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Dishonoring Honor

The current issue of the Medal of Honor, Navy version

653 words

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments regarding the so-called “Stolen Valor” law passed in 2006 which made it illegal for individuals to wear U. S. military awards that they had not legitimately earned. Not soon after, the notoriously liberal Ninth Appellate Court (located in California, naturally) overturned the law, stating as part of its reasoning that if a person wears a medal he or she is not not entitled to, it does not “harm anybody.”

Another justification for striking down the law was the contention, made by the Chief Judge of the Appellate Court Alex Kozinski that “people often tell lies about themselves in day-to-day social interactions. He said it would be ‘terrifying’ if people could be prosecuted for merely telling lies.” (Quote from the linked article, not from the Judge.)

Well, I disrespectfully disagree with the Appellate Court. In my opinion, lying about earning a military award does “harm anybody” — namely the people who earned such decorations honestly and honorably. And as for Judge Kozinski, I think that people should be prosecuted for “merely telling lies” on an apparent “day-to-day” basis. That they would be “terrified” by the prospect says more about their negative character than it does about any legal proceedings that might be brought against them.

Lying is the basic foundation for the decline of society. A society that permits casual lying cannot ever expect to excel to its highest, most positive potential. Lying also tears at the fabric of everything that could be good about a society. Think about how many criminal enterprises depend on lies. And the current financial problems facing this country are in large part the results of dishonesty. Should not the perpetrators of lies with such far-reaching consequences be punished?

An Alligator Snapping Turtle. It has a red flesh "lure" in its mouth to attract prey.

The court’s decision and attitude towards lying also illustrates another point — that liberals have no idea of what the concept of honor is about. If they did, they would not hesitate for a second to punish people who disrespect and besmirch the honor of soldiers who have fought and died for this country and who have been awarded decorations for such actions. To them, lying about winning a Medal of Honor (note the name of the award) is the same thing as lying in day-to-day social interactions. (And the liberals’ fear of punishments for casual lying is also revealing of their attitude towards honesty generally.)

Lying is also a strictly human characteristic. It does not occur in the natural world. Yes, there are circumstances in the natural world in which plants or animals utilize deceit, but this is done only in cases where the plant or animal’s very survival depends on such deceit. (Examples of this phenomenon include animals that use camouflage to avoid detection or plants or animals with “lure” features that coax prey within eating distance.) In the nature, this deceit is acceptable. And so it should be to adherents of the Naturalist philosophy. It is okay to use deception, or even to lie, if one’s survival depends on it.

A camouflaged lizard on tree bark.

And no, I’m not playing holier than thou (although I will play holier than the Ninth Appellate Court) and claiming that I never lie. But I take a very dim view of lying and will do almost anything to avoid it. If it means beating a murder rap or something like that, then I very likely might lie. But to me lying is an absolute last resort. It is not — like it is with so many people in our society today, from top to bottom — a first option. And it is certainly not a default position.

Source: http://www.gpsjr.com/?p=1186

 

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25 Comments

  1. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    As Mr Miyagi said in The Karate Kid, pointing to his heart, “This mean you brave, this (the medal) mean you lucky.”

    But to balance it out: One of his close officials asked Napoleon what he was doing. Napoleon said I’m working on a system of honors for the new Republic. The Official was aghast, what place do such things have in the new Order? Napoleon replied, How little you know of men.

    • Stronza
      Posted October 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      True enough, but my point is that we shouldn’t lose sleep over the illegal wearing of illegitimate rewards.

  2. Stronza
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    …which made it illegal for individuals to wear U. S. military awards that they had not legitimately earned.

    Since when does a medal which acknowledges and thanks you for killing, maiming and torturing a bunch of people who never did anything to you and, more important, do not threaten you and never have, constitute a legitimately earned reward?

  3. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

    Ward Kendall made an excellent observation.

    White nationalism needs to stop stealing the military and political heroism that Hitler engendered, and instead create new and original icons, flags, symbols, medals (military & political) by which to forge a true and authentic American white nationalism.

    A perfect Symbol for Movement Past would be a hamster, in a cage, on a wheel, running endlessly.

    An excellent Symbol for Movement Present would be a one minute clip from “The Matrix,” the Woman In Red Sequence. “Are you listening to me, or paying attention to her?” Neo turns, faces Agent Smith with Smith’s gun pointed in his face at point blank range. “Whoa!”

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

  4. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS, WHAT’S YOURS?

    I think I can resolve the dialectic between Ward Kendall and White Republican.

