Wednesday, June 17, 2009


June is an eventful month. I recently wrote about casting my first vote in a June 1969 primary election. Just one year ago this month I added fenders to my bicycle, thereby becoming a year-round rider in this wet climate. Five years ago I began writing this blog. On this day in June 1906 my father, Frank Fleming, was born. Seventy-three years later on 20 June his wife/my mother, Katherine Pie’ Fleming, died. That same day this June is Rose Johnson’s memorial in Phoenix. Maggie's mother, Marion O'Conner Reardon died last year on 25 June. On 29 June 1970, I voluntarily joined the US Army, casting my fate to…well, the Fates.

Oh yeah, I graduated from some schools and a kindergarten in several Junes.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Evil Roots

Bad Attitudes has a very good piece on Iraq as a laughing matter this past week on the Colbert Report. Two sentences particularly resonate with me.
We know, down inside, that our soldiers are being used as de facto mercenaries for venal contractors or pawns in the service of grubby political aims that have nothing to do with our freedom or security. (emphasis in original)

That certainly sums up my military service back in the day. I knew that going in and it's gnawed at me ever since. Which is why I am so angry to see the my country is doing the same goddamn thing all over again.

The second sentence is a 1795 quote from James Madison:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few… [There is an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals ... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Now think of the past six decades and ask yourself how well America has pursued this founder's vision.

This all begins with Stephen Colbert but the point is that war is America's everyday normal.

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