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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Oh, Those Stupid Scientists

(Before the coronavirus crisis) people used to look to the United States with a degree of reverence. For democracy. For our moral leadership in the world. Supporting science and using technology to travel to the moon. Instead, what’s really been exposed is how anti-science we’ve become.
-Dr. Cedric Dark, emergency physician, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas


When I was in school, one of my least favorite subjects was science. I just wasn’t into it that much.

Apparently, a great many Americans, including our president, are still not.

Leading scientific experts on climate change and the coronavirus have been ignored, mocked, silenced or contradicted by donald and his minions. Their steadfast refusal to face the reality of either crisis has been, to put it mildly, appalling.

If you guys really have no use for science, then don’t bother seeing a doctor when you’re sick, because it’s science that leads to a diagnosis and a remedy.

Don’t bother watching your big screen TV at home, because it’s science that produces the audio and video.

Don’t bother driving your pickup anywhere, because it’s science that makes it go.

You see where I’m going here, MAGA men? Science is part of our everyday life. You can’t just ignore or reject the parts you don’t agree with. The facts are what they are. And there are plenty of qualified people who study those facts, and who know what to deduce from them. And it’s their expert advice you’re rejecting, putting as all at greater risk.

And I’m telling you to cut it out.

We’re looking right in the face of two serious threats to our health. We’d best pay attention to the people who know how we must deal with them, if not for ourselves, then for the generations to follow.

Live For Today (Because Tomorrow Will Suck)


It’s probably the depression talking, but I tell you, the future looks just so bleak to me anymore. To wit:

No matter who gets elected in November (please, Joe!), this country is so deeply, bitterly, hopelessly divided, I see no chance for reconciliation. In fact, I think sometimes it might come to war.

The coronavirus keeps on infecting, and killing, lots of people, especially here in the States, in no small part to the selfishness and ignorance of so many people who simply can’t be bothered with it.

Climate change is happening all around us, and time is running out to do something about it, and I’m not optimistic about us Americans doing our part. Again, selfishness and ignorance; also, arrogance.

(And I feel so sorry for the children who will inherit all this $#!t.)

On a more personal level, I’m at the age where more of the people I’ve known and loved all my life will be passing on, and I can’t bear to think of saying goodbye. To say nothing of whatever ailments await me the older I get.

You see why I don’t write so often these days? I’m just Mister Sunshine, right?

I know I shouldn’t be this way. I just have a hard time finding anything to look forward to these days. So I just figure I need to take each day as it comes, and see if I can extract anything good from it.

Sorry to bring you down, folks. Maybe next time, more cheerful. Like I said, the depression probably has a little too much of my mind lately.

Kudos to Bezos

In case you hadn’t heard:

This week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he was committing ten billion dollars of his own money to fighting climate change.

Ten. Billion. Dollars.

Of his own money!

Just how rich is this dude?

According to Associated Press, Bezos will “start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect Earth.”

$10 billion ought to help, don’t you think?

If you would like to donate $10 billion (or, perhaps less) of your own money in the fight against climate change, Vox.com recently listed six organizations that might be worth your consideration. You can find the list here.

Remember: climate change is the issue of our time. Our very existence depends on how we deal with it.

Thanks for your amazing generosity, Mr. Bezos. Here’s hoping it’s money well spent.