Monthly Archives: March 2015

How Republican Strategies Beat Democrats

Posted by on Thursday, March 19, 2015

Democrats can be their own worst enemies, and Republicans count on that.

Democrats need to face the fact that Republicans do a much better job of mobilizing their base, thereby influencing American politics, even if they don’t actually represent the majority of the Electorate. The GOP has the Tea Party, the NRA, the Religious Right, and the 1% all pulling for them.

It’s easy for Republicans to maintain control over these groups. All they need do is invoke gay marriage and the Religious Right is in an uproar. Mention abortion to keep them frothing at the mouth then sprinkle in a picture of two gay men adopting a baby, and the Bible Belt will follow you to the Gates of Hell. For examples see Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

As scare tactics have such a proven track record, Republicans engage in them heavily. That’s why they’ve been screaming to the heavens about Iran trying to kill us all for most of this writer’s lifetime. Rhetoric about a third world country coming to take America’s freedom keeps the military industrial complex on board as well as spreading fear, so that’s a nice double-whammy. For examples, see Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Tom Cotton.

Both of these groups merge seamlessly with each other. Poor conservatives are united by their fear of The Other, whether they define that as an immigrant, an LGBT American, or a specific ethnic group, especially Latinos and African-Americans. Bible thumpers and gun nuts are one and the same most times anyway, so playing to their fear and ignorance is a winning strategy.

Now factor in gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter purges, voter ID laws, more voter suppression, non-popular vote wins, unlimited dark money campaign contributions, a little more voter suppression, the elimination of same-day voter registration, shortening the period of time people can vote in, and purchase voting machines on top of everything else.

Here you have the One Percent’s contributions to Republican strategies. They are the ones who built that platform, after all. For examples, see the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Mitt Romney.

As for legislation, Republicans do not negotiate. They simply demand what they want repeatedly and use the bully pulpit to relentlessly batter everyone until they get their way. They do not make flowery sales pitches, they employ hellfire and brimstone. They do not change topics or accept lesser legislation.

Republicans obstruct, filibuster, threaten, and go over the heads of whomever they have to, whether that be Congress, the President, the United Nations, it doesn’t matter who, to appeal directly to a rabid conservative base. For examples see George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Who are the Democrats? Liberals. Science enthusiasts. The working class and union members. Advocates for equal and/or fair pay. Health care activists. Ethnic minorities and immigrants. Feminists. Atheists, agnostics, and those who reject religious fundamentalism. The Occupy Wall Street movement and anti-corporatists. Academics. Anti-war advocates and lovers of peace. LGBT Americans.

In other words, a big hot mess. Democrats have to build platforms using dozens upon dozens of issues, and many are in conflict with each other. One easily sees this on social media. For the most part, Republican/Tea Party/Conservative Christian/Gun Nut Facebook groups and pages are united in their hatred of liberals. It’s the one thing they all agree on. Democratic groups are a lot more scattered.

It’s tough to get everyone on the same page in a progressive environment. While that speaks well of the prevalence of independent thinking and individualism of the Left, herding cats is not a method by which anything productive can get accomplished. At least not on a regular basis. This is the weakness that Republicans exploit time and time again.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton. Hillary is going to be the number one focus of the Republicans going forward. They are going to continue to launch ceaseless attacks upon her, and the media is going to let them.

Look at how much focus was given to her non-scandal email story, while Republicans skirted the boundaries of treason and did massive damage to America’s ability to deal in international matters. The latter was clearly the bigger story, but the attention given to it paled in comparison to Clinton’s emails.

#47Traitors trended on twitter for days, but it’s faded away now. Tom Cotton has cemented his conservative superstar status, as was his plan all along, and the Republicans are already piling up outrage after outrage, each offense burying the last. They know the media and the American public will let them get away with it.

How are Democrats responding? They’re dithering over whether or not they should back Hillary. A great many of them are, anyway. And while Elizabeth Warren is a fine choice, there’s no way she will win the Presidency in 2016. She could land in the White House after Hillary’s terms, certainly, but she won’t get it beforehand.

Hillary Clinton is the best shot Democrats have of maintaining the Presidency. Period. Moaning and sulking about how she’s not the best progressive choice will only split the liberal vote, and the Republicans are waiting for exactly that opportunity.

And while Democrats squabble back and forth, the world is burning. Temperatures hit 90 in Los Angeles in mid-March. California only has a year of water left. Jim Inhofe throws a snowball in Congress in response.

America has just climbed back from the brink of a cataclysmic economic collapse that nearly dragged the whole planet down with it. Republicans, in response, have repealed the regulatory safeguards that were keeping the banks from sinking us all again.

An elite minority is merrily shoving us ever closer to the edge of that cliff, and should we go over it, we may not recover this time. Should the Republicans gain more power, we can expect economic collapse, environmental disasters, and, of course, war.

And Democrats pout because Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly what they want. It’s the same old cycle all over again, and we need to put a stop to it, and fast. We are on the clock, and time is getting far too short. Should the worst happen, we will only have ourselves to blame.

Chad R. MacDonald

Chad R. MacDonald has a degree in English literature from Cape Breton University and subsequently received a full scholarship to AMDA in New York City. He is a former security professional, veteran of the hospitality industry, and experienced in both the arts as well as administration. He has been writing all his life, likes baseball, hockey, literature, science, the arts, and marine photography. Chad lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and their gigantic cat.
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Weak Without Guns: Open Carry Texas

Carrying guns openly in public doesn’t help basic logic skills

It was just an ordinary day on twitter, when I suddenly noticed Open Carry Texas was acting all smug because Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America wouldn’t meet with them. OCT has a long history of attempting to intimidate Moms Demand of course, and I decided maybe I should call them on that.

Open Carry Texas

Yes, their members have a history of murder. Here’s the link I tweeted to them. They tried to blow that off as a one-time thing, after trying to deny it first. Hey, no big deal one of their own suddenly snapped and killed her family, it was just the one time! They’d also prefer we ignore some of the criminal records their various followers possess.

Not to mention the intimidating way they introduced themselves to Moms Demand by displaying their guns to them while they met for lunch; using female mannequins to stand in for the Moms to be shot up; along with their constant swarming of Moms Demand members on twitter and Facebook, along with whomever else supports responsible firearms legislation, this writer included.

At this point, I informed them how often I get death threats from gun lobby supporters and suggested that might be contributing to their image problems. I showed them this screenshot as an example:

Open Carry Texas

I wasn’t expecting sympathy from Open Carry Texas on this, but I did want to illustrate why Moms Demand didn’t want to talk to them. Besides OCT’s constant smear campaigns against them, that is. It took them a day to answer, and their response was that both sides were equally complicit in death threats against children, a laughable premise, and tried to dismiss it entirely:

Open Carry Texas

My answer was to say that threatening the life of a child was unjustifiable. They simply insulted me in response, and said I was the one threatening them:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas

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Open Carry Texas thinks they are the ones getting bullied. They were the ones crying “victim” in the first place, that’s what got me to engage them. Those mean Moms won’t talk to them! Why can’t anyone see that they’re nice, reasonable people!

Also, I was apparently the one threatening them, even though I’d done nothing of the sort. Unless pointing out their history and the flaws in their arguments were what Open Carry Texas considered “threats.” If so, this should bring up grave concerns as to what they see as a threat while they’re walking around with firearms.

It was during this exchange a fellow by the name of Gavan Boucher challenged OCT over how they must feel weak without their guns. Open Carry Texas didn’t seem to grasp his point, and went ahead and confirmed it:

Open Carry Texas

Whether it was because they realized they’d argued themselves into a corner; felt outnumbered by three dudes on the Internet; or because (more likely) they’d just given up; OCT didn’t try again until the next day. Which was curious, because they just picked right back up with the insults, even though it had gotten them nowhere:Open Carry Texas

So, as they were sticking with the whole “death threats against your kid don’t mean shit because people threaten us sometimes” angle, I stayed on them with how that’s not ethically sound. I pointed out how they could barely handle pushback against their own arguments, so probably shouldn’t try to justify death threats. The next day, Open Carry Texas made another attempt to do just that:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas had taken three days to issue these responses. Perhaps the organizational account was being handled by several people who weren’t bothering to check how the conversation had gone previously, and decided to just miss the points previously made and insult me as their predecessors had done. Perhaps it was just one person, with no idea how to present or defend an argument.

But it was clear that OCT wasn’t very good at debating. They’d been run in a circle, had utterly failed to prove they weren’t comprised of dangerous people, and certainly weren’t very pleasant to deal with. They couldn’t even condemn death threats against a child, instead trying to justify them with “Well we get threats sometimes too!”  Yet they claimed it was Moms Demand who were bullying OCT?

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Then OCT tried to “Rand Paul” their tweets, saying they didn’t say what they’d just said. I simply sat back and let them continue destroying their own arguments. Like what happened next, when they disavowed Kory Watkins, after I reminded them of his recent antics:

Open Carry Texas

Mmm. Open Carry Texas had nothing to do with how Kory Watkins got so big. Even though his picture is present on the OCT website several times and he used their platform to raise himself to greater prominence, they can’t be held responsible.

Oh really, Open Carry Texas? If you can’t take even partial responsibility for Kory Watkins implying lawmakers who oppose Open Carry’s goals deserve death; Hell, if you can’t even take responsibility for your own words, then how can you be trusted to take responsibility for a firearm?

This isn’t blaming guns, as Open Carry Texas likes to say, it’s blaming people. One simple twitter conversation easily exposed OCT’s inability to hold together a solid argument or even admit to their own words on screenshot. They are unable to condemn those who threaten the life of a child. They admitted they feel weak without guns. All they had to offer was hatefulness and insults. And they can’t even be honest about it.

Open Carry Texas

And that was pretty much it. They blocked me after that, just like John Lott did when he couldn’t out-debate me, and the blatantly racist NRA Cheerleader “Raging” Rob Kinnison did as well.

The surprising thing about the conversation was how little interference I got from OCT’s followers. No doubt they were trying to pile on, but I’d been speaking out against gun lobbies for a year now, and the worst and most awful of the gun troll accounts were previously blocked. Accounts, it needs to be said, with a history of threatening and insulting those who don’t go along with their Molon Labe viewpoints. Accounts repeatedly retweeted by… Drum Roll… Open Carry Texas!

The takeaway here is that the most vocal pro-gun people count on insults and intimidation to get their way. I’ve proven this before, here and here. They are certain to continue along these lines. For proof, just look to the comments underneath pieces like these. They are invariably jammed with gun lobby supporters trying to virtually shout me down.

Many of the commenters, it needs to be said, have had to be blocked from my personal profiles for vile attacks on my family as well as myself. That’s just how they roll. But there aren’t as many of them as they’d like you to believe. And most of them are in Texas.

Stand up to Open Carry Texas, and all those like them. Don’t let them have their way. OCT are not good guys, but bullies. They are dishonest about their motivations. They can’t even defend their own arguments. And if all they have are threats and insults, then just block them. The rest won’t be able to handle you, and they will block you.

But where you block them for threats and scorn, they will block you for the truth. You can’t get a clearer distinction of right and wrong than that.

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Suffering From Moderate to Severe Agravation

March 15, 2015          by Jerry Bierens

Just a thought on a Sunday morning about waking up to a commercial about prescription drugs on TV.

I think I may have a “moderate to severe” headache from hearing the words “moderate to severe” again (and again, and again, and again….) on TV drug commercial for products that you CANNOT go to the store and buy.

Seems to me to be a “moderate to severe” problem that the only two countries in the world (well at least this one, I can’t speak for the rest of an infinite universe) that allow TV ads for these products are the United States and New Zealand.

I also think that I definitely do have “moderate to severe” anger that the big pharmaceutical companies have enough influence that we have a less than (<) “moderate to severe” chance to get this changed in America anytime soon.

The fact is that big business has way too much control and power in America, so, there’s not much of a chance ( I’ll rate it as “moderate to severe”) for changing it anytime soon.

We have a hard time passing any meaningful legislation (lately it’s been ANY legislation) to control and protect the public from these monsters in banking, big oil, big “pharma” and any other large institution (I’m thinking Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and in my home state of Michigan the DeVos family, they virtually own our governor) and it is not getting better.

I could go into the money and how these evil people use it to buy all this influence but my “moderate to severe” headache is getting worse……….

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSz2EnptCwwjiu18dFP7s2KKqBMN7KiIGDS-4SIUfCaMBYhpTYtWEc_z591

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Star Trek – The Conservative Nightmare

Why Conservatives hated Star Trek long before Obama admitted to loving Spock

Star TrekA couple days after the passing of Leonard Nimoy, the Young Turks did a little segment on conservative blogger Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon. The discussion was centered on Continetti’s dislike of Nimoy’s Star Trek Character Spock, but his opinion was based more on how President Obama viewed the Vulcan character.

“Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the centre of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.” – Barack Obama

In Continetti’s view, Spock was some kind of peacenik hippie, always too eager to use his level head and logic to negotiate out of rough situations. He suggests that Spock’s willingness to constantly negotiate with the Federation’s enemies made him weak, not unlike a certain American president currently in talks with Iran.

Continetti’s rant is amusing to be sure, but it got me thinking. How come it took Obama’s praise of the Spock character to get conservatives to hate something on Star Trek? If you look close enough, there are heaps of reasons for conservatives to loathe Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future and it has little to do with our Commander in Chief.

If I had a chance to create my own Utopia, Earth in the Star Trek Universe is probably what I would base it on. It just so happens to be the opposite of what today’s conservative would want. Roddenberry essentially created a progressive paradise.

No Money or Capitalism

“You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century… The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity” – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

While it’s certain that money exists in some fashion in the Star Trek Universe (mostly outside the Federation), it has been suggested on multiple occasions that money on Earth went the way of the dinosaur.

We can only assume that without money, there is no capitalism. No 1%, no 99%, no classes, no greedy corporations, perhaps no corporations at all. Everyone on equal footing. It’s safe to say that without capitalism, humans gravitated to some kind of money-less socialist system.

If there was a plausible way to accomplish this type of system tomorrow, where no one is wealthy, but no one goes hungry, it wouldn’t pass the Republican controlled Congress in a million years. Just imagine what life would be like if money wasn’t a driving force in our lives. I’d guess conservatives would dismiss the idea as impossible.

A Society led by Science

“In the 24th century there will be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read.” – Gene Roddenberry

The irony of a race of people relying on logic must be completely lost on some conservatives. However, if you told them about the possibility of a society led by science and exploration rather than religion and war, their heads might explode.

That’s not to say the people of the 23rd and 24th century don’t believe in god, and it’s not to say that some humans don’t like a good war. But one is no longer caused by the other, at least not on earth.

Science and development is what drives humanity, God is an afterthought. Humans no longer allow religion to cloud their judgement when it comes to research, conflict, and matters of urgency. Imagine a world where people didn’t oppose stem cell research or deny that humans are causing global warming based on a mythical book.

While Star Trek may have focused more on science than religion, it also showcased religious tolerance, multiculturalism, non-violent resolutions to conflict and a prime directive that forbid the federation from engaging with other cultures. These are all things that conservatives have been known to have a problem with.

In the end, while Star Trek can be chalked up as simple science fiction, Roddenberry’s vision should be taken seriously if we are ever to come close to achieving it. To do so however, would require a vast amount of change on our part. Something conservatives have never been willing to do, it’s in their very name.

“Perhaps we’ve never been visited by aliens because they have looked upon Earth and decided there’s no sign of intelligent life.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Guns and Civilized Society

Guns and Civilized Society

Try as we might, the United States will never be a civilized society with so many gun deaths

Guns and Civilized SocietyLast week was another banner week for gun deaths in the United States. Did you notice how the news of a shooting inMissouri that left nine dead went virtually unnoticed? Just another shooting. Nine dead, including the shooter.

But alas, what is one more mass killing in the only civilized country where these types of incidents are routine? Our country has become desensitized to the murder of its citizens, as is clear from how many people end up dead from interactions with police. Guns have taken the place of discourse in settling issues by the simple reason, the simple fact, that guns are omnipresent in this allegedly civilized society.

