The New Rome is Burning, So Where’s My Fiddle?

46 murders have taken place in Chicago so far this month ( thanks, redeyechicago ). Just a brief glance at the age, race, and circumstance show a less-than-shocking similarity. Victims range from being teenagers to young people in their twenties and thirties. Where is the Leader of the Free World? No comment? Last time I checked the guy who America elected to take more taxpayer funded vacations than anyone in history was from there. Or lived there. Or maybe went to college there. Or organized there. Well… I’m pretty sure he was there for awhile. Somebody had to vote “present” instead of yes or no at all those important Illinois state senate debates. Couldn’t all those victims have been his son? Or himself? Because, you know, if it wasn’t for the swanky, ritzy, private school-in-paradise experience that our Chief grew up with, any one of those victims coulda been him. Nothing says “from the Hood” like polo shirts, tennis clubs, fruity cocktails, and an educational resume that includes words like “academy”.

See, I don’t really care that much about the whole Zimmerman/Martin thing. All I know is that regardless of all the how and why of it, anyone who has ever been beat up understands. If you’ve never had another human being decide to sit on you and start your blood flowing with multiple blows to the face, shut up. Getting your ass kicked is a pretty scary experience, and if it’s never happened to you then you don’t know what you would do, or how you would react. Also, if your first reaction to some dumpy douchebag following you while you skulk around a neighborhood in the dark is to break their face open and then sit down to do some more, you’ve got some issues as well. So let’s move beyond the Nancy Grace hysterics, shall we?

My point is this : The world is on fire. And not just a little brush fire, either. More like a Germany-about-to-invade-Poland fire.
Like a break-out-the-marshmallows-cause-Hiroshima’s-on fire- fire. And where is the cool, calm and collected dude who’s claims to lower the seas and bring peace to the middle east? On vacation? Yakking it up at a $30,000 a plate fundraiser? Or on vacation. Again? Maybe this time the First Family will keep it to the mean streets of Martha’s Vineyard. ” Muffy, we’re all out of Pinot! The hyooomahniteee!”.

Egypt is a complete mess. But why, you ask? Didn’t we support the “Arab Spring”? By the way, that sounds like a really bad personal hygiene product. I’ve gotten a whiff of it and it really stinks. It smells like civil war in Syria, military coups in Egypt, expanding Iranian power, and the devolving of Turkey into an Islamic State.

Not to mention what’s happening here on the home front. Did you know that just a few short years ago there was 1 Trillion dollars in circulation, and today there is over 3? Can you wrap your brain around that? So, is your gas/groceries/rent/ more expensive, or is your hard-earned money worth a third of what it was? Guess what, it’s both…… and it hasn’t even hit us hard yet. Hey twenty-somethings, thanks to your power at the voting booth you now have to buy health insurance! Oh… you don’t need it or want it? Too freakin’ bad kiddos, cause you can either buy it or pay an ever-increasing fine! See, someone has to pay for the rest of our “free” healthcare, and it’s you. I got to spend all my money in my twenties on concert tickets and good times, because I was healthy and didn’t need or even think about insurance. On top of that, all those nifty ADHD and depression drugs you’ve been swallowing your whole life will follow you like a pickpocket in a foreign country. Good luck with that first serious job interview when your history of teary, sad, bed wetting that your folks got you medicated for shows up. Sweet!

But hey, don’t feel bad…. Jay-Z is doing a concert in the White House, LeBron’s getting warmed up on the private b-ball court, Bon Jovi’s bringing dinner, and Oprah is gonna say grace. Because that’s how all of us, including at-risk inner city kids, roll. I’m so glad we have a real outsider in charge, you know? At least he can relate. And hey, when the lights go out, don’t worry. We’ll keep warm by the light of the fire. Where’s my fiddle?

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Go Ahead with Your Own Life, Leave Me Alone

You know, I hate to sound like a jerk, but shut up ex-presidents and veeps. Shut up Congress. In fact, if you work for a creepy, bloated government agency, or a creepy, bloated network, just shut up. I don’t need alot of protection from people in other parts of the world that I will never meet. I need to be protected FROM YOU. Listening to all of these wise people tell me they need to shield me from everything that could possibly cause me harm, I now realize that I am a moron. Replace my knives and forks with soft rubber sporks, because I might stab myself in my tiny little brain.

I realize that many folks that I respect, who aren’t dummies or drinking any parties’ Kool-Aid, strongly disagree with my logic on this, but……No one has a right to throw my liberty in the dustbin to “keep me safe’. I don’t care if we’re talking about automobiles, airport security, electronic communication or phone calls. Let me ask you this…. can I read your mail, look at your text messages and cellphone pictures? Can I come in your house while you’re gone and go through your drawers? Can I search your car? How about your kids if you’ve got ’em…. can I look through their stuff? Your husbands? Wives? Well Why not?

I’m a nice guy. I’m reasonably intelligent and I have your best interests at heart, I promise. With all due respect to our police and military ( who do a very difficult, underpaid job ), they are just people. The Elites inside the Washington beltway, some of who have been there three or more decades, are just people too. Granted they are freakish in many ways, they are still just folks like you and me (with power and millions of dollars). So if you wouldn’t want me to be a Peeping Tom in your family’s home and life, why allow countless, nameless others to be?

While we’re at it, what is safe? You could, while reading this, choke on your coffee or have an embolism. Some jerk could run off the road in a Hummer and barrel through your crib, not only ruining your flat screen, but ruining you as well. With all the threats to our well-being, it’s a miracle any of us survive long enough to fill a diaper. I could put you in an air-filtered, armored box and deliver your checked and approved meals to you. I would listen to your calls, read your mail, and give you your medication. I’d even provide for your healthcare. You’d be pretty safe then, right? Hey…… wait a second. That’s prison. I haven’t met many people who have been and called it a safe place, liked it, or wanted to return.

The world I grew up in is unfortunately gone. That statement is made worse by the fact that I’m really not that old .To give you an idea, I will have to pay full price for coffee at MickeyDees for another twenty years. Some of that change is, of course, inevitable. Technology has altered every aspect of our lives at a much more rapid pace than I can believe, and the pitfalls are as numerous as the benefits. The argument I run into the most is the technology problem. I will sum it up like this…… if you post pictures of your junk on Facespace or Mybook, then you made a decision to do so. Having that photo archived by the federal government is not your decision. See, we make a choice to use technology such as Google or Yahoo. We DO NOT make the choice to have that information compiled by Uncle Sam.

Here’s the rub….we are guaranteed Freedom of Speech by the Constitution. That right is recognized by the document, but granted by the Creator. If you know that your speech is cataloged and used against you at a later date, depending on your political persuasion, I can absolutely say with certainty that you will watch what you say. That is a de-facto infringement on our freedom of speech. When you’re afraid that what you say will come back to bite you, then you just might not say it in the first place. So, if you want to submit your speech to the Feds to keep you safe, so be it, just don’t ask, or force, me to. In other words, go ahead with your own life, leave me alone. ( Thanks, Billy Joel )