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The Nobel Peace Prize Watch

February 24, 2015 Leave a comment

The Nobel Peace Prize Watch.

The Nobel Peace Prize has become tainted over the past 25 years as it is being awarded over and over to people and organizations that have repeatedly acted against the tenets of the will in which Alfred Nobel stated his intention. The will is a legal instrument, with a binding obligation of its stewards. When the stewards act against its stipulations and fail to honor its purpose, then the committee is breaking the law.

This has become a matter being taken up in both the Swedish and Norwegian parliaments. If the challenge is successful, the Nobel Committee may yet be stripped of its authority.

I think this will still take 10 years longer to become a reality. But the people who are demanding a faithful and legal obligation to the Nobel testament will ultimately prevail. It is my hope that it will be before the escalating militarism in the world and the rising destructive powers of the world’s weapons makes life next to impossible in much of the region of eastern Europe, north Africa, and west Asia uninhabitable.

Video: Jeremy Scahill & Noam Chomsky on Secret U.S. Dirty Wars From Yemen to Pakistan to Laos | Democracy Now!

May 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Video: Jeremy Scahill & Noam Chomsky on Secret U.S. Dirty Wars From Yemen to Pakistan to Laos | Democracy Now!.

Please take an hour to watch and think about what is discussed in this video.  Secret wars are being fought by the U.S. around the world, with thousands of people dying every day.  There is so much that ordinary people can do to stop these things from happening, yet we mostly just let our ignorance be an excuse to allow it to continue.

In the talk, Chomsky refers to Thomas Jefferson’s quote about fearing God’s ultimate judgement of our actions in life.  His reference is about how the past several Presidents of the U.S. should not only be judged by God, but also by, at least, public perception.  We should know the extent to their criminal activity and their blatant disregard for the health, education, and welfare of so many people around the world.

I have always been fond of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous saying, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” To be silently complacent, because it is the most consistent and benign approach to life, is not only an act of cowardice, but shows, ultimately, the small and insignificant character of a “little mind.”

Categories: Food for Thought, Security

From TED: Stephen Coleman on The moral dangers of non-lethal weapons

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Most people who know me probably realize that I have a grave mistrust of unmitigated power and authority, particularly any entity empowered with weapons. Simply put, I’m not very fond of the military or police, wherever they hail from.

I think a lot of people would agree that weapons that can kill are quite dangerous – if you disagree, then you have quite a different understanding of the meaning of danger – and that they should be employed with great caution. Still, many would say that it is imperative that people with adequate training, experience, and authority have such weapons (of last resort), because a great many “bad people” have them and our society expects and deserves “security”. I, on the other hand, feel quite insecure that it is not only common, but deemed necessary in our world, for weapons of death to be maintained in substantial numbers throughout our communities. I just don’t feel any more secure that some “good guys” have guns and bombs to stop “bad guys” that have them too.

On the other hand, I believe that there has been much attention spent over the past few decades on non-lethal weapons, because they are considered to be more ethical than those that are intended to produce lethal consequences. Put bluntly, it is considered okay for police and the military to use weapons that won’t kill you in order to maintain security. Of course, sometimes these weapons do kill people, but these are unintended and accidental consequences – so they are excusable.

I find this to be inexplicable and morally indefensible. I just can’t imagine how any device that is intended to hurt or maim a person (even temporarily) is somehow more ethical than using a weapon that can kill that person. I believe fundamentally in the Golden Rule. Real safety and security cannot be achieved via an escalation of violence, nor through the threat of that escalation.

The presentation appended below, from a TED talk given by Stephen Coleman at TEDxCanberra underscores my concerns.

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