Military & Families Against The War

Military families and former soldiers will travel from across the country on Monday to demand that Gordon Brown brings the troops home from Afghanistan. They will deliver a petition signed by tens of thousands who believe that the war in Afghanistan is futile to the Prime Minister at Downing Street at 5pm.

Graham Knight, whose son was killed in Afghanistan, said: “We want to remind the government of the sacrifices our loved ones have made and continue to make. “This government has taken us into two wars – unprepared, underfunded and under false pretences.”

Joan Humphries, the grandmother of Kevin Elliot who was killed in August, will also join the protest at Downing Street. “I feel very strongly that the war is unjust and we have no chance of winning,” she said.

Among the former soldiers who will join the families to deliver the petition are Ben Griffin, who served as an SAS soldier in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Kevin Roach who served in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo and World War II veterans Bertie Lewis, who served in Bomber Command, and Jim Radford.

Mr Knight added: “Christmas is always a time of reflection for people who have suffered loss. But we don’t have to suffer alone and we don’t have to suffer in silence. In holding a vigil in Downing Street for the loved ones we have lost, we also want to remind the government that over 60 per cent of the British public think the troops should come home.”

Posted in Anti War, War on Terror Scam. Tags: . Comments Off on Military & Families Against The War

Bad Biology & Its Adherents

Worth a read, how neoliberals’ ignorance of science allows them to wilfully misinterpret it to support their selfish pathologies, how social Darwinists are a fraud and chimps like to hug, (the author is rather too rosy in his views of some historic leaders but those are tangental items anyway to his main points). (ht2 James)

How bad biology killed the economy

An unnatural culture of greed and fear has brought the global economy to its knees. We need to start playing to our pro-social strengths, says Frans de Waal

The CEO of Enron – now in prison – happily applied ‘selfish gene’ logic to his human capital, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Assuming that the human species is driven purely by greed and fear, Jeffrey Skilling produced employees driven by the same motives. Enron imploded under the mean-spirited weight of his policies, offering a preview of what was in store for the world economy as a whole.

An avowed admirer of Richard Dawkins’ gene-centric view of evolution, Skilling mimicked natural selection by ranking his employees on a one-to-five scale representing the best (one) to the worst (five). Anyone with a ranking of five got axed, but not without first having been humiliated on a website featuring his or her portrait. Under this so-called ‘Rank & Yank’ policy, people proved perfectly willing to slit one another’s throats, resulting in a corporate atmosphere marked by appalling dishonesty within and ruthless exploitation outside the company.

The deeper problem, however, was Skilling’s view of human nature. The book of nature is like the Bible: everyone reads into it what they like, from tolerance to intolerance and from altruism to greed. But it’s good to realise that, if biologists never stop talking about competition, this doesn’t mean that they advocate it, and if they call genes selfish, this doesn’t mean that genes actually are. Genes can’t be any more ‘selfish’ than a river can be ‘angry’ or sun rays ‘loving’. Genes are little chunks of DNA. At most, they are self-promoting, because successful genes help their carriers spread more copies of themselves.

Like many before him, Skilling had fallen hook, line and sinker for the selfish-gene metaphor, thinking that if our genes are selfish, then we must be selfish, too. He can be forgiven, however, because even if this is not what Dawkins meant, it is hard to separate the world of genes from the world of human psychology if our terminology deliberately conflates them.

Read the rest of this entry »