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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Recently, someone asked me why I care about Beijing’s campaign to exterminate the Uighurs, stating that he had little symmpathy for them; he appeared to believe the Communist Party’s designation of them as “terrorists”, a word calculated to shut down cognition in anyone predisposed to believe that governments, even oppressive governments, are generally trustworthy in their statements.  Presumably, this person was just intelligent enough to grasp that if he questions the Chinese government’s right to oppress a Muslim minority, the right of his own government to do the same is suspect.  I quickly dismissed him as an odious clod, but was irresistibly reminded of the words of John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

These words are not merely true in a philosophical and moral sense, but in a practical one as well; for every time we allow tyranny and oppression to go unchallenged, we participate in normalizing and excusing the behavior, and establishing it as international precedent.  Then one day soon the victims may not be a strange people in a distant land, but familiar people in our own country.  Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

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Stupid little children!  –  “Officer” Harry Reid

Want me to watch your commercials?  Put as much class and creativity into them as Banco Sabadell put into this one (discovered by Grace); you don’t strictly need to include Beethoven, but it wouldn’t hurt.  The links above it were provided by Eric Sprankle (“kitty”), Mark Bennett (“Jesus”), Cop Crisis (“bullies”, “feed” and “mayor”), Walter Olson (“sirree”), and Mike Siegel (“adoption”).

From the Archives

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If there is anything that the past century has taught us, it is that the only war which will truly end all wars among humanity is the one in which the human species is finally obliterated.  –  “To End All Wars

In the first few decades of the last century, a popular conspiracy theory held that the Great War which ended 101 years ago today had been engineered by munitions manufacturers and bankers for their own profit.  But while that may have certainly been one factor, the majority of the blame rests on the power-madness of European governments and their unquenchable thirsts to expand their empires across the entire globe, no matter what the cost in blood and wealth to their subjects, both native and conquered.  A century later, however, the world’s one remaining empire is engaged in not one but many endless, pointless wars whose costs would have staggered the Rothschilds, whose lack of clear imperial goals would have confused a Caesar or a Napoleon, and whose sheer, mindless carnage would have nauseated the Spartans.  America’s war-madness has destabilized the entire Middle East; made military contractors wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice; contributed to the centralization of US federal power in the executive branch; fueled terrorism on four continents; indebted the US Empire to the only serious challenger to its pre-eminence; created the modern surveillance state; and handed so much political and military power to a domestic Praetorian class that its members can not only rob, rape, pillage and even murder citizens with impunity, but also write its own laws and openly defy legislation intended to bring it back under political control.  Certainly, the politicians who support these wars do so at least in part out of a desire to increase their own power, because far too many of the hoi-polloi still practice primitive leader-worship and adhere to notions of nationalism that were already outdated when the Great War began.  But given the popularity of astonishingly-wasteful military adventurism across the monolithic ruling party naive Americans absurdly refer to as “the political spectrum”, including among those who profess to have better and far more productive ideas for the trillions being flushed down Ares’ toilet, it seems obvious that the theorists of a century past would be absolutely correct if they were saying now what they said then:  a great deal of the impetus for modern warfare, like the impetus for the domestic wars (on drugs, whores, “crime”, etc), comes directly from those reaping profits and gathering political power from the bloodshed.  And because that is so, and nobody in power anywhere has the courage or morality to say so, the wars of the 21st century, unlike their 19th and 20th century counterparts of finite length, will continue on interminably until the Empire waging them is consumed in the flames of its own collective insanity.

 

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Peacemaker

Last Saturday afternoon, a friend had a last-minute schedule change and needed to use my incall at the same time as I had promised to sit a different friend’s dog.  So I decided to take the dog to the bark park a few blocks from here, but when I arrived, I found two groups of people at the gate, arguing with one another.  Apparently one person’s dog had become aggressive with the other person’s dog and in the process of trying to break them up one of them had gotten very slightly bitten (no blood) and was freaking out about it.  Each of them had another person on their side and what I heard when I arrived was a lot of childish, pompous Seattle behavior.  I let my friend’s dog loose to run and was about to walk away until I heard the woman who had been scratched saying, “I was assaulted and I’m calling the police”.  At that point, I stopped being quiet; I told them I had no idea who was at fault, or if both were, and I didn’t care, but there was no way I was going to put up wih anybody calling the fucking cops (yes, that was the exact phrase I used).  The woman whined that she had been assaulted and that SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE because what if she came there again and the guy she was arguing with was there?  I replied, “Then you both act like civilized adults, say quietly to yourself ‘there’s that asshole again’, and go to a different part of the park.”  Naturally her opponent now thought I was on his side, so I quickly smacked down that notion and said, “Do I really have to be the kindergarten teacher and break up this playground foolishness?”  When the woman brought up the cops again, I asked, “Do you really believe this situation would be helped by calling in a bunch of thugs whose idea of ‘helping’ is to tase a few of y’all and then shoot some dogs while they’re at it?”  That seemed to do the trick, and after a little more mediation on my part the woman & her boyfriend left and the other dude went and sat on a bench.  The reason I’m telling this story is: reminding people that the cops are violent, unpredictable thugs who make things worse actually stopped a ninny from calling them.  Remember that next time you hear someone threatening to do the same; I get that most of y’all are hesitant to intervene in a quarrel between strangers, and I usually would be as well.  But it’s that attitude which results in cops showing up to tase, beat, gas or even murder people over noise complaints or other mundane tiffs bystanders could easily have handled without violence.

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Safer Alternatives

Maggie, where are you advertising these days?

As I wrote a few months ago, I plan to soon eliminate formal escort advertising; I have a comfortable number of regular clients and I get a lot of business from Twitter, this blog, my videos and books, etc.  But I haven’t quite reached that point yet, and I dropped Eros a few months ago because the flood of idiocy from both Eros management and unschooled would-be clients had become just too much for me to deal with.  Plus there’s this passage in their “Advertiser agreement”:

…Advertiser fully and knowingly expressly consents to the Company’s receipt and handling of…Business Data…notwithstanding when or under what agreement it was provided to the Company…Company has Advertiser’s express permission (without any additional consent) to use and maintain the Business Data however it sees fit, and provide any or all of it to any law enforcement authority, or in response to subpoena or other administrative, regulatory, or legal process or obligation including, without limitation, to a third party…the Company will not be responsible or liable in any way to the Advertiser for [this]…

Which, given what seems increasingly clear about both the company’s relationship to swine and recent US government statements about Eros, feels far beyond the ordinary indemnification boilerplate; accordingly, I’m advising all escorts who can afford to risk a temporary drop in business to desert Eros immediately if not sooner.  I think those of us who are financially-stable enough to lead the way to currently-less-frequented sites such as Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met? are ethically bound to do so now, before the government intentionally destroys Eros and leaves tens of millions of our sisters worldwide stranded as they were when Backpage was destroyed.  I myself am advertising on Slixa and Tryst, and plan to add Have We Met? soon.  As the number of us advertising on those sites increases, more clients will follow us there, so that when the inevitable disaster happens those sites will be popular enough with the gents to provide a comfortable income for those fleeing from the doomed Eros.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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One of the bizarre contradictions of modern American society is that at a time when consent has been raised practically to the level of a fetish, complete with various sects of authoritarians declaring themselves the absolute arbiters on what constitutes “true” consent and what doesn’t, many of the same people who would absolutely have a cow if some private citizen slightly smudged a consent-line in some minor fashion have absolutely no issue with government operatives trampling all over consent in the most horrifying ways imaginable.  The same politicians (and their lackeys and followers) who bloviate about “revenge porn“, align themselves with “Me Too” and posture performatively every time a non-cop accused of rape is found not guilty after a trial, suddenly lose their concern for individual consent when it’s government operatives violating it via spying, groping, assault, robbery, rape, abduction or even murder; when confronted with this contradiction they’ll nearly always vomit out nonsense about a “social contract”, as though consent were something which could be granted for individuals by some collective, possibly even a collective with no living members.

A large part of the problem is that while we see lots of explanations of consent like the one above, nobody dares to explain to kids that just because an adult has a costume on or is called an “authority” doesn’t give them the right to ignore your consent.  Not even if they call it “punishment” or a “search”, or say you need it to get on an airplane or enter a building.  People are always wringing their hands about how many cops, teachers, clergy, etc molest or even rape kids & teenagers, yet they never consider that the root cause of these violations is that they’ve drummed it into those kids’ heads that “authorities” must be obeyed and have various excuses to touch or hurt those kids without their consent, simply by giving the abuse some fancy name like “discipline”, “arrest” or, worst of all, the innocuous-sounding “search”.  Nobody has the right to violate their consent, and they owe nobody unquestioned obedience.  And until we start teaching that, we’re never going to see an end to the nauseating parade of “authorities” groping, molesting and raping society’s most vulnerable members while the adults who should be protecting them utter pious platitudes about “security”, “obedience”, and “law”.

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I think regular readers already understand my views on government, and I don’t believe anyone who has read more than a few scattered columns would be so foolish as to attempt to get me to do something by vomiting “It’s the law!” all over my mailbox.  Alas, not everyone is a regular reader of this blog, and many who aren’t are such hopeless moral imbeciles that they truly believe some agreement made between fascists whom I neither know nor respect establishes some kind of “legitimate” authority over me that I’m bound to obey, even if it runs contrary to my own moral precepts.  And so three times already this year I’ve been emailed by people requesting, arguing for or even demanding the censorship of their names from some news item on this blog, due to the European Union’s imaginary “right to be forgotten“.  One of these individuals was such a complete arsehole, removing his name would’ve constituted collaboration with evil; one I had no opinion about, and the most recent I was actually sympathetic to.  But when I cover a news story, I already make a decision whether the names should be shared or not, and “it’s the law” is, if anything, an argument against complying with a demand for censorship.  But it’s more than just that; years ago in “A Look at the Works” I wrote…

…I take an extremely dim view of websites who shove posts down the memory hole just because some readers didn’t like them; I have the philosophy that “you can’t unring a bell”, so once a post is up I will not remove it no matter who finds it offensive.  Besides the ethical problem that would create, removing the index entries and hyperlinks would be like pulling one gear out of a clock…and if you think I’m going to leave an ugly and conspicuous hole in a four-year-long perfect record just because it hurt your feelings, I respectfully suggest you reconsider your place in the universe

Since then I’ve made exactly one exception to that rule (about which the less said, the better) at the request of a person I love very much, because for me loyalty trumps everything else.  But if you aren’t such a person I suggest you reread the above block quote while remembering that “four-year-long perfect record” has since grown to ten, then ask yourself whether you really think I’ll make an exception for you because some especially-pompous politicians a third of the way around the planet ordered me to.

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