Tweet Of The Day

Jul 29 2014 @ 10:45am

Now I really am scared by the naked bike ride. See you there, Grover!

Serhiy Kudelia expects that, if Ukrainian “insurgents are pushed out of big cities, the ongoing asymmetric warfare in Donbas that will be fought largely by conventional means is likely to take the form of an underground guerrilla movement”:

Similar to the PKK in Turkey, ETA in Spain or the IRA in the Northern Ireland, it will rely on sporadic attacks on government and military installations to exhaust the incumbent and damage its governing capacity rather than establish control over a territory. And like Hezbollah in Lebanon or FARC in Colombia, it will rely on outside powers for provision of arms, funds and training. In its new form, guerrilla attacks will likely spill over to other Ukrainian regions, particularly Western Ukraine. According to the latest poll, most Donbas residents (39%) blame radical nationalist organizations for the ongoing conflict, with Western intelligence services being close second (34%).

The path to solving the current conflict in Donbas goes not only through Brussels or Washington, but also through Moscow.

Read On

A reader adds to the other near-death experiences sparked by Sarah Bakewell’s How To Live:

I am 65 years old. In 1958, when I was 9, I suffered a ruptured appendix that was misdiagnosed as flu, so I lay in my bed for a week getting sicker and sicker until I was taken to Lankenau Hospital outside Philadelphia. They treated me with drugs for three days and then operated.

I have a number of memories from the three weeks I spent in the hospital but my near-death experience is still very close to me 55 years later. I, too, have a vivid memory of looking down on myself from up high, the minister at my right hand, and my already grieving parents on my left. I remember seeing a bright light and feeling a great sensation of peace and comfort surrounding me. Then my father kept shaking me. He kept saying “Wake up! Don’t go to sleep!” He pulled me back from that gate or passage I was about to enter.

I also have another vivid memory which I have kept from that time. While I was passing in and out of consciousness I had a dream that has stuck with me.

Read On

Rebecca Traister mulls the lack of big political donors among women:

[M]en have known for generations how to use money to exert influence and buy access, shape policy, and make inroads into the world of electoral politics. Women, by contrast, historically saw money not as a means to expand public power, but to ensure personal or familial security, survival, perhaps a slim chance of independence. There are many phrases for the small caches of money that women stash away: pin money, mad money, the Yiddish word knippel, which means a secret sum of money that a wife siphons off in order to protect herself and her family in case she loses the husband on whom she has had to depend. These phrases existand almost always refer to money used for the literal safety and protection of womenbecause money was so scarce for women, and chances to replenish funds lost on a bad bet or ill-timed investment were non-existent.

It’s not crazy that, in a contemporary context, throwing money at politicians and policy-makers would still be an easier, looser, more practiced move for wealthy men than it would be for even wealthy women, who we like to think of as having clambered over all the gendered obstacles of the past, but whowith 95 percent of CEOs still maleremain a very small exception to very long-standing male rule.

The Lady Cops Of The Islamic State

Jul 29 2014 @ 9:03am

As ISIS commands all women in its domains to veil their faces or face unspecified punishment, Kathy Gilsinan explores the role Iraqi women themselves are playing in enforcing the group’s fanatical dictates:

Read On

Let The Applicant Work For It

Jul 29 2014 @ 8:34am

New research suggests that employers should give up trying to woo job interviewees:

[P]articipants asked to entice the applicant were poorer judges of character than those explicitly asked to evaluate them. A follow-up field study found similar effects in genuine interviews within two samples: applicants to an MBA program and teachers applying for school assignments. In both samples, interviewees rated as having high [Core Self Evaluation (CSE)] were more likely to go onto success – job offers for MBAs or “above and beyond” citizenship behaviours by the teachers – but only when the ratings came from interviewers who reported having a strong focus on evaluation. Those who reported giving more attention to selling the role produced CSE estimates that didn’t predict future success.

The authors note in their conclusion that “interviewers who focused only on evaluating applicants actually believed they were less able to select the best applicants than those who adopted a selling focus.” In fact the reverse was true, and the risk goes the other way: when we focus too much on soliciting applicants, we can miss the gorilla in the room: that they simply aren’t up to snuff.

