Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Harry Back.


Well, no one saw this coming! The British government has announced that Prince Harry will not be going to Iraq. They explained that, since he would be such a high-priority target, it would be an unacceptable risk to him (and his platoon). This sounds logical on its surface because (yes, indeedy) the mustachioed enemy would be chomping at the bit to display the Prince's skull on a stake, an effective technique used by the Prince's own great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather when his marriages inevitably became a tad "rocky."

But upon further review (and a rudimentary grasp of basic mathematics), it is logical to conclude that an increased risk to Harry's group would, by definition, lessen the overall threat elsewhere. Given there are a fixed number of "enemy combatants" (i.e. bad guys who streamed into Iraq only after the country was occupied) it stands to reason that Harry, the red-headed scamp, would not pose an increased security concern to the fighting force as a whole. And that, math aficionados, completely negates the British government's entire silly premise.

Wouldn't the TRUTH be refreshing every once in a while? A politician revealing an unpopular TRUTH?! I'd be happier than a poo-flinging monkey if the stuffy British spokesman strode to the microphone, cleared his throat and instead explained:

Prince Harry will be going nowhere near the middle east because he comes from a very powerful family of unelected origin. We would no sooner send this freckled imp into a war zone than we would send our OWN sons and daughters. While we are perfectly comfortable sending other families' children into an un-winnable war of dubious origin, when it comes to personal risk of any sort, well....we really don't do that...because we don't have to. In conclusion, it is typically those with few other options who are forced to fight and die. But if the war becomes truly hopeless we are more than eager to let the debacle continue rather than admit any failure. Good day and God bless.

These political bastards might be a little more careful about sending youngsters to war if there was even a 5% chance that their own fighting-age sons and daughters would be forced to serve. How many U.S. Senators (listening, Hillary?) would have voted for the Iraq invasion four years ago if their comfortable children might have been yanked from Dartmouth or Princeton and been asked to serve in Iraq for even a month? It is a sad reality that the very people who decide whether to attack a country are those who have nothing to lose (other than political points). Yes, a few Senators (like Jim Webb, VA) have sons or daughters in Iraq but they all seem to want a quick withdrawal. What a surprise! Personal risk certainly compels folks to think things through.

Prince Harry pretends to be deeply disappointed by his government's decision. But of course he is still free to fight in Iraq. Roughly 40,000 of the combined British and American fighting force is made up of "soldiers of fortune," hired guns not directly affiliated with the military. Harry can simply explain, "This war is critical and I must fight. I am dismissing the long-irrelevant monarchy as well as this prejudicial decision by my government and heading to Iraq in June." This would certainly prove his commitment to fighting. But don't hold your breath.

Our fearless Commander in Chimp constantly reminds Americans that the terrorists will "follow us home" the moment we leave Iraq. Sagely, he explains that we cannot leave until the job is done. He insists that this is a war that must be won. Yet he's never suggested that one of his own daughters might hop off her bar stool and devote a month (not 15 months, like the others!) of her time to fighting the Iraqi insurgency. Bush has never suggested that any influential people sacrifice in order to help win this critical war. Until the "elite" are forced to share a tiny percentage of the "ultimate risk," they will continue to vote on the side of money and power. But...

"The wealthy take up arms only when the impoverished rebel against them." -G. Ehringer

The occupation of Iraq was nothing more than an attempt to make certain Americans more rich and powerful at a time when slack-jawed Americans were eager to support an attack on any country full of light-brown-skinned people. And if we had prevailed (we never will), virtually no one in this country would have the balls to declare, "WE STILL HAD NO RIGHT TO SEND OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO FIGHT AND DIE IN A COUNTRY THAT NEVER THREATENED US!" Cuz' everyone likes a winner.

Those Americans who are against the war (about 200,000,000 of us, all of whom financially support this war) and do absolutely nothing to help end it, are accessories to murder.

In conclusion, I urge each and every one of you to stay well hydrated.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Why So Bitter?


Some citizens have noted that my BLOG entries have been rather bitter and pessimistic of late. It was even suggested that, among other things, I should "lighten up," "get a life," or "shut the fuck up." Interesting notions all, and I shall carefully consider each and every one of them during an unrushed period of introspection and a well-honed dismissal of prayer. I think it's wise, as part of one's personal evolution, to consider any and all suggestions that may come your way. Even if your life is quite happy and your days generally consist of following your heart.

Yesterday, as I was selling comical stickers (which were disrespectful to Republicans) in Times Square, a nice man demanded that I "accept Jesus Christ" as my personal savior. I suppose he could tell by my distaste of certain politicians that I needed Jesus to make me complete. Perhaps I had something to gain by listening. I asked him to give me any proof whatsoever that Jesus Christ (not WMD's) existed and he smiled warmly at me, as though I were a retarded child playing with colorful yarn. He responded, "The Bible is the word of God and proof that Jesus existed" and seemed to consider patting me on the head. I queried, "But where's the proof, any proof, that the Bible is the word of God?" Moving on, the fellow crisply suggested that I "get right with the Lord or burn in Hell." Well that sounds unpleasant so I shall indeed look into this "Jesus tale" and see if this bearded fellow can make me happier. If only I could convince myself that he actually existed (like unicorns and angels). Sadly, I did not get a chance to ask the pedestrian how Jesus could possibly become my personal savior when he already seems to be the savior of millions of Christians worldwide. But I cannot discount the possibility that Jesus will eventually become my non-personal savior and indeed make me happier. After all, happiness is the key, not bitterness.

Another helpful gentleman in Times Square roared, "Go back to the Soviet Union, you communist!" Since I had never traveled to this land to begin with, I found the suggestion confusing. Also baffling was the man's implication that I was capable of traveling back in time fifteen years in order to visit this (now-democratic) land which now goes by another name(s). He also clamored "support the troops, asshole!" patiently teaching me that if one's nation is at war it is our patriotic duty to support said war regardless of reasons for engagement or likelihood of success. If I fully grasp this lesson, will I be a less bitter, more optimistic chap? If I simply accept, at all times, what our elected politicians suggest, will it bring me inner calm? By cracky, now that's worth exploring. More introspection without prayer lies ahead.

But some of my encounters have not been of a conflicted nature. A woman I met (I'll call her "Abbe") was, among others, supportive of my thoughts and I, in turn, enjoyed her wise views very much. Drawn to this free-thinking, dynamic, liberal woman, I was fortunate enough to speak with her again and again over a period of several weeks (with a remarkable "cordless phone"). It was quietly confirmed that our opinions, even the aggressive ones, are perfectly acceptable and "letting them out" can be a rich, rewarding experience. Indeed, such views can even serve to draw people closer and closer together! Yes, here's yet another potential path to happiness I would be wise to continue exploring while carefully avoiding prayer.

So there's plenty to think about. A spiritual retreat is surely in order this month. But where to go? Hmmmm. Seattle, I've heard, is a great place to visit in order to explore personal growth and happiness without prayer. Yes, I shall go to Seattle.

In conclusion, I was again recently reminded that embracing anger actually keeps one from becoming bitter. It has been written that rage and depression are nothing more than "anger turned inward." So true. In fact, if you just speak your mind, wonderful people like "Abbe" (real name "Abbe") may just take an interest in you. And that, that my friends, can make you happy. Even more so than pie. And without prayer.


I feel good,