Category Archives: Morality

Weaponized Consensus by the Collective Establishes Counterfeit Premises to Control Contrived Contingencies, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Don’t let the long title and alliteration scare you away. This a good look at how evil people are seeping intellectual rot into the system. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

– 2 Timothy 3:13

 They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

– Psalm 1: 4

Many years ago I read a book entitled “People of the Lie”  written by Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist.  It was a fascinating analytic study of malignant narcissism and deceit. I came away from the book with an understanding that a very significant percentage, if not the majority, of people in the world are not decent.

Other conceptualizations presented by Peck in “People of the Lie”included disguise as a main motive of evil, along with descriptions of people assessed as such to being self-deluded, as projecting their own actions onto others, as utilizing the pretense of love to actually hate, and as possessing an inherent intolerance to withstand criticism.  The author further identified evil as the opposition to life; even acknowledging the word “evil” aslive” spelled backwards.  Dr. Peck also claimed evil could be measured by its consistency and conceded that decent individuals have difficulty in cognitively processing the concept:

[Erich] Fromm saw the genesis of human evil as a developmental process; we are not created evil or forced to be evil, but we become evil slowly over time through a long series of choices.

When confronted by evil, the wisest and most secure adult will usually experience confusion.

– Peck, Scott.  (1983, 1988). “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil”; Century Hutchinson.

Peck also illustrated evil as more than the mere absence of good but, instead, as being overtly hateful and destructive. In other words, evil can manifest either by contingent circumstance or design.  More often than not, however, it is the latter; evil happens on purpose. Furthermore, although the banality of evil is evident throughout history, it often materializes in the cult of personality; or, stated another way, institutionalized by way of The Collective.

The Canadian psychology professor, Jordan Peterson, is a modern intellectual warrior who daily combats the pervading cultural orthodoxies of political correctness.  In a recent interview, he stated something to similar to this:

If you live in the post-modernist world, there is no truth; just victory and power games.

To continue reading: Weaponized Consensus by the Collective Establishes Counterfeit Premises to Control Contrived Contingencies

 

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Kids: Then and Now, by Fred Reed

Fred Reed gives at least a partial answer to the question: why is the country falling apart. From Reed at theburningplatform.com:

OK, so why is the country falling apart? Specifically, why are kids blowing each other away? America has become a source of wonder the world over with its Colulmbines and hundreds and hundreds of dead in Chicago and Baltimore and its burning cities and riots. Other advanced countries don’t do these things.

America didn’t either until recently.   Why now? Something has changed, or some things. What?  People under under forty have never seen the country when it was sane. Let me point out things that have changed, at risk of sounding like a boilerplate cadger: “By cracky, wen I was a boy, we could amuse ourselves for hours with just a piece of string and a couple of sticks.” Let’s compare today with the Fifties and Sixties. I mean this as sociology, not nostalgisizing.

I think that a combination of social changes have led to tremendous stress on today’s kids that my generation did not suffer. To wit:

In my rural Virginia school, there was no racial tension. We were all white: teachers, students, parents.

The black kids went to their own school, Ralph Bunche. We had virtually no contact with each other. There was no hostility, just no contact. The academic gap didn’t exist in the absence of contact. Inintegration would prove cruel when it came. and the black kid s sank to the bottom. The causes can be argued, but the fact cannot.

There was no black crime to speak of or, as far as I knew any black crime. Certainly blacks did not shoot each other, or anybody. Neither did we. The reasons I suspect were similar.

Divorce was extremely rare, so we all had parents. Whether it is better that unhappy couples stay together or that they divorce can be argued, but they then did stay together. It made a large difference in outcomes if one accepts the statistics. The welfare programs of the Great Society had not yet destroyed the black family, which I speculate accounted in part for low crime.

