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Monthly Archive: January 2007

Jan 31 2007

Film talk-3: The film ratings mystery

In watching Oh! Calcutta!, I started thinking about the effect on film quality of the abundance of sex, nudity, profanity, and violence in films that are released these days. I personally find violence the most distasteful of all of these things and will avoid films that are advertised to have excessive amounts of it. When …

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Jan 30 2007

Film talk-2: Beatty, Hitchcock, and Oh! Calcutta!

I have been using the Case film library to catch up on some old films that I had always meant to see but missed when they first came out, either because they were made before I was born or because they did not make it to Sri Lanka. I saw two Warren Beatty films, the …

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Jan 29 2007

Film talk-1: Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove

Despite the heading on this blog, I realized that I had not been writing about films for quite a while. The reason is simple: I had not been seeing films over the past few months. This was because I was reading a lot of books as part of serving on the Common Reading Book Selection …

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Jan 26 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. on Vietnam/Iraq

(Today Case has its annual Martin Luther King celebration ceremony. Joan Southgate will be the speaker at Amasa Stone Chapel at 12:30pm. See here for more details.) I have written before about the disturbing similarities between current US actions in Iraq and past US actions in Vietnam. Recently I went back and read the transcript …

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Jan 25 2007

Israel, US, and “the lobby”-4: A broader discussion needed about the Middle East

(See part 1, part 2, and part 3.) The media in the rest of the world, including Israel, have much more balanced coverage of Middle East politics that does the US media. The Tony Judt article I wrote about before, for example, appeared in Ha’aretz. News media in the US tiptoe around the Israel government, …

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Jan 24 2007

Israel, US, and “the lobby”-3: The silence in the US

(See part 1 and part 2.) It is undoubtedly the case that most Americans, especially those who are critical of Israeli government policies, find it difficult to discuss the US-Israel relationship in the same way that they might discuss, say, the US-Pakistan relationship. Ira Chernus writes about how non-Jews in the US are reluctant to …

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Jan 23 2007

Israel, US, and “the lobby”-2: An old state with an adolescent mentality

(See part 1 here.) Tony Judt, one of the panelists in the public debate I wrote about earlier, was himself the center of another furor concerning the Israel lobby. Judt had strongly criticized the American intelligentsia (including those who call themselves liberals) and the Bush administration for its failures in Middle East policy. On October …

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Jan 22 2007

Israel, US, and “the lobby”-1: Apartheid in the occupied territories?

The Washington Post had an interesting article that said how in 1941, David Ben-Gurion, one of the founders of Israel came to Washington DC and spent ten weeks in a hotel trying his best to get just a fifteen minute meeting with President Roosevelt to press the case for creating the state of Israel. He …

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Jan 18 2007

The Bible as history-6: The Bible as propaganda tool

(For the earlier posts in this series, see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5.) Few people read the Bible cover to cover. That is understandable. For one thing, it is very long. Second, the language is hard to follow. Third, it can be quite confusing with lots of characters and …

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Jan 17 2007

Christians and Christianists

Many Christians have problems with people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, and resent their mixing up church and state, the spiritual and the secular. For example, in remarks on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on the August 22, 2005 broadcast of his TV show 700 Club, Robertson essentially called on the US …

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