Tuesday, March 26, 2013


What kind of world are we leaving our kids?

Recently I had an argument with people that I know.

It got somewhat heated.

And everybody ended up leaving pissed off.

Especially me.

The point of contention being that they claimed President Obama “is the worst president ever” and a “lying fraud.”

The essence of my response was, “You’re just plain wrong, Goddamnit!”

Not the wittiest repartee, I suppose, but we’ve had this argument before and likely we’ll have it again, and frankly I’m just getting tired of going over the same ground. It’s an emotional argument, not a logical one. It’s an endless reoccurring theme in our relationship and likely will be until they die, or I die, or Barack Obama sprouts horns and destroys the world with his Smooth Negro Ray of Evil and we all die – whichever comes first.

I’m unlikely to change their minds, they will most certainly not change mine. 

We simply view the world in fundamentally different ways.

It wasn’t always so, but we’ve changed, they and I. 

I went out into the world and I saw things and it changed me – and I’ve written about it in an essay that’s one of the most widely read of anything I’ve ever written. Those things I saw, those experiences, changed my viewpoint, yet despite all – or maybe because of it – I’m still an optimist, I still believe.

They remained in the same place, but time changed them too. See, they have reached a point in their lives where they’ve become pessimists.  They used to be pretty optimistic people, but not anymore, now it’s all doom and gloom and the end of the world as we know it – and will be until a Republican sits in the White House once again or Obama destroys the world, whichever comes first.

They long for the good old days, back when America was apparently awesome and everybody was happy and safe and satisfied and knew their place – everybody who matters anyway.

Specifically when that glorious past was, what time between the Great Depression and World War II and Korea and Vietnam and the decades of terrorism and the last ten years of war, I’m not quite sure. I’ve lived through fifty-one of those years myself and I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. But they’re back there somewhere, those good old days, and they were awesome.

Nothing I can say will convince them that the good old days were certainly good for a few folks, but emphatically not for many, many others – especially those who were told to stay in their place on the other side of the tracks or in the ghettos or in the segregated South.  Nor can I convince them that despite the continuous sleet of dire pessimism and doom that falls like a cold wet smothering blanket from the bleating hysterical media they watch day in and day out, America isn’t nearly as bad off as it has been at various points throughout its history – and it’s a damned sight better off today for more people than nearly any other place on the planet.  Considering that they’ve spent most of my life telling me how goddamned shitty they had it back in the day and how much better kids nowadays have than they ever did, you wouldn’t think this would be a point of argument – but, of course, it is. 

I shouldn’t have let it get out of hand. I should have just shut up and let it go. But I was irritated, I’d spent the morning reading hate mail from people who think I should just please be quiet and go sit in the corner and it irked me that they were using essentially the same argument, I was irked at myself because I’d been drawn in yet again, irked at them because I knew how the argument was going to go, and irked at the world because I had to sit and listen to people I care about repeating sound bites and paranoid bullshit that they should never have given credence to – and wouldn’t have before the election of Barack Obama, back when they were optimists.

And I was most especially irked because despite the fact that I happen to be a certified expert in a number of the topics we were arguing about (such as guns) and they goddamned well know it, they repeatedly and predictably dismissed my expertise and quoted the hysterical ill-informed talking heads at me instead (this isn’t anything new, they dismiss my two decades of military experience out of hand and defer to a five time draft-dodger like Dick Cheney, so I shouldn’t be surprised. And I’m not, but it still pisses me off).

I wasn’t truly angry until they resorted to the Appeal To Consequences fallacy, i.e. well, whatever, fine, we will be long gone and won’t have to deal with your mistakes, but future generations, man, what kind of nation is Obama leaving them? Then it’ll be too late! Mark my words, you’ll see, some day, the sky will fall and then you’ll be sorry, don’t say I didn’t warn you, worst president ever!

Logical fallacies irritate me under the best of circumstances, but I purely hate the Appeal to Consequences fallacy.

It has gone on long enough, this argument, that I ought to know better than get sucked into it in the first place. But for various reasons, which I’m not willing to go in to, I always do – get sucked into the argument.  And it always ends the same way, with me grinding my teeth to the accompaniment of a pounding headache, and them even more convinced that I’ve been brainwashed into the cult of islamocommunazism by faggy vegetarian environmentalists bent on the destruction of America.

The conversation, and hence the argument, ended abruptly.

As it always does.

I went out to the woodshop and managed to completely destroy two days worth of work because I was still pissed off.  I took a walk, talked to my cat, played with the dog, and eventually cooled off enough to return to the shop.  I spent some time picking up the splinters (I’d cranked a clamp down way too hard and shattered the chair back I was working on, the resulting implosion sent flinters of wood all over the shop). And then I calmly started the project over.

After a while I returned to the house much relaxed … and discovered that next installment of the ongoing argument had been delivered via email, along with a note saying, see? I’m not the only one:


Again, the appeal to consequences – and by implication, what kind of world are we leaving to our children?

There it is, the bogeyman hiding in the closet, the monster under the bed, the gibbering panic and endless litany of pessimistic woe that drives modern conservatives, all summed up in a few neat paragraphs.

And I found myself clenching my jaw and reaching for the keyboard, and as my head began to throb again I realized I was about to make a grievous mistake.

So I went back out to the woodshop instead.

It’s two days later, I’ve had some time to think about it.  Rather than continue the argument, I’ll address my answer directly to the above letter to the editor. When I say “you,” I’m talking to the generic Ken Hubers of the world.

If we lie to congress it’s a felony, but if congress lies to us it’s politics. 

How’s that again? Look here, if you lie to congress under oath, it’s a felony.  If congress lies to you under oath, it’s also illegal, and plenty of them have been punished for it (not all, but there are numerous examples.  Five minutes with Google is all it takes).  Otherwise, it’s free speech, politics if you like. Congress lies to us. People lie to congressmen – all without legal consequence. You don’t like liars in congress? Then stop rewarding politicians and political parties for lying to you, you can start with Michele Bachmann. Also, stop punishing them when they do tell the truth – even if you don’t want to hear it.

If we dislike a black person, we're racist and if a black dislikes whites, it's their 1st Amendment right.

Right, given how oppressed white people are in America and all. Listen, when you can’t discuss the president for more than a paragraph without resorting to the word “nigger” and you’re not a rap artist, you’re a racist even if you don’t think you are. When you act like a racist, well, Sir, then you’re a racist – whatever your skin color.  However, that said, the First Amendment grants you the right to be a racist – whatever your skin color, white or black or anything in between.  Don’t like racism? Then stop ignoring it or pretending that it doesn’t exist just because you don’t like the other side of the political aisle or don’t want to admit to the history of this country. Don’t like racism? Then don’t stand for it, don’t perpetuate it, don’t ignore it – whatever your skin color.

The government spends millions to rehabilitate criminals and they do almost nothing for the victims.

The government? Which one? State or federal? Which state? Arizona? Texas? Maine? Hawaii? One size doesn’t fit all, you know. What victims? The innocent ones who spend decades behind bars because of their skin color?  Which criminals? The ones that should have gone to jail, but didn’t because they had the means and connections to avoid it? Typically our various governments spend millions to incarcerate criminals, more than any other country in the world, but we don’t actually spend much on “rehabilitation” because, like war, we voters don’t have the wherewithal or the commitment to address the actual underlying causes of crime and conflict such as poverty, education, opportunity, and community. Typically our prisons are warehouses that just make better criminals because we don’t give enough of a shit to do anything about it.  As to victim compensation, well, sure, all we have to do is vote to give them something for their trouble. You go first.

In public schools you can teach that homosexuality is OK, but you better not use the word God in the process.

Oh for crying out loud. For a bunch of people armed to the teeth, you sure are scared of a few “homosexuals” (I know, I know, speaking of words you can’t say, you can’t say “gay” because you might become gay or something). Did it ever occur to you that you’re the ones who keep bringing up homosexuality? There are more than seven billion people on the planet, chances are more than a couple of them are doing all kinds of things you don’t like, why do you keep singling out homosexuality? If you don’t like it, then stop obsessing over it. Listen, here’s what you can teach: in America we are free to decide both our sexuality and our religion, and whether you like it or not we are also free from having either forced upon us.  In America, we don’t have to fear either gay people or God. If you chose to be afraid then that’s on you, you deal with it.

Edit: A number of you wrote asking for clarification about the line “…we are free to decide both our sexuality and our religion.”  You asked if I was implying that sexuality is a choice.  The answer is no, or yes, or whatever. The point is that you are free to decide who you want to be, sexually, politically, religiously. If you’re talking about liberty, about freedom, the “choice” argument is idiotic. Whether we come by our identity naturally or by choice or a combination of both makes no damned difference.  You get to decide who you are. You, and you alone.  The single most fundamental civil right, the only right that I believe is truly inalienable, the only “natural” right that nobody can take away from you, is the right to define yourself. 

You can kill an unborn child, but it’s wrong to execute a mass murderer;

In what state? What country are you talking about?  We have the highest execution rate in the First World. We execute murderers all of the time, one as recently as last week. And just so I’m clear here: you don’t want the government to use a drone against a known terrorist, but you’re ok with that same government strapping a man to a gurney and pumping poison into his veins? What, pray tell, is the difference from a “pro-life” standpoint? What? One was a self-declared enemy of the United States and the other was a minority convicted on flimsy evidence without a supporting DNA match? And seriously here, pro-death penalty and pro-life? Please. Give me a break on the hypocrisy already. Over the last ten years, conservative anti-abortionist Right To Lifers have cheered the deaths of tens of thousands of unborn children … and actual living born children, and their parents, and their cousins and aunts and uncles and every damned body they know right on down to their pets. We bombed them and shot them and burned down their houses and left them to starve to death or die of disease or at the mercy of their environment – and don’t try to tell me that we didn’t, because I was there. Don’t give me your sanctimonious horseshit on abortion, you can’t be pro-war and pro-life, the concepts are mutually exclusive.  And as long as we’re on the subject of unborn kids, aren’t you the same goddamned people who keep whining about your tax dollars going to feed and care for those self same children? Until you’re ready to demonstrate an actual concern for human life, all of it and not just the unborn fetus in a liberal woman’s belly, you can just sit down and shut the fuck up about abortion because I’m sick and tired of hearing about it. You hate us so damned much, what the hell do you care whether we kill our kids or not?

We don't burn books in America, we now rewrite them;

Swear to God, I just snorted chocolate milk through my nose. We don’t burn books in America, we rewrite them? Ahahahahahaha! Hysterical. I don’t think you really want to go down this road – not with the conservative complaint about a lack of God in the schools and conservatives’ continuing effort to rewrite history and science to force their religion upon the rest of us. And it’s conservatives who have been burning books for the last two hundred years, from Origin of the Species to Catcher in the Rye. So what are you complaining about? That you can’t anymore?  Conservatives are the very last people who should be complaining about books.  You’ve got a beef about books, do you? How about you tell your local government that you want your tax money used to fully fund and support your local town and school libraries, including paying librarians a living wage, instead of, oh, say high school football? No? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Books. Jesus Christ, that’s priceless.

We got rid of the communist and socialist threat by renaming the progressives;

We renamed the fascists too, so it all evens out. The important thing is that you still have a vaguely defined derogatory epitaph that you can use to label people you don’t like as enemies of America – and remember, if you’re ever confused by the name changes you can always use the all-purpose go-to label: Nazi!

we are unable to close our border with Mexico, but have no problem with protecting the 38th parallel in Korea;

No problem? No problem? The hell? I call Shenanigans.  Seriously. I don’t think you’ve been paying attention – for about the last 60 years.  No problem? The “38th Parallel,” i.e the Korean Demilitarized Zone, is only 151 miles long – compared to the two thousand miles of US/Mexico border. The DMZ is manned by more than a million troops on the allied side, and another million on the North Korean side, and it’s the most heavily fortified border in the world complete with watchtowers, mountains of concertina wire, walls, tank traps, mines, and heavy weaponry – and it still can’t stop people who really want to get across (and neither could the Berlin Wall). Do you have any idea of the staggering amount of money it takes to secure that lousy one hundred and fifty miles? And you want to do that across our southern border times twenty?  You people won’t even pay to feed those babies you claim to love so damned much, or fund criminal rehabilitation, or libraries, and you’re going to pony up how many more billions per year to create a DMZ of your very own? And for what? So you can shoot more kids? More pregnant women? So you can make us all live inside an armed camp? It’s about time you people faced reality, the only way to “close” that border is to transform the United States into the very country that you all claim to hate, the one surrounded by walls and barbwire and machine guns and under military security where you have to show your papers upon demand by authority. A much better, and ultimately less expensive and more profitable, idea would be to address the actual causes of illegal immigration in the first place.  But I digress.

if you protest against President Obama's policies you're a terrorist, but if you burned an American flag or George Bush in effigy it was your 1st Amendment right.

I assume you’re talking about those terrorists with the Occupy Movement who were railing against Obama’s Wall Street policies? Or the limp wristed liberals protesting Obama’s drone policy? So you’re sympathizing with their position, is that what you’re saying? Wouldn’t that make you a … progressive? Or were you talking about those enemies of America who stood on the street corners during the Bush administration protesting the wars? Listen, there have been plenty of folks burning President Obama in effigy – including, you know, actual terrorists in Third World countries. Look around, see who you’re standing next to? Think about it. If you protest Obama’s policies, that’s your First Amendment right, just as it’s your right to call him a traitor and a Kenyan and a socialist and the worst president ever. And it’s also my right to say you’re acting like an asshole.  That’s how freedom of speech works.    

You can have pornography on the TV or the Internet, but you better not put a nativity scene in a public park during Christmas;

What is it with you people?  You can have a nativity scene in a public park if you like, but you also have to allow other people with other beliefs to display scenes from their religion too.  But you don’t want to do that, do you?  You seem to think that the month of December belongs exclusively to you and your God.  That’s why you can’t have your nativity scene, because if you won’t share then nobody gets to play. Public property is exactly that, public, it belongs to all of us and it’s not for the exclusive use of your religion. You brought this on yourself, so stop complaining about it.  And as long as we’re on this subject, here’s what else you can’t display in a public park, pornography. However, you can have pornography in the privacy of your own home. You can also have a nativity scene on your private property, if you like – unless you belong to a Home Owner’s Association, but then again that’s a form of absolutism you all seem to embrace willingly.  If a nativity scene is such a big damned deal with you people, then put it in the front yard of your church and invite all of your friends. Problem solved.

we have eliminated all criminals in America, they are now called sick people;

This old canard.  Some of the people who commit crimes in the United States are sick, and even conservatives think so – as they keep noting during the gun debate. But the vast, vast majority of criminals are labeled as criminals and are treated as such. The prisons and jails and courts are full of them and this idiotic statement is simply a made-up complaint and nothing more – and if you want to clear the docket, maybe you should tell your representatives to stop acting like petulant spoiled children and start doing the job we pay them for by confirming the huge backlog of judges they’ve been obstructing for the last five years. 

we can use a human fetus for medical research, but it's wrong to use an animal.

Oh for crying out loud. In the United States, nearly all fetal research is banned, unless it directly supports the correction of fetal defects (such as advances in inter-uterine/neo-natal surgery) or the curing of fetal/maternal diseases or the improvement of human fertility.  Fetal research is strictly controlled and under tight ethical review and is almost exclusively limited to the preservation, health, and wellbeing of both embryos and their mothers. In other words, just about all fetal research is used to save fetuses.  On the other hand, we do use animals for research and though we’re getting better at it, some of that research can be pretty horrific.  In some cases maybe, maybe, this is necessary (depending on how you define “necessity”), but in others it is most certainly not, it’s just convenient and less expensive.  And if there are alternatives to animal testing, then please, by all means, explain to me why it’s ethical under the highly touted superior morality of your religion to continue using animals. I’m all ears. 

We take money from those who work hard for it and give it to those who don't want to work;

Right. Like wealthy politicians who pretend to be farmers, or Fortune 500 executives who offshore their companies and pay no taxes at all, or millionaire venture capitalists whose wives raise horses as a hobby, or a sports team who want a new stadium, or corporate jet owners who get to write off their weekend jaunt to Bermuda as a “security” expense, or any of the other thousand bullshit giveaways that go to the rich and powerful.  When you’re ready to close those tax loopholes, you can get back to me on welfare reform.

we all support the Constitution, but only when it supports our political ideology;

I’ll give you this one.

we still have freedom of speech, but only if we are being politically correct;

You know, in my experience the vast majority of those who complain about political correctness are just sore that they got called out for behaving like crass assholes.  Conservatives hate political correctness … right up until a liberal calls Palin’s kid a retard.  Freedom of speech in America is in no danger, from political correctness or anything else.  You can publicly hate homosexuals right alongside of Westboro Baptist Church, the Mormons, and the Pope, if you like. You can call the First Lady uppity and a gorilla on a national radio program or advocate armed insurrection and revolution on public TV – and you don’t have to be politically correct in any fashion.  But here’s the thing, if you engage in hate speech, and that’s exactly what it is, don’t come whining to the rest of us because you got called out on it. If you’re going to be a fucking asshole, then at least have the balls to own your bigotry and bile and stupidity and ignorance (apologies if that was a little blunt, I suppose I could have been a bit more tactful but I know how you hate political correctness and how much you enjoy it when I exercise my First Amendment rights).

parenting has been replaced with Ritalin and video games;

Yeah, yeah. And in the previous generation was raised on TV and Rock&Roll Music.  And the generation before that was raised on the telephone and drive-in movie theaters.  And the generation before that was raised on child labor and radio.  And the generation before that was raised on the bible and beatings.  So what?  You know what’s wrong with the current generation? Nothing. Not a goddamned thing. You took their country to war and for the last ten years they’ve been stepping up.  America had to draft your silly ass, but this generation, the one that you sneer at, these kids have been out there on the front lines of their own accord for more than a decade now. If we’re such shitty parents, where’d they get this sense of country and duty from? The only thing wrong with them is the fact that they let The Greatest Generation call them worthless and lazy without protest.  You’re complaining about parenting?  Ask yourself something, who raised the parents? That’s right, if you don’t like how we parent our kids, if you don’t like how we turned out, then you should have raised us better.

the land of the opportunity is now the land of hand outs;

Oh come on. Go see some of the rest of the world. Go see some of the Third World. Good grief, quit blubbering.  As an American, you have more opportunity now than any other human being at any other time in history. You have no idea just how lucky you are, just how much opportunity you have.  You can do anything, be anything, go anywhere, and sleep at night with a full belly. The most downtrodden American is still safer and better off than most of the rest of the planet.  No opportunity? Hell, I just watched a private American spacecraft successfully return from two weeks at the International Space Station and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. No opportunity? You’re kidding me. Maybe if you didn’t spend all of your time composing an endless list of woe and misery, you’d see the opportunity that surrounds you. They make medicine for depression you know, they even tested it on animals. 

the similarity between Hurricane Katrina and the gulf oil spill is that neither president did anything to help.

Hang on now, both events involved water, that’s a similarity. Lets see, they both happened on planet Earth. They were both televised. What? What’s that? I’m being stupid? Well what did you expect? You started it, I thought that’s what we were doing.  Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon disaster is a ridiculous comparison, not to mention a stellar example of the fallacy of false equivalency.  You want to make a valid comparison? Then compare Hurricane Katrina under the Bush administration to Hurricane Sandy under the Obama administration – and even those two events are comparable only in broad strokes.  There is an enormous difference between federal help to a flooded city caused by a natural disaster and plugging a hole caused by human negligence at the bottom of the ocean. If you can’t see that for yourself there’s probably nothing I can say to help you get your head out of your ass.

And how do we handle a major crisis today? The government appoints a committee to determine who's at fault, then threatens them, passes a law, raises taxes, tells us the problem is solved so they can get back to their reelection campaign.

In other words, exactly the same way the US Government has worked (or not) since George Washington.

Of course the country isn’t like it was when you were growing up.

It’s not like it was when I was growing up either.

And it won’t be like it is now when my son is old.

That’s the nature of the thing. 

If you want to live in a country that doesn’t grow or change or evolve, well, you could always pack up and move to North Korea, or Afghanistan, or Texas (Oh what? Like you didn’t see the punch line coming).

We won’t be here so we don’t care, but what about the kids? What kind of world will they inherit?

That’s right, you won’t be here. You won’t have to live with the consequences. 

What kind of country will our kids inherit?

The one that you leave them, of course.

Likely they’ll inherit a country where people are still discriminated against due to their race, because when you had a chance to stamp out bigotry, you didn’t.

They’ll probably inherit a country where people are still discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, because you couldn’t overcome your fear and hatred and Bronze Age religion.

They’ll get a country where hunger and poverty and illness are still rampant (and thus war and crime), because when you had a chance to do something about it, you said it wasn’t your problem.

They’ll get a country where the climate grows ever hotter and the seas rise ever higher, because when you had a chance to stop it you denied that the problem even existed.

They’ll get a country where the schools and the libraries are still underfunded, because you couldn’t bear the thought of a defense budget less than the military expenditures of the next fourteen countries combined.

They’ll get a country where people still can’t afford access to healthcare, because you were afraid of death panels and other make-believe nonsense spouted by hysterical selfish fools.

They’ll get a country where the land is poisoned and the water undrinkable, because you didn’t want to put undue burdens on business.

They’ll get a country where energy is scarce and expensive, because you believed diversification and development of sustainable energy sources was a satanic plot.

They’ll get a country where the government careens from one manufactured crises to the next, still mired in debt, because you kept electing the same intransigent obstructionists, small-minded extremists, and dimwitted religious nutters who think they can create an actual budget based on a shitty science fiction novel written by a pill-popping paranoid fraud.

They’ll get a country where children are still slaughtered by armed madmen in their schools and in their theaters and in their homes, because instead of devising rational solutions you flooded the streets with more ammo and weapons at the insane insistence of yet more armed madmen.

They’ll get a country where people think that liberty is building a wall around the country and huddling in a hole clutching their goddamned guns, because instead of helping the rest of us hold it all together you spent your time dreaming of The Rapture and arming for civil war.

They’ll get a country where people still sit wallowing in pessimism pining for the good old days that never were.

Or not. We can change it, you know.

I keep getting sucked into this argument because it matters, because we can do better, because pessimism isn’t the legacy we should be leaving our kids, but we probably will anyway.

What has America become?

Whatever we want it to be. The American dream is different for everybody.

What has happened to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

It changed.

It grew.

It evolved.

Exactly as the Founders expected it to do.

Exactly as the Framers designed it to do.

What kind of country will our kids inherit?

The one we leave them.

And I suspect they’ll be just fine.

Despite us.


  1. I do not think two days was long enough. I suggest going out to the wood pile, and grabbing the largest, knottiest, most off center stick that will fit on your largest lathe. Then sharpen the monster tool (the one with the baseball bat for a handle) and start making more sawdust. When you have turned it into one tooth pick, and have enough shavings for at least three large cans, sit back, have a cold brew and use the toothpick. From personal experience, I know this will reduce my blood pressure by many points. Unfortunately, it does not raise the IQ of the people who upset me by the same number of points.


  2. Jim, I'm sure as heck glad you calmed down and thought about this. I've never seen twelve more incisive sentences than your answer to the question, "What kind of country will our kids inherit?"

    I'll be sharing this far and wide.

  3. Whoa.
    That's some actually coherent rage.
    That's pretty rare.

  4. Oh, THERE'S my problem: I don't have a wood shop for when I get into choked rages about the stupidity and the Nazis.

    The funny thing might be to tell these idiots that the Rapture has already happened and ask why they're still here?

    1. Like we'd notice? Statistically 144,000 people out of a total of nearly 8 Billion is probably less than the total number of people who go missing every day anyway. The Rapture could have come and gone and no one would notice.

    2. LOL - yes, I like that - "the Rapture has already happened and ask why they're still here?" I'll have to remember and re-use that quote because far too often I've felt such inarticulate rage when I hear such right-wing nonsense... and this just about sums it up - or at least pays it back for the level to which their stupidity and malice have driven it...

    3. Hysterically funny answer!

      And Jim, this is one of your best responses to the “deluded and crazies". I too do not have a wood shop that generates a lot of sawdust and trimmings, but if I did I would go out on a particularly clear and beautiful night to take a banya and then light a fire with all that expended wood and dance to let off a little steam.

      But since you are not me I read your musings and it does the trick.

  5. Wonderful, a true essay. Brother, I know the feeling, and unfortunately, I don't even have a shop. Or a dog.

  6. "If you can’t see that for yourself there’s probably nothing I can say to help you get your head out of your ass."


    I get exactly where you are coming from ... I am related to people like your "friends" ... my family has a few Ken Hubers - or worse. I think the head throbbing may be because of hitting it repeatedly against the brick wall that is them. I know that's how I've been feeling.

  7. I'm just so darned happy that there were Nazis. Thanks for summing up every rage induced thought that comes into my head when I read this sort of claptrap (and several that didn't)and combing them into well constructed sentences.

  8. I've got no science or polls behind this, but I suspect that for most people that whine for "the good old days" they're talking about whatever year they were between 18 and 25, or the late 1970s to early 1980s.

    Of course, they kind of ignored the threat of nuclear annihilation (have them go watch "The Americans" for a bit of the paranoia they're forgetting), double digit inflation, the first energy crisis, etc...

    1. I spent most of my time between 18 and 25 (actually 23) avoiding the draft.

      Worked too, the only time I ever got a draft notice, I just took it down to my First Sargent and let him deal with it.

  9. Cowafuckingbunga. I love this blog. Thank you for writing it.

  10. Fooking brilliant. on par with your "Everybody's so different, I haven't changed" essay. Prosper, and live long I hope for you.

  11. The Ken character is typical of many people I have encountered and tried to discuss issues with since 9/11, or shortly thereafter. He has not a scintilla of an argument worth a damn in his babblings. It is simply a collection of disjointed sloganeering word-salad. One fallacious pile of cliche bullcrap after another. A waste of everybody's bandwidth, and beyond a pain in the ass to read.

    1. Greg - ETC(SW) USN RetiredMarch 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Don't sugarcoat it, tell us how you really feel. ;o)

      Oh, and I agree completely.

    2. I agree Graham, that he needs to get a life, and move to China

    3. That's a hell of a sentence Graham - "He has not...a scintilla...of an argument...worth a damn...in his babblings." I could almost hear W Bush say that in his 3 beat, down home garble. Tommy D

  12. Egads man! That was excellent! I was happy to get the best chuckle out of this bit "If you want to live in a country that doesn't grow or change or evolve, well, you could always pack up and move to North Korea, or Afghanistan, or Texas (Oh what? Like you didn't see the punch line coming)." And you are right "they’ll be just fine."

  13. Dayum, Jim! You MUST be a fine marksman. Bullseye, every time. A finer take-down of every single thing that gets these people into a lather I have not seen nor could even dream of. Thanks, that was art.

  14. As a writer, I've been doing a lot of thinking on this subject, specifically, envisioning what the world might look like if one were to apply one or more elements of the right wing narrative to the world, and then take it to its logical extreme.

    In my current project, a science fiction graphic novel, our very own US of A (as well as Canada, Mexico, most of the islands surrounding North America, and everything in Central America north of the Panama Canal) has become a totalitarian theocracy in all but name, while the corporate-sponsored governments of the Mars colonies are ideally suited to the purposes of the likes of Wall Street; government so impotent that all it can do is spend taxpayer money on private sector projects and services.

    I suppose that my point in all of this that while it makes for good drama, a world like that would not be an ideal place to live in; even the most die-hard anarcho-libertarian or God-fearing fundamentalist would eventually object when he learns that the system is so institutionally rigged against him that no amount of effort, short of armed insurrection, would afford him or his children a higher station in life unless the system decided that he was useful enough to promote.

    1. Mangaka, I'm sad to tell you that I grew up reading SF in the 1980's and that your portrayal of the world would be positive. There were many, many libertarian stories of that kind that had that de facto government portrayed in a positive light. There were innumerable stories about libertarian orbital stations where people had kids that grew up and then had to justify their usefulness to the society. Stations are limited ecologies with no room for deadweight.

      One imagines Bugs Bunny as the station manager, "Hello, this is the manager! You haven't paid your oxygen bill lately so we're going to have to CUT YOU OFF!"

      A cruel open secret about these people: Not a one of them would ever admit that if they were a Nazi gauleitier or one of their family or one of their cronies, life would be good for them in even the worst fascism. But it's totally true.

