Keep the home fires burning

No wonder my old man always rented. He must've heard of the Heritage Lake Homeowners Association.

No wonder my old man always rented. He must've heard of the Heritage Lakes Homeowners Association.

You don’t hear much about Afghanistan or Iraq lately. Lately it’s all about BP’s feeble attempts to stuff its greasy genie back into its mile-deep bottle, the final episode of “Lost” or whether Obama is too Spocklike to be president (after eight years of Alfred E. Neuman, Spock looks pretty damn’ good to some of us).

Maybe because it’s been five years since Darth Cheney famously announced that the Iraqi insurgency was in its last throes. The American public has the attention span of a meth-addled fruit fly (“Oooh, iPad!”), and frankly, it’s pretty easy to draw those red-white-and-blue eyeballs away from a couple of meat grinders that just patiently chew up and spit out our brothers and sisters in uniform.

Nevertheless, for today, at least, let’s take a moment to think about all those folks who won’t be hanging out beside the Weber with a cold one, shooting the shit instead of getting shot at.

And thank your lucky stars you are not a member of the Heritage Lakes Homeowners Association in Frisco, Texas. You ever get the feeling we’re bombing the wrong people?


12 Responses to “Keep the home fires burning”

  1. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    As you drive through the PetroMetro, you will see hundreds of signs with the name of the subdivision you are entering. Under each name, the sign usually says, “Deed Restricted Community.” For many of the developments from the Jim Crow era, the deeds restricted certain races and members of certain religions from buying houses in those neighborhoods. Very friendly.

    Our previous house was in one of these deed restricted communities. Being a new neighbor, and not having read the entire neighborhood rulebook, I put my garbage out in the afternoon prior to garbage pick-up day. The following day, my garbage was picked up. I also received an envelope, taped to my door, with a notice that I violated the rules regarding garbage pick-up. Apparently, I jumped the gun and put out my garbage a couple of hours early. For my misdeed, I was warned that the next violation would cost me $2,000.00. No friendly mention from my next door or across-the-street neighbors. No doorbell ring or knock from the rule enforcer.

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

  2. khal spencer Says:

    God, I’m happier by the day that we didn’t move to Texas. Maybe we should encourage their secession, come to think of it.

  3. barry Says:

    And good Southern Republicans around here think I’m crazy to live in and fraternize with the Hysterical Commission.

  4. Opus the Poet Says:

    Hell no! If Texas secedes The closest border is Oklahoma about 80 miles away and I’ll never be able to ride that far before they close the border with the US. That’s about 6 hours by bicycle and abandoning my house and all my worldly possessions.

  5. Larry T. Says:

    It’s easy to say now that I’m an old fart and in now way subject to it — but if we had a military draft with few deferments for the Darth Cheney’s of the world, perhaps we wouldn’t be fighting (or at least for so long?) these useless wars. GW Bush certainly showed who was smarter when he took Bin Laden’s bait and entered into the Afghan mess– then doubled-down on his preferred target of Iraq. My heart goes out to all the military guys and gals plus their families who can only “do or die” on these pointless missions until we declare victory and end them. If more of the bigwigs in DeeCee had their kids eligible to be sniper-fodder, perhaps they’d think a bit more before authorizing pointless military action?

  6. John Says:

    I’m really torn on the whole Memorial Day thing. I come from a Navy family, so I understand the sacrifices made by members of the military, even those who survive the whole thing, but c’mon, when was the last time any American died to protect “our freedom”? I suspect it was around 1945. Since then they’ve been dying so that either politicians can pound their chest and proclaim that they’re keeping America safe from the “horrors” of Communism or for the enhancement of corporate profits.

    Anyone who has joined the military in the last five years had to know full well that the justification for the Iraq War was so much BS and that Afghanistan was just Vietnam in the desert. Either that or they are completely delusional (listening to right wing radio helps). I’m sure many joined up simply because they couldn’t get a job at home, and it’s their sacrifices that may be the most tragic.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    You got it, John. We are living Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam and Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly all over again.

    These wars are not in our national interest. But a sizable fraction of the economy and Congress is beholden to the military-industrial complex and we see firsthand the marketing of war in all its soiled glory to an increasingly illiterate public. Walk through Albuquerque Sunport and see the bigger than life posters of high tech “warfighters” festooned with expensive gadgetry on the walls, courtesy of whatever fat cats are making money off those gadgets. Expensive gadgets and superior triage may keep American troops alive in an ugly little war, but the drain on our resources is alarming.

    Low-intensity war is insidious. We killed far more soldiers in one day at Antietam or more recently, in the Iwo Jima campaign than in the entire decade-long Asshatistan war, where we just hit the 1,000 mark. Senseless death happens all around us and so far, the slow procession of flag covered coffins has not shocked the public to act. Hell, we kill 35,000 people per year on our roads, so our casualties in Asshatistan are but a tiny blip. What we are really bleeding out is focus and national treasure. I wish we had spent that trillion and change here at home instead of in Iraq and Afghanistan. We could be retrofitting an economy to a post cheap oil world.

    I would agree we need a draft except last time we had one, the bigwigs went out of their way to make sure there were plenty of loopholes, which is how Darth Cheney and Bill Clinton (and of more recent public note, the Richard “fake war hero” Blumenthal) got to stay home. But if the draft did one thing, it was to anger the potential cannon fodder in droves. I haven’t seen that kind of mass movement since. I suppose we will see that kind of mass movement again when gas hits 4 bucks a gallon again and the spoiled public is enraged by the lack of cheap bread and circus. Then, I’m afraid, the real right wing shit will hit the fan as scapegoats will have to be found.

  8. steve-o Says:

    It’s not like prior to ’45 all of the wars were good and noble and just.

    And I realize it’s not fair to smear an entire group of people for the conduct of a few … but the fact that the Texas Gubbner isn’t standing on some asshole’s desk, threatening to kick the dog shit out of them if they don’t reverse this foreclosure … that tells me all I need to hear. Let ’em secede. I’ll pay their fucking legal costs for drafting up a new constitution. Good fucking riddance.

    By the way … how is it that when the good folks of an All-American red state do something despicable, Faux News is no where to be found?

    This is only about the 80th time Mother Jones is leading the charge on a soldier’s issue. But patriotism doesn’t mean actually doing anything, it just means sounding tough and putting the right stickers on your car.

  9. khal spencer Says:

    So Patrick, what do you think about those accusations against Cancellaria?

  10. John Says:

    Steve, you’re absolutely right about wars prior to 1945 not be unanimously for all that is good and just. How about the US Marines invading Nicaragua in the 1920’s on behalf of United Fruit? Or the multiple invasions of Haiti for a whole series of questionable reasons none of which I was taught in public school. And wasn’t the whole Spanish-American War drummed up to sell newspapers? If you replace “newspapers” with “TV ratings” the whole things sounds familiar. So for Memorial Day am I to take a moment and remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for US business interests? Guess so.

    Oh, and the new Texas Constitution would be easy to write (good thing, too, since it’ll be in crayon): “White=good, everyone else=bad”. Works in Arizona too. And western Colorado.

    I suppose I’m more pessimistic than Khal. I suspect that when gas hits $4 again there won’t be mass movement by an enraged and spoiled public but instead calls to invade other sovereign nations to take back “our” oil. Hey Hugo Chavez, did you hear that?

    Man, I’m in a sour mood tonight.

  11. Jeff in PetroMetro Says:

    Opus: At least you’ve got Oklahoma to ride to. What am I gonna do if we secede? My closest border is Louisiana.

    steve-o: There’s an HOA nightmare story in the paper every month in Texas. Our Constitution has been amended almost 500 times. There really is no end to the madness. But don’t you just totally dig Governor Perry’s hair? And he’s absolutely running away from the Democratic candidate, Bill White, in the current election. All these incumbents are getting crushed nationwide, but we get Perry for another go.

  12. khal spencer Says:

    Heck, guys, I agree with the comments on Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Haiti, Spain, China, the Kingdom of Hawaii, etc., but even closer to home, Texas would not even be part of the Union if not for a war of questionable repute against Mexico. We won’t even discuss New York and those twenty four bucks in trinkets.

    John, that’s exactly the mass movement I had in mind. A mass movement that reacts in an angry panic to a post-Peak Oil crisis, either accidental or manufactured, and elects Caribou Barbie or equivalent and reclaims our sovereign birthright of abundant energy resources, regardless of whose nation it sits under. I’m sure Hugo Chavez will be linked to Al Fido or some other suspect (read Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984) as the pretext for invasion.

    Recall the 2000-2001 manipulation of electricity shortages in California, in part brought to us by the patriotic folks at Enron? Not so far fetched an idea.

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