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Category Archives: Morality

The View from Abroad, by Fred Reed

The rest of the world doesn’t see Americans in quite the same way that Americans see themselves. From Fred Reed at theburningplatform.com:

American Homeless picking their way through garbage

Americans are brought up to believe that the United States is a shining city on a hill, a light to mankind, that the world envies us for our values and freedoms, and hates us because we have them. This is ground into us from birth. Those of us now long in the tooth remember the Fifties when Superman jumped out of a window while the announcer spoke of a strange visitor from another planet fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way,” then thought to be related.

As one who has traveled much and lived in several countries, I can tell you: It ain’t so. The world does not regard America with admiration.

Today the internet profoundly affects the world’s view of America. The Web makes graphic and easily found things that in earlier times would have been out of sight from abroad.

For example, people in Kathmandu and Moscow can see horrifying and entirely truthful photos of the homeless living in piles of garbage in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and dozens of other American cities. They can read of trade conventions avoiding San Francisco because of needles and excrement on the sidewalks. Such scenes are rare even in most upper-Third World countries. To the orderly Japanese, accustomed to spotless cities and responsible government, such things are, in the strict sense of the word, incomprehensible.

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Why Truth Matters by Butler Shaffer

Knowing the truth is a key element of man’s survival. From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:

Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we
train our character to be passive in its presence and
thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves
and those we love.

– Julian Assange

We are social beings who require relationships with others of our species not only to live well, but to survive. As Franz Oppenheimer reminded us, there are only two systems available to provide for our material needs: the economic and the political means. The “economic” means consists of persons voluntarily exchanging their respective claims of ownership on terms they negotiate for themselves; while the “political” means involve the forceful taking of property by the state, without the consent of the owner. The “property principle” is involved in each system, with the “economic” means respecting the inviolability of an owner’s claim, while the “political” means disrespects it. The distinction between these two systems is often expressed as the difference between “individualism” and “collectivism.” The state is often called upon to impose its realpolitik powers upon individuals who are inconveniences to  the established order.

“Truth” is essential to the economic means in order that the parties have precision in the property interests being exchanged, as well as other terms of the contract. Because political activity is grounded in lies, exaggerations, deceptions, and corrupt practices, truth is largely an irrelevant factor. To the politically driven in a thoroughly politicized world, a lie is as good as the truth as long as people believe it!

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The Generals Won’t Save Us From the Next War, by Danny Sjursen

Generals are boot-licking careerists. They won’t speak up against the US’s next idiotic military misadventure. From Danny Sjursen at theamericanconservative.com:

U.S. Pentagon brass listen to President Trump’s State of the Union Address, Feb. 5, 2019. (CSPAN/You Tube/Screengrab)

Poll after poll indicates that the only public institution Americans still trust is the military. Not Congress, not the presidency, not the Supreme Court, the church, or the media. Just the American war machine.

But perhaps that faith in the U.S. Armed Forces is misplaced. I got to thinking about this recently after I wrote articles calling for dissent among military leaders in order to stop what seems to be a likely forthcoming war with Iran. While I still believe that dissent in the ranks stands the best chance of galvanizing an apathetic public against an ill-advised, immoral conflict in the Persian Gulf, I also know its a pipe dream.

These are company men, after all, obedient servants dedicated—no matter how much they protest otherwise—to career and promotion, as much or more than they are to the national interest. The American military, especially at the senior ranks, is apt to let you down whenever courage or moral fortitude is needed most. In nearly 18 years of post-9/11 forever war, not a single general has resigned in specific opposition to what many of them knew to be unwinnable, unethical conflicts. Writing about the not-so-long-ago Vietnam War, former national security advisor H.R. McMaster, himself a problematic war on terror general, labeled in his book title such military acquiescence Dereliction of Duty. That it was, but so is the lack of moral courage and logical reasoning among McMaster and his peers who have submissively waged these endless wars in Americans’ name.

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Are Abortion & Gay Rights American Values? by Patrick J. Buchanan

There are no timeless, immutable values in politics, only positions adopted for political advantage. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“My religion defines who I am. And I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life,” said Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. “I accept my church’s position on abortion as … doctrine. Life begins at conception. … I just refuse to impose that on others.”

For four decades, Biden backed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of the tax dollars of Joe’s fellow Catholics to pay for what they view as the killing of the innocent unborn.

Last week, Joe flipped. He now backs the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America welcomed home the prodigal son: “We’re pleased that Joe Biden has joined the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in coalescing around the Party’s core values — support for abortion rights.”

But when did the right to an abortion — a crime in many states before 1973 — become a “core value” of the Democratic Party?

And what are these “values” of which politicians incessantly talk?

Are they immutable? Or do they change with the changing times?

Last month, Disney CEO Bob Iger said his company may cease filming in Georgia if its new anti-abortion law takes effect: “If (the bill) becomes law, I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

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“Thinkin’ Rots the Mind!” by Butler Shaffer

The money sentence, from the first paragraph: “Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives.” From Butler Shaffer at lewrockwell.com:

This rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however
important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually
losing the faculties of thinking, feeling and acting for
themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of
humanity.

– Alexis de Tocqueville

It is not a coincidence that the collapse of Western Civilization is being accompanied by a rampant mindlessness and reptilian reaction to events so contrary to the means by which this culture was created. Civilizations are created by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. Creative acts do not simply happen, but require energized minds capable of focusing on subject matters often over extended periods of time. The beautiful ancient cathedrals found in Europe – as with the continuing construction of Antoni Gaudi’s Basilica i Temple de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, begun in 1882 – are examples of creative undertakings whose completions extend far beyond the lives of both the designers and the workers who participated in bringing them into existence. For creative minds, time preferences matter: the pursuit of a truth may extend not only over one’s life-time, but beyond. Such is the state of mind of those scientists who accept, as part of the learning process, that a theory might, after lengthy research, be disproven.

Whether Western Civilization can be considered extinct, in a terminal state, or simply on a downhill course, is subject to differing interpretations. Suffice it to say that our culture is beset by rigor mortis, including its organizational systems; its creative vibrancy is gone; it no longer produces the values necessary for its survival; nor does it continue to meet the expectations of those who have embraced its qualities or purposes in benefitting human beings. Clarity in thought or vision that drives men and women to discover or create ways in which human well-being can be advanced, is being sacrificed to political or ideological ends. The Animal Farm mantra “four legs good, two legs bad,” has been transformed into divisive slogans such as “black lives matter,” and an insistence upon a multitude of subdivided gender identities.

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Barr’s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller in a Shocking Case, by S. Noble

Contrary to his publicity when he became the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller is no straight-arrow straight-shooter, and John Durham knows it. From S. Noble at independentsentinel.com:

John Durham

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia-Trump probe. Apparently, he has been on the job for weeks.

Durham is the perfect investigator for the job by all accounts and he had experience with Robert Mueller in the Whitey Bulger case. He did not side with Mueller and Mueller’s agents suffered the consequences of Mueller’s, some would say, corrupt leadership.

THE WHITEY BULGER CASE

Back in the late 1990s, there were “allegations that FBI informants James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi had corrupted their handlers.

So, in 1999, Janet Reno appointed John Durham as Special Prosecutor and charged him with investigating FBI corruption in Boston.

As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes. Bulger was a protected informant.

Durham sent one agent involved to prison for 10 years.

Then-US Attorney, Robert Mueller is probably the one who should have landed in the pen. He allowed four innocent men to be sent to prison for a murder he knew they didn’t commit.  He did it to protect Bulger.

One of the four men was in Florida at the time of the murder and could not have committed the murder.

When Durham went through the documents. He found that the four men, Enrico TameleoJoseph SalvatiPeter J. Limone, and Louis Greco, had actually been framed.

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The World’s Dictatress, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The US government leads a ruthlessly brutal confederated global empire. In a word, it’s become a dictratess. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

In his Fourth of July address to Congress in 1821, U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams stated that if America were ever to abandon its founding foreign policy of non-interventionism, she would inevitably become the world’s “dictatress” and begin behaving accordingly.

No can can deny that Adams’ prediction has come true. America has truly become the world’s dictatress — an arrogant, ruthless, brutal dictatress that brooks no dissent from anyone in the world.

Now, I use the term “America” because that’s the term Adams used. In actuality, however, it’s not America that has become the world’s dictatress. It is the U.S. government that has become the world’s dictatress.

A good example of this phenomenon involves Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese citizen who serves as chief financial officer of the giant Chinese technology firm Huawei. Having been arrested by Canadian authorities and placed under house arrest, Meng is suffering the wrath of the world’s dictatress.

What is her purported crime? That she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.

What do U.S. sanctions on Iran have to do with her? Exactly! She’s a Chinese citizen, not an American citizen. So, why is she being prosecuted by the U.S. government?

Sanctions have become a standard tool of U.S. foreign policy. With the exception of libertarians, hardly anyone raises an eyebrow over their imposition and enforcement. Their objective is to target foreign citizens with death, suffering, and economic privation as a way to bend their regime to the will of the U.S. dictratress and her brutal and ruthless agents.

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