Bergdahl No Hero

I’m glad Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is alive and coming home to his family, but he should not come home to a hero’s welcome. In fact, he should come home to shame and an inquiry by the Pentagon related to his desertion, or dereliction of duties, or all of the above that led to his creating a dangerous situation for his fellow soldiers then, and now.

When the news of Bergdahl’s release was made the other night, I question aloud about how he went missing. Reminding the people I was with that he had walked away from his duties and was taken. And that the search for him that followed put so many American soldiers in danger as they looked for their colleague, not knowing how or why he was missing. (It wasn’t until later we understood that he foolishly walked away – AWOL – and put so many others at great risk as they went out look for him.) And yes, I got several funny looks and one set of eyes rolled – and that’s okay, because I remember what happened and how it went down.

And now we’ve set precedent for the worst of the bad, that one US soldier alive is worth 5 bad guys from their team. Nice.

So a message to the well-meaning folks of Hailey, Idaho. Put the champagne back on ice and cancel the hero’s-welcome parade. Take down the yellow ribbons wrapped around the old oak tree and go back to your daily lives. Let’s thank God the young man is alive and will see another day with his family. And make sure the young children in town understand that what Bowe Bergdahl did five years ago as part of the United States Army was a huge mistake, and not worthy of their admiration.

#truth #proudAmerican #deserter

Free Speech Grief

Took some good-natured ribbing about my ‘Free as a bird’ post, and that’s okay, because it means you care!

Seriously though, don’t wrap yourself in the American flag and claim to be the grantor of this first amendment right as if we all have to understand it from your myopic perspective.  This phenomenon seems to have really shown itself over the past handful of years as the divide in what makes this country great seems to deepen – happens every year lately around the holidays when some blow hard gets up on his or her pedestal and claims “Christ is the reason for the season!”  (What does that mean anyway?)

First of all, Christmas was a man-made holiday as we don’t really know when Christ was born.  So if someone wants to say “Happy Holidays,” that’s their prerogative, and their right to speak freely as it suits them.  No one is harmed when that statement is made.  And if someone wants to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone they encounter, so be it.  But if your only reason to exclaim “Merry Christmas” is to make a point of some kind or to show that you’re Christian, you’re part of what is wrong with this amazing time of year.

People enjoy the holidays at year’s end for many reasons.  It’s a time of celebration for Christians around the world.  It’s a time for family gatherings for all people, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, atheists….. ALL people.  For many in this country, it’s because we have time off from work and school and that gives us time to gather, break bread, and reflect.  It means we are spending more time making connections with the people we care about and who care about us.

So if you want to say “Happy Holidays” then do that.  And if you want to wish someone or a group of folks a “Merry Christmas,” then do that as well.  But never tell someone that they have to say “Merry Christmas” because it’s what you think is right for all – just say thank you and watch what happens.  (But be mindful because there are sooooo many people that don’t celebrate Christmas and some may let you know – it’s like if you said “happy Eid” to a group of folks because one of them was Muslim – it means something to that person but not to the rest.  If you hear a “happy holidays” back to your “merry Christmas,” don’t be alarmed and don’t make that stupid face – it’s someone else exercising their free speech.)

That awesome feeling you get deep inside right around December 25th when someone greets you – whether it’s “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” – with a smile on their face and sincerity in their voice, …… that’s the reason for the season.

That is someone’s right to free speech.  And pretty sure Christ would be pleased.

Free as a bird, unless you’re a duck!

I’m tired of all the righteous pundits and demagogues that screamed about Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson’s right to free speech after A & E Network sent him on hiatus for several weeks back on December 18th.  Sure, he’s free to say and do what he wants but as a celebrity in the public eye, he needs to use great care knowing that everything he says and does will be scrutinized.

There is no difference in the poor choice of words he made during his interview with GQ than the poor choice made by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and her comments about Mitt Romney’s family portrait.  Just as Robertson’s comment was not directly about gays and homosexuals, Harris-Perry’s was not directly about the young black child.

Robertson used a poor choice of words while making a valid point – he said “we never, ever judges someone on who’s going to heaven or hell…” and went on to say that God sorts that out later.  I totally agree with his comment.  But it’s what he said next in the same breath that had some folks all excited, “whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later…”

His point was that regardless of what someone does that goes against organized religion, his isn’t to pass judgement because that role belongs to God Almighty.  What some people saw was that he lumped homosexuals in with drunks and terrorists.  Harris-Perry was mocking the lack of diversity in the Republican party, which really is low-hanging fruit – and likewise, I totally agree with her point. But joking along with her colleagues about the baby marrying Kanye West’s daughter one day and the Romneys and Wests being in-laws – not cool.

What’s bothersome though is that the blow-hard pundits who took issue with A&E’s handling of Robertson wanted MSNBC to fire Harris-Perry – none afforded her the benefit of free speech.  And therein lies the lesson.

Free speech is a misnomer because we have an obligation as an intelligent, morality-bound society to use care with what we say and when.  What we say, write or do affects others, period.  Now go, and stop hanging on my every word – I choose mine carefully before I sat to post this because the pen truly is mightier than the sword!

“Please, don’t let it be a Muslim…”

Yes, a common thought that runs through my mind and that of many Muslims around the world whenever some horrible criminal act is committed, especially to one of my fellow  Americans.  It shouldn’t be that way, but it is, thanks to the monsters that attempted to hijack my peaceful religion back on 9/11/2001.  And for all you haters, yes, Islam is a peaceful religion, as is Judaism and Christianity before it – and like those before it, each had a way of dealing with non-believers that doesn’t seem very nice by today’s standards.  (Familiar with the many crusades that lasted hundreds of years led by popes and borne from the pages of the bible?)  I digress.

On edge since the horror in Boston several weeks ago, when two idiot brothers did the unthinkable as they set out to injure and kill innocent people.  Wondered then, like the many times before 9/11 when acts of terror were committed, what makes a person want to hurt or kill another living creature?

Then it happened again over the past few days: terror-struck and I silently prayed, “don’t let it be a Muslim that committed these horrible acts.”

An 8-year old girl was stabbed to death Saturday in her home in northern California and the killer is still at large.  What kind of monster would reign terror on a community with such an act?  There are over 100 police involved in this manhunt and I pray they find those responsible soon.

Mass at an Albuquerque, NM church had just ended yesterday when a 24-year old whack job jumped the pews and raced toward the choir with intent on injuring and killing innocent people.  Lawrence Capener stabbed 4 people before he was stopped by quick-thinking parishioners.  Thank God that monster was stopped!

And of course, the ricin-lacing mess out of Mississippi that had me wondering who would want to expose our president and other officials to something lethal like ricin — who would want these people dead?  We now know it wasn’t the Elvis impersonator and that some knucklehead, James Dutschke from Tupelo, Mississippi is believed to be the terrorist.  And again, in silence, “please don’t let him be Muslim.”

And these are the terror cases in the past several days that got national attention — forget the many muggings, murders, car jacks, and so on, that terrorize neighborhoods all over this country every day.  It’s a disgrace but I admit, I like what the media is doing.

The media, along with many of our brave politicians (whom are seated high above the fray and love this approach), are reporting and expounding on the ethnicity and religious affiliation of these perverted beings.  Not saying I agree with this practice of reporting out the purported religious background of those that bring terror into our lives, but what the heck, the balls been rolling since 2001, so let’s do it — let’s keep score of these monsters. I know it increases hate crimes as the ignorant among the masses get riled and want to go out and do harm to others, but what a small price to pay I suppose.  (Okay, haters going out and terrorizing a group based on color of skin, ethnicity or religious beliefs.  Having trouble shaking off the irony of it all.)

If you haven’t detected my tounge-in-cheek post by now then you’ve missed my point entirely.  Seriously?  Do we really want to keep track of and report on the ethnic and religious background of all people who bring terror into our lives?  That’s a ridiculous suggestion and a foolish suggestion. Then why is it acceptable when the criminal is a Muslim?

Wash your hands, asshole

It happened again today, it’s disgusting and I’m motivated to write about. What is up with men that don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom? I don’t give a shit if you just stop in the men’s room to check out your hair in the mirror – you’re there, there may be fecal matter in the air and the soap and water are free. Don’t be an asshole, WASH YOUR HANDS MORON.

I travel a lot and so I may see it more than others. But you don’t have to travel to notice this. Just visit the restroom at work or next time you’re at the mall or a restaurant. And I’m sure women are guilty of this too but betting at a lesser rate.

Nothing is more disgusting than watching an adult man come out of the stall after pooping and to walk up to the sink, check his hair in the mirror and then walk on out. I walked into the restroom at work only to find a colleague standing at the urinal and talking on the phone with an earpiece in. Yes, this fine specimen had his hands to his side, was peeing, and carrying on a conversation. Asshole. Then in mid conversation (not sure if it was English. Just sayin’) he flushed the urinal. It took all I had not to smile as he turned and saw me at the sink. He walked up, grabbed two paper towels, never broke stride in his conversation and proceeded to the door. He used the towels to grab the door handle. Is the irony of this lost on anyone?

I wash my hands and use the paper towels to open the door as well but really, couldn’t wash your hands? So I stepped up to the urinal, did my business and proceeded to the sink. Stood there for a moment to think what it might feel like to just walk out at that point. Nasty. Washed my hands and grabbed 4 paper towels. Dried my hands and headed to the door with plenty of protection to grab that germ-soaked handle.

So men, here’s the deal. If you so much as enter the restroom, use the fucking soap and water. Grab the paper towels, dry your hands and use the towels to grab the door handle. If wherever you’re at has it together, there will be a waste basket for the paper towels right beside the door. So once opened, toss them out – and if there is no waste basket, carry them to your desk or wherever and throw them out. But in the name of decency, wash your hands. And moms and dads, teach your children to do the same so they don’t grow up to be assholes!

Where to go with this

As 2012 winds down, I struggle with where to go with this website.  When I secured this name over 10 years ago, I had one thing in mind for I Got Issues: build a site for the world to post issues they had with anything from consumer products to asshole neighbors. 

I still like the idea but now, as then, I lack the technical expertise to get that sort of site done. *sigh* 

So from time to time, I post based on some current event (usually political) that gets me going.  To be honest, there are more posts that never make it to the site for a variety of reasons so the ones that are posted represent a fraction of what’s been on my mind.  

I am hoping to re-apply myself in 2013 and use the site for whatever is on my mind.  Be it an issue with a consumer product or service I’ve purchased, or an issue with an asshole neighbor or relative.  I may even use the site to post thoughts or pictures from when I’m traveling for work-related matters.  Why not?  

Hey, I’m over 50 and my web-building skills haven’t improved.  This won’t wait another dozen years for me to figure out ‘where I want to go’ with this site.  So there’s no time like the present and I’m hoping my loyal followers — both of you — will come along for the ride.

Trump….A Fool and his Money

Donald Trump makes this crazy offer of $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice if the president makes his college records and passport application public.  Just when you thought the moronic Trump couldn’t appear any more stupid….BAM — surprise!

I have three two ideas on what Mr. Trump can do with that five million bucks, but of course this is a family site so I’ll only share two of them.  (Give it a little thought, you’ll figure out the third idea quickly!)

  1. He can pay the $5 million into a fund that can be split among the creditors he hosed in the wake of his 4 bankruptcies.  How about that?  Trump can turn his attempt to corrupt and hijack the election into a ‘redemption’ fund, so that every time he gets a stupid idea, he can place some large amount of money into the fund and those who he has screwed during his failed business attempts — including the government! — can get in line for a piece of that action.
  2. Oh Donald, this one is so easy.  How about you offer Mitt Romney the $5 million to show the nation tax returns beyond the past two years?  Sure, do what every presidential candidate has done in recent history — show the returns.  That sort of transparency would best serve the entire nation and put to rest this notion that Romney is hiding something — like the fact that he likely paid close to ZERO taxes in years prior to 2010 when he knew he’d decided to run for office in 2012.

Oh but we know where Donald Trump stands on both of these ideas.  He is a ruthless business man who has hurt many people with his dealings.  He has outdated ideas and simply loves to be in the limelight — a phony politician who panders to the fears of the weak-minded.

To my thousands followers, I’ve done my share.  Offering up two viable ideas on how a fool can part with his money for the good of mankind.  Betting he won’t take me up on either of these suggestions and that he won’t even take the time to respond to my post.


Always Check out Family!

Mel R-Gibson?
Separated at birth
Mitt G-Romney
Et tu, Romney?

I’ve finally figured out what it is about Mitt Romney that rubs me the wrong way.  It isn’t that creepy deer-in-the-headlights look he shows while speaking into the camera.  And though his flip-flopping on critical issues from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or ‘moving heaven and earth’ to take out Bin Laden drives me crazy, that wasn’t it either.  Okay, the whole ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’ as though that would have helped an entire industry (and the last of America’s manufacturing prowess) when the lending markets had dried up — that did piss me off for so many reasons, but that still wasn’t it.

It wasn’t until I discovered the Romney family secret that it hit me why I don’t care for Mitt Romney.  You decide.

The GOP and Sharia Law

It’s funny how the GOP has added an anti-Sharia Law plank in their platform upon which Romney and Ryan will stand as their party’s nomination to contest President Obama as resident of the White House for the next four years.  How odd is that considering 1.) there is no threat (or even possibility) that Sharia Law can enter into the USA’s legal system and 2.) that the GOP itself practices its own version of religious-based law.

Seriously, this plank is nothing more than an anti-Muslim forum which suits the Republican party as they monger fear into the hearts of the weak across the nation. This has been a boon for votes and fundraising since 9/11/2001 but please, the new generation of electorate is educated and can see through this thinly veiled tactic.  Let’s move on.

Americans should be more concerned with the GOP’s version of Sharia Law — the version led by the evangelical right.  You know, the laws being made and debated by old, wealthy, white men that are based in their interpretation of Christian law.  What?  Yes I did …. take out “wealthy” and “white” and substitute “Islamic” for “Christian” and voila, we’re talking about the same thing.  Old, out-of-touch men making decisions that affect all, with a tendency to take control over women.  Go ahead and take a moment to let that sink in, I’ll wait.

Forget that many of these staunch Republicans who want to make laws for our country tell us about the immorality of adultery, homosexuality and thievery.  Forget that so many have been caught stealing millions of dollars off the backs of their constituents, or caught cheating on their wives — or even outed in their same-sex affairs.  So when they step up to the microphone to tell us that family planning is wrong, beware.  When they debate that a woman has no say over her body for medical funding of breast cancer exams, or when she can have access to medical treatment for a pregnancy that will endanger her life, beware.

A debate between men of matters that affect the entire US populace, of which more than half are women, and women aren’t even invited to the debate.  Beware.  Pay attention as the GOP looks to usher in their version of law based on their warped religious values — yes, beware of Sharia Law.

Take your call in private please

I know what you’re thinking, I missed me too!  Lots of travel lately with my new role, and loving it.  And it’s exposed me to a new world of issues, some I never knew I had!

Sitting out on the beautiful deck of the St. Petersburg Hilton, working on a report and minding my own business.  There are at least 20 tables set up out here and I was out here alone for about 30 minutes when this woman comes out yakking into her cell phone.  No problem, it’s a free world and a public space.  But with all this ‘free world, public space’ did she really need to sit at the table right next to me to continue her loud conversation? 

Seriously — what is the deal?  I escaped out here for quiet and now I hear one side of a conversation about this lady’s sales business on HSN.  Share your thoughts to this post because if this is just me, I’ll shut up and never bitch about this again, but I’m betting all of my faithful readers have a story like this to share where some clod doesn’t use common courtesy to others around them when using their cell phone. 

Oh don’t worry about me.  She is still talking as I type this out. But I can be an asshole right up there with the best of them…. I lit up my cigar 10 minutes after she sat down and I’m puffing away and enjoying myself.  (Of course she hasn’t flinched, nor has she moved, but at least we’re on an even keel now!)