Here I am, opening the month of April, in the same Laos hotel that I checked into two-weeks ago. In a vast and overall way, I am part of a greater Stray Tour group, which passes through this Capital City of Vientiane, twice a week. I had planned to only be here overnight and then move on with the group through Southern Laos into Cambodia; then South and North Vietnam. Thank goodness, this is a hop-on, hop-off itinerary, which I can take a whole year to fulfill.
I had not expected to discover a Cause to unravel and devote my loving energies to. Not at this advanced age of eight decades! Were there even any new mysteries to discover? Was there an uncovered fact left that ALL OF US ON THE PLANET didn’t already know? Well, yes….. as it turns out! Before arriving here, I was introduced to the plight of the adorable Black Sun Bears and Moon Bears, which the Chinese exploit for the shameful practice of extracting their bile to make aphrodesiac aids. Well, I donated to their Cause and bought a few tee shirts campaigning to FREE THE BEARS.
I fed loving banana bunches to elephants rescued from exploitive trades, such as logging and people carrying.
Plus, I passed up the once-in-a-lifetime elephant photo op my hostel made available:
But, the event that I hadn’t forseen, snuck up on me when our tour arrived in Vientiane, Laos, and if you have followed this blog at all, you have read all about it in the previous four blog posts. So, I’ll be here until my visa runs out on April 27, in order to learn all I can about the Secret War of Laos. This week, I’ll spend a few interesting days at the heavily-bombed archeological treasure, The Plain of Jars, a little north of here, and I hope to take lots of pictures for my next blog posting about this beautiful little country I’m discovering. The Laotians are such beautiful people, too.
I’m on a Roll and I’m trying to make things work out for everybody! Let’s test this Making Lemonade Theory on a pretty sticky wicket: my recent, shocking discovery that my own country was messing around over here in Laos without any license to do so. The best we can do now, as patriotic Americans is to shut the whole thing down. To finalize that which is spoken of in hushed tones; if its ever admitted at all: The Secret War in Laos, consisting of America’s bombing it to Kingdom Come, incidental to the air raids upon Vietnam during that well-known war.
We have a big Bicentennial-and-a-Half Birthday coming up on July 4, 2026; which would be 250 years from our Revolutionary War Victory in 1776, our official American Birthday. It simply wouldn’t be proper for us to still be engaged in covering up our own little fiasco over here in Laos, Southeast Asia, while glorying in our own Freedom Anniversary. So, let’s make these dates our Clusterbomb Cleanup timeline. To quote from my journal entry of last week when I was still reeling with my own shock of discovery:
“I have my dukes up and I’m ready to fight with America! But, you know what? There’s not going to be any fight! There may be a lot of action, but we won’t be fighting. They’d be silly to do that, since there is no question about the facts. Nobody denies any of it! I have a deadline now! The Secret War of Laos was officially over on December 2, 1975, forty-three years ago this December. That’s 8.5 months from right now! Plenty of time to purify the ground from all the millions of still-active explosives and to equip all of the continuing victims with artificial body parts, so they can lead a relatively normal life. Let’s wrap this up, like a great big Christmas Present for Laos and a Happy New Year’s gift to the world!
Let’s see, America’s Birthday this year, July 4, 2018, will be our 242nd one. That’s eight years before our big 250th Independance Day on July 4, 2026! We all remember our gala 200th, highly-celebrated, 4th of July Bicentennial Anniversary in 1976. Ironically, that was a mere seven months after they called off the dogs on Laos. Do you suppose there’s a connection? Maybe, someone in the State Department suggested that it would behoove us to change our own dirty linen first?
Okay so now, before our Big 250th American Birthday Bicentennial comes around, the USA has less than a decade to “Put Up Or Shut Up!” If we can’t get such a simple task together, as Defender of Freedom and the Human Rights of Mankind, then let the Geriatric Jokes roll!
We could have national slogan contests to make fun of Uncle Sam’s Incontinancy! Break out the adult diapers, sort of stuff!
Talk about slow! How hard can this Healing Process be anyway? Maybe we’re Impacted? Are we still pooping Bombies?
Have we lost our Hearing? Have we no more teeth to sink into a simple cleanup project? Let your hair down! Or have you torn it all out because you turned out to be two-faced? Is that what the stovepipe hat covers up? A bald pate? No excuses to hide behind? The raping of those weaker than you was never permitted! And coverups shouldn’t ever be in your bag of tricks.
Can’t get it Up, Uncle? Fifty years is a mighty long time to look the other way. Man up, United States Military! Pick up your trash! Clean up your room! Mama’s come to town to sweep this ship into shape! And, there’ll be no talking back. Or there’ll be no birthday cake for you!
Trump has already made the USA a laughing stock! This would finish the job! I think that either Hilary Clinton or Michelle Obama should run for President and put us right back together again! Well, after we women take over and clean this filthy house, that might just happen!
And, if the Secret War in Laos was indeed a pattern for CIA tricks in Syria, Bosnia and the like, then the whole house of cards may fold upon too much light of day! This will be fun! I’ll need that new Goldfish print dress I just bought!”
Vientiane, Laos – I am now suddenly involved in the fallout of a Secret War that happened on this very soil over fifty years ago. My group Stray Tour through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam is hop-on, hop-off and the timing is entirely flexible so, I have decided to stay here in the capital city for the next month. I wish to learn all I can about this hidden war; which was, indeed secret to the citizens of America. It was our country doing the devastating bombing; apparently, without any license to do so! And they certainly didn’t tell us at all as it’s a close neighbor to Vietnam and we were at war there. I know you will be very interested in the answers that I can dig up.
Frankly, aside from the personal interviews that I can obtain here, all sorts of descriptions, films, and data is available on the internet. I urge you to conduct your own investigation from the comfort of home, because I need your help to conduct the next obvious steps. The American Embassy, here is my connection to the White House, and I am looking forward to working closely with them, having just received a reply to my request for a visit. My purpose is strictly to involve my fellow-Americans in the solutions to the ongoing problems of cleaning up the millions of leftover clusterbombs buried in the soil and to help COPE with supplying orthopedic treatment and prosthetics for the thousands of maimed victims. Not to utter recriminations. Fifty-four years is way too long for this travesty to continue. Please unite with me to solve this curse brought by our own American bombers.
To my readers who are hoping for more casual, solo traveler content here on this happy little website, I assure you that this hijacking of theme is only temporary; as I will ask my web designer to separate this material on another page or something, from the more general theme. So, bear with me, while we run parallel.
Actually, world exploration through true travel is full of surprises and addressing this Laotian situation is probably the most important and demonstratively-spiritual act that America, as a whole, can perform today. Consequently, I ask you to open your own websites and personal connections to spread the news of a fund-raising account just as soon as we figure out how to create one. I plan to approach existing American civil rights or international war recovery websites in search of GoFundMe expertise. These tasks are completely doable within my next four weeks here, learning all I can of this history and developing solid contacts for putting together a plan which does not yet exist in the form I can so clearly visualize.
I have not, at all, abandoned my original, meandering exploration of Planet Earth. But, I have allowed myself a focus and intensity which has rarely in life hit me between the eyes and comes as a most-welcome revisiting of a much-younger, purpose-driven, self. Yet, it is very temporary because I’m searching for the best set of hands to put this huge travesty into for cleaning and curing. How would you feel in this same situation? Probably, just like me. Here are my journaled thoughts a week ago, as I coped with the magnitude of the real-world situation that I have discovered myself already morally committed to:
“I’m in the strange position of a journalist who has stumbled upon a scoop and now, must react in the wisest way to be timely, accurate and non-sensational, but completely believable. Because I work for no one besides myself, I am also free to be creative and irreverent, if that’s what it takes to call my own government out on the carpet. But, I’m also happily eager to meet the Ambassador to Laos and the staff of the American Embassy here! We will surely become friends and fellow homebodies. They are our Representatives in a foreign land and the first to be consulted when a tourist dies or gets sick in their assigned Embassy’s country. They are my lifeline to Home, and my first line of defense, out here on the trail. I’ve never needed to contact an Embassy before, as they’d be inundated if every American tourist wanted an audience. However, now I need to check my facts and get their official statement before I get too far along on my internet-published essays concerning America’s history in Laos.
Early on, the children’s story of Henny Penny came to mind as I decided to call upon my fellow Mother Hens now that I have something to cluck about: “The sky is falling! My country has not behaved itself!” Acting in the role of funny little Chicken Little, I’m no busybody but just your ordinary, unknown, senior citizen! An 80-year-old, solo, around-the-world traveler, still looking for my own special king and perhaps my true homebase. I’ll know ’em when I see ’em. Armed with two oscure websites, and three suitcases full of all my life’s possessions, life is good, if a little lonely between the distant watering holes filled with fellow-travelers.
The last thing I need is a planet-sized Cause! “What’s the use? Who will listen? Why don’t Americans already know this by now? Is this as important as I think it is? Why should I bother? Is it none of my business, or are all of my Freedom Ideals simply naivity in the face of the bigger picture of war and maintaining military supremacy?”
“Am I a turncoat? A traitor, to speak out? What would my New England, British Colonial ancestors tell me to do? My Founding Fathers? How would they feel about our prolonged, relentless, and aggressive bombing of a country that was not America’s enemy? In my heart, I already know that they would all say:”YOU GO GIRL!” to me and each one of my American female counterparts. We have to get this sorted out for those helpless ones for whom the sky has already fallen, thanks to our country’s defense of…..what? Freedom and Democracy? Equality for All?”
Odd, isn’t it, that this Secret War Issue, which won’t just dry up and go away… or get conveniently ignored; embraces the Millennium as it does? The Religions all predicted a Falling Sky; an Ending World, for the Year 2000! Apparently, nothing happened! We have chugged along for eighteen more years after that Great Millennial Divide!
“See Henny Penny, how foolish you were?”
But, what if it HAD happened, three decades before that Rollover? American clusterbombs rained upon Laos, night and day, nonstop, for all those years! One figure that I’ve turned up, totals 22 years, 3 weeks, and two days, between November 9, 1953 and December 2, 1975. The world DID end for ten percent of that little country’s innocent population. Those anti-personnel bomblets just didn’t fall upon OUR heads. And, they didn’t come from God! They came from our own U.S. Airforce, during a crazy war over ideology, against a miniscule country compared to our size. But hey, it was a declared, above-board war, wasn’t it? Sportingly approved by all the world’s Good Guys against a teeny-tiny, deadly enemy: North Vietnam!
It was an all-out attack on a wee coral snake, which could be openly bragged about in all the world’s Officer’s Clubs. Over gin and tonic, no less! The Grand Theatre of War! So officially righteous and all that!
But now, we learn of a Bastard Child, stuffed into the closet and forgotten. Never acknowledged! Never supported!
Our American Military fucked Laos the whole time that it was camping out on her territory, fouling her land and waters; in order to bomb the bejesus out of her neighbor, her brother, North Vietnam.
This denied Bastard Child is now fifty-four years old and crippled up the Wazoo; living conveniently far enough away from U.S. soil, as to be unacknowledged by The Great White Father!
But, now that we, American Women have heard the tale of our husband’s profligacy, we must make a choice!
1. Go on living a fairy tale life in our serene mansion across the globe?
2. Roll up our sleeves and take compassion upon the family we never knew we had?
Which is it to be, my Sisters? Now that you have learned of Laos? Loss? Or Love? It’s your call!
“SHOW ME WHAT’CHA GOT!”
Open Letter To My Dearest Friend, Fawn Germer, And All Woman’s Leadership Groups Who Work Together to Change The World and Their Own Lives!
Here’s a shout-out to all wonderful, dedicated Women of The World! Together we can change things! I highly recommend: www.fawngermer.com author of Work-Life Reset! and many other excellent, motivational books. She knows what she’s doing and is calling you and me and everyone else, to combine to solve sticky questions and not to be frightened of their challenges!
To all women, everywhere, who gather to change things! I wish I could be there, to share your self-discoveries in your wonderful Work-Life Reset sessions. I’d love to walk along a beach or climb a mountain together as you change everything that needs changing in your life, your work, your family. I’ve never needed this sort of emergency brain surgery, as much as I need it right this minute. Or yesterday! But, I’m not exactly the one that I’m trying to change! It’s the whole, wide, bloomin’ world; beginning with our own country: America, The U.S.of A! And, I really, really need your help!
With a little caring. A little loving attention. A little effort from we, women….. we, mothers…. we, grannies! We can set this right again! So here I am, ostensibly hijacking my best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world, Fawn Germer’s Re-Set/Re-Do/Re-Learn/Re-Build Foundation and begging her to share this sudden, worldscale, journalistic discovery with you. I honestly, can’t imagine any other way to approach this problem so, I’ll share my yesterday’s journal entry to see if that will explain things adequately:
5:00 a.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018 –
“I woke up “Mad” today! I slept well, but I have changed recently. I am now TOUGH! I can feel it in the expression of my face, especially, the undeniable “glint in my eye,” mostly the left one; an expression which I can feel from the inside. When that face is there, I am fearless! More than usual! And, I know exactly what I’m doing….. but, not until I actually begin to do it!????
“The Holy Spirit was talking to me in fairly hushed tones, as I came awake in this Mixay Paradise Hotel in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Southeast Asia. He was commenting on yesterday and my reactions to the shocking news of America’s Secret War, back in the Sixties, during the Vietnam War. All night, I had been trying to figure out what I could do about that! Then, at dawn today, with that new and unmistakable glint in my eye, I got up and journaled the following material:
“We live with an idea of our own Image!” As individuals, as Americans. We are naive! Yes, many of our assumptions are true; but not in-between the cracks. Things happened…. that were “innocent, in and of themselves.” But, they were terrible, nonetheless! This is true of nations, as well. Cracks appear, like the ones which felled the pedestrian bridge in Miami this week. What a visceral symbol for me! In my own State of Florida, and synonymous with the innocence I once had for my beloved homeland.
America had a “Secret War” (it’s actually called that) which we, Americans, have never heard about! For years, our warplanes deliberately dropped cluster bombs on sweet, innocent, uninvolved, Laos, the next-door country to Vietnam; just so they wouldn’t have to land with dangerous cargo still aboard. Maybe, those big, leftover cluster bombs would have killed the pilot if he had touched down too roughly; or sunk his aircraft carrier or blown a hole in a runway somewhere? Better to clear the cargo bay over Laos and dump the payload originally meant for North Vietnam! So, instead of a few Americans being blown up, thousands of Asians paid the price and are still paying it, half a century later. Very likely, this was SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. Simple practicality! One doesn’t question orders!
Every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years, between 1964 – 1973, American pilots made this fatal decision. Also, bombing Laos was an official U.S. policy under both Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, probably, to eliminate the Ho Chi Minh Trail and destroy North Vietnam’s supply chain.
Cluster Bombs were the instrument of choice. As sharklike as a conventional explosive, these bombs opened their jaws on the way down and rained metal beanbags, called Bombies, on villages below. Designed to kill living creatures, rather than destroy structures or blast large craters, these killers devoured life, itself. Seventy percent of the pellet-filled, orange-sized balls obligingly exploded on contact, as desired by our munitions inventors, and Honeywell Corporation, the US manufacturer. But, thirty percent of those, “death-waiting-to-happen”, Bombies still lie buried in Lao rice fields, in branches of trees; under soil where houses and roads are built. Villagers naturally recycle all found metal, making cups and utensils out of bomb scraps; so kids see a familiar object and pick it up to take it home. With their diminuitive name and size, Bombies look like yellow tennis balls. They feel like ordinary rocks when a hoe strikes one in a field. Water buffaloes set them off with one step into the squishy mud of their fulltime plowing employment.
Death and disablement is America’s Legacy here in modern-day Laos! Every day of every year, for fifty-four years, and counting!
What are we going to do about this?
- Make it secret no longer!
- Send money!
- Open a GoFundMe account and fill it up!
- Prosthetics! These people need artificial legs, arms, hands and eyes! Medical care; job training!
- They need the means to carry on long after the war that they never fought in is over and forgotten.
- Friends! Most of all, they need us to help them to cope! COPE needs us to help them do the above, in-country tasks!
Girlfriends! How’s your Umbrage?
Mine, it turns out, is alive and well! You are motivated to re-set and redo your life! To get that glint back in your eye! Try practicing on Lady Laos; or any particular part of her. Fix your Inner Goddess! Let ‘er fly, in more ways than one! Get on the horn! Rev’ up your typewriter! Say your piece!
There are no devils to stop; no guns to put down. All that action was over a long time ago. The fighters went home, dragging their consciences behind them. They know what they did but nobody else does. It’s too late for recriminations. The Laotians put me to shame. I’m mad about this whole situation…. but then, I’ve just found out. You should be mad, too! Here, the people are sweet, welcoming and very, very spiritual! Oh my God, are they ever! But, they limp or hop, or wear prosthetics. Dominated by the past. Our past! And this is where we can help!
A group called COPE, Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise, is well-organized here in Vientiane and they do their best to fix the broken. Read about all this on YouTube and their own website, www.copelaos.org They don’t need volunteers, as far as I can tell. I tried. Those must come through United Nations NGOs. But, they do need ongoing funds, both to clear the land of buried UXOs, Unexploded Ordinance; and to pay for the manufacture of artificial limbs, which are carefully-crafted for each injured person. A child will need a new device every few months or years, for a long time. And, that’s only part of it. The whole person is treated for life. And, new injuries can occur every day.
You are Life-Changing, Direction-Crystalizers! You are the Leaders of the Free World, who want to break down barriers and make massive changes in your own selves and in life at large! Me? I just want to keep on traveling solo around the world at age 80 and counting, and to keep on discovering life’s glories. Hopefully, this is the only brushfire that I will come across.
The Laotians want exactly the same thing that we do. A Re-Set! A good life! Not hand-holding! But, they do need a Hands Up! And so do we, after this shock to our system! This dreadful secret, uncovered! Helping hands always pull a person, and a country, up.
Come on, Gals! It’s our turn now! Let’s cluster together like Mama Hens! Cackle in the Big Boy’s ears, if you have access to any. Insist upon reparations, as late as they might be in coming. I plan to visit our American Embassy here to find out just what our government is doing and for how long it’s been going on? Or not, and why not? Why isn’t the USA listed among the many countries that have banned cluster bombs? This is peacetime, except that, forty-four years after our terrible toys began raining upon this innocent, non-warring country, the babies are still being killed. My babies were being born when the bombing started and that was a long, long time ago.
This Secret War needs exposure. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s that we can’t care when we don’t even know about it.
Okay, Girlfriends! Show your stuff! Re-Set History! Re-Set the Future! Come to Laos and see what total forgiveness looks like! See what a peaceful presence and a complete lack of blame, hatred, anger looks like! Witness the results of a cheerful shouldering of life’s most dreadful visitations and inconvenient requirements. A complete lack of self-pity! An enormous vacumn of Beggary!
But, we all feel a thrilling jolt of joy when that first new step is taken! Let’s join hearts and hands and help these people heal. And within this completely unexpected challenge (who ever heard of little old Laos?) encountered in this retreat, from a long-absentee, old friend of Fawn’s, your own wishes for self-discovery will come true! I promise!
So, roll up your sleeves, my darling Daughters! You have a right, and an obligation here, to Bare Arms. And boy, do you know how to use them! Rosie, the Riveter’s got nothing on you!
- Write songs and sing ’em!
- Create poems and quote ’em!
- Think up puns and spread ’em! They’re infectious! As you will soon realize when they start sprouting on your tongue!
- Do the audacious…. just like this letter is to you! Step out of the box and take a chance!
- And be happy, no matter what! Sincerely, incurably happy! Love humor so much that you can find it anywhere, everywhere! A page from Laos’ playbook.
- Let your words, sharp, pointed but sometimes, very funny, be your adorning!
- And, all I’m really asking is “SHOW ME WHATCHA GOT!”
