Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Custer's Last Stand... But Unfortunately, Not FOX's.

OK. I’ve been trying to tone it down a little bit. After all, I have friends that are conservative and they likely don’t appreciate it when I go off on the right. Now, in my defense, remember it’s the radical right I really take issue with. Well, I also take issue with the GOP’s mastery of manipulating those on the right that are, well, shall we say, hmmmm…. I’m trying to find the right term here… can I put this….. I want to be delicate…. FUCKING MORONS!!!

Sorry, I’m really pissed off. I just read an article about FOX “News” (and it’s not really news… it’s total, unadulterated bull shit that thrives based on a market of idiots that believe the lying hateful crap that emanates from that piece of shit station… is that delicate enough?). You may be aware that Mr. Obama has recently published a children’s book. It’s entitled “Of Thee I Sing, A Letter To My Daughters”. He speaks of 13 Americans “whose traits he sees in his own children”. It’s a picture book and it begins with the sentence “Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?” The proceeds from this book will go to the families of fallen and disabled veterans.

Now, I apparently share two traits with the POTUS (I likely share more but for now we’ll just consider two). I have two children who I love completely. To me, they too are wonderful. I also think we don’t take good enough care of our disabled vets and the families of those we have lost in action. In many cases these families not only lose a loving father, brother, sister, son, daughter, etc., but the primary bread winner of the family affected. The impact could last years. So as I see it, this children’s book (and it is, very much, just a children’s book, not political satire, or a political statement of any kind.) is a good thing. It’s a very nice, considerate, loving thing. It’s a lovely message and the proceeds will be given to a very worthy cause. Who could take issue with it? Why those lying, hateful, shit suckers over at FOX “News” that’s who.

FOX ran a headline that says “Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General”. FOX “News” is up in arms because one of the 13 Americans Mr. Obama cites in his children’s book is Sitting Bull, the now infamous Lakota holy man who FOX “News” would have you believe led his crazed savages in their blood thirsty quest to kill “General” Custer. Are you with me so far? Good.

Now I’m going to take a chance here. Maybe I should keep my opinion to myself but I just can’t stand it anymore. So here goes. If you buy into the shit storm that is FOX News, then you too are unfortunately a FUCKING MORON. There, I said it. I have completely reached my breaking point. I hope I don’t lose any friends over it. What I do hope is that this blog will open some people’s eyes. Listen, if you want to be a conservative, then be a conservative. Do your research. Get your facts straight. Then draw your conclusions. If you are conservative based on REALITY then more power to you. But, if you are getting your facts from FOX, then I’m afraid you are a FUCKING MORON. They rarely disseminate facts. What they toss out to the masses is vitriolic hyperbole, misleading propaganda, and outright lies. This story on Obama’s children’s book is a perfect example. Where should I begin?

I love the Sioux. I’ve read extensively on them and they were a proud honest people. They treated with the U.S. in good faith and got screwed EVERY time. They loved their families. Now we can sit here and argue manifest destiny, progress, the greater good, etc. That’s not my point (although I’d be glad to discuss that too, but for now, let’s stick to FOX “News” and why they suck.

First of all, Custer was not a General. He was a Lieutenant Colonel. During the Civil War he had been given a field commission to the rank of General but after the war he was made a Captain. At some point he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. So, FOX got that wrong. Right off the bat they’re full of shit.

Next, Sitting Bull was not a “chief” when the battle occurred. He was a respected holy man but not a chief. He did lead a band into Canada in an attempt to hold on to the old way of life but it didn’t work out. He wound up surrendering and living out the rest of his days on a reservation. Well, he got to tour with Buffalo Bill too. Anyway, by this point he was considered a “chief” but not at the time of the Custer Battle. In fact, he considered himself to be chief of all the Lakota and was recognized as such by the U.S. Government. He was not recognized by all the Sioux as such though. But that’s another story. Oh, and he was murdered. It was done by one of his own people, a tribal policeman, but the general consensus is that the U.S. sanctioned it. They had come to arrest him. Couldn’t continue to have any native people around who were looked up to and respected. Get rid of them and any “threat” of an “uprising” was all but eliminated. Crazy Horse was murdered too. But I’m drifting from the point.

