Ethics


 

Moral progress in history lies not so much in the improvement of the moral code as in the enlargement of the area within which it is applied.

— Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, p. 101

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In 1878, railroad millionaire Charles Crocker decided to buy up the lots surrounding his mansion on San Francisco’s Nob Hill to improve his view of the surrounding vistas. He reached agreements with all the neighbors except for German undertaker Nicholas Yung, who refused to sell.

“I would have been happier than a condor in the sky,” Crocker wrote, “except for that crazy undertaker.”

His solution was pure spite: He built a 40-foot fence around Yung’s cottage on three sides, spoiling his view in hopes that he would sell. The fence can be seen behind the central mansion in this photo; only the chimneys of Yung’s house project above it.

“How gloomy our house became, how sad,” Yung’s daughter later wrote. “All we could see out our windows was the blank wood of the rich man’s fury. … The flowers in the garden all died, and our lawn turned brown, while inside the house everything felt perpetually damp.”

Yung held out nonetheless — according to some reports he mounted a 10-foot coffin atop the wall facing Crocker’s house — and the two maintained a senseless deadlock for years. Yung died in 1880 and Crocker in 1888; only then, when the mansion was sold to a new owner, did Yung’s heirs relent and sell their lot.

You didn’t mess with Chuck Crocker!  But my sympathies lie with the Yungs.

Imagine Crocker trying to get his “spite fence” approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission today.

Via: http://www.futilitycloset.com/

Every once in awhile, those staid, proper, stiff-upper-lip Brits do something really wild:

An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.

He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.

As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.

The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.

Moral of the story: Don’t try to rise above your station.

Via: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351937/Immigration-officer-fired-putting-wife-list-terrorists-stop-flying-home.html#ixzz1CxGClVxn

 



Today is the 25th anniversary of Leon Klinghoffer’s murder by Palestinian terrorists.

Klinghoffer and his wife Marilyn were celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise on the liner Achille Lauro.  Palestinians seized the ship, murdered Mr. Klinghoffer, an American Jew, as he sat in his wheelchair, then forced the crew to shove his  body into the sea.  His corpse eventually washed up on the Syrian coast.

The Foreign Secretary of the PLO initially claimed that Mrs. Klinghoffer had killed her husband for the insurance money, but the PLO eventually had to admit responsibility in the face of so many witnesses to the shooting.

Last year, the leader of the terrorists gained early release from an Italian prison “for good behavior.”

Mrs. Klinghoffer, who died of colon cancer a few months after her husband’s murder, must have had incredible strength of spirit.  Her call to her daughters from the Achille Lauro included the admonition,

Do your crying now. We have a lot of work when I come home.”

She did not want her husband’s death to be in vain.  And the Klinghoffers’ daughters, Lisa and Ilsa, still work to keep their father’s memory alive.

Sadly, terrorism is still an accepted tactic in much of the world.  So this 25th anniversary is a reminder that all of us still have a lot of work to do.


Links:  Article on Klinghoffer family

Article on terrorist’s early release

 

 


swastika

star of david

How do you say “irony” in Polish?

Two Polish neo-Nazis who were childhood sweethearts and later became skinheads have discovered what for them is a shocking family secret: They’re actually Jewish.

Pawel and Ola, identified only by their first names, are the subject of a CNN documentary about Poles rediscovering their Jewish roots generations after their ancestors hid their religious identities to escape persecution during World War II.

A few years ago, Ola found out from Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute that both she and her husband are technically Jews. “It was unbelievable — it turned out that we had Jewish roots. It was a shock,” she said.

At the time, she and Pawel were active in Warsaw’s neo-Nazi movement. “I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power… that Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world,” Pawel said.

Both 33, they’ve now embraced their Jewish identity and are active in their local orthodox synagogue.

via Neo-Nazi Couple Find Out They’re Jewish.

This is explosive.  So watch the mainstream media ignore or downplay it.

Background: the Dept. of Justice had substantively won a civil rights case for voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party.  Nonetheless, the Obama DOJ suddenly dismissed the case,  to the consternation of the judge and several career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division of DOJ.

Now, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is investigating whether the DOJ refuses to prosecute violations of voting rights if the victims are white.

The Justice Department is ignoring civil rights cases that involve white victims and wrongly abandoned a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party last year, a top department official testified Friday. He called the department’s conduct a “travesty of justice.”

Christopher Coates, former voting chief for the department’s Civil Rights Division, spoke under oath Friday morning before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, in a long-awaited appearance that had been stonewalled by the Justice Department for nearly a year.

Coates discussed in depth the DOJ’s decision to dismiss intimidation charges against New Black Panther members who were videotaped outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 dressed in military-style uniforms — one was brandishing a nightstick — and allegedly hurling racial slurs.

The case has drifted in and out of the limelight over the past year as the commission has struggled to investigate it. Former Justice official J. Christian Adams fueled the controversy when he testified in July and accused his former employer of showing “hostility” toward cases that involved white victims and black defendants. Nearly three months later, Coates backed up Adams’ claims. In lengthy and detailed testimony, he said the department cultivates a “hostile atmosphere” against “race-neutral enforcement” of the Voting Rights Act.

In general, I think a Republican take-over of the House and/or Senate could help Mr. Obama’s 2012 reelection prospects, due to the potential for triangulation that it would offer him.

However, Republicans in control of either house could hold hearings to investigate matters such as DOJ’s alleged refusal to protect the civil rights of white victims.  Those hearings would be political dynamite.

via FOXNews.com – Voting Rights Official Calls Dismissal of Black Panther Case a ‘Travesty of Justice’.

MacArthur would love the irony: Old Japanese never die, they just fade away.

More than 230,000 elderly people in Japan who are listed as being aged 100 or over are unaccounted for, officials said following a nationwide inquiry.

An audit of family registries was launched last month after the remains of the man thought to be Tokyo’s oldest were found at his family home.

Relatives are accused of fraudulently receiving his pension for decades.

Perhaps the Japanese are not as long-lived as we’ve been told.   And these are not minor errors:

Officials have found that hundreds of the missing would be at least 150 years old if still alive.

The Justice Ministry said some of those unaccounted for may have died as long ago as World War II, possibly during the post-war turmoil.

Sounds like record-keeping in Chicago or Philadelphia!  Ah, well, so long as they vote early and vote often.

via BBC News – More than 230,000 Japanese centenarians ‘missing’.

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