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You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My government doesn't trust me-

The best evidence that my government does not trust me is tax withholding. After I earn money, but before I receive it, they take some of it. They don't trust me to pay my taxes. Granted, I might be hesitant to do so if I could actually hesitate. They don't seem to manage the money very well. Still, they choose to not trust me and steal my money before I even get it.

Then there are the manipulations and lies. Weapons of mass destruction, anyone? Secret wars and secret government and secret this and secret that. Secrets don't imply trust. I have to work hard to see past the smoke screens, spin-doctoring, and outright lies. What a pain.

They won't trust me to carry weapons, which I could easily do quite responsibly. The laws prevent me, a citizen of proven character, from carrying weapons. Criminals by nature don't care about laws, and so carry weapons as they choose. I don't have a choice. If I carry weapons, I become a criminal. I wouldn't mind so much if the cops were readily available to protect me. However, there are only so many of them, and I just don't think I could get a personal escort pretty much all of the time. Has the government made all places safe for me so that I need never be concerned for my safety, and take precautions?

I can't be trusted to protect myself. I have to submit to being a potential victim because I cannot be trusted to protect myself. At what point did I demonstrate that I warrant such a lack of trust? I don't recall any event where I made it clear that I am incompetent. It seems that I am assumed to be incompetent and unable to make sound choices based on nothing at all.

They are probably right. I am just naive enough to think that by living responsibly and honestly I should be able to live in liberty according to my own choices using my own judgement. How foolish of me to think that I am the best director of my own affairs.

I love my country, and I will continue to live here and enjoy such liberties as remain. I am going to keep an eye on that government that does not trust me, however. Trust has to go both ways, and I haven't seen much of worth, lately.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I do not trust my government-

It's true. I do not trust the government of the United States of America. Oh, I love my country. I served my country with pride. I have a special love for my brothers and sisters in arms, serving now and in the past. I love the ideals of America and I love the American people. I do not, however, trust the government.

I do not trust the governments of other countries, either. Indeed, I trust most of them far less than I trust my own government. However, I still don't trust my own government.

When I was growing up my government was drafting young men and sending them off to a foreign land to do military adventuring for reasons I still do not understand. Oh, there are a lot of reasons offered, but none of them mean anything to me. I grew up believing that my government wanted to send me away to die. I just did not find that to be a good relationship builder.

In spite of that I joined the Army even during the Vietnam Conflict. I did that largely to protect myself, but I was also proud to serve. You see, in those days they offered "guarantees" regarding training and assignments. I joined the part of the Army that dealt with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, due to some personal flaws and tactical errors I never finished the nuke training. I ended up in supply. Supply people could go anywhere.

I was not disappointed when my tour took me to Germany. Not that such a situation was safe. It was not uncommon for a soldier to go to a non-combat assignment for a year or so and be then sent to combat to serve their last year. Vietnam could still have been my future. However, we finally decided that we had done enough of whatever we were doing there and got out of Vietnam. Before I had to go there.

As I said, I don't mind.

In those days you served a single tour in combat during an enlistment. That is all that was required. That is all they needed, because they were constantly drafting young men to throw into the mill. Lots of post traumatic stress to go around.

Today they keep sending soldiers back into the mill. No draft to refresh the pool. They grind them fine, these modern warriors. Men and women. Rather than screwing up a lot of people they just focus on screwing up a smaller number but being sure they are thoroughly ruined. Then they neglect them and throw money into protracting another set of wars that don't seem to be accomplishing anything.

Did I mention I don't trust my government? Can you imagine why I don't?

I recall a movie in which a character said, "Justice is the ideal. The law is what we live with." America, the Constitutional America, the Bill of Rights America, is the ideal. The government in whatever perverted form it happens to take is what we live with.

I love America. I even love our government. I just cannot trust that government. I am not convinced that they (those who govern) have my interests and the interests of my family at heart. I am confident I can survive their incompetence and corruption, but that is not trust. That is faith in myself and my capacity to survive. I would rather they be my partners and we could work together toward a brighter future.

Too much of what politicians do is just to seem like they are my friends. If they look right, they must be right, right? Con-men like to get you thinking the same way.

Secret wars, misrepresented wars, hidden agendas, and bridges built to nowhere are not the keys to my cynical heart. Keep in mind, previous generations of these current political creatures wanted to send me off to kill and die in a foreign land. Perhaps such are the ways things must be done in this world. If so, I will leave it to them to do it. I don't want that world.

It is probably too late for me. I may not be winnable, as a true believer in any political entity. I am probably not worth the winning, anyway. Uncompromising people of high ideals don't involve themselves in politics. Perhaps they can't. Fish don't fly (at least very far) for a reason. I have been lied to too long and too often to join the camp of some new pretender.

Still, I love America. Even an America that gives vast wealth to rich bastards who ruin the economy with their piracy, spends a fortune on blowing up a part of the world that already looks like it has been blown up, and rejoices in the pitiful projects that become necessary to take care of the broken veterans who were sacrificed to the machine, because the wealth is still being given to bastards and bombs.

God bless America. She needs it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Failure-

It is most unfortunate for my wife that I am devoid of any inherent romanticism. I am simply not romantic. Oh, I have tried, and sadly failed. I feel like a chimp wearing a suit when I try to be romantic. It just doesn't fit, and it looks comical no matter how fine the quality of the suit.

I have a friend who claims he has no natural understanding of poetry. He just doesn't get it. Poetry has no meaning to him. It does not resonate with anything within him. I have to imagine that any poem he might try to write would be as successful as a poem as my failed attempts at romanticism are at romance. To the best of my knowledge he never even made the attempt.

It is not for lack of love for my wife. Indeed, that love has grown deeper over the years. Unfortunately, the way I have expressed that love was to stick to a series of generally crappy jobs to provide for her and the kids. I have done some very unpleasant things to make a buck, and generally have given every one of those dollars to her. Real love, but not romantic love.

Perhaps I tend to give up at things like 'romance' too quickly. I once waded up to my waist in a vile chemical ooze as part of my job by which I earned money for my family. I worked diligently until I dislodged the blockage and got the ooze running to the place ooze was supposed to go. My wife and kids didn't see me do that. I did it for them. Yet I have not managed to stick to the 'romance' thing long enough to even master a comical mimicry.

As a correctional officer I wrestled a guy covered in urine not once but twice in the same week. Well, two separate guys, but they both had pissed themselves and I had to wrestle them in the performance of my duty. Twice in one week. I did it because I love my wife and the family we share. It was very far from being romantic.

I have been shocked by high voltage electricity, exposed to way too many chemicals, acquired a disease that will remain with me the rest of my life, exposed to radiation, insulted and disrespected, all to provide for my family. I did it willingly, because I love my wife and the children that resulted from that love. It was my poem to them. My unromantic failed Valentine poem lived for them.

I have not given her much in the way of diamonds. Indeed, I don't see why they are valuable, or why it is important to own them. I gave her children, and the children have given us children, and they are much more valuable to me. I can write that here, but when I try to express such thoughts to her they fall flat. I don't know why. Perhaps if I were inherently romantic I would know how to do it right.

I ordered her flowers. Once. She loved them. Unfortunately, she is the one who pays the bills, and paying for the flowers I gave her didn't spark the same feelings as receiving them. Since I give her all of the money I earn, I don't really know how to do it in a better way. Take on an extra job so I have money for flowers? Great! I have to spend even more time away from her to buy her dying foliage! I have some trouble seeing the romance in that.

Quite simply, I am a Valentine Failure. A chimp in a suit. This blog is probably just the very most wrong thing I can do. I love you, Linda. I may suck at expressing it, but I do love you. Twenty years of wrestling drunks may not be a Valentine, but I did that, and more, for you.

Happy Valentines Day!