This will be a continuing work, I think
Londonderry Air or Danny Boy
Willie McBride or The Green Fields of France
Johnny I Hardly Knew You
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
The Forgotten Soldier Boy
War - Edwin Star
I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier
I Ain't Marching Anymore - Phil Ochs
The Americanization of Emily - "War is not moral" clip
Sunday, December 21, 2014
March A.D. 1996
Veritas News Service – Controversial populist presidential candidate Iesu Nazarenus was accused of spewing hate today when he called a group of rabbis a “brood of vipers,” “whited sepulchers,” “hypocrites,” “blind fools,” “blind guides,” etc.
Nazarenus has also been linked to right-wing militia leaders when it was reported that a physician who would identify himself only as Luke overheard him advising one of his supporters who was without a sword to “sell your tunic and buy one.” He is also related to the religious extremist of the desert who goes by the name of John. John apparently has very low self-esteem, telling some of his listeners that he is not worthy to loosen Nazarenus' sandal strap and that he must decrease and Nazarenus increase.
Since his appearance Nazarenus has sown division wherever he goes. In one place he actually told some of his followers, “I have come to bring a sword, not peace,” and he is quoted by informed sources as saying that “brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against their parents and put them to death” because of him or his ideology. Environmentalists are outraged at his killing a fig tree, and his supporters', mostly uneducated blue collar workers, fishing without a license. He also reportedly said to some of his more fanatical followers that he had “come to cast fire upon the earth.”
ATF officials are investigating reports that he made wine some time back, at the request of his mother apparently, during a wedding reception without paying any tax thereon.
In another investigation, FDA officials have received reports that he used unapproved methods to cure blindness. Eye-witnesses (no pun intended) said that he took spit and mud and spread it on the eyes of some homeless person supposedly born blind thereby effecting a cure. If proven he could be prosecuted for using unapproved quack remedies.
Nazarenus appears to be no friend of working people either. Informed sources report that he sided with a vineyard owner who paid his workers the same amount, even though some worked only one hour while others worked the whole day. This is a blatant case of equal pay for vastly unequal work.
Animal rights activists oppose him vehemently because of his statements that “you (his followers) are of more value than many sparrows” which they see as a dangerous kind of speciesism. Also his apparent indifference to fishing and animal sacrifice have outraged many. Nazarenus has also been accused of nativisim and anti-gentile bias because of his admonition, “Do not go in the direction of the Gentiles, nor enter the towns of the Samaritans” when sending out his provocateurs. He even referred to a Gentile woman (a Syrophoenician) as a dog, telling her when she requested his assistance, “It is not fair to take the children's bread and to cast it to the dogs.”
His running mate for the vice-presidency, Paul T. Arsus, is widely known as a homophobic hate monger. In a speech at Corinth he told those present, “Do not err, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not the effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor the evil tongued, nor the greedy will possess the kingdom of God.”
Pundits have said that the pair has virtually no chance of being elected, but if they were, they would have to tone down their rhetoric and move toward the middle to govern.
Even Pontius Robertson of the Jellyfish Coalition has distanced himself from the pair, supporting instead Boob “Windsock” Dole. Robertson and his spokesperson Caiphas Reed decided to support Dole when it appeared to them that Nazarenus and Arsus were not team players who could work with the Democrats to help support the family and return the country to its moral foundation.
Republican front-runner Boob Dole has called them extreme, and President Clinton has advocated the forming of a new agency to be called the Bureau of Free Speech, to monitor and regulate certain types of speech that spread fear, intolerance, homophobia, sexism, speciesism, sightism, adultism, lookism, racism, nativism and all types of unapproved thought and speech.
Some of the more conservative religions have actually agreed with this extreme rhetoric but have admitted that anyone espousing their views would be unelectable.
This was originally written in 1996 as a satire on the conduct of people like Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed.
Monday, June 2, 2014
The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 to deal with the problem of runaway slaves and the weakening of a 1793 law with the same objective. All people want to keep the fruits of their labor and when this desire is violated they seek some remedy, whether it be a change in the law or a change in location. If a slave could make it to Canada he was probably safe from the slave catchers. Some northern states had laws against black people – slave or free – moving into the state, so Canada was probably the best option. If a slave could escape to a free area he could keep all his earnings since there was no income tax at the time.
Today the state of affairs is a little different. If an American citizen wants to keep all his income there is no place to escape to. If such a person moves to Switzerland, Uganda, Haiti or Antarctica the IRS wants its “share” of his income. It doesn't matter that the person no longer lives in the US or makes any money in the US, just by virtue of citizenship, Uncle Sam wants his share.
If the plantation owner of yesteryear could somehow reap the benefits of the runaway slave's labor no matter where he was, he would have had no incentive to capture him and bring him back. What difference would it make where he was if the “owner” still had an irrevocable claim against his productivity? The slave had an advantage over the modern counterpart if he could escape the country.
In feudal times there were serfs known as serfs “regardant” and serfs “in gross.” A serf regardant was only a serf in regards to one Lord, otherwise he was free. A serf in gross was a serf always and everywhere no matter who he worked for. Americans are now what could be described as serfs in gross. No matter where they live or work, the federal vampire demands its gallon of blood even though the victim is using none of its “services.”
Every time a national holiday of some sort comes around, be it Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day or some other, we hear the usual script about how Americans are free and that we owe a huge debt to founders, veterans or somebody for all the freedom we enjoy. This presents an odd definition of freedom. What exactly does it mean to be free? Is it possible to be free when someone has an irrevocable, unlimited claim on everything you earn? Some will object that the income tax is not unlimited, it's “only” thirty-nine percent or whatever it happens to be, but this can be changed at any time for any reason. Serfs generally owed about twenty percent to the Lord - were they free?
Americans are so indoctrinated in the slave mentality that they will refer to someone who wants to keep the fruits of his labor as a “tax cheat.” Our Founding Fathers probably would not even have understood such a term. Weren't all of them aspiring tax cheats?
During every election politicians prattle on about reducing taxes, closing loopholes, tax reform or some other bromide to hoodwink the greatest number of voters. Almost none ever talk about abolishing the income tax and abolishing the IRS. The government loves an income tax because it allows it to pry into the financial affairs of all its citizens and it gives it a sword of Damocles to hold over any person or group that might have the wrong opinions. Many people like the income tax because they envy those more successful than themselves and like to see them punished. Marx and Engels undoubtedly realized this when they made “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” the second plank of the Communist Manifesto. Anything short of abolition is adjusting the fit of the chains on the slaves.
Not only does the government tax income of those living outside the country, it prohibits those who “owe” back taxes from leaving the
country. Nobody is free who has a master that has first claim against
all his earnings. Proverbs XXII:7 says that the borrower is slave to
the lender, but in the land of the free, even those who haven't
borrowed are slaves by virtue of citizenship, and there's nowhere to
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
You won't need pencils and paper for this one-question pop quiz.
All people and all groups are equally smart, talented, industrious, honest, inventive, deserving of respect and so on except one. So, here is the question.
What group is it perfectly acceptable – even encouraged – to denigrate in movies, advertising, jokes, academics and any other way?
Think real hard before answering because this is a real head scratcher. If you answered “white men” you scored 100 percent.
Everybody has his own ideas about what motivates other people, but I think it can be agreed that envy is near the top of the list, along with pride, which is probably number one. People tend to tear down their superiors, it's human nature. Mention to your wife or girlfriend that Helen of Troy was a beautiful woman and see how fast she can find fault with Helen's hairdo or the way she talks or that dress! that makes her look fat. Some will agree with you, but many will find defects.
This is why white men are the targets of ridicule in popular culture.
Think of how life would be different without the telephone, airplane, FAX machine, television, movie camera, light bulb, automobile, steam engine, electric motor, air conditioner, screw propeller, internal combustion engine, nuclear reactor, power loom, jet engine, refrigerator, transistor, microchip, magnetic clutch, phonograph, metallic cartridge, washing machine, radio, drive belts, reaper, interchangeable parts, pneumatic tire, farm tractor, modern rocket, submarine, roller chain, chainsaw, elevator, escalator, moveable-type printing press, bread slicer, electric mixer for cooking, toaster, arc welder, tapered roller bearing, centerless grinder, telescope, microwave oven, RADAR, aqua lung, auto pistol, revolver, machine gun, mouse trap, sewing machine, hydraulic brakes, disc brake, radial engine, water heater, battery, solar cell, generator, alternator, piano, electric guitar, electric clock, weed eater, airbag, helicopter, parachute, vacuum tube, microscope, zipper, rifled barrel, intermittent wiper switch, autogyro, seat belts, electron microscope, sleeve valve engine, Wankel engine, stirling engine, typewriter, photocopier, dynamite, boxer primers, matches, toilet paper, electric drill, ball bearing, electrical fuse, safety razor, stainless steel, swivel chair, electric razor, universal joint, pressure cooker and cell phone, to name a few inventions. What all these have in common is that they were invented by white men, not black men or white women; white men.
Pointing this out is now considered racist, sexist, or perhaps unimportant, as though any other group even comes close to comparing favorably. The above list only enumerates the invention of physical things and doesn't encompass advances in law, philosophy, medicine, science, music, mathematics, engineering, exploration, botany and so on.
Camille Paglia wrote an article recently about the importance of men – not specifically white men – for which she probably had opprobrium heaped upon her for even thinking. It's the worst taboo to even imply that modern civilization is an invention of white men, but if you were to eliminate only the inventions enumerated above, civilization would be cast into the pre-industrial age. There would be no motorized transport, no music unless you made it yourself or went to a performance somewhere, no way to communicate other than face to face or by letter, no efficient mode of printing, no hot water unless you heated it over a fire, not even an efficient way to plow or hunt game.
European countries that used to be almost all white have experienced a flood of immigration from non-white countries. This is really strange if white men are as stupid, self-centered, prejudiced and boorish as portrayed in movies. Maybe the proffered stereotype is inaccurate.
It is a sad state of affairs when the group most responsible for modern Western Civilization is the most denigrated by those in that civilization. C. S. Lewis might have been referring to what American children are taught in schools on up to college when he wrote, “The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept." *
* The Screwtape Letters – Screwtape Proposes A Toast
Monday, April 14, 2014
Washington DC is all abuzz over an Iranian drone strike on a dissident in McClean Virginia yesterday. The target was an Iranian by the name of Shapour Bakhtiar who the Iranians classify as a “terrorist.”
Mr. Bakhtiar was attending a wedding when a missile exploded, killing him and several other guests. The total number of those injured is not yet known, but several people were blinded and at least three paralyzed by the blast that seemed to come out of nowhere. One of those killed was Bakhtiar's 16 year-old son who had no involvement in terrorism.
The Obama Administration has called it an act of war and has demanded an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn the attack as a breach of international law and an act of pure barbarism.
Iranian spokesman Mohammed Mosaddegh told Mendax correspondent M. R. Pahlavi that the attack was completely justified and within the accepted practice of the United States. Tehran sources tell Mendax that Bakhtiar was wanted for making false and inflammatory statements against the legitimate government of Iran and aiding terrorists.
A State Department press release called the murder of Bakhtiar “The act of a criminal, lawless, rogue state that does not recognize national borders nor limits on its authority.” Iran has tried to justify its villainy by claiming a moral equivalence with U.S. attacks on genuine terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Egypt and perhaps other places undisclosed.
Defense Department and CIA personnel were taken by surprise that Iran had the capability to build drones until it was learned that Russian and Chinese engineers have been working with the Iranians to build a fleet of drones similar to the Lockheed RQ-170 that they captured on December 4, 2011.
Tehran has claimed that all those killed and injured were terrorists or were providing aid to terrorists. United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power issued a statement saying, "My government emphasizes that this blatant and unprovoked air violation by the Iranian government is tantamount to an act of hostility against the United States in clear contravention of international law, in particular, the basic tenets of the United Nations Charter."
Tehran has responded that Iran had issued warrants against Bakhtiar, but that the United States was harboring him and refused requests to return him to Iran. The Justice Department acknowledged that Tehran had made an extradition request, but the U.S. has no extradition agreement with Iran.
White House sources said that President Obama, a former community organizer, was disappointed that Iran had resorted to unacceptable behavior and that it bore the earmarks of a KGB operation, thus casting suspicion on Vladimir Putin, a former KGB Colonel. Veteran State Department officers expressed apprehension – confidentially – about a community organizer trying to match wits with a KGB Colonel.
Iran expressed regret over the collateral damage, but has remained defiant and threatened more drone strikes on Iranian dissidents in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any connection to the Iranian policy and has called for a moratorium on the use of drones. Washington has rejected any cessation of drone usage, but said that rogue states must not be allowed to have them.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
I have been a member of The National Rifle Association off and on since I was about twelve years old and a Life Member for about the past twenty years. The management of the organization takes the members for fools. There are better and more aggressive organizations such as Gun Owners Of America and Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership to name two, but as somebody said years ago, gun owners are like fleas on an elephant and must go where the elephant goes because the other organizations don't have the clout of the NRA.
Wayne LaPierre once famously referred to agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms as “jack-booted government thugs.” I don't know about their footwear, but they are thugs. The problem with the NRA and many other organizations is that they think certain agencies are bad, but the government overall is good. They're all thugs. Many issues of The American Rifleman will have some kind of laudatory article about some cop, military man, sheriff, FBI agent or some other government hack who is trained to follow orders. The BATF is the bogeyman because it is the agency charged with enforcing the firearms laws. If it were the FBI, the FCC or the EPA that enforced the laws they would be the ones wearing the jack-boots.
The February 2014 issue of The American Rifleman has an ad on page 73 seeking bequests to the NRA with the caption, “Where Do You Want Your Estate To Go?”: “To the government?” (with a very unflattering picture of Obama and Biden) “Or freedom's future?” (with a picture of a guy coaching a woman with a shotgun). This is all fine, but why is “the government” bad when it's Obama, but good when it's Sgt. Doright of the First Cavalry or the Podunk Sheriff's Department? Obama is not the one who is going to kick down your door for violating a gun control law; it's Sgt. Doright that will handle that. You are probably never going to be in any danger from Obama. It will be one of his agents who kills you, seizes your property, breaks into your house, hauls you off without charge, prohibits you from flying, spies on you, prevents your leaving the country, and on and on. Almost all of these outrages will be perpetrated by a person wearing a government uniform of some kind.
It's not just the NRA that propagates this sort of Zoroastrian/dualist view of the government; it's the gun manufacturers and advertisers too. One manufacturer has an ad for its product that shows an entry team of cops preparing to break in a door with the caption in boldface type, “BUILT FOR THOSE WHO REQUIRE NO INTRODUCTION.” Well, actually they should require an introduction, otherwise called a search warrant issued upon “oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Hardly any “dynamic entries” are ever justified. When the police are confronted with real danger, they usually cordon off the area as in school shooting cases or burn the place to the ground as in the case of Christopher Dorner, Gordon Kahl, MOVE in Philadelphia or the Branch Davidians in Texas.
There seems to be broad support for the military even though the Founding Fathers feared a standing army and would not even authorize funding for one for longer than two years at a time.
It is easy to see why a standing army is a danger to society when you consider how easy it is to get ordinary people to obey authority with very little coercion. This was demonstrated by Stanley Milgram in his experiments and chronicled in his book Obedience To Authority. If ordinary people are so easy to command, it is a fortiori the case that young boys who have been through obedience training known as boot camp or police academy will follow commands like trained dogs after their personal judgment and individuality have been reduced or destroyed.
There are plenty of products sold only to government agencies that John Q. Public is not allowed to have. Why manufacture a product – other than for money, or course – that is going to be turned against you? Why, in a nation founded upon the idea of unalienable rights and popular sovereignty is the government permitted to have weapons that are prohibited to the individual? This is exactly backwards; it is the government that should be prohibited certain weapons. The government is the agent, not the sovereign.
Remington used to market a folding stock for the 870 shotgun that had “For law enforcement only” stamped into the side of it. Why? There was nothing illegal about anybody having it. Why provide your government customers products that you deny to non-government buyers?
I used to joke about – although not entirely in jest – forming a company that sold weapons and equipment that stated in its ads, “Civilian sales only.” We would all be better off if the government feared the people instead of the other way around.
Monday, September 2, 2013
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This is the government's greatest fear. Aeschylus is supposed to have said that “In war, truth is the first casualty.” He may have been technically correct, but truth is a casualty before the war even starts. Truth is a casualty of government. Government subsists on lies. How can it be otherwise, when lying is the path to advancement in government?
Lies have always served government well because people have a tendency to trust their government for some inexplicable reason and even when lies were exposed, it was usually long after the fact and the thing lied about forgotten. There have always been a few people who point the lies out at the time, but they are almost always ignored. There were probably some people at the time who doubted the Gulf of Tonkin Incident or the “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor, but they had no effective means of disseminating their views.
Herein lies what I believe to be the greatest problem for government. There is a concept in economics called the velocity of money, and if I may borrow from it I would say that the internet has brought about what I call the Velocity of Truth. The theory works like this: the government puts out a lie to justify some act or contemplated action, but before it can even agree on the details, somebody exposes it as a lie. This usually necessitates another lie – sometimes called a clarification – to cover up the first one. Before you know it, the government has woven itself a tangled web in its efforts to deceive.
Truth and government are antonymous.
This is a problem for government that seems as though it can only get worse. Daniel Ellsberg was an anomaly in his time, but just in the last few years people like Julian Assange, William Binney, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Sibel Edmonds, et alia have pullulated like chickens. Before the internet they would have been voices crying in the wilderness and could be safely ignored, but not any more because the Velocity of Truth is increasing.
Surveillance can only become a worse problem for the government as video and audio recorders get smaller and ubiquitous and data storage devices shrink and gain capacity. It is similar to an elephant fighting ants or a dog biting at fleas.
Not too long ago, the police could concoct any story to justify their actions, but now they are constantly being caught on video recording devices that contradict their account of events. If John Kennedy were assassinated today, Abraham Zapruder would only be one of thousands with a video record of it, and the modern version would also have audio. As it becomes more common for devices to upload information to a remote location, the cat will be out of the bag, vanished and had kittens. Today government goons can seize the equipment and destroy it or erase the information, but that option will soon evaporate.
The current program of fabricating a reason to attack Syria is an example of the pesky internet. The Daily Mail ran a story on January 29, 2013, titled U.S. 'backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad's regime' that mysteriously vanished, but it was archived here by web.archive.org. Just a few years ago, it would have required digging up a copy of the original story and making copies of it to disseminate.
Most of us can't imagine the inventions that will soon be commonplace, and many of them will help increase the flow of information. Every advance in the flow of information damages the government's ability to deceive and increases the Velocity of Truth.