Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Leftist moral blindness rolls on at Australian Leftist webzine
Lissa Johnson, the tame psychologist at "New Matilda", ignores most of the facts in her latest essay. Someone has criticized her writing without getting to the heart of what she gets wrong so she gives a rather supercilious reply. I excerpt the introduction to it below. The last paragraph below encapsulates what she refuses to see and it doesn't get better from there on. She deplores the Islamist attacks in Paris but adds:
"Our grief must be grief for all humanity, and all innocent victims, including victims of our own collective violence. I cited civilians killed and injured by US drone attacks in Yemen as examples"
Get it? American attacks ON terrorists are as bad as attacks BY terrorists!
To adapt a saying by Mao, terrorists are fish that swim in the sea of the people so they are hard to kill without killing bystanders. But we have to kill them before they kill others. And the solution to that dilemma adopted by the American forces has been a very consistent one. The Obama administration has been most careful in vetoing strikes where there is a likelihood of civilian casualties involved. On some accounts two out of three target requests from the military are turned down.
The information available to U.S. military planners is of course not always perfect so some civilian casualties do occur. The only way of totally avoiding civilian casualties would be to do nothing and let the terrorists continue on in their murderous ways. I guess that's what Lissa Johnson wants.
And American caution is not a recent development, the "JAGs" were regularly a great problem for American military men on the ground in Afghanistan. Has Lissa ever heard of the JAGs? If so, she promptly forgot it. JAG stands for the Judge Advocate General's Corps, a branch of the U.S. military that aims to keep the actions of U.S. troops ethical and legal. And in JAG guidelines, killing civilians is NOT legal. So in Afghanistan they refused many targeting requests on terrorists because it was not totally clear that they were terrorists -- sometimes leading to loss of life among American troops.
So our Lissa sees no difference between the actions of an armed force that goes out of its way to AVOID civilian casualties and an armed group who deliberately aim to INFLICT civilian casualties. Can there be bigger ethical blindness that that? I can't see it. She is not so much a disgrace as a pathetic Leftist fraud
I have recently been asked by news website the Tasmanian Times to respond to an article by freelance journalist Shane Humpherys, critiquing my analysis of the psychology behind the tragic Paris attacks.
Given that replying offers the opportunity of a case study in the psychology of systemic violence, and the metaphorical head-kicking that can come from challenging the status quo, I thought it was worthwhile providing a response.
My initial article outlined the shared psychological foundations – and human cost – of all intergroup violence, state-sanctioned or not. One main point was that victims of Western violence are just as human, just as dead or injured, and their families just as bereaved as victims of terrorist attacks.
I argued that if the Paris attacks are to be an attack on all humanity, then our grief must be grief for all humanity, and all innocent victims, including victims of our own collective violence. I cited civilians killed and injured by US drone attacks in Yemen as examples.
Dems’ focus on income inequality is misguided
A new survey from Politico finds what many of us already suspected. Whereas the primary policy issue for Republicans is creating economic growth, Democrats have a rather different set of priorities. Of Democrats surveyed, 81 percent said that income inequality was “the most important economic issue” as far as presidential politics go.
The left has always been driven by a misguided egalitarian streak. The nagging feeling that someone, somewhere, might be better off than someone else is an nettlesome irritant they just can’t shake, despite the fact that almost all plans to correct the alleged problem depend on gross violations of liberty that would be unacceptable to anyone who values freedom.
To see why inequality complaints are overblown, we can turn to philosopher Robert Nozick’s important work on justice and the role government, Anarchy, State, & Utopia. Nozick engages in a thought experiment, supposing an initial allocation of resources across a society that is entirely just. Of course, this means different things to different people, but for now let’s assume a completely egalitarian distribution.
Once this distribution is set, we can allow people to engage in free, voluntary transactions. Some people will choose to give a portion of their money to talented entertainers, athletes, and business owners who provide them with goods and services they value, thereby increasing the incomes of these entrepreneurs and creating inequality. Now, since the initial distribution was just, and since there is no injustice in allowing people to spend their money as they choose, how can anyone claim that income inequality is inherently unjust?
Of course, in the real world, we have to contend with things like theft, fraud, and artificial barriers to success, but taken together these factors explain a relatively small fraction of America’s income inequality. There’s nothing inherently wrong with an uneven distribution of wealth, as long voluntary action is the principal cause.
democrat vs republican
Now to be fair, it’s reasonable to be concerned about those policies that give special advantage to one group while creating roadblocks to success for others. I’ve written extensively about corporate cronyism, such as the Export-Import Bank, occupational licensing requirements, and regulatory burdens on new business models. All of these policies exacerbate income inequality by using government to help the powerful and hinder the weak. There is certainly injustice here, and it is absolutely something that needs to be addressed.
But removing the regulatory barriers to success is not what the left means when they say they want to tackle income inequality. In fact, the Democratic Party openly endorses most of these programs, despite their effect on income disparities.
Focusing on inequality as a major policy variable leads to perverse actions. As Margaret Thatcher observed, many would rather keep everyone from achieving success rather than let some succeed more than others. “He would rather the poor were poorer,” she said of a colleague bemoaning inequality, “provided the rich were less rich. That is the liberal policy.”
Economic growth, on the other hand, is the rising tide that lifts all boats. The poorest 10 percent of Americans today are vastly more wealthy, in absolute terms, than they were a century ago, and this is vastly more important than their relative wealth compared to other people. Absolute wealth determines whether you can feed your family, secure, housing, transportation, and clothing. It determines your entire standard of living. Relative wealth has little impact on your daily life, except perhaps, how jealous you are of your neighbors.
Of course, if you really can’t get the notion that income inequality is bad out of your head, you can take solace in the fact that, if you look at global wealth and don’t restrict your focus to a single country, it has been falling for the last 20 years. Hooray, or something.
More Burnt Offerings on the Altar of Multiculturalism
Diana West wrote the following 11 years ago. It is eerily fitting today. Nothing has been learnt
Only one faith on Earth may be more messianic than Islam: multiculturalism. Without it -- without its fanatics who believe all civilizations are the same -- the engine that projects Islam into the unprotected heart of Western civilization would stall and fail. It's as simple as that.
To live among the believers -- the multiculturalists -- is to watch the assault, the jihad, take place un-repulsed by our suicidal societies. These societies are not doomed to submit; rather, they are eager to do so in the name of a masochistic brand of tolerance that, short of drastic measures, is surely terminal.
I'm not talking about our soldiers, policemen, rescue workers and, now, even train conductors, who bravely and steadfastly risk their lives for civilization abroad and at home. Instead, I'm thinking about who we are as a society at this somewhat advanced stage of war.
It is a strange, tentative civilization we have become, with leaders who strut their promises of "no surrender" even as they flinch at identifying the foe. Four years past 9/11, we continue to shadow-box "terror," even as we go on about "an ideology of hate." It's a script that smacks of sci-fi fantasy more than realpolitik. But our grim reality is no summer blockbuster, and there's no special-effects-enhanced plot twist that is going to thwart "terror" or "hate" in the London Underground anymore than it did on the roof of the World Trade Center. Or in the Bali nightclub. Or on the first day of school in Beslan. Or in any disco, city bus or shopping mall in Israel.
Body bags, burn masks and prosthetics are no better protections than make-believe. But these are our weapons, according to the powers that be. These, and an array of high-tech scopes and scanners designed to identify retinas and fingerprints, to detect explosives and metals -- ultimately, I presume, as we whisk through the automatic supermarket door.
How strange, though, that even as we devise new ways to see inside ourselves to our most elemental components, we also prevent ourselves from looking full-face at the danger to our way of life posed by Islam.
Notice I didn't say "radical Islam." Or "Islamists." Or "Islamofascists." Or "Islamonazis." I've tried out such terms in the past, but quickly came to find them artificial and confusing, and maybe purposefully so, because in their imprecision I think they allow us all to give a wide berth to a great problem: the gross incompatibility of Islam -- the religious force that shrinks freedom even as it "moderately" enables or "extremistly" advances jihad -- with the West.
Am I right? Who's to say? The very topic of Islamization -- for that is what is at hand, and very soon in Europe -- is verboten. A leaked British report prepared for Prime Minister Tony Blair last year warned even against "expressions of concern about Islamic fundamentalism" (another one of those amorphous terms) because "many perfectly moderate Muslims follow strict adherence to traditional Islamic teachings and are likely to perceive such expressions as a negative comment on their own approach to their faith."
Much better to watch subterranean tunnels fill with charred body parts in silence. As the London Times' Simon Jenkins wrote, "The sane response to urban terrorism is to regard it as an avoidable accident."
In not discussing the roots of terror in Islam itself, in not learning about them, the multicultural clergy that shepherds our elites prevents us from having to do anything about them. This is key, because any serious action -- stopping immigration from jihad-sponsoring nations, shutting down mosques that preach violence and expelling their imams, just for starters -- means to renounce the multicultural creed. In the West, that's the greatest apostasy.
And while the penalty is not death -- as it is for leaving Islam under Islamic law -- the existential crisis is to be avoided at all costs. Including extinction.
This is the lesson of the atrocities in London [or Paris or Israel or Copenhagen or Ft. Hood or Australia or ...] It's unlikely that the 21st century will remember that this new Western crossroads for global jihad was once the home of Churchill, Piccadilly and Sherlock Holmes.
Then again, who will notice? The BBC has retroactively purged its online bombing coverage of the word "terrorist"; the spokesman for the London police commissioner has declared that "Islam and terrorism simply don't go together"; and within sight of a forensics team sifting through rubble, an Anglican priest urged his flock, as The Guardian reported, to "rejoice in the capital's rich diversity of cultures, traditions, ethnic groups and faiths."
Just don't, he said, "name them as Muslims." Their faith renewed, Londoners soldier on.
4 simple sentences
Here are the 10,535 pages of Obama Care condensed to 4 simple sentences.. As crazy as it sounds, every last word is absolutely TRUE!
1. In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to un-insure the insured.
2. Next, we require the newly un-insured to be re-insured.
3. To re-insure the newly un-insured, they are required to pay extra charges to be re-insured.
4. The extra charges are required so that the original insured, who became un-insured, and then became re-insured, can pay enough extra so that the original un-insured can be insured, so it will be ‘free-of-charge’ to them.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called "redistribution of wealth", AKA Socialism
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on events from a British perspective.
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Posted by JR at 1:58 AM