Dream of the Dragon

Tag: treason

Identifying Evil

by Justin

The first step in identifying an evil practice or individual is to define the word itself. I’ll open with the Wikipedia version as it’s as great (not necessarily wholly accurate) an authority these days as anything else:

the intention of causing harm or destruction while threatening or deliberately violating morality. Largely due to the subjectivity of the word morality (which may refer to a society’s moral code, one’s own moral system, relative morality, absolute morality, etc.), there is no agreement about whether evil is a matter of social custom or universally correct principle that overrides custom.

The harm and destruction bit is pretty straight forward – but then you hit the immediate snag of absolute morality and the challenges of identifying (and condemning) evil across great cultural divides. This is a critical issue in W’s glorious legacy of the ‘War on Terror’. Launching missiles at an idea should have seemed like nonsense from the beginning, but 9/11 and its aftermath were the direct product of an ideological schism. So it almost makes sense. And in that administration’s defense, radical and violent fundamentalism has a near intoxicating stench of evil all over it. Read the rest of this entry »

What To Do About Symbols That Are Not Okay

by lbej

Every time I drive to pick up my kids from school in the afternoon I pass by this one particular house that is taking an interesting approach to life in the United States.  Not the house itself, probably, but the residents.  This house is so notable because it is very well-kept and socioeconomically congruous except for one thing: it has a flagpole of the sort you see at post offices and schools on which is hoisted, always and only, the battle flag of the Confederacy.  This is very striking and, in my opinion, not okay.  I want to ask the residents of this otherwise unassuming house what they are trying to say.  Perhaps they would say something like “Southern heritage” or “states’ rights,” but the incontrovertible historical meaning of that flag is a call to take up arms against the United States.  Also virulent racism, but treason first and foremost. Read the rest of this entry »

Tower of Babel.

by Justin

It’s cool, you know, because at the end of the day they’re really not that smart. Sure, the CEO gets paid $70 million and helms a labyrinthine behemoth of a corporation famed for recruiting the brightest stars in the financial world, but how could you expect him to understand the market? I mean, what reason does the public have for assuming that one of the only entities to profit from the recession did so by the grace of more than just chance?

This is blowing my mind. You plead ignorance? Blankfein played dumb as Senators challenge the ethical decisions of Goldman Sachs and argues that the company practiced exploitation and deliberately misled its clients. I don’t have the expertise (or anything close to it) to attack this monstrosity head on. In fact, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, for all its righteousness seems to be equally baffled by the Goldman defense of its actions. Jon Tester, Democrat from Montana, summed it up by saying, “It’s like we’re speaking a different language here.” Read the rest of this entry »