So, at the time of the Little Bighorn, Sitting bull was not a chief. There’s actually an interesting story of him having a vision of many soldiers falling into the camp prior to the Custer Fuck (get it… cluster… Custer… a clever play on words….). During the battle he stayed in his teepee praying and doing what he could, in an esoteric kind of way, from there. There were multiple leaders on the field of battle, the most prominent of which was likely Crazy Horse. Others included Roman Nose (that’s not a joke… I’ve tried to find out how he got that name in the past with no success. Obviously had to be connected to something “whitey” did as I seriously doubt any Native Americans had knowledge of the Romans!), American Horse, Gall, Rain In The Face, Kicking Bear, "everyone who was anyone" wanted in on the action (it’s been awhile since I looked at this stuff). It is indisputable however that Sitting Bull did NOT take part in the battle or in any way plan or direct it.

Next up is the reality that Custer was an asshole. He was not liked by his troops. He graduated dead last in his class from West Point. He had one of, if not THE highest casualty rates among his troops during the Civil War. He was an egomaniac. And he constantly disregarded advice and even orders. At one point in his career (post Civil War) he was even suspended without pay for almost a year. He absolutely loved the concept of leading his troops in a charge to glorious victory. But, Custer was under orders to NOT engage the enemy at Little Big Horn. Custer was on a scouting mission. He was advised by his Crow scouts to not engage the enemy. They recognized immediately that there were far too many of them. The Sioux and Cheyenne that were camped there knew of Custer’s close proximity but weren’t concerned. If I remember correctly he had less than 400 troops. No one knows for sure how many able bodied warriors were there but estimates range into the thousands based on the size of the camp. Some think it was the largest summer gathering ever. The natives never imagined Custer would be stupid enough to fuck with them.

So, the Sioux and Cheyenne were not the aggressors. Custer attacked them. They were minding their own business. And not only was he stupid enough to attack, but he split his command. He sent …hmmm…. Reno I think was the guys name, probably a Captain, to attack the southern end of the encampment. He then took the remaining men and swung around to attack from the north. It’s theorized he knew how badly he had fucked up when he realized how far away the northern end was! He sent a command to attack in the middle too but they were quickly turned back and rejoined Custer. I think he also left some of his troops behind (Benteen?) or perhaps they were slower coming up because of wagons and equipment. Lucky them… they were late!

Reno ( I checked… it was Reno) knew right away he didn’t stand a chance and retreated to some trees where he held off further advances at least in part because by the time the warriors got back to him they realized there would likely be hell to pay so they packed up and got out of there. Benteen also had joined up with Reno. Taking them out wasn’t worth it. They were no longer a threat.

So, the death of Custer and the other cavalry soldiers at Little Big Horn were a direct result of the actions of Custer, not Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull did not kill Custer. No one knows for sure who did kill Custer. The natives didn’t even know it was Custer until it was over. They always identified him by his hair (I think they called him Yellow Hair) and he had gotten it cut. He never got to the northern end of the encampment. It wouldn’t have mattered. He directed his men to some high ground where they likely freaked out completely when hit with the full realization of how many Sioux and Cheyenne they had attacked. Hell, maybe one of THEM killed Custer.

So, much like the assholes of the 1800’s who fanned the flames of rage by putting it on the Indians, FOX is misleading and lying so they can turn Obama’s book into a club and beat him on the head with it. By the way, if you haven’t visited the battlefield I highly recommend it. They do an excellent job of describing the battle and you can walk trails to the various points where certain actions were carried out. You can not tread on the hill where Custer bought the farm. He’s not buried there but some are I believe. It's fenced. There are markers everywhere that indicate where soldiers fell. Now, markers have started to pop up that show where Sioux and Cheyenne warriors fell. It was a battle, not a massacre. And Custer started it. FOX, because they are the biggest assholes on TV are again distorting reality to discredit what should be respected as an honest attempt for a father to send a loving message to not only his daughters, but children everywhere. Fuck you FOX. You’re douche bags.

I’ve proofed this a couple of times and believe it or not, toned in down a bit! It dawned on me that not everyone who believes the crap that comes out of FOX is a fucking moron. I think there are those that believe it because it is what they want to hear. They are so opinionated or full of hate for the left that they desperately want what they hear on FOX to be true. I suppose they pretend that it is. So I guess there are two classifications of "believers". Fucking morons and closed minded assholes. I’m not sure which is worse.


Common Sense

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fred Rogers WILL Hurt You...

Hello again. I don’t know exactly what to talk about today but I’m feeling pressure to write so let’s see what happens.

I guess the hot topic would be the election. Wow, what a serious ass kicking. And it’s so incredibly sad because things were starting to get a little better. But we’ve been down this road before and I’m somewhat deflated on the subject so let’s just say that the Republicans own the house and will unless (until?) they show us they don’t know what to do with it. Then we can only hope the tide rolls the other way. Later on I’ll cite yet another reason why. But first….

I received an email recently about a Lee Marvin appearance on The Tonight Show back when Carson was king. In the email, it says that Johnny questioned Lee on his heroism and subsequent wounding during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Lee did his humble, mumbly, bumbly, thing (those of you old enough to remember him know what I’m talking about) and briefly commented on getting wounded in the posterior (ass for those of us less genteel). He then went on to highly praise someone he truly deemed to be a hero. He spoke of this guy facing fire and encouraging his troops and on, and on, and on. Then he says this hero is none other than Bob Keeshan. You know Bob. Yes you do. You know him as Captain Kangaroo.

So, it’s a lovely email that tells a lovely story of two war heroes. I’m sure you can find it if you Google mumbly, bumbly. OK, maybe that won’t work but you will likely get a hit if you Google Marvin and Keeshan. You will also get hits on Snopes and Snopes like sites that explain the story is false. Not completely mind you… but mostly. Lee Marvin did serve in the Pacific and was in fact wounded in the derriere (again, that’s ass for you and me). He did not take part in the invasion of Iwo though. He landed on Saipan.

The other fallacy is that he never met or observed Captain Kangaroo (who I’m guessing was Private Kangaroo at the time) in combat. In fact, the good captain enlisted too late to see action. Shortly after he enlisted we dropped the bomb… then did it again for good measure…. And the war was over.

Now, I don’t have a problem with the story per se. I mean no one is claiming that Lee and the Captain were raging child molesters. Nobody accused them of heinous crimes against humanity. Nobody said they were traitors or served less than honorably. It’s really all quite positive. BUT, why the fuck do people make this stuff up? Is there somebody out there who just has a huge “man crush” on one or both of these guys and felt the need to enlarge their legacies? Were they not quite good enough in someone’s eyes and therefore in need of some polishing? Are there people out there that wake up and say “Hmmmmm… I think I’ll make up a story about Lee Marvin and that Kangaroo fellow today”.

Hang on, it gets better. After the Lee/Private Kangaroo story, the “author” (unpublished I’m guessing) goes on to tell us a little bit about Mr. Rogers. Yes that Mr. Rogers. Apparently Gentle Fred was actually a blood thirsty former Nave Seal who served in Viet Nam and had 25 confirmed kills to his name! That’s right… don’t fuck around in “the neighborhood” or you’ll wind up bleeding out in a dumpster. The long sleeved shirts and cardigans were used to cover the many tattoos the psycho had amassed over the years. I can see it now. The director yells “that’s a wrap” and Fred immediately tears off his shirt and sweater, flexes his mighty pectorals and biceps, and sticks a Ka-Bar into a squealing live pig while screaming “I’m killing you ya fucking pig! I’m killing you slow, right here on the stage in front of all these freaked out kids! And what the fuck are you kids staring at? You wanna be next? Yeah baby! When I’m done here I think I’ll go kill something else!” Thanks Fred but I think I’ll pass on the “Won’t you be my neighbor” invite.

