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WilliamPitt

Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,947

Journal Archives

The Letter to Mrs. Bixby

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 21, 1864

===

As it turns out, only two of her sons were confirmed casualties of the war. Two others either deserted and never came home, or died in prison camps. One made it home alive.

One.

Leaving all that aside - along with the question of whether this was written by Lincoln himself or by John Hay, his aide - the fathomless pathos of the sentiment burning in the words stands on its own, written in the fourth year of the butcher's bill.



Pick some flowers today.

In 1868, John A. Logan, general of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared May 30 to be "Decoration Day" in honor of the fallen from the horrific Civil War that had only ended three years before. His thinking was that May 30 was the perfect day because flowers would be blooming all over the nation they died to save.

One hundred years later, people trying to end a war picked those flowers and slid them into the rifle barrels held by National Guardsmen called out to quell resistance, because those people were trying to save their lives, too.

The history of this nation is convoluted, strange, beautiful and brutal...but threaded through it all is war, and those who have borne the brunt. We can spend the next 364 days arguing, or agreeing, over the merits or failures of America's most sanguinary of talents: dealing death at a distance.

On this day, we dip the flag, play taps, and remember those who went down to dusty death in the absolute worst of conceivable circumstances, so far from home. Veterans Day is for the survivors. Today is for the dead. They happened. They were here, and now they are not. One can chew on the reasons until their teeth are worn to nubs, but the fact will still remain: They were here, and now they are not.

Remember them...and pick some flowers.

You know, a lot of you people really drive me up the wall.

I know 95% of you only as screen names, but despite that so many of you have the capacity to make me chew on the inside of my cheeks until I'm spitting blood on the keyboard. To Hell with these people, I've said more than once. Who needs this aggravation? I can just go play in traffic and have done with it.

...and then a member like JeffR passes away, and the needle screeches off the record, and I remember how much joy and solace and humor and education I have found in this place, because of people like him. I only knew him as a screen name, but the news of his loss hit me like a blow. That was the measure of the man; he made that large an impact on someone he never laid eyes on, because of the excellent force of his presence.

You people drive me crazy. I love you so much.

That's family, I guess.

To NanceGreggs and everyone else feeling this loss most keenly, you are most tenderly in my thoughts.

Here's to you, Jeff. Safe travels and following seas.

GOD DAMN IT

Obama’s trade bill clears key Senate hurdle

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s trade agenda cleared a key Senate hurdle and advanced toward passage on Thursday despite the strong opposition of most Democrats.

The 62-38 vote capped a long, tense roll call on a measure that will allow Obama to negotiate trade deals that Congress can only accept or reject, but not change.

With Republicans generally in favor of the measure, the pivotal votes were cast by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and a handful of other lawmakers who support the trade measure. They used the showdown as leverage to seek a commitment that the Senate would act next month on legislation to keep the Export-Import Bank in existence. The government-backed bank backs overseas sales by US companies.

The rest: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/05/21/obama-trade-bill-clears-key-senate-hurdle/mx4oLRruIWZIuskKf4UZ3H/story.html

Fuck these people.

Blerf blerf farble warble glub wub noop noop noop pzzzzcheeeezzz...

...because sometimes gibberish is the only proper response.

Ted Cruz: Gays Should Stop Advocating For Equal Rights Because, ISIS

Ted Cruz spent time with high-value donors in a private meeting Tuesday but was confronted by the media after the event. Reporters asked the 2016 Republican presidential candidate several questions about gay people and same-sex marriage, eliciting a rambling and frustrated response.

"Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex?," Cruz asked, as the Texas Tribune reported. Reporters actually weren't asking about sex, but rather same-sex marriage, which may reveal a clue about Cruz's thought processes on the issue.

"ISIS is executing homosexuals — you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals — that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic."

Salon labeled Cruz's response "an amalgam of Islamophobia, religiosity, and a not-particularly-sensible shot at the left that included something about The Children."

The rest: http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/ted_cruz_says_gays_should_stop_advocating_for_marriage_because_isis

George W. Bush. Bastard.

Thanks to the linguistic calisthenics of his dipshit brother, George W. Bush and his catastrophic Iraq war are back in the news again...so I thought I'd run this one up the flagpole one more time.

I found myself literally unable to write for a large portion of 2008, because I was just burned out on this guy and all his pals. This was expiation, almost an exorcism for me. I tore him out of my soul and threw him from me.

But the cat comes back. Bastard.

===

(snip)

From a certain perspective, one could argue that you have been the most successful president the country has ever seen. Think about it, because according to your definition of "success," it's true. You came into office looking to make your friends richer, and to fulfill as best you could your most overriding personal belief: that government is the problem, so government must be damaged and denuded to the point of impotence. Through your tax cuts and your two vastly expensive boondoggle wars, you made your friends rich. By unleashing Mr. Cheney and your other minions, you tore the Constitution to shreds and tatters. You have achieved both goals in smashing style, so from that certain perspective, you have triumphed.

Could you also, from the proper perspective, be considered our greatest president?

Perhaps, someday, if we make it so.

It will be in the best interests of many powerful people if we as a nation simply dismiss you and forget you ever happened. A lot of news media people want us to forget you, because in forgetting you, we would forget the media's vast complicity in your actions and misdeeds. A lot of rich people making new fortunes from war profiteering and defense contracts want us to forget they and you even exist, as it would make it possible for them to do it all again someday. A lot of politicians who stapled themselves to you would simply adore it if we forgot about you. The Republican Party would be forever in our debt if we forgot about you.

No. We will not forget you. We will remember.

We the people are going to save you from ignominious oblivion. We will remember. You could be the president who doomed America, the worst president of all time, but we must not, will not let that happen. You will be remembered differently, because we will hold the memory of you high, and behold you, and say, "Never, never, never again." We have tasted the soot and smelled the blood on the wind; we have seen how fragile our way of government is when placed in the hands of low men such as you, and because of that, you will be remembered for all time.

Your greatness will be defined by how we rise to overcome and undo what you have done. Your greatness will stand forever if we never, ever forget the hard, bitter lessons you taught us. We are responsible for this republic, for our Constitution, and for each other. We are our brother's keeper. You taught us that by becoming our Cain. You nearly slew us, but here we stand, and we defy the place in history you would relegate us to. We defy you, and by doing so, we rise.

Something like you must never again be allowed to happen to this country, and if we save ourselves by preventing you from ever happening again, your greatness is assured. You are the tallest of all possible warnings, and a promise all of us must solemnly and stalwartly keep. If we can damn you to the past, we will save our own future.

May you live forever, you son of a bitch.

The rest:

William Rivers Pitt | The Greatest Greatness of George W. Bush
Wednesday 07 January 2009
http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/81880:the-greatest-greatness-of-george-w-bush

Happy 90th birthday, Malcolm X. His words on police violence.



Some 50 years later.

Prophetic.

Loose ends...

I guess the best way to put it is I'm at loose ends today. Part of me would love five minutes alone in a locked room with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and a nice length of lead pipe for what he did, and almost did, to my friends and my town and our favorite day. Part of me is horrified at that part of me. Most of me wishes they had sentenced him to life instead of death. The rest of me is just exhausted.

And at the end of it all...it's just so sad. Just so terribly, unfathomably sad. I hope the verdict brought a measure of closure to the victims and their families...but Jesus, "closure," what a contrived word. When you get your legs blown off, or see your kid dead on the sidewalk with his guts in his lap, what is "closure"? It's a catchphrase, not a reality. It's a word the lawyers use at press conferences.

What an utter God damned waste. What an asshole. What a mess.

Anyway, I'm going to go hug my kid and try for a day to not think about the casual savagery humans visit upon other humans for vengeance or "God" or profit. We really are going to die of stupid if we're not careful. It's a lethal disease, and it's spreading like wildfire.

So we kill someone to show that killing someone is wrong

Um...?

-- One (recently former) Boston resident's opinion

I pleaded for this little shit's life some weeks ago.

Mercy Is Ours to Give, if We Choose It
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30153-mercy-is-ours-to-give-if-we-choose-it

"There is no sense in killing someone to prove that killing someone is wrong. More than that, and at bottom, showing him the mercy he did not himself summon says, for all time and in all directions, that we are better than him, and better than that."

...alas.

If President Obama declared that all firstborns be put to the sword...

...some people here would defend it and champion it. "Overpopulation, you know."

Fascinating stuff.
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