Happy birthday, Aaaaamerica. We’ve survived another year in spite of immense headwinds. I’m sure there are two schools of thought on what has gone amiss or what is going swimmingly across our fruitless plains. In my case, it was a lack of sun and enough rain to float Noah’s rig. It literally drowned the bees or kept them inside waiting for the sun. In any event, I have a Gravenstein with nary an apple. I have two peach trees which look like they were pickpocketed by the deer. Ad nauseum. But what about America? Read on.
Yesterday morning over coffee, Cupcake said she was glad her father was not alive to see what has transpired in just the last twelve years since his passing. I could only concur. Gerald came ashore in the first wave onto Omaha Beach. He went from Corporal to Second Lieutenant in ninety minutes as he watched his platoon decimated before his very eyes. My father became an Ace three times over in eight short months from November 1944 to June 1945. He passed in ’08 and I’m also glad he isn’t here to witness the destruction of America’s values (not democracy).
U.S. Marine Carl Spurlin Dekel celebrated his 100th birthday last week and had a few choice words which seems to vindicate my perception that something is truly amiss in the country Cupcake and I so dearly love. At least I know it isn’t just me. I ascribe wisdom to age and he’s older than me-and a Veteran.
Dekel says Americans don’t realize what they have. “The things we did and the things we fought for and the boys that died for it, it’s all gone down the drain.” Tell me about it Spurlin. Remember when America ran out of toilet paper back in ’20? That’s one reason I’m stocking up on Louisiana Hot Sauce™.
I agree it’s gone down the drain but, being an eternal silver lining optimist, I search for some redeeming evidence it will get better. As all of you know, we (Cupcake) has admonished me numerous times that politics and religion are poor conversation subjects. More wars have been fought over religion than any other subject in history. I won’t violate that taboo. I will simply point to what comes to me via my five senses. This being America, everyone gets to have an opinion.
As of today, gasoline is running close to six bucks a gallon at the local Shell station up the highway. A bottle of Johnny Walker Red is pushing $45 a fifth. A good prime rib eye steak you don’t need a magnifying glass to eat is about $22-$30 -if you cook it at home. I haven’t been to a restaurant in a few years to say what they get for one there. Police this year have turned into fishermen in a perverted catch-and-release program with felons using handguns. We have a broad chasm of dichotomy on how we should proceed politically. Let states decide their own destiny on abortion or turn America into a nanny state where Mother Government administers everything from cradle to grave? Seems to me the Constitution dang near covered every contingency imaginable but somehow left out the right to an abortion. So, did the 1973 Supreme Court have the right to grant it nationally? Do they have the right to change their minds 49 years later? Can’t they boot it back to the (wait for it) United States of America to let their states’ citizens individually decide? Gosh, I’m not a lawyer so I can’t say but there is that little blurb in the 10th Amendment discussing who gets to say what.
Several months ago, I watched a Supreme Court nominee (now a Justice) state she could not define what a woman was because she wasn’t a biologist. This month, every woman in America-birthing person or not- seems to have no trouble defining what that means-biological training or not. Birthing person? We’ve been procreating for aeons and never had any trouble figuring out how the birds and the bees operate. Now, we have to rearrange the English language so as not to marginalize menstruating men who may become birthing persons at some time in the future (maybe even after surgery). Why, they’ve been forced to install tampon machines in boys’ restrooms in Oregon’s schools to ensure “menstrual equity”. I’m gonna take a flying tackle at a rolling donut and venture that if there’s a tampon shortage (which I’ve heard mentioned) this fall when school reconvenes, that cisgender-assigned females will be allowed to use the boy’s room, too.
