Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Not Blogging

I just happened to glance at the sidebar while proofing the previous soccer-jersey post and realized with a start that I only posted six times in March 2014.


Fah! Six crummy posts? Six?!

I know that March was badly slow, if nothing else from the comments on the Glorieta Pass writeup. People were "welcoming me back" and I briefly wondered where I'd been.

But now I realize; not here.

And I got to wondering about that; have I ever been that unproductive on this blog before?

Well, yes. But it was a long, long, long time ago.

Going back over the past seven years - I started this thing back in the late summer of 2006, almost seven and a half years ago - the slowest period was the winter of 2008. I posted a whopping total of 26 times between January 1 and March 31, 2008; 9 posts in each of January and March and the low point, 8 posts, in Fabruary.

But you have to go all the way back to December of 2006 before you find a month when I was slacking this badly.

In December, 2006, I also posted only six times.

Well. Crap.

I can blame some pieces of business outside my own laziness.

A lot of traffic on this blog was generated by the ridiculous wars in southcentral Asia. Those wars are not exactly finished, but the end, like a dragon by the side of the road, is well in view. There doesn't seem to be anything more to say about them, or, really, much about military affairs in general. I've been out of the service too long to have any more inside information. And, frankly, all that remains at this point seems to be arguing over trivialities. My friend jim over at Ranger just put up a post fulminating over women in the combat arms that got me thinking "Damn...if this is what we have to argue about now we don't really have jack shit to argue about, now, do we..?"

The other big-ass reptile squatting alongside the highway seems to me to be the degree which We The People have stood around with out thumbs up our collective ass and our brains in neutral and let the plutocrats, the oligarchs, the hedge-fund fraudsters and wanna-be aristos and Great Power fantasists kidnap our republic.

But what's the point in my writing about that?

You want incisive take-downs of these skeevy bastards you've got Pierce. And Krugman. And Taibbi (although Matt appears to have disappeared into the mists of some sort of fucking vanity project called "First Look Media").

You don't need me pounding my little tin drum. Hell, my friend Labrys can work up a better head of outraged steam than I can these days. My opinion has pretty much settled on "You worthless fucktards are perfectly happy to let these scumbags steal your patrimony for a mess of pottage. Fine. I'll do what I can where I can right here and the hell with you people."

Right now the part of this casual abandonment of the Republic that most grates in my craw is the...well, you can't really call it the "revelation" since we all pretty much knew this shit had been going on for years, but the...deobfuscation, if you will, of the brutal regime of secret prison and vicious torture that we have payed for and looked away from since a bunch of raggedy-ass Allah-pesterers made the Bush Administration shit its pants.

(That's the Boy on the left, above, by the way. I have no excuse for the illustrations in this post. I'm simply going through my pictures folder and doing a photo dump. Cartoons, personal pictures, nonsequiturs...the visual accompaniment for this one is "you get what you get"...)


Here's the thing about this.

There is no way. No possible way.

Not a single, imaginable, potential, even-wildly-hypothetically-conceivable way that the Islamofantacists could have created an existential threat to the United States of America, even after 9/11.


Not possible.

Created havoc? Perhaps. Killed people? Maybe.

But destroyed the Republic itself? Overthrown the "freedoms" that they were so supposed to hate?


But imprisonment not just without trial but without even a public name or a file number? Disappearances into night and fog without trace?

Lawless torture, and then frantic efforts to hide this lawlessness and torture?

That not just can but inevitably will destroy any democratic state and the freedoms it is supposed to protect.

A state must, if it is to remain in the hands of the People, be a state of law, of open government and relatively equal justice enacted in open courts.

When you start giving parts of your government the go-ahead to do their business in secret, when you give them the authority to sieze people and disappear them, to spy on your own people, to torture and kill in darkness and without fear of justice, you cannot simply stop them outside your borders and at the strandlines of your oceans.

Those people will then come within your government, within your states, and your citie,s and your houses.

And they will bring their own lawless entitlement to take what they deem needs taking, to destroy what they deem needs destroying, and to rend what needs rending.

Because that is what you have taught them to do.

They will not stop because you protest your innocence, because you avow your loyalty, because you claim protection under the law.

You have already given them absolution from the laws, you have already taught them that the end justifies the means, that secret torture and secret imprisonment and secret spying are part of their brief.

You will have given the sheepdogs a taste for the flesh of the sheep.

Right now this nation should be seething with anger. Our agents, paid with our taxes, have been torturing and kidnapping in our names, and then lied to and hid from the People in Congress. As they have before and will again, we have sowed the wind, and even the dullest amoung us should know what bitter storm that sowing reaps.

And we do not seem to care.

If those simple facts do not enrage you, I cannot think of anything I can say that can.

And thus I found that I just stood silent, having nothing more to say. I feel utterly voiceless, shouting over the roaring waves of indifference like Demosthenes.

I'm still here. And part of my silence was laziness, and distraction, and the world intruding on me.

But if you wondered why the other reasons why there was so little here in March, well...there they are.


Ael said...

Hey Chief, we can always chat about the weather.
Did you see that a big El Nino may be on its way?

FDChief said...

You wanted weather? See the following post...

Lisa said...

shouting over the roaring waves of indifference ...

...yes, ennui, ignorance, venality or complicity. It can feel like sound and fury, signifying nothing.

To me, the best that can reaped from this social networking platform is to form a little community in which to discuss matters of import, like a small town hall, or a PUB.

When folks like Phil Carter have sold their souls to work for Abu M's CNAS (whose founder, BTB -- Andrew Exum -- has gone totally underground), it can seem like a chill place, indeed.

FDChief said...

This is how our world ends, Lisa. Not with a bang but with a somnolent murmur of the soundtrack from "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant".

When I compare our times to the former Gilded Age I'm kind of amazed at the utter lack of fury. Where in the 1880s through the 1920s you had all kinds of violent protest and outcry against the effects of oligarchy and plutocracy - to the point of ACTUAL violence between the people with everything to lose just as we have everything to lose and the people that had everything already - you'd be hard-pressed to find so much as a peep of indignation as practically every social and political gain from the New Deal onwards is rolled back.

I don't get it. But it certainly looks dire for those of us without the wherewithal to retreat behind the walls...

FDChief said...

And I hadn't really paid attention to what had happened with Mr. Carter lately. CNAS has always seemed to me to be a sort of defense technogeek circle-jerk and Carter - at least the Carter of Intel Dump - always struck me as a more pragmatic guy than that.

But D.C. can have that effect on people, Lisa; suddenly the "inside baseball", the micro of policy making, seems more critical than the actual policy that emerges...

Lisa said...

Oh, we could have that violent protest again, but it will only happen when the people cannot even afford their cheap plastic PRC tchotchkes and big screen t.v.'s, and can't fill up the tank to go to Costco so readily.

I think we're in a period of contraction, where everything's being squeezed, and yet the nation appears to continue in approximately the same way. I mean, the water still flows from the taps, that sort of thing. One day, the easy comforts will dry up. Then you have protest -- when you're back's against the wall.

However, efforts will be made to palliate the disaffected.

Yes, I liked Mr. Carter. I am writing something now based on your post.

Lisa said...

when you're back's against the wall

ugh ... "your" back. Of course, it should be "their backs are against the wall."