Thursday, September 27, 2012

What's the Solution?

A recent interview with Stephen Kinzer in The Times of India.

In such a complex situation, you make the provocative argument that the US and Iran need not be eternal enemies - but instead have many common interests. Could you elaborate?
The US and Iran have common interests in controlling terrorism, in fighting al-Qaida, interdicting drug traffic and calming turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran is also the only country in the Middle East, other than Turkey, which has been working towards democracy for 100 years. These countries do have more in common than emotion allows them to realize.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Copenhagen, a play about uncertainty, friendship, trust, distrust, and the complexity of science and politics in a fearful historical time...
By  Michael Frayn

Watch "a television adaptation of Michael Frayn's celebrated and award-winning stage play about the meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in 1941 Copenhagen. At this time the young Heisenberg was leading a faltering German research program into nuclear energy, while the middle-aged and apparently isolated Bohr was in contact with allied agents, and still held a position of great influence in the nuclear physics research community. After the meeting the two men put different interpretations or impressions of why Heisenberg requested the meeting, and what he hoped to gain from it, a theme which mirrors the ambiguity of the "Copenhagen" interpretation widely used in quantum physics. Did Heisenberg go to the avuncular Bohr to seek his blessing for his role in nuclear research? Why did Heisenberg concentrate on the development of a nuclear reactor, and not perform the calculations which would show that a bomb could be made to work via a fast-neutron reaction in Uranium 235? These and other questions feature in the plot, although unsurprisingly there are few certain answers."

The Emerging World Order

On September 17, 2012, Noam Chomsky held a public lecture with the title "The Emerging World Order: its roots, our legacy" at Politeama Rossetti in Trieste.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inanna spoke

Anonymous, c. 2000 B.C.

Inanna spoke:
     I bathed for the wild bull,
     I bathed for the shepherd Dumazi,
     I perfumed my sides with ointment,
     I coated my mouth with sweet-smelling amber,
     I painted my eyes with kohl.

     He shaped my loins with his fair hands,
     The shepherd Dumazi filled my lap with cream and milk,
     He stroked my pubic hair,
     He watered my womb.
     He laid his hands on my holy vulva,
     He smoothed my black boat with cream,
     He quickened my narrow bed with milk,
     He caressed me on the bed.

     Now I will caress my high priest on the bed,
     I will caress the faithful shepherd Dumazi,
     I will caress his loins, the shepherdship of the land,
     I will decree a sweet fate for him.

                  *               *               *

Ninshubur, the faithful servant of the holy shrine of Uruk,
Led Dumazi to the sweet thighs of Inanna and spoke:
     My queen, here is the choice of your heart,
     The king, your beloved bridegroom.
     May he spend long days in the sweetness of your holy loins.
     Give him favorable and glorious reign.
     Grant him the shepherd's staff of judgment.
     Grant him the enduring crown with the radiant and noble diadem.

     From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
     From south to north,
     From the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea,
     From the land of the huluppu-tree to the land of the cedar,
     Let his shepherd's staff protect all of Sumer and Akkad.
     As the farmer, let him make the fields fertile,
     As the shepherd, let him make the sheepfolds multiply,
     Under his reign let there be vegetation,
     Under his reign let there be rich grain.

     In the marshland may the fish and birds chatter,
     In the canebreak may the young and old reeds grow high,
     In the steppe may the mashgur-trees grow high,
     In the forests may the deer and wild goats multiply,
     In the orchards may there be honey and wine,
     In the gardens may the lettuce and cress grow high,
     In the palace may there be long life.
     May there be floodwater in the Tigris and Euphrates,
     May the plants grow high on their banks and fill the meadows,
     May the Lady of Vegetation pile the grain in heaps and mounds.

     O my Queen of Heaven and Earth,
     Queen of all the universe,
     May he enjoy long days in the sweetness of your holy loins.

             --from The Cycle of Inanna: The Courtship of Inanna and Dumazi
                Akkadian; trans. Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer

Alexandria, A.D. 641

Alexandria, A.D. 641
Jorge Luis Borges

Since the first Adam who beheld the night
And the day and the shape of his own hand,
Men have made up stories and have fixed
In stone, in metal, or on parchment
Whatever the world includes or dreams create.
Here is the fruit of their labor: the Library.
They say the wealth of volumes it contains
Outnumbers the stars or the grains
Of sand in the desert. The man
Who tried to read them all would lose
His mind and the use of his reckless eyes.
Here the great memory of the centuries
That were, the swords and the heroes,
The concise symbols of algebra,
The knowledge that fathoms the planets
Which govern destiny, the powers
Of herbs and talismanic carvings,
The verse in which love's caress endures,
The science that deciphers the solitary
Labyrinth of God, theology,
Alchemy which seeks to turn clay into gold
And all the symbols of idolatry.
The faithless say that if it were to burn,
History would burn with it. They are wrong.
Unceasing human work gave birth to this
Infinity of books. If of them all
Not even one remained, man would again
Beget each page and every line,
Each work and every love of Hercules,
And every teaching of every manuscript.
In the first century of the Muslim era,
I, that Omar who subdued the Persians
And who imposes Islam on the Earth,
Order my soldiers to destroy
By fire the abundant Library,
Which will not perish. All praise is due
To God who never sleeps and to Muhammed, His Apostle.

