They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...


These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Jan 22, 2010

Question...

I know I may be playing with some emotional and/or moral line here, but I think lines are there to be played with and/or crossed.

In addition, this is not a rhetorical question. I want an answer.

Why is it okay for the news media to show dead Haitian earthquake victims, but not dead soldiers?

Jan 19, 2010

American Loan Sharks...

Changing gears here. I don't know exactly how well this is going to work, but I'm going to give it a try. Because there is something going on that is truly pissing me off.

First and foremost I am an American. I love this country in a way that cannot readily, or easily be explained. I truly wish that the American dream still existed and I do believe that one of the larger reasons that America is in the situation its in can be blamed squarely on the shoulders of one industry. Credit and debt, and the collection thereof.

Now let me tell you that I'm not in any kind of debt trouble, I've got a 725 credit score. Pretty good, but not as good as it could be. I've got a few outstanding debts. Nothing spectacular, but enough to give me pause from time to time. Luckily, my biggest outstanding creditor is dear old mom. And I'm not in any real danger of her waiting for me outside my apartment with a baseball bat.

I've been reading and seeing a lot about this little problem lately. I don't really know what got my guns up about this one, but its happened so here's my take.

Take a look at this first and then I'll throw my thoughts at you. CHECK IT OUT!

I don't have much in the way of hard dates on what has happened, or real hard facts, because most of this is shot directly from the hip which is where I normally write from. So there is no gospel here, but everyone knows this shit is pretty much true.

-Credit card companies lobby the shit out of congress to get the usury laws changed so that they can charge whatever the hell they want.

-They began doing so.

-Wages in this country stagnated.

-People could no longer live a decent life on one income.

-Credit cards became the answer to maintaining their standard of living.

-People fucked up along the way, and slipped behind.

-Fees, interest, penalties, and all the other shit stacked up until people just couldn't do it anymore.

-Debts are sold to collection agency fuckrags and they proceed to destroy the lives of those on their little lists.

Now this little series of events has been repeated a few billion times since this all began. It spread throughout the financial sector and infected the housing market and reared its ugly head in the foreclosure crisis. Americans owe an unprecedented 2.5 trillion dollars.

MOTHERFUCKER I JUST SAID TRILLION!!!!

Who the hell loaned Americans 2.5 trillion dollars?

Wait, how about this...this is what a trillion is.

If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born, and your business lost a million dollars a day, day in and day out, 365 days a year, it would have taken you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars.


And banks, credit card companies and whoever the hell else loans this money out have managed to do that 2 and a half times. (not to mention, Uncle Sam allowed this insanity.)

Sorry folks, someone needs to be shot! Dead in the face.

Brake check, I'll say this. There are a lot of reasons to blame consumers for this. And I feel your pain, because there are a lot of things that people should have realized. Don't spend money you don't have, don't live beyond your means, don't do this, don't do that. I got it. I understand it. Its absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt true. If you borrowed more money than you could reasonably afford to pay back, then you are a dumbass and completely deserving of the situation you are in.

But where in the hell are the bankers on this one? Logic dictates that only a customer with the capacity to repay their debts is a profitable entity to the financial industry.

Well, as in all things involving American banking, Logic has absolutely nothing to do with it. In an MSNBC report for Dateline, some Harvard Law professor said that the credit card issuers have realized that they make more money in higher interest and fees and penalties and all that shit than they do in interest on the original credit line.

I'm just going to take her at her word because I don't want my head to explode trying to figure all this madness out.

Well as per usual somewhere along the line Uncle Sam and his unholy alliance with all things green (money green, not environment green) is responsible for this shit storm.

They changed the usury laws. When? I have no idea. Before I was born, or at least before I could get a credit card. They threw out caps on interest rates and deregulated (or at least let the credit granters write the regulations) the financial industry and lo and behold the entire system went to shit and Americans are losing their homes by the thousands, millions more are drowning in debt, the government itself is sinking into the sand under the weight of its own astronomical debt, and as always who holds the bag?

We do.

The producers. The soldiers, the cops, firemen, plumbers, electricians, security guards, bartenders, writers, teachers, prison guards, factory worker, and every other blue collar job out there that doesn't have a lobbyist firm at their beck and call.

There are a lot of proposed changes to the financial industry that are floating around. Plus we all know about the huge bailouts given to Wall Street. Those are old news. However, I would like someone to figure out just how much of our citizens credit card debt we could've paid off with those bailouts. And here's another question I think I may have thrown out there before. How many mortgages could the federal government have paid off with that bailout money.

You know, why don't we help actual Americans as opposed to helping these fucking companies that created this steaming pile of American bullshit in the first place?

So there are all these changes floating around. Who knows which one they'll pick, and who really cares? In any case, we're going to get fucked with the proverbial red, white and blue (and green) weenie.

Why is it that no one is talking about a simple set of rules that would not fix, but would at least bring some sense of sanity to this industry. Would bring some kind of transparency to this shit. Would just make this whole thing palatable?

Simply cap usury (interest rates) at 15%

Do not allow any more than a $20 fuck up fee. No other fees, no service charges, no maintenance fees. No nothing! They can only add $20 to your bill if you're late.

Everybody gets a 30 day grace period on purchases. No 25 or 21 or whatever bullshit. 30 days from the time of purchase before interest starts accruing.

And that's pretty much it. No company can charge more than 15% in interest on anyone or anything for any reason. Pretty damn simple.

And here's an idea for the banks...

You've got access to credit reports and scores. You can ask people for their pay stubs before you give them money.

MAKE SURE THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY THIS SHIT BACK BEFORE YOU GIVE THEM ANY MONEY!!!!

But as always, mine is a simple solution to what the government and the finance industry would have you believe is a complex problem.

To which I say, Fuck you. You made it that way to benefit your own narrow self interests.

When, oh when will Americans awaken from their slumber and throw their lawmakers out of office and to the wolves (make them work for a living, can't putz along as government bureaucrats anymore.) And put some people in Washington who might have some semblance of a clue...

Will it ever happen?

Later,

I love you Mom...

Jan 18, 2010

Got A Blast From The Past Recently...

So one of my buddies from way back sent me these. We recently got back in touch via Facebook. I used to think Facebook was evil but in this case it worked out famously...

Now he's been reading all the useless drivel that I've written over the past year or so and commenting, then he sent me some military terms. Remember those, remember me giving you all those military terms and my definitions...

He gave me a few more and I thought I would share them with you.

Steves- what we called Afghans after a direct order not to call them "hajjis"

The recoil of your rifle- what you feel after you shoot a Steve.

Oompa-Loompas- are the little brownish/orange people that make the FOB (a.k.a. chocolate factory) run. take out the trash. wash the chow hall, unload conex's, carry rocks from one side of the supply yard to the other and back again... etc.

Staff Infection- Thursday meetings with the commander

Man-Love Thursday- the day before the sabbath when all the dudes walk around holding hands, then go fuck each other because in that bass ackwards culture men are for pleasure and women are for babies... and ritualistic mutilation.

Condoms- when they are thrown from the turret of the HMMWV... are treated like bubble gum... which is hilarious.

Sheep - Afghan for religiously tolerated vagina. *I did tell my gunner to shoot near, but not shoot, an individual participating in what westerners (who don't live in West Virginia or Montana) would consider inappropriate acts with a ruminant...*

CAS - close air support... which is always fucking busy somewhere else when you really... REALLY... need it.

Hajji Night Vision - a full moon

Google Maps- works better than blue force tracker

Bazaar-o's - Hajjis that hock cheap (usually stolen and very poor quality) items at the on-post market on Sundays.

Training manuals/videos - Pornography

KBR- Keeps Bringing Retards (kellogg brown and root)

The Big Four - as in "you got your big 4?" Goldbond... Listerine... Baby Wipes... and Socks.

Attached to SF - means you're bait... bring more ammo and smoke... put the extra components, including the dick flap, on your IBA...

PRT- Provides Resources to the Taliban. (PRT, formerly the provincial reconstruction team)

Jan 16, 2010

Embrace The Suck: Haiti...

So we got alerted last night....

Wait, we got called and asked to volunteer for a mission in Haiti.

Of course I volunteered. Didn't consult anyone, didn't really think about it. The internal conversation that went into this decision went like this.

Haiti? Yeah, Haiti. Well we never been there have we? Nope! Alright, let's go.

And that's it.

Good enough for me.

Then I called the mom.

She was pretty pissed. Her external conversation (directly into my ear) went like this.

You just got home, you got a new place, you got a new car, you just went back to work, everything is going fine, and now you want to leave again. Blah, blah, blah. There's so much disease down there, there's people running around with machetes, there's dead people, there's falling debris, there might be more quakes and on and on and on.

Well excuse the shit out of me. Apparently I have angered the life giver.

Am I going to Haiti? If they let me, fuck yeah I'm going.

All I could really say to her at the time is relax, you're going to be fine. Nothings for sure yet, and yappity yap yap yap.

I don't fare well when it comes to explaining myself on the spot. I do much better when I have time to sit down and think about it.

So here goes. And its pretty simple.

Like Afghanistan, Haiti is one of the more monumental events that's happening now. Its probably going to be one of the more monumental events in my life, and I sure as shit don't want to sit home and watch it on TV. I want to get in there and mix it up. Too many people in my generation are slaves to the internet and TV and their cell phones and all that shit. I mean look at the fact that we are donating to Haiti by text message. Sad sacks of shit can't even muster the energy to write a check and mail it to the Red Cross. The idea of leaving their comfortable suburban lives is so far from their minds that they don't even know its there.

Myself on the other hand...

Anyways,

Later,

I love you Mom...