In recent days visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page have found three reports relating to the US president’s announcement of the intention to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
One of those reports was written by the BBC’s State Department correspondent Barbara Plett Usher and the other two included inserts of her analysis. All three promoted specific messaging on the topic of international law.
“Richard Haass, a former senior US state department official who is now president of the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said he “strongly disagreed” with Mr Trump. He said such recognising Israeli sovereignty would violate a UN Security Council resolution, “which rules out acquiring territory by war”. […]
So critics have concluded this was a blatant attempt to give Mr Netanyahu a boost in a hotly-contested election.
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In 2012 at the legal blog Popehat, Ken White, a criminal defense lawyer and free-speech maven, deconstructed the famous phrase uttered by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in an opinion about “free speech” in wartime. In 1919 there was a series of three Supreme Court decisions against men (socialists, foreigners, and anarchists) who spoke and published pamphlets against America’s participation in World War I—as well as against conscription (the draft). In all three cases, Holmes and the Court upheld the convictions, and each person was sentenced to ten years in prison for producing what today would be considered free speech.
Although White’s post, “Three generations of a hackneyed apologia for censorship are enough“, is a bit long, it’s well worth reading, for it shows how increasing tolerance for speech has evolved, as well as how Holmes’s famous statement has been misused to advocate continuing censorship…
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The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed
by Bertrand Russell, 1937
ONE of the persistent delusions of mankind is that some sections of the human race are morally better or worse than others. This belief has many different forms, none of which has any rational basis. It is natural to think well of ourselves, and thence, if our mental processes are simple, of our sex, our class, our nation, and our age. But among writers, especially moralists, a less direct expression of self-esteem is common. They tend to think ill of their neighbors and acquaintances, and therefore to think well of the Sections of mankind to which they themselves do not belong. Lao-tse admired the “pure men of old,” who…
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Amnesty International blasted the electric vehicle industry on Tuesday for not being as environmentally-friendly as it claims, calling attention to little-discussed aspects of its supply chain.
The human rights group said in a release that the industry, which touts itself as green, produces many of its lithium-ion batteries using polluting power sources. In addition, human rights violations are linked to the extraction of the minerals used in the batteries, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
vehicles are key to shifting the motor industry away from fossil fuels, but
they are currently not as ethical as some retailers would like us to believe,”
the report reads.
The human rights
violations are atrocious and electric vehicle companies should immediately take
steps to make sure they are only using ethically sourced materials in their
batteries. It will be a complex process, but the only way to stop the human
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During the early part of the century, the rallying cry for environmentalists carried by the mainstream media was Reduce, Recycle, Reuse! After almost twenty years and millions of dollars spent, America is finally coming to the realization that recycling is garbage.
Almost ten years ago, Discover magazine vindicated what John Tierney wrote about in 1996 and what critics of recycling had been saying for many years. Approximately a year later, a Columbia University research manuscript revealed that about 17 percent of all plastic items collected by New York City sanitation workers were recyclable and its authors admitting that nearly half of the plastics collected being landfilled.
Since the Columbia University study, it has been all downhill for recycling. Last weekend, The New York Timespublished a story describing how multiple cities across the United States are dumping (pun intended) recycling programs. The Grey Lady states:
Philadelphia is now…
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