Monday, December 21, 2015

How ISIS Helps Us

If one watched, as I did, both of the presidential debates this past week, one came away slightly confused.

According to the nine-thousand candidates running for the GOP, we are moments away from Armageddon, World War III, or a Hanukkah party, not sure which.

Anyway, they are all super scared and threatening to blow up Russian jet fighters, the sands of Syria, and the families of identified or not "terrorists". It's back to duck and cover and home prep for the coming chaos.

But nobody is trying to sell you a bomb shelter this time. Rather it's guns. Bigger and better, faster and deadlier, guns baby.

Solemnly, each and every one of them tell us that it's guns that will keep us safe. And your sons and daughters lives will keep us safe in the Middle East, where it is imperative we send more and more and more bodies to offer themselves to the gods of oil, who will properly maintain that natural resource for those who know how to use it arightly--the good old US of A.

Yet, on Saturday, the Democrats managed to have a civil, quiet, and at times fairly nuanced discussion about terrorism and how best to resist it.

Fear seems to be winning.

No longer fearful of being as they put it "politically correct" they lash out at Obama, demanding that no immigrants, especially not refugees be admitted to our fairly racist shores until and unless we can be assured that every single would-be terrorist is removed from the possibility of being in their numbers.

Now, when is the last time that law enforcement stopped by to assure you that they were watching your home 24/7 because they were required to make sure that NO burglar  violated your home? or stole your car? or ripped off some green apples from your tree?

Oh, this is different how?

Are you assured that lightening won't strike you during a rain storm? How 'bout whether that drunk driver will happen to be at your stop sign this morning and forget to stop? Are you demanding 100% assurance that these things won't befall you?

Yet you demand the same of the government.

The GOP urges you to at least.

Even though you are probably more likely to get hit by that bus today than you are to fall victim to a terrorist attack, domestic or otherwise.

Where would that stop? If the government is required to assure your utter safety, are they required to assure it from yourself? Are helmet laws, seat belt laws, dietary laws, part of the deal? How far is too far? Should you be limited to home much booze you can buy?

Now you may rebel at this idea, and say, hell no, what I do to myself is my own business. But it's not of course. You right to get stinkin' drunk stops where my right to live without being run over starts. I have some say in all the money you are wasting on treatment too don't I?

My point, I take it, is clear.

So the party of small government isn't really about small government at all. It's WHERE that government intrudes that is the problem. Business? Oh stay out of the way government. My uterus? Come on in and manage my life for me.

Since being afraid to go to the mall or the movie theatre or to the park is insane and not logical as we now see, what say we about those people who are mere seconds away from peeing their britches at the mention of refugees?

A host of men, mostly white, spend an hour strapping on all their guns and ammo belts before they walk their child to the teeter totter, ready at a moment's notice to mow down the terrorist lurking behind the monkey bars.

They do this out of a hysterical terror so great that no amount of weaponry is seemingly enough. With shades of pretending to respond to Call of Duty with patriotic fervor, such men assure us that "they will protect us." The reality of course is quite different.

Experts all agree, people that are not professionally trained, seldom if ever stop a bad guy. Most realize it if it indeed happens that they have no way to identify themselves as a "good guy" and so keep their shootin' irons holstered. The rest, given their intense level of terror, end up effectually neutralized, most sitting in a puddle of urine of their own creation.

So ISIS helps sort out those types for us. They are, oddly enough, just the sort of folks whom psychologists would suggest shouldn't be allowed to even come close enough to a gun to see it.

ISIS sorts out the sort of people who claim to believe such fear-mongering dogma, for the stupid and/or lying people that they are. Either they are too stupid to know better, or they know quite well the absurdity of their claims, but it's really about feeling the fresh air of naked racist/bigoted hate that really turns them on. We need to identify both sorts and keep them weaponless.

Plenty of people suggest to me, hey, live and let live. You're entitled to an opinion. I am too. And if you don't agree, smile and move on.

Do we live in such times where we can abide by the niceties of "don't discuss politics or religion" in polite company? I say no. We don't. We live in frightful times. And we cannot afford the luxury of letting everyone have "his say."

The fact is that there is nothing in the constitution that requires us to all have our say. So I am not compelled to do so, and more so when your opinion is damaging and dangerous. I have a duty, so it seems to me, to alert you of your error with facts and figures. I should not and must not allow you the comfort of thinking you're right so you can return to work on restoring that 57 Chevy, satisfied that you have considered the political implications of the latest Import/Export banking authorization.

All is not well. Your opinions are dangerous, and they hurt us all. We have a duty to inform you of that, stymie further of your kind from thinking you and they are right, and spreading it further without strong opposition.

Our duties as citizens compels us to speak up.

No doubt some will argue that that is merely a self-serving defense of a practice I find particularly embracing where you don't. That may be true, but that by itself does not negate my argument.

Democracy is a hands on sort of political system. It REQUIRES its citizens to maintain real knowledge of world events and alternative ways of responding. It requires not just a citizenry that is trained to operate within it, but one EDUCATED to steering it properly down the road. Those are two different things friends.

We have damn few of the latter.

The fact that you were taught to read and write and cipher in a limited fashion doesn't give you ANY basis for concluding that you have any right to decide whether this treaty or that piece of legislation is good or bad. You have to DO something with those skills of reading and writing. It's knowing HOW and on WHAT to use them that matters. And no, it's not to thumb through the Better Homes and Gardens or Outdoor Life.

I'm sick of memes about a fake "war on Christmas". I'm sick of memes about questioning what we do for others, when we have so many at home in want. (We can do both.) I'm sick of memes that tell me that guns don't kill people. They are stupid, absurd, and meaningless.

I'm sick of things that don't matter at all, but serve to dilute, distract, and misdirect the great unwashed millions who are "not dumb" but little more. Like the proverbial dog and the word squirrel, we are no different. Present us with shiny new toys, new movies, new games, and we are off to the races, with nary a secondary nod to that terrorists that may be hiding in aisles of  Barnes and Noble at the mall. When we got nothing better to do, we get all gangsta on the terrorists as we delight to visions of ourselves as modern Rambos.

Will the madness end? Surely. But no doubt it will be replaced by another "other". The powers that rule the world have good reason to keep you always looking NOT at them.

Wake up, smarten up, speak up.


  1. Demagogues are taking advantage of a gullible and fearful segment of voters. While I agree that we need to speak up, I wonder how many of those fearful right-wing voters will listen. We have to try anyway.

  2. I agree, the right wing loons are lost. But there are other low info people out there and they pick up whatever is available and that tends to be what they I say keep telling the truth in the realization that some of the uninterested latent voters will hear it and it will be what they accept...

  3. I've been following your blogging for couple of years now(first on the Wordpress site and now on this new one). A while back you wrote about how you wanted Bernie Sanders to win the nomination. And that made me take some notice of the race. He seems much more progressive, consistent, and honest than Hillary does. Plus him being the nominee would really motivate young people to vote and we could have another situation like 2008 where we were able to get a super majority in Congress because of young voters turnout. Have you thought about writing a post endorsing him?

    1. Actually I did, way back several months ago. It's a hard call for me, because I've been a Hillary supporter for years. But I think Bernie is the best choice. I do support him. But if he doesn't win the nomination, I'm sure gonna vote for Hillary. It's imperative to me at least that no GOP candidate win..That would be disastrous to the progressive agenda.


Speak your piece, but nicely