A New World Order

Niall Ferguson has published a brilliant and insightful essay on foreign policy in which the prospects for international order in our day are compared to those of Roosevelt. No, not that one, Teddy. Though long, it is well worth reading.

Donald Trump’s New World Order



Understanding Propaganda

The disgusting bias of the major news media in the recent election may give us pause to consider the difference between journalism and propaganda.

Those of a certain age will recall classes in school–yes, public schools–about how Nazis and Communists and other -ists manipulate their messages to mislead the masses. That was during the height of the cold war and was important so the American people could more easily discern truth from error. More recent generations have not been given such information, just as they have long since stopped hiding under desks during air-raid warnings.

In the end, all such tools, just as the -isms which use them, are means to a common end: the exercise of power by one group over another. This was one of the themes of my book, All Enlisted, and is perhaps the dominant theme of all history.

An excellent review of how journalism becomes corrupted follows:



Keep Calm

Keep Calm

The British government during World War II popularized the slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” plastered on billboards and posters throughout the country. It is a slogan suitable for our time and place as well. The world is in chaos and the self-proclaimed ruling “elites”, the political, media, and educational classes, seem helpless to improve it. Indeed, their antics and shenanigans  and false ideologies make things worse. So let us ordinary folk look to a more sensible guideline: Keep Calm and Carry On.

The thing we are carrying on with is leading peaceful, productive, law-abiding lives, individually and in our families and communities. It is striving day by day to do our best to live up to the commandments of God–let’s call them instructions for happiness in this life and in the next. It is building the Kingdom of God on earth, the creation of a Zion society. Zion is “the pure in heart.” It is proceeding with confidence that all things are in the hands of a loving God and that right will prevail in the end. It is exercising faith.

Best Wishes.

It’s all about Liberty.

The key feature of human history, once we look past all the details of names and dates and temporal worries, is the matter of individual choice. Shall the individual be free to choose for himself how and where he lives? Shall he be able to select and mold and edit the details of his own life? Or shall these be imposed to greater or lesser degree by others who are supposedly more wise or learned or insightful, or in an earlier age, of a “better” lineage?

Some things, of course, cannot be changed: DNA, where and when we are born, the circumstances of surrounding society, the natural environment. But these are imposed by a higher than human power, one whose ultimate benevolence, justice, and mercy are matters of faith. They are our “lot in life.” And children by definition need the care of parents until they are mature enough to manage themselves. It’s everything else that is in question, and time and time again the answer by some is, “do what I say, or else.” To which many of us answer, “No”. (That is, incidentally, the second most important word in any language, the first being “love”, but that is a topic for another day.)

This is the underlying theme of my recent book, All Enlisted, A Mormon Missionary in Austria During the Vietnam Era, available at Amazon. Wars are about force; missionary work about free agency–in each case it is a matter of choice. Shall people be forced to obey or be free to govern themselves? Shall people be free to choose to obey God? God desires that we obey Him, but that obedience must be freely given. Since He is the Creator, our willing obedience is all we can give Him because everything else is already His.

It really is all about Liberty.