A dangerous misreading of the Boston Tea Party from rightwing anarchists | Timothy Snyder for the New York Review of Books blog | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

 

 

A dangerous misreading of the Boston Tea Party from rightwing anarchists | Timothy Snyder for the New York Review of Books blog | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

This is a fine distillation of my own thoughts on the matter. We’re ideologizing ourselves into irrelevancy, insolvency and facelessness. By claiming to want to return to some non-existent Golden Age, discarding facts, creating others out of whole cloth, we erode the ground beneath our feet and give up what truly did make us somewhat special.

Though not always, perhaps even rarely, getting it right, we did strive for a more perfect union, strove to move forward in brash waves of creativity, often times reckless naiveté, and we relished our mongrel nature of the American mixed salad — out of many, one and the whole being much more than the sum of its parts.

But now we strike out in mindless rage, aware that something’s ‘not right’, we’re not on the right path, but allow ourselves to be misled, blinders pulled down tight and our anger directed away from those who oppress, who destroy our way of life, our creativity, our identities, our generosity of spirit — turning us into callous, callow, recalcitrant children.

We claim religious fidelity, yet we forget the exhortation to give ‘unto the least of these’. We claim our fervent desire for freedom, wrapped in ketchup-stained, too tight flag t-shirts, yet would deny that freedom to any and all perceived to be not like ‘us’. We claim we are peaceful and tolerant, yet wage wars across the globe and are quick to mob mentality at the faintest dog whistle.

We say we want our country back, but don’t even remember who we once were, nor realize who we have become — who we are.

jls

What is needed is a truly patriotic position, one that would explain to voters, whatever their sympathies, that there is no American nation without an American middle class, and no American middle class without an American government that provides the essential services that allow people to move up in a globalised world. Whatever one thinks of the Tea Party’s Orwellian references to our revolutionary heritage, there’s no danger of a return to an 18th century: when Ohio did not even exist, and the midwestern economy depended on the Indian flint arrowheads that today pass beneath the blades of the massive high-tech combines. The real danger is that we will move briskly forward to national non-existence, misunderstanding the plainest lessons of our own past along the way. By the time the costs of rightwing anarchism reach the truly privileged, it will be far too late for everyone else. If we don’t find a way to adapt own national thinking to global reality before then, all we can look forward to is leaving a trace: like fossils, or arrowheads, or the mammoth tusk that hangs on my grandmother’s porch.”

Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan’s Premier NEWS Agency ) – No aid needed from world donors for flood victims in Sindh: NDMA

Let’s hope they’re not wrong. Again.

Associated Press Of Pakistan ( Pakistan’s Premier NEWS Agency ) – No aid needed from world donors for flood victims in Sindh: NDMA.

No aid needed from world donors for flood victims in Sindh: NDMA PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP): Chairman,National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Zafar Qadir on Saturday said that the Authority would not be looking for any international assistance for the current floods which hit Sindh province. NDMA was efficiently managing the relief work and facing no difficulties in its operations, he told APP.
The Authority has distributed relief items including 12,700 tents, three water purification plants and 23,000 family ration packs, to the flood-affected people in Sindh.  The relief goods have been disbursed in the inundated districts of Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan and Mirpur Khas besides the badly damaged Mithi town of Tharparker district, he said. 

Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir who visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation and coordinated with the provincial authorities for organizing effective and timely relief operations, said, NDMA’s teams were actively engaged in the flood relief and rescue operation and they were capable enough to tackle the current flood aftermath.

“In case we need any assistance from the donors or international non-governmental bodies we will engage the donors in the relief work,” he added.
He said that if international non-governmental bodies’ wants to go on the flood affected areas but before going for any relief operation they have to get an approval from NDMA.
“We want to have a complete check and balance on international non-governmental bodies before clearing them for any relief work,” said the chairman of NDMA.
Zafar Qadir added that the current step was taken after looking the history of international non-governmental bodies because they collect thousands of dollars in Genva and New York for the flood affected population hardly spends it on the effected people.
“The money goes more in salaries and other things,” he remarked.         
He informed that around 60 percent of cotton crops were damaged in the flood affected areas.
“Crops of sugar-cane were not damaged in flood hit areas because the height of the sugar-cane is three feet above the flood water level,” said the chairman.
He said that all armed forces were managing the rescue part of flood relief operations.
Qadir, who was currently in Badin, added that 31 lives were lost because of the current floods as the roofs of their houses were collapsed after massive rains.
It may be mentioned that the Sindh province has been hit by floods again this year which has undated several villages and around six districts leaving several thousand people homeless.

BBC News – Violence escalates as Karachi death toll rises to 39

BBC News – Violence escalates as Karachi death toll rises to 39.

Meanwhile, the violence continues in Karachi. Again, these are political games being played out with ordinary people used as the pawns. Business and politics combine into a nasty brew, fighting to determine who’ll come out on top, who’ll call the shots.

Unfortunately, the shots are hitting everyday people. And bodies are apparently piling up in jute bags left on the streets, showing all too many signs of torture.

It’s a beastly game being played out on the streets of Karachi.

jls

 

Government yet to seek UN help | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

Government yet to seek UN help | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online.

Reports are streaming in of rather dramatic flood damages in parts of Southern Sindh. Not at all our area of operations, but of course we stand ready to intervene if needed.

The problem is, there’s not much actionable information out there. Yes, we know the situation is bad and is still unfolding. However, who’s already there, who can respond quickly, what can they bring to the table, what are the gaps? We don’t know yet.

Then there’s this article stating that the Government of Pakistan hasn’t yet asked for assistance from the international community. Granted, local officials in the flood-affected areas are screaming for help and are rather specific in what they want. They also claim the government is slow to respond, providing only a fraction of what’s allegedly needed.

Some NGOs have arranged assessment trips and are either already there or on their way, so we’re trying to plug into those networks to get more reliable information. If we go solely on the information coming out of local government officials, we’ll end up duplicating a lot of work being done by others, since there’s not much organization there in the cries for help.

Meanwhile, of equal concern are reports of continued rains to the north of us. Will these rains turn into floods here in our part of the province? That’s unclear so far.

Fortunately, we do have private funds and some assets, which could help us launch a rather quick emergency response. The question is: Where? Head South and help out in an unknown situation or wait to see if something’s going to hit here?

There’s a bit of a wait-and-see attitude, but in an emergency, waiting can cost lives….

The political will for peace in Kashmir – Kashmir: The forgotten conflict – Al Jazeera English

The political will for peace in Kashmir – Kashmir: The forgotten conflict – Al Jazeera English.

After a summer of articles extolling the peace and a return of tourism to the Kashmir Valley, suddenly violence breaks out again. How large, how wide, how destructive, we don’t know yet.

The signs were there for anyone willing to speak to Kashmiris — frustrations were simmering, anger was brewing — but official government lines took precedent over the voice of the people, and so this latest outbreak came as a ‘surprise’, surprisingly.

My interest in Kashmir — already piqued and constant over the past few years — has increased of late. Is it time for another trip to Srinagar?

I think it might be.