Several years ago I wrote an article entitled: Robespierre, Julian Assange, and the Tyranny of the Individual. This is a follow-up to that article.
It is pure irony that a grandfather, Thomas Huxley, of the modern enlightenment’s core ideologies; Darwinism and Atheism, should write the following:
No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still the less superior, of the white man…It is simply incredible [to think] that…he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.
Yet the justification for Huxley’s beliefs are the same as they are for many other men alive during his era: He was a man of his time. He simmered in the broth of his culture and therefore could not help but to take on its taste. As far as I know Huxley’s books are still in the libraries of many major universities.
The fact is, we all have views that we believe would offend the majority of the world. I certainly do. Who among us would want our most private conversations broadcast to the world for no other reason than because someone else was angry with you? Not for matters of national security, or to bring justice in the case of criminal activities, but merely for spite.
The case of Los Angelas Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s leaked conversations with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, in which Sterling demands that Stiviano not be seen in public with black people and that she cease publicizing photos of she and black men on Instagram. The nature of his comments predictably drew great outrage from many, and Sterling was fined $2.5 million by the NBA. He may be forced to sell his team.
But for all the outrage about NSA activities. and the dread possibilities of metadata collection, there seems to be little concern about situations in which individuals have been materially harmed by vindictive private individuals or organizations who use political correctness to punish or even gain an advantage in law suits.
Nor is the much discussion that the media breaks the law by printing or displaying classified materials, but the government is too scared to prosecute. Apparently we elected the NYT to decide what should be classified or not. It’s all for the good of the people I’m sure, nothing to do with the Left’s much maligned profit.
Brendon Eich, chief executive of Mozilla stepped down from his position after it was revealed his donated $1000 to Proposition 8, the proposal to ban gay marriage in California. The IRS “inadvertently” released a list of names of those who supported the bill with money, though the information was available publicly before that, as the LA Times created a searchable data base. If Eich is basically punished for his donation, does this mean that people who voted for Prop 8 should be targeted? It’s all for the public good when the media does this sort of stuff, and materially harms people, but when the NSA does it during the longest period of American war, it’s looking for your porn.
Then of course there was the Mel Gibson ordeal, in which his wife, Oksana Grigorieva taped Gibson during an argument in which he makes an ass of himself. Of course, millions of dollars were at stake Having been a cop and grown up in the real world, Gibson’s statements during a domestic argument didn’t shock me all that much. I’ve seen otherwise perfectly sane men lose their minds over domestic issues. I don’t recommend it. But there is something unseemly about taping someone you’ve been close to only to release their cherry-picked statements to the mass media. It these recordings were only for self-protection, or to catch someone planning or talking about a crime, it would be understandable. But this is plain spite and evil.
The laws about private citizens recording other citizens differ from state to state. In some states, both recorded parties must be aware the taping is going on, while in others only one party need be aware. I personally think that both people should always have to know unless a disinterested judge finds a reason that there is sufficient need for a secret recording. If we worry about the government doing it, we should also worry about the potential abuse by millions of citizens.
Besides that lesson, if you’re an older man with millions of dollars, and a much younger woman who spends too much time on her looks takes a sudden interest in you, you may want to think twice.
The Journal News recently published a link, displaying the addresses of people in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, New York, whom hold pistol permits.
If I am to remain consistent in my thinking, that guns deter crime, I must say that The Journal has placed the lives and property of people who don’t have pistol permits, in those counties, at risk. Now, a criminal merely has to pull up the link and ensure that a house he intends to invade is not the home of a licensed handgun owner.
It’s fairly obvious to me the political bent of The Journal News. I pulled up their home page and witnessed the following:
I Eat Plants: 5 Reasons to Consider Going Vegan in the New Year.
So I can surmise The Journal’s motivation for posting these addresses. Yet what better way to make unarmed people less safe than by advertising who is armed?
