Happy birthday to the United States Marines! From the Halls of Montezuma to the shit hole of Fallujah and beyond into the future. I've always admired the USMC, ever since I was little shit and my uncle (a much bigger shit) was both a career Marine and my hero. When it was my turn to enlist, I joined the Army (the Marines didn't have a Ranger Regiment), and I never regretted that decision. But I still have an admiration for the Marine Corps and its traditions.
One thing I learned during my service: The Air Force has its technology and its ability to control the skies; The Navy has its ships and the ability to project its force around the world by sea. If you're in the Army, you have your unit, like the Ranger Regiment or the 501st PIR, the 82nd Airborne Division or whatever your unit is (if you're in some pogue ass unit, then you have your ETS to look forward to). But the Marines have their Corps, which is something the rest of us never had. Marines are truly a cohesive group, and that cohesion lasts for life - not just words, not just a group of friends for a few years after they get out.
I've always admired the Marines, even though it is my solemn duty to make fun of them when I can. So tonight I'll lift whatever I'm drinking to the United States Marine Corps and their 241 years of faithful service to the Republic.
If you're just joining us, welcome to the Trump era. The next four years, assuming he makes it that far, will either be a soaring triumph for the American People, or a boon for late-night comedians. There are some very good things about Trump's election and some very bad things.
One good thing is that this effectively retires Hillary Clinton from public life. Bye, Felicia.
Another good thing is that, with the White House and both houses of Congress in Republican hands, Obamacare would be shaking in its boots right now. You know, if it was a person and had boots. This little experiment in the new American socialism was a clusterfuck from day one, and the American People desperately need to be free of it.
The Second Amendment - a cause near and dear to me, and to millions of other Americans - is safe for a while. That is, unless you live in the Peoples Republic of California, where they just voted to impose background checks to buy ammo.
Trump's victory also means that the anticipated gun rush we all thought would accompany Clinton's win isn't going to happen. Many gun stores around the US stocked up on product in anticipation of this event, and now are holding MASSIVE gun sales. Ammo prices are expected to drop for a while.
There are other good points, but I'm still too groggy to remember them. Some of the bad points are:
The next President of the United States is a man who routinely brags about groping women against their will, then calls it "locker room talk". He refers to women as "a six, at best" or "a two."
I'm guessing that some entity somewhere has already begun looking into ways to build the Berlin Wall on our southern border, even though they have both ladders and shovels in Mexico, most illegal immigration occurs by air, and right now more people are leaving the US than entering it illegally.
The entire First Family have the personalities of villains from Gotham. Eric and Donald Jr. remind me of Uday and Qusay, and we're about a have a Ukrainian underwear model for a First Lady. Classy.
Anything that happens in the political life of the United States that makes the Russians happy is a bad thing, and our next president has already been caught lying about his relationship with Putin. This area of our foreign policy may become very scary at some point in the next four years.
The worst part of all of this, in my mind, is that we have just elected a man who obviously has no regard for the truth, and whose stories and lies shift regularly, depending on his mood. He was both for and against the war in Iraq, believes global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese (but doesn't), accused the first African American President of the United States of being an illegal alien (but that was all Hillary), accused Ted Cruz's father of involvement in the JFK assassination (but didn't), and the list is quite literally several hundred items long.
Wherever you stand on political issues in America, the Trump era is going to be an interesting time.
There's so much about this election that I just can't understand. In fact, I have trouble finding anything that makes any sense. This must be what happens when you ask an orange man a question, and the orange man replies with mind-boggling nonsense.
How does someone become a billionaire without being able to form a complete sentence? He repeats his original point, which is full of run-on sentences and sentence fragments, cobbled together to form something somewhere close to a cohesive thought, and then says, "Excuse me, excuse me," and then re-repeats his original point. It's as if he never fully learned his talking points, and is trying to remember them in tiny little bits throughout the interview, and then spews them out like half-eaten Cheerios as they occur to him.
I get that people want change. I want change too. But this guy? How is this guy what you want to run this country? This idiot who can't even express himself effectively, spends half his time refuting other things he's said, and thinks he knows more about military tactics than the generals at the War College (the founders of American military doctrine)? You want THIS GUY to be PRESIDENT?! Did you see how he scoffed at the War College?
Of course, the standard answers will be: He was taken out of context, the election is rigged, the "mainstream media" is against him, he never said that, that's not what he meant, it's blown out of proportion, or "I guess you support Hillary, then."
But just watch the video, all the way through, if you can, and tell me if, deep down inside, you REALLY like this guy, or it you're only voting for him because of the alternative.
Here's the question for the day (week, whatever):
Another way to put it might be, Do those who run for public office still have the moral right to privacy? I mean, no legal right to privacy is implicit in the Constitution, right? But there's still a moral right, isn't there? Even if the subject is running for a public office, he or she still have some privacy inherent, right?
Yes? No? Maybe?
Check out the ABCNews story here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=3165953&page=1.
Personally, I don't care for John Edwards, for example - but I also don't care about his taxes. I've got enough to worry about. Ya know? And he's just one of what, fifty?
So what do you think?
Look, I don't like this any better than you do. But while I was enjoying my lunch (or trying to), it was brought to my attention that CNN and Fox News are both running indepth team coverage of the "Breaking News" and "Developing News" story of the day, which is that Paris, after being released from the pen for health reasons, has been ordered back into court by the judge. Apparently, outside of her palacial estate, there waited a Sheriff's deputy to take her back in as soon as she got home.
There were also about fifty MILLION media vans.
So here's my question: This is what you, the American people, care about? This obviously clueless, spoiled, half-witted little princess? This is your major concern of the day?
Or is it simply that the mass media have decided that this is what should be important to you? Does anyone really, honestly, give a rat's ass about this chick? I don't think even Paris Hilton honestly cares about Paris Hilton.
And here's what I would like to do about it: I would like to suggest that the next reporter, comedian, blogger, announcer, animator, writer, drug pusher or pimp who so much as utters her name in public*, gets temporarily deported to Western Dharfur, where he or she can spend the next three to six months (depending upon the severity of the offense) reporting on something that's actually important to the human race.
Or to southern Thailand, to cover the strife occuring between Thai Buddhists and Malay/Indonesian Muslims.
Or to parts of Central or South America, to witness firsthand the effect that the illicit drug trade, fueled by rich Americans like young Ms. Hilton here, has on the poor families and villages who are caught between corrupt governments and narco cartels.
I'd like to do that, but obvously that would violate the free speech rights of a whole lotta folks, who are, after all, just trying to make a living by telling you and me what's really important in this country. Thank goodness we have them - otherwise, how would we ever know these things?
How would we ever know what kind of perfume and underwear Ms. Hilton wears? How would we ever understand how difficult it must be to be her? How hard it must be to not be allowed to come and go as she pleases?
Look. I don't like it any better than you do. But while I was enjoying my lunch, little Paris's little world got sucked into a vaccuum. And thankfully for the rest of us, we have CNN and Fox News to suck us all in with it.
*For our part, Tengu House has placed a permanent ban on further posts containing the name or likeness of, or any other direct or indirect reference to, Paris Hilton. People who are famous just for being famous don't particularly deserve our time. She's a sentient being, and should be treated as such, no different from the rest of us.
One of the things I found while I was perusing the psycho, sicko, yap-yap out there, was this big deal about Cindy Sheehan quitting and going back to wherever she’s from. I got to read her Memorial Day rant, which was nearly incoherent (by that I mean it was difficult for me to follow, as it flew off in different directions at once), and charged that she’s quitting because she’s disgusted by how little anyone’s listening to her.
Well, duh! That’s what happens.
Listen, I’m not mad at Cindy. I’m not bashing her – seriously, I’m not. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that.
I feel bad for her, for two reasons. Obviously, the first is the loss of her child.
