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

Nov 4, 2013

It's Nobody's Fault But Your Own, Richie...

So by now I'm sure everyone has heard about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin nonsense in the NFL.

I couldn't pass this one up. It's completely ridiculous and Richie Incognito has only himself to blame for all this dumb shit.

Some call it bullying, some call it harassment, some call it threatening. I call it the epitome of stupid.

Incognito makes $3.3 million dollars per year to play football.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that his brain has been turned to soup by a few decades of smashing in to other 300 lb men. So that's not something he should be giving up, and a "high ranking source" said he will never play another game in Miami.

Now I don't care if Richie Incognito is a racist or if he's a bully, or if he's a fascist anarchist for that matter. I don't give a flying shit one way or the other.

What this is, is a teachable moment for the world we live in today.

People are sensitive and people will not stand up to their adversaries and those people will run to the powers that be (in this case the Dolphins and the NFL) to get their problems handled.

I can't quite understand how two NFL linemen could bully one another. These are two men who have spent their entire lives in violent situations. I can't really understand how one of them could have any real fear of the other, but what the hell do I know, I wasn't there.

However, whether your Richie Incognito or anyone else for that matter. Stop opening yourself up to all this nonsense by sending tweets, and text messages and leaving voice mails for the people who would do you harm.

I'm not condoning Incognito or Martin. Their football players. Who really cares if they didn't get along? I don't. But this is a moment to show all of you kids out there that every word you say, every letter you type, and (ask Riley Cooper) every move you make is all being recorded.

Choose your words carefully. And if you want to threaten or bully someone, you're going to need to make sure that its your word against theirs, because once they get you on tape or recorded some kind a way, you're done.

You lose your ridiculous salary. You are turned in to a laughingstock in the media. Your target becomes a martyr. So basically, your entire plan blew right up in your face because you couldn't resist the urge to call someone dirty names on their voicemail.

Someone gave me some advice a long time ago, and you all (especially you Richie) should heed it.

Everyone walks around with a gun. It's up to you whether or not you give them the bullets to shoot you with.

Richie Incognito handed Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins, and the NFL a magazine full of bullets to ventilate him with, and they're going to do it. I'd be surprised if he plays another down in the NFL, and if he does it'll be for league minimum.

All that over a few text messages and a couple voicemails. Just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Oct 24, 2013

16 Pot Plants And A Pissed Off Ex Got This Guy Killed...

So first things first, the disclaimers. I'm the son of a police officer. I was a military police soldier in the US Army and I currently work in corrections as a zoo keeper.

Those things being said, my sympathy for law enforcement should go without saying. I think they should have every tool constitutionally available to them, and taxpayers should pay for it. I think they should be paid well. I personally think that their pensions are completely out of control, but that's just me. (C'mon, nobody deserves 90% of their pay at 25 or 30 years, NO ONE.)

Now, here's what got my engine running for this post.

There was a drug raid. The cops busted into this dude's house. Between him and the cops somewhere between 130 and 250 bullets were fired.

One cop got killed.

Five cops got wounded.

And Matthew Stewart (the suspect) died as well. He killed himself. The media calls him Matthew David Stewart which to me is just their way of equating him with a serial killer. I swear you only get a middle name if you've killed at least two people.

It's kind of ridiculous that all that blood had to be shed over a few marijuana plants and a pissed off ex-girlfriend.

Not a whole lot of this convoluted story is particularly clear. What is clear is that these cops decided that the best way to blow this whole case wide open was to raid this guy's house, with guns drawn.

Now I'll tell you one thing for absolute fucking certain. If you know a guy is an former Army paratrooper. I would think twice about how you are going to go about arresting him. You walk into the home of a combat veteran (not sure if this guy was or not) and you pull out a gun, I would certainly expect a swift and violent response.

Just saying.

But that's what they did. They could've waited for him to go to the Redbox. They could've got him when he stepped out to go to BK. They could've grabbed him when he came out to get the newspaper. Or any of the million other random reasons I'm sure this guy came out of his house for every day.

Sometimes I wonder. Because throughout my entire life working in the military as a combat soldier or in a police capacity the one thing that was always right in the front of my head at any given moment was the safety of my soldiers and my safety.

I remember a time when violence and battle appealed to me. It was right before I encountered my first truly violent experience.

I don't know what kind of people are becoming cops nowadays but it seems (I could be wrong) that they are more and more militaristic and they are looking at the public with more and more of a military friendly vs. enemy frame of mind. They all wear bullet proof body armor, which in Chicago I can understand but the suburban and the rural guys are doing it too. They've all got M-4's which sorry folks is a military assault rifle designed to...get this...assault people. It is a weapon of death. That's all its for. Killing people.

Whatever your opinion of this case is, its not really the point. The point is that no cogent argument can be made that this guy posed any threat to society other than to buy the 7-11's out of peanut butter cups. He was a pot head, and he pissed off his ex-girlfriend.

Instead of choosing a low risk method of arrest, the police chose to bulldoze their way into his house. I'm sorry but you break down somebody's door waving guns around you had better be ready for some action Jack!

It's a tragedy that 16 pot plants and a vindictive ex caused all this bloodshed.

And why didn't the police at least do their due diligence and check all this shit out ahead of time?

This is the kind of thing that soldiers do. In foreign lands. In defense of this nation.

This is not the kind of thing that cops should be doing in fucking Utah...

Will there be times when cops would need to do things like this? Absolutely. However, it should be extremely rare and it should be done by the specially trained units that every police department including Mayberry seems to have nowadays.

It should obviously not be done by The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force.

With a name like that, could you expect anything less?

Oct 16, 2013

We've Got a Deal...

Thankfully, it only took a damn near apocalyptic event to motivate congress to get its collective shit together and pass a bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling for...a couple months.

Good call Congress. Everyone have a beer and start talking about how your side won.

You're still a bunch of ineffectual squabbling children not worthy of the air and food it takes to keep you alive, much less the huge salaries you are paid from constitutionally protected funds.

I've never been able to figure out why you can be such a bunch of idiots. The only thing I've been able to come up with is the fact that you don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

We all live in a world where bills actually come due. We all live in a world where sooner or later your ability to borrow runs out. We all live in a world where we work. We compromise, We think, We worry, but most importantly we WORK.

We have to. Somebody has to pay your ridiculous salary. I still can't believe as a country we allow you fucks to vote on your own pay rates and raises. But you see that's why you exist. Because your average citizen doesn't have time for all this political nonsense. They are too busy living their lives and trying to keep the roof over their head and food in their bellies.

Now, we have to find a way to fix you. Throwing you all out. While certainly enjoyable this won't solve anything because another crop of assholes just like you will rise up to take your place. I do wholeheartedly believe that to be a politician, first one must be an asshole.

So how do we force you to live in the real world. How do we convince you that your actions actually have consequences in real life. Not your lovely, sheltered existence in Washington.

Thankfully, there is at least a framework for us to bring you back to earth, at least the same earth that the rest of us inhabit.

That being said, I know that the following is a chain letter and will probably by my very promulgation of it will destroy any credibility that I've got. Think about what it says...there are some holes, and there are some arguments to be made to change it. But imagine the difference if all these cocksuckers could only hope to leave a legacy of good done, as opposed to a seat or job or speaker-ship protected...its a helluva thought.

Anyway, here goes. I wonder if the country is capable of actually amending the constitution without destroying itself? Before you answer, remember we damn near sent the world into economic Armageddon over a few lines in a healthcare law...

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. CONGRESS (past, present & future) PARTICIPATES in SOCIAL SECURITY
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people.

Just like each and every other American.

Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 2.5%.

Congress will participate in the same health care system as the American people.

No special exemptions or treatment.

Effective 1/1/12.

Read more Here

It's all horseshit, but I can dream...can't I?

Oct 10, 2013

An Open Letter To Congress...

I am an excepted employee.

I just finished up day 10 of working for IOU’s.

I am an excepted employee. Meaning regardless of the shutdown I’m required to work.

The cable bill is due, the phone bill, the water bill, the gas bill, the car note, and not long after all of that comes the mortgage for my simple house in the suburbs.

Mr. or Mrs. Congressperson, your money comes from a separate pool of funds. This is convenient for you, but a few of you decided to donate your salaries to charity or not take them till the shutdown was over. Sorry, empty gesture. You’re mostly rich anyway, your congressional salaries probably aren’t your primary source of income, I’m sure you can wrangle a loan or two from your boys down on K street.

Let me tell you a bit about who an excepted employee is.

He works every day. He doesn’t get paid until congress decides he does.

He’s a guy who works in a federal prison, as a correctional officer, keeping society’s best and brightest away from all you respectable people out there.

He’s a guy who goes to the VA once a week to talk through the nightmares that won’t let him sleep more than three hours at a stretch, and for that the VA judged him disabled so they are nice enough to send him a check once a month for his troubles, but only if you allow it.

He’s a guy who spent 14 years in the US Army, and would really like to get his GI Bill payment come the end of the month.

Unfortunately for this guy, his entire income is derived from the US government. I dare anyone to claim he didn’t earn every penny.

He dares any member of congress to do the things he does, or do the things he has done for this country.

He was shot at, blown up, rocketed, mortared, slept in a hole, didn’t shower for days at a time, and a million other smaller indignities that aren’t worth mentioning.

He came home from fighting for his country and got a job working in a prison, containing the people who broke the laws that you made. This job has shown him the depths of evil. It has beaten him, its punched him, kicked him, it’s made him work while tear gas hangs heavy in the air, and he’s been spit on, berated, and subjected to every form of abuse under the sun. All for less than a quarter of what you make while you come up with new laws to fill those prisons from overflowing to bursting at the seams.

Many of these things he has done for the country that he swore to defend before he could legally buy a beer. He has done these things willingly and gladly. Any day spent serving this nation, whether in the uniform of a soldier or a correctional officer is a day well spent as far as he’s concerned.

But his next check isn't going to come. Well, only half of it is coming. Then after that no one knows when the next one will come. You shut down the government, but the world keeps on turning. The bills will come due, whether the government is open or not.

He’s heard people call him, an “overpaid government employee”. He wonders what a congressperson or civilian would expect to be paid for the things that he’s done and seen.

He’s even heard congress people say that they stand with federal employees…to which he can only say, "Yeah, you’re here with us, except you’re getting paid, your lives aren't disrupted, you don’t have to wonder how you’re going to make the mortgage, how you’re going to feed your kids, how you’re going to keep the heat on this winter, how you’re going to buy Christmas presents." He’s sure you've got mortgages, and kids in college and bills to pay too, but he wonders how you can justify paying yourselves when a continuation of this means he has to sell his house?

All except for that, you’re here with us.

I guess that’s what “excepted” means.

It means that you’re the excepted employee, because no one is getting paid, EXCEPT YOU.

You are the excepted employee.

Oct 6, 2013

Government Furlough = Free Vacation

Now ladies and gentlemen your government came up with its latest bag of dicks in relation to the shutdown.

Government will pay furloughed employees.

Now, the shutdown is simply because Republicans are throwing a temper tantrum about Obamacare. They can't actually defeat the law in open debate in congress so they'll force a shutdown.

Which in the long run will be fine with me, since after this shutdown is over the majority will blame the republicans and they will slip further into irrelevance. Now all we have to do is wait for them to lose a few more house seats and sooner or later the gerrymandering will come up and the democrats will basically run their asses off the map and we won't have to worry about tea bagging fucktards anymore...well maybe a district or two in Wyoming but until the human population outnumbers the cattle they won't be of any real consequence.

But back to what I was originally here to comment on. Paying furloughed employees.


Supposedly, there are 800,000 government workers who are furloughed. That means they are not working, nor are they getting paid. Until this bill passed with basically universal support in congress and I believe that the president has said he will sign it.

Operative words in the furloughed employee explanation, NOT WORKING.

So they are going to get paid for work they don't do? Who the fuck thinks this is a good idea?

We've got a government who has basically borrowed every spare penny on the planet at one time or another and everyone is always bitching about how cuts need to be made and money needs to be saved and yada yada...and then they go ahead and pay 800,000 people for doing nothing!

These workers are going to get paid for sitting at home while the inept congress figures out how to pull its head out of its ass long enough to pass an appropriations bill.

Sorry, that's not fair. Its not fair to the American people who are paying their (our) salaries. Yes I am a government employee but I'm not furloughed. And yes, I am totally jealous. And its certainly not fair to the federal employees who are working through the furlough.

They are literally getting something for nothing. Which is about the most un-American thing in history.

Better solution, if at the end of the shutdown, employees who were furloughed decide they would like to take leave (vacation or sick or comp or whatever) to cover the lost furlough days and be paid for them that is fine, or they should come up with furlough premium. We get paid 10% extra for working at night, and 25% extra for working on Sundays. I think working for IOU's is worth a little bump, don't you?

If they choose not to take leave for those furlough days, well then fuck you. The federal workforce is like 2.1 million or something like that. That means that there are 1.3 million federal workers who are deemed "essential" or "excepted" and they've gotta work. Why on earth would anyone consider it "good business" to pay someone for work they didn't do?

And we wonder why we're 18 trillion in the hole.

Remember this shit America. Remember the obnoxiousness of shutting down the government over them not getting their way (toddler anyone) Remember that they paid 800,000 people for doing nothing. I hope that each and everyone of you feels this in one way or another so maybe when those next elections come around you actually pay attention.

My advice:

And remember, maybe if we actually pay attention and do what we are supposed to do then we can change Mr. Carlin's opinion of us...

Sep 21, 2013

Screw You Guys, I'm going Home...

And with that, its a proven fact that Republicans have officially become Eric Cartman.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm a federal employee. I work for the government and I draw my supposedly ridiculous paycheck every two weeks from the people who pull all that money out of your paycheck every two weeks.

Tangent: The federal government takes taxes out of my check, they took taxes out when I was in the Army so long as I wasn't getting shot at or blown up at the time. That being said, am I the only one who thinks that's a little silly?

The check I cash comes directly out of the treasury...and the treasury removes a percentage to pay my portion of the next aircraft carrier we buy. Why not just pay me less and forget the taxes?

Back on topic:

These motherfuckers have completely lost their minds, or they know exactly what they're doing and just don't care.

Its a well known fact that a government shutdown wouldn't be very good. A calamity? I'm not sure about that, but it wouldn't be good. A whole lot of money would get choked off in a real big hurry. And just so we're clear, your taxes would continue to come out of your check, but none of the goodies you usually get for those taxes will be forthcoming.

A couple million federal employees would get furloughed or would stop working all together, or in my case since I have what's deemed an "essential function" job I would work, but I wouldn't get paid...lovely. And essential function basically means that someone would die or be placed in great danger if I were to not show up for work. So there's that. I always wanted to work for free.

Now that'll effect the economy all by itself. A few million people who support god only knows how many people will all of a sudden miss a paycheck or two. Granted we'll get it back when these politicians pull their heads out of their asses...then again maybe we won't.

Not to mention all the money the feds pump into the economy daily, that'll all be gone. All that grant money that the states get, that'll be gone (it might be already, what the hell do I know) And for what?

Some bullshit posturing about Obamacare. I give a fuck what you think of Obamacare. Right now it's the law of the land. And I'm a law and order guy. I learned in the military to deal with shit I didn't like. Normally, that's one of the signs of a mature adult. If you don't like the law, and I'm talking to you red staters now, gather up the votes and kill the law. Do it the right way, in congress, in open debate, and kill it on the power or the superiority of your ideas. Not by holding the entire federal government and by extension the entire country hostage to your own inadequacies.

You're killing yourselves Republicans. The more you do shit like this the less relevant you become. Sure a few of you will survive in the rural areas where there are more cows than teeth, but if you keep shit like this up you are going the way of the dodo. Tell the American people why Obamacare is bad, and why it should be defunded, overturned, burned at the stake whatever floats your boat. But convince people because you are right, not because you're going to beat them over the head with a rolled up newspaper.

Even Karl Rove thinks this isn't such a hot idea.

Your boys in one house of congress, the upper one, think its dumb.

So let's just run this down. Karl Rove, isn't he like Republican Jesus? Or at least Yoda? Thinks its dumb. Other Republicans think its dumb.

Well, screw you guys. I'm going home.

Jun 21, 2013

Call Your Mother...Sincerely, The NSA.

So the whole NSA spying on every Verizon customer in the US and recording where they call, where they call from and the duration of every call is actually getting a bit passe lately.

Just like I said it would.

And I've been watching a bit of news lately...mostly the Daily Show because it is about all the "news" that I can handle nowadays. Which has shown that what you think of this Snowden cat is pretty well determined by which side of the aisle you work for.

And I'm not talking about Democrats or Republicans in this case. I'm talking about government against the people type thing.

Pretty much every career politician calls Snowden and traitor, or a hero. A whistle blower or a...and I love this one...a grandiose narcissist, who deserves to be in prison.

All of this makes me laugh because the debate about who or what Snowden is, in my humble opinion is


Now that we've got that out of the way, maybe we can have an intelligent conversation about the NSA and by extrapolation the government and its collecting of ridiculous amounts of data on US citizens. Namely, you and I. Or at least I, given the fact that I am the proud owner of 2 iPhone 4's supplied by Verizon (99¢ with a 2-year contract) A contract which obviously contained some sort of NSA rider that I was unaware of.

First things first, we should sue Verizon for being such a bitch. I'm sorry, this is a capitalist country and I thought corporations ran this country, how is it that they can roll over like a whipped puppy when some spy agency half the country has never even heard of comes calling? C'mon Verizon, take your balls out of your purse and tell them to eat a dick.

If they threatened you with something, all you would've had to say is we'll be happy to comply after you get the signed consent of every person not listed on a warrant issued by a judge in a court of law. 

Or you could've said no, and we're just gonna shut off 111,000,000 cell phones , but right before we do we're going to send them all a text saying, "We'd rather shut off your phones than hand all your data over to the NSA, because that's what they want. Have a nice day!"

Now that, would've been epic.

And I'm going to venture a guess as to why. Its because Verizon and the NSA and the US government, and congress and the media (the big one) are all the same fucking thing folks!

They're all a different snake on the same Medusa head. Only difference is, we're already all stone. They don't need to turn us.

Apathy is the best word that can be used to describe an American public that would only have 58% of the voting public show up to elect the sitting president. That means over 4 out of 10 of you pukes reading this didn't vote in the last election.

5.8 of us decides what's best for all 10 of us.

And let's not get started on all the empty bullshit that politicians spout every two or 4 years, because the simple fact that any of you believe any of that shit is proof positive that we can't be bothered. 

Then you've got the Red White And Blue wackos out there...these are your flag waving, America is the best, we can do no wrong, just say "freedom" and I'll vote for you. Well succinctly put, we're not the best. Sorry to tell you kids, but there are only two things that we are the best at. Buying really cool military toys, and eating. I'm not even sure we're the best at the latter. But there are very few objective measures in the world that we are number one in.

Defense spending #1
Education #17
Life expectancy #51
Obesity #18
Education Expenditures #60
Debt #1

And on and on the list could go. Needless to say, we're not #1 in much. But we think we are. Take it away Mr. Daniels.

Did you notice that heartbroken and embarrassed look on that girls face after he got done fucking her up?

Its about how all of us should feel. Little. Like we just got punched in the stomach. Like we just had the rug ripped out from under us.

The point is not who or what Snowden is, the point is that the U.S. government is spying on you! On you. Not on me, or some other faceless random person, or terrorist or criminal or anyone else. They are spying on you. Remember that when you pick up the phone, when you send an email, when you comment on this blog, and when you send your next sext message...

But you know what? Most of us are going to finish this sentence, and forget the whole fucking thing...

Jun 11, 2013

How Fucked Are We?

Sitting here at work, and I stole a few minutes to poke around google news and I came across an article that just about made me puke on my keyboard.

Americans say they are pretty comfortable with expanded government surveillance.

Read it, and if you're okay with what it says then stop reading because you're part of the problem.

Basically, it says that a majority of Americans are now O.K. with all the shit the government pulls to keep tabs on "terrorism"

Now first off, let's set some argumentative ground rules.

