A Letter to Americans about Afghanistan, from the Margins of Empire

Kenn Orphan gives us a lot to think about in this post. Read it, think on it, and share it.
Larry

Kenn Orphan

Dear Americans,

I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits amongst the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of more fundamentalist authoritarian terror on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.

I wanted to talk about twenty years of drone bombing civilians like a grandmother picking okra in her field, incinerating people, even in hospital, of Marine night raids on terrified civilians, including women and children. kicking in doors, torching villages. Twenty years supporting and propping up a corrupt Afghan proxy government even though the US intelligence were informed countless times of their corruption. Even though the Taliban will likely be worse, let’s not pretend that these last 20 years under American occupation has been a bucolic 4th of…

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What Makes A Nation Great — Part III

My friend Jill has written a brilliant three-part essay on America as it is vs. America as it should be. This is the third part. Do yourself a favor and read Parts I and II first, and see how much you agree with it. I agree with all of it.
Larry

Filosofa's Word

In Parts I & II of this project, I spent a great deal of time pointing out the things that, in my view, keep the United States from being ‘great’.  In truth, the word ‘great’ is a superlative that sets my teeth on edge anyway, but it’s something we should always strive for.  If we strive for greatness, perhaps we can at least achieve ‘goodness’.

Make no mistake … despite its many flaws, some potentially fatal, there are good things happening in this nation, there are things that should give us hope for the future.  I didn’t want to end this project without pointing those out too.

A nation is only as good as the people who inhabit it, and we have, in this nation, millions of good people.  Every Wednesday, I write about some of those good people.  Most all of the people I know in this country are…

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Independence Day Thoughts

We’re all familiar with this part of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But do you know what it says next?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (emphasis mine)

Something to keep in mind come Election Day, you think?

As we Americans celebrate our independence tomorrow – responsibly, of course, with social distancing, face masks, etc. – let’s remind ourselves of our right to institute new government when the present one is a threat to our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which most of us, I think, can agree is very much the case.

Happy Independence Day, y’all. Be safe.

This Is It

 

Okay, friends and neighbors, today’s the day. Election Day!

As you may or may not have heard, this one is very important. It will determine, among other things, the makeup of our Congress, the body of government charged with making our nation’s laws.

You have a voice in who occupies those seats in Congress.

If you haven’t already voted, by golly, GO DO IT! The time for sitting out is over. America’s government has gotten to the shape it’s in, on both sides of the aisle, due in no small part to citizens’ lack of participation in the process.

And yes, I own my part in that.

Well, if donald trump has done anything good for America, he’s gotten a lot more people interested in voting, so thumbs up for that.

So please, take the time and go cast your vote today. And don’t let anyone intimidate you into not doing it. Don’t let anyone get in your way. You have the right to vote. The Constitution of the United States says so.

You have until 7:00 PM, local time. Let your voice be heard.

Then we’ll see what happens.

Split Decision

 

I see no way around this, folks.

I see no hope for reconciliation. I see no hope for compromise. I see no hope for even coexistence.

These past few years have revealed an ugly truth to me: the United States of America can no longer exist in its present form. No matter the outcome of this upcoming election, there’s no denying the fact that the fabric of this country has a very large tear, one that is beyond the point of sewing back up, I’m afraid.

Therefore, I think the time has come for a divorce.

America must split into two smaller nations: MAGA Nation and The Rest Of Us.

It’s perfect. MAGA Nation can then surround itself in a tall, fortified, secure wall, keeping it safe from all those it hates/fears, such as nonwhites, non-heteros, non-Evangelical Christians and non-Fox News “journalists”.

Everyone in MAGA Nation can keep his or her own arsenal of weapons, automatic and otherwise, as protected by the Second Amendment, the only one that matters.

Environmental protections will be completely irrelevant in MAGA Nation because, of course, there’s no global warming there.

The guys (not men) of MAGA Nation can just do whatever they want to the women, with absolutely no worry of any future consequences. Hell, they may even end up as Supreme Court justices.

donald trump, A.K.A God’s Annointed Man, can attain the Dictator for Life title he so openly covets from Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. There’ll be no need for elections, you see, because in MAGA Nation, he would always win unanimously!

And no more fake news. The Big Orange can be MAGA Nation’s one and only source for trusted, reliable news, primarily via Twitter.

Meanwhile, The Rest Of Us will live in a land that aspires to the highest ideals of freedom, diversity and equality, takes climate change seriously, trusts the media while holding it accountable for the veracity of its reporting, and treats every person with the dignity and respect to which we are all entitled.

And the two nations can just leave each other alone.

I think this is the best solution. It’s either that or a brutal, violent, bloody war, culminating in either America’s reunification or its utter collapse.

I really don’t see any other options at this point. Do you?

P.S.: VOTE!!

Rebel Yell

 

He’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be any good
He’s a rebel ’cause he never ever does what he should
But just because he doesn’t do what everybody else does
That’s no reason why I can’t give him all my love

“He’s a Rebel”, The Crystals

Songwriters
GENE PITNEY

Published By
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

You were the low down rebel if there ever was
Even if you had no cause

“James Dean”, Eagles

Songwriters
BROWNE, JACKSON / FREY, GLENN / HENLEY, DON / SOUTHER, J D

Published By
Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

“Into the Great Wide Open”, Tom Petty

Songwriters
JEFF LYNNE, TOM PETTY

Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

Look, I get the appeal.

He’s an outsider taking on the status quo, the un-politician in the cage with all the career politicians, the straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip, regular, everyday millionaire of the people, and he will “Make America Great Again.” Trust him.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump has struck a nerve with a large segment of the American population. He knows we’re scared of our own shadow these days, and presents himself as our long-awaited protector, who will rescue us from all the Boogeymen out there, like Mexicans, Muslims, Democrats, etc. He knows we’ve had it up to here with politics as usual, and offers himself as the gunslinger who will ride into Washington and run all them bushwhackin’ varmints outta town.

But, good lord…

Is Hillary Clinton really so bad that you’d rather have this guy as our President?

My brothers discuss my blog posts, sometimes. My oldest brother has observed my more recent ones being a bit more political.

Well, here I go again, bro.

 

You know you’re not running too good a campaign when prominent members of your own party are demanding that you quit. Immediately.

How many of you saw the first two debates between Trump and Clinton? I don’t know what you saw, but I saw a man who doesn’t need to be president of anything. If this is how he handles the relatively low pressure of a debate, I can only imagine how he would hold up in the Oval Office. It’s scary to think about.

Yet, despite that, people are still out there who love him to death. Every new revelation about his past or present behavior only serves to further solidify their unwavering support for Trump. You can crap on this guy all day, and his Loyal Followers won’t smell a thing. Like he said, he could shoot someone in the street and not lose supporters. Heck, he could probably start shooting them, and more would just pop up somewhere.

 

October 11, 2016, 15:46 CDT.

That is the exact date and time when it finally hit me. Why this guy is so popular with so many people.

We finally have a candidate who openly caters to our laziness as Americans.

All we want is someone who will solve all our problems for us, and here he is, at long last. He’ll build The Wall. He’ll restore law and order. He’ll bring all the jobs back from overseas. He’ll rid us of Isis, starting with turning away any more Muslims.

Isn’t that awesome? And we don’t have to do a f*****g thing!! We can continue with our regularly scheduled activities, and just let Daddy Trump take care of everything.

Because we have abdicated our responsibility for the care and feeding of our nation.

Shame…on…us.

There are exceptions, I know, so to those of you who are and have been actively involved in making this country a better place to live, I offer my apologies, and my gratitude. I wish I were more like you.

I wish a lot of us were.

 

I’m making this one final appeal to you.

Please. Don’t. Vote. For. Donald. Trump.

If for no other reasons than these:

1. He has sexually assaulted women. And bragged about it. (Granted, he is, unfortunately, not the only man ever to do so. But that doesn’t make it right.)

2. He is far too thin-skinned and vindictive to handle the nuances of foreign policy. The man can’t even let a freakin’ tweet go unchallenged, for cryin’ out loud.

3. He rejects the reality of climate change, even as it stares us all right in the face.

Believe me, I don’t like Hillary Clinton, either. I think both these candidates stink.

I don’t like Jill Stein’s chances, but I support most everything her party, the Green Party, stands for. I don’t see much chance for Gary Johnson, either, and besides, I’m not sure what to make of him, anyway.

But, at least, Hillary has experience. I know Trump characterized it in the first debate as “bad experience”, but I’ll still take that over no experience.

I know she brings her own set of baggage to this contest. I know she’s “a CLINTON.” I know about that email debacle. I know she’s cozy with the Wall Street set.

And I get that the “lesser of two evils” is still evil. But it’s also lesser.

And I really think voting for Mr. Trump is a big mistake.

But, I’ve said my piece, now. As the saying goes, It’s up to you, America.

Get thee to the polls and VOTE!