Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog



Observant readers will have already noticed that I changed the Cox and Forkum cartoon Iíve carried since the beginning of the year.
That change is only one of many that are coming over the next few days.
  • Iíll be posting a lot more.
  • I will be writing on politics and philosophy much more.
  • All posts will be open for comments for two weeks, at which time they will close for spam prevention.
  • I will be pissing a lot of folks off.

The gloves are coming off folks, and itís about damn time.

I put myself on the sidelines after the election. I wasnít sure if the time Iíd spent had made any difference in anyoneís mind. I questioned whether writing on politics and political theory was even something people wanted to read. After all, ďBush lied; people diedĒ is much catchier, and a whole lot easier to teach the proles to chant as they march in the street. The truth is difficult; itís complex. If you can distill something down to a 30 second soundbite, odds are it doesnít even bear a faint resemblance to reality.

But it makes for good TV, so weíll run with it.

So I tried to step back from the fight. I figured I could leave the field to other writers and only write about fun stuff, stuff that wouldnít make people mad at me. Unfortunately, Iíve discovered what many writers before me have discovered; I donít get to pick and choose what I write. I write what comes or I donít write at all. Iíd see things in the news, or read about them, and Iíd want to say something, react someway, put in my two cents worth, but I wouldnít. Iíd try to write something light and friendly and essentially meaningless.

And it would suck.

It was only after I wrote a piece about whatever moved me that I could write the fluffy one and have it come out halfway decent. I know now that if I want to write, and write well, I have to let it all come out. I have to write what is important to me, regardless of how other people feel about it. Itís going to anger a lot of people, more than any of you suspect right now, but thatís the way it goes.
A long while back, I found myself writing to get traffic. I would watch my hit counter, and check which posts got the most traffic, and I would write more like them. Running the site became a chore, not a hobby, as I was becoming obsessed with building traffic. Once I noticed what I was doing, I took down my sitemeter and have never looked back. Unfortunately, now I know I was doing something similar, writing to not offend. I wanted to be liked by everybody, even those folks who disagreed with me. Censoring myself was the wrong way to achieve that goal, and to tell you the truth, Iím not sure anymore that the goal itself wasnít a mistake.

Anyway, recent events, many of which Iím going to discuss in detail, have caused me to reassess both the goals I set for this blog, and the methods I hose to meet them. The short version is I trashed all of them to start over again.

In a way, Iím going back to my roots. Iíll be writing about what interests me, giving you my unvarnished and immoderate opinions and analysis. Stupidity, lies, greed, and hypocrisy will be called exactly that, as well as incompetence, evasion, empty rhetoric, and all the other tools some folks use to cloud the issue when they know their argument is weak.

Several months ago, I made a statement that America was in big trouble, and that, barring some major changes, we were heading down a path that would lead to the end of America as a world power within a decade or two. It appears I may have been optimistic. The recent activity on both sides of the political aisle, coupled with the actions of the Supreme Court, has accelerated trends Iíd already noted significantly. Weíre getting to a very dangerous place where the majority of people have no respect for the people who make and enforce our laws. To continue on in the same manner as we have for the past few decades will, without any doubt or possibility of error, lead us into a position of weakness, one that our enemies will not hesitate to exploit.

And thatís why Iíve changed the picture. The threat is no longer external; we know the terrorists cannot beat us. They can hurt us; they can make us angry; but they canít beat us. The enemy that can beat us is among us, and no, Iím not talking about liberals. Yes they are a big part of the problem, but the Republicans have quite a bit to answer for themselves. The divide is no longer one of left and right, but authoritarianism and libertarianism, and friends and neighbors, the authoritarians have damn near won the war before we woke up enough to fight the first battle.

Now, Iím not egotistical enough to think that the things I write here will make a difference (Then again, maybe I am; why else would I write them?), but I can make sure that at least there will be a fight. I truly believe that we are now in a fight for the continued existence of freedom in America, and that we are in grave danger of losing everything that made us great, and so I can do no less.
So, expect sacred cows from both the left and the right to be slaughtered and carved into steaks. Iíve always had very little patience for hypocrisy anyway; now I have even less. Anyone who wants to lay the blame exclusively on one side or the other, head over to Freeperland or the DUcks; I have absolutely no patience for your ignorance.

OK, enough of the pretentious chest thumping. Letís get on with it.
Posted by Rich
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