Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Am About Ready To

...Pull the plug on this blog. 'Cos there are too damn many people out there who would happily volunteer to work the guard towers if Congress decided Monday to lock up all the Muslims in the U.S. behind barbed wire. As it happens, I'm no fan of a faith with many adherents who claim it says I gotta dress like a sleeping bag and can't have a real job; but in this country, you can believe any idiotic thing you want, as long as you don't force others to do so, too. This is actually an important concept, one we fiddle with at our peril.

L. Neil Smith has some interesting thoughts on this, too.

Looky, spree shooters are a problem. Grotty little bastards who wanna be important, who want attention they don't deserve, who go armed into disarmed-victim zones (yeah, "no guns," what a swell idea) and shoot up people who are just going about their lives, they are a problem.

And so is puffing them up into something they're not. In the last ten years, the spree killers in the United States have included at least two different flavors of racist, one whacko who couldn't get a date, and scads of other half-wit causes.

Big damn deal. You wanna concentrate on the disease or on the cure? One thing is for sure: the common factors among such killers are few. Mostly male, generally loners and think they've got a raw deal -- but those are pretty common conditions; if we ran out or locked up every guy that fit that profile, half the science-fiction writers I like would be behind bars or deported!

In hindsight, there are often indications, but once again, many are moody but few lash out.

Nope, you can't fix it by finding 'em in advance. "Precrime" is fiction and if you haven't figured out that "thoughtcrime" is the short bus to FAIL, you have not been paying attention. Planned or impulsive, they are mad dogs among us and the important thing isn't understanding why they are foaming at the mouth, they all think they have got some excuse; the important thing, the vital thing, is stopping them as soon as possible.

And the only way do that is to have a greater leavening of people who understand that such things do happen, who have thought about it and are "armed" with the determination to stop it. A weapon helps but a sidearm is useless if you're not ready to use it* -- in the right hands, a chair or a baseball bat will do the job.

It's human to claim "Group X" is the problem. Sometimes it's even accurate. But it is rarely all of 'em -- ever hear of John Rabe or Chiune Sugihara? How many babies are you willing to throw out with the bathwater?

Why not try the simpler thing first; why not resolve to STOP people when they initiate force against others?

Major Hasan is a Muslim. He shot up a bunch of people who were doing him no harm. One of those things is inherently evil. Can you guess which?
* So, do you have the skill to take out one baddie in a crowded mall with your handgun? If not, what's your Plan B? Always good to have a Plan B.


Asphyxiated Emancipation said...

Please don't leave, Roberta. One less voice of sanity in the crowd...

og said...

"Major Hasan is a Muslim. He shot up a bunch of people who were doing him no harm. One of those things is inherently evil. Can you guess which?
Both of those things are inherently evil. I do not have to guess, I have studied the subject enough to understand it thoroughly. And I can prove that to anyone under any circumstances.

Nobody is saying islam is the only problem. We all know there are kooks everywhere. But Islam is A problem, with a big, bold, capital A. This sort of occurrence a common enough symptom, that it needs to be addressed. And if you eliminate the problem of Islam, a powerful lot of the kookiness goes away with it. The bathwater is foul, and it has irrepairably damaged all the babies soaking in it.

Losing a voice fixes nothing. Better, if you feel strongly about it, to try to build a case for Islam, if you believe it to have a shred of value. I made that same effort myself, many years ago, trying to find something that would redeem Islam. The deeper you look, the more you realize there is no redemption to be found. You only have to want to know the truth.

I understand if you don't want to have this discussion. The way to avoid it is simple, don't blog about it. There are plenty of other things to blog about, and I do so all the time. Trust me, the subjects about which I choose not to blog are many and extensive.

I also believe you should not be willingly blind about the very real threat that Islam poses to the freedom of human beings.

Anonymous said...

Actually, from my reading, I've noticed that one thing a lot of these spree killers have in common is the fact that they were on anti-depressants and had recently stopped taking them. Someone should check and see if this Hasan fellow had been self-prescribing drugs.


Jeffro said...

Don't take it personally - hell, gunnies can't agree on anything anyways.

Remember if you try to have a discussion about rifles - semi or bolt action - you'll have someone carping about the new fangled smokeless powder and how true shooters only stuff muzzles.

So it is with this emotionally charged issue.

You have admirable morals and a positive outlook, and that certainly isn't the easy course.

Have you ever heard the expression "Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed?" It strikes me that runs counter to your view on life - you simply expect better of people.

And that is why this little corner of Algore's Intertubes needs ya.

perlhaqr said...

but in this country, you can believe any idiotic thing you want, as long as you don't force others to do so, too.

Sadly, this is not more true.

Lots of people in this country believe that smoking weed is evil, and force others to play along. Lots of people think that taxation is just dandy, and force others to play along. Etc. Blah.

I'd be sadder than I am now if you stop blogging. But given that I stopped for pretty much identical reasons, and nearly quit reading them too, means I understand all too well the urge you're feeling. It's damn depressing.

Tango Juliet said...

I'd like to see you stick around too. Your blog is one of my favoritest places to visit, even if I don't always understand what you're bloggin' about. :)

My concern is the rampant political correctness in our country and its role in the Ft Hood massacre. Major Hasan got a pass as none of his superiors or contemporaries wanted to appear as "intolerant."

I see you as an antidote to PC-dom.

Cond0011 said...

Don't go, Roberta. I like what you write. Very much so.

Though you and I may disagree about Islam, it shouldn't mean that we can't be friends - or that you should close your blog because I do enjoy it when I do get over here...

A troll is one thing. Two nice people that have a difference of opinion is another - and I am OKAY with you thinking what you do about Islam. Really! =)


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Voice of sanity are few and far between.

Please don't make them fewer and further, Bobbi.

Home on the Range said...

Don't give it up. I may disagree with you in part on this, having studied too much for the dark side the various ideologies of the world (and staying at the Radisson in Imman days before it was blown up sort of got my attention as well). But if you quit blogging we will all lose something.

But I tend to keep my feelings on these religious/political matters quiet. I don't have your courage. And I don't have your freedom for reasons you know. You speak of heavy things and I post waffle pictures.

Agree or disagree, you keep us pondering the bigger realm of things. Don't quit the blog.

Drang said...

Please don't quit. "Illegitimati non Carborundum" and all that.

Anonymous said...

So many people in the world remind me of the comment made by Tolkien's narrator in "The Hobbit." Dwarves are wonderful people, as long as you don't expect too much from them. We've all got friends who are good at some things, and think they're good at others, when they're anything but. You learn to tolerate these people for the good they do, and make sure they have NO say in the things they "Know not that they knoweth not."

This is Bobbi X's blog, and she can blog about anything she wishes. (Just stating the obvious. As a reminder. I'm not so silly to say she needs anyone's permission.) I for one am always interested in what she has to say, and I'd miss it if she quits. Then again, she blogs for her enjoyment, or as a writer, the fact that she's gotta write something. If it ceases to be what she needs it to be, it's her call. I value Bobbi X's views, and am willing to put up with considerable noise to signal ratio to hear those views.

Islam is no more inherently evil than Hinduism, or atheism. I've spent enough time in various regions of the world, and anyone who says differently, and will not listen to reason, well, I don't have to bother with them. I've got any number of Muslim friends fighting the same battles I, we're on the same side against the jihadis. Hell, even WE argue amongst ourselves mostly around the edges of the issue.

Even the Roman Empire realized that religious wars were something you want to avoid if at all possible. Why? Because, in the end, EVERYBODY starts throwing ALL the babies out with the bathwater. At the end of a serious religious war, even the victors are upset with what they've become.

A religious scholar would say this is because Satan, Angarmainu, Kali, or whomever, works through human agents, to spread as much misery as possible. An atheistic scholar might say that people are just "foxtrot uniform" idiots.

Guess what folks? In every society there are folks who believe that they have the one true way, and anyone who thinks differently is inherently evil. The good and decent folk in those societies have been dealing with such, and we have our own whack-jobs to deal with ourselves. Just seems to be part of being human.

Anonymous said...

...and now we see how easy it was to justify interning all the Japanese in WW2.....


Boss Mongo said...

Um, although there are a lot of people ramping up their anti-Muslim rhetoric, can anyone show me where any overt actions have been taken against Muslims since 9/11?
People are venting, but I will bet a paycheck that there will be 1) no official sanction against Muslims, and 2) any retributive actions taken by individuals will be committed by ne'er-do-wells who just found Islam to be a convenient excuse, and they will be roundly condemned by one and all.
I get so tired of this whole "backlash against peaceful Muslims" trope.
Can anyone show me the backlash after the embassy bombing in Tanzania? Kenya? The USS Cole? Khobar Towers? After 3,000 Americans of every race, color, and creed were slaughtered on 9/11? Hmm. Now let's compare those stats to actions committed by adherents of the "religion of peace" after some cartoons were published.
I'm thinking, the Muslim population doesn't have too much to worry about when it comes to backlash.

jed said...

Count me among those who'll miss you if you stop. If I had a few nixie tubes laying around, I'd try to bribe with a couple of 'em to stay on the air. But your time, your blog. If the irritation destroys the enjoyment part, I can understand that.

Anonymous said...

"Mostly male, generally loners and think they've got a raw deal -- but those are pretty common conditions; if we ran out or locked up every guy that fit that profile, half the science-fiction writers I like would be behind bars or deported!"
As well as most male science fiction fans like me!
I discovered you last year, and would regret the loss of your skewed viewpoint since its skewed my way!


Anonymous said...
First Amendment. Love it or GTFO.

If you'll use the First item of the Bill of Rights for toilet paper, don't be too surprised when others do the same with the Second on on the list.

Anonymous said...

Please don't go. I enjoy your perspective, and would be saddened to be deprived of it.


Bob said...

If you aren't prepared to defend your statements/positions, then don't allow comments, Roberta. Or send the ones you don't like down the memory hole, the way that the lefty blogs do.

Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan both have blogs without comments, and aren't suffering from the lack.

Since I'm a nobody blogger with few readers I don't have to spend much time defending my opinions; I guess that if I had your traffic my blog would probably become a chore instead of a pleasant pastime.

I'd miss you if you quit, though, and hope that you don't.

DaddyBear said...

Please stay with us. You're a voice of reason in a night full of blabbering.

This slimeball would have done this no matter what his chosen manner of worship.

Joseph said...

Stay with us, please, Roberta. Your voice is needed!

It is an easy idea to say "Lock'em all up!" It would be locking up many, many innocents along with a few guilty. What happens when "they" decide to lock up all the whites? The hispanics? Everyone who wears a baseball cap in an "unapproved" fashion? There would be no end to it. "All" muslims are not guilty of crimes, in fact the vast majority are not.

To quote Stephen King: "That way lies madness".

Bruce B. said...

Please don't pull the plug. Even though I don't comment very often I do enjoy your blog.

Castr8r said...

Dear Lady 'Berta- Please don't shut down this point of sanity! I don't do much in the way of comments, but I read you every day. Then there's the unwinding space novel (novella? Heck, it's a dern good yarn!); don't leave us hangin' out to dry! I realise that it's your blog to do with as you see fit. I hope to make it over to a Blogmeet sometime to meet some of my favorite blogsters.

The Freeholder said...

Roberta, I'd strongly prefer you keep blogging. But I'm going to tell you that your skin needs to thicken up if you plan on continuing. If you put your opinions out there for all to see, there are going to be folks who disagree. They may not be nice when they state it. {{shrug}} It goes with the territory.

Heck, be glad you get comments. I'm lucky to get a few in a week, you're getting more on this one post than I do in a month.

I don't view Islam as inherently evil. I just view it as practically evil. Not every Muslim is going to blow up a bus, but far more Muslims are involved in acts that look and smell like terrorism than adherents of other religions. Don't know why; really don't care. I just know that it is and act accordingly.

og said...

Ugh. Ok, folks, I'm not discussing this any futher here, but anyone who doesn't believe Islam is inherently evil please come to my place and make your case here.

Roberta X said...

It is not that I am unwilling or unable to defend my positions; it is that too many of my readers are happy to deport, confine or kill U.S. citizens based not on what they have done but on their religious faith.

Those of you who think the Bill of Rights should be ignored when it gets in the way of your own prejudices, I consider you to be exactly the same as anti-gunners.

Comrade Misfit said...

Don't leave, Roberta. Please stay. I would very much miss your blog.

Disable comments if you have to.

Popgun said...

Hi, Roberta;

Don't go - we need you!

Regarding the Fort Hood murders:

When I walk in the woods, if I see a snake, I alert on it- at least until I have ascertained that it is not a threat. Most snakes are harmless; but a few will kill you, given the right circumstances.

Almost every major terrorist attack in the last 20 years (I can think of only one exception) has been caused by Muslim terrorists.

Most of these terrorists have been Muslims. This does NOT mean that most Muslims ARE terrorists.

It makes sense to be cautious around Muslims who are strangers to you - until you know they are not a risk. That's one aspect of situational awareness - like with snakes.

No prejudice - just apply common sense.


Larry said...

I'm not willing to lock up or deport people for being Muslim. I am willing to argue against cultural and social acceptance of Islam in this country.

I'm also willing to consider closing the doors to immigrants who profess Islam. (Not quite there yet, as there are too many oppressed people there who might give up Islam and become good citizens.)

But without people who are willing to make the case against Islam in the marketplace of ideas, nothing will change execpt for the worse.

Larry said...

I just got around to reading the L. Neil Smith link, and with all due respect, it is crap.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you.

All this anti-Muslim sentiment reminds me of when the USA locked up the Japanese during WWII. We should learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.

elmo iscariot said...


Almost every major terrorist attack in the last 20 years (I can think of only one exception) has been caused by Muslim terrorists...

It makes sense to be cautious around Muslims who are strangers to you - until you know they are not a risk.

You have this all wrong--it's like saying that since all the power-grabbing Presidents of the last century--with one exception--have been white, you should be wary of white people until you know they don't want to trample on your rights.

That assumption would have a huge false positive rate, because such a tiny percentage of white people are power-grabbing politicians. Likewise, only a very tiny percentage of American muslims are or have been terrorists.

You point out that "all terrorists are muslims, therefore all muslims are terrorists" is a fallacy, but you go on to make the false assumption that "all terrorists are muslims, therefore a statistically significant proportion of muslims are terrorists".

Anonymous said...

"I'm no fan of a faith with many adherents who claim it says I gotta dress like a sleeping bag and can't have a real job;"

Why stop there? It also happens to be a faith whose primary figure of veneration is someone who murdered helpless prisoners in a surrendered city, passed out their widows and orphans as slaves to his followers, kept slaves himself, and pressured a father into letting him marry a six-year old girl, with whom he consummated the marriage when she was nine. At least he thought six was too young to screw, so there's that.

We have to share a planet with 1.5 billion of these people, and just look who at they dub "the perfect man". I didn't used to be this sour on them, but the more I learn, the less I like. If a Christian or a Jew does something wrong, they are ignoring an example set for them, or a Commandment. If a Muslim does something wrong, he's following a very vivid example set for him, with scriptural backing.

I can't remember one line in the New Testament where it says Jesus wanted somebody offed.

Mike James

Roberta X said...

Go have religious arguments someplace else. Comments here are now closed.