Friday, April 14, 2017

MOAB hits home — mine and yours

Just to make the power of the GBU-43, aka “Mother of All Bombs,” up close and personal…

Dropped on our Portland neighborhood of HIllsdale, with 8,000 residents, the bomb obliterates every man, woman and child and all structures.

It would leave behind a wasteland.

If this is “conventional,” as in “conventional weapon,” we better rethink our conventions…fast.

A few other results from a search of the web. Two miles from where the bomb hits here in Southwest Portland, victims could be rendered deaf.

That takes us from Hillsdale to the Willamette River to the east, and to the Portland-Beaverton border to the west.

For several miles beyond that victims may suffer bleeding ears, to say nothing of trauma and the loss of family and friends.

Five miles away from the blast, the ground would shake and windows be broken. Question: Could this bomb trigger a massive earthquake?

Then there is the fiscal damage already being inflicted by the development and construction of this bomb. Each MOAB costs $16 million. That doesn’t include the cost of the planes needed to drop it.

To put that number in perspective, Portland Public Schools estimates its budget shortfall for next year to be $18 million, resulting in a projected loss of 70 teachers.

And what are the consequences of accepting the use of this weapon as “acceptable." The military-industrial complex, and our power-mad president, have at the ready so-call “tactical nuclear weapons.”

Russian, by the way, has a similar "conventional" bomb, and we know about the nuclear weaponry of North Korea, whose leader is as unpredictable and crazed as Donald Trump.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Breaking News! The Pilgrims were undocumented aliens!

Just a heads up.

The Pilgrims were undocumented aliens.

So were all the colonists. The very idea of a colony was alien. So too, property ownership.

We might add to the list of “illegals,” all the Europeans who “settled” in the Americas bringing with them disease and violence.

Most of us are the descendants of those undocumented intruders. What does that make us?

When I recently shared this slice of history with a friend, he noted that all human beings who came to these American continents were undocumented aliens, including the “native people” who originated in Asia and, prior to that, in Africa.

So when the “native people” arrived here, did anyone check in with the buffalo?

And so it goes.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

My Birthday Wish in a Time of Crisis

I was born 75 years ago on this date. Two and a half months before my birth, on Dec. 8, 1941, the President of the United States declared war, and my father enlisted to fight in it

He became a flight surgeon on B-29s bombing Japanese targets is China.

Among his duties was salvaging the charred remains of his buddies after their battered “Super-Fortresses” crash landed on their home runways. He watched as the planes exploded, burned and consumed his friends.

Back in the States, I was a toddler, the approximate age of three of my four grandchildren today.

Many years later, my mother told me my father came home from war “a different man.” “Not the man I married,” she said. Only on rare occasions did I see the man I presume she fell in love with.

Today, the President of the United States has declared war on me, a journalist and a former teacher of journalism. He has declared me, my former students and my colleagues the “enemy of the American people.”

He has also, in effect, declared war on millions of others far more vulnerable than we are.

The battles in this war are already changing me … and you. We are already witnessing the flaming, hate-filled wreckage of his deeds.

My own engagement certainly is not and will not be as an “enemy of the American people.” I seek to be the “enemy” of no fellow human, but I will fervently oppose the nefarious deeds of this deranged president.

My father came home from war embittered and hardened. There are already days when I myself feel consumed by bitterness and even hatred. I must not surrender to these feelings if I am to help create a world of peace for my grandchildren.

Today these children know me as the old man who reads and sings to them, who pushes their swings in the park and holds their hands firmly as we cross the street.

I want to remain that man even as I fight to secure a future of promise for them, this nation and this planet.

I want these and other children to remember me — and us — for hope and change, for joy and love.

This is my birthday wish.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

‘Enemy of the People’ wants to meet with Trump’s ‘finely tuned machine’

At his press conference on Thursday, President Trump made two assertions. I want to test both.

Assertion 1 was that my fellow journalists and I are “enemies of the people.”

Assertion 2 was that his administration is running like a “finely tuned machine.”

If the president believes that I am an enemy to the American people, I demand that his “finely tuned machine” immediately arrest me before I cause any irreparable damage to the my fellow Americans.

If I am not arrested, or at least questioned, in the next week, perhaps some representative in the president’s finely tuned machine can tell me were I can turn myself in so that “the people” will be safe again.

Mr. President, I look forward to talking with one of your representatives about my allegedly criminal behavior.

I will pack my toothbrush.

If nothing happens in the next week, I will assume that both assertions are lies, and that, accordingly, the real enemy of the people is you, Mr. President. In which case, I demand that you turn yourself in. Frankly, I'd settle for a simple resignation.

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