I realize that she’s not what the right has called her. I only realized that when I heard the Left call her the same things. I also realize that she claims to be as tough on the Democrats as she has been with the Republicans.
The truth is that she’s neither. She’s a mother, who’s grieving the loss of her son, Casey. That’s it. Now, I do believe that her chosen method was inappropriate, but I still have to support her right to all that free speech. And free-speech issues aside, ya gotta go with your heart, right? So, while I disagree with her message, and I also disagree with some of the nasty, hate-filled comments I read on her site, I believe she’s doing what she feels she needs to do. I support her (in my opinion misguided) decision to protest, and also her decision to quit (because both were her decisions).
I just think it was inappropriate because it seems she wasn’t an anti-war protester until her son was killed in the war. It gives the impression that this is a person who thought the war was only wrong when it claimed the life of her son. This obviously opened the door for all kinds of criticism, both earned and unearned. And back when she was still aligning herself with the left (hanging on Jesse Jackson like a barnacle on the Titanic, for example), the left left her out there to get eaten by the albatross she was fighting.
So there’s the other reason I feel bad for her. I don’t think she belongs in the political arena. I think she’s a simple American mother (I mean simple as a good thing, not to mean slow or dumb or anything like that) who’s dealing with some pretty heavy things. The tragic loss of her boy has left her in too much pain to be objective, so that when she spoke out, she became something of a poster-child for the liberal nut-case crowd. I don’t think that was her objective.
And that’s something that shouldn’t happen to anyone. They’ve carved her up, served her up, chewed her up and spit her out. They used her, because she believed their line about empathy and sympathy and support and open-mindedness. When they promised to care about her if she’d just champion their anti-Bush cause, she bought it.
And then they abandoned her and her cause, as soon as she’d outlived her usefulness. Now the liberal left says the same things about her (“attention whore,” etc) that the conservative right used to.
Well, duh. That’s what happens. I get moving where your heart directs you. I even applaud it. But you can't make decisions about where to align your loyalties based on your heart.
Much of what I'm moved to say here would come across as nasty and hateful on my part, if I were to write it. How do you question someone's motivations without sounding insensitive? Here's what I mean: Cindy Sheehan's misguided protest was kicked off when her son died in the Iraq war. Yes? Now, if I were to point out that not one single person is in the US military except by their own choice, and that not one single person in the US military signed up without the realization and acceptance that they could be sent to war and die, then I would come across as insenseitive. How can you say that? I hear you ask.
Of course, I can say it because it's true. It doesn't detract from Ms. Sheehan's pain and suffering, and it's not meant to be derisive or demeaning. It's just there. Casey wasn't forced into the military by some faceless, evil Republican war machine. Once he was killed, though, she lashed out in a way that one might expect of a grieving mother. It's not unreasonable, given her situation. But that doesn't make it any more realistic. Doesn't make it true.
Just in case you were wondering, here's why I call protesting misguided:
Being the happily-recycled hippie in the modern world only garners the favor of other happily-recycled hippies. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. It's just something that a lot of them seem to get upset about, when they shouldn't. Does that make sense? When you protest against a war, or against immigration policy, or against the local school lunch program - when you stand on a street corner with a sign that says DOWN WITH this or that, or UP WITH this or that, the only people you're going to attract to your corner are people whose minds are already made up. You'll have the other nuts with similar signs, and then you'll have the opposing nuts who want to curse and shout at you and your nuts.
But you're not changing a lot of minds. You're not doing any good, other than further dividing your own society. I say 'further dividing' because those nuts on both sides are now more polarized in their thinking than they were before. You see this in every instance. In Cindy's case, people who already were against the war are now more against it than ever, while people who supported the war support it more strongly than they did before. And when her protest is over, one morning she wakes up and realizes that the government isn't listening to her and her merry band of nuts, and she's all upset about it. She gets mad, takes her sign and goes home. What she accomplished was, she opened her already-grieving self up to more criticism from all corners, not just the anti-nut nuts but also from the anti-anti-nut nuts.
I love Hispanic people. I love people of Latino descent. Folks from countries other than the United States are treated the same here at Tengu House as those who are from the United States.
But illegal immigration isn’t an emotional issue. It’s not a matter of compassion, and it has nothing at all to do with where anyone is from. The only valid way to dissect the issue and examine it under the microscope of reality is this.
Here’s the illegal immigration issue, in a nutshell.
This country, like all other countries, has laws. Those laws are absolutely necessary. Not all of them, but it is absolutely necessary to have laws. To be “a nation of laws” is imperative – otherwise, without laws there is only chaos. Spend some time in Angola if you doubt.
Every Latin American country has immigration laws. Every country in the world, in fact, has immigration laws. People who stand on downtown street corners holding signs that read “No Borders” are failing to approach the problem realistically.
Our laws protect us. They protect you. They keep you safer than in any other country in the world. They provide for your convenience, security and wellbeing better than the laws of any other place on this planet. People in most countries of the world think Americans are pampered and spoiled. Why do they think that? Because the safety and security that our laws provide for us are only fleeting wishes in many places. Further, that safety and security make us able to focus on creating the financial success that makes us the envy of most countries.
Let’s say you work for a company that has excellent benefits. OK? Let’s say that your company-provided benefits include the best health coverage, dental, vision, free educational benefits, college tuition assistance, self-help and employee assistance programs, housing and government assistance of various types. Not to mention far better pay.
Now, let’s say that my company offers none of these things. But, they also withhold far less money in taxes. My company, in this scenario, is galactically corrupt and self-aggrandizing. All my hypothetical company is interested in is lining the pockets of its top officers.
Now, here’s what happens. I, being an employee of the lesser company, sneak into your company’s headquarters, using either a phony employee badge or no badge at all, and fraudulently sign up for your company’s benefits. Now, I can’t get everything, and every now and then I have to be careful to avoid being caught, but I can get a bunch of the benefits that you have, without the additional taxes and fees being withdrawn from my paycheck.
In essence, I’m undocumented, as far as your company’s concerned. As you’re paying for my benefits. Heck, I even get to take advantage of some of the pay difference.
NOW, let’s take it a step further. Let’s say I get caught. Your boss catches me, because my actions have been well-known to you and your fellow employees for some time. So your boss vows to do something about it, saying “I know it’s a problem, and I’m going to do something about it.” But what he does is this: Instead of prosecuting me for fraud (just for the benefit of you soccer moms out there, fraud is illegal. Remember that word, illegal. I’m going to use it again), he decides to award me the right to continue claiming your benefits. Now, I’m no longer defrauding the company. BUT, I wonder what that does to the company’s bottom line?
And how does it make the company’s employees feel? Do they have a legitimate complaint? OF COURSE THEY DO! Your taxes are paying for someone else’s benefits!
This is what the Congress is doing with this amnesty bill. Now, I know they’re not calling it amnesty, BUT THEY’RE ALSO NOT REQUIRING PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE ILLEGALLY TO LEAVE. One reason they don’t want to enforce our already-existing immigration laws is that “there are too many of them.”
Sooo…we can’t deport illegals because there are too many of them? Hmmm…then why doesn’t the IRS stop collecting taxes because there are too many taxpayers? I wonder how long it would take to arrest me if I stopped paying mine?
But, see, I wouldn’t do that. Why? Because it’s ILLEGAL!
What part of “illegal” don’t they understand? Let’s look it up, shall we?
Miriam Webster Online:
1. not according to or authorized by law: Unlawful, Illict:
There are ways to help reduce the impact of severe and abject poverty in other countries, without giving up our country to millions of refugees from that poverty. I don’t have all the answers, but I know there are people working on them (as opposed to the Congress, who are simply working on making it look like they’re working on them).
This bill will make all illegal immigrants in this country (and their family members anywhere in the world) eligible for US Social Security benefits, FULLY VESTED after only SIX QUARTERS (just by comparison, it takes American citizens forty years to become vested). My source for this is the Government Accounting Office and Congressman John Culberson.
