If you look for the meaning of life, that’s as good as any. If what matters is not the destination but the journey, then conflict serves as the learning tool.
So in this season of peace on earth (which has almost never existed) to those of good will, herewith are harsh lessons of irreconcilable conflict.
First, the easy ones: Is an early-term embryo in the womb alive? Arguably, yes. Should anyone but the potential mother have any say regarding said embryo? Arguably, no. So the neverending battle is joined. As I’ve written for decades, the answer lies in embryo transplant research, but that there science stuff is too much of a highfalutin’ ratings killer for most news and talk shows.
Gun control advocates have a point that ready availability of firearms is a very dangerous thing. The gun sales industry counters that potential dictators have real problems attaining power in a country with more guns than people. After all, hasn’t society made a choice in allowing millions of explosive pressurized gasoline containers, better known as motor vehicles, to be aimed at each other at high speed billions of times a day? And with a resultant loss of more than 30,000 lives a year, about three times the number of gun deaths?
Alas, the hard lessons of irreconcilable differences.
Smart dictators get people to submit by wrapping themselves in the flag.
“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” Samuel Johnson noted in 1775, the corollary to which came from author Sinclair Lewis in 1935.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross,” Lewis said. I give you the criminal enterprise run from the White House for eight years by one Richard Cheney and acolytes, including his figurehead president.
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship,” Nazi leader Herman Goering once said.
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country,” Goering noted.
Fear and ignorance are great motivators. Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., once said that nothing moves in Washington, D.C., unless fueled by some combination of fear, guilt, money and racism.
All four of the latter were in play in the recent but hardly concluded debate over military membership by those of openly alternative procreative proclivity.
I never had a problem with Native American mascots until Native Americans said it offended them. They oughtta know, so now I agree that the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and Washington Redskins should look for new labels.
I likewise didn’t question homosexuals serving in the armed forces — until now.
I’m a flaming liberal Democrat and lifelong advocate of equal rights under the law for all God’s creatures.
But as in all great stories, “gays in the military” brings forward a true moral dilemma apparently overlooked by everyone, especially liberals.
With all due disrespect to bigots who applaud killing queers by whatever means necessary, if you are anti-war, how can you support something that expands the American empire’s murderous war machine?
I cringed at recent news that an increasing number of the country’s young people can’t pass military educational or physical aptitude tests, something that public school-hating conservatives probably applauded.
But there is a good argument for dumbing down our young and banning homosexuals: Both practices shrink the pool of bodies for use as sacrificial cannon fodder by our increasingly fascist government as it imposes corporate will on weaker nations.
I have often said that the American electorate could be likened to a dumb cow that follows the herd, is easily stampeded, milked until dry then cut up for dog meat, leather and Jell-O after her children have been sold to slaughterhouses.
The United States is just past puberty as a nation. We still glorify the mythical American cowboy who uses guns to solve all problems in one hour minus 16 minutes for commercials. We react viscerally and emotionally, thinking neither long-term nor constructively, usually avoiding complex questions.
So if you purport to be anti-war, how can you support expanding military recruitment by making it easier for another oppressed minority to join its black and brown counterparts in the empire’s perpetual wars? Why must military service be one of the conditions of citizenship for resident noncitizen children?
Were we to modestly shave the Pentagon budget, we would have all the money we need to return this country to prosperity, the natural consequence of peace.
I want to see well-
educated homosexuals, blacks and browns living in unconflicted harmony with their equally well-educated fellow citizens in an America fulfilling her elusive promise.
I long for divorce from our irreconcilable differences.
I can dream, can’t I?
Happy High Holly Days.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 42-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.