There is no Combat! blog today, because vertigo came back. Maybe it’s just a brief dip in the upward-tending line of my recovery, and everything will be fine. Or maybe not. When you think about it, there’s no reason I shouldn’t just sicken and die. The important thing is that my doctor can’t see me until July 14, and no other doctor in Missoula covered by my insurance is taking new patients before September. So whatever happens will happen, and I will get better or not, and in the meantime I will keep not writing and not doing the fun things I planned to do this summer. I suppose I will keep throwing up, too, and continue to lose weight. There’s no reason it should ever stop, really. There’s no reason any doctor should be able figure out what is wrong with me, and there’s no reason what is wrong with me can’t just be everything—getting sick over and over for no particular reason but coincidence. There’s no reason I should be well. There’s no reason I should even be able to stand up. There’s no reason anything should get better, because fuck me, right? If you need me, I’ll be in my apartment, where it’s been record-hot all week for no reason at all, too. Don’t read this post aloud at my funeral.
Seven black churches in the South have burned down over the last ten days, although officials in Greeleyville, SC say that the fire at Mount Zion AME last night was probably accidental. It burned down during a storm, and “the accidental burning of churches is not uncommon across the US.” That’s one for Fodor’s. It seems possible that various white people in South Carolina, angry their legislature would have the audacity to take down a flag in response to the murder of nine black people, have set things right by terrorizing more black people. It’s a confident moral system that turns to arson. There’s no money in it. The people who do such things must be inordinately convinced of their own rightness.
Close observers of Combat! blog will note that it ceased to exist for the last several days. That’s because I have been what doctors call super fucked up. Two weeks ago today, I woke in a cold sweat with the room spinning about me. As is my practice in such situations, I vomited, went back to sleep, vomited, tried to work, vomited, and then conceded that maybe I should see a doctor. I am fully insured thanks to the dread Obamacare, but my doctor was booked for weeks, so I went to the clinic for people without insurance. They diagnosed me with an ear infection and prescribed antihistamines. I spent the next few days in bed and mostly recovered; I would get really dizzy and fall over if I looked down and to the left or if—heaven forfend—I rolled onto my left side in my sleep. But mostly I was okay.
As you probably forgot, jihadis affiliated with Al-Qaeda killed more than 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Since then, thwarting terrorism has been a top priority of American policy and discourse, and the country has agreed, kind of, that even longstanding interpretations of the Bill of Rights are less important than the threat posed by radical Islam. Also since then, self-proclaimed jihadis have killed 26 Americans, while domestic right-wing and anti-government terrorists have killed 48. Those numbers come from the Washington research group New America, as summarized by this article in the New York Times. Ask most candidates for public office, and Muslim terrorists are an existential threat to the United States. Ask law enforcement, and the bigger problem is right-wing extremists.
Before Dylann Storm Roof almost didn’t kill nine black churchgoers but then did it anyway, he read a list of black-on-white murders compiled by the Council of Conservative Citizens. That group developed out of the now-defunct White Citizens’ Councils, and it is still a white primacy organization. It has also donated a lot of money to Republican politicians, including Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. The CCC supports the GOP, but not the other way around. Of course, the GOP does oppose affirmative action, and it supports states’ rights and strong limits on immigration and other polices that racists happen to like. But the Republican Party is not racist. It just happens to hold many of the same policy positions as a white primacy organization.