Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day: My thanks have turned to sorrow

A few minutes ago, I was lying in bed, wide awake, listening to the rain patter on my roof, while my wife slept soundly beside me.  I lay there wondering to myself why I did not post some sort of Memorial Day tribute on my blog.  I know my blogging has been rather sparse as of late - I guess I have been on the "quality, not quantity" kick - but on Memorial Day, I at least always post a photo of military headstones at a U.S. war cemetery or of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or some other meaningful visual.  But not today.


Lying there in bed, I came to the conclusion that my view of Memorial Day has changed.  All my life, I thought and was taught that Memorial Day was the day of the year that we are to be thankful to those members of our military who have given the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep us free; to ensure the security of this country.  Instead of thankfulness, I instead feel sorrow; sorrow that these men and women died for this country. Because, more and more, I keep asking myself:  What country?

In the 20th century alone, the United States lost approximately 650,000 American servicemen killed fighting in the Philippines, the Caribbean, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.  If those war dead could see what our country has become, do you think even half of those men and women would say, "Boy, I'm sure glad I died so the United States could become the country it is today!"

Are we even close to being the same United States of America for which these men and women fought and died?  Look at the level of government dependency, debauchery, immorality, illegitimacy, slovenliness, apathy, cynicism, timidity, and learned helplessness that has overtaken this nation.  Look at the caliber of elected and unelected officials who populate our federal, state, and local governments.  As morally and fiscally corrupt as these people might be, never forget that it was that population I just described that put those elected officials in place, and continue to vote to keep them there - all in an effort to use the coercive force of government to transfer the wealth of the rapidly-shrinking productive sector of society to the rapidly-expanding non-productive and parasitical sector of society.

I teach 8th grade at a school populated by students who have almost no clue about the historical and cultural background of the United States, and most of them couldn't care less.  They have no interest in learning about the shared cultural markers that make this country what it is (or was, actually).  Markers such as MEMORIAL DAY, Independence Day (beyond the fun of shooting off fireworks), the ideas of liberty and individual freedom, and limited government as taught in the Declaration of Independence.  Many of these students are first-generation citizens of the United States whose loyalties still lie with their parents' home country, and they have no interest in breaking those cultural and emotional ties with their home country.  Or these students have a family heritage in America that goes back many more generations than my own, but fail to identify themselves as being part of the American family.  They see the United States as nothing more than a meaningless and ahistorical chunk of land from which to extract a living - often at the hands of Joe and Jane Taxpayer.  Otherwise, these students and their families see the United States as an oppressive, racist, hateful country that does not deserve their loyalty... even though they continue to live here and are happy to cash those welfare checks and eat that school-provided, taxpayer-subsidized breakfast and lunch.

When I have voiced my concerns about the current generation I am attempting to teach, this is when I am often told that my students are only in the 8th grade, and they simply haven't been taught these things yet, and it is up to me to teach them.  Well guess what folks:  8th graders used to already know these things!  They were taught them from birth by their parents long before they passed through a schoolhouse door.  Again, our country used to have a common shared culture, that was uniquely American, where practically everyone knew the same songs, poems, presidents, war heroes, and symbols.  Not so much anymore.  Not only are these symbols often not known, but when they are, they are often dismissed as being jingoistic, imperialistic, fascist, right-wing... you know the deal.  It's not an uncommon situation in many demographics.  If you have time, watch the results of this man-on-the-street interview of people on the question of the purpose of Memorial Day.

This is also when I am often told that not everyone is that way; there are still places in America where there is still love of country, and patriotism, and Mom and apple pie.  Yes, there are still "places."  Not the entire country - just places.  Demography is destiny, and for the last few decades, the people who remember and participated in the Old United States are themselves getting old and dying off.  Replacing them are the current generation personified by the students I teach.  The places where the Old United States still exists will continue to dwindle as the demographics of our population change over the next few decades.

When you snip a bunch of flowers that are growing strong and pure in the ground and put them in a vase, the flowers continue to look strong and pure... for awhile.  But as the days pass, no matter what kind of water or powdered fertilizer you use to stop the inevitable, the flowers begin to wilt, and then die.  Finally, the fetid water in the vase is dumped down the sink, and the flowers are thrown in the garbage.  The charade of the snipped flowers looking fresh in the vase worked for a little while, but they were doomed the moment they were snipped and removed from their roots which had been firmly planted in the soil.

If you don't yet see where I am going with this, the United States is the bouquet of flowers that has been in the vase for quite some time now.  Through deficit spending, and overtaxing, and living off the wealth and infrastructure created decades ago, we have been keeping up the charade of prosperity and stability all this time, but the stems and leaves are beginning to wilt, and the petals are beginning to fall, and the water is beginning to develop a rather pungent odor.

And unfortunately, through it all, the 650,000 American servicemen who were killed in the 20th Century, along with the approximately 6,500 killed in the 21st Century, and the 810,000-or-so who were killed in the 18th and 19th centuries were unable to stop the decay that has brought us to the irresistible and seemingly unstoppable downward slide in which we find ourselves today.  When I talk to my own children about the United States, instead of telling them about how great the country is, more often than not, I find myself telling them about how great the country used to be.

So as we observed Memorial Day 2013 (that is, actually observed it, and not just had a barbecue and went shopping), I couldn't stop asking myself if it has all been worth it?  For what have these servicemen died?  Should I give thanks for their sacrifice, or feel sorry for the seeming waste of their sacrifice?  I don't get the chance to talk to the dwindling number of surviving World War II veterans, but I wonder what the consensus would be from them, and also veterans of Korea, Vietnam, and even today's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:  Knowing what you know today; seeing what you see in our country today; was it all worth it?

Dare I ask, was it all in vain?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Moronic statists blame this week's Oklahoma tornado on "global warming" and "climate change"

I am mostly pretty good at keeping an even emotional keel when discussing politics with someone with whom I disagree.

But there are a few topics that make it darn near impossible for me to contain my anger, and one of them is when someone tries to blame some weather event on what they used to always call global warming, but now more often call climate change.  The switch of course has come in the wake of the fact that over the last decade and a half, those pesky average global temperatures kept going down, as there has been no global warming since 1998.

In the wake of the terrible F5, 200mph tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Oklahoma and killed dozens of people, we already have the more devout members of the Church of Global Warming coming out from under their slimy rocks to attribute the forces of nature to our seeming ability to control the weather like some kind of medieval alchemist. That's right, they are blaming human-caused global warming/climate change on a powerful tornado that struck... Oklahoma... in May. How unusual.

First was a tweet from lefty Politico reporter Glenn Thrush who said:

It is striking that Oklahoma's senators are 1) a federal spending skeptic and 2) global warming denier 

My obvious question is what does being a skeptic of federal spending and a global warming denier have to do with a tornado that struck... Oklahoma... in May? But we all know what Herr Thrush is hinting at, don't we?

Next, we go to two great minds (snort, snicker) in the U.S. Senate; both members of the Social Democrat Party: Sheldon Whitehouse (yes, that is really his name) of Rhode Island, and our own hometown girl, Barbara Boxer of the late, great, state of California. Each of these brain trusts stepped onto the Senate floor yesterday and voiced their opinions as to who and what is responsible for this tornado and what should be done about it. First, Sheldon Whitehouse:
“So, you may have a question for me: Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together... “You drag America with you to your fate, so, I want this future: I want a Republican Party that has returned to its senses and is strong and a worthy adversary in a strong America that has done right by its people and the world. That’s what I want. I don’t want this future. I don’t want a Republican Party disgraced, that let its extremists run off the cliff, and an America suffering from grave economic and environmental and diplomatic damage because we failed, because we didn’t wake up and do our duty to our people, and because we didn’t lead the world. I do not want that future. But that’s where we’re headed. So I will keep reaching out and calling out, ever hopeful that you will wake up before it is too late.”
Whitehouse later apologized for the "timing" of these remarks, but not the substance. Now the wisdom of Barbara Boxer, who is in the running with Washington state's Patty Murray as being the dumbest member of the U.S. Senate:
“This is climate change. This is climate change. [If she says it twice, then it has to be true] We were warned about extreme weather: Not just hot weather, but extreme weather. When I had my hearings, when I had the gavel years ago — it’s been a while — the scientists all agreed that what we’d start to see was extreme weather.” “Carbon could cost us the planet.  The least we could do is put a little charge on it so people move to clean energy."
Yeah, just a "little" charge on it. Can you see me rolling my eyes?  Not surprisingly, Boxer has a carbon tax bill that she is currently pimping in the Senate.

