Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What Makes a Just Assassination?

How do we measure evil? And how do we celebrate it?

Soldiers are brave and demand respect, especially those that have been run around the middles east for the past 10 years making oil cheaper for the rest of the world, and making jobs and contracts for weapons and construction industries. These soldiers deserve to celebrate a victory. They were told from the start that this the Afghanistan war was about Osama Bin Laden and weapons of mass destruction were, this was the cause that made many join the fight, whether this is right or wrong is a separate question. These soldiers have been endanger and away from their families over essentially a gigantic lie. The killing of Osama Bin Lade is a moment where these soldiers can claim a victory in the reasons that they joined to fight in the first place, and in the context of their experience we should not detract from this victory, not a victory of violence or a victory over any meaningful or worthwhile military or political goal but a victory psychologically over all of the lies told to soldiers over the course of this war.
Not everything should be made into a political statement. People's identify with conflict and their subsequent measure of victory is a hard thing to challenge, especially in the context of a real experience and a perspective. However, it is important also to consider as a separate issue the ethical and political consequence of actions, especially the military ones that have occurred. As soldiers and citizen this need to happen in the realm of thought not in the realm of statements. There is a serious ethical and political reality to the killing of Osama but, there is also a reality to the individuals who have been their and have lived the lie and the struggle that has been these last couple of wars.  There is little denying that targeted assassinations are unethical. Anyone arguing otherwise and claims that assassination (murder) is justifiable when the person in question is killer of innocent civilians should be ready to assassinate the current and past president of the USA (for explanation see charts).

There is away of respecting both the personal and political contexts of the Osama Bin Laden assassination, some  the both require empathy, reason and a heterodox political understanding that is non-dogmatic nor hypocritical. One group can celebrate something psychological and personal, while another can critique and remand something political.

Osama Bin Laden- 9.11.2001 ---- Civilian Death Toll:  2,752 

President Bush --Iraq War- 0319.2003:

Civilian deaths

Afghanistan War Civilian Casualities -- Presient Obama

Angry Librarian: Harper Collins Profiting off of e-books and libraries.

By day, Andy Woodworth is a mild-mannered librarian. By night, he's still a librarian, just less mild-mannered. 
Andy is kind of famous in the librarian community, mostly for getting the Old Spice guy to do a video about how great libraries are, and unsuccessfully campaigning to get Ben & Jerry's to create a flavor called the "Gooey Decimal System." (If you don't get the pun, just ask someone ten years older.)
Oh, and now he's using Change.org to help lead the charge in a fight against NewsCorp, one of the world's most powerful companies. 
See, more and more libraries are beginning to buy e-books, like those read on a Kindle or similar device. They're programmed to be like normal books -- lent out to one reader at a time, returned, and downloaded by another reader. It's simple, and especially great for working parents or the disabled who have a hard time making it to a library. 
But publishing giant HarperCollins (owned by NewsCorp) is trying to force libraries to only buy e-books that literally self-destruct after the 26th reader in an attempt to maximize profits. 
 Having to repeatedly buy the same book will be a financial and logistical disaster for libraries, one that could force a few to close their doors.
Even worse, there are signs that other publishing companies may soon follow the lead of HarperCollins, which could devastate libraries all around the world.  

Other Sources:

Some amazing librarians have launched a full boycott of HarperCollins until the decision is reversed, but they urgently need widespread support to force NewsCorp to back down. 
Andy's petition demanding an end to self-destructing e-books has a goal of 100,000 signatures -- click here to add your name now:
Andy declares on his blog that "The world needs more badass librarians." It's true, though right now the world also needs more readers who will stand alongside them.