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From Russia With Love









By Michael Moriarty
January 18, 2011

William A. Wellman's film, The Ox-Bow Incident, is a stunning wake-up call to America, one that I had never experienced as a film until recently. I had, of course, heard of the title, for it has been a legendary movie since its first showing.

The Ox-Bow Incident exposes one of the oldest American traditions of the Wild West: posse justice.

"If a civilization has no conscience, it is not a civilization."

Those are the words in a last letter from the victim of the Ox-Bow lynch mob, just minutes before he and his friends are cruelly and unjustly executed. Following the cold-blooded and sadistic murder of three innocent men, the "Posse" learn that the man whom these three men were supposed to have murdered is alive.

Three innocent human beings were lynched by an American tradition that, if you read this entire article, might, in some sense, be also described as Libertarian.

One day following my viewing of this film, I watched an excerpt from Peter Robinson's Uncommon Knowledge. During it, the guest, the famous economist, Milton Friedman, defines the meaning of Libertarianism as:

"You should be free to do what you want as long as you don't prevent other people from doing the same thing."

Under some interpretations of the Libertarian Party, such as that in Wikipedia, the gestating infant does not qualify as an "other."

"The majority of libertarians consider a right to abortion as part of their general support for individual rights, especially in regard to what they consider to be a woman's right to control her body."

Hmmm—we live amidst an Ox-Bow Generation.

Since 1973 and now for 38 years, the Supreme Court has legalized what even some Libertarians recognize as "murder."

I'm not sure what the late but famed economist, Milton Friedman, has to say about abortion. Some believe that he had "no stance on abortion." However, I was disappointed not to hear Peter Robinson ask Mr. Friedman about the individual freedom to murder one's own infants.

I have a hunch that Mr. Friedman followed his own definition of Libertarian rule and never tried to "prevent others" from "family planning."


Perhaps, since Milton Friedman agreed to keep four and a half of the fourteen governing Departments in America (Defense, State, Justice, Treasury and half of Health) he might allow the issue of abortion, the murder of another human being, to again be adjudicated all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Such a concession would again put the fox in charge of the chicken coup.

As Mr. Friedman has said, "You should be free to do what you want as long as you don't prevent other people from doing the same thing."

Unfortunately, for such a "majority of Libertarians", they do not object to stopping the gestating infant's "inalienable right to life".

Considering the relatively secure comfort of the Roe v Wade decision, I think it is safe to label the American citizens of those 38 years of legalized abortion The Ox-Bow Generation.

This is hardly America's first experience with such profound disinterest in what other people do to other people. We endured slavery rather profitably for 89 years before the Civil War put an end to the slave trade in America.

We now have a President, however, who not only endorses abortion and has tried to enable it with American tax dollars, he has interpreted Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as not so much a sincere reflection of President Lincoln's beliefs but as an instrument of the President's war to save the union.

Here are Obama's words in his Time Magazine article on Abraham Lincoln:

"As a law professor and civil rights lawyer and as an African-American, I am fully aware of his (Lincoln's) limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice."

Here is President Obama, this supposed inheritor of Lincoln's integrity, and he ? with his own "clarion call for justice" ? defends thethe rights of abortion in the same way Stephen Douglas, also a Senator from Illinois and in open debate with Abraham Lincoln, defended the right to enslave our fellow man.

Time Magazine should have linked Barack Obama with Stephen Douglas instead of his political opponent, Abraham Lincoln.

Stephen Douglas was a previous Senator of Illinois whom our President, with his own "clarion call" for more abortions, most resembles.

Here is one of Wikipedia's descriptive sentences about the Lincoln/Douglas debates:

"Douglas tried to convince, especially the Democrats, that Lincoln was an abolitionist for saying that the American Declaration of Independence applied to blacks as well as whites."

Tragically, the highest number of abortions in New York City's staggering abortion rate is among African-Americans.

In hindsight, of course, Senator Douglas, regarding slavery, comes out a rather villainous human being. Who, in God's name, would want to resemble him as a propagandist for abortion and a woman's right to kill? Are legalized abortion and Roe v Wade really that much different from a Confederate citizen's right to enslave?

