Friday, July 28, 2006

A bench of bishops, and another.

From the USCCB statement:
...Israel has a right to defend itself, but we cannot support its sweeping counterattacks on civilian areas, civilian infrastructure, blockades and other acts of war in Gaza and Lebanon. Punishment of an entire population for the indefensible acts of extreme armed factions is wrong and causes unjustified harm to noncombatants. Such actions are also counterproductive because they deepen hostilities and widen the circle of violence. Israel must act with restraint. Otherwise we fear that Israel could isolate itself, undermine its long-term security interests and play into the hands of extremists who seek a wider confrontation and an unending battle with Israel....

From the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem:

...As I write to you, I am preparing to leave with other bishops for Nablus with medical and other emergency supplies for five hundred families, and a pledge for one thousand families more.

On Saturday we will attempt to enter Gaza with medical aid for doctors and nurses in our hospital there who struggle to serve the injured, the sick, and the dying.

My plan is that I will be able to go to Lebanon next week - where we are presently without a resident priest - to bury the dead, and comfort the victims of war. Perhaps as others have you will ask, “What can I do?” Certainly we encourage and appreciate your prayers. That is important, but it is not enough. If you find that you can no longer look away, take up your cross. It takes courage as we were promised.

Write every elected official you know. Write to your news media. Speak to your congregation, friends, and colleagues about injustice and the threat of global war. If Syria, Iran, the United States, Great Britain, China and others enter into this war - the consequence is incalculable. Participate in rallies and forums. Find ways that you and your churches can participate in humanitarian relief efforts for the region. Contact us and
let us know if you stand with us. I urge you not to be like a disciple watching from afar.

2 Corinthians 6.11:
“We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians, our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return - I speak as to children - open wide your hearts also.”

In, with, and through Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Riah H. Abu El-Assal
Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Routley's defense of Cannibalism

Never let it be said that philosophers are silent on the burning questions of the age. Here, Richard Routley (of nonexistent objects fame) defends cannibalism:
The claim staked is accordingly this: where the human eaten is dead, and certain other conditions are satisfied, cannibalism is admissible. The other conditions may comprise such things as the following: that the whole thing is done decently (in ways, that is, to be spelled out specifically); that the person eaten consented (or, differently, would consent) to being eaten, perhaps by the parties concerned, or more strongly that the person directed that he or She be eaten (or otherwise used); or differently again, that the consumption was necessary for survival or well-being, etc.
(via Greg Restall)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Iceman Goeth

In the early 90's, in my part of the world, they used to show Italian football on the telly. A feast for the imagination (of this little boy anyway). I remember seeing Bergkamp play for Inter, and even then knowing that he was enduring a crap time, and deserving of the respect and sympathy due to the master craftsman forced to work in inferior material.

So what was he thinking moving to Arsenal

Dunno, but without ever making the fullest possible use of his talent, he prospered mightily. I'm grateful to have seen him play*, and for this absolutely sublime goal, thanks.

*For all the usual reasons but also because he was a particularly pure instantiation of the form of the flair player willing and able to stick an elbow in when invention was insufficient. But this was difficult to spot unless you were watching at relatively close quarters.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ramin Jahanbegloo

Ramin Jahanbegloo, an Iranian-Canadian philosopher, (articles, cv, interview) has been held in solitary confinement in Iran since April 27th 2006. He hasn't been publicly charged. Many well-known scholars have signed an open letter to the President of Iran calling for his release:

"Significantly, as director of the Cultural Research Bureau in Tehran, he has conveyed to myriad readers, students and scholars the complexity of Iranian civilisation and its rich contributions to humanity. Dr Jahanbegloo's effort to illuminate and share Iran's culture and history with others has earned him deep respect and admiration among both intellectuals and laypeople from diverse corners of the globe. Not surprisingly, those who follow his work, both in Iran and abroad, are shocked and disappointed by this unlawful treatment of Dr Jahanbegloo. Scholars travelling to and from Iran are especially concerned about this matter and contend Dr Jahanbegloo's arrest will deter such exchanges and scientific research."

Recently, an Iranian newspaper has suggested that Jahanbegloo confessed to planning to participate in a revolution supported by the USA. It is unlikely that this confession was freely made.
Please pray for Ramin Jahanbegloo and support him in any way you can.
(via Philos-L, aldaily, logosjournal.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

On Zidane

Head-butting Materazzi was a bad idea. But until we know, or have better evidence of, what was said, to judge it 'unpardonable' is simply premature. (Especially since Materazzi has previous.*)

As for Zizou's career, apotheosis came in 1998. Indeed, when all's said and done, he twice led goodish teams to World Cup finals, and managed to win one of them almost single-handedly. He's scored as many goals in World Cup Final matches as Pele has, is easily the best European player since Cruyff, and is responsible for the best goal ever to win a Champions League Final. Merci Zizou!

*(via xanax))

Friday, July 07, 2006

New, African bible commentary launched. And other randoms

New, African bible commentary launched. Rafael Nunez's surprising paper on Aymara models of times is here. But isn't this similar to Gikuyu?

Cornel West, here: you've got a brotha of infinite value calling himself '50 Cent...'