In the Aftermath of 9/11


While going through all the detritus that I’ve dragged from house to house (I didn’t have time to sort, but that’s a divorce story), I found a few pages from this Boston Globe from December 28, 2001.

Rudy Giuliani makes an ass of himself (again).

The Mayor Who Spent His Life Preparing His Rictus Grin uses his farewell address to slam Boston, reminding us that although he may have been able to fake leadership for a few short months, he’s still a delusional deviant at heart. mayor gross

 

The ‘Shoe Bomber’ had recently put himself in the news.

Yup, Richard Reid, the man who failed to blow up a plane yet has still managed to inconvenience billions of travelers–and continues to do so–first appeared around this time. Has 16 years of removing shoes at airport security flown by so fast?

 

There was this incisive cartoon regarding the Taliban and St. Reagan.

The truth actually a bit more complicated. There is a photo of Reagan with mujahideen in the White House, and it often accompanied by the claim that those men are Taliban. Snopes says this is false, that the Taliban did not exist at the time. While they weren’t Taliban at the time, Afghans who would later fight the US were indeed armed by Reagan. Reagan had no problems giving arms to groups with sketchy histories and could hardly be considered reliable allies. For more on how we often embrace reprobates, you can readIMG_0454

this editorial from the the late, great Molly Ivins with the haunting title How We Could Still Lose in Afghanistan.IMG_0452

 And a page full of ads for knickers. . .from Filene’s! (now located in the Mall of Heaven, right next to Marshall Field’s). IMG_0453

Food Gets Thrown Out


Here are some yucky things I had to toss in the trash.

B & W, early 70s


When I was in junior high, once a year we had a week where we were permitted to bring our cameras to school and take black-and-white pictures for the yearbook. Two of these pictures are from that. I no longer remember the people in them. There is a streetscape from near my house, and the grayness of the season, the dirty snow, the dried salt on the road, the bare trees in relief against the sunless sky return to me that feeling of endless winter that occurs in the North. And there is my younger sister, just a girl in elementary school at the time. I’ll throw out the pictures from school. I’ll keep that of my sister and the street near my house.

Polaroid of the Day:From the archives


IMG_0396 This was taken at the orphanage where we adopted our son. This picture, though, was taken in the ward where they kept children who tested positive for hepatitis B.The woman in the picture was the one  who played with them every day.

Stolen Valor, Gross Capitalism Version: “Our Business Supports the Troops”


more than youI went to rent a car. Because I’m  in the Reserves, I look for military discounts. I don’t feel entitled to them. I volunteered, I get paid for showing up for training, and best of all, I get TSA Pre-Check! so if no one offers me a discount, no big deal.

I would never think that a business that doesn’t give a military discount is against the troops. But conversely, I don’t think that just because a business says that they “support the troops” that it’s actually true.   The phrase “I support the troops” has become an essentially meaningless trope, a sort of verbal lapel-pin (made in China by underpaid workers!) and proof of nothing real, except perhaps the desire to fit in with the ‘right’ folk and show that one adheres to the accepted orthodoxy.

But I get it. I understand the reflexive need for Americans to say they support the troops. Someone else–less then 1% of the families in the US have any skin in the game–is doing all the heavy lifting, and enormous amount of guilt can be assuaged and responsibility shirked merely by uttering the mantra, “I support the troops.”

We all know, of course, that except for those who actually do something —help their neighbors who have a deployed family member, or volunteer in VA hospitals, offer a discount, or engage their elected officials in meaningful discussion (fat chance), etc.– that no one’s really supporting the troops in any significant way. Not that they have to: no one has to support the troops. It is a volunteer army. Morevoer, in a country with a strong First Amendment like ours, it’s anyone’s right to say,  Hey, I’m not supporting people who take part in a system whose basic function seems not to be defending ourselves, but pushing an American agenda on other parts of the world, and is willing to have our own children and the children of others die as a consequence. That doesn’t bother me. Hypocrisy does. It makes sense that if you don’t support war, you wouldn’t support the military-industrial complex. (It’s more complicated than that, but that’s not today’s discussion).

But my point–remember that I did start out this post with one–is that if you say that you support the troops, get off your fucking ass and support the troops. (NB: A discount does validate the claim.)

So when I click on Enterprise’s link to it’s we-love-the-military page, enterprise rent-a-car

and then click on the link to get my “military promo code”, please don’t have it be the same fucking price as I would have gotten anyway.

It’s dishonest.

Epilogue: I called up Enterprise Customer Service, and I told them–politely–what I said here. I didn’t ask for any discount, upgrade, or special service. I just said that if they say they have a military promo then they should actually have a military promo.

When I went to get my rental, I got the ridiculously low weekend rate, which normally would have been useless, except they gave me unlimited miles, making the rental the best deal I’ve had in a long time.

I’m glad they did right by me. They should now do the same for everyone else.

Shavuah Tov. Impeach Drumpf.


Can you fall asleep like this? Were you ever able to?

Asleep on a Roadtrip
Asleep on a Roadtrip, Boston to Columbus.
From “In The Loop” (2009):
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Twelve thousand troops. But that’s not enough. That’s the amount that are going to die. And at the end of a war you need some soldiers left, really, or else it looks like you’ve lost.

 

From “Duck Soup” (1933):
Another Cabinet Member: Gentlemen, gentlemen. Enough of this. How about taking up the tax?
Firefly: How about taking up the carpet?
Member: I still insist we take up the tax!
Firefly: [to his secretary] He’s right—you’ve got to take up the tacks before you take up the carpet.
Member: I give all my time and energy to my duties, and what do I get?
Firefly: You get awfully tiresome after a while.
Member: Sir, you try my patience.
Firefly: I don’t mind if I do. You must come over and try mine some time.
Member: That’s the last straw: I resign. I wash my hands of the whole business.
Firefly: Good idea. You can wash your neck too.

(Social) Media Shabbat


I imagine that your mind is probably shattering at the moment, too. There are too many mental balls to juggle, and they are flying all over the place and getting dropped. Some of them have explosives in them, others are just paint balls, and others are just trite metaphors getting overworked on an unread blog.

That can only mean one thing: It’s time for our weekly break!

I’ll leave you with this thought: It’s my former wife’s weekend with the kids. They don’t hang out with me, y’know,  being teenagers and all, but that sensation when I get back from dropping them at school, their presence still palpable (the humidity upstairs from the shower, the smell of whatever it is that my daughter put in her hair, the mug that I used to heat the milk for the hot chocolate my son drinks in the car), it is overwhelming and poignant, it fades all too fast.

And in other good news, it’s baseball season!!Pogo26

Polaroid of the Day


Pinhole again. 7 seconds. My cat, Zoot, under a light. She’s almost all washed out. I did some manipulation with Mac Photos. See below for the cell phone picture. polaroid of the day, april 6, 2017IMG_0319.jpg

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