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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Onward, Christian Soldiers!

First published at OpEd News in 10/22/07. It's now posted at Smirking Chimp and here for the first time:

The US invaded Iraq on March 19th, 2003, and more than 12 years later, we still have 3,000 troops there. Iraq is dismembered and wrecked and the Middle East is in total chaos. Though we've destroyed millions of lives, no one has been held accountable. Not only that, our politicians have gone through several bouts of self-congratulation for coming in, for half pulling out, then for surging back in halfway. Our elected war criminals give themselves credit for mass murder and for any lull in their evil carnage. Our citizenry, meanwhile, ask few questions but simply salute the troops on cues. Our soldiers keep on killing mindlessly. With this in mind, I present a piece I wrote in October 22, 2007. Nothing has been learnt or solved. This is simply who we are.

The mercenary outfit Blackwater was in the news, accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in a single incident, but they've been linked to many more murders, just like the regular US Army. Our boys are just doing their jobs, you'all. We have to fight them over there, so we won't have to fight them over here. We have to fight them over here, so we won't have to fight them over there. We have to fight them where we can find them, yesterday, today and tomorrow, even if they're not, especially if they're not fighting back. In truth, the only difference between a defense contractor and an American GI in Iraq is the size of their paychecks, since both are hired guns, willing to kill for money. What else are they fighting for? Oh yes, for our SUV, NASCAR, exurban way of life, which is unnegotiable. It's the petroleum, Gomer. Is there no higher purpose? Some American grunts are convinced they're soldiering for God.

Thirty-year-old US Army paratrooper Tony Erskine has been in Iraq since October 24, 2006, where he's lost several buddies, got hit by a sniper and injured his knee. About to be discharged, he and his wife, home in Alaska with their two daughters and pregnant with a third, are "having some second thoughts about getting out of the military. We feel that there is more good for us to do here, and perhaps getting out would just be us taking the easy way out. Right now, we both think that the Army is the direction that God is leading us; but it's still up in the air. Please pray for us. Pray that God would give us both great wisdom in making this choice and that we would follow His will."

On his earnest blog, Erskine explains his mission: "My point is this: The War on Terror is really just a new battle in a war that has been raging since the Garden of Eden. Satan attacks on many fronts. Sometimes he uses an Islamic extremist with a bomb, and sometimes he uses an inattentive husband. It is, however, the same war; and that war is fought in three dimensions: physical, emotional, and spiritual. To fight physically, you may be called to fire an automatic weapon at evil men; or you may be called to hug your daughter. Emotionally, you might need to encourage a soldier in battle, or you may need to encourage a friend to repent. Spiritually, you may need to pray for safety from bullets, or you may need to pray for safety from the fiery darts of the Evil One."

Being in Iraq has given him clarity: "I have been seeing things a little differently since I've been here. One thing that really struck me when I was in a chapel service recently was that Jesus was deployed, too. It's really hard to be deployed. You live in substandard housing. You're isolated from the home and family you love. You have no freedom - at all. No privacy, etc. Jesus suffered all of those things. I really look up to the WWII Vets, The Greatest Generation. They were away from home for four years or more. Well, Jesus was deployed for 33 years. He was isolated from his home and family. He lived in a hovel compared to his heavenly mansion. He suffered far more that any modern soldier. He fought Satan everyday of his life, so that He could adopt me into his family. When you think about it, we are deployed, too. Our citizenship is in heaven, if we have accepted Jesus as the Lord of our life. This world is a hardship duty station. It is temporary. Live today know that your true life and future is in heaven, and do all you can to help other gain their 'citizenship' as well."

Erskine is referring to the Kingdom of God, but no citizenship should be taken for granted, and a person can become the ultimate American by fighting in Iraq: "What does [citizenship] mean to you? What did it cost someone else so that you could have it? What did it cost you? I have so much respect for immigrants that join our Army and receive their citizenship after serving for several years. They embrace a country that they love even though she is not their own. In fact, I think that they usually love our country more than we do. In reality, I would argue that she is more their country than she is ours because they love America, appreciate her, and take advantage of the opportunities that she offers. That, my friend, is true citizenship. What did your citizenship cost you? Nothing? Maybe, but it certainly cost someone. The bleeding soldier on the beach at Normandy didn’t pay for his citizenship either; he paid for yours. What will you do with that gift? Will you take it, squeeze the life out of it, and suck it dry? Or will you sacrifice it? Freedom cannot exist without the men and women who sacrifice that very freedom to secure it for posterity. Who will pay for your grandson’s citizenship? I will, young man; but will you pay for my grandson?"

Erskine's father and grandfathers have also paid for everyone's citizenship. Commenting on an Erskine blog entry, his father recounts that when Erskine's grandfather came back from Vietnam, in his dress greens, "some puke spat upon him in the airport. They arrested Jim after they got him off the guy, but they didn't charge him. When I was in Monterey at the language school I was kicked out of a bar before I could even order. 'We don't serve soldiers here!' I was but a REMF," a Rear Echelon Mother Fucker. Erskine's dad's anger flares up here and there, "I find myself getting mad much more these days," to which he reflects: "Son, Anger is a learned trait. It is a weakness that is used as a defense against dealing with things which we would rather avoid. DO NOT LEARN ANGER. When you feel anger, pray with your whole heart for the source of that anger. It is the only escape. There are only two things which can change this world, they are forgiveness and love. This is a hard lesson. Remember Christ was angry only once. Remember you get to choose how you feel."

Many other family members drop in on Erskine's blog. Strangers, most with loved ones in the US military in Iraq, also write to support his mission, pray for his safe return and thank him, "america is proud of you men and women whom have made the sacrifice to fight for our freedom." Some resent those who don't share their vision, "I also have a huge challenge when I hear people bad mouth all of our Military. I too would just like to choke them and kick their butts just like a schoolgirl LOL. When people tell me I’m nuts for being so involved I want to just slap them and say wake up. Stop it do you understand." Patriotic and pious, they believe that US soldiers are bringing freedom, democracy and even Christianity to the people of Iraq.

"Laina in Florida" writes: "Tony, I have been following your blog since April and have been fascinated by all the work the Lord is doing in your life. I have passed your blog along to other Christian friends and asked they pray for you and your family. Your post this month just confirms that your purpose for serving is two-fold: not only are you a soldier for our country, you are a soldier for Christ and he is using you to expand His Kingdom millions of miles away. And in a land full of death, He brings new LIFE as he calls His own unto Him. My husband has always said the war on terror is also spiritual and the way you summed it up in 3 parts (physical, emotional, and spiritual) is right on target. I pray the Iraqi people see the example of Christ in so many US soldiers that they also are drawn in to the only love that saves. Thank you for all you do and keep up the good work!!"

"Pastor Bob : God's servant" concurs: "[people] need to be aware of the good work of the Gospel - in the midst of the battle. We are all so grateful for you and the other military personel who serve our country - and we praise God that those like you (Tony) have the Good News implanted so deeply in your heart that it simply spills out because of who you are in Christ. May the light of Christ shine even more - through us all - Christ's beloved Church. The Church is in the streets of Iraq!!!"

What are Erskine and his buddies doing in the streets of Iraq? He can't give us all the details, for security reasons, at least, but here's one entry: "We raided a bunch of houses, and the funnest part of that mission was that I got to breech several doors and a car window with my shotgun. (By breech, I mean that I shot the lock with the shotgun to weaken it. Then I kicked it open.) Believe or not it's even more fun than it looks like on TV. Guys just like to break and blow things up. Especially when those things belong to a bad person."

Then: "Funny story: we needed to search a car outside of the bad guys' house, but it was locked. My buddy called over the radio, that we were breeching (shooting) the window with the shotgun so that no one would get startled. The PL (my boss) called back and said, 'See if you can find a car key.' We really didn't have time to go searching for a key, No problem! So all they heard around the front of the house was: BANG! Then me on the radio, 'Looks like I found the key.' Maybe I didn't follow orders exactly, but we all got a good laugh out of it later. We pick on our PL a lot, but he's a pretty good sport about it."

Erskine captions a photo of a soldier kicking a door: "I wish this was a picture of me, but it's not. It's SSG Amsden, but he didn't budge this metal door. I said, 'Let me give it a shot,' and kicked it right open. I also kicked open the metal door next to it that was pad locked. I love kicking in doors. It's my favorite! Boys never do grow out of that destructive phase." Violence is hilarious, starting in training: "Tony pounds a fellow student in the combatives level 3 course. Tony finished this fight by choking out his opponent. FUN!!!"

For Erskine's 30th birthday, his Army pals duct taped him to a cot, crowned his head with a red traffic cone, to which he responded by headbutting and biting them: "Pure Joy. Look at the looks of glee on their faces. Also note that I'm covered in duct tape from my knees to my chest. At this point they THOUGHT they had completely submitted," but they were wrong. "I wasn't going down without a fight. It took ten minutes and eight infantrymen trained in Ju Jitsu (most of whom I taught) to get me handcuffed, my feet taped, and onto a cot outside my room; but that wasn't the end of the fight. They used two rolls of duct tape to tape me to the cot and then undid the handcuffs because my wrists were starting to bleed. It took a few tries, but I broke all the duct tape. It took everyone by surprise (even me) because we’ve never seen anyone bust the duct tape before. Unfortunately, one of the guys had handcuffed my right hand to the cot. They piled back on me, about a six guys this time; and there wasn't much I could do cuffed to a cot." Boys will be boys, I suppose, especially if you dress them in shorts and put them all in a sweltering tent. It's just recreational sadism, the same point Rush Limbaugh made about Abu Ghraib: "I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?"

Erskine hints at one dark incident: "One of the most negative things that happened to me this month is something that I can't really describe detail. I can say this. I was placed in a very dangerous situation by some local nationals that were being defiant and negligent rather than malicious. I had to make a split second decision to preserve the safety of myself and one of my soldiers. I made the right choice, but innocent people still got hurt. I hate having to choose between bad and worse."

But bad and worse are the only options you have when you invade and occupy another country. Just imagine, for a few seconds, the sight of foreign troops, Iraqi, Vietnamese, Canadian, whoever, patrolling American streets, setting up road blocks, kicking down doors, torturing prisoners, killing and raping civilians. Even polls conducted by Western organizations show that the majority of Iraqis want American troops to withdraw immediately. What part of "Get out" don't you understand? But the plan has always been to stay the course, to maintain a permanent military presence in this oil-rich region. The survival of the petrodollar, the US economy and way of life, America as we know it, is dependent on the success of this operation. That's why the US is building in occupied Iraq four massive "enduring" bases and the largest embassy in the history of mankind. It's the endgame for the endtime, not so much the terrifying, hallelujah sight of Jesus coming back, are you ready?, but our oil supplies peaking and eventually running out. Meanwhile, nearly 90% of American troops in Iraq still think that this resource, geopolitical, thoroughly-corrupt war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11. Don't these people ever read a newspaper?

Tony Erskine's father do read blogs, at least, and not just his son's, since he has found time to drop by mine. After I have posted the door kicking photo by Tony, the senior Erskine commented as "Oz":


The pictures you posted here are copyrighted. You are violating that copyright.

I am Tony's father. His brother married a Viet Namese girl and my grandson is half Viet Namese.

Your post denigrates my son's service to this country and I ask you to remove the copyrighted materials immediately.

Thank you.

To which he quickly appended:

Also to be found on Ton's Blog...

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt; CITIZENSHIP IN A REPUBLIC; Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France; April 23, 1910
I had posted only one of Tony Erskine's photos, so "pictures" is incorrect. There is no mention of copyrights in his blog and, further, reposting images is a common practice in blogosphere. Many people have reposted my photos. In any case, Oz's beef is not really about copyrights but the fact that I have, in his words, "denigrates [his] son's service to this country." Since I was out of the country and away from my computer when his comments arrived, I did nothing. Irritated by this, perhaps, and seeing the other contents on my blog, Oz wrote this after one of my entries about the abuses of Blackwater:

Are you an American? Duh, no, you are a Viet Namese. Why did you come to America? If it sucks so badly, why aren't you in Viet Nam?

You know my father died in Viet Nam, yep, that's right. He died there but he did not know it for another twenty years. He died because he had been exposed to Agent Orange.

I talked to a Viet Namese fellow on line shortly after 9/11. We understood each other, expecially when I explained that my father believed in what he was doing.

