Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 9: Corpse Mines, Good People Doing Bad Things, Republican Tax Bill

Prisoners of war from many lands came together that morning at such and such a place in Dresden.  It had been decreed that here was where the digging for bodies was to begin.  So the digging began.

Billy found himself paired as a digger with a Maori, who had been captured at Tobruk.  The Maori was chocolate brown.  He had whirpools tattooed on his forehead and his cheeks.  Billy and the Maori dug into the inert, uncompromising gravel of the moon.  The materials were loose, so there were constant little avalanches.

Many holes were dug at once.  Nobody knew yet what there was to find.  Most holes came to nothing--to pavement, or to boulders so huge they would not move.  There was no machinery.  Not even horses or mules or oxen could cross the moonscape.

And Billy and the Maori and others helping with their particular hole came at last to a membrane of timbers laced over rocks which had wedged together to form an accidental dome.  They made a hole in the membrane.  There was darkness and space under there.

A German soldier with a flashlight went down into the darkness, was gone a long time.  When he finally came back, he told a superior on the rim of the hole that there were dozens of bodies down there.  They were sitting on benches.  They were unmarked.

So it goes.

The superior said that the opening in the membrane should be enlarged, and that a ladder should be put in the hole, so that the bodies could be carried out.  Thus began the first corpse mine in Dresden.

A corpse mine.  Seems like something out of a Stephen King novel.  But there are a lot of things that happen in this world that push into the realm of horror.  The thing that is shocking--and why the bombing of Dresden wasn't really spoken of for quite some time--is that it was done by the "good guys."  Good guys bombed innocent civilians, leveling an entire city and incinerating thousands of men, women, and children.  Not something you really want to put on the front pages of newspapers.

This is not fake news.  This is not alternative reality.  This is historical fact.  Sometimes good people do bad things.  I have a friend who is a corporate tax attorney.  He recently read the tax bill that was passed by the United States Senate.  His reaction to it:  it is one of the most mean-spirited pieces of legislation he's ever read, negatively impacting the poor, elderly, children, and workers of the United States.

I don't think that the senators who wrote this bill are evil people.  They think they are doing the right thing for their country, just like the followers of Hitler thought they were doing the right thing for their country.  I don't agree with these Republican senators.  I think they are out of touch with normal citizens.  They don't know what it's like to live paycheck-to-paycheck, praying that your health remains good and your car keeps running.  They don't have to worry about how to pay the doctor to treat a spouse who has bipolar disorder or a child who has diabetes.  They are simply insulated from reality.

Am I angry about the prospect of cuts to public school funding and Medicare?  Yes.  I have been paying into Medicare my entire adult life, and now Republican senators are calling Medicare "entitlements."  I wasn't given the choice of whether I wanted to pay into Medicare when I started working.  It simply happens.  If Medicare is an entitlement which Republicans want to eliminate, then I would like a refund of the money that I have paid into Medicare for over 30 years.  And I would like that check in time for Christmas.

Medicare is important.  Public schools are important.  My sister, who has Down's Syndrome, has been on Medicare and Medicaid her entire life.  This has kept her alive and cared for.  It's important.  Good people are doing bad things in Washington because they are worried about their jobs and politics.  They need to be taught how to be good people again.

Saint Marty is a little righteously angry today, if you couldn't tell.

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