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Showing posts from February, 2015

To kill or not to kill.

Had an interesting discussion with a Muslim friend today about the ethics of killing. Could it ever be morally justifiable? Abrahamic scriptures, especially the old testament, are awash with murders and killings, some sanctioned by the prophets and assorted mouthpieces for god. Some killing is even mandatory. For example all Jews are instructed in the old Testament to kill everyone belonging to the 7 Canaanite tribes for example - Deut 20:17 , or to slaughter Amaleks, especially their children - Deut 25:19 . So accepting for a moment that these draconian instructions were written in times when tribal leaders had fewer options available to them with respect to managing miscreants and maintaining some sort of law and order, I suspect that most people today would agree that killing people is a bad thing and should not be condoned except under extraordinary circumstances. My friend and I then proceeded to try to list those circumstances. We started with self-defence or perhaps protecti

What's behind the trend to remove vwls?

What's with the current trnd to msspll wrds by tkng vwls away to create business and product names like Flikr and Tumblr? There's a crowd funding website I'm being encouraged to use, annoyingly called Crowdbnk. I can understand making up words. Google is a good example. Story goes that Larry and Sergei thought they'd registered a word that means a large number (10 to the power of 100). But that's a Googol. So why this trend for removing vowels? Creating names makes them memorable, easier to find internet domains for and to register as company names and trademarks. I long ago discovered using numerals to create business names like marketing4motorsport, 2nd Byte, 10ACT (pronounced tenacity!), R9 (when spelled out as rnine looks like the word mine - and therefore cost me less to buy the URL), and my latest business calls2account. But deliberately misspelling a word by leaving out vowels annoys me. It looks like a mistake. I love atention to detail. ;-) Removing l

Split the Euro?

It would seem Euroland can be divided into two regions. Those with relatively weak economies and lax tax regimes who need the Euro to be strong so they can afford to buy imports and keep borrowing, and those with strong economies who need the Euro to be weak so they can export more. Unfortunately the stronger the economy, the stronger the currency. So Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and eastern European countries are all suffering because the Euro has been been strengthened by the relative economic successes of Germany, France, Holland and others. These countries are relying on the failing economies to keep the Euro weak to help them export. Clearly this arrangement isn't working for Greece who can see Germany in particular is benefiting, and it isn't working for the UK, the US and others outside the Euro who are competing unfairly with Germany who quote for products and services in devalued Euros. Why don't they split the Euro into North and South? A N-euro would enable

HSBCgate and the Myth about Swiss Banks

So thousands of British people have bank accounts in Switzerland - including a few wealthy Labour donors it would seem. Now Miliband is implying that these people are "dodgy" tax avoiders or worse. There was a time when people who held money and other valuables in overseas bank accounts and vaults probably did it so HMRC and other law enforcement authorities would have difficulty finding out what was there, who controlled it, and how it got there. One might assume that if this was their only reason, then they probably did have something to hide. Fair enough to call them 'dodgy'. Of course 'dodgy' people still use overseas bank accounts to hide their money and to evade or avoid tax. But Switzerland is no longer a sensible place to conceal your wealth and identity. Criminals and tax avoiders today would probably choose other jurisdictions. So why do thousands of law-abiding, honest and probably largely charitable people still have Swiss bank accounts? Well

Jews are a race and have no choice. Muslims have a choice.

I've been stunned in the past weeks about the ubiquity of misunderstanding in the press and even amongst friends about what is a Jew and what is a Muslim (or a Christian come to that). It's very simple. Jews are a race, Muslims (and Christians) aren't. You can't choose to be a Jew (or not to be one). How many fewer might have been selected to be murdered in the Holocaust if the Nazis had excluded anyone who simply didn't want to be a Jew or were prepared to prove they didn't believe in Judaism. Islam, Christianity and Judaism are all religions which you are at liberty, assuming you haven't been permanently brainwashed by your parents, community and teachers, to follow or not as your conscience or fear of reprisal demands. This is why comparing antisemitism with islamophobia is like comparing apples with pears. Actually it's not even that close since they are patently both fruit. Jews can only be Jews if their mothers were Jews. Curiously Jewish fathers