Supporting Our Troops

A veteran should never have to ask a citizen for appreciation. Similarly, a citizen should never be imposed upon by a veteran to show appreciation.

My last post pertained to an issue that was very common some ten years ago. Before the memes and pictures that have flooded our current internet reminded us to acknowledge and remember what our friends, family, and ancestors died for. Ten years ago, few people took the time to respect those sacrifices, instead they took them for granted. I wrote my last blog posted on this site, seven years ago. Which of course generally emphasized the problem. Seven years later though, can one argue that things have gone to the complete opposite side of the spectrum?

As a citizen of this country, it naturally comes to me to respect and remember all the sacrifices our veterans have done and do to this day. I can be the first to tell you, that not only do I lack the physical attributes to fight as these men and women have, I also don’t believe I am suited mentally for war. Then again, is anyone really?

It’s quite true, I can’t bench my weight, only fired my first firearm less than a year ago, and don’t believe I have the proper mindset to charge into danger. You can call it what you like. Yet, serving in the military has not been my choice of direction for my life as it has been for others. Does this make me any less of a person?

Memorial Day is a veterans holiday, however, first and foremost it is in remembrance of those that have died protecting this country. Veterans Day, on the other hand, is primarily for those that have served and are even still serving this country. So why is it, on a day when for decades we’ve been taught to remember our honored dead we’re chastised for doing so?

A little known fact about me, is how I hold all members in our armed forces in high esteem. They have the guts to do what I couldn’t do. And everyday I have kept this in mind, even as friends of mine have served over seas and fought for our liberties. Yet, understanding what families go though is something I can’t entirely relate or not relate too. But on a day where we have specifically been taught to remember our honored dead, what gives someone else the right to throw our appreciation back in our faces?

This year I posted an image that is iconic of American Military determination. The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. How many Americans can identify what year that took place? More importantly, in recognizing the sacrifices those men made and died for, what gives another American citizen the right to turn their back on someone expressing respect for the members of the military, because they don’t know how the families feel? Perhaps these citizens do know, perhaps their friends may be their family. What if you don’t have much family to begin with?

Secondly, imagine posting something, anything online to thank veterans around the country, only to have them express discontent with the fact you’re not doing so in person. To what end do veterans and citizens alike get the recognition they deserve before it turns into an expected thing? Before those that benefit from the acknowledgement are expected to be praised and raised on a pedestal?

America has always been a nation which fosters free opinion. Yet, our first thought as citizens always goes to extremes. As a country, and a people, we need to find the middle ground. No one is better than anyone in this country based on the choices they made, because since our independence, America has largely (militarily since the Vietnam War), been a nation of self-determination.

I honor those that have died and bled for this country. I also honor their choices, and sacrifices as well. Not because I so desperately seek to relate to them, because as an American citizen I do relate to them. Regardless of the profession we choose, it all boils down to supporting this country, The United States of America. In peace and war time. Regardless if it is just your family and friends, we are all American citizens. Because like the first paragraph states:

A veteran should never have to ask a citizen for appreciation. A citizen should never be imposed on by a veteran to show appreciation.

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It’s not everyday we hear about the stories that really matter. Or the people that did what they had to do in the time of need. Indeed, people die at the hands at another over nothing. It is miserable and depressing as I think about it. When asked what Memorial day means to people, some replies were these:

I get a day off.

I see my friends.

I got to sleep late.

Its good for a BBQ.

It starts summer.

It’s a day to bring out the beers.

But what about the real reason? The reason as to why this day was created? Everyone forgets that don’t they. Christmas celebrates Christ’s birthday, Halloween is a celebration of “The dead”. Easter is another Christian holiday, Thanksgiving celebrates pilgrims. But what about Memorial Day?

To me Memorial Day is more than just a day off.

It is no secret, that I hate this government. All governments are corrupt because people are imperfect. In Vietnam people displayed their dislike for the government. Just like now, they attacked the soldiers who have done nothing wrong. I do hate this government, but no one should ever hate the troops.

I have friends that have gone over there, are still over there and will be over there. I am not happy they went, but I respect them and hold them in the highest of views. Anyone who would sacrifice themselves for their friends (or just another American) without asking a single question deserves that respect. And I know at times, I worry about them and wish them the best of luck, that they maybe they will come back ok. But why is it easy for ignorant assholes to insult them and spit on them and treat them like dirt when they are knowingly putting their lives on the line for you?

