Tag: Ethics

UK Court Rules Activists May Damage Coal-Fired Power Plants

Greenpeace activist on Kingsnorth Chimney

Yesterday, Sep. 10, 2008 a UK court acquitted six defendants from Greenpeace of all charges for their actions on Oct. 8, 2007, when they scaled a smokestack at the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station and attempted to shut it down. The defendants, accused of doing £30,000 in damage to the smokestack by  painting “Gordon Bin It” on its side, did not deny the damage but relied instead for their defense on the principle of lawful excuse. (For more on “lawful excuse” see here.)

In essence they argued that the plant was doing damage to other property through its greenhouse gas emissions on such a scale as to justify their damaging it.

Anti-landmine Campaigners Target War Robots w/poll

Original article by Jason Mick via Dailytech.com:

Warbots. Not just human controlled, but autonomous Warbots. Think about that for a minute

News From America!

It’s Thursday, and that means it is time to review the news from that cute little  heavily nuclear armed and aggressive country that lies on your map between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans!


Those adorable characters have certainly been busy! And speaking of Getting Busy, we simply must start off with John McCain and his lobbyist ‘friend.’ (A big wink of the all seeing eye!) As usual, those wacky Americans are in all in a tizzy and a buzz over, sex…..as if it was somehow shocking that an attractive lobbyist would seek career advancement and that a horny old goat would succumb to her charms! (was that TOO catty?) Human Nature and the birds and the bees at its best, it makes the world go round. And if the Senator who prides himself on his ethical behavior (ever since he was implicated in a billion dollar banking scandal that is!) happened to do a few favors for her…well, who can blame him! We have seen this Hollywood script before….oh wait! Our editor has just informed us that Senator McCain is the de facto Republican (an American political party….and come to think of it, weren’t they the ones who were in a uproar over “family values” just a while back? Heavens!) nominee for their presidency! We cannot help but wonder if these “shocking” developments will cause the Senator to withdraw from the race…what merry chaos would ensue!

In other news from the land of Big Macs and torture….

Waiting for Home Solar Panels?

Wouldn’t it be great if rooftops all over the country generated electricty from the sun?  It is rumored that Nicola Tesla, father of alternating current was given funding by American tycoon J.P. Morgan.  Tesla’s dream was free energy for all but J.P. said, “That’s all well and good Mr. Tesla, but where do I put my meter”.

I present a trade magazine article illustrating a barrier to implementing such an idea.  Read on while I translate the businessease doublespeak and compare it to other electronic business successes stories.

Law and Ethics for Non-Persons in U.S. Gulag

Last week the D.C. Court of Appeals threw out a suit by three British former prisoners at Gitmo, and in their ruling legitimated the use of torture at Guantanamo’s Camp Delta, saying that such “seriously criminal” actions by the government was “foreseen”, and that no one could be held responsible for following orders. It also stated that Guantanamo prisoners were not legally “persons.” Could I be making this up?

No chance. Here’s Scott Horton’s take at Harper’s:

Three British detainees held at Gitmo, who were seized for bounty payments for no good reason and who were pried free by the British Government, filed suit alleging that they had been tortured and denied their religious freedom. They sought redress from the authors of the Gitmo system, including former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who crafted a series of once-secret orders directing the Guantánamo torture system. Among the practices introduced and used were waterboarding, hypothermia, long-time standing, sleep deprivation in excess of two days and the use of psychotropic drugs-each of which constitutes torture under American law and under international standards. These orders and their implementation were criminal acts under United States law….

The judges hearing the case, all movement conservative Republicans appointed by a President named Bush- Karen LeCraft Henderson, Janice Rogers Brown and A. Raymond Randolph-concluded that the plaintiffs were not “persons” for purpose of the relevant statute protecting religious freedom. They further concluded that acts of torture and contempt and abuse targeting religious belief were within the legitimate scope of conduct of an American cabinet officer, so that official immunity blocked the suit.

Quintessential Climate Change: A Call For Action

“Climate” is a word with several definitions. From Answer.com, here’s the dictionary definition:

  1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
  2. A region of the earth having particular meteorological conditions: lives in a cold climate.
  3. A prevailing condition or set of attitudes in human affairs: a climate of unrest.

For additional clarity (at risk of exceeding “fair use” restrictions), here’s the thesaurus listing:

  1. The totality of surrounding conditions and circumstances affecting growth or development: ambiance, atmosphere, environment, medium, milieu, mise en scène, surroundings, world.
  2. A prevailing quality, as of thought, behavior, or attitude: mood, spirit, temper, tone.

So, to truly address “climate change” in today’s world, should we not address both functional definitions — namely, not just the meteorological but also the social/political?

The Devil Quotes Scripture (partial crosspost)

This is a partial crosspost from the ePluribus Media article The Devil Quotes Scripture: The GOP’s Damning Hypocrisy.

Gaeity” is a term denoting joyful exuberance or merriment, but in the hands of today’s Republican party, I would not be surprised to find it reinterpreted to a bastion of misleading and negative connotations almost as confusing as the definition and use of the word  gay.  The “Party of Moral clarity” has demonized the use of any word, term or action that could even hint at homosexuality in order to key into the knee-jerk prejudice of millions of “Christian” voters everywhere.  (Note that I put quotes around “Christian” — I can’t duly insult those who actually practice the teachings attributed to Christ, when I’m only targeting those who simply claim to.) …

Barack Obama will change the system part 3

photo courtesy of SEIU International on Flickr used under this Creative Commons license.

So far I have wrote about Barack Obama’s strong stands on public financing of elections and media reform. Today I am going to talk about his work making government more transparent and more ethical. These are area’s were he has gotten the most bills passed into law so hopefully this should be a interesting post.  

Impeachment: If not now when?

The title comes from an op/ed published in Sundays Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Americas Founding Fathers no fools they understood that humans were flawed and will always be flawed. So, in constructing the foundations that would become the Republic of the United States of America they included provisions within the constitution which gave the legislative branch the right to remove from public office those officials which had violated official ethics standards or the law it self.

Given that as a starting point isn’t it a reasonable assumption that when an elected official or officials deliberately obstruct the Constitution and the  Bill of Rights that the legislative branch would take upon themselves to not only investigate the violations but initiate impeachment proceedings if the allegations are proven to be true? Yet the legislative branch and its leaders have failed in their responsibilities as elected officials to represent the citizens of the country who elected them.

Leadership and the responsibilities  that come with it are difficult if it were not then anyone could be chosen to lead. No matter ones party affiliation your allegiances are not to the party or its supporters its to the Constitution.  I know this has been said a thousand times but the oath office does not say “I will preserve protect and defend my right to hold power and my political party.” It does say Preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies both foreign and domestic.

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