HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » rpannier » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 39 Next »

rpannier

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 20,927

Journal Archives

The Bible's first critic

-Centuries before Spinoza, there was Ḥiwi al-Balkhi, a Jewish freethinker for whom the Bible was too irrational for faith

Much less known today is the fact that they, too, had a forerunner, and a rather early one at that. He lived eight centuries before their time, hailing from medieval Afghanistan: Ḥiwi al-Balkhi (also spelled as Chiwi), a man whom Spinoza and da Costa never heard of. But what do we know about this very early Jewish freethinker?

snip

Ḥiwi was an amazingly radical freethinker. About his life we know next to nothing. And most unfortunately, his notorious work, often called the Book of Two Hundred Questions, has not been preserved because the leaders of both Jewish communities of his day had no interest at all in its survival. They did all they could to achieve its disappearance, and nearly succeeded.

That we still know a fair amount about Ḥiwi’s work is something we owe to it being so controversial that, for several decades after its appearance, Jewish authors (including even Karaites) tried to refute the ideas of this heretic. Of course, in order to refute him they had to quote him: hence our knowledge of his radicalism. One of these authors was no less a person than Saadia Gaon, a leading Jewish scholar and rabbi from the early 10th century. (Abraham ibn Ezra, a famed biblical commentator of the same era, was another critic.)

snip

Ḥiwi argues that anyone who reads the Bible carefully will see that it often presents God as unjust and even ruthless (a question he asks is ‘Why did God inflict the Egyptian servitude upon the offspring of Abraham?’). Moreover, the Bible does not picture God as almighty and omniscient: in Genesis 3: 9, God asks Adam ‘Where are you?’ In Genesis 4: 9, God asks: ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ God is pictured as capricious since he repeatedly changes his mind, as in Genesis 6:6: ‘The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.’ The fact that the biblical God wants to receive bloody sacrifices can hardly be interpreted as an indication of God’s lofty status, or as Ḥiwi puts it: ‘Is not God represented as eating and accepting bribes?’ And what sense does it make that, when God prods David to commit a grave sin, it is the people of Israel who are severely punished, as when God sends a brutal plague to claim 70,000 innocent lives (2 Samuel 24)? Why did 30,000 Israelites have to be killed by the Philistines because the sons of the priest Eli seriously misbehaved (1 Samuel 4:10)? The conclusion, for Ḥiwi, must be that the biblical concept of the divine is primitive and in fact unworthy of God Himself.

link
https://aeon.co/essays/why-the-jewish-freethinker-iwi-al-balkhi-criticised-the-bible?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=67d9247265-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_10_06_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-67d9247265-70731013

Hard-Liners Upset, Iranian Women Celebrate After Buying Soccer Tickets For First Time

After decades of being banned from attending men's sporting events, Iran's female soccer fans are celebrating the fact they will be able to attend their national team's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Cambodia.

snip

Women -- as well as men -- have been celebrating on social media by posting copies of their tickets for the much-anticipated match, with the tickets reserved for women selling out within minutes after going on sale on October 4.

snip

Other women who managed to buy tickets expressed their excitement and disbelief on social media under the hashtag #Come_with_me_to_the_stadium (in Persian).

snip

"I bought tickets for my mother and my wife," said the deputy of Tehran's sports municipality, Farzad Radboy, on Twitter. He added that he will be babysitting his 10-month-old daughter on October 10 so that his mother and his wife can enjoy the match in peace.

snip

(adding this bit of the typical idiocracy)

The ultra-hard-line daily Kayhan criticized the decision to allow women to attend male sporting events by suggesting it wasn't a priority for them and that women have more pressing problems that need to be addressed.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/iranian-women-celebrate-soccer-tickets-first-time-hard-liners-upset/30206200.html

I would point out to the Kayhan, that Iran has more pressing problems to be addressed than who is attending soccer games -- Just saying

Trump proved me wrong

In 2017, I told several people there is no way il douche could ever pick someone as less qualified, more onerous and horrible than Jeff Sessions
And, along came this AG

The Russian Bear Is Spooked By Greta The Eco-Activist

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg found herself thrust into the global spotlight after electrifying the UN General Assembly in New York, where she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change in a speech on September 23.

snip

Russian President Vladimir Putin was the latest global leader to join the chorus of those condemning Thunberg, telling an energy forum in Moscow on October 2 that he did not share the excitement about her UN speech.

"No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and...people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden," Putin said.

snip

Kremlin-friendly or controlled media have also found little to like about Thunberg or her speech.

"Mentally ill girl promised humankind 'mass extinction,'" was the headline of Komsomolskaya Pravda's article on Thunberg after her speech.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-greta-global-warming/30197495.html

On Srebrenica Massacre Road, School Won't Teach Of Tragedy

Konjevic Polje was ground zero of Europe's worst atrocity since World War II -- the killing by Bosnian Serb forces of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in July 1995, known as the Srebrenica massacre.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, the all-Bosniak village's Bosnian-Serb administered school does not teach children about the atrocities that haunt the surrounding woods and road outside its windows.

In fact, the school -- now named after the Bosnian Serb writer and politician Petar Kocic -- was used as a military barracks by Bosnian Serb forces that carried out the massacre under the command of Ratko Mladic.

Like many other schools in the area, Petar Kocic Elementary School also reportedly was used as a temporary detention center for some Srebrenica massacre victims before they were transported to nearby execution sites.

Now, with the new school year beginning on September 2, most parents in Konjevic Polje are keeping their children out of the school to protest the language and history curriculum under its Bosnian Serb administrators.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/on-srebrenica-massacre-road-school-won-t-teach-of-tragedy/30139243.html

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1. US diplomat’s wife suspected of involvement in crash that killed teenager leaves UK after claiming diplomatic immunity

The wife of a US diplomat has claimed diplomatic immunity to leave the UK after she became a suspect in a police investigation into a fatal car crash.

Harry Dunn, 19, died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Northamptonshire Police confirmed a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in their investigation had left the country.

snip

In its own statement to Sky News, the US embassy in London offered its “deepest sympathies” to Mr Dunn’s family following the accident “involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom”.

snip

“Due to security and privacy considerations, we cannot confirm the identity of the individuals involved, but we can confirm the family has left the UK.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/us-diplomat-wife-car-crash-killed-teenager-harry-dunn-leaves-uk-immunity-a9144051.html


2. Russian Authorities 'Harassing' Journalists Covering Case Against Prokopyeva

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on Russian authorities to “stop harassing” reporters covering the terrorism case against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva.

Prokopyeva’s prosecution and “the intimidation and harassment of journalists reporting on her case shows how far Russian authorities will go to silence independent voices,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a statement on October 4.

snip

The move came after the two outlets recently published an open letter in which Prokopyeva described the charges against her as "the murder of freedom of speech."

snip

Prokopyeva, a prominent journalist from Pskov who is a freelance contributor for RFE/RL's Russian Service, faces up to 7 years in prison on charges of "justifying terrorism" in comments made during a 2018 Ekho Moskvy broadcast.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-authorities-harassing-journalists-covering-case-against-prokopyeva/30199810.html


3. Dutch government ditches Holland to rebrand as the Netherlands

The Dutch government has decided to stop describing itself as Holland and will instead use only its real name – the Netherlands – as part of an attempted update of its global image.

The national rebranding, which has been signed up to by business leaders, the tourist board and central government, will be rolled out later this year.

Ministers want to shift the international focus from certain aspects of national life with which the country is commonly associated, such as its recreational drug culture and the red-light district of Amsterdam.

As part of the new strategy, the Netherlands will be the official brand at the Eurovision song contest, which takes place in Rotterdam next May, and during the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/04/holland-the-netherlands-dutch-government-rebrand


4. 1 Out Of 5 Million' Serbian Protests Resume, Shine Spotlight On Plagiarism
Serbian anti-government protesters marched through the streets of the nation’s capital for the 43rd consecutive week on September 28.

The latest protests took place at the headquarters of Belgrade University amid allegations that the finance minister, Sinisa Mali, may have plagiarized his doctoral dissertation.

snip

Controversy regarding the doctorate began years ago when a group of experts ruled that Mali copied other people’s works but within the allowable limit.

Some professors, however, subsequently analyzed the work and found additional parts were lifted from different authors without attribution.

snip

The latest protests are part of a wave of demonstrations dating back to December when leftist opposition leader Borko Stefanovic was beaten by masked attackers in central Serbia before a televised political debate.

https://www.rferl.org/a/out-of-5-million-serbian-protests-resume-shine-spotlight-on-plagiarism/30189355.html

5. Portugal election: What to expect from Sunday’s vote as Socialist Party fights to stay in power

No loud populists, no surging far-right groups, a liberal and migrant-welcoming Socialist Party tipped for a victory – Portugal's general election this weekend makes the country look like Europe's odd man out.