What? Huh? That’s not true either? No tattoos? No military service? No KILLS? Well why the hell would somebody make that shit up! What gives with these assholes? What do they expect to gain? Are they just completely fucking nuts? I think that’s likely it. They’re nuts. And speaking of nuts….

Have you heard about Illinois Representative John Shimkus? He’s a Republican who is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (remember, I promised “more on that later" concerning why we want the Democrats to take back the House). According to Mr. Shimkus we have nothing to fear from global warming or climate change of any kind. Why? Because it says in the Bible that God promised Noah that he would never again destroy the world. He just wanted this one shot at a flood of epic proportions and then that would be it. What else has Shimkus said? Well, he’s indicated that seeing people in his home state ice fishing is PROOF that global warming is a hoax. He’s also said that we exhale CO2 and wants to know if that should be made illegal (OK, he’s kidding… but the joke conveys his brilliant analysis on the effects of CO2).

Listen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and likely again, and again, and again). I have absolutely NO problem with an individual’s religious beliefs. What I have a problem with is when those beliefs start to close in on my personal space! I do not want this guy making decisions that affect me. I mean let’s look closely at what this dim wit is saying. Basically what he is saying is that we can all go ahead and launch our nukes… all of them…. How many thousands are out there now? I don’t even know but I bet it’s a shit load. So let’s all launch because God promised Noah it would be cool. Either they won’t detonate, or the cumulative affect will be negligible.

I think it’s possible for a biblical scholar to pretty much argue ANY position by quoting the bible. For example, Shimkus says God won’t allow the destruction of the world because he promised Noah. But wait a minute! Aren’t there other passages in the Bible that say naughty behavior will make God angry enough to take us out? Doesn’t he threaten to smite us? Doesn’t smite mean kick ass? And if Shimkus argues God will protect us, can’t it also be argued that God helps those that help themselves. How about the nutcases that quote scripture in defense of their hatred of gays and lesbians? Doesn’t it say in the Bible that God loves everyone? I don’t think it says God loves everyone, except the people God doesn’t love. If it does, could someone point me in that direction?

I think a lot of people like to quote that bracelet that says WWJD? Just in case one of you have been in a cave for the last 40 years it stands for What would Jesus do. Anyway, they like to quote it while walking around doing stuff that Jesus wouldn’t do! But this does illustrate just how important the separation of Church and State really is. If we’re not careful we might wind up with too much representation like John Shimkus and boy oh boy will we ever be fucked then!

Common Sense

Monday, November 1, 2010

God's Will? Uh, I Don't Think So.....

OK, time to tear apart Christine O’Donnell and by association, those that support her. First of all, it’s the Sarah Palin syndrome all over again. What ever happened to intellect? How can these people keep getting nominated and elected? I have a conservative friend who says it’s because these people are not your typical politicians and America yearns for a “breath of fresh air”. OK, that’s fine. But is Christine O’Donnell the best they can come up with? Do people really think Sarah Palin is qualified to run the country? How the fuck does Michelle Bachman get elected? Another conservative friend of mine who is obviously pretty bright said he thinks his 9 year old niece is a breath of fresh air but he also recognizes she’s not qualified to run the government (as I’ve said, there are a lot of intelligent conservatives out there… unfortunately they also have a larger share of the morons).

So, recently Christine O’donnell stated that God is the reason she’s running. She believes God wants her to be his representative on Capital Hill. She further stated that she experienced a spike in the polls immediately following a prayer meeting that focused on her success bolstering her personal belief in the power of prayer.

Now, before anybody starts beating me on the head with an atheist stick let me state for the record that I do believe in something. What I don’t believe in is my ability to define or characterize exactly what that something is. Catholics believe they are right. Protestants believe they are right. Jews believe they are right. Muslims believe they are right. On and on. How arrogant are we? How can we, as human beings, feel qualified to define God, especially in the face of so many different and conflicting views on who and what God is? And it’s not just that. How truly arrogant of us to insist we are right and all others wrong.

