29 Oct 2018

Space Invaders And Palestinian Rights

Are humans too stupid to avoid an alien invasion? Pexels Images
By Amir Azarvan: Philosophers sometimes adopt an alien perspective as a useful way to try to take an objective view of human affairs. It is a thought experiment that I sometimes like to apply to the Palestinian question.
Imagine an alien collecting intelligence on planet Earth in order to determine whether humans are intelligent enough to successfully defend their world from an invasion. Among other barometers, the alien would take into consideration the manner in which humans handle their disagreements. Do the earthlings argue according to universal, inviolable laws of logic?
Now, when I hear people object to Palestinian rights by expressing the common refrain that the Palestinians don’t really exist as a nation, I imagine the alien instinct would reach a quick conclusion: “Oh, we can totally invade.”
For readers who aren’t very familiar with the Palestine issue, this is actually a thing. Several American commentators have adopted this idea, once expressed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who remarked that “there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian.” (Those Americans who adopt this inane argument tend to be the same faux patriots who chant “America first!” and yet are the first to subordinate national interests to those of foreign countries. But this particular bit of irony is not my focus here.)

Wall Street Destroys Another Retailer

Max and Stacy discuss the ‘dead meat’ walking that is Sears ‘restructuring’ during bankruptcy. After being asset-stripped to within an inch of its life, is there any hope for the walking corpse to turn it around? In the second half, Max continues his interview with Alasdair Macleod of GoldMoney.com about the credit cycle turning. They also discuss if gold will finally shine, despite interest rates rising, and whether or not China is really planning on ‘de-dollarization.’

White Males Are Still Treated As Cannon Fodder In The Campus Identity Wars

Mike Buchanan, J4MB: A piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times by their columnist Jenny McCartney:
Jenny McCartney: I’m already feeling a little sorry for Emily Dawes, the 21-year-old president of Southampton University’s students’ union, who sparked widespread fury with her tweet: “Mark my words — we’re taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.” Her choice of target was woefully misplaced: the mural was painted in 1916 by Sir William Rothenstein to commemorate members of British universities who fought in the First World War. Many of them died in water-logged trenches having barely attained adulthood.
It was a silly tweet — and not the only silly one in Dawes’s Twitter timeline. She has already apologised for “the offence and upset” and said that “upon reflection I have realised how inappropriate it was”. The tabloids have had a field day with her wealthy US family home and background, but the press shouldn’t be too hard on her: its own ranks are stuffed with journalists who spent their university years striking similar attention-seeking poses, which they now recall fondly as the political foibles of youth.

Discussing The Last Synagogue Shooting

Ex-Jew Gilad Atzmon: I was interviewed yesterday by Patrick Henningsen/Sunday Wire about the recent synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I offered my view of this tragic event and also allowed myself to offer an alternative view of the current dystopia. Unlike most liberals and so called ‘progressives,’ I see the constant rise in mass shooting events around the globe as a symptom of a radical shift in our human landscape. We are rapidly drifting away from empathy and tolerance. In the discussion I suggested that we better look at the root of that shift and identify the disease instead of focusing on the symptoms. ...The interview starts at around 22:30 and is about one hour long.

Thurman Blevins, Justine Damond And The Automatic Outgroup Derogation Of Men

By : Last summer in North Minneapolis, Thurman Blevins buried a sister he loved. Within days, his family was mourning him as well. He was dead. Shot in an alley after failing to outrun the police.
In a 911 call, Blevins was described as shooting a gun into the ground, with a specifically branded bottle of gin. Men often express their grief through public displays of aggression, such as shouting, or shooting, and/or drinking heavily.
Within 2.5 minutes of the police arrival, Thurman Blevins was dead, at the hands of police, in essence, for expressing his feelings.

National Secular Society: Barrister James Chegwidden And Ethicist Brian D Earp Talk About MGM Male Genital Mutilation

By Mike Buchanan, J4MB: The National Secular Society’s Healthcare & Secularism conference in Birmingham today was well worth attending, primarily (for myself and J4MB supporters) for two presentations on MGM, both of which were excellent. We’ll post the videos as soon as they’re made available.
The first presentation was given by James Chegwidden, a human right barrister, “One green bottle – male circumcision and the law”. More on James in a moment.
The second was given by Brian D Earp, “Gender or genital autonomy? Why framing non-therapeutic genital cutting as a children’s rights issue is both ethically and pragmatically necessary.” Brian is an American ethicist, based for some years at The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He flew from the US just for the conference, and is flying back this evening. We’ve linked to some excellent papers by Brian on the ethics of MGM and FGM in the past.
The video recording today was carried out by Richard Duncker, and I assume he’ll be doing the editing. For some time he’s run the website Men Do Complain. Last year he posted on the website a video of James Chegwidden giving a talk in 2016, “Not drowning, paddling: The English Court’s slow row to genital autonomy”. This is Richard’s introduction to the video:
Barrister James Chegwidden takes us through the English Court’s current views on genital autonomy.