Here come the killer robots

If you think drone warfare has created some tricky moral dilemmas, said Robert H. Latiff and Patrick J. McCloskey, just wait until we start sending robotic soldiers into battle. Early prototypes of robots that can hunt down and destroy enemies with ferocious firepower are in development, and “what now seems like the stuff of Hollywood fantasy is moving toward realization.” […]

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Envying the lower castes

Suddenly everyone wants to be low-caste, said Badri Narayan. It used to be considered an extreme disadvantage to be in one of India’s oppressed castes or indigenous tribes. But decades of affirmative action and quota systems have changed all that. Now, many lower-middle castes are agitating to be reclassified as “more backward,” in effect “struggling to move down the ladder […]

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A House that’s stuck in the 1950’s

The House of Representatives doesn’t represent America as it really is today, said Timothy Egan. The Republican-controlled House governs a “fantasy nation created in talk-radio land,” where black and gay people don’t exist, women remain subservient, and all gun-safety legislation is a step toward tyranny. Thanks to strategic redrawing of districts, Republicans managed to maintain a 33-seat advantage in the […]

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Simone Weil Quote – Our Great Adversary

“Whether the mask is labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus — the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battle lines,… but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always […]

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Cat runs for senate – comes in 3rd place

■    A cat that ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia received about 7,000 write-in votes in last week’s election, according to his owners. That means Hank, who hails from Springfield, Va., can claim third place behind Democratic victor Tim Kaine and Republican also-ran George Allen.The human candidates were separated by 180,000 votes, which means that Hank did not affect […]

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China’s Human Rights Activists Under Scrutiny

Beijing Mass arrests: In one of the biggest crackdowns on civil society groups in decades, Chinese authorities have detained and questioned at least 238 lawyers and human rights activists over the past two weeks. At least 20 activists remain incarcerated, and the whereabouts of six of them are unclear. Maya Wang, a researcher with Human Rights. Watch, said those still […]

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Hungarian power grab

Budapest Power grab: In the face of mass protests and international condemnation, the Hungarian parliament has overwhelmingly passed 15 pages of amendments to the country’s 1-year-old constitution that practically abolish all judicial checks on the government. The amendments retroactively restore a number of controversial laws that were passed by the right-wing Fidesz government but subsequently ruled unconstitutional by the courts. […]

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