Tag: morality

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: These are a few of my least favourite things by NY Brit Expat

acquistare levitra Puglia It’s been one of those weeks where so many things have come to light that I simply do not know where to begin writing first. I sit there and think, which of the various things that I have been listening to or reading about have actually annoyed me to the point of actually writing about. I have realised that I am just generally annoyed.

see url When I thought about it more, I concluded that the underlying theme of these various stories is a complete and utter contempt by bourgeois governments (that lay claim to being utterly democratic) of the vast majority of people that they govern. Whether they govern competently or not, whether there is anything resembling a democratic mandate or not; it is the utter contempt in which they hold the majority of the population that has really gotten my goat.

no prescription lasix overnight delivery I also realised that this is not only confined to governments, it is a view shared by the leadership of religious authorities, by arms of the state (police, armies, etc.) and even by the heads of sporting associations.  This contempt is a reflection of the fact that those in power think/know that when push comes to shove, they know who they serve and it is not the vast majority of people; it is a tiny elite hiding behind the word “democracy” while actually not even slightly being accountable to that majority. It is the abuse of power by those that have it wielded against those that view themselves as powerless. Having just spoken to my postman about my frustration, he agreed and said “this is a long term problem, what can you and I do about it”?

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Archetypal Lance

click Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong was really kind of fun for me to watch. Armstrong is typifies the kind of attitude that all graspers and hustlers have. I’m sure we’ve each known this type of person both male and female. Cold, calculating, assertive, in control. These are the people that run our world, for the most part. Yes, there are noble people who succeed and do well and contribute and keep the world from falling some dark star. It much of our culture is gamed, fixed, how cheating is consistently rewarded and whistle-blowing punished.

go here In sports cheating is a bit harder than the rest of society but it happens. People get caught more in sports because it really doesn’t matter that much. I mean who cares if doping is common in big-time bicycle racing or baseball? For a fan the game is the same either way. But if Lance Armstrongs populate the hall of Congress, the Pentagon, the CIA, Wall Street, advertising and public relations and so on we suffer. I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve been in Washington big-time and small-time.

go to site Is this new in human history? No, of course not. It’s a question now of balance-do we care enough about society to assert some contrary values to simply winning. WE often talk about “winners” and “losers” not about morality. Morality is essential to keeping society functioning and the more we fall away from some minimal standards of morality the less well society can function. We are voting with our values-every time we cheer torturers on TV getting information out of “bad guys” (meaning people who are a member of the group called “them”) we are making a statement about our values and, maintaining a moral atmosphere where the end always justifies the means.

Without a close examination of our values we cannot hope to solve any of our collective problems. Without a committing to some kind of value system we can’t easily maintain any kind of social system. These values do not have to be rigid and they don’t have to be throwbacks to the morality practiced by a ancient herding people in the Middle East or people who invaded the subcontinent of Asia.

We can come together and gather pieces of our broken conceptual frameworks and build something new. In fact, I’m convinced that we’ll do it-my only concern is will we be able to do it before the darkness gets to thick.

Defending our existence

Andrea Ayres at policym1c has an essay up entitled http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=prednisone-80-mg-a-day-cough Transgender Rights:  Why they matter to everyone.

In the wake of Sweden declaring unconstitutional a 1972 law that forced transgender people to be sterilized prior to legal gender change, there apparently is renewed interest in the unequal treatment of transgender people.

While the U.S. does not require sterilization prior to a gender reassignment surgery, some states do require that the individual be labeled as having Gender Identity Disorder (GID).  At least until July of 2012.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-V) replaced the term Gender Identity Disorder with Gender Dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria refers to emotional distress that may occur from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.”  Now the change does not eliminate all gender disorders.  An individual may still be identified as suffering from Transvestic Fetishism or Transvestic Autogynephilia.  The first refers to someone who becomes more sexually active when wearing the clothing incongruent with the sex they were assigned at birth.  The second, championed by an evil man (Ray Blanchard), refers to a person (usually a man, in Blanchard’s opinion) whose sexual impulse is connected with the thought of themselves as a member of “the opposite sex” (i.e. as a woman).  That is, roughly speaking, Blanchard believes transwomen who masturbate are autogynephiles.

The reason why this highlights continuing discrimination against trans individuals is because cisgendered individuals are allowed to behave in these matters without having their intentions questioned.  A cisgendered person is someone who self-identifies with the gender they were both with.  We would not think to question a cisgendered women’s desire to wear clothes, make-up etc, because she is acting in congruency with her societal role.

Progressive Attitudes and Misplaced Piety

A recent series of posts written by a blogging friend of mine raises some serious questions.  In it, he discusses ways in which many of us who mean well go completely wrong.  We live in a post-Christian society, but we carry over aspects of religiosity of which we may not even be consciously aware.  In seeking to be Good Liberals™, we reveal our indebtedness to the same relative framework, one held also by our ancestors.  Before I introduce my larger point, I need to assert here that I am not arguing that anyone ought to hold racist ideas or that doing so is acceptable.  Rather, I’m critiquing the means by which we often resort to eradicate them.  Here is the first.

The Uneasy Intersection Between Sex, Morality, Abortion, and Racial Typcasting

In an essay submitted for a college class, a young woman recently wrote about her sexual relationship and resulting pregnancy with her high school band director.  Though she changed some of the details and names in her paper, enough autobiography was left intact that statutory rape charges against the man have been filed.  Various news agencies, websites, and blogs have pursued different angles when presenting the details of this case.  The story found within the link posted above treats the accused like a common criminal, inviting us to view him in the worst possible light, while simultaneously encouraging our sympathy for the victim.  If this were a clear-cut case of non-consensual sexual assault, then this approach would be more appropriate and justified.  But as we learn more, and confront different perspectives of this multi-layered story, the truth itself begins to drift into grey area territory.  Separating facts from bias might as well be our eternal homework assignment.

A Comprehensive Look at Sex Work

On this Easter Sunday, I reflect that among the followers of Jesus were sex workers.  In the Gospel of Matthew, an particularly telling exchange takes place between Chief Priests and Elders who have questioned Jesus’ very authority.  In response, he tells a parable, which concludes, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”  Though much has changed between now and then, this statement still has the power to shock and offend.    

What Is Morality?

Note: I originally posted a version of this at FireDogLake.com, only to see it flagged as spam and my account deactivated.  I guess certain persons don’t like having their lack of any moral foundation challenged.  Oh well.

In my previous two entries, I discussed why it is important for people who call themselves left-wingers to have a solid moral foundation.  To sum up, one cannot call one’s self a progressive or a liberal and support the extreme right-wing policies of those in government.  To support Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush-Cheney fascist policies, whether directly or by refusing to challenge him electorally, or by simply remaining silent in the face of ongoing crimes and usurpation of Constitutionally delegated powers, is immoral.

But what is morality, and how should the American left apply it to politics?

Beyond the Dr. King Tape Loop

On this holiday devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr., I hope that we do not forget his full legacy in the proper context.  In Meeting yesterday, a Friend’s message rather bluntly noted that she is growing tired of the way that King’s life has been increasingly presented.  Starry-eyed optimists have reduced the man to some sort of inoffensive Santa Claus figure.  Gone is the edginess, the reformer threatening the status quo, and the leader who spoke out not just for Civil Rights, but also against the Vietnam War.  And, like the Friend, for these reasons, I am beginning to dislike certain aspects of this day.  King would want us to continue to press forward, not pass out rose colored glasses while we romanticize past struggles.  It is true that winners write history, but be it known that I disagree strongly with the translation.          

Refomers Should Expect the Unexpected

So many of our causes, passions, and movements could be characterized in terms of David versus Goliath, requiring superhuman strength to set right.  At the outset, the odds are stacked against us.  Business corruption must not be allowed to metastasize, lest the country be utterly eviscerated by it.  Environmental pollutants must not destroy our fragile ecosystem.  The military must have its spending curtailed in order to prevent massive waste and a swelling national debt, a belief held even by  those who do not object to the very existence of a military.  The prison-industrial complex must not be allowed to grow ever larger, while it incarcerates men of color at rapidly growing rates.  It’s easy to get burned out, knowing the vast size and sweep of these problems, and easier still to believe that no amount of effort expended for any length of time will make one iota’s worth of difference either way.

Reform of Any Sort Comes with a Margin of Error

The 1961 Luis Buñuel film, Viridiana, concerns the pious exploits of a young nun who lives in a small village.  Meaning to do good in imitation of Jesus’ ministry, Viridiana leaves the convent and decides to take charge of the moral education of the village’s paupers.  Despite her best intentions, she finds herself exploited, abused, and taken advantage of at every possible turn.  Efforts undertaken to educate the village paupers in morality are an exercise in futility, a clear example of throwing pearls before swine.  After the combined shock of multifarious trauma, Viridiana (Latin for Green) seemingly succumbs to the sin of the world by the film’s conclusion.  Noted reviewer Bosley Crowther of The New York Times wrote at the time: “The theme is that well-intended charity can often be badly misplaced by innocent, pious people. Therefore, beware of charity.”        

The Guatemalan Syphilis Experiments Reflect on Everyone

When news broke last week about how the United States government funded and carried out syphilis experiments in Guatemala that had absolutely no scientific value whatsoever, the response was swift.  A tone of harsh, unforgiving condemnation characterized nearly every media story, along with a punitive desire to punish those actively involved in the process.  As is often true, we wished to wax indignantly about it and vent our frustration.  What we might not have wanted to contemplate is our own individual role in the entire sordid mess.  

The Definition of Robin Hood Depends on Who You Ask

Vince Gray’s election on Tuesday night as mayor of Washington, DC, was met with a curiously nonchalant response among city residents.  No one seemed much inclined to celebrate.  A city that is famously buttoned-up and all business, all the time, was precisely that.  The prior mayor, Adrian Fenty, was widely seen as a temperamental prima donna, but this election was less a vote about specific District issues as it was a referendum on his leadership.  The results, a decided victory for Gray, were a backlash among many towards Fenty’s perceived stance in favor of more affluent parts of town, particularly those in the Northwest quadrant of the District.  This is far from an uncommon phenomenon.    

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