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A barrel of ice and sidewalks of ash...

December 8, 2008 10:59 AM 12/8/08

So it’s yet another winter Monday with all that it entails. The rain barrel is frozen over and I used the fireplace ashes on the back sidewalk to help melt the ice.

I had to put a secondary fan in front of the space heater in the garage before it would properly circulate the heat. I’m playing with the idea of finding a small but efficient forced-air furnace to install out there but that’s _yet_ another future project. (I seem to be accumulating a lot of those lately...)

Pearl Harbor Day was yesterday.

I should write something about it but honestly I have a serious problem - I don’t know much about it beyond the basics.

This makes me a horrible American I’m sure.



I could read about it but that never truly gives you an idea of what happened. You have to have either been there or talked to someone who was.

And therein lies the problem. It’s too late for me to be there but it’s also almost too late for me to ask someone who was there.

Almost all of them are gone by now if not all. And our country is poorer for them leaving. They can’t help it obviously but it’s still a loss on our part. I can only hope that enough of their stories and insight have been recorded that future generations can at least have _some_ understanding of what it was like.

Here’s the problem - only people who’ve been in combat truly understand what goes on. (I covered this on Veteran’s Day but please bear with me.) So that means your average person has no clue about how nasty war and conflict truly are.

Thus you have things like the average person supporting a conflict without truly understanding the outcome of their choice.

I beg of anyone who is actually reading this to please please find some way to educate yourself and those around you to the realities of these things. Read books written by veterans, watch video interviews of them, listen to old radio recordings of what these people went through. It’s _vital_ that people understand this stuff because if they don’t then it will continue to keep happening.

And someday we have to stop it.

There are some who would say that our current conflict is all they need to understand. “For the love of all that’s holy man! Women and children are being blown up by random bombs!”

Do you really think that any of these methods are new? They were old long before this conflict began. The Japanese and the Germans and others before them tortured people just as much and killed even more innocents in their cause.

I’m not claiming that the current conflict is not a thing of great pain and suffering to all but only that for us to understand and see it for what it is we need to compare it to the past. And to do that we need to understand more about the past...

War is never a good thing. Sometimes it happens but in many many cases it can be prevented. From what I can see the way to prevent it is to make absolutely certain that each and every person growing up knows without hesitation what the cost of war is.

We hide all these pictures of war and death and fear from people so that it doesn’t trouble them. But to work towards a better tomorrow WE NEED TO TROUBLE THEM. People need to understand this stuff and they won’t get it by not seeing the cost.

I’m NOT saying show 5 year olds gruesome pictures of what goes on but they need to be shown sometime in their life and the sooner the better. We remain children far too long in this country and in many other societies. Often well into physical adulthood. I know quite a few adults that aren’t adults.

War is “icky” and we want no part of it. To make that happen you need to know the cost.

I think that is part of what separates us from the people during WWII - they _knew_ the cost.

In our current conflict we have many things. We have a price tag, we have a number that represents the Americans dead or wounded, we have what we will supposedly benefit from this conflict, but the one thing we don’t understand (myself included) is the cost.

And if we don’t know the true cost then why in hell are we still paying the bill?




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