I no longer need or want the new and the shiny.
Pinhole taken with PX 600 Impossible Project Film, Natural light, 10 second exposure, 0.5mm aperture.
I like fixing things, and if something is still usable, although damaged, I’ll hang on to it if I like it. (That’s kind of how I–and hope that those near to me–feel about myself at this point in my life. All of these items are broken, some partially repaired. The mug on the left was a father’s day gift from my daughter, with a crayon drawing of herself. I dropped it shortly after getting it, but I couldn’t bear to throw it out. The Bialetti Moka is probably 6 years old. I’ve changed the gasket a couple of times. but there’s no way to replace the handle that I melted off by ignoring the fact that it was over a flame too long. I’ve done this to more than one moka. More than two. In fact, by the time I melted this one off I said the hell with new ones and I just wrap a coffee-stained towel around it to pour it into my mug. That’s just as well, too, because the Bialettis tend to drip down the front. Next is a mug that states “Will Work for Slivovitz”, with a broken handle, and next to that is a mug that says, “It’s a Katy Thing” with the same problem. But they function. Next to it, a big mug (I like big mugs because you can use them for oatmeal and soup as well!) with this great logo and a broken handle, and in the foregound, an Army Strong mug that has been pieced together with cyanoacrylate (super glue). It still has a handle! None of the repaired mugs has ever come undone due to the heat of the liquid in it.
and we don’t have much time.
With hindsight, we screwed up in Rwanda. Nearly a million people were killed with machetes in what was a genocide that outsiders could have prevented.
On the other hand, we screwed up in Iraq, overturning a brutal dictator, but in the end making things worse (the karma due Dick Cheney falling instead on others who didn’t deserve it). Libya, where we “led from behind,” isn’t going so well.
The Assad regime in Syria is murdering its citizens. Should we stop it? Can we stop it? If we decide that we are able and willing to stop this slaughter, how will we do it? What will we do when things don’t go as planned, because we can be assured that they will not go as planned? We can’t count on our current Commander-in-Chief for moral leadership. Drumpf just received Egypt’s dictator, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and praised him in spite of el-Sisi’s dismal human rights record. (Also, it’s worth noting that if Drumpf had been in the Armed Services he would have been court-martialed for his adultery–which he boasted about–if not more. It’s doubtful with his foreign ties to dubious regimes and characters that he would have even received the low-level security clearance required to be an officer.)
And who will pay for this? The Iraq war was paid for on the credit card, and Afghanistan continues to fester, although on the whole most Americans ignore it except when they piously say “I support the troops” or stand oh-so-reverentially at a sporting event. A war requires a tax. That’s worth repeating.
A War Requires a Tax.
A large one, and it needs to be progressive, with war profiteers and the underrepresented (in the military) wealthy bearing a larger part of the cost.
More importantly: How many American lives are you willing to pay for this?
We’re not even having the discussion. Time is running out. I want to help Syrian civilians, but to do so means occupying Syria for, I imagine, at least a decade. Will this make things worse? Will our allies help us?
Put Gorsuch on the back burner (where he deserves to be). If we are who we say we are, we should be debating this in Congress all day, every day.