To continue reading: Kids: Then and Now

 

Falsehoods and Lies: Inciting War Is a War Crime, by Strategic Culture

Once upon a time when you made an accusation you had to have something to back it up. That is no longer true as far as the US and it’s allies’ many accusations against Russia and its allies go. From the Strategic Culture editorial board at strategic-culture.org:

The torrent of reckless false accusations against Russia made by the US and its NATO allies is hitting warp speed.

This week saw more baseless allegations of Russian cyber attacks on American elections and British industries.

There were also crass claims by US officials that Russia was behind so-called sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba.

Then a Dutch foreign minister was forced to resign after he finally admitted telling lies for the past two years over alleged Russian plans for regional aggression.

Elsewhere, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed this week during a tour of the Middle East that “the primary goal” of his nation’s involvement in Syria is “to defeat” Islamic State (Daesh) terrorism.

This is patently false given that the US forces illegally occupying parts of Syria are launching lethal attacks on Syrian armed forces who are actually fighting Islamic State and their myriad terrorist affiliates.

Meanwhile, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of blocking peace efforts in Syria – another audacious falsehood to add to her thick compendium of calumny.

Perhaps the most barefaced falsehood transpired this week when French President Emmanuel Macron candidly admitted that his government did not have any proof of chemical weapons being used in Syria.

“Today, our agencies, our armed forces have not established that chemical weapons, as set out in treaties, have been used against the civilian population,” said Macron to media in Paris.

His admission follows that of US Defense Secretary James Mattis who also fessed up earlier this month to having no evidence of chemical weapons being deployed in Syria.

“We have other reports from the battlefield from people who claim it’s been used,” said Mattis to reporters at the Pentagon. “We do not have evidence of it.”

Yet, only a few weeks ago, the French and US government were condemning Syrian President Assad for alleged use of chemical weapons by his forces. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also accused Russia of bearing responsibility because of its alliance with Damascus.

To continue reading: Falsehoods and Lies: Inciting War Is a War Crime

History Lessons from Years Under Islamism, by Majid Rafizadeh

SLL has run several articles about life in Saudi Arabia, but not so many about life in Iran. Most Americans wouldn’t want to live in either one. From Majid Rafizadeh at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • My father’s generation in Iran lived in an environment in which the Islamist party of the country’s clergy cunningly depicted themselves as intending no harm, supportive of the people, and not interested in power. So, before the revolution, many Iranians did not think that Khomeini’s party would be committing the atrocities that they are committing now or that they would have such an unrelenting hunger for power. Instead, during this time, the country thought it was on a smooth path towards democracy, with no expectation of ever returning to a barbaric era. Even the then-US President Jimmy Carter viewed Khomeini as a good religious holy man.
  • Iranians did not just submit to these new laws; they rose up in protest. This uprising was met with torture, rape, and death. With the regime eager to wipe any who dared to resist, the people had no choice but to surrender. Everyone’s daily activities were now under the scrutiny of the Islamists.
  • Many will still think it is impossible for something like this to happen in their country. What they fail to understand is that Iran is an example of exactly how successful this meticulous grab for power can be. Islamists in other countries including the West are pursuing the same techniques on the path to seizing power. It is a quiet, and subtle process, until the moment you wake up with no rights, a culture of fear, and no promise that you will live in freedom or even to see the next day.

In Iran, my generation, the first after Islamism came to power, is called the Burnt Generation (Persian: Nasl-e Sukhteh). Our generation earned this name for having to endure the brutality of the Islamist and theocratic regime from the time we were born, to adulthood. This brutality included the regime’s merciless efforts, such as mass executions, to establish its power, impose its barbaric and restrictive rules, and brainwash children and indoctrinate the younger generation with its extremist ideology through various methods including elementary schools, universities, state-controlled media outlets, imams and local mosques, and promoting chants such as “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

To continue reading: History Lessons from Years Under Islamism

State Property, by Robert Gore

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal wrung from the trauma of the 1930s a lasting legacy of economic and social reform, including the Social Security Act, new banking and financial laws, regulatory legislation, and new opportunities for organized labor. Taken together, these reforms gave a measure of security to millions of Americans who had never had much of it, and with it, a fresh sense of having a stake in their country.

From the dust jacket description of Freedom From Fear, The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, David M. Kennedy, Oxford University Press, (1999)

When one man’s security becomes another man’s chain gang.

The above paragraph concisely sums up conclusions about the New Deal that can be found in thousands of textbooks, histories, and articles. You can guess that the tome (it’s 858 pages, SLL has not read it) reflects the reigning academic ideology, an impression furthered by its Pulitzer Prize. Pulitzers are awarded to fans of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New deal, not critics. If the latter stood a chance, Amity Shlae’s fine critical analysis, The Forgotten Man, A New History Of The Great Depression, might have received one.

Putting food on the table has a large place in human history. So too do governments. More often than not, they’ve worked at cross-purposes. Governments don’t produce, they take. Whatever they take means less food, and everything else, for those from whom they take it.

One man’s government-bestowed security is another’s government-bestowed insecurity. There weren’t enough plutocrats to fund the New Deal. It reached into the pockets of people who were only an economic rung or two above its beneficiaries. The money taken from a taxpayer might have meant deferred truck maintenance or no trip to the doctor for his sick daughter.

Someone always pays, either present taxpayers or, when the government borrows the money and doesn’t default, future ones. During the New Deal many Americans wouldn’t accept assistance from private charities, but would from the government. Voluntary charity was rejected but the proceeds of involuntary forced taking were not.

The “measure of security” created an insecurity among those who funded it that went far deeper than the knowledge that the government now had first claim on their income and wealth. Income and wealth are products of how one spends one’s time and effort, of how one lives one’s life.

Roosevelt reversed America’s fundamental premise, never fully realized, that one’s life is one’s own. It was never explicitly stated, but implicitly each American’s life became state property. That is the fundamental premise of socialism and the true price of that “measure of security.” Freedom from fear for some necessarily means fear of the government for many.

Where has the idea that we are each owned by the government, our lives to be disposed of as it pleases, taken us? President Eisenhower warned of the military-intelligence complex (MIC). What he didn’t foresee, or at least didn’t warn of, was the redistributive complex.

It’s true that Eisenhower’s complex, to which we’ll add the intelligence agencies, accounts for spending of around $1 trillion and runs a global empire. However, that’s only about one-fourth of the federal budget. The redistributive complex spends most of the other three-fourths. Also keep in mind that a substantial, but hard to quantify, portion of MIC spending is nothing more than redistribution to military and intelligence personnel and contractors that neither defends the US nor projects its power.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the three largest programs in the federal budget and account for just under half of total spending. Perhaps because its trust funds are mislabeled, many people believe that Social Security is set up like a private pension fund (Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund) or a private insurance fund (Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund).

Nothing could be further from the truth. Private pension and insurance funds take in contributions and invest them. If their contributions and investment returns are sufficient, they can pay their obligations. The Social Security Trust Funds are strictly pay as you go: this year’s taxes fund this year’s payments. Taxes in excess of obligations go into general government funds in exchange for interest-bearing government IOUs. Without changes in existing law, payments are projected to exceed taxes in fiscal year 2020.

Taxpayers do not “earn” their Social Security benefits any more than they “earn” a refund towards the end of their life on their income taxes. Legally, Social Security taxes are indistinguishable from income taxes. They both fund the government, are not invested to earn a return, and are certainly not kept in trust for the benefit of the taxpayer.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Social Security benefits are a revocable promise from the government, not a contract like a pension or insurance policy. (Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960)). Contracts are a hallmark of freedom. Reciprocal obligations would put a crimp in the government’s ownership of your life. Slaves don’t get contracts.

Slave might be a distasteful term for some, so they may use serf. However, medieval serfs usually only had to turn over about a quarter of what they produced. Local, state, and the federal government income, property, sales, and inheritance taxes take far more than that from many of the nation’s most well-compensated and wealthiest taxpayers.

