Distinctions without a difference
Today ABC News is reporting the apparent beheading of an American journalist by ISIS combatants in retaliation for America’s bombing of their positions. The beheading is spoken of as “extreme brutality.” It is, of course, but the people of ISIS are not the only people being brutal.
French revolutionaries during the French Revolution beheaded Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and other aristocrats by using the guillotine. Was that more brutal than beheading by sword?
Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by gunfire during the Russian Revolution. That too was brutal, but was it less brutal than beheading?
ISIS’ brutally uses swords to behead people. Horrible! Absolutely horrible! Americans use missiles fired from drones to dismember people. Isn’t that also horrible? Is dismembering a person by means of a missile less brutal than beheading a person by sword? If you believe so, there’s something wrong with you.
In America recently, a condemned criminal was executed in a botched procedure that took two hours. An efficient, not botched, procedure would have taken mere minutes. But would it have been less brutal that the execution that took two hours?
According to the Geneva Conventions, it is okay to blow people to bits but not to merely gas them to death. Do you believe the dying really care?
People, it’s the killing that’s brutally horrible. There are no ways of killing that are less brutal than others. Distinguishing between killing by various means amounts to distinctions without a difference. The dead don’t care. They’re dead no matter what.
"The Pentagon's Special Operations Command will conduct a social research program in Colombia to help shape future propaganda efforts. . . . It is the latest in a series of SOCOM attempts to gauge the effectiveness of its propaganda programs. . . . SOCOM . . . will hire an outside contractor to develop and conduct a poll in Colombia to gauge which propaganda arguments are the most effective. . . . SOCOM has tried for years to come up with a better way to determine if its propaganda programs . . . actually work."
If SOCOM has been trying unsuccessfully "for years" to learn if its propagandistic lies "actually work," a rational person would conclude that they don't. What does that tell you about those in SOCOM?
And if they do determine how to lie effectively, whom do you believe they will tell those lies to? You, the courts, Congress, the President? And who will determine which lies will be told to whom?
Isn't this hypocrisy at its best? A country whose officials have the audacity to ask God to bless America at the end of every public event pays an agency to find out how to trash the Ninth Commandment. How's that for being Godly?
Where are the clerics who once hurled fire and brimstone? Where are those who want the Commandments displayed in public places? Where are all those American, beloved Christians who claim this is a Christian nation? Where indeed!
In America, sacrilegious hypocrisy becomes public policy and America's religious sit in silence waiting for God to bless America. Soon there will be no America to bless.
The NSA and CIA, while stirring up a coup in Kiev, didn't even suspect that a coup would induce the Russians to repatriate Crimea. Yet within minutes of the crash of MH17, they claimed to know who shot it down.
The NSA and CIA can find a person on the ground in Yemen who America wants to kill, but they cannot find 300 schoolgirls kidnapped en masse in Africa whom the world wants to save.
These agencies "knew" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and started a war. But he didn't!
Do you believe any of this stuff? Isn't the synonym for unintelligent intelligence stupidity?
Hasn't experience taught you that know it alls rarely know anything?
Chu-chu Trains and Potholes
Headline: Turkey launches high-speed Istanbul-Ankara rail link
Turkey? Ah yes, Turkey!
Some other nations with rail lines dedicated to high speed trains: Japan , France, United Kingdom, Belgium, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Netherlands.
What? South Korea and Taiwan? Yes, South Korea and Taiwan. And how are things in America?
"Based on current spending and revenue trends, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund will encounter a shortfall before the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014."
While the world builds high speed rail lines, the US can't even keep its potholes filled; yet it spends billions around the world killing people.
If the United States is the free world's leader, the free world is in deep trouble.
Whose Side is the Law on?
Legalzoom dot com is currently airing a revealing ad on television aimed at the small business community. Its punchline is, "Legalzoom puts the law on your side." That punchline caught my attention because in a just society, the law is neutral; it isn't on anyone's side.
That, of course, is myth. Astute Americans have known for a long time that the law in America is not neutral. No one has ever offered to put the law on the side of employees, for instance, or the side of consumers, or the needy. Why? Because the law in America has always been on the side of business. Remember Calvin Coolidge? He told us straight out. "The business of America is business." And then there is the Powell Manifesto that every American should be familiar with. It instructs American business on how the courts can be used to take over the nation. And oh, how successful it has been!
So why does Legalzoom feel the need to put the law on the side of their small business clients? To keep big business from devouring them? Fat chance! A capitalist society is not a culture, it is a vulture.