The Invisible Dead
Read a report that the contracted mercenary soldiers that accompany the U.S. Army in Iraq get paid 17K per month. 17 thousand! Their casualty rate is super high — higher than that of the “real” soldiers, way way higher. They drive and protect the convoys etc. etc. that supply the Green Zone and transport the real soldiers — so they are the prime targets…and their attrition rate is high. Unreported, mostly. They are paid by the U.S. but conveniently are outside of legal jurisdiction.
A little arithmetic and one can see where a nice chunk of the war money is going…and one can also see that the reported casualty figures for U.S. forces is way off if one counts these guys as U.S. forces, but then what else are they? If you include them the casualty rate is probably at least double the current reported figure. So, what about the moms and dads of these boys? Do they just pocket the cash and remain silent? (Have they signed non-disclosure agreements?) Do none of them feel their
dumb (smart?) lads have been unfairly put in harm’s way in return for some dirty money?
These mercenaries don’t want to leave — not just yet. Their nice wads of cash will allow some of them to retire, if they want to, if they survive a tour of duty. They’re willing to risk it, they are quoted as saying. To some of them it’s worth the risk. I guess their lives at home ain’t so hot.
The Arty World
Another nice show at Todd Hostfelt gallery near me — this one by Timonthy Horn, an artist who cast pieces of translucent plastic based on old engravings of jellyfish. The frilly baroque creatures were then recreated on a huge scale — maybe…I’m not sure, as some jellies get pretty big on their own (see below).
Here is the art — like chandeliers.
And here is a picture of a diver with big one near New Zealand.