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Regarding Memorial Day May 26, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,
6 comments

So the world goes ‘round, the rivers flow, and once again it’s Memorial Day in the Good Ol’ U.S. of A.

It’s so nice to live in a country where we take time to remember and honor our family and friends who had the courage and fortitude to step up to the plate, take one for the team, and sadly, pay the Ultimate Price for our freedom.

My father was on an aircraft carrier in WWII, the USS Randolph. He survived the experience and came home to marry my Mom and raise two wayward boys. He seldom talked about his time at sea, but got together yearly with his surviving Buds from the ship, making the pilgrimages to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island into little family mini-vacations. We had fun, and it obviously meant a lot to him to stay connected to these men.

Over the years my brother and I watched our father struggle with bouts of depression, saw how he buried himself in his work, were vaguely aware of how he feared any idle moment in which his Troubled Past might intrude upon his Peaceful Present. Long before PTSD became a common diagnosis for the damaged condition of men returned from war, men who had seen the unthinkable, we saw the price Our Father had paid to secure our freedom.

I buried my Dad last year, and as he lost his strength of will, what he had held inside for sixty years came tumbling out. This proud man, in his eighties, woke screaming in the night from the memories of his best friend’s head being removed by flying metal as he stood at my Dad’s side; from the screams of his comrades being burned alive in munitions explosions; from the stench he could never forget, of scraping their burnt flesh off of bulkheads with a God damned putty knife.

He did these things so we could be free.

He did these things so his children wouldn’t have to.

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As I write this, the grandchildren of that Greatest Generation are fighting and dying in Iraq, or coming home carrying the heavy weight of what they’ve seen and done, to be forever burdened with images of their friends’ last gasping breath, of bleeding, limbless children, of wailing mothers holding the scorched bodies of their infants.

How will we honor this newest generation of American Heroes? By hiding their flag-draped coffins from public view, as though their sacrifice isn’t worth noting? By providing them with third-rate health care when their injuries end their usefulness to The System? By prosecuting them for their transgressions when the psychological damage they’ve endured drives them to drugs, alcohol or domestic violence?

By continuing to fund the political juggernaut which spends their lives like some devalued currency in an illegal war of aggression?

On this Memorial Day I suggest that We The People can do better. I suggest that we honor and support our troops by demanding that their lives not be wasted on hegemaniacal junkets for the profits of the well-connected. I implore each of us to hound our elected officials into doing what’s right and moral. I pledge to raise my voice against the policies of a government which purports to act in my name.

And I pray that my Father will forgive me for having let it come to this.

 

Have a meaningful Memorial Day.

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GAWD I Love This Place! May 24, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
Tags: , ,
13 comments

I live out in the hills. Two hours from anything, they say, and four hours from anything important. No television reception, no cell phone coverage, half an hour to the grocery store. And I’m “in town!” Folks up the hill from me are lucky to get pavement on their roads!

So why, you ask, do I live here?

Because I can. Because it’s friggin’ beautiful. Because it’s idyllic in the summer, awesome in the winter, magical in the spring and perfect in the fall.

This is where I live:

todd-fog.jpg

Pretty sweet. If you can live without Starbucks and The Mall, that is.

Actually, this post is just an excuse to try my hand at putting up photos, which I haven’t done yet because I’m a bloob. That’s a blogging noob, starting now. Because this is MY BLOG, and I said so.

Being little, I get to notice the little things. Like this moss:moss-flower-1.jpg

As the Late, Great Kurt V. might have said, “You big sweaty Americans” would probably have missed these, as

a) they’re only 1-2 millimeters across, and

b) you’re way up there!

But don’t sweat it, folks – I got yer toes!

A Resource For Like-Minded Individuals May 23, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,
3 comments

I really can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be in the immediate listening area of WAMC Public Radio out of Albany, NY. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good radio stations out there, and I hope you have a fave within ear-shot of your daily routine. When in Boston, for instance, I try to tune in to WERS from Emerson College for reggae, hip-hop and the most INCREDIBLE a capella show on Saturdays at 1pm.

But WAMC is different in that it combines your typical NPR pablum with a serious number of well-produced local shows about politics, the environment, culture and society. It’s frequently hilarious, usually informative and always entertaining. Even their fund drives are great, and draw some of their largest audiences.

The driving force behind this phenomenon is their President and Grand Poobah, Alan Chartock, CEO of a veritable media empire consisting of a network of about a dozen radio stations and a superb program production company. While I don’t always agree with his point of view, I do always respect his position and admire his energy and enthusiasm. Plus he’s short, which is a plus in my book.

Today’s highlights for me included a segment on their morning program, The Round Table, in which a local “folk-hop” musician performed some interesting original tunes; an hour long conversation between Alan C. and Greg Palast, a personal hero of mine; an installment of 51%, the ever-informative program for and about women’s issues, and the upcoming Fresh Air, tonight featuring a discussion about Congressional corruption.

For those of you not able to tune into this feast at 90.3 FM and it’s herd of progeny, the whole thing streams live at WAMC.org. Browse the programs in the left side-bar, you’ll find some real gems.

Enjoy!