    Ward Kendall addresses on the many failings of Movement Past; blind imitation of their Betters, by people who refuse to develop the Next Step in White nationalism. That they were, in Greg Johnson’s perfect formulation, already defeated (with the exception of Bill White), says all we need to know about them. They were reaching for the last rung of the ladder, and we, such as we were at the time, we it.

    They had accepted the Words, Definitions, and Frameworks of the Enemy without question. Whether it was green satin bedsheets and pillowcases as formal organizational attire, or ununiform NSDAP uniforms, they were guaranteed to show us at their best – which was, usually, our worst. It WAS stolen valor; worse, it was ineptly stolen valor, at that.

    White Republican addresses Movement Future, what can be done moving forward.

    White Republican in blockquote:

    We should pay more attention to the reality we can create through our work rather than the image our enemies have made of us. We should judge ourselves by the work we do rather than the fifteen minutes of fame that we might or might not receive. The performance of duty is more important than the gratification of vanity.

    Be Better, and how best to show this?

    Not ununiform uniforms. Simply Do Better.

    Instead of wearing costumes or uniforms, White nationalists should observe a dress code.

    And that is a part of Being Better, and Doing Better.

    Why and how are left as exercises for the Reader.

    To what End, of course, is obvious.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

    • White Republican
      Posted October 21, 2011 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      How can we do better? On the individual level, part of the answer lies in finding work which is compatible with one’s abilities and interests. As Alex Kurtagic recently wrote in “The West as a Tomb”:

      “Each individual has to find his or her own way of channelling their time, their talent, and the resources they generate with them into endeavours that further the Western cause, and therefore the prosperity of the race.

      “For creative types the challenge is maintaining artistic and moral integrity, finding the way to make a living without having to sell out to the enemy’s system.

      “For others the challenge may be in fostering — through funding, organising, or both — the creation of alternative vehicles for the creative process, alternative structures that enable the production, promotion, distribution, delivery, and validation of creative output that operate outside of the establishment’s matrix.

      “The latter is just as important as the creative process, and ought to be regarded part of that creative process, because in Western societies the anti-Western enemy enforces compliance mainly through the citizen’s dependency on the resources it controls, be it money, employment, or status systems.

      “Ultimately, it boils down to each person recognising what is possible and enjoyable for him or her and having the initiative and the courage to follow through.

      “And in the majority of cases, talent, hard work, and a can-do mentality is more important than exceptional courage.”

      On the organizational level, part of the answer lies in putting work within the view and the capacity of the people one seeks to organize. As Douglas Hyde showed in Dedication and Leadership, this was one of the strengths of communist parties. To use Lenin’s apt formula, the aim was not to lower the revolution to the level of the amateur, but to raise the amateur to the level of the revolutionary. Elitism may be less a matter of recruiting professionals and more a matter of turning amateurs into professionals through proper instruction, organization, and leadership.

      • Fourmyle of Ceres
        Posted October 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

        If I am reading him correctly, and I haven’t been to the TOQ website, the West has become all but a tomb for the the Forces that inspired, leg, and guided Western Civilization, having allowed it to degenerate almost to the level of Culture, at the expense of Civilization.

        White Republican in blockquote:

        On the organizational level, part of the answer lies in putting work within the view and the capacity of the people one seeks to organize. As Douglas Hyde showed in Dedication and Leadership, this was one of the strengths of communist parties. To use Lenin’s apt formula, the aim was not to lower the revolution to the level of the amateur, but to raise the amateur to the level of the revolutionary. Elitism may be less a matter of recruiting professionals and more a matter of turning amateurs into professionals through proper instruction, organization, and leadership.

        I suspect the techniques defined by Hyde work within a narrow area, with constant application, psychological manipulation of the first order, and, in time, the functional equivalent of a religious conversion. We see the same efforts being used with Korean War POW’s, with much more forthright sanctions against those who do not comply.

        Destroy a man, and you just might make him a martyr. You will certainly get no further use out of him. Destroy his conception of himself, and his place in the Universe, and you might make him a man who would willingly be a martyr for The Cause, and a useful person For The Cause, if nothing else.

        The singular difference between Us and Them must be based on our conceptions of Man, and his Role in the metapolitical order. They must agree with us freely, in free will, freely expressed. That is the only way to find the diamonds in the coal seam.

        That is why so much of Movement Past has been stunningly ineffective; they defined themselves in terms of what they were against, and when the Form of what they were against changed, they were helpless. If they were against “the illegals,” then simply pass amnesty laws, and make them legal. Movement Past learned helplessness, and this became the foundation of their nihilism.

        With the exceptions of Rockwell and Covington, they were always engaged in the functional equivalent of Oppositional Defiance. Lucy pulled away the football AGAIN, and, yet AGAIN, they fell on their backs, helpless, and unwilling to painfully accept the maturing needed to see and act as Adults.

        And THAT is the first step towards “turning amateurs into professionals through proper instruction, organization, and leadership.” The process should focus on the development of the political soldiers, with a metapolitical perspective guiding all choices, and all actions.

        What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

  5. White Republican
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Liberals are not only hostile to honor, they are also hostile to distinction in general. They believe that distinctions should be given away to everybody or given to nobody at all. This mentality is reflected in the word “underprivileged,” a word which implies that privileges should be universal, in which case they cannot be privileges.

    I think that Ward Kendall is wrong to blame costumed Nazis for the failure of White nationalism. To paraphrase Karl Kraus, they don’t exist, they’re just the noise they make. They’re a nuisance but they’re hardly a real obstacle. Of course, the media likes to use such straw men as scarecrows to frighten people away from White nationalism, but straw men cannot compete with or oppose serious White nationalists.

    We should pay more attention to the reality we can create through our work rather than the image our enemies have made of us. We should judge ourselves by the work we do rather than the fifteen minutes of fame that we might or might not receive. The performance of duty is more important than the gratification of vanity.

    Instead of wearing costumes or uniforms, White nationalists should observe a dress code.

  6. Sandy
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Perhaps some artist amongst us could design a lapel pin for the various levels of recurring donors and then we would have our own medals to wear.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      You are setting foot on a very slippery slope . . .

  7. Jim
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Arguing within the present system is meaningless. Outside of this I wholeheartedly agree with your piece. I’ve conversed with the types who collect other men’s medals. You haven’t seen a more sorry lot of mewling, fawning creatures. Slaying them would be too kind. The honorless deserve a straw death.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      There is a world of difference between collectors of medals and frauds who claim that they earned them.

      • rdub
        Posted October 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Exactly–in fact the name of the law is a reference to B.G. Burkett’s book Stolen Valor, which chronicles the extent to which these fraudulent “veterans” use unearned medals and fake service records for their own gain, e.g., to advance their careers or professional reputations.

        Regardless of the real causes and motivations behind America’s foreign adventures, only those who have earned those medals through true acts of bravery and/or sacrifice should be displaying them.

        That being said, my reaction to situations like this is to ask: “Does this really warrant another law?” I agree with Richard Ricardo’s point that a sane society would have the ability to shame or shun those who engage in such behavior into reconsidering such lies. Shame and ostracisation are archaic concepts, especially in contemporary America.

        As a side note, Burkett’s book compares statistics between those who served in Vietnam and those who did not: rates of drug abuse, suicide, homelessness, etc. are roughly equal between the two groups, dismantling the trope of the crazy, drug-addicted, wild-eyed vet who can only function as a wino beneath an overpass. Yes, there are those who couldn’t return to civilian life after their experiences, but the number of these types were greatly exaggerated by the usual Hollywood/media types, creating the “violent, delusional vet” stereotype. Good book.

  8. Greg Johnson
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    There is a clear difference between military and political uniforms.

    • Michael Bell
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Ward on this one. There really is no reason whatsoever for modern racialists to be cosplaying as 1930s and 40s National Socialists. While I think these outfits are truly awesome in appearance, they make it easy for the media to present us unfavorably. And yes, as Ward also illustrates, there is something about Nazi regalia that leaves one feeling that the right to wear it ought to be earned in the same fashion as it was 70+ years ago, rather than simply purchased online and worn whenever.

    • Fourmyle of Ceres
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

      Greg Johnson, in reply to Ward Kendall, in blockquote:

      There is a clear difference between military and political uniforms.

      I see your response as complementing Ward’s basic contention: that costume Nazi’s act to discredit White nationalism, because (1) they are not worthy, especially in Spirit, of the uniforms they wear, and (2) anything with a swastika is dead in the water of American politics. Again, we see the nihilism you have discussed. They do it for the attention, period.

      Should we develop to the point that we seek political effectiveness (Oh, Happy Day!), we should adopt the political uniform that works. In the case of Obama, we see it is the basic Hart, Schaffner and Marx three-piece with a subdued tie. It works for him, it will work for us.

      Equally true, you must play the Game by the Rules, and you must play to win. This means being fit, with no “Dunlop Syndrome,” where the belly “dunlops” over the belt. Fat people are not politically credible. Look at Putin, look at Lavrov, look the new head of the IMF.