One can quibble over actual percentages, but that obscures the most important point: the government can take 100 percent if it wants. Presumably at that point most people would call it slavery. Even with first call on the nation’s income, the government is still over $20 trillion in debt.

Nothing says state property like putting people’s health and lives at the mercy of the government. Socialized medicine gives the government life or death power. The “single payer” calls the shots. Doctors and nurses become government functionaries, practicing “medicine” in accordance with bureaucratic decree. These procedures will be followed, these vaccines administered, these treatments allowed, and these drugs prescribed. These surgeries are “necessary” and will be performed when we can schedule one of our overworked surgeons. These surgeries are “elective,” go to the back of the line. These surgeries are “cosmetic,” you’re shit out of luck. And so on…

No surprise that socialized medicine is the Holy Grail for the redistributive sect or anyone bent on bankrupting the country (there’s quite a bit of overlap). Need justifies theft, the proceeds of which are redistributed to the government and its voter beneficiaries. The producers who complain, resist, or stop producing are greedy. The politicians and bureaucrats are altruists. The beneficiaries are blameless victims. When it all falls apart, nobody saw it coming.

Here’s an eleven-word summary of the thousand-plus pages of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: collectivism and the morality of coercive altruism are destroying the world. Rejecting that morality is the necessary first step for reversing the trend. Each individual’s life is his or her own property, not the state’s. Establishing that right means intellectual and physical battles that are quintessentially self-defensive: defending the inviolable right to one’s own soul, mind, body, and productive effort—a defense of self.

Don’t fight those battles and some day there might be another class of surgery: mandatory surgery. As you’re wheeled into the operating room, just before the anesthetic kicks in, you’re told that your vital organs are being harvested for transplantation. You’re getting on in years, there’s a shortage of transplantable organs, and yours will save the life of someone who can make a greater contribution to the collective good. If you bought into the collectivists’ morality, you have no right to complain or resist. Someone else needs your organs, after all, and it’s your duty to accept your fate.

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Freedom and Capitalism: The Cure For Sexual Misconduct, by Anders Ingemarson

Competition has opened up the entertainment industry and news media…and given victims of sexual harassment in those industries more employment options if they go public. From Anders Ingemarson at separatestateandtheeconomy.com:

Yes, yet another article about the depravity of entertainment, media and political high rollers! Don’t despair—we’ll cover an angle that deserves more attention: the fact that freedom in general, and capitalism—with total separation of state and the economy—in particular, provides the best long-range protection against predatory sexual behavior.

Rob Tracinski of The Federalist made the point a few weeks ago at the height of the Harvey Weinstein affair:

“For those like Weinstein who are out in the private sector, we need to leave people as free as possible to speak and publish so they can criticize and expose the corrupt elites, which is the only thing that eventually stopped him. And we should leave the economy as free and vibrant as possible so that people have more ways to get around creeps who like to set themselves up as gatekeepers whose favor you have to curry if you want to get ahead.”

A major reason why so many media and entertainment personalities are being exposed now is the radical reshaping of their industries. Since the dawn of the internet, and especially since bandwidth became abundant and cheap enough to allow for streaming to a screen near you (flat-screen, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.), competition has dramatically intensified and become more diversified for both the delivery (cable, satellite, phoneline, wireless, broadcast) and content (Netflix, Amazon and others entering the field). Gone are the days when the power was concentrated to three major broadcast networks and a few studios.

With the power diluted, the incentives to protect the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have been reduced. Women pursuing an entertainment or media career have more professional options than they used to, meaning that both “coming out” about the past and saying no in the present are less likely to be a death sentence for their careers.

And main stream media journalists, feeling the competition from bloggers and other online writers, are being forced to throw some caution to the wind to stay relevant. Caution that previously contributed to the cover-up of sexual misconduct that supposedly “everybody knew about” but nobody exposed.

To continue reading: Freedom and Capitalism: The Cure For Sexual Misconduct

He Said That? 2/14/18

From Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Italian Renaissance polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of palaeontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time.

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.