Torture is Always Wrong

Torture is immoral, torture is wrong, torture is illegal. Re-branding it ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ is simply a tacit admittance of these facts. We need prosecution of those who ordered it, those who committed it, those who destroyed evidence about it, and those who lied about it before Congress.

Addendum (Dec 14, 2014). Dick Cheney is quoted as saying “…there was no comparison between the C.I.A.’s tactics and terrorists’ actions.” It is indeed a new low if the CIA’s actions are measured by the fact that we are not worse than Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, ISIS, or Boko Haram. The true comparison is between our stated ideals as a Nation and what the CIA did under the Bush/Cheney administration. And that is where Dick Cheney along others (I mention just him since he is the most outspoken apologist of institutionalized torture) must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

Mistaking effect for cause

Democracy does not make people good, good people make democracy work.

It is time to retire the illusion that freedom and democracy makes people good and prevents young people from becoming terrorists. It was a central rational of the Bush administration to over-through Saddam Hussein and bring freedom to the Middle East. As the brutality of ISIS makes clear, it is mostly young, western educated Europeans who opportunistically join the jihadists’ fight and are beheading their western victims. It is time to retire the feel-good propaganda of us v them, of good v evil, and start talking in terms of power and disenfranchisement.

Economy > Ecology > Biology

Economy should be a branch of biology. Consider behavioral economics. Or the wisdom of diversification when building a financial portfolio.

This post is one of an occasional exploration of economy as an organismal entity. Diversification is a mainstay of financial investment advice. Diversity is also the mainstay of how species survive. It is an essential component of evolution, where a multitude of organisms ensures the future success of life on earth, and where a multitude of diverse individuals ensures the future success of the species. Like the stock market, evolution cannot foresee which individual will be the beneficiary in a new environment. Like in the stock market, past results are no guarantee of future gains.

I have earlier compared a thriving economy with the blood circulation. In the body, all cells need adequate supply and inequality is bad for the whole body. An economy is as good as the flow of money through its various parts. Excessive savings and reduced lending are bad and cause recessions. Excessive lending and no savings also cause recessions. High blood pressure is like inflation, not immediately harmful, but bad for the future. One message is important here, blood, like money is not something one can own, but something one can get and spend. There is a need for adequate supply and reserves, so the analogy goes only that far. But coming back to blood pressure changes, they are a part of daily life, as are the changes in stock prices, where the overall market is a reflection of all actors without knowing what each actor is actually motivated to do. Without wanting to know, one thing is always certain, that what happens in one part of the body, affects another part, and so people respond to other people’s action, even when not understanding what they do.