Selective Outrage

I was doing my usual Goofy foot on the internet when I came upon an image on HuffingtonPost.com of  11 dead Afghani children placed in a post-mortem lineup for identification. The photograph is horrifying, sickening, and yet more evidence of the cost of war.

I then made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section–apparently I am a sadomasochist–and read the opinions contained therein.

Huge mistake.

What I read was a collection of cries of war crimes(despite no evidence of intent), that “we are” the bad guys, and generally simplistic moralizing statements that often comes from the Left when it comes to war.

A Note On Corporate Culpability In The Rise of Nazism

(This was written as a book review of  Nazi Nexus: America’s Corporate Connections to Hitler’s Holocaust. It went well beyond a review.)

Who are we to blame for the Nazis? We know that quite a few people were complicit in constructing and supporting the Nazi regime. The Soviets in the 1920’s provided the training grounds to the Reichswehr that was crucial to the development of the Blitzkrieg-style of warfare that the Nazis used to such frightening effectiveness. Then we have the development of Zyklon B by German chemists using the Haber-Bosch process at roughly the same time period.We also know that the idea of concentration camps was inspired by American and British use on the Native Americans and Boers respectfully.

Looking at Nazi ideology. It was staunchly anti-Jewish, anti-Communist, anti-Capitalist with strains of religious, socialist, atheist and paganist perspectives thrown in. This points to a peculiar Nazi characteristic. For all their violent talk of a homogenous society they were remarkably diverse when it came to integrating different ideas into their plan for fulfilling their goals. Simply out, they used people and corporations to achieve an end. One only need look at the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to see a high-profile example of this. I would also point to Hitler exploiting the pacifist notions dominant in France and England to acquire large tracts of land without a single shot fired in defense.

Whose fault is it that Austria and Czechoslovakia fell to Hitler so peacefully? Not corporations. Whose fault was it that Hitler was able to re-militarize the Rhineland or the Saar with no consequence whatsoever? Not corporations. Whose fault was it that Hitler was able to build an army without any repercussions? Not corporations.

This does not exculpate those corporations who did aid and abet the Nazis in their crimes, but it does give context to what is obviously a stridently anti-corporation book. Mr. Black forgets that it was the Arsenal of Democracy that gave our brave men the ability to smash the Nazi regime. What would have the GI been without the Thompson, bazooka, or BAR? The Sailor without his destroyer or cruiser? The airmen without the B-17 or P-51? It is well-known that the US’s greatest strength in WWII was not the genius of her generals or the courage of her soldiers(for courage matters not without arms) but her industrial might. That is what won us the war. Mr. Black and every other hysterical anti-corporatist would do well to remember this.

Besides, this argument is disingenuous. The weapons that the Germans built to wage war where Germany and Czechoslovakia. If you want the real corporate culprits look to Siemens, Krupp, Thyssen, Mercedes, BMW, etc. The German was machine was a product of Germans mechanical genius and industrial might. There is no doubting that.

Lastly, we have the nearly universal blindness of people to the destructive nature of Nazism. Few, save Churchill, recognized the danger that Nazism presented in the 1930’s. Look at the strong anti-war movements, look at the refusal of people in Europe and in the US to open their borders to Jewish refugees. If you want to be honest, those most responsible for the destruction of European Jewry–next to the Nazis and German people–were the people of the world. If they had acted, if they had pushed their governments to act–France had legal cause and a serious advantage in military hardware in 1935– to enter Germany when Hitler was renouncing The Versailles Treaty nothing which came after would have happened. No Anschluss, no Munich Agreement, no Kristallnacht, no World War, and no Holocaust. We failed to act. We failed to push our governments to do what was right. We, guided by parochial and self-centered views, closed our borders, minds, and hearts, to what was going on in Germany. We, the people, failed our fellow humans. We collectively own this catastrophe.

P.S. One could counter the corporation-bashing by pointing to the Leftists who actively supported a regime that was just as murderous as Hitler–Stalinist Russia. History tells us that government is infinitely worse than corporations when it comes to committing mass murder. After all, it was the Nazis who conceived and ran the deaths camps, it was the Soviets who conceived and ran the Gulags, it was the Maoists who conceived and implemented the Chinese Famine that would kill millions, and it was the US government that waged total war in Vietnam. Corporations don’t have the power to control the masses like the government does. They are not invested with the legal right to organize the people for wars of conquests and plunder.For all  of the evils that corporations present none quite match that of the government’s ability to use and abuse the good intentions of citizens for malicious and greedy ends.

To the Pacifist Paulians

This was a response I wrote to a Paulian on Ron Paul’s Facebook page. His  hypocrisy and shallow thinking are evident.

Brian Macker,  violence in self-defense is never justified? How convenient that you say such things in a safe and comfortable environment where threats to personal safety are at a minimum. Clearly you have no lived one day in a place where security is tenuous at best. Perhaps if we placed you in Somalia or Afghanistan you might begin to understand the foolishness of your position. For it is men of violence who rule the world, not men of peace. What was the fate of Christ, Gandhi, and King? Violent death. How are nations established and rights secured? Through violence.  King John only signed the Magna Carta because he had swords pointed at his throat. Our Constitution–the one Paul always talks about–only came intro being after nearly a decade of violent conflict. Conflict that killed tens of thousands and destroyed the property of many more.  If the men of the Revolutionary era were of your ilk they would have never achieved independence from England. Your pacifist notions sound lovely to imbeciles and those who reside in fantasy worlds, but to us who live in the real world, they are nothing short of insane. They also are hypocritical. For Paul’s  “land of liberty” was gained through mass violence. If you or Paul were any sort of men you’d forsake this ill-gotten land and move back to Europe. For how can any person devoted to peace and justice live upon land violently stolen away from others ? How can one who has benefitted so much from aggression speak so much about pacifism?  The twin stains of slavery and genocide do not fade away so easily, Brian.No matter how hard you  attempt to scrub away the sins of your ancestors the crimson blood of their victims  will forever stain this land to remind us how bloody and violent the birth of this supposed Land of Liberty was.

As I was writing this response I was reminded of a quote from the English political philosopher John Stuart Mill who was very definitely a lover of liberty:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. 

This succinctly sums up Ron Paul and his minions. They not only conveniently forget how this country was born, but they attempt to  hide behind the foolish and false doctrines of  pacifism as if that justifies their hypocrisy. What Paul and his minions don’t understand is that self-defense sometimes requires you to take aggressive actions.(e.g: attack the enemies home base) Paul thinks that we can defend ourselves as a king in his castle once defended himself–through the construction of a giant motte-and-bailey.

Oh, the quaint notions of nincompoops!

Our nation is much too open for such a tactic to work. One can, without too much difficulty, smuggle arms into a free and open society if left to their own devices to plan such an operation. This is why interdiction is necessary. It isn’t the point or realistic to expect to stop every such operation, but it is realistic to think that we can make such operations so difficult that the enemy will either give up or seek other avenues of attack. This is where aggressive defense–or interdiction–comes into play. Attacking and destroying the enemy in his base, while he plans his nefarious deeds, is the best method to prevent catastrophic events like 9-11. That has been the government’s  modus operandi since that dark day and it has proven to be the correct method.

Trailer Park Queen

Trailer Park Queen(to be sung to the music of  Billy Ocean’s Caribbean Queen)

She’s simply–gross

She staggers by me in bleached duct taped jeans

And heads bobble in laughter

I close my eyes to avoid looking at her

But she saw  me and asked me if  I had a lighter

I said “No, you nasty bitch.”

Trailer Park Queen

We now are sharing the same space on the sidewalk

And the stench of her unwashed body is fillin’ my nose

I got to getaway from this nasty Ho.

I get nauseous when she enters the room

And I have a strong desire to smack her with a broom

Deathly  pale complexion, Raggedy-Ann hair, and yellowish-brown teeth

And her malodorous queefs,

Makes me wish I was anywhere but with the Queen.

Trailer Park Queen

PBR, Winstons, and Jerry Springer

Are this Queen’s Courtiers

And a Double-Wide her castle

But all she wants is a King to hassle

Trailer Park Queen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death of a Parent

It is often said that there is nothing so painful as a parent suffering the loss of a child.The child, after all, is the future. It is the continuation of the familial genes, name, and values. The loss of a child is more than the loss of a loved one it is the loss of a future.

But what about the loss of a parent? For a child–young and mature–the  pain in the passing of a parent reaches to the very core of their being.  For what is a child but the physical, intellectual, and emotional creation of the parent?  With the loss of a parent a child feels profoundly alone in this world. Their loving protector, teacher, and guide, are no more. The child may be fortunate to still have the other parent and one is surely better than none. But still there is the loss of one-half of who they are.

Now it must be said that not all feel this way. I, for one, felt little when my  mother passed. I recall staring at the little green wooden box containing her ashes and wondering about…..nothing.It was  a day of great emptiness, guilt, and confusion. A day where I ought to have felt something, but in fact felt nothing. I was hollow that day. Sure, there was the basic natural human feeling of sorrow over the end of a life, but it wasn’t a profound grief that one normally expects a child to feel at the loss of a parent. Such was the price of my mother’s indifferent parenting.

But for most humans there is a deep and profound sense of loss for a parent.

I’ll never forget my father at  my grandfather’s funeral. Here was a man who raised me by himself(with much help from my grandfather) and who overcame a tumor on his pituitary gland, brought to his knees by the grief over the loss of his father. My father had lost his mother 32 years before to cancer. He had already lost half of his Self. Now the other half was gone. The former Marine who had stood with my dad over his refusal to go to Vietnam(even though he disagreed with him) ,who had slept on the ground next to his bed at the age of 70 after my dad’s surgery, and who helped my father raise his son who was abandoned by his mother. For 48 years my father had a rock solid pillar  of support and guidance. Now both were gone.

It was in seeing my father’s reaction to this terrible realization that my dad went from a superman to a Man in my eyes.For the first time I saw my father as a  man of flesh and blood who could die. Stunning as this was to me then I still had the awareness to make sure I never again took him for granted.

As I have reflected upon that day I have come to see that not only did not appreciate my father, but by grandfather as well. One I can rectify, the other will  remain forever irredeemable. The best I can do now is to heed my father’s request–made the day before my grandfather passed–to never forget him. I do so by occasionally writing about him on here, sharing anecdotes about him, and keeping pictures of him on my phone and computer. These superficial gestures are  an inadequate way of saying thanks to all that my grandfather gave me, but they are done with sincerity.

This entry was written because my stepbrother lost his father this week–little more than two months after my he, David, was married. I dedicate this entry to David.

I love you, Dave.

Think, McFly, Think.

Political partisans are notorious for holding on to talking points even if they are obviously poorly thought out. A shining example of this is the idea that government is the hub of our economy. That is, it is an sine quo non element of our economy. This is one of the main talking points Democrats are putting forth in the 2012 election.

Democrats support this assertion by pointing out that it is government that provides us with public schools, constructs and maintains infrastructure,  funds scientific and medical research, guarantees law and order through the justice system, and lastly, provides for the common defense through the maintaining of a powerful military.  Superficially, this list would appear to support their conclusion. All of the above ARE integral elements of our country. We do need the services and funding government provides.

In the  above list of what the government  one does not see HOW government is able to provide all that it does. To be more specific, who generates the money that enables…no, makes GOVERNMENT, possible?

Democrats will say “The People!” and they will be partially correct. The people do, through the paying of taxes, provides the funds that support everything on the list. But this is a rather shallow grasp of the situation. The real truth is that business, directly and indirectly,  are 100% responsible for everything government does. Directly by paying taxes and indirectly through the paying of wages that the government then taxes.ere

This isn’t a “chicken and the egg” scenario. We know who is the Creator and who is the Creation.  I’m pretty sure the Democrats do to, but admitting  the central importance of business to the nation would muddle, if not harm, their efforts to wage class warfare.  They cannot be seen or perceived as  kowtowing to the financial elite.  No, they have to stick to the centuries old Democrat formula of distrust of banks and business(aided and abetted by the acts of bankers and businessmen) and wild-eyed Populist politics to win power. Every generation of Americans has succumbed to the Democrats sycophantic overtures.

In having said all this, I believe that business should respectfully be reminded that they too are dependent on us, that they have a stake in our success or failure, and that we–the people as a whole–are in control. While business is extremely important they are not so important that  we will permit them to treat their workers poorly, poison our environment, and to unduly influence Congress. There is a limit to what we will permit people to do in order to make a profit.

In this troubled age we must skip the temptation to accept without thinking the talking points both parties will use in the course of an election. We must use that part of our body that makes is the dominant species on this planet–the human brain.  We must think.

 

The Replacements

After watching the  Sham in Seattle it seems clear that the National FOOOOOOTBALLL League(NFL), has decided that loyalty to the ideals of Scrooge McDuck is more important than the quality of the product they put on the field. How else can one interpret the NFL’s response to the “call which will live in infamy”?

(Contrary to what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says that wasn’t a simultaneous catch. It was a receiver belatedly placing his hand on part of the ball after the cornerback had intercepted and firmly cradled the ball.)

This travesty was just one in  an orgy of errors:In the Lions-Titans game saw the refs award the Titans 27 yards on a 15 yard personal foul penalty in overtime; 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was twice awarded challenges after calling time even though he was ineligible to do so; the Redskins were penalized 20 yards instead of 15 in their game against the Bengals.

These were the more notable ones. A list of  other  officiating faux pas can be found here.

I love football. I believe it to be the greatest sport on earth. It is chess in flesh and blood. It is a game of brains and brawn, of skill and strength, of speed  and size.  It is a singular event every week, which makes it an ideal for a convivial gathering. It is appeals to the violent, strategic, and social parts of our brains.

But after watching the first three weeks of the 2012 season I must confess that the sport is in a bad way at the highest level. While the concussion issue is troubling, the officiating issue is of a more immediate threat to the game. It is literally costing teams games, ruining the fan experience, and potentially places the health of players at risk. But what is most vexing about the problem is that it is an easy fix: reach an accord with the NFL Referees Association.

It is the very simplicity of the solution that causes a person to question the integrity of the league.

Why is a game that is run by billionaires and played by millionaires  haggling over a couple of million dollars?  Why is the league risking its reputation over fairly minor economic issues? Do they really think that the  benefits will outweigh the cost(loss of prestige)?

I can only hope that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is sitting in his office at 345 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York, and asking himself “ What would Pete do?”.(Pete being Pete Rozelle, the legendary NFL Commissioner who lead the construction of the huge monolith we know as the NFL)

Goodell can do good for all by pushing the owners to compromise and thus save themselves and the league  from further embarrassments like we saw in Seattle last night. The NFL’s fans can only hope that this will be the case.

A Football Weekend Spent in Nice Warm Hades.

This was a tear-ra-bull weekend for my beloved Wolverines and Lions. The lone “bright spot” was my Alma Mater, the Eagles of Eastern Michigan, did acquit themselves well in 23-7 defeat to the Green Weenies of East Lansing.

Normally, I don’t like noting moral victories, but considering that EMU’s football program is the living embodiment of suck I feel compelled to note their effort. Hat’s off to you, Eagles.

On Saturday, I had the honor of watching Hypesman contender, Denard “Shoelace” Robinson decided on his own to Wake Up the Echoes by doing as St Vincent de Paul would do. Robinson’s  5 turnover(4 interceptions and 1 fumble in the red zone)  were as great of a bounty  as any UM quarterback has given out since Demetrius Brown generously gave MSU 7  interceptions in 1987.It seemed as if Shoelace felt a deep need to atone for all the mental anguish he had caused Irish fans for doing this:

Could you not have done a thousand Hail Marys, Denard? Why, why, did you have to keep giving the ball to the Irish? WHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

To comfort me in this time of despair I made the decision to make an acquaintance with three Irishmen: Jameson, Bailey, and Guinness.

These products of Eire dulled the pain of watching men mostly not of Irish descent play for an American university with a French name that carries as a nickname the slightly offensive Fighting Irish, defeat the Wolverines in a hard-fought pillow fight.

This wasn’t so for the titanic debacle in Nashville, where the Detroit Lions put on a magnificent display of ineptitude in all three phases of the game. in a 44-41 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Special teams? A punt AND kickoff return for touchdowns.Defense?  378 yds and 2 touchdowns to the legendary Jake  Locker. Offense? A fumble returned for touchdown at the worst possible moment. Oh and Matt “IR” Stafford pulled a muscle on said play.  Today was a splendid example of the phrase “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Season after season, decade after decade, no matter the coach or the GM, the Lions continue to shock, disgust, and enrage their fans with play that belongs more in a Laurel and Hardy film than on a football field.

However, this film…eg, game…had a twist. The Titans were not so willing to play the straight man to the Lions banana man. They too wanted to partake in the Lions game. Botched shotgun handoff, missed field goals, and a Hail Mary. Impressive, but the experienced Lions were not going to be denied.In overtime,  4 and inches on the 6 yard line with a chance to tie with a field goal(new rules forbade a team from winning on a field goal on the opening possession) or a win with a TD, the Lions go for it–and fumble the snap. Pure Honolulu Blue-and-Silver gold.(Coach Jim “I am in desperate need of the” Schwartz claimed they were trying to draw the Titans offsides. They never were intending to go for it. How very Lionion.)

After watching this latest Lion taming I did two things: Thanked God I was not with my family at this debacle and then find an excuse for not paying $53 to attend the October 28th  Lions-Seahawks game.  I love my family, but this shit isn’t fun. Watching shitty football at home is a waste of time, but paying for it is simply idiotic. I really do not want to go watch what looks like a sub .500 team with thousands of drunken louts who have spent their child’s college fund on season tickets.

The upcoming weekend promises only one chance for a reason for a drunken escape from reality:the Lions versus the Norsemen of Minnesota aka the Vikings. Meanwhile,  the Wolverines will spend the bye week trying to find ways to get Denard to throw the ball to players in Winged helmets.  It should be a splendid time for all.

 

Innocence Lost

Nikoula Nikoula aka Sam Bacile has sparked a frenzy in Moslem countries over his depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in his film Innocence of Muslims. This fury has led to the deaths of 4 American, including the US ambassador to Libya as well as attacks upon US embassies in Libya, Egypt,  and Tunisia.

While I abhor the assault upon Mohammed I am even more outraged and disgusted by the reaction to what was up to this point a truly forgettable film. What the hell is wrong with these rioters? I understand their being deeply offended, but  to engage in acts of violence over an insult is so very Medieval. (I am reminded of the burning of people for heresy in Europe’s Middle Ages when I see the scenes of hysterical Moslems running amuck through American embassies.)

The sad and ironic aspect of this riot is that it isn’t going to accomplish anything. All that violence will do is bring an even larger  US presence into the region.(As indeed it already has.) The end result is that Moslems are going to get the opposite of what they want none of–American troops.

Foolish.

Sam Bacile is a fool and a hatemonger. This turd of a film ought never have been made. The historical oppressive treatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt is what allegedly drove Nikoula to make this film.Sadly, he probably has guaranteed an increase in such abuse for Coptics with this film. Coptics, an already reviled minority group will only be subjected to further abuse in revenge for this blasphemous assault upon the Prophet.

More foolishness.

This tragic affair reminds me in some way of riots we in the US have had. The New York Draft Riots of 1863 when immigrants violently revolted against the draft by going on a destructive rampage; the  1921 Tulsa City Riot in which whites went on a rampage after a white woman was allegedly rapes; the 1991 LA riot in response to the  police officers in the Rodney King Beating Trial being found not guilty. All three  were irrational responses to perceived indignities.All three were indicators of underling frustration and disaffection within their respected communities.

The riots we are seeing across the Moslem world stem from the same feelings. The  vast majority of people committing the violence are not financially stable or socially respected people, but poor and largely uneducated people who are trapped in hopeless situations. This as we have seen can be a lethal mixture.

Islam has a serious problem. The radicals are literally at war with the world and even themselves.They even are destroying Moslem shrines. Most Moslems are not of this type, but it cannot help the image of their religion for these fanatics to conduct themselves in such repulsive fashion under the rubric of Islam. Islam needs a Jihad to eliminate these poisonous elements for they are the gravest threat to Islam. The problems with US foreign policy and Israel can only be addressed with only after these fanatics are dealt with for no America a president wants to be seen as the Stars and Striped version of Neville Chamberlain.

The ongoing riots only weakens American sympathy for Palestinian and Moslems. Sympathy that is crucial for any change in American policy or views to occur. This  unfortunate side effect makes Moslems as a whole the party to suffer most from the explosion of outrage we are seeing.

Where Were You

ImageWhere were you when the towers burned and fell? 

Image

 Where were you when you first saw the burning rubble of the Pentagon?

Where were you when it hit you while watching the smoldering wreckage of United Flight 93  that America was being assaulted?

 When  commemorations of significant events occur people often begin by noting where they were  said event happened.

Why?  What relevance to the subject does my presence at Eastern Michigan University’s Bruce T. Halle library have to do with the day? That place was merely a setting, a trivial element of a day of  shock and horror.The main scene was the painfully visceral images of the carnage man can bring upon their fellow-man being beamed into our eyes.

Pain and terror,  hate and violence, resilience and courage…all of these were on display that dark September day.A day where hardly  a cloud was seen  and where the Sun was supreme, was blackened forever by the dark hearts of men.

“The horror! The horror!”. These final words of Kurtz as he lay dying were the expression of a man’s belated realization of the impact of his actions. Did the charcoal-hearted terrorists feel anything of the sort in the milli-seconds before their death? Did they feel any remorse for not only causing the physical destruction of human lives, but the emotionally devastation as well? It would take an impossibly optimistic person to think that they did. But maybe, just maybe, there was a sliver of humanity left in these husks that there was room for compassion for what they had wrought.

Or maybe not.

In future years when we discuss 9-11 we should substitute the slightly narcissistic and pointless thought of where we where  for a far more productive thought: “Where we need to go to prevent this from happening again?”

We ought to do this because it isn’t important where we WERE, but where we are GOING. Are we heading towards or away from another  9-11? Are we making such events less or more likely? I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to answer such questions. All I ask is that you ponder it on this date every year for the rest of your life. That is the best way we can honor those who perished on that infamous date.