The logical question here would be to ask if there have ever been severe tornadoes in the past; before the whole global warming/climate change cult popped up.  OF COURSE THERE HAVE!

How about in 1925, when an enormous tornado that lasted over 3 hours churned through three different states and killed almost 700 people?  Was that an "extreme" weather event caused by people's SUVs and factory smokestacks?

Or how about the outbreak of 150 tornadoes in 1974 that killed 300 people?  Newsweek magazine blamed that on global cooling!  I was just a little kid in the 1970s, but I remember the news reports talking about the coming ice age.

This all makes perfect sense, you know.  Think of the ancient cultures of old who thought that the gods controlled the weather, and to gain their mercy, the people of those ancient cultures would perform rituals, offer up animal and human sacrifices, burnt offerings, and whatever else would gain the favor of the gods.

Nowadays, these disciples of the Church of Global Warming think of humans themselves as being as gods.  After all, Marxists dream of people being capable of bringing heaven onto earth.  So, WE, the human race, are responsible for the climate and weather in the twisted fantasy world of these disturbed people.  And as usual, they wish to use the power of government to drag - I'm using Sheldon's word - us all into their twisted fantasy world through the implementation of carbon taxes, "green" energy subsidies, and environmental totalitarianism.

All this to stop a powerful tornado... in Oklahoma... in May.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lighten up, Francisco

I'm 8 days late and a Peso short on this topic, but I only discovered this article tonight.

Apparently, some Mexican college activists here in the United States are/were unhappy about how some people celebrate the semi-faux holiday of Cinco de Mayo:
Drinking tequila shots, eating tacos, and wearing sombreros do not commemorate Mexican culture; on the contrary, that offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members, and casts our entire community in poor light...
Hmmm, no mention from them about the fun and ridiculous things that people do on St. Patrick's Day. Having a mucho amount of Irish blood in me, I could get all indignant about some of the potentially offensive sights I see on St. Paddy's Day (including calling it St. Paddy's Day). Instead of tequila, it's whiskey or Killian's Irish Red beer. Instead of tacos, it's corned beef. Instead of sombreros, it's those little green bowler hats that leprechauns wear. The difference is that I could give a shit less that people are making light of the Irish culture. Apparently, these Mexican activists are, like many professional activists out there, looking for something - anything - about which to be aggrieved and offended.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

On this traditional communist holiday, President Obama declares Loyalty Day!

Out of 365 potential days of the year, our Dear Leader decided on today, May 1st, to declare as Loyalty Day in the United States.  Yes, Loyalty Day.

You know about May Day, right?  It has been used as a day of celebration by many different cultures, but in our day and age, the secular communists/Marxists out there use it as a day to parade their missiles and tanks down the street and call for socialist solidarity.

And President Obama just happened to pick this particular day as the day when we Americans should renew our allegiance to the U.S. government.

I'm not kidding - read his proclamation for yourself at the White House website, and check out some of the money quotes right here:
We have held fast to the principles at our country's core: service and citizenship; courage and the common good; liberty, equality, and justice for all... [The very first thing he mentions is "service"? Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but please show me where any of our founders talked about "the common good."]
We look back to Americans who did the same, from generation to generation -- citizens who strengthened our democracy, organizers who made it broader, service members who gave everything to protect it. These patriots and pioneers remind us that while our path to a more perfect Union is unending, with hope and hard work, we can move forward together... [Notice how he gives a shoutout to community organizers, and what is with this obsession of his of using the word "together"?]
I have a big problem with some of the language our government uses nowadays. For instance, I have never been comfortable with the use of the term "homeland," as in the Department of Homeland Security. And here is another one: Loyalty. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing untoward about the word itself. But when a government run by such people as Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Boehner, Dianne Feinstein, and Charles Schumer start trying to tell me where my loyalties should lie, I begin to perspire.