I want one of these!!!
This is my take on the intended semiotics of the video showing the beheading of journalist James Foley, by a jihadi with a British accent:
This is my take on the perceived semiotics in the west:
The Islamic State just made it a trivial domestic political task for anyone who wants to support their enemies against them.
Hamas fires rockets at Israel and then tries to get the IDF to kill some journalists in Gaza to win sympathy. The ‘Islamic State’ murders a journalist themselves by cutting his head off.
I guess the ‘Islamic State’ cannot afford the same a PR advice that Hamas gets
I assume that any woman wearing the full Islamic garb is either a slave or a fanatic, but it was the diplomat “specialising in protocol” in the tradition of Kira Yoshinaka who first used force. She just asked him for directions. Admittedly, she was breaking the Belgian law against full face veils, but it is an unjust law of which she may not even have been aware. And somehow I don’t think all the British people cheering his vigilante enforcement of that law would be quite so keen on a random Belgian taking it upon themselves to impound some unfortunate British tourist’s car if he were to break, through ignorance or indifference, the Belgian law requiring a red warning triangle and a reflective waistcoat to be carried in a vehicle at all times.
One pretty hand among that multitude could safely, even profitably, remain at rest.
To be fair, Swiss agriculture is so heavily subsidised that it makes French agriculture look like a bastion of free market liberalism. If the Swiss were to expand it further to make more exports to Russia, that would make them poorer, not richer.
I see that places like Argentina do seem to be attempting to sell things to Russia in response to recent developments. I wish them luck with it, honestly, and this might be good for Russian consumers from the perspective that Argentina does, at least, produce some decent cheeses.
On the other hand, doing business with Russia is likely to be a nightmare. Just like doing business with Argentina. Possibly they deserve each other.
This excellent report from what used to be Iraq and Syria highlights the very strange bedfellows that conflict in the Middle East can produce:
It is great to see reportage like this as watching CNN or the BBC is often like watching a weird Disney version of reality. Highly recommended.
I am not surprised that there are empty shelves in Cuba. I am surprised to be reading such things on the BBC.
The story is even promoted from other stories under the banner “in today’s magazine”.
- Libby Purves has written in the Times about the recent extremely well publicised police raid on Cliff Richard’s house. The article is behind a paywall, but here are some choice lines:
The Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq decries the abduction of women for a life of rape and servitude under the black banner of the Islamic State, doomed to supply jihad al-nikah, or “sex for the pursuit of struggle,” but the organized feminists, so eager to complain of abuse, such as having to pay for their own birth control, are strangely silent.
- from a Washington Times editorial.
All eggs that are sold in the United States would be illegal according to European health regulations.
Also, all eggs that are sold in Europe would be illegal according to US health regulations.
… apparently it flies a yellow flag with a rattlesnake on it, rather like the one in the sidebar of this blog.
It is only bizarre if you do not understand what drives such notions. Indeed such an approach to the state makes perfect sense given what the state has done to black American civil society. But expecting that to comprehensible by people deeply invested in the modern regulatory state is unrealistic, so of course he finds it bizarre. And I wonder how many Democrats know about the origins of the KKK or the eugenics movement?
So, when the police are dressed like combat troops, it’s not a fashion faux pas, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of who they are. Forget the armored vehicles with the gun turrets, forget the faceless, helmeted, anonymous Robocops, and just listen to how these “policemen” talk. Look at the video as they’re arresting the New York Times and Huffington Post reporters. Watch the St Louis County deputy ordering everyone to leave, and then adding: “This is not up for discussion.”
Really? You’re a constable. You may be carrying on like the military commander of an occupying army faced with a rabble of revolting natives, but in the end you’re a constable. And the fact that you and your colleagues in that McDonald’s are comfortable speaking to your fellow citizens like this is part of the problem. The most important of the “nine principles of good policing” (formulated by the first two commissioners of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 and thereafter issued to every officer joining the force) is a very simple one: The police are the public and the public are the police. Not in Ferguson. Long before the teargassing begins and the bullets start flying, the way these guys talk is the first indication of how the remorseless militarization has corroded the soul of American policing.
Which brings us back to the death of Michael Brown. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that everything the police say about this incident is correct. In that case, whether or not the fatal shooting of Mr Brown is a crime, it’s certainly a mistake. When an unarmed shoplifter in T-shirt and shorts with a five-buck cigar box in one hand has to be shot dead, you’re doing it wrong.
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