Spoiler alert: The U.S. Navy SEALS murder Osama Bin Laden and several others in his Pakistani compound without mercy and with vengeful malice. Most of the controversy swirling round the film revolves around whether the filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow – positioned as auteur by most commentators – endorses torture or whether the film’s narrative raises the moral issue of torture for contemplation. There is, in my reading, no overt moral position offered by the film on torture or even the morality of CIA procedures in general. Many commentators have unwittingly bemoaned this absence or taken it as a tacit moral endorsement of torture (Read more…)
Should academic work be locked up like Disney[tm] artifacts?
I’ve been quite inspired by this very good analysis of the context surrounding Aaron Swartz’s suicide.
As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly articles with the intent to freely disseminate its contents, thousands of academics began posting free copies of their work online, coalescing around the Twitter hashtag #pdftribute.
via How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz « The Berkeley Blog.
The willingness of scholars
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Aaron Swartz, Intellectual Property and the Public Good
How can you be moral with god? The real question should be, how can you be moral with god.
Filed under: Atheism Tagged: Atheism, Christianity, Good Without god, How Religion Poisons Everything, Morality, Why I hate religion
Supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide chant and display signs outside the courthouse in Port au Prince on Wednesday, Jan. 9. When they learned that the prosecutor, Lucmane Delille, had gone to Aristide’s home to question him, a river of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people marched to his home, surrounding it protectively as they had when he returned to Haiti. – Photo: Swoan Parker, Reuters
Imagine if, one day, US President Obama sent in the Marines to Ottawa [with support from, say, the Maldives, the UK and Peru, and other Coalition of the Willing partners], who then strolled up to 24 Sussex Drive, liberated Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his family from their residence, spirited them off to #YOW to be deposited on a plane, without passports, to fly to a foreign land, like Mali.
We know the prime minister is a . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: What If We Treated Harper Like We Treated Haiti’s Aristide?
Death By Trolley gets its name from The Trolley Problem, a philosophical thought experiment within the domain of morality and ethics. There are multiple formulations of The Trolley Problem. One of the most well-known versions invites the hearer to imagine that a trolley is on its way to running over five people. There is a fork in the trolley track. On the other side of the fork is one person who, if the trolley were to change paths, would be killed, thereby sparing the other 5 people. The quandary that the hearer faces is that they can pull a lever . . . → Read More: Death By Trolley: The Etymology of “Death By Trolley”: Explaining The Name
Wired: It’s election season in the U.S., and the campaigning between the Democrats and Republicans is fiercer than ever. Now, here at GeekDad, we prefer to steer clear of partisan politics, so this posting is not going to tap-dance into that minefield; instead, we’re going to take a look at the more interesting subject of [...]
We’ll see if we can make it short and quick for today’s Disservice. God has a lot of people who claim to speak for him and his will (see the mentally ill). It’s like certain people happen to have a holy transceiver installed and others, like myself most decidedly do not. I mean when I talk like my imaginary friend is watching over me – my friends make that “keep the freaky-delusional guy happy smile” while someone covertly calls for the nice men in white coats to come get me.
But if you’re wired for God it’s
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Eternal Sin
I was but wee when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. It must have been quite trying: a feat of technological innovation, cooperative efforts by thousands of mostly anonymous people and the global fame of a few astonishingly brave people who would be willing to sit atop a huge bomb that, if working properly, would send them to the moon and back.
I used to dream of being NASA’s poet laureate in space. An easy dream because of its unlikeliness.
It must take a certain kind of crazy, aberrant behaviour to risk one’s life in the astronaut way, but when
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Bravery in a Time of Struggle
We can do better. Let’s honour past, present and future generations. It’s time for cleaner options for energy production. Singer-songwriter Jennifer Berezan, eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and Catholic activist Anne Symens-Bucher flew over the Alberta’s oil/tar sands. In response to the experience, Jennifer, singer songwriter native to Alberta, wrote “My Memory Forever”, expressing her deep concern [...]
As if you need another reason to hate the rotten edifice of christian religion…
Filed under: Religion Tagged: Deluded Christians, Morality, Religion, Thunderf00t, WLC
Ben Isitt is a Victoria city councillor, historian, professor, lawyer and optimist.
Rarely have I been so moved by an account of the struggle working people have in the face of this new world order of anti-worker 1%ism.
We are so effectively trained to accept the balance of power is heavily tilted towards employers and employer-friendly/funded governments that we miss out on obvious things like our own rights.
So let’s not tolerate any more mill explosions, indifferent employers and governments, and neglected health and safety training.
Here is the text of the speech I gave at Victoria’s Day of Mourning
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Have an End to People Dying at Work
I have become very weary of being perpetually assaulted, all day long, and being utterly helpless to defend myself from the onslaught. If it isn’t advertisers shoving things I don’t want down my throat, it’s the bank ramming their hands in my pockets. The media fills my eyes and ears with sights and sounds that wage war on my mind. If I exercise my right to vocalize dissent against the corporate bedfellows and pet projects of the federal government, I find my hands are tied, and my mouth gagged. When I thought I couldn’t be violated more, I turned around
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: A Handmaid’s Tale: Intended as Fiction, Not a Guidebook
Before I get into my increasingly radical antipathy towards the NHL and NHLPA and their callous disregard for brain injury risks, I’d like you to spend a few moments watching this gratuitous display of intent to injure at a bantam hockey game in Kelowna last month involving teenagers. It will properly explain what I am about to say about the NHL and its embrace of callous violence.
More after the jump below.
When hockey transforms into a sick, disgusting decay in the direction of Rollerball to the point where teenagers are running goalies with elbows to the head, it is
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Boycott the National Headshot League (#NHL)
It’s important to make a moral distinction between the actions of Vikileaks30 and Anonymous – the latter’s actions clearly constituting an overt and hostile threat – instead of lumping them together, as some eager journalists have, in sanctimonious indignation. The effect if not the intention of Vikileaks30′s tweets was to remind Mr. Toews that whether scandalous, innocuous, or publicly verifiable, the revelation of personal information is disturbing if not downright hurtful. In effect, since you want to toews others, invade their privacy without proper oversight, this is what it’s like to be toewed. Your privacy has been invaded without proper oversight. I have no moral
. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Moral Distinctions Matter in the Toews-Social Media Brouhaha
By far the most awesome depiction of christian moral values/struggle – featuring oversimplification, binary thinking and mythical figures .
For a group that so often harps on (and on and on) about having access to an – pardon me, “the” – objective moral standard, christians have some pretty outrageous double standards when it comes to ethical behaviour. What the christian god does, and is called all good/loving for, would be considered monstrous if done by anyone else. Some believers may claim that god is a special case, that because of his infinite nature, the same rules don’t apply. Those rules are
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Disservice – Christianity Fails at Objective and Moraility
Today’s NDP leadership debate lands in Quebec. I’m using 14 criteria to evaluate who I’ll be voting for. Let me know if you have suggestions for improved criteria.
2012.02.12 NDP Leaders Debate
February 2, 2012 — NDP Leaders, By the Numbers and the Intangibles (0) August 27, 2011 — Liveblog of Jack Layton’s Funeral (0) October 1, 2011 — Qualities of the Next NDP Leader (6) September 1, 2011 — 17 Federal NDP Leadership Possibilities (2)
It’s really very simple. A front group for tarsands polluters is accusing opponents of being puppets of foreign interests. EthicalOil.org thinks only Canadians should be permitted to take part in the tarsands climate debate, which would exclude anyone or any group involving foreign resources or money.
An organization called EthicalOil.org has attacked “foreigners and their puppets” who oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline, and may have found a sympathetic ear in Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The website, based in Toronto, features a number of articles criticizing the presence of “foreigners” and “rich Americans” at the impending hearings into
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Galling Hypocrisy of EthicalOil.org
Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons January 6-8, 2012 Vancouver/Burnaby
All panelist biographies are here. Below are some lessons learned and observations from the sessions.
The opening panel is recorded in the Twitter storify here.
My notes are here.