We’ve all watched westerns where “Cowboys and Indians” reference “The Great Spirit”. Actually a truly accurate translation of that concept would be “Great Mystery”. And no, I’m not native. But I’ve read extensively on the subject. Isn’t that characterization far more humble than the specific definitions assigned by our current crop of “organized” religions? It screams “yes, there is something out there but we are not fully capable of understanding it and it would be incredibly presumptuous for us to try”. Would you want someone who didn’t know you to suddenly start defining exactly who you were and what you stood for? I wouldn’t. Yet for some reason a lot of people believe it’s OK to do that to someone or something that in theory is omnipotent!

As you have probably figured out by now I have problems with organized religion. Please do not confuse that with religious people. I do not necessarily have a problem with them (unless they are trying to ram their beliefs down my throat). In fact, one of the great things about this country is that we can believe or disbelieve whatever we want to. I know incredibly nice, intelligent, gifted, people who are quite religious. I like them all. I also know some pretty incredible atheists. And some amazing agnostics. And that is exactly why it is so imperative that we respect the separation of church and state. And that is why Christine O’Donnell should not be making statements that involve God in our political structure.

Think about it this way. How will she explain it if she loses the election? Will that too be God’s doing? If so, he must be quite the jokester eh? “Hey Christine… run for the Senate! It’s my will! Guffaw, guffaw, look son (note clever reference to Jesus), she fell for it! Won’t it be a hoot when she loses?” And if she wins, just how bad will that be for our country? This woman sat in debate recently almost insisting that separation of church and state was not a constitutional issue. Supporters insist she was right because the words separation of church and state do not appear in the Constitution. Intelligent people can’t believe she was stupid enough to argue that in a public forum when those of us who are not so caught up in the “rapture” and can still think straight recognize that separation of church and state is used to define the Supreme Court’s interpretation of one aspect of the First Amendment.

Here is the text of that amendment…. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Stating that separation of church and state is not covered in the constitution is identical to stating that nowhere in the constitution does it state that it’s legal to build a church. It says that congress can not make any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion. It does not say that a state can’t illegalize the construction of churches. Show me where it says you are allowed to build a church! It says you can exercise your religion but it does NOT say you are allowed to have a place dedicated to doing so.

This woman is one of those idiots I spoke of in my last blog and she has risen to national prominence through the will of other idiots, not God. If God was involved with this he would have chosen someone far more intelligent. I don’t think God wants to see any further degradation of what is already arguably a stalled and ineffectual system. If you want to see what a real shit storm looks like just wait until after tomorrow. If the projections are right and the Republicans do as well as they are supposed to do we’re all fucked.

What’s interesting is that America embraces advancement in so many things. We want more bells and whistles on our cars. We want medical breakthroughs that save and extend lives. We love our computers and smart phones. Fifty years ago not everyone had a TV and they were black and white. Now everyone has a TV and they are rapidly becoming mostly HD capable flat screens. Our appliances have become technological marvels. You can heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave within minutes when it used to take an hour in a conventional oven. But when it comes to politics and running the government we allow the propaganda machine to inhibit progress. We, as a country, are on the brink of taking a giant step backward. You will never convince me this is a good thing. There’s an expression in business that says “if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward”. Someone tell me why in God’s name (pun intended) we would want to completely ignore the gains made since THE MORON’s reign ended and take that giant step backward. It doesn’t make any sense. But right now, it appears the idiots are getting their way and we will be facing more doom and gloom. How do we know they are idiots? Because they don’t RECOGNIZE the gains we have made.

People… wake up. Please get out there and vote for Democrats, or at the very least, moderate Republicans (if there are any of those left). I don’t want to see what’s left of my retirement slide back into the toilet and neither do you. If we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backward.

Common Sense