What do you believe? What do you know? Why are you such an idiot?
As you can see, his initial civility has waned considerably. What's most curious to me is that someone who has lost his father to Agent Orange does not point his finger at a military-industrial complex that considers his dad, as well as millions of other victims, collateral damage. As long as they make their cash, everything's fine. Oz also appears unaware of depleted uranium. Instead of cheerleading his son's murderous and suicidal quest, he should beg door-kicking Tony to come home NOW. With his anger unleashed, he wrote two mock poems on my blog:

My dick bleeds
to the tune of morons.

I die and hate
at the same time.

Morons, why do I suffer them?
Why not kill the fools?

Is this poetry?
or arrogance?

Go fuck yourself.


Oh, Hero...
Oh! Fucking hero...

Oh! Gawd, my Vietnamese Hero.
Your poetry is non-existant.

You delude your self...
You think yourself a poet...

but you are only a fool.




You pray to accept the hospitality
of a place not your home..

You accept that hospitality and
insult it in the same moment?

Are you ah hypocrite
or are you a hero?

The poet wants to know...

Eat shit and bark at the moon.

Concluding with:

So there you see it...

Any idiot can write this shit and the shit you write is not poetry.

Get over yourself dude.
I'm far from a perfect American, I may not even be a decent American, but I do not abuse its "hospitality" the way Tony Erskine is abusing "a place not his home," Iraq. As a tool of American imperialism, the Bush crime family, Halliburton and The Carlyle Group, etc., Tony Erskine is actually staining every American ideal worth fighting for. Bloodied beyond recognition, even words like "freedom" and "democracy" are now meaningless coming from an American mouth. Anger is a learned trait, Oz, a weakness that's used as a defense against dealing with things which we would rather avoid. I am not your enemy.



Anonymous said...

Just let Tony rejoin the military for yet another tour of Iraq. Let him live vicariously through a mythical, sanitized version of America. He might get blown up and meet his invisible friend way up in heaven. Or he might merely lose a limb or two. But is it really a loss?

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Anonymous,

Do click on links to his blog. He wrote quite a bit about his experience there.


x larry said...

excellent article, linh.
when i clicked the link to the photo, though, it said page nonexistent.
these crazies of the christian persuasion! well, that's what you get when knowledge is considered evil--logic propels you to ignorance, then a monstrous idiocy, and finally into a murderous lunatic. but it sounds like dear tony started out a kill-happy 'toon, hardly a wonder with oz his 'bleeding dick' dad as his greatest influence. true americans my ass! tom paine, the englishman, was the truest american! and perhaps the frenchman voltaire! NOT rush limbaugh, not henry kissinger, not brzinsky, not bush the queen's relation, and not tony or oz or the armies of complete idiot he-men with their big pickups, camoflage clothes, dumb fuck baseball caps, guns and bumper stickers, who have to daily convince themselves and everyone else that they're fighting for our freedoms, so our grandchildren can be citizens. citizens of what, land stolen from existing nations who were first exterminated? and all for the almighty dollah? at any rate, i've read somewhere that jesus was a socialist.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi x larry,

Photo of Erskine's fellow soldier kicking in door has been deleted from his blog. I'm sure he did this after his father had alerted him to the attention it was getting from me.


Anonymous said...

Kissinger once said, "military men are just dumb animals we use for foreign policy purposes". Not all are so dumb, but apparently some are...

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Anonymous,

For blinding cheering our troops wherever they're sent, we're also moronic animals.

With that Kissinger quote in mind, I wrote "Cheering on Dumb, Stupid Animals" in 2012. An excerpt:

In his State of the Union, Obama started out by thanking the troops. He praised their teamwork and urged us all to emulate them. This teamwork ethos is inculcated most effectively in sports, for both participants and spectators, but also at the workplace. Now, unity and sacrifice are certainly laudable, but only when they serve honorable goals, which are clearly absent if you happen to be in the US military, occupying a Goldman Sachs cubicle or drawing a paycheck from the Carlyle Group, etc. Soldiers speak often of fighting primarily for each other, and this makes perfect sense once you’re already on the battlefield, but if they would only step back and reflect, a near impossibility in the herd culture of the military, where the highest virtue is abject obedience, they might discover that they are just dumb, stupid animals being used, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger. Hell, they might realize that they are even less than dumb, stupid animals, for an animal’s strongest instinct is safety. Beside a contemporary American GI, I can’t imagine any primate that would volunteer to be shot at just so another SUV could be sold, not even a mouse lemur with a brain weighting just two grams.


