Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Death of Outrage

A so-called moderate responded to one of my rants with the following:

As far as rants go, yours fit the bill perfectly, but if you were actually trying to convince a moderate that this country is in serious trouble... I think you failed miserably.

Thereby proving this country is in serious trouble single-handedly and without my intervention. Look at the facts:

  1. People being tortured to death by the U.S. government
  2. Suppression of science in favor of religion
  3. Deporting people to foreign countries to be tortured on our behalf
  4. "Disappearing" thousands of people world-wide
  5. Vice President of the United States flat-out lying to the entire nation about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (which did not exist, and at the time he told that lie, he knew they did not exist).
  6. People who object to any of the above being called "traitors" by those currently in power and forced to face death threats and threats to their jobs and careers
All of the above has been thoroughly documented on this site and elsewhere. Where is the outrage? Where is the humanity, the decency, the Christianity of Jesus Christ, a man who gave his love and his life to tax collectors and prostitutes and lepers and Samaritans, who said that the one and only commandment was "Love thy neighbor as thyself"? How can anybody -- how can ANY thinking person -- need any "convincing" on my part that the country is in trouble?

The answer: They don't. And they won't. Anybody not already convinced that the country is in trouble, doesn't *WANT* to be convinced. They are good Germans, as described by Sophie Scholl right before the Nazis executed her for distributing anti-Nazi literature in 1943:

The real damage is done by those millions who want to "survive"'. The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don't want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won't take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don't like to make waves or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It's the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you'll keep it under control. If you don't make any noise, the bogeyman won't find you. But it's all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe.

You cannot convince people like this to budge themselves from their pointless lives of masticating and defecating and fornicating and accumulating useless baubles. It is not worth even trying, for they will always -- ALWAYS -- believe lies rather than truth, because the truth is cold and harsh and unyielding, while lies are warm and soothing comfort in the face of a reality that is terrifying to any thinking man. They live, they die, and nothing changes. I have been on this Earth for more decades than I want to think about, and I have observed these Good Germans through most of those decades as they go about their pointless lives, and I weep for what could be, would be, if only humanity had a spine and was willing to face the cold harsh reality of truth rather than demand soothing lies to justify their pointless lives.

Sometimes I have a dream, a dream that is a nightmare. Jesus Christ comes to Earth again, and is born as an infant in a shotgun house in the Fourth Ward of Houston, where lives are short and fates are small. He is born addicted to crack cocaine, and goes to a "school" that has no books, no teachers worth the name. He grows up, and there are no jobs, no place for a man like him in this world, a man of color with no education and the wrong face. One day he dies, shot down on the street as he scavenges, hungry, for some scraps of garbage from a dumpster. He ascends to heaven, and his Heavenly Father asks, "did you find a man -- any man -- worthy of Paradise?" And Jesus only shakes his head and says not a word.

Then the fire comes.

And who amongst us, really, do not deserve it, other than a few innocents not yet corrupted by this world?

- Badtux the Misanthropic Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 3/30/2005 08:13:00 PM  


If anyone's looking to add to the list of what this government is doing in our name, check out yesterday's New York Times (03 - 30 - 05.) It included a report on how this administration kidnapped a Yemeni intelligence officer from Cairo and shipped him to Gitmo, where he was/is held incommunicado.
According to the report, there wasn't even a thought of levelling charges against this man -- there wasn't even a pretext that he was involved in current terrorist activity. Rather, our government wanted to "talk" to him about what he knew of the recruitment and movement of fighters to Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.
When I grew up this, would've been an act of war, the kind of thing that could have brought on an international crisis. While the law about this sort of thing hasn't changed, the apparent distribution of power in the world has: Yemen is now a small country without a big power sponsor to serve as a counterweight to the United States. In other words, the people who are running this country believe that the only brake to their exercise of power in any way that they choose is a countervailing power. To them, might gives them the right to do whatever they want to, which apparently includes treating the rest of the world, and its citizens, like they are nothing but an array of provinces of the United States.
If that's not enough to persuade a moderate that there's something seriously wrong with this government, I have no idea what would be.

# posted by Anonymous : 31/3/05 3:12 AM  

Good job on working our best girl back in to things.
# posted by The Heretik : 31/3/05 10:22 AM  

Now that I'm home from work, I've the time to look up the articles I talked about earlier:
Yemeni Held in Guantanamo Was Seized in Cairo, Group Says, Neil A Lewis, 03-30-05, The New York Times: A9.
"Sometime in September 2002, a Yemeni businessman and intelligence officer was abducted on a Cairo street, then kept incommunicado for more than a year by United States authorities, and is now among those imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay ... according to ... Human Rights Watch.
Mr. Hila also wrote that he believed he was being held in Afghanistan by the Central Intelligence Agency. He said C.I.A. officials wanted him to share knowledge he obtained as a colonel in the Yemeni intelligence service about Islamists who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan and then migrated to Europe. C.I.A. officials declined to comment."
Please pardon my erroneous description of the reason for his detention in my earlier post. Even that knowledge, however, wouldn't make the man an enemy.
This article also mentions, "...six Algerians arrested in Bosnia and Herzegovina by local authorities. The six men were freed by a local investigating judge, but were quickly seized by United States authorities and are now in Guantanamo." Additionally, "...many Pakistanis assert in recent court filings ... that they were arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani officials, far from the battlefront in Afghanistan." Finally, in a letter smuggled out of Afgjanistan, "...Mr. Hila ... indicated that he was in a cell next to another Yemeni who had been arrested in Thailand."
On the same page, about the Canadian citizen who was incarcerated when his flight stopped over in Washington and then rendered extraordinarily to Syria.
I guess the nice thing about exercising unofficial hegemony over all of the people of the world is the fiction of foreign nationality. As the de facto ruling power, it is unnecessary to pay attention to such quaint and obsolete notions as the rights of foreign nationals. At the same time, however, those people's foreign citizenship means they're not entitled to all of those unnecessary due process protections that Americans may be able to claim.

# posted by Anonymous : 31/3/05 1:59 PM  

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