The heat here in L.A. today is torture. Hot as blazes and humidity. Just crazy hot. Over 101 here in Beverly Hills, and that is rare. I dragged myself to me 12-step meeting in an airless chamber where there usually is modest air conditioning if I bribe the manager of the building. But today, barely a whisper and the heat was like being whipped. It reminded me of days in Maryland and D.C. before air conditioning. Hell.
Is there any honor great enough for the men who invented air conditioning? Is there are prize big enough? The Internet is a nuisance. Jet airplanes are their own torture. Space travel is a mirage, so far. But air conditioning — there is a work of God’s genius in man.
After the meeting I walked a few blocks to Citibank to reactivate a dormant account. I earn .10 percent interest on that. Is that cool or what? That the bank takes in deposits at price X and then lends them out again at 45 times X. That’s what the Fed has given us and it’s great for bankers and I LOVE bankers, but maybe we depositors could just get a few pennies more.
Then I went to another bank and then to another bank and by the time I got home, I was the most stricken by heat I have ever been in my life. Old people should not go out in heat like this.
And what about the Black slaves who had to work in the fields under the overseers’ lash? How could white people have been so cruel?
Or the Jews in cattle cars going to Treblinka? Or for that matter, the Jews fighting in tanks on the Golan Heights and the Americans and Brits and Aussies fighting in the desert against Rommel (whose men were plenty hot, too — BTW, modern times — my WordPerfect does not recognize the word Rommel). Or the incredibly brave South Africans who fought for the Allied cause in South Africa? No one ever even gives them credit, but they were as brave and tough as nails and totally devoted to beating the Hun. White South Africans had apartheid, a humiliating sin, not so different from what life was like when I grew up. But give them credit. They fought like tigers when they were desperately needed.
And who even mentions the phenomenally brave Poles who flew Poland and then fought like Banshees against the Nazis who were raping their land — only to see it raped again by the Bolsheviks while the West looked on. One of my great desires is to go to Poland and some day I will.
Anyway, I got home and lay down with my dogs. My wife was getting her hair done, an all-day job. I enveloped myself with air conditioning and I thought grim thoughts, probably because of the heat I had just escaped.
These are trying days. The evil murderers of ISIS are ruining the peace of mind of the entire world, not to mention painfully ending the lives of perfectly innocent people who happened to be near them. The level of evil of these killers has been magnified and multiplied a billion fold by the morally blind Internet.
They are obviously soulless killers and it might be good to review a few facts about soulless killers.
First of all, there have always been a lot of them on this earth. From the earliest accounts of mankind, the tales of the killing, torturing, and rape of the innocent have been a sad staple of mankind. In Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, there are innumerable stories of mass butchery by the tribes the Romans were fighting and by the Romans themselves. Genghis Khan laid waste to much of the world for years and murdered and raped his way across much of Europe and Asia. No one was able to stop him. He had to be called home by fate to end his torment.
In the recent past, even the British, the civilized, beautiful British, had mass murders by the state such as the murders of Highlander civilians at Culloden Moor in the early 18th century. The Belgians, the sweet, chocolate-loving Belgians, murdered hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, in what became the Belgian Congo in the 19th and 20th centuries. Even now, the civil wars in Congo have claimed the lives of as many as a million plus civilians and they are still going on. No one even notices. There is real, not fake, racism: for the media to ignore the deaths of hundreds of thousands of blacks just because they are black and far from a studio.
Obviously, in our recently passed 20th century, we reached a zenith of savagery, with tens of millions murdered by the totalitarian regimes of the Soviet Union, Red China, and Nazi Germany, plus plenty by Dai Ichi Nippon. Murder of man by man is not rare. Seeing it put up as a brag on worldwide media — that is rare.
What happens when men murder other men and women by mass means and with innocent victims are acts of insanity. And there are a lot of insane people in this world and always have been.
So, what we face when we face ISIS is a war between sane people — us — and insane people — them. These wars can take a very long time. In fact, they can go on forever. Insanity in the human heart is never going to end for many people. It is not suddenly going to end because of air strikes by FA-18s off carriers. You cannot bomb away insanity. You can put a gun to its temple, though, and end it. But insane people can shoot back.
My point is depressing: we face a prolonged struggle. We face a fight against a basic flaw in humanity itself and it may take an eternity to end.
In the meantime, we can curb it, curtail it, fight against it. But few wars against evil were ever won by words alone, or air strikes, and this one won’t be either. Even the greatest words ever spoken, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” will not end it. But evil must be fought not by words alone. It is just going to take, literally, eternity. Some day ISIS will be beaten, I believe, but then there will be another ISIS. Man is made of crooked stuff in way too many instances and ISIS is the latest. This struggle is against the wickedness in the human heart. It is a colossal battle.
All the glory on earth to the soldiers who fight it and to their glorious families.