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Showing posts from January, 2021

Insights emerging from a strange actor in the US Capitol riot: How some people believe rights and responsibility work

One of the stranger and yet most revealing comments about ethics I have personally seen has appeared in the context of the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Richard Barnett, 60, from Gravette, Arkansas, is one of the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol. He entered the office suite of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and sat at a desk full of papers, a computer, and a telephone. In one photo attributed to photojournalist Jim Lo Scalzo , Barnett gleefully holds up an envelope with Nancy Pelosi's name in the return corner and a typed address for Republican Rep. Billy Long. Barnett removed the envelope from Pelosi's office, replacing it with a coin. [This photo is by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock and was published by the New York Post . ] As described by the New York Post : New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg interviewed Barnett and posted video of the interview to Twitter. In that interview, Barnett maintained: “I didn’t s

The eunuch ambassador in 'The King at the Edge of the World' by Arthur Phillips

The eunuch here is a supporting character (though one who instigates the main character's life conflict) and does not even have a name. The eunuch — originally “born a Christian in Portugal," captured at the age of 11, and converted to Islam — is the ambassador sent by Ottoman Sultan Murad the Great in 1591 to spend several months negotiating with the Queen of England. “He carried for the island’s sultana [a.k.a the Queen of England], among many other gifts, a pair of lions, a scimitar, a unicorn’s horn, and ten English pirates captured by Turkish sailors," so he was "welcomed to London by a torchlight parade through the gawping crowds near St. Lawrence Jewry church, winding to the large house where they would live for five months before returning to Constantinople.” The envoys spent months in negotiations with the English “in matters of sea-lanes and free overland passages, the exchange of captured pirates/sailors, various immunities and protections for Englishmen