I'm away. I look through the lens of the media (and Facebook, which has become a very useful tool to get news fast, thanks to friends who generously share the news) what happens in college.
It's like a dream. One of the bad, of course.
Police focus on the campus of the Yuppie. And not just the police well, period. Also, perhaps especially, police on horseback, black police, and police shields surrounded by giants such as Roman soldiers, shields to protect themselves from ... what?
Because of that dreaded army of students sitting on the floor practicing, after training and public announcement, civil disobedience. The police are coming, so that sitting can feel the breath of the horses hooves nervousness. The pinch technology and techniques to learn from when they wanted to use and which were not when, or who. The push with shields, they take charged, arrested. The chase through the streets of the capital. They compartmentalize the protest (with signs designating specific areas for it), and then they change the coordinates in full case. I've literally seen as the poster instead move.
[In the room where I work, have put the sign away, far away from any university building. For the grumblers protest to the sound of coqui and crickets. But that's another story.]
When looking at the scene from a distance, it strikes me that if I were an alien, a foreigner or at least pretty clueless at the moment it would seem that in college there is a terrible enemy. Printing, the image would be based on the quantity and variety of police.
Then there is the sound. Hierarchs police to assure me that there are no "points" to break up, and you need to protect students who do want to take classes, university administrators justify intervention madness militarona appealing to the violent actions of a mysterious hooded apparently shares , everybody disapproves.
But the fact is that at the time of arrest, no hooded , almost never arrest the hooded, unless Tito Kayak , because that always want to arrest, but seem to prefer, in that the arrests, boys and ordinary girls, unarmed, captured while doing something as harmless as talking on megaphones or distribute slips. Or sit on the floor.
Then think foreign or alien, or the blogger, then it is something else. It is sending many police to create the impression that there, at the University, there is a terrible enemy of the people (because that's what for the police, right? To protect the people?), And made a lot of noise, talking in the media of the great threat that the students, to make the image more believable ... As in cheap films, where suddenly darkens the scene, to contact the scare eyes and ominous music sounds simultaneously, to enter it by ears ...
Image and sound, for the benefit of ordinary people with an interest in making democracy beyond the occasional vote, and that it is running rough esgalillao and trying to react to karst, the pipeline corridor, college, law school, the supreme court ...
Meanwhile, in the curious contraction of space that allow postmodernism internet, I have the New York Times open in another screen and seek to understand what is happening across the world, in Egypt, where intense protests have been a reaction s deaf and repression by the state. And, perhaps because they are the two screens open at once, Egypt feels suddenly very close, and sounds awfully familiar. A member of the Egyptian ruling party hopes that the tiredness will give them victory. Another speaks of "law and order" to justify their actions. Others accuse the grumblers to be few, or being a sector with particular ideological interests. They threaten to arrest. Meanwhile, democratic freedoms are eroded in the name of order and bring troops repression clutter the street.
Journalists who write the article remember the fight in the seventies of M. Ali vs. George Foreman, in which Foreman would beat, hits, hitting, fighting alone, and Ali waited ... until Foreman was weak, exhausted. And then Ali knocked him out.
To all this, the UPR President announces, proud happy , "the 94%" of students are enrolled. 51,000 students. Not that it is 94% of the students who were enrolled last year, no: is 94% of pre-registered. So the president joy I find quite unusual (yes, my ability to surprise me yet, at this point, you may be finding it unusual to the reader.) But is that 51,000 students is 14,000 fewer students than there were. The UPR has apparently lost 14,000 students. Nearly 50,000 come to the Board of Trustees estimated and wanted, not long ago . Not that going to break-is and are breaking. The UPR, according to these numbers, has lost over 20% of their students. That is good news for whom? Not to me. Not for the country.
It's like a dream. One of the bad, of course.Print
At school the world upside down, lead learns to float and cork, to sink. The snakes learn to fly and clouds learn to crawl on the roads. E. Galeano, "Muddled."
Every day I thank the random structure and work here at the University. Even when I fight, even when I'm angry, even when U show me your dark side, I prefer this place to anyone.
But love is not an uncritical exercise. Loving criticize, heard or read someone say (or write) the other day.
I learn through service "Postman" mail on my site that the Department of Humanities, co-sponsored by-none other than-Lockheed Martin will offer seminars-nothing short-of ... ethics.
Of course I should not be surprised, some might say. After all, Lockheed Martin is a familiar, even beloved, in the enclosure. They spend here, recruiting engineers and engineers, especially, but also giving grants for outreach, like this. So what bothers me? Well, I've always been quite uncomfortable to have representatives from Lockheed Martin jumping around, as individuals, not because I have done nothing but because they represent what was once denounced as the military-industrial complex and now, thanks largely to the popularity of the book Naomi Klein , is recognized as a complex of war and disaster ( war and disaster profiteering ).
