Nota Bene #122: OWStanding

“When I lie on the beach there naked, which I do sometimes, and I feel the wind coming over me and I see the stars up above and I am looking into this very deep, indescribable night, it is something that escapes my vocabulary to describe. Then I think: ‘God, I have no importance. Whatever I do or don’t do, or what anybody does, is not more important than the grains of sand that I am lying on, or the coconut that I am using for my pillow.'” Who said it? Continue reading

Give Marine commandant General James Amos a chance

The Marines are arguably the most conservative branch of the US armed forces. This is borne out in the results of a survey of 400,000 Service members where 21% of all Service members felt negatively about repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), compared to 32% of Marines who felt negatively. It is also borne out by the fact that the Marine commandant , General James Amos, has been saying that repeal would negatively affect the Marine Corps. Marines, like other Service members, take their cues from the top, and since the top Marine commander has been publicly against repeal, it’s entirely reasonable that the rest of the Corps would be against repeal as well.

And that’s the reason that Richard Cohen of the Washington Post called in his column today for Amos to resign. It may well be that, as Cohen says, Amos “is one step short of being a bigot” and has “not an iota of sympathy for what might be their difficulties or any tolerance for their lifestyle.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Amos should be forced out. Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #112: GOOOLLLLLLLL

“Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #105: The Illustrated Dick

“When all you are becomes defined as the amount of information traceable to you, what are we then? What have we become, in a world where there is no separation, no door, no filter beyond which we can say, ‘No. This is my personal space. Not yours. Here I am alone with my thoughts and free of any outside influence or control. This, you cannot have.’ I don’t know, but I don’t want to find out.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #92: Echoblowcation

A few things for you NB readers: Continue reading

My tribute to warriors on Memorial Day

by JS O’Brien

War has to be the strangest human institution.  It brings out the the most brutal territorial animal and tribal human in us.  It also showcases extremes of selflessness, courage, and even compassion.  Today, in the United States, we celebrate our warriors in a manner that, all too often, centers on the “glory” of death in battle.  I’d like to extend this tribute to our living warriors — the ones who came home — and the battles they never left.

I think this clip from a longer film demonstrates what war is in the most eloquent manner I’ve ever seen; and it’s done without words.  It’s about 10 minutes long, but worth viewing for many of us.  If you don’t want to watch that long, scrub ahead to around 6:08, and if you’re really pressed for time, go to 7:22, but I warn you; the impact will be greater if you don’t scrub ahead.

Highly respected Marine lawyer resigning because of disgraceful state of military law

Lieutenant Colonel Colby Vokey is presently the Marine Corps’ chief defense lawyer for the western United States, but as of May 1, 2008, he’s leaving the Corps. His reason? According to Respected Marine Lawyer Alleges Military Injustices by NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling, “Vokey charges that some commanders and officials in the Bush administration have abused the system of justice…”. Continue reading