                                    Spanish; trans. Stephen Kessler

Below is the Persian Translation by: Moaddab Miralaei

اسکندریه، 641 بعد از میلاد/ خورخه لوییس بورخس

از آدم ابوالبشر،که در شب،
روز و دستانش شکل ها را دید،
انسان، داستان‌ها نوشت،

و بر سنگ، فلز یا پوست ثبت کرد.
آنچه را زمین در برمی‌گیرد یا آنچه را رویا شکل می‌دهد.
ببین اینجا ثمره‌اش را: کتابخانه.
آنها شمار ستارگان
یا حتی یاقیمانده ی اندازه‌ی شن‌های صحرا را می گویند.

مردی که همه‌ی آنها را می‌خواهد بخواند
و چشم های بی پروای خود را از دست می دهد.
ببین اینجا حافظه‌ی عظیم قرن‌ها را
شمشیرها و قهرمانان که بوده اند.
نشانه ی موجزِ جبر،
شناختی که ستاره های تاریک را می چیند،
و در آن طالع ،
و قدرت گیاهان و طلسم های عاج را می بیند ،
بیتی که نوازشی را در خود دارد،
دانشی که هزارتوی تنهایی خدا را رمزگشایی می کند،
الهیات، کیمیا، که طلا را در گِل رس می جوید،
و بت های بت پرستان،
وقتی که می‌بایست به اتش کشیده شوند،کافران می‌گویند،
تاریخ را بسوزانید. وجود ندارد.
کتابهای جاودان، وجودشان به لطف بیداری آدمی ست.
اگر از این همه حتی یکی هم باقی نمی ماند،
آن‌ها هر سطر، هر صفحه را حفظ می‌کردند.
هر نوشته از هراکلیوس و دلبستگی‌هایش
و هر درسی از نسخه‌های خطی.
من، عمربن الخطاب، که بر پارس ها چیره شدم
و اسلام را در همه جای جهان گسترش دادم ،
در قرن اول هجری
به سربازانم فرمان می دهم که بزرگترین کتابخانه را
به آتش بکشند،
که خاموش نخواهد شد.متبرک است خداوند،
همان که نمی خوابد ، و پیامبرش محمد.

برگردان: مودب میرعلایی

کتابخانه ی اسکندریه در قرن چهارم میلادی به دلایل نامعلومی نابود شده است. ویل دورانت، ماجرای فرمان عمر برای به آتش کشیدن کتابخانه را افسانه خوانده است. گویا 641 هم دقیق نیست. بورخسی اگر بخواهیم نگاه کنیم این وقایع نه در 641 /قرن اول هجری که در 1977 زمان سرودن این شعر اتفاق افتاده اند.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


"When the rich wage war, it is the poor who die."

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, The Devil and the Good Lord

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fear And Misery of the Third Reich at Evanston Library

Fear And Misery of the Third Reich at Evanston Library

 The Epic Players of Chicago presents scenes of their incoming production of Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by German playwright Bertolt Brecht. This documentary play presents a sequence of realistic scenes showing how ordinary life under Nazi Germany was subtly permeated by suspicion,anxiety and fear.

Selected Scenes for this production:

A Dialogue with Mr. Brecht
The Chalk Cross
The Informer
The Jewish Wife

Diroctor: Farrokh Asadi

Featuring: Ezzat Goushegir, Ario Mashayekhi, Jeff Jones, Elizabeth Mooney, Aurora Lopez, Heriberto Ruiz, and Balbino Lopez

Sunday September 23,  3 PM at Community Meeting Room.
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL
Tel: 847-448-8600-

Chicago Public Schools Teachers On Strike

Chicago Public Schools Teachers on Strike
Amy Goodman's view on Mayor Rahm-Ney’s Attack on the Chicago Teachers Union

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Who is afraid of Kirchner's oil Nationalization?

Who is afraid of Kirchner's oil Nationalization?

By Cyrus Bina

"Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at a press conference on April 16 announced the seizure of a 51% control in oil company YPF and reasserted Argentina's control over its oil deposits.

The key phrase in this spectacular act was "recovery of sovereignty and control". YPF was Argentina's longtime national oil company, whose assets, including oil deposits, were owned by the Argentinian public until 1993. In 1999, YPF was taken over by Repsol, Spain's once national oil company. The YPF oil reserves amounted to two-thirds of Repsol's ownership of oil reserves before re-nationalization. "....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Modern Slavery

 Photo by Lisa Kristine

Lisa Kristine on Ted...

Lisa Kristine uses photography to expose deeply human stories.

Targeting Iran.

Targeting Iran. A Film...