Somehow, in spite of all the aeons of responsible gun ownership, we now have reached a crossroads of irresponsibility on a national scale. I reckon it’s immaterial arguing about how the cows got out of the barn at this point. Video games? The death of religion? Suffice it to say that it’s broken. I won’t offer repair orders on what needs to be changed. That’s not my job. What I can say is it seems absurd that some folks can look at Sandy Hook, the Buffalo supermarket massacre and Uvalde and see a need to outlaw the ownership of guns but ignore the perennial news of firearms carnage every weekend in Chicago. Why is it acceptable in Chicago? One life terminated is one too many. Where it occurs in America seems equally bizarre. Chicago has some of the most stringent gun laws on the books. Ditto other cities where the incessant gunfire is a constant reminder of the new lawlessness. When I read about cops in New York city being lured into an ambush and killed weekly, I scratch my head. Until last week, they, too, had some of the most stringent handgun concealed carry laws in the contiguous United States-let alone possession/registration laws. In comparison, my state of Washington is pretty sketchy. All you need for a CCW permit for your unregistered handgun here is $48.00 for five years and Jesus in your heart. What am I saying? Shoot, even agnostics can apply. No 16 hours of training and two hours of live fire. No permit to buy and possess ammo. Nothing. So why is it that you need body armor in Chicago or NYC-even if you’re not a cop? Or LA where there simply are no CCW permits except for celebrities? Why don’t we need it (stringent gun laws) in this wild west state where there are no gun laws to mention? Why is Seattle different from Chicago? I won’t venture a guess. Nope. Call it a fait accompli above my pay grade.
I look around at my once-gorgeous Seattle- formerly known as the Emerald City. It smells a lot like urine with those rich, earthy overtones of feces now. The National Flag of homelessness- the blue tarp- is flown everywhere proudly. The City council allocated $267 million for homelessness services this year. The American flag has been classified as racist. I see the rainbow flag flown frequently… but not Old Glory. Again. I merely observe. I have no desire to preach what you should or should not think. What political camp you belong to should not matter unless you subscribe to the latest woke concept that urine should be considered the new national perfume. How about we call it Eau d’stress and get some celebrity gal to market it. We could donate 1¢ for each sale and solve the homeless problem. But using the numbers, I logically divided the $267 mil into the 6,000 homeless souls and figured out you could just give each one $44,500 and let them administer their own finances. What? You trust them with free giveaway syringes for their Fentanyl, $600 in cold cash/month for breathing and free run of the food banks. Why be judgmental and say they’re “afflicted” and need supervision? I’m told it’s a lifestyle option for some. I’m not buying but I refuse to be judgmental.
It matters little to me what color you dye your hair or what you believe your sex to be in your own mind. I remember back to a day when we let our hair grow long, smoked pot and some daring souls even ate LSD. We didn’t drive around shooting folks for having short hair. We subscribed to the live and let live mantra. What happened to my beautiful America? Why is everyone so unutterably depressed, morose and a victim? Like Mr. Dekal above, I signed up to defend what America stands for. Why is it that in the America of 2022, all we previously held admirable is now racist, sexist and requires a whole new, carefully sanitized and approved vocabulary? Woe betideth any who color outside the lines. Nobody can tell me my ideals as an American have all been clouded by racism. I served with, lived with and ate with all manner of human beings that ran the whole gamut of color, creed and political persuasion. I never held myself to be above a single soul.
I won’t ponder why all this is. What I question is why do I have to go through a re-education camp at the ripe old age of 71 to be indoctrinated on trigger words and instructed on using the correct pronouns? Wouldn’t it be far easier if folks who are conflusticated about their “identity” wear cute, rainbow-colored descriptive nametags that say Sally (they, their, theirs) or whatever floats their boat? If you knew upfront Sally wants to be referred to as ‘they’, it sure would go a long way in preventing a shit ton of screaming about how sexually insensitive you are for purposefully butchering Sally’s pronouns. As for appropriating cultural identity, does that mean I have to relinquish my beloved Bavarian lederhosen and foreswear Octoberfest celebrations for life? Am I required to have pronouns. Where do I get them? So many queshuns.
If this keeps up, it’s going to devolve downwards into South LA and folks wearing red or blue kerchiefs to signal not Crips or Bloods affiliation but a profession of Republican or Democratic religious belief. I long for the America I enjoyed as a child. Jump rope and Red Rover. As Mr. Dekal noted in his article, there are so many things our children (and now our grandchildren for us older folks) will never be permitted to know, let alone enjoy-all in the name of political correctness.
Once upon a time, a Confederate flag on the back window of a pickup truck meant nothing more than some good ol’ boy with a juvenile delinquent streak. There was no hint of white supremacy or racism attached. Or, if there was, it was nothing more than the impressionable fringe beliefs of middle-aged idiots on youth. By the time I graduated from high school, the KKK was little more than a mention in history books. Remember all the gomers up in Skokie Illinois who dressed up for some shindig every spring in full Nazi regalia? Did we fence in the Capitol and begin a Macarthyesque witch hunt for any vestige of a resurgence of the Third Reich? Hell, no. So what’s with the Russia! Russia! Russia! diatribe. If there was some truth to it, you can be sure some Cassidy Hutchinson would pop up out of the woodwork and confirm it under oath. Look at what happened to the Supreme Court Justice fight over Kavanaugh. Remember Judge Judy. Hearsay is not admissible. The January 6th Congressional Committee is going to hit that wall soon enough. How do you indict someone based on ” John said that Kathy overheard you say you hate Blacks. You’re under arrest. Please turn around and place your hands behind your back, sir.”
As long as there have been ‘Contrarys’ as envisioned in Thomas Berger’s most excellent novel Little Big Man, so, too, have there been those who desperately seek to be different, dress differently, dye their hair something other than blonde etc. It’s almost a contest to see who can outdo one another and be the most outlandish. Hey, fly at it. Just leave the guns at home. We should settle our differences at the ballot box. Period.
This fall, we are going to have an election conducted by Americans for Americans. Voters must be Americans. In addition, some will discover they need something more than a electric bill or a YMCA membership card to show their bona fides. The whole concept of giving a bye to minorities who purportedly haven’t had a chance to get a photo ID is racist on its face, isn’t it? Are these enlightened folks who claim to speak for you implying that you’re somehow too simpleminded to obtain this ID if you’re a person of color? Are they saying you’re poor, illiterate and somehow disenfranchised by not having transportation to get down to the Department of Motor Vehicles? In a world where you need ID to buy smokes, booze and pot, no one can look you in the eye and say “Shucks. I just never got around to getting photo ID.” I got my learner’s permit (sans photo) in 1966 at 14 ½ in Virginia. I got my permanent one at 15. Yes. It had my picture on it. If the laws haven’t changed, Occam’s Razor posits that the simplest explanation is the correct one. So where are all the folks with no driver’s licenses who drive but cannot vote?
I hate to say it but America is becoming the Land of the Free and the home of the Excuse. Everybody’s freedom is colliding with everyone else’s. Folks with no dog in a fight suddenly have a dog in every fight. What is to be gained by dressing up in your Handmaiden® Halloween costume and parading up and down in front of a Supreme Court Justice’s residence scaring the bejesus out of his/her children? A Supreme Court Justice is beholden to our Constitution-not your political cause d’jour on the subject of immigration or guns. Didn’t anyone explain this to the youngsters in social studies or were they too engrossed in explaining how horrible America used to be in 1609?
I note that neurologists often query my TBI clients as to who the sitting president is. This is to ascertain if they are addled in the head or AO X 3 (alert and oriented in all three planes of who they are, what day it is and where they are in America). By rights, some of these young ones would flunk that test in a New York minute. A humorous newsman has already demonstrated that by going to college campuses and asking educated college students some of the most elementary of questions in that vein. A common rejoinder is “Gosh, I guess I should know who the vice-president is, huh?” But boy howdy can they tell you what Karol Kardashian wore to the Oscars bitchslap.
I’m sorry. I sure don’t mean to insult our youth. I’m old school American. I probably don’t go to church as much as I should (never) and I may have some weird personality habits that offend others. But deep down inside, I’m an American. Not Red or Blue but an American citizen. Not white or black but an American patriot. By its very existence, America has always stood for freedom- freedom to and freedom from. The guardrails around America are just high enough to protect you from falling off the high balcony but no higher. Those same guardrails are not there to fence you out as so many now attempt to portray them. Our differences are artificially created to maximize confusion. Remember that story in the Old Testament about the evil town of Babel? Same game. You are black and only we can help you. Or: You are white and you rely on RINO white supremacists to protect you in Congress. Divide and conquer is the way this works. As my Kindergarden teacher always admonished us in 1955-“Be a do bee, not a don’t bee.”
I suggest we ignore all this discordance and let our common sense of old dictate how we think and act. It’s simple. Act like an American. Love your country. Be old fashioned and be patriotic. It’s how we arrived here where we are now lo these 226 years of our existence. It’s been a bumpy ride accomplished by a lot of bellowing and screaming. I’m fairly confident we can make it another millennium or two if we act like adults. Please vote this November. Show your civic pride. But always remember, we live in a majority rule country. Don’t get hurt feelings and pout. Let’s fix America rather than tear Her down. Our collective will as voters guides our destiny. Be patient. Be an American. Be a do bee.
And that’s all I’m going to say about that.