Back from the dead: a year in review

Much has changed in a year, including my desire to write, ease of flow of my writing, and the amount of free time I have to write. The amount of time that’s passed since a substantial post should be evidence enough of all that. I suppose a desire to write is actually always there, somewhere, but the difference between “I should probably write something” and meaningful content flowing freely to the e-paper is, well, the difference between a post actually getting written or me finding something else to do. Plus, there’s that whole issue of most of my writing previously taking place at work and now no longer having my own office. In fact, I still have a saved draft for what was supposed to be a play by play and analysis of how “#shutitdown” was quickly and effectively changed to “#blacklivematter” in order to stifle an uprising and flip it on its head into a way to further divide the populace.

That draft never made it past the title. This would seem to be a more fitting time than any to actually finish it, but then that would distract me from less important things, like this directionless rambling and lengthy reminiscing on what’s occurred while I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere for the past year. Anyway, I think most people have figured out the “black lives matter” farce on their own at this point. Except the liberals. They’re just getting worse. I like to follow people and pages on social media to keep a pulse on different groups, even though I’m not actually friends with most of these people. I follow the young, Christian couples married at 19 years old, people my age that failed to start and think they’re still in high school, doomsday prepping gun nuts, grads of good schools and bad slaving their lives away (some in real careers, some at Starbucks or equivalent) to pay back their student loans, social justice warriors, kids fresh out of college that think they know everything, military dependapotomouses, police apologists, and, my new favorite, 2016 liberals. I need to come up with a more catchy name for them. I’m open to suggestions. In spite of the lack of a catchy or meme-able name, you’ll still know them when you see them. They’re the people who talk about “safe spaces” (in a totally serious, non-mocking way). They voted for Bernie, but don’t think he’s anti-gun enough. They think whites are racist and ruining the world just by existing (yet, ironically, they’re almost all white themselves). They’re new-age feminists that think everything is rape – including guys saying “hello” to women they pass on the street and the simple existence of a male sex, that’s rape too. They’re the ones that can turn anything into a race issue and scream “RACIST!” at anyone that disagrees with them. Those people. You know the type I’m talking about. Mostly college age. Mostly jobless. Mostly clueless. Saving the planet by putting Caucasians down at every opportunity. Sorry if any of that triggers someone. I should have put a trigger warning. Those a big thing these days too. Anyway, so yeah, I follow some of those people too – just to keep tabs on how crazy they’re getting.

How crazy are they getting? Pretty fucking crazy. The latest litter, fresh out of college (or still in), seems to be trying to one-up the fools before them. Grammar is now racist. Grammar. This was one of many items I’ve been able to check off my bucket list in the past year. I was hoping I’d live to see the day that something as objective, non-political, mundane, and harmless as grammar could successfully be labeled as racist. Life didn’t disappoint and we got there with freightening rapidity. This has resulted in the need for some adjustment though. I used to self-identify as “liberal”. This is no longer accurate or advisable (lest people think I get my entire worldview from Vice and/or Huffington Post). In the past year, the term “liberal” died. “Liberal” has ceased to mean “progressive” and now has become synonymous with being what is, for all practical purposes, a neo-con that loves gays and abortion and hates guns and white people. That’s not me. My IQ isn’t low enough for that kind of lack of independent thinking. So henceforth, my use of the term “liberal” will be in the same pejorative sense that conservatives use it.

Speaking of worldviews and delusional people, we’ve had some tragic, but amazingly landmark events in just the past few months. I’ve written in the past about the need Americans have for even the most complex of issues to be boiled down into black and white simplicity with easily remembered and repeated rhetoric. Of course, when you over-simplify complexity and substitute catchy rhetoric for critical thinking, what you end up with is usually a completely inaccurate representation of reality. But Americans have never been known to let facts and logic get in the way of their opinions. Subsequently, Americans of all political leanings have an obsession with fabricated narratives: “Islam is the religion of peace”, “mass shooters are crazy white people”, “gays aren’t criminals”, “only guns allow for mass killings”, “mass shootings only happen in America because we don’t have enough gun control”, “blacks are always victims”, etc. These narratives are then paraded around as facts and used to justify worldviews, political actions, etc. Within the past year, these narratives and more have been completely shattered. A gay, Muslim guy shot up a night club. Liberals were beside themselves and when the gay and Muslim came out, the story was swept under the rug as quickly as possible. Then a “black lives matter” activist decided he’d had enough and started gunning down police officers. Conservatives didn’t know how to react – call him a criminal thug because he’s black or cheer for him using the Second Amendment in exactly the way they always interpret it. I could see their heads exploding as I watched them try to make sense of it. In both cases, liberals didn’t waste one second before blaming the crimes on guns and demanding more gun control. Dems in Washington even staged an election season pandering fest “sit in” in congress to demand more gun control (then immediately voted down the proposed measures… but I digress). “This wouldn’t happen without ‘assault weapons’!!!” the liberals cried. “Yes it would,” conservatives retorted, “someone could just drive a truck into a crowd and kill just as many people.” “Impossible! That would never happen. You’re an ammosexual living in a fantasy world!” the liberals fired back. Then, whether by cosmic comedy, fate acting as some sick movie director acting perfectly on cue, or an unbelievably timed coincidence, someone drove a truck into a crowd and killed 80+ people. Conservatives seemed to almost celebrate. Liberals were completely silent. Life went on, no beats missed, for the rest of us. I wasn’t surprised. The small number of other people with brains weren’t surprised. It was as unsurprising as a population finally deciding to start shooting cops as retribution for cops shooting them… but alas that’s another issue and this post is already getting long-winded.

I don’t want this to be all politics and world events though. Yet, in spite of my efforts to make a non-political post here and there, this blog always seem to sway back towards politics and economics (they are both in the main header, after all). Maybe because those things interest me and get me heated enough to take the time to write on them. Maybe because I feel there are so few voices of logic and reason out there talking about either. Maybe because that’s all I’m capable of writing about on a consistent basis. Hopefully it’s not that last reason. I originally wanted this blog to be about cycling adventures and industry events (like my venting about shit road disc brakes and how much Specialized sucks). That never really materialized because I figured no one but me cares about what I do on my bike, plus BikeSnobNYC already has that market cornered (though he’s losing his funny these days). I very recently (like, really really recently, while typing the previous sentence) thought about expanding this blog to discuss operations management and poor management induced workplace issues – maybe I still will. For awhile I’ve thought about making a blog written from my dog’s perspective – maybe I still will.  But first, back to what I originally wanted: a blog about outdoor adventures. Hopefully my move to Colorado provides for and facilitates the writing of stories and ramblings interesting enough to write about, maybe they’ll even be interesting enough to read too. Since I can’t keep this blog on topic, I made another one: here. Don’t be too disappointed that there’s currently nothing but a header and the default sample post from WordPress. That blog will hopefully, someday when I’m feeling it, chronicle the adventures and misadventures of my fiancé and I, plus be a place for me to vent and/or share words of wisdom about outdoor life. Of course, I don’t have any time or desire to do that right now though. I wasted it all writing this post.

 

 

 

 

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Ebola will kill us all

And just like that, after nearly half a year hiatus, I’m back. This Ebola epidemic… no, wait, that was last year. This Syrian refugee epidemic… I mean… crisis… has finally forced me back to the keyboard.

I find it funny. Not the crisis, of course, but the very American, American reactions to the crisis. Remember when Ebola was going to kill us all?

KFUlkuT

Pepperidge Farm remembers

 

People were so sure that the handling of those Ebola victims was a life or death crossroads for America. I saw calls for revolution and assassinations. But a year later, here we all still stand. Well, much like last year when we needed to revolt against our evil government (lead by the Kenyan Satan himself) because King Obummer was trying to kill us all by helping those who were helping stop the spread of Ebola, the low-information sheeple of America have once again worked themselves up into a tizzy over issues they’re poorly informed on and lack historical perspective for. So let’s start unraveling the absurd rhetoric…

“We don’t have the room.”

The United States has been taking in refugees for as long as the United States has existed, and even before. Even the pilgrims were religious refugees. The US Refugee Resettlement program has existed since 1948. Annual refugee intakes average over 50,000, getting as high as 207,000 in 1980. In fact, we took in 70,000 refugees just last year… AND the year before. Where were all the naysayers and doomsdayers for the past 68 years – or even last year? Most likely they were (and still are) completely oblivious to the existence of this program.

“My broke-ass state can’t afford it.”

Well then it’s a damn good thing the federal government funds this program.

“They’re dangerous.”/”It’s too risky”

These two are basically the same and seem to be the most common. When faced with this statement, the best course of action is to ask the simple question: why? The answers usually go like this…

“Because they’re Muslims”

Putting aside all the absurd and xenophobic notions implicit in this question, there are over two million Muslims already living in the US. If you think all Muslims are terrorists and you want to keep them out, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve already missed the boat.

“Look what happened in Paris!”

An attack perpetrated by EU citizens, the majority of whom were actually French nationals. Maybe it’s Europeans that should be banned from moving to the US. Next!

“What if there are ISIS members hiding amongst them?”

This one is a good way to spot a really out-of-touch person that thinks we live in some kind of bubble or fortress. Unfortunately, they’re partly right: ISIS could be hiding terrorist plants in the refugee pool. The part these people are missing is that ISIS could also be hiding terrorist plants on any normal airline flight entering this country, either coming here temporarily or moving here permanently – you know, like how every other terrorist that perpetrated every other major attack got here. We don’t live in a fortress or high security enclosure. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come and go to this country daily, as they please, with only a passport. Any security measures that would stop someone from normally traveling to this country will also have them getting caught out when vetting these refugees. Anyone capable of getting through the refugee vetting process because of lack of terrorist history or intel would also be capable of securing a passport and visiting and/or moving here unhindered. If ISIS wants in, they can get in without pretending to be refugees. In all likelihood, they’re already here – the FBI even agrees. There’s absolutely no reason or need for ISIS or any other terrorist group to go through the hassle and risk of trying to sneak operatives in through a highly scrutinized group of refugees. If anything, a group of vetted refugees is safer than any random group of people getting off an international flight.

“I don’t know man, it just seems dangerous.”

Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20 million. Your odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. Your odds of being killed by flesh-eating bacteria are 1 in 1 million. Your odds of being killed by a cop are 1 in 363,000. Your odds of being murdered are 1 in 18,000. Go worry about stuff that matters.

“The US can’t afford it/We need to take care of our own ____ (insert: poor, homeless, veterans, etc) first.”

This is my absolute favorite, by far. It’s my favorite because of the people it always comes from. They’re the same people that, one whole week ago, were railing against any and every social program under the sun. Now suddenly these Trump supporter, poor person haters have become socialist philanthropists. We need to “take care of our own”. These “our own” happen to include disabled people trying to find work. The exact same people that billions of your tax dollars were supposed to go to help, but instead were fraudulently funneled to Lockheed-Martin and other defense contractors by BOTH the Obama and Bush administrations – a scandal that broke the same week as the Paris attacks. How many people do I see raging out of control about this fraud, wasted tax dollars, “can’t afford it”, etc. and threatening to storm the steps of the White House? Zero. Show me something you’ve actually done or even come out in favor of to support our own poor or homeless, or get out of here with this hypocritical bullshit.

“None of that matters, this event is unprecedented.”

Unfortunately, all events are unprecedented to the average American with a fifteen minute memory. This event is not only NOT unprecedented, it’s almost deja vu. After WWII, the same type of clueless people made the exact same arguments against taking in Jewish refugees – “OMG, what if there’s Nazis hiding with them!”

So that’s it, myths debunked with just a tiny bit of critical thinking and facts – things sorely lacking in US public discourse. See you at the next pivotal moment of crisis that will surely destroy us all if we do not immediately revolt against our communist, fascist, Kenyan government.

Case in point

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It’s the prevailing wisdom in the US (at least amongst the uninformed) that less government intervention is the solution to all problems. Just move that big, bad government out of the way and the benevolent corporations will take care of us as if we were their own precious children. Anyone that owns a history book or was even just not asleep for the past decade, knows this belief is utter foolishness. But how does one go about exposing the foolishness to the masses when those masses are so history averse that they will deny and/or forget anything that happened more than fifteen minutes ago? Every once in a while, there’s a god-send of a current event that perfectly demonstrates the fallacy of the “free market curses all” belief for anyone that chooses to open their eyes to it.

This time, that event came in the form of two major snow storms and the state’s response to each. Both storms hit early in the work week. Both storms brought 12-24″ inches of snow across the state of CT. Both brought high winds. Both created a mess. The one difference between them? During the first storm, Governor Malloy decided to be proactive and issued a travel ban from 9pm on the night of the storm through 2pm the following day. During the second storm, no travel ban was issued. This meant that during the first storm, the vast majority of businesses across the state were forced to close during the worst of the storm because demanding that employees violate the law and endanger themselves at the same time just doesn’t sit well from a liability standpoint. Now, surely the believers in the evils of government and the beauty of the free market will tell us that employers would never put profits over employee safety – and so they did. All over news website comment sections and social media, the state exploded with vile, anti-government hate for the Governor that dared to assume that businesses wouldn’t have closed down on their own. No one seemed to pay attention to the fact that there was a record low of only 15 accidents across the entire state (none of which were fatal) and due to the lack of cars out and about, plows had the highways cleared almost immediately at the end of the storm. Alas, those facts didn’t matter. How dare the governor interfere! Free market! Apparently the governor heard their cries. During the next storm, he didn’t interfere. Subsequently, to the surprise of absolutely no informed person, very few businesses chose to close. Why? Because most businesses treat employees as commodities, not people. When given the option, employee safety always takes a distant backseat to profits (probably why OSHA and worker’s comp weren’t corporate creations). This time, the state’s roads were packed full of traffic during the worst of the storm. Results? Hundreds of car accidents statewide including a double fatality on I-95.

It’s certainly a minor example (though not for anyone that spun into a ditch trying to get to work or the two people who lost their lives), but it’s crystal clear evidence nonetheless. Sometimes, often times, businesses left to their own devices don’t get it right and it’s necessary for government to step up and do what it was designed to: give common folk a voice and meaningful leverage against those in power that do not care about their welfare.

Behind the “terrorism” narrative

Like most of the rest of the world, I’ve been watching the Charlie Hebdo situation unfold. It was a horrific, indefensible act and the overwhelming outpouring of support and massive rallies around the world were heart-warming. It’s nice to see that a large portion of the population are good people at heart and feel the pain of others. Every day I question whether this is still the reality, so it’s nice to see it on display as a reminder – if only it was under better circumstances. It’s unfortunate that people can’t come together like this and show empathy without a body count. But what I find most unfortunate and what paints the bleakest picture for the world’s future is the continued apathy of the vast majority of people when it comes to seeking out and understanding the causes of “terrorism”. I wrote a post awhile ago about how the average person is becoming too lazy to take the time/effort to understand the world around them, instead buying into simplistic (and just plain wrong) narratives that are spoon fed to them. The situation is no different when it comes to “terrorism”.

I keep putting “terrorism” in quotes for a reason – because I haven’t defined it yet. When Westerns hear the word “terrorism” today, the narrative of radical Islam put forth after 9/11 is by far and away the primary association in most minds. Why is that? If you asked an Irish citizen what terrorists are, they might tell you it’s the IRA. If you asked a German citizen in the 1940’s they’d tell you it’s the Jews. If you asked a British citizen in the 1700’s they’d tell you it’s George Washington and the US colonists – ultimate irony. If you asked most the current third-world, they’d tell you it’s NATO. Dictionary.com defines “terrorism” like so:

The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes

Let’s be honest when applying that definition. A LOT of that occurs around the world, perpetrated by a vast number of different parties. So why are guys in turbans from the Middle East the first thing that comes to mind? Aside from the media propaganda barrage that reinforces this belief, maybe it’s that people lack perspective. Maybe people need to zoom their lenses out and get a higher level view of things. The best place to start is the realization that the world’s premier terrorist organization over the past century is not ISIS, not al-Qaeda, and not the Taliban… it’s the Western world, lead by the United States. That’ll come as a shock to people who have never read a history book (which encompasses a large swath of the US population), so let’s walk through a quick history lesson. Keep in mind, the world is coming together to mourn the murder of twelve people at Charlie Hebdo.

Starting right off in 1901, 315 US Marines were sent into the town of Balangiga in the Philippines where they slaughtered an estimated 2,500 civilians in retaliation for a successful uprising at a US military run labor camp. Their orders were to kill everyone over the age of ten years old. If you’re one of those people who don’t own a history book, you’re probably wondering what the Marines were doing in the Philippines and why the US was running a labor camp. They were there suppressing a major uprising of Philippine citizens fighting for independence from the US. Seems oddly backwards, doesn’t it? That was a long time ago though, maybe it’s not relevant to our current situation. Maybe something more recent? In 1965 the US was trying to purge communism out of Indonesia. For those that don’t remember, communism was the West’s official bogeyman and global war/murder justification before it moved on to Islam. As is typical, the US backed a far right-wing commandant – a guy named General Suharto. He was supplied with weapons, training, and funding, then visited by president Ford and secretary of state Kissinger the day before he staged a coup against the Indonesian government. During and after that coup, General Suharto butchered 500,000 people in a genocidal purge of communists and alleged communists. The US government and media reacted with widespread praise. In 1973 the US, through the CIA, was again backing a far right-wing, pro-US military dictator named Pinochet in a coup against a democratically elected government in Chile. The coup was very quick with a low body count, but Pinochet made up for this after the coup as he rounded up alleged communists, pro-labor folks, and union leaders to the tune of 3,000+ murdered and over 29,000 brutally tortured. Starting in 1975 and continuing all the way until 2002, the Angolan Civil war was yet another war in which the US backed a far right-wing regime with weapons and funding. Use of torture was widespread. Causalities are estimated at 750,000, 500,000 of which were innocent civilians. 500,000. Let that number sink in. In 1989, the US directly engaged in an invasion of Panama under the pretext of “defending democracy” and stopping drug trafficking. Results? 2,500-3,500 dead, only 205 of which were military – the rest civilian. This action was widely condemned by the UN and a resolution to label it as a gross violation of international law and human rights was passed by a huge margin… then vetoed by the US, UK, and France. Then there are events that really hit home… Those al-Qaeda guys? They were US agents before they were suddenly put on the “terrorism” list. Those evil Mujahideen that are killing all our troops in Afghanistan? In the 1980’s they were having tea with Reagan in the White House. That Saddam bogeyman guy? The US trained his troops, supplied him with weapons, donated him money, shared intelligence, and even made him an honorary citizen of Detroit. Of course, the US was sure to remove Iraq from the state sponsors of terrorism list before giving it all this support – you know, just so everything was on the up-and-up and we weren’t supporting terrorists. I could keep going with this list – Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, neo-Nazis in Ukraine, the M.O. is always the same: US sponsored, brutal, human rights violating, murdering (but pro-US!) regime overthrows a stable and/or democratically elected (but anti-US) government. Let’s also not forget the recent coming-to-light of the US’s widespread torture program (the tiny portion the Senate report revealed to us, anyway) – a gross violation of international law, human rights, and simple ethics. Of course, very few Americans and even fewer Western governments care about the US’s atrocities spelled out in the torture report, much less condemn them as terrorism. Never mind that we executed German officers for lesser crimes after WWII.

Taking all the above, which is only a brief glimpse (there is much, much more), along with the dictionary’s definition of terrorism, there is not even the slightest shadow of doubt that the US is one of the world’s premier sponsors and perpetrators of terrorism. But the Charlie Hebdo attack was against France. “They’re not the US,” you say. No, they aren’t the US, but they are NATO/Western (which makes them a US agent state), plus, they aren’t exactly angels themselves. The Charlie Hebdo attackers were Algerian. It seems people have forgotten France’s relationship with Algeria.

In 1954 an Algerian group calling itself the National Liberation Front fought France for the freedom of then colonized Algeria. Like most colonial reigns, France’s was one of violence and brutality, with human rights violations, abductions, and regular use of torture against the Algerian populace dating back to the late 1800’s.

“Whatever the case”, continued Tocqueville, “we may say in a general manner that all political freedoms must be suspended in Algeria.”[10] Historian Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison thus wrote that “From the years 1840 to the 1962 independence, the physical body of the “Arab” has therefore been used as a terror instrument on which the colonial power has never ceased in graving the marks of its almighty power. Torture in Algeria and in the French Empire: an exception limited to wars of national liberation conducted against the metropole? No, the rule.”[11]

Other historians also show that torture was fully a part of the colonialist system: “Torture in Algeria was engraved in the colonial act, it is the “normal” illustration of an abnormal system”, wrote Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, and Sandrine Lemaire, who have published decisive work on the phenomena of “human zoos.”[13] From the smokings (enfumades) of the Darha caves in 1844 by Pélissier to the 1945 riots in Sétif, Guelma and Kherrata“, the repression in Algeria has used the same methods. Following the 9 May 1945, Sétif massacres, other riots against the European presence occurred in Guelma, Batna, Biskra, and Kherrata, causing 103 deaths among the colonials. The repression of these riots officially caused 1,500 deaths, but N. Bancel, P. Blanchard, and S. Lemaire estimate it to be rather between 6,000 and 8,000 deaths[13][14]

So although the average American has the “weak, scared French people” meme in their minds, it couldn’t be further from the truth. France was and is engaged in all the same imperialistic pursuits as the rest of the West. Does anyone remember the Vietnam war? No, not the one the US fought, the one that was going on before the US decided to fake a communist attack on a US destroyer near Vietnam to win public support for its involvement. Yes, the original Vietnam war. The one in which we again find a colonized third-world nation trying to win its independence from a French nation they’re being brutalized by. Again, torture and war crimes were rampant. It wasn’t until the French lost the war that the US decided to get itself involved to keep those damn Vietnamese under the thumb of the West… I mean… to spread freedom from communism to Vietnam. Of course, the US involved itself in plenty of war crimes of its own.

PFC Dennis Konti, a witness for the prosecution,[35] told about one especially gruesome episode during the shooting, “A lot of women had thrown themselves on top of the children to protect them, and the children were alive at first. Then, the children who were old enough to walk got up and Calley began to shoot the children”.[36] Other 1st Platoon members testified that many of the deaths of individual Vietnamese men, women and children occurred inside My Lai during the security sweep. Livestock was shot as well.[37]

When PFC Michael Bernhardt entered the subhamlet of Xom Lang, the massacre was underway:

“I walked up and saw these guys doing strange things…Setting fire to the hootches and huts and waiting for people to come out and then shooting them…going into the hootches and shooting them up…gathering people in groups and shooting them… As I walked in you could see piles of people all through the village… all over. They were gathered up into large groups. I saw them shoot an M79 [grenade launcher] into a group of people who were still alive. But it was mostly done with a machine gun. They were shooting women and children just like anybody else. We met no resistance and I only saw three captured weapons. We had no casualties. It was just like any other Vietnamese village-old papa-sans, women and kids. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember seeing one military-age male in the entire place, dead or alive.[38]

One group of 20-50 villagers was walked to the south of Xom Lang and killed on a dirt road. According to another eyewitness account of the massacre, Ronald Haeberle’s, in one instance,

“There were some South Vietnamese people, maybe fifteen of them, women and children included, walking on a dirt road maybe 100 yards away. All of a sudden the GIs just opened up with M16s. Beside the M16 fire, they were shooting at the people with M79 grenade launchers… I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.[39]

Three American Servicemen (Hugh Thompson, Jr., Glenn Andreotta, and Lawrence Colburn), who made an effort to halt the massacre and protect the wounded, were sharply criticized by U.S. Congressmen, and received hate mail, death threats, and mutilated animals on their doorsteps.[47]

Of course, nothing mentioned so far will ever be spoke of in the same sentence as “terrorism”, let alone be condemned as such – at least in conversations of the West. Yet, the gunning down of a handful of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo is strongly condemned as terrorism. Is it Stalin’s famous observation at work? “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” No, the distinction is more intentional than that. It’s something Western governments and media put vast amounts of effort into sustaining. We must acknowledge that in our society, terrorists are only terrorists when they’re killing “us”. When they’re overthrowing anti-Western governments for us and slaughtering our dissenters, they’re “freedom fighters”, not terrorists – even when they’re the same exact people we called terrorists the day before. When it’s us who is bombing, shooting, torturing, and subjugating entire countries of brown people, it’s not terrorism. It’s “defending freedom”, “spreading democracy”, and, most twisted of all, “self-defense” – referring, of course, to the last time the brown people fought back against our imperialism. Ward Churchill, a former professor at UC Boulder, wrote an essay shortly after the 9/11 attacks entitled “On the justice of roosting chickens.” This essay did what no one else dared to at the time. It examined the causes of 9/11. By “causes” I don’t mean airport security issues, government asleep at the wheel, lax immigration laws, or airplane cockpit security. Churchill did the unthinkable and spoke on the same imperialism that I am now. He walked the reader through how the West created a world in which oppressed brown people have become so economically and socially desperate that flying themselves into buildings seems like a viable solution. The essay got him fired from his job at UC Boulder. That’s how strongly the mainstream propaganda machine wants the public to not understand the true causes of terrorism. So when cartoonists are murdered or US embassies are attacked, the public never questions why. They just buy the narrative that Muslims are violent fanatics, jealous of our way of life and attacking indiscriminately.

Widespread acceptance of this narrative can only lead to one thing (and has!): more terrorism. When you see the violent attacks coming from desperate third-world people and label them as random, unprovoked first-strikes, it gives justification and free rein for the usual NATO cabal to start bombing some uninvolved, resource rich country. That’s exactly how we were dragged into Iraq and Afghanistan after being attacked by Saudi terrorists on 9/11. Guess what this does? It creates more terrorists. Brown people who are already oppressed and being exploited for their natural resources now have to deal with an occupying army killing their friends and relatives. That’s when they decide to strap bombs to themselves and fight back. When someone attacks the West, they can be assured that their town and every surrounding town will be leveled by cruise missiles before the day is out. But when a US drone strike kills fourteen people at a wedding, not even so much as an “oops, sorry” is offered in return. Where were the international support rallies for these people? Where was the outcry? Where were the people demanding justice? It didn’t matter because it wasn’t “us” that were killed. It was those unpeople, the brown folk. In the twisted minds of so many in the West, it’s believed that this behavior should be able to continue without us suffering any repercussions. We can just continue on arming and supporting brutal dictators that serve our economic interest, while labeling “terrorist” and killing anyone that doesn’t. We can keep waging violent and economic war in order to dominate the natural resources of the third-world, depriving citizens of these countries the right to their own land. All the while, we expect the impoverished, brutalized, people who are on the receiving end of our imperialism to never get fed up and lash out. This belief is beyond absurd.

Now, it must be understood that none of this serves to justify the killing of any innocent people. What happened at Charlie Hebdo is a terrible tragedy and cold-blooded murder. But if we choose to perpetuate the myth that we are some innocent victims, attacked randomly and unprovoked by “radical Muslims” that kill for sport, then we choose to perpetuate these acts. In one of his final tape broadcasts to the world, Osama bin Laden himself directly addressed the use of attacks targeted at what the West sees as “innocent” civilians. As Osama explained, these oppressed, brutalized, desperate brown people do not see our civilians as innocent. They see the populace’s widespread apathy to its government’s atrocities and they label it as an accessory to the crime. Silence is consent. Osama pointed out what we all know is true: only the populations of Western nations have the power to stand up and stop the atrocities their imperialistic governments are perpetrating – thus also putting a stop to the retaliatory terrorism that results from them. These tragedies will not cease until we acknowledge our own prolific terrorism and the pivotal role it plays in feeding the hate directed at us.

 

PSA: The application of law in feudal America – know your place

It’s no revelation that the majority of America is asleep at the wheel (both figuratively and literally). I get it. People are really busy taking the kids to soccer, sitting glued to American Idol, and buying up $300 pairs of Nikes manufactured in Vietnam for $1.68/each. No one has the time or energy to care about trivial things like the killing of 5,000+ Americans or heads of state breaking international law. The common folks are just too preoccupied to realize that they’re paying multi-billion dollar companies welfare, all while complaining about “ghetto queens” buying a $3 Red Bull with an EBT card. I feel for these people whose few spare moments are consumed with the socially necessary memorization of sports statistics and analysis of who sportsed the hardest at sports this week. It is because of this empathy that I felt compelled to write a summary public service announcement which will inform people on proper behavior in our newly transformed society. I’m calling it…

Know Your Place

If you are a member of the ruling class or their protectors you may:

If you are a member of the underclass you may:

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, these are merely a drop in the bucket, but they should be sufficient to give folks a general idea of where each group stands in the eyes of the American injustice system. Please, tell me again about how we should only be worried about racist cops. Tell me again how it’s mayor De Blasio’s fault for people being angry at the police. Tell me again how this double standard is just some kind of false narrative put forth by the evil media. What’s that line in the pledge of allegiance? “With liberty and justice for all” Hardly.