Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In Memory

TRD101: In Memory

by Michael Maynard

May 24, 2006

I just received an advertisement e-mail from J.C. Penney with this heading: “Celebrate Memorial Day with Free Shipping”. This is almost as obscene as George Bush’s statement on how to give tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001: “Fly to the destination spots of this country”. Let’s honor the lives of those who lives were lost by a terrorist attack which could have been prevented, except for a series of blunders and inaction, by the various levels of those who receive a paycheck from the federal government, including the President and Vice President, by going to Disney World.

That’s what the United States has become: a big credit card. Let’s give respect to the birth of Jesus by promoting toys weeks before the day of his birth. Let's celebrate the founding of our country by buying foreign-made automobiles. Let’s honor those who have died in combat, serving to preserve and protect the honor and security of this country and our allies, by buying some furniture because it will be shipped free of charge to our homes. Let’s honor those who have died in combat to make sure their sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, live in a free country, by selling them cheap imported goods, purchased in debt, that our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters will have to pay through higher taxes or further reductions in government services.

My father is one of those who should be honored this weekend. His Army battalion was the first to reach the shore at Anzio, despite the heavy fire from Mussolini’s troops. He was a gentle man, who spent hours with me in his hopes that I could become a professional baseball player. My uncles delighted in telling the story about when he went hunting and stopped to pet one of my great-uncle's mangy dogs. As he bent down, a huge deer buck raced past him, nearly decapitating my father with his antlers. My father went hunting for the exercise and being out with the guys. He could no more shoot a deer than his son can today.

From his military service, my father lost some of hearing and had shrapnel embedded in his leg. He also suffered from what we now would call PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He suffered from debilitating headaches. He had dreams, flashbacks, where he relived Anzio and saw his Army buddies get shot around him and woke up screaming and in a sweat. A few times, when he was having one of his headaches, he would become angry and violent. He never received treatment for his PTSD, at the time, not only wasn’t this condition known, it was considered to be part of what happened to you when you returned from battle.

I was lucky. I didn’t want to serve in Vietnam and I just below the cutoff lottery number twice. But they were anxious years because I was on the potential call up list. While I was in college, Vietnam veterans returned to my school. Many were burned out cases with hollowed eyes, smoking joint after joint in the hope the buzz would help alleviate the pain from the memories of the horrors they had lived through. Those vets who were my friends told me stories of what happened to them. I understood what they were saying, but could never comprehend what they experienced. A recent study stated that 98% of those who fired weapons during the Vietnam War suffer from PTSD. Given the similarities in theatre environment between Vietnam and Iraq: the horrors of guerilla warfare, uncertainty to discern the enemy easily, hostile environmental conditions and overextended tours of duty, there is no reason to expect the percentage to be lower.

The US is now getting the first wave of soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many suffer from PTSD, as well as other physical and mental maladies. The WWII soldiers came back as heroes and the US Government rewarded with them with free college tuition and low-interest loans. The Vietnam soldiers came back in the midst of a major societal change and were considered as heroes/anti-heroes, unfortunates caught up in the midst of geopolitical gamesmanship being done by proxy intervening in a foreign civil war. The Vietnam soldiers did come back to free college tuition and an improved Veterans Administration hospital system to care for them. The soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back as heroes, but in a country that’s honoring them with a stripped to the bone Veteran Administration hospital system, greatly reduced government social services programs to help them in their reentry, and in some cases, having lost their jobs, though these jobs are supposed to be theirs upon return. The jobs that are available are usually minimum wage service industry jobs, since the combination of government disinvestment and outsourcing of manufacturing and high-tech jobs off-shore has made finding good jobs at good wages difficult, at best.

The Rumsfeld Department of Defense, to no surprise, has not budgeted for the number of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans requiring mental health services, the type of personnel needed to handle PTSD cases or the facilities it will need to build or reopen to handle the rapidly growing number of servicemen and servicewomen needing treatment. So it will be left to the municipalities and states to handle the medical overload, and the cases of suicide, homicide and domestic violence that will inevitably occur. Of course, those people who lose their lives as a result of this gross mis-planning by the DOD will not be added to the daily number of deaths reported by the DOD. They will be casualties of war as much as those who died on the battlefield.

I still have my father’s duffel bag and helmet. He resides in me, my heart and my memory forever. That he suffered from his service to his country was unfortunate, but his government cared about and planned for his return to civilian life. That the current servicepeople don’t have to suffer the way he did, but their government has turned their backs on them for “budgetary reasons”, is heartless and despicable.

TRD101 knows this: With all the advances in modern day psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, it is possible to proactively treat those returning for PTSD. However, despite all those advances, no one can change what is in the memory of those who served in combat nor those who loved ones died as result. We can do nothing for the dead but pay them honor, but we disrespect their service to our country by the way their modern brethren are being mistreated.

And that is The Real Deal 101 for today, like it or not.

Send your comments and questions or to be added to TRD101's distribution list to:

You can read TRD101's work and participate in a group discussion at: and enter TRD101, where it asks for which blog you want. Please feel free to forward this column to your friends, romans and countrymen, as appropriate, and have them contact me if they have comments or want to receive columns via e-mail in the future.

© Copyright Michael Maynard, TRD101, May 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Immigrant Nation

TRD101: Immigration Nation

by Michael Maynard

May 18, 2006

My grandfather, Michael Anthony Urbano, for whom I am named, came to the United States from Sicily not knowing a word of English. He, like countless others, heard that the streets were paved with gold and that anyone could become successful if they worked hard enough and took advantage of the opportunities. He arrived in North Adams, Massachusetts, with a few dollars in his pocket, no job prospects, but a strong back and a willingness to work hard in the textile mills that abutted the Hoosac River. At the turn of the century, North Adams was the largest town in the US.

By the time I was born, my grandfather had opened a successful barber shop which doubled as a “men’s emporium”. He was successful enough to feed and support a large family, as was typical at that time. When my mother went back to work, my grandfather and his cronies took care of me during the day. I learned some valuable social skills at a very early age, such as shooting pool, rolling bocci and bowling balls and playing poker. My uncles and aunts have told me stories about how much money my grandfather won on that “toddler in the corner” beating some newcomer in pool, while I was standing on a wooden crate to reach the table. There were probably other activities going on there, but I was too young to know or understand them. I loved every minute I was there. I can still smell the stale cigars and strong after shave that permeated the place.

My grandfather was a member of the “Family”, but not the family of Mario Puzo fame. It was the Italian males bonding together to protect themselves from attack by the Irish, Poles and the Germans, who resented the newcomers coming in and “stealing their jobs”. Sure, they did book making and had a numbers racket, it was done more as a community bonding than an operation of crooks. Say what you will about my grandfather’s background, he led the effort to build the first Italian church in the Berkshires, which is still standing today, opposite the MassMOCA modern art museum. He went to church each Sunday, dressed in his finest, including his boater in summer, and sat in the front rows. I was told he was good friends with the parish priests, who came to his establishment for haircuts and “other activities” frequently.

As much as we kid or romanticize the activities of “the Family”, during my grandfather’s day, it was a necessity. The dark-skinned “guineas, dagos, wops, etc.” were easy prey for the lighter skinned ethnic groups already established, so they formed a group to protect themselves and their families. This type of race bashing has been the history of the United States. The newest ethnic group or groups become targets of prejudicial hostilities because they “are different” or “they’re taking our jobs” They speak a different language, they have different values and they smell different. We speak a different language, have different values and smell different to them, as well.
I remember stories about resentment of the Vietnamese immigrants by some people in Lowell, Massachusetts, even though Lowell was in the midst of the high tech boom Many of the Vietnamese were working 3 jobs and saving the money to open their own business. That is what America is supposedly about, taking advantage of the opportunities available to you.

From the beginning of this country, we have been a nation of immigrants, except for the Native Americans, whom we have brutalized, stole from and then ignored. This is also a pernicious tradition throughout the history of the US, xenophobia, both internal and external to our borders. Whether it’s Joe McCarthy’s Red baiting, Bull Connor’s attack dogs, to the post 9-11 terrorizing of Arab-Americans, a country that prides itself on tolerance and diversity, has often shown little of either. Of course, the Jews have always been and continue to be convenient targets for many. There is still a large number of Americans who still believe the Jews control the American economy through ownership of all the banks, financial institutions and large corporations.

Today’s xenophobia involves the ruination of modern society and morals by allowing gays to marry and the increase in immigration of Hispanics, especially those crossing the border from Mexico or risking their lives by sailing on ramshackle boats from Cuba and Haiti. The dreams and aspirations of these people is no different than those of my grandfather’s or your ancestors, to build a better life for themselves, their families and their future generations.

Leave it to the ham-handed and limited focused Bush Administration to come up with a horrible approach to dealing with these immigration issues. Sending 6,000 National Guardsman to patrol the border of Mexico to stop illegal immigration is as dumb as having 140,0000 troops patrol post-war Iraq to “keep the peace”. All that’s being done is putting these patriotic, heroic men and women in harms way who will have little or no effectiveness in their stated mission. What the Bush Administration is trying to do is combine two separate issues and provide a solution to neither: protecting homeland security by catching terrorists at the borders and reduce the flood of immigrants to the American Southwest and South. The Bush Administration is very good at taking every issue and saying that 9/11/2001 changed how the US should approach it and then provide policy approaches that benefit big business and do the opposite of what any form of rational policy for the issue should be.

Let’s get real, real fast. Many of the immigrants are doing jobs that most Americans don’t want to do, manual labor such as landscaping, construction, security and cleaning. Working at Starbucks and McDonalds is preferable to these forms of work for many young workers. The US economy benefits by the immigrant's services, because they do their jobs “more efficiently”, to use the asinine standards of the US Department of Labor in defining worker productivity. Since most of these workers are here illegally, they get paid under the table, so no employer share of Social Security is paid, and no other benefits are paid, so the productivity (worked performed divided by cost per hour) is greatly increased. These workers are not just hired by small businesses, either. Look at who is cleaning the floors at night in the buildings of large corporations. Latinos will soon become the largest ethnic group in the US and either the rest of us accept that and adjust or run the risk out being treated as a minority. Canada isn’t willing to import that many more Americans.

What makes sense is to declare a worker’s amnesty and issue guest workers cards to those who are working hard and just getting by. Let having a guest worker card allow them to apply for drivers licenses.They have to get to work in the suburbs, too. The bigger challenge will be to increase the number of teachers of Spanish and for corporations to provide Spanish speaking courses for their American workers and ESL classes for their immigrant guest workers. What also makes sense is to increase investment in Mexican industry under the Maquiladora program of NAFTA and increase foreign aid to Mexico and other South American countries to boost their economies. This serves a dual purpose: help them provide jobs so that their people don’t need or want to come to America and increases the market for US goods and services - sort of a South American Marshall Plan.

However, the long-standing paranoid strain in American politics, continued to be exploited by the Bush Leaguers, will prevent such a plan from being considered at this time, let alone being enacted into law and put into action. It would require sacrifice from the rich. It’s easier to force more sacrifice from our soldiers as the poor substitute.

TRD101 knows this: Each new generation of immigrants has enriched and strengthened the American economy, but also the American society by reminding us of what the real basic values this country was based. They are to be embraced and assimilated, not forced to work in fear and shame. It’s to all our benefit. Our forefathers and ancestors would expect no less from us. So would my grandfather, rascal that he was.

And that is The Real Deal 101 for today, like it or not.

Send your comments and questions or to be added to TRD101's distribution list to:

You can read TRD101's work and participate in a group discussion at: and enter TRD101, where it asks for which blog you want. Please feel free to forward this column to your friends, romans and countrymen, as appropriate.

© Copyright Michael Maynard, TRD101, May 2006.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Staring at Goat

TRD101: Staring at Goat

by Michael Maynard

May 2, 2006

There is a not widely known, but greatly entertaining book Jon Ronson’s “The Men Who Stare at Goats”. Well, three-quarters of the book is entering, the last one-quarter is chilling. In this book, there are men who are getting paid to stare at goats from long range in order to change their behavior. Others toss themselves at walls because they believe they will be able to pass through them, regardless of the earthly physics involved. And it gets weirder, with references to Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven’s Gate tragedy and other peculiar phenomenon.

Welcome to your Department of Defense in action. The long-distance staring at goats is part of overall psychological military operations, a/k/a. “Psy-Ops”to be able to teach soldiers to kill the enemy through mental telepathy. The goals of Psy-Ops are to create “Warrior Monks”, like a group of David Carradines of “Kung Fu”, and develop the mental techniques to liberate the world through them to reach enlightenment via truth, justice and the American way.

There is some justifiable rationale for this, even if the ideas behind it are whacked. Studies of Vietnam veterans showed that 98% of combat soldiers who fired their gun and killed an enemy suffered from some degree of post traumatic stress disorder. War is hell. If techniques can be developed to stop warfare and disarm an enemy with minimal human damage, then these techniques are just and humane. Psy-Ops operations, like constant bombardment with repetitive loud rock’n’roll music, have been credited by the DOD (whether accurate, effective or not) in capturing the strong arm dictators, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein. However, as the book goes on to show, the degree of interest, the monies spent and the relative sanity of those in charge are questionable.

In the article “War-Mart” in the New Republic On-Line on March 3rd, (Print 04-03-2006 edition), Clay Risen makes references to speech given on 9/10/2001 (yes, one day before 9/11/2001). Here are excerpts from this speech:

“An adversary poses a threat, serious threat, to the security of the United States of America” - one that “attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans and beyond. With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk.” The speaker - Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld Was he referring to Al Qaeda or even Saddam Hussein and Iraq? No.

The enemy he was referring to was his own Department of Defense.

Upon reading Ronson’s book, you’d tend to give Rumsfeld’s ideas serious thought. However, while Psy-Ops programs started way before Rumsfeld became Secretary of Defense, the scope and funding of Psy-Ops, including the use of Psy-Ops in torture techniques, has expanded greatly. So Rumsfeld wasn’t railing against his department being out-of-control and spending money foolishly.

No, what Rumsfeld’s intent was to introduce “modern management” techniques into the DOD, including making the Pentagon act more likely modern boardrooms. Given my years of business consulting experience, including with DOD contractors, the idea of introduce “modern management” techniques was a non-starter.

If you review Rumsfeld’s track record as a CEO at GD Searle and General Instrument, his own modern management skills are questionable. His “success” at Searle relied upon pushing the introduction of Nutrasweet, which had questions then about being a carcinogenm and is now strongly suspected now to be one, quickly through the Federal Drug Agency review process. The FDA review was not as thorough as it should have been nor as long as it usually was for other similar products; i.e. political pressure was put to approve it. At General Instrument, he used the standard “slash and burn” management tactics, made popular at the time by “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap. There is controversy whether GI’s success in the television cable industry is due to Rumsfeld’s direction while CEO, occurred in spite of Rumsfeld's direction, or occurred after Rumsfeld’s tenure.

This Pentagon full of CEO’s program is part of Rumsfeld’s overall strategy of military transformation. Rumsfeld’s idea of military transformation are based upon two ideas: the US military has an continued and significant advantage in high technology weaponry, as a result troop manpower number can be greatly reduced. Both of these ideas are highly dubious in concept, as we have seen in action. That he had these ideas that he was going to implement before he was in office despite whether real world situations, such as what happened on 9/11/2001, require that he modify or scrap them is all too typical of what has happened throughout the Bush Administration. Ideology has consistently trumped reality, so the Bush-Leaguers have continued to try to spin the reality to be consistent with their ideology. That Rumsfeld has also illegally used intelligence resources to investigate, infiltrate and harass domestic peace activist groups is also all too typical what’s happened the past 6 years.

Rumsfeld’s military transformation has four major flaws in it.

1. It assumes that the US will always have a significant military high technology advantage. Given the amount of outsourcing of high tech jobs and the rise of quality international engineering colleges, that assumption is not a given and may be proven wrong sooner than we think.

2. What cost will it take to maintain this high tech weaponry advantage. Consider the billions of dollars dumped into the Strategic Defense Initiative, which despite being officially “deployed”, still doesn’t work and is 99.99% likely will never work effectively.

3. The wars of the future will be low tech, and will not be resolved with high tech weaponry. Iraq is a low tech war and it is a quagmire because the US military has continued to be undermanned, despite all the high-tech weaponry at its disposal. The wars of the future will be like Darfur and Kosovo, wars and genocides of generations of racial animus. What’s needed in Darfur are peacekeepers, boots on the ground, to separate the factions, provide the needed humanitarian aid, and do nation building and rebuilding. The pulling of troops from Afghanistan to Iraq has proven to be a major strategic mistake as Al Qaeda and the Taliban have returned, the warlords are in control of the majority of the country, and the opium trade has comeback with a vengeance. The Bush Administration’s hatred of the Clintonistas have led to its out-of-hand disregard for the real military strategy of the future, the strategy of the past: strength in numbers, humanitarian aid and nation build. If this strategy was followed in Iraq, and Donald Rumsfeld followed General Eric Shinnseki’s strategy and manpower estimations of a minimum of 440,000 troops, based upon historical analysis of effective post war operations, the US would not be bogged down in an unwinnable war that is rapidly descending into large-scale civil warfare.

The end of Ronson’s book discusses the chilling and sad case of Frank Olsen, the CIA agent who died by falling out of a New York apartment building after being secretly being given LSD.T his was one of the “Psy-Ops” programs - to study the effects of psychotropic drugs effect on behavior, so that they could be used for enemy interrogation or possibly disable enemy troop son the battlefield. There is no difference morally between slipping LSD into someone’s drink as part of an experiment and waterboarding a suspected, but not verified, Iraqi insurgent. In both cases, the end result was the same.

The goat who approved the all of the failed military strategies and policies in Iraq and Afghanistan? Donald Rumsfeld. Heaven help us all that the CEO generals of the Pentagon prevent the suicidal attack of Iran.

TRD101 knows this: There’s a reason old goats are put out to pasture, so that people driving by care stare at them in their dotage. There’s also a reason why these old goats should not put back in service.

And that is The Real Deal 101 for today, like it or not.

Send your comments and questions or to be added to TRD101's distribution list to:

You can read TRD101's work and participate in a group discussion at: and enter TRD101, where it asks for which blog you want. Please feel free to forward this column to your friends, romans and countrymen, as appropriate.

© Copyright Michael Maynard, TRD101, March 2006.

Monday, May 01, 2006


TRD101: Chronic

by Michael Maynard

May 1, 2006

No, I’m not talking about Dr. Dre’. “The Chronic”, let he and Snoop Dogg discuss the virtues of top quality marijuana. I know nothing about that subject. What I do want to discuss is word chronic, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “having long had a disease”.

I have two chronic immune system illnesses: chronic fatigue syndrome and Celiac’s disease. I have had extensive, sophisticated blood and other tests for both diseases, and have tested positive. Immune system illnesses, which include HIV, multiple sclerosis, lupus, lyme’s disease, fibromyalgia and many others, can take a long time to develop. You can first become infected as a child and not develop full blown symptoms until you’re an adult. Many of these illnesses have similar symptoms: deep fatigue, joint pain, dizziness, “brain fog”; or are confused with other non-immune system illnesses. The probability of being misdiagnosed is very high and the likelihood of not being correctly diagnosed for many, many years is even higher. 97% of people with Celiac’s disease, which is 1% of the population, are never diagnosed properly and the fortunate 3% that are, on average, take 9 years before being diagnosed. (Source - “Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic co-authored by Dr. Peter H.R. Green, the director of the Celiac’s Disease Center at Columbia University, and Rory Jones.)

Fortunately, I’ve responded well to following the gluten-free diet. It’s really not that much of a sacrifice. There are plenty of good gluten-free breads, pastas, and cookies. I do have read the labels on foods, since most processed foods contain some type of gluten product as a preservative, and my menu choices when dining out are limited. Chicken caesar salads without the croutons or other types of salads have become the primary options. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms I’ve described above, I cannot stress too strongly to you to have your doctor order a Celiac blood test for you and to have an gastroenterologist perform an endoscopy to test you for Celiac’s disease. Or you can try a gluten-free diet for 3 months to see how you react, as long as you understand that beyond the diet will alter the results of subsequent medical tests for Celiac's disease.

But the toll of having chronic disease is extensive. I seldom look “sick” so many people wonder if I’m faking the illness or have other problems. Since I often never know how I’m going to feel from day to day, and sometimes hour to hour, it makes my reliability, which is highly important to me, sometimes questionable. And having a silent, non-apparent chronic illness takes a toll on those around you as well. They want to help, but there’s nothing they can really do and they become tired and frustrated. They see a healthy looking person, but one who is constantly physically and mentally tired. A promising career is stalled, a public life put on hold, a long-term relationship left hanging by a tenuous thread. Consider the lost productive hours, the talents unable to be used, the stresses on families, the lives in desperation of all of those who have chronic illnesses - the societal devastation is beyond comprehension.

One of the hidden results of chronic illness is how it drains you of emotional content. You’re just too tired and too self-absorbed with being sick to interact with others in a normal and usual manner. You’re too tired to think at times, and have to rely on others to do your thinking for you.

