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A Free Blog for a Free America

Resistance is NOT Futile

Hypermaestitia Paroxysms of the Soul

The answer to the universe, and pardon me for tilting at glibness here, we have been told is 42 or if you enjoy dabbling in Numerology, 6.  6 is the loving and relationship stmbol and that of deep compassion. Do we ever need a 6!

I tend to focus on the negative, which is a bias that I have from a life of struggle and heartbreak. I know cognitively that one cannot always use one’s own grief as a fulcrum in life. 

So, that being said, I will take a moment to reflect on the positives.

1. We know who is naught and who is nice.  There can be no doubt left, who are the likely people to whom you can turn to for comfort and support. Furthermore, like some Dorian Gray gallery of the souls, we know what lie beneath the facades of the trump people.

2. So much outpouring of support from the center-left and left. From coast to coast, people are marching and protesting the absurdities of this regime.

3. A new generation of leaders is being born and created. A progressive political nursery, albeit still nascent, resides in the US. From young to old, men and women, people are fighting. Can this be a resurgence of the WWII mentality that brought people together in common purpose? Are we all the progeny of Rosie the Riveter? 

4. Governments are the afterbirth of democracy and not the viable fetus. It is time to shake off the shackles that are binding us to an archaic construct of the power elite. More and more, I see the call for the dissolution of these chains in order to form that more perfect union. 

We struggle and fight and die for others’ beliefs, but who are these others? Why do I have to hate Islam? Why do I have to love only the opposite sex? Why must I buy a Buick or a 4000sq ft home or keep up with the Jones? We are being marketed hate and the only prescription is to buy more, think less, be good robotoi.  Soylent Green is people, but don’t tell because it is a strategic secret and you are a traitor if you don’t agree.

People don’t naturally hate other people. Children don’t instinctually attack others on sight. Hatred is a learned response and this Russian encrusted filet of hate, named the trump presidency is doling out lessons at an unprecedented rate.

We, the People, need to do what we do best: talk to other people. It is time to ignore our governments and create our own. THEY talk of deep government and of conspiracies, well, let’s make it a colloborative and transparent fact. We MUST talk to the other people of the world and not to the governments or to the umbrella corporations that really pull the levers of power.

I read of such efforts and that makes me glad. It really is time to make politicians an obsolete career field.

Diogenes, you are not alone.

Mea culpa for my absence: I have been a traveling.  From North to South and East to West, I have scoured the lands with an ear to the ground, gauging for myself, the anger in America and listening to very well-informed people from our defense industry.

The verdict.  We are in trouble.  Heaps.  Copious amounts.  Unheard of disaster.  Holy shit the enemy is not at the gates, but in the courtyard kind of trouble.

As hate groups ascend and are protected by the very mechanisms that we, the good people of America had trusted, we are becoming more and more pariah in our own country.  Stop asking “how could this have happened?” and stop trying to rationalize with the trumpster-divers.  You may as well try explaining metaphysics to a cockroach.

We watch daily as our Russian encrusted regime of hate, lead by the Prophet of Hate himself, destroys the checks and balances that protected us from the tyrants that we always said were “over there.”  Now, they are over here and we are STILL just talking.

I am sure that there were a lot of good men and women, who knelt in front of the mass graves that they had dug, who kept talking while their once neighbors and friends racked a round into the chamber of an AK, applied approximately 2 lbs and 14 ounces or so in trigger pull, and fired a copper coated, lead core bullet into the backs of their bowed heads.

You don’t like the possibility of that reality then stop with the victim mentality.

Take action, take charge, defend yourself and if you can, defend others, who can’t.  WE need to march regularly.  We need to shut down traffic, clog DC and republican capitals, we need to put the FEAR of injury or worse into the lives of trump supporters and their puppets.

Every day, another aspect of our freedoms are removed from us while republicans laugh and smile –all the while to the bank with your money in their traitorous pockets.

It’s okay to hate them.  It’s okay.  They hate you and no amount of love from you will every change that.

Can’t beat them then go up the chain.

If all the world is a stage, America has become a tragic three-ringed circus. Our president, and it pains me to even write that, is an over-privileged and uneducated –at least in terms of governing– whelp, surrounded by sycophantic scum, who will scurry away from him faster than cockroaches from the light.

Yet, I fear that even with all the scandal, all the lies, and all the cow-towing to the alt-right (A.K.A. racist pigs), our Republican representatives will not impeach him because they have their greedy, little hands upon all the levers of power.  Why would they risk that for something as anachronistic as the rule of law?

As for our democratic representatives, well, the Democratic Party is dead.  In fact, with progressives gerrymandered and blocked by laws and rules imposed by Republicans, any chance of leverage in the government at the federal level is all but out of reach.  The same goes for most of the state governments.  No, in this representative government, we have no voice.

What are out options?  Well, for starters, it may be time to start registering as Republicans and getting someone on the platform, who may represent our ideals.  However, with money being so prevalent and pernicious, we may not be able to take that route either.  It would be necessary to out-bid the corporate and wealthy donors, but can we?  I don’t think that there are enough of us poor, who could scrap together the requisite bribes to buy favor in the government. So, maybe we are lost all together?

Should we march en mass and tear down the very bricks (or whatever building material makes up the blackened heart of the government)?  Should we form up by ranks and conduct our own storming of the Bastille? Sadly, as progressives, the greater majority of you don’t have the requisite skill sets, mind-set, or balls to do that.  Sorry.  That is harsh, but violence will happen down that path and there will be plenty of trump supporters, who are armed, vicious, and truly set on hurting progressives.

I believe that one of our few remaining options left, and likely the one that will work best, is to appeal directly to the corporations, super-elites, and power holders, who own our representatives.  The facade has become completely off during this election cycle and I for one am tired of the third party theatrics.  Our politicians are nothing but figureheads, puppets, whose strings are pulled by others.  They only care about us during the year-long wind up to their election/re-election and then they promise the world, but deliver nothing.

If we want something done, we need to find the top donors to our politicians and then go to them AND NOT the politician in question.

It’s either that or march.  Personally, as a former soldier, war is in my nature, but one person can’t go anything.

What do you think?  How broken are we?

Excuse me, but what America is it?

The year was 2002 and the place was Afghanistan.  Back then, we had bombed any of the major military targets back into rubble. Although, I am pretty sure in hindsight that the Taliban had not really done much in the way of rebuilding since the fall of the puppet government left behind when the Soviets had left.

My initial descent into the “country” was a rather corkscrew affair.  No, really.  The C17 that we were flying in corkscrewed down rather rapidly.  Now, I was seated next to a lot of heavy machinery that was attacked to the aircraft aluminum by chains and specialized hooks.  All this was rattling and shaking and straining in the red glow of the aircraft’s tactical lighting.  It was a sphincter tightening affair to say the least.

We landed and disgorged the plane at the ungodly time of 0100 after flying for approximately 10 or so hours from Kyrgyzstan.   Needless to say, I was glad to be on terra firma even if terra was Afghanistan.  It was early in the war and I was young, so it was a grand adventure and I was sure that the Afghanis were happy to be liberated from the vile Taliban.

After un-assing the plane with all bag and baggage, we were shown our bunk down spot for the night: it was a blown up and partially rubbled warehouse somewhere in or around Kabul.  I still remember seeing the stars through the hole in the roof.  I also remember rather distinctly the sound and flash of the rockets and mortars that someone began to fire at us.  Interestingly enough, we were in the safest place that we could be, given that bunkers or the like were not available.  So, after about 40 minutes of contemplating my ignominious death in a dusty bunker by 122mm rockets or some other ancient commie weapon system, I feel asleep.  Yup.  I can fall asleep anywhere.  I mean think about it?  What the hell else are you going to do while waiting for death?

To this day, I am pretty sure that Afghanistan is pretty much all beige.  It also smelled bad.  I’m pretty sure that nothing has changed since then.  However, every once in a while, you get a treat.  I remember waking up and seeing the sun come up and it splashed a nice pink sheen onto the snow-kissed mountain tops around us.

It was an odd time and there is a lot of comedy in war.  I remember standing and watching as locals were bringing in truck loads, wheel barrows, and buckets of rocks for the Americans to lay down, so that we wouldn’t get too muddy of feet when the rains came.  I am sure that the locals must have thought us insane for buying rocks from them.  To this day, even I think it amazingly crazy to have to buy dirt or rocks for yard work.

To me, it seemed that war was so far away there.

Even though things were crazy busy, attacks happened often, sleep was where you could get it, and food was mostly MREs, I miss those times.  I miss those people.  We had purpose, we had unity, and we had each other.  It is said that history is an odd place because they do things differently there.

I miss THAT America.  It seemed like there was less hate in that odd place.  What is more crazy is that for the most part, we haven’t actually loss that many of us to history since then.  So, what happened?

To me, it seems more like war here in this place, I call home.

 

Alas, poor Democracy! I knew him, America, a fellow of infinite tolerance, of most excellent equality!

Doth passes a fine fellow, named democracy.  Not with a bang, but with a whimper.  Where were you when democracy died?

Attacks upon dissent, attacks upon the media, attacks on protest, and still we watch and do nothing.  Even though Bin Laden lauded his”bleed-until-bankruptcy plan” in October 2004, which has cost the US trillions of dollars to date, I wonder if he also knew that his thousand cuts would also lead to the eventual destruction of our democracy?

To date, our grand leader has proposed the increase in military spending, a wall, hiring more security forces, and the literal ban of Islamic people into our country –at least from nations, where he doesn’t have business interests.  Republicans are pushing for criminal penalties for protesting, media is not allowed to report facts, and now we see that private prisons are back on the menu.  This movie has been seen before and it doesn’t end well for us.

Unless, of course, you are a nice Christian white male then you have it made.

What should you be doing at this junction?  Well, if you are protesting, writing emails to your representatives, and boycotting Republican businesses, keep it up!  If you aren’t doing those things, well start!  What the hell are you waiting for?

Besides all those wonderful suggestions, you should be thinking of the way ahead for us.  An interesting article that I read today focused on the premise that enough Republican governors are almost in play to call for a Constitutional Convention to propose new amendments to the Constitution, which could be devastating for our Republic.  Imagine if there were an amendment banning the 1st Amendment or at the least amending the Amendment?  How does a Christian Nation sound?  The Christian United States of America make your blood run cold?

We have been focusing so long on federal concerns that our states have turned into small fascist nations.  The Republicans have put up child molesters and won representation.  We progressives have put up ivory tower elites and lost.  It is time that we fight fire with fire.  We need to recapture positions from the lowest rungs of politics before we can start cheering ever again.  We need to be a force across the political spectrum.  We need to register as Republicans and vote in their primaries in order to get at least decent people into the process again and not crack pots or political puppets of the super elites.

No one person has the answer.  We need to be more involved in the progressive political process before we nominate another damaged candidate.  We need to fight tooth and nail to be a voice in this and not just a check writer.  Start writing the DNC, start writing to independent organizations, and let’s get candidates into the fray, who are true leaders and representatives of our ideals.

It is better to die with honor than live like slaves, so let’s think beyond the old paradigms.  trump cannot become the last freely elected leader of this country.  It is a disgrace to all, whom have perished in defense of America, and a disservice to our children.

Money-makers are tiresome company, as they have no standard but cash value. –Plato, The Republic

Where to go from here as a nation, populated by majority with generations removed, but owing thanks to, ancestry bound to immigrants?  Unless you are Native American, you are an American, born from immigrants, who sought a better life for themselves and their families.  We are a tapestry, woven from the pains, injustices, and discontent of our forbearers.  This is both a painful reality and admission that many of our fellow Americans seem too ready to push from the light of reason and discourse.

We are a people, wholly human, from many ethnicities, sexual orientation, and economic mean.  A nation, whose creators declared that the necessity to break from an established political system, resulting from a king and government that refused “…Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good (Declaration of Independence, http://www.ushistory.org/DECLARATION/document/).”

Our government, perceptually, seems at odds with the will of the majority OF PEOPLE.  From the injustices outlined in the Declaration, our government in its current iteration; fails to acknowledge our petitions for redress; entreats with foreign powers to usurp the right of the people to fairly elect our leaders; proffers no definitive direction forward to assuage the concerns of its citizenry; and whose leadership skirt the rule of law with the seeming intent of obfuscating the investigations into high crimes and misdemeanors of its highest officers.

I have heard so many times in the past months that our chosen president needs time, he is not a politician, and/or the problems stem from fake news or alternative facts.  You can only fool me once with the same trick, my readers.  Furthermore, I have never been a firm or true believer in mass delusion.  If I see that something is not right, I am certain that others see it as well.  Some lies are self-evident, that they are endowed by their creator with unalienable intent, that among these are purposeful deception, manipulation, and the pursuit of personal fortune.

So, where do we go from here?  Our founding documents and the system of government in America, is one in which I believe firmly.  What I don’t believe in is the manipulation of the system by men and women, who lack integrity, moral courage, and do not have the best interests of this country in their hearts.  In the Course of humans events…

To be or not to be…silent.

There can be no mistake that our country has pivoted so hard that it has left many apoplectic with rage, shock, and horror.  I say unto you, the silent, that you have a very important choice ahead of you.  More on that later though.   However, for a large cross-section of demographics, this pivot has shown us the darkest nature of friends, family, and fellow Americans.  What can we expect from them?

Let me tell you a story that the history of our 21st Century will gloss over with statistics or soothing rhetoric. It was 2006 in Iraq, when I landed to support the 5th Special Forces Group (A) as its Tactical Psychological Operations detachment commander and junior staff planner.  I was about ready to pin on major and was still awash in the glory that young men seek in war.  We were fighting the righteous war, spreading democracy, and bringing enlightenment to the savages, so to speak.  I was a Soldier, as the book goes, once and young.

Since so many of us did not speak Arabic or any of the local languages, we contracted for interpreters in order for us to create psychological operations products that could be used to help our supported units prosecute the conflict and hopefully end the insurgency/terrorist activities in the country.  We had two women working with us to interpret enemy propaganda and translate our approved products into Arabic.  One of the ladies was a ex-pat from Chicago, who was Druze, and pretty extroverted –I believe her name was Fatima or the equivalent.  The other was named Almurahna (best spelling) and was almost exactly the opposite of her fellow: rather tallish, willow thin, raven-haired, angular features, and the most beautiful, but sad eyes that I have ever seen.

Almuhrana was Sunni Muslim, but moderate.  She wore stylish European clothes, make-up, and didn’t invoke Allah or Muhammad at every chance.  I would often see her walking alone at dusk along the camp roads.  Head down and slowly.  It was as if she bore the weight of the world upon her shoulders.  I silently nick-named her the saddest woman in the world.  I was in hindsight, a real jerk.  Thankfully, I never said that to her.

During the period of time that I was there, like any young man, I became rather infatuated with the pretty woman, who spoke English with a slight English accent, but perfectly none-the-less.  We got to know each other a little better, but she was always reserved and I was always aware of my place.  She mentioned that she was actually born in America, but now, I forgot where she said, so my apologies for the ensuing vagaries.  However, her father had destroyed all their documentation as the insurgency grew because he did not want to chance her getting caught and killed as an American.  She desperately wanted to go to America, so I took to calling hospitals in the locality, where she said that she had grown up, but the internet wasn’t that great back then and I was in Iraq.  Also, she said that she couldn’t be certain that she was born in or around where she said that she had memories or from where her father had spoken.

It was right around then, where I got a quick education on the realities of life.

I asked her as to why she didn’t just ask her father.  I should have known from the look Fatima gave me that I had asked the wrong question.  Almurahna just replied that she couldn’t and excused herself from the table where we had all been eating lunch.

Once she was gone, Fatima told me that Almuhrana’s father was dead.  A couple of years prior to me arriving in country, Fatima and her family, who lived near the primarily Shia dominated An Najaf, were pulled from the home one night, by their long-time neighbors, dumped onto street, and shot.  Almuhrana was the sole survivor, albeit one, who was shot seven times by an AK-47.

Her neighbors, who knew the family, worked alongside the family, who chatted with and probably shared meals with them, dragged them out of their homes, shot them, and left them for dead in the gutters.  While it was never mentioned, I could only surmise that rape had preceded the shootings –maybe preceded.

A million people’s deaths are a statistic and hard to fathom, one person, especially one, whom you know, is a tragedy.  A tragedy of the highest order.

I don’t know if she made it to the US.  There was a lot of war left after I rotated back state-side.  I would like to think that she did.

Neighbors, friends, companions…

The smell, you know that gasoline smell…

In 2003, I was in Afghanistan for the first of many such trips.  I was the executive officer for our Special Forces company, and we got our mission to move to Camp Harriman, down in Orgun-e.  Back then, it was just a small camp, hesco barriers, triple-strand, with not much to it.  Oddly enough, it was placed at the center of a valley and not on the hillside, which we referred to as OP1.  That used to be the old Russian base, so the US thought it best not to occupy the best defensible site, so as to not stir the ire of the local inhabitants. To be fair, the rocket and mortar attacks were less effective because it was harder to vector on us, being just a blob of buildings on the floor of the valley and not on a nice hill, so we had that going for us.

I had, as one of my many duties, the unenviable task of supervising the burn-pit.  Well, not the type of burn-pit that civilians think, but a place, where all the cut-down 55 gallon drums full of shit and piss would end up to be topped off with gasoline and lit on fire.  There are few things in this world less appetizing than the smell of 100s of US military red/white/blue turds on fire.  Without exception.

Well, being good, damn Americans, we contracted the task of actually moving the drums and setting them on fire to trustworthy locals.  In fact, there was only one trustworthy local and his son, who accepted the job.  He was an Afghan of indeterminable age.  Life is hard there and he could have been 35 or 65 for all I knew when I first met him.  By the way, I did try my best to stay up wind of him at all times, but he always wanted to shake hands and hug.  I think it was his way of politely saying screw you.

I was so green and naive that I didn’t have the sense to be afraid.  It was all a big adventure.

Anyway, I got to know the shit-burner (sorry, I can’t remember his name) pretty well.  Found out that he fought the Russians as a mujaheddin fighter.  He would regal me stories of his time and his youth.  He was older, as I came to learn, than I had thought.  As time progressed, his roots on his beard would show through as white.  Seems he dyed his beard to show youthfulness.  Nice to know that America isn’t the only self-conscious group of people in the world, isn’t it?

Well, one particular day, a group of younger contractors came onto the base. I guess that they ran the cooks and other people on the base.  Anyway, they took to yelling and demeaning the shit-burner because he was a shit-burner and from a lower tribe.  They were Pashtun .  By the way, I was getting all this through my translator because I don’t speak Dari or Pashtun.  Although, I was getting pretty decent at understanding some of it by the end of my tours.  So, being a conscientious sort, I interjected into the conversation and took the Pashtuns to task for their behavior toward an elder and a hero of Afghanistan.

So, I won the shit-burner over as a life-long friend that day.  Don’t exactly know if that was a good thing, but hey, small victories in the greater game, right?  Well, after that encounter, the shit-burner, well, he opened up more to me about his past and life.  One story in particular that he told me, was his killing of this one particular Russian soldier.  I believe that the soldier was Tajik (Russians used a lot of relatively local inhabitants to fight the war, but mixed up the ethnicity to prevent favoritism).  Anyway, that soldier was captured by the muj, by my shit-burner specifically.  He told me that he threw him down a well and for several days, would throw stones at him until he died.  No questions were asked, no food or water given, my shit-burner just stoned the guy to death.

When I asked him if he did it for his religion or because the guy was Tajik, he said, no.  His response was that he just liked killing Russians –which he stated while laughing.

Some people kill and destroy for reasons that are understandable: hatred, envy, avarice, or simply to survive.  Others will destroy because they can.

I tell you this to make you ask yourselves whether we have a president, who will see our destruction for his own personal satisfaction?  Are we at the bottom of the well?

Of Demagoguery and Men

Another quixotic week has passed us by with more and more hypnagogic jerks than this author would have liked to see in his lifetime.  This is our new norm and as a sufferer of PTSD, I can tell you that it is not comforting in the least.

If you are not a student of history or have not taken an interest in studying demagoguery, you need to start brushing up.  Our comrade and chief is working the magic of fake charisma and passion plays to his utmost ability.  I give him that.  Like dictators, he has a quality to rouse the populaces’ hatred against targets like no other.

He has turned his attention to the news media in order to invalidate their credibility in the eyes of the beholder.  DO NOT LET HIM GET TO YOU.  In Latin, Illegitimi non carborundum!

His and his sycophantic minions have developed a vast coterie of collaborators that devour his words with a cannibalistic fervor.  While I figure that the camps, I rather liken this to the book The Stand, are already established, their strength cannot be underestimated.  Once the news media is denounced, who is next?  He has already laid the burden of all our woes on the immigrants.  Being a grandson of immigrants, I find his tirade and those of his cretins to be more than mildly offensive.  What do you feel?  What do you think?

I feel that the ardor of his wrath will fall upon the LGBT demographic and then to those of us, who are his perceived enemies.  Personally, I have no issue with being an enemy of his.

This is not the America that we once enjoyed and it is slowly becoming the enemy of the world.  DO NOT LET HIM DO THIS!

Should our representatives in Congress fail in their charge to defend against the seizure of power, it will fall upon us to ensure our own safety.  If you are not making preparations for this, you should start.  6 more months.  I give our republic 6 more months.

Consider me a fool, a rabble-rouser,   or just a whach-job, but I have 3 master’s degrees and 24 years of experience in defense, counter-terrorism, and insurgency study.  I made a life-time out of studying the signs and precursors to the fall of governments.  We are solidly on that path.

Look for yourselves.  Don’t trust me.  Don’t trust HIM.  Read, research, and watch.  You will come to the disheartening conclusion that I speak truth.

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