: As I drove into Jersey City this morning, I saw people converging on a large mosque in all varieties of formal and foreign dress. It’s the start of Eid. And then I got to work and found email from Zeyad, who tells me:
By the way, today we are celebrating the first day of the Id holidays and the atmosphere in Baghdad is very different. People everywhere. I haven’t seen such celebrations since before the war. It’s all really fun. Anyway, I’m off to a party right now. so see you later.
They call it old Europe for a reason
: A remarkable projection in today’s NY Times David Brooks column:
Working off U.N. and U.S. census data, Bill Frey, the indispensable University of Michigan demographer, projects that in the year 2050 the median age in the United States will be 35. The median age in Europe will be 52. The implications of that are enormous.
Europe, the land of yesterday. The continent of old farts. The next Beatles sure won’t come from there. They will come from, oh, Iran.
: This morning, I came into the World Trade Center in rush hour, in a fairly crowded train. As soon as the train came into the site, the train went completely silent; most people looked outside; some just looked off. I wonder how long that will last. Maybe forever. Maybe it is our way of paying our respects.
: Tonight’s presidential debate (I saw the last half) just proves Jay Rosen’s points. The candidates don’t answer a damned question; they stick tape carts in their mouths and hit “play.” And afterward, on MSNBC, Chris Matthews goes on about who “won.” What he should be doing is saying, “You guys didn’t say jack! You wouldn’t answer the questions. You didn’t advance the debate. You didn’t advance the conversation. You wasted our damned time.” That’s the unspun zone.
: The Guardian asks the tough question: “The ‘new’ anti-semitism: is Europe in grip of worst bout of hatred since the Holocaust?”
“Anti-semitism has become politically correct in Europe,” said Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and minister in Ariel Sharon’s government….
But it is the “new” anti-semitism that most disturbs some Jewish leaders because they say it emanates from influential groups such as academics, politicians and the media and is dressed up as criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
It is time to honestly face this spectre. This isn’t Europe-bashing. It is a warning we must heed…. this time.