Saturday, November 21, 2015

We've Always Known, Haven't We?

Came across this article on the internet yesterday:
which contains a link to the Politico Story, which is more thorough, considered and compelling:

I have long suspected a connection between the Bush Administration and 9/11. I cannot to this day buy that they might have actually had a hand in planning the attack itself--that thought is too abhorrent, even for me. But, given the oil-crony connection between the Bush crowd and the Saudis, and given that the 9/11 attackers were mostly of Saudi extraction, even THAT is not impossible to believe, if you let yourself go there...

I think, however, it's more likely that the Bush Administration was looking for an excuse to make war on the Middle East, and if there WERE warnings about an imminent terrorist action, they might have "conveniently" ignored them, rationalizing that such an event would provide them with exactly the excuse they needed. I don't think they had a clue how horrific the attack was actually going to be...if they did, I don't think they would have been willing to risk so many American lives--not to mention the real estate and the American economy--as "collateral damage" of their ultimate goal.

But all you have to do is look at how beautifully 9/11 synced with what turned out to be prior goals of the Bush Administration, and you have to think it was more than just a coincidence. I have thought that for years.

The country I loved--the country in which I was born, nurtured and came of age--ceased to be on September 11, 2001.  Not necessarily because of the shock and horror of the Al Qaeda attack itself, but because of how that event was manipulated by the soulless, opportunistic administration that held the reins of power when it happened.

Rather than standing as a shining beacon of courage and moral purity, the Bush Administration chose to weave the event into the politics of fear, accusation, xenophobia and white privilege that would make the American public putty in their hands and give the "War President" carte blanche to roll back the Bill of Rights, imprison and torture political prisoners without due process, and start the war he had planned to start before ever setting foot in the oval office.

It is to the ultimate discredit of the American people that we allowed this to happen.  But when people are shocked and frightened, they tend not to make the best decisions.  In matters of interactions between nations, the people tend to look to those who are supposed to have a better grasp of the situation for clues on how to act.  When leadership reacts with courage, fortitude, calm and compassion, the people will follow.  When leadership indulges in the downward spiral of anger, suspicion and revenge, the people swirl down that sewer right behind them.

"Keep Calm and Carry On"?  That would be the polar opposite of the Bush Administration's "Fear, Suspect, Torture, Avenge and Never Forget" policy that played out after 9/11.  It tarnished the character of the American people and did damage to The United States' standing among the nations of the world which may never be reversed. 

The Bush Administration is no doubt culpable for the decrepit condition of our collective national soul. And now, it appears that it was complicit in the very disaster that put the degeneration into motion.  I can't say I'm surprised...are you?    

Wednesday, November 18, 2015



I don't know which dismays me more:  Last Friday night's events in Paris, or the thoroughly disgusting very public reaction of right-wing America.

I mourn with those in Paris who have lost loved ones. 

But, I think I mourn more profoundly for the loss of the country that, despite all her problems and upheavals, I once deeply loved.

Because, in the first few decades of my lifetime, though she was hampered by a checkered past, the United States of America honestly seemed to be on the path toward becoming some facsimile of what the founders hoped she could be.

Lurching out of the xenophobic, frankly racist and fear-riddled first half of the twentieth century, the next decades brought some real social progress: civil rights for blacks, equal rights for women, the peace movement...  I grew up during those decades.  That was the country I knew and loved: the one that was moving forward, eye on the prize.  We imagined a utopia, and we aimed ourselves toward it.  If the progress was only infinitesimal, it was progress. 

The thought that all that could go away...that every inch of progress we made could and would be battered and hamstrung; bombed, bad-mouthed and pistol-whipped into retreat...never entered my mind. 

I look at this country: at the absolute trash vying for the privilege of running for the highest office in the land;  at the us vs them, no compromise, "with us or against us" state of our federal government;  at the vile things everyday people will say and post and tweet, to and about anybody or anything;  at the atmosphere of hatred and greed and aggression and uncontrollable consumerism that has invaded every aspect of our lives...

And my heart...just...wails.

I honestly feel as if I have fallen through the looking glass.  I have no idea where I am.  This can NOT be America.

