If you’re over 45 and you read the title you’re probably thinking of Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters and one of the best collections of comedic talent ever assembled to hunt for money under a big “W”.
But unfortunately our attention these days is not of things funny and relaxing, but of things that disturb us, things unimaginable, things that fill our lives with fear, disappointment and even disbelief.
It was just timing that I started this the beginning of the week and then the tragedy in Connecticut occurred taking the lives of 20 young innocents who now live in heaven, never to see a graduation, enjoy their first car, or revel in the excitement of a first date or wedding. And adults who cared enough to educate these victims so young in years, they too are lost to the world for no good reason. A tragedy caused by a young man gone mad and who of us can even begin to understand. Schoolyards should not be filled with uniformed guns responding to such madness as this.
It was a week ago that another young madman decided to enter a mall in Oregon filled with all the wonderment of Christmas only to bring havoc and death to many whose only thought that day was of presents and Santa Claus and the celebration of the holidays. A maddening experience that shouldn’t have been.
The history books of America are quickly filling with tragedies for which there are no real answers. The theater shootings during a movie opening in Aurora, Colorado: The rampant violence on the campuses of Virginia Tech and Columbine: The great loss of so many patriotic Americans at Ft. Hood; The shootings at the Sikh temple. And add to these the growth of deliberate daily violence that seems so stylish among the disturbed masses unashamedly taking lives and causing pain around every street corner and opportunity in America.
It’s unfortunate but it’s not just the violence so pervasively invading us but the lack of common sense that adds such madness to our daily lives we can hardly stand it – and certainly can’t explain it. It’s as though the government has gone so completely mad with its self-instilled power it can’t stand its new found control.
It was bad enough when the government starts to tell people how to eat taking salt off the tables of restaurants and banning soft drinks larger than 16 ozs. (like you couldn’t buy two 12 oz if you wanted?) But during the recent storms in the northeast, they denied shipments of food to the hungry homeless because of their inability to verify fat and fiber content. Much needed power wasn’t restored to those freezing in the cold New Jersey nights after the storm because electrical workers, having traveled days to help their fellow man, were turned back…because they weren’t union workers.
When your family has mounting debts and declining income, you generally slow or stop spending on things unneeded, but our government? No way. We take in about $2.3 Trillion a year in revenue and yet we continue to borrow money so we can spend about $3.5 Trillion. (Just spending or subversion?)
Much of it on programs like: $100,000 for the DOE to develop an app for smart devices so customers can track and reduce their energy usage. Nice? Sure, but…there’s already 5 apps that do that. (Don’t forget the app to alert you when to take a coffee break – a sure winner for gov’t employees). Pepsi’s $66 Billion in revenue and $4.2 Billion cash on its balance sheet wasn’t enough to build a new yogurt plant in NY without taking $1.3 Million from the taxpayers for a new water system. Mad yet?
UC Davis spent a portion of a $325,000 National Science Foundation grant to construct a robot squirrel to answer the question of why rattlesnakes rarely attack squirrels that wag their tails and a research team in North Carolina used $1.2 Million from a NS Foundation grant to study 39 individuals, aged 60 to 77, to see how their cognitive function responded after playing Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.
Madness? Probably, but even NASA spent nearly $1 million on developing a “Mars menu” in order to stave off food monotony (10 kids from high school could answer that one in a day). Michigan State Police, apportioned $10,000 in federal funds to purchase 400 talking urinal cakes from a Maryland-based company called Wizmark. When activated by a motion sensor, they would encourage users at local bars to consider getting a cab if intoxicated and, of course, remind them to wash their hands! (Have you seen that at your local Applebee’s or steak house yet?) I wonder what women have?
But hey… it’s only money and the government has gone mad spending it like they had it – which they do, if they borrow it. Question is – are you mad yet? It’s your $1,000,000,000 that the Missile Defense Agency spent building interceptor missiles…without first testing them. And Amtrak and the Post Office? They lose money on every meal served and letter delivered.
Besides the insane programs that people in government dream up and spend on, it’s the departments themselves. We talk all the time of eliminating waste but, the Dept of Energy created under Carter has done nothing – NOTHING – to decrease foreign imports and develop local resources. It doesn’t create watt of energy yet continues to employ 116,000 with a budget of nearly $30 BILLION and remember…The Budget Director for Dept of Energy just has no clue how many vehicles they own.
There’s a curious line in the summary of President Obama’s proposed fiscal 2012 Department of Education budget. “Now more than ever,” it reads, “we cannot waste taxpayer dollars on programs that do not work.” It’s curious because no federal education programs appear to work, yet this administration is proposing to increase DOE spending to $77 billion.
A department that continues to spend more and more money while test scores decline, teachers are paid more for doing less (remember the Chicago teacher’s strike?) and decisions are made like promoting more and more unprepared people to go college to get degrees, yet only 56% of students in 4 year programs complete them in 6. Give the responsibility to the states and save a ton-o-bucks.
The folly encircling us isn’t limited to the U.S. In France a teacher asks students to compose their own suicide notes, and in London, two Muslims, who laughed as they repeatedly raped a 24-year-old woman, had their sentences slashed after politically correct judges ruled that the men were not “dangerous.” And down the street, the BBC dropped the use of Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD) on their programs, deciding that the terms ‘Before Common Era’ / ‘Common Era’ are more appropriate.
We’ve seen a continuing assault on Christianity especially at the holidays where one complaint from an atheist can stop a Charlie Brown Christmas play, or send the long established community nativity scenes back to the storeroom, but a school in Seattle wins the prize by renaming its Easter eggs “spring spheres” to avoid causing offence to people who did not celebrate Easter.
Santa Clauses in Sydney, Australia, were banned from saying ‘Ho Ho Ho’. Their employer, a company that supplies hundreds of Santas across Australia, told trainees that ‘ho ho ho’ could frighten children, and be derogatory to women. And of course we all know that we now buy holiday trees instead of Christmas trees, and Happy Holidays is the more appropriate “greeting du jour”
Whether an assault on your religion, freedoms, money, or even your life, there’s a mad attempt to take control of your way of life, your possessions and your thinking. You can say that politicians have gone mad but they’ve probably been that way their whole lives – it’s just that now they’re in charge of yours.
Do you sleep better knowing that $700,000 was spent to find that “dairy cows emit most of their methane through belching, not flatulence? And with the recent elections, it’s good to know The National Science Foundation spent $216,000 to study “ambiguous” statements by politicians, to find if candidates, “gain or lose support by taking ambiguous positions.” And that “fish could show the nation how to overcome political polarization and promote democracy.”
And if you’re in that “soon-to-be-broke” state of California, you can rest well knowing your long gone grandparents are benefiting from the $11 million being distributed to providers of care or patients– that were deceased.
If you’re not mad you should be. We’re slowing revolving down the financial toilet toward an accumulative sewer of waste and corruption, political payback, and more pork than would dismay all the world’s Muslims. Rights are being questioned, the Constitution marginalized, and watch now for a new round of anti-gun talks, rhetoric and pressed legislations.
It’s incumbent on all of us to watch out for ourselves, be aware of our surroundings, things and people around us and protect ourselves, our families and friends from situations… and even the government. I would normally add here to protect our country but even that is less than possible. The popular rephrasing of Maj. General Leonard Wood’s comment says that the purpose our own military is to kill people and break things – something that must happen to win a war, which should be the real purpose of our great military. However it’s not happening for in their politically correct madness, our leaders have established such restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement) that to do so invites the wrath of a court martial. Even to the extent of disallowing bad “speech” against the enemy lest we evoke a hated of America. Shame shame.
This is my chance to step away from being mad for a bit, say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or if you insist, Happy Holidays to everyone who loves America and the country we all cherish. We do indeed live in “interesting times” and I can only hope that the madness we’ve seen over the last few years disappears into a atmosphere of reason, understanding, trust and caring for each other. But somehow I doubt it, and we’ll have to keep fighting for the rights and freedoms afforded us by our now “politically incorrect” forefathers and founders. But, more on that next year.
Make it a fun, fun, fun, fun world for yourselves. Be safe and God bless America.