Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

The red thread of the “progressives”

February 26, 2019

It can be sugar-coated but the reality is that abortion is already established as an acceptable method of contraception. It now seems to be that infanticide, immediately after the birth of a baby that could have been eligible for abortion, is also an acceptable method of contraception for US Democrats.

The “progressives” in the US are now finding that infanticide of the newly born can be ethical. Why not babies upto 12 months old?

I am not sure where the “progressives” (typified by the extreme wings of the Democrats in the US, Social Democrats and Liberals in Europe and Labour and Liberals the in the UK) are headed, but their path seems sanctimoniously suicidal.

It seems to me to be more a question of narcissistic self-indulgence than of ethics.


 

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Where murderers can’t be executed but new born babies can ….

February 1, 2019

In New York, capital punishment is not allowed and murderers cannot be executed. But new born babies can be killed after-birth whenever an abortion could have been justified. And to have an abortion is apparently always justified.

It would seem that the moral justification of abortion on demand and for convenience, is now being extended to include infanticide by rebranding it as “after-birth abortions”.

In New York hospitals, you can find premature newborn babies surrounded by dedicated doctors and nurses fighting to save their lives. Next door, you now might find physicians and non-physicians alike giving lethal injections to babies the same age, thanks to the state’s new so-called Reproductive Health Act.

Over a decade ago, New York abolished the death penalty for convicted criminals, but as of last week, babies in the seventh, eighth and ninth month of their mother’s pregnancy — old enough to live outside their mother’s wombs — can now be given lethal injections.

Abortions at that stage are committed by piercing the baby’s brain or heart with a large needle and injecting her with enough digoxin to cause cardiac arrest. Labor is then induced, and the mother delivers her dead child into the hands of an abortionist.

Abortion-rights advocates say that late-term abortions are only performed in cases where a mother’s life or health is at risk or the child suffers from a life-threatening condition.

But this is false. According to research published by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, abortions for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority” of late-term abortions; those for saving the mother’s life are an even smaller number. The majority of late-term abortions aren’t done for so-called “medical reasons” at all.

The academic community started the use of the euphemistic “after birth abortion”. The moral justification for infanticide that is now being developed by the “progressive” community is remarkably similar to the moral justification for race based eugenics developed in the 1930s. And – irony of ironies – such arguments are actually developed and disseminated in a journal calling itself The Journal of Medical Ethics. (a main stream, peer reviewed Springer publication)

“After birth abortion”


 

Killing humans is usually immoral

January 18, 2019

Morality is relative.

It varies over time and space.

There have always been situations where killing of some humans has been considered, not just not immoral, but actually a moral duty. To kill people of opposing faiths was justifiable for a long time. To put enemies or sufficiently “bad” people to death was once a moral duty. Even something to be proud of.

It is no different today.

For ISIS and other “terrorist” organisations killing the enemy in particularly brutal ways is something which is not only something to be proud of but also something which opens the gates to Paradise. Armies are trained to, and assessed, by their ability to kill the enemy – in bulk. Collateral damage is regrettable but allowed. It is never immoral. Many states allow individuals to kill when their own survival is threatened. Many other states do not. Many states exercise capital punishment for really “bad” people. Many other states do not and many of these mollycoddle the cancerous humans among them. In more “liberal” quarters the number of euthanasia deaths and abortions carried out have become something to be proud of. Paradoxically, the states which are most opposed to capital punishment are also the states which are most in favour of abortion and the “mercy” killings of the aged or the terminally ill.

There is no such thing as a “human right” to life. Any individual’s life is “cabined, cribbed, confined” by his genes, the privileges accorded by the surrounding society and the quirks of random events.

As with all so-called “human rights”  living is just another privilege.


 

Rape, the Swedish Academy and the Literature Nobel

October 1, 2018

The task of selecting the Literature Nobel has to be taken away from the Swedish Academy if the prize is not to be forever tainted by the spectre of rape.