Yet again, our glorious and supremely eloquent counterinsurgency strategy stands to be liquidated by the foolishness of our troops in Afghanistan.
Really? Photos, published by the LA Times, depict soldiers posing with the remains of a suicide bomber who’d just tried to kill them. Is it the burning Korans and photos of dead terrorists that’s causing us to lose this war, or is the strategy itself the problem?
Let me be clear that the soldiers did wrong. The photos (2 years old, I may add) should not have been taken for the purposes of personal collections. Why? Because it’s the rule. Mostly, just because it’s the rule and soldiers follow orders. A breakdown in the ability of troops to follow the rules results in a mob, not a professional army.
But it was not the soldiers who killed the dead terrorist. He killed himself while trying to kill them. Do we feel the same way about photos photos taken of dead robbers and criminals in the Old West?
How about photos of gangsters and miscreants from the 20’s and 30s? Remember Bonnie and Clyde?
Michael Yon wrote an article saying we shouldn’t blame the media. He’s right. The Soldiers are the first cause of this problem. But how big of a problem is it?
American soldiers in WWII mailed the skulls of dead Japanese back to their ladies:
And frankly, the sight of the dead insurgent is the historical tool used by rulers to crush uprisings. Ask the Romans and Vlad Drakul. Hiding the results of being a terrorist doesn’t help our cause. The message to all young Afghan and Pakistani males should be that this is what you look like when you strap on a bomb and try to murder people.
Let’s get real. This is not an atrocity. This is soldiers breaking an administrative rule. There should be no talk of kicking them out of the military. And, the soldier who gave the photos to the LA Times is a weasel. If he were so concerned, he should have given the photos to his chain of command–years ago. We need a little more outrage aimed at the culture that breeds these self-immolating haters. In any event, don’t ask me or other soldiers to like the people that are trying to kill us. Blog and talk bravely of our philosophy, and cultural sensitivity and all that, but just don’t ask us to hug the dude trying to take me from my kids. Maybe 10 years from now, but not now.
I’ve spent more time in Afghanistan than most. I worked along side young soldiers every day. I never once saw anything like this. I did not witness any heroic deeds, though there are many in the last ten years that have become heroes. But I did witness an incredible adherence to duty, to getting the job done, day in, day out, under very uncomfortable circumstances. 20 year old men doing whatever was asked of them, going without real sleep or hot food for days, sleeping in trucks waiting for a car bomb to drive up. Being dirty for a week at a time. To say that these photos depict some sort of evil culture within the military is just plain stupid.
Paul Krugman penned a spectacularly awful article in the New York Times regarding 9-11. He has outdone himself as a left-wing zealot whose hatred of America bleeds into his vitriolic episodes.
I myself do not like sloganism in regards to 9-11 or much else. It violates a law of good writing: avoid the cliche’. But Krugman’s articles border on the insane to me. His ideas on economics are ludicrous. Interestingly, Krugman disabled all comments on the article.
Donald Rumsfeld tweeted that he was cancelling his subscription to the New York Times over Krugman’s article. I encourage everyone else to do the same.
To those who died in the Towers, on Flight 93 and the Pentagon 10 years ago: I salute, honor and remember you. And to those who have and will die fighting the global insurgency called al-Qaeda, you could give no more.
This is my second full day back from Afghanistan, back with my family in Germany. Needless to say, it feels great to be home. Only one thing has marred my return experience: television.
In Afghanistan, I did have access to television, but very little. Sometimes a tv was on in my office, but the sound was usually off. Mostly, though, I didn’t watch any television.
My first night back, my wife was watching tv while I read at the kitchen table. The show airing was a reality show starring Shaquille O’neal’s ex-wife; apparently she feels the need to broadcast her dating habits to the whole world. More than likely, though, she needs more money, as surely the millions she scored in the divorce settlement aren’t enough to support her shopping habits. It was also very important that she repeatedly point out how young the males she’s dating are. Every fourth word or so uttered by the men needed to be beeped out by the television editors; todays 20 year olds’ vocabulary is quite limited and populated mostly by expletives.
After about 10 minutes listening to the destruction of my culture on television, I decided to lay down in bed and continue reading.
The next evening, MSNBC refreshed my memory as to why I feel like throwing a boulder through my television anytime that station shows up on my television. Some far left-winger was carrying on. Again, I chose my bed and a book over the blast radius of television noise.
I’ve decided that I missed very little from missing television for a year. The sensationalization and outright corruption in the media is an abomination. After my return from Afghanistan, I have little patience for such nonsense. Not that I’m against all television; today I fell asleep on my couch with my daughter while watching the Yankees play the Devil Rays.
My grandfather once said that television was going to destroy America. While that was an overstatement, it’s obvious what he was trying to say. And it’s obvious to me that my grandfather was right.
Pushlished in April in the Gainseville Sun. Originally accepted for publication by The Jerusalem Post, but that’s another story…
My opinions on Pastor Terry Jones, who oversaw the burning of a Koran which resulted in riots and death in northern Afghanistan.
The recent classified info dump on WikiLeaks is a violation of the nation’s trust, but it is not a catastrophic indictment of the war effort.
Americans should be concerned that there are people who have high-level security clearances that disseminate information they are sworn to protect. Some have an axe to grind with the military, like this traitor, the very smart but traitorous Army Intelligence Analyst, Bradley Manning, who gave WikiLeaks a Top Secret video of US helicopters attacking and killing a group of people, two of which were Reuters journalists.
Whomever released these files to WikiLeaks is either in desperate need of attention or has an anti-war agenda. Quite probably, the person needs to have a spotlight on himself and justifies his actions with an anti-war meme.
That the recent leaks, from what is now known, are in any way “chilling” or devastating” is beyond laughable. Very little of what is not already widely known was released. People are more offended by the details than by the actual content. It’s like the hamburgers and sausages we eat: We love the taste, just don’t show us film of the process for making them.
Most valuable information is called “Actionable Intelligence”. That is, intelligence which can be acted on immediately. For instance, let’s say that a credible source tells a Special Forces team on the ground in southern Afghanistan that Osama bin Laden in living in a hole two miles from their location, that they saw him not more than an hour ago and he’s supposed to be there for another day. That kind of information would bring immediate results should a SF A Team move and capture bin Laden. General intelligence, such as “IEDs are the primary weapon used by insurgents” does not give the US information that immediately impacts the war. A compromise in Actionable Intelligence is far more dangerous than compromised general intel. This compromise of an Israeli operation is an example of compromised Actionable Intel.
Information in the released files will be spun in every direction. Many people will be “horrified” by information that is rather banal. But, whatever some may say, it is an undisputed fact that the the files were leaked by people sworn to protect them from release. Those people operate under a cloak of anonymity. What they are doing is not brave, nor does it serve a greater good; most of the information leaked tells little. These people so entrusted, when and if they are found, should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. Not only can’t they be trusted, but their hubris enabled them to believe they were more important than all the other people fighting this war.
Have you noticed something since the Stanley McChrystal debacle? Suddenly, Afghanistan isn’t the Necessary War. Not only isn’t it the Necessary War, it’s become Unwinnable. Catastrophic. Leftist media commentary on Afghanistan is bringing back memories of Iraq. The pundits are scouring the news for dead civilians.
If one were to believe the commentary since the Michael Hastings article, he’d think that the Taliban doubled its strength, our troops are in full retreat, slowing only enough to bomb a few schools, take pot shots at scurrying civilians and sip some Red Bull.
It offends the Left–deeply–that people in the military may say bad things about civilian leadership. They cringe at the thought of someone making fun of the Vice President’s name, but shrug when soldiers are blown up. That’s what soldiers are supposed to do, afterall. Blow up. See, the military deeply offends them. But they were willing to stand behind this war, if only to get their guy elected. But they’ll never make it their guy’s war.
Now, they say, Afghanistan is not a just war. We’re just killing civilians, building a couple of roads, and we just can’t get rid of the Taliban. The Left loves the idea of a bunch of jihadist rednecks making us look stupid. They think Americans are stupid.
But we’re not. In fact, if we look at history, we’ve done far better than anyone else in The Graveyard of Empires. In the 1st Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), the English decided to pack up and leave with their 4500 troops and 12000 civilians. By the time they got out of town, they had exactly 1 soldier left. That’s not a misprint. One dude made it out alive. His name was DR. William (Give me a beer, please!) Brydon. Well, there are conflicting stories about approximately 50 people surving and being taken into captivity to be released later. But he was the only person to make the trip from Kabul to Jalabad and survive more than a couple of days.
But America’s pretty much done everything it set out to do. Here’s what our armed forces have accomplished:
- Eliminated the al-Qaeda elements .
- Removed the Taliban from power.
- Set up a government friendly to the West. Oh but it’s so corrupt. Yes, it is. What do you think about the Turkish government? How about Russia, China? Still better than the Taliban.
- Massively increased infrastructure.
The same types that silently cheered at our apparent impending destruction in Iraq are up to their old tricks again. They talk about Just War. But the Noam Chomskys of the world would not pick up a rifle no matter how just the war.
Afghanistan’s not worth billions, but no one can rightly say we haven’t made progress and that the Taliban can’t be defeated. Yes, there’s more work to be done. And Afghanistan will look pretty much like it does today when we start pulling out in a year. But Afghanistan looks much different now than it did 10 years ago when we began this effort.
Don’t believe everything you hear, especially when one side has produced professionally made recordings and tampered with them.
It was obvious to me that the tapes did not reveal the whole context of the conversation. I’ve arrested plenty of men for domestic violence in my days on the force. It took me about two years before I realized that I had to carefully analyse the situation and take everything with a degree of suspicion. The women tended to try to hurt in very sneaky ways, while the men were more direct. I arrested one guy, whom I remember in particular because I chased him around his kitchen while he wore only underwear. Later on, I came to the conclusion that she’d lied to get him arrested. The guy was not a nice fellow–he had plenty of run-ins with the law, but so did she. Still, she marked herself up in obvious ways and than called the cops because she was mad at him. Later, she refused to testify.
This also shows that men, many times, are incapable of making good decisions in the presence of sexual stimulus. I guarantee that for the last year or so, Mel Gibson’s head has been spinning so fast he can barely stand. Studies also show that men take break-ups much harder, becoming almost 7 times more likely to kill themselves. Some of this is cultural, as it seems that women have an easier time finding replacements.
And just because Gibson is acting this way with Grigorieva, doesn’t mean he’s always acted this way. It’s a myth that the actions of others have no affect on our own actions. Gibson’s ex-wife of 28 years, Robyn Gibson, filed documents stating that Gibson was never abusive.
Sorry Fem-Nazis. I don’t condone domestic violence. What I do condone is Gibson leaving the obviously manipulative, overly-dolled up gold digger. Some women just drive men nuts. There’s a better life out there. Let her roast in her own misery. The plastic won’t hold up for ever.
Rumor has it that General McChrystal was an uber liberal who went so far as to ban Fox News from his office. This would explain why he’d let self-proclaimed ambush artist Michael Hastings into the fold and why Obama gave McChrystal the job in the first place.
Here’s Michael Hastings proving he’s scum in an interview with GQ mag:
But “The dance with staffers is a perilous one. You’re probably not going to get much, if any, one-on-one time with the candidate, which means your sources of information are the people who work for him. So you pretend to be friendly and nonthreatening, and over time you “build trust,” which everybody involved knows is an illusion. If the time comes, if your editor calls for it, you’re supposed to fuck them over”