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Comments by shibboleth

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Posted on January 27 at 8:03 p.m.

J.W., A thin line exists between pissing on bodies and loading them into cattle-cars and/or ovens. Besides, even the war-hardened Spartans distinguished themselves from their less disciplined peers by their refusal to desecrate the bodies of their enemies. Children and, it would seem, civilians are comforted by toilet-related activities while soldiers and other mature persons tend to pass by the slain in respectful and fearful silence.

On Mind-Bending Irony

Posted on January 27 at 6:28 p.m.

George Washington would have avoided entanglements on the moon due, I think, to it's lack of air.

On Newt Nixon

Posted on January 25 at 1:43 p.m.

War is Heck, that seems to be the prevailing opinion in most of the above letters. Very sad. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand the need to sanitize war, to trivialize it, especially when your country is in the business of waging war against half the planet but that is a natural reaction to war that traditionally takes root on the Home Front, not in the trenches. Soldiers cannot afford to trivialize war and though there will always be exceptions, for the most part, good soldiers take their professions quite seriously, I know my father did. I know that if my father had come upon those Marines while they were having their "moment" he would have" boxed-their-jaws" and dragged them off to their commanding officer.

I have to agree with EQUUS_P, our soldiers must hold to a higher standard, if a soldier loses the moral high-ground he cannot remain any better than his enemy and might even, by turns, become a murderer.

As an aside, when I was doing a long stretch on the Riverside County Work Farm out in Banning, California some years ago I worked my way through the regular kitchen and was finally chosen to work the "Staff Kitchen" where I prepared and served lunch and dinner to the Correctional Officers and other outside workers. The most common question other inmates used to ask me when they found out I was serving the "Cops" was: "Do you spit in their food, huh, do you?" Of course, I did not spit in their food, that would have been wrong. Some of the guys who asked me that question accepted my answer...others just didn't get it. That, I think, is the same essential difference in perspective that exists between those who think the urination incident was trivial and those who think it was wrong and it all boils down to a word that seems to be getting less-and-less use these days: INTEGRITY.

On Mind-Bending Irony

Posted on January 21 at 7:48 p.m.

I tried to read all the above letters but hell, they read like letters from people who smoke too much pot and letters from people who don't smoke enough. Now, here in the middle position we smoke pot because, so far, we can and we like it. As to it's curative qualities, whether it truly "cures" anything or not has never been an issue to me, I know intrinsically that it probably doesn't cure many physical conditions, what does and should matter is that it makes many people who suffer pain and discomfort feel better. Marijuana is just one more thing to be dragged into the American cultural whirlpool where it will circle until all the good has been sucked out of it and anything bad duplicated in a laboratory and used by the government to kill people I don't know. Anyone who can't tell the difference between a relatively harmless weed and alcohol or Prozac or heroin isn't equipped to venture an opinion worth heeding. If you don't like marijuana you don't like marijuana, that's fine but unless you give me some compelling reason why I shouldn't smoke it, which no-one ever has or is likely to, leave me alone. When you're done cleaning-up the alcohol, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries come back and we'll talk about what I grow in my back yard.

On Mad at Ad

Posted on September 11 at 3:48 a.m.

Bill, Rambler, dammit, get a grip on yourselves. Find something you both agree on and rally to it, takes the same amount of energy or less. I can do it... watch.

On How to obliterate all meaning.

Posted on March 9 at 4:18 p.m.

You guys can thrust-and-parry till one of you gets an eye put out and it won't do a bum any good. I remember times when I used to sit on State Street with tears welling up in my eyes praying to God that He or someone would come along and guide me out of the dark forest I'd wondered into. That I was sitting on a bench in Santa Barbara made no difference at all, I was in Hell. It also didn't matter that The Independent hosted an entire online community of pundits, blowhards and armchair-authorities-on-everything who were, even then, discussing my condition as part of their weekly pissing-contests.

Consider:

SantaNa suggesting that the Homeless go home, although counter-intuitive and even a little comical, is not a bad goal if it's balanced upon or coincident with other ideas I've read here. If a man or woman can be rescued from the streets and gently guided home what's wrong with that? Many homeless people have families that agonize over their whereabouts, families who would gladly take them in and love them if they could only find them.

I think debating over inanimate objects like benches or bulb-outs or even handguns is great fun and as long as the debate stays on paper the liklihood of anyone getting hurt is negligible. However, as we narrow our focus, as we delve deeper into these subjects they tend to take on flesh and become more about people and that's when we really should stop fighting.

I challenge contributors to The Independent to offer constructive solutions concerning homelessness and associated social-conditions (poverty, mental-illness, drug and alcohol addiction) instead of egoism and contention. You never know, maybe you're all right, maybe a cooperative effort will reveal the like-mindedness of us all...

Thank you:

Isabelle Walker-homelessinsantabarbara.org, Officer Casey-S.B.P.D, Thereon Weighill-Sacred Mountain Collective, Cian Dowling, The Santa Barbara Roasting Company and Independent, John Jamison- S.B.C.H.C., Doctors Without Borders, Justin Robinson, P.A.N. and everyone else who had the courage and the heart to meet me where I lived...out on the street.

On Finding the Most Fragile

Posted on February 22 at 7:22 p.m.

That is a fact, EZK, the truth is, almost everything having to do with banks and banking seems to smell kind of fishy nowadays. I don't think they have our best interest at heart, somehow, and the 401krash that you refer to shows how perfectly remiss they are with our money.

On Blaming Public Unions

Posted on February 22 at 7:01 p.m.

...rearranging deckchairs on a sinking ship...I love that.

On Conservative Group Jabs Raw Nerve

Posted on February 20 at 1:16 p.m.

Y'know, when looked at all together these many posts amount to a more enjoyable read than the article itself. Of course they, the bulk of them anyway, have little or nothing to do with the article which was supposed to address...uh...the issue of...well I can't rightly remember just this minute but it's important, whatever it was...damned important...

On Conservative Group Jabs Raw Nerve

Posted on February 17 at 2:57 p.m.

I lived off nothing but avocados and oranges for several months back in the late-seventies in San-Bernardino, California. I was camping in a dry valley, a sun-scorched tangle of scrub-brush and stinging nettles but just two hills over from me lay a paradise of green trees and shade and water-spigots and all the oranges and "avs" I could eat.

As long as I was respectful and didn't forage too deeply into the groves the few Mexican workers I met were friendly and seemed more interested in what I was doing way out there in the middle of nowhere than how much fruit I was toting away. They never begrudged me a snooze in the shade and they never took the handles off the water valves and they never tried to run me off and in return I moved through their groves with the reverence of a Druid.

After months of hiking into town once or twice a week to look for work I finally landed a job tending for a stone-mason and things began to look-up for me. I did, however, have to muddle-through for two weeks before I got paid and my simple diet was thus put to a particularly grueling test which, I'm here to tell you, I passed. Fueled by nothing but avocados and oranges I proceeded to work circles around my coworkers and with such enthusiasm and stamina that by the time I got my first paycheck it included a raise.

I think, perhaps, that I was in the best shape of my life during that brief sojourn in the hills outside of San-Bernardino and although there were times back then when I dreamed of beef sizzling on a spit it was the sweet orange and the pale meat of the avocado that sustained me.

I've often wondered if the combination may not be of benefit to those who are trying to lose weight or get healthy or something. Has anybody ever investigated the orange and the avocado together as an alternative to a meat diet?

On Avocado Uncovered

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