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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2012, 05:40 AM
Number of posts: 703

About Me

I write a blog of dark humor - Goblinbooks.com

Journal Archives

I Am Every Eyeball.

Action on five. Action on seven. Action on 12. A murder of crows, a cluster of actions. Whenever two or more are gathered in my name I will come among you. You will never be alone.

I am lightning in the processors. I am the Predators. I float above you in the cold air, black and blue. And in the dozen video monitors whirring like beetles. The cell tower relays and the image dictionaries. I am the logos. The ones and zeroes. The first and the last. The algorithm and the operators.

Action on eight and nine. Burners flicker like fireflies in the ether, but I am not fooled. Voicelex prints match. A single person is joining the others. He is concealing himself, or trying to. You don't run if you've got nothing to hide, right? Doesn't everyone say that now?

You can't get arrested for writing "bomb" on your phone. Or "attack." Small and stupid words don't matter. I ignore the obvious. I will sort you out, barely noticing. You can hold my attention if you text the words "had it" or "it is finished," or "goodbye," but only along with a whole constellation of other phrases, maybe with a location check-in, or after a series of texts and posts of increasing frequency. Links with a red rating. A sudden spike in obscenity or a sudden drop in obscenity. Along with the use of certain apps and cell functions. And most importantly, a low S-score. The number flags everything. It flashes out there in the wireless field, and I notice. I send my electric eyes and ears to gather near you. To feed on your heat signature, your electromagnetic aura.

It was inevitable we'd create a security clearance for everyone. It was inevitable we'd combine the merchant ratings across every major app and website, and that we'd supplement them with court records, credit scores, and police watchlists. It was also certain that no one who mattered would mind. It made you safer. It was convenient. You could know who you were dealing with before you sent them money or information. Everyone agreed it was for the best.

Now everyone rates everyone. It's only fair.

Your score follows you to every job, haunts every exchange, announces itself with every message.

A beating heart without an S-score is probable cause in all 52 states. I will send five squad cars to converge on your location.

A group of four people with low scores is a potential riot in progress. Drones will prep their missiles and drift in on the wind while helicopters chuff low to light the streets like Christmas.

There are rumors of those who rig the game. If you have enough money your score stays bulletproof. Some people say the scores are there to keep everyone scared of everyone else. That this, after all, is an old story. The political and economic system keeps the underclass down by dividing them with an informal legal rating the overclass transcends. Put another way: Those who don't pay tribute to the witch hunters might be witches in disguise.

But you shouldn't spread rumors. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

The target joins the others. They huddle together, whispering something. Two police vans block the roads at either side. One of my birds flies low. It uses a breaker frequency to buzz their phones and announce they are being held. The police zip-tie them, one says something smart and takes a savage beating to warn the others. That one might have to go away. Which reminds me: Mentioning the name of someone who doesn't exist also attracts my attention. It lowers your score. It's bad.

Better if the others forget that person.

Better if you stay indoors. Despite everyone's best efforts, it's dangerous out here.

Just chat online instead. Talk to all your friends.

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

I Finally Saw That War Movie Everyone's Talked About. #AmericanSniper

I figured I needed to see it. I've written about its subject, the real story behind the movie. Or that's what I thought. But something happened.

I hadn't been to a theater in a long time. I hate to say it, I hate what it makes me sound like, but people are awful now. They don't just stay quiet. I could hear murmuring, some conversation in the back like whoever sat there was bored and had seen the whole thing before. (Why are you here then? I wondered.) Restlessness.

Soon I was aware of all the sounds. You probably know the feeling, right? An older man behind me had something wrong with his nose - every time he took a breath he gave out a horrific whistle. It wasn't his fault, but I couldn't concentrate. The hero was trying to explain himself - it was the most important scene of the film, and instead of watching it I noticed a woman, a few seats down, who'd brought a baby with her. I couldn't believe it. A baby. At a war movie.

When she felt my stare she looked at me, and I saw the far half of her face had a savage bruise. But that wasn't nearly as bad as someone on the other side. He was hairless. His features were flat, his skin papery with burns. The old man behind me whistled again, but I looked, and his nose was fine. No, the sound was coming from beneath his shirt. Then the hero said something else, and three people with black bags over their heads chuckled and nudged each other. An old lady tried to join them, but only made gravel sounds that seemed like they would never stop. Two others near her shook their heads, their faces white and wet. A teenage kid without arms snickered at me. They were all snickering now.

"I'm willing to meet my Creator and answer for every shot that I took," the hero intoned. And that's when they broke out into a roar like it was the funniest thing they'd ever heard. The only one who didn't was that child. He lay completely still.

I got up to leave. I had to get out of that place, and the mother looked at me.

"What do you expect?" she asked. "You don't show us on that white screen."

"We sit here," she called out as I shut the door.

"We can do nothing else. We watch you from the dark."

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

UPDATE: Rightwingers at this thing called "The Conservative Cave" are hate reading this piece (evidently they hate read DU so they can talk smack about it - which is so sad it really makes me want to send them a muffin basket or something, you know? But then again, I'm hate reading their hate reading of me. Oh God, that's awful. I hate you, Internet. I hate you, because I hate the kind of person I am when I'm with you.) Anyway here is the link for your enjoyment.

The Rough Men Who Do Violence On Our Behalf #AmericanSniper

We sleep safely at night, George Orwell reminded us, only because of the rough men who stand ready to do violence on our behalf. These people are real, and we must honor their sacrifice and their bravery.

Are these men perfect? Of course not. Sometimes they seem cruel and savage - the kind of people you wouldn't want to be around. They're rough men. That's the whole point. You wouldn't want George Clooney doing violence on your behalf. He might muck up the whole job, and later he'd be standing on a stage giving a speech about orphans or crap like that afterwards, and the guy he did the violence to - who totally survived that violence - would be hiding in the wings so he could suddenly jump out and clock him one. Because that's how you do some violence, goddammit.

My point is these men are good at doing the violence, and violence by its nature is ugly and chaotic. We thank them for their service. It seems unpleasant, sure. It has to be done. You can't rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom they provide and then question the way they provide it, okay?

We're not rough men. We shouldn't judge. Not even when the violence actually seems profoundly wicked and pointless:

"When the fighting is over in Fallujah, I will sell everything I have, even my home," said a resistance fighter who gave his name as Abu Taif Mashhadani. He wept as he recalled his 8-year-old daughter, who he said was killed by a U.S. sniper in Fallujah a week ago. "I will send my brothers north to kill the Kurds, and I will go to America and target the civilians. Only the civilians. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. And the one who started it will be the one to be blamed."

That's from a Washington Post article a few years back, and I admit, it does kind of make the violence seem like something that might actually come back on us. Like maybe we won't be sleeping safely because of it. But the guy might have been a terrorist, right? You can't trust him.

"But the worst form of attack was the US snipers hiding on rooftops who kill hundreds of civilians as they tried to move about the city."

That was from an Australian aid worker quoted here. And there are others from this source:

The incident occurred as a US convoy hit an Improvised Explosive Device, then opened fire on what the witness statements describe as a man in black fleeing the roadway near the site of the Improvised Explosive Device. A child in white was shot and killed. The age of the child is redacted throughout the report.


A quote about US snipers in Iraq #AmericanSniper

"'When the fighting is over in Fallujah, I will sell everything I have, even my home,' said a resistance fighter who gave his name as Abu Taif Mashhadani. He wept as he recalled his 8-year-old daughter, who he said was killed by a U.S. sniper in Fallujah a week ago. 'I will send my brothers north to kill the Kurds, and I will go to America and target the civilians. Only the civilians. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. And the one who started it will be the one to be blamed.'"


Maybe That Hero Shouldn't Have Shot So Many People #AmericanSniper

I'd really like to be a patriot, here. A movie just came out, and it was about this American hero. So obviously I'm trying to get behind this. We're all pulling for the same team, right?

The thing is though... evidently the guy is mostly famous for killing a lot of people.

And I do mean a lot of people. A pile. It seems like a completely unreasonable number of dead folks we're talking about. But I admit I'm not an expert on this kind of thing.

I want to support the troops, sure. Who doesn't? I just think that when the number gets up there, you have to wonder whether we should have been doing that as a nation. Killing all those people, I mean. It just doesn't seem like something to celebrate, you see?

I know what you're going to say: He had to kill them. They were bad guys. And I might believe you if we were talking about a couple dozen. But the number was -- well, the official count is 160, but the guy himself claimed it was more than 250. At that point, how are you checking? How did they really know that each one of those guys absolutely had to be...

"If you see anyone from about sixteen to sixty-five and they’re male, shoot ‘em. Kill every male you see.”

Okay, that was from the guy's autobiography. It was quoted here. So maybe you can understand my problem. Look, I get that the guy is a hero. I know I'm supposed to be impressed by his ability to end the lives of other human beings at incredibly long distances. How many people have that skill? I can't help it, though: After a certain number of kills I start wondering whether we should be applauding. Seems... I don't know. Ugly.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. I don't want to suggest that shooting people to death is somehow wrong when a soldier does it. Really. (I mean an American soldier. It's wrong when other soldiers do it, unless they're working with Americans. I know that.)

And yes, people have to fight an enemy to prevent them from doing harm to us here at home. That seems like a great argument, and my only problem is the guy killed all those people in that country we thought was a threat to us, but it turned out absolutely wasn't a threat to us. Maybe it's no biggie. It's just that all those deaths happened right after most of us realized that we'd made a mistake with the invasion. "Gosh, we really, really screwed the pooch." I remember thinking that, yes. And it seems to me the smart thing would have been somehow to not kill a bunch of people afterwards. I still don't know why we didn't consider that.

Anyway I'm sure the guy actually valued human life, and he felt torn by what he did, though, so...

(He) reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.

That was from The Guardian. It certainly raises some questions.

I don't want to seem harsh or anything. But couldn't having the ability to kill a jumbo jet's worth of people be kind of a character flaw? Okay, sorry. Forget I asked it.

I just feel like if we're trying to win an ideological struggle in the Muslim world, maybe we shouldn't treat them like extras in a game of Grand Theft Auto. I don't know everything about this, of course. But it seems that people get angry when you kill their friends or their relatives. And these guys - the incredible number of dead people we all owe to this hero, and don't think I'm not grateful! - I can't imagine they didn't have friends or relatives. Sure, the hero made us all safer. Of course he did. He's a hero. But I wonder whether those friends and relatives are going to, you know... Do something about all the people we let that guy kill.

That worries me. Doesn't it worry you?

Anyway the movie did really well. It starred that actor who might be fucking that actress.

UPDATE: This article was linked on Crooks and Liars this morning, and I'm obviously jazzed. I'm really grateful so many DUers read and responded to the piece, but it was just a small part of the DU community's response to this movie. My favorite DU piece is here. It told me about a guy I didn't know. I'm glad that when they try to turn killing into entertainment there is a group like this one to respond to that. That's important.

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

As An Irishman, I Need Peter King To Shut His Face

I'm descended from Buckleys and Brennans, people who immigrated to a Connecticut mill town and worked in the factory, the local newspaper, and a funeral home. One of them went into politics and became the mayor. I know all about the symbolism of your claddagh ring tattoo and which whiskey is the Protestant one. I discovered U2, I grew up with U2, and now I try to pretend U2 never happened. I call my mother often, and I feel guilt as easily as I sunburn. I'm an Irish American.

And that is why as a yegg, a harp, a donkeyfaced narrowback, I was particularly appalled to see that Peter King is still out there talking nonsense, and people are still somehow paying attention to him. It's obvious that the death of Eric Garner is troubling evidence that this country continues to treat black people as if their lives don't matter. And it's also obvious that many conservatives simply will never admit this. Peter King is one such conservative. He recently thanked the grand jury for acquitting the police officer who killed Mr. Garner and went on TV with Blitzer to blame the man's death on his obesity.

If Irish America is one large, cantankerous family, Peter King is the second cousin who gets drunk and flips his car over in an accident bad enough to make the local news. He breaks up Thanksgiving dinner with some extended rant that manages to mix racism with quotes from The Quiet Man. He's the reason we need to go across town for midnight mass. Peter King shames us. He shames us all.