We didn't just lose our moral compass.  We threw it in the sewer and pissed on it.

I'm sure there will be those who will say, "If you don't like it, why don't you just leave?"

Actually,  I never had the opportunity to choose to leave my country. 

It left me first.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Another Month, Another Holiday

I posted this on Facebook this morning, and it was summarily ignored by all my friends.  Could be they are all just tired of my predictable curmudgeonly attitude toward any patriotic holiday..  Given the state of our country and the tone of the discourse that exists within it, I'm not inclined to look fondly upon anything construed as "patriotic."  But I thought this short rant was valid enough, and have reposted it here so I don't lose it.

Veterans' Day.  Hmm.  I'm trying to remember when was the last time an American serviceman died for OUR freedom.  No...these days our young people join the armed forces, in part to gain the rewards they are promised upon completion of their service, and are sent into conflicts masterminded by the corporate interests behind our government.

In those far-off countries, they are often hated and resented, shot at, blown up, terrorized, killed or maimed.  It's estimated that 2.5 million service people have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.  Over 6600 have come home in boxes.  If they  don't come home in a box, they return to a country that utterly forsakes them once their military service is over.  Unemployment among veterans is 2 to 5 points higher than the national average. Almost 50,000 are homeless. The Veterans Administration is in such disarray that satisfactory treatment for the lingering effects of the "war on terror" is difficult to impossible to obtain.  This is how much we "honor" our vets.

How about we quit posting pictures of flags waving behind flowery  "thank you's" and actually DO something about the horrific plate full of disincentive, poor medical care, apathy and outright lies we serve up to our veterans every other day of the year.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Missing Person

So now I am home.  The husband joined me at the Duck Inn for the last 36 hours of my visit, but the weather was so miserable that we were somewhat housebound most of Saturday.  He slept and I put together a puzzle I had picked up at the Goodwill.  Good times. 

With all the thinking I had been doing about our issues, I had sort of been dreading the husband's arrival.  I was sure we were going to end up having a Discussion, and I spent a considerable amount of time formulating my plan of attack, mostly so that it wouldn't look like an attack.  It turned out I never got the opportunity to approach the subject.  Some of the time we were having decent moments in each other's company, and it seemed out-of-place to start a conversation that was almost guaranteed to become a confrontation.  The rest of the time, we seemed to instinctively avoid each other.  Perhaps we could feel the confrontation looming, and just didn't want t go there.  It got me thinking whether it really WILL be worth it to go there.  Maybe the status quo--peace and distance--is better than any alternative we could come up with by hashing it out. 

But I'm just so...lonely.

For a whole week, I was more on my own than I have been in many years.  I have mentioned many times over the years how AOL journals came out of the blue to rescue me out of an extremely lonely time in my life--the time after my dad's death when my family gave me the heave-ho and my husband retreated into his job, leaving me with...not a whole lot.  I rode the wave of those internet friendships through that tough time, and even most of the way through my trials at the restaurant.  I've been especially regretful of the distancing of those friendships.  But those relationships have been steadily declining for a long time.  Why, I've been asking myself lately, do I feel SO much more isolated these days?

The answer came to me in a flash the other day, in the parking lot at Cape Lookout.  I had just returned from a vaguely unsatisfying solitary walk up and down the beach, and back through the ancient forest.  As I approached the lot, I saw a little red SUV parked a few spaces down from my van.  At the rear of the car, the passengers were prepping for their own walk on the beach.  The woman pulled up her hood, checked her gloves, took stock of  her walking buddy's gear, reached into a plastic bag and chucked a treat to her companion--that being a beautiful Aussie shepherd on a nylon leash.  I took in the little scene...and burst into tears.

That is what has been missing.  My traveling companion.  The one who took her place  in "her" back seat for thirteen years, and let me drag her to wherever my demons chased me.  My watchdog, who would have happily hidden behind me while I dispatched any danger we might encounter on our exploits.  The one who looked after me by giving me someone to look after besides myself.
Oh, lord...I miss my dog.

Do you think she would mind if I considered sharing my adventures with a new friend?