Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: September 2007 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here, There Be Pirates!

Talk Like a Pirate Day be upon us, and the unwashed among who be celebratin’ will be garnishing our vernacular with many a colorful expression.

But as we celebrate the lifestyle of the quasi-heroes of yore, it be good to reflect on the qualities we see in ourselves, and those qualities we imagine we could achieve.

So, to kick things off, I extend a hat tip to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose patron saint, the jolly fish, holds sway over these here festivities.

As history tells us, piratin’s nothin’ new in these hereabouts. From Jean Laffite to John Singer to Henry Morgan, the Texas gulf coast be rich in pirate history.

And it hasn’t let up much, either. If yer thinkin’ that piratin’s a thing of the past, then I got some news for ye, mate. Here there be pirates, whether ye see them or not.

Take f’rinstance Ken Lay. Here be a pirate t’make ye proud. He set sail with the crew of the Crooked E and pillaged and plundered more than any man since. Aye, he was a piece of work, he was. Rumor has it he faked his own death, and is wallowing in coins to this day, awaiting his partner, the Commodore-in-Chief, to disappear into the South American wilderness, no one the wiser.

But this is all speculation, mind you, of an idle mind too long at sea.

Another great pirate of the day be Karl “Turdblossom” Rove. This scallywag convinced the colonial government that plunderin’ be sound economic policy, resulting in unprecedented bounty reaped by the predominant merchants of the day. Legend has it that his partner in crime, Dick “the Dick” Cheney, helped him negotiate these commercial treaties, and helped settled the Paraguayan wilderness where the brigands would spend their waning years, sipping rum and basking in the glory days of conquest.

Today, piracy be alive, well, and thriving. So why not join us in a celebration of the cultural magnificence that be piracy? This be the day we get to pretend that we have no conscience.

And then, come November 2008, vote against those who don’t pretend. Granted, none of the examples given are elected officials, but they're the power behind the thrones. Let those in the thrones know that there be no place in America for pillaging and plundering, because for everyone who benefits, there be thousands who suffer.

Piratin’ be fun to pretend, but keep this in mind: Pirates hate civil service – unless there’s something in it for them.

In the meantime...


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years After

Today is the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, so allow me to reflect on just how our lives have changed since that tragic day.

Let’s see, I believe Osama bin Laden was the architect of the attacks, and our president vowed to chase him to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice. How’s that coming along? Not so well, eh?

Instead, we invaded Iraq, which basically had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks. So how’s that part of the plan going? Well, let see, our president proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” four years ago, yet we’re still there.

May 2003

On Thursday, I visited the USS Abraham Lincoln, now headed home after the longest carrier deployment in recent history. I delivered good news to the men and women who fought in the cause of freedom: their mission is complete and major combat operations in Iraq have ended.

Back in January of this year, when most of the country was pressing the administration to withdraw troops from Iraq, “The Decider” announced he would send even more troops into the meat grinder, calling it a “surge”, as if it were a wave that would wash over the opposition and then recede away from the shores of battle. Nine months later (yesterday) General Petraeus, head soldier over the whole shootin’ match, announced that this “surge” was working, contrary to reports from the Government Accountability Office, a recently declassified portion of the National Intelligence Estimate, and a report to Congress made by Marine Corps General James Jones.

Petraeus claims that violent incidents are down even though, statistically, this summer had been deemed the deadliest summer of the war so far for American soldiers serving in Iraq. He says we shouldn’t draw back from the escalation troop strength until at least next summer (coincidently just before the 2008 elections).

So here we are six years after Al-Qaeda attacked our country, and we’re still fighting Al-Qaeda in a country it wasn’t active in before we invaded. Everyone not associated with the White House believes we’re no safer now than we were on September 10, 2001. There are prominent Americans who blame all Muslims for the attacks and want to bomb their holy lands, and our fearless leaders are planning to invade Iran next even though our military is already stretched to the breaking point.

The Patriot Act has stripped American citizens of many of their civil rights. Torture is an accepted method of intelligence gathering, and citizens can be held indefinitely without charges. And through it all, the Bush administration assures us that all is well and that we’re on the right course of action.

I grieve for those lost on September 11, 2001, and hold them in the utmost regard. However, I cannot support the path we are on now, and neither should anyone who can think without being clouded by emotion from events that happened six years ago. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, did not have the weapons of mass destruction that were promoted as the reason for our invasion, and was not strife with inter-denominational violence as it is now.

It’s time for this war to end. Before any more Americans die. A war that was begun on pretenses can not be allowed to continue on further pretenses. The results of the 2006 election show that the voting public does not support this war. And if the new crop of leaders won’t bring an end to the madness, then we’ll vote them out also.

It’s time, people. Let’s do it right for a change, and make America great again.