Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Personal Aside: The Michael Jackson Media Bash—Decadence Unlimited…Robert McNamara Carried the Seeds of His Defeat Within Him.


Decadence Unlimited.

I’m the last guy to downgrade America but I’ll make an exception now that I find that 50% more Americans, dazzled with the nonstop coverage, watched the garish funeral of the little pervert and accused child molester Michael Jackson than watched the last presidential inaugural. This is pure and simple decadence of America led rightly to the plaintive cry of one Martha Gillis yesterday who asked “Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week?” Her nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when a IED [improvised explosive device] exploded near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 1st Batalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson Alaska—one of 13 young soldiers to die in Afghanistan since Jackson’s death on June 25.

“He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor,” she wrote. “He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial `shrines’ while this soldier’s death goes unheralded?” The only media outlets that covered Lt. Bradshaw’s death was in his hometown of Steilacoom, Washington and those where he was stationed before his deployment last March.

The deaths of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday received just 1/20th of the network television news coverage that went to Jackson according to the Media Research Center.

Disgusting. The combination of degenerated media hype for marketing dollars and the voyeuristic nature of our decadent society threatens the survival of our country with maudlin exercises like Jackson’s. Also watching the shoving, pushing and hauling of the tinsel celebrities…the phony weeping of Brooke Shields…the attempt to make the dead one—who whitened his face in order to lose his blackness—a civil rights hero…plus the scuffling of two phony ministers trying to preside, Jesse Jackson and his disgraceful imitator-shadow, Al Sharpton…I had to run to the bathroom to avoid a vomit.

McNamara: The Failure to Understand Natural Law.

Robert McNamara, JFK’s secretary of defense who died yesterday at 93, was a symbol of this age. Brilliant, cerebral, a master of numbers he had everything but moral courage. He carried the great imperfections of this relativistic age. Unconcerned with philosophical commitment, he reckoned that the Vietnam War could be won with technological expertise rather than moral commitment. When his technological expertise failed to justify his slide-rule conclusions and the war continued in contradiction to his numbers, he gave up and became a weeping, guilt-ridden wreck of a man—an embarrassment, really but a testimonial of spiritual emptiness.

With the World Bank presidency, he made the same mistake. He calculated that poverty could be eradicated as a technological problem whereas poverty is, often, a residual carryover of a combination of human factors including on occasion moral and spiritual problems. These were factors McNamara the human computer couldn’t deal with since he was a calculating machine not much more. At his essence, McNamara was a symbol of the end of the Enlightenment which had gained so much influence in the 18th century, a series of calculated conclusions that rejected religion and spirituality and sought to replace these with so-called “reason.”

Reading McNamara’s statement and his last book, it is clear to me that he denied the power of reason to know objective truth. In the tradition of natural law, all law involves the will of the lawgiver who ordains it but the essence of law is reason. In Enlightenment law, law is an exercise of will. Disregarding the issue of justice involved in the Vietnam War, McNamara sought instead to make administration of the war as an exercise of his will. Were he to have reoriented his thinking, he could possibly have carried the war through to victory—as did George W. Bush by employing the Surge that turned the tide of the Iraq War when others who were his intellectual superiors gave up. So it’s not just being bright and cerebral. It’s cherishing the power of reason to know objective truth.

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