Yellow Dog Politics

A litany of musings after a life spent not chasing Women

Thank You for Your Service

I have a problem with the title of this Post.  I served in the Marines for 2 years, 9 months, 13 days and 7 hours from ’70-’73.  I was stationed at 8th and I in Washington DC for most of that time, and anything I did or didn’t do probably had absolutely zero relevance to the conflict in VietNam.  So why am I being thanked for 3 years of partying in our Nation’s Capitol?  Because the idiot who is thanking me doesn’t know diddly about what I did.  For all this person knows, I ate the Big Chicken Dinner for a pedophileac massacre outside Dallas.

I absolutely hate it when someone thanks me for this.  Part of it is because while I volunteered for a tour in ‘Nam (3 times) I never went.  Part of it is because I knew so many who did go over and came back changed or broken or didn’t come back.  Some sort of survivor guilt perhaps.  Whatever, I’m not ashamed of what I did, I just don’t think it was any big deal.  It could have been, but it wasn’t.

I asked a blog writer that I read (Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station) in the comment section of on of his blogs ( about 3/4ths the way down).  He responded with this:

DerFarmFebruary 29, 2012 8:42 AM

I have a dilemma and my wife suggested that you could be the solution.
I’ve been recently been accosted several times by people thanking me for my service. Generally speaking, these people never served or even seriously thought about serving in anything approaching military or social service. It feels creepy and kinda makes me want to ask if they want Fries with that.
Am I being an asshole, a curmudgeon, too sensitive, or does this kind of thing strike you as being just another Romney moment?


  • my wife suggested that you could be the solution
    Tell your wife that the first one is free, but I charge for any advice after that.
    Am I being an asshole, a curmudgeon, too sensitive…
    None of the above. Or all of the above. Pick your poison.
    For what it’s worth, I myself am uncomfortable when I’m approached and thanked by strangers for my military service. Most of us are.
    See, we’re not supposed need or want that gratitude, are we? We’re supposed to serve out of a sense of selfless duty, out of patriotism, out of honor, or because the country needs us, or because it’s our job.
    You’re not supposed to feel good about being thanked for your sacrifice – especially when many times it doesn’t feel like such a sacrifice. Especially when our brothers and sisters in arms often gave much, much more. Especially when so many of us didn’t come home. And yet here we are mostly hale and healthy and walking around, that is supposed to be thanks enough.
    We’ve been conditioned to believe that we do what we do because it serves a higher purpose, not because we might get some kind of personal validation from others. And this is a good thing because free societies should neither create nor worship a warrior class. We do what we do out of duty, not because it makes us superior citizens.
    But we all secretly want that? Don’t we? We want those who didn’t serve to at least acknowledge our service. We want to know that they know that we’re out there busting our asses for them, out there in the mud and the blood and the shit while they’re home screwing our sweethearts and taking our jobs and going to college and living their goddamned lives. We want them to know how lucky they are. Don’t we?
    And that kind of makes us assholes.
    At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. We do what we do because it’s our job, our duty, and we’d do it even if nobody gave a damn, even if every civilian thinks we’re dimwitted knuckle dragging goons who couldn’t get a real job, even if every TV show and Hollywood movie continues to show us day in and day out as slobbering warmongering cardboard cutout jarhead robot stereotypes who scream YES SIR! and secretly scheme to take over the country.
    And so, when somebody thanks us, we feel cognitive dissonance. We feel guilty, because we’re not supposed to need that validation. Because in our minds it feels wrong.
    And it gets worse, because so often it feels like “Thanks for your service” is the new “have a nice day.” It sometimes feels phony and obsequious and something people do because America has this big giant guilt complex over how they treated veterans after Korea and especially Vietnam.
    HOWEVER most of the time that’s all projection on our part. Most of time people are simply expressing their sincere gratitude for what we do. They don’t know that we carry this baggage around with us. They just want you to know that your service is appreciated, that they appreciate it. They see us on the news, they see the terrible things we do, they know that many of us come back damaged, and they can’t do anything about it and they often feel guilty for not serving themselves – so they thank you. You were taught that in uniform you’re an Ambassador for America, out of uniform, as a vet, you’re a representative for all those who can no longer be thanked. You represent all those who have served, who have fallen, who have returned damaged. It’s your duty, it’s part of that oath your swore – not the one to the Constitution, but the unspoken one to your brothers and sisters in arms.
    Take the expressions of gratitude in the spirit offered, if not for yourself then do it for all those still out there in the dark and dangerous corners of the world.

I think he said it far better than I ever could.  So thank you … now go away and leave me alone.

This guy says it all … in Real English

The above link is to a blog that says much about what has happened to our country.  Personally, since I was 18 I’ve always been pretty much to the left of most everyone I knew.  Jim Wright makes the case that he hasn’t drifted at all.  The country has left him.  He makes a telling argument.  I think he is right.

In 1998 no less a personage than Newt Gingrich called house Republicans cannibals.  I’ve accused Newt of many things, lack of wit was never one of them.   Perhaps Newt saw the shape of things to come.  Cannibals, indeed.

