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Archive for the 'Politics' Category

War is old men sacrificing young men (and now, women) for their vanity, ambitions, and ideologies. Soldiers – of all countries — are dupes for letting themselves get into combat. Or maybe they buy the whole heroism crock of shit. Or maybe they’re invulnerable he-men who like to shoot people and blow things up. But almost all wars are optional, irrational (“go murder that stranger”) and unnecessary (unless some other idiot starts it).

Happy 4/20!

Governments decide what drugs – and what drug users and traffickers — are to be the scapegoated (in On Liberty and Drugs, which I heartily recommend, Thomas Szasz points out the historical relationship between the two meanings of pharmak-, ‘scapegoat’ and ‘remedy.’ After all, scapegoating was the way to rid the tribe of all its evils.

The gold-standard definition of plagiarism, as we all learned in high school, is the deliberate and dishonest appropriation of another’s words and ideas; it’s taking credit for yourself, failing to attribute originality to others.

The definition immediately breaks down when we try to apply it.

The state must not endorse religion, period.

Of all the wars that America has fought in my lifetime alone, only one – World War II – had anything to do with my freedom. Mostly they had to do with politicians’ vanity; or their need to prove their toughness by sacrificing others (if it’s so necessary, why don’t THEY go?); or America’s wish to forcibly impose its will on other countries.

Happy 10th, Iraq War!

Remember the drum-beating pre-war days? The photos of supposed bio-weapons plants (a lot of empty tubes), the yellowcake uranium fabrication, Saddam’s “ties” to al-Qaeda, Colin Powell playing the ultimate Uncle Tom and lying for the team in front of the UN with his little vial of table salt, the relentless fear-mongering by Bush & Co? Good times, yeah!!

Interestingly, religion and science agree that there is a “brotherhood of humanity.” But once again, the two diverge sharply in reality. With religion, it’s just lip service, usually – and hypocritically — accompanied by commands to ostracize or murder those who look different.

What has kept the ideas of democracy, rule of law, free elections, and representative government from making more than a rare, brief and narrow appearance on the world historical stage? Stupid Ideas like the divine right of kings or importance of having a theocracy. When it comes to democracy and all its trappings, humanity has been its own worst enemy.

American companies waste tons of time and money on diversity activities and recruiting minorities, all of which makes them less competitive in a global marketplace that doesn’t give a damn about “proportional representation.”

War is not only the failure of governments to settle their differences peaceably, as sad as that is. War also represents old (mostly) men’s decisions that young men and women should suffer and die. All of us must pay for the old men’s pretensions and politics. What is history, asks economist and historian Thomas Sowell, but a tale of “how politicians have squandered human blood and treasure?”

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