- Send money to a dedicated account and keep it coming by sharing this appeal with all your friends and bigwigs who can get things accomplished.
Wish I could be there with you! But, this is pretty good!
Linda J. Brown,
We all know that Puns are the lowest form of humor. Right? But, aren’t they fun? The weightier the matter, the faster the flow of great puns! It’s simply our creativity trying to get our attention and to show us around-and-about the most solemn of subjects.
These are to be read simply as single headlines. I’m not trying to make a story here, though some subjects come in clusters (pun intended, I guess). And to get any sense out of this you do need to be somewhat informed about the Secret War of Laos, which is where I am traveling at the moment; and uncovering the SCOOP of the century! It’s a perpetual scoop, apparently, because “much” has already been written about it. Ish! Meaning that we, Americans, still haven’t heard of it. Check it out on Google and YouTube and then, do what you can to spread this shameful news. This egg on the American Face. Fifty years and counting!
I stumbled across the story in the COPE Center, here in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, while touristing through Southeast Asia. COPE is dedicated to clearing the UXO, unexploded ordinances, which kill and maim Laotians constantly as they work and walk the countryside. COPE makes prosthetics that allow them to survive. They need our support, primarily in the shape of money. They are not begging for it. I am!
When the oh so serious subject of America’s Secret War in Laos (see my previous blog) came to my attention; I found myself suddenly creating headlines and playing with words. I’ll share the pun-worthy results here, in order to give you full permission to slide gleefully down this slippery slope; even if you have a speech to the United Nations to prepare. Just try to imagine the subjects you could weave around each headline. And, there you will have it! Profundity! Keep paper and pen handy! These smarty-pants reproduce uncontrollably!
AMERICA’S TACTICAL TRAVESTY!
WOMBS OR BOMBS? TOMBS OR ROOMS? BOOMS CREATE GLOOMS!
LIVE or spelled backwards EVIL?
UNEXPLODED CLUSTER BOMBS – A BLAST FROM THE PAST!
BOMBIES – BLASTS THAT LAST!
LAOS OR LOSS? LOUSED OR LOST?
YOUR SONS, OUR SONS, MY SON!
SECRET WARS ARE NOT CIVIL! LET’S BE CIVIL TO EACH OTHER!
IF CIVILIANS ARE NOT SOLDIERS, THEN, WHY DID WE BOMB THEM? ‘SPLAIN THAT TO ME AGAIN?
WHERE WERE THE NO-FLY-ZONES OVER LAOS?
THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR HAND-HOLDING! MANY LAOTIANS DON’T HAVE THOSE ANY MORE!
BUT, THEY DO NEED A HANDS-UP!
LET’S JOIN HANDS AND HEARTS AND HELP THEM HEAL!
A CLUSTER BOMB FELL, LIKE A NUT, ON THE HEAD OF HENNY-PENNY. SHE RAN TO TELL THE KING BUT NOBODY LISTENED!
WHO WAS HENNY-PENNY, ANYWAY? THE BUSY BODY WHO THOUGHT THE SKY WAS FALLING!
BUCK, BUCK, BUCK! IF THE SKY FELL, THOSE PLANES WOULDN’T BE OVERHEAD! EVERYTHING’S NORMAL, YOU SILLY HEN!
RELAX, HENNY! IT’S ONLY CLUSTER BOMBS; JUST LIKE EVERYDAY, FOR THE PAST NINE YEARS!
CHICKEN LITTLE SAYS THAT IT’S A BIGGER WAR THAN YOU THOUGHT POSSIBLE! LAOS IS THE MOST-BOMBED COUNTRY, EVER IN HISTORY! THANKS TO THE U.S! GUESS WHO GOOSEY-LOOSEY IS!
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS! AND LOTS OF OTHER THINGS, AS WELL.
WHO’S MINDING THE ROOST, ANYWAY?
DON’T ASK FOR WHOM THE COCK CROWS! IT CROWS FOR ALL OF US…. EVENTUALLY!
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DAWN! COFFEE AND ROTTING CARCASSES!
SPILL YOUR GUTS, AMERICA! CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL!
