine the real reason why the Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy.
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Young, Queer, and Radical in Israel

Israeli Anarchism
Being Young,Queer, and Radical in the Promised Land
Aaron Lakoff, Interview 2005

“Anarchism stands for the suspicion of authority and suspicion of all governments and the readiness to criticize and rebel against any government that may have started out in a humanitarian way, but that became ossified and dictatorial. Anarchism has as its goal the idea of a decentralized society where individuals are free from the oppression of government and corporate power and the church.” Howard Zinn – Personal philosophy

Yossi is a young resident of Jerusalem and a member of the International Solidarity Movement. He is part of many social movements in Israel and Palestine, including Anarchists Against the Wall and Black Laundry, a radical queer group. … Here he speaks about anarchism in Israel, it’s relationship to the Palestinian struggle, and radical anarchist and queer culture.
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In love with Saints

Gilad Atzmon: “If you want to play music, make me cry”
by Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal 8-2-2013

The Israeli-born, UK-resident reedman, composer and writer talks to MARK GILBERT in advance of five solid months on the road to coincide with the release of Songs Of The Metropolis.

atzmon-jazzGilad Atzmon is sceptical about the British arts system, about the addition of form-filling to the musician’s skill-set, and it bears on his musical philosophy in general. Atzmon holds that jazz at its best is a instinctive activity, one that is in perpetual danger of having its vital power drained by subsidising bodies propelled by an “Enlightenment” view of music.
I believe that the existence of an artist should be inherently dependent on the ability to communicate with an audience – I don’t say big audience. The art form that I am involved with is basically the total opposition to the Enlightenment.
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Israel: Fear of freedom

Israel Between Zionism and Democracy
by Mordechai Nisan

us-jewsThere are two alternative conceptions of the proper political order and the modes of governmental policy toward a country’s population.
1) At the root of the democratic vision, certainly America’s version of it, is the abstract egalitarianism of individual rights for all peoples, at all times, under all circumstances.
2) At the heart of the national vision are ideas of ethnic character, religious identity, and historical solidarity serving as the foundation for a state.

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