Seven electronic billboards around the Midlands are rotating an anti-Trump message: “You Lost. You’re Guilty. Welcome to Columbia, Donald.” The billboards go on to say they are “Sponsored by League of Radical Leftists Vermin – Jay Bender Instigator.”
Note to gun owners: I don’t give a damn about your gun. I think guns are deadly. I think owning a gun is foolish. I think owning more than one gun is madness. (I think military weapons should be illegal.) I’m free to have these opinions just as you are free to have your guns. As long as your goddamn guns aren’t used to threaten people, to cause violence, to kill, or to demonstrate your smug moral superiority or terror, you can dress them up in hats and call them your girls, as far as I’m concerned. So, let’s drop this bullshit part of the “Culture War” that others exploit to keep us all riled up and distracted from the fact that the Rich want more, more, more.
I am sick with sorrow and rage. Sorrow over the endless cruelty of others (in particular, white men), sick of a lifetime witnessing people hate, abuse, rape, torment, and murder other human beings they don’t like.
I’m enraged by the certainty that today, more than one cop will murder more than one black person under circumstance in which a white person might not even be inconvenienced. Guaranteed. The people who could stop that — the bad cops’ coworkers, supervisors, friends, and family — know these future killers but will do NOTHING to stop them. Tomorrow, the bystanders may share our shock and dismay but today they wait, as we all do, for the next murder, and the one after that, and again and again and again. It could be stopped but we won’t stop it. I’m sorry.
I’m an old white guy who literally could not be more comfortable or secure, if not for my humanity and empathy. I can only imagine the dread that hangs over black people, has hung over them for centuries. How has that not ground them to a pulp? Even if the pressure made them into diamonds, it wasn’t worth it for any of us.
This has to STOP today, not tomorrow, not after the election or a study, TODAY. No more abuse, no more murder. If you live with a bad cop, a racist, a dick, do something: report them, fire them, break their gun hand — I stop myself short of saying kill them, even though I know they will not stop themselves. We must stop them together NOW.
“The heavily armed individuals who flaunted themselves at the protest, calling themselves a ‘civil guard,’ were there for one reason: To menace protesters, to present an unsanctioned show of unregulated force,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in a statement. “To menace the people of New Mexico with weaponry — with an implicit threat of violence — is on its face unacceptable; that violence did indeed occur is unspeakable.” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (D) said the statue would now be speedily removed as an “urgent matter of public safety” until authorities determine a next step.
Note: the “militia’s” actions brought the opposite of what they intended: shame and arrest. You shot yourselves in the foot again.
No one wants to take away guns from responsible gun owners. However, if you rage and howl about civil war and cold dead hands, you are NOT a responsible gun owner — you are a zealot. The angrier you are, the more dangerous you are with a gun — that’s not responsible.
Now, assuming you are calm and sensible, as I hope the majority of gun owners are, you have an extra responsibility to speak to the nuts and rein them in.
Stand down. Calm down. Work with others to develop gun measures that help reduce gun violence and also help punish those who use guns non-defensively. Stiff-arming us and shaking your weapons in the air while opposing everything as the paranoid “slippery slope” does no one any good. Help control gun violence. Prove you are responsible and decent, not a zealot.
It occurs to me that David Koch died knowing he’d failed terribly. Yes, he used his wealth to push candidates and causes Progressives couldn’t abide. (Often through the cowardly use of “dark money.”) However, recall that Koch was not a Conservative Republican — Koch was a libertarian. (Note that “extreme” is always redundant with “libertarian” and it should never be capitalized because you don’t have any right to tell me otherwise.) Name a politically-successful libertarian. Justin Amash? He failed to save the GOP. Gary “Big J” Johnson? He helped elect Trump.
Koch must have hated Trump and he must have been furious that the unprincipled charlatan succeeded where Koch failed: in transforming the Republican party. Pity poor David Koch, whose vast wealth could not achieve his greatest dreams nor keep him from Death. (Perhaps, he took comfort in seeing the Federal government weakened and corrupted, though the empty bathtub costs more than ever.)
I am not a patriot.
I’m a good citizen. I vote thoughtfully. I willingly pay taxes for the common good.
I’m a good neighbor. I maintain my property and my distance, but try to greet everyone I meet.
I am not a patriot. To me, patriotism is the happy mask of nationalism. We’re number one! We’re the best! We’re the greatest! It takes no effort to append “and they are the worst and must be destroyed!” More money for defense (war).
Don’t get me wrong. I know there are good people who are proud of their country. Just as there are good people who believe in a book and a god I do not believe in. I don’t want those people running my life or my nation.
I just want you to know there are good people who are not proud of their country. In my 63 years, I’ve been proud to be an American twice — the two times Barrack Obama was elected president by an overwhelming majority ready for a better nation.
I could write these same sentiments any year. My anti-patriotism has little to do with the angry, fearful, shrinking minority that has seized the nation for the rich, the male, and the white.
There is no nation I’d rather live in. Nationalism is a problem wherever you find it. America is good, especially in its potential and its formal goals, which we have yet to achieve. I’m happy to be here, but I will not salute the flag, I will not stand for the anthem, I will not support corrupt politicians or poisonous ideologies. That’s my patriotism. Enjoy your 4th, your fireworks, your war machinery. Tomorrow, resist the forces that will undo all our benefits and freedoms.