Great-Uncle Frank and Jesus Hector

Jesus HectorThis is Jesus Hector my first great-nephew. At least that’s what I think he is. I’m not really very clear on all this stuff when it comes to matters avuncular. Anyway, he was born this morning. People always want to know the size of infants, so I will tell you that he was six and a half pounds, which I think it about what I was.

I lobbied for the switching the his first and middle names. I have nothing against Jesus, but no one thinks, “I hope my son grows up to be Jesus.” Even if you are a Christian, that’s really not a good life. What’s more, it is typical of the Abrahamic God that he would not care about his son. All that “For God so loved the world” is clearly after the fact apologetics.

Hector, on the other name, is about the coolest name in existence. You see, in the Iliad, Hector is the reluctant warrior. Achilles is all about glory. But Hector just wants to take care of his family. But unfortunately, he has a troublesome brother who brings a war right to his doorstep. Hector dies in the Iliad, but he is still the greatest character — and the most noble.

Now you can imagine just how horrible Jesus Hector’s live is going to be as I tell him about the nobility of his name each time we meet. And when he’s in grammar school, I’ll buy him a child’s version of the Iliad. Then I’ll buy him the young adult version. And from about 14 years old onward, I expect the two of us to have passionate debates as to whether the Iliad should be read as poetry or prose.

Anyway, I figured I would let you all know that there is an addition to my family. The world is a mixed blessing. But I think the good outweighs the bad. And we are very pleased to have Jesus Hector join us.

Shooter Was Muslim — That’s All That Matters

Nightclub - Muslim ShooterEarly this morning, a man killed at least 50 people in the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse. Most of my liberal friends see this as another example of the problem of guns in the United States. And there’s a vague hope that this time maybe we will do something about it. But I think this is all a sign of just how out of touch all of us are with each other. If two dozen murdered children in Sandy Hook didn’t change things, this certainly won’t. But there’s more here. The shooter’s name is apparently Omar Mateen.

If this had just been some white guy named John Smith who went into Pulse and killed so many people, America would react in the normal way, “This is terrible! Now let’s do nothing!” But a bunch of people getting killed by a Muslim does cause action. It isn’t action that will do any good. But it is action. Suddenly, Donald Trump seems to have made a lot more sense when he said that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in the country until we “figure this out.” This kind of thinking is the very definition of racism, but it isn’t recognized.

Right now at the Fox News website, the top story is, Breaking News: 50 Murdered, 53 Wounded in Possible Act of Islamic Terror in Orlando Gay Club. There’s no nuance here. It’s “Terrorism!” And everyone knows that death by terrorist is so much worse than death by Christian fundamentalist.

Of course, there is no such thing as death by Christian fundamentalist. When a Christian fundamentalist kills someone, we get little but nuance. And rightly so! Because people who go on killing sprees are messed up in the head. They aren’t rational warriors. (Well, most of the time; the 9/11 attacks were part brain washing and part peer pressure.) But when it comes to Muslims, we get none of that.

Check out this Fox News headline, Florida Nightclub Shooter Apparently Made Threats in the Past; Ex-Wife Claims He Beat Her. Now that strikes me as having some nuance, but the lede doesn’t follow, “The gunman who killed at least 50 people at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday was a licensed security officer who claimed more than once that he had connections to Islamic terror groups, Fox News has learned, as the killer’s ex-wife reportedly said he was unstable and would beat her.”

But reading the whole article, I got the impression that Omar Mateen was mostly just a homophobe. Is that based on his religion? Probably, although most men don’t need a religion to be a homophobes. Mateen’s father said that his son became enraged when he saw two men kissing in Miami. It sounds like a hate crime committed by an unstable Muslim man. But in the end, none of that will matter.

In the weeks and months after this, people will remember vaguely that a Muslim killed a bunch of people. The fact it that his Muslim identification will be taken to be as critical, just as Robert Lewis Dear’s Christian identification is taken to mean nothing at all.

But maybe this is how ISIS defeats us. Because this is the kind of attack (even though almost certainly having nothing directly to do with ISIS) that will make Donald Trump become president. See Paul Bibeau’s Trump Tales Of Terror: Weird Stories about a Hideous Man and His Movement for details.

After ever one of these shootings, my gut reaction is, “Didn’t anyone notice that this person was stockpiling weapons and ammunition?” But I catch myself instantly. Stockpiling weapons and ammunition is so common among the paranoid gun freaks of this country, that it isn’t unusual. It’s just a particularly good day Joe’s Gun and Mass Shooter Emporium.