Last post for the summer

July 31, 2005 at 4:34 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

It’s almost August. I’m waiting with bated breath for Maria to post a follow up on her attendance at Bloghercon this weekend, wondering if any new perspectives really emerged from the conference. (And I see that Maria has posted her account here!) Otherwise, I’m getting ready to go on a pixel-diet of sorts, since August is traditionally a vacation month and I, too, plan on taking time off from routine.

About the list of blogs and sites that refer to e-learning issues, which I thought I’d write and post here: I decided that there isn’t really going to be any value in posting this list, especially since many of the sites simply repeat links found elsewhere, without necessarily adding commentary or analysis. I already referred to the ones that did give me useful information in posts prior to this, so I’ll leave it at that. As more interesting entries come along, I’ll post them, August holiday excepted.

I’m rethinking my options, looking for a way to find/ generate income-producing work, and will try to put the writing of blog posts (as well as the reading of them) on the back burner — in favour of reflection, other projects, and taking time to enjoy the grandiose, gentle, blissfully temperate summer we are privileged to enjoy here on the West Coast. At the same time, since this blogging business is a highly addictive passion, I’m not so sure I can do without my blogly friends for long. Part of this weekend, which I already intended to spend offline, was instead spent reading and sometimes commenting on Shelley’s Burningbird, here at To Google, Pregnancy is Evil, as well as her Follow-Up to When We are Needed, which was a follow-up, logically enough, to When We are Needed. Another blog-related bit of commenting took place in my own space, here in the July 27 entry in response to a comment by an old friend with whom I was at Harvard. She pointed me to a new project undertaken by our erstwhile thesis advisor, and my response was anything but casual. That particular post already had a speculative postscript of sorts which diverged considerably from the original starting point, and adding in the comments thread, it’s now a real coat of many colours. Call me Joe. I did get some things worked out and articulated, though, and that’s what keeps me interested.

When I do this sort of connecting, conversing with different voices out there, I feel very energised, and much differently charged than when I’m writing some piece destined for a file somewhere. Perhaps it’s the sense of immediacy in the voices and the conversations. At the same time, there are vastly different perspectives on blogging and writing (and whether the two have much in common) that are hard to dismiss. The following passage is from a May 30, 2003 email that a high-ranking features editor at a very glossy New York City based magazine sent me. She had at one time shown interest in a story I sent to her magazine in 2000 and I briefly reconnected with her after I started blogging, admittedly because I wanted to keep the door to her office at least ajar. In my email to her, I mentioned that I had started blogging. She wrote back:

Not that you asked me, but when l looked into the Harvard blogging sites, I formed the (admittedly hasty) impression that these efforts have no more connection with serious writing than a good phone conversation or a chatty e-mail. “Real” writing is the creation of a complete, organized work–even a 350-word journalistic sketch. I could be wrong, but I think blogging is merely fun, and a postponement of writing. Joining a workshop or taking a course would be more helpful in my view. You would be more likely to finish a piece, instead of making a daily random hit.

I don’t know if that door is in any sense still ajar, because I’m not in a mood to look. As is obvious from my saving of her email, I never forgot this dismissive summation, and it haunts me because I can’t, for the life of me, see the difference between some of the well-written blog posts out there and anything that’s put in the “lifestyles” or “arts and culture” section of any magazine. With some blog posts, I can’t even see the difference between them and the seriously vetted articles published by so-called high-brow journals. Still, the remark haunts me because it suggests that there is an insurmountable barrier between writing for the love of writing and speculating and thinking out loud vs writing for a cheque. The latter seems somehow cut off from doing it for the love of it, and I find that troubling. I admit that I am terrified of writing on demand, even though I know I can do it as easily as passing water.

Maybe Freud was right and potty-training does leave traumatic scars. (joke…)

At any rate, today is July 31 and this August is going to be a time off for me. If there’s anything really great out there I should read, send me email (click on my name at the bottom of each entry and it takes you to a page with a little envelope icon. Alternately, just click here… I hope everyone has a great summer (or winter, for those of you “down under”!).