x larry said...

i'm only halfway through your article mentiioned above from 2012, but i can't stop laughing. many times i've found your comedy astounding. in particular:
'In his State of the Union, Obama started out by thanking the troops. He praised their teamwork and urged us all to emulate them.'
for some reason, the timing of these two sentences floored me. a paragraph or two later, though, came the gutteral heaving full body shaking:
'Beside a contemporary American GI, I can’t imagine any primate that would volunteer to be shot at just so another SUV could be sold, not even a mouse lemur with a brain weighting just two grams.'

wow, i now notice your quote above which i'd skipped to go straight to the article, and see it encapsulates both my favorite lines.
thank you! i needed a laugh

x larry said...

to make a final comment on our conversation yesterday, also with rudy...
a few days ago i was at our allotment, high on a hill above the dread whitehawk community of poor housing estates, when i heard the unmistakable sound of a chopper. a few minutes later i heard it again, and it literally rose from the depths below--a double-bladed military green beast--like in a hollywood movie before me, before making off towards the nearby sea. i couldn't help wondering at the time if i was finally getting it (i've also noticed chopper sounds outside my back window at night), and truly half expected to be vaporized--i've seen the wikileaks iraq video.
such is our present state

Chuck Olroski said...

It's very scary when a "hero" experiences abominations in war, and after return & getting sauteed in US culture ("booming economy") for a spell, he/she's gone totally off the deep end.

Thank you, Linh, for both the learning experience and free-LANCE label, the "Bush Crime Family."

Rudy said...

Yo, Linh, x larry, Chuck, and anyone else,

Onward Christian Soldiers, justification of murder through appeal to an imaginary exclusionary god – destruction of a civilization dating from before Jonah’s trials, if you believe in that, with cuneiform records chiseled in stone before the emergence of an alphabet.

Tony Erskine with his night goggles, his internet connection, his Humvee or whatever else it is the invaders use, and his bible, thinks he knows something, and through him his arrogant ignorant father thinks so too.

Their brutality - how mad; the people and the culture they destroyed – how sad.

I lived there for a year – the most memorable of my life. The generosity of Bedu culture – it’s real, or was some 40 years ago. A traveler first is offered water – then food and a place to rest or stay the night, or longer – or so it was until the invaders wrecked it all. Memory and emotions shred and tangle. Tony Erskine’s blog: what utter drivel.

I’d like to go back for a visit, if only to say, yeah, I come from over there, but I’m not one of them.

x larry said...

rudy, how very sad. i wish i could have seen what you've seen. it's like that to a high degree the world over now. look at the amazon (another place i've not been). my only experience in a muslim, if not arab, country is morocco, but they too were very hospitable. i remember an oldish man with what must have been his grandson, caretakers of the campground wheere we stayed in ad dakla, the furthest point south, who said, 'you europeans don't know how to live, you only know how to make money'. at the time my still idealistic self thought, first of all i'm american, second, how do you know, and third, i've never thought of money in my whole life. sadly i now see clear as day how right he was.

x larry said...

hi y'all,
i've just written a comment on, the royals site, on an article saying the royals got to meet rapper fetty wap, from nj. i have watched two videos by this guy today so had to post. (it may not be relevant to this site, but i'm just venting) i always try to fight the good fight, or at least shoot my mouth off when i'm angry, which is often

wow. how totally disgusting. i'd never heard of this worthless garbage till now. today i listened to two of this nasty dude's 'songs'. it's not that i ever really respected pro ball players (except as a child), or their opinions on anything, but this has to be a new low. perhaps instead of being endlessly idolized for making it in the very cut throat world of professional sports these guys should be seen for what they actually are: tools of a fascist state. will one, just one, of them stand up publically and say 'no, i WON'T salute the military (in fact most pro baseball teams today have a near majority that is latin american--why should they stand for the 'national anthem'?.... which is no national anthem, and much better would be 'this land is your land', with the line 'i saw a sign there, said private property, but on the back side, it didn't say nothing, this land was made for you and me')

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

Do give us the link at mlb so we can see the reactions to your comment.

NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for national anthem. Here's one story about him.


x larry said...

hi linh,
you may be shocked to hear this, but from yesterday to today that particular article has simply disappeared, with my comment, from the royals' website.
thanks for link

x larry said... is very efficient. there's another article still there on the same subject, but it won't let me post. here's a link to the other article anyway

several royals players have been fining themselves this year if in post game interviews they fail to drop in either '17' or '38'. this little joke is about a 'song' glorifying, guess what, cooking drugs, selling drugs, stacks of money, bitches.

i've posted similar comments before. you can guess the kinds of responses they bring before the article just goes away

x larry said...

i've googles 'fetty wap kansas city royals' and found the article. you can see my post there but none have posted since mine, obviously as the article was promptly taken down, perhaps by george brett himself.

Ian Keenan said...

xl interesting as always. I am feast or famine with sports - I either have to know all the minutia or tune it out completely. It relaxes me but then it eats into my reading time - I admire Linh for reading and writing wonderful books - so I have been taking a break from my once beloved MLB for a few years - clueless about the World Series, for instance - but when I was in a keeper Diamond Mind league I drafted Carlos Delgado after he hit 30 home runs for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A Florida State League - a hit as he would go on to set the record for career homers and RBI for Puerto Rican players while wearing Clemente's uniform number, while there were a few prospects selected that were misses.

NYT: "Last March when the United States invaded Iraq, Delgado, in his own quiet way, said that for him, enough was enough. He had stood for "God Bless America" through the 2003 season but vowed not to do so this season. In an act of a simple, mostly unnoticed, protest against the war, Delgado, a 32-year-old first baseman, has chosen to remain in the dugout while "God Bless America" is played.

"I'm curious to see the reaction to Delgado at Yankee Stadium, which George Steinbrenner* has turned into a paean to patriotism. Some teams, including Toronto, have stopped playing "God Bless America," which was inserted into games after the attacks of Sept. 11. Most teams now play the song only on weekends or holidays.

"The Yankees play it during the seventh-inning stretch at every home game.
" It was Selig, in the aftermath of Sept. 11, who ordered all teams to play "God Bless America," injecting a political statement into the games.

"I don't honestly think that politicizes the issue," Selig said, calling the playing of the anthem a matter of respect. "After all, we do have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Dave Zirin (radical sports columnist) took Delgado to task for eventually caving in to the Wilpon family** when he was traded to the Mets..

"For the last two years, Delgado chose to follow the steps of his personal hero, Roberto Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates great and the first Latino elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and use his athletic platform to speak out for social justice. Clemente blazed a trail for generations of Latino ball players by standing up for the poor of Latin America and never accepting being treated as anything less than human. Delgado’s contribution to this tradition of pride in the face of conformity was to refuse to stand for the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. This was his act of resistance to the war in Iraq. “I think it’s the stupidest war ever. Who are you fighting against? You’re just getting ambushed now,” Delgado told the Toronto Star in 2004. “We have more people dead now, after the war, than during the war. You’ve been looking for weapons of mass destruction. Where are they at? You’ve been looking for over a year. Can’t find them. I don’t support that. I don’t support what they do. I think it’s just stupid.

"There couldn’t be a better time than now, a better place than New York City, or a better team than the Mets for Delgado to make his stand. Instead, he has to hear baby-boy Wilpon say to reporters, “Fred has asked and I’ve asked him to respect what the country wants to do.” One has to wonder what country the Wilpons are talking about. The latest polls show Bush and his war meeting with subterranean levels of support. Delgado could be an important voice in the effort to end it once and for all."

Ian Keenan said...

* Steinbrenner made his money in the defense industry
** Zirin on Wilpon: "The owners of the Mets, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, were finanical partners with the Babe Ruth of swindlers, Bernie Madoff. They allegedly used Madoff's portfolio as a sort of personal bank, with the team as both collateral and cash register. Then they had to fight off a $1 billion lawsuit issued by the Madoff victim's trust."

Ian Keenan said...

also I sing Stravinsky's arrangement of the national anthem at games (the way Robert Craft conducted the choral version), composed during WW2 which caused him to be cited by the Boston Police for breaking a perceived law prohibiting alternate versions. Once a police officer pulled John Cage over when he was driving and said, "I'm going to give you a citation" and Cage replied "I haven't received a citation in a long time." I do get compliments from fans in the nosebleeds and no legal trouble.

x larry said...

hi ian,
wow, what mind-boggling references--i can't keep up! i still have it in the back of my mind to go back through blog comments here and look up some old ones, months old even. thank you. i did check out the stravinsky. i didn't listen to the end, but it didn't seem terribly strange?
i was visiting america three years ago when my dad, a rabid tigers fan, got me to watch some games. since the mid eighties i had lost interest in baseball and all sports and was surpised my dad supported such a fascist game--but of course, it's in the blood, or in the childhood, and he played right through college, a pitcher. i too loved baseball as a kid, george brett and the royals in particular (i was born in kc but grew up in michigan). we'd always catch the double header with kc, often on my birthday or around there, at tigers stadium--an unforgetable place. but i did briefly get back into it in '13, watching verlander, who i'd never heard of along with the others, beat the yankees--always the great colossus and enemy, though with new rule changes this is finally no longer the case, their domination of the game every year. then my parents visited me in england the following summer and we watched some games and my dad gave me his password. what i liked that was different were all the latin players, esp venezuelans. i was mad about chavez at the time, and though miguel cabrera looked like him and i called him that. also victor martinez i loved. i still like those guys, but i'm starting to wane on the sport again.
listened to a great interview with dick gregory last night in which he says something like sports are a sin against the great creator, as all they do is prepare young men for war. he says many, many other great things. here's the link.
also really getting into sun ra these days, thanks linh. nuclear war, it's a mother fucker don't you know, when they push that button your ass has got to go---all day round my head for about two weeks now!

x larry said...

i would love to know of any dissenting or radical opinions of the venezuelans, the cubans and other latinos. nothing is ever mentioned EVER by the white washers, in detroit's case announcers mario impemba and rod allen (who's an oreo). it takes serious effort to avoid bringing up some topics, like castro, like chavez, like the unspeakable policies of the goons that rule the world, strangulation of cuba, endless coup attempts in latin america, 7 giant new bases in colombia, etc etc etc. hell, my painter friends even studiously avoid the topic of detroit itself--rarely is there a shot on the broadcast of the city, unless it's just downtown near cobo hall or of the lovely river, 'and it's a picture perfect night here in downtown detroit', except that, oh yeah, there's no CITY here anymore!

Rudy said...

Hi x larry,

A while back you said were pissed off when you discovered that everything you thought you knew turned out to be lies, something like that. You’re not alone. I’m quite a bit older than you, and I didn’t start figuring that out until 2002 when, at lunch, a friend told me about the destruction of Building 7. I hadn’t heard about that before. Sort of blind-sided, I asked “Why don’t I know that?” He shrugged. “Because nobody will say anything about it.”

That afternoon I immediately started breviting around the web. What I found that day dealt my world view a serious blow, but it actually took some time for me to come to terms with how big the operation had to be. After a month or so I had a good handle on what had happened that day, but parts of the old paradigm still interfered with critical thought.

With time I kept running into references to Israeli involvement, and countering remarks about anti-semitism. For quite a while things were just not making sense. But evidence piled up – for, example Michael Chertoff, a Zionist, was in charge of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and so was ultimately responsible for obstruction of justice in connection with 9/11 (no investigation, swift removal of evidence…), so eventually – that means around late 2004 – simple invocation of anti-semitism was not enough to deflect me from engaging in critical thought. Along with that came the TSA and those stupid full body scanners in airports. Chertoff made a lot of money from the introduction of those scanners.

Time rolled on…

Believe it or not, I had not heard the facts about Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 until 2008.

By 2008 I knew that Israel’s influence on U.S. policy was significant, but it wasn’t until late 2009 that I put it all together and in 2010 finally concluded that the U.S. is a de-facto colony of Israel, what with the several million dollars in tribute the U.S. gives Israel every day and all. In the traditional framework, congress functions as vice-regents for Israel’s colonial hold on the US.

So, now an old man, I finally figured out how it all ties together. It took me a long time.

Propaganda works very well. You were hoodwinked; don’t feel bad.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.