Perpetual 9/12

** I generally hate to preface anything I write with a warning about being offended, but with as sensitive as this subject is, I assume there are some people who invariably will be offended (which I generally don’t care about, and also don’t now) but I hope that if they are offended it’s actually from something offensive I wrote (which I doubt I will) and not from the snap judgment to stop reading early.**

The theme of the ten-year anniversary commemoration of 9/11 was, in almost every circumstance, some version of “never forget”, which is unquestionably one of the most vacuous and empty thoughts to have about the whole thing, and it’s important from a lot of perspectives to understand why.

Now, I want to mention right up front that 9/11 is undoubtedly a horrific human tragedy. The loss of life that day should in no way be demeaned. The sacrifice of the first responders is truly noble. The courage and motivation of many young men and women to enlist in the military and volunteer for service is admirable.

The effect that the event has had on the American psyche is profound…but is that a good thing?

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Leaky Logic

Website Wikileaks posted 90,000 military documents on Sunday regarding the Afghan War.

They detail unreported incidents, the killing of civilians, covert operations, and coverups.

The White House responded that the leak of this information puts the lives of Americans and American partners at risk, which is the same response the Bush administration used to give when damaging secret information would come out against their will.

But what else puts American lives at risk?

Oh, yeah!

Senseless wars that we can’t win where situations on the ground are getting worse!

That’s right!   Americans get killed in that situation too!

This is like cheating on your wife and then blaming the person who told her for your divorce.

Private Pile…of Lard

There was a very sad report today on CNN.com about the obesity status of young American adults.

It seems that this country has bred such titanic piles of obesity that now a full 27% percent of young adults are physically ineligible to join the military.

That is such a…um, bloated number.

It’s one out of four people, ages 17-24, at a time where recruitment is already way down.  And the standard isn’t anything crazy.  Men joining the military can have a body fat content of up to 30%.  All you have to do to avoid that is get out of bed, basically.  And stop eating fried cheesecake three times a day.

But for some reason it’s taboo to talk about how fat people in our country are.  We can bash smokers all day long and impose ridiculously high taxes on their personal choice to smoke cigarettes, but when taxes on soft drinks, for example, are proposed, there’s major blowback about personal freedom being infringed upon.

There’s no denying that smoking is a harmful and detrimental habit.  Over time it can have a lasting and deadly effect on an individual’s health.

But so can horrific eating habits.

And it seems clear now that it’s also having a negative effect on the country as a whole, as the military leaders involved in the study have admitted that it actually causes a long term threat to national security.

How bad is that??  We’re going to have an army of Beverly Hills Ninjas.