Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy St George's Day

by Charles Pooter

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Against Torture and Against Torturers

by Charles Pooter

Waterboarding is torture. This is undeniable. If you have tortured, you have given up part of your humanity. You have blackened your soul.

If you have sanctioned, condoned or encouraged torture you are a torturer by proxy.

You have given up any right to claim you are a representative or defender of any of the following concepts:

  • The West
  • Western civilisation
  • Freedom
  • Liberty
  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Due process
  • The free society
  • The open society
As flawed as many of these concepts are, you are an implacable ememy of the grains of truth and goodness that they contain.

I do not claim that torture is not effective. To do so would be foolish. The torturers need only show one example where it has yielded a positive result and this utilitarian argument against torture is destroyed.

I ask instead what is the greater aim of effective torture? What is the torturer hoping to defend by the successful extraction of information?

By definition, he cannot hope to defend any of the concepts listed above. He cannot do this because, at the moment he officially sanctions or commits torture, his society no longer subscribes to any of these concepts.

His country is no longer part of "the West" or Western civilisation.
His country is no longer free or open.
His country is no longer a democracy.
His country no longer subscribes to due process or the rule of law.

Given this, what is left for the torturer to defend?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Apple Shop Sketch

by Charles Pooter

From Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle. Starts off as a Two Ronnies parody/tribute and then degenerates into hilarious insanity. Give Paul Putner and Kevin Eldon their own show I say.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Libertarian Socialism

by Charles Pooter

“Socialism, to me, is about achieving egalitarian ends according to the belief that we all know the best of which humans are capable. It does not prescribe the means, however—it’s simply a value-laden opinion on that towards which we’re striving. This is why I believe stateless societies and genuinely free markets will be the means to get us there: these are the kinds of decentralized systems that allow societies to find the best solutions for its constituents. Socialism and libertarianism, to me, are not incongruous; socialism is (one aspect of) the ends, libertarianism is the means.”
    — Jeremy Weiland.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Prince Philip: International Statesman

by Dom Corrigan

How I laughed...

Wait for it (action starts around 0:50)