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Posts Tagged ‘Ethical Progressivism’

Hugo Chavez – an example of Ethical Progressivism??

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on May 27, 2007

“I actually know many Venezuelan refugees who take my classes here in … they want to flee their homeland because they see it as becoming another Cuba. I love hearing this, as I know Venezuela would be a bigger and better example than Cuba is.”

By the look of it is not only becoming another Cuba, it is becoming another Soviet Union…it seems that all that is missing is a Venezuelan Gulag.

Right now it’s a matter of Freedom of Expression – Chavez has decided to effectively silence the opposition to his 21st Century Socialism by making sure the TV-Station RCTV cannot broadcast. But we all know that “where they burn books, they soon start to burn people”.

The Guardian describe the Venezuelans as “a people who know that change is possible and who, in their everyday lives, are reclaiming noble concepts long emptied of their meaning in the west: “reform”, “popular democracy”, “equity”, “social justice” and, yes, “freedom”.

The Venezuelan people might be noble and all – I am sure they are – but their elected Leader seems more concerned with what is said about him among those that disagree with him, than with honoring the Venezuelan Democracy.

The Venezuelan Penal Code have gotten some rather horrifying and anti-democratic additions since Hugo Chavez was democratically elected by the Venezuelan People:

“Article 147: “Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light.” That sanction, the code implies, applies to those who “disrespect” the president or his functionaries in private; “the term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly.” – “

“Article 444 says that comments that “expose another person to contempt or public hatred” can bring a prison sentence of one to three years; Article 297a says that someone who “causes public panic or anxiety” with inaccurate reports can receive five years. Prosecutors are authorized to track down allegedly criminal inaccuracies not only in newspapers and electronic media, but also in e-mail and telephone communications.”

So, Hugo Chavez doesn’t want to be disrespected…, well who does? But most of us choose to strive to earn other people’s respect by respecting their rights and freedoms – not so the democratically elected President of Venezuela – he chooses to silence anyone who dares criticize him, by closing them down and threaten them with heavy prison sentences if they do not comply.

Someone argued in response to the fact that 70% of the Venezuelans are opposed to the President’s decision to silence RCTV, that they do so because that will deprive them of their daily soap operas…that might very well be – but that is irrelevant – the fact is that Hugo Chavez is using his democratically elected position to restrict his people’s rights to receive any information they choose and to share any information they choose in public. In all particulars it means that the Venezuelan People does not have Freedom of Speech, which was once instituted to guarantee that people can safely criticize their government without reprisals.

That can in no way be called ethical, and if it is progressive, then G-d protect us from progressivism!

Links and sources:

The Guardian

Washington Post

World Associations of Newspapers

Democracy at risk

Free Press

Human Rights Watch

Reporters Without Borders



Posted in Freedom of Speech, Human Rights | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Make Enemies and Irritate People

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 25, 2007

As much as I enjoy debates in Care2, I have noticed that certain people tend to engage in tactics that cause the debates to degenerate into slugfests instead of allowing them to end on a civil note. Here are some examples of what they do: 1. Lie constantly. It does not matter if what you say has no basis in fact whatsoever. As long as you can make a counter to any statement of fact or logical argument that someone makes, you will appear to be on an equal level with your opponent.
2. Never bother to provide a basis for your assertions by linking to a credible source of information or providing a reference regarding a matter that is not common knowledge. Of course, if you are already doing No. 1, then No. 2 comes naturally.
3. Engage in the practice of what I call “parroting and nitpicking” constantly: Making an exact copy of your opponent’s arguments and answering them point by point exactly instead of stating a new point of your own to move the debate forward. This has two effects: It makes you appear equal to your opponent, no matter how dumb your statements turn out to be, and it encourages your opponent to respond to you in the same way, taking the debate into an endless circle.
4. When you are accused of lying, just call your opponent a liar as well.
5. Engage in frequent sarcastic insults to annoy your opponent.
6. When your opponent complains that your tactics are unfair or dishonorable, accuse him of not really wanting a debate.
7. If you know your opponent has a short temper, wait until his patience has run out and he has gotten angry and then take advantage of the situation to torture your opponent still more!
8. Never admit you are wrong about anything. Always accuse your opponents of not thinking or of being stupid, brainwashed, ignorant, mindless, etc.
9. Use religion as a excuse to justify your extreme position. If your opponent is not of the same religion, use that fact against him.
10. Keep the debate going as long as possible until your opponent gives up in frustration, allowing you to claim “victory” later.

If you use these tactics repeatedly, you may appear very successful in debates. But you will also gain the contempt of most people who have a sense of honor and ethics. And that contempt for you personally may also lead to a rejection of your position as well, even if the position has some truth in it.”

Orignally authored and posted here by Dale Husband

My comment to this Blog:

“May I add: Play Tag, i.e have a couple of friends in the wings who can pick up the relay stick when you have been beaten to a pulp by the opponents, ideally you would have them start the argument all over or bring up irrelevant, off topic points, such as the looks of your opponent, his ideas about dogs, or a complete distortion of his points/arguments.”

Ketutar’s Comment on the same Blog:

“Point 9. should be “ideology” instead of “religion”. Political ideologies are used the exact same way.Also, I’d like to add the “change subject” point. When you have nothing to say, when the opponent has proven your points faulty or lacking, when it’s obvious that your opponent is correct, winning etc. change subject.

Also, use of support – gather your friends around to give you more “credibility”. “Betty here understands exactly what I’m saying, why can’t you?” Friends can also be used to confirm your ideas, and it doesn’t matter if the ideas are relevant or not to the Issue. “Yes, Tim, it IS raining. YOU are absolutely correct!”, or as distraction – have a couple of friends flood the thread with kittens and irrelevant discussions.

If the opponent isn’t distracted, accuse her of being persistent like a pit bull… (Or “Coming back to the main topic in a psychotic manner”)

Balthasar Gracian said that if one cannot get rid of one’s vices, one needs to turn them into virtues – and one strategy is – if you cannot diminish the opponent’s virtues, turn them into vices…”


Posted in Debate, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

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