Category Archives: war
I look forward
Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. I look forward to an epoch when a court, recognized by all nations, will settle international differences.
– Ulysses S. Grant
death by powerpoint
The article includes some quotes which are fast becoming famous, including this wonderful thing:
Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”
Yes, he was referring to Powerpoint when he said, "it's dangerous."Also via this article, we can all have our very own copies of this amazing Powerpoint slide, a real Army document which illustrates just what they're up to over there. Go ahead and click that link. It's been rendered for posterity as a humble jpg file. I wish George Orwell was alive to see it. He might say, "Sonofabeach, I hadn't imagined this in my wildest dreams." Poor Microsoft gets blamed for everything. It's another example of how the method has become synonymous with the process. Just like to google something replaced searching for it. Not everybody uses Google, but we all say, "I'll Google that." Hey, maybe they should try Google Docs. It has a nice lightweight alternative to Powerpoint. And with a satellite internet uplink, they could work on their presentations from anywhere in the field of operations. … Or maybe they wouldn't like that much. This motto might be stenciled on a tank: No Powerpoint, No Peace
Move him into the sun—Think how it wakes the seeds,—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved—still warm—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all? by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
Welcome to National Poetry Month. This poem arrived in my inbox today, and I concur it's quite right to begin the month with it. There is so much packed into its 14 lines.Wilfred Owen died in WWI, aged about 25. And it begs the question, do they still make soldier-poets, and send them off to war? Or does war make poets of them? Do they carry futility with them, or merely bring it home? You can decide.
to my congresswoman on memorial day
Dear Mrs. Capps:
Thank you for your continued service to the South Coast. I have received your e-mail “honoring the fallen,” on Memorial Day. I believe that for a year and a half, Congress has failed to do so by taking impeachment “off the table.” It is a national disgrace. There could have been no better tribute to our fallen, of this war and every war previous, than to exercise the legal and moral imperatives of the Constitution.
How those in Power use the shock of terrorism and disaster to effect social and economic change.
“…present-day global capitalism took hold when its advocates learned to exploit disasters. After a disaster (war, tsunami, terrorist attack), you can push your agenda for worsening labor conditions, looser regulation, and pocket-lining exercises (Enron, Halliburton) while the reeling, disaster-struck population of the world has its attention elsewhere.”
[Naomi Klein’s Disaster Capitalism video: exploiting disasters for globalism – on Boing Boing blog]