Arms, Liberty And Security

Duly Noted

Notions prejudiced by experience.

There is a relationship between “weapons” and “liberty”. That is because “arms” and “liberation” are also linked. The matter fuels debates that reflect semantics, hidden agendas as well as pre-conceptions. Not often enough are the facts discussed. In the writer’s case, the bias is clear. It comes from running in Budapest bearing a pistol with six shots in the magazine with a Soviet T34 tank in pursuit.  If one looks carefully, the legal access to weapons is not singularly an American controversy. However, the debate is defined and skewed by conditions said to be uniquely American.

Are All Problems With Muslims Caused By Islam?

In the blog magazine Dagelijkse Standaard, Joost Niemöller writes (15 december 2012, “Het Marokkanenprobleem is geen islamprobleem”, “The Moroccan problem is not an Islam problem”) that the reduction of all problems to Islam is stupid: “Look, this kind of thinking is not just dumb, it is also dangerous. Whoever can only think of Islam as the root of all evil, moves through the world blind with anger and has lost all ability to correct himself.” He calls this thinking “hysterical”.

Lies About War And Peace To Further A Cause

Duly Noted

An attempt to correct a manipulated image.

In its last edition, Duly Noted called attention to the deformations surrounding the granting of international awards. The case of Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and Time’s Man of the Year played a central role. These illustrated the exploitation of the seeming impartiality of honors given to whip up legitimacy and to lend moral capital for tainted agendas. 

Hot air from a global platform confirms the charge in another recent case. The attempt is energized by distortions presented under the cloak of objectivity to make an otherwise earth-struck balloon rise. The story meant is the European Union’s Nobel Prize. 

A Tale Of Two Economic Styles

Will 2013 be a better year? A number of economic commentators have been saying the worst is behind us. I think they are wrong, and here is why. In most major countries, including the United States, government is growing faster than the private sector.

As Mitchell's Golden Rule explains, when the private sector grows faster than government, prosperity increases, and when government grows faster than the private sector, misery increases.

Awards And Their Politics

Duly Noted

Honors for good behavior.

Without intending to do so, real life produces more absurdities than the fantasy of the talented creators of fiction could conjure up. Alas, most of these abnormalities are as entertaining as they are ultimately harmful to those involved. Especially disturbing is that the clowns that cause these slip-ups are not in the humor business full time. That makes the jest, if you can discover it, unintended. That also means that no praise is due for the amusement provided. The chuckles provoked are unintended byproducts. They reflect bias, incompetence, and lack of realism.

Wanted: Committed Citizens

Duly Noted

Abused democracy fails the cause of liberty.

Statistics tell that your correspondent’s life will soon rate as being a long one. The blame does not rest upon the systems that made him their subject. There were years of unfreedom, first under the Nazis, then under Stalin. Thereafter, irrespective of formal education and the ensuing brain damage, then as the result of some reflection, this writer remains uncertain about a fundamental matter. Is freedom a natural, therefore instinctively striven for, condition of mankind? Or could servitude be imbedded in our genes? The latter case would make liberty a lucky escape from our natural condition. 

Unraveling the Fallacies of the Common Judeo-Christian Heritage

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Review of Yoram Hazony „The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture“, Cambridge University Press, NY: 2012

Well, not everyone is cherishes book review, so if you fancy a video instead, here is the talk between the author and the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, the flamboyant Sir Jonathan Sacks, chaired by STANDPOINT editor Daniel Johnson. But it doesn’t hurt to read this review afterwards. For Yoram Hazony is one of the founders of the Shalem Centre in Jerusalem, an academic research institute dedicated to the sustenance of the Jewish People and Israel. The book does not assume belief in God and also no previous background in the Bible and uses language accessible to everyone. This scholarly book is about the extended narrative of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. It covers not only the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, but all the additional biblical texts that make up the comprehensive History of Israel. The author is attempting to convince his readers that by looking at the context which the Mosaic Law is embedded into, we get a better understanding of the philosophy behind it. But above all it allows us to read the Hebrew Bible as a work of reason just like the great Greek philosophers.

Europe’s Union: Dictate Or Democracy

Duly Noted

About Bureaucracy, Regulators and Nation-Building.

It is difficult to overlook the emergence of an artificial “plastic” entity that its makers call “Europe”. The official press, media, culture, and parts of the political establishment cheer this development. This is true for Europe and the rest of our culture because the mutuality of elites is stronger than their national origins. More than that, the forces just named provide the propulsion that moves the project as it proceeds from fiction to reality. This makes it risky to formulate and to spread critical warnings about the unfolding process. Doing so might be, if only reasons are needed to advise caution, rather easy. However, doing so is also “dangerous” as any objection to the forging a centralized Europe will be used by the opinion makers to prove that you are a “bad person”. Accordingly, you resent and hinder the realization of the common good they propagate. If any proof is lacking for that one, then the recently issued Nobel Prize to the EU’s “apparat” can be invoked as evidence. 

Giving Europe What It Needs But Does Not Want

Duly Noted

The shifting focus of global affairs.

The current American administration has made an announcement that is beyond partisanship. Accordingly, America considers herself not to be primarily a country of the Atlantic zone but as a member of the Pacific’s community. With this, the USA reacts rationally to her interests and her location. Consequently, Europe’s priority is abandoned and the Pacific Rim becomes a core interest. The measure is justified on several levels.

They Are Still Digging

Duly Noted

No failed remedy is sufficiently threadbare not to inject it again.

Gresham’s Law is valid beyond the field of economics. As we know, bad money drives good money out. An international cabal uses bad fiction to drive good facts out of the mind of its credulous clients. Accordingly, even a few of those that do not support the cause served by the lie accept some inventions as facts. 

Why is skewed reality spread as the “real McCoy” version of what is an easily disrobed emperor. The generation of the 68-ers is now in power through its control of a multitude of institutions. Those whose once pursued revolution has failed responded by infiltrating the humanities departments of the universities and the media. In ’68, the “revolution” of the spoiled bored children of the middle classes, has failed. The sensible masses did not respond to the dreams of the kids that selflessly offered to lead them. The disavowed continued to be driven by their compulsion. It was to atone for the success of the generation that won a war and for the “economic miracles” of their elders. 

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