Category Archives: WMD

UPDATED II (4/30): NEW COLUMN: The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective

Ethics, Healthcare, Individual Rights, libertarianism, Liberty, Logic, Paleolibertarianism, Republicans, WMD

NEW COLUMN IS “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.” It is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

This column is an honest examination of some highly complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

As I say, “If I appear to be struggling with the ethics of this emergency—it is because I am. I must. This is vexing stuff.”

But readers do not want an honest struggle and a multi-faceted, nuanced examination of the issues. They want dogma; their own. Actually, the objections one critical reader mouthed are simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans all the time, it’s time to “check your premises.”

In any event, here is a short excerpt. Follow the hyperlinks to the website of your choice:

I was running up the mountain the other day. A couple was walking down it. I quickly crossed over, so as not to expirate all over them. To my surprise, they thanked me profusely.

I’m healthy; they looked fit. Distancing may not have been necessary in this case. Yet, in this simple act of conscious distancing, in the epochal age of a terrifying, communicable disease—my neighbors and I had come closer than ever before. Fear gave way to fellow feeling.

Having lived in both the developed and underdeveloped world, I have always associated social distancing with civility and civilization.

Cultures that honor personal boundaries have always seemed better than cultures which don’t—more genteel, refined and respectful.

Ditto people who keep a respectful distance: They have more merit than those who get in your face.

Which is why the wish expressed by so many freedom-loving protesters to violate the personal space of others is vexing.

Which is why comments such as the following are anathema:

“Your ‘health’ does not supersede my right.”

“Give me liberty or give me COVID-19.”

“I am not required to descend into poverty for you.”

In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance. Why would anyone wish to infringe on another’s personal space, when the stakes are clearly so high?

Insisting on unfettered freedom to come and go as one pleases, sans protection, comes at a grave cost to others—it could constitute aggression against innocent others.

By the same token, the shuttering of private property by the State is an incontrovertible violation of private property rights. …

... READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective,” is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

UPDATE I (4/24): Some responses to readers. These should give you some idea of the intellectual climate out there:

@der einzige

What do we have here? Pointless, filthy, foaming at the mouth, directed at a writer; foul cuss words and hysterics utterly unmoored from the text “addressed.”

This is what my impartial examination of a “vexing” situation from different angles did to you.

The advice of Humphrey Bogart, playing Rick Blaine in “Casablanca,” should be considered: “I never saw a dame yet that didn’t understand a good slap in the mouth …”

You (male or female) qualify. Settle down. Give yourself that slap in the mouth. I write a column. You stepped into its space. Step out. Bow out. You have nothing reasonable or well-reasoned to add. Never will.

But no, you would rather anything that causes YOU cognitive dissonance be removed.

@Weston Waroda

Glad you admit, at least, that you are “railing,” and that, what you wrote, to quote, “wasn’t so much disagreement with [me] anyway as [your] own personal anguish.”

The unfortunate state of “thought” on this thread is that it demands a certain dogma to cheer on.

To thinking libertarians, the pandemic presents dilemmas. To tinny ideologues it doesn’t. I’m not a tinny ideologue. Too easy, too dishonest.

I could offer up rah-rah dogma to those who feel anguish and anger. I won’t.

In addition, I am not “advocating” any position, as you asserted; I am explaining positions. Distortions of my text are of a piece with the hysterical tone that develops on the threads to my articles.

There has been no advocacy for tyranny here and there is no applause for the State; only an honest examination of some complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

Actually, what the reader mouths is the simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

See: https://apnews.com/cfcdd563167c5ba60aa0e9011f4446cd

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans, it’s time to “check your premises.”

It’s odd that an honestly conflicted look at the COVID-19 issues from all sides elicits such outrage. Is this the “Closing of the American Mind,” or what?

I recommend hearing from this New Yorker, who is in the thick of it. Warning: nuanced, closely reasoned thinking:

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002826.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002814.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002811.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002800.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002806.html

all the best,
ilana

@Exile

Thanks for the polite comment, in general, and this sharp observation, in particular:

The reason I as an ex-Objectivist still read Ilana Mercer is that she is one of the few libertarians who know [sic] the difference between anarchy and a functioning government that still prioritizes libertarian freedoms.

Your observation comports with my consistent attempts to avoid “that sin of abstraction.” Reality is the ultimate adjudicator of truth, in my thinking.

I presume, then, that you’ve read “Libertarian Anarchism’s Justice Problem” (2015):

http://www.ilanamercer.com/2015/04/libertarian-anarchisms-justice-problem/

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.
ilana

• Replies: @Exile

 

Exile says:

@ILANA Mercer

That’s another good piece on the “is-ought” dilemma of libertarianism.

I like your citations above re: Republicans as well. The GOP has co-opted many libertarian concepts in the “tactical” fashion I mentioned to WW above, to the discredit of serious thinkers and the concepts themselves.

It’s in the common interest of all anti-establishment thinkers from libertarians to sincere Leftists to nationalist-populists to discredit and ultimately marginalize both major U.S. parties. The GOP is the lowest-hanging fruit. GOP delenda est, then on to the Democrats.

UPDATED II (4/30): If you dare honor the dead …

UPDATED: HOW COVID-19 WAS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN (Or, ‘Pass The Biscuits,’ My Lips Are Sealed’)

China, Critique, Ethics, Healthcare, History, WMD

This is a remarkable account, by LA Times’ James Rainey and Kiera Feldman, of how killer COVID19 was loosed on the world. Terrific writing. (What a change from Washington-Examiner type syntactical tics and grammatical infelicities, not to mention “Dear Leader” adulation):

Impeachment. Primaries. Kobe. Coronavirus rushed in while our focus was elsewhere“:

It began for Peter Daszak, a British American scientist, a couple of days after Christmas. While the rest of the world trundled along, the president of the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance was in his office in lower Manhattan, picking up the first clues of something amiss.

Weibo, China’s Twitter, carried the warning signals: An odd illness in the city of Wuhan. Patients in respiratory distress. Some developing pneumonia. A few dying, or so said the reports, unconfirmed. Most of the sick had worked in, or visited, a “wet” market in the central Chinese city, where live fish, crabs and livestock are sold, gill-by-jowl, alongside more exotic fare, such as snakes, hedgehogs and bamboo rats.

An ebullient zoologist and parasitologist, Daszak had associates around the globe in the One Health movement — the professional community trying to prevent the spread of disease between the animal and human worlds. But, as New Year’s approached, his colleagues in China suddenly went mum.

“They were all saying ‘I’m sorry, I can’t talk. We’re very busy. We’ll talk to you soon.’ They wouldn’t respond, even to a ‘Happy New Year’s’ message. That wasn’t normal,” Daszak recalled. “That’s when you know, you just know, something serious is going down.”

Those fleeting days of 2019 and the first three months of 2020 have passed in a blur for America and the world, turned upside down by a virus previously not identified by humankind and now responsible for a death toll that has climbed past 100,000.

For the 54-year-old Daszak and his fellow germ trackers, it’s been a period of long hours and roiling emotions — anxiety about the trajectory of the killer they spotted in its first days, a queasy satisfaction that their years of warnings had not been misplaced and a stolid determination to do more to prepare the world for the pandemics yet to come.

There’s also frustration, and some anger, as they watch world leaders move too slowly to marshal healthcare workers, set aside medical supplies and, especially, to isolate millions of people with no immunity to the new invader. …

MORE.

UPDATE:  “China didn’t warn public of likely pandemic for 6 key days.”

Speaking About WMD In Iran: Did You Know About The WMD-Filled Swimming Pools Of Brazil? It’s True.

Foreign Policy, Iran, Military, War, WMD

BY Myron Pauli

Iran is a very weak nation and there are far less Shiites than Sunnis yet America’s warmongers act as if there are five million Iranians poised to blitzkrieg into Columbus, OH, and Denver CO on a moment’s notice.

If there is a “worldwide aggressor” – I will give you a few hints:

[1] I wonder which  COUNTRY spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined.

[2] I wonder which  COUNTRY stations forces in every continent, in over 140 countries.

[3] I wonder which  COUNTRY is the only nation to have ever dropped atomic weapons on civilians. (A subtle hint is in “White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki.”)

[4] I wonder which  COUNTRY is currently fighting wars in N countries, many of which are clandestine wars.

[5] I wonder which  COUNTRY was called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” by the revered Martin Luther King Jr.

But this paranoia is nothing new:

We have seen Mexican land invasions, galleons of Spain off the Atlantic coast, numerous aggressive attacks by the Austro-Hungarian Empire on American civilians, destroyers attacked by North Vietnamese radar blips, civilian airliners attacking Vincennes “supersonically,” “nuclear tipped cruise missiles from Iran,” Yugoslavian genocide, Qaddafi “genocide,” 18 consecutive years of Taliban attacks on America ….

Hell – let’s start MORE WARS. And while we are at it, did you know that there are swimming Pools in Sao Paulo, Brazil – which means they have chlorine which was the first chemical weapon and, given that WMDs are WMDs – it is time we got ahead of this and dropped some nukes on Brazil before it is too late (Munich! Munich! Munich!).

Here’s an idea: Why don’t these damn warmongers put their tushes where their mouth is, and go over to Iran by themselves and start a guerrilla movement?

Pictorial proof (aerial) that Spanish galleon are speeding toward—could it be?—the USA.

*****

Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.

Secular Syrian Patriot Tells The Anglo-American-Saudi-Qatari Axis Of Evil TO GET OUT OF HIS COUNTRY.

Britain, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Neoconservatism, War, WMD

Thank heavens for some news channels who still cover hefty news, even if it’s news a la the imperialist, neoconservative, BBC News.

Instead of listening to dumb, young bimbos on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, squeak their “geopolitics” nonsensical insights like chipmunks, one can hear the brilliant Fares Shehabi, representative for Aleppo, Syria. On BBC News.

Shehabi smacks BBC’s Hardtalk anchor—beats him in every argument possible. It transpired that the venerated BBC News, just like America’s sub-intelligent news organizations, still considers a famous fraud—one 7-year-old Syrian girl named Bana al-Abed, with a managed Twitter account—to be a serious news source. Via the New Yorker:

Bana’s English video statements often have a scripted quality, as if she is being coached by her mother to communicate her thoughts in a language that she is only beginning to learn. Once, Fatemah posted a video of Bana traipsing through rubble; her guileless face and long pigtails, cinched with pink bows, presented a shocking, cinematic, and seemingly deliberate contrast to the devastation around her. Such moments have invited skeptics to question how, for example, Fatemah charges her phone to post videos when electricity lines so rarely function in her part of Aleppo.  …

MP Shehabi tells the Anglo-American-Saudi-Qatari axis of pure evil, and their UN white hats and Jihadi recruits the world over—the men John McCain takes pics with and calls “moderates”—TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HIS COUNTRY, reminding them what they visited on Iraq and Libya, and suggesting that if Assad is to face an international tribunal for war crimes; so must Tony Blair, George Bush (for Iraq) and Obama for Libya.

I would add that their Saudi friends should be in the dock for Yemen and much more. (This tot is feeling the love. Yemeni ports have been barricaded by the Saudis, to whom we’ve sold the weapons. A good deal for the military-industrial-complex, for sure.)

Brilliant.

AND Bravo.

LISTEN.