So YOU TELL ME: What do you think? Am I completely off my rocker, or are we being sold out? What do you think?
On this National Day of Prayer, I'm hearing a lot of talk about some legislator in Austin (capitol of Texas for all you soccer moms) who wants to mandate collective prayer in schools.
Now, when I was in elementary school, every morning we recited the Pledge of Allegiance and some kind of prayer that I can't remember. What I do remember is that, even at that young age, the prayer meant absolutely nothing to me. It was just something we said, along with the Pledge.
Today, my allegiance is with our nation, as a matter of personal choice - something I settled on years later. But the prayer is long forgotten.
I wonder what's going on in the mind of a lawmaker when he or she introduces a bill into Congress (I don't care if it's on a national level or what) that would make it mandatory for my non-Christian children (hypothetically) to pray with all the other, Christian and Jewish, etc, kids in their class.
My point is that I can't get behind such legislation, and here's why.
Let's say that a non-Christian child (let's say, oh, a little Hindu girl, an American, whose parents are Americans) walks into her classroom in the morning to find that all the other kids in her class are deep in prayer. The teacher has them all bowing their heads and reciting some Bible verse, as this is what prayer means to the teacher.
What it means to the children is that they bow their heads and giggle until it's over.
What happens to our little girl? Well, the way I envision it, she's directed by way of a silent nod from the teacher to sit quietly until the others are finished.
Is this really what we mean by religous tolerance? We're going to practice our religion to the exclusion of you? We say that we can tolerate you, little girl, but you're not really one of us? And what if this experience leaves a bad taste in the little girl's mouth about being a Hindu? This is what the religion of my family will get me? All I want to do is to fit in, so shouldn't I change religions?
And this in a country that brags so much about religous tolerance. One of the reasons we're mad at the Muslim extremists is because of their closed-minded religous views - but how open-minded, really, are we?
And speaking of this country and its religous tolerance, here's something that I think should (but won't) put the issue to rest. It's from the First Amendment.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof..."
See, I believe that we as Americans have the moral responsibility to uphold each other's freedoms, which we call civil rights or human rights, even beyond the letter of the Constitution. I believe that we have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect each other's right to practice whatever religion we choose, even beyond the constitutional right involving what laws are made. And in this view, a National Day of Prayer sounds more and more like a National Day of Religous Oppression to me.
I honestly can't believe there are people seriously calling for a defeat in Iraq. A defeat! We're not even fighting an army! It's a bunch of terrorists!
But, of course, it's an unpopular war, because the media have done such a wonderful job of blaming Cheney and Halliburton, etc etc etc. Ninety percent of what's been run up the public flagpole in this country about Iraq is bullshit, but no one cares.
Now it's all about calling for defeat and pulling out. Every single Democrat candidate wants to cut and run, almost immediately, from Iraq upon their election. Every single one.
How shameful. In fact, it's easily the most shameful thing I've ever seen in my 36 years. And it's embarrassing. For the first time in my life, I'm embarrassed to stand as an American before the rest of the world. When we went into this war, we knew it was unpopular. We saw the demonstrators, heard the pundits. Everyone knew what we were getting into, and that many people around the world wouldn't like us. But, much like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we decided that it had to be done, and in we went.
Now, though, we're getting our tails whipped, but not in Iraq. We're getting defeated by the most defeatist faction of the Party of Surrender, right here in the good ol' US of A. Right smack in the middle of Washington.
Evidently, American troops in harm's way won't be paid, clothed or fed until the full retreat is called. Is this how America is? Are we supposed to be using our soldiers for purposes of political blackmail, in the middle of a war?
I gotta tell ya, folks, I'm having a real hard time with this. I mean, I'm on the verge of accusing a group of American lawmakers and their accomplices of high treason. THIS COUNTRY IS AT WAR. This is not how we need to conduct ourselves right now.