Sometimes, a topic that I’ve touched on in one of my earlier log entries may need a little elaboration, or I may want to respond in more formal fashion to feedback I get from readers. Whenever I feel it appropriate, I’ll post those types of essays here… Of course… Since SO MUCH effort goes into a good rant… Here you’ll find the oldies but goodies too!
For example, I might include an essay on a controversial subject, like the ethics of capital punishment. Or, I might write a personal essay about growing up or my philosophy of child-rearing.
Writing essays requires a little more work than writing blog posts, but it also gives me a chance to really shape and express my thoughts. My Doc says it’s also good for my blood pressure.
Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!
Posted on October 22nd, 2007 by TheFourEyes
I’ve been watching Ken Burn’s “War” series on PBS for a couple of weeks and a thought struck me like a thunderbolt.
We (the allies) won the Second World War largely due to this one unmistakable fact…
We out manufactured our opponents.
America used its enormous capacity to manufacture pleasure goods and necessities and all the things that made being an American so desirable.
TV’s and radios and razors and rubber ducks… Cars and cables and cans and tires. We had no trouble filling the shelves of Sears and Woolworth’s and Macy’s and every Five and Dime store on every corner of every town in this country and we still had enough capacity to export our surplus all over the world. Our manufacturing capacity was so strong that we barely had use any of our own scrap material. We sold tons of it cheaply to the Japanese thinking how clever we were to be getting rid of the stuff. The Japanese wrote the checks for the stuff and eventually returned it to us by dropping it on our heads at Pearl Harbor.
This little incident served to stir up the carefree and hedonistic giant that was America enough to immediately begin turning it’s fantastical capacity to make or build any and everything that could be used to make life easier and / or more pleasurable… over to the capacity to damage, destroy, kill and generally make miserable the source of it’s irritation. (READ MORE)
Filed under: Rants, Essays May 28, 2007 @ 4:59 pm
36% of Americans believe in the literal-ness of the Bible… This means that over a third of Americans believe that the world and the cosmos was created around 6000 years ago. That Adam & Eve lived with dinosaurs and that evolution and planetary science is fakery. In short… All that is , was and ever will be is strictly and definitively determined by the words in the Holy Bible… Anything else is impossible to believe and is contrary to being an adherent to God… Therefore… If you do not take the “word” literally… You are in error and a potential enemy of the armies of God.
Now… I consider myself a spiritual man and firmly believe that the cosmos that I observe is resultant of some “Higher” … vastly incomprehensible to me… Truth.
But I’m not going to sit still and not comment on the vastness of the vileness that’s being perpetrated upon the American People by what are, in my opinion… The real forces of evil.
The vast majority of people that consider themselves part of the Religious Right are good hearted, spiritual people that are seeking a oneness with the creator. They want nothing more than to live and love in a world where crime, hate, suffering and want are not part of the human condition. Seems to me that that aproximates the concept of the Heaven that we’re constantly being told that we can’t have until we either die or the “end times” come to pass. (MORE)
So I take the three kids to Wal Mart yesterday… #2 Son …who’s 12… The 9 year old daughter… And Auntie… She’s 80.
The minute we got into the van… They started arguing over who’s going to sit where. Now… Auntie’s got her fav seat and the kids will grab it just to get her started. Five full minutes of “MOVE!!” … “No, YOU MOVE!!” … “That’s MY seat!!” … “Tell her / him to MOVE!!!” … “STOP!!” … “MINE!!!” … “Cut it OUT!!” more than got on my nerves… I was ready to throw them all out. I didn’t
Any way… Got them settled in and got on the road… Then the touching started. Auntie yelled louder than either of the young’uns. As soon as one of the little ones would yell “STOP TOUCHING ME!!” Auntie yells “STOP TOUCHING HIM / HER!!!”… As we crossed the bridge over the interstate… Guess what I was thinking?
So… We make it to Wal Mart with no major injuries and I don’t wreck the van… (Now… In case you’re thinking that I was a passive bystander… I wasn’t… There were the usual threats and admonitions to “sit still”… “Be quiet”… “Don’t make me come back there!”… All the routine stuff… But how do you work in a threat of a time out to an 80 year old?… Respect for the elders and all being taken into the equation.) … Soooo… we’re now in the parking lot… And all three of them make a mad dash to grab a cart… Which promptly devolves into an argument of who’s gonna push the cart… All aimed at me. (continued)
Who’s to say what set off the young fellow at Virginia Tech last week. But one thing’s for sure in my humble opinion. We’re going to see more of it.
