In case you didn't know, a tornado touched down in Oklahoma, killing at least 51 people (20 children among them). We can't control the weather, we can try to stop climate change before it gets worse, and we can definitely help build solidarity networks to respond to emergency situations. FEMA is too busy picking which trees to cut down in the San Francisco Bay area.
You can’t have a state enforced monopoly currency controlled by private banking interests along with corporations with state granted limited liability and allow corporations to destroy natural capital without legal limit and expect anything other than what we see: a dominated market (mistakenly called free), accelerating inequality and the destruction of our world for corporate profit as corporate power grows as an externalization maximizing enterprise. All the major industries destroy more natural capital than financially create. The faster these industries grow in their current carbon-centric form the faster the planet becomes less hospitable to human life. “More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.“ If it took one second to read the name of each person that didn’t have to die it would take 1157 days to finish reading that list. (To say nothing of growing environmental toxicity linked to higher rates of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders).
In addition, under the current social paradigm continuing development in software and robotics permanently increase unemployment.
“Published on Apr 26, 2013
The violent Boston rampage triggered a local and federal response that, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald, adds a new dimension to troubling questions about government secrecy, overreach, and what we sacrifice in the name of national security. Greenwald joins Bill to peel back layers that reveal what the Boston bombings and drone attacks have in common, and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power.”
Dear Mr. Dreves:
Thank you for contacting me in support of reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. We are in agreement.
Aaron Swartz’s tragic suicide was a stark reminder of one of the major flaws in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act- The law makes no distinction between online criminal activity such as fraud and violating the terms of service of a website. Both can lead to years in jail and astronomical fines. Online crimes that defraud people or companies deserve such stiff penalties. Violating the terms of service of a website does not.
Aaron Swartz faced 13 felony indictments for downloading too many articles from the JSTOR database, which he had legal access to. No one knows what he intended to do with the articles. This was a violation of JSTOR’s terms of service, not a crime deserving of up to 35 years in jail and a $1 million fine.
JSTOR called Aaron’s activity a “significant misuse” of their database, but stated that it would not pursue civil action against him. Federal prosecutors decided to press charges against Aaron anyway. It is time that the Justice Department got its priorities straight and went after the real criminals in society, not people like Aaron. I am absolutely stunned that the Justice Department found the time and resources to prosecute Aaron for a contract violation when they have failed to even propose a criminal prosecution for any activity on Wall Street that collapsed our economy in 2008.
My colleague Rep. Zoe Lofgren is in the process of drafting Aaron’s Law, which would treat the violation of a website’s terms of service as a breach of contract rather than criminal activity. She has posted a draft of the bill for review on Reddit, a website that Aaron helped create. Once this bill has been reviewed by the online community and introduced in Congress, I look forward to supporting it.
Thanks again for writing. Please continue to keep in touch.
Imagine going to work every day and at the start of your day, with your first cup of coffee, you sit down to glance at beheadings, children in the process of being raped, human bodies in various stages of decomposition, the living and dead results of domestic violence, hanging bodies of 10 year old boys accused of being gay, real-life snuff films and bloody dog fighting rings and their subsequent results.
Via The Independent:
He’s the television comedian best known for controversial jokes about swimmer Rebecca Adlington, The Queen and people with Down’s syndrome.
But Frankie Boyle is now using his fame, and wealth, for more serious ends, by donating tens of thousands of pounds of his money to help Britain’s last inmate at Guantanamo Bay to sue the MI6.
There are ways to have a conversation and there are ways to talk past each other. If you can’t imagine what it’s like to believe what the other person does, if you can’t take that subjective experience seriously, you won’t be able to reach most of those people. This is an important conversation because our beliefs and values orient our behavior and habits.
Atheist and religious folk are making incompatible claims about the way the world works and hence our place in it. The non-overlapping magisteria notion is hogwash. There was never an unbridgeable gulf between facts and values and never could be. Values presuppose facts about the world and the way that it works, i.e. your values can assume things that aren’t true (facts about human nature, for example). If a value is premised on a falsehood its expression can cause unnecessary harm.
The fact of the matter is, although we presuppose our notions about the world correspond perfectly with the world as it is, this just isn’t so. So what we are talking about when we’re talking about atheism and religious belief are our notions and how they relate to the world.
Some religious folk seem to believe that some personal experience internally labelled “divine” or “God” is evidence of an external objective deity of some kind (most likely as evidence to support the existence of whichever particular deity of whichever particular mythic tradition they’ve been steeped in). Evidentially speaking it does nothing of the sort.
Some atheist folk, never having tasted a “mystical” experience, have no notion of what it might feel like to experience something reasonably called “divine.”
In both cases people are talking about one’s experience of reality, and usually unjustifiably assuming a whole lot more.
These come to mind: