From 2014, the shooting of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, or: “A rudderless bunch of idiots in government”
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“Craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA”
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In the 36 years since the election of Ronald Reagan the values of American culture have been reduced to a single factor: cash.
Everything in our lives is valued and judged only in terms of its quantifiability as money. Our morality is sordid. If a thing cannot be expressed numerically, if it cannot be converted to a number in a cell of the Great Spreadsheet Of Life, it does not exist. God does not exist in America today. Your conscience does not exist in America today. Your soul does not exist in America today.
At least, not to the people who own America.
The results speak eloquently all around us. Item: At one point in 1968, the #1 bestselling book in the United States was a novel by William Styron which received the Pulitzer Prize. Forty-six years later, the #1 fiction bestseller, “print and ebook,” was a Harlequin Romance.
Our National Rifle Association represents gun manufacturers, that is, people who make guns for money. That is all that our NRA represents. It does not represent good old boys in pickup trucks who carry guns, listen to Rush Limbaugh, and vote Republican. These are the people — fundamentally and almost uniformly decent working people — these are the people our NRA exploits.
The issue of the role of guns in America is not about “the security of a free State.” Guns are a “good” business. “Good” means “make a lot of money for the people who manufacture them.” Such is the morality of the owners of the gun “industry,” who are a subset of the 1 percent you’ve heard so much about. Their weapons are so lucrative, then, that for the good of the economy — the only good known in America anymore and the only justification for anything we do — we invest our children — and ourselves.
There is a name for a power that requires the sacrifice of children to its own glorification. That name is Moloch.
Moloch — the NRA and its masters, and their equivalents in the other near-airless upper reaches of the American economy — Moloch values money more than life. Moloch, today, is the foremost expression of America — and Moloch is a perfect spreadsheet creature: without God, without soul, without conscience — a perfect zero, an all-devouring vacuum.
These words accurately describe our NRA; that is to say, they describe the American ruling class.
Christopher Michaels-Martinez died for the good of the economy of the rich.
America is ruled and Americans led by a sparkling, sophisticated, well-dressed, depraved group of people who worship a fiction, originally devised to facilitate the exchange of property, as if it were a god — as if it were the god, the ultimate arbiter of the worth of everything our lives, and the lives of our young.
The NRA, and the wealthy men and women who control it, puts a quite literal price on the life of every child, woman, and man in the United States. And in their overweening pride, selfishness, and vanity they decide, again and again and again, that that price is eminently worth paying. It is paid to them.
But only so long as we pay it.
Perhaps the people behind our NRA — Colt’s Manufacturing, U.S. Repeating Firearms, other makers of guns and ammunition, along with flunkies like Georgia’s Nathan Deal and trained apes like Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol — will see the sense of regulating guns when they and their children begin to be shot to pieces while getting a burger and some fries, with a banana shake on the side. As George W. Bush said of Saddam Hussein, maybe these people simply need “to be taken out.”
Opponents of gun control, such as Georgia’s governor and his fellow Republicans, are monsters of cynicism, cowardice, hypocrisy, and selfishness. Their vile character stinks up our air. They are base. Their immorality is without limit, and they need, and more than deserve, to suffer for that immorality.
And sooner or later they will. History teaches that the longer such a class continues to make money from the murder of the members of the class below them, the more of that class eventually will suffer, and the worse their suffering will be. What kind of revolution do you suppose Wayne LaPierre would rather have? The American, the French, or the Russian? Because one of these — or worse — is on its way, and it’s travelling on a global itinerary.
Another way to look at that is to compare our present governing class with those of colonial America, 18th century France, and the empire of Russia of 1917. Do you see anybody on the evening news who reminds you of Ben Franklin? Louis XVI? How about the prize boob of the 20th century, Nicholas II? Can’t you really imagine hearing Eric Cantor saying, “Let them eat cake”?
The wholesalers of fear at the Department of Homeland Anxiety and the National Paranoid Agency — who make money peddling the same bogus “security” that was “protecting” New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 — these guardians of our “freedom” to die for free enterprise and entrepreneurship in a hail of automatic-weapons fire regard the foregoing language as a “terroristic threat.”
It is not. It is a rational, cold-blooded prediction and a sober warning. The NRA’s masters have got the guns, but We the People have got the numbers. A word to the wise is unnecessary.
Sure, Jacqueline Suzanne was on the bestseller list in those days, too. But some of the money made on that kind of trash fiction also supported the kind of fiction that merits literary prizes. Now, it only gets spent on more trash fiction, while our supposed “literature” consists of Mighty Fine Artists of finely-wrought words and carefully composed observations that wouldn’t offend Jack the Ripper, let alone the kind of ghouls of capitalism who make their (tons of) bread selling murder weapons to homicidal lunatics.
This is because the only measures of literary worth in America today are money and snobbery. We have a culture of Straw Men and Women, all graduates of the University of Oz, equipped with certificates of expertise (aka “advanced degrees”) in an ever-extending list of “disciplines” from “creative writing” to “international relations.” And what makes all this stuffed-shirted fakery? How did we get here? Money.
c. 1400, “to brand, cauterize; stigmatize,” originally of criminal marks or cauterized wounds, from brand (n.). As a means of marking property, 1580s; figuratively from c. 1600, often in a bad sense, with the criminal marking in mind. Related: Branded; branding.
Old English brand, brond “fire, flame; firebrand, piece of burning wood, torch,” and (poetic) “sword,” from Proto-Germanic *brandaz (cognates: Old Norse brandr, Old High German brant, Old Frisian brond “firebrand, blade of a sword,” German brand “fire”), from root *bran-/*bren- (see burn (v.)). Meaning “identifying mark made by a hot iron” (1550s) broadened by 1827 to “a particular make of goods.” Brand name is from 1922.
A writer’s first published novel used to be referred to as her or his “first novel.” But we live in what Richard Hofstadter called “the age of bunk,” by which socially acceptable term he meant, in fact, the age of bullshit, and a first novel today is a “debut novel.”
As usual with words, debut has a meaning that runs deep. It runs deep because it is a meaning.
debut (n.) 1751, from French début “first appearance,” a figurative use from débuter “make the first stroke at billiards,” also “to lead off at bowls” (a game akin to bowling), 16c., from but “mark, goal,” from Old French but “end” (see butt (n.3)). The verb is first attested 1830.
Début can only be pronounced as French, and should not be used by anyone who shrinks from the necessary effort. [Fowler]
butt (n.3) “target of a joke,” 1610s, originally “target for shooting practice” (mid-14c.), from Old French but “aim, goal, end, target (of an arrow, etc.),” 13c., which seems to be a fusion of Old French words for “end” (bout) and “aim, goal” (but), both ultimately from Germanic. The latter is from Frankish *but “stump, stock, block,” or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse butr “log of wood”), which would connect it with butt (n.1).
butt (n.1) “thick end,” c. 1400, butte, which probably is related to Middle Dutch and Dutch bot, Low German butt “blunt, dull,” Old Norse bauta (see beat (v.)). Or related somehow to Old English buttuc “end, small piece of land,” and Old Norse butr “short.” In sense of “human posterior” it is recorded from mid-15c. Meaning “remainder of a smoked cigarette” first recorded 1847.
(These valuable understandings come to Web.Info from an invaluable online resource, the Online Etymology Dictionary.)
Those who think I am unfair in this posting may want to look up the etymology of first.
Or go here.
Or go here.
The US armed forces concluded the Iraq war in a manner that must be considered a victory: never defeated in battle, accomplished objectives that led to attaining the policy goal of delivering the security challenge to the Iraqis; and departing in accord with a nation-to-nation agreement in December 2011. This is something never done before in that region of the world—an Army leaving in accord with a treaty and not remaining indefinitely as an occupying power.
— Col. Kevin Benson, USA (ret)
“A War Examined: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003″
Parameters, v43(4), Winter 2013-2014
The Times of Israel does not vet the posts of their bloggers, though authors must pass an initial screening. Maybe this policy is not thought through very well. The following appeared on the Times’s website on 1 August 2014:
When Genocide Is Permissible
by Yochanan Gordon
Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less-capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war — because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems — and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate — that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings — because this is life or death.
Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve — they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you — you take him seriously.
Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave — well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.
Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?
Students of the history of the Nazi Holocaust, among whom Yochanan apparently does not number, will recognize this rationale — or is it a rationalization? This reasoning is identical, in its content as well as its logical form, to that of Adolf Hitler’s for the industrialized slaughter he and his henchmen committed in the death camps, and at other sites, all across Eastern Europe.
Chancellor Hitler truly believed himself and his peers to be involved in a life-and-death struggle to the bitter end with an enemy bent on their complete annihilation. Indeed, he said that if the Jews were not destroyed, they would precipitate a third world war that would engulf all of humanity. This article of Nazi faith is a fact of history.
It also ranks as one of the greatest and most hideous delusions of all time. Yochanan has truly become what he has beheld: he reasons just like a Nazi. He is enabled in this logical, if-then-therefore hallucinating by large numbers of people, in Israel and in the United States. And probably a lot of East European goyim, as well.
Yochanan is what the G.I.s of World War II called a garatrooper. That’s a soldier who is so close to the front line that he doesn’t have to wear a tie, but so far to the rear that he never actually risks being shot himself. Garatroopers like to talk real tough. I remember Pat Buchanan once responding to some journalist’s query about politics by crying: “Lock and load!” Genuine fake machismo, see? And Yochanan fits the bill, with his contemptuous reference to the pussy “humanitarians” who don’t “get it.”
Yochanan gets it, just like Pat Buchanan did. At one point, Buchanan was one of two speechwriters working for Richard Nixon when he was president. The staff nicknamed these two scribes “Mister Inside” and “Mister Outside.” Guess which one Pat was!
One humanitarian of history was Hillel the Elder, who could sum up the meaning of Torah while standing on one foot: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
Hillel is the one who gets it, and make no mistake about that.
Either we believe what Hillel says — which means we actually practice it — or we’d rather play garatrooper. And when these garatroopers play, people die in the thousands. This is the real front line, and it has very little in the way of a middle ground where logicians and rhetoricians like those blogging in the Times can stand. We know which side of the line Yochanan stands on. The same side as the Germans who destroyed the Warsaw ghetto — a place that bore a more than passing resemblance to Gaza today.
Palestinians, by the way, are Semites. Does this render Yochanan into an antisemite? Of course not. He is simply a poseur and a fool, a fatuous pseudo-intellectual talking claptrap and trash in order to enable the real murderers in (and of) his culture, who are not quite so naive as he. Or, for that matter, as the editors of the Times.
Yochanan’s teachers are well-advised to note that the first inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau were politically undesirable left-wingers. The Nazis charged them with terrorism.
Yes, Virginia, there is an endnote: some editor must have yelled at Yochanan, because his post was removed — sadly for the Times, only after it had circled the globe via the Internet — and Yochanan cried “Uncle!” for all of us humanitarians here in the outer dark:
“I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on 5TJT.com, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over.
“I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.
“With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.”
Sure he does. Me, too. And for those who would call my words here “antisemitism,” so be it. Such a smear tactic slowly but surely changes radically the meaning of the term antisemitism, and this dubious emendation, which cheapens and prostitutes the sufferings and deaths of far more than the six million, will only come to haunt the hypocrites who engage in it.