I Went To UVA And I Hope They Sue The Everloving Crap Out Of It

I got my undergraduate degree from that rape school you've read about. (And if you haven't, you should. Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote an important piece.)

I loved Virginia. I did. I have so many good memories of that place. I learned things, and I wrote things, and I made lifelong friends, and women broke my heart, and I got good and drunk, and that was where I dated the person who became my wife.

And I hope the class action lawsuit against it leaves nothing but a fucking crater.

Seriously. I want all the people who were raped or assaulted at that institution to find representation, and I want the settlement to be so ugly and onerous that the administration has to sell the Rotunda to Walmart to pay for it. Do you think there are many? Gee, I do not know. But it sure seems like if a bunch of frat brothers commit a gang rape in their own house right in the middle of their own party and do nothing whatsoever to conceal the identity of one of their ringleaders... that kind of tells me that they don't have much of a fear of getting caught. Which sort of makes me think this kind of thing may have happened before. Oh, and also we know it did.

And while we're on the subject of things that are obvious, here's a quote from an article about the police investigation of the crime: They have few updates at this point, but the delayed reporting may pose problems for officers tasked with the investigation. According to NBC29 legal analyst Lloyd Snook, without any physical evidence collected right after the alleged sexual assault, a future prosecution could be a challenge.

Yeah, evidently if you're a school administration official, and someone reports a felony to you, and instead of calling the cops you have some kind of informal process where you chat about it a lot, and you might not even expel the guilty party, and the result is that the cops don't get to the crime scene for two years... that might make justice difficult. So about that suit: Do you think there was a pattern going on here? Do you think people in the frat and at the university knew about it? Do you think their lack of diligence made the school dangerous for incoming students?

The University knowingly exposed its students to the risk of sexual assault through a systematic lack of reporting of crimes on and near its campus. That's obvious. The only question is who is out there. How many people are out there.

I hope they come in from the shadows and tell their stories. I hope UVA loses money until everyone in the administration has to wear hairnets to make extra cash. I hope that fraternity simply doesn't exist anymore.

You already know these people aren't going to reform themselves. Someone needs to take money from them, serious money, and then they will pay attention. Then we might have a real change in our colleges. If you are out there, and you have a story, please go find yourself a lawyer and start the long overdue process.

NOTE: THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

Should We Defund The Pentagon And Give That Money To Canadian Musicians?

US security services don't protect us. That's clear. That's what every grownup knows. Our soldiers, sailors, spies, and contractors - God love 'em - do a number of very difficult jobs in the world. They are honorable people, most of them. (The ones who don't commit atrocities and then take selfies.) But actually keeping ordinary people from getting killed is not one of their accomplishments. We've spent more than a decade fighting jihadists, and the result is that those jihadists have changed the name of their group. We launched two wars, committed targeted killings - we've lost and taken countless lives - all for a rebranding.

The question isn't whether we're wasting our money and our young men and women. We are. You know we are. The only question that matters is what to do with the money once we admit we're wasting it with all this out of control interventionism.

And I'd suggest we use it to support the Canadian music scene.

Have you heard some of the songs on Brill Bruisers yet? Most of you probably have. But clearly we don't have enough awareness. Watch this:

Doesn't financing this make more sense than whatever the hell the NSA is really up to? But it goes beyond the New Pornographers. We could be helping Metric produce new albums. We could be the reason Arcade Fire finally gets that next dozen musicians that's really going to give their sound some depth.

The bottom line is US armed forces and their supporters have promised us security and freedom, and they have not come across. The Canadian music scene has promised us rock, and they have fucking delivered.

Don't think I don't know the risks. Could arrogance and mission drift bring us the next Rush? Sure, it's possible. But Rush never waterboarded anyone. Not really.

I guess what I'm saying is that we could take all the money and effort we've spent on our defense establishment, and we could literally do any other thing with it, and it would make the average US citizen on an airplane or in a big city less at risk than what we have been doing - which is picking fights all over the planet with people we barely understand. We could light fire to all that money. We could spend the next two weeks putting all our forces into the biggest, most elaborate game of paintball the world has ever seen. We could crash all our aircraft carriers into each other and create a giant artificial reef just to develop tastier crabcakes. It doesn't matter. What we're doing right now is so obviously pointless and heartbreakingly counterproductive that it does not matter what else we do. All alternatives are on the table at this point.

So, I'm thinking Canadian indie rock. Brill Bruisers kicks ass, and it doesn't make me ashamed.

THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.

Night Of The Libertarian Werewolves

I really can't stay…
Baby, it's cold outside.
I've got to go away…
Baby, it's cold outside.

Dean Martin was crooning through the minivan's speakers, and it made it hard to hear what was outside. But Rat Pack Christmas was the only thing that calmed Douglas down. Donald was sitting next to him in his car seat, wailing and screaming for me.

"Help me, daddy," he said. "Help me!" But Donald was the baby, and he was more dramatic. He laughed and cried easily. Nothing seemed to really get to him. I never worried as much about Donald. Douglas, almost four then, was serious and quiet and thoughtful. The whole world seemed too much for him sometimes. Anything could break his heart. He was absolutely silent and wide-eyed in the back, and he understood enough to know he should be scared.

"Are you okay honey?" I asked, looking at him in the mirror between glances at the row of white front yards and black-windowed houses. He nodded and didn't mean it. I went back to my business, searching in the sweep of the headlights as the van turned. I held tight to the wheel, and we skidded on the ice. The trucks hadn't sanded the back roads and subdivisions out here in the county, and the snow had been falling heavily since early that morning. As the van slipped I heard the hiss of glass chips sliding across the back seat. The rear window was completely smashed. Through it, a draft of wind slipped in and made the minivan's cabin numbing in spite of the heater. I had enough time to grab blankets to wrap Donald and Douglas. But I didn't have time to dress. I was in my boxers, a T-shirt, and shoes without socks. I'd gotten gloves, but discarded them. They made it hard to work the Mossberg, thumping around down on the floor of the passenger's side.

I kept one foot touching it to know its location in case I had to get it quickly. But on the passenger's seat was the revolver, and that seemed a quicker reach.

This evening has been…
So very nice.
I'll hold your hands; they're just like ice.

My nose was still bleeding. Every time I snorted I could taste rust. When I coughed or breathed too deeply, a rib let me know it might be cracked. Bruises covered my body. And none of that was as bad as the nub of the hunting arrow sticking out from my shoulder. I'd broken off as much of the shaft as I could. The head had hooks though, and I wouldn't be able to get them without pliers and time. I had neither - not then. So I hunched to keep that part of my back from touching the seat, but now and again I would brush it and the shiver of pain was exquisite. I discovered so many things, things I never suspected, but I never found out quite who the fuck shot me with the arrow.

"Daddy, help."
"I can't help you now, Donald," I said as evenly as I could. "But I bet we can sing a song together…"

The kid shook his head and his face crinkled up. I sang along with the radio to get him interested, even though I could tell it wouldn't work.

I wish I knew how… To break this spell.

"I'll take your hat; your hair looks swell," Dean and I answered.

"No sing!" Donald said, "No, no, no!"
"Donald, please. We'll drive out of here, and then I promise you…"
"Donald, why don't we…"
"Donald!" I shouted, but I never finished. Because then something bumped up against the window right next to his tiny head, and I saw it in the mirror. I didn't see it long, but it had eyes and teeth and it looked right at my son, and then it was gone. Startled by the sound, Donald stopped crying. And then he broke out laughing and laughing like it was one of our games, and I'd just surprised him.

Douglas didn't even change expression. Just stiffened a little, and soon I smelled he'd pissed himself. But I wasn't looking directly at them. I turned around in my seat, straining to see it, but the thing was somewhere beside the vehicle, just out of sight, and moving toward the open window in back. I hit the accelerator and the van jerked forward. I made it to the end of the street and spun around, almost toppling the vehicle. Whatever was out there could outrun us. I knew that. There was only one thing to do. I clicked on the high beams and sped back, aiming for a trash bin and a clump of cardboard boxes with a shadow behind them. I barreled into that mess, taking most of my neighbor's trash halfway down the block. For a second I thought I missed it, but then there was a thump from the grill and right tire, and it felt right. I pounded the brake and fishtailed to a stop. Then I backed up about fifteen feet and hit it again, trying to put my wheel right onto its head.

