: I had lost track of Europundits, a fine group blog from guess-where, and reading it today I came across some amazing recent posts.
: First, Nelson Ascher writes that one problem with the middle east conflict is branding:
I know that what I’m going to say is rather simplistic. But, sometimes, really complex things have simple roots.
Why has the Arab PR been working so much better than the Jewish one?
Maybe it’s a question of brands….
When Jews were known as Jews, they were despised. Then they became Israelis and they were backed, even admired. Now they are hated as Zionists and are beginning to be called Jews again.
While the Arabs were known as Arabs there wasn’t much sympathy for them. When they managed to make themselves be called Palestinians, they became a small, oppressed people with whose tragic situation it was almost impossible not to empathize.
The interesting point is that this change of brands happened simultaneously, basically after the 1967 victory. The Israelis became Zionists, while the Arabs metamorphosed into Palestinians. The Arab-Israeli conflict was transformed into the oppression and genocide of poor Palestinians by cruel Zionists.
Read the rest.
: And then there’s this post that tears France a new you-know-what and concludes:
Over the past year, there has been a tendency for Americans to take the European backlash personally. This is myopic. Together with Arabs, Africans and our neighbors in North and South America, we Americans are the bastards of Europe
Brainwashing German children
: Davids Medienkritik, the German/English blog quoted a few times today, has this shocking report on a children’s news program that is riddled with anti-American propaganda. For example, there’s this from one program:
The prisoners should tell as much as they can about Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But since most of them won’t do it voluntarily, they are mistreated, beaten and even tortured. And: they have no chance to consult with an attorney. Human rights organizations like Amnesty International find it terrible that the US government decides on its own when human rights should be upheld and when not.
Says the weblog:
In Germany the Nazis and most recently the SED (former ruling Communist party in East Germany) thought it right to use media manipulation of children for the purpose of indoctrinating them with propaganda. The WDR places itself, with its one-sided, biased and manipulative reporting on its children’s radio program in the same ugly tradition.
: My blogroll was hanging over me like weekend homework, weekend after weekend.
So I just dug into it. I’m sure I messed up things: left people off, left dead blogs on, messed up addresses. But I hit my wall. So it’s up.
I put many of the blogs that I had not listed before under “new,” even though many of them are not new. I should have done that with all of them but that didn’t occur to me until too late; others are listed here, there, and everywhere.
Next target: My butt-ugly colors….
Then a nose job….
Then Grecian Formula….
: I’m trying white as a background first. OK?
: And I’m giving the ad a rest for a week or so. Don’t want to let the message go stale. But it will return.
: Everybody hated my old background color. So I go to white. Now the first comment is a complaint about that. Leave me some colors (in code) in the comments and I’ll try them out. I am using an old Blogger template (shame on old me) and so it’s not as easy as just changing my CSS. So be gentle with me.
: Movable Type question: I would like to create a new, parallel template that can be read on mobile phones, such as my new Treo 600, at an easy address, such as go.buzzmachine.com. All I want is the center content well with no right rail to make the download lighter. How do I create a new template that runs in parallel with my main index template?
A ‘right to terrorism’
: The abhorrent Ted Honderich strikes again, arguing that the Palestinians have a right to terrorism — and that a terrorist human bomb who kills an Israeli child is exercising that right. He said this in a lecture at the University of Leipzig. David Kaspar’s new blog reports on it. Find Honderich’s full text here.
On the question of the morality of a Palestinian human bomb killing an Israel child, Honderich says this:
… the Palestine suicide bomber does have a moral right to her act of terrorism, and … the Israeli in the helicopter has no moral right to his act of state-terrorism. To clarify any such assertion of a moral right, this one comes to this: the Palestinian suicide-bomber was morally permitted if not obliged to do what she did, which very judgement has the support of a fundamental and accepted moral principle.
He then launches into an odd lecture about the moral superiority of Germany after the Holocaust:
The Germans are now rightly known for taking on themselves the guilt of their fathers. They have a kind of moral superiority not shared by all of the rest of us. The Holocaust was not the first or last genocide in history. Other perpetrators have not been so ready to accept and to deal with guilt. It is for this reason of moral superiority that Germans now have a special obligation to speak against a rape. They will be heard a little more than other nations. There is a reason for their being heard, which is their standing. This moral position is also the reason of their silence until now. They can do more than the rest of us to awaken America from its ignorant trance.
: I thought Glenn Reynolds was off the air for an entire day because he was busy dashing the career hopes of would-be law professors. Instead, this was what was keeping him busy.
A new soldier blog
: Reader Dianna Sebben spots this in the new comments on Zeyad’s HealingIraq blog: A U.S. soldier blogging from Baghdad. He writes about the improved security in Baghdad; Zeyad also writes about the success of the Iraqi Police.
More bedtime reading
: Through a bad link at Die Zeit, I found myself not at a harmless ancient mapping center but instead at the Rand’s Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks, which runs through detailed scenarios of various “catastrophic terrorist attacks: outdoor chemical release, indoor chemical release, dirty bomb, nuclear detonation, anthrax release, and smallpox release.” I thought I was going to have a quiet Saturday picking applies. I’ll be building a bunker instead.
Bedtime reading in translation
: This has turned into a gangly post about language and connections in weblogs. It started with the first link, below, but then I kept adding other things I found. The result is rather disjointed post about international connections. It’s an important topic — internatinalization is one of the great contributions of weblogs — and so I’m sorry I’m doing it a disservice with this disjointed post but I’m rushed this morning, so click away below and I’ll come back to the topic later…
: Just found a site packed with good reading: World Without Borders, the online magazine for international literature. I got to read one of my favorite German-language authors, Wladimir Kaminer, in a story called Paris Lost, translated into English.
The site’s raison d’etre:
English-speaking culture in general and American culture in particular has long benefited from cross-pollination with other worlds and languages. Thus it is an especially dangerous imbalance when, today, 50% of all the books in translation now published worldwide are translated *from English,* but only 6% are translated *into* English.
I just wish the creators — from Bard College — didn’t turn into apologetic Americans:
Globalization, we hope to say (not didactically, and not, we hope, naively, but in the richness of cultural information we present) need not be equivalent to Americanization.
Nevermind that. There’s still much to read here and it’s good that so much is being translated into English. [via Die Zeit]
: Also see David Kaspar’s new bilingual blog with English posts and German posts translated into English. [Thanks to Tanker Schreiber for the link.]
: Meanwhile, Martin R