Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Citing Moral and Legal Void, Rights Groups Demand Preemptive Ban on ‘Killer Robots’

Fully autonomous weapons could allow manufacturers, military to escape liability for wrongful deaths
Nadia Prupis Common Dreams April 9, 2015

A Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS), which Human Rights Watch calls a prototype for fully autonomous weapons—or ‘killer robots’—fires at sea. (Photo: U.S. Navy/flickr/cc)
Fully autonomous weapons, or ‘killer robots,’ present a legal and ethical quagmire and must be banned before they can be further developed, a new human rights report published Thursday urges ahead of next week’s United Nations meeting on lethal weapons.
The report, titled Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots, was jointly published by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and outlines the ‘serious moral and legal concerns’ presented by the weapons, which would ‘possess the ability to select and engage their targets without meaningful human control.’
Although fully autonomous weapons do not yet exist, their ‘precursors’ are already in use, such as the Iron Dome in Israel and the Phalanx CIWS in the U.S., the report states.
Under current law, the makers and users of killer robots could get away with unlawful deaths and injuries if the weapons are allowed to develop. Allowing weapons that operate without human control to make decisions about the use of lethal force could lead to violations of international law and make it difficult to hold anyone accountable for those crimes. Moreover, civil liability would be ‘virtually impossible, at least in the United States,’ the report found……….
Read more http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/09/citing-moral-and-legal-void-rights-groups-demand-preemptive-ban-killer-robots

Friday, April 10, 2015

Commentary by Jim Morrison

A ten-year-old Afghan boy, Mohammed Noor, was having his Sunday dinner when and American bomb struck. He lost both eyes and both hands. Who, with this child in mind, would dare sing ‘God Bless America’ to this child, the hymn that would make God a co-conspirator with American war-makers? Who would wave an American flag in front of him? The sightless eyes of this child should haunt us to the end of our days and sear on our souls the absolute need not just to pray for peace, but to do something to make it happen. Even as I write, the United States is blinding and maiming innocent people and innocent soldiers coerced into battle by elites who sit back in safety. Silence and passivity in the face of this is unholy. The passivity of citizens is the life-blood of tyrants.

Whoever controls the media controls the mind.
Jim Morrison

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.
Jim Morrison

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.
Jim Morrison

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Holy Saturday Vigil Saturday 4 April, 12 noon Gathering together in prayer for asylum seekers

Holy Saturday Vigil Saturday 4 April, 12 noon
Gathering together in prayer for asylum seekers
This year we will gather in Manly, in the mall outside the office of Prime Minister Tony Abbott
(17 Sydney Rd. Manly).

Last year's Holy Saturday Vigil was a powerful moment in the early life of Love Makes a Way - about 125 people of faith coming together from across the theological spectrum to pray for asylum seekers, and for the politicians who are responsible for them. It was that night, realising that we had 'something' more than an action or two, that the LMAW Facebook page (and thus the formal adoption of the name for an ongoing campaign) was born.

On Holy (Easter) Saturday we are inviting you to join us out the front of the Prime Minister's office for an Easter Saturday vigil for children and families in detention.

At Easter, Christians remember the death of Christ on Friday, and his Resurrection on Sunday. Saturday marks the day in between, the time between death and life, between grief and joy, between devastation and hope.

In light of Australia's shocking treatment of asylum seekers, especially children, we are taking the opportunity to join together nonviolently to challenge the government's policies and practice through a public act of prayer. We will be praying for asylum seekers, but also for Prime Minister Abbott, a self-confessed Christian, to have a change of heart, and to show the same love to asylum seekers that Jesus has shown us.
WHEN: Holy Saturday, April 4, 2015
TIME: Midday (for approx. 1 hour)
WHERE: Tony Abbott's Electoral Office, 17 Sydney Road Manly, NSW, 2095