The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

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Brooklyn, December 8, 2015

There are retribution attacks against Muslims going on right now in a couple of isolated places in America. They are isolated, and no deaths yet.

These are being goaded on, in the far right-wing media, by an extremist ideologue named Donald Trump. He is the archetype of the Ugly American abroad. But this Ugly American has a global platform to broadcast a Nativist Capitalist Egoist extremist ideology: this is fascism, American-style. In broadcasting this extremist ideology, he is implicitly involved –– other Republican legislators are *explicitly involved* –– in inciting violence against Muslims, creating a favorable sales environment (as we like to say it in advertising) for ISIS.

Christians, especially, should recognize both the wisdom and the futility in the phase, “What goes around comes around.” These are not retribution attacks against Muslims, or Muslim-Americans. Not murders of black kids and murders of cops. These are attacks and counter-attacks against Americans. We must begin to perceive the terrorism we commit upon each other. ISIS wants us to be blindly enraged extremist ideologues just like them.

We look like we’re obliging them.

Have we, as Americans, truly had such a poor education that we cannot understand this?

Donald Trump’s supporters are themselves directly supported by fear and the feeling of failure. It’s written into Trump’s slogan. They are formed of white men aggrieved, frightened into their small cultural ball, assaulted on all sides by forces of economics, religion, sexuality, gender, race, culture and violence – all projected to them in extremis, by a propaganda organ called Fox News.

When those fears, and those feelings of failure, are vectored toward minorities, toward refugees of war, toward the weak in society, violence is an inevitable consequence.

Americans do terrorism upon themselves. That is the lesson of the San Bernardino terrorists. It is the lesson of the Charleston church murderer and the Planned Parenthood killer and the college shooters and all the rest.

Donald Trump is creating an environment for terrorism to escalate. The leading candidate for the Republican nomination is willfully endangering U.S. national security and the security of innocent American civilians.

 

Talk about voting against your own self-interest.

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“A National Strategic Narrative”: A guidebook for America in the 21st Century

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Here’s something you probably haven’t read.

In 2011, two members of the U.S. military, pseudonymed “Mr. Y,” wrote this analysis for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. They advocate increasing American competitiveness by adopting a progressive stance in economic, foreign and political policy. It’s doubly relevant today as it was in 2011.

View / download a PDF of A National Strategic Narrative

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World’s Largest Wind Farm Opens Off English Coast

ALL HOMES IN SCOTLAND CAN BE POWERED BY THE WIND, with Britain’s newly augmented capacity. Read more in the New York Times.

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Hey, BP: You lost some oil. Now it’s been found.

Yeah, there’s a thick 3-inch layer of oily residue covering large parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Just thought you should know. NPR’s got the story.

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Economic Ripples and the Stimulus

A former college housemate of mine has an interesting tale up on his blog AustinCynic. Seems his employers installed solar panels with Federal stimulus funds. Some Texans aren’t a fan of this. Read his superb rebuttal here.

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On Energy and Geometric Progression

The following video has been labeled “The Most Important Video You’ll Ever See.” Hyperbole? It’s just a lecture on math, given by a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Colorado-Boulder. It explains how just a 7% annual growth in energy use equals a 100% growth in 10 years. After a few decades, you’ve got a really big number. And a tremendously enormous problem. Watch and learn, please.

[H/T Peter Hufnagel]

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ANOTHER OIL RIG EXPLODES IN THE GULF OF MEXICO

Breaking news from the A.P. It happened about 9:30 this morning, and planes, helicopters and ships are now en route to the site. That’s all the information we have at the moment.

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