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Etc., etc., etc…

I once posted something to the effect that I couldn’t possibly write something each and every day; there just isn’t enough things worth mentioning, much less reading about…

Silly rabbit…

The problem these days seems to be that there are entirely too many things that need to be said, discussed and challenged, and the problem, at least for me, is to keep from falling into the gaping abyss of pessimism and depression by the sheer magnitude of the tasks before us.

Yes, US… I not doing this alone, people… Someone put the nit-twit down and help me…

If anyone is even reading this, which I, for one, don’t really believe. But that’s not why one writes, or, at least, not why I write. In the academic world there’s a fairly well accepted maxim that runs “publish or perish.’ For me, it’s publish or scream. And the world is already a much too noisy place as it is… Yes, this blog could be construed as adding to the noise, but, since no one reads it, it ends up being a great deal less noisy that the screaming method.

You’re welcome…

The Times reports that a Somali citizen, accused of ties to two Islamist militant groups, is to be tried in New York. This in and of itself is of a sufficiently disturbing character as to need significant and separate treatment. Amongst the issues raised are; 1) Who died and left us in charge of prosecuting the planet…? 2) Assuming a satisfactory explanation of question one, which may exist but I’ve yet to find that explanation, why is the US allowed to prosecute (persecute?) the world, under an extremely convoluted system which recognizes no authority but their own self-appointed righteousness, while simultaneously ignoring other firmly, more broadly established legal jurisdictions, such as the World Court? To put it more succinctly, why can the US try anyone they want while being immune from prosecution themselves?, which brings us back to point one.

As to said point one, the question of who died and left us in charge, you can argue all you want that ‘they’ put us in charge when they took out the WTC in 2001, or that the ‘moral authority’ of the US is all the justification we need. But the question really begs itself, and one has to ask, if one has anything approaching a sense needing to know the ‘truth’ of the matter, which came first; the demise or the promotion?

Lest I be accused of making an extremely complicated matter even more obscure, let me restate the question. Did we go to task against the planet because we were attacked, or were we attacked because we had gone to task against the planet?

Looking at the issue from the American point of view leads one to the former conclusion. But the advantage of having spent no small amount of time outside of the US is that one gets to hear other people’s opinions on the matter; the other side of the story, if you will… And the American slant on the issue is diametrically opposed to the way in which a majority of the rest of the world views the issue. The problem, of course, is that in talking to people in other countries one never knows, because really doesn’t know them, where they are getting their information. One doesn’t know if the opinions are well-reasoned and insightful or mere regurgitation of official news outlets. But then, one doesn’t really know that about Americans either; the number of people who believed that the Obama Health Care initiative included so-called ‘death panels’ was appalling. And so one is forced to apply a fair bit of judgement while taking things at their face value, just as one has to take a Teetotaller with a large, mixed dose of wonder/confusion/anger/incredulity. Otherwise, it’s all just mass media entertainment, and no one can be believed about anything they say… Me, I think those violent video games are starting to look pretty good when compared with this form of ‘entertainment’.

But I digress…

People around the world, if they haven’t got a stake of some sort, financial, ideological or otherwise in backing up the American version of events, are opposed to American hegemony…

Okay… That’s pretty straight forward and perfectly understandable… Yet American’s are wont to ask ‘who are they to question us…?’ Well… They’re just this bunch of guys (gender unspecific), see…? Who have just as big a stake in this planet as you or I, and who have just as much a right to question things as you or I, in spite of whatever type of political system in which they happen to reside. That they actually use that right to question authority from within a system that official and legally bans such behavior more than you or I from within a system that enshrines it is a bit of socio-political irony quite lost to the average American, who seems much more bent on interfering in the lives of their fellow citizens than in actually recognizing what is going on in their beloved system in the first place. Thus we are much more concerned with convicting a mother accused of murdering her two-year old child in the social media than we are with this INSANE game of financial chicken being played out in the nation’s capital. Casey Anthony was acquitted in a court of LAW, people, not in the court of nit-twits or the court of the Faceless… Whether or not you agree with the outcome, the law has jurisdiction, not the social media. For ANYONE to come out and say what the one reporter said after the verdict (something along the lines of ‘somewhere tonight the devil is dancing’) is to do everything in their paltry power to undermine the rule of law, and I, for one, defy anyone to prove that this statement is in ANY way different from big pharma spending a gazillion dollars on lobbyists in order to get the law changed in their favor. This type of thinking and/or behavior is either just another example of the type of bullying people who will be among the first ones’ up against the wall when the revolution comes, or else an example of the most base, servile and sickening pandering towards what they think their core audience wants to hear, making them no better than any other sociopathic liar. Of course, it could also lie somewhere in between those two extremes… Whatever the reality of the statement is, the only sane sentiment about it is that it is NOT journalism…

There is no ‘moral authority’ involved when you cite the system as justification for acts that others decry while at the same time decrying that very same system when things don’t go your way… That’s not ‘moral authority’, it’s merely a childish, hedonistic system of thinking which normally results, in a perfect world in which justice actually exists, in a well-aimed punch in the nose. The correction for such extremely childish behavior in the past was a smack upside the metaphorical head. But that isn’t politically correct any longer, no doubt a result of the lobbyists for the people who were tired of continually being smacked… Getting smacked all the time really makes things difficult to concentrate on… Like Angry Birds… Or Anthony Weiner’s… You know… Thus you have people much too distracted by ‘social media’ to be aware of what is going on around the country, much less around the globe. The world can’t possibly compare with our very own navel…

To get back to American hegemony for a moment, in one respect there is much to be said about the practice of acting with determination and energy, never wavering in the certainty of your convictions. This is, mostly, to be applauded when the moral authority is a very real and vibrant thing. But for moral authority to be a very real and vibrant thing, it must, by definition, be a thing outside those very actions which take said authority as a basis for their very existence.

A ‘moral authority’ must be outside and above all things. A moral authority must be the thing by which actions are judged, not the thing that results from our actions. It must sit in judgement above all questions brought before it, in a sort of Olympian omnipotence, from which nothing can escape (and THIS, and this only, is the argument for a nation ruled by law, not public opinion). Otherwise, it is not ‘moral’ at all, but merely a justification, either before or after the fact, for whatever it is we want to do. When you talk of moral authority and I talk of moral authority, there must be some common ground, some place where moral authority exists, separate from both of us, or we are merely flapping our gums to no good use. ‘Moral Authority’ is not American, nor is it English or Greek or Chinese or Italian or Islamic or Indian or Russian; it is above such petty concerns. Moral authority must exist outside and above, or else we owe the most abject and humble apology to the English language for it’s being wildly misused, the very idea of an apology coming from some… where…. outside and… above……………….

To say that we have the right to do whatever we want to do, because we’re the biggest kid on the block with the ‘right’ way of seeing things is only to say that we are the biggest bully on the block. And that is exactly how most of the rest of the world sees us and our allies. Now you may argue with the label, or you may, God help you, even agree with and preen at the label, but if you deny the label’s very existence, then we are not talking from the same commonality of humanity. It does neither of us any good to both be using the words ‘moral authority’ when by those words you mean camels and I mean triangular… Therefore, I postulate, America is seen as the biggest bully on the block, according to most of the rest of the world (there, there, it’s okay… I’ve known some perfectly nice bullies, once they actually stopped bullying everyone else…). Big pharma and the military/industrial complex and the oil companies and all the others are just riding the bully’s coattails; either that, or they are in fact the bullies, and America is just the very public face of the faction, which is the view of a substantial minority of the world’s population. If they weren’t riding our coattails, or we their coattails (it’s all so very confusing these days), the bully wouldn’t be allowed to exist, for no bully can survive without sycophantic followers enabling the bullying behavior. If enough people say ‘enough’ the bully must either adapt and change, or perish. To go it alone in the face of universal opposition would be akin to setting ourselves up as the chosen ones, a Utopia, the ‘master race’… And we all (I hope) know what lies at the end of that path.

If you have a cancer, you have to remove or otherwise isolate and destroy the infected tissue; that there seems to be some debate in the world as to which tissue is the cancer and which tissue is healthy is, of course, one of the more saddening and maddening points of the whole debate…

Sanity…

I wish I had some, which, according to G.K. Chesterton, is the very definition of sanity; if you’re worried that you might be insane, you aren’t…

Good one, G.K…

Those who never question their actions, or the consequences of those actions, but are firmly convinced of their overwhelming ‘rightness’ are the ones most in danger of insanity. Thus, to my mind, and as an example, you have those who wanted, who insisted we go to war in Iraq, to the point of fabricating evidence for things that didn’t exist, and in spite of the fact that we’re the ones who put the dude in power in the first place. Those who questioned their version of events were labelled ‘terrorists’… No…? Really…? You doubt this…? You don’t remember Cheney saying … ‘you’re either with us… or you’re with the terrorists…’? I watched it live, on TV… As if that were the only choice; either you accept my version of events or you’re a terrorist… As if we… well… some of us anyway… weren’t capable of judging for ourselves as to the veracity of those doing the selling… People who had a very good reason for lying to us told us we should trust them, but when you asked for some evidence, some small token that they were trustworthy, they called you a terrorist, as if that settled the issue. And NO ONE brought up the point that they hadn’t actually answered the question…

And now we have the government detaining a suspect for MONTHS, before we bring him to New York for trial, in violation of every tenet of our legal system, under which he is to be tried. But loosely, people, selectively… He isn’t a citizen, so he isn’t allowed the same rights.

But then how in the name of seven hells can you try him under a system that doesn’t apply to him. Why don’t you just accuse him with being a camel, or a triangle? This is the very personification of insanity, people. Either the system applies to him, in which case you try him, but his rights have been violated on a massive scale akin to one of the reasons which led to a war in our very own past (does anybody read, or even remember history these days…?), or the system does not apply to him and we have no right to even detain him, much less try him in a court of our law while denying him the protections of that very same law. You can’t have it both ways. Try him under our system and be done with it, or admit that he falls outside our system and be done with it. To seize people around the world for any reason, to torture them and deprive them of the very liberty we claim to uphold, is tantamount to the most fascist form of government, and no different than any other repressive government throughout history.

I understand the ‘reasons’ for doing so. I understand there are people that claim we have no other way of addressing the problem, that we learn many valuable things which prevent further attacks. But we only have their word for that, while at the same time we have the massive degradation of civil rights here at home, all under the guise of keeping us safe. China is only keeping themselves safe, too, you know… Stalin was keeping his people safe too, you know… All I am saying is that we either need to live up to our rhetoric, or we need to let the rhetoric go and call it what it is. What the rest of the world calls it…

We have been led to and trapped in a Faustian horror, a game of political, financial and social chicken from which too many people have been too indoctrinated or intimidated to question, or not sufficiently under the influence of the above mentioned Olympians to know when those Olympians have been outraged.

Either Justice exists, or it doesn’t. But if it does, it exists outside of our political system and every other political system, it exists outside of class and it exists for everyone, whether or not you like the way he or she looks or smells or thinks. Justice does not care how much money you have; in fact, philosophy rather points to Justice taking the side of those who have no money. History shows us that you ignore Justices’ existence at your peril. Justice outraged has a way of removing civilizations that ignore it for too long, or too egregiously… (Oh, those happy, happy historians, whom, by way of our persistent inability to remember history, are assured of ever new markets for books about the same old tired and tried subjects… Publish or perish, people…) If Justice doesn’t exist, then to continue to call upon its benevolent protection while denying its very existence is an extreme textbook example of insanity… Or of something far, far worse…

Perhaps he’s always dancing, all night long; not just that night, but every night…

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