A Dutch right-wing government?

by Ingrid Robeyns on August 18, 2010

Here comes my long overdue update on the Dutch government formation (I owe you one on Belgium too, but there isn’t much to report, except the lack of progress, and whatever that could be taken to imply). We had “elections in the Netherlands”:https://crookedtimber.org/2010/06/09/dutch-elections-first-results-and-open-thread/ early June, and the right-liberals, VVD, emerged as the biggest party. They first tried to form a coalition with the Christian-Democrats (CDA) and PVV, the party of Geert Wilders (in fact, it is not a party, but a ‘movement’: Geert Wilders is the only member and the other people do not have any formal power, and from what we can gather in the media also not much real power.) But CDA refused to enter any talks/negotiations if VVD and PVV did not first come to some rough agreement between the two of them. So that turned into nothing.
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Conservatives Offer Compromise on Ground Zero Mosque

by Michael Bérubé on August 18, 2010

Conservative leaders issued a series of statements today to try to resolve the growing tensions over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” planned for lower Manhattan.

“We’re being cast as opponents of religious freedom,” said blogger <a href=”http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/16/ground_zero_mosque_origins”>Pamela Geller</a>, “and that’s not fair.  We’re just saying that this is a highly sensitive matter and a very important place for us.  We’re all about freedom.  And to prove it, we propose that the location of the Ground Zero mosque should be dedicated, instead, to a Museum of Danish Mohammed Cartoons.  We were very pro-freedom when those cartoons were published, and we think it would be appropriate if the site were to serve as a memorial to that watershed moment in the history of freedom.”

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Forum Futures 2010

by Harry on August 18, 2010

Forum Futures 2010 just went online. It contains summaries/write ups of the presentations made at last year’s meeting of the Forum on the Future of Higher Education. My own contribution, on ethical leadership in higher education, which will contain no surprises for people who have been reading what I’ve been saying about higher ed issues over the past year or two, is here. More interesting are this contribution on a remarkable technology for improving learning outcomes in math science and stats classes, and this piece by Sandy Baum on fairness in college admissions (which is a partner to my own contribution).


by Chris Bertram on August 18, 2010

Highly recommended – Ajami, a film largely set in a part of Jaffa in Israel. Ajami is from the Tarrantino/Crash/Amores Perros school of multiple overlapping narratives shot from different points of view. It is basically unscripted and uses non-professional actors and improvisation. The movie concerns an Arab family in the Ajami neighbourhood who are engaged in a feud with a Bedouin clan. Drug dealing, a disappeared Israeli soldier and his relative in the police, romantic entanglements across the Jewish/Arab and Muslim/Christian divides are the other elements in the mix. I think that’s about all I can say about content without spoiling the plot. Politics are there, inevitably, but largely by implication – the film isn’t shouting a message at you. Get to see it if you possibly can.