Saturday, July 18, 2015

Using ideas as my maps

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* Wednesday, July 28, 1965: 'This ... is why we are in Vietnam':

President Johnson begins his news conference by announcing plans to increase U.S. troops in the Vietnam War from 75,000 to 125,000, along with doubling the monthly military draft quota from 17,000 to 35,000. He also lays out the reasons for America's increasing involvement, including this passage:
"We did not choose to be the guardians at the gate, but there is no one else. ... Three presidents -- President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and your present president -- over 11 years have committed themselves and have promised to help defend this small and valiant nation. Strengthened by that promise, the people of South Vietnam have fought for many long years. Thousands of them have died. Thousands more have been crippled and scarred by war. We just cannot now dishonor our word, or abandon our commitment, or leave those who believed us and who trusted us to the terror and repression and murder that would follow. This, then, my fellow Americans, is why we are in Vietnam."

* summer of 77:

Of all the years of my life — and that’s nearly 53 of them — 1977 is the year I could tell you the most about. It was a time so jam packed with intensity and emotion and drama — I don’t recall any other year of my life being quite like that one. Of course, I was barely 15 at the time and there’s enough emotion and insanity inherent in that alone to make the year worth telling about. But there was something so different about 1977, especially the late spring and summer. Especially in New York.

* “We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I.... (Byrds version.)

Posted by: Marie at 10:31 PM |

Friday, July 17, 2015

I was born lonely down by the riverside

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* GI Bill pays for unaccredited sex, Bible and massage schools.

* Thoughtful: Can Detroit Save White People?

* Seriously? Michael Bolton is trying to save Detroit. Yes, that Michael Bolton:

A fan leans in for a hug. A cop on a horse invites him to visit the stable. A bald man who sings in a Bolton tribute band asks for a selfie.
“It’s $22.50,” Bolton says, smiling. “You got PayPal?”

* I discovered the wonder that is Detroit a long, long time ago. This is my Detroit story. One of ‘em, anyway. Such as it is.

I was living in Chicago at the time. My dearest friend had moved from a small Illinois town to one of the inner ring suburbs of Detroit. Except for her older boyfriend, who had his own situation, she knew no one in the Detroit area. She needed company and she needed it bad.

I got to her apartment on a Friday night. First thing in the door, her cat hissed at me. Her cat hissed at me all weekend. I was starting to understand why she didn't get a lot of visitors.

After dinner, we went to a disco on Eight Mile Road. I danced with a couple really nice engineer types from the automotive industry (not at the same time), all of whom proposed marriage to me right there, right then. Seriously.

Saturday morning, after an early breakfast, we drove through the streets of Detroit to the Yacht Club, which is on an island in the Detroit River. The boyfriend was already waiting for us.

It was a beautiful, old boat -- all teak and varnish and brass -- but very well cared for. I remember him saying it had two Olds Marine V8s. The sound of those engines idling in the shallows was so deep, so throaty. So beautiful.

As soon as we untied from the dock, he asked, “have you ever piloted a boat, before?”

Me? Piloted a boat? Hell yeah I’ve piloted a boat. Many boats, as a matter of fact. I was raised on the water. I am a sea dog.

“Okay, good,” he said as he installed me behind the wheel. “Just don’t drift into Canadian waters, because I lost my Canada flag.”

Why, will Canada shoot us out of the water if I do? But, he didn’t hear me as he and my friend had already closed the door to wherever they escaped to down below.

And, so it came to be, me piloting a 36 foot cruiser up and down the Detroit River, on a calm, sunny day, waving to other boats, avoiding eye contact with the Canadian Coast Guard, while my friend and her much older boyfriend were getting it on below deck.

It felt so good, my bare feet on the smooth, wooden planks, the sun on my shoulders, hands loose on the wheel, as I guided her out into open water (it’s a wide river). It changes your posture to be solely responsible for so much power. It changes you.

It was nothing like my prior boat piloting experience, which you probably already guessed consisted of not much at all (i.e., my dad’s 14' foot Alumacraft with the 25 horse outboard, a canoe or two or three, and a plastic paddle boat, all on the Midwest’s tiny lakes and streams).

Side note: I don’t actually remember ever seeing the Canadian Coast Guard out there, but I’m sure if they saw me going up and down the river all day, alone, they probably wondered what the heck is going on here.

Also, the usual apologies apply here in case you already heard this story.

* And I was just thirteen when I had to leave home.... (Seger.)

Posted by: Marie at 9:30 PM |

Monday, July 13, 2015

I really don't know

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Tonight's sky show.

* There's a june bug in the house, which I've now given up trying to catch.

* What to do.....

Posted by: Marie at 10:20 PM |

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sittin' downtown in a railway station

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Friday.

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Saturday. We tear 'em down fast around here.

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Cutest house in Springfield.

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Yellow thing through the windshield.

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Investigating a stray bottle rocket.

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Pods of some sort.

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Cone flowers.

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* One toke over the line...

Posted by: Marie at 7:13 PM |

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Waiting on the Double E

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Third and Washington -- gone. Last seen and discussed back in January.

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American Motors Ambassador. (1966, based on the license plate.)

* An Honest Evaluation of the War on Terror.

* Dominic Tierney: Forgetting Afghanistan:

It seems as if Americans have signed onto a pact of forgetting: a collective effort to expunge all memory of the war in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was once the good war. Seeking righteous vengeance for 9/11, nearly 90 percent of the American public initially backed a crusade to topple the Taliban regime in Kabul and purge the country of al-Qaeda. For years, Barack Obama described Afghanistan as the center of gravity in the struggle against international terrorism. In 2009, Obama surged U.S. forces in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000 troops. With money no object, U.S. officials tried to win over Afghans through initiatives like an Afghan version of Sesame Street called Sesame Garden (unfortunately, the Count character had to be cut because Afghan kids weren’t familiar with Dracula and were confused by his fangs).
And then the good war turned bad. Obama became disillusioned with the lack of progress in Afghanistan and looked for the quickest possible exit. By 2011, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had concluded that for Obama, “it’s all about getting out.” The president’s exhaustion mirrored the national mood. After a decade and a half of conflict, the public has moved beyond war weariness into a kind of numbing amnesia.

But, we don't stop talking about it. Not us.

* Obama denied the respect he deserves.

* MineWar: Intersecting Discourses: The FSA Photography of Arthur Rothstein In Herrin, Illinois.

* Minnesota: In farm country, tainted water is 'just the way it is'.

* Busy summer for demolition projects in Springfield.

* But the train don't run by here no more. Poor, poor pitiful me...... (Linda.)

Posted by: Marie at 9:57 PM |