OTHER MEN DIE
And the old vet was up in his studio bedroom in Mom’s attic
Painting magic eyeballs on his fingertips
To go with the mystic spirals on the backs of his hands
And he told us about seagulls in the early dawn
Of feeding them barehanded
Palms stretched to the skies
Lying upon his back on the wet sand
Observing the feathered feeding frenzy
Of the messy, greedy birds
That pecked his fingers and palms and wrists
Opening red puncture wounds
And he loved it
Because it brought him
So close to life.
And I saw that vet by another name
Sitting cross-legged in a bikini bathing suit
In wind-tossed dune reed grass
In cold wind whistling off a Winter Pacific
And I asked
“Why do you sit in the freezing cold, Shane?”
And he replied
“Because, at least I know I’m alive.”
And so it goes
When these two old men try to reconcile
Still being in the world
While so many other men
No longer beside them
Did not survive.
WAGING WAR FROM A BURNING HOUSE
No More Troops to Afghanistan
Dear President Obama,
Stop sending troops to Afghanistan.
I am a Vietnam Era veteran. We stood nearly twenty years while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam. Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the present Reagan-Bush corporatist neo-conservative miasma.
Look at how the radical right Republicans have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor. The self-destructive insanity of the radical right Republican way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won. We are fighting a war for the life of the republic, as a result.
These are politically motivated corporatist wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit. These bloody-handed murderers-by-proxy began their plunder of the American nation by taking the Peace Dividend away from us after the Berlin Wall fell. They shifted to terrorism as the object of their monolithic war machine, and plunged the whole world into wrack and ruin. Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s continued pursuit of it.
End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys, or corporatist oil barons and banksters. We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!
AND WHAT ABOUT THESE MERCENARY BANDITS YOU HIRED?
Quit outsourcing government jobs to private contractors. The People can get the job done better for less cost and for the community’s and not just a few individuals’ profit.
The performance of mission critical security functions by profit-driven contractors is counterproductive and often immoral and criminal.
It’s bad for the morale of our real American troops to see these overpaid and pampered bought-and-sold mercenaries. I know because I have nephews and nieces who have served in our military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Talk to real American troops to hear it.
Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s list of inherently governmental functions that these mercenaries must not perform should include: guard services, convoy security services, pass and identification services, plant protection services, the operation of prison or detention facilities, and any security operations that might reasonably require the use of deadly force; and, from support of intelligence activities (including covert operations), interrogation, military and police training, and repair and maintenance of weapon systems.
Machiavelli famously wrote that mercenaries might be trusted for only two things: to demand more money; and to run out when the chips are down. Don’t buy champagne for mercenaries, use our money wisely to equip and protect our real American troops.
Finally, have you given any thought to what is to happen if these mercenaries decide they’ve got a better business proposition from our archenemies? Or, face unemployment? In Europe unemployed mercenaries set off the Hundred Years’ War, which might properly be called the “Rape, Murder and Plunder Crusade.” The “Holy Crusades” were invented as a safety vent to send them packing out of town to do their dirty deeds.
Don’t forget to click on the images for MORE information, or a larger image. Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the Man in the Moon! All the best! j