links for 2010-07-06

  • "The folks in front of the Fayette County Courthouse in Lexington, Kentucky took pimping patriotism a disturbing step farther. Not only were they promoting themselves as defenders of the Constitution, they openly fueled the right-wing paranoia that inches ever closer to violence."
  • "Among the writers in its pages are contemporary luminaries Junot Diaz, Jhumpa Lahiri and Edwidge Danticat as well as immigrant Americans from long ago: John James Audubon, Charlie Chaplin and Isaac Bashevis Singer. It includes 85 immigrants from 45 other nations, and begins with a letter from Richard Frethorne to his mother and father from near Jamestown in Virginia in 1623."
  • "The figure suggests that undocumented workers are making a substantial contribution to the well-being of the U.S. economy, one that would decrease under conditions of mass deportation.  Temporary workers are helpful, but real immigration reform that would bring in greater numbers of permanent and temporary workers is the best thing for America."
  • "Lee noted that the 'Airbender' controversy has motivated TV fans to ditch the stereotypical couch potato slouch and campaign for fairness. 'I think it's been really empowering,' she said. 'It's an opportunity for fans to channel their love and energy for the animated series into activism.' But Lee is aware that a surge in interest doesn't mean overnight change.
    "'We're going to continue to keep an eye on Hollywood,' she said. 'It doesn't stop with 'Airbender,' unfortunately.'"  
  • "But while the display of patriotic fervour has been welcomed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government as a sign of long-awaited 'positive integration.' it has infuriated Germany's radical leftwing anarchist scene which has begun a war against flag-flying immigrants.
    "Several German anarchist publications have denounced the flags as 'Black red and gold rags' which encourage 'dangerous nationalist tendencies'. So-called 'anarchist commandos' have raided Turkish and Arab businesses in Berlin, either ripping down or burning football flags on public display."
  • "What’s striking about the Freer’s collection, in addition to the large size of several of its pieces, is the lack of overtly religious pieces. Farhad is careful to state the art exhibited in the collection is from the “Islamic World” and represents particular cultures, not the religion of Islam itself. It’s one of the reasons the collection is called “Arts of the Islamic World” and not simply Islamic art -– it’s a subtle distinction, but an important one Farhad says.

    “We don’t want this to be confused, let’s say, with Hindu art or Buddhist art because this is not religious art,” she says. “There are works that certainly relate to Islam but many of the other pieces don’t.”

    Not only are they not religious pieces, but they are pieces from a particular stratum of society. Almost all the pieces in the Freer’s collection belonged to members of the elite upper classes in Muslim societies."