Thursday, November 12, 2015

SAR #15316

Veterans Day: Thank you for your service. Right. If we really cared about our veterans, 22 of them would not kill themselves every day. Some 27,250 have committed suicide since June 2012. War may be hell, so is living after you've been through it.
The Shouting: All the noise at the GOP debates will be for naught if the economy doesn't tank between now and next November. A strong and rising economy traditionally eases the party in the White House back for another term. It seems likely that the Democratic nominee will inherit a decent if not splendiferous economy from Obama, and prevail at the polls.
Pronouns: Sarah Palin says that the noise over the Starbucks red cups is simply “a leftist plot to make us look ridiculous.” Nope, not even if we were clear on which “us” she was referring to, it does not take a leftist plot to make Sarah and fellow travelers look ridiculous.
Pot/Kettle: Ben Carson says that people are easily tricket into thinking that free college education is a good thing. It is not, he says, and will lead to “the destruction of the nation.” Just like it did in Germany and Finland. Besides, just how did a poor kid from Detroit manage to pay for undergrad at Yale and the med school at UofM? Didn't Dr. Ben get some handouts along the way? Oh, scholarships. A free education was okay for him, but not for your kid?
En Garde: Someone should tell both the Pentagon and DHS that more Americans get killed by dog bites in a year than from terrorist attacks.
Beneficiaries: As suspected, most corporate stock buy-backs are motivated either by CEOs trying to keep their jobs, or CEOs trying to make their bonus salary packages worth more. Few have anything to do with running the company at a profit. Take Macy's. Please. It spent three years and billions of dollars propping up its stock prices in the face of falling sales and evaporating profits. Today its stock is at lows not seen since the buybacks began in 2013. So now they have a dying corporation with a whole lot of debt that went to fattening the CEOs retirement accounts.
Interdependence: By 2017, four of the five voting regional Fed Bank presidents will have previously graduated from Goldman Sacs and will undoubtedly return there once their selfless service to the country ends.
Tomorrowland: Technology boosters and assorted soothsayers claim that the merger of robotics with Artificial Intelligence will end the need for most people to work. The report did not suggest how all these non-workers would buy the products of the machines. Sort of like today, only with flying cars zooming around.
Not Needed: Missouri Republican state senator Kurt Schaefer demands that a study of the effects of the GOP imposed 72-hour waiting period for abortion has on women be ended, because he fears the results would “help Planned Parenthood.”
Porn O'Graph: Life lesson.


McMike said...

re Robots: will they send each other emails calling their clients muppets?

McMike said...

re Vets. There are few areas in our governance these days where the hypocrisy and disconnect between message and action is as stark as with our government's treatment of our veterans. Don't look behind the curtain.

While I personally think the "gratitude" is a little overblown and misdirected; contemporary soldiers chose the service after all, are paid okay, housed, clothed, doctored, fed, and taught some skills, and then leave with a few perks.

As you say, we moved away from celebrating peace to celebrating war, just as we moved away from celebrating laborers in this nation in favor of celebrating a day to buy stuff and get drunk. But maybe I am letting my distaste for the hijacked spectacle steer me away from the underlying human beings.

However, I do think the way we treat soldiers in terms of how blithely we subject them to unnecessary/pointless/contrived combat trauma, and then how we fully we neglect them afterwards ranks among our greatest national sins.

But then again, chewing up and spitting out cannon fodder is what we do. Soldiers are getting it no worse than low-wage workers, really, in the big picture. They just suffer a quick and brutal version, while laborers suffer a longer slower decay of toxins, hard work, depression, etc... all leading to a similarly shorter average lifespan.

Soldiers may have a crappy VA system. But fruit pickers and chicken packers have nothing when they get hurt or "retire." If they are lucky, the site super will dump them on the emergency room steps when they get hurt. (Where the hospital can then refuse to treat them).

The only real difference I see is that no one is thanking fruit pickers for their service.

Seems to me what we owe them all is not gratitude, but an apology. Is that what this one-day-a-year pomp and ceremony is all about, our day of trying to buy off our sins? Seems to me if we used them well and wisely, and reasonably supported them afterwards, we'd not need say or do anything else. But that applies to the whole damn economy, doesn't it?

I don't mean to be trite, but as a non-veteran I was always a little envious of people who at least got to be involved in something that at least pretended to be meaningful.

Jesse said...

I could not stop laughing over your 'porn o'graph' of today. LOL

Thanks, I needed that.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

As a 12-year mercenary in the 60's and 70's, I spent a couple of years in Vietnam and a bunch more in various jaunts around the world. I never felt like a hero and never was one.

And I've never felt like a veteran - whatever that's supposed to be like. And I have neither physical nor mental wounds. Had I, I'd want them compensated, just as we should care for our current crop of professionals.

I see the soldiers of the last decade and more as simply mercenaries,who do what they are told and take their pay. Just as I did. I was sent on a fool's errand and so were they.

And once in a great while I felt I was part of some meaningful enterprise, but only rarely and usually I was mistaken.

George Anderson said...

Today's post runneth over (and the commentary is spot on as well!) The truth is out there if you will only look! Take a bow CK, today's post is 'clip & save!'