May 27, 2019

Honoring My Dad and the Fallen

By Glenn

Memorial Day always makes me think of my dad-Yves “Buster” Melancon.  He served for twenty-seven years in the United States Army and went to Vietnam twice.  As a Combat Engineer, Dad wasn’t directly engaged in the fighting, but he did travel throughout the war zone.  I always wonder how my life would have been different if Dad had never come home.

I was lucky.  Thousands of sons and daughters lost their parents to the war in Vietnam.  Once, when I was an adult, and after he had retired, I asked my dad to tell me about his experiences.  He simply said, “all I know is that a lot of good brothers died for no reason,” and then he started to cry.  I never heard the rest of the story.

Now, I’m a dad and my son-Christopher Yves-Paul Melancon joined the United States Army.  He serves as a Combat Engineer.  I wish my dad were still alive.  He would be proud. I know I am.

Millions of men and woman-like my dad and my son-have sacrificed themselves to serve and protect you and me.  Do we do enough to protect them?  Do we do enough to prevent “a lot of good brothers” from dying “for no reason”?  I was convinced President Obama understood that he had their lives in his hands.

In a commencement speech to the Naval Academy graduates, President Obama made a promise to them.  He also made a promise to my son.  President Obama said, “as long as I am your Commander in Chief, I will only send you into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy, the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support you need to get the job done.”

The President clearly articulated the lessons of Vietnam.  Now, it just seems like common sense.  Unfortunately, in 2003 too few Washington politicians-neither Democratic nor Republican-thought to apply this lesson to Iraq.  It was an unnecessary war, based on a naïve strategy.  Making the situation worse, our brave men and women lacked the proper body armor and armored vehicles to keep them safe.

We now know that the failure of the Bush Administration to do its homework produced chaos.  Lacking a well-defined strategy, Donald Rumsfeld cut corners.  He didn’t trust the military and turned to outside contractors.  They convinced him that torture and humiliation could win a war.  They were wrong. Donald Trump is doing it again, ignoring evidence, sowing discord among our allies, and praising the barbaric practice of torture.

Even with such poor leadership in Iraq, however, our armed forces persevered.  They looked for long-destroyed Weapons of Mass Destruction.  They toppled Saddam Hussein and supervised three Iraqi elections.  Thankfully, President Obama reduced our troops in Iraq and lead our troops home from Iraq.

I have no doubt our military can achieve its mission on the battlefield. The problem is after the war. As Collin Powell said, “You break it, you own it.” How much blood and treasure have politicians wasted because of Iraq? How much more chaos was added to the world? The Middle East is clearly less stable.

Almost eighteen years after the murderous attacks on America, we, the American voters, should see clearly. A destructive war without a clear exist strategy makes us weaker, not stronger. We need a strong diplomatic and humanitarian effort to work alongside of our brave servicemen and women. The world is not our enemy. Reaching out a hand of friendship is just as important as eliminating the terrorist threat.

My dad always told me that no one hates war more than the soldier.  Soldiers know that the price of glory is high.  A reckless and foolish foreign policy not only wastes trillions of dollars, but more importantly, it risks the lives of our loved ones.  I can think of no better way to honor my dad and the Fallen than to make sure his grandson doesn’t die in a purposeless and fruitless war.

***Originally written in 2009. updated 2019***

May 2, 2019

Facts from the Mueller Report

By Glenn

Donald’s inner circle are confessed and convicted criminals.

Donald’s campaign/family worked with Russian agents to influence American elections.

Donald himself praised the criminal behavior of Putin while pursuing a hotel deal in Moscow.

Donald fired James Comey to obstruct the criminal investigation.

Donald tried 10 times to obstruct justice.

Mueller did not, and can not, exonerate this deplorable pattern of lies and cheating.

April 28, 2019

All Means All

By Glenn

Let me repeat everything Jesus said about gays and lesbians.

“____________________________”

Nope. Nada. Hating gays and lesbians is not part of Christianity. Go back and read the Gospels.

Love all. Care for all. All means all.

“‘Not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized’: Franklin Graham blasts Buttigieg for being gay “

March 26, 2019

Yes Donald’s Family and Campaign Worked with Russians

By Glenn

“The truth is that we barely know anything more today than we did a week ago. It’s likely there’s a reason for that.” Kevin Drum

Last week we knew Donald’s inner circle are confessed and convicted criminals.

Last week we knew Donald’s campaign/family worked with Russian agents to influence American elections.

Last week we knew that Donald himself praise the criminal behavior of Putin while pursuing a hotel deal in Moscow.

Last week we knew Donald fired James Comey to obstruct the criminal investigation.

Yesterday, does not change what we know. Yesterday, did not, and can not, exonerate this deplorable pattern of lies and cheating.

March 12, 2019

Treasures of Arles

By Glenn
Topics:
Arles

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March 1, 2019

Documenting Truth and Lies

By Glenn

Cohen lied to the Republican lead Congress. They didn’t care because it was CYA.

How do we know Cohen lied? There are documents presented to a US Federal Court where he plead guilty.

Now Cohen is telling the truth to the Democratically lead Congress. Republicans are furious because it demonstrates their complicity in covering up Donald’s crimes.

How do we know Cohen is telling the truth this time? The very same documents that showed he lied, now show he is telling the truth.

Don’t come unhinged because reality doesn’t match your delusions. Facts have a liberal bias.

February 11, 2019

Abuse is about power and cruelty.

By Glenn

Abuse is not caused by celebacy.
Abuse is not caused by sexual orientation.
Abuse is not caused by theology.

Abuse is about power and cruelty. As along as we allow people with power easy access to victims, abuse will continue. Stopping abuse requires immediate reporting, credible investigations and certain punishments.

Abuse can happen in a family, a daycare, the BSA, a school, a church, the government….Yes, abuse can happen anywhere. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Certainly, as individuals, it is always best to avoid walking down a path. The Buddha would agree.

  • All life is suffering
  • All suffering is caused by desire
  • To end suffering one must end desire.
  • To end desire on must walk the eight-fold path.

We, as a community, however, have the obligation to create institutional barriers to abuse and institutional mechanisms for justice. When we only focus on the individual, we fail to prevent abuse.

“Southern Baptist Leaders Promise ‘Change’ After Report Uncovers Rampant Sexual Abuse: Almost 400 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct since 1998, according to a damning report.” Dominique Mosbergen