Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Salon has an article today which examines exactly how screwed up things are in the Hindu Kush. I quote, “Last November, a CIA analysis of the Karzai government found it was losing control, and American ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann warned then that the U.S. would "fail" if the plan for action didn't include "multiple years and multiple billions." Our gains, once held firmly, have been lost and the coming year may portend Afghanistan's future, with ominous rumors about a spring offensive by insurgents floating down from the mountains.” Yet the administration continues to pour resources, military and civilian, into Iraq and the acceptable range of opinion expressed in the mainstream media has been again limited to the against the war/against the troops bullshit that has been force-fed to the country by the fascist Republicans since day one.
What explains the administrations reluctance to engage in battle some actual terrorists in the never-ending “war on terror”? While Al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq prior to the United States invasion in 2003, Afghanistan is a thicket of nasty types who have been utilizing America’s folly in Baghdad to increase their strength and numbers. It seems our priorities are completely reversed from where they should be. I suppose a never ending war on terror supports all sort of economies and businesses. Actually winning it would eliminate the justification for surveillance of American citizens and the abolition of the rule of law and cost Cheney and his cronies a few billion in lost wealth.
On the left, the netroots profess to be shocked, (shocked!) that the Democrats who were elected in November have spent most of their time arguing about who gets to stand where in the circular firing squad they’ve been forming since the day after the ballots were counted. Regular readers of this blog know full well my opinion of the Democrats ability to take their heads out of the corporate trough long enough to resist anything this administration has cooked up in its extrajudicial pajama parties.
Things over there are bad but they could get much, much worse. If Congress has even a shred of decency left in its corrupt and decaying body it should cut of the money to Iraq and hold impeachment hearings.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I’ve decided I’m going to keep diving. This is no small decision now that I am a single parent and thereby have sole responsibility for my son. Nevertheless, the arguable risks inherent in the sport are manageable if one possesses the right training and the right equipment and I believe that I have both. I will admit that there is a part of me that is afraid to leave the house lest something unfortunate happen to me and my son be rendered an orphan, but clearly I can’t live my life hiding from my own mortality. Who knows what the future holds? I retired my crystal ball at the end of last month. Perhaps, as a concession to the odds, I’ll steer clear of cave diving and 240 foot technical wreck diving, but regular trips to deep destinations remain on the agenda.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Many, if not most of you are aware that my beautiful wife made the crossing to a better place on January 29, 2007 due to the presence of a previously undiscovered malformed blood vessel in her brain stem which ruptured after she went into labor. There was no warning and her pregnancy was by all accounts completely normal. Our son, Jack Becket Rutkowski was born by c-section and is a healthy and vibrant fellow. My intense grief at losing my life-partner is tempered by the realization that I have this beautiful gift that Becky left me and he is truly the center of my life now. The following is the printed version of the eulogy delivered by Kristin Bremmer at her funeral mass. I personal tribute by me will follow when I think I can write it. Thank you all for your support during this trying time.
I can’t possibly put into words the searing pain that I feel now. Becky was my best friend for the last 20 years and the loss that we all feel is a measure of the depth of the impact her life had on all of our lives. It is truly a tremendous honor that Becky’s family has asked me to speak here today.
Her kind gentle soul was always there for us. She was there for the highest highs and the lowest lows. She took care of us. Becky understood friendship and we were fortunate that she was in our lives. To me – Becky was a true friend, a confidante, and a sister. With Becky as a friend, I never felt alone – she was a comfort, an ear to listen, and a soft voice of compassion. Becky’s friendship changed me – I learned to trust in my friends and I learned how deeply friends care.
In my years with Becky, I learned of her deep love for her family despite long distances. Mr. and Mrs. Z. recently traveled to my hometown to investigate moving closer to Mark and Becky. The love they have for their daughter and the excitement of a new grandchild was evident. I selfishly hoped they would move to Pennsylvania so I could see Mark and Beck more frequently. Becky spoke often of her sibling’s expanding families – to her – family was an essential part of who she was. Her relationship with her sisters, Chris and Ann, and her brother, Adam, always seemed so much more -- they were her friends. And, she delighted in their children.
What characterized Becky were her principles. She put her beliefs into practice. She was an activist. She protested against those things that conflicted with her principles. During conversations with her she always directed you toward the most ethical view without being judgmental. Her gentle presence made her arguments all the more convincing because you knew they were coming from the right place.
Mark and Becky have always been one word – one person. Their marriage was truly the merging of two people. They set the example of commitment. They made it through good times and bad and their love always came out on top. She viewed marriage as a union greater than herself. Everyone would agree that Mark is truly the luckiest man alive to have had Becky by his side.