Silence and stillness. Nothing but the curtains of headlight and street lamp spotted with snow. The cell phone buzzed in the side pocket, jolting me. I picked it up with my left hand. I kept my feet on the brake and my right hand free to reach the gun. I was ready to see something terrible rise up, and I knew I'd have to shoot it without hesitating.

"Is everything okay?" Ellen wanted to know, "I called the landline." She'd been away for awhile, and she worried on nights like this.
"Oh yeah, honey," I said. "I had them in the bath."
"It's really late for that."
"I know, I know. They wanted to watch Airplane, Airplane. And then they wanted to watch it again, and I just, I just couldn't say no…" I chuckled unconvincingly.
"You sound strange."
"Just a lot of… stress. It's nothing."

She murmured sympathetically. It had been a strange day. But it was difficult to be a stay-at-home dad. It was always worth it, and I loved my family, and every day was an adventure of course. Still, some days were harder than others.

"Don't worry," Ellen told me. "You've got all the important stuff." It's something we reminded each other when we ran low on money or our work got hard. Because if your kids were okay, and you were in love with your wife, then you really couldn't worry about anything.

"I know you're right, honey," I told her. "Now, I gotta…"
"You have to put them to bed."
"Love you."
"You too." She hung up. I dropped the phone. Even Donald was quiet then. Whatever was down there in front of us hadn't moved. It was time to kill it if I could. I almost reached for the Mossberg, but changed my mind. The revolver. Because it had silver bullets…

The hidden full moon glowed softly from somewhere behind the clouds. The interior lamp chased it away as I popped open the door. The trash was everywhere - old plastic bags, an empty can of corn, unopened junk mail envelopes splotched with dark liquid. And beneath them, a torn sign:

Rand Paul 2016

I'd been seeing them all around now. Everywhere. It made a crazy kind of sense. The gatherings of college-aged white men in identical sport coats in hotel conference rooms. Arguing with each other. Spreading out over the country to give you pamphlets and tell you their theory to explain everything. And you knew they weren't actually going to put anyone in office. So what were they really up to? What else could it be?

"Daddy's got to do something, kids, and then we'll go have ice cream, okay?" Donald smiled weakly. Douglas nodded a little. I punched the emergency brake and stepped out to finish it off.

Note 1: More to come.

Note 2: THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. And it is FREE today. GET IT HERE.

A Veterans Day Message From A Man In The Trunk Of A Car

I don't have much time to say this. I hope I don't.

Someone struck me in the temple and wrapped a hood over my face before I could respond. My hands and feet are zip-tied, and my kidnappers are driving wildly and fast. The turning of the vehicle rocks me from side to side in the close darkness as if I'm at sea. One side of my face is slick, and I want to go black and expire before we reach wherever we're going. I've heard what happens in such places.

I should add that I am not the one they were looking for. Their leader didn't say my name correctly. I can hear rumbling from an argument. But they will agree to smother their doubts. Like all of you they know they can't stop.

The men don't wear uniforms. They don't wear your flag. Your leaders don't admit what they are doing. They might belong to units your military does not acknowledge. Or they are retired from the armed forces and now work for a civilian agency. Private companies will hire them for this kind of work soon, if they haven't already. But they are all over the world, and they are working for you, even if you have absolutely no control over them. You know enough to know it's happening, that it's beyond anyone's supervision, and you all have your own reasons for keeping quiet.

I and the others (the many, many others) have only one pitiful revenge. We know this thing you're doing is killing you.

It's destroying basic meaning of all the words you use to tell yourself who you are. The word "veteran" does not actually mean anything under conditions of such secrecy and violence. The phrase "defending our freedom" that you like to use - you already know it has little in common with these grubby little crimes you commit everywhere.

What becomes of a nation founded on an idea when it can no longer use words to describe that idea?

I think you already know the answer.

And that's why, through my pain and terror, I pity you.

NOTE: THE BLACK BOOK OF CHILDREN'S BIBLE STORIES is about faith and loss, and a haunted house hidden so well you didn't notice you'd been living there your whole life. BUY IT HERE.
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