I’m not particularly coherent today, so this may be rambly.

You think it happens to other soldiers, to other people you’ve never seen before.  You don’t know their faces, you don’t know their names.

It’s always a tragedy, but it’s a tragedy you’re removed from.  You tell yourself it happens to other soldiers (and other policemen) because the thought of the people that you love, or the family of people you love, dying putting their lives on the line… is just too much.  I refuse to think about something happening to Dave.

The thought of someone you love being killed, gunned down, blown up… is too horrible to imagine.  And then the one soldier you know… you think that he will be the one who is safe because in the law of averages, the one person you know in all of the thousands can’t possibly die, right?

Especially when he’s only a TA.  But most TAs don’t sign themselves up to go to Afghanistan and have such passion for it.

Sadly, our friend Bobby did sign up. He did go to Afghan.  And despite only 5 months of service, he was killed there this week.  He was a friend, a brother, a son, and a funny, wonderful human being.

His family are fantastic.  Dave was the best man for his brother Will at his wedding in Canada 4 years ago, and I’ve never met a more tight knit group of siblings who genuinely love hanging out together and care a great deal for each other.

It’s so surreal.  We weren’t close to Bobby and this is not about my grief but this feeling of deep, terrible sadness for this family.  I can’t help but grieve.  They are amazing and they just don’t deserve this.  No one deserves this.

It breaks my heart.





The Land of the Free


What, me worry?

I find this utterly fascinating:

WASHINGTON Sep 11, 2006 (AP)— Vice President Dick Cheney says the fact that there has not been another attack on U.S. soil shows “we’ve done a pretty good job” of protecting the country against terrorists.

“I don’t know how much better you can do than no, no attacks for the past five years,” said Cheney, dismissing Democratic charges that serious security gaps remain.

I guess we can all cheer that the US haven’t been attacked lately. Sooo.. I take it that the London bombings don’t matter? Neither does Bali, Jakarta, Bali again, or India?

Or are those just not as important?

I love America. I greatly respect the patriotism of its people, including the large numbers who protest against war and Bush’s policies. It’s a fantastic place. I lived and worked there 3 years ago, and I will do so again. I love New York City, and the east coast. I love the warmth of the people.

But why is this “War on Terrorism” all the government cares about?

The biggest superpower in the world has the highest illiteracy rates in the western world. High levels of arsenic in the drinking water. 37 million people below the poverty line. 10650 firearm deaths a year. 41 million people without any sort of healthcare. State laws that refuse people who love each other to marry. State laws that execute people. State laws that take away a woman’s choices about what’s right for her own body in regards to birth control and pregnancy.

When a government is imposing their own religious beliefs on its people and their basic right to make their own decisions for themselves, doesn’t that make them fundamentalist? Doesn’t it make them just as ‘bad’ as the people they are trying to destroy? Should we gather a big army and rush in to disarm them and put our own president in there?

I sometimes wonder if the government really cares about anything other than saving their hides while bullying the rest of the world.

It amazes me that they are so desperate to disarm other nations, but refuse to disarm themselves. They invade, remove leaders, put their own picks into power. They push smaller countries into backing them in a war with no evidence to support it. They even tried to get New Zealand to back down on its nuclear-free policy (any ships with nuclear materials cannot enter NZ waters) and lost, thankfully.

Bush is a puppet, obviously, as without his speechwriters, he seems very scattered. We all know this. And we now know what he does when someone takes away his chocolate milk, or might have one better than his on the playground.

No wonder conspiracy theorists are so fervent. There’s just so much about that government that incenses me. And while right now in the US, it’s September the 11th, and a day to respect them and mourn (which I did do yesterday, with a flag at half-mast), I can’t help but feel that today is a good day to speak my mind. Not about the wonderful people, but about the government and the truly terrible choices they have made and are continuing to make.

And if that sends you as a reader elsewhere, have a nice day. I do not intend to offend, only to paint a picture of a country that concerns me. A country that needs to look after its own people and stop worrying entirely about what everyone else might be plotting against them.

Only then will it really be the greatest country in the world.