Wednesday, January 04, 2017

 

In Defense of Cuba Dave

David Strecker or as he is commonly known “Cuba Dave” is a 65 year old man from Florida who became known for his blog and youtube videos covering the sex tourism scene in places like Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. As well as chronicling his own exploits Cuba Dave became the go to source for  tips, pointers and How Tos for both novice and experienced “Hobbyists” (clients). It all came crashing down for Cuba Dave in  September 2015 when he was arrested in Costa Rica under a new and untested (until him) 2012 law passed to combat (among other things) “human trafficking.”  Nevermind that actual prostitution in Costa Rica is legal, Cuba Dave was dragooned under this law in a country notorious for high levels of corruption and judicial malfeasance. Not uncommon for third world countries. Below is my response to a comment (appearing below and also found here: http://www.ticotimes.net/2016/11/16/cuba-dave-verdict#comments-100140) in defense of Cuba Dave. Anyone wanting to learn more or donate to Cuba Dave’s defence can go here: http://www.cubadave.com/ .

KEN MORRIS NOVEMBER 17, 2016

Well, you can smoke cigarettes, just can’t advertise smoking. You can also have sex with your spouse, just can’t post photos of the two of you going at it on billboards. I truly don’t understand the argument of those who fail to see a distinction between a legal act and the illegal promotion of that act. IMO, that distinction is pretty clear.
My guess is that Strecker wasn’t aware of the law against promoting sex tourism, either that or failed to see the distinction between engaging in it and promoting it. Maybe, who knows, as the first guy snagged by the new law, he should have been cut some slack. Five years sounds harsh to me. However, he may whittle that down on appeal or get out sooner for “good behavior.” I think most convicts do.
But I was and remain for his conviction. Again, while there is some fuzziness to the case (and much of it would seem to turn on details we don’t know) I think that a line does exist between engaging in an activity and illegally promoting it. I also think Strecker crossed that line, and yes did harm.
However, this is the first I’ve heard of Rehab being behind his arrest, and I sure wish that at minimum the US Embassy would stop funding that outfit. In the name of fighting human trafficking, they really devote most of their efforts to fighting the gringos who hire prostitutes, and Rehab often uses illegal means. They’re a real loose cannon. I also don’t think they understand prostitution.
But as for Dave, I hope he gets out way before his five years are up. Without knowing all the facts of the case, I also suspect that he’s already been punished plenty. But I do think he’s guilty of a reasonable law and merited conviction.

JOHNNIE Q, JANUARY 03, 2017

I get what you're saying Ken But let's run this thought experiment. Now let's look at soda pop. It is legal to produce and consume but you cannot advertise it legally.  Hugh, that's absurd. Precisely! I think the legalization of an act presupposes it is going to be talked about, written about and watched.  While we can all agree that harm can come to a society from certain acts, once something is legal disseminating information about it is par for the course. Which was precisely what Dave was up to. The legality of an an act cannot help but be bound up by its dissemination. They are co-joined twins.

Then there's the aspect of free speech. In Dave's case we have the rather curious (and no doubt unintended) side effect of a judiciary concluding you can engage in acts normally considered immoral but you cannot talk about it. Again, Hugh? So let me get this straight, what Dave did is worse than the actual acts of prostitution occurring daily in the country? In his own words the prosecutor noted: “Although prostitution isn’t a crime here, it often coincides with psychological and physical violence,” . . .  “Women are treated like sexual and commercial objects, used as instruments for unhealthy pleasure.” Yeah, then the question becomes why is it legal to begin with? By running Cuba Dave up a pole you have the curious effect of making speech worse than the actual undesirable acts. One has to wonder how the precedent set in Cuba Dave's case will facilitate attacks on speech deemed by the State as "harmful psychologically and inducing physical violence" when of course we are talking about speech clamoring for an unresponsive government to address legitimate grievances or speech simply deemed threatening to one or another faction of the small elite dominating government.

Also, the government’s case is mixing apples and oranges. Because prostitution is legal in that country, the MORAL basis for Dave prosecution falls away. So, all you are left with is legality. However, you cannot prosecute Dave through legal means based on a moral foundation. It is simply contradictory. The moral high ground was lost once legalization was passed. Unless you want to, again, maintain the bizarre contention that the acts are less harmful than Dave bragging about it. Curious morality if you ask me. You don't want to be known as a den of prostitution, ahhh then how about not being one; hellooooo! Cuba did it. Prostitution was big in Cuba during the Batista years but was virtually wiped out once Castro came to power. Could it be because instead of making excuses the Castro Regime, for whatever faults it had, decided to raise the cultural/social level of its people rather than blaming others.

