From Jackson State University Department of Political Science
Master of Arts in Political Science course descriptions
Chinese Foreign Policy. (3 Hours)
An analysis of Chinese capabilities, intentions and strategies in world affairs, the institutions of foreign policy making and implementation in achieving Chinese goats.
Tired of those moments of spiritual doubt...or just want to road-test your atheism? Take the Belief-o-matic'What religion are you?' quiz to find out if you've been barking up the wrong tree all these years. The results list 27 religions/belief sets in order of compatibility with your answers. My top five were:
1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (92%)
3. Liberal Quakers (89%)
4. Bahá'í Faith (80%)
5. Reform Judaism (76%)
(I should mention that Secular Humanism was 6th with 74%)
My bottom five were:
23. Jehovah's Witness (36%)
24. Hinduism (35%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (27%)
26. Roman Catholic (27%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (27%)
So that settles it. Now how to break the news to my (orthodox) rabbi?
Sad news for lovers of monochrome. In today’s FT, William Hall reports that:
About 330 workers have lost their jobs at Ilford Imaging's plant at Mobberley, near Manchester. The workers, equivalent to almost half the workforce, have been sacked following the decision by the company's bankers to call in receivers.
Ilford, a 125-year-old company and by-word for camera buffs, has a 60 per cent market share of the market for black and white photographic film. However, the switch to colour photography and digital cameras has led to a collapse in demand for its traditional monochrome film with sales dropping by 26 per cent in the first half of the year.
Demand for black and white film and paper manufactured by Ilford’s Manchester plant has, in fact, declined by 11% a year over the last three years. The company’s Swiss operation,, which is doing fine, concentrates on digital printing products. (In the US, at least, Ilford seems to be hiring. See here.)
So, for today at least, I’ll be giving my digital camera a rest and taking a roll of black and white to the Cheltenham & Gloucester Final at Lord’s. If the pics are any good, I’ll post one up here (digitally scanned, of course).
Since I have nothing of my own to say, I'm going to try an experiment. My desk is fairly disorganised, which for this exercise is a good thing. Here's how it works:
1. Pick a book, any book, within reach.
2. Open it to a random page
3. Find something on the page worth passing on.
4. Stop when you get to 5.
Okay, so here goes.
Bernard Lewis – The Crisis of Islam, pp38-39
"The classical jurists distinguish clearly between facing certain death at the hands of the enemy and killing oneself by one's own hand. The one leads to heaven. The other to hell."
Michael Ignatieff – Isaiah Berlin: A Life, pp160-161
She was already investing their meeting with mystical historical and erotic significance, while he fought shy of these undercurrents and kept a safe intellectual distance. Besides, he was also aware of more quotidian needs. He had already been there six hours and wanted to go to the lavatory."
Rich Cohen – Tough Jews, pp50-51
"For lots of wealthy New Yorkers, Arnold Rothstein was a door to the kind of fun that could not be had legally."
Index on Censorship 3/04, pp104-105
"French-Canadian freelance journalist Guy-André Kieffer went missing on 16 April in Côte d'Ivoire. Kieffer has investigated corruption in the country's cocoa and coffee sectors and reportedly received death threats before his disappearance."
JM Coetzee (ed.) – Landscape with Rowers: Poetry from the Netherlands, pp62-63
"You, old master, polish the pebbles
that you fling to bring down a thrush." (Cees Nooteboom)
...but only to be able to make use of the above headline before it slips my mind. While I'm here, I should explain that the past few weeks have not been good for blogging and the next two at least are largely taken up with meeting deadlines and travelling to ZImbabwe, after which I'm sure I'll have something to say (though I may not say it here).
In the meantime:
Two Norm-related items. Earlier today, he put up a post about the Jews of Greece. In that regard, I'd like to recommend Cookbook of the Jews of Greece by Nikos Stavroulakis, which has a useful historical introduction on Greek Jewish history. The first article I wrote that I ever got paid for was about the Jewish Museum in Athens, which Stavroulakis founded before going off to do other interesting stuff.
At the end of July, Norm posted a list of 10 personally influential non-fiction books which inspired a number of similar postings around the blogosphere. Now when it comes to non-fiction, I've always been a somewhat shallow and lazy reader, opting where possible for the 'greatest hits' type anthologies ('Abridged Compendium of Spinoza's most important short essays' type of thing). As a result, I can shamefully only think of nine titles I'd put on my own list of non-fiction books that have changed the way I think.
My choice is based not on those books whose ideas still resonate, but rather on those that, at the time I read them, moved my thinking along, be it further along the same track or off onto a different track. Anyway, here they are in alphabetical order:
Berger & Luckman – The Social Construction of Reality
Noam Chomsky – Peace in the Middle East?
Isaac Deutscher – The Non-Jewish Jew
Primo Levi – If this is a Man
Stephen Krashen – Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition
Samir al Khalil (Kanan Makiya) – Republic of Fear
Maurice Nyagumbo – Some of us must remain to be with the people
George Steiner – Language and Silence
Alan Watts – The Way of Zen
I retain a nodding acquaintance with half of these, even if it's just a case of sharing a beer once every few years.
You wait ages for some decent political goatery and then three items turn up all at once!
1. The following four US presidents all had pet goats: Abraham Lincoln, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Harry S. Truman. In no case, however, was the goat their only pet and only one of these presidents had a pet opossum. A full list of presidential pets is available here.
2. Did Karl Marx employ a goat-related insult to cast aspersions on Albanians? Find out here.
3. Finally, I'm not sure what to make of this, but it seems genuine.
One (though only one) of the reasons I supported the first Gulf war was a book called Republic of Fear by Samir al-Khalil – a pseudonym for Kanan Makiya, an Iraqi architect. In the run up to the launch of the battle to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Makiya was an articulate exponent of the need to do just that. (Tariq Ali referred to him and Ahmad Chalabi as "rogues and mountebanks". )