Hmm. Should I do the charitable reading thing? Or should I just yell is Peter Singer nuts?

Let’s try the charitable reading. He mis-spoke. He left out the qualifying phrase. He forgot a crucial adjective or two. He – um – lives in a hole in the ground and has all his news filtered by hooded agents of a secret international organization?

Singer sought the clash with neo-con America, partly to revive a career that was going stale. True, when he was appointed Ira W de Camp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University in 1999, Bill Clinton was in the White House, but still Singer had been lured from the relatively liberal milieu of academic Melbourne because he thought the challenges in one of the world’s most selfish, reactionary societies would galvanise him anew as an ethical person.

Maybe it’s the reporter who left out the adjective or two, since that is a paraphrase or indirect quotation rather than an actual quotation. Surely. Because I have to say – bad and regressive as things are here, this is not even close to being one of the world’s most reactionary societies. (Selfish, possibly, depending on how you define it, but that’s not what I’m taking issue with.) It’s really not. I could give a great long list of examples of why not, but it’s so obvious I won’t even bother. I’ll just say – look at the lives of women and girls in a long, long, long list of countries, and then look at their lives here, and tell me the US is more reactionary than all those countries. Neither in practice, nor in law, is that remotely the case.

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