Here’s an article from Daily Mail about some legal challenges brought against American military officials for their drone activity in Pakistan. One key stat:
American Drone activities just in Pakistan have been confirmed to have killed 881 civilians, but only 41 terrorists.
Some things to notice about that statistic: (1) this is only from Pakistan. We’ve also been doing drone strikes in both Yemen and Afghanistan (and probably Libya here soon), with even more atrocious effects (especially in Yemen); (2) there were a few thousand total deaths, but these were the only absolutely beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt confirmed “statuses” of the victims–the number of civilians is probably still higher; and (3) these are only deaths due to drone strikes. In Iraq and elsewhere, many additional civilian deaths have come about through other means.
For all my “I’m going to vote for Obama because of social justice issues”. Take note: if you add these numbers to the other civilian death numbers in other countries, Obama’s policies have killed far more impoverished people around the world than he has helped here (and he got the Nobel Peace prize!).
This story came out two days ago, and I can’t find a single reference to this information in any other major American news outlet (a friend on Facebook said he heard something on NPR a couple of months ago, though I think he was referring to a different special report they had done). This is what makes our reputation in the world, this is what creates new terrorists–not “our freedoms”, and this is what will define our history–not tax law. And so, for all those criticizing me for voting third-party: yes, yes. Let’s try and change things through the existing political parties. We have plenty of time. I’m sure the rest of the world (including these victims’ families) will be fine with us waiting. (More debate-prep here)
In other news, unmanned aerial drones are now surveilling Americans around the country. How long before they’re armed? Yeah, we’ve got plenty of time to try and choose between two guys who both support this.
Can no politician do enough to lose your vote?
This week, as I compiled my favorite reads for the week, I realized nearly all of them were from the New York Times. I found these on different days, at different times, and had no idea that I kept bookmarking the same site over and over again. But still, all of them are very different and I encourage you to peruse, read, ponder, and post your thoughts!
Instead of Student Loans, Investing in Futures | NYTimes.com
Ever since the financial crisis hit, I’ve been so intrigued by other economic models for getting things done. This article follows one idea when it comes to funding higher education. And it really seems to work. I also love that this particular idea was not dreamt up by nor financed by the government.
As promised, this week’s weekly must-reads tend towards the theological. We do have some political “leftovers” from last week that you all should find interesting. So, as usual, read to your heart’s content and please comment and let me know what you think about these!
More Like Prayer 5 | Jesus Creed
Fascinating and oh-so-brief introduction to a whole new way of looking at the gospel, politics, and the church. Wow.
Mercifully Forsaken | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction
Wow. Simply wow. Such a beautiful and powerful piece of writing on the mercy of God in his forsaking of us. Did not expect this from Christianity Today (front page, no less!).
This week’s weekly must-reads are focused on the pressing political matters of the day: Obama, Osama, the budget “crisis”, etc. I’ve thrown in some fun articles on writing at the end. And for my more “theologically-inclined” friends: don’t worry, I’ll throw you some stuff next week. But in the meantime, check these things out and let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt | The Washington Post
As we hit the federal debt-ceiling this week, I wanted to send this article everyone’s way. It is such an enlightening read on how our economic surplus became our deficit–and it’s a reasoned, insightful, factual, calm, and immensely helpful article. (SPOILER ALERT: it was BOTH Bush and Obama’s faults, but mostly Bush’s).
News Desk: Don’t Release the Photos | The New Yorker
This article convinced me that Obama’s decision to not release the photos of dead bin Laden was the right call.
Jon Stewart wants release of bin Laden photos | Salon.com
This video changed my mind back to its opinion that Obama should release the photos of dead bin Laden.
This week’s weekly must-reads contain some links to articles I was reading a couple of weeks ago but didn’t end up doing one of these reading lists in order to share. They include articles on singleness, economics, foreign policy and art. I hope you find these intriguing, thought provoking, and discussion-causing. As usual, feel free to add your own links for myself and others to read in the comments section, as well as comment on these articles.
Tree of Failure – NYTimes.com
I know this is a few weeks old, but it’s amazing and I wasn’t able to post it when it came out. It’s a beautiful, substantive article on the necessity of weakness, sin, and failure in our search for civility and grace. Anybody know the religious leanings of David Brooks?