Straight-Up Nuts

mixed nuts

I watched a bit of trial footage in the case of a former Marine who shot and killed “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend at a shooting range. One piece of evidence is a text message from Kyle to his friend just before the shooting that reads: “This dude is straight-up nuts.” The shooter’s attorney is saying he’s not guilty by reason of insanity, so Kyle’s text is being used by the defense to support that notion.

Not to blame the victim; Chris Kyle is a true hero and it’s so sad and ironic that he was killed in Texas after surviving multiple tours of duty as a Navy Seal. But I can’t help but wonder why he went ahead with the planned visit to a shooting range once the thought expressed in his text message crossed his mind. He had volunteered to take the shooter out for the day as a therapeutic activity and I suppose he felt a certain responsibility to follow through with it.

Speaking of nuts, the crimes committed by ISIS just get worse by the moment. I don’t think they’re insane in a clinical sense, but what word can describe people who would cage a human being, set them on fire, film it in high definition, and post it on the internet? I think the appropriate word is “evil.”

Then there’s the American woman who died while being held as a hostage by ISIS. She was kidnapped while doing humanitarian work in Syria. The media haven’t reported the specific circumstances of her death, probably because they aren’t sure of the facts. That’s fine. Spare me the details. My condolences to the family and friends of Kayla Mueller. I admire people like her who are willing to risk their lives to help out victims of war, but may I make a suggestion to anyone thinking of following in her footsteps?

As much as Syrians need the help, I have concluded that on balance it doesn’t make enough of a difference to counter the possibility that the helpers will be kidnapped by ISIS and used for horrific propaganda videos. Please, folks. Stay away from the war zone unless you’re in the military.

Then there’s the situation with Brian Williams, who appears to have manufactured a series of phony experiences, such as surviving a rocket propelled grenade attack on a military helicopter he was riding in. He admitted the story was not true, saying he misremembered the incident (total BS, in my opinion). I’m at a loss to understand why a journalist would feel compelled to make up phony stories when there’s so much real stuff to report on. He should try phony news for a living and replace Jon Stewart on the daily show, because he’s disqualified himself as a serious journalist.

It seems like these things are unrelated, but when you line them up next to each other a theme emerges. As much as technology seems to be a dominant force in the march of recent history, you have these examples of human behavior that negate the ability to feel like we’re moving in the right direction. Maybe that’s because we’re saturated with various media, blogs included.

OK, I’m only going to write about positive stuff for the next month.