America the Wimpy

America, land of the free and home of the brave.  Free?  Well no, but you already knew that.  But aren’t we still brave?  Brave?  Really?  What a crock of shit.  A bunch of scared sissies hiding behind a bloated military and an ever increasing police state.  The slightest risk is enough to send us scurrying back to our giant padded SUVs, shedding civil rights like so much extra baggage as we run away weeping in fear.  Disgusting.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a motorcycle show at a public convention center.  In order to go in and look at the bikes every single person was patted down and wanded with a metal detector.  The line was huge and the intrusion was unpleasant.  Why was this necessary?  Because something bad MIGHT happen.  Because some biker clubs MIGHT have guns or knives and they MIGHT use them illegally and some innocent bystander MIGHT get hurt.  Oh sure, that’s a good deal.  Let’s definitely lose our rights over something that MIGHT happen.  What disgusting cowardice.

Look, I’m not a fool.  I know bikers sometimes shoot each other.  I was in Reno and missed that shootout by a couple of hours.  But I chose this example precisely because it is potentially dangerous.   I would rather tolerate that risk and keep my rights intact.  I’d rather have every single person in the country keep their personal privacy even if the occasional innocent bystander might get injured.  Yes, even if that bystander might be me.

The fourth amendment to the constitution guarantees that we get to go about our day without the government randomly fucking with us.  Unless, of course, we decide to fly, or go to a ball game, or check out a motorcycle show.  If it’s any situation where you could possibly imagine a bad thing happening, we lose that right.  Why?  Because we’ve become so risk adverse and weak that we can’t tolerate even the slightest chance that SOMETHING BAD MIGHT HAPPEN .  A bunch of wimps.

Let me ask you a simple question:  Are there things worth dying for?  Freedom?  Liberty?  Our way of life?  I assume most of you would say “yes, of course” since we keep sending our young men and women oversees with guns for supposedly that exact reason.  What hypocrisy.  Some 18 year old can die for your freedom but you can’t possibly take the risk of seeing a football game without every one of the 60,000 fans being frisked for your protection.

Oh yeah, the military.  Another reflection of our collective cowardice.  Out of every dollar spent on the military worldwide, 40 cents is American.  Why do we need to have such a giant army?  Cause we’re so fucking scared all the time.  Ron Paul was recently booed at a Republican debate when he suggested that a strong, free country might not need to have American soldiers in every damn corner of the world.  Ooooh, the world is so scary.  Sob sob.

Everybody knows the old adage ‘better safe than sorry’.  When did we become so weak that it’s now ‘better safe than free’?  Americans used to be a tough and resilient people.  We were thrown or dragged out of countries all over Europe, Asia, and Africa and made the difficult and RISKY journey to the New World.  We settled the west and when Europe descended into world wars we went back and kicked some ass.  Most importantly we wrote down a set of rules that said liberty and freedom were worth protecting. Even if it was risky.  Not any more.  Now we cower instead of conquer.

A good argument can be made that all this cowardice isn’t buying us a damn thing and we aren’t actually any safer.  I don’t care whether that’s even true.  I think we should be brave enough to walk into motorcycle show without being molested even if some people might have guns and bad intentions.  I think we should be stout enough to fly in an airplane even if no one took their shoes off and some kid has a box of apple juice. I even think we could maybe be strong enough to scale back the military a little bit.

It’s popular these days to constantly repeat the silly phrase that ‘freedom isn’t free’.  Okay, sure.  But that cost of freedom isn’t necessarily just the death of a volunteer soldier.  It’s also the risk of injury and perhaps death of every single citizen.  Apparently we ‘re too fucking cowardly to pay that price any more.  Instead we choose ‘safe’ and ‘protected’ as well as ‘searched’ and ‘molested’.  Somewhere in heaven John Wayne and George Washington are weeping in shame.  But maybe it isn’t hopeless. Maybe we can find our balls, take off our helmets, and decide that freedom IS worth the risk.  I sure hope it happens soon.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.

Reason to Believe…

Lord won’t you tell us,
Tell us what does it mean
At the end of every hard earned day
People find some reason to believe…
Bruce Springsteen, Reason to Believe.

What do you believe?  What gets you through the dark days and cold, lonely nights?  Do you know?  Do you ponder the meaning of life and wish to gaze upon the face of God or are you just a cog in the machine?  Do you dare question the universe or do you find it safer to march in line with all the good little worker ants?  These are questions that NEED TO BE ANSWERED.

2012.  The year the world ends.  Or maybe not.  More likely the year the Mayan carvers decided they’d done enough and needed a blow job and a drink.  But even if the world doesn’t end I still think it’s likely to be a watershed year full of chaos and deep changes.  Things are boiling below the surface and the unprepared will be forced even further into their fear caves.  Not us.  We feel it coming and we embrace uncertainty.  We will stay in the light even if we’re not sure from which direction it shines.

It seems so quaint these days to talk about good versus evil.  If you start to muse upon that never ending battle you’re resolutely ignored or mocked and there’s probably a good reason for that.  Most of the people who use that language are ‘Left Behind” types who think Jesus is coming back to take them to paradise while he punishes all those ‘different’ people or Muslim idiots who are battling the great Satan of women’s rights.  I’m not talking about that man made, fear drenched bullshit.  I’m taking about the deeper, more personal battle we all face in our own little lives.  Are we good to ourselves and each other?

Every day I see people choose love.  I see them go into relationships with bravery and optimism.  I see time, support, and care given wholly and without condition.  I see people create and sing and teach.  I see GOOD.  But I also see avarice, dishonesty, and greed.  I see the rich waste resources that would save lives.  I see hungry kids and lying scumbags running for office.  I see fear and hate and division.  And that, my friends, is EVIL.

Yep, 2012 is gonna be a wild ride.  My sources tell me things are gonna change.  It might be the year where you need to choose between Good and Evil, Love and Fear.  Or maybe not.  I’ve been wrong before.  Either way it can’t hurt to remember your reason to believe.  Now it’s time to honor the Mayans with a blow job and a drink.  Vaya con Dios and Viva la Revolucion.