So where were all the Lebanese flag overlays when Beirut was attacked just a day prior to Paris? Over 40 people died, and hundreds were injured from terrorist attacks around the city, just like Paris. Nary a word was mentioned, and there was no flurry of Lebanese flag overlays on profile pics anywhere. I guess it’s not as horrific when it’s brown people dying at the hands of brown people.
BTW, I’m pretty sure that all of the Americans so quick to blow shit up in defense of France, are the same people who ate freedom fries (remember those?) during the invasion of Iraq.
On a fall Saturday afternoon, my thoughts and attentions were focused on college football. My OSU Buckeyes were marching toward another undefeated season. In addition, it was separation Saturday in the Big 12, as their conference juggernauts continued to beat up on each other, looking to get into the playoffs through attrition. It was yet another big day in a season chocked full of big days in the NCAA. Then, after a few games, the reality of the day struck me like a huge, wet fish slap to the cheek: Paris was under attack from terrorist. Over a hundred people were already dead, and France was under martial law. It felt as if I was watching another terrorist cell movie based on a Tom Clancy novel. It was horrific.
Of course, reaction and retaliation was swift: France started bombing sites in Syria. Borders in many countries were closed. Mosques were shut down, pending investigations into their attendees. Security was beefed up for major events around the world. Paranoia has once again become prevalent, if indeed it has ever faded since 9/11. When and where does this end?
The basest and most animal parts of my brain screams “attack and protect”, as it does in the collective war hawk, lizard brain mentality. However, as history has shown, retaliation begets retaliation. Violence only spurs on more violence. How many people have to die before we actually figure that out? We need common sense solutions, not more dead innocents.
I’m not saying that everything getting done is wrong: Beefing up security at public events? Yes. Better security checks on refugees? Sure. Finding the rest of this terrorist cell, and bringing them to justice? Absolutely. However, bombing an already war torn country? Not a solution. Closing your borders? Borders were closed to Jewish refugees during WWII, and millions died. Closing Mosques? Not the answer.
I don’t know what the answer is: Unfortunately, I’m not that smart. Even if I did have the answer, no-one would listen to a part time pacifist blogger from East Jesus, Ky. I do know that killing more people, blowing up more shit, and restricting the practice of any religion is not the answer. Ask the families and friends of those killed on Saturday in France. Ask the families and friends of those who were bombed out of existence in civil war decimated Syria on Sunday.
I feel horrible this happened. I feel horrible for what is going to happen still. This isn’t over, not by a long shot. I don’t think that anyone in power wants it to be over. There is too much power and money to be had peddling fear and paranoia. You can take that much to the bank, if security will let you through.
It looks like Starbucks is once again attacking the very backbone of our country. The maker of over priced, burnt coffee wasn’t satisfied in pissing off the NRA by not allowing guns in their establishments: This time they went too far. They have made their coffee cups red for the holidays – Red I tell you! No snow flakes? No baby jesus? Outrageous! Of course, the christians are furious: They feel as if their existence is once again under attack, in this instance, by the makers of the quadra mocha latte frothochino, or whatever the hell it is that they serve.
Christians are so miffed that they are taking several courses of action: They are boycotting, threatening to shoot Starbucks employees (very christian), or ordering their hot beverages under the name “Merry Christmas”.
All I can say is this: If you need your local caffeine dealer to affirm your christianity, you’re probably further away from Jesus than what you thought you were.
Think about that when you pass that homeless guy, as you enter into the shop to get your triple shot of whatever the hell it is that you pay $7.00 for.
I’m cruising the web yesterday, and I came across this little nugget. Reuters has undergone quite an extensive investigation into the Department of Defense, and has discovered that since 1996, approximately $8.5 Trillion dollars has gone unaccounted for. Where the hell is all that money? Did anybody check under Dick Cheney’s mattress? There have been 3 presidents since this money has started to disappear, and not one of them has so much as made a mention about an investigation. Of course who wants to bite the hand that feeds? The Pentagon may have “misplaced” this money, but they are still lining the pockets of anyone who happens to be in the business of doing business with the DoD.
The main issue is that the DoD has no accountability. In 1990, a federal law was passed mandating that every agency be audited. So far, the pentagon has done no such thing. They are to date, the only agency to not comply. Why would they? They are the biggest bully on the block. Compliance with federal standards is certainly way beneath them.
$8.5 Trillion could solve a lot of our countries problems right now. How many roads and bridges would that buy? How many new housing projects for the poor and homeless would be completed with this money? How many new college students might there be, with programs financed by this missing loot? I could go on and on about where this money could have been better spent. This is money that could have been spent in government programs that actually have transparency and accountability, not cloak and dagger incompetence.
I want to know where the fuck this money went, don’t you?
Considering the fact that Louisiana has probably the most pro-gun laws in the country, it’s no wonder that the state leads the country in gun related deaths. How could Bobby Jindal not see this coming? Currently, there isn’t much information on the shooter, John Houser, other than he was 59 years old, was estranged from his family,was a member of the Tea Party, and had a very old criminal history. Oh, he was also denied a gun permit in Alabama back in 2006. Wait, what? He was denied a gun permit in Alabama of all places, but still managed to get a gun in Louisiana? The fact that a person can be denied a gun permit in one state, and simply cross the border to another state to buy a gun is why we need stringent, federal gun laws. If we had them in place already, there might not be a shot up theater in Lafayette, Louisiana this morning. Or dead marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee, or dead church goers in Charleston, South Carolina, or dead – Oh hell, you get my point. Lather. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It’s a never ending cycle of gun violence. While we can continue to try and analyze the who and the why, we could at least come to our senses and address the how.
No, I’m not saying abolish the 2nd Amendment. I’m not saying ban all guns. I’ve owned guns, and I’ve shot guns. I enjoyed it, I’ll admit that. Of course, here’s the rub on my personal experience with guns. I suffer from Bi-Polar disorder. I have been documented with suicidal and psychotic tendencies. Here in Kentucky, I was able to acquire a gun with no background or medical check what so ever. That’s right, a man with some severe mental disorders was able to get a gun with little to no effort. Sound familiar? The whole concept of being able to walk in and buy any gun your heart desires without so much as a background check sounds crazy, even to a person who has literally been diagnosed as crazy. Face it, our priorities are fucked up, and that’s why this shit keeps happening. We need to address our gun problem head on, and we need to do it now.
Or we can behave like Governor Bobby Jindal: Keep pretending that all Americans have the undeniable right to any and all firearms, then continue to wonder why countless, innocent lives are lost because they committed the crime of being at the wrong end of a gun barrel. We still have prayer though! That’s the stock answer to every tragedy, right?
Update: More information is coming in about John Houser. Surprise surprise! He’s another gun toting, Obama hating, white supremacist.
Another horrific shooting occurred yesterday, in which 4 marines were killed, and one police officer was wounded. The shooter, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, was killed as well during his spree. Adulazeez, 24 years old, had published two blog post three days before the shootings. In these two blog post, he called for jihad, and concluded in one of his post “What is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” While it certainly appears as if Abdulazeez was motivated by the hard line aspects of Islam, perhaps, in this incident, that isn’t the case. Maybe, just maybe, those two post weren’t indicative of who Abdulazeez once was, only what he had become: Another disillusioned young adult, living in a world where very few people succeed in life.
Abdulazeez grew up very American. He was a wrestler in high school. He participated in mixed martial arts. There are YouTube videos of him hanging out with friends. He had a degree in engineering from the University of Tennessee. There is a graduation picture of him, clean shaven and regaled in cap and gown, the American Flag featured prominently behind him. He planted flowers for his mother. He was for all intents and purposes, a young man with a bright future. When we fast forward three years from the date of his graduation, we find yet another person with a college degree who couldn’t find a job, with very little prospects. He was angry, lonely, and more than a little unhinged.
Don’t get me wrong: What he did was atrocious. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for this man. It was an unconscionable act, and I feel horrible for those four marines who were killed. I feel even worse for their families. It’s just that in spite of his jihadist bluster three days before the shootings, I’m not convinced it was about jihad. Again, I think it was more about disillusionment and despair. In fact, like a lot of people do, he had turned to drugs and alcohol as a crutch. This past April, he was arrested for a DUI. During the stop, it was noted that he smelled of marijuana, and had a white powdery residue on his face. Tell me I’m wrong here, but doesn’t Islam prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs? The actions of Abdulazeez smacks more of addiction and mental illness, and less like Jihad as the facts continue to come out. He seemingly loved the American Way, until the American Way stopped loving him back.
Again, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying here. Abdulazeez became a very bad man. However, I think we should do more than just scratch the surface and declare that he was just another muslim terrorist, hell bent on killing as many Americans as possible, before going out in a blaze of jihadist glory. He was a person, with hopes of a good job, and getting married and having a family. In other words, he was just like the rest of us. However, the difference is that while most of us can deal with failure and disappointment, he couldn’t. While the rest of us pick ourselves up and carry on, he snapped and took it out on four Marines and a cop, all of whom deserved better.
What I’m saying is don’t judge a book by it’s cover. The chapters don’t always match up to the picture on the jacket.
According to Faux News, the most dangerous person on the planet is this guy:
I may be a born again atheist, but I respect the hell out of Pope Francis. He’s like the kindly old grandpa on Rugrats. He’s a decent person who cares about our planet as a whole. He speaks out against human injustice, as well as injustice toward our environment. No wonder Faux News, as well as the rest of the Right Wing Nut Jobs who could care less about anybody or anything other than themselves. Welcome to the list your holiness. You can take a seat of honor next to President Obama, the man who was voted most dangerous six years in a row previous to you.
Fuck you Fox News, for coming up with shit like this.
Fuck you right wing extremist for pulling the wool over the eyes of so many people who don’t know any better.
Fuck you corporate world for poisoning our environment.
Fuck you Barry Goldwater, for starting all this right wing extremist bullshit, after LBJ mopped the country with your dumb ass in the 1964 elections.
I mean seriously, the POPE? FUCK OFF!