Moreover, using this 2012 law as their vehicle (untested until Dave came along) is oh so shaky. Dave did not do any trafficking and he did not personally profit from anything. If the government cares so much about the harmful effects on the country by acts of prostitution it would be far more effective de-legalizing it AND, again AND, giving these women all the support  and guidance necessary to get them into decent employment with dignity.   Why do I have the sneaky suspicion that is the last thing the government would do? Could all the money that would no longer be going to corrupt officials have anything to do with it? Hmmmmm, I guess it is much easier to scapegoat a 65 year old foreigner who  in reality never harmed anybody for YOUR societal choices.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

 

The Artic, Russia and WW III: A Dialogue Between Me and R

Me: The tie-in between the Arctic and Middle-East (as Pepe Escobar puts it) "pipelineistan" completes the circle. So, here is the plan, keep the Russians and Iranians (unless, of course, they fall into submission) from supplying Europe and China, seize the Arctic  and so save the petro-dollar and control all of Euro-Asia to boot. So says Zbignew Bryzinski in the pages of the Grand Chess Board. The problem for the US is that the Russians and Chinese are excellent Chess players. Whatever interests Putin serves, he and the rest of the Russian leadership are head and shoulders above the likes of Obama, Nuland, Power, Kerry et al. Probably can say the same for the Chinese. Ours is simply a bunch of brutish, un-polished gangsters in comparison. To bad only some of us are listening.

R:  The U.S. can't seize the Arctic. The longest shoreline is Russia's. It would take WW III. I don't believe we're going that far.  But there will certainly be a tussle about oil fields in the Arctic.  I agree that the Russians and Chinese are good chess players.  We just barge in and bomb places.


Me: Well Renate, I wouldn't be so sure about WW III not coming off. Don't make the mistake of believing the game or the players (especially on the U. S. side) are entirely rational. As both world wars showed, things can take a course of the their own once a trigger or series of triggers are tripped. An insider, or at least former insider, like Paul Craig Roberts certainly sees the dangers (http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/13852) and so do others (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/30/pers-j30.html and http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-world-war-iii-scenario-breaking-the-big-lie/5348384). Remember, I also mentioned in our conversation, Noam Chomsky book "Hegemony or Survival" in which he too explains the go for broke mentality of the U. S. Infused as the U.S. has always been with Christian eschatology combined with Manifest Destiny and Exceptionalism, it may decide to take the Samson route; destroy the un-believers even if it means our own demise.


R: Everything is possible. But the long Cold War never led to hot war; cooler minds prevailed. I agree it's a toss-up, but can't help my optimistic bent.  Must be in the genes.*:)


Me: I sure hope you're right. I'd like to see my wife before I turn into a pop tart. Below is the tact the Russians seem to be taking which bolsters your optimism:


(from Mike Whitney) Russian politician and economist, Sergei Glazyev, summarized Moscow’s approach to the US-Russia conflagration in an essay titled “US is militarizing Ukraine to invade Russia.” Here’s an excerpt:


    To stop the war, you need to terminate its driving forces. At this stage, the war unfolds mainly in the planes of economic, public relations and politics. All the power of US economic superiority is based on the financial pyramid of debt, and this has gone long beyond sustainability. Its major lenders are collapsing enough to deprive the US market of accumulated US dollars and Treasury bonds. Of course, the collapse of the US financial system will cause serious losses to all holders of US currency and securities. But first, these losses for Russia, Europe and China will be less than the losses caused by American geopolitics unleashing another world war. Secondly, the sooner the exit from the financial obligations of this American pyramid, the less will be the losses. Third, the collapse of the dollar Ponzi scheme gives an opportunity, finally, to reform the global financial system on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.


R: This isn't really clear to me; maybe it's the translation.  Saying the financial losses will be less than another world war doesn't sound entirely optimistic to me.


