Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the great island of Nantucket! So great to be with you on this overcast, early 7 a.m. morning here in the little, tiny, tiny town of Osterville, once known as “Oysterville”, as there was, and still is, a healthy Oyster population in the bays and rivers of this quaint seaside hamlet, a mere football toss from the home, as seen in my church above, I say “mine” because it is mine, I’m just kidding, but I love it more than any other structure on Cape Cod or the islands for that matter, for it is at the top of that great town I just mentioned, only a football toss from Osterville, Hyannis Port, that was home to our thirty-fifth President of the United States of America, Jack Kennedy and his beautiful wife Jackie, who I believe would have been proud of what our current President accomplished 60 hours or so ago, making tough decisions that were perhaps not as dire as the standoff with the Soviets in the Cuban missile crisis that took place in October of 1962, where the moments were probably more like years than days, but extremely risky (politically) and gutsy nonetheless. Listening to my good friend from Boston, the best city in America, Lawrence O’Donnell on last night’s “The Last Word, with Lawrence O’Donnell”, airing every week night at 8 p.m., EDT, or 3 a.m. for you night owls, only on MSNBC, I was once again struck by his amazing “rewrites”, a segment on his remarkable show, that only reinforced what he, and I, said the day before, regarding then President Bush’s literal “throwing in the towel” in finding the number one target in their decade long “war on terror”, yes, a “war” that lasted for over ten years, Osama bin Laden, and, as was put so well on last night’s PBS NEWSHOUR, with a panel consisting of a college student in her junior year, a poet Laurette and a Presbyterian minister, reactions from a broad cross section of America today, we witnessed that all of those reactions seemed to be in accord with one central theme–”we have lived through a decade of constant war and constant fear that, as the young college student put it, “since 9/11, when I was only 12, all I’ve known is war, or the threat of it, and many of us in college feel as though we had our childhood stolen from us.” This is what sums up what this young woman represents, the 9/11 generation, where they, and indeed WE, all lived in a world that was constantly in conflict, sometimes making things up as “they” went along, to CREATE that conflict (Iraq) thus, affording those who WERE in power to keep the masses, “the American people”, blind and in a constant state of vigilance, or constant state of alert, a constant state of FEAR. Having just completed a book that deals with that very thing, ‘fear’, “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, will be published in June and, God Willing, available for your reading pleasure. It deals, largely, with this hyper alertness “fight or flight” syndrome, both in a micro and macro sense, where, as my very good friend and radio host extraordinaire at WBZ/CBS radio here in Boston said of that condition, “it’s like the volume of that ‘fight or flight’ condition is turned all the way up”, yes, Mr. Jordan Rich, who you can catch, his radio show, “The JORDAN RICH SHOW”, late night’s, especially Friday and Saturday in 38 states and 5 countries, yes, Jordan, that is exactly RIGHT. I was on his show speaking of the upcoming book “Taking Fog to Nantucket”, as well as the trauma that I experienced at the hands of the Nantucket Police Department, that almost left me dead after I was “slammed dunked” face first into the cobblestones of that fair island in 2003–an unprovoked attack that left me paralyzed with FEAR and subsequently diagnosed years later with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, severe delayed onset, an invisible, debilitating disease that affects so many of our troops coming back from war zones, another big reason I wrote the book, to get the word out there with a little more authority regarding the mental conditions of our returning veterans, and the way we should be treating them, as well as our overall mental state of mind for all of our citizens who have, as we have been talking about here, been through a decade of “heightened alertness”, the definition of PTSD turned, “all the way up”, as the tv machine kept us all in FEAR as it kept going from yellow to orange to red and sometimes “coming in the form of a mushroom cloud” (credit George W. Bush). Thank you for that interview Jordan, the lobsters this summer are on me. I speak to the fact that many of our young men and women in uniform are coming back to the states in that tunnel vision of fear, where they feel paralyzed by it, so much so, that most turn to alcohol or drugs to “put a band aid on it”, as I like to put it. They don’t understand why they can’t just relax and ‘get back into the swing of things’, or ‘just be themselves’, or, worse yet, ‘just get over it’. This of course, becomes a vicious cycle of self destruction and for many, it leads to homelessness and sometimes suicide. It did me. This silent and invisible disease has, to a lesser or greater level, affected more people than you many think, and that constant threat, as you hear the drum beat going on in the background music to the “nightly news” stations all across the country, of war or terror, especially when those wars are now considered, by any credible scholar, to be pointless, and increasingly expensive, with 4452 Americans dead in Iraq alone, as the Afghanistan war costs upwards of 2 billion dollars a week, with final tallies on the tab for the Iraq debacle coming in at 4.1 trillion–you can see, hear, taste, feel and smell that cry from the American people to get a handle on the why’s we are in, say, Afghanistan, and to what end? You can’t blame it on Osama any more. We are a war weary nation, with much bigger problems on our plate, such as GLOBAL WARMING, our corrupt tax code, and rampant pollution that will eventually (“Frack” you KOCH brothers!) destroy our eco-system bringing a real crisis to places like Los Angeles where clean water will be hard to find, and little of it to go around. The Bush administration had the American people fooled and kept in their own secret prison of the mind called a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ where the captors (the Bush Administration), dictated to it’s captives (the scared American public) how to think and how to feel, as they did and believed anything the former President said or commanded from a very literal “bully” pulpit, all while, if things did not go his way, manipulated those fellow citizens, via the airwaves of a say, FOX NEWS, into ‘feeling sorry’ for them, thus, giving them carte blanche to do whatever they wished (see ‘top secret America’), all in the name of a “war on terror” that, as Lawrence pointed out again yesterday, Bush stated only six months after 9/11 that, regarding bin Laden, “I don’t know where he is, he’s probably in some cave somewhere”, flippantly continuing in that ancient 2002 press conference, “I’m just not that concerned about him.” Not that concerned about him Mr. President? Do we have a problem in telling the TRUTH? Your rhetoric leading up to the LIE that was the Iraq war would suggest otherwise sir. Don’t you remember the days right after 9/11 when you and Dick pounded your fists on the desk of the Oval Office and vowed, “they have a saying in Texas, get ‘em dead or alive’, using illegal torture (water-boarding) or what they now refer, akin to replacing ‘global warming’ with ‘climate change’, to as “enhanced interrogation techniques”, a lovely euphemism if I have ever heard one, and thus, brought the whole psyche of America and it’s citizens lives as well, on this wild ride to hell, a ride similar, although not nearly as scary, to a kid’s ride at Disneyland, a place I frequented often as a child–“Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”. In that ride, you sit down in a little buggy of sorts, strapped in for safety, where the already laid down INTENTIONAL tracks have been placed there on purpose, so that it would predestine your fate, as you spin around, become disoriented, go through door after door in the dark, wondering what scary monster you are going to see next, all illusions of course, but to the subconscious mind, (i.e. someone with PTSD or a frightened nation) seem very real indeed, and as you feel as though you cannot take any more of Mr. Toad or his ride, there is suddenly a LIGHT at the end of the tunnel and you emerge from said “ride” feeling nauseous and a little unsteady on your feet, while simultaneously feeling a great relief and a deep gratitude for the sunlight and the fresh air of the outdoors, seeing beyond the illusions of “the man behind the curtain”, screaming out to the world, “THANK GOD this ride is OVER!” The lies that illegal torture worked were all part of that sick BUSH doctrine that was debunked on last night’s “Last Word” via Lawrence’s last guest of the evening, a man who worked at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, located at the Naval Base on the island of Cuba, a place that houses suspected terrorists, many of whom were innocent and yet tortured anyway. He worked as one of the special agents in charge as an “interrogator”, who used the “enhanced interrogation techniques”, or water-boarding (simulated drowning), or what it really IS–barbaric, medieval, illegal (under the rules of the Geneva Convention established after the conclusion of WW II) TORTURE! Lawrence asked Mr. Mark Fallon this simple question at the conclusion of last night’s great show, “What would you say to people tonight that say, the capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden proves that torture works?” Fallon: “Oh, I’ve seen no information whatsoever that the infliction of pain equates to the elicitation of accurate information, number one, and two, I think It’s a terrible SHAME to diminish the incredible work that went on that led to bid Laden’s capture. So let’s not diminish that accomplishment, because that’s a significant event in our history, and to try and cheapen it by saying that some event in water-boarding years ago led to this, I just think is a disservice to our service members.” Well stated sir, well stated. Have a nice day folks and remember to keep those six southern states in your prayers, should you wish to, as they must be in great need of them now and in the future. PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
May 4, 2011
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