Why is the RightWing Crazy?

The first thing to discuss is IS THE RIGHTWING CRAZY? Well, definitions of crazy abound. Now please note, that with some few exceptions (the Klan, the Posse, and a few others) we are not talking about clinical insanity. We are using crazy in the vernacular meaning way out of bounds. Definition 2c, d and e apply:
1. Affected with madness; insane.
2. Informal Departing from proportion or moderation
b. Immoderately fond; infatuated
c. Intensely involved or preoccupied
d. Foolish or impractical; senseless
e. Immoderate aversion, hatred for little reason (my addition)

A few examples are in order.

c.Intensely involved/preoccupied
Gun nuts who are convinced that Obama and Democrats are attempting to take away their guns. Patently foolish. Most Democrats (myself included) are approving of some form of gun control. Most of it is common sense and no one that I know of wants to take away anyone’s guns. The gun control advocates have plenty of sites, and I couldn’t list them. Anyone who fits the description above, would accuse me of hiding the “real” agenda, anyway … Find your own references.

d. Foolish or impractical
Over the top protestations of the Leftwingedness of others.
Ultra-Liberal Susan Collins, Liberal Lisa Murkowski, and Socialist Harry Reid. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are not liberal in any sane sense of the word. You might not think them conservative enough, but these people are never going to get elected in Massachusetts. Harry Reid is many things. Socialist ain’t one of them.

e. Immoderate aversion, hatred for reasons seemingly over the top
Matt Staver says gay rights will cause the end of western civilization.    “Things ranging from Illegal and unfettered immigration to more simple issues like people actually willing to wait in a line for an hour to buy a cupcake in Georgetown all point to disaster for the United States of America” … really? New York Gay Marriage causes waits in Georgetown leading to the fall of Western Civilization.

Ok, the point is, the right (and it IS primarily the right) freaks out about things and decided it is the end of the world … literally.  DADT? There are about 30 militaries now that don’t care about your sexual orientation. The world has not come to an end. Gay Marriage? 8 states in the US issue licenses for gays to marry. I’ve heard of No one getting a divorce because David and Bob in DC got married over the weekend. There are at least 9 countries that now allow Gay Marriage … including Canada. Yup, can’t trust those Canadians at all …

So why do the Righties do it?  A major part of the reason is noise overload.  When the airwaves are littered with spouting heads like Rush and Savage, you gotta be loud, obnoxious, and over the top to get heard.  Calm dispassionate discourse goes over like cucumber sandwiches at a Texas Bar-B-Que.

Part of it is the outlandish belief system that has evolved. 25 years of demonization by the RightWing of anyone not accepted by them as “mainstream”, has delivered a generation that has no notion of decency towards the opposition. Bachmann calls on congress to investigate unamerican congressmen,  Rick Perry calls out treason, Jon Huntsman calls out treason, Ron Paul calls out treason. Can you find examples of calling out treason from the Democrats? Yes, but THEY are not running for president.

Is it any wonder, with examples like these, that 1/4 of the population fears and hates 1/3 the population? Joeseph McCarthy was such a small fish

An introduction

A few words of introduction. Hopefully, the following will allow people to judge the pronouncements that are forthcoming.

Physically, I am 60ish, white, male, tall and not fat. I am in fair shape and no particular physical handicaps. I have tinnitis from gunfire and Rock ‘n Roll. Trust me, the Rock ‘n Roll was more fun.

Historically, I had my first run-in with the Klan outside Holly Springs, MS in 1969. It was not the last. I did 3 years in the Marines from ’70-’73. All my postings were stateside. I did not go to VietNam. I’ve attended 5 Universities and earned one degree. I’ve had 7 jobs in past 35 years, some were interesting, some were not, all involved programming and data retrieval.

Politically, I am a yellow dog Democrat. That is, I’d vote for a yellow dog before I’d vote for a non-Democrat. I despise Lieberman, think Obama is a nice moderate, John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich are among the very few true liberals in the US political scene and Jim Hightower is the model of a modern Progressive. I’d vote for Jerry Brown before Barbara Boxer and wouldn’t spit on Newt Gingrich if he were burning in hell.

I read fantasy and historical fiction for fun. I play pretty good bridge, bad backgammon and moderately stable (though losing) poker … Texas Hold’em to be exact. I cross country ski, snorkel and take long walks. Lately tho, the walks have been more frequent than the skiing and snorkeling.

I was raised in Mountain California and Southern Missouri and have spent most of my adult life in the Deep South: Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Washington, SE Texas (trust me, it ISN’T the west). In between I have had short jaunts of 2-4 years in New Mexico, California (SF and Berkely) and Minnesota.

In March of 2009, I got tired of feeling uneasy/afraid to speak about my gay friends, my chocolate grandson, my dislike of churces, my pro-union opinions and my traitorous voting for Democratic candidates. Thus, I moved to Massachusetts. So far, I can say it was the best move I’ve made in this life. I hadn’t realized how toxic the far right atmosphere was in Alabama for the past 16 years. I feel that I’ve come home.

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