Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/28/2017: Late For My Ethics CLE Seminar Edition!



1 Incredible! The stupid NFL Anthem Protest Ethics Train Wreck is still dominating the newscasts this morning. Now football fans are organizing boycotts and burning NFL merchandise. Meanwhile, I heard a quick exchange this morning where an advocate for “The Knee” insisted that “it’s not about the National Anthem” and the retort was, “If it’s not about the National Anthem, why is the protest during the National Anthem?” Good question. The Ethics Alarms Protest Checklist could have prevented this whole mess. That, or the simple responsible act of the NFL telling its players that they were free to make whatever political statements and protests they chose, out of uniform and as private citizens, but when they attempted to do so on the NFL’s time, on the field, the they were doing harm to the team, the league and the game.

2. Speaking of tribalism, what can you call Michelle Obama’s statement encouraging gender bias (as long as it is favor of the right gender) with her statement that “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice”? I’ll give the former First Lady credit, though: she has always been a hard left demagogue, but for the most part completely avoided venting these views while her husband in office. That was prudent, appropriate and wise.

3. Why does the President keep saying that the U.S. is the most heavily taxed nation in the world? This has been debunked over and over. Has no one told him?

4. Conservative news sources and blogs are thrilled that ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, the central figure in a false Democratic narrative concocted to embarrass the Bush Administration, embarrassed herself by tweeting anti-Semitic sentiments. Alan Dershowitz explains her conduct in excruciating detail here, but Plame is a non-entity. The Right’s obsession with is story is pure revenge. She’s not important, the Plame Affair is not only old news, but also an event that not one in 10,000 Americans could explain if their lives depended on it, and the fact that one woman whom Democrats tried to make into a martyr over a decade ago for partisan gain is a bigot just isn’t news.

5. Ugh—late for my seminar!


121 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/28/2017: Late For My Ethics CLE Seminar Edition!

  1. “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton for my husband voted against their own voice”

    Fixed it.

    (How did she not see this coming?)

  2. 2. I don’t even care about implicit gender bias towards Hillary, I’m getting hung up on the explicit sexism in the idea that the most important thing about my “voice” is that it’s female. Hillary was going to work towards deregulation and school vouchers? Hillary was going to come down on the side of due process on the campus rape issue? I didn’t even vote for Trump, but I’m pretty sure *my* voice is a lot better off than it would have been under Hillary.

  3. Why does the President keep saying that the U.S. is the most heavily taxed nation in the world? This has been debunked over and over. Has no one told him?

    Typical Trump. American corporations are the most heavily taxed in the world, or at least, pay the highest nominal rate. I’m certain that’s what he’s thinking, but as usual, he’s incapable of articulating a coherent thought (if he’s ever actually had one).

    Conservative news sources and blogs are thrilled that ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, the central figure in a false Democratic narrative concocted to embarrass the Bush Administration, embarrassed herself by tweeting anti-Semitic sentiments.

    Who? Oh, right, her. I thought she was dead, or moved to Patagonia.

    • Some pre-coffee ramblings:

      I work in corporate taxes for multi-state and multi-national-within-the-US-protectorate-system companies. Some of the taxes these companies pay are absolutely obscene. Especially if they’re in an industry or region-map with few good tax strategy options.

      Heavily regulated and innovation-stagnant industries (aviation, medicine, automotive, etc.) should get a tax credit for every dollar they put into R&D. That money would be dumped back into the economy the same as taxes would, but the companies would we able to produce far more innovative and internationally competitive products that would win some if not all of the lost tax-revenue back while growing the economy and improving the quality of American goods.

      I can also say that the industry hates the ACA for how many logical holes it has (writing code for it is a nightmare) buuuut loves how many new clients it funnels into the market. Personally, I think it’s crazy that the US tax system is so complex that an entire sub-industry exists for the sole purpose of navigating it.

      Between the double taxation, exorbitant percentages for high earners, and the literal money cost of working through the compliance labyrinth I think it’s entirely fair to say that US companies are the most taxed in the world. It’s a big reason why you see so many flee the US.

      • It’s nice to see someone else pick up that torch.

        The proof of this, if one was unwilling to simply look up the rates or take the opinions of people in the industry, is to look at the behavior of corporations. Every year, a certain number of American Corporations quietly buy an existing foreign company and relocates their headquarters out of America.

        Why do they do this? Tax treaties.

        Bottom line profit dollars a company earns in Canada, by selling goods out of outlets in Canada to customers that exist in Canada, are taxed at Canadian rates, and every bottom line profit dollar a company earns in America, by selling goods in America to customers that exist in America, are taxed at American rates. “So Jeff,” one might ask, “Why pay the expense of moving their head office?” It’s a good question! The answer is that any difference between the rate of taxation of two countries that have a tax treaty, and the company is deemed to be in the country with the higher rate, the company is required to pay all of the local taxes first, and the difference between the local tax and the company’s home nation’s tax second.

        As an example, if the Canadian tax rate was 6% and the American tax rate was 10%, and a company was deemed to be situated in America, the company would pay 10% of it’s American earnings to America, 6% of It’s Canadian Earnings to Canada, and 4% of it’s Canadian earnings to America. If however, the company was deemed to be situated in Canada, the company would still have to pay 10% to America, but would only have to pay 6% to Canada, and be able to pocket that additional 4%.

        So when… To use probably the most famous example from the last decade… Burger King buys Tim Hortons and moves their head office to Canada, they are doing this not because they love a good Double Double, they’re doing it because they believe the tax savings they’ll realize from paying Canadian tax rates on Foreign earnings will be greater than the cost of moving. That is, they believe the Canadian tax rate to be lower.

        This is a variation on a theme… in France, they raised the top tier tax rate to the point that billionaires started to exodus to other countries, and they, like burger King were called traitors: “How dare they move to avoid paying the burdensome taxes we place on them! Don’t they realize our socialist utopias depend on them!” The strawman cried, because of course these people would never admit this out loud.

        But they get close sometimes

        “Burger King isn’t the first company to face fallout over a tax inversion, which is when a company acquires a business in another country, then relocates its headquarters there. Big U.S. companies, including pharmaceutical AbbiVie and Valeant Pharmaceuticals, recently have pursued tax inversions to cut their costs. Earlier this month, Walgreen abandoned plans to pursue a tax inversion after negative publicity about the planned move.

        President Barack Obama and Congress have criticized inversions because they mean a loss of tax revenue for the U.S. government.

        White House spokesman Josh Earnest wouldn’t comment on Burger King’s announcement on Monday, but said the president generally believes it’s unfair for companies to pursue a tax inversion merely to pay less in taxes. The Obama administration is considering executive steps it could take to de-incentivize inversions.”

        My heart bleeds for you, great gobs of maple syrup.

      • I work in corporate taxes for multi-state and multi-national-within-the-US-protectorate-system companies. Some of the taxes these companies pay are absolutely obscene. Especially if they’re in an industry or region-map with few good tax strategy options

        My hat is off to you. I have absolutely no doubt that very few people understand how insanely difficult this topic is. I work in product design management for a multi-national company. The product I work on is designed in multiple countries, manufactured in 3 and sold in 140+ countries. I feel for those on the financial side. We actually keep two sets of financial tracking – one set for those that follow the laws of every country and goes into all of our outside financial reporting, and another following a single set of rules across all countries so we are able to make apples to apples decisions for line of business management. Just getting people inside the company to understand the rules of each is difficult. I can’t imagine how the negotiations go with the insane number of taxing entities the company deals with.

      • Some of the taxes these companies pay are absolutely obscene. Especially if they’re in an industry or region-map with few good tax strategy options.

        This is exactly where it’s logical to think a tax break would “trickle down.” If those companies were suddenly paying, say, 10% less in taxes, it would make sense for them to try to grab market share, which in theory would produce more jobs.

        I’ve seen so many pro- and con- papers on this theory that it just makes my head hurt, and I hate accounting with a purple passion (I have to do a lot of my own). It just seems logical to me that a corporate tax that was in the middle of the pack would be a benefit. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how I see it.

        And to reiterate — I’m positive that’s what Trump was talking about, even though he’s incapable of communicating a rational thought.

  4. 2. Michelle Obama’s comments remind me why I am NOT part of the Left, and have grown to hate the Left to some degree.

    She has assumed, and pretty much said so, that women were obligated to vote for Hillary BECAUSE they were women. As if they could not learn about issues themselves, come up with their own conclusions about the issues themselves, and decide for themselves how to vote.

    That’s sexist thinking on Michelle Obama’s part. That women must believe certain things because they are women.

    It doesn’t just extend to men/women. The Left makes the same assumptions about race. If you’re African-American, there are certain conclusions you MUST come up with or you’re an “Oreo.” See the venom directed towards Clarence Thomas and other African-Americans who lean conservative.

    Again, how is that not racism?

    I was taught racism and sexism are wrong. But it seems that the Left believes that racism and sexism are okay, as long as it’s done in the name of social justice.

    Both Richard Spencer and Te’Nehisi Coates judge me by the color of my skin. It doesn’t matter what conclusions they come up with, they both are wrong. Neither of them know what my life was or is like, but they both think they can judge me by my skin tone.

    That’s enough for me to judge them… as racist jerks.

    4. In this case, given that Plame helped trigger the highly dubious investigation and conviction of Scooter Libby (and the resulting destruction of his life), I am going to savor her fall from grace.

    As Londo Mollari put it in Babylon 5, “Blood calls out for blood.”

    • As Londo Mollari put it in Babylon 5, “Blood calls out for blood.”

      ..and so it begins…”

      Sorry: recent events where the right have lowered themselves to lefty tactics has been very…disheartening for me. Ethic are being abandoned along with morals, empathy, compassion and basic decency. The only resolution I see is a reset, and any reset would be catastrophic for most in this country.

      • Slickwilly,

        I do not like the trend, either. But the alternative is to accept not only the racism of a Te’Nehisi Coates or the sexism of Michelle Obama, but the nascent apartheid system that the hard left is trying to create.

        To illustrate, consider this: The same people angry at Trump for calling on NFL owners to fire players who don’t stand for the National Anthem had no problem when Brendan Eich was forced out of Mozilla for donating to Prop 8, or when Angela McCaskill was demoted merely for signing a petition to put a gay marriage law for a vote. Hell, they probably cheered those events.

        The same folks who don’t want to be forced by the state to express respect for the flag will happily demand that Jack Phillips be forced by the state to use his talents to create a cake for a same-sex wedding.

        A reset of some sort is already inevitable. My only hope is that response in kind by the right now, combined with Jack Phillips winning his case at the Supreme Court, will limit the suffering once this cycle of retaliation burns out. If Phillips loses, though, it’s going to be a harder reset, and it will be catastrophic on multiple fronts.

  5. From Vox to the former First Lady, I am growing tired of Democrats, supposedly the bastion of empowered women everywhere, telling me that, when I vote my conscience, it’s because I don’t know what’s in my best interests.

    I can assure Mrs. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Samantha Bee and the knee-jerk liberal who sits across the aisle from me at work that I am perfectly cognizant of my best interests and no one, not my father, my brothers or my husband has ever dictated to me for whom I should vote. Nor would any of them dare to do so.

    It is a mark of blatant sexism, tribalism and a slew of other elitist attitudes that so-called Progressive women attempt to otherize and exclude conservative or politically-independent women from the conversation.

    If you truly believe in empowering women, then accept that those women you’ve empowered to speak their minds will sometimes express ideas with which you disagree.

    And accept that they will sometimes vote differently from you, too.

  6. 2. I agree Michelle Obama’s comments suggest support for gender bias. Had she said “Any woman who voted for Donald Trump voted against her own voice,” I’d be more sympathetic to her statement; Trump’s misogyny and rampant sexism had been well documented long before his campaign, and continued to be exposed during it. Voting for someone who routinely expresses that kind of bigotry against your group is idiotic, and I don’t think it’s unfair to say so. But she said “against Hillary,” not “for Trump,” which implies that all women had to vote for Hillary because she’s a woman. That’s bullshit.

    3. Unfortunately the “highest taxed nation in the world” thing isn’t just a Trumpism; it’s one of the few points where his beliefs differ not one iota from mainstream conservatives. Romney used this one during the 2012 election constantly. When this was debunked over and over back then, the Romney campaign said they didn’t have to answer to fact-checkers. It’s a lie, but it’s a lie Republicans accept as dogma. It isn’t that nobody’s told Trump it isn’t true, it’s that the Republicans around him keep telling him it is true.

    Good luck at your seminar!

    • I disagree, Chris. Even if Trump was more misogynist than other presidential candidates have been (I’m not convinced he is; just sloppier and more candid,) you’re assuming that how he feels about someone’s gender identity should be a litmus test in voting for him, and overrule their opinions on economics, defense, education, and other things that are actually part of the job. I’m not saying that misogyny should be a selling point to women, but the women who voted for him because he represented their views on policy were not “voting against their voices” because he didn’t represent their views on gender.

      • I feel like much of the left is… unaware… perhaps… That might not be the right word, but they don’t have the self awareness to envision what their parade of single issue policy demands looks like to multifaceted voters.

        It’s something they lost… Back in the Bill Clinton days, you had all kinds of feminists quite candid that they loathed everything about Bill’s sex life, but he was pushing the right policies, so he could be forgiven his failings. Bill “It’s The Economy, Stupid” Clinton, grabbin’ puss before it was cool, back in 1996, wasn’t seen as a vote against women.

    • You’ll never see American corporations seek a tax inversion from France, for instance, so yes, not the highest taxed nation on *Earth*, but it’s quite up there. Highest in North America, by far.

      Which is why I’d love for them to abandon the point… It’s the same thing I call out when progressives argue that dreamers add 400 billion dollars to the economy: No, they don’t, but they add something, but 400 billion is a lie. And that nugget of truth in there can be a legitimate talking point (one I’d still argue against, but at least it would be honest). America *isn’t* the highest taxed Nation on Earth, but your tax burden is higher than most other capitalist first world nations, and you get so damnably little for it.

    • I agree Michelle Obama’s comments suggest support for gender bias. Had she said “Any woman who voted for Donald Trump voted against her own voice,” I’d be more sympathetic to her statement; Trump’s misogyny and rampant sexism had been well documented long before his campaign, and continued to be exposed during it.

      Yeah, but what does “Any woman who voted for Donald Trump voted against her own voice” mean, anyway? I mean, I’ve not seen Trump tell women to shut up, be seen and not heard. Yes, there’s no doubt he’s made some rude, sexist comments, but I’ve heard guys do that who aren’t actually sexist.

      So help me understand what you mean by “voice.” Is that a code word or a new use of language I am simply to stupid to grasp, or perhaps I just don’t have the proper leftspeak training to nuke it out?

  7. #4. It’s partly about when you beat someone, you have to break them too. Many liberals still cling to the phony Valerie Plame narrative now, years after it ceased to be relevant, and still say it’s “another reason GWB should be warming a prison cell instead of retirement.” However, a few less, actually a lot less, are going to keep on clinging when the central figure is revealed as one who says “It’s all the JOOOOOS fault!”

  8. In order to get to the truth in any complex situation, and especially when the issue is contentious and much hang on it, it is usually there that the *narratives* that get woven and presented are most hard to sort through. As I confront these narratives I discern that many people and forces have an interest in lying to me. And so I say ‘Our present seems steeped in lies’. All important areas, it seems, have become contentious. The article Plame retweeted may have been this one:

    It is an entirely sound project, whether done personally or by a group, to come to grips with Israel’s founding and the things that are done in order to maintain it. It is a very interesting case in attempting to see, free of coersive interposition of ideology, hope and fear, or what-have-you. I referred to Miko Peled as Israeli activist who believes that he has come to see and understand the truth about Israel’s founding. He makes a compelling case. But what is more interesting is that (and I suggest) we all have POVs which are bound up, in one way or another, to one degree or another, with ‘false impositions’. Peled refers to the Israeli insertion of a Bbiblical narrative in order to make the European Jewish conquest of Palestine justifiable. It is a marvellous, idealistic vision, and thus the story works. And this story is one that can easily be *sold* as it were. It is at the base of Israeli society, tied up with Israel’s fundamental self-definition and, of course, people’s identification, and it is also one that most Americans adopt. Some ‘support’ Israel because they have chosen to assert their support through their religious lens, but others who have no or little such religiousness support Israel through the heroic vision. It is largely the same though. And it is false and non-truthful.

    To tell the truth about things — ourself, the world, our country, our activities — is a brutal affair. It requires a determined self-honesty. If one is caught up in lies how difficult it is to get out from under them! There is a huge cost one has to pay. Easier it is, often, to remain in the lie.

    Myself, I have no problem at all at noticing Jewish (I mean here Zionist) complicity in the creation of America’s policies in the Middle East. It is as plain as a wart on a nose. If one has any grasp of Jewish history, one can only understand that America has been and is now the one and the major historical opportunity offered to the historical Jew. Duh! While it is only true that Jews and Jewish (israeli and Zionist) interests influence and do not determine American policy, the influence of Jewish thinkers and Jewish activists, ideological and commercial, have a large role in the recent policies of the US.

    Unfortunately, the formation of Israel came about through terrible crimes. And US policy is deeply tied to a State that has lied from the start (and done many criminal things). Open and overt crimes against the residents of Palestine, et cetera. True, Jews came back because they had held, historically, to the Idea of Israel, and this is I think an unprecedented occurance in history (I know of no other case), yet it does not change what actually happened: conquest, occupation, displacement and everything that arises from those actions. Plain and simple. Nothing more need be said. Tell the truth if you wish to, or lie if you wish to, but the *fact* is there undebatable. A child could discern it.

    I have read in great depth on both sides of the European Jewish question. Malcolm Hay’s ‘Europe and the Jews’. Joshua Trachtenberg ‘The Devil and the Jews’. Joseph Telushkin and Dennis Praeger ‘Why the Jews?’ and many others. And I have read many of the titles generally said to be antisemitic. And I am completely aware of what is posted in on the message boards, Left and Right. Antisemitism exists. But there has to be, there must be, a Jewish-critical position that is allowed and is coherent.

