I look into the world and i think that we live a great time, where, in a click you can talk to people all around the world.

Interested in being a member (click here) or if you just want to leave a short message (click here)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Animal Killing

I respect the Japanese culture. In many aspects they are very advanced and a very respectful society, but coming up with this video I could not be more shocked. It is not the fact of killing dolphins that shocked me, which I already knew that it was happening there. But what shocked me the most was the brutal way that they do that.

I wonder how a society that is so shy it terms of human contact (where a social kiss can be a very stressful event) can support this kind of activity!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Immorality and Religiosity

From Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion (in which he is quoting Sam Harris):
Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation writes:

While political party affiliation in the United States is not a perfect indicator of religiosity, it is no secret that the ‘red states’ are primarily red due to the overwhelming political influence of conservative Christians. If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and societal health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don’t. Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in ‘blue’ states, and 38 percent are in ‘red’ states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, and 24 percent are in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the U.S. are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rates of
burglary are red. Twenty-four of the twenty-nine states with the highest rates of theft are red. Of the twenty-two states with the highest rates of murder, seventeen are red.

Dawkins notes that in the U.S. red is conservative and blue is liberal, which is the opposite of how it is in most of the world. I understand that this data may be anecdotal at best, but you can not deny at least some correlation.

This serves as yet another example of how morality does not come from religion. Examples such as the problems in the middle east and elsewhere can even serve to show that perhaps it is immorality that stems from religion.

Obviously not all religious people are immoral, and not all non-religious people are moral, but trends are trends. Why do people feel such a need for religion, even with evidence such as this?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Slavery: reparations for today's blacks is immoral

The issue of reparations for descendants of slaves, is on top of this weeks British political agenda - but, it's still not entirely self-evident as to why the British state should have to pay monies to today's blacks, for a system that was abolished long, long before any of our parents were even born (let alone my generation).

If anything, the very idea of reparation for today's black Briton’s is in the first instance, a diabolical insult. The assumption underlying reparation is that slavery still shackles the feet of today's black Briton's - this notion is rubbish. What I find most objectionable, is the fact that it's millionaire black American lawyers who are the driving force behind all much of this foolish talk.

Besides, Britain cannot seriously afford to entertain ideas about shelling out tonnes of cash to all who demand compensation for things that happened in the distant past - because, it would be only a matter of time before the descendents of Chinese opium dealers come banging on British court doors demanding millions in compensation. Followed closely behind by the Boston tea merchants, and why not South African Boer farmers?

Multi-million pound payout will not heal any division there may be in our society, but it will surely succeed in incensing a whole generation of white Briton's who could rightfully argue that all this nonsense 'is not fair'.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A simple story

Palmdale, California - USA. The day was April 12, 2005. A person lost his life. Another also lost his life, not physical but social. The full story is here.

What strokes me was how can a society condemned 13 years old Greg Harris Jr. to a 12 years of confinement in a youth detention centre. I know that a kid died because of his actions, but what does a society gain with this sentence?

Nothing done will bring back to life that person, and nothing good will be achieved with this sentence. So why? It was the question that yesterday was in my mind and didn’t go away. It was a tragic event, but not rational, not like the sentence. This sentence will kill this kid life. He will spend as much time inside as outside of the youth detention centre. His values will be gain in that youth centre, not the best place to grow, I think.
One question pops up: “Who condemns the condemner?”

And if you read the story I ask I many of you where close to be in Greg’s shoes? Do you feel like a criminal and that you should be locked away? Sometime it was only luck that separated us from Greg. The luck that we had that this little kid didn’t have.

Final note: His appeal just started. I sincerely hope that the sentence will change.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

'War' on climate change? Looks just as 'bogus' as the 'war on terror'

According to Michael Meacher, the former environment minister, the British state is now apparently 'at war' over climate change, just like back 'in 1939'. The ex-minister added that 'I think we are at war over climate change and I think we [New Labour] can lead the country'. In case we didn't quite understand what Meacher was saying, he noted that global warming was a challenge to the very 'future of the human species on the planet'. Ok, message received.

