High holy days 2002
Unholy sacrifice of the masses
Expanded from the 3-31-2002 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
The Protestants hate the Catholics
and the Catholics hate the Protestants.
The Hindus hate the Moslems
and everybody hates the Jews.
from "National Brotherhood Week" by Tom Lehrer.
Perversion has achieved perfection. On the Judeao-Christian high holy days, the unholy land is being re-baptized in blood and tears.
The only continents not now involved in war are Australia and Antarctica (although some sunburned, skin cancer-stricken Chileans might well want to declare war against those most responsible for the huge ozone hole expanding northward from the south pole).
Continuous worldwide carnage constitutes a quite fitting testament to the human condition. We are still basically primitive tribes infected with ignorant prejudices which cause us to inflict pain on outsiders.
Not even the peaceful admonitions of codified superstitions called religions are enough to move us away from our primal inclinations toward bloodsport.
Just as athletic teams pray for God to compete on their side, so do soldiers and warmongers wish the same.
I can't remember the last time I've read or heard of someone saying that killing is wrong and war is the worst kind of killing.
War plunders our national treasure to serve destruction and devastation. War spending is manifestly the worst kind of government abuse. It not only cuts young lives in twain, war is totally unproductive and inflationary. Unlike a tractor, a tank produces nothing. The evidence has long been on the record, but this benighted monster mannunkind refuses to learn. (See the Barbwire of 7-25-99.)
The best trick the devil ever played was convincing people he doesn't exist. (In channel surfing movies last week, I actually found that gem in an otherwise senseless piece of mayhem.)
No matter what your belief system or lack of one, evil exists. Inside of me. Inside you. Within everyone.
The measure of our humanity is how we keep our baser instincts in check. We just concluded the bloodiest century in human history and the new millennium is not looking any better.
I think there's a God because she keeps sending us messengers and we keep ignoring them.
What's so complicated about "Thou Shalt Not Kill"?
In his farewell address, President George Washington admonished the nation to avoid foreign entanglements. We continue to ignore him at our peril.
Our military loss in Vietnam came because we foolishly intervened between tribes at war for a thousand years.
So what's the answer? There is only one, long term.
Last week, my television guests were Phillip I. Earl, Curator Emeritus of the Nevada Historical Society, and Jon Christensen, writer and reporter with Great Basin News. They gave somewhat surprising answers to the question of the day: What three things about Nevada most need fixing? (Read about their latest books at the new Nevada Writers page.)
At the top of each of their lists of the three things wrong with Nevada: economic opportunity.
That's always at the top of mine. Spreading the wealth works. Keep the masses scrambling for crumbs of cake and sooner or later they will behead the latter day descendants of Marie Antoinette.
If Timothy McVeigh had a good job waiting for him when he was mustered out of his beloved army, he might not have gone into freelance bomb production.
If today's youthful suicide bombers could envision anything but a hopeless future, would they be so willing to die?
The grandiosely self-titled Generalissimo Francisco Franco, fascist ruler of Spain, was once asked if revolution would again engulf the country upon his death.
"No," the dictator replied, "for I shall leave a large middle class."
With the exception of a small group of Basque separatists, he proved correct. Those with a stake in the system are not likely to want to blow it up.
Why do the huddled masses of the world's banana republics hate the United States? Because our government invariably supports the oppressors of the weak.
If you go to church today, recite "Thou shalt not kill" three times in penance for those who have forgotten it.
BACK TO TRIVIAL PURSUITS. A recent poll showed former Lt. Gov. Bob Cashell and former Reno City Councilwoman Candy Pearce handily defeating Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin in the September primary. Cashell broke the 30 percent level, Pearce fell in the mid- to high-20's. Griffin was mired in the middle teens.
Most interesting were some head-to-head matchups. Cashell and Pearce easily defeated Griffin one-on-one. Worse for Hizzoner, Mike Robinson, currently running fourth among the four, also defeated the mayor, but by a much closer margin.
This means only one thing: Griffin's negatives are very high, some say approaching 50 percent. The general rule among political pros is that anytime a candidate's negative perceptions exceed 30 percent of the electorate, he or she is toast.
REPARATIONS FOR SLAVE LABOR OUTLAWED. In case you didn't notice, the U.S. Supreme Court last week re-authorized slavery. By the usual five-to-four margin, the same justices who elected Dubya ruled that illegal immigrants can be stiffed for their wages.
The influx of immigrant workers has always kept this country moving forward. Now that they've been cut out of the dream, what will happen? When even the crumbs are taken away from the lower classes, what do you think?
PARTING SHOTS. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers will honor Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., at a 4:00 p.m. ceremony tomorrow on the east end of Victorian Square in downtown Sparks. Reid was apparently quite helpful in winning long-sought pension legislation.
SCHOOL'S OUT. In all the acrimony and testimony about the Washoe County School District's recent budget cuts, why did no one note Nevada's lowest-in-the-world casino tax rate as the underlying cause of the state's chronic budget woes?
Be well. Raise hell.
© 2002 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 33-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org/ He hosts Deciding Factors on several Nevada television stations. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988.
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