Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
In our time, orthodoxy is economic. Popular culture fetishizes it, our entertainments salaam to it (how many millions for sinking that putt, accepting that trade?), our artists are ranked by and revered for it. There is no institution wholly apart. Everything submits; everything must, sooner or later, pay fealty to the market; thus cost-benefit analyses on raising children, on cancer medications, on clean water, on the survival of species, including—in the last, last analysis—our own. If humanity has suffered under a more impoverishing delusion, I’m not aware of it.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
A central tactic in the war, activists say, is forced disappearances - the brazen snatching of young people from their homes or off the street, often by gangs of masked men who move freely, even in areas heavily patrolled by Russian military and police. The pace of forced disappearances has doubled in the past year, following a spike in militant attacks on police and authorities, including suicide bombings, ambushes and assassinations.
The lucky ones are brutally interrogated and released. Some turn up dead, their bodies bearing the marks of torture. Other families face the anguish of never knowing the fate of a father, brother or son.
But critics say the kidnappings have aggravated rather than reduced tensions along Russia's southern border.