Saturday, November 14, 2015

Random Thoughts on the Recent Atrocity in France

1. After spending an entire post talking about how I really don’t do much political blogging anymore – and in the privacy of my own head being not upset in the least by that fact, since political blogging generally only occurs in reaction to something happening that simply should not happen in a just or proper universe – I find myself being drawn back into political blogging tonight.  I realize that on the Crisis Scale this rates somewhere between Negligible and Non-Existent, but it’s still annoying.  I would like the world to stay sane for a while, and it insists on not doing so.  Let this be one more featherweight added to the heavy burden of damnation on those who carried out this atrocity.

2. There are way too many well-armed assholes out there in the world.  There are way too many well-armed assholes here in the USA, frankly, and don’t even get me started on that fact.  All of these well-armed assholes seem to caress their grievances and their fears like lovers until those grievances and fears become the most important parts of their lives.  And then they insist these grievances and fears become the most important parts of other people’s lives.  I find this reprehensible.  You want to die for your gripes?  Go right ahead.  Dig a hole, stand at the bottom, have at it, and leave the rest of us alone.

3. Anyone stupid enough to blame this on all Muslims is too stupid to be walking the streets unrestrained and unmedicated.  Do the math.  There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.7 billion Muslims on this planet, and if they were all terrorists you’d have died a long, long time ago.  No, the truth is far scarier.  You can’t identify a Demon Group – we’re all the Demon Group, or at least that group doesn’t have very clear boundaries.  I have long maintained that 10% of humanity isn’t worth the space it takes up on the planet, and that this percentage crosses all boundaries of faith, ethnicity, race, geography, gender, social class, sexual orientation, and intelligence.  The demons look a lot like the rest of us, regardless of what we look like.  On the one hand, nine out of ten is pretty good odds.  On the other hand, there are still a lot of assholes and you can’t blame everyone in a given group for the actions of the dismal tenth. 

4.  While those currently taking responsibility for the carnage in Paris claim to be Muslim, most Muslims don’t really seem to see them that way from what I can tell – and I’m inclined to take their word for it.  In this regard those assholes are roughly the equivalent of the twisted ghouls who kill doctors in the name of some bastardized degradation of Christianity.  There are a lot of people out there claiming to be part of my faith – who do sickening and evil things that they seek to justify using my faith, in fact – who do not speak for me or represent the vast bulk of Christianity in any meaningful way.  If you feel you have the right to slaughter the innocent to appease your god, don’t be too surprised if the rest of us call you infidels and discount your ravings as lunacy.  And if you feel you have the right to blame everyone of a given faith for the actions of the dismal tenth, you'd best keep in mind the actions of your own dismal tenth and be prepared to accept the blame for them.  Not going to happen on my watch, from either end.

5. The drums of war beat louder, mostly from the same nitwits who have been calling for war for the better part of a decade now because they lack the backbone to do anything other than what calls for the least thought and the most shiny toys.  Most of those nitwits show no signs of actively volunteering to put their shiny asses on the front lines but are happy to send other people’s children to die for their cause and to kill other people’s children who had nothing to do with this particular atrocity.  To those drummers, I give a heartfelt two-handed one-finger salute.

6. If we do get maneuvered into war over this, as I rather depressingly think we might, I demand that it be paid for up front, with a specific dedicated tax levied by Congress and signed by the President, one that will rise as the expenses of the war rise and will last for as long as there is any debt to be paid from any war that results from this.  No other revenue source can be considered.  None.  Wars are expensive in blood and treasure and we have been stealing from social programs for too long in order to fund our adventurism.  We’re too damned cheap to pay for it and we’ve been billing our grandchildren for it – and yes, I’m looking at you, George W. Bush and all the wannabe patriots who supported your Freudian farce of a foreign policy and still do.  You embezzled $1.7 trillion from the Social Security trust fund to pay for your wars, and now your spiritual heirs are working to cut benefits for American citizens rather than pony up their fair share of your adventurism that we continue to pay off.  Look - you want a war?  You should damned well pay for it, up front and in cash.  No tax, no war.  Let’s see how quickly that calms things down in this skinflint nation.

7. I don’t want to know the names of the perpetrators.  I don’t want to know why they thought the slaughter of the innocent was something the world needed more of.  I don’t want to know what tinpot ideology they sought to inflict on the rest of us.  There are paid professionals who should know those things for the express purpose of putting a stop to it – and I for one, respect those professionals and would be happy to see them paid far more than they probably are being paid for that task.  I’m not one of those professionals however, and I do not need to have television stations, newspapers, bloggers, or random streetcorner heralds telling me who they were.  I will remember the victims and honor their memories and names.  The perpetrators can fall down a black hole of oblivion for all I care.

8. That said, let us not forget that this kind of assholishness comes from somewhere and if we want it to end we need to figure out where that somewhere is and stop making it happen.  Suicide bombers do this because they have nothing better to live their lives for, and the solution is not to make more people’s lives hell but to find a way to make sure there are better things to live for.  Otherwise it never ends.

9. This was one tragedy among many this week, and that fact should not be forgotten.  The world bleeds from the wounds we inflict on ourselves as a species, and most of the victims are not affluent Westerners.

10.  But this time they were, and they should be remembered.

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