Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Imagine someone who did not know the difference between right and wrong and felt that he could, and should, take anything he wanted from anyone he wanted because, as far as he could see, there was no reason not to. If he wanted to buy something but was low on funds, he would not hesitate to kill someone in order to access his wallet. If he became hungry, he would be willing to slay a randomly selected human being for the contents of his lunch box. People like this are sometimes referred to as “criminally insane,” because they genuinely do not appear to understand why they should not do...

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The Meaning of ‘Finish ‘Em Off!’

The Meaning of ‘Finish ‘Em Off!’

What began as a nearly universal outpouring of sympathy for the victims of the crimes of October 7, 2023, has now followed the post-9/11 trajectory, with the Israel government killing multiple times the number of victims destroyed in the precipitating attack by Hamas. Everyone should be appalled by what was done to Israeli citizens, but the question from the outset was what to do in response. Early on, Republican presidential candidate and former Boeing board member Nikki Haley bellowed out her prescription: “Finish ’em off!” She repeatedly tweeted emotive exhortations to Prime Minister...

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The Deadliest Premise

The Deadliest Premise

A new documentary film, Unknown: Killer Robots (2023), directed by Jesse Sweet and available on Netflix, addresses some of the perhaps surprising developments in artificial intelligence weaponry—above all, the specter of autonomous lethal aircraft systems programmed to kill on command and then permitted to act independently, with no human being “in the loop.” In some ways, this represents a dramatic turning point in the history of warfare, because up until now human beings have always “made the call” in commanding soldiers where, when, why, and whom to kill. The film offers a variety of...

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Moral Equivalence in War (Both Sides are Wrong)

Moral Equivalence in War (Both Sides are Wrong)

It has become fashionable once again for regime apologists to denounce as “simpleminded,” even immoral, any assertion or intimation of moral equivalence between government killers and the factional fighters who undertake violent retaliation against them. Throughout the emotionally fraught dispute engendered by the events of October 7, 2023, and its aftermath, there has been a reigning confusion regarding what “moral equivalence” actually means. The classical concept of “invincible ignorance,” which derives from the “just war” tradition, is closely related to the question of moral equivalence...

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Depleted Citizenry Democracy

Depleted Citizenry Democracy

The Joe Biden administration recently managed to persuade politicians and a number of outspoken pundits to applaud the provision of cluster bombs to the Ukrainian government for use on Ukrainian soil. One war crime leads to another, so perhaps no one should be surprised that the U.S. government has now opted to ship depleted uranium-tipped missiles to Ukraine as well. The notion that the use of such weapons will help to defend democracy should jar the cognitive faculties of any person with a functioning cortex. Democracy is “rule by the people,” while unexploded ordnance, such as the...

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E-book Giveaway: Act Now!

Enter the contest currently underway at Goodreads for a free copy of my new ebook, Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times–it’s a page turner! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/188057590-questioning-the-covid-company-line

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Stone Cold Dead Republic: When Everything is Cast as a War

Stone Cold Dead Republic: When Everything is Cast as a War

Several politicians have vaunted a muscular but myopic plan for dealing with the fentanyl crisis: to eliminate sources of the drug near the U.S.-Mexico border through the use of military force. The fentanyl crisis is being portrayed as an international conflict, not a failure of domestic policy, but a problem entirely caused by the evil members of Mexican cartels who, it is being claimed, deserve to die, along with, apparently, anyone who happens to be at their side. But even assuming, against an abundance of evidence from history, that the deployment of military force would have any effect...

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Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty

Americans today have “freedom” to be fleeced, groped, injected, harassed, surveilled, vilified, disarmed, beaten, detained, and maybe shot by federal agents. From hapless homeowners hit by SWAT raids to pandemic lockdowns pointlessly paralyzing lives, government...

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