Is Meacher really calling for the re-militarisation of our society, with his ideal image of WWII and wartime rationing? Even back then in 1930s, wartime rationing was only achievable by terrifying the British public into believing that Britain was about to be invaded, hence the need for militarising society and austerity measures.

More to the point, Meacher's bogus call to arms against climate change is totally unconvincing - the idea that the future of the whole of humanity somehow hangs in the balance because of climate change, is risible. This is not science speaking, Meacher's doom and gloom predictions are based on pure speculation.

Meacher once took the British government to task for its role in the bogus 'war on terror'. He bemoaned the fact that Britain had launched a full-scale war against Iraq based solely on dodgy information about WMD. Yet, Meacher's theories about the 'end of humanity' are just as 'bogus' as the original reasons why Britain went to war with Iraq. Indeed, Meacher’s theory has failed a basic test, Karl Popper's test of falsifiability. Meacher's dire warning says far more about him, than it does about the future of humanity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

WoSie Awards

Another year is about to end. Many events occurred during this year that marked our lifes. In this sense and in conformity with the spirit of this site we created the “WoSie awards”. This is an “open giving” awards which you have a major role.

The categories and respective nominations are completely free, and during this month you can send an email to mywosie2006@hotmail.com with your suggestions or leave here a comment with your proposal of categories, nominations or simply supporting an already created category and/or nominations. Your imagination will be the only limit to this Award.

In December the top 10 categories (and respective nominations) will be presented to voting, after the quality vote of members, and the Winners will be presented on 3 of January 2007.

[See some proposals on comments area]

Monday, November 13, 2006


Recently it was turned public the 2006Corruption Perceptions Index. From the results it is obvious the link between poverty and corruption. Like Huguette Labelle said “corruption traps millions in poverty”.

Once again (like in other development index) Scandinavian countries are on top of this index (Finland is the first) as countries with less perceived corruption.
Globally industrialized countries have less perceived corruption and the poorest countries have stronger perceived corruption. In terms of evolution Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay had a significant improvement of this index and Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States had a significant worsening of this index. In the case of USA he is on the 20th place equal to Chile and Belgium.

When discussing development and inequality between countries we sometimes forget of the internal causes of poverty. Corruption acts as a break in the development of wealth permitting people to profit from unjustly acquired wealth. An example is Kenya. Bribery costs about US $1 billion each year to theirs population, but more than 50% live on less than US $2 per day.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Britain needs a Bill of Rights

In her speech to the Royal United Services Institute, Margaret Beckett (the British Foreign Secretary) has joined her New Labour colleagues in calling upon British Muslims to lead the fight against Islamic extremism. The speech followed the well worn path of: “We know most Muslims despise these extremists, but it would be nice if they could actually tell us when they hear about a terrorist plot.” Most notably, she’s called upon them to spread the good word about life in Britain when they travel abroad to Islamic countries. Presumably in the hope that some deranged Islamist will abandon his plan to attack Britain after hearing from his brother’s friend’s aunt that really we’re not so bad.

When it comes to the Muslim community, New Labour is really trying to have its cake and eat it: repeatedly stating that we’re all in this together, then singling out Muslims as a special case. Muslims must do more to tackle extremism, we’re told. So does that mean the rest of us can carry on as we are? Yes, one of the biggest threats we face is from Muslim extremists, but there are better ways of getting the message across. Less divisive ways.

It’s the responsibility of everyone to deal with extremists - be they political, religious, or nationalists – including, as they’re part of British society, Muslims. Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. It’s not just Muslims who come into contact with extremists, and it’s not just non-Muslims who are affected by their actions.

The debate about extremism, and how best we can deal with it, is part of a much larger debate about citizenship: What does it mean to be a British citizen. While we’ve had numerous speeches about the British “way of life”, Ministers have continually ignored the most fundamental requirement of an inclusive and democratic society: a set of rights guaranteed to every citizen. Such a democratic ‘Bill of Rights’ (unlike the one we already possess) would firmly emphasise that those it applied to were full British citizens, and provide a means of addressing grievances, should anyone feel they’ve been treated unfairly or singled out.

