Archive for February, 2009

Patriotism

When Barack Obama was elected, somebody I knew said that was the first time she’d ever felt “patriotic”.  She is at least in her 30’s and I have to admit that I was little offended/depressed/surprised by her comment.  Offended because I find it personally hurtful that people don’t seem to appreciate the country we live in.  YES it has problems; huge, gigantic problems it seems.  But we can complain.  We can protest.  We can act out in whatever stupid way we want (think of that group that marches at soldier’s funerals).  This kind of freedom is just a hoped for dream in many countries.  Depressed because it saddens me when people take for granted those freedoms and liberties.  And surprised that there wasn’t one other time that she felt patriotic. 

After some thought, I realized she was equating patriotism with our government.  I see the government as an institution.  With all the problems and boundries that every institution has.  I usually equate the ‘government’ with screwing things up rather than patriotism. 

Patriotism is about the ideals of this country.  You know “We the people” or “give me liberty or give me death”.  Very soul stirring stuff.  It’s about the people who populate this country.  Yes, there are some very bad people but for the most part we are just people.  Making a living, loving and doing our thing but every now and then, wow, we are fabulous.  I’m talking goosebumps here … what about a group of people on a plane that sacrificed themselves rather than becoming a missile?  So they crashed that plane in a field in Pennsylvania.  Or all those people that ran towards the World Trade Center instead of away when the planes hit?  Or all the people who packed trucks and trucks of stuff (food, water, diapers, clothes etc) and then drove them to New Orleans?  And those people that felt compelled to jump in their own vehicle to drive to that same disaster area not knowing what they could do but knowing they had to do something?  And of course, every man and woman in the military who whether they give up their lives are actually WILLING to do so.  For you.  For me.  For some idiots right to burn the flag.  For another idiots right to spill hot coffee in their lap and then sue because they are an idiot.  But mostly for their Country — give me liberty or give me death indeed. 

If at least one of those times didn’t cause you to feel at least a modicum of pride in being an American than perhaps you need to examine what exactly being a patriot really means to you.  Or check to see if you still have a heart beat.

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news of the day

The news of the day is about the same as yesterday.  More money being spent, more people being hurt and more bad weather.  I don’t actually watch TV news though I will occasionally try to catch the weather report — I do live in the midwest after all.  I do read the local paper (on-line, I’m frugal too) but usually focus on the stuff happening locally which can be pretty depressing in and of it-self and I figure I don’t need another layer of depression on top of it which is why I usually skim or even skip the world news stuff.  I’m not sure if that makes me lazy, a delusionist or perhaps a realist.  But it is what it is and I am who I am.  (Can’t believe I actually typed that — how Popeye of me).

What is the point you ask?  Good question.  Hmmm, I suppose the point is that nothing really changes.  Or perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same.  How trite.  Again, I’m not sure I believe that I typed that.  I suppose though if someone has said something that makes sense, it makes sense to use it again.  And again….

For example, when George W. was president, didn’t we bail out some big companies — to save the economy?  And now, with Obama as president aren’t we doing the same thing?  I understand that it is different companies, different industry even but still we ‘must’ or risk depression.  I don’t know about you but I’m already depressed (see above) so I’m not sure saddling my great-grandchildren with a bill of about a trillion dollars will  make me any happier.  Perhaps my take on the economy is too simplified but I never considered myself an economic genius – says the woman who barely balances her checkbook.  So my take on the economy — is this not a capitalist economy based on supply and demand?  If I demand it, you supply it and I will pay the price you ask or not.  In which case you will choose to lower your price or try to sell to someone else.  So if I’m a car manufacturer, for example, and you don’t want to buy my car, I should not make any changes in my company policy (i.e., make better cars, lower prices, advertise differently, etc) but I should run to the government and say, “the sky is falling”.  That in a nutshell is my take on our current problem.  Of course, my solution is to not bail anybody out but let the chips fall where they may.  I’m sure some economic genius will tell me that is wrong but until they can explain it in terms that I can understand (“pretend I’m a 5 year old”) then I can’t drink the kool-aid.  Really.

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Pet Peeves

I went to a movie this weekend.  Big deal you say.  Well I don’t go to them very often because I hate to pay that kind of money when I know the movie will be out in a month or two and I can pay half the price.  BUT I do like the “whole experience”, you know big screen and sickeningly buttery popcorn so I do go occasionally.   Now you may think because I’m ranting about the price of movies that would be my pet peeve.  Not so, my bigger pet peeve is people who TALK during movies.  I don’t care if you are whispering, I can still hear you.  IF you ask one more time “What did he say?” I may just reach over your gigantic popcorn and slap you silly.  Really.  It’s just rude.  And don’t even get me started on people who bring their baby to the movie instead of paying for a babysitter.  Trust me, the baby will not sleep through the guns, car chases and huge megatronic explosions.  Especially when their mommy is involved in fisticuffs with the mad woman who is trying to slap her for talking.

My next pet peeve is cell phones.  Now, I have a cell phone and no land line so I understand the benefits but really if you can’t put the thing away and focus on where you are at right now, you should probably stay home.  I also went to a high school soccer game this weekend and had the misfortune to sit next to a woman (a mom no less) who couldn’t seem to watch the game as she was too busy calling people.  Now, if she was calling them to say, “Jr just scored the winning goal” or “I’m sorry your dog died and I understand why you had to cancel the party tonight” I would be totally supportive but to call at that particular time to say, “I just realized that I need Sue’s phone number do you have it?” And then she calls Sue to say “Hi, what’s going on? Oh no reason, just wanted to say hi”.   She too deserves a slap.  Especially when she hangs up and asks me, “What did I miss?”  I really wanted to say, “Lady you’ll miss more than you can make up for”.  Another slap for the person in the store who doesn’t realize that they are shouting and I don’t care to know the details of their latest date/conquest or bout of loose bowels.  Really.

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