Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living with Death

Trolling through earlier posts looking for one that I wrote but don't exactly remember when, I came across a post about the consciousness of death that stays with the combat veteran.  It's worth repeating:
All luck. Sheer luck. As a kid in the 50's I used to wonder how our fathers had survived the hail of lead and shrapnel that was my image of World War II. I found out when I saw combat on my own. It wasn’t the murderous thunder that I had imagined but rather the random explosion of periodic violence that fortuitously never injured me. But in between was the potential, the always lurking threat, not just from a determined foe but also from my buddies and even myself.  I’m lucky to be alive; 58,000 of my comrades aren’t.

The randomness of death and injury in combat has stayed with me since Vietnam. Shit happens. I saw it. Somehow I survived it. It’s still there, waiting to happen. Just ask anyone who was anywhere near the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 or in the Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995 or any parent of a murdered child. Perhaps the risks are less in civilian life but I know that I am never totally safe. In that respect I am still on patrol, hoping nothing will happen but entirely aware of the potential.
After combat, nothing can ever be a complete surprise.  After combat, the veteran knows that the worst is always possible, a consciousness that is never lost. 

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Not Your Typical State Job Announcement

This came through my email at work today:

Only in the Evergreen State.  And maybe Colorado. 

Full announcement is here.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Inaugural Introduction

I clicked on live coverage of the presidential inauguration while Maddy Prior was singing "Scorched Earth" on LastFM.  Biden was coming up for his swearing in with that huge bible.  I much prefer the sound of Maddy Prior's voice to Biden's so I kept her vocal and his visual.  Prior's haunting vocal and music added some needed somber reality to the scene. 

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Inaugural Words

Wow.  I just heard the President of the United States speak the word "collective" and say that We the People do not want perpetual war.*

Hope he means it. 
*  Exact quote:  "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

At Least Rube Goldberg is Funny

Reading about the reporting required to assess business participation in and compliance with the Affordable Care Act only reinforces my belief that the result will not be less costly or all that much more universal care that I want.  All to appease a profit-driven health insurance industry whose primary goal often puts it at odds with the people it purports to serve.

If Americans are so exceptional, inventive and practical, why do we pay so much more than our peers for not at all peerless health care?