Unless all the members of the current Swedish Academy resign and the Academy is reconstituted, the Nobel Foundation will have to take the task of selecting the Literature Prize away from the Academy and give it to some other institution. If not, every future Literature laureate will be forever coupled to an institution which, at best,  turned a blind eye to rape and sexual predation or, at worst, enabled rape and sexual predation. Even changing out all the members may not be enough to take the stain away.

Today Jean-Claude Arnold – referred to in the Swedish media as the “kulturprofilen” (the culture profile) – was sentenced to 2 years in prison for rape. Eighteen women accused him of sexual predation but only one of the cases came to a prosecution. He was married to a member of the Academy. The pair together ran a “club” which received large grants from the Academy.

Jean-Claude Arnault

BBC

A French photographer at the heart of a rape scandal that saw this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature postponed has been handed a two-year prison sentence. On Monday a Swedish court found Jean-Claude Arnault, 72, guilty of raping a woman in an apartment in Stockholm in 2011.

Arnault, who is well known in Sweden, is married to a former member of the centuries-old Swedish Academy.

The crisis forced the academy to cancel this year’s literature award in May. 

In late 2017, some 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper to accuse Arnault of sexual harassment and assault in the wake of the #MeToo movement, prompting an investigation by state prosecutors. He later denied all the alleged incidents, many of which were said to have happened at properties owned by the Academy or at his literary club. All but one of the cases ended up being dropped.

In April this year, the Swedish cultural organisation handed over an internal report it had conducted through lawyers to judicial authorities. The same month, it voted against removing Arnault’s wife, the poet and writer Katarina Frostenson, from its 18-person committee. This, along with accusations of conflict of interest and the leaking of Nobel winners’ names, is said to have divided the Academy and sparked a wave of resignations – including by Ms Frostenson and the Academy’s head, Prof Sara Danius. Technically, members of the Swedish Academy cannot resign from their positions, which are assumed for life. But they can stop taking part in its activities.

The members of the Academy have been fighting (like a bunch of horny cats comes to mind) in the media for the last year and a more unedifying spectacle is hard to describe. The unadulterated arrogance and narcissism of the members has been breathtaking.


 

Will recognition of “fake news” be followed by “fake science”

November 3, 2017

Collins Dictionary has chosen “fake news” as its word for 2017.

When a partisan publication exaggerates – even wildly – in favour of its own cause, it causes no great surprise.  It is not even too astonishing when it fabricates news or omits news to further its own agenda. The insidious nature of “fake news” is worst when it is a supposedly objective publication which indulges in fake news to further a hidden agenda. So when Breitbart or the Daily Mail or Huffington Post produce much of their nonsense it causes no great surprise and hardly merits the sobriquet of “fake news”, even if much of the “news” is slanted or exaggerated or skewed or just plain lies. It is when a publication, having a reputation for objectivity, misuses that reputation to push its own agenda, that “fake news” takes on a life of its own.

It is not that this is anything new but certainly the US Presidential Election has brought “fake news” to a head. “Fake News” applies though to much more than just US politics. Of course CNN heads the list of purveyors of “fake news”. CNN has never been objective but they once generally checked their facts and used to separate straight reporting from opinion. I used to find them, at least, fairly reliable for factual reporting. But they have abandoned that approach and I find that they not just unreliable but also intentionally misleading. Their “journalists” have all become lobbyists and “CNN” has become synonymous with “Fake News”.

I once was a regular reader of the Washington Post. They were biased but were not unreliable as to the facts. It was quite easy to just discount for bias and get what I thought was a “true” picture. But they, too, have degenerated swiftly in the last 2 years. Stories are not just distorted, they are even fabricated. But the real disappointments for me in the last 24 months has been the New York Times. Not just in the space of US politics. The NYT has its own definitions of what is politically correct in politics, in science and even in the arts. Somewhere along the way they have made a conscious decision that they are “lobbyists” rather than reporters. They have decided that, for what they have defined as being “politically correct”, pushing that view justifies omission, exaggeration, “spinning” and even fabrication. Straight reporting has become extinct.

Lobby groups such as Huff Post and Daily Kos and Red State are full of blatant falsifications but have no news reputation of any significance at stake. They are not, therefore, included in my take on the top purveyors of fake new.

If 2017 has seen the recognition of the widespread use of fake news, I am looking to 2018 to recognise the proliferation of fake science. There is fake science being disseminated every day in big physics (CERN funding), pharmaceuticals, “climate science”, behavioural studies, sociology, psychology and economics. Much of fake science follows funding. Perhaps there will be greater recognition that “good science” is neither decided by nor subject to a poll.


 

 

Does life start when the egg is laid?

April 9, 2017

Birds and reptiles (and the duck billed platypus which is a mammal), lay eggs for their offspring. Their only interaction of the parents with the egg after it is laid is to keep predators away and to incubate it – which is often done by the male. The development of the embryo in the egg requires no nourishment or any biological intervention from the parents.

In the case of a chicken’s development, the egg when laid consists of a minuscule embryo (0.0002 grams) and nutrients. The chick hatches when the nutrients have been consumed and its weight has increased to about 30-31 grams.

Image result for development of a chicken egg

from EnchantedLearning.com

Is the chick alive when the egg is laid?

One could argue that the embryo at that point is not yet deserving of the label “chick”. But I think there is no rational way in which to question that “life” has definitely started by the time the fertilised egg is laid. In the case of humans a fertilised egg is called a “zygote” until it has implanted itself (about 6 -10 days after conception) in the wall of the womb. It is then called an “embryo”. It is called a “fetus” only from 8 weeks after conception and remains a “fetus” till the birth of a “child”. Just as a “chick” only emerges after egg hatching, a human “child” only emerges after birth. But in both cases life, life has begun much earlier. By the time a hen lays an egg, the genetic identity of the embryo in the egg has already been fixed. The unique genetic identity whether for chicken or for human is actually fixed when conception occurs. The implantation of a human zygote in the wall of the womb is the corresponding point when an embryo is defined. The genetic identity of the embryo has then been well established and the life of a unique identity has clearly begun.

An individual human time line is then not so complicated as the Great Abortion Debate would make it to be:

0: Conception: Genetic identity is established. Life begins as a zygote.

+2: Implantation in the womb: Life continues as an embryo.

+8: Life continues as a fetus

+40: Life continues as a child.

+1340: Child becomes adult when brain development is complete

+4720 (approximately): Life of that unique identity ends


The time when a unique identity is established and life begins is quite simply defined and the Great Abortion Debate is actually about the ethics of terminating that life at different times during its existence. It is trying to make an ethical distinction between breaking an egg for a breakfast omelette or killing a chicken for a roast dinner. (But note also that many vegetarians eat eggs but a chicken eater is never considered a vegetarian). Abortion, infanticide, murder or euthanasia are just labels for different times at which life is to be terminated. Abortion always kills a fetus (not a child) and infanticide always kills a child (not a fetus). But whether it is a zygote which fails to implant itself, or a fetus which is aborted, or a child killed for being the wrong gender, or an aged person being assisted to die, it is the same life, the same identity, which is terminated.

And, I note, ethics are always personal and cannot be imposed by a society on someone. But a society can always exclude someone from the club for not complying with its ethical code.

This Slate article unnecessarily complicates the matter only to try and justify a particular ethical view.

When Does Life Begin? It’s Not So Simple

It actually is just that simple. A unique genetic identity and life are established with conception.


 

Did Jeb Bush commission the Trump fake report? and was it “laundered” by John McCain?

January 12, 2017

Fake news needs “laundering” for it to gain legs.

The Obama birther story was first started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters when she was standing against him in the Democratic primaries in 2008. It then took on a life of its own.