The feeling I get as each and every day goes by with either a mass shooting, a deadly police encounter, another child shooting themselves or someone else because of easy access to a weapon is that American society is heading in the wrong direction.

On the same day that we heard of this shooting in Missouri, we learned of Leonard Nimoy’s passing. It is painfully obvious that Gene Roddenberry’s vision in Star Trek of a future where the people of Earth are finally at peace is never going to happen (although I remain hopeful.) We here in the United States so easily display to both advanced and developing countries that we cannot even manage to resolve the most basic issues. Guns, racism, political inaction, a financial disconnect between the one percent and the rest of us so great that it boggles the mind… all of the above and more from the country that many think is leading the way.

With our inability to address guns, it is probably time to step aside and allow some other country to take the lead on being any kind of an example to the world.  Exceptional? The U.S. certainly was at some point, but that time is long gone. We’ll never get to that amazing place that Roddenberry envisioned if we continue to do nothing to enhancecivilization and are only able to offer the worst vision of ourselves.

Have any of you heard tales from the Old West? I will tell you it was not a good time in our history, despite any romanticized idea that it was. It was a time when people truly did settle their differences with their guns, when men were “called out” by other men, ending with at least one of them dead. The Lincoln County War here in New Mexico was proof of how bad things could get.

There is a passage from the TV series “The Magnificent Seven” that is so apropos to what is going on in this country today. A young Chinese man whose father and uncle were both murdered wants to learn to shoot from notorious gunslinger turned lawman Chris Larabee in order to take revenge.

“I want to learn to shoot, like you,” the young man says.

“Why?”

“So I can be an American.”

“Learning to shoot don’t make you an American,” Larabee tells him, “but it could make you a killer.”

The young Chinese man pleads his case, but Larabee became a “notorious gunslinger” for a reason.

“I know about hate, killin’ a man because of it. And it don’t take that hate away, just makes you feel dead inside. Guns and hate, it’s a bad mix.”

How are we in the year 2015 not able to see those words for the simple truths they are. More guns brings more lawlessness. Fewer guns brings you far closer to domestictranquility that America’s founders wrote so eloquently about. The very hard work of removing guns as an option in any dispute needs to happen.

It requires strength, bravery and fortitude from our elected officials, but that means that we, the citizens of this country, need to make it clear at the ballot box that the future of our country is important, that we think it important enough to safeguard our citizens from killing due to hate or happenstance. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is a terrible statement of where we stand on guns today in this country.

That children can get hold of a gun and shoot their cousin, sister, mother or themselves, and these events are deemed “accidents”, shouts to the rest of the world that we do not value human life the way we say we do. Talk is cheap. We need action, and we need it now.

Government and Apathy

by Jerry Bierens, March 7, 2015

While signing some petitions on www.MoveOn.org just a few minutes ago I found something I find curious. The discrepancies in the way people qualify what’s important to them. I think I see why we have such apathy in America when it comes to voting and government things in general.

While the numbers that follow are somewhat dependent on when the petition was started (I didn’t have that info) but by the wide difference in the numbers, I think you can see what I mean.

Of the five petitions I signed the total number of others that have signed each too are as follows:

To Boycott Monsanto- 23,926
To support diplomacy w/Iran- 2287
To ban bee killing pesticides- 10,594
To make BP pay for oil spills- 19,235
And to save Zeus (a pit bull dog) and others like him from being collected and disposed of- 355,975

Are you seeing what I see here? That we are more interested in saving dog(s) and less concerned about the critically important things that affect our everyday lives. Pure apathy. It’s killing our democracy.

That’s my observation. It should make us all check our priorities. I’m NOT in favor of banning a certain type of dog no more than I would be to not favor of any of the subjects of the petitions I signed.

