@therealbanksy just tweeted this:
…excerpts of two rather aged yet seemingly, and sadly so, germane posts of mine. They are quite lengthy so to read the full posts, click on the “more” links.
The first is a political poem I penned long ago:
It’s the bottom of the ninth.
We’re down and in desperate need of a two-out rally.
So what are we waiting for? Should we go
for the win and swing for the fence?
Or should we just drop our bats,
grab our crotches,
Just wait for someone else to come along and bat clean up?
Just wait for them to come along and clean up all of the shit
our silence has created?
Should we wait?
Just wait for the president and the congress and the
governors and every other sleazy politician to knock
the dirt out of their spikes and lead the rally?
Or should we, instead, wait for Wall Street and the
chambers of commerce and the boards of directors
and the unions and even the goddamn Junior Achievers
The second is a satirical attempt at humor by poking fun at the U.S. military and the American way.
IN DEFENSE OF THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE
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…more
[NOTE: this article was written when I was thick into my GVHD issues and strung out on prednisone and dealing with steroid psychosis. While it rambles greatly, I think there still are some relevant points to be found somewhere within. Maybe?]
Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
History shows us there is a thin line between outrage and unrest, between unrest and riot, and between riot and revolution. And it seems lately that we are constantly crossing these lines, that we are constantly on the edge and on the verge of being pushed to the limit, that every day, somewhere in the world, individuals, families, communities, countries, and regions are fluctuating and transitioning from one point of frustration to the next, even more frustrating point.
From the economy, to the environment, to intractable politics, to intolerance, to technology, to terrorism, to any number of other issues, who knows what will trigger the next outrage, unrest, riot, or revolution.
While there will always be multiple known and unknowable factors behind any tumultuous event, historians and analysts have come to a consensus that it was increasingly rising food prices, and, more specifically, the high cost of bread that pushed a region over the line and triggered the Arab Awakening.
And there is evidence showing that throughout the ages it has been the rising costs of basic food staples that pushes even the most civil minded citizens into becoming violent revolutionaries for change.
As the most cursory of searches reveal, the cumulative effect of the world’s many crises, coupled with the continuance of extreme weather patterns and resultant droughts, flooding, and other climate change unknowns, 2015 may be a year of severely rising food costs.
If so, it may prove to be quite the year, indeed.
You may be happy or sad over the reelection of Barack Obama.
I, for one, am happy.
You may be happy or sad over the reelection of the Congressional Incumbents.
I, for one, am sad.
And, you may be happy or sad over the historic legalization of gay marriage in Maryland and other states and the legalization of the limited recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
I, for one, am beyond happy; in fact, I am completely and blissfully ecstatic.
Now, since I am happily married and have been so for over two score, and since my lung disease prevents me from inhaling any kind of smoke and my high liver counts discourage me from introducing THC into my system by any other means, I do not foresee me benefiting physically in the least because of the legalization of gay marriage and the decriminalization of marijuana use.
But I do benefit from it.
All Americans benefit from it because it represents a new mind set in our country.
A new hope.
Millions of Americans voted in this election to begin the end of legislating morality.
Yes, there will be legal challenges and set backs to these recent advancements toward the protection of our basic human right to live a life as we choose to live it.
Yes, we still have many states to go and many votes to cast before all Americans’s have the right to be human as each sees fit.
But we have just made a significant advancement, an advancement which sets the momentum toward even further advancement, and which minimizes the chance for significant setback.
And I, for one, am very happy about that.
If you aren’t a Big Thinker, then you are missing out on what Time magazine considers one of the best news and information resources on the web.
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.
From the Washington Post National Security lead story Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists.
If something such as a Kill List wasn’t creepy sounding enough for you, how about a Disposition Matrix?
I expect we will be hearing this term repeatedly for a long time to come.
I am fortunate to have a rather decent long-term disability policy with Mutual of Omaha, which I, thankfully, purchased through my former employer prior to the diagnosis of my cancer.
One of my frustrations (of several) with the policy is, though, that Mutual of Omaha required/forced me to apply for federal Social Security disability compensation at the onset of my claim. Once approved, Mutual of Omaha then began deducting the amount the federal government pays me from what they pay me.
That seems like such a scam to me; however, from what I have been able to find out, it appears to be a legitimate scam.
Legitimate does not always equate to being right.
Regardless, since the American federal tax payer is providing nearly 33% of my disability compensation, I suppose it is incumbent upon me to say thank you to them for their support.
Thank you, American federal tax payer.
I would like to add an update to that gripe:
Back in May of this year I found out that, because I had been collecting Social Security disability payments for two years (which I was forced to apply for—see above), I would now be forced to apply for Medicare health insurance. Well, technically, I wasn’t forced to apply for the government-sponsored program, however, if I had chosen not to, I would have been dis-enrolled from my primary insurance program, Tricare, which is administered by the US Family Health Plan.
So, of course I applied for Medicare.
The fun part is, not only do I have to pay an additional $100.00 a month (well, technically I am not paying out the funds; they are automatically deducted from my monthly Social Security Disability payments—six in one, glass half empty in the other) for the government program on top of the premiums I still have to pay for Tricare, I am not allowed to use the government benefits which I am forced to purchase.
Ah yes. I must always remember…pain is just a loving reminder that I’m still alive.
Okay, I’ll admit—maybe Medicare will come in handy some day as a backup for Tricare.
But still…it’s all a little too hokie and borderline scam for my taste…