Thousands and thousands of our troops are headed home from the
We’ve got men and women living in extreme high stress… life and death scenarios on a daily basis for extended periods… With many of them being there against their will by virtue of Stop Gap Orders and Forced Rotations… Ask many a psychologist or psychiatrist and you’d find that this is fertile ground for psychoses of many kinds. Stories are now beginning to come to light of family problems caused by extended tours and the divorce rate is rising among our troops. Add to this the financial stresses of being away from higher paying jobs that a lot of our National Guard troops are facing… And we’re facing a real mess.
The mental health support capabilities of our V.A. system is just as raggedy as the shortfalls seen at Walter Reed for the physically injured… And the mental health facilities and personnel are a much, much smaller part of the V.A.’s budget! I hate to be posting some long mournful jeremiad lamenting the horrors that await us upon the return of our much beloved troops… But… If we wish to show our support of them… It’s up to us here at home to raise our voices to the dough-heads in the Administration and Congress to make haste in preparing the way for them to come home. As usual… The idiots are posturing and speechifying and pestering to “Bring Em Home!!!” But are any of them talking serious or introducing legislation to get the V.A. up to speed to handle the tidal wave of vets who are going to need counseling at the very least? … In a word… NOPE.
So far… I haven’t even mentioned the potential mental state of a lot of the wounded… We’re talking folks that have survived injuries that would have killed them in previous conflicts… Injuries so terrible that in some cases it may have been better to let some of them die when the psychological and medical expenses become clearer. Imagine the mental state of a formerly vital and athletic young man or woman who is released from hospital with literally half a body? Call me a pessimist… But I see a potential explosion and massacre in an Arab American enclave somewhere in
Folks… We’re gonna see an even more terrifying specter if we don’t get moving on this… Women committing acts of violence unheard of since Ma Barker and Bonnie Parker. But this will be much, much worse… Ma and Bonnie were simple thieves. Our women soldiers are combat trained and baptized by fire. The first time one of these ladies goes off and it takes a SWAT team to take her down… The media is going to go crazy. But it’ll be too late then. The tide will be coming in.
Even with our best efforts… These things will happen… Sometimes… Too many soldiers… Too much stress… Too little time… Too much apathy. But… We CAN move to minimize these incidents… And we’d better get Moving… And Calling… And Writing…
posted by TheFourEyes -
I guess that so many people were so called stunned with the stupid Imus thing that no one seems to have noticed nor mentioned the fact all races creeds and colors have their own proprietary words.
Don’s big mistake wasn’t so much WHAT he said as the context in which he used it! The simple minded wretch made the mistake of thinking he could speak a language in which he wasn’t fluent. To wit: Not even your coarsest and ignorant rapper would be caught dead calling those particular women “Hoes”… of any kind. Period.
When you see a rap video with rump shakin, pole dancing, half nekkid females letting guys swipe ATM cards between their butt cheeks… Guess What?… You’re seeing Hoes! And in that context… They are in fact, being referred to correctly.
Now… calling any… and I mean ANY respectable female a hoe is pretty near in the same violational factor as calling that same female a bitch. You’re going to get pretty near the same slap and cuss either way. Everybody knows what a hoe is …same as everybody knows the context of calling a woman a bitch. And we all know that hoes and bitches come in all races, creeds and colors… And we all know at least one of each.
Imus made his thing racial by adding “nappy headed” to the descriptive. Oops! There you go!.. Don… you don’t gots no nappy head. You don’t gets to comment on nappy heads. Not in public anyway. Same thing as you don’t refer to Wops, Guineas and Dagos informally unless your last name happens to be Corleone or Soprano or Cuomo or something that would be recognized as simpatico by someone with such a last name. Capisce?
You don’t ordinarily hear people of color going on about redneck peccadilloes even though Jeff Foxworthy has done a hell of a job trying to make it a mainstream term. It’s a term that white folks can bandy about with nary a second thought, but might be cause for some uncomfortable pauses in the conversation if… say… a man or woman from Harlem or South Central L.A. should break out with… “So there’s these two rednecks…”
Much has been made of black folks using the “N” word amongst themselves rather freely… Well… And this is just my opinion… But I would argue that it’s their word to co opt as they will. Granted …It was forced upon them… But irregardless… if the word is said… the picture that pops into one’s mind is pretty predictable. I say that black folks have earned the right to use that word in any way they damn well please amongst themselves.
As much as the PC crowd needs to have us all live in a color or race blind society… The truth is… That as long as there are cultural differences… There will always be words that are proprietary to a particular culture and we would all do well to just mind our manners.
Posted by thefoureyes
- posted 4/6/2007 -10:13 pm pdt | link
An Expurgating Essay
My son moved out two days ago. It wasn’t pretty. I’m torn between pride that he’s showing independence… Fear for his safety and anger at the way it all went down.
What does it mean when a young person feels that irresistible urge to strike out on their own? When are they old and mature enough to handle it? How much different is it now than when I left home?
I was just under 19 when I got my first apartment… All by myself… Lights…Gas… Rent…a car (such as it was)…insurance… The works. I’d left home in July of my graduating year… which means I was 17. I moved into my girlfriend’s parents basement for a year. But I’d been working since I was in 8th grade… Dishwasher & Short Order Cook.
I’ve been blogging for 20 days now… I haven’t missed a day… I’m amazed at how much of a time eater this is!
It’s not that there isn’t enough to post… Heavens no! There’s tons and tons of great content out there to be mined and shared… And lord knows there’s enough miscellaneous miscellany to rant and rave about… And I certainly do enjoy this… this thing of ours… I do consider this little blog a great sharing…So it’s ours …OK?
Anyway… Back to the thought at hand… I am particularly enamored of two specific blogs that inspired me to get this one off of the ground… The problem is… Both Corkscrew-Balloon and Goodshit are run by retired guys with time to burn. I think that’s where my enthusiasm got the best of me.(continued)
What Will We Do? - posted 3/18/2007- 2:03pm
Anybody old enough to remember some of the issues that cropped up with the veterans returning from the War in Vietnam should be concerned as to what is in store for the nation and the veterans when there is a large scale return from Iraq.
The situation with Vietnam vets suffering from PTSD was bad enough… But those folks were mostly triggered by jungle warfare remembrances… Our Iraq vets will be in for triggering by every day city occurances. Some of us will suffer as a consequence.
Not only are we looking at 20,000 wounded vets… But 10,000 of them were wounded badly enough to leave them severely handicapped. In fact… Most of that group would not have would not have survived their injuries in former conflicts. This is going to require a level of counseling care that quite frankly… does not exist in sufficient quantity to handle those kinds and quantities of serious issues. And here we’re just talking about the injured… Men and women that have lost limbs and faculties that will cause them great stress when trying to adapt back into civilian life… The trauma that will have to be dealt with by themselves and their families and caregivers would be tremendously difficult to deal with even under the best of circumstances. What to do about thousand and thousands of people that will fall through the cracks and are trained in intensive urban warfare? – (continued)
Mr. William H. Gates III
Redmond, WA, USA
My Dear Mr. Gates;
In light of recent actions and statements on your part… It is my considered opinion that your grasp on reality has been adversely affected by the simple fact that you sir … Have too much money. At your level of wealth… You have absolutely no concept of the effects that your decisions … nay … your very whims can have on the vast majority of your fellow humans. You seem to have lost sight of the fact that less than 1000 of the 6,500,000,000 people on this planet have even the same designation as you. And of that 1000… Only 3… That is THREE… can even look at the world from your perspective.
Do you honestly think that you are even remotely capable of perceiving the world as it really is with even the vaguest, remotely relative conceptualization as your fellow humans? Do you honestly believe that your retainers and lackeys dare to tell you anything other than what you wish to hear? (Continued)
I can’t live without my TV directory… I use the one that comes with the Sunday paper, not TV Guide… But I can’t live without it. If it’s lost …I’m lost. I find it helps give structure to my poor mixed up life. I don’t watch a lot of TV… But I want to watch what I like and apparently I’m too stupid to take advantage of the wonders of streaming video. I know… I know… online guides.. The directory channel… etc…. But I don’t want to log in or wait for the stupid scroll to get to where I want it… I want my tv schedule NOW dammit!
Every time they thaw out the Frankenstein Monster we call Ann Coulter… I get antsy. Why? Because it usually means that something big and nasty is going on that we peons aren’t supposed to notice.
I’ve been around the world several times and there is one constant that keeps popping up. People are the same! There are schmucks and dough-heads everywhere you go, to be sure… But by the same token… There are wonderful people…. Everywhere! It’s amazing how we get pounded over the head with how dangerous and evil people are. Now, Let there be no doubt… Those nasty folks are out there… But on a relative basis… The vast , vast majority of humans wish to live and let live. Yet… lately… we live as though there’s a Hannibal the Cannibal behind every outstretched hand. If this were true… The majority of our children would never reach adulthood. And most adults would never survive into their 30′s…