Musings from the darkness. . .

There is no Santa Claus; there is no Easter Bunny. There is no such thing as love at first sight; no such thing as true love either. There is no Jesus, no God, no devil, no demons. There is no truth or lies. There is no absolute.

So, why do I hope? Why do I dare to believe? Why do I bother passing on falsehoods to future generations? We all do it, but why me? Shouldn’t I know better by now? Shouldn’t I understand how it all works? But the innocence in their eyes, wide with wonder, stops me every time.

Can you believe it? How I can so viciously lie to a child, without hesitation, while thinking that I’m doing some kind of good? Everybody has to grow up. Maybe the sooner, the better? I wish I knew. I don’t know anything anymore. Life seems like a circle of cynicism; round and round it goes, where it’ll stop, nobody knows. . .

Only I do, and it may come sooner then I think. Ain’t it a shame? But underneath the obvious, there is always that one moment, so precious it is, that it might just be God; that moment when the kids see the presents under the Christmas tree, exclaiming how Santa Claus really did come; that moment when there are foot prints which could only be that of a gigantic rabbit on the front lawn; the moment when you put aside negativity and realize that life isn’t all that bad: it’s just life.

Life is filled with Santa Claus’, Easter Bunnies, gods, demons, lovers, sinners, cynics, optimists, and good people. The moral of the story is that there is no moral. Just what is in front of you and frequently what you carry or decide to leave behind. Life is insanity; beautiful, blissful, treacherous insanity. My mind is a mental clinic and my breath is my medication. Lose your thoughts, think with your heart, and forget the idea that everything is terrible. If everything was terrible, you wouldn’t have good moments to live for.

Treasure them.

Schumer and McCain think Russia should “pay the price” for harboring Edward Snowden

According to an article by Alexandera Jaffe:

“They should pay a price, either diplomatic, economic, geopolitical, for doing what they did. They’re always putting their finger in our eye,” said Schumer on “Fox News Sunday,” arguing for repercussions against Russia.

So what are we going to do? Go to war with Russia over an American Hero in Edward Snowden? Does that sound like bullshit to you?

This whole ridiculous attempt to point the blame at Edward Snowden for something the Schumer’s and the McCain’s of this world did knowingly is disgusting. All Americans should be angry about this. The NSA has been spying on every American indiscriminately for years, lying to the American people, screaming terrorist against anyone who opposed them. Does that not sound like bullshit to you?

Draw your own conclusions, please.

P.S. Freedom of Speech, mother fuckers.

Civilian deaths and why you should care

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When journalists report about civilian deaths abroad, it is often done with the understanding that killing innocents is wrong. While I don’t dispute that fact, I think it would be beneficial to the readers if an explanation was given as to why not only is it morally wrong to kill civilians but why those who do nothing about it are just as wrong.

For one thing, just because you don’t know the dead personally does not make it any less tragic. Just because they are Arabic or foreign also does not make it less tragic. Human beings are cooperative, social creatures who need each other in order to survive. While violence and fighting will always persist on some level, it is self-perpetuating when it is justified by human nature. I don’t think its okay to be at war with a race just because some politician says we are.

An estimated 122,000 civilians have died in the Iraq War, 16,000 have been killed in the War in Afghanistan, and then of course you have casualties in Pakistan, Yemen, and other places where the War on Terror has spilled over. I didn’t take into account the amount of people killed from starvation and disease after being displaced as a result of those wars.

It was Stalin who said that one death is a tragedy and a millions is a statistic. Numbers don’t matter that much. What’s more important is the understanding that the 3,000 or so civilians killed on 9/11 do not justify a single civilian death in the name of counter-terrorism. In order to understand why this is true, you have to be able to emphasize and put yourself into other people’s shoes. For a lot of Americans, that is a very difficult thing to do because to them these wars are a million miles away and have nothing to do with them. While this is not entirely untrue, it has to be understood that it has everything to do with us because if we don’t stand up to our government and just remain silent, these deaths will only continue to grow.

When I hear about a mother and child being killed, I cannot help but think of my sister and my niece. When you look at these deaths from that perspective, it makes it easier to oppose war—especially when you translate those feelings into a mathematical equation.

If you believe that civilian deaths as a result of military actions by the United States are inconsequential to you, then there is probably nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. However if you, like me, remember the terror and uncertainty of 9/11 and multiply that by 40, then you get the Iraq War …almost.

We all know that it is too late to stop the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but I hope that some of these statistics will give anyone reading this the courage to try and stop the next inevitable war that will be launched in our name.

Sources: http://www.iraqbodycount.org

http://costsofwar.org/article/afghan-civilians

Nothing to see here! Army blocks military access to NSA leaks.

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Okay as soon I read about this, I knew I had to give my two cents.

If you are a regular reader of this blog then chances are you probably know what I’m about to say which is that this is a load of donkey crap. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but still…

Obviously this is an attempt to quell any other potential whistle blowers, although I’m not convinced that this will necessarily stop them. In fact, it may just make them more curious and–in the best case scenario– more angry.

