28/08/2018

John McCain, the Unrepentant Warrior

The hero-worship of John McCain’s militarism misses the point that the Vietnam War was not World War II, and that individual heroism in the wrong cause cannot overcome the catastrophic errors of believing that might makes right. Physical bravery should not overshadow moral weakness. McCain’s military exploits deserve recognition only in so far as we do not forget the larger moral and political errors in which they took place.   

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22/08/2018

Kofi Annan and Switzerland’s Decision on Nuclear Weapons: Moral Authority and Punching Above One’s Weight

Kofi Annan’s passing away Saturday touched many people. More than almost all his predecessors as secretary general of the United Nations, Annan was able to “radiate an aura of probity and authority,” according to the obituary in The New York Times International Edition. His moral authority stood despite scandals involving his son as well as his role as head of United Nations peacekeeping operations during catastrophes in Somalia, Rwanda and Srebrenica.  

 

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20/08/2018

Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment

Fydor Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment raises the complex problem of guilt. The hero, Rodion Raskolnikov, commits what seems to be the perfect crime but is torn by moral dilemmas. A poor student, he murders a pawnbroker for her money, a crime for which he could potentially justify his action. Luckily for him, the objective facts of his guilt are beyond verification; it is his internal feelings of guilt that finally led him to confess.  

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13/08/2018

Locarno Film Festival and Extended Time

Accelerated time leaves little room for reflection. SMS and WhatApp keep us tuned in 24/7.  We are never behind or ahead; we are in the precise moment. Even international time zones have lost their meaning

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