weltanschauung

Bastards. Virtually no one in France seems to think that an actual rape might have taken place, so now they go ahead and blow it up on her. Unbelievable.

China’s world view has been fascinating me for a while now… my next post will be about the nuts and bolts of their economic relationship with the States and how that affects policy on both ends.

erintheheroine:

The government only likes freedom if you use it how they want you to.

Well, yes. The  government doesn’t like it if you utilize your freedom to say, murder one of your fellow citizens. Or rob them. Or rape them. Or generally abuse them in any way, shape, or form. Indeed, the very existence of government is grounded in providing safe, stable lives for a large population of people by laying down rules that prevent them from eating each other alive. We call this governance.

But do go on.

waskommenmag:

I try not too have too much “chronological snobbery” when looking at the actions of those in history. I often try to give people the benefit of the doubt, or ascribe close-mindedness to a product of the environment—but this goes beyond the pale, particularly because this is court case from 1967…

This post is one of the few intelligent interpretations of race issues in America that I’ve seen in a while. The truth is that policies like affirmative action exist to compensate for the socio-economic component of racism that has prevented blacks from reaching the same level of opportunity that whites have had for centuries. People often forget that there was little to no established wealth in African America communities at the time of integration and a definite income gap continues to exist. If I can, I’ll definitely do a post later on how integration actually caused a lot of socio-economic problems for african-americans and maybe delve into the history around “bussing” as well.

On naming ships

Duncan D. HunterThis man is United States Representative  Duncan Duane Hunter(R) from California, son of former United States Representative from Nevada Duncan Hunter (R).

Duncan Duane is objecting to the Navy’s recent suggestion to that it should name the latest of its new T-AKE class cargo ships after Hispanic labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez. Mr. Duane is convinced that the choice of name is a way of making a petty political statement about labor rights and race in America. To set things right, he has quickly responded to the suggestion with a petty political statement of his own: suggesting a new, “better” name.  

Duane’s idea of a better name is to pick something more representative of the Navy’s “history and tradition”, something he should apparently know about as a former full-time and current part-time Marine. His substitute proposal is to name the cargo ship after Rafael Peralta, a war hero who saved two of his fellow Marines by smothering a grenade with his own wounded body.

While Peralta’s actions most certainly represent exemplary bravery on the part of a Mexican-American immigrant and citizen, the suggestion of him as a more “traditional” name for the ship ironically oversteps a pre-existing tradition for T-AKE class ships, specifically that of naming them after explorers and pioneers, whether they be literal or metaphorical in nature.

More interestingly however, is the fact that Chavez, for all the strides he made in civil and labor rights, was not some liberal “pansy” with no familiarity with the military experience. Indeed, Chavez served two years in the navy which he would later describe rather frankly as “the worst 2 years of my life” but surely, we are judging this man on his contributions to the nation as a whole, not just his enthusiasm for military service, right?

Wrong.  Due to the blue-collar brand of easy-to-understand ultra-patriotism displayed by the late Mr. Peralta in life ("on his bedroom walls hung only three items - a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate") and the fact that the Medal of Honor he was supposed to receive was controversially downgraded to a Navy Cross when analysis of what actually occurred revealed that Peralta was likely already dead by the time he fell on top of the grenade , this story will surely attract attention, something I am sure that Representative Duane is already aware and perhaps even proud of because, indeed, one need only to look at the benefits making a stink about the name of a cargo ship awards him:

  1. It raises his national profile, making it possible to run for higher office in the future, just as his father made a pathetic attempt at in 2008 before realizing that nobody knew who he was. 
  2. It defames a proud figure in the liberal pantheon by essentially claiming it is somehow inappropriate to name a ship after him. If it was a warship, perhaps this stance would be comprehensible given Chavez’s well-known devotion to a philosophy of non-violence but it’s not; T-AKE 14 is nothing more than a cargo ship that will likely be used to do things like deliver aid and assist in disaster relief.
  3. It replaces that hero with one who adhered to ultra-conservative beliefs and values. Peralta was by all accounts a man who valued God, country, and family above all else. His vigorous enthusiasm for these subjects should not diminish him in the eyes of anyone, but the way in which he so doggedly pursued and supported them should never be used as an overtly idealized template for what it means to be a patriot.

Ultimately, this clash leaves both heroes involved with less dignity to their names than when they started. While it disturbs me to think that poor old Chavez will almost certainly have his name dragged through the mud by the extreme right wing in a show of mock support for Peralta that will almost surely capitalize at some point on the fact that his flag superficially resembles a certain National Socialist banner of yore, my heart goes out more to the family and friends of the late Marine who will have no choice but to watch as the noble death of their proud soldier is transformed into nothing more than a political tool of the worst kind.

Statement of Intent

The world is complicated, even more than you probably give it credit for. Most attempts at honest analysis are hampered by obfuscating political and corporate influences and the quality of reporting received by the average news consumer has declined sharply over the last few decades. This blog exists as an attempt to highlight alternate sources of journalism while occasionally projecting it’s own view onto current events. I hereby promise that this view, when projected, will be an even and well-tempered one that will avoid senseless condemnation of opinions on either end of the political spectrum without good reason. 

That is all.