Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Our country used to have a set of big brass balls that it hauled around the world, clanging with the sounds of freedom and democracy.  Whether this benefited any besides us is irrelevant.  We cast our stones in the biggest mold we could find back in 1776 when we told old George III to stuff the Monarchy and declared our independence (fortunately we share a great relationship with our cousins across the pond today).  This week however, our brass ones quit clanging and for all intents and purposes were “hacked” off with threats from a nameless, faceless enemy believed to be the third member of a despotic family who rules their country through fear, intimidation, death and a complete brainwashing of the population.  Today, Uncle Sam stands, swollen like a eunuch with a tame eagle on his shoulder, not staring out with the look of pride and defiance that we all know, but one of shame and humiliation.

Admittedly, until today I had not paid too much attention to the Sony email issue and the follow on threats that have ensued over the course of the last week or so.  Today, as a veteran, I am pissed and disgusted at how our country has handled the situation.  This is not something I actually blame on the government, even though it has allowed the environment to foster and grow for the last 50 years or so, no this is solely to lay at the feet of us citizens and the control we have allowed corporations to maintain over us thanks to fear of our litigiousness and politically correct and misguided mindset.  Essentially, corporations allowed themselves to be held hostage to an indeterminate threat due to fear of being sued should something, possibly, maybe happen if they allowed a movie, a comedy at that, open to the public on Christmas Day.  That paints us as pathetic creatures, because no matter what they say, this was not about what could happen, it was about what it would cost in the aftermath, not in human capital, but in hard currency and stock prices.

We the people of this once proud nation, who thumbed our noses not once, but twice, at our former Masters of the Empire, have allowed ourselves to be subjugated by a tinpot dictator who uses the knowledge of nuclear physics that his country possesses not to provide power and comfort to his people, but to periodically demonstrate to the world that he can create a destructive mushroom cloud.  I am ashamed, not for my country and the ideals that I and my comrades in arms fought and continue to for, but for the representation we have now allowed the world to see.  It is pathetic and disappointing.

Whatever our faults have been through the years, both our successes and failures were done with fearlessness and the desire to not be limited or deterred by what lay in front of us.  Now, we have become the prison bitch of a pudgy little fucker who would not last 15 minutes in one of his many prison camps.

The Interview would have done pretty well, it has the right people in it and was hyped up enough that the Rogen/Franco COMEDY would have been another hit for the duo, and for Sony pictures.  That is really pretty inconsequential when you get down to it.  What is, in my mind, is the fact that we let a country which lives like Europe of the Dark Ages influence corporate economic decisions, because our own people have set the precedent for personal economic gain by suing for everything and anything rather than taking it out on the actual perpetrators, not to mention that there is no specified threat, just the implication that there is one.  To a certain extant I do not even have much in the way of anger for Sony, it is hard to blame them for yanking what would have been a money-maker when the theaters were refusing to show it.  I can only hope they pull a U2 and freely put it on everyone’s playlist on every streaming service available, for free.  The best thing that could happen is that it shows up on Kim Jung Un’s I-Tunes playlist and he cannot get rid of it without his hackers creating a patch to remove it.

At the end of the day North Korea made a power play and it was not our government that took the loss.  It was our nation.  We as a people let corporate America’s profit and loss statements dictate what we are able to view because to them it is a much more acceptable loss to simply not show the movie than to make payouts for something that may or may not happen, great environment we have set up for ourselves America.  Let’s see what happens if they hack NASCAR or the NFL’s emails.  It is time we refill our sack with some new, improved titanium balls, and set the old brass set that was clipped of up on a shelf as a reminder of where we have gotten ourselves to and where we need to go from here.  We all to often excuse big business for their decisions simply for business sake.  Just like the multitude of other ways they have screwed us over the last few years, too big to fail, etc.  Business, like the government needs to be held accountable to the people.

Time to nut back up America, look out for the common good rather than how you can gain personally and make corporations live or die by what they provide you, not fear of litigation.

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Unfortunately I can’t carry a tune in a dump truck.  All that aside, it seems that Coca Cola has managed to offend all true patriotic Americans, or more accurately, Mericans, with their latest commercial centered around the tune America the Beautiful.  I had to look up this bit of marketing which premiered during the Super Bowl, since I was unable to watch what turned out to be a bronc buster of a victory for the Seahawks due to being in a timezone not very conducive to the tailgate party of the year.

Here is the offending commercial, just one of a few that caused a ruckus last night:

The latest controversy seems to be centered around the fact that Coke, a global corporation, headquartered and created in the good old U.S of A, had the temerity to set the commercial to the tune America the Beautiful and not only show images of….foreigners….but change the words from English (yes the official language of our country is the same language by name of the country we fought a revolution from) into the various languages of those represented throughout the commercial.  Surprisingly there is not an Atheist boycott being pitched due to the “GOD shed his grace on thee” verse, that would be a left-right sense of unity that even a fresh, cold Coke could not achieve.

How dare Coca Cola, an American corporation do what they did and not expect a backlash?  I mean what do they know about being American and what kind of example are they setting for our children with this commercial?  Coca Cola, a company that can show the US government a thing or two about being successful around the globe and actually making money at it.  They are one of the most successful US companies today, with a global presence, welcome in the may countries they bottle in and enjoyed freely in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet.  I have been in countries where you can get your head cut off with a rusty knife for having alcohol, but you damn sure can enjoy a cool refreshing Coke.  That naysayers is an example of America at its finest and it is because of a nasty old corporation, that big mean 1%.  Coca Cola is doing successfully and making a profit, invited in with open arms, while the American government pours dollar after dollar down the drain to exert our way of life overseas; that is tax-payer dollars by the way.  They are doing this while making a profit.  Yet Coke is fucked up because of the commercial they put together?

I will tell you what is really fucked up.  Americans, so blinded by their prejudice and hatred who are willing to give up or boycott a successful American product that has succeeded where our government has failed.  People who are willing to talk shit about a product and their commercial because they translated the words to an American staple at baseball games into the many languages spoken by people of nationalities who inhabit our country.  We are and always have been a melting pot and that is what this commercial shows.  What the comments of the detractors show me is that Coke has a much better perspective on the world and what it takes to succeed than the narrow-minded, biased opinion of the average American.

What everyone should be mad at from last night is the piss-poor performance of the most talented quarterback in the NFL today.  I mean come on, he choked like a starlet in a gonzo porn movie.  The Super Bowl is the NFL’s way of sucking more dollars out of the pockets of fans all the while hiding the fact that they are actually a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  Just to clarify, that is not the teams, just the organization they are governed by.  So Coca Cola, an American corporation with a global reach and a high tax base is the devil for putting together an example of what America should stand for, but the NFL will continue to rack in billions each year and not pay a single dime in taxes?

Go ahead boycott Coke.  That is one thing that your endless social media rants may be able to effect a change on.  Highly doubtful because it is not like the bars and clubs are going to change their cola choice when you order a Jack and Coke, a Bacardi and Coke, or, being the responsible tag along who got stuck with designated driver duty, a simple Coke.  We pretend to be leaders in the world, set the example for other countries when it comes to freedom and liberties, but all you hear is the same sorts of vitriolic trash prevalent in those countries we try to force our way of life on.

Before I wrap up, you veterans who took offense at the Budweiser “A Heroes Welcome” commercial because it was over the top and exploitative, fuck off.  Was the commercial over the top? Possibly, but what does that really matter.  So Budweiser is going to make some money while giving recognition to a returning veteran, big deal.  At least they did it in his hometown and with his friends, families and neighbors.  He wasn’t stood up at a podium in front of a couple hundred people that could give less than a shit about him and honoring the promises they made him all so they could gain a little favor as leaders with a constituency that has no clue what he has been through.

Here is that commercial:

And finally a little flashback to 1971 when Coke enlisted a bunch of hippies and foreigners in one of the most recognizable commercials ever to be made, singing one of the most recognizable ditties ever recorded.  Coke has been this way for at least 42 years people, most of you shit talking, trash mongering ass-hats are not even that old.  Put your efforts into something that will actually do something good for our country and the rest of the world.

Oh, have a Coke and a smile.

Here is  a little Gracie and her blended family for good measure:

 

Okay, we have covered some of this ground before in various other postings, but maybe given the current state of the “leadership” in D.C., and, the blaring ignorance of the most basic principles and the unrivaled gullibility of sheeple to ignorantly comment on and perpetuate the endless streams of stupidity run rampant on social media sites, it is time we break some of these key points of American Civics.

1.  We are NOT a democracy.  I know hard to believe after all these years of the blind following the blind for the truth to come out, but what we are as a nation is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC which uses the democratic process.  Now that you have that term readily available, feel free to do something you have probably never done before; research something for yourself, and, in this case, Wikipedia will probably suffice as a somewhat accurate means of getting an answer.

2.  Impeaching the President will not actually remove him from office.  I know, I know, you have read three words from a really cool meme or skimmed an article from a less than reputable website that included the words: Impeachment; President; and, Obama, and think that is the end all be all of the current administration, but, before we go on remember that it would be the Vice-President who would replace him.  That would be Joe Biden for those of you who are not quite read up on current events.

So on with the act of impeachment.  What that really means is to bring charges against, and the sole responsibility for that rests in the hand of the House of Representatives.  Today, for those of you so inclined to hope for the process to begin chances are in our Republican majority House, it is quite possible that this may happen since bringing charges only requires a simple majority at this phase.  This however, is only step one of an intentionally difficult process created by our Founding Fathers.  So, on to phase two.  Charges are preferred and the defendant is now tried in front of the Senate with the trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Here is where it gets difficult folks, each individual charge requires a 2/3 majority of the voting members of the Senate.

***BREAKOUT SESSION*** Just a little simple math before we go on.  There are 50 states in our Union with two (2) Senators per state. 50 (states) x 2 (Senators per state) = 100.  2/3 of 100 is 66% or a minimum of 66 to 34 YEA votes per charge of guilty  ***END BREAKOUT SESSION***

At the start of the 113th Congress this year the political party breakout is as follows: 52 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 46 Republicans.  So, now, refer back to the previous breakout session and math and factor in the fact that there has not been a partisan decision in either house of Congress for years and what do you think would be the likelihood of a 2/3 majority vote in favor of any of the charges preferred by the House?  Do I even at this point need to go on with the process should there be a miraculous vote of YEA for any of the charges?  I think not.

3.  Only the House of Representatives can provide funding for the government.  That is spelled out plain and simple in the Constitution.  This is regardless of whether or not we actually have a budget.  Appropriated funds, bills of taxation and programmatic funding are the sole responsibility of the House.  Senate approval and Presidential signature are pro forma if the House does not come up with the appropriations to begin with.  The Senate and the President can suggest a budget to the House, but the act must originate there.

4.  The President cannot create law, or, fund a program they create beyond the fiscal year, by Executive Order.

5.  Our current “2 Party” system of government is not the law.  What it is, is the inability of American citizens to give enough of a fuck about the state of affairs to demand better from our elected “leaders” and force them beyond politics and party representation.  We have allowed our President to be the leader of the party as well as the leader of the Nation and not always with the best interests of the country in mind (this is not limited to the current administration, it goes back YEARS).

The Tea Party is not a party.  It is a bunch of extreme right wingers who are further dividing an already out of touch party.  Libertarians are at least making an attempt to represent themselves as a legitimate third party by candidates running for offices as actual Libertarians.  And, let us not forget the Democrats in their entirety, they run the gamut from extremely left wing hippy-dippy give it all away for the greater good liberal to centrist moderation.  Say this for them though, they are good at rallying around a cause, using social media and deflecting attention away from a problem when it is more convenient than doing anything about it.  To sum it all up, we would all be better to vote on actual facts than by party politics and choose the right person to represent us and our needs, regardless of party affiliation.

6.  It is our responsibility as American citizens to insure that those we elect are representing us on the national stage.  Contrary to popular belief this is not representing us as individuals, but as the will of their constituency (that would be the best interests of all those they are elected to represent).  If we are not happy, and it would seem based on the recent satisfaction polls that we are not, then it is up to us to make sure that we are satisfied.

7.  The President is limited to two, four year terms in office with the possibility of an additional two years if they were elevated to the post as a result of the sitting President vacating the office (death, resigning, etc.).  This was done as a result of Congress ratifying the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1951.  This was their means of curtailing the power of the President and the possibility of unlimited power growth after the unprecedented four successful elections of FDR.  In all their forethought in regards to limiting the ability to build a kingdom by the President, they conveniently overlooked limiting themselves and their ability to become career politicians rather than elected people who SERVE at the WILL of the Nation and respect the OATH to the Constitution when they take office.

For those of you who may require a refresher in the Constitution click the word.

And for those of you old enough to remember when they tried to add a little bit of education to our Saturday morning cartoon time, a little School House Rock

I was hit up by an acquaintance today about how to respond to an email she received.  My acquaintance works for an organization called Wreaths Across America as the North Carolina representative.  While we have never actually met in person, we became acquainted when my wife started an event page on Facebook to gather like minded patriots in counter-protest to Westboro Bapshits disgraceful display at the funeral of SGT Donna Johnson in Raeford, NC last October.  Jennifers extensive contact list of military, family members and supporters was instrumental in rallying up a couple thousand people to show up and place a human wall between the grieving family and the WBC.  WAA is currently ramping up their drive to solicit donations that will go towards placing a wreath on every grave at Arlington cemetery and several other veteran’s cemeteries across the country.  Wreaths will be laid Saturday, December 14th.  Below is the text from the email response she received from one ingrate and needless to say she was unsure of how to respond so she reached out to your friendly neighborhood asshole, ME.

our military is a disgrace….. nothing but hired killers for a corrupt govt…no different than Hitler’s army in WWII……. they do the devils work…. not to mention they swear an oath to defend the constitution meanwhile they violate it themselves….. THERE IS NOTHING HONORABLE ABOUT AMERICA’S MILITARY….. BUNCH OF DAMN LOSER JARHEADS…. BRAINWASHED FOOLS THAT SERVE THE DEVIL…..

Catch your breath y’all, this is a for real response to her donation solicitation email.  This is the response in its totality as well.  The only thing I have not included is the respondent’s email, the original solicitation and associated email.  Click the hyperlink above and you can donate, sponsor a wreath or volunteer your time to place wreaths on hallowed ground this December.

So, back to the offensive

response above.  What world does this sick bastard live in and what has turned him so sour on me and my fellow brothers and sisters in arm?  Disgrace?  There have been times through my tenure in the Army that some have acted in a less than honorable fashion; this applies to members of all the services.  I have found however, that this is an honorable profession and the vast majority, regardless of their motivations for joining, live honorably and proudly represent the uniform and our country.

“nothing but hired killers for a corrupt government”….”no different than Hitler’s army in WWII”?  What the hell is this guy’s problem?  One of the reasons why PTSD is a keynote issue and service member suicide is so high these days is because taking the life of another human being is such a repugnant act.  It is through repetition in training that a soldier is able to take the life of an enemy.  For most soldiers (used inclusively for all services) it is not a natural act or desire to take the life of another human being and in this day and age for the most part, soldiers only do so in order not to die themselves and to defend their battle buddies when they are unable to.  A small minority may have some other inclinations in regards to the use of violence and deadly force, but this is indeed a tiny portion.

I am not even going to touch the “devils work” comment and as far as swearing an oath to the Constitution and violating it this is where this guy moves from disrespectful and delusional to repugnant and ludicrous.  In 20 years I have seen soldiers of all shapes, sizes, intelligence levels, backgrounds, races, creeds and religions.  Some have been absurdly patriotic, and others have been of low moral fiber, the one thing that has not faltered is the military’s unwavering desire to constantly adjust things in order to reign service members in when it even appears as if something has become a problem within the ranks.  At times to the point of absurdity.  This is not to say that military members have not perpetrated crimes or units have not suffered from shit leadership.  On the contrary we have that.  What we do have are services who are willing to stop EVERYTHING, including combat operations, in order to provide training to members in order to make sure things do not continue.  The great majority of us take our oath very seriously and it is a personal affront to those of us that do to see the words of an uneducated piece of shit who hides behind one of the amendments we defend to say otherwise.

“THERE IS NOTHING HONORABLE ABOUT AMERICA’S MILITARY….. BUNCH OF DAMN LOSER JARHEADS…. BRAINWASHED FOOLS THAT SERVE THE DEVIL…..” Our profession is based upon a foundation of honor.  For some that foundation may crumble.  Sometimes that is in spectacular fashion.  Those of us who take our oaths seriously, live lives as honorably as possible.  Considering the purpose of our profession we do a pretty good job of it.  We navigate a quagmire of unknowns and dangers all while trying to make the best decisions possible.  There is nothing glamorous about combat, it is a dangerous, ugly, horrifying experience; some of us are lucky enough to get away from it with minimal scarring while others pay with everything they have.  None of us though walk away unblemished and we all do so in order for any dumb-ass with a computer and an internet connection to have the right to question our honor.

These are some contentious times in our country.  Shitty politicians, unpopular wars, racism, sexism, a legal system that is not prepared for the technology we embrace, sensationalist, irresponsible media outlets and a billion other issues all are part of the powder keg that is our country.  Our military has continued to provide a backbone for our nation and our way of life.  It is a tough, honorable profession.  So much so that as we begin to draw down our unpopular wars are finding that we have to release people in order to meet our numbers.

After all these years at times I wonder why we do what we do, especially, when a shithead like this one has the nerve to spew the things that he does or a Westboro Bapshits has the right to decry our fallen in the manner that they do.  As personally repugnant as it is to me, we do this job so that they have the freedom to do so. Let them say the things they do in some of the other countries I have been to and see if they have any rights.  It is not simply the respect I have for my brothers and sisters in arms and the bond that all of us has that only those who have been there understand.  It is the actions of people like my friend, those who create or contribute to great organizations.  Organizations that not only honor military, veterans, spouses and especially the fallen, but also come to our defense while we are away and placing ourselves in danger.

So to the ingrate I have this to say:

Pull your head out of the sand you ungrateful piece of shit.  What do you think would be your ability to send out such an offensive piece of shit email without the sacrifices of our uniformed service members?  It would be little to no ability that is what.  So, shut your piehole, put down Hot-Pocket and Redbull, step away from your keyboard and the case of “virtual muscles” that it gives you and venture into the sunlight.  It is easy to spew shit when you are sitting in your mother’s basement, but it takes honor and courage to walk up to a veteran and say those same things with the same amount of invective you imply in your email.  Do not be surprised with the reaction, it could be anything from a much deserved ass-whooping to a simple “you are welcome sir”.  I personally am hoping on the ass-whooping but I would hate to see one of my brothers or sisters risking jail time for scraping a piece of shit like you off of their shoe.

So I am going to forgo the fact that our powdered wig wearing Forefathers would have been appalled that there are citizens of this great nation who can waste their money on an I-phone while forgoing the basic necessities in life like, decent housing, food for their children or the ability to pay their other bills in lieu of the ability to remain connected 24/7/365.  Let us also put aside the fact that the 1st Continental Congress and the representative leadership of the country prior to succession of hostilities and the surrender of General Cornwallis wrote most of their wise words anonymously and under pseudonym and would have definitely balked at posting their picture as an avatar in order to be taken seriously, not to mention having to check in with their location and tagging all their rebellious friends in a group photo.

