Archive for February, 2011
Let’s get this straight…Swedish authorities want Wikileaks’s Julian Assange in Sweden to question him about sexual relations he had with two women…to question him about events which occurred behind closed doors - about which no proof of wrong doing can be derived: it’s his word against theirs…no one else I don’t imagine was in the respective bedrooms at times of engagement…
How can the Swedish realistically believe that they’ll get a conviction? By beating a confession out of Assange behind closed doors?
Now, most of you probably have a rather pleasant concept of Sweden, what with its pretty blonde women, safe cars, healthy lifestyle, Nobel peace prize and all…few know that it’s one of the world’s biggest weapons exporters – first or second per capita, and that shipments of same to the United States and Britain have doubled since 2000.
Swedish weapons were used by both sides in the Iraq war, according to classified U.S. files released by: WikiLeaks. Amongst weaponry referred to in the WikiLeaks files are Carl Gustav recoilless anti-tank rifles, a variety of different types of Swedish ammunition and even some old Swedish sub-machine guns. With about 200 mentions, Saab’s world-renowned AT4 light anti-tank weapon featured most prominently….
Do you think Sweden likes the world knowing about this?
How about American citizens knowing this:
The world’s 100 largest arms dealers, excluding Chinese vendors, sold weapons for $401 billion in 2009, with US vendors remaining in first place, according to a report published earlier this month.
"Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2009, the total arms sales of … 100 of the world’s largest arms-producing companies increased by $14.8 billion from 2008," says the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
That amounts to a year-over-year increase of eight percent, and "an increase of a total of 59 percent in real terms since 2002", the think tank said, pointing out that 61.5 percent of all 2009 arms sales made by the top 100 arms dealers could be attributed to 45 companies based in the United States.
War is shockingly profitable for England, the United States and Sweden. The more Wikileaks stories that get out describing the terrible human toll produced by weapons made in these countries, the less likely the public will be to put up with it.
Hardly surprising that Assange feels a mite squeamish about having to set foot back in Sweden.
Laila Lalami has agreed to be the final judge for 3quarksdaily’s second annual prize for the best blog writing in the category of Arts & Literature. (Details of last year’s A&L prize, judged by Robert Pinsky, can be found here.) The nominating period is now open, and will end at 11:59 pm New York City Time (EST) on March 2, 2011
Walls in Havana are put to quite
uses. Granted, there may be a smattering of political propaganda, but one thing
that is blessedly absent: bullshit advertising.
Alex Ross will deliver his "Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues" lecture at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa this Sunday afternoon. Here he is on Charlie Rose talking about his National Book Critics Circle Award winning book The Rest is Noise , connecting the history and politics of the 20th century with its classical music composers and conductors.
Alex has a new book out called Listen to This. It contains essays on Mozart, Dylan, Radiohead, Chaconas, Bjork, the debate over recorded versus live concerts, and a lot more…all designed in a way to link the classical with the current, to point out similarities and connections by identifying recurring motifs, riffs, and bass lines. I’ll be interviewing him this Sunday morning. Please stay tuned.
Publishers, writers and bibliophiles gather to shmooze at San Carlos de La Cabaña Fort during the Havana International Book Fair every year. In addition to readings, lectures, and symposiums, there’s also a ton of live music, theatre, dance and cinema to take in. It’s going to be a tough gig.
I sent this letter via email to His Excellency David Johnston back on November 23, 2010. To date, no response.
The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada
I write with a proposal.
I also collect signed first editions of the Governor General’s Award winners for English Fiction, as indicated in this post:
that, in any case, the GG collection consists not primarily of Firsts, but mostly of "reading" copies.
I’m not sure how you feel about First Editions – many find the practice of chasing them rather silly – I happen to think they represent important cultural artifacts; given this, I’d like to propose two things:
interview living authors ( please listen to several such interviews here
and generally document, as best as possible, the ongoing evolution of this important literary award.
I hope this proposal makes some sense to you. I look forward to the opportunity of discussing it with you and/or your officials, in hopes of developing a plan under which we might move forward together.
But we’re not here to discuss the world. We’re here to talk about Canada, and Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians project, a series of 18 biographies that reinterprets important Canadian figures for a contemporary audience by pairing well-known Canadian writers with significant historical, political and artistic figures from 1850 onwards.
I met Ralston Saul recently in Ottawa to discuss his general ‘editorshipping’ of Extraordinary Canadians, and his particular authoring of Lafontaine and Baldwin, one of the books in the series.
Please listen here:
Searching for the latest on Julian Assange, I came across this link entitled
Very clever this. ‘Paper Cuts’ happens to be the name of the New York Times’ book blog. I clicked on the link expecting to land there. ‘RT’ is Russia Today, Russia’s CNN.
The funny thing is, the report, complete with posh English accented presenter, and pretty American reporter, is bang on. Accurate, true I’d say; makes a valid point…about love affairs.
Kudos to Google and Youtube for allowing us all access to such a pleasing breadth of opinion/propaganda. In fact, nothing would benefit the great bulge that is middle CNN-medicated America – more than a good dose of RT.