Firmin DeBrabander

Firmin DeBrabander is Chair of Humanistic Studies and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Articles by this author

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Monday, April 30, 2012 - 1:08pm
Life Under Constant Watch
The surveillance state expands. Since 9-11, our phones are subject to warrantless wiretaps. Our email and internet transactions leave a trail for some to follow. The police can access our GPS location data through our smart phones, also without a warrant. Retailers record our purchasing habits with painstaking detail.
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Friday, November 11, 2011 - 10:08am
The Wrath of Ayn Rand
Many have commented on the remarkable callousness fashioned by this Republican presidential field.
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Friday, June 10, 2011 - 9:13am
The Green Revolution Backfires: Sweden’s Lesson for Real Sustainability
What if electric cars made pollution worse, not better? What if they increased greenhouse gas emissions instead of decreasing them? Preposterous you say? Well, consider what’s happened in Sweden.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 9:50am
Dying on Our Doorstep: Mexico's War and the US Drug Problem
Now that the Iraq campaign has drawn to a close, President Obama urges us to focus on political challenges closer to home. Good idea. In fact, why don't we take an important lesson from Iraq (i.e., phantom WMDs) and start paying attention to real national security threats to boot. In that case, let's review the gruesome evidence pouring out of Mexico these days. Ciudad Juarez was recently safer than most American cities of comparable size (just over a million people); now it knows a murder rate of 2000 per year, ten times that of Houston.
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Monday, July 12, 2010 - 8:48am
Escalating the War on Weeds
A few weeks back, the New York Times made mention of an astounding development, which has, for whatever reason, received little fanfare or recognition. Despite its Vietnam War notoriety, Agent Orange is in vogue again, this time down on the farm. Its reemergence, and in this particular setting, raises a host of troubling questions that are not being well considered.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008 - 3:41pm
Drilling Ourselves Deep in a Hole
At one point in his masterful People's History of the United States , Howard Zinn reflects upon the unspeakable carnage wrought by the Conquistadors in South and Central America, all in the pursuit of gold, and wonders at how those obscene riches sustained imperial greatness... for barely a hundred years. All that bloodletting, enslavement, massacres -- genocide in places -- for a temporary wealth that quickly vanished on the stage of history.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 3:37pm
It's Time To Upend The Farm Bill
As far as federal spending programs go, the farm bill enjoys a relatively benign reputation. For urban and suburban America, it's completely uninteresting- but largely irreproachable. What could be wrong with spending that protects our family farms AND keeps food prices low- and now nurtures a fledgling ethanol industry? A lot, it turns out, and all Americans should urge their representatives in congress to reform the farm bill, which is up for vote very soon. The health - economic, cultural, and physical- of our nation, but also of the whole world, depends on it.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 1:14pm
Cheney's Real Opinion of Democracy
I am forever amazed at the great irony that one of this nation's most bullish proponents of spreading democracy abroad- especially in the Middle East- is one of the greatest opponents of democracy at home. The vice president's antidemocratic streak was on display again this week when his office refused to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. This requirement applies to the executive branch of government, Cheney argued, but not to his office, which is not in fact part of the executive branch. Who knew?
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