The Syrian Civil War has been characterized by the United Nations as the “great humanitarian crisis of our age”. A nation of twenty million, Syria has lost twenty percent of its population, most of whom have fled as international refugees. On the other hand, over a hundred thousand foreign militants have gone there to fight, and the armed forces of a dozen nations have deployed in what has become one of the biggest proxy wars in all of history.
Those who read my articles surely know by now I tilt at windmills on the Internet. Most people in my circle of acquaintance see the inhumanity and incivility and they just accept it; they say, “What do you expect? It’s the Internet.” And they let it go.
I could, I suppose, but I’ve long believed that we all have a duty to improve the world around us if we can; that an accumulation of small good deeds and kindnesses is the only bulwark we can raise against that genuine evil (more…)
It’s getting so I hate to turn on the news. I physically cringe. Bear with me here.
Here’s a quick recap: There was a shooting yesterday, a man I think can best be described as a domestic terrorist plinking away at a Congressional charity baseball team at practice. There was a horrific fire at a London apartment highrise where, apparently, the sprinklers malfunctioned and dozens of people were killed. (It’s been called “corporate manslaughter”.) Congress approved a multibillion dollar arms sale to Qatar, a nation presently (more…)
(NOTE: This article is being written in advance of the new Executive Order designed to function in place of that order of 27 January which has been partially blocked by the 9th Circuit. It is designed to be predictive in nature. When the new order finally is released, expect to see this updated with comparisons, but I’ll try to leave my predictions intact so you can see how smart I am — or how foolish, just as the case may be. The new order has now been released; comparisons are in a separate section at the end of the article.)
We’ve heard the jokes; we’ve seen the memes. Kellyanne Conway is now a national laughing stock. Which happens, so big whoop, right?
For those few of you who may have missed this story, CNN published the best account I can find — not snarky, not snotty at all, which is worthy of note as they tend to give Conway a hard time whenever they can.
I don’t know about you, but when I woke up to discover that we’re having a refugee problem with Australia, it made my brain hurt for a bit. I mean, I know they’ve got this cane toad problem, and some of the most poisonous nasty creatures on earth live there — I mean, spiders and snakes, sure, but a snail? A deadly stinging tree? Gina Rinehart, for God’s sake?! — but that’s no reason to flee the country. Or maybe it is; I don’t know. I’ve never met the woman. (more…)
“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy… One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives.
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable…” -H.L. Mencken, “The Smart Set”(more…)
Every time something horrific happens, every op-ed writer in America puts out their thoughts on it: why it happened, how it could have been prevented, the senselessness of it all. And what’s sad is, a lot of people are getting sick of it, ignoring it, moving on. We see so very much that’s horrible and we just can’t face one more thing in a litany of more things. And the last thing we need is some self-important armchair political hack telling us who did what wrong and who’s at fault.
So why am I, yet another self-important windbag, writing anything? Why do you need another helping of empty wind from someone else who doesn’t matter? Why do we need any of them yapping at us when what we really want to do is grieve in peace or fix the damn problem already and get on with the business of living but this time in safety?