Friday, November 9, 2012

Remembrance Day

    Now is the day that we remember
    Our dead, the wars, each falling ember.
    Veterans, Poppy clad, march in sadness and pride,
    Ever mindful of the dwindling companies they once marched beside.
    Men, long turned grey, who remember the youth and strength
    Bourne by them into war, adventure, endless length,
    Ever yearning, at last, for home, for hearth, for peace.
    Remembering all their lives the horrors that wars release.

    Eleven, eleven, the day the guns fell still,
    Leaving only the stench of gas, and bodies, and graves to fill.
    Eleven, eleven and the “War to end all wars,” had ceased.
    Vengeance and madness! Again the dogs of war unleashed!
    Ever rending a new generation to feed their maw.
    Now, war follows war, each more cruel, more raw,
    Tears the fabric of life, slays man, woman, child; death in the rough.
    Heaven itself must cry in pain, “For the love of God! Enough! Enough!”

Steve Osborn
For Remembrance Day 2008
© Stephen M. Osborn 11/11/2008

“I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

MANY of you are old enough to remember the movie Network. There are two clips you should watch. The first is Mr. Beale telling everybody to open their windows and shout, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” and it worked! The politicians listened. Changes were made. The second clip is more somber, but lays out the program of the 0.01% in a nutshell.
    If you are tired of reading of women and children being killed by drones, of all males in a country between the ages of puberty and senility being deemed combatants, so killing them bolsters our alleged success and is not considered a terrorist act, if you are tired of Obama’s kill list, of the NDAA and the ability to pick up anyone and disappear them for life if someone feels they are a danger, if you are tired of endless surveillance, no fly lists, no border crossing lists; If you remember the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and remember that this nation met terrible crises and survived under the above documents; if you remember habeas corpus; if you remember what life was like before the misnamed and unconstitutional “Patriot Act,” and its various clones supplanted the Constitution; if you remember what the world and the US was like before it was given to the banksters and Hedge Fund CEO’s, to rob at will. If you remember these things and would like our world and our nation back in the hands of the people, then it is time.
    It is time to remind Mr Obama and his henchmen that he has just been re-elected, mainly because the Republicans put up an even crazier and greedier opponent to run against him.
    But We the People expect our country back! We want our Constitution back in the halls of government, intact and functioning. We want transparency in government, we want whistleblowers protected and the crimes they expose investigated and corrected. We want the Bill of Rights recognized as the rule and guide of this nation as it has been for two centuries.
    So contact your alleged representatives, buttonhole the press, write Mr. Obama and the various appointees of his cabinet. Tell them We are mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!
    We want the change that was promised in 2008, not the change we got, with more wars, more dead, more trillions given to the banksters, more homeless and jobless than ever before. We want single payer medical. We want to be free again! You work for us! That is what your jobs are about. Our taxes paid belong to us, you just hold it in trust to help our nation prosper. It is not given to you to spend as you see fit on war and oppression and spying. Legislation is to protect the people, not make them subjects of an expanding Empire.
    Just keep hammering them until they get the idea, and if they don’t, impeach them, recall them, search for honest men and women to replace them and help them get in office.
    It is time for We the People to take our country back, to make an end to greed, bigotry, hatred, poverty.
 Let that beacon of liberty shine again with pride!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day 2012
A Remembrance

    My memory of war starts with World War II. I was just a boy during the war and it was largely an adventure to us, but I remember the quiet pride and the sadness in the eyes of the increasing number of mothers who hung a gold star in their window, never knowing if my mom might be next and my big brother, a Pearl harbor survivor, gone.
    The wars, great and small, were legion in the last century. My dad lost his leg in the Horse Cavalry in the Phillippines in 1913. WW-I, was the “Great War to end all wars.” An entire generation died in the trenches. One of my uncles, who lied about his age, was the first, and youngest, soldier from Oregon to die in that war, at the battle of Chateau Thierry.
    The memory of man is short and only twenty years passed before another generation was thrown into the meat grinder to stave off domination by Hitler’s Nazis, Mussolini’s Fascists and Imperial Japan’s expansion.
    We had hardly buried the dead and recovered from the shock of the realities of nuclear annihilation when East and West went at it in Korea, a war which still goes on, the fighting finally just stopped by mutual agreement.
    The cold war and the covert wars went on, then along came Vietnam. Since then, the “little” wars have gone on all over the world, like bush fires in the California hills, consuming human and material resources.
    In 2001, we saw  the tragedy of 11 September and its aftermath. Then we watched another war in Afghanistan, which has been swallowing up armies since the time of Alexander the Great. We are now in the tenth year of a horrendous war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Pakistan, which has killed US troops in the thousands, Iraqis and Afghans and Pakistanis in the hundreds of thousands and fosters still more hatred and unrest. Every year, our wars expand and poverty increases here at home. We have prosecuted yet another war in Libya and are facing yet more "preemptive" wars in Iran and possibly Syria.
    Along with our endless wars, we are faced with increasing oppression at home, with endless surveillance of our citizens, police repression of dissent, a Supreme Court that rules in favor of business and fascism, a nation where torture has become the norm and the military may pick anyone up and incarcerate them for life with no charges and no evidence.
    Once more the toll will be enormous, at home and abroad.
    Amongst the dead may be the man who would have discovered the cure to cancer and other deadly diseases, the composer who may have surpassed Mozart or Brahms, the playwright or poet who might have succeeded Shakespeare, the statesman who could have brought about world peace or the person who might have been able to end world hunger.
    Those are the might-have-beens. The reality is the millions of humans who have died, fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fighters and civilians in this past century, all with the dream of peace and human dignity before them. Yet, with the new millennium, war and repression still goes on around the world.
    Let us give pause in remembrance of those who died, often alone and forgotten, victim of mine and booby trap, sniper fire or disease and infection, whose resting place is unmarked save for perhaps a little more verdant growth where they have nurtured the soil.
    Let us give pause in remembrance for those who survived, maimed in body or soul by the atrocity of war.
    Let us give pause in remembrance for those who survived to carry on, with nothing but memories, of which they do not speak.
    Let us give pause in remembrance for those whose lives ended abruptly, without warning, on 11 September. And those of all nations and beliefs who continue to die by war and terrorism.
    Let us give pause and reflect, that we might carry out our lives in such a way that love and tolerance might overbalance hatred and bigotry in the scales of life and the dream of peace might become a reality, so those we remember today did not die in vain.
Steve Osborn