Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Courage

And what kinds of courage? Other this faked “Moral Courage” or “Moral Entity”?

Edward Snowden, Hugh Thompson, Daniel Ellsberg, whistle-blowers…

Note: Re-edit of “Moral Courage? And what other kinds of courage? March 5, 2014

Last Thursday Chris Hedges opened a team debate at the Oxford Union at Oxford University with this speech arguing in favor of the proposition “This house would call Edward Snowden a hero.”

The others on the Hedges team, which won the debate by an audience vote of 212 to 171, were William E. Binney, a former National Security Agency official and a whistle-blower; Chris Huhne, a former member of the British Parliament; and Annie Machon, a former intelligence officer for the United Kingdom.

The opposing team was made up of Philip J. Crowley, a former U.S. State Department officer; Stewart A. Baker, a former chief counsel for the National Security Agency; Jeffrey Toobin, an American television and print commentator; and Oxford student Charles Vaughn.

Chris Hedges posted this Feb.23, 2014

Edward Snowden’s Moral Courage

I have been to war. I have seen physical courage.

But this kind of courage is not moral courage. Very few of even the bravest warriors have moral courage.

For moral courage means to defy the crowd, to stand up as a solitary individual, to shun the intoxicating embrace of comradeship, to be disobedient to authority, even at the risk of your life, for a higher principle.

And with moral courage comes persecution.

The American Army pilot Hugh Thompson had moral courage. He landed his helicopter between a platoon of U.S. soldiers and 10 terrified Vietnamese civilians during the My Lai massacre.

Thompson ordered his gunner to fire his M60 machine gun on the advancing U.S. soldiers if they began to shoot the villagers. And for this act of moral courage, Thompson, like Snowden, was hounded and reviled.

Moral courage always looks like this.

It is always defined by the state as treason—the Army attempted to cover up the massacre and court-martial Thompson. It is the courage to act and to speak the truth. Thompson had it.

Daniel Ellsberg had it. Martin Luther King had it.

What those in authority once said about them they say today about Snowden.

In this still image from video footage released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks in Moscow during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award. (AP photo)

“My country, right or wrong” is the moral equivalent of “my mother, drunk or sober,” G.K. Chesterton reminded us.

So let me speak to you about those drunk with the power to sweep up all your email correspondence, your tweets, your Web searches, your phone records, your file transfers, your live chats, your financial data, your medical data,

And your criminal and civil court records and your movements, those who are awash in billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars, those who have banks of sophisticated computer systems, along with biosensors, scanners, face recognition technologies and miniature drones, those who have obliterated your anonymity, your privacy and, yes, your liberty.

There is no free press without the ability of the reporters to protect the confidentiality of those who have the moral courage to make public the abuse of power.

Those few individuals inside government who dared to speak out about the system of mass surveillance have been charged as spies or hounded into exile.

An omnipresent surveillance state—and I covered the East German Stasi state—creates a climate of paranoia and fear. It makes democratic dissent impossible.

Any state that has the ability to inflict full-spectrum dominance on its citizens is Not a free state.

It does not matter if it does not use this capacity today; it will use it, history has shown, should it feel threatened or seek greater control.

The goal of wholesale surveillance, as Hannah Arendt wrote: ” is Not, in the end, to discover crimes, but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population.”

The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked and those who watch and track them is the relationship between masters and slaves.

Those who wield this unchecked power become delusional.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency, hired a Hollywood set designer to turn his command center at Fort Meade into a replica of the bridge of the starship Enterprise so he could sit in the captain’s chair and pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, had the audacity to lie under oath to Congress.

This spectacle was a rare glimpse into the absurdist theater that now characterizes American political life.

A congressional oversight committee holds public hearings. It is lied to.

It knows it is being lied to.

The person who lies knows the committee members know he is lying.

And the committee, to protect their security clearances, says and does nothing.

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Tidbits and comments

Soil is being lost at a rate 10 to 100 times faster than it is being replenished.

Is it the end of the road for the Volkswagen Beetle? Victim of the growing SUV and crossover market?

A scientist baked bread with 5,000-year-old yeast found in ancient Egyptian ceramics. The yeast was more active, and the bread smelled like caramel.

From virtual reality, 3D printing to nanotechnology and advanced robotics, the line between the physical and digital worlds is blurring.

“With clowns you always laugh, and laughter is very beneficial in terms of letting people relax and accept whatever is coming their way. And then hope, because clowns fall, they stand up and try again, and there is always hope in whatever we do.”

In around 200 BC, a bunch of “Jewish scholars” decided to create a history for the bedwin Jews. They wrote an amalgamation of old stories of the neighboring people, along with a bunch of “prophets” and attributed to them a few sayings. Since then, millions are disseminating these myths and faked news on social media. Discussion is pointless with these current “scholars”

In 1860, Giovanni Caselli presents Napoleon III with the “pantelegraph“, the precursor to Fax Machine.” French and Russian leaders put it to use, but the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 destroys the telegraph lines.

“Japan ideograph language provided the demand for fax machine, and manufacturing expertise in consumer electronics provided the supply,” Jonathan Coopersmith, a historian at Texas A&M University, writes in Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine.

It’s the little compromises around people that we cannot function without, and that corrupt institutions add value to the what we seek to create.

Why the most brutal of Olympics sport, the boxing, doesn’t have sensors for scoring as Tak Wan Dou?
The 3 judges role would be to add a few points on fitness and techniques on the sky rocketing total score.

A black hole devoured a neutron star. For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves that may have originated from one such collision.

Late Milton Friedman wrote in the 1970s  argued that business leaders who talked about corporate social responsibility, ending discrimination, or curbing pollution were “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism.” His theory made shareholder primacy the rule for generations of executives, held that businesses only needed to fulfill their duty to provide profit to shareholders. Supposedly, Free markets would look after everything else. Except the free markets didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

This week, the Business Roundtable issued a new definition of the purpose of a company that places responsibilities to customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment on par with the responsibility to shareholders.

Is the cult of productivity killing productivity? Is the cult of constant Growth killing a sustainable environment?

“Courage” is being adopted as a promotional quality for minimum-wage positions, like serving cheeseburgers?. Then, is there any job that would Not require courage to waste your time and energy on?

Whether Americans wish to admit it or not, the US continues to be shaped by the legacy of its slave trade, which began in 1619. Actually, the US colonies took arms against the British to keep their slave trade and laws.




June 2023

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