Dark Days

A Facebook friend asked: What will happen first, World War III or Civil War II?

That was before the latest round of mass shootings. Oh wait, we don’t have rounds of mass shootings anymore. They’re regular occurrences now.

Speaking of regular occurrences, cops murder black and brown people daily, with the risk of indictment and imprisonment far too remote to stem the tide of further killing. When the victimized population rises up to say their lives matter, we ignore them, but when they lash out in anger, we  demonize them.

And our political leaders?

One party fields candidates who compete for the nomination by stoking racism, inciting murder, bashing immigrants, stereotyping Muslims, and pandering to white religious zealots. All while being completely owned by a tiny group of billionaires whose greed knows no bounds. Or being a billionaire whose greed knows no bounds.

The other party rigs its nomination process to clear the way for a neoliberal war monger who is owned by a different group of billionaires and who talks about obliterating Iran. It’s not clear whether that will happen before or after she obliterates Syria. She’s already obliterated Libya. And she hearts Wall Street.

While the country’s wealth is so unevenly distributed that 20 billionaires own more wealth than the bottom half of the population, the one presidential candidate who openly denounces the situation is widely regarded by the media as a fringe candidate.

Not one political leader dares to condemn the daily atrocities suffered upon Palestinians by violent Israeli settlers. While an apartheid right-wing Israeli regime foment further violence, its leader is invited to the White House. And asks for another $5 Billion in weapons. Which will be tested on one of the most densely packed populations on the planet, desperately clinging to life in an open air prison known as Gaza.

Meanwhile, in Paris, world leaders meet to agree on half-measures insufficient to stop the burning of the planet. And pat themselves on the back for doing so. As the ice melts, the seas rise, the species die off, the droughts worse, and the forests burn, we dither.

Maybe my Facebook friend’s question should have been: What’s next, World War III, Civil War II, or Extinction of Mankind I?

Chris Hedges sums it all up thusly:

We have entered a new and dangerous phase in American political life. The ruling political elites have been exposed as charlatans. The rage of the underclass, especially the white underclass, has broken its bonds. The age of the demagogues has arrived.

Have we hit bottom yet? Not even close. These are dark days. The days ahead are darker.

20 responses to “Dark Days

  1. ”People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell

    And the odd things is, Bob, that, like you, those same people who sleep so peacefully have a strange tendency to hold those “rough men” in contempt, or worse yet, hatred. It is easy when you are protected from the darker side of life to decide that there really ISN’T that much to fear. Having never encountered people who are intent on committing mayhem and violence, it is easy to believe that such people really don’t exist. Combine that with little or no direct contact with those “rough men” (aka – the Police) it is easy to demonize them when they commit violence against other people. After all, in your experience no one deserves being shot or killed, regardless of what they are doing. Especially if they are from an oppressed minority, since oppressed minorities must be dealt with in a different manner because it isn’t their fault if they are involved in crime.

    I would be willing to wager that you never took my advice to go for a ride along with your local Police. It is probably best if you don’t because if you had a more balanced view, you might not be able to speak with such dead on certainty as to the evil of the Police and the purity of the people they encounter during their shifts of duty.

    • captain*arizona

      I do not support the all volunteer army as it makes it to easy to go to war. yet I don’t like the draft so I have a delema here. we pay cops to do good not bad. they have a tough job to enforce the will of the republican fascist police state and their gun nut elected officials its like trying to be a good german in nazi germany.

    • I’m glad you’re so certain about the lack of knowledge and experience I bring to the table.

      • I like you, Bob, and I enjoy reading what you write. I enjoy it enough that I read what you write very carefully. It is from what you have written that I draw my conclusions about what “you bring to the table”. When you write about the Police, you are always angry at them and you display a great deal of contempt for them. You call them murderers and never voice any empathy or understanding about what they face on a daily basis when confronting those who would commit acts of mayhem, murder and rapine.

        If I am wrong, Bob, just tell me. Of course, I would understand if you didn’t want to share that information because it could be an intrusion into your privacy. That is something I wouldn’t want to do. But if you would share it, I would be happy to know I am wrong in my conclusions.

  2. I’m concerned for you Bob!
    You begin with a false premise, “….cops murder black and brown people daily….”, then draw out a straw man, “One party fields candidates who compete for the nomination by stoking racism, inciting murder, bashing immigrants, stereotyping Muslims, and pandering to white religious zealots.”, and continue spiraling downward from there into a self-loathing.

    It may be time to take a Zoloft.

  3. captain*arizona

    Bob we can demand and more then demand, force things to go forward. I just disagree about it being dark days I see the sun peeking above the horizon even if you can’t . I never have said we should sit on are accomplishments. Bobby kennady once said if not me who? if not now when? That is my motto too! If you can’t get thru the door of progress get a bigger axe to cut your way thru! I know what is coming and I like it! and the republiscum don’t!

    • You know, Captain, these are the most optimistic responses I think I have ever read from you. I happen to agree with you that things are getting better for minorities and have been doing so for a long time. There is still a ways to go, but I think Bob is wrong in discounting the progress that has been made and continues to be made. Sweeping cultural changes take time and achieving equality among all the races represented in the United States IS a sweeping cultural change. We will succeed at it.

  4. One thing is for sure, since the last shooting in So Cal was a Muslim couple, the islamaphobs on the hill will probably push for background checks now.

    • Islamaphobes? Really? If it weren’t such a serious matter, you would be funny. You are like the neighbors of these two murderers…who now admit that they had noticed that the two were behaving oddly, and even were a little afraid of them, but they didn’t want to say anything out of fear of being called racist. Even Obama has admitted grudgingly that this might have been an act of terror. Imagine that! President “never saw a terrorist attack on our soil” Obama is having to admit it might just have happened. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, the odds are pretty good its a duck. Wrap yourself in a blanket of denial all you want, at some point you are going to have to see the duck.

  5. We MUST elect Bernie Sanders!

  6. Dark days indeed. Here’s an AP quote from the San Bernardino shooting: “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Obama told CBS.

    • And, as usual, Obama is parsing his words VERY carefully in order to push his agenda against guns. He ignores numerous studies that show the United States is NOT as violent as he would have us believe. The United Nations 2013 Global Study on Homicide (the latest study they have published) shows very clearly that Central America has the highest murder rate in the world, followed by South America, Africa and Eastern Europe. The United States is low on the list despite almost 300,000,000 guns in the hands of its citizens. We may well have the highest murder rate by guns in the world, but if you follow the leads of Australia and England and ban gun ownership entirely, the murder rates don’t drop. You see, the criminals don’t give up their guns; and if they find guns hard to get they simply find another weapon with which to commit murder and mayhem. England actually found its murder rate went up after guns were banned because criminals no longer feared encountering armed victims. Like so many other things, a quick google search makes it easy to find these studies, but only if you are willing to find them.

      Of course, murder by any means is wrong, but taking guns away will not stop them. Have you noticed that most of these mass shootings have taken place in states that have the strictest gun control laws? Why is that? It’s because criminals are not stupid…they go where their victims are most likely to be disarmed. Therefore they go to schools, government buildings, workplaces that ban guns and states that make gun ownership so difficult that the killers are unlikely to find any resistance.

      • Steve, the comments are getting long and numerous. And you’re repeating the same points over and over and over. Is it perhaps time to start your own blog?

        • That is true, Bob. But I respond to the same posts and the same points over and over again. Some things can not be repeated often enough.

  7. captain*arizona

    bob things might not be improving for you ;but even liberal elitists no things are improving for the black and brown people you talk about. the 60th anniversary of rosa parks arrest just happened. ask the black or brown people about the good old days or poor white people like me (ok I am only partly white) about living without health insurance. every day in the republican fascist police state of arizona 100 mexican-american kids turn 18 voting age add dreamers its a 140 a day and almost every one of them hating republiscum as much as we do. chill out and help register them to vote to turn red arizona blue!

    • Things are not improving for me? Really? This post was about me? Yeah, the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks just happened and, here we are, with Blacks shot daily by police, unprecedented numbers of Blacks incarcerated, and median Black wealth less than 10% of median white wealth. The percentage of the Black population behind bars is more than 5 times what it was 40 years ago, and you say things are getting better for them? Funny, but Michele Alexander and TaNehisi Coates don’t seem to agree, nor do the Black friends and acquaintances I have.

      So, I’m noticing how deplorable conditions in the country are, especially for people of color, while you’re condescending about how well they’re doing now compared to the Jim Crow era, and I’m the elitist? You need to consult your dictionary my friend.

      • captain*arizona

        ask them if they want to go back 40 years bob. most of the problems you talk about will be remedied by the latino birth rate soon! the more young minority kids that we register the quicker we have a bullet proof congress and even faster if democrats demand president obama send in federal troops to any state that ttys to stop monories from voting.

        • During the Jim Crow era, I’m fairly certain that Blacks did not want to go back to the days of slavery, but that didn’t make their treatment at the hands of whites during Jim Crow moral or acceptable. It’s a ridiculous argument you’re making, and an argument, by the way, that only an elitist white person would make. It’s precisely the logic that Barbara Bush employed when she spoke of how fortunate blacks from New Orleans were to be sleeping on cots in the Astrodome.

          Personally, I won’t speak about how well blacks or Latinos are doing until they are doing 100% as well as whites. To do otherwise is at a minimum elitist and more likely racist.