Not only is this act of censorship by the army immoral it is also idiotic. The fact that we have to hide from our soldiers what our government is doing to American citizens is absolutely repugnant. There is a word for that and it’s called ‘fascism’.

Obviously the military is sending a clear message it’s soldiers: “Hey guys! Yeah, I know you volunteered to help defend American democracy anymore but–eh–we can’t trust you with any information. Sorry!”

Apparently, according to this article, this is not something that is unusual. We will see if this creates an even bigger scandal…

Plea to the Insane (Poem)

When you can’t stand on your own head
When the great stone walls fill you with dread
When the mighty men lose face with their girl
When on tippie toes they spin and twirl

When you forget where your eyes are placed
When all you can think of is your first kisses taste
When you no longer see where time begins
When your view of the world you are forced to rescind

When you don’t feel wanted anymore than needed
When you can’t beat the score of the defeated
When you terrorize your dreams with nightmares of your own
When you long for that moment when you can be alone

When you speak in tongues that say little
When the words you receive are meant to belittle
When you gain the lie but lose the truth
When you realize that you can’t fit in your own noose

It’s at that time where you stand up and stop
And realize that it’s just a pick of the straw lot
This is a plea to the insane don’t live in vain
And never forget to use your brain.

The Government’s Appetite for the Young and Fearless

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What is the United States government other than a gigantic conglomeration of bitter old men who don’t mind sending intelligent, creative young men to jail on trumped up charges?

Bradley Manning is a famous example of this, but there is also Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, and others. There is an obvious disconnect between the older and younger generation; it is this abrasion which is causing the most problems. All around the world, tech savvy professionals are changing the way we do journalism and activism. Obama, Graham, Feinstein, Clapper, Holder, and others are really just glorified dinosaurs trying to hold out against the meteorite that is the internet. Nothing can stop it now, but yet they don’t mind ruining a few lives before they meet their end.

It is not worth quoting any of the aforementioned endangered species called politicians. The government represented either individually or collectively, has no opinion that is worth repeating or worse yet giving credence to. Why? Because it is the Barrett Browns, the Jeremy Hammonds, the Edward Snowdens, and the Bradley Mannings who will inherit the earth … if the United States survives to see that day.

The United States Government’s interests do not match up to the disconnected. The government’s lies are not going to make them change their ways. They know this and, because they know, it is harder to stop them. A Bob Dylan illustrates this perfectly: ‘Come mothers and fathers throughout the land/don’t criticize what you can’t understand/your sons and your daughters are beyond your command.’The times certainly are changing … eternally. It’s time for the older generation to step aside and let the young folks take charge. Their way is not working.

Goodnight Irene

Irene is going to bed now.

Goodnight Irene.

Irene took Xanax and now she’s going to sleep forever.

The other day she was so spaced out from the medication. That’s what she said.

I replied, oh really, not understanding completely what she meant.

She lit up a cigarette. I remember when that was cool. Now, looking at her, I realize how stupid I am.

I’m stupid.

She takes a drag before answering.

Yeah really, she says.

The way Irene holds her cigarette is the way all movie stars held their cigarettes. In between their pointer and middle, while carelessly letting her arm hang beside her waist. She looked so beautiful with a cigarette. She could’ve been a model for Phillip Morris.

What about you, she asks.

I tell her that it’s little by little.

She grunts and takes a drag from her cigarette.

I wanted to ask her for one, but I knew it was stupid.

If you’re going to smoke, it’s better to be a full-timer then a once-in-a-blue-moon smoker because otherwise you’re just using people who actually pay for their habit. That’s what my smoking buddy used to say anyways.

Want a bust? She asked. I shook my head.

We cross the bend and walk around a great green patch of grass, which has a long black road stretching around it and down the middle. The sign reads SENIOR SCENERY WALK.

I have something to tell you, she says.

What is it? I ask.

She doesn’t reply right away.

You really liked me back then, didn’t you?

Now it’s my turn to not answer. I shrug and clear my throat.

Yes, and I still do.

I see a butterfly on the ground; great black wings with yellow spots. It looks like something out of National Geographic. It just lies on the ground, twitching its wings. It’s in pain.

Leave it alone, she said to me, as I bent down to pick it up. I protest but she took her hand and putting it on mine, she massages my knuckles. Just let it be. She steers me away from the butterfly, and I look back later and it’s gone.

So I let it be, and we walked down the pathway past the gazebo. She asks, why are we walking on this pathway when we can walk on the grass. I say, I don’t know.

Well come on, she says. She grabs my hand and we walk on the grass. There are plenty of people, both young and old, on the pathways but we are the only ones walking across the grass. I start to whistle an old Irish song that I heard some years ago, and she starts to sing.

Irene Goodnight.

Irene Goodnight.

I regret everything I never said to her. I regret the times we didn’t spend with each other. I regret any ill thought I had against her.

I miss spunky Irene.

The one I knew so many years ago; the one that never took shit from anybody, and who didn’t hesitate to defend a friend even when it was unpopular.

Goodnight Irene.

I’ll see her in my dreams.