I know we can do better. Our very lives may depend on it.

http://front.moveon.org/

Scare America Stupid: Republican Fear Mongering

The GOP wants you terrified, because you’ll be easier to manipulate

republican fear mongeringRepublicans are trying to scare you. ISIS/ISIL is coming to get you! Obamacare is going to set up Death Panels! Ebola! Immigrants! The Gays! God hates Democrats! The GOP hasn’t cranked the fear machine up this high since the days of Joe McCarthy and the “Red Scare.”

But this is a just a political tactic. Remember how the Ebola hysteria went away the next day after the mid-terms? It was probably just a co-incidence.

No, Republicans are just trying to scare Americans into thinking that the nation is safer when they’re in charge. And that’s bullshit. Sorry, that’s the nicest word for it.

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.” ~ Rick Santorum (R-Pa), 2008

New York during the President Clinton years wasn’t a scary place. Even after the first attack on the WTC, nobody was frightened all the time. Concerned sometimes, yes, but nobody was carrying on like Lindsey Graham or Bill O’Reilly does these days. New Yorkers don’t scare easy regardless.

We were on top of things, people were well informed, and the media wasn’t nearly as fragmented as it is now. Fox News was but a gleam in Rupert Murdoch’s eye. Yes, newspapers leaned right and left, and always will, but cable news networks weren’t as blatantly partisan as they are now.

All New Yorkers knew who Osama Bin Laden was for years. He was in the papers all the time, and there were stories on him on the news shows. Everybody knew he was dangerous, and we also knew the government was trying to get him. Most Americans did.

Ignore right wingers who would forward that whole “Clinton didn’t do anything about Osama” theory. It’s bullshit. There is no nicer word for it.

When W. rose up, things started to fall apart quickly. Do you remember the turmoil the entire country was in during his inauguration? Bush couldn’t even get out of his car for all the protesters.

When 9/11 happened, all New Yorker’s worth their salt immediately knew it was Bin Laden. They’d been waiting for something like this. There was no way Bush wasn’t informed about OBL, he just didn’t do enough about it. Insert conspiracy theory here as to why, but most believe W simply didn’t think anything would come of it.

Enter the post 9/11 era, the country becomes more deeply divided, and cops and soldiers with sub-machine guns are hanging out everywhere in NYC. Guess what? Seeing soldiers and SWAT teams everywhere absolutely does NOT make you feel safe. Quite the opposite.

And that’s how things were for a long time. The Bush years were nothing but that administration trying to scare everyone into not noticing what a monumental mess they were making of the world. Period.

republican fear mongering“I can’t help but believe, just based on the way we’ve got all these nebulous excuses why not to have a travel ban, this president, I guarantee you, we’re going to find out, he has cut a deal with African leaders. They’re going to bring people in.” ~ Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), theorizing President Obama is going to import Ebola

Any of that scream-y scary propaganda that’s still around is continuing be forwarded by right wingers. They haven’t changed their tune at all, because that’s what they think works for them. It’s why they desperately tried to turn Benghazi into something that it wasn’t.

I have no idea why those on the right-wing that would help terrorists spread fear and division throughout this country for nearly two years were not strung up by their balls. Americans should be raking them over the coals for that bullshit. There’s no nicer word for it.

Instead, Fox News pundits like Bill O’Reilly are given a free pass to carry merrily along their fear mongering deceitful path. And Republicans are more than happy to follow that lead.

“Our strategy will fail yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.” ~ Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

As I write this, I’m sitting here in Brooklyn, where they busted a potential terror plot in my neighborhood before it happened. They got it. They were all over it. I never saw any of that under Bush, it was just that administration ringing the alarm whenever they wanted to remind us why we shouldn’t question them. Say what you will about Obama, but he isn’t predisposed to cowardly histrionics like Graham or John McCain.

ISIL is trying to get the USA over there to fight them. That’s what they’re all about. And Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the Christian zealots are screaming “Holy War and yeah,that’s scary. And reports were just released saying there’s an equal to greater chance of right-winger domestic terrorism than an ISIL attack, and that’s scary.

And isn’t it funny how when the DHS identifies right-wing terrorism as a legitimate threat, Republicans almost don’t fund the DHS? It’s probably just a co-incidence.

