The past is not sacred: the ‘history wars’ over Anzac

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Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds’ What’s Wrong With Anzac? NewSouth

Peter Cochrane, University of Sydney

The Gallipoli centenary provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the many wartime legacies – human, political, economic, military – that forged independent nations from former colonies and dominions. The Conversation, in partnership with Griffith Review, has published a series of essays exploring the enduring legacies of 20th-century wars.


The term “history wars” is best known in Australia for summing up the fierce debate over the nature and extent of frontier conflict, with profound implications for the legitimacy of the British settlement and thus for national legitimacy today.

That debate, though hardly resolved, is now taking something of a back seat to a public controversy focused on Australia’s wars of the 20th century and particularly on the war of 1914–18, called the Great War until the Second World War redefined it as the First.… Read the rest

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The Ethics of Having Children: Deontological Arguments

parents and children

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

The having and begetting of children is central to human life. For many, it is a natural and unqualified good. The belief that your life is somehow incomplete or inferior if you do not have children persists in many cultures. Most people never question whether it is ethical to have children. But when you think about it this is pretty odd. A child is a sentient being who is highly dependent on the care of other human beings (typically its biological parents). So if you do have children, you are voluntarily taking on a significant moral responsibility and entrusting into your care a being capable of suffering great moral harms. This is not something to be taken lightly.

Consequently, it seems legitimate to ask the question: is it (morally) right to have children? In other words, is the having and begetting of children morally permissible, impermissible, obligatory or supererogatory?… Read the rest

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An Essay on Time From a Dying Neurosurgeon: “Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past.”

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Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, knew he was dying. His time was limited, and after being released from the hospital due to a relapse in lung cancer, his daughter was born. For him, the expectation of death warped time. Now, the hours in a day, the minutes in an hour, meant something different.

Here’s his moving adieu to the world.

He died on March 9, 2015 at the age of 37.

Paul Kalanithi writes at Stanford Medicine:

There are two strategies to cutting the time short, like the tortoise and the hare. The hare moves as fast as possible, hands a blur, instruments clattering, falling to the floor; the skin slips open like a curtain, the skull flap is on the tray before the bone dust settles. But the opening might need to be expanded a centimeter here or there because it’s not optimally placed. The tortoise proceeds deliberately, with no wasted movements, measuring twice, cutting once.

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There is no evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Carolyn Hoyle, University of Oxford and Roger Hood, University of Oxford

Australia has executed no-one for half a century. Following the abolition of the death penalty by various states, the federal government abolished capital punishment in 1973.

Nevertheless, Australian citizens – like all of those from abolitionist jurisdictions – face the death penalty when they commit serious crimes in countries that retain it. Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution in Indonesia following their convictions on drug trafficking charges almost ten years ago. On Saturday, they and seven others were given official notice that they will be killed by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan. Under Indonesian law, the minimum period between receiving notice and execution is 72 hours.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, has insisted all along that he will reject clemency petitions for drug traffickers on death row.… Read the rest

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Beyond New Age The Problem Isn’t Just Belle Gibson

001-belle-gibsonIt’s a well known truism that, in life, we tend to find what we’re looking for.

I realize this truism is tautological, and it’s been rendered down so far that it seems meaningless, yet it is something we repeat to one another in so many forms.

This idea has been central to the positive thought movement for well over a hundred years, with many different off-shoots, but all can be considered unified in regard to this particular idea: “our mental states are carried forward into manifestation and become our experience in daily living.”

The belief is that Somehow (and this is The Secret), our mental picture effects the world. This produces the “law of attraction,” whereby like attracts like, and our thoughts somehow manifest reality. This is the very foundation of what’s happened with Belle Gibson, as JR Hennesey explored on the Guardian today:

Gibson needed to fake cancer, because the New Age narrative of transcending physical and spiritual sickness is so ingrained into its marketing.

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Paul Stamets Holds the Patent That Could Put Monsanto Out of Business

PaulStamets

Paul Stamets, a leading mycologist, has discovered a way to keep insects off crops without the need for chemical-pesticides. Stamets’ “pesticide,” dubbed SMART pesticides, uses “entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that destroys insects).” It is able to control over 200,000 species of pests and he patented it back in 2006.

via Earth. We Are One:

If there’s anything you read – or share – let this be it. The content of this article has potential to radically shift the world in a variety of positive ways.

And as Monsanto would love for this article to not go viral, all we can ask is that you share, share, share the information being presented so that it can reach as many people as possible.

In 2006, a patent was granted to a man named Paul Stamets. Though Paul is the world’s leading mycologist, his patent has received very little attention and exposure. Why is that? Stated by executives in the pesticide industry, this patent represents “the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” And when the executives say disruptive, they are referring to it being disruptive to the chemical pesticides industry.

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The Asshole Factory

Surian Soosay (CC BY 2.0)

Surian Soosay (CC BY 2.0)

Umair Haque via Medium:

Our economy doesn’t make stuff anymore. So what does it make?

My good friend Mara has not one but two graduate degrees. From fine, storied universities. Surprise, surprise: the only “job” she was able to find was at a retail store.

Hey—it’s only minimum wage, but at least she’s working, right? And at a major-league, blue-chip company, An American icon; an institution; a name every man, woman, and child in this country knows; an historic company that rings of the American Dream the world over, besides. Surely, if nothing else, it’s a start.

Perhaps you’re right. Maybe it isn’t the start she always dreamed of…but at least it is one. If so…then awaits her at the finish?

What is Mara’s job like? Her sales figures are monitored…by the microsecond. By hidden cameras and mics. They listen to her every word; they capture her every movement; that track and stalk her as if she were an animal; or a prisoner; or both.

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The Latest In Censorship Of Independent Media

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to Jason Bassler of The Free Thought Project and Nick Bernabe of The Anti Media about the current uphill battle they are facing as independent media. They discussed how previously alternative media had more opportunities to reach the public and how those current avenues are being hindered by the powers that be. They also talked about possible solutions and how you can help.

Via We Are Change

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Armenians Remember First Modern Genocide

Armenians are remembering what they deem the first modern genocide, 100 years ago at the hands of the Turks, reports USA Today. Needless to say, Turkey doesn’t see it quite the same way:

Armenians from around the globe are in Istanbul for Friday’s commemoration of what’s been called the first genocide of modern times, when up to 1.5 million Armenians died in the massacres and deportations that began in 1915.

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Armenians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Armenia, Ottoman Empire, April, 1915

 

A century later, the bitterly contested history is hardly a thing of the past. Turkey continues to insist that the wartime killings were not genocide, while Armenians say Turkey’s denial is an affront to a core part of their national identity.

“There is a question of political recognition of the genocide, but ultimately, it’s about the Armenian story and history being incorporated into the collective memory of the countries where we live,” said Nicolas Tavitian, director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, who flew in from Brussels for the centennial.

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