I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Daniel Greenfield is one of my favorite writers. His commentary is almost always spot on with my own philosophy and beliefs. On the occasions where we are not in alignment it is because I don’t understand what he is saying, or don’t understand the background of the politics or country he is commenting on. How any man can be so learned and introspective is a wonder to me. The article below is in total agreement with my own thoughts and has been ever since the Afghanistan debacle began twenty years ago. I won’t even try to embellish his words with mine.

OUR MISTAKEN IDEAS ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS FAILED US IN AFGHANISTAN

Daniel Greenfield August 26, 2021Human rights are not a government, they’re a culture.

America was founded on that simple premise. The Declaration of Independence’s conviction in the equality of men, individual rights, and governments gaining their authority from the consent of the governed was based on “self-evident” truths.

These truths are “self-evident” to Americans in the way that they’re not self-evident to the average Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Russian, South African or Chinese citizen. They have their own truths that are equally “self-evident” to them based on their own worldview and culture.

The Taliban, like the vast majority of Muslims, assert that believers in Allah are superior to infidels, that men must have supreme authority over women, and leaders over people.

This hierarchical model governs a lot more of the world than anything we’ve come up with.

And even in America there are voices that favor tearing up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and reverting to a hierarchical model. From the Marxists on the Left to the Neo-Reactionaries on the Right, there are those who would turn back the clock to feudalism with enlightened philosopher-kings imposing an “ideal society” on the inferior class of men.

When we say that something is self-evident, it flows naturally from our values and our beliefs.

Consider the two radically different worldviews inherent in Benjamin Franklin writing that, “the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards” is “a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy” and the Ayatollah Khomeini proclaiming “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun” and thus there “is no fun in Islam.”

Both Franklin and Khomeini were expressing a worldview that was self-evident to them.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” came from people who believed that God loves us and wants us to enjoy life. Beheadings, butchery, and the burka came from Islamists who believe that Allah does not like us very much and that we deserve to be miserable.

The respective governments of America and the Muslim world just play out that theology.

America’s approach to individual freedom and meritocratic government came out of broader English and European intellectual trends. Western nations mostly came around to the approach, at least after two world wars, finding that happy people made for a good economy and stability.

Asian First World nations also came around to their own modified versions of a free society while still emphasizing hierarchy and collective morality. And those were the success stories.

Most of the rest of the world is littered with failures.

The American idea was exported successfully by contact with our culture which contained its individualistic, moral, and aspirational DNA. That’s much less true than it used to be. But what is still true is that our efforts to directly export our ideals have failed miserably. Whether it’s trying to explain the Founding Fathers to the Iraqis or funding Women’s Studies in Afghanistan, few were influenced, and many were confused, irritated, or moderately amused by our efforts.

Constructing “governments-in-a-box” in Iraq and Afghanistan was never going to fit their culture. Exporting human rights by explaining our self-evident belief in individual rights didn’t work in cultures that don’t think that people are primarily individuals with agency, but members of a group whose rights come from their role in a rigid hierarchy of ethnicity, gender or race.

Our own political and cultural elites have adopted that worldview making them particularly unfit to spread human rights or individual freedom abroad even as they eliminate them at home.

How can Biden, who decided to pick a black woman as his vice president, before deciding which individual was going to fill that role, credibly tell the Afghans or Iraqis that they shouldn’t pick their leaders based on their gender, tribe, ethnicity, or Sunni and Shiite status?

Before we explain freedom and rights to the Afghans and Iraqs, we need a refresher course.

Our democracy export business is based on a series of intellectual errors dating back to the two world wars which we had defined as fighting for democracy and against tyranny in Europe.

Ever since then our intellectual and cultural elites have stuck to the conviction that the entire world works much like Europe. Every country, whether it’s in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, is in the midst of a struggle between liberal democrats and reactionary authoritarians. All we have to do is overthrow their Hitler or Mussolini, and a liberal democracy will emerge from the ashes.

This fallacy may have hit its peak with the insistence that the Arab Spring was Europe in 1848.

The rest of the world isn’t Europe of the past three centuries. Its intellectual trends, worldviews, and culture have little in common. While western lefties managed to export socialism to most of the world, it takes on very different forms in places like North Korea or Iraq. The “self-evident” assumptions of political ideas are lost in the translation and transition to very different cultures.

The problem with exporting our “self-evident” ideas is that they’re based on the belief in a loving and merciful God, on the value of individual life, and the genius of individual innovation. Most of the world’s cultures are not only not individualistic, many, like the People’s Republic of China or the Muslim world, are actively anti-individualistic and believe morality comes from hierarchy.

Is morality individual or is it collective? Is the role of government to free people to make moral choices or to force them to make the right choice? Where you come down on the answer to that issue is going to determine the sort of society and government you want and will fight for.

If you’re a member of the Taliban, of the Chinese Communist Party, a believer in critical race theory or the neo-reactionary ideology, odds are you will come down on the collective side.

And on the side of tyranny.

Is life basically good or bad? Are most people bad or good? Does God love us or hate us?

You can’t just casually export our underlying assumptions behind human rights to cultures that answer these questions in very different ways.

All of us, in a more tribal America, have experienced the frustration of mutually incomprehensible conversations with our fellow Americans that appear to be about issues, mask mandates, Black Lives Matter, or abortion, but that are actually about culture and values.

If it’s all but impossible to establish common ground on what rights and freedoms are with other Americans, what were the odds that we were going to do it with Afghans or Iraqis?

America can and should export human rights. But the best way to do it is by example.

Whether it’s parents influencing children, teachers acting as role models, or any other mentor relationship, the most vital lessons are not didactic, but personal. From our earliest years, we learn by imitation and we become like the people we want to be. Indeed, in both Judaism and Christianity, goodness comes from striving to learn from and imitate the ways of God.

Tellingly, the concept plays out very differently in Islam where Muslims imitiate Mohammed.

When nations and peoples around the world strived to be like America, it’s because they admired what we had, what we achieved, and how we lived. Most people assume that success is the result of values and behaviors. How people see a successful group, whether it’s Americans, Jews, or Asians comes down to the question of whether they achieved their success fairly through discipline and hard work, or unfairly by abuse and thievery. The answer to that question will determine whether someone is anti-American, anti-Semitic, or anti-whatever group.

These days the loudest voices stating that America is evil, and that everything we had was gained through colonialism and slavery, are coming from our own political and cultural elites.

Why would anyone admire or imitate us when we loudly announce that we’re liars and thieves?

Exporting human rights is not a matter of finding dictators to overthrow. The Muslim world isn’t Europe. It’s not in a state of conflict between tyranny and freedom, but between different flavors of tyranny which all share underlying assumptions about hierarchy over individualism.

Regime change won’t fix the culture.

There are times when America may need to intervene in other countries, when it’s to counter a threat or to prevent an extreme wrong such as genocide, but we cannot and will not fix the world. The vast majority of the planet will go on living under authoritarian regimes. Women in Muslim countries will suffer. And so will various ethnic and religious minorities under their rule.

We should condemn evil where we see it without assuming that we can make it go away and that should drive us to build alliances with nations that share our culture, heritage and values. Instead of spending billions reconstructing enemies, we’re better off strengthening our friends.

Above all else, we should show that our values lead to a good life. The example that we set for the rest of the world will do more to spread human rights than any military interventions.

That’s how it always was.

After a century of ideological cold wars, countering Communism and then Islamism, we have a lot of military interventions under our belt, but have gotten no better at making arguments for our way of life to our own people. While we were trying to convince Africans that Marxism wasn’t for them, our Ivy League institutions adopted it. And while we tried to talk the Afghans and Iraqis out of Islamic theocracy, our own cities, institutions, and governments filled up with Islamists.

If we want to defeat Islamism and protect human rights and freedom, we should start at home.

It’s not just Afghanistan where young girls are being enslaved or sexually abused by Islamists.

In 2019, I reported that there had been over 2,000 visas approved for underage ‘brides’ from Muslim countries. Two years before that I reported on a female genital mutilation network in Michigan. There have been multiple cases of slavery involving Muslim families in America.

