President Obama, Stop the Drones!

I am a supporter of the president. However, the ever-increasing use of drone warfare has got to stop. It’s gotten out of control, and the president seems virtually unaccountable for it.

This week, the highest ranking official yet voiced concerned over the use of drones:

Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a favored adviser during Mr. Obama’s first term, expressed concern in a speech here on Thursday that America’s aggressive campaign of drone strikes could be undermining long-term efforts to battle extremism.

“We’re seeing that blowback,” General Cartwright, who is retired from the military, said at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “If you’re trying to kill your way to a solution, no matter how precise you are, you’re going to upset people even if they’re not targeted.”

Go back and re-read that last sentence. Let’s take one issue at a time.

If you’re trying to kill your way to a solution.” Do you get that a military general is accusing a (Christian) civilian president of being too violent?!? That alone should take our breath away.

You’re going to upset people even if they’re not targeted.” Huh, no shit. When people get mistakenly bombed by virtually invisible, silent, unmanned aircraft, it tends to piss them off. Good to know.

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David Carr and St. Augustine – Separated at Birth?

St. Augustine and David Carr - Separated at Birth?

On our 900-mile drive home from Texas yesterday, Courtney and I listened to the better part of David Carr’s riveting memoir, The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of his Life–His Own.  Carr, now a famous reporter and columnist for the New York Times, spent the 1980s as a reporter in the Twin Cities.  And as a junkie, a hardcore junkie.

Carr is a great writer, entertaining and honest in the style of David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers.  Added to the sheer strength of his prose and the shocking nature of his story is the fact that, as a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities, there are a whole lot of references to places that I know and have been, as well as others (e.g., Moby Dick’s and the Skyway Lounge) that are gone-but-not-forgotten spots from when Minneapolis was a seedier place.

But most interesting to me is how Carr continually plays with and muses on the subject of memory.  His own memory is admittedly poor to begin with.  Add to that a combustible mix of booze and hard drugs, and he came to realize that he remembered very little from the 1980s, and what he did remember, he misremembered.

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