    While this is true, it is not a simple issue. In the WW2 aftermath any level of conversation was shut down. The ‘average American’ has not the slightest idea — not the slightest! — even as to what a Jew is, much less what Jewish history has involved or what happened at the so-called emancipation of the Jew. Total ignorance. But they do know one thing, and they know it very well: Open your mouth and make even a minor criticism — even a question! — about Jews, about Israel and about politics and influence, and you will be destroyed.

    Therefor, the only ones who can say anything are those with nothing to lose.

    It is important to write this because this is a blog devoted to ethics. There are many levels of ethical considerations here, not the least being how we ourselves get wrapped up in ‘lying narratives’ about our own nation, our own actions, our own self. Some part of life must be, at one point or another, about the unraveling of lies, shouldn’t it? Everyone has gone through it at one time or other, haven’t we? I know I have.

    To get to a true(er) ethical platform one has therefor to get out from under lies, no? Or, is it possible to be wrapped up in lies and still, somehow, to be ethical?

    • Maybe it’s just my sodomy addled brain observing this but why didn’t you expand on the “Unfortunately, the formation of Israel came about through terrible crimes” part of your comment? I’m sure you could speak to the Balfour Declaration and later the UN’s continuing role in determining the land Israel currently holds. If your point is how messed up Israel is because of the past, some clear examples would help that are not solely based on the “those wacky Jews” narrative.

      No not everyone destroys for being critical of Zionism but it certainly destroys to have such criticism be in the style Black Lives Matters and other staunch illiberals currently have. Why is antisemitism among the left is on the rise? Because like you, they miss all the outside influences that have helped Israel to choke on its own dreams. Rarely do people mention how Sephardic or other “lower” Jews in Israel struggle with the Ashkenazi elite. What about the Jews that spoke against Lord Rothchild’s influence? What about the Jews who believe the way Israel became a state is inherently against scripture?

      You comment is nothing more than a typical black/white Jews bad, Palestinians good dichotomy. A lack of nuance doesn’t convince.

          • Good comments, Mrs. Q.

            I’d only add that anti-Semitism is on the rise on both the left and the right. Though I think it was more prevalent on the left for much of the past decade, and now it is rising due to the emergence of the “alt-right,” which has been engaging in most of the harassment against Jewish journalists (including right-wing journalists).

              • Chris makes a good point. I had (comfortably?) forgotten about the pro-Palestinian/anti-Israeli demonstrators that turn up at Israeli-government sponsored film showings. As far as I know, most of them are Jewish, and every one of them is left — the more belligerent, the more militantly left they go. It is part of the SJW code. To be pro-Israeli, they tell me, is to side with Western Europe and White America, in other words, to be racist. The contents of the movie is beside the point, as is the fact that all but the richest nations have to provide government sponsorship for their films to be able to compete, even to be shown once, never mind find distribution and commercial release, in the world market. The contents of the Israeli sponsored films, (and the Palestinian-made movies, by the way, which aren’t subjected to harassment), is frequently that of debate and attempt at resolution between the two groups, sometimes including harsh criticism of its own government. It is an essential of democracy to support this.

                Our own indy film industry is healthy enough to stand up to the rabid cries from the left. But for the right, aside from a few excellent neo-Westerns, the flawed but fascinating “The Circle,” last year’s “Captain America” and an increase in documentaries that just began about four years ago, the normal people remain invisible and voiceless to the majority of Americans. Change is starting to show up here and there (besides the “faith-based” category) in a spate of law-and-order documentaries, most recently “The Force,” described by one reviewer as “a parachute drop into the middle of the city’s [Oakland’s] police department” and “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” ((by the Director of “Concussion” with Liam Neeson in the lead), a movie for those who think they remember Watergate and thought they understood what the FBI is about, a movie that is predicated upon so many historical ethical breaches and ends-justifying rationalizations from every direction that I lost count … and I kept thinking about Jack’s head exploding. [It’s not another “All the President’s Men” but it goes further inside — the two movies cry out to be double-billed.]

                • To be pro-Israeli, they tell me, is to side with Western Europe and White America, in other words, to be racist.

                  On a moral and ethical level the situation in Israel/Palestine is infinitely more simple. A child could reason it through. The return of the Jews from Europe led to displacement, razing of villages, and a cynical program to occupy the land of Israel. The Palestinian population, having been there for 1500 years, was driven from their land. It is really as simple as that.

                  To cover over that crime — that is, if it is seen and understood as such — all sorts of sophistry and mendaciousness is needed. The Israeli justification for their activities is just that. And again, a smart child can see this.

                  As in many situations of this sort, from the minuscule personal situation to the macro geopolitical situation, we invent stories to justify our actions. That is the Israeli story.

                  To the degree that the US has chosen, for whatever reasons, to ally itself with the Israelis, is the degree that they have, consciously or unconsciously, become complicit in this illegal and violent displacement of Palestinians. In our own country, of course, there are so many layers of lies that are interposed between us and reality, us and truth. But this is not, not really, a Left-Right issue. Or it should not be such. Any sensible, upstanding and moral person, looking at the true facts, can clearly see what is going on and any such person should feel obligated to take a stand. That ‘the Right’ does not do this, and that it covers over the truth with lies, distortions, false-narratives (not to mention accusations of antisemitism) reveals, it would seem, that their reasoning processes are contaminated — by interest, by ideology, by spiritual blindness. It results nonetheless in complicity in wrong-doing.

                  Because of the Internet (a significant factor), now millions of people can easily access information that formerly could only be gotten with diffficulty. The MSM will not report fairly on this issue and many other issues and what is happening is that people are doing their own research. Some sources, no doubt, are tainted, yet if one keeps looking one can find sources that provide one with a better, a truer, view. Miko Peled and dozens of Israelis just like him begin to describe the truth. It is simple, direct and incontrovertable. Unlike governments with their interests, investments and geo-political machinations, average people can often *see* more clearly because they do not have the interest-issue that blocks their vision and understanding.

                  As it happens, now in our present, so much more information is becoming available and is available, that it is overturning in certain senses the distributed version of Reality that we got from the MSM. The MSM is in a crisis for these reasons. But people are in a crisis too because a different world begins to come into view, a different one from what they had been told. A crisis of understanding, related to a crisis of perception, seems to be upon us.

                  Pennagain, I am billing you $499.00 for this post as it will help you to restructure your mind. I accept PayPal and the major credit cards. Beginning to tel the truth is hard at first but it gets easier as you get over the first hump. You can do it!

                    • Hello there, Tex. Thanks for that. (If you can similarly link me to a site that provides the formatting instructions to do what you did I would appreciate it).

                      Yes, yes, I have been through all of that. By definition: sophistry. And sophistry is also, by definition, a sophisticated intellectual and thetorical art. (Your sophistry, I notice, is rooted in a ‘free-market’ variety of self-deception!) What you have done here by providing these interesting links is to have helped me just that much further along. And by ‘further along’ I mean on the path of breaking out of lying nets and webs and just getting to the very edge of a vista in which truth is seen (again).

                      You have revealed a very structured, a very ‘lawyerly’ web of partial-truths which form the standard line. Because it deals in elements of truth (truthful portions) it has a certain sturdiness, and certainly works well to pull the wool over most people’s eyes. But that is how rhetoric serves sophistry, and the end-result (of all lying and deception) is to help to keep a destructive endeavor going. In this sense, as I have said numerous times, it is Power that really decides the issue a priori. Power then accretes around itself the structure of lies (or mistruths) it needs to uphold the essential power-narrative, which is an act of the will. The meaning of course touches on will-to-power as it does battle (if you will) with will-to-truth. Will-to-power serves men ‘in time’ and helps along their terrestrial plans and undertakings which, of course, are bound-up in adventures, usurpations and the like. The problem is in this: how we are forced because of our own *ownership interest* to become complicit, and thus to advocate for actions and activities that, in a ‘true moral’ sense should be opposed.

                      I am sure that, as here with a sophistical defense of Israel, also reveal how you stand with and in support of the more recent invasions of 6-7 different countires, the expending of numerous trillions of dollars in these enterprises, and that you would have some nifty means to explain, and defend, the numerous hudreds of thousand of people killed through these policies. And then you might even ask me to ‘stand for attention!’ as you hoist the (free-market) flag, and with Machiavelli’s spirit hovering admiringly, play the patriotic card to its fullest. Lies, lies and more lies! Steeped in lies, and as I said formerly, you ‘sacrifice your patrimony for a mess of pottage’.

                      And these policy-choices are leading, step by machine step, to the destruction of the Republic. But it is more, it is the destruction of the soul which is the first step in the process. The soul gets trapped by lies, those lies tied to self-interest, and then it just rolls downhill from that point on. The inertia keeps it going and until truth-telling occurs its trajectory is inevitable.

                      These sophistries, these methods of establishing lying narratives, have their origin at the turn of the 20th century. It stems from a form of ‘coup’ by which industrial and war-manufacture classes discovered the tools of political and social engineering. Add to that the creation of the PR industry with Eduard Bernays et al, and voilà. But my thinking on this problem of Power and Will does not really stop at this point. What I come to understand is that because power decides, and power thus molds the world, and will mold how people think and even how they perceive, that from a *ruler’s* perspective one has to make decisions about how one’s own power-system will be best defended. So, though I am pretty clear that what I have written just here is sound, intellectually, morally and philosophically — as realpolitik — my basic quandary is What power-system to serve? But the other side of that is in a certain duality of perception. One is the ‘story’ that you feed to the masses through propaganda and PR narratives, and each narrative designed to influence specific sectors with differing intellectual capability (or the lack of same), while someone at some level has to remain aware of the *real truth* in order to be able to sensibly plan. Do you follow what I mean? But in this the interesting thing, from my perspective, is how this blog and its crew are, generally speaking, composed of an executive class of persons. Middle-class and (I assume) somewhat upper-middle-class persons who are the ones that have to be convinced intellectually, and also morally, of the ‘truth’ of the various stories on which their position and also prestige is founded. To all appearances it is this ‘class’ that is the most fought-over. Put another way if you do not have this class on your side you cannot successfully dupe all the rest. And, according to my view, dupery is required in order to uphold the Will to Power.

                      So much hinges here, I find.

                      The *real truth* is more interesting but also infinitely more disturbing. The actual truth is precisely that Israel is an outpost of the West in the Middle East and the grandplan has to do with bringing this region under political and economic control. There. That is the geo-political reality. Who does this, why it is done, and how it is achieved — these are details. On a certain level it does not really matter if one, ten or 500,000 are killed in the process. This tallying-up the dead is a boring endeavor anyway. As many as need be killed will be killed to achieve the geo-political aim. But more than this, the sovereignty of nations will be violated in order to achieve it. But it even goes further: in ordert to gain the assent of ‘the masses’ you have to feed them the Lie. And by so doing you divide them from themselves and you create a soul-level division within them. This leads to social pathlogies of various sorts. All ‘free-market’ stuff, eh?

                      In any case here you have a sense of the direction of my own investigations. I recognize that, among people like you, that you will see this as left-oriented. I vehemently oppose that description. I see it as the essence of Conservatism (as I understand conservatism) and I see *you-plural* (to speak generally which is unfair) as ‘getting caught up in lying narratives’ which, by their very nature, operate against ‘true conservatism’. When you lie, dear one, you violate a principle that is located within your own core, and once you begin and do not stop they compound themsleves and suddenly one ‘lives a lie’. Eventually when one lives lies there comes a day of reckoning. And that day of reckoning is near. Especially for America and especially right now.

                      You heard it from Cassandra herself, son!

                    • Thank you, Tex. How do you format the quote function? It produces a horizontal line in light grey, then the quoted text, and follows with a horizontal line. That would be most helpful.

                    • When I inspect the element on the website, I don’t see where you’ve included the href=”webaddress” part

                      All I see is the opening “a”.

                      It looks like you are typing in an incomplete html markup.

                      Copy paste this:

                      <a href=””>Ethics Alarms</a>

                      Should show up as Ethics Alarms

                      Gotta include the href, the =, the quotation marks, and the web address…

                    • Well, you copy pasted correctly, I’m not sure why wordpress messed up the address on you…it did it to me when I replicated below.

                      But at least you know the proper formatting…just type in the website and the brackets manually from here on and it should work.

            • I kindly suggest that you do not have any sense of what ‘antisemitism’ is, neither its history nor its present manifestation. It is like many of the wild labels you use. You have heard them, you repeat them.

          • It was a reference to Aliza’s apparent belief that gay sex instantly makes one unable to have any meaningful points.

            My ideas are more complex, and more involved. As I said below a blog-setting is not the best place for extended exchanges.

            My perspective is Thomist and this perspective requires more explanation than you might wish!

            • The Thomist perspective looks only at the procreative uses of bodily organs and orifices. It is an unhappy philosophy, this Law of Nature, that, like most “laws,” takes no human emotion into consideration as such.

              . . . unless, by “Thomist,” you are referring to Nagel . . .

              I agree that “the blog setting is not the best place for extended exchanges.” Therefore, in terms of unextended exchanges (which is what we do), I think Mrs. Q’s self-related remark, besides being wonderfully witty, was an accurate minification of all your previous statements on the subject of gay sex.

              • That was a direct reply to Alizia’s post of 9/29 @ 10:35 a.m., and not meant to follow Mrs. Q’s Level One apology which wasn’t showing at the time I posted my comment. Sorry about that. But I do stand by Mrs. Q’s brain, sodomy addled or not.

                • And, once again, the post goes astray in the thread. Ah, well. Wit has so very little value when it comes to the important things says Alizia.

                  On the contrary, say I. (1)You see, if Wit is the soul of Brevity. (2) And brevity is the soul of that one look: the one that was worth 1,000 words. Then (3) it clearly follows that the value of Wit is in the mind of the beholder.

                  *(1) not quite the words of stuffy wise old Polonius who in 1609, Act 2, Scene ii, used the word “Wit” as the audience would recognize it, to wit to mean: ‘knowledge’, ‘wisdom’, and ‘intelligence’ as well as the equally highly valued ‘humor’
                  *(2) as almost said by adman Fred R. Barnard (1921) when he or his minions were the first to paste a company’s horizontal three-sheets to the side of a streetcar.
                  *(3) a disposition of an idiom of Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in Molly Bawn (1878), a romantic Irish lady novelist (last four words may be redistributed as needed)

                  • You are just being silly, Pennagain. And avoiding the inner dimension to a very important issue: the abuse of sexuality. And the culture-wide — I suggest intentional — seduction of our society. To be *seduced* in the sense that I mean it means to be directed away from *intellectus’ and redirected into physical, and therefor transitory, pleasure.

                    I have come to understand this process as destructive to intellectual man and thus to Occidental culture. The effects surround us. So, I am starting from a position in which a principle is defined, through rational argument and presentation. You seem to want to play word-games and to demonstrate that you are clever or witty (and have read some Shakesepeare). If you have another perspective, I beg you to present it.

                    It is hard — this I admit — to conceal my contempt for your lack of seriousness, however you are just one of millions among millions who have been dumbed-down by certain cultural and social processes. These processes have directly to do with perversion, with vulgarism (in speech and thought and act) and they function against *higher ideation* and against Logos. When one’s inner relationship to higher principle is abandoned, the result is necessary, constant and predictable. Yet because I am a pretentious and even a rather snotty person I must beg that you forgive me for my acid remarks. In some sense I am getting even with the whole stupid unreasoning world! But if ever you desire to debate any part of this, or any important topic that has to do with important things, and real value, just let me know. I promise to slaughter you. You will be shown to have no good argument.

                    Your problem, I wish to suggest, is not only America’s problem (dumbed-down citizens who feel they can spout-out nonsense and who, effectively, ‘trade their patrimony for a mess of pottage’) but it is becoming a world-problem when these anti-intellectual modes are given power and predominance. My object is to develop an idea-platform, out of sharpened mental steel, and go into battle …

                    You have to start from a position in which principle is clearly enunciated, which also means that it is clearly understood, and then if you choose to be lax in regard to some of the necessary rules, well, that could be said to be permissible and make a certain sense. You certainly cannot ask that people turn off their sexual energy. It is a question of to what it is directed and to what creative processes.

                    I suggest that Thomist ideas — which also stand behind Taoist ideas and also Vedic ideas about sexual energy. (All responsible Traditionalist ideas) — is a necessary foundation and, in our (obviously) twisted present, which is lunging into sexual addiction, obsession and psycho-sexual madness, that the recovery of the Principle involved here, is necessary and smart.

                    You either serve ascent or descent and to remain uncommited is a dangerous option.

                    I’ll happily play Horatio to your silly Polonius act! 😉

                    To get more intellectual background I suggest E Michael Jones talking on his interesting — and timely! — book ‘Libido Dominandi’.

                    • You didn’t have to go to all that trouble, Alizia. Your pompous pedantry annoys me just as much as I planned my “silliness” to annoy you. But I don’t have your time or need to use it as you do yours.

                      That’s why I gave you my answer right at the beginning. Nagel.

                      September 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      • In respect to the Israel question, I have largely come to my own conclusions, though at another time I had very different ones. When you are raised Jewish, you are raised Zionist. But truthfully Judaism does not require Zionism.

        When two people, or two groups, or two nations (what-have-you) disagree in their description and understanding of something, and I am sure you know this, they are seeing the same thing through different eyes. ‘Eyes’ meaning interpretive system. To understand my way-of-seeing, and the terms of that sight (my predicates), you would have to look over the same material as I have looked over. I suggest Miko Peled (numerous talks available on YouTube and one I posted yesterday (3 minutes) on yesterday’s acrimonious thread.

        Balfour declaration, and any other machinations, are the legal machinations of international politics. I do not deny or neglect to take Balfour into consideration. But in the light of the perspective that Peled puts forward, and which I regard as truthful, it does not really touch the issue. To understand ‘terrible crimes’ you could get this in a matter of 20 minutes listening to nearly any one of Peled’s talks. Those crimes are real. And on-going.

        I have not ever put forward any ‘wacky Jew narrative’, not at any point and in nothing that I have ever written (or will write). I have spent some years processing these things and my underatanding came with a personal cost. Any point that I make about Jewish influence in America, or in any particular area, will always take form within sensible, grounded analysis.

        I am not quite sure what you are getting at with the paragraph beginning with ‘No not everyone destroys’. What I said is that, today, in today’s general climate, no one can discuss Jews, Jewish history, Jewish activities, Jewish influence, or Jewish commercial activities without incurring the risk of being destroyed. I only need cite the fellow who the woman referenced in No 4 reTweeted.

        I read the article, and I have read much other material in the same vein, and there is nothing at all inaccurate about it. In my opinion Dershowitz is a sort of ideological freak and a deeply dishonest intellectual. But I am aware that it is unlikely he is acting in conscious dishonesty. I have been influenced in my opinions by reading Norman Finkelstein and also watching the debates between him and Dershowitz.

        Finally, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — merely black&white in what I wrote, what I see and what I think.

        I would go on to write that we often require *narratives* that are the stuff of our imagination in order to provide a structure and an order to the things we do. The Biblical narrative of the Jews returning to Israel after 2000 years is one such narrative. It has a certain beauty and a definite power. And no part of that changes that they displaced the entire non-Jewish population of Palestine, destroyed hundreds of villages, and much much more.

        The more interesting aspect is that this is what power does. Power acts, power attains, and then it cobbles together stories to justify itself, its actions. Not only to states do this (rather blatently) but so too do people.

        As to my comments about sodomites, I am sorry. I do not take any delight in offending anyone or hurting their feelings. I do understand sexual sin to be a real thing though. My position on these questions is influenced by more-or-less traditional Catholic doctrine, but then all traditional religious and metaphysical positions take issue with non-traditional sexual union. My position is: these things have always existed, and they will likely always exist, so there is little that can be done about it. But I am opposed to what I call the ‘homosexualization of culture’ through activism, through advertising as it were. I believe that our present culture is being socially enginered in these areas. I believe — again after considerable thought — that homosexuality should be generally repressed (discouraged), not encouraged. It is metaphysically improper to place the male-female union on the same level as any other union. That is my position. I define it along with my metaphysics. I see my position as sound on an ethical, and moral, level.

        • To clarify in case you have not read others of my post: I was raised Jewish (Sephardic in Venezuela) and abandoned it. I investigated many other spiritual modalities, the most impactful being Vedic phiilosphy, but now am (attempting to) practice Catholicism. It gets me the closest to the ‘soul of Europe’.

          • I too was a spiritual seeker & spent ten years reading massive amounts of various religious literature and apologetics. Tried some out like Judaism & Eastern Philosophy.

            Was raised Catholic & I hate to burst your bubble, but there are a lot (a lot a lot) of gay priests in the faith. My wedding 3 years ago was led by one. There’s also a lot of drunks. There may be a correlation, but anyway…

            I landed in the whole quest with a faith that has no sect but is focused on understanding the word, no matter how uncomfortable it may make me because I saw/see more truth in the bible than any other philosophy.

            Wish you well wherever faith brings you.

            • Thank you very much for your kind words!

              Of course what you say is true (about gay priests). The traditional Catholicism that interests me is of the pre-Vatacan ll sort. The clean-up of the Church, were it to happen, and it is really in a terrible mess, is a very complex topic, and I am not speaking of sex matters necessarily, though partly.

              There is a whole movement interested in restoration and of course they are people with strict ideas. All this I only know from reading, such as ‘The Destruction of the Christian Tradition’ by Rama Coomaraswamy which explains what Vatican ll did and how it came about.

              To recover a full ‘original Catholicism’ is a very demanding project. It surely is very strict in respect to sexual matters. I have read some Christopher Dawson who is a magnificent historian and apologist. He has been a big inspiration. So too the poetry of Cardinal Newman.

              To understand what it is, and what Christianity is, is also very difficult. When I read the Catechism of the Council of Trent everything became more clear. It now makes perfect sense why many desire to modify the ‘teachings of the Church’ and effectively to do away with it. By any measure it is a radical program. And to understand traditional Catholicism requires an understanding of Thomism. Catholicism is rooted in a former metaphysics and without assent to those terms I do not think it could be practiced.

              There is no church where I live that practices the Roman Rite. There is one in Barranquilla though and another in Bogota.

              My orientation and a great deal of what I think and write is theoretical. I say this because theory is just theory and it is quite different to live out one’s faith in real-time terms.

              I will respond to your previous note later.

            • I have read that the suppression of a basic drive leads to excesses in other ways… sometimes that excess is positive, like those who create great art or cathedrals. Priests are not allowed to marry. Is this a symptom? Or does the priesthood attract those who have these predilections?

              I dunno: just an observation that may not be worth anything.

        • Alizia I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Believe it or not I agree that homosexuality as a culture has been unnecessarily pushed on people & it’s damaging. I think in part the trans craze is an offshoot that is woefully dangerous, especially to kids forced to take hormones to placate their parents thirst for being “special” via social justice. Not all gays though even define themselves as such and plenty don’t appreciate the homosexualization of our culture being blamed on them when many are themselves against it.

          The Matthew Sheppard case for example ushered in laws that may not have had a thing to do with what really happened to him. But when a gay reporter was discredited and attacked for showing the case was more about drugs than homophobia, the LGBT elite did their best to squelch his message.

          Perhaps I assumed your position was black/white because it seemed presented so. Just like with the LGBT movement, its assumed all Jews are Zionist or appreciate the leaders of the Zionist cause. Your message didn’t account for this. I understand you grew up that way, but perhaps that is coloring your position. I once had a Jewish boyfriend who protested Zionism at the local synagogues. Maybe that colors my position.

          Perhaps some of my response to yours is based on an overall frustration with a lack of multidimensional research that results in confirmation bias. I know you read a lot & I’ll check out your suggestions. But I just don’t see how presenting the “look at those poor Palestinians” argument takes into account the many Jews who also suffer from corrupt Zionism and speak against it. Their message is squelched, which makes the good/bad Jews echo chamber newsworthy, but inaccurate.

          Corruption hurts all involved not just the victims du jour (Palestinians) but those outliers like you (Jewish critical Jew) and me (same sex married critical of LGBT movement) who yes, are sometimes destroyed so the corrupt message appears unified. So yes, you’re right, some are destroyed.

          My issue with Plame, of whom I knew nothing about until last week, is that she and others advocated for Jews being labeled as such in the news/media when discussing Zionism. It feels like a slippery slope that sets fourth the idea that all Jews should be labeled as such and assumes all believe in the same thing. It would be like an electronic Star of David patch on anything by your name. This would serve to lessen nuance & demonize those labeled. Such a notion is dangerous, though Plame is welcome to believe it. Perhaps by Plame’s name we could put a symbol denoting her assumed beliefs too, but I’m sure she’s more than just a Jew hating illiberal who delights in Nazism lite ™.

          • Your last paragraph interests me. But as with many complex topics, to comment on these topics requires an involved response. And this blog format is not the one for extended exchanges, unfortunately. People have said that I am unclear in what I write. I will try to make it more clear here.

            What I can say is that I had never heard of Plame but now that everyone is turning on her and using the typical treatment to harm her and do as much damage as possible, I feel inclined to research her. I have just looked over a few articles and they are doing exactly what is expected. My rule of thumb is that I will not get ‘truth’ from the MSM. I will get lies and distortions. Therefor I say ‘Everyone is lying to me’ and since I choose not to be manipulated, nor see other people be manipulated, I turn against it and them. I can give an example. When I first became aware of the SPLC ‘hate watch list’ I used it as a research tool. I looked up the people they slandered. I read their writing. I wrote to some of them. I call it a ‘backwards upsidedown reading’ when you deliberately read against the grain of a condemnation and employ it as a tool.

            The idea that influences me is, perhaps, related to something Savitri Devi has written about. She bases her philosophical understanding on a cyclic view of history and describes men ‘in time, above time, and against time’. It is a meta-historical and meta-political and meta-philosophical perceptual position. In general, I look at people, events, what people say and think, what they feel strongly about, what they feel is ‘right’ and what they feel is ‘wrong’ from this sort of philosophical distance. For example, I made some disparaging comments about Hugh Hefner. Hugh Hefner represents a man ‘in time’ in the sense that he embodies (incarnates) the perversion of the mind and the body within the lived context of ‘a party’. It does not matter, much, that he is a smart man, or a kind man, or one who made contributions to ‘progressivism’ and who had a powerful effect on American and world culture. What matters is to assign to him a value within a moral scale. But it is more than just ‘moral’ and has to do with metaphysical agency.

            What Hugh Hefner stood for, what he worked for, and where his activism led, is not to the strength of the body (I mean the physical frame of an incarnated soul which is to say ‘sacred matter’ and the altar of being), but to the weakening and dissolution of this *body*. To be ‘in time’ in this sense is to serve contingency and mutability, not being and eternal value. True, no one wants to think in these terms, and most people (I sadly say) have been too dumbed down to rise out of contingent perception to a platform ‘above time’. It requires work and it also requires moral decisiveness. You fall easily and quickly, it takes years decades and centuries to rise. Hefner represents one element, one current, within a general declension. Most, I assume, notice the decline and a corrupted present’, few seem able to really articulate what brought it about.

            To quote Devi:

            “But there are also men ‘outside Time’ or rather ‘above Time’; men who live, here and now, in eternity, who (directly at least) have no part to play in the downward rush of history towards disintegration and death, but who behold it from above — as one beholds, from a strong and safe bridge, the irresistable rush of a waterfall into the abyss — and who have repudiated the law of violence which is the law of Time”.

            The point here, from my perspective, is to be able to identify, locate and to understand currents within time and to choose which ones one will identify with. I take the Christian position at its most metaphysical and link it to a will to ally oneself with the eternal and the timeless, and I define ‘world’ as unconscious events and ideation. In respect to Our Present I suggest that we can look on people and events through a simple polarity: what and who is allied with pleasure-seeking and living in a contingent moment (giving over to the mutable) and what allies with and serves the eternal and the metaphysically timeless. A person has to make a choice, at one level or another, to one degree or another. One descends or one ascends (and there is a definite danger in stasis).

            I will spare you my continuing in this vein.

            How does this fit in with Jews and Jewishness, that is to say within History and within time? I have been influenced by the ideas of E Michael Jones who is, in his odd way, a traditional Catholic activist. In a basic sense he notices that when Jews become liberated from their strict religious traditions (Jewish emancipation) they tend to become revolutionary agents within society. In order to speak of this transformation (emancipation) one has to talk about traditional Jewish culture and many other factors. Because it is specifically when Jews become unhinged from their traditions, the ones that define Judaism, that they become a problem within European culture (though this does not negate intolerance of Jews and Jewish communities in the diaspora). That is to say: agents that serve processes of mutability and change. E Michael Jones notices ‘the Jewish revolutionary spirit’ within history and within time. We are talking about general tendencies and there is always a danger when speaking generally. Needless to say there is a critical position that can be broached in an analysis of Jewish influence on modernity. To talk about that would require a great deal of time. I can only make brief allusions here to complex topics.

            In my own studies and in my own view I came to understand Jews, Jewishness and also Judaism as ‘problematic’. Jewish history is, of course, tragic history. It has always been like this. It is in this sense written into the script of Judaism and by that I mean, of course, written into the scripture. As long as one identifies as a Jew, one identifies with that specific and tragical history. Jews are always in trouble and in certain senses they always bring trouble. One can debate if it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Jewish influence generally. I certainly notice many positive aspects. But simply by virtue of the fact that Jews are — according to their own definitions and those of others — a powerful and influential people, they simply must assume responsibility for who they are, what they do, and how they are received. This is my process in relation, if you will, to myself.

            Now, what is coming out of the woodwork of Europe, right now, is an assessment of Jews and Jewish influence, a reassessment. Judaism per se is not much of an issue here. Because when Jews remain in their religious communities they do not provoke much reaction, or only limited and local reaction. But I take it as a simple fact that in the aftermath of WW2 Jews made every effort to take full advantage of the victim’s position and to extract all possible gain out of it. Certainly Zionism and Israel was one of those gains. There are other gains that can be talked about. I see ‘the Frankfurt School’ as an example of ‘the Jewish revlutionary spirit’ at work in time, and also within America.

            I have no doubt that simply by expressing these ideas, and referring to Finkelstein’s ‘Holocaust Industry’ and then to people like Miko Peled, that I will be sees as having entered into a dark area, a dangerous area, and one where ‘antisemitism’ lives. But as I say I believe that everything has to be gotten out on the table. Everything has to be seen and allowed to be talked about. But you will also have noticed that I have a revisionist’s orientation, not only in respect to the 20th century, but also in the sense of taking a position ‘above time’ or ‘outside of time’. It is from this position I choose to look at people places and things.

            (And of course I have no doubt that there is a Jewish-American influence — it is simply as clear as daylight — in fomenting the terrible and destructive wars that Plame and many other refer to. I also assume 9/11 to be linked to Neocon machinations and I certainly understand Israeli intelligence as active in influencing events. The next horrible war might be one waged against Iran and this must be spoken about (Miko Peled does this). I said influence and I do not say they determine. I completley support the speech of Plame and many others and I hope that many millions of people will succeed in getting out from under oppressive thought-structures and ideological coercion. Yes, I guess it is true: I am that bad!)

            • Alizia I appreciate the time you took to share your explanations & explorations. You’re right, this format (Jack’s comment section) is not an appropriate venue to go into a thorough analysis of all this. That being said you have made it clear you are nuanced in at least some of your thinking and I will not question it again.

              And I apologize for forgetting Ephesians 4:31-32 and demonstrating less than loving patience with you.

              Yes it seems everyone is lying & reading against the grain is an important tool. Discernment is key no matter the author because the father of lies is sneaky. As you mentioned, going to the source is always beneficial.

              Read an article yesterday about Hefner being a man of his time who ultimately ushered in a dressed of version of unhinged soulless fantasy that led to…well this. The boy who dreamed the dream never grew up & died within the confines of his fantasy.

              Polarity, choices, time, and the supernatural…a lot to say about it but this would be more of an over coffee kind of conversation. I hear you & think you’ll make sense of it all one day, or a least become more comfortable with that which will for now remain a mystery. The Catholics call it the “mystery of faith” for good reason.

              The Jewish question as you point out is complex. Partly I’ve had my own interest in the topic because the small fraction of “whiteness” in my dad is German Ashkenazi Jew. After many years of having a sort of love/hate attitude I’ve come to see their story as a reflection of humanity’s as a whole. My joke is Jews are His chosen people not because of how good they have been (from an Old & New testament combined perspective) but because their story is still ours. They kept messing up and each time they were punished & allowed to continue to make choices. What a savior!

              Today we have modern day zealots and Pharisees, hypocrites and idol worshippers. And of course there are Jews who are not Jews that the bible talks about. While there are many layers, yours is a unique experience that leads me to also say “what a country!” because you have the freedom to chose how you think about this issue. That is a gift I hope you, me, and everyone in the US never takes for granted.

              Off to the craft store. Be well.

              • I have thought of this forum as a shimmering, cascading wall of text that is like the mutability of the world surrounding us. You respond to something and have a few bried seconds in time to communicate before it falls away into the past. And then a new shimmering wall appears.

                Thanks for engaging me and providing an opportunity to share my thoughts.

          • This is directed, more or less, to Mrs Q and because I often spend days and sometimes weeks thinking about the issues and problems that come up in conversations here. It does not require any response though. It is just a way of completing the thoughts, of attempting to carry them to some *actionable* point, even if only in a theoretical loop. I am very selfish really about ideas and because it often happens (not in your case of course) that so many I encounter do not deal with Ideas at hardly any level, but just emotions, sentiments and anecdotes, they are non-useful in arriving at any conclusions. Most on this blog operate, intellectually, in this way. (Please don’t beat me, people! I just say what I think, honestly).

            I realized, after quoting Savitri Devi, that to a large extend I tend to avail myself of some of her ideas. She is beyond doubt one of the most radical thinkers of the 20th century. I think she spoke 8 languages and had a Masters in chemistry and mathematics and also a PhD in philosophy. She is a person who took her ideas very very seriously. And that is the key to understanding her. She takes an idea and then extends it to its final point. Jonathan Bowden sees this as a result of her mathematical training.

            What inspired digging out this particular quote, here-below, was your comment about ‘the father of lies’, which is to say the demoniac. Though I have certainly come to understand demonic influence, and I think this can be understood in popular terms through a popular Christian book such as ‘The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom ‘ by David Kupelian which defintely influenced me, I always tend to see Christian metaphysics as being rather weak: it does not really have a way and means to define the demonic. It is left only with a spooky term of ‘Satan’ — a personalized entity — and then this invites superstition on so many levels. However, Thomism is better metaphysically grounded and thus man as an entire system (body, mind, psychology, imagination standing in relation both to the ‘underworld’ and the ‘overworld’, gives one a better picture. Thomist psychology is fascinating and it is a useful tool and lens through which to view ‘what is happening’.

            Here is a telling quote from ‘The Lightning and the Sun’ (I used OCD to get this, I hope it formats correctly!):

            “For one cannot have it both ways whoever is not for the everlasting Forces of Light and Life, is against them. Unless one lives ‘outside’ or ‘above’ Time, one either walks in the sense of the unavoidable evolution of history — i.e., towards decay and dissolution, — or one stand against the current of centuries, in a bitter, apparently hopeless, but nevertheless beautiful struggle, one’s eyes fixed upon those perennial ideals which can be fully translated into material reality only once, at the dawn of every successive Cycle, by every successive new humanity. But it is true that the bold minority of men of action who fight ‘against Time’, for Golden Age ideals, is bound to become, as time goes on, more and more ruthless in its effort to overcome an increasingly well-organized, increasingly elusive, and increasingly universal opposition. And for that very reason, it will become more and more difficult for the squeamish pacifists to follow it. In all probability, they will continue to prefer identifying themselves with the lying agents of the Dark forces. And this is natural. Again it is within the law of Time. The forces of death must have practically the whole world under their grip, before a new Beginning can start as a reassertion of Life’s triumph.

