The “Hottest Place in Hell”
Off the keyboard of Phillip Farruggio
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner
Note from RE: As true today as in 2004 when Phil wrote this originally.
Dante wrote that the “hottest place in Hell is reserved for those, who in time of crisis, remain neutral.” One would ascertain that our America, circa 2001- present, is without a doubt in a terrible time of crisis. Many who know me consistently state how much of a “doom and gloomer” I have become these past four years. Mea culpa. As history, hopefully the “revision less “kind, looks back at our nation throughout this dawn of the new century, gloom has in fact taken center stage. One can now imagine what transpired in Salem Massachusetts when a cult of overzealous ‘so called’ Christians held sway. More recent in our history, we know, from historical and eyewitness accounts, just how comprehensive were the propaganda of Goebbels and Co. To ponder how that many Germans, rich in such political diversity, could just stand there as the brown shirts and swastikas took control of everything, certainly boggles the mind. Yet, look no further than two decades later, when America was held hostage by witch hunts and red baiting. This climate of irrational aggressive thought was precursor to the fallout shelters and shouts of “Kill a commie for Christ” during the early 60′s. James Bamford, in his fine work ” Body of Secrets”, states how US Intelligence knew, from the successful use of U2 flights, just how militarily weaker the Soviets were… hear that Dick Cheney?
On a treadmill at the gym yesterday, I found myself next to a 30 something female member who I had spoken with before. She is a pleasant, no nonsense kind of person. Unfortunately (for her) she is not well read at all. When she heard me rambling on (as I do a lot these days) about the need to defeat Bush and crew. The young lady interrupted me with “Kerry is a jerk, and not fit to lead this country.” Why, I asked? “He is not a true man of faith like our president. He doesn’t understand that this whole thing over there is what Revelations spoke about… right now!” I asked her if Jesus, Bush’s ‘role model’, (Bush said it, not I) would preemptively attack another nation, one that was not even a threat to us? “Oh, come on”, she snapped back, “they were all in on 9/11; the whole bunch of them… read Revelations.” All of them, meaning that Iraq was in with Osama bin laden on the 9/11 attack, I asked? “They’re all Moslems, aren’t they?” Wait a minute, I countered (my voice rising along with my frustration level), are you aware that there are ONE BILLION Muslims in this world? The percentage of them that are fanatical and aggressive is about this much (placing my thumb as close to my index finger as possible). How can you indict an entire religion!? “It’s all in Revelations” was all she could respond. She then stated that she, in fact, was a Democrat. She just did not like Kerry at all. I told her that at least we had one thing in agreement.
Ben Franklin stated: “Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy.” Frederick Douglas more eloquently stated: “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has. It never will.” These are truly times that try our souls. A wise person once said that “knowledge brings with it added responsibility.” Many of us ‘know better’, by studying all of historical perspective, not just what Fox news and middle of the road authors feed us. What follows from this knowledge should always be some kind of action. For what good is it to just know and then remain mute? The challenge of a keener understanding of history and facts and motive etc… Is to share what we know with our community of fellows. That is how change can, and in fact, does occur. That is how we, as a people, can hold our leaders accountable to our needs, our truth, and our demands. To do, as Dante wrote, nothing deserves but only itself in return.