  1. The government uses "terrorism" to justify anything and everything it does. Simply because all they have to do is invoke that word and people shit their pants and turn into helpless infants curled up in the corner.
  2. Americans are by in large a bloodless, lifeless band of consumer drones who need the world, or the small part of it that their massive asses occupy to be safe from harm so that they can play Xbox or PS4 and order from Amazon without having to worry about taking any responsibility for themselves at all.
  3. Americans have delegated to the US government a million things that used to be the exclusive purview of the individual, or at least a responsibility of citizenship, and Americans will jump at the chance to hand over any tasks or responsibilities they have left, so they can lay back down and watch the Real Housewives of Orange County.
Now that's what I think of your average American citizen. Not real high on the evolutionary scale. Devolving even. Luckily, if you've made it to this point in this post it means that you have an attention span that is at least 60-240 seconds long and in this day and age that is pretty impressive and would most likely put you into the top 1 or 2% of the population.

Moving on, I could quote Benjamin Franklin and the old standby of liberty for safety deserves neither, but there's not much point in that when there are probably a good portion of the public who have no fucking clue who Benjamin Franklin is.

So I'm just going to put it my way.

What a bunch of spineless pussies?

Now I realize that the government is charged with keeping us safe. And to a point I can run with that. We need cops, and feds, and prisons and all that goes with the Justice system. There is no doubt about that. But the extent to which the Justice system has grown is out of fucking control. If you think that's an exaggeration, the Federal prison system population has grown by 790% since 1980. Its gotten almost 8 times bigger since I was 2!!! (Look it up, I didn't believe it at first either)

So if there's 8 times as many prisoners, think of all the extra laws, lawyers, cops, courts and yada yada yada...

Now, basically what I'm saying is we're gladly handing over control of our lives to the G. (government)

And that's spineless, its lifeless, and its what a bunch of pussies would do.

Don't get it twisted either. I am by no means advocating anarchy. That's just as dumb. What I'm telling you is that like everything else there's a happy medium. There's a place where law and individuality can meet without one getting hacked up for the other.

But we've lost the gumption required to protect those last vestiges of individuality that we've got. The government has been laid bare lately. They're spying on us. They're spying on all of us. Its proven. There isn't much room for debate. They're keeping track of who you call, where you call, and how long you talk to them. And if they're doing that how far behind can all the other shit be, where they are actually recording every move you make, every dime you spend, every email you send. They probably already do that, but they had brains enough to implant a small thermonuclear device in the hearts of everyone who knows so if they ever utter a word about it...BOOM.

And they're going to keep doing it. Because this story with Snowden and his whistle-blowing or treason or whatever you want to call it will be a story for about a week or two and then it'll go away. It'll fade from memory and America will go right back to sleep anesthetized by whatever technological I.V. they like to hook themselves up to.

A couple of days ago I was asked a question, and the question was this;

Why does the government keep on doing this stuff? Why are they so incompetent? Why haven't they been fired or disciplined or arrested?

The answer was simple. Its because we allow it. As a society we allow it. This is the best we've been able to do. We obviously don't want our government to change, incumbents get elected something like 92% of the time. 

So if you support incumbents, which statistically, a whole bunch of you do, and you say that you want the government to change...YOU ARE EITHER FUCKING STUPID OR A LIAR.

Personally, I think incumbents get elected because its easy. Its easy to go with a name you know. Its easy to check the same box as you did last time. Its easier than learning who the other guy or gal is. Its just simply easier and it doesn't take as much time away from Candy Crush.

And again, there's the problem. Its easy...

There was a time when Americans didn't care about what was easy. They just cared about what was right. 

There's that old saying, if it was easy everyone would do it. 

I got news for you folks, EVERYONE IS DOING IT.

Jun 10, 2013

The Clock Is Ticking Dude...

So this will (hopefully) be my last post about dying.

I've had death on the brain for the last few weeks, and needless to say this is not something that a guy on happy pills with a fun mental condition should be thinking about. But it all worked out, so what the hell.

I think that I've even had what a shrink might call a breakthrough or two.

Now, we all know PTSD isn't fun. They've got all kinds of fun terms that go along with it. Words like avoidance, intrusive memories, flashbacks, reliving traumatic events, negative feelings or beliefs. All lots of fun.

Me, I've got a slightly different take on my PTSD. I think its due to the fact that I don't feel the same level of emotion and sensations as I did when I was at war. There's a big difference between what you feel here, and what you feel there.

I think its something missing. Or I'm missing something.

You see, when you're in Afghanistan (or wherever the hell) you feel keyed up all the time. Not necessarily in a bad way. You realize things on a subconscious level that you don't here. You could be walking to chow and a mortar round falls 20 feet from you, rattles your teeth and cuts your face up with flying rocks (good time by the way) and that reminds you just how close you and the great beyond are. It drills right into your mind, and brings to forefront of your thoughts just how flimsy the bond between you and your mortal coil is.

That kind of thought does one thing to me, it probably does the same to most of the guys I've known that are dealing with this shit. Dealing with death, feeling the grim reaper breathing on your ear, smiling at the devil. Whatever goofy fucking metaphor you want to use for it brings out a depth of feeling that most people who've never dealt with shit like that will never know.

Its cliche but there's truth in statements like...

Food tastes better, flowers smell sweeter, colors are more intense, you breath deeper, you smile wider, you pay attention, I mean you REALLY pay attention. Every detail of everything you see sinks deep into your soul. And you recognize one very simple, very over used, very heartbreaking and very hard to grasp concept.

I want you to delineate the moment you are in right now. And somehow in your mind separate it from the moment you are going to be in when you finish this sentence...

Alright, if you can pull that off, which I won't be mad if you can't. Its making my head hurt trying.

Now just figure that the space in between those two moments is about 1000 times longer than the span of time it would take you to die.

Realize that this is all we've got. This moment. This moment that I am spending sharing my thoughts with you. This moment that you've decided to spend reading my thoughts.

Then think of the wonderful girl sleeping in the room next to me right now. Think of how dearly I love her. Think of how all of this that we've built together could be swept away in an instant by any one of a million different things.

Think of your life. Think of all the things you planned to do. The places you planned to go. The writing, the painting, the running, the climbing, the reading, the learning, the yearning, the actions, the things you didn't do. Everyone has a million and one things they want to do in this life. But very few of us realize just how close we are at this very moment to shaking off that mortal coil (great metaphor) and bucking the kicket and checking out for good.

That's what I loved (yeah, loved) about Afghanistan. It made me realize that on a fairly regular basis. By blowing me or one of my boys up, by shooting at me, by dropping a mortar or two on my skull, by sending a rocket or two (flaming footballs for those of you who have been around a while) flying over my head and/or singeing Burnsy's eyebrows off. Yeah that happened.

And those reminders gave me a sense of urgency. Everything was urgent. Everything had to be done. I had to squeeze it all, or as much of it as my body could handle before I collapsed. And you learn that your body can take quite a bit more than you ever cared to squeeze out of it.

I had to write. I wrote over 240 posts in just over a year.

I had to tell everyone how much I loved them. I had to be with my friends as much as I could. I had to, I had to, I had to, and I had to do it now.

That's what I think has been missing. That urgency. Nothing is really that important that it has to get done right fucking now!

I can tell the princess I love her tomorrow.
I can tell my mom I love her tomorrow.
I can learn this tomorrow.
I can write this tomorrow.
I can do this tomorrow.
I can go there tomorrow.

Here's the problem Danny Boy...someday you won't get a tomorrow, someday you won't even get a next moment.

Somebody once told me that every moment is a test. That each moment is a test you get to take one time, and only one time.

Now what are you going to do with it?

How are you going to be remembered?

After your moment is gone...

Jun 5, 2013

So You're a Ghost, and this is your Funeral...

So I went to see my shrink the other day and told him all about my latest run ins with existential thought. In this case my thoughts on what I would think about not having done in the last 20 seconds of my life.

So we talked about what is missing from my life that old mother Army may or may not have provided, and how to possibly replace that now that I am a civilian puke.

However, he flipped the script on the question slightly. Enough to warrant another go around of thinking about being dead. How healthy is it for a guy who once considered suicide to be thinking about his own funeral? Hell if I know, that's why I go to a shrink!

The question goes like this...instead of you're hurtling toward a fiery death in a big tube of bags filled with dirty panties and vibrators (and that's just the guy's bags.) You're dead, and you get to come back for your own funeral and listen to what everyone has to say about you. Now what do you hope to hear?

Oh boy. First of all, what kind of funeral do I want to have?

Funerals are depressing by design. Not much fun at all. And I know one thing is for damn sure I don't want one of those.

I don't really think that a line of bereaved all waiting to say some heartfelt goodbye and then drive the long mile to the cemetery and chuck my ass in the ground would be how I'd want to go out.

That's just completely lacking in any sort of style at all. No personality whatsoever in any of that.

Now, not to say that I want strippers hollering for dollars at my funeral either (but that's got some potential).

I don't think a somber affair is really in the cards for me. I would want my funeral to be a little more upbeat than a...well funeral, but slightly less obnoxious than a night at Scores.

So I've been sitting thinking about this for about an hour, staring at the flashing cursor and slowly driving myself to drink so I decided to switch gears. As opposed to the funeral question I'm going to write my own obituary. Seems like summing up a life in three or four paragraphs is a lot easier than imagining what every chuckle head I've ever known is going to say at my funeral so here goes...

Mud Puppy died yesterday at the age of 86. He fell to his death from the top of a rock wall at the local Xsport, while exhorting the young man of 26 who had lost the race to the top to, "Take off your pretty pink panties and get the fuck....AHHHHHH!"

Mud Puppy is survived by his wife of 51 years, Princess Puppy, and 5 children, 15 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

In life Mud Puppy had many titles, very few of which meant anything to him. He was a soldier, an MP, a team leader, a combat veteran, a college graduate (4 times) and a husband, father, son, brother, friend and all around pain in the ass.

He was known for his jaunts into local politics where he would run by telling the populace the actual truth and watching with bemused indifference as he was demolished in the elections. He was also even elected once to the local school board but was promptly removed when he demanded that teachers take a pay scale that was based on their students future earnings.

He contributed to several charities and ended up building just over 300 homes in his lifetime working to end veteran homelessness. He never could quite get rid of his juvenile sense of humor and as an octogenarian was known for chuckling during somber ceremonies when the word "duty" was used.

He wrote several books in his lifetime, none of which sold more than a few hundred copies except his Magnum Opus "Embrace The Suck" One MP Clusterfucking his Way Through Afghanistan. Which was on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 18 months.

He was opinionated and would readily let anyone know exactly what he thought about any given subject, mostly his philosophy was, stop worrying so much, the universe doesn't even know you're here. Do whatever the hell makes you happy, and stop being such a pussy. A philosophy he ingrained into his students at the College of DuPage where he was a visiting adjunct part time poorly paid shaper of young minds (his title not the university's), his claim to fame being that he was voted "Hottest Professor" by the female student body when he was 79.

Throughout his life he was an avid skydiver, and mountain climber, and he was semi-famous for completing several Spartan Races, Warrior Dashes and Tough Mudders throughout his lifetime. His last race coming on his 84th birthday when he placed in the top 50% of all contestants. After which he said, "I'm eighty-fucking-four, that should count for about a 50% handicap. So I win!" He was also an accomplished hunter and world traveler having visited over 150 countries in his lifetime, and as he was fond of saying, "In only two was I actually there to kill anyone."

Lastly, he was known as a man who never missed a beer, or a party, or a chance in his life, but he also never missed a day of work, or a car payment, or a house payment and his family never went hungry even though he did a few times so they didn't have to. In 86 years he never let up, he never let down, and regardless of what came along and punched him square in the nuts he kept right on trucking, and he skidded headfirst into his coffin proclaiming his last words in a loud and thunderous voice...DAMN THAT WAS FUN!!!

Yeah, that's the guy I want to be.

Jun 4, 2013

And then it all went black...

Was reading a book the other day. Its something that I do from time to time. I have been known to take in a little literature now and then.

The book wasn't your usual story telling. It wasn't a hero vs. the bad guys who had kidnapped his girl and he had to save her from the evil mountain fortress where they were holding her.

It was more of a "save yourself" kind of a book.

Self help, would be the way that most people would characterize it. Which is something that I've been reading more and more since the war ended for me. I like those stories. Some guy with no legs ran a marathon, some woman graduated from college at 87, some kid overcame the odds and played basketball or any shit like that.

But this one posed a question. A question that I've been pondering and mulling over...obsessing over would probably be the best way to put it.

The question was this, you're on a plane over the mountains, doesn't matter what mountains, doesn't matter what plane doesn't matter if you're alone or with someone, just you're on a plane and you're 35,000 feet in the air and the plane just goes into a tailspin and is headed straight for the rocks and all you can do is sit there for the roughly 20 seconds you've got left and think to yourself...what didn't I do?

Now at first that strikes me as the typical shit. Motivational nonsense that has no basis in real life. But then the more I started and continued to think about that the more it started to hurt, and the more it started to gnaw at me. What haven't I done?

Well there's the big one. Haven't had a kid yet. Propogating the species. Leaving a legacy. All that jazz. I definitely want to do that. If you were to talk to my fiance she'd tell you that I've been baby crazy lately. Always noticing the little ones around, and seeing how much fun its gotta be to have one of my own. Teaching him...or her what's going on. Showing them the entire world through their wide eyes. Its gotta be a fun thing to do.

Then there's other ones. Mostly selfish ones. Haven't been to Africa or Australia yet. Haven't been on a Cruise. Haven't jumped out of a plane for fun. Haven't gotten my Masters Degree yet, but I'm working on it. Never in my life have I ever actually been in great shape. I've been in good. You don't really have much choice on that one in the Army. I managed to finish 2 Bataan Death Marches (the memorial kind, not the real thing) but I've always wanted to do one of those Spartan Races or Warrior Dashes or something like that. I haven't quit smoking. I haven't written the book about Afghanistan that I know is in there. Hell its probably already here. I don't even give a damn if it gets published but I want to write it.

When you really start thinking about all that shit, you get really uncomfortable. Most of my life I live in relative comfort. Now given my life choices my idea of comfort is different from most. I spent 14 years in the Army and the majority of my non-military professional career in a prison so I don't need as much comfort as most people do. Nonetheless I live in a nice suburb, I drive a nice car, I earn a nice living, I've got a nice family, I've got a beautiful girl, and I don't really want for much. And therein lies the problem.

Inmates use a term called "thirsty" Meaning "want" Obviously if you're thirsty for something you want that thing. You can be thirsty for success, thirsty for love, thirsty for money, thirsty for power, thirsty thirsty thirsty.

But for the most part, I'm not. I'm mostly satiated. My life is pretty satisfying for the most part. And that's definitely the problem. I almost wish I had a need, something to really thirst for. Some deficiency in my condition that led me to focused action. But I don't. So I've got to create it for myself, and I'm not quite sure how in the hell to do that. But at least thinking about this question has shaken me out of that comfort that I've been feeling. Which is nice, nothing fun ever happens in your comfort zone.

But its a simple fact, one day you are going to find yourself standing before the man in whatever Valhalla or Heaven or Great Castle in the Sky that you believe in and you are going to have to tell your story. Now everyone's story is going to end with...and then it all went black. All the stuff leading up to that is yours to write. Hopefully your story is a good one.

I'll leave you with a little Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

May 9, 2013

Critical Thinking Deficit...

The United States of America has a huge deficit. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 trillion or some such shit. I don't really know what the figure is. Truth be told I don't really think that the figure matters. Here's the thing, I'm no economist and I'm most likely wrong about this, but I think that if the US goes down then the rest of the world who has hitched its economy directly to providing our fat asses with everything our overworked hearts desire is going down with it.

China's economy exists because Walmart won't pay full price for GI Joe's.

So call me ignorant, but I don't really give a shit who the government owes money to. I mean what are they gonna do?

Call in the debt? Good luck with that.
Attack? Have you met the US Air Force? (and they're a bunch of pussies.)
Piss and moan like an impotent jerk? Much better.

The deficit that bothers me is in critical thinking. Mostly because as a nation we just don't do it.

Fox news, MSNBC, CNN, the Onion, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Daily Beast, The Drudge Report, The Daily Kos, and a million other websites, TV shows, and cable news networks exist along with their myriad of apps, emails, and social media bombardment campaigns to provide Americans with quick access to a prepackaged, approved, and vetted opinion complete with talking points and counterpoints for any argument you may receive from someone who regurgitates their opinion from another opposite leaning media outlet.

My aunt is famous for this. It was on O'Reilly! The (insert enemy of the week) taking over the country.

Really, how many companies do they run? How much wealth do they control? How much influence can they peddle?

Those are the real questions you should be asking when watching this shit. Who does this benefit? Why are they telling me this? What do they want me to think? Why do they want me to think it? What are they trying to get me to do?

Critical thinking is what keeps a person from being manipulated. Unfortunately we are populated by a whole lot of easily led lemmings. Now don't get me wrong, I'd grab a lawn chair and a cooler full of beer to watch the majority of them march over the cliff, but then again, we're going to need some of them to dig ditches and make Reese's peanut butter cup Blizzards at the DQ.

Here's a prime example: GUN HOMICIDE IS DOWN!!!

Seems counter intuitive to what you see in the media the majority of the time. Except for the NRA of which I am a member but I also think they need to fire their leadership and get a new crew in there. The one we've got is a little too cold dead hand for me. you can't really reach a audience of today with that sort of shit.

The problem is that too many people have a click-whrrr response to the world.

Someone got shot =  guns are bad.

Now let's do some critical thinking shall we. You can call this a platitude but its a fact. A gun is about as dangerous as a pez dispenser until a human being manipulates it. So that's the first thing.

Now will guns or the lack of them rather decrease violence? Probably not. There will be just as many incidents of violence except now those incidents will be with baseball bats, knives, cars, bricks, or whatever else the wackos can get their hands on.

Will the lack of guns decrease the number of people killed? Of course, if you mean only the number of people killed by guns, not killed overall. That's an easy one. However many people died last year of gun violence, you can cut that number down or thereabouts. I know we'd have to wait a few millennium for all the guns currently in circulation to get weeded out.

However, you'd probably have to add about 99% of that number to other forms of violence.

Ya see, mass murders, or when the killer offs more than 4 people in one sitting, account for a staggeringly low percentage of gun violence. According to Mother Jones (hippies) there have been about 62 mass shootings since 1982.

Sure there'd be a few here and there that shot 3 and didn't make the list, but I'm sure they are few and far between. So let's examine the other 99 or so percent of gun murders.

If they didn't have a gun they would've:

A) Worked their problems out in a healthy and constructive manner.
B) Found a different and arguably more violent way to kill the motherfucker!

If you said A. Please stop stealing oxygen and food as quickly as possible.
If you said B. Well then you live on earth.

Guns are a choice we need to make as a society. Guns in and of themselves don't really do much. Like so many things. They aren't evil. Fucking people are evil.

Before there were any guns, or weapons of any kind. Cain bashed Abel's head in with a rock. Violence will not decrease. There will be just as much violence, just a different kind of violence. Removing guns from the situation will just make violence the exclusive realm of the young and strong. Funny as it might sound, I don't see too many 70 year old men brawling with me if I ever decided to come into their house and steal their Depends. Sure it could happen but its doubtful.

Guns are an equalizer. Guns are tools. Guns are a choice.

You can't legislate critical thinking and common sense. Sure, if there are guns a bunch of kids every year are going to shoot themselves and one another. Personally, I think that a parent that doesn't properly teach their kids about guns (especially if you have them in the house) should be criminally liable. Murder in the Stupidest degree sounds like a life sentence to me. You've got a kid in the house and you don't lock up your guns and your kid uses your gun to hurt themselves or someone else...guess who's going to get their asshole stretched by Thunder dick in cell block D.

It comes down to this. Guns are not nor have they ever been the problem. The problem was, is and always will be people. Stupid people doing stupid shit. Evil people doing evil things. So I wouldn't worry about outlawing guns, I'd find a way to outlaw stupidity.