Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

To: His Lordship, the Right Honorable Richard John Carew Chartres, Bishop of London Re: Occupy London

To: His Lordship, the Right Honorable Richard John Carew Chartres,
Bishop of London
Re: Occupy London

Your Lordship,

I read with concern in today’s New York Times* that you were quoted
regarding the Occupy London camp outside St. Paul’s, “the time has
come for the protesters to leave, before the camp’s presence threatens
to eclipse entirely the issues that it was set up to address.”

I respectfully assert that this is a morally and ethically incorrect
approach to this issue.

You are not behaving as a follower of Jesus; rather, you speak like a
Pharisee. Are you more concerned with making money than with serving
and advocating for the needs of the poor and oppressed?

If Jesus is among us today, he is outside on the lawn at St. Paul’s,
where you have shut the doors of the church against him.

3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalms 82:3-4 KJV

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA USA

* http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/10/26/business/AP-Occupy-Glance.html?hp

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

26 October, 2011 Posted by | media, news, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Regarding the Wall Street protests

Dear Ms. Bellafante,

I read your article in the Sunday New York Times website with great interest:

Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim

It is a remarkable piece of right-wing propaganda masquerading as a news story.

You pretend to have had difficulty discerning what the message of the groups involved is.

Please allow me to summarize for you.

The message is that the USA is becoming more and more a plutocracy.

They decry that this growing economic inequality is accompanied by growing political inequality, the destruction of the middle class, and social and economic disenfranchisement of the poor.

They criticize, as you pointed out in a backhanded way, the doctrine of corporate citizenship, wherein corporations are given “rights” covalent with, and contrary to, the rights of citizens.

They point out the injustice of a legal system which mandates the judicial killing of a poor black man in the name of justice even though the evidence against him is largely now discredited.

If you were having trouble taking seriously the criticism of corporatism as antithetical to popular democracy, I suggest you read Prof. Joel Bakan’s “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power“.

As Robert Reich pointed out in his piece, “The Limping Middle Class” in the New York Times on September 3, 2011, the 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to research from Moody’s Analytics. As Reich noted,

“When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly… The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed.”

Your article was not objective coverage. You made your lede not the “5 w’s and h” of a real news story. Instead you chose to focus on the most freakish and unbalanced participant, from the perspective of normative values, that you could find. Your entire piece was belittling and apparently intended to “otherize” and isolate the participants.

You seem to have the opposite idea of the duty of the news media from that articulated by former CBS News President and Edward R. Murrow producer Fred Friendly, “Our job is not to make up anyone’s mind, but to open minds — to make the agony of decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.”

Your article seems to have been deliberately constructed to belittle, to obscure the message, and to give people reasons not to think, and not to question authoritarianism and greed as organizing principles of society.

You made no mention of the shocking and illegal police-state tactics being used against these brave and principled, nonviolent protestors.

Shame on you, Ginia Bellafante. Shame, shame, shame.

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA

PS This letter and your entire unedited response may be posted on my social media platforms and on my blog, https://scanlyze.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

25 September, 2011 Posted by | media, news, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Response to “Why Wikileaks is Wrong”

Here is my response to “Why Wikileaks is Wrong” by Amy Bruckman:

Amy, your argument falls by the categorical imperative: if your argument was correct, then any government openness would be bad and all government information should be classified. You are opposing and undermining the very essence of democracy.

“The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.”

–Nils Bohr
quoted in Kantrowitz, “The Weapon of Openness,” in Crandall and Lewis, “Nanotechnology, Research and Perspectives,” 1992

Wikileaks has received the 2008 Economist Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award and the 2009 Amnesty International Human Rights Reporting Award (New Media).

Please reconsider your analysis in this light. Let’s talk about this.

You quote a five step test for when to whistleblow. Here are my responses regarding the war in Afghanistan and whether or not whistleblowing is justified in this context.

1 Do you believe the problem may result in ‘serious and considerable harm to the public’?

The war in Afghanistan has resulted in 1338 confirmed deaths of US personnel and tens of thousands of Afghan deaths, mostly civilians. The US has conducted and condoned assassinations, secret disappearances and kidnappings, torture and rape, all contrary to US and international law.

2 Have you told your manager your concerns about the potential harm?

In November, 2001 I attempted to bring a written resolution before the Washtenaw County Democratic Party opposing the War in Afghanistan. It was ruled out of order by the chair without being submitted to discussion or a vote.

I went to the Rules Committee to ask for a rule permitting debate on my resolution. I was told, “Henry you can stay but if you open your mouth, if you say one word, you will be arrested and removed by force if necessary.”

3 Have you tried every possible channel within the organization to resolve the problem?

Since 2001, I have attended public meetings, written extensively in my blog, written repeatedly to my congresspeople and spoken to several of them in person. I have stood on a street corner by the Ann Arbor Federal Building holding a sign on many cold winter days, often alone.

4 Have you documented evidence that would persuade a neutral outsider that your view is correct?

There is ample evidence that the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable, that it serves no strategic purpose, that it is an illegal war of aggression under US and “customary” international law (in particular, the Nuremberg Principles). And bin Laden is not there, he is in Pakistan, protected by our “ally”.

5 Are you reasonably sure that if you do bring this matter to public attention, something can be done to prevent the anticipated harm?”

I am not sure that what Wikileaks has done will prevent the anticipated harm. But I think it will help. I am sure that if nothing is done, the harms will continue and intensify.

Having said that, I myself would not access or release data in this manner, because I think it would be professionally unethical from the perspective of the System Administrator’s Code of Ethics.

Henry Edward Hardy
Cambridge, MA
https://scanlyze.wordpress.com/category/afghanistan/

Wikileaks
Why Wikileaks is Wrong

Copyright © 2010 Henry Edward Hardy

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3 December, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Amy Bruckman, bin Laden, civil disobedience, Crandall, Julian Assange, Kantrowitz, Lewis, Nils Bohr, openness, State Department, whistleblowing, wikileaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Congress really needs is more fools!

What Congress really needs is more fools!

It says something when the most insightful and effective legislator in the US Senate is a comedian: Al Franken (D-MN).

Al Franken Gets Alleged KBR Rape Victim Her Day In Court
Franken’s stern words for Obama administration revealed
Franken could be US fiscal savior
Comcast execs make few guarantees to Franken
Franken chairs as ‘Vote-a-rama’ begins

Copyright © 2010 Henry Edward Hardy

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25 March, 2010 Posted by | Congress, liberal, media, Minnesota, news, politics, scanlyze, Senate, US | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OLPC-One

Here’s a new promotional slideshow/video from One Laptop Per Child:

NB: I am the sysadmin for OLPC.

Copyright © 2008 Henry Edward Hardy

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25 April, 2008 Posted by | scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment