News to Throw Your Views Askew

Blaine Harden at the WP writes an excellent expose on the socio-economic realities facing the post-Katrina rebuilding of New Orleans.

“I am not a conspiracy person,” said William Quigley, a professor at Loyola University Law School in New Orleans and director of its Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, “but it is pretty hard to argue with the facts on the ground. If you are black in the Lower Ninth and you don’t have electricity, water or a FEMA trailer and nobody is giving you a timeline when you will, that is a hell of a lot of conspiracy dots to connect.”

If there was a draft day for philosophers, Spinoza would make for an excellent late second round pick. Atheist in the 17th century? Good work. Salon has a review on a recent biography on him by Rebecca Goldstein. My response was great article (but); Has anyone picked up on the movement of orthodox and right-wing Jews in general to claim every “Jewish” figure as their own? Spinoza may have been born into a Jewish family, but it was birth not by choice. All of his thoughts were of an articulate, intelligent HUMAN, not some isolated credo that manifests itself in Jewish people only. And is it surprising that Rebecca Goldstein, someone raised obviously in an orthodox family, wants to elaborate on Spinoza as a ‘Jewish thinker’, as if it that differentiates him from the rest of the world in the most Oriental of ways.

My basic rational being: he’s a human, he was a philosopher, and he lived in Europe, don’t label his life as Jewish because of your trite 21st century perceptions. In the words of Daniel Johnston: Do yourself a favor, be your own savior.

Also, I am bibliophile. Does anyone want to make me an official Communist Party Member by the way?


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