The massive influx of Afghans into America will make those numbers worse, not better.

The fundamental lesson of our founding is that we can’t defend our rights without also defending our culture. The self-evident truths on which our freedoms were founded are no longer all that self-evident on a college campus, let alone in Islamist enclaves like Dearborn or Little Mogadishu. If we want to save our rights, we’ll have to defeat the Taliban at home.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center’s Front Page Magazine.

Bill Of Non-Rights

Old-Glory-Tattered-but-Flying11.jpg
This should be read and understood by all, especially politicians, liberals, muslims, school teachers, college professors and children.
 The following has been attributed to Lewis Napper, a Jackson, Mississippi computer programmer. 
He didn’t expect his essay — a tart 11-point list of “rights” Americans don’t have — to become an Internet legend.
___________________________________________________________ __________
 NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION
We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to  help everyone get along, restore some semblance of  justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great- grandchildren, hereby try one more  time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by
the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.’
>
ARTICLE  I: 
You do not  have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
ARTICLE II:
You do not have  the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone –not  just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of dummies, and probably always will be.
ARTICLE  III:
 You do not have the  right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
ARTICLE IV:
You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most
charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we  are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes
who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
ARTICLE  V:
You do not have the right to free health care That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.
ARTICLE  VI:
You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you get the blue juice.
ARTICLE VII:
You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and
 lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of  leisure.
ARTICLE VIII:
You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
 ARTICLE IX:
You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
ARTICLE X:
This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you came from, English is our language. Learn it!
Lastly
ARTICLE XI:
 You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was  founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution.
 The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, sorry if you are uncomfortable with it.
If you agree,
share this with a friend. No, you don’t have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don’t. I just think it’s about time common sense is allowed to flourish. Sensible people of the United States must speak out because if you do not, who will?

 God Bless America…

Bill of No Rights

DSCN2894

Bill of No Rights

NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

This is probably the best e-mail I’ve seen in a long, long time. The following has been attributed to Lewis Napper, a Jackson, Mississippi computer programmer. He didn’t expect his essay — a tart 10-point list of “rights” Americans don’t have — to become an Internet legend.

We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional. We hold these truths to be self-evident: That a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.’

ARTICLE I:
You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II:
You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of dummies, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III:
You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV:
You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V:
You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI:
You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you get the blue juice.

ARTICLE VII:
You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII:
You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX:
You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X:
This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you came from, English is our language. Learn it!

Lastly

ARTICLE XI:
You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, sorry if you are uncomfortable with it.

If you agree, share this with a friend. No, you don’t have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don’t. I just think it’s about time common sense is allowed to flourish. Sensible people of the United States must speak out because if you do not, who will?

She Makes Several Excellent Points

A very articulate young Conservative woman, Kira Davis,  makes a passionate argument in favor of  the Second Amendment.

Kudos to Kira. Not only does she make good sense about preserving our Second Amendment rights, she also has an excellent website which I highly recommend.

 

im2morro

My Flag Flies Everyday

A passion of mine is watching young people develop into true citizens. Nothing makes me prouder than to hear about, or watch the escapades of my seven grandchildren as they grow. My deceased wife Barbara and I spent well over twenty-five years in the Scouting movement. She in the Girls Scouts, and I with the Boys Scouts. When I watched this video it brought tears of joy to my eyes. Teenager’s who have a grasp on life and express themselves so eloquently fill me with pride. It matters, what we do when we raise our kids. Every action, every comment we make imprints into their sub-conscious. As parents we must be careful of our actions and words in the presence of our young. As a grandparent my outspokenness is often heard by my grandchildren, and it will come back to haunt at a later time. I watch my kids cringe when I say things, or use politically incorrect words in front of the grandchildren.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Kirk a high school senior who founded an organization called “Turning Point USA.” His message is much like the one in the video below. Now, a new group called “im2morro”  co-founded by teen Audrea Taylor have  joined to do something about securing their future. I recommend you visit their websites and learn more about them. They are the future of America.

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