Superbowl Sunday I should no doubt have a post on the Superbowl like the rest of America.
However other things grab my interest. Other things that perhaps transcend caring what group of modern gladiators, beat another group of modern gladiators.
This weekend, according to the AP, Chris Kyle, ex-Navy Seal Sniper and author of the 2012 best-selling AMERICAN SNIPER was killed along with another veteran Chad Littlefield in a shooting at the gun range at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in Glen Rose, Texas. Killed by another former veteran.
The details and the reasons are still sketchy, but aren’t they always. What is known is this is the latest in what is seemingly an endless parade of American mass-murders.
And reading the coverage of this latest violence, something of interest struck me in the coverage.
The CNN coverage states:
“[Chris] Kyle learned to shoot on hunting trips with his father, then went on to serve four combat tours in Iraq with the SEALS, though his official biography notes he also worked with Army and Marine units. He received two Silver Stars and other commendations before leaving the Navy in 2009 — claiming that, in his years as a sniper, he’d killed more than 150 people, which he called a record for an American.”
“The first time, you’re not even sure you can do it,” he [Chris Kyle] said in the interview. “But I’m not over there looking at these people as people. I’m not wondering if he has a family. I’m just trying to keep my guys safe. Every time I kill someone, he can’t plant an (improvised explosive device). You don’t think twice about it.”
“In a statement, the [Fitco Cares]foundation described Kyle as an “American hero” and pledged to carry on his mission.”
And maybe it’s that simple.
Maybe from Sergeant York to Audie Murphy to today’s efficient killers, maybe it has become the American pastime to define as hero the indiscriminate taking of lives. While we live in a world where the pursuit of life, is often dependent on those adept at death, perhaps what is increasingly lost in the American mindset today… is the sense of that act as an evil, perhaps a necessary evil, but an evil none the less.
Perhaps the American media’s glorification of men of war at the expense of men of peace, seeps into the American zeitgeist, the American Soul if you will, and America’s export of indiscriminate horror and blood abroad, returns to us at home.
From Columbine to Aurora to Sandy Hook, perhaps these uniquely American Massacres are part and parcel of the increasing unrepentant and murderous definition of American Heroes.
We glorify the wrong things in our Soldiers, and by so doing glorify the wrong things in ourselves. They are heroes because they are willing to sacrifice, not because they are willing to kill. They and we are victims, when we have to kill. When the killing is all we have left. And worse when the act of that killing ceases to have meaning.
Chickens coming home to roost. By its fruit will you know a tree.
A soldier and a warrior died this weekend and that is a tragedy. But it is only a tragedy if the loss of the 150 lives he took, is also a tragedy.
Like any soldier, like every soldier; either every life has value or no life has value. That is the lesson of America and the world in the 21st century. The more easily we justify killing the other, the more valueless we make their lives, the more valueless we make our own.
That’s the lesson I learned today, while all of Rome was watching the Gladiators in the Coliseum,
Somehow I think… a lesson of value.
The Invisible War
From Oscar(R)- and Emmy(R)-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem–today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010. Twenty percent of all active-duty female soldiers are sexually assaulted. The Invisible War exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world.–from the filmmakers
Well that… troubles me, to put it lightly.
It does not however surprise me.
Unfortunately given the rash of atrocities associated with our military, particularly in the last dozen years, the tale THE INVISIBLE WAR has to tell while infuriating, is not surprising.
I have to think it has a lot to do with that rash of news stories about the military being in dire need of soldiers, and filling their ranks by any and all methods; some extremely suspect.
Here’s the thing, for every person who is in the military for the right reason and to do the right thing, you have three people who… in no manner, no way, and for no reason, should have passed the screening process and been given a gun, and put in a position to control others, much less in a position to end lives.
At the best of times, and to the best of people, such responsibility… is to be watched.
But seemingly, no one is watching anymore. So we end up with a rash of incidents about people who cannot even control themselves, being given a gun and sent all over the globe to control people and cultures that were old when America was but a dream. And doing it badly.
Again not all our soldiers, hopefully not the majority, but enough. Enough bad apples to spoil the pie.
And this isn’t just about our military over there. This is about our police force, and our prison guards here. This is about a culture of oppression and the cost we all pay for turning a blind eye to a police/slave state… it is about rule by terror. And the thing about terror, it doesn’t respect boundaries real well.
There’s no way to sow terror and horror, without reaping it. Without breathing it in. And when the mandate from the top, to this immature and often volatile young world police force is to, still, spread shock and awe… the results as we have seen, are not pretty.
When in our name, soldiers are given authority to terrorize and devalue the other with impunity, you get American torture prisons, you get American concentration camps, and eventually you get that behavior coming home to roost. You get the abhorrent methods used to pacify the resistance of those we disagree with abroad, brought home… to be used against those we disagree with here.
It becomes our method for relating to everything, and everyone. Even our own. Barbarism as national policy.
And maybe it’s even simpler than that. Maybe it’s an American male population that instead of being raised on movies about saving damsels in distress and opening doors for ladies, finds entertainment in movies and video games about women getting raped and tortured and killed. The truth is… we do not rise above our fictions, we become them. The fifties dreamt of space and the sixties saw us achieve it. In the last two decades the mass media of America has been about fear and terror and torture and mistrust, and we are living up… to those dreams.
Maybe in the mad rush to devalue the other, all we have done is learned to laughingly… devalue ourselves.
I don’t have the answers. But we better damn sure start looking for them. And it begins with asking the hard questions. Is our military doing right? If so, how? And if not, how? And what can we do, to make our soldiers not victims nor puppets nor fall-guys for an administration of madmen?
These are questions, especially as yet another election devoid of any real choice (you can pick corporate meat puppet 1 or corporate meat puppet 2) approaches, that we have to ask and answer.
Because the security and rights of anyone in this country, any soldier, any woman, any person, is tied directly to the amount of security we give even the least of us.
Our liberties as citizens are only as secure as the liberties of those we disagree with. is tied to how we treat enemy combatants, prisoners, foes (which as history teaches us, will be our governments friends tomorrow. Never hate for your government, because to your government it is all just a game of dollars and cents). Because the lines we cross cannot be easily uncrossed, and the human rights we ultimately eradicate when we violate the other… are our own.
Go see the trailer here, and see what questions and what answers you come up with.
This is me, ranting. Bat crazy ranting. Those who want to avoid Bat Crazy ranting, avoid this one, come back tomorrow and hear about super-heroes punching each other in their under-wear. 🙂
I don’t really do… the news thing.
I mean the major stuff I keep abreast of, if the president and congress are trying to sell first borns to big business, etc. But the 24 hour, FOX/CNN/SS constant “thought police, be afraid, believe, color coded terror, be afraid”… not really my bag.
You tell me something one time a day, that’s news. You tell me something 72 times a day, the same thing, 3 times an hour, that is not about news, that is about programming. That is about conditioning. That is about terror.
That is about you, the media, in ways deep and dreadful and not at all healthy, trying to touch me.
I watch people, sit in front their tv god… constantly just soaking up and regurgitating another man’s hate.
Older women in my family, god love women, but they are like sponges for the dreams of madmen, raised on serialized entertainment, on soap operas, so news and talk shows are just more soap operas to them. Idiocy is just more entertainment to them. And they will open up their mouths and parrot out of their mouths whatever is on television… without questioning.
“Oh isn’t it good we’re invading Libya” one recently said to me, when this nation (under God?) was committing yet another coup in a sovereign nation.
“Why?” I asked her.
“Cause of all the bad things the leader has done to his people.”
“Do you mean Gaddafi, who was supporting the civil rights movement in this country, and Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, when the American government wouldn’t let great quantities of the population drink out of faucets or use a bathroom, and was siccing dogs on marchers, and bombing churches and lynching Black children? That Gaddafi?”
Needless to say I’m really popular at family reunions.
It’s just amazing to me, how few people in America, think. Not Black people, or White people, or Brown people, or Yellow people, but any people… think, beyond what the idiot box tells them.
Oh it is to be wept at, how all you victims of Rome, so gleefully are turned into victimizers.
Here’s the thing with me. You have to earn the moral high ground.
YOU HAVE TO EARN the moral high ground.
Be you a man, or a nation, you have to earn the moral high ground.
America is forever taking the moral high ground. And no country, in the history of this world, is less suited to walk that walk. America began as a terrorist nation, and America grew fat through fostering a level of inhumanity and terror, that no Iraq or Iran or Cuba or Korea or Russia or Libya, has ever come close to.
And the thing about America, is her present shows no sign of having repented of her past.
America has never stopped being a terrorist nation. It’s her one, last great product.
So yeah when the military industrial complex, pulls the strings for the 24hour propaganda show we call CNN or Fox, etc… I’m not really big, on goose stepping along.
I guess because I have a long memory, and I potentially can forgive, but I will never forget and I will never cheer you into a position to do it again. To anyone.
Now you, the tides of war, can come through me, or you can try to walk over me, but you’ll never reach your goal with me.
It’s the same reason I’ll never be a Christian as practiced in America. I have no particular issue with Christianity, I think the ideology is grand, however in practice especially in America it has been an abomination in the eyes of God.
That’s not a dig, and it’s not an insult, it is however a fact.
From the Witch trials on. The odious form of Slavery that took place in this nation, the most depraved the world has ever seen, happened not despite Christianity. It reached it’s peak of evil BECAUSE of how Christianity was practiced in this country.
Slavery, in the vile form practiced in the US flourished… because of Christianity.
That’s a hell of a thing for anyone to say, I know it… and I take no pleasure in the saying.
More hell still, because it’s the truest thing you’ll ever hear anybody tell you.
I have seen the torture devices. I have seen your abominations. I have seen ships with names like HOPE, and CHARITY, and GRACE (all we need is one named OPERATION FREEDOM), loaded down with tortured men, women, and children. I have seen the machinations of righteous men and women. Shielding their abominations under the name of Christ and god.
And I have seen one more thing, that we are our fathers even onto the 7th generation, and crimes not grappled with, not resolved… are repeated: there or there or there.
Christianity as practiced in this country, has more of Rome in it, than of Christ, and this country has the crucifixions to prove it. The cross itself, having nothing to do with a Christ, being a Roman symbol long before any such messianic birth or death, a roman symbol of power, and dominance, and torture. The devil going up and down, and to and fro.
How does a person wear a cross and not know that? Not think one minute, of one hour, of one day, of the millions upon millions who died screaming their guts out on that most sacred torture device of Rome… on the cross.
Think about it, logically for a second. Who would carry around an idol, a symbol of a lynched man except the lyncher. Much the way lynchers in America would cut trophies from the bodies of their victims to wear around their neck.
Such… Christian people. Such, righteous people. God forbid you accuse anyone else in this world of terror.
So to, who would wear a symbol of a crucifixion around their neck, except the crucifier? For one second, think, actually think, about the dogma, the ritual that Christians do, that has nothing of Christianity in it… but everything of Rome, even onto the forsaking of the Sabbath.
I honestly don’t care what people believe.
But I do care that your choice of good or evil be informed. Whatever you choose to believe, make it an informed choice.
It’s not evil men that worry me.
It’s the masses that cheer them as they go marching by, too busy to make a choice not handed to them. The careless masses are the engine without which, the dreams of evil men… could not fly.
Try an examined choice.
I’ve done that, and I’ve found I can’t wear lynched or crucified men or the symbols of their suffering around my neck, I can’t bend my knee to bloody priests, and I can’t follow a nation of terror.
But I’m wacky that way, your examined choice may be different.
That’s been my news for today.
Cheery son of a gun, aren’t I?
But it’s past now, my mad fit of absinthe and peyote, it comes only rarely, when the spirit moves.
Perhaps even when the spirit needs,
For a man, supposedly shorn of faith, I do believe in fate.
I needed to speak.
Perhaps becomes someone needed to listen.
Wild is the world, and occasionally wonderful.
But the mad compulsion has left me, until the next blue moon.
Which is fitting, because I find the truth you don’t have to repeat as often as lies. If a lie, it will touch you not, without a constant barrage, and you will be unmoved by my mad ramblings.
But if the truth, it lived in you long before you read these words, and my words simply, like a stone waiting for a sculptor… revealed it.
If the truth you will know it. And if a lie you will know it.
And how you make of that news, something new…. well, who knows, the world is wild and wonderful… his miracles to perform. 🙂
The problem I have with President Obama, is not that he lied in his pre-election promises.
To some extent all politicians, slaved to corporate interests lie, it is an unfortunate failing of the American political system that we allow business to have more influence on our politicians than the citenzenry they are supposedly there to serve.
No my issue with Obama, that I hinted at on this blog prior to his election, is the magnitude of his lies.
He rode into office on the hopes and dreams and eloquent quotations, sufferings and civil liberties of the dream of America. Rode into office as an answer to this endless push to war, to the dismantling of liberties, and to the corporate plundering and rape of America, that characterized the Bush administration.
And unfortunately Obama’s administration has been, for all wild mutterings of America’s nazietic wing, has been a continuation of Bush’s policies, which is to say a continuation of corporate America’s policies.
He pays lip service to liberalism, when his policies, laws and edicts since entering office, is conservative to the point of totalitarianism. Granting the FBI and other acronyms of our abuse, unheard of powers to dismantle, without oversight or rule of law or due cause, civil liberties on a frightening scale.
They can shut down websites, the Internet in fact, a kill-switch, with no cause, and no oversight beyond their own. The FBI is allowed to put a tracer, a tracking bug if you will, on any person, any vehicle, at their discretion, with no oversite of law. With no word, but their own. A recent push to make abuse or violation of corporate rules by employees, a federal crime. And the list goes on.
Add to that the continuing rape of the American people, unholy taxation of the American people, financial slavery of generations not yet born, to support businesses unrepentant in their mismanagement and greed, and willingness to sacrifice America as a concept, to advance insane policies of the military-industrial complex, and new middle east pleasure nations, carved out of the bodies of all those we have blown to hell.
So yeah, you can say I’m not happy with the current administration. Obama was the lesser of two evils, but much like Kerry before him, whose race against Bush was a sham, too good old boys staging a fixed fight for the rubes, the wrestling crowd, he was just Bush, repackaged.
Which is to say, he is the talking head of global corporate entities, that love America not.
But what makes Obama’s betrayal, particularly egregious, is it really is a no win situation for him, the way he is currently playing it. He will go down as a traitor to the masses who elected him, and to the interests of people and causes and legacies, that he had the gall in his election bid to invoke, and the gall in his presidency to utterly betray.
And even though he serves well his Bushian corporate masters, following in policy the dismantling of liberties initiated by Bush, he is reviled and hated by the very conservatives that his presidency is clearly supporting. Hated because, he still plays enough lip-service to liberalism, in his color if not in his heart, to elicit a Pavlovian hate, from people who are ignorant of the larger mysteries, and for whom hate is all they have been bred to give.
Obama, if he continues the perilous road he is on, he will be hated by heroes, and he will be hated by the fools he serves. And his presidency will go down as a failure, to shake the very foundations of the empire.
Which is perhaps what it was designed to do all along.
There are those, chairmen of ships of industry, pullers of strings, proponents of slavery, and dismantlers of concepts such as minimum wage, and workers protection, who want very much to be their father’s sons. To be once again undisputed Robber-Barrons and Masters, and make the mass of men serfs and slaves. And all that stands in their way… is this dream called America.
If they can make Americans renounce this dream of liberty and brotherhood, this purposely failed concept of America, they can win, those great things, their fathers lost.
They can win, by extinguishing in the hearts of those who should love it most… even the dream of liberty.
And Obama’s presidency stands poised to give to these men their…New World Order. Their rise of Nazism. We are Germany, being groomed for the coming atrocities, for the rise of a new Hitler, to save us from our failed democracy.
Obama as puppet to corporate masters will serve nothing but his own vilification, and the destruction of his children’s future, all children’s future, and the immolation of 400 years on this continent, long before the constitutional signing, of striving toward a more perfect union.
Obama’s only hope, as President, as Father, as Man, and ultimately as descendant of slaves, is to be in deed the man of his election speeches, to give those who voted for him, his half of the contract. And to give those who hate him for no reason, cause to respect him, and if necessary to fear him.
It is a hard road to walk. But when the choices are liberty or slavery, I will walk the former road, though hell and some such neighbor bar my way, to paraphrase Shakespeare. And Obama is at that point in his presidency where he must choose his road.
As defender of liberty… or its destroyer.
I have very little to say about the Fort Hood, Texas massacre.
Not because I have become numbed to massacres by dint of long sojourn in America, that bastion of massacres, though surely some of that is in my reaction and the reaction at large. I feel for the loss of life and loved ones in this atrocity, as I do every atrocity. Those we endure ourselves and those atrocities we impose on others.
I feel them all.
No I have very little to say, because it was largely said by better men than me, before me.
“I don’t know who I’m going to shoot, you put a rifle in my hand”
“This is chickens coming home to roost”
America for a while now, has worn herself thin declaring war on every darker, non-christian country from Haiti to Liberia. Waging what amounts to the bloodiest religious crusades in the history of the world, while being tactful enough to keep the idea of crusades and ethnic cleansings out of the television reasoning for such expenditure of lives and dollars.
At a time when America would be best served by shoring up her own crumbling economic, moral, educational and cultural landscape we instead invest our time in destroying these things for other countries. And the oddest thing is, we get other disenfranchised people to go out and disenfranchise other people.
It’s a cycle we’ve been engaged in since the Revolutionary war. Making of victims, our victimizers.
The Irish became the American police force, because Ireland had become a fucking killing ground. And disenfranchised soldiers flocked here to find something… better.
The Buffalo Soldiers, escapees of enslavement, won renown by being efficient cleaners of the plains, killers of Native Americans.
Latin Americans escaping in some cases decades of bloody totalitarian regimes, often supported by US Dollars, augment today’s dwindling American armed forces.
And the cycle continues.
Our victims today, America will turn around and make (when they have no other jobs to accept) her victimizers tomorrow. That type of duplicity and juggling act is no easy feat to keep going.
In fact it’s damn difficult and dangerous.
And the concept of diminishing returns being a reality, it is costing America.
America has by hook or by crook, pushed, grabbed, cajoled, threatened anyone it can…. to garner the manpower to continue its endless war. In many cases that has meant the armed forces being more than happy to augment its forces with the less than stable. From well documented cases of soldiers with Autism, to convicts, to out and out psychopaths.
America doesn’t care who they put on the front lines, as long as you will kill for them. It doesn’t care what you have to lose to go someplace and kill people you have no beef with, as long as you do it. As long as you will be their gun.
The problem with that is, every so often, people get shot with their own guns. Particularly irresponsible people. And America is an irresponsible nation.
It is an irrational nation, that breeds this in their subjects, demands it even. Demands that you accept the most irrational reasoning, the most irrational justifications… for that which can not be justified.
You ask of people to kill for your lies, to weigh the life of the other… cheap. For no other reason than you say so. To surrender personal moralities, religions, codes, ethics, humanities… to the ever shifting dictates of the state.
And at some point teaching people to weigh other lives cheap means the ability to weigh all lives cheap.
Do you understand?
You can not spit horror into the wind, and not ultimately end up swallowing it yourself.
I do not know this Officer Hasan, beyond the sound-bites that his life has been reduced to. But as a psychiatrist, he was obviously an intelligent man, more intelligent arguably than those who now debate him, and as a psychiatrist understanding of the strange landscape of the human condition.
So to try and right this off as a dirty muslim, killing good Americans would be inept.
No, do not put that lie upon your soul.
Officer Hasan perhaps was never more American, than in his massacre of other Americans.
It is after all, the American past time. Ask any number of Post offices, or Shopping Malls, or Schools, or McDonalds.
No my dear beloved child, you lay that butchery at Fort Hood, where it belongs… with you.
And with me.
Hasan was the bomb, but we as America… were the lit and burning fuse.
Officer Hasan was by occupation aware of Abraham Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Berger and Luckmann’s Social Construction of Reality so he understood better than most the foilbles and fallacies of the human condition, its pitfalls, and yet he himself fell into them.
Looked too long into the abyss, and found it sweet.
What hope have the rest of us?
If a man whose occupation it is, to deal with pressure, himself crumbled under the pressure of America, how much more these 18 and 19 and 20 year olds that we send into the killing fields?
How shall they come back to us? Us… we who gleefully do send them out to kill, in unjust wars to unjust ends, if not changed and ready to show us… what lessons they have learned at liberty’s great lap.
Oh yes, what they have sown abroad, we will surely in the fullness of time, reap the harvest of at home.
You and me and all of us.
Unless we stop this train wreck direction America is on, this rule by sociopaths… then our Fort Hoods are waiting for us.
All of us.
This is what is to be learned from all that pain and anguish and calamity of Fort Hood. That it is America… unplugged.
Chickens coming home to roost.
They are killing people with robots, and no one has a problem with this.
They… our military.
They… our government.
I’ve long thought saturation bombing was a… crushing evil. But at the very least you knew there was still some human hand, some awareness, some accountability, some weight held if only by one pilot’s soul, regarding the snuffing out of unseen hundreds and thousands.
But now, technology, we have not even that. Drone planes. We kill people with drone planes. Not even a human eye, to capture the horror of their end. We kill them like cockroaches. Our enemies. Because— technology— we can.
I wrote a while ago, about machine men with machine minds killing in… these machine times.
It’s wrong. Bombing people. Always has been, always will be.
From Germany’s carpet bombing of England, to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor to our ultimate bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to all the fucking bombings since. Bombing has been called the terrorism of the rich.
And I know the excuses. Dropping bombs saves lives that would have been lost in an ugly ground war.
That is some bullshit. If our governments were really that concerned about saving lives, how about trying to solve your border disputes without starting wars that young men have to fight for you.
So don’t give me it saves lives. The fuckers who send young men to die are not concerned with their fucking lives. No it’s about conquest, by barbarians. It’s about old men playing games of life and death, with the newest and shiniest toys they can find.
It’s about control. And the only thing of more importance than the death of our enemies’ young men in times of overpopulation, is the control and death of large numbers of our own.
War is that ultimate ground, where tyrants perpetuate themselves. And bombing… their flavor of choice.
It is the act of cowards, to drop fire from the sky, and burn to death flora and fauna, men, women, and children, people.. to burn to death people you do not know, nor now never can. To end good lives and bad, righteous and wrong, from afar, without ever looking at those lives.
It’s wrong. And these drone planes make it easier to be wrong. Makes it a video game, makes it… unreal. Just targets in a distant land.
There’s always the hope that with a pilot, the mission can be scrapped based on changing situations in the field. Just more discussion involved with briefing men for a bombing mission, more people in the loop, more chance that the need of the mission may be weighed… well. But in our new automatic, pushbutton, drone plane America, there’s less level of oversight between thought and bloody action. Technology, drone planes, makes killing something it should never, ever be. It makes it… routine. It makes it easy. It makes it… forgettable.
But nothing is forgotten. Not the blood rich men spill with impunity. Not the lies and crimes the press (owned by the same conglomerates that are getting rich selling bombs to the military)… conceal. Not even the people who devoid of graves do die.
All must be answered for.
I’m not a religious man, but I believe that. Every hair you have harmed in darkness, in your final hour will challenge you in the light.
I do believe that.
That there will come, to every Rome and every good Roman… their Fall.
[p.s. As an aside: Ray Bradbury decades ago in fiction, wrote of a future America where the streets were policed with zero tolerance, by forbidding and merciless drone helioplanes. It’s nice to know Big Brother is committed to making fictions fact. It has been announced that various US cities are seeking to deploy these Israeli made Drone planes to police their suspect areas. Isn’t it enough we have Israeli cameras blanketing every inner city. I get it Israel, you want to help America setup her own Palestine. Thanks but no thanks. You see, the atrocities we don’t speak out against in distant lands or to under-represented people today, becomes our cross to bear tomorrow.]