Imagine day after day, with a M16 at your side, with the constant thought that any second a whizzing bullet could be your destiny. Sleeping in the same clothes for hours, going without a shower for a week if not more.

Imagine those that stormed Normandy in 1944, fighting for their country. Imagine those that weren’t lucky and fell on that beach in defense of what our freedoms are today.

Imagine 225 years ago, and the soldiers that froze to death at Valley Forge while defending themselves from the British.

Imagine what this country used to be, when family not material was put first. How nothing was created into New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta, LA, Detroit……

Imagine those that did come home, scarred from combat. Without limbs, or sight, hearing, or without part of their sanity. It’s not everyday you see your friends ripped to shreds is it? Or your own hand fall off.

Imagine those that never made it back. Who left behind girlfriends, and mothers and fathers. Children that stand in front of a grave stone without a father.

So before you go on saying how Memorial Day is fun or just another day off. Remember the meaning of it, and remember those that died for you never knowing your name yet knowing that you were an American citizen just like them.

Remember these guys.

Memorial Day (Repost from May 2007)

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For those of you familiar with politics and the Bush administration, you’ve likely heard of the term Bush’s Brain. This title was given to one of Bush’s top political advisors, the man known as Karl Rove.

For those of you not familiar with Karl Rove, he is a member of the Republican Party whom has helped dozens of Republicans get elected into office for over twenty five years. Karl Rove served as Bush’s main advisor from 2001-2007, with the two becoming close friends after George H. W. Bush introduced his son to him some thirty years prior to Bush Jr’s presidential campaign. He’s been considered a very out spoken right wing politician whom has made statements and even accusations on other political candidates not affiliated with the Republican Party.

Why talk about Rove you ask? Well, Karl Rove’s new idea is regarding Hillary Clinton. Some weeks ago, Hillary fell and needed a clot removed from her brain. Karl Rove’s new accusation is that Hillary must have brain damage, and that she’s auditioning for The Walking Dead. Claims that obviously Bill Clinton proved as wrong.

Yet, what about Mr Rove? Few people know about his background, and this has worked towards his advantage. However, the information is out there. In the over three dozen campaigns Rove has been ahead of throughout the 1980s-1990s, at least half a dozen have drawn the attention of law enforcement officials. From calling voters in Texas to inform them the Democratic Party was employing lesbians, to calling the FBI to let them know his office was being bugged (A claim which was found true but with a battery so small the FBI believed Rove has planted the bug himself). Plus, even though every major news station declared Obama the 2012 presidential victor, he still tried working numbers to say be hasn’t. Lastly, when various Federal Judges were fired under the Bush administration, an investigation was launched which called upon Rove to testify. Rove refused, citing he was using his “Executive Privilege” to decline. He was summoned again later, and has still refused to testify.

Mr Rove is a dangerous man. He’s dangerous because he knows if he raises enough attention, he can finally get the recognition of an American public which is a tad lazy in getting its political facts straight. After all, his candidates have won elections six times out of seven. Clever campaigning is just a part of that, more so, it’s been the blatant and deliberate attacks Rove has organized against his political opponents.

Political campaigns have soared with vicious attacks of the competition the last few years. Rove is no exception to this environment. He has been very successful with campaigns employing slanderous tactics.

As citizens it is our job to fully research the truth behind each candidate. If we don’t people like Karl Rove will continue to reap the benefits of an insight starved country.

A Bit About “Bush’s Brain”

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Our Job as Citizens

Our job as citizens, is to stay informed and educate ourselves in regards to the issues affecting our country. The job of politicians is serve us citizens, in pushing further legislation to solve the issues of our country.

More and more it seems, the process is slowing to a snails pace. This is just some food for thought.

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Wisdom From The Past

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One of the things I believe has made the United States successful was the ideology of self-determination.  Because of this, people of all classes have been given the right to express their views freely and without fear of severe repercussion.  I’d like to share with you the above image I found earlier today which I found a bit shocking.

As one may have guessed, I am more of a liberal than a conservative, however I couldn’t resist posting this on here, a quote from the late Dwight D. Eisenhower.  For those of you unfamiliar with Eisenhower, he took office in 1953, being the Republican nominee for President.  Eisenhower was the General of the Allied forces during Operation Overlord, or D-Day as you may know it, which took place on June 6, 1944.  Eisenhower’s leadership qualities proved handy as he managed to oversee operations of countless divisions from over a dozen different nations which liberated Western Europe from Nazi oppression.  Not much is said about Eisenhower anymore, which is a bit said considering he had a lot to share, and also oversaw one of the largest economic booms in our nations history.

I bring up Ike and this image because not so much in 1954, but now more than ever, these words hold a very insightful and realistic truth.  Though not lacking in the hallmark badgering that politicians do, Ike’s words talk of a more recent slew of Presidents. Primarily the Bush’s, and dare I say even the Reagan administration?  These words should give us all something to think about, especially our nations foreign policy over the actions of the Mideast the past decade or two. 

My goal here isn’t to start a massive debate over the past actions of Ashcroft, Rumsfeld or even Cheney, but rather to place emphasis on the fact that some of our political leaders have much to say.  Yet, we are always caught up in doubting what they mean.  Does this mean that emphasis should be placed on politicians in properly conveying what exactly they mean when they speak to the public?  I would certainly hope so, but sadly our nations politicians have a hard time undeniably taking a hard stand in one direction or the other.  Currently, I believe only a handful of these politicians remain.

Eisenhower wasn’t afraid to say what he wanted, a trait I admire.  I also believe Ike was probably the last gutsy and wholly logical Republican President we have had.  Indeed, they don’t make politicians, like Ike, Truman, or FDR anymore.  Men that said what they meant, and weren’t afraid to step up to a challenge to fight what they truly believed in, in or out of office.

 

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Accepting the facts

When will people accept things that play out? Specifically, when will citizens of this country fully unite under one president? All my life, republicans, democrats, independents, etc..etc…. have pointed the figure at the opposite party. And when a candidate takes office from a certain party, political propaganda such as the image here, fills the media. It hasn’t only happened to the Obama administration either. The Bush administration was under heavy scrutiny during his years in office, and the Clinton administration was just bombarded by opponents just dying to find something to tarnish Clinton’s image. American views are now pointed on who can make a bigger fool out of the other candidate, as opposed to who is better suit to fix the issues. It’s almost as if everyone wants to point fingers, but not address the problems.

What’s sad is that images, such as these gather so much interest, while the image itself is merely photoshopped. Clearly we have our priorities out of order, seeing as more attention goes to political jargon, than to world facts. Just makes me wonder if the same amount of people who saw this image also knew about the recent developments about the proposal for equal pay for men and women. Or even the debate on whether or not minimum wage should be raised.

I can honestly say when G.W. Bush was elected I was not a supporter. However, when our nation was attacked on 9/11, despite my complete opposite views from Bush’s politically, I stood behind our President as the representative of our nation. Do we honestly need another national tragedy to unite this country behind one man?

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Water or Oil?

There is a debate going forth in our nation today that is only getting roughly half the amount of attention it deserves. That debate is centered on the Keystone Pipeline XL. A pipeline that can extend existing pipelines in America, providing crude oil, or oil sands, to the United States.

TransCanada, the company responsible for the project, has been campaigning its completion to promote its immediate benefits. Once finished, the fourth phase of this pipeline would pump some 1.1 million barrels of crude oil into the Midwest per day, an increase from the current 700,000+ barrels per day now. Supporters argue the pipeline creates jobs, decreases our dependency on oil imports, and is environmentally safe.

Yet, is this really a pipeline without risk? There is no doubt that our dependency on oil is still extremely high. Yet, this pipeline was first constructed in 2008. In theory, with the completion of the third phase, haven’t we already severely cut into our dependency of oils?

In addition, though various agencies have requested a conclusive analysis of the environmental impacts if a leak were to occur over the Midwest, TransCanada has not replied with a study to support its claims the pipeline is safe. What’s scary is that if a leak was to occur,it would like affect one of the largest fresh water reserves in the world, that being ours in Nebraska, and potentially irreversibly damage the Midwestern economy. Fresh water is greater, in my opinion, than oil.

Lastly, advocates say the pipeline will create new jobs. While during construction this is the case, a pipeline generally runs independent once completed. Therefore, the only new jobs after the pipelines construction that will still be needed, would be those of the scattered stations long the pipeline, and the occasional inspectors themselves.

There’s no doubt the Keystone XL pipeline can further help our economy and reduce our independence on foreign oil, but the cost is very high. The prospect of losing one of the largest fresh water reserves in the world, and creating more pollution to a world which is already suffering from the consequences of global warming is just too high of a cost. With over 70% of the project done, it’s safe to say the Keystone XL project, or phase IV, can be phased out, while we still enjoy the benefits of a new pipeline, while also saving our natural resources.

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