Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Random late autumn thoughts


Let's get political. Again. Wesley Clark is speaking to the Commonwealth Club as I write. He's a 4 star general and apparently a Democrat because he disses the President. But he goes on to say that the various generals and officers in Iraq should not express their concerns about the way the war is going because they would be in violation of their oaths to defend the Constitution and apparently he has the idea that somewhere in the Constitution there is a requirement that all military people should be loyal to the Commander in Chief. Curious. How can one be loyal to the Constitution, with it's provisions for ridding the country of an incompetent President (incompetent in that they have broken the law) and at the same time have nothing contrary to say to that same person? In other words, if the generals know that the President is lying about just about everything going on over there, lying about the actions of our troops, lying about the ability of America to win, lying about the ability of the Iraqi's to defend themselves the US Constitution requires that they lie to the public and support the President because he's their leader. Jeez, I find that so freaking hard to understand. Tommy Jefferson thought the role of Commander in Chief trumped the obligation expressed by the Constitution to remove from office a President who commits crimes against humanity? Just too hard to believe.

Funny how fixing an election to become President suddenly elevates George's IQ 30 points and makes him a military expert. I suppose if he wore a gold hat and lived in Rome he could excommunicate sinners and drive out demons, too.

Just a short note today. Talking about memories, good and bad. People remember the same event differently at various points in their life. Sometimes changes occur within minutes of experiencing an event. I think I've written about the time I was hanging out in my apartment on Caroline Street with a friend watching the bar across the street. A fight fell out of the door and landed on the street with one man kicking another in the head as he slumped on the sidewalk. After the guy on the ground recovered enough to stagger off we began to discuss the fight and I discovered that she saw the kicker as one race and I saw the same man as a member of another race. Maybe five minutes had passed since the fight but neither of us saw the same fight. Who was right? Maybe both. Physics says that reality is in the eyes of the beholder. In my universe my father used to beat me for losing fights at school. In my sister's universe Dad never beat me. In my universe I spent a summer shooting a BB gun at frogs, lizards and bottles until I tried sawing the barrel short and ruining it. In my sister's universe I was never allowed to have a BB gun. Who was right? I can even recall the smell of the oil I used on the gun, but she doesn't see it that way. The thing is most of your actions are going to be colored by what you remember about events and if memory is that unreliable then how can your actions be counted upon to be the right ones? It's been proven so many times in so many studies that eyewitnesses are no damn good at recalling anything they just experienced, especially if it was a violent or otherwise exciting event, like a man getting the crap kicked out of him by a booted white guy/black guy. Yet we still rely on eyewitnesses to try a man for attempted murder and sending him to jail.

General Clark told a story about being told at some point that we were going to attack Iraq after 9-11. The Pentagon official that was confiding in him said that we needed to look strong and we needed to attack somebody back but the people who had attacked us were dead (and they were sent by our allies the Saudis) so George decided to attack Iraq, no doubt because Saddam had at one point “tried to kill my Dad”. Yet the people who knew that there was no reason to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people seem to have been led to believe that the Constitution required them to not speak up, to blindly obey the President and so we have become as a democratic nation war criminals. We, through our Generals, Congresspersons and appointees have attacked and murdered close to two thirds of a million admittedly innocent civilians. We broke some eggs to make an omelet. Although in point of fact we broke some eggs to make green beans. In George's universe it made sense at the time.

Oh well. Still haven't heard anything about the doctor talking to Jon's doctors. I suspect nothing has happened. I'm gonna try to get all of Jon's medical records because apparently we have a legal right to them. It certainly makes sense to have his family know his history in case we have to take him somewhere, like a new hospital and they need to know what he's been through. Anybody want to make a bet that they will try to stonewall me and not release copies? My plan, in part, is to explain that I am writing a book and I want to get the sequence of events in the proper order and compare the dates to, for instance, postings to this blog, or posting to the TBI support group. Then I plan to push for the neurologist to go back and explore why Jon stopped responding after those seizures. They told me there was no obvious reason for it, but at the same time they decided to abandon him because he no longer showed much responsiveness. Still, something must have triggered the seizures. What if, like the wounds on his back, the cause of the seizures was because they screwed up? Maybe they did something wrong, wrong meds or something? We'll have to see how they respond to my request. That will tell me something.

Solstice is this Saturday. Night of the Crone, shortest day, longest night. I hope I can find dry wood to burn, otherwise I might axe down a couple trees and burn them. I have a preponderance of spruce trees out back. If I can snowshoe out back far enough I might find a pile or two of pine logs as well. Neighbor Bob has a big pile of construction debris he said I could have but without a sled I have to bring back arm loads and that won't be much. Still, I will likely be the only one out there so it can be a small fire. Yeah, it's not like 20 years ago when everybody in the neighborhood would show up with beer, wine, peanuts and attitude. We'd burn to 2 AM or so and stagger off home. Now I light a small fire, heap up what wood I can pry out of the winter snow and burn through a couple three beers. Then I pack it up and move inside. A couple of times an old buddy would show up as I was breaking up the fire and we'd hang out for another hour or so but not so much lately. Maybe it's my breath or my grumpiness but they don't seem to come around much anymore. More than likely they simply don't know when the seasons change. Most of them are Christians and they don't seem to care about the orbits of the planets around the sun. I'm not entirely sure why I do, but it seems important to me to go out and acknowledge that there are patterns greater than myself and offering some wood, beer and time seems like a reasonable thing to do.

As we roll into a new year I hope everybody is safe, warm and fed. It's basic but upon that basic rock we can build a house to hold us all. So enjoy the snow, the cold and the warmth of your personal fire and maybe think of me out back sipping my drink and tossing sticks into the fire. I'll be thinking of you.

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