Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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Big Red is in bloom


Enough of atrocities—theirs or ours. The rhododendrons are in bloom, including Big Red, caught here just after a rainstorm. See it glisten?

Now these blooms are fading, dropping off their stalks at a rapid rate. So goes Spring, and Spring . . . goes. But there are yellow ones to replace the reds, golden orange azaleas, and the first of the roses--severely cut back this year by my wife, almost as though in punishment for some unknown crime--are starting to bloom sparsely. But, I can tell, soon they will be abundant, dominant, in the lakefront garden.

Big Pink Rhododendron, down by the water's edge is blooming furiously. This means its huge blossoms are fading fast in the direction of orangish white. Soon it too will be gone. And huge poppies, just like Georgia O'Keeffe's, have burst forth and are spangled beauties all day long, though like all poppies they sadly fold at dusk.

But then there is tomorrow. They'll open again like red-hot flames. And the trout fishing continues to be excellent. Today's five fish were a little larger than those of a week ago. They can't have grown so quickly, can they? They were planted only a month ago, and are now feeding as though there were no tomorrow. Which may be the case for some of them, for they really don't endure catch-and-release that well. They are feeding on scuds, snails, and chironomidae (a kind of larvae).

Yesterday, one of our released trout died. It floated belly up on the surface. A sad occasion. Hope an eagle or osprey got it.

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Let's just bring her home in shackles!


OK, so I was wrong, too extreme. Let's just bring Pfc. Lyndie and the other prison guards from the Iraqi prison compound home in shackles.

And, judging from the proposed fines and incarcerations provided by the Uniform Code of Military Justice for a General Courts Martial, let's consider the traditional 20 years at Leavenworth, where she might be recipient of what she herself dealt out so happily (judging from the pictures).

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Let's bring her home in a body bag!


My heart aches, and I am filled with shame as a former US soldier. And yet I am not surprised. Without a draft, our military ranks are filled with the dregs of society—young men and women who are proven misfits and mental cretins who can find useful employment nowhere else. Nobody wants them.

Often it is a choice between the military and jail. And like Appalachian trailer trash Pfc Lynndie England, pictured above, they find inspiration and superiority in degrading and demeaning a person of a different faith and color than themselves. A foreigner whose country they illegally occupy. They are the worst of the worst. (And Lynndie is reportedly four-months pregnant by another MP on duty at the prison;; let's see: that dates conception to about the time of the atrocities. One can picture them as the culmination of the torture orgy.)

A draft is unpopular, yet it is one way of getting superior grade warriors, if we need them, and we seem to do so, badly. Urging Republican Congressional leaders to write legislation for a draft would greatly lessen George Bush's chances of reelection, and that is foremost in our President's mind. It is even more important to him that truly ending the war and bringing home the troops. The civil war and carnage that might follow could hardly be worse than from this non-war that is presently taking place.

And the men fighting each other to establish a government in Iraq would not be ours. They would be fighting as they must to establish democracy, or some Mid-Eastern version of it highly unlike our own. The rule of the emerging stronger Muslim faction, probably the Sunnis.

Remember, our own brand of democracy emerged from just such a war. Ours was with the British occupation of America.

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