Radical Squares: Reflections on the Global Indignant Moment
Nefertiti Altán, George Caffentzis
Crisis in the economy:
Greed leads to assaults on living wages, off-shoring, migrant workers, slashing pensions. US unemployment is 9.7% or 14.9 million people, 16% for African-Americans and 42% for African American youth. The number is higher when . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Day Three of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons
Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons January 6-8, 2012 Vancouver/Burnaby
All panelist biographies are here: Below are some lessons learned and observations from the sessions.
The opening panel is recorded in the Twitter storify here.
Opening Panel A Global Tradition: History of the Commons
Rebuilding our Commons will allow us to live in a free and self-determined way. When we talk about the Commons, we are not talking about small-scale experiments like communes, but whole social formations. The Commons involves sharing our resources because nature is not for sale. The principle of common . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons
This weekend I attended Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons community gathering in Vancouver and Burnaby, sponsored by these groups and people.
The basic premise is not so much that capitalism is broken, and we just need to fix it, but that neoliberal market fundamentalism is inherently broken when we’re thinking about sustainability, equity and building a healthy future, largely because capitalism is diametrically opposed to the commons and rich community.
All panelist biographies are here.
Below is a storified collection of tweets from the opening night.
[View the story “Tragedy of the Market: Opening” on Storify
“I think Hannah Arendt did say somewhere in The Origins of Totalitarianism that the thesis of the modern state is: ‘Everyone should die.’” –Suffled How it Gush (pg. 74)
I have joked with my partner that I have a certain amount of angst regarding my future as any sort of “real” academic (read: employed). Mostly it stems from the fact that I often don’t feel my ideas sufficiently “sophisticated.” Since I have begun earnestly researching Balkan and Bosnian politics, in particular, the general tenor of my analysis has been “assholes are ruining it for everyone.”
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Book Review: Suffled How it Gush: A North American Anarchist in the Balkans
Clearly, the people living in Attawapiskat are existing in a crisis that represents Canada’s dysfunctional relationship with the first peoples.
How can we truly “fix” Attawapiskat? By fixing the underlying broken relationship.
Occupying #Attawapiskat in Twitter two weeks ago was a great start to engaging in serious improvements.
Phase two begins now with a call for a national dialogue to address the past and create a healthy future. This means looking at cultural genocide, racism, the Indian Act as obsolete in the 21st century, residential schools, language and potlatch prohibitions, treaty neglect and so much more.
Read more about this
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy #Attawapiskat, Phase Two
Ethics are what make people stand against tyranny. Saying “no” to the crowd is one of the most difficult challenges we face as social animals. Bradley Manning had the courage to make an ethical stand, we all possess similar characteristics, we just choose to dismiss these ethical impulses. When we do so, our the moral fabric of our society degrades.
“Washington, DC – Private Bradley Manning was just 22 years old when he allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of US State Department cables and video evidence of war crimes to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. For
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Bradley Manning – A lesson in Ethics
In many ways, the modern libertarian movement is deeply religious. Not in the sense of believing some mystical metaphysical claims about the nature of the universe, but in its structure and organizational principles, as well as similarities in many of its core ideas. While there are certainly many ways in which the libertarian movement is different from religious institutions, the similarities are nonetheless poignant enough to be noteworthy.
Ron Paul Institutional Similarities: Libertarianism isn’t just a random collection of ideas. It has a well defined, homogenized, and centralized literary canon that forms the core body of ideas. Hayek, Rothbard, Mises . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: The religious nature of the Libertarian movement
I wrote a piece the other day on Attawapiskat, and how it enrages me.
Not just the case in those communities, but how it’s representative of Canada’s largely racist relationship with first nations and, frankly, all “disposable” people.
This, by the way, is an amazing piece with essential information about the bureaucracy/politics of Attawapiskat from âpihtawikosisân: http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-about-attawapiskat/. Truly essential reading.
Some of us have been working up an idea to draw and focus attention on the need to not only address Attawapiskat, but the overall systemic problem.
Let’s occupy the #Attawapiskat hashtag in Twitter for most of the day on
. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Let’s Occupy #Attawapiskat in Twitter on December 7