Some critics of Islam

July 29, 2005 at 8:16 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Some critics of Islam

Open Democracy has an excellent article by Maruf Khwaja, Terrorism, Islam, reform: thinking the unthinkable. It isn’t anything that Irshad Manji hasn’t said, but it’s nice to see it coming out on Open Democracy. Khwaja writes,

Contemporary Islam has produced more suicidal extremists than all other creeds, modern or ancient. In addition to real or imagined grievances, there are growth factors peculiar to Islam. An unshakeable belief that “life after life” is preferable to the earthly one; the mental discipline inculcated by rigid prayer rituals and the suppression of earthly desire through fasting and privation make vulnerable young minds especially receptive to brainwashing. (…)

Unreformed Islam’s relationship to the Muslim world is equivalent to pre-Reformation Christianity in Europe. The Reformation allowed the west to liberate itself from religious thinking and set free forces of progress; meanwhile, Islamic empires shrank into their shell, refusing reality, rejecting change and resisting “infidel” knowledge. Stupefied by ignorance, they submitted to western conquerors with scarcely a whimper. If today’s Muslim bomb-throwers want someone to blame for their mindless rage, they should look at their own ancestors.

The long-term answer to terrorism in its Islamic guise can only lie in reform. Islamic reformers must re-examine pre-modern practices and concepts (such as the hudood laws that allow men “non-reciprocal” rights over women); repudiate Islamic radicals who wish (as in Canada) to apply sharia laws to Muslims in the democratic west; shed sectarian dogmas that perpetuate intra-communal conflict; consign the theological disputes of early Islam to the past; and update or discard rigid rules (often deriving from pre-Islamic rituals) that have no relevance today. [More…]

Somewhere in the article, Khwaja also mentions ijtihad, which Irshad Manji espouses unequivocally and characterises thus:

Ijtihad (pronounced “ij-tee-had”) is Islam’s lost tradition of independent thinking. In the early centuries of Islam, thanks to the spirit of ijtihad, 135 schools of thought thrived. Inspired by ijtihad, Muslims gave the world inventions from the astrolabe to the university. So much of we consider “western” pop culture came from Muslims: the guitar, mocha coffee, even the ultra-Spanish expression “Ole!” (which has its root in the Arabic word for God, “Allah”).

What happened to ijtihad?

Toward the end of the 11th century, the “gates of ijtihad” were closed for entirely political reasons. During this time, the Muslim empire from Iraq in the east to Spain in the west was going through a series of internal upheavals. Dissident denominations were popping up and declaring their own runaway governments, which posed a threat to the main Muslim leader — the caliph. Based in Baghdad, the caliph cracked down and closed ranks. Remember those 135 schools of thought mentioned above? They were deliberately reduced to four, pretty conservative, schools of thought. This led to a rigid reading of the Koran as well as to a series of legal opinions — fatwas — that scholars could no longer overturn or even question, but could now only imitate. To this very day, imitation of medieval norms has trumped innovation in Islam. It’s time to revive ijtihad to update Islam for the 21st century. That’s why I’ve created Project Ijtihad.
Based on my extensive touring and interaction with young Muslims around the world, I can report good news: the idea of a campaign to revive ijtihad is generating huge excitement. Young Muslims and their friends are expressing gratitude, relief, even love for my willingness to help them confront the extremists. There’s no doubt that some young Muslims detest me and my message of ijtihad. They tend to be the vocal and vitriolic ones. But everywhere I go, I’m quietly approached by Muslims, especially young women, who are desperate to know that it’s possible to dissent with mainstream orthodoxy while remaining faithful. The challenge now is to help transform that underground hunger for change into an above-the-ground phenomenon.
[so much more here…]

Irshad Manji is profiled in a Times Online article from July 17: The lipstick lesbian daring to confront radical imams. The reporter quotes her:

“Why do they protest against France for making it illegal to wear hijabs, but not against Saudi Arabia for making it illegal not to wear them?”; more Muslims, she contends, have been killed in recent years by fellow Muslims than by westerners. [More…]

Good question.

Oh, and about those virgins awaiting “martyrs” in “paradise”? According to Manji, that belief is erroneous, based on a translation error. Instead of “virgin,” read “raisin.” Yup. Seventy-two raisins. Apparently they were incredibly valuable in 7th century Arabia.

Well. That gives a whole new spin to the sexist expression old prune, don’t it?

