Taking notes 11: Torture is wrong but so is the supreme war crime

by Coleen Rowley A number of human rights issues converged on Friday January 11, 2013. In Washington DC and many other cities around the country, including the Twin Cities, people will don orange “Gitmo” jumpsuits and black hoods to protest the 11th year anniversary-travesty of Guantanamo as well as the (bizarrely coincidental) national release of the  despicable, CIA-inspired “zero conscience” film that falsely conveys the message that torture “works” and is somehow heroic. The third, far less known issue involves the resignation (effective on January 11) of Suzanne Nossel, Director of Amnesty International-USA.  Her resignation after only one year as American Director would be … Continue reading Taking notes 11: Torture is wrong but so is the supreme war crime

The economics of well-being

by Mark Anielski I have a dream: to design, build and enhance economies of well-being around the world. It is time for a complete overhaul of our national accounting systems that for over 60 years has measured progress too narrowly according to how much money changes hands as measured by the GDP (gross domestic product). I believe it is time to develop economies of well-being based on the known determinants of happiness and by measuring the things that contribute most to the well-being of human beings and nature. This new accounting system that measures the conditions of well-being must be … Continue reading The economics of well-being

A new age of reason

by Ali Shehzad Zaidi There is no better time, in this age of global warming and mass extinction of species, to rediscover the liberating thought of Thomas Paine, which recalls that of mystics and poets of many ancient cultures. In his iconoclastic The Age of Reason, published in 1794, Paine transfers the locus of the sacred from religious texts to the material Book of Nature, since “it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man” (Age 29). With these words, Paine anticipates the emergent romanticism of his times by envisioning … Continue reading A new age of reason

Taking notes 2

With the recent downgrading of almost ten Eurozone states by Standard & Poor’s from their so-called triple-A ratings thanks to their debts, sage Euro policymakers have railed against them and the other two agencies, Moody’s and Fitch. The claim by these staunch Europeans is that these credit rating agencies were too quick in downgrading their debt ridden countries from their much coveted ‘AAA’ status despite these chronic economies succumbing to ‘bailouts and austerity programmes’. Coincidentally, as if by the magic of the ‘free market’ some new characters have appeared on the scene called Berger and Krall to launch a European … Continue reading Taking notes 2

Why socialism?

by Albert Einstein Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is. Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological … Continue reading Why socialism?