Lest We Forget

29 03 2010

With the US population essentially abandoning the rest of the world to its own devices in pursuit of domestic politics, it could be easy to forget that there are lots of people out there who don’t follow our rules of behavior. Or any rational rules of behavior, for that matter. These people are all too happy to blow up scads of innocent passers-by in the idiotic belief that this will somehow effect the ridiculous changes they seek to impose upon everyone around them.

Case in point: two women walked into a Moscow subway during rush hour this morning and blew themselves up, killing dozens of people and wounding dozens more. A similar atrocity took place in the UK a few years ago, as well as several attacks in various forms of public transportation over the past few years in Russia and Spain. For those of you not paying attention, let us examine the fact that these attackers deliberately targeted civilians. Innocent people going about their daily lives are considered legitimate targets by these animals. By contrast, the US military goes out of its way as a matter of policy- even to the point of sustaining avoidable casualties- to avoid targeting civilians. When the inevitable mistake happens, and civilians are nonetheless attacked by US forces, US public opinion and military doctrine mandates exhaustive investigations into the circumstances and the arrest and trial of those responsible.

While many of our enemies see this as evidence of American weakness, we’re really doing it for their benefit. We are all aware- at some level- of the violence lurking deep within us, and we take great pains to avoid letting it out. With the equipment and training available to the US military, our self-restraint is the only thing keeping large portions of planet in a habitable condition. We know this about ourselves, and try very hard- as a people- to prevent our killer instincts from getting loose … because we don’t much like what happens to others when we do let our darker natures free. I invite all and sundry to imagine what would happen if we- the People- ever told our military to take their gloves off. The last time that was permitted to happen, we ended up with the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo, and the dawn of miniature suns over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The US military has no equal at this time. Our Navy can park several thousand troops and hundreds of aircraft off any coast on Earth and keep them there indefinitely. Our Air Force can strike literally anywhere on the planet from deep inside the continental US. Our eyes and ears in the sky and in space can listen in on almost every communication in the world. Our Army and Marines are superbly trained, equipped, and supported by all those other services, making them more than a match for any other military on Earth. US missiles can deliver deadly payloads- including nuclear warheads- anywhere in the world with unbelievable precision and on extremely short notice. Other militaries may be larger, and many countries boast military units of exceptional skill and professionalism, the US literally has no military equal.

And yet, in the face of horror and barbarism from our enemies, we refrain from unleashing our justified wrath upon those enemies- for their sakes. Our enemies once claimed to desire a war between the US and Islam, and many have asked if the US could possibly fight a billion Muslims. The answer is, yes. Were we to treat our enemies as they treat us, there would be death and carnage on a scale the world has never seen. Were we to unleash our might without restraint, there would no longer be a billion Muslims. That restraint is not for our benefit, it is for the benefit of our friends and allies and even our enemies.

For those among us who sneer derisively at the activities of our enemies and claim that we are somehow superior to them- guess again. From the upper midwest comes a tale of a Christian militia group which planned to murder a local police officer and then attack his funeral with improvised explosive devices. Sound familiar? These are exactly the same tactics used by our Islamic enemies. I’d link to the group’s website so you could see for yourself what sort of animals we’re dealing with, but it seems to be offline. Here’s the Wikipedia entry, for as long as it stays up.

These self-described “christian warriors” have decided that they’re perfectly fine with murdering innocents in the name of their “holy war”, and they come from right here in the USA. Tell me again why we’re different from our external enemies.

I’ve already told you the answer: we have resolved- as a people- to keep our killer instincts in check. We have resolved- as a people- that we are willing to expend the lives of our young men and women to fight our enemies on our terms, rather than stoop to their level. We are better than our enemies for these reasons.

But there are those among us who are willing to unleash terror on their fellow citizens in the name of their god. Remember always that our killer instinct is always with us, lying dormant beneath the civilized veneer. Remember, too, that our enemies are not muslims or christians or atheists or albigensians, but fundamentalists and fanatics. Never forget that extremism leads always to atrocities.

Time to re-visit McDonaough’s Song:

Whether the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth-
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote-
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.

Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King-
Or Holy People’s Will-
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Saying –after–me:–

Once there was The People- Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, 0 ye slain!
Once there was The People- it shall never be again!

Current status: Annoyed

Current music: Meet Me On the Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie

Taking Liberties with our Liberty

15 03 2010

A few days ago, George Orwell was again proven prophetic. The police in Medford Oregon surrounded a home in the hours before dawn, then summoned the sleeping resident by telephone out onto his porch, where he was taken into custody (for his own protection), handcuffed, and transported to the local Government mental ward for “evaluation”. His “crime”? Glad you asked. It turns out this gentleman had been suspended from his job with the State government and then had the effrontery to use his tax refund check to purchase three firearms. The police insisted that he had been taken into “protective custody” and had not been arrested. They claim that they were being “proactive instead of reactive”. Our victim of this soviet-style inquisition, who was released after a few hours of “evaluation” by State mental health professionals, somehow doesn’t see it that way. He’s publicly demanding that his five firearms (the three new purchases and the two he had already owned) be returned, and he is looking for a good attorney.

For those of you who slept through high school Civics & Government classes, this man- who was never charged with any crime- had his Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights violated by Government agents who were concerned that he might be planning something. In plain language, those are (in order): the right to keep and bear arms, the protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to due process of law.

I sense that some of you still don’t get it. Allow me to explain. The police arrested a citizen with no warrant, had him involuntarily committed for “evaluation” with no court order, and seized his legally owned and obtained firearms without probable cause. Please point out where these actions are considered Constitutional. Here’s a hint: It won’t be in THIS country.

The really scary part about this story is not the bit about a US police agency trying to get away with such gross violations of civil rights. The truly wet-your-pants frightening bit is the large number of people in this country who don’t have a problem with the cops getting away with it. Assuming this bullshit is allowed to pass unchallenged, it means that our liberties- previously guaranteed (but not granted) by the Constitution- will be instantly revocable at the whim of some police officer who thinks you might be up to something.

“Excuse me, citizen. I notice you just purchased a six-pack of beer at that convenience store. Do you have a driver’s license?”

“Yes,officer, but I’m not driving. I only live a few blocks away, so I’m just going to carry the beer home and …”

“There’s a possibility that you could drink one or more beers and then try to drive, or even drink one or more beers while walking home. In either case, I’ll have to take you into custody- for your own good.”

“What? That’s ridiculous! I haven’t broken any laws!”

“Well, I think you might be planning to break either the drunk-driver law or the drunk in public law, so I’ll just put you in cuffs and haul you down to the State Sanitarium for evaluation.”

“Wait a minute! Aren’t you supposed to read me my rights? Why not take me to jail?”

“No need for that, citizen. We’d rather let the docs at State keep you under observation for a while. No need to go through all the paperwork and bother of a booking.”


Before this story broke, I would have laughed at the yarn above and claimed smugly that it couldn’t happen here. Guess what? It just did. Worse, the folks who generally make the biggest outcry at any infringement of Constitutional protections are largely wondering why this is a big deal. Here is an actual quote from more than one commenter on a generally left-leaning message board: “He could have been planning to replay Virginia Tech. He was in possession of the means to commit a massacre. The cops may have prevented a tragedy.”

Really? By that logic, every female should be arrested for prostitution, every computer owner should be arrested for cybercrime, and every driver should be automatically charged with DUI. They are all equipped for committing those crimes. Might as well lock them up to “prevent a tragedy”. Just think of it as being proactive instead of reactive.

By the way, there used to be a country where this sort of Byzantine abuse of authority was common. The USSR used to have dissidents and other non-conformists tossed into mental institutions on the grounds that anyone who didn’t agree with the all-powerful State had to be insane. The Soviet Union crashed and burned after seventy years, but I bet  Old Joe Stalin must be laughing in his grave at the idea that his greatest enemy is keeping his legacy alive.

In Medford, Oregon. USA. Ungood. Doubleplus ungood.

Bitte zeigen Sie mir Ihre Papiere, mein Herr.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Current status: Locked, loaded, and liquored up.

Current music: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac