On the superiority of humans

To most people, it is an unquestioned assumption that humans are superior to other Earth species and it is also unquestioned that this gives us the  right to “own” the planet and do with it what we please.

As I view the human condition, I see that humans are high in technological ability and very low on wisdom. In many areas of great import, we do not even use the knowledge we have, and continue to make the same mistakes over and over. Real dumb, to use the vernacular. In particular I’m thinking of education, the “justice” system and war.

We know under what conditions people learn best, yet we construct schools that often do the opposite (more in a future post).

Much is known about how to rehabilitate some criminal behavior; most of it is rarely used in our courts and prisons.

War is probably the stupidest behavior that humans routinely indulge in. Lots is known about non-violent conflict resolution, but governments rarely use any of this knowledge and millions suffer as a result. How we can think we’re the greatest when we constantly use war to solve problems is a mystery to me. Perhaps we don’t even notice how stupidly we are behaving.

I feel true sorrow for all the animals that suffer and die as a result of human ignorance and arrogance. (Those two often go together.)



Court finally upholds Constitutional protections

I was taken aback by the vitriolic response to the Supreme Court’s decision that all prisoners detained at Guantánamo Bay are constitutionally entitled to bring habeas corpus in federal court to challenge the legality of their detention. One would think that the majority of the court had committed an act of high treason. I believe the opposite is true. The Court finally took a stand to uphold this key provision of the Constitution that has languished in recent years under George Bush’s presidency.

I found it disheartening that it was so easy for the Administration to frighten us into willingly giving up fundamental protections granted by the Constitution. What we seem to have forgotten is that there is a reason for guaranteeing the right to counsel and habeus corpus: when government police power is unchecked it is often abused. The Supreme Court acted as it was supposed to act – as part of our system of checks and balances to prevent excessive power and consequent abuse by the executive or legislative branch. Apparently some people would prefer the Court to rubber stamp whatever President Bush thinks is best, but that would be an abdication of their responsibility.