Monday, November 16, 2009

World's Dumbest Bumper Sticker

I saw an amazingly stupid bumper sticker last Friday, the 13th (co-incidence?) but I know not everyone will agree with me.

You see, one of my peeves about the current socio-political climate in America is this weird idea that liberals are smarter than conservatives. There was a recent article about this very topic, and I get what the point is, even while I think it misses the point in some ways as well. I agree that radical ideas start with "intellectual" folks that are usually liberal-minded (in a modern, 2009 sense, for you that hold on to early 20th Century political definitions) and that over time, some become absorbed into the mainstream, like the idea that it's not okay to just shoot your dog. Once a radical idea, now most of us seem to get that it's not okay, right?

However, there are those radical (liberal?) ideas that are foisted upon the teeming masses with the intent to marginalize their opponents and mainstream ideas/behaviors that are not mainstream. These can be to the detriment of society, like, gosh, I dunno, communism? Socialism? Fascism? Radical ideas (from each according to their ability, to each according to their need) aren't always the good ideas, that's why man purses will never take hold. Or, I hope, a single-payer, government-run health care system in America, but I digress.

What I really find frustrating is the intellectuals that just aren't that smart. You know, the ones that get the subtlety of everything yet don't really get anything. All the while condemning the heathen masses and their simplistic, black and white views on everything.

The bumper sticker read: "What we really need is a Department of Peace!" Now this seems soooooo profound, for about 7 seconds. First, I asked myself: is there currently a Department of War? I just googled it, and the answer is "no," not since 1949, really, when the Department of Defense took over. Second, then, since your stupid bumper sticker is now a little stupider, is "do you think that the opposite of "Defense" is "Peace?" If so, you are approaching monumental idiocy.

Ok, this took me very little time to work out, and as I had some drive time left, I asked the tough question: Ok, let's play along, and accept your (stupid, ridiculous, simplistic, puerile) premise: what, exactly, would this Peace Department look like? How would it be structured to go about Peace-ing the country, and would it attempt to Peace other countries as well? If so, how would that be accomplished? Seriously, who would you hire to head this Department? What would they do all day?

I get how Defending a country works, even from nebulous terrorists like those hiding in caves, but how does one Peace a country? It took me approximately 37 seconds to come up with these last few questions for the driver of the well-kept Buick sporting this idiocy, why didn't he take the time before attaching this gluey platitude to his rear end?

This did leave more questions: if we have a Dept. of Peace, how do we define Peace? Is it when no one wants to kill Americans in our borders or internationally? Is it when there is an absence of conflict? (Good luck on that, by the way, if history is any guide). Is it when we no longer have the need for any military forces? If so, how do we achieve that?

If Peace is the absence of conflict, it'll never happen: conflict is a part of the natural state of things, and peace is clearly the aberration. This notion that harmony exists in the natural world (without evil human influence) is a joke: forms of stasis, sure, but harmony? Never. Every episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or Marty Stouffer's Wild America tells the same tale: survival is a struggle up and down the food chain, eat or be eaten. Surely even the most dyed-in-the-wool liberal gets that, right? Didn't Darwin teach us anything?

Peace can only be achieved in a few ways. One, of course, is to surrender. The Islamic fascist terrorists would be happy if we surrendered and accepted their terms, and peace would result, right? We aren't talking about an aggressor that will compromise, so if negotiation and diplomacy are your plans, know that the only way to achieve peace is converting to Islam and surrendering. Not an option?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

veteran's day

I've told this many times, more than my Dad did, probably. He never told this to me, or any of his kids, to my knowledge, but it got back to us nonetheless (one of the hazards of him being a tavern owner: bar stories got re-told).

When Gordon was 15, he wanted to serve his country. He believed in the cause and probably needed the money and experience, but he was too young, so he did exactly what anyone would have done: "borrowed" his older brother's SSN and enlisted in the Army. (He also lied about his age at 10 so he could sell newspapers to help out the family's finances: you had to be 12, I believe. Walked downtown from Mt. Auburn to do it, too). It worked, and his Mother worked to get him out, but by the time she was successful, he'd completed basic training. He'd also turned 16, old enough to join the Merchant Marines! Off he went into the Pacific.

The stories are vague: evading a U-boat on the Euphrates, spending a few days in the water after a ship wasn't as fortunate, ending up recuperating in Egypt (his big regret was not getting to see the Pyramids when there) and while waiting for transportation home (resources were involved in some big offensive) he was injured by shrapnel while watching a firefight from a Venetian rooftop. By the time the boat got him home he was healed and 17, old enough for the Army, and re-enlist he did, skipping basic as he'd already done it, and was back to post-treaty Germany.

The one story I got out of the horse's mouth was when I was in the hospital recovering from my spleenectomy (4th grade sledding accident, if you must know) and he asked a nurse with a unique, but typically Cincinnati German last name if she was related to a war buddy of his: it was her father-in-law. He then regaled us (to entertain me, no doubt) with a story of their wartime experience as MPs at a military hospital in Germany. Seems the locals showed their gratitude by donating kegs of beer to the soldiers, but they had nothing to drink the beer out of, so they grabbed the closest things that resembled steins: handles? check. Vessel? check. You might be be guessing what in a hospital has a handle, can hold liquid, and is handy, indeed, pretty much one for every bed? Yep, they scrubbed the bed urinal thingys and drank the beer from those. Now you understand the picture!

He finished High School, stayed in for a while, and started a family, then law school, but didn't finish as he got a good job offer and the rest is his story, just not this one. I salute you, Gordon P. on this and every Veteran's Day, because now I know what it means, and I'm sorry I didn't get it when I was younger.

Fort Hood shooter and the President's lack of ability to "comprehend"

Alright, I am sooooooooo sick of my intelligence being insulted. As more than one pundit, critic, observer, etc. (but none on ABC, BS, or CBS, I bet) has put it, uhm, Mr. President, Mr. "this incomprehensible act," uhm, HE SHOUTED ALLAHUH AKBAR AND HAD CLEARLY STATED HIS ISLAMIC JIHADISTIC POSITIONS OVER AND OVER AGAIN!

Sorry, I didn't mean to shout, but holy hell, is this ridiculous. Just shut up if you can't say the obvious: he was a militant Islamic fascist in our military, a frickin' Major, for Pete's sake! Too afraid to insult Islam that you can't state the obvious? And quit bashing America ("divisive times, blah blah, uhm, blah") when you should be emoting with families of murdered HEROES yo, robotic flack. I'm a little worked up about this.

The photo credits, as one should always cite your sources: EPA/TANNEN MAURY

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gore makes money, too!

Wow, I must admit I never thought the New York Times would run a piece like this: Al Gore is making money off green investments. And he was soooooooooooooo indignant when questioned about this on Capitol Hill earlier this year (which, I see, the article took the time to mention). Now, it's okay to make money on it?

It is, it's just the conflict of interest that bothers some of us: working as a lobbyist to make legislative changes that will make him lots and lots of money.