Party Stopper

A few weeks ago I made a children’s book for my faery goddaughter’s 5th birthday – which was today. It was a sing-song poem throughout 22 pages of pictures of her life, family and friends. Today she had a bouncy castle, a facepainter, a princess castle cake and a thousand presents to open, but she stopped in the middle of it all  to sit on her mother’s lap and hear every word of her story. I guess that means that my one and only children’s book is an apparent success. YAY!

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National Poetry Month

A little Haiku

with your whiskey or your tea

Makes the night better.

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I’m dreaming of you
And the heartbreak you will bring
Can’t wait to meet you

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I’ll be your secret
And you will be my lover
If nobody knows

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Hidden poetry
Music of the written word
I will never sing

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Sometimes we whisper
passionately in the dark
Without any words

Fort Hood

Yesterday I found myself really pondering what the hell is going on with the soldiers in Texas. The poor families at Fort Hood are still psychologically damaged from the last rampage and here they have to go through another. My heart breaks for them and it makes me really grateful that none of the soldiers that I know live in Texas…or on a base at all. However, things like this are so preventable and it is so frustrating that they keep happening.

There are 2 things about yesterday’s tragedy that are infuriating. First, the media. Oh my gods the media. What use is a talking head rambling on about what MIGHT have happened for hours while making comparisons to the first tragedy? Why can’t anyone simply say that we don’t know what has happened yet and we will let you know as soon as we do? Why rehash a totally separate incident to death and then guess for hours while calling it news? I will never understand this habit of television journalists. There are thousands of other news stories that really deserve press – there are civil wars happening all over the world, the Troubles are surging again in Ireland, there are scientific breakthroughs and a ton of American news that we never, ever hear about. Instead we get overwrought speculation and false information for hours about a poor guy who went bonkers and took a lot of people with him. Yes, it is a tragedy. Yes, it is newsworthy – but only after we actually have real news about it. The who, whys and wherefores are the important bits and until you have those, stick to the real news that most Americans will never see, instead of saying things like he was wearing combat fatigues and armed. Of COURSE he was. He’s a soldier in the Army on a damn base. How is this something that people wouldn’t know and why repeat those ridiculous facts for hours and hours? This is news?

The second part off this tragedy is that it and others like it are totally preventable. There will be a lot of hand-wringing and false concern about our veterans over the next couple of days. I predict there will be a ton of politicians piggy-backing on this sensationalized story, talking about taking care of our soldiers and how we fail our men and women in the service. We do. That is a fact. However, these same politicians are holding the nation hostage every time there’s a budget meeting and cutting the programs that could help to keep the deficit down and reign in spending. The simple fact that this soldier was apparently in the process of being evaluated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder says volumes about how long it takes and how much red tape our service people have to go through to get help. The commanding officer’s reply to questions about that care was simply “but this takes time”. It shouldn’t. If a soldier is being evaluated and shows signs of mental breakdown, has to start taking medication, or is in distress, that soldier should already be in any program available to help with any mental problem he or she might have, and he or she should be disarmed in the meantime. That is all there is to it.

There are many programs in our country that could easily be cut – social programs, education, science, music and Veteran care should not be on anyone’s list – but they are the first to go, even while the people cutting them are trying to convince their constituents that they care. There will be a lot of finger pointing – the republicans will blame the democrats, the tea party will blame the president and vice-versa. This is a societal problem, not a political one. Don’t be fooled by their pontification and blame. It lies with us all.  We buy into the news that tells us nothing, we watch the channels for hours even though we are getting no information and we vote with our pocketbooks instead of our conscience.

Until that changes, we will continue to have these problems and tragedies. We will continue to pretend that we care while we really just want to be entertained and we will repeat false reports that suit our agendas just like the politicians we settle for in office. And in the meantime, our children, our elderly, our poor, weak and hungry, our soldiers and our future will decrease in numbers and sanity while we sit and wonder what happened.

There are too many victims to count in Texas and in our country. Now soldiers and their families will all have PTSD and other problems, whether they were there or not. Now even I wake up every morning in a slight panic that the enlisted men I care for have to go on a base anywhere, even though there are none in Texas. And I turn off CNN and any other channel that refuses to just admit that they don’t know what’s going on and will only report it once they do – like a responsible news station. Unfortunately, that means I very rarely watch anything at all but at least I take the time to actually think about the families and mourn the lost. I also donate to private programs that can actually help the men and women we send into battle – who can NEVER, EVER return without scars, whether received in combat or not, or if they are visible. Hopefully other people will start doing that too because things like this should not ever be allowed to continue and your politicians really can’t and won’t help.

 

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