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Friday, October 20th, 2006
1:42 pm - Poignant
After Pat's Birthday

by Kevin Tillman

Editor's note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat 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.

It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:


Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few "bad apples" in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

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.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that "somehow" was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/

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Tuesday, November 1st, 2005
3:10 pm - Pictures and Pictures
Wedding Pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52226751@N00/sets/1078635/

Honeymoon Pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52226751@N00/sets/1266844/

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2005
4:10 pm - Premonitions of the Iraq War courtesy of Good Will Hunting:
Will: Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll give it a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some guy from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what do I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.

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Monday, April 4th, 2005
11:06 am - A Poem by Sharon Olds
The Pope's Penis
 
It hangs deep in his robes, a delicate
clapper at the center of a bell.
It moves when he moves, a ghostly fish in a
halo of silver sweaweed, the hair
swaying in the dark and the heat -- and at night
while his eyes sleep, it stands up
in praise of God.

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Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
3:44 pm - Update
What's been up?

Marcie and I went to Colorado with Marcie's family:
DSCN3038

And we got another puppy!
DSCN3114

We decided that, since Bella's buddies (the cats) are moving into their new pad with sonikep, she needed a playmate. So, we adopted Sandy. He's the same age and mix as Bella.

There are more pictures here.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2004
1:08 pm - Pictures from . . .
The DNC

Seattle and Vancouver

Hiking in the Cascades

(I like the hiking pics)

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2004
11:54 am - Pictures of
Tide Pools

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Monday, January 12th, 2004
7:13 pm - Pictures
New Year's Pics with the new camera at My Photo Page.

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2002
2:32 pm - Shoot Back - World Sousveillance Day
Interesting/Funny . . .

WORLD SOUSVEILLANCE DAY

To "call into question the growing and dehumanizing effects of increased video surveillance . . . . and it's something to do rather than merely buy something."

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Wednesday, October 16th, 2002
5:36 pm
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Einstein

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Friday, June 28th, 2002
12:37 pm - Boom
Boom is re-opening tonight. Strangely, I never went when it was open. It never seemed worth the drive. I'm not much of a party kid anymore, but I think Goober and I are going to go tonight. Then, we can just crash at his house afterwards instead of having to drive all the way back down to Attleboro at seven in the morning.t

current mood: hot

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Thursday, June 27th, 2002
11:28 am - Hello
I've been talking about starting a livejournal for a while, and now it's here. I could see me posting twice, then never again, or becoming completely addicted. We'll see what happens.

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12:13 pm - Hmmmm . . .
I'm sorry. I know I'm a little post happy on my first day, but I was just looking at my entries. For some reason, a single random letter appears at the end of each post. First, I thought, "How can I fix this?" Then, I started thinking that perhaps there is something interesting going on here. Like, maybe if I correctly arrange these random letters, all the secrets of the universe will be revealed to me. Actually, there's probably a very logical and rational explanation for these random letters, but I'll just choose to ignore it like I do most other rational/logical things in this world.

current mood: pensive

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11:40 am - Pretty Trance
We were driving in the car the other day when Evan said to me, "There's something about this kind of music that makes me nostalgic for rave experiences I've never had." I

current mood: energetic

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