Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

Thinking about Memorial Day.

What is it? Well:
·         It’s the day we run the big NASCAR race at the Charlotte/Concord Motor Speedway, where hundreds of thousands of folks get all boozed up and sit watching breathlessly to see if a car going 200 mph will crash and burn into the turn;
·         It’s a really big shopping day, when we can get dazzling sales discounts at stores all over the region;
·         It’s a day for grilling burgers, brats and sucking up beer, as we sit outside enjoying our day off;
·         It’s the final day of our beach weekend before heading home through masses of cars and trucks all trying to also get home;
·         Oh yeah, it’s also a day to think about our troops presently in harm’s way and our veterans sitting somewhere trying to get some medical care.

How did we allow this to happen?  What’s “this” you ask?  Well, “this” is the corruption of a day we should be honoring our soldiers, to yet another day in which we honor money, and drinking, and generally trying to forget everything. I know that various folks tried to do the same thing to Veteran’s Day, aka Armistice Day. At the least we avoided turning that day into yet another three-day weekend. The Armistice occurred at 11:00 AM, on the 11th day of the 11th month in the year of 1918 so it seems entirely appropriate that we honor those soldiers of a far away and mostly forgotten war on the 11th day of the 11th month.. We did convert that day into a broader celebration, honoring our soldiers and veterans.

I realize that our Republican friends have been trying to pin the debacle of veterans’ health care on our current President. Happily, however much they have tried, it is abundantly clear to all those who still think, that, however well or badly President Obama has handled the VA health care mess, he did not invent it. We have been scandalously ignoring our veterans since we began having veterans. Mainly, our various Congresses have never been able to generate enough money to build and operate a system of health care that is capable of handling all of our veterans. It may well be the case that veterans should be able to obtain their health care at any health care facility, paid for in advance by the American people. One way or another, that would require tax dollars. The current republican bunch, however much they love to send our troops to war, cannot bring themselves to employ tax dollars to pay for the full consequences of our wars.

Maybe it is true. If you can’t actually care for your troops and your veterans in a fully honorable way, don’t keep sending your troops to war. It’s really that simple. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Benghazi Lite

OK, so how many of you love watching reruns of Seinfeld, or Sex and the City, when you become bored with the infantile humor and commercials on The Big Bang Theory? At least with reruns, you can fast forward the commercials.  So that’s how I understand the recent Benghazigate hearings, or is it Benghazilla?  Reruns are in, mainly because the writers seem to have run out of ideas, and because TV has been taken over by endless, mindless commercials.  So it is with the House Teabaggers.  If they aren’t dallying with some idea that was popular in 1830, they’re trying to recreate the excitement of a distant past when hearings were in and the public was glued to their TV sets, awaiting the next installment.
But, I submit that Benghazi-II is really more like a rerun of the GOP presidential primary debates than Seinfeld—amusing, but you can only watch it so often before it becomes painfully and terminally stupid.  No, Benghazi just doesn’t make it to the top tier for rerun material.  I submit, that other national geopolitical issues would fit the bill better as national attention-getters.  How about one or more of the following:
Iraq WMD-gate: yeah, we could invite all those old favorites—Donny Rumsfeld—he’s so much fun. And old Dickiebird Cheney. Nobody harumphs better than old Dickie. And, of course that old standby, Mushroom-cloud Condi. Yeah, maybe she could sail in on one of her oil tankers and declare victory in Vietnam. That would make Johnnie McCain so happy. Think of the drama, the sturm und drang, as Old Donnie tells the committee why he decided to invade Iraq anyway . . . just cuz he could, don’t you know.  Invasions are just so much fun, especially when you’re sending someone else’s kid into battle.  Yeah, a rerun of Iraq-gate would be great, even better than Seinfeld.
Or, how about Iran-Contra??? We could get old Ollie North to come in and tell us all about the deal whereby, under St. Ronald’s direction, he arranged to sell arms to a terrorist regime, so he could get the money to arm the right wing Contras in Latin America. Yeah, Ollie. He was great. So righteous, especially as prodded by St. Ronald. And, although we can’t get St. Ronald any longer, maybe we could still get Nancy to tell us what Ronnie would have told us (something on the order of “go f#*k yourselves Congress”.
And if you really, really want to dig up some serious shit, why not revisit the history and origins of the Vietnam War. You could begin with Eisenhower and his decision to support the French and then go on to Kennedy, Johnson, and, who could forget Trickie Dick’s plan to end the war . . . by invading Cambodia.  Think of it. We could bring back all those great songsters during the 1960’s and use them as background to your questions. Wow. What fun.
So, let’s get started guys, with a little more imagination. Benghazi. Good grief. Next you’ll be asking me to watch reruns of the Clarence Thomas hearings . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz