Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The 'Fraidest Generation

My latest newspaper column:
One difference between ISIS and those American preachers who claim the Bible requires murdering homosexuals: none of our presidential candidates have attended an ISIS convention. The pastors represent Christianity the same way ISIS represents Islam; that is, for zealots who interpret their holy book literally, to whom progress is anathema and otherness intolerable, they absolutely do. At the fringes of humanity there have always been people whose projection of their own secrets and fears leads to attacking others. ISIS takes it to sickening, but not unprecedented extremes. 
The mindset that leads Ben Carson to call evolution a lie planted in Charles Darwin’s head by the devil, or to Ted Cruz saying that we must never have a president who doesn’t begin each day on his Christian knees, or has Michele Bachmann suggesting rounding up Jews and converting them to Christianity because end-times are nigh, is merely a less fully devolved form of the self-righteous certainty that leads ISIS to do what they did in Paris. If preachers haven’t murdered here, they’ve fomented it in Africa. And danced, ugly, on the graves in Paris. “Conservatives” demand that Muslims speak out against “their” terrorists. When their would-be leaders genuflect before homicide-justifying Christian homophobes, they’re silent. 
Now, just as we refused entry to Jews during WWII, so Republican candidates and Congress dwellers, along with, sadly, some Democrats, demand we stop admitting Syrian refugees. Are Japanese-American style internment camps unthinkable? Not to everyone. Forced wearing of special I.D? Jawohl! Between childish insults of his competitors because that’s what makes America great, Donald Trump claims that if Parisians had been weaponized, the attacks wouldn’t have happened. Right. A fanatic wearing a suicide vest would see an armed concert hall and say, “Geez, a guy could get killed in there.” Far from turning off his followers, Trump’s bombast has increased support among brave American exceptionalists, abandoning our values with astonishing ease. They call Obama “weak.” What is it when they cave on our most basic principles? Claiming patriotism, they deny the power of America’s ideals. We’ve become the ‘fraidest generation. 
Terrorism won’t stop anytime soon, nor will terrified reactions to it, including discarding the standards that have actually made our country great, Mr. Trump. Turning our backs on all Muslims is exactly what ISIS wants from us. Against those governors, Republican patriots all, afraid of welcoming women and children, they’ve already won. These are people fleeing horrific fanaticism, people who fear ISIS more than we do. Screening is already rigorous, and not just, per Jeb and Ted, ironically, for Christians. Here’s a braver response, from the husband of a woman murdered in Paris. It puts us and our politicians to shame. So does this. And these ill-informed, fully Foxolimtrumpified Texan bullies disgrace us all.   
For its depth and detail, this comprehensive article about what ISIS wants is worth your time. Because their goal is to maintain a caliphate, holding territory is critical to their movement, which means that taking back their land is, indeed, of strategic importance. But done by whose troops? Not ours, the article suggests; our presence in Iraq spurred the creation of ISIS, after all. Plus, in the same way certain evangelicals who can’t wait for the end of this life see conversion of Jews as the path to the Apocalypse, so ISIS sees their death, along with ours, in war, on a battlefield convenient to their land. Which raises the central question: would American troops in Syria really prevent people from exploding their suicide vests here? Maybe the answer lies in recalling the results of our invasion of Iraq in the first place. 
Without doubt, the battle with radical Islam requires military action, and although the foot soldiers in Syria should be from that region, American power is indispensible. But in the end, it’s a battle of ideas. When we divest ourselves of our beliefs that might properly be called exceptional – religious freedom, diversity, education, generosity, our Constitution – we lose not just ourselves, but the very war we’re fighting. Letters to the editor, of late, display fear and claims that our president, choosing smarter ways to fight terrorism, is a traitor. We’ll never learn.


  1. Americans always stand firm in our principles! Unless things get scary. Then it's time to cower and latch on to conservative politicians who strut around talking tough while behaving like frightened cowards.

  2. I always love reading your stuff Sid...

    It's informative, entertaining...The grammar is impressive, the new words I learn like " ‘fraidest "(I finally know how to spell that), "Foxolimtrumpified" and "ill-informed"(I am not familiar with that last one).

    It let's me know what cuss words I can and can not say and how much mouth I am aloud to use. I got me a mouth, just ask Chuck at the paper. He almost permanently kicked me out once. It is extremely rare I get a comment deleted.

    Sometimes "it's just got to be said". I will speak truth to power and I seriously could care less who you are. It's one of my most, and least, most adorable qualities.

    I say the right thing at the right time most days. Think about the possibilities of that alone. I am a Marine and did make it through boot camp, somehow.

    Which brings me to the point...

    If those dirt holes remove another "no duh" comment of mine I will hurt my monitor or something. Monitors are cheap now and even I can get one and a spare.

    I was replying to one of the most severe cases of ""Foxolimtrumpified" there is in the comment sections. Especially Sids' appearances in the locally loved Gutenberg format.

    I had actually by coinkydink reached out to my good friend Chuck "It's NOT the shoes!" Taylor. I asked him to suspend our resident cockroach and S2L disappeared for like 2-3 days. A more humble version of S2L at that. Chucks' last words was "It's really busy around here and I just took a blow torch to it(comments of S2Ls' and a couple of mine as well in response to S2L.(see above reasons). I can only hope I was the reason S2L was gone.

    France had just up and decided 2 hours prior, to dominate the news. So they were busy down there.

    It came over the wire and got printed online. Immediately the usual suspects began to chime in the comment sections.

    Anyway...Three days prior...A garden variety fear based ISIS article...Same usual suspects commenting...

    That dirt hole who trolls me relentlessly, tells me I know nothing about mass murdering and the middle east and no common sense and I am a Marxist and and and etc. We've all seen it and know it well.

  3. Part 2

    In reply...

    I made an arrow pointing to my picture(An extremely handsome poster Marine) and said something to the effect. Hello? A professional killer can kill 100's. The people doing this are wannabees. They hardly know what they are doing.

    I am an 0351. I know a little bit about making and unmaking mines and booby traps. I know how to actually make a plan. I said something like, explosives, then bullets and tear gas, flash bang, more bullets. Cops etc. show up and car bombs are going off everywhere. I could take out 100's no problem. Only a stone cold miracle would stop it or end it on anyones else's terms but mine. etc.

    It got removed. That comment got removed...Then three days later France happened and the wannabees did a ton of damage, and Obama is right. ISIS is nothing more than chumps with an awesome public relations department.

    You still don't believe? Which terrorists would you pick and save lives? 10 Marine terrorists or 10 of ISIS best terrorists? I'd rather face the best ISIS terrorists rather than the best in the world bar none.

    It got removed...It pissed me off because there was nothing wrong with the post, except it had a lot of common sense and expert credibility and even that little bit I offered was a better plan than those God luvin' terroristic FOX "pronounce "Gerr Balls" watchaholics.

    Now the local rag (and every other site online) are parroting in 1000 different ways the exact same shit I said that got deleted by the paper. The same paper who parrots my comment that got removed and parrot it daily btw.

    All I am saying is that I enjoy Sid and others who for nothing more than their own sanity, argue with the less than sane in their free time. It matters. I am saying denial does none of us a bit of good.

    I often wonder all the time. Would the paper give Joseph Gerbils free reign of their comment section? Hitler? For the sake of "Free Speech?" They do it every day to some pretty hateful people.

    They removed a perfectly sane comment by their own standards.

  4. Haven't ventured to the online version yet, Smoothie. Might need to get a couple of drinks under my belt first. Anyhow, I always enjoy and appreciate your comments there and here. We're both battling futility.

  5. It happened again

    "Smooth to Operate Centerfire • 2 days ago
    What about all the abortion clinics blowing up and burning down? For starters...

    Sorry, there is every similarity. Simple as that."
    • Edit• Reply•Share ›

    "Centerfire Smooth to Operate • 2 days ago
    Like Sid and Obama, you equivocate fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Islamist's. Yes, fundamentalist Christians blow up an occasional abortion clinic to SAVE lives, but fundamentalist Islamist BEHEAD and murder thousands and TAKE lives. Do you really believe they are equivalent ?"

    They didn't remove my comment this time. But they did remove someone else's comment. Give you one guess who it was that got

    This stuff is not rocket science. It was only a matter of time, as always. 2 days is all it took this time.

  6. Hey, Eugene! Long time no hear. Hope you're well. Looks like the feistiness and wisdom are fresh as ever.

  7. Haven't been away Sid...always reading what you have to say...just haven't had much to say. Glad you stayed with it.

    For the guy "Centerfire?" Was it?

    Apparently what he meant to say was:
    "Equate" which means: to treat, represent, or regard as equal, equivalent, or comparable.

    He wrote: "Equivocate" which means, "to use equivocal language subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse with intent to deceive"

    Which is what he did by writing: "Yes, fundamentalist Christians blow up an occasional abortion clinic to SAVE lives."


  8. Sid....What ever happened to Frank????

  9. Believe it or not, Frank and I have email conversations nearly daily; I'd call them friendly and entertaining. In fact, it's less about politics than life in general. And sports. He's a pretty humorous guy. I think he still reads the blog, but hasn't commented in, like, forever.

  10. I always enjoyed you guys and your banter....


Comments back, moderated. Preference given for those who stay on topic.

Popular posts