by Joshua B. Hoe I really had a good time with the posts this week...Talked about the Paris Attacks, about Alice Glass (formerly of Crystal Castles), about Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and posted my favorite playlist to date.
So, had some thoughts lingering about a few political things and one music thing...
Terrorism, Gun Control, and Perspective
So, the world...or at least the worlds of the GOP + of cable news have been going insane with fear over ISIS smuggling terrorists into the United States through Syrian refugees. Oh, and also about going to full scale war with ISIS>
Honestly, there is some chance some of the Syrian refugees could be terrorists..There is also some chance terrorists are here now, that they have been smuggled in under business pretenses, that they have recruited from people here...all of these are possible.
If we heard tomorrow that ISIS was targeting interstate highways we probably would not shut down the countries commerce. No matter how badly Mr. Trump would like to hermetically seal the border, I doubt even he will suggest we could build a roof.
We are a Democracy and a capitalist economy.
The GOP team is getting dangerously close to threatening to change who we are entirely. You will hear them talk about how we are a shining city on a hill. But pretty soon, if they have their way, all people will see of our city will be:
- Walls - Intolerance - "No entry" signs - and, A whole shitload of guns
They loudly proclaim that they are Christians. But, they have become Christians who are against helping the poor, the immigrants, and the weak.
It is almost as if they forgot to read the parts of the New Testament about the meek and the poor...and about hospitality.
They are becoming CINOs or Christians in name only.
Trump was actually calling for the closing of Mosques. So was Cruz. Once again, they talk about the Constitution all the time, but they do not seem to have read the first amendment very closely.
My other theory is that they have Constitutional Dyslexia...When they see the word "religion" in the first amendment, they see it as "Christian."
But they seem to have no problem seeing the 2nd Amendment clearly.
Which brings me to my call for perspective.
In the last decade, 71 Americans have died from terrorism (of any kind).
In the last decade over 300,000 Americans have died from guns.
Read that again, if you would.
I will wait......
To protect those 71 Americans, our government has spent trillions of dollars prosecuting the War on Terrorism. I am not going to say it was wasted. Maybe many more would have died?
But, our government is prohibited by law to even research gun violence. We can't even discuss what caused those 300,000 deaths.
Something is way out of kilter in mudville.
Might be time to grow up a little, stop fanning the fires of intolerance and fear, and actually caring more about proportional risk.
Holy Jesus, have you heard the album "Sprained Ankle" by Julien Baker....I mean wow.
My goodness, just cue up the song "Good News," and put on some good headphones...your jaw might actually drop.
I know Stereogum had this as an album of the week, but (for once) they were totally right. She is only 20 years old, but she sounds world weary in the way that makes songs matter.
Gravitas...and you can feel the pain like weight.
Shockingly good, I will freely admit, I put off listening to this one for a few weeks....I sure regret that.
Oh, and I apologize for the cheap shot to Stereogum, they do okay with album of the week usually.
Muslim Hating + the Constitution
Another example of pandering is the GOP candidates rush to register and monitor mosques and/or Muslims to appeal to a base that is increasingly intolerant and fascist.
Not that it does anything except ramp up the likelihood that Muslims will get targeted by angry intolerant bigots across the country...why?
Because First Amendment of the Constitution....
NONE...and I mean NONE of what they are suggesting is legal.
The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights says the following:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This might upset the GOP....But "religion" does not only mean "Christian religion."
Pretty sad that someone running for President would say something that even the most basic of Political Science students knows can't happen....especially since it gives near-official endorsement intolerance against Muslims outside of the television bubble.
Pandering can have terrible consequences...They should be ashamed of themselves.
That is all I have today, hope you had a great week!
What do you think of Julien Baker, what are your opinions on the scapegoating of Syrian refugees and the rush to war? Love to hear your comments!