Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tillman's Brother/Great Trick/Damn Winter

(P1) Political

After Pat’s Birthday

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman (right) joined the Army with his brother Pat (left) in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

A link to the entire Tillman essay follows excerpts.

Here are a few excerpts from this brilliant piece by the brother who was there:

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Press here for the entire Tillman essay.

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(P2) Philosophical

Hey, great trick!!!

Go figure. Which category would you put it in?

I already have an Ezra Pound poem below, so the photo cannot be classified "Poetical" here.

Although I might be tempted to vote for a city council candidate who could do this, I would be stretching (pun intended) the point to call this "Political."

So, we're only left with the third P3 category. Therefore, this great feat will be classed "Philosophical." And why not? "I gross, therefore, I probably am."

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(P2) Poetical

Ancient Music

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

from Lustra (1913-1915) Ezra Pound

Here's a bit of the original 13th century round (why Pound and I prefer the light to damn Winter):

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!

Summer is a-coming in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
and springs the wood anew
Sing cuckoo!

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Katherine H. said...

I actually cut out the article by Kevin Tillman when I saw it in the paper that morning. I hope it was printed in every paper in the land! As for the Poetical, I sent it to my father-in-law who lives in Buffalo!


Anonymous said...

what the holy $#%& is that picture?


Duncan said...

I made friends with a fellow in 1967 at Ft. Knox, KY. We were in AIT and enrolled in the Armor School. We both dropped out of OCS at about the same time, for different reasons, and eventually went to pick up our re-assignment orders together. There was a rumor that those with college degrees were being sent to Germany and those without to Vietnam. Ken was one semester short of a BA as he had taken time out to work for some living money and at that point was drafted into the Army.
I had my degree.
Ken got Nam, I got Germany.

Three years later I looked Ken up and listened to his stories of life in Vietnam and combat. He was a tank driver for most of his tour. On one occassion, his unit entered a village, with individual tanks traveling on parallel streets. There was some firing in the village. At a cross street, Ken's tank commander ordered a halt and then decided to drive into the street and fire a main gun round (90mm)down the street and reverse immediately. Ken did as ordered and as he looked down the street to his left he saw a US armored personnel carrier a split second before it disintegrated.

It is highly likely that most or all of the passengers in the APC were draftees, not volunteers like the Tilmans. Imagine the feelings of the families of those guys. Were they told the truth about what happened? We'll never know. I doubt that any of them were professional athletes or celebrities.

Perhaps it is good that Pat Tilman was a celebrity volunteer so we can know the truth and know how our leaders, both military and political, hide or manipulate the truth.

But didn't we go through all this in the '60's and '70's? How can anyone believe things will be different just we because we got attacked and because we are volunteering to "protect our country"?

I agree with everything Kevin Tilman is saying and I am sorry for his and his family's loss. And I'm glad he is talking about these things. But, to me, the best lesson to be learned from his experience is by other young, idealistic men and women. When you raise that right hand and take that oath, be sure you know exactly what you are saying and doing. And just be thankful you have a choice. My friend Ken did not and now lives with his nightmares.

Edward Coletti said...

Duncan, That was very moving. I hope a lot of readers come here to the comments section and take a look at what you imparted so eloquently.

Thank you,


Duncan said...

Thanks, Ed. I add one more thought to the Kevin Tillman essay. My answer to his list of "Somehow" atrocities is that the people of the United States of America have elected the leaders of this country who are responsible for the actions. It will take the same American voters to get rid of them. See ya at the polls on Tuesday.

Duncan said...

Some time not long ago, there was a discussion here on global warming. I offer the following to the debate:

A recent column in Car and Driver Magazine by Pat Bedard, who I've known for about 30 years and respect his intelligence and integrity, makes a case for water vapor being the primary cause of global warming. I did a quick google research and found a few samples of debate. After reading some of this stuff, it's easy to see how one can truthfully say the science is not absolute on the subject.

Bedard's point is that the Kyoto Treaty participants knew water vapor is the biggest contributor to atmospheric warming, but also knew that nothing can be done about it as it is a natural phenomenon, so they jumped on the next target that is influenced by humans - carbon dioxide.

Some others, but certainly not all, have supported this position. One might like to check these links:

As for me, I now must say the jury is still out and I have a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of human made CO2. The atmosphere is definitely getting warmer, but why, who really knows?

Edward Coletti said...

Ok, since I very much respect, I went to that article and read the following which I was able to comprehend. The remainder was beyond me.

Water vapour: feedback or forcing?

"Whenever three or more contrarians are gathered together, one will inevitably claim that water vapour is being unjustly neglected by 'IPCC' scientists. "Why isn't water vapour acknowledged as a greenhouse gas?", "Why does anyone even care about the other greenhouse gases since water vapour is 98% of the effect?", "Why isn't water vapour included in climate models?", "Why isn't included on the forcings bar charts?" etc. Any mainstream scientist present will trot out the standard response that water vapour is indeed an important greenhouse gas, it is included in all climate models, but it is a feedback and not a forcing. From personal experience, I am aware that these distinctions are not clear to many, and so here is a more in-depth response (see also this other attempt)."

So, my sense is that, while water vapor may be a factor, it is something over which we have little control, while CO2, also a factor, is something we can and must control.