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Given that more Indian women have been beaten up by their husbands than are in work, there is room for improvement.

The Economist, Volume 428 Number 9099, July 7th 2018, p. 8
Link to article


Nowa rada rodziców ustaliła: żadnych zajęć z tolerancji, integracji i innych takich bzdur. Dyrektorce kazano zdjąć wszystkie gazetki ścienne o cudzoziemcach. Informacje o tym, jak się przywitać w innym języku, zastąpiły fotografie żołnierzy wyklętych.

Teraz, jak cudzoziemskie dzieci przynoszą cukierki, polskie nie chcą ich wziąć. Uczniowie piątej klasy deklarują: Polska dla Polaków. Do szkoły zawitało, kiedyś nieznane, słowo „ciapaty”. „Wystrzelać tych ciapatych” – popisują się dzieci, które jeszcze chwilę temu bawiły się ze znajomymi z ośrodka.

Bartosz Józefiak, “Integracja po polsku”, Tygodnik Powszechny, 20 maja 2018, nr 21, s. 31

W kraju wojujących sumień coraz częściej wybawieniem okazuje się lekarz dentysta czy wręcz weterynarz. K. dostała tabletki na antykoncepcję awaryjną od lekarza swojej kotki. – Że niby wyszła za płot i się oddała jakiemuś bezdomnemu futrzakowi – opowiada. K. nie wiedziała dokładnie, co lekarz przepisał. Julita też skorzystała z tej drogi. – Kończyły mi się plastry i zależało mi na szybkiej wizycie, co było możliwe w mojej przychodni rodzinnej. Miałam 25 lat, ale w przychodni trafiłam na młodego ginekologa, który powiedział, że jestem za młoda, żeby wypisać mi antykoncepcję, i zaczął wypytywać, czy myślałam już o urodzeniu dziecka. Parę dni później podczas wizyty u weterynarza z psem opowiedziałam mu o zajściu w przychodni i on zaoferował pomoc. Plastry zostały wypisane na kotkę.

Agata Szczerbiak, “Lekarze sumienia”, Polityka, 4 kwietnia 2017

It has been shown that soldiers do not need commanders to issue orders to torture in order to commit acts of torture. Rather, soldiers need commanders to issue orders that prevent them from committing acts of torture. Normal human beings placed in combat circumstances may be liable to torture unless institutions shape their behavior.

“The Absolute In-Practice Human Right Against Torture” by Ian Fishback, Philosophy Now, issue 118, February/March 2017

77 percent is the chance that a child born in the upper-income quartile will complete college by age 24.

9 percent is the chance that a child born in the bottom-income quartile will complete college by age 24.

“The Stamp of Poverty” by John D. E. Gabrieli and Silvia A. Bunge, Scientific American Mind, Volume 28, Number 1, January/February 2017, page 57 (doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0117-54), Box 1

In a January 3rd interview with Bild, a German newspaper, Witold Waszczykowski, the foreign minister, condemned Poland’s previous centre-right government for pursuing a “left-wing” political agenda: “As if the world, in a Marxist fashion, were destined to evolve only in one direction—towards a new mix of cultures and races, a world of bicyclists and vegetarians.”

Source: The Economist

Sprawa likwidacji studiów filozoficznych w Białymstoku z powodu ich “nierentowności” wywołała w Polsce ożywioną debatę na temat roli i perspektyw tego kierunku, a także całej humanistyki. W ostatnich miesiącach zaowocowała ona licznymi artykułami w prasie codziennej, tygodnikach i mediach elektronicznych, jak również listem otwartym polskich intelektualistów do minister nauki. W tym kontekście warto zacytować Johna Lachsa, profesora filozofii z Vanderbilt University, który w artykule zatytułowanym „Has Philosophy Lost Its Way?” (Philosophy Now, issue 99, Nov/Dec 2013, p. 30) pisze:

„Philosophy is always in crisis, and its death is frequently announced. Yet it is a survivor and tends to outlive its murderers and morticians.”

The summer 2013 issue (Vol. 48 No. 1 #389 p. 34) of the Fifth Estate contains a fascinating review of Eric Berkowitz’s book entitled Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire (click here to read the full article by Rod Dubey). Quoted below are some particularly noteworthy excerpts describing monstrous laws and customs that reflected and reinforced state and church power, their hypocrisy, and the treatment of slaves and women as less than human.

Hebrew law changed everything. […] Sex could now be sin and a source of guilt. Sexual transgressions were viewed as a crime against the community and punishment was administered by the church. […] In Hebrew law, for the first time, the body itself became regulated. […] By the Middle-Ages the body itself was under attack from Christianity. Flesh was an evil that inhibited the attainment of a spiritual life. Married sex was a necessary evil to increase the tribe and this was its only justification. Whatever interfered with pregnancy, such as masturbation and coitus interruptus, was condemned. […]

Throughout this history we see how sex laws were used to reinforce state and church power. […] What constitutes a sex crime always reflected local beliefs and the needs of authority. In spite of the general restrictions against adultery in Sparta, for instance, it was often overlooked because it was a warrior society where soldiers weren’t at home and the state needed a constant source of recruits. […] The differential treatment of the powerful when they transgressed rules occurred in every culture. In one instance, in thirteenth century England, many rapists were priests and they tried to get their cases heard in church courts because they would be treated leniently. In continental Frankish areas, of the same time period, the fine for rape depended on who the victim was. Raping a servant became an affordable option for a few; something in the order of a speeding ticket.

The hypocrisy of those who made the rules was another perennial. During the rigid Middle-Ages, to cite only one instance among many, prostitution was often allowed as a safety valve. This led to both municipalities and the Catholic Church owning brothels across Europe, and in some cases it was nuns servicing the customers.

The most prominent historical constant, without a doubt, was the lack of legal protection for women. Men controlled women’s bodies as part of their ownership of them. Rape was frequently seen, not as a sex crime, but as a property crime against a husband or father. An Assyrian father whose virgin daughter was raped might get, in return, three times her dowry value from the rapist (who would be forced to marry the girl and restore the father’s honor–her feelings of no consequence) and gain possession of the rapist’s wife, as his slave, to rape whenever he chose. In fifteenth century Venice, courts viewed rape as a form of seduction. As late as nineteenth century America, a slave was property to be treated however her ‘master’ saw fit. Since the children of female slaves were also deemed to be slaves, rape became an instrument of economic growth. […]

Sexual relations, in slave holding America, between a black slave and a white woman, were inevitably seen as rape because of the view that a respectable white woman could not possibly feel sexually attracted to a black man. The treatment of slaves as less than human typified the racist attitudes that always followed sex laws. In the Middle-Ages, Jews were viewed as being in league with Satan and animals. In 1222 a deacon who married a Jew was executed on a charge of bestiality.

What’s commercial advertising? It’s a means to undermine markets. Business doesn’t really want markets, since markets are supposed to be based on informed consumers making rational choices. Take a look at a television ad. It’s trying to create an uninformed consumer who will make a totally irrational choice – buy a Ford Motors car because some football player is standing next to it and it’s flying up to the sky or something.
The same firms run political campaigns and simply carry over the same ideas and techniques to undermine democracy, to make sure that you have uninformed voters making irrational choices.

– Noam Chomsky in The Progressive, October 2013, page 36 (interview by David Barsamian)

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