    2. Wait. What makes you think that is fiction?

    3. Logical extreme? What's this talk of logic when referring to these people? They wouldn't know logic if it bit them in the face.

      OK, I know what you're saying. Let me think for a moment. It's mostly like a return to early 20th century, or earlier. But we have a hell of a lot more infrastructure & technology now. How would America work as a Randist paradise? Could it? Think of it. Pay-your-way fire protection & police, etc. (some TN counties already have the fire thing. Works great, too. The firemen show up & watch your house burn if you don't pay the fire tax; they're only there to protect the ones that paid) Everything is done by private companies. I'm fond of asking this question: when has privatizing anything made it better and/or cheaper? How long would that last? How long before people looked around and thought, "You know what? Things might've been sucking the sweat off a donkey's balls before, but this? This is a friggin' nightmare! Pitchforks & torches, boys, we're taking our country back!" (and this time, that phrase would truly apply)

    4. Keystone Buckeye

      On the fire protection thing.

      I no longer live in a fairly rural area as I did growing up and going to college. My village had a volunteer fire department, my house was covered because my parents' paid village property tax. People who lived outside the village limits, as my best friend did, didn't pay village property tax. They could get coverage by buying an annual coverage for a fee. The FD would come regardless, the first time.

      By the way, the village police department wouldn't come to his house, the county sheriff did and he couldn't take books from the village library. The schools did tax the local farmers, but no other village agency did.

      Expecting to get public services that you didn't pay for? You have to be to big to fail to get that.

  15. Also, Nazis.

    Chief, I know it's bad for you... but it surely is good for the rest of us when your dudgeon gets het up.

    Now, that said, I want to say something that's been on my mind a while.

    I think it's time we as a nation started talking about a negotiated partitioning of the USA into geopolitical boundaries that more closely reflect the nature of the inhabitants. The American Political Experiment has yielded a result... and we keep ignoring it. We keep trying to bash the round peg into the square hole. But no amount of rhetoric or violence is ever going to convince a Panhandle Floridian that he should listen to what an Ivy League New Englander has to say about policy, because they live in different worlds. So let's start thinking about how we can avoid the second Civil War that I, and others, fear (in some cases, gleefully await) the coming thereof.

    Once you get your mind over the curb, it's a pretty obvious solution. And we should be discussing it.

    1. I'll discuss (I'm in Madison, WI). I just need to figure out how we can move Madison out of Wisconsin ...

      ; )

    2. I love Madison. But then, I am nearby in a Chicago suburb. We have the same problem south of us. We are in a bubble of sorts - maybe we can cram most of WI residents down to southern IL and just spread northward?

    3. I agree! I see gerrymandering as one of the two most dangerous and detrimental things we can do to our republic/democracy. The other is Citizens United. Both amount to election rigging, although, I must admit, the the vast amounts of "cubic money" poured into the conservative side of the last election had much less effect than I expected. Extreme gerrymandering keeps people like Boehner and Bachman in office. As a former Surveyor it would seem that some sort of simple grid system based on population would be not only sufficient but much superior to the way it is done now.

    4. I like Capt. Blight's idea of partioning. Where can we inter all of the republicans and democrats while those of us who care about the country can go about fixing the problems they've created? I hear Alaska has lots of room. :)

    5. Easy. We just need to invent Larry Niven's transfer booths for unrestricted, instantaneous public travel between distant localities which represent complementary and coherent political and social empathies. Perfect.

      Notwithstanding that the technology would immediately eliminate airlines, most of the oil industry and Greyhound. For the greater good, those industries should accept their demise in the face of instant global travel without too much complaint. (I crack myself up.) Tommy D

    6. Please don't send any to IL. I'm drowning here in Apostolic Christian town. During both elections, I had to listen to 2 Caterpillar union guys say they had "to bury their guns in their backyards" because the Big O was coming for them. I'm in the IBEW, and if it weren't for the union, I wouldn't be owning my own home with 2 acres. So I can't take any more of these guys who bitch about Cat's health care and retirement funds while voting for people that slit their economic throats over "guns" in a town in the middle of nowhere.

    7. Partitioning?

      If you actually think partitioning is any kind of viable solution to anything you have performed a gross injustice to the ideals which fostered this nation. Either that or you don't really abide by those selfsame ideals.

      Oh, and Alaska? Unfortunately, we're nowadays chock full of right wing assholes.

    8. Joe,

      That's why I like the idea of internment better than partionining. Unfortunately, the entire country is full of right wing and left wing aholes - they fall into two main camps: republican/democrat politicians and republican/democrat voters. And they need to be sent a very stern message. To paraphrase Lincoln's jibe to McClellan "You are done using our country. We want it back NOW!"

  16. That was one fine rant. Spot on.

    One difference between you and me is that I have finally reached the place where I refuse to listen to any of the idiocy spouted by the ignoramuses. They get one warning before I cut all ties. I really have no time or patience to try to educate and enlighten willfully ignorant haters. I don't think I've ever changed anybody's mind about anything so why would I try to do so with folks who don't want to do anything but blather forth with idiocy, hate, and bigotry? They don't/won't respect my opinion and ideas. Fair enough. They can just piss off.

    The several old friends I've lost have been replaced by people who live an evidence based existence or respect differing viewpoints. My most treasured friend is one that I all but wrote off who reconsidered his positions and found them faulty. Fair trade in my mind. And my bullshit meter barely ever leaves the lower peg. With friends. sigh

  17. Beautifully written, as usual. As a gun-owning, meat-eating, NPR-listening socially-liberal/fiscally-conservative type living in Tea Party territory, I appreciate your take on things. (But my English-geek niggling brain says that the word you want in the section on Socialist/Progressives is epithet, not epitaph.)
    Thanks you for writing these blogs.

    1. Freudian slip there, I think Chief Wright did intend to use epithet, but he'd very much like their vaguely defined derogatory word-salad to be their epitaph.

  18. Yeah! What everybody else said.

  19. Well you must be onto something because I had a similar idea once, got a pretty good post out of it, too (about the pessimism). ; )

  20. "We don't burn books in America, we now rewrite them;..."

    Noticing that he's using a repetitive pattern of [good thing we can't do anymore], [bad thing we do do now], I think he's actually seriously suggesting that burning the books was a good thing. That tells me about enough about him right there.

    1. That's a sign of auctorial sophistication on the part of the author of the letter, who may not have been the person who sent it. It's probably astroturf; bears about as much relation to grassroots activism as Astroturf does to actual grass. There are people who are paid to write and distribute these things. They aren't spontaneous expressions. Rather, people like the ones Mr. Wright first lost his temper at hold their attitudes partly because of the radical-right propaganda we have been deluged with for the past 20 years.

      I'm going to outsource the rest of this response, and quote a similar reaction from 2004, by Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

      "A few years back I had an argument with one of my brothers. I said that right-wing disinformation had a whole lot more money and organization behind it than anything the left had to say. He said no, it didn’t. I said yes, actually; it did. He again said no it didn’t, so I saw there was no use in talking about it, at any rate not with him. But it’s true. Corporate America doesn’t just buy airtime and put together slick ads for its products. It also uses its money to generate some of the slickest disinformation on the planet.

      "Deceiving us has become an industrial process."

      Oh, bother, why doesn't this blog accept the "blockquote" tag in comments?

  21. .

    Impressive, young Obi Wan.

    Again,no prisoners taking, I see. Clear and articulate are your writings...

    A joy to behold!

    Ema Nymton

    1. Jim doesn't take prisoners as he doesn't have the means to care for them properly.

  22. Another great post. You have a real talent for cutting through the bull. I on the other hand have just about given up having any kind of a political decision with anyone around here. Rural South Eastern Ohio is not what I would call progressive. I marvel at people like Mr. Huber who always seem to complain about books being rewritten when the content of almost all textbooks used in this country are written to conform to the dictates of a conservative committee in Texas who have some creative opinions about science and religion. Always seems to depress me when I think of school books and Texas.

  23. One has to wonder about their awareness of history when someone tries to judge a serving politician.

    One of Ireland's greatest forward thinkers was reviled by 'the other side' when in office. It was only when the effects of his economic development policies were seen that his reputation began to be 'critically' assessed. Too many people think that the duty of "the opposition" is to detest the other side, and to oppose them tooth and claw — it's not. The duty of the opposition is to ensure that the government is accountable and open.

    No politician can be judged while still in office. Too many things are unclear; too many contentious issues are still making people instantly hot-under-the-collar whenever they are raised; too few facts are available; and too few unbiased observers are listened to.

    Give any politician ten years out of office before declaring them the worst/greatest ever.

  24. Bravo, as usual! The only problem is, you're trying to use facts to rebut an argument that's determined not to admit that they exist.

    Once I calm down, I generally start feeling sorry for the poor schmucks, so for what it's worth, an alternate argument, much shorter and no way covering as much ground, but...

    Dear Ken,

    I'm afraid, too. The difference is, I can admit it without having to feel ashamed of it. Otherwise, I'd be looking for scapegoats too. When I was growing up, all the politicians were people of outstanding courage and strong ethics, and the parties worked together to pass the laws that this country needed. Between Reader's Digest and the three television channels, I got the same simple picture of America that you did, and it was really, really comforting. There were no gays, very few blacks, and everybody I actually got to know was Christian. It was a really comfortable little bubble, complete with Norman Rockwell paintings of white kids, and books where sex was never mentioned and certainly wasn't an integral part of life.

    There was that 'real' world, and then there was one behind the scenes, where abortion happened in back alleys, and there was a pool of second class citizens who knew their place and provided cheap labor for the kinds of jobs nobody had to think about, and the Cuyahoga river burned on a regular basis because nobody could be bothered to clean up their wastewater. All that and more was safely kept behind the curtain, and people like us never had to think about it.

    And, funny, THAT society produced the one we live in today, the one you're so unhappy with. This thing you hate is what your parents and grandparents created for their kids. They may not have meant to, but they did it anyway. We're trying something different now, and it doesn't feel as safe, and it doesn't feel nearly as comfortable. But safe and comfortable didn't do us any favors, now did it? Maybe a society that is neither as safe nor as comfortable will be a better starting place - I don't know, but we'll see. Gonna get off your duff and help?

    Ann C.

    1. Excellent response, Ann!


  25. Jim, are you absolutely sure we don't share a set of parents? Because you could have been talking to either my mother or my in-laws. My Texas born husband was also military and has seen too much to continue with the mindset of the majority of his family members. My mother, for some reason, lost all reason at some point in her life and honestly believes FOX. *shakes head*

    I'm saving this essay for times of need. Thanks for being coherent and eloquent.

    1. Don't just save this for times of need (which is most of the time). Use it, reread it, send it to people who should/might read it. Facebook it.

  26. Jim,
    Thanks for the rant. I fail to understand how people can so completely disregard information for sound bite bits. Thank you for your cogent response to the idiot in the editorial, where ever it was and whoever he is.

    I have noted in my wanderings (as a cop in a small town) how everyone assumes that I believe the way they do, and that their anti-Obama language will be made acceptable when they trumpet that he has cut the military and funding for law enforcement. Really?

  27. Shortly after the election, I got a hand scrawled note in the mail from my 70yr old dad. It said "Looks like your guy won again, congrats and God help us". And that was all it said. All that went in an envelope, and was trucked from AL to NC on a price of a postage stamp. Too funny.

  28. MAGNIFICENT rant, Chief! Thank you for reminding me that there are plenty of American white men around our ages (I've been around for 55 years so far) who are not "conservative" assholes. I'll be sharing this on the Book of Faces today, for sure, and who knows, maybe one of the southron jackasses I went to high school will read it and maybe even internalize it, because it's coming from a white man.

    Nah, it'll never happen.

  29. "They will be just fine" even down here in Texas.
    My daughter is in graduate school. Her psy professor has the class role play, like we did in the early LMT and LMET classes, except he makes the booger pickers play themselves.
    Wakes up the entire class.
    They will be just fine, indeed!
    Thanks, Warrant.

    1. LMT and LMET, now that takes me back to the good old days... before TQL

    2. Greg - ETC(SW) USN RetiredMarch 28, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      I was one of those TQL instructors, by the way. Not the first tier national train-the-trainers from Little Creek or Coronado, but second tier - individual command trainer/facilitator, trained by the first tier.

    3. I was a 1st class petty officer in the first LMT class in Corpus Christi. Having a black, female senior chief counsel you in front of 30 E-6 thru O-4s can be an eye opener and a career builder.
      Knocked all the Texas redneck right out of me and made me a pretty damned good Chief, if I may say so.

  30. Love your closing description of the world likely to be left by the Hubers.

    But seriously, Jim, you describe a barricaded, barbed-wire USA as if it were a bad thing! It occurs to me that it is probably the wet dream of many of the Hubers of the world.

    And I respectfully disagree with the comment that the Golden Age that many people beleive in is their own youth between 18-25 years of age (though that was an awesome time). I thnk it is more like the ages of 2-8 years old or so. That was the time (if you were lucky) that you were fed, clothed and sheltered with little effort on your part; War was a game & everybody got up & went home at the end; dragons were named Puff & did not try to rend the flesh from your bones; you didn't know what a paycheck even was or that they could disappear; starvation meant having to wait that final hour till dinner was ready after you'd been playing your silly ass off all afternoon; and America ws the greatest place on earth because your Sunday School teacher told you so.

    Now that childhood is over the world is suddenly, inexplicably, a dirty place filled with people not always like you.

    And I suppose that's when the barbed wire starts looking good.

    But there is one caveat that those who are always afraid of the Other should heed: We are all Other to somebody else. It is a short road from "Them damn Muslims" to "Them damn Methodists". Don't bother starting the car, we can walk there by lunchtime.

    And I fear that the misanthropic ravings you hear from some on the right are the first steps on that road.


  31. My father calls such people "aginers". As in, they are against (or agin) everything and not for anything. He despises them. And this from a 70 yr old Iowa farm boy who served in the Navy during Vietnam. He just decided he can't stand being officially Republican anymore, either. Says the party no longer represents anything he cares about or believes in.

  32. The article took this reader from depression and despair to optimism in the last ten sentences.

  33. There are very good reasons for animal testing, some animals are very much like us in shape and "hardnesses". If they would have not had animals(pigs) to operate on, many of our surgical procedures would still be experamental. Especially for transplant, and heart surgeries.

  34. That's good writin' Jim, damn good wordsmithing.

  35. Jim - - You and I have pretty much traveled the same road - "One day I looked up and realized that I was on the other side."
    I'm alright with it too.

  36. Hi Jim,

    I just started reading your blog recently, and damn, man, you're one hell of a writer. (Well, OK, it helps that I agree with just about all of your opinions.)

    On this piece, I'm with you about 97%. I'm especially happy with "You know, in my experience the vast majority of those who complain about political correctness are just sore that they got called out for behaving like crass assholes", and will probably use it at some point.

    My only quibbles:

    "As an American, you have more opportunity now than any other human being at any other time in history." Personally, I'd say that Americans of 30 to 60 years ago had a little more. The huge and growing income inequality, the massive accumulation of wealth at the top end, and the hugely increased cost of college make it harder for my son's generation to move up economically than it was for mine.

    ". . . dimwitted religious nutters who think they can create an actual budget based on a shitty science fiction novel written by a fraud." Um, I'm trying not to believe that you just confused Ayn Rand with L. Ron Hubbard, because I think you're smarter than that. Or does one of Rand's novels count as SF? (I haven't read any of them.)


    1. Atlas Shrugged is most certainly Science Fiction.

      Here, read my post on the subject Ayn Rand and the Zombies from Outer Space

    2. Unfortunately I have read Atlas Shrugged. While I was working in a factory, so I saw all the characters come to life around me.

      She's very heavy handed in her writing and repetitive, and doesn't seem to like women much, especially as wives or mothers.

      The last 400 pages of the book moved along OK, but you have to read the first 600 pages first, which reminds me of the relief you feel when you stop beating your head on the wall.

      Battlefield Earth by L.R. Hubbard is worse written, but has ruined fewer lives. The character is one dimensional, the plot should have been a short story. I looked the author up in the library to see if I could in some way tell him how bad the book was. He was dead, and so escaped criticism. (In my defense, I was 16 and had just finished 3 really long James Michener books, so I viewed really long books as a plus.)

      Atlas Shrugged is sci fi - just consider it near future science fiction.

    3. Ayn Rand is not science fiction.

      There is no science in Ayn Rand's fiction.

    4. How about "Ayn Rand wrote crappy self-absorbed pseudoscience fiction for people who don't understand science, psychology, and economics."? Perpetual motion machines are for dullards.

  37. Take no prisoners! Just pure, stripped down, unadulterated truth. I salute you.

  38. Jim,

    Brilliant. I have no words.

    But I do have one complaint.

    "They’ll get a country where the land is poisoned and the water undrinkable, because you didn’t want to put undue burdens on business."

    Undue burdens. No..

    The burdens are OVERDUE.

    Here we are in the 70th or 80th decade of industrialization in America. The bill is way past due for the sins and neglects of the past century. Land, water and air are despoiled and left to lie fallow all around us. In urban settings, in rural communities. All over the Rust Belt and most of Texas (poetic justice, that)

    The "burdens" should have been shouldered by those who had the means to prevent or correct it the problem or created the problem to begin with because it was more profitable to do things badly instead of doing them correctly.

    It's not hard, it's really about being a good neighbor.

    Who says that the chemical plant next to a group of rowhomes does not have the duty to be a good neighbor and not leave toxins and hazards lying all over the place?

    If your neighbor decided that they wanted a new couch and just dumped the old one on your front yard, shouldn't there be consequences for that action?

    If your neighbor, the coal fired power plant, leaves mountains of mercury and lead contaminated ash in your backyard, is that any different?

    The undue burden is on the people who have had to shoulder the one where their water is undrinkable, thier soil is unproductive and thier air is unbreatheable.

    1. teqnopagan,
      From the context, I would say that Jim's use of the word "undue" is written from the other's (Huber et al.) point of view. I think that a man who takes and posts pictures of eagles in his blog appreciates nature. Your rant is pointed the wrong way.

    2. Jerry,

      The "rant" is not at Jim. I completely get where he is going with this piece.

      I just hear this stuff from RW's all the time and I just wanted to pop off about it.

      Undue Burdens. Regulatory Burdens. Job Killing regulations. ETC ETC.

      It sticks in my craw to hear it.

      How come we never hear about PEOPLE KILLING Pollution.
      You'd think that the pro-life bunch would be up in arms about something that harms human life.

      No. They're way to busy giving big long sloppy's to the Koch Brothers.

      I know that Jim isn't Hubering (I like that word it kinda gives focus to my sense of outrage) but I would have said that instead of "put an undue burden on business" it would bave been more accurate to say "to require business to live up to thier responsibility to thier communities"

      Just sayin. Sorry, I just needed to vent......

