Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The NDAA and other hypothetical situations

There's been many a time when people have asked me why we don't cover some issues, most specifically, things like the NDAA and others.

Let me go ahead and clarify. First of all, I don't speak on things I haven't researched or feel qualified enough to discuss. We talk about things we know. Things like working for a living, progressive politics, etc. I've never known anyone who has been swept up by the military and indefinitely detained for any reason. However, I have known people with lives that were literally destroyed by the Bush wars and people who've gone to prison for the simple crime of possessing marijuana. To me, those are the outrages. That's what I get upset about, not hypothetical situations that have yet to be realized.

Let's talk about prison first. Last year, I went to my first Angola Prison Rodeo. While I know there are people behind those rows of barbed wire who deserve to be there for the remainder of their lives, I met some who didn't. One gentleman that I met was a soft-spoken artist who was finishing up a 25 year term for selling marijuana. His family's lives went on without him all that time he was out toiling in those fields behind the Mississippi levees in the hot Louisiana sun. To me, that is the outrage.

War? Don't get me started. I've known veterans of every war from WWII to Afghanistan. My uncle was a Korean War veteran who demanded to serve despite being initially turned down because of his eyesight. I remember being a teenager and dealing with a Green Beret with severe PTSD. In my 20's, I listened to a friend who came back from Iraq with his story of opening fire on a vehicle that didn't stop at a checkpoint, only to watch the lifeless bodies of children slump out of the backseat of the car when the smoke cleared. We saw our favorite bartender who was stationed at Fort Stewart go off to Iraq, only to return as a person we barely knew, and later commit suicide.

Don't lecture me on hypothetical situations that currently exist only in internet chat rooms. There's people have been detained for most of or all the remainder of their natural lives for things that shouldn't be a crime. There's enough real injustice and real crimes going on in this world to be upset about. Let's deal with those and then we can deal with your hypotheticals.

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