Two things I like and one thing I don't

There are many things that I like (what I will for now call good) and many things that I do not like (what I will for now call bad). And occasionally I decide to comment on one or the other here. I originally planned comment on an item which I found distressing; but before I started writing a couple of other items came to my attention so I am going to sandwich things so that there is what I consider a good-bad-good sandwich. This way I can ease the gentle reader in with something good then deal with the bad and then let them exist with a reflection on something good.

My friend Brad Templeton has a great wit and I find it amusing when he encounters some person or organization which has gotten a bit big for its britches. As you probably know for months various people have been taking a short clip of the scene where Hitler is ranting from the movie Downfall and adding humorous English subtitles. Brad has a long time interest in issues related to free expression and has done great work in that area including serving for many years as Chair of the Board of Directors of the EFF. A while back Brad put together his version with a focus on the issue of take down notices. And then Constantin, the studio which made the movie Downfall issued a take down notice to YouTube concerning the Brad's work. Brad's web page about this is great reading and has links to the work. Take a look and support the EFF.

Now to some thing bad and sad. Iran has experienced earthquakes some leading to great loss of life in the past few years and likely there will be more due to the tectonic faults in Iran. What I would consider a reasonable response to this situation would be to work on improving understanding of earthquakes, to be careful where buildings are built, use best practices for building design and construction and to educate people about how to survive an earthquake and to be prepared. Instead of working to educate people about why earthquakes happen the BBC reports that the acting Friday prayer leader in Tehran Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi said "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes." This represents a confusion at a deep and fundamental level; earthquakes are a natural geological phenomenon. And just so that no one thinks I am picking just on Islam let me remind everyone that when the great Lisbon earthquake hit in 1755 it is reported that many Christians running around claiming that it was due to divine anger. We as human need to realize that geology and the rest of the sciences are the province of science and should not be used to spread some non-scientific message. It is long past time to get rid of superstitions.

And now back to something good. Or at least bittersweet since the person I am going to refer to next was treated very badly in his later years but who even though remembered by few still stands a person who worked for human liberty. That person is Moses Harman. My friend Wendy MacElroy has written a fine summary of the life and work of Moses Harman. Moses Harman is one of those people who deserve to be better known and should be taught it every high school history class. Harman was a champion of the rights of women and an early advocate of an open discussion of birth control, sex and the role of women of society. In the periodical that Harman found one could find discussion of these and other important matters. That he was sentenced to hard labor in prison at the age of 75 for openly publishing these discussion is shocking. I highly recommend the biographical summary that Wendy has written.


Sickening video of attack

Sickening. Incredibly sickening.

WikiLeaks has set up a site with video which appears to show the attack in 2007 in Iraq by USA military helicopters which killed several people including two employees of the Reuters news agency. From the reports I have seen the USA military is not disputing the authenticity of the video. In addition to the many dead adults two children were seriously injured. As is too often happens in cases such as this there was obfuscation and coverup by the government.

There is a lot of discussion on the blogs about if and to what extend some of the individuals may have been armed when the attack began. But consider what happened later. There is one individual still alive but wounded. A van pulls up and two individuals jump out to load this person into the van. They are clearly not a threat to the USA forces. They are loading the wounded individual into the van when the helicopter attacks the van. The van contained two children. The price of stopping to aid a wounded person in this case was the two persons giving aid as well as the wounded person were all killed. The two children were seriously wounded.

Many people have already commented on the videos; some blogs have been more widely read that others; a couple of blogs with interesting things to say:
Jacob Hornberger at FFF
Glenn Greenwald at Salon

I suggest everyone consider this episode seriously from as many different points of view as they can find that are well researched and reasoned. The Iraq fiasco started with lies and deception from Bush, Cheney and their cronies. It continued with torture and abuse in Abu Ghraib. Now we have this. And the common thread has been deception and obfuscation. Certainly not everything has been as bad as Abu Ghraib or the attack on the van. But there is also likely similar events that have not yet been reported. And it is quite possible that they never will be reported since deception and obfuscation appear to be the current method of operation.


NASA Moon Landing Faked

Now there is is photographic evidence:


Now we have evidence of the devious NASA false information team generating misleading stories about the "so called" moon landing. How can anyone look at the evidence above and not be shocked. Shocked that the gullible public has been mislead about this matter.

And now you know.

And remember if you line your bedroom completely with tin foil you will not need to wear your tinfoil hat when you sleep.