The Militarization of our culture and society… a view from an onlooker and citizen

The difference between the earlier America that knew its military and the modern America that gazes admiringly at its heroes shows up sharply in changes in popular and media culture. While World War II was under way, its best-known chroniclers were the Scripps Howard reporter Ernie Pyle, who described the daily braveries and travails of the troops (until he was killed near the war’s end by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Iejima), and the Stars and Stripes cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who mocked the obtuseness of generals and their distance from the foxhole realities faced by his wisecracking GI characters, Willie and Joe”

This is the first is a series I will be posting to my blog (catskillbobs blogosphere on wordpress)…in shorter form and enlarging for OdEdnews and perhaps Firedoglake. There are many critics out there, including some great books written about the historical outlook, even recently by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. I will be including some content by Chalmers Johnson and Noam Chomsky among others. ..My biggest concern is the daily ‘militarization’ of our lives in many ways, in our daily TV, shows, news, and our cultural, deeply entrenched. Automatically considering anyone from any American segment, as ‘heroes’ no matter what, no matter the history of our military, i believe, is unfair to our National self portrait, and undermines daily freedoms. I do not mean to demean personal heroicism by individuals, of which there are many. My point and my commentary are aimed at dangers, of ‘segmentation’, ‘regimenation’, loss of civil rights and worse in our culture…. I hope this will be found in the spirit i wish to portray, as ‘all Americans, all HUMANS are of value, and all people are or should be equal and equal in the site of all of us.. A point of view sorely needed considered the revealing of our inherent Racism, bigotry, Homophobia and inequal system of justice , espeically for people of color. The most recent examples of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, black men, who were Unarmed , on our streets (the worst offense performed by one as possibly illegally selling individually selling cigarettes on the streets of NYC.
Using as a jumping point the excellent article in the Atlantic this month called, “The Tragedy of the American Military”… (Jan/Feb 2015 issue)…..(“http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/12/the-tragedy-of-the-american-military/383516/” )

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Thoughts for a new year…

A THOUGHT FOR THE NEW YEAR. I have to be honest.. I am of two minds about soldiers, veterans and militarism in general.. we should always question everything…. as Gen. and President Eisenhower himself warned us of the ‘military industrial (orignallly added corporate) complex’….. I understand that some see the Army, Navy and their ads and think this is a way of having a career, whether out of lack of ability to go to college, or some sort of ‘patriotism’… I get it… but, in sense, they made up their own minds and are responsible for what they have done to themselves, their families, chlidren, if they have… YES< the Government for all its BS, has to and should take care of them when they come back half a person, more than wounded, mentally and physicially.. and in that I support them.. But, and in this I will be misunderstood or crticized, I know… they, in most part didn’t go to serve or ‘protect’ me (or us) in particular unless there was a direct threat against our shores…This can be debated, of course, what is a threat.. But, is there a threat to us, in Iraq, and Afghanistan, (Pakistan where we are carrying our an anonymous ‘unseen’ drone war against innocents, mostly?) and surrounding areas… i ask these questions of myself everyday, and ask others to just consider this for a moment… do we want or need to be in Iraq (we still have troops there btw), and Afghanistan, for fear of whom, Isis/Isil?…. whom the President, himself said are not currently a threat to us? and how many of the over 150 plus bases around the world do we really need, need to continue to populate, pay for? when Our own infrastructure is falling apart…? our nations’ poor, and more and more ‘middle class’ cannot afford to feed, or house their own? what have we become? when is it enough? I ask myself constantly these thoughts and questions in my mind, everytime i hear of a new ‘threat’ out there… Am I alone, am I to be considered ‘unpatriotic’ (whatever that means) for asking this and posing these questions.. just some thoughts for the New Year.. what kind of year will we have,? worse, more wars, destruction, innocents killed, out own minorities threatened because someone in D..C . decided it was a good idea to ‘Miltarize’ our local police (unconstitutional by the way)…. I claim to be a paciifist and  I am…but that ‘s not why I ask these questions…. thoughts anyone? Peace in the new year…. a futile thought mostly, because we mostly have no control over whats happening and what our own government will do…

NYS Bill Enhances Protections for Pets

A great bit of news

The Catskill Chronicle

NEW YORK STATE (December 22, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed a bill to increase protections for pets across New York State. The bill prohibits the unnecessary piercing and tattooing of cats, dogs, and all other pets for purely cosmetic purposes for the pleasure of the owner, except under limited circumstances. Those who violate the law will be subject to criminal penalties.

“This is animal abuse, pure and simple,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’m proud to sign this common sense legislation and end these cruel and unacceptable practices in New York once and for all.”

The bill (A.739-D/S.6769-C) prohibits the piercing or tattooing of all pets, including cats and dogs, to protect the animals from unnecessary harm. The bill allows the use of piercing and tattooing in only limited circumstances, such as ear tags on rabbits, tattoos for identification purposes only, or where the piercing provides a medical benefit…

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BIG NEWS FOR NYS.. Fracking banned by DOH, and 3 projects awarded licences for Casinos

NO FRACKING TO BE ALLOWED IN NYS, AND 3 CASINO PROJECTS AWARDED IN NYS.. INCLUDING SULLIVAN COUNTY…  December 18, 2014

I live in Sullivan and Gov. Cuomo will be at Bethelwoods center (3 miles frome) where I will be today to hear his announcements…NYS DOH says fracking would be too dangerous to our health… and Gov. Cuomo to appear at Bethelwoods center (up the road from me, I’ll be there today)….to announce both of these things..http://rochester.twcnews.com/…/fracking-in-new-york–state…/

[Starstuff, Contemplating] “Celebrating Meaning in our Lives through Family Holidays” by Heather and Jon Cleland Host

Worth sharing

Humanistic Paganism

We are assemblages of ancient atoms forged in stars – atoms organized by history to the point of consciousness, now able to contemplate this sacred Universe of which we are a tiny, but wondrous, part.

A little over a month ago, we piled our kids into the car to go watch a partial eclipse of the Sun. Our oldest son created homemade viewing glasses from safety glasses and foil wrappers, as we drove with our eyes on the horizon. When we arrived, the Sun was hidden behind a patch of clouds, but there was an opening just beneath. The kids climbed up onto the roof of the car, and we waited faithfully for the event that terrified our Ancestors to unfold. We watched as the Moon took a bite out of the Sun, and instead of screaming and huddling in fear, our children pointed and grinned and exclaimed at the…

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