But as the real sheriff of The Ox-Bow Incident declares to the murderous lynch mob, "God better have mercy on you! You won't get any from me."


Marxists, for whom our President has undeniably admitted youthful admiration, don't believe in God.

What will become of such a self-contradictory, Ox-Bow Generation? Christ-worshipping supporters of abortion? "Pro-choice" Catholics such as Nancy Pelosi and Vice-President Joe Biden?

The Ox-Bow Generation has been running as a kind of film for 38 years and "the Real Sheriff," so to speak, hasn't even showed up yet.

Abe Lincoln, our greatest example of a "Real Sheriff," didn't arrive until after 84 years of American slavery. Will it take that long, plus a Civil War, to bring an end to The Ox-Bow Generation, as it did to end The Southern Confederacy?

Roe v Wade has instituted and legalized the lynching of a new human being.

However, it no longer takes a mob to perform the execution. Merely a frightened mother and an abortionist who enables the "fundamental transformation of the United States of America."

The Ox-Bow Generation of America, 1973-2011?

The Confederate Generation of America, 1776-1865?

I know history repeats itself, but should such history be supported by a nation that now presumes to be free? And increasingly Libertarian?

The most glaring flaw in the Libertarian Philosophy is its ability to live without the Golden Rule.

It wouldn't hurt to again quote from The Ox-Bow Incident, "If a civilization has no conscience, it is not a civilization."

Abortion is unconscionable. What does that say about the American civilization? America has repeatedly proven itself to be incapable of consistently obeying the Golden Rule.

After the years of slavery, America's new Golden Rule reads: "Do to gestating infants what you would not want done to your own gestating infancy!"

If that is not a "civilization without a conscience," I don't know what is.

Abortion is murder. Milton Friedman's definition of Libertarianism ignores the Golden Rule, while at the same time, floats by us a vague but devious version of the Golden Rule: "You should be free to do what you want as long as you don't prevent other people from doing the same thing."

The Roe v Wade Decision spawned The Ox-Bow Generation in the same way the Dred Scott Decision legalized The Southern Confederacy.

No estate of the American government has done more to destroy the soul of America and its inalienable rights of life and liberty than the Supreme Court.

We are once again, as during the era of American slavery, "a civilization without a conscience." We are cold-blooded murderers that euphemize lynching as "a woman's right to choose."

"A woman's right to choose" is no different from a lynch mob's right to hang anyone it damn well pleases. Our President knows that, has exploited it already and has plans to "push that envelope" further and further "outside the box" of the Golden Rule.

If the truth be known, Roe v Wade is the heart of any substantive "Progress" for the Progressive Movement. Without legalized abortion, the Progressive Movement is utterly impotent. Progressives cannot make progress without an end of the Golden Rule; something the Roe v Wade decision has insured.

Would a Libertarian President be any the less innovative about abortion? Would it take a Sherlock Holmes to answer that question?

Think about The Ox-Bow Incident and The Ox-Bow Generation when it comes to whom you'll vote for in 2012.

Meanwhile, it would have been most entertaining to see Milton Friedman define, in his clearly implacable and succinct manner, the Libertarian defense of an American's right to abort his or her own children.

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Obviously one of his greatest achievements was to have avoided, for 94 years, taking any stance on abortion. As he has said: "You should be free to do what you want as long as you don't prevent other people from doing the same thing."

Does that "same thing" include Man's ability to simply live? If so, the Libertarians, even under Milton Friedman's definition, should be opposing Roe v. Wade.

If not, then Milton Friedman succeeded in becoming the most silent defense lawyer for the Ox-Bow Generation.

� 2011 - Michael Moriarty - All Rights Reserved

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Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent movie and TV credits include, Pale Rider, Who'll Stop the Rain, The Glass Menagerie, Courage Under Fire, The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby, Deadly Skies and many more.










The Ox-Bow Incident exposes one of the oldest American traditions of the Wild West: posse justice.