Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Mary Asks for a Miracle

"behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing"
—Luke 2:48

How do you approach a miracle? She forgets her son
has sky spilling out of his mouth, so she doesn’t look
in the temple, where he’s practicing a prayer
that sounds like the only rose-colored feather
on the wing of a desert finch. She searches the road,
with the revellers, the travellers, returning home,
but the miracle is a beak that snaps the pinyon pine
shell apart like a lever, releasing its heart from its case.
The miracle is a set of questions made by the river
that clips its blue leash to the sea. The miracle is
only partly a boy, only partly a bird or a beach.
She forgets the part that is made of fire and wind,
the part that opens what’s closed or finds what’s lost.
She is sad and worried in her unremembering.
What do you say to the miracle you’re missing
when the miracle tells you it is already home?

~ Linda Dove

This evening we celebrated Christmas Eve with all the traditions of our family; lazy idleness, videogames (for the Boy), desultory exercise (for Mojo and myself), and a meal of honey ham (because honeybaked ham...), scratch mac n' cheese with sharp Tillamook cheddar because the Boy - whose diet generally consists of whatever is on the "prohibited" list published by the American Diabetic Association - specially requested it, and a garden salad because it symbolizes the rebirth of Sol Invictus or Christ, whichever comes first, or who takes two out of three thumbwrestling.

I won't pretend that this winter solstice doesn't feel dark and dim, and not merely because we're into the Dark Ages here in the Pacific Northwest, the rainy months when we see the sun only randomly from week to week. To me it feels like the December of 1860 must have; a tense, louring time vibrating like a tightening string, turbulent with anger and danger. The election of 2016 has made evident what has been true since 1980; that We the People are a house divided against itself, that we are in a cold civil war, and the the only thing left to question is whether we will continue in this tortuous state or break out into open struggle to become all one or all the other. I can neither effectively fight that struggle or win it; all I can do is try and turn it from me and mine.

So I hope you and yours are together, and safely ensconced in love and light. The night is long and dark, and we are our own candles, flickering bravely against the cold outside the glass.

May all of us find our way home safe tonight.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Happy Solstice

I've been out of touch and will be for awhile.  We have a 3-year old great-granddaughter visiting.  She is busy charming SWMBO and various aunts and great aunts, and me too, or alternately running us ragged.

For all here Merry Christmas or whatever your midwinter celebration is.  May your New Year bring you happiness, health, and prosperity.   

But regardless of the season I have turned into a grinch as I'm calling for the coming year to bring both KJ-u and the Moron dual implosions, and to spend eternity gorging on each others' fecal showers.  May their genes be filtered from the pool and turned into dust.  May their enablers and accomplices be cursed with boils, pestilence, flies, lice, and darkness.

Monday, December 9, 2019

A Fool Lies Here

In a "revelation" that should surprise no one, the Washington Post published a 2014 report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that makes clear the ridiculous impossibility of what Rudyard Kipling warned us of in 1891.

What is also clear is that the United States learned only one lesson from the loss of the war in Southeast Asia; that if you draft random people and random people's kids to fight idiotic imperial wars in the global hustings you will be made to pay for it politically because the random people will fight to expose your lies and stupidity.

If you let them draft themselves, nobody will give a shit.

So, despite this voluminous mass of evidence that three successive U.S. administrations have been cluelessly, grossly, lying to themselves and the U.S. public and have, somehow, managed to take a grotesquely mismanaged Central Asian failed state and turn it into a worse grotesquely mismanaged Central Asian failed state, not a single one of the people involved will so much as go shy half a slug or miss a meal. No Bushie, no Obamite, no Trumpkin...nobody will pay.

Read the whole thing; the most obvious "lessons learned" were the things that a bunch of us already knew and were howling about back in the Intel Dump days; that, even if there ever had been a hope after choosing to break into the joint, the choice to bolt to Iraq as soon as possible left Afghanistan to go to hell. That the Afghan corruption that was endemic wasn't - and, probably, could never be - addressed. That the idea of trying to set up a central "government" in Kabul was nonsensical, and became a toxic kleptocracy as soon as it could. That...aw, hell, go read it. The whole damn thing was a clusterfuck from the get go and probably always would have been. But it was certainly mismanaged about as badly as possible, too.

And so, just as in Iraq, now all that's left is to spell out in black ink that all the blood and treasure spent in Afghanistan has been utterly wasted, good for nothing but ruin and delusion and merciless hatred.

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.

