War and Peace and a Lot of Other Rubbish

The title of this post is in homage to some men I never knew before but am glad to have learned about now.  Wipers Times is a movie about soldiers in WWI coping with the reality of modern trench warfare through the printing of a satirical newspaper.  Captain Fred Roberts and his men find a workable printing press among the ruins of Ypres and decide to create a newspaper to lift the morale of the men in the trenches.  Their dark humor expresses vividly the confusion felt by troops seeing no reason for the mind numbing loss of life caused by the war.  Along side Beneath Hill 60, I find it to be a worthwhile movie for anyone who wants to know more about what war means.  I also recommend Our World War, which is a collection of dramatizations based upon WWI war diaries.  For WWII, I recommend The War a documentary directed by Ken Burns and The Pacific a HBO miniseries.  For modern warfare, I suggest Blackhawk Down.

I personally think these movies should be made mandatory for every American citizen to watch before they are allowed to vote, so that they can understand the true costs of the wars they may consider advocating.  Please consider watching one, or all of these movies to remind yourself of what war costs since the only other way is to be stuck on the front lines yourself, which we have asks so many of our young people to do so that we can keep wasting gas and buying cheap junk.

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The Sadness of the Blind

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This was a meme I recently received on my Facebook feed.  It is filled with the usual angst at the lower class who push to make a livable wage for the millions of people who will never ever be able to get the limited number of jobs that actually make living bearable.  How can people flipping burgers ask for more money than a person in charge of saving their lives?  They must be the scum of the earth right?

Well as many Americas who believe in the Republican rhetoric of the day say, yes they are scum.  They are giving a middle finger to all those hard workers, like the Koch brothers, who toil endlessly to support this great American Democracy.  Oh ya, those middle class citizens whom haven’t had a raise in years because of the money stolen by the Wall Street Banks, too.  As I have said in other posts, I don’t agree with raising the minimum wage, not because it is not needed, but because the people who should fund it won’t.  The rich will pass that task onto an already beleaguered middle class.  However, I have also stated before that in some ways I agree with employees asking for more money from McDonald’s.  I feel that if sports players can claim to deserve a greater share in the teams profits because of their role, why can’t the rest of us.  This two standard system is for the birds.  If you are lucky enough to play a sport for a living, you can ask for the sun, moon, and stars; but, if you work in shit all day, you have to be thankful you have a job.

Finally, here is a more important thought to dwell upon.  Why is an EMT worker, who has countless years of training and may be called upon to hold your life in their hands, making only $15 or less an hour?  Now lets contrast that with a small town lawyer who is representing you in an insurance claim making $150 an hour (probably  low-end of the spectrum).  They are not saving your life or being put into a dangerous situation.  Lets go further and look at the average salaries of a D.C. Lobbyist who speaks for people like the Koch brothers.  They make an average of $113,556 (or $45.50 per hour for 48 hour week)a year to promote inequality.  Let us also not forget the Wall Street Bankers whose wonderful ideas have brought us such things as the Great Depression and the Financial Meltdown of 2008, which we have not seen the last of.  They make an average of $172,860 a year as of 2014.  If we break that down by a 48 hour work week, you will come out with an hourly wage of $69.25 for destroying your 401k.  Let us not forget that we had to pay them bonuses while we were losing our jobs.  Are they really worth that much?  If my life was on the line, who would I want by my side, Donald Trump or an EMT?

Wake up America, you are being had by the wealthy and their myth of the job creator.  Yes, there are poor people milking the system and the money we pay in taxes, but there are a ton of rich people doing the same.  They are not heroes or demigods, they are just smooth talkers like Bernie Madoff who manage to part you from your life’s saving while blaming it on the poor.  Quit helping them by only looking at one side of the equation.