What isn’t scary is now America at least seems to have a President that isn’t prone to pounding a religious tome as the reason to invade the wrong country to create ISIL in the first place. And as long as ISIL is begging us to come fight them, it means they don’t have a realistic chance of coming to get us. Not to do the kind of damage that would induce the pants-shitting cowardice we’re seeing from the Republicans anyway. And the grown up in charge of the nation seems to realize that.

1425224081_dakota-johnson-snl-isis_1ISIL should be treated as a punch line. You have a greater chance of getting hit by lightning than getting beheaded by ISIS terrorists. Those of us looking to counteract the message of hate, terror, and fear should follow Saturday Night Live’s lead. Don’t cower from ISIS. Mock them!

So, yeah, we’re a lot safer now from terrorist attacks than we were under Republicans. Yeah, it’s relative, but if you really think America’s going to be invaded by legions of bloodthirsty terrorists, you’re a cowardly and spoiled whiny brat.

The biggest thing we have to worry about in the USA are crazy white men with guns, whether or not they’re cops. Isn’t it funny how Republicans don’t want to talk about that? It’s probably just a co-incidence.

America is supposed to be a world leader, and leaders don’t repeat mistakes, especially when they get countless people killed. It is poor military strategy to allow an enemy to goad you into a battle on a field of their choosing. If people are trying to scare or shame you into a fight, they do not have your best interests at heart.

Fear can be a tool used to control the stupid and the weak-minded. Americans should be smart enough and courageous enough to see past and dismiss such immature playground tactics. If we can’t, then we don’t truly live in the Home of the Brave.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” ~ President George W. Bus

ISIS is Destroying History (Literally!)

Posted by on Sunday, March 1, 2015 · 1 Comment

In an attempt to provoke a western response, ISIS has declared war on ancient history

ISIS is destroying historyISIS has proven itself to be, perhaps, the most comic-book ideal of a terrorist group I have seen to date. They spare no expense in time or money to make themselves appear barbaric and stylish in their campaign of destruction. Recently this includes an incident in which ISIS militants were smashing priceless ancient artifacts in the city of Mosul.

In ISIS’s attempt to re-create their “Caliphate”, they have set out on a campaign to eliminate all things “non-Islamic” across the parts of Syria and Iraq they control. Part of this program has been a systematic destruction of priceless artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia, which was recently taped and distributed by ISIS on social media.

The video takes place in a museum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, and for me it was hard to watch. These artifacts are irreplaceable, some well over 3,000 years old. To put it in context, some of the items destroyed by ISIS are older than the oldest books of the Bible (and much older than the Koran). Mesopotamia is also the famed “Cradle of Civilization,” so studying from those artifacts has revealed much about many key developments of civilization.

As a student of history, watching the senseless destruction of those priceless artifacts made me sick. The history that has been destroyed by ISIS goons is heartbreaking, let alone the myriad of other atrocities and violations of human decency they have committed. Any and all culture and history that does not fit their radical narrative is to be destroyed. If ISIS ever took over Egypt, I bet they would destroy the Sphinx and the Pyramids too.

The madness perpetrated by ISIS is not new. This act is reminiscent of terror tactics, such as book burnings, done by dictatorships in the past. The book burnings of the Fascists in Europe perhaps come to mind. The object is to destroy everything that does not conform to the narrative. While committing these acts of vain destruction, though, ISIS merely forces us to take them less seriously.

Clearly these acts, while an affront to all decency, are there mainly as provocations. The object of the destruction of the artifacts in Mosul and elsewhere is both to erase non-conformed history and to provoke the West and wider region to attack them. Nothing gets ISIS more recruits like more war.

There is a method to the madness. While many acts of ISIS seem unnecessarily cruel and without purpose, there is a line of reasoning. ISIS is fueled by war, especially war against the “infidels.” One of the main reasons for being so outwardly brutal is to draw in Western and regional powers to fight them, to give ISIS the “Holy War” it so desperately wants.

While I deplore what ISIS has done to priceless pieces of history in Iraq, I also understand that this is only a strategy to provoke more violent reactions. While ISIS may have a method to its madness, giving in to that method only proves its effectiveness. We shouldn’t combat ISIS on their terms, but on ours.