While talk of citizenship remains abstract it remains too elusive. We need something concrete. Maybe then we’ll be in a position to argue over how best we can tackle those who mean us harm.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Defending your ideas

Okay, why is academic freedom important? Because in order to think, in order to exercise your freedom, you need to be educated – and in order for people to be educated they need to have the freedom to consider a very wide range of ideas, to have their own preconceptions questioned, and questioned vigorously. They have to learn how to tolerate ideas that are really abhorrent to them. They need to learn the difference between ideas and actions. They need to learn that people can have very different ideas, and they can debate them without coming to blows.

You know, in our world today, one way you can stop people from coming to blows about their conflicting ideas is by teaching them how to argue, and teaching them not to be afraid of argument. There’s an important difference between being embarrassed or feeling intellectually or emotionally wounded because you’re at the losing end of an argument, and actually being physically assaulted. I think it’s incredibly important for students to learn how to argue, and to learn how to appreciate and even enjoy argument.

Wendy Kaminer on academic freedom.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Minority and Majority

"Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion."

A century ago Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said the above. So there is no reason to ignore the power of minorities. But because of the fact that minorities represent a tiny obstacle between majority and totality or total purity, they are being pushed to the edge everywhere. Even in a democratic environment all what the nationalist movements do is the inclusive categorization of human beings forcing minorities to conform or change.

Naeem Mohaiemen writes with rage towards his fellow Bangladeshis about maltreatment of the religious minorities especially Hindus. While Rama portrays how Muslims are being neglected by the Hindu majority in India.

Is that a problem of the Indian subcontinent only? Such treatments against minorities exist everywhere, visible or invisible, big or small. For an example while driving in Berlin my every trivial mistake is let known by a honk (it is treated as a social duty) by the vehicle following me. Call me cynic but I am trying to find an answer why the same mistakes by the locals are mostly ignored by the same.

Or is this how minorities think? Is it an inferiority complex? Why do majorities have to always keep in mind that minorities can be sensitive. Minorities can be tyrants also. A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

I think the need for reconciliation and integration of minorities is vital in every society. We all need to broaden our mind and accept others as fellow human beings irrespective of their race, culture or nationality. Minorities and majorities should learn to respect each other and clear all the confusions and misconceptions between them. They should feel what actions can hurt and what actions can heal.

Naeem coins his act of conscience:

I shout at all of you with rage, because I refuse to accept a haven for me that is a nightmare for others. There is still time to stop this with our words, our actions and our bodies.

I wish we all could think like him.

Carbon rationing? Emm... No thanks

Normally whenever I think about rationing, I think about the period of instituted austerity for civilians during World War II, that didn't even end until the 1950s. The image is of people queuing up in long lines with ration books in hand to get their 'fair share' of scarce resources like food or clothing.

These days, the scarce resource seems to be energy, and environmentalists are demanding that it's time we made World War II like sacrifices for the sake of the planet. In the Newstatesman, Mark Lynas argues that it's not enough to drive less, fly less or consume less, we need to do much, much more that. Indeed, he argues that the;

"best indication of whether a person truly grasps the scale of the global climate crisis is not whether they drive a hybrid car or offset their flights, nor whether they subscribe to the Ecologist or plan to attach a wind turbine to their house. The most reliable indicator is whether they support carbon rationing".

In an era of plentiful, Lynas is openly advocating imposing harsh austerity. It hasn't even occurred to Lynas, or George Monbiot that there might be an alternative to green authoritarian carbon rationing. The author Daniel Ben-Ami points out that giant hydroelectric dams and nuclear power for example do not emit any greenhouse gas - geoengineering also offers many possibilities in the future in terms of energy. Ben-Ami also adds that carbon rationing 'would literally leave billions of people mired in poverty' - but what would environmentalists care about that? All they seemed to bothered about is the 'war against climate change', like nothing else mattered

USA Elections

Today, at 11:00 GMT (6 a.m. EST) United States will start to decide all 435 House seats, 33 Senate seats and 36 governorships. The polls start to close at 23:00 GMT (6 p.m. EST) but in some cases the results will be known pass many hours from the closure time.

While is almost sure that the Democrats will win control of the House of Representatives (last time that this happened was in 1994), the control of the Senate will be uncertain till the count of the votes.

If these previews occur then, no longer will Bush (and Republicans) have total control of Democratic Institutions in USA. Will this affect his politics, or will it make no difference at all?

Monday, November 06, 2006


It seems a little telling that the voices who complained about the timing of the Lancet report on the Iraqi deathcount have been fairly muted about the decision to announce the execution of Saddam Hussein so close to the US Mid-Term Elections. (The Times has a cartoon of the judge about to announce the verdict when Bush pops up, noose in hand, stating: "I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message").

The trial of Saddam Hussein was supposed to mark a fresh beginning for Iraq, a symbol ogf justice to help usher in a new era of democracy. Instead, it's seemed little better than the show trials held under the rule of the former dictator: the verdict decided on Day 1, followed by a pantomine of a trial for the cameras.

Iraqi blogger Riverbend is particularly scathing of the whole sorry mess:

When All Else Fails...
… Execute the dictator. It’s that simple. When American troops are being killed by the dozen, when the country you are occupying is threatening to break up into smaller countries, when you have militias and death squads roaming the streets and you’ve put a group of Mullahs in power- execute the dictator.

Everyone expected this verdict from the very first day of the trial. There was a brief interlude when, with the first judge, it was thought that it might actually be a coherent trial where Iraqis could hear explanations and see what happened. That was soon over with the prosecution’s first false witness. Events that followed were so ridiculous; it’s difficult to believe them even now.

The sound would suddenly disappear when the defense or one of the defendants got up to speak. We would hear the witnesses but no one could see them- hidden behind a curtain, their voices were changed. People who were supposed to have been dead in the Dujail incident were found to be very alive.

Judge after judge was brought in because the ones in court were seen as too fair. They didn’t instantly condemn the defendants (even if only for the sake of the media). The piece de resistance was the final judge they brought in. His reputation vies only that of Chalabi- a well-known thief and murderer who ran away to Iran to escape not political condemnation, but his father’s wrath after he stole from the restaurant his father ran.

So we all knew the outcome upfront (Maliki was on television 24 hours before the verdict telling people not to ‘rejoice too much’). I think what surprises me right now is the utter stupidity of the current Iraqi government. The timing is ridiculous- immediately before the congressional elections? How very convenient for Bush. Iraq, today, is at its very worst since the invasion and the beginning occupation. April 2003 is looking like a honeymoon month today. Is it really the time to execute Saddam?

A number of groups have rushed to condemn it as well.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ted Haggard Steps Down

Ted Haggard has stepped down as the president of the National Association of Evangelicals after a male prostitute in Denver claims that they had a three year long 'business' relationship. Following the downfall of Ted Haggard, aka “Art”, here’s a round up of some of his most shining moments as the leader of over 30 Million bigots.
Richard Dawkins lets Ted Haggard talk at him, from the series “The Root of all Evil”
Ted Haggard’s wikipedia page- keep checking back for updates about the latest scandal.
Ted Haggard’s personal webpage.
New Life Church webpage.
PDF of the New Life Church Press Release about Haggard putting himself on administrative leave.
OneGoodMove’s piece.
The Denver Post - Haggard Admits Some Indiscretions.
The New York Times article.

Militias kill 63 in Darfur

By Opheera McDoom at Reuters

"TINE, Sudan (Reuters) - Attacks in West Darfur have killed at least 63 people, half of them children, as rebels on Friday accused Khartoum of remobilising Arab militia after suffering two military defeats on the Sudan-Chad border.

"The government have begun mobilizing the Janjaweed widely, especially in West Darfur, because they want to clear the area and move north along the border and defeat us," said Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a leader of the National Redemption Front (NRF).

Rebels from the NRF alliance said of the 63 dead, 33 were children. The United Nations said 27 of those were under 12 and urged the government to protect civilians.(...)"