CATEGORY / racism

More Of My Crap

Up at 2:30AM packing for a trip to New York to attend my eldest sister’s wedding. Yes, photos of that event will be forthcoming, too, once I get the Africa photos done!

Today I got my new headshots done for an updated press kit. I think my head looks fat. Man, have I bloated of late! What do you think?

Back to the heavy stuff… A couple of people have asked about my contention that terrorism is a political thing and not a religious thing. After all, if a suicide bomber screams the name of his god as he murders a dozen people, is that not indication of a religious basis for his action? As I mentioned in a commentary elsewhere, it’s my belief that religion is an enabler, not a cause. Politics is always the cause.

It’s easy to forget that Muslims did not invent terrorism. It’s been around as a political strategem for centuries. One can argue that Robin Hood was a terrorist. The patriots at the Boston Tea Party were terrorists. Guy Fawkes was a terrorist. Jews fighting for the establishment of Israel, lead by the likes of the late cyclops, Mr Begin, were terrorists. Chrstian abortion-bombers are clearly terrorists, as are the militiamen in the American frontier. The unabomber, too, was a kind of terrorist hoping to effect pro-environmental political change through his random killings. And of course the IRA were terrorists.

To expand the discussion, it can easily be argued that any force that attacks a civilian population for the purposes of attaining a political goal are in essence terrorists. When armies deliberately target civilians to win a battle or get a strategic advantage, that’s terrorism. The blitzing of London in WWII was terrorism by the Nazis, designed to stultify Britons with fear. Axis launches of disease- and exposives-filled balloons to the American shore were acts of terrorism with political but no military goals. When Truman nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, large urban centres were chosen for a maxmimal death count –not to effect a military outcome, but to both politically coerce the Japanese and to send a message to the Russians. That was terrorism. Was it justified? The hawks say so. So, by their world view, sometimes terrorism can be justified.

Clearly, religion is not necessary for the conduct of terrorist acts. It’s not even needed for the generation of suicide bombers. Japanese kamikazee pilots weren’t religious fanatics, after all. Rather, for those already stirred by a political bug, such as a perceived injustice, a galvinizing and linking force might be religion. It might also be race (in the case of the Jews) or nationality (in the case of the Yankees). I’m open to the suggestion that Islam might more easily lend itself to being such a galvinizing force than, say, Buddhism. The West’s longer flirtation with secularism has mostly, though not entirely, removed those teeth from Christianity. But let’s not kid ourselves: every religion contains the seeds for extreme dogmatic positions which lead quite easily to the enabling of terrorist actions. All that’s required is enough perceived systematic injustice.

My Toronto Star article appears in today’s issue. Read it online here and here.

Wacky News

Got a lot to talk about today. Let’s begin…

  • This from This guy (check out the photo) was let into the US by immigration officials, despite carrying a bloody chainsaw. He later killed someone. Meanwhile, this guy was not. Can you spot the difference? Remind me again how racial profiling is supposed to make Americans safer.
  • Part and parcel of pervasive systemic racism and Muslim hatred in the USA is the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. As (hopefully) everyone knows by now, the invasion was planned and intended months or years before it happened. The whole ultimatum to Saddam thing was a farce. Now there’s evidence that the actual war started months before it was truly declared. These bastards are liars and murderers, plain and simple.
  • And yet why has no one but Ralph Nader suggested impeaching the criminal Bush regime? They have murdered innocents and lied to the public and continue to spill blood and treasure for no good reason. Bush’s approval rating is now 20 points below that of Clinton when he was impeached. What does it take?
  • Despite clear evidence that systemic racism exists in America, I’m still not a fan of affirmative action when it comes to college admissions. I think it once served a purpose when certain groups were being intentionally barred from higher education. But, as someone who works within the academic sphere, I have not seen sign of such overt barriers. Now this study shows that affirmative action in America “works”, i.e. it does promote larger numbers of certain ethnic groups in US colleges than would have otherwise been seen. But it strikes me as an accomplishment at the expense of merit. Interesting, too, that the study says that without affirmative action, almost all college positions would be taken by Asian students. I tells ya, it’s a brown and yellow world. Insert toilet humour here.
  • Here’s an, um, “innovative” idea: vaginal teeth. The idea is to provide a clamping device within the vagina to bite back rapists. Stupid, stupid, idea. This is not prevention; it’s escalation. If a violent man is already raping you and suddenly his willy gets injured, what’s he going to do? Run away? No, he’s going to beat you to a bloody pulp. And eventually he’s going to learn to switch orifices.
  • This story is about a man who is prosecuted under Texas’s fetal protection law for deliberately causing his girlfriend’s miscarriage, even though she wanted him to do it. She, on the other hand, cannot be prosecuted because she has a legal right to abortion. So let’s get this straight: it’s legal for her to have an abortion but not for someone to give her one, even with her consent? How’s that for an end-run around Roe vs Wade?

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