Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quick and Dirties...

1) It appears we went into Iraq A) to secure the 2nd-largest oil reserves in the world for American companies to control, and B) to continue petroleum being denominated in dollars. In this light, I don't think the invasion was such a bad idea. However, I don't sleep all that well when I think about how many Iraqi civilians this is costing.

2) Daily, I grow more convinced that perpetuation of belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, et al, isn't just silly, but culturally destructive. I understand wanting to keep children innocent, but I don't agree with it.

3) There is no forbidden knowledge. There is evil in the world, and parents have 2 choices: 1) sacrifice your child's innocence and impart the truth of evil to your children, or 2) let them find out by suffering reality. Note: this isn't aimed at specific readers I know who are parents; this is a culture-level thought.

4) Politicians portray themselves (increasingly) as moral and upright, of late touting their faith. The electorate eats it up. There are two problems with this: 1) It appears that faith doesn't offer protection of any kind against fallibility and immorality in the political population. 2) If one thinks about the job of politician and the nature of the decisions involved, especially if weighted against the interests of non-Americans, it's actually ludicrous to insist on the most moral candidate. What we really want is the most ruthless candidate to protect American interests, someone who will do the evil we would find difficult. I think that's actually what we get, but I no longer see the point in playing the image game. It wastes time and is dishonest.

5) Incidentally, I couldn't care less how any public figure wets their privates, or with whom if it's consenting. I fail to see how someone's sexual appetites impact economic or military decisions, neither of which require the kind of morality the nation at large elects people because of.

6) Far too many Americans believe that because they were born in the United States, their shit doesn't stink: that they are inherently superior to other nationalities and human beings. This attitude disgusts me beyond conveyance. There is some slight understandability to the attitude of racial superiority, or of a bias due to heredity, even if they are bogus. An accident of birth, however, in which someone is born into a particular political construct, boggles the mind how folk blunder into justification for radical nationalism.

7) Few Americans have any knowledge of American history beyond our mythology. Pointing out the following is considered revisionist: we committed genocide on the indigenous Americans; held slaves, then oppressed an entire population solely on the base of race; were intolerant to the point of violence to even white people who weren't born speaking English; have involved ourselves in more than one war for purely economic reasons, yet lied about it (to this day). Etc., etc. To this day, as a nation, we make bad decisions that future generations will regret. I'm a huge fan of the United States, but I'm not kidding myself that we aren't as well off as we are because of some bloody, sinister history. The take-home is that we don't do these things, and we're creating a civilization in which it's easier to be a good person. With that, I wish people would listen a little bit harder to people who currently have grievances with society: we've been on the wrong side of history before, so upholding the status quo may not be the best idea ever. We aren't where we are because Americans are a more moral people than anyone else. History proves that nauseatingly arrogant assertion a bald-faced lie. If we stop resting on the laurels of winning World War 2, we'd discover that the best our nation has done has been when we embraced compassion. I'm just saying we should do more of that.

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