Or die trying.
A good day for Democracy.
Democracy – 2 | Clowns – 0
UPDATE: What’s Einstein’s definition of insanity again? >> House Is Paralyzed as Jordan Fails in Third Bid for Speaker
The House has been without a leader for more than two weeks, and Jordan has twice failed to secure the 217 votes needed to claim the speaker’s gavel as he has faced opposition from Democrats and more than 20 of his fellow Republicans.Jordan suspends bid for US House speaker, backs McHenry, Reuters, October 19, 2023
There is much ado in the news about China’s Wen Jiabao, the supposed People’s Premier, accumulating a massive fortune, for both himself and his extended family, while serving within the highest ranks of China’s government.
According to New York Times reporting:
Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.
No one is surprised by this, right? I mean, when in history has there ever been an authoritarian, non-transparent government where its leaders — and often…well, usually…okay, you’re right, always…those close to the leaders — did not become fabulously wealthy as a result of their position within the government?
We all know the quote, Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so it is not news that Jiabao, or any other Chinese government senior leader, and their families and friends, have profited because of their positions.
And you know what else isn’t news? The fact that China has blocked all internet access to the New York Times, as well as to other major news outlets, such as the BBC, that are reporting on the story.
Without a doubt, Western-style democracies are far from perfect; and, without a doubt, many politicians and government officials within these supposed transparent governments have amassed huge, unknowable, amounts of cash because of their positions. Still, at least we who live in countries governed by democracies, with our right to vote and with our freedom of speech, have a semblance of a notion that we can contain the corruption. Whether it’s true or not is debatable, but having a semblance of a notion is better than having none at all.
I spent twenty years and four days as an enlisted
swine sailor in the navy. That’s twenty years and four days of living on the government dole. If you think about it, that’s exactly what happens after someone joins the United States military, they get to live on the dole.
To get on the dole, however, I did have to promise my government that I would give it my life for it to use of and/or dispose of as it required or so desired. But fortunately for me, a good chunk of my service was during the happy-go-lucky Clinton years so I never really had to worry much about that unwritten but very much binding “dying in defense of freedom” clause in my contract.
For most of that twenty years and four days I was just like every other American rat who had to get up every morning to compete against all the others in the race.
Except that I had to wear a goofy-looking racing uniform while doing so.
Seriously, ever see those horrific bell bottoms on the old dungaree uniforms that we sailors used to have to wear? And those cursed “Cracker Jack” sailor suits weren’t much better either, let me tell ya.
Sheesh…the fact that we were willing to die for our country was never so impressive to me as was the fact that so many of us were willing to wear those embarrassing uniforms while doing so.
But just like so many other unavoidable indignities one must suffer throughout one’s life, one learns to accept it, or at least try to numb oneself somehow from the sting of it, and move on.
It sure was hard for me to accept the indignity of those ridiculous uniforms though, that’s for sure.
You know what? I bet I can guess what some of you are thinking right now.
I bet some of you are thinking: “True Americans are fighting and dying in defense of our country right now and this bozo is making fun of the uniform they so proudly wear.”
Listen, if that’s what you are thinking, and I am pretty sure some of you are, and it hurts your feelings, I apologize.
It was not my intent to cause pain to your sensitivities.
Aren’t those True Americans who are fighting and dying in defense of our country right now doing so so that I could do exactly just that?
Well, perhaps they are not fighting and dying specifically so that I can cause pain to your sensitivities, but I certainly believe they are doing so to provide me the protection and guarantee and freedom to say whatever it is I feel I need or want to say as I strive to live and abide by the American Way of Life, which, in my view, happens to encompass MY pursuit of Happiness.
I do sincerely believe that and I am sincerely very thankful for their sacrifice.
And I pray that there will always be those who will willingly and courageously volunteer to fight, and even perhaps, sadly, sacrifice their own life, just so I can continue on with my own selfish and never-ending-till-I-die pursuit of Happiness.
Writing and saying what’s on my mind makes me Happy, that’s why I pursue it the way I do.
But I suppose that what I write or say doesn’t always make you Happy.
Sometimes, like right now, maybe, I say things with a specific intent in mind, which is, regardless of what I say, for me to always end up sounding like I am funny and smart. But instead of me ending up sounding funny and/or smart, the actual impact of what I say usually ends up with me sounding like the misinformed dork that I really am.
And even worse than me just ending up harmlessly sounding like the misinformed dork that I really am, I suspect that far too often the impact of what I say ends up so far off the mark from my intent that I unintentionally end up sounding like some offensive and inappropriate jackass.
When that happens, what I say just might end up hurting someone.
I hope that what I have to say doesn’t unintentionally hurt too often.
But then again, sometimes that may just be my intention.
That is, in addition to always trying to make myself sound funny and smart, sometimes my intent also might be to intentionally sound like some offensive and inappropriate jackass.
That’s because sometimes it takes a real jackass with enough oomph in his hindquarters to kick hard enough to make a point truly stick.
And unfortunately, whenever we do get stuck with a point, it tends to hurt for a bit.
Just to be clear, though, I cannot ever imagine a scenario where my intent would be for me to end up sounding like the misinformed dork that I really am.
That happens far too often enough without it ever being my intention.
But, that’s not really my problem, is it?
I really have no way of determining how what I say ends up impacting you.
For that I assume no responsibility or blame.
I just write the crap.
How it ends up sounding in your head after your brain interprets it is all on you.
I hope the intent of my words always matches the impact they have on your brain.
But I cannot guarantee they will.
And when they don’t, and especially if it causes pain to your sensitivities and causes you to think what an offensive and inappropriate jackass I am, please remember one thing.
And I say this understanding that I may end up sounding both like an uninformed dork and some offensive and inappropriate jackass…
Please remember that this blog was created and is maintained by me primarily as a resource for MY Happiness, not necessarily yours.
And like “True Americans” will sometimes say in defense of their American Way of Life, I say in defense of my blog:
“If you don’t like it, you can leave it.”
But really, I hope you don’t leave if I become too offensive and inappropriate for you.
And I hope you don’t leave if you become too offensive and inappropriate for me.
I like having you here to talk to.
Having you here, regardless of where you are from, or what your “Way of Life” or “way of life” or “WAYS OF LIFE” might be, provides me with much of the Happiness I so fervently pursue.
Besides, if you think what I DO or WILL say is offensive and inappropriate, just imagine some of the things that go through this troubled mind of mine that I DON’T or WON’T say.
I shudder to think.
Thank god for the delete button that’s all I gotta say, because so many of those offensive and inappropriate bastards of thought that float around in my mind often get just this close (use your imagination here to visualize me holding my hand in front of your face and pinching my pointer finger and thumb together so tightly that my hand shakes from it as I illustrate exactly what I mean by “just this close”) to being shouted out loud at the top of my scarred and deteriorating lungs.
And by just this close to being shouted out loud at the top of my scarred and deteriorating lungs I mean that sometimes this irrational world that we are living in drives me so bonkers that I can barely refrain myself from publishing those offensive and inappropriate bastards of thought that are floating around in this troubled mind of mine here on my blog and then tweeting and bleating and blasting them out to the twitterverse and then linking and posting and liking them like a mad crazy fool to Facebook and then finding other ways—Ah hell yeah!…google+—to shove them into your self-righteously offended and offensive face but, just because those thoughts barely strayed over that very thin and swaying line in my mind which I consider to be the boundary for good taste, I refrain myself and say nothing about them at all.
You have absolutely no idea what you are missing out on.
But enough of all that patriotic nonsense.
Back to my “on the government dole” point.
It always struck me as completely ironic (and if I think about it too hard it verges on the sardonically so) how so many Americans join the military to defend the American “Way of Life,” and, as a reward for their patriotism and service, they are provided for by the American government and funded by the American tax payer with a “way of life” that is so completely different and diametrically opposed to the “Way of Life” they gave up to defend.
Once someone joins the military, their new “way of life” becomes part of one of the most successfully socialist ways of life that has ever existed on this irrational planet of ours.
Now, the way I see it, the American “Way of Life” encompasses much and means different things to different folks, but I think all Americans can agree that this “Way of Life” certainly encompasses that democratic republic mashup system of government that so many Americans do not understand yet so many righteously trumpet, as well as a pretty hardcore capitalistic economic system, that, again, so many Americans do not really understand, but most are certainly beholden to.
Nothing wrong with that at all.
I’m all for the American Way of Life.
Hope you are all for it too, especially if you consider yourself an American.
And if you consider yourself a “True American,” well…
Well…I prefer to not even consider what the “True Americans” are all for in this, or any, regard, to be honest with you.
Besides, they will certainly tell us what they are all for anyway without the least bit of consideration at all.
But sometimes, especially when I really think hard about it, it makes me SMH in amazement that those who will so willingly sacrifice their life in defense of the American “Way of Life” have to live their “way of life” in a such heavily, if not completely, subsidized, socialistic, anti-American “Way of Life” manner. (BTW, for all you dinosaurs out there, SMH = shake my head. You can figure out the BTW for yourself.)
These potential military heroes are provided for with a completely free and well-maintained “gated” community if they live on base. If they choose to or are required to live off base, then their housing costs are subsidized. Their medical costs are completely paid for if they are seen by an on-base medical facility and, again, these costs are heavily subsidized if they are seen by an off-base medical facility.
And similar to the way of life in most anti-American “Way of Life,” socialist societies, the “way of life” in the American military includes serious restrictions on its service members’ freedom of expression and speech, restrictions that Americans who have never served in the military could never understand or imagine as they Happily and freely enjoy their own unique, and, quite honestly, sometimes a little weird and occasionally even a little creepy, American Way of Life.
I have several more “Way of Life” versus “way of life” examples, but I think you get the point:
A socialist “way of life” for those who volunteer to defend the Democratic Republic and Hardcore Capitalistic American “Way of Life.”
Again, nothing wrong with that.
Just a little ironic, wouldn’t you agree?
Besides, I’m all for providing anyone who willingly and courageously volunteers to defend the American Way of Life, regardless of how one defines it, with a decent and honorable way of life, American, socialistic, or otherwise.
America better provide their courageous volunteers and potential heroes with at least that because it sure as hell pays them like crap.
Believe me, after spending twenty years and four days as an enlisted
swine sailor, I know exactly how crappy American service members are paid.
As I think and I write about all of this BS, all of the this Way of Life BS and all of the that way of life BS, and all of the goofy-looking uniform BS, and all of my pretentious and pedantic intent versus impact BS, I am being completely overwhelmed and thoroughly embarrassed by the ridiculous politics and even more ridiculous politicians behind the budget crisis that seemingly has the potential to rip the American Way of Life, regardless of how one defines it, to shreds.
That, to me, is wholly indefensible.