Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bazaar of Mirrors in Çanakkale

There is Bazaar of Mirrors in Çanakkale
I am going against enemy lines Mum, oh my lost youth!

There is a tall cypress tree in Çanakkale
Some of us engaged, some married, oh my lost youth!

There is a broken jug in Çanakkale
Mums and Dads lost their hopes, oh my lost youth!

Cannons were settled on outskirts of Çanakkale
Oh my mates fell down over there, oh my lost youth!

Smoke covered over Çanakkale
Division thirteen left to join combat, oh my lost youth!

They shot me in Çanakkale
Put me in a grave alive, oh my lost youth!

The ballad of Çanakkale (Tr. Çanakkale türküsü) is a Turkish folk song which tells about Battle of Gallipoli. It was arranged by Muzaffer Sarısözen by the lyrics which are referred by a local bard Ihsan Ozanoğlu of Kastamonu. Çanakkale should be pronounced as 'Chanakkale' in English.

Çanakkale içinde aynalı çarşı
Ana ben gidiyom düşmana karşı, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Çanakkale içinde bir uzun servi
Kimimiz nişanlı, kimimiz evli, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Çanakkale içinde bir kırık testi
Analar babalar ümidi kesti, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Çanakkale elinde toplar kuruldu
Vay bizim uşaklar orda vuruldu, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Çanakkale üstünü duman bürüdü
On üçüncü fırka harbe yürüdü, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Çanakkale içinde vurdular beni
Ölmeden mezara koydular beni, off, gençliğim eyvah!

Corruption of Theism

"I may venture to affirm, that few corruptions of idolatry and polytheism are more pernicious to society than this corruption of theism, when carried to the utmost height. The human sacrifices of the Carthaginians, Mexicans, and many barbarous nations, scarcely exceeded the inquisition and persecutions of Rome and Madrid. For besides, that the effusion of blood may not be so great in the former case as in the latter; besides this, I say, the human victims, being chosen by the lot, or by some exterior signs, affect not, in so considerable a degree, the rest of the society. Whereas virtue, knowledge, love of liberty, are the qualities, which call down the fatal vengeance of inquisitors; and when expelled, leave the society in the most shameful ignorance, corruption, and bondage. The illegal murder of one man by a tyrant is more pernicious than the death of a thousand by the pestilence, famine, or any undistinguishing calamity."
David Hume - from Works of David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature and other works

Meet the father of scepticism and British Empiricism, David Hume. 

We owe our liberty to intellectuals like him, they had guts to question corrupt morals of religion in an era religion reigned the world despite grave dangers of being prosecuted in doing so. David Hume has been colossal in his influence on Enlightenment.

Divine North Korea

“Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well, and over us to supervise this is installed a celestial dictatorship. A kind of divine North Korea.” - Christopher Hitchens

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Founding Fathers have long been dead

At the moment around 100 secular journalists are in prison in Turkey. Once secular Turkish Republic turned into an Islamic Republic. The country is governed by a police state that is bound to a religious sect led by a shadowy mullah US is protecting. The puppet judges and prosecutors are arresting secular people in dozens every day on the ground of "suspicion of terrorism" and hold people in prison for as long as 3-4 years without trial. It is dictatorship. US is supporting it. And the West thinks it is moderate Islam.

AKP ( abbreviated JDP in English, Justice and Development Party) is the Islamist party that came to power with landslide victory in 2002 elections. 

Since the establishment of secular Turkish Republic in 1923 there has been an eternal struggle between secularists who want to separate religion from state affairs and see Turkey in the West, and Islamists who want to bring back religious state Kemal Ataturk abolished.

The Islamist governments of AKP that have been in power for the past decade simply used the mandate they got from people, changed once secularconstitution in 2010 with a referendum and changed laws gradually as they saw fit. As a result of these developments separation of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary is non-existent today.

Supporting Turkish Right, religious or non-religious, with or without Army's involvement has been official US policy since 60's, first during the Cold War against communists, now against secularists. 

Not that US does not have sympathy for secularists. They just do not care, why should they. It is not secular principles of Founding Fathers or any other principles for that matter, but regional interests direct US foreign policy. It has always been the case. Not only in the Middle East but all around the globe.

Supporting Islamists in Turkey at the moment aligns well with US interests in the region so long as Islamists refrain their hatred against Israel (at least on the surface) and stay away from being too close to Iran. In return Islamists get much needed support from US to suppress seculars within the country. It is a low dirty game.

Predominantly since 1980's US expected Turkey to be both a dependable and dependent ally and play the role of model "moderate" Islamic state in the region. 

Politically US heavily depends on Turkey to gain control over the Arab Spring. US needs both Israel and Turkey to hold the balance of power in the Middle East. In fact all members of the three musketeers need each other.

Of course the word "moderate Islam" is a total bullshit. US knows it well. US administration is simply playing low key on the injustice exercised in the hands of Islamist government at the moment. So long as it aligns well with regional US policies it is OK. After all Founding Fathers and their universal principles have long been dead.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Elected Vandals


This is NSW Museum of Contemporary Art, photo shot in 2007. Beautiful Art Deco heritage. Established through a bequest by Australian expatriate artist John Power (1881-1943),

click to enlarge


This is NSW Museum of Contemporary Art, in 2012. Beautiful Art Deco heritage. Little bit dirty on the top side, but money could have been spent for clean up and restoration. Instead the building was screwed up by the Mayor of Sydney, and the local NSW Government. Horrible looking whitewash roofs were added with blue windows. A new "modern" museum building in chalk colour was glued on the right. I guess those Neanderthals in their walnut sized brains may be thinking these are supposedly low profile extensions. Well they are not. They are eye sores. These idiots raped the historical skyline and ignorant people elected them to do so. Murderers of beauty. Vandals.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mitterand's Death

Former French president François Mitterand’s death was assisted suicide, a book claims, despite the fact he was a staunch opponent of euthanasia.

A new book by French journalists Denis Demonpion and Laurent Leger claims Mitterrand was given a fatal injection to end his suffering at his request.

Mitterrand died in 1996 after suffering from cancer for 15 years, but his illness was a secret when he was alive.

If these allegations are true then one has to wonder why Mitterrand chose to hide his planned death, provided that he had opportunity to disclose so.

By reversing his conviction about euthanasia he would have damaged his political integrity one might argue. But at the same time he could have made himself an example for a wider policy change desperately needed by thousands of sufferers.

Whether Mitterrand had been in immense pain to make a healthy judgement, or he refused to conflict himself we may never know.

It is not pleasant to speculate after a dead man, but I think there is a lesson we should all learn from this.

No one, absolutely no one should be entitled to take a moral position against euthanasia based on assumptions about the degree of suffering one has to go through before taking the grave decision to end their lives.

 The EXIT euthanasia blog

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lonely tunes

Psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle argues;

“We all really need to listen to each other, including to the boring bits.”

Online personas do not reflect our true self. They are edited, groomed, reshaped version of our identities.

In real life we have accents, tones, gestures, we say silly or embarrassing things, we get emotional, we can be boring, even irritating at times.

But only by making a real and intimate conversation with someone we may discover what we are seeking about ourselves or we may be able to help others to solve their issues.

Turkle also makes a distinction between ”being alone” (a necessity for reflection) and ”being lonely” (an undesirable state of mind):

“If we're not able to be alone, we're going to be more lonely. And if we don't teach our children to be alone, they're only going to know how to be lonely.”

Excessive social networking does not cure loneliness. On the contrary by not letting ourselves to be alone we aggravate our loneliness, and we may gradually loose our ability to connect with ourselves, our desires and wisdom we once were seeking.