Another Bloody Anniversary

4 04 2018

Fifty years ago, humanity continued in its endless quest to purge its ranks of anyone who tries to make the world a better place. A man was murdered in cold blood by another person for the crime of wanting everyone to be nice to everyone else. This was no crime of passion. The killer laid in wait for his target, and shot him from a distance. Coldly. Without remorse. Without shame or regret.

The victim was Dr. Martin Luther King. He was murdered for the sin of insisting on equality for everyone. A white person was so offended at the prospect of treating humans equally- regardless of skin color or religion or political inclination or wealth- that he murdered a man who was publicly shaming the country for not doing so.

Let that sink in. Someone in this country decided to kill because the he did not like what the victim had to say.

If that doesn’t make you simultaneously furious, frightened, and sad, you need to immediately apply for a clue chit. It is the twenty-first fucking century. Humans have been supposedly “civilized” for roughly ten thousand years by now, yet we’re still resorting to violence to silence those we disagree with.

For those not paying attention, here’s a short primer on the use of deadly force. Ready?

Deadly force must only be used to defend yourself or another person from violence.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? No complicated rules of engagement here. It’s very fucking simple. Violence is a shitty way to solve problems, not least because violence almost always creates more problems whenever it is used. If you or another person are not faced with violence in the immediate near-term, violence is wrong. Kill only when it is the only way to protect yourself or another person from violence.

Dr. King was not offering violence- even rhetorically. He and those who followed him allowed their opposition to beat and imprison them without resorting to violence, even though resorting to violence would have been justified (in my opinion, using the rule promulgated here). Turning the other cheek to those who are literally baying for your life’s blood takes a level of self-confidence and courage which beggars belief. I am certain I do not have the guts to remain non-violent when confronted by violence, yet Dr. King and those who followed him did just that.

Those who opposed Dr. King and his message offered violence in response to the idea everyone should be treated equally. They were willing to kill to prevent Dr. King from publicly calling for equal treatment under the law.

In case you haven’t figured it out, here’s a little bit of information for you: liberty and equality are not diminished by being shared. Like love, sharing equality, tolerance, and liberty creates more. Treating other people equally does not take equality away from you, any more than loving someone reduces the amount of love in the world.

Equality is not a zero-sum game.

How hard is it to treat everyone equally? Apparently a lot of people in this country think it’s just too difficult, and they’re willing to kill anyone who thinks different.

That last word up there is the major factor in the opposition to liberty and equality. “Different”. Someone who isn’t exactly like you and your family is “different”, and therefore scary. This pathological terror of “different” is fucking stupid on just about every level, and invariably results in violence against the “other”- however “other” is defined.

Worship a different god? Wear different clothes? Worship the same god but on a different day? Speak a different language? Worship the same god on the same day but while wearing different clothing? What about worshiping the same god on the same day in the same way wearing the same clothes but using a different language? OHMYGOD, you’re different! Eeeeeeeek! Flee! Flee for your lives!

Let us examine these scary differences, shall we? Genetically, every single human on the planet is almost indistinguishable from every other human. To illustrate this idea, I call your attention to the fact humans are genetically 97% identical to chimpanzees. Any given Kalahari Bushman and the Great Green Dipshit of the KKK are 99.97% identical.

Yet the supposedly “civilized” leader of the KKK is willing to kill over a minute .03% genetic difference between his DNA and the man from Africa.

Why? What is so fucking special about those protein combinations in that random .03% genetic variation? There is no innate superiority built into those tiny fractions of differences, despite what many supposedly “superior” people like to tell themselves.


If your personal sense of self-worth is based solely on feeling superior to other people, you’re the one with problems- not the “other” people. And let’s not forget they’re people, shall we?

So, a white person was so upset a black person was asking for his fellow Americans to treat everyone equally, this white person felt he just had to shut the black person up. With a gun.

John Lewis

With that bullet, the white man did more than murder an innocent man in cold blood. He also shot a hole through all pretensions of equality and civilization in America.

It has been fifty fucking years. I’m having a hard time believing we’ve made any progress at all. Hatred of “other” is out there in the open for all to see. Millions of Americans are happy to fuck over their fellow Americans based on ephemera such as skin color or religion or politics. Millions of Americans are perfectly fine with other Americans being beaten, imprisoned, or killed based on similar minuscule differences.

This is not right, or just, or even American. Equality is the promise of America, but too many supposed Americans don’t want to live up to that promise.

Time to start acting like Americans are supposed to act. Hell, time to start acting like fucking adults. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We cannot tolerate those who hate and act on that hatred. If for no other reason than sheer self-interest, we must put this antiquated ideas back in the garbage can where they belong.

Remember- if you get to cause harm to other people for their differences, then you will find yourself on the receiving end of this same attitude when someone decides YOU are “different”.


Current status: Disillusioned

Current music: Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel

American Taliban

31 05 2009

The stupid among us have resorted to violent acts in defense of their irrationality for decades. In the name of their nonexistent god, they have set off bombs among innocents; set fire to homes, businesses, and other property; assaulted people at work, home, and church; and have even killed.

