Secular Crusades

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

“To tell people the truth is not hatred.” — Jimmy Swaggart, 11/15/2002

You won’t have Ronald Springel to kick around anymore, apparently. Spokane’s SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, in its 11/15 edition, followed up its marginally researched “Militia Pamphlets Spur Review” with a piece entitled “Militia Defends Leaflet Distribution.” This writer hopes that his “Defending MOM”, which appeared Wednesday on the Counterpunch website, wasn’t the sole catalyst for his local paper allowing Militia of Montana head John Trochmann the luxury of speaking on behalf of his beleaguered organization, via quotes from a letter Trochmann sent to Spokane County Commissioners in his defense.

SPOKESMAN-REVIEW readers who might have expected a screed that was “anti-everything”, to borrow a Springel-ism, were likely disappointed by the quotes on offer. Trochmann claimed in the missive that his Militia’s “Taking Aim” newsletter addresses “atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinians”, “UN edicts and how far Israel is violating them and how Israel has bought off much of the US Congress”, and Israeli “genocide on a massive scale via the use of our military equipment and supplies.” The SPOKESMAN-REVIEW leaves it to the imagination exactly why Springel (or staff writer Bill Morlin) confused a rational argument against the US propping up Israel with anti-Semitism.

And you would expect the Spokane daily paper to leave that to the imagination. To analyze Springel’s knee-jerk reaction to being handed objectionable reading material would force that paper to analyze how mainstream US media forces the thinnest line of consent imaginable in a culture that produced Lenny Bruce, John Coltrane, and William Faulkner. The Springel line is the same old garbage given to us by soulless bastards who wrap themselves in banners of religion or government and advocate massacres on behalf of their sold-out creeds. It is impossible to reflect on the biographies of Arik and BiBi and think positive things about Judaism; at times it almost seems as if that image is projected intentionally. Billions around the world have their opinions of Jewish people daily shaped by horrific images; tanks spraying fire at children, or “settlers” gunning down Palestinians picking olives with the sanction of the Sharon government.

Of course, it’s not just the Israeli government that has a keen interest in having one part of society hold another at gunpoint. Consider the “Our Lady of Peace” Act [S. 2826], introduced in the US Senate on July 30th by a “bipartisan coalition. . . Including Senators Charles Schumer and Larry Craig”. Supported by the NRA, notably, this legislation provides three-quarters of a billion dollars over three years to states seeking to “improve database records of those not qualified to purchase guns,” to quote a letter from the office of Senator Maria Cantwell [D-WA].

Tyranny so often creeps in on cats’ paws, and this bill is a prime example thereof. Cantwell asserts that it is “appropriate to limit the ability of individuals who have been through a process that has judged them a potential danger to purchase guns.” Friendly fascism; 23 words, give or take, and not one truly active verb. Acceptable Democrats like Cantwell mask the true meaning of these initiatives with passive voice, as if intending to suggest that they believe people exist to serve the government and should actually be thankful for their impending opportunities to grovel at the boots of National Guard members rifling their cars at checkpoints throughout the nation.

But back to “Our Lady of Peace”. Our Lady of Peace affords states the opportunity to “compile lists of people judged to be ‘mentally defective’,” as Phil Jordan of the Washington Protection & Advocacy System put it in a recent email. As the recently murdered military wives in Fort Bragg might assert, there is a fine line between exhibiting mental defectiveness and bringing democracy to a failed state. However, Our Lady of Peace allows us to avoid such quandaries and simply establishes various categories of “mental defectives”. The cognitively disabled are “not qualified”. Neither are folks with mental illnesses who actually bought into the propaganda and “applied for services” because of their disabilities. Anyone who has even been “determined by any governmental agency to be a danger to themselves or others” would not be allowed to purchase guns. Likewise, those of “subnormal intelligence” are barred from purchasing them, though one supposes they’ll just get mall security gigs and hope for the best.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI, a regular contributor to CounterPunch, recently had his work recognized in Utne Reader’s “Web Watch”. Email him at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal