Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Introducing a New Geezer

Editor's note:  This essay represents the first offering from a persistent wannabe Geezer who calls himself Mad Marvin. Marvin is the oldest Geezer to ever write here, and is not a member or even acquaintance of the original Geezers Emeritus. We don't even really like him. Well into his 60's, now,  Mad Marvin was once an original, tie-dyed-in-the wool hippie liberal pinko of profound peace-loving sappiness. But later in life a profound cynicism overcame him, manifesting in rabidly extremist views. These days, his rants retain their liberal flavor on some occasions, though escalating to nearly anarchist levels. At other times he is unabashedly right-wing in his views. He is, in other words, quite literally schizophrenic. And off his meds. 

It is likely we will print only a small fraction of the wacky diatribes he submits to us; we just don't have the energy to edit each piece in a way that makes him remotely presentable. 

The last 50 years of stupid-assed US foreign policy can be symbolized by a single goddamn event that's just unfolded in Iraq.

After 20 years of US combat, supposedly aimed at freeing Iraq from tyranny and giving them the gift of democracy,  the evil ISIS faction (which makes Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard look like (censored) Little Sisters of the Poor) takes a key Iraqi city. The nationalist defense force, four times larger than invaders, offers virtually no resistance, instead fleeing and abandoning a couple billion dollars worth of high-tech American guns, missiles and tanks to the invading ISIS forces.

The ISIS forces, despite their startling victory, are far from being beacons of bravery; they've  now essentially hidden behind women and children, setting up headquarters in dense residential areas so that the US is hesitant to help the cowardly nationalist forces by striking back, out of fear of harming civilians. (The nationalist forces, it seems, aren't even willing to offer on-the-ground reconnaissance to help direct missile and air attacks against the evil bastards.) The homeland Iraqis, in other words, as a culture are just about as (censored) and spineless as the (censored) French people were when Hitler frowned at them in WWII.

(Censored). Will we ever, as a nation, grow tired of this pattern? Over and over and over again, from Korea to the middle east, same (censored) story. With professed noble intent, we decide to take on the evil fascist dictators and terrorists of the world, only to end up handing over incredibly dangerous tools to people who would love to shove those weapons up our United Ass. Or leave behind a landscape filled with landmines to blow little kids to bloody bits. As a nation, we're like a kindergarten teacher who, instead of cookies,  hands out out sticks of dynamite and matches to a classroom of (censored) autistic 5 year olds.

Don't get me (censored) wrong, by the way. I admire the Iraqi and other Islamic immigrants to this country. They are the cream of the crop, the ones with spine and spirit. They should be given awards for escaping the in-bred (censored) hillbillies of their homeland. We should actually be embracing them and celebrating their triumph rather than mistreating them like they are extensions of their evil and cowardly (censored) acquaintances back home. If we were a little more admiring and welcoming of these folks, maybe they would be less disillusioned and less likely to learn hatred for us (and from us).

But if history shows anything, it's that we'll never learn. We (censored) get what we (censored) deserve.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thoughts on Events in Garland, Texas

Like most people, I reacted to the news of the terrorist attack on the cartoonists' conference in Garland, Texas with weary discouragement and outrage. It lent fuel to my increasing belief that we are currently in a new form of World War, with radical Islam battling pretty much the rest of the world. The definition of a World War, after all, is a conflict "involving most of the world's most powerful nations."  The 15-year "war on terror" seems to qualify, given the involvement of the US, Great Britain, France, etc. etc. (It does seem to me, though, that calling this a "war on terror" is slightly misleading. Let's call it what it really is: a war of Judaic/Christian culture vs. that of fundamental Islam.  It's really a particular subcategory of terror that we're fighting here.)

Like many westerners, each time a new such episode occurs, I have the slightly shameful thought that the west should go whole-hog and stamp this thing out once and for all; a small, rarely vocalized thought that if radical Islam wants jihad, then the west ought to respond in kind and get this thing over with. After all, they started it. But then I tell myself that this group represents a small faction of a religious philosophy that includes many, many innocent people. I'm a bit ashamed of the angry knee-jerk reaction I sometimes harbor.

It also bears consideration that we (meaning some members of the west) have a role in this. Somewhat lost in our outrage is the fact that a principle organizer of this event, Pamela Geller, turns out to be a hate-monger of the most dedicated and profound ilk. In her recent history, she has made a tidy career of persecuting all manifestations of Islam, including organizing successful opposition to the construction of mosques and Islamic culture centers. A key organizer of the American Freedom Defense League Initiative, as well as a highly visible supporter of the English Defense League—both organizations seeking the virtual extinction of Islam—her blog "Atlas Shrugs" has been labeled a hate site by PayPal and government watch groups. (Ironically, given her own Jewish heritage, members of the English Defense League often appear in public wearing swastikas; the passion here is not ideology but pure hatred).  Her response to the Texas shooting was something akin to jubilation—it proved her point and justified her career of hate-mongering. Violence was the goal of organizing the event.

None of this excuses this or any other Islamic terrorist activity in any way. Our culture is based on freedom of speech, and much the way Westboro Church has the right to scream hate messages about gay people, this woman has a right to organize a conference aimed, really, with hopes of a violent response from Islamic radicals. But neither can we ignore the full reality of the situation. If police officers had been killed in this operation, Pamela Geller and other organizers would have borne some moral responsibility for inciting violence.

And before we automatically trumpet the rights of expression for a conference aiming to caricature the prophet Mohammed, we should make sure that we'd be equally comfortable if Ms. Geller had organized a conference awarding a prize for the best depiction of Jesus Christ fornicating with the Virgin Mary. I wonder how serious we'd be about defending freedom of speech in that instance.