“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And We Thought We Had Nutters

The Amarillo Globe-News has its gatekeeper to protect us from the obscene, but civilized people may wonder where the bar is when Virgil Van Camp wishes that we emulate the ancient Romans:

They came, they conquered, they governed. The unruly Jews revolted. Not a problem. Tear down their holy temple, kill a few Jews. Problem solved.”

(Interesting that hundreds of thousands of butchered Jews are “a few.”) Or by imitating them with

“. . . a Pax Americana. We could take over troubled spots around the globe, concentrating on areas with natural resources, such as oil, that we need. We could extract the resources, use the profits to create a working society and pay for the occupation.”

And like them install puppet dictators to solve
our or other nation's difficulties. He has repeatedly said the Geneva Conventions are pointless, and called for our military, like the Roman Legions, to slaughter civilians without mercy.

Let us remember Elwood N. Stein’s solution to the war in Iraq:

drop a few bombs we have in reserve” and “with the power we have in storage . . . wind up in a Christian world.”

What a small desire it is to obliterate the entire non-Christian world. What nonchalance to publish a letter on global genocide.

We need not recount the many other offenses against human dignity and civilized behavior made by these and other whack-jobs printed in the Amarillo Globe-News. Here we shall note the inordinate and mindless worship still offered President George W. Bush by their thronging wingnuts in the face of deceit and disaster.

But these nutjobs pale in comparison to Philip Atkinson, contributing editor to Family Security Matters, Imperial Rome enthusiast, George W. Bush disciple and nuke booster.

[For more on Family Security Matters and its connections to neoconservatives and the White House see

In "America's Choice" (see comments)
Atkinson declares we must use violence to dominate others or like the Romans risk the collapse of “Pax Romana.” In shades of Van Camp’s “rape, pillage and burn” Atkinson insists we “must be ruthless, merciless, resolute and unhesitating” in the use of nuclear weapons: “inflict genocide or commit suicide.” Both Van Camp and Atkinson find triumph in the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but since then America has been in moral decline and squeamish about inflicting brutality and annihilating our enemies.

"Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy" flatly states that the Iraqi’s should be slaughtered with nuclear weapons and replaced by Americans; that democracy is the enemy of truth and justice, a threat to the United States, and that George W. Bush should use his military power like Augustus to become President-for-Life and restore sanity to America.

Extremist? Yes. Lunatic? You would think so, but the man’s “analysis” was, until quite recently, admired and taken seriously. Only when his work was discovered by the wider media was Atkinson “disappeared” from the FSM website.

Rational people would no doubt think Mr. Atkinson a certifiable, shells and all, nutcase. Yet we must note that his insane, extremist views were quite agreeable to his right-wing compatriots. Let us also observe that the difference between Mr. Atkinson and our local nutters is not one of kind but of degree.

Let that be the "apparent difference.” Our extremists have the gatekeeper to keep out and clean up their worst offenses. And as difficult as it is to imagine even Van Camp has gone too far, but with his outrages scrubbed few are left the wiser to his true madness.

That is the virtue of having a gatekeeper. Whatever reactionaries, extremists and right-wing sociopaths may exist, we are presented those that are least “objectionable.” We sleep in our beds, safe in blessed ignorance of neighbors that are like Philip Atkinson, demanding Muslims be exterminated, that Iraq be nuked, and America turned into a praetorian dictatorship led by George W. Bush. Who knows who they are? Who indeed?