Friday, April 15

The Tillman Story

I first heard about this movie/documentary when Pat Tillman's little brother, Richard Tillman, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher. Listening to Pat's little brother speak gave the sense that the quality of Pat was not unique to him. It was a family thing. Bill showed a clip of Richard at Pat's memorial service. John McCain and others spoke before Richard, assuring all present that Pat was with God in heaven and isn't that wonderful. Beer in hand, Richard Tillman took his turn at the mic. He was grief. I saw it in how he stood. On his cheeks. In his voice. Every eye was trained on him and every voice strained to catch his words. He thanked all who spoke about Heaven and God for their words and thoughts and, fearing nothing, told them all that Pat was not in heaven, was not religious, did not believe in God. "He's fuckin dead."

Richard Tillman gave the interview on Bill Maher's show in order to promote, "The Tillman Story." A documentary, I thought, about Pat and the circumstances surrounding his death by friendly fire in Afghanistan, April 22 2004. It was about far more. Not to be accurately summarized.

I can't watch it for you and I wouldn't if I could. You must see it for yourself. It just might make the world a little better. Maybe not. Hell I don't know but it's got a shit ton of things everyone should know and process.

I just finished watching it and wrote down what I thought at various times during the documentary. I'm examining my initial motivations in desiring to see it. I knew I wanted the truth. I knew I wanted, "The Tillman Story". I knew I wanted to learn more. Having seen it now I wonder if I wanted to be entertained. If I was looking for this documentary to feed my need to know about other peoples tragedy and if that might have been because my appetite for such has been hitherto unexamined. Was I a piece of shit and didn't know it? Are we all?

In order not to be so grandiose I'll get on with it. Fifteen minutes into the documentary I knew I was compelled to write about it. I knew it would hold things I had to comment on. The shitstorm inside me needed to be shared. So I paused the doc, grabbed a pen and paper, and decided to pause the doc every time I wanted to say something. At this point I had the thought that I might ruin the flow of the doc and it occurred to me that I might be watching it as though it was any other form of entertainment and rejected the notion of sitting back and chillin while feasting on facts and emotion. I felt fat with entertainment. And decided to do what I've done:

PAUSE: I'm fifteen minutes in. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm frustrated. And I'm sick at heart. The writing is already on the wall. I Know where the story is going. But the lies, the betrayals are not here told by dispassionate news anchors and talking heads in monotone voices that treat this story as any other. No. This tale is told by Pat's family. It's not just a story. It's their lives. Their experience. Their child. What could be more sacred than that? And oh yeah, it's also about how the military and the government shit on and set fire to all the above. PLAY.

PAUSE: nineteen minutes in: Killed not by soldiers who were afraid. Not blind in darkness. But with dicks so hard to kill it hurts. They fire and fire some more.

PAUSE: 22:33 in. They call bullshit. nineteen year-olds are not Socrates. They do not all fight wars for all the right reasons. Common knowledge i.e. the propaganda says, "Young men fight because they are selflessly defending their country and fellow man. Not so. They call bullshit. PLAY.

PAUSE: 31:30 in. The military lies so despicably. My anger at them grows. I am awash in incredulity. All I can say, considering what I've just seen is, "What the fuck?" PLAY.

PAUSE: 34:10 in. The memorial service is held. Richard comments on what he said there. It's as obvious at this point as it was on Real Time with Bill Maher that this family is all heart and steel. PLAY.

PAUSE: 45:54 in. We the public shame ourselves. We are the violators of privacy. The media play their own disgusting role but it is our appetite they feed. We starve and demand to be fed with the broken hearts of others. We clamor for hidden camera's. For the close up on other people's minds that excludes and violates the integrity of the whole. We are indeed shamed. Pat may be a hero of a human being. I think he is. Maybe he belongs to no one maybe he belongs to his family but he sure as hell doesn't belong to us. He's only ours to the extent he shared himself with us and his family does likewise. He is not property. Neither his memory. Yet we take him for our own and lay claim to his memory without permission or restraint. We drink it up. I never before thought how presumptuous I was. I never knew I was in error til now. Kind of sad and pathetic, really. Pat and others similar have their own terms. And when they, "fucking die," the rest is up to those who knew and loved him. I fucked up. I'm sorry ya'll. It probably makes no difference at all but there is one less appetite for thoughtless shit around. For the next Tillman's. And those that follow. Fucking Play.

PAUSE: 49:15 in. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda. Military. Propaganda...

PAUSE: 1:07:40 in. How can we any longer deny that the military has a prime directive concerning the soldiers in combat? The directive is to lionize those who die in combat and when they do not die this way to lie and say they did. Either way, they're getting their recruiting poster. And they'll make sure their war has plenty of fallen hero's killed by evil enemies. PLAY.

PAUSE: 1:22:53 in. The highest echelons of power...well you just have to see it. PLAY.

PAUSE: 1:25:15 in. Bastards all. PLAY.

STOP: Doc Ends.

LAST THOUGHTS. One: See this movie.

Two: We don't know Pat. We know what we've been shown and what we've been told. We know what we think and imagine. We have ideas of him. One thing is certain. He was who he was. No more. No less. He was remarkable in many ways but he was still a human fucking being. If we're going to celebrate something, why not that. BOOM.


Thursday, April 14

Planned Parenthood Debate Between Friends

Friend 1: It's time to say NO to tax funding a radical pro-abortion agenda and the cover up of sexual abuse and trafficking of young girls: It's time to defund Planned Parenthood. Call your Senator today!

Friend 2: I appreciate your passion for this issue, however I respectfully disagree. Because of the hyde amendment, NO federal funding can go towards abortions. Abortions total only %3 of the women's health services offered by planned parenthood. 97% of their services include cervical cancer screenings, pap smears, treatment of STDs and birth control, That is what this money is paying for. Defunding these services would increase the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies which would in turn cause even more abortions.

Friend 3: THANK YOU FRIEND 2!!!!!!

Silmarill: Friend 2 beat me to the punch on the facts. However, I don't think it's accurate to say that planned parenthood has a radical pro-abortion agenda. They support women's reproductive rights. That's hardly radical. So does a majority of the American people. And as women's rights are the law of the land, PP's support for them is actually the status quo. It's difficult to comment on the accusation that planned parenthood approves the "cover up of sexual abuse and trafficking of young girls." Let's just go with, "I call bullshit". Love ya! B)

Friend 2: Silmarill, actually she' right about the abuse allegations. There is video evidence of PP staff assisting undercover journalists acting as pimps and prostitutes in bringing in under age girls for abortions. It's terrible. However, this was the action of a single employee and there is no evidence that this type of behavior is tolerated or encouraged on an administrative level. They did this at several locations and the vast majority turned them away.

Silmarill: I thought it was portrayed as being what you refuted but didn't make the point at the time cuz I was lazy and knew I'd still have to call BS because of the inaccurate portrayal. It was like having a cousin that uses drugs and someone saying that your FAMILY promotes a radical agenda of hard drug use and selling crack and heroin to high school kids. There's one thing wrong with this type of characterization: everything. Also your family would have to have thousands of members, all of whose behavior you are answerable for and convicted because of. It's funny. They have laws against guilt by association.

Friend 1: One out of every four abortions in the U.S. is performed in a Planned Parenthood facility. Data shows that since 1970, Planned Parenthood has performed at least 5.3 million abortions. In 2009 alone, Planned Parenthood performed a record 332,278 abortions. Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson has written that she was given an “abortion quota” and was even told by her superiors to double the number of abortions in order to bring in more revenue. Despite claims made by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and members of the media, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. They are also not a significant primary care provider in general. In recent reports, Planned Parenthood acknowledges that it provided primary care only to about 19,700 of its 3 million unduplicated clients. These services have been trending downward for years, from 21,247 in 2007 to 20,235 in 2008, to today’s 19,796. Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger once said that "colored people are human weeds and are to be exterminated, birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race...also eugenic sterilization is an urgent need, we must prevent this multiplication of this bad stock". She also started the negro project which has one sole purpose- to elimate the african american from our coulture to create quote better health and planning and Planned Parenthood continues carrying on her legacy today. Do we really want our money going to this kind of organization? As far as Planned Parenthood willing to aid and abet in human sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, well I heard it first hand. Trust me, you would be astonished at some of the things I have seen and heard going into these don't want your money anywhere near them.

Silmarill: Perhaps they do perform one in four. I don't know. What's your source hun? It's possible that a clinic director, who is extremely low on the totem pole and affects only one clinic, said what you said she did. She used to work for them so one might think she'd know. And she must be telling the truth. No one has ever bad mouthed a former employer.;)
I think you are right about the mammograms. Didn't know the CEO had made that claim but maybe they have given a few and she felt justified in making it seem like they do a lot more than they do since they are under attack for providing services that millions of Americans, especially women, cannot afford and/or obtain elsewhere.

I don't think they are a huge primary care provider or that they are organized to be as such. They concentrate their efforts and resources in key areas as David noted: 97% "cervical cancer screenings, pap smears, treatment of STD's and birth control" Birth control is 3% of their budget. Contraception is 35% If 3% of funding is to 332,000 abortions than 35% of funding is to over 3,652,000 abortions prevented. Planned parenthood prevents more abortions than all similar efforts combined. Ta dow =)
They already aren't allowed to use federal money to pay for the abortions they do provide. I think they should have MORE funding so they can PREVENT MORE abortions.
Margaret Sanger is dead. Her opinions don't matter.
Planned parenthood doesn't carry on any legacy except doing what they believe is right with regards to women. You can see their priorities in the services provided above. I think most people think these are moral and invaluable services. I know it's difficult to sanction an organization that provides abortions when you feel so strongly about how wrong they are. If I agreed with you I'd feel similarly. But the fact is we live in a compromised grey world where the same people who provide abortions also prevent the most abortions. If you get rid of them the net result is may times more abortions than they provide. That's worse than where you started. And, if you believe these are all human beings, it means you are going to owe the many more that are aborted one helluva afterlife apology.
Or maybe not. Just the way I see it.
No organization is perfect. Not one. Not even the Catholic church. But you don't hear anyone trying to de-fund them for their mistakes.