Monday, December 17, 2012

Horror in Newtown and the Realities of Life

Just to echo one point of many in the article, let's leave God out of the equation, because the sooner Americans face up to reality, the more chance they will have of addressing the countless ills that ail that unenviable country.

And a very good place to start is at the beginning. The country was not founded on Christian Judeo principals, it was founded on dispossession and genocide of the native population. Slavery and Robber Barons et al, can wait until another day.

God doesn't bless America, if there were a God, America would be the last country on earth that he would bless.

And another thing, the "let's take America back" (to the good old days!)  brigade. Irrespective of whatever that is supposed to mean, it's not coming back. Nothing is coming back for any of us, Google the 'Arrow of Time' that, unlike your God, is the reality of this world. Update: See videos below.   

Horror in Newtown
The editorial board
17 December 2012

The horrific massacre at a school in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut has sickened the entire country. Twenty-eight people lie dead, including twenty children between the ages of six and seven, who were shot multiple times. Six adults were also killed in Friday’s shooting spree before the gunman, Adam Lanza, took his own life. Earlier that morning, he shot and killed his mother.

The inhumanity of the crime is deeply unsettling. Beyond the individual motivations of the killer, the shooting at Newtown lays bare a brutality that pervades American society.

Friday’s mass killing is the latest in a long series of such incidents. The United States has historically seen repeated outbursts of violence. Yet the past two decades have been unusual, even by American standards. The frequency and scale of mass killings point to an underlying cause.

Among the most significant events have been the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 (168 killed, including 19 children); the Columbine, Colorado massacre in 1999 (14 dead); and the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 (34 dead). This year alone has seen massacres at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado (12 dead and 58 injured); a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin (6 dead); a sign business in Minneapolis, Minnesota (6 dead); a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin (3 dead); and a mall six days ago in Portland, Oregon (3 dead).

The response of the American media and the political establishment to the latest shooting traces a well-worn path. There are the banal declarations of the incomprehensibility and senselessness of “evil.” To the extent any broader response is offered, it is focused on the need for a “national conversation” on gun control and empty promises to do more to address mental health (made by politicians doing their best to slash health care programs to the bone).

The American ruling class has lost the capacity for self-examination. It knows that any serious analysis of the roots of this and other tragedies points back to itself and the society it dominates.

The speech by President Obama at a memorial service in Newtown Sunday night was typical—a combination of stock phrases, play acting and invocations of religion. It would have been better if he said nothing, as he had nothing intelligent to say.

The ceremony was an exercise in religious obscurantism, in which the parents of the murdered children were told not to grieve or lose heart, for their sons and daughters were in heaven.

“God has called them all home,” Obama declared in concluding his speech. Such statements are not only insensitive to the families of those killed, they are insulting to the intelligence of the American people. One can understand a turn to religion as a source of solace by those who experience such unspeakable tragedy. In the hands of the state, however, it is a means of obfuscation to cover up the social and political roots of such events.

If the politicians insist on invoking religion, they would do better to ask themselves how Lincoln might have responded. In describing the carnage of the revolutionary war he led, the sixteenth president said that if God willed that “every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword,” then “the judgments of the Lord are righteous altogether.”

The tragedies of this world (the Civil War), Lincoln insisted, are products of worldly crimes (slavery).

For what deeds are tragedies such as Newtown the reckoning? Far from being incomprehensible, the crime is all too comprehensible. The roots are not hard to trace: a society of unprecedented inequality, a thoroughly backward official political ideology without an ounce of progressive content, and, above all, an incredible level of violence perpetrated by the state, accompanied by the brutalization of society as a whole.

The character of the mass killings bears witness to this connection. Certain features appear with regularity: the use of military-style weapons, assailants (such as Lanza) dressed in combat fatigues, the frequent involvement of former soldiers.

The past two decades have been years of unending war. Born in 1992, the 20-year old Lanza spent most of his life during the “war on terror”—one neocolonial occupation after another, drone attacks, torture, rendition, a relentless assault on democratic rights. He could not have been unaffected by the constant efforts to promote fear and paranoia—the sense that the “enemy” is just around the corner.

Obama himself is the first US president to openly assert the right to assassinate anyone, anywhere, including US citizens. He devotes a significant portion of his time to selecting the targets of drone killings, with the full knowledge that civilians—including women and children—will be killed as a result. By conservative estimates, 3,365 people have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan alone, including 176 children.

The government and the media praise the killings perpetrated by the US military, and soldiers sent to invade and occupy nations are venerated as “heroes.” The Navy Seals and Special Ops forces who do the murderous dirty work of the US military are glorified.

Can one seriously believe this country can inflict violence all over the world and not suffer deadly consequences at home?

In the coming days, more information will emerge shedding light on the specific motives behind this latest mass killing. By all accounts, Lanza was a deeply troubled young man. It would be impossible to commit such a crime otherwise. Yet the individual psychosis and its particular expression is, ultimately, the product of a profound social disease.

You may think it odd that I have added these two clips to a post of this nature, but I can think of no better way of highlighting the structure of the world and the fallibilities of man.

Until we can recognise true reality, the reality devoid of gods, superstition and self interest; self interest being equally harmful as any belief in the supernatural, we will never solve the problems that face us all as a species.

And one of those first realities is, that no person in any civilised society has the need to posses assault weapons of any description for any reason.

The Arrow of Time - Wonders of the Universe

Events always happen in the same order, they never go backwards. We are compelled to travel into the future, and that's because the arrow of time dictates that as each moment passes things change, and once these changes happen, they are never undone.

How a sandcastle reveals the end of all things - Wonders of the Universe
"The second law of Thermodynamics is able to explain why time only runs in one direction." - Brian Cox
Update: Nothing better could endorse my point, said he with a monumental groan.

'Affront to Almighty God'
Right Wing Watch


Anonymous said...

God has called them all home, Obama declared in concluding his speech. Such statements are not only insensitive to the families of those killed, they are insulting to the intelligence of the American people. One can understand a turn to religion as a source of solace by those who experience such unspeakable tragedy. In the hands of the state, however, it is a means of obfuscation to cover up the social and political roots of such events.

I couldn’t agree more.

Himself said...

Good morning dear Lady, I pray you are well.

Quite a busy day yesterday what with one thing and another, and that by the way included, late last night, watching a clip on Democracy now.

Therein were the details of Dianne Feinstein's proposed ban on assault weapons. But here is a more dedicated link

Bottom line: The ban wouldn't be retroactive. Those weapons that are already out there, stay out there.

Given that these probably number in their tens, if not hundreds of thousands. Add to that the working life of said weapons, no reason to think a hundred years would be abnormal; then it boils down to one thing, a waste of fucking time.

Well two things actually, the killings will carry on with regular monotony.

I did read another bit late on, some bigwig in the gun industry/lobby hinting at armed insurrection over the issue.

And if you remember this piece about the Preppers, I don't think anybody would be disarming them in a hurry.

So all in all? Business as usual.

God bless America.

Thank you for your links and comments Chuck, all read, all noted.

Have to sort numerous tweets out now, is a busy old life at times. Well not really, but it keeps a fellow interested.

xx H

Himself said...

I have just had a look at that Preppers link. I seem to remember that as a very long article.

Confused in Cairo.

Himself said...

Got a new follower. LOl


Anonymous said...

But here is the thing. The American gun debate takes place in America, not Britain or Japan.

Anonymous said...

Hi H. As for your new follower, business as usual. Strongly recommended for some forum members. Just a thought you know. LOI xx

Anonymous said...

That Preppers link and this one perhaps? Doomsday.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe this one.

Himself said...

LOL I'd forgotten about that one.

But it was the link at the bottom of the page to this one, was the one I had in mind.

Thanks Chuck.

Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

Himself said...

Thanks Maren, a reasonable article,.

I do have to say though, if I lived in the states, I would want to be armed, no doubt about it.

The UK shotgun thing he mentions, well I got nicked many years ago for drink driving, followed some weeks later with a real blah blah fuckity blah letter from the Chief Constable.

I thought this fellow sounds a bit upset, I wonder what he would have sounded like if he had known my guns were in the boot at the time?

Again I have to say, I was quite happy with my guns and thoroughly enjoyed clay bird shooting.

Wish I had sixpence for every £ I down the end of a barrel. Goodness me! I would be rich.

Mind you, the same could be said for a lot of other things too.

Know what I mean Chuck?

Anonymous said...

Good morning H

I think I do. I also think you are rich.

That article is just a link, an opinion. I love reading opinions, you know, contains a lot of information.

I don´t know the first thing about guns and even less about living in the states; only some stories from friends who´ve been there for holidays. Some of my third degree relatives live in Canada.

All in all, I am learning as I go along. Thank you for your response.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, one of my former colleagues has a daughter about my age, living in Texas, divorced with three children, and working hard to make a living. Yet she can hardly afford healthcare and she also cannot give her children the attention they need.

It doesn’t sound appealing, but I know it could always be worse. M

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Good afternoon my lovely.

Canada is a whole different ball game to the US, or it was.

When I first went to Toronto, late sixties, it must have been the safest big city in the world, there was nowhere you couldn't walk.

A tad behind the times though I do admit, they weren't quite ready for wifey and her mini-skirts.

As for the rest of it, Texas and the like, no thank you, it's such a hard uncaring society.

Not to mention batshit crazy.


As for this?

There's no hope is there, not a bit.

Anonymous said...

You can't have a police state & an armed population. Paul Craig Roberts

Well said Teddy, let him finish what he’s saying.

So annoying, a questioner who doesn’t listen to the answerer. Even more so as Roberts knows what he is talking about.

Himself said...

Yep! Not much else we can say, is there?

Anonymous said...


Himself said...

Kind of takes the breath away don't it?

I couldn't find it on HuffPo, it had moved off somewhere, but plenty of others had picked it up.

God bless America.

And the NRA.

Anonymous said...

When the media permit agenda to take precedence over news, people lose confidence in the media and distrust spreads deeper into society. If the media and the government are opposed to conspiracy theories, they should not foster the theories by mishandling the news.

Anonymous said...

Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children. - Rick Perry

Talking of political agenda.

Himself said...


It wasn't lost one me.

Above all, let us pray for our children

That's sure to help them next time the bullets are flying.

Maybe they all need Armour of God jim jams.

Remind me how that big pray in for rain went Ricky.

That's why I don't do petitions and prayers. The result is the same.

Poor little buggers.

Anonymous said...
February 10, 2011

In the first case of its kind in Germany, a court in Stuttgart ruled that the father of a boy who killed 15 people, most of them at a school in Winnenden, is responsible for manslaughter and bodily injury because he failed to observe a gun control law stipulating the secure storage of firearms.

Himself said...

I quite agree Chuck, with a gun comes responsibility.

I wonder just how many shootings occur in the US where young children have picked up a gun, because they are lying about like confetti at a wedding?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Guns are like dogs I guess, no bad dogs, only bad owners.

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