Life In Wartime

“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no foolin’ around.” Talking Heads

Two mass killings in a day. I can barely write these words with tears blurring my eyes.

Has there ever in history been a country like this? Where mass murders happen daily— in schools and shopping malls and workplaces? Where innocent people in the middle of their lives are slaughtered without warning?

The only comparable situation I can imagine would be during times of war. Maybe this is what life was like in Iraq after our invasion, when daily bombings and shootings took the lives of so many innocent Iraqis.

But, for us, there is no outside force causing these deaths. If this is what life in wartime is like, then we must, in fact, be in the midst of civil war. Without even quite knowing it, we have slipped into the beginnings of a bloody civil strife that pits political opponents against each other with weapons instead of votes. Think of Belfast in the midst of the troubles. Missouri just before our own civil war.

These shootings are one aspect of that civil war, one deadly symptom. Police killings are another. Antifa vs Neo-nazi street battles are another. Racist pronouncements and white nationalist rhetoric from the White House shames the nation and adds to the war fever. Impotent outcry from the Democrats without movement on impeachment builds the frustration to the exploding point.

Is this the the way it begins? Are we actually seeing the first outbreaks of violence that will grow more frequent, more organized over time? Is this what the beginnings of a civil war look like? And if so, who is fighting against whom? And why? About what ideas, and for what profit? Like all civil wars, this will be a war of ideas, a war of beliefs, a war of identity as a nation. A war of metaphors.

And it looks like it’s not going to be fought just with words.

In response to these newest shootings, I’ve got a Sunday Puzzler for you today, Folks. This is a tough one, a logic puzzle to which I have not found the solution. Help me out here, if you dare. The problem, as always, seems simple. The solution? That’s up to you.

Construct a logical syllogism which includes a strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, a belief in the value of human life, and respect for law and order in society, and ends with the conclusion that we should continue to allow the sales of military-style weapons to the public. Let me know what you come up with in the comments below.

I just can’t go on anymore today.

But you can catch up on two weeks worth of the Side, right here, for free!

Sunday View in the Rear View

Monday July 22
Better Hide Your Hearts
Mueller testimony approaching. Previews and some disparagement of Nancy Pelosi for blocking impeachment. And being a geriocrat and a conservative.

Tuesday July 23
Lowering Expectations
More Mueller preview, with the goal of lowering the bar for his testimony. Some Primary Fashion Show links and some climate change news.

Wednesday July 24
A replay of the arguments for impeachment. In the style of the Declaration of Independence. Fire up, people!

Monday July 29
Sweet Paradise
After a personal encounter with the climate crisis, I mourn the changes coming to a personal paradise. Also includes a scathing review of Mueller’s performance in Congress, and Congress’ performance with Mueller. I name Nancy Pelosi’s new conservative party the “Rust Party”, aka the “Appeasement Party”.

Tuesday July 30
Parody of a Parody
I link to the Onion and get myself all confused about what is real. I then weave a little tale of Pelosio the Puppet for your amusement. Lots of links including a speech by Harrison Ford to round out the Tuesday’s View from the Side.

Wednesday July 31
Rust Party Rises
Nancy’s conservative wing of the Democrats shows up full force at the first night of the second debates. We’ve got Democrats running on their Republican values challenging, and getting taken down, by Bernie and Liz. Plus lots of climate and environment links.

Thursday August 1
Power Rankings 3 to Inslee
The third edition of the Side’s Primary Power Rankings raises Jay Inslee to the top. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren remain in contention. But the Side won’t be able to vote for most of those other jokers. I’m a climate voter, after all. Anybody who thinks we can all move to higher ground doesn’t make it for me.

Friday August 2
Feedback Loopy
In which I investigate the dangers of climate feedback loops, with a little autobiography and lots of videos to explore and learn from. Links to Jay Inslee’s campaign and to impeachment arguments, if you aren’t convinced on that score yet.

Saturday August 3
For Polly Higgins
Praise for Polly Higgins, who spent her life trying to get Ecocide listed as an international crime equivalent to Genocide. She died this spring at 50. The Side wants to keep her memory and her issue alive. Because Exxon Knew in 1982. More links to arguments for impeachment. Ends with a prediction about … drumroll… the future! Always dangerous, making predictions, especially about the future.

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