In 2002 we ran away from Illinois where we were born and raised, and started a new life in SW Florida. This blog is about me (an eccentric old artist), ROM (my Real Old Man), Isabella (our neurotic Standard Poodle) and Emmy (our crazy snake killing Jack Russell Terrier). Oh- and the neighborhood old people. Life is good in Florida!


Monday, September 16, 2013

As The Sun Sets and The Night Moves In...

What's better than spending the day on the beach swimming and shell gathering? Spending the evening on the beach watching the sun set into the Gulf of Mexico.

We got to the beach about a half hour before sunset and noticed new sea turtle nests.

During a night in the near future, baby turtles will emerge from the sand and guided by the moonlight will make their way to the Gulf water. The ones that survive will someday return to this very beach to lay their own eggs...

It was low tide and the birds were feasting on schools of feeder fish. The sound of the waves lapping at the shore and the song of the gulls melded together into a soul soothing melody.

As the sun started to sink into the Gulf, the sky began to light up with color...

The sun had just slipped below the horizon when this lone boat appeared, slowly headed southward.

 Life is good...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

America's God Complex, Syrian Rebels Aren't Nice Guys and Twerking for Conan

Warning... No humorous stories or pretty pictures today. I have a political rant I need to get out of my system, so you might want to skip this blog entry and come back another day.

This Syria mess has my panties in a big ol' wad.  Let me start off by saying I voted for President Obama twice, and that gives me the right to critique his performance as Commander In Chief. And that also means I share some of the blame if he insists on this military attack on Syria. You would have thought we'd learned our lesson and now know better than to attack countries that aren't a threat to us. Have we already forgotten Iraq? Hello??? Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know Obama said there would be no boots on the ground but I no longer believe and trust our leaders. Why is it once we elect a president they get a God complex and believe we are responsible for righting all the wrongs in the entire freaking world?

I don't think many doubt that Assad forces used chemical weapons on it's own people. And no one with any morality would condone such a horrible act. War is ugly, horrible gruesome things are always part of any war. The pictures of the dead children from the chemical attack are heartbreaking, but I find the pictures of all dead children killed during any war horrifying, especially those children killed by our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does it matter if a child is killed by bombs instead of chemical weapons? And isn't it strange that the use of some chemical weapons is a serious war crime but the use of other chemicals isn't? Do some research on how the U.S. of A. and Israel have used white phosphorus. Google it.

As monstrous as Assad is, there is no good side in the Syrian civil war. The rebels aren't a united and noble group of freedom fighters.  The rebel forces consist of many factions, and some are connected to and supported by Al Qaeda.  When Assad is eventually defeated, these rebel factions will then turn on each other to fight for control of a new Syria. Obama doesn't mention the rebels or that by hitting Assad we will assist the rebels, just that Assad needs to be punished for using chemical weapons. Obama doesn't want to talk about the rebels because they are not nice people- surely by now we've all seen the video or read articles about the rebel fighter Abu Sakkar who was video taped cutting out the heart of a killed Assad soldier and eating it. He put the video on You Tube!

Let's not forget how our meddling and assistance helped create, train and arm the Taliban. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 the U.S. provided training, weapons and financial aid to a resistance movement. One of the factions that formed during this time was the Taliban. How ironic that the people we trained, armed and supported turned out to be the same people who gave safe haven and support to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

There is no good outcome for Syria, at least in the near future. When Assad is defeated, there will be years of war as the rebel factions fight each other for power. Who will we back then? Will we continue to choose the lesser of two evils as we continue to involve ourselves in Mid Eastern messes?

If the political ramifications of involving ourselves in the Syrian civil war doesn't concern us, let's talk about the cost. An article in the New York Times said: "The Pentagon has provided Congress with its first detailed list of military options to stem the bloody civil war in Syria, suggesting that a campaign to tilt the balance from President Bashar al-Assad to the opposition would be a vast undertaking, costing billions of dollars, and could backfire on the United States."

Billions of dollars! We all know our country is broke after waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will we borrow more money from China to pay for yet another Middle East fiasco?  We are a country in crisis and the crisis is within our own borders. Our school system is failing, our poverty rate continues to climb, our mental health system is broken, senseless violence on our streets has become the norm,  five children a day die from abuse and neglect and we continue to slash funding for domestic social programs. It's time we step down from our self imposed role as The Avenger for all the world's transgressions and take care of our own. I'm not advocating Isolationism, just some damn common sense. I hope America always provides humanitarian aid to people in need around the world. But let's not insert ourselves into foreign civil conflicts and spend billions of dollars that inadvertently benefits known terrorist organizations.  

Whew... okay, rant over. Now I need to make a twerking video to send to Conan O'Brian.