Being constantly tired also makes you fearful. It was legendary NFL Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi who said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Webster’s has another definition of the word chronic that is even more significant and devastating: chronic - “continuing a long time or recurring frequently - a chronic state of war”. Throughout our history and especially in the 20th century, the United States has been in a chronic state of war. Is it just because of geopolitical realities or is it a permanent mind set of the American people due to collective fatigue because of chronic warfare?

One of my favorite socio-political writers is Douglas Hofsadler, especially his “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”. Hofstadler wrote:

"simply because no other word adequately evokes the qualities of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.

It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.

The paranoid style ... is, above all, a way of seeing the world and of expressing oneself. ... In the paranoid style, as I conceive it, the feeling of persecution is central, and it is indeed systematized in grandiose theories of conspiracy. But there is a vital difference between the paranoid spokesman in politics and the clinical paranoic: although they both tend to be overheated, oversuspicious, overaggressive, grandiose, and apocalyptic in expression, the clinical paranoid sees the hostile and conspiratorial world in which he feels himself to be living as directed specifically against him; whereas the spokesman of the paranoid style finds it directed against a nation, a culture, a way of life whose fate affects not himself alone but millions of others. Insofar as he does not usually see himself singled out as the individual victim of a personal conspiracy, he is somewhat more rational and much more disinterested. His sense that his political passions are unselfish and patriotic, in fact goes far to intensify his feeling of righteousness and his moral indignation.”

Sound familiar?

It has been primarily the recent Republican leaders of our country who have exploited the collective fatigue and fear to use to their own advantage. Perversely, they have managed to make the majority of the populace believe that their cowardice is a form of patriotic bravery.

Ronald Reagan had the boogeyman of the Soviet Union to scare us in to submission. The Soviet Union was never the threat to the US that Reagan made it out to be and his State Department and CIA knew this. For those of you who want to credit Reagan and the US military arms build up, Wojtyla and others for the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviet economy had been in collapse for decades. It was the political changes made by Mikhail Gorbachev that led to the modern Russia and all the “stan” states. And look what this “collapse” has wrought, a metrosexual Breshnev. Be careful what you wish for wingnuts. With one or two exceptions, the new states are as repressive and militaristic as the USSR.

Richard Nixon had the domino effect and used the patriotism card about Vietnam to try to stifle dissent and create a quasi-police state. The Nixon Administration’s breaking of laws that led to Watergate and impeachment are piddly compared to what has been done the past 6 years.

I think the small-minded George Bush genuinely panicked on 9/11/2001 and has remained panicked and paranoid about another terrorist attack ever since. However, the disciples of Nixon and Reagan, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (and their disciples within the Bush League administration) have reprised and expanded upon the past very effectively. We have a greater quasi-police state with the same Nixonesque stifling of dissent by using patriotism and homeland security as the excuse, same total disregard for the Congress and the law, wire tapping on political rivals and federal government infiltration of legitimate political policy adversarial groups, and the same failed military tactics, such as carpet bombing, to conduct an unjustifiable and unwinnable invasion.

That we as a nation have not reacted with the same or greater outrage to all of the illegal and immoral police-state activities of the Bush Administration should lead us all to ask about the real emotional character of this country. It is those of us, in spite of the continued and increased crackdowns and threats from the Bush-Leaguers, who have stood up in opposition to these horrific and wrongheaded policies who are the brave, as are the soldiers who have and are sacrificing their lives to carry out these policies. The rest of us, who have hunkered down into our homes, tuning out what we don’t want to hear or know, who have become cowards due to fatigue.

Now is the time for us to question what is the real political psychological state of our country.

Are we, as a nation,

suffering from chronic fatigue due to chronic war?

suffering from chronic war due to chronic fatigue?

or inevitably drawn by collective tiredness and fear to period to suffer both chronic fatigue and chronic war?

TRD101 knows this: Chronic illness undermines the lives of those infected. Chromic warfare undermines the political structures and the political will of this country.

And that is The Real Deal 101 for today, like it or not.

Send your comments and questions or to be added to TRD101's distribution list to:

You can read TRD101's work and participate in a group discussion at: and enter TRD101, where it asks for which blog you want. Please feel free to forward this column to your friends, romans and countrymen, as appropriate.

© Copyright Michael Maynard, TRD101, March 2006.