Kudo’s Barrack, Kudo’s, But Much More Still Needed!
May 29 2009
Dec 29 2008
What a world!
How does one even begin to comment?
Not to diminish the achievement of President Elect Barack Obama, it does seem in some ways a dirty joke on African American aspirations that we would finally elect an African American just at THE moment in history when the country is about to tank, and tank hard. Welcome to the presidency African America. Here’s the big, reeking pile of dung we’ve turned the country into for you. Good fuckin’ luck with that!
Apr 28 2008
The News & Observer has a good report on the returning OIF and OEF Veterans as some transition to Students in Colleges and Universities around the country, reporting on some of the problems they face in that transition from combat soldier to student.
This could have been expanded, as many already have found out as others before you went through the same, to the transition from In-Theater Soldiers to Civilian life not just as Students
As tens of thousands of veterans of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq try to collect on their promised college benefits, McKinnon and others are finding that their combat experience complicates the transition from soldier to student.
Mar 14 2008
They Didn’t Hate Us Before!
Just One Of Tens of Thousands, NOW!!
Um Saad, a middle-aged woman living in the Sunni district of Khadra in west Baghdad, blames the Americans for the death of her husband and two of her sons and threatens revenge.
Nov 19 2007
Reading the comments in OPOL’s diary, last night, I was struck, once again, by the sheer dumb luck with which some of us have been blessed. Some, in that thread, discussed their experiences in prison, and it made me wonder how many of us have made mistakes, in life, but managed to avoid serious consequences from them. How many of us have done things that shouldn’t be illegal, but are, without getting caught? How many of us did not live through an era when the government could have grabbed us off the streets for not being willing to go fight a war that never should have been fought- and where we had to choose how to protest and oppose that fact? Luck. But it goes beyond that.
One of the things that seems to define we Democrats, liberals, and progressives, as opposed to the Republicans and conservatives, is that we understand the concept of luck, or random chance. Many Republicans and conservatives tend to think they are entitled to their good fortune, and a good portion even seem to think their good fortune was ordained directly by the Divine. Those who do not have good fortune seem to think they are being punished, or that they can pray or do some sort of penance, to essentially buy good fortune. That’s a fundamental difference between the way they perceive reality and the way most of us perceive it.
To believe you are entitled or ordained to have good fortune is to believe that others- the vast majority of the people on the planet- were entitled or ordained to have bad fortune. It obviates the need for social responsibility. If the good goes to the just and the holy, then those denied the good deserve what they get. It’s actually a pathological way of viewing the world, yet it is taken for granted as legitimate.
When I was thirty years old, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a type of cancer that has a high survival rate, but it meant I had to undergo brutal chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In the midst of those treatments, when I was bald and frail and in constant pain, a friend asked if I ever wondered “why me?” The thought hadn’t occurred to me. As I told my friend, the thought had actually struck me: why not me? One in three Americans will, at some point, contract cancer. Some of it can be traced to clear causes, and some can’t. It’s random. It just is. Why not me?
Many of us have been very blessed in life. Many of us have had very mixed luck. Many of us have had terrible luck. Many of us have been struck by true tragedies or traumas. I would like to say that we all deserve the good, but I’m more of a realist than that. None of us deserves the good, and none of us deserves the bad. Life is not about just desserts. Life is about what we learn, what we think, what we feel, and what we do. All we can do is try. Try to be better people. Try to make this a better world. Try to muddle on, despite life’s many setbacks.
I do believe that one of the things that defines most Democrats, liberals, and progressives is the recognition that we are all in this together. Those who are more fortunate have a responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. We all have the responsibility to try to make this world a better place for all, just for our briefly having been here. I think that’s one of the basic reasons why all of us are here, on this site. We have many personal differences, many angry arguments, and many differences in background, lifestyle, taste, and fortune. But we all want to make the world a better place, for everyone. From issues of war and peace, economic and social justice, environmentalism, and everything else, the core of our ethos seems to include the concept that no one is entitled, and no one is ordained. Unless we all are. Either way, it’s up to us to make it happen.
This can be a cruel, cold world. Only we can make it warmer and more welcoming.