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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

St Augustine, Harry Potter and the definition of evil

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I found this amazing lecture while researching the issue of the church and pop culture for my college small group.

Written by neehi

July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

ID Laws – Israel Teaches Arizona A Lesson

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Thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank may soon be evicted or face criminal charges by Israeli authorities, the Israeli daily Haaretz has said.

An amendment to an Israeli military order on “preventing infiltration” could soon stipulate that residents of the West Bank without ID cards may now need one issued by the occupying authorities.

Anyone without such a document could either be expelled or jailed.

Haaretz said the new order would likely be used first against Palestinians in the West Bank with Gaza ID cards and the foreign spouses of Palestinians living in the territory.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland explains.

Written by Aaron Nee

May 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

From Guantanamo to Palau

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This video is not new but I’ve only just been introduced to it thanks to my friendship with folks from Witness Against Torture who, among other things, do advocacy and demonstrations on behalf of Guantanamo detainees.  This segment from a British news show, Dateline, addresses the temporary resettlement in Palau of several Uighur men who had been imprisoned at Guantanamo for the last eight years.  There are interviews with the men, shots of their first opportunity to cook, discussion of the pressure from China that keeps these men from reaching their hoped for destination (Australia), etc.  I found the account is particularly poignant when watched in light of the following  words from an attorney, “These men have never committed any terrorist acts…never had any terrorist training…”

Written by amynee

May 4, 2010 at 6:37 am

Beyond The 6 Million Dollar Man – Nano Technology and the Future of the Human Race

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We are a strange creature, us humans.  Rather than wait around for natural selection to weed out a defective trait, we have learned to use our tool making abilities to fashion some bit of technology that will correct the defect.  Eyes aren’t working well?  No need to let that diminish your fitness, we’ll just make glasses and you’re good as new.  Irregular heartbeat?  We’ll make you a pacemaker and you’re back in business.

Thus far there has been little outcry about the ethical implications of glasses, pacemakers, prosthetics and other restorative technology.  Our species has, however, reached a new threshold.  Through advances in genetic engineering and nano technology, we are entering the territory of not mere human restoration, but human enhancement.  We have moved beyond short circuiting our evolution, and now have begun exploring designing the human of the future.

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The Cable That Solved The Mystery

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On the 21st of December, 1976 a car bomb detonated in downtown Washington DC, killing former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his 26-year old American colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffitt.  The assassination was part of “Condor”, a multinational collaboration between Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and several other Latin American military dictatorships.   Condor’s aim was to find and kill opponents of the conspiring regimes.  Senior US State Department officials were tipped off to the assassination plans and arrangements were made to send a diplomatic démarche which expressed “our deep concern” over “plans for the assassination of subversives, politicians, and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad.”  The US ambassador’s instructions to deliver the démarche however were rescinded and five days latter one of the Condor assassinations exploded in DC.

A long standing mystery has been Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s role in rescinding the Condor démarche, but with the uncovering of Kissinger’s cable, the answer to that mystery has finally come to light.  Earlier this week, The National Security Archive published it’s report on the new revelation that it was in fact Kissinger himself who blocked any further action being taken to deter the “Condor scheme”.

IF you want to learn more on the subject of Kissinger, Chile and Pinochet, a wealth of information can be found at the National Security Archives.  Also, audio recordings of Kissinger and Nixon discussing Chile were posted on Knosha in 2008 and are worth going back to for a listen.  While you’re at it, you may want to give this a listen too:

Don’t Tell Glenn Beck

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Proposal for a fifth Socialist International on Znet – http://www.zcommunications.org/fifth-international-by-michael-albert

What is the socialist international? http://socialistinternational.org/about.cfm

Proposal for a participatory Socialist International – http://www.zcommunications.org/newinternational.htm

Written by Aaron Nee

April 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

The Human Cost of Leaves

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You’ve probably noticed a growing awareness among consumers, awareness of where the things they buy come from and what the human cost is associated with that product.  It becomes difficult to buy a pair of shoes or a lousy T-shirt without asking “Am I supporting an abusive industry?”

A seemingly unrelated topic is that of the US’s awkward transition into legalizing Marijuana.  The clumsy shift in the law is made comically evident here in California, where laughable billboards advertise “medical” Marijuana cards and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.  The drug is understood by many to be an innocent offense – illegal but harmless.  Soon, perhaps very soon, it will be legal to grow and sell cannabis, but in the mean time, the same question we ask about our clothing and cheep electronics applies to Marijuana.  Where is it coming from?  Who is getting hurt to get it here?

There was a recent article in McClatchy that highlights Mexico’s expressed frustration toward the US’s flirtations with legalizing Marijuana.  There are those among our Southern neighbors who believe the US is undermining Mexico’s attempts to control the violent drug cartels that plague the country.

Tim Johnson’s article is worth reading and Mexico’s concerns warrant consideration as the US continues forward in developing new drug laws.

Written by Aaron Nee

March 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm