ReasonINC

Reason; as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct

Month: May, 2014

Poignant Satirical Illustrations

Part 1 – (http://imgur.com/a/lkgik)

Part 2 – (https://imgur.com/gallery/idu3E)

“An army marches on its stomach. He – or that – who controls our stomachs controls it all.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Glenn Greenwald: ‘US Takes a Break From Condemning Tyranny to Celebrate Obama’s Visit to Saudi Arabia’

Glenn Greenwald: ‘US Takes a Break From Condemning Tyranny to Celebrate Obama’s Visit to Saudi Arabia’

It would be easy to fill any number of books with examples of political lies and hypocrisy. The only surprising thing at this point would be if David Cameron or Barack Obama’s governments would consider a political position too unethical, too implausible or too contradictory to run with. We can only hope that such political abandon is a sign of the pride that comes before the fall. Unsettlingly, it is the far right, in Europe at least, that is benefiting from the more and more outrageous actions of Western governments. It is a shame that as our digital records and communication networks allow examples of the corruption of our leaders to be shared and immortalised, we as a people still seem to group most readily to the type of reactionary positions one would wish were a thing of the distant past; nationalist positions blaming our problems on an ‘enemy’ from outside. Is it not obvious that that angle is just a convenient scapegoat for our own collective failings? Have we not matured to the point of understanding that we are all humans and that the thing borders block the immigration of the most effectively is positive progress and an understanding that the only problems we should be focusing on are all shared? Further, it would be nice if it could be seen that these nationalist movements (that reliably gain momentum in times of destitution and economic hardship) are merely just an opportune angle for another person to claim with confidence that they can explain why our problems are to blame on their competitors. It is a shame that the surprising day will be when we wake up to just how dangerous this pendular political game is when we need real progress and unity as quickly as possible.

 

At least there is the consolation of some of the great thinkers of the world, particularly those who are also unafraid to stand as a minority for what they believe is right. Glenn Greenwald is as good as they come right now and his publication, The Intercept, seems to be peerless in framing the actions of governing states in a fair and representative way. The outrage that you can feel from his writing as he expresses his shock at what we are letting our leaders get away with is to me extremely reassuring.

(https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/28/us-takes-break-condemning-tyranny-celebrate-obamas-visit-saudi-arabia/) – Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept.

Photos from North Korea

Photos from North Korea

Some very insightful, if perhaps irresponsible, photos showing much more of every day life than we are usually able to see. I just worry a bit about the safety of some of the people photographed.

(http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/the-photos-north-korea-didnt-want-you-to-see/story-e6frfqai-1226919844504)

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy

I always like Christopher Hitchens’ assertion that he knew an enemy when he saw one. In a world where many humanitarian, or environmental, atrocities seem to have their foundations in our societal tendency to react irrationally to our fears, Jenny McCarthy is an enemy to reason if ever there was one. It is easy to imagine her, in another age, pointing at someone she was afraid of (or didn’t understand) and screaming ‘witch’, but in fairness I should root my examples of her character in the many factual episodes she affords us (like in the excellent piece from The New Yorker I paste below). One excerpt I liked was: ‘When people disagree with her views on television, McCarthy has been known to refute scientific data by shouting “bullshit.”’

I also put links below to a website called ‘Jenny McCarthy Body Count’ and a video of her utterly intolerable recent behavior towards Bill Nye.

(http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/07/jenny-mccarthys-dangerous-views.html)

(http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Home.html)

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJj0JlcFKzY)

“Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” – George Eliot, from Middlemarch

“that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence” – Christopher Hitchens

“If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm” – African Proverb

“What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘ I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” – George Orwell, ‘Essays: Why I write’