Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Miscellaneous items (Word says “Odds and Ends” is a cliché)

As readers of Dead Horse have already no doubt heard, Iran has in its possession a U.S. spy drone.

What I find amazing is that Barack Obama has demanded it back. Seriously, even when caught red-handed, as long as none of your people are captured, isn’t there a rule that a country is supposed to deny that they spy, have ever spied or will ever spy? I mean, is anybody going to believe Uncle Sam the next time a couple of “hitchhikers” are accused of espionage.

What I find depressing is that so many people think the U.S. should have destroyed the drone before Iran got to it. Yeah, after being caught spying on another country, surely nothing bad could come from dropping a bomb on that country. Those people love bombs. Why do you think we have to bomb them so often?


The U.S. war machine has not really left Iraq, but Obama will likely get credit from Democrats and some independents for ending the occupation, and isn’t that what is really important.

Hopefully Iraqis will be able to rebuild and improve their country.


Former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson is running for president. A former Democrat, Anderson left the party in August over disagreements involving tax cuts, torture and war. To support his campaign, he has formed Justice Party USA. I do not expect much to come from this, but I’m pessimistic about just about everything.


I have nothing to say about the situation in North Korea following the death of Kim Jong-il, but Christopher Hitchens once had a lot say to North Korea.

Hitchens would probably have a lot to say about North Korea now, but he died from a cancer related complication last week. Hitchens was critical of disgusting worship in North Korea of “our dear father,” which he labeled as religious in nature. Contrary to Hitchens, however, I believe that this indicates that an ancient holy book is not necessary for people to do some of the terrible and bizarre things that are at other times justified by religion. And so seemingly the only way to say “religion poisons everything,” as Hitchens did, is to say “deeply held convictions and beliefs=religion.” Instead, I propose, “humanity poisons everything.” (Man, I hate those people.)

Both before and after his death, Hitchens was often lauded with adjectives such as “brilliant.” I never quite saw it. I’ve been reading his books, columns and essays since 1994 and I had no idea what he was talking about half the time. Then again, I never stopped reading Hitchens, which perhaps does say something about his talents as a writer.

Hitchens was a mentor to Dennis Perrin. The two had a falling out over U.S. foreign policy after September 11, 2011, but Perrin still shows a fair amount of affection in his tribute to Hitchens, which is very much worth reading.

The big question at this moment is where Hitchens’ soul now resides. On his blog, Satan says Hitchens is in hell, but can you really trust the “father of all lies”? In contrast, on the more learned but less entertaining Religion Dispatches website, Eric Reitan writes “if there is a deity waiting on the other side of death, I cannot but believe that Hitchens is even now stumbling in surprised wonder into those arms.”

If Hitchens is in hell, I’m sure his strong support for the “war on terror” will qualify him for a furlough so he can attend the ninth annual Bob Hope’s Heavenly Christmastime Tribute to the Dead Troops.

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At December 20, 2011 8:57 AM, Anonymous awesome guy said...

I think Chris Hitchens is in Heck, where everybody just annoys you for cheering on the deaths of others, because it's not so bad as actually killing them yourself.

At December 20, 2011 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Either Heck, or that old Warren "Potsie" Weber special,


At December 20, 2011 7:40 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Micah,

There was a Church of Reason briefly in France in the aftermath of the revolution, in the 1790s.

I like your discussion of Hitchens, and like you I liked Perrin's essay.

Ian Welsh was much less charitable, and I hate to admit I mostly agree with him, insofar as Hitchens made a modest living as a lefty sribbler and recognized that if he became an advocate for butchery he'd be lionized and maybe even wealthy, and went for it.

One of the commenters over at Ian's linked to this by Alexander Cockburn at Counterpunch, if you're feeling counterpunchy:


At December 20, 2011 11:20 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

me being pedantic and nerdy, exhibit 523,721:
Th' Temple o' Reason

At December 21, 2011 7:32 AM, Blogger Duncan Mitchel said...

If Hitchens is in Hell, this must mean that he was hijacked. President Obama should demand that he be returned.

I agree with you about humanity. As Tom Lehrer used to say, "I know there are people who do not love their fellow man -- and I HATE people like that!"

More seriously, I agree with you that "ancient holy books" aren't the cause of the problem of religion, they're the result. The centrality of ancient books looks to me like one of the popular myths of today's atheism.


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