Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center

Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.

Thursday
Dec292005

Nepal, the new Cambodia?

"Nepal, sandwiched between the two rising economic and demographic behemoths of the age—China and India—could be the first country since the fall of the Berlin Wall where communists emerge triumphant." A provocative essay by Robert Kaplan, a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and author of "Imperial Grunts" (Random House, 2005).

Wednesday
Dec282005

2005, The Year in Pictures


Katrina, Iraq, John Paul II. The New York Times website has an interactive gallery of some of the biggest events of 2005.
What makes it fascinating is that there are no words here, just pictures. Which is something we'd love to see more often on the NYT...

Tuesday
Dec272005

Brave souls

A story in the Guardian on some people who converted to Christianity in Iran. A serious predicament, to say the least.

Tuesday
Dec272005

Alienation

This report from India is interesting. One could make many comments, e.g. on power, on how slippery the concept of "culture" is, on how humanity is affected by material factors etc. We will leave it at this quote from an unsurpassed classic: "The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations... The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication ... compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image." The one thing poor Karl did not expect was that the proletarians in Bangalore would end up joining the petit bourgeoisie at TGI Friday's...

But, is that all life is about?

Sunday
Dec252005

Waiting to leave?

Christmas in Baghdad.

Friday
Dec232005

Merry Christmas from the President

"More than 2,000 years ago, a virgin gave birth to a Son, and the God of heaven came to Earth". Read President George W.Bush message for Christmas 2005. Maybe there is a lot of rethoric here, but is good rethoric...

Thursday
Dec222005

a good democracy requires a good people

The new column by Spengler draws an elementary but important observation from the Iraqi elections: DEMOcracy is only as good as the DEMOS, i.e. it relies on the existence of a people. In turn a people is shaped by education. All the problems involving both Western liberals and Islamic fundamentalists can be traced back to an inability to educate.

Thursday
Dec222005

Urban privileges

The New Republic has what sounds like a convincing analysis of the New York MTA strike.

Tuesday
Dec202005

The designs of science

A new intervention by Cardinal Schonborn on evolution and intelligent design.

Tuesday
Dec202005

Utter confusion

This discussion of the comically named phenomenon of polyamory has a couple of good points: 1) the so-called "crisis of marriage" is really a crisis of fatherhood; 2) as civil marriage loses every significance, real families will lose state support, but it will also become clear that marriage does not originate from the state and does not belong to it.

Monday
Dec192005

Handiphobia

Zenit has a story on Dr. Bellieni.

Sunday
Dec182005

"Did we see only what we yearned to see?"

The New York Times reports on the big Korean stem-cell scandal. It is remarkable how "science" has an almost religious value for certain people, as if it were the only method of knowledge that is exempt from the weaknesses of human freedom (including social pressure, greed, unhealthy ambition, wishful thinking etc.). On the contrary it is very much a human affair, and desperately in need of "salvation."

For an interesting discussion on these issues, we invite you to attend the upcoming Crossroads Conference on regenerative medicine.

Saturday
Dec172005

Robert Kaplan

makes a few interesting observation in the course of this interview.

Friday
Dec162005

You shall be alone

One may think that the problem of widespread nihilism is some kind of philosophical concern, until one realizes that one of the most violent ways to crush a human being is by destroying his/her affectivity.

Friday
Dec162005

Meet the Amari family, in Baghdad


Like other 15 million Iraqis, the Amari family yesterday went to the polling station.
The Amaris live a life that they say could not tolerate a descent into balkanization. Shiites who have sometimes married Sunnis, they also have a few relatives who are married to Kurds. Their story is a symbol of a new Iraq.
"God willing, I hope that all Iraqis will turn into a family like ours and have the freedom to chose."