Friday, April 8, 2011

Honor those who Honor Us

*This entry will contain explicit language – If you can’t handle or accept that, skip and come back next week for a new entry.*

I am so furious right now.
This government shutdown has me up in arms and pissed off in a way I didn’t realize that I could be about something that doesn’t directly concern me. The thing that has me so irate is that our military may not get paid.
One more time for effect:
Seriously, what the fuck is going on?
These men and women sacrifice so much for this country and our sometimes re-fucking-tarded foreign policy and it is blatantly disrespectful and completely unacceptable for our (yeah right) lawmakers to withhold money these troops have earned.

I have never been truly man (I don’t mean that in a sexist way) enough to join any branch of our military. I flirted with the idea a considerable amount, but I never did it. To me, my family was more important. That’s a selfish way to be, but it’s how I am. I can contemplate making sacrifices – including the ultimate one – for our safety and well being, but right out of high school I was too chicken shit to do anything. Then I had nephews. “I don’t want to join because I don’t want to miss out on them growing up.” Then I got married. “Well, obviously, I can’t join up as a newlywed.” Then we had Grayson. “I need to be around to take care of my son.” Then Jackson came along. “I’m a family man. I need to be here for them.”

As you can see, I’m chock-fucking-full of excuses. I regret not joining when I was young and didn’t have so many factors preventing me from doing so. I regret never having the testicular fortitude to grapple with the fact that I’ll miss my parents and my brother and sister.

What these men and women do for us is far and above what most Americans would consider. Who wants to miss out on their baby’s first words or first steps? Hell, who wants to miss anything with their children? Plus, our forces leave behind their husbands and wives. Their siblings. Their parents. Their friends. All they can grasp onto is the man next to them. Their family becomes their platoon and their unit.

We expect these brave men and women to sacrifice for us. To put themselves and their families through these hardships, and now we’re going to withhold their meager fucking pay? I’m not sure if you know this, but most of our armed forces don’t make much money. Truthfully, you can probably make more money running a women’s clothing store. These men and women do this for pride and for honor and it pisses me off to no end that the children of these people are going to suffer because our motherfucking government can’t remove the collective head from their asses.

This whole situation is ri-goddamned-diculous. The last thing we need to do is bite the hand that protects us.
I do not agree with everything (hell, much of anything) that our government does, but this is the lowest pile of horseshit I’ve ever heard of.

Pay our troops - and thank our troops and our veterans. It’s because of these people we are able to have the lifestyles that we do. Our men and women in the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marin Corps, Coast Guard, Reserves, and National Guard (and anything else I’m missing) have more guts and more honor than any clothes-shilling armchair blogger – and more than everyone else who had never served as well.

Honor their sacrifice and take care of these people and their families.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Life and Times of Herman Jackson, Issue 2

“Before we enter the atmosphere, there are some lessons we need to review, Herman.”

“Aw, come on, dad! Let’s just go! The kids in school will never believe this!” Herman replied, positively giddy with anticipation.

“Son, you know that’s not how we do things. I am an explorer and an adventurer. I seek knowledge and I believe that what we learn, and what we learn from, can drastically impact our lives and our futures.”

With a wave of his arm, the afterburners of their jetpacks fired up and gently took them to the singular moon orbiting the Earth.

“Let’s stop here for a bit. After all, this moon is very important to the people of Earth – to our ancestors.”

Herman and his father touched down on the gray moon and began to relax and really take in the beauty that was the third planet from the sun. Herman was anxious to get to the planet proper, but he had to admit, he did enjoy learning and the history of the human race was one of his favorite subjects. Another few minutes waiting wouldn’t hurt him, and he knew that his father was brilliant and would supply delicious tidbits of information for his hungry young mind.

“Herman, humans came from this planet - the planet Earth. This is the only planet in the known universe where we can exist unaided. People here can breathe without the use of rebreathers, the atmosphere is essentially designed for our fragile shells, and the soil is capable of producing all of the food necessary to meet the needs of an ever expanding society. At least these things were true.” With a great sigh the father continued. “In the year 2214 the human race declared war upon themselves – again. This would mark the fifth world war. Not one nation – not one city even – escaped unscathed from the destruction. It was in the years following that manned space stations like the one we live on were truly popularized.”

“Five World Wars? I don’t understand – not even the Thri-lets war that much.”

“Heh. That’s true son, Thri-lets are barbarous but humans, by nature, are a greedy and selfish people. We rarely fight for honorable reasons. We fight for money and power and for sheer pleasure in some cases. Entire countries were wiped out - turned in to nuclear wastelands and all in the name of religion or politics. We are not, by far, the smartest known race in our universe, but from my experience, we are the most resilient. So, in 2226, our space station was launched and the operational staff had decided amongst themselves that things would be different this time. As you know, our station holds about three million citizens and every one of us has a profound desire for peace. We have learned from the mistakes our ancestors made and we refuse to let things go unchecked. We govern ourselves and we refuse to become members of the intergalactic senate or Earth. We are citizens of nowhere, but we are citizens amongst ourselves and it all stems from the unbalanced way our people lived for centuries.”

Herman stared up at his father in awe of the knowledge the man possessed. Adding to the beauty of his father 
standing with the Earth behind him was an ancient flag; red and white stripes with a blue field in the corner containing white stars. The flag belonged to the United States of America he recalled from his history lessons in school.

Little did Herman Jackson know that this was just the beginning of his journey and of his lessons.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Life and Times of Herman Jackson, Issue 1

“Where are we going today, dad?” The face on the little boy looked upwards through his space helmet’s tinted face shield.

“Well, we could go to the Centauri system again-“

“No dad! We were just there last month! I want to go some place new and exciting!” The boy quite trembled with excitement in the zero gravity void of the universe.

“Okay, okay. How about a little history lesson then?”

“As long as it’s new and exciting, I’m in!”

With that, the father punched a sequence of on keys on his arm computer, and his and the boy’s jet packs ignited and propelled them towards their destination. Their advanced technology sent the adventurers through space faster than they could blink and, before very long, they were slowing down and approaching their destination.

As the tinted shield lifted, the boy’s face beamed through the clear one underneath revealing an expression of true wonder at what he was seeing. The boy was just eight years old, but in his meager eight years he had seen and experienced a lifetime of adventure – that’s what having a famous explorer as a father leads to though.

The father, nearing middle age but not quite there, didn’t take in the sights himself as he was focused much more intently upon his son’s reaction. Few things in life delighted him the way seeing the way his little boy would light up at experiencing something new.

“Dad, is this where I think it is? Is this where we began?”

Shaking his head in amazement at how smart his son was, he gently replied, “Yes, son."

"This is Earth.”