Marshall Sahlins, a leading American anthropologist, resigned last week from the National Academy of Sciences. This may come as a shock to the scientific community and even to students at NYU. Anyone taking an introductory course to anthropology at NYU, for example, is bound to encounter several readings of Sahlins’s work. Among his more influential works are “Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities,” a case study of the murder of Captain Cook in Hawaii and how it was the result of underlying social factors. Normally, when a scientist or scholar resigns from such a prestigious position, one assumes that he probably committed an irrevocable and egregious error that forever taints his credibility as an academic. However, our assumptions sometimes deceive us. If we explore the reasoning and motivations behind Sahlins’s resignation, we may arrive at deeper insights into the issues at play.
Government of Bahrain declares state of emergency. Mixture of Saudi, UAE, and other GCC troops enter Bahrain upon invitation. [more inside]
First Lieutenant Dan Choi has been arrested after chaining himself to the White House fence. [more inside]
Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
So Much Fire To Roast Human Flesh from Arthur Magazine--an 18-track, multi-artist compilation CD curated by Foster featuring exclusive contributions from some of the more outspoken members of the nation's burgeoning psychedelic folk scene, ... All profits will be distributed to specific counter-military recruitment and pacifist organizations and programs who effectively advise high school students and other Americans at risk of being taken advantage of ... (and you can listen here). Some might remember Arthur vs. Godsmack--their music is heavily featured in recruiting ads.
Weapons that can incapacitate crowds of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe. From guns that shoot streams of conductive fibers to plasma that will stop a truck, the military and the police are getting whole new ways to deal with protestors.
Camilo Mejia is the first US soldier serving in Iraq to run away and proclaim himself a conscientious objector. The Pentagon says another 600 people have done the same, and for the same reasons: they find this war immoral and illegal.
The prison diary of Scottish Parliament MP (and successful self-publicist) Tommy Sheridan, jailed for seven days (not for the first time) for refusing to pay a fine imposed after he was found guilty of a breach of the peace while demonstrating at Faslane against nuclear weapons.
Another reason why we can't win. If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse. The only winning move is not to play. I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.