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Was the London murder a murder or a ‘terrorist attack’?

Updated below

Michael Adebolajo: Murderer or “terrorist”? Is he a “terrorist” because he’s Muslim? And of Nigerian descent?

First off, let me be clear: I am not at all OK with the grisly murder of 25-year-old British soldier and Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby just outside of his barracks in London yesterday. And I reject the idea of killing one person in retaliation for killings that other people committed. In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.

One of Lee Rigby’s two very apparent murderers, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo of London, “a British-born convert to radical Islam,” according to Reuters, notoriously calmly explained to someone with a video camera — while he still held a knife and a meat cleaver in his bloodied hands (see the video still above) — why he and his companion, also of Nigerian descent, according to Reuters, attacked and killed Rigby, whom they reportedly first ran down in a car and then started hacking with a meat cleaver and knives: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

In Greenwich Village this past weekend, 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson was shot to death in an apparent hate crime; reportedly, Carson’s accused murderer, Elliot Morales, 33, who was apprehended by police, had used anti-gay hate speech before he shot Carson to death.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said of the murder: “It’s clear that victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay. There’s no question about that. There were derogatory remarks. This victim did nothing to antagonize or instigate the shooter. It was only because the shooter believed him to be gay.”

Reuters reports that many posit that recent advances in same-sex marriage rights in the U.S. — including three states having gone for same-sex marriage earlier this month — might have been behind the murder of Carson.

Yet the murder of Carson is called a “murder” and the murder of Rigby is called, automatically, a “terrorist attack” or “act of terrorism.”

What’s the difference between an act of murder and an act of terrorism/“terrorism”?

The murder of Carson, I surmise, was meant to send this message to all gay men or even to all non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals: You are not safe walking the streets. You might be the next one to be shot (or stabbed or beaten up or whatever).

That’s not a form of terrorism — an act of violence (a murder, no less) apparently committed with the intent to strike fear within a whole class of people?

Michael Adebolajo very apparently was using Lee Rigby as an example — he killed him in effigy of all British soldiers, in effect — just as Elliot Morales very apparently was using Mark Carson as an example — he killed him in effigy of all gay men, in effect.

So if Adebolajo and his cohort are “terrorists,” why isn’t Morales a “terrorist”?

My answer to my own question is that when a member of a historically oppressed minority group (like gay men) is murdered, it’s not considered to be a big deal. We can call it just a “murder,” as though it didn’t extend beyond just the murdered victim at all, but was just one of those random things — an act of God, Wolf Blitzer might say.

But when even one soldier is murdered — even on a public/civilian street, and while not on duty, which very apparently is how Rigby was murdered — that’s considered an attack on the plutocrats, the elites, of whom the commoner-funded military (Britain’s as well as the United States’) is just an arm.

The plutocrats, the elites, can’t maintain their overprivileged status without whole armies at their command, and the plutocratic elites are far, far more important than any of the rest of us ever could be, so the murder of just one of their soldiers — even in a non-combat situation — automatically is branded as “terrorism,” a more serious crime than plain-old murder.

I disagree that Rigby’s murder was an act of “terrorism.” Rigby’s murder was much closer to a murder than to an act of “terrorism.”

If we’re going to call Rigby’s murderers “terrorists” instead of just plain-old “murderers,” then we’re going to need to call Elliot Morales a terrorist, too — because his crime very apparently was motivated by his religious and political beliefs, just as Adebolajo’s and his partner’s crime was motivated by theirs.

The act-of-murder-vs.-act-of-terrorism problem largely can be solved if  the usage of the “t” terms — “terrorist,” “terrorists,” “terrorism” — returns to the terms’ status before 9/11. Cases of murder committed by an individual or two people apparently acting on their own and not as part of a known terrorist/“terrorist” group — such as the apparent case with the Boston Marathon bombings (I refer to the two Tsarnaev brothers, of course) and the apparent case with the British soldier who was murdered yesterday — are probably much closer to murder cases than they are to terrorism/“terrorism” cases.

We don’t refer to the two Columbine High School killers as “terrorists,” for example, even though they slaughtered many more people than did the Tsarnaev brothers or Michael Adebolajo.

That’s at least in part, of course, because the two Columbine killers were two white “Christian” kids, and you’re much more likely to be branded as a “terrorist” if you are Muslim — and even more so if you are a non-white Muslim.

That shit needs to stop. We can’t have a two-tiered system of “justice” in which it’s only “terrorism” if the (accused) perpetrator is Muslim or non-white or both. If we must go hog wild with the “terrorism” thing, then it must apply to so-called “Christians” and to other non-Muslims and to whites and to other non-blacks as well.

Update (Sunday, May 26, 2013): Columnist Glenn Greenwald, who once wrote for Salon.com but now works for The Guardian of the United Kingdom, on Thursday also tackled the question of “Was the London Killing of a British Soldier ‘Terrorism’?”

In his column, Greenwald notes that

An act can be vile, evil, and devoid of justification without being “terrorism”: indeed, most of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, from the Holocaust to the wanton slaughter of Stalin and Pol Pot and the massive destruction of human life in Vietnam, are not typically described as “terrorism.”

Yup. Here, I think, is the money shot of Greenwald’s analysis:

The reason it’s so crucial to ask this question [of whether or not an act of violence constitutes “terrorism”] is that there are few terms — if there are any — that pack the political, cultural and emotional punch that “terrorism” provides. When it comes to the actions of western governments, it is a conversation-stopper, justifying virtually anything those governments want to do.

It’s a term that is used to start wars, engage in sustained military action, send people to prison for decades or life, to target suspects for due-process-free execution, shield government actions behind a wall of secrecy, and instantly shape public perceptions around the world.

It matters what the definition of the term is, or whether there is a consistent and coherent definition. It matters a great deal.

There is ample scholarship proving that the term has no such clear or consistently applied meaning. … It is very hard to escape the conclusion that, operationally, the term has no real definition at this point beyond “violence engaged in by Muslims in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims.” …

Actually, it seems to me, in the Western world, especially in the U.S. and the UK, “terrorism” has come pretty much to mean just “violence engaged in by Muslims.” Even the acknowledgment that such violence might be “in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims” usually never is made in Westerners’ discussions of “terrorism,” since that obviously would be to bring Westerners’ guilt into the discussion, and most Westerners, it seems to me, will have none of that.

Greenwald also notes that “earlier this month, an elderly British Muslim was stabbed to death in an apparent anti-Muslim hate crime and nobody called that ‘terrorism,'” and adds that the term “terrorism” “at this point seems to have no function other than propagandistically and legally legitimizing the violence of western states against Muslims while delegitimizing any and all violence done in return to those states.”

Yup.

There are news reports, such as this one, of actions perpetrated against Muslims in Britain by non-Muslims in “retaliation” for the slaughter of the British solider in London. This report (from Slate.com) states that “The incidents [so far have ranged] from name calling and abuse on social media, to the painting of graffiti, attacks against mosques, and pulling off women’s headscarves in the street.” (“Attacks against mosques” is so vague as to be almost meaningless. I wish that the writer had given us the details there, or if he didn’t have the details, to have stated that fact.)

Of course, such low-level, “harmless” terrorism is what the Jews in Nazi Germany experienced before the Nazis ratcheted things waaay up.

This leads to yet another question: Is an act in which someone is not injured or killed “terrorism”? Is it only “terrorism” if someone is injured or killed? These thugs pulling Muslim women’s headscarves off — that is not done with the intent of terrorizing these women?

Is such terrorizing OK if it’s considered in “retaliation” of, or just in reaction to, another incident? Would this be “counter-terrorism”? Or would this be something like just plain-old “justice,” since we non-Muslims never use the “t-” word to refer to any of our own actions?

Anyway, as I wrote in my first paragraph of this post, “In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.”

As a gay man, I’m never happy to read about the slaughter of a gay man because he’s gay. To use an example that hit close to home, in July 2007, 26-year-old Satender Singh, a Fijian of Indian descent, was killed in my area (Sacramento) because he was suspected of being gay.

Whether he was gay or not I don’t know, but the two men from Eastern Europe who were charged with his murder very apparently thought that he was, because, witnesses said, the Slavic thugs who attacked Singh expressly targeted him because he was, they said, a “faggot” and a “sodomite,” among other things.

According to the hate-group watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center, witnesses also reported that these Slavic thugs “bragged about belonging to a Russian evangelical church and told Singh that he should go to a ‘good church’ like theirs.” This was right before one of the thugs delivered a blow to Singh’s head, a blow that later caused his death. (Great “Christians,” eh? Well, even the Nazis considered themselves to be great “Christians.”)

While I truly wish that the homophobic Eastern European immigrants here in California would fucking respect and honor how things are done and are not done here in California (and not act here as it’s OK to act in their backasswards countries in Eastern Europe) — and if they don’t like our freedoms here, including our freedom from their brand of theofascism, they are free to return to Eastern Europe — never would it have occurred to me that it would have been OK to randomly attack (apparent) Eastern European immigrants on the street in “retaliation” for the murder of Satender Singh.

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Yet another massacre from which the sheeple won’t learn a thing

Well, the internet noticed too.

If this guy is elected (or allowed to steal office a la 2000) in November, there will be more massacres. (More Photoshop jobs on this theme here…)

The United States of America is one big dysfuckingfunctional family.

Every once in a while, one of us snaps and kills a lot of people. The rest of us then all act shocked and horrified and say how “senseless” it was (when really we’re primarily just celebrating the fact that we weren’t among the body count), and then we go back to our lives of self-centeredness and greed that will help create the next massacre.

Every time one of these massacres occurs, I write essentially the same blog piece, but fuck it, as long as it keeps happening, I’ll keep writing the same blog piece. So here goes:

James Eagen Holmes, the 24-year-old accused of having blown away 12 people and injuring 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, early this morning, did not — I repeat, DID NOT — develop within a fucking vacuum.

No, I promise you, he developed entirely within a social context.

My guess is that Holmes has some screws loose, but the fact of the matter is that Holmes is just one of millions of young Americans whose nation has failed them beyond miserably.

The Associated Press reports that according to a neighbor of Holmes, “Holmes struggled to find work after graduating with highest honors in the spring of 2010 with a neuroscience degree from the University of California, Riverside.”

Holmes isn’t a drop-out pothead. The AP also reports of Holmes that he “enrolled last year in a neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver but was in the process of withdrawing, said school officials, who didn’t provide a reason.”

Yes, Holmes was a Ph.D. candidate, one of our brightest young people. Neuroscience, for fuck’s sake. Sounds pretty close to a brain surgeon to me.

My guess is that like millions of his cohorts, and like millions of members of my generation (Gen X), Holmes graduated from college with a mountain of debt but with no good job prospects whatsofuckingever.

I, too, graduated (in 1990 — during the first George-Bush-induced recession) with a worthless bachelor’s degree but with student-loan debt, and I, too, initially returned to school (to get my master’s degree, which I ultimately didn’t get) because there were no jobs out there and I didn’t know what else to do. (At age 44, I still am a member of what my fellow Gen-X foaming-at-the-mouth leftist Ted Rall calls the “overeducated underclass.”)

Since the 1980s, under Ronald Reagan, who couldn’t blow the Wall Street weasels enough, our higher-education system stopped being about preparing students for good jobs. Those jobs, under the vulture capitalism that Mittens Romney and his ilk perpetrate, perpetuate and defend, have been evaporating from the United States these past few decades.*

The American higher-education system now is about, and for some decades now has been about, handing our young over to the student-loan sharks for their feeding frenzies. Our colleges don’t produce young people who are ready for the good jobs that await them — our colleges instead produce young people who start off in life neck-deep in debt to the student-loan sharks, struggling to survive by taking jobs that are way beneath their abilities.

Starting out like this, many if not most of them never even will catch up, but will lag behind for the rest of their days.

We lie to our youth about the importance of going to college and doing well so that they can get fulfilling, well-paying jobs — jobs that don’t fucking exist and haven’t for some decades now.

Our youth are punk’d royally, so of course they become angry and bitter.

True, not all of them shoot up a movie theater. They just become alcoholics and/or druggies and/or go on Big Pharma’s antidepressants and/or abuse those in their lives and/or immerse themselves in materialism and commercialism and/or become sex addicts or some other type of addicts and/or commit suicide.

Everything is connected, whether we want to acknowledge that fact or not. (And for the most part, we don’t. We prefer what we believe is the safety of our own little bubbles, even though are bubbles are not our own safe houses, but are our own fucking caskets.)

Blowhard Rush Limbaugh recently accused filmmaker Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” the latest “Batman” trilogy, etc.) of, in Nolan’s current “Batman” movie, modeling (or at least naming) Batman’s enemy Bane after Mittens Romney’s vulture capitalism outfit Bain Capital — in order to make a political, anti-Mittens statement.

(Bain, Bane — apparently one-syllable homophones mesmerize great minds like Limbaugh’s.

Of course, the “Batman” comic-book character of Bane was created in 1993, well before Mittens ever decided to run for the White House, but mere facts never stop the likes of Grand Dragon Daddy Limbaugh and his fans.)

It was at a midnight showing of the latest “Batman” installment, “The Dark Knight Rises,” that James Eagen Holmes committed his massacre, and yes, it seems to me, there is a Bain connection here: It is vulture capitalism run amock that created the socioeconomic context within which this latest massacre occurred.

As insane income inequality grows, the pain and suffering of the poor and the middle class and the working class increases, and yes, some of the victims of vulture capitalism do snap and act out.

The only thing that’s shocking is that we don’t see a whole fucking lot more of it.

James Eagen Holmes very apparently snapped under the pressures of the oppressive socioeconomic system that not enough of us fight against. If enough of us did fight against it, our oppression at the hands of the filthy rich, treasonous few would stop.

Instead, way too fucking many of us, such as cops (the taxpayer-funded security guards of the plutocrats, who, of course, pay no taxes themselves) and members of the U.S. military (a.k.a. cannon fodder for Big Oil), and, of course, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, insanely side with our oppressors instead of with their fellow oppressed.

Better to curry favor with the oppressors, the rich and the powerful, than to be one of their victims, right? Of course, cops and soldiers and “tea party” dipshits are just as much victims as are the rest of us. These fools are the plutocratic oppressors’ tools, whether they realize it or acknowledge it or not.

Of course I don’t advocate massacres in movie theaters — I see a lot of movies myself, including at the Century Theatres in my area** — but it nauseates me to hear the same old predictable bullshit that the American sheeple bleat when massacres (Columbine, 9/11, this morning’s, etc.) are in the news.

We don’t understaaaaaaand, the sheeple bleat.

Yes, the sheeple do understand, at least dimly, at least on some level.

It’s that they don’t fucking care.

If they did, they’d have to change.

And that might even mean — gasp!having to fight.

The sheeple secretly would prefer more massacres of other sheeple.

P.S. Of course the Mittens and President Hopey-Changey campaigns had to weigh in on today’s massacre. They have to pretend to care about us, you see.

Mittens’ statement was:

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the news of the senseless violence that took the lives of 15 [sic] people in Colorado and injured dozens more. We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief.  We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

“Senseless” violence. Right. A brilliant young man can’t find decent work in a nation that doesn’t give a flying fuck about him and sees no future for himself and so he snaps. “Senseless.” Makes no sense at all. None whatsofuckingever. Happened just out of the blue. Randomly. Just one of those things that no one possibly could even begin to explain.

Look how quickly Mittens was to pounce upon the idea of “justice” for the perpetrator.

It’s funny, because if those truly responsible for today’s terrible crime actually ever were brought to justice, Mittens and his treasonous, plutocratic ilk would be behind bars, where they belong.

But they can rest easy.

So-called “justice” is meted out only to the 99 percent of us, and almost never to the 1 percent.

If you kill a dozen people, like James Eagen Holmes apparently did today, and are a member of the 99 percent, you at least will go to prison.

But if you are a mass murderer and are among the 1 percent, like George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice — or yes, like Barack Obama, who loves assassinations (with and without the use of drones) and who loves keeping the traitors who comprise the military-industrial complex happy with billions and billions of our tax dollars that aren’t going to the things that we need, such as job creation, education, health care, environmental protection and infrastructure improvements — you are allowed to run loose.

It’s not just within the arena of the military-industrial complex that mass murderers go free. Corporations’ profits-over-people practices routinely kill scores and scores of innocent people, yet the corporatocrats get off scot-free — even though corporations, according to the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, are “people.”

“Justice.”

Indeed.

Why would, how could, anyone snap in this oh-so-fair-and-just United States of America?

*The No. 1 goal of capitalism is not job creation, as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors among us proclaim. The No. 1 goal of capitalism is profiteering. Fucking duh.

Labor is expensive. Under American capitalism, if you can replace your American workers with machines or with other automated systems and/or outsource their jobs to sweatshops overseas, you do so in order to increase your profits.

The vulture capitalists are not job creators. They are wealth aggregators, as fucking evidenced by the fact that over the past several years the wealthiest have gotten even wealthier while the jobs have dried up and rest of us have gotten poorer.

If these treasonous plutocrats were job creators, there would be jobs.

There aren’t jobs because it isn’t about us. It’s all about them, the 1 percent.

**I will see “The Dark Knight Rises,” by the way. I love Anne Hathaway and the character of Catwoman, Nolan is a good director, and Tom Hardy is a hunk (OK, even though as Bane his face is obscured), so I’m there. I just generally avoid trying to see blockbusters on opening weekend.

You are much more likely to be killed in a car accident, or killed by a car while crossing the street, that you are to be shot dead in a movie theater.

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Envy is a blogger without a book deal

I started blogging back in the latter part of 2002 on Salon Blogs. It was a great time to start blogging; in the wake of the destruction wrought by the unelected Bush regime and in the midst of the regime’s impending launch of its bogus Vietraq War, the Internet and its newish “blogosphere” were buzzing with progressives who loved civic engagement (and e-catfights; more on that later…).

I immediately found blogging to be user-friendly — if you can word process, you can blog — and rather addictive. The idea that whenever something pisses me off or whenever there is just something that I want to say, I can post it on the Internet, where anyone in the world can read it — I still like that idea.

I probably would continue to blog no matter how small my audience. Blogging to me is what dancing is to a dancer or painting is to a painter.

Having an audience is great, especially when, like I do, you think that you’re a pretty fucking good writer. But, like any other artist who primarily does it for the love of it and not for the audience, I continue to blog even with a small audience.

But those bloggers who get book dealsarrrggggghhhhhh!

There is Dave Cullen, who, like I did, started out with Salon Blogs. Truthfully, I found Dave’s blog to be rather mediocre. He wrote about the “reality” television show “The Great Race” or whatever in the hell it was called, for fuck’s sake. After each episode, of which I never watched a single one, he’d feverishly let all of us know his every thought and impression of it. Barf bag, please! (If memory serves, Dave’s obsession with the show primarily was because one or more of its cast members he found to be a hottie. [I think it was that one cast member with the Nazi-sounding name… Third Reichen or something like that… Yeah, you know, I just can’t get past a Nazi-sounding name…])

When he wasn’t writing feverishly about his favorite reality TV show, Dave feverishly was writing about his favorite reality TV politician, Howard Dean. I, um, supported John Kerry from the very start, figuring that although Kerry wasn’t my ideological favorite of the Democratic bunch for the 2004 presidential nomination (that wild and wacky Dennis “Snowball’s Chance in Hell” Kucinich was), with his military background Kerry was much more likely to defeat BushCheneyCorp in 2004 than was peacenik Dean. (Unfortunately, 9/11 was still lingering in the national consciousness — endlessly stoked by the BushCheneyCorp, replete with its false color-coded terrorism risk alerts, of course — and I knew that the Repugnicans would make mincemeat of Dean.)

Thankfully, Dean imploded in the snows of Iowa in January 2004 and that was that. But Dave, who had even invaded Iowa with the throngs of other Deaniacs in their tacky bright orange caps, didn’t appreciate my gleeful blogging on Dean’s demise, and if memory serves, that is where it really devolved between Dave and me.    

Dave and I always had fought over Dean vs. Kerry, but after Dean’s demise after the scream heard ’round the world, Dave and I had such serious e-catfights via our blogs’ comments sections that we had to call it quits lest law enforcement officials get involved…

Anyway, if memory serves, I found Dave to be a mediocre writer with waaay too many typos and misspellings, but sometimes compelling, like car accident images on the Internet can be compelling; you know that you probably really shouldn’t look at the spectacle, but you just can’t help yourself. (I seem to remember that I especially enjoyed reading about Dave’s parallel implosion with Dean’s implosion on Dave’s blog. Dave wrote some rather surreal stuff about his Dean-related devastation, if memory serves.)

Anyway, so of course Dave later landed himself a book deal. His book Columbine (a subject that doesn’t interest me; Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” pretty much satisfied that itch for me) as I type this sentence is No. 3,007 on amazon.com, but the book, timed for the 10th anniversary of the suburban teenaged massacre of April 1999, was on amazon.com’s top-100 best-selling books list for at least a little while.

I hate you, Dave. You’re a mediocre writer but you got a book deal. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

No, OK, fine, congratulations, I don’t hate you, really I don’t, in fact, contgratulations, yeah, what-eeever. After all, I just linked to your book on amazon.com and I just might get you another sale or two or three. If I hated you that much would I have done that? No, I think not, Dave.

(If you want to argue about it, Dave, leave a comment on this post, bitch. It would be just like old times. I dare you!)

Even more successful than Dave (ha ha, Dave!) is former Salon blogger Julie Powell. I don’t know her at all — although I was aware of her blog when she and I were fellow Salon bloggers, I never read her blog because I’m not into cooking and her blog was about cooking — but I hate her perhaps even more than I hate Dave because not only did she get a book deal, but she got a fucking movie deal, too. Her book Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously is now a frigging movie tie-in paperback with Meryl Fucking Streep on the cover and is No. 54 on amazon.com’s top 100 best-seller list as I type this sentence.

I’m not linking to Powell’s book because once you have Meryl Streep on your resume, you just don’t need any more help, do you?

(Dave, if you get a movie deal, I’m going to find you, and maybe I will massacre you, Columbine-style, and I will use your flesh in one of Julie Powell’s Julia Child-inspired recipes. [Then maybe I could get a book deal…])

Anyway, Salon.com’s editor, Joan Walsh, makes this admission in a rubbing-it-in-my-face blog piece that she posted today about how some Salon bloggers went on to make it big: “The Salon Blogs program was worthy and innovative, but it didn’t get the attention it deserved —  most notably, from Salon.”

Exactly. We Salon bloggers plunked down our $40-a-year fee for our blogs with Salon’s promise that Salon would support us, even promote us, and Salon didn’t. Salon picked a few Salon bloggers, almost seemingly at random, to give some attention to, but the rest of us were ignored.

I guess that in order to have gotten my Salon blog noticed I would have had to have blown former Salon managing editor Scott Rosenberg, who then was in charge of Salon Blogs and whose own Salon blog was lackluster at best (if memory serves, he primarily wrote about technical computer crap, which even I, with my great writing talent, probably couldn’t make interesting — probably).

I did contact Rosenberg a few times to see if he’d promote my blog, but he steadfastly refused. Probably because his own blog sucked. And because he also was one of the Lemmings for Howard Dean and I was one of the few bloggers for Kerry. (OK, so maybe I was the only blogger for Kerry…)

I gleefully note that Rosenberg’s book on — w a i t   f o r   i t — blogging, which was released last month (I won’t help him by even giving you its title), as of right this moment is No. 9,530 on amazon.com.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, Scott!

Oh, I don’t think that they’ll be making a movie out of your book!

So that’s at least two mediocre bloggers who got book deals, one of them with a book about blogging. 

Anyway, so yeah, as Joan Walsh admitted today, Salon abandoned its bloggers. At one point Salon stopped even mentioning the Salon blogs on Salon’s home page, and then at another point Salon stopped accepting new blogs, and now, at the end of this year, the blogging platform that Salon blogs utilize, Radio UserLand, is going kaput.

At the end of October I switched from Salon Blogs/Radio UserLand to WordPress. I am much, much, much happier with the WordPress blogging platform. Aside from being FREE, WordPress offers a lot more functionality that Radio UserLand ever did. (I can enumerate on one hand what Radio UserLand has that WordPress doesn’t, but I could enumerate on my pubes what WordPress has that Radio UserLand doesn’t.)

Anyway, so I’m happier on WordPress, and I rarely use “I” and “happy” in the same sentence.

But, unfortunately, my readership on WordPress isn’t any larger than it was on Salon Blogs.

And I still don’t have my book deal yet — but I think that I can come up with something for Meryl to do.

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Some questions on two hot issues

I sure can pontificate, but how about I just ask some questions, instead of writing long-ass blog posts, on these two hot topics:

  • The 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings: While the shooting deaths of 15 people (including the two teen-aged killers) a decade ago today no doubt were tragic, would we have made such a big deal of the massacre if it hadn’t happened at a lily-white* high school in the suburbs? If a shooting of the same proportion had happened at an inner-city high school, would its 10th anniversary be as big a deal? 
  • That wacky Maddy at the United Nations conference today: Is it remotely possible that at least some of what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has had to say — such as that the Palestinians apparently had to be the ones to pay for the Germans’ crimes against the Jews during the Holocaust — is not completely loony and might actually have at least some degree of truth to it? If he is completely off of his rocker, if every statement of his is so insanely completely untrue, then why does he evoke such furor? Does telling unpleasant truths that no one is supposed to utter not evoke even more furor than does telling outright lies?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Even leave a comment if you dare. (You have been forewarned…)

*This source puts Columbine’s racial composition at 95 percent white, per the 2000 U.S. Census.

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