Across the European Union, radical new parties are reshaping the political landscape while Europe's socialist parties have lost ground in recent years.

snip

The two mainstream parties are expected to garner the most votes in Sunday's ballot, with the centre-left Socialist Party showing an opinion poll lead of at least 7 percentage points over the centre-right Social Democratic Party.

snip

On Sunday, prime minister Antonio Costa’s Socialists are set to win, according to opinion polls, but without an outright majority, after four years of economic growth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-election-socialist-social-democratic-party-antonio-costa-exit-poll-a9143301.html

Judge shoots himself in court 'after being pressured to give guilty verdicts despite lack of evidenc

A judge shot himself in the chest in a court in Thailand after he was reportedly pressured to find several defendants guilty despite the lack of evidence against them.

Khanakorn Pianchana made the apparent suicide attempt after acquitting five people of murder and firearms charges in his courtroom in the southern province of Yala on Friday.

Mr Khanakorn was rushed to hospital for surgery but his injuries were not life-threatening, the Bangkok Post reported.

A statement attributed to him that circulated online claimed his superiors had tried to force him to change the verdicts to guilty.

The verdicts could have condemned three of the men to death and sent two to prison. The evidence did not support a guilty verdict, the statement said.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thailand-judge-shoots-self-court-guilty-verdicts-khanakorn-pianchana-yala-a9143966.html

閃光少女,中西對決 - Our Shining Days (Shining Girl)

Our Shining Days is a Chinese musical about the struggles of a minority group in Chinese orchestra. Chen Jing (played by Xu Lu, who is from Inner Mongolia) excels at yangqin (a traditional Chinese instrument similar to the santur.
Angry at the prejudice of the classical instrument students, especially Wang Wen (a boy she has a crush on) towards the traditional instrument students, she forms her own ensemble group. Four of the girls agree to join only because Chen promises them expensive action figures. The four girls are Otaku; a Japanese term meaning obsessive interests, for the girls it's anime and cosplay. They name their group 2.5 Dimension, a blending of the 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimnensional universes. They perform at comicons and anime conventions, where they develop a following.

Chen Jing is crushed and demoralized when Wang Wen publicly rejects Chen and Chinese music. Chen Jing decides to disband the ensemble. The four Otaku girls are infuriated, as they have come to love Dimension 2.5 and refuse the action figures because they are angry. Chen Jing's mother convinces her not to give up the music, as it is a part of her.

The director of the school decides to close the Chinese Orchestra. Dimension 2.5 protests and other students join the protest. Dimension 2.5 organizes a competition with the Classical musical during a visit from an inspector. The Classical Orchestra is unable to keep up. (scene below)



At the end, the Chinese Orchestra get help from the Classical Orchestra for their live concert



tbh:
I have not seen the movie, but have seen the music from the movie. The music is quite impressive.
One of the twins (our BiSH punk daughter) loves this movie. I think she's Otaku about Asian music. She wants to learn the yangqin.
Also, I think she loves the movie because the girls in the movie are "Amazing performers and great actresses." (her description) The movie appears to have strong, positive, yet somewhat quirky female characters

Kosovo: What you need to know about the country's snap elections

Elections are October 6th.

**********************************

snip

Rampant corruption, widespread unemployment and sour relations with neighbouring Serbia are themes dominating the poll — and must be addressed if the country is to make progress toward EU membership.

The election was triggered when Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned after a war crimes court in The Hague summoned him for questioning as a suspect. It concerned his role in the 1998-99 insurgency against Serb forces.

snip

Predominantly Albanian Kosovo declared its independence in February 2008, when Serbia rejected the declaration as illegal but Europe's major powers and the United States recognised the move.

snip

Both Serbia and Kosovo aspire to EU membership — Serbia as a candidate country and Kosovo as a potential candidate. The EU insists that Serbia must normalise its relations with Kosovo before joining.

In 2013, Kosovo and Serbia agreed to EU-sponsored talks, but little progress has been made since.

link

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/03/kosovo-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-country-s-snap-elections

note:
In true trumpian fashion, as a result of breakdown in talks between Serbia and Kosovo, Kosovo placed 100% tariffs on all imports from Serbia

The New WFWA (World Feline Wrestling Association) Champion has been crowned

https://twitter.com/i/status/1164933627001671682

In an amazing take down, Muffin the Mauler has ended the reign of the Macho Cat
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 39 Next »