Me: Think about it R. In philosophy there is an argument as to whether or not existence is a right.  Kant thought not. He convincingly, in my view, showed that existence is not a right in itself but the pre-condition for all rights. In that same vein, to allow for the suffering of financial losses, one would have to exist in order to do so. Existence is thus a  pre-condition not only for rights but for losses and recuperation. Put another way, would you rather suffer financial losses, even if heavy, and live to fight another day or be turned into a pop tart that perhaps only the rats can feed off. Keep in mind there is no middle ground.  Be broke but alive or be dead. I thinks this is where the Russians are coming from and I agree. Once you are alive there is a remedy. You can claw your way back to material well-being. But if you are dead all the paper dollars the US treasury could print mean nothing. Ironically, I may have to put that theory to the test as I may find myself financially broke but alive. Thousands of farmers in India however chose death after finding themselves rendered destitute by the cheap agricultural imports that killed off their income. For them hope is forever gone. So again, the optimism hinges on the alternative. Beyond that there is a positive note in that Glazyev wants or at least claims that "the collapse of the dollar Ponzi scheme gives an opportunity, finally, to reform the global financial system on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.” Whatever truth to the claim, it does points to something better. A mutli-polar world free of a crazed, violent and over-bearing hegemon. It would be better if was under the auspices of a socialist or some sort of egalitarian system but I guess you take what you can get and fight for the rest over time. But you have to exist!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

 

Wanted: IT Miracle Worker


We’re an other-worldly, outsized Company looking for a super-duper IT guru. This ideal candidate will have a B.S., M.A. and PhD in in everything, strong lying and passing the puck skills, the ability to lift 1000 pounds, be a team suck-up and adapt to the company’s tunnel vision.  Must be willing to be part of an on-call rotation and able to work 24/7. We offer a competitive salary (as compared to Walmart), non-paid holidays, 2 weeks vacation (when we can spare you), generous (read Obamacare) health package and a 401k plan, guaranteed by a top Wall Street firm, to be there when you retire.

Required
100 or more years of education related to the position
Any of the following certifications: M.C.S.E., C.C.I.E., S.H.I.T., C.R.A.P. T.R.A.SH. or any certifications we do not know much about, or put much stock in, but ask for because it sounds kool.
100 years experience LAN/WAN
100 years experience programming / scripting
100 years experience server administration
100 years experience VoIP/ PBX telephony
100 years experience in a mixed up computing environment
100 years experience with Virtualization / Surrealization
Strong desire to learn how to steal the ideas of others
Ability to communicate (i. e. lie, pretend to care and coverup) effectively

Desired
Experience with SQL Server, Citrix, help desk ticketing system, Java (the coffee) and/or anything else we couldn’t think of, will never implement but want just . . . well just because.
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK (WWW.ALLFORUSNOTHINGFORU.COM) WHICH WILL TAKE YOU TO OUR WEBSITE. THEN CLICK ON STAFF, EMPLOYEMENT, CAREERS, WORK WITH US, JOBS, FIND, VIA THE USELESS SEARCH TOOL,  THE DESIRED OPEN POSTION (RANDOMLY ORDERED) AND SUBMIT YOUR RESUME THROUGH OUR CONFUSING, TEDIOUS, EXCRUCIATING AND POINT-LESS APPLICATION PROCESS. 

NOTE IMPORTANT!
Filling out the EEO survey is completely optional. Allforusandnothingforu does not discriminate on the basis of gender, creed, religious affiliation, race or sexual orientation. We believe everyone has the right to rewarding employment whereby they do the work and we pocket nearly all the profits.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

 

Class First Race A Close Second

Below is my  reply to a comment on the piece entitled "Obama’s legacy" that appeared January 28 on the WSWS . First is the comment followed by my reply.

Rowan: I wish some of the ending statements contained in the WSWS articles were true. I see little sign that any 'wider sections of the working class' have awoken or reacted to their increasingly perilous predicament with any intelligence or action. Contrarily there is built in malaise that seems to pervade the social conditions throughout the globe. Very few people understand or care about the importance of Assange or Snowden's revelations, or indeed the on-going criminality that capitalism enshrines. Its just wishful thinking, although I do not wish this to sound as cynical as it seems.

 Yeah Rowan I am with you. A not insignificant swath of the working class have been so damaged by the economic pounding, on one hand and the constant drumbeat of infotainment that has rendered them imbecilic on the other that the WSWS's well meaning conclusion does, at the very least, seem premature if not still-born. One glaring example of this is the comment section of this site. Compare the the number of comments left here on the WSWS to the number left at sites such as ESPN and the TMZ. You'd think with the way working people have been getting creamed particularly the last 30 years or so, a site such as this one, however you may disagree about some of the positions, that offers a progressive way forward would be jumping. Yet . . . yeah the place is virtually (pun intended) empty.

The ruling class has little to worry about in terms of a movement from below that could realistically threaten their rule. If they did things would not have gone as far as they've gone. To me enough has already happened that we should have outright rebellion already. In any case, they've covered their bets and have in place the police state infrastructure to crush by liquidation large numbers, ala Pinochet, of the working class should it become necessary. To quote Lt. Jean Rasczak from the cult classic film Starship Troopers:

"Something given has no value . . . but when you vote you are exercising political authority; you're using force. Force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authority is derived. . . Naked force has resolved more issues throughout history than any other factor. . . Anyone who tells you different is delusional"

Now I am not saying I necessarily and personally subscribe to such an ethos. But, certainly ruling classes throughout history have and oppressed classes throughout history, as well, have understood so whether consciously or not. That knowledge will certainly dampen any enthusiasm for rebellion.

Another dimension which the WSWS, I believe, underestimates is the role of racism. The writers at WSWS are quick to downplay the the role of racism in dividing particularly the American working class. To them , it seems to me, it is all or mostly all about identity politics. But, for one thing, I, for example, am "black" but it wasn't me or any other "black" person that created race. We, through a turn of history, are saddled with it and a preponderant numbers of "white" people went along with it enjoying the privileges, however small , that went with it. I do not disagree that Class is the major fault line of any class based social system but if Class represents the bricks of the edifice, race is the mortar.

A rueful smile appears on my face when I read of the WSWS efforts, no doubt admirable, in Detroit to expose the fleecing of an entire City. Showing all these black faces at the forefront, unfortunately, does not further the cause. Most, though not all, Whites tune out. After all it is only Black people suffering and the Black mis-leadership class is no help. As Glen Ford, commenting on Detroit, wrote at the Black Agenda Report website: "Black people cannot stop it and White people will not come to their defense." Though technically not accurate, what Ford is saying is that the ruling class does not need every single White person to be on board the racist gravy train as it were, it just needs a preponderance of them whether engaged actively or passively through their indifference and complacency. Class will not be overcome in this society until White Supremacy is neutered. Race is like the Rooks in the game of Chess that protect the King: Class.

Still Rowan, I am with you. I do not want to give in to cynicism. My hope is that people of all colors can somehow come together and overturn this now historically spent system. If not, then I fear it will end only when the planet lies in ruin. Everything has a beginning and an end. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide what that end looks like.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

 

Gun Love Versus Effective Resistance

 Below is comment I posted in response to a Blog post (included below) by David G at his "Dangerous Creation" blog. His post in essence, deals with what I call the means of resistance. As I explain below his post, one should not confuse the means, even when improperly used, with the ultimate aim of employing such means. In other words,  a tool can be used in various ways. Some good some bad. This, however, is not necessarily reflective of the tool  rather than to what end(s) the tool was wielded for to begin with.

Posted on August 6, 2012 by David G  
  
 Does Gun Love = Mental Sickness?

Friends, Al Jazeera today has an interesting article called ‘Arming the Asylum’, one written by Naomi Wolfe. I include a small excerpt for your consideration.

“According to a 2007 survey, the United States is far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of gun ownership, with 90 guns for every 100 citizens. With 5 per cent of the global population, the US has between one-third and one-half of the world’s civilian-owned guns – around 270 million weapons. And many studies show that the US far surpasses other developed countries in deaths from gun violence – 30,000 per year, most of them suicides, but more than 12,000 of them homicides – while guns injure 200,000 Americans annually.”

The facts contained in the paragraph and knowledge of the history of America since its inception suggest to me that the love affair that Americans have with their guns is predisposing them towards violence and taking land and resources from others by force.

Think about the Native Indians. The early American settlers slaughtered them and took all their land. Later, the army was brought in to assist in the slaughter. Machine guns were used against people who had arrows and spears. Yeehah!

The right to bear arms would seem to me to be the most important things in the Constitution to most Americans. Resultantly the nation is bursting at the seams with guns. And not just hunting rifles but assault weapons.

I guess if you have a cellar filled with shiny, lethal assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition then your mind is leaning towards them. They have the effect of making you feel like a bigger man than you are, that ‘taking down’ someone in ‘Terminator-style’ is the sure-fire way to resolve any serious conflict you may have with neighbours, friends, relatives, and society generally!

In fact, I would say that the people of the United States, especially the males, are collectively sick, psychotic, disturbed, and deranged and that ownership of guns is one of the main causes. A small example: I met a very nice American couple staying in Canada when I lived there in the seventies. They both slept with a revolver under their pillows even though gun violence in Canada was rare. Habits are hard to break, aren’t they?

Of course America is polluting the whole world with its exports of dangerous weapons and I don’t just mean guns. It wants everyone to be armed to the teeth because it makes lots of money from gun sales and owning guns predisposes people to think ‘killing and war.’

What can the world do about this sick, sick country that is drawing the world into endless war?

BDS is one option. Getting rid of weapons in our own nation is another. Ridiculing American films and television shows that glorify guns and killing is another. Maintaining that owning a gun is a sign of both immaturity and lack of self-esteem is another. Stopping children from being exposed to guns is essential!

Peace will never come to Earth while it is awash with guns!


Q's Response:

David, when you use the term "Americans" let's not forget that this means White Americans. The U. S., as you alluded to in your piece, was founded as a White colonial settler state. Like other settle States (i.e. South Africa, Israel) the way of the gun was integral to the founding of the U. S. along with supremacist notions otherwise known as "manifest destiny" or "the American Dream."

 For the record, I am against gun control laws because an armed populace serves as a bulwark against state tyranny. Or, at least, it is supposed to. The main problem in the U.S., and in other Western societies, is that curiously the violence, as Derrick Jensen (http://www.derrickjensen.org/), notes, mostly flows from the top down and when it doesn't, as the most recent two massacres here in the States show, is directed inward toward the general populace rather than the true source of the problem. Namely, the Capitalist system and the concomitant economic inequality. While OWS was a welcome development in terms of resistance directed at the real culprit(s), the movement, dominated as it was by Middle Class elements, failed  to, indeed abhorred, developing a coherent, consistent and thoroughgoing class based politics. This, along with the police repression, is why it eventually lost steam and then, what was left, co-opted by Democratic Party operatives.

The movement identified the source of power without fully grasping its dimensions and thus failing to understand how to confront it. Such a confrontation, due to the nature or form of both the State and its captors, will not bear fruit for the suffering  masses simply via non-violent means. At least some violence should be expected and, all things considered, probably copious amounts (see the Egyptian  Revolution) of it.  Trying to go at it "naked" (badly armed politically and emasculated in terms of physical resistance) as the OWS did will spell defeat, as what happened, every single time. In the end, what will be required for any kind of push back against the burgeoning Fascist State is, front and center, a mass movement with a proper political outlook and competent leadership along with a willingness to fight. As someone once said, by any means necessary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

 

More Than Just Discussion

In a piece found here: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/printer_64455.shtml by Richard Wolff Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. His book “Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do about It” offers a cogent critique of the crisis ridden Capitalist system we now suffer under. Below are my thoughts on what I feel is not stressed enough by Wolff.

Wolff is correct in his conclusion that it is up to the 99% to force the necessary changes. However, especially in some of his lectures, he focuses on the lack of discussion of Capitalism and alternatives to it which is, no doubt, a part of the problem. But beyond that, after everything has been discussed, it is going to boil down to a matter of power. Ending the rule of the 1%, or better put, gangsters will mean revolution. That, in turn, will mean blood; lots of it. Of course, a prerequisite to any challenge to the status quo is a strong, disciplined and organized movement of the people or 99%. That being said it is clear that at some point, as those in Tahrir Square know very well; a confrontation with the State’s fist, the ultimate backer of the 1%, will not be avoided.

Considering the converging problems of climate change, peak oil, the ongoing financial unraveling, and not to be left out, the danger of WW III, it seems to me that at some point we'll have to be willing to to die in the thousands now in an effort to remove those in power or die in the millions, or likely billions, later when all these converging crisis mentioned before come to a singular head. What is not going to happen is that business as usual will continue too much longer. I guess whether in Egypt, Greece, Spain or wherever, we better hope there is a breakthrough and the back of Capitalism is broken somewhere. With some luck and vision, this will provide the blueprint for the rest of humanity to throw off the shackles of this brutal and way past its prime socio-economic system.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

 

The Violence of OWS

To begin, I am no a pacifist. Revolutions seldom reach their climax without plenty of blood being spilled. However, systemic change of the kind we desperately need will not come simply from random violence or guerrilla tactics. The state very much has the upper hand in terms of the means of violence. Any movement needs to consider a variety of approaches but always based on objective conditions at the time with an eye on the future.

At present OWS is still a young movement that still needs to develop clear strategies and leadership, if not specific leaders, before even considering taking on the State on its preferred terrain. Its best option right now is non-violence so as to unequivocally expose the brutishness of the state and also not alienate many people who sympathize with the young movement but have not yet reached that level of consciousness and commitment necessary to join the fray. This is why I look at these so called Black Bloc'ers that sometimes accompany protests and go around ripping stuff up with very much jaundiced eyes. In most cases, they are probably police provocateurs used to discredit a movement and provide a pretext for a police crackdown.

Whatever Occupy as movement may believe about its means and ways, civil disobedience, boycotts, sit downs, occupations strikes and alternate ways of governance (meaning independent expressions of power)are in some senses forms of violence. Just like the ways and means (i.e. attacks on wages, mass layoffs, artificially inflated prices for goods, rollback of the social safety net) are forms of violence against us, the 99%. We all know that the ongoing social counter revolution waged most intensely in the past thirty years has cost many people their lives. Not to even mention the lives that now lay in ruins. Because the 99% is now fighting back using tactics designed to inflict discomfort and some level of pain on the system, the 1% thus reacts with the naked force that is their strong suite and ultimate guarantor of their power. From their point of view Occupy represents a violent threat in the same way they know that their own tactics, as described above, are violent. No direct mano-a-mano fighting just a steady attack on the opposition by indirect, impersonal and institutional, though no less effective or even, at times, deadly, means. Not coincidentally, it is the way that both racism and sexism is largely now experienced by people of color or women respectively. It is insidious, pernicious and, most importantly for the 1%, stealthy. In response, Occupy is resuscitating the indirect tactics, means and ways movements in the past have all employed to counter the 1% while trying to add in some new wrinkles. But again, is it really non-violent if we take non-violent to mean no harm done either directly or indirectly to people or institutions?

From my point of view, violence can take different forms. Their is the violence of the type that has befallen Occupy. But there is also the violence of the type used against Cuba and the ongoing economic embargo of that country by the US or the burgeoning economic strangulation of Iran by Western countries led also by the US. The key, as explained earlier, is not so much violence versus non-violence, but which way for a movement to move forward given certain conditions at any one moment in time. In the end, any violence of the naked type that may issue forth from the movement will be a reaction to the heavy-handedness of the State and should be both largely defensive and tactical in nature. It'll also occur within the context of a solid mass movement that has absolutely discredited the state and has greatly weakened it with the body blows of mass civil disobedience, general strikes, boycotts, desertions by the parts of the military or security apparatus and, of course, protests. Like any good boxer knows, you attack the body before going for the head. One punch knockouts are rare and hard to come by. Moreover, the fighter looking for that one punch is usually desperate, reckless and ripe for being on the receiving end of a one punch KO.

 

The stupidity of the blessed or just blessed stupidity

This story caught my eye (see here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7784413&categoryid=2378529) and I just had to comment on it. As a long-time boxing enthusiast, it just makes me sick. This boxing match between two, I would not even call them amateurs, novices is exhibit A in what can happen when you combine the fervor of religion with that of sports with a little dose of militarism thrown in. Staged as a supposed charity event, it instead turned out to be the tragic end for one young man. The Pastor behind this tragic fiasco is your typical garden variety demagogue/snake oil salesman that often heads churches across the US. Especially, when it is the charismatic/born-again variety places of worship that are popular with the downtrodden, but hoping to be hip, masses looking for a life-line out of the social moonscape this society has devolved into . I mean really: "going to war for god." Do those listening to this drivel have a clue or what? I do not think I ever have come across a sports themed church. Reality TV turned real I suppose. Or better yet, church and sports meet Disney.

There is a charlatan of the same stripe of that Tulsa Pastor in my neighborhood who sets up shop on the corner every Saturday and harangues the largely indifferent masses. Makes me want to puke every time I walk by the whole setup on my way from the gym. Where at least, as a temple of the body, one can work up a sweat with no faith required. But like they say, buyer beware.

A pity that young man died so that the show could go on. He is not blameless however. Many times we have a have a hand in our own demise. Still, what sticks out about this tragedy, other than this young man's death, is just the mindlessness and blindness of most of those involved. From the opportunistic pastor all the way down to his lamb-like followers that just went with the program. Indeed, is it the stupidity of the blessed or just blessed stupidity?

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