      It is also true the candidate can be supported by those who dress in political uniforms of a different, no less effective, style. The same color polo shirt from, say, Lands End, goes a long way to making your supporters seem, well, uniform, in their support of your campaign, and your platform. lands End will also embroider your campaign logo on them for a very nominal cost. They could be, say, khaki in color, or even a darker shade of brown. Just saying.

      The slightest degree of organization beats disorganization, every day of the week, and twice on Election Day. Of course, as always, this plan of action can, and must be done, in an apple-pie, strictly-legal, sort of way. (HT: Jim Giles)

      This will lead to The Day that our honorable efforts are honored, indeed.

      “Banners High!”

      What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Sure there was a clear distinction between political and military uniforms in Germany. The SA and SS had uniforms long before the NSDAP took power. In today’s context, putting on an NSDAP uniform is a profession of a political creed, just as wearing a cross or crucifix is. There is no analogy to falsely claiming to have earned a medal.

      No, I don’t think wearing these uniforms is particularly smart in today’s context, but such people are hardly to blame for the marginalization of White Nationalism. Indeed, wearing costumes is more a symptom than a cause of marginality.

  9. Morgan
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Would this mean that the children, grandchildren…etc of those that earned medals cannot wear them in veterans marches?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      I am sure that is not the case. The issue is whether one claims to have falsely earned a medal oneself, for instance on a resume. Having or wearing the medal is not the issue. The issue is the false claim to having earned it.

  10. Posted October 19, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, anyone caught wearing unearned military decorations should have to spend a mandatory tour in Afghanistan. Then they might gain some idea of the gravity of their crime. The same goes for the judges who don’t see it as a crime, for that matter.

  11. JJ
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    No lying? Our presidents would last less than a day in office. Lying is what holds our democracy together and greases the wheels of capitalism. This talk of no lying is an an attack on the very life blood of America. Truth is what needs to be outlawed. Truth harms people.

  12. De Maistre
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    This “it does not harm anyone”-argument has been a favorite amongst liberals for decades. The primary arguments for divorce, smashing the family, open homosexuality, prostitution, pornography, drugs etc., was “it does not harm anyone”.

    Besides the obvious destructive consequences of this argument, the argument itself is faulty for “harm” is not well-defined. Also, it is ridiculous to base a “principle” on such an extremely relativistic whimsical idea.

    But more importantly: There are more forms of harm than immediate physical harm: Moral, spiritual and psychological harm — all of them are as real as the direct physical harm and, in general, even more harmful.

    • Richard Ricardo
      Posted October 19, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      The reason the “it does not harm anyone” argument is popular is that it is a good argument. The state can take away a man’s life and liberty (and his wealth, which is, in effect, part of his life). This is an awesome power and it, like lying, should be used only as a last resort. We don’t need to find more uses for this power, we need to restore the other means of social control which the state has destroyed. In a sane society, someone who wore a medal he hadn’t earned would become a laughing stock, or would be chastised by his family, friends, or others in the community with generally recognized moral authority. The price liars would pay would be in terms of their reputation. Habitual liars and schemers would face a sort of exile, if not physical at least moral. These sorts of pressures are far better suited to keeping people from divorcing, consuming pornography, visiting prostitutes, etc. The problem is we have come to point at which if something is not “illegal” or (frowned upon by the state) no other stigma is able to attach. I wish someone could figure out a way to reverse this process.

      • De Maistre
        Posted October 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Well, yes. The argument might be relatively sound if the idea of “harm” was studied carefully; to do that, however, anthropology immediately enters the equation.

        Given egalitarian Boasian anthropology, arguing along these lines will immediately be destructive.

        A new, more correct, anthropology is necessary for the beginning of the reversal of this process.

      • Bill Yancey
        Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Of course Ricardo’s reasoning is correct about this and it’s little surprise that most here disagree, although it should be prefaced with a situational caveat. The whole subject is, or ought to be treated as, irrelevant in 2011 America. The last time the U.S. military fought in defense of the interests, let alone for the survival of, Americans was – and even this is arguable – about 1814. While since that time many individuals have demonstrated valor and other admirable qualities, their actions have little to do with awards bestowed on them by their government. For a very long time American soldiery has been less deserving of award than most employable occupations. After all, an army is nothing but the enforcement arm of a regime.

        What’s revealing about the “ruling” at all is that it is just another notification that the former alien subverters, having conquered, have turned into alien imperialists.

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