They have killed again.

George Tiller, a doctor in Wichita, Kansas, was shot to death this morning while he was serving as an usher at his church. Doctor Tiller has been attacked- both verbally and physically- several times in the past by religious fundamentalists and right-wing pundits because he performs abortions. His home and church are frequent targets of religious protests, and his business has been repeatedly vandalized, the latest iteration of which occurred last week.

True to form, his murderer failed to live up to the precepts of his religious views and fled the scene. He was arrested a few hours later. Like most US religious zealots, he doesn’t really believe his actions were justified. He ran away, where a true believer would have turned himself in or at least have waited for the police. This sort of internal denial of faith is very common among the religiously stupid in this country. Their religious views are so out of touch with reality and even their own chosen religious text that they lash out at “unbelievers” whenever they get forced to confront their misconceptions and poor reasoning.

Doctor Tiller was one of the few physicians who would perform so-called “late-term” abortions. The right-wing and religious screeds to the contrary notwithstanding, these operations are not available on demand. These procedures are only permitted after two separate physicians have deemed that the pregnancy or birth cause a significant risk to the mother’s life, or that the fetus would not likely survive birth due to some defect. One of the few doctors willing to keep young women from being killed in childbirth was murdered for doing so.

Worse still, he is not the first doctor murdered for performing abortions.

Almost as bad as the murder of Doctor Tiller are the comments among the religious zealots online. Far too many of them applaud the murder, or use flimsy rationalizations to indicate approval thereof. Here is a sample:

badhatharry: It is not murder to protect the life of another.

badhatharry: Sometimes you have to kill one guilty person to save hundreds of innocent people.

lawrnk: Religion aside, This made my farking day! HAHAHAHAHAHAH BASTARD! Murdering fetuses transcends most religions

McManus_brothers: I think it would’ve been more appropriate if the killer had sucked his brains out with a giant needle.

bookman: i really don’t see a problem here.

BrassArt: But whackos get all up in arms about an old guy being offed.

cabbyman: Don’t worry, it’s still like 1,000,000:1 ratio of babies to abortionists so you guys are still winning!

cabbyman: HA HA!!! One of your guys died!

DempseySR26: This is just a late term abortion

Those were actual comments from a message forum I frequent, not from some right-wing source. In response, I have a couple of much better quotes from people with more integrity and intellect than those shown by the religious nutbars in response to this murder.

Pro-life… these people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? They’ll do anything they can to save a fetus, but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it? They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman — they don’t like them. They don’t like women. They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a broodmare for the state. Pro-life… you don’t see many of these anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do!“- George Carlin

Pro-lifers…killing people? It’s irony on a base level, but you can get a hoot.” – Bill Hicks

I am not even close to being in the same league as George Carlin or Bill Hicks, so I won’t bother trying to come up with better comments on the subject. I do, however, have a questions for the religious twatwaffles out there: If you believe abortion should be a crime, what should the punishment be for women who get abortions?

If you happen to know some zealous god-botherer, ask him/her this question. Sadly, their heads will not explode, depriving everyone else of a good laugh and the gene pool of some needed cleansing. You could probably harness the energy from their spinning to light up a small city, however.

As Carlin said in his rant I quoted above, the real impetus behind the anti-abortion movement is a twisted need among the god-deluded to keep women subservient to men. Why this is necessary for these religious fuckwits is beyond me. I am not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV. Worse still, these bastards want to force everyone else to comply with their delusions. Right-wing religious fuckwits have publicly stated their policy of making the bible the supreme law of the United States. Check out the statements of George Grant, of the Coral Ridge Ministries and Gary North, a “Christian reconstruction strategist” for the Chalcedon Foundation. Watch the movie, Jesus Camp. Read the words of Randall Terry:

“The Bible is the supreme law that all governments must obey.” – Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue

“Our goal is a Christian Nation…. We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I’ve got a hot flash. God rules.” – Randall Terry, April 15, 1993

Mr. Terry, you might notice, was the founder of “Operation Rescue”- one of the largest anti-abortion organizations in the US.

Notice also that they are all male. Note that I did not say men. By brief visual examination of their photos, they have all the typical outwardly masculine characteristics and appear to be mature males, but they do not qualify as men. Men are not afraid of women. Men are not frightened of the possibility of change, equality, or differences of opinion.

These feral and superstitious morons are bent on attacking the very foundations of our Republic. If they want to change the way this country is run, there are avenues available to them. They can rant and rave to their heart’s content. They can petition the Government for redress of grievances. They are free- even encouraged to use the first three of the Four Boxes- just like everybody else. But once they open that Fourth Box, they will have openly rejected participation in our society. They will be our enemies at least as much as the Taliban.

These creatures are my enemy. They are the enemies of liberty, equality, freedom, and everything else that makes this country such a great place to live. They, and their deluded followers, feel free to lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to bring about their dream of a theocratic United States. How, exactly, are these monsters different from the Taliban?

Current status: Enraged

Current music: The Story in Your Eyes by the Moody Blues