Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ethics and the Olympian ideal?

I've not paid too much attention to the Olympics... or looked into the protests surrounding it - until now. I came across a piece at The Conscious Earth laying out the distasteful history of Chinese intervention in Tibet going back to the invasion in 1948. I have a great respect for the results of China's economic renaissance which has done much to reduce poverty in China ( and hence on a global scale). It's sadly clear that there is still a long way to go to in improving the state ethics there. Read the blog.... I've just copied here the final piece which is a quote from the Dalai Lama

"It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than when we found it. This is not quite such as difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because (our action) seems inconsequential, it does not mean that we should not do it."

Monday, 18 August 2008

News travels...

I read a blog item on Henrik Alexandersson's blog on the shifting boundaries of legislation in the surveillance state... with a link to a Swedish article about the latest proposals in the UK to give councils and other agencies access to stored information on your calls and internet access.

But that article was a citing an article at Times Online about the governments proposals for implementing the EU directive covering monitoring of telecoms usage. The comments to the article were full as you might expect with criticism of the heavy hand of Big Brother. ..but one in particular caught my eye...

"It clearly infringes on everyone's right to privacy. What will those control freaks devise next - a scheme by which everyone's mail will be opened and logged, or will they just demand that the populace is microchipped and fitted with tracking devices "to prevent crime"?

Paul C. Dickie, Stockport, UK"

Welcome to Sweden!

A bear with a sore head?

The Russian bear wants respect. It wants to be seen to be strong and powerful. Have you noticed?

Russia has a good deck to play with - an expanding economy and rich mineral resources - and a strong academic and scientific tradition. Lots of things going for it - but today it plays it's cards like a shoddy crook - or the schoolyard bully. It's led by politicians that don't trust their vision and abilities enough to put them to an honest vote - or to allow a free and open press - and it behaves internationally as if the whole world ran on the same principles that internal politics are based on - the same ones that earn Russia a placing of 143/179 in Transparency International's 2007 Corruption Perception Index. It's hardly the stuff great nations are made of now is it???

And it's such a shame. Russia doesn't need to throw it's weight around to get respect. (Bullies don't earn respect... ..ask George Bush). Imagine if the Bear cleaned it's act up internally, stopped throwing it's weight around with the neighbours and committed to a peaceful collaboration with it's trading partners. With it's resources and geography it won't have to try too hard to succeed - and a secure and honest society free from crime and corruption would suck in investment from all parts of the globe.

Imagine a thriving vigorous Russia joining the EU. What a powerhouse it would be... What a nation to be proud of... a land of science and arts built on commerce - not corruption.

Brer Bear, please, do the world a favour. Be GREAT!! all the right ways.

Be a land that would make your grandfathers proud.

United in delusion

"A nation is a society united by delusions about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbors".
- William Ralph Inge

Nationalism.. with religion.. the scourge of the earth.

At a time when the Olympics are the source of so much national pride about sporting achievement we witness another contest - the worst fruits of nationalism. Patriots from Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia all ready to make life a misery for someone else to claim 'their' land... to 'enoble' their nation. It makes me sad.

And when the blood is spilt and a thousand new feuds begun.. what have they gained these patriots. Sow misery in your fields and what do you hope to reap?
Go home, shake hands with your neighbour and have done.

The earth is mute. She doesn't hear your claims...

Thursday, 7 August 2008

An inconvenient truth?

It is repeatedly used as an argument by those defending the FRA legislation that the FRA are only going to look at a small bit of the traffic - the bit that has to do with nasty evil terrorists... ignoring the fact that you can't find the bits you're interested in without looking through the rest.
(A good critique of the governments position as put in a letter to the Moderaterna membership is here... in Swedish)

It's hard to believe that they can't understand that looking through all international traffic constitues mass-surveillance - so you're left with the conclusion that they choose not to see it that way. A complicit deception.

In the comments to the post linked above I found this quote which I thought summed it all up rather well...

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Joseph Goebbels.

What was that about the FRA-law being needed to protect against external threats to the state?

Monday, 4 August 2008

Thou shalt not kill?

A man will die unless you choose to defer his lethal sentence...
If you choose not to defer the sentence you choose to kill him.

And yet you did choose not to defer the sentence.
You deliberately chose to kill him.

Yes, You have the power to kill..
..but not the moral right.

Especially not for you George...

A devout Christian?