There is pleasure in the wet, wet clay
When the artist's hand is potting it.
There is pleasure in the wet, wet lay --
When the poet's pad is blotting it.
There is pleasure in the shine of your picture on the line
At the Royal Acade-my;
But the pleasure felt in these is as chalk to Cheddar cheese
When it comes to a well-made Lie--

To a quite unwreckable Lie,
To a most impeccable Lie!
To a water-right, fire-proof, angle-iron, sunk-hinge, time-lock, steel-faced Lie!
Not a private handsome Lie,
But a pair-and-brougham Lie,
Not a little-place-at-Tooting, but a country-house-with-shooting
And a ring-fence-deer-park Lie.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

War Crime

Commander Bone-Spurs, not happy with just restoring the rank of Chief Petty Officer Gallagher, now demands that the Navy not kick Gallagher out of the Seals.

Undoubtedly Bone-Spurs, well known as a horn-dog, got his inspiration from the appearance on Fox News of Gallagher's wife Andrea.  And also from San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter, another horn-dog who allegedly used campaign funds to help pay for his extramarital affairs.  And of course Breitbart had a lot to do with Bone-Spurs interference in the rocks and shoals of justice.

In Gallagher's court martial the Navy prosecution team was outlawyered by his high paid civilian law firm, expensive but paid for by donations solicited on Breitbart and Fox.

Charges against Gallagher were:
  1. Attempted Murder;
  2. Premeditated Murder;
  3. Aggravated Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (two counts?) on non-combatant;
  4. Discharging firearm willfully as to endanger non-combatants;
  5. Obstructing Justice (three counts);
  6. Wrongfully pose for an unofficial picture with a human casualty;
  7. Wrongfully complete reenlistment ceremony next to a human casualty;
  8. Wrongfully Operate a drone over a human casualty;
  9. Wrongful Use of a Controlled Substance – Tramadol Hydrochloride;
  10. Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Sustanon250
Only convicted of charge number six.  This was after a prosecution witness who had immunity changed his testimony on the stand.  And may have been due to the prosecution's ham-handed efforts to track the leaks of the Judge's gag order, which came to light during the trial.

The other fishy thing is the dropping of the charges regarding use of steroids and opioids.  That would seem to be easy to prove, but apparently it was not.  The steroid use coincides with the reports of his aggressive behavior - not only the alleged killing of the teenage POW, but his indiscriminate and reckless sniper shots, and randomly spraying neighborhoods with machine gun and rocket fire. "Other snipers said they witnessed Gallagher taking at least two militarily pointless shots, shooting and killing an unarmed old man in a white robe as well as a young girl walking with other girls."  And that he "boasted about the large number of people he had killed, claiming he averaged three kills a day over 80 days, including four women."

So he is free now with rank restored.  The American people will foot the bill for his pension.  The American military will have problems for years in the future for Bone-Spurs handling of this.  America's reputation is besmirched.  And some Americans, troops and civilians, will pay with blood because of it.

The Navy should never again let him serve in a Seal Team or in a training role.   IMHO they should assign him to be the senior corpsman in a VD ward of a naval hospital or clinic, preferably a remote one.  And monitor him with frequent drug tests.  But the Navy brass has Bone-Spurs looking over their shoulder on this.  They damn sure don't want to lose funding for a new carrier or some other high end item, as they know that Bone-Spurs has a vindictive streak.  So they'll toe the line.

If we are lucky Gallagher will retire, and stay off of Fox and Breitbart.  But I fear that ain't gonna happen.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Veteran's Day for Schoolchildren

115(?) mass shootings in the US since 1982.  The schoolchildren and young college students are the ones that deserve Veteran's benefits and a Day in their honor.

The map and the database behind it is from Mother Jones magazine.  They first published this in 2012 when there were 62 such incidents in the 30 years between 1982 and 2012.  Since January 2013 there have been 53 more.  There are other similar databases out there, however they believe theirs is most conservative.

The criteria they used for a mass shooting was the FBI definition of a mass shooting as a single attack in a public place in which four or more victims were killed.  That criteria was changed by Obama in 2013 to three or more victims killed.  So it may be hard for some to say those shootings are increasing in the last six years and 11 months.  But in my non-statistical mind it seems pretty obvious that they are.  62 in 30 years averages about one every six months.  53 in almost seven years averages closer to one every six weeks.  Although I concede that the frequency cannot be accurately mapped due to the different data criteria.  Although it seems the more recent ones definitely had many more than three victims, and only 16 out of 53 had three fatalities.

At first glance I also wondered about the zero mass shootings in the states of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, both Dakotas, the three upper tier New England states, and Alaska.  Probably that is a factor of their less diverse populations.  But maybe less stress and a more laid back lifestyle in the country applies also. Or something else entirely?

Here is a link to the updated article: