Thursday, May 5, 2011

Preparing for Death Threats

Buenas dias dear reader(s)!

Today is Cinco de Hannah!  Why Cinco de Hannah and not Cinco de Mayo?  Well, first, my Hannah was born on this day back in the 80s, AFTER MTV (yes I like them young, but don't worry, not creepy young), and second, because I only like enough mayo to wet the bread, I am much more of a mustard person.  Especially Dijon mustard.  Mmmmmmm.  Tonight's celebrations will be muted though, because I have to finish a pinata, (don't know how to do the squiggly thing over the n to make it an en-yay (not sure that is how they spell the letter, but I know the pronunciation is correct) (not to be confused with Enya), so now it is a pine ah tah), and also because I have a very important appointment tomorrow that does not call for me to smell like tequila.  Unrelated, but very important thought here, can someone please notify Guinness that I just earned the world record for parenthesis in one sentence?  Then can someone buy me a Guinness?  (Maybe related after all.)

Okay, so by now, if you were reading this, you might be wondering what I have said so far that would cause me to receive death threats.  (Besides my overuse of parenthesis.)  Well, I haven't actually gotten to that and am debating on whether or not I should.  I like my life, and balancing that with how much I like to express my opinion even if said opinion is controversial, or even if said opinion overuses parenthesis, or even if said opinion overuses the word "said", isn't always an easy task.  However, my integrity is too important to be quiet for too long.  Integrity is the need for attention, right?

So here we go.  If after reading this, you feel the need to kill me, please don't.  Remember, the only person who regularly reads this is my mom anyway, so it is not like my controversial opinions will actually influence anybody.  There is a company called Klout that tracks influence over various forms of social media, and I don't think they would know who I was if I was standing naked outside their offices shouting in a megaphone that I would be posting naked twitpics of me shouting into a megaphone outside their offices for the next month.  So really, if I offend you, take comfort in knowing that I am really only talking to the voices in my head and my mom, and using this online forum to do so to further my delusion that one day people will actually stumble upon the things I have written and understand my genius the way the voices in my head believe people rightfully should.

I do not think everyone in the military needs to be supported.  There.  I said it.

Here is the basis for this statement:  Not everyone who joins the military does so for anything but a paycheck, a chance at a job when they get out, a chance to kill someone, or a way to get out of whatever dying town (like Reno) they grew up in.  I'm sorry, but I think that is wrong.  I understand that these people are still possibly allowing themselves to be called upon to sacrifice their lives in exchange for these things, but so do construction workers in risky projects.  And let's face it, as a numbers game, your chances of dying in battle while serving in our nation's armed forces is pretty slim.  This does not include everyone in the military of course, just some people who I think have no interest in defending our freedom.  Look at Nidal Malik Hasan.  He made it all the way to Major.  He was obviously in the minority, but I think the evidence shows that there was reason to question his interest in defending our freedom.  However, in the "Support Our Troops" mindset most Americans seem to have, if someone is wearing a uniform, they can't possibly be disloyal, treasonous, criminals, or just plain assholes.  However, Americans seem to have no issues at all when questioning the leaders they elected to office.    

Let me go a little more in depth on this.  The people in the military I am specifically calling out here are the ones who are completely disloyal to the chain of command.  You hear stories from veterans who talk about not liking the guy who was in office giving them the orders, but then you hear them talk about having a job to do, and following those orders because at the end of the day they were fighting for our freedom, which comes via a Representative Democracy, and they had to trust that the people chose the representatives who ultimately made the policy decisions that turned into the orders they had to follow.  In other words, regardless of their personal feelings toward the people in office, they were loyal to them because being loyal to them is being loyal to the system and people who put them there.

Have you heard what some of the military members have been saying about our their Commander-In-Chief recently?  Again, I am not saying that to be in the military you have to like the person, but when you so forcibly publicly disparage the person who (like it or not) was elected to office under the Constitution (which you have sworn to defend), you are giving comfort to the enemy.  You are not showing unity in mission or purpose.  Our Constitution allows you freedom of speech, but in the military you also have responsibilities.  This is worse than Jane Fonda being used as a propaganda puppet by the NVA, you are the ones showing our enemies that you do not side with our democracy.  I would like to see a member of our military write the same kind of things about their direct Commanding Officer on Facebook that they write about the Commander-In-Chief.  Can you say insubordination?

Because Americans are so scared of going to the extreme and spitting on troops, calling them baby killers, and some of the other horrific acts of cruelty some civilians committed against our military in the aftermath of Vietnam, Americans have become paranoid about being critical or questioning the motives of anyone in uniform.

I have seen posts on places like Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet, from active-duty military members saying that they do not believe that our President was born in this country, and therefore is not the legal President.  Do they not think that our enemies have access to the internet?  Do they think these posts are only read in the US?  By saying these things, they are saying that our Constitution is not working, that our government is illegitimate, and our enemies are seeing it all.  

I recently got into a debate with a military wife regarding her claim (actually a re-post) that President Obama was debating on whether or not to pay our troops.  I pointed out to her that by saying this, she was spreading lies as she had no evidence whatsoever to back up the claim.  I showed her how, during the budget debates, it was actually Congress debating the budget and the President was waiting for a bill to sign, while trying to get both parties to compromise to avoid a shut-down.  I showed her that even in the event of a shut-down that our troops would still be guaranteed their pay (although it would be back-pay and that would've sucked for their families).  I also brought up how a bi-partisan panel appointed by the President had recommended the PAY-RAISES for military members be capped at just over inflation.  Now, I know a lot of people define limits in growth as cuts, but that logic is political only and not true.  Ask any average American who has not had a cost-of-living increase in a few years about that.  The military would still be getting increases above inflation.  That is not a cut.  Does it suck for the military that the Republicans are so bent on cutting spending that their expected raises may be limited as a consequence?  Yes.  Does that mean President Obama is debating on whether or not to cut their pay?  No.  After proving my point, with various links to articles, law, and records, I was asked if I was in the military.  I am not.  I answered that I am not, nor have I ever been, and was told then that I couldn't know what I was talking about.  Then, a chorus of military wives and members of the military piled onto the comments section to agree.  So wait, because I am not in the military, I cannot tell the difference between a cut in spending and a cap in the growth of spending?  According to many people, I guess not.

I honestly believe that blind support for the military is getting out of control.  Their popularity over the civilian government is putting the power in the hands of those who were never elected to lead.  All it will take is for a few high-ranking generals to have a conversation.  Luckily enough for now, those generals at the top seemed to have started their service in a time when more people in the military showed loyalty to the country and people they were supposed to serve. 

Here is the thing I want everyone in the military who has a problem with what I have said to realize.  No American citizen elected you to serve our country.  We did not choose you.  We did however, choose our President.  Like it or not, he is the man we chose to give you the orders.  We chose him to make decisions about what needs to be cut, what needs to be limited, where to use our armed forces (you) to intervene, and where not to.  I don't always agree with his decisions, but I don't spread lies about him on international social network sites such as Facebook or Twitter either.  (Except that one about me beating him at one-on-one.)  I do not claim that his election was illegal.  I do not say that he is lying about the successful operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden as a threat.  For those of you in the military who do, please quit.  You are in it for the wrong reasons.  You are supposed to be defending our way of life, but if you do not support our Representative Democracy, if you do not trust the American people, what is it you are defending?  Your paycheck?  

So until next time my dear reader(s), understand that I am not trying to say we should not respect the majority of troops who sign up for the right reasons, I am not trying to say that the military is bad.  What I am trying to say is that you should not show them, nor anyone else blind loyalty.  If you can question the motives of our civilian leadership, you can question the motives of those who wear a uniform.  Just be honest in the questioning that you do, and think about who may be listening to your questions.  Don't question the guy in the postal uniform though, you never know what he might do. 

My next post-type-thing will be a much less controversial subject, unless benefit concerts are controversial to you.  Stay tuned for my interview with Nick Ramirez all about the wonderful event that is Marianarchy.

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