Perhaps it may seem odd that although I go about and give all this advice privately, quite a busybody, yet I dare not appear before your public assembly and advise the state. The reason for this is one which you have often heard me giving in many places, that something divine and spiritual comes to me, which Meletos put me into the indictment in caricature. This has been about me since my boyhood, a voice, which when it comes always turns me away from doing something I am intending to do, but never urges me on. This is what opposes my taking up public business. And quite right too, I think; for you may be sure, gentlemen, that if I had meddled with public business in the past, I should have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself. Do not be annoyed at my telling the truth; the fact is that no man in the world will come off safe who honestly opposes either you or any other multitude, and tries to hinder the many unjust and illegal doings in a state. It is necessary that one who really and truly fights for the right, if he is to survive even for a short time, shall act as a private man, not as a public man.

Plato, Apology

..realism’s conservative credentials have been under attack for some time. Neoconservatives—many of them former leftists and even former Communists—charged the realists with cowardice in the face of the enemy du jour, advocating for a confrontational and ultimately idealistic foreign policy. They successfully tapped into nationalist instincts in the Republican mind, and insinuated that those on the right who deviated from their line were blame-America-first, McGovernite softies at heart. Though the term “neoconservative” acquired a pejorative cast as the Iraq War began to fall apart, the neoconservatives adapted and survived, reducing their emphasis on grand adventures for democracy and increasing their emphasis on standing firm in the face of implacable foemen swarming in every corner of a world that is, in the words of one prominent neoconservative senator, “literally about to blow up.”

Politically, the neoconservatives have not always succeeded. Yet intellectually, they’ve won. The Republican Party now debates foreign policy on their terms, with those who advocate discretion in force and rhetoric falling under suspicion. Rand Paul, the latest prominent Republican politician to adopt the realist label, is regularly branded an “isolationist”—a historically ignorant charge, given the Kentucky senator’s support for free trade and for numerous international engagements besides. His opponents, meanwhile, proclaim their vision to be “internationalism,” as if theirs is the only way that America can be engaged abroad, as if the world’s largest economy, the world’s strongest military and a massive cultural influence would be worthless, were it not for regular volleys of cruise missiles and sanctions.

So while Colby is quite right that realism meshes nicely with philosophical conservatism, the outsized neoconservative influence on America’s main conservative party has called realism’s place in that party into question. Neoconservatism and philosophical conservatism come from different roots. Neoconservatism’s founding fathers abandoned the radical left, but many of them (though not all) retained radical characteristics when looking abroad, such as a faith that longstanding constraints can be transcended by reason and action, a belief in the universality of rationally constructed rights and the ultimate desirability of democracy in all societies, and, when they’re in a good mood, a belief that “an end to evil” is possible. Unlike more familiar radicalisms, neoconservative idealism often manifests not in a race for utopia but in a terror of dystopia. The traditional radical believes he can make heaven on earth; the neoconservative radical believes he’s the only thing stopping hell. The ideal still haunts the real and guides action within it.


The issue also includes one of the most pointed political surveys about self-proclaimed gamers’ political leanings in recent memory. According to two Reason-Rupe polls conducted in December 2013 and April 2014, gamers are more likely to fall in line with libertarian beliefs, even if they don’t identify as libertarians.

[…]

When asked how they felt about government bans on purchases and certain regulations, gamers seemed more amenable to the free-market than non-gamers. Unsurprisingly, 82 percent of gamers favored being allowed to play violent games compared to just 54 percent of non-gamers. Gamers were also more likely to support the use of Bitcoin and of 3D-printed guns, and they favored laws legalizing marijuana. In every question about whether government should intervene in specific activities or products, gamers were opposed to the idea more frequently than non-gamers by a margin of at least 13 percent.

“We were most surprised by the idea that gamers, even though they identify as liberal and progressive regardless of their age group, were against government regulations of what people could do with their own bodies and their own lives,” story co-author Scott Shackford told Ars. “Also, if gamers didn’t know what something was, like Bitcoin, they were more inclined to say that the government should allow it, whereas for non-gamers, if they didn’t know what something was, they were inclined to say the government should regulate it.”



Meanings of a building both in landscape and memory-scape can be changed ‘not only by its exterior features or interior functions but also by its way of uniting with the earth’ (Chung 1994: 49). In other words, placing a building as well as designing one is a key element in creating meanings in architectural forms. The intimacy of place and meaning is, in part, derived from the place’s primary role as a ‘container of experience’ and, therefore, its ‘intrinsic memorability’ (Casey 1987: 186). Memory, it is pointed out, ‘does not thrive on the indifferently dispersed’ (Casey 1987: 187). In this sense, the former Japanese Government-General Building (GGB), erected in front of a key palace of the last native royal dynasty, more than any other building evoked for Koreans painful and shameful memories of Japanese colonial rule.

Completed in 1926, the GGB bore witness both to the colonial and postcolonial periods of modern Korean history. In fact, its overall lifespan was more postcolonial than colonial. The colonial administration began the construction of the GGB in 1916 and completed it in 1926. For nearly two decades, until 1945, the building housed offices of the colonial government. However, the building survived for a further five decades of Korea’s turbulent post-liberation history, housing the US military government offices until 1948; providing a home to the government of the Republic of Korea in 1948; and briefly serving as the general headquarters of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during the Korean War. Following the cessation of hostilities, the building served again as the main government building for the Republic of Korea from 1962 to 1982. It subsequently housed the National Museum of Korea until 1995.

As part of national celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Liberation Day from Japanese colonial rule, the GGB was demolished. This article analyses the reasons why the building survived for half a century after the end of Japanese rule, and the debate during the early 1990s leading to the decision to demolish the building. How was the demolition of the GGB received by the various groups of people in South Korean society? Finally, what does the post-liberation history of the GGB reveal about public images and attitudes towards Japan in South Korea? In exploring these questions, I will first briefly summarize the history of the GGB. I will then analyse the political context for the official decision to demolish the GGB in the early 1990s, reflected in the media, at two levels: reaction from ‘specialists’ of various kinds (architects, city planners, and so forth), and the general public. In the process, I survey and attempt to explain changing attitudes and memories in contemporary Korean society with respect to Japan and the colonial past.


There are at least three approaches to evaluating the role of big philanthropy in ed reform. Understanding how they differ makes for a more effective analysis and stronger arguments.

The first approach focuses on the failure of specific policies pushed by the foundations and the harm they do to teaching and learning. For example, a critique of using value-added modeling to measure the effectiveness of individual teachers would deal with the inherent unreliability of the calculations, the nonsensical use of faulty formulas to measure growth in learning, and the negative consequences of rating teachers with such a flawed tool.

The second approach examines how big philanthropy’s ed-reform activity undermines the democratic control of public education, an institution that is central to a functioning democracy. The questions to ask are these: Has the public’s voice in the governance of public education been strengthened or weakened? Are politicians more or less responsive? Is the press more or less free to inform them?

This approach pinpoints certain types of foundation activity: paying the salaries of high-level personnel to do ed-reform work within government departments; making grants to education departments dependent on specific politicians remaining in office; promoting mayoral control and state control of school districts instead of control by elected school boards; financing scores of ed-reform nonprofits to implement and advocate for the foundations’ pet policies—activity that has undermined the autonomy and creativity of the nonprofit sector in education; funding (and thus influencing) the national professional associations of government officials, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices; and funding media coverage of education.

The third approach examines large private foundations as peculiar and problematic institutions in a democracy. This approach considers big philanthropy in general and uses ed reform as one example of how mega-foundations undermine democratic governance and civil society. The objections to wealthy private corporations dedicated to doing good (as they see it) have remained the same since the early twentieth century when the first mega-foundations were created: they intervene in public life but aren’t accountable to the public; they are privately governed but publicly subsidized by being tax exempt; and in a country where money translates into political power, they reinforce the problem of plutocracy—the exercise of power derived from wealth.


In Eastern Ukraine, Normality Rules Except At Ground Zero - NPR Morning Edition

But almost all of them say they don’t feel like they’re at the center of a revolution, and they don’t care much about the drama taking place just down the road.

At the end of the day, people leave the scene of the protest like concert-goers after an outdoor festival.

A man named Michal walks with a few of his friends. He’s wearing the orange and black ribbon of the demonstrators. He looks at the kids eating ice cream, the grandmothers sitting on benches, and says most people here are just “unconscious.”

"Only about 10 percent of the people who live here really understand what’s happening," he says.

When I ask whether that 10 percent can change the fate of eastern Ukraine, he coolly says that it’s always been this way. “The minority decides the fate of the majority.”

video: Chant: “Tell me what democracy looks like! / This is what democracy looks like!” — from a demonstration at Wisconsin State Capitol, 16 Feb 2011.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a key pillar of campaign finance law by allowing wealthy donors to give money to as many political candidates, parties and committees as they wish.

On a 5-4 vote, the court struck down the overall limits on how much individuals can donate during the federal two-year election cycle.

Before the ruling, donors could not exceed a $123,200 overall limit during the two-year period. The ruling allows donors to contribute nearly $6 million in the same period, according to public advocacy groups.

Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision is the latest in a series of rulings by the conservative-led court to give big-money donors more influence in U.S. elections.


reuters:

Harsh words from Senator Dianne Feinstein today, as the lawmaker accused the CIA of spying on Congress and possibly even breaking the law:
"I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the Constitution… Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."
Click here to read more: http://reut.rs/1i8CXwi

reuters:

Harsh words from Senator Dianne Feinstein today, as the lawmaker accused the CIA of spying on Congress and possibly even breaking the law:

"I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the Constitution… Besides the constitutional implications, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducting domestic searches or surveillance."

Click here to read more: http://reut.rs/1i8CXwi


WHAT THEN, would Rochau have made of all this? Going back to his original definition, it appears that much of what masquerades as modern realpolitik has strayed quite far from the original essence of the term.

The first thing to note is that he was an enemy of lazy thinking. He would have been unimpressed with those versions of realism that resemble a knee-jerk reaction that responds to idealism with a roll of the eyes and retreats to its own set of tropes and doctrines.

Realpolitik does “not entail the renunciation of individual judgement and it requires least of all an uncritical kind of submission,” he wrote. It was more “appropriate to think of it as a mere measuring and weighing and calculating of facts that need to be processed politically.” Above all, it was not a strategy itself, but a way of thinking: an “enemy of … self-delusion” and “the misguided pride which characterises the human mind.”

What Rochau was attempting to articulate was not a philosophical position but a new way of understanding politics and the distribution of power. “Experience has shown that treating it along abstract-scientific lines, or on the basis of principles is hardly useful,” he wrote. One had to contend “with the historical product, accepting it as it is, with an eye for its strengths and weaknesses, and to remain otherwise unconcerned with its origins and the reasons for its particular characteristics.”


安倍晋三首相は二十日の衆院予算委員会で、教育改革に関し「教育基本法は(第二次大戦後の)占領時代につくられたが、衆参両院で自民党単独で過半数をとっていた時代も手を触れなかった。そうしたマインドコントロールから抜け出す必要がある」と意欲を示した。

There is something creepy about the Prime Minister of Japan calling their The Fundamental Law of Education “mind-control.” And I don’t think he means the neoliberal “blame the individual” ideology they seem so steeped in.