    3. It's fine with me. In fact, I agree with most of what you said. You're preaching to the choir, teqnopagan.

    4. A minor quibble regarding "mountains of mercury and lead contaminated ash." CFPP ash does have trace amounts of mercury (seldom lead), selenium, uranium, etc., but not so much that the flyash can't be used in cement or prevent the scrubber slurry usage in sheetrock (calcium sulfate, aka gypsum). The irony is the control of mercury in air emissions adds said mercury to the flyash rendering it unusable for cement and therefore it has to be landfilled, most times on the plant site. Mercury contamination of ash is indeed a problem but seldom are mountains created to deal with it. At least, not in Texas (yeah, I know...gratuitous bash invite...sigh). Fortunately we've got enough natural gas now to render CBPP's economically moot, which is a perhaps accidental and unintentional positive byproduct of hydraulic fracturing coupled with horizontal drilling.

    5. Lead and mercury contamination cannot be portrayed as acceptable in any form. That kind of idiotic ignorance has been the Chamber of Commerce line for too long and at no benefit whatsoever except to benefit the polluters.

      It's 'irony' that mercury controls lead to unusable cement and ash? No, that's not irony, that's idiocy to suggest it's ironic. There's nothing ironic about trying to downplay pollution or trying to make pollution 'acceptable'.

      And no, there's no positive byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, it's a polluters dream process, deregulated yes, acceptable, no.

      We've spent far too much time looking at pollution as 'acceptable', it's not, it's never been so, and it won't ever become so. We need to clean up our act, not try to downplay or accept even more and more pollution.

    6. As a biological scientist and a human being who breathes air to survive, I agree with Joe Blow.

      Don in Waco, what you are saying is that it is too bad that energy companies can't make more money by putting more mercury, arsenic, and lead into the air (more pollution controls are a little more expensive), as well as profiting by selling only slightly contaminated gypsum. The small detail you're missing is that the pollution going out the stack is poisonous. That's air you, me, everyone has to breathe. The pollution control you're complaining about is keeping that toxic stuff out of the air. Mercury is a neurotoxin- it attacks nerves and slowly kills people. Lead is a neurotoxin and it provably makes people stupid. Arsenic kills people. Just a little in the air won't kill people right away, but it does poison everyone. The problem is that a power plant puts out TONS of the stuff every year. If it all got dumped into the ground next to the plant, then it would kill every living thing nearby and poison the ground water. (Is an instant Superfund toxic waste site your idea of a good neighbor?) Just because you can't see the mercury or lead or arsenic in the air doesn't mean it just goes away and magically becomes clean. People were... short-sighted for a very long time about air pollution. Do you make your money in the industry? (Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!") The only people who should be defending air pollution are the ones who don't need air.

  39. I have become a Will Rogers Democrat.

    "What this country needs is rain." ~ Will Rogers

    He had a way of condensing the essence from the circumstance that has survived as classic Americana.

    "A lotta folks that ain't usin' "ain't", ain't eatin'." ~ Will Rogers

    "We ain'ta gittin' all the Gov'ment we's a payin' fur.....and that's a good thing." ~ Will Rogers

    My favorite - "I'm not a member of an organized political party......I'm a Democrat." ~ Will Rogers

  40. Well, you WERE dealing with a pan of under-cooked tripe, weren't you? I sometimes get that crap in email from an old friend of my husband's...usually sent with a time stamp suggesting Happy Hour(s).

    My own veteran son argues that Obama is the worst ever, but he is in the midst of a Constitutional law class and is currently incensed about the various provisions of the Patriot Act being expanded upon to the detriment of civil liberties. I keep hoping that the fear floggers (same sorts as wrote up some of that 'blame the WHOLE world of history on Obama' bit) will eventually burn out and common sense will return in that arena as well.

    But, I admit, I sometimes worry about certain 'crossing the Rubicon' moments in law enforcement and military privilege on American soil. But as for 'worst President ever'...my vote still goes to George the Younger.

    1. Yeah, it burns my butt that I consider myself a moderate, and see Obama well to my right on the spectrum, then hear how he is a commie or socialist. Thanks for making communism and socialism look good.

  41. So Jim, were you sitting quietly in the corner when you wrote this? Great read, I will be sharing on the "book" when I sign back in.
    For what it's worth, I don't think most Americans are as far apart as the media portrays us. We all want the same things. The vast majority wnat those things for everyone. Trolls, internet and political, have a stake in portraying things differently. Divisiveness pays off for them. Their cloud of bullsmoke gives them cover for whatever scam they are playing today. Thanks for being a voice of reason here.

    1. You're right about Americans not really being that far apart. We just hear the loudest voices sometimes and of course, there's the "Fox News factor". But I saw this after the election. It's a county-by-county map of elected officials. See? We're really pretty purple once you zoom in far enough.


  42. Jim -

    An excellent piece of writing. I feel your pain; I'm having the exact same argument right now with one of my friends over DOMA. Instead of continuing the argument I’m just going to direct him here.

    When will I be able to put the “Wright is Right - 2014” bumper sticker on my car?


  43. My mouth is open in shock....at how incredibly great this post is. Well done, Jim. I would sure like the chance to send it to friends so they can read it.

    Honestly, this is the best of the year so far.

  44. Amazing response! I couldn't have responded better myself!

  45. I know the Ken Huber who wrote that editorial. I was appalled when I first read it years ago. I couldn't believe that he wrote it. But then I thought about it, and it made sense that it came from him.

    It could have come from almost any of the Republican Northern Michigan people I got to know back in the 1990's. It's pretty much the way that they think. I know it's bad to make generalizations, but this one is kind of deserved.

    That editorial is hanging on the wall here at work as a matter of fact, touted as a 'local boy made good' thing. I hate it.

    Thank you for your disassembly and rebuttal to it. Enjoyed it a lot.

    1. There's a connection between some of the Michigan Republicans and the ALEC-funded Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Did the Mackinac Center perhaps participate in its writing?

    2. Fred,
      Perhaps you could print out a copy of this blog and post it next to the article. Then sit back and watch the fun.

    3. Before I read your comment, Lucas, I thought exactly the same thing. Do you think it will stay posted? Ha!

  46. As ever, I am lost in awe and profound respect and gratitude for your blog. You write - easily - some of the best essays ( if that's what they are) about the state of our nation. I will continue to share your postings far and wide because they absolutely merit it.

  47. Jim, I couldn't agree more with this line. "You know what’s wrong with the current generation? Nothing. Not a goddamned thing." I believe they will become the greatest generation.

  48. I'm flying to Boston tomorrow so I can get married on Friday. Gay marriage being illegal in Georgia still.
    I walked out of the break room today as my very loud coworker expounded on "one man, one woman". Just didn't want to get into a political argument about my personal life. (I'm not out at work.)
    Three of the people that sit within 20 feet of me have made a point of saying they are against gay marriage.

    Thanks for speaking so clearly what I feel, and reminding me of why it matters to hang in there.

    1. Congratulations, and good luck.


    2. Just a question out of curiosity for those who want the government to sanction same-sex marriage. If you want the government deciding who should be "allowed" to get married, to which group(s) of consenting adults do you wish for government to deny marriage?

    3. Just a question out of curiosity for those who want the government to sanction same-sex marriage. If you want the government deciding who should be "allowed" to get married, to which group(s) of consenting adults do you wish for government to deny marriage?


      I don't understand the question, please be more clear.

    4. Those who want the government to "allow" same-sex marriage want the government in some way to regulate marriage. What regulation do they want imposed on which group(s) of consenting adults? i.e. who do they "not" want the government to "allow" to marry.

    5. Ah, I see. Leading questions instead of your usual "Stockholm Syndrome" and "gubmint" rhetoric. You're trying to pick a fight by being clever.

      Good luck with that.

    6. Congratulations on your impending nuptials, perhaps you and your spouse will decide to stay in MA, we welcome OK intelligent people here ;-).

    7. Pick a fight? Um, no. Just interested in an actual discussion about an issue, since I've never been one for mutual admiration societies. Seriously, every person I've talked to who is in favor of the gubmint "allowing" same-sex marriage is also in favor of same gubmint "restricting" marriage for various other group(s) of consenting adults. Seems to make the whole "marriage equality" gig more than a little hypocritical, no matter how neato keen of a fakebook symbol it is.

    8. Just interested in an actual discussion about an issue...

      Sure you are. That's why you led with a tortuously constructed strawman, so you could spring the whole "so people should be able to marry animals and children and farm equipment" bit on anybody dumb enough to take the bait, and then you could go all libertarian and call them a hypocrite when they didn't agree.

      You kept checking back all day, but when nobody fell for your little trap, you reverted to type with "gubmint" and "fakebook" and called us all hypocrites anyway.

      If you were really interested an actual discussion, you'd actually engage in discussion instead of playing games. Before you call the rest of hypocrites, try taking a look in the mirror.

    9. Nice try, but no cigar. I CLEARLY indicated "consenting adults" in my original post. YOU even copied and pasted in it in asking for clarification. Obviously no "strawman" involved. Yet you somehow chose to invent what I did not type re: "animals and children and farm equipment" nonsense. Any reason you made that shit up?

      And please, enough with the whining about the term "gubmint." After the mockery democrats and republicans have made of it, this farce of a travesty of a mockery of a banana republic really doesn't deserve the respectful, proper spelling of the word. I'm hoping that changes some day, but not holding my breath given the "party over country" crapola that dominates our politics.

      As for "fakebook," let's be honest. You don't strike me as they kind of guy who actually cares what anyone else had for breakfast, what their pet looks like or where their cousin's friend's uncle went for vacation.

      So basically, still interested in hearing from someone willing to discuss the issue. I've yet to discuss the matter of single-sex marriage with any supporter who does NOT want the gubmint to deny marriage equality to some group(s) of consenting adults. How is that not hypocrisy?

    10. Any reason you made that shit up?

      Because that's exactly where you were going with it. I know it. You know it. You've commented enough here over the last month to outline your tactics quite clearly. And now you're just pissy that you got called out on it.

      I get it, Anonymous, I really do. You're the standard issue Lower Peninsula big L Libertarian who hates the "gubmint" so bad you can't even spell it without spitting, you think the rest of us are all deluded idiots, you're angry and bitter that the rest of us just won't go fuck off to Canada and die. That would come through loud and clear even if you didn't flog the same message every single time you log onto my website. I hear ya, Anonymous, and it's long past tedious.

      As to what I whine about on my own site, or what I am or am not interested in on social media, you don't get a vote. If you don't like that, you're free to go elsewhere. Frankly, why you keep showing up here is beyond me.

      still interested in hearing from someone willing to discuss the issue.

      With you? Nope. Now, go hijack somebody else's blog, or start your own.

    11. Sorry to disappoint you, Jimbo, but your preconceived notion of "where" I'm "going with it" is wrong. It's where YOU want, expect, hope, pray, wish I'll go with it in order to fit your little boxes, but still wrong.

      Again, I don't "hate" the government. I hate what people like you and Michelle Bachmann and W and Obama and Palin and MSNBC and FOX have made it. And no, I don't want "the rest" of you to go to Canada. Even they don't deserve the piss poor job the ruling political class here has done with a once great nation.

      So here's the gig. I have a cousin who is a lesbian. Love her dearly. Went to her commitment ceremony. She's an engineer, and she's a teacher. They live well - probably don't pay their "fair share" of taxes according to most here, but what the hey. They adopted two kids who the state had written off and have done a miracle worker sort of job with them that Patty Duke would weep over. She's all about "marriage equality," but is absolutely freaked out by the notion of the gubmint allowing "marriage equality" for particular other group(s) of consenting adults. It's baffling, to be honest.

    12. OK, I will bite. First, the the lawsuits are not to exclude the institution of marriage from people, they are to open it up to more people. Second, if you can get a horse to agree to marry you, be my guest. Third, I happen to like our form of government. If you can show me a better form, that is presently practised today, I will be interested in hearing about it. Bonus points if you have actually visited the country in question.

      I couldn't care less about same sex, opposite sex, bestial sex, or vegetable sex marriage between consenting adults. I am engaged, and will get married, as that is what is necessary to get the proper papers for my fiancee. I have strong feelings about that, but it is more important to me to spend the rest of my life with my family, than tilt at the windmills.

      When you try to belittle the millions of competent, caring, and good people who work in goverment by painting them with the same 'gubmint' brush, you only show (to me)that you are not willing to participate in an intelligent, rational discussion that may result in the meeting of the minds, and perhaps a better solution to societal issues than either of us can come up with on our own. When I hear someone say 'gubmint' or any other catch phrase, it just sounds like someone trying to preach to me. I haven't had the patience for that since I was 6 years old.


    13. Uh huh.

      Anonymous, you're really not that big of mystery.

      As I said up above, if you want to have a discussion, then have a discussion and quit playing reindeer games. I've seen enough ambushes to recognize one without walking into it.

      Go ahead, name this mysterious group that your close-minded lesbian relative doesn't want to let get married.

    14. Danny,

      Thanks for your comments. Very well thought out and interesting.

      The lawsuits, however, are about the "institution" of marriage as defined by the gubmint. Why do "they" get to decide? I'm afraid I can't address your concerns about horses, beasts or veggies since my comments only concerned group(s) of consenting adults.

      I happen to like our form of government, too. Damn shame what republicans and democrats have done to it.

      Congrats on the engagement. Has it occurred to you to consider why you had to seek the gubmint's "permission" to proceed down that path to get the 'proper papers'? What qualifies them to lord over such a personal decision?

      I haven't belittled anyone in gubmint, other than the ruling political class (the only criminal class in America, as Twain pointed out), who deserve to be belittled, at best. What they truly deserve probably can't be printed here.

      I'm very willing to participate in "an intelligent, rational discussion." That obviously discounts anyone who votes for republicans or democrats, but I'm hoping we can give it a whirl.

    15. Jim,

      You mean aisde from polygamists and consenting adults within a familial status? Not exactly "mysterious," but certainly within the confines of those who should be denied marriage as per gubmint fiat.

    16. The visa paperwork has no bearing on me getting married. It only has a bearing on where we live.

      Concerning the horses, vegetables, and farm implements, you asked for someone, "I've yet to discuss the matter of single-sex marriage with any supporter who does NOT want the gubmint to deny marriage equality to some group(s) of consenting adults." I was simply establishing my bona fides.

      You asked for someone to step up and debate. I offered. Your response was to say say you like our government, and then start preaching about 'gubmint' and the horrible democrats and republicans. I believe I was clear on my thoughts concerning people who use that term. If you need any further clarification on those thoughts, please refer to Jim's original post.



    17. Once you eliminate the children, animals, and farm equipment, about the only thing left is incest. Predictable to the bitter end. Thanks, Anonymous, best laugh I've had all day.

      As I said, the standard issue big L Libertarian.

      First he demonstrates how open-minded he is by holding up a lesbian relative (and not just a lesbian, but a teacher no less, who he loves but couldn't quite mention without a dig as to her not paying her fair share), and then he sneers at her because she doesn't endorse marriage equality for groups and incest - which somehow makes her, and by extension all of us, hypocrites.

      And then for the dismount, Anonymous does the whole "I'm not belittling anybody" bit ... and a sentence later belittles anybody who doesn't vote the way he thinks they should.

      I let you get to your little incestuous punchline, Anonymous. You're done now. You've wasted enough of my bandwidth for today.


      Danny, please don't feed the trolls.

  49. "How 'bout them Yankees?" is the not so secret byline to indicate the conversation has past the point of relevance in our house, due to viewpoint, raging hormones, pms or just plain stupidity. It is understood that we are to move onto another subject, or go to the woodshed!
    Years of being tightlipped during the previous Prez administration followed by similar frustration you are experiencing has led us (me & the Mum) to spend more time with the younger folk. All my kids are in their twenties. I am very happy to report that for the most part, the burs that get under our skin have no relevance in their world.
    We went to an impromptu BDay party for a couple who happen to share the same birthday, house and his daughter, but no ring. There were two heterosexual married couples (almost said normal!) with 1rst borns on the way. There were 3 gay guys, a lesbian couple, and a multitude of mixed races and couples. They are not losing sleep over this kind of stuff. I truly think that they will leapfrog over all the bs doom & gloom.
    I just used to hope it would've been our generation, and perhaps that is where the frustration really kicks in . . . Thanks Jim for your clarity of thought and excellent writing, once again. Stay positive, as Grandma used to say "It's a tough life if ya don't weaken". I also find a jigger of fine bourbon never hurts. :-)
    Duff in nofla

  50. Jim, after each talking point in your blog, I wanted to stand up, raise my fist in the air & yell "Right On!" Excellent post & I couldn't agree more. Please keep on keepin' on!

  51. Maybe if you didn’t spend all of your time composing an endless list of woe and misery, you’d see the opportunity that surrounds you.

    This right here.

    Standing in line or walking through crowds and hearing the self-made despair is wearing awfully thin. I finished listening to that a while back and will pretty much tell anyone to shut up and help out if they happen to look my way - tactfully, of course. ;) Sometimes even if they don't.

    How many things would be so much better if we had stopped pissin' and moanin' and done something about it?

    Thanks, Jim. Again.

  52. "Seen from the outside, it has long been painfully clear that the most charitable thing one could say about Conservatism is that it has two things in common with an alien encounter: chronic butt-hurt and a complete inability to remember the past." - seen recently at Driftglass

    The writer to the editor lives in the same self imposed misery universe they all do....which would be fine if they didn't insist the rest of us join them there...

  53. A-f*ckin'-MEN, sir!! I have tried to curb my urge to reason with the unreasonable but I see you have figured out how to express the thoughts (which I share) of the non-indoctrinated once a cooler head prevails. More times than not I allow these raving morons to get my goat, which is probably what they want-IF they are sentient enough to recognize what they're doing and not just parroting talking points. Here in south-central Pennsyltucky the Huber types are a daily fixture on the op-ed page. Just yesterday, someone blamed the recent financial meltdown on Jimmy Carter (Socialist!)and the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. Now THAT's some absurd f*cking reaching! My own brother, who dropped so much acid in the 70s that his nickname was "Windowpane" and has always struggled financially, is under the impression that today's GOP is actually on his side. How do you argue with that?!
    I'm so glad you pointed out that the generation fighting our wars so that assholes can shoot off their mouths is far from inferior to previous ones. I despise those who point fingers at dirty liberals who aren't "patriotic" enough or don't "support the troops or America" but only offer their own support when it's politically expedient. Otherwise, it's out of sight and out of mind for these young people-the same ones who would inherit the mess these idiots would have this country become. For the life of me, I cannot understand the other side's allergy to progress and their undying focus on trying to re-create something long-dead. (I can, however, understand them enjoying the resurgence of the Gilded Age and the filthy lucre it brings them.)
    Why the complaints about people who "game" the system but no complaints about the super-rich people who do it too? Maybe there should be governmental assistance to help these dipshits pull their heads out of their asses.
    I will re-read this post whenever the daily assclown letter appears in the paper and my bile threatens to overflow into my mood. I will cheer and pump my fist and perhaps not allow the rest of my day to be ruined by the stupid people who surround me. Thanks, Jim! You rock!
    Pam in PA

    1. I offer the theory that the "voting against my best interests" unrich people have this delusion that someday they will be among the monied elite and they don't want those loopholes taken away before they can enjoy them. Not mine, but I've seen it often enough and it makes sense to me. It doesn't cover all the bases, either. I can just imagine your op-eds; they're probably just like mine. Eastern PA here, not close enough to major population centers for sense to make a dent in the politics of my bonehead neighbors. A Democrat represented this county for years. Went all red during the horrible Teabagger election of 2010, followed up with more of the same last time. I did my duty, but I'm just one man, you know?

      Yet another Jim

    2. My money's on Stockholm Syndrome or whatever the equivalent term is for abused spouses. Especially when you see organizations like Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud endorse one homophobic asshole after another because "conservative principles" outweigh the interests of the group they're claiming to represent in the idle hope that if they just suck up to the mainstream GOP long enough then surely someday they might actually be regarded as almost human beings...

  54. OMG, I always knew I loved you since the first time I read you. But this is the topper. You always say exactly and succinctly what must be said. And I'm very sorry for the headaches and jaw-grinding you get defending the truth. Thank you.


  55. This was one of the best things I have ever read. Ever. You, sir, are one of the most articulate people I have ever met, and I wish I had a tenth of your panache. Please keep it coming.

  56. I have admired your writing since I first became familiar with your site about a year ago. This post, in particular, is extraordinary. You have my deepest respect and gratitude.

  57. Fact check. US defense budget is not greater than the GDP of the next twenty countries combined. That set would include China, Japan, Germany and so on.

    Might be greater than the *defense budgets* of the next 20 though I have had a hard time believing that number.

    1. Just double checked - China 2011 GDP was 7.2 trillion dollars, about 10 times 2011 US defense spending ex veterans' benefits.

    2. Greg - ETC(SW) USN RetiredMarch 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      I passed over the statement knowing it was exaggerated and assumed Jim was making a larger point through the exaggeration. Here's a link showing the comparison of US defense spending compared to the next 13 countries defense spending combined. Either way, it's ridiculously, and unnecessarily, large and that's the real point. http://www.pgpf.org/Chart-Archive/0053_defense-comparison.aspx

  58. as a Canadian reader, I congratulate you on your writing. I agree with you. Hopefully my generation, and the generation before me, have not messed up this planet too much for our kids and grandkids. I like being an Optimist, but it is becoming harder in old age.

  59. Jim, that was some beautiful writing and I couldn't agree more. Thank you! june

  60. "These are the good old days." - Carly Simon

  61. Just one more thing, please? The Hubers around us haven't changed or gotten worse. They just haven't been where we've been, seen what we've seen, done what we've done or met who we've met.
    When I retired from the Navy in 1995, I wasn't who I was in 1963 when I joined.
    If I hadn't joined, I would probably be the snake handling, ass scratching, booger pickin' Huber I was in 1962.

  62. Love it. The nail was hit on the head, as usual. As the 'token' openly Pagan person in my county, I hear much of the crap from both sides.
    I like the current thing going around FB right now- The church can rule matrimony all it wants, matrimony is religious and SHOULD be ruled by the church. Marriage, however, is legal, a legal contract between two people, and has nothing to do with 'church' of any kind.
    I get so tired of having to get up and leave the room to avoid strangling people- many of them members of my own family. I shall pass this on to them, then leave the room quickly.....

  63. Brilliant, well-said, intelligent, etc. (As always!)

    I just finished reading "Blinded by the Right" by Richard Brock. Ten years after publication, but SOOOOO pertinent still! Mr. Brock was not in touch with himself, hiding the fact that he is gay, and rising within the ranks thinking he had a future and a cause. He SLOWLY saw the light. Very slowly, but at least he got in touch with his humanity enough to change sides and turn whistle-blower and lead a more humane and healthy life. Rabid conservatives, whether bright enough to write clearly or not, whether with enough IQ to become a lawyer or not, lucky enough to be wealthy or not, CANNOT be logical. They are logically challenged, substituting emotions and dogma. Most attempts to clear their thinking are futile; they will not let go of their emotional 'highs'. I simply hope they become more and more marginalized and unheard and irrelevant. They are self-serving as well as addicted to anger and pessimism. They will twist anything and LIE about anything if they think it will help themselves or the ultra-Conservative party. I am letting go of my outrage over their stupidity and unfair tactics, but becoming more vigilant about recognizing them. It is not worth using up my adrenalin on a daily basis and feeling angry instead of happy. I hope I can compartmentalize my disgust with stupid, illogical people and keep my political activities as a manageable portion of my life; I don't want to be addicted to the anger and adrenalin.

    It's not worth wrecking your woodwork or getting a headache, either. They are incapable of understanding, in my opinion.

    1. You know what the sad part is? They think they're the coldly logical ones and liberals are the ones who get all choked up & emotional. Maybe to them it looks like that, seeing liberals crying over the plight of their fellow man and such. Maybe they don't understand that the red-faced anger & hatred & fear their leaders always try to evoke are emotions, too. I think this goes along with their propensity for projection, too. "Nuh uh, that's what you do!"

  64. This will be buried, but I think a mark of the right is that it would rather listen to one of their "own" rather than anyone else, regardless of expertise. I had an argument with my dad about health care-- I'm a doctor for crying out loud, and not only do I work in a hospital but I keep up with all the studies that seem to indicate that people who aren't insured have poor health outcomes and people "with skin in the game" tend to make poor choices about what health care they will pay for etc etc etc. But he just told me "I was a very good technician in my field" and we'd be better off just using charity care and ERs for everything else. Because, of course, the hospital CEO he had lunch with told him they do "a lot" of charity care. He's a bright guy, and would be the last person I'd think would drink the kool-aide, but he has and has drunk deep. If it wasn't so widespread, I'd really worry that it was early alzheimer's.

  65. "I’d spent the morning reading hate mail ...." As I say to guys with more than four kids - "You DO know what causes that, don't you?"

    Jim, I gotta tell ya - Semper Fi brother! But, your repeatedly 'taking one for the team' seems like a strange cross between self-harm, leaning into the punch and pissing into the wind. Wading into the stupid so often has got to be incredibly exhausting.

    I turned the big 55 this week. That's my threshold. I can't even hear these idiots ever more. Too much more to live for. I love your commentary and willingness to mix it up with the mouth breathers; but its kinda like cave diving with Nazis. Better you than me Sailor. Tommy D

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. Thanks for the sanity.


  68. Jim,

    I'm glad to see you actually engage in conversations with the enemy . There is hope for you .

  69. It turns out that "think of the next generation" has also recently become a theme of the debt hawks. It's so visible that even Paul Krugman has commented on it: "Fiscal policy is, indeed, a moral issue, and we should be ashamed of what we’re doing to the next generation’s economic prospects. But our sin involves investing too little, not borrowing too much — and the deficit scolds, for all their claims to have our children’s interests at heart, are actually the bad guys in this story."--non-paywall link

    I suspect that somewhere, deep down inside, the people who put around this garbage know that they are screwing future generations and they are denying it. The younger people I know feel it, and are already starting to be bitter. It's sad to see people in their 20s almost as bitter as old men. What is wrong with the people who do this?

  70. As Prius-driving, solar energy and wind energy-using, NEA (Not NRA) member, mother of a navy submariner, mother of a lesbian daughter who has a lovely long-term relationship with her partner, and an Orthodox Christian, I am a square peg. I am against abortion in most cases, but I am also against the death penalty. I just wanted to let you know I appreciate what I've read of your blogs. What I involuntarily see of Fox news at they gym (I would NEVER watch it at home), I am left feeling nauseated. What's worse, they claim to be suffering Christians in a nation full of 'secular progressives'. As I mentioned, I'm a Christian, too. I just wanted to point out that not all of us fit the stereotype. True Christians love everyone and refuse to judge them. Please don't make an across the board judgment of 'Christians' as a group. I almost want to deny the label because of all the negative things associated with it in the U.S., with which I don't identify.

    Your blog "Inheritance" was spot-on. You said a lot of things I've thought about, but not had the time, talent, or audience to articulate.

    1. My sympathies. If it helps, I've been reminding people that many Christians are not radical right for years now.

      You might like Fred Clark.

  71. I am someone who fixed things for a living (now retired). I realized a few years ago that I was missing social cues and causing distress to people when they came to me with a problem I would try to help them fix it. What they really wanted was sympathy not solution. I call this syndrome "aint it awful". The Hubers of the world are in a biofeedback loop of "aint it awful" and they are addicted to it, and the adrenaline that results fom their constant anger and fear. They are junkies. I don't have a woodshop. I have a large organic garden. I find going out and digging in the dirt is great for the mental and physical health. When I have more than I can use, or can, or give to friends and family, I take it to the food bank and give it to the people in line. If we all take care of each other we will be fine. If you think there is a problem, get up from in front of the TV and do something.

    1. That's what I'm talking about, right there. Helping the rest of us hold it all together. Exactly that, Anonymous. Keep doing what you're doing.

    2. not you Jim thank you for your words

    3. Agree with Anon!
      After a hard day, there is nothing better than to go out into the garden, put your hands in the soil and get your soul back. Your cure is working with wood. But it's probably best to start with firewood pile and a very heavy splitting maul before going inside to work on to those expensive exotic woods with fine tuned machines.
      Thank you for taking apart the insane argument, syllable by ridiculous syllable. I received a similar email last week and felt the head ache coming on, so preemptively sent it to the round file. I may just cut and paste yours and send it to him. Headache gone!

  72. Brilliant. Thank you so much for saying all those things I wish I could say to my gun loving, Obama hating, gods gonna send you to hell, fag fearing friends and relatives. My heart hurts for them. They have created hell on earth. Blessings to you.


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