Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not sure I can agree with Michael Yon on this

It's rare I find much to disagree with from Yon, but this article troubles me some.

His closing paragraph:
We can win without torture. President Bush saw the strategic advantages of the Surge when many thought the Iraq War was lost. Yet he refuses to categorically condemn and outlaw torture. His unwillingness to do so has put the United States and its allies at strategic disadvantage, one that will take us a long time to overcome. And it has cost American lives.
What seems to be missing here is what has been largely missing from most public discourse on the subject of torture - a common definition.

If this were from someone other than Yon I'd expect he was talking, in his piece, about any discomfort, that seems to be one extreme often noted.

Some would have us treat suspected terrorists better than we treat a rape suspect here, or so it seems. NOTE: I'm emphatically NOT saying Yon suggests that, but by not defining the term more clearly he is leaving open the question.

There is no question the we need to aim for the high moral ground, we really are better than our enemies, but let's not 'toss the baby out with the bathwater'.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Individualist - Going, Going, Gone?

The chance to be an individualist in America seems to be fading under the mass of collectivist thought and actions.

From The Autonomist:
A philosophy of objective reason, individualism, freedom, and personal integrity cannot be spread by the methods used to spread socialism, collectivism, multi-culturalism, or even environmentalism. The reason is simple. An objective individualistic philosophy appeals first, and primarily, to the intellect. The socialist and collectivist ideologies (they are not philosophies) appeal first, and primarily, to the feelings and emotions.
This is not a new observation, but it has a new and growing relevance to be sure.

When was the last time we saw a genuinely original idea come to the fore, in almost any sphere? Creativity seems relegated to the dustbin of history. Even the world of art is largely a rehash of what went before. I haven't done any formal study, but even radio seems to consist mostly of oldies stations.

Somewhere along the line folks became more interested in belonging than being.

It's a puzzle for me, and yet it's clear. Einstein is credited with saying Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Ideas that revolve around individuality are passe, and collective attempts to remake humanity into something it isn't keeps popping up like a weed in a flower bed.
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