Way back in the good old days of our country we did not have the instant connectivity that has invaded our lives today.  Back when the Declaration of Independence was finally signed, official copies of it were sent out by dispatch and read aloud to the gathered crowds in town squares all across the land.  Each and every person present was read the exact same thing as all the others across the 13 states.  Retweeting was accomplished by the local printer and handed out via hard copy to those who could read.  Imagine how much simpler it would have been to accomplish a revolution using some collaborative tools, whipping up a power point of key facts,  cutting and pasting it all into a nice neatly formatted document (Olde English font of course for authenticity) and publishing it up to www. yeolderevolution.gov (pretty sure I just made this up, but truth in lending I did not check).  Combine that with a viral video and sharing on Facebook, and we may have been successful before the British had known what was happening.

Imagine how easy it would have been for Paul Revere and his poor tired horse if he could have just Tweeted out that the British were coming, then another to say where he saw them and another as to where they were going.  That whole “one if by land, two if by sea” thing would have been an unnecessary risk and chances are he would not have been arrested that evening as well.

Instead of waxing eloquently as the Widow Silence Dogood, Ben Franklin could have blogged out instantly his thoughts on country and leadership and the rights of man (of course he would update that for the medium he was using and been much more politically correct).  He could have held honest discourse and been able to respond to remarks on his blogs, kicked off the trolls and leveraged his celebrity to a spot as a talking head on one of the 24 hour news outlets.

George Washington and his Continental Army could have waged a major psyops campaign leveraging social networking technology.  Imagine a few good videos going viral of the guerilla warfare waged by Francis Marion down in the Carolinas.  Or, how much more effective his staff would have been coordinating attacks with Power Point and video teleconferencing.  Of course he would have to exert some draconian measures as there will always be someone who wants to pose for a pic with the body of a dead Red Coat.  That is nothing compared to the embarrassment of giving one of your Generals (Benedict Arnold for those of you who like to quote the FF’s but know absolutely nothing about our history) unfettered access to your secure files and he turns them over to the enemy while handing them the keys to one of your forts as well.

Long before the advent of the internet, social media and the ever-present, ever-sensational 24 hour news networks we had people that could inspire us with their words.  Words they backed up with deeds.  They provided leadership at a time when we had none.  They grew a nation of free Americans from a populace subjugated by a monarchy and its representative corporations.  They spoke through word, printed under anonymity until such a time when they had to show themselves to the people.  In their day, our Founding Fathers were the Anonymous of the time.  They saw what was believed to be wrong and acted out upon it.  When felt unfairly taxed, they stole away in the middle of the night and dumped the commodity in the sea.  When faced with violence from soldiers who would be quartered among the populace without their consent, they rose up and fought back.

Our Founding Fathers would not have been the men that we often misquote today if social media were available to them.  Their eloquent words would not have inspired a generation and it they would not have provided us with a foundation of principles.  The only sweeping and all encompassing reform they were willing to stand behind and risk their lives for was revolution.  They knew and understood from the point of declaring our independence it would require  concise, incremental change as the problems arose.  They did not stand up to create a utopia for the world to emulate, they wished to create something that our own citizens would both embrace and emulate for as long as we are a sovereign nation.  My personal opinion is that they would be mortified to know that there are whole segments of law and education dedicated to interpreting their words some 230+ years after they spoke them rather than giving voice to their own voices and inspiring our people to achieve greater than we have.  We have taken opportunity provided by the blood of patriots inspired by the words of leaders and squandered the opportunities.

I would like to end with a few quotes from Edmund Burke :

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting

Try to come up those quotes today and put them into the colloquialisms that are present.  Take those new words and use them on your favorite social networking site, but do so with the intent of effecting change rather than just running off at the mouth.  Be prepared for the consequences of your actions.  It is our right as Americans to determine our own destinies, but with that comes the risk of upsetting the apple cart.  A successful outcome as a result of that upset does not absolve you from the consequences of doing so, but good for good sake is its own reward when you know you have done so for the betterment of all.  After all in the words of the immortal Mark Twain:

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.