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Category Archives: Human/Civil rights

The solution to the problem of outcasting is not more outcasting

So, the new (since March) CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich made a $1000 private donation in 2008 to the Proposition 8 cause. So, he is–or at least was in 2008–against equal protection of the law for (some) of his fellow citizens. A somewhat problematic proposition; one of a series of such propositions with a long […]

Moving along the emancipation sequence

Christina Odone, former deputy editor of The New Statesman, in the course of arguing that religious believers are being pushed out of public life by a new intolerance, drew attention to the Law Society revoking permission for a conference on traditional marriage to be held on its premises. Suppose it had been a conference on […]

Selfie Service

Tens of thousands of South Africans have joined dozens of world leaders for the national memorial service for former President Nelson Mandela. The service was held in front of a vociferous crowd in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela was a “giant of history”, describing him as the last […]

Social bully politics

I have previously articulated what I call the paradox of politics (or the paradox of rulership)–we need the state to protect us from social predators but the state itself is the most dangerous social predator. The paradox can never be solved, merely managed more or less well. The guardian delusion The delusion that one can solve […]

Learning all the wrong lessons

[I've brought this post over from Thoughts on Liberty, in part because I don't know whether David Cameron's desire to channel Stephen Conroy has yet reached Australian shores. Australia is a small country - one should expect its experiences to be either ignored or misunderstood in larger countries - however, I think that this level […]

Go refract yourselves

“Law-abiding” citizens have “nothing to fear” from the British intelligence services, the foreign secretary says. William Hague said reports that the UK’s eavesdropping centre GCHQ had circumvented the law to gather data on British citizens were “nonsense”. But he refused to confirm or deny claims GCHQ has had access to a US spy programme called […]

Sometimes, there are no lessons

‘We must do something, here is something, let’s do that thing’ is one of the most seductive wrong routes those in power can take in the wake of an act of terror. Initially praised for his unwillingness to be drawn into the usual epidemic of jerking knees that breaks out whenever awful stuff happens in […]

Coke and Carob

JULIA Gillard has denounced the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement ahead of anti-Israeli protest action planned at the University of NSW today. BDS action at UNSW has turned ugly, with anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying material appearing on a Facebook page opposing the opening of a Max Brenner chocolate shop on campus. Postings on a Facebook page […]

What’s left out

In a his excellent The World Is Not Enough blog, Charles Richardson comments on an essay by Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz.  Gurvitz’s essay applies the analogy of Germans expelled from the Sudetenland, Silesia, Prussia etc after 1945 to the Palestinians expelled from Israel in 1947-48. As Charles notes, it is a revealing analogy. But revealing not […]

So, Sandy Hook II

A friend who works in the City sent me the picture on the left; it is an advertisement for the Bushmaster .223, the rifle used in Sandy Hook. He’d attached it to a report indicating that Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns much of the Freedom Group–of which Bushmaster is part–was trying to […]