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Mar-23-2011 14:01printcomments

Love, Hate, Forgiveness, Revenge and Bert

Practically speaking, this is a case where retribution has no place. I will have to choose forgiveness or poison myself with anger.

'Bert' the raccoon
Photos of 'Bert' the mapache by Vic Pittman for Salem-News.com

(NAYARIT, Mexico) - Six months... that is all the time that we had Bert.Only six months, but in that short time we grew incredibly attached to him. He lived with us, slept with us, went to the store with us...even rode around town with me on my bicycle perched on my shoulder like a parrot.

All the neighborhood kids knew him and liked him. He was especially fond of sweets and often he would sit on my shoulder and we would go to the panaderia (bakery) and get pastries. The police gave him cookies and the ladies who sell shrimp by the mercado would always give him a shrimp when we came by. He was a beautiful, gentle animal.

Bert was a mapache... a raccoon. A couple from a nearby town rescued Bert and his brother after their mother was hit by a car. Their eyes were still closed and they were no bigger than newborn kittens. They did not want the responsibility of raising two raccoons and knew that we had raised orphaned raccoons in Oregon (in proud violation of Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife laws), so we ended up with Bert. He was barely two months old when we got him.

Bert was killed two weeks ago. A man who had never seen him before and who could not have known that he was tame and a pet killed him with a rock to the head.

My wife Glenda and I saw the whole thing... it happened right in front of us. I grabbed a machete and ran for the beach where the man who had killed Bert was carrying him off by the tail, presumable to eat. People had warned us that raccoons are considered a food source here, just as in many parts of the US.

Looking back, we realize that we did not take their warnings seriously. When I ran up to the man, yelling and waving my machete (he had one too), I could tell by the look in his eyes that he had no idea why we were so upset about him killing a raccoon. I realized two things at that moment... he probably would not have done it if he knew Bert was a pet, and he did not just kill him for sport, but for food.

He probably had kids at home and to him, it was like bagging a wild turkey or a deer. Being the raccoon lover that I am, I wanted briefly to hate a culture that kills raccoons for food, but then I thought of how in the US, people just shoot them and swerve to hit them on the road not for food, but just to kill them.

At least there was a reason in this case, however much we may dislike it. Why anyone would kill such a beautiful animal for any reason is beyond my comprehension, however I guess it is all perspective. The sadness and sense of loss is just as strong though, and a part of me wants to strike back and somehow let this guy know how it feels to senselessly lose something that you love through the ignorant or malicious actions of another.

Some people, maybe most, would say that the "Eye For an Eye" principal, is an animalistic, base emotion unworthy of a civilized mind. I believe that is exactly why evil prospers and thrives in this world. "Good" people. The vast majority of the people of the world are good people. They just want to live their lives, raise and provide for their families, see their children and grandchildren grow and flourish. They wish no harm to anyone and would be horrified at the idea of killing anyone. Good people... I consider myself one of these.


I do not want to fight anyone, hurt anyone and even if I killed someone in an act of outright self-defense, I would hate it and I am sure it would bother me for the rest of my life. Good people..like all the combat veterans who suffer from witnessing and doing things that they know were wrong in every sense of the word, despite the lies from "chaplains" and other manipulators of reality.

Many "Christians" believe that killing people in war is not "murder" and thereby is not included in the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment. So the guy who fired the missile from a Predator drone last week that killed nine children out gathering firewood did not kill anyone in the eyes of God... right.

Petraeus's "apology" was disgusting. What sociopathic fools/thugs we must look like to the civilized world ! Or Obama's appearance and speech at a "Prayer Breakfast" on the same day American warplanes flattened the Afghan town of Tarok Kolache with 25 tons of bombs. Pure Evil masquerading as Good..I wonder how many little girls around the age of Obama's daughters were killed?

I wonder how many maimed, blinded or orphaned? Does he ever think about such things or is the Sin and Guilt contained therein too much to contemplate without going insane? Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice all did the same thing more or less. Every week more innocents killed by American drones. Every two weeks or so, a "sincere" apology from some medal-wearing Goering, yet the cycle remains unbroken.

Vic Pittman and 'Bert'

Would Petraeus or Obama or Clinton accept an apology for the murder of their children? They would not, and it is nothing more than racism to think that "they" do not value their children's lives as much as "we" do. Consider the whopping $2000 or so paid out for "wrongful death". That's right..if your child is killed "accidentally" by American forces, you may be eligible for up to $2000 ! ( usually, more like $1200). Racism...this is what we value a brown Iraqi, Afghan or Pakistani life at..$1200-$2000. The price of a worn out used car.

The guy who killed Bert has a dog. I see it every day... fat and happy, obviously well-cared for. I have seriously contemplated killing that dog. I am not proud to admit this, but it is the truth. Part of me would like him to suffer loss like we did, and have to bury a loved pet. I wouldn't do it, but have indeed thought about it.

If I did, I would have to become a worse, more evil person than him. I found out that he is a farmer, he grows flowers on an island just 600 yards or so offshore. I could kayak over there and take a machete to his flowers. But then what?

Would that bring back Bert or would it just negatively impact a lot of innocent lives... children and others that had nothing to do with Bert's death?

Practically speaking, this is a case where retribution has no place. I will have to choose forgiveness or poison myself with anger.

But what about the Petraeus's, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Bush's and Obamas of the world? Should they be allowed to continue their wars for profit? How many more Americans will die so that they and their cohorts can rake in the big bucks? How many more children will die so that they and their weapons manufacturing buddies can get richer yet? The only difference between them and the robber who kills a 7-11 clerk during a robbery is that they have killed nearly a million in the course of their robbery.

And it continues with no end in sight. Yet they parade around like celebrities, getting huge sums for "speaking engagements" while around the world, their victims are being buried every day. America has become Nazi Germany on steroids...a fascist state where war rules supreme and sociopaths and weapons manufacturers rule uncontested. The "good" American people quietly bury their dead and hope that soon, the wars will end, and that the greedy vampires among us will have enough blood and money to satisfy them. Evil prospers because "good" Americans do nothing...

Stranger than fiction Order Now

My parents raised me to believe that if I saw evil taking place and did nothing, I became complicit in the evil. If I do not search my soul and think of any and every way I can stop the evil taking place and act on it, I am as guilty as the guy who murdered those nine children. I am as guilty as the ringleaders.

I remember in school reading about how Hitler committed all these atrocities and killed so many people... actually Hitler didn't do much at all, personally.

I do not know if he himself even ever killed anyone. It was all the "good Germans" that signed up to fight, worked in the munitions plants, held scrap metal drives, worked for the railroads, produced the trucks, tanks, bombs and planes etc. that allowed the war machine to roll on. "Good" people, blinded by patriotism/fascism, who I suspect eventually began to realize the reality of their allegiance with Evil, but unable to bear the thought, waved their flags a bit harder and handed over more of their children for cannon fodder.

In the 1940s, it was easy for a country to mislead it's people. There was no internet, people read and heard what the government wanted them to, nothing more. The Germans of the 30s and 40s have that excuse. We do not. History will not and should not be kind to us.

When will Americans arrest and prosecute their war criminals? When will we finally say "Enough !" It has been nearly a decade of war with the end always "just around the corner", but never today.

Charles Manson is serving life in prison for ordering the killings of seven people...what should the sentences be for those who have ordered the killings of hundreds of thousands of people? When will the American war criminals and their enablers have to hide in mortal fear from the American people they betrayed? When will the "good Americans" finally realize that there is nothing good about aiding and abetting sociopathic murderers? The time for forgiveness has long passed.

When will war profiteering companies that make billions off war and death be vilified and scorned? When will "good" people block the entrances to Boeing, United Technologies, Halliburton, GE, Lockheed/Martin and all the other vampire companies? When will it be embarrassing and a source of shame to say that you work for them?

When will Americans realize that the mantra of the war/lovers, "Freedom Isn't Free" may have an entirely different meaning than the apologetic call to war that it has become? Freedom is not free and that means that like the American colonists, we will have to fight to dislodge the monarchy.

Through apathy and ignorance, we lost our country, we lost our futures and those of our children and grandchildren. Now we are in the position where we will have to fight to regain them. Shots may have to be fired, there may have to be destruction, people will go to prison or worse. Sound drastic? They are killing our children!

We were devastated to lose a raccoon that we had for six months...I cannot imagine losing a child. They are killing children all around the world, not to mention women, men and the elderly who have done nothing to deserve it... FOR PROFIT.

Can there be any greater reason to intervene? What the hell would it be ? Can there be anything more unGodly, more profane, more worthy of a death sentence? They are killing more people every day than you or I realize, I'd bet. Does anyone think that those who expended so much energy and time covertly taking over and plundering America will just walk away?

Does anyone believe that they will not always have yet another country (preferably resource/rich and poorly defended..note that most of the countries the US attacks do not even have an air force)..to invade for some reason or another? Are you willing to go along with perpetual murder and warfare so that the well/connected can become even richer? More importantly, are you willing to become complicit in murder, theft and war, the latter of which comprising all the evils known to man?

I haven't said much about love, the first word of the title of this rant. Well I love the truly good people of this world. I believe the good, decent people outnumber the evil ones in this country about 300 to 1. That in itself frustrates me because the remedy is there, ignored and unused.

We have the power and the numbers to take the country back from the international pirates who have stolen it. A nationwide general strike would do it if sustained. Therein lies another reason for the plundering of the American people and the devaluing of the dollar. A populace that is struggling to feed their children and keep their homes will not have too much time or energy to resist or be politically active. When jobs are scarce who will want to strike?

Keep us broke and desperate and every so often, hand out some "free cheese" or a $200 tax "rebate" like a philandering husband who brings his wife a cheap box of chocolates on her birthday. I also love my children and my nieces and nephews and I want the world they inherit to be better than this one. I have to forgive the guy who killed Bert.

Otherwise I have to take action against him, and as outlined earlier, I cannot see the wisdom of it.

But I will not forgive those who lie to start wars, kill children and innocent people daily, and turn the country I love into the embodiment of Evil. I will not forgive those who make money off the wars, neither companies or individuals. As far as I am concerned, the guy who sweeps the floors at General Atomics is just as guilty as the guy who fires the missiles from the drones made there. These are indeed "the times that try men's souls". Which side are you on? Are you actively resisting or are you complicit? You have to be one or the other...not to decide is to choose the latter.


Vic Pittman is a freelance writer from Scotts Mills, Oregon. He is the holder of no literary awards, journalistic awards or college degrees. He has at one time or another been a honor student, inmate, biker, Christian, pothead, father, radical, pacifist, anarchist, artist, heavy metal guitarist, model citizen, lawbreaker, business owner, illegal marijuana grower, and volunteer for various causes. He is proud to be a "common man" and be among those striving to make this world a better place if at all possible. He was fortunate enough to have been raised by awesome parents who instilled what he feels to be essential values and encouraged him to feel a kinship with not just family or Oregonians or Americans or whites, but every person on Earth, and to act accordingly. He and his wife Glenda currently live in Nayarit Mexico.

You can write to Vic at this address: tropicats08@hotmail.com




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