Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Occasional Insomnia

I haven't been a true insomniac in years, but last night the combination of spicy food late at night, Philip Gourevitch's book on Rwanda and worry about my upcoming Spring Break travel combined to wake me up at 4 this morning.
Big news that I didn't witness: Yesterday, at my school, many students left chanting and went off to rally at City Hall. It felt momentous to be sitting in my office, advising a student on what courses to take in the Fall and to be interrupted by the sound of slogans outside in the hallway. This morning, I've read a couple of stories about the nationwide demonstrations. Apparently the one in NY was very diverse, but presided over by a bunch of politicians.
Meanwhile the Whitehouse is at the center of several scandals. There's this one and the gathering focus of Fitzgerald's investigation, which as Kossacks predicted last Summer, is indeed leading to an overall discussion of the lies that led to war.
There are various discussions about this in the blogosphere. This one is funny. This post on Dkos is interesting.
The question remains, is this one finally going to have an impact? What do you think, and how do you measure it?

Maybe all this isn't enough to keep a person up at night, but thinking about the Rwandan genocide is. It began twelve years ago on April 7, 1994 and continued until nearly 1 million people were killed within slightly more than three months. Given what's going on in the world today, I have to agree with Gerald Caplan who writes in the "Globe and Mail" that we have learned nothing from these events. The next book I plan to read about this genocide is Linda Malvern's "Conspiracy to Murder," the product of ten years of research on the planning of the genocide and the complicity of the UN and the US to cover it up once it began. For a more academic discussion of genocide in general, see this review in the London Review of Books.
Now, I'm going back to bed.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope reflects the state of our soul rather than the circumstances that surround our lives. So hope is not the equivalent of optimism. Its opposite is not pessimism but despair. So I'm always hopeful. Hope is about keeping the faith despite the evidence so that the evidence has a chance of changing...

Hope criticizes what is, hopelessness rationalizes it. Hope resists, hopelessness adapts.

William Sloan Coffin 1924-2006

hnscewd said...

before you shed too many tears for the captains of industry, consider the billions of dollars in corporate welfare shelled out each year across the land, not to mention congressional largesse on offshore flimflam and other tax shelters and loopholes.

Steve Lopez, LA Times 4/12/06

short people said...

More Steve Lopez:

the service economy is here to stay, and that means we have to find ways to elevate the standard of living for bellhops, janitors, security guards, nannies, maids, construction workers and waiters.

“We have a situation like we did in the 1930s, when auto manufacturing, mining and steel work were poverty jobs,” Wong said. Unionization moved those workers into the middle class, he says, and it can push service employees in the same direction.

reb said...

who's shedding tears for the captains of industry?

hnscewd said...

reb said...

who's shedding tears for the captains of industry?

7:57 AM

Republicans and Corporatist Democrats, that's who! The Kos story where I found this link described Lopez as "channeling Eugene Debs"

Anonymous said...

Christopher Hitchins calls Richard Armitage "Colin Powell's bitch" Crooks and Liars

reb said...

The Daily Kos story where you found what link, hnscewd, i am so lost. WHO exactly are you responding to, my blog, the Daily Kos, or what?
Or is William Sloane Coffin a captain of industry? I am simply lost.