Monday, May 08, 2006

Bionicles

Dear Indigna,

Did I hear this right? The Pentagon is planning to develop bionic arms to replace those of war amputees. The arms would be controlled by thought, just like natural arms. In theory this sounds like a dream come true, but I’m no fool. I saw “The Six Million Dollar Man.” I’ve even seen “Robocop” and all the “Terminator” movies. And don’t even get me started on “Blade Runner”! I’m getting a little freaked out here. I mean, except for the first guy (“We can make him better than he was!”) all those other “experiments” in cyborgia turned out pretty bad. I fervently believe that we should try to restore the vets to as close to their pre-war state as we can, but can we really trust the government to make them whole without expecting anything (COMbat! Gesundheit) in return?

Vietnam Vet
Your Town, U.S.A.

Dear Vet,

The way I understand it, the government has nothing but the best intentions in mind. They hope to develop a whole array of “bionic” or thought-controlled artificial limbs and body parts that will eventually result in a kind of plug-n-play populace. This is great news for those of us who don’t believe in exercising or eating right, but is primarily intended to heal U.S. troops who have suffered grievous injuries as a result of combat. Now, look at things the way Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld does. With recruitment down, retirements up, and those fellas you’ve played poker with all those years turning on you, what’re ya gonna do? Face it, man. You’ve reached the “buy or build” moment. Well, clearly the United States, the world’s only superpower, cannot hire some second-rate buncha mercenaries (“buy”) to fight our wars for us! Instead, Rummy, hopes to "build," in his own timeless words, the means to “go to war with the Army you . . . might want or wish to have have in the future” instead of “the Army you have.”

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