I heard on NPR the other day that our military is too small, at least for what we've committed it to. Soldiers are being taken out for yearlong deployment, even from reserves and National Guard, which isn't quite what they signed up for. I'm very glad they're available to defend my freedom on the rare occasion it becomes necessary (leaving alone the geopolitical chess of the past half-century, the last time it was really necessary to defend American freedom as such was 1945), I feel sorry for them, and their families, but at the same time I can't help but think their trust in the government to be very foolish. Yes, they're being sent out on long tours in places they're not wanted, but on the other hand they signed a contract giving over their lives to the control of old white men who, at the end of the day, don't really care. Sure, lots of casualties can make it difficult to win re-election, but the fundamental reality of the old men sending the young men out to die still holds. When they agreed to let the government send them anywhere in the world for any reason for as long as it deemed necessary, did they just blind themselves into believing that power would be exercised with care and compassion?

God dammit. I hope, when I and my generation get old, that we remember how blindly the AARP has done things like preserve the inalienable right of senior citizens to drive without vision or proficiency tests, and maintain Social Security in forms that mean that we get to eat cat food for dinner when we're 70, and act more intelligently and with greater concern for the common good.

Yeah, yeah. They're a special interest group, and really shouldn't be expected to do anything other than look after their members. And yes, people of all ages can have poor vision and get confused about which pedal is the brake and which is the accelerator, and only forcing yearly testing or anything on older people is age discrimination. I don't really care, I can dream. I bet the ten dead people in Santa Monica and their families don't care either.

I was powerfully and somewhat inexplicably crabby today...sometimes I just push the whole world away, and at this point I think it's better to sort of weather the whole thing and be respectful of the experience than to try and psychoanalyze my way out of it. Which, if I could realize when it's happening and remember what to do, would save me and others some amount of pain. So onward up the learning curve. I keep flipping back and forth, between a really irritated-at-everything, dissatisfied, emotionally-loaded frame of mind, and a relatively still, serene way of being. It's a constant in-and-out, like pictures flashing on a screen in rapid succession.

I've updated my page of audio links with a couple more public stations. I like that page a lot, since it has direct links to all the publicly-available stuff I like to listen to.

I saw The Birds last night at the Stanford Theatre. It is indeed a creepy film, and I recommend it.

Aikido is a lot less fun when it's so hot. Still, I could always be in Texas or Arizona or Massachusetts or something...

I learned today that I still do not know how to clean windows so they don't streak.