Thursday, May 23, 2013

Using a Machete in a Global Civilization

You've probably read about this:
"Woolwich machete attack leaves man dead"
BBC News (May 22, 2013)

"A man has been killed in a machete attack and two suspects shot and wounded by police in Woolwich, south-east London.

"The Met Police said a murder inquiry was being led by its Counter Terrorism Command. Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK would 'never buckle' in the face of terror attacks.

"Footage has emerged showing a man wielding a bloodied meat cleaver and making political statements.

"Police confirmed two men had been arrested in connection with the murder.

"There are unconfirmed reports that the dead man was a soldier...."
Those "unconfirmed reports" include at least two high-profile folks:
"...Both French President Francois Hollande and MP Nick Raynsford said the dead man had been a soldier at Woolwich barracks.

"The footage shown on the ITV website shows a man, speaking to the camera, saying: 'We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.'..."
(BBC News )
Back in my 'good old days,' the (alleged) soldier might have been killed by a 'peace activist' trying to shove peace down the bloodthirsty throats of the icky military-industrial complex. I don't miss the 'good old days,' and that's not quite another topic.

At least one of the chaps who killed the man are black, but their actions and arrest don't seem to be motivated by racism: another reason I don't miss the 'good old days.' They're in custody, I understand: and will probably be charged with a serious crime. They seem to have been motivated by sincere religious beliefs:

"...By Almighty Allah...."

"Cameron condemns brutal hacking death, says Britain stands firm"
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN (May 23, 2013)

"Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would be 'absolutely resolute' in the face of terrorism Thursday, as he vowed to track down those behind the brutal hacking death of a British soldier in London....

"...A video recorded by one of the two men immediately after the attack seemed to suggest a jihadist agenda.

" 'We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone,' said a meat cleaver-wielding man with bloody hands, speaking in what seems to be a London accent...."
Can't say that I blame BBC News for downplaying the Islamic angle here. Between legitimate concerns about the occasional murder and car bomb, it's quite possible that some old-school British residents are almost ready to solve the 'Muslim problem' the way the Ku Klux Klan tried to solve race relations here in America.

By the way, despite what I had to learn during indoctrination for being a teacher here: not all whites are racists. By the same token, not all blacks are stupid and lazy: and, in my considered opinion, not all Muslims are murderers looking for a victim.

I've corresponded with Muslims who seem to be at least as upset about terrorists with an 'Islamic' identity as I am. That's understandable, I think, since Islamic crazies tend to kill more Muslims than non-Muslims. Maybe it's easier to get at neighbors, maybe they're more upset about Muslims who don't live or worship the 'right' way, maybe they owe money to their victims: I really don't know.

Religion, Psychosis, and Violence

Again in my considered opinion, not all religious folks are crazy, not all crazy folks are 'religious,' and not all religious lunatics kill people. Some do, but they're not normal: in several senses of the term.

I've got more to say about religion, sanity, and lethal force. That's a bit off-topic, though. You'll find links to some of my take on what makes sense, and what doesn't, at the end of this post.

The 'Good Old Days'

Back when I was growing up, 'good old boys' thought telling the 'little woman' she was as smart as a man was a compliment. 'Nice' women were supposed to stay home, be improbably sweet 24/7, and act as if men were smarter and generally better than they were.

I didn't think that made sense, still don't, and think some of the social upheaval of the '60s was a long-overdue set of corrections to an ailing society.

Then, as now, some folks who are 'Christian' at the top of their lungs seem to believe that God hates the folks they hate, and wants everybody to be just like them: right down to musical preferences. They are not typical Christians. They're not even typical American Protestants: but they're the ones who tend to get noticed.

Folks who want America to be a WASP nest aren't the only ones who are uncomfortable with today's world.

Dealing With Today: Or Not

There are parts of the world where culture hadn't changed much since Abram moved out of Ur until a few generations back. The head of a house was a man, who could kill one of his women or children if they didn't behave 'properly,' and who lived with a comfortable assurance that all 'people' were like him.
He might have been aware that there were creatures off in some distant land that looked like him: but they weren't 'people,' not really. Not unless they agreed with him about everything he thought was important.

That was then, this is now.

Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, folks who follow other faiths, and those who wish religion wasn't so, are building a global civilization. I'm okay with that: but some folks aren't.

It's early days, but my guess is that the two chaps in England may have be at how non-Muslims - and quite a few Muslims, for that matter - reacted when religious crazies killed several thousand folks on September 11, 2001.

I understand nostalgia, and indulge in it now and then. But I also realize that it's no longer acceptable to use a machete for that sort of self-expression.

By the way, one reason I'm not horrified at the prospect of a global and diverse civilization is that I'm part of an outfit that was global and diverse before the current iteration of Western Civilization began. More about that in the second set of 'related post' links.

Related posts:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing: Sauntering Through the News

Maybe I'd get more attention if I picked some position, and harangued endlessly about it.

Rattling on About Rosicrucians

Maybe I should post daily, warning anyone who reads this blog that the Boston Marathon bombing was engineered by the same cabal of Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and space-alien lizard men who really run the CIA and NBC, control our brains with radio waves from cell phone towers, and are responsible for annoying television commercials.

Somebody might believe that tripe, though, and I don't want to be responsible for increasing the world's nuttiness.

On the other hand, maybe I'm really a shape-shifting lizard man: and have hypnotized myself into believing that I'm human.

No, I don't think so.

News and Routine

There's been something in the news more-or-less daily since the Boston Marathon bombing: mostly the routine sort of stuff that news services do when there isn't a significant change to report.

That's about what I expected, since American law enforcement usually takes investigations of serious crimes in a frustratingly methodical, rational way.

There are exceptions, of course, like the infamous Steven Hatfill and Richard Jewel fiascoes. (February 15, 2011)

Students and Life Lessons

It's likely that at least one of the three college students arrested this week got a terrible shock:
"Boston bombings: Suspect's classmates appear in court"
BBC News (May 1, 2013)

"Three college classmates of the Boston bombings suspect have appeared in court, accused of hindering the police investigation into the attacks.

"Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev - both from Kazakhstan - threw away Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's laptop and backpack, police say.

"Robel Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators. None of the three are implicated in plotting the attacks...."
Maybe all three knew that they were helping terrorists. Maybe not. The young men from Kazakhstan are 19. That's 'old enough to know better,' but young enough to lack the common sense some of us eventually acquire.

I've never attended college in a foreign country, but can imagine that if had, and a buddy of mine asked me to throw a backpack and laptop away I might agree. Maybe not after I saw what was inside the backpack: but I'm nowhere near as nice and trusting a chap as some.

I won't rant about how America should drive all 'foreigners' out and not let anyone in. That, in my considered opinion, would be silly, wrong, and downright self-destructive. I'll grant that I'm a bit biased. All my ancestors were 'foreigners' here not too long ago.

Russia and Secrets

Maybe Russian security officials had a good reason for not telling their American counterparts about a potential terrorist.

Maybe they were simply being the sort of bureaucratic nitwits that add fuel, knowingly or not, to weird conspiracy theories.

Or maybe the FBI is on the verge of uncovering a conspiracy of space aliens and immortal brush salesmen, disguised as Russian officials. No, I don't think so.
"No evidence Boston bomber radicalized before first FBI interview, sources say"
Catherine Herridge, (April 30, 2013)

"Investigators have found no evidence -- so far -- that Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was radicalized before the FBI interviewed him in spring 2011, two sources tell Fox News.

"The FBI investigation ran from March through June 2011 after the bureau was contacted by the Russian Security Services, which said Tsarnaev and his mother were followers of radical Islam.

"The two sources, one within the intelligence community and the other a congressional source, both of whom would not discuss the investigation on the record, emphasized that the U.S. went back to the Russian authorities three times seeking more detail on the elder Tsarnaev brother, but it was only within the last week that Russia's wiretap evidence was presented to U.S. authorities.

"When Tsarnaev from his six months in Russia, in July 2012, the following month he established his own YouTube channel with links to known Islamist groups, including the Caucasus Emirate. According to the two sources, no evidence has been found that Tsarnaev 'created his own media, including video recordings,' which is seen by the intelligence community as an indicator or marker of radicalization...."
What this news item seems to indicate is that American law enforcement is acting the way they usually do: and so, sadly, are their Russian counterparts. (February 19, 2010)

In the news:
Related posts:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.