Accomodating torture

by Robert Weitzel


On February 13 the Senate narrowly passed-on a 51-45 party-line vote-an intelligence bill that will, among other things, ban waterboarding as an ‘enhanced interrogation technique,’ a Bush-era euphemism for torture. Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese, traded his principled stance against waterboarding for a White House endorsement of his candidacy and voted against the ban. Torture is now officially a plank in the GOP platform. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama were too busy campaigning to go on congressional record as either supporting or opposing the ban...

The age of barbarism light

Asia Times
by Karen Greenberg


Upon entering one of a series of gloomy, cave-like rooms, filled with the implements of the dismal craft that had its heyday from the 15th to the 18th centuries, you would notice a range of mechanical devices and iron tools (also illustrated in drawings galore), all once meant to pierce, prod, or otherwise drive some poor heretic into the agony of confession. Often in those years before video cameras were available, all this was done in public sight. And then, as you wound your way through the exhibit, you would come upon one of its centerpiece displays — the ‘water torture table’ to which Bradbury alludes...

Core values

Strike the Root
by Glen Allport


Love for others, compassionate treatment and respect for children, and the understanding that this world (including the experience within each one of us) is important regardless of any world beyond — these things would seem undeniably healthy and positive...

The 4 main kinds of ethics: An introduction

Rebirth of Reason
by Ed Thompson


Morality is about the kinds of things that need to be done in order to live well as a human being. When different ethics compete, they compete by taking different positions on what it means for us to live well as human beings. Sometimes, for instance, guarding and defending the welfare of animals, or the ‘welfare’ of nature, is taken to be what it is that is needed for us to live well as human beings. Other times it has been supposedly understood that always doing whatever you feel like doing is what is needed for us to live well as human beings. At still other times it has been supposedly-understood that a following just a few key rules would make everything right. The purpose of this short essay is to introduce the 4 main ways that we can think about morality and to get a glimpse at how those 4 mutually-exclusive and altogether-exhaustible views result in radically different ethical recommendations...

Individualism, the collectivists’ nemesis

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Tibor R. Machan


It is individualism that the American Founders elevated into political prominence and it is individualism that most politicians and governments, including America’s, find most annoying because it is the bulwark against arbitrary power. If, as the Declaration of Independence states, individual human beings have unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no one may violate these rights. Every adult individual is sovereign, a self-ruler and not subject to the rule of others...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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