Posted by: quiscus | July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010

1.  “Does Israel Make Us Safer?

There was not a single act of Arab terrorism against Americans before 1968, when the U.S. became the chief supplier of military equipment and economic aid to Israel. In light of this fact, it’s difficult to credibly sustain the argument that Arab terrorism is spawned by Islam’s alleged promotion of violence and antipathy toward American culture or by a “natural” Arab anti-Semitism. It also suggests that no matter what policies Israel enacts to protect itself—even a withdrawal from the occupied territories or a two-state “solution”—it must be a perpetual wartime state.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-04/thaddeus-russell-does-us-support-for-israel-threatens-american-safety/

2.  “BP’s Relief Well Is Not a Slam Dunk

Indeed, even now – in the midst of the worst oil spill in history – BP is still trying to cut costs instead of doing everything it can to stop the oil gusher as soon as humanly possible. As the Guardian notes:

The search for the Macondo would go faster if BP were using measurement while drilling tools, whereby sensors installed in the drill string send the appropriate readings back to the surface, said Langlinais. However, that equipment is hugely expensive. Instead, BP is relying on a process that involves swapping the drill bit for the line carrying the sensor.”

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

3.  “Some Thoughts on “Patriotism” Written on July 4

Most important thought: I’m sick and tired of this thing called “patriotism”.

At the end of World War II, the United States gave moral lectures to their German prisoners and to the German people on the inadmissibility of pleading that their participation in the holocaust was in obedience to their legitimate government. To prove to them how legally and morally inadmissable this defense was, the World War II allies hanged the leading examples of such patriotic loyalty.

I was once asked after a talk: “Do you love America?” I answered: “No”. After pausing for a few seconds to let that sink in amidst several nervous giggles in the audience, I continued with: “I don’t love any country. I’m a citizen of the world. I love certain principles, like human rights, civil liberties, democracy, an economy which puts people before profits.”

“Patriotism is the conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. … The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” — George Orwell 8

“Pledges of allegiance are marks of totalitarian states, not democracies,” says David Kertzer, a Brown University anthropologist who specializes in political rituals. “I can’t think of a single democracy except the United States that has a pledge of allegiance.” 9 Or, he might have added, that insists that its politicians display their patriotism by wearing a flag pin. Hitler criticized German Jews and Communists for their internationalism and lack of national patriotism, demanding that “true patriots” publicly vow and display their allegiance to the fatherland. In reaction to this, postwar Germany has made a conscious and strong effort to minimize public displays of patriotism.
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20038

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