IN THE NEWS

Nadaban para ser libres: el equipo de Amjed Tantish fulminado por la guerra en Gaza

BEATRIZ LECUMBERRI, © The Guardian
May 25, 2024

Trece chicos posan sonrientes y en bañador junto a sus entrenadores ante una piscina de 25 metros de largo en Yabalia, en el norte de la franja de Gaza. Es una fotografía de julio de 2023, pero parece que hubieran pasado muchos años. La inmensa mayoría de los nadadores de este equipo nunca se han zambullido en una piscina de competición ni han salido de los 365 kilómetros cuadrados de este territorio, pero llevaban años entrenando con ahínco, entre olas de violencia, restricciones de movimiento y la falta de medios materiales. Su objetivo era llegar a unos Juegos Olímpicos.

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The ruling of men is the effort to direct the individual actions of many persons toward some end. This end theoretically should be the greatest good of all, but no human group has ever reached this ideal because of ignorance and selfishness.

-W. E. B. Du Bois

Trump’s ‘unified reich’ video was a message not a mistake

Margaret Sullivan, © The Guardian
May 23, 2024

We’ve been here before. Donald Trump says or does something outrageous, and then walks it back slightly. But his message as a would-be authoritarian – or far worse – gets through.

The latest iteration was a video shared this week on his Truth Social account that (by featuring would-be headlines) promised a “unified reich” if Trump wins a second term as president.

The word “reich”, of course, is closely tied to Adolf Hitler, who called his Nazi empire the “Third Reich”. You don’t have to be a student of world history to understand that instantly.

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Memory is a mirror that scandalously lies.

-Julio Cortázar (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds)

A Brutal Suppression of Speech

By Michael Brenner, © Consortiumnews
May 23, 2024

Denial of civil liberties, accompanied by punishment for anybody who exposes those violations, has become commonplace in contemporary America.

Yet, nothing that the nation has experienced — and that the more discerning protest — prepared us for the grotesque spectacle on display in the brutal suppression of free speech on university campuses.

What we witness is the iron fist of autocracy employed to intimidate, to hurt, to deter those who would question — however peaceably — the right of the powers-that-be to impose their confected version of the truth on the public. Moreover, it is grounded on an arbitrary assumption of power having no basis in law or customary practice.

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Probablemente de todos nuestros sentimientos el único que no es verdaderamente nuestro es la esperanza. La esperanza le pertenece a la vida, es la vida misma defendiéndose.

-Julio Cortázar (Rayuela)

‘I’m the king and I will destroy you!’: Argentinian president stages frenetic stadium appearance

Facundo Iglesia in Buenos Aires and Tom Phillips, © The Guardian
May 23, 2024

Argentinians call him “the Madman”. This week he declared himself their monarch.

“I’m the king of a lost world! I’m the king and I will destroy you!” Javier Milei bellowed into the microphone on Wednesday night as Argentina’s showman president took to the stage for his first stadium gig since his election last year.

The concert, at a famed 8,000-capacity arena in Buenos Aires called Luna Park, drew hordes of adoring rightwing fans – the majority young men – who had come to see their rock-loving libertarian leader up close and wearing a knee-length leather jacket.

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Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

-Thomas Jefferson