Welcome to another edition of actual casual asides, seasoned as usual with gotchas and I-told-you-sos.
Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…
The United States and our allies have no rational interest in disclosing how many people we’ve killed in Iraq and Afghanistan if that number is inclusive of civilians. “We don’t do body counts,” said General Franks. We may publish figures of enemy killed and captured (we actually don’t take prisoners anymore for the most part), in order to show how effective and accurate our troops are in combat.
But every once in a while, some secondary evidence turns up. According to the latest reports from all around the country:
Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages at police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol.
More than 1,000,000,000 bullets a year, to the point where it literally puts the squeeze on so-called “homeland security.”
How many people can you kill with a billion bullets a year? Let’s run some projections:
The Jack Bauer all-time low (2.57 shots per death): 389 million (more than the populations of the U.S. and Canada combined)
The Amadou Diallo standard (41 shots per death): 24.4 million (comparable to the whole Iraqi population)
The A-Team standard (infinite shots fired with no casualties): 0 deaths, billions of fools pitied.
The practical upshot of all this analysis is that B. A. Baracus may well have been the latest incarnation of the Buddha.
Who Would Jesus Go Down On?
The essential friction of theocracy is that nobody can live up to all that bullshit all the time. Theocracies are, in fact, the ultimate expression of religion’s desire to normalize its social conventions and taboos. We’d like tot hink that there are some concepts which are universal, but in reality, each religion and ideology merely has different standards for who is allowed to break that taboo and when.
Murder is taboo unless you’re killing an unbeliever or for revenge; homosexuality is inexcusable for laity but tolerated among priests; it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than for a rich man to pass through the gates of heaven, unless that man is a televangelist.
So another bunch of Christian Patriots are caught same-sex canoodling, which isn’t so shocking, but in these two cases, the public found out because Florida GOP congressman Bob Allen and Indiana Young Republican Glenn Murphy managed to involve the police in the debacle.
Bob Allen’s arrest for solicitation is one thing, because it allegedly involved what he thought were two consenting adults… and a $20 payment from Allen so that he might perform oral sex on an undercover cop. But Glenn Murphy allegedly raped a guy in his sleep after a YR party where the victim’s sister bade the Murphy to stay over after drinking too much.
The best part of these scandals is the inevitable excuse proffered by the newly fallen Republican angels:
Allen: Those strapping buck negroes made me do it out of fear!
Glenn Murphy: It was totally consensual. The dude begged me to suck his dick in his sleep!
Pastor Ted Haggard: I like meth, massages, and male prostitutes, but not gay sex with male prostitutes on meth after massages!
Paul Barnes: I prayed to God to cure me and he never answered my prayers!
Mark Foley: I was molested by a priest! Years later, I got drunk!
Ed Schrock: I work out religiously, can assure you. I’m just looking to get together with a guy, we could play with one another, go down on one another, just to have some fun with, nothing hardcore.
Abraham Lincoln: I’m dead and you’ll never prove a thing!
Now Karl Rove resigns ‘to spend more time with his family.’ The whole country is wondering why he’s leaving now, and nobody can figure it out… or can we?
The ever-despicable Mark Noonan of Blogs for Bush on gay pride marches:
Proud of being gay? Am I supposed to have a Guys Under 5’8″ Pride Parade? How can one be proud of one’s genetics? We’re firmly assured that gay people are born that way – being proud of it is as silly as being proud of your hair color. So, what gives? What, exactly, are they being proud of? Their ability to engage in lewd behaviour without being arrested? Their ability to strong arm the political establishment into helping them seem mainstream? Pride goeth before the fall, good people – you might want to think on that a bit between now and the next pride parade – especially as things like this are going to turn more and more people hostile to public displays of homosexuality.
I submitted the following comment under the pseudonym “Martin Luther” which I was surprised to see approved by the blog’s moderator:
Exactly! It's like those damn Irish with their so-called St. Patrick's Day Parades. You didn't choose to be Irish, so stop blocking traffic! Who do they think they are? Honestly, the Irish weren't even considered 'white' until a few dozen years ago. These palefaced Papists' pathetic attempt to convince mainstream Protestant America that they're the same as everybody else is so transparent it makes me want to vomit green.
Have you seen these parades? I've seen them in New York and Boston. Talk about lewd displays of public indecency! Drunkenness, lasciviousness, brawling, and public urination! And the worst part is, since the Irish seem to have infiltrated the police and firehouses, they just stand idly by while Europe's red-headed step-children run amok!
Selfless Act of the Year
When it comes to Darfur, I don’t think any American can top this. I hope we try, though.
US actress Mia Farrow has offered her freedom in exchange for that of a respected rebel figure in Sudan. Suleiman Jamous, a co-ordinator for Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), has been confined to a UN peacekeeping base near Darfur for more than 13 months.
Although he needs urgent surgery, the 62-year-old faces arrest if he leaves.
In a letter to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Ms Farrow has offered to take his place, saying his continued absence was an “impediment” to peace.
“Before his seizure, Mr Jamous played a crucial role in bringing the SLA to the negotiating table and in seeking reconciliation between its divided rival factions,” she said.
“I am therefore offering to take Mr Jamous’s place, to exchange my freedom for his in the knowledge of his importance to the civilians of Darfur and in the conviction that he will apply his energies toward creating the just and lasting peace.”
War is a game cowards play with other people’s lives. Making peace is truly courageous.