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    I’m an opinionated Grumpy Old Man. I enjoy the intellectual give and take that goes along with that, but have very little patience for stupid people (Note: there is a big difference between “stupid” and “educated”. Some of the stupidest people I’ve ever met have a PhD…). Beside arguing, I like to build things in almost any media. Right now I’m mostly building in wood, Lego, and a bunch of different electronic media. I teach in a number of different venues - from preschool all the way through graduate school. Subjects range from talmud to neuroscience to engineering.

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The 4th of July: Mourning a nation

burn1.jpgToday is the fourth of July, our nations birthday. However, today you will not find a flag flying at my home. You will not see or hear fireworks. You will not see anything to celebrate our nation because the current adminstration has made me ashamed to be an american.

flag.gifWhy? Because our nation no longer even vaguely approaches the ideals set forth by our founding fathers. The US flag has become an international symbol of poorly applied brute force, state-sponsored terrorism and torture, abrogation of any form of civil rights, and proof that high level politicians are above the law. The US has become the international equivalent of a playground bully, or, more accurately, an international thug. Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan are current examples of the US policy of simply applying force to soverign nations that don’t do what the US administration wants. In Iraq and Aafghanistan, cases, the citizens don’t want the US there. Sure, there are a handful of US supporters that stand to proffit by having “relations” with the US, but the vast majority simply want want us gone. Our escapades there have done nothing to improve world security – just the opposite. The US invasion of Iraq and current occupation of Afghanistan has actually increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks. Of course, we have a long and well established history of this type of action – pick any central or south american state, and the US has at some point overthrown the legal government to replace it with a puppet. After the second world war, the US flag was a symbol of justice and freedom. In a scant 50 years, we have changed this powerful symbol to represent brute force, injustice, and repression.

fireworks.jpgFireworks? The US national anthem refers to “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air”. In today’s world, this is an accurate representation of what fireworks should represent – broad application of explosives. The problem is that the US is using these explosive – bombs, cluster bombs, and other weapons of mass destruction against civilians. The excuse is usually that there was “intelligence that suggested that an al quiada operative was in the area”. So, because someone thinks that there was “an” (as in one, single)  bad guy in the area, the US is justified in dropping a couple tons of bombs or artillery on the site – in many cases wiping out entire villages. But hey, thats OK – the people living in the village must have known that a bad guy was there, so its their own fault. Of course, most of the time the “intelligence” is about as good as the intelligence that got us into iraq to start with – in other words, wrong, fabricated, or fantasy. Nope we won’t be setting off any fireworks at our house. 

party-hats.gifFourth of July celebrations? BBQ, softball, tossing the frisbee? In my home we will be praying for the innocent people killed by US policy – soldiers – both US, Afghan, Somali and Iraqi, civilians killed by US troops all over the world, and the innocents that have been kidnapped, tortured, killed or imprisoned in by secret US locations. We will also be remembering the wounded and maimed – the ones that never make it into the body counts in the news reports. The men, women and children – both military and civilian – that are maimed as the US continues to try and force the rest of the world to accept US culture, ethics, and politics at the point of a gun. And lets not forget the other victims – the orphans, widows, widowers, parents, brothers, and sisters who will spend their entire lives remembering the dead and wounded. The fighting might end someday (might.), but the memories will last forever.

We have found the enemy, and it is us.



One Response

  1. It’s time for somebody to move somewhere else 🙂

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