Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The ticking bomb . . .

I don't know who first came up with the illustration, but in nearly every account I've read about the First World War, the situation in Europe was described as "countries sitting on a powder keg".

The bullet fired into the body of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 lit the match that exploded into WWI.

Lately, it seems that the world is sitting on another powder keg and it's just waiting for the right match to light the fuse.  Yesterday, Russia's ambassador to Turkey was murdered in front of a crowd by a man who shouted, "God is great!  Remember Aleppo!  Remember Syria!"  On the same day, a man drove a truck into a crowded marketplace in Berlin, killing nine people, and current reports now say that authorities aren't sure if they have the right person in custody--meaning that the driver of the truck may still be at large.  And in an incident that hasn't gotten nearly the same amount of coverage as the previous two, three worshippers at a mosque in Zurich, Switzerland were wounded by a gunman who opened fire during prayers.  Swiss police think they have found the body of the gunman.

In our own country, we've had too many shootings and other violent incidents to count in the last several years.  I think the last major one was the stabbing at Ohio State.  And the fact that I have to write "I think" says a lot.

December 14th marked the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.

This summer, two African-Americans were shot by police, and five officers in Dallas were shot.  And I've lost track of the number of people shot by police and the number of police shot.  Only a few days ago, two Americus, Georgia police officers--best friends to each other--were shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call.  Four other officers in the state of Georgia were shot in the same week.

Forty-nine people died this summer in a mass shooting in Orlando.

The hysteria leading up to this year's presidential election was unprecedented, and the hysteria afterwards also unprecedented.  Depending on who you listen to, Donald Trump is either the savior of the United States or the Antichrist--or at least, the False Prophet to the Beast in Revelation 13. Yesterday, this savior/antichrist was officially elected President of the United States.  Here in Georgia, protestors met the 13 electors who went to cast their votes at the state capitol building.  One of the electors has a name similar to that of a friend I attend church with.  She -- my friend -- received four letters begging her to change her vote from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.  And other electors around the country can share similar stories.

Although I refer to "hysteria", people do have legitimate concerns about this coming administration. A friend who received an appointment to the US Diplomatic Corps decided not to accept it because she is very concerned about the possibility of violence towards Americans overseas.  And I can't blame her.  Others worry about the possibility of actions towards Muslims and other minorities. The "alt-right" -- a term I never heard until after this election -- raised its ugly head with its "white supremacy" nonsense, and "fake news" is now a trending topic in mainstream news coverage.

In my Facebook news feed, I see posts condemning Donald Trump, and then, the very next posts praise him.  Never mind that there may be very real concerns about his attitudes/statements towards women and minority groups, at least he's going to fix the economy.  </sarc>

The divide between groups is as deep as I've ever seen it, and I don't think it's ever going to heal.

When the reality show Deadliest Catch began advertising its previous season, it used a song by Aloe Blacc with the following lyrics:

The whole world sitting on a ticking bomb
The whole world sitting on a ticking bomb
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And it's about to explode!

Whoever picked that song may be more prescient than they realized.

I hope they're wrong.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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