Monday, February 23, 2015

We Are Our Own Terrorists

Well, the Oscars are finally over. Neil Patrick Harris was an ok emcee..especially in his underwear. There were no giant surprises....except perhaps for J.K. Simmons winning best supporting actor for WHIPLASH. No more insurance commercials for him! I've seen him in other stuff, and I thought he was seriously wonderful as the father in JUNO. Eddie Redmayne's turn as Stephen Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING was a wise choice based on the complexity of the role....deformed does well at the Oscars. Think Daniel Day Lewis in MY LEFT FOOT. And from what everyone around me says, Patricia Arquette's performance in BOYHOOD had this sewn up, deservedly so. 

Most of all, I am just relieved SELMA did not take best picture. The more I listen to the director, Ava DuVernay, talk about her "process," the more I just want to yank that film off the screen. And it is intentionally revisionist. Kinda like Brian Williams but in CinemaScope. Meanwhile, the newly re-jiggered NYT Sunday Mag TALK page ran an interview with her, unbelievably titled, Ava DuVernay Didn’t See the Reaction to ‘Selma’ Coming. Yeah, right. My bogometer went off the scale on that one. Really? Does all of America look that stupid? Well, that's an unfair her, We, the People, did. I still think that was a cryin' shame; the reality was so much better.

In news closer to home, that megalith to consumerism, Mall of America, right here in Minnesota, has been fingered by al Shebaab as a potential terror target. I can't say I'm very surprised about this. We have the largest Somali community in the U.S., and that community is prime recruiting ground for al Shabab, along with al-Qaeda, ISIS, and a variety of other terror organizations. The truly sad part is remembering the suffering these families endured to get here, and then to see their kids being plucked up by the raging crazies is heartbreaking. 

And while Homeland Security tells us al Shabaab is really on a fishing expedition and there is no credible threat to Hugedale, it's still unsettling. It's the mall closest to my house, and everyone I know shops there. It's all over the news. It's everywhere you look. Be very afraid....they are coming to the mall.


Y'know, in Israel, people worry about getting on the bus but they do it anyway. In Afghanistan and Iraq, people worshipping in mosques run the same risk. People working in Parisian offices and Danish bookstores know the risks are real. Still, they all go about their daily lives, doing what needs to be done without some paralyzing fear that something may happen. 

That fear, that paralysis, is the terror in terrorism. And, that terror is the same thing that freezes you in your movie seat when The Blob slithers down the road or The Thing emerges from the ice, or Godzilla comes out of the water. It's the same thing...only when the movie is over you go out, get an ice cream or burger, then laugh about how you were scared. Right now, however, they're trying to scare you so badly you won't go anywhere.

In these here United States, that terror is broadcast through the endless news cycle. We hear the alarmists constantly saying we are under threat, we should clamp down on this, that, or the other thing. We should be afraid. We should fear immigrants and the "other." You never know who is sitting beside you on the bus. Guys like Rudolph Giuliani, once heralded for marshaling through 9/11 tells people to fear President Obama:
I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.          This week at a dinner for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 21 in New York City
Rudy Giuliani
we don't like to admit he lived 
around the corner on Pine Court.
What exactly is he insinuating with that little sound bite?

Granted, Rudy is yesterday's news and is desperate for attention, but this is asinine. Even the GOP Not-Ready-For Prime-Time-Candidates are distancing themselves from this stupidity. 

Truth is, it doesn't matter. 

The terror cycle is already primed for this level of idiocy. Just wait until there are Democratic candidates and watch the vitriolic bullshit fly. And it will. And it will have no relationship to the truth. And it will go back and forth from both sides. And it will be classic l'shon ha'rah, evil tongue, of the worst order, and instead of educating the electorate to the choices they will face in the voting booth, this will inspire domestic terror. 

How?    People won't vote. 

The new face of domestic terror will be the endless news cycle of politicians saying terrible things about each other. I really believe the desired end result is that so many people become so disgusted with the process that they abrogate their civic duty and stay home. If enough people  stay away from the polling places, the money wins. And if the money wins....kiss your civil rights, your civic rights, and your human rights good-bye.

Think about that for a while. Eventually, it will make sense and you can re-read this blog episode in 18 months and go, "Wow; the old WP really nailed that one."

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Don't watch the news before you go to bed. 
You'll sleep better without visions of hand-grenades dancing in your head. 


  1. 1) Gentle and loving nitpick: Please don't use "Democrat" as an adjective. It's a childish GOP thing that they use to emphasize the syllable "rat". "Democratic candidates." Please.

    2) New Yorkers too went about their business after 9/11 BECAUSE THEY HAD TO. The people who lived in the city, or took buses through the tunnels and across the bridges and took the subway, wondering each day if today was the day it would get destroyed by terrorists, did not have the luxury of hiding under the bed with a roll of duct tape and plastic sheeting. Even Rudy wasn't fearmongering after 9/11 because his city couldn't afford it. It used to make me nuts in those days when I'd see some yahoo in front of a Wal-Mart in Murfreesboro saying how frightened she was that terrorists were targeting her good Bible-thumpin' community.

    The Bush Administration realized, and so has and will every administration going forward, that fear of terrorism is a powerful took for grabbing power. They don't want an end to terrorism. On the contrary, terrorism gives the power-mad exactly what they want -- more control and more power.

    1. DEMOCRATIC is fixed....and my apologies for the error. It was not intentional. As for the city, no arguments there. Rudy did what he had to do. The newer Rudy is a moron.

  2. I do believe that many Americans are THAT stupid. I haven't seen Selma but from the reviews, I mightnot.I also think the media fuels the possible terrorism attacks.It appears to be their job to alarm people i order to have something to say.CNN is best at this..President Obama has endured more racism and criticism than any other president and the reason is that he is Black, not because he is not a good president. I like the article.

    1. I don't like Obama. At ALL. But that he's black is no consideration to me. The racism tag doesn't stick. Sorry, Dino.


  3. I was in Arizona last week when Giuliani was featured on the local news. I was disappointed that he wasn't taken down for his fear-mongering and attacks on our President and his erroneous comments saying Iran was behind ISIS. The local Phoenix Fox channel reported :
    "If you want to know who is behind ISIS, it is Iran. That was the message during a meeting of the Iranian-American Community of Arizona. Among those at the event, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani." Incredible misinformation in that the Sunni ISIS targets the murder of Shites as heretics and Iran is Shite.

    He was meeting with the local Iran American community and he was completely over the top with his political attacks leading to his inflammatory remarks about Obama not loving America a few days later). Here's his speech here (found the complete speech on a right-wing blog) : People like Giuliani are traitors in my view for undermining the President during key negotiations with foreign powers.

  4. Oh, oh. Looks like Blogger's new policy on sexually explicit photos will get your Blog made private (But NPH does look mighty fine to my eye!)

  5. Two things: I know you are angry, disappointed (you fill in the adverb) at/with the director of Selma. But, really, get over it. It's a movie! Every "historical" movie is revisionist. As such, I don't go because as you say, "the real thing is better." Your venom is undeserved. AND, I harp constantly about voting, and yet all the reminders in the world have mostly been for naught. I wonder what you and your readers think is the path to reversing the current trend to "just not bother" going to the polls?

    1. You ask a hard question, one that I struggled with last night. I went back and read a number of posts about getting out the vote....but I am afraid we are losing that battle. Too many people are disenfranchised by the big money machines.

      I don't have an answer, but if people want to start the discussion here, let's do it. There has to be a way to fight this tide.

  6. Ha! I was waiting for you to mess up! Rudy didn't tell people to fear Obama. Rudy spoke from his heart about his beliefs. And I heard him (you didn't). Obama isn't negotiating with 'anyone', so it's wrong that he's undermining the President's efforts. Obama's only effort is on the golf course. And then - the lies he's told. That takes effort, too. In the movie Barfly, Mickey Rourke was told "you're just a drunk. Anybody can be a drunk." "Wrong", says Rourke. "Anyone can be sober. It takes endurance to be a drunk.". (The same could be said for liars).


    1. If Rudy's true "belief" is that the President doesn't love America, then he is far enough off the reservation that he should have no place in public discourse.
      Negotiations are on-going with Iran right now and there is more chance for a deal to be struck now than anytime in recent memory.
      It is well-documented that the President golfs less than his predecessor (and vacations FAR less).
      What are the lies that Obama has told? Perhaps that the ACA is helping people (truth). Perhaps that the economy is growing stronger (truth). Perhaps that we need to invest the nation's infrastructure (truth), but we don't need to do so by creating a small amount of permanent US jobs to facilitate Canadian commerce at high risk to the Nation's environmental well-being (truth). Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately, today's American conservative will never behold the truth in anything the current President says.

  7. Luke, there you go, taking away RG's First Amendment rights in your very FIRST SENTENCE! Who are you to make such a decision? Next thing- negotiations are going on with Iran- NOT! I speak Farsi. I understand the Persian culture. Yesterday Iran blew up a mock US aircraft carrier. I do love the country of Iran, but I know better than you. Now the rest of your post, Luke shows you are a puppet to the Obama regime. The fact you ask 'what lies' tells me to make my reply short. I know I can't change your mind, but I refuse to let you have your own truth. Now, pay attn. Tomorrow the FCC takes the vote that will give the gov't massive power over the internet. And you will cheer. A 'black site' has been found in Chicago, where people are held for up to 24 hours without miranda rights and being charged. You will cheer. Negotiating with Iran.....that's still funny.


  8. I never said the man couldn't speak the words, I said that he should not be part of the public (i.e. mass media) discourse because has not shown himself to add anything of substance.
    Unfortunately, I don't speak Farsi and don't have the time or ability to learn at this moment. I don't keep up on Iranian propaganda or the soap operas. However, I am aware that negotiations are ongoing - remember how there was concern GOP actions would scuttle those talks by their dog and pony shows prior to the deadline? Maybe nothing will come of it, but we don't know. I know that our treatment of Iran over the past 35 plus years has not resulted in any changes or improvements. So why not try something different?
    You forgot to name any lies. A potential FCC policy is not a lie just because you disagree with it. A "black site" is actually a bad thing and the opposite of everything our constitution stands for. I guess I'm waiting for you to provide something real...Or at least as real as Bill O'Reilly's combat experience.