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WEEK OF 'WHAT'S GOING ON'

It is one thing after another, a never-ending battle. So is the common lament of the man of the house who, after a recent rain, descended from the attic with the grim news that the roof might be leaking.

This is not good - the possibility of one more house-fixing expense or "do it yourself" project to add to a list that includes a much needed master bath re-do in this 30-year-old home of ours.

Besides, the MOH (man of the house) has already spent way too much time crawling around in our home's upper parts tending to last winter's rat infestation. Ridding the attic of the nasty rodents, plugging up the 12 entry points the professional "rat guy" pointed out and removing and replacing the insulation the rats had a field day with was an another unexpected expenditure that ate up our "to-do" fund and bumped the bathroom do-over down the list.

So now a leaky roof?

One thing after another. A never-ending battle.

So it goes for most of us, even our own head of state, who has his own to-do list to deal with.

There's health care and missile defense, a "step up" and "we're not going to bail you out next time" talk to Wall Street executives. Jimmy Carter tossing the race card. The bid for the Olympics in Chicago. Preparation for all five news shows he was to appear on this past weekend. A meeting with the Canadian prime minister and others with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Colin Powell to talk about things like escalation of forces in Afghanistan.

Oh, and the ACORN scandal has hit the fan.

ACORN, ACORN, ACORN.

There, I said it.

That's for those who thought I should have been writing about ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) in last week's column instead of Joe Wilson's bad manners, because ACORN, evidently, was all the rage at another news outlet.

Okay, maybe there's merit to that. YouTube videos showing ACORN workers offering advice on tax evasion and such to a phony pimp and prostitute who were secretly filming it all does warrant news coverage and perhaps some commentary too.

But I'm thinking, what's the point now? This week brought calls for an investigation, people were fired and Congress has pulled federal funding for ACORN.

Besides, there's something else on our president's list that's troubling.

Escalate.

That word has been bantered around this week in reference to Afghanistan and I'm thinking it should be a sounding chord for a lot of us - at least those who can remember the futility of another war in Vietnam and maybe even the song What's Going On? that Marvin Gaye wrote about it.

Remember?

"Mother, mother

There's too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There's far too many of you dying"

"Father, father

We don't need to escalate

You see, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate"

That song has been rolling around in my head all week fueled by talk of stepping it up. That and the news footage I watched featuring the parents, who this week accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of their son, Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, who died in Afghanistan while saving a comrade's life.

The president promised to take a very deliberate process in making decisions about how to proceed in what for many has been a "back burner" war.

"You don't make determinations about resources, and certainly you don't make determinations about sending young men and women into battle, without having absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be," he said.

Absolute clarity would be a good thing for all of us, especially those wondering if Afghanistan is going to turn into one of those never-ending battles.

We should want to know what's going on.

Michele Miller can be reached at miller@sptimes.com or at (727) 869-6251.

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