Now it seems the fake and scurrilous report about Donald Trump may have been commissioned from a former British intelligence officer as part of Jeb Bush’s efforts during the Republican primaries. To make it even more intriguing it may be that the fake report was passed through John McCain to the FBI – a sort of “laundering” of fake news to give it a semblance of authority. Whether McCain did it knowingly or was duped into the laundering exercise is unknown.

Of course CNN then played their part in “laundering” the fake news though that involvement is very likely intentional.

Reuters:

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. ……

……. Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report. ……

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media. 

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.  

And then we have McCain’s involvement.

Breitbart: 

Wednesday on CNN addressing media reports that he had turned over a dossier containing unverified claims about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “I don’t know if it’s credible or not but I thought the information deserved to be delivered to the FBI, the appropriate agency of government.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MCCAIN: After looking at that information I took it to the FBI and have had no further involvement with it at issue. By the way, according to some media reports they already had that information, but I didn’t know that at the time. I did what any citizen would do, received sensitive information and then handed it over to the proper government agency and had nothing else to do with it.

Very commendable on the face of it but unlikely to be as innocent as all that.


 

CNN and Buzzfeed (fake news and garbage) have just shot themselves

January 12, 2017

“CNN and Buzzfeed” go together like “fake news and garbage”.

Buzzfeed provides the raw, unsorted garbage and CNN gives it the fake “news” label. But in their eagerness to attack Trump (CNN well deserves the label of being the “Clinton News Network”) they may have just provided Trump with all the justification he needs to sanction them. As lobby groups they really can no longer be considered “News Media”. They have dissipated and no longer deserve the protection that is due to journalistic activity since they have are engaged, now, primarily in advocacy rather than journalism. There are many other advocacy groups masquerading as purveyors of objective news. But most others provide a mix of advocacy and journalism. CNN sticks out as being particularly far removed from genuine journalism. CNN, from my own observations, has been consistently guilty of “politically correct” propaganda at least since the first Gulf War with the elder Bush. To my mind Blitzer (especially) and Amanpour and Tapper and their like are fatally tainted as journalists. At least Zakaria is openly a leftist advocate and does not pretend to be a journalist. CNN lost its objectivity and the skepticism necessary for quality journalism a long time ago.

This time they may have shot themselves in a much more vital area than the foot.

“CNN is fake news”

has a ring of truth about it.

This from Politico which is not particularly friendly to Trump though it has not been quite as rabid and shameless in its “politically correct” propaganda as CNN and WaPo and HuffPo

Politico: 

The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.

It can’t be pleasant for anyone to see his name associated with prostitutes and a bizarre sex act in print, not even Donald Trump, who presumably has a higher tolerance for this kind of thing than the average human being, since he has lived and thrived knee-deep in tabloid muck for decades. But in the media’s ongoing fight with Donald Trump, BuzzFeed’s incredible act of journalistic irresponsibility represented the press leading with its chin. ……… 

……. BuzzFeed played right into his hands. There are legitimate questions raised about how determined Trump has been to ignore evidence of Russia’s hacking operations prior to the election. But BuzzFeed did more to obscure and discredit these questions than Trump Tower could ever hope to. By publishing the uncorroborated dossier, BuzzFeed has associated the Russia issue with fantastical rumors and hearsay.

Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.

It created a media firestorm, but everyone should realize by now that media firestorms are Trump’s thing. They have been literally since the day he got into the presidential race. They suck the oxygen away from everything except the transfixing melodrama surrounding Donald Trump. The question is always, “How can he possibly escape this?” And at the center of attention, vindicating his own honor and that of his supporters by proxy, he always does.

cnn-fake


 

The UN Swamp: French troops get away with sexual abuse while on UN duty

January 5, 2017

The UN tried to cover it up and it was only due to the revelations by a UN official which revealed the 90 cases of sexual harassment by French troops on UN duty. The whistle-blower was Anders Kompass who was director of field operations at the UN human rights office in Geneva. He was suspended and hounded by the “swamp” of the rotten UN bureaucracy and though he was exonerated he resigned from the UN last June. The predatory sexual behaviour of the French troops was beyond disgusting.

NYTimes:

For five months, an unknown number of people in the French forces, sent to protect civilians from the violence tearing the country apart, forced boys to perform oral sex on them, according to testimonies collected by the United Nations. The boys, aged 9 to 15, said they had sometimes been lured with the promise of military rations.

Now, nearly a year after the allegations came to light, no one has been charged, let alone punished.

It is now reported by AP that the French who were investigating their own troops have now decided that nobody will be prosecuted.

No charges in inquiry of child sex abuse by French troops

The Paris prosecutor’s office says an investigation into alleged child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has concluded without anyone being charged. Spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Leroux said Thursday the investigation formally ended last month. She declined to elaborate.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that the decision stemmed from insufficient “elements” to press charges. Several boys told United Nations investigators they were sexually abused by French troops in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, in May and June 2014. Fourteen French soldiers reportedly were suspected of being involved. The sexual abuse allegedly took place in or near a camp for displaced people near M’Poko airport.

The French defense ministry did not immediately comment.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he understands that it’s now up to the prosecutor to decide whether to go forward, following the submission of results from the investigative judges. “So obviously we’ll keep an eye on this,” Dujarric said. “But as we’ve said, it is the responsibility of member states to fully investigate and hopefully prosecute crimes. The fight against impunity for these horrendous actions has to be a partnership between the U.N. and member states.”

Under Ban Ki-Moon the swamp at the UN became particularly murky and rotten. Not just the cholera which the UN introduced to Haiti killing almost 10,000 but also financial wrongdoings and sexual predation. In every case the UN – as an institution – has tried to cover up. Probably less than 10% of wrongdoing at the UN ever comes to light.

There isn’t just a swamp in Washington. There is one much larger and much more rotten at the UN.


How The Lancet creates, and the UN spreads, lies — Hans Rosling in The Lancet

October 14, 2016

The UN can only mirror its member countries. While the UN (and for example the EU) are supposed to try and “level up” they very often “level down”. When that happens they disseminate “worst practices” rather than spread “best practices”. The UN’s executive and officers and bureaucrats are not either immune to the corruptions of being in privileged and protected positions. They also disseminate lies when advocating for their pet projects or causes. The problem is that when lies are sanctioned by the UN they take on a sanctity which is downright harmful.

Professor Hans Rosling and Helena Nordenstedt take the UN to task for spreading lies in a new comment to The Lancet. But they also point out the lie was first created in The Lancet itself and suggest that The Lancet should not publish advocacy articles without peer review.

rosling-lancet

They write

In September, 2016, at the UN General Assembly, the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) of the UN’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health presented their first report. The IAP report states that 60% of maternal deaths today take place in humanitarian settings, specified as “conflict, displacement and natural disaster”The “60%” has been trending in development aid advocacy ever since late 2015 when UNFPA stated that 60% of maternal deaths happen in “humanitarian situations like refugee camps”. The 60% has even made its way into policy documents and discourse. The only health data mentioned in the proposed policy framework for Sweden’s future international development cooperation are: “60% of maternal deaths take place in humanitarian emergencies”. We chased the origin of this seemingly incorrect percentage. We found it to be a Comment published in The Lancet, referring to the published underlying data sources and to a grey publication describing the crude calculation that yielded the 60%.

……..

We conclude that the “60%” is a fourfold inaccuracy. It is surprising that, in just 1 year, the false percentage made its way to a highly qualified panel at the UN. Global health seems to have entered into a post-fact era, where the labelling of numerators is incorrectly tweaked for advocacy purposes. The reproductive health needs in humanitarian settings should be reported without hiding that most maternal deaths still occur in extreme poverty. As recently noted in The Lancet, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, spoke the truth when stating that the real causes of maternal and child deaths are poverty, inequality, lack of financing, and poor governance.  The use of inaccurate numbers in global health advocacy can misguide where investments are most needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We, therefore, suggest The Lancet should only publish advocacy material after due referee procedures.


 


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