Feb 16, 2012

WAR. WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

Lt. Col. Daniel Davis: American Hero

Thanks to reporter embeds and soldiers coming home in disgust, we now know that whether America fights a war that is not ours in Vietnam or in Afghanistan, those in charge will lie about it.

From General Westmoreland to Oliver North to ,yes, even the vaunted David Patraeus ‘truthiness’ rules the day. None of this is about defending our freedom. Read Michael Hastings’ excellent book “The Operators,”
and watch for more from Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, loyal soldier now whistleblower:

‘On his second yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis travelled 9,000 miles, patrolled with American troops in eight provinces and returned in October of last year with a fervent conviction that the war was going disastrously and that senior military leaders had not levelled with the American public.

Since enlisting in the Army in 1985, he said, he had repeatedly seen top commanders falsely dress up a dismal situation. But this time, he would not let it rest. So he consulted with his pastor at McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where he sings in the choir. He watched his favourite movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” one more time, drawing inspiration from Jimmy Stewart’s role as the extraordinary ordinary man who takes on a corrupt establishment.

And then, late last month, Colonel Davis, 48, began an unusual one-man campaign of military truth-telling. He wrote two reports, one unclassified and the other classified, summarizing his observations on the candour gap with respect to Afghanistan. He briefed four members of Congress and a dozen staff members, spoke with a reporter for The New York Times, sent his reports to the Defence Department’s inspector general – and only then informed his chain of command that he had done so.”

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/in-afghan-war-officer-becomes-a-whistle-blower-173608&cp

Feb 15, 2012

Memo to Charles Murray

Could you be more white?

Charles Murray, an old white guy, has written a book about white people in America between 1906 – 2012. I wonder if it is as offensive as his book about “The Bell Curve ?” I am not interested in finding out, but I did observe him saying that the middle to lower classes watched tv all the time, and the upper classes either didn’t have a tv or watched Masterpiece theater.

I’d like to see his research, because I think this is BS. The intellectual classes might watch Masterpiece Theater, but they are not necessarily the upper classes
he talks about. And the thing about the rich people not having a tv: what planet is he living on?

Feb 10, 2012

Ask Not What Your Congressmen Can Do For You…

Ask not what your congressmen can do for you …because it is abundantly clear that they have no intention of doing anything for you.

Instead, ask what you can do for your congressmen. You elected them. They are screwing all of us. It is time we came to their aid. I have been thinking about this for some time now, and I have a few suggestions to offer.

Catch them doing something good: I list this as the first option because it will require the least amount of time. In my view, this is an utterly impossible task, so move on to…

Sue them for “taxation without representation”: This is a job for David Boies and Ted Olson. Someone needs to sign on as the complainant and then you will have the biggest class action suit in history. This should make the Tea Party very happy. The 99% can finally get their due. The Occupy folks can come in from the cold. The cops can put away their tasers and their pepper spray and go solve some actual crimes.
While the suit gets underway, on to smaller ideas which are nonetheless important to the task of understanding what you can do for your congressman.

Tell them to keep the dirty laundry at home: Congressmen who disrespect the President should be required to wear a dunce hat to any public event they attend for a minimum of six months. Hear that, Mitch O’Connell? You’ll be the first dunce. You already are. Disrespecting the office of the President is something so stupid that you should be ridiculed in the First Degree (whatever we decide that is). It not only makes you look dumb, it makes our country look dumb to people who hate us (and people who like us) the world over. You especially should not do this if you are very ugly and pretty old.

Continue reading »

Feb 9, 2012

Duncan Boothby’s Parents

Derek Boothby

Duncan Boothby, one of the major players in General Stan McChrystal’s demise, grew up across the street from my parents. My mother was especially fond of his younger brother Rory, who came to our house to play and who took my mother to Grandparents Day at Greenwich Country Day School. Their father, Derek, worked for the United Nations in both Bosnia and Iraq (among many other places I am sure) Their mother, Catherine, taught at Country Day and both of them are fabulous people.

Why I bring them up is because of the confluence of my having just finished Michael Hastings’ book, The Operators, and the recent extensive media coverage of the huge pile up where cars kept coming and crashing because they could see nothing in their way.

The combination called to mind the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge, not far from my family home. The bridge had a 100-foot section of its northbound span collapse on June 28, 1983. Three people were killed when their vehicles fell with the bridge into the Mianus River 70 feet below, and three were seriously injured.

Dunca Boothby’s parents were among the first to reach the collapsed bridge and Derek got out of his car and tried to wave oncoming vehicles to stop. Because there is so much distrust of others in the New York area, several cars failed to stop
and drove right into the Mianus River.

So the moral is: don’t trust the media, and do trust your fellow man.

Jan 30, 2012

I Am An Angry White Woman

If I were other than a white woman, I would be a hell of a lot angrier. I was glad to read Jodi Kantor’s responses to the media which implied she had called Michelle an angry black woman, which she hadn’t, directly or by implication. If I were Michelle Obama, I would be angry. Apparently, despite all the odds, she isn’t.

I had roughly the same advantages that Our First Lady did, except I was white. This accident of my birth gave me bonus advantages — not just the middle class family, the Ivy League College — but a free pass to do and/or be anything I wanted to be, just because I am white.

It only occurred to me that I ought to be angry when it became utterly clear to me that life in America was more fair to some people than to others, for no good reason. During my time at Smith College, black woman separated themselves from the rest of us. Black power was more than a political slogan, it was a movement. Most of those women seemed really angry to me. And they had a right to be.

But because of the sheer guts of the people, black and white, who demanded civil rights, because of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, because Martin Luther King’s death seemed to shake our nation awake, I naively assumed that things would keep moving towards equality for all. It was the right way to go. In my mind, it was the only way to go.

Now, in my sixties, I look back at the sixties and realize that the progress we made then was accomplished because it was public, it had powerful people behind it, it was loud and ugly and raw. It was terrifying for America: we’re supposed to be a melting pot and everybody is supposed to have certain” unalienable rights.” People who carried the weight of America’s wrongs were exhausted. People who looked the other way hoped that no one would ever call America on her bullshit again.
Since then, we have been in yet another space in time where Yeats’ Second Coming seems like our collective biography. The haters, the dividers went underground for a while, and now they speak again with impunity.

Our first black president and his family are a far better testament to America than we deserve. The America we are supposed to be would be proud that we have come so far.

But in the parallel universe that is our America, we are in a hurry to get rid of this President. The people who are supposed to be doing the people’s business are instead working to provoke the President, so he will be an “angry black man.” They openly lie about his accomplishments. They boldly state that their first priority is to make him a one term president. They do not serve us. They serve only themselves.

The America we actually live in is decidedly not the America our founding fathers envisioned. It is mean spirited, full of lies and unspeakably horrible to many of its people. This is not the America my first generation father loved so much. This is not the America that so many have given their lives for. This is not the America that I learned about in school. Michelle Obama might not be an angry black woman. But, because I have been lied to, because so many of my brothers and sisters are suffering, because this is not the America it is supposed to be … me? I am an angry white woman. ###

Gloria. Circa 1955.



Gloria. Circa 2012.




Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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