Archive for February, 2017

Idle Reflections as I Gaze Upon Your Shameless Depravity. #CPAC #GOP #Breitbart #Milo #FreeSpeech #HighGround

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, arguing with lunatics, COMRADE TRUMP, current events, philosophy, politics, race on February 23, 2017 by furious buddha

As a Chicago baseball fan I have known my share of heartache, humiliation, and hope. Notice that I am neither a Cubs or Sox fan, but a Chicago baseball fan. I just love the game and don’t really care who wins; while this is somewhat like proclaiming yourself an agnostic while standing between Torquemada and Cotton Mather* I generally don’t get much grief for it. The thing is, I’m as likely to be at Wrigley as New Comiskey** and as a result I see exactly how both groups of fans feel about each other. When I go to New Comiskey I pass vendors selling as many variations on “Cubs suck” merchandise as they do Sox gear. You are literally as likely to hear someone shout something disparaging about the Cubs as they are to cheer on the Sox. Every third conversation seems to be about how terrible the Cubs, Wrigley Field, and the North Side are in general. Then when I go to Wrigley the only indication that there is another team in town is by looking at the scoreboard that lists all the teams in the National and American Leagues; the rivalry is incredibly one sided in that sense. Even in the year the Sox won the World Series, Sox fans could barely notice because of their all-consuming hatred of the Cubs; when the Cubs won, they had the largest peaceful secular gathering of human beings in history.

Conservatives are a lot like Sox fans; nothing makes them happy because they don’t want to be happy, they just want liberals (or Cubs fans) to be miserable. The closest they come to happiness is gloating in victory while drinking the sweet tears of the vanquished. This is why they’re so angry that “the left” is so energized; we haven’t provided them with nearly enough tears. Somewhere along the line they ceded the moral high ground so that they could embrace depraved and damaged people like Milo Yiannopoulos because he would say terrible things on their behalf. To be clear, although Milo is a hypocrite, it is not for playing the “victim card” and confessing that he is broken person but rather his incapacity to forgive others their brokenness. It should have been clear there was something desperately wrong with him even without knowing what he said regarding pedophilia and yet he was given a massive platform to spew madness and hate because that is what they wanted him to do. Liberals did not make conservatives love Milo.

I suppose that I take comfort that they still have some kind of sense of shame. At least they recognized that it would be better to drop Milo like a dog turd rather than to try and convince people that man on boy pedophilia is just another traditional religious practice that godless liberals were oppressing with our socialist nanny state. While I agree with the leadership of CPAC for recognizing that white supremacists have no place in mainstream political discourse, that does not mean that everyone at CPAC feels that way. From the Washington Post:

Spencer was stopped by JP Sheehan, a CPAC attendee wearing a black-and-gold Make America Great Again baseball cap.
“Praise kek!” said Sheehan, posing for a selfie with Spencer and repeating a meme that had been adopted by the alt-right. “He’s the coolest guy.”***

I am not accusing you of being a racist. I am not wagging my finger to lecture you. I am trying to point out that maybe it’s time to stop trying to piss people like me off or outrage me with how edgy you are and actually consider what it is going to take to effectively govern our great nation. Your current philosophy, my conservative comrades, is as nihilistic and solipsistic as that of a 19 year old suburban virgin who just discovered Ayn Rand. I have never found it easier to argue a conservative into running away like a frightened child; apparently my fellow Americans are demonstrating that to their Republican representatives across the country at the moment. Those are not paid protestors, my friends, those are citizens. All of that phony outrage you ginned up for the past eight years is going to haunt you now because you set a very low bar for behavior with a President who was gentlemanly, sophisticated, and who tried to work with you; now you’ve collaborated with racists and the Russians to put a dangerously incompetent headcase in the Oval Office while tripping over yourselves to dismantle the Federal Government and are scratching your head at the outrage confronting you. You don’t understand where it’s coming from because you don’t see anyone organizing it or paying for it. That’s because it’s actually We the People rising up.

.

*That was just for you, Kenny.
**I am never going to refer to it by that stupid name.
***JP Sheehan wouldn’t know what cool was if you put ice cubes in his asshole.

Turning the Other Cheek is Not a Suicide Pact

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, COMRADE TRUMP, current events, god, philosophy, politics, race, religion on February 9, 2017 by furious buddha

Huck,

Your most recent comment regarding violence in the wake of Trump’s election deserved better than my initial glib response..

First of all, I’m guessing “the violence” you are talking about includes the four African Americans who have been charged with a hate crime for live streaming their kidnapping and abuse of a developmentally disabled white man. Right wing reaction to the crime is predictably hypocritical in the sense that they suddenly set a new threshold for “torture” that is decidedly different from when they are talking about the recipient of the abuse being black or brown; these conservatives also apparently now think that hate crime laws are a good idea. That aside, the attack was perpetrated by people so brutally stupid they broadcast themselves committing it. That they felt pride in humiliating and tormenting a person incapable of defending themselves speaks more shamefully of them than anything that could be written or spoken about them; they deserve the charges being brought against them and to be tried with the evidence weighed cooly in a courtroom. There is no moral question here, but then, unlike conservatives, I make no connection between these four lowlives and people of color in general, any more than I would claim that everyone from Saudi Arabia is a terrorist simply because a majority of the 9/11 attackers, plotters and financing came from there or that because white men are overwhelmingly likely to be the perpetrators of violence in churches I should think that every white man is potentially going to mass murder a Sunday School. The only people that actually want a “Race War” are white and the handful of black people who are as crazy as the four criminally insane ones mentioned above to think they could somehow win a “Race War”.. The population of African-Americans is barely above %10; there is no scenario where they win “Race War”. Trying to connect this crime to Black Lives Matter or otherwise blow it out of proportion is the willful misrepresentation of a fearmonger.

Then of course there is the sucker punching of Richard Spencer, the natty neoNazi everyone’s talking about. Punching Spencer only allows him to play the martyr which is something that conservatives love doing even more than they love accusing liberals of doing it. That’s why he’s standing in public places saying provocative things in front of a camera; he is trying to create a narrative where the barbaric liberals are assaulting the clean cut white guy who is calmly talking into the camera. The Nazis used similar tactics, but the same could be said for a lot of things going on right now. So I am certainly against violence in this case as well. The guy who hit Richard Spencer is Not Helping, and the four psychopaths above certain didn’t do anyone any kind of good.

Violence is wrong, mostly.
Violence is wrong always in a hypothetical sense.
But specifically is where the world happens.

Was Lincoln wrong to use violence to preserve the Union?
Was Roosevelt wrong to pursue war against the Nazis?
Was Truman wrong to drop the atomic bomb?

Is it wrong to use violence to prevent barbaric atrocity?
Would it have been wrong to allow UN forces in Rwanda to use violence in an effort to stop the genocide?

Is it wrong to respond to violence perpetrated by a foreign power upon one’s nation?
Would it have been right to invade Saudi Arabia as opposed to Iraq after 9/11?

Gandhi faced a civilized oppressor in the British Empire that could be shamed by nonviolence into taking just action; how long would Gandhi’s campaign have lasted if the Nazis had been in control of India?

Should we admire the Vichy Government for peacefully collaborating with the Nazis and condemn the French Resistance as a pack of murderous terrorists?

My faith declares that it is the peacemakers who are blessed which is a rather straightforward precept that is easy to comprehend if not easily achieved. But as a general principle it makes sense.

Then there is the admonition to turn the other cheek. This is a more complicated idea that can actually seem insane if taken literally. On the other hand, the One who bade us to do so allowed Himself to be scourged and crucified rather than compromise His essential integrity. So does that mean that we should allow innocents, our loved ones, and ourselves be butchered by barbarians?

Here’s how I interpret turning the other cheek. I will not be provoked into violence but neither do I cower. I present my other cheek to demonstrate that I do not fear violence. I practice Judo. I can take a punch. My principle is to subdue a violent person with the minimal amount of necessary violence. I respond to rage with calm,  and I prevail because I am not trying defeat anyone or prove my superiority; my conditions for a “win” is de-escalation. Pacifism is scoffed at by weaklings who puff themselves up with macho bravado and mistake aggression for masculinity; making peace is bloody difficult and sometimes you have to use your hands and get dirty.

White supremacists have infiltrated police departments across the US and the new Attorney General of the US once said he would be ok with the Klan except that some of them smoked weed. The only person the President of the United States has anything nice to say about is Vladimir Putin, a murderous tyrant whom he admires for his strength. His chief advisor is an anti-Semite who believes an existential war with China and Islam are inevitable and that our society needs a trial by fire; he has taken actions that can only be rationally interpreted in the worst possible way.

Turning the other cheek is not a suicide pact.