Thursday, October 20, 2016

God And The Holocaust

So somehow, I managed to get teased into a conversation with an atheist today on Twitter. It was the usual stuff, snarky and devoid of intellectual content. I was supposed to be scandalized and perplexed and God knows what else by his rapier-like wit. Whatever. One of the hilarious jabs he threw at me was this image which was promptly retweeted and liked by all kinds of his fellow travelers.

I'd never thought much about it before, but when I saw it a bunch of things went through my head which I will attempt to synthesize here. I'm a fan of Third Reich military history and I've recently been slogging my way through the ghastly Mein Kampf. Given that foundation, when I was confronted by this brilliant repartee, I mildly wondered, "Why was the Holocaust God's to stop?"

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf long before he came to power. Anyone who read it knew he was trouble from the get-go for Jews in particular and Europe in general. Never one for subtleties, while he doesn't lay out the blueprints for the gas chambers, it's hard to see how it all ends well for the Jews. When he finally did seize power in Germany, the sequence of events, including Kristallnacht, made it clear to everyone where this was headed.

Germany wasn't a military super power in the mid-30s. Had the British or French decided enough of this Nazi nonsense was enough, they could easily have whacked Hitler and replaced him with someone less offensive. Sure, it would have been messy, but in retrospect, it's impossible to see how Londoners hiding in the subways during the Blitz wouldn't have wished the Her Majesty's government had snuffed out the little creep years earlier.

Instead, England and France clung to their "right side of history" rubbish and America slept through the whole thing. And after everyone finally managed to rouse their lazy butts after wake up calls in the form of HE-111s bombing the living daylights out of European cities across the Continent, we eventually took out the twit and his goons. Meanwhile, in the Holocaust referenced in that genius image, millions of Jews were gassed because earlier we couldn't be bothered to read and understand Hitler's book and see where the whole thing was going.

And that's God's fault?!? I think not.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Rigged Elections

... don't they seem like a self-limiting process?

I have to admit, that outside of an intellectual curiosity about what this election says about American culture, I've kind of checked out. Still, the accusations that this election is "rigged" are interesting.

Of course they're rigged. Just to take one dimension, the news media, outside of the execrable Fox News, is positively manic in their hatred of Donald Trump. Well, good for them. After Trump goes down to a well-deserved, landslide defeat, the news media will have ... what? Well, as far as I can see, their frothing howls against Trump will have turned off 35% or so of their potential viewers. Further, Sanders supporters will be incensed that the news media didn't see fit to report on Hillary and the DNC using Bernie like a honeypot for the kids.

So the news media wins in 2016 and gets what they want, but in 2017 and beyond, they lose influence because the people they sneeringly dismissed will go somewhere else for their news. That was happening anyway, but this is going to accelerate the process. Personally, I had no illusions about the media's objectivity, but this has been breathtaking to me.

When it all fails - ObamaCare, student loans, the Middle East, etc - and Hillary's administration is left in smoldering ruins, will it all have been worth it to the news media flunkies?

How will they "rig" things in 2018 and 2020 now that they've ticked off so many people?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lizard Of The Day

I had a different post in mind, but this little fellow let me get close enough to take some decent photos with my phone, so here he is, reared up and posing for the camera. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Voting For Lower Prices

Driving home from the retreat yesterday, we passed a billboard advocating Prop 61, claiming it would lower drug prices. We can vote for lower prices? Who knew it was that easy?

I think bananas cost too much. Let's vote to lower their price by 10 cents a pound.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I Think Larry Elder Went To My Daughter's Public High School

... because this tweet was spot on.

Friday, October 14, 2016

We're All Fascists Now

There's an easy answer for everything. Vote the right way and the nation will be fine. You won't have to make any real sacrifices, the government will make sure they make all the sacrifices, "they" being whomever your chosen political savior happens to despise.

So here we are, selecting between Mussolini A and Mussolini B - Trump and Clinton. One is a personal messiah, the other is a policy messiah. Thoughts of personal freedom, personal accountability and governing as much of your own life as possible are being washed away in our hunger for a strong leader to make the bad things go away.

This didn't happen to us, we did it to ourselves. If we had wanted freedom, the Democrats wouldn't have become completely fascist and the Republicans would have chosen someone, anyone other than Trump. Nope, this is who we are, as Obama might say. I guess fascism was on the Right Side of History after all.

My thinking isn't political these days, even though I'm frequently giving in to the siren song of political blogging. Instead, it's cultural. How do you turn this thing around? Truth be told, I'm kind of at a loss. For one thing, while our political leaders are all strong-men-in-waiting, it just doesn't seem like the culture is. But it must be, right? Or is this just the natural consequence of living the Marquis de Sade life where all that matters is pleasure? Are we looking for a strong man so we can leave all that icky constructive stuff to someone else so we can focus on weed, porn and video games?

That last seems like the best explanation to me. I guess if you don't have any real ambitions in life, having someone tell you what to do isn't such a big deal. If you're not trying to go somewhere significant, who cares what regulations you have to follow?

Directionless fascism?
They're serving free ice cream after the rally, so it's all good.