Lockheed Martin teaching ethics. Same Lockheed Martin of the missiles , the same of the scandals of contracts awarded without any bidding millionaires or competence (and, deluded, competition here thinking it was just the vaunted concept of "free market"), the same who starred and later destruction, irony of ironies, the reconstruction of Iraq into a grotesque illustration of Disaster Capitalism, the same that got too full in the profit and loss business of "interrogating" prisoners of war, the same as investing regularly lobbyists in turn invest regularly in legislators that facilitate or hinder the legislative process at the convenience of the company; arms exporting # 1 in the world, accused of paying large sums to foreign heads of state, maker of some of the most lethal warplanes. Later that.
Here we are talking about "manteníos" to refer to poor government wrong-lives, and meanwhile, Lockheed Martin gets 84% of its profits from the government (ie the taxpayers, the same taxpayers who lost or were threatened its households, wage shares and recently) the United States. Now that's keep.
Is not an ethical giant a company that depends for its enormous profits almost entirely of reproduction of war and / or permanent disaster, and that gives campaign donations and place its executives in positions of power to take just decisions associated with war and permanent disaster? And then, is it not an irony immense, it is that company, and no other, which we sponsor things about ethics?
Oh well. The case is now visiting my university to give ethics workshops. And while we serve as the jury in the Ethics Bowl, Faculty of Business Administration, along with representatives from other corporations like .... Goldman Sachs.
But let Goldman Sachs for part two, or to the comments on this post, because I want to talk about butterflies. In a sad and beautiful passage of his wonderful book Upside Down: The school's world upside down , Galeano makes a story like yours is also all fable, data, and metaphor. It tells us that in 1994, the oil company Chevron, large contaminant in water, air and land California, established a shelter in the grounds of the company to save from extinction a butterfly blue. The shelter cost five thousand dollars a year. The advertising facelift starring Butterfly salvation cost eighty times that ... per minute. Impunity, Galeano reminds us, is a very cheap product.
The story is interesting and is irrelevant for two reasons: First, it demonstrates a common public relations strategy - find a cause sympathetic and "auspiciarla", moved especially effective if the recipient of generosity is in fiscal crisis (our case, precisely), and second, because often these aparatas (I mean companies like Lockheed and Chevron) chosen as "cause sympathetic" precisely the same with your other hand (with your dominant hand) destroy. Thus, Chevron chooses an environmental cause, and Lockheed sponsor chooses "ethics" and "Peace".
Will we, the academics, the college, the butterflies (green) of Lockheed Martin?
Perhaps for that to be an anthropologist, or perhaps inquisitive, the first thing I felt was not anger, but the question: Why? What were they thinking physicians smiling, watching us from the photos, or black beer in hand patient's leg? What motivates the smile? And stranger still, what motivates the picture?
Maybe they are to good people, these doctors who appear in the photos . After all, they were there to help. But the pictures reveal something shady. Or is confirmed, because there is usually clouding everything that has to do with the way the world treats Haiti. Even through the exercise of charity.
I looked in the press and on Facebook, where the scandal began. But I did not find many answers. I found just indignation. Probably justified, by the way. A half-naked woman who would add up over the molestation of semi-nudity and tragedy of imminent amputation, humiliation Photo. Maybe you have not seen it, maybe not known to have photographed, I , to comfort a little. worse But then I riposto. do not even know if they had the decency to ask permission, to alert you, then worse ...
I see another photo, this one of a boy or girl. A little body amputee. My eyes itch, I knotted the soul and throat, I feel guilty .. I do not know exactly what, but something. I close my eyes, I press next.
The photo that follows contains no Haitian. Only Puerto Rican doctor, armed with a rifle and a smile. And I still do not understand why (why have a rifle? Why smile?), But begin to have something familiar. Both photos No smiles. Where have I seen smiles like that before?
Several answers come to mind. 1. In the Abu Ghraib scandal, the smiles of the martyred soldiers and their Iraqi victims who posed with them in situations that clearly left the power difference between prisoner and soldier. Two. In the photos visitors to zoos usually taken next to the cages, especially those whose guests are thought to be particularly dangerous (tigers, lions, snakes) or, perhaps more frequently, particularly funny (dolphins, chimpanzees, ostriches.) three. Colorados Tourists take a picture near the "native" visiting.
All these situations have in common a particular combination of two beings: One camera owner or friend / spouse / colleague carrying it, smiling for insurance audience will see the photo and that he / she knows, because it will be him / her on the show; Another, perhaps invited, maybe not the first, maybe smiling, maybe not, perhaps aware of being photographed, maybe not, a being taken as an "other", as "different" in some fundamental way, intrinsically, an "other" that the photo will not show anyone because you do not own the camera, or the situation.
