Monthly Archives: May 2018

Memorial Day 2018: remembering the fallen vs celebrating war

The business of America is war.

I hate this fucking holiday.

Memorial-DayIt’s proper to honor those who died in service to the country. But with each passing year it feels less honest. For too many among us, what’s really being celebrated is war itself. We’re arguably the greatest warmongering menace in the history of the world and it has been a very, very long time since we engaged in anything remotely like an existential  conflict. Mainly today’s soldier is deployed to fight over economic interests, score-settling, religious hatred, or to try and tamp down the logical results of a foreign policy that’s spend decades creating enemies.

I’ve always felt war should be the last resort, not the first, and that waging it should make future wars less likely, not more.

Call me a dreamer…

Many countries dedicate energy to developing jobs programs for its citizens. In the US, the military is our jobs program.

As I’ve said repeatedly in recent years, the best way to honor the fallen isn’t to have a nice spring barbecue holiday. The best way is to stop creating new and improved ways of sending more people off to die for nothing. And – this is key – to hold the corrupt sociopaths responsible for it all accountable for their crimes.

Barely a month after S&R launched in 2007 I wrote the first of what would be several articles on the subject. Along the way some of colleagues have weighed in, as well. Today, instead of ranting afresh, I’d simply like to share these pieces with you and encourage you to read one or two. Perhaps maybe share them. Read more

Did OKC shooting prove “good guy with a gun” theory? On the contrary…

Loui's in OKC

I’m glad no innocent people died. But the incident comes closer to proving the NRA wrong than right.

Two armed citizens kill shooter who opened fire in Oklahoma restaurant

Let’s all be glad no innocent people were killed. Period.

Let’s also attend closely to the facts before the NRA arrives claiming that good guys with guns, or whatever.

Two points need making about this incident.

First, there was no deterrence. For years my pro-NRA friends have assured me that “an armed population is a polite one.” Nobody in their right mind would draw a gun when they know others might be armed. Read more

NFL national anthem policy: institutionalized racism strikes back?

Lions during national anthem

I have smart, strongly progressive friends who don’t see the national anthem issue the way I do. Here’s an exchange between one of my closest friends and me on the subject, with some discussion about pragmatism and idealism…

Yesterday, in the wake of the newly announced NFL policy on the national anthem, I posted this to Facebook:

Okay, I need someone to convince me not to boycott the NFL at least until they decide that domestic abuse is worse than speaking out against injustice.

Anybody?

I got a number of replies. Read more

Admit it – you think chicken tastes like cardboard

chicken tastes like cardboard

Say this next time you’re served chicken against your will…

I grew up in the South, where chicken, in its many forms, was a staple of the diet. Fried chicken, of course. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken (kill me now) casserole. Baked chicken. Barbecue chicken. Chicken and waffles. Chicken pot pie. Chicken stew. Chicken noodle soup.

And of course, chicken necks, livers and gizzards.

vomit-emoji

Of course, it’s not just the South – chicken is a big dish everywhere. According to the USDA, Americans ate nearly 92 pounds of chicken per person in 2016. And worldwide the data indicates we eat 55 million chickens a day.

I have a confession. I don’t really like chicken all that much. Yeah, I play along because it’s allegedly healthier. But the bottom line is that I almost never eat chicken when there’s beef or pork on the menu.

Know why? Because chicken has no goddamned flavor. Read more