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Friday open thread

by eurogreen Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 11:22:09 AM EST

The regulars are already down the pub...


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Goodness me, it seems to have worked! I've never done that before.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 11:22:43 AM EST
Rare portrayal of Muhammad's youth in upcoming Iranian film | World news | theguardian.com
In October 2011, under a complete media blackout, the most ambitious and expensive cinematic project in Iranian history was launched. There had been no leaks regarding the production. The first news came the following month with two announcements: Famed director Majid Majidi declared that he was shooting a film that would "bring pride to Iran and Iranians." And minister of culture and Islamic guidance Mohammad Hosseini casually mentioned that a movie was being made about what might be the most controversial artistic topic in the world: the Prophet Muhammad.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 11:23:04 AM EST
And very nice it was too.

Cyrille and marco joined me at 3:00 while TBG was caught in the maelstrom that is post Xmas London public transport and didn't arrive till 6:00.

I tried to stay as long as I could, but I was too "refreshed" by 7:00 and so had to leave.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 03:49:39 PM EST
I've always had a nagging suspicion that some of the complaints about the Haredim in Israel have a concealed neo-liberal agenda (not so concealed in the case of Lapid). Here is Rosner in the NYT
Israel's income gap is one of the highest in the world (following Chile, Mexico, Turkey and the United States). Israel, as O.E.C.D. reports have already indicated more than once, somehow manages to be a "start-up nation," with high economic growth; yet, at the same time, it remains a backward nation with many extremely poor families.

[...]

Two segments of Israel's population stand out as the poorest of the poor: "ultra-Orthodox Jews" and "Muslim-Arabs." Unemployment rates for ultra-Orthodox Jews (mostly ultra-Orthodox men) and Arabs (mostly Arab women) are very high. So are birth rates. The result: 59 percent of the ultra-Orthodox (also known as Haredim) are poor. Similarly, 58 percent of Arab Israelis are poor

According to Wikipedia, TFR in 2012 was 3.04 for Jews, 3.54 for Muslims. Very high? The figures for Bedouin are high, but not for Muslims in general. Sure helps avoid discussing other issues such as discrimination, doesn't it?
First, the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs don't mix much with most Jewish Israelis (both these groups refrain from military or other national service). Second, to be blunt, Israelis know that Haredis and Arabs are disproportionately represented in the underground economy (namely, by evading taxes).
Figures? It may be true, but do Israelis "know" this the way they "know" Muslim fertility is high?
For Muslim Arabs, it is to keep women at home and have many children (while the men go to work).
Never mind the facts.
The Jewish Haredi isn't just different in customs; he also tends to have far more children than can be conveniently raised on a small income. The Bedouin Arab isn't just different religiously and ethnically from the majority of Israelis; he is also poorer, in some areas, dirt-poor.
Here are the Bedouin, at last. But unless you know the facts, you might not noticed the change of subject. Anyway, according to the same Wikipedia article, the Bedouin TFR dropped from 10.06 in 1998 to 5.73 in 2009, so he may be talking about a problem that has already been solved. Ashkenazi TFR has risen to 8.51 in 1996, and is probably higher now.
There is some good news. As a direct consequence of government policies, the employment rate among traditionally unemployed populations is rising fast. On the other hand, precisely because of this trend, the percentage of poor families with two breadwinners is also going up (it was 5 percent in the last report). Low-skilled workers are finally joining the work force, but naturally they can only get low-paying jobs and can't earn enough to make ends meet and rise above the poverty line.
Why not?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Dec 27th, 2013 at 03:55:02 PM EST


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