Of course the three situations I outlined above are morally different. The smile of the soldier in Abu Ghraib prisoner chained to a dog, or requires you to pose naked and in open violation of what their religion (the victim), ideology (the victim), you indicate as correct, it is morally much more serious than the visitor to take a photo next to the dolphin or Zoo chimpanzee, or that of the tourist to take a picture next to a native who at the end of the day, perhaps to be agree.
But the three exemplify a smile that suggests satisfaction, delight, a relatively well be a mobile traveler, visitor, warrior, posing, happy, with someone who considers not only different, but somehow inferior. Because if we thought that "other" as an equal, we would ask permission, we would offer you a copy of the photo, would care, respect, none of the examples shown.
(An apparent exception: The photos people take with artists, and political figures. There have also often smile, but the smile that generates the situation I am describing here. Artist or public figure is no less powerful than the owner of the camera, is master of the situation, and is equivalent to a monument, a marvel. Typically the object of the admiration of taking photo.'s perceived as an "other", but higher, not lower. And resulting smile is different, childish, grateful.)
The scandal of doctors sent by the Senate to Haiti it seems, more than any other picture in the content, in the smiles at Abu Ghraib. Different, yes, after all they were not tortured but curing, alleviating, the "other", but similar in the sense that the picture produced on the beholder. Anyone suffering and someone happy in the same picture. And the contented dominates the camera and the situation. Racial difference adds another layer of discomfort to the subject - the happy has lighter skin than the suffering. And I do not know if the photo sufferer knows, or cares. In fact we know nothing of suffering, is a prop, a sign, a show, in a scene where the protagonist, who has name and profession, is the doctor. The suffering we know only suffering. He has been denied his story, his humanity, his prominence. Could be any of the many amputees, victims of the earthquake, slavery, international banks, of globalization, of local and global tyrants, of indifference, of racism, disinterest. 's first country to abolish slavery, and cursed forever punished for having the gall to take this abolition in their hands instead of waiting for the generosity and diplomacy white.
Charity is better than indifference. But even in the midst of charity arise, such as a chemical precipitate bubbling, unexpected but inevitable ideologies governing our attitude (and the world) to Haiti.
Postscript: I was thinking about this post while doing other things and went back to clarify something that I think is important: this examines another angle - the idea that the type of picture shown (especially those containing patients) are suggestive of that perpetual otherness, that racism, that contempt, that the world has shown for the Haitian people for so long, and that shows even while you help. That the Haitian patient privacy is not worth the same, or seriousness, that the ordinary patient. We feel sympathy but empathy we fall short.
I do not think these doctors deserve a punishment to annul their careers or radically affect their lives. I do not accuse for drinking beer (I probably would have drunk several, after a day working in a tragedy like that) or what some are calling internet, with contempt, "partying" in full tragedy. In fact I think that with all their faults, the doctor who chooses to go to Haiti to help in free is impressive-after all, most of our doctors were here, some by many guys. Perhaps, if they were part of a contingent more experienced, like Vargas Vidot, this had not happened. Hopefully the ones in the photos continue to cultivate the generosity they showed in making the decision to go to help, and that in turn choose to examine their prejudices them, and us. That, and not punishment, would be the best outcome of this whole episode.
Listen to the podcast ...
In the radio program on Monday December 14:
The applause was for teeny ... Alvaro Pilar, executive director of the Port Authority. No, I'm not being sarcastic. The man deserves applause because he accepted responsibility for the much talked about cruise disaster could not reach. I mean, that confronted with the sad reality of the ship that did not fit and had to go to the Dominican Republic , Pilar not blamed or the previous government, or the opposition party, or Carnival. She took it and began to look for solutions. Very different that reaction of his boss the governor, which immediately followed the algorithm used whenever something goes wrong: A) say "not our fault, we did not", followed by B) is the fault of the administration of (Sulla, Hannibal) and C) will solve it with a Public Private Partnership. Fortuño Let's quote:
"That we submit it as a problem that we design, especially in the spring 3 that was made in the last years. Design is a very serious problem, because the larger ships have outgrown there. We know we have a big problem on the docks design that were made in recent years. We have to plow with oxen have at the moment, but we know we have to change some of our piers and for that are included in our list of Public-Private Partnership, "said the governor in a radio interview (WKAQ).
In the first segment criticize Alvaro Pilar history (especially the planned privatization of the airport), and cautiously applaud the refreshing acceptance of responsibility with the subject of the cruise.
In the second segment we talk about Jorge de Castro Font, former senator recently charged with 182 counts of corruption. Without losing sight of the importance of prosecuting those who illegally and immorally enrich themselves at the expense of the people, we review the continuum of practices, many culturally or legally accepted, culminating with the unlawful practices in the bill of indictment of Castro Font.
And in the third section, we review the great oxymoron - a president who in the midst of two wars and having recently climbed one, not only accepts the Nobel Peace Prize but also does it with a discourse of war " fair "and" necessary ".
In preparing the program, plus news and academic sources, we use as usual the rich content of the Puerto Rican blogosphere, and now the third segment mentioned blogs paísciego.blogspot.com and madrescontralaguerra.blogspot.com .
Note: Listen to the podcast by pressing "play". You can also subscribe to the podcast looking "flashing" on the iTunes Music Store or by visiting the following direct link: Blinking Podcasts . Remember that you can access the radio broadcast Blinking, live every Monday from 1:00 to 2:00 PM in www.wpra990.com.Print
This was yesterday the only "display" visible containing employment opportunities in the (abarrotadísima) unemployment office in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. "U.S. ARMY" he said. "FULL TIME AND PART TIME JOBS."
The unemployment line was long.
How "voluntary" is an army that needs shortage of opportunities to recruit other soldiers?Print
Freedom of speech is a great thing, and is especially valuable in universities. It is free, however, gray areas. For example, if John Yoo. Until recently the department of Justice of the United States, this Mr. Yoo played a key role in designing Bushite policy justifying torture as "enhanced interrogation" ("enhanced interrogation") and Geneva removes protection for prisoners political (re-defined as "enemy combatants"). He is a professor at Berkeley, and she spoke in one of his classes (nothing less than constitutional law), an actor wearing the ensemble we now associate the terrible activities "interrogation" conducted by American soldiers in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison has risen to a desk to question, symbolically, the positions taken by Yoo as torture is concerned.
Seeing what was coming, Yoo, obviously uncomfortable, canceled the class and the actor was removed from the classroom. Who has the reason? On one hand, it could be argued that teachers have the right to teach in peace, and that the actor's performance was unacceptable disruption. On the other hand, however, I wonder if Yoo's discomfort is not morally inferior to human and social cost of its position against torture. And yes, the question is rhetorical. I mean, this actor was not disrupting the class for frivolous reasons, but was making direct reference to a teacher's actions were terribly relevant to the topic of his lecture - constitutionality. Yoo's discomfort and upset students shouted "get out!" Tortured disguised actor is petty, when compared with the implications that the official position regarding torture concerns had for so many men and women in the world. There are still people, most of them probably innocent, languishing in jails, some of them secret. What Yoo up and leaves because he is "uncomfortable"? Gimme a break!
More than an interrupt, the performance of the actor was a "teaching moment". A chance to really talk about constitutionality. If we truly want to educate, and talk. That does not seem to be the case with Yoo.
update: EYE: The acronym 'HP' refers to the Huffington Post. No invent.Print
The Mendez family, Puerto Ricans in Holyoke, Mass., has joined the army. The mother to the Reserve, the children of 23 and 20 years to "Army". The reason? Do not get stable employment in the ailing U.S. economy. "In fact, the military has Become an employer of last resort for the Mendez family, reflecting a national trend Toward higher enlistment rates in the midst of a severe recession," said the Puerto Rico Daily Sun on Tuesday March 10.
As a result of the economic crisis, more and more people choose to join the army to get a salary . Rio in troubled recruiters. This phenomenon is not limited to the United States (and by extension Puerto Rico), but appears in other parts of the world (click here to see a European example, courtesy of Hannibal Y.). The question is: If the recruits enter the military because rampant unemployment does not offer many options and recruiters offer quick money, can we truly say that the army is "voluntary"? Is not financial need a subtle form of conscription? It is no coincidence that recruiters visit schools with much higher levels of poverty, and that the signals of $ $ $ and phrases like "enlistment bonuses" and "money for college" are a feature so prevalent in the signs advertising the army as option life.
Nor is the recruitment of unemployed citizens curious the only connection between the army as an institution and the current economic crisis. Take for example the case of huge submarines manufactured by companies such as General Dynamics, the military contractor. The submarines, whose prices are around two million and a half dollars, create dozens of jobs each, and this ability, probably added attraction in troubled times.
"While Generally weapons of war are strategic EVALUATED on Their Strengths and Weaknesses, defense contractors Also aim to offer products That are recession-resistant. So it is not surprising That in a year of high unemployment and no-growth defense budgets, makers of the Virginia-class subs and other defense systems are playing up Their abitur to help restore some buoyancy to the sinking U.S. economy. "
In good times, perhaps the production of appliances so obviously designed to destroy, kill and wage war on a large scale would cause some itching moral citizens of the country that builds. But when the economy is bad we tend to look the other way. Before doing so, however, we address the frustration for a moment, blinking: There is something fundamentally broken, morally murky in a political-economic situation in which the loopholes that allow some economic survival are predicated on the destruction in other parts.
Photo: General Dynamics, taken from commondreams.org.
For a related post on this blog, click here .Print