Hanging On To Heidegger

Jul 29 2014 @ 8:00am

Michael Marder defends (NYT) Heidegger’s philosophy from the anti-Semitism present in his diaries:

dish_heideggersketch2[N]one of the recent revelations about Heidegger should be suppressed or dismissed. But neither should they turn into mantras and formulas, meant to discredit one of the most original philosophical frameworks of the past century. At issue are not only concepts (such as “being-in-the-world”) or methodologies (such as “hermeneutical ontology”) but the ever fresh way of thinking that holds in store countless possibilities that are not sanctioned by the prevalent techno-scientific rationality, which governs much of philosophy within the walls of the academia. It is, in fact, these possibilities that are the true targets of Heidegger’s detractors, who are determined to smear the entirety of his thought and work with the double charge of Nazism and anti-Semitism.

Now, if canonical philosophers were blacklisted based on their prejudices and political engagements, then there wouldn’t be all that many left in the Western tradition. Plato and Aristotle would be out as defenders of slavery and chauvinism; St. Augustine would be expelled for his intolerance toward heretics and “heathens”; Hegel would be banned for his unconditional admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, in whom he saw “world spirit on horseback.”

As for Heidegger himself, those minimally versed in his thought will know — whether they admit it or not — that his anti-Semitism contradicts both the spirit and the letter of his texts, regardless of the ontological or metaphysical mantle he bestows upon anti-Semitic discourse. Perhaps the German thinker did not sense this contradiction, but this does not mean that it was not there.

Recent Dish on Heidegger here.

(Image: Sketch of Heidegger via Renaud Camus)

Haute But Reheated, Ctd

Jul 29 2014 @ 7:29am

The new French law demanding transparency on whether restaurant dishes are homemade continues to cause controversy. Marc Naimark points out that the law assumes ready-made as the default:

If you’re the kind of consumer who likes to know where your food comes from, this might sound like a pretty good idea, but au contraire: This law is as flawed as they come.

The logo itself comprises one problem with the law: It requires that all homemade dishes be identified, under penalty of a fine of up to 300,000 euros and two years in jail. That’s right: If you dare make real food without labeling it as such, you can go to jail. The fact that identifying homemade food as such is not an option but an obligation strikes everyone I’ve spoken to here in Paris as nonsensical. How fair is it that the burden of compliance lies on those offering real food—the people this law is supposed to protect—rather than the purveyors of factory-made food? (It’s worth noting that those hefty fines are in fact not likely to be applied: The country’s consumer protection inspectors are already overworked, and past menu labeling efforts have gone mostly unenforced.)

Naimark adds this “shocking” tidbit:

Read On

The Best Of The Dish Today

Jul 28 2014 @ 9:15pm

Volunteers Continue To Plant Ceramic Poppies At Tower Of London

A reader says it best about where I’m now at with respect to Israel/Palestine:

You quote Goldblog:

A moderate-minded Palestinian who watches Israel expand its settlements on lands that most of the world believes should fall within the borders of a future Palestinian state might legitimately come to doubt Israel’s intentions.

This is really the whole Israeli-Palestinian problem in a nutshell. For 47 of my 56 years, Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza. (Yes, Israel “withdrew” from Gaza some time ago, but it is still very much Israel’s captive.) In modern times, there is no single other example of a nation that supposedly shares “western” values sustaining such a long occupation of another people. Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself. Yes, Israel has every right to Smoke trails over Gaza cityquestion whether it has a partner to make peace. Of course I don’t trust Hamas. Of course the rockets merit a vigorous no-nonsense response. But one question sticks in my mind about the position of Israel: If Israel really wanted peace, why does it keep building those darn settlements?

Every answer I’ve ever heard – the irrelevant “there never really was a Palestinian state on this land”, the hopeless “even if Israel did that what makes you think they’d suddenly change their stripes?”, or the more limited “construction is for the most part only expansion of existing settlements anyway”, whatever – all of them only go so far as to try to justify why Israel should be permitted to continue to build. It doesn’t explain why it is a good idea for Israel to continue to build.

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. And in that sense, there is no justification I have ever heard for the settlements that one can reconcile with trying to make the two state solution a reality, or indeed even with leaving it open as a possibility. Just the opposite. Until there is an answer to that question, in my mind, Israel cannot and will not be guilt-free. Maybe if those of us who love Israel but think it has lost its way focused on that one simple question until it is answered, we might get somewhere.

That’s where I’m at as well. At some point, the denials and equivocations and diversions and distractions fade away to that core reality: why are they continuing to settle the West Bank? It empowers Hamas, it weakens the Palestinian Authority, it is a constant grinding of salt into an open wound.

The Israelis had a golden opportunity with Barack Obama’s presidency to make a historic peace; and they didn’t just throw it away, they treated the US president with contempt for even trying and now cast ugly, public insults at the secretary of state. If the settlements had been reversed, if Abbas and Fayyad had been given the autonomy they needed, this war in Gaza would appear as something very different. It would be much simpler to condemn Hamas’ extremism, if there was clearly another way forward. But Netanyahu – because of the settlements – has blocked any way forward. The Palestinians have two options: bombardment and blockade or the humiliation of more settlements. Which is why I have come to the conclusion these past six years that Greater Israel is the goal, that nothing else really matters, and anyone who doesn’t see that is a useful idiot.

Today, in non-war-and-dead children coverage, we looked forward to an app that will guide you to a scenic route across town; we celebrated the better late than never endorsement of legal weed by the NYT (by the way, try watching the David Gregory segment on the question yesterday without needing to toke from the instant nausea); and cheered a new study on sponsored content that proves it’s deceptive to readers, great for advertisers for only a while, and damaging to publications for ever. I also happened to love the window view today – from Buffalo.

The most popular post of the day was The Lie Behind The War; followed by Why Am I Moving Left?

A few of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them here. You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 19 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here. One writes:

Andrew, you and I don’t always agree. But today I became a paid subscriber. This post alone – “Why Am I Moving Left?” – was worth the $20. It is what I have been posting and commenting on, over and over, to anyone who will listen, for three years. As someone who once would have been considered a pro-business Centrist and registered Independent, there is absolutely no way I can comprehend anyone can feel any sense of pride and honor in identifying as a Republican in the current climate. Just the thought causes a disconnect. And like you, it isn’t me that changed. Thanks for speaking for me.

See you in the morning.

(Photos: Yeoman Serjeant Bob Loughlin admires a section of an installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ by artist Paul Cummins, made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies in the moat of the Tower of London, to commemorate the First World War on July 28, 2014 in London, England. Each ceramic poppy represents an allied victim of the First World War and the display is due to be completed by Armistice Day on November 11, 2014. After Armistice Day each poppy from the installation will be available to buy for 25 GBP. By Oli Scarff/Getty Images; Smoke trails over Gaza city after Israeli shelling on July 25, 2014. By Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.)

Dish Shirts Are Here!

Jul 28 2014 @ 8:51pm


[Re-posted from earlier today]

Finally – after lots of your input – we’re psyched to offer you a choice of four custom Dish shirts. If you’re dying to take a look and want to skip the descriptions below, head straight to our storefront and buy your shirt now!

We thought we’d start our store simply enough by offering two t-shirts. The first is a light blue one emblazoned with the Dish logo across the chest (see above on the left). Or if you prefer the baying beagle by herself, check out the gray Howler Tee (modeled by the dashing bear on the right). I love the lone howler myself – only other Dishheads will get it.

andrew_howler-teeWe picked American Apparel t-shirts that use high-quality screen-printing and a higher quality tri-blend fabric that’s super soft, durable, and has a bit of stretch that retains its slim shape. There are sizes for both men and women – no generic “unisex” option this time around, as you insisted. We’ve also lowered the price by half compared with the t-shirts we did a few years ago.

Want something a little more formal you can wear to the office, church, or restaurant? Check out the polo shirts, which come in white (see below left) and navy blue (see above right). Both of these classic polos are made with a “Silk Touch” poly-cotton fabric and embroidered with the familiar Dish beagle on the left breast. The polos run a little large, and the high-quality fabric is shrink resistant, so keep that in mind when you pick your size. For the perfect fit, consult the sizing chart.

andrew_white-poloBecause we’re doing the higher-quality screen-printing option with a bulk-ordering process, in order to keep prices down, these particular shirts will only be available for a limited time, so you need to order very soon to be part of the first printing. So if you’re interested in a shirt, don’t hesitate – buy now!

As always, we welcome your feedback in the in-tray. And send us a pic of you wearing your new shirt! You may see it appear on the blog.

But first go here to grab your new t-shirt or polo. It’s one critical way to keep the Dish independent and running for years to come. And they’re pretty sweet as well.