The more awful our foreign policy is and the more we inflict terror on populations who don’t want to be democratic – and the more the public votes against such things—the more we as a country spew false love upon veterans and today’s “heroes,” the chumps who sign up to kill or be killed in order to get a college education. Or because they are too aimless to do anything else.
Of course, many young Americans sign up for the military because they feel they want adventure or they want to serve in a job that they see as heroic. But the only reason they see it that way is because civil society paints them as heroes, no matter what their cause or their actions.
You could not turn on the television or go anywhere in public this weekend without being drenched in phony bathos about our “heroes.” Memorial Day was once about dead veterans of the Civil War, then expanded to honor the dead of our good wars, the last one ending in 1945.
In my view, unpopular as it may be, there is nothing inherently heroic about signing up to do a job and then doing it. A lot of people face danger in their jobs, not the least of whom are teachers in urban public schools, traffic cops on pollution-choked city streets or drivers for fly-by-night interstate bus companies.
These soldiers kill for us in a war we all hate but we publicly revere them as gods? We all know why – it is a cheap way of looking patriotic, by honoring the troops but not the war. That is beyond stupid. If we didn’t honor them, if we had no Memorial Days, if we didn’t choke up publicly at every moment, if Marines didn’t lose whole platoons so that they would never leave a fallen comrade behind, then no one would sign up for future ill-begotten wars. We “honor” the troops because of a collective guilt about how Vietnam War veterans were allegedly treated upon their return. Except for the government itself forgetting their medical, emotional and financial needs, they were honored, or at least not dishonored, as is the canard spread by right wingers still fighting the wars of the Sixties.
Stop Him Before He Tortures Again
Which brings us to Cheney, the Dick. All that needs to be said about this sneering sniveling Valdemort is that he ducked service to his country five times. He wants Guantanamo to remain open, even though W. doesn’t.
But I wish someone would explain why Cheney is not there since he is the biggest enemy of our way of life.
When it was known we were torturing people, Cheney denied it , then said if we did it, it was legal and then said if it wasn’t exactly legal it was okay because the president had shysters on his staff say it was. And now he says violations of international law were not only effective but anyone who thinks otherwise is damaging our national security. Yet he also says it only happened three times or so and it was not his administration’s policy. So is he really saying, “Stop me before I torture again?
And if the secret CIA memos really do support the Cheney position that torture worked, how come they haven’t been leaked yet, as was everything else that made the war look good?
Needless to say, with the criminal-in-chief Bush unaccountably silent lately, it is Cheney whose patriotism must be called into question.
Coca Cola Health Plan
And what’s with Bill Clinton, from whom sleaze won’t adhere to the slime? He is a leader in global health and was governor of Arkansas, whose successor administrations instituted a tax on soda pop, in order to help curb the obesity epidemic. But now, the former billboard for junk food is speaking out against a move to apply such taxes in other states. How could that be? Oh, did anyone besides the New York Times mention, just in passing, that the Bill Clinton Foundation receives between $250,000 and $500,000 from Coca Cola?
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With Congress finally cracking down on credit card companies, the usurers will have to find new sources of revenue. And that means instituting fees and shortening the period in which you must pay. And that means a violation of that old Clinton chestnut about governing for “the people who play by the rules” because those of us who make sure never to carry a credit card balance will have to pay for the privilege of paying on time.
Spend a Night at the Museum
I am pretty discerning about movies, and rarely do we venture out beyond the confines of the indie house that features quality films. But despite my general distaste for Ben Stiller (loved his parents, though!) I think Night at the Museum, and its new sequel Night at the Museum: The Battle of the Smithsonian are the funniest and best made movies I have seen in a long time.
It is a PG movie that, like the best satire, appeals to two different audiences at the same time. And the effects are pretty cool, too.