Happy(?) Veterans’ Day

It’s Veterans’ Day. Here are some posts I made today on Facebook:
  • I’m a veteran. Every year on Veterans’ Day, all day long I feel like everybody is trying to make everybody else eat their spinach on my behalf, and shaming them if they don’t eat. Please. I don’t care who eats the spinach.
  • Just want to say thank you to all the veterinarians out there, who keep our beloved pets healthy and safe and only ask for lots of money in return.
  • Today, let’s all make sure to thank all the selfless vegetarians who don’t eat meat so that the rest of us have more tasty flesh to enjoy.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you to the bold Venusians who have not preemptively invaded our planet and killed oodles of innocents because they fear our weapons of mass destruction.
  • We should all be very grateful to, and show our support for, all the Virginians for their…um…for something, I’m sure.
  • Today, we must all remember to thank our vitamins, who answer the call and help us stay healthy, and even taste yummy when their forms are gummy.
  • Everyone honor our strong vas deferens which bring pleasure to our days and help us exist in the first place.

I’ve been having a bit of fun, joking around about the wave of Veterans’ Day posts that we see every year on this day, and I know not everyone appreciates the humor. I get that, and I’m sympathetic. But I don’t apologize.

I’m a veteran. I’ve had blood on my hands. I’ve lost friends. And to me, though I realize how sincere most people are, Veterans’ Day is a day of jingoism and platitudes, particularly in a time when we send our soldiers to die in wars we do not need to fight, and when we don’t take care of them when they come home.

Yes, we should honor the soldiers who are fighting and dying in our name, but we should do that by making sure they are doing so ONLY when necessary, otherwise we are wasting their efforts and their lives. Honor them by doing all you can to bring them home. Let their spouses curl up with them every night, their parents be able to sleep in peace, and their children grow up with fathers and mothers.

Yes, we should honor the veterans who have fought in our name when ordered, whether misused by their leaders or not. And to do that best, we should make sure they are given the medical and psychological attention they need when they’re back home, and we should make sure they’re given the benefits they’ve been promised (the VA screwed me out of over 80% of my College Fund, and I’m not alone), we should make sure their homes haven’t been stolen by bankers, and we should do all we can to help them find security in our lousy economy.

So yeah, wave the flag if you want to, tell everyone how important it is to honor our warriors, but if that’s the extent of it, it’s meaningless. If you want to thank me for my service, do something that’s going to help those who need help because they volunteered.

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Goofy Political Emoticons

Just to amuse myself yesterday, I started coming up with new emoticons.

Here they are. Feel free to add your own in the comments if you like.

‎;i ;i ;i ;i ;i ;i        Blink blink blink…weird smokin’ guy with a twitchy eye

‎:911                    Rudy Giuliani

:2+2=25            Sarah Palin (may also represent Michelle Bachman)

‎:USA<$$$       The GOP

:NOIQ                 Tea Baggers

:C+                       Barack Obama

:F-                         George W. Bush

:666                     Dick Cheney

And my favorite:

:(###################################

A sour face and a lotta pounds?

That’s Rush Limbaugh, of course.

Malaprop

I enjoy idiots, up to a point. Watching something like Fox & Friends can be as humorous as watching an old Three Stooges short, if less intellectually stimulating. But only up to a point.

(Hilariously, as I started writing this, Green Day’s song “American Idiot” started up on the random playlist I’m listening to).

But I wish the idiots weren’t so prevalent, particularly at the voting booth, but also on the Internet. As a writer, a reader, a person who values clear thought and knowledge, and an educated guy, I’m often appalled at what I see passing for communication among my fellow citizens.

A while back, I started collecting bits of idiocy I came across online. Now, I’m not talking about net-speak or texting shortcuts, or even persistent spelling stupidities like using “villian” instead of “villain.” I’m talking about people using words and phrases that don’t work the way they think they do.

I haven’t bothered sourcing these. My intent isn’t to embarrass anyone specifically. But my sources range from comments left on blog posts here and there all the way up to the Gray Lady herself, The New York Times.

I haven’t bothered with anything from the brain of George W. Bush, as the only torture he practiced that was more egregious than that he practiced on human beings was that he practiced on language. He’s in a class all by himself.

I’m going to break my collection up into serialized posts. I’m posting this stuff for two reasons: one, to laugh at the gaffes of those who can’t be bothered to make sure they’re saying what they think they’re saying, and two, to encourage anyone reading to please bother to make sure. Especially if you’re presenting your work as even semi-professional, much less professional, writing.

Now, onward to the flubs and gaffes. Can you identify them all? Continue reading

Wikileaks FTW!

I love me some Wikileaks.

Julian Assange is a superhero. Or, actually, the hero of the most relevant thriller Robert Ludlum never wrote. I would buy him a beer and toast his health and hide him in my basement while Homeland Security agents menace me with buckets of Freedom Water.

Our government, like all governments, is made up of human beings, full of flaws and foibles. Additionally, like all governments, the sort of people who often fill its halls of power are people who seek not the betterment of the world, but power and money and self-aggrandizement. To trust them wholly, to not question, and to attack those who do, is to be an idiot.

(Which reminds me of my favorite quote of the week, from Keith Olbermann: “Calling an idiot an idiot is not personal – its almost mathematical.”)

People get all bent out of shape when “our side” gets pegged for doing the wrong thing. They think it harms us when “our” misdeeds are swept into the light for all to see. Actually, it harms us when those who represent us mis-do. Pointing it out gives us a chance to look at our mistakes and try to do better. Continue reading

Good Memories of 2009, Day 2: A Nightmare Ends

Barack Obama

Let’s make that

Bush’s Presidency Ends

Though Obama’s better than Bush (as most people, animals, plants, or objects would be),  he spent the last year mainly pissing me off. But this is supposed to be things I enjoyed, and watching Bush go the hell away was a definite high point.

BUSH'S PLAN FOR AMERICA