            “And thus, day after day, year after year, now and in the future, the conflicting Powers of light and darkness cannot but carry on their deadly struggle, as they always did, but more and more fiercely as time goes on. And as time goes on, also, the struggle will more and more be between openly acknowledged and openly accepted violence and violence dishonestly disguised, the former being put to the service of Life’s highest purpose on earth — namely, the creation of a perfect, or Golden Age humanity — and the latter, to that of the enemies of Life. It has to be so until, after the final crash, — the ‘end of the world’ as we know it — the leadership of surviving mankind falls so that victorious elite who, even in the midst of the long, general decay of man, never lost its faith in the everlasting cosmic values, nor its will to draw from them, and from them alone, its rule of action.

            “That elite will, then, no longer be compelled to resort to violence in order to impose its will. It will rule without opposition in a peaceful world in which the New Order of its age-old dreams will appear to all as the only natural and rational state of affairs … Until man again forgets unchangeable Truth, acts as though the iron Laws of cause and consequence did not concern him — God’s darling! — and again decays.

            “Nothing can stop the wheel of Time.”

            I suggest that one needs ideas such as these to be able to lift oneself above Time and to give one metaphysical height. I also suggest that one requires a radical metaphysical program, that is, a full and complete metaphysical vision into which one is forced to place oneself, and to orient oneself in relation to. That is what spiritual and political life must entail. I suggest that a solid Catholicism, of the pre Vatican ll sort, and then with a strong Thomist base, indeed offered that metaphysical platform. I further suggest that through intentionality the fundamentals of Christian doctrine have been dismantled, and that what is left over is a mushy Christian sentimentalism. The roots of Occidental culture are intimately bound-up in Christian and Greek metaphysics and so, it seems to me, if there is to be renewal in the Occident, which means if the ‘death-force’ is to be resisted even within the impotent, atomized individual, some relationship to the Christian form has to be accentuated. However, and this is so in Devi’s case, she has availed herself of a far older and in many senses more complete metaphysics: Hindu perennialism.

            There are so many things that can be talked about in relation to what Devi talks about. It touches everything. And all issues in our present.

            …. and there are so few people *at home* to even think about such things!

  9. 4. I know (or at least should know) that schadenfreude is unethical, but sometimes it is delicious. This is what I thought about when Lawrence O’Donnell had a meltdown publicized for all the world to see. Perhaps it is the “well, it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person” rationalization but it is sure fun to watch.


    • Everywhere does it slightly differently. There are two main ways to tax: Countries can tax the estate, or countries can tax the beneficiaries. There are also countries that do not HAVE an inheritance tax.

      America, for instance, has a federal tax, and most states have state taxes. The American federal system is complicated. If the inheritance is going to a spouse, there is no tax, if it is not going to a spouse, there is a ridiculously high floor on the tax: You have to inherit something like 5 million dollars before you pay tax which means that less than 1% of all American inheritance is actually taxed. And then once it is determined that you will be paying tax, the amount is tiered between 18 and 40%.

      In Canada, upon death, a final tax return is prepared for the deceased, and there is no estate tax.

      • Taxing an Estate upon death is unethical. That estate was built on taxed dollars, and this devolves to nothing more than a money grab by those who are wealthy enough to avoid such consequences from those who cannot afford to avoid them.

        Witness the demise of the family run farm and business, where the heirs cannot afford to keep the doors open.

        Not a critique of your comment, HT, just a hot button for someone whose family has never been in a position to experience the taxes.

        • Oh, it’s a shitty, shitty practice, and one of the unforeseen consequences, and a truth that should have Bernie Sanders shutting his damn yap instead of crusading on Trump’s “tax cut” to the “.2%” is that the valuation of estates is done on everything, and not just cash and cash equivalents. What that means is that the average family farm with a square mile of land probably meets the five million dollar mark, so when Granpa Joe shuffles off the mortal coil, if his descendants can’t cough up what is sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, people lose their family farm.

                    • In a different time, in a different era. Believe it or not, arguments made 350 years ago often fail to take into account the intricacies and nuance of the current day, and those arguments need to be supported using more modern terms.

                      The founding fathers believed that wealth disparity was a threat to democracy, that men could not be equal while their wealth was not. And oh doesn’t that sound like they were closet communists? Well… Only if you forget that they lived in the 1770s, where slavery was thriving, voting rights depended on owning land, and the number of votes you got depended on how much land you owned, and incorporation of businesses took an act of congress.

                      Since the founding fathers did not envision an America where the vote was given even to non-landowning men*, I think we might all agree that their original concerns about wealth disparity in the context of democracy is a little out of date, seeing as the wealthy can no longer straight up purchase more voting rights.

                      *(male suffrage wasn’t until the 1850’s, black suffrage in the 1870’s and female suffrage in the 1920’s, in fact, suffrage as we know it now was only enacted in 1971 with the 26th amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”)

            • Before one can even rightly evaluate if an inheritance tax is “too high” or “too low”, one first has to evaluate if an inheritance tax is even ethical. If it isn’t, then there is no measure of “too high” or “too low”, because it’s all unethical.

              • My position, which I think I’ve written about here, is that it is inherently unethical. I fight with friends all the time about that. The money has been taxed, it was earned, passing it along to the next generation is responsible parenting and should be encouraged, not penalized.

                • A-fucking-men. HT is right on point. People with less money say, “Hey, that guy’s got a bunch of money. The government could use it. Let’s take a bunch of it.”

                  Giving our children and grand children a leg up or a safety net is what we’re supposed to do as parents. We’re supposed to provide for them. Of course, this is now called white privilege. Which drives me nuts. We are supposed to privilege our children, for God’s sake. Regardless of the color of our skin.

                    • Echoing “a-…men” here. I am copying and saving:
                      “People with less money say, ‘Hey, that guy’s got a bunch of money. The government could use it. Let’s take a bunch of it.'”

                  • “”A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.” –Adam Smith, noted Commie bastard and founder of Marxism

                    • Here, Chris is doing us a solid service. He’s quoted Adam Smith from “Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms”. It would seem Chris has given us what hyper-leftists would call a “proof text” about how inheritance and disposition of property to descendants was poo-pooed by those we look to as founders of Classical Liberalism and the earliest proponents of Free Market Economics.

                      Chris has done this for us because he will shortly, since he is honest, go on to demonstrate the dangers of taking quotes grossly out of context. Chris will show to us, how in the entire section of the chapter from which this quote is lifted, how Adam Smith described various schemes of property disposition throughout history before settling on discussing what he considered to be one of the least effective and most unethical methods of property distribution — that of Entails.

                      Chris will also go on to explain precisely what an “entail” is in the context that Adam Smith is using the term. That is, an entail, is the ability of a property owner to delineate ad infinitum, restrictions on property distribution well after the initial inheritors receive the property. For example, Johnny Grandpa kicks the bucket and distributes 1/2 his property to Son 1, and 1/2 his property to Son 2. Then because Johnny is a loon, he further describes that all property given to Son 2, must be subdivided into thirds, that 1/3 would revert back to Son 1 within 20 years, another 1/3 must be given over to Son 1 in 40 years, and the final 1/3 would be given to Son 2’s sons…but since Johnny Grandpa is a real loon, he stipulates that the amount given over to Son 2’s sons must be given back over to Son 1’s descendants after 80 years.

                      So Chris will show us, how entails are railed on by Adam Smith because they allow the deceased power over property long after the deceased is gone at a time where it affects people that the deceased has “no affectation” for as Adam Smith puts it.

                      Chris will then, because he understands the full chapter he pulled the quote from, demonstrate to us how that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, since the topic at hand is the inheritance, by testament, to the IMMEDIATE beneficiaries of the testament. And so Chris will follow up by saying he only added the “noted Commie bastard and founder of Marxism” as a humorous blurb at the last bit because, as Chris will tell us, only a moron would think that Adam Smith was saying something about inheritance in general, and not actually about a specific facet of inheritance that developed via feudal Europe and was indeed, grossly unethical.

                      Thanks for this Chris, now you don’t have to go back and publish everything you wanted us to take away from the the full passage that the quote was taken from, because we know you didn’t want us to accidentally think you’d misused a quote grossly out of context.

                    • (Because inheritance and disposition of private property to descendants was NOT poo-pooed by the founders of Classical Liberalism and Free Market)

                • I concur.

                  I’m just working on an argument for taxation that is internally consistent. I used to make the argument that money taxed multiple times is unethical. I think it is stupid and chaotic and excessive, but I can’t necessarily say it is unethical. So I’m working on an argument, that will ultimately demonstrate that though doubly taxing money isn’t inherently unethical, it is ultimately a component of an unethical taxation system.

                  But then again, maybe in the development, I’ll show why it actually IS inherently unethical.

                • Of course, if gift taxes are ethical, then there’s an argument that an inheritance is a type of ‘gift’. Though, for the express purposes of incentivizing industry and productivity, seeing it as a special type of protected gift granted to children would seem to carve it out as exceptional to regular ‘gift’ rules. Since most people do a great deal of their work for the community with an eye to enhancing their own children’s lives.

      • [reply to Humble Talent’s Sept 28 at 12:51 pm]
        Thanks, man, for your most enlightening reply! Hmmm…I amcis-Canadian”…

  10. 1. The NFL is going to pay a price for not stopping this before last week: more Americans are now aware of the draconian over reach that organization has displayed in the past (Cowboys honoring the police, etc.) versus the virtue signalling on this topic. (yes, the Cowboys joined the virtue signalling in a very mushy thinking way that alienated BOTH sides) I heard a ticket seller who works for an NFL organization (who is nameless, but they won ‘big’ last weekend, according to the guy) who expressed that they have not sold a single ticket since Sunday (when a ‘big’ win usually results in bidding) AND that season ticket holders are up in arms, asking for a refund and/or saying they will contact their lawyers to review their options. Just a story, might not be true: but the anger is there in the ‘normal’ sports fan.

    I also heard a local morning host who contended that the NFL viewership was NOT down, and dove into Nielsen methodology to ‘prove’ that not all the games were being rated, how the sampling demographic was restricted, and so on. To which I ask: What changed from last year’s methodology that the reported numbers are down double digits? Piss off the ‘normal’ Americans at your great peril.

    2. Others have already covered how Mrs. Obama’s comments are somewhat insulting and asinine. My only addition is that this is to be expected, by someone who has watched the left the past few decades. Leftists are all about the revolution first, and about their pet peeves second.

    3. Trump is playing the bully pulpit on this one. Saying something over and over will get the low information voter to believe it. And why not, from Trump’s point of view? The left has played this game to great effect since the 1960s. I find it funny that the press repeats everything he says, even when it works against their agenda, after decades of sculpting the narrative. TDS has addled their ability to reason.

    4. Plame was a political trap from the left, and not very much of the story was true even then. Another political hack, Libby, got caught in the crossfire and went to prison without cause. He was prosecuted because he worked for a Republican, and the left got away with it as conservatives of the day would not stand for vengeance. Boy, has THAT changed after 8 years of progressive dominance!

    5. Hope the seminar went well!

  11. I’ve been intentionally avoiding number one because I’ve had so many mixed feelings on it. In my old military days, we might have called it FUBAR. However, lately I’ve been seeing different attacks and that is the flag itself and more specifically how it should be viewed and decided to do some research on it. This is what I’ve concluded:

    There have been quite a few articles of late saying it is disrespectful to wear a flag on a hat, shirt, etc. So I think it is important to see what the rule is and what the experts are saying.

    First the code. It isn’t very long so all of you should go and read it, but he is the most relevant information: The flag should not be used as “wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery”, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general (exception for coffins). Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

    I’ll admit my first reading this statement would be to say no. It would be considered disrespectful. It would not be illegal. The flag code is a guideline and not a rule or law. However, the second reading of this statement made me think it could be read to refer just to wearing the flag itself. So I went to see what the other rules were saying. I found these:

    The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations.

    Flag lapel pins may also be worn (they are considered replicas) and are worn near the heart.

    These two statements seem to make the issue all the more confusing. Is only a pin a replica? Again is it referring to an image or the actual flag being part of the costume? Not being a flag expert, I decided to consult one.

    There are a few organizations specialize in flag code, treatment, and disposal. One organization is the American Legion. The American Legion actually addresses this issue on their website:

    Is it permissible to wear an item of clothing that looks like the United States flag?

    Unless an article of clothing is made from an actual United States flag, there is NO breach of flag etiquette whatsoever. People are simply expressing their patriotism and love of country by wearing an article of clothing that happens to be red, white, and blue with stars and stripes. There is nothing illegal about the wearing or use of these items.

    I think the word Illegal at the end is not the right word they should have used because that is not the issue. However, they do state in the beginning that there is no beach in flag etiquette (a social term to imply a guideline).

    In summary: A picture of a flag on a shirt is ok. A shirt made from an actual flag is not (Looking at you Kid Rock). Patriotism should be encouraged, but keep things civil. We have the right to stand, sit, kneel, or even burn the flag. However, like I learned from my parents long ago, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

    • JP
      I think we are all woefully ignorant of the “rules” associated with displaying the flag. I used the term rules because they really are guidelines and no one would get locked up or fined for a violation. Your post is a good reminder of what is appropriate.

      These “rules” are what I learned as manners or social etiquette. There seems to be general decline in social graces everywhere. It’s telling that so many demand respect but routinely fail to give any. My stance on the flag/anthem issue is that standing is giving respect to those who value what either stands for. I will stand for our anthem or any other nation’s if played during an event in which other countries are represented or in attendance. Simple gestures of goodwill are at the heart of social graces and etiquette.

      • Chris,

        I agree that we are all woefully and maybe even intentionally ignorant of the guidelines regarding the flag. There are even a lot of common misconceptions about the flag which is one of the reasons I decided to write this post. I think Jack would have called it another example of the ever growing decline of our culture.

        As our culture changes, so do the etiquette. It seems more and more I read some feminist harping on about how someone opened the door for her. Every day I see children younger and younger using swear words where I would have had my mouth washed out with soap. The sad thing is we laugh at it. I just saw the episode of The Young Sheldon and the daughter use the word b*tch and only got a half-hearted rebuke. Last week I had a guy cut me off in traffic while giving me the finger.

        Every day I try to teach my children and foster children what it means to be respectful. One of them said something to the other one yesterday, and the oldest said: “I didn’t give you permission to talk to me.” I told him that was very disrespectful. His response was, well I’m older. I then told him just because you’re older, doesn’t mean people are going to listen to you. If you want others to treat you a certain way, you need to treat them nicely. I hope I’m getting through to him.

        When it comes to respecting the flag and the anthem, I will stand. I will stand for a few reasons. I stand because it brings unity to us as fellow Americans. We should all take pride in our country. The flag nor anthem should never be controversial. According to a lot of people, what is happening right now has nothing to do with the flag. That may be true and maybe I’m willing to listen. However, hijacking an event to bring attention to another event is a non-sequitur. It may be the athletes right to protest, but if they want to accomplish their goals, they should use their celebrity status and their own time to do it.

        I will stand to show respect to the people who support it. It is how I would want them to see me. When I was in China, I saw people complain about the government every day. Never on National Day. Never when it came to the anthem. Never when it came to the flag. A lot of them may have their government, but they love what it means to be Chinese. In that, they see their identity. I may disagree with the values of their government, but I will stand to support them in their support of their brothers and sisters.

        I will stand for Luke Frist, a brother and arms who died in Iraq 2004. He was taken way too young, but fought, like me, and countless others who risked or gave their lives. I will stand for his mother, father, and sisters, who have to constantly deal with the pain of losing a loved one who gave his life for his country.

        I will stand for my family so that they know what it means to be an American and what it means to respect others.

        I will stand for those who choose not to stand. I may disagree with their stance, I may find how they protest misguided, but I will stand so they have their right not to stand.

        I will stand to for a system I know is not perfect, because you can not fix a problem if no one is not willing to come to the table.

        I will stand to continue to be an example, even if no on is looking.

    • I think those kids would have a better first amendment case than the NFL players, but even then it might be tricky. Public schools can’t compel students to recite the pledge of allegiance or put their hands over their heart, but I think they can make their students stand during it.

      Of course, any employer or school coach who would make a student stand for the anthem is engaging in petty tyranny, regardless of whether doing so is constitutional.

      • What are the ethical obligations and constraints on a public school teacher who is a school band director, who has a student band member who, instead of marching with the band at an event (like a football game) and playing the National Anthem, marches out onto the field, but then, at the time for the band to play the Anthem, takes a knee and does not play the instrument they are carrying?

        • Not similar. That’s interfering with the performance. The analogy would only work if football players were taking a knee during the actual game.

          From my experience in school choir, teachers will usually exempt students with religious objections from certain religiously-themed songs. Not sure if the same goes for band, but I’d expect if a student objected to performing the national anthem, reasonable accommodations could be made so that student could sit out that performance. Rushing out onto the field to kneel when they are supposed to be performing would be disrespectful, but that’s not what the NFL players are doing; the focus is not on the players at all during the anthem, but on the singer. (Or at least, that’s how it should be; of course now the focus is on the players due to Trump’s targeted attack on the players.)

          This coach is apparently *requiring* his student athletes to be on he field during the anthem, even though they have no role in performing the anthem. Can you see why that’s different from a musician choosing not to participate in the anthem, but then rushing the field to make it about themselves anyway?

          Of course, if a *singer* of the national anthem decided to take a knee during his or her performance, I’d find that inappropriate, as they are not doing the job they were asked to do. But standing for the anthem isn’t what professional players are paid to do, and it isn’t why people watch high school football either. It is completely irrelevant to the game. That’s why the analogies to people refusing to do their jobs just don’t work.

        • “To play a sport” is the key phrase there. They aren’t there to make a display of loyalty to the state, and such displays should not be required to play.

          • LOyalty to the state?

            If that’s what you think the anthem is about I can understand why you’ve been so wrong on this topic.

            The anthem isn’t about loyalty to the state.

    • I, too, would like to see a post by Jack, about…that video only? What the General said? The topic that the General addressed? I am curious about what specifically motivates you to appeal to Jack concerning the video.

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