And now, a moment of shameless self-promotion

July 28, 2005 at 9:58 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

File this under shameless self-promotion, but during one of my perusals of e-learning blogs/ sites today, I came across The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog‘s entry, Librarians Point to Google Scholar from July 26 — snooze…: joke, right? Google scholar has been around for ages already! Naturally, though, I had to take myself on a spin, and came across this delightful (to my ears) excerpt from Johanna Drucker‘s review of my book:

It would be too bad if the apparently narrow focus of this book–five years of post-World War II German art, represented by relatively obscure artists such as Ernst and [sic] Wilhelm Nay–caused it to be overlooked. Inside the deliberately circumscribed limitations of her topic, Yule Heibel makes a profoundly sophisticated contribution to scholarship on post-World War II art history. Concentrating on German artists’ and critics’ efforts to reestablish viable cultural practices, she turns her evaluation of the relatively minor painter Nay into a discussion that has implications for a great range of visual art produced after 1945. This is because the major issue in this study is the concept of artistic subjectivity as a battleground for ideological debate. In the post-1945 era of reconstruction and subsequent Cold War politics, ideas of the arts and the individual artist were freighted with heavy burdens of expectation. Both were to manifest the value-laden aims of the moment–to participate in healing, recovery, and renewal–while assuming the appearance of being mere aesthetic expression. Heibel achieves an exemplary integration of theory-based conception and philosophical analysis, bringing both to bear on a tightly focused study of particular artists and works in their interaction with specific historical circumstances.

The concept of subjectivity that is central to Heibel’s discussion is centered in philosophy rather than psychoanalysis, and she eschews conventional Freudian and Lacanian constructions of subjectivity, with their by now commonplace (in art history) formulas of identification, negation, and fetishism as mechanisms through which to examine the seductive effects of images in their replication of mirror stage activity or presymbolic conditions. Instead, her paradigm foregrounds the dialectic of subject/object relations. She contrasts the positions of Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno and their articulations of two radically different… [Unfortunately, not more, since this is an excerpt that points to subscriber content…:-(]

Ok, full disclosure: I count Johanna as a friend, and I admire her work tremendously. But I didn’t put her up to writing the review, and others who I don’t know wrote similarly interesting things. So, allow me to bask a bit in reflected glory from a previous life… 😉

What do I call this? Feminism on the side?

July 28, 2005 at 9:27 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on What do I call this? Feminism on the side?

Darren Cannell has an informative blog called Teaching and Developing Online. He’s my source today for a bunch of links related to e-learning, several of which follow: here he links to an interesting abstract for a paper called Blogs @ Anywhere: High fidelity online communication by James Farmer and Anne Bartlett-Bragg. Anne B-B, incidentally, is one of the few female voices I’ve seen in this environment (aside from Catherine Howells of Ida Takes Tea). This e-learning climate is just about as bad as the situation Shelley has described often and describes most excellently right here: it’s almost all male. Is this why I can’t get this Arianna Huffington post out of my head right now: Women “Losing The Gender War In The Caring Professions”…, which points to this story in The Guardian? The paper reports that, according to a Brunel University business school report authored by Dr. Ruth Simpson, men get more respect for their “caring” work than women do:

“While the caring performed by a woman is often devalued as a ‘natural’ part of femininity, the emotional labour performed by men is often seen as an asset.” [More…]

So, women aren’t “good enough” for tech, and women aren’t “good enough” for “caring” if and when the men decide to exercise themselves in that field. Gee, kinda makes a person conclude that women aren’t …good enough?

This is a formula for disenfranchisement, and it’s therefore profoundly anti-democratic, fascist, backwards, and regressive.


Another pointer from Darren, this one to James Farmer, How NOT to use blogs in education. It’s a summary of the longer paper linked to above. I found the comments to this entry useful, especially since several included links to additional articles, and there was significant pushback and discussion over, among other things, the usefulness of blogs as tools for individuals or for groups. This is interesting for teaching, because as a teacher you’re dealing with the development of the individual, but (unless you’re a private tutor) you’re also dealing with a group dynamic. So, it’s an interesting problem of cohesion (which suggests following some purpose [?] — in teaching? — and hierarchy and control, vs a more …organic?, holistic? …nah, weasel words… — a more self-reflective development based in the individual’s willingness to learn, stretch, develop. (That this then raises other questions about assessment and so forth is a different matter.)

On the other hand, in Colorado it’s possible to go to the mall to go to high school: Digital School at the Mall Available to Homeschool Students. Fries on the side…


July 27, 2005 at 11:05 am | In yulelogStories | 6 Comments

No, it’s not a new social networking thing, like FOAF. PFOA is a substance created when fluorotelomers break down:

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is a perfluorinated acid (PFA) that has recently been identified in the liver and blood of polar bears and seals in the Arctic, including some samples from Nunavut. There is concern about the presence of this chemical in the environment as it is highly persistent and seems not to degrade. It can cause cancer, lead to enlarged livers as well as affect the fertility of wildlife. [More…]

PFOA in turn does not break down and stays in the environment indefinitely.

Fluorotelomers are used in microwaveable popcorn bags, in packaging for fast foods like sandwiches, chicken and French fries, as well as in packaging for pizza, bakery items, drinks and candy. They are also found in paper plates. There is currently no way for consumers to tell if packaging contains fluorotelomers. [More…]

The Environmental Protection Agency has been studying PFOA since 1999 and, after review of its findings by an outside science advisory panel, that panel concluded that PFOA is a human carcinogen. EPA in turn wants to tone those conclusions down and call PFOA a “suggestive human carcinogen.” See today’s article in the New York Times, Is There an Extra Ingredient in Nonstick Pans? by Marian Burros. The main focus is on teflon pans, but as the snippet above indicates, the stuff is in packaging all over the place.

The article includes instructions on how to microwave regular popcorn using a plain paper bag, one staple, and a bit of oil and salt.


In completely unrelated matters:

I’m waaayyy behind in projects, including writing something in response to Alex Couros‘s great comment yesterday. Several hours after I commented back, it occured to me that I’m again thinking about these issues in terms of my favourite frame of reference, namely embodiment, and that this trope (embodiment) is linked in my mind to the local. That is, we are locally constituted, we “take things to heart,” we “digest” news, we literally consider our body the local host. Technology has a tendency to dis-integrate the local, sometimes even to threaten it. It’s not that technology is bad, but it literally makes us over — re-constitutes us — in ways that can be alienating or distressing, and that at the very least alter significant things about our constitution. (Once we’ve got our “skin,” we also hate to change: Couros has a blog entry for July 26 about how people “resist” Linux and rely on Windows instead.) We’ve probably known this, intuitively, all along, and known it about all technologies, too, including chiselling runes in rocks, or reading, or books, or photography. We’re also quite adept at accepting how this splitting off of bits of ourselves — re-constituting ourselves in some technological mediation, whether at the production or reception end of things — is a way of creating new individuation. Early adopters are probably risk-takers, people who like drugs and risky behaviour and don’t mind messing around with their own personal boundaries (I include myself here). I bought a book ages ago, when I was still a graduate student (back in the 14th century), which dealt with individualism as a question of di-vidualism, or division. The book is somewhere in the house, and I have to find it — at this point, I can’t even remember the editor’s name, just the colours on the cover…

My thinking was also prompted by thinking about how people resist new technologies — and why do they? Is it because they sense that every new tool has something dis-integrative about it? Is it because what they want in the first instance is to be recognised for what they bring (to the table, to a project), not for what they lack? Doesn’t technology always at first show you a plenitude elsewhere, which informs you of all the things absent in you — and how is this different from what nature offers as a platform for exploring how we are constituted? We don’t yet wield nature over others the way we can wield technology — the latter is an extension of will and power. We’re using technology to dominate nature, and we’ve almost completely succeeded — the ability to alter the germline, etc., represents a real shift. I guess I can’t help going back again to the old wound, the body, the place where all this coming together and breaking apart takes place. It’s where we’re born and where we die, if we’re lucky. If we’re not, we die hooked up to machines. We may be very close to being born through technological-genetic engineering, which would close the gap between technology and nature. But at this point, I don’t know that we even know why we might have needed and will continue to need that gap…

Tea and tech

July 25, 2005 at 11:20 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Possibly tomorrow I’d like to post a list of some of the e-learning blogs and websites I’ve been reading lately — the reason I keep putting it off is because I keep finding too many interesting reads and pointers on those very same sites…

An example: a while back I wrote about finally trying out Skype, and today I see on the EdTech Posse (via the Couros Blog) that there is a program available that basically provides a “personal assistant” for Skype users. It’s called Pamela (…hmmm…?), and there’s a free basic version as well as two pay-for versions. The latter are useful if, like EdTech Posse, you want to record Skype conference calls for use in podcasts…

(Meanwhile, I still haven’t solved my headset problems with Skype & my iBook — the USB converter would set me back quite a bit, so for now, if I want to Skype, I’ll be shouting at the built-in mike on my computer. Headphones work, but mike not yet… Which means that I won’t yet need Pamela either, for I won’t be “skyping” a lot. But it’s nice to know “she” is there…)

On a related note, Couros Blog really likes technology. Yesterday they he had a pointer to something called Dijjer, a “free P2P software that dramatically reduces the bandwidth needed to host large files.” This is important for those people who really rely on podcasting and, if they get very popular, find their bandwidth eaten up. “Kid in a candy store” syndrome is hitting me, I guess: considering it’s hardly in the cards that I’ll be podcasting (or getting that popular), I really don’t need to know about Dijjer. But what will they think of next?

But if truth be told, I am much more drawn to the sort of discussion and thinking generated by Ida Takes Tea, who writes:

Institutions of education, like other social institutions, do have a role in “authenticating” individuals. In so doing, they endow them with attributes. Some of these identity-attributes are tangible and function as formal attestations of competence (like a degree certificate, or a graduate-entry job). Others are less tangible and belong as much to the group as to the individual: social and political identities, for example. Whatever the specifics of the institutional context (size, Carnegie class, study mode, etc.), learners do not learn in isolation. When they enrol, they assume an institutional identity. They “affiliate”, they become part of the institution. [More…]

It’s a fascinating exercise to juxtapose this sort of metathinking about enrolling individuals and “authenticating” their learning selves to the following entry in EdTech Insider/ eSchool News (note: this page takes forever to load), which seems to be asking us to think of individuals as instrumentalised entities put to purposes suited to economics — but not necessarily to education writ large:

Is there any question that we need to be producing the brightest minds possible? And let’s not get sidetracked by lamenting the loss of manufacturing jobs to cheaper labor markets overseas. It’s a done deal. It’s over. Get used to it. Instead, let’s focus on the kind of work that isn’t easily outsourced—the creative, right-brained work that produces innovation. Let’s ask tough questions about what kind of curriculum is needed to produce citizens that can adapt rapidly, use technology effectively, communicate convincingly, cooperate seamlessly, solve problems creatively, and think unconventionally. Somehow I don’t think it looks much like the curriculum we have now. [More… (page takes ages to load …patience…)]

The toys and the instruments (and the attendant instrumentalisation) fascinate me, but in the end, I’m with Ida, taking tea. I hear the talk about “right-brained” and creative thinking, but I also read the subtext, based on economic fear: that we need rapid adaptation, effective use of technology, convincing communication, seamless cooperation, creative problem-solving (to what end?), and unconventional thinking. Notice anything? I removed the subject of the sentence (“citizen”), and amazingly, the list can stand without its subject. Is that because the subject (“citizen”) was extraneous to begin with, or because the subject is interchangeable — with “soldier” or “manager” or “business leader”? What does education “authenticate” and how do we ask that question? More tea, Ida…

* PS: I have all my “feeds” back (see July 22). After a good night’s sleep (see July 24…), I realised that every subscription was saved in my bookmarks folder, under “sage.” So, I just reloaded that file to the Sage reader, and bingo-presto, all was well once more… I even realised that I didn’t need to rely on the little “megaphone”-style icon at the bottom right of many blog and web-pages to subscribe, as Sage states. I can just drag the RSS symbol, if the site has one, into the Sage feed reader, and it’s done.

In praise of a good night’s sleep

July 24, 2005 at 10:13 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on In praise of a good night’s sleep

For all the 24/7s out there running on empty: the July/August issue of Harvard Magazine features an interesting article by Craig Lambert, Deep into sleep, which is all about …sleep. If you’re short-changing yourself on sleep, you might (will?) pay for it in ill-health down the road:

When people make the unlikely claim that they get by on four hours of sleep per night, [associate professor of psychiatry Robert] Stickgold often asks if they worry about what they are losing. “You get a blank look,” he says. “They think that sleep is wasted time.” But sleep is not merely “down time” between episodes of being alive. Within an evolutionary framework, the simple fact that we spend about a third of our lives asleep suggests that sleep is more than a necessary evil. Much transpires while we are asleep, and the question is no longer whether sleep does something, but exactly what it does. Lack of sleep may be related to obesity, diabetes, immune-system dysfunction, and many illnesses, as well as to safety issues such as car accidents and medical errors, plus impaired job performance and productivity in many other activities. [More…]

The article characterises many people’s sleeping habits as akin to a sort of “sleep bulimia”: we “make up” sleep deprivation at “convenient” times, but short-change ourselves at other times. It seems like a “good idea” to get by on very little sleep during the week, making it up on weekends, for example. But just as bulimiacs didn’t know what eating disorders could do to health on a systemic level, it seemed like a great idea to load up on food and then throw it up to keep the weight off — until we learned what the long-term health damage was, that is. Today, we’re starting to learn what the long-term health damage is of “gorging” on sleep-deprivation, whether it’s followed by weekend “make ups” or not.

Not only how much sleep, but when people sleep has changed. In the United States, six to eight million shift workers toil regularly at night, disrupting sleep patterns in ways that are not necessarily amenable to adaptation. Many people get only five hours per night during the week and then try to catch up by logging nine hours nightly on weekends. “You can make up for acute sleep deprivation,” says David P. White, McGinness professor of sleep medicine and director of the sleep disorders program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But we don’t know what happens when people are chronically sleep-deprived over years.”

“We are living in the middle of history’s greatest experiment in sleep deprivation and we are all a part of that experiment,” says Stickgold. “It’s not inconceivable to me that we will discover that there are major social, economic, and health consequences to that experiment. Sleep deprivation doesn’t have any good side effects.”


Sleeping well helps keep you alive longer. Among humans, death from all causes is lowest among adults who get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly, and significantly higher among those who sleep less than seven or more than nine hours. (“Those who sleep more than nine hours have something wrong with them that may be causing the heavy sleep, and leads to their demise,” White notes. “It is not the sleep itself that is harmful.”) [More…]

Not enough sleep over time compromises a person’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of auto-immune disorders — and that covers a huge category of health problems.

The article elaborates on some evolutionary speculations as to why we aren’t designed to “catnap” throughout the day and night, instead benefitting from “consolidated sleep periods” of 7 or 8 hours at a stretch, even though we are trying to convince ourselves that we really aren’t subject to circadian rhythms. However:

The human species, or much of it, anyway, apparently is trying to become simultaneously nocturnal and diurnal. Society has been squeezing the window for restful sleep ever narrower. (Czeisler likes to quote colleague Thomas Roth of the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center in Detroit, on the minimal-sleep end of the spectrum. “The percentage of the population who need less than five hours of sleep per night, rounded to a whole number,” says Roth, “is zero.”) [More…]

At this point in medical research, according to Robert Stickgold, we don’t even know yet what it is that sleep does, for there are processes that happen only when we’re asleep.

Good night, I’m off to get some sleep…

My feeds disappeared

July 22, 2005 at 9:43 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on My feeds disappeared

Shelley has a very funny entry called Feed the feeds, which is all about, well, feeds, for blogs. I know very little about syndication feeds and how they work and why there are different kinds, but I was feeling a bit smug about them nonetheless because I found this cool little application called Sage, which I started using just a little while ago to subscribe to a whole passel of e-learning blogs and websites. A growing passel, in fact, which I was carefully tending and watering.

But for some reason (that technology is evil, maybe?), after cleaning up and rebooting my computer today (I have been known to go for months without rebooting, until my pagein and pageout ratios are beyond belief), I clicked on my nifty Sage reader — and poof!, all my feeds were gone. My reaction has been straight along the lines of the Dynamic Driveler’s hilarious animation. You have to see this one…

From “We Are Not Afraid” to “but maybe we should be”

July 22, 2005 at 7:50 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on From “We Are Not Afraid” to “but maybe we should be”

According to The Globe & Mail, British “police are believed to be under orders to shoot to kill if they believe someone is about to set off a bomb.” According to Sky Television (as reported by Reuters), the man shot dead by London police was not one of the four bombers who tried to attack the city’s transport system on Thursday. According to several eyewitness reports, the man killed today was thrown to the ground by police and then shot five times in the head (there are several reports on this; here is one).

In other words, as per government mandate, the police have a shoot-first-ask-questions-later policy in place.

This has the potential to make me and many others afraid. A policy like this is not right. It’s playing right into the terrorists’ hands. (And yes, two wrongs do indeed not make a right.)

I read that 84,000 Londoners were killed during the Blitz of London. German aliens living in England were rounded up and put in detention camps, including innocent Germans, anti-Nazi Germans. They weren’t treated very nicely. But I don’t think any were literally chased down by police and shot point blank in the head the way the “Asian” man today was. So, listen, what’s to stop all the other Asians (and Arabs and Blacks) in Britain from thinking — and saying — “racism” when they discuss what happened today? It seems to me that the only ethno-cultural group that comes close to having been treated as badly as “coloureds” are the Irish.

Talk about playing right into their hands by creating a sense of anarchy and absence of the rule of law (which includes the tenet “innocent until proven guilty”)…

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