I am not writing this blog post with the idea that the right to free speech, or expression is without limit. Tom Flanagan proves that in exercising that right, the social consequences can be swifter and less judicious than any of the hate speech crimes we have on the books in Canada.
Nor am I writing to defend Mr. Flanagan’s comments. Rather, I want to point out what I think the reaction to his comments reveal about the deep hypocrisy at work in our social body politic (if I may be permitted to use such an awkward formation).
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: Flanagan’s flop reveals deeper truth about the nature of hypocrisy in Canada
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…)
[recording starts] Is this thing on? Seriously. Is it on? I’m not getting any neural feedback. You humans are so odd. You are human aren’t you? Why don’t you just implant a microphone in your scull — there’s lots of … Continue reading →
Video available on YouTube The Canadian Progressive recommends: Human Rights Watch: Challenges for Rights After Arab Spring Canada’s Human Rights Reputation is Fast Becoming a Myth Cornel West Is Upset Obama Was Sworn In On Martin Luther King’s Bible U.S. pressuring Bradley Manning to implicate Julian Assange (VIDEO) The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur On Obama’s READ MORE
The willingness of new governments to respect rights will determine whether those uprisings give birth to genuine democracy or simply spawn authoritarianism in new forms.
Via YouTube: Former CIA agent John Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison for revealing the identity of a covert officer to a reporter. But originally he was pending charges on the violating the espionage act. Kiriakou is the first CIA official to publicly confirm the use of waterboarding and other tactics he describes READ MORE
“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.” -Walter Benjamin
Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty was met with both large audiences and waves of criticism for how the film depicted, and seemingly endorsed, the use of torture. While it’s not surprising that a film about the War on Terror and the assassination of Osama Bin Laden has provoked controversy, what is rather troubling is that the majority of critics have chosen to focus their critique on the film’s questionable suggestion that information obtained (Read more…)
All this talk of torture in my last post got me wondering about the most awful times of pain and suffering in our own Nicholas’ life.
When Nick was small, he had a surgical procedure to correct gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. The procedure was called an ‘open full-wrap fundoplication’. Sometimes words like water-boarding or enhanced interrogation techniques do not sound so bad if you haven’t witnessed them first-hand. The same goes for an open fundoplication.
From my book “The Four Walls of My Freedom“, here is a reminiscence of Nicholas returning from the operating room after this
. . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Am I An Abuser?
A couple of nights ago, my husband Jim and I went to the movies. We saw Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” – a film already infamous for its portrayal of torture as a measure to ensure post 9/11 homeland security and as a tool to locate and eliminate Osama Bin Laden.
It’s a good film, but what’s it got to do with issues of caregiving in the western world?
Well, yesterday, I drove through a snowstorm to visit my Mom who has not been well and who needed a couple of loving visitors (me and my sister) who would roll
. . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Torture, The Movies and the Politics of Caregiving
Ok, so some of the best economists, trained at elite institutions, working for the pinnacle of the of the financial world got it wrong, very wrong. How wrong? Just go ask a Greek citizen. But, of course, we all knew that just by reading the headlines coming out of Greece over the last couple of years. We also knew this because most of the best elite trained economists thought everything was doing swimmingly back in 2006 early 2007.
Why? because they assumed rational expectations and that their models were correct. And when, after the crisis
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: Putting lipstick on the PIIGS: the health of modern macroeconomics
The US has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. It breaks down to about 754 per 100,000 (2009 figures). By way of comparison Canada had 117 per 100,000 (as of 2008), Australia 133 per 100,000 (as of 2010) and Japan 59 per 100,000.
According to 2010 figures put out by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, a total of 7,225,800 adults were listed as under correctional supervision (probation, parole, or in prison) – that’s close to the population of Israel or even Switzerland.
In some states prison overcrowding is a serious problem. Prisons in California with a capacity
. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Supermax hellholes: solitary confinement in US prisons
We have not written on America’s imperial adventures for awhile here at DWR. Constant examination of the antithesis of our civilization lays bare the soul, to touch the carefully crafted web we ensconce ourselves in and shake it till the dirty bitter truths rupture forth wearies the heart and mind. To see things as they are, as Buchan does, empties the carefully nurtured vessels of hope and replaces it with despair and bitterness:
“You think that a wall as solid as the earth separates civilization from barbarism. I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: America’s Shame – Guantanamo Bay
I’m not a fan of all of Jessie Ventura’s politics, but he makes a strong case against the use of torture while explaining to the designated right-wing nut on the View how and why its wrong.
Let’s open up the discussion. When, if ever, is torture permissible? Leave your opinion in the comments.
Filed under: Ethics, Politics Tagged: Debate, Jesse Ventura, Republican “values”, Torture
I wonder if the Harper government has really thought this one through.
A security certificate issued against Hassan Almrei was thrown out by Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley in December of 2009. Almrei filed a civil suit against the government and asked for a summary judgement on the basis that Mosley’s ruling was sufficient to make his case. Lawyers for the federal government argued that Mosley’s ruling had nothing to do with any claim for damages and that the matter should be subject to a full trial. An Ontario Superior Court ruled with the feds and the matter is now
. . . → Read More: Peace, order and good government, eh?: Oh look. Security certificates are in the news again.
Inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/08/28/pol-cp-torture-opposition.html
Vic Toews, Public Safety Minister issues a directive to RCMP, CSIS and Canada Border Services to use information obtained through torture.
In 1985, Canada led by then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture .
Article 2.2 of the UN Convention… ..
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- The Star-Phoenix editorial board comments on the need to crack down on tax havens: (T)he scale of the avoidance Mr. Henry detailed in his report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, drives home just how immoral is the practice of tax avoidance, particularly at a time when even rich countries such as Spain and the United States are staggering under their debt loads and deficits because they can’t raise enough tax revenue.
As Gwynne Dyer, a Canadian journalist based in Britain, notes in a recent column published in Embassy magazine, despite efforts by
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
Last February, we learned that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had quietly authorized the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to use information gleaned from terror suspects through torture. Today, Toews’ spokesperson, Mike Mueller, confirmed that the Canadian government is open to using information gleaned under dubious circumstances abroad.
Mueller was responding to new revelations that CSIS has a new secret high-level committee, the Information Sharing Evaluation Committee, which is equipped with powers and “tools to better assess information received from foreign agencies.”
Welcome to our burgeoning security state.
But not to worry. First, Mueller tells QMI Agency:
. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Confirmed again: “Canada may use information obtained through torture”
Okay, it’s cruel and, juvenile.
Filed under: art Tagged: cowboy, humour, pig, politics, Stephen Harper, torture
“It is music’s capacity to take over your mind and invade your inner experience that makes it so terrifying as a potential weapon.“
- Thomas Keenan, the director of the Human Right’s Project at Bard College
Hey, surprise we’re not the good guys. Ever. This is all from Al-Jazeera and I guarantee it will not brighten your day.
“In 2003, it transpired that US intelligence services had tortured detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with music from Sesame Street.
Human rights researcher Thomas Keenan explains: “Prisoners were forced to put on headphones. They were
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Perverting Music – The United States Torture Program – The Sounds of War
PETA should use a new argument against animal cruelty, Luka Magnotta.
Luka Magnotta, the accused killer who dismembered a man and sent body parts in the mail across Canada, shares something in common with most psychopaths, animal cruelty.
In 1963 forensic psychiatrist J.M. Macdonald wrote a paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry that identified three behavioural characteristics that were associated with later violent tendencies. The Macdonald Triad as they became to be known were: bed wetting, obsession with fire, and animal cruelty.
The idea that deriving satisfaction from killing living creatures would warp psychological processes is not
. . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Hurting Animals Hurts You
I wonder what colour the sky is in the land of Fox News. I really do. The level in inaccuracy and partisan slant censorship present is an obscene injustice against the American people and their right to know what is done in their name. Certainly we can make fun of our ignorant neighbours down south, but we’re missing the point, we should be ridiculing their fatuous news media for the gross veil of ignorance that twists how Americans see themselves and the world.
Filed under: Media Tagged: Faux News, fox news mendacity, Liberal Viewer, Torture
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Fox News – Misinformation on Tap 24/7
It is public knowledge now that the Bush administration used brutal torture procedures on 9/11 suspects and other detainees – such as water-boarding and sleep deprivation. This method of torture is illegal under the U.S. laws. Since these illegal activities by the Bush administration many experts have come forward and stated that torture does not work and that a person being tortured would say whatever investigators want to hear. A former CIA operative Glenn L. Carle wrote a book on the subject matter. In his book he clearly states that torture does not work and he states:
. . . → Read More: LeDaro: Does torture work?
The Bush/Cheney minions scrambled to retrieve – and destroy – every copy and they got them all – except one. What they were after was a memo, a memo about torture, written by Philip Zelikow, counselor to then State Secretary Condoleeza Rice.
The Bushies missed one that survived in the State Department and was released yesterday through a Freedom of Information request.
The memo argues that the Convention Against Torture, and the Constitution’s prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, do indeed apply to the CIA’s use of “waterboard[ing], walling, dousing, stress positions, and cramped confinement.” Zelikow further
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The One That Got Away from Bush/Cheney