AMERICA! YOU BIG BULLY! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!
LOOK THE OTHER WAY! WHAT BALLS? THESE ARE OBVIOUSLY FOR TENNIS!
TENNIS ANYONE? LET’S GO BAT A FEW BALLS AROUND BEFORE BREAKFAST. THEN, WHEN THE EGGS FALL, WE’LL EAT!
OH GOODY! RATTLES FOR THE BABY!
TALK ABOUT BURIED TREASURE!
ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, GALS! WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BARE ARMS!
CIVIL WAR=EVIL WAR!
MOM, UPSIDE DOWN, SPELLS WOW! AND DAD, WITH AN E, (enemy) IN THE MIDDLE, SPELLS DEAD!
WARFARE OR CARFARE?
LET’S LOVE LAOS, AMERICA!
AMERICA’S MURDEROUS EGGS – CLUSTER BOMBS
AMERICA HAS LAID AN EGG THAT WON’T GO AWAY, UNTIL WE EAT CROW AND MAN UP TO OUR RESPONSIBILITIES! DOES THAT NEED MANSPLAINING, ANYONE?
ORGASM NOT WARGASM! MAKE LOVE NOT WAR! PEACE, NOT PIECES! (Not mine, originally.)
AMERICA’S SECRET WAR, OUR NEST OF BOMBIES!
WHAT DOES ONE DO ON THE WAY HOME FROM A BOMBING RUN? YOU DUMP YOUR LEFTOVER BOMBIES ON BABIES IN LAOS!
WE’VE JUST FOUND THE CAUSE OF PTSD! THE ONLY CURE IS TO LOSE YOUR MIND….ER, MEMORY! OTHERWISE, THE BRAIN-BOMBING IS NIGHTLY. EVERY EIGHT MINUTES!
BOMBIES FOR BREAKFAST? THEY LOOK JUST LIKE GIGANTIC RICE KRISPIES!
U.S. PILOTS BOMBED LAOS EVERY EIGHT MINUTES FOR NINE YEARS ON THEIR WAY BACK FROM VIETNAM…. IN ORDER TO LAND WITH NO DEADLY CARGO. MIGHT BLOW THEMSELVES UP, YA KNOW! OR THE CARRIER. CAN’T HAVE THAT, NOW CAN WE? THEY’D COURT-MARSHALL YOU!
NORTH VIETNAM INCONVENIENT? BOMB LAOS INSTEAD!
THERE’S NO DECLARED WAR WITH LAOS, BUT WE STILL KILL AND MAIM THE INNOCENT EVERYDAY! FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AND COUNTING. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR LIFETIME IS THAT?
AMERICA IS GUILTY OF THIS! WAKE UP, AMERICANS, AND SEE WHAT YOUR MILITARY HAS DONE!
MAMA HENS UNITE! LAOS HAS STUMPS TO FIX! THEY NEED PROSTHETICS!
THINGS FALL AND HIT US! SOMETIMES, BOMBS! SOMETIMES, TREES! SOMETIMES, TRUCKS!
HOW DOES ONE CELEBRATE WINNING A SECRET WAR? HOW DOES ONE WIN AN UNDECLARED WAR? HOW DOES ONE SILENCE THE NOSY, NOISY NEIGHBORS, WHO PRY INTO YOUR CLOSEST SECRETS? YOUR SHAMEFUL, CLOSET SECRETS? BUT WHAT IF YOUR NOISY FAMILY GETS NOSY? STARTS ASKING PRYING QUESTIONS? GETS OUT OF CONTROL? CAN YOU SILENCE THEM? DOES YOUR GUN HAVE A SILENCER? WHAT IF IT’S NOT IN YOUR CONSTITUTION? WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU WERE FIGHTING FOR IN VIETNAM IS NOW HELD HOSTAGE IN YOUR SECRET LOCKER? HAVE THE COWS COME HOME? IS THERE FREEDOM IN YOUR HEART? AND IN YOUR SPEECH? DO YOU DO UNTO OTHERS? WHAT DID YOU DO, THAT THEY ARE SO AFRAID TO SPEAK UP….. OR MORE LIKELY, ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL?
OUT WITH IT NOW, CONFESSION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL, UNCLE SAM!
Happy Punning, Punsters of the world! www.copelaos.org.
Almost two weeks ago, I flew from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Barcelona, Spain, and have been staying in the St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel here. Christmas passed quietly and I’m looking forward to the same sort of New Year’s holiday, where I’m enjoying the balmy, sunny weather and getting some of my neglected writing work accomplished.
The nine Christian sects controlling the church can’t agree to move the ladder some ancient workman left. The tiny Coptic group insists that it stay there because “nothing can be changed!” But, I’m sure that they simply enjoy exercising that kind of control over the more powerful churches of Christianity. The ladder is wooden and has been replaced over time, but it’s always there. History Rules!
Last night, for the second time on this solo, around-the-world jaunt, I taught some fellow-hostelers how to Jitterbug! That’s the fast, Rock & Roll Dance that I used to do in The Fifties, when I was in high school. Unfortunately, our favorite teen dance has practically disappeared from the planet these days and nobody has even heard about it. I discovered this fact at the Hostel Euphoria in Tallinn, Estonia, when I heard their band playing all of my old favorites. The only way I could conjure up some dance partners was to teach them the steps. We all loved the results and I vowed to find other teaching opportunities.
That was last August and I didn’t pursue it until the chance happened, almost accidentally, here at the lovely Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv, just before I fly to Barcelona, Spain, tomorrow morning. I must get my videotaping act going, though. I came completely prepared to film this class; but got so wound up in selecting the music and setting up my computer, I didn’t even get the cameras out. When will I start recording this trip?
This dance was the last fast-dancing, Ballroom Touch Dance where the man leads the woman. In 1960, Chubbie Checkers introduced The Twist, where the partners faced each other and wiggled to the music, with no spins or even steps. Kaboom! That was that!
Dance Liberation! No more touching or Leading!
Much less fun, though the same amount of exercise! Boogie-Woogie is coming back in style, but it’s a strange conglomeration of the Lindy and some athletic show pieces, with women being thrown overhead and underfoot for the international competitions. You’ll find it all on YouTube. At least, I’ll do my part to bring a little authenticity to this modern-day interpretation of dancing. No problem that mycontemporaries who also danced this in high school, are pushing eighty. Let’s get out there all you 1950s graduates and set the record right! It’s great exercise!
My story is the same as it was a month ago, except that I’ve covered different ground. I flew from Paris, France to Tel Aviv, Israel on October 29 and it feels as if I’ve been here far longer than just three weeks. Maybe, TIME just expands here, or something that mysterious? Maybe, it’s because I caught a cold during my midnight layover in the Cairo, Egypt airport on the way, and I haven’t shaken it yet? Still coughing, hacking and feeling lazy with it, though I have stayed on the move, spending a week in each of the three major cities.
The first week, I stayed in the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv, enjoying the warm weather of my new latitude. Paris was definitely showing signs of Fall. Then, I took a Sheroot (a small bus/large taxi) for two hours to Haifa, up on the northern coast, where I stayed for ten days in the Port Inn and enjoyed wandering about in the city of Mt. Carmel. It felt wonderful to have chosen a hostel that was still in the flat, port area; as the mountain rises very steeply, just a few blocks from the water. Then, a few days ago, I took the bus to Jerusalem and am staying in another Abraham chain hostel. Next week, I’ll shift over to the Stay Inn Hostel, which is closer to the Old Town. I’ll blame my cold on the lack of photography but here are some few that I have taken this month. In my walking explorations in this hostel’s neighborhood, I discovered the nearby Marketplace, or Souk, which bustles with life and interesting activity; plus piles of merchandise, fruit, vegetables, meats and tiny restaurants.
Here are some miscellaneous shots of some curious things I’ve seen lately.
On my 79th Birthday, September 10, I came north in Russia to walk along the White Sea in Archangelsk…. The name commemorates the Archangel Michael. Who better to ring in my 80th year? It was a gorgeous, warm day, and my friend Karina from my Hostel Troika, suggested we take a walk along the White Sea Beach.