Apr
19

Guinness Book of Warmongering

Tag: Peace and War

My son left a 2015 Guinness Book of World Records lying around. It's largely a mix of athletic feats, extravagant spending, freakish body conditions and diseases, and people who do dumb stuff in order to get into the book. It also features two sections focused on mass-murder. One celebrates the technology used to kill people. In that section, the United States is featured almost exclusively. The other section looks more at the wars, killing, and dying. In that section, the United States could not be avoided, but every effort was made.

Starting with the celebration of the tools of death, Guinness chooses to include these awards for the United States of America:

Apr
18

The Really Strangest Dream

Tag: Peace and War

Watch the video:

What in the world is he singing about? This: http://davidswanson.org/outlawry

Apr
17

What's the Truth Hidden by the "Super Predators" Lie?

Tag: Civil Rights, Prison Industry, Race Relations

The desire to punish for the joy of punishing, for revenge, or for racist or sadistic domination has always had certain difficulties hiding behind the pretense of punishing for protection from danger. Creating fear of (young, black, male) "super predators" was a propaganda tactic for politicians like Hillary Clinton that bore some similarity to the efforts by politicians like Hillary Clinton to create fear of Iraqi weapons that didn't exist. The latter was meant to hide U.S. aggression toward Iraq. The former was meant to hide mad, raging punitive vindictiveness that sought to put lots of people in cages for lots of time regardless of the damage done.

One of the difficulties that pretending to punish people for public safety has in hiding real motives for mass incarceration is that the people whom the punishers most want to lock up for the longest time (or execute) are generally the least likely people to commit another crime (even if guilty of the first one). A 2009 study cited in the remarkable new book, Boy With a Knife, found that those who had been incarcerated for homicide were the very least likely to commit any kind of crime. In California in 2011 almost 49% of prisoners released later returned to prison for new criminal convictions, but that figure was less than 1% for those released who had been convicted of murder.

Apr
14

The Catholic Church is Now More Advanced Than U.S. Philosophy Departments

Tag: Peace and War, Philosophy

It ought to be with considerable embarrassment that I say this, as an atheist who thinks religion does far more harm than good, and that it does so not only through the pretense that death isn't real but first and foremost through the promotion of blind obedience to supposedly infallible authority. Yet, I don't feel any sort of group loyalty or opposition to the parties involved here, and I'm actually entirely thrilled to recognize the good news that the Catholic Church has now surged far ahead of U.S. academia in the basic measure of opposition to institutionalized mass murder.

The Catholic Church has a great deal to answer for over the centuries, from the dehumanization of much of humanity to the normalization of "collateral damage." The idea of a "just war" has been propped up by flimsy arguments for many, many years, leaning on the notion of divine sanction. But the current Pope has had enough of it. He's just held a conference in Rome on rejecting any further use of "just war" sophism to prop up mass killing. Not long back he told the United States Congress to end the bloody arms trade. He understands the connection between war waging and arms dealing. Once we admit that all war is evil, we can reject as evil the enormous business U.S. corporations do in providing much of the weaponry. As long as we pretend that some wars are good ones, the industrial complex that arms the wars and in large part produces the wars can roll on.

Apr
14

The Habit of Thought That Made U.S. #1 in Prisons and Wars

Tag: Peace and War, Philosophy, Political Ideas

By David Swanson, American Herald TribuneRemarks prepared for April 12 event in Baltimore.

I'm going to start with a few brief opening remarks about what I think is the habit of thought that has made the United States #1 in the world in prisons and wars. And then I'll be glad to try to answer as many questions as you think of. These remarks will be published online at American Herald Tribune.

No matter how long I debunk and refute and mock and condemn arguments for wars, I continue over and over again to conclude that I'm still giving advocates for war too much credit. How ever little I take seriously as rational ideas the notions that U.S. wars can be defensive or humanitarian or peace-keeping, it's always too much. Wars' supporters, in large part, do not themselves actually hold such beliefs. Rather they have a lust for war that must be examined outside of any question of utilitarian impact.

I'm referring here to the mental processes of both top officials deciding to wage war, and ordinary members of the U.S. public expressing their approval. Of course, the two are not identical. Motives of profit are hushed up, while phony motives such as waging wars in order to "support the troops" are manufactured for public consumption but never ever mentioned in the private emails of war makers. Nonetheless, there is great overlap in the thinking of all members of a culture, including the thinking of cynical politicians in a corrupt regime, and there are points on which virtually all politicians, from best to worst, agree without giving the matter any thought.

 British anti-war protesters demonstrate outside army headquarters in Northwood, Middlesex, January 19, 2003.
Apr
13

Ten Revealing War Lies

By David Swanson, TeleSUR

Remarks prepared for event in Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2016.

Apr
12

Why Do Ethics Classes Fantasize About Murder So Much?

Tag: Philosophy

At a post-screening discussion where I questioned the director of Eye in the Sky about the disconnect between his drone-kill movie and reality, he launched into a bunch of thought-experiment stuff of the sort I've tried to avoid since finishing my master's in philosophy. Mostly I've avoided hanging out with torture supporters.

If this were a philosophy paper I would now tell you that I am going to show that consequentialism is the most useful ethical framework. Then I would show you that. Then I would tell you I'd just shown you that. And the annoyingness would be only beginning. Luckily, I'm out of school and have told you my central concern in the headline.

Consequentialism, the idea that we should base our actions on the good or bad of the expected consequences, has always been very troubling to philosophy professors, possibly because of some of these reasons:

> It leaves ethics up to humans without any sort of pseudo-divine guidance.

> It means otherwise brilliant people like Immanuel Kant were quite wrong.

> Concluding that consequentialism is the way to go would eliminate the entire academic discipline of debating what is the way to go.

Apr
12

Talk Nation Radio: Gregory Shupak on the Case Against Bombing ISIS

Tag: Peace and War, Talk Nation Radio

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-gregory-shupak-on-the-case-against-bombing-isis

Dr. Gregory Shupak has a PhD in Literary Studies and teaches Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Toronto. He is an activist and a fiction writer and his political analysis appears regularly on Jacobin, Middle East Eye, and elsewhere.He discusses these topics:

"The Case Against Bombing ISIS"

and

"Abolish the Military"

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Apr
12

Ten Revealing War Lies

Tag: War Is A Lie

OPEN FOR VIDEO:

Read the initial remarks as an article at teleSUR.

World Beyond War

RootsAction.org

War Is A Crime

Talk Nation Radio

There Is No Way To Peace

Peace is the way.

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