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At the annual Turkish American Parade and Festival, held today in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations, one couldn’t help but be concerned over Turkey’s pivot to support the rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.
A woman we spoke with said of Turkey’s Prime minister Recap Tayyip Erdogen: “He’s lost his mind.” She added that he’s undermining the progressive secular path set forth by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s first president, who ruled from 1923-38.
That part of the world continues to be destabilized by American, Israeli, British and Sunni gangsters. The truth doesn’t get out. In Turkey it’s because of government censorship and the incarceration of thousands of prisoners of conscience. In the U.S. it’s because of lying propagandists, like Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, who point to the “murderous tyranny” of Bashar al Assad (his description), without admitting that Syria’s actions came in response to the murderous intervention of Syrian sovereignty by countries including the U.S. and Israel.
Garnet Wines & Liquors, a New York City wine retailer, has a superb selection of beverage products from around the world.
At a recent tasting, we especially liked their wines from Spain, Portugal & Alsace.
Herdade Do Esporao Alentejo Reguengos Reserva (Portugal – Red)
R-Oh Montsant (Spain – Red)
Dirler-Cade Gewurztraminer Bux (Alsace – White)
Led by designer Libena Rochova, eleven students from the studio of Fashion and Footwear Design at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague are showing recent work at the Czech Center in NYC through May 31.
Their purpose is to unite traditional craft and folklore with contemporary fashion design.
Photographs: Stephen Wise
On 5/6 the German Consulate, in association with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), hosted a discussion — Jewish Renaissance in Germany: Challenges and Opportunities. The speakers included Dr. Raphael Seligman, Publisher of “Jewish Voice from Germany,” and David Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC.
In 1989 there were 28,000 Jewish people in Germany; today there are 240,000+, in 100 Jewish communities.
In his remarks Eugene Dubow of AJC talked about opening an AJC office in Berlin in the mid-90′s — which, he quipped, has been called the “embassy of American Jews.” Mr. Dubow added that the AJC has crafted a ‘leadership and democracy development program’ that is being used by schools throughout Berlin.
Mr. Seligman, whose family returned to Germany in the 50′s and then moved to Israel, said that in Berlin today “we have an official Jewish community of 12,000, but there are 15,000 Israelis — which are not part of the community, because they don’t want to pay taxes.” He lamented the fact that in the 50′s the Jewish community in Berlin was religious but today the new synagogue, that cost 20 million euros, sits empty.
Analysis: You have a situation in Berlin where a Jewish organization from the U.S. is teaching Germans about leadership and democracy, while at the same time more than half the Jews living in Berlin don’t pay taxes to Germany. For democracy to work, community and solidarity are not optional. Jewish people rightly want others to be in solidarity with them; they too need to be in solidarity with others.
A Democracy might be established by individualists (self-centered humans) but it can not be sustained by them.
Now we, returning from the vaulted domes
Of our colossal sleep, come home to find
A tall metropolis of catacombs
Erected down the gangways of our mind…
Backward we traveled to reclaim the day
Before we fell, like Icarus, undone;
All we find are altars in decay
And profane words scrawled black across the sun.
Still stubbornly we try to crack the nut
In which the riddle of our race is shut.
Sylvia Plath sent this poem to her mother just days before Mother’s Day in 1954. She was 21 at the time.
The photograph is of Danielle McCloskey, an FIT art student, in an installation she created for the school’s graduation art exhibit. Danielle said the work is a commentary on identity, which is prevalent throughout the show.
In a world where computers are taught to think and humans taught to tweet, where individuals are told they are gods and nothing — but a pile of data, it’s hard for women and men to find a coherent and correct view of reality — and their true identity.
“Just a note in the appropriate midst of Escape from Freedom to let you know I won one poetry prize this year on the basis of my sonnet “Doom of Exiles,” which I wrote this spring. Only $20, I think, but it will keep me in new shoes for Marty’s wedding. Also I just got elected president of the Alpha Phi Kappa Society, honorary society of the arts, which has the advantage of being a very honorary post with a minimum of work and a solid gold, ruby-studded pin from Tiffany’s…” Sylvia Plath, May 20, 1954
A secular society, that exalts algorithms and egoism, is seeing the human person increasingly diminished by forces inside and outside of herself. Activist organizations that seek to promote human rights often times undermine the people they claim to be helping. This can be seen in the Women’s Movement.
The Women’s Movement in America, organized to achieve voting rights, was a revolutionary movement that (consciously or not) sought to emancipate women from nature — as Trotsky sought to break nature in Russia. In 1913 Helen Keller said: “I am a militant suffragette because I believe suffrage will lead to socialism, and to me socialism is the real cause.”
A recent symposium in NYC, organized by WNET New York Public Media, presented a documentary on the Women’s Movement to a group of Girl Scouts. The discussion that followed featured prominent activists, including Marlo Thomas. The comments reflected a utilitarian perspective on life: “Gloria and I didn’t want to be domesticated. You can’t mate in captivity.” “Until the domestic arrangement changes, nothing will change for women.” “I must, I insist, I have to have.”
As with Marxism, the Women’s Movement is a material movement that sees women’s power as a function of numbers — “If you have half the group then you have power.” “When 51 women are in the U.S. Senate, then we can relax.” The result is a failure to understand and operate in the natural order of existence. The better way is for people to grow to understand their inter-dependent spiritual nature, and how to participate in being in a conscious and concrete way. For that, men and women need to freely choose to respect and serve each other in all areas of life. The free and sincere ‘gift of self’, rather than the assertion of self, is the way to achieve happiness and peace within and among persons.