Politics

Category archives for Politics

Never Mind the Burkas

If president Sarkozy really believes that Muslim women are subservient to male members of their families, then he shouldn’t try to regulate their clothing. He should draw the full consequences of his beliefs and forbid Muslim women to vote in French elections. If, on the other hand, he believes that these women are autonomous enough…

Living in a country that hasn’t seen war for two centuries, and never having done military service, I’m completely baffled by war rapes and the post-war rapes that have become part of the cultures of certain African countries. Particularly the high incidence of child rape going on e.g. in Liberia and Congo. The appeal of…

Archaeology Misused in Jerusalem

A headline caught my eye: “Archaeology in the Struggle for Jerusalem“. As usual when archaeology is used for political ends, it is actually subservient to written history in this case. In the Bustan neighbourhood of the Silwan precinct in East Jerusalem, the municipality of Jerusalem has ordered 88 buildings torn down. Most are inhabited by…

As a scholar working in an abstruse subject I live a life largely divorced from what concerns most people. We have no newspaper subscription. I really don’t have much of a clue. But I am aware of the poor state of the world economy. Now, how has it affected me so far? The only effect…

Let’s Turn The Population Trend

Imagine that you’re ten years old, you’ve got a cageful of gerbils and your weekly allowance is just big enough to feed five of them. If one of the females pops out a brood of pups, you’re in trouble. You can either try to weedle a bigger allowance out of your parents, try to give…

The Nation Approves Sb

ScienceBlogs.com, including Aard, has received left-wing newspaper The Nation’s seal of approval and been listed as one of its recommended web sites in a book that’s just out. To my Swedish readers, this isn’t likely to mean much, as left-wing US politics is what our conservatives advocate: such as when Prime Minister Reinfeldt endorsed Barack…

The Ethics of Overpopulation

There are too many of us on Earth, our numbers keep growing, and we need to do something about it. Now, let’s never lose sight of the reason we want to do something about it. I’m not an ecological romantic. I don’t think the planet would be better off without humanity. In fact, I think…

Here’s a grim thought about the environment. There is no way of life for humans on Earth that is ecologically sustainable for a global population of more than a billion. Our per capita environmental footprint doesn’t really matter at this stage. If we retain our current population and return to a Palaeolithic lifestyle, we’re still…

Swedish Peace Activists Vandalise US Arms

A few hours ago, activists broke into two Swedish arms factories and vandalised weapons destined for US and Indian military forces. Among other things, they rendered twenty m/48 Carl Gustaf bazookas inoperable. This really takes me back. An older cousin of mine used to be an activist in the Plowshares Movement. In 1993 him and…

Pokémon and the Financial Crisis

A timely must-read: Kevin Nguyen explains the financial crisis to his kid sister using Pokémon cards as an analogy. Kevin: Imagine that I let you borrow $50, but in